Thursday, April 28, 2016

three years

Some respite from our day-to-day lives yesterday: celebrating our third wedding anniversary.

For a pregnant mama, it really was one of the best days spent. My husband pulled it out of the bag, and because the sun shone and it snowed  yesterday (WTAF. It's practically May and it's it's farking snowing...), well, it was a very special day indeed.
 Us three years ago. Look at our rested, skinny, happy little faces. No sleep-deprivation. No grief. Being 'fun' adults.
How far we have come...and survived. Thus far.

We driopped Sebastian off at nursery and had the entire day off all to ourselves. Just us two. It's a rare thing. I can't remember the last time we shared a breakfast together in a restaurant without having to ensure our child doesn't lob food onto the floor or squeal, "I don' wan' it."

Or walk around hand-in-hand through sunny central London stopping for a coffee, perusing shop windows, generally browsing, just taking the day in our stride.

We started off at the Breakfast Club, a local place down the road from us for a stack of mile high pancakes and coffees. What good anniversary day doesn't start with a mahoosive breakfast?

Then, we headed on down to Carnaby Street, while taking in the shops along Regents Street - I simply never go to shops in town anymore, but here we were - where the Brit then turned to me and said he had a surprise; a top-to-toe 1.5 hours of pampering at the Cowshed.

It was sublime. My back is taking serious strain at the moment, so having some one scrub, buff, oil and massage me up is literally the best present he could've given me. (In turn, because it's our third anniversary, and third is 'leather,' - I got the Brit a buttery soft leather weekend bag. He needs one. And this one is flash, yet subtle.)

I walked out on a cloud. We then headed over to Soho and had some pulled pork sliders, while watching the world go by in front of us.

In the evening, the Brit had booked a sitter, and we went to a local restaurant he's always wanted to try for ages but we never have got round to it, one of those gourmet foodie types of places, which are difficult to get into, but this one not as pretentious as the menu suggests (The Manor, in Clapham).

We did the taster menu, (not usually my bag; the Brit is definitely more of a refined foodie than I am. He loves this kind of stuff. Where they have to point out that the minuscule blob on my plate is in fact lemon puree, to pair with the teaspoon of monkfish sitting next to it,) albeit, I ate my words and the meal - it was delicious.

 This is one of the starters of the 9 course taster menu; venison and pork and sage 'salumi' (apparently not a spelling error...), complete with chicken butter smeared on a rock.

We Want Plates would have a field day.

Everything is served on a rock, piece of slate or Spanish floor tile. I find this all a bit over the top myself, but the meal was delicious.

A happy anniversary, and everything the doctor ordered.

Monday, April 25, 2016

pregnancy blues

I'm feeling a bit redundant and sad at the moment.

Redundant because I am tired, can't perform at 100% at work, feeling like the world is going on without me, and in general, I find it hard to "check out" even if everything in my body is telling me to.
I just can't not be involved in everything, and I just feel like I'm kind of the fat, pregnant lady sitting in the corner, not able to contribute on everything anymore, because I also leave work at 5pm on the dot to rush and see my son.

Being the best at two things, mother and career, while pregnant, is an impossible feat. But it still makes me lie awake at night and wonder if it's all going to be OK.

Last night, I tossed and turned - like how an elephant would. With effort. I have to wake up to turn my belly nowadays, there's nothing natural about the way in which I have to move while sleeping.

All the thoughts were jumbling around, the usual thoughts that keep me awake at night, like, will we get this house, will we sell our flat, will we get our mortgage, will my baby be healthy and fine, can I ask for more scans starting now. Then, is any stab at making a contribution to society now gone forever? Being a working mum to one is difficult enough, but two? Is my career all but completely lost?
I used to be that girl who got a book deal at 26, and got head-hunted for a job at one of the most successful companies in the world.
These feats are nothing in comparison to being a mother, I love being a mother, in fact, perhaps too much so. Being a good mother now takes precedent over everything I do; nothing is more important to me.

But I still feel sad and redundant. When everyone else goes for drinks together after work, but I can't because I'm pregnant and I need to get back to see my baby off to bed.
When there's a late, but important, meeting I can't join because I need to pick up my baby from nursery.
I can't fly to America for a big conference next month, alongside the rest of the team, as I'm too big/pregnant.
I don't feel like I have my finger on the pulse; everyone knows more stuff than I do these days, because everyone else has more time to know these things.

