Friday, 30 June 2017

You know you're a parent when...

Your once pristine car now looks like the bottom of a packet of Organix Carrot Stix.
You feel tired when you wake up.
You feel tired even after two strong flat whites.
You notice on your way to work that the black top you are wearing has two snail trail marks down the front.
Your friend at work notices that on the same top you have toothpaste and yogurt ingrained on your right shoulder.
You turn your car on and the first thing to play is Wheels on the bus from the Cbeebies CD.
You know the running order of the Cbeebies CD.
You can retrieve a half eaten rice cake and pass back a beaker of water to the car seat, all whilst driving.
You know all of the words to the Frozen soundtrack.
You wear a lot of flat shoes because of all of the running you have to do, to stop your child falling to certain death.
Your back aches if you wear high heels. Even a Cuban is problematic for the old sciatica.
You use more concealer than you have done in your entire life.
You are pissed after two glasses of wine.
You are asleep after three glasses of wine.
Getting into bed after 11pm is torture.
You watch a lot of Love Island and actually have a conversation with your husband about what’s going on like it’s really important.
You rush to get the washing up done because Love Island is about to start.
You pause Love Island to go to the loo just in case you miss something important.
You have lost the ability to read a book.
You now listen to audiobooks instead of having sex.
When you get on the train, tube or bus you always look for a seat.
When you go to restaurants and they have baby changing facilities and high chairs you think, “Gosh, that’s good,” and make a mental note.
You’ve started looking at the clothes in Cos as you can’t be bothered to lose weight anymore.
You will never wear a bikini again and purchased a Mumsie cossie from Sainsbury’s with tummy panel, in black.
You will never wear shorts again as your once show stopping legs have varicose veins and look like an old stilton.
The bottom of your handbag has more shit in it than it would normally have. Shit may include plasters, hair clips retrieved from the floor of the car, a stray nappy and half a cereal bar.
You use wet wipes for everything.
You wet the corner of a napkin and wipe your child’s face even though you swore you would never do this.
Your Tivo box is filled with daily recordings of ‘Something Special’.
You see the appeal of Justin Fletcher (even though we’re all questioning it.)
You have the super hero power of being able to hold a hundred things in one hand whilst holding a child in the other. Items might include your handbag, their day bag, a half drunk juice carton, a used wet wipe, house keys and a shoe plus the mid week top-up shop.
Thinking that a child that has eaten breakfast is a breakthrough and you silently congratulate yourself.
You can’t watch anything on TV about kids being upset, hurt, lost, born without balling your eyes out and looking like Kung Fu panda at the end of it. (Mascara round your eyes, not fat from all of the crisps you’ve eaten.)
You make an ‘Ah’, sound when you sit down in a comfy seat and have a cup of tea.
You buy a pair of silver Superga trainers as they are comfortable, flat, waterproof but the same time, silver so a little bit smart and sexy.
You’ll eat regurgitated food that your child has rejected without batting an eyelid.
You will actually remove a poo from their nappy with your bare hand (wrapped in a wet wipe) to save a nappy and time.
You find the melody of Ewan the dream sheep rather relaxing.
You have lost the ability to sleep in the day no matter how frickin knackered you are.
You are secretly quite competitive and proud when your child constructs a sentence of more than four words infront of your friends.
You spend a lot of time watching your child sleep because they are beautiful.
Your decking is covered in stones and pebbles as your daughter is Makka Pakka’s biggest fan.
You know all of the words to the intro of In The Night Garden.
You use the television as a bargaining tool and a vehicle with which to get some things done but feel guilty about it at the same time.
You get a feeling into the pit of your stomach when they fall over and you hold them so tightly.
You can’t eat when they’re ill.
You have rekindled your love of Play Doh.
You have rekindled your love of Duplo.
You save train tickets because they love a train.
You will willingly go to the station and watch the trains.
You order something called a babycinno.
You won’t go into the pub unless they have a kid’s menu.
You go out to the pub with friends and peruse the kids menu whilst ordering Prosecco at the bar and think “Gosh, that’s good,” and make a mental note…
You don’t drink as much Prosecco.



