Boob money is legal tender y’all

Those of you that have boobs and wear a bra, listen up and listen good.

If you are not using the inside of your bra as a supplementary pocket, you are missing a trick.

The first time I ever did this, phoebe was a few weeks old. I was at a cash point, wrangling an infant whilst trying to withdraw cash. I had no pockets and my handbag was inaccessible due to shitness of design. Or possible overfill by me.* Anyway, I stuffed my card and cash into the left hand cup of my bra and voilla! Extra storage was born.

Now I keep allsorts in there. Not the liquorice variety (although…) It’s mainly keys, cash, cards and bits of paper. Although my front airbags have deflated somewhat since small child appeared, there isn’t enough room for the weekly shop.

I don’t deny that this crafty idea is without it’s drawbacks. At work, I asked a kid to go and get something out of my room. “won’t it be locked, Mrs Parker?” he chirruped. Why yes, meladdo, you are quite correct. Unfortunately for me, my room key was snuggled up against my left breast. After a sneaky removal, I handed it over triumphantly.

“It’s all hot!” exclaimed Jimmy.
“Er, yes… It was in my… pocket?” I replied uncertainly.

Anyway, I saw a picture on social media of a sign put up in a shop, stating that staff reserved the right to refuse sock and boob money, given the recent increase in temperature, often referred to as ‘summer’. Trust me, shop-sign-boob-sweat-haters, the cash you’re handling has seen worse than my left breast. And by that I mean the inside of a drug dealer’s rectum…. Probably.

*most likely.

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Signs I’m getting older/turning into my mother

In this day and age, 30 is pretty youthful. I’ve still got my whole life ahead of me. Right? Right. So as I approach the big 3-0, you can imagine my horror as I slowly realise I am actually getting older. Familiar utterings keep falling out of my mouth. Where have I heard this before, I wonder? Oh yes. In the back of my Mum’s Volvo in 1994.

I have opinions on washing detergent. It used to be I would but the second cheapest one- the same approach I use when purchasing wine. Now, though, I could have a whole conversation with you about powder versus liquid (don’t even get me started on liquitabs), what to use with whites our colours, how much I detest Bold 2 in 1… Bored yet?

I drive down the street and see young whippersnappers out painting the town red and say, “ooohhh, aren’t they cold? It must be 2 degrees!” You know, the kind of thing you used to properly roll your eyes at.

I get seen by GPs who appear to be younger than me. This can’t be happening. “what age are you, like 26?!” “Er, yes…” *awkward*

When I go out, I usually say, as my tuppence worth, “I don’t mind where we go, as long as I can get a seat. And the music isn’t so loud we can’t talk. And it’s not too busy…”

Shoes. I walk past shoe shops that have on display the brownest, thickest-soled, orthopaedic shoes ever, and instead of boking inwardly as I once would have, I slow down, and think “they look comfy! Good for work!”

It’s getting lighter now. Spring is in sight. My first thought? “ooohh, it’ll be good to hang washing out again!”

I’m a proper net curtain twitcher. “what do you think is going on at number 32?” If the police turn up in my street, I cancel all my plans. I’m not missing this!

Kids at school tell me. “You text like an old person.” “my granny takes those pills.” “I was born in 2001.” For god’s sake.

Other signs of my own mortality keep showing up. Pizza gives me indigestion. I creak a bit in the mornings. I use eye cream. At least I don’t have any grey hair-yet.

Some things about me

Just a random post about random things that rub me up the wrong way, or enliven my spirit with joyfulness. Or anything in between.

1. I hate talking on the phone. I find it boring and I’d rather be doing something else. If you phone me, you must consider yourself very lucky if I answer. Rather illustrative of this is the time when Ronald rang me during a class. So unusual is such an occurrence I thought I’d better listen to the voicemail he left. “I’ve been in a car accident, but I’m ok.” Och, I’ll see him in a few hours, no point in phoning.” Lol?

2. I detest Jeremy Clarkson. I hate his voice, his hair, his crappy, staged programme about cars that no one normal can afford, his stonewash Jeans and cord jacket combo, his reactive, inflammatory comments on current events… Just everything. The sight of him on my telly makes me want to tear my eyeballs from my head and stick them in my ears.

