Thursday, 27 June 2013

Of alcohol units

Apparently there is some crazy arsed rule that you're not meant to drink over a certain number of alcohol units in a week, or some other such madness. I know, right? News to us all. The basic rule of thumb is something along the lines of 14-21 units a week if you're a lady, and a bit more than that if you're a bloke, because we are fundamentally sexist as a nation.


After the week I have, I have come up with a far more accurate way of calculating your recommended weekly alcohol units. I strongly recommend every last one of you tries it.

As follows:

Determine your sex. (That's male or female.) If female, immediately gain +10, on the basis that'll cover off a nice bottle of wine, and men don't like wine so therefore don't need the extra units.

Determine your age. Have an extra unit for every year of life post 18 you've racked up so far. With the kind of craziness you must have seen: you deserve it.

Determine your personality type. Stable, middle of the road, never particularly emotional type? Deduct 15. You clearly don't need alcohol. Addictive type with propensity for histrionics? Add 20. At least.

Then you need to look at the week in question. Lose a unit if any of the following are relevant:
  • You are in a stable, loving relationship
  • You like your friends and work colleagues
  • You have not lost any of your possessions that week
  • No one has told you off
  • You live in a mansion (in fact, go back to zero if this is the case - why in the world would you be trying to drown out the world with alcohol?)
  • You have bought a pair of shoes
  • Someone has told you they love you
  • You have a good book to read
  • You weigh less than 9 stone (in fact, see point above ref 'mansions')
  • Your doctor has told you that you are moments away from turning into George Best (lose two units if you are in fact a girl)
Then ADD a unit if any of the following seem familiar:
  • You have faced scenes of emotional trauma that week
  • You have had a bad hair day
  • You've run out of chocolate
  • You've fallen out with your loved ones
  • You've gained weight
  • You have a giant zit in the middle of your forehead
  • Your car wouldn't start
  • You've fallen on your face (add two if this was in front of people other than yourself)
  • You've monumentally fucked up
  • You just really really like wine
And that'll give you your grand total for the week. Which should obviously be drunk responsibly, not in one go, yadayadayada etc etc blah blah blah.

With that... I'm off to make my recommendations to the Department of Health. Laters.

PS Obviously just in case you are a MANIAC and do not understand the point of this blog at all: I. Am. Only. Joking. Clearly adhering to the above would not be a sensible thing to do. It doesn't cover off nearly enough scenarios in which one might need alcohol, for a start...

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Girls... according to Mr Jamie

"Mummy, girls have to do a lot of things, don't they?"

"Um... I suppose so. Like what?"

"Well, you go to work, and then you come back again and you make me and Beth tea and you put us to bed. Then you go to the toilet, and you put in a tampon, and then you have to put the rubbish from the tampon in the bin, and then you have a baby."

Well, when you put it like that...

Friday, 21 June 2013


Early this morning. I'm up in the loft conversion doing my usual battle with the hairdryer/Babyliss Big Hair/GHDs to get my hair to resemble something even approaching that of a normal person's. Mr Jamie and Beth have been left to roam downstairs by themselves.

Beth arrives at the top of the stairs, very clearly eating something. Just around the bottom of the stairs I can see a rather worried looking Mr Jamie, who goes 'Beth, no!' before disappearing rapidly as he sees me emerge.

'Beth, what are you eating?'


'Tell me please.'

'It a sweetie.'

'A sweetie? Are you sure?' (With Beth and her indiscriminate approach to eating, one has to check these things.) 'Show me.'

She did. Grim. But definitely a sweetie.

'JAMIE. Come here. NOW.'

Reluctantly, with much dragging of feet, he did.

'Now, Jamie, Beth says she's eating a sweetie. I didn't give her a sweetie, and I know for a fact she can't reach up on top of the kitchen side where they are. So I'd like you to tell me how she got the sweetie, and why she's eating it.'

'Do I have to tell the truth.'

'Um, yes.'

He sighed, with a face full of weary resignatinon.

