Not Quite Supermom

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

New levels of sibling rivalry

Just like many other mothers out there, I am aware that there appears to be some kind of divide between my middle boy and my youngest daughter.

I initially thought that divide may just be to do with the 22 months between them. Having sought advice from countless books and online "experts" I concluded that said divide was more to do with middle child envy of a newcomer to the family, and that they will "grow out of it."

Seven years later, after countless ups and downs, I feel I may have to reject my initial hypothesis.

Although my theory was based on a huge body of evidence supporting the proposition, I have finally conceded that this may have been, at the very least, an optimistic viewpoint.

It's funny. How evidence can be staring you right in the face for all that time. Until it does, one day, literally stare you in the face.

Ex Mr G and I were queuing up to say goodbye to middle son's teacher. It was mainly for show, as middle son is moving to a different school, but youngest daughter will still be at the same school. We will still see middle son's teacher. Daily. Bit of a shame as I think he's a prick. But we still queued up anyway to say our thanks and goodbyes.

As I was languorously leaning against the wall outside the classroom (this sounds sexy, but really isn't) waiting for our turn to say heartfelt "goodbyes" to Mr Prick, I noticed the pin board I was propping myself up on. It appealed to me in a Save the Children kind of Comic Relief "charity" way, as the big handwritten bubble font sign said: "The Diary of a Refugee."

I thought I may start to read the different entries. Languorously. To match my pose.

Then I saw the blu-tacked entry, stuck on the wall, written by middle son. I knew immediately it was his work due to:

a) the appalling spelling
b) the terrible grammar
c) the fact he had dogs and a sister called Gracie.
d) his name was at the top of the piece of paper

At that moment, I knew. Those books I read? They know NOTHING. My son just FICTIONED OUT his sister.

We have A LOT of work to do.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

I just can't cope with another school sports day EVER AGAIN

I have just had the dubious honour of attending my ELEVENTH annual school sports day.
I am seriously expecting some kind of award to be handed out to me for long term service.

To put it quite frankly: I am bored of it.

The process never changes. Why would it? The school have this one NAILED DOWN. They won't be changing the format for anyone. Not even the mum sat at the back on the chairs who didn't look up once from her book. (That was not me btw, although I did look on enviously from behind my sunglasses.)

I explained my Sports Day issues to the children in the car one morning:

Kid 1: "Are you coming to sports day?"
Notquitesupermom: *big sigh* "Do I really have to?"
Kid 1 & Kid; 2: "YESSSSSSS."
Notquitesupermom: "no offence or anything kids, but if you aren't actually doing anything in it, then sports day is pretty boring to watch. If I wanted to watch you bounce a ball up to a plastic bucket, put the ball in the bucket then run back to a line, I could have set that up in the garden ANYTIME during the past years. And then I could have watched while drinking a glass of wine lying on the sunlounger."

My major problem with sports day is that my children go to a lovely, non competitive school. Sports day is divided into very PC and non discriminatory teams based on age. It's all about the team work.

It's soooo BORING.

I want to see proper competition. I want to know EXACTLY how rubbish my kids are, or alternatively, like I said to the ex MR G: "We could potentially have a Usain Bolt on our hands, but we will NEVER EVER KNOW as the children have never been allowed to compete with each other."

How well my children can run in a straight line or throw a bean bag into a hoop, is never going to make a difference to how much I love them, or how amazing they are. But GODDAMMIT I want some sort of gauge of their sporting prowess. Just so I KNOW.

There is also no DANGER. I remember school sports days when you would get red grazed knees from the sack race, skipping ropes would get tied together in a "never to be unravelled again" web of knots where you could potentially take your competitor down with a good strong tug. Ankles would be tied together and arms tied behind backs in the three legged race. The threat of face planting was always prevalent and you quickly worked out to work together as a team to avoid that happening in front of the entire school. As we got older we started to have hurdles, which are DESIGNED to trip you up and actual javelins that could ACTUALLY impale someone if misthrown.