Wednesday, 21 June 2017

HMS Tena Lady.

 She’s back! Well, a slightly rotund sweaty version but the mojo has returned. The ruddy molar isn’t quite through yet but sleep has been had. I might even have got more than 6 hours in a row. Yeah! Boom. Back of the net! I’ve even been jogging. I know? Jogging. That’s what yummy Mummy’s from South West London do, wearing really nice gear from Sweaty Betty and with very pert yoga bums. I am a very different type of jogger. Pair of old black leggings. Preferably ones without small one’s toothpaste all over them and a complete crutch sans holes. My Lionel Richie t-shirt and a pair of very comfortable M&S trainers and I have more of a ‘Yoda’ bum. I look quite the Mum about town. I finish off this look with a crimson visage and an air of “get out of my way, I’m about to die” about me. But hey, I went for a run last night and that was hot. I mean I was moist and not in a good way. I had to pass our neighbour and had that awkward moment of pausing my music and making some out of breath pleasantry as he watched my flabby arse bouncing around into the distance. I have to have my music up pretty loud to cancel out the sounds of my laboured breathing. I’m sure running used to be easier. I’m about 5 runs in now but in my twenties, I’d have been back up to fitness. Now, each run is tough. I’m carrying extra saddle bags, bigger boobs, fatigue and a very dodgy pelvic floor. It feels like when you walk over the trap door outside a pub. You know; unsafe. Could let you down at any moment. Rattly.



 Yes, the pelvic floor. I was very good about the old Kegel exercises before and after the bubs. I would do them anywhere and anytime. On the train, on the bus, watching Netflix and my eyebrows always seemed to rise as I did them. All seemed ship shape and dandy until I had the cough from hell at the beginning of the year. It went on for five months and that pretty much blew out my hull, so to speak. It’s got worse and any ideas of grandeur of jumpy jumpy on a trampoline are but a pipe dream. If I need a wee I have to go straight away, otherwise there’s potential gusset failure. That’ll teach me for taking the piss out of the Tena Lady ads (no pun intended). I have actually considered investing in them. There are certain exercises on my ‘Davina- Fit in 15’ DVD that are now out of the question. What has become of me. I’m trying to do the Kegel’s now, without my eyebrows rising. Try it. It’s really difficult.


 Anyway, enough talk of pissing oneself. Let’s move onto the average to middling parenting that you haven’t read about for a week. Well, it’s going ok. She’s just at a gorgeous age. Last week work was pretty quiet, hence lack of post as I hardly had any free time. She’s just awesome. What can I say? I miss her more and more when I do have to go to work. We have great fun when we’re together. We go swimming and she does her Kung Fu Panda kick in the water and she’s started baby ballet. Sweet mother of pearl. It’s the cutest darn thing you’ve ever seen. After the taster session she was hooked. Granny has now bought her a tutu and leotard so she looks the part. Good toes, naughty toes are practiced in the car and I am constantly followed by a little girl doing pointy toes around the sofa. The older she gets, the more fun we have. She actually makes me laugh. I’m not going to lie. When parents used to say that to me I thought it was pretty wanky. Peep Show makes me laugh. Victoria Wood makes me laugh. How the hell could a toddler be funny? But they are. I think I’ve mentioned it before but my daughter can be an utter prat and genuinely funny. Recently, she’s got into carrying a piece of fruit. Normally an orange around with her. It goes everywhere. She’s currently having a nap and it’s in the cot with her. The other day she’d wrapped it up in a flannel and was cradling it like a baby. I walked into the living room yesterday and she was trying to give it milk. Should I be worried? When asked at her 27 month review, “Do you have any concerns?” I shall keep quiet. Maybe somewhere deep in our lineage there is a long line of green grocers. Who knows? Maybe she’ll change her surname to DelMonte by deed poll one day and have a penchant for a linen suit. Whatever she becomes, I shall love her just the same. Except maybe a butcher. Being a vegetarian I would struggle with that. I’d better start hiding my husbands fillet steak, just in case it gets wrapped in a tea towel a popped in the pram. Anyway, I’m off to do my Kegel’s. This HMS Mutha doesn’t want a leaky hull. 

