The Mummalo: to be read to the tune of the gruffalo

A mum has a plan for a nice day out.

The mum tells the toddler and he begins to shout.

‘Where are we goin’ to, mum?’ the toddler groans

‘Can I take the ipad and play games?’ he moans.

‘That’s frightfully ungrateful, son, so no.

We’re off to have fun up the big Tesco’

 

On goes the mum, determined to be happy.

She packs a day bag with wipes, snacks and nappy.

‘Can you put your shoes on, dear?’ Mum asks politely

‘I hate my shoes and I hate you: can we see daddy?’

‘That’s frightfully hurtful, son, so no

We’re going to be late- come on, let’s go!’

 

On goes the mum with the kid under arm

He’s not got any shoes but it won’t do any harm

‘I WANT MY SHOES ON MUM’ the kid begins to cry

forfuckssake’ mum mutters ‘Why me? WHY?’

‘What does ‘fuck’ mean, mama?’ the kid asks curiously

‘It’s a male duck’ improvises mum spuriously.

 

On goes the mumwagon, down the A11

The kid is quiet and radio four is on: heaven

‘You’re being a good boy’ mum says proudly

‘FUCKFUCKFUCK’ the toddler parrots loudly.

‘That’s a little bit rude’ says mum, playing cool

‘Sorry mama’ toddler says, not meaning it at all.

 

On goes the chitchat and  requests for a snack

Mum is trying to park while passing raisins  back

‘I want Quavers not these’ says child, making faces

‘Never mind’ says mum cursing people in parent spaces

‘We should shoot these kid-free tossers if you ask me’

‘Mummy’ says toddler ‘I really need a weeeeeee’

 

On goes the trolley through the fruit and veg aisle

The kid’s writhing wildly but mum wears a smile

‘Oh, is he hungry?’ says some helpful old lady

‘No. He’s a dickhead. And sure, hungry, maybe’

The little old lady recoils away in fear

Mum wipes her nose and blots away a tear.

 

On goes the food shop: up and down to aisle nine

Where mummy is rabidly stocking up on wine.

‘It’s sav blanc’ says mum ‘why Oyster Bay hello’

In goes the case and off they go.

On through Tesco to the checkouts they stroll

Maureen’s on the tills ‘Well, pumpkin, Hello!’

 

On go the snacks and the bribe magazine

On to the convey belt for all to be seen.

‘Well, aren’t you a lucky boy, my duck?’

‘Did you know a boy one is called a ‘fuck’?’

‘Ha ha’ says Maureen but really she’s glaring

‘Ha ha’ says mum, way beyond caring.

 

On goes the day and it’s only half past ten

And toddler is refusing to get in his seat again

‘In you go, sweetie’ through gritted teeth, mum coos

‘Nooooooooooooo’ says the toddler and smacks her in the boobs

‘THAT’S IT! NO SOFT PLAY! I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY!’

‘Good’ says the toddler ‘it’s stupid  anyway’

 

On goes the day and mum unpacks the food

She puts away the wine and the wine looks good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not all Heroes Wear Capes: some wear golden catsuits

Scummy Mummies: The Playhouse – 31st Jan

It was 8.30 on a school night and I was wiping tears from my face as a life-sized Iggle Piggle acted out a dogging scene in front of me. Add a masturbating Makka Pakka and I thought I was going to pop a gusset (something that actually happened onstage during an energetic pelvic floor lesson).

And no, I wasn’t at some kind of neonatal sex fest, I was front row at a Scummy Mummies gig. I have been a hardcore fan of their podcast for a long time. I download and listen to it on my way to work or whilst I work out (I once dropped a barbell on my head whilst listening their game of ‘Kent or C**t’ [example: ‘Thong’]). When I heard they were coming to Norwich, I was beside myself.

Who’s more giddy: me or the wallpaper?

The marvellous Emma of We Got This Sometimes has brought the Insta-clan to Norwich and this  brainy beauty has managed to put us (nor)folk on the map and tickets to her fabliss events are selling like hot cakes.

I wrote about a previous hoot-fest with Hurrah for Gin (find it here) and had an almost spiritual time fangirling other bloggers and Instars at the Busting the Supermum Myth event a few weeks ago and the Scummy Mummies was my next night out of joy to look forward to and it didn’t disappoint.

Trio of winners

I had read their book on a kid-free long weekend in Amsterdam and had finished it before the flight had even landed. The woman in 15F asked me if she could have my copy seeing as it was so funny. Couldn’t work out if she was being snidey but I gave it to her anyway.

