0

Temporary Tattoos – Not So Much

FullSizeRender (2)

This weekend, Princess acquired a considerable amount of temporary tattoos. As in, heaps. A lot. And, she announced to me she wanted to be a Tattoo Queen.

Now, I don’t have any tattoos. I’m not against them, I just don’t have any. Husband has one, a black panther on his arm that he got when he was in his teens. He regrets it, for what it’s worth – but the kids find it hilarious. Probably not what he was going for when he got it, but there you go.

So, I’m not sure why Princess decided she wanted to be a Tattoo Queen, but it kept her quietly entertained for a long time so I left her to it. In hindsight, perhaps I should have paid a little more attention to what she was doing. Soz about that.

Princess adorned herself in temporary tattoos. On her face, on her shoulders (I’m impressed by how she managed to tattoo her own shoulder), on her torso and up and down both arms. Oh, and on her neck. And then, she moved onto her brother and sister and did all over their arms and torsos. That goodness they wouldn’t let her tattoo their faces. Smart kids.

My favourite part of the whole escapade, was when she said to her father, “Hey – Dad? You will be so proud. Your baby girl is getting her first tattoo!”. His face. Priceless.

My least favourite part of the while escapade, was two days later when I thought, I better remove these tattoos, lest it look like we never clean our children.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand they didn’t come off. So, using the tattoos on Princess’s arm and torso, we started to try everything.

Soap and water? Nope.

Babywipes? Nope. What? But they clean everything!

Nail polish remover? Nope.

Antibacterial wipes? Nope.

Oh, shit.

And so, I did what any decent parent would do. I appealed to Facebook. And the suggestions ranged from makeup remover (hello? I use baby wipes!) to a scouring pad (thanks, Mum). I didn’t really want to put turpentine near my 6 year old’s face, and while Mr T’s suggestion of JIF (household cleaner) did work, it also started to strip layers of skin, so again, not near faces.

The most consistent answer on FB was olive oil, which made sense. While I appreciate that people think we are millionaires, alas we don’t have olive oil in the house. We do, however, have common-garden vegetable oil. Worth a try.

IMG_3356

And, it worked. Princess valiantly sat in front of her purple vanity unit with a packet of cotton pads and a bottle of vegetable oil, and she soaked and she wiped and she scrubbed and, gosh darn it, she removed those damn tattoos.

By the end, she was tired and I was tired. She said to me, “I learned my lesson, Mum. No more tattoos on my face”.

FullSizeRender (1)

Mr T visibly breathed a sigh of relief.

And so today, she woke up fresh faced and said to me, “it’s so nice to see my own pretty face again”.

That it is.

Imagine my excitement when she emerged from her dentist’s appointment this morning with a grin and a “Guess what the dentist gave me, Mum! Some Frozen tattoos!”.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

Not. On. Your. FACE.

 

 

2

My House is a Mess

Today, for a change (sarcasm) my house is a mess. A pig sty. It’s Day Two of the school hols, and there is shit (for lack of a better word) every where. Books. Toys. Clothes. Spoons. Everywhere.

And, it’s midday and so far I’ve hung two loads of washing, brought in two loads, changed the sheets and made four beds, cleaned the kitchen, put on the dishwasher and tidied up the bathroom. Incidentally, I’ve also suggested to Princess that she might like to tidy her room – she very politely commented, without a shred of irony or snark, “You actually don’t need to tell me, Mum – I’ve already started”.

IMG_3086

Right.

But, here’s the thing.

I need, we need, to stop apologising for the state of our houses. If someone was to come over unannounced today, I would be horrified and embarrased at the state of my house. But why? It’s not hygienically dirty. I vacuumed yesterday, though you wouldn’t know it to look at it. The kids are, by-and-large, wearing clothing. Well, pyjamas at least. And it’s not as though I’ve been sitting on my toosh perusing Facebook all morning.  Or sitting on my bed watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Ok, I did that for a little bit.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I get why we tidy houses. Clean houses are so much nicer to be in. I feel that, I really do. I get such an immense sense of pleasure when my house is spotless. So much, in fact, that I take photos and send them to people. Literally to say, “look! My house is clean!”.

