My Morning

I’m back again! So happy to be back doing this; hopefully I’ll keep up the motivation to do it properly. I’ve had plenty of changes in my life since I last posted here…not least the fact we now have a man in our lives! At some point I’ll fill in the gaps. Here, though, is my account of this morning. I’d like to say it is not a typical morning…but that might not be altogether true.

My Morning

Alarm goes. Its the boyfriend’s; can ignore. Boyfriend remarkably slow at turning alarm off. Rolls towards me for a ‘morning snuggle’. Morning snuggle reminiscent of grieving man clutching still-warm corpse. Fall into deep sleep.

Undisclosed amount of time later, second alarm goes. Thank goodness for that extra snooze, ey? Made all the difference. Boyfriend takes his time turning off the alarm and heads to the bathroom. Do not check time. Know that time will feature a 5 in the hour column. Possibly a 6; just; but either way, this time does not concern me. Fall back to sleep.

Boyfriend sits on bed to put on socks. Oh shit, I’ve missed smiling and squinting at him naked. Must be more tired than usual. More effort required this evening. Sometimes I sit up at this point and cuddle him from behind. Can’t quite bring self to do so. Shimmy a bit closer and flop arm across thigh instead. Say ‘you look great‘ whilst keeping eyes closed. Tie goes on. Aware of movement but do not peep a look at tie. Realise also no idea of shirt colour. Face comes towards mine for a kiss. Open eyes a little. Bye. Boyfriend says I look sexy in bed; actually means bed looks sexy and sleep looks sexy, and he hates me a bit for having both to myself.

Boyfriend goes downstairs. Should go after him, see him out. But his expectations not that high. Maybe tomorrow. Hear fridge opening, packed lunch out. When and how does that box land in my fridge? I’ll start making his lunch soon. But he might have specific needs in his lunch. Hmm. I’ll let him keep that freedom. Must remember to slip in the occasional note though. Before bed, obviously. Front door closes quietly -always thinking of Sam. Must be better girlfriend soon; balance it out. Soon. Fall into deep sleep.

Alarm goes. 7.25am. Formerly thought of as my emergency alarm if Sam hadn’t already woken me up. Hit snooze. Numerous snooze alarms follow. This is ok; we have mornings down to a fine art. Is Sam not awake yet? Never mind. More snoozes. 8am. Should get up. Oh yes, hair in desperate need of wash. Never mind – dry shampoo. Can of dry shampoo empty. Third time I’ve discovered this; must buy more. Will throw away then. Hair looks so greasy. Deodorant? No, that was a mistake last time. Never mind, au naturel. Wash face. Sam wakes. Should face wash have taken 10 minutes? Sam too tired to get out of bed. Know not to open curtains. Have lengthy toilet visit. Oh dear, it’s late now. Get Sam out of bed. He’s cold. Can I pretend to be a tumble dryer? Joggle him about a bit. Dressing gown on. Carry downstairs. ‘But I wanted to do bumpety bump’. Next time Sam. Deposit in chair. Toast or cereal? Toast or cereal Sam? ‘Cereal.’ Phew. Here’s your cereal. Washing machine full. Sudden flash of dread. Empty out wet washing onto dirty floor. Yes, all Sam’s uniform is in there. All of it. Gosh I am incompetent. Keep eating, Sam. Heating on. Jumper and trousers on radiator. What am I doing? They’ll never dry in time. Keep eating, Sam. Go upstairs, retrieve hair dryer. Back downstairs. Lay shirt next to kettle. Hair dryer on. Remember teddy bear with melted fur. Use caution. Keep eating, Sam. Shirt just about dry. Collar won’t be against his skin. That’s fine. Have you finished, Sam?

Upstairs, brush teeth. Check jumper. Oh dear. Plug in dehumidifier. Sandwich jumper between radiator and dehumidifier. Dehumidifier does not feature ‘Do not cover’ warning. Why? Surely dangerous. Can’t believe this use is not considered common enough to warrant warning. Get self dressed. Face too spotty to neglect makeup. Do not look at greasy hair. Foundation on. Lipstick on. Mascara on. Oh dear, smudged lipstick. Never mind.

Sam’s room. Pyjamas off. Leave bed socks on – essential time saver. Pants on. Where are those giant trousers? Here. Roll legs up. Secure with safety pins. Weapon? …It’s only three hours. Sam, see these? These are dangerous. Don’t fiddle with them. Three hours only, he’ll be fine. I said don’t fiddle with them. Trousers on. Oh dear, still too big. Roll up at top. Perfect. Now where’s that shirt? Of course, downstairs. Run get shirt. Let’s put this on. No, you are going to school. I know you’re tired. We’ll have a restful afternoon.

Downstairs. Shoe on. Where’s that other shoe? Honestly Sam, where’s the other shoe? Panic. Eye up wellies. Sunny outside. Slippers? No hang on, here it is, inside my boot. Put other shoe on. Coat on. My shoes and coat on. We’re on a roll now! Grab buggy. Out the door, Sam. Lock door. Ahh schoolbag. Unlock door. Find schoolbag. Painting inside. Aww lovely; look at that. No don’t Vicki, we’re late. Empty water bottle, swish with water, refill. Done. Yes we’re out! Lock door. Hmm it’s very cold, jumper unlikely to dry on buggy. Unlock door. Run upstairs, get hoody. Outside, lock door. The heating’s on. But we’re late! It’ll only take two seconds. Unlock door. Turn off heating. Lock door. RUN! Glance at reflection in window. Mistake. Out through gate.