These are my choices, and I wouldn't have it any other way, don't get me wrong. My biggest priority are my children, hands down. But there's no doubt I miss out on all the things I used to love about my career - the team bonding, the gossip, the fun.

And for someone who likes to over-achieve, and who likes to pull out all the stops, it's quite hard to embrace the back seat.

Then there's something else happening. I'm currently poring through old videos of Sebastian when he was a little baby, and going through all of his baby clothes as I try to nest and somehow figure out a way of carving out some space for our new baby girl, if we are still to be in our flat when she arrives.

Folding and refolding his old baby clothes, smelling them. Hating to part with some of them, but know I have to because she won't wear something with tractors all over it. (Well she would, wouldn't she. It's just me wanting to put her in dresses and pink cashmere...)

I'm mourning him as a baby. I want Sebastian to always be my baby, but he's not going to be my baby anymore. And he isn't.
He now says, "Bye mummy, see you later!" when I drop him off at nursery; the clingy stage was far from ideal, and it was heartbreaking leaving him there crying, but I also feel like he is suddenly independent and doesn't need me around so much anymore.

I also know, that if I have a healthy, bonny baby in July, this will be the last time. Which means I'll never have a little boy baby again. This all sounds so silly, but because I love little boys so much, I am sad that I'll never have the chance to have another baby boy again. I only want two children. In some ironic way, I have now managed to have 3 children, but you know what I mean.

I miss my baby boy, and I am feeling completely emotional that I'll never get these years with him back.

All I can do is try to plod forward - but try, I mean try and not bang my head against a wall out of frustration because I can't organise or plan anything right now - and focus on my growing baby girl.

I can't wait to meet her. If only my heart didn't feel so sad for Sebastian.

Is this all normal? Probably not.

Monday, April 18, 2016

nesting syndrome

While Housegate rages on, something else has started happening.

I've hit 26 weeks; and perhaps it's my sheer size, but the need to nest has suddenly kicked in.

And it's driving me absolutely bananas. No, I think I might need psychological assistance.

We've realised that at this point, we won't be in a house by the time the baby comes. Which means we'll inevitably move with a newborn and toddler.

You don't understand. I am fretting something chronic. 

And the need to nest is now so strong - it really is an actual thing - that I have been at work 6 hours  and yet to be able to concentrate on anything, except this:
These are the jumbled thoughts of storage and compartmental obsession that are on cyclical loop and taken hostage of my brain right now.

Those are meant to be flow diagrammes to arrange my thought processes.
They won't make sense to a normal, stable human being, but perhaps other pregnant women can decode it.

It's pregnantese for "Help me I need to organise stuff or I might chew my first off."

The Brit: OK, don't worry. Don't panic.

Peas: [hyperventilating] [trouble breathing]

The Brit: We can use my wardrobe. I can live out of a suitcase for a while. I'll come to work in the same clothes everyday like Zuckerberg.

Peas: [Heavy breathing] That's sweet. Thanks.

The Brit: We can put stuff in storage for a while.

Peas: It all needs to be accessible. The issue here is that he needs to be able to get to his stuff on a daily basis, and she needs lots of stuff easily accessible too. Which means it needs to be in one place all arranged. For toddler meltdowns and newborn poonamis.

Then I start sweating and go back to my diagramme.

Please can we sell our flat soon please can we sell our flat soon please please please.

Monday, April 11, 2016

buy a house. or die trying.

This is what has happened on our Buy A House front:

Found a house.
Put in an offer.
Offer got accepted.
Put our flat on the market.
Got an offer in.
Accepted their offer.

Three months pass. Waiting for our house people to find a house.

Our buyers pull out.
Because one little graduate twerp at the bank [Lloyds. C$nts] wrongly valued our flat twice.
Buyers remove mortgage with Lloyds.
Our people find a house.
They get pressure from their new house sellers to start moving.
They try to bribe them by saying they'll wait if they pay them £10 000. [Yes. Really.]
They tell them to fuck off.
Nevertheless, 'our' house people are forced to put their house back on the market.

[No irony here: we waited 3 months for them to find a house, only to have them now put 'our' house back on the market because they can't wait for us to find a new buyer...]