Because, it only ever lasts a day, tops. And I think that’s actually ok?

Our house has three kids in it. Three kids who like to read, play with lego, play with dolls, play toy kitchens. This house also has a mum in it. A mum who doesn’t want to spend her entire day constantly cleaning up after said children.

If someone tells me they are coming over, I clean the house. I make it look presentable – often by relocating the junk to another room, to be honest. And I do this because I know that the cleanliness of my house reflects on me. But what I don’t like, is the feeling that the cleanliness of my house reflects on me as a mother.

We already have so much damn pressure put on us to be perfect mothers. Our kids should be well behaved. They should be tidy and clean. They should be polite. Our house should be tidy.

So, I tidy my house when someone is coming over. I even spend hours tidying, and then pull the old line, “excuse the mess”, knowing full well that the house is cleaner than it has been in weeks.

But, what if there is an emergency? And I have to call someone to come over in a rush? My house probably won’t be tidy. It will be clean, but not necessarily tidy. And, if I can’t allow someone to see my house in it’s true state, then I feel like that says more about them, than me.

If a person comes into your house and judges you (and I know, pre-kids I was well guilty of it myself), then do you really want that person in your house?

I guess my point is this – I work hard at home. Very little of my time is actually spent sitting down doing nothing. In fact, as I type this, I have a 2 year clambering over me, and I’ve left my chair twice now to clean up a spill or fetch a drink of water or take a child to the toilet. Yet, my house still looks like a bombsite. I shouldn’t have to apologise for that. What I should apologise for, is getting angry at my kids when they dare to walk into a room I’ve just cleaned. How dare they think they can live in this house? That’s not the mum I want to be.

You know what? My kids are happy. We are having an at-home day. A PJ day. A messy house day.

IMG_3084

And that’s ok.

 

1

The elusive Sleeping Through

When you have a newborn baby, one of the most talked about topics is whether they are sleeping through the night. Which, in itself, is a ridiculously unattainable goal – we consider “sleeping through” to be bedtime till awake time (say, 6pm – 8am, how awesome would that be?!) but the “technical” definition is 6 hours without waking. So, by definition, could be 2am – 8am. Not awesome.

Your little baby wakes two hourly. Then four hourly. Then, if you have a super great sleeper like Princess was (note: was), by 6 weeks she will be sleeping 10-12 hours uninterrupted. I know, right?! She was such a good sleeper, that we (bless our naive cotton socks) asked our doctor if we should be concerned. If only we knew. If only we knew.

On the flipside, BoyChild was a horrendous sleeper. In his first year, he didn’t sleep more than four goddam hours E.V.E.R. I understand why they use sleep interruption as torture. I get it. I feel for anyone who has to be subjected to that. I’m confident that Mr T and I both lost a large portion of our sanity that year. I’m not overly confident mine ever came back.

And then, you have BabyGirl. This amazing baby slept twelve hours at a time, from a very, very young age. That’s great, I hear you say. Well, no. She slept the wrong twelve hours. She would stay up until 1am, 2am and then crash out for 12 hours. Which is all well and good except for, oh, you know, the other people in the family who had places to be at 9am.

Sleeping through the night. Does it actually exist? I found myself lying in bed at 4am last night, staring at the ceiling, asking myself this very question.

Kids, the little sneaks, they are so good at lulling us parents into a false sense of security. Suddenly, without warning, you will realise that, holy moly, the kids are all sleeping through. They go to bed at 7:30, and by 9:30 you realise they are all asleep, and you and other half haven’t spoken in two hours. You look at the peculiar person sitting across the room. You wave. He waves. You say, “hello”. He takes off his headphones, pauses his computer game, and says “what? did you say something?”. So romantic. So romantic.

Often we will have a run of, say, a week where all three kids sleep properly. Naturally, we don’t notice until they stop, and we realise how easy we have had it.

