Just to remind you all that this blog is no longer active, my full site is at Aimee Horton (but that’s boring with my cv on) however if you want to read my Perfect Bad Mummy posts you can catch them at www.passthegin.co.uk
Hi folks – just a reminder that this blog has moved and all my most recent posts are across at Aimee Writes.
If you’ve not signed up yet you’ve missed out on:
Dear wonderful subscribers/readers,
After having a fantastic time at cybher (where I learnt a lot, a bit about blogging, a lot about myself), I have decided to consolidate my two blogs together (did you know I had two?!) and plop them all on my www.aimee-horton.co.uk domain.
I know, I KNOW. This is EXACTLY what I said I wouldn’t do – but I think it’s for the best, especially as stuff is starting to cross over and I don’t know what’s here and what’s there.
I hope you’ll follow me across to the new blog and subscribe, the direct link to The Perfect Bad Mummy section is http://aimee-horton.co.uk/category/pbm/ and you can subscribe in the right hand bar.
It is still work in progress, so if you see any dead links/missing images, please bear with me and let me know!
Thanks again, and see you over there!
We’re only two more sleeps away from Cybher and I’m feeling a mixture and excitement of nerves. Will they let me in? Will my hair be ok? Will anybody actually talk to ME? And of course, What do I want to get from this fantastic day?
If you haven’t already seen my meet and greet you can see it here. Please make sure you come and say hello if you see me, I’ll be the short one with fantastic shoes but looking lost.
Also, finally, just another opportunity to say thanks to KyNa Boutique for sponsoring me. It means a lot, especially as their clothes are amaze-bogs.
See you on Saturday SQUEE!
Wooden toys, plastic toys, bright toys, fiddly toys, loud toys, messy toys, toys which contain a million bits, toys that contain batteries, toys for imaginary play, toys to develop motor skills, toys that make them laugh, toys that help them learn. They are all meant to achieve the same thing “entertaining and developing your child”. This is probably the case, but they also appear to have another purpose.
To cause a nervous breakdown before killing me.
Oh don’t look so shocked, you all know what I’m talking about. I can’t be the only one to have a house which appears to be bursting at the seams with these little death traps. Death traps which are broken down and segregated into their own little groups, each with it’s own mission, it’s own task to help them achieve the final goal.
Firstly, there’s the loud group. These are often gifts. The Xylephone from Nan and Grandad, the Guitar and talking laptops from
cool Uncle John, the cars and racing track from Granny. Tasked to come out of the woodwork when I have a headache, when I’m trying to concentrate, when one of them is trying to sleep. The noise works away at you, starting as just an annoyance, getting into your brain so that you sing their songs in the shower, and mutter their phrases as you tidy up, niggling away, then they work down your neck, into your shoulders, before your spine is tense, until, finally you stand on a Rice Krispie, and feel the need to lock yourself into the toilet for 20 minutes to compose yourself.
Then there’s the toys which have lots of bits. You know the ones I mean,shape sorters are a good example. We have these eggs. They’re great. They’re in a little plastic egg box and have lids on and can be sorted into shapes and colours, very educational. Every day they get lost. Every day I end up crawling around fishing them out from under the coffee table, finding them behind my bottle of Black Stump in the wine rack, IN MY SLIPPER. I hate it. I can’t REST when there are toys not fully in a set. On Thursday night I struggled to sleep because I KNEW that one of the dinosaurs from Harry’s bucket was in the back of Matthew’s car and he was in Scotland. You can always be sure that if a toy is missing a piece (one of the balls from Hungry Hippos is missing), it’s the game they want to play. I can’t STAND the look of disappointment and I can’t STAND the feeling of disorganisation, knowing that somewhere in my house there is the final puzzle piece was lurking, hiding, mocking me. Like a bad ass game of hide and seek.
