Aimee Horton

When you have to remind yourself of the benefits.

Sep
23

I don’t know about you, but there are just some days when I sit back, close my eyes, and think “what have I done?”.  I know that sounds horrible, and it’s not something you want to admit, however, when you’ve had about 10 hours sleep spread over three nights, and you’re being told to “chill out because you’re giving me a headache” by a four year old, I hope guess you can be forgiven for thinking the grass is greener.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of positive reasons for having kids.  You know, just in case I forget again.

Birthday Parties.

I know that a lot of people see invitations to kids birthday parties as a hindrance but for me it’s perfect.  In exchange for a card and small gift I get a few hours out at the weekend where I get to dig into a birthday buffet (party eggs, wotsits and Cadbury’s fingers – you can’t go wrong), chat to other parents, whilst having more capable adults control my children.  I get to bop along to such classics as “The Superman Song” and “The Hokey Cokey”, and after it’s all over, I get to confiscate the Haribo from the party bags.

Naughty “nursery” food.

I’m just going to say five words Fish fingers, chips and Beans. You can’t beat them, hot or leftover on the plate. #thatisall

The Bar.

The minute you give birth, a new milestone suddenly appears in your daily routine.  Opening The Bar.  A time of day where once you’ve got over all the tears and tantrums, air punched when the bedtime hour song comes on the tv (ONLY FIFTY-NINE UNTIL BED TIME), and finally tucked the little darlings in, you get to sit down and take that first well deserved relaxing sip of meths whatever tipple you fancy.

Silence is golden.

There was a time, BB (BeforeBeasts) when I couldn’t stand silence.  Seriously, I ALWAYS had to have the tv, radio or some music on.  Even overnight and I was struggling to sleep I would have something on low, to drown out the tell tale creaks of people breaking in (paranoia at it’s best), or to calm my mind down, stop it whizzing around with everything I had to worry about.  When Matt went to the gym I’d hate it – what would I do with myself?! Now I have so much problem. On those rare occasions where I’m on my own I often just sit, lights dimmed, clutter of the day around me, and close my eyes and take it in.  Hearing myself think is a rare treat these days.

There are more hours in the day.

Thanks to the joy of children, you don’t need to worry about pesky lie-ins hindering your productivity.  With an extra 4-5 hours kick starting your day you’d think we’d get everything done.  It’s just a shame you need to constantly stop to top up the caffeine drip.

Specialist Subjects for Mastermind

I never thought I was smart enough to go on Mastermind.  I never really had a specialist subject (unless knowing all the Bananarama dance routines count?)

However, these days I could be champion.  After all, I bet I am the only person who has no interest in superhero movies to know the entire script to all three of the “Spiderman” trilogy.

I also bet that there are a lot of us out there that could give you a five year run on all the CBeebies seasonal songs.  For example “SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER TIME” was 2009.  If you’re interested.  Which I know very few of you are.

Legitimate Reasons to watch kids TV.

Cinderella, Toy Story, Scooby Doo, The Land Before Time, Shrek, Ice Age, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Horrid Henry, Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig.  The list is endless.  A chance to regress to your childhood, zoned out on the sofa with a blanket, a packet of Penguin biscuits and a strawberry Nesquik.

Just please be prepared for disappointment of change. You now have Postman Pat and the “SPECIAL DELIVERYYY SERVICE” theme and Thomas’s face is moving, somebody NARRATES for Pingu,  Oh, and DO NOT get me started on Fireman Sam.

Always being able to win.

Snap, Hungry Hippos, Running Races, Scatch, Swing Ball, Buckaroo, Operation, Downfall, all games I would fail at.  But it’s OK now as I can beat my four year old.  Just.

Living through your child

I always wanted Hungry Hippos but I had to settle for playing it at friends houses.   My mum said I couldn’t have a Mr. Frosty as my sister had had it and it was rubbish (I WANTED TO BE THE JUDGE OF THAT), and a good day out was being able to go to the Early Learning Centre to play with the Brio train track that used to be set up.  No need to harbour that childhood resentment any more, we now have Hungry Hippos, I will happily play Brio all day (although if somebody touches my track there’s an issue), and I am considering a Mr. Frosty for Christmas this year.  I can live though my children to play with childhood wanna-haves .  Oh – and they are going to be pop stars too since that dream was never achieved.

And the final one, that moment when they look at you and their face lights up with love.  That’s when, no matter how tired you are, how frustrated, how angry, it’s worth it.


Just don’t tell them I said so.

When some toys are on your side.

Jun
06

On Friday a big brown box was delivered, however I snuck it away until Monday.

Why did I sneak it away?  Because I knew it contained hours of fun, and we were going out and needed to get in the car within 30 minutes, distraction would not have helped my already constant cries of “SHOES.ON.FEET” (which then got the response “perhaps you should try saying the magic word mummy” GAH).

The lovely people at Galt Toys had recently read my post about how evil toys are and wanted to show me that they’re not all out to get me.  Some might ACTUALLY be on my side.

So, on one of the hottest days of the year, while Fatso was napping and all The Beast wanted to do was watch Spiderman, I brought out the box.

As you will see the child takes after me and loves a good present opening session, Spiderman in tow…when he finally let me join in we found three things to play with.  A Marble Run, a board game and some jigsaws for Fatty.

First up, the marble run.   We opened the box and my first thought was “I’m going to die on these marbles”, however, after the initial calming him down stage, building, destroying and re-building runs (with no instructions), he got the hang of it, so I fibbed and said I was nipping off for a wee, and for an entire hour all I had to do was pop in and watch an excited 3 year old drop marbles down the runs he’d produced  THIS NEVER HAPPENS.  WIN.