I wonder, I do – at what age will I actually ever sleep through the night again? I mean, our kids are past that text book age bracket of waking in the night for actual legitimate reasons. You know, like needing to be fed, or have their nappies changed.

To give you an idea of the sleeplessness I experience, this is a snapshot of my night last night.

7:oopm. BoyChild goes to bed.

7:30pm. Princess goes to bed.

7:40pm. Princess goes back to bed.

7:46pm. Princess GET BACK TO BED I SWEAR TO ALL THAT IS HOLY WHERE THE HECK ARE YOUR PYJAMAS?!

8:00pm. BabyGirl starts her nightly ritual of *ahem* self soothing to sleep. On my leg.

9:00pm. BabyGirl falls asleep hard. I slip a nappy on her and carry her to bed. Thank goodness she is such a deep sleeper.

11:00pm. I head to bed. I am so accustomed to kids staying up until all hours that even when they do go to bed early, I don’t.

12:00pm. I turn off Toddlers and Tiaras and go to sleep.

12:30am. BoyChild sleeptalks.

1:15am. BabyGirl falls out of bed.

1:30am. Princess sneaks into my bed.

1:50am. I notice Princess is in my bed and carry her back to her room.

2:45am. I leave Princess’s room after sitting next to her until she falls asleep.

4:20am. BoyChild decides to use my ensuite. He turns on my bedroom light, then the bathroom light. Pees. Flushes. Washes his hands with soap. Dries his hands. Turns off bathroom light. Turns off my bedroom light. Cries that it is dark and can I please take him to his room?

6:50am. Boychild is up for the day. He quietly tells me he is awake and then disappears into the living room.

7:28am. Princess crawls into my bed. I tell her to go back to her own bed. She says it’s day time. I say she is mistaken.

7:30am. My alarm goes off. FML.

 

Coffee.

Coffee is the answer to your question.

Coffee is always the answer.

I am holding out hope that, when all three kids are somewhere between the ages they are now, and the age when they start going out at night, there will be a year or so when I might sleep like a normal human being. Because, once they hit their teens, I suspect the sleeplessness will rev up again. Worrying about them, about what they are up to, about them getting home safely. I now understand why, when I got “mildly intoxicated” as a teen, I staggered into the living room to find my parents sitting there, just patiently waiting. “I think I’m in trouble” I slurred, before turning and smacking clean into the wall. My parents, they knew their shit.

And, once the kids leave home, will I sleep then? Or will I be so used to waking, that I will naturally wake at odd hours? Lets be honest, will my bladder ever sustain a full night’s sleep? I doubt it.

Sleeping through the night? I fear that ship has sailed. Oh, to return to my 20s when husband and I would sleep till noon. What’s it like, I wonder, waking when you want to as opposed to when a smaller version of yourself tells you you should wake up?

Who the heck knows.

 

 

 

 

 

4

Does it get any easier?

The other day I read an article about Prince William and parenting. In it, he talks about little George and Charlotte, and quips, “Does it get easier?”.

At the time, I laughed, said “Bless you, Prince William” out loud, and then moved on to whatever chaos was ensuing in my house.

Last night, as I sat next to Princess’s bed at 1am, blocking her from leaving the room while simultaneously keeping her quiet and shushing BabyGirl who was also stirring, thanks entirely to Princess and her midnight theatrics about spiders in her bed and the 643 reasons why she can’t sleep in her room any more, I thought about Prince William again. And whether it gets easier.

No, Wills, my buddy – it does not. It changes, that’s certain. And we adapt to the way things needs to be done. But easier? Nope.

As kids grow, their needs change and they enter into new phases and stages. And with each new stage and phase comes new challenges.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I feel as though the older my kids get, the less I know about this parenting business. Princess is going through a particularly anxious stage at present, and I am the first to put my  hand up and say, “I have no freakin idea how to deal with this”. You want the best outcome for your kids, so they learn and grow and don’t end up damaged as a direct result of your parenting shortcomings. No pressure or anything.

