The Easter Rat

Today, Mummy felt a great sense of pride as she ordered the 7 year old out the door to hide easter eggs round the garden. Mummy hadn’t actually remembered to buy any eggs to hide on behalf of the Easter Bunny, but we are staying at Grandma’s for Easter, and Grandma never forgets that kind of thing. The fact that eggs were being hidden was an achieviement. Better still, Mummy remembered to lock the dogs in to avoid any canine chocolate mishaps. 

Mummy and child skipped around the garden secreting the foil wrapped little chocolates here and there. The last was the big Lindt bunny. Mummy hid it under the bird table. Not too obvious, but not too well hidden. 5 minutes later the egg hunt was on.

Being prepared to my usual standard, each child was provided with a dog poo bag (new!) in which to collect their eggs. All was going well until I took a peep at where I had put the Lindt bunny. It was gone, yet I hadn’t heard the squeal of success at its finding. 7 year old and I checked each poo/easter bag, but none contained the Lindt bunny. He said  I must have moved it. I reckoned he had snaffled it. 5 minutes of bewilderment later, we concluded that the chocolate bunny had hopped off. 

A short time later we heard a shout. The terrier was up by the shed. She had managed to snatch the paper off the Lindt bunny, but not before the chocolate bunny had been seen to disappear under the shed in the paws of a rat. 

The twins looked at us and exclaimed how lovely it was that the Easter bunny had left chocolate for the rat! Even Mummy cannot be blamed for this Easter disaster!

The Burning of Juniper Slaide – Review and #Giveaway!

It can be the most glorious of feelings. That moment when you finally collapse onto the sofa with a glass of wine and a good book. 

The kids finally in bed, the stresses of the day begin to melt away. As you start to read, you can start to forget the more trying moments. Such as explaining to the preschool teacher that by putting preschool toys into his twin sisters backpack then blaming her for nicking them, the child is not necessarily all bad, and is displaying some elements of intelligent foresight by a 3 year old.  Having the school phone and explain that next week is forest school day, not this week, so could your child please have a uniform delivered ASAP. Sending your four year old with peanut butter sandwiches totally forgetting that it is a nut free school. That kind of thing. 

The speed at which the stresses are forgotten is directly proportionate to the speed at which you get drawn into the story of whatever novel you are reading. For particularly challenging times, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the unique and engaging novel by Johanna Handley, ‘The Burning of Juniper Slaide’. 

A troubled child is haunted by the circumstances surrounding the inexplicable disappearance of her best friend. For reasons which gradually become apparent, it is a friendship which is far from celebrated, but is an unbreakable bond. Why can’t Juniper tell the truth?; what exactly happened the day her parents died? ; why is Rory interested in her when she is no more than the school freak? ; and what is her Aunt hiding from her? 

Told in parallel, but set some years previously, is a story of love and a desire to heal. Promises made and broken. Confidences betrayed and secrets kept. Secrets which, if known, would cut any human to the core. 

Gradually the two stories become one. The characters meet in time, and all becomes clear, or does it? 

How totally refreshing to read a novel where you guess, guess, and guess again, yet still get it wrong! The characters are engaging, and the plot line is intriguing. However, this tale contains a plot line with such a twist that you cannot shake off the goosebumps once you finally see how it all turns out. This is one hell of a read! 

If this has grabbed your interest, and you would like to be in with a chance to win a copy of the novel signed by the author, please click the link below, and off you go. Good luck, and happy reading! 

   

Click below to enter:

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Oxygen Freejumping – a MUST for kids (and parents!). Review and #giveaway.

Ah, the joys of Autumn. Crunching through the colourful autumn leaves with the little darlings, making collages and leaf pictures and enjoying the last of the outdoor days. Then the rain starts, the wind blows, it gets cold, and the snot starts flowing.

A quick google later and you find yourself sitting in a church hall with a gaggle of other mums, gulping down cold weak tea and shovelling in Jaffa Cakes while your little darlings fight with other little darlings over who had ownership of the chewed red car with only 3 wheels first. Mums and tots is great, don’t get me wrong. However, even the little darlings can get bored of being dragged to a different church hall every weekday morning just so that Mummy can shovel in the custard creams while relishing the fact she is speaking to other real live adults, even if the main topic of discussion is nappies, pooh and blistered nipples.

