Aimee Horton

When it’s about w(h)ine.


Today has not been a good day, which is a shame as it had all the qualities to be a lovely day.

Yes, admittedly I have girl flu and have been up half the night with The Chunky Monkey, who whilst didn’t get out of bed “until the sunshine comes up” did spend most of the night shouting “MUMMMEEEE III NEEEEEEDDD MILKKKKKKKK PLEEASSEEE. NOW“. Normally I wouldn’t cave quite so easily, but I’m tired, The Beast is tired, Mr Aimee is tired, we’re all bloody tired apart from him.

However, Mr Aimee let me sleep in for a bit longer then normal, and we agreed to visit my mum after The Beasts tennis lesson. Not mega busy, but nicely leisurely. Perfect.

Except for one tiny issue. The Whine.

Anyone with kids knows what I’m talking about. Noise I can cope with, I’m not saying I particularly like it, but I can cope with it. I can zone it out, either by opening a car window, turning on the fan over the hob, or putting on a song LOUDLY. I’ve even been known to succumb to a song that they like just to get them dancing and not talking, but whining. That’s another issue all together.

I’d love somebody to do a scientific study on whining. A study which analyses the pitch and octaves of a whine, along with discovering the proof that it does actually make grown mums and dads NEED an alcoholic beverage. How does it make you feel like you would actually rather jump out of a moving vehicle then hear that sound FOR ANOTHER MINUTE? HOW does it make you actually seriously google the term “is taping my child’s mouth shut frowned upon?” followed swiftly by Is there such thing as a Gin Drip?.

You see, the whine is a sound which sends shivers down the spine. It grates more than a cheese grater on your knuckles, it’s JUST NOT NICE.

It sits along par with nagging, and talking over you. Oh…and asking the same question again, and again, and again, and again, AND AGAIN, so that even though your answer is always the same, the way in which you present it changes each time in an act of frustration and desperation…

“yes darling, you can have something to eat when we get to Grans”
“yes, when we get to Grans”
“not now I don’t have anything when we get to grans”
“well, where am I going to get the food from now?”
“I know you’re desperate but I can’t make food appear as if from nowhere”
“what do you expect me to do? Magic it from my bottom?”
“If you say the phrase ‘desperate hungry…except for a banana’ one more time I may be forced to scream”

The Whine today caused Mr Aimee to utter the slightly naive phrase “I just can’t take it anymore, they’re always worse when we’re both at home” to which I want to shout “NO YOU JUST DON’T SEE IT WHEN YOU’RE AT WORK YOU DOOFUS”, however I replied swiftly with the justification of “no, this is how they are, you see, do you now understand the reason you get a text at 3.45pm saying ‘hurry home…bring gin’, imagine dealing with it ON YOUR OWN”.

So how does one deal with a whine? After a bit of investigation there isn’t such thing as a soundproof suit, there isn’t such thing as a gin (or prosecco, or any alcoholic beverage) drip, and it’s apparently it’s not acceptable to tape your child’s mouth shut (and even if you do this the tone of which a whine comes out can still be heard).

So I’ve gone for the only solution possible, put them to bed bang on time, open the bar at 7pm and drink enough booze to remind yourself why you wanted the little >>insert word of your choice<< in the first place.

Pass the gin.

When it’s the end of the school year.


I know I was stepping back from my blog, but I couldn’t let today go by unmarked.  Why? Because today is The Beasts last day at school before the six week summer holidays.

I have mixed feelings, I’m sad, after all, Reception is such a special year, and I feel very lucky about how happily he’s settled, I’m dreading it – I have to spend six weeks arguing with him, and I’m proud, after all, we’ve all survived the transition from nursery “fling them through the door, dressed and they do all the rest” to Primary School “deliver them with a full stomach and a bag containing completed homework”.

From the first day I dropped him off, small and tiny in shorts which could have passed as cropped trousers a new way of life kicked in.  I didn’t feel sad until day 3 when he walked into the classroom without looking back, suddenly I felt a bit redundant, a bit needy. Don’t worry it didn’t last long.

Looking Small

It’s been a learning curve that’s for sure, one that I must admit I hadn’t expected.  I’m totally honest when I say I went into school naively, I looked at it as five days of free childcare even if it did end earlier then I needed, however I’ve learnt an awful lot.

I’ve learnt that actually I can be quite creative.  This year I have made dressing up costumes, collages (I USED GLUE WITH MY CHILD), I’ve made spiders webs, I’ve hunted for bugs, I have tadpoles still bloody growing in my cake tin (I thought it took like a few weeks, we’re on MONTHs right now).  Also, don’t you DARE tell anybody but I’ve actually quite enjoyed it.

