The School’s Calling

It’s a phonecall you hate getting, next to Unknown number, seeing the school’s number on your phone screen is terror inducing. All sorts goes through your mind. What’s happened? Who’s hurt? What have they done?

I’ve had various phonecalls in my time and inspired by a conversation with an old friend (who sadly I don’t get to see anymore, life gets in the way) I thought I’d share some of them.

Gone Bananas

There was the time the school called to tell me my eldest had had a slip and fallen on his face. Thinking he’d tripped over someones foot or something – I once broke my wrist when someone stuck their foot out in front of me, you can read about it here – I made my way to the school only to find he’d slipped on a banana skin. I shit you not. I thought this particular mishap was reserved for cartoons and comedians. Apparently not.

Holey Crap

“Could you come to the school please? Your son has a puncture wound” A puncture wound? A PUNCTURE WOUND? “Oh Jesus Christ he’s been stabbed” I screech to the other half. “Right that’s it, I’m going to get him and I’m never, ever letting him go to school again.”

I get to the school where I’m greeted by a stoney faced 6 foot 20 Headmaster. I’m only 5’2 so I already felt like a naughty kid caught professing their love for some scroat or other by permie marker in the bogs. “Where’s my son?” I start to ask before he sits me down to tell me that in fact he hasn’t been stabbed but the dozy sod had actually been climbing trees to retrieve a football and fallen on a metal fence. Cringe. Then he leads me to a very quiet teenager who appears to have taken great interest in his trainers. Out we traipse not saying a word other than to thank the Headmaster for letting me know.  Off to the hospital we drive for a 48245 hour wait in A&E where they ask a million questions – quite rightly – and send him off with a dressing on and a dressing down.

Harry Flopper

“Could you come to nursery please? Your son has had a fall and has a head injury.” There I was with a 3 month old baby clamped to my chest wondering what on earth had happened. I sent the other half to go and get him as I knew he could run faster than my podgy arse could. My son came back with a bandage on his head and an ice pack. I don’t know what I was expecting from a ‘head injury’ but it was worse than I thought. My poor little man had a flipping great big split in his forehead and blood running down his face. Off we drove the hospital where he had glue and steri – strips to stick it all back together. We tried to make light of it being his Harry Potter scar but it’s not so much lightening bolt as big fat rain cloud. When we asked him how he’d done it he told us he was trying a show a girl how fast he could run, couldn’t stop himself in time and ran headfirst into a brick wall. So basically showing off for the ladies, sign of things to come?! Bloody great.

Oh Nuts

“Could you come to the school please? Your son has had a um, knock to the um, private area” “Right, some little shit has kicked our boy in the balls Jon. You better get to the school and sort it” I was at work. Seething into my latte. Waiting impatiently for him to come back and tell me what had gone down. Turns out it was an accidental knock to the nads. He got in the way of a flying foot. They have a tendency to do that feet, especially when attached to a 7 year old boy it seems. All checked over the other half traipses home to resume his game of Fifa. Bugger me if an hour later they weren’t  back on the phone “could you come to the school please? Your son has had a bump to the head” “Jon, get down the school again love, someones tried to cave his skull in this time” all I can hear is the sound of the Xbox controller hitting the deck as he exhales VERY loudly and legs it out the door again. Reporting back the fella tells me he caused his own head injury, not by impressing girls this time but trying to retrieve his pencil and smashing the back of his head on the table on the way back up. No matter how many times you scream “watch your head” at a kid it never, ever sinks in.

Sixth Non-sense

‘We’d like to make an appointment with you to discuss your son’s progress in sixth form.’ says the chirpy receptionist, knowing full well a bollocking is coming my way in the near future. I wasn’t wrong. “we have concerns that maybe sixth form isn’t for him” says the scary teacher sat in front of me. She then goes on to tell me that she doesn’t think it’s the path he’s destined for as I squirm in my chair feeling like I’d rather be ANYWHERE but here. “He really isn’t putting any effort in and we get the feeling there’s a million other things he’d rather be doing (lying in bed being the main one. Probably.) so we think it’s best he revisits his thoughts about his future and let’s us know where we go from here” accompanied by ‘the look’ that makes you feel like a completely useless parent from Knobsville. I really wanted to tell her to shove it up her arse – purely for the look – but I didn’t, I was very adultish. I looked at him, he was very interested in a poster on the wall funnily enough. Think it might have been something about not sharing dirty daps. He blurted out something that vaguely resembled English which I took to mean “I hate sixth form” and so there and then on that day he left. Just like that. I swear she high fived herself. And off we drove back to Knobsville. Via the Jobcentre.

