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Happy Mother’s Day! 

This was my fourth Mother’s day and I received this lovely card that Mishty had made for me, along with some daffodils and an afternoon tea spread at his nursery- onto a winner here with this one, Hubby didn’t even have to do anything!

So happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mums out there! Hope you have a great day being appreciated for all that you do whether it’s with presents, yummy treats or simply a lie in!

[I know this is slightly belated but I’ve been under the weather so leave me alone.]

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Mishty’s 3rd Birthday Party

Mishty: Hello, I’m Mishty. D’you know, it’s my birthday today! I’m three years old and I’m a big boy now. I was two but now I’m three. I’m having a party in my new house. My new house is a bit yucky.

Me: It’s been ten days since we’ve moved. My back is broken, I’m worn out like a pair of old socks, and my face is sinking underneath dark circles but it’s done. All boxes have been emptied for this low key family celebration for Mishty’s third birthday. It may be a “yucky” house but at least it’s tidy.

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Mishty: For my party, Daddy cooked lots of yummy food and I helped him. My mummy blew up the balloons and I tried but I couldn’t do it. We did lots of tidying up too.

Me: I am a zombie bumbling around like Hugh Grant’s character in every film he’s ever done. Hubby is doing everything while I dazedly blow up balloons in my pjs and stop Mishty from mangling the mushrooms with his blunt toy knife. I let him help me stuff things under the bed instead.

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Mishty: I was a bit tired so I had a nap and when I woke up everyone was already here.

Me: I’ve spent 40 minutes cajoling, restraining, cuddling, ignoring, yelling and reasoning with Mishty to get him to calm down after he morphed into a rabid animal screaming, rolling around and jumping on the floor because I changed out of the maxi dress he initially described as “yucky”. He was pleading with me to “put the flowery one on” and I was pleading with him to go to sleep. Obviously he refused to lie down, adamant he wasn’t tired. When he finally fell asleep, it was time for the guests to arrive.

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Mishty: D’you know in the garden we have a greenhouse and it has tomatoes in it. My nanu and dadhu found them. The tomatoes are not ready yet cos they are still green. That’s why it’s called a greenhouse because it makes tomatoes go green.

Me: I am rushing like a headless chicken to get food out while the two grandmas are demanding keys to the garden. Never mind finding the bloody keys and figuring out how to open the back door, how do I turn the sodding oven on? Why have you brought me tomatoes? Where’s the flipping pizza?

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Mishty: I sang happy birthday and ate lots of yummy cake. It was chocolate, that’s my favourite. I wanted to eat the hedgehog’s foot. I blew all the candles out too. I said cheese and everyone took lots of pictures and then I played with my friends.

Me: Managed to get one decent family shot and thirty blurred ones. Why can’t the kid stay still?! Cake tastes good. Mmmmm. Jeez, Mishty is wolfing the stuff down like a kid who’s never seen food before. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for… and now I’m wondering how soon I can chuck people out after they’ve eaten so I can go to bed, preferably with more cake. Wait, it’s only 4pm? Well.. it’s dark enough at least.

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Mishty: I got lots of presents – my daddy got me a fire engine and a nee-naw and ambulance and they have buttons and it makes noises like NEEEEEE NAWWWWWWWW which is really fun. I got a scooter and a fire station tent too which are the best things ever. I’m going to put it next to my castle which is reeeally big and really fun and I’m going to put all my toys in it. Sometimes I hide in there and play with my Lego. I like Lego.

Me: I have sirens wailing in my ears continuously and the tent has a wrong part which means I am fixing poles together with cellotape. This was supposed to replace the other tent which is torn but Mishty is refusing to let me take it down and has shoved everything inside there including an IKEA storage box which he is pretending is a bed. I hunch over inside awkwardly pretending to be a cat, wondering whether I could successfully pitch ‘Crouching Cat, Hidden Dinosaur’ to Hollywood film producers. My living room now resembles a polyester fire hazard and- OWWWARRRRGGGHHH – I just stepped on a Lego piece and want to amputate my foot to stop the pain.

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Mishty: It’s my birthday so I can sleep in Mummy’s bed, yaay! I like being in Mummy’s bed, she is really snuggly. I really like being in the middle!

Me: Great, another night of me sleeping on the edge curled into a question mark while Mishty wriggles around, groping my earlobe and occasionally headbutting me in the face.

