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Santa visit

It’s that joyous time of year… the annual visit to The Big Man….

When you first have children, you cannot wait to take them to see Santa. You envisage them sitting on his knee, lovingly looking up at him, and capturing the magic with a photo you can show the grandparents.

The reality is very different.

My eldest was 13mths when we first took her. She screamed her head off. “Santa” was basically a teenager with a dodgy fake beard. He didn’t know what to do, other than to look frantically at an elf that was older than he was.

The result was a crap picture of me holding the legs of my child as she screamed hysterically.

The second year we took her was much the same. We queued for what seemed like hours, got to the door of the grotto, and my daughter ran straight through it and out of the exit screaming her head off.

We then got kicked out because she jabbed a reindeer in the eye. We didn’t realise the thing was real.

Last year we took her to a more intimate setting. This time she got so intimidated she refused to speak. I found myself telling Santa what I wanted. We then ended up with another shit picture of me grinning and my daughter staring at the floor.

So this year, we decided to splash out a bit and make a day of it. I have no idea why I thought this would be any better. I was clearly drunk when I booked it.

We drive an hour down the motorway to The farm.We are promised an Elf village, piglet racing, nativity play and Santa himself.

The reality was a little different. It was muddy. I do not like mud. I do not like muddy puddles. I was not dressed for mud. We had been previously and there was no mud….

Child number 2 was already whinging. We’d been there 5 minutes. We decide to have dinner straight away just to shut him up. This worked for about 15 minutes.

To the “Elf village” we go. This is basically a very narrow shed. Child 2 is scared of the fairy lights on the floor and refuses to budge. Great.

We’re encouraged to make some “reindeer food” this is basically some Tesco basics porridge oats which you put in a bag. Daughter asks where the glitter is..

I reply there’s none as it kills the birds. She points out it’s for reindeers not birds. Course it is.

We trundle through the shed, and arrive at the sheep pen. Child 2 is scared of the sheep and has to be carried kicking and screaming past it.

We go to feed the goats. Child 2 is scared of the goat and legs it. We let him. No one is going to be stupid enough to take him home.

The daughter feeds the goats. “Mum,is that goat supposed to eat the paper bag?”

“No”

“Oh”……..

Kids decide they’re bored of the animals. Into the play barn we go. This is chaos. It is basically full of a shit load of kids ” releasing energy”

The noise hits you as soon as you walk in. Both kids starburst into opposite directions.

Now this play barn isn’t full of feral children. It is full of middle class kids called Theodore and Delilah. They are dressed in last seasons Joules and Boden attire which are weirdly mismatched and too small. Seriously, what is it about posh families and the way they dress their kids?!

One boy/girl – I couldn’t tell which gender they were owing to the hideous bowl haircut, was dressed in old blue leggings, a red striped top of which the arms stopped 3 inches from the wrist, and a floral 3/4 length skirt over the top.

Anyway, we placed our designer kids wellies next to the fellow Hunters and Joules and in we went… no where to sit so you are forced to stand at the side of the play area and supervise your kid, or go into the huge tree house. Hubby asks me which one of us is going in. I give him a look. He dutifully takes his boots off and into the chaos he goes.

Within minutes we have lost one child and the other one ( guess which one) wants to come out because he doesn’t like the green floor or something.

Soon it’s time to go and see Santa. Child 2 is flagging. This should be fun.

Into another shed we go where the kids are encouraged to make a card for Santa. Child 2 is tired and decides to roll around on the glitter covered floor. Daughter makes 2 cards but refuses point blank to even write her name in.

We then enter into a festive room to see The big man himself.

There’s around 12 kids inside who are asked to sit nicely on the benches in front of him. The parents are requested to stand at the back of the room.

Daughter sits dutifully at the front. Child 2 does not. Instead, he decides he wants to practically sit on Santa himself. He wants some of the attention. So like a car reversing, he sticks his bum out and starts walking backwards, edging himself closer and closer.

Santa is addressing the rest of the kids. Child 2 is now leaning against Santa’s knees. The parents give a polite smile before realising that he’s not moving, therefore he’s not budging from any photo’s they want to take.