Have you ever been called to the school?

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

My Top 10 Parenting Fails!

Let’s be honest, no parent is perfect.We all make mistakes,balls things up regularly and I’m sure most of us have thoughts such as “what the hell am I meant to do now?” when faced with a new baby to look after alone! So here are some of the things I’ve naffed up so far – and these are just the ones I haven’t hidden in the ‘too embarrassed to remember’ memory banks!

1.The time I forgot to pack sick bags for my child who got terrible car sickness and as I had a brand spanking new courtesy car at the time I didn’t want him vomming all over it I had to give him my freshly bought day old handbag. Couldn’t face washing it out and had to bin it!

2.The time I left it 2 seconds longer than I should have to find out why my daughter was quiet only to find her in the bathroom covering herself in tooth paste. Mmmm Minty fresh!

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3.The time the hubby and I were  brave whilst we were potty training and took our daughter to his Mum’s without a clean pull-up.Cue wet patch on her settee and cream carpet. Awkward.

4.The time I thought “what harm could it do?” if I let my little man eat Coco Pops on the living room floor.What could possibly go wrong. Right?

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5.The time I didn’t check that we did, in fact, still have spare clothes in the boot of the car and let the kids play in the stream. Cue poor little 6 year old boy crying on the way home as the makeshift cover-up hoody “looked like a skirt”.

6.The time,whilst baking with the kids, I said “don’t touch anything” while I went to get something. Came back to find my kitchen like a scene from Frozen. No pics sadly,was too traumatized.

7.The time my Mum was watching Countdown and every time the Countdown clock got to the end my 3 year old shouted “Effing hell” to this day I have NO idea where on earth he got it from as I never watch it! Fair to say she was horrified – although I’m sure I saw a sneaky smirk as she turned away.

8.The time I forgot to give my son his dinner money, on ringing the secretary to apologise and ask if they could provide him with a lunch and I would pay later I was met with a stony silence – I’m sure she was pressing the speed dial for Social Services. Surely I can’t have been the first – or last?!

9.The time my 2 year old daughter did a runner in Asda only to be picked up giggling and brought back by the Security Guard, in the meantime her Father and I had 3 heart attacks each and lost at least 10 years off our lives!

10.The time I got on the bus and this pic was scrawled on the seat in front.I’m ashamed to say I absolutely wet myself and the kids thought I’d completely lost the plot and wanted to know why I was laughing. Obvs I said it was because there was a silly man making faces outside!

 

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Rookie Mistakes

Sympathy Empathy Wimpathy

Driving to work I ran over a squirrel, he was already dead mind you but I felt really bad for him. He would have no idea about of course but still I felt terribly guilty. How would I feel in his situation? Well dead, probably.

Sometimes though I think I empathise and ‘put myself in another person’s shoes’ a little too much. I’m the type of person who overthinks absolutely everything to a ridiculous degree. The Other Half and I argue all the time over discipline of the teen. He thinks if he’s stupidly late home he should be locked out end of. I however would panic that something would happen, what if he freezes to death, what if aliens, what if clowns, what if some idiot decided to hurt him just for fun ? I just can’t follow it through. Is it a maternal thing or just my nature? He says I’m just a soft touch, a wimp. I need to put my foot down and be tougher.

Sometimes I take it way too far like with poor old Sammy Squirrel. I’ve also found myself feeling sorry for a lone bean left in the tin. I mean come on! I still have to fish the poor sod out, even though I’m sending him to a certain death by boiling him in tomato sauce anyway. Not sure which is worse but I wouldn’t want him to be all lonely and stuff.

Other things I feel sorry for include:

• Dolls my daughter has stripped down naked. Have to redress them at night, OMG what if they got cold? Poor buggers, I’d never forgive myself.

• The last cake left. How on earth people work in Greggs is beyond me. I’d never be able to let that last doughnut be alone. I’d retire looking like Violet Beauregarde.

• The poor Malteser that rolled under the sofa. Can’t bring myself to eat that one though. Can I?

• Older people who look really shocked when you smile at them. I carry on walking whilst worrying to myself whether I should have invited them home for a cuppa, what if they haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks? More likely they just think I’m a right weirdo and hope I won’t nick their handbag.