Check time. 8.48. So much better than expected! We can do this! Google maps say 16 minutes…but it wasn’t calculated by someone who is always late who hates being late. Let’s go! Puff pant puff pant. Damn it, these shoes are a hindrance. Take them off? People already staring. Keep them on. ‘Good morning!’ Old man on mobility scooter, in cycle lane next to us. ‘Race you!’ Ha, you underestimate me old man. I’ll easily win. Neck and neck. What?! Oh no, he’s pulling ahead. ‘Come on Mummy!’ Oh no, I can’t believe it. Come onnn! Gosh my calves hurt. ‘Faster Mummy!’ Gap widening. How disheartening. This is just like cross country races. Old man turns corner. Thank goodness, open field ahead. Keep up the pace though. Do it for the glory. Check time; we’re doing well. Nearly there. Purple Hair Lady about to cross road towards us. Smile, say hello. Overlook fact she bought me a coffee and knows my whole life story. Do not wait. Must be late – Purple Hair Lady scared of crowds and is always purposefully late. Nearing school now. Why are there still people outside? Oh my gosh we made it in time! Teacher opens gate as we reach back of crowd. Done! Not late.

Park buggy. Get out now Sam. I said get out. ‘But it’s too far to walk, my legs will hurt.’ Sam you usually cycle to school, ten metres of walking will be fine. ‘No!’ Is it ok that I drag him out? ‘Noooo!’ Crying. Come on Sam. ‘No!’ Is it ok that I drag him to the door? I’m holding onto his hand; it’s fine, parents do this all the time. Doesn’t stop them glaring though. Come on now Sam. Bag and coat hung up. ‘I’m too tired!’ Still crying. Don’t be sad sweetie, I’ll be back in a little while. ‘I don’t. Want. To go. To. Nursery!’ We’re here now Sam. I’ll be back soon. Still crying. Sam, you sound like you’ll be too tired to play when we get home. If you don’t stop making a fuss we won’t be able to do any playing in the afternoon. End of tears. Come on, let’s tell your teacher how silly Mummy was with your uniform. Not Sam’s teacher. Someone else. Sam’s teacher was already a stand-in for Sam’s real teacher. Do not know this lady. Not the best day for this. Explain uniform debacle. Sam sits next to his friend. Looks fine. I go. Tell another teacher about uniform on way out. Phew what a morning.

Golly, was it this cold on the way here? Decide to walk home as quickly as possible; hair too greasy to socialise on journey. Funny how much longer it takes to get home, despite being downhill and without pushing along a child-filled buggy. Get a beep from a van. Fan of greasy hair? Clothes astonishingly non slutty today. Though perhaps dress tucked into leggings? Hm slightly. Act like I meant to. Chin up, confident walk. Nailed it. Walk past Polish car washers. All stop and stare. Daily routine. Wish I didn’t have to walk past them four times a day. Twenty times each week. Oh well. Nearly at home now. On own road. Pass old man. ‘That’s a very quiet baby!’ Yes, the best sort. Few steps on, pass old lady. Old lady shrieks with laughter. ‘There isn’t even a baby in there!’ Chuckle to self.

Back home. Unlock door. See envelope face down on mat. PO Box from Leicester – something from the bank. Know that I won’t even pick it up ’til later. Put kettle on. Take washing outside. Fantasise about eating same breakfast Sam had earlier. Hang washing up. Back inside. Kettle not on. Flick switch up and down. Up and down. NOOOO! Major panic. Must have tea. Life will fall apart without tea. What is wrong with kettle? Ah, of course. Kettle unplugged to make way for hair dryer. Plug kettle in. Ahh that sound is so comforting. Now for cereal. Uh oh, Sam’s bowl is barely touched. Did I just send him off to school on an empty stomach? Am definitely going to have to step up as a parent. Eat Sam’s cereal. Brew tea. Now what? I have so much to do. Don’t want to do it. What shall I do instead? Write this! Start writing. This is fun! Drink tea. Brew another tea. Gosh this really is fun. Finish tea. Oh dear, I’m going to be late. Desperate for a wee. My goodness, how can two cups of tea produce so much wee? Quite luxurious though, sitting here on my own. No wait, I’m late! Right, let’s go. No time to get bike out. Buggy it is.

Pace it to school. Hello car washers again. What? Parents coming out with kids? Hadn’t realised I was so late. Damn it! Never mind, small queue inside – no one would have noticed. Sam elated to see me. Feel swoop in stomach region. God I love that boy. Such a great moment each day. Stand-in stand-in teacher says Sam has been brilliant – no grumpiness. Can’t see safety pin stab wounds on him or anyone else. Phew, have made it through another morning without being found out as a bad parent. Well, not terrible anyway.

‘I still want to keep you as a friend on Facebook’!!

Man, it’s been an age since I wrote on here! I’ve had a few extra distractions recently; with the two most significant being:

1. I’ve started up two businesses (not as impressive as it sounds – I’ll explain at a later date).

2. For a while, I got a bit caught up in the thrill of house hunting – I discovered that someone out there is prepared to give me a mortgage, which actually wouldn’t be much more than my current rent (but alas, I had to give up on that dream when I realised how quickly I change my mind; how little there is to hold me to this particular place; and how many reasons I might have in the future to leave it)!

In the last week I’ve also had a bit of added excitement to my life – went to see Michael McIntyre with an old friend, and then out into Nottingham after.

AND I MET SOMEONE!!!