3. I love animals. All animals. I even rescue wayward worms and snails. I never kill any animals, ever. I ran over a rabbit once and I welled up every time I thought about it for Weeks.

4. I think watching sport is boring. Honestly, it’s totally lost on me. I come from a pretty sporty family and I’m the only one that would rather watch grass grow than have to sit through a rugby match.¬†

5. I think toilet humour is really funny. The word “jobby” is hilarious. It always raises a smile.

6. I’m a secret slob. I can visit the gym twice in a period of 48 hours and not shower in between. I would rather do a quick face, pits and bits and do a full makeup than bother with a bath. Seriously. I’m a bit like stradlater from catcher.

7. I’m a teacher, and although it’s got it’s downsides, I recognise the major perks- holidays, during holidays there is not work building up, emails waiting etc.

8. I really want to be an outside person. But my desire to be warm and dry vastly outweighs my desire to hear a lesser spotted birdywirdy’s mating call at sunrise. Sorry.

9. I only like to watch films I’ve seem already. Which is somewhat limiting, I’ll admit.

10. I love cleaning toilets. And bathrooms in general. Am I alone here?

11. I don’t like travelling. Not any part of it- the packing, the airport, the flying, the unknown… And as for actual ‘travelling’- “yah, I’m touring round south America for a year.” Fear! I’ll just stay here, thanks, with my metaphorical blanket of familiarity.

12. I can’t understand how some of the funniest and cleverest people I know are women, and yet most female comics are shite. Is this because clever and funny women don’t seek the limelight? Or because they’re doing better things? Or because in this world, the unfortunate truth is that the cream does not float to the top as it should…?

13. I buy stupid amounts of lotions and potions in the hope that one day I’ll wake up looking like a seventeen year old Russian supermodel. I know this is ridiculous. I can’t help it.

14. I eat really healthily until about 5 when I’m so ravenous I eat about 800 calories in ten minutes. I wish I knew how to change this.

15. I spend about hmmm, 50%, of my time wishing I was different. But I think that might be quite normal.

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PND and me

I woke up this morning really early (before the baby, what what?) and just felt I had to write about this. I went for a long time where I couldn’t tell anyone- not my husband, my mum, my best friends (although of course they knew) and I’m going through a time now where I feel the need to tell everyone. Sorry! Stop reading now if sad sacks bore you. ūüôā

Our daughter could not have been more wanted, more planned or more anticipated- not just by me, but by out whole family. I had a straightforward pregnancy by and large, and for most of it I felt great, and excited!

Things started to go wrong when I was about 41 Weeks. This was not going as I had planned. The birth was awful- induced, long, extremely intense and then it just stopped. Our purple baby girl was born (reluctantly!) by emergency section. And she was absolutely beautiful. I was elated, exhausted, euphoric. For a day or two.

I knew from when she was days old I had Pnd. I couldn’t stop crying, I was exhausted and everything seemed hard. I expected this, but nothing prepared me for it. As time went on, people said it would get easier, and in some ways it did- she began to sleep through the night and I had a better idea of what she wanted. Even on ten hours sleep, and a baby that I was coping with- she was fed, looked after; I felt I could lie down in the street and go to sleep. Leaving the house was so tiring I wanted to weep and I endlessly felt life was too hard, the burden too great for me to handle. Many days I wanted to get in the car and drive away and never come back. At my lowest points I closed my eyes to sleep and prayed I wouldn’t wake up.

It didn’t surprise me to read later that suicide is the most common cause of post natal death in the UK.

I wasn’t like this permanently, however. I would have days, even weeks, where I felt fantastic, back to myself, loving my new life as a mum and looking at her and feeling proud of what I’d achieved. I’d made a person! Go me!

Other days I wished she wasn’t there. I wished I wasn’t there. Everyone and everything disgusted me. I felt so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t cope. Even though I have a supportive husband who was bewildered and helpless to change my rollercoaster of emotions. Everytime I thought I was getting better, the darkness returned worse than before.

There’s a line in “catcher in the rye” when the famously mentally challenged Holden crosses the road and feels he’s