I am “Sort out that Bull” Mum

Just another Saturday Morning…

I’m driving along, with Granny Dearest in the passenger seat and the two Minions behind me. Mini-Me has told 32 stories in 3 miles. I’m just about to tune out, glad that Granny Dearest is on with me to answer her. I don’t have to “Mmmmhmmm” and “Really?” and “Very good” like a broken record. Granny Dearest is doing a great job of making all the right sounds. I’m humming along to Despasito, when I hear a new conversation begin.

“Granda needs to move them Bulls out of the field Gwanny,” announces Herself.

“He’ll be bringing them in soon pet” answers Granny.

“No, no, no, no, but He Needs to take the Bull out of the field Right NOW.”

“Why Darling…?” (Oh Jeeeeesus I suddenly know where this is going.)

“Because that Bad Bull HURTED one of my wee Cows.” ( Granny Dearest takes a breath and I know that SHE also now knows where this is going.)

“Buckle Up Granny Bear” I mutter, knowing full well what is about to come out of her mouth and wondering WHEN she saw it, and WHY she is only telling me now?

“You see my wee cow Ellie was scratching her neck at the feeder that Granda weft in the field and that big, bad, black bull pushed her out of his way and he hurted her and it wasn’t very nice. That bad Bull CLIMBED up on Ellie’s BACK… and do you KNOW what he did THEN?”

Oh Sweet Jezabell… WHAT is about to come out of my child’s mouth?

“What Darling?” I just about get the words out. I can’t breathe.

“That Bull started RUNNING Granny! ON HER BACK! He is NOT a very nice Bull.”

That’s it. Granny might need a defibrillator in the passenger seat. I’ve pulled in and stopped at the junction. Trying to drive right now is NOT an option. Granny Dearest is turning a perfect shade of magenta, as she tries and fails to hold in her laughter because Mini-Me can see her face from where she sits on her innocent, self-righteous little throne.

I on the other hand am buckled over the steering wheel, in hysterics laughing, while Granny tries to redirect the conversation to a safer and saner place.

“Oh no. The poor wee cow. Maybe the Bull was just playing?”

“Nope. He was being mean. And poor Ellie couldn’t get away.”

“Was she giving him a piggy back maybe?” I venture through the tears.

“Now Mammy. (teenage eyeroll included here). They are COWS, not Piggies. Granda doesn’t HAVE pigs. You KNOW that…”

And that’s that. Granny explodes and I crack up completely.

“It’s not funny you guys. It’s for REAL LIFE
(This is her new one. Everything is “for real-life”.)

“You’ll have to tell Granda when we get home pet,” Granny has composed herself enough to be coherent. I’m still parked on the side of the road…

“I will. I’ll have to tell him to sort that Bad Bull out!”

(I think Ellie might have already done that. Lucky Bull. I now know how I’ll start my answer whatever day she asks where babies come from. “Well Darling. Do you remember that day the bull and Ellie were… )

#thedonegalmammy #thesmum #bull

I am Slightly Chuffed Mum

Last week was pretty exciting for me and my little old Blog.

On Thursday morning I got an email to say that I have made the SHORTLIST in the V by Very Blog Awards.  The S-Mum is Shortlisted in TWO categories.

  1. Best parenting Blog
  2. Best Blog Post for my post “I am Saying it Out Loud Mum” about my own struggles with “My Little Bitch, Anxiety”  

(Read it here  

https://the-smum.com/2017/06/11/i-am-saying-it-out-loud-mum/

 

V for Very Blog Awards 2017_Judging Round Button_Shortlist

http://blogawardsireland.com/

Then, that VERY evening, I received ANOTHER email from the lovely folk at Maternity and Infant to tell me that I have reached the FINAL in their Boots Maternity and Infant Awards.

https://maternityandinfant.ie/awards/

 

Now, let me explain to you what a HUGE deal this is to me…  Out of the 26 blogs nominated, only 10 make it to the final.  This in itself is exciting and the fact that I made it to the top 10 excites me no end.  But the MOST exciting thing is seeing my little old name up beside the other 9 bloggers, all of whom I follow and many of whom I hold in regard as being Parenting Blogger royalty in Ireland.

I can’t stop looking at the image of the ten Blog names.

