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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

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Bee wolf

Today I almost had a heart attack.

My sister is going away soon and asked to borrow the suit cases I’d just used on my recent holiday.

Into the garage I went. I moved the mountain of un ironed holiday clothes off the top, and began to lug them into the house.

As I got to the third one, I detected an humming noise….strange, it appeared to be getting louder every time I moved the case.

I brought it into the house and the noise got louder. My sister helpfully suggested that maybe I’d left a vibrating sex toy inside…

I opened the case, thinking that maybe one of the kids had left a ( non sexual) toy inside. Nope nothing.

I then become aware of movement… on my boob… I look down and all I see is yellow and black… which is now buzzing angrily.

I realise it is a bee. I detest bees. I know ” they don’t hurt you if you don’t hurt them”Whatever. They scare the hell out of me.

I do the only logical thing in this situation . I scream loudly. I then start flapping my arms. I then start stripping my jacket off. I pause briefly, considering whether to rip my top off… I do not. That would mean the beast would be in my hair.

Instead I run towards my sister screaming “IT’S ON ME! IT’S ON ME!”

She does that sisterly thing and runs screaming in the opposite direction.

I shake my top and hear a thud as the thing hits the carpet.

From three feet away, my sister and I peer at the bee…. we then realise this is no ordinary bee. It is a monster. It is around 2 inches long. This is a foreign bee….

We both start screaming. The monster bee gets a size 5 converse on its head 4 times. It does not die.

I am sweating. My heart is pounding. It might as well be a tiger lying on my carpet.

A hair moves on my shoulder…. I start hysterically hitting myself thinking this is another member of the bee family come to visit.

The foreign beast moves on the floor. More screaming from us. This is like some horror film. I picture it suddenly jumping up and fatally stinging me.

I grab a glass and usher it over the bee. I take it outside and throw it on the patio.

I consult Google and see it’s called a ” Bee wolf” it would appear we’d brought it back as an unwanted souvenir from the Canaries.

A pigeon lands on the patio and peers at the bee. It then thinks ” Sod that, I’m not after a 3 course meal” and flies off.

For around 3hrs after this traumatic experience, I suffer the effects. A leaf blew into the car, I almost crash, the buzz of a fridge in Sainsbury’s sends me running away. Basically, anything that doesn’t resemble a bee, I have a panic attack over.

The husband returns home 4hrs later and the bee wolf is still kicking away on the patio. He finishes it off and puts it on the bird table.

It is still there. No bird is eating anything half it’s own body weight.

Meanwhile, I daren’t go in the garage. I guess that means the holiday clothes won’t get ironed… like ever!

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Train journey (1)

The train is one carriage and everyone is packed in like sardines. It is going from Nuneaton to Coventry.

As we pull away from the station, a woman bellows to the girl standing directly in front of her, around 2 inches away…

“IS THE NEXT STOP COVENTRY?”

Poor girl after shitting herself.. “Erm no, I think you have about 5 stops”

“IS THAT 5 STOPS FROM NOW? OR 5 STOPS AFTER THE NEXT ONE?”

“ I don’t know, I’m not going Coventry”

Still bellowing much to the amusement of mainly me…” HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO THE SAINSBURYS IN COVENTRY? THE ONE IN TOWN?”

“Erm no. I’ve never been to Coventry”

“CASH CONVERTERS HAS SHUT DOWN NOW”

Poor girl, willing her station to appear.. “ Oh right”

“DID YOU EVER GO TO THE COVENTRY ONE?”

Relieved girl can now see train pulling into station..”No i’ve never been Coventry”…..

Girl gets off train. We all budge up. Woman finds a new target. A man whose life and resolve drains from his body when he realises he’s in the line of fire…..

“I’M GETTING MY NAILS AND HAIR DONE TODAY…..”

Man smiles politely and nods. However in doing so, he’s made the fatal mistake of making eye contact. This is practically an invitation to carry on…,

“I’M SEEING MY UNCLE LATER YOU SEE”

Man looks puzzled. I’m intrigued. She’s gone to a lot of trouble to meet an uncle…

I’M THINKING BLUE, WITH A BIT OF GLITTER.”

The man does not know what to say.

