It’s official. We have a teenager.

Dear Thing 1,

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I cannot not believe you are thirteen.  I really cannot believe it.  You have been waiting forever to be a teenager.  You used to see the boys from the secondary school when we walked home from junior school, and you stopped holding my hand as they passed us.  You looked at them in their blazers and said you couldn’t wait to go that school.  Now?  Not so much.

But, wow, you’re  thirteen.  Teen, there it is.  That word that will be used to describe you for the next seven years,  because you know 20 is really pronounced twenteen. Perhaps it’s my fault you’ve aged so quickly.  I admit to being guilty for not sitting back and enjoying the moment.  You see, I could not wait for all your first milestones.  When you started to crawl, I couldn’t wait for you to walk.  When you went to nursery, I was excited for you to go to school.  And now? Well you are the local hobo.  We never see you.  You’re at various friends houses, sports clubs and generally just the boy about town.

And this makes me sad because I did enjoy your brother’s time a lot more.  Not because I love him more, but I appreciated I would not be having any more babies.  I even enjoyed the night feeds second time round.   Why didn’t I with you? Why didn’t I let you stay up longer instead of sticking to a tight bedtime routine? Why didn’t I hold you more closely to me when I fed you, instead of wedging a bottle on a pillow?  Why didn’t I forgo a tidy house and let you play with the playdough and paint? These are all memories and time I have lost with you.  And that is why I am sad.

But I am happy for you.  You make me happy.  I am happy today.  Really.  I know we clash.  Dad says we’re too similar.  Although with your quick wit and sarcasm, I would say you’re very much like him! Please do not think I am struggling to love you.  I do, and always will.  I am struggling with your independence and that you’re growing up. You see, you’re changing and our roles as parents are changing.  You are no longer dependent on us, unless you run out of money, and we are more like ‘advisors’ nowadays.  Not that you listen to what we say.

You are our eldest son and although your shoe size is double mine, and you tower over me and I often have to ask you to grab items for me that are out of my reach, in my eyes you will always be that 6 pound 7 ounce baby.  You make us proud.  Our friends and complete strangers often comment on your manners; a simple thank you, how are you? or holding a door open goes noticed, so here I am, thanking you.

Happy Birthday, Dude.

I love you.

Mumx

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10 things Motherhood has taught me

I am in complete and utter denial that in less than a week, Thing 1 turns into an official teenager. As opposed to the hideous ogre who’s been living with us since he started Year 7. He will be 13 years old.

Shut the front door. He can’t be. No way. I don’t want to believe it.

Let me share with you some wisdom I have learnt over the last thirteen years.  You’re welcome.

1} Things don’t always work out as planned. And that’s ok. For example,  I had every intention of demanding asking for an epidural. It was in my pregnancy notes. I had spoken at length with the Acute Pain Service Specialist Nurse, whilst at work ensuring this was what I definitely wanted. I ended up delivering with just paracetamol. That’s impressive, non?! And that isn’t to make you feel bad because you wanted a natural child birth and ended up having an epidural.  The most important job is to get you both home safely, and if the goal posts have to move to allow this, then that’s just fine.

2} Breast or Bottle fed babies both grow up into healthy adults. I ‘tried’ to breast feed Thing 1 for 3 whole days and nights. And then my milk ‘came in’, and it hurt. A lot. Whilst hanging over the bath, with my udders knockers going at it like a pair of out of control garden hoses, I made the decision I couldn’t do it anymore.  See point 1. Consequently, Thing 2 never even got a glimpse of my boobs.

3} There is such a thing as a judgemental mother. She survives on pure competition and gloats about everything she’s doing that you’re not. See point 2. You may meet her in baby groups, or the school playground. She’s a Bitch.

4} There are non-bitch mothers. I am so lucky to be best friends with a ‘mother’ I met when our eldest boys were 4 weeks old. We went to post natal class and baby massage back then. Now we don our heels and skinny jeans and rock up for a night of pinot. Our boys had a joint 10th birthday disco party. We had a champagne lunch to celebrate our 10 years of friendship. If you find a mummy friend like this, hold on to her : )

5} Children get sick during the night. Because, heck, they just do. And will.

6} Cliches are true
EVERYBODY wants to pass on ‘their’ wisdom to you *coughs- obviously not me!* You may nod in agreement, but are probably screaming NO, NEVER, Not on your nelly in your head. But, sometimes ‘they’re’ right.

Examples are;

*Time flies
*They do grow up too quick
*Kids say the funniest things

7} Avoid the colour white. On you and the kids. Towels and bedding. Walls. Everything.
This is too obvious, really. I wore it on my a Wedding day, not realising that was probably going to be the last time.

8} You will get used to drinking cold tea and coffee. You may actually start to enjoy it.

9} You will turn into your parents. You will have to give up your evenings and weekends to drive the kids around. You will threaten to send them to bed without dinner {but won’t, because you’ve spent hours preparing it ; ) } and you will threaten to turn the car around whilst on the outward journey {but won’t because it means you will miss out on a fun day too}.

