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!!

“YES CAR! WE ARE ALL ALARMED! SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

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.

HONK, HONK, HONK.

“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.

HONK, HONK, HONK.

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!

HONK, HONK, HONK.

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:

img_0226

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….

 

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?

Explanation:

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

Conclusion:

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:


Explanation:

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.

Conclusion:

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!!

Explanation:

He is trying to weaken my immune system.

Conclusion:

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.

Explanation:

Toddler planted his accomplice ‘David’ to cause slippage.

Conclusion:

The toddler is trying to kill me.

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

Guilty!!

Sentence:

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

Harsh but fair.

The Pied-Pippa

The Pied-Pippa

I am cursed with the knowledge that I have a friendship limit. By this I don’t mean that I can only have so many friends but rather I acknowledge that there is a side to me that only true friends will put up with. This side of my personality inevitably rears its ugly head when people have known me for a certain  length of time. It’s when the crazy comes out, it can take years, it could be hours of time spent together. It merely lies in wait, waiting for some flash of recognition, a hint of zane in the other person and then BAM she’s here. The real me. The girl who doesn’t censor her speech, swears too much, unloads geekery, sends too many Buzzfeed links, reads YA fiction, and puts on the delightful voice of Sally Sourbottom. I have seriously been punched for putting on that voice.

Crazy Pippy has a handful of truly awesome friends. Others have warily walked away. All have asked the question that many have raised before them; ‘What the fuck is wrong with you?’.

This is Crazy Pippy:

Crazy Pippy

Unfortunately I appear to have reached this level of comfort with my son’s nursery workers. As a result of the last two weeks’ worth of blunders I am now seriously wondering if I need to find another nursery….

1. Firstly, I ran away from another parent. I do not regret this. My only defence is that I heard her talking to one of the staff inside and she sounded so dull that I felt that this was my only option. She was a ‘facts and figures’ mum and as we both walked towards the door at the same time I freaked a little bit. What if she wanted to tell ME about the boring facts? What if I got stuck in the car park talking to her?  No. Not me. This woman would not make me late for work. So I did what all normal people would have done (right?).

I let her hold the door open for me.

I looked her straight in the eye.

I ran.

2. I questioned the shape of the poppy display. There was a giant poppy on the door of the nursery for Remberance Day. It was not store bought and the children had obviously had fun finger-painting it a bright, but patchy, red. However, as I stood outside of the gate, waiting to be buzzed in, it hit me. I realised what it looked like; a big, bloody maxi pad. I couldn’t help it. I giggled. Queue the nursery worker sent to fetch me.

Did I stay quiet?

Nope. I told her.

Was she impressed?

No.

Did she laugh?

No she did not.

Did I try it again inside for comedic value?

Yes I bloody well did.

Crash and burn.

3.  Without permission I fed all of the children breakfast. My child can eat enough food to put a grown man to shame. I often joke that I returned to work because it takes two incomes to feed my husband and son. It’s not really a joke.

When we entered the nursery on Wednesday morning my son had already eaten a bowl of cereal and two biscuits but when he saw the boxes of cereal on the table he ran straight over to them. Seemingly starving he wordlessly begged me for the goodness contained in the cereal boxes before him. Well he’s my kid, I gave the nearest nursery worker a courtesy glance, and put a few Shreddies in a bowl for him.

What happened next was a bit beyond both my expectation and my ability to control. Like zombies who have smelled the rich smell of spilled blood the children began to gather around. The taunting sound of crispy treats hitting plastic was obviously too much of an allure and one by one they began to take seats around the breakfast table.

Warily, I looked towards ONE OF FOUR of the nursery workers on hand. She said nothing but shrugged at me. For some reason I took this shrug as ‘go ahead, do more damage’. So I did. I assumed that ONE OF THE FOUR nursery workers would have stopped me had this been an issue. So I went around the table and asked each child what they would like and provided them with bowls of dried cereal. I then loudly said to the nearest little girl ‘It’d be better with milk huh?’ and dutifully ONE OF FOUR sprung to action to go and get the milk.

Thinking I had got away with my Robin Hood act I prepared to leave when the nursery manager popped back into the room and asked me why I had fed all of the children. At this moment I felt a bit like Jasmine in Aladdin when the stall owner threatens to cut off her hand for giving the little boy an apple. So sheepishly I laughed, shrugged my shoulders and said ‘because they were hungry’.

I still can’t decide how bad this really is?

I’ll just be over here sitting on my hands and trying not to say anything else that will get me into trouble.

 

Things I Couldn’t Open Whilst My Husband Was Away

Things I Couldn’t Open Whilst My Husband Was Away

My husband and I are a pretty awesome tag team when it comes to housework and child rearing. So when he announced that he wanted to go to London with his friends for the weekend I was supportive whilst secretly texting my family to find out who would be close-by to help me.

The weekend alone with my son was hard but rewarding, a big high five to all the single mothers out there who do it every single day. However what I had not anticipated was the very long list of things that I am surprisingly unable to open on my own. Women of even average wrist strength will now shake their heads in shame.