'Okay Mummy. But I want to tell you, Mummy, that I am feeling very sad about this.'

Just about made it to the ensuite to muffle my hoots of laughter. Man, he's funny.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Potty Training Of The Beth

I know. It's been a while in the coming.

And, if I'm honest, it's mainly because it doesn't even remotely compare to the wonder hideousness which was THIS.

Yes, Beth has defiled fulfilled all my wildest dreams by being actually rather quite good at potty training. By which I means she's weed... in the toilet. As opposed to on her own feet. SO not a child of mine.

The down side is, it makes for rather less entertaining blog material. Essentially, I told her on Day 1 to wee in the toilet. And - well - she did.

On the plus side (from a blogging perspective, as opposed to a sanity perspective), poos were something of a different story. The afternoon I spent screaming, covered in shit, with one arm entrapping the poo encrusted toilet and one arm pulling poo smeared wipes from the u-bend... well, that's this blog at its finest. Just be thankful I'm sparing you the gory detail.

Two weeks on though, and even poos appear to be sorted. (Crosses fingers and hopes desperately is not tempting fate.)

AS OPPOSED TO MR JAMIE. Who emerged from school yesterday with the most horrific looking stain on the back of his school trousers, right between his butt cheeks.



"Um ... did you have a good day?"

"Yes. Why did you shout at me like that?"

"Um ... I was just worried."

"Worried about what? About those people with guns?"

"Not so much. I was worrying about your trousers."

"Why?" Turns to survey his trousers.


"Whaaaat... why?"

"I mean, don't touch your trousers. At all. Even if they're falling down."

"But they are falling down."

"Never mind."

"But my bottom might come out."

"It's not the worst thing that might happen right now."

"What is that..."


"Oh, is it poisonous?"

"That's the least of your worries."

"What should I do Mummy?"

"Get home. Remove your trousers. OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. Run yourself under hot water for at least half an hour. With soap. We'll burn the trousers. And then - only then - we might all be okay."

Potty training has NOTHING on 5 year old boys.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Things I Should Probably Get Tattooed On My Face

Because then it would stop me having to say them for, like, THE MILLIONTH TIME. Whether at home or at work, there are very few situations in which I cannot think the below would be useful to have as a permanent reminder on my forehead:

  • I don't know; neither do I care

  • Go to the naughty step

  • I'm sorry for shouting

  • We do not take our pants off in public

  • Go. The fuck. To sleep.

  • DON'T poo on the floor

  • Send gin

  • Why?

  • No

  • Just BECAUSE


Monday, 17 June 2013

And Still More Mr Jamie-isms

Because, following on from this post here, I promised them to you. The very finest of this blog's archives. Enjoy.

On why he was laughing: "I'm laughing ... hahahahaha ... I'm laughing ... hahahahaha ... I'm laughing because I pulled down my trousers AND I SAW MY WILLY."

On reasons why I shouldn't be allowed to come on holiday: "Well, she has been a very good Mummy at home, but at work she was naughty and she hit someone. She said it was an accident and she said sorry, but I don't know if she can come now." (THIS IS NOT TRUE!)

On not going to bed: "Mummy. Daddy. I have come to tell you ... that I don't think I WANT to go to bed. So I think I'm going to stay up instead and have a little play."

On watching me try on clothes, before pulling back the changing room curtain: "Look everyone. Me and Beth have got all our clothes on, but that my Mummy there, and she has not got any clothes on AT ALL, because SHE IS NUDEEEEEEEEEEEEEY."

On what he should remember to do at nursery: "Ummm ... ummm ... not to hit ... not to bite ... not to pinch ... not to be silly ... and not to KILL PEOPLE."

On Beth's gender: "I think maybe Beth is going to turn into a boy, and that's why she's got short hair, because she's going to grow a willy."

On watching me insert a tampon: "Is the tan-man hiding in your front bottom? Why is he hiding up there?"

On being told to apologise after kicking Beth: "Sorry for using Beth like a football."

On what I do, when asked at nursery: "My Mummy drinks LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOADS of wine. Loads and loads and LOADS of wine, and she does it ALL the time."

