Friday, 24 February 2012

Teen Toddlers !

Miss C or The Hulk?

The other day the very sweet Rhiannon from happened to tweet me this 'ooooooh, how do the teen years compare with the baby years?' Now she was merely asking an innocent question and please for one minute don't think I was giggling at her.... because I truly wasn’t! But when I read her tweet I cackled so loudly with irrepressible laughter, that Doris the cat awoke from her cat nap with a start, sporting a bottle brush tail of shock and fear! I suppose I just felt a sense of Oh God you really don't wanna know! Rhiannon bless her (Buffyness!) had unknowingly provided me with a troubling dilemma? How on earth should I answer her tweet? Should I be honest and risk spooking her, thus possibly taking the 'happy edge' off her next 12 years or so of parenting? You see her little ones are well.... little and precious and I wouldn't like to be responsible for any feelings of dread, whilst she waits for them to morph from TWA (Toddlers With Attitude) to TWA (Teens With Attitude) ! Or maybe I could sugar coat the reality, water down the truth and basically lie about how great it is once the little ankle biters grow up? You see thinking about it there really isn't much difference between the toddler years and the teen years. Even the acronym is the same! (Acronym is the property of Melissa from btw).

Oh bum cheeks! What to do? I could ignore Rhiannon's Innocent question?

However never being one to shy away from a 'challenge' and after a long, hard think I've pretty much decided to tell it as it is! But I urge you to remember that I'm far from a 'Teen' expert. I only own one teen and well to be honest she's always been a pest! So whilst what I am about to tell you is true, it's only my experience and there are NO typical teenagers so yours may well be totally different...oh bobbins the lying has already begun...

So when my squishy little bundle of baby girl was born, looking like a chewed up, spat out toffee, it will come as no surprise to you that I immediately fell in love with her. And of course I've loved her unconditionally ever since but by God she was a challenging baby, toddler, junior and now nearly 17yrs old she's still got 'character' (that's a polite way of saying she's a pain in the ar*se)!

So here you are, this goes out to all you hardworking, loving parents who are simply trying to do the best job possible raising your kids. It's not advice, simply my observations!

Sleepless Nights!

Well we all expect sleepless nights with a baby and young toddler, it's the way life is! There's the feeding, teething, night terrors, moving from a cot to a 'big' bed and many simply unexplained reasons why they wake you up! With my teenager Miss C, it's pretty much the same! Whilst Miss C doesn't necessarily require my close presence during the night, she stills keeps me awake. She's developed a nocturnal sleeping pattern of staying up until the early hours of the morning, tapping on her laptop, texting, watching TV and BBM'ing! The constant low humming noises resonating from her bedroom are not conducive to my drifting peacefully into sleep. I've been known to sit bolt up right in bed convinced the humming is a swarm of killers bees out to kill me. We have tried removing said items from her bedroom, it's just they seem to slip silently back in under the cover of darkness?

Even worse than the above, are the occasions when she's out at a party and if it's my turn to ferry her and a bunch of her mates home, it means staying up way past my 10.30pm bedtime curfew. It involves driving through the streets at un godly hours, following Homer Simpson (Mr PB voice of choice for the Sat Nav) in my pj's and NO MAKE UP! Or even if she's getting a lift home, I just don't settle until I hear her key in the door and summon her to my bedroom, to show me she can still walk in a straight line, thus proving she hasn't been drinking more than the thimble full of alcohol we now allow her to have!

Once she's asleep, so am I, but then comes the morning debacle that is getting her up and with it, all the stress that ensues. I know, I know it isn't strictly my responsibility to get her up out of bed and ready for college, but if she misses the bus then it is me who has to take her. If I refuse to drive the 30-min round trip there and back it would be 'my' fault that she couldn't get to lessons, especially as my car is sitting idle on the drive!

Endless Washing!

Babies are known to create mountains of washing and ironing. There are nappies, sick stained, dribbled on, wee soaked clothes and bibs! Babies often need changing 2-3 times a day! Step forward Miss C.... she also requires multiple outfits, not being able to wear the same clothes for college more than once a's illegal apparently? Oh and there's the myriad of bras requiring different strap combinations for different types of top! When I was a teen I had two bras, one on, one in the wash. She also owns the teens staple item of clothing for 2012, a must have 'onesie'. Which is basically a big babygrow complete with feet, which Miss C changes into as soon as her feet cross the front door...and so she remains snug and cosy and comfy buttoned into it until the next morning! It seems a tad lazy.... don’t you think?