Fruit Shoots


These little bastards have been the bane of my weekend. Firstly I could not get the tiny plastic cover off it with one hand whilst juggling the toddler. He was sitting on my hip shouting ‘Ooo, ooo, ooo!’ and pointing at it desperately, dried out with urgent thirst as only a nearly two year old can be. After unsuccessfully trying to smack it off the kitchen counter a few times I resorted to biting it off with my teeth. Hygienic.

Also the bottle pictured is the ‘wrong kind’ of Fruit Shoot so he didn’t finish this one. Those of you with small children know the moment of dread when you ask for a Fruit Shoot in a restaurant and they bring you this bottle of sugar infested death. The good news is that at this point I had perfected the bottle biting technique so audience or no audience I rocked it. I refrained from spitting it onto the table like a badass if only to spare my mother the shame.

At the end of the meal I should have left it in the pub. I didn’t. I took this fucker home and then had to somehow get rid of the leftovers which were still untouched some four hours later.

It is still sat on the kitchen counter.

The Gate

Sadly it is at present too dark for me to take a picture of my garden gate but every now and again the traitorous bastard needs to be hammered back into place. No that is not a joke. If we don’t do it then the latch doesn’t quite meet up with the post and you have to wiggle it to open the gate again and bla, bla, bla.

What I had not taken into account was whilst juggling the toddler, who insisted on being carried the ten steps to the car, our bags for the day, and the car keys that I would not be able to wiggle the latch in the appropriate manner. Sigh.

Step 1 – Trap toddler in playroom with Buzz Lightyear, all in safe view of the gate don’t worry.

Step 2 – Man handle frightened cat out of the playroom who is losing her shit at the sight of the toddler running towards her shouting ‘Lola! Lola!’.

Step 3 – Sneak out of playroom with bags and unlatch gate to put crap in the car.

Step 4 – Return for toddler and tell yourself that even though there are cars in the cat’s water bowl he probably didn’t eat the biscuits. Maybe?

Dinner

I wanted this:

It would have been so tasty. Think of the lovely rice and naan.

What I actually ate was this:

Jars are not my friends; they cannot be attacked with sharp instruments like packets of fresh pasta.

The Pepsi:

This is actually a long standing problem in my house. When we buy bottles of pop my husband does them up so tightly that I have no hope in hell of reopening the  bottle without some serious muscle. Because of this we typically buy cans so that they’re easily accessible for the weaker partner (me). Also I do the food shopping so this was essentially an executive decision. Complaints to be raised at the next board meeting.

However, the bottles were on offer so I bought them instead of the cans. I had not taken into account the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get into it on my own. I opened a new bottle with the help of a tea towel and let it go flat in case I couldn’t open it again. It didn’t taste that bad really…

Finally, what do you need at the end of your stressful day?

A nice cold bottle of something:

But I have no fucking idea where we keep the bottle opener.

What Just Happened? [Explicit Content]

I feel the need to apologise now for the swearing that follows herein…

If you’re having a bad day and a friend asks you to go with her to the brow bar say no. For the love of God say no.

The prospect was a simple one, I was to have my eyebrows threaded. I’d never had my eyebrows threaded before but steeled myself for a potentially painful experience. It didn’t actually hurt as I’d expected it might do but she did ask me to stretch my own skin taut and that was a bit weird. I mean, what about my eye shadow damn it? Although I was somewhat disgruntled at this I accepted it as part of the experience and reasoned that at least I now knew for next time. Unfortunately from this point the next half hour went slowly down hill. The technician finished quickly and then she asked me a series of follow up questions that I have come to regret answering:

“Shall we dye them? You need it.”

I need it? Well fuck if I ‘need’ it what am I supposed to say?

“Ok,” I stammered and then added “but not too dark!”

I dread to think what could have happened if I hadn’t added this stipulation. The paint set came out and that was that. I sat waiting, not daring to open my eyes and look in the mirror. She strokes my upper lip. STROKES IT.

“Shall we do your lip? You need it.”

WHAT THE FUCK?? Who says that? I need my top lip waxing?? As if!

“Do I?” I asked, shocked.

“Yes,” she insists and offers me a mirror. For tiny blonde hairs she insists that I need this. Ok, I think, I’m cool. I’m a God damn woman so why the hell not?

“Ok then.”

The wax goes on, it’s in my bloody mouth, what if she waxes my fucking lips off?? She doesn’t, she’s a professional. This woman probably waxes everyone she’s ever met. My friend Amy is in the chair laughing at this point and trying not to show it. She’s no bloody help, she’s probably in on it.

SHE STROKES MY CHIN!!! My chin!!! What the fuck??

“Shall we do your chin? You need it.”

I need my fucking chin waxing??? Do I? Do I now?

“Do I?”

“Yes.”

She doesn’t even offer me the mirror, she knows she has me by now and then as if she knows she can catch Amy as well she summons another ‘Wax Pusher’ from the wings. Wax Pusher number two proceeds to talk Amy into waxing her top lip. Amy is blonde for fuck’s sake. This is a bloody waxing racket.

