The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.

Cabin Fever and Sandwich Shops

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Good morning!
Today is the 1st May and it is 6.58am. I was woken at 6.13 by my boy cooing next to me, which would ordinarily be lovely but, I didn’t get to sleep until midnight last night thanks to my new blogging obsession and then I had a night feed to do at 3.30am. As you can imagine, I am a little bit tired.  So ‘what is it today?’ as my daughter asks every morning. Today I am without a car (duh duh duuuh). I know, shocking right? More to the point, I am without a car and I have both of the kiddiewinkles.  I suspect cabin fever might set in sometime between 9 and 9.30am around the time we have probably watched ‘The Incrdibles’ for the seventeenth time. 
‘What’s his name, mum?’ My daughter asks each time.
‘I don’t know love, I’m not really watching it,’ is my usual reply.
‘You do know,’ is her response. ‘Is he a goodie or a baddie?’ 
‘I am not sure darling, a goodie I think.’
‘You do know. He’s a baddie.’
I thought I would try to record a real time blog today, one that documents my attempting to cope without a car. 
‘Take them for a walk!’ I hear you cry. I would but, no sooner do we start pushing the buggy and the girl either demands to be picked up or yanks her hand away from mine.  We live in a lovely little village with some parks however, in order to reach the parks you have to walk down a very thin path which runs alongside a very busy road. My fraught nerves can’t take it.
The girl has now just awoken and come into my room, climbed into bed, started crying to be taken back to her own bed, asked Daddy to make her a chocolate sandwich (no prizes for guessing what that healthy snack is) and asked for her tablet for something to watch. Daddy has just set off to work in my shiny lovely new car (his is probably going to fail its MOT today) and I am going to seize this opportunity to shower and dress. FYI I might even attempt to wear a pair of jeans today even though I ate a McDonalds last night. Laying in my loose PJs, I can tell my tum is more wobbly than yesterday morning. Oh, I have spoken too soon. The boy’s face has gone red to signal the straining signs of a poo and my girl is shouting for me to go and get in bed with her…
4.14pm
…The poo never arrived; he was obviously going red because he was pissed at something. The shower didn’t occur for a while either as I climbed into my daughter’s bed and played at Furchrster Hotel for a while, which was basically me pretending to be Cookie Monster and making pretend cookies for the guests at the hotel.  She has a cracking little imagination but, unfortunately for her, her creatively defunct mummy doesn’t. After five minutes, I went to put a load of washing in the machine. Boo hiss to me. 
The shower happened – it was nice and uneventful apart from the girl sitting outside the shower door with the iPad. Getting dressed is a pain more often than not. This morning was no different. I dressed my girl in skinny jeans and a Peppa jumper and much to my and her dozing bro’s dismay, she ‘WANTED LEGGINGS.’  This melt down lasted a couple of minutes but, I didn’t give in. You see, this mummy is an only child so I can be down right stubborn too. Instead, I grabbed some glittery nail varnish and dangled it in front of her like a carrot to a horse. Almost zombiefied, she followed it downstairs to the breakfast table.
Breakfast was calm until she begged and begged for the nail varnish to adorn her little nails. She loved the sparkles so I started to wash up.
‘Take it OFFFF!’
Oh, I spoke too soon. I always do. I had to scrape it off with my own nails before it dried properly as I am not organised enough to actually have nail varnish remover in the house.
9.30 came and passed, as did 10.30. My boy had snoozed on his mat for a while while we watched Bolt. She threw a curve ball; I was all ready to answer questions about Mr and Mrs Incredible and how they both ‘got busy’ to actually quote Buddy/Incrediboy in the film. Thank God she doesn’t realise that Penny in Bolt is Miley Cyrus otherwise I might have had to deflect questions about writhing on wrecking balls and Twerking.
11.15 hit and we were agitated and bored. Looking into the porch, I saw something that would either be great or really stupid. Daddy had left us the travel system so we weren’t stranded in the house after all. 
‘Grab your helmet and Balance Bike, we’ll walk to the sandwich shop.’
