Not Quite Supermom

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My Mother In Law

Ok.

I am going to blog about my Mother in Law.

Please dont flinch.

But please pray she NEVER EVER reads this.

BEFORE I go into details, however, I would like to make a teeny weeny disclaimer:

Everything I tell you is 100% true. My Mother in Law is 100% A One Off. A Total Rarity. They just don't seem to make them like her anymore (for better or worse..you decide?) However. I have never met anyone before in my life that I have NEVER EVER HEARD say a bad word about anyone or anything that she does. Period. And I definately know that I wouldn't smile nearly so much if she wasn't in my life. For better or worse having her in my life makes me happy. She is a character. And we all love a good character. Right?

So.

A bit of background history on Mrs G. (Yes. There are actually 3 Mrs G's. Can you imagine!!??)

Mrs G Snr is is also known by The Family as: Nanny Nutty. Nanny Birdies. Nanny Birdies with the funny hat. I will, from hereon in, refer to her as Nanny Nutty. That seems to pretty much summarize how she is... "in a nutshell."

Nanny Nutty has just turned 71 years old. And she drives a Moped. We hear her coming over for tea from 3 blocks away. She also has more of an active social life than I do. Which is not too difficult. But still...

In an average week she does Burlesque dancing on a Monday (..lets move along swiftly before your brain starts to absorb that info.) She does Belly Dancing on Tuesday. (Yet again..moving on...quickly...) She goes dancing with her OTHER MAN on wed, thurs and fri. Nanny Nutty also works. She doesn't have to. But she likes it. She works as the "Old Peoples activity organiser" at a residential home. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to dress up as Tinkerbell or Cinderella for the Christmas Panto. Very. Very. Exceptionally....uncool. Fortunately for me, most of the old dearies were asleep and missed it all anyway.

Nanny Nutty also babysits for us occasionally. And believe me there is nothing worse than coming home at 3am, slightly the worse for wear, to the sound of "Hi Mummy and Daddy!" from the top of the stairs. And: "We tried to tell Nanny it was bedtime. We EVEN showed her the room she was meant to be sleeping in...but we have been camping AND we had a disco!"

Nanny Nutty is asleep on the floor.

Obviously my kids think Nanny Nutty is the greatest grandmother that walked the planet. They even think her job is An Explorer (cue Indiana Jones theme tune) because she goes on holiday so much and then brings back "treasure" for them from around the globe. Clearly what an 8, 3 and 1 year old define as "treasure" is slightly different to my concept of the word. When Mr G and I go away anywhere we SCOUR the tourist shops for hours to find a gift to bring back for her that is even minutely as crap as the stuff she brings back for us.

Which brings me to last nights Proceedings.

Last night we had Christmas Day.(Just a little bit more condensed.)

Yes. I know its only October...but this is Nanny Nutty. Anything can happen....



Nanny Nutty is renouned for her slighly dubious gifts. Last Christmas she gave me a quacking duck alarm clock that cost £1 from the Sue Ryder Charity shop.



I knew exactly where it was from and how much it cost as it still had the label on it. To be fair to her...she probably forgot that I have 3 kids who are the best alarm clock that ever lived.
She has given my 14 year old nephew a carriage clock for Christmas. Not dissimilar to this one:



She gave my 11 year old nephew a packet of Y-Fronts one year:




But last night I won the prize for the worst present ever.

It is no secret that after having 3 kids I kind of live on a perpetual diet. Sadly I'm not a Heidi Klum (or Heidi Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel as she is now known.) Nanny Nutty has a particularly bad habit of asking about my diet just as we are sitting down to eat surrounded by loads of people:

Nanny Nutty: "So. Hows the diet?"
NotQuiteSupermom*with mouthful of chocolate cake*:"mumphhh..yep..going really good thanks."
Nanny Nutty: "So what do you weigh now?"
NotQuiteSupermom *having swallowed the cake and now looking guilty* "umm...too much?"