Bought myself another copy just to get is signed. #keen

So, let me take you back to Iggle Piggle and his red spaff rag which was my personal highlight with stiff competition from 69 Zoo Lane and the Greenwich Men Time who ‘put the MEN in feminist’ a joke a now realise doesn’t translate on page… Anyway, the gig was a proper knees up with lots of opportunity for the (mostly) women in the room to admit how much we love a kid’s party buffet and eating cold fishfingers.

For me, though, it was a celebration of female friendship. I was lucky enough to be checking tickets as people came in and it was a joy to see groups of women in easy company laughing and joking and bustling in with their cups of wine and anecdotes of scumminess.

 

Helen and Ellie, the two Scummy Mummies on stage, were another great example of what women can achieve when they enable and encourage each other. Their effortless toing and froing, their spontaneous reactions to a Helen’s admissions she’d never…well…never you mind and the way they look at each other on stage: it reminded me of one of those memes ‘Marry someone who looks at you how Ellie looks at Helen when she’s dancing in beige pants’. Beautiful.

So clear your calendars, book the in-laws to babysit and check out We Got This Sometimes on facebook for upcoming events. See you there, Scummers!

 

Has anyone ever looked happier than me here?!

 

That Sinking Feeling at Gravity

Full disclosure: I reviewed this place with a stonking hangover. You know how, as a parent, you get to go out once every 18 months and then you put on a nice outfit and lipstick and burn money on getting taxis and fancy cocktails? You know how you think 1am is the right time to prove you’re still young and you can still throw shapes on the dancefloor? That was what had followed seven hours previous to a visit to Gravity. 
Ugh.

Kebab

The children -my six year old and his friend- were rabid with excitement. The husband was off to nurse his hangover at the football. I thought he could go to the pub (hair/dog) and I could keep the kids busy at Gravity whilst I lay down and weep quietly in a corner somewhere. Ha de bloody HA!

Have you ever been there? If so, why didn’t you warn me?! You should’ve put a gentle hand on my shoulder whilst I was mid-tequila shot and said ‘Babs, get home, go to bed, and then take the kids to the cinema tomorrow instead- that way you can nap’.

Anyway, a lovely friend picks us up and we all traipse off to Riverside. I’m enjoying the fresh air. Our kids are running together and being no bother. I’ve high hopes. We get to Gravity (right near Odeon- in Norwich- should’ve made a sharp turn there but I was still none-the-wiser) and there are a gabillion stairs to climb and I can’t face the lift but hup hup hurrgh we go. Make it to the top and I’m in through the doors.

‘WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?!’

That’s literally what I said. Out loud. Extremely loudly. But no one heard because it was like smacking in to a (bright orange) wall of pumping music and screaming kids and booming safety messages. Then there’s some complicated system of checking in and paying and something to do with socks: it’s like a bad day at a Ryanair. 
Next our two boys had to go and stand and listen to some safety message. They were hopping from foot to foot, clutching each other in excitement, desperate to get going. The tone of the safety briefing was in stark contrast as it displayed sombre warnings and graphic diagrams of necks breaking. Yeesh.

I crawled on to a stall and tried to block out the noise and rage I felt at the price of the drinks and state of the toilets. Needless to say, I was not great company.

‘You’ll get used to it. Soon you’ll not even notice the noise’ my chirpy friend commented. And she was right. Unbelievably, my addled brain filtered out the noise after a while. I felt capable enough to go and watch my child on the trampolines. He was beaming. He was jumping up and down- a huge grin on his face just jumping around. He was slick with sweat and happiness. It was lovely to see.

Sweaty. Wild. Loving it.

I even managed to muster enough energy to have a poke about the place. It is impressive in its size. There was a climbing wall, a bar (bleurgh), and Pizza Hut delivers there. I went back to watch my kid and his friend boing about. They looked so delightfully joyful and like they might sleep well that night (he did) so that’s another two things in its favour.

I know it’s not a fair trial to review somewhere when you’re hungover and tired and annoyed with your children for waking you up three hours after you’d gone to bed but the amount of sheer joy that my son got out of his trip there, the fact that he looked so beamingly happy pogoing around with unselfconscious enthusiasm was, in the end, quite a tonic.

