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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Supermarket Sweep
So, its the Easter holidays, and of course at some point it means taking the long and dangerous journey to sainsburys with a load of kids. Hyped up kids.
Now, I always get a big shop delivered from tesco, but there's always something I forget, they forget, dont have or don't sell. This week its porridge, chicks and knickers.
So after trudging up the hill (its pretty steep) with the kids playing 'wizards of waverly place' with sticks as wands in their boots, we make it to the post office, where the guy behind the counter very kindly tells me that I'm looking tired, and its only the first morning of the holidays.
Thanks Mr.
Great start to the day, way to give a girl some confidence.
We catch a bus and I am adamant that they children will be calm quiet and respectful of the other passengers. Is it me, or are there alot of noisy kids on public transport these days? It seems alot of my views and opinions are quite old fashioned, but I dont care. My kids will grow up to respect others. I cant understand parents who let their kids rule them.
However, as adamant as I may be, I end up threatening them with a Drs appointment to check out their ears, why all the shouting and loud voices?!
Finally at sainsburys, and the fun continues. I take the younger two to the toilet while the older two decide to play a silly game. I feel my frustration starting to build. (It's worth it though, because I found £1.50 in the cubicle!). We get the trolley, and deposit Lilly in the main section where she sits and behaves. We go and find her two packs of knickers which is usually the tough bit but actually was a sinch. Well, after I had actually located said knickers.
"Kids?!Can you look down these two aisles for packets of knickers for Lil?!"
They all run off.
In the wrong direction.
I finally found them hanging in a particular aisle which had been abandoned totally by shoppers.
A be-hatted head sticks round the corner. "Hi, Mummy!"
"Amy, what are you doing with that Easter bonnet?!"
"Wearing it?!"
I don't care, she does this to try to irritate me, and to gain attention, and I try hard to ignore it.
"Who wants to check out toys?"I call.
No answer. Great, I think, that'll save some time and trouble.
"Come on then, lets find these chicks!"
"Can we look at the toys?!" three different voices ask. I explain why the answer is no, and walk off before the barrage of complaints start.
"Ooh, Lil, the chicks will be down here" - I've spotted the Easter aisle.
We look.
There are no chicks.
Not one.
"Oh, I wish we'd come here before I decided what egg I'd like.." Evie starts, and I'm cross so I interrupt, though I know I shouldn't, "well, it wouldn't have made a difference,cos I still would have got them delivered by tesco,which don't sell these eggs." she starts to argue so I say it again, word for word.
This is something else I've started to do. I call a name five times or give an instruction or request, but it doesnt get acted upon, so I say it again, word for word, ignoring all else til its done. I think it may be starting to work.
The search continues.
"Dough-nups! Dough-nups!" Yes, Lilly has spotted the donuts, which she is into this week. I get them because actually she is being especially good and cute today. Even with the other three bickering and shrieking.
The cake ingredients are right nearby, but can I find any decent chocolate? No. I do manage to find beefburgers though, and my porridge around the corner, which I decide to make with apple juice to make apple flavour porridge (I loved apple milupa as a child, even as a teen when I was ill).
"Amy, here's a brush for the carpet"
"To scrub my puke out the floor?"
"Yes, Ame"
"I'm sorry Mummy"
"What for?"
"For sicking on your carpet in your room. It smells like sick now"
"I know, but its not your fault, dont have to be sorry."
"But I am sorry though"
"Ok, Ame. Thanks for the apology" See, they can be nice and sweet...
Then we go to look for hair cream to put in their hair when I'm 'styling' it. Amy keeps picking up blonde hair colouring, "when I am older I'm going to have yellow hair...". I cant find what I'm looking for, not even with Eve's 'help 'of chatting my ears off, or Robertos 'help' by standing right in front of what I'm looking for. I find something, but I think frizz-ease might be a little too strong for kids hair.
I give up, I'm coming to the end of my tether.
"Right! Lets go!"
A chorus of "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh" ensues. Do they really want to stay in sainsburys? Really?
We get to the till, and its as if the whole of the borough has attended this particular sainsburys at this particular time. Well, it is saturday, I reason to myself.
"Customer announcement, the store will be shutting in fifteen minutes, due to Crystal Palace playing at home today, please collect your last few items and pay at the tills"
No wonder.
I breathe a sigh of relief that I actually made it to the till and got behind a fairly empty trolley in front. Everyone else was stocking up for the month. Then my relief subsides, as I look at my children and see that Eve is looking thoroughly miserable and shouting the odds at the other two who are playing 'lets see who can hit each other around the head the most before they cry'. What a great game.
I put on my playground yelling voice; "Right, you lot!" customers start looking at me. I. Don't. Care.
"Get down the end, and split up. Face the wall, don't speak to each other, or move, or anything!" Eve stomps off, the others follow, a little less stompily. (Lilly is hiding in the trolley, sneaking sugar from the donut box). They know I've had enough. And actually, they behave while I'm at checkout. Usually, it is my most stressiest part, but today I think they knew not to push it. I packed and paid, and we left the shop, trying not to get run over by all the football fans.
We miss a bus, but one comes immediately after and we make it. Eve starts on Amy again so I put her away from everyone else.
But everyone helps carry the bags home down the hill, everyone is pleasant walking home, which makes a nice change. We get in and Eve goes off to her maths tutor. The rest of us spend the next three hours trying on summer clothes to see if they fit. Another stressful task with surprise dress up and catwalks and handbags, but it got done.
I know and am trying to learn to handle my stress better, and to channel it in a better way. I am trying to deal with arguements and bad behaviour in public places, without attracting the attention of all the shoppers. It'll come. Maybe when the youngest is 20yrs old. But it will come.
One thing's for sure, I will definitely have to go to sainsburys again this holiday.
Now, at the end of the day, the kids are watching 'the voice', Amy is facing away from the tv waiting to turn just like the judges, Eve under a blanket to do the same (too lazy to turn), Roberto on the computer,and Lilly snuggling on my lap, telling me off for singing and dancing. This is the best bit of the day with the kids. When there's no pressure, no stress, no arguements, just chilling and relaxing, everyone being able to be themselves and able to live with each other like this.
Now the next hurdle is bedtime....

