Illusions Of A Parent And Car Safety

We all have dreams and ideas for our lives, our homes, our marriages,  our children. We dream of winning the Lotto or landing a big promotion. We dream of living in Mauritius with a Butler. We think big ideas regarding our future. We dream, we dream alot.

Then there’s the everyday type of dreaming; you promise yourself that tomorrow is the day you’ll have this parenting malarkey sussed and you map out your day, and even throw in a new creative activity you recently saw on Pinterest. Then real life shows up. It’s not even 9.30am and you need a double vodka, a big slice of chocolate fudge cake, and possibly a Strepsil to soothe your throat from all the yelling you’d promised yourself you weren’t going to do today, again.

Here are four dreams and romantic ideas of mine. They lull me into a false sense of dreaminess and make me think things are a good idea – when, in reality, if they don’t involve unwashed hair, pj’s, and not having to socialise with any other human beings, then it’s safe to say it’ll be a bad idea.

Lets go for a lovely drive

The dream – Let’s all hop into the family car and go for a lovely, autumnal drive. Let’s marvel at the scenery and sing along to our favourite songs. Let’s find a layby to stop and drink hot chocolate and enjoy each other’s company.

Reality – Nobody wants to go for a drive except momma. The kids karate chop each other across the seats. Momma thinks about car safety and quickly does a mental checklist; Are the coolant/water levels ok? Is the tyre pressure going to be ok and when did we last check it? Is the oil level ok? Do we have enough windscreen wash? Do all of our lights work? Is the boot free of unnecessary weight? Is everybody strapped into their seats properly without thick coats? Do we know where we are going? Right, all checked, meanwhile everybody argues over which music should be played. The car steams up and blocks everybody’s view of the scenery. The smell of the countryside makes the 5yo hurl. The hurl makes the 7yo cry. They both make momma cry. Daddy then cries after he feels a tyre blow! Forget the countryside we now need to find Kwikfit and something stronger than hot chocolate

Babycino dates with my handsome boys and my husband

The dream – We get dressed with minor fuss. Mummys hair looks great. Everyone is happy. We leave the house on time and remember everything. The journey is smooth and tearless. We order and take our seats. The boys eat the cake they chose without moaning or swapping. They sit lovely and use their manners. They drink their babycinos. We have a relaxing coffee with our lovely little boys.

Reality – The boys moan their way through waking up. Mummy is exhausted from being woken up every 45 minutes from midnight til 5am by a dehydrating three year old. The lounge floor is a Coco Pop assault course. Nobody likes milk this morning; it’s “poo poo!” Nobody wants a bath. Mummy has to karate chop pj’s off two flailing baby dragons. The bath is apparently boiling hot. Mummy slings two boys into the lava-temperature bath. Two boys get washed while doing a tantrum dance. Mummy is soaked. And mad. Nobody wants to get dressed but no choice is given. Have you tried dressing a wild coyote? Mummy gets ready in 10 minutes whilst playing referee. Daddy takes a bit longer. We leave the house 45 minutes later than planned. Mummys face sweats. Mummy forgets the changing bag. The journey is not moan free; it’s hot, the sun hurts, it’s cold, etc etc. We pull up at the coffee shop. Let’s start afresh. We order. We sit. D1 doesn’t like his chair. D2 will not swap. D1 now likes his chair. D2 now wants to swap. D1 wants Daddys cake. So does D2. No one sits still. Two dragons roar loud. D1 hits D2. A brawl occurs with a latte being piggy in the middle. People judge us. We quickly drink our coffee. We exit quick. The end.

The toystore visit

The dream – We promise our children a special treat from the big toy store for their good behaviour. We are all excited to visit the store, and feel a sense of magic. It will feel just like the Toys R Us advert. Our two children will be so excited and so grateful to us. They will hold our hand and dance down the aisle in amazement at all the wonderful toys on show.

Reality – There was no good behaviour yet we are still going to the toystore. The boys are excited. We arrive. D2 makes a getaway on the car park and runs fast. Good start. We go into the store. D1 wants the Lego aisle. D2 wants the dollies aisle. D2 lays on the floor and refuses to walk. We drag him to another aisle. We walk down the music aisle. D2 plays the keyboard. D1 pushes D2 off the stool for his turn. D2 bites D1. Timeout in a toystore is always a joyous time. Apologies are made. Fresh start. The bike aisle. D1 tests out a bike. D2 has climbed the shelf and is head first in a tractor. He screams when he is pulled out. Cue lying on the floor. After 45 minutes of pure stress we decide to leave. But not empty handed because we’re crazy like that! Anyone else? The end.

