Crikey Child! What is wrong with your face?! – An Allergic Reaction

So this weekend both Mr Pud and I had to work so Pudding and Pie were left in the care of the grandparents. Now I don’t know who was most excited about this! Suffice to say the grandparents had lots planned and the kids looked like they were plotting a pretty amazing rampage of their own.

Off we went then 7am Sunday morning feeling more than a little miffed to be missing out on the fun. They all had a great day – and some lovely food at a local bistro. Mr Pud noticed when he rang at tea time that Pud had a red face. We put it down to teething and thought no more about it.
When we got back the kids were in bed. My mother in law mentioned that Pudding’s face was very red but that she was happy. I had a quick look at her in the cot but was initially unconcerned. After waving off the grandparents and assuring them all was fine we ordered a pizza ready to settle on the couch together. Mr Pud was a bit concerned about Pud so we decided to get her up and just check her for a rash anywhere else. We are meningitis neurotics any sight of a rash and I am getting glass out!
Well we woke her. She was chuffed to see us. I can only say I didn’t share her joy! My poor child looked like she had gone 5 rounds with Tyson!! Her face was bright red and her eyes were so swollen she could barely open her eyelids. Despite looking like something out of a horror movie she still smiled…

Even as nurses we were pretty shocked at how bad she looked. It was clear that she was having an allergic reaction to something. We got some input from one of our doctor friends and called the 111 NHS service. We were advised to take her into A&E. Inwardly I groaned, having already been at the hospital 13 hours this was the last thing I wanted to do. But dutifully I packed a bag and picked up my puffy Pud, I crossed the threshold as the pizza arrived!

A&E was manic as I knew it would be. Poor Pud had no idea what was going on. But despite being dragged out in the middle of the night she took it really well. She was smiling and waving at people. This was met with a mixture of horror and compassion. Poor little girl did look awful! Finally after a few hours we were seen, a quick dose of Piriton and we headed home. Tired but no worse for our little adventure.

This morning Pudding looks ok, apart from being angry about lack of sleep. A bit red-cheeked still but most of the swelling has gone down. It was scary was even with our backgrounds, we didn’t know if she would get any worse or what was causing her to have an allergic reaction. The cupboard is now stocked with Piriton and I am trying not to monitor every thing she eats or touches.

Ant one else experienced anything similar? How do you deal with allergic reactions?

Can I please get off the mothering merry-go-round?

I can’t be the only one who wakes up and just think today I just don’t want to mother! Usually it’s when my wake up call involves some form of a scream. That is not an alarm clock any person needs. This is often followed swiftly by several demands. ‘I want breakfast, I wet the bed, where is my milk, I don’t want to go to school’ etc etc… it’s not really how I imagined my life would be!
It’s a fact that I am sure parents universally agree with. Raising kids is not always a bundle of fun. The daily battles, the endless washing pile and the continuous tidying up after the little darlings. Is it then surprising that some days I lack a little motivation? That on occasion I wonder why I bother when I am met with resistance at every turn?

Of course not every day feels like perpetual ground hog day. But the majority of days are like an endless merry-go round. We get up, we battle into clothes, fight about teeth brushing and toileting. Coffee is drunk, meals are prepared and the washing is put in the machine, dried and put away. Over and over, round and round. Today I confess I want to get off the ride.

I want to go out with nothing in my pocket but a bank card and a packet of cigarettes. I’d like to eat where I like, spend an hour browsing the shops. Perhaps make an appointment to get my hair done. Possibly drive into the country and walk the dog in peace, without nagging. Or just imagine, curling up next to a roaring fire in a pub with a glass of red in my hand. No rushing, no bickering, no whining and nobody asking me to do anything. Of course that’s pure fantasy!

The alarm has gone off. The first round of The Imperial March is coming from the kids bedroom. There is a whooping noise that can only mean Pudding is up and dancing to her brothers singing. The bin men are coming down the road – those bags need taking out! The dog needs to be let down the garden for a wee… there is no getting off the merry go round today. It’s onwards and upwards for this Mama Bear. 

How Come I Feel Guilty That My Kids Sleep?!

Everywhere I look, whether its emblazoned on t-shirts or bemoaned on Twitter there are Mum’s making statements about how little their kids sleep. Every time I see one I just shrink into the corner! Even the BBC has jumped in now – talking about the pros and cons of sleep training. Some experts are quoting that it is usual for kids to be up during the night right round until they are two. I honestly can’t imagine that happening in my house.

