Oct/Nov/Dec '18

Well I'm back!! After over 2 months off... Mainly because I was settling into new school routines, new nurserys and a new child minder. I have had a few of my broods birthdays recently, and #5 has surpassed herself in the ‘no seeping game' the level of tiredness I feel is on a par with feeling a complete zombie for at least 12 hours a day. I decided to try and ‘help' the insomniac child by removing her cot and putting her into a toddler bed after my 40th birthday was out the way. I stupidly thought maybe she felt like a caged animal and needed releasing... well she is certainly released now. The first few nights were better than expected. She remained in bed for the most part, still woke every hour but the actions of dummy replacing and milk being shoved into the noisy hole seemed to work. Result I thought. Until more recently, it appears my 24m old toddler is using her brain quite well now 🤣🤣, and has realised getting out of bed 42 times a night and running out the bedroom shouting ‘Nooooo' is a fun game (to her anyway), not for the rest of us, who are desperately trying to watch Corro, loving the storylines at the moment!! Anyway that can last for up to 4 hours, I do not think it is fun, nor amusing but there is no turning back.

 

The prison has been sold and one day, maybe when she's 12 or something she will realise that staying un bed is a good activity and that the rest of the family need sleep even if she doesn't.. 😴😴 In addition to Christmas on the horizon plus 2 more of the broods birthdays just before & after Christmas as I have also had to turn into ‘del boy' and have been trying to make extra pennies selling stuff on various popular bidding sites! It makes me annoyed when people want to barter you down the asking price, I'm not John Lewis, I don't price match, the price is the price end of 😁. Its been a busy couple of months with the birthdays, Halloween, bonfire night and now all the Xmas plans. So just written a few bits (rants!) Covering the past couple of months. I hope to return to regular moans about my brood after Christmas!!

 

Well, the summer has passed and being a single mum of 5 if felt like 6 years not 6 weeks! I Considered purchasing a wig at one point due to the amount of stress, I was regularly pulling my hair out, decent wigs are surprisingly cheap on eBay as it goes! Then the miracle of September arrived and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. How siblings can argue and wind each other up deliberately is beyond me, I'm sure its a form of sadistic personal entertainment, that I end up having to deal with! The new term brought joy to me and a cloud of doom to my older children.. days of lessons, routine and the dreaded homework. As a full time single mother nothing pleases me more than them returning to their educational institutions.. a daily prison to them, a form of relief for myself! However, now comes the lead up to Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas. All of which involve purchasing items and entertaining children in a way which they will only appreciate monetarily, all making a huge dent in a parents pocket.

 

I feel obliged to involve my kids in the before said celebrations so they ‘dont feel left out'. (Christmas is a must obviously, even though we are not religious? Hummm) Halloween, an imported ritualistic festival, All Hallows Eve, believed to be the one night where ghosts, ghouls and spirits can be seen by all mortal beings, therefore we feel obliged to buy a considerable amount of cheap black and orange plastic tat to celebrate, in aid of amusing our children for only one evening. Dressing them up in scary clothes promoting death, zombies and killer clowns, you can thank Stephen king for that one! The idea of dressing up as a masked murderer brandishing plastic swords, or a devil with a 3 point knife type killing stick is acceptable once a year, to er, get sweets and chocolate from your neighbours, does anyone else think this is odd apart from me?

 

Oh well.. its a few weeks away and the shops will relish the financial rewards from such an obscure evening in which many of us will take part in.. and that’s just because we do.. for our kids. I try and limit new purchases and have a box in the loft containing many a Halloween decoration and sweet bowl, accumulated over the 13 years I have been popping children into the world. Unfortunately my children grow so new costumes have to be brought every couple of years. Part of me resents the amount of effort one has to go to for only one evening of a few hours of activity. Pumpkin carving alone with 5 kids can take up so much time, time I would be rather be doing watching coronation street on catch up. The mess these huge round orange fruits make once cut and attacked by several children is indescribable... but its a ‘fun activity’ and a necessity, if I am to conform to being a good mum, getting into the ‘spirit’ of the things. Annoyingly it always falls to me to spend hours scooping out the crazy amount of flesh and seeds these wonderful objects hide within themselves. The kids start with joy attacking the inner contents.. and after 3 scoops get bored/ frustrated, and that's when I am summoned to finish the job, sigh. Then comes the inevitable ‘face carving'. As quite a creative person I cannot help but to subtly infringe my ideas on my kids ‘designs’, constructive pumpkin design criticism from ‘mum' I have learnt over the years is really not altogether appreciated. As a borderline perfectionists I cannot cope looking at wonky cut eyebrows, or uneven jagged teeth, so the prep for this inherited ‘one night of fun filled evilly dressed little people knocking on my door', ending in obligatory tooth decay, can be quite hard for me on a personal level. And then comes Bonfire night only a few days later.