There is so much out there on social media about how to parent “right”. Don’t tell your daughter she is pretty, lest she become obsessed or self conscious about her looks. Remember to tell your child these 434 different things each day, to ensure they know you love them and are proud of them. Don’t tease your kids, don’t lie to them, don’t tell them the truth, don’t pull the finger at them behind their back as they stomp away. Make sure your child is nurtured and cuddled (but NOT coddled). No pressure or anything.

BabyGirl has entered the awesome phase of screaming when things don’t go her way, regardless of where we are. Today I had the nerve to take Princess to her classroom at school, instead of taking her to another, random classroom that BabyGirl decided should be Princess’s classroom. The screams were enough to draw a teacher from a nearby class. She’s fine, I flustered. Just leave her, she’s fine. Please, don’t judge me, don’t tell her it’s ok, just leave her. She’s fine. I’m fine. I’m not crying. You are crying.

On Monday I had to carry Princess into her classroom, this time it was her who was screaming the place down. Soon I’ll be known as The Mother With Kids Who Scream. Or, The Mother Who Drinks A Lot. Or The Mother Who Sits In Her Car After Drop Off, Laughing Or Crying, No One Is Sure. Not Even Her.

No pressure or anything.

Wanting the best for your kids is one of the hardest, and easiest, parts of parenting. Easy because it is one of our strongest instincts as parents. Hardest because how the heck do you do it?

So, back to Prince William. Does it get easier? Well, yes. There will come a time when your kids are no longer climbing furniture and trying to kill themselves by jumping off the top of a bookshelf. There will come a time when your kids will listen when you tell them not to fight/run away/disobey you. When that time comes for me, I will let you know. There will come a time when your kids sleep through the night. It does get easier.

And then comes the time when those things are replaced by new, more challenging obstacles. And again, and again. And then comes a time when I think, as a parent, you will have to sit back and hope you have done all you can, to make your little person into a pretty okay adult.

No pressure or anything.

kate-c15a1066-6a1f-490f-bcfa-35e9931770e5

 

1

Anatomy of a Six Hour Car Ride

We just returned from a two week holiday back to our home town and, in order to save well over $1000 in flight costs, we made the choice to drive six hours to a major airport rather than flying direct. Good idea? Sure. I mean, saving that money makes it worth it, right? I mean, how hard can a six hour drive be, with three small kids?

IMG_060521

I know, I know.

And so, this is the summary of our trip.

The Questions

Oh my, the questions.

Why is one eye round, and one eye normal?

Why are my cheeks red?

Are you asleep, Mum? (note: I wasn’t driving. And yes, I was trying to sleep)

What do brother sheep look like?

Is it dinner time yet? (note: 10:30am)

Are we there yet?

Who scratched my face? I think it was me?

Why is snow?

Are we almost at Grandma’s house? (note: we are not going to Grandma’s house)

Are we there yet?

Is it dinner time yet? (note: 11:30am)

Where is the lake? (note: right alongside the car. A very large lake)

Where is that bus going?

IMG_0607

Why are we driving?

The Games

The Finger game. How many fingers am I holding up? How many fingers am I holding up? How many fingers am I holding up.

(note: I won’t lie. I held up my middle finger on more than one occassion)

The Car game. We pick a colour each, and then keep a vague count of each car. We’ve played this game so many times and the kids still haven’t figured that picking silver, white, red or black gives you significantly higher chances of winning than picking, say, purple or orange. Nevertheless, we play.

The Animal game. Two points if you see a sheep. Three points for a cow. Ten points for a llama. 17 points for a monkey. 460 points for a dinosaur. 6,000,000 points for an elephant. This game is thrilling.

“THERE’S A SHEEP THERE’S A SHEEP THERE’S A SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP ….”

We do, after all, live in New Zealand.

The Fights

Princess looking at BoyChild.

Babygirl putting her foot on BoyChild.

BoyChild singing.

Princess singing.

BabyGirl singing.

BoyChild is looking at Princess.

The wrong cd is in.

The window is open.

The window is closed.

The Threats

On at least six occasions, it was threatened that at least one child get out of the car and walk.

On at least one occasion, the car was stopped to remove one child from the car.

