Tag Archives: Rod

The 21 hour date

It’s a bit like Stockholm syndrome. You wish for five minutes peace and yet you miss them as soon as they’ve gone.

It took a bit longer this time because I fell asleep three and a half minutes after we’d dropped the boys off at their Auntie’s. I napped all the way from Ayrshire to Perthshire, despite Rod’s questionable music choices, and woke up just as we parked at Gleneagles.

My pang for my children was almost immediately smothered by my raging thirst.

Mummykimmy boozing

It was the beginning of an eight hour session – the pace slightly slower than days of old – but the price considerably higher given our choice of venue.

Mummykimmy cocktail

mummykimmy eating steak

There were cocktails and steaks and a fine bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. There was even a trip to the bar, a place we normally bypass in our sprint to get back for the babysitter. It’s been recently redecorated and we liked everything about the turquoise walls and art deco style, except the bar stools. We did not like the bar stools. They were far too slippy. An attentive bartender came to try to assist us (the bases were very heavy) but seemed puzzled by our assertion that surely they had had many complaints about the bar stools. Neither of us could sit for long without sliding off.

“They’re perhaps designed so that you lean forward and chat to the bartenders,” he helpfully – and diplomatically – suggested.

The next morning, having fallen asleep on each other on the couch and stumbled up to bed around 3, we had a lie in. Nobody yelled “milk!” or elbowed us in sensitive parts or demanded Coco Pops, which made a nice change. Instead we went out for breakfast, read the papers and ate poached eggs, like grown ups.

The highlight of our prolonged date came at 10.45am when we walked into the Best Spa In The World.

Mummykimmy spa

We didn’t come out for three and a half hours. My aromatherapy massage was with a Hungarian called Sonny and I can confidently say it’s the best spa treatment I’ve ever had. The foot massage alone was worth the money. The whole experience was perfect from his soothing low voice to the classical music, heated bed and wonderful aromas from the oils. I felt like he kneaded out all the grumpy and left me feeling renewed. I realise this sounds ridiculous. Rod laughed out loud when I said pretty much those exact words outside in the hot tub as the rain fell on our heads.

Mummykimmy spa ready

We drove back to the kids in stages, stopping off to visit friends and their new baby and then my mum. Of course when we did eventually get to them, they ran straight past me and into their daddy’s arms and the wall of noise smacked us square in the forehead.

They’re in bed now and I’m about to make the lunches, pack the bags and prepare everything for the week ahead – but I’m doing it with a spring in my step.

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10 ways to cope: 7 months pregnant with with a three year old son

1 Take a hot shower every morning.

This will sound ridiculous to the childless and probably to the mums too, for different reasons. You will likely have to do it with the door open, possibly dodge missiles and awkward questions and potentially have to catch flying electrical goods before they zap you, but it sets you up for a good day. Even if your hair has to air dry /ends up only half-straightened/is scraped off your face into a bun, at least you and it are clean and refreshed.

2 Reinstate old tools

He may have been walking for more of his life than not, but if he’s suddenly he’s clicked that you can no longer catch him and runs off at every opportunity, I see no problem with hauling out the reins. The wee man has a little rucksack with a long strap – I’ve clicked it on to a strap from another similar bag and now I have, effectively, a dog leash for my child. In my defence, I’m having major pelvic issues with this pregnancy and can barely walk let alone sprint after him, and he’s developed a bad habit of running into the sea fully-clothed. This way I can venture out in public without suffering a heart attack/getting soaked to the thighs.mummykimmy reins

3 Don’t be afraid of the same-old

We used to have a new adventure every day. My mum used to warn me not to do too much, but I enjoyed these voyages of discovery in our new city as much as the wee man. Now though, I accept that I’ll probably have to pee a lot and must never be too far from the loo. I can never venture so far from the car that I’m stuck with a mid-tantrum child who doesn’t want to leave and who I can’t lift and carry back. I can’t cope with him AND the enormous bag with clothing for every surface and weather condition. So we go to the same places that I know he enjoys and whose facilities I can rely on – just for now.

4 Adopt a zero-tolerance policy to bad behaviour

He’s probably figured out that something really big is about to happen and mummy is not herself, so is pushing even harder at the boundaries. If he’s difficult now, how the hell will I cope with two? By making it crystal clear what is not acceptable. That means nipping everything in the bud, making him sit the full three minutes on the naughty step, taking the time to make him follow instructions and finding new ways to make my point. I’ve discovered that simply disengaging, ignoring him completely and putting him in his room with the stair-gate across while I clean up the mess from the kitchen bin he just “accidentally” dragged through and tipped onto the living room carpet, is very effective. A lot of his bad behaviour is simply for attention – if I withdraw that and only reinstate it when he’s apologised and is behaving well, it sends a clear message.

