Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Hey, been a while.

Multitasking is something that we women go on about, it's revered, a skill which is honed, and perfected by the modern woman. I sometimes fricking resent those suffragettes! I was cursing them a little this week...

We don't HAVE it all do we? We DO it all.

ANYWAY, by the by, this isn't a rant for the ladies. It's for any parent.
I watch the Duck sometimes and have to admire her lack of multitasking. If she is eating her dinner and I switch the TV on, she stops eating to gawp.  If she is walking and then decides to pick a flower, she has to stop. The legs stop working while she has to take this in.
If she has to put on her own trousers, there is no way she can talk, or remain composed. When stirring cake mixture she has to concentrate so hard that her brow nearly meets her chin, and she has been known to insist everything ever must stop so that she can have a poo. I've got to admire it.

Her dad and I, are totally different beings. While I cook dinner I am scanning my emails, filling the dishwasher, listening to the radio, thinking about work, compiling a mental to-do list and keeping an ear out for impending toddler doom. HE is reading a bedtime story, feeding the fish, folding the washing (good boy), turfing the cat out of the washing bin for the hundredth time and shouting at me to remember to get something out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow.

In the late evenings I hate to admit we sit in front of a film, internet surfing, xmas shopping, eating tea, holding hands intermittently (how sweet), checking reviews of tomorrow's film, googling THAT actor (who the hell is that?) and randomly discussing life.None of which we do efficiently. What happened? Who died? Oh but I already bought that! What's your name again?

I can't help but think toddlers have it so right. We should be concentrating on one thing at a time. It's so much better that way. If I am reading the Duck a story and totally immerse myself in it, regardless of the bloody mice being dragged in the back door, and the washing machine timer beep beep beeping, I can enjoy it so much more. And so does she. It's obvious but sooooooo hard to achieve.

It's the same with taking photos of everything. Maybe just experience it? The memory is good enough.

Maybe it's better NOT to multitask sometimes? Concentrate, be mindful, and all that hippy shit.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Calling in Sick

You know when you have to call in sick and give an "official reason" even though your line manager knows you're ill and this is the third day in a row you've had to drag your sorry ass to the phone at early o'clock purely to say yes I'm still ill?
Well, it's stupid. And I resent it. So when I ring in tomorrow morning I'm thinking of giving the following reasons for my absence...

"I'm sorry I can't come in today because...

1. My dog ate my homework.
2. I have to go and buy a cabbage.
3. I'm worried I might shoot everybody.
4. I hate you guys.
5. Someone tied my shoelaces together.
6. I've got the farts.
7. The eggs are hatching!!
8. I won the lottery.
9. There's a gremlin in the staff room.
10. I forgot how to get there.
11. I'm dead.
12. My great aunt Fred has a hernia.
13. I'm going to a piano lesson.
14. A tree fell on me and I can't get it off.
15. I'm scared of ceilings.
16. I found a fly in my cornflakes.
17. My mate rang and said I REALLY need to go to the pub.
18. My cat fell over.
19. My fish has hiccups.
20. It's just not my bag (baby=optional)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Rainy Day Play

UK people will know what I'm talking about when I say that today the weather changed quite dramatically. And I have a feeling that's it, we have puddles and cold for the foreseeable future.  From the Facebook statuses doing the rounds I can tell that most people have put their heating on already, have a september cold, and the hibernation eating has begun! Oh, is that just me?

ANYWAY, we're compiling a list of things to do with the Duck when the weather is shite, as despite loving our sofa we can get really antsy in our house if we're stuck in all day.

So, some rainy day plans we have so far:

