The dead rewrite Christmas songs now.

Okay.

So maybe I was dead after all. Seems plausible.

That’s settled then.

Until such time I want to torture you my dear (possibly imaginary) reader with my ‘woe is me’ pity party of the last *mumble* months my excuse is that I was dead.

Moving on swiftly before my excuse is thought about by anyone who has a degree in philosophy thus causing them to enter an inescapable reasoning loop for the rest of eternity (I risk losing a good third of my imaginary readership to this wretched trap).

The thing that has sparked me back to life like The Frankenstein’s monster’s ugly Stepsister is the direct result of the bulging lid I had been trying to keep on this whole ‘Christmas’ thing finally exploding off launching the children into Christmas song. The song was ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ and we spent a good while in the car trying to remember all the words. This led to some artistic licence and in turn led to me writing up a new set of lyrics. I left out the Boys offering of ‘On the fourth day of Christmas my truelove gave to me, four Apricots.’ but I hope you like what I came up with.

*Note to any non UK imaginary readers, A and E is the Emergency room and Lurgy is general grotty illness normally sourced from snotty children*

 

 On the first day of Christmas my children gave to me

A trip to A and E


 On the second day of Christmas my children gave to me

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the third day of Christmas my children gave to me

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the forth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the fifth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the sixth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the Seventh day of Christmas my children gave to me

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the Eighth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the ninth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the tenth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the eleventh day of Christmas my children gave to me

Eleven toys a maiming

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E


On the twelfth day of Christmas my children gave to me

Twelve bottoms burping

Eleven toys a maiming

Ten headaches humming

Nine teachers letters

Eight doors a slamming

Seven girls a screeching

Six boys a bashing

Five sleepless nights

Four bad excuses

Three weeks of lurgy

Two siblings fighting

and a trip to A and E

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Death of a dream

Day 15

So here it is, the final weekday of the Christmas holidays. This is the only school holiday of the year that I get to this point and I am not ready to show up at the school gates at 6am on Monday morning. It is the one holiday when I find myself thinking that maybe another week would be nice. It is the fact that there is never a clear week of the holiday when there isn’t an ‘event’ and associated public holiday. This wistfulness only lasts as long as the break between sibling arguments mind so never gets enough time to form into anything like yearning or a resolve for change, I see this as natures inbuilt self protection and I am grateful for it.

Once the children got home from their Fathers in the middle of the day we set out to first get the boy the haircut and then with plans to go into Oxford to find the 1 billion pound shop.

Clearly enough time for thought had passed to build a deep yearning for that 1 billion pound shop the boy had assured me lay waiting in Oxford because not once, but twice I completely ignored the fact our first stop was the local town for hair cutting and bill paying. After the first time I merrily ignored the turning for town and had then navigated myself back onto the correct route I suddenly realised why the boy had been repeating again and again that ‘This is the way to my doctors!’ from the back of the car. That was because I had yet again strayed from my path to the town and was heading off towards Oxford again.

I finally managed to block to lure to Oxford long enough to get us into town and after a spot of the boring task of paying bills we found ourselves waiting our turn at the hairdresser and I found myself yet again having to bargain with the boy that while Bieber hair may look cool to him he did need to be able to see past his fringe. We finally hit a compromise in which there where to be no clippers, the hair at the top could stay reasonably long but I would be able to see both eyes and ears at all times. The boy is happy with the results but has insisted gel shall be needed for the next school disco so he can perfect the ‘bed head’ style. Thankfully we have a whole term until that point and as he has a memory to rival my own I am hoping that if nobody says the words ‘Justin Bieber’ between now and that point I might just get away with it.

Next stop was to give in to the force dragging me into Oxford. Hitting traffic seduced us into giving the park and ride a try. It was a cruel lie. As soon as we where committed to the park and ride I could see that the traffic jam had completely vanished. The children at that point where full of the kind of enthusiasm for public transport only the under 10’s can have so there was no easy way out. I have become convinced that the traffic lights on that junction are set up as to make you think it is bumper to bumper traffic all the way into the city what ever the real situation may be just to trick you into using the park and ride.

