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.
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