On catching sight of the contents of Beth's nappy: "My GOD Beth. What HAVE you done?"

Pick your favourite...


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sports' Day - The Aftermath

Don't worry, I made it through.


Goodness me, what utterly bizarre events Sports' Days are. Mr Jamie's kind of fulfilled all my wildest fears. And his, one suspects.

Bizarrely, it got off to kind of a good start, when they handed us a list of Sports' Day Rules (masquerading as a programme). I nearly fell off my chair, I was laughing so much. It's like they knew I was coming...

And then the races started...

Mr Jamie acquitted himself kind of okay in the first race, which was a simple case of 'Run from Point A to Point B'. By which I mean he didn't come last (quite), and he didn't fall over. More than his mother ever managed to do.

Then came the 'skipping' (using large plastic hoop in place of a rope, for coordination reasons, one assumes)...

He was fucking AWFUL! I mean, I love you Mr Jamie, but there's no way even I can dress this up as anything else. So heinously bad that the Year 6 marshals ended up 'running' alongside him, encouraging him to the finish line, probably with lines such as 'We really need to get a move on... we need to start secondary school in September'. Surrounded by parents and yelling school children on all sides, he drew level with me and I could see him thinking about starting to cry. (I can't say I blamed him.) And I gave him a shout of what I can only describe as quite brilliant maternal support:


Needless to say, after that kind of encouragement, he made it to the finish line.

A couple of other races followed, and then it was time for the horrifically named Tummy-Ball race. No, I know. Absolutely no idea of its origins. All I know is that it involved two small children facing each other, arms around each other, with a large inflatable ball held between their tummies... and having to get from one end of the field to the other.

And Mr Jamie, having struggled to even manage the simple act of running, who had been completely thwarted by skipping... suddenly, along with his mate Rafferty (which probably tells you all about the school demographic you need to know), demonstrated unparalleled skills for the discipline of Tummy-Ball... and somehow finished first. He was delighted. I was busy laughing so hard I could barely speak...

... which is just about conducive proof of the phrase 'pride comes before a fall'. Because, almost seamlessly, came the following over the tannoy:


You can imagine my face. Particularly as I was then firmly grabbed by my friend Vic (sitting next to me: there was no escape!) and practically frog marched to the start line.

Me, Sports' Day, racing - nay, Tummy-Ball-ing - in front of hoards of small children and Other Parents ... pride hadn't exactly come before a fall so much as a crashing dive off a precipice. I. Was. Mortified. The only consolation was the thought that, if I was going through this, so were many Other Parents. Although I have to say they all looked an awful lot more enthusiastic about it.

My personal hell eventually came to an end. I didn't disgrace Vic (I don't think!) - we came a respectable third or so I believe - and, unusually for me, I didn't fall over. And, if I'm honest, the look on Mr Jamie's face as we Tummy-Balled made it almost all worth it. Although it was less of a look of delight... more a look of What The Actual Fuck Is My Mother Doing?

Tell me about it, Mr Jamie. Tell me about it.

*Online Lego-style game worshipped by Mr Jamie. (It is pretty cool.)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mr Jamie's Sports' Day

(And when was the last time you saw Sports' Day correctly apostrophised, hmmmm? Because, of course, correct apostrophising is absolutely the reason you read this blog. Almost definitely...)

It's tomorrow. Mr Jamie's Sports' Day, that is. And I am DREADING it.