Recently, I was approached by Oxygen Freejumping who invited me to bring the twins along to a Little O’s trampolining session in Southampton. I hadn’t heard of this place before, but it seems to be relatively new. I have to say I was a bit dubious. I could imagine the twins, who have just turned 3, bouncing on a trampoline for a maximum of 5 minutes before getting bored and starting to bicker. Nonetheless, off we went to give it a try.

The industrial warehouse feel of the place is enhanced by a trail of coloured footprints leading upstairs to reception. We were each given a special little pair of socks to wear (plastic socks, according to the twins) and sat down with some other mums and kids ready for the safety briefing. After a brief video telling us the do’s and dont’s of trampolining, we were set loose. The place is huge, and the kids were allowed to free range around the different areas.

I had envisaged a sort of class, but it was quite the opposite. The kids were basically bouncing off the walls, floors, giant airbags, and launching themselves into huge foam pits. In one area, there were balloons and a coloured parachute, which was great for the littlest O’s. Now we get to the best bit. When they gave me my own pair of socks, I laughed inwardly to myself and thought about my lack of pelvic floor, and superfluous wobbly bits. No way would I be seen bouncing. However, the adults were all at it. Bouncing like kids around this amazing place. I spent at least 15 minutes on the professional stunt trampolines, which are extra bouncy, before getting up the nerve to do a seat drop (landing on your bum and bouncing back up). We played chasies ย round the large area which is basically trampoline after trampoline, including bouncy walls, and the kids roared with excitement. There were no biscuits or value squash in sight, my Fitbit almost exploded with the energy I was burning, and I don’t think the twins and I have ever had so much fun together.


As they tired towards the end of our 1 hour session, they were delighted to meet Little O who came out (big person dressed in an O shaped costume) and cuddled them, and shook hands with them.

There was no crying from any child there, just laughing. There was no coloured plastic, no renditions of the wheels on the bus, an no bickering over who was driving the ride on tractor first. It really was a breath of fresh air. There were plenty of staff on hand. Some were doing stunts which had the children enthralled. Others built towers out of huge foam blocks with the twins, and I saw another chap playing rescue on the giant airbag which had the kids giggling.

There is a cafe there for non jumpers, or to go to afterwards, as your little O’s will be starving. I didn’t try it out, but it looked nice. There are nice clean toilet and changing facilities, and water fountains as well as free lockers to store your stuff while you bounce.

We will definitely be going back there. Don’t just take my word for it though! Oxygen Freejumping have kindly offered 1 lucky reader the chance of a free General entry pass for 4 people which can be used at any Oxgen Centre Nationwide. They have also kindly offered everyone who enters a 20% discount code. This will be emailed to all entrants when the competition closes.

To be in with a chance to win, please just click on the link below, and off you go!

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Boring legal blurb

By entering the competition you are consenting to me sharing your entry details with Oxygen Freejumping. Your details will not be shared with anyone else.

Fuck it Tuesday (The half term equivalent of Fuck it Friday).

Half term. That glorious week where the schools and pre-schools release the little darlings to spend quality time with their parents. Mummy has actually been looking forward to half term. Despite having to take unpaid leave from work because otherwise we cannot cover all of the school holidays, Mummy still felt very upbeat. Daddy is working, but mummy planned lazy mornings, autumn leaf printing and dog walking at the local forest.

The holiday started with the dreadful day that shall henceforth be known as mousegate. Mummy’s eddorts to put right mousegate on day 1 of the holidays went badly wrong, ending in blood gate (posted only on Facebook due to hand injuries making typing difficult). 

Today, Mummy decided to tackle the things which she has put off for weeks. Lucy needed new casual shoes, Patch new tops, boys needed haircuts etc. In a previously unwitnessed fit of helpfulness, when Mummy started muttering about the state of the kitchen, Ems started tidying up the toys. Keen to encourage this rare form of helpfulness, Mummy said loudly “Oh Emily my darling, you will get a prize for being so good!” They all mucked in, demanding prizes. Mummy decided they could each pick one item each from the Pound shop in town for their prize. Obviously, the first stop was the Pound shop. Mummy took them up and down the toy/book craft aisles. Slowly the 5 minute prize choosing crept up to 10 minutes, then 15. Ems just chose a book and stuck with it. Patch, however could not decide between the axe and the sword. Whichever Mummy said was best, he chose the other, then put it back again crying about having to choose. Ben had no problem, choosing one of everything boyish in the toy aisle, then lobbing it on the floor as he saw the next toy. Lucy sat in the middle of the toy aisle floor and sobbed vocally as there was “too much to choose from”.  Mummy’s stress levels rose higher and higher. Mummy started to perspire. Mummy also started to realise what a twattingly stupid idea it had been to undertake this sort of prize with 4 kids aged between 3 and 6. Mummy should have just gone into the emergency cupboard and thrown a bag of haribo at each of them, and they never would have complained. 