“COS HE WAS A BLUES FAN YOU SEE”

She then thrusts her hand in the man’s face, demonstrating she’s talking about her nails.

“MY UNCLE’s DEAD”

The man looks up sharply, the rest of the carriage goes silent and strains to hear the next instalment.

“I’M SEEING HIM IN HIS CASKET. HE’S AT MY AUNTS HOUSE IN THE LIVING ROOM”

The man does not know what to say. The woman doesn’t care. I don’t think she’s realised that he has barely acknowledged anything she’s said

“ANYWAY, HAVE YOU BEEN TO SAINSBURY’S IN COVENTRY?……

“Erm no” the man splutters

“OH. IT’S A GOOD ONE”

The train pulls into Coventry and the woman gets off. The man looks traumatised.

I get off and get to the ticket barriers. I hear a voice bellowing to the Virgin ticket guy…

” I’M SEEING MY UNCLE TODAY……”

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Parents evening

The first parents evening you have, you’re mildly excited. You can’t wait to hear how bright your little darling is. How popular they are.

After your first one, you begin to dread them.

Sitting in a chair designed for a 2yr old, the teacher towers over you in their ” big” chair and basically interrogates you on how often you do homework with your child, and tests your understanding of phonics.

All of a sudden, you’re back at school… literally. You make lame excuses for no reason whatsoever… ” Well we both work full time, and sometimes it’s difficult to sit down to read”…..” We have a very demanding 18mth old” ….,

The teacher gives you a look of pity as you basically describe living in a feral environment with no books where your child has to fend for themselves.

You carry on panic talking…the teacher zones out. She is thinking about the parents sat outside and calculating how long she has before she can open the Pinot Grigio.

She does not care about your child and how shit they are at reading.

Today I met my daughters new teacher. I decided to get in first…”Poppy isn’t very academic is she?”….,.

I then spend about 5 minutes basically slagging my daughter off. The teacher looks on bewildered…

” Well Poppy is very kind”…..,

Silence.

“She’s very popular”

Silence.

I appreciate she is trying to be positive here. However, she is essentially confirming my daughter hasn’t got an academic bone in her body.

A person doesn’t become a Dr by being popular.

The teacher shows me Poppy’s work book. She smiles as she points to a page. I look at it and think how creative Poppy’s been with the picture. The teacher informs me it’s her handwriting. I pretend to read it. We both know it’s near on impossible to do so.

We talk about homework and I realise that I’ve got the spelling test date wrong. Instead of saying ” oh my, I have the date wrong.”….. I swear. I say ” Oh shit” I have basically swore at my daughters teacher.

The teacher now thinks that not only do we live in a feral environment, we also sit around swearing and probably drinking….and/or doing drugs.

The teacher changes the subject. She looks at me with concern. She mentions that Poppy has told her she’s going blind…

say what?!

Apparently Poppy puts out her hands and bumps into things. She apparently can’t see the board to write on… she apparently needs glasses…. just like her friends…

I burst out laughing. The teacher looks taken aback. I appear to be laughing at a disability my daughter has…

I tell the teacher my very dramatic daughter is ” playing her”

I explain that my daughter spent a week wearing cinema 3D glasses to copy her friends. She even wore them to school once.

The teacher pales realising that Poppy has well and truly had her. I think she half expected Poppy to turn up with a guide dog with the extent she went to.

I get up from my seat. I leave her with the thought that my ” kind and popular” daughter probably has a career as a con artist…or benefit cheat.

Gimme Strength!

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Fire!

Today I set fire to the kitchen. That may be a slight exaggeration. It may have been to the kitchen roll holder. There were still flames.

I’m doing Sunday dinner. I ask The husband to do the mash. Next thing I know, he’s shouting that the kitchen roll is on fire! Seems a stray sheet had gotten too close to the oven flame which was in charge of the gravy.

Now whilst I was standing there looking at how pretty the flames were and being reminded that I needed to buy some bonfire tickets, The husband had leapt into action…

He grabs the now burning “Extra large Regina blitz”…. does he throw it into the sink which is a foot away? No he dashes out the door into the garage…

He stamps on it and proudly stands back after saving life and limb… “ Jeez that was close” he says.

“Erm, it’s still on fire….”