At sports day now the children throw foam swords. They aren't the most aerodynamic of items. It's like the biggest let down ever to see the kids all geared up to throw them, javelin throwing stance perfected during weeks of PE lessons, and upon release they just PLOP down to the ground about a foot away from the thrower. I'm normally praying for a freak gust of wind, just to add a bit of oomph to the whole event.

There is not even the opportunity for potential humiliation to be used as a motivational tool for self improvement as they are all in it together for the good of the team. There is no obnoxious little shit bursting into tears because they ALWAYS win and this year they didn't. I want to see the really competitive kids trying to elbow other kids out the way in their race to be the best at the running race. I want to see which child is a sneaky little cheating bastard and PICKS UP the egg with their fingers rather than putting it onto the spoon using the side of their foot and some nifty leg raising. We spent HOURS perfecting this skill during PE. I'm still rather good at it.

These days, it's just dull. And I still have to sit on teeny tiny seats that can barely fit one arse cheek on, in the heat, pretending I care that some other person's kid can run while holding a ball because they are on my kids team.

Might take a book next year!

Egg and Spoon Champion 1986

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Marrakech with children. Yikes!

Funny how such amazing ideas always seem to begin on a cosy night at home with wine.

What is not quite so hilarious is that for our annual holiday I have booked 11 nights in Marrakech with my three children.

That would be ok, on its own, but it appears the wine bravado took hold, along with the worry that we might be bored (although for the record, I don't find lounging around by a pool in ANY WAY boring) and I decided it would be very Lawrence of Arabia and daring to do a 4 day Sahara desert camping trip. Arrival and departure by 3 hr camel ride.

Now I am faced with the prospect of ACTUALLY doing it and not just having some cool pictures for Instagram, I am getting mildly, yet increasingly TERRIFIED.

Sometimes I could kick myself for the ideas I come up with.

My eldest was very forthright in his opinion when I told him about our adventure (still riding high on the excitement of the idea).

Notquitesupermom: "We are going on a camel trek and camping in Berber tents in the Sahara!! How cooooool is that?!"
Notquitebutnearlyateenager: " I hate sand. I don't even like it on the beach. It gets in your shoes, your sandwiches and EVERYTHING. And it's going to be hot."

This is going to be like going on holiday with Karl Pilkington. But much less funny as I won't be watching it from the comfort of my sofa.

List of things I am worrying about:

1. Camel spiders. People at work have taken to Googling and Skyping me lists of nasty critters that will be awaiting me and my children. I'm not allowed to bring my own pop up tents so I can't just pop them and lock them and know they are safe from nasties. I can't even go to bed in my own tent, in the UK, without having a good old check for creepy crawlies...and possibly a sweep of the tent, before I can settle.
2. Due to above I am not going to sleep. I get grumpy without sleep.
3. The fact that camels are quite tall and my children aren't. So it's a long way for my not very well balanced children to fall. At the moment I am wondering which one will be first
4. What on earth do we wear/ pack? At the moment I really want an all in one elasticated ankle and wrist titanium jumpsuit. With massive camel spider stomping Doc Martins. And crash helmets all round, with some sort of cooling system.

I am also not flavour of the month at school. I have been denied the right to take my children out of school for 2 and a half days. Including last day of term and first day back. It does not qualify as: "exceptional circumstances."

I hate to differ with the educational establishment but quite honestly I feel that potentially the educational aspect to my children deciding that they never again want to visit the beach, or  developing a life long regard for the possibles dangers of creepy crawlies, must SURELY be "exceptional circumstances?"

I hate to sound so disillusioned, but do they NOT want children to learn? I am pushing my limits of my comfort zone because I don't want to raise children who don't want to see the world, or learn more about different cultures, or push their own comfort boundaries. Or are scared to.

I think it's as simple as to say: I COULD go along with the government and their "vision" of learning for my children. THAT would stay in my comfort zone. We could sit back, relax and watch the planet go about its daily business on TV. Or Ipad/ notebook/ tablet/ phone. Or use Google Earth and some good Youtube clips.