On the bus ride the boy was as normal questioning me intensely on the lives and loves of every animal, mineral, vegetable that his eyes fell upon. He is of the unshakable opinion that I should know all and every detail about anything or anyone that his eyes fall upon and is only just starting to accept that outside the village I don’t always have all the answers. This resulted in my strangest moment of the day. The boy was questioning me about some people he could see from the bus window, when I was not able to satisfactorily answer the questions the boy pondered, ‘Maybe they are in mourning’. Oh. okay. Where did that come from? The boy has an expressive language disorder but he does love to throw some stuff out there just to keep everybody involved with him on the ball.

We couldn’t find the 1 billion pound shop. The girl found plenty of shops with pretty dresses and jackets. The boy found shops with superman braces and ties. I had to settle for a new bath mat and some towels. I’m very disappointed and in mourning for the loss of my happy hour browsing the shelves of the 1 billion pound shop.

Better late

Day 13

So yesterday, when I said I would double post today and fill in on the events of yesterday properly… well, I have slept since then and I have lost all the little details and my brain has reordered little more than was in the placeholder so, I shall leave to all to wonder for ever more. If you want to, you don’t have to or anything, feel free to never think of it again. As you were.

Onto today, the last day of a long, long year that seems to have only begun a week or so ago, it is a wonderful paradox that we all know so well. A year can be so full of so much both good and bad yet over in a flash. This is the way our brains save us from ourselves. I really hope it is most people and not just me otherwise you, my reader, are going to find me even more odd than you do all ready and I am going to have to admit that my life is a never ending chain of denial. I beg of you to just humour me.

First job of the day was to be very grateful for the friend who gave me and the children a lift to go and pick up my keys and Bob from the impromptu cinema sleep (park?) over. When we arrived at Bob we had some news for him. Within the flurry of slightly desperate text messages tinged with shame that followed the realisation of lost keys that enquired if a spare key for Bob was something that was in this realm of existence came the news that our fostering of Bob had been approved for a move to permanence, Bob shall be officially adopted into the family within the next few weeks. This approval may have simply been away to avoid having slightly crazed texts from a mad woman wittering on about keys and a mix up due to the odd reference to orphan Annie. Who knows, who cares, Bob is home.

Today was also the day of my Christmas dinner. I didn’t get one on Christmas day as the Christmas ready meals for one where all sold out and although I had a lovely roast dinner with the Bitch and Progeny on Boxing day a Christmas meal with the Boy and Girl was something the three of us wanted to share. Well they begged for ‘A Mummy roast’ and who could turn down that kind of charm (it is also possible that they asked to roast Mummy, I will just gloss over that possibility). So a week late but who is counting, the three of us sat down to eat far too much food on one plate and watch the Christmas Dr Who special. We had a cracking argument about crackers while our food sat cooling on plates in front of us so it was defiantly and without doubt a Christmas dinner. We scared the life out of daft cat by pulling said crackers and he retaliated by jumping into the Christmas tree and then setting upon LooBoo the Furby (Furby and cat have been engaged in a stand off worthy of a weston movie since the Furby landed on Christmas morning). Defiantly Christmas. The children then made it their life work to give me a headache bigger than my laundry pile until I sent them to bed at the first possibly opportunity. Defiantly Christmas.

So now I have the children tucked in upstairs, daft cat is just about ready to start talks on the level of compensation he requires for his trauma and I am ready to face the new year (or go to bed because I am old, broken and very sleepy). I don’t do new years resolutions. They often seem so definitive and rigid that it is only a matter of time until they are broken. In place of resolutions I do new years promises.

They are often broad and open to interpretation (got to love a good get out plan). I can not know where this next year may lead me or what kind of obstacles I may face so I like to give myself some options and hope for the best. This time last year for example I would not have predicted that by the end of the year I would be a single parent facing a very different type of future and if I have made a new years resolution to stop smoking you can be sure I never would have done so (because I am a contrary cow and happy to fight myself tooth and nail) but my not putting that kind of pressure upon myself I stopped smoking cigarettes in June (surprising myself more than anyone else I think).

