Archive | Weekly RSS for this section

SUMMER “HOLIDAY” PARENTING JAIL …

IMG_6434

August.

2017.

My three children under the age of seven are off for what feels like an eternity.

I miss the school run.

I miss the Teachers.

I miss being able to eat without indigestion and a Renee tablet.

I think boarding schools are being judged too harshly.

I am not sure how any Teacher on the planet “chooses” to do a job like theirs daily, without some form of “medicinal help”/alcohol.

I have nothing else to say…

ps. NO SCHOOL UNTIL SEPTEMBER. SEPTEMBER!!!

Pps. Lovely weather we’ve had in London though? On and off…rain, sun, freezing, 27 degrees (and this was all on Monday)…

ppps. I’ll write properly soon…lots to report. Realised this morning, I need to get writing….it’s how I breathe.

SINGLE PARENT – My twins just turned 7 years old!

Hi all

This will be a brief (OK, maybe, not “brief”), albeit, probably, painful, dialogue (with myself), reflecting, on my twins turning seven years old. My third (and youngest), turns five years old in 2 weeks. I have three, THREE, kids under 7 years old….and I’m raising them pretty much, alone….Where the HELL did time go!?! My Mum warned me about this whole “Youth is wasted on the young” phenomenon. To be fair, I pretty much did everything I wanted to do before I had my babies. I studied, worked hard, travelled, lived, loved, survived….enjoyed my life. THEN…parenthood….

PARENTHOOD. Is this as “wonderful” as everyone talks about, or is it the reason I’m (pretty much) “worn” daily? Have I fallen into the trap of believeing, having children, would fulfil me?

Don’t misunderstand me…before those doing IVF or other treatment, kick off. I HAD IVF. I WANTED to have a family. I now, just question, well….”why”? Please do not interpret what I’m writing as anti-parenting/kids etc. I adore my children. I would do anything, and DO anything for them.

They are my joy, my laughter, my heart walking around, outside my body. Daily. I’m just stating….why, why why….did I feel sooo pressured to have children when, now in hindsight, I sometimes, feel pained by the road ahead.  This love you feel for your kids…its never ever ending. I worry constantly for them, cant sleep when they cant, cry when they do, feel happy when they are, sad when they’re sad…its (as a Mother) never ever going to stop.

This level of love….its beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. And the WORRY for them every single day, and guilt if I feel I’ve let them down…well, that’s something I never understood.

I called my Mum recently, crying (as you do as a single mum daily…or NOT, if youre properly “versed” on this way of life, I actually never signed up for, alone), after arguing with my (then) 6 year old about our living situation and where we will eventually live once our old family/marital home sells.  The conversation was beyond anything I’ve been able to manage as an adult…. and I felt so sad, for my child, that I didn’t (as I often don’t) have the answer to her questions.

That feeling of wishing you cold have “done better” as a parent…its tough. My Mum told me I often sent her to bed (please NB. my Mum is like the Mafia so if she feels guilt…the whole parenthood is fkd) at night worrying and sad she’d “let me down”. But, she also said, that children need to feel “secure” in order to accept the hard road/rejection ahead. If they are secure, and know their parent/s are there, kids can conquer anything.

Last night, I went through old photos, emails, cards, basically my life, from 7 years ago. Its crazy  (almost shocking to me) how different my life now is. Something, and some new era I never ever expected.

However, the one constant, joyously (sometimes painful!) loving and unconditional component, that keeps my feet on the ground solidly, are my three children.

These little people, have shown me, unconditional support and love, beyond anything I’ve ever known in my entire life. And I have been loved, numerous times. And well. But my trio…my entourage…my brood…my crew…my cheeky monkeys….this crew are hilarious.

However, I/we created them. Their father and I were not quiet, shy, meek characters…so why would we ever expect our kids to be different?! If anything, we are trying to manage, a rather “lary” trio of cheeky, kids. When I get a call from the school, or pulled aside by their Teachers to tel me something one of the children did. DO you know what I feel? Pride. Yep. Pride. I LOVE that they have the balls to push boundaries. I LOVE that they trust me (and their Dad) enough to attempt to do stuff you shouldn’t at school knowing full well that we would be informed, yet have no fear. I Love that I (and their Dad) am trusted. I told them when they started “big school” to “enjoy their time, push the boundaries and know Mummy is always there”…..little did I know they would go over and above.

I feel proud and disappointed at the same time. Only disappointed if theres bullying involved. I am never a hater but my kids (our kids) know not to ever allow (or even witness, without stepping in, if safe to do so) bullying. I cant grasp that

They are loud, capable, street-smart, argumentative, kind, non bullying (we are VERY anti bullying in our household), charitable, open, loving, cuddly, talkative (we love a good Chat!!), but more than anything…human. This is my crew.

I am blessed to have these 3 little people who are usually (one or two of them!) in trouble at school, yet the naughty one, (AKA my only son) is placing toys and treats (or 1p coins) under his 4 year old sisters pillow because she wants the “tooth fairy” to come and see her (shes witnessed her older twin siblings getting a treat ONCE from the Tooth Fairy).

My son (the “naughty one“) does this amazingly kind, sweet gesture, nightly…. He puts TREATS under her pillow at night (every night) so she thinks the Tooth Fairy came. Every night that my youngest 3rd child mentiones the Tooth Fairy, her older brother, will place stickers, 20p from his own Money Box, lip balm (hes stolen probably!) …My point is….this son of mine…hes such a good lad. Yet, hes been flagged up at school for “bad behaviour” because my ex said he was acting inappropriately.  My Son, is kind, yes, cheeky, but no way near a “problem” like the kids I give lifts to from school on the way home. One boy tried to stick his finger inside my mums bellybutton (not bellybutton but I cant bear to even write where he attempted) on school grounds, yet HE is not being called in for anything. My son? Lets look at the facts.

Thanks to ex Nanny, my son is a child who has been “flagged up” at school for naughty behaviour). Thanks to constant prodding and poking, my own relationship with my OWN SON has been affected. My old Filipino Nanny (and her bullshit, letting my then 3 year old daughter walk out the house, leaving the gas on, not closing the door, letting our 9 month old almost drown….this is a WITNESS) as well as whatever is aired by the ex, has rocked my normal, natural relationship with my child. My son and I feel, almost awkward now, thanks to the bullshit that has been created during my divorce. He has been soo damaged by what has happened because he has been used as an exampleof my alleged lack of “attention”. ATTENTION.

My son, BTW, gets approximately 80% of my attention DAILY. This has been enforced on me/him/us….thanks to a nanny (who my son claimed tried to cut him with a knife/his own flesh and blood).

I had a meeting (with my ex) at my sons schools last year) where I told them they were “ruining my relationship with my child”. These lies and comments….they are maybe not intentional…but they are ruining my relationship with my boy. I adore him. Hes cheeky. Gorgeous. Kind. He adores me. We love spending time together as we are actually very VERY similar. But, he is being pushed into a corner where apparently I give him “no attention”, and he is a “problem” at school. Both untrue.

YET….Both, now, a problem for me. I’ve kept quiet for long enough.

Yep, the same boy who holds his little sisters head when she falls asleep in her car seat so her “neck doesn’t hurt” while I drive us home.

He does this EVERY time my youngest child falls asleep in the car. His twin sister? The “good one” and my “favourite“? She wouldn’t even notice or attend to her younger sister, who has special needs. Yet, my Son, who according to random stories, where in hindsight I cant believe I even accepted being questioned, is sooo kind and looks after her. He did from the moment my youngest came into the world. His words were she looked so cute and he called her “Pookey”. A name that’s (unfortunately for her) Stuck!

But my boy? The one they  are “monitoring” at school for bad behaviour because he said “bum”  or something along those lines. Its harming him more than helping. My poor boy has had (due to moment at school that would ordinarily be considered “cheeky” ie. saying “you smell”! to another child) has caused Social services/Therapists/Psychologists to stop in. The poor lad is overwhelmed and I’m actually, now, beyond accepting of him being torn down like this. All because of a Nanny and my divorce. All to try and cut monthly maintenance.

MY SON ….holds his 4 year olds sisters head in my car, while I drive home (during my 2 hour round trip), to stop her getting neck ache (because she “falls forward Mummy”) while I drive us home. My SON, whose head and body I used to hold for over 8 hours every night for months because he couldn’t settled in out new environment in my lounge in Hong Kong all night….MY SON….is being torn away from me, bit by bit. I’m a good Mum and I adore my kids. I haven’t changed when it comes to who I am at the core. My kids however, are being destroyed by this stupid divorce game.

My son…hes actually a very good boy. When I hear things hes allegedly done…I’m stunned because, surrounded by love, hes fine.  When hes upset….yep….he’ll react. But hes only a child. And that’s not me saying that as a typical Mum protecting her son. I’m pretty strict, yet kind, with my kids. They know they can come to me with anything. ANYTHING.  We even laugh about this at dinner time when my 7 year old daughter told me ” Mummy when you come into the playground, please tell X to stop smelling me”. I witnessed (on 2 occasions) my kids being bullied, and had to speak to the Teachers within my reach immediately before I harmed some idiot bullying child’s face, or their IDIOT parent for not stepping in to teach their child that what their kid is doing is UNACCEPTBLE.

These two Boys who bullied my then 5 year old daughter, were swinging my daughter around by her school uniform hood. I was waving goodbye to her at the time before these imbecile, joy riding (to-be), idiot, boys started bullying her. They didn’t know who the fk was in the playground.  They prompted me to cooley walk over (try to recall Legal jargon…being an ex lawyer n’ all) and tell these 2 idiots to “GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER NOW!!! WHAT ARE YOUR NAMES AND WHICH CLASSES ARE YOU IN!!”  My daughter was trying to push them off her and retrieve her hood. Adults though….?!  They were bloody EVERYWHERE. Why didnt they step in?  These idiot boys were 5 years old and shit themselves when I walked over and intimidated them as they attempted to do to my daughter. Did this stop their pattern? Nope.  Ive seen them STILL BULLY kids in the playground….until they see my joyous face….cowards. I keep telling my kids….”Bullies are cowards. Stand up for yourselves. Tell Mummy if you don’t feel safe!”. they know the drill. They also know, human beings should be kind. Bullies are “ cowards”.

But seeing my son this past week, doing things, no one has told him to do (ie. hold your baby sisters head when she falls asleep so she doesn’t get neck ache)….is pretty…cool. He is genuinely kind. I love that about him. I wish everyone would back off and let him be.

This morning, all three of my kids woke (my youngest has her birthday in 12 days but will be away this year, so I celebrated her birthday today, with her older twin siblings), to balloons, cake, presents, smiles, contentment on the way to school. One of my twins…AKA “Favourite daughter”, did a somersault into my bedroom at 4.30am this morning, smiling (always smiling…to be fair, she DID come out the womb like that), shouting (because she can not, at any point, talk quietly), “ITS MY BIRTHDAY MUMMY!!! MY BIRTHDAY!!! LET ME SEE WHAT YOUVE DONE IN THE KITCHEN!! OR HAVENT YOU DONE ANYTHING?!”

I woke, explained she was approx. 1.5 hours early, to sleep for a bit, and I would wake her when it was “time”. My daughters response? “OK. BUT, please DONT FORGET!!” As if I could…. 7 years ago I had twins. I was married. I was in love with life and what the future could hold. Today, I woke alone (I mean the only adult in my home), and tried to keep it together while I witnessed these little people, I’ve raised alone for 2 years now…get one year older.