5 Find new fun, sitting-down games

My child has more energy than Ussain Bolt on Red Bull, so most of our activities involve wide open spaces and a ball. This weekend, though, I braved baking – and it was a huge success. I was really pleasantly surprised how well he listened and concentrated and managed. I just bought a cake mix from M&S, put all the extra ingredients in coloured bowls and supervised while he did most of it. He loved the independence and the space to just get on with it, he loved using the electric whisk and he seemed to take real pride in spooning the mixture evenly into the cases. There was some mess, of course, but nothing like what I expected. He even enjoyed the washing up. I gave him lots of praise and he lapped it up – all while I sat on my (expanding) ass. Guess what we’ll be doing every week now?

mummykimmy baking

6 Don’t feel guilty for taking time off

It is a physical impossibility to live your life at the same pace when you’re so pregnant, so just embrace it. (or so I keep telling myself). If there’s a creche at your gym, don’t think twice about booking him in then buggering off to the coffee shop. Accept every offer of help, no matter how much you may suspect they’re just being nice and don’t really mean it. I am definitely a much better mum when I’ve had a break, even a wee short one, and especially an indulgent one where I’ve done nothing but read a few chapters of my book.

7 Be realistic about work

Hahaha. I’m still working on this one. A friend advised me, a few months ago when I was telling him about this amazing new project I’d been invited to get involved in, “remember you’re going to be, like, ill for six months”. I spluttered into my decaf latte and told him to stop being so sexist. But the b*stard had a point. I’ve got eight weeks to go and I already feel disabled – tired, emotional, yes ill a lot of the time. As the realisation has dawned on me that I am not, in fact, superwoman, I have turned down two new clients and brought forward my end date. I’m now super-excited about the fact I will have the whole of September to get my shit together for the baby coming, nest, relax, and sleep!

8 Eat and drink well

Aware that my running days were over pretty much in the first trimester, I had been trying to cut down on treats. The whole ‘eating for two’ thing is a myth, right? I comforted myself that the morning sickness was an insurance policy against too much weight gain. Ha. When you haven’t slept properly for weeks, your three year old is pushing every button and you aren’t even allowed a calming glass of wine, cake is the only answer. No, actually giant cookies work too. And slabs of chocolate. As for trying not to drink too much to cut down on the endless trips to the bathroom – well, that seemed to make sod all difference. I now have a pint of squash on hand at all times and have become completely addicted to San Pellegrino. It’s like when you’re hungover to hell and think, well, even if I bring this McDonalds right back up, at least I’ll have something to be sick with.

9 Take it easy on your husband

Men will never fully understand what it is to be pregnant, and thank God for that, or the world would surely implode. I’m doing my best to keep the psycho outbursts to a minimum and I try to be rational about the things that are bothering me. Rod has been wonderful with the wee man – this morning he got up, made breakfast and entertained him before taking him out swimming so I could have the morning off. The fact that he left Play Doh all over the table, the milk, butter and juice all out on the counter, the toys strewn everywhere and the plates on top of the dishwasher (which I had switched on last night) was not important. I cleared it all up with good humour and not once did I mutter “could he not tidy as he goes?” I didn’t even mention it to him when they got back. Honest.

10 If in doubt, laugh and say ‘f*ck it’

As overwhelming, tiring and goddamn frustrating as it is to be heavily pregnant and in charge of a three year old – there are worse things. Sometimes I struggle to believe that, but it’s true. So what if people keep hilariously remarking, “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”. So what if I’m endlessly tired cos I’m either settling the wee man who’s doing his newborn impression or relieving my bladder. So I’m gasping for a cocktail, dying to go shopping and making old lady noises every time I get off the couch. It’s not for much longer – and then that’s me done with having babies. So haha, f*ck it, let’s just enjoy the experience…

mummykimmy rod and wee man

 

 

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Distraction: Provide it or be driven to it

In the end it was the dog’s squeaky toy that did it. It was 22 degrees, my hair was in my face, the wee man was screeching, twisting and kicking me in the stomach, the nappy was dangerously dirty and the whole time the dog was going “SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK” right next to my knee.

“CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME?!” I bellowed as my husband and parents remained glued to the Wimbledon final. Rod sauntered out. “Let me do it,” he said in a perfectly reasonable tone, which at that point, made me want to hit him.

“All you need is something to distract him.”

Now that I’m back to my calm, reasonable self, I can see that was the perfect response. While I’ve been subconsciously using distraction with the wee man his whole life, I’ve now realised I’ve actually got to promote this tactic to a rule.

