Monday 28 January 2013

The Top 40

So Sainsbury’s recently conducted a survey asking the sum total of 2000 mums what they considered to be their Feel Good factors.  Some weird things were mentioned like cheese (I know!) bubble baths, (who has the time for those any more) the old reliables like flowers and chocolates and the obligatory saucy knickers (please!) also got a mention.

I felt a tad condescended upon so I decided to go and have a look for myself. 

The following are their findings.  My replies would be in red.

  1. A partner gives you a cuddle spontaneously (Eh, no!  Why?  What are they after? )
  2. Comfortable underwear (In other words, granny knickers.  Nothing “good” about that)
  3. Someone tells you that you’ve lost weight (Implying you were/are fat in the first place)
  4. Buying a present for someone which they’re obviously pleased to receive (But you could have saved money had you not needed to buy it in the first place)
  5. Sexy underwear (Eh, wrong again.  Sexy underwear includes push up bras and dental floss knickers.  Your boobs were never intended to be way up under your chin/s and arse floss is not comfortable!  Victoria Secret models smile because they are paid mega bucks to, not because their “wonderpants” are comfortable!) 
  6. Finding a bargain (Coz no-one else wants it. That’s why it’s a bargain)
  7. Receiving flowers (Hhmmmm, maybe.)
  8. Being bought a present (ok, might have to give you that one)
  9. Someone tells you that you look younger than you are (I do look younger than I am.  I do!)
  10. A stranger complements you on your style (Stalker alert!!!!)
  11. Tucking into a bar of chocolate (Guilt trip ahead!)
  12. Being asked where you bought something (Ah come on.  Random or what?  Everyone knows the answer to that one: PENNEYS!!!!)
  13. Catching up with old friends (Less of the old! So I’m “catching up” and they’ve all been on holiday and I haven’t.  Their kids are all in school and mine aren’t.  Some of them are going to the gym that afternoon and the cinema at the weekend and I’m not etc. etc.  Should have stayed at home! )
  14. Fitting into an outfit you thought was too small (Ok, that’s your second freebie)
  15. Reading a brilliant book (But it ends!!!!  They all do!)
  16. Having clean teeth (Because you don’t have clean teeth every day?  Twice a day?  Who made up this quiz?)  
  17. Having a meal cooked for you (Don’t know about you but beans on toast isn’t a meal.  *Sorry, dear* Now, if it was a baked fillet of salmon with miso dressing from Lemongrass………)
  18. Shopping (Who has money for “shopping?”  I take it, Quiz Master, you are not talking about the weekly shop?  Didn’t think so!)
  19. Someone notices you’ve had your hair done (Proper order!!!  I have just had it done.)
  20. A proper hug from your son/daughter (I get those every day.  Several times. *still nice though*)
  21. Getting dressed up for a night out (Maybe another freebie)
  22. A sale in your favourite shop (See no. 6 above.  And that’s cheating.  You’ve repeated yourself!)
  23. Being told your children are well behaved or clever (Who says they’re not?  Come on then????)
  24. A bubble bath (Not unless there are chocolates, candles and wine.  And Serious Alone Time)
  25. Seeing a new play / exhibition (Not for me, thanks)
  26. Buying a new bottle of perfume (Another no.  My signature scent is eau de Mammy)
  27. Going out for lunch with friends (Tut tut. Another double up.  See no. 13 for same question but worded differently)
  28. Winning a debate (I’m talented like that!)
  29. Getting praise from the boss (How condescending of you!!)
  30. A child thanks you for having them to tea (Yeah, that’s a nice one, alright.  Ok, another one in the hat)
  31. A spa day (No. 24.  Come on!)
  32. Exercise / playing sport (Yes!  At last!  Just when you were beginning to think I’m a difficult cow)
  33. Showing off a new handbag (Right, I’m taking those brownie points straight back!  FFS!)
  34. The DJ plays your favourite song on a night out (Yeah, not bad.  Not bad)
  35. Watching a box set (Is it MacGyver?  Coz if it’s not…………..)
  36. Your children are doing well at school / sport (Now you’re gettin’ the idea!)
  37. Taking heels off at the end of the night (hmmm.  I know what you mean but taking them off usually means the night is over and I have to go back to reality. 
  38. Recycling clothes (Maybe.  But only because I’ve managed to clear some clutter.  Altruistic?  Me?)
  39. Eating cheese (Chocolate cheese?  Who gets a feel good buzz from eating cheese?)
  40. Doing a great job at work (See no’s. 20, 23 & 30.  I always do a great job at my work)

What are your favourite Feel Good Factors?  Just one will do.      