I had my twins in St. Marys Hospital in Paddington (Praed st), London. The well known “Lindo Wing” who were beyond amazing with how they cared for me. I had complications during the C Section, and lost a lot of blood. But the Nurses, Doctors and staff generally were beyond incredible. I couldn’t walk without their aid for 2 days. Yet, not once did I feel insecure or judged while attempting to do basic human things like go to the loo…the medical profession (on every level, from juniors to Consultants) were absolutely mindful and instrumental in my recovery.

The Lindo Wing at St. Marys was not some plush, Four Seasons Hotel style room, as you would expect for £6000 (apparently the cost) a birth.  I gave birth to my 3rd child in Hong Kong and it was compulsory to remain in the Hospital, known as “Hotel Matilda” for 7 days. To be fair, I had just moved apartment with the twins and ex, tried to fight a legal court case with our old landlords and unpacked, before turning up to voluntarily be put to sleep before giving birth to my 3rd child (I was SHAKING from terror/fear/worry of giving birth the 2nd time round. I was Shaking so much, the Doctor suggested I be put to sleep. I agreed…I was terrified after being advised from 16 weeks that we had an issue with the umbilical cord and Baby no.3 could be stillborn. Imagine a whole pregnancy wondering if your child would be alive when you gave birth? and then your husband emotionally checks out, knowing full well, situation at hand. Oh, and then my Dad died. Cherry on the cake.) I had 3 days to recover from my C Section with my twins. 3 days….then I was on my own. Back home…with 2 babies…I made via IVF (apparently I should be “hush hush” about the IVF for reasons I don’t understand….If I can help anyone through IVF, I bloody will. It is definitely not for the faint hearted and a couple must be strong to survive that shit)….and I was scared to leave the Lindo Wing.

And the aftercare at St. Marys, in Paddington?

Well….again, it was managed and I was looked after beautifully. I felt cared for, despite feeling physically bare at times (someone helping you go to the bathroom or to sit and drink water), and emotionally exposed. This hospital is both private and NHS run. Ive recently read reviews on St. Marys and am stunned by “trip advisor” style comments. The nurses and Doctors I encountered were incredible. The job they perform, is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. To be fair….the nurses who were there whenever I needed help, we beyond altruistic. I never felt alone knowing they were just around the corner. For a Nurse, to go and help someone go to the bathroom and HELP them physically hold bags of blood/fluid…and STILL smile and be kind to you?! This profession is NOT there to simply serve us. We need to appreciate that these are people, with feelings and senses, going home to their own lives, after a day with you. These amazing Nurses, at the Lindo Wing, who helped me when I couldn’t stand without losing copious amounts of blood (seriously, like a bucket of blood just to brush to stand and brush my teeth), would be so natural, and help me. HELP me. The only other person who would do this, is my Mother. Where was my then-husband? Not there. He was tired.

Me? I’m celebrating today that my twins are 7 years old. SEVEN. My youngest is about to turn 5. AND, I have been a single mum since they were 2 years old and 4 years old. No Man will ever define me, or my brood. I just hope, I keep up this super busy, hugely emotional (at times) biggest role of my life.

I will go back to work soon. Once all 3 are sorted. Until then?

Despite being under pressure daily (and nightly), I’m owning this amazing, sometimes totally soul destroying, role.  This crew of 3, that I gave birth to? I’m actually, beyond impressed with how much they have held ME up. Parenting is harsh. People judging you constantly, is harsh too. But fuck them, and do what you want to do. Those who judge, have zero life, and bullshit input. Good people don’t put others down.

Don’t be a hater. Although the Internet Trolls wont be able to help themselves..

For the single parents out there… You’re doing a FUCKING BEAUTIFUL JOB. And for those smug happy married bastards (I’m not bitter)/coupled up? You too are doing a fab job (we don’t hate you). Parenting is a whole job in itself. I love (& WANT TO MAIM), but LOVE, when people discover I’m a stay at home tortured Mum, then say to me, “oh, so you DONT WORK?!” No you fucker. DONT WORK?!

If you mean “not working” as waking up throughout the night, sleeping on the floor next to your childs bed when theyre unwell, washing thousands of clothes daily (despite them having friggin uniforms!?), being on call 24/7 for ALL your childs needs, having constant bullshit meetings with schools/doctors/therapists/ex husbands/idiots, attending playdates, parties, driving to the moon and back daily, washing toys, filling in projects, doing nightly homework, cooking, cleaning, trying NOT to kill oneself, as NOT a job….well you know what? YOU do my daily and NIGHTLY job. Tell ME HOW YOU FEEL AFTER ONE WEEK IN MY ROLE. Because I am being judged daily for allegedly NOT working. How do I go to work when I have sick kids, waking through the night, calls from school, no family that live locally, and zero support by way of a nanny?! WHAT JOB WILL EMPLOY ME?

I get 4 hours sleep (if I’m lucky) uninterrupted, every night, before one of my kids wakes me, feeling “sad”, or ill, or about something to do with my divorce. I have experienced, ALONE, nearly 2 years of this nightly waking up routine, then doing a WHOLE day of “NON WORK”, then the same Groundhog routine, because of a divorce, I didn’t implement/want. I am alone in managing this situation. I AM A SUPERSTAR. I have to keep telling myself this otherwise I’ll top myself!!!

There is only one proper rule to being a good parent. Be a good, kind human being. Your kids learn what they see. Teach them to be a kinder generation. Surely?

So….onwards and upwards.

My trio are going on holiday with their Dad and I actually get my only annual break (6 days) so I’m going diving, diving, diving.

I just pray my babies are ok, and this horrific, still stressful (despite the divorce) time, will eventually end. I am fed up of waking daily, worried about what the week will produce in pain, ex husband drama and general bullshit.

I want to be happy.  I DESERVE to be happy.

I am raising 3 children alone.  ALONE. EVERY SINGLE DAY. NOT WEEKENDS. EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. NO NANNIES. JUST ME.

I am almost amazed people attempt to pick a fight with me. But they do. Me. The Mother of 3 kids, who is running around daily, after her children.

What IDIOT picks a fight with a single Mum, who gets 4 hours sleep a night (if you are having a good night), drives her “mummy taxi” daily to cater for 3 little peoples needs, and has zero life?

 

 

 

 

Growing up in London in the 1980’s

 

jailcellphotos80s

Ive recently been going through old photos, letters and talking with my Mum about the “old days”.  It was recently my Dads 4 year anniversary since he died and we’d been talking about the days (1980’s) when he had quite a well known, NW London Resturant on the Finchley Road, an old client of mine referred to as an “Institution”….due to all the 1980’s popstars that used to frequent it and all the stories my Dad would tell us about some of the things that took place there throughout the night.  His restaurant was one of very few in London to hold a Licence to remain open until 6am.  So you could say, it was a party place in those days.

While chatting to my Mum about some of my Dads stories from his restaurant in the 1980’s (“Emmanuel”), my brother walked in and we then began a 6 hour conversation, while reminiscing and laughing, through albums about our childhood.  The clothes were beyond ugly. Yet we all felt great in them! But we also noted, how different parenting, in the 80’s was compared to now.  For example, the word “playdate” never existed in those days.  You’d often be expected to do what the adults did, ie. the kids had to pretty much have a flexible (non “Gina Ford”) routine, where we lived as the adults did…not the other way around where the adults lives were dictated by the kids.  I don’t recall ever seeing “play areas” in my friends houses (no matter how big they were) as we were expected to bugger off to our bedrooms to play and hangout …..often making prank calls to local shops and restaurants for cheap kicks, playing with our Cindy or Barbies, Cabbage Patches, My Little Pony, dolls, and going to sleep with our “Glow Worms” under our arms.  Oh….and the AMSTRAD computer…which my older brother got for Xmas one year, while I sat holding a carrot and bag of coal (second child).

 

Calling anyone under the title of a 1980’s raised n’ bred, London child? The 1980’s (for me), is always filled with happiness, bankruptcy (not mine), The ‘A’ Team, The “Young Ones”, PEZ dispensers, WHAM, Madonna, Duran Duran, Sony Walkman (one of my favourites!), “NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC”, Top of the Pops, “Wide Awake Club” with Timmy Mallet, Gordon The Gopher with Philip Schofield (now a British Institution in his own right),

Sony walkman.jpg

Sunday Roasts, playing outside in the middle of the high street (& cars would slow down to let you kick a football), BMX “THE bike” to have, roller skating constantly (with neon leggings) which ended up with me in Ealing hospital with a broken arm, 1980’s Music (BLOODY BRILLIANT), 4 TV channels only in the UK which (from what I recall….although this could just be nostalgia taking over, were TV shows we all loved.

The A-Team     Airwolf    ALF     The Colbys
Magnum, P.I.     Manimal     Max Headroom     Miami Vice

BUT, aside from those warm fuzzy moments, probably due to neon green/orange leg warmers….full fat chips, full fat coke (Coke Cola you freaks), sausage rolls, pies, chocolate, crisps, angiogram waiting to happen moments….The 1980’s is STILL the era I MISS….

I don’t know an 80’s child who doesn’t miss the 1980’s. And THE MUSIC of that time….there was some good stuff out there.  I don’t know an 80’s child who doesn’t know most of those old famous songs.

It was FILLED with potential for us.  The films of that generaion alone provided us with a backdrop and guideline for how we should be living our lives. I recall the Giletter Contour Plus Razor adverts (yes, adverts for men shaving their faves, not pubes)…where Father and Son were shown with son being a baby to the day of his wedding….I cried…I believed….we all did….the 1980’s DID that to our generation. We were BELIEVERS.

“Footloose” (Kevin Bacon provided numerous day dreams for me in Catholic School), Patrick Dempsey holding a MAHOOOOSIVE Cassette player demonstrating “true love” to his 15 year old girlfriend, or  knowing EVERY SINGLE WORD to the songs of that time. GREAT songs. Songs even now, you hear, smile at, recall what you were doing at the time ….usually riding on your BMX, out in the streets of “Lunden”….in a time when paedophiles were still free to roam, waiting for the “A Team” to come on the telly while you ate sausages, chips, sugar loaded anything (well we did, you judgemental wankers) and felt oddly “happy” (and NO….kids were not taking drugs openly then)…. And a Film (or two, when I think about it) that will always remind me of that time.

  1. American Werewolf in London. I STILL HATE THE FUCKING TUBE NOW. Despite no werewolves..on the tube…as they always run late…especially the District line to SW London (where happy people live…due to the amount of foliage/trees)…an-american-werewolf-in-london-movie-poster-1981-1020194534
  2. The Exorcist.

    Even Hearing that familiar “Tubular bells” theme tune……makes me run to a safe corner with a crucifix and garlic while reciting the “Hail Mary” a zillion times. Yes, this does confuse the SHIT out of my Jewish kids and neighbours (if during a daytime walk) but honestly, if it does stop my bed flying in the air due to Devils possessing people…well…that and Grey Goose.

Anyway….all my “happy memories” are from the 1980’s….Music, food, shockingly disgusting neon Acid House T Shirts, Margaret Thatcher (I’m Pro so F OFF now if you wanna go all Labour on me)….I JUST LOVED THE 80’s era. Sooo much badness, as it turns out for the adults, but SUCH a happy, free time/mind/era of love, for me.

 

blog-re-parenting

Mum/Parent/Foster Carer/Grandparent/Dad/Guardian/Aunt/Uncle/Friend/Siblings/God Parent/Child carer of any name  or sort……..”

I have become a little aware, that my actions, or those of ANYONE around my children, DO actually carry consequences for them in later life.

Certain things I see parents/carers do, or now NEED to do, were not the norm when I was growing up in SW London in the 1980’s.

