Now as you Mums (ok & some Dads who get involved) know…. being a parent is fucking hard work. You need limitless energy to deal with the kids day in, day out… and somehow, remain sane.
This is why, I know for a FACT, that us Mums drink. You can’t do this every day sober. This is impossible my friends. I have tried the sober route and its just soooo incredibly painful that I swear the kids prefer me laughing and falling over furniture, than being miserable and looking bored shitless while they try to engage me in conversation. Plus I don’t mind them playing with knives, bouncing off our floor to ceiling windows, or jumping on our glass coffee table (as much) when I’m drunk.
Its unbelievably boring sometimes…. the routines, the school runs, the endless play dates, the driving to and fro to nowhere while planning my evening and when I can call my drug dealer to help erase some of the pain. The drugs here in HK by the way have taken a turn for the worse since I first arrived (not that they’ve been any good to begin with).
Not only are they expensive, BUT, you’re paying for asprin/baking soda disguised as coke. Very frustrating on a housewives salary when you discover you’ve been ripped off. Especially when you make the effort to turn up at a designated meeting place (in disguise), only to discover your drug dealer gave you a bag of shit. * DISCLAIMER. IF YOU WORK FOR ANY POLICE FORCE/SOMEONE WHO CAN ATTEMPT TO ARREST ME…. WHAT I SAY IS ALL A LIE. Its part of my artistic path to write about these things.
Anyhow… back to parenting. So there are also the boring parents evenings at the kids School which seem to take place every other week. They disguise these BTW, with “Wine & canapés (with candles to sex it up) while viewing your childs daily activities”….. zzzzzzz. Parent evenings for a two year old?!
I always make up excuses to avoid these…. I don’t need to see their paintings, pottery, glued together papier maches and stuff as (a) the teachers normally do these for them because they’re TWO years old, and (b) errr…. did I mention they’re not even 3?!, (c) they are my kids…. I see what they do every single day. Why the fuck am I going to attend a school meeting to be told how fabulous my twins are. I already know they’re the best looking/cleverest etc ones at the school.
What the fuck are teachers going to tell me that I don’t already know?
- Your sons picks his nose constantly and likes to pee in the fish tank (which is in Reception) while looking the Head Teacher straight in the eye and saying “Sum ting wong Ma’am?”
- Your daughter lines her toys up, repeats things constantly and has to have everything done immaculately just like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman.
- Your kids like to make fun of the local Chinese kids and pull funny faces (dunno where they learnt that from).
- If they get into fights where someone has caused physical harm, Mummy said “If they bite/hit/punch, you bite/hit/punch back Mother fuckerrrrrrs!!!!” True but I still had to act concerned and … albeit a little surprised. Pride was in there somewhere though…. I was like “Yes!! Don’t let anyone bully you…”
- Your daughter keeps telling the Mandarin teacher, who has an issue with bodily odor and I suspect doesn’t wear deodorant, “Yu stin ki pu” before bursting into fits of giggles (again, not sure where they get this from but I find it utterly shocking). They now point out her moustache which I accidentally mentioned the last time I collected them from school (she’s got a big bushy one that a Gilette Razor will never chop through. That woman needs a proper barber shop razor/face lift. Apparently she’s only 23).
Nothing changes during these early years of parenting. Its not like you can say “Nope…sorry guys…. not today. Mummys hungover again. YES, AGAIN. NOW FUCK OFF AND STOP TRYING TO CUDDLE ME!!”
They also have these annoying magazines handed out to you at School which make you feel like some dick-head/lazy arse Mum… but you can’t help but read the damn thing anyway. Theres normally stories about how “tough” life is in Hong Kong, and other stories about some HK Mum (yes another one) who’s started up a small business selling “patchwork quilts… or Dildos” you just can’t get in Hong Kong.
The magazine itself is fine. The recipes inside, are pretty good actually. Its the annoying, self-gratifying Mums who are sometimes in there that irritate the shit out of me. And before you ask, NO, I still have no friends at the kids school BUT a shit load outside. Plus this is by CHOICE. EVERYONE wants to be my friend (I’m sure…if I was a little more approachable?!). I’d never be friends with those women at school (a) all French and (b) French. When I turn up to collect the twins, I’m all rock n roll (in my head clearly) Ive got to pretend I’m talking on my mobile, just to get out of an awkward playdate conversation with some Mum. It’s normally the Mum whose kid likes to use mine as punch bags during recess, or insists on pulling their pants down while they do show & tell. I fucking hate those kids.
