Thursday, 30 June 2016

Tiny People

It never ceases to amaze me how tiny people, doing tiny things, can make such a monumental difference <3

x Char

Tiny People

It never ceases to amaze me how tiny people, doing tiny things, can make such a monumental difference <3

x Char

Monday, 7 March 2016

Wedding Anniversary Poorliness

"Good morning, Happy Anniversary! How you doing?"
"Happy Anniversary...umm, not too good, I think I've caught the girls illness..."

What would your response to this be? My initial one was an outward "Oh" an inward "Oh, for FUCKS sake!" accompanied by a rush of irrational anger, an overwhelming surge of anxiety and a silent battle to hold back threatening floods of guilty tears. Fast forward a couple of hours and we've both felt crap and unsupportive, both cried, had a massive squeezy cuddle and reached the conclusion that it's only a day. Of course, it would be fun to have riotous celebrations until the small hours, but we have two little children, sod all money and lots of germs! C'est la vie.

Still, writing this now I have a lump in my throat. The truth of the matter is, living with and loving a person with disabilities is heart breaking, mind numbing and utterly exhausting at times.

Outwardly, Anton doesn't appear that different to your average young man. You'd be forgiven for thinking he was just one of those hateful bastards whose metabolisms are blessed by the Gods of Food, able devour an entire pizza chain without gaining a single ounce. If he's not wearing his dark glasses, you might be slightly unnerved by the stillness of his gaze, but would probably just put it down to daydreaming (or the zombiesque, sleep-deprived face that accompanies most parents!)

We hear a lot about Anton's Miraculous Recovery, and I am absolutely not disputing said miraculousness. I love my husband with all my heart, he has worked his sexy arse off to get where he is today and am indescribably proud of him.

But, if someone told you that tomorrow, your husband would lose so much vision he would be unable to drive, or cross busy roads unassisted, or read his own post, you would probably feel crushed.

If someone told you that tomorrow, your husband would pass out on the sofa for the remainder of the day after a potter in to town, you would probably feel frustrated.

If someone told you that tomorrow, your husband would forget to eat, shower, brush his teeth and take medication without your (or Siri's!) express reminders, you would probably feel deeply saddened.

If someone told you that tomorrow, your husband would only be able to wee through a tube, and would often need to wear incontinence pads, you would probably feel embarrassed and confused.

If someone told you that tomorrow, your husband would be unable to make any major decisions for himself ever again, you would probably feel terrifyingly responsible.

This is our bread and butter. And while it is a damn sight better than the alternative, it can still feel like an enormous amount to negotiate... Especially with two tiny humans thrown in to the mix! On the whole I try not to focus on the negative aspects of Anton's condition, and while I am perfectly open about it, the nitty-gritty of caring can be difficult, dark... even downright disgusting! I don't really know any other people  in my situation - all the carer support groups seem to be aimed at the very old, or the very young. It can be a lonely road.

Anton is an incredible husband and father, and being in a position where the girls have two stay-at-home parents is the shiniest, sparkliest, most marvellously metallic of silver linings. I know I have so much to be grateful for, and maybe if I was a perfect person I would never feel upset, or stressed, or very very frightened.

But, I am not. So I do.

I happily spent Mothers Day mopping up a snotty one year old, perhaps it is only fitting I spend my wedding anniversary mopping up a snotty twenty six year old!!

Love you Anton, and happy third wedding anniversary, you ridiculous poorly noobadin <3

x Char

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Infamous Motherhood Challenge

I can't seem to go online at the moment without stumbling upon a bitter rant about the Facebook Motherhood Challenge. If you've managed to avoid the controversy, it's one of those "tag your friends" posts encouraging people to share photos which make them proud to be a mother.

Pleasant enough right? Cutesy sleeping newborns, cheeky cake-smeared toddlers in posh frocks and teeny bow ties, snuggly shots of siblings giggling together. Lovely jubbly... right?



Apparently, sharing this kind of post makes you smug, insensitive, boring and a liar (amongst other things). Let's break this down.

Or, as I like to call it, proud. Or gratified. Or head over fucking heels in love.

If being filled with sunny sparkly joy every time Lily gurgles something vaguely like a word, or pulls me close to plant a big sloppy kiss on my lips, or sleeps more than four precious sodding hours in a row is considered smug, then yes, I am smug as hell.