Possibly THE most exciting thing in my life, ever! Haven’t been remotely attracted to anyone since Cyber Boyfriend (August last year!), so the mere fact that I didn’t turn him down straightaway was a real novelty for me. He was such a lovely guy – physically not ‘my type’, but really quick-witted and generally seeming like someone I could spend a lot of time with. And best of all he didn’t do a runner when I told him about Sam! I think we chatted til 7:30 in the morning. This week we’ve been texting (he uses correct grammar; even in texts – yaaaaaay!), and I’ve been careful to sound as cool as someone so fundamentally not-cool can be. He came round last night as soon as Sam was in bed, and left for his hour’s drive home at about 2am.

So far so good! Foolishly I felt that, of the two of us, he was the most keen. How very arrogant I am! And – as it turns out – completely wrong. With me, probably most of the excitement was fuelled by the fact that I’d finally found somebody whom I didn’t immediately put in the ‘no’ pile – he was a very nice Somebody though, and totally deserved his place away from the pile! I don’t expect he was excited by me, but it did feel good that he was interested in lil’ ol’ me, when presumably he has ample opportunity to meet girls – girls who don’t have a very cute, but very life-controlling, little kidda.

Moronically (as I now realise it was) I made the calculated decision to tell my parents about him; with the sneaky idea of sowing the seed in preparation for any upcoming babysitter requests. Bless my dad – he almost cried with relief! I didn’t have any idea how sad they are for me about my current situation. Thinking about it now is making me well up a bit actually! Don’t worry Dad, I promise I will make an effort to get horrendously drunk as often as I can from now on, in the hope of duplicating that weekend!

Anyway, unfortunately, earlier this evening I received a rejection email. Bubble burst. Wasn’t expecting it after how he’s been with me, but it shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. It basically said that, although he’s cool with me having Sam, having thought it through he doesn’t see us fitting into his lifestyle. Fair enough. I’m so glad he’s said it early on; especially as the reason was something I can’t change. Was really gutted though – I still do believe that he was attracted to me…and we definitely seemed to click personality-wise…so it’s served as yet one more wake-up call of how impossible it is to find a man who is willing to hang around: not only does he have to be able to stomach the sight of me every day, but he also has to deal with the fact I have a son!

His email was long and written in a way that demanded a reply…but instead of replying quickly and wishing him well, I turned it into a bit of a personal therapy session. I wrote it knowing the whole thing was purely for my benefit, but then when I reached the end, I decided to send it anyway – not particularly sure why, as he hadn’t left it open-ended. Though actually, if I did still have a chance, there’s no way I would’ve sent it…as you will now see…

>>>>Right, I’m gonna reply (and, knowing me, it’s going to be a long one)…but I will say straight off that it’s not to try to persuade you to change your mind. I am gutted you’re not prepared to give it a shot – I already told you how I emotional I can get! – but I think if you’ve come to this decision so early on, there’s no point in trying to get you to see the other side. Even if we see each other a few more times, ultimately you will come to the same conclusion and it’ll be harder for me to hear the same things further down the line. However unnecessary it is, I just can’t help myself commenting on what you’ve said, so here goes…

You know what? Before I met you, what I was looking for was simply ‘Man’. I wanted Man in my life! It’s not the kind of thing you admit to, but I’m fed up of being single, so I’ve been ‘on the prowl’ for the last three and a half years. Awful, ey? Truth is though, I just haven’t found myself attracted to anyone, and; ridiculously; it’s not without trying. How bad is that – I’ve been trying to force myself into fancying people! But I just don’t find myself liking anyone – the New Zealand guy being the only exception; but getting involved with him was so utterly unrealistic that it doesn’t really count. I have my stupid childish list of the ultimate guy; broad-shouldered and all the rest; but none of that counts unless you meet someone you click with…and I do actually think that I found that with you. I think probably if you found the right person for you, their proximity and prospects as a travelling buddy would matter very little too.

My views on travelling will not warm you to me at all, but I may as well voice them. I think maybe it’s because I didn’t do a gap year so didn’t get ‘the travelling bug’, but I don’t get how it’s seen as the be-all and end-all. So many people seem to think that the only way to broaden your mind is to ‘experience different cultures’, but in my opinion, unless you were to hand over all your money and go and actually live in one of the African slums for five years; you can’t say you have experienced their culture – for most people, their ‘experiencing different cultures’ is more like an interactive discovery channel. I hate when people think they’re better than me because they’ve had an awesome holiday which they can then pretend has altered their whole personality. I don’t think you fall into that category, but I’ve met plenty of people who take that stance, and it really annoys me.

The impression I’ve got about your travelling is simply that you want to see as many awesome sights as you can; have a lot of fun and take away good memories. That is the more honest approach and I think if that’s what someone wants to do, good on ‘em! Who doesn’t want to have an exciting holiday?! Man, I’d jump at the chance! Obviously my options are more limited these days, but I’m not too disheartened by that – there’ll be a time when my child/children will be grown up and less financially dependent on me, and I’ll be able to do what I like, guilt-free; thinking only about myself again! Hurrah! For now, it’s not that I think that ‘because I’ve made my bed I’ve got to lie in it’…it’s just that I made a choice (kind of) and now have responsibilities that most others my age haven’t got; and I’ve just got to make the best of the situation for myself and for Sam. If I have to trade in a couple of months travelling around South America, so that I’m one year closer to buying a house to make my family home…well, so be it!