Am sure she is just concerned for my wellbeing. Definately.

So. My turn for a present.

Everyone watching.

The surprise was slightly ruined for me as the present had a yellow Post It note on it with my name and what was inside the gift wrap.

I open my present.

Wow!

A fabulous tan pair of Control Top Tights.



NotQuiteSupermom: "Gee! Thats the best present I ever had!. Thank you so much! These will be really useful."
Nanny Nutty: "Its a pleasure. I thought they might come in handy for you. Read the back of the packet."

Control Top Tights Main Features:

1. Control panty shapes tummy, hips and thighs. Excellent.
2. Wide "non-roll" waistband. Cool.
3. Enhanced toe. Obviously V. Important when selecting control tights
4. Cotton- lined crotch breathes, leaving you cool and dry. FREAKY!

NotQuiteSupermom *nearly pissing herself laughing but holding it in for fear of what she might be given next year..Tenalady anyone?*: "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It really was exceptionally kind of you."

For better or worse. Right?!

How I wish I was passing through security at the airport again....


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Life of a Singleton....

I have a friend (well done me!) who has unexpectedly found herself back in the singles game. For the second time. Bless her.
Having that time away to myself in hospital has started me thinking about how life could be different and how much I quite fancy a Gap Year. People take time off from their careers all the time to go travelling, change in lifestyle etc etc. I had my children pretty young and have spent my ENTIRE twenties at home with kids. Even before that I never really dated. Was always a long term relationship kind of girl.

So am finding the idea of a Gap Year very tempting. The idea works like this...

You freeze the children in time at the age they are now. So you dont miss anything. Then you go get an apartment with your very best girlfriends, get a job, go out, date people, sleep in late at the weekends and go on girls holidays. Very simple.

Obviously though we have yet to discover the power to freeze people in time..so this idea is not really a goer..

And , if I'm honest, the idea of being on the singles market doesn't appeal that much. I can't think of anything worse than spending an evening with someone you think is a total moron. Or worse...you like them and they think YOU are a total moron. And then you wait for them to call. And they don't.

So.....

In the meantime I am living my life vicariously through my single friend who is having to contend with the dating minefield.

There is sooo much I have missed. Phone dating, online dating, instant messaging dating, speed dating, some sort of dating to do with bluetooth phones? That last one sounds a bit technical for me. Speed dating sounds kind of cool though. Am positive I could make myself seem interesting for..ooohh..all of 3 minutes.

I love sitting in with my friend, drinking wine and listening to her dating stories. It all sounds so interesting and exciting. She in turn despairs of my naivety but finds it vaguely amusing. She is very patient. Thats why she is my best friend.

During one of those evenings in, a few bottles of wine down, we decide to sign her up with an online dating site. And we begin to trawl...yes literally TRAWL through the thousands of guys in their 30's-40's. Who knew there were so many single men out there????

Obviously I was just being supportive of my friend. But there is no harm in looking right? Right?

Then I see HIM.

No. Not Mr G. Would bloody throttle him.

NotQuiteSupermom *breathing heavily*: Oh. My. God. Go back up the page!! BACK UP!!! QUICK!
VeryPatientbutDespairingFriend: "What? What is it?"
NotQuiteSupermom: "I think I have just fallen in love. If you dont send him a message I'm damn sure I will."
VeryPatientbutDespairingFriend: "Which one?"
NotQuiteSupermom *jumping up and down excitedly*: "THAT ONE! In the Tuxedo! He must be The Most Gorgeous man I have ever seen. I already want to marry him and have zillions of his babies"
VeryPatientbutDespairingFriend *shaking with uncontrollable laughter*: Oh sweetie. He is gorgeous. You are definately right there. It is a lovely profile picture. But honey...that would be because that is a picture of Billy Zane."










Shit.

Imagine the disappointment some poor woman is going to have.



Sunday, 18 October 2009

O Woe is me!

