Before vs After Children: Leaving The House

Before vs After Children: Leaving The House

Before Children:
1. Put on coat and shoes.
2. Pick up handbag.
3. Go out front door.
4. Lock door behind you.

After Children:
1. Warn Child 1 we are going out at least 10 minutes before leaving the house, in an attempt to avoid an epic meltdown because it has come as a shock that he has to stop shoving raisins inside his fire truck. Be ignored.
2. Put on your coat and shoes.
3. Check the following is enclosed in nappy bag:
a) Nappies for:
(i) Child 1
(ii) Child 2
b) Baby wipes
c) Snacks for Child 1
d) Drink for Child 1
e) Toys for Child 1
f) Bottle of milk for Child 2
g) Spare formula for Child 2
h) Spare dummy for Child 2
i) At least 2 muslins for extremely vomit-prone Child 2
j) Change of clothes for Child 2
k) Sudacrem
l) Small first aid kit (you would be amazed how brutal a trip to the supermarket can be)
m) Changing mat
4. Warn Child 1 again that we are going out soon. Be ignored again.
5. Put coat and hat on Child 1 whilst he continues the raisins game. If he protests, bribe with chocolate or other sweet treat.
6. Put coat and hat on Child 2.
7. Check to see if Child 2 wants anymore milk before putting her into the much-hated car seat whilst hysterically singing ‘We’re Off To See The Wizard’ in the hope she might not realise she is being placed into the car seat.
8. Use dummy to try to calm Child 2 down now that she realises she has been plugged into the car seat.
9. Leave Child 2 screaming in car seat by the front door.
10. Turn TV off.
11. Child 1 starts to protest and acts stunned that we are going out despite two warnings and the fact he has a coat and shoes on. Save your sanity and bribe with more chocolate.
12. During this time Child 2 will have done a poo (there must be something about the car seat recline angle that encourages her to do this).
13. Get Child 2 out of car seat and change nappy, then repeat steps 7, 8 and 9.
14. Go out front door with Child 1.
15. Strap wriggling Child 1 into car seat and confirm there will be more chocolate waiting for him at our destination and hope that he forgets this comment by the time we get there.
16. Go back and get Child 2 and place in car.
17. If going to see mother put a blanket on Child 2 to avoid being told Child 2 is not wrapped up enough in this cold weather.
18. Go back and get nappy bag and handbag.
19. Reposition dummy into Child 2’s mouth as she will have spit it out by now.
20. Lock door behind you (you will need to come back and check you have done this after driving halfway down the road, just blame lack of sleep).

* Additional Note: At least another 10 steps will need to be added if the husband is also present in this situation.

I think this may be why I stay home a lot more I used to.

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Breakfast

Sunday morning. My turn for a lie in, yippee!! Daisy was up a couple of times for feeds last night when normally she wakes once (down to jabs, teething, getting a cold or all three probably – who knows?), and Theo was up coughing at 5am because he has a cold (standard for this time of year it seems). Zac was on Daisy duty, and I had Theo.
We were woken at 7am by Theo, and Zac told me to stay in bed as it was my lie in which came as a bit of a surprise because he was up waaay more than me last night but I wasn’t going to argue! I was just drifting back to sleep when I heard Theo beginning one of his tantrums in the kitchen. Already?? He’s only been conscious three and a half minutes! No disrespect to Zac but I seem to be a tad better at neutralising these situations as I have more exposure to them than he does. So swearing under my breath I heave myself out of bed (after a MacDonalds breakfast and an Indian for dinner yesterday, with cake in between, I swear I’ve put on 4 stone overnight.. diet starts today) and trudge downstairs.
Theo is sat on the breakfast worktop with Zac stood next to him. The tantrum seems to have subsided which can only mean one thing, Zac has given into whatever it was Theo wanted… Obviously the thing he wanted more than anything else in the world at 7.03am on a Sunday is a dried weetabix. The screams were a result of Zac pouring milk onto weetabix 1, so he had quickly handed Theo weetabix 2. Now you might think I’m a grouchy old bat but I can’t be dealing with Theo having a dried weetabix for breakfast, have you seen how crumbly those things are?!! You take one bite and the same amount crumbles off the end and all over the house. No matter how much you hoover you find sharp little crumbs of doom for days to come.
I decide to intervene. I give Theo a cuddle whilst he’s temporarily put weetabix 2 down and whisk him off to the living room for a cuddle on the sofa. He seems quite happy for a minute then points to the dining table where Zac has put weetabix 1 (with milk and banana). I plonk Theo in his chair and can’t work out why he’s so excited when he has the same breakfast every other day, until:
Me: “Zac! Why did you bring that in?!” *points at weetabix 2*
Zac: “He wanted it.”
Argh!! Cheers mate you utter buffoon. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my husband to bits. He makes me laugh everyday and I can honestly say I have married my best friend. But it’s moments like this that make me want to kick his head in. If I gave into everything Theo demanded because “he wanted it” in order to avoid a tantrum then we would have a permanently naked toddler who only wears my slippers as footwear and eats nothing but rice cakes and biscuits. We would also be very broke as we would have bought him the Santa Train we went on at Christmas last year.
Zac can see I’m a bit annoyed so says he will clear it up. I explain this isn’t the point, I just know Theo will demand another dried weetabix tomorrow morning (when Zac is in the safety of his car on the way to his calm sanctuary of work whilst I’m left on the battlefield alone – good job comrade), and I refuse to get out the hoover that has as much oomph as a 102 year on life support every morning for the next three months, or until Theo decides he likes his weetabix with milk again.
I can see the tiny crumbs of doom lining up neatly in the groove on the table top, knowing I will be looking at those for the next 5 years or so because we have no hoover nozzle attachment (we think Theo threw it in the bin about 6 months ago). Theo also has a pile of the crumbs of doom on his lap, I’m too scared to look at the floor (I need to point out that at this point Theo is the happiest I’ve seen him since Christmas. I can see a glint in his eye which tells me he knows he’s won and that the score so far today is Theo-2, Parents-0, he gets a bonus point because he’s managed to get us to argue).
I’m about to point all this out when Zac tells me to go away as he can’t deal with my crankiness so early in the morning. Erm, rude! But I decide to comply because I’ve been looking forward to my lie in all week so I quickly exit the scene of destruction. I stop by the kitchen and cram two chocolate biscuits into my dressing gown pocket and go upstairs firmly closing the stair gate behind me.
The diet starts tomorrow.