Anyhow, I either pretend to be on the phone, OR, I ring The Captain who will say “Are you waiting to collect the kids at school again? Is that why you’re calling me so no one tries to make conversation?” My response? “Yes you wanker!!! I know you work 20 hour days and I have TWO staff at home BUT you try being a mother in Hong Kong. Its hard fucking work. I’ve got so many social obligations to get out of, its exhausting! You selfish bastard”.
Going back to my story… hangovers with the kids.
For a start that excuse is no longer viable as I’m forever hungover and when your Son says “Mummy’s having breakfast …. shhhhhhh” as I gulp down four extra strong paracetemol first thing in the morning …. you need to worry. He honestly thought tablets were my breakfast. He clearly didn’t notice the can of Red Bull my Helper had handed me before I did the school run. Then again, he saw one of the Helpers bras drying outside on the balcony and called that a “seat-belt”…. wise, or plain stupid? You decide.
Actually, paracetemol isn’t strong enough for my alcohol induced pain. I’ve started bulk buying Nurofen Plus in the UK (they don’t sell that here). NOW, that is a business some annoying Mum should set-up!! I’d be buying that weekly. Nurofen Plus has a calming valium-like quality which also gets rid of headaches and works wonders when you can’t sleep if slightly high. I LOVE IT. In fact, its my wallpaper on my iPhone (yes… over my kids and The Captain….none of which give me the lovely feeling Nurofen Plus does).
Recently, I had to go back to London and left all three kids with the two nannies, Dumb & Dumber…..oh, yes and of course, The Captain. FYI, he accidentally strangled our daughter with her bib last week during dinner time while fastening the horrid plastic thing around her neck …and taking a call on his iPhone at the same time. He didn’t notice her chocking despite her pleas/yelps that her bib was “Too tight Daddy!! Help!! Too tight!!”. It took me, with my Superhero hearing ears (I developed these when I gave birth to the twins), while sat on the loo having “quiet time”, 3 rooms away, to run and save her from chocking. The Captain? He didn’t even realise what the commotion was about… he was taking an important call (from his mate back home).
Anyhow, both Helpers are very sweet but I worried the whole time I was away as there are certain things these women do that drive me mad.
The main thing is giving the kids anything they want which I fucking hate …. “Chocolate for breakfast? Okey dokey Me make you now Sunshine boy! You want marshmallows for lunch? Ok, I go get now girlie”
” Want to wear your massive disco sized Princess dress from Halloween to the Playroom? Ok you look very sexy”. Who tells a two year old they look sexy by the way?! My Helper does and my daughter (Rainman) thinks this is a good thing.
They also LOVE carrying my kids around. Who wants to be carried everywhere despite possessing legs? Why do Helpers in Hong Kong insist on carrying kids everywhere?!
I’ve seen children as old as 15 being carried across the road by some poor, exhausted Helper while her Boss (usually Chinese) keeps prodding her with a stick to hurry up and walk quicker as the “child” pokes her constantly in the eyes or mouth. Yuk. Make your kids walk people!! Stop Helpers doing this “carrying” bullshit. It makes kids lazy and then, very, very annoying to me when I have to stop myself beating them in the playground for being horrible spoilt Hong Kong brats.
Anyhow, my two Domestic Helpers also have zero intelligence when it comes to safety in the home. Ie. my son was happily sticking a knife in a plug socket when I got home yesterday…. a plug socket that simply needs to be covered with those ugly white plastic things when they finish vacuuming/ironing/something domestic. BTW, the photo below is not from my house, nor is that my vile 1980’s tastic wall paper.
Even simple things like, putting those spongy door protection things on the door to stop doors closing and trapping fingers. This is simply too much for them to do. I will come home to find those half moon shape rubber sponge door protection things hanging on the bedroom door handle.
My Helper would say “Sorry Maaaam, I forget we put these on door. I thought it for toilet seat”.
The what??? WTF?! The kids also have those horrible toilet seats to stop them falling in when they go to the loo and of course this is also faaaar too much for my two Helpers to comprehend.