  • Make a fort out of sofa cushions, pillows, blankets, etc. (my other half is really excited about this one)
  • Don all-in-one rainsuits and jump in muddy puddles
  • Go crazy with glitter and sequins and glue
  • Make xmas cards (tad early)
  • Make a photo album (the Duck loves telling us who everyone is)
  • Loads of cooking! I think Daph will like making pizzas...although she won't eat it...
  • making fancy hot chocolates with cream and sprinkles
  • play dough is genius, we could make some scented/ glittery versions
  • Buy some fabric pens and decorate t-shirts together
  • indoor fireworks (a bit far out)
  • potty training (no?)
  • Indoor picnic with obligatory teddies
  • Making our own skittles with empty pop bottles and then beating Dad at it 
  • Slinky races
  • Danceoffs
  • messy play with beans, pasta, jelly, cornflour, err.....
  • treasure hunt
  • Go to soft play centres
  • Pet shop visit (classic)
  • Supermarket bingo (you know when they have to find all the things on their card? I will be amazed if this actually works as currently the Duck screams as soon as she's in the door of Morrisons)
  • Going through a car wash (I used to love it okay?)
  • Making our own book
  • junk modelling
  • Having a random extra bathtime purely for play, add food colouring (tiny bit unless you want to look like the hulk), extra bubbles, foam, glitter, get the heating on, make it nice and warm and awesome.
  • Go to the swimming pool (considerably colder and yuckier)
  •  Cut up that pile of magazines and make a collage (and on the side a recipe file for mum)
  • Dig out all of mummy's necklaces and try them all on (this may have been unintentional)
OK that's a start...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Graphic! Birth Story.

Well! I don't know who ON EARTH would want to read this, but I have to type it all out for my "Cognitive Behavioural Therapy", so I might as well put it here in case it makes anyone else feel better. Also it's probably cathartic and stuff, right? I have added extra comments for possible laughs.

Needless to say this is very personal, and graphic. Nobody will judge if you choose not to read.

Tuesday 11pm started having contractions, took myself off downstairs to watch all the Gossip Girl episodes I'd saved up to distract me. Didn't work. Put music and candles on. Didn't work. Tried to sleep. DEFINITELY didn't work. After a couple of hours woke hubby up and he cheered me on and I puffed and panted for a few hours. Rang for a midwife but none were available for our supposed "home birth", so decided to go in and get checked.

Wed 4-5am went to hosp, was checked, they said 3cm but baby was back
to back, and gave me gas&air for the pain. Chose to stay, that gas and air is nice.

7am-5pm Experienced older midwives took me to THE SUITE, it was like a hotel room. Hubby fell asleep on the double bed while me and the MWs chatted, drank tea and watched the Chilean miners on the news. We laughed and took the piss out of Ian. The ladies were lovely and laid back, and I was doing ok even though things were progressing slowly. They told me to hurry up!

5pm changeover of midwives, the new midwife was young, newly qualified and hard to
understand. Also had male student doctor attending with my permission, he was scarily gung ho. MW checked me and had gone back to 5cm.WHAT? This was really fucking annoying. I think her bedside manner had made me swallow my baby again.

Was in horrendous almost constant pain by now (don't know why?) and so exhausted. I couldn't see how I could survive 5 more centimetres, and begged for an epidural. Ian and the MW talked me out of it. Not knowing that the response to this should be a punch in the face, I accepted Pethidine instead.
It made me feel really dizzy and drunk, like I didn't have enough to deal with! MW wanted to burst
waters but this didn't do much except cause loads of pain.

6pm? contractions had become really painful and was so tired. No one
checked me but I was under impression I had ages to go. Begged for
epidural. They said I’d have to walk to another room for it. Had to walk down corridor to delivery room stopping every couple of yards to have contraction, bleeding on floor as I went,
yelling. MW clearly thought I was such a pain in the arse.
Once in the room the anaesthetist(?) said it was important to be totally still but I
couldn't as was writhing in pain, now believe was in transition. So here I am, desperate for pain relief but in too much pain to sit still, ooh what a quandary! 

Suddenly felt like pushing! MW said you're not ready yet, go and have a poo. Sat in toilet for ages pushing! Clearly it was not a poo. She said "don't push too hard, you can push a poo but don't push the baby".

Anyone who has had a baby, HOW THE FUUUUCCK IS THERE A DIFFERENCE???!!!

Anyway. That was nice. A room of people watching me try and not have a poo.

7pm? Finally got checked and was 10cm. (I fucking told you!) Urge to push had passed/ been
supressed, and I was exhausted. Tried to change position and push but
nothing seemed to be happening. Mw said they were worried about baby’s
heartbeat. (by the way this is bollocks, her heartbeat was slightly fast, as it fucking would be if you were being fucking born)
 In my ignorance/ desperation I agreed to episiotomy & forceps. Doctor came in and lots of
other medical people with various equipment filled room. Was put in
stirrups, really uncomfortable/ undignified and clothes all over the place. It really bugged me that my slippers had turned to be on top of my feet and I looked like a dick. Ahh the things you remember.