Both of my kids have slept through the night since they were 12 weeks old. My son in fact started sleeping through when he was 8 weeks (I used to wake both of them at 11pm for a dream feed before there is outcry about malnourishment!) By sleeping through the night I mean they sleep from around 6.45pm through to 7.30am. Every. Night. We go through the same routine every night. Tea, play, bath, milk, story, bed. Without fail, we religiously stick to it.

irenegoeleven / Pixabay

There is never any complaint from our eldest – never the request for one more story, another drink, another wee; nothing. He climbs into his bed, his head hits the pillow and that  is the end of it. By 6.30pm Pudding is begging for her bed – she downs that milk, dons her sleeping bag and I lay her in her cot with her comforter. She is asleep within 5 minutes. Heaven forbid you should wake either of them before 7am. Very rarely do I reach the bottom of the stairs and either of them is still awake.

So are we evil parents? Have I trained them like Pavlov’s dog to sleep? I am starting to wonder. It certainly wasn’t a conscious thing. I always believed that kids need structure and routine. I never used sleep training methods, I don’t have any strong feelings either way about cry it out or people who keep their kids in bed with them until they are 8. Each to their own in my opinion.

For us the structure worked and I guess we have a certain confidence in our own parenting. I don’t charge up the stairs to every squeak I hear, I don’t rush in to soothe every slight moan in the night. Equally I know the difference between a partially awake self soothing moan and a cry that needs my attention. Watch and wait is the motto in our house. If either of the children wake in the night, I wait just a couple of minutes. Do they need me? Or will my presence prevent them from going back to sleep? Is that a cry of frustration because their sleep cycle has ended or have they had a bad dream and need a quick cuddle.

dagon_ / Pixabay

The other thing I hear from other parents so frequently is that their child gets up at 5am, every day. This totally baffles me. How can this be good for anyone? Children need sleep to grow, adults need sleep to function. On very rare occasions, one of the kids may wake before 7am. If they are unable to self soothe in a couple of minutes then I will go in and put them back to bed. Never in a million years would I take them out of their room and downstairs to play. Why would I reinforce behaviour that I don’t want?

We do appear to be in the minority. But I honestly can’t begin to imagine how other parents cope. My kids are on the go from the moment their eyes open and by 7pm they are not the only ones in need of a rest! I also feel that it is so important for parents to get some ‘together’ time. Even if that is just curled up on the sofa with the latest box set and a large glass of red!

The fact that my kids sleep is both a blessing and a curse. I know that this post will be met with a bombardment of unpleasant comments – probably along the lines of ‘well good for you love, why don’t you jeff off.’ But I am hoping that the hiding out there behind the wall of tired Mum’s is another bunch of Mum’s. Who believe like me that kids not only can sleep through the night, but that a good bedtime routine works and that the whole house benefits from a great nights sleep. (Alternatively I await the mob….)



A Sticky Bum and The Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016

You know those days where everything appears to conspire against you?! I had such a day this week. It was the day before Pie went to school (more on that later). having finally recovered from a lack of sleep that could only be matched by Nuremberg drivers, I hit the day with positivity. Possibly this was my first mistake!

We had to go get the logo jumpers for Pie’s uniform. I was feeling pretty smug about my plan to go when everyone was back at school. No queuing for us – a quick in and out job. Hmmm yeh right. Having forced two small children into clothes and into the car we arrived at the school wear shop. Pie was banging on about the milkshake I had promised after the shopping, as we attempted to locate said jumpers. After failing miserably to find any, I asked an assistant. Off she went to the stock room, apparently they had loads out back… She was right they did – but only in age 2-3!! Parenting fail number 1.

Cunning plan totally flawed, but not to be disheartened off we trotted for a milkshake. Because you can’t renegade on a promise to a four-year old. They are like elephants they never forget! We popped over to one of our favourite cafes, kid friendly with amazing food. I plan most of my days around eating, so I already knew what deliciousness I was ordering. We sat waiting for my breakfast, Pie colouring and Pudding happily spitting half chewed rice cracker all over the floor. We waited and we waited… Finally after about 40 minutes and a word with the waitress breakfast arrived. Unfortunately by this stage both kids were done sitting, cue the fastest eggs in Birmingham. Those bad boys were delicious but they didn’t touch sides. We then beat a hasty retreat home, no school jumpers and slight indigestion.

jill111 / Pixabay

The afternoon passed in a haze of Star Wars and light sabre battles, as is customary at Pudding HQ. Tea had been decided on earlier that day. Pie had requested pizza, so with a very nutritional frozen pizza in the oven I figured I was onto a winner. Then it happened. The great Soy Sauce Disaster of 2016. Soy sauce with pizza I hear you ask? Well no, actually I though, what this tea needs are some beans. Whilst searching in the cupboards, Pudding at my feet there was a small thud. I thought nothing of it. Popped the beans in the microwave and checked on the pizza.

