Time Off For Good Behaviour

Evening all. It’s Jenny here again, I hope you’ve had a good weekend.

A visit from my brother and his partner this weekend has left me a bit inspired to write this week’s blog which I’m affectionately referring to as ‘Time off for good behaviour’. And the time off, to which I refer, is in fact from the full time, round the clock, highly challenging, highly rewarding and yet poorly paid job of ‘Mummying’!

The thing is, before I had my children my ‘real job’ as a primary school teacher consumed what felt like all my waking hours. What I wasn’t aware of (in my happy ignorance) was how many more hours there are in a day when you have your own children. Gone are the lazy start weekends. Bruch has long become a thing of the past. When you’re up at 5am, had your breakfast at 6.30am and quite frankly are ready for lunch at 11am, why would you need brunch? I hate people who brunch! It represents all that I have lost!

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a Mum. My children bring absolute joy to my life. I wasn’t prepared for how much I could love somebody – or 2 people in my case. They’re so funny, so loving, so completely original but I’m only human and at times they drive me completely insane!

The start of school in September for my eldest has nearly broken me. Each and every morning we enter into this bizarre dance / confrontation over getting dressed. I manipulate, cajole, threaten, bribe her and ultimately – to my absolute horror- end up screaming like a banshee in order that we aren’t a) Ridiculously late and have to go through the scary receptionist or b) Not dressed. I mean people really judge you for arriving at the school gates with a child in only her pants, vest and school shoes.

Anyway this weekend saw the arrival of my brother and his partner for a late pretend Christmas. They booked a fancy restaurant and treated us to an amazing lunch. There was delicious food, lots and lots of wine and most important of all time to be an adult. Thanks to the amazing babysitting offer from my in-laws I actually made it out with my mum. Now I see my mum almost every day and we’re really close but we hardly ever get the chance to spend any actual time together alone. She loves my children as much as I do but it was a real treat to have a conversation from start to finish without interruption.

The best things about this precious time away from my babies were:
1. Ordering what I wanted from the menu instead of what I knew they would share with me.
2. Eating at my own pace.
3. Drinking – obviously!
4. Adult conversation. No jokes to explain or censoring of swearing.
5. Using the hand dryer in the toilets. Yes I know this is pathetic but my kids hate the noise so for 5 years I’ve left the toilets with wet hands. Dry hands = joy! And hand cream!

Best of all was that I was really pleased to see them when we got home. I felt lighter, more playful and more patient. They’d had a great time too thanks to the legends that are Nana Jan and Grandad Pete.

So I’m finishing today’s blog with a big shout out to all the grandparents, friends, neighbours etc who maybe give us an hour off once in a while. Time to yourself is the greatest gift of all and I’m sure makes you a better parent.

Jenny x x x



I’ve Gone Completely Potty…..

Evening all. Like Carol, I too have never ‘blogged’ so excuse my ramblings as I try to get to grips with ‘finding my voice’ and reaching my optimal word count (600 if you were interested).
For my first blog I’ve chosen to chronicle the adventures of Potty-Gate part 2. Part 2 because of course I’m on round 2 of ‘mummying’. Potty-Gate part 1 would, I’m afraid, have been very dull. One morning, not long after her second birthday, Isabelle woke up with a dry nappy. A sign I thought. I showed her how to use the potty, bribed her with jelly babies (don’t judge me) and she cracked it in a week. We never looked back – except one particularly memorable day at my mum’s house, shortly after the arrival of her baby brother, where she had about 7 wees in different places all over my mum’s carpets. I like to think she was marking her territory!
Then along came ‘Baby’ Edward. Different from his sister in almost all ways, he’s a cheeky, head strong, fiercely loving and keen to take life very much at his own pace. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Potty-Gate part 2!
Basically if he was naked, at home, not watching TV or heavily involved in a game he got it…… so he didn’t get it much! What threw me this time around is how much harder it is when you’re tied by the confines of the school run, nursery and work. Then, of course, I felt the mummy guilt. Was I giving him enough time? Was I looking for cues hard enough? Was a being lazy to just ‘not risk it’ on the school run?
By the time we reached the Christmas holidays my husband and I decided we should really give it some real effort as we were both at home. So, a few days before Christmas we had tickets booked to visit Santa at Woodlands. Edward had done really well all day with his potty so we decided not to take the easy option and slap on a nappy. At this point I’d like to say the easy option is way under-rated!
Predictably he wet his trousers in the play area! I was determined to carry on though. Heaven forbid he got ‘mixed messages’!!!! Anyway shortly afterwards he was way too quiet in a little play house. I grew suspicious. I was correct. It was nasty, it was massive and it was just everywhere!!!
I had a good plan. I’d stand him on the floor, take off his pants and chuck the lot. Job done. Oh no no no my friends. Never have a good plan. The floor was wet so I had to stand him on the table. I was then eye height to the ‘situation’. Not a good start. I carefully got the pants down and, knowing from previous experience that he can put his foot in it, I quickly flicked them out of the way. Too much of a flick as it turned out…. the poo flew out of the pants and landed in my open back pack!
I mean where do you even start????
Suffice to say we left the toilets with Edward safely in a nappy to visit Santa. Did it ruin the day? No. Was he confused by the mixed messages? No. Am I a failure as a parent? No. Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to help our children reach these milestones that we lose sight of what’s most important and that day it was having a special Christmas visit as a family.
Fast forward 2 weeks and he’s totally nailed it. In his own time. Of course.
Good luck to all those with all this fun yet to come. I have no useful advice at all but I do love a good ‘the day it went wrong’ story, so do please share.
Jenny xxxx