If having my heart ache with happiness when Evie declares her supper "Dehyishush, thankoo Mummy!", or imagines up an adorable bedtime story for her little sister, or guides her Daddy around an obstacle on a rainy day can be described as smug, then you guessed it... Damn right I'm smug.

Don't get me wrong, no one likes a show off, but if celebrating your achievements with those who supposedly care about you is smug, I'd rather be smug than a miserable git.


One of the main arguments seems to be that sharing photos of your cheerful offspring is hurtful towards those who have lost, are unable to have, or decided against children of their own.

I have never felt the pain of losing a child, but I have experienced the loss of a role model, a best friend, and person who "got me" in a way no one else ever quite has - my Mum. I remember my Mum every single day, at times a deep and meaningful reflection, at times just a flickering thought. The memories make me laugh out loud, bawl like a baby, rant and rage, feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude... often all at once, with many more besides.

I certainly don't want to get in to a "who's loss is hardest" debate with anyone, as grief and how we deal with it is extremely personal. I cannot and do not want to imagine the devastation that accompanies the death of a child. However, I would be totally gutted if I thought a friend had declined to share stories or photos of their mother on the off chance it hurt my feelings. When I see a picture of someone giggling away with a parent, I don't think "You absolute cow, I don't have a mum, how dare yours be alive and HAVING FUN!?", I think "Oh, what a fab photo"

I love my friends. I want them to be content and comfortable to share with me, no matter what the subject or circumstance. Even if a photo did trigger a memory and upset me, I certainly wouldn't resent them for it! Life can be a bitch, but it doesn't mean I have to be.

Oh this old chestnut again... "Constant oversharing, no one wants to see your troll of a child, all babies look the same anyway, it's not all about the kids, blah blah blah"

My life, my Facebook. Don't like it? Do fuck off.

A Liar.
The whole damned point of the post, is that it's moments that Make You Proud. Of course the photos are going to be fucking rose-tinted! You can't seem to win with this one. If you post about your children being sneaky little shits who are out to destroy your sanity (not to mention all your possessions, functional relationships with adults, bank balance, once-perky breasts, etc) then you are the world's worst mother and do not deserve children. If you post about your children being charming and adorable, at the very least you are a deluded fake and at the worst a vicious, misogynistic sociopath dedicated to making ALL woman feel insecure about their life choices.


So how about this... if you are friends with someone on Facebook, and feel that any of their posts come under the above categories, consider un-friending them...

...Because, chances are, they don't need that kind of negative crap in their lives!!

x Char

Thursday, 24 September 2015

How To Use The Toilet Like a Toddler

As soon as you sense the household starting to get ready for a errand or activity, locate a parent and announce you need a poo. For added amusement do so in a slightly strained voice with an anxious expression on your face.

When you get to the bathroom, insist on removing every single item of clothing excruciatingly slowly. They may try and persuade you that it's okay to leave your tshirt on to poo, this is clearly shockingly unhygienic and must be disputed. Loudly.

Flat out refuse all offers of help. Note the poorly hidden panic in their eyes as they envision yet another ruined outfit.

Before seating yourself, ensure the toddler seat and step are positioned correctly. Take your time with this stage, as there is nothing worse than attempting to poo on a misaligned seat. Sweetly accept the offer of a book to look at, then fling it scornfully to the floor when presented. Repeat as desired. 

Once seated, your goal is to maximise one-on-one time with the victim your loved one. Try requesting complicated songs you learnt at nursery, they may insist they don't know words but this is merely a cunning ruse. 

At some point they may attempt to leave you too it... apparently stopping the baby licking mud off your welly takes precedence over watching you defecate. This is assuredly not so, and you must firmly assert your rights. If they do manage to escape your clutches, be sure to keep them fully updated on your progress with reports such as "THAT FART TICKLE MY BOTTOM!!" and "IT COMING OUT! POO COMING OUT NOW!!"

Especially if the postman chooses that exact moment to knock on the door. They love that.

Once business is complete, start sulking when no one applauds and bursts in to song. If they really loved you they would know celebration is required, despite the fact you cried and screamed "Mummy, not talk! Not say wow!! I NOT DOIN' A GREAT JOB!!!" last time. It's not like you want anything outrageous like parade of exotic animals wearing sequinned evening gowns... Althoouughh....

