Deep Breath and Relax.

I haven’t written a blog post for ages. The trouble is I had a rather unfortunate epiphany. One day after school, when I was writing a post and all three children were crawling on me and screaming, I realised that I was blogging to escape. By blogging I was actually just avoiding doing actual mothering. The house was a mess, meals were late and I was snapping at the kids when they wanted something (food mainly) because I was in the middle of writing.

It turns out my children expected me to do actual stuff for them. You know, cook, make sure they had clean clothes, get them to school on time, those inconvenient old chestnuts. I found that whenever I sat down to write a blog post or do anything at all on my iPad, the kids would just freak out. If I was standing up and being productive in a way that benefitted them, then they’d play beautifully and crack on with stuff. So, I decided to stop writing for a while and start actually responding to and interacting with my children. Weird huh? I’m very jealous of bloggers who manage to do it all, but in the end I’m not one of them, so there’s no point in sweating it.

So why are you blogging now? I hear you cry in outrage? Well, after 8 years of breeding and having at least one little person at home, Izzy, my smallest and noisiest child, has started nursery! I have real, spare time to do my own thing. Imagine that! So, the other day, I dusted off my laptop and started writing again, I found some old kids poems I wrote ages ago and am thinking of sending them off to some agents. (Please note that I am still only “thinking” about doing this, any actual doing is still a long way off…)

The good thing about my little blogging break was that I had a chance to think about what I want to write and learned some good lessons along the way. I’ve decided not to do product reviews unless I already use and love the product, (N.B. I will of course happily review diamonds, the new Volvo XC90 or any designer handbags) and to stop The Many Faces Of Maisie Moo. It turns out that Maisie became really paranoid about her smile and didn’t want to be in pictures anymore, (Nice, well done me.)

I’ve also had a chance to learn some decent mothering lessons. Here they are in all their glory.
1. Get up earlier. Turns out, it gives you more time in the morning, who knew?
2. Don’t ever sit down or relax when the kids are awake, it unsettles them and makes them wild.
3. Let the children play with play dough whenever they want. It keeps them happy for ages. I know it’s messy, but since I’ve learned how to sweep, mess is not horror it once was.
4. Let them ruin the play dough by mixing it up. (That one still makes me sweat but deep breathing and simply not looking helps enormously.)
5. Shouting doesn’t work. (I still do it, but whilst I’m doing it I’m thinking, “This isn’t working.”) Babysteps.
6. Wine doesn’t help. (Controversial I know, please don’t hit me.)
7. Don’t even try talking to another adult when there are children in the room. You can’t hear what you’re saying and neither can the adult your trying to talk to. I’ve discovered after eight years of tireless research that all children react very badly when they think you’re about to finish a sentence. That’s science.
8. If one of the children hates doing a club you’ve forced them to do then just let them stop doing it. Life’s too short. Having said that I’m sticking with Izzy’s ballet class for a little bit longer, as I’m sure she’s growing to love it.

The long and short of it is, life had been much less stressful and much more streamlined for the past few months. Let’s just hope that now I’ve started blogging again that I can resist the temptation to hide from the children whilst writing about what fun we’re having…

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Can I have my boobs back please?

I started breastfeeding on the 6th of September 2006 and I’m still doing it. That’s almost seven years! My poor old boobs, they really could do with some time off for good behavior, they’ve “done us proud”, as someone might say if they were from the East End and very pleased with my breast’s achievements. But you know what? I think I’m done. It’s time to pack away the now grey and frayed nursing bras, and bring out the new pretty push-ups! Oh but I can’t, can I, because Isabelle is obsessed with breastfeeding.

Our word for it is dudu, which apparently is what they call milk in some parts of India. My dad was born in Burma and that’s what he used to call milk when he was little, it was therefore what we called milk when I was little and has now stuck for us. Unfortunately Izzy has also stuck, stuck to my knockers! Whenever she wants some she lies prostrate across my lap and squeaks, “dudu, dudu” just in case I’m not sure what she wants.