New term begins, everything is ready, except for me packing the car!

Sunday afternoon, Mark and my son Nick are watching West Ham on the TV (lifelong supporters) and I’m sat plucking up the energy to go and pack my car ready for tomorrow’s start to the term.  But the wind is so horrible out there I don’t want to move away from the radiator I’m sat next to!  But at some point I’m going to have to put my coat on and pack the car for the morning.

As you can see from the picture, I have another enormous amount of things to bring and there will be a few random items coming out this term for our new theme of Light – I will explain at class what the Bumble Bees are all about!

So this week has mainly seen me taking down the Xmas decorations, getting the tree out of the house, hoovering up pine needles, finishing the mince pies and pate, refilling the fridge and cupboards of hopefully more healthy food than we’ve been stuffing our faces with the last two weeks, and of course, preparing for class.

I always get nervous at the start of a new term, even after more than 10 years of doing this, but I am excited for this theme in Music with Mummy as I know you’re all going to love it.  And in Jolly Babies, of course, we will have a new dance to learn, hurrah!  And this term it’s my all time favourite – for those who have been coming to music for a long time now, it’s the fast one with the Do-Si-Do! Such fun!

So, I’m hoping the wind dies down in a while so I can get the car sorted, and Reg the Bear and I look forward to seeing you all very soon!


Music with Mummy Torbay’s First Blog Post

OK. So, first of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
New year, 2018, and a new website for us in Torbay. And because it’s the start of something new, I thought that New Year’s Day 2018 would be a good day to try a blog post.
Going to be honest, I have no idea what BLOG even stands for, can anyone help me out? And I’m not sure I’ve got anything interesting to say anyway, you can be the judge of that! But going to give it a go! (Not that I’ve told Jenny yet… Jenny, are you up for writing a blog post for Music with Mummy Torquay every now and again? I’m sure she will, she has lots more fun things happening in her life with her lovely children!)
I hope you’ve all had a fab Christmas, the first Christmas for many of you with your young babies, and for others, you’ll be well practiced in the art of the Father Christmas routine of leaving out mince pies and sherry/beer/milk for Santa and of course, a carrot for Rudolph! It’s always Rudolph that gets the carrots isn’t it! What about all the other reindeers??
So, for us at home we may no longer put out mince pies and carrots on Christmas Eve, but we do still do stockings for my boys, and now for my son Chris’ girlfriend Jess. Nick, Chris and Jess all got a small bag of goodies from Father Christmas, which still included similar things as it did when they were younger. Chris got Lego, Nick got a Hot Wheels car, Jess got some smelly things and nail art (so nice buying for a girl for a change!) so even though they may all be grown up, I don’t think I will ever stop buying silly little things for them, on behalf of Father Christmas of course!
I have really enjoyed Christmas but it’s time to get my head into getting ready for term starting Monday 8th January 2018!!!! And I better call Jenny and see if she’s up for blogging next week!!
Lots of love and look forward to seeing you all again very soon. Carol x x