Friday 25 January 2013

Spending a Penny with Four Kids

It ain’t easy folks.  It just ain’t.  What do you do when you are in the supermarket with a half full trolley, four kids and the three and a half year old suddenly goes into Michael Jackson mode and clutches his front nether regions? 

It’s hard to miss the jigging up and down but it’s the little face that catches my attention every time.   

He looks at me with huge, bulging eyes and his lower lip caught between his teeth.  Sometimes he makes an urgent um um um noise.

Me:  “Do you need to use the bathroom, Liam?”

Liam:  “No.”  (But he is nodding his head.)

I promise, I’m not that scary so I don’t know why he looks like I am going to make him pee in on top of the flowers.

If the supermarket is quiet, I ask Oldest Boy to take him.  But on this occasion that wasn’t flying with Liam.

Liam:  “Conor can’t wipe my bum, Mammy.”

And I suppose he can’t.  Note to self:  Forget trying to get them to clean up after themselves.  Teach them to wipe each other’s tushes instead.

So back to my question: What do you do when you have a heaving trolley, four cling-ons and one of them needs to “go?”

Bring ‘em!  Bring ‘em all!

I think on these occasions using the disabled toilet is allowed if the parent and toddler room is otherwise occupied. 

It’s a bit safer and quicker too.   The parent and toddler room in the supermarket we frequent has way too many distractions for my liking. 

Namely: a rocking chair, a smelly (absolutely foul smelling) bin, one of those wave-your-hands-in-front-of-me-and-I-will-spit-out-twenty-five-trees-worth-of-blue-tissue-paper machines, Winnie the Pooh stickers that are thankfully too high up for them to peel off the walls, soap dispensers and a nice baby change area that they like to climb up onto.

Seriously though, makers of public rest-rooms, you need to start making bigger cubicles for parents of two or more kids.

I rarely get to visit the bathroom, any bathroom, unaccompanied.  I am thinking of contacting the Guinness Book of Records with my attempt at cramming as many kids as possible into one small space.

Previously this title was held by my parents, with their own small parish, namely us, climbing out of our orange car outside the church of a Sunday morning in Catholic Ireland.  At one stage I think they even managed to pack a Moses basket in there.

But back to the public lavatories.  Last weekend in a shopping centre I found myself in the usual predicament of using the facilities with the lads present.  I was trying to prevent one of them from opening the door by keeping my foot pressed against it.  No mean feat when you are also trying not to squash a second one against the wall whilst trying to stave off a hit and miss situation.

I gave up and removed my foot.  The door was subsequently pushed open by an unsuspecting young wan who got an eyeful.

I’m sorry if you are still crying but the noise levels should have been your first clue that several people were in there.

Oh for the days when all that accompanied me into the bathroom was a small shelf load of toiletries and several large fluffy towels.


Monday 21 January 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow. I hate ya, tomorrow.

When my kids ask me questions, particularly the “can we have that ridiculously expensive and absolutely useless large piece of plastic on the telly, please?” I tend to say, “Yes.  Absolutely.  Some day.” 

They’re content with that.  All they want is to be answered.  But naturally enough there are plenty of times when they are not satisfied with the answer.  Like when the answer doesn’t suit them. 

Another question our lot like to throw at us on a regular basis is: “What are we doing today, Mammy?”  Usually first thing in the morning.

If it’s the weekend, that’s an easy one to answer.  A little treat is in order as we’ve all completed the daily grind that is Monday to Friday.  

“We’ll go for pancakes and a hot chocolate, will we?”

Followed by a resounding “yay!” multiplied by four.  Even Smallest Boy knows the Saturday morning routine at this stage.

Not so jolly on Monday morning’s though.  Have you noticed that?

Last week we had quite a lot on.  It was also the second week back at school since Christmas holidays and they still hadn’t settled properly back into routine.  The weekend saw the return of a favourite activity: swimming lessons.  Followed by a birthday party.

I thought I was on a cheering them up crusade when I reminded Happy Chappy Liam of this during the Tuesday Trials.

“I’ve got a nice surprise for you.  We’re going swimming at the weekend.”


“No. Not tomorrow.  Saturday.  After breakfast.”


