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! 😊

#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…

Mummy fell down and bumped her head!

Mummy never goes out. Mummy has 4 children aged 6 and under. Mummy’s idea of an ace night is PJ’s, and Indian takeaway, a bottle of Chardonnay and bed by 10. Last night mummy broke a 10 year ‘going out drought’ and went out. 

Last night mummy had grown up gin and tonic with juniper berries, and felt very sophisticated. Then mummy had pizza. Not just any pizza. Grown up pizza with fancy stuff like blue cheese and beetroot. Mummy had some wine with her pizza. Mummy felt tired and wanted to go home, but was persuaded to go to a wine bar. After a couple of glasses of wine, Mummy forgot she was in her 30’s. Mummy started acting like she was in her 20’s. Mummy liked the wine so had some more. Then someone suggested dancing. That sounds fun, thought mummy.

Mummy shook her wobbly bits to Taylor Swift and table danced to Justin Beiber. Mummy hates Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift, but since mummy was in her 20’s last night, she liked them. Mummy had a great time. Then mummy started to feel tired and went home. Mummy didn’t have her keys, so sat outside and fell asleep. Then mummy made it to bed, but fell and bumped her head on the way.

This morning, Mummy definitely feels her age. Mummy’s head hurts. Mummy’s wobbly bits are reminding her that they prefer not to be shimmied to a bit of J-Lo and are much better tucked safely in PJ’s by 10 pm. Any residual thoughts that it may have been worth it were doused by the early morning arrival of 4 small people who variously shouted, sat on mummy, kicked her tummy, and played hairdressers while mummy played dead. 

Then grandma called. She is coming round for lunch. She wants mummy to cook eggs. Mummy doesn’t want to cook eggs. Mummy wants to lie in a cool dark corner for the next few hours.

Mummy is now very well aware that she is not in her 20’s. Mummy is definitely in her 30’s. Mummy will now remember for at least the next 10 years why it is a very bad idea to go out, drink lots of wine, and shake her wobbly bits to Taylor Swift. Tonight, mummy will be in bed by 10pm. 

The Trap – a book review for Mumsnet Books

I love to read. Pre-kids I was rarely found without a book in my hand. Post kids, it’s much harder, but that makes reading a guilty pleasure.

The trouble is that I am a little bit boring in my choice. I like a few dead bodies, and a good detective. When I read the blurb on The Trap, it sounded like it would be right up my street. 

The murder took place before the book commences. Anna, Linda’s sister, is murdered, and Linda believes she saw it happen. Linda is almost as famous for being a recluse, as she is for being an author. I don’t suppose I ever gave any thought to what agoraphobia must be like before I read this book. Yet when I read the vivid behavioural descriptions, it seems to me that I know exactly what it is like. We get to know Linda very well quite early on. That only serves to make the following chapters even more spine chillingly nail biting! 

So what would you do in her shoes if you suddenly saw a high profile public figure and immediately realised that this was whom you had seen murder your sister? Tell the police? Say nothing? Linda does neither. She writes a book about a very similar murder, then grants the killer one single media interview. Alone. At home. 

I am not going to spoil the book for you. What I will say is that the mastery of the language, and believability of the characters means that even a seasoned ‘muder detective’ like me had no idea what the outcome was going to be. It may or may not be the outcome you expect. Whatever your guess, you will enjoy reading this engaging thriller from start to finish. 

Thanks Mumsnet books! 

Ooh ah those summer nights…un-yummy mummy style!

So it’s August. I am on holiday (from work, not life) and it’s past infant o’clock. Supping cocktails on the terrace in the late evening sunshine while the little darlings snooze away the fun of the day?

Am I fuck. I am intermittently supping some grossly acidic totally warm holiday Chardonnay while being bombarded with a documentary on….wait for it….it’s really too exciting…ok, go on then…fucking crisp production in Hampshire (thanks for the racy content BBC2). 

Now I know what you are thinking. At least I am doing this on a Mediterranean terrace, lapping up the warm evening air with the shitty Chardonnay at least being delivered by glass every 5 minutes by some grossly underpaid hotel waiter dressed like a penguin. Think again. I am in North Wales. At my mother in laws (grits teeth and would breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth, but fears instant death due to over inhalation of rampant dog fur if does so. Either that, or death due to the smell of microwaved salmon 😷). 

Over the last 3 days, my husband and I have quite literally worn ourselves into a state of supreme exhaustion trying to over amuse the little darlings so that they will just go the fuck to sleep. In a fit of marital kindness (not to be repeated for at least the next 25 years), I said to darling husband “Oh look, they all seem to have gone to sleep. Why don’t you go on a bike ride?”. Darling husband displayed suspicion and an eagerness to experience freedom all at the same time. With a quick “Well if you don’t mind” muttered so quietly that frankly even if muttered in a nunnery where everyone else had taken a vow of silence it would have been barely audible, he was gone. (He doesn’t know I have booked an afternoon at the hairdressers tomorrow 😉).

I made a plan. A pizza (cooking time 11 minutes) and the bottle of piss poor Chardonnay along with a film (there is no Netflix. In fact, I am nicking someone else’s internet just to blog. Then again, what are neighbours for, right?). The film started at 7.15 pm. It’s now 8.45 pm, and I cannot even remember what the film was now, except that it’s a few years old, quite funny, and something to do with a DJ and a marriage breakup. Don’t get me wrong. I never expected to see the first 15 minutes. 7.30 pm, all 4 in bed. Pizza in the oven. I sit down with piss poor Chardonnay. 

3 whole minutes later, one of the little darlings returns quite literally dripping in toddler crap. There is shit everywhere. I mean everywhere.  The explanation? “I was walking around grandmas room because I couldn’t sleep, and it just came out.” I turn the oven off, and 79 baby wipes and two bedding changes later, the little darling is back in bed. Right, I can still catch up on the film, and the pizza won’t be too burnt/cold. 

Apparently not. You see, grandma has a burglar alarm. The ones which have red flashing sensors. No amount of explanation to two of the little darlings would rationalise the flashing red lights. They mean burglars are coming. I am 5ft 4 1/2 inches. The ceiling is about 8 ft tall. 10 bruises and a step ladder later, and I find myself up a ladder sticking fucking pampers over the alarm sensors (I know, celebrate my maternal ingenuity!). Happy holidays mummy. Pina colada or pampers? What an amazing choice. Oh yes, I don’t have a choice (presuming that if I was drinking pina colada while sticking pampers on an alarm sensor while up a step ladder I may fall off said ladder). 

While I was applying the pampers, the dog consumed the  majority of the pizza. I decided not to care, and just to drink some more of the piss poor Chardonnay. As I poured it, I heard a wail. One twin had put up the cot side on the other twin’s cot. I cannot fix this, and apparently no amount of kicking the cot side while swearing under my breath works. There is nothing wrong with sweets in bed. That should fix everything. Grandma arrives armed with instructions, and 10 minutes later the cot side is back down. We have kept the instructions out.

Momentarily, everyone is quiet. There’s not much left of the piss poor Chardonnay, and nothing left of the pizza. On the plus side, it’s August, it’s the holidays, I am drinking (undrinkable) wine, and I now know it takes more than a year to produce a new flavour of crisp. Turns out that some peoples whole job is just packing crisps. I wonder if they get to drink Pina colada on a Mediterranean terrace?

The little darlings are still yelling. I have missed the entire film (and my pizza) and it’s only 9 hours until they jump on my head in bed screaming what are we doing today mummy? The Chardonnay is done. 

Happy holidays to parents everywhere. May your nights be shit free and pina colada filled. 

#roguetoddlers #thankfuckforwine