Bad Parenting 101

Bad Parenting 101

So…I locked my child in the car on Monday.

Picture this; a stressful morning, running late. A screaming toddler who doesn’t want to leave his daddy. I fight, like all good mothers do, to get my toddler into his car seat whilst he alternates between lightning rod straight and wobbly toddler jelly and at this point I throw my handbag onto the drivers seat. Toddler safely stowed in car, husband bid farewell, I close the door and then the sound that shall haunt me for at least the foreseeable future; ‘LOCK’.

For about thirty seconds I stood there in sheer disbelief, then I started swearing, quite fucking loudly I might add. I swore at my husband who had not yet left for work, I swore at the neighbour, who until that moment I had completely ignored. I swore at the car who had FUCKING BETRAYED ME AND MY CHILD. I swore a lot and it did not help the situation.

Our first reaction was to break the window and free him but the calm neighbour cautioned us against it and instead my husband dutifully drove to the office where we work to ask for the spare key. In the meantime the toddler and I re-enact a touching moment from many a daytime movie as we cry for each other with our hands pressed against the glass:

“Free me mother!”

“I’m trying! I’m trying!”

The alarm chimes in! HONK, HONK, HONK!!


The neighbour full on thinks I’m crazy and over-reacting by now and is encouraging his son to calm my son down since his mother has clearly lost the fucking plot and then randomly my father-in-law turns up to try and help the situation. He also brings the terrifying news that apparently my spare key has been sent to Birmingham, fucking BIRMINGHAM?! WHAT GOOD IS A SPARE KEY IN FUCKING BIRMINGHAM???? However like a pro my father-in-law announces that we’re just going to break the window and that’s all there is to it.


“CAR! Seriously mate we know you’re stressed but this is so not about you.”

So firstly we break the teeny tiny window on the rear passenger side so that the damage is minimal, the neighbour and my father-in-law embody the very definition of teamwork to reach the handle with a hammer, they nail it! Nothing happens.


The car has dead locked. WHY UNIVERSE WHY?!

So they then have to break the rear passenger-side window completely. Glass goes everywhere, I thought that cars were supposed to have safety glass? Look at the unholy mess all over the car and the floor! My child! Glass flew at my child!


Neighbour – “Right I’ll just climb through and get the key.”

Me – “No! I must be the one!”

So I do, I climb through the glass to get my child, and fuck that was a lot of glass. I mean seriously Seat? Did we not foresee this eventuality? I unlock the car, I clamber out and reach for my child who has, in the meantime, been freed by his Granddad. I hold my arms out. He doesn’t fucking want me.

Great, I feel special. You’re not the only one who wants a hug kid.

Fearing for his hearing we rushed him to A&E and thank fuck I took my father in law because the A&E attendants totally did not speak the high pitched, sobbing form of English I was wailing at them.

Nurse – “So what happened?”

Me – “Ahhhh toddler waaaa, carrr!”

Father-in-law – “The car locked with the keys and the toddler inside.”

Nurse – “Has he been ok since?”

Me – “Waaaaa! Why!!!! Car, sob, why!!”

Father-in-law – “Yes, he’s been fine but could you please check his ears because the alarm was going off for about twenty minutes.”

Fucking alarm.

His ears checked out, the nurse refrained from sending me for psychiatric evaluation, and the toddler even took himself off for a nap when he got in. It had been a stressful morning after all.

The Insurance department were pretty good with me, the Customer Support centre wanted to know why I hadn’t waited for them “Uhhh? Because there was a child TRAPPED IN THE CAR!!”, I refrained from saying ‘moron’ on the end like all good people do. I even drew the below, very helpful sketch on the company claim form:


I’ve since been told that this isn’t really what they were after but no further requests have been made upon my clearly talented hand.

Lots of people have told me that they’ve also done this and apparently it’s quite common for cars to lock themselves if they’ve been inactive for some time. You can also, apparently, have this feature switched off.

The toddler seems fine, mummy and daddy were quite traumatised.

But now it’s over. It’s all over….