I’ve learnt that I have two different four year olds. That’s right. There’s Spider-Man.  Leaping, jumping, climbing the walls, refusing to pick up a pen or pencil, can’t sit still for two seconds or play on his own for a minute.  That one answers back, tells me I’m no longer his best friend.  Then there’s the one that sits quietly, doesn’t really do role play, doesn’t shout or climb the walls and when you say “has he been good?” the response is always “as always”.  I seem to have the dud at home, because he’s not very nice right now.

I’ve learnt that I’m not cut out to be a teacher. SERIOUSLY how do they do it? On the times we sit down and do homework it was a high probability that I would end up in tears, usually mine.  The lack of focus, the lack of buy in, the amount of bribes “if you write this sentence tonight you can have lemonade with your dinner”, there are so many times I’ve just wanted to shout “S JUST WRITE S, SERIOUSLY JUST WRITE THE LETTER S” (I may have also shouted at times), before stalking out of the room to go and sniff the bottle of gin.  As with the creative side of things, Homework has brought out my competitive edge, especially as The Beast’s commitment to writing isn’t his best.  Therefore I have learnt to mount everything to make up for his short comings, and through the year have worked my way through about three pritt-sticks.

I have learnt that it is probably the shortest day in the world. Seriously by the time you’ve had a two hour natter at the school gates, got in the car, come home and cleared up the carnage I might as well just turn around and go and pick him up.

And that leads me to the school run.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s not actually that bad.  YES the dragging myself out of bed, and firing orders (which I have to repeat 50 million times “WHY ARE YOUR SHOES STILL NOT ON DO IT DO IT DO IT”) side of things is a bit of a pain, and so is the general hyper-ness and bickering. Usually in the car I can drown it out, being the only one who sings along to the jolly phonics CD (my personal fave is Inky, what’s yours?).  But, once I’ve found somewhere to abandon my car (I suddenly understand why you have to reverse your car around a corner in your driving test – I am now quite good at reversing), I get to natter to a few people, you know, ADULT conversation.  But then, I’m still remembering the last few weeks, where the sun is shining, and everyone is happy, I’ve blocked out the cold COLD COLD winter, where it’s minus gazzillion degrees, the beating rain, and the meltdowns.  The meltdowns from The Chunky Monkey.  Wants to be in his pushchair, doesn’t want to be in his pushchair, he wants to be in the carseat no, no he doesn’t actually, before he hammers on the classroom door demanding to be let in to see the “wabbit”.  I’m forgetting that most days I have to discreetly replace certain items from the playground which The Chunky Monkey has smuggled into my car, secretly disappointed that it wasn’t jewellery or money.

I’ve also learnt that all of a sudden I know a lot more people.  Which in turn means I bump into a lot more people who can witness my lack of control on my children.  Teachers catch me wagging my fingers and making threats,  catching me at the end of my tether in the queue in a shop where I’m responding with my usual mature version of “I can too come to your party, after all I’m paying for it”, or see me tucking The Chunky Monkey under my arms as he kicks and screams because he was trying to steal a saw from a DIY store.

I’ve learnt that nothing is sacred, that he stretches the truth, and then tells his teachers.  His current teacher thinks that I “forget” to go shopping so he has to have spaghetti hoops, let him play in the road on his own, and walk about with him upside down.

I’ve learnt that logo polo shirts do not wash well.  That my son feels inclined to get the marker pens and paints out when he’s wearing them, and even the ones without the big green and black marks on them, have washed a sludgy grey, whereas the three for £2 ones from Sainsbogs are still pristine and white.  That school shoes get scuffed (and only start at about a size 7, he’s still as size 6), that knees get bloody, sleeves get snotty, pants get skiddies, and waterbottles always leak when there’s something important in the bag.

Last Day

But most importantly, I’ve learnt how much my boy has grown and developed because of the influence from both his peers and teachers, I feel lucky that he has a great group of friends, and that his first  teachers have been amazing. The teachers especially have been a huge part of his development helping him grow, giving him confidence, a sense of pride whilst helping him to assert himself (great, thanks for that), to speak out, and be his own person, and for this am grateful,  proud, and a little bit emotional.


Here’s to Year One.  Maybe they’ll have built boarding facilities by then.

When you visit the Supermarket


I LOVE supermarket shopping.  No. Really.  I’m not being sarcastic at all.  I love it.  While everyone else was flapping about doing the Christmas food shop I couldn’t believe my luck when Mr Aimee ducked out and offered me the chance to go to The ‘Trose ON MY OWN in the EVENING.  I snapped his hand off, picked the kids up from school, threw them at him through the front door and was off, my printed off excel document print out in hand.

I grabbed my trolley and walked through the automatic doors pausing to sweep up recpie cards and take in the smell of the cafe (our Waitrose is the only supermarket on earth I know that doesn’t pump fresh bread into the foyer), and I was off.  Whilst everyone seemed to be in a rush and a panic, I sailed down the aisles pausing to look at everything that there was to offer.  I returned home two hours later with a significant dint in the Christmas budget and slightly ruffled, mumbling something about the twinkling light up Kleenex tissue boxes being on a BOGOF.

