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12 Feb

Every week it seems we get a note either from the school or nursery warning that yet ANOTHER set of nits is doing the rounds.

I have stocked up on the obligatory nit comb, lotion etc and made a mental note of how I will wash and clean everything in 24 hours so as to expunge the creatures from my home should they dare enter, but so far we have managed to escape any infestation.

This does not, however, stop me from becoming totally neurotic every time I visit a hairdressers. As they part my hair and say in that inane way “So how would you like it today?” I can’t think straight, I’m watching their eyes, looking at the reflection of their comb running through my parting hoping, nay praying, that they do not see bugs jumping up and down on my scalp or little white eggs clinging to strands of hair.

I live in fear of the words: “I’m so sorry Mrs G. (married name) I’m afraid we can’t do your hair today, you have nits.”

Kids & nits, I can deal with… but me being ‘outed’ in a salon – that must surely be the ultimate humiliation. I wonder if I’m the only one with such neuroses or if other mothers have to confront similar demons just to get a trim?



Present Politics

6 Nov

There are 30 kids in Ellie’s class, then there’s the kids she knew at nursery, then there’s the NCT group, then there are old friends who have kids of a similar age, then there are the neighbours -and then there’s the same for Josh.

Kids parties are therefore a constant feature in our weekend lives and present buying can break the bank if you’re not careful. I don’t want to be mean, but I do try to have a sense of perspective – they’re only five after all and Josh’s peers are only 3 – how much do they really need?

But using this philosophy and living in the glossy environs of west London, I’m sometimes found wanting.

Awful moments come in many forms – major, life changing ones we can’t do anything about – and the little ones that are merely mortifyingly embarrassing – like when the going home present in the obligatory goodie bag is the same as the gift you’ve just given. Gulp.

#busted as a cheapskate

Middle Aged Drunk Dialling

9 Oct

I’ve long been a fan of Caitlin Moran, and having enjoyed her articles & book, I then finally got round to reading this piece “I got the infant from Time Out drunk”

I would just like to point out to the juvenile puker at Time Out, that although he may have vommed, Ms Moran was not exactly immume to the effects of the vino. As any slummy-mummy will know, Boden shopping to mums is essentially mummy porn for the middle class, slightly tipsy mother – or maternal drunk dialling if you will, for want of a better equivalent.

Better we shop online & spend a small fortune while fantasising about perfectly coiffed kids than fantasise about other men, dialing up old flames or generally causing more trouble for ourselves than need be.

Boden can always be returned & refunded. No harm done.


12 Sep

I just did it again…

Definition of a mumism: A fact your mum told you years ago, probably as a child, that stuck in your head which you randomly use in grown up conversation years later without thinking – only to realise that it’s not a fact at all and you just took it as such because YOUR MUM SAID IT WAS SO….AND YOU BELIEVED IT HOOK, LINE AND SINKER.

My latest mumism:

To my friend: “The only reason stopping me moving to Bristol is that it’s the wettest part of the UK, got it’s own special micro-climate” – even without googling this, it’s a pretty safe bet this  isn’t actually true but i said it with my default – I-trust-my-mum – head on and then had to admit I just fell foul of a classic mumism..

A quick google seems to suggest Cumbria .

Thanks mum. So Bristol’s back in the running then.

Boys will be boys

10 Dec

Josh – 11 months old – has one hand in tub of sudocrem, another on a chicken drumstick (plastic) covered in sudocrem and is licking it.

Paul – 37 years old – has one hand down trousers – other on the phone to mate – barking at the telly and mate simultaneously about Watford FC who are about to lose a 3-nil lead – in the last five minutes – yet again.


Austerity Xmas

10 Dec

In keeping with the times, we’re having a ‘careful’ Christmas this year. Hubby and I agreed presents under a tenner and my sis and mum went for no prezzies for grown ups –  only for kids.

Hubby got all left wing on me years ago while teaching at state school. I’m not allowed to overdo it on the stocking front (santa not leg related) or go over the top on prezzies under the tree.

But it’s hard. First you have to fill the kids stockings. What I’ve ordered from amazon in my money-saving frenzy came half the size and doubly as crap as I’d hoped, making me feel like a cheapskate and forcing me out of the door to buy yet more junk in a guilt-trip extraordinaire.

Then I remembered  that not only do I have to buy prezzies for the hubby and kids, I’ve also got to do the hubby’s family, the nursery, the caretakers (of our flats), the odd friend – and all their random children. I managed to dodge the cleaner this year by curtailing services earlier this month.

On top of this Hubby is now questioning the no presents for grown ups rule and I’ve realised I should really get a present from Ellie to Josh and of course from Josh to Ellie, oh and from Ellie to Daddy and Josh to Daddy.

It does seem nuts. And don’t get me started on the tree – a small/medium one in Chiswick high road’s gonna set you back £30 without blinking. Is it just me or is that a lot of money for something that’s essentially going to die and also poses a breach of health and safety to my grabby 11 month old.