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Mishty: That was soooo fun. Lets have another party tomorrow! 

Me: No.

[Happy birthday Mishty! I love you lots, you are the best thing ever in my life. Love and hugs, from Mama Mishty. xxx]

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Moving On…

I’d had enough. I told Hubby I needed some space. He took it well and understood.

So, we put our cramped flat on the market and started house hunting. After a hundred viewings, three buyers pulling out, Brexit and endless legal delays, we finally exchanged contracts on a house two minutes before the deadline ten long months after we started the process. I nearly collapsed with relief when I got the call.

We had three weeks until the completion date. I wanted to use the packing service that removal companies provide but Hubby had other ideas. “Lets do it ourselves! It’ll be fun! We can throw out lots of stuff!” he said enthusiastically.

And so began the longest process of packing either of us had ever undertaken.

Soon there were boxes and bubblewrap everywhere. We had to move Mishty’s bed back into our room to free up space in the spare room to pile them up. And still there was more.

Hubby and I have different packing styles. He liked to throw everything into a box whereas I liked to try on every item in my wardrobe first. He wanted to seal them up and I wanted them open ‘just in case’ I found something that went with it later. Our daily clashes were making this process decidedly not fun.

One person who did find it fun was Mishty. He liked to run off with a flat pack box and try to assemble it himself by ripping it or stomping on it. Sometimes he would be a little helper and other times he would poke you with the mop. To contain him we would plonk him into an empty box.

“How do we have so much stuff?” Hubby pondered. Even after throwing out at least six large bags of stuff we had barely made a dent. Each night after work we would fill up boxes and yet everywhere we looked there was more to pack. “Hoarder” was muttered in my direction on more than one occasion. I won’t repeat what was shot back in his direction.

We packed right until the night before and even on the day as the movers carted everything into their van. I 20161118_113808wish I could say I had a few quiet moments in the empty flat alone but any sort of reverie was smashed by the sound of Hubby yelling that we were late and needed to leave.

I did have a little cry though. This was the place where we had brought Mishty home. Over by the front door was where he had taken his first steps. The entirety of his life was in these four walls. And now after five and half years we were leaving.

We dropped off our keys and rushed to the estate agent to pick up our new ones. Except the funds hadn’t gone through. The electronic transfer was having a Friday afternoon long lunch and taking its sweet time. We waited for three hours in the car outside the new house in a tense homeless limbo. The removal men slept in their van. The fridge delivery man turned up two hours early and then left the fridge on the doorstep. Our clock-watching was punctuated by prayer, swearing, singing, talking, eating and frustrated silence.

Then I got the call. The estate agent was coming over with the keys. As she gave them to me I needed someone to share this moment with. Unfortunately Hubby had gone to a café for a loo break so I ended up hugging the lady instead.

It was 3pm when we stepped inside our new freezing cold but clean house and I had two hours before Mishty came home from nursery. The adrenaline kicked in and I worked like a machine to unpack. The house was filled with activity and people – my parents, in laws, neighbours, removal men, the removal man’s son… and then finally Mishty.

Think of an excited puppy with ADHD and you still wouldn’t be close to how loopy he was at seeing all his favourite people in the new house. Hubby took ages getting back as he forgot his way and went towards the old flat. I left him with the others to manage so I could plough on with getting his room ready. I could hear him refusing to sit in his high chair for dinner, and then running up and down the living room, exploring under the sofa and jumping off them in between each mouthful. Dinner time was always eventful.

Once everyone had left, I was giving him a bath when he said the words I’d been dreading, “Mummy, can we go home now?” Clearly our efforts at prepping him for the move with tales of the new house had been in vain. “This is your new home now” I said gently. “Oh… but I don’t like this house, it’s yucky” he whined. Guilt was threatening to overwhelm me but he did have a point, the décor was pretty awful.

I tucked him into bed, anxiously wondering if he would be cold or scared. I knew he would come to our bed at some point like he had been doing every night for the past couple of weeks but I didn’t mind. It was the start of the coldest spell of 2016 and with our own bedroom curtains not up, every bit of extra warmth was welcomed.

We went to bed close to midnight, mentally and physically drained. I didn’t sleep well – I was too cold and too wired. But I was content. It had taken a long time but we were finally here- this was our new house and one box at a time, we were going to turn it into a home.

