What can I say? I’m home.
Tired? Yep. Dreaming of nothing but sleep & wine? Yep. Wondering how the hell I’m going to make it through the next few months…yep, yep, friggin YEPPPPPP!!! Gina Ford was clearly on acid, or had a night nurse/rich Daddy.
The Captain keeps pointing out that I have “2 domestic helpers” to assist with the kids. Can I point out that those “helpers” have burnt EVERYTHING, accidentally killed our goldfish “Dorothy” by putting hot water instead of cold in her fish bowl, let both my kids almost drown in Bali (until I jumped into the pool (4 months preg), forgot to turn off the gas, water, lock the doors etc. Yes… I feel sooo safe leaving my kids with, well, two adults who resemble grown children. Two Helpers does not a mother make.
For those of you who struggle with (a) guilt, (b) guilt, and (c) guilt for not spending enough time with your family … leaving your kids to helpers just isn’t a 24 hour option. Unless you want a totally spoilt brat for a child (which was not in the IVF/my life brochure), also, I’m fucking strict. I’ve read sooo many books on parenting that its coming out my arse.
Be strict, don’t be strict, tell them “no”, accept “yes”….bla bla bla. I recently had my son (aka “Satan”) walk from our car to our apartment without one of his shoes on last weekend (the Captain was repulsed & yet managed to bite his lip, despite his OCD when it comes to “dirt”) because my son insists on taking them off every car journey. He also has selective language skills. ie. some days English, some days, nothing at all but he can rely on his twin sister to answer for him anytime. My boy is lazy, manipulative and super bright when he chooses to be. He also knows how to sort the weak from the strong . He’s already done it at home with our Helpers and family which means, Im the only one giving him any discipline as everyone else falls for his doey eyed brown long lashes…cheeky genius. Why do I have no patience with this? That said, he’s NEVER taken his shoes off in the car since. I have THREE brothers…. they all did the same thing. Attention was needed all the time and I was left on the side line.
I’m also surprised at how quickly I fell in love with our new arrival. I honestly thought that after months of feeling very negative while pregnant (apparently this was due to hormones to test my marriage & all those vows) which I have never EVER experienced, considering I’m a generally unbalanced weekend alcoholic (some days although this book I’m reading has curbed the alcohol. Disturbingly). I was worried I wouldn’t “bond” and would blame our new arrival for, well…. anything. I read the book “We need to talk about Kevin” when it first can out…. I worried recently that I was going to experience the same shit. Was I going to really dislike this child? Did she ruin my life (although I hated HK already)?
I know when you’re pregnant, you’re body does crazy things and you feel tired. Once you give birth, you can feel very alone and absolutely shattered. I look at the Captain sometimes, begging him to just “stay” with me when he heads off to work. Something that would never happen were we at home in London. I’m clearly tired and I’m also aware of being on my own. My friends at home…well… they would know to just show up and keep an eye on me (thats having a history for you). Living abroad is tough. I dont miss London, but, I miss my girlfriends.
Anyhow, how had I forgotten the sheer exhaustion us new mums feel? I swear I see rainbows and leprechauns most mornings when I’m feeding our new-born monkey, yes minus acid pills/magic mushrooms/any other pain killer. I’m knackered at the best of times but now, bloody hell!! I can’t even speak or leave the house, just because that would involve interacting with the outside world while I look like total and utter shite. Tracksuit bottoms and X large T-Shirts are my wardrobe.
I dont want to brush my hair (good thing I got that Brazilian blow-dry on Groupon before I gave birth), I would like to brush my teeth (Captain insists on that one due to halitosis that has suddenly appeared), I dont want to get changed out of my maternity Winnie the Pooh night-dress (the only thing that fits me and, well lets face it, it’s fucking comfortable). Also, I had a C section which means, I’m in AGONY at the mo. Even with the drugs, which, if I’m honest, are not like the ones I could get in the UK, it’s not enough. I think they regulate stuff here 😦 I’m tired, angry, twitchy (which means I want to fight non stop), nothing fits me (ie. maternity wear is too big and my old clothes too tight). It’s really depressing. I don’t know what I expected this time round but… well…. I expected to sleep & …. quick weight loss at least!
Too posh to push you think? Nope. Too terrified is more like it and as nature would kindly have it, if I were to attempt birth via the usual, alleged natural, route, I would be wearing sexy incontinence pants forever (stick that in your judgemental pipe and smoke it “Miss I want kids naturally. Why don’t you?”). I’ve had discussions with some really annoying people who have asked me “why not give birth naturally?”
