Thursday, May 26, 2016

Disaster...

Well.  That was an effing disaster.

We are currently interviewing au pairs and had a second interview tonight with someone.  30 seconds prior to the call, my children were sitting nicely, colouring.

As soon as the call came through on the computer, however, both children morphed into the spawn of Satan.  They shrieked nonstop through the first 5 minutes of the call, so the poor German teenager couldn't hear anything.  I bribed them with oranges and sent them to the living room.  The TV sound wasn't working for some reason.  Lunatic Child became despondent, then irate.

I tried to fix the sound whilst still trying to speak to this poor child on Skype, who was becoming increasingly confused at his train wreck of an interview.  I did not succeed. I left Lunatic Child frantically poking all the buttons on the remote and went back to the dining room.

30 seconds later, all hell has broken loose in the lounge because Trouble has stolen Lunatic Child's orange.  Lunatic Child has whacked Trouble.  Everyone is crying and screaming that life is not fair.  It is complete and utter chaos.  My children are out of control.  Lunatic Child is writhing on the ground refusing to get up.  Trouble is crying into a pillow on the sofa.  I am attempting to manage the crisis in a calm fashion and failing utterly.

I have to hang up on this poor kid and proceed to lose my shit at my recalcitrant children.  Lunatic Child had to go to his room.  Trouble had to sit on the naughty step.  No one got a damn orange.

I fixed the unspeakable TV and parked the kids in front of it.  I called the poor au pair back.  He had no idea what the hell was going on.  I gave up and told him I'd email him tomorrow.  He is currently rethinking his life choices and will probably skip the gap year and just go to university.

I then proceeded to spill a jar of spice on the floor whilst cooking dinner and my omelette was disgusting.

I ate it anyway in a giant sulk and then had a Penguin because tonight, at least, I feel bad about my life.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Harried Holidays

Well, the Reids have returned from another 'holiday' .  I use the word advisedly.  Traveling with 2 kids and a dog and staying in the Lakes District in April, does not, in my book, qualify as a relaxing vacation.  We essentially packed up all our shit, dragged it up to the Lakes District where it all became completely covered in mud, and then went home and washed it all.

Having said that, the dog was definitely living his best life.  We went for long walks every day, which the dog enjoyed the hell out of.  So many new smells!  And we stayed on a farm.  The cows were VERY interesting.  The pigs were VERY interesting.  The farm dog was VERY interesting and also slightly intimidating...He was very happy.

Lunatic Child and Trouble also had a great time.  We had one day of beautiful weather and went for a walk along one of the lakes.  There were so many rocks to throw into the water and so little time!  Lunatic Child found a dead frog, and it may have been the highlight of his young life.  Trouble dropped a massive deuce on the beach, which we quietly buried and then snuck away.  Trouble gives you about 30 seconds' notice between stating a need to poop and then actually doing it.  There's barely time to get the trousers down most of the time, but at least he's now telling you instead of sneaking off into a corner and doing it in his underwear.  We took a boat trip on a lake one day, which to be honest went on about 2 hours longer than it should have for the attention span of the kids, but live and learn.  We also took a tour of a slate mine, which was a disaster.  It was ridiculously cold and extremely slow moving.  Lunatic Child was not impressed and said so, loudly and repeatedly.  Which was ideal considering there were about 8 people on the tour, including Lunatic Child and Trouble.

Nature was omnipresent on our holiday, and Lunatic Child saw the Circle of Life in its entirety, without us intending to have introduced him to such concepts as sex, birth and death...  In addition to the dead frog, we came across a dead lamb, which Lunatic Child was oddly complacent about.  I don't think he understands that it's permanent.  I decided not to wade into those waters quite yet, as we had enough to be getting on with considering all the sex and birth.  We went to the cow shed to look at the calves, and a cow was LITERALLY dropping a calf that second.  You could see its head coming out her vagina.  Lunatic Child asked if she was pooping it out.  Again, I was not prepared to explain the mechanics of birth.  Oops.  In addition, whilst Lunatic Child and I were out for a walk, we came across some donkeys in a field having copious and frenetic sex.  So, the holiday was quite educational  in that regard.

By the end, however, everyone was a bit tired and fraught and ready to go home.  We concluded with a triumphant finale of (a) Trouble falling on the slate stairs and splitting his lip (b) Lunatic Child winding up Trouble to the point where Trouble chucked a bowl at his head, breaking it on the coffee table and (c) the dog getting into the pig pen and literally COVERED in pig shit whilst we were packing the car.

Just to top it all off, Trouble pooped in his pants at the rest stop on the way home.  I blame Fun Daddy for that one.

I have made Fun Daddy swear on a stack of bibles that next year we will be going somewhere warm and sunny with a Kids Club...


