Aimee Horton

When you turn the television on.

Feb
26

When I fell pregnant everybody told me that I’d have no time for myself.  That my leg hair would grow long and wiry  that my face would be make up free, and dirty laundry would be piled up around my house unable to be dealt with.

Their suggestions at my lack of life were then enhanced by these bloody stupid Facebook shares that keep doing the rounds about how by trading the hairdressers, or nice handbags that you loved being a mum, that you were being a good mum.  They make me stabby.

I prepared myself for the worst, I ensured my nails were devoid of varnish (no time to paint them you see), and cut my hair into a style that didn’t require any effort (no time for a shower), and got ready.

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Well. That was an anti-climax.

You see, I’m not saying time isn’t tight, in fact, it does tend to slip away at an alarming rate, however, it’s nothing that good organisation, timetables and most importantly…kids tv, can’t help with.

That’s right, Kids TV.  Against the odds, three very important channels have become an invaluable asset to my day to day life.   Thanks to Mr Tumble I’ve been able to apply fake tan.  Thanks to Chris and Poi I’ve been able to use the toilet in peace, and thanks to Peppa Pig I’ve been able to stick a load of washing in without anybody attempting to commit suicide over the stair-gate.

Before you judge, don’t worry, I don’t stick my children in front of the television all day every day they never bloody sit still for that long however, I don’t see what’s wrong with them sitting infront of a few programmes, after all, they all have some educational element included (WHAT! I’ve learnt A LOT about Italy from Peppa Pig, and Mummy Pig is all about body confidence).

They’ve become my babysitter, some have been known to quote “free” babysitter.  However, sadly, nothing in life is free, and this is no exception, so as I sit on my sofa sharing a plate of rich tea biscuits with my children, I am paying the price for wanting my cup of tea while it’s still hot.  After all, all three channels have their flaws.

Sometimes it’s the presenters.  For example Jen from Milkshake, I want to like her. I really really do, (and Mr. Aimee has a huge crush on her), but she’s just so happy.  YES, I do appreciate that that makes me sound old and cynical but it’s true.  WHO THE HELL is that excited at stupid o’clock in the morning? SOMEBODY WHO DOESN’T HAVE CHILDREN THAT’S WHO!

We recently took the children to see Milkshake Live.  It was actually very good, and Mr Aimee was hugely excited when bursting onto the stage in an orange vest top and floral tapered trousers came Jen.

Matthew’s Crush

Happy to be there with you RIGHT THEN, perky, perhaps having drunk too many Red Bull’s Jen.  Jen who after her two performances can go home, and go to bed AND HAVE SOME PEACE AND QUIET.

Larry wasn’t as pleased to see her as he normally is…I think she was a little TOO excited.

Bovvered?

Bovvered?

Then there is Mr Bloom from CBeebies.  Now, I’m aware that apparently he’s considered “a bit of alright” in the mummy brigade?  Is that right? HOW?! I mean, apart from obviously needing a wash, you just get the impression that he’s rolled into work stinking of booze and kebabs after a night on the town with Katie.

Another Pint Guv?

“Katie?!” I hear you exclaim.

Yes. Katie.  Who has (in my opinion) given the hint on many occasions, that she doesn’t actually like children or cooking that much, so perhaps the night out with Mr. Bloom (OH MY GOD – are they together do you think?!), leaves enough alcohol in her system to allow her to fake her way through the enthusiasm of preparing “Falafel Footballs” (note the gutted look on the kids face when they realise that yet again they aren’t making a pudding) before picking up that god awful guitar and faking her way through the tuneless yet catchy songs.  Which now, as I type this paragraph are circulating my head, so even on my child free days, I’m humming about rolling up my sleeves and giving my hands a wash.

SEE! I’m REALLY ENJOYING MYSELF!

Over on Nick Jnr – home to back to back Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly,  no presenter registers as anything other then pretty vacant and not really there.  But that’s not the issue.  Neither are the toy adverts which are often followed by a small voice from the sofa saying “I need that” It’s their bedtime hour song.  Sickly sweet, with slightly scary children, and don’t even get me started  on the lyrics.  A TINKLE?! A TINKLE???!!!!!

At least the CBeebies version fills a parent with joy, it’s wholesome enough to sing along and sound like you’re being loving and nobody notices that the parent is actually doing an air punch and counting down the minutes until they can open the bar (sadly still just over 58 minutes after the song is complete).

But before you can get to bed, you have to watch the same Peppa Pig episode that has been playing day and night for the last week.  There have been approximately 209 episodes of Peppa Pig made.  WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME ONES ON TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

Cup of tea anyone?