On at least three occasions, I requested the car be stopped so I could get out and walk. Once was while driving past a Cidery.

The Scenery

IMG_0613

We saw some wonderful sights. We drove through some of the most amazing scenery in this beautiful country. And we enjoyed it, as we drove through it. Note: we drove. We didn’t stop. Because, you stop, all three kids want to get out. And all three kids don’t want to get back in. There is no such thing as a quick stop. Oh, except the one time we pulled over simply to clean BabyGirl who had managed to smother herself in ice block. I quickly hopped out, wiped her down and off we went. With the car boot open. Yup. I did that. My bad.

The Hilarity

We drove through an area with canals. I said to the kids, “Did you know there are two types of canals? The near canal and the far canal?”

IMG_0785

And I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed at my expert wit. Mr T rolled his eyes. BoyChild laughed along with me, because he’s awesome (and laughs with anyone). Princess asked me, “Where is the canal?”

The Final 45 Minutes

I’m not sure what it is about a long car ride, but no matter how long it is, the final 45 minutes is always the longest. The kids suddenly snap and have had enough. Mr T and I have had enough. The final 45 is packed full of tears, games, songs, jokes, anything to keep the kids from ripping each other’s hair out. And from me ripping out my own.

Princess decided she needed to poop.

BoyChild decided he was hungry.

BabyGirl decided that 5.5 hours of me sitting slightly out of her reach was too long and she NEEDED TO TUDDLE ME RIGHT NOW.

I encouraged the kids to count to 153, and that we would be home once they were done. They got to 17 before BoyChild declared the game OVER.

BabyGirl cried some more.

I stroked my bottle of cider and whispered, “we are almost there, my precious”.

The Home

And then, we are there. Home. Oh, my lord. Home freakin sweet home. The kids leap from the car, all tears suddenly dry. BoyChild runs to his room and instantly tips out all of his toys. Princess and BabyGirl run to their room and start playing. I run to the loo (I’ve had three kids, remember!).

And just like that, we are done.

Next time, I think I’ll pay the extra $1000.

3

Here’s to all the Single Parents

To all you single parents, I salute you. I bow my head, and tip my hat. Goodness, I kneel and kiss your feet.

Mr T has been away this week, the second time in three weeks, and so I have been thrust into the world of solo parenting. And it is, by all accounts, shit. I won’t lie. I won’t sugar coat it. It sucks. And I am well aware of the fact that while I am able to count down the days minutes until husband returns, many people don’t have that luxury.

And I admire you for that. Wholeheartedly.

The first time he went away, I cried when he told me. I tried really hard not to, I pretended the movie I was watching was really sad, but I cried. To put it into perspective (and maybe ever-so-slightly less psychotic), we are new to this town and I’ve yet to meet any proper friend-like grown ups. So, I really am just me’n’the’kids.

That week was tough, but we got there. Princess had school, BoyChild had preschool, I could still go to the gym and drop BabyGirl at the creche a couple of times a week. Night 2 (of 4) was the worst – I was finally asleep when I realised BabyGirl was playing with a freakin balloon in the hallway. At midnight. I stomped up there, picked her up, growled her and stomped down the stairs to my room. Naturally, that was the one time my pj pants would get caught under my foot, causing me to crash onto my elbow and bottom with full force. Never mind. I dealt with it like a grown up.

I’m lying.

I lay in the hallway at midnight and cried like a little baby. One of my shining moments as a mother, I must say. That night BabyGirl didn’t sleep until well after 3am. Like I said, the worst.

But, we got there. Husband came home, and all was well.

This time around, things are a little different. It’s school holidays, for starters. School HELL-idays. So, no school for Princess. No creche for BabyGirl, which means no gym for me. Luckily, BoyChild’s preschool doesn’t break for the holidays, so he still goes each morning. The downside of that being we have to leave the house at 8:30 each morning. I’ve mastered the art of looking temporarily presentable. I don’t even bother dressing the girls. Pjs suffice when you are 6 and 2.