The ones that should be perfectly safe but are dangerous are amongst the worst, giving me heart failure, images of broken bones and frequent trips to A&E flash before my eyes. They tell my children how to use them incorrectly. We have the xylophone which is used as a skateboard, it has wheels on it, so is placed upside down and skids across the floor…often left for me to trip over. It’s the same with the ball and hammer set. You know the thing I mean, a plastic thing where you can hit balls into with a hammer and they roll down and out. Can’t remember the official name for it, as it’s known in our house as “the hand catcher”. Fatso always shoves his hand down the ball shaped hole and his little chubby wrists get stuck and I have to wiggle them out amid a flood of tears and snot. Even simple fancy dress costumes can cause problems when they involve spiderman doing intricate balancing poses off the back of MY LOVELY LEATHER CHAIR which I only witness as I’m coming out of the shower.
Finally, there’s the sneaky ones left to kill me. They often come under the disguise of cars. Strategically nestled on the second step down, hidden from view because of the stair gate, ready for you to stand on, to trip you up. Although, sometimes other toys join in this group, a swing, swinging back and smacking you in the face, or a foam rocket launch thingy majiggy that shoots across the room smacking you in the back of the head. Marbles skittering across the tiled floor just as you’ve put your heels on causing me to stumble and slide across, only saving myself by landing on the sideboard. All of them working together to create a comedy sketch style demise.
There are others, others which personally I think should get you signed off motherhood with stress. Paints for example. Crafts. Glitter.Glue. Transformers. I could go on, but just typing this is causing me to hyperventilate.
Just remember troops – keep your eyes peeled – over and out.
The other night I couldn’t sleep. Matthew was asleep on the sofa (mouth wide open and snoring), and I was stuffed up with cold feeling sorry for myself with a honey and lemon. I was flicking aimlessly through the channels for something that didn’t require too much attention but kept me mildly amused. I landed on a show from my youth, one I remember sitting in bed in my bedroom at my mum and dads house, on my own laughing at every Friday night. Probably not laughing at the full joke, but got the gist.
Harry Enfield and Chums
Two sketches in particular tickle me (that proves I’m old doesn’t it? When something “tickles” me). The first being Harry and LuLu – a pair of “toddlers” where Harry, the eldest plays innocent whilst hurting/hindering/or setting up his little sister LuLu. This rings so true, as Fatty apparently taught The Beast to say “DIE DIE DIE” (well, he was the second excuse after trying to drop one of the teachers from Pre-School in). The hero worship in LuLu’s eyes as she’s lead to trouble is also a familiar sight as I’ve often witnessed The Fat one being lead towards the cat, the TV remote or stair gate.
The second is more terrifying. More unnerving, more unsettling then any other sketch I’ve seen on the television ever. Why? Because it’s my future.
Kevin and Perry
As that clock chimes and the 12 year old turns into a teenager I see my future unravelling before me. Admittedly The Beast isn’t as nice all the time as Kevin the 12 year old seemed to be (although he’s equally if not more hyper). In fact he already has elements of a teenager with his strops and his answering back, his stubbornness when he doesn’t want to do something, along with his amazing ability to not hear certain things, but I swear if I even type a tweet containing the word chocolate or Spiderman he hears me.
Why am I scared I hear you ask? After all, my three-nager doesn’t clean the toilet after a number two (or the floor after a number one). He has been known to say he hates me when he doesn’t get his own way, he moans through any dinner that isn’t chips, he looks at me with an expression of confused bafflement when I question him about his day at school, his taste in music is already far more advanced then mine, and he frequently reminds me that I’m not cool. I drive him everywhere and I pick up after his trail of destruction as he sits open mouthed gazing at the television.
But what fills me with fear, more then anything else, is when Perry bumbles in. Perry. The slightly clumsy blunderbuss. The slightly chubby pale faced one, who appears to be easily led but actually has his own mind. Oh wait, who does that remind you of? That’s right. The Fat one.
So I’m going to have two of them. Two stinking, grumpy, aggressive teenage boys. Boys that have spots, that shout at me, that slam the doors, that swear and lie, that suddenly are obsessed with boobs, and their mates, who’s washing is three times the size. They will probably smoke, drink, stay out all night, and I can’t see them saying “I love you bestest in the whole world mummy” while asking me to give them a kiss and spiderman lifting him up to the ceiling cuddle. Also, at 7 o’clock, I’m not going to be able to put them to bed smelling clean and fresh, shut the stairgate, and that be that until morning.