10} A main meal can be substituted with cereal. Sometimes, you’ve had a huge lunch, have been out all day or quite simply, just can’t be arsed to cook. And on these occasions, cereal for dinner is perfectly acceptable.

Am I doing it right?
I have NO idea. The Things are happy.
That’s good enough for me!

What would you add to this list?

Vx

The one where I miss out on Mother of the Year. Again

Today I officially put myself {back} up there with the world’s worst mothers. I’m not in denial by this, I have been on that list a few times now. I had chosen to ignore Thing 1’s cough {and his horrendous pre teen attitude which is at it’s peak} as I have been too consumed with the dog and Thing 2’s ailments.

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As parents, we all quickly learn that, for some unknown reason, kids get ill at night. Granted Thing 1 has had a cough for a week {possibly 2}, but it was last night that he started to wheeze.

And then I couldn’t sleep.  As a Mama to older children {and to kids that have always slept through the night- please don’t hate me} I find it so difficult when I lose a night of sleep.  I am currently on the sofa, drooling with tiredness and looking for a match, cocktail stick, anything to keep my eyes open.

Back to Thing 1, he has a chest infection, is prescribed antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler. He will get better, I know this but as a Mother, I question why I let him be ill without acting on it sooner. As a nurse I obviously question my judgement.

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And so, five days of treatment have begun.  A trip to the Bakery followed the Doctor’s appointment.  Funny how his appetite isn’t affected!

Vx

 

 

 

Where Manners Are Discussed

Thing 1 is growing up. I’ve known this for a while now.  He is turning into a TEENAGER.  He stinks.  His voice is breaking {which is taking forever}.  And, he grunts and shouts.  At  us, his parents!  In turn, Mr 29 and I are screaming and shouting back at him.  What feels like every day.

He assumes he will get whatever he wants, without so much as a Please or Thank You.

Woah, there Dude.

Back.  The.  Fuck. Up.

And enter the ‘Manners Police’.

That’s me.

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I’m a little hung up on manners.  Mr 29 says I’m uptight.  The Things say I nag them.  You see, I’m partial to a please, thank you and pardon.   Do not say ‘WHAT’ to me.

You can clearly see the irony here, non? I insist that The Things are polite, and yet I scream blue bloody murder at them If their manners don’t make the grade.

The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind here.  Yes, Mr 29, I am working on this, dear.

As much as I focus on Thing 1’s manners, constantly worrying about what people may think about him, it’s always amazing to receive positive recognition.  As though I’ve passed a test.  Kind of.

Just the other night, we met friends for a drink.

“We saw Thing 1, earlier on today, riding his bike.  He is so polite. When he rode off he wished us a nice day”

Dang.  Relief washed over me.  That boy.

Perhaps my nagging is the right route, after all.  Maybe.

Vx

Smiling at the Here and Now

I know the day is still young and all that, and some of you may not have even had time to think about one thing that has made you smile today.  But me? Well I’m living the here and now.  I’ve only been able to have 1 day off  work this half term {which is not a whinge or moan} and today, I am having a ‘date day’ with The Things.

Oh hell yeah, this makes me smile : )

I had promised to take Thing 2 to cinema to see the Lego movie, and asked Thing 1 if he would like to come too.  “Why would you you think I wouldn’t want to come?” was his reply.

Well, I thought, we never see you {unless you want something} you’re always out with your friends and you argue like crazy with everyone in the house at the moment.  “I didn’t know if the Lego movie was something you wanted to see” I responded.

“I don’t mind if that’s what Thing 2 wants to see,” he stated, “We will have a Macdonalds first, though, won’t we?”

There it was.  What he really wanted.  But that’s just fine.  My smile shant be shifted today.  I’m spending it with my boys

What has made you smile today?!

Vx

When Boys play with Balls

When we found out I was having a boy, while pregnant with Thing 1, I told Mr 29 he would have to have conversations about ‘the birds and the bees’ with him. I said I would chat with our girls.

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Of course, both of these never materialised.  I gave ‘the talk’, and no daughters arrived.

Thing 1 discovered ‘down there’ very early on.  Every time he had a nappy change he would ‘cop a feel’ of his Crown Jewels.

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A three and a half year old Thing 1 once asked Mr 29 why he had hair around his willy. Mr 29 replied “To keep it warm when you’re older”!

Really?! You see what I have to content with?!

Back in November,  Thing 1, who will be 13 {I have no idea how this has happened!} in June, was educated about the very important subject of testicular cancer at school. I have to admit I had not had this particular discussion with him.

Testicular cancer affects younger men between the ages of 15-44.  The most common symptom is a painless lump or swelling in the testicles. NHS UK.

Thing 1 did not tell me about this talk.  I read it on the news letter.  I didn’t think too much about it.  Until, I thought there may be an issue.

How did I know there was a problem? He took longer in the toilet.  He seemed quieter.  He appeared anxious.  He is neither of the latter.