I’m not going to lie: even sober, I don’t think this would’ve been my favourite place. But, as a parent, you have to do literally thousands of things that your kids love and you don’t (watching Paw Patrol, making spag bol eight times a week, going to soft play centres, rating farts out of ten, buying Yollies etc) so it’s not for me to say ‘don’t go to Gravity’ but it is for me to say ‘send the grandparents with the kids to Gravity’ whilst you stay at home and drink flat Coke and lounge about in pyjamas like you did once upon a twenties. 

FAQs: let’s chat cash, clicks and insider tips. 

‘I couldn’t help but wonder…’

Being a columnist, socialite, blogger, teacher, parent, influencer and all round marvel can mean I get a lot of pressure to maintain my perfect-seeming life. I also have to deal with a LOT of intrusion in to my personal life and business ventures. To help tackle some of those issues and to try and stem the flow of inquires from across the globe I will attempt to answer some of my (in)frequently asked questions whilst I sit here on my son’s bedroom floor waiting for him to fall asleep. 

FAQs

Why ‘wife of a wig wearer’? 

My husband wears wig for his job. Is that odd? Is that archaic? Does he keep it in a tin with the letters ‘esq’ on it? Yes yes yes. 

Can you be a feminist and refer to yourself as your husband’s job?

You can be a feminist and refer to yourself as anything you darn well please. Especially if it’s alliterative. When I update to Mother of a Misogynist or Parent of a Patriarch then call me up on it, yeah?

How many views do you get?

Very rude to ask but I don’t care so I’ll tell you: last year, I had 17,000 views. 

Do you make any money from blogging?

Doubly rude to ask! And no. Not a sausage. But I have met some amazing people (here’s looking at you Vicki, Lindsay, Laura, Emma and Lizzie)

Why do you blog?

Because I love writing what I would want to read and I really really love it when people like, comment, share or talk to me about a post I’ve done because I’m vain and self-centred and like the sound/look of my own voice/words. 

When do you find the time?

I don’t go out. You will notice I often publish on Thursdays and Mondays because that’s when the WigWearer is out playing sport and I have a nice quiet house to myself and I can write without being pestered for intellectual political chitchat/TV on in background. 

What about your children reading it when they’re older?

I started it for them as a record of our…err…’ups and downs’. I think I’ve talked a bit less about them specifically as they’ve got older though and now try and stay more general about what it’s like to be a parent. 

How come you haven’t hit the big time?

Blogging is competitve because, as it turns out, there’s a whack load of wickedly funny women tiptapping away and our voices sing together in a wilderness of the worldwide web so it’s hard to have your voice heard above the dawn chorus of mixed metaphors. And because I’m pants at taking photos. Blogging competitions look for snazzy snaps not smeary selfies. Darn it.  

Your life looks so well-organised and glamorous. How do you do it all ?

I made that one up.

What a fascinating insight! What an enriching read! Stay imperfect blogger- speak more! 

No. Enough. I must always leave you wanting more (Top Blogger Tip that is). 

(But, genuinely, thank you to all of you lovely readers, raters, Facebook likers, Insta followers and Twitter wits for reading the blog. Having you read is gift enough*)

*would totally sell you all to get a paid writing gig. 

Real writers look profound when penning prose (took this pic by balancing my phone on a lunchbox-profesh)

Worst Woes of Parenting

Worry: That deep down darkly harboured fear.

 

Washing: Washing washing everywhere and not a rag to wear.

 

Food: Planning it, shopping it, cooking it, scraping it in to the bin.

 

Car seats: Manoeuvring them in. Extricating them out.

 

Childcare: A delicate precipice of good health and grandparents.

 

Holidays: Shattering at the time. Not so bad with hindsight.

 

Cinema: Outrageously expensive with kids. Prohibitively expensive with babysitter.


Looking for very things: Lego pieces. Toys. Red cars but not that red car. 


Feelings: So many feelings all the time.
IMG_5261

Living the Pox: 7 signs you’ve survived chicken pox 🐔🔴🐔❤️

1) You’re broke 
You’ve spent all your money on Calpol, Piriton and internet shopping. You wish you’d spent the money on the vaccine shot instead. 

My bling


2) None of your clothes fit
You’ve worn nothing but pyjama bottoms and joggers since the first spot appeared. Food has been your only joy. I had the luck/misfortune to be housebound over Christmas so I’ve shovelled in Quality Streets and damson gin at all hours of the day. 




3) You’ve not left the house and now have a morbid fear of crowds and noise

We got our first bout on day one of the Christmas holidays and round two on the last day. That’s three weeks of quarantine. I don’t know what the world looks like in 2018. 