I move forward and grab my child putting him on a bench. I’m forced to bend down behind it trying to hold him in place. He refuses and throws himself forward. He escapes and resumes his position in front of Santa.

He wanders around for a bit. He heads towards a display of presents and starts dismantling them. I’m stuck behind the bench. I cannot reach him because it means walking in front of Santa who is still giving a speech.

Child 2 picks up a soft toy and sticks it up his top. An Elf tries to gently take it back, but the child lobs it on the floor and runs over it to stand in front of Santa again. This time, he notices Santa’s beard and decides to give it a little tug. Thankfully Santa foresees this and clings onto it.

We are now done with Santa and the kids go into the workshop to pick a gift. Daughter gleefully tells me that she’s traded her coin in for a slime making kit. She is gleeful because she knows I would never have allowed her to pick it had I had known it was there.

We head home soon afterwards. Child 2 is asleep by the time we get out the carpark. Daughter spends the hour journey telling us she can’t wait to make slime when she gets back. We tell her to wait until after tea and daddy will supervise.

We get home. By the time I take my coat off, daughter informs me that she’s made the slime….into the living room I go. There are hundreds of slime particles all over the floor, table and chairs. The slime she’s managed to make is a rigid mess in a cup. We are forced to hoover up and chuck the remaining mess. Daughter spends the entire evening crying.

A minute after hoovering, child 2 drops his crisps into the carpet and treads on them…

Gimme strength!

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Train gripes part 2

So, following on from yesterday. Things not to do on the train part 2….

Eating smelly food….

Now I don’t actually mind food on trains. I quite like to relax with a coffee and a muffin in the morning. However, some people take it to another level. Some people have a full on 3 course meal on the commute.

Then there are the ones that decide to eat horrendously stomach turning smelly food. The worst by far is fish.

I once sat next to a man that opened up a huge portion of sushi complete with wasabi sauce which he lovingly drizzled on top. The stench of raw salmon combined with the sweat of the train was awful.

However, there is a flip side to this. There are times when you’ve finished work and you’re starving. This is made worse by the fact someone is eating a huge McDonald’s in front of you.

I have literally sat drooling over someone else’s Big Mac. I have had so much food envy that I would have even eaten the usually discarded gherkins.

Sleeping….

Every train journey features a sleeper. Unfortunately they’re never silent.

Last week a young chap sat opposite me. Within seconds he was fast asleep. Head back, mouth wide open, and snoring loudly. In fact, he actually sounded like a hedge trimmer.

Not only does the noise make me want to punch him in the face, but I can’t stop looking at him.

Looking at a stranger whilst they’re snoring is dangerous. You know it’s not polite, and you know that you’ll look weird when they open their eyes to find you staring at them, but you can’t help it.

So I continue to stare at this chap. Mainly wondering how he hasn’t woken himself up from the noise. All the time, I’m quickly averting my eyes, playing “sleep chicken” trying to not let him catch me looking.

Mid glance, he slowly opens one eye. For Gods sake! There’s normally more notice than this! I look up, pretending that the train lights are exciting. However, I’m aware that this strangers eye is still on me.

I casually glance at him. I then realise that he is actually asleep with one eye closed and the other staring straight at me.

WHAT THE HELL???

How am I supposed to carry on this game?! It’s something else to look at, but it’s also pretty freaky and quite unnerving. How do I know he’s actually asleep and not just fucking with me?

5 minutes before we arrive at our stop. He does a splutter and wakes up. Owing to the noise he makes, he apologises.

I just stare at him. I’m dying to ask if he knows he sleeps with one eye open. Or that he sounds like a hedge trimmer. I don’t. I just make a mental note not to sit next to him again.

Talking loudly on the phone….

Why do people insist on talking so loudly on their phones whilst in a public place? Clearly these people think their lives are so exciting that they feel the need to share it with everyone else.