Just this past week, I have had to attend Maths and Literacy lessons at my 4 year olds schools, in order to equip us imbeciles, of how to do this “educating malarkey”, at home. To be fair, I assumed it would be a pointless exercise and not worth the £6.60 I paid to park outside the school, in Hampstead, at peak time.  Oh….and I waited 13 minutes for a parking space to be free too. With a growling, frothing, Camden Parking Attendant (Wanker) stood there observing not only my EXCELLENT Parking skills (hey, fuck off, I grew up with 3 brothers and have seen some horrific YouTube “anti-female/all in jest/check this bird out/parking” shit). I park my car quicker than any man. If I ruin my alloys….? Well….fuck it. You cant have beauty, big boobs, incredible body, single angry Mum of 3 (the list of pros are endless)….AND a great “non car park-curbing” woman.

 

That said, my little, gorgeous, 4 year old “Pookey”, AKA “Mrs Chan” has 5, FIVE, Parent/Child/Teacher led classes, all us Parents are “recommended to attend” otherwise the world will fall apart and life for your child will mean a jobless, emotionless, void, due to ones lack of obvious care.  And btw….calling my youngest “Mrs Chan” is not a form of being racist because we refer to her with a common Chinese name due to her simply being born in Hong Kong. That’s it.  I grew up in the 80s, so I’m now pleading ignorance if a comment like this is considered soooo UN PC, I should burn in purgatory for a good while.  I felt I should flag this up, before some obnoxious troll attempts another half arsed attempt to undermine me….simply because they’ve nothing else to do during their lunch break (possible?)/Job Centre app (doubtful)/sat in their office somewhere/at home parent feeling pissed off…teenager (?!) …who cares.

I am (just to be clear here), a SW London born girl/woman/oxymoron, raised by Iranian parents, with a slight “exotic dusting” to my appearance (this comment BTW was made by a Heathrow airport staff member, circa 1987,while trying to find “anything” in my shitty brown (non wheely) suitcase…(my grandmas suitcase to be fair). My tiny suitcase, which had a HUGE photo of”Michael Jackson” laminated on the front of it (cut out from “Just Seventeen” magazine two weeks before) and  full of “duty-free” fags, had already passed all customs checks thanks to a “white” blond guy with blue eyes standing next to it and picking it up by accident…. Now…THAT would be racist, no? I’m of course joking. I was 9 years old. therefore not breaking the law, nor am I telling the truth now.

However….if one were to discuss racism in the airports….well….lets just say…The EX Captain experienced some

Anyway….as we all know by now…I was educated in a Twickenham Catholic School run by REAL Irish Nuns (in case you thought they were “Fake”), where daily “Mass” before lessons was an “optional” requirement… I’m not being childish. I will refer to my youngest as “Pookey” or “Mrs Chan” from time to time.  We all do.  This is because she was a) born in Hong Kong b) Reacts to NUMEROUS daily social situations like a Chinese citizen would (not a Hong Kong Islander, I’m talking local Chinese mainlander….spitting/fighting to get through an open door before ANYONE/being rude JUST for the hell of it….oh…and assuming the Playground is hers, simply because the air in China CLEARLY affected her social skills…..something we are still trying to “reset”… I’m not generalising or anything….just stating facts in playgrounds I’ve LIVED in for 4 years before we returned to London. The local kids were super aggressive, had zero appreciation of anyone else in their immediate surroundings, and generally assumed the playground/air, was theirs alone. You could usually spot some poor Filipino Helper sat there with 4 mobile phones (as well as head phones) talking vigorously to family/friends/anyone….just to avoid minding this horrific child.

Anyway…. I have a Jewish ex husband (you recall my stories) after I converted to Judaism after 18 months of Monday night sessions at a Rabbis house, learning Hebrew?!  I  have THREE Jewish children FFS.

SOOO, again, just to cover all legal/non legal/potential claims of racism….when I call my youngest, “Mrs Chan”….its because she was born in Hong Kong. It makes us giggle. End of.  Plus she is totally HK in her aggressive, spitting, burping, lack of consideration for any Westerner, “get the fuck out of my way you Gweilo” mannerisms. OK….that was RACIST. I’m not racist at all though. I HATE racists as much as I hate bullies.  Same shit, different pot, both just as ugly as each other.

Now in the 1980’s, do you recall…

Nightrider

Magnum

Brady Bunch

Drinking Coca Cola from GLASS bottles

Kiora – the drink, not some date rape drug…

Michael Jackson was a King.

Tiffany … “Running just as fast as we can…holding onto one anothers hand…”

Dressing like a neon lightbulb with permed hair and a huge crucifix…hoping no one would notice you were not (a) Madonna (b) in need of a perm with crazy curly hair already and (c) Why leggings and lace gloves with pompom skirts and crucifixes?

“The Garage” on the Kings Road in Chelsea where I got my second ear piecing (in same ear) before my Dad turned up to collect me in a Gold Mercedez Benz (Iranian Stylie, with Iranian Music blaring out the window….because he didn’t give a crap about racist haters), calling my name (using EVERY SINGLE SYLABLE in the strongest Iranian accent known to anyone from London).  This was usually with 800 relatives crammed into the back of his car as well (we never leave home without the tribe).

Kensignton Market for my Gothic fix of black tassled skirts and DM boots (ok more 1990’s for me)….

Sorry….to be continued….Part 2 80’s next article.

BREAKING NEWS ON 25 DECEMBER 2016

GEORGE MICHAEL….died. What a year SHIT 2016 was.

What an AMAZING singer, songwriter, person. My Dad used to throw him out of his restaurant, Emmanuel (Swiss Cottage) “all the time” back in the 1980’s for being “cheeky”….I felt winded when on Christmas day… George Michael, THE George Michael, died.

I grew up on his music. Loved him. My thoughts are with his family. What a LEGEND.

I love this photo of him x

news-george-michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating after “Divorce” (AKA.”HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME!?”)

This is a very brief piece, for the time being….as writing about “dating” is something, I’m really not keen, nor, ready to do.

HOWEVER….one very quick query for those divorced/separated/newly single families out there….

Something, I’m finding very…..bleughhhhh…..”empty”, but, perhaps, glaringly obvious to those who’ve been on the singles scene for a while.

This whole dating “new people”. Lets be honest, they could be “Aliens” right now, for me.

For those of you “dating” again for the first time, after say,  5-15 years with one person, will possibly not find this an easy task. I’ve only known one man for 12 years. TWELVE WHOLE YEARS!! Mentally, emotionally….physically.

I have found myself in a couple of situations, on a date, with people, who were TOTALLY, never even considered worthwhile (I’m not being an arrogant dick here, I’m just stating the truth) in my original spectrum, 13 years ago….. What is happening?

When you arrive on a first “date” (or in my head….”emotional challenge”)…and see some knobmunch sat at a table sipping Camomile Tea (one shocking, “how did I get this SOOO wrong” moment)…..My thought was, “I HIRED A FUCKING NANNY FOR THIS MAUVE, “Fruit of the Loom” T-SHIRT WEARING, NIKE TRAINERS (Bill Gates stylie), BARELY BRUSHED HIS 3 STRANDS OF COMBED OVER HAIR, MAN?!!”   This “MAN” then insists I buy my OWN drink!?? MY OWN DRINK?!  Sorry….I must disgust those New Age, independent people by stating this £10 fact…..BUT….”HEH?!”  When did this happen?!?

This bloke, a single bellend (OK….I’m being polite. I mean, COCK), who was actually bloody rude, asking me what I got “financially” in my divorce settlement (WTF!?!), clearly cant dress (or does so, in the dark), drives a “Prius as its cost effective”, has NO IDEA how to speak to people (forget a woman), how much it cost me to LEAVE MY HOUSE AND 3 CHILDREN, SAFELY AT HOME. All to go meet a complete waste of  1.5 hours. Actually, I’d exited within 48 minutes and stayed out, on my own, sipping a £15 cocktail….pondering on whether I was actually ready to “get back out there” again.

Sorry….for WHAT?!?!?! THIS?! THIS SHIT NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. Ive clearly AGED. Something Men also like to point out….”youre no spring chicken” or “youre 40 this year, right?”

 

So….the only time this shitty date I attended, did happen, I BURST INTO LAUGHTER (I couldn’t help it as this dick was arrogant too), explained I wasn’t ready at meeting “men of that calibre” and perhaps I should give “women a go”.

I’ve always had a good radar for “crazy/bastard/weird/players/time-wasters/WASPS/Estate Agents etc”) but the minute I laid eyes on this “man”, rude and arrogant as he was…..I needed to leave ASAP. I WENT HOME AND WATCHED “X FACTOR” after buying myself a drink and observing the world around me, alone, and thinking….”Nope. Not ready. Nope!!”

As a divorced, single Mum, I feel very much like a Man approaching any (lets be honest)hideous, date.

I cant even be bothered to “carry” the bloody evening with my usual wit and kindness (no, I’m being serious here).  I’m actually a “carrier” ie. I cant cope with seeing people feel uncomfortable, so I overcompensate with chat/banter/laughter/alcohol….ANYTHING!!!.

AND I actually SAID this in my personal ad write up (yes, online dating…..you’re seriously going to judge after all the stuff I’ve shared?!)…. Men were emailing me saying not only was it the funniest write up they’d read, but also checking if I was “female”.

Errr…..”yes….I am a female.

The fact these men were soooooo bowled over by a shitty piece of slapstick/pisstake/innocent/slightly vulnerable-testing-the new-waters-fun, strikes you or any potential mate right off my list…. instantly.

Alas…..I AM NOW A MAN (Emotionally)…although the way my luck is running, I’m amazed I’ve not woken with a penis. I DONT GIVE A CRAP when interacting with anyone from the opposite sex. I’m rude, obnoxious, do what I want, say what I want…. I’m feeling zilch. Bubkus. These men, have zero personality, charm, ability, humour….gumption. JEEEEZ….I could go on…and on….and on.

This now leads me to a thought…. something I find very hard to comprehend, but its obvious….

Is it ….. that I’ve now (finally) grown up?

OR……(FUCK)….

Was it that I was loved sooo well, I now don’t know any different? I’m now a spoilt woman expecting nothing less than friggin respect (damnit!!) no matter what.

Either way…for those single ladies on the “look-out” in London for single men. STOP LOOKING. Either join Ashley Madison (oooohhhh….don’t judge….I’m being funny)….or simply, I don’t know…..Stop the search.  I am not moving on, nor am I staying in the past. But one thing I do know…..FINALLY.

The last 12 years with the Captain, were not in vain…..Id rather have experienced that, than 12 years of this madness…emptiness. It was a great benchmark. A great understanding and lesson in what I WONT accept. ie. Unless theyre genuinely worth my time, I’m happy to bolt, feel zero guilt, and accept, that only in time, will karma/life, eventually lead me back to a man, who will be the right fit. When that will happen?  I must stop thinking about. And I accept that. It could be next week, or 20 years time. But I wont waste another minute on trying to stroke my own ego and entertain someone, I never did then, nor should I now. Divorced single Mums are not desperate…..theyre more in tune, more experienced and more capable, having been there n’ done that the first/second/third time around 🙂

In the meantime….my 3 kids will always fulfil all aspects of my entire life (“until the day you die”….my Mums words, not mine).

I’m just sharing something that’s hit me like a sledge hammer.

Men can replace a women very VERY easily (not personalities though…. funny women can NEVER be replaced…and we’re always remembered) but we ARE physically replaceable…. I stress “physically“.  NOT mentally. NEVER mentally. Men recall emotion and banter as much as the physical stuff.  They’re just very predictable on the physical side.