Oh girls.

I have had the most terrible week.

And I'm not being melodramatic...it REALLY was awful.

I ended up in hospital having emergency surgery.

SEE!

Told you it was bad!!

What is worse is that these things always seem to happen right when you AREN'T fully on top of everything. There is no food in the house, the beds arent made...well actually its kind of a normal day in NotQuiteSupermom land...but still...I wouldn't invite people IN to the house with it looking like that. Dont want to completely blow my cover..

When I was in hospital I had this phone call from my mother (who was very kindly helping Mr G with the kids and the f^*$ up of a house:
Mother: "Hello Darling. Everything is just fine at home. HOWEVER I am struggling somewhat to fully understand your washing system?
NotQuiteSupermom: "That would be because there isnt a system. There are just piles. Some piles are clean...some piles are dirty. Its very simple. Perhaps if you sniff the clothes it might help?
Mother: "Hmmm...maybe I will just wash everything again."
NotQuiteSupermom: "What a jolly good idea Mother. Perhaps you would care to iron them as well?????"

Am thinking this "being in hospital" malarky actually is quite good.

Maybe I should do it more often. Then the house would be cleaner, the kids would eat better and there would be a washing system.

Am lying in my hospital bed marvelling at just how great being in hospital is. Except for the old people and the really sick people...because that just sucks for them. Obviously since having the drip/ lots of drugs and extra blood I am feeling like a whole new reinvigorated NotquiteSupermom. Keep accidentally calling the hospital a HOTEL to the doctors and nurses.

Do you know...
1. In hospital/ hotel they bring round tea/ coffee on a trolley periodically? AND you dont have to get out of bed OR make it yourself?
2. They bring you breakfast, lunch AND dinner. In bed! How much does that rock! Dinner in bed! V. indulgent
3. You have your own personal TV. So you can watch WHATEVER you want!! No kids programmes!! AND you can eat dinner, in bed, infront of the TV!! I can live like this!
4. The TV also has your own personal computer!! For Facebook, emails, online clothes shopping. EVERYTHING! While you eat dinner/ lunch/ breakfast. IN BED!!
5. There are magazines EVERYWHERE. So when you get bored watching TV or online shopping you can catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. For free! While eating your breakfast/ lunch/ dinner. IN BED!
6. People come and see you and bring you stuff. Like chocolates and flowers. Even Mr G brought flowers. And I didnt have to ask for them. Feel like a superstar. Just for getting ill!

Am thinking of setting up a NotQuiteSupermom hotel. Kind of like Rehab for the stressed out moms. You check yourself in for a night, we send round cleaners and people to clean the children/ feed them good proper food and then we let you stay in bed, cook for you and let you eat it in bed, bring you drinks and let you watch TV, surf the net, read magazines, eat chocolate and go to sleep.

Anyone want to check in???

Friday, 9 October 2009

Up, Up and Away.....

Now where was I?

Oh yes.

Going on holiday

After the little run in with security I felt rather blessed that I was going anywhere at all especially as I was beginning to worry that the first night of my holiday was going to be spent detained at Her Majesties Pleasure...

Our plane is subject to a delay..of course..

Luckily not one of those sleep on the floor all night in the departure lounge type delays but enough of a delay to strike fear into the heart of any seasoned parent.

Alfie (on a loop for about an hour): "When is the plane coming Mommy?" "How long until we get there Mommy?" "How far away is it Mommy?" "Has the plane left to come and get us Mommy?"
Ryan: "I'm booooored...."
NotQuiteSupermom: "I know..let's go and get a lovely snack from that nice restaurant over there.."

Cue Mistake No 1.

While purchasing the extortinately priced snacks for my weary travellers, out the corner of my eye I spot a nice bottle of wine.

Excellent.

Just what I need to survive this ordeal...