Monday, April 11, 2016

Stuff

Harried Mum hasn't posted in a while.  Sorry chickens.  Things have been busy what with buying houses and the having of busy jobs and nutball children.

This is not due to a lack of material however.  A brief summary of things that have been said and done by my children over the last few months include:

- Barney calling everyone and every thing a poo face.  Incessantly.  For months.  Please, God.  Let this phase end

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bad Parenting

Helloo everybody!

The theme of the week is bad parenting.  I've been doing a lot of it lately as a consequence of having to do more of it.  Viz.  The nanny we hired disappeared after 4 days.  No call.  No text.  Nothing.  She could have been dead.  It turns out she wasn't, but she failed to tell us that for approximately 3 weeks.

So, Harried Mum had to take over primary parenting duties.  I am a good corporate counsel.  I am a harried mother.

Let me give you a representative sample of the last 3 weeks.

1st Act:  Breakfast and drop off at nursery (Trouble) and camp (Lunatic Child).

Trouble is currently potty training.  So the conversation consists of this:

Mum:  Trouble, do you need the toilet?

Trouble:  Naaoooooo.

Mum:  Lunatic Child, eat your toast.

Mum:  Lunatic Child, stop poking Trouble.

Mum:  Trouble, don't throw that at your brother.

Mum:  Trouble, do you need the toilet?

Trouble:  Naooooo pee.

Meanwhile, I am making lunch for Lunatic Child and packing one million spare pairs of pants/socks etc. for Trouble while he's potty training and a bathing suit, water bottle, raincoat, sunscreen, jumper and hat for Lunatic Child, because who the hell knows what the British weather is going to do in the next 10 minutes.

Mum:  Trouble and Lunatic Child, eat your toast.

Lunatic Child:  What happens when you die?  What if there is a poop flood?  If a baby comes out a mum's tummy, won't there be a big hole and how do they fix it?  Why are there cars in the world?

While I am wrestling with these metaphysical chestnuts, Trouble quietly creeps under the table and pees in his shorts, necessitating a full change of clothing.

I change Trouble, and during this process, Lunatic Child becomes possessed of a fierce desire to wear Trouble's clothes.  This necessitates 10 minutes of explaining why we shouldn't wear underwear 3 sizes too small and t shirts that expose our navel.  Lunatic Child is upset and sulky and tells me that I always say no to everything and I am no fun.

I am not fun.  I am not having fun.

We all get in the car.  We drop off Trouble at nursery.  I drop off Lunatic Child at camp.

2nd Act.  Work!

All is peaceful in the house for 6 hours whilst I attempt to do my day job and interview nannies.  I interview a million nannies, as obviously I failed to do my due diligence last time.  She seemed nice? Her references checked out?  What the hell?

3rd Act.  Pick up, dinner and bath time.

At pick up, there is a satanic ice cream truck parked outside Lunatic Child's camp, leading to daily wailing over the fact that I will not always buy them ice cream.  I am a cruel, cruel mistress.

At dinner, repeat the breakfast conversation verbatim replacing toast with dinner and inserting some more random questions.  How many German shepherds are there in the world?  Where is France?  Sometimes, I manage to catch Trouble and he pees on the potty.  Everyone gets a treat.  Even Harried Mum!!

Bath time involves everyone pretending to be good doggies in order to encourage cooperation with washing hair.  (We're grooming the dogs!)

Eventually, everyone is dressed in pajamas, and we all watch some sweet, sweet TV until Fun Daddy gets home.

While I may not be doing this with élan or sang froid, we have managed to muddle through.

The new, new nanny has now started, so things should be returning to what constitutes normal in our house shortly.  At least until we move and get a puppy.

Peace out.

R


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Psycho Cat

Well.  That was fantastic.

Harried Mum came home last night, went to make herself a small snack after a hard day at the office, and then noticed the cat was bleeding from her tail.

After a frantic call to the vet, Harried Mum did the following:

1.  went upstairs and dug the cat carrier out from the Very Back of the Closet.  And did this take forever, and involve hitting her head on the stupidly low roof several times as she wrestled with recalcitrant objects?  Yes.  It did.

2.  chased the cat out from under the bed with a poking stick.  Was this fun for either of us?  No.  It was not.

3.  inserted the cat in the cat carrier.  See above.

4.  corralled 2 small children, got the correct feet into the right shoes, and coats on bodies.  Kids thought it was FAB to be going out at bedtime.

5.  drove to vet.  Couldn't find anywhere to park.  Freaking London.

6.  dragged totally miserable cat in huge carrier, one toddler and one five year old for what felt like miles to vet.  See above.

7.  threatened children with no chocolate for the rest of their lives ever and then bribed them with the iPad to sit still at the vet.  They still thought the whole thing was FAB.

8.  held cat down while she shed all over me from stress to let the vet try to check her wounds.