Women, or maybe, just me (the bellend), I’m yawning before Ive even heard a “Hello” from a potential nightmare date. I already know, they wont even touch my emotional/personal, aura right now. NONE of my (1.2 dates…..) who I’d heavily screened pre date, had any ability to fulfil what I now feel I need…Normality, banter, kindness, attraction, intelligence, arrogance (only a teeeeny amount but enough to make me giggle)…..a real Personality. Nope.  Nothing. So I’ve retired. It took 27 years to find The Captain…..I think it’ll take approx. 5 years to fill those boots.  When we were happy, life was amazing. I need that hole filled properly and responsibly.  My children come first.  If they hate anyone….(not that they’ve met ANYONE)….well, I’ll go by them and their judgement.

Enjoy the kids being back at school readers!! I’m a Parent “Volunteer” at their Halloween disco this week…..their football Coach is SUPER attractive….and I reckon LOVES ME….?!  Unfortunately….I don’t care right now….still numb from the divorce.

Judgemental troll comments on ex-pats

ukpassport-cover

So…. I am a HUGE hater of bullying.

HUGE..

I have always, ALWAYS, considered myself to be kind and decent to people. I can’t even stomach witnessing someone being verbally bullied in an adult environment, let alone kids playground (same thing to be fair).

Bullies are (in my opinion before you comment/go mad & attempt to sue me for a comment “Bullies Not R Us”) weak, struggling personally, and allow their own insecurities to lash out at others. They don’t appear capable of accepting other peoples happiness and lives.  They like to “put you down” and upset your emotional confidence.

Therefore…I have done something, I’ve never, ever, done since starting this site.

reacted to an Internet troll who attacked the Ex-pat way of life.  Yes, I DEFENDED EX PAT LIFE. Madness.

I apologise in advance, before you read this, for sounding like a complete hypocrite. I just cant help but get infuriated at comments that are made, simply to antagonise, get a reaction (this one did), and…to be fair… if people can pass judgement on who I am, why the hell can’t I fight back?!

hkid_pic-adult-front_sample

FYI – HK ID card from Wikipedia added above to make my barrage of words look less “wordy” and more visual too. NB. There is NO WAY the bird in the photo above is born in 1968!?

Anyway….going back to Interet Trolls and random, unknowing, judgemental comments that I’m sure more Bloggers are used to by now.  I however, am not.  I like to be “liked”! Its nice to be thought of in a good way.  However, I dont like to be “judged” or “bullied”. Nope, never happening.

Sooo….please see a charming “internet trolls” comment below.

“Cheri’s Comment” (again, below!)….was one, and only one, brief, pathetic, sentence.  While I’m almost sorry for acting like a sanctimonious bellend, sometimes its necessary to verbally slap a bully.  AND, I just couldn’t help myself this time. I tried to leave it….honest!

Comment made by Cheri…. “CHEER THE FUCK UP AND BE GRATEFUL”.

MY RESPONSE BELOW:

“Dear CHERI (your name screams Vegas stripper btw)…

The fact you’ve, somehow, in your troll-like state of mind, stumbled through the maze of internet search engines (shocking you can spell) to get to my blog…surprises me.

Normally I encourage those less able, yet you’ve excelled in finding my site, AND passing comment. Not only have you unfortunately attempted to undermine me, but your comment, which I’ve actually accidentally overlooked for a while (due to the amount of NICE comments I filter through) was, I have to admit, amusing as hell!  Its almost like being attacked in the playground by a 6 year old boy (normally with a “Mohawk” haircut), keen to get a response, and out of pity, I’ve now decided to give you one (a response that is).

I’m guessing you were a lonely (despite “trying soo hard to have friends”), heavily moustached, possibly thin/thick set, lone, bully at school, no friends, experiencing issues with social inadequacy, lack of confidence and probably some form of body dysmorphic disorder (google it luv).

You may also have had Middle child syndrome (although you’re probably an only child, lets face it as I’m a “middle child” and LOVE that excuse alone to guilt my family into doing stuff for me!)? You are generally internally angry due to your possible, open, vile, toxic internal contempt, and disgusting inability to connect with other human beings? You HAVE tried to make good friends but people just seem to….hmmm….DISLIKE you for some reason?  Your family pets probably recoil and hid behind furniture whenever you walked in the front door…they already knew the tragedy you were/would inevitably become. I bet you attempted to be good at maths (or chess) due to the solitude that gave you, away from socialising with people in general, therefore making you unattractive in all other areas of your life because you lacked anything remotely kind within yourself. I’m also guessing any form of human interaction that’s fun or involves laughter breaks you out in an uncomfortable sweat? Whatever your very clear personal lack of mind-set is/was/will always be….I HATE BULLIES SOO MUCH and I’m soooo grateful, you sent me such a trivial, albeit, quite disappointing, remark.

YOU have taken the time, in your obviously important nirvana like state/life, to comment in a vacuous, undercut, insolent manner (google the words as I cant possibly imagine you appreciate the meaning of anything Ive said). You have read a few segments, of a strangers blog, then judged all of us Hong Kong ex-pats on our lives.

WHO TOLD YOU TO KEEP READING?? Why didn’t you just flick onto your normal bestiality website and leave normal discussion, to like-minded, good people?

Your plain, meaningless (attacking) comment means what? Exactly? We should be ashamed we don’t/didn’t enjoy the luxurious, tax haven we lived in? Are we not allowed to comment on anything, in case we appear ungrateful and elitist?

Do you think your brief rude, attempt to patronise, will have ANY lasting impact? Which, yes, I know its ironic that I’ve taken the time to respond now…. BUT…the only reason being…you’ve just demonstrated a massive component in why ex-pats are struggling (especially stay-at-home parents) with their new lives abroad.  YOUR judgement, and “CHEER THE FUCK UP” mentality, is a clear issue in the ex-pat community and has created an obvious divide in peoples thoughts when talking about the “Gweilo” way of life.

You’re a “hater”.

A pissed of human either:-

(a) working and annoyed your spouse isn’t…yet still hitting Wan Chai nightly for copious amounts of booze, lap dances and ego stroking.

(b) Not working, and just trying to create conversation as you’ve got no friends aside from your helper (& lets be honest, she’s plotting her escape back to the Philippines/an Chai/Half Way House/Your husbands “Lock Up”, as I write).

(c) You don’t even live in SE Asia but like to antagonise and pass judgement simply because you’ve got nothing better to do as youre out in the countryside somewhere milking cows, or catching buses and feeling angered by our blatant disregard for what should be “happiness”.

(d) You’re a Helper…. kicking off with verbal abuse simply because “Maam” asked you why you were having a swim (in her swimsuit & 5 carat diamond earrings) at 11am, when clearly an 8 month old child had been left alone, to fend for themselves on the 80th floor of their block. But as you feel, shes such a RICH BITCH Ex-pat, you turn her frustration into Middle Class guilt, and blatantly pretend you don’t understand “what the problem is M’aam”. Therefore, alas, your employer lets you have a swim while she rushes off to make you lunch to show how “cool and unaffected” she is/hoping a real trusting friendship will finally begin….since you do look after her child ‘n all. You already have decided all Gweilos are “spoilt” and will punish anyone who crosses your path.

(e) You’re a man AKA you posses a Penis, pretending to be called “Cheri”…in which case…genius, and thanks for the content in any event.

This site has, and was, started, simply to express my take on life in Hong Kong. You do KNOW that people who write books, talk, teach, preach, and follow a religion, ALL HAVE A RIGHT to do that? This site has an open approach to like-minded, NORMAL, people who are free to feel as they chose.

Your attempt…albeit sooo pathetically put in a childish attack to disparage what ex-pats are feeling, just because YOU feel we should “CHEER THE FUCK UP AND BE GRATEFUL”, illustrates SO CLEARLY, what a closed-minded idiot you are. ITS YOUR KIND THAT IS CREATING ISSUES FOR HUMBLE, NICE PEOPLE, trying to get some form of real perspective on Ex-pat life.

Who made you the Preacher of what Ex-pats should/shouldn’t feel? And who gave YOU permission to judge me, or ANY ex-pat on how we are living?? It is YOUR sort, with your pre-judgement, sat in your tower, spewing shit, who are creating a “Cheer the fuck up” hostility.

If more than a few hundred people feel unsettled in a new environment, in a new country, like normal ex-pats are currently struggling with, then its a FACT. We are here to support each other. To express natural concern and thought. Your sort is NOT WELCOME ON MY SITE AGAIN.

I don’t know a single person in Hong Kong who ORDINARILY lived in the lifestyle they were suddenly thrown into living. Our open issues with it, are possibly a plethora (look it up you dumb fuck) of feelings and guilt for “larging it”. I grew up in a small flat. I couldn’t and still can’t, get past having “help”. Nor do I want to. My choice.

I’m bored of attempts by people like you, with judgemental messages that seem to be written simply for a reaction. The reason I HAVE reacted this time is because youve proven a point. Its people like you, Western and local HK residents, who attempt to  undermine anyone who complains about missing home, or not enjoying what seems like “paradise”.  Hong Kong is NOT paradise. Fact.

Get a life and get the FUCK OFF MY SITE.

What I write, in jest, or truth, is my choice.

You’re clearly a controlling, incapable, emotionally cold human (if that). Trolls who attack for no apparent reason don’t affect me. I’m assuming you’ve got zero friends, a dog that hates you ( you probably kick it when you walk in the front door), and family that had to move miles away from you, just to get some normality, without feeling guilty for showing any signs of happiness.

My blog has always been written in jest (you freak), and is something I suggest you think about in your own padded cell, judgemental, bitter world.

I wouldn’t ordinarily give someone like you (with limited vocab/lack of empathy/clear wind-up merchant) the time of day. BUT subjects like yourself, who feel sooooo important, that you felt the need to attack ANY ex-pat, struggling to settle in, for whatever reason)…. get a life. Who CARES what you all like to judge and feel? We don’t judge people like you all the time as we have LIVES to moan about. Like NORMAL people do.

Next time, I’ll reveal your IP address just so your neighbours know the ignorant bully living next door, is full of contemptible BS.

Any questions? Drop me a line. I’M DYING TO KNOW WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE.”

 

http://yummyyumtwinmuminhongkong.com

 

 

 

Staunch, Unyielding, dedicated… AKA “The Single Parent”

ALAS……IT HAS BEGUN.

POSH SCHOOLS HAVE STARTED THEIR NEW TERM (finally!!!)

After what, may I just say, was the loooooongest summer holiday EVER. Those lovable, relentless, cheeky, sweet, rude, thankless, cuddly, adorable, tug-at-your heart, mean, hideous, gorgeous creatures we  created (I was THAT desperate I had IVF for FFS!) returned to a daily day care, known as a wonderful Institution I thoroughly hated, and was kicked out of TWICE, called “School”.

Just hearing those words now makes me feel sooo incredibly elated/ill/nauseous/thankful.  I sometimes need to restrain myself from hugging their Teachers when I see them after a school break.  How Teachers do their jobs, day in day out, without becoming seriously mentally ill, is beyond me.  I know, these are children they eventually hand back to us at the end of the day (probably a reassuring thought, unless one taught at Boarding school), yet…HOW DO THEY KEEP THEIR SHIT TOGETHER when dealing with not one, two or even three kids, but 20-25!? HOW???  How are they staying grounded? Seriously, some MUST be on some form of medication, or at least “Rescue Remedy” by the gallon.  I mean, I AM A PARENT. THREE HUMANS CAME OUT OF MY BODY. YET….I’m more than willing to hand those “beings” over to an adult I know zero personal info about, daily….why/ BECAUSE I NEED A FUCKING BREAK OK!!!?? I NEED TO SHOWER WITHOUT INTERRUPTION!!! I NEED TO SIT DOWN WITHOUT BEING “BECKOND” TO SOMEO^ OR $ YEAR OLDS NEEDS. I NEED TIME ALONE. ON PURPOSE. Yes, say it. IM A SELFISH WOMAN/MOTHER.

