Thursday, May 19, 2016

counting down

I am officially counting down.

As my temper rages, and my pregnancy hormones hijack my rational thoughts, I am counting down to maternity leave. I have 12 more commutable journeys in, and 12 more out. I have just over 3 weeks left at work.

Three weeks feels like a fucking lifetime, thus I've broken it down into actual commutes and taken out the weekends.

I'm not even going to try and explain why commuting on a tube packed full of aggressive Londoners that bash my bump is the tenth level of Hell, just believe me when I say it is.

Everyday there is something else with our house. A new obstacle to overcome, or a new piece of paperwork we have to get someone to sign, or the mortgage broker wants to see something else, or something. My husband has taken on the brunt of all the to'ing and fro'ing in the hope to save me from having a complete meltdown, but things are slowly progressing.

In our six house chain.

And I have taken to Pintrest with a vengeance, feverishly pinning everything from modular kitchens to Farrow & Balled Welsh dressers to children's bedrooms.

I simply can't help myself at this point. I'm desperate to nest, so I'm doing it virtually. I'm also filling up my eBay watch list with reclaimed dining room tables and vintage French mirrors.

I'm obsessed.

Then, on the other side of my brain, I'm thinking about far less shallow things. I'm 31 weeks this week. I thought I'd be more anxious this far into my pregnancy, but I'm actually surprisingly chilled. It helps that my hospital has me on a Code Red list, where I am booked in for a check-up or scan or test every two or so weeks at the moment.

But I am also so very aware of her movements. I wait for certain times of the day when she kicks and take huge gratitude when she does. I just want to feel lots and lots of kicking. The Brit is also anxious and constantly asks me, "Have you felt her kicking today? When last did she kick?"

Molly stopped growing at around 32-33 weeks, and this sticks in my mind. I want to know the measurements, I want to know that she is growing, and I want to know that everything is on course. I will be vigilant and watching.

We have mostly settled on her names (her first and middle ones - for a long time we didn't know which to put first, and I am 99% certain...), and I am so so excited to meet her. Terrified for the c-section (if that does happen) and sad that Sebby's little world is going to crumble for a while, but I am looking forward to feeling more complete than I have for a while, knowing that my daughter is safe in my arms.

I keep saying her name out loud; and her second name. Over and over again. It's so different from my first pregnancy when I didn't even know the sexes of my twins. This time I've made so much more meaningful, knowing she is a girl and therefore knowing her name. Whether this is a good idea or not, I can't help myself.

I hope my brain remembers how to do everything newborn. I have not quite mentally prepared myself, as I haven't thought too deeply about the reality of it. The reality is: it's shit. The first few months are incredibly hard. The sleep deprivation, the routine, the endless and constant throng of feeds, latching on, nappies, rocking to sleep.

I'm knackered as fuck now, so I can't imagine what it's going to be like when she actually arrives. I'm just going to try and roll with it. Whatever it brings.

I feel so unprepared. I'm really solely relying on subconscious memory to kick in for this one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

i'm alive

Everyone bangs on about how painful it is to get your wisdom teeth extracted, or how horrendous bronchitis and pneumonia are, or how undergoing active labour without anesthetic is, like, the worst pain ever. 

Sure. I shan't dispute that.

When someone says "think of one of the most physically painful things that's happened to you," what do you think of?
Maybe a leg being torn off?
Maybe less shocking and vitriolic; haemorrhoids. Ja. Those are pretty painful. A stye in your eyeball? Sciatica?

All painful, but not diabolic.

What I'm getting at here, is that there is an affliction that runs amok humanity, that is simply not documented enough.

It's called SINUSITIS. I've italicised and capitalised because if you're sensible, you'll fucking memorise that. In your head. When you think it's going to explode like a fucking watermelon.

'Oh, sinusitis?' you say. 'When you have a little bit of snot stuck in your face?' you say. 'When you have a little bit of snot and a little bit of post-nasal sniffles?'

No. That is a cold. Sinusitis is the single most painful thing to happen to my face since I had my wisdom teeth taken out and they hadn't deployed the morphine yet.

Oh, there is snot alright. But it's stuck. In your face. And it accumulates such that it exerts a force of pressure so acute, onto your molars, teeth, temples, eyeball sockets, brain, that you honestly believe - and wish - in your darkest hour - that you would just explode in a shower of mucus.

The short story goes like this. I got a cold last week. I largely ignored it, because mother and because had stuff I had to get done at work, so I just trucked on.
Over the weekend, we went out to enjoy the sunshine, and my head started to throb. The throb turned into a full-on, 'Oh my fuck, I think I have an abscess growing under my molar."
And for the first time in this pregnancy, I took paracetamol.

It just about took the edge off, for like an hour. But to say I didn't sleep at all for the last two nights is to speak the truth. I haven't. Not even with a cold, refrigerated gel pack pressed up onto my face.

Apparently this face-fucking, molar-melting, mucus-manufacturing thing is more prevalent in women in their third trimester,  [be warned, it's coming for you], so just want to put it out there.

Everything you have learnt about pain is not largely a lie. But like how dinosaurs are omitted from the book of Genesis in the Bible, so is sinusitis omitted from the book of Common Everyday Painful Afflications.

I'm on the antibiotics and the paracetamol. If I wasn't preggo, I'd be on the morphine. I'm not throwing shade on your own versions of pain; but don't judge until one side of your face is so swollen that you have to cut your food up into teensy little pieces because your mouth is too swollen to open properly.

That's all.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

five things i've found to be true

1) If you were big your first pregnancy; you'll be a whopper your second.
"Surely you should've been bigger the first time as you were having twins?"

No. I am bigger the second time because I carried twins.
Everyone is bigger second time round, I'm just a little bit bigger than they are.

I was the size of a rhino by the end of my twin pregnancy. I am already the size of a rhino and I've only just hit the third trimester.

My maternity jeans don't fit me. I've had to undo the buttons so I can sit down. I'm wearing maxi dresses the size of yurts. I appear to be bearing a baby out of my ass.

I am a big, fat, heaving mama. And while I'm only carrying one baby this time, it feels like I'm carrying 5.

Why is this so?
Because, biologically speaking, your body has done it before. It's stretched itself to ginormous proportions, your stomach muscles might've slightly split the first time (like mine), and relaxin, the hormone that loosens your muscles sets in a lot sooner and quicker, so everything just kind of gets bigger and goes south.

For those people who have had four kids and never had any type of reconstructive surgery? I don't believe you.

2) In the same sentiment as 1), you get tired quicker and your back hurts like f£%ck
Relaxin again. I am battling to sit in one position for anything more than half an hour at the moment, and I'm only 28-29 weeks.
My back has really taken strain this time around. Similarly, I am as tired as I was with the twins because I am running after a toddler when I'm not running after the press, at work.

3) You will get sick when you feel 1) and 2), and your husband is away in Texas
I'm clawing my way through this week by the string of a congested, gravely cough, hugely rotund, shell of myself, and there isn't enough Vitamin C in this world to take the edge off, even just a little bit.

4) While I should be focusing on my bump and baby, I'm instead stressing about whether we will have a house by then.
The fun and games, chain of endless nightmares, continues.

5) There's always a plus side
I'm due to finish work in less than 6 weeks.
I waddle around very slowly to conserve energy.
I am excited.
The sun is shining, and when you're pregnant your body temperature goes sky high, so I'm walking around in dresses made for the Costas.

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.