They keep placing these directly on the toilet bowl. You know… where your Husband pisses and never puts the fucking lid back down so you end up falling in at 3am in the dark, and find your thighs covered in piss. Lovely. So my son inevitably fell in the loo the other day as the seat was not secure. Ok, yes, I did laugh my head off but only because he was trapped (yes, I’m his Mother, judge me) and this was my one moment of joy for the whole day, seeing him stuck and unable to move/kick, but really!??! How dumb can you be? Or maybe they just want to piss me off?! Who knows.
The twins are almost 3 years old now and slowly becoming more interesting. Ok, thats harsh. I’m their Mum and I’m actually great at doing this (most of the time) but, this is not an easy job people. They talk, they play, they fight, they bite. They drive me mad. This role, that us stay at home Mums have (where other working Mums make you feel like free-loaders for not working), is hard work. I’m educated, over and above. I’m a fucking LAWYER by profession. Thats SEVEN years of work and study. Ok, I didn’t love it but I loved having/spending my own big fat salary. Now…. I’m a MUM.
M. U. M – AKA… Makes you mad (ok, a “Y’ instead of “U”).
As I take them to school every morning, hungover like a mother fucker, sunglasses permanently fixed on my face, a can of Red Bull in my cup holder….. all they want to do is sing songs and be cheery. If they weren’t my kids, I’d be like… “Get the fuck out my car you happy little, ungrateful, bastards. You’re doing my fucking head in”.
But alas, one cannot do this. So what does one do when they have to drive every day for an hour with two singing, sometimes screaming, kids? Play games, sing songs, try teach them the days of the week, colours, new words etc fucking etc.
Oh… the fucking joys of parenting. If only I had a driver….. I’d be pissed 24 hours a day.
Getting ill and trying to still be a full-time mum….
As most of us Mums know, getting ill when you have a household to run, is not an option. In fact, its impossible. Unless you are actually dead, or in a coma, you still have to get up and do your crummy, painful, groundhog day, monotonous, shitty, underpaid, “is this really my life?”, how did I age so quickly(?), job. WE GET NO BREAKS!!! We’re Mums. It comes with our thankless, shitfull (my new swear word of the month) kiss-my-arse, no one gives a crap, job.
Can you lay in bed, drinking hot lemon tea (with a shot of Whisky) and recover in peace while watching crap “E Hollywood” TV? Nope. All you can hear are your children running riot outside your bedroom door while your TWO Domestic Helpers and husband (who is gutted you’re ill for selfish reasons) chase after them screaming at the top of their lungs. What can I do, aside from step out of my bedroom, looking like the Devil himself, with tissue stuffed up my nose, eyes streaming, and a look that says “FUCK OFF”. I hide under the duvet and hope everything just goes quiet…. even 30 minutes…. 30 for fuck sake!!!?Q!
Yeh, a great way to sleep off a bad cold. I would rather be given some sort of “pain-killer” to help me doze off but as my Doctor has decided to become bloody conservative lately (maybe I pushed it asking for Morphine), I now have to buy Panadol Extra like every one else and live with the noise/toys every where/moaning husband/miserable Helpers/hairy legs that haven’t been shaved due to a runny nose. What a shame… it sucks arse.
Drug dealers are also selling aspirin/baby laxatives for coke. I’m totally destroyed as there is nothing to alleviate my pain. Being ill in a house with three small children (under the age of 2.5), a husband who resembles a cavalier teenager and two unintelligible domestic Helpers who need constant management/English language courses, getting ill is not an option.
The minute I step out of my bedroom, the chaos stops in a millisecond. Why? because I decided a loooong time ago, to rule MY household by fear. YES, fear. I’ve read my latest parenting book on my beloved Kindle and it was the only one that worked for me. The title …. “Is Beating the kids wrong/really that illegal?”
Basically it said… “DONT TAKE ANY SHIT FROM THOSE LIL’ CUTE MO’FOS!” My kids get one warning and then that’s it. “Time out”, toys taken away for the day, and basically nothing they want to do for a certain amount of time, equivalent to their age.
I don’t scream… All I say is “What a shame? What a bummer!” (American Book obviously, because us British would be saying “What the FUCK is wrong with you kid? Get to your fucking room now and piss off while I drink my can of Stella and decide what your punishment is”)). But they get it. They HATE hearing those words “What a shame” (the Captain & and I actually say it to each other now which is a bit sad but fuck it) and plus it keeps me cool (ish).