Reasons why:
  • It's a School Event. I've avoided them all year. And now, with ample annual leave, I can do so  no longer.
  • It will feature Other Parents. Who tend to view me as some rare, Must Be Treated With Extreme Caution, creature. We are highly unlikely to have anything other than our children in common.
  • It will feature Other Children. Because we all know how great I am with Other Children. Or not...
  • It allegedly requires my participation. And not just in the setting out of chairs. In the RUNNING OF RACES. All I can say is Mr Jamie has another thing coming if he thinks that's going to happen.
  • It's a SPORTS' DAY. Avoided them right throughout my youth. Not entirely sure why this is having to change now.
However. On the plus side. This is how I've prepared for it:
  • Informing Mr Jamie there's still a good chance 'Mummy might have to go to work'. Which means, if it really is actually worse than my wildest nightmares... I can still escape.
  • Digging out my highest, most vertiginous heels. Nothing says Go Away, I Am Not Going To Make A Tit Out Of Myself By Running like a pair of 5" stilettos. Or alternatively...
  • Prepping close friends to make potential Emergency Calls round about 10.30am. Enough time to watch Mr Jamie 'run' (seriously: running... he can barely walk from one end of the garden to the other without falling over), not nearly enough time to get involved myself.
  • In the event of all else failing, partnering myself with The Most Competitive Parent (yay Vic!) for said racing. There is no chance of her not ensuring we're successful.
  • Drinking more than enough wine this evening to give myself a substantial hangover. I find most things you're dreading look better through a bit of an alcohol induced blur...
Come on then, experienced parents. What am I missing? Help me. Please...

PS So you're not devoid of Mr Jamie-isms: one from last night, after I'd praised him and Beth for being so good and having such a good day. (She pooed on a toilet: that it had been a 'good day' might have been the understatement of the year.) As I delivered said praise, Beth (for unknown reasons) kicked off, yelling like a yelling thing.

Mr Jamie responded. In true Mr Jamie form. "Beth! Stop shouting. You are DESTROYING this good day."

Too bloody right.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mr Jamie-isms

Not one to blow my own trumpet (this is a lie), I know you are going to LOVE this blog post.
Because, let's be honest, you don't come here to read about me. (Sob.) You come here to read all about the crazy arsed world of Mr Jamie.
And so here, just for you, are a selected highlight of Mr Jamie-isms over the past four years. I'd tell you to enjoy, but I think that's a bit redundant.
On walking in on his parents having sex: "Oh Daddy. I know what you doing. YOU RIDING THE TRAIN."
On being a daddy: "When you're a daddy ... you get a beard ... and a watch ... and a WHISTLE."
On a swaddled baby Beth, asleep on my shoulder: "Mummy, what are you doing with Beth? Why her got two heads? She hanging upside down like a bat."
On being told people like to listen to me singing: "No Mummy. No, they not come and listen. They not like listening to that bad loud noise. You be quiet now."
On childbirth: "Mummy, that lady shouting. She shouting because she can't find her baby. But that other lady find it for her. It hiding between her legs."
On the fear that Neil might drop the scissors he was cutting Mr Jamie’s hair with: "But Daddy ... what if you DO ... and then you cut my willy off ... and I turn into a GIRL. I don't want to be a girl. I like my willy. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."

On human anatomy: "Daddy, if you not nice to me, I going to get my skeleton inside me and I going to MAKE IT GET OUT AND GET YOU."

On me attempting to breastfeed Beth: "Yes, you have got stuck, and your ... and your ... and your ... and your BOOBS can't come out, because they are TOO BIG. YOU HAVE GOT THE BIG BOOBS HAVEN'T YOU MUMMY, AND THEY ARE NOT FITTING IN YOUR DRESS!"

On being asked to count to 10 in French: "Okay Mummy. Un, deux, trois, quatre, seep, bleep, blah, bluh, blah, bluh, blah, bluh, blah, bluh, BLUH!"

On Beth’s gender: "I think maybe Beth is going to turn into a boy, and that's why she's got short hair, because she's going to grow a willy."

On Father Christmas: "Daddy, when it's Christmas you have to close your eyes and go to sleep, and then Father Christmas comes, and then you click your fingers and Father Christmas comes in your mouth, and then he does some magic."
He is a comedy GENIUS.

PS There are more of these to come... if you're very good.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Diva Las Vegas

I write this post collapsed on my sofa, fuelled by wine, having sent the children to bed an hour earlier than usual because I JUST COULDN'T TAKE ANY MORE. (Obviously didn't use this line on them, fobbed them off with something about it still being very light out "because it's summer time darlings, isn't it beautiful", or some other such shite.)