8.12pm Daphne born and marked as perfect, relieved and happy mum and dad! She never cried, was alert and looked us straight in the face. Most awesome moment of my life. And most fucking relieved.

The doctor had problems with placenta and not sure if he had to manually remove it. NICE.
 There was certainly a lot of tugging and squishing and  I bled a lot and there was a bit of panic about getting enough supplies to mop up!? Stupid prick of a doctor kept shouting at various staff for not having a particular size of swab or whatever. Was in stirrups for a LONG TIME and I couldn't feel my legs
any more. All hope of someone sorting my slippers out was totally gone. I swear I was there akimbo for about an hour while the doctor shouted at people and told me it shouldn't hurt anymore.
YOU'RE TELLING ME! I should have cried. The baby is out now, isn't it time you guys left me alone and fucked off? Apparently not, I had some gloriously slow student stitching up and god knows what shoved up my bum first.

Stayed 2 more nights in hosp due to bleeding etc, where I was mostly ignored as MWs thought it was my second baby. (that'll be my haggard good looks)
 Went home friday and had real tea and real hugs and a real baby to myself.

Hey, the graphic stuff  isn't over.

About a week later: passed large piece of placenta/membrane, went to GP who looked horrified that I should put it in a sandwich bag. What?? That's what we do with the midwives... From the other side of his office he asked what I wanted him to do about it. 
"I just wanted to know if I'm going to be ok, Doc"
The answer?
"Let's hope so."

Another week later: passed even larger piece of membrane, what the hell? Seriously it was like a hand. Nobody wants a hand coming out of them when they're knackered and trying to look after a newborn. Went to a different GP who booked me in for a hospital exam.

Another week later: Went to hospital for examination. Waited with labouring women on labour ward. Not the most fun time. Managed to finally get an exam and Dr and MW took out lots more membrane. I cried a bit, just didn't understand what was going on, and I wanted Ian and Daph.
 They were surprised by what they found, but said that must be all of it now and booked me an appointment for a scan.

At some point I gave up breastfeeding, there was work being done on the house and there were always people around, I was so tired and breastfeeding hurts! But they tell you it shouldn't hurt. Another lie. What's more, I was so stressed about this hospital stuff, was this normal? Everywhere I looked on the internet it was bad news.. it didn't even exist in humans... but it's ok, in cows, they tend to just die. HEARTENING.

A week later: Went for scan and they had no record of me. Went to various departments trying to find someone who gave a shit. 
Found the shit Dr who delivered Daph, he gruffly told me to “go home and be with my baby”. Left and cried. Then went back to demand my notes.
The Dr took me into a side room and said I should have asked before, I should have said I was upset. Such a penis. I said I’d been promised a scan, so he did a brief one and said there’s no point as you wouldn’t be able to see anything. Said a load of terminology he knew I wouldn't understand. Prick. Before leaving I asked to be referred to gynecology.

2 weeks later: Went to gynecology ward. Female doctor examined me and said there was no doubt I had an infection. Had a scan. They insisted I have a D&C the following day, due to LOADS OF FUCKING SHIT AND AN INFECTION IN MY WOMB. 

Heavy bleeding for another 6 weeks, weeping/ clots on and off for 3 months, various humiliating trips to Gp/ Gynae til I couldn't take it any more! Oh I forgot, there was an infected episiotomy and some kind of prolapse along the way too, they were nothing though really.

A couple of months later my 3 best friends of 10 years said I wasn’t coping well, and they didn’t want to see me ever again.

ANYWAY, good things can come out of bad things, and the best thing that has ever happened to me is my hilarious daughter Daphne. Just one look at her makes me so proud and happy. Motherhood is NOT a bed of roses, and whether I ever try it again is very doubtful, but having a child in your life is eye-opening. She is definitely my reason to live.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

It's just a tantrum

OK I think I may be coming out of my mental breakdown situation. Just in time for the Duck to enter the mother of all "DIFFICULT" phases... when I say difficult, I mean, she has gone insane. Where did my baby go?
When people in shops get annoyed, the ever-doting grandparents are mildly shocked, or daddy considers leaving, I will blame the insanity of the child on teething, the weather, or her attempting to assert her independence. What we all know, though, is that she's plotting to kill us all.