Do you know, I get soooo selfish now about my own personal time, that I literally turn all avenues of communication off when I know the children are safe. That may be for 1 hour, or 24….but MY GOD…how liberating was life before email and friggin mobile fucking phones.  Both of which have caused more damage than good ie. how many marriages/relationships/careers, have been busted over social media leaks!?  Keep Big Brother out your life, and you would actually be FREE of all the “why didn’t you respond to my wassap?!!” bullshit.

Anyway….back to what is my present happiest/saddest moment this past week…..yes, I just shared a rare “vulnerable” insight. Get over it. It wont happen for another fucking year if I can help it….unless I win the lottery.

So….Schools are now open. Parents are now able to eat without indigestion. Life has resumed, as us stay at home parents know it.

What happens when the kids return to school (aside from reducing your dose of Vodka/Xanax/”quiet moment in the loo”)?

Here are some of the emotions a parent will feel when the kids return to school after any holiday/break/Parent-home-jail:-

  1. Initially, ELATION.  You’re thinking, “Brilliant. Once I drop those monkies off, I can get back to doing what actually needs to be done!!”  Now….”what needs to be done”, in your mind, will probably involve things like: a) having a cup of tea, without someone screaming “MUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMM, SHES ANNOYING ME AGAIN  WITH HER BALLOON/GERBIL/FOOT/FACE!!!!!” b) eating a slice of toast and actually reading the newspaper to find out how normal people are living their lives…c) dealing with dreaded admin (endless emails that needed “URGENT” attention 1 week ago.
  2. The second thing you think you’ll do is get the house sorted finally. Have a proper tidy up, get rid of old school work/endless pictures of Princesses or stickers being removed from walls or floors/get organised and give to charity old clothes (millions). You are convinced, no matter what, that you will NOT MISS THEM.
  3. You will have time to make calls and organise diaries, meet Mummys from the school for “Coffee Mornings”, return to your beloved Pilates classes with a vengeance, eat uninterrupted, maybe even smile…
  4. You think you will clean out your fridge, organise the shelves, sort all the shoes maiming people as they trip up when walking in at your front door.  You think you will be able to GET SORTED.
  5. REST – AKA “Really earned sitting time”… as in, not being called to do something the minute you think you can have a gulp of water and sit down to eat the left over scraps (because you cant be arsed to cook for yourself anymore).

ALL OF THE ABOVE WONT HAPPEN.

FACT.

The sad, shameless, harsh, reality is this.

You will drop the kids off, do a food shop, wash a million clothes, rush home to tidy up after the morning rush getting out the front door, was dishes, bleach and disinfect everything, read emails, pay bills…. You will make a zillion calls on behalf of the kids, you, your life, your home sale (I’m trying to sell up and move ASAP. Living in my old “Marital home” is hell on earth), you Mum will ring and want an hour long chat about what you “need to do to make things easier” (yet never once saying, “Go travelling and ask their Dad to do this horrendous monotonous, sleepless, daily routine, without going absolutely insane”.

Single parents, what can I say to you!?

Before I became one, I had NO IDEA, how stressful and incredibly challenging, this role can be.  You are both good cop and bad cop, you are Mum AND Dad, you are friend then foe…you are, to your children, their everything in daily life.  You matter. You have huge responsibilities.  You are forever, and ever, on your own with the daily parenting routine. Mornings are busy getting ready for school, rush hour/school clubs/playdates/endless birthday parties, collections and drop offs, Doctors/dentists/therapy appointments, bath times and bed times, happy/sad moments….all being done by one (exceptionally strong) person.

Moi.

When I collapse into bed at night, and think “hmmm….maybe Ill read my book” you know what happens? One of my three children WILL wake (I think they sense my mind/body relaxing) and ask for water, the loo, a cuddle, to kiss their pet Rabbit “Jimmy”, to stroke their hair, to sleep with me…  If I’m lucky to have a full nights sleep, I still wake to check on them…

This non-paying, (apparently not really “hard”) “job”, its not easy. People who comment, judge, claim you do “nothing all day but drop the kids off & (ALLEGEDLY) “SLEEP“…they have NO IDEA what is mentally, physically, emotionally, involved. What level of responsibility is on your shoulders, and yours…. alone.  I used to be a lawyer. I thought that was a hard, thankless, underpaid, job.  It is NOTHING compared to what I have been doing alone for the last 2 years. Stupid, mindless snipes/comments and judgements, from the side-lines, that used to infuriate me, now, make me judge AND comment back.  For those wonderful strong, sometimes exhausted single parents, remember, those stone throwers in your glass house can FUCK OFF. YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE & KNOW.

As tired as I have been, juggling this daily human rearing/emotionally challenging daily role, I still would never ever ever again, have a nanny or Au pair in my home.  My past experience with Filippino nannies in Hong Kong have left a horrible taste in my mouth/heart. People you trusted who turn on you, or worse yet, your child.

Plus, my personal space and freedom means too much now. I like not having someone pottering around my house. Unless you’re blood…get the fuck out!  I didn’t grow up being raised by someone else. Only family members were allowed to babysit us. Never an outsider. I now understand why my Mum was so strict on this. My Mum has never had a cleaner in her her house let alone another woman to help out with her children. Mum would often tell me, “A woman, in my house? Why? What for!?  Never. I AM THE ONLY LADY OF THIS HOUSE”.   She never liked the Hong Kong “Maid” culture and hated the Helpers being there when she came to stay.  She felt them constantly watching and judging and didn’t trust my home situation at all.  “Get rid of them and have someone come for a few hours during the day” she would often say. “Never have another woman living in your home”. 

Anyhow….back to the kids and school.

So, on the first day back…

I suddenly had that horrible “Ground Hog Day”moment. I’d forgotten how HORRIBLE the school run is. WHY CAN’T WE HAVE SCHOOL BUSES LIKE THE AMERICANS?!! It cuts traffic and makes stressful situations with the kids, just that little bit easier.

Doing that 25-50 minute journey, sometimes up to 1.2 hours, in traffic/road closures/car breakdowns (not mine)/accidents/life being a bastard, with 3 kids questioning you constantly about “why the sun has clouds” that particular day, or “can’t we get there faster Mummy? Cant you tell everyone we have school??”, “can penguins live in Space?”, “did you remember to pack my Dinosaur?” or “he’s/shes staring at me again Mummy. Its freaking me out!!!”.…I felt incredibly claustrophobic on day one. Trapped in my Ambulance sized 7 seater vehicle, with 3 mini Me’s, who were apprehensive about a new term, tired due to all the Balvanie 12 year Whisky from the night before, and irritated by the “school shoes that are not comfortable like flipflops”.

The main reason for my discomfort, considering I have done this journey over a zillion times?

My youngest, who has a rare Chromosome Disorder started school, alongside her siblings, for the first time. And I felt ill at the thought of being parted from her. Tearful and ill.

As it transpries, we arrived, I dropped the twins off in their buiding first, then walked to my youngests first day, in uniform (which she soooo loves) in the building a road away.  On arriving at her new school, fully uniformed up, she walked in, picked her name off the desk and dropped it into a little pretend post box (I kept praying “Please pick your name…please pick your name!!!”) and she then sat down at a desk. Once sat, my youngest child/best friend/shadow for the last 4 years, who I am overly protective of, looked at me and said “I’m ok Mummy, bye“.  My 4 year old daughter, who has a rare Chromosome disorder, gave ME perimission to leave, because she could tell, I was broken hearted knowing my youngest baby was no longer “a baby” anymore. She let ME go. I held back tears (I was in a classroom FFS!), told the Ex-Captain (who was there) I “had to leave” and walked out to breathe fresh air and gather my shit. I felt proud, broken, proud, worried for her, and elated she had been strong enough to not cry when I left, was keen to settle in, and appeared confident & independent. I had done my job. Too well.

I’m a Mum. I’m a parent.  The biggest most understated job in the world, yet the most important. Surely?

Bloody hell…..its only the first week…..I’m fucked.

Letting go of them (“your heart walking around outside your body”)….is harder than I ever imagined.

Yes, I know…I’ve said it now. I ADORE THEM . Shoot me.

You still cant make me go to some shitty playdate…..I love them but theres a fine line & I’m not quite ready for the dark side of bullshit peer pressure, fake “in your face” paenting where I have to attend a French “Art & Crafts” playdate, just to prove Im a good parent.

I know I fucking am. I hate how this generation of parents (and probably the last?!) feel the need to keep their children constantly busy with clubs, playdates, classes, after school/club extra classes, music, dance, art, pottery, karate, etc etc etc. If you do ALLLLL this crap, apparently, youre a good parent.

Dont tell me my number of playdates equates to who I am as a Mother!?

Im there for every minute of their lives. They understand that sitting down for a moment, spending time as a family, laughing (we laugh A LOT & dance!), being relaxed and comfortable, as a person, is just as important as being surrounded by numerous strangers/people, that dont justify your existence. You can be surrounded by dozens of people and yet, feel lonely. OR surrounded by love, and feel safe, confident, appreciated. I agree, in life, we need/must have good, solid friends. I have had a crew of friends for 30 plus years. We are so solid, that our conversations are similar to an imaginary (rock solid) “vault”.

I know  I’m blessed to have such a good group of friends I have known since school. A group sooo close to being my sisters, that we do, pretty much, anything for each other. We all turn 40 this/early part of next year (together – same school year).  I appreciate good friendships.

However, I also respect and feel independent alone, without them. No one justifies my existence but me. Of course, having my amazing crew of friends with me is brilliant (& sometimes dangerous!). But children also need to learn to be comfortable within their own skin. To understand who they are WITHOUT peer pressure. To be solid and stand alone means you can do whatever you want in life with confidence. You can also make the right choices (hopefully, but not always) in friends, in relationships, in life. Your friends and family are there to support you, laugh with you, love you. But you need to learn to do that for yourself, to appreciate yourself, before you share your wonderfulness with everyone else.

Kids need to go back to “Old School values” and appreciate that sometimes, “playing in your room” without a thousand posh playmates, is OK. Youre being normal. You’re being relaxed, and youre being, most importantly, independent and confident.

My parenting, with the children I adore and love, I am going to do, my way.  And in my opinion, a solid way.  “OLD SCHOOL“.

Let them understand, and appreciate, who they are as people.

You can be at numerous playdates weekly, sipping coffe and talking shit to some random parent, bored out of our mind, t pretending you give a shit. Yet, not notice your child is having zero  connection with anyone in that playdate, or worse yet, being passively bullied (past experience with my daughter who dreaded one particular forced upon us both, playdate.

Everything in life should be in balance? That works better.

Independence, appreciation of who you are, and an understanding that “you count” (I tell my kids nightly how “important and valued” they are). Lead them down the path of freedom to be themselves, and hopefully, satisfaction, confidence and a knack for being kind to everyone. Their future respect, freedom to be themselves and happiness, lies in that. Knowing, no mater what you do, or achieve, you are “important”.

Playdates? What fucking difference is that going to make in the long run?! They play all day at school together. And they’re only 6 and 4 years old. Everyone needs to get a grip, call their parents and recall how we lived in the ’80’s.