Monday, 5 June 2017

London is the place for me.

I’ve lost my mojo. It went about 3 weeks ago. My funny seems to have gone and everything seems to have been a bit more difficult than it usually is. I wake up tired and go to bed tired. I’m back to zero battery life and a bad attitude. Might have a little something to do with the fact that the last tooth is coming through and my small person has become rather Mummy orientated. She tries everything to keep me in the room at night. “Mummy lie down. Mummy blanket. Mummy hug. Mummy pink water bottle. Mummy Calpol.” It means that bedtime is drawn out and I’m not sitting down sometimes until gone 8:30. The evening just goes. Then after you factor in an episode of Versailles and a House of Cards, it’s pretty sodding late for someone that has a small, furry alarm clock that can go off anytime between 5:45 and 6:15.



 This dip in normal service has also coincided with some horrendous atrocities in my beloved city, the place I call home: London. I work in the centre of London a lot. I travel by train, go to busy stations, travel on the underground, walk through places like Trafalgar Square, go drinking by the river. I have never given it a second thought. But my experience of late has been very different. Instead of marching through my city without a care, tutting and sucking my teeth at Tourists that walk 5 abreast across the cocking pavement (5 across. Come on people!!), and elbowing TEFL students and their orange rucksacks out of the way, I am walking down back streets to avoid crowded areas, I am getting out of mainline stations quickly so I’m not caught up in the throng. I’m also having terrible thoughts. What if something happened to me? What if I didn’t come home one night? I had a dreadful realisation the other day that I need to do my will to make sure my daughter is taken care off. That’s not the sort of thing I want to be thinking about on my morning commute. I am a born worrier and all of this has just exacerbated my worrying tendencies. I am still going about my business and I won’t stop enjoying my city but I am seeing it in a different way. The London Bridge attack really rattled me. It’s where myself and my husband used to live, down the road in fact. We used to go out in Borough Market and the whole area was part of our lives for over 10 years. It was an absolutely amazing place to live. Friendly, vibrant, eclectic, fascinating. I know those streets so well, the bars and pubs, restaurants, places of historical interest, the cobbled back streets and the beautiful walks along the river. I feel sick to my stomach that so many innocent people, enjoying a care free evening out in such a great place were murdered, injured or witness to some horrific acts. My heart goes out to them.





 If I was not a parent I would be worried. Now, I have a two year old, with her whole life ahead of her I am really worried. I took her into Soho last week for a private showing of the new Fireman Sam Movie that I happen to be in. My husband came too as it was half term. We had such a magical day. She went on a train. She met Fireman Sam; both the voice and some poor sod stuck in a body suit. She got a phallic looking balloon flower which was bitten into on the journey home and burst in her face. And then to top it all off she got a Fireman Sam tote bag with Mummy’s character on the front and a toy and stickers inside. What more could a toddler want. Initially I was really scared of taking her into town but once we were there it was fine. I relaxed. We walked back to the station over Waterloo Bridge and looked at my favourite view. Then Saturday night happened. Would I walk across that bridge with her now? I’d do it but probably walking very quickly and constantly looking around me. It feels utterly ridiculous me thinking like this and I know that by doing that I am playing into the perpetrators hands but from now on, when I take my daughter into town I will be on full alert.






 But my daughter already loves her city. Her favourite book is ‘Hello London!’. She loves Tower Bridge and the Queen and her palace and thinks the river is well exciting. When a double decker bus drives past there is incessant waving and trains are the best thing ever. When we came home from our trip last week she started singing one of the songs from the Paddington Bear film: London is the place for me. That’s my girl! Yes, it ruddy well is. It’s an amazing place to live. It’s been my home for over 20 years. It’s where I started my career, I met my husband, met most of my friends, bought my first house and had my daughter. Yes, I’m scared and I would urge anyone to be more careful when out on their daily business and by God, I certainly will be. But this is where I work and where I live and I ain’t going anywhere. If it’s good enough for Paddington, it’s good enough for me.


Accept and build.

Here I am, staring into space with that zombified, morning look on my face. I stare at my laptop. What am I going to write today? I am sat ...