The Neon Demon and Why I Just Don’t Know…[Spoilers]

The Neon Demon and Why I Just Don’t Know…[Spoilers]

I saw the trailer for The Neon Demon about a month ago when I went to see Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales and I was genuinely excited at the prospect of another movie by Nicolas Winding Refn. My husband, perhaps, would also be of the thought that the trailer for The Neon Demon was the best thing about our experience of Tale of Tales but more on that later. However, now that I’ve seen it I really don’t know what to make of it. I’ve taken time to mull this over but what I’m ultimately left with is a split review as, for me, the movie itself seems divided between a social commentary of the modelling industry’s perceptual image of ‘style over substance’ and what I can only describe as a bonkers final twenty minutes which I think had something to do with consumerism and immortality? I can’t be sure which is kind of my point.

I won’t tell you what the movie is about, you can read that on the link above, but the pros for the movie were:

  •  Elle Fanning’s spectacular performance as the somewhat self absorbed Jesse.
  • The strobe lighting scene which had my on the edge of my seat waiting for the bound models to move towards our heroine.
  • Sheer cinematography. The weight of every shot to be visually impactful over contextually so is striking. Very Kubric-esque.
  • The fact that I’m still thinking about it.

However this final point is also a minus because in reality I’m still thinking about it due to the fact that I’m trying to puzzle it out, like a tangled necklace that’s so beyond saving you end up resenting it. What were you trying to tell me? What did I not get?

I remember looking at my watch with about 30 minutes of running time remaining and thinking ‘yeah I get it, is it nearly over?’ but it couldn’t be and lets just say that I was not prepared. My reactions throughout the film finale were as follows and really if you haven’t seen it you should stop reading now:

  • Oh I knew that this was a trap.
  • Why is the makeup artist in on this? Doesn’t she love her or something?
  • Why are you taunting them? Do you realise that they’re going to kill you?
  • Ah…well that escalated quickly.
  • Why are they still walking towards her? Oh my god what are they going to do?
  • Ok so are they vampires?
  • I’m confused.
  • Lesbian vampires?
  • Oh a bloody bathtub; very Hostel 2.
  • There’s quite a lot of blood. They must have watered it down.
  • There can’t be that much blood in a person can there?
  • Why is she sat on top of her grave?
  • Well I bet you regret it now don’t you makeup lady?
  • Is she going to come back as a vampire? Has this whole thing been some kind of vampire induction process? That’s very disappointing.
  • Why is she masturbating in the moonlight.
  • Is this part of the vampire ritual thing?
  • Oh she’s pissing…
  • Christ it’s complicated to make a vampire.
  • Ok so…not a vampire?
  • Ah blond 1 looks a bit remorseful.
  • This was not at all clear to me, you crazy, crazy models.
  • Ah I see so by consuming her she has become beautiful.
  • That’s not exactly a good moral code though…
  • Or sustainable.
  • Is this some kind of modern metaphor for vampirism?
  • Ah she’s going to throw up blood all over your swimming pool mate.
  • Oh yuk, self mutilation.
  • Oh even more gross.
  • DON’T EAT IT!!
  • She bloody ate it.
  • What am I actually watching?
  • Is that it?
  • Is there more? Should I go?
  • Gav’s going to ask my what I thought and I have nothing to give him.

And that’s the way my thoughts stayed for a good thirty minutes. I kept trying to think of something insightful to say, not only for Gav but for myself. I had nothing and, more worrying, neither did he. The only thing we could really agree upon was that it was bonkers. What on earth had we watched?

The answer? I don’t know people…I just don’t know.

I Will Miss This Garden

I Will Miss This Garden

I remember when these levels weren’t here,

And a long, sloping incline took you to the top.

When we hired a digger to carve it out,

And it looked rough and quite barren.


I’ll remember the bamboo you planted,

I’ll remember laying down the turf,

And the way you seemed prouder of my help,

Than you did of any of my school work.


I remember the Acer who was cruelly dwarfed,

And later stolen by granddad.

Whisked away to safer pastures,

When you weren’t looking.


I’ll remember the magnolias that mum picked,

That I didn’t think would grow,

But somehow they did and she was so pleased,

To sit upon the swing and watch them flower.


I remember the Priory stones we unearthed,

And tried to make a path out of,

And the teenagers who couldn’t realise your vision,

So I shouted at them for you.


I remember the decking that we built,

That got slippery in the rain,

And so you replaced it with plastic grass,

That tickled our feet like an outdoor carpet.


I’ll remember the pond you had my husband dig,

Like he was digging his own grave in a mobster movie,

And the way you had your other son-in-law,

Finish it off, earning their keep.