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The Perils of Potty Training

potty-trainingIt was Wednesday and my turn to do the nursery pick up. When I arrived, Mishty’s key worker informed me that he would be moving up to pre-school in six weeks.

“Does he need to be potty trained before he can go there?” I asked, hoping that the answer would be no.

“Yes, most definitely.”

Bugger.

“Oh right, of course” I said brightly, trying to hide the look of terror on my face.

“Do you have any pants for him?”

“Eh? Oh, er… yes” I had actually bought some the other day in an uncharacteristic fit of forward looking parenting.

“Right, bring them tomorrow and we’ll start then” she said firmly.

I blinked and nodded dumbly.

I was not mentally prepared for this. I knew this day was coming but I thought it would be in a few weeks, not less than 24 hours. I felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a truck filled with poo hurtling towards it at a million miles an hour- things were gonna get messy.

The next morning, I packed five changes of clothes and cajoled Mishty into his new big boy dinosaur pants, praying for miracles.

When I picked him up, he was in different clothes. Three accidents only, they said positively, handing me a bag stuffed with wee soaked clothes.

At home Mishty was already getting the hang of telling me when he needed to go. The only problem was that once on the potty his pee would shoot out like a water cannon, spraying everywhere except inside it. I was left cleaning the floor, the mats, the potty, his bum and his legs EVERY TIME. Occasionally he’d even get it on his face.

Did I forget to mention that day one of potty training also conveniently coincided with Hubby going away for the weekend with his family? I dropped him off at the in-laws that evening as it was an early morning flight on Friday. I had hoped that Mishty would just fall asleep in the car on the way back. No such luck. He chose the one evening when I was on my own to projectile vomit just as we were five minutes away from home.

It was impressive that one so small could spew so much. Mishty began whining for daddy. I nearly joined in too as I spent the rest of the night cleaning chunks of sick off Mishty, the car seat, his clothes, and the floor of the car.

The next morning, a tired Mishty didn’t want to go to nursery or get out of pull ups. There was a stand-off and almost an hour late, we finally arrived. Another day and another three changes of clothes later, I still had no idea how to get him to pee in the potty.

Over the weekend I stayed with my parents and met up with some friends for moral support. I rocked up at my friend’s house looking like I’d come to stay for a month with potty in tow and weighed down by an overflowing changing bag. There was tea, toys and a few tantrums but the important thing was that we managed to go to the bathroom in time and there was pee almost in the potty.

Afterwards, I dumped all the spare clothes at my parents and went for a quick coffee to another friend’s.  Just as we arrived, Mishty told me he needed to go and then promptly gushed forth a tide of wee of such epic proportions that he flooded my friend’s hallway. The best thing about friends with kids is that there’s always an abundance of wipes and understanding. Coffee turned into dinner and with no spare clothes left, we were entering dangerous territory.

So obviously it happened again. He told me just as he started peeing but at least this time we were in the garden. I couldn’t handle any more accidents so he ended up back in nappies and a pair of girls jogging bottoms. The rest of the evening was spent getting intimately acquainted with their bathroom – two showers, several false alarms, three tiny drops and another full gush. Tiring work.

On Sunday Hubby was back and I told him to take over as I was exhausted. He came out of the bathroom irritatingly smug. No mess for him. WHAT?! The secret to success is to push the willy down so wee is directed into the potty. Obvious. I stared at him. It’s only bloody obvious if you have one! How was I supposed to know that?

Things improved after that but then he dropped a clanger. Literally. He pooped his pants. I fought the overwhelming urge to just throw them away (I figured this might be a frequent thing and then I’d not have enough pants left) and ran to the bathroom but in my haste the poo fell out. I gave a blood curdling scream and then yelled dramatically at everyone to stay back. There was now a slug like turd lying in the middle of the bathroom floor. This was truly the stuff of nightmares. With every muscle tensed and my gag reflexes working overtime, I donned some gloves and stoically picked it up but it was too squishy and broke apart. I had to scrape the remains off the floor before flushing it all away. Subsequently, I now suffer from PTSD.*

Aside from that unfortunate mishap and the occasional wet fart, Mishty turned out to be a quick learner and within a couple of weeks was fully toilet trained.