The market, in the meantime, has slowed down due to the referendum, housing bubble, property stuff.
In those 3 months.
Which means we now have to reduce the price that we are selling. By around £35 000. [I'm chewing my fist as I write this, while simultaneously holding my ever-burgeoning belly.]
Feverishly crunch numbers.
Can we still afford 'our' house if we sell for asking price, and that's even if no one else puts in a higher offer in the meantime, which means we may get into a bidding war?

Might I remind the world - if indeed one gives a shit - that I am due to have 1 x human exit my body in July. If not sooner.

I am stressed and wondering how we will fit this extra human into our flat; while the Brit is manstruating, because there is no other appropriate word to verbalise at how he is coping with this either.

So that's where we are in terms of trying to adult and move on with our lives to bigger, greener spaces.

Stress is tangible.

In the interim we've celebrated Sebby's second birthday with a party that involved a cake so delicious, we all had glazed eyeballs for three hours afterwards.
It was cute as fuck.

 Not high. But close.

He hasn't tantrummed for ages too, which is fairly gratifying. Perhaps it's because I'm getting the hang of what might tick him off now, and when. I know I won't avoid them pointe blank, but I have to say bribing is a very useful skill to have as a parent of a 2 year old.

No one should be adverse to blackmail. Seriously.

Me: Right, we are going to nursery now Sebastian! Hooray! Come and get in your buggy.
Sebastian: No, don' mon it. ['I don't want' it applies to most things]
Me: Do you want some RAISINS?
Sebastian: Mummy, raisins please?
Me: OK, get in your buggy first.

He climbs in.

Sebastian: Mummy raisins now.

Me: No problemo, knock yourself out. [Hands him raisin box.]

The other thing I've noticed is that if he says he doesn't want something, he actually means I do want it. It's just that he wants it five seconds after he's said he doesn't want it.

Sebastian: Don' need it Mummy. [Hands me dummy after sleeping.]
Me: What a good boy! That's right you don't need it, you're a big boy.

[Put it back on shelf]

Sebastian: NO NO NO, DUMMY! MUMMY GIVE ME DUMMY! [Roars/cries]

[Hand it back to him. He immediately shuts up. Has a good suck. And then, twenty seconds later:]

Sebastian: Here mummy, don' need dummy.

And we do this a few times. Until I bribe him with raisins.

He's also become annoyingly cute when it comes to the Naughty Corner.

Me: Sebastian, you throw your spoon ONE MORE TIME and you're going to the naughty corner.

Sebastian: No naughty corner. I don' mon it.

Me: Don't throw your spoon then.

Sebastian: No throw boon. MY boon.

[Throws it.]

Me: Fine, off we go to the naughty corner.

Sebastian: No no no! Mummy hugs? Hugs mummy. Throws little arms around my neck. Clings on for dear life.

I melt. And we hug it out. The end.

Then finally, conversation I had in Primark this afternoon. 

She Who Also Loves Tweed accompanied me to go and buy myself some extraordinarily large pants.
By pants, I mean:

Because my bottom currently only houses half a pant at a time. In that, the current status of my ass is such that a normal pair of pants fits around only one butt cheek.

Je suis enorme.

I am growing a baby out of my backside.

So I take a set of three ginormous XL 'full' pants up to the till, which is being manned by a fellow that looks like Jimmy Saville with a pageboy haircut.

I also have a pair of maternity pajamas, of which he thinks are perfect material to start firing off some bants.
"You don't even have to hoick these up," he says, flashing me a massive, but creepy smile, "as there is a functional placket built-in."
(What is that even?)

"It's so the midwives have easier don't need to hoick anything up, the seams come undone."

Brilliant. Then he picks up the pants. Starts waving them around.

"Ooh look, XL ey?"

Oh God. Just put them in the bag Jimmy.

"Bet you never had to wear XL before ey?"

Oh for God's sake Jimmy, don't make me tell you about my haemorrhoid. Just put 'em in the bag, stop waving them around.

He meant well, but as anyone would know: pants don't equal bants.

Especially if they're XL.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Well, that was simply brilliant.

We have returned from almost a week in Mallorca refreshed and happy. We really, really have to do this more often you know. Go on short breaks to somewhere sunny.