• This sweet that someone left in the dish at work, who in their right mind leaves a sweet all alone in the world. What kind of monsters am I working with?

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• Other peoples kids that cry in town. Now that kid could be crying because their Mum said no to them taking the plastic owl home from outside Greggs that’s there to scare the pigeons – not that the pigeons care they stick up 2 claws behind it’s back and spark up a fag- but hey that kid thought it was the cutest thing ever despite it having barely any paint on it and looking like it had a rough night at the Billy’s Bird Bar. Still makes me feel all ‘aww love him’.

Is it a bad thing that I feel so much sympathy/empathy/wimpathy should I ‘man up’ so to speak or is it good that I’m one of lifes carers? Do you ever find yourself feeling sorry for something completely random?

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Getting A Teen Out Of Bed

Right now you may have little ones and be experiencing  5.30a.m morning wake ups and sit there wishing they ‘would just stay in bed and give you a lie in’. STOP. Karma will come around and kick you right up the bum when they turn into a teenager and you can’t get the sod out of bed for love nor money. Here are the stages of getting said teenager up that happen in our house. Insert Spongebob style ’10 minutes later’ between each one.

Stage 1

This is the stage where you’re still optimistic that today will be the day that they get up without the hassle. Pahahahahaha.You knock the door whilst steeling yourself for the stench, run in and shake them awake cheerily telling them if they get up now there’s plenty of time for shower, breakfast and a cuppa.

Stage2

10 minutes later you realise there is no movement going on upstairs and stomp back up in the hope that your heavy footsteps will get them shifting. Does it heck. They’re still lying there bleary eyed saying “what?”. Keep calm, they’re bound to get up soon, they’ll be worried about being late. Right?!

Stage 3
Now you’re getting your hair off, they’re taking the mickey. So you go up and threaten them that if you have to come up again you’ll be bringing a bucket of water. They sigh and moan “for god’s sake” under their breath. Yes, because obviously I’m doing this for fun. It’s the highlight of my day don’t you know?! I really don’t have anything better to do like sticking hot pokers in my eyes, the usual.

Stage 4

Right they’re still not up. So you realise it’s time to make good on your threat to throw water. You spend a few minutes looking for the bucket you bought the kids at the beach in the summer and when you remember they’re probably at the back of the shed with the false widows and tube webs you decide ‘sod that for a laugh’ and just grab the mop bucket, chuck the mouldy smelling mop across the kitchen in annoyance and fill it up. Drag the heavy sodding thing up the stairs only to find right at the last second the teen will magically launch themselves out of bed and shout “I was up, stop stressing” You fight the urge to drench the cheeky git anyway, grit your teeth muttering about ‘lazy bloody kids’ lug the bucket back downstairs and get ready to start fighting ‘get dressed and ready wars’ where they’ll race down the stairs – steady on- to shout about the favourite t-shirt/skinny jeans/trainers they can’t find and you’ve obviously moved. Believe me mate I wouldn’t touch your stinky clodhoppers if my life depended on it!

So honestly, if you are reading this bleary eyed at the crack of a sparrow’s fart then just remember it’ll come full circle in a few years time.

Are your teens like this too? Are you one of the lucky ones who’s teens get up without a fuss?

julie-x-2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Am I too protective?

Today something happened that made me really think about whether or not I’m too protective of my children. Is it society that has made me that way? Is it just a natural instinct?

I was shopping at Asda with my 3 year old daughter, just paying for the items I’d purchased when an elderly gentleman approached us to ask if she wanted to have some of the green tokens they offer to put in the containers for named charities. I thought “ah,that’s sweet” and held out my hand for him to pass them to me. Only he didn’t. He said “come on then lovely” and expected her to follow him, it literally was only a few foot away but I was really torn with hurting the guys feelings and letting her go a few seconds away with someone we didn’t know.

It that few moments so many things went through my head, is it a tactic for diverting my attention so that some big burly bloke can pick her up and run off with her? Bearing in mind the shop was heaving and the exit is miles away from where we were. Was he just being nice and I was just being silly? His wife was smiling at me from across the way and saying “we’re not trying to pinch her”. To be honest they were both in there 90’s and had sticks to help them walk so it’s extremely unlikely they were doing anything to harm her but my mind was still suspicious.

In the end we both went over and I watched her like a hawk while they just smiled and said grandparenty things and I realised they were just being nice. Like the one’s who press 20p into your kids hand and tell them to get themselves some sweets with it. You smile and say thankyou before taking it off them before they eat it!