I think what has been the killer for me this week, has been the lack of personal space. They are with me in the shower, they are with me in the loo. They are with me when I’m on the phone, they are with me when I check the mail. They are with me when I sleep, they are with me when I cook dinner.

FullSizeRender(1)

I’ve had some great ideas through the week. Like going for a walk. That ended well.

naiah

Baking cupcakes was fun. Shame it didn’t last all day.

We did some science experiments. Also fun until we used up all the baking soda and vinegar. Thus ruining my next plan, making cookies.

I think the hardest part about solo parenting is that you have to be “on” all the time. You are the go to for the kids. There is no opportunity to slack off. When they cry, it’s you who has to solve the issue. When they wake in the night, it’s you who has to get up.

The house is a mess, the kids have been living off a diet of noodles, 100s + 1000s toast and carrot sticks for a week and the alcohol cupboard is noticeably emptier than it was five days ago.

But, the end is near. One more night to go.

And that is where I consider myself to be so lucky. Because there is an end in sight for me. Tomorrow my husband is going to walk in the door and things will go back to (relative) normality. I appreciate that many people don’t have that, and I can’t admire these people enough.

We’ve done it, kids. We’ve survived unscathed.

And only once did I declare “That’s IT, I QUIT being a MUM! I’m DONE. GoodBYE. I wish you WELL. THANK YOU LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Mum is OUT” *dramatic door slam*

0

Kid-glish (Kid English)

Ah, kid-glish. I love it. Yes, I’m talking about that language our kids speak – their own interpretations of English. .

When kids are learning to talk, they come up with the most fascinating and hilarious takes on everyday words – whether they hear them wrong, or, as was often the case with Princess, was adamant they were saying it correct and you were saying it wrong, it is cute, and adorable, and you don’t realise how much you love it, until it’s gone.

Princess is six now, and, by and large, she speaks like a regular kiwi kid. There are a few Kidglish words that still creep through, and I won’t lie – I no longer correct her, because I want her to keep saying them. Perhaps it’s my way of keeping her that precocious little toddler for as long as I can? Yes, yes, I think it is.

Some of Princess’s fantastic Kidglish-isms are:

Blutterfly. She read an entire book on blutterflies to me yesterday, and everytime she said the word blutterfly, my heart smiled. I’m smiling as I write this, I love it.

download (6)

Bas-ghetti. This is a classic one, I think every kid (and half the adults I know) mispronounce spaghetti. Still cute.

Nem-a-nems. I will be sad when Princess realised M&Ms are actually, literally, an M and an M. I adore her calling them nem-a-nems!

Andy. Familiar with the movie, Annie? Princess still believes this is a movie called Andy, about a boy with ginger hair, who, for whatever reason, wears a dress at the end of the movie. When the new version of Annie came out, she said to me, “This is different, isn’t it?”. I thought she was referring to the fact that the “new” Annie was African-American. But no – she thought it was different because the “new” Annie was a girl! Who calls a girl Andy? That’s just silly, Mum.

download (5)

And of course, Princess isn’t unique in this way of speaking. BoyChild has started coming up with some dooseys as well. My favourite, hands down?

Bumbumbee. Bumbumbee! Bumbumbee! I can’t even. I just laughed and laughed when he said it, I couldn’t help it. I even corrected him without thinking, and he said, “No, mum – bumbumbee”. Oh my lordie, I will be sad when he realises what he is saying. I secretly hope he is a successful, grown man who says, “watch out for the bumbumbee”.

download (7)

Thankfully BabyGirl is still right in that age range where at least half of her words are variations on the real word. She asks for tuddles (cuddles) a lot, and lots and lots of tisses (kisses). She likes to drink wee-tar (water) and loves eating doodee bars (muesli bars). She pretends to be an a-pha-phant (elephant) and a chuck-ung (chicken).

But, alas, soon the day will come when she too is speaking in words that everyone can understand, “proper” English, if you will. I know they say kids grow up too fast, so it’s practically my job, nay, my responsibility to keep my kids speaking Kid-glish as long as I can.