Pudding was laughing away so I turned to look. Holy hell. Unknown to me the thud had been the soy sauce falling over in the cupboard and who knew it could cause such devastation. It was pouring out of the cupboard, down the microwave off of the sideboard and straight onto Pudding’s head! Where the two sausages were licking it off her face and she was roaring with laughter. I have literally never seen so much soy sauce. It was everywhere. My exclamation spooked the sausages who then proceeded to walk soy sauce paw prints all over the kitchen floor.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

The impending clean up took some time and left Pudding in her pants and two sausage dogs cleaning their own paws. In all this I had totally forgotten about my nutritional pizza in the oven. Which was now burned to a crisp. As I mentioned I love eating, but I am by no means a dab hand in the kitchen. Luckily Pie is used to eating things slightly chargrilled – so we just got on with it!

Finally it was time for a bath and bed. Pudding was whingeing about teeth, so I figured I would give her half a dose of paracetamol to take the edge off at bedtime. I mean no one likes sore teeth right? I pick up the bottle of paracetamol. The buggering lid isn’t on properly. Don’t ask me why, it just isn’t. It falls from my hands, somersaults spraying paracetamol all over the toilet seat and then lands with a plop in the loo. Pie is roaring with laughter as I fish the bottle out. I give the seat a quick wipe. That is it. I am done now.

JeffersonLiu / Pixabay

Two small children decanted into bed, large glass of wine poured. Long exhale from me. About an hour later I pop to the loo. It is only after I sit down I realise my mistake. Should have done a better clean up of the paracetamol. Now I have the worlds stickiest bum! More wine please….


How to Raise a Sensitive Boy

Most people who see my four-year old charging around would not for one minute think he is sensitive. He doesn’t sit quietly engaged in a task, or play away from other children. You will normally see him tooled up with a stick or a light sabre! But don’t think for one second that my big boisterous boy is all that he appears.

scottwebb / Pixabay
He is a very sensitive soul. Pie will take everything to heart. Things you said weeks ago can resurface and need to be talked through. Almost as if he has been going over them, replaying the moment. If he thinks he has done something to upset you he wants to make amends. He wants everyone to be his friend! But he also struggles to keep all those feelings in check. Leading to huge outbursts over things most kids wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

Pie always wants to try to make you happy. He checks several times a day if I am happy. He definitely has my anxious nature. A trait wish I wish I had not passed on. But at least I know what I am dealing with. Saying that though sometimes he completely throws me. My happy, bouncy boy can be raging in a matter of seconds with no apparent cause. At one stage I questioned if there was something else going on. I have questioned my own parenting many many times. Finally I think I have him sussed. Not all the time obviously! I mean he is four, being irrational is his prerogative.

qimono / Pixabay
The stereotyping for boys to be tough and macho is embedded so early. Even without meaning to we can all fall into the trap. I have done it myself, I find myself saying things like be a big brave boy. Or worse still don’t be such a girl when he runs off from a spider! I know I shouldn’t say it. Why shouldn’t he be scared of spiders? His Dad is! What I say in jest he takes so to heart. I forget sometimes that he is only 4, that he can’t understand my teasing.

I don’t want to wrap him in cotton wool. Equally so I am trying to teach him that it’s ok to have feelings and emotions. It’s ok to be scared or anxious about things. That as his Mummy I will look after him. Realising how sensitive he is has made me look closely at how I parent him.

Now I think more about how I phrase my requests. I make sure he isn’t rushed out of the house, but has time to prepare himself. I try not to give him the plan for the whole day – or he incessantly worries that we won’t get it all done. Mostly I respect what he says. If he says I don’t want to go out and what we had planned isn’t important then I don’t force him. If we are going somewhere new I don’t build up his expectations. I let him discover things at his own pace.