I have heard all sorts…from Shanice telling her “bestie” she’s on her way to visit her “bae” in prison….to Tony telling his mate he’s going to “bang the chip shop bird tonight”

I once listened to Mercedes having a two way conversation between her cheating boyfriend and his new missus Tracey via speakerphone.

It mainly consisted of ” Don’t lie yeah? I’m telling you yeah? You better not be lying yeah…”

I’m still not sure after an hour commute, Mercedes got to the bottom of whether her boyfriend was lying

* I like to adopt names for other commuters based on what they look like*

Taking children on a rush hour commute…

Ok I know children have to travel on trains. However, parents that decide the early morning or 5pm commute is a great time to go/ return back from an epic shopping trip are asking for trouble.

I don’t want to hear little Felix being encouraged to practice his spellings or songs from school at 6pm on a crowded train after work. I have enough of that shit at home when I have to feign interest.

I also don’t want to listen to an hysterical Tabitha who’s been dragged around John Lewis all day, crying for the duration of the commute because her mother decided to catch the later train so she could have a cheeky prosecco at Grand Central station.

I also do not want to listen to the theme tune of Teletubbies on repeat that is keeping little Jonny entertained. Especially since his twat of his mother clearly doesn’t realise there’s a volume button on the side.

And finally, I do not want to see little Billy having his bum changed on the train table. Because that has happened… and is apparently quite normal.

Gimme Strength

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Train gripes part one….

So as many of you know, I catch the train a lot. I therefore feel “qualified” to talk about the do’s and don’t’s of train travel.

In order for me to do so, I’ll give you a few pointers of what really annoys me…

1. People

Now I realise this is quite a broad subject. However, I would be quite happy to travel in an empty carriage every day. Other people are annoying full stop. They do however provide entertainment. Over the years they have provided me with some great writing material. Below are things I have actually seen, and as such, form some of the things not to do on the train…

Propose….

Yep. I have witnessed a chav style marriage proposal. It is still ingrained on my memory from around 8yrs ago.

A strong bow swilling chav chose that romantic moment to pop the question on the Leicester to Birmingham midland mainline train at rush hour.

He flipped his cap to the back, adjusted his fake Burberry scarf, stumbled onto one knee and with Sovereign in hand ( I kid you not) uttered the immortal words ” Hey bab, you fancy getting married to us or what?”

The equally pissed recipient had the sense to tell him to “F off” to which he shrugged his shoulders and fell back into his seat.

Treat the train like a bus…

I once witnessed a man stick his arm out to a train approaching the platform as if it was a bus. Please don’t do this. You look a knob and people will laugh at you.

Have a phone that has a keyboard tone…

Usually applies to the older generation. Not only do they have an annoying “tap tap” noise on the keys, but they also tend to type very slowly… it is like Chinese water torture. It also makes me want to slam the phone onto the floor and stamp on it.

Noisy eaters….

Now I cannot stand any type of food related noise. Just ask my husband. I therefore do not want to see the contents of a sandwich swishing around in some strangers mouth.

Last week I witnessed a spectacle involving a man eating a packet of crisps.

Now I probably shouldn’t say this, but he had the stereotypical “look” of a sex offender. He was hugely overweight, greasy hair, glasses and wearing a filthy t shirt which sat above his overspilling belly.

I have NEVER seen anyone devour a bag of Roysters steak crisps in the way he did. He opened the pack, stuck his pudgy hand in, and in one fell swoop, he had the entire contents in his hand. He then shovelled the lot into his mouth, ramming any stray crisps in. The crunching was unbearable, but nothing compared to what he did next.

He then licked his fat fingers and one by one shoved them into the empty packet, licking off the tiniest of crumbs that he’d managed to capture on his spit. Not content with this, he ripped over the packet and wiped the crumbs DOWN HIS ARM and licked his arm furiously.

He was totally oblivious to the fact I was sat opposite him with my mouth wide open in shock/ disgust/ ready to vom.

Use the train carriage as a bathroom…

I have lost count of the times I have seen people clip their nails on the train. I’m pretty sure no one wants to sit on a seat covered in nail clippings. It is wrong on so many levels. I have also seen people shave their legs on the train, apply face masks,pop spots and floss their teeth.