Now committed, Mummy started to panic. Ben was throwing toys like confetti, Lucy was having a full blown meltdown in the middle of the aisle, Ems was reading the books she had chosen, and Patch was stamping his feet shouting “Fine, that’s fine, I just don’t want one anyway!”. The shop was busy and as if the pressure wasn’t bad enough, a lady stopped right next to Mummy and said “Ooh, your children are really very noisy!”. Mummy fished a pound coin out of her posset and suggested loudly to the lady that she might find the earplugs in the next aisle, and she should have a pair on ?Mummy. The lady scuttled away quietly. Having issued a 2 minute toy ultimatum, Mummy and 4 kids left the shop with 4 toys and a large bag of marshmallows. 
Making our way to the shoe shop, Mummy shovelled marshmallows into the little darlings. It did seem to be soothing the crying. At the shoe shop, Lucy’s feet were measured. She tried on 5 pairs of boots, but the only ones that would do were the knee high infant black patent “prostitute boots” that Mummy wouldn’t have bought in a million years even if they did fit correctly. They didn’t fit correctly. Mummy breathed a sigh of relief, and Lucy started wailing. And wailing. And wailing. As mummy tried to negotiate with Lucy over the nice brown leather autumnal boots, she realised everyone in the shop appeared to be watching something. Looking over, Mummy saw Patch and Ben wearing the giant croc which the shop uses for display purposes, as a costume. A child eating 4 legged green croc shaped costume. The other children, parents still clutching numbered tickets, started screaming and running. All hell broke loose. Mummy did actually think about crying at this point, but decided instead to label this “Fuck it all Tuesday” and basically take it as it comes. As Mummy clutched the smallest child and ushered the others downstairs, she gave a roar for good measure and got a bloody good scream in response. 

Giggling wildly, we ran across the road to Prezzo and had the joy of a table right next to the open kitchen.  Kids were fascinated, and all was good with the world because Mummy had wine! Lunch was frankly a breeze compared to the preceding morning. As the other kids sat nicely with well groomed make-up wearing mothers, Mummy went with the “Fuck it all Tuesday” mentality. Benjy wanted to eat his food under the table, so he did. In fact, on the second glass of wine, Mummy went as far as actually feeding him under the table. The staff at Zizzis were fab. I suspect the chefs sensed Mummy’s distress, so they amused the kids by tossing the pizza bases to and from each other. 

Our hairdresser Olga is one in a million. She has been cutting the kids hair since Patch was 6 months (just picture her cutting Barbie’s hair, cutting dogs hair, then cutting hair of child pinned to the floor). It really is the one public place Mummy always felt at home taking the kids. That was until today, when Mummy turned round to see that Ben had washed his own hair in the sink and was dripping his way around the salon. Cue home.

When we got home, Lucy announced that we had forgotten to take “adventure bear” the class bear, out with us AGAIN! When Mummy got everyone into bed, adventure bear asked for a glass of wine, and Mummy obliged! Fuck it all Tuesday everyone! 

When Mummy actually thought today could get no worse, the fucking mouse died.

Undoubtedly one of the shittiest parts of parenting is illness. It’s debatable whether parenting the ill kids while being well, or parenting the well kids when ill is worse. Neither are pretty, and both are exhausting. 

By 1.30 am this morning,  Mummy was at that stage where she was just praying it would be morning soon. The writhing fever ridden little body next to her sharing the calpol soaked pillow was intent on pressing herself against Mummy while coughing so deeply it sounded more like a seal singing opera, badly. 

Daddy moved out into Lucy’s bed at about 2 am. Mummy made it until 6am with no sleep when she had to sneak out to try and persuade the twins downstairs quietly. Daddy slipped back into Mummy’s spot where he passed a further two hours sleeping while Mummy tried to manage the tribe downstairs. 