I thought when I went away to Sheffield for a few days, (with Mum for her op) that she might simply forget about the joys of dudu. Fat chance! For the first few hours of my return she didn’t ask for any, but then it was like she suddenly remembered what she’d been missing and demanded some right there and then. To be fair, I’m now only breastfeeding her three times a day (that’s still quite a lot isn’t it?) which is less than previously, but really I’d like to have stopped completely by the time she’s two.

The question is, how do I stop? With my other two I stopped breastfeeding at 14 and 19 months and it just sort of seemed quite natural. But with Izzy, I just can’t see an end. If I try to deny her she FREAKS OUT and not mildly, oh no. She SCREAMS and SCRATCHES and HITS and ROLLS ABOUT (too many caps?). We’ve tried formula with which we’ve had limited success but at the end of the day she just likes the real deal.

Really though, who can blame her? As the youngest of 3 kids she has to fight for my attention all the time, so I guess it’s her way of having me all to herself. I can’t really say I hate it either, she’s so cuddly and sweet and she is my last baby. I just hope she’s ready to give up before she starts school…

Any time, any place, any where. Literally.

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Right, that’s it. From now on I’m going to be an excellent Mother.

Today is one of those days where I woke up and thought to myself, “Today, I shall be excellent at Mothering. I shall not scream at my children, I shall not arse about and then be late for school drop off, I shall remember to read with my son as soon as we get in from school, I shall make a packed lunch for my son in preparation for tomorrow, I shall start dinner before 4.59pm and I WILL bath them!” So far so good, (apart from arsing about and being late and the screaming. There was a little bit of screaming…) but I still have the last and worst hours of the day to get through.

So let me tell you about the excellent things I did which have made me an excellent Mother today. I ignored Maisie when she decided that slow-mo was the only speed she could possible achieve on her balance bike on the way to school this morning. Amazingly she was neither stolen nor killed when I went ahead of her. Instead she caught up. Wow, what a revelation. Normally I just scream something like, “I can’t do this every morning Maisie, you are driving me mental, HURRY UP! I said HURRY UP! Why do you have to go slowly when we’re late? You’re soooooo annoying! Arghhhhhhh! Grrrrrrrrrarrr!!”

Err, ok that’s the only quite-good thing I’ve done today, but I’m definitely thinking more and more about being excellent. The trouble is, me. My disorganization means I’m usually a bit late, which means I’m usually a bit stressed, which means I’m usually a bit horrible to my children. What makes you late Emma? I hear you ask with genuine curiosity. Well, usually Candy Crush, or Bubble Witch Saga, or feeding my Dinosaurs, or checking out the deals on flash sale websites. Basically anything but getting on with being a mother. Why though? It doesn’t make sense, surely I’d have learnt by now that life is better when we’re on time and relaxed? But no I haven’t, look at the time now for example, it’s 3.04pm and I need to leave to pick up Sam, but I’m typing. What a twonk.

Anyway, gotta run!

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The Many Faces of Maisie Moo – Random

This was taken on holiday in Norfolk. The girls were having some quality Barbie time with Nana so I decided to take a picture. I’ve no idea what this expression means or why it happened, but it’s classic Maisie Moo.

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Izzy says, “No!” to trousers and “Yes!” to towels. Really, who can blame her?

Izzy’s going through a couple of “quirky” stages at the moment. The first one she seems to have copied from my gorgeous Godson (A staunch anti-pantalon campaigner) who recently showed her the wonder of life without kecks. So far this isn’t too much of a problem unless we’re just leaving the house for the school run. Even then I can usually muster up a “Hey, let’s live a little” and cover her with a blanket.

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The second revolves around a sudden and deeply passionate obsession with towels. I’m not sure if this is because it’s one of the few words she can say correctly, but whenever she sees a towel she completely freaks out.

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Toddlers eh? Crazy little maniacs…