And I can’t thank my readers enough for considering my Smumbles to be worth their time and energy and votes.

Should I never win a thing, I honestly don’t care.

I shall go to these ceremonies and meet lovely people and enjoy the fact that somewhere on the interweb, my words are being recognized as not being complete and utter waffle!

SO thank you to V by Very and the Bloggies and Thank you to Maternity and Infant and to everyone who is in any small way responsible for The S-Mum getting onto these wonderful lists.FB_IMG_1505424273626.jpg

I am “Sense or Superstition?” Mum

“Don’t tell anyone until you’re past the 12 weeks”

This statement has begun to bother me.  Of course, there are many reasons for such traditional views as these.  It’s a social norm that couples are supposed to keep their big news to themselves until the 12 week mark, just incase.

Why? Well I honestly don’t know.  I suppose it was because the scan could determine that everything is OK so far and that there is actually a Baby in there.  And of course, there is the fact that most miscarriages (80% according to a reputable site for all things Babyful) happen before the 12 week mark.  

Maybe we SHOULD heed this advice.  Or maybe, like so many other aspects of pregnancy and parenting, we are holding ourselves ransom to old notions, afraid to break the norm…just incase.

When I was expecting Mini-Me, we did keep it to ourselves until we were 12 weeks.  I’ve grown up listening to this mantra and I accepted it to be “right”.  If it was good enough for every woman before me, it’s good enough for me.

 

While pregnant with Princess however, we found ourselves having to admit our “secret” at only 9 weeks, quite simply because I could no longer hide the bump or pass my belly off as having eaten too much.  I showed early and so I told early.  Older family members reacted identically…

“Oh congratulations guys! Great news! How far along are you? 9 weeks?” (raise eyebrows and inhale sharply)

“Jeepers you’re not safe yet. I wouldn’t be telling people yet.”

 

Yup.  Pop our bubble why don’t ye?!

 

Some of us CAN hide our little secrets better than others too.  Physically, some Mammies can get to 20+ weeks before the bump becomes obvious.  My 2 bumps appeared early. I managed to cover Mini-Me’s with flowy tops until 11 weeks.  Princess? From the second I peed on the stick, the belly bumped!

 

I tried and failed to hide it and eventually just told people. But for some reason, we think that by announcing a pregnancy early, we are tempting fate.  


Well here’s what I think about that.

 

At only 6 weeks pregnant, I had a scare with Princess. I then had to ring my parents/sister to come mind Mini-Me and inform them in one phone call that I was both pregnant (Yay!)…but maybe not for long.  Thankfully, it was only a scare, but had that scare ended in miscarriage, as so many do, who was I going to share my grief with? And why should a couple have to deal with such devastation alone? So many mums (and Dads) return to work only a few days later, and carry with them a sadness so great.  

 

It doesn’t matter how early it happens, a pregnancy is a pregnancy and a loss is a loss.  Is a lost baby any less your Baby? No. I don’t think so.  If you have begun to love the idea of the little person inside, your grief at 10 weeks is just as valid as the grief of someone who loses at 13 weeks.  But we’re expected to accept it and get on with it because it was early. And of course, some people can and do, but it must be allowed to be grieved and our Paddy Irish Way of keeping it quiet like a dirty little secret must change.  Why is miscarriage always hushed and whispered about? There is nothing shameful about it. Miscarriage IS a big deal, so why is it deemed something that shouldn’t be talked about?

slippers-2423994_1920

For most people, (and I say “most people” because let’s call a spade a spade, not everyone is happy to find out that they are expecting. It’s not all glows and Miracles and joyeous raptures but that’s a WHOLE different conversation), for most people, the second you find out you are pregnant, you are a Mammy and you begin to love. Getting to the 12 week mark is a relief of course.  But so is hitting 13 weeks and 14 weeks and so on. Every day is a relief.  But to think that you are safe after the 12 week mark is wrong.  Unfortunately, we all know this. A pregnancy can end at any time. Until your Baby is in your arms, there is no relief.  And even then, nothing is certain.

 

Now, of course there are many shaking their heads and tutting as they read this. “I wouldn’t be telling anyone before 12 weeks.”  That’s OK. I’m not saying that you should. I’m simply writing my OWN thoughts on it. I don’t assume to be right, but I do like to question things that Mammies and Daddies face.  I’m not asking you to agree, and if I were ever pregnant again, I don’t know WHEN I would announce it.  I don’t have to know.  There are no rules. There are no laws.