(N.B. When I say "bottle" of wine I mean a half bottle. Obviously. I have kids with me. AND it is against FAA regulations to be drunk on a plane. But I also DONT mean one of those miserable mini bar/ aeroplane little ones with only 1 glass in because that would be pointless...)

Mistake No 2.

I purchase the wine and have a nice plastic cup full.

Suddenly life is starting to look good again. Inside my head I am humming Madonna's "Holiday" and Wham's "Club Tropicana." I may even have started to chair dance ever so slightly..

I engage the children in a very fun game of "I-Spy" and "If the other passengers were an animal which one would they be." It's very funny. Bordering on hysterical. I'm starting to believe that I may actually have become a Supermom. Wine is a marvellous thing....

Then Mr G comes up and gives me The Look. Normally The Look is reserved for after we have been out to dinner with friends and I have had a few lovely drinks and am looking for somewhere to go dancing/ the nearest casino to gamble in. The Look = "maybe you have had enough dear and should go home."

Mr G: "The plane is here and they are boarding."
Slightly sozzled NotQuiteSupermom: "Ooohh. Jolly good..(sniggering) Do you know the kids think that man over there looks like an American BullFrog?"

I make my way out onto the tarmac where the plane is waiting. Pushing a pushchair, carrying 3 x handbaggages, 5 x boarding passes stuffed in the pocket of my jeans, 3 x paper bags with snacks in and 1 x very precious bag with the Nectar of the Gods in it. Wobbling ever so slightly.

Cue Mistake No 3.

I always like to have a glimpse at the pilot. I think its important to check just who you have handed control of your life to for the next ? hrs. If I had a choice of pilot I would opt for Captain ­Chesley Sullenberger. He's the guy from the Hudson River crash. He's the guy I want flying the plane I'm on. What a great pilot.

Unfortunately as I sneak a look at the pilot I begin to have a "Doogie Howser Moment."
This is happening to me rather a lot now I am getting older. Captain Doogie Howser is also reading what looks suspiciously like a MANUAL.

Jesus Christ.

I feel another glass of wine coming on.

At the steps I have to eject the kids from the buggies, stop the buggies tipping over with the weight of stuff I have hung on the back, stop the kids crying from the noise of the plane, fold down the pushchairs and then climb a near vertical set of stairs up to the plane carrying 2 kids, 3 x handbaggages, 5 x boarding passes stuffed in the pocket of my jeans, 3 x paper bags with snacks in and 1 x very precious bag with the Nectar of the Gods in it.

You try that a bit pissed.

At the top of the stairs a heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess greets us. Sullenly. Air travel ain't what it used to be.

We struggle to find anywhere to sit. There is no reserved seating on the plane so it's a free for all..

I manage to get a row with 3 seats for me, Ryan and Alfie. I have the baby on my knee. Mr G manages to find a seat about 10 rows ahead of us.

Crafty Bastard.

Now I know why he didnt want to pay extra to reserve seats.

Mr G gets out his book and reclines his seat. He turns around to give me the thumbs up.

I want to thump him. Or trade places.

But I smile sweetly and store this up for future use.

I get out 10 thousand Power Rangers, some comics, Top trumps, a painting set, colouring books, dolls, snacks, Connect 4 and pretty much the majority of our handluggage. I also get out my bottle of wine and have a sneaky small glass.

Ok. I can do this.

A zillion games of Connect 4 later...(no Ryan..4 in a ROW... ANY WAY you bloody want..oh..OK..you win....)
and I have started to scrutinize the bottle of wine on the little table infront of me. "Drink me" said the small bottle of wine. "No..because you might not be able to walk when you get off the plane" said the very persistent conscience of NotQuiteSupermom.

Luckily fate intervened..in the form of: Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess.

Thank Christ.

Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Vot esss theess" (she isnt from around my neck of the woods...clearly.)

