mummy is always tired

The Annual Cup of Tea

It was my birthday over the Easter weekend – 4 days off with the children off nursery and at home – how were we going to cope?  Was it going to be our own interpretation of Lord of the Flies or were we going to find ourselves blissfully hand holding and singing a la the Von Trapps?  Well, clearly it was never going to be the latter.  But it wasn’t quite the scenes of carnage I was worrying about.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with the girls – it’s just that I am usually too exhausted to try and reason with and respond patiently to the constant ‘buy why mummy?’ or ‘be like a horsey mummy.’  Even less delightful are the attempts at nappy changing a reluctant toddler who insists on kicking me in the face whilst scratching her bottom at the same time.

Nevertheless it was a double celebration – my birthday and lots of chocolatey goodness – hurrah!  Now, with my birthday comes my Annual Cup of Tea, (lovingly – I like to think) made by my other half.  I only get treated to cups of tea made by his fair hands once a year and then this year he announces the offer is only good for 1 cup.  Sadly I didn’t realise the rules had changed and used up my ‘1 cup’ quota before lunchtime.  In terms of presents and present opening – well, I haven’t opened my own presents for about 2 years now because usually 2 excited little hands get there first and this year I didn’t stand a chance as there were 4 sticky hands in total all eager to tear away the wrapping paper.  Luckily the children’s interest in presents begins and ends with the paper, they have no desire to know what the contents are unless it involves brightly coloured plastic, flashing likes or makes an (un)tuneful noise.

I even got treated to a cake which was a bonus because I thought I would have to make my own.  The cake continued the Easter theme and was chocolate through and through because as everyone knows Easter is about ‘the bunny that brings presents’ according to our eldest.  Perhaps it was a mistake to choose a chocolate cake – the children’s excitement pre cake eating paled into insignificance at their excitement post cake eating as you can imagine.  So now we had 2 chocolate fuelled girls and the come down to look forward to.  My, this was an eventful birthday.

It was so eventful in fact that the next day my other half declared he was tired and didn’t feel very well and had to spend the morning in bed.  Clearly the effort of dealing with the chocolate consequences and the making of my Annual Cup of Tea was simply too exhausting.  We rounded off the weekend with the stereotypical family country walk, we were one of those families, happily wandering through bridle ways and footpaths, dog in tow.  We were happy that is, until my eldest fell into a ditch and insisted on being carried all the way home.  So all in all, not quite the Von Trapps but neither did we spiral to depths of unruliness that I quite feared.  I’m looking forward to my next birthday already but I’ve made a note to self to re-negotiate the terms of my tea quota.

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The Much Anticipated Night Out

We went out on Saturday night.  Actually, properly went out – 8 adults all desperate for a drink – at least I was anyway.  It was a highly anticipated night, having been in the planning for at least 2 months by our very own PA extraordinaire, which to be honest was exactly what we needed.  We were otherwise, 7 very tired sheep with jobs and small children to pacify so a guiding Shepherd(ess ) was exactly what was needed.  This was a night I definitely did not want to miss, I truly can’t remember the last time I’d been out to a proper restaurant with a grown up menu and food that doesn’t come only in shades of brown or breadcrumbed.  Even more exciting – this was to be an evening gathering.  Well, everyone knows that nights out are far more exciting than days out!

Typically I was struck down by a cough of such body wracking proportions I was worried I might not make the ‘Much Anticipated Night Out’.  Nobody wants to listen to a hacking cough whilst making polite conversation do they? So days before the Big Event, I stuffed down as many throat sweets and drank as much cough medicine that I could find.  By the time Saturday came along I was quite giddy with medication – this topped off by several glasses of Sancerre would surely give me high that would take days to come down from – Saturday night was going to be good.

And it was.  It was lovely, you could almost feel the release of stress as soon as the first drinks were gulped sipped.  Inevitably the conversation steered towards children and family life.  One story that sticks in my mind was about a friend’s friend who drove to work passing fields on which manure was being laid.  When she got to work she couldn’t shake off the smell of manure.  The realisation slowly, dreadfully dawned upon her.  That wasn’t muck spreading on the fields.  And that wasn’t the smell of farm manure.  It was the remnants of her child’s nappy smeared on her work clothes.   And so the night’s conversation continued in a similar vein, discussing the antics of children and the various escapades we find ourselves in.