“Ok?” I agree finally and by now Amy is in fits of laughter and I’m trying not to laugh with my beard full of wax. On it goes. Under my chin damn it, my God damn chin! She rips half my fucking face off, cleans me up a bit and looks approvingly at my hair free face.

Amy isn’t laughing so much in the chair next to me now.

“Shall we do your chin? You need it.”

Ah ha!! Not so fucking funny now is it Blondie?!? It got worse. For poor Amy it actually got worse because Wax Pusher 2.0 did not appraise her with an approving look at the end. Oh no. Amy was not allowed to leave the chair. Out comes the threading twine and back on Amy’s obviously impressive moustache she works until she’s satisfied that all of the ‘difficult bits’ have gone. When Amy sat up she looked both stricken and very red…it took a lot of makeup before she felt comfortable enough to leave. She announced later to her team that she ‘has a high pain threshold’. Well your brain might Amy I don’t think your skin does, let me know when it forgives you.

We signed a waiver at the desk, for what I didn’t read, something about dye. I wanted to die. We then paid them £22 a piece for the privilege and I actually still think that was a bit of a bargain for all we had done. I’m hoping against all hope that it hasn’t paved the way for a rather impressive goatee, even now as I stroke my still somewhat numb face I’m frightened of this possibility. We dragged ourselves back off to the car in somewhat of daze, just repeating the three words that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life:

YOU. NEED. IT.

The Blackout and the Baby Centaur

My village, though lovely, likes to remind me that it is not perfect. It does this through the aggressive old ladies who rule it, through the pub I don’t enter because I’m from ‘the other end of the village’, and from the occasional flickering light. Note the Oxford comma. That shit is important.

There are other issues, as there are many bonuses, of living here but that last one sends my mind racing. It starts with a question:

‘Did you see that?’

Thereafter I have to start thinking about where the candles are, where the torches are, and whether or not I should boil the kettle for a thermos of hot water. I do this because I have an unknown factor; I have a child who may or may not wake up in the middle of the night. Back when this wasn’t a question but a certainty I had one of the most challenging nights that motherhood has offered me thus far.

The first I knew about the powercut was waking up at around 1am to utter darkness. Without even the streetlights to guide me I had to meander my way downstairs and, half asleep, face the first of my hurdles. My earlier prepped bottles where awaiting me happily in the fridge, I reached for them but how the hell would I heat them up? I had not boiled the kettle for an emergency thermos, why would I have? This was my first rodeo. I rummaged through the drawer and found my room temperature pre-made formula and thanked past-me for having the foresight to buy them. He wasn’t going to be happy but it was all I had to offer him.

When I got back to my son he was beginning to get grizzly and then I faced my second hurdle of the night. He needed changing. I could barely see him and I was going to have to change him. I could hear my sister rabbiting on in my ear about how I should be able to do everything in the dark and I cursed her mightily for being right. I had nothing. No torch, obviously no candles in the baby’s room, and the night light was plug in. My only hope was the mobile over his cot and when I thought of it I felt like a genius. However activating it made it sing to me. And spin around. And have bears and frogs smack me in the face as I reached down to get my son. Was this worth it for the flashing lights to guide my way?

Regardless I took it and moved to my purpose. I got his sleep suit undone mostly by muscle memory because it turned out that the bloody mobile flashed three colours. I couldn’t see shit unless that colour was blue. It also taunted me with a tinny and supposedly calming version of vivaldi’s four seasons. I was not calm. Myleen Klass your mobile DID NOT CALM ME. I had no idea where the dirty nappy went but it thudded ominously to the left of the changing table and I hoped as Leia hoped for Obi Wan’s help that I didn’t step in the damn thing on the way to the feeding chair. He listened, what a champ.

I changed him and redressed him in his GroBag before treading lightly to the chair where I squirted milk all over his face because I attempted entry when the light was on red. A rookie mistake. When I finally got the milk into his mouth he lost his shit. This was tepid milk. Did I not know anything? My baby boy needed warm milk, lovingly made in advance. What was this trash? He wailed and I felt like a dick. Helpless and alone in the dark with a shitty nappy lurking on the floor, just waiting for me.

I promised him that this was all we could do and eventually he deigned to drink a couple of ounces of the stuff. When I put him back in the cot I smashed my face off the mobile. I cursed it. It trembled satisfyingly. My son loved the lights in the darkness and was quickly back to sleep. I was knackered and I still had to make it to the door without a shitty foot but I had done it.  I made it happen and I left that room feeling like a god damn hero.

That is of course until I took him out of his GroBag the next morning and saw that I had a four legged baby.  The poppers had been done up with precision. His legs were not in them. This was not my child but an crazy centaur baby. How we laughed as only mother and four month old can do.

So this is why I boil the kettle, I fetch the lanterns and I have so many fucking candles in my house that I dread people asking about them. Because it’s ok to mess up parenting a bit but it helps to be prepared. Not everyone wants to see a baby centaur first thing in the morning.