Let’s eat out for dinner

The dream – You want to spend some quality time with your family so decide to go out for dinner. You choose a child friendly restaurant and imagine the four of you enjoying a lovely meal as a family. The kids eat well and wait patiently for their pudding. You leave feeling full and proud.

Reality – You end up at Pizza hut because you know the icecream factory will be the perfect bribe for your children to behave well and eat their meal. It all starts well. D2 eats a crayon but that’s nothing abnormal. They choose their food. It takes 365 days to arrive. They get hangry. Crayons are thrown. Legs are jerked. Snarls are exchanged. The pizza arrives. Cue a break down because I won’t let my children eat molten lava pizza. It cools. They eat. They eat well. Mummy and daddys food arrives. Mid pizza the icecream tantrum begins. Everyone stares. We cave. The boys have dessert. Pizza hut call in Environmental Health to de-toddler the sprinkles and syrups counter. They have a second helping. We use four hundred baby wipes, 20 napkins, and we leave. The end.

But would we have it any other way? Yes! Yes we would 🤣

Rubbish Advice For Parents

When you become a parent you, unwillingly, attract the opinion of everybody you meet. Some people mean well, and others most definitely do not. You get advice during pregnancy, during the newborn weeks, during the terrible two’s, potty training advice, sleep advice, diet advice, school advice, advice about absolutely everything, and it drives you absolutely out of your mind!

Here is some of that advice I received during the first two years and what I thought about it…

“Get all the sleep you can before they arrive!”

Sleep?!? What is sleep? You lie down you have heart burn. You stand up you need a wee. You lie down and baby wakes up, with hiccups. You can’t lie on your side because it makes your hips hurt, you can’t lie on your back because you’ve heard it’s bad for the baby, you obviously can’t lie on your front because it is physically impossible 8 months pregnant. A pillow in between your legs is good, for 5 minutes, and then it’s back to aggravation about not being tired anymore, yet you’re exhausted. You take another swig of indigestion liquid and try again. Repeat all night long, every night. You try and nap in the day but the postman always knocks the door, or somebody visits, or you need to do the housework, or the thought of the ironing pile is making you have palpitations, and before you know it the day has gone and you didn’t catch up on any of this sleep you’re supposed to take advantage of when your baby is still in your belly.

Don’t let them them sleep in your bed, you’ll make a rod for your own back!”

What is this rod? Would it make a good pole to hang off and get some sleep because if it would then chances are a rod on my own back is just what I need. We all have different children, my first needed to sleep with momma, and my second needed his own space, and I obliged to both! Why you may ask? Because what it all boiled down to was I NEEDED SLEEP, and I didnt care how it came, I just needed it. So, unless you’re in my house babysitting at midnight and 1am and 2amm and 3am and 4am mind your own business about that rod on my back!

“Breastfeeding is better for your baby”

Breast is great, bottle is great, both ere food for my baby, and I’ll decide which is better for us both. I can’t even look at my nipples right now let alone imagine something using them to get their grub four hundred times a day, so don’t booby judge me!

“Let them cry it out!”

I tried this once, for 30 minutes, and I ended up crying worse than my baby, and I have never to this day done it again, I just cannot condition my child into knowing that if they cry it is useless because I wont come back until it’s morning. This is my choice, you have your own choices.

“Sleep when baby sleeps!”

Here’s a joke for you – Sleep…you don’t get it? Neither do I!

Six years on and I am still exhausted. Sleep when baby sleeps, say what?! So we better clean when baby cleans, and iron when baby irons, and food shop when baby food shops, and dust when baby dusts, and empty the trash when the baby empties the trash right? Just forget about sleep, at least for the first few years anyway! Sorry to rain on your parade, but it is normal.

Don’t keep picking him up you’ll spoil him!”

I’ll spoil him? With cuddles and love? Good! I want to, a baby never got spoilt by too much love. You cannot have too much love. My baby, my heart, my rules.

“Only give them homemade organic food.”

So, we tried this for a while, and it nearly made us bankrupt this organic stuff, joking, but you get my drift! Those pouches of freshly prepared food are amazing and convenient, and a momma needs convenience. There is hardly time to pee let alone whip up homemade cuisine daily. Don’t pouch judge me!

They should be potty trained by now (aged 2)!”

No way should they! They are all different, and until they are ready no amount of persuasion or anger or determination from you will potty train them, there are no rules, you have to follow their lead. I tried to listen to somebody’s advice once, and my floor was covered in pee on the hour every hour for 48 hours! And did Mrs Advice come help clean it up? Did she heck!

“Is he not walking yet? My child walked at 8 months!”

