Saturday, 4 June 2011

Children = gross.

Children = gross. True fact.

Today was a GREAT day. 

This morning Alex got up with Roman and took him out to play at the allotment and do some shopping - I slept till 10am. Heaven.

I got up just as they got home and Alex made us poached duck eggs on toast for breakfast, with fresh OJ. Om nom nom!

Alex went back to bed for a nap and Roman and I did crafty things, making cards and pictures and playing with stickers, then snuggled on the sofa reading his new story books (thank you aunty Anna, Roman's new favourite person!) and did tickling and lion kisses. (He licks my face.)

Alex got up, we had coffee and cakes, Roman ate a gross amount of breadsticks and strawberries.

We went into town and visited the library and then bought some paint to decorate our flat.

We came home, had savoury pancakes for dinner (with sausage casserole - you HAVE to try it, it's seriously good) then piled the boys into the bath before snuggling on the sofa with a DVD and a gajillion cuddles before they went to bed.

In amongst that Roman poked his fingers up my nose then licked them; he tried to eat mouldy bread he pulled out of the bin. He tried to dip Jasper's dummy in the loo and suck it. He licked the ground at the allotment. He put pancake up his nose. 

He climbed out of the bath, ran naked into the lounge, did a poo on the floor, picked it up and handed it to Alex saying "here you go Daddy. What a funny thing I am!"

Yep - you read that right. Read it again. There we go.

That's what kids are like. They are cute - but bloody disgusting! 

I'm DEFINITELY buying him this!

(Dad - FYI - that's not an invite to post links to slogan babygrows that say "Daddy's little squirt" on them in the comments :-p haha!) 

I'm not a failure.

A lot of the time I - and most Mums, I suspect, though we don't admit it - feel like I'm failing my children. Failing to feed them well enough, to play with them enough, to entertain or educate them enough. I fail to stimulate them enough. I fail to comfort or amuse them enough. I fail to buy them the right things, enough things, enough trips out. I fail to provide for them. I fail them because I don't work, so they're stuck with me all the time. I fail them because I have to leave them sometimes. Whatever I do I fail them, over and over and over. 

These are the thoughts - the many failures - that I lie awake most nights going over in my mind.

This week I've been reminding myself of the other side.

My two year old can count to ten. He can do that because I taught him, I taught him to do it, to count things and recognise the numbers when he sees them. I taught him that - and a great many other things too, like recognising "R for Roman", like his good manners, please, thank you, pardon me, sorry, excuse me, bless you. I taught him left and right. I taught him how to put on his own trousers. I didn't fail - all of those are big achievements, for him but also for me because I taught him. I educated and encouraged and congratulated him and he can do those things because of that.

When he's excited, he runs to me to tell me - he wants to share his excitement with his Mummy. 
When he's happy he wants to cuddle and kiss me to show me so.
When he's scared, it's me he cries out for.
When he's angry, it's me who can calm him down.
When he's tired, it's me who can hold him and settle him to sleep.
When he's nervous, it's me he looks to for reassurance.

If I was failing him, he wouldn't turn to me. If he thought I was letting him down in any way he wouldn't be thrilled to see me, comfortable enough to shout at me, happy to play with me or ignore me. He isn't clingy but he knows he can always get a cuddle if he wants it. He knows I will never ignore him or reject him - and he knows that because of that he can do those things to me, because I'll still be there.

My baby is a happy baby. As soon as he sees me he smiles in greeting - because he's happy. He's happy in large parts because he just is, he's a happy boy - but that couldn't last if I didn't give him the things he needed - if I was failing him he wouldn't be able to be so happy. He's happy because he's healthy and comfortable and because I cover the other things - feeding, changing, washing, playing - he gets to stay in the happy that's his natural state.

You know what? I'm not a failure.

I don't think I'll win any awards for world's best Mummy - but to these boys, I'm that. To these boys, because I try, because I love them so, so, so much, I'm the best to them. There are all kinds of things I could do better, and some days are better than others - but I do my best, and for them that's enough. They're happy. They love me back. They don't think I'm a failure.

Because I'm not.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

It's official - I'm a chubby cripple.

Today was the day I finally saw an osteopath. For a LONG time (since my early teens) I've had problems and pain with my back. For all that time, many, many times I've been to see doctors and each time I've been sent to see physiotherapists and they've said "bend this way, bend that way, get on all fours and do an impression of a cat" and sent me on my merry way.

All this time I've done those exercises religiously and managed to stop my back getting too much worse but it's certainly not got better. My first pregnancy hurt a lot a lot - particularly in the hip and lower back area. Afterwards it took a long time to feel near to comfortable again. The second pregnancy totally wrecked me. By halfway through I was seeing the physiotherapist weekly and on crutches. Shortly later I was in a wheelchair. I couldn't walk. Not just that - I couldn't even get around the house, or up the stairs, or lift my son, or sit on the floor, or get out of bed. It all hurt so, so much and it was soul destroying because I was being such a terrible Mummy to Roman and failing the baby inside me before he was even born. I was taking strong pain killers and they were poisoning the baby I was carrying (I know they weren't, I wouldn't have been given them if they did but you can't stop that Mummy guilt) and did I mention IT HURT? Eventually my midwife insisted I see someone and they decided to give me a C-section just after 37 weeks after a few days in hospital on some very exciting pain relief. 