We were all enjoying ourselves immensely.  That was until, a girl and her I assume boyfriend decided to leave and as they were passing our table hissed at us: “you’re all so f***ing boring!”  My, my I thought, someone’s not had a good evening.  Clearly her terrible evening was exacerbated by listening to us talk about children’s poo and finding random masticated food stuffs in our handbags.  I appreciate it’s not the conversation many would enjoy listening to and clearly even less so when you are sufficiently bored of your date to be forced to listen to it.  But we didn’t care, we were having fun even if no one else around us was.

And so a good night was had by all (except Disgruntled Girl)……a very good night judging by some of the sore heads in the morning.  Rather disappointingly I didn’t have a sore head although I suspect my overdose of cough medicine may have had the adverse effect of heightening my tolerance for alcohol.  Oh well…there’s always the next time!



Will The Real Arthur Please Stand Up?

My eldest needs some elocution lessons.  Not that I am especially well spoken nor do we live in a mansion with staff and therefore require particularly enunciated speech.  But she said something the other day which stunned me into speechlessness.  “Can I have this mummy?”

“You can have it after lunch.”

“Ok, I can have it arfur then can I?”

“Who the hell is arfur?” was my stunned reply.  Who indeed is ‘Arfur’ but I wish he would go away and his better spoken twin Arthur would come over instead.  I hasten to add, I’m not an accent snob, I read English Linguistics at University so I appreciate the uniqueness of our accented isle.

I’m not sure why we’ve only just noticed her use of ‘fa’ over ‘tha’ I suppose part of it is that she has always been a little bit behind her peers in speech so we’ve just gone with whatever she comes out with, as progress.  It is perhaps unfortunate that her name ends in ‘tha’ but as she usually refers to herself by her abbreviated name it’s never really been obvious, she’s also never said ‘thank you’ it’s always been ‘da-du.’  So ‘arfur’ was really the first, obvious demonstration of the lack of ‘tha’ in her phonetic repertoire.

I tried to teach her the difference, “show me the tip of your tongue” which she showed me with great delight, followed by “show me your teeth please” – so far so good, “now, put your tongue between your teeth and go ‘tha.’”  Needless to say all I got was ‘fa’.  Ok, I thought, let’s try something else, say:  ‘thief’, ‘thought’, ‘thank’ and ‘through’ what we got in reply was: ‘fief’, ‘fought’, ‘fank’ and ‘frough’.  Oh dear – this really wasn’t going to plan, I was getting more annoyed (after all what’s not to get I know she’s only three but still!) and she was getting equally irritated by me, all she wanted was her bedtime story and instead she was getting a not so interesting and clearly badly taught lesson in phonetics.

So we started noticing other words that she just doesn’t seem to be able to grasp – oaty bar is one.  At the moment she calls it an ‘oaty barf.’   Now the only barf I’m aware of is the verb ‘to vomit.’  It doesn’t seem to matter how many times we tell her it’s not ‘barf’ she just stares at us as if we’re mad.  At the moment we don’t tell if our youngest will have the same trouble in pronunciation.  Her vocabulary is limited but she has mastered those words that she clearly feels are a necessity in her everyday life: ‘shoes’, ‘more’ and most importantly, ‘cake.’ In fact such a necessity is cake that rather embarrassingly at the last nursery parents evening she performed one her most alarming displays of anger yet by throwing herself backwards whilst being carried and with outstretched arms tried to reach the nibbles table whilst screaming ‘caaaaake, caaaaaake’ at the top of her voice.  So far, no pronunciation issues there, I think there could be no doubt that the girl wanted cake.

Meanwhile the quest to find my eldest’s missing ‘tha’ continues, luckily we have her nursery key worker on the case but I suppose up until Arthur can be found we’ll just have to make do with Arfur, his foughts and fanks and constant requests for oaty barfs.

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