Outside. It was going good. Well in fact. The boy only screamed the house down for five minutes whilst we got our trainers on.  I made a couple of trips upstairs to grab coat and my daughter, despite my telling her to stay downstairs, followed me. She does it whenever I am rushing anywhere or she’ll just walk in front of me so I can’t get past and then she will stop, is this behaviour normal or does she do it to wind me up?  When the boy is screaming and I am trying to get out of the house, I am already tightly wound up.
Our little estate is lovely and quiet. There we were, walking along with the pram with my boy asleep again. My girl was riding along on the bike with her little plastic helmet.  When we got to the main road (which I swear is a lane diverted from the A1) she climbed off and held my hand. This is when my slackness kicked in. Where to put the bike? Balancing precariously on the pram, (well it is called a Balance Bike) we pushed on to the sandwich shop which suddenly felt a million miles away.  Now, I am not such a bad mother that I take my children on thin paths and busy roads regularly. We did eventually veer off onto a nice quiet country lane where we could get the bike back out. Which we did. See, it was all going swimmingly again. ‘Look at me’, I thought. ‘I have got this down. I look like the perfect mother of two, out and about giving my children fresh air.’ I actually looked terrible as today I chose to wear my ripped pink netball jumper alongside my jeans. (Have you noticed that I have a lot of netball gear? I love the sport, but I am currently having a hiatus from it due to having recently popped out a baby – this is not my decision as I am ready to play; it’s my partner’s decision as he, and I quote, ‘can’t handle two bedtimes’ to allow me to train and play.) I am digressing again. It’s like verbal diarrhoea but it’s all running from my head to my funky new app… We walked a few more paces before the bike was dumped in front of the pram making us all stumble a little. Placing it on top of the boy in the buggy once more, we trekked on.
‘Mum, I’m tired. Carry me.’
‘And with what hand shall I push your brother with, darling?’
‘Leave him.’
What here? On this little country lane? Oh, okay then.  We pressed on.
Like a mirage sparkling in the desert, I saw the sandwich shop. I also observed the step up to it. Our travel system is massive so the poor kid was left outside while I stood at the door shouting my order of two ham sandwiches and a gingerbread man.
There was danger at every point during the walk home.  The quiet country lane suddenly became filled with transit vans passing every minute or so. Thinking back now, they were probably going to the sandwich shop. Silly mummy didn’t think that one through. We had to stop every minute or so to let a van pass. My daughter was still wearing her Mothercare pink bike helmet though so we were prepared. The bike was still balancing on the pram along with a sandwich bag. 
Eventually we arrived home and had our lunch. I needed a cuppa to calm my nerves (as we had to walk alongside the A1 again) and reached for the vodka to chase down the tea…as if! Vodka is disgusting. I grabbed a brandy. 😉 
The rest of the day played out quite calmly; we did some letter and number practise and watched about five episodes of Alvin and the Chipmunks. My daughter is amazed that I know the theme tune (it’s the same one from the early 90s). I only had to bribe her with one little Lindt chocolate bunny left over from Easter. I could see it in her eyes that she was going to torment her brother; I talked her down with the bunny.
And that brings us to now. 5.12pm. The other half has taken the girl to the garage to collect the car. Miraculously, it passed the MOT after having £300 of work doing on it. So it didn’t really pass did it?
I’ll leave it there for now. Hope I haven’t bored you; it hasn’t been the most lively of days. I will assure that the boy is unscathed by being used as a Balance Bike holder and by being left outside a sandwich shop (I could see him at all times.) I will provide picture evidence. Please note the pink netball jumper and the random breast pad in the background. You’ll soon learn that I leave them everywhere. One almost attached itself to my father in law’s coat a couple of weeks back. You would have been impressed by my diving over the sofa to grab it.
Enjoy your long weekend, folks.

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