I know I could change the channel, but the child has stopped attempting to wipe it’s nose in my hair, it’s moved away from the book shelves where it’s been systematically emptying it book by book, and is gravitating towards the TV.

 

I know I should be expressing rage at the show, dissecting it and discussing about how it betrays feminism, that certain characters such as the Bin Men have “working class accent’s”, yet the Doctor doesn’t, that apparently it encourages naughty behaviour…

…But you know what, pass me the gin because actually I’m enjoying five minutes of relative peace.

 

 

When you don’t always take the most conventional path.

Aug
29

Discipline is a tricky subject.  We have our own views, and we all know what Super Nanny suggests, but sometimes it doesn’t work like that.

I know, especially with the boys the age that they are, it’s often about consistency and picking battles.  Everyone picks different battles, you have to do what’s right for you (get me being all diplomatic).

Anyway.

I’ve always tried to be consistent, but I admit sometimes it doesn’t always go as planned.  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out I can’t be arsed.  Sometimes you are distracted with other things, and sometimes you’re just so tired that your fuse is shorter.  By you I obviously mean me.

I rely quite heavily on the counting and putting in the hall methods.  Along with a reward chart and the odd bellowing shout.  Or to put it simply “I muddle along helplessly”.  I am however usually fairly consistent with my muddling, for example, The Beast is aware that I mean business if I begin to count.  He may think he can counteract this with shouting “DON’T COUNT…I SAID DON’T COUNT MUMMY”, but he can’t.   I try to reason with my children, I really really do, but sometimes, especially the fat one, they just don’t LISTEN.  Admittedly, I wouldn’t think me a very authorative figure at times, but that’s BESIDE THE POINT, I’m the mummy they should ALWAYS listen.  What? My stroppy teenage tantrum doesn’t help prove my point? Oh.

Anyway, I’m not proud to admit it, but sometimes, once I’ve worn out the coaxing, the threatening, the shouting, the counting and the foot stomping stomping, I have to use some slightly more unconventional methods.

I know you’ve heard about these before, some of them may include brute force.  Sometimes it’s the only way!  Up until I had Fatty, I totally took for granted the fact that The Beast is actually quite weak and pathetic.  Think Scrappy Doo if you will.

I took for granted that when The Beast was going through the terrible two’s, even heavily pregnant, I could continue to peruse a certain aisle in the supermarket by simply tucking him under one arm while he kicked and screamed.  I may have even made a point of wandering up and down it a few times showing him who was in control. (HORMONES).

I totally took for granted that when he refused to stand in the hall I would simply pick him up and “pop him down firmly”  in it again for as many hours minutes as it took – even post c-section it wasn’t an issue.  Just as I totally took for granted that for the first nearly 3 years of his life if I decided I’d had enough, shut the door and leant on it, he couldn’t open it.

Or that in one swift headbutt movement if he chose not to bend to go into the car seat, I could bend him for it.  I still can.

Finally, I took for granted that when he refused to get dressed/let me change his nappy etc I could pin him down with one hand and complete the task without much bother.

With the Fat One it’s not as simple.  With me being 5ft 1 with scrawny arms and him weighing in at around 17kg there are only so many times I can carry him back to the hall before my arms physically can no longer lift him.

With the Fat One tucking him under my one arm is dangerous, especially when he does an amazing “throwing himself back” thrust where he nearly topples me over and I have to concentrate on putting him on the floor carefully.

When it comes to getting him dressed is IMPOSSIBLE.  Seriously, I’ve had to resort to a 20 minute work out of chasing him around whatever room we are in, putting one item of clothing on at a time.  Changing a nappy when he’s not in the mood is just not a feasible option, so I have to resort to my final offer. Sitting on him. WHAT?! I’M 5ft1inch TALL! WHAT ELSE am I going to do?!

The Beast, as a whole, is a little easier to control, he’s not perfect, but you can usually bribe reason with him.  However, there are some days, when he’s right on the edge.  You all know what I mean right? Tired/Hungry/highly strung.  Slightly squeaky, answering back…him not me!  When magnets don’t work, when threats don’t work, when there’s nowhere to lock place him to cool down.  Sometimes you just have to show him who’s boss.  So how do I do that?  Why, I threaten him of course. NO, I’m not talking about anything  that drastic, although I do appreciate the whole sitting on Fatty confession may not show me in the best light.

The phrase “Theodore if you don’t put your shoes on and get ready to leave soft play now I am going to take you into the toilets and turn the hand dryer on”  may have been used a few times.

There. I said it.  My eldest son is TERRIFIED of hand dryers.  Won’t go near them, tells strangers not to turn them on, therefore, it is now my weapon.

After all, I’m here to teach my children right? Lesson number one Don’t show weakness.