 

I’m not saying that hiding your pregnancy until 12 weeks is wrong.  It’s like EVERYTHING in pregnancy and Parenting.  Do what is right for you.  If you want to keep your happy news to yourself until you’re heading to the Labour ward, good for you.  You do just that. You don’t HAVE to announce anything.  

 

And if you want to sing it from the rooftops once you find out, DO!  

Your Body, Your call…

 

But we do need to stop letting our personal situations be dictated by old fashioned notions and remember that there are no rules.  Things like this are a personal choice.  If someone choses to tell you their happy news at 5 weeks, accept that that is their decision and don’t dismiss them because YOU wouldn’t tell so early.  And likewise, if someone keeps their news a secret until 20 weeks or later, that’s OK too.  Because unless it is YOUR BUMP, your opinion on when the news is announced, is really not that important.

 

I am She’s Punishing Me Mum

Smile and Nod.
Mammy must smile and nod…
Mammy is very good at the smiling and the nodding. 😆😶

“She’s the best girl. There’s not a bother with her.” 💕

Every day I hear this. And the lovely Ladybelles who say it, mean it 100%.❤
And I smile and I nod and I agree, but as I do, my inner Mammy voice is laughing.
She is laughing hard.
So very hard.

On the outside, I Smile and Nod…
What I’m THINKING however, is “Let me tell you, as a Mammy with previous experience of a “Street Angel, House Devil”, that while she is indeed being ‘the Best Girl’ and giving you ‘Not a bother’ here all day, she is simply saving all of her energy for the Wilderbeastial Demonic Darling that she will morph into when I get her into the car.” 😈

It begins with her luring Mammy into a false sense of security with her displays of excitement as she runs into my arms when I arrive to collect her. Cue “Ooooooohs” and “Aaaaaaaahs” from all with ovaries in the room. She hugs and kisses and answers “Uhhuuuuu” in her adorable little husky voice as I carry her little Koala Bear Butt 🐨to the car. I breathe her in and sniff her sticky hair and coo at her, knowing full well that I may enjoy it while it lasts. 😂

Once in the car (maybe even before I get her strapped in if she’s feeling particularly thick with Mammy), her demeanour changes. Sometimes, it’s gradual, building up as we approach home, revving up with every gear change. Sometimes it’s instantaneous, spontaneous combustion because I’ve looked at her wrong, or asked her a question, or you know, breathed.

It escalates with a simple “No”.
Not just an utterance of negativity or disagreement. A proper, teenage “NO”, complete with attitude and challenge. When the “NO” is accompanied by the furrow of the brows, we know we are entering the beginning of the tantrum. 😣

By the time we reach home, my excitement at the thought of an evening at home with my Baby has been replaced by a devastation of the reality that ONCE AGAIN, I have NO control over the moods of my minion. Any notions I had of a picture perfect evening of #Mammywins have been left at the creche. And once again I remember, that I have NO idea what the hell I am doing.
I am winging this Mammy craic, 100fricken%. I’m scrambling my brain for tricks and clever Mammyisms that might avert the direction of the storm that is brewing in the back seat.

I throw promises around like a Politician before an Election.
“We’re going to have pizza for tea!”
“NO!”
“Will we play jigsaws when we get home?”
“NO!”
“I can’t wait to get snuggles when we get home!”
“NO!”
and eventually (yes always) “Will we watch Peppa?”
(Hold breath…)

Princess “YEEEEEEAH!”
Mini-Me “Aw Maaaaaaaaaammy, not again!” (insert eye roll here)
Me “FML” (Probably under my breath. Maybe… Maybe SLIGHTLY audible. Bad Mammy.)😐😂

Parenting experts and friends with kids have explained to me many times in the past, that such behaviour is normal and that the child acting in such a manner is a “compliment” because she feels that she can finally release her frustrations and confusion at the world, in the arms of her favourite person. That I am her safe place and that it all means that she loves me.😶