Yes they react with statements like “Nooo Mummy…no “What a shame!!” but it’s too late. One strike and your out. There I am, clucking around like Queen Bee on friggin Prisoner Cell Block H (if you don;t remember that Aussie prison show…you’re too young to be reading this) showing them how crap life can be… . It’s either that, or me going fucking mad and screaming at them to go to their rooms for “time out”…. long enough for me to open a bottle of cheap white wine (used later in the evening for a domestic fight with the Captain).
Bringing up kids is hard work people. I am basically talking and explaining things, non-stop, allll fucking day long. Do you know how mentally exhausting that is??? Talking all day to someone who doesn’t even pay you a bonus for your good work?! I HATE talking. I hate the phone for fucks sake and now I have to talk allll day long?!! To people who barely reach my hips and don’t give a shit what I’m saying. Yes, I love them to bits. BUT, they’re driving me mad. Gone are the days of lunch-hours and frivolous bar crawls.
Everything now is about teaching my kids. ie. “Dont lick the floor!!
“Why Mummy?” “Because you’ll injest crap from outside which will make you ill and will inevitably involve me having to drive you to the hospital.. which doesn’t work as ive had an afternoon drink… actually a bottle of wine” . Selfish friggin kids.
“Dont bite you sister?” “
Why? Because I said so…. you irritating fucking monkey (yes, Mummy loves you)”.
“Dont tear your books? Why? because they cost money you annoying little person who I gave life to!”
‘Dont shit on the floor.” “Why? because I’ll rip your head off if you do!! Plus,your nanny will have to clean it up while giving me that knowing, irritating look that says…”You’re his mother…you clean it up“. Yeh…right. Next I’ll be making dinner.
In Hong Kong…Not only am I now feeling and looking like complete shit, but my weight loss regime which was pretty much sorted (drinking booze, zero food and working out, the Rachel Zoe way) has gone down the shitter.
Why? Well, after being on holiday with The Captain and kids in Bali a few weeks ago…. my body (and mind) decided “Fuck it!! Enjoy yourself! Where’s my drinks bitches!!??” So … we ate loads, drank every chance we got (yes even at breakfast to fade out any noise, I screamed across a busy restaurant for a Vodka with my OJ) and those last 5 (ok 10) baby pounds crept back with a vengeance.
Not only do I have to re-start my whole workout and diet thing, but I also have to find the actual will to do it. I can’t be arsed. The only reason I’m still thinking about it is because my old clothes feel too tight and my maternity clothes are absolutely massive. Plus now I feel unwell, all i want to do is lay in bed, eat chocolate (I was never into chocolate!!??) and dream of cosmopolitans. I LOVE COSMOPOLITANS. Yes, more than wine or Vodka.
More than my kids? Somedays… So, I have discovered that to be a good writer…. you need to be honest. How does one be honest? DRINK!! I can’t see any way around it. Yes, it’s very Welsh of me but really…. to write, and be honest about what I find amusing, I have to be slightly inebriated. It’s the truth. The Captain will be horrified and not happy about this “discovery”. BUT, one must do what one must for their craft.
On a separate note, I have been having fun/fights with Helper Numero 2 in my household. The woman is driving me fucking mad. Rude? Yep. She has a look on her face sometimes that says “You drunk bitch, you should be ashamed”…sometimes… I dunno… Im too drunk sometimes. The point is… she’s really fucking annoying me. She lies about everything. She smirks. She shouts at the kids (a big No No). She irritates the shit out of me when I open a 1990 bottle of vintage vino from…. I dunno where. She laughs and jokes when the Captain is home and then scowls when its me (that alone is asking for a slap)… the list is endless. SO…. I have decided to be a complete and utter BITCH in response. It keeps our house in order and if you really knew me… you know this wouldn’t be my natural way. BUT… I live in HK so things change. Who gives a shit! anyway? I don’t know anyone well enough here to care how I react…. unless it’s the police.
Lately I have found it super hard to try to blog and keep up a happy family charade. The Captain pleads for my time but also encourages me to blog as he loves reading everything. That said, he doesn’t want me up writing late into the night, nor does he want me doing it at weekends, or any other time that interferes with us. This basically means, its impossible. I LIKE to work late at night. NO ONE bothers me and it gives me that time to be alone without the kids asking for everything and the Captain telling me to “relax”. I have always been a night owl when it comes to creativity. My days as an artist will show that… ok, I’m not an artist… just a little creative and can colour by numbers.