Or, we can throw ourselves out of our comfort zone, feel disjointed from our "norm" and just start being a part of it all. Show our children there is more to the world and they don't have to just learn from a text book.

You can sign the petition below if you feel this is important:

And then find your local MP and annoy them too. That's what you pay them to do. Represent YOU.

Bon voyage,

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Mouse Box

In anticipation of World Book day this Thursday, I read a book last night.

It wasn't what I was expecting.

At all.

All kudos to the writer, as I really had NO idea where it was going.

Little G had brought home a book from school called "The Mouse Box." Sounded innocuous enough. Quite sweet even.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Two kids find a dead mouse. They are sad. They would like to have a funeral for the mouse.

OK. Important to learn about death. In a subtle and tasteful way.

My brain wasn't really paying attention but my mouth kept reading.

After a while I really wished it hadn't.

The children's sister sees them holding the dead mouse (this part reminded me of my previous post about Gerry the Gerbil and the Curry Tsunami. Except their mouse is dead. Gerry was just acting.)

The big sister isn't very happy and tells them they need to wash their hands. The children still want to bury the mouse, so they start to look for a box. They go up to their sister's room and see she has an empty chocolate box. They put the dead mouse in the box. Unfortunately, children have a very low attention span. They get distracted and leave the box unsupervised. Big sister goes into her room, sees the chocolate box, gives it a shake and thinks she has some left. So she decides to take them to school. To share.

Which was nice.

It didn't go down well.

Not surprisingly when she is offering dead mouse carcass as a treat. What I love the most (spoiler alert) is that when the kids come to bury the mouse and can't find the box, they don't give two shits about where it might be. The end.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Oh, to be a Disney Princess..just for one day...

"When the raindrops keep tumbling,
you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine."

Snow White

One of my rays of sunshine just turned, in her words: " A whole hand plus one."

Mr G (maybe that should now be X Mr G) and I, decided to take her for a Princess makeover at the Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Harrods, London. It was a long shot that she was going to get with the programme, as what she lacks in princess style tendencies, she more than makes up for in Light Saber and Nerf gun capabilities. She is, most certainly, the Disney Princess for a new generation. There is no waiting around for a handsome prince (she will just accost them and make them her boyfriend at breaktime in the playground), no beautiful dress (it lasts about 5 minutes on..then it is too itchy and annoying) and her hair is the epitome of Tangled.

Despite using more leave in conditioner, hair masks and wide tooth combs than Rapunzel ever did.

Still. We thought it would be an experience.

I had the whole "have I done enough as a parent" middle class debate with myself before we went. This was mainly due to the fact that there are four tiers of packages available, ranging from the "Royal" Experience at £1000, to the "Courtyard" Experience at £100 per child. Clearly the Feudalist system is still alive and kicking in Great Britannia. I very nearly convinced myself that I needed to pay the extra £300 to make the jump from the "Crown" Experience at £200 to the "Castle" Experience at £500. Then I decided the last thing I need in my new home is more Disney plastic shite everywhere. Seriously. I would only end up paying some "serf" to come round and clean it up twice a week. And you just can't get a decent serf these days.

All "jesting" was a really good experience. This is what the male contingent of our party thought:

And this is what the Princess thought when she was having her hair done:

That, my friends, is her expression of shock.

She was very pleased with the results though. Probably not as pleased as her wonderful "Fairy Godmother in training" was that the hair style the Princess chose covered up the massive chunk of hair the "X Mr G" chopped out as it was so Tangled. It's the lumpy bit sticking out in the photo at the back.

But the amazing "Fairy Godmother in training" did EXACTLY what was described on the tin, with a charm and efficiency I wish I had every day when getting my Princess ready for school. She really was the Fairy Godmother I wish could appear every morning. This is the result:

For all my slightly sarky comments, my daughter was made to feel like a Princess for the entire experience. If you arrive earlier your child gets given a pager and you WILL end up browsing the adjacent Disney store beforehand. (FYI you can buy all the Disney plastic shite in there for less than the upgrade price.) Every member of staff in the Disney store stopped and spoke to her, as did the staff in the Harrods toy department after. She didn't quite get the Harrods doorman with the umbrella opening the door on our way out, but that was possibly because some glamorous blonde "real princess" was making her way IN and he was otherwise occupied.

