I am State Examinations Mum

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Exam season is upon us again.

It seems to come around faster and faster each year, doesn’t it?

If your little darlings are about to do their Junior or Leaving Certificate Examinations, here are some ideas on how you can help them.

  1. Sleep: Seems obvious and it’s easier said than done to get teenagers to go to bed at the best of times, and yet sleep is the one thing that we need in order to function properly. Talk to your child and agree a consistent bedtime for the next 3 weeks. Agree on a cut off time for studying, no matter how much they insist that they need to do more. Agree on a cut off time for screens and insist that until the exams are over, screens should not be in bedrooms. Even the simple absence of the phone from the bedroom can do wonders for the sleep that we get.
  2. Hydrate: Yeah yeah Yadda yadda… but again, vital. Challenge them to drink 2 litres a day. There are loads of cool bottles that help to motivate water intake now. And they all have apps on phones that can help remind them to drink water too. Dehydration leads to headaches and sluggishness; all of the things that they DON’T need at the minute.
  3. Nutrition: The State Exams can last for up to 2 weeks for some students. If an athlete were going into a 2 week event, they’d be fuelling up their bodies in preparation for months. If your child has a balanced and varied diet already, great. Keep it up. If not, try to introduce more whole foods and more fruit and veg. Convenience snacking is a massive issue when stress and tiredness kick in. Try to have dinners pre-cooked and healthier snacks in the fridge for when they appear from their pit “staaaaaarving”. In fairness to them, the last thing they are thinking about is their food right now. But don’t make a big deal about it. Remember when they were toddlers and you conveniently had lots of healthy snacks and precooked meals in the kitchen? For the next 3 weeks, go back to that! Just maybe ease up on the purees! (AND BREAKFAST is a must. They might not be hungry, but they can’t sit a 2-3 hour exam on an empty tummy. Bananas are great for calming butterflies in the tummy.) exam4
  4. Exercise: If your child has a hobby, or goes to a class each week, let them continue with it. As a teacher, I hear parents saying “Oh they’ve stopped that until after the exams”. And while yes, many need to cut back on some activities in order to study, cutting out EVERYTHING is a bad idea. Try to encourage them to do something every day, even if it is simply going for a ten minute walk. Send them to the shop. Throw them a basketball. Dust off the punchbag in the garage. Anything to get them moving for even a few minutes. Times of high stress are the times when we NEED to be able to release, may it be dancing, kicking, running or a gym class. It helps keep energy levels up. exam
  5. Keep the stress levels down: And I’m not just talking about THEIRS. State Exams have a way of reducing Mums and Dads to tears. Yes, this is a big deal. Yes, the exams are important, but what is more important is that your child is alive and well and able to do the exams. Don’t dismiss the significance of these exams, but equally, don’t paint them to be the be all and end all. Their best is all that they can do and regardless of what is in the little brown envelopes at the end of the summer, life will go on and they will be ABSOLUTELY FINE!
  6. Positivity: Rather than constantly “annoying” or “torturing” them, let them hear praise. (Because no matter what we say, they only hear nagging don’t they?) Let them hear you believe in them. Let them hear “You will be fine” or “Do your best” or “I’m proud of you.” Seems silly maybe, but trust me, so many of our teenagers are so skilled at feeling useless and crap all by themselves. Sometimes all it takes is for them to hear someone tell them they can do it. exam1
  7. Last minute pages: SO this is the teacher talking now. Get them to take an A4 page and for each subject, on which they write down all of the key phrases and ideas and names and keywords, dates etc., all over it, on both sides. If their teacher has things that he or she CONSTANTLY repeated in class, write those down too. Use different colour pens and make it bright. Laminate it when they’re done if you like. But have it that THAT PAGE is the ONLY thing they look at on the morning of the exam. I also advise that when they walk into the English paper, before they even read the questions, to jot down as many of the important terms and titles on one of the roughwork boxes or blank pages. That way, they have a go-to wordbank if they get a blank brain AND they won’t forget character names or poem titles in the heat of the exam. (Happens to the best!)
  8. Ditch the Drama: Warn your kids of the dangers of the Drama Llama on the morning (or afternoon) of the exam. While they’ll want with their friends, so often it is the worst place they can be. Hearing “Oh I only glanced at Chapter 23 last night” or “I haven’t LOOKED at that book!” or “I am so screwed”can cause panic in an anxious child’s mind. They’re already dealing with their own anxiety and nerves. They don’t need JohnJoe or Nancy’s stresses on top of their own. Tell them to politely stay away from groups until after the exam. They are much better served by reading over their last-minute page on their own. They can chat about it as much as they want when it’s over, but being focused and quiet before the exam really does work wonders. exam3
  9. SPACE it out: If space allows, tell them to skip 2-3 lines between each paragraph. This allows them space to jot down anything that might come to mind as the revise over what they’ve written at the end. (And it makes life easier for the examiner if sentences aren’t written sideways up a margin!)
  10. Believe: While the state exams are possibly THE biggest thing in your whole family’s life right now, it is important to remind the kids that every single person who is older than them, has been through and sat through these exams. They can only do their best. Yes, they’re a huge deal, but they’re also just a bump in the road that you have to drive over to get to summer. They’re well ready and well able.