It was one of those days where nothing was ever going to be right. Mummy couldn’t find the dinosaur dressing gown and there was no way in hell a twatting Thomas dressing gown would ever substitute. Apparently Co-Co pops and Chocolate Pillows are entirely different and one cannot be substituted for the other despite the fact that they are both fucking rice puff chocolate flavoured highly sugary cereals which turn the milk chocolatey. In the toddler world, hunger strike is the answer to such an absurd abuse of spending power by a Mummy. Meanwhile, in the melted cheese camp, the cheese was too melty, the toast too toasty, and the milk was not cold enough. When Mummy could take it no longer, she ordered Daddy out of bed to PC world. Mummy’s plan was to buy each of the little darlings a kindle with earphones so that Mummy no longer had to mediate the war between Blaze and Strawberry Shortcake.

Having been virtually escorted to the til, then to the car with our purchases, we strapped in the screaming bundles, dosed them with calpol and drove to Pizza Hut so they could stuff themselves with an instant buffet. Pizza Hut don’t do weekend buffets. Cue more screaming. Having ordered our non buffet pizza, the fighting commenced. 1 tub of crayons and 4 kids NEVER fucking works. When Mummy asks for more crayon tubs, the servers look at Mummy in a condescending manner which pretty much says “I see you haven’t taught your children to share yet.” Mummy whispers obscenities quietly under her breath, and demands further crayons. And wine. More wine. 

We make it through the salad course fairly unscathed. Even the pizza doesn’t go too badly considering. It’s the ice-cream station that really messed it all up. Of course, each child must do their own. Only there is a delay between letting go of the ice-cream pump and the actual ice-cream stopping coming out. The less said about the sauce the better. When they applied the sprinkles, however, the lid fell clean off. Ben ‘s bowl filled up with mini smarties before several thousand of the little sweets skittered across the entire restaurant floor. Mummy mumbled something about never knowing we had been there. The staff didn’t laugh, and got the brooms out. We left quickly.

We shall skim over the rest of the afternoon. All we will say is it involved a great deal of crying, calpol, futile efforts to programme kindle fires, and several toddler toileting accidents. Just when Mummy was ordering the twins to get their PJ’s on an hour early as she could actually take no more, she realised she hadn’t seen mouse today. Patch also realised. 

Mouse was dead. Of all the fucking days to cark it, mouse chose the day Patch had a high temperature, and Mummy was at breaking point. Mummy is now drinking wine while soothing Patch and watching the Chronicles of Narnia (again). To be fair, we are missing at least 50% by way of vocal mourning for Jerry, God rest his mousely soul. Daddy says he will bury mouse when Patch is in bed. Mummy reckons Daddy is just going to bin him, which is probably wise as if he did get buried, dog would probably dig him up again and bring him back. 

Mummy doesn’t reckon on getting much sleep again tonight. Mummy is fed up to the gills of answering theological questions about how, when and why God selects souls for transport to heaven. Mummy just wants to be alone with her wine. Do cats in heaven eat hamsters in heaven? If not, why not? If they are in separate places who feeds them? Why can’t he just be here with us…..The thing is Mummy had a bit of a soft spot for the little mouse as well. Depending on how long the grieving process lasts, we may be getting a new mouse tomorrow.  ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿท

Let’s all hunt the fucking unicorn!

Oh look, it’s my favourite time of day…no, not wine o’clock (this part of the day does go well with wine though!). No, it’s hunt the fucking unicorn time. 

You see my 4 year old has a favourite toy. Don’t get me wrong, she has around seventy billion soft toys. I know this because every single night of my life I have to look through the seventy billion soft toys to find the fucking unicorn. Now many soft toys barely move from week to week, but fucking unicorn is special. I suspect fucking unicorn is in some way affiliated with Harry Potter and the Hogwarts crew due to its apparent abilities in the skills of transfiguration, and the fact that it obviously owns a twatting invisibility cloak. 
Obviously, every night I forget the trauma of the previous night until I have the twins fast asleep, then put the four year old down. “Unicorn was definitely on my bed” she sobs at 6 million decibels as I frantically promise anything in the world if she will just shut up and not waken the twins. Cue the great creep in the dark through rooms using only the light of my phone.