Play crap music…

This has to be my biggest bugbear. At 6.30am I do not want to be sat next to anyone listening to a tinny mix of techno garage. I also do not appreciate anyone that decides the whole of the carriage needs to listen to their shit by placing their phone on the table and blaring it out on some Argos blue tooth speakers.

It is rude. It also makes me want to inflict violence.

Spatial awareness

Why is it so hard for people to remain in their own personal space?

Just today, I was subject to an impromptu lap dance from an elderly Irish lady. I was sat squished up to the window because she decided to lift up the armrest to “spread out”

she then tried to get her ticket out of her skirt pocket.

This act involved leaning onto one bum cheek and parking the other on my lap. In a desperate attempt to retrieve it from god knows where, she basically proceeded to hump my leg.

She was totally oblivious.

I have previously had testicles in my face. A man standing over you whilst you’re sat minding your own business, is not something I wish to have in the morning. Particularly when he is also “flying low”. Yep, this has happened…..

I also do not want to have someone’s garlic breath on my neck or armpits wet with BO, held aloft over my head holding onto a pole.

Now the only time I have breached this rule myself is when I accidentally spilt coffee over a man I was sat next to.

The coffee hit his trousers. Without thinking, I have grabbed a napkin and began patting him down, trying to soak up the coffee.

In hindsight, this was probably not wise. It may have been open to all sorts of interpretations which only became apparent when he hissed ” Will you keep your hands to yourself?!”

I withdrew my services quickly and spent the 2 hr journey cringing and not daring to glance at him. Not my finest hour that’s for sure….

Gimme Strength!

Part two tomorrow

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Poppy’s birthday

My daughter turned 7 yesterday. Our house is trashed.

There are balloons all over the floor, the furniture has been re arranged after a party yesterday, and there are toys and cards piled up under the tv.

In a few years time, the house will be much the same, except they’ll probably be random strangers lying under the tv, and other forms of latex all over the floor. It’s a scary thought.

Poppy received lots of lovely presents. Now when opening them, she goes one of two ways…. she either becomes very excited over something very unexpected, like yesterday when I picked up a sticker book from sainsburys and didn’t even bother to wrap it….well it was the best thing ever apparently…. or she makes zero emotion. This is usually reserved for when she opens a present in front of the person who brought it, it is beyond embarrassing.

My daughter is far from shy, but when she opens a present in front of someone, she puts her head down, opens it, barely looks at it and drops it to one side. Meanwhile, I’m trying to over compensate by doing the oohing and aahing, whilst also praying she doesn’t say something embarrassing like the time she opened a card and said ” I’m opening this card first in case there’s money in it”, or “I’ve already got this” or ” This is horrible. What is it?”

After the person has gone, she’ll rave about the gift, saying it’s the best thing ever. Ffs why couldn’t you have done that when you bloody opened it?

As I have previously mentioned, Poppy is into LOL dolls. They have to be the biggest rip off ever.

We brought her a huge plastic LOL bowl with a large bath bomb in and about 6 tiny pieces of plastic. 2 were dolls of which ones head fell off in the bath. I picked a tiny piece off the floor and went to chuck it in the bin. I honestly thought it was a chipped piece of plastic off something. It was smaller than an ant. Apparently it was a doll “pacifier”……£25 for a combined plastic size of a fingernail.

So Poppy had 2 parties this year. One was a tea party after school, and another was a bowling party today.

The good thing about having a party at home, is that you can drink alcohol and it looks semi acceptable. Like you can especially buy a case of prosecco but make it look like you just happen to have a few bottles in the fridge.

” Oh bugger, I’ve only got enough cordial for the kids, and I appear to have run out of tea and coffee. Prosecco anyone? Or gin…. or a Peroni?…..”

The mess then becomes bearable. Like when someone treads a cheesy wotsit into the carpet, or your One year old decides to make a strawberry smoothie on the wall. Or when you trough a load of sausage rolls into your mouth and the pastry is all down your top giving you away.