I barely have time to answer emails or text messages (“Wassap” on the iPhone BTW is fucking genius!). When am I supposed to sleep, eat, shower, have sex (yeh right), write, relax?! Its a non-stop job this parenting malarkey. Plus, I’ve constantly got admin stuff to do every day. Even with 2 domestic helpers living in my apartment full-time to “help”, I’m busy. They also do my head in after a while as I never get to be on my own. Ever. Its bad enough that the kids walk into my bathroom when I’m sat on the loo doing a shit, but when our Helpers just walk into my bedroom while I’m mid clothes change with a tit sticking out, it gets a little fucking irritating. I now lock my bedroom door so no one bursts in. Now the kids can reach the door handles, every door is meant to be opened and shut at least 3 or 4 times. I’m dreading the day when a little hand gets caught.
I bought some of those spongy door things to stop the door shutting all the way and explained to our Helpers that every time the kids wake from their nap-time (soon stopping…shit), they need to put the door guard back on. But of course that would be waaaaaay too difficult. They forget to do anything that involves safety. I have added those plastic corner protectors onto tables in our apartment and plug sockets have been covered. What do my Helpers do? They go to vacuum and will forget to put the obvious white plug protector back into the socket. The kids are then sat there trying to shove a fork (they can get into the kitchen as the Helpers always forget to shut the damn door) and they shove anything into the electric sockets. I have had maaaaany discussions about child safety with these girls and despite saying “yes Maaam”, off they trot, flip-flops flapping behind them. What happens later that day, one of them accidentally burns our AC remote control by placing it onto of a very hot cable box. Dumb or what? I feel like I’m having to not only watch my two toddlers and newborn baby, but also my two Domestic Helpers.
As for potty training, this is going nowhere at the moment. I have read them books, demonstrated how to do it, drawn pictures, got toys to take a dump in the singing potty, but nope. They have no interest. Aside from one of the kids farting on the loo with a bit of follow through (sorry but its true), there has not been one poo in the potty. Now, my twins group here in Hong Kong are great at sharing information and have come back with some interesting potty training stories, but I’ve got to be honest. I’m fucking exhausted. Now, I have to sit indoors for a week solid with 2 pottys and a pair of two-year olds being held hostage until they hand over their crap? It’s going to be hell. Plus, everyone says, cover the furniture, accidents will happen. HEH?!? Not on my expensive suede couch it will!! Now we had a great nanny back home who worked for us 2 days a week. Yes, I only had help 2 days a week until the twins were 8 months and I moved to Hong Kong. Now I’m a spoiled bitch and think I need a third Domestic Helper (dunno what for but I’ll think of something). Anyhow, our Nanny at home had potty trained her 6 kids within a couple of days by the time they were 1.5 years. She said nappies were too expensive. How the fuck did she do this is beyond me but she did. She would have my twins out of their nappies in about a day but as she’s not here and I’m stuck with Dumb & Dumber (my Helpers), I’m going to have to tackle this on my own. I think my plan will start next week when I’m doing a Detox (yes, me, detox. Ha bloody ha). I’ll just let them run around naked in the apartment and hope they shit in the potty. Hey, I’m not cleaning it up so why do I care?!
My Daughter has also started ripping her nappy off during the lunchtime nap and when its full of shit, she tosses it out of her cot. We found her in bed yesterday afternoon saying, “Oh my goodness!” after she had smeared shit into her pillow, favourite Minnie Mouse toy and her shitty nappy was on the floor. What did I do? What any self-respecting Mother in Hong Kong would do. I called my Helpers to come and clear the shit up while I popped out for a Pedicure.
I’m also finding that the older the twins get, the more stuff I have to do to knacker them out. I spent the whole of yesterday running up and down a huge playroom in Tai Tam at the American Club (I’m not a member but I can get in with a friend who is). My kids ran and ran and ran… and I was the one needing an afternoon sleep by the time we headed home. Even then, they didn’t sleep long enough. Grrrrr! I, on the other hand was out cold, fully dressed (including shoes) on my bed.
Why am I bending over arsewards to keep my 2-year-old kids occupied? Is it just in case they fall behind socially?! I mean…. they’re TWO!? They barely acknowledge the other kids in their playgroup. Hey I don’t blame them… most of them are French or simply annoying (or both), but what a load of crap. They are attending an International Nursery and learning Mandarin. My son, I hasten to add, STILL can’t say the word “Please” properly in English… fuck Mandarin. Plus he’s got massive buck teeth (no, not like a horse) and this seems to hinder his speech.