And this is why I’m not usually allowed to venture into the supermarket on my own very often.

Sadly, it really doesn’t happen very often these days.  I am usually escorted by my entourage, all with their special stop-spending-super-powers.  I have Super Scrimper – with his “HOW MUCH?” and “What do we need this for?” whilst looking stressed, anxious to get the the alcohol aisle (thanks for that, local Morrisons btw – having the booze at the beginning means I rarely make it past the salad and crisps before I’m ushered to the tills).  Every item I pick up is frowned at, before he nips off to the shelf to check if there’s an equivalent product for 20p.

Following closely behind is Super-Wanter.  The four year old who is unable to walk around the supermarket, but hates being sat in the trolley next to his brother. Grudgingly he takes up position in the trolley, his super sonic eyes flicking around, taking in everything whilst he inhales a packet of raisins.  “I want that” is repeated frequently.  Whether he’s motioning to a Spider-Man toy, a giant bar of Dairy Milk, a book, or randomly a solar light hedgehog.  He also makes tactful remarks such as “Look at the massive wheels on his wheel chair, do you think he’s in that because he crossed the road without looking left and right?”“Gosh. That man is very fat – perhaps he should buy some bigger high-up sleeve tops”. “I’m BOREEEDDD mummy, this is BORRINGGG…OI GET OFFF MEEEE…MUMMYYYYYY HE’S LOOKING AT ME…MAKE HIM STOP LOOKING AT ME”.  The first few comments I can cope with, the embarrassment of the innocent insults to the general public..well…perhaps SHE should have bought some bigger t.shirts (that’s right. She).  But I know that I’m on a clock when he’s having an issue with his brother LOOKING at him.

Then we have Super-Loud.  Nothing is quiet, from the second we enter the shop he can be heard.  If we’ve managed to find a trolley outside he’s wailing because he wants to walk, and if we’ve just found one, he is screaming “NOOO MUMMYYY NOOOOOO” In that way that causes people to turn around and witness you karate chop the back of his knees so he buckles and falls into the seat.  They consider calling the Social Services, but realise that sadly, while they wait for them to appear on a Saturday afternoon, they will probably have to look after the child in question, and nobody wants to deal with the trail of snot that’s worked its way down his face and is slowly dripping from his chin onto his mucky jeans knees (do they not clean supermarket floors? My children end up being filthy, gathering black muck on their clothes, while they’re lying there kicking and screaming).  After removing the packet of raisins he’s thrown in my hair he slowly calms down and is pacified with some Mini Cheddars.

This is when he usually spots the numbers.

Suddenly Super-Loud is in his element, causing a competitive number shout off between him and Super-Wanter.  “FOUR” “ELEBEN” “SEBEN” “LOOOK MUMMYYYY NINBTEEN”.  That’s not the snot causing him to talk with a B, he pronounces all the numbers with a “B” in the middle rather than a “V”.  As I’m hurrying through the shop the aisle numbers are pointed out to me in glee, both seeing who can spot the next number first.  My thoughts are becoming muddled – have you ever tried trying to work out which spice you need whilst having various things barked at you continuously until you respond.  It’s not just the aisles aisles, every price is spotted “LOOK MUMMYY EIGHT EIGHT…” Yes, that’s right, you’re reaching to grab an £8 bottle of wine to cuddle.  For a child so against fruit you sure as hell don’t mind carrying a delicate bottle of wine about whenever you get to the supermarket.  By the wine aisle Super-Wanter is sitting in silence. Sulking because he’s spotted a spiderman gob stopper which I refuse to let him have.  Sullen he glares in disgust at the snotty brother still enjoying the game.

Then I make the mistake of having to double back.  I’ve forgotten something.  Usually cherry tomatoes.  Aisle number four at Saisbogs. Just so you know.  Which means I am treated to backwards counting, I feel as if the clock is ticking “MUMMY TEN-NINE-EIGHT-SEBEN-SIX…”

I shove the trolley in Super-Scimpers direction and order him to a till, “I’ll meet you there” I say, grabbing additional bottles of tonic water and wine that’s at the end of the aisle, stopping for an extra lime.  

We don’t need to discuss where to meet, the foghorn in place ensures we never lose each other (dammit).

The tills is the really tricky bit.  There’s no room to spin the trolley ’round.  There are no distractions.  Super-Loud is hugging Super-Wanter.  Big Mistake. Neither children make small talk with the checkout girl, who starts to coo then takes one look at them and decides better of it, firing the contents of the trolley down the conveyer belt at double the speed packing some bits of me to get us out of her face as quickly as possible.

We tumble out of the shop and into the car, vowing to do online shopping and have it delivered to the house from now on.  During school hours.

Pass the gin.