I have no way of stopping this, no way of ensuring that my sons turn into cool, polite, nice children. I’ll try my hardest obviously, drumming please, thank you “pardon stop muttering” into them. I’ll engage with them on a regular basis, but as far as I’ve been made aware, as hard as I can try, teenagers are tricky characters. So instead, I have to prepare, prepare for the grunts, learn what to get cross about, what to let go, and focus on the good things (lie ins being my number one priority). There’s no point arguing with them, it wont get me any where.
Plus, they’re going to be bigger then me.
Because last night I made Chicken with Blueberries and Cinnamon (it was amazebogs), I had some blueberries left over. I didn’t fancy making blueberry muffins again so I decided to make something else. Therefore, this recipe is based a lot on this one from delicious magazine. But with an Aimee twist as it seemed a little too stiff for me.
Total Prep to Serve time 1 1/2 hours.
225g Self Raising Flour
125g chilled butter and diced.
175g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 large apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon of Golden Caster Sugar
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
What you do
It would look better but I MAY have used plain instead of self raising and only realised when it was in the oven.
My boys are getting older. They’re starting to interact more, and they both enjoy their little imagination games at their own levels.
The Beast is Spiderman “cccsshhhh” “Hello Man, I’m Spiderman” “You be the butterfly and I be the spiderman”, and Fatty is just all about pushing his cars around and wandering around carrying various small figures in his hands “KKSSHHHHHHHHH”. They’re both actually very cute.
I find it much easier to join in with the Fat One, it’s just much more simple (read my level) compared to the Beast and his ideas.
I’m RUBBISH at imaginary play, partly because I really have no desire to fight with webs whilst flapping my arms pretending to be the butterfly, and partly because I’m obviously not “down with it”. The Beast frequently tells me off for doing it wrong ”no, you don’t flap your wings like that” “no, spiderman doesn’t shoot his webs like THAT silly” “no no no no NO MUMMY, Dinosaur doesn’t talk like that he talks like this”, and even the time I was relegated to mountain status, I failed to do my job properly, I was bored of lying on the floor while Buzz launched to infinity and beyond using my stomach as a launch pad, whilst Spiderman shot webs at my face. So I had a quick look at twitter, and promptly got told off. I wasn’t even allowed to close my eyes and have a nap.
Fatty is much easier. I just get to push cars along the floor “brrummm brummm” or “choo choo” and I do a cracking building a tower and looking gutted when it’s knocked down, causing his little fat face to wobble with hysterics. He doesn’t care what sort of voice I use as long as it’s a bit silly and contains a bit of body slamming in the process. Rough nut.
The nice thing about the above, is that because their personalities are growing and developing, they’re beginning to play together, entertain one another, make up their own games. Fatty will happily gaze in awe at the Beast while he does, well, anything. I can actually go for a wee without an audience, I am starting to remember what it’s like to apply eye liner without a car driving up my leg. It’s amazing.
But there is a downside to the whole playing on their own. Fatso REALLY REALLY loves The Beasts toys. I mean, properly loves. As soon as he spots his favourite Dinosaur lying on the floor he pounces on it “KSSHHHHH KSHHHHH” carrying it about jabbing it at other toys or in the air. As soon as he notices Spiderman hanging from his web stuck to the patio doors he’s on it happily bending his legs and fingers “SSKKKKZZZZ SKKZZZZ” and as soon as the stair gate to the top floor is left open he is up those stairs as quick as a flash and grabbing the Hot Wheels cars and lining them up or dropping them down the ramp on the Fisher Price Garage.
The Beast, on the other hand, has amazingly rediscovered some toys he’d discarded for being “babyish” and “boring” and they are suddenly cool and “big boy not toggler” toys. Such a coincidence that they’re the same toys that The Fat One loves.
So we have fights. Proper, fisticuffs. Yesterday there was this car. A car which has been hiding at the bottom of the toy box for about a year and a half. A car which The Beast never liked that much. A car which The Fat One is in love with . You press the button on its top and it revs its engine before racing across the floor at top speed. Suddenly The Beast likes it a lot. ”THAT’S MY CAR”. I try and get them to share, but at one point I came back into the room after putting some washing in the dryer to find The Beast lying on his back, car above his head shouting “no no no THAT’S MY CAR” while Fatty was body slamming him and hitting him on the stomach and face.