All this creates masses of washing (although in the interest of self development I now make Miss C iron her own clothes), and coupled with fact that she's too damn lackadaisical to take her clothes off and hang them back up, well my washing basket becomes stuffed with garments that don't honestly need washing. Still it's the easiest and quickest option for her to dump them there I guess!

Teaching Language Skills!

As a new parent I spent hours of my precious, valuable time teaching my little rug rat to form words and communicate.... after all it made life so much easier for us when she was able to convey her needs. Oh and how smug did it make me feel when my toddler seemed to have an above average vocabulary? So when she turned 13yrs old and lost her ability to speak properly, it became somewhat frustrating! As a normal previously understood child Miss C developed the language of an entirely different species? She spoke using only slang words, words that no longer seem to mean their original meanings; with random lists of letters strung together apparently making new words and text speak that nestled comfortably amongst incoherent grunts. These were all used to form rather short sentences. This new language can only ever truly be understood by other teens and only aids the already widening gap between teen and parent! However after nearly four years studying this language, I'm fairly fluent, I may even go, as far as to say I'm bilingual! Although the thing is whilst I can understand Miss C, I'm not entirely sure what other teens are often saying? It's like the way a parent of a toddler can only really understand his or her own child's gobbledegook!

Answering And Fighting Off (with a shitty stick!) A Constant Barrage Of Pointless Questions!

Oh how toddles love to express their opinions, likes and dislikes and enjoy making themselves heard. The most common words shouted repeatedly and VERY LOUDLY being NO! and WHY! Equally irritating and soul destroying singular words which often require much more than a one word response. Teens are exactly the same, although they do tag a few extra words on, just cause they can! Here are some of Miss C's favourites...

'Why won't you pay for my diving lessons, 1st year insurance and then buy me a car to drive to college'?

'Why do I have to be in by 11.30pm on a college night...nobody else does '?

'Why do I have to iron my own stuff, make my bed, put my plates in the dishwasher?'

'NO I'm not coming out with you, I have college work to finish! (translated as, you're my parents and therefore hideously embarrassing and to be seen with you with actually wreck my life....)

'NO I don't expect you to pick up after me' (although I know you will cause you have 'Mother' OCD and would spontaneously combust if a wet towel stayed on the floor for more than a nano second)

There are tonnes more but to be honest even though she's not actually here right now saying them, my ears are still starting to bleed listening to her voice inside my head!

Tantrums, Sulks and Feet Stamping!

Ooh how us parents love the Terrible Two's! A famous yet natural and fully expected stage of parenting we all experience right? Well even if you do manage to negotiate this challenging phase and smugly glide through the next 6-8 years or so...don't bask in the sunshine for too long! Teens are world experts at throwing a paddy/strop/or sulk at the drop of a hat. Miss C can be fine and dandy one minute and then without warning mutate into the Incredible Hulk, complete with green skin, ripped jeans and dodgy hair! The cause could be anything from serious (being grounded, having to pick her younger sister up from school), to the less serious, (chicken again for tea, no clean tights or being asked to change a toilet roll)

Babies and toddlers can often be selfish, emotionally draining and repetitive...add to that sarcastic, dismissive and immature and you have a ‘Teen’!

Eating Out!

I love eating out but when my kids were little it was always an experience that carried an undercurrent of tension. No matter how well prepared I thought I was, jam packing my bag with toys, wet wipes, plastic spoons, rice cakes, pureed food, bibs, dummies etc I could NEVER be sure the meal would run smoothly. Eating out with a teen is yes you've guessed it not dissimilar, well at least they carry their own paraphernalia. Necessary items to take are i.pods, Blackberry's, kindle, headphones, star flower capsules to administer, in case of emergency hormone re- balancing (Miss C not me) and Kalms! Oh and a hearing aid and translator for when she's mumbling under her breath cause she's seriously bored now and asking if we have to order pudding, as Hollyoaks is about to start and she wants to leave. I put my foot down at the risk of 'ruining her life' and calmly tell her we're not ready to leave. She then starts eyeing up the fit bar staff and flicking her hair like 'Miss Piggy' in a flirtatious manner! What with the stress of it all, I loose my appetite for pudding, we leave, she gets to watch Hollyoaks and I down half a bottle of Kalms mixed with rum!