So for 2015, what are my new years promises? I hope to remember to think of myself more, to remember that I matter. That I need things for myself and in doing so I am better for my children. I have been building this year on year for some time now and I am really starting to see results in the way I feel about myself and the way I am viewing my life as a separate yet harmonious entity from the lives of my children. I promise to work very, very hard at building my business, to gently push at my physical capabilities in order to earn the best living I can for my children and myself (I haven’t forgotten about the promise of a more detailed post on this subject). I promise to try and be just a little more social, to say yes a little more and use my new found ‘childfree’ evenings to best effect. Finally I promise to continue to champion my children’s needs. To make sure the boy is getting every bit of help and support he requires to allow him to access his education and the wider world to the same level as any other child of his age. To nurture the girls interests and talents, to find every way I can to help her get over her own hurdles. To help her find her way as she leaves young childhood and starts on the difficult road to puberty and all that brings. I guess it comes down to me simply promising to be the best Mum I can be to each of them on any given day. I am far from perfect and I will get it wrong but I hope we can learn from those times and above all have fun and love each other.

Urgh. That was entirely to soppy and ‘lifestyle’ Mummy. I promise I won’t be so vomit inducing for another year, hows that?

Happy new year!

Hair today

Day 10

After 2 days of not having to set an alarm or get up early I was savagely betrayed by my body this morning. I have no memory of my alarm going off at 7am this morning but I know it must have, I checked it before going to bed last night so my vindictive subconscious must have done away with it with malicious intent as it was the ringing phone that woke me. The phone that was ringing due to the fact I was to be in work at the community shop at 9am. It was 9.05am. Crap.

An impressive but not record beating 7 minutes later I opened my front door, thankful to the heavens for Bob and promptly switched from thanking to cursing. For the second year on the trot it has been the poorest effort of a winter but this morning Mother Nature had decided to pull a hard frost out the bag and every one of poor Bob’s windows was solid with frost.

Two more precious minutes and a lukewarm kettle later and I was finally off. I still had to wake up but that task had been deferred until further notice.

After a mornings work and a trip to Tesco to stock up for the return of the children later on in the afternoon what passes for my brain was just starting to come to and wonder what the rush was all about. Possibly due to this I returned from the shops with not only a weeks worth of food but also a box of hair dye and a terrible idea.

After deciding that dying the cat probably wouldn’t be as easy as I first thought I shifted my attention to my own neglected birds nest of a head. Nothing but brush and wash had been done to my hair since October 2011. The long gap between bouts of attention are not unusual for my neglected head, this is how I can remember when the last time it had been cut and coloured was but this interval had been unusually long even for me and had resulted in my hair becoming, well, unusually long.

I decided that if I was going to stick some colour on my hair there needed to be considerably less of it. I remembered back a day to a conversation along the lines of home hair cuts I had with the Bitch on boxing day so before I could gain any sense or perspective on the matter I contacted her and got her to guide my scissor hand via text message. It turns out that cutting my own hair is not all that dissimilar to cutting a horses hair and I do that allot. I wouldn’t like to try pulling my mane though so tried hard not to confuse myself.

With around 40cm of length removed from my hair I set about the job of dying it. The children arrived home to what looked like their Mother finishing the job of clearing up the murder she had committed while they where with their Father.

‘It looks like you killed someone Mummy!’ Were the boys first words to me as he arrived in the bathroom and peered into the bath. My concern is with just how exited he was at this prospect.

The biggest problem I have with my new hair is that due to plagiarising the home cutting technique from the Bitch I now have the same hair style as her. I can’t quite get used to that. Every time I pass a mirror I think the Bitch is stalking me.

IMG_0230

Pictured: Different

I have told the boy he can put the playstation on right after breakfast tomorrow since he hasn’t be able to play on his new games yet, this has nothing to do with me trying to make my morning getting used to having small people about again easier at all, non at all I tell you. The rest of the day shall either be spent playing games (computer and traditional), getting crafty with the crochet set the boy gave me and finding homes for all the lovely new things they have managed to gain over Christmas. We may break the day up with a trip to the cinema but that may be saved for Tuesday as I have found another adult to come with and share my pain but we have yet to pin down exactly when we will martyr ourselves for our children.

Voyage of discovery

Day 8

Being without children now until Sunday evening I enjoyed my first real sleep in for nearly ten years. This resulted in me sleeping until 11am and waking up in a rather high level of pain given that my morning medications where due at 7am. It took some time for me to pull myself together to face the day I had planned but I did eventually get myself going in the early afternoon. I threw some stuff in a bag, grabbed the plethora of charging cables a modern girl needs and the laptop. I was off, like I often did pre-children, on an adventure!