And, to finish, I leave you here with this. Benedict Cumberbatch, esteemed British actor, cannot say “penguins”. He calls them “peng-wings” and it is so adorable I just want to adopt him as Child #4. Just kidding.

But not really.

You are welcome.

5

The Unbeatable Argument Styles of a Nearly 6-year-old Girl

Princess argues with me. A fair bit, I’ll admit. I can tell her teenage years are going to be a blast.

She has a way of arguing that is not unlike that of her father. She is right. Regardless. Which makes disagreeing nearly impossible.

And, just as when her father and I disagree, I end up backing down. They both read my backing down as giving in. It’s not – it is merely that I cannot be bothered arguing any longer.

The difference between her and her father is this – with Mr T, it is often a matter of opinion as to whom is correct. With Princess, nearly every time I can say with full confidence that am correct. But she stands her ground, so I back down. I probably should work on that!

Here is a prime example of one of our arguments. This took place last Friday.

Me: You don’t have school tomorrow, that’ll be nice to have a break.

Princess: I do have school tomorrow

Me: No, you don’t, sweetie – it’s Saturday.

P: I go to school on a Saturday.

Me: No you don’t, it’s the weekend.

P: I do.

Me: No, you don’t. It’s the weekend. You go back to school on Monday.

P: No, you are wrong. I go to school on Saturday.

Me: No, you don’t.

P: I do. At my old school I went to school everyday. You said I go to school every day.

Me: You go everyday except on the weekend. That’s Saturday and Sunday.

P: So, I do go on Saturday. You just said.

Me: *sigh* No. I said you go everyday except Saturday and Sunday.

P: But at my old school, we did news on a Saturday. Why would we do news if we didn’t go to school?

Me: I’m sure you didn’t do news on a Saturday.

P: We did. You don’t know. I did news on Monday, some kids did it on Thursday, some did it on Saturday.

Me: I …. I just don’t think you did.

P: I did do news on a Monday.

Me: I know .. I just … hmmmm.

P: So, I do have school tomorrow. On Saturday.

Me: No, you don’t.

P: I do. You said.

Me: *silence*

P, smiling smugly: I am right. It’s ok, Mum. You can’t be right every time.

Me: *facepalm*

One day I’ll learn.

0

We Have Arrived

11781687_10153524769242292_4355739552987107027_n

What a whirlwind few weeks we have had here! It’s now Monday morning, and I have just seen Mr T off on his first day at his new job. I’m so proud of him, he has worked hard for this and truly earned his right to be here! As BoyChild and I stood at the door and waved him off with the towering, snow capped mountains in the background, it just felt surreal.

This is our life now? We live here? For good, for real? When did that happen??

We flew down here last Thursday – we had a couple of friends come and see us off at the airport, I cried (like I knew I would) and Princess asked her little buddies, “are you coming with us?” – and seemed pretty surprised when they said that sadly, no, they weren’t coming with us.

The flight down was relatively painless, until BabyGirl was told to sit in her seat, leaving her tray table and window shade up. No, she said. Go away, she said to the (very lovely and patient) flight attendant. She was having too much fun going from seat to seat, to sit down! After a very loud tussle, I got her into her extension belt (attached to mine because she is was just a little bit too little to sit by herself). She screamed and screamed and I sunk into my seat in embarrassment – when that kid screams, she screams. She was calling for Daddy who was sitting on the other side of the aisle, so after some very quick eye-conversation and hand gestures, I quickly un-did her from my belt and threw her across the aisle to her dad, who, just as quickly, had her buckled into his seat. There, easy.

Ha!

“I WANT MUMMA!!!! MUMMMA!!!!!! MUUUUUUM!!!!!”

Sigh. Because by now we were well into our descent, we couldn’t do another shifty change around. Naturally, Princess started to cry for me too. What a picture it must have been – me, sitting completely alone in three seats, while Mr T wrestled two crying (nay, screaming) girls and a happy little guy (full ups to BoyChild who just loved the flight!). After lots of shhhhhh’s and whispers of “you’re ok … mummy loves you … hi over there!” we were nearly ready to land.