4) Survivor Solidarity 

Parents who’ve been through it just know. They send tips (oat baths, camomile cream, calpol) and sympathetic texts. A friend drove all the way across the county on her day off just to give me a hug. Another risked infection to pop over with flowers and a bag of onion rings and we showed our appreciation by infecting her children. 


5) Exhaustion 

Sleep is out the window. You’ve bed-hopped more than a student in freshers week. Everyone has slept, sweated, cried and itched in every possible combination of beds. I’ve been so tired that I spent a day aimlessly wandering from room to room wondering who I am and what’s happened to my life. 


6) You’ve misused the NHS

Spent an hour on hold to 111? Been to the doctors’ half a dozen times? Googled images of infected spots? Convinced your child has it worse than anyone else because nothing can be this bad and ‘normal’? Yup. I was convinced Alex’s spots had turned in to a flesh-eating disease. I got an emergency appointment to see the nurse. 

KindNurse: ‘It’s just normal’

Me: ‘It can’t be normal’

KindNurse: ‘He does look poorly’

Me (bursting in to tears): ‘You’ve been so kind to me! I’ve wasted your time and you’ve been SOB so n n n nice to meeeee’

KindNurse: ‘Are you ok?’

Me: ‘I’m so TIRED’

She gives me a tissue. I blow my nose on it. 

KindNurse: ‘That was meant for your son’

Hadn’t even noticed he’d been crying. 

Crying in the pharmacy



7) Cabin fever

I have been stuck at home for 22 days straight. Some at my mum’s but mostly here. I’ve done a lot of paperwork, read books, organised my bookshelves by colour and I’m clawing the walls. I’m snappy. I’m fed up. I’m suffering from cross-traphobia. Nipping out on the school run felt like a prison break. 
This post is dedicated to all the lovely people who’ve texted, popped in, sent cards and listened to me tell them how I’ve suffered worse than anybody other Poxy parent. Thank you. 

Pinterest Parenting: can I live it for a day?

My parenting style is more Winging It than Pinning It but I’d set myself the  challenge to be a better, more inventive, creative, organised parent. Could I do it? With Pinterest as my instruction manual, I was going to do my darnedest. 

First stop: sensory play 

 

I’ll just grab some fresh flowers…
Engrossed.


Input levels: 1/5

Had a big bag of bird seed. Poured it in a tray. Slung a digger in it. 

Mess levels: 3/5

Seeds everywhere. Gave him a dustpan and brush and he swept it up. Learnt that from a Pinterest Parenting pin. 

Worth it? Defo. I am winning at Pinning. Just douse me in Cath Kidston and get me a book deal. 

 

Next idea: create your own play mat.

Sure. This looks easy.

 

Christ alive! It’s working!


Input level: 3/5 You have to rootle through the recycling bin for old mags and dig out sticker books and cut out bits but you can also pretend to be doing that while you’re actually just reading this month’s Red magazine. Also didn’t have any A3 paper so had to stick the kids in front of CBeebies whilst I sellotape six sheets of A4 together.

Mess levels: 2/5 

A few clippings and popping pen lids back on. Not too bad. 

Worth it?

I really enjoyed it! William got right in to it. The house was abuzz with craft and imagination. I felt like a good mum for the first time in a long time.

Might make this pic my screensaver

 
Next activity: Camp cinema. 

The dream
The reality

Umm. This was a flop. They bickered about what to watch. Alex wanted the iPad. William wanted Lego Batman. William got cross because the camp collapsed. The sitting room looked like a mess. Everyone stormed off. 

Input: 3/5

Mess levels: 2/5

Worth it? Clearly not. And this was a disappointment as I had imagined this would buy me two hours of twinkling fairy lights and happy snacking. Did it hell. 

 Model making: our next Pinterest plan. 

We can make this and read books about astronomy!

 
Thee. Two. One. Blast…ooof
William couldn’t find the end of the sticky tape. Cried. Gave up.  Such a flop I’m not even gonna rate it. 

 By this point it was still only about 11.30. I’d managed half a day as a Pinterest parent. That’s enough. I’m happy with being half good. I don’t want to get all smug and above my station. 

We spent the rest of the day playing cars and whinging at each other. William and Alex compared chicken pox scabs. I emptied the dishwasher. The boys had a spontaneous band practice. I spent half an hour on Instagram. Normality was restored. It ain’t Pinteresting but it works for us.