Now the 80’s….those were some bloody brilliant fucking days (not that many parents slept with all the coke flying around in £50 notes)….:)

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2 F&B (that’s “Fire& Brimstone” for the non regulars)…

I have a few issues with the whole….”school run mania” that’s once again, about to kick off…

I’m actually terrified of this one thing more than a Breast cancer check up (read an old blog of mine to see how much “fun” I had the last time they checked my boobs via the “hamburger machine”…)

Sooo…..how does one make this “school run” more fun/less painful….?

My initial thought was….WALK.

EVEN IF ITS AN HOUR OF WALKING. WITH THREE, VERY DIFFERENT, MOANING, ANNOYING, HARDCORE, IRRITABLE, CHILDREN, IN THE MORNING.

LEAVE AT 8am. Be there by 8.45 at the latest….

you’d think …

(a) My son, aged 6, walks like hes 190 years old.  His walking actually makes you tired as you keep stopping and readjusting and listening to moans about feet, ankles, knees, the weather, wind, arse ache (mine), carrying a bag that weighs less than a feather….  Now, Ive always been a Mum who BARELY ever used a buggy unless the kids were really small (as in babies).  The minute those legs worked, they knew we were walking everywhere.  In fact, there were occasions, the (now ex) Captain would actually say “Why didn’t you bring the buggy you crazy massochist?!”  My response?  “They’ve got legs and need to walk”. I’m all about walking. Not talking. Just walking. I actually…I’m geekily ashamed to say, love a good walk. But only at MY pace. Slow walk = exhaustion. I walk fast. Or at least I used to, until even that part of my character got clipped too.

My kids….They are impressive actually as by 3 years old, my mini entourage were happily wandering around for approx 2/3 hours without a buggy and when they did get tired, they would be thrown into slings on our backs.  The buggy was always there for travelling and evenings out on holidays, so they could be comfortable to sleep when essential.  Anyhow…..getting back to the topic at hand…  as I’ve realised, I just went off on one again!

So….. the journey to school by foot, for me, would take 40 minutes-65 minutes, door to door.  Ive actually tested this route alone. It took me 23.

However, with the kids, this could take at least one hour twenty minutes.  My 6 year old daughter, as opposed to her twin, is very active, BUT, is very VERY clumsy.

Yes, still….she trips over her own shadow.  She’s also tripped me up, while I carried her baby sister, across the crossing right outside her school. Her response “sorry….walk faster….”.

My twin daughter, spins, bounces, tip toes, jogs, dances, twirls, chats away constantly, runs, tells fables, points out raindrops, looks at brickwork, notices, ants, but has zero comprehension of her own two feet……I LOVE HER. This child is incredibly open to the world, yet appreciates everything. Annoying at 6am, but she bounced out of my womb with the same enthusiasm.  Hence, this too is exhausting as the pavements are all a potential accident with her.  I’m constantly hyper, on edge worrying she will hurt herself, or me, us, simply because she normally does.  I dont want her too.  I’d rather wrap her in bubblewrap and ensure shes safe.  She wouldnt be too happy with that though, plus we’d stand out like a sore thumb.  She trips over constantly. CONSTANTLY.

I can actually see accidents before they happen and like a mini Michael Jackson, she will then run up to Mummy (that’s me dumbass) and say, “I need a plaster….the Hello Kitty ones are fine”. My daughter is OBSESSED WITH PLASTERS AND ANYTHING TRIAGE-y. We recently took my youngest to the Doctors after a Trampoline accident, where No 3. Told the Dr…”IT WAS HER!!! She hurts me!!!” Pointing to my non-favourite, twin daughter. the Doctor then attempted to open the bandage I’d wrapped around my youngests ankle. A little too thoroughly. It took 15 minutes of politie quietness/”what the hell”…from the GP, before told I should work in “Triage”. I was over “thorough”…apparently.

Anyhow….om hiring her youngest sibling, Twin daughters response, was “eh…she’s talking rubbish…she fell through the springs…” Before offering her little sister her Princess stickers, her Itech computer and anything else to ease her conscious. Bottom line….she was busted. She didn’t give a shite.

I carry Arnica cream (AKA “Mummys Magic Cream”) everywhere like my Barclays Debit card.  I don’t leave home without it.  Now, my youngest would be sat in a buggy during this time.  She is like an old Chinese woman in the morning (ironic as she was born in Hong Kong and has numerous traits for a local).  She begrudgingly wakes every morning to do the shitty school run, with a massssssive curly afro flying all over the place.  She wakes up, bursts into tears, then briefly accepts her fate (school run for her siblings not her), then moans at me constantly until we get in the car.  I have to arm myself with water, snacks and IPad, just in case we hit traffic.  Why?  My youngest, if she gets pissed off, will, kick off and has proven she CAN cry for over 45 minutes non-stop.  And I mean, SCREAM/CRY.

Imagine driving, at speeds of 10 mph, and being stuck in traffic with 3 kids, first thing in the morning and one child is going NUTS.  You cant move as you’re driving (kinda), and every word I’m saying just winds her up more.  I know shes annoyed as all she wanted to do was sleep (this kid, if not disturbed, can sleep until 10am sometimes).  Its her older siblings (the freaks) who wake her early.  Weekends too.  Shes basically channelling my internal fury, openly!

While we’ve all learned to ignore bad behaviour, even my 6 year old daughter has turned to her and shouted “ENOUGH!!! I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!” after listening to her younger sibling scream for 30 minutes, without taking a breath.

Another thing to mention is that you must be incredibly prepared for all situations that may arise.  This could be anything  from having snacks & water in the car in case of a traffic jam (3 times out of 5 weekly), to spare clothes, a carrier bag should one of the kids decide they want to be sick randomly (horrendous and harsh), to making sure Ive got a cup of English Breakfast tea in my portable mug.

If I don’t have a cup of tea in the morning, my day doesn’t work.  Not coffee, never liked it much …unless its super strong and smooth and has cream and half s sugar added to it…plus needs to be made in America (they make great coffe). Or Columbia…

Anyway… in my road, ive noticed it turns into something from the film, The Truman Show (with Jim Carey) at the start of school term. When all cars zip put their driveways around the same time.  Monotonous. Text book. Predictable. At the start of the film, you see all the cars in most driveways in his street, pull out at the same time to go to work.  Almost synchronised.  Well….my street resembles that scene.  Numerous Range Rovers, Audi’s, BMW’s, Nissan Qashqai (some poor cows husband convinced her to get this car, which to be fair, won best 4×4 in 2015, but is STILLL NOT one of the main contenders in Mummy Mobiles/private licence plates (don’t get me started)….I’m just saying….. whenever I see these cars, or the Hyundai Sante Fe…I feel like these poor women have been given these try hard, “wish I could be a Range Rover” vehicle as the others cost too much….. Id rather go for a nice hatchback if I had to pick between that and a Nissan.  One of those truck/4×4 car van things that normally sexy builders/project manager dudes drive….you know the ones…they have room for 6 people at least, AND an open boot for machinery.

Yes I sound like a loaded posh, dick, but I assure you,  I’m not.  I just find those cars kinda “nothingy”. The Nissans, The Hyundai’s, the 4×4’s you would never chose unless you had to….well…..despite being brilliantly made, having amazing reviews, being low maintenance etc….I just find them very, errr, generic.  Expensive by any standard, yes. But generic all the same.  Saying that, Ill probably be driving one by next year.

Anyway, in the mornings, Ive noted my neighbour across the road, shouting and using her arms/hands/feet, in flailing, over the top gestures, to get everyone into her car.  She kinda reminded me of those men in bright neon orange coats, holding torches/light sabres, helping pilots know where the fk to land their planes on the runway.  She is, literally, incredible at this horrific, exhausting (mentally as well as physically) daily morning task. She has 3 kids in her car by 7.25am.   SEVEN TWENTY FIVE IN THE MORNING.  And before you ask, no, they don’t work in the City.

They apparently all wake at 4am to get ready and have breakfast before they head off a few minutes up the road. For school. Not the airport.  Not a school miles away.  But shes soo adamant in not getting caught in the school run mayhem, that she takes them in super duper, crazy, jetlag, early. She also has to drop them off at different, yet local, schools.  While she has got a Nanny, which of course helps hugely in the mornings, I have no idea how she manages to get them up at silly O’clock.m apparently nanny and husband help her. This idea sounds horrendous to me. I remember those Hk days…with help, non help, help. No ones helping. It’s delegating and stress.

Another neighbour of mine who lives 4 doors away, leaves her house at 7am.  SEVEN IN THE MORNING….her youngest is 5 years old.  That child apparently has to sit in the car for over an hour during the school run while her older siblings get dropped off. Plus the gates don’t open until 8.30am and children cant go into school before then. These kids attend local schools and are not really required to be there before the cleaners have finished their shifts.  Again, she too has a nanny which helps in the mornings but …. 7am?!  Nightmare or what??  I’m finding it tough now, leaving at 8.10am, yet how the hell will I cope when they start attending different schools and have additional after school clubs etc.  Its going to require organisation (and possibly a team) on a whole new level.

However, there’s another Mum. The one I’m actual mates with. An Israeli. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS…. LATE. LOOK, she’s full of good intentions, but one text read (on her turn to collect kids), “can you get them, I over slep”. It was 2.45pm.  She said the same thing at 8am when it was her turn to do the Tuesday morning shift. First…I felt so much happiness know I, this bird, does not give a shiiiit how late she is, EVER. SECOND. NO ONE ELSE CARES EITHER. Her child, who I have collected from school, is hardwork…as in, lay on the floor in the playground and refused to leave. My mum had the joy of getting out my car that time to get the kids for me as I couldn’t park. Had it been me? I would have had any child I was collecting suitably accosted to my vehicle, and told to “behave”, before doing what I do brilliantly…..JOINING IN ADULT STYLE. TRY IT.  not only does it scare the shot out of kids if we “become them”, but it also shits everyone up, and I can continue my strict Margaret Thatcher Parenting style….before anyone notices….or the Brexit chavs enforces me hippyish “cuddle and nurture them with love” system….

Now I have a process in my house. There are 3 loud, ruthless, kids. No nanny. No husband. Just ….well….me. And …errrrr….fear of the unknown Hampstead traffic.

Now every night, I’m packed for school, bags at the front door, school bags checked, homework always done, uniforms ready, breakfast at the front of the fridge, tea flask with tea bag and sweetener in situ…. All guns blazing. Shoes waiting, toothbrushes sat outside bedroom doors (ok not really but you get the gist)…

 

Our day begins with…

6.30am ….alarm

6.34am… Alarm

6.40am….alarm

6.45am….alarm

6.47am….alarm

6.55….alarm

6.58a,…human alarm….twin daughter..,.fully dressed… enquiring as to whether I wanted eggs poached or scrambled.

Telling me her twin brother was taking a dump but had managed to put his school trousers on the correct way but she helped him “fix his tie which was around his head”, and her little sister was insisting on a “boycot, no school”….morning, and also reminding me to take some money for a Jene charity, it was “French Day”, she needed extra cash for her teachers cakes, some extra cash for her mates collection on a charity relating to a “Moth called Mosey” and also to make it “sharp Mummy….you don’t want to break your record”…

Ive never been late. In fact…my new Taxi Mum skills are soooo OTT…thanks to sat nav, a competitive streak I blame my culture for, and also a huge fear of being late which causes physical nausea/panic attacks…I arrive at airports one day before my flight ……I know every single route to their school, even if someone blindfolded me and said “drive bitch”. Piece of cake.

7.46…alarm….