He explained he could feel lumps in his groin. I asked if he wanted Dad or me to look.  He said “you’re the nurse, you should”.  I replied, “Are you sure, Dad knows about these things?!”.  I felt glands, told him not to worry and not to look for anything for another month.  Obviously, Thing 1 didn’t listen to me.  Nothing new there.  But then he ‘googled’ {any of you reading this, who work in the health profession, I did just hear you  say “Oh No!”} ‘lumps in groin’ and he became anxious.

FYI:  If you do decide to  ‘google’ the words “lump in groin male” you will be overwhelmed with a huge amount of information on lymphoma.

Poor Thing 1, it didn’t matter how many times I reassured him and told him he was fine.  He couldn’t hear me.  Even though I {may have} shouted at him that he was fine.

I made an appointment with our GP.

Our GP was amazing.  He confirmed Thing 1 was OK.  Hooray! {Not that I’m one to say I told you so}.  He praised Thing 1 for being knowledgable, alert and for not being embarrassed about going to see him.  He was.  Mr 29 bribed him with new boxing equipment, but I kept quiet and nodded in agreement.

Thing 1 now knows how to check his ‘bits’, that he must do it once a month and to tell us if he has a worry.  Not to sit fretting on his own.

Geez, Louise, this motherhood lark don’t get any easier!

Vx

Pictures via Pinterest

An evening with Sons

Week night evenings are ‘owned’ by The Things.  Would being a Mama to girls be more fun?

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Put your football kit in the washing basket

Your hand wraps are in the tumble dryer {Said at least 3 times.  Having been asked where are they at least 5 times}

Have  you banged the mud off your studs? {Too late, you have walked into the house}

Clean your mouth piece/ mouth guard {I have no idea what it’s called- I didn’t wear one when playing netball}

Move these shin pads

Get in the shower {you stink, seriously}

When contemplating the 8 car journeys in two days to the club house “You don’t have to go today, if YOU don’t want to…”

STOP eating! {No really, STOP}

I relish Wednesday evenings.  Club free night.  Bliss.

Vx

Magic Moments

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Thing 2 has set off today for a school residential trip.  He is not home until Friday *wails*

This is not my first experience of residential trips.  Thing 1 is our resident Hobo, and could not wait for the yearly trips when he was at the junior school.  Thing 2 is more passive.  We lost money once on a previous trip as he decided he didn’t want to go.  Because he loves me {that’s what I told myself, when the school office confirmed they could not refund the deposit!}.

And so, he’s gone.  And he was so excited this morning.  Nervous, but smiling.  And change is good for him.  He’s very similar to me because he likes routine and spurns spontaneity.

Residential trips are great fun for children.  I remember mine.  They were amazing.

I await your your return Thing 2.  Have a great time, make lots of memories and remember I love you loads!

I am linking this post to The Oliver’s Madhouse linky Magic Moments.

Vx

Turning into our parents

Mr 29 says I’m turning into my Ma.  And he IS definitely turning into his Dad.  This is why.

* Mr 29 {when getting home from work} shouts out  “The house looks like Blackpool illuminations! Why are all the lights on upstairs when everyone is downstairs?”

* Meal planning. My Ma had a standard week day menu {we knew exactly what we were having for dinner on a Monday and Tuesday night!} and although I’m not this bad {yet} I do write a weekly meal pan.

* When The Things ask “What’s for dinner?”, I reply “Bread and pull it.”  Just as my Ma used to- I still have NO idea what this means!

* We switch off the tele in the living room because nobody is watching it. And in the kitchen. And some bedrooms.

* We comment how green the grass is after a torrential down pour of rain. Despite having moaned that every time the dog goes outside she comes back in with muddy feet.

* Constantly reminding The Things not to run up and downstairs,  whilst saying cliches to them like “You sound like a herd of elephants!”.

* We take a cup of tea to bed with us

What do you do, that your parents did/ do?

Vx

Sometimes, as a parent, you HAVE to laugh.

Just a short post to share with you. You may not even find it funny. But I think it totally sums up Mr 29 and mine’s parenting.

We had popped into Guildford for nothing very exciting really. Mr 29 wanted to order a made to measure unit for his Hi Fi equipment from one of our favourite stores and I ended up purchasing a rather gorgeous pair of trousers from River Island. And obviously, Thing 1, A.K.A The Tweenager, wanted to go to Hollister, but I digress from my post point.

We stopped by the food court for a bite to eat. The Things had a hearty Macdonalds {good parenting, non?!}, whilst Mr 29 and I had noodles. Now, in this Macdonalds, there is not a ketchup bar, you still get your sauces in closed sauce pots. Que, Thing 1 opening it and getting it all over his face and hair. His bad, right? So did Mr 29 and I help him? Rush to get more napkins? No. To both. We both turned to get our phones to take a photo and laughed out loud, so that everybody else who was sat munching, oblivious to what just happened on our table, quickly became aware of tomato sauce gate. Awesome.

You know, I’m sure this sort of behaviour adds character to a kid. Or something.

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Vx