The only thing is since we've returned, we are now wondering how our normal lives can be so off the spectrum from our holiday lives. At the one end you have manic, rat-racey London, where we rush to catch our tails in everything we do, from nursery runs to work, to home, and back to work. On the other end, there are the Balearic Islands.

Of which, only a few weeks ago, I was Googling guesthouses to buy, because I was fed-up with our lifestyle here, not to mention the weather, and thought it was time that we cashed up and raised our babies in a citrus grove while we ran a charming little guesthouse in the baking sun.

 No filter required.

The Brits and the Germans are obsessed with Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, and it's no little wonder. It's a two hour flight away, and the place is surrounded by aquamarine oceans, delicious platters of tapas teeming with an abundance of locally-grown melons, tomatoes and oranges and manchego cheeses, (The grapes are the size of golf balls, I'm not joking), friendly Spanish people, terracotta villas and the smell of jasmine everywhere.
 Gettin' large.

Well, it's a big island and that's one side of it. I believe Magaluf is to be avoided at any cost, but that's easy to do.

We stayed northeast for most of our trip, which happens to be the most German part of the world, in the world. We saw road signs in German. Everyone greeted us in German. They served schnitzel in the taperias. Even though our hotel was fab, the beach was golden and sunny, and everything else about it was beautiful, the German thing got a bit much at the end. ("You're now officially a Brit," says my Brit, rather smugly one morning. "You finally hate the Germans and the French!"....)

No, it was just that I was expecting to be greeted with an 'hola' rather than a "guten tag," in Spain. Is all.

But we did tons of exploring in our hire car, mucking about in the sand with Sebastian (which he could do for hours - a sand holiday is the best holiday/entertainment for a two year old. They need nothing more than a bucket and spade, bit of sunshine and some sand. And everyone's happy and occupied. Honestly.)

We drove north to Alcudia, which was alright, and then back east to Canyamel beach, which was beautiful. Between playa hopping, we engorged ourselves on platters of tapas in the day, and at night went mad at the hotel buffet.

Sebastian decided that mealtimes was the time to really dig his heels in and test us, and has picked up an annoying little habit from his bezzy mate at nursery. His key worker told us his little friend loves throwing his food and cutlery and Sebastian has always been such a "neat little eater," but now copies his friend.
And that he does.
Bowls of food flying everywhere, spoons, and us losing our rag a few times around the table. We had to introduce the Naughty Step in the public dining room, much to the delight of the judging Germans, who seemed to take great interest in our disciplinary actions.
"Do you want to sit on the naughty step, Sebastian? One more time and you're going on the naughty step!" while they all stared. And judged.

But then, we had the last laugh. Because by the end of the week? Sebastian, now  fully 2, ("Harty birt-day to me!") was eating like a Norling Nanny-trained champion again. Just about.
 He's 2!

We didn't want to go home. Luckily for us, a massive storm was brewing over the UK on Easter Sunday, which meant our flight was abruptly cancelled and we got another 24 hours!

 We loaded up the car and headed southwest to Port Soller, in the mountains. Surely the most beautiful part of the island, if not hair-raising to drive to though. Hairpin bends and steep mountain passes all the way to the most magnificant little village, Deia.
Where Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have envilla'd, I believe.

Just picture perfect; the Spain you read about in storybooks. All terracotta, forest green shutters, trees enladen with orange fruit, olives everywhere, houses teetering on the side of the hill, all jam-packed together. Just glorious. Leaving the Brit and I wondering how we can actually and feasibly become billionaires. Talking investment plans and how we could possibly secure a piece of this heaven, maybe even just once a year.

Timeshare? (All scams, I'm told.)

Mallorca was glorious. Just what the doctor ordered. We laughed. We got to spend time with our little boy who is talking and who is 100% entertainment and delight, when he is not throwing food. (And no real tantrums on holiday either.)

He is now telling us when he has laid cable.

"DADDY!" he says running up to the table where we are drinking a coffee. "DADDY, I DONE A POOH!" he proudly exclaims to everyone around him. I am so proud. I say that with both a straight face and utmost sincerity.

Every time. Mummy, I need a pooh."
Shall we go to the potty Sebby?
"Yes. I need it."

Then he does a pooh before sitting on any type of toilet, but the sentiment is there.