7.60am… Alarm

When end my mum stays , all hell breaks loose. Suddenly everyone’s chilled. The kids are eating sugar by the spoon, with coffe and ice cream. No one wears a uniform, and listening to me is irrelevant. My mum also keeps saying”calm down”. Infuriating. Yet when we had

8….am …alarm…

Even now, my Mum, who used to drive us to Chelsea every morning, mentions how bad the school runs were. She said she used to dread them daily.  Almost hoping we were ill so she wouldnt have to do the horrific journey in crazy London traffic.

8.10am…alarm

8.15….alarm

Day after day, doing a crazy round trip from Putney to Hans Place (off the Kings road) was a mini hell for my Mum.  I recall hearing her groan at the sight of Putney High Street in the morning which was always gridlocked en route to school.  She used to turn on Capital Radio to listen for traffic reports on the “Flying Eye“which gave Londoners a good idea of what crappy traffic they would hit that morning from a helicopter (you could hear the propellers during the segment….I loved it).  I, on the other hand, used to chill in the back seat, and happily listen to Kenny Everett do the morning show en route to Chelsea.  I LOVED Kenny.  His shows would have me in stitches before 8am.  Great comedian.  His “leg crossing” moment on he Kenny Everett Show (BBC 1) back in the 80’s, was beyond brilliant for me, aged approx. 9 when I became a huge fan of comedy.  Benny Hill was too slapstick for me. Also too sexist and a bit paedophilic for me.  I loved Kenny though.  It was his voice in the mornings that made me love, and always love, Capital Radio in the morning.  No Radio DJ has beat him since, in my opinion, aside from Chris Tarrant, and his partner during the morning show, Kara Noble.  I LOVE their show.  Brilliant radio for London in the morning, and something I still actually miss and wish for when I put Capital on during the school run to this day.  Don’t get me wrong. Dave Berry has me laughing A LOT out loud….but the old way of presenting is sorely missed by me.  Kenny & Chris were great radio presenters.  They knew how to deliver. I must, however, mention Marvin Humes…..hes a dark horse in my opinion and one to watch.  I enjoy his show, his tone, his delivery. He seems to understand his audience and whats expected.

After living in Hong Kong (where a 20 minute traffic jam was considered diabolical/sacrilegious….especially if you were driving through the Aberdeen Tunnel), I had no idea of what I was about to embark on, for, well, the next 10 years at least.

The roads of Hampstead are narrow, and forever have roadworks during peak rush hour (London eh?).  These roads, are usually gridlocked by 8.15 am and are ferrying numerous children to school.  The vehicles carrying these kids are almost always massive, 4×4’s.

When I first did the NW London school run, I was stunned at how unbelieveably “military” the school run is in London.  I mean, it’s ansolutelty a hardcore exercise.  You have to not only get your kids up, fed, dressed/ready/teeth/hair/numerous schools bags ready/forms filled in/hair in perfect place/bla bla, for school.  You then have to get in your car (without losing your shit because one of your kids is pissed off, tired, doesn’t like how their sibling looked at them, someone is “winding” the other one up, someone touched the others sock while eating breakfast, someone, laughed while the other screamed (and screamed and screamed for 55 minutes, almost making us late!) over putting their school tights on simply because they were tired, despite going to bed at 7pm.  I’m mean….these kids get a good 11-12 hours sleep a night.  How much would I love to sleep 11 hours every night!?  I’d look 15 years younger. or would at least be smiling!! These kids fight over everything and as a parent, you need to manage everything as they struggle getting into the car despite doing it a 10000000 times before.

8.35am…alarm….

You then have to drive, and find an alternative route last minute, that will avoid road works, with roads that are sometimes clear, sometimes gridlocked, and all this while driving a car the size of an ambulance in roads that were made for bycicles.  During this whole journey to school, you need to keep your mouth shut and not get pulled into the potential conversation/winging that occurs in the back seats from your kids.  Even though I say this….its not always easy. Somehow, I get involved in conversations I dont actually know Ive somehow been pulled into.  These discussions involve things like “Mummy, what is inside that pond over there?” “Mummy, what colour is the sky when its rained?”  “Mummy, why is my brother touching my shoe?” Mummy, when unicorns were born, who are their family?”, “Mummy, when I go to school, will the fish in the pond go to school too?” (my son, of course).  Dont ask me WHY, but I STILL answer these questions.  During this whole time, my youngest will say approx. every 5 minutes, “Mummy?”, “Mummy?”. No question, just over and over and over again, “Mummy”.  When Ive finally managed to arrive at school, I then need to park somewhere that isn’t going to (a) block a driveway, (b) have restrictions (Ive seen traffic wardens slapping tickets on Permit Holder spaces as these are a NO NO at ANY time apparently, despite signs. Single Yellows are ok if you find a Warden while parking and BEG (we do this often, all four of us while I attempt to somehow park my HUGE car between a tree and driveway), (d) Keep everyone happy with music on the radio while trying not to get wound up by drivers who have ZERO idea on the width of their car and hold up traffic.

I HATE THE SCHOOL RUN.  If I could walk the journey to school (I FRIGGIN LOVE A GOOD WALK), I would.  I have a few issues with this though.  (a) My son, aged 6, walks like hes 190 years old.  His walking actually makes you tired as you keep stopping and readjusting and listeniong to moans.  Now, Ive always been a Mum who BARELY ever used a buggy unless the kids were really small, as in babies.  The minute those legs worked, they knew we were walking everywhere.  In fact, there were occasions, the Captain would actually say “Why didn’t you bring the buggy?!”  My response?  “They’ve got legs and need to walk”.  They are impressive actually as by 3 years old, my kids were happily wandering around for approx 2/3 hours without a buggy and when they did get tired, they would be thrown into slings on our backs.  The buggy was always there for travelling and evenings out on holiday though so they could be comfortable to sleep.  Anyhow…..Ive realised, I just went off on one again!

So….. the journey to school by foot, for me, would take 40 minutes, door to door.  Ive actually tested this route alone. However, with the kids, this could take at least one hour twenty minutes.  My 6 year old daughter, as opposed to her twin, is very active, BUT, is very VERY clumsy. Yes, still….she trips over her own shadow.  She spins, bounces, tip toes, jogs, dances, twirls, chats away constantly, runs, but this too is exhausting as the pavements are all a potential accident with her.  I’m constantly hyper, and on edge worrying she will hurt herself, simply because she normally does.  I dont want her too.  I’d rather wrap her in bubblewrap and ensure shes safe.  She wouldnt be toohappy with that though, plus we’d stand out like a sore thumb.  She trips over constantly. CONSTANTLY.  I carry Arnica cream everywhere like my Barclays Debit card.  I don’t leave home without it.  Now, my youngest would be sat in a buggy.  She is like an old Chinese woman in the morning (ironic as she was born in Hong Kong and has numerous traits for a local).  She begrudgingly wakes every morning to do the shitty school run, with a massssssive curly afro flying all over the place.  She wakes up, bursts into tears, then briefly accepts her fate (school run for her siblings not her), then moans at me constantly until we get in the car.  I have to arm myself with water, snacks and IPad, just in case we hit traffic.  Why?  My youngest, if she gets pissed off, will, kick off and has proven she CAN cry for over 45 minutes non-stop.  And I mean, SCREAM/CRY.  Imagine driving, and being stuck in traffic with 3 kids, first thing in the morning and one child is going NUTS.  You cant move as youre driving, and every word I’m saying just winds her up more.  I know shes annoyed as all she wanted to do was sleep (this kid, if not disturbed can sleep until 10am sometimes.  Its her older siblings (the freaks) who wake her early.  Weekends too.  Shes basically channelling my internal fury, openly!

While we’ve all learned to ignore bad behaviour, even my 6 year old has turned to her and shouted “ENOUGH!!! I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!”

and you must be incredibly prepared for all situations that may arise.  This could be anything from having snacks & water in the car in case of a traffic jam (3 times out of 5 weekly), to spare clothes, a carrier bag should one of the kids decide they want to be sick randomly (horrendous and harsh), to making sure Ive got a cup of English Breakfast tea in my portable mug.  If I don’t have a cup of tea in the morning, my day doesn’t work.  Not coffee, never liked it much (unless its super strong and smooth and has cream and whisky added to it…anyway… in my road, ive noticed it turns into something from the film, The Truman Show (Jim Carey).  At the start of the film, you see all the cars in most driveways in his street, pull out at the same time to go to work.  Almost synchronised.  Well….my street resembles that scene.  Numerous Range Rovers, Audi’s, BMW’s, Nissan Qashqai (some poor cows husband convinced her to get this car which to be fair, won best 4×4 in 2015.  Saying that, whenever I see these cars, or the Hyundai Sante Fe…I feel like these poor women have been given these “try hard, wish I cold be a Range Rover” vehicle as the others cost too much.  Id rather go for a nice hatchback if I had to pick between that and a Nissan.  Yes I sound like a loaded dick, but I assure you,  I’m not.  I just find those cars kinda “nothingy”. The Nissans, The Hyundai’s, the 4×4’s you would never chose unless you had to….well…..despite being brilliantly made, having amazing reviews, being low maintenance etc….I just find them very, errr, generic.  Saying that, Ill probably be driving one by next year.

Anyway, in the mornings, Ive noted my neighbour across the road, shouting and using her arms/hands/feet, in flailing, over the top gestures to get everyone into the car.  She kinda reminded me of those men in bright neon orange coats, holding torches/light sabres, helping pilots know where the fk to land their planes on the runway.  She is, literally, incredible at this horrific, exhausting (mentally as well as physically) daily morning task. She has 3 kids in her car by 7.25am.   SEVEN TWENTY FIVE IN THE MORNING.  They apparently all wake at 4am to get ready and have breakfast before they head off a few minutes up the road. For school. Not the airport.  Not a school miles away.  But shes soo adamant in not getting caught in the school run mayhem, that she takes them in super early. She also has to drop them off at different, yet local, schools.  While she has got a Nanny, which of course helps hugely in the mornings, I have no idea how she manages to get them up at silly O’clock.

Another neighbour of mine who lives 4 doors away, leaves her house at 7am.  SEVEN IN THE MORNING.,,,her youngest is 5 years old.  That child apparently has to sit in the car for over an hour during the school run while her older siblings get dropped off. Plus the gates don’t open until 8.30am and children cant go into school before then. These kids attend local schools and are not really required to be there before the cleaners have finished their shifts.  Again, she too has a nanny which helps in the mornings but …. 7am?!  Nightmare or what??  I’m finding it tough now, leaving at 8.10am, yet how the hell will I cope when they start attending different schools and have additional after school clubs etc.  Its going to require organisation (and possibly a team) on a whole new level.

Even now, my Mum, who used to drive us to SW1 every morning, mentions how bad the school runs were. She said she used to dread them daily.  Almost hoping we were ill so she wouldnt have to do the horrific journey in crazy London traffic.  Day after day, doing a crazy round trip from Putney to Hans Place (off the Kings road) was a mini hell for my Mum.  I recall hearing her groan at the sight of Putney High Street in the morning which was always gridlocked en route to school.  She used to turn on Capital Radio to listen for traffic reports on the “Flying Eye” launched in 1976, which gave Londoners a good idea of what crappy traffic they would hit that morning from a helicopter (you could hear the propellers during the segment….loved it).  I, on the other hand, used to chill in the back seat, and happily listen to Kenny Everett do the morning show en route to Chelsea.  I LOVED Kenny.  His shows would have me in stitches before 8am.  Great comedian.  His “leg crossing” moment on he Kenny Everett Show (BBC 1) back in the 80’s, was beyond brilliant for me, aged approx. 9 when I became a huge fan of comedy.  Benny Hill was too slapstick for me. Also too sexist and a bit paedophilic for me.  I loved Kenny though.  It was his voice in the mornings that made me love, and always love, Capital Radio in the morning.  No Radio DJ has beat him since, in my opinion, aside from Chris Tarrant, and his partner during the morning show, Kara Noble.  I LOVE their show.  Brilliant radio for London in the morning, and something I still actually miss and wish for when I put Capital on during the school run to this day.  Don’t get me wrong. Dave Berry has me laughing A LOT out loud….but the old way of presenting is sorely missed by me.  Kenny & Chris were great radio presenters.  They knew how to deliver. I must, however, mention Marvin Humes…..hes a dark horse in my opinion and one to watch.  I enjoy his show, his tone, his delivery. He seems to understand his audience and whats expected.