I asked my next door neighbour if they wouldn’t mind opening my front door and letting the cat out at some point then it was a quick stop on in order to feed and count the legs on the first random horse I could find before hitting the road (it had been very naughty) to Cambridgeshire to spend the night with the biggest bitch in the the galaxy and her eldest, now frighteningly adult, progeny.

After an uneventful drive and brush with Milton Keynes I arrived mid afternoon and took my place on the sofa to begin my 24 hours of blissfully doing as little as possible in somebody else’s house for a change.

At first I didn’t realise what was going on, I was just sitting trading insults with the bitch when out of the corner of my eye the television caught my attention. The character being controlled by the progeny had just been killed by a giant scrotum that had descended upon him. Then I noticed what was going on in the background and my mind shall never be the same, I had the strongest need to bleach my eyeballs and then brain. Welcome to the game ‘South Park, The Stick of Truth’.

I used to watch South Park but haven’t done so for very many years for no other reason than if got a bit old and tired for me personally. I had heard there was a South Park game and it was rather, er, graphic but that was all until today. Every new twist and turn makes my stomach turn and mind boggle but I can’t stop watching the progeny play, it is hypnotic in its horror and I admit I have had a couple of giggles. I want to ask how on earth the writers come up with this stuff, unusually large Nazi zombie rats being one of the delights that awaits players of this game. I want to ask but I don’t because way back when, back when I was not much older than the progeny, this was exactly the sort of stuff my friends and I came up with and laughed all night about. Beaver Hi-Fi anybody?

We have had a brief break from the addictive shock factor of the game to enjoy a lovely meal that completely made up for my lack of a Christmas dinner yesterday. We also watched Coyote Ugly, a film the bitch and I watched obsessively when it was released but clearly I may have aged a little too much for that also, rather then just enjoying the film I found myself commenting that no bar owner would tolerate the amount of wastage shown. I found the idea of being able to buy a round of shorts for $10 very sweet. I also found myself giving the Father in the film a ranting monologue about misogyny and co-dependant personalities.

I have come to the overall conclusion that I have turned into a grumpy old woman who doesn’t understand the youth of today and is insufferable to be around. I have finally achieved one of my greatest goals in life.

Back home tomorrow to find that horse to feed and count its legs again, get back to Daft cat and give him lots of cat crack™ Dreamies to ease my guilt.

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Pictured: Affair?

It won’t be long until Sunday evening and the return of the boy and girl. I can then continue the programme of training them as my personal army that I commenced yesterday morning.

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Pictured: Home protection system.

Tick Tock

Day 6

Okay well I know, it is way past midnight and we are now into day 7.

Merry Christmas.

I woke up the children this morning by blasting Fairytale of New York up the stairs (or if we are being pedantic, yesterday morning. I always get myself in a bit of a muddle post midnight. I maintain that until I have either gone to sleep or the sun has risen we are still considered to be living the same day).

The day was then a pretty standard Christmas Eve, we had that traditional moment when you realise you have thought of everything bar lunch and a last minute trip to the shops for bread, ham, milk etc is required. I think that puts my number of last trips to the shops for forgotten essentials almost into the double figures.

I instigated a new tradition this year, it is our first just the three of us so I thought why not. I found out why not. While organising gifts last week I decided that the new onesie (why do I hate that pretender of a word so much?) sleepwear that had been designated Father Christmas would really be nicer to have to go to bed in on Christmas Eve. I see many of my Facebook friends doing the most lovely ‘Christmas Eve boxes’ so I decided to wrap them up under the tree as ‘Christmas Eve’ gifts to be opened up at 6pm. The boy was just wild with excitement and asked me the time every 30 seconds for the entire day. I started to worry the children would be scarred for life due to crushing disappointment when the allotted time finally arrived for the great unwrapping. Apart from repeat that the gift was most defiantly not a toy with every time check there wasn’t much more I could do. I hope that if I keep this new tradition going that next year wont be quite so insufferable but saying that, they where very exited by fleecy sleepwear, so much so that the boy used his to emulate a bull whip around his head and nearly had the tree down and an early start to my spring cleaning by bringing everything off the shelves.

