Mrs know it all.

My best friend is expecting her first child in April next year, and whilst I’m sharing in her excitement, I’m also finding it hard not being ‘that friend’ that knows everything, issues prescriptive advice and believes her children are absolutely perfect. But my friend has no other friends who have kids, so she is looking to me for advice. So I thought I’d get it all written down here.

To be honest, the first few days home from hospital with your firstborn aren’t too hard, especially if the dad is around and can have some time off work. He can take shifts and let you to sleep once baby is nursed, or even take a shower or have a bath. Luxury. There are two adults vs one baby. Someone can be doing something productive whilst the other watches the baby. Even fighting with a scary poopy nappy at 3am seems easier when there’s two of you involved.

But then there comes a time when you need to leave the house. Food shopping. Drs appointments. Registering the birth. And this is when it hit me, 5 years ago, that life had changed. Staying at home, in our new baby bubble, we did fine. But venturing out into the world, a world that doesn’t stop or change just because you did something like having a baby, that’s when I realised that it would never be the same again.

We were 20 minutes late for our appointment with the registrar to register the birth. As we were putting little one in her all in one suit on we were hit with a waft of poop. It required an immediate, complete outfit change. And damn it, she did another one, about 25 minutes later as we sat down in the registrars office after adamantly apologising several times for being late. And it was a stinker.

I can’t wait to meet my friends little lady, but I need to allow her the space to make her own story, and look forward to hearing all her disaster tales. After all, babies are resilient little beings, it’s us adults that add the stress and social awkwardness to these situations.

A cuppa and a natter.

Tonight I sat down with a lovely young lady and was able to catch up with all the gossip. Important things, like what Alexandra (bff) is getting for Christmas, why Olaf is the best snowman ever and how the robin red breasts are actually Santas little messengers checking you’re still being good in the run up to Christmas.

The young lady in question was my 5 year old daughter, who is most delightful (obviously I’m biased). But whenever she stays with my parents or babysitters, everyone always says how wonderful she is. So instead of rushing around doing housework and getting frustrated with all of her cries for attention, tonight we kicked back, grabbed a cuppa and some colouring pens and coloured in some delightful festive scenes. And it was wonderful.

Christmas presents. Better than any you could ever buy.

With all the commercialism surrounding the forthcoming festivities I find that I need to take the time and remind myself of what it’s really all about. It’s not about getting little one 1D concert tickets like all her friends, or a new pair of lelly kelly school shoes. It’s about the little things, some of which are a token annual event, and some of which come out of nowhere and surprise me.

Christmas songs. I love them. And I have my favourite. Maybe it’s because I like that the radio stations have to decide to play the unedited version and risk the backlash of an unhappy public and ‘that bad language’. Although little one is slowly learning the words to last Christmas and sings ‘special’ in such a special way.

Food. It’s like Christmas gives you a free pass to eat way more than you’d ever think is possible. There’s always room for a second mince pie. Or a handful of celebrations out of the tub.

School plays. I don’t start properly feeling the Christmas spirit until I’ve seen little one in her school play. This year we were treated to a whole school production (a change from the norm) which started with a delightful version of frozens ‘let it go’ cleverly changed to ‘let it snow’.

Craft. Lots of it. Covered in glitter and sent home for our delight. And a calendar that’s been made that is totally unusable and doesn’t fit in with the kitchen colour scheme, but you’re guilted into displaying all year round by those puppy dog eyes.

Mulled cider. This was a new discovery last year, but I do enjoy sitting down in the evening with a lovely warm glass, goblet even, full of it, and feel the warming embrace of sleepiness take over.

Present wrapping. A whole evening is put aside for this task. Sherry is poured. Wrapping is commenced. Husband is shooed away as his ‘help’ is more of a hindrance. Christmas music is played loudly. More sherry. Tricky shaped presents to wrap prove vexing. More sherry. Quality of wrapping deteriorates as volume of sherry consumed increases. Vow to get everyone gift vouchers next year.

Christmas lights. This is a new one. My 18 month old (baby!) takes absolute delight in driving round town when it’s dark and looking at all the lights. The cries of ‘mama, noo (look)’ do draw thin though, as she continues them until I acknowledge the current set of lights she is looking at. As soon as she receives that acknowledgement, immediately there’s a further suprised cry of ‘mama, noo! and amazement that yet another household would don such luminous decorations.

The christingle service. This is a lovely local service on Christmas Eve. We go into church at 4pm, when it’s still light, and when we come out 30 minutes later it’s dark and you head home for a cuppa and a mince pie. The Sunday school perform the nativity, which is a joyful shambles of older kids not wanting to read and be centre stage and younger kids desperately pushing each other out of the way and attempting the loudest ‘baa’ known to man. This year should be especially brilliant, as my 18 month old has the role of 1st lion. Brilliant. And there’s always the sketchy one who tries to set the vicar alight with their christingle ‘accidently’.

Christmas morning. The excitement. The squeals. The delight that Rudolph and Santa enjoyed their snacks. The all morning breakfast that rolls into lunch. The acceptance that ‘mum’s having a sherry’ at 10am. And bless her, little one gets so excitement from each present she has to open it and play with it immediately, meaning that present opening lasts at least until 4pm.

After putting this all down in decidedly feeling more Christmassy already 🙂
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. This is a slight tongue in cheek view of it, aided by a goblet of mulled cider as mentioned above.

Merry Christmas.

Life in the fast lane

Ok, so it’s December and it’s a busy month and all that. But I’ve just had to sit down and eat all 7 of my advent calendar chocolates in one go because I haven’t had a chance to start it yet.
Looking at my diary in the run up to Christmas I knew it was going to be a busy time, especially following a busy November with every weekend filled with family gatherings, kids birthday parties, volunteering commitments and finding time to watch the autumn internationals. But this week has been insane, and it’s only the first week.

It went a little something like this:
Monday night 5yr old has rainbows, which required an assortment of weird and wonderful things be collected and sent in for craft.
Tuesday night I help run the local guide unit.
Wednesday night we were off to buy a new car.
Thursday night was the school fair which the pta organise and run. I landed the hook a duck stall, and all the tantrums that follow with that.
Friday night I had my evening bar shift.
Last night was the first of three Christmas dinners I’ve been invited to.

I’ve recently got into using a slow cooker to cook our meals whilst we’re out, and everyone says oh, how lovely, but to be honest when the heck would I find the time to cook meals in between all this?! And of course 5yr old eating patterns don’t tie in with 1yr old eating patterns and I can’t risk them both crashing at the same time.

So here’s to sitting down and scoffing all the chocolates in preparation for another busy week ahead … Roll on the new year and a quiet January!