After living in Hong Kong (where a 20 minute traffic jam was considered diabolical/sacrilegious….especially if you were driving through the Aberdeen Tunnel, I had no idea of what I was about to embark on, for, well, the next 10 years at least.

The roads of Hampstead are narrow, and forever have roadworks during peak rush hour (London eh?).  These roads, are usually gridlocked by 8.15 am and are ferrying numerous children to school.  The vehicles carrying these kids are almost always massive, 4×4’s.

When I first did the NW London school run, I was stunned at how unbelieveably “military” the school run is in London.  I mean, it’s ansolutelty a hardcore exercise.  You have to not only get your kids up, fed, dressed/ready/teeth/hair/numerous schools bags ready/forms filled in/hair in perfect place/bla bla, for school.  You then have to get in your car (without losing your shit because one of your kids is pissed off, tired, doesn’t like how their sibling looked at them, someone is “winding” the other one up, someone touched the others sock while eating breakfast, someone, laughed while the other screamed (and screamed and screamed for 55 minutes, almost making us late!) over putting their school tights on simply because they were tired, despite going to bed at 7pm.  I’m mean….these kids get a good 11-12 hours sleep a night.  How much would I love to sleep 11 hours every night!?  I’d look 15 years younger. or would at least be smiling!! These kids fight over everything and as a parent, you need to manage everything as they struggle getting into the car despite doing it a 10000000 times before.

You then have to drive, and find an alternative route last minute, that will avoid road works, with roads that are sometimes clear, sometimes gridlocked, and all this while driving a car the size of an ambulance in roads that were made for bycicles.  During this whole journey to school, you need to keep your mouth shut and not get pulled into the potential conversation/winging that occurs in the back seats from your kids.  Even though I say this….its not always easy. Somehow, I get involved in conversations I dont actually know Ive somehow been pulled into.  These discussions involve things like “Mummy, what is inside that pond over there?” “Mummy, what colour is the sky when its rained?”  “Mummy, why is my brother touching my shoe?” Mummy, when unicorns were born, who are their family?”, “Mummy, when I go to school, will the fish in the pond go to school too?” (my son, of course).  Dont ask me WHY, but I STILL answer these questions.  During this whole time, my youngest will say approx. every 5 minutes, “Mummy?”, “Mummy?”. No question, just over and over and over again, “Mummy”.  When Ive finally managed to arrive at school, I then need to park somewhere that isn’t going to (a) block a driveway, (b) have restrictions (Ive seen traffic wardens slapping tickets on Permit Holder spaces as these are a NO NO at ANY time apparently, despite signs. Single Yellows are ok if you find a Warden while parking and BEG (we do this often, all four of us while I attempt to somehow park my HUGE car between a tree and driveway), (d) Keep everyone happy with music on the radio while trying not to get wound up by drivers who have ZERO idea on the width of their car and hold up traffic.

I HATE THE SCHOOL RUN.  If I could walk the journey to school (I FRIGGIN LOVE A GOOD WALK), I would.  I have a few issues with this though.  (a) My son, aged 6, walks like hes 190 years old.  His walking actually makes you tired as you keep stopping and readjusting and listeniong to moans.  Now, Ive always been a Mum who BARELY ever used a buggy unless the kids were really small, as in babies.  The minute those legs worked, they knew we were walking everywhere.  In fact, there were occasions, the Captain would actually say “Why didn’t you bring the buggy?!”  My response?  “They’ve got legs and need to walk”.  They are impressive actually as by 3 years old, my kids were happily wandering around for approx 2/3 hours without a buggy and when they did get tired, they would be thrown into slings on our backs.  The buggy was always there for travelling and evenings out on holiday though so they could be comfortable to sleep.  Anyhow…..Ive realised, I just went off on one again!

So….. the journey to school by foot, for me, would take 40 minutes, door to door.  Ive actually tested this route alone. However, with the kids, this could take at least one hour twenty minutes.  My 6 year old daughter, as opposed to her twin, is very active, BUT, is very VERY clumsy. Yes, still….she trips over her own shadow.  She spins, bounces, tip toes, jogs, dances, twirls, chats away constantly, runs, but this too is exhausting as the pavements are all a potential accident with her.  I’m constantly hyper, and on edge worrying she will hurt herself, simply because she normally does.  I dont want her too.  I’d rather wrap her in bubblewrap and ensure shes safe.  She wouldnt be toohappy with that though, plus we’d stand out like a sore thumb.  She trips over constantly. CONSTANTLY.  I carry Arnica cream everywhere like my Barclays Debit card.  I don’t leave home without it.  Now, my youngest would be sat in a buggy.  She is like an old Chinese woman in the morning (ironic as she was born in Hong Kong and has numerous traits for a local).  She begrudgingly wakes every morning to do the shitty school run, with a massssssive curly afro flying all over the place.  She wakes up, bursts into tears, then briefly accepts her fate (school run for her siblings not her), then moans at me constantly until we get in the car.  I have to arm myself with water, snacks and IPad, just in case we hit traffic.  Why?  My youngest, if she gets pissed off, will, kick off and has proven she CAN cry for over 45 minutes non-stop.  And I mean, SCREAM/CRY.  Imagine driving, and being stuck in traffic with 3 kids, first thing in the morning and one child is going NUTS.  You cant move as youre driving, and every word I’m saying just winds her up more.  I know shes annoyed as all she wanted to do was sleep (this kid, if not disturbed can sleep until 10am sometimes.  Its her older siblings (the freaks) who wake her early.  Weekends too.  Shes basically channelling my internal fury, openly!

While we’ve all learned to ignore bad behaviour, even my 6 year old has turned to her and shouted “ENOUGH!!! I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!”

and you must be incredibly prepared for all situations that may arise.  This could be anything from having snacks & water in the car in case of a traffic jam (3 times out of 5 weekly), to spare clothes, a carrier bag should one of the kids decide they want to be sick randomly (horrendous and harsh), to making sure Ive got a cup of English Breakfast tea in my portable mug.  If I don’t have a cup of tea in the morning, my day doesn’t work.  Not coffee, never liked it much (unless its super strong and smooth and has cream and whisky added to it…anyway… in my road, ive noticed it turns into something from the film, The Truman Show (Jim Carey).  At the start of the film, you see all the cars in most driveways in his street, pull out at the same time to go to work.  Almost synchronised.  Well….my street resembles that scene.  Numerous Range Rovers, Audi’s, BMW’s, Nissan Qashqai (some poor cows husband convinced her to get this car which to be fair, won best 4×4 in 2015.  Saying that, whenever I see these cars, or the Hyundai Sante Fe…I feel like these poor women have been given these “try hard, wish I cold be a Range Rover” vehicle as the others cost too much.  Id rather go for a nice hatchback if I had to pick between that and a Nissan.  Yes I sound like a loaded dick, but I assure you,  I’m not.  I just find those cars kinda “nothingy”. The Nissans, The Hyundai’s, the 4×4’s you would never chose unless you had to….well…..despite being brilliantly made, having amazing reviews, being low maintenance etc….I just find them very, errr, generic.  Saying that, Ill probably be driving one by next year.

Anyway, in the mornings, Ive noted my neighbour across the road, shouting and using her arms/hands/feet, in flailing, over the top gestures to get everyone into the car.  She kinda reminded me of those men in bright neon orange coats, holding torches/light sabres, helping pilots know where the fk to land their planes on the runway.  She is, literally, incredible at this horrific, exhausting (mentally as well as physically) daily morning task. She has 3 kids in her car by 7.25am.   SEVEN TWENTY FIVE IN THE MORNING.  They apparently all wake at 4am to get ready and have breakfast before they head off a few minutes up the road. For school. Not the airport.  Not a school miles away.  But shes soo adamant in not getting caught in the school run mayhem, that she takes them in super early. She also has to drop them off at different, yet local, schools.  While she has got a Nanny, which of course helps hugely in the mornings, I have no idea how she manages to get them up at silly O’clock.

Another neighbour of mine who lives 4 doors away, leaves her house at 7am.  SEVEN IN THE MORNING.,,,her youngest is 5 years old.  That child apparently has to sit in the car for over an hour during the school run while her older siblings get dropped off. Plus the gates don’t open until 8.30am and children cant go into school before then. These kids attend local schools and are not really required to be there before the cleaners have finished their shifts.  Again, she too has a nanny which helps in the mornings but …. 7am?!  Nightmare or what??  I’m finding it tough now, leaving at 8.10am, yet how the hell will I cope when they start attending different schools and have additional after school clubs etc.  Its going to require organisation (and possibly a team) on a whole new level.

Even now, my Mum, who used to drive us to SW1 every morning, mentions how bad the school runs were. She said she used to dread them daily.  Almost hoping we were ill so she wouldnt have to do the horrific journey in crazy London traffic.  Day after day, doing a crazy round trip from Putney to Hans Place (off the Kings road) was a mini hell for my Mum.  I recall hearing her groan at the sight of Putney High Street in the morning which was always gridlocked en route to school.  She used to turn on Capital Radio to listen for traffic reports on the “Flying Eye” launched in 1976, which gave Londoners a good idea of what crappy traffic they would hit that morning from a helicopter (you could hear the propellers during the segment….loved it).  I, on the other hand, used to chill in the back seat, and happily listen to Kenny Everett do the morning show en route to Chelsea.  I LOVED Kenny.  His shows would have me in stitches before 8am.  Great comedian.  His “leg crossing” moment on he Kenny Everett Show (BBC 1) back in the 80’s, was beyond brilliant for me, aged approx. 9 when I became a huge fan of comedy.  Benny Hill was too slapstick for me. Also too sexist and a bit paedophilic for me.  I loved Kenny though.  It was his voice in the mornings that made me love, and always love, Capital Radio in the morning.  No Radio DJ has beat him since, in my opinion, aside from Chris Tarrant, and his partner during the morning show, Kara Noble.  I LOVE their show.  Brilliant radio for London in the morning, and something I still actually miss and wish for when I put Capital on during the school run to this day.  Don’t get me wrong. Dave Berry has me laughing A LOT out loud….but the old way of presenting is sorely missed by me.  Kenny & Chris were great radio presenters.  They knew how to deliver. I must, however, mention Marvin Humes…..hes a dark horse in my opinion and one to watch.  I enjoy his show, his tone, his delivery. He seems to understand his audience and whats expected.

After living in Hong Kong (where a 20 minute traffic jam was considered diabolical/sacrilegious….especially if you were driving through the Aberdeen Tunnel). I had no idea of what I was about to embark on, for, well, the next 10 years at least.

The roads of Hampstead are narrow, and forever have roadworks during peak rush hour (London eh?).  These roads, are usually gridlocked by 8.15 am and are ferrying numerous children to school.  The vehicles carrying these kids are almost always massive, 4×4’s.

 

bottom line….I HATE SCHOOL RUNS.

ITS ABOUT TO START AGAIN SOON.

9.05am alarm….

BE AFRAID.

BE VERY VERRRRY AFRAID.

9.25am….alarm