So, of course, we took off again. Yup. The pilots had a missed approach, and off we were again, up, up into the sky. The girls were thrilled, I’m sure you can imagine. And, I bet, so was every other passenger on that plane, no doubt cursing the parents of that loud, screaming child who just would. not. let. up.

Because we were no longer descending, Mr T and I did another quick eye-conversation, and just like that, BabyGirl was back on my lap again. It was like a freakin switch got turned off. Not only did she stop crying, she fell asleep. Out cold. Just like that. Sigh. And, interestingly, she slept through getting off the plane, being held at luggage collection, being put into the pram, being put into her car seat, being put into the pram so we could get lunch, being put into her car seat once more, and arriving at our temporary accommodation after a long drive around town. Guess it’s sleepy business, crying like that.

And just like that, we have arrived.

11800457_10153529112412292_4901653798323677508_n (1)

On Day Two we had to find a doctor because Princess developed strep throat. On Day Four BoyChild got a vomiting bug – just what we need when staying in fancy temporary accommodation.

And now today. Day Five. Mr T has gone to work. The girls are still asleep. BoyChild is sitting next to me talking to his iPad. And I’m thinking about the reality that is our new lives. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating seeing those looming mountains outside our door and realising that this is our new home. It’s frightening making a new start, and it’s sad remembering all of our friends going about their everyday lives back home, without us there.

But that’s all ok. Because this morning I saw my husband off for his new job. And I couldn’t have been prouder. This would be significantly worse if I wasn’t sharing all of these experiences alongside my best friend, and these crazy three little minions who seem to tag along with us xx

11169157_10153529112182292_6494731905035705607_n

1

I’m a Sometimes Mum

mUM

I’m a Sometimes Mum.

Sometimes I’m a Happy Mum. I play with my kids, I laugh when they fart, I tickle them and giggle when they giggle.

Sometimes I’m a Fed Up Mum. I try not to be, but some days it just happens. I try not to be a Snappy Mum, or a Yelling Mum, but when I’ve been a No-one-listens-to-Mum Mum for a while, Snappy Mum tends to appear.

Sometimes I’m an Attentive Mum. I bake with the kids, we play Lego on the floor. We talk about their days. We sit together and cuddle. Sometimes I’m a Here’s-the-iPad Mum. Because sometimes I need to sit and not be spoken to for a minute or three.

Sometimes I’m a Good Mum. A Magazine Mum – the type you read about, see on TV. The type of Mum we all think we should be. I adore my kids, I tolerate their quirks. I keep a pleasant smile on my face as they fight and yell, squabble and cry. I deal with it with calm reassurance and a nice hug.

Sometimes I’m a Bad Mum. The kind of Mum we don’t aspire to be. I leave my kids in the car when I pop into the dairy. Because taking three kids out in the rain outweighs the risk of the car being stolen with all three kids inside. Sometimes I take my time in the dairy in the slim hope that the car will be stolen with all three kids inside. And then I’m Relief Mum and Feeling Guilty Mum all at once when I emerge from the shop to see the car still there with all three kids inside. Because I don’t actually want my kids stolen.

Sometimes I’m a Silly Mum. Running around the house like a crazy woman with the kids. Sometimes I’m a Housework Mum. A come-near-my-washing-piles-and-I-will-send-you-to-boarding-school Mum. Sometimes I’m a Toast-for-dinner Mum. Sometimes I’m an Eat-your-veges Mum.

Sometimes I’m an Honest Mum. Sometimes I’m a Wouldn’t-pass-a-polygraph Mum.

Sometimes I’m a Hands On Mum. Sometimes I’m a I’m-going-to-the-toilet-and-I-swear-to-god-if-anyone-follows-me-I-will-flush-you-down-the-loo Mum. Sometimes I kiss my kids so much they push me away. Sometimes I want them to not touch me.

People tell me they think I’m a great Mum. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

But, I guess I’m a Trying Mum. A Doing-my-best Mum. I’m never going to be a Perfect Mum. But sometimes that’s ok. I’ll always be my kids’ Mum. And hopefully I’m the best Mum they’ll have.