That one time…

Aw memories. As I look back through a collection of photos I take stock of the highs and lows and genuinely hilarious moments of our parenting journey so far.

Here are some of my favourites!

Yup that is actual poo in the bath.

It was all going so well. The children were having a wonderful bath time.

Bath baby who features in the above photo was doing her best swimming and then suddenly Piglet pooped and it spread throughout the bath.

Big Pig became hysterical. I screamed for my husband. Who replied “ok just let me finish this battle” to which I replied “are you ffing serious there is actually shit in the bath” sorry kids.

But sometimes unsweary word are just not adequate.

You know those days that your feeling like a crap parent. Whose child doesn’t eat right or sleep right, or watches too much tv or doesn’t behave in public and on that day you blame yourself.

Then you maybe have the energy to try a little harder.. well my little harder results in the above.

It was meant to be a rainbow plate but everything we had in the house was the same colour, so I added a pack of fizzers for colour.

Whole point of a rainbow plate is fruit and vegetables, well we were all out of broccoli florets but I did find some mango!

We’d just been to the cafe and successfully managed to eat lunch without knocking any thing over or covering ourselves in bean juice.

Then on our way to the lift I was wooed by some M&S children’s wear and as my attention was diverted for a second or two I heard a crash.

My kids had knocked over one of the mannequins. As I then tried to pick it up the whole arm came off!

I was persuaded by the lady in customer services to just “leave it be”.

I brought the dress though. Guilt or fashion choice. I will never truly know!

This photo was taken only a couple of months after the kids moved in.

I’d sneaked off for a bath while my Mum was downstairs with Big Pig. I was just about to pluck my eyebrows when I realised my skin was rather unblemished.

I think I was going to take a photo of said unblemished skin when I was alerted by foot steps!

My peace was about to be broken as Big Pig barged in insisting that my bath was not “ready”. I had to add 4 ducks, a wind up boat and a frog before my relaxing experience was complete.

We were off on holiday to Devon and for those who experienced the British Summer of 2017, you would know that the weather was some what mixed.

So obviously I had to pack for every eventuality.

Matched with a long car journey and promises of regular bouts of car sickness, the kids had no clothes left in the house!

I promised myself I would cook homemade meals every day and that they would never eat chocolate or any refined sugar in fact.

Well that didn’t last long, so we celebrated failure with a plate of frozen left overs including turkey animals and potatobets (that’s my name for alphabet chips).

Every time I look at this photo I well up! Big Pig and I had gone to the woods and we’d done treasure hunts and built nests together, we’d had a picnic and we’d climbed a few trees (I say trees, it would be more accurate to say pile of twigs). When he sat down to have a break I asked him what his favourite moment was. He said “being with you”.

Don’t worry too much about the f bombs and how much you do or don’t do. What kids really need is you. Imperfect you. Who does what you can, occasionally messes up but offers unconditional love.

Mission Mindfulness

I WILL ALWAYS BE HONEST WITH YOU

Dear Big Pig

So this morning you opened up to me and I decided to write it down so if you ask me again we can read this together; as I can often explain things better when I write them down.

Today you told me that your birth Dad was dead. That’s what your Tummy  Mummy had told you.

Big Pig I was honest with you, I will always be honest with you when you ask me questions.

He isn’t dead.

I think your Tummy Mummy might of told you that because maybe she didn’t know how to explain why you hadn’t ever met him so she said that he died.

He agreed to the adoption which I think is very brave. He knew he wasn’t capable of giving you the life and love you deserve.

When I told you in words I hope you understood this morning; you hit the wall, curled in to a ball and started rocking. You didn’t want my comfort, you didn’t shout or scream, you were silent.

After a few minutes I told you about how I don’t see my Dad. How I sometimes worry that maybe I did something or wasn’t worth him changing to be a better Dad. But I know that isn’t true and it’s the same for you.

You were loved. They just couldn’t love you in a way that meant you were safe and fed and cared for.

You said to me “like when my Tummy Mummy didn’t feed me?”

Yes baby, that’s what I meant.

To know you would of been hungry literally makes me feel true sadness.

I said but she did love you, what kind things did she do.

You said “she let me stay up til when I want and do whatever I want”

I think you’re starting to learn that that isn’t ok either but is also why you find boundaries so difficult.

I explained how you need your sleep, but every now and again we will have a late night, on special occasions or holidays but most of the time you need to go to bed and get loads of sleep.

I’m really grateful you can talk to me about things that are going through your mind.

I’m sorry I cried but I love you so much it upset me to see you so sad or to know you sometimes were very hungry.

Eventually you wanted a cuddle and it was the best one yet!

Love you my super star. You amaze me.

Love Mummy

 

 

When’s the right time to send your children away (again)

When I started to plan going back to work I started to plan what the kids were going to do in the summer holidays.