I hope that exam season passes with as little stress as possible in your house. And remember that if your kids see you stressed, they stress. So even if you want to scream and tear your hair out, don’t. Or at least wait until they’re in bed and then pour yourself a gin and scream in a pillow.

And the very best of luck to your minions.

I am Simple Steps to Dressing a Twoublemaker Mum

How to dress a Twoublemaker.

  1.  Lay out neatly ironed and folded clothing choice.
  2. Place garments onto child in correct order.  Lift thrown and crumpled garments off floor in random order, as thrown.
  3. Make sure to make “Pop” sounds or other sing-songy nonsense to mark the “Popping” of child’s head through vest/tee/jumper.
  4. Forget to open buttons to loosen head hole on said garment.
  5. Spend 3 minutes apologising for being a Silly Mammy while rocking frantically.
  6. Put child’s socks on their two feet.
  7. Put on trousers.
  8. Remove trousers. You forgot that the trousers have to go on first this morning. Silly wench.
  9. Remove child’s socks.
  10. Put on trousers.
  11. Put on child’s socks.
  12. Let child remove socks.
  13. Lose the will to live as child now tries to put on the socks again on the opposite feet.
  14. Put on child’s shoes.
  15. Note: Do NOT ask child if they want to put their shoes on beforehand. It will not end well.
  16. Put on child’s shoes.  Don’t bother fastening until you hear the compulsory “AOOOOOW!”
  17. Remove shoe and shake out imaginary stone from shoe.
  18. Put shoe back on just as it was 2 minutes ago.
  19. Repeat on other foot.
  20. Try to brush child’s hair into some sort of “I do not neglect my children I actually rather love the little shits” hairstyle. Use too much conditioning spray and threaten to shave it off. (Under your breath of course.)
  21. Put child down in order to get yourself ready.
  22. 3.5 minutes later, return to room fully dressed and ready to leave.
  23. Put on child’s trousers.
  24. Look for child’s left socks.
  25. Give up and grab another pair from drawer.
  26. Repeat steps 14 – 19.
  27. Remind self to buy gin.
  28. Consider googling “IV for Gin” if you ever get to work.
  29. Change child’s nappy…
  30. Get child into car, pretend you’ve forgotten something and silent scream in your kitchen for 15 seconds before returning alá fucking Mary-of-the-poppins to car to deposit Twoublemaker to playschool…
  31. Repeat steps 14 to 19 outside door of playschool…
  32. Repeat steps 1 – 31 EVERY FUCKING DAY for next 2 years.

Then begins the How to dress a Pre-Tween… but that is a whole other post.

Happy Freezer Friyay Bitchepoos.

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Enjoy those Beige dinners! (Almost Grapejuice o’clock…)

I am Some Fried Eggs Mum

Today, we escaped as ChickenpockGate has finally ended and we are freeeeeee from the jaws of the sespit that is our home. While I should indeed be deep cleansing and femegating said sespit, I decided that getting OTF was much more important. (Out tay fook!)
 
And so off we pocked… sorry popped… to Derry.
Mammy hasn’t been in Derry for quite a while and it took me a few minutes to get used to all of the shininess and prettiness of all of the funky and new and in style stuff that was hanging in front of me screaming “You know you want me Mammy!”
And of course I want one of everything,like yesterday… and yet I know I must go through my summer stuff from previous years first, where I will find 17 perfectly appropriate and fine bikinis and kaftans and all sorts of other summery stuff that I shall bring with, but not wear!
 
While browsing through the multicoloured rainbow of the swimwear section in a certain debartmenthams store, Mini-Me picked up one particularly frilly and colourful bra top. It was a 38F and while it was stunning if that is your bra size, for Fried Egg Sally here, it wasn’t suitable.
 
“Isn’t this lovely Mammy? You should try it on!” announced Mini-Me.
“It IS lovely Darling, but that isn’t Mammy’s size. That is for a lady with bigger Boobies than Mammy. Every woman has different sized Boobs you see.”
“Ah OK.” she said, replacing the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder which was made for some other Goddess.
I continued looking for the more pebble-esque holders and was happily emagining myself lounging by the pool in one of the very sexy, but subtle one-pieces, when I heard it.
 