I’ll miss putting the world to rights on the doorstep,

I’ll miss the smell of roses in the rain,

I’ll miss the swing in the summer,

But I won’t forget it, and neither will you.



On Why I Think The Toddler is Trying to Kill Me

On Why I Think The Toddler is Trying to Kill Me

Now I know that I’m no exception to the parenting madness that is toddler-rearing but the more I contemplate it the more I think he might actually be trying to kill me.

Let’s review the facts shall we?

Event 1:

He’s a late talker, an area of great concern to me and the Health Visitor and absolutely no one else, though I know that he absolutely knows the words. Will he say them? No he will not. He will drag me hither and thither as I trip over toy cars and juice cups, spurred onward by the inhumanly strong, and quite fucking painful, grip on my little finger. All for the purpose of pointing at any one of the kitchen cupboards for snacks and drinks. I have heard this child say milk, juice, biscuit, apple and so on and so on. Why must he scream and point?


He wants me to trip and/or hurt me by yanking me across the house.


The toddler is trying to kill me.

Event 2:

What is with the five am starts child?? When have I ever done that to him?? Never. Know why? Because who in their right fucking mind would want to be up that early? Included in the early rising seems to be the need to jump on my back, pull individual strands of my hair, and surround me with creepily talking Teletubies.

The birds and the summer sun are arseholes people. I am in no way a morning person. Dangerous things happen when people don’t get enough sleep.

A picture of me and my desk:


I’m pretty sure that this one is taught to toddlers by their grandparents in some sort of long-game revenge plan. My turn will come child. Remember that.


The toddler and/or my parents are trying to kill me.

Event 3:

I am full of cold again! ‘Every parent gets sick’ I hear you say but does every parent wake up to their son trying to shove their snotty dummy in their mouths? Probably not!!


He is trying to weaken my immune system.


The toddler is trying to kill me.

And finally, ladies and gentleman of the jury! I give you the most damning evidence in the case!!!

Event 4:

The bath mat. The slippery fucking bath mat that he slimes up with his shampoo and his slippy, slippy toothpaste so that when I get into the bath….KAPOWWWW!! STRIKE!! Three times now I have nearly fallen to my death, yes totally, when getting in the shower all because this little bastard:

(Not an actual picture of David Cameron)

Was hiding betwixt the rubbery folds of the sadistic, evil bath mat.


Toddler planted his accomplice ‘David’ to cause slippage.


The toddler is trying to kill me.

And there you have it my friends. Jury how find you the accused?



Non-chocolatey rice cakes for the rest of the week.

Harsh but fair.

The Editor – A Poem

The Editor – A Poem

I am the master of your destiny,

The destroyer of your world,

The thief who robs your sentences,

So your story won’t be told.


I am the cutter of your scene,

The one who stopped your character short,

I am the one who killed the hero,

And now his lesson won’t be taught.


I am the bridge between your fantasy,

And the deadline looming near,

I am the one who’ll bring you closer,

To that blooming, frustrated tear.


The catcher of your spelling mistake,

The one who finds your double-spaces.

The mover of your apostrophe,

Trying your words in other places.


I am a necessary evil,

That you’ll put off ’till the end.

I am part of your self-loathing,

Although I’ve tried to be your friend.


I can give you time to do it,

But only you can take it forward.

I am hard work and I know it,

But with hard work comes reward.

I Can Fix That For You

I Can Fix That For You

Does your skin itch?

Do you feel uncomfortable?

Did you change your appearance?

And did that make it better?


Did you find a new hobby?

Did you pick up an old one?

Did you change your ways?

And did that make it better?


Did you confess?

Did you atone for your sins?

Did you promise to do right?

And did that make it better?


Did you iron out the wrinkles?

Did you fill in the holes?

Is it perfect now?

And did that make it better?


Did you start to eat right?

Did you breathe fresh, clean air?

Did you harmonise with nature?

And did that make it better?


Are you looking for that thing?

That catalyst for change?

Do you know what you’re looking for?

And will that make it better?


Did your dream not come true?

Did you compromise too often?

Are you even trying anymore?

And will that make it better?


Does the easy way seem tempting?

Will it at least be something?

Could you live with yourself?

And will that make it better?


Do you not like who you are?

Did you expect more?

Have you considered that we all feel that way?

Now, does that make it better?