I think in part my suspicion came from a time 10 years ago when I was taking my then 7 year old son to the dentist on the bus. Started off innocently enough, until he started fidgeting in his seat, so as you do you whisper “stop messing about will you” and my blood ran cold when he came back with “but Mum that man keeps touching me”. I swing round to find some sneering vile excuse of a human being who moved a bit sharpish when he realised I was onto him. On asking my son what had actually happened he said he had been putting his hand through the gap in the bus seat and touching his bottom. WHAT!!! Who the hell does that in broad daylight on a packed bus?! I couldn’t let it go and in the end I spoke to the bus driver who looked at me horrified and ordered him off the bus.

It haunted me for weeks, if people could do things like that when you were literally sat next to your child what would happen if you took your eyes off them, even for a second?My son didn’t walk to school by himself til he hit high school, then again neither did I. Yet I see children of primary school age walk home by themselves and wonder if I’ll be more lenient with my other two? Very doubtful I think.

What would you have done? Have you had any experiences that have changed the way you see the world?

 

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When I Was a Single Parent

Let’s face it, single parents sometimes get a bad rap, in this day and age they shouldn’t and it saddens me that they still do .There’s all sorts of reasons you find yourself single with children and who, based on a single meeting can judge, roll their eyes and stick you in Jeremy Kyle fodder without ever knowing your story?

I’m lucky that I am now in a happy, solid relationship with a fantastic man but roll back 17 years and I wasn’t. I was 20 and at home having just been dumped unceremoniously on my own with a baby whom I had absolutely no idea what to do with and wondering how it all came to this.

Being a single parent has it’s rewards – no-one to argue with over discipline or giving the kids too many sweets or letting them stay up too late. However, I struggled with money and always felt I was living on my last penny.

•There were times I lived on toast every day for a week so my child could have the vegetables.

•There were times I walked the 3 miles to work and home again after an 8 hour shift because I couldn’t afford the bus fare.

•There were times I had to make the choice between £5 electric on the rip off pre-payment meter or food in our tummies. We spent a few nights surrounded by candles. I made it seem like fun but inside was cringing at how ridiculous it all was.

•I worked to pay £400 a month in childcare fees just so I could hold my head up and say I was employed despite the fact I never actually had any money.

•I had to rely on my parents at Christmas to get him some tidy presents as there was never much in the pot for it. They were always willing to help if they could but I was far too proud to ask most of the time and they aren’t exactly loaded anyway.

•I was once told I’d got pregnant on purpose just to get myself a council house and lots of benefits – chance would be a fine thing!

I believe it was a good learning curve for me though. I got on with it, I made my own way, I brought up my son the only way I knew how and I don’t think I did such a bad job. He’s a right royal pain in the bum sometimes but then he’s a teenager! My partner came along when he was 9 and it did take him some getting used to as he’d had me all to himself for such a long time. They still fight for Alpha male but I’ve learned to just roll my eyes!

Are single parents any different or any worse just because they do it by themselves? Absolutely not, it’s hard at times – sobbing uncontrollably into your pillow hard but I wouldn’t change a thing! Maybe it made me fiercely protective because I was the only one there to fight the corner but is that such a bad thing?

A big high five for all the single parents out there. Believe me, you’re awesome. I know.

A Cornish Mum
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My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

 

My Mummy Sanity Savers!

Being a parent is hard sometimes, especially when the kids are attempting to poke each others eyes out with Minions. Add that to the distinct lack of decent sleep and you could quite easily find yourself sobbing into your soggy ham sandwich.

Here’s a few of my Mummy Sanity Savers:

Kinder

I bet the first thing you think is “where the bloody hell is the wine woman?!” but as I’ve posted before I rarely drink anymore as I’m a total lightweight and 1 drink makes me want to have a nana nap. Instead, coffee and I are now total besties. Without it I just couldn’t function.

I’ve heard lots of people moan about the Kinder egg opening vids on Youtube but I honestly love them, if it weren’t for them I’d never get a whole meal cooked or straighten my hair – not that it looks any better afterwards mind you! Get them sat down with the Ipad and a lady opening egg after egg and you won’t hear a peep out of them!

The biggie for me is chocolate, if I’m stressed hiding out with a bar of chocolate is the way to go. There’s been a few times I’ve “nipped to the car for something” and then given the game away by choking on the chocolate buttons I’ve hastily shoved in my gob!

So what would you add?What are the things that get you through?