That’s not to say I’m not going to be going on any holidays – I love a change of scene as much as the next person, and I think Sam’d have fun seeing new things…and if I got to the stage where I was prepared to leave Sam for a week so I could go on a cheapo holiday without him…well I think it could actually be beneficial to him. It’s fucking hard being a mum – bloody relentless – and I know when I’ve had a day off I’ve come back a better Mummy for it. I wouldn’t do that kind of thing now – it would still seem too selfish – but my priority is to make a happy future for the both of us, and maybe it’s wrong to admit it, but I do see having a partner and my son having a dad as a very, very good thing. So if I was in a relationship that I thought could only work if we built on it as simply a couple first, then I would be prepared to make sacrifices on Sam’s behalf. Getting someone to even commit to going on a couple of dates is a big ask – very few people would see a tagalong child as a positive thing initially, and to be honest I would be suspicious of someone who didn’t see him as a negative. So if I thought I’d found someone it was worth getting to know a bit better, I would have no qualms about pulling in all favours to find babysitters for Sam for evening dates/weekends or whatever.

I’ve gone a bit off track here! Sorry I’ve got so deep – these obviously aren’t things you share with someone you’ve just met, but as you’ve turned me down already I’m finding it quite interesting to see what my own views are about things I’ve never had need to consider!

Back to the holiday thing – I think it helps that I’m easily amused and get excited over the smallest thing. When I went to my cousin’s wedding a month ago, the thing I got most excited about was spending a night in a Travelodge! If there is something slightly unusual going on in town I get mega excited – a dance school put on this ace performance outside the chippy yesterday; it was brilliant! I go insane at Christmas because there are just too many ‘little things’ to get excited about – making gingerbread, pulling crackers, opening Christmas cards, choosing a tree, putting out stockings (and these days…filling stockings)…I’m basically a small child day-to-day; with an adult outlook on current responsibilities and the future! But yeah, until I’ve seen more of Britain, I don’t think I’ll have too strong cravings to travel the world – I would’ve loved to have spent the whole weekend exploring Nottingham with Emma, but she wasn’t able to. I’m still discovering new places round here that are get-at-able by bus…which I know is very insular, but it’s a frame of mind which works for us right now. If I had someone to go with I would’ve loved to have taken Sam camping somewhere this year or to have stayed in grotty B&B’s exclaiming how shit they were but having a good time nonetheless.

So I think I may have covered the holiday thing; do you think so?? Lol, sorry for going on…I love writing and would quite happily not send this to you, and just count it as a learning experience for me, getting to know my own mind a bit better!

I had some of my family round this morning cos Sam wanted to bake a cake for them. My sister started off a conversation about how funny it is how different people spend money on different things. I always think this! I buy dirt cheap food and never spend anything on clothes or nice makeup or expensive holidays – basically living like a pauper (Nottingham weekend the exception) – but I’m actually in a position where I could afford to buy a (admittedly very cheap) house if I felt settled enough to do so. I’ve got friends who don’t have money to move out of their parents homes because they spend everything they earn on nights out and endless new clothes. Some spend it on holidays, some make their house and garden all nice, some have all the expensive gadgets…everyone’s different! I guess it’s important to find someone who has the same priorities as you when it comes to spending money – it definitely confuses me that you talk about not being able to support yourself and borrowing from the bank, at the same time as saying you’re going to go on these amazing holidays and buy expensive meals and stuff. Just people being different!

Umm right, I don’t think even I can make this much longer! I’m really really gutted you didn’t like me enough to take things further, but now I’ve written all of this down I suppose it’s a good thing, as we probably wouldn’t be a good fit. And in a way it’s kind of backed up why I seem to only give older men a chance, because they’re more inclined to be a bit more grounded.

Thanks for being the gentleman last night – I wouldn’t have taken this as well if we’d done more. And also, thanks for this: ‘I still want to keep you as a friend on Facebook’ – BEST BREAK UP LINE EVER!! Most depressing, kick-you-in-the-balls-while-you’re-down, thing to say…but hilarious because of it!

xxx

Let’s talk about sex, baby…

Aged 23, with a child galloping towards his third birthday, I am classed as a young mum. Not only due to the maths involved, but I also have the disadvantage of looking younger. I was one month clear of being a ‘teen mum’ when I fell pregnant with Sam, and as the title comes with such bad connotations, I’m afraid I’ve often defended myself with the phrase ‘well at least I wasn’t a teen mum’!

The truth is, though; everyone matures at different rates. Although at 16/17 I could have been officially classed as a ‘woman’; having hit puberty a few years previous; I was much closer to being a ‘girl’ than to being what I would personally perceive as a ‘woman’. I kept a journal at that age, and, reading back, it is impossible to imagine that version of myself looking after another human being. I wasn’t a goody-two-shoes but I certainly wasn’t a rebel; so whilst a hypothetical child wouldn’t come to know the detriment of a mother who drank heavily/took drugs/shoplifted,etc., he/she would have a mother who had very little idea about herself or the world around her. I had no responsibilities at that age, and to go from nothing…to then having the responsibility of a newborn child’s life…well, I would have fallen apart and that poor kid would have been caught in the middle.

As it happened, I fell pregnant, aged 20 (just). Three years seems like a flash in the pan once you are older, but the difference between 17 year old me and 20 year old me was unfathomably vast. I am not saying this shift in maturity necessarily comes at the same time for everyone; I expect many of those who leave school at 16 reach the stage that I was at when I left school at 18. Schools can be seen as many things, but, especially the type of school I went to, there is no doubt that they shroud you from real life.

An enviable few don’t let age define them, but especially in the earlier years of our lives, age is not just a number; but almost a status. Throughout your school years there are milestones to be reached; milestones that have to coincide with the changing of that magic number. When you start nursery, when you move up to the next class, when school becomes compulsory, when you must move on to a more senior school, when you sit exams. The hour at which you are allowed to eat is dependent on your age; the number of hours of homework you are expected to complete. Age is hugely important in school.