For the record, the next day I took her horseriding. She fell off. Into a MASSIVE puddle of cold wet mud.

So it just shows. One day you can be sat on your throne like a princess, and the next day lying down in a puddle of mud and horse shit wondering what went wrong.

I feel I am teaching her well. Not quite supermom style.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thrifty little bugger!! was my BIRTHDAY recently...and i have to say I had the best birthday for quite a number of years. Let's just ignore the extra year it puts on my age (not helpful for dating...but hugely helpful in a "know more about the world way".... mustn't grumble...)

What really made it for me, apart from spending an amazing weekend away with my children, was just quite how thrifty/ ingenious/ resourceful my eldest son has become. Birthday card


Superb work. Now, THAT is how men multi-task...clearly it becomes evident at a young age....

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bored Games

Every parent knows the importance of sitting down with your children and spending quality family time playing board games. Sometimes difficult because, lets face it, board games for children can be pretty BORING. And they mainly end in tears. In my case normally mine as my frustration level reaches maximum. Or i get beaten.

Its also quite difficult to find the time to sit down and play when there is sooo much to be doing.

Which is why I have cunningly devised a scheme whereby everyone is happy.

Its called "Real Life Supermarket Jenga"

Ideal for keeping the kids happy while out shopping.

Am sure it will take off.

Incidentally..during the same shopping trip I also happened to notice that the staff are clearly bored as well...


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Down on the farm...



The school holidays are finally upon us.

Cue lovely days out and happy contented children running around giggling. Or in my case..constant fights, messy house and children telling me they are boooooored.

In order to head off the boredom complaint i decided to plan an itinerary of "things to do, people to see, places to go." So hopefully when creating their path of devastation and chaos, my children do this at OTHER places..and not in my house. See. Thinking ahead.

So i gathered up a handful of leaflets for local attractions so we can have some fun days out..hopefully in Supermom style combining fun with education. I was quite excited to pick up a leaflet for Old Macdonalds farm park and started leafing through it to see exactly what was on offer for us on a grand day out. However...when i turned to the centre page of the leaflet I got a bit of a shock. I did wonder whether it is only me who notices this type of stuff. But SLAP BANG in the centre of the leaflet...pretty much a centrefold picture was this:

did they not notice?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I love flatpacks...

i went to Ikea.

Lucky lucky me.

After the mandatory meatballs and counting of pregnant nesting women ordering their husbands about and measuring things i took myself down to the warehouse bit and purchased a few lovely flatpacks to spend the rest of this year assembling.

Having opened a carton and withdrawn the instructions from the little plastic bag containing twenty thousand small screws of which i will always have at least 10 left over and panic about the safety of the structure i have just built...i sat down to read said picture instructions.

I was immediately struck by just how ACCURATE they are....

THAT is EXACTLY what i looked like...except with more hair and a dress on.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

you learn something new everyday...

My lovely adorable eldest son just had a school trip to learn more about life in Britain during the war. On his return he was asked to write a newspaper article. All very educational.

So educational in fact that even my jaw dropped in shock at what i learnt whilest reading the article in a room full of parents waiting to see the teacher. Then i had to do that tricky task of trying not to laugh uncontrollably at an inappropriate time. Here is the best bit...and the most educational...

A few thoughts ran through my brain.

1. No wonder the children "where amased what the money was like". i think i would have been too...
2. How did Miss Prince his teacher find out it takes 12 penis' to make a shilling. Maybe she needs a pay rise
3. Well done to my son for being able to spot fakes. He will be very useful to me when trying to purchase designer handbags on Ebay.
4. we need to work on his spelling as i cant have him going through life thinking thats correct..although it is tempting..

A+ for effort i think


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