I look at her in a very bemused way. I know intelligence probably isn't super high on the job description (ouch!)..but really? Is she shittin' me? Surely she knows a bottle of wine when she sees one?
NotQuiteSupermom; "That is a bottle. Of white wine." (brief nod towards the kids) "For Medicinal purposes."
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "I vill take theess." *snatches bottle* "You must only take the wine that vee sell on de plane."
NotQuiteSupermom: *spluttering* "But those miserable mini bar/ airplane little ones with only 1 glass in aren't enough for me to cope with 3 kids by myself on a plane? And they cost £7 a bottle!"
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Vell. Thats is the price you vill have to pay."

And off she stomps with my bottle.

Later in the flight she comes round with the drinks trolley. Just as she passes me she says this:
Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "Tea? Coffee? Vhite Viiiiine?"
And she smiles (for the first time in the duration of the flight.)
A very smug smile.

At least she has a sense of humour behind that Heavily made up and not welcoming face. Either that or she is a complete and total bitch.

What really screwed me was getting off the plane.

I had to wake up our sleeping princes and princessa. Such a shame because they looked so lovely. AND they were quiet.

Mr G just legged it. With one hand luggage.

I was left with 3 kids. 2 of which cant walk as they are asleep. One is half asleep. I was also left with collecting from underneath our seats: 10 thousand Power Rangers, some comics, Top trumps, a painting set, colouring books, dolls, snacks, Connect 4 and pretty much the majority of our handluggage.

Shit.

Having loaded up the hand luggage and strapped it across my body, donkey styleee, I realise I no longer fit down the aisle of the plane. I havent even added the kids yet.

At this point the "helpful cabin crew" decide to switch off the lights on the plane.

Thinking everyone had gone.

I am struggling.

Heavily made up and not welcoming Air Stewardess: "The last bus is leaving now. They are all waiting."

NotquiteSupermom: *to herself* "Oh..are they really....? well they are going to have to SODDING wait then. OR I will have to BLOODY WALK TO THE TERMINAL. Do you want THAT on your insurance. Do You? Do YOU?"

Obviously what I REALLY said was: "Can I have my bottle of white wine now please? I think I might need it later......."








Tuesday, 6 October 2009

My Nemesis

Obviously if you are going to attempt to become a SuperMom you are going to need to get yourself a Nemesis. EVERY Superhero and Wannabe Supermom has one.

Buzz Lightyear had the evil Emperor Zurg. Superman had Lex Luther. Spiderman had The Green Goblin (whose head I discovered yesterday placed under my pillow by my "mini mafia" in a way highly reminiscent of The Godfather.) Batman had...shit..hundreds of archenemies. That Gotham City is sooo not a place to raise kids.

And NotQuiteSupermom has.... LOLA.

Not her real name.

For obvious reasons.

Unfortunately for me my Nemesis lives right over the street. Even Superman didnt have to put up with seeing Lex every single time he looked out the window.

Lola is perfect.

EVEN HER HUSBAND IS PERFECT.

What I find amazing is that not only do we live opposite each other...we are the EXACT opposite of each other. Its like finding your opposite twin...if that makes sense. I am short, dark haired and, dare I say it...possibly NOT a contestant for America's Next Top Model. Lola is tall, glamourous and waif-like with amazingly well behaved blonde hair. We do have one or two things in common..which just makes the whole thing much much worse.

1.We both live opposite on the same street.
2.We both moved in within months of each other.
3.We both spent the best part of a year demolishing half our houses and rebuilding them.
4.Our eldest children are the same age. (I have a boy and she has a girl.)
5.We were both pregnant with our 2nd child and due at the same time. (I had a boy, she had a girl. ) It goes without saying that Lola had the smallest baby bump ever..whereas I had to stop driving at about 7 months as I could no longer reach the wheel or the pedals. Obviously I HAD to go one better and have ANOTHER baby. Presumably just so I have a good reason why I can never be as perfect as her.
6.We both have the same type of cars. Except hers is clean.
7. We both have the same cream carpets..chosen by an interior designer in her house. Chosen by me in mine. Which can only be A Good Thing. Except mine aren't cream anymore....