Another fantastic game is trying to wipe your nose/the wall/your parents leg with the loo roll you just used on your arse. It provokes hilarious shrieks and desperate grabs for the tissue, leaving you free to dart past them and try to break your record in the Naked Tag Game. Bonus points if you plant your insufficiently wiped buttocks on a sofa cushion. Or the baby's head.

After being dragged back to the bathroom and babywiped to within an inch of your life, it's hand washing time. "MORE cleaning?!" I hear you cry, but fear not, there is vast capacity for chaos causing during this particular ritual. You've got the classic "I DO DIT!!" followed by a tapnami of epic proportions , the opportunity for heart-wrenching sobs when the soap escapes between your fingers (No, more soap will not do! Why can they understand not you NEED the soap that slid down the drain?!) and the age-old Too Hot, Too Cold debate.

After cheerfully accepting their offer to help you get dressed (just wait till next time, you poor unsuspecting soul, BWAHAHAHAAAAA! *cough* ... Ummm... I mean, love yooouuu, dearest caregiver!) you can amuse yourself for a few minutes until they are about to resume the aforementioned task.

Then it's time to deal the finishing blow...
"Mummyyyy! Daddddyyy!!! I need a WEE!"


x Char

Sunday, 5 July 2015

(Lack of) Sleep

I know I bang on about sleep a lot, but to be honest it's pretty much the central focus of my life right now. I suppose the Destroyers of Sleep should take that crown... they probably do after a restful night. Maybe.

I am struggling at the moment. Lily is waking up a LOT. The other day she slept for six hours in a row, the last time that happened was the day she was born. Usually she wakes up every 1-2 hours, which gives me just enough time to boob her back to sleep, find something to panic about, do my CBT techniques, start drifting off to dream land and then wake up in a massive jangly state because WAAAAHHHH!! Baby needs me NOW!!!

To be fair she GOES to sleep beautifully, and she's even been having some naps and evening sleeps without being cuddled, all of which is marvelous. But after being woken up every hour by a tiny, nipple-obsessed human determined to drain every ounce of fluid from my body, I don't want to be fair.

I'm also incredibly frustrated with myself. I spent most of last week comfort eating carbohydrates and downing vast quantities of sugary coffee in order to function. It's SO hard to summon the energy to make vegetable ribbons when all you want to do is sit in the dark and sob in to a box of custard doughnuts.

I know it's just a phase. I know it will pass. I know it's 1000% times worse because I'm under enormous amounts of stress waiting for my CT scan results. I know all these things, but they are so damn hard to remember when I have constant "falling down the stairs" feeling and am too knackered to grab a bannister.

x Char

PS. If anyone so much as thinks about mentioning sleep training or crying it out, I'm going to kill you to fucking death. I don't want advice, I want chocolate and hugs. You have been warned.

Photographic evidence - It must happen sometimes!!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

I Love...

After Evie was born, we decided we didn't want another baby. She was just so beautiful, so bright... Any other baby would suffer by comparison, because this tiny, fluffy, squawking little bundle was quite clearly the best baby in the whole world (not to mention damn hard work!!)

We proudly declared this to the midwife at her 10 day check. She laughed and said "We'll see you in a few years!"
" Hah!" we thought, "you certainly won't!"

...Well, it seems midwives know a bit more about babies than the first time parents of a 10 day old. Who knew?

During Lily's pregnancy, I did of course wonder how I would feel about her, how she would fit in to our family, and whether my relationship with Evie would change. Everyone told me not to worry, that I would love the second one just the same as I did the first.

Well, I don't... I love them both. I love them both immeasurably. I love them both with every single fibre of my being. But it's definitely not the same.

I love Evie because she is my first. I love her because she was so massively, desperately life altering. I love her because she looks just like Anton. I love her because she thinks just like me. I love her because she is thoughtful and sensitive. I love her because of her wicked sense of humour. I love her because she cares so deeply. I love her because she is mine.

I love Lily because she is my last. I love her because she has made my life complete. I love her because she looks just like me. I love her because she thinks just like Anton. I love her because she's totally and utterly dippy. I love her because of the joy that shines in her eyes. I love her because she doesn't have a care in the world. I love her because she is mine.

x Char