Friday, 30 March 2012

Poor Lil
So, today was a very sad day for my 3 year old. We were sorting out the summer clothes (I say 'we', it was of course just me with Lil'-bud sat on the floor of my bedroom playing with a fairy and a yogurt maker). I have hidden among our 'not this season' clothes a green bag with a few items of baby clothes from when they were all tiny. I get to look in this bag twice a year, with the change of the seasons, and so the coinciding change of clothes.Lil decided to have a look in said bag, and found her swaddle blanket. She was very curious as to what this triangular piece of cloth could be and why mummy was acting so protective of it. I explained to her that it was used to keep her warm and snug as a new baby,and that it wouldnt 'fit' her anymore,so lets put it away.
"Can you show me, peez?" said Lil with her huge brown eyes.
I sigh, knowing this is not going to end well. "Ok,just quickly", and I start to put this triangle over her head just manage to wrap it around her body. Just.
"I a baby, now?" she asks in a pleading way.
"No darling, you're a big girl" (she's into being a big girl at the moment), "but you will always be my baby".
She scowls. She grunts. She is NOT happy.
"Come on,shall I make you a jam sandwich?"
"Okay" and she speeds downstairs, still clinging to the swaddle blanket.
As I start to load the washing machine(cos I'm random like that. I say I'll make a sandwich and then go and sort the washing for half hour) I hear whimpering. Lilly walks slowly into the kitchen carrying  a photo I had taken of her when she was a year old.
"What's the matter Lil?" But she starts bawling, tears streamimg down  her face.
"I want to be a baby"
"Like in the picture?"
"But that is you.You've been a baby already" of course that's the worse thing I could possibly say. Wailing and crying continue, she wants picking up and I proceed to rock her and make sandwiches while trying to cheer her up. Every time the damn blanket falls off its like the world has come to an end.
I have never seen my youngest baby in so much pain. That idea that time has gone and it wont come back no matter what. And its strange because I was thinking the exact same thing the night previous,  (between being woken by Lilly and woken by Amy), how she's growing so fast and what will I do when there are no more babies left to carry and cuddle and look after? It nearly made me cry, there's nothing I could say or do. As aparent, you feel the pain your baby feels, not so much the physical, but the emotional pain for sure. I'd never had to feel it with Lilly.
As I settled her down to eat her lunch, I looked out the window,and the road is incredibly busy. Then it clicks.
"OH NO QUICK! LIL! WE'VE GOTTA GO! SCHOOL BREAKS UP EARLY TODAY!" Yes, I'd momentarily forgotten the 2.15 break up for Easter.
But that was it, everything was back to normal. I had to shove Lils lunch into her lunchbag stuff her bag on her back (they were going to a friends house after school) and race out the front door up to school.
She took the blanket with her, but from that moment on totally forgot about the blanket and being a baby. She came home, and all she's talked about is purple broccoli, happy as anything.
So I guess I have learned that kids are fickle, easily distracted and can be quite emotional, and that I'm just too soft sometimes.
But then I did know that anyway. She is child no 4.

This Is Me
So, for my first post, I guess I'll tell you a bit about myself and my family and my life which is chaos! I'm a 30 yr old single mum of four fantastic but very crazy children. I have Evie who's nearly 10, Roberto (don't blame me!) 8, Amy (dying to be Aimee) 6, and little Lilly,3. We live in south London, a small nice bit surrounded by not very nice 'stinky' areas.
I have a boyfriend (who is amazing) and he has two girls of his own (who are lovely), so we are a big family. They live down by the coast.
I am currently rebuilding my life, not an easy feat but I'm determined! Life improvements include studying science with the open university, doing a childminding course, learning to drive (nearly there!), and experiencing new things, one step at a time!
I am cleaner, bed maker, tooth fairy, arts council, clothes coordinator, entertainer, cook, business woman, referee, night watch woman, gardener, literary critic, school play critic and military leader among many other things!
I hope you will all join me on my journey, day to day. The huge events will be fab, but its the small things everyday that make life what it is and worthwhile, and worth sharing. I'm looking forward to making friends and hopefully at some point in making a difference too.
Love to all
Emma x