I may have stood and watched briefly laughing, before confiscating the car.
Now, we’ve tried to fob The Fat one off. He has his own age appropriate dinosaurs, he has his own chunky cars, he has his own more suitable little people to play with, even his own Buzz and Woody, but at the end of the day he’s really not interested…even if the Beast is. He quite like playing with them all.
So I’ve made an executive decision,
I’m going to just leave them too it, sumo wrestling for babies…I could make a FORTUNE. I’m going to play it by ear. Sometimes I will let them fight it out, sometimes I will tell one or the other off.
I guess the biggest thing I’ll encourage is sharing, although they both share quite well at nursery/when friends come to play, sibling sharing is a totally different kettle of fish isn’t it? You would rather play with the most boring toy in the world rather then have your brother or sister play with it. Especially if they REALLY REALLY want it.
Oh yay, the three-nager appears to have reappeared.
It started the other week, when he was off colour. I tried to be sympathetic, after all he wasn’t just “off colour”, he was boy “off colour”. I tried to be understanding when he said his cheerios hurt his throat, when he said that the Yorkshire Pudding’s made his “tummy jumpy”, however, I drew the line when he suggested perhaps a hot chocolate with marshmallows would be “just the right medicine”.
So we’ve had a bit of a rough week with food, but are starting to get back on track. However, the attitude hasn’t gone. The suddenly slow when it comes to stripping down for the bath, the sudden selective hearing when I say “five more minutes until we go” or the sudden argumentative stroppy response of “NO IT’S NOT IT’S SUNNY” when I’m trying to explain that he can’t wear “high up sleeves and shorts” because it’s too cold. I would also like to point out it wasn’t just cold, it was peeing it down outside.
I know, I KNOW, this is what having a toddler is all about. I know they’re “trying”, that they’re “a handful” that they are “little characters”. But OH MY GOD am I the only person who just sometimes just wants to have a melt down? I have been
stressed and hormonal laid back and chilled all week, so it’s to be expected a total surprise that The Beast has managed to rub me up the wrong way.
Tuesday was amazingly the worst. By amazingly I’m not sure how, when I only picked him up from Pre-School at 3.30pm, and went for tea with his friends so got home for 5.30pm. That means approximately one and a half hours of time together.
In the morning we started off well, he got dressed nicely, got in the car nicely (albeit, his new method of having to climb on the tyre and swinging in on the seatbelt Spiderman style is starting to get slightly tiresome), trotted up to his new pre-school room (he’s in the BIG class now – *sob*), didn’t get upset waved me goodbye.
I picked him up at the end of the day, he was a bit chatty and slow at putting his shoes on, but I put it down to the fact he was excited to tell me about what he’d been up to, especially that he’d had to use a knife to use the interactive whiteboard because he was too small (yes you read that correctly a knife - on further investigation it turns out a plastic toy one but it didn’t sound good did it?). He was excited about going to Heidi’s and I was looking forward to a brew and a chat.
He was a bit clingy “play with me mummy” which I feel bad about becuase Larry had had a melt down and was collapsed on top of me on the sofa.
We got home, they both had a snack and I spoke to my mum on the phone. This is where it all went wrong. I was on the phone and he brought his toys to show me, I was just saying goodbye and told him I would be with him in one minute, pop it on the sofa and I’d be right over. He threw it on the floor, I told him not to do that, he kicked them. I was irritated. I didn’t shout but I got a bit stroppy.
We went upstairs to the top floor to play in his room while before and while I was running the bath. We played a bit, but when it was time to get undressed he wouldn’t, he didn’t want to. He refused to strip down. I stripped the fat one down and dumped him in the bath, I tried – probably in a bit of a lacklustre way – to coax him again. He refused, just DOWN RIGHT IGNORED ME. He’d been allowed to play on my phone, and I’d told him if he got in and out of the bath quickly he could have another go while we were waiting for Daddy to get home to read the story.
He ignored me. So what did I do? Did I pin him to the ground and strip him down throwing a screaming child in the bath? No. Did I send him in the hall? No. Did I continue to attempt to coax and bribe? No. I couldn’t be bothered, I was just too tired.