Crunching my painful way over Lego bricks and mega blocks in the near dark, I come across the usual suspects. Eyeore, fuzzy cat and scary bear are never missing. Blue nose usually turns up next closely followed by the Macca Pacca with no off switch (“Macca Pacca Moo” or some similar shite it giggles as I accidentally kick it across a room). Saggy bits, Foxy Loxy, baby fox, raggy tag and stinky rabbit are always easy to find, but none of them will do. It has to be the shape shifting master of disguise, fucking unicorn. Tonight’s little jaunt was a mere 30 minutes (followed obviously by a further 30 minutes re-settling the twins). Tonight’s hiding place was in her brothers bedroom hidden under his school clothes amidst the mass of Lego, of which I suspect I have stepped on every block in my bare feet. 

Ah well, undoubtedly after a glass of Chardonnay or two, I will get to re-live the whole experience with a new search for fucking unicorn, the magical mysterious morphing toy.

When lying lands you in the shit!

Last night we had some friends round for a party. As the wine flowed, the tales got funnier. Someone told a particular tale, which is probably some sort of urban myth, but it made everyone laugh including the kids. Afterwards, it struck me that it really was a bloody fine example of the virtues of telling the truth first time round. The story went a bit like this (all names made up by me which is why they are a bit crappy!).
Peter and Jane had a dog. Let’s call it Rover. One evening, Rover came home bearing a gift in the form of the next door neighbours beloved rabbit. The rabbit, let’s call it Bunnykins, had previously been white and fluffy and full of life. Bunnykins was now extremely muddy, slightly bloody, and most definitely dead.

Peter and Jane uttered a fair few swear words, and drank some wine to calm their nerves while they tried to work out what the fuck to do. They both agreed that they couldn’t tell their neighbours that Rover had killed little Bunnykins. There’s no way they could continue living next to each other after that. Now, it may have been something to do with the amount of wine they had drunk on account of their nerves, but rather than chucking dead little Bunnykins in the bin and pretending to know nothing, they got out the L’oreal elvive, and before you know it, Bunnykins was once again white and fluffy, if a little salon fragrant. Little Bunnykins was then blow dried. In the dead of night, Peter snuck next door, and placed little Bunnykins back in his hutch.

The next day, after work, the neighbours called at Peter and Jane’s door. Now, Peter and Jane had expected them to be upset, but not quite on this scale. I mean, here they were, two fully grown adults, breaking their heart over something which Gordon Ramsey wouldn’t hesitate to serve up for lunch with a side of braised red cabbage.

Wine poured, and tissues distributed, their neighbours explained the reason for their distress. It seemed that little Bunnykins had died around 5 days earlier. Bunnykins had been buried with due ceremony by the cabbage patch in the garden. ย A plaque had been erected, and tears had been shed.

Today, when they had returned from work, they had found little Bunnykins freshly coiffured and lying stone dead in his hutch.

The moral of the story? If you don’t tell the truth first time round, you had better be bloody good at keeping a straight face when it all unravels!

Bank holiday Monday – un-yummy mummy style.


Bank holiday Monday. A free day off work. An extra day with the little darlings. And, at the height of summer, what could be better?

Our day started well. We ran some errands, the came home and blitzed the house in anticipation of the arrival of a number of BBQ guests. We passed a frankly super 4 hours munching on cremated halloumi and home made venison burgers. 

Our 6 year old is in Ireland, so we are a bit light on kids, which helped the afternoon pass with reduced demands. As our friends left, one offered to take our four year old to the cinema and out for dinner. Here’s where I went wrong. Having graciously accepted, I began planning. Cushions out on the sofa down the garden. Novel. Glass of Chardonnay. I mean, with only two kids, these things must be possible. I got as far as getting the cushions out before the demands for dinner came. Cue pizza. As I served up, daddy came in and suggested that he might go out stalking (deer that is, not females who haven’t yet suffered the great boob sag). I made a face to which he said ‘oh, well I won’t go if you don’t want me to’. Ace, I thought. Wine in the sun, an Indian takeaway, and a 50;50 share in responding to the kids antics. 

10 minutes later, daddy announced he is off to go stalking. Apparently, my upset face was not upset enough. I have just got the little shits darlings to bed. So far, I have been up to retrieve a shark from down the side of a bed, unstick a twins leg, and mediate a fight over a small green Lego piece that they apparently both lay claim to. 

I don’t have much wine. I don’t have an Indian. I made a toastie. Only, I had to go and fish a fucking Smurf out of the toilet while the toastie was cooking which resulted in it becoming frazzled. There is now an escaped chicken in the kitchen, and I fed the dog the toastie. 