This backhanded advice really grates me! It’s like we have to have uniform children who reach each milestone at the same rate. No, my child walked at 13 months and my other child was too lazy to walk until they were 20 months, and both are doing just fine. Maybe your 8 month old has had enough of your comparing and needed to learn to walk to get away quicker! Oops, did I type that?

Don’t give your child a pacifier / dummy, it will ruin their teeth and slow down their speech development!”

Well both of mine had one, and they’re just fine, in fact they don’t ever stop talking, and I mean ever! I loved that pacifier like it was a child, it gave me a few minutes of peace when they were upset about teething, or they were tired and I couldn’t hold them both at the same time, or I just simply needed 2 minutes peace to buy a new jumper to replace the maternity one I was still wearing 18 months into being a mum!

Don’t ever let your children have candy!”

Have you seen the power of bribery a lollipop holds? It speaks for itself! Who’s with me?

 

Have you had any unwanted advice that was a load of rubbish? I’d love to hear it!

 

Dear (Additional Needs) Parent

I know as a parent we all cry at one time or another over our child, each of us for very different reasons, but all of us because we love them so very much. Sometimes we cry happy tears, then sometimes tears of frustration stain our faces, and other times it’s because our heart breaks for them.

Every family suffers it’s own hardships and circumstances, some are temporary, some are long lasting, some of them are the cards life dealt you, and others are devastatingly permanent, but one thing remains to get us all through these hard times; love. Above anything else, just love.

Love can change your perspective on almost anything, and does the world of good for your soul, and sometimes it’s the only thing you have to offer.

One of my boys suffers with severe anxiety as well as Sensory Processing Disorder and he has recently been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, and it often breaks my heart watching him struggle knowing that I cannot change things for him. All I can do is support him, guide him, and show him unconditional love. I cannot change the way his brain functions, but I’ve had a huge role to play in the way his heart functions. I fill it with love, encouragement, praise, solutions, confidence, and I try my hardest to ensure he has a healthy self-esteem.

Some days I can conquer the world with him, and we navigate our way through the problems, and the thoughts, and the behaviours, but other days I cry for him after hours of meltdowns and aggression. I peek at him whilst he is drifting off to sleep and I hear him sob. I ask him what’s wrong. Sometimes he doesn’t even know. Other times he has dreams that were so nice he didn’t want to wake from them, or dreams that were so scary he thinks they are real. Sometimes he dreams of another boy just like him who understands him and hugs him tight. This is the one that gets me in the gut and upsets me to the core, he must feel lonely, in his own world, and like he isn’t understood. I hate this feeling he has so much but all I can do is reassure him, validate his feelings and reaffirm his worth.

Some days I watch him play Lego, his familiar territory. He sets up scenes and recreates movie scenes. His eye for detail and accuracy astounds me, but sometimes it scares me. His little brain is so full and he is so hard on himself if any detail is wrong. I wish he would be easier on himself, but all I can do is love him, reassure him that it’s ok to think how he does, and try and extend his play to help him be more spontaneous. It’s hard teaching him that perfection is not always possible, his brain craves perfection at all costs.

School holidays are another time that often renders my heart broken, the dreaded night before the new term begins especially. The anxiety grips his tummy and he lashes out at everything and everyone. He goes into full flight or fight mode and nothing can soothe him, we have to ride the wave and hope it ends sooner rather than later. All we can do is reassure him, cuddle him, talk things through. It hurts my heart that I cannot help further.

There are so any routines and habits that have to happen in order for his world to feel at peace, some of them are cute little quirks that we all have, but some are a matter of urgency and must be done, and done correctly. I wish I could switch his little mind off and give him a rest. He must be so tired sometimes of the constant battles and urges.

As a parent it is heartbreaking not being able to help your child, and sometimes it gets too much. But that’s ok, we are not robots and we have feelings, strong feelings.

But, we have to be warriors for our children, and not worriers! Worrying drains the life from you, and your child needs that life, they need your hope and your reassurance. They need to share your courage when they cannot understand their own world.

I worry so often that I’m failing my boys, but when push comes to shove I’d give my last breath if it meant they’d get one more. I’d fight to my death for them. And that is what counts.

Sometimes I don’t have a solution or an answer, but I always have a cuddle, I always have a kind word, and I always have love. Love has seen us through many tough times, and I know it will continue to because it’s the only thing that never grows tired. My hope dwindles, my soul gets weary, my heart gets broken, but my love remains strong, and always will.

Additional needs parents you do an amazing job, and it’s a big learning curve too, keep going, keep loving, keep being their warrior! Never worry about being ‘normal’. Normal doesn’t exist! What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly!