So here I am, past 2am. I actually had all the wrapping done and the stockings (blooming sacks, sacks!) ready to go at just after midnight however I needed to sneak into the children’s rooms and get the small traditional stocking from the ends of the beds. After last years fiasco that only needed slight dramatisation to turn into my festive fiction offering, this year I changed the rules. Father Christmas now delivers to stockings (sacks!) under the tree while leaving a very small token stocking on the end of the bed (because you just have to have the moment of waking up and finding a full stocking, well in my world you do anyhow!). Unfortunately while I was doing vital Facebooking last moment preparations before bed I heard a bedroom door creak and the patter of little feet into the bathroom. While I am almost certain that this was the girl I am now too frightened to go up and check on the off chance if was in fact the boy and I get rumbled two years in a row. This is only my 10th year doing this parenting thing and I really don’t want to up my failure rate to 20%, statistics like that just don’t look good. So I wait.

sack

Pictured: A small gift from Santa…

And wait. I heard the girls bed creaking. Dam it!

Pony day

Day 5

Oh boy. It has been a long day.

The bulk of work I do for the riding school is just nice simple muck moving, feeding and general care of the horses when the school is not open to clients. That suits me.

I am also there on Saturday mornings as that is when the girl and boy have their lessons. I am mainly there as simply a parent and while I do work with clients on lesson change overs, take details and fill forms with new clients and occasionally lead a hack I confine myself on the whole to supporting the boy in his lesson given he requires a little more support due to his needs (he is doing amazingly well, better than we had ever dare hope and I am being kicked out of the lesson more and more!) and working with a youngster (of the pony variety). So, to cut that long story short, I am not accustomed to dealing with small child clients over a sustained period.

Today I had the pleasure of a group of 5 children aged from 5 to 10 years old. Worse yet, two of them where mine. My dear friend who is, in reality, the head instructor and manager (although she would swear at you and say ‘am not! NOOOO!!!’ if you said so in her hearing) had organised the Christmas pony day and party with a lovely range of activities both on and off horseback. The only problem was that the timings where tighter than your trousers on boxing day and we where dealing with animals and children. We where behind before we started largely caused by the paradox of many of the children being dropped off early. Still, I tried to get into the spirit of the thing.

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Pictured: Festive.

I and the other poor souls designated group leaders managed to get our charges through to the picnic party lunch with only minor mishaps and nobody under 18 was crying so we have to call that a win. The boy was over the moon with his first ever rosette awarded for coming 3rd in musical ponies and the girl was happy she had placed higher than her brother. It was soon time to swing back into the fray for the fancy dress competition, something I just hadn’t been able to face thinking about so the boy wasn’t entering (thankfully his panic at ‘being’ anybody but himself was helpful on this occasion) and the girl was entering as a very last moment ‘fairy on the top of the tree’ costume consisting on a neon pink tutu over her jodhpurs, some tinsel round her hat and a scrap of tinsel on her whip as a ‘wand’. The teenagers on the yard really go all out for this annual tradition and this year it was won by the pony who’s Father Christmas get up even included real flashing lights on his rug. I would love to bring you pictures of the wonderful sight of all this but you will have to cope with the tree fairy that was the girl as I didn’t manage to snap any other pictures because I am a bit rubbish when it comes to remembering I have a camera and then there was the fact every time I turned my back my group of kids all went in different directions. I think they planned it.

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Pictured: Massive effort.

I was taken off guard at the end of the day when my ‘so not the manager or head instructor honest’ friend managed to bar my escape route and then talk about all I do for the school to all pupils and parents. She said some very nice things that a wholly undeserved and made me go very pink. While it is nice to have hard work recognised and it was lovely to hear a friendship you value is reciprocated I really hate being the centre of attention. Still, I am extremely touched my the thought even though much of what I do at the school is for purely selfish reasons!

I am now going to go and sleep. I should be finishing wrapping gifts, tidying my home and the plethora of other jobs that still need doing but in time honoured tradition, I am just too wiped. It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve is Mum wasn’t running around loosing her mind all day and was then up until the small hours wrapping gifts that will be unwrapped in seconds mere hours (if you are lucky) later. It is all part of the magic that is Christmas.

Ho Bloomin’ Ho.