Anyhow, now, I’m turning up at school shows, watching HORRIFIC performances from 2 year olds (cute as they may be) and taking bloody photos too. I try to ignore all the other Mums that look like Geeks but for some reason, everyone at School likes to have chit-chat. I hate small talk!! I end up telling people shit I never meant to say, ie. “Congrats on the pregnancy!”, other Mums response, “What pregnancy?!”, my response “Shit. I have to go. I forgot to put hemorrhoid cream on my arse this morning. Bye”. Anyway, back to school shows, may I just add that I will physically beat any child or parent that ever dares to speak when my pair of monkies get up on stage to sing “The Sun’ll come out tomorrow...” or whatever crap they’ve been taught. I’ve also been a Mystery reader at the kid’s school last week, which involved me turning up and reading to my twins class. They had no idea I was going so were really happy to see me. Bless ’em. I on the other hand, was shitting myself before I turned up! I mean, reading to a large group of two-year olds I didn’t know (save for my pair) was a bit daunting, especially as I was sober (no booze for the last 2.5 weeks people) and unable to give anyone a swift backhand if they interrupted me during story time. As it turns out, I’m a bloody fab reader and have been asked back. I guess it’s because I can do the Queens accent really well when reading ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ (no reason why but I like doing her accent… it makes my kids laugh).
Going back to the kids being kept entertained, we have just booked tickets to go and see Mickey Mouse on ice (or something like that) in October. The kids better still be into him then, or we’re stuck with 4 tickets to nowhere. And me, well, I just can’t be bothered. I hate shows, plays, musicals etc. The Captain took me to see so many when we first started dating, I had to keep my hip flask tucked in my bra to ease the pain, while swallowing painkillers every 2 minutes. Musicals are NOT for me. Never have been. I DO COMEDY & ONLY COMEDY. LIVE STAND-UP HILARIOUS COMEDY.
The point of this very brief blog? I’m a Mother, I’m not fucking Mother Teresa (G-d Bless her).
ps. Being sober is highly overrated but I’m still going to try it for another week. My skin looks friggin amazing though. Anyhow, as I’ve got sod all to moan about I’ve added a couple of random photos below.
Photo above taken near the Big Buddha, Lantau Island, where a group of fine, very toned young men from the Shaolin Kung Fu school did some dancing with poles (not male strippers) & knives (not Thai strippers). Photo below is clearly the Big fat Buddha having a bad hair and earlobe day.
Four weeks to go until the baby arrives and what am I doing? I’m moving apartments in 3 days to add to the stress as I clearly have too much time on my hands. Not only that but the twins as well as our useless Domestic Helper (no.1, of our now 2 home employees) have come down with colds (well she gave it to the twins which really pisses me off). Sooo, I’ve been packing boxes, sneezing from dust that appears everywhere, dealing with twins who wont sleep during the night as they are both bunged up with mucus (yes, I have slanted both their mattresses at an angle to help them breathe easier).
All i keep thinking about is how much I can’t WAIT to stay at The Hotel Matilda ( AKA. Matilda Hospital at The Peak in Hong Kong). I have already told family to stay away for the first month so I can recover and I’m actually looking forward to staying in the hospital to escape everything/one for a few days. I need some SPACE! I’m actually going mad not being able to drink with all this stress going on. I’ve even started reading a book on HOW TO QUIT ALCOHOL (yes, yes I’m clearly depressed) just because I’m worried that my drinking will return with a vengeance once this baby arrives. I don’t know how else to remain sane otherwise doing the same thing day in, day out. I managed to quit Smoking after being a 20 a day Silk Cut addict for over 10 years. I never went anywhere without 2 packs in my handbag, especially if I was going out drinking with the girls after work. When I read Alan Car’s book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking”, I just thought I’d try it out for a laugh. It was my final year at University and a friend recommended it to me. Well….. after reading his book, which basically tends to repeat regularly about the cons of smoking, despite encouraging you to smoke throughout, I quit smoking. And didn’t miss it one bit. Not even a craving. Genius!