Laundry

I love it when I leave all my washing until the weekend. This time 10 years ago I would have been trying to look cool and mysterious at Southampton Student Union. Marlboro Light in one hand (pre-smoking ban, showing my age) and red wine and coke in the other (similar to white wine spritzer, only mankier). Oh how times have changed.

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Hello

Right, here we go. I decided to set up this page thing in order to give myself somewhere to share/vent my experiences as a stay at home mum to two young children.
I have Theo who will be 2 next week, and Daisy who’s 4 months. My husband, Zac, works full time so I spend most of my week trying to please two tiny demons, meanwhile keeping my home moderately tidy and clean and ensuring some sort of dinner is on the table at 5.45pm. Yes I am pretty much a 1950s housewife (one who swears a lot and wear pyjamas all day).
Did we plan a 20 month age gap between our children? Hell. No. To say it has been shock to the system adjusting to having two under 2 is an understatement. I have zero control over what happens in my home. Exploding poos are a daily occurrence in our house (luckily rarely from myself, I meant the children), and we have thundered our way into the terrible 2s right on time with my eldest. Just when I think I have things under control and feel a tiny bit like Super-Mum, the illusion is shattered by one or both of my offspring.
For example the other day I was changing Daisy’s nappy with one hand, changing the TV channel to Peppa Pig with the other and cradling the phone under my chin politely asking my husband when he might be home from work that day.
At that moment Theo starts wiping something on my trousers. I can’t believe it, he’s found my secret stash of chocolate down the side of the sofa and is now wiping melted chocolate on my new pair of jeans! He grins at me and I can see my precious chocolate all round his mouth (this chocolate is what gets me through the challenging parts of every day, probably why I’ve put on rather than lost weight since giving birth to Daisy). Then he says “yuck yuck yuck” and I pause mid-way through a telling off. Something is not right. He would never say yuck to chocolate. I look down at my trousers again. I have stopped breathing because I have just realised, THAT’S NOT F*CKING CHOCOLATE.
Yes my child has just reached inside his nappy, pulled out a handful of his own shit, eaten it, decided it wasn’t for him and is now wiping the remnants on me. At this point I throw the TV remote at the TV, leave Daisy lying half naked on the floor and tell Zac to “f*ck off” and hang up. I debate calling 999, but decide to try to stay calm.
I get myself and Theo completely undressed in the kitchen and chuck everything in the washing machine (after briefly debating whether or not to burn our clothes). I wash his hands in the hottest water I think he can tolerate (he tells me it’s too hot but unless his skin is melting off I think we are fine). Then I send a quick message to a friend with older kids asking if I need to go to A&E and if my child is normal. I start to wonder whether we can afford counselling for Theo (and myself) when she replies and says the same happened to one of her children a while ago without any noticeable repercussions, phew.
I get us dressed in new clothes, finish Daisy’s nappy change and try to move on with my life. I’ve never looked at Theo in the same way since though…
Other than the odd disturbing experience such as the above, daily life is pretty repetitive. In fact I can pretty much narrow down the top three sentences said in our house every single day:
1. “What the f*ck is that smell?! I’ll light a candle”.
2. “Where did that vomit come from?”
3. “Daddy will be home soon!” (Through very gritted teeth).
I realise having children is a blessing, but if one more person tells me to treasure every moment while they are still young I swear I’m going to shove one of Theo’s post-McDonald’s man-poo nappies in their face.
I know one day I will look back on these days through rose-tinted glasses, but in the moment right now it feels like I have to mentally prepare to go into battle every time I wake up in the morning. Everyday I am a walking vomit bucket, punch bag, climbing frame, and feeding/nappy changing machine.
Being a mum is a full on roller coaster of emotions that nothing and no one could have prepared me for. I feel a sense of excitement (and overwhelming dread) wondering what the next few years have in store for us.
This was only ever going to be a short introductory post as it’s Saturday morning, the husband is having a lie in (from his hard week sitting on his arse in the office surrounded by bacon sandwiches and adults), and Theo and Daisy have done synchronised poos (something they are very good at, the same sadly cannot be said for synchronised naps). By the smell emanating from Daisy I’m gonna need a change of clothes for her. Over and out amigos.
*(Apologies for the number of poo references in this post)*