 

As a youngster I always thought It was spelt ‘bombfire’, relating to the meaning of explosion, in the sense that Mr Faulks was going to blow up the Houses of parliament. Years later I've come to discover that its actual meaning is from the late middle English of bone and fire. The term originally denoted a large open fire in which bones were burnt, sometimes as part of a celebration. This celebration is more pleasing to me as I can purchase a few inadequate over priced rays of spouting colour, along with sparkly sticks that can be appreciated in my own back garden, (minimal preparation and planning) hoping to not set fire to my fence while staring at the wonders of a ‘Catherine wheel', god bless Catherine.

 

Now christmas is here.. the season to be stressed! Being a solo mum of 5 this time of year is not only a struggle financially, but the amount of school activities I have to keep on top of is crazy. With 5 children, in 3 different educational institutions.. all in different year groups, I need a PA just to keep up with the various events and activities! The last 2 weeks of school are an amass of Christmas ‘fun’. There's the Christmas school fair, the Christmas nativity, the Christmas jumper day, the carol concert, senior school stage performances, Christmas present buying day, Christmas bring your auntie to school day, Christmas kill a hamster day... And so it goes on.

 

Every morning is a panic, I wake up thinking what is it I need to sort out today.. Do I need to provide vegan friendly sandwiches for the party, do I need to send my child in a politically correct, non offensive slogan Christmas jumper.. Do I need to provide a tombola prize ( I only ate 1 chocolate out the box and used the hand cream once.. they will do! ) Or give my kids money to buy tat at the fair that will get broken in the car before we even get home. Money that could go towards my electricity bill or petrol. I am at this time of year just a taxi, bank, and memory goddess. Not only is the last two weeks of school filled with a million things for the parents to remember or take part in.. it is also the time the house is in chaos with excited buzzing children, singing carols with certain words changed so not to upset the snowflake society we now live in.

 

Decorations are out and the lights are continually flashing away day in day out.. laughing at me as my electricity meter rolls around with joy helping to provide my energy suppliers managing director with his big fat Christmas bonus. Then there is tinsel and the ‘elf on the shelf’. Both of which are banned in my house. Yet each year tinsel somehow manages to show itself. It is used to decorate my female offspring’s hair occasionally. Once cut to size, it is a never-ending shredding machine. No matter where I hide it after it has been dissected to required size.. it keeps malting.. shreds appear everywhere.. Yet the tinsel never seems to get any thinner. I swear tinsel has magic regenerative properties.

 

As regards the imported dreaded elf, here to cause mischief every night- giving your children ideas of how to be naughty every morning. Well, with a 2y old in my house, she causes enough mess and mischief on her own without me having to add to it. Also... why is the elf dressed as Santa, it may just be me, but an elf should be dressed as an elf yes? And finally, being a control freak. Christmas trees and toddlers just don’t bode well together. My main tree once first erected and decorated looked beautiful. I was very happy. However over the past two weeks many a bauble, cracker and snow tipped pine cone have been removed, thrown, chewed or rolled under the sofa, I have been told cats do the same as toddlers ha ha. The bottom half of my tree now resembles a naked pine. Every night I re place the decorations.. of which many have to be fished out from under the sideboard or sofa. This is time consuming and stressful, not fun. Time I need wrapping and hiding presents where my teenagers may not think to look. Over the years they have discovered all my hiding places. This year my cunning plan it to wrap and hide them in the suitcases under my bed??

 

I'm not sure when the long haired, kimono wearing, sandal lover had all this in mind when he declared he was the saviour of man. If he now realised the amount of stress this season causes parents, I would ask him to reconsider his worldly declaration. Do you think JC ever wore socks with his sandals? Can’t stand that. Anyway.. ‘tiz the season to be merry. Have a good Christmas everyone!