Yesterday we went to the supermarket. Sounds easy, except if you have reached THAT STAGE with a toddler. Fricking tears, tantrums and throwing things before we even got in the car. The 5 MINUTE journey was pure "I want my dummy I want my dummy I want my dummy", her dummy was in her hand, but this is of no consequence to an irrational short arse.
The Duck LOVES going in the trolley, she looks at everything and reads everything and charms passers by. OH NO. That was before. Now getting her to sit in the seat is like playing one of those wire buzzer games, you have to deftly lower her in while distracting and looking enthusiastic, all the time avoiding her feet coming into contact with any surface.... because once they touch that surface... BUUUZZZZZZ!! A kick sends the trolley flying, another hits you in the face, she screams as if being murdered and goes burgundy.


OK, I tell myself. I'm a teacher, I do this all the time, kinda.  I put my best "neutral" face on. You know, the "I don't give a shit one way or the other MoFo", and calmly explain to her that she has two choices (it works in all the books). I'm trying.

She tells me to go fuck myself.
We fight for a little bit.

Mummy decides (it was totally MY decision ok) to let the Duck walk alongside the trolley holding onto it. In no way did I suggest that if she knocked over a pile of tins and got buried in beans she would deserve it.

And do you know what? She was fine. Perfectly behaved and gorgeous. She's growing up, getting independent, and I need to let her.

Monday, 9 July 2012


OK Nic, you feel like a complete failure in every part of your life right now. Yup, really feeling sorry for yourself huh? However, I’m changing the record! 
Yes, you feel like an ugly, fat cow, an unappreciated, shite teacher, a slovenly housewife,  a TERRIBLE mother, an unsociable, insecure person incapable of holding on to friendship, and you are insanely negative at the moment. Just in case you didn’t catch that.

HOWEVER. In my attempt to change the record, I am going to tell you how awesome you are.
10 ways in which you are awesome. You may not believe them but I am trying to convince you. Lovely husband’s idea.

1.       You have really good taste in husbands. I mean husband.
2.       You made a really pretty, intelligent baby. With said husband. Bonus.
3.       You are creative, you can make something out of nothing. You get funny looks, but it’s fine.
4.       You can see the beauty in simple things.
5.       You don’t need much money to get by. I think they call that resourceful. Or being a stingy bastard.
6.       When you’re comfortable with people, you can be quite funny, honest.
7.       You’re trying to follow a dream, and it keeps you going. You ignore people who think dreams never happen.
8.       You can make choices which others disagree with, and succeed.
9.       You’re not ENTIRELY ugly, I think your toes are quite nice, and sometimes your eyes look ok.
10.   You’re sympathetic and trusting. Perhaps too much, but this is supposed to be positive, so yes you’re AWESOME!

Hmmmm. Not sure how convincing that was, but keep trying. AWESOME!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Je suis MENTAL

Confession time. I’ve been harbouring a deep, dark and embarrassing secret. I think it’s a secret, although it could be plainly obvious for all I know.

Ever since my wee Duck was born, I’ve had post traumatic stress. WHAT? That’s right, no wars have I fought in, no car crashes have I suffered, nothing even close to “trauma” as far as I’m concerned. It’s ridiculous. 

What is not so ridiculous is the reliance on medication, pathetic fear of totally ordinary situations, avoidance of friends and the sporadic bouts of anger and sobbing. Not so funny. And quite embarrassing actually. And now the Duck is nearing two, I thought I’d better do something about it. So I am. 

Younger Nic, I wish you’d dealt with this earlier, but I can see why you couldn’t.  The thing is, the longer you let it go on, the more your happiness will dwindle, your holidays will be ruined, your relationships will suffer, your work will be marred, and your future will be decidedly wobbly.

My advice is to fess up to all of your pregnant/trying to be pregnant friends why you’re avoiding them, or why you’re short with them. And to not be so hard on yourself when you burst into tears at the news of a birth, when you shudder  then shout at your husband when driving past a hospital, and when you fiercely defend your choice to have an only child to well-meaning passers by.  

Then, enlist more help. The medication is all very well, but when that runs out you’re a fricking headcase!! Let’s try CBT. And a bit of honesty.

That. And find that bastard of an obstetrician and beat his head in with a shovel.