Best of all? The choice of TV. Judge Judy? OAP’s who kill (I mean what the fuck!) or My Overseas Hell. I have gone for the overseas one. Not that it matters because it sounds like there is wholesale ransacking going on upstairs so I will probably spend the next hour re-assembling the idea furniture which sounds like it has been collapsed. 

Happy bank holiday peeps! ๐Ÿ˜Š

#roguetoddlers #thankfuckforwine

Holidays are all about making “special”memories…so here are mine….

The family holiday. A time to relax with loved ones, treat the little darlings to beaches and ice-creams, and take lots of photos so that you can look back with fondness at the happy times in all you holiday destinations. 

So that’s the theory. The realtity is that despite the holiday snaps showing smiley happy families with ice creams in hand, you can bet that the little darlings will behave like fully fledged little shites for a significant proportion of the time. Grievances will range, but as the little darlings get increasingly knackered as the week progresses, so their reasons for tantruming will become all the more absurd. We like to explore new places, but also to go back to new haunts. This week, we have returned to Cornwall, a favourite of ours. Today, as we visited a lovely little fishing village, I realised that I do not recognise towns or villages by their views, restaurants or amenities, but rather by the “incident/s” which occurred there. So that you get an idea of what I mean, I have compiled a list of my personal top favourite holiday memories (warning- you may feel inspired to create your own incident related holiday memory book after reading this):

1. Porthleven, Cornwall

Ah, what a beautiful little fishing village. I remember this place because it has a Rick Stein restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I do not remember it for the fabulous fish. I remember it because they have an outside balcony which we chose to eat on as we thought we would be the fartherest away from other diners. Sadly, our efforts were in vain. So serious was Daddy and Mummy’s concentration on the wine list, trying to work out which wine would best go with 4 screaming infants, we failed to clock the kids antics. We were alerted by screams from passers by on the street below. We realised that the twins were taking turns to fire the buckets and spades over the balcony onto the passing public in rapid succession. We had 4 buckets and 4 spades, so it rained a fair amount of plastic. As Daddy ran down to the street to apologise, compensate and retrieve, I realised that our table (painted baby blue) was being given a distressed makeover by the other two kids who were happily using the cutlery to scrape off the paint in various patterns. As Daddy ran panting back up the stairs, the drinks arrived. We pretty much downed the wine, threw some cash on the table and legged it. We didn’t go back there today when we re-visited Porthleven. I recognised the waitress, and she clearly recognised us. Her glare spoke volumes.

2. Rhos on Sea, Wales

Wild and rugged North Wales. A beautiful place to explore with kids. Rhos on Sea is a great place to stop for some good old fish and chips on the seafront. After lunch, why not wander down the slipway and let the kids have a little paddle?  My resounding memory of this destination is the slipway, the paddling and the fact that the slipway comes to an abrupt end, which may not be readily apparent to a paddling toddler. Said toddler, fully clothed, plunged off the end of the slipway. Now, given the amount of time and money which I have invested in infant swimming, I fully expected the twin in question to at least make half an effort to swim. Even wiggling his arms would have been fine. Was my time and money well spent? NO. the twin sank like a stone. As I frantically screamed, hubby had to leap in fully clothed and shod, iPhone and wallet in his pocket, to retrieve the twin. The twin screamed a lot. The stocking wearing fish and chip eating blue rinse brigade stared and oohed and aahed like this was the best fucking thing they had seen since last weeks Emmerdale (or whatever it is the blue rinse brigade watch. Actually it’s probably that Oompa Loompa David Dickinson and his car boot sale or whatever he does). Anyway, criticism of our parental supervision was obviously the sole topic of conversation in the entire borough that afternoon. As we stripped and dried the twin in question, we heard a shriek and then howling. The blue rinses approached with tissues at the ready. The older two, bored waiting for the twin to dry, had been climbing the wall. Patch had kneed Lou in the nose prompting a bleed which didn’t properly stop for over a week. Daddy ran for the car clutching the naked twin and the dog. I follow in quick succession clutching the bleeding child, with the remaining two clinging to my legs. I don’t think we will go back to Rhos on Sea. 

3. A campsite somewhere in Brittany

I appreciate that going camping with a 4 year old 2 year old and 1 year old twins may seem like a twattingly stupid idea, and actually, having done it, it really was a twattingly stupid idea. 