“No.  In four more sleeps.”

“Is that tomorrow?”

“………………………………………………….nnnnoooo.  In another little while.”

“Tomorrow, then.”

“Oh, ok.  Yes.  Tomorrow.” C’mon.  You’d give up too.  I thought I’d settled that one, especially as he as nodding in the agreeable way he does.  And then he comes out with:

 “What are we doing tomorrow?”


Friday 18 January 2013

Juno the Cat Burglar

Awwww, I thought.  Isn’t that cute?  Smallest Boy is waking me up by giving me a nice, good morning kiss.  Ok, so it’s a bit slobbery and…………….. Jayzus Brendan!  Did you eat a dead mouse overnight?  Your breath stinks! 

Ohfuckthat’snotbrendanlickingmyfaceit’sthefuckingdog!  Yuk! Eeeewwwww!  That’s disgusting. 

Our Juno loves me.  She loves us all.  And we love her too.  Particularly Smallest Boy.  Their connection is uncanny.  I wrote about this kinship previously so I won’t repeat myself.  Check out to see for yourself. 

This is a post about Juno.  Our clever, lovely, shiny black lady.   Don’t worry, I haven’t morphed overnight into the world’s biggest dog fan or anything but I am particularly fond of our mutt.  It’s hard not to be.  When you live with an animal (yeah, yeah smart arse down the back.  Those are my kids you’re dissin’!)  As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, when you live with an animal that is as clever and sensitive as Our Juno you begin to view the furry creatures in a whole new light.

She was ours for just three months and she figured out why someone who is such a shite cook, (that would be me) spends so much time in the fridge.  She twigged that is where the chocolate lives.  The real humans in the house still haven’t sussed that one.

These days Juno will sit on the floor and stare with her head on one side as I am having some chocolate.  When none is forthcoming, for her, she will step forward, place her chin on my thigh and put a little bit of pressure behind it.  She literally presses with her jaw and turns up “the eyes” a notch, knowing I am powerless to resist such cuteness and she gets her prize.

Her latest trick is being able to open the back door with her paws to let herself in.  There is a three and a half year old in the house who has trouble with this door and Juno has it nailed.   
I am fervently hoping she learns how to close it behind her.

She is also our doggie in the window.  Whenever we are in the car, she jumps onto the couch and looks out forlornly as we drive off and desert her, leaving her with no water and food.  For two weeks at a time.

No. Of course we don’t do that! 

Are you mental?

But she makes me feel like we do.

A school run takes anything from half an hour to an hour in the morning because I like to chat to the Other Mothers and sometimes maybe have a coffee and scone with Mister Husband afterwards.  Juno is always watered and fed before we go.  She has her morning toilet and she even gets to have a little telly time with the boys. 

Most mornings she will even get one of those little puppy markie treat thingy’s to entice her back in to the house before we leave.

It seems our there-is-no-way-she-will-be-allowed-come-into-the-house-dog is well and truly a house dog.  I couldn’t, wouldn’t leave her outside. 

One time she jumped into the car with us as I was loading the troops for a school pick up.  Grand I thought, it’ll be good for her to get used to the car.  I’ll do it in stages, I thought.  To the school is not far.

I started the car and she did her little WTF wobble and fell flat on her arse.  The lads roared laughing and I did my Driving Miss Daisy impersonation out the gate.

Shortly a wet nose appeared around the corner of my seat followed by a shiny, black body. 

The first clue that she wasn’t happy.  I was still doing 10k.

Then the howling started.  Oh wait, she urinated into the little holes in the floor first.  The ones where the extra seat would slot into. 

So first she weed everywhere with fright and then the howling started.  The most eerie sound I have ever heard.  And I know what foxes sound like in the dead of night.  Scary bejayzus stuff.  I have heard cats screeching and yowling their heads off during mating rituals.  Horrible sounds.  Horrible.

I am also familiar with the fracas small children make when they are beating the crap out of each other over a piece of Lego.  This is the worst sound yet.

Until the day Juno howled in the car.  After she wee’d.  Did I mention that she wee’d?
I got to the top of the road, took a left instead of a right and drove back home. 

The dog jumped out as soon as I opened the car door.  She skittered, slid and scrabbled her way over the gravel to the front door where she practically clawed her way back into the house.

I think it is fair to say she didn’t like the car.

She is due to be neutered next Friday. (My poor baby!)  I might have to carry her in on my back.