We also have laws that are based on age. In England, you mustn’t have sex until you are 16, you can’t hold a driving licence until you are 17, you do not legally become an adult and can’t vote until you reach 18 (which is also the age when you are allowed to purchase alcohol), and at 21 you have an excuse for a big party…but I’m not entirely sure why. There’s also an age for buying cigarettes but as the rebel-failure that I am, I have no idea when kids can stop flashing their fake ID, and instead legally purchase those little sticks of coolness (I expect that is also the age when the coolness of smoking starts its sharp decline).

Ages are also used when deciding which group of people can watch a film or buy a video game. There are sites on the internet that require you to promise that you are over 16 or 18 (and no, not just porn sites – don’t look at me with those scornful eyes!).

It is good to have guidelines in order to protect younger people from decisions that can’t be sensibly made until they come close to whichever magic number has been set, and I understand that to follow through with these guidelines, rules must be strictly upheld. But although the magic number might make sense for the majority of cases, for other people, the magic number is too high or far too low.

There were girls my age who were already having sex at the time that my friend was boasting about having three pubes. And, while those girls were no doubt busy having sex, there were girls (ok; one girl) who wrote in her diary ‘***** was boasting today about having three pubes. HA! I have way more.’ Your level of maturity is based so much more on your upbringing, and that wonderful friend-to-all: Puberty (which can strike at any time), than how old you actually are.

The ‘16+ ONLY’ rule for sex, also comes with a number of other rules (all of which are taken as seriously as the age rule by some). You should only have sex when you are emotionally ready. You should only have sex when you are ready to deal with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. You should only have sex when you are in love. You should only have sex when you are married.

Are any of us fully able to say we are emotionally equipped to deal with sex and all the disappointment and heartbreak that could potentially come with it? Perhaps this does not apply so much with married couples, but how many women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. are able to have a sexual encounter without feeling emotional about it one way or the other, sooner or later?

How can you ever know you are emotionally ready to have sex? No matter how old you are, ‘losing it’ for the first time is likely to be a dramatic, memorable moment in your life (or not, I suppose, if it first happened after heavy drinking…but even then, the lack of memory about something so huge is likely to have an effect on you). There are few people who can say they really and truly were emotionally ready; that the experience didn’t have some sort of effect on them. And there might be those who felt nothing when they lost their virginity, because they didn’t have the maturity at that stage to comprehend what a big step in their lives it was to open up their body so intimately to someone else, and they felt it further on down the line.

Prepared for the consequences of having a baby? This ‘rule’ might have been upheld in days gone by, but I personally don’t know that many people who would have initially embraced the thought of a baby when they first lost their virginity. The Married rule is a nice idea, but is kept by fewer and fewer people these days.

So, onto love..

I first chose to have sex when I was a couple of weeks off turning 19. It was only a month or so into a relationship with my first Real Boyfriend, but I was at uni…and I hate to use this as an excuse, but it seemed everyone was doing it. When having sex is considered the norm, the importance of ‘waiting’ shrinks significantly. In my naïve little way, I thought I had shared so much with him already that the Next Big Step was just one more step along the way to our future happiness together. Despite the brevity of time, our relationship was already strong (at the start of university you have to make your new best friends in the first couple of hours; so FIVE WHOLE WEEKS into our relationship (even longer since we first met – if you can imagine that immensity of time) seemed like a lifetime together). I had decided I was in love with him, and, having had nothing but fleeting crushes before, I had nothing to compare it to. Was I actually in love? I don’t know whether I can judge that. I thought I was at the time; and isn’t that what counts? I think love is different to different people, at different stages in their life.

I don’t regret it; we stayed together for over a year and split just before I found out I was pregnant with his son (cheeky chappy Sam).

But looking back, it is impossible for me to agree with my former self that I WAS actually in love with him. We were not well matched in the slightest, and disagreed on what I see as some of the most fundamental things in life. I really disliked some quite major aspects of his character, but somehow liked the fact I disliked them – he was mine, and I had decided I would love him regardless. They say love is blind…and if it wasn’t for the fact I question the presence of love, I would agree. I had decided I had fallen in love with him; and that was that. Full stop. Anything new I found out about him from that stage on did not matter to me in the slightest. I sound bitter, and indeed I am a little at my lack of judgement, and my ability to carry on with our relationship when it was clear to everyone around us that it was not right. I clung on tighter as we grew further apart and (thankfully – I can say that retrospectively) I think that is what ultimately buried the hatchet in our relationship. All that said, we had some fantastic times together, and, apart from a couple of incidents, he really was the loveliest boyfriend, and I count myself lucky that my first real boyfriend treated me well.

I will leave this post here (apart from anything else, I have just noticed how much Cardboardeaux I’ve sipped my way through this evening, and I am a little wary of what else I might divulge, and what I have already written that, sober, I would be horrified at).

One day in the far distant future, I will let Sam this blog, and I wonder how I will feel about him reading this post? I don’t want to give him the impression that losing his virginity is something that should happen on a whim; certainly not. I don’t know much about the opposite sex and how the male mind works, but I am willing to guess teenage boys aren’t as heartless and sex crazy as the media (and doubtless his peers) make out. Sex is a big deal for anyone at any age, and it confounds the problem that sex first becomes an interesting topic at puberty when your hormones are all over the place.

I hope that I will have a good communication with him; I am all for sharing feelings (you may have noticed I do far too much of it). I really hope that I am able to provide an easy forum for him to voice his opinions and what he is worried about; I think that once that block goes up with someone, it is really hard to knock it down.