People will tell you that potty training isn’t that bad. They are lying.  You will see things that you can’t unsee. You will smell things that will linger in your nose for days. You will go through a month’s supply of toilet roll and wipes in two days. You will be haunted and exhausted, until one day it’s all over. The poo finally goes in the potty and you experience a dizzying euphoria that no one else could ever understand.

The battlefield of the potty – you will survive but not unscathed.

 

*Potty-training stress disorder

 

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Stop, Co-operate and Listen!

tantrum-in-supermarket-pmAs I picked up Mishty from nursery yesterday, his key worker pulled me aside to talk about his development. Everything was fine, she assured me, but there was just one area that needed to be addressed… his listening skills. Apparently Mishty is not very good at always doing what he is told.

This was no surprise. Most of my requests are regularly ignored despite my best efforts at politely asking, cajoling, coaxing, repeating, bellowing, threatening, ignoring and bribing him. It’s frustrating and highly annoying but the worst is when we are out in public. For example…

I collected Mishty from nursery one evening and thought I’d pick up something for dinner from the local supermarket. He was very excited as a) he’d made a cake at nursery and b) he loves food shopping.

We wandered down the aisles in his buggy when he started getting peckish and began pestering me for cake. Seeing as he went to all the effort of actually making it, I thought I’d let him have some. He happily munched away but then after a while started getting a bit restless – he wanted to walk around. This was dangerous parenting territory but after making him promise to hold my hand and not run off, I took him out.

I was played like a fool. Within seconds he was running around picking things up and trying to throw them before I snatched them out of his tiny but fiercely strong grip. This included a particularly large melon that he successfully lobbed halfway across the fruit section. After some disapproving glances that clearly suggested my parenting skills were not up to scratch, I tried to get to the checkout as quickly as possible.

On the way there, Mishty decided it was more fun to drop to his knees and slide on the floor. I cursed myself for giving him the cake as the subsequent sugar high was making him run around the aisles and  think that me chasing him was a new fun game. Then as I tried to haul him off the floor from yet another slide, he decided to just lie there. Literally, lie flat on the floor in the middle of the path while I hissed at him to get up. You may think the obvious answer would be to put him back in the buggy but you are forgetting the fact that a) you have to catch him first b) he is surprisingly strong c) you can’t be as physical as you normally are in public in case someone calls social services.

Normally I have one of those handy scanner things that mean you just go to a self-service machine to pay and the whole process takes hardly any time at all but today they weren’t working. Clearly the world was conspiring to break me.

So there I was, trying to put the items on the conveyor belt while Mishty stubbornly refused to get in the buggy. I picked him up and forcefully tried to place him in but he, just as forcefully, planted his feet on the seat and resisted sitting. After a mini wrestle he wriggled out of my grasp and ran off to the next aisle and grabbed someone else’s bottle of milk and chucked it, laughing in my face. I was mortified. Wishing I had three extra hands, I returned the milk, continued loading the shopping (which was taking surprisingly longer than expected) and attempted to get him back in the buggy but he once again ran off. This time, the woman next to me whose milk he threw, took pity on me and tried to help. She naively told him to be a good boy and listen to his mummy. His face plainly said “whatevs”.

I desperately tried to load and pack up the shopping quicker than you could say “why can’t you control your child?” while the stranger tried to helpfully restrain my son. If ever there was a time for Mishty to understand the meaning of obedience and actually listen to me, this would be it. A queue was building up in the other aisle as the lady was not dealing with her own shopping which only added to my burning shame. Luckily we were in a Waitrose where the people are civilised and unlikely to cause a ruckus like the Asda clientelle.

After what felt like an eternity, the shopping was finally done so I was free to drag Mishty into an armlock and belt him into the buggy. I said my thanks to the lady and bid my farewell.

Moral of the story – restrain your child at all times and if they escape pretend they are not yours.

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True Love

His cherub face peers up at mine,
A question forming on his lips
and tumbling out in a jumble.
The answer is a kiss on the nose
and a raspberry on the belly.

His gurgling laugh makes my soul smile
and ache with love
hearing that happy melody.
I do anything for that sound,
I do anything for him.

His footsteps leave imprints on my heart
as his soft baby feet walk all over me.
I cuddle him in my arms, my head on his,
feeling loved and happy and content.
A wriggly mass of energy
jumping and climbing on me;
my little baby,
my true love.