The other good thing about having a party at home is that you get to live on buffet food for about a week. It’s like Christmas. I basically do one batch of cooking then live on quiche and Dorito’s for 5 days.

I couldn’t do a tea party at home if it involved inviting a load of kids around. Mainly because the mess would make me anxious but also because I would probably get through the case of prosecco and it probably wouldn’t be appropriate.

Instead, I did a bowling party. Last year, I took 7 kids to “Build a bear” followed by McDonald’s. I stupidly told the parents to relax at home as I was convinced it would be easy to supervise them. How stupid was I? Never again! How I didn’t lose one I don’t know.

This year, the kids had a game of bowling followed by food. The lovely “Carol” ( I don’t actually know her name but she looked like a carol) supervised the kids and arranged everything.

The kids had fun.. although the game seemed to drag on forever and there’s only so much coffee you can drink watching them.

Kids liked the food. Although the random piece of red pepper next to the hot dog was a bit weird. Almost like Hollywood Bowl decided they’d better shove a bit of veg on the plate so hacked up a random pepper.

Poppy rounded off the party by nearly setting another child on fire. She didn’t quite get the concept of a sparkler candle and therefore decided to blow it… thus sending sparks in the direction of another child’s face. But hey ho, we all survived.

Now where’s that prosecco….

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Hospital

So yesterday I went to the hospital for a “CT scan with contrast”

Of course it should have just been a routine type of appointment. However, this is me we’re talking about. Nothing is ever straight forward.

So I arrive at the department early. I’m asked to go into another room and wait. I am also asked to drink a litre of water and wait an hour…

Now the reason I’m there in the first place is because I have a few kidney problems. So the idea of drinking a shed load of water and hanging around isn’t ideal.

4 cups in and I’m feeling bloated and sick. I’m also dying for the loo. I still have 58 minutes to go.

A nurse comes in and explains that they need to put some iodine in me via injection. Ok I can do that. She then adds that this is to be done via cannula. I cannot do that.

I have an innate fear of these things. When I was in labour I had one in and when the nurse had finished, there was blood all up the wall and all over me. When they went to take it out, the needle snapped. Since then, I freak out. I would rather have 10 injections than one of those hanging out my arm!

I start sweating and panicking. I’m pretty sure that the water I’ve just drank is now coming out my pores. I’m also about to wet myself.

The nurse looks at me and asks if I’m going to faint. I wince and just shake my head. She inspects my arm and tells me I have good veins. Apparently that’s a good thing. I resist saying ” It’s a good job I’m not a smack head then”

She starts inserting the needle and she’s trying to make idle chat to try and take my mind off the fact there’s a needle attached to a bit of plastic hanging out my arm. I’m feeling a little queasy. She stands back and I think she’s done so I make the mistake of looking down….

There is a needle half hanging out my arm. The nurse is looking at it shaking her head, ” I think I’ve got the wrong angle”……

“ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!”

Turns out she was…. it was a “joke” with that she pushes the needle in and I nearly fall off the chair… and vom..,. And piss myself…

I return to the waiting room, and then a thought enters my head… I need to remove my underwired bra.. how am I going to do this with a cannula in my arm and a tight fitting top on? The thought of it catching on my top turns my stomach.

Another nurse appears and I voice my concern. She tells me she’ll help… this basically involves her cupping one of my boobs as I pull the bra strap down. Between us we do some contortionist act and “hey presto” I’m now bra less but the cannula is in.

We go into the CT room and I remove my boots. I look down, and to my horror I have odd socks on. Not even subtle odd socks. One is black striped, the other is pink and white spots.

I think back to the school run when I couldn’t find any socks so grabbed the first ones I could lay my hands on, thinking no one else will know.

I also think back to the time I was in labour and remember I was wearing some hideously embarrassing bright red socks with pandas on. This seemed 10 times more embarrassing when you have a nurse between your legs and those looking at you either side of her face.

I cringe and find myself apologising for my wardrobe malfunction. The nurse tells me it’s ok as she wears odd socks all the time. She is lying. She’s just trying to make me feel better.