Phew! So OK I'm sorry I seem to have made living with a teen sound like hell on earth! Which any sensible well-rounded realistic parent knows it isn't. Remember all the melt your heart moments you experienced with your little ones, well you still get those when they're teens. Honest! Miss C can be thoughtful, funny, makes a fab cup of tea and if bribed can be an excellent on site babysitter for her sister! Oh and the best bit about owning a teen? ... the fun you can have embarrassing them and getting your own back! It's so, so easy...simply loiter near them when their mates are round, dance when in public with them and pick them up from work outside the front door! Miss C requests that I park a respectable 5 minutes walk away, I never do Mwahahaha. Is this because she doesn't want her mates to see me?

So I hope I've given you an insight into just how similar the baby/toddler years are to the teen years. I hope I haven't frightened any of you into moving out on the eve of your child's 13th Birthday, although I would recommend erecting an emergency shed at the bottom of the garden! Hey and who's to say your own teen will be anything like mine? Your teen may be a mold breaker, the 'perfect teen' the one you can travel the world with and show off to other parents! If you are or become the owner of this illusive creature PLEASE TELL ME, as I've yet to see one and I reckon they're as rare as hen's teeth!

Friday, 17 February 2012

What's on your MP3 Player?

The lovely tagged me in a meme yonks ago ( sorry ) ! I have finally got my bum in gear and completed it....not sure it was worth the wait though ?!!
So, what's it all about?
You have to put your MP3 player on shuffle and confess which five songs play first.
This could actually be very embarrassing!
So... Here goes!

U2- Unforgetable Fire truly awesome song ......           

Then Jerico - Big Area just adore this ......            

LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It! I'm so good at the dance ;)....       

Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner - Suck it and See - could eat this guy on a butty he's so cool!....         

Justin Bieber Baby! just because he's cute ;)!         

Phew that really wasn't so bad ! Now to tag some other lovely ladies who also know how to rock out !

Thursday, 16 February 2012

My 'Firsts'

I have been tagged in a meme by  and who are all wonderful writers and I just love reading their blogs.  So here are my ‘firsts’ !

First Boyfriend?

Ah now him I remember with clarity ! We were 12 yrs old and got 'together' at the school disco, you know with Madonna belting out 'Like A Virgin' and with me wearing a black/white checked ra ra skirt ! He was called Simon and was really 'hot' ! He swam for the local swimming club ( I still have a newspaper cutting of him in his trunks, tucked away in my 1983 diary ! ) We spent a glorious Summer together which involved copious amounts of 'snogging', bike rides and watching a decidedly dodgy copy of the Exorcist video, with Simon fiddling almost constantly with the tracking and me ! Until that is it all went pear shaped........For some ridiculous reason I decided to 'treat him mean' but sadly it didn't keep him keen and he ran off with/back to his best mate, who quite plainly played a far better game of footie than me !
Suffice to say, I learnt just how fiercely painful unrequited teenage love can be and spent the next 2 years watching him from a distance with an aching lust , whilst he 'went out' with another girl from school. To this day I still sometimes dream about him and wonder where he is..........

First person I kissed?

Are we talking proper full on french snog with tongues ? or pillow kissing ?! Ok , the full snog and all the awkwardness that it entailed was with a boy called Glen. I must have been about 10 yrs old ....I know I know very young, and although I'm a Posh Bird I was a bit of a tease as a kid ! It took place in a garden shed , not sure if it was his shed or mine ? but it did involve giggling, slurpy noises and bike handle bars digging into places I'd rather not mention. All in all I'd say it was beyond successful and opened my eyes to the wonder that is 'puckering up' !

First job?

Having left school at 16 I opted for a YTS scheme which had me working for an Insurance Company in my home town, giving motor insurance quotes. I can't deny that it was a right laugh, seeing as there were only 3 of us, with the manager being only 20 herself. Some work was done but only when the phone rang and required answering, or the door bell tinkled and an actual customer needed serving. It was whilst working here that I listened daily to the heart wrenching 'Our Tune' with Simon Bates and everything stopped at 11am as we all grabbed tissues and sniffed through the next 10 minutes !

First pay packet? What did you buy with it?

A whopping £26.50 from said Insurance Company, and after paying keep to my Mum of about a tenner I think?, the rest went towards a train ticket from Norwich to London. I had moved on finally from the ravishing Simon and had found myself a boyfriend in London! Most weekends were spent either on the train to London and back or waiting for the train carrying him to arrive !

First CD you remember buying?

I'm gonna cheat here just because it's my post and I can !
First Album I remember buying ?