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Look Who’s Talking

“Where’s your big cock gone, Mummy?” Mishty asks me innocently. Er… how exactly is one supposed to answer this? More disturbing than the fact that he thinks I have one, is the fact that he thinks it’s gone missing. And even more worrying, is that I am actually pleased that he thinks my hypothetical missing anatomy is big. I am about to launch into a painful discussion about the difference between boys and girls when I notice that he is pointing to my bare wrist. Sensing something not quite right, it finally dawns on me that he is referring to my oversized watch that I had lost earlier that week. Mishty’s inability to pronounce the letter L had given ‘clock’ a whole new meaning!

Mishty has been talking loads lately and becoming quite the chatterbox. He can hold a conversation with you in his very cute baby voice and it means I can stop guessing why he is crying and just be told instead (usually it’s a demand for “choc-ate”). However, there are still times when I’m left scratching my head or rolling around in fits of giggles. Here are some memorable moments…

When changing his nappy, I pull a face as the stench makes my eyes water and stomach heave. Mishty picks up on my desire for a gasmask and looks around saying, “what’s that smell?” and then answers himself, “I think it’s garlic, Mummy.” Sure, blame it on the non-existent garlic and not the foul poop that’s just squirted out of your bottom…

Another time we were talking about going in the car with his Nana when he suddenly says, “Nana’s gonna die”. This momentarily floors us. Is it a prophecy? Is it that he knows that one day we will all end up dying? Is it a wish? Because he is now saying it repeatedly like he really wants this to happen which is weird as Nana is one of his most favourite people. Then he starts talking about the car and we remember he can’t pronounce his R’s very well. I get it now. The answer is yes Nana is going to drive.. and hopefully not die any time soon.

Mishty’s take on favourite food – “I like to eat my bogies”

On women drivers – “I like your driving Mummy, I want you to die!” Although sometimes he changes his mind and says “that’s daddy’s car, get out Mummy!” and then cries if I don’t. He can be a bit of a bully sometimes.

On how we spend our day – “Daddy goes to the office, and mummy puts on make up and goes shopping”. Remind me to stamp out any subconscious gender stereotyping he may be exposed to.

On seeing any vehicle with lights on the top – “NEEEEE NAWWW NEEEE NAWWWW NEEE NAWWWWW” at ear splitting volume.

On having zero patience – “Mummy are we there yet?” “No, Mishty, we haven’t even got to the car yet to drive there.”

On being a little perv – “Mummy you got begoons!” [This is the Bengali word for aubergine and I have no idea why he equates this with breasts]

On being an inappropriate little perv – “Nanu, are those your begoons?!” while trying to pull her top down and have a look. Cue an awkward chat with me about why my son is calling her bits begoons and how this is inappropriate.

On being a typical boy – “I got little ears. I got a little nose. I got a little head. I GOT A BIG WILLY!!!” Yes this is what all men think, I just didn’t realise it started at 2.

On being an inappropriate boy – “Nanu, remember, I got a big willy!” Nanu gravely replies, “Yes, I remember..”

On a new anatomical discovery in the bath – “Look Mummy, I made my willy go big!” My response was naturally to just go, “ARRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

He is also a little parrot. So Hubby taught him to say “No Mummy, stop watching rubbish on the tv!” and then run up to the telly and switch it off every time I watched one of my reality TV shows. I got my own back by telling him to do the same when the football was on.

As well as being funny, he can be very sweet too. My personal favourite was when he stroked my face and quietly said, “Mummy, you’re gorgeous” – this truly turned me to mush. Another time he pointed to a picture of me and Hubby and said “That’s Mummy and Daddy – Mummy pretty”. He will volunteer to help, “Mummy can I help you?” and will vigorously try to clean things by making more mess and then cry if you tell him to stop because you actually need to clean it. Sometimes he will offer me his plastic food as a present and say “Happy to you”. He remembers to say “Bless you” when I sneeze and says “excuse me/please/thank you/sorry” [nursery takes the credit for that]. A day will not go by without him asking me a hundred times “whatchoo dooooing Mummy?” even if he knows exactly what I’m doing. When I come home from work he will actually ask me how my day was. Once I felt sad so he tapped me on the shoulder and said “You ok Mummy?” and then “Daddy stop being horrible to Mummy!”

These are the moments that make my heart melt and put a smile on my face… it’s good to talk.