She suggests I lie down on the CT bed and pull my jeans to my knees. She helpfully pops a flimsy piece of tissue paper over my nether regions ” to protect my modesty” does she not know, I’ve had 2 kids and I have no modesty left?! Besides, the tissue paper wafts off as I’m trying to wrench myself out of my skinny jeans. Thank god I had good pants on!

The nurse tells me she’s now putting the dye in my vein, and that I would feel a nice warm sensation followed by one that feels like I’ve wet myself. Is now a good time to tell her I’m actually on the verge of wetting myself?!

The dye takes effect..yep, nice warm feeling … OMG I’ve wet myself… or have I?! I actually can’t tell. I discreetly try and have a sneaky feel… it’s obviously not very discreet because the nurse reiterates it’s just a strange feeling and I’m all good.

I then go in and out the scanner. I resist the urge to “shake it all about” instead, a robot voice shouts demands to breathe in and out.

20 minutes later and i’m all done. Cannula out, bra back on, jeans back up and out I go.

I spy the toilet opposite the scanner room, which incidentally is mainly for people like myself with kidney problems, and for people that have just drank a litre of water and about to piss themselves… and it’s closed.

Gimme strength!

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Sainsburys toy sale

The Sainsbury’s toy sale comes at a perfect time every year. Just before my daughters birthday, and Christmas. It is a joy to behold… sort of.

So today I make it into store at 8am. The shelves are still stocked and there is a quiet hum of other shoppers. This is good.

My daughter loves Barbie “Fashionistas” Now these are basically the unruly cousins of original Barbie. There are no slim, ball gowned dolls here.

Fashionista’s are all shapes and sizes. There are “plus” sized ones… which are great in theory, but when you try and put original Barbie clothes on her she just looks like she’s eaten too many pies. There’s gothic looking ones and ones with bright pink hair with shaved bits around the side. Even the “ken’s” have top knots and handbags. I settled on a skin head Barbie. At least no one else will buy her one of those.

I spot a large ” LOL” fizz ball. For those that don’t know, these are basically very expensive kinder eggs. You can’t see what cheap tat you’re buying. My daughter absolutely adores them.

This fizz ball thing is £25. It does not specify if it comes with a doll in it. It is a superior version of what my daughter normally has. Potentially, I could be spending £25 on a bath bomb.

There are 6 left on the shelf and within seconds I’m surrounded by six women desperate to get their hands on this toy. We all stand there trying to figure out what the hell it is.

A sales assistant passes us and we practically pounce on him. We ask what this hideously expensive thing is. He is clearly new, because instead of fobbing us off with ” I’ll go and find someone that know’s” before disappearing into the warehouse never to be seen again, he helpfully gets his phone out.

The sainsburys sales assistant immediately accesses the “Amazon” website. It helpfully describes the product as a “fizz toy” the poor guy needs to up his game a bit so he decides to look on ” Youtube”

Unfortunately for this young man, by hitting up YouTube, it means that we are treated to a video of a toddler opening this toy. The toddler is accompanied by her mother who talks in a very annoying way.

So there’s now 7 of us crowded around this man who is holding his iPhone aloft trying to get a signal. The advert starts. A woman barks ” Can you fast forward this bit?” Poor lad almost drops his phone. He duly responds to this request. However, upon doing so, it reverts back to the very beginning. We all give the woman devil stares.

We stand watching this god damned video….” Hey guys, so today We’re going to find out what’s in this ball… we’ll start by slowly unwrapping the packaging….”

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST TELL US WHATS IN THE BLOODY THING!

We all watch as little Kristabelle opens all the little pieces, places the bath bomb in the bath, has a nice splash around….then we lose reception! The poor guy looks terrified!! He apologises and tries to load the video again.

After watching all the above crap again.. we see a doll emerge from the water! Hallelujah! We all plonk the expensive tat in our trollies and leave the poor guy watching the video.

I bypass the play doh and kinetic sand and thank the stars my daughter isn’t into Lego. I spy some Disney dolls.