This was U2's Unforgettable Fire ! I was obsessed with this band , fancied the drummer Larry like you wouldn't believe and had the usual books, albums and posters of them, like any normal tortured teen. To this day I cannot listen to The Unforgettable Fire track without being transported back in time, and getting goose bumps and shivers.....!

First holiday abroad?

I think I'm right in saying it was Florida aged 14/15 ?? or could have been Norway aged 15/16?? Not sure which one was first ! Both were great, if completely different and although it is nice to have done the whole Disney thing , if  I were to choose now I'd re-visit Norway. Those woolly cardigans are just a look I can 'rock' and ever so warm too ;)

What age were you when you moved out of your parents’ home?

I turned 17 in the December and by the following March I had packed up all my stuff, loaded it into a white van and jumped in the passenger seat with my boyfriend driving, and buggered off to London. I couldn't wait to escape. Not because I hated home life, more our little insular town. With it's limited excitement , lack of opportunities and well quite frankly in-bred inhabitants !  London was by comparison another world and I loved it ! I was skint but it didn't matter, ate mainly tuna and pasta and I spent all my time either working, travelling to work or drunk. It was without doubt... perfect !

So now I get to tag in two more fellow Bloggers: ( and these are fabulous bloggers too I might add ! )

Over to you ..........

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A 9 Year Old Legend !

I don't mind admitting it's been a tough couple of weeks, what with tummy bugs, MIL health issues, a pre-menstrual teenager and FFS I ran out of Green and Black's Organic Raisin & Hazelnut ! So when Little Miss H asked if I would post her latest literacy homework on my blog , I really wasn't sure ? Ok it's an easy win for me, I get a post and it requires zero effort on my behalf, but isn't it child exploitation !? ;)

Not according to Little Miss H ! She's desperate for it to go on, wants to see how many views it gets and she worked really hard on her writing ( she's a natural Mathematician and finds literacy a bit more challenging ) So this is for her ! I'm posting her Legend, which she wrote with no help whatsoever and I happen to think it's pretty darn good for a 9yr old......but I am her Mum ;)

Oh and it's all her own work, so all spelling and punctuation errors belong entirely to her !

Minomus and The Cheeagle!

Once a long, long time ago there was a very happy village on an island called Baffin, in Northern Canada. Until one terrible day, when the king of this happy village became extremely ill. He had a horrible illness. One dark winter’s night the king’s guard organised a gathering and announced a very important message. All the villagers gathered around the fire in the freezing, ice cold weather to hear what he had to say. " The king is extremely ill as you all know," announced the guard, " but now it is worse and he only has 3 days to live but at the end of today he will only have 2 days to live," the guard now became very upset, " and someone has to travel to the centre of the earth and back in 2 days to find the special flower to cure the king, otherwise he will die." The guard now started to cry.

His face as white as snow, a little boy stepped out in front of every one and shouted,"I will do it!" It was Minomus. He was only 10. Minomus had short, brown hair and blue eyes. All the villages were shocked, they couldn’t believe that little Minomus was offering to save the king. " Oh my beautiful boy I can’t believe you are offering to do such a dangerous thing," thanked the guard, " You will have to set off tomorrow morning to have enough time and you can’t go now because it is too late and too dark." With a face of pure joy, the guard stepped in front of Minomus, put his hand on his shoulder and whispered, " Go and get ready for tomorrow," So with that Minomus quickly ran off to pack a spare pair of clothes. He stuffed his pair of clothes into a tiny bag that his granny had made for him. Then he packed some rope just in case. Minomus went straight to bed eager for his big adventure the next morning.

Minomus woke up before any one else. He got his clothes on and put his woollen jumper on and the warmest fur coat he could find because it was the middle of winter and it was exceptionally cold. His nose as red as a tomato because it was freezing, he bravely but silently strolled out of the tiny village smiling and thought to himself in his head, " Come on Minomus you can do it!" Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Minomus could feel sweat dripping down his face as he turned around and looked up. He could see a tall figure. As he looked up and saw that it was only the king’s guard he started to calm down. "Pheeeeeeeew," he whispered as he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. "Hello Minomus," spoke the guard, " It is only me and I have come to give you this weapon because I think you might need it." The king’s guard handed Minomus a spear. "Thank you!" replied Minomus. Minomus tied the spear to his bag with rope that he had packed earlier that morning. Then they both said goodbye.