Living in my house these days is what I imagine it must be living with Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton or some other fashion obsessed starlet. I have actually had to start setting my alarm earlier (oh, the pain) to have even a vague hope of getting us all out the house on time.

Diva #1 is Beth. Who, at two and a half, is fulfilling all of my parents' wildest dreams of KARMA. My god, she's hard work. And that's even without taking into consideration the potty training (a blog post in itself: when I find the mental strength to write it). From a very early age (like, 3 hours) Beth knew what she wanted. And knew she wanted it NOW. Recently, it seems this has extended to her fashion likes and dislikes. I don't even bother getting an outfit out the drawers for her in the morning. What's the point? "No Mummy. I not wear that. I wear ... that (pink trousers) and that (green top) and that (red coat) and THAT (bright pink wellies, regardless of weather conditions)." Despite the fact you have to wear sunglasses to look at her, arguing is fruitless. "NO MUMMY. I WEAR THAT. NOOOOOOOOWWWW."

So far, so chaotic. But then you bring in Diva #2. Who, to long time blog readers, it will be no surprise is Mr Jamie. There are a myriad of old blog posts I could dredge up to illustrate this, one of my personal favourites being this one.

Mr Jamie's been into his appearance for a while (many's the time we've been sat outside the school gate, desperately trying to get his hair to lie flat: "Mummy, just make it look normal"), and, much like Beth, insists on picking out his own outfits. Again, woe betide me if I've put his chosen piece of clothing into the wash.

Today, Mr Jamie had a school trip. To a farm. He was allowed to wear his own clothes. He picked out his own outfit. I may or may not have rolled my eyes slightly. But he went off for his trip.

When I went to pick him up from school this afternoon I started chatting to one of the other mums, whose daughter Jamie is friends with. She suddenly started laughing.

"Oh, you'll never guess what Katie told me last night. Apparently Jamie had told her absolutely everything he was going to wear today" - she listed it - " and this morning, there he was, exactly as he'd said he'd be."

And there he was. Exactly as he'd said he'd be. Diva Las Vegas, eat your heart out. Below, I give you: Mr Jamie ... dressed for a visit to the farm.

I bloody LOVE him.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Today I made this blog look prettier

I didn't break it.

I didn't shout, scream, spit or swear.

I didn't have to ask for help.

I didn't smash my laptop up.

I didn't resort to anything stronger than herbal tea to get me through it.

I didn't utter the phrase "FUCKING HTML" once.

I AM a grown up after all!

(Now go tell me nice things about it, or I shall throw a giant, toddler sized strop.)

PS Speaking of giant, toddler sized stropping ... any tips for suggesting to a 2.5 year old that the newfound skill she's found of pooing in the toilet should perhaps be put into use ... very greatly appreciated. It seems gaffer taping them in place on said toilet is frowned upon.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

One Day...

... I will become the sort of parent who washes, dries, irons and puts away her child's school uniform on a Friday evening, ready for the week ahead. As opposed to the sort of parent who, without fail, completely forgets about any requirements for clean school uniform until 6pm on a Sunday evening and spends the entire night panic washing/drying, fuelled by gin.

... I will proactively clean my house for reasons other than a panicked 'My mother is coming to stay'.

... I will have a full wine rack. Full, as in, un-drunk. I will only occasionally access it, always when we have guests round, and never drink more than one glass at a time.

... I will always store my children's reading books safely back inside their book bags, and not spend a fraught hour running around the house shouting "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK" at high volume as I frantically search for one of them.

... I will understand what my son means as he rushes out of school to tell me with delight "I'm on blue level now!", and not assume it relates to the choice of food he gets to eat at lunchtime.

... I will prioritise my children eating a balanced nutritious meal in the mornings and taking all the correct belongings with them to school/nursery, and not my own hair and make up needs.

... I will respond to my daughter having shat her pants with a "never mind darling, let's clear it up and get you some new clothes", as opposed to "FOR FUCK'S SAKE". (Although I did manage to say this out of her earshot and just maintain a stony silence as I dealt with said excrement, so maybe I'm not all that bad.)