It was their first time in a tent. To be fair, the older two were OK. It was the twins that we particularly struggled with. The fact that they had us up around 8 – 10 times a night at home should have acted as an indication of the difficulties we may face camping. Pure desperation for a family holiday in France within budget meant that Daddy and I applied our parental blinkers and barged on ahead with the booking. 

Despite zipping, snuggling and practically tying the twins into their sleeping bags, it never took less than 30 minutes for them to shed the sleeping bags, undo every tent fixing they could locate and start wailing. To be honest, we were stressed. Mummy sampled large quantities of French wine, and we told ourselves wer were doing ok. Apparently, our camping neighbours felt differently. We found a little note on our table one morning. It was frankly outstanding in its arrogance. Now, I will confess that I am still not ‘over’ this experience/note. Give me another 6 months or so, and I will post it along with my response. In summary, the note told me that I was totally fucking up as a parent. It said that I didn’t recognise the true value of good sleep for children, and gave me suggested methods of soothing (bathing, reading to my child, lying next to them). Apparently, sleep in the car or pram does not count as it is not quality sleep. I should ensure 12 hours per night etc etc etc…

I am going to try hard to keep my rant in this post brief. The first point is that they were behind a hedge from us. I cackled with slightly wine induced laughter when I realised that they had no fucking idea that it was twins, rather than just 1 child. We can cut the cry time by 50% first off. Secondly, if I had, at that stage, had any twatting hope of getting the twins to sleep for 12 hours, then obviously I would have taken it. What did she think? That I was going in and wakening the twins every 30 minutes just for the fuck of it? Because hell, what parent actually wants their child to have quality sleep so that they themselves can sleep? Anyway, I left a note back explaining that I was a Paediatrician, and my husband was a child Psychiatrist, and with all due respect, we were perfectly well aware of our children’s needs. I explained that I could write a detailed response, but would rather spend quality time with my children than waste it writing notes to an arrogant interfering bitch. I referred her to our recently published texts on children’s needs including sleep (titles made up, but convincingly realistic I felt). 

(Just to be clear, Daddy and I are lawyers, and clearly have no sodding clue about kids or I would not be in a position to write this blog – still, childish as it is, it made me feel better!).

Anyway, I no longer like France.

4. Winchester, Hampshire

Bit of a cheat as this is now home to us. However, at the time, we had not long moved. My one and only little darling was turning one. I called on family from far and wide to attend this monumentous event. I booked a pizza restaurant as little Patch loved pizza. 

It was busy, and as we waited, Patch had water, and a straw. Patch liked the straw. In fact he couldn’t get enough. He worked his way round the table finishing off everyone’s water through his straw, and crunching the ice cubes. Finally, pizzas arrived. Mummy cut up Patch’s pizza, and then went to take a bite of hers. As mummy opened her mouth to take her first bit, Patch gave a little cough. Mummy turned to him, mouth still open, and at that moment, he vomited. Repeatedly. It took him about 10 minutes to vomit up all the water he had drunk. He vomited into Mummy’s open mouth. It took a lot of blue paper on a big role to mop up. Mummy and grandma had to split grandmas clothes as mummy’s were in a bad way. Mummy will never have a party for a 1 year old again.

5. The New Forest, Hampshire

If you have kids, or even if you don’t, the New Forest is not to be missed. Lovely scenery, free range ponies, wild pigs, and wonderful pubs serving local produce. It is a huge area, and the choice of walks is really huge. We have a walk we like/used to like to do. Due to the nature of this blog, I shall not be more specific.

All I can say is that you should imagine you are running through the trees with the kids, looking for deer antlers, and finding wonderful looking fungi. A child says “Mummy, I need a wee”. You are in the arse end of nowhere, so you crouch the infant down for a quick forest wee. Imagine now how you feel when you realise that the toddler is doing the hugest  stinkiest pooh they have ever done. Baby wipes? What baby wipes. 16 oak leaves later….just as you think things cannot get any worse, and you are dragging 4 whinging infants back through the forest to the car, they discover a ditch filled with water. They start jumping. You start yelling no in your most bossy voice, as you can see what will happen. The little darlings are only encouraged by the coos of passers by about how lovely they all are. And oh look. Splish, splosh, splash, face first in the ditch x 4. It’s only 1.5 miles back to the car….

I am going to stop at 5. Frankly, reliving these has left me a bit bloody knackered! I will post more again. If you have any experiences along the same vein, I would love to hear them. Xxx ps. I am trying not to think about the wind up crab…