Minomus turned around and set off on his big adventure! Baffin was quite a big island so it took him all day to walk to the North Atlantic Ocean. When Minomus had reached the ocean he found a little wooden boat so he got in the boat and set sail across the ocean. He went to sleep in the boat because it was getting dark. Minomus fell fast asleep. When he woke up in the morning he was on another island. This island seemed to be neglected and it was extremely hot so he decided to take off his coat and his woolly jumper. Minomus decided to have a wonder around and see if he could find any clues to find were the centre of the earth was. With cheeks as red as apples because it was so hot, Minomus wandered the island looking for clues and saying over and over again, "There must be a clue somewhere." Until he saw a cave. Slowly, he strolled into the dark, colossal cave.

The cave was full of tunnels and passageways. It was damp and there was little light. Minomus thought that this might be a way to the centre of the earth so he walked into the passageway straight ahead. It began to get hotter. Carefully, he tiptoed through the tunnels. Until suddenly he heard a roar. Sweat dripping down his face, Minomus peered around the corner of a tunnel and whispered to himself, " what ever there is there you can fight it." Cautiously, he stepped out in front of the beast and saw that it was a…

Dragon! At this point it was extremely hot. The dragon was covered in green and red scales. Eyes like snakes stared at Minomus. The dragon was three times bigger than Minomus! Miomus’s face started to turn red, he started to fidget with his T- Shirt buttons. The dragon blew fire at Minomus but he dodged it. Minomus grabbed his bag, untied the rope and held the spear that the king’s guard had given him. He threw it at the dragon. The dragon roared with pain and then fell to the floor. Then Minomus tied his spear back onto his bag.

Minomus saw a shiny flower behind the dragon. His face began to light up; I’ve found it he thought I’ve actually found it, the flower to cure the king! Excitedly, Minomus shouted out with glee " I’ve found the flower to cure the king!" MinomusBut then he realised that he only had half a day to get back to the king and it had taken him 1 day to get there and half a day to get the flower so he wouldn’t have enough time to get back to the king. Minomus started to cry. But then he heard a voice from behind him. " It’s ok don’t cry I will help you to get back home in time," Minomus turned around and saw a half eagle, half cheater and a unicorns horn. The beast had an eagle’s head and wings, a unicorns horn and a cheaters body and tail. This beast was called the Cheeagle. Proudly, on topshiny flower behind the dragon. His face began to light up; I’ve found it he thought I’ve actually found it, the flower to cure the king! Excitedly, Minomus shouted out with glee " I’ve found the flower to cure the king!" Minomus grabbed the flower and ran back out the cave and ran to the ocean. He stuffed the flower in his bag. But then he realised that he only had half a day to get back to the king and it had taken him 1 day to get there and half a day to get the flower so he wouldn’t have enough time to get back to the king. Minomus started to cry. But then he heard a voice from behind him. " It’s ok don’t cry I will help you to get back home in time," Minomus turned around and saw a half eagle, half cheater and a unicorns horn. The beast had an eagle’s head and wings, a unicorns horn and a cheaters body and tail. This beast was called the Cheeagle. Proudly, on top of a colossal body stood a huge feathery head where a sharp, green horn shone brightly in the sun. Beautifully, the creature’s wings flapped up and down in the strong wind. The creature’s long tail ferociously thrashed through the air.

" Thank you!" replied Minomus.

" I can fly you back to your island if you want?" exclaimed the Cheeagle

" Yes please, can we set off now so we will get there in time?" asked Minomus

" Yes of course we can, just jump on my back and we can go!" replied the Cheeagle

So with that Minomus got on the Cheeagle’s back and the Cheeagle flew off over the North Atlantic Ocean. Minomus put his coat and his woollen jumper back on because it started to get cold. The view is beautiful thought Minomus. Finally, after 5 hours and 50 minutes they arrived. The first person to see Minomus was his dad. " Minomus is back!" shouted Minomus’s dad. The king’s guard came rushing over and took Minomus and the Cheeagle straight to the king. " Please can you give me the flower?" asked the kings guard

"Yes," replied Minomus.

Minomus gave the flower to the guard and the guard gave the flower to the king. The king took a petal off the flower and ate it.

Suddenly, the king became better! " Oh thank you Minomus you are my hero!" thanked the king, " but who is this?" asked the king " This is the Cheeagle!" replied Minomus, " he flew me back over the ocean so that I would get back in time to cure you, he saved your life not me."

" Well done Cheeagle!" rewarded the king, "you can stay with us in this village if you like and we will look after you!"

"Ok!" replied Cheeagle, " I will stay with you." So with that the Cheeagle stayed in the village with every one and they all lived happily ever after!