... I will have a strict 'sheet-washing' rota in place, as opposed to getting to the point where I think 'I'm not sure I can face one more night in that bed' before accepting they need washing.

... I will buy some flat shoes, and accurately be able to walk from Point A to Point B without constantly endangering both myself and any innocent passers by.

... I will have a varied repertoire of recipes, and not have to resort to bloody Dragon Pasta (pasta, pesto, tuna and peas, for any gourmets out there) for every third meal.

... I will develop a Calm Voice for resolving arguments, as opposed to my current frenzied shouting.

... I will have a diary for birthdays, as opposed to the diary of apologising for forgetting birthdays that I currently seem to be running.

And when I manage to achieve all of the above ... I shall consider myself to be desperately, desperately dull.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The bee, the fringe and the poo

Is, I'm sure, the children's story Roald Dahl always wanted to write. The waiting's over, Roald. I'm here to do it for you.

So, last Friday I got my hair cut (for the first time in six months. Am a - penny pinching - sloven). I walked in and uttered the immortal words to my hairdresser: "I'm bored with it. Do something different with it." Which, quite rightly, should have ended in disaster. Particularly when followed up with: "What about a fringe? Will it make me look like a teenage girl wannabee? In which case, we should definitely do it." I am however fortunate to be blessed with a quite awesome hairdresser, who avoided any such disasters (justified or otherwise) and produced the following:

(According to my sister this is a terrible smile. It is, however, the only one I've got, much like Beth's "CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE" face that she makes to anyone pointing a camera within a 12 mile vicinity. Apologies if you are offended by my face.)

I was suitably pleased, particularly given that my hair and I are Not The Best Of Friends at - well - the best of times. I remained pleased even when my dad suggested I might now be channelling Barbra Streisand. (Regrettably, the subsequent Twitter vote backed him up. I guess I am very good at attracting gay men...)

And then THIS happened.

I do not like children's parties. I have chronicled this at some length, back in the archives of this blog. Actually, 'do not like' is a massive understatement. Something I am not prone to. I fucking ABHOR children's parties. This one, however, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, did show some promise. Sunny day, massive garden, sit on arse and chat to other parents whilst small children (including Mr Jamie) run amok. There are worse things... OR SO I THOUGHT.

Sitting, on arse, chatting to other parents. All is well with the world. And then a bee flies over. I like bees. I gently waved it away. Inexplicably, my utter lack of coordination meant I waved it into my fringe. It panicked. So did I. We both flailed wildly at each other. I won, and smacked it ... INTO MY OWN FOREHEAD WITH THE STING POINTING INWARDS.

What a fucking idiot. I would love to say I remained cool and suave. Would love to, but couldn't possibly lie to you. Much like a scene from film, both parents and even small running-amok children had silenced their conversations/running-amokness to watch the crazy flailing woman with a bee stuck in her fringe. A kind mother came over and untangled bee and fringe before stamping on it (that's the bee, not the fringe: screw you, Nature) and then removing the sting with her perfect-for-the-job nail extensions. A kind man brought me some anti-histamine cream (I resisted the urge to just suck it out the tube). A really kind lady brought me a glass of Pimms to 'help with the shock'. (It worked.) I put on an excellent pretence of bravery and nonchalance ...

... until about 3 seconds after I walked back through the door at home.

"NEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL. I have been stung by a bee and it HUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTS." And it really, really fucking did. Over the course of that evening my forehead swelled up until it's fair to say I looked less like the photo above, and more like this:
Sexy sexy lady
Which will teach me to be smug about my haircuts in future. As far as the school gate are concerned I am now the Mad Lady Who Dances Around With A Bee In Her Hair. Marvellous.
Oh, and last but not least, the poo? We're potty training Beth. Who seems to think that, when it comes to pooing, toilets are overrated, and the gusset of her pants will do just fiiiiiiiiiiiine.
Send gin.


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