We are starting to have actual conversations with our child. This is the moment that most parents wait for. And it's happening. He's telling us what he is seeing, what he wants to eat, when he is thirsty, and his bowel movements. He sings the Happy Birthday song to himself.

He is now 2. Our little miracle is 2 years old and he is a character. He is a handful. And I've never loved him more.

Take me back to Mallorca. Immediately.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

easter break

We are going to Mallorca today! For six whole days.

It's our last little holiday as three; and we are all desperate for some sunshine. Holidays with a child is really 'Same shit, different location,' but at least the location will be somewhat sunny. And we will be on the beach. Eating Spanish tapas.

I've never been to Mallorca. But I've only ever heard good things about the little Balearic.

We are hiring a car and plan to do some exploring, so we should get to see a few beaches and villages while we are there.

My only requests are few, but hopefully not futile:

1) May Sebastian not have a tantrum. Or if he does, may it not be when we are on the beach/in public/on the plane.

2) May there be no horrible easyJet-related delays. With the awful stuff happening in Brussels, to the French air traffic control strike, this may not be the ideal journey over.

But I remain hopeful. All in the name of Spanish sunshine.

Monday, March 21, 2016

new parenting chapter

The weekend was made up largely of a spectrum of emotions. From all three of us.

 We set free Molly's balloons, which in the cold spring air, were whisked off to beyond Tooting.

As it's the twins birthday on Friday, and because we are going away for Easter, (to somewhere sunny. Hooray!), we thought we'd unveil Sebastian's birthday present a little early.

We got all psyched up about it (first mistake), and planned a whole morning outing centred around the gift (second mistake),while setting our expectations such that it was going to be the BEST THING EVER (third mistake).

It started off well enough. The Brit wrapped it up and Sebastian exclaimed, "Itta....BIKE!" before he had ripped off the wrapping.

He got a bit more snippy when I insisted he at least try to balance the helmet on his head. Wasn't completely down with that idea, but eventually kind of let me balance it on his [precious little] pip.

Very excitedly got some pictures of him on his very first bike.

 Isn't our kid adorable? Adorable right?
And one from the back. As he shuffled long on his balance bike, his enthusiasm, admittedly, starting to wane.

We hadn't even reached the end of our street, when he then decided he had had enough and didn't want to get on the bike anymore.

Fine. We'd calmly just carry it across the road to the common and head towards the bandstand cafe, where we'd sit happily as a family of three, shlurping coffees and babycinos, maybe indulge in a spot of cake eating. All very civilised; all very content.

By the time we got there, Sebastian was ready for his performance. He didn't want to get into a high chair, and he didn't want anything to do with his fucking raisins. That he usually covets from rooms away.

He certainly didn't want a fucking babycino, and showed his displeasure by throwing the whole cup all over my [Mulberry - sob] handbag and wool coat.

For the love of Christ.

The table next door, conveniently, was having an altercation with another table about the whereabouts of their pissing spaniel that had relieved itself over someone's bag, so they were arguing loudly, all while Sebastian was building himself up into a crescendo of displeasure.

Soon, he was thrashing about on the grass, while onlookers did one of two things:
1) the parents gave us a knowing, yet encouraging nod (and thank you, for those that did. As you could see, things were pretty dire);
2) those without children looked at us with complete disdain.

We decided to laugh. What else do you do when your child is having a shit fit in public? We agreed that this outing had somewhere along the line gone horribly, horribly wrong, and had somehow ticked off our 2 year old completely unknowingly, and now it was time to go home and admit defeat.

But Sebastian wouldn't bend. He physically wouldn't fold his body to get him back into the buggy, and he didn't want to be held.

Two year olds are extremely talented - it turns out - at planking and then relaxing every muscle in their body, from one moment to the next, to ensure that no one can put them in anything.

Thirty long, cold minutes of public disobedience ensued until he decided that he now wanted no-one except "MUMMY!" (why thank you), which meant I had to carry him home on my 22 week belly, for a mile.

We've learnt a few things from the recent spate of events involving the new personality of our 2 year old.

1) Set expectations really low.
Never expect an outing in public to go well. That said, hope for the best. Then be pleasantly surprised if your 2 year old doesn't go ballistic.