The World Of Siblings

I am an only child. I’ve never experienced sibling love or rivalry. I didn’t have to share my loved ones or my toys. I didn’t wear hand-me-down clothing, and I didn’t have to share my room. I don’t know what it’s like to have a sibling, or what the ‘normal’ is in regards to your siblings.

I know nothing about sibling relationships.

My two boys are now 5yo and 6yo, and I often find myself asking my husband if this is normal behaviour for siblings. Are sibling relationships really meant to be like this? Should I be wanting to pull my hair out several times a day? My husband has both brothers, and sisters. He usually just laughs at me like I’m crazy for even asking, but I do question them in my mind, a lot.

Is it normal to sneakily punch your younger brother on the way past him?

Is it normal to ask your brother to smell your feet?

Is it normal to ask your brother to hold a bogey for you?

Is it normal to compare ‘toe fluff’ with that of your brothers toes?

Is it normal to randomly lick your older brother?

Is it normal to push your brother down the slide backwards?

Is it normal to chase your brother with ‘cheesy puff fingers’ and make him cry because he hates the smell?

Is it normal to wrestle like your arch enemies?

Is it normal to make your little bother ‘walk the plank’?

Is it normal to force your brother to have ‘fake medicine’ and be your patient?

Is it normal to nearly lightsaber your brother into oblivion?

Is it normal to push each other so often?

Is it normal that everything has to be a competition?

Is it normal to offer your brother a piece of candy only because it fell on the floor?

Is it normal to splash each other until tears occur in the bath?

Is it normal to pee over your brother in the bath?

Is it normal to constantly tell tales on one another?

Is this what brothers do?

My husband says yes, unreservedly yes! I have no choice but to believe him, and enjoy this crazy-chaotic-sibling relationship.

In the mean time I’ll stick to strong coffee, chocolate and rest in the fact that if I do end up pulling my hair out I can always turn to Advanced Tricho Pigmentation Treatment for a little help! 🤣

Here’s to a funfilled next few years with my little rascals!

 

 

Seen On The Screen

The UK and Northern Ireland have so many wonderful places, rich in character and wonder, so much so that many films and tv series use it as their scene setters. From wonderful castles to cloud laden mountains, the views are stunning. And in particular Northern Ireland which has become such a popular location with film producers in recent years. It has stunning, varied landscapes and surroundings, some of which may look very familiar if you are a fan of certain movies and series.

If you’re interested in looking into where your hometown has been featured in films and on TV shows then you can find out here as part of the PCA Predict #SeenOnTheScreen campaign. You’ll be surprised at the results! I was!

Game of Thrones has used Northern Ireland for various scenes, some of which may surprise you. Locations range from River Quoile, County Down which is Old Valyria Canal, Essos, Pollnagollum Cave, County Fermanagh which features as the Brotherhood Without Banners’ Hideout, Ballintoy Harbour stars as The Iron Islands and Murlough Bay, County Antrim features as the Coast of Essos. Also, Belfast’s Titanic Studios is the scene setting of some of the interior shoots including The Eyrie and Throne Room.

I absolutely love GOT, and even more so that alot of it is filmed within the beautiful setting of Northern Ireland.

The fabulous Line of Duty Series 3 is also set in Northern Ireland, with series 2 having been filmed in Belfast.

The Fall is currently having it’s third series filmed within Northern Ireland too.

Aswell as tv series scene setters, Northern Ireland has featured in a lot of movies both big screen and local; Cupcake, Keith Lemon The Movie, Killing Bono, Highrise.

It’s easy to see why Northern Ireland is used for so many feature productions, it’s so beautiful.

 

 

Zomlings Series 6 Review

We are huge, huge fans of Zomlings here! My boys discovered them last year and they’ve loved them ever since! They are such a great, affordable collectable. The blindbags are only 50p!

The Starter Pack is also great value at £4 as it comes with a playmate poster. My boys love the mats!

Zomlings are aimed at ages 4 to 7.

We were so excited to be able to take a look at Zomlings Series 6. This series is called Zomlings In The Future, and there are 105 figures to collect. It also includes hi-tech futuristic vehicles.

In this series there are also 6 rare silver Zomlings, 3 limited edition gold Zomlings, and some very special gold Zom-Mobiles to look out for.

Zomlings are such a great pocket-money toy, but there are now higher end items to purchase to expand your collection; Magic School Trick (rrp £5), Pirate & Race Blister Packs (rrp £12), Magic School Bus (rrp £25.

Zomlings are available in so many places; Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, One-stop and various other shops and newsagents.

To find out more you can visit www.magicboxint.com .