“Hi MAMMY?”
Where the feck is she?
I turn around and look frantically for her. She’s standing abut 15 yards away beside the mannequins which are covered in the Ted of the Baker stuff that Mammy hints at EVERY fucking Christmas and yet never gets. She’s pulling the front of the silky material down over the plastic diddy of the greeny brown headless one.
“What are you doi…”
 
“Yours are more the size of THIS woman here aren’t they Mammy?”
 
Shoot.
me.
NOW.
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“Get over here Madam.” I hiss, as the 324 bystanders turn to look at me. (Ok, there might have only been 7 or 8, but it felt like many more.)
 
“But yours don’t look like that” she continued, having a good look at the perky perfectness of the plastic one.
 
“Come on until we find Daddy” I muttered as I gathered up my bags and my dignity from the floor. I walked over to her and took her hand off the prettiness on the mannequin.
 
“Let’s go you rascal” I grumbled, but a part of me couldn’t help but think ‘Why thank you Darling!’ at being compared to the boobage on the model. Even the mannequin was probably laughing at the fact that my fried eggs are still only a fraction of the boobahs on her!
 
How was your day?

I am Saying Thank You Mum

From a different Perspective…

Thank you to the people who planted Thousands of little white crosses along the main road to letterkenny. 💜💙

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Photo by Greg Harkin on Twitter 

How gracious of you to remember all of the little babies who our people never got to bury in Irish Soil.💜🇮🇪

Thank you for marking the lives of all the women who have, and who will, die as a result of the 8th. 😔

Thank you for memoralising Savita.💜

Thank you for marking the men who have lost and who grieve for their lost children, partners, Mummies, Sisters.💙

Thank you for allowing me to explain to my daughter that the little crosses are for all of the innocent little babies who fate would not allow to be born. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

You didn’t realise the POSITIVE effect your actions in the dark of night would have did you?

Look at you 💜showing compassion and empathy and kindness.

Look at you 💙considering the emotions if pregnant women as they drive their children to school this morning.

Look at you💜 considering the feelings of the grieving as they go about their business this morning.

Look at you.💜🇮🇪💜
You are kind.
You are caring.
You are empathetic.

Thank you for your efforts.🇮🇪
I hope you didn’t have to make this journey alone.
I hope it wasnt lonely there in the black dark of night.
I hope no one would suggest that you are a criminal for doing what you feel to be necessary and essential for you. 💏

Have a wonderful Friday you lovely humans.

Perspective is the key to life ladybelles x

#repealthe8th #seewhatyouwanttosee
#oneweektogo #choice
#togetherforaye

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I am Sort Out the Foofaas Mum

One must shave one’s legs. Not just to the knee. The WHOLE way up…

One must sort out foofaa. Not just front foofaa. ALL the Foofaa.

One must wear appropriate knickers. Comfy, not slutty.  Pretty but not Bridget…

One might even vajazzle. Is that still a thing? Was it EVER a thing?

One must paint toenails. When did one last paint toenails? 1998 by the look of them…

One should seriously consider a quick fake tan… must transform one’s corned beef trunks into radiant stalks of shimmering silkiness while singing “AAAA’m yo Venus, Aaaa’m yo fiya…Yo desiya!”

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*Not mine

Why?

Has one a hot date?  Is Him whisking one off  for a night of sizzling passionista and frolicking? Is The Him in luck? Has one been overexcited by the little splash of sunshine we’ve been treated to this week? Has one lost her fecking mind?

No. But one does have an appointment with one’s Nurse for a lovely Smear test and so OBVIOUSLY one must be ready no?

No?

Why? Do you mean to tell me that one’s Nurse is NOT going to judge the stubble on one’s legs or the length of the foofaa carpet or the dotted grayness of one’s cellulitically fablis thighs?

Is there NOT a section on her paper work, underneath “Try not to fuck it up this time you shower of useless incompetent Gobshites”, that she must tick to state the state of one’s state on a scale of “Meh to WTF?”

Does she not have daily moments of “What a fablis Foofaa specimin this one is!” to write into her diary and to tell her Nursey friends about at the Nurses’ Conventions over Pimms?

You MEAN that one’s Nurse doesn’t give a continental FUCK about the state or shape of a Lady’s Ladybits when one presents oneself for the 30 second swab?  That she only thinks “Another one done thanks be to Christ. I hope there’s a caramel digestive in the staffroom at breaktime. Did I switch off the iron? Christ I need a pee…” and such?

You mean she’s not thinking “Oh Jeeeeeeeeeeeesus love go buy a razor. THIS is an unusual one… Christ it’s like an alien. Is it ALIVE?  Must change tonight’s dinner choice…”

NO.

Because guess what? Your Nurse doesn’t give a SHITE about the state of your netherregions.  She only cares about getting you in the door to make sure that in light of the recent ABOMINATION that is the Smear Scandal, that you are as safe as possible.

So if you’re putting it off, suck it up and get it booked.

It’s not the worst thing in the world is it?

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