I’d accrued loads of leave and planned to take the majority off in the school holidays, but there were a couple of weeks that I wouldn’t be able to.

So we planned to take Big Pig down to his grandparents for the week.

Now the last few weeks have been tricky for Big Pig in hindsight (the arse that you are) it was his Chicken Pox that turned him in to a different version of himself and not a very nice one at that.

So as the time approached I felt a mixture of relief followed by immense guilt. Relief that we would get a break from each other then guilt because I felt relief.

Also,  was he ready to be apart from me, was he ready to be apart from Piglet? All I knew was that he adored his grandparents, who are fabulous with him and that he would have lovely time. I also reasoned that my husband and I would both be at work so he wouldn’t of seen much of us  anyway.

I also think it’s important for him to go somewhere and come back again, building the trust that he’s here forever which he doubts all the time.

The morning he left I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. The house was calm, eerily quiet, it was weird!

Ill be honest. Piglet was immensely calmer without her brother around with the lack of sibling rivalry she just did what she wanted to do and although she asked almost every day “where’s my (name)” she was content.

I missed him! I missed his eyes and his hair and his hugs. I missed watching the way he eats, which is pretty rank! I missed all the things that I didn’t think I’d miss!

We FaceTimed a lot and he had the most amazing time. He swam, he played, he baked, he shot his grandad with a £1 bow and arrow.

And when he came home I just couldn’t stop hugging him, no one got a look in for at least 20 minutes whilst I smothered him (poor Big Pig).

He’d grown a bit in every way, and one of the first things he said to me was; “I’m with you forever and when I go to grandma’s I always come back”.

And with that I was reassured that I’d made the right decision.

 

 

 

A survival guide…

(What the opposite of a P.S? Well I need one to say apologies for the ridiculous photo! What’s a girl to do when she hasn’t mastered the art of Snapchat!)

I’m off to work this weekend and I was thinking how lucky I am that my husband is great with the kids and my Mum will be around as a back up!

But what advise would I give to someone who didn’t know the kids as well as they do.

I say advice. It’s actual a survival guide. One I fail at most days. But hindsight and reflection are a friend of mine..

So here goes…

1. Remain positive at all times – they will
Pick up on any negativity and quadruple fire back bad behaviour which consists of grumpiness, throwing, hitting and genuinely being horrible

2.You won’t be able to pee alone. You may as well leave the door open, if you shut it they’ll hear from anywhere in the house and come directly to the bathroom.

3. Be ready with snacks. ALWAYS.

4. Don’t sit down, when you sit down, like when you go to the toilet they will know.

5. Noise is good, if they are silent and the tele isn’t on then they are usually doing something wrong.

6. Don’t worry too much about tidying up, they’ll make a mess a few seconds later

7. Try to say yes more than no, you think it’s going to cause more hassle to get out a weird toy that you’ve stashed away but if they are distracted then they are happier

8. Wet wipes – have a pack in each room, each toilet, take some out with you.

9.Get out – with the kids obviously. They are better outside. Even if it’s raining.

10. Did I mention snacks – honestly they dissolve most tense situations.

11. If they want chocolate give them those Swiss miniature ones- it takes them about 5 minutes to get in to.

  THIS IS A GREAT TIME TO MAKE COFFEE OR PEE

12. They will want everything the other one has – I don’t really have any advice on this you need to be aware of it though

13. Get their boxes out. They will play in them for ages.

  ANOTHER GREAT TIME TO MAKE    COFFEE OR PEE

14. If possible give them the same colour cutlery, cups, plates, food!

15. Tickling- getting them to laugh solves many a drama occurring.

16. If they talk about the fart gun, the noisy kitty or the clock. Divert divert divert, they are the noisiest most annoying and slightly scary (noisy robot kitty) on this planet.

17. make sure you don’t run out of the following:
– blueberries
– strawberries
– yoghurts
– wet wipes (yes i know I’m repeating myself but wetwipes and snacks are key)

18. Kiss is smetter – kiss it better
Smoreberries – strawberries
Shoclate – chocolate
Sore- straw
Blue crisps – wotsits
Barry – the baby with the hat
Bernard – the tiny baby
Big baby – the biggest (always naked) baby

☝🏻these are the only things that I can think of. If she says anything else you don’t understand call me!

19. Balloons and balls – favourite toys, will solve any situation (as well as or in addition to snacks)

20. If all else fails stick on the weird mermaid program on Netflix kids.. for some reason they both love it!

So there you go. This should get you through about an hour!

What would be on your survival guide?

 

 

My Mum said to me last night that I had sad eyes.

I felt sad. Genuinely.

Sad for me. Sad for Big Pig. I don’t know whether his behaviour is spurred by testing the boundaries or what he has been through or that he has chicken pox. Or that he has moved rooms, or that he is a 5yo boy who has so many feelings he doesn’t quite know what to do with them.