How much do you think your age has played a part in things you’ve done? Or is age just a number?

Because I’m classy

I was going to write a post tonight, but then this happened…

This is the best you’re going to get. So much for the productive evening!

Plaster Philosophy

I am something of a hypochondriac; so any evidence that proves my ‘illness’ is real is proclaimed far and wide. I’ve been keen to let everyone know that my temperature has been running at over 100°F for the past couple of days – feel free to lavish me with sympathy! Try as I might, I can’t seem to change this unfortunate character flaw, no matter how much I hate it…yet I think the time has come to really sort myself out:

This morning, when I took down the medicine box from the top of my wardrobe, Sam had a bit of a play some multicoloured kiddie plasters.

‘I like plasters, Mummy,’ he said (which was hard to believe as he’s always refused to wear them if he’s cut himself).

We had a bit of a chat about them and lined up our favourites. The statement he came out with next is a sure sign that he is my flesh and blood:

‘I like having injuries…but I don’t like hurting mineself.’

Me too, Sam, me too! Is this just confirmation of me passing on the worst side of my personality? Or (and remember I’m poorly so need to hear the answer I want!), is he showing signs of being a great philosopher?! I think it’s genius!

13 Lucky Reasons for Unlucky Weather

I’m back again! Remember me?!

I wrote this a while ago but the weather has been so changeable that I can’t seem to time it right when to post it. But here it is anyway…

I wish it were sunny all the time but have come to realise I should be grateful for a return to gloominess. These are the reasons why:

1. I LOVELOVELOVE ice-cream, particularly the Mr Whippy variety, and the warm weather has resulted in a few trips to the ice-cream van in town. I say ‘a few’, but I was proved otherwise… When the would-have-been-in-laws visited, I suggested an ice-cream on the way back from the park. On getting to the front of the queue, the ice-cream man took one look at me and said ‘Two 70p cones, no flakes, no sauce?’ I think I may have gone there a few more times than I am prepared to admit.

2. The occasional wonderful weather has meant we’ve spent every possible moment outside and it has resulted in a lot of digging at the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately our garden backs onto the canal and the bridge over it, and I have had numerous shouts about my builders bum. Damn my ill-fitting clothes!

3. Living on the banks of a canal sounds idyllic but I forgot about the draw that semi stagnant water has to mosquitoes – I must have delicious blood because mosquitoes LOVE me.

4. One of the reasons I love Summer is because my hair goes lighter. But the July sun apparently has super powers – somehow it managed to bleach right through my clothes and one of the hairs that is meant to signify fertility has been dyed white. Could also be the ageing effects of the sun, I suppose.

5. Sunshine means I decrease the amount of clothes I wear by about 95%. A lot of this is because I’m scared of sunbeds and I am too clumsy to fake tan. I have to take my chance of getting brown when I can! Unfortunately this always means a good few days of my leggies shining out like bright white beacons. Unfortunately my legs have kept their pasty winter hue. White skin shows up all flaws (including all those mozzy bites!) and unfortunately these flaws and cellulite are spotlighted by the sun. Time to lurk in those shadows!

6. I suppose in an ideal world this would be an advantage of the sun…but I actually count it more as a negative: Topless men. Why is it that the likelihood of men taking their tops off is directly proportional to their increasing age and weight? Though that said, I’ve enjoyed Sam’s continued fascination with workmen: ‘Ohh Sam, must we really stand and watch these semi-naked builders working these big manly machines again?!!

7. I am a terrible human being in the way people’s opinions count for so much for me. Particularly men’s opinions. I can’t help grinning when I get beeped by passing cars/vans. But it is not advisable to count on this as a source of happiness. For one, it is probably more of a comment on my somewhat slutty outfits, rather than a compliment on how I look in them. And secondly, it has really been spooking Sam, and he keeps asking why they’re beeping. I can’t exactly tell the truth: ‘It is because your Mummy looks like a slut’. Along the same line of thinking, as he is picking up on what people are saying so much, I am fully expecting him to ask what ‘MILF’ means. A definition I had to give to my mum not that long ago. This is the version I told her: ‘Mother I’d Like to make Friends with’. Not sure if she bought it.

8. The warm weather has brought out a lot more walkers and as such there are more witnesses to whatever odd habit Sam has picked up. His most recent one is pretending to fish in the canal. Bearing in mind his pronunciation is not top notch, I have been getting some strange looks from people who pass by behind him. Imagine it – small boy as close to the water as I’ll allow, standing very still with what he imagines to be a FISHING pose – legs slightly apart, slightly bent, hands grasped in front: ‘Look Mummy, I’m p*ssing! I’m p*ssing Mummy! Look, I’m p*ssing in the water!’

9. Suncream. I hate it. I pretty much drown Sam in it, and will even half-heartedly apply some to my own face…but I can’t stand having sticky hands afterwards. The unfortunate thing about Sam not needing nappies is the fact I no longer carry baby wipes. I resort to surreptitiously wiping my hands on a friend’s back in a congratulatory-pat-on-the-back way, or a let-me-console-and-comfort-you-with-this-cuddle way.

10. I look ridiculous in sunglasses. Glasses of any sort, in fact (which is unfortunate seeing as the prescription for my eyes are -5.75 and -7.75). But I LOVE wearing sunglasses on top of my head. There are three reasons for this: 1. The practicality of keeping hair off my face without resorting to an alice band. 2. It is excellent at disguising greasy roots. 3. I think I look cool. However, the other day I was walking into the sun, squinting so much I looked like I was sleep walking…and I unfortunately put my foot on a dog…realised my mistake and did one of those hoppity skippety things to regain my balance…but then tripped over the owner’s foot. Refusing to wear sunglasses despite looking into the glaring sun = not cool. It’s time I realise that.