The most important thing I have learnt is that he needs more reassurance. He needs those extra cuddles. He wants to say I love you and hear you say it back. The recognition that he is important and that his view matters. What he doesn’t need is endless stimulation and presents. He needs my time, my patience and my understanding.

Right time, right place to be a Mindful Mummy (or Daddy)?

Recently my hubby went on a ‘Stag Weekend’ so I was left flying solo with the three tots. Now we are officially in our ‘late 30s’ Stag and Hen dos are few and far between. So I geared myself up for the weekend and contemplated how I would approach it mindfully.

In preparation for all that the next 48 hours had to throw at me I reminded myself of some of the core principles of Mindfulness – empathy, ‘beginners’ mind’ and staying present:

  • I reminded myself to empathise as much as possible with the children. Their frustrations, concerns, worries and tantrums. For example I would be ready for the late afternoon ‘scraps’ and have strategies to cope (namely the telly!!). They tend to get a little rough with each other at this time and who can blame them? They are often tired, ‘hangry’ and frustrated about being cooped up in the lounge while I’m getting tea. I have learned to my cost that this is not the time to try and enforce creative ‘junk modelling’ time or some such. In our house, where everyone is early risers, downtime is definitely the order of the day at this point.


  • I gave myself a ‘pep talk’ about how important it is to allow the children the time and space to explore the world with their ‘beginners’ mind’. Therefore with the eldest this means being patient when out and about; to build in time for random stops (like when a heron was spotted looking incredibly dignified but also very much out of place in the urban wasteland behind Lewisham shopping centre – I totally missed it and would have walked on by had he not pointed it out). And to build in time for random questions too (like ‘what do snails eat?’).

For the twin tots this means ‘reconnecting with my breath’ A LOT. When the kitchen cupboards are being emptied again, when soil is being dug up, when snails are being brought to me (what is it about my kids and snails?!) in the kitchen, when they are ‘helping’ with the washing up…you get the idea!

double trouble AM

  • Finally I remembered the importance of being present for my children and giving each child my undivided attention when they needed it. For example after a tumble, when there is an important (in their mind) question or comment (about bugs, creepy crawlies and slimy things usually – see above), or when a new developmental milestone has been reached and is to be celebrated (twin 2 started to use her fork at the weekend competently and twin 1 began to put two words together when Daddy was away).


So this all sounds like a good plan doesn’t it? What could possibly go wrong?

Then it dawned on me as I was running up the stairs ‘two by two’ on the Saturday morning that being mindful all the time and being in sole charge of 3 tots was not entirely compatible. There would be times that weekend when choosing the mindful route would NOT be a good idea. 


As Ruby Wax commented (and I paraphrase) in her recent ‘Frazzled’ tour if we are mindful all of the time then nothing would ever get done. Mono-tasking mindfully is wonderful but there is also a time and place for multi-tasking too and a weekend when it is 1 parent and 3 children is very definitely THAT time. There was no way that I would be opting to shower ‘mindfully’ that weekend either; immersing myself totally in the experience, feeling the water on my body, listening to the sound of the water droplets, watching the steam rising and smelling the lovely shower lavender gel that I had purchased... Who was I kidding?! Instead I needed to follow my perfected two minute shower routine where a shower cap and dry shampoo are integral to proceedings, whilst keeping my ears peeled for World War 3 breaking out downstairs.

I was reminded of this again when I was enjoying a lovely interaction in the garden with twin 2 She was dancing and laughing – a real moment to be mindful of.  However, in the background I could see twin 1 just about to launch herself at one of our cats who seemed to be in a feisty mood.  I ended the mindful moment pronto in order to rescue the cheeky cat-teasing tot from a brawl with a potentially grumpy creature.

It was similar on the Sunday too. We’d met friends for a picnic in the park and twin 1 (who is clearly the adventurous one!) was intent on wandering far and wide looking for ducks and squirrels. There was no way this was the right time, nor the right place to immerse myself in conversations with other people and give them my full attention as per the mindfulness mantra. As many parents will appreciate I nodded along with conversations and dipped in and out as much as I possibly could whilst doing all I could to keep three children safe and well in a public space.

Finally my hubby returned on the Sunday afternoon with a bunch of flowers (AND a hangover of course) with him. This mindfulness malarkey is rubbing off on him and so he wanted to show me how grateful he was that I hadn’t complained (too much) about the weekend away. I allowed myself a moment to really study the bouquet. I drank in the colours, the textures, the fragrance, the sound that was made when I arranged them in the vase, and it was lovely. Then I brought myself back to reality and went back to multi-tasking – it was teatime after all.