I have the scoliosis, the horrific SPD, the sciatica, the pain. My scoliosis has got worse and I have a hunch and my right shoulder has dropped a couple of inches and my torso is twisted to the left (or my hips to the right, depending how you view it) my legs and feet ended up in new and interesting positions meaning that I now walk with my toes pointing in and on the outer edge of my feet - which is apparently a bad thing. I still can't walk very far, I can't carry Roman, I can't really carry Jasper come to that. My back hurts constantly, I have to take painkillers every day, my legs feel like they're going to twang out of the joints holding them on. When I walk I look like that giant cockroach thing in "Men in Black" that wears the Edgar suit - like I don't really know how to use a human body.

SO, today I saw the osteopath. She read my notes and said "oh god" a lot and did a lot of head shaking. Then said "all the things that are difficult to fix and complicated, you have them". Then she made me strip (I'm PRETTY sure this was just for her own satisfaction) and got me to contort into all kinds of positions that were all the more embarassing for being in my underwear. Then she poked and prodded me. Then some more uncomfortable bending. Then she told me the action plan.

I am being referred. A lot.

More physio. 
One person for the upper back - to pull my shoulder blade in and lift my dropped right shoulder.
Another person for my hips and lower back to pull together everything the relaxin/SPD has altered - with added sexy support belt.
Another person for my feet - to give me thingies to put into my new sensible shoes I've been ordered to buy to stop me walking like a freak. 
A hydrotherapist for pleasurable torture in the pool.
An accupunturist for poking and stabbing for pain relief.
A masseuse for nice poking and prodding and pummelling.
A pilates class.
Then she's going to meet with a surgeon to see what next steps beyond that will be needed, and whether they should x-ray me now or later (because I'm young and breastfeeding she'd rather hold off but he might want to zap me).

All the poking and prodding she did today hurt too - "This will hurt, but to assess you I have to hurt you" (sadist) so tonight I'm sitting like the hunch back of Notre Dame in a proper chair after Alex had to pick me up off the floor when I tried to turn around and everything went SPASM SIEZE PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN. Good times. 

That was my Thursday - how was yours?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cybermummy meet and greet

Carly at Mummy's Shoes has started a Cybermummy meet and greet thingymabob where everyone who is going is posting some details about themselves so we all have an idea who's who when we get there (phew! I'm terrified of walking into a big room full of strangers!) and it seems like a smashing idea so here's mine!

Name; Elizabeth Locke 

Blog; Mommatwo

Twitter ID; @mommatwotweets

Height; 5'8"

Hair; lots, bleached (seriously, lots)

Eyes; two, blue, aside from the brown bit. Poor function. Little co-operation.

Likes; blogging, mocha, colourful tat, whinging.

Dislikes; beige, Top Gear, Daily Mail readers, whingers. 

(this isn't the most recent pic of me - just the most flattering, and my boy is scrummy)

Getting bigger.

Today we swapped the chairs in the P&T (that's Phil and Teds to the uninitiated) so that Jasper is no longer slid underneath in the lie flat "tomb" as Alex calls it - instead he's in a chair sitting up. It's nicer for him because he can see around and be stimulated by everything around us when we go out - but it's still laid back enough that he can snooze comfortably if needs be (if we're going on a long walk I'll still swap them back so he can lie down I think - but short trips he can snooze in the chair) and it's nice that people can see him now when we're out (rather than thinking I'm pushing an empty pushchair that it's ok for them to bash with their trolleys and such like) but it breaks my heart a little that my tiny baby is so big already. It's only minutes ago I was pregnant and desperate to have him - and now he's a proper person who wants to look at things, and can babble at me and chatter at people that coo at him in his pushchair :(

Looking like he's waving, sheepishly...

Om nom nom, Wonky Donky

Mummy, you are SO boring.

Still with the camera? Srsly?

It's a good job he's cute!

Some days you have to remind yourself that you love your toddlers - you have to remind yourself because sometimes - and in the case of my eldest, Roman, most days - they do something or say something so totally beyond the pale that you just can't think of an appropriate way to react. 

Some of the things he says and does leave me shuddering with embarrassment - like today. 

Roman was an angel all morning in the flat and, as promised, because he was being so good we packed up in the pushchair and set off into town for a jaunt around the library before lunch. 

Roman had clearly decided before we set off that he hasn't caused me enough pain for a while, so today he piled all the mortification he could into an hour out of the flat. 