2) It's normal, according to the books and Google.
It'll be bad for the next 6 months and then hopefully start to taper off. The one [massive] thing that may disrupt this cycle is the fact that there'll be another tiny human joining us, demanding all of my attention and undoubtedly throwing him into a state of torture, slap bang right in the middle of this. I feel guilty and I'm also aware that there are tough times, they are a-coming.

The arrival of a new sister?

He is going to be furious.

3) We handle tantrums like this:
We sit near him and let him just get on with it. It may take 30 minutes, but we can't leave him (bad) and we can't pick him up (bad). We just let him clam down and if we can distract him, then (good). We must also approach him with a completely over-enthusiastic Disney-voice tone, as it helps. [SINGSONG!] "SHALL WE GO AND PLAY AT THE PARK! OOOH YAY! WE ARE GOING TO PLAY AT THE PARK TODAY!"

His Oscar-winning performance:

 We lost a wellington in the scuffle. Had to go back to retrieve lost merchandise.

Then once home, he held onto me for a full twenty minutes. Chatting, smiling, being fucking adorable. Two year olds are the most amiable schizophrenics you'll ever hope to meet.

Yup, it's official. We've entered a completely new chapter of parenting. Suddenly. There's no denying it now. The man has a mind of his own.

Strap yourselves in, because if yours is almost two or getting there, you're in for one hell of a ride.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

molly's day

Tomorrow marks two years since we found out that Molly had died.

The 18th March will forever be Molly's Day in our minds; and we've chosen this day to to dedicate ourselves to her memory. While she was born only moments after Sebastian, and the 25th is her birthday too, this day was the day when our dream, and our twin daughter, was officially lost to us forever.

There's not much we can do in her memory. I caught up with an amazing friend last week, someone who has suffered the same circumstance, and just a year on from me: losing one of her identical twin girls before birth. To meet under these circumstances has obviously drawn us together, but I see her pain reflected and she is just coming up to her little girls' birthday too.

The sad reality is that we don't have much that is tangible to really reflect on. We have Molly's box, that we will take off the shelf in Sebastian's room, and look through some of her things tomorrow. In the box is her teddy, her hat (matching with Sebastian's), a blessing, cards, her stillbirth certificate, and probably most tangibly, her ashes. In a little pouch. That I refuse to part with or scatter; I just can't.

This box is all we have of her; that and pictures of my bump, videos of them moving and kicking, and my own memory of carrying her, alongside her brother, for 8 months.

Going through the box will bring it all back, and I will hurt, but sometimes I want to hurt. Hurting and thinking about her, and the sadness that was losing her and not being able to celebrate two years of her life, means that I am remembering her. I am remembering the hopes and dreams I had for her, and ourselves, as parents.

Going to the 'dark place', even for moments in the day tomorrow, is time I am dedicating to my daughter that never made it. And may she know that I am thinking of her and always will.

As Sebastian gets older, he will start to ask questions and will learn that he was one of a pair. This will come as a shock, and perhaps, a revelation, but Molly was very much a piece of his future too. His future looked quite different as a twin - and we have to acknowledge that for him as much as ourselves.

We will release balloons on the common and hope that she knows, wherever she is, that we have wishes for her infinite happiness and peace. And may she look over us, our little growing family, and especially over her big brother.

I'm in a different place as to where I was a year ago. The rawness of coming up to their first birthday was almost unbearable. This year, it feels more measured, more matter-of-fact. Perhaps it's because I am pregnant with another little miracle, or because time numbs, but also perhaps because there has been a lot of death over the past six months.

But the pain still sits there, deep inside me, and moves like a slow current. It pulls at me, prods me, reminds me. It can be when I see twins being wheeled past in a double buggy, or when someone I know falls pregnant with twins (was bound to happen...), or when I picture Sebastian playing with her. Or when his big brown eyes look up at me and I know hers would've looked exactly the same. The pain lies deep. I can coat it with everything else, but it'll always be there. It's something I've grown to accept, and I don't fight it.

Tomorrow is her day. And I will cry my eyes out; no doubt. But that's OK - that's just how this will be until I die one day.

We miss you dearly, my Molly.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

the tantrum

The Brit and I are fairly shaken.

We think- think - we've experienced an official tantrum. Like, a real one. For the first time.

I mean, I'm shaking as I write this, and I wonder if we're actually up for the job.

It's no coincidence that Sebastian turns two in a week, and something cataclysmically seems to have happened at precisely this time which makes it suspiciously coincidental.