.......

Let's take a brief trip together into "Lola's World".....


Household

Lola's home is like a never ending merry-go-round of people there to help.

From gardeners to car valeters...to curtain makers and interior designers...nannies to dog walkers..it appears there is NOTHING this woman can do by herself..

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she has a cleaner who works all day long.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays I too have a cleaner who works all day.

Me.

I give myself Thursdays off.


On Wednesdays, while Lola is out playing tennis at the local posh tennis club, a dog groomer comes round to her house to pamper her dogs.

Her dog is about the size of a rat.

Occasionally, on Wednesdays, I attempt to hoick 35kilos (x2) of pure dog into a lovely warm soapy bath.

By Friday I may have finished cleaning up the mess.

If I'm lucky.


Children

It goes without saying that Lolas house doesnt even look like children live there. There are NO fingerprints on the cream walls...NO squashed strawberries on the stairs and, even more shockingly, NO mini soldiers ready to gorge out a piece of your foot when you tread on them accidentally...

Lolas children look like they have stepped out of a catalogue. My children look like they haven't seen a bath in months (even if they just had one) or that they totally missed their mouths when they had lunch (which they did) or that they have been digging up the garden all day (which they have.)

Once when we were all invited over to lunch my children enticed her children out into her garden to make mud pies. All over the new decking. Lola was not best impressed.

However I found the whole experience rather uplifting.


Romance

Remember that Perfect Husband that Lola has?

Be prepared to be VERY jealous...

On cold mornings I go out and scrape the ice from Mr Gs car in my pyjamas, teeth chattering, hands turning blue JUST SO he wont be late to work.

LOLAs husband comes out and starts her car so its nice and warm for her when she leaves.

For tennis..

Life is such a bitch sometimes...

Occasionally our husbands mow the lawn at the same time. I catch myself looking out the front window of my house at her husband (mental picture: Tanned, toned, top off, youthful boyish looks..ok..I know..ENOUGH!) And then turning to look out the back window at mine (mental picture: red faced, swearing, kicking the sodding lawn mower...in his gardening clothes...) *Sigh*

The worst happened on Valentines Day....

Mr G is not known for his love of anything romantic. That morning I had a Valentines card from him with a picture of a dog on it (what is he trying to say...DONT overanalyze) and a little note from the dogs:

"Roses are red
Violets are blue
we would like a walk today
How about you?"

I took the point.

About as soon I got back a Florist delivery man turned up at my door. With the BIGGEST and most AMAZING bunch of flowers you have ever seen. They even had a "I love you" balloon attached to them.
NotquiteSupermom (opening door): "Oh. MY. God. They are the most beautiful flowers. Ever."
Florist delivery man: "Yes they are really stunning aren't they."
NotquiteSupermom: "Yes. And they have a Balloon!"
Florist delivery man: "I dont suppose you would mind taking them in . The lady over the road isn't in right now...*(Wednesday=tennis)*...would you be so kind as to pop them over for her when she gets back?"
NotquiteSupermom: ".....oooooooo...k..."

Cue the following conversation when Mr G got back from work:

Notquitesupermom: "why dont you ever get me flowers?"
Mr G: "why? Do you want some?"
Notquitesupermom: "Well....not hugely..but sometimes it would be nice?"
Mr G; "Its funny you should mention flowers as I was out at lunch today and I walked past a florists."
Notquitesupermom: (holding breath).."And?"
Mr G: "And I thought about buying you some."
Notquitesupermom: "And....???"
Mr G: "well..I nearly did..but I was in a bit of a hurry to get my sandwich for lunch. So I didnt bother. But, hey, I Thought about it.."

Hmmm...

I am suspecting that A MAN may have made up the phrase "Its the Thought that counts."

Bitter?

Moi?

Dont be silly!! xxx




 

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