I’m not the only one though am I?  I’m not the only one to resort to the unconventional (“I’m not looking at you Theodore…not until you put your shoes on” “LOOOOK ATTT MEEEE LOOOOOK AT MEEE”), the weak (“You won’t be able to go to Big School if you don’t eat your dinner” – like I’m going to pass up the chance to free childcare five days a week), or the cruel (rustling a packet of crisps to ensure fat one folds into pushchair without turning into a plank, before handing them a tupperware pot containing grapes…although the joke is on me as I usually then have to de-slime the pushchair).

Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

 

 

When it comes to sharing.

Apr
25

My boys are getting older.  They’re starting to interact more, and they both enjoy their little imagination games at their own levels.

The Beast is Spiderman “cccsshhhh” “Hello Man, I’m Spiderman” “You be the butterfly and I be the spiderman”, and Fatty is just all about pushing his cars around and wandering around carrying various small figures in his hands “KKSSHHHHHHHHH”.  They’re both actually very cute.

I find it much easier to join in with the Fat One, it’s just much more simple (read my level) compared to the Beast and his ideas.

I’m RUBBISH at imaginary play, partly because I really have no desire to fight with webs whilst flapping my arms pretending to be the butterfly, and partly because I’m obviously not “down with it”.  The Beast frequently tells me off for doing it wrong  “no, you don’t flap your wings like that” “no, spiderman doesn’t shoot his webs like THAT silly” “no no no no NO MUMMY, Dinosaur doesn’t talk like that he talks like this”, and even the time I was relegated to mountain status, I failed to do my job properly, I was bored of lying on the floor while Buzz launched to infinity and beyond using my stomach as a launch pad, whilst Spiderman shot webs at my face.  So I had a quick look at twitter, and promptly got told off.  I wasn’t even allowed to close my eyes and have a nap.

Fatty is much easier.  I just get to push cars along the floor “brrummm brummm” or “choo choo” and I do a cracking building a tower and looking gutted when it’s knocked down, causing his little fat face to wobble with hysterics.  He doesn’t care what sort of voice I use as long as it’s a bit silly and contains a bit of body slamming in the process.  Rough nut.

The nice thing about the above, is that because their personalities are growing and developing, they’re beginning to play together, entertain one another, make up their own games.  Fatty will happily gaze in awe at the Beast while he does, well,  anything.    I can actually go for a wee without an audience, I am starting to remember what it’s like to apply eye liner without a car driving up my leg.  It’s amazing.

But there is a downside to the whole playing on their own.  Fatso REALLY REALLY loves The Beasts toys.  I mean, properly loves.  As soon as he spots his favourite Dinosaur lying on the floor he pounces on it “KSSHHHHH KSHHHHH” carrying it about jabbing it at other toys or in the air.  As soon as he notices Spiderman hanging from his web stuck to the patio doors he’s on it happily bending his legs and fingers “SSKKKKZZZZ SKKZZZZ” and as soon as the stair gate to the top floor is left open he is up those stairs as quick as a flash and grabbing the Hot Wheels cars and lining them up or dropping them down the ramp on the Fisher Price Garage.

The Beast, on the other hand, has amazingly rediscovered some toys he’d discarded for being “babyish” and “boring” and they are suddenly cool and “big boy not toggler” toys.  Such a coincidence that they’re the same toys that The Fat One loves.

So we have fights.  Proper, fisticuffs.  Yesterday there was this car.  A car which has been hiding at the bottom of the toy box for about a year and a half.  A car which The Beast never liked that much. A car which The Fat One is in love with .  You press the button on its top and it revs its engine before racing across the floor at top speed.  Suddenly The Beast likes it a lot.  “THAT’S MY CAR”.  I try and get them to share, but at one point I came back into the room after putting some washing in the dryer to find The Beast lying on his back, car above his head shouting “no no no THAT’S MY CAR” while Fatty was body slamming him and hitting him on the stomach and face.

I may have stood and watched briefly laughing, before confiscating the car.

Now, we’ve tried to fob The Fat one off.  He has his own age appropriate dinosaurs, he has his own chunky cars, he has his own more suitable little people to play with, even his own Buzz and Woody, but at the end of the day he’s really not interested…even if the Beast is.  He quite like playing with them all.

So I’ve made an executive decision, I’m going to just leave them too it, sumo wrestling for babies…I could make a FORTUNE.  I’m going to play it by ear.  Sometimes I will let them fight it out, sometimes I will tell one or the other off.

I guess the biggest thing I’ll encourage is sharing, although they both share quite well at nursery/when friends come to play, sibling sharing is a totally different kettle of fish isn’t it? You would rather play with the most boring toy in the world rather then have your brother or sister play with it.  Especially if they REALLY REALLY want it.