First of all he asked me why the lady had a beard in the works - it wasn't a lady, it was a man with long hair, and he was serving us; "Mummy, funny lady assa beard. Funny lady?" the funny lady nice man and I just pretended not to have heard and smiled at each other politely, both blushing but neither having a clue what to say. I distracted Roman with some stickers from my bag and off we went!

We get to the library and initially we're following the same ole same ole routine - Roman climbs out of his pushchair and runs into the kids room where he stacks up all the cushions, then knocks them over, then repeats the process whilst I return all the books we took out on our previous visit - then I manage to calm him down and stop him throwing cushions around long enough to pick some books. Only today, after knocking the cushions off the table (which he was standing on) and telling me he was "very very dangerous" (sigh...) he took his telling off like a man...then pushed over the pushchair (with Jasper asleep in the bottom) and whilst I was laid full stretch across the floor so I could catch it and stop Jasper getting hurt, Roman did a runner. Out of the kids room, right across the library, shouting. The librarian looked at me laid out on the floor and darted after Roman, who was heading directly for the door - of course! 

"Look at me lady, I like running away! Chase me lady, I running AWAY!" 

Little sod!

Between us we caught him, got him strapped into his chair, faced down the looks of disgust from the people in the library who have clearly never had - nor met - toddlers and walked home. No library books for you, Roman! 

Was that the end of it? Was it heck. On the way home we had one last nugget of joy from my angelic looking son. Pointing, shouting - really shouting - "Look Mummy, a big fat man in a wheelchair! Oy! Big fat man! Delicious ice cream?" 

Kill me. Kill me now. 

Ner ner ner ner Mummy! Look at me!

Behind bars...a Momma can dream!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Review; Top That publishing.

This week we were VERY excited to learn that we were chosen as reviewers for Top That Publishing and we got our first parcel; we love books in this house and Roman is very much Our Child when it comes to reading. He spends hours sitting on the floor beside his bookcase going through his books and telling Doggy Puppy his stories - he reads to Jasper regularly and at bed time we have to tell him before we get in the room how many stories he can have or he just won't go to sleep because he'll keep asking for more.

With that in mind a parcel arriving with free books in on the day we'd failed to make it to the library was massively exciting - not only was there a parcel Roman was allowed to open, a joy in itself, but that parcel contained two brand new shiny books for him! 

The books we got were "Hic" by Jaclin Azoulay and "When I dream of ABC" by Mr Henry Fisher (!).

We read "Hic" first - Roman was very excited by the front cover - he loves pigs - and he climbed onto my knee (kneeling in the hallway, he couldn't even wait to let me get to a chair!) and chanted "You read it Mummy" loudly! The book is delightful. I won't spoil the story but the gist is that the piglet, Snuffletrump (how cute!) has hiccups and all the animals on the farm try to help him to stop - Roman loved the simple narrative, he LOVED the hiccups (after the first page he was shouting "HIC" with me each time - and us shouting "HIC" was making Jasper giggle madly, so a hit with both my boys!) and I was totally charmed by it. The pictures are fabulous - cute without being cutesy and beautifully done, looking like real paintings on real canvas. The book itself is great quality - thick, strong paper - nice and durable when being handled by toddlers, which is an important factor often missing in children's books. It's a nice size - quite big as picture books should be but not so much that Roman can't read it himself. The characters have lots of personality and there's humour right through - my favourite part is when Cow says "Goodness moo!". 

After reading "Hic" through twice we moved on to "When I dream of ABC". I have to admit to being a little reluctant to start this one - I'd really enjoyed "Hic" and this book is much, much thicker - Roman is two, he has a very short attention span and when books are too long he gets bored and wanders off - he'd generally rather read seven short books than one long one (I think he feels a bit cheated in some way - who knows!).

How wrong was I! This is by far the longest book Roman has ever sat through - and we sat and read it cover to cover three times then flicked back and forth looking at the pictures - which are just, just wonderful (PLEASE click on the link above and check out the "look inside" button under the main picture - it is seriously, seriously gorgeous!) the book is funny, sweet, silly and giggly - Roman is now calling himself Roman Robot (or rather Woman Wobot, funny little speach impediment boy!) because the robot is his favourite page and I have to keep going back to both that and octopus. I am totally in love with this book; I want to make copies of the pages and frame the artwork for the flat, it is so, so gorgeous. I kind of don't want Roman to read it because he'll scruff it up with his grubby little fingers and I want to keep it all nice for me - but he loves it as much as I do. Even his Dad has sat and read it to him a number of times because he loves it too - and his attention span for reading books is shorter than the two year old's!

I said when I started doing reviews that I would be honest and mention all the negatives to the things I reviewed. This review is 100% honest - the fact that I got them for free makes me feel VERY lucky but I'll be buying copies anyway, to give to friends to read to their children - these are just utterly gorgeous books and I want everyone I know to read them and enjoy them. On top of the funny content and beautiful art work in each the books are deliciously tactile and have that great smell that books should have - everything about reading them is scrumptious - so thank you to Top That Publishers and to everyone who created these books - we are very happy reviewers indeed!