So when I mentioned to that Captain that I am reading a revolutionary “Stop Drinking” type book, he looked at me with worry. Despite his moaning and hopes of controlling my substance abuse, I think he quite likes me being that crazy fun outgoing party girl, just to a certain degree (ie. he’d like me to stop when I approach the “falling over stage”). I explained that as I may go nuts after giving birth to this third child, especially if I’m stuck indoors all day doing Gina Ford routines and having no sleep. Someone asked me recently if I’ll breastfeed and I told them that “no, I wont be”. It interferes with my entire life (drinking/going out/exercise/sleep/etc) and I can’t be stuck indoors for months boob feeding when I can bottle it and go out. It didn’t harm the twins, so hopefully it wont harm Baby no.3, although our food and Baby Milk Formula costs will reach new heights once she comes along.
In addition, for those of you who do your food shopping in Hong Kong, you will be fully aware of the cost of milk, nappies, food, anything!!! Everything costs triple what it does in London. The Captain keeps moaning about lack of food, bread, cheese etc in our house. The fact of the matter is, we go food shopping every 3 days and keep running out of stuff. Plus our two Helpers can’t seem to work out that maybe they should purchase other things we need when they pop out, rather than get home and say “Oh sorry, we need Washing up liquid and eggs”. I’m starting to lose my cool with them as I can’t understand how a person doesn’t think to put that sort of thing on a list. I always go through the shopping list with them before one of them heads out the door and I’ll ask if there’s anything else we need. The response is always “no we have everything”. But lo and behold, the next day we will need a whole batch of crap. The kids are also addicted to yogurt and cheese which means buying these every 2 friggin days.
The Captain also complains about the quality of things we buy from the Supermarket but as I explained, if we go local, our shopping bills would be minimal, but I’ve no interest in eating local food or produce. I want nice Juice, Cheese, Organic fish/Meat and Organic spreads. But this all costs double the amount. Why can’t we just have a bloody Tesco here like back home!?? They even have one in shitty Thailand for crying out loud!! Thailand also has Boots which I wish we had in HK. It would piss all over Mannings and Watsons!
Anyhow, the Captain has also started a new line of non-stop moaning about the toilet tissue we buy, despite me explaining its only to wipe his precious arse with (plus I buy 2 for the price of 1). His argument is that as he “works so bloody hard”, he wants something soft, ideally with Aloe Vera and quilted too, to gently wipe his bum (which is a non-stop farting machine all year round) ….I handed him our wedding certificate.
Photo taken from the site – http://www.porcelainpoetry.faketrix.com/
So my 20 month old twins have gradually turned into little personalities, with my Daughter (no, not my favourite contrary to popular belief, but great for entertainment value), is considered the bright, funny one (takes after me clearly) and my Son (AKA. Satan), is the naughty one who doesn’t pay attention to anything (takes after his Father). My dilemma with these two began a few weeks ago when my Son started bullying his twin Sister (whos very gentle and walks around kissing and hugging everyone… adorable really, even if I am bias). His bullying can vary from pushing her, to biting, shoving, taking all her toys (only to throw them aside the minute he takes them) and basically watching what she does all the time. They both have his n hers tricycles and instead of just using his one, he has insisted on taking hers (which is pink) and not letting her even get on the damn thing.
He also tries to take her now adopted Blue one and has been seen hiding both just so she can’t play with them. My daughter, bless her, even asks him if she can “sit” on the bike, patting the seat to see if her brother will say yes. His normal response is a lot of tears followed by a tantrum, by which point she can’t be bothered with all the drama and walks off. If she doesn’t like something, he will copy her. If she laughs, he laughs. OMG…the frustration of not being able to leave them alone for a second in case he hurts her is driving me insane.
Plus, his behaviour at nursery has taken a turn for the worse. For those of you who have experienced the joys of expensive Play-groups (also the Devils work in my opinion) run at your local school or nursery, will know how the morning pans out. First, theres about 15 minutes for “free play” (ie. play with whatever toy they have there & normally includes a fight between a couple of 17 month olds at some point), followed by arts, crafts, story telling, snacks and music. If I wasn’t pregnant, I swear I would have my nifty hip flask, filled to the brim with straight Vodka, hidden inside my skinny jeans…just to get through it all. Now my Son, recently re-named Satan for his charming antics at school, has been seen kicking & screaming (yes, me with my big pregnant belly & him look a right pair) as I’ve carried him down the school hallway, because he wont share a particular Toy Car which has become the bain of my life. Whenever I turn up for these damn play-groups, I see that green plastic car, that is big enough to fit a toddler in, and he makes a beeline for it. Once he’s sat inside that thing, NO ONE can get him out without a huge show of tears, screaming and hitting. He wont share it with any of the other kids and if he climbs out, only to see another child approach it, he runs right back to it and jumps in! When you try to get him out for “floor time” with the Teacher, he has what I can only describe as an emotional breakdown ….plus you can feel all the parents eyes on this little display, thinking, “hmmmm…. that poor cow”, while they smile sympathetically over at me.