Since then it’s been out most days, and even though I know it’s for older kids, Fatty also enjoys dropping the marbles down and will happily sit playing pre-bath time.  With the exception of the arguments about the Fat One body slamming the carefully constructed run from time to time, it’s quite nice to see them playing together in a fairly harmonious fashion.


Later that day I bribed my friend and her daughter over with the promise of numerous cups of tea and cake.

We set up Pirate Pursuit after a stint in the garden – perfect bribe to bring them in for a bit of time out.  It’s aged from 3-7 years, so we dumbed down the instructions so that it was easier for two 3 year olds with short attention spans (who aren’t good at losing) to get in to.

Even knowing I was going to lose (apparently it was a good idea to let them win at least the first time ), it was great fun, and I love the idea that we can adapt it as the boys get older so it’s got some real longevity.  They both got the hang of it quickly and the wind up boat added a bit of extra.

Just so you know, I wasn’t allowed to be red (Heidi was hmph), AND I came last.

We played the game a lot over the RAINY HORRIBLE bank holiday weekend, and it was a god send.  I love board games, but some of them tend to be so wild, this was a lot calmer, and also not so bulky we can’t keep it tidy in its box.

I left Fatso for another day.  He’s always been good at playing lining up/putting in and out/organising type games (that’s my boy), so these puzzles were perfect for him.

Two piece puzzles of bright animals which meant whilst teaching him to put them together I can rope the horrible one in to making the animal noises for him.  Therefore, whilst I was painting my toe nails, The Beast took it upon himself to help out, and as you can see Fatty was impressed…at times he was even a little too premature with his celebrations!

As a whole, a success, the toys still have potential to be tricking me, lulling me into a false sense of security, but so far they’re allowing me to drink that cup of tea while it’s still warm.

Thank you to the lovely people at Galt for sending them in return of a review.

When the toys come to get you.

May
05

Wooden toys, plastic toys, bright toys, fiddly toys, loud toys, messy toys, toys which contain a million bits, toys that contain batteries, toys for imaginary play, toys to develop motor skills, toys that make them laugh, toys that help them learn.  They are all meant to achieve the same thing “entertaining and developing your child”.  This is probably the case, but they also appear to have another purpose.

To cause a nervous breakdown before killing me.

Oh don’t look so shocked, you all know what I’m talking about.  I can’t be the only one to have a house which appears to be bursting at the seams with these little death traps.  Death traps which are broken down and segregated into their own little groups, each with it’s own mission, it’s own task to help them achieve the final goal.

Firstly, there’s the loud group.  These are often gifts.  The Xylephone from Nan and Grandad, the Guitar and talking laptops from cool Uncle John, the cars and racing track from Granny.  Tasked to come out of the woodwork when I have a headache, when I’m trying to concentrate, when one of them is trying to sleep.  The noise works away at you, starting as just an annoyance, getting into your brain so that you sing their songs in the shower, and mutter their phrases as you tidy up, niggling away, then they work down your neck, into your shoulders, before your spine is tense, until, finally you stand on a Rice Krispie, and feel the need to lock yourself into the toilet for 20 minutes to compose yourself.

Then there’s the toys which have lots of bits.  You know the ones I mean,shape sorters are a good example.  We have these eggs.  They’re great.  They’re in a little plastic egg box and have lids on and can be sorted into shapes and colours, very educational.  Every day they get lost.  Every day I end up crawling around fishing them out from under the coffee table, finding them behind my bottle of Black Stump in the wine rack, IN MY SLIPPER.  I hate it.  I can’t REST when there are toys not fully in a set.  On Thursday night I struggled to sleep because I KNEW that one of the dinosaurs from Harry’s bucket was in the back of Matthew’s car and he was in Scotland.  You can always be sure that if a toy is missing a piece (one of the balls from Hungry Hippos is missing), it’s the game they want to play.  I can’t STAND the look of disappointment and I can’t STAND the feeling of disorganisation, knowing that somewhere in my house there is the final puzzle piece was lurking, hiding, mocking me.  Like a bad ass game of hide and seek.

The ones that should be perfectly safe but are dangerous are amongst the worst, giving me heart failure, images of broken bones and frequent trips to A&E flash before my eyes.  They tell my children how to use them incorrectly.  We have the xylophone which is used as a skateboard, it has wheels on it, so is placed upside down and skids across the floor…often left for me to trip over.  It’s the same with the ball and hammer set.  You know the thing I mean, a plastic thing where you can hit balls into with a hammer and they roll down and out. Can’t remember the official name for it, as it’s known in our house as “the hand catcher”.  Fatso always shoves his hand down the ball shaped hole and his little chubby wrists get stuck and I have to wiggle them out amid a flood of tears and snot.  Even simple fancy dress costumes can cause problems when they involve spiderman doing intricate balancing poses off the back of MY LOVELY LEATHER CHAIR which I only witness as I’m coming out of the shower.

Finally, there’s the sneaky ones left to kill me.  They often come under the disguise of cars. Strategically nestled on the second step down, hidden from view because of the stair gate, ready for you to stand on, to trip you up.  Although, sometimes other toys join in this group, a swing, swinging back and smacking you in the face, or a foam rocket launch thingy majiggy that shoots across the room smacking you in the back of the head. Marbles skittering across the tiled floor just as you’ve put your heels on causing me to stumble and slide across, only saving myself by landing on the sideboard.  All of them working together to create a comedy sketch style demise.

There are others, others which personally I think should get you signed off motherhood with stress.  Paints for example.  Crafts. Glitter.Glue. Transformers.  I could go on, but just typing this is causing me to hyperventilate.

Just remember troops – keep your eyes peeled – over and out.