Imagine our surprise when what we used to think was a tantrum: a bit of whining, and stomping of feet for maybe 2-5 minutes, some exaggerated crying and general protest because he's not getting a biscuit, actually turns out not to be a tantrum at all.  

Holy mother of fuck. 

Can whoever took my child in the night and replaced him with the devil incarnate, please bring him back? Oh dear God, please may we have the pre-2 Sebastian back?

(Can he at least be exorcised?)

Last night, at about 11pm, just as we drifting into that lovely deep, REM state of rest, he woke up. Got up to soothe him, in robotic half-sleep mode, only to have him rear up like a cobra and start screaming, thrashing to the point where we had to lie him on the floor in the lounge because he wouldn't let us touch him, and we were afraid that he was going to injure himself.

Thrashing, screaming (in such a manner that makes you want to throw a plate against a wall), trying to bite us and himself, for a solid forty minutes. While we desperately Googled "what is happening" "my two year old has gone insane is this normal" and "when to take your child to the emergency room is this an emergency what is an emergency define emergency."

Eventually, he burnt out at midnight and we carried him to bed, passed out cold. We wondered what on Earth had happened and kind of looked at each other with the kind of expression I'd use after witnessing something really traumatic unfold before me, like a train wreck or a nutter having a manic episode on a train.

We wondered if it was night terrors. Then fell asleep exhausted.

This morning, same thing. Refused to put his shoes on, be touched, thrashing and rolling around on the floor, screaming, trying to rip his trousers off.

Got in late to work as we couldn't leave the house, and diametrically opposite to Monday's feelings of guilt. couldn't get him to nursery fast enough today.

"Help us!" I implored when I got there, haggered and wondering if there was a priest around with rose water and a crucifix. "Help me, my child is imploding. Is this normal? Someone tell me this is a once off...please."

Apparently this, this, is what people mean when they refer to the terrible twos. A roaring, not-to-be-consoled child who just has to let it all out while you sit somewhere near him in the hope he doesn't hurt himself.

I mean, I can't even say what ticked him off - it might've been asking him if he'd like to get dressed, or maybe because I was wearing a white shirt, or maybe I put the toothpaste wrong on his toothbrush.

Maybe it's because he has been ill, maybe it's because his molars are coming out. I don't know. I just hope to fuck that this isn't a once-a-day thing, I just couldn't possibly cope.

Hashtag flailing through the dark, one parenting milestone after the next.


Monday, March 14, 2016

monday guilt

I know it's all about your attitude and how you decide your day is going to be before you do it.

Yes, we've all seen the memes and the inspirational quotes on a background of sun-dappled waves, you know the ones - telling you just how to solve 'Monday.'

Well, sometimes it's nothing particular, but everything in particular, that makes Monday the shitshow it really is.
It's when your toddler has a fever of 39 degrees, and is miserable and crying, from the moment you have to wake his peaceful little sleeping body, to the moment you have to drop him off at nursery, clinging onto you wild-eyed and screaming.

Every bone in my body tells me I don't want to leave him there after he is feeling so poorly, and that work can wait and the guilt - the guilt of leaving him there to catch the 7:53 via Charing Cross, because it's the one train that may even fit my ever-growing body into the carriage because the finance wankers prefer to take the Bank branch.

And I wonder, morosely, as I swipe my Oyster Card out if this really is the life I envisaged for us and my children - a working mum, managing to 'juggle it all,' while having to leave my child at a nursery all day. Most days.

But then, in equal measure, I have to work, for myself and to pay our bills frankly, and I am lucky enough to actually enjoy what I do and where I work.

But then I stand in a tube, my feet all but on the ground, squashed to the brink where I'm battling to breathe, my hair looks like it's been through Hurricane Katrina, and while no one cares about my bump, nevermind giving me a seat, it would be great if i could breathe and that the women would stop prodding her handbag into my belly.

And I've pretty much been in a bad mood since then. All day. Compounded by guilt and pregnancy hormones.

Monday gets its bad rap because its fucking Monday.

PS: In 11 days time, my little boy will be two years old. 
Hold me. No, hold me.

He can scream all morning, wake us up a hundred times in a night, throw his food on the floor, but the love I feel for this little person is directly proportional to the hard work he is. I love him so so hard.