11. I am terrible at dressing myself. For someone who did Art at school, I am not very good at matching colours…or contrasting them…or clashing them (I’m not even sure what the aim is). I never buy magazines or look at fashion pages online. For this reason, I love delving into my summer wardrobe: underwear, sundress, sandals, DONE. But as I have only bought two summer dresses in the past couple of years, I am forced to resort to a more historic wardrobe. No matter how many times I try it on, I never seem to learn that the dress that was verging on too tight for the 17-year-old, sporty, childless version of me, is NOT going to fit me, six exercise-free years later, with one baby under my belt (I meant that figuratively but you could be excused from thinking I do have a baby under my belt). Although on the plus side, hot weather usually leaves me with a decreased appetite, so the hotter it is, the more chance I have of one day fitting into that dainty little Jane Norman number.

12. I am so pleased to be given a chance to attempt to transform our new garden from the mess it currently is…but it has come with a drawback: Dirt everywhere. Brilliant white tiles in the kitchen really is quite a design fault. Each night our bath is black.

13. I love the feeling of having wonderfully smooth legs. But as I am single and very lazy, add cold weather to the mix and the result is rather yeti-like. Deforestation only occurs prior to one of our rare swimming trips. You’d think it’d be a good thing that the sun motivates me to shave my legs…but oh no! Unfortunately hot weather always puts me in the mood for…um…a bit of ‘dry land breaststroke’. The temptation to text an old flame is increased a hundredfold when you have silky smooth legs. And under the influence of my good friend Rio Ja, that temptation is doubled again!

Apologies for this post being old. I am hoping that by putting it online I will feel encouraged to get my blog going again – I really got a lot out of it when I was posting regularly.

Hope everyone in bloggyworld is well. Need to catch up with what’s been going on!

Growing up

The strangest thing about becoming a parent isn’t in finding out how little sleep you can function on; nor is it the realisation that you are capable of remembering countless story books word-for-word (brilliant for eyes-closed ‘reading’ when the sleep deprivation kicks in)…no; it’s that a whole new and serious world is opened up to you. Issues that you hadn’t even considered before are suddenly pressing concerns. Did I think that at the age of 20 I would be talking about getting life insurance and writing a will? No. Did I think at the age of 23 I would still be talking about getting life insurance and writing a will? Still no.

The trouble is, I became a parent before I fully became an adult. In fact I am still waiting on the ‘becoming an adult’ part…hence why, despite having been a mum for two and a half years, I am still putting off those important decisions. Parenthood has dragged me into an adult world where, however much I pretend otherwise, I don’t fully belong.

How have I spent my first few child-free minutes this evening? Oh yes, that’s right; sticking sellotape to my face and laughing at myself in the mirror.

Not exactly the face of a grown-up.

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But this is the year I am determined to change. Not the sellotape part; I will never be too old to giggle at that; but the part where, instead of just talking about things and worrying about them, I am actually going to Get Stuff Done. Moving out of my parents’ ‘granny flat’ has been a big turning point for me: I’ve been talking about it for years, and now, at last, I have taken the final step and done it. I really hope I can keep the momentum going and continue on the path to adulthood.

I’m always saying I need to get a ‘for now’ job…but also that I need to figure out what I’m going to do with my life long-term. Hopefully with a bit more effort (I’ve become a little lacklustre in my job hunt of late), I might have more luck on the ‘for now’ side of things. And as for the dream career…well, I have a good idea of the sort of path I’d like to follow…but I’ve got to work out a plan of action; discover what stepping stones I need to take….and then actually go for it.

Most of the important choices in life do need to be mulled over for a while before you can reach a rational verdict. I’m fairly happy that I’ve found a good school for Sam…but that certainly wasn’t a snap decision. The new house took some finding…and I’m glad I waited. But there really is no reason why I haven’t got on with sorting out life insurance and a will.

Tragedy could strike at any time after all! There are two things I really want to happen if I snuff it in the prime of youth.

First and foremost, I need to make sure that Sam would be provided for, and also that he is brought up by a person/people who have a good moral compass and who share my viewpoint on what it takes to be a good parent.

My second wish…is that you all come to my funeral – please do! It really will be an occasion to remember. It was planned when I was thirteen, with two girls who were equally as silly as I was/am…and it is set to be terrrrrific! I’m not entirely sure we’ll be able to get John Hannah to read W H Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’, nor do I think the organisers of the service will deem it appropriate to play the Tenacious D track we were a bit obsessed with at the time…but I hope those girls remember my other wishes (with the addition of a Love Actually style music surprise as I go up the aisle (Kiera Knightley’s wedding)).

Alas, this post has descended into nonsense once again. Oh well. I will tackle my Get Stuff Done list, and maybe one day I will finally earn my ‘adult’ stripes.

(This is a sponsored post)

Driving Me Potty

Every now and then you have a day when you need a glass of wine. These last ten days have been That Day.

Who knew potty training could be so frustrating? And the most frustrating part is having to hide your frustration.

The problem with Sam seems to be that he doesn’t care in the slightest about getting wee on his pants. Or trousers. Socks. Shoes. Sofa cushion. Floor…

I can imagine that the first couple of weeks without a nappy must be highly distressing. So hats off to me (I suppose) for ensuring that Sam is relaxed about it and doesn’t share that view. Each time he does a widdle, I stay calm; do the whole ‘oh never mind, don’t worry sweetie, let’s get you into some dry clothes’ thing…but inside I am yelling (nay, bellowing) ‘WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY?????!!’ What I can’t get my head around, is the fact he seems to have such excellent bladder control: on the occasions when he has forewarned me of an upcoming dispatch, I have been able to say ‘just try and hold it in a bit longer darling’, and he’ll do just that. For really quite a considerable length of time – my pelvic floor muscles are jealous.