I love Christmas and normally really look forward to it, but this year, I’m struggling to shed my bah humbug crustiness.  Perhaps it’s ’cause I’m trying to do it on the cheap and it’s just making me feel bad. I think I’m just going to be extravagant and hang the consequences, if it makes me feel better, it’ll be worth the money.

Tickly pox – I’m a mummy get me outta here

19 Nov

Poor little Josh, he’s got it, the dreaded chicken pox. It’s ravaging through his little body – I’ve never seen anything like it – except when Ellie had it. This horrible lurghy just coarses through their bodies, and they’re helpless little victims, wondering why, all of a sudden, they’re so itchy.

But apart from the sypmpathy that one naturally feels as a mummy, comes the dreaded puke-factor. Yesterday alone I got covered twice in projectile vomit from hip to knees the first time, the second down my top, welling up in my cleavage. Nice. He was covered, I was mostly covered, it was dripping off the leather footstool and a puddle was seeping into my carpet.

It was one of those moments as a mum when the world goes slowly for a minute. I simply had no idea what to do, where to put myself, my dripping jeans or my puke-soaked child or where to begin the clean up process.

I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a moment at times like these where a thought flashes through my brain: “I’m may be the mummy, but get me outta here.”

Girl power ain’t what it was

16 Nov

Men get paid more than women. Fact.

Why? Because women are like me. I took hours today writing an email to a friend of hubby’s who runs a media training company. I spent what seemed like an eternity diligently sitting at my computer composing what was meant to be the email of all emails. I said what I thought I wanted to say, nearly sent it. Got cold feet. Sent it to hubby instead for approval.

He replied within 2 minutes. Slated it. Asked why I was apologising for myself. Reminded me I was sucessfully editing a national magazine not so long ago. Suggested re-writing in a totally different tone. What happened to me?

Maternity leave happened – twice. It seems to sap every ounce of belief in oneself. You’re left with the shell of who you once were, with no inner core or strength to believe that you can do anything other than the most menial of tasks.

There was a job for an admin assistant at Sam’s Brasserie the other day. I genuinely found myself wondering if I should go for this role and whether I’d even get it. This is the kind of job I did when I was 18 and knew nothing and still managed to do it ok.

It’s impossible to pinpoint when this change occurs. You’re fine leaving work, then the baby comes, the sleepless nights happen, you realise you know nothing about raising kids and you’re spending your whole life flying by the seat of your pants.

Perhaps this is what drains us, or maybe it’s just DNA. I know so many women who think “I’m not up to the job, when will the world realise this?” and so many men who’ll just happily bullshit their way along until they get found out – and even then it’s water off a duck’s back.

Whatever it is. I wish I didn’t have it. I used to be a sassy chick, now I just feel like a battery hen. I need to get back into my groove.

Amuse-d Bouche

14 Nov

Amuse-ing that’s for sure.

Wow! Did anyone hear there’s a recession on? Not at Amuse Bouche last night- never seen so many young blonde twiglets quaffing bubbly living the Fulham life – it hasn’t moved on a jot from the New Labour boom years nearly a decade and a half ago, when I was living the young single life in that part of town.

It’s surreal going back to somewhere that just hasn’t changed. i’ve always thought that part of town was rather bizarrely immune to trends of any description, carrying on regardless as London burns so to speak. Meanwhile my life has moved on so quickly. So to go back and get a snapshot of exactly what I’d been doing nearly two decades ago is a most peculiar experience. The girls all so immaculately dressed and coiffed, the boys all in polo ralph lauren tshirts or white stuff gear, lots of big white teeth, perfect smiles, lots of people believing they’re ‘it’.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but just that I’ve had to grow out of it. We had dinner beforehand at Cote (I can’t drink on an empty stomach anymore), we left by 10.30, I was woken at six by two lively kids raring to go, and then cooked a lunch for ten today.

Our friends by contrast stayed drinking fizz till close, went back to a mates and drank etc till dawn.

A watershed moment in life, but like the murphy’s, I’m not bitter, I had a decade or more of doing just that, and it’s great fun, I’m just not up to it anymore. I’ve also realised I’m a garrulous bore when I’m drunk – not a great look for me.

I must’ve moved on when I wasn’t looking.

From lamb to mutton

13 Nov

I’ve had two children in the last four years, so the last time I was a regular size 12 I was on the early side of 30. At that stage, I was young enough to get away with mini skirts, knee high boots and skimpy tops with impunity.

Not having invested much in my wardrobe for the last half decade I found myself trying on stuff in my wardrobe from way back then for a night out in Fulham tonight, and realised I have suddenly changed from the lamb I once was into mutton. Instead of making me feel sexy, my Saturday night gear now makes me feel like I should be standing on a street corner, waiting for business. It’s not just that there are lumps and bumps in all the wrong places, it’s that there’s just not enough cloth.

From now on I shall live by the addage, less flesh is more.