Well that “Regina blitz” clearly doesn’t just clean up water so you can wring it out, it appears to be stamp proof. That thing kept burning.

Eventually the fire is put out. I ask The Husband why he didn’t just fling it in the sink.

“ Because I wanted to save as many sheets as I could”

Yep that’s right. Not only was The Husband thinking about saving us all, he was also thinking about saving money. And possibly water.

He demonstrated this thesis by peeling off 4 charred sheets of kitchen roll leaving the rest intact. He is officially an hero.

The eldest one has been a complete twat all day. Whining and moaning and putting us through torture trying to do homework.

“What is 15 take away 1? “

“16”

“No that’s adding”

“16”

“No that’s still the same answer”

*spends 10 minutes creating and demonstrating a number counting mechanism*

“12”

“The youngest child also ate an ear plug today. Just sat watching tv chomping on it. Wax and all.

Gimme Strength!

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Toys….

It’s that moment that every parent dreads before Christmas, and in our case, a birthday beforehand..

The arrival of the Smyths catalogue through the door.

In my day, the Argos book was the kids bible. Smyths is worse. It is a whole book dedicated to overpriced toys.

Poppy opens the first page and points to the first thing she see’s.

“I want that”

“What is it?”

“I dunno, but it looks good”

She flicks over to the next page featuring some large dolls….

“Ooh these little dollies look lovely”

“What are they called?”

“Erm, I dunno, the writing is in the corner”

“They’re called ‘Our generation’ dolls”

“Oh. They look like Barbies”

“Our generation” dolls are about 10 times the size of Barbies….

On to the next page….”Ooh slime. I want slime…”

I glance anxiously at The Husband. In his effort to be “ the cool dad” last year, he brought Poppy some slime like substance.

“It’ll be fine” he said. “ You need to relax and let her be a kid” he said…

10 seconds later, this substance was all over the cream carpet. Stuck like chewing gum. It was in her hair. It was on the wall. It was all over her clothes. It would not budge. It remained on the carpet until we moved house.

Poppy still wants the slime. I ask what she would do with it. “ oh, I’d just stick my finger in it”

“Ooh mum. Shopkins!”

Hell no! Shopkins, if you’re not aware, are tiny little rubber toys that come in different designs like food, clothes etc. They are pointless. They get everywhere. They ARE everywhere in our house.

We have a playroom in our house. Prior to this, we used to sit in our living room surrounded by kids toys. Essentially, the sofa and tv were eclipsed by the amount of crap we had to endure around us.

Now we have a playroom. It is also another room I have to tidy.

Now, you should know, I have a form of OCD that means I cannot stand toys that are mixed together.

Play Doh is the worst. Why can’t kids just use the colours exclusively on their own without mixing them? Why can’t they see that the Play Doh needs to look “clean”??!

“ No Poppy, it is not cool to make a rainbow version”

It literally sets my teeth on edge when I see the colours mixed together in the same pot. I especially hate it when said “ rainbow” doh is smeared all over the carpet. It also pains me when it’s left to dry out and turns into crumbs.

Any parent that buys your kid play doh basically hates you.

If they buy your kid paint, they are basically sending you a death wish.

Anyway, in the playroom there are toys that my daughter likes to mix together. This causes me great pain and anxiety.

The Shopkins are currently being used as Barbie “food” this means that hundreds of these tiny annoying toys are mixed in with the dolls. The rest are used to torture me and left all over the floor as tiny landmines.

The Hungry Hippo game is mixed up with monopoly. Random bits of jigsaw are in the stationary box. This is enough to give me heart palpitations.

Why can’t children play with one item then put it away and play with something else??! Why do they need the Barbies out with the jigsaws?

This OCD extends to other people’s kids when they come over.

“ Yes Felix, of course you can play with the car……oh, you’re getting the dolls out…. and the games… and the pencils…Felix, what time are you going home?!”

Poppy is back to looking at the catalogue.

“Ooh look at the camera. You can take pictures and stuff. I really want that”

“Poppy, you have that exact same camera already”

“Yeah but it doesn’t work anymore”

“ That’s because you put it in the waterproof case then opened it up in the pool on holiday”

“ Oh yeah”

Gimme Strength!