These are the same annoying people who want to give birth in a swimming pool with dolphins and sing songs about love every night to their newborn while sharing beds 24 hours a day, as well as saliva. Fuck off!! Errrr…. hello! You’re the same women, BEGGING for an epidural when the reality of pain hits you!! Miss “I want to do this naturally”, is suddenly, “Miss Give me everything you’ve got” when the shit hits the fan. Yes, I’m going to judge you. Cheeky sods. Stop telling me what to do. It really annoys me…and, I’m sorry, BUT, you don’t make better mothers. You don’t. In fact, you’re the annoying one’s I’m praying my son doesn’t knock up. That’ll be an interesting conversation as no one even knows how the THE CAPTAIN will respond. I’m, for the record…. NORMAL.
Seriously, how does anyone have the right to ask you how you chose to give birth? SERIOUSLY? How judgemental are you to ask? And… really …. just piss off. If I wanted to give birth in a cave, in Pok Fu Lam, (West HK – dont think there are any?!), with a yogi as my guide and a Domestic Helper to pull the baby out, who are YOU to tell me thats not right? I swear, it’s driving me mad how EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should do and when you should do it. Because their way is clearly the right way? No it isn’t!! Nothing in life is the right way. Just do it your way. Always. Fuck everyone else. They know sod all in any event.
What do I miss about my pregnancy? Zilch, nil, bubcus, zero, niente… nothing!! If you mean, do I miss feeling like a fat cow and arguing non-stop with my husband because I was being, and I quote, “disgusting”, then nope. I dont miss one second of this pregnancy. The Captain told me I was a different person. Not something you want to hear when you’re going through a shitty phase as it is. If only men knew how SHIT it could be. It’s a weird kinda life where you don’t care who you are anymore. Very odd.
What do I miss post baby? The Matilda Hospital, AKA, the Four Seasons for new Mums everywhere. This Hospital AKA “Hotel”, should be in every country.
I swear all mums should go and spend a week somewhere like the Matilda. Somewhere where you order your meals, they take the baby away for feeding, and you get to sleep. Ahhh… I was devastated when I left (as was the Captain when he picked up the worlds BIGGEST medical bill). Also, I met some lovely people by default.. especially the nurses. There was ONE night nurse who quickly became my have. This woman would turn up and offer me legal drugs without judgement. I LOVED her. Some nurses do judge but not this one. I have about 5 photos with her when I left. Everyone thought mine was the crazy “tidy” room (I’m super tidy). People would walk in and be like “Have you been cleaning?”…yes…I’m ashamed to say, I put my shoes away in a cupboard with my jacket and I put my stuff away. How messy are you people?! Seriously!!?
It’s no wonder the rich and famous have their kids there. I’m neither but, its where us ex-pats have our kids dahling. Who am I to argue with that? On arriving at the Hotel Matilda, we were given a menu on which room options I had for my 5 night package. If I shared with 2 or 4 others, well, the bill would have been much smaller. BUT, the Captain, being the big girls blouse that he is (i wouldn’t have argued actually), said “No. You have your own room as I wouldn’t want to share”. I buttoned my lip there and then, looked at the twins and thought, “yeh…fuck it! I’m tired””. Also, I’m alone. I felt that this time round, even with wonderful friends turning up to show me some love. I felt sad. I wanted my friends from home and my Mum. I’m clearly quite simple.
Let me give you an example of what I was missing after leaving …. view photos below before I continue my wonderful tale.
And photo number 2 of my wonderful bedroom.
And err…number 3…my club sandwich during lunch. What a wondrous, fabulous place this Matilda is…
The photo below is a my view from my BALCONY (hahahaaaaaa) at night. I was in bed by 9pm most nights. Bloody amazing.
The above is a daytime view which was sometimes sooo cloudy, you couldn’t see bugger all. I didn’t care though… I was staying at the Matilda Hospital (& the now very poor Captain has the bills to prove it!) That said, people who live in the Peak must be walking around on clouds (literally). The roads are windy, the views obscured by clouds and well, you’re miles away from anything. Then again, I hate leaving the house if I can help it, so maybe it just felt that way. Plus the morphine and various drugs helped me forget a lot of things. Everyone, en route up to La Matilda (Le/La…I’m not sure which?), was walking a dog and had a Rolex. RICH.
Anyhow, hopefully, you get the picture. I spent 5 days in absolute Mummy Heaven (in fact, that sounds like a club I used to go to in Kings Cross where you did pills I couldn’t handle and went home in a cab you were afraid of). Good times. HK…I’m still not in love with it BUT, I will say this. I’m now 35 (yes, old goat), and I still feel 25. I have 3 kids and thankfully a bloke I love. He understands me and I LOVE THAT.
Baby No.3 WELCOME.
MATILDA. YOU ARE WONDERFUL.
Legal drugs. Even better. Nurses who don’t judge… you are my favourites.
ps. The Matilda… I lied when I said I needed more morphine.
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