SOME days, I buy this. Other days, I prefer to see it that she is a little wagon who actually HATES me and is determined to PUNISH her evil Mammy for abandoning her cute, bad-tempered little fudgeybutt to go to work. She sees me coming, smells the Mammy-guilt off me. After her initial “Oh there’s my Mammy” excitement, her mind goes straight to “Hang on a second. WHERE do you think YOU were all day Woman? Did you DARE to drink warm coffee and have adult conversations? Do you not know that YOU ARE MY SLAVE?” 😐

She has to fit 8 hours of reminding Mammy who is the BOSS, into a very short evening. And she must make sure that Mammy PAYS for leaving her at the Fablis and fun-filled creche, where she spends her days being loved and played with and fed and stimulated without the tellybox, and where she is the “best girl” and gives them all “not a bother”. She nevers bites or screams NOoooooooooooooo or kicks or throws custard or cries or scratches the lovely girls.

No,
She saves that for Mammy Bear.
Because she loves me and I am special.
And apparently because I am her safe place. 😍😆

Right now, she is playing with sudocrem…but she’s no longer screeching at me, so we’ll roll with it.

Smiles and nods. 😙

#fml
#mammyguilt
#yessheistheboss

I am She’s Chasing Cows Mum

Fecking Cow…

Mammy arrived at work half dressed and slightly dishevelled. Smug Mammy was up at 6.30am, perfectly on track for a practically perfect Monday morning and smugly smiling at the clock thinking “I’m gonna beat you today Beeaatch!” 😐

Then a cow walked past my kitchen window.

Yup.
A cow.

“MAMMEEEEEE DER’S A COW IN DA GAAAAAAARDEN” screams Mini-Me.
“Mooooooooo MOOOOOOOOO COOOOW! Screams Princess, even pushing the dodee to the side of her mouth to get the words out…

“Faaaaaaack!” shouts Mammy, scrambling for the phone to ring Granda.. (“Daddy, ring John Joe and tell him his fricking cows are in my garden” screams Mammy at her poor Daddy, hanging up before he has the chance to answer.)… while simultaneously pulling on the first pair of runners I get my hands on… I only notice that they’re the Him’s as I start to gallop up the garden! 😂

In 15 seconds, I’m out and running at the cow to chase it out of my garden. The poor fecker is bewildered looking. She doesn’t know where to go. In fairness, if I had a half-dressed woman running at me in her husband’s size 12 trainers, screaming like a banshee and wielding a deckchair, yes a deckchair, (it was the first thing I met when I ran outside😅), I’d probably be slightly terrified too. 😂😂

The horsedog 🐴🐶finally realises that something is up and hauls himself off his fat arse to come help me. Suddenly injected with adrenalin at the sight of his Mammy chasing a cow with a deckchair, he turns into 007Dog and Witchin 12 seconds has done an impressive impression of a sheepdog, herding the wandering cow back out my gate.
My hero…

Pity he didn’t think to stop it coming IN the gate! 🐴🐶

I run straight back to the house to find Mini-Me freaking the feck OUT, hysterical that Mammy was going to be hurt by the cow. 😭😭I get her cuddled and settled, explaining that the cow is fine…(or out of my garden at least😂)… but Princess running around in her nappy screaming “COW MOOOOOOOOO COW MOOOOOOOOO!” isn’t helping. #fml

I look at the clock, realise we have 5 minutes to get out the door and curse the cow some more. The only drying my hair is getting today is the wind that blew through it as I ran. Fetlocks blowing in the wind I tell you. I remember to kick off The Him’s gigantics and superspeed everyone out the door.

We just about make it to the bus and I take a deep breath as I pull into the carpark, realising that my shirt is buttoned wrong and my hair looks like a whin bush.

Mini-Me has told 3 people how “Mammy chased a cow up the garden” before I even get out of the building.

I wonder how many people heard her story today! 😂

Mammy 1. Random cow 0.

AND as I explained to my little worried Mini-Me earlier, Mammy is not afraid of cows. (In fact Mammy has dealt with many cows in her time, both bovine and not so bovine… and I generally win, just maybe not always in The Him’s size 12s… 😂😂)

#countrylife #alwaysafarmer

I am She’s Not Quite Getting it Mum

“WHAT is THAT Mammy?”

“What is what Sweetie?”

“What is THAT fing on the tray?”
“That is the chicken for Mammy and Daddy’s dinner tonight.”