However, not before looking around at my three sweet and mischievous offspring running around the place and allowing myself my own feeling of gratitude. I may not ALWAYS be able to approach life as mindfully as I aspire to at the moment – but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

What strategies do you have to cope on weekends when you’re ‘flying solo’?

Have you ever had a go at incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine? How’s it gone?

 Introducing The mindful Mummy mission
Hi there, I’m Hayley, the Mummy on a Mindful Mission or mummy_mindful on Twitter. I am a Mum to a 5 year old boy and toddler twins. A wife to a VERY lucky chap (ha ha) and a secondary school teacher in South-East(or Sarf-East if you’re a local – which I’m not) London. I blog about a mixture of these things at As well as also trying to raise awareness about Mindfulness – it’s benefits and different strategies that can be used easily by parents….or anyone else leading a busy life really. 
You can find Hayley on Twitter and Facebook. Pop over and say hi, don’t forget to say Pudding sent you 🙂

Teen & Tween Talent Spotting: After The Playground

Blogging about your teenage children is a very different matter to blogging about your baby. Teen and tween offspring are highly active on social media and, perhaps more importantly, so are their friends. This means that you will be highly censored. There will be limits placed on what you can say and which photos you can use. As you can see – I only just made it into this one. I’m squeezed in behind my eldest daughter!

After The Playground

On the other hand, it is definitely not all bad news. Ever the optimist. I decided to use the fact that I have older children to my advantage and recently launched a recruitment drive.

I put together a tongue in cheek CV for each of my children (and my husband) to work out what skills I could (exploit) harness to promote my blog.

Here are the skills that my family brought to the table. (without them even knowing it)

  • Husband – wry observations and witty anecdotes on raising three daughters which provide an endless supply of material. Useful to take with me to events as can be relied upon to find where we are supposed to be going/not say anything too embarrassing/get me home safely.
  • Eldest daughter – musical aptitude, video editing skills, provides material on kids leaving home and starting university and looks good in photos.
  • Middle daughter – IT skills, social media savvy, provides material on teen issues and looks good in photos.
  • Youngest daughter provides material on primary school kids and sentimental pieces on growing up, has a great eye for photography and looks cute in photos.
  • Pet rabbit – not quite sure yet but will be expected to contribute or will be removed from the team.

Pretty impressive or what? The moral of the story is this. If you have older kids and can get them on board they can definitely turn out to be more of an asset than a liability. To prove my point, here is a little video ‘we’ managed to put together. I honestly couldn’t have done this without them!

Introducing After The Playground

I am (in no particular order) a wife, a mother of three fabulous daughters (17,14 and 10 years), an academic with a PhD in epidemiology and a writer. And I am me. I fully intend to discover who that is and I’d love to share my experiences after the playground with you.

After The Playground was created out a perfect storm of unpleasantness during the early stages of 2016; pre-menopausal hormones, the not too distant prospect of empty-nest syndrome, a health scare and an especially nasty bout of flu left me feeling a little lost. It is my way of creating something positive from a potentially negative set of circumstances. I am no expert but as I find out what works for me I will share my experiences – I hope you find some of them helpful.
You can follow After The Playground on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Pop over and say hi! Don’t forget to say Pudding sent you 🙂


Are You Inflicted With Mum Madness?

Ok so we have all heard about the baby brain yes? But are you aware of the very common Mum Madness? Not so talked about perhaps but just as serious!

After my two children I thought that the baby brain would subside. It didn’t. It segways in to mum madness without you even realising. One minute you are putting car keys in the fridge. Next you are shouting at the toddler to stop licking shop windows…

AdinaVoicu / Pixabay

My kids provide no end of stupid to fall out of my mouth. Things that no one could ever have imagined saying. Part of Mum Madness is that the words come out before your realise how utterly ridiculous you sound!

The other major component to Mum Madness is the inability to organise anything. Or should I say you majorly overestimate or worse still underestimate how difficult getting anything done is. Pre children you would stroll from the house, tiny hand bag, bank card and iPhone. Not a care in the world. Head phones in, tunes pumping.