There is a lady who has helpfully plonked her trolley in front of this section. She is leaning over her own trolley to pluck items off the shelf. A woman next to her is waiting patiently for her to move. I am not the patient kind.

I tap the trolley lady on the shoulder and ask her to grab me a couple of the Disney dolls. She was obviously shocked at my cheek because she hands me the ones she was holding. I walk off leaving her to realise that I’d had the last Rapunzel

My sister asked me to pick some Peppa pig stuff up. I sent her some pics and she said she’ll send me the money….

Now, every now and again, I like to amuse myself by sending people money online and using a naughty reference.

My sister didn’t have internet banking until recently. Every time she wanted a balance she had to ring her bank up and request her incomings etc.

For several months, I had been putting in bits of money I owed her for stuff under rude references and she had no clue… until one day when I forgot to tell her I’d put some money in and she queried it with the bank.

My sister almost dropped her phone when the lady at the bank told her she’d received £30 for a gimp mask and edible g string….

So today she told me she’d transferred the money for the toys…. and it was under a rude reference….

Dubiously checking my account, I saw I had a £13 payment for ” Vaginal soap”…….

Ffs Gimme strength!!!!

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Half term….

Some parents rejoice at the fact they get to spend a whole week off with their offspring.

Some parents rejoice at the fact they don’t have to do the dreaded school run.

I am not one of these parents.

Half term to me presents lots of “challenges” which normally arise being in the company of children.

The first thing, is trying to keep them entertained. As I have previously mentioned, I’m not a fan of other people’s kids. This means that my options are limited in deciding where to take my kids.

The idea of ” Wacky warehouse” or other similar disease ridden play barns makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. Trying to keep track of your kid whilst being surrounded by other snotty nosed screaming kids is my worst nightmare. Plus they always serve shit coffee. So that’s a no go.

There are only so many times you can go to the park. Granted it’s free, and gets you out in the “fresh air”, it is also cold and muddy. I do not “do” muddy. Those Joules wellies are to remain pristine thank you very much!

“Messy play” as per above….I do not “do” activities that involve large quantities of glitter, paint, mud or slime. My children have no “old clothes” suitable for this activity. I am the type of parent that would strap wet wipes to their kid if it wasn’t deemed weird.

“Interactive play” otherwise known as playing barbies, ponies etc. I’m all for this. Except my daughter thinks up crap storylines and will not offer any flexibility on this. So my chosen Barbie – she normally gives me the one with no head, has to go to the same party hosted by the same mermaid over and over again. I am also not allowed to change her name. Her name will forever be “Princess Diamond Moonshine” and not “Bev” as I would have preferred.

Cinema. Now I like this option. However, it is expensive, unless you go to “kids am” which is a special 10am viewing of a kids film at a reduced cost. This film is usually one that went straight to dvd.

“No Poppy, we can’t go and watch that new Disney film, we’re going to watch something you’ve never heard of, and mummy can have a cheeky nap”

Now it’s only day 2 of half term. I have had to get up earlier than I would for the school run. Instead of leaving my child at school and returning home to watch “Jeremy Kyle”, I am up watching “Teletubbies” and answering a million and one questions.

My daughter insists I watch her playing a computer game which consists of her dressing an avatar up and collecting diamonds so she can buy accessories.

“Mum which hair shall I pick?”

Me half asleep; “I don’t know. The first one?”

“No i don’t like that one. I’m picking a blue bob”

“Mum how many diamonds do I need to buy the shoes?”

“Lots. You need to save up. Or get a credit card”

My daughter is always hungrier during the holidays. Why is it that she can last until lunch time at school? At home , she has her breakfast. Five minutes later, she’s asking if it’s lunch. Every half hour or so she’s wanting a “snack”

A snack to me is a piece of fruit or a few biscuits. My daughter got through an entire family bag of Dorito’s. I probably should have supervised her but I was lying down somewhere with a cold flannel on my head and wishing it was an acceptable time for a glass of wine.

I have one more day of “babysitting” my own children, then I hand the baton over to The Husband.

Until then, Gimme strength