Later that same day, while having his compulsory Gina Ford lunchtime nap… I was alerted to him shouting non stop from his cot. When I walked into his bedroom, what did I witness? My Son, Satan/I Houdini, had managed to not only get out of his zip up sleeping bag with has popper on the side (he has a habit of climbing out of his old ones so this was one of the stronger ones), and had taken his shitty nappy off, smearing it all over the cot, himself, the walls and pillow, Cuski etc etc etc. I think I let out something along the lines of “HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!” , then shouting to out Helper to get her arse into our room to witness Hell. I then handed her my ,now covered in shit son, while I dealt with the sheets…. if I was near him at this point, I think I would have lost it, so while she gave him a hose down, prison-style, I cleaned up his bedroom (gagging at the stench). What did I do that night and every nap time since this episode? I sellotaped that cheeky monkeys nappy on. Yes, that right…. I wrapped it round him about 3 times, not tightly of course, just strong enough for him not to rip the damn thing off again.
So, as of last week, I have started reading, not one but three books on how to basically kick your toddlers arse without physically doing it. Trust me…. the last few times at school, I have carried that boy out with gritted teeth praying I don’t lose my cool and just hand him to someones mother asking her to take him home before I go fucking insane. As parents are we even allowed to say that about our sometimes annoying little angels? Therefore, after a few sample tries of books on my trusty Kindle (love that device… fucking genius if like me you read a shit load at night when the whole family are finally asleep), I found a couple I liked. One book which has the hardline, no bull-shit approach I particularly love, talks about the whole “Time-out” thing. You know, basically putting your kid in a cot, on a naughty step, or wherever that works, without any toys etc until they stop being little ungrateful punks.
Sooo…. for the past week, my mission has been to break this boys spirit and get him to (a) stop villainizing his poor sister, (b) stop showing me up at friggin nursery school & upsetting all kids around him in the process, and (c) to learn to share toys (damn it!!). Today was our first trial run at school, and aside for a couple of moments at the start of the morning (ie, when we first walked into the play-room and both of us clocked that damn Green car), it went ok. What did I do? Well, first of all, he can’t put his foot in that car from the moment we arrive because that causes all the crap to begin with. As we arrived at school early today, I was tempted to run ahead of him, his sister & our Helper (thk fk for her being there) just to cover that damn car in a blanket (or anything I could find) just so he wouldnt see it. But then I thought, no way. This boys gonna learn whose the boss (FYI. ME) and plus, its not fair hiding it from the other kids. He’s gotta learn right? Plus, me running at this stage in my pregnancy would have looked like a poor imitation Santa Claus going for his morning jog (I was wearing red today … minus the white beard). Apart from him screaming to high heaven when he realised that his bitch of a mum wasn’t letting him get in his favourite toy car (he lay on the floor screaming), I literally carried him over to the toys on the other side of the room and told him “its this, or your cot. Chose now”. He stopped crying IMMEDIATELY. So….the little git does understand me when he wants to. Thats 15-love to me. We’ll see who wins this match in the end (I suspect it’ll be him in the long run).
My words of wisdom on how to deal with “strong-willed” toddlers so far is this …. give them one warning and then put them in time-out, for anything from hitting, to screaming for nothing. Show them that sort of behaviour is not acceptable (until they get to my age in any event). Every cause has an effect, bla bla bla. OR, just drink your way through it. If you’re drunk… you wont even care, thats what nannies are for afterall right?
I’ll see how things pan out at our next group session on Wednesday. I have to admit I’m dreading it….and not just because the Teacher has a moustache I can’t stop staring at.
ps. I can’t believe the stores are starting to sell Christmas stuff already!? Where’s the year gone?!
* Top photo taken from the site http://www.laughitout.com/2009/02/parenting-not-for-everyone.html