Fast forward 3 years. You are popping to the corner shop. Just a pint of milk that’s all you need. To be sure you have packed a bag the size of Bermuda – 14 outfit changes, 6 nappies, bottle of milk, travel steriliser… The toddler has his scooter and his bike, 6 stuffed bears and in our case a light sabre and a Harry Potter wand. You get to the shop looking like a removal company to discover you don’t have your reusable bag!! (Or your purse!)

StephanieRae_ca / Pixabay

It would just appear that post kids any chance you had of resuming functionality as a person goes out the window. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep. Perhaps it’s the 50,000 questions you answer in an hour. Or it could be that your poor brain is so busy trying to keep these small people happy and alive there is no room for anything else!

This post first appeared on

How can you tell if your parenting is good enough?

I was laughing with my husband tonight whilst discussing the daily parenting fails. It’s a regular occurrence. We buoy each other up after another less than perfect parenting day. For example today my eldest has gone to bed with a black eye (bouncy castle related injury) and a grazed elbow (he engaged legs before brain…) But both he and Pud’s went to bed smiling. For me as a parent that’s what counts.

The media is packed with unrealistic view of parenting. You know the ones. Beautiful pristine nurseries (always in bloody white, go figure!) Fantastic photos of families enjoying days out (no sign of whinging or ice cream covered clothes, shoes, ears…) Mum’s and Dads dressed in designer gear, no bags under their eyes or worry lines.  Not so the worlds portrayed by parent bloggers who can, in the search of humour, paint parenting in a light so unfavourable that it’s a surprise people pro-create at all. These honest and witty accounts provide a more realistic view of the highs and lows of parenthood. Although nothing can prepare you for the truth of raising a small human into a reasonable balanced adult. But how do you know if you are doing a good job?

johnhain / Pixabay

When professionals talk about ‘good enough parenting’ they mean you have met a child’s basic needs. Physically and emotionally they are cared for and safe. They aren’t insisting you take them to the zoo, chase them round soft play or shower them with presents. Children need to be loved and for you to be emotionally available to them. They need to be fed and watered (bit like a plant really) they need to be excercised, stimulated and put to bed. A child needs to be kept safe, clean and warm.

Clearly everyone has good and bad parenting days. Those times when everything comes together and great memories are made. Your confidence soars. Give yourself a mini fist bump, you have this parenting shizzle down. Next morning though, the clock has reset. What amazing parenting can you pull out of the bag today? Nope you got nothing have you? Because you can’t be A1 parent 24/7. There are too many variables that cannot be controlled. You’re tired, the kids are tired, the weathers bad and the mother of bad parenting days; you just don’t feel like parenting today! What you really want is to sit on the sofa and watch total shit on TV. No interruptions, no questions, just you and that remote. Don’t worry it doesn’t mean you are a crap parent, it just shows that sometimes we all want to get off the world for a while.

Wokandapix / Pixabay

We get so carried away with making everything perfect all the time. Trying to reach that elusive parenting dream, thrust upon us by advertising. We forget that it’s not the big gestures. It’s that cuddle, that story, that time spent together. Think back to your childhood memories. Was the first thing you thought about a material thing or was it time you spent with your parents?

Of course the days out are fun. As are those times when you provide children with new experiences. But what children want more than anything else is to feel loved and safe. To know that they can come to you, that you will be there for them. Not too busy to listen or too stressed to care. You know your parenting is good enough when that little person kisses you goodnight, snuggles down into his bed and whispers I love you, you are my best friend.

Parenting: The Bad & The Downright Disgusting

So you knew parenting would have good and bad bits right? But I bet you didn’t realise that it would at times just be downright grim! Of course you have seen the cutesy milestone cards ‘babies first smile’, ‘babies first wave’ ahhhhh. I expect someone brought those for your baby shower. Lovely little present for a Mum to be who is so full of hope and glowing with happiness. If you are a bit more cynical (like me) you may have seen the ‘alternative’ milestone cards; ‘first time baby wee’d in your face’ , ‘exploded nappy, shit to the armpits’ – yep they are pretty funny. In fact they almost make you take those rose-tinted glasses off.