He is now two years and three months. He wants to do everything himself – eating, brushing his teeth, getting dressed, walking to nursery, driving my car – and clearly has not yet got the motor skills to do any of it properly. We battle every five minutes. He does not want to get into the bath. Then he does not want to get out of the bath. The screaming echoes beautifully in there. He does not want to eat his toast. He does want to eat my toast. He decides halfway through chewing that he does prefer his toast, so lets the mouthful fall out. Onto a clean shirt. Five minutes before we leave for nursery. Yesterday, after an almighty battle to get dressed, he ran joyfully outside and fell straight into the dog’s water bowl.

This week I’ve changed tack completely. I’ve decided to pick my battles and always to provide a distraction. I’ve prepared for this by leaving small toys and books in strategic locations around the house.

“Look, where’s your sunglasses? They’re on mummy’s face!” Snatch. I don’t pick the no-snatching battle, instead I swiftly lay him down and change his nappy while he’s trying to hook them round his ears. No bruises on my tummy. One clean bum.

“Where’s the tiger on the cards? No, that’s the lion” I lay out his favourite cards on the breakfast table and swiftly clean his teeth before he can remember to clamp down on the brush. The no-snatching battle doesn’t even start and the teeth are clean for another 12 hours.

The beauty of this tactic, I mean rule, is that it’s portable.

“No, we do not grab toys, say sorry to Arthur. Now look at this car, it goes beep beep” before the screaming and chasing after Arthur can begin.

I’m becoming a master manipulator.

I’m also realising this tactic can be applied to grownups…. But that’s another blog.

chocolate

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Mum & Dad time

“I should have brought my big camera,” I said, as the sun came out and lit up the hills.

“Nah, it would probably get wet,” Rod said.

I froze. Where the hell were we going? The camping jokes had gotten old really fast and the casual mentions of the Arran ferry were transparent but this comment threw me.

“AH! My wellies are in the other car!” I gasped.

“Oh…. Well, they’ll probably provide everything we need,” he said, then pointed and made to turn into a field filled with trailers and what looked like a circus tent.

“JUST KIDDING!” he cackled. I wanted to cry. I didn’t like this magical mystery tour and I was beginning to get seriously worried about where we’d end up. Then suddenly I saw a sign that made me cry out in relief.

Stobo Castle – Scotland’s only destination spa

I should have trusted him and I should have remembered what a wind-up merchant he can be. Luckily the wee spud had excelled himself – the receptionist said some truly magic words:

“Your suite will be ready in half an hour so you can go in and get ready before your spa treatments.”

Even spending thirty minutes waiting in the bright atrium with a freshly squeezed juice and nothing to do but sit was a treat. We couldn’t stop smiling at each other.

Our suite was stunning – I felt like I was on the set of Downton Abbey. Two sets of patio doors led out onto a terrace with stone steps curving down to the lawn. Two enormous plumfy beds were against the wall opposite, the views in the morning would be stunning.

Room with a view

I noted the large bathtub (I love a deep soak) and a huge TV (Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley and Ussain Bolt were on Jonathon Ross that night) as well as a sofa buried under cushions and a beautiful fireplace. But there’d be time to enjoy it later, we had to slip on our robes and pad through to the spa.

The treatment rooms were minimal in their design and a lovely cool temperature. I lay for an hour in that suspended state of consciousness while the therapist eased away all the knots and tension spots. Afterwards I clutched my glass of water and sleepwalked out to meet Rod, who also had that dazed look. We rounded the corner and flinched as the sunlight poured through the glass wall that was the entire side of the swimming pool. With its infinity edge it felt a bit like floating at the edge of a waterfall at the top of a green wooded valley. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer and suggested we go back and enjoy our terrace. Rod agreed.

Living the high life

We lay with magazines, beers and sweeties for two hours uninterrupted. I’m just going to say that again, uninterrupted.

After a long bath and a lovely dinner we took a walk as the sun set. There was no traffic noise and very few other people -just fresh clean air and the reflection of the pinks and greys in the loch.

 

 

We woke up early (old habits) and breakfasted on smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and fresh fruit in the dining room. A breeze came through the half-open window and Rod spotted a hot air balloon on the horizon. We wandered back to the room, tidied up a bit and dressed but it wasn’t even ten o’clock, so we went out to explore. The Japanese garden was a wonderful surprise – as was the warmth of the day. We followed a path and came across a waterfall, a little wooden bridge and stepping stones, all beautifully designed and maintained. I loved it.

We wandered through the rest of the grounds, sat with a capuccino for a while and then had a light lunch back in the dining room before tearing ourselves away. We had a little boy waiting for his mum and dad to come home and we couldn’t wait to see him. What a brilliant 30th birthday present.

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Protected: Two achievements (kind of)

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Protected: Christening the wee man

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