“Dat is NOT a chucken. Chucken is white.”
“Chicken is white when it is cooked. This is a raw chicken.”

“Why is it not moooovin like?”
“Because it’s dead Baby.”

“Nooooooooo? Who kulled the chicken?”
“Erm, the Farmer killed the chicken so that Mammy can cook the chicken before I eat it.” (This may not end well…😥😥😥)

“But that Farmer should NOT kill his wee chuckens. That is NOT very nice.”
“But how would we get chicken for our dinner if the farmer doesn’t kill it pet?”

(Looks at me as if I’m the most intellectually challenged cretur on the planet…😅)
“You COULD just go to the shop and BUY chucken Mammy. Then the farmer could stop killing da wee chuckens and everyone would be happy.”

“Ok. 😐😐😐That’s a great idea. I’ll do that the next day.”
“Good Mammy… And if you see that farmer, sort him out. He shouldn’t be going around kulling his wee pet chuckens. That is not nice behaviour.”

(I wonder if I should tell her where Granda will be sending her buddies Ellie and JohnJoe next Spring? 🐮🐄🐮🐄🐮🐄😂😂)

#fml #iswineonatuesdayallowed

I am So we went to Specsavers Mum

Evening Ladybelles.
Nothing overly entertaining or funniful tonight, but I do want to share a quick post about Mini-Me’s first trip to the opticians with you.

So last May, her school flagged that she might have a vision porblem and would be refered for further testing. Over the summer, I noticed all the wee signs that I remember showing myself when my eyes went fuzzy when I was 6; she was squinting more and more frequently and moving closer and closer to the telly.

So with her going back to school, we decided to go ahead and take her to Specsavers to get checked out.

(Why did I not wait? Well, interesting story…The fact that I was refered to the HSE for orthodontic treatment for a mouth akin to a saber-toothed vampire 28 years ago and am STILL waiting on treatment might ecplain my lack of faith in the system. 😂The last communication I got from them was in 1995 asking for a voluntary donation to move me up the list. They’re still waiting for the donation and I’m still waiting for the treatment. What a surprise they’d get if they saw my mouth now! One visit to the dentist when I started Universiry in Coleraine and I had traintracks on within 48 hours. For FREE. 😆

Anyway, we decided to go to the Specsavers in Letterkenny. I’ve been hauling my nearly-blind butt in there every year FOREVER, and I can only say that they are AMAZING.

Bringing Mini-Me was emotional for me. I knew in my heart before we arrived that she needed glasses, and while there is NOTHING wrong with this, having worn glasses myself for my whole childhood, it makes me sad that she needs them. Granted, the cute and fashionable styes available now are NOTHING like the Deirdre Barlowesque Jam jars that I wore! 👓🤓

From the second we arrived, the staff were brilliant with her. She was seen by John who had the patience of a Saint. He was so thorough and so kind to her and even managed to put drops into BOTH eyes. (I can barely get a plaster on her knee.😂) Then we met Hazel who was just wonderful, chatting away to her and putting her at ease. We were helped to chose frames by Ingrida who was so professional and honest, telling us in no uncertain terms what shape and style she needed and why. We were fitted and helped more by Kirsty, who had Mini-Me eating out of her hand and quickly picked up on what I was trying to steer her away from. (Master manipulator. Very impressed!😍)

We chose a lovely wee pair of Frozen glasses and collected them…wait for it… 3 hours later! (My own will take a week as they need to be stepped on by pixies, danced upone by leprachauns and sliced with unicorn thread to get them to fit the frames, unless I want to walk around with frames 5 inches thick! 😛😂😛😂)

And so off she trotted to school today with her wee glasses. The test cost €30, which for this anxious Mammy was worth every penny. I have always hoped the girls would get The Him’s eyesight. Turns out, Mini-Me is more “Mini Me” than I thought.

I can’t recommend Specsavers highly enough. Over the years, their services have been improving and becoming more and more thorough and impressive. I’m sure there are many wonderful opticians in town, but I just wanted to share this with any Mammy who is worried about their minions and wondering where to take them.

And thank you to John and the team in Specsavers on the Port Road. You’ve made what was a pretty crap thing for me to have to do, into some lovely memories.

#specsavers #milestones