Yesterday it seemed his mission to upset his sister. When I asked him why, he said she wasn’t upset that they’d moved rooms and he was angry he wanted her to be sad too! I think this is pretty advanced for a 5yo. Match that with early trauma his little mind probably doesn’t know what to do with itself.

So when at the end of the day I think about how cross he can make me. How I have to walk away and count to 10 sometimes 20 to calm down I feel incredibly guilty. He can’t help it but I should be able to not rise to it.

We had a horrific day on Monday everything spiralled out of control and we all ended up in tears at one point or another. Since then I’ve really tried to be as calm and as level headed as possible. But when he swears at me, calls me stupid, slaps me, I admit for a few seconds I take it personally. He’ll have been playing or we’ll have been laughing moments before and then something so small; normally me having to ask him not
to do something will end up with him lashing out.

Yesterday was better. But by the end of the day I was drained. I felt desperately sorry for him, I’ll be honest; I felt a bit sorry for myself. I felt sorry for Piglet who had got the brunt of it that day and who when I comforted her Big Pig gave me the look that he often gives. It’s not really jealousy, it’s more disappointment that I’ve chosen to spend that moment with her and not him.

He loves the bones of Piglet and she him. But the other night he asked me if I liked her more than him. When I said no and explained I loved them both so much and listed all the things I liked about him. He then said but I love you more than anyone. Who do you love more? And then listed all our close friends and family.

It’s at moments like these that I realise just how vulnerable he is. So yesterday I was sad because I worry that I’m not doing enough for him. Maybe we should get some intervention to help him. But new people unsettle him so much that would that not lead him to feel even more anxious.

If anyone has gone through similar parenting issues adoption or not and has any suggestions I would love to hear from you.

And today is another day. We never hold grudges and we move on and try a little bit harder than the day before. I’m still convinced that love will get us through. A few bumps or massive hurdles along the way but we will get there. Wherever there is!

10 ways you know you’re a parent

 

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I often thank the universe for wet wipes! Whether it’s a quick clean around the house before friends come or actually using them to wipe your children’a faces! They are a blessing and when you forget to take them out with you.. #shockhorror!

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5yo “my (noisy, drive you crazy) toy’s not working”

Me “oh, must of run out of batteries, I’ll go and see if there are some”

I actually go and look, there may even be some batteries, but on my return..”sorry poppet, we’ve run out”.

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Ever! Or you will get “the look” which is what happens when your child tells you that they’re hungry and you tell them that you don’t have any snacks. At this point I’d advise hiding.

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This is not a complaint! I actually quite like that I care less about my appearance! I still put a bit of slap on for work and when I go “out out” but thanks to the kids it’s acceptable to look like slightly dishevelled!

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I used to love shoes, now they can ruin my day, I expressed my feelings through this poem.

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No amount of preparation can solve this problem. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and by the time you’ve left the house it starts to rain! #excellent

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My Mum once said to me, “you’re only going away for a weekend, not a month”. Yes Mother but that makes no difference when you have to factor in; weather changes, car sickness, fussy eaters, favourite toys, night lights, monitors, travel cots.. I could go on!

 

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Without yoghurts life would be harder,  of this I am certain. Peace treaty’s can be negotiated with Toddlers with a simple “shall I get you a yoghurt sweetheart” for me it’s a vodka with a bag of onion rings but that’s another story!

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These above items have actually led me to tears. The lego and happy land people really hurt to stand on. The nerf bullets hurt when they are aimed at your butt and all three have brought me to tears when you have a “sort out” and find 427 of them scattered across the house.

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You don’t sweat the small stuff – you don’t have time! Which has helped my state of mind massively. Children take over pretty much every area of your life. It’s beautiful and exhausting but petty stuff that bothered you before just won’t touch the sides.

 

Naptime Natter

 

Never think that I don’t love you

Things have been really tricky with Big Pig the last few weeks.

We seem to have turned a corner but if im honest I know we will go through it again as his behaviour and boundary testing varies all the time but through it all and however hard he pushes I always make sure he knows that I love him no matter what.

I wrote this for him, love you so much Big Pig.

Never think that I don’t love you
When I shout or cry
Never think that I don’t love you
When you make me so mad I can’t look you in the eye
You see I will always love you until the end of time
I chose you, your everything, you will always be mine
Even when you ask me a question for the 100th time
Even when you hit me, or throw something, or say you wish you weren’t mine
Nothing that you say or do
Will stop me from loving you
No amount of trying to push me away
Will stop me from wanting to always stay
Near to you, loving you and keeping you safe
Your stuck with me now through good times and bad
We’ll laugh together we’ll make each other sad
We’ll probably say things that we don’t mean
We’ll probably shout, we may even scream
But never forget how I chose you
And how much you mean to me
You’re everything I dreamed of when I dreamt of a family