Instead, and I’m not proud of this, I gave up. I got the Fat one out of the bath and put his PJs on. I let him roam about the room, watch the end of the bedtime hour, I sat on the sofa in his room. Briefly making a half attempt to pretend I was going to ban the bedtime story.
He obviously guessed I was a bit miffed at him, as he started bringing his toys over “HELLO MUMMY” <his chin on his chest in his best pretend voice> “HELLO MUMMY WILL YOU PLAY WITH ME?”
“no Theo. I don’t want to play with you, you’ve been naughty and made me sad as you wont get in the bath like I asked you too”
“NO – YOU’VE MADE ME SAD AS YOU WONT GET IN THE BATH” (clever)
“No darling, you’ve been naughty”
“NO – I HAVEN’T I’VE BEEN A GOOD BOY, I’M A GOOD BOY”
“No, and unless you’re going to get in the bath you can go and sit over there as I don’t want to talk to you” (classy)
“BUT I WANT TO TALK TO YOU”
“But I don’t want to talk to you”.
This went on for some time, until Matthew got home. He managed to sort it as I sulked on the sofa until The Beast apologised. Then of course I had to apologise as I wasn’t very nice either.
Sometimes I don’t think I’m grown up enough to be a Mummy, and I think that conversation may prove my point. Please please PLEASE tell me I’m not the only person who has petty silly arguments with a child who isn’t even CLOSE to teenager age?
This isn’t a post I’m particularly proud of, let’s face it, who would be?
I’ve only just come to terms with the fact that the three and a half year old beast is smarter then me. I’m becoming wise to his crafty sneaky ways, and although I shouldn’t admit it, I’m quite proud of them.
The Beast doesn’t do anything sinister, just the odd thing, for example on Easter Sunday claiming he was “allll full up” at breakfast, leaving it exactly 19 minutes before asking for chocolate.
Or the time he convinced me to let him put his Spiderman costume on over his jeans and t.shirt, only to point out that it was now no longer too cold to go outside in it, as he has his clothes on too. (I should have seen that one coming really).
Or perhaps the time he managed to con me into calling him a “big boy” after a 20 minute game of “why?”, then reminding me that I said once he was a “big boy” he could have two wheels on his scooter instead of three. Oh.
However, I do take issue to the fact that a child who isn’t even 18 months old for another 10 days has started to outwit me, what I can’t decide is, if he means to or not, and if that is better or worse?
An example of the said outsmarting is Fatso and his constant stash of dummies. I have no idea where he keeps them, but whenever I think I’ve hidden them all on a shelf in his bedroom (he’s only really meant to have them at nap time…but that’s another post for later in the week), he appears a few minutes later looking very pleased with himself dummy in mouth.
I don’t understand where they are, I know that there are still three missing. I’ve checked under the sofa, under the coffee table, in his sock drawer, under his mattress, in the toy box. But they are nowhere to be found. I also don’t know how he keeps topping up the supply, does he sneak out of bed at night and do the switch?
I probably shouldn’t be surprised, for as long as he could crawl, the fat one has also set up a hidden stash of treats somewhere on the middle floor. I didn’t notice to start with, I just thought it was just the odd end of a bread stick he’d dropped from the day before. However, when he started sitting in front of the tv with a full packet of raisins, or a ginger nut biscuit (WE HAVEN’T HAD THOSE FOR MONTHS! I don’t think I’ve even given him one before!!), I realised something was a miss.
I’ve looked behind the sofa, inside the speakers, in the tissue box. NU-THING.
So where do I go from here? How have I not noticed things sneaking up the stairs? But more worryingly, what will I do when they are teenagers? I don’t stand a chance do I?
Perhaps (as I quote John Bishop), “everyday, a little bit of lovliness falls off as they grow up”, maybe a little bit of their clever, crafty, sneaky side falls off too? Is that how a boy who WON’T SHUT UP FOR FIVE MINUTES, suddenly turns into a grunting mass with no communication skills? (I have no proof that this is what happens, I’m just going on the rumours I’ve heard).
Either way. I need to know where this food stash is as I’ve run out of chocolate digestives.