Ultimately, we had to leave her there to be sedated so the vet could examine her properly as she wouldn't let him near her.  Poor Psycho Cat.  It transpires she had sliced her tail on something and then developed an abcess which burst - hence the bleeding.  She had surgery and is now sitting on my lap, wearing a cone of shame, which she LOATHES, and with a drain in her tail - so she's oozing all over my blanket.

Aside from being stressful and unpleasant for everyone, it also cost the largest amount of money I have ever spent on an animal.  We are eating beans and toast for dinner for the next 2 months.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Things We Did on Holiday

Well.

The Reids have taken another unintentionally comic holiday.  We just make such POOR CHOICES.

This time, it was the Lake District for a week in Spring.  Otherwise known as the Time of Sideways Rain.  Also, Snow.  Literally.  Snow.  I mean, really.  It's April!

We froze our bits off.  Fun Daddy was very serene about it, as it gave him the opportunity to spend ludicrous amounts of money on outdoor kit.  We could have survived a blizzard, when really, it was just a bit wet and cold.

Trouble, who is remarkably cheerful under any circumstances, was happy to stomp around wherever we were - car museum, indoor play space, great grandma's house, etc.  It's all the same to him.

Lunatic Child started out the week extremely unimpressed with the choice of venue.  He complained vociferously about the smell of cow pats... 'They Stink!' and was anxious that there were no shops around.  'What do we do if we need milk?'  By the end of the week, however, he was in tears that we didn't live on a farm, due to his spiritual kinship with next-door's dog.  The dog just wanted to fetch the stick.  Lunatic Child was delighted to throw the stick.  It could have gone on for years.

There was also some major excitement to be had.  It's not all Grim Up North.  We saw Royalty in the form of Prince Charles!  There he was!  In the flesh!  The kids were wildly unimpressed, but I think Fun Daddy was secretly really excited.  As an American, I had to pretend that it was all beneath me...  But I confess that if it was Kate and Wills, however, I would have been freaking out.  On the inside.

We also saw History.  Really Old Stuff!  There was a day where there was at least 2 minutes of sunshine.  We went to a Roman Army Museum and walked along Hadrian's Wall.  It was just lovely.  The Lake District is amazingly beautiful.  We also went to an active dig where they're excavating an old Roman Fort.  Lunatic Child pretended to be an archaeologist all afternoon while we looked at a series of small walls.  We found out how the Romans made the cement that's kept Hadrian's Wall stuck together all this time.  A real archaeologist told us!  Possibly, Harried Mum was more excited about this than Lunatic Chid.

Trouble said the words 'sheep!' and 'cows!' approximately eleventy-million times.  He's finally starting to talk a lot more and likes to tell us off by wagging his finger at us.

We spent some time with Fun Daddy's family - the kids got to see their great-grandparents, and it's a privilege that they still have the opportunity to meet them.  We also had a really lovely time with great aunties and uncles and cousins.  Thanks so much guys!!

We made it there and back with no major traffic issues, everyone was hale and whole upon our return and one day the kids slept until 8:30am.  So, all in all, it was a relaxing and lovely holiday, and we fared rather better than the ski holiday, but Harried Mum still feels like she is owed a beach holiday with some mai tais and a pool.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hello my chickens and bunnies!!!

And how are we today?

Harried Mum has had an up and down week.  Professionally, Harried Mum hit a bit of a high note.  Unfortunately, this was offset by her many and varied failings as a mother.  And so it goes.

Let's start with the good news.  Harried Mum was asked to speak at a conference.  People actually wanted to hear her opinion.  On stuff!  I felt important.  And then, slightly panicked.  Particularly when the organizers asked for a headshot and bio, leading to frantic googling of 'headshots' and a quick trip to a photographer.

On the day, Harried Mum had her hair done, reasoning that even if she was terrible, perhaps people might be impressed by her glossy locks.  In the event, it all seems to have gone OK.  Maybe the hair helped.  People remarked that they could hear me very clearly.  For those who know my speaking voice, this will not come as a surprise.

On the down side.  I sent Lunatic Child to school in dirty clothes today as I hadn't done laundry during the week.  Oops.  I have been informed by the school that I have not organized enough play dates.  Harried Mum is not doing her homework!!!   Trouble has entered the hitting phase of being a sodding toddler, having moved on slightly from the throwing phase.  I can't wait for biting...

All is not lost.  Trouble is starting to talk, in earnest.  Today's word of the day is 'Mine!'  He also enjoys using words like 'Stop it!' and 'Peppa!', his one, true love...  Lunatic Child is learning to read and is doing so well,  I can't express how much joy it brings me to see him getting it.  Fun Daddy and I are reading him Roald Dahl at the moment.  And I have so many books I can't wait to share with him.  If my boys love reading, I will have at least done one thing right.  The rest they can work out in therapy...