But I think he views going to the toilet/potty as a lot more trouble than it’s worth – peeing in his pants seems to have the exact same result as peeing in his nappy: it gets wet; it gets changed – simple as that. And as I can only imagine the horror of wearing urine-soaked clothes, I make sure that we have at least two changes of clothes with us, and I whip off his wet stuff instantly.

He’ll always say ‘NO!’ if I ask if he needs a wee wee, but when I just pull his pants down anyway, he will waddle to the potty, plop down on it and immediately relieve himself – looking so damn pleased with himself! I don’t get why he doesn’t want that pure joy continuously throughout the day – if only I could achieve that level of happiness when I take a leak! He then stands up proudly and inspects his wares; pointing, marvelling, and saying one of the following phrases:

‘I did a BIG one Mummy!’
‘I did a yellow one Mummy!’
‘Look Mummy, there mine drink!’

Adorable really. But why must it be such a rare occurrence?!

Actually that’s not true; he’s doing really well. We had two accidents today, but only one for the two days previous. In fact I don’t know where this pent up frustration has stemmed from…unless it’s simply because I know I have an opened box of rosé in my fridge.

Those of you who have managed to stick out these last two posts on potty training are most probably at the same stage with your children, or else have it yet to come. I can’t think of any other reason you’d choose to wade through endless variations of ‘urine’ (…see what I did there?!). So, if you are enjoying this topic (and who in their right mind wouldn’t?!), head over to Gypsy Momma’s blog and read up on the pros and cons of the travel potty – interesting ey?! But actually…yes, very interesting: I have got the Potette and am really quite enjoying the notion of carrying around what functions as a full-on toilet…in my handbag. Thus far we haven’t needed to use it as a potty, but the training seat version does seem to encourage Sam into thinking that public toilets are Not Scary. Without it, I would be in danger laughing mercilessly at my child after witnessing the likes of this:

(I do not own this image, toilet, or child)

Potty Training Cleverness

I am quite proud to report that potty training is in full flow (regrettable turn of phrase).

We’ve now reached Day 7 with very few problems…though of course the accidents always occur at inopportune times; the most unfortunate of which happened whilst I was ‘Mystery Shopping’ Morrisons supermarket. Ha! Deal with that one, guys! (Mystery Shopping is basically where you have to judge shops on their service, cleanliness and product availability. You also have to answer detailed questions on how genuine their smiles are – well done Sam for creating a real test for them!) They actually scored very highly on Operation Clean Up; and thank you to Mrs Morrisons Lady for finding me a pack of socks when I found I had forgotten to bring spares. Where they would have lost points was on how brown and dry all their supposed ‘live plants’ were…but as Sam’s puddle appeared at the very moment I made that observation, I expect the clematis and begonias will now be thriving on Sam’s wee.

Sam is once again proving how crafty he can be – when he goes to bed now, he will repeatedly call out for a wee; just so he can spend a few more minutes with me before being confined to baby jail (which, at two and a half, he can now climb out of…but I’m finding it hard to let go of the pretence that he is secure and safe when he is in there). I put him to bed five times this evening, and each time I rushed to his aid he managed to squeeze out a teeny tiny trickle…and a great big grin.

In fact, although he hasn’t become an immediate expert on the bladder control front, this potty training malarkey is demonstrating how incredibly astute he is. He has quickly learnt that ‘I need a wee wee, Mummy’ will get him to toileting facilities in a very short amount of time…but ‘I’m doing poo poo, Mummy’ will get him there in the flashiest of flashes; so speedy, in fact, that I have twice accidentally abandoned the buggy with shopping bags on board.

I hope by the time I write my next post we will have had a breakthrough on this subject…but until then I am rather enjoying an excuse for short bursts of central heating in order to dry our increased washing load!

My Shining Armour in the Night

At 2:30 this morning, Sam melted my heart.

A pretty impressive achievement; I am usually far from benevolent at that hour and do not take kindly to anything or anyone interrupting sleep time. It’s as if the act of brushing my teeth before bed unleashes the cold-hearted beast within; which is only locked away again after carrying out the same act in the morning.

Unfortunately, as always seems to be the case in these scenarios, I went to bed late last night. I’m not sure I had even fallen asleep by the time Sam started crying. Now, I may not have many qualifications to my name, and I certainly don’t keep abreast of current affairs as well as I should; but I am an expert at distinguishing Sam’s different cries. I can tell the difference between an ‘I just hurt myself’ cry and an ‘I‘m in the process of being hurt’ cry. I know the ‘I’m stuck, help me out’ cry; the ‘I’m sad because ??? is leaving me’ cry; the ‘he just stole my toy’ cry. I can hear when a cry is based more on exhaustion than the perceived grievance. And, even at 2:30 in the morning, I know immediately whether Sam is crying for attention or whether he actually needs me.

When the ‘bad dream’ alarm sounded, I jumped out of bed and rushed straight into Sam’s room…to find a clearly terrified little boy. Scooping him up, I sat with him on the floor until the urgency of his cries had subsided a little. I asked him what was wrong; had he had a bad dream? And, between heart wrenching sobs, these were the only words he was able to utter:

‘Sam want look after Mummy. Sam need keep Mummy safe.’

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