TawnyNina / Pixabay

Oh ho ho ho I can hear you saying. Surely this post has been done to death? Everyone knows parenting is a hard and often thankless task… Yep it is, no news there. Not exactly an epiphany moment! Well this is the bad and the downright disgusting from a mother of two and a nurse to over 2000 babies. You ain’t seen nothing yet my friends…

The Bad;

  • Early mornings – I hate getting out of bed. I never have been a morning person. Children do NOT facilitate lie ins. Whether they are 3 days, 3 months, 3 years or 13 years. These pumped up duracell bunnies are up and at’em every morning. Unlike adults they don’t start the day gently with a coffee and a piece of toast. No No its light sabers at dawn…
GooKingSword / Pixabay
  • The noise – kids scream and they whine, babies cry and when they aren’t doing either of those they are still very LOUD! They talk loud, they sing loud and they play loud. They have a collection of noisy, irritating toys which play the same tinny melody over and over. Saying that silence is suspicious, very suspicious…
  • Twenty questions – yep so kids ask questions to learn. Unfortunately they will ask the same question 15 times in 10 minutes. Even if you answer it every single time, and explain your answer, they will continue to ask. Over and over and OVER like a monkey with a miniature cymbal. Until you are literally smoking from the ears. When they will turn round very innocently and say ‘you have said that Mummy’… Pass the GIN now!
stevepb / Pixabay
  • Food critics – have you ever spent hours cooking a meal to have it met with total disapproval? It is utterly soul-destroying. All those parenting books and magazines showing little darlings chomping happily. They lie. Most kids know if a vegetable has been secreted into a meal. They take one look at your culinary masterpiece, declare its disgusting without tasting it and fling it (or themselves) on the floor.
  • Refusing to sleep – argh this is the most frustrating thing. You know they are tired, be at the baby or the preschooler. Everyone will feel much better if they just have a little snooze. Will they sleep? Will they hell! You have rocked and shushed, made 2 drinks, tucked them in 10 times. But they are screaming, like a banshee. Repeat the above steps 5 times. Eventually they give in, you flick the kettle on for a quick brew. Before the damn thing has boiled they are awake again. Fully recharged, FML.
KManzela / Pixabay

The Downright Disgusting

  • Potty Poos – hooray you think we are in the potty training phase. No more disgusting nappies to deal with. My friend you are celebrating too soon. Because the one thing worse than a shitty nappy is having to scoop king kongs first dump of the day out of a potty. Shit is sticky, really sticky. It doesn’t just slide out and into the loo. It smears its way up the side, gets caught on the top and sits there like some hideous cake decoration. You can try to do the potty-skank to shake that bad boy off. But at the end of the day you know you are getting some loo roll and peeling it off. Usually with an accompanying wretching noise
  • Bogies, snot, dribble and slime – So your cute little baby has turned into a slightly sticky toddler. Usually excreting some kind of mucus out of one oraifice or another. Yummy. Worse still they insist on wiping this on you, on the sofa, the dog, the wall the floor and even the loo seat. Everytime you sit down there is a sticky wet patch to contend with. You look at the TV and the little darling has made a picture in the corner out of boogers. Whilst you try not to gag cleaning that delight up they are standing next to you raking those bogies out and eating them…
  • Germ Factories – all kids should come with a haz-mat label attached. They are literally crawling with bugs. Most don’t even seem to affect them for more than a day. But you catch little Timmy’s cold and you feel like you may have some kind of haemorrhagic fever. They also bring home some real delights like hand, foot and mouth. A virulent little bugger that has the whole family breaking out into tiny itchy blisters, a pox on all our houses. As for the infamous D & V well once your 2-year-old has come into the lounge said ‘Mummy’ and then promptly performed some kind of exorcist ritual over the washing airer you will know where I am coming from.
  • Eating – eurgh kids are such antisocial eaters. Worse than that chap in the pub who sprays crisps at you every time he says hello. Right off the bat they are grim. From newborn reflux all over your shoulder to weaning smoosh up the walls. Everything is half eaten. You put you hand down the side of the couch to find the remote to be greeted by a 4 day old half eaten banana covered in raisins. They eat with their mouth open, spray food out of their mouth and spit things they don’t like into your waiting hand.
tookapic / Pixabay
  • The licking phase – if you haven’t had this one yet you are in for a treat. Kids lick. Your arm, your face, the dog and these are the acceptablish things. It is not however; acceptable for them to lick shop windows, dried ketchup bottles at the cafe, the wheel of the car of the handle of the escalator (shudder). Besides being generally gross it is also exceptionally embarrassing to have to tell your child to stop licking things, you get some very odd looks…

There you have it – my list of The Bad and The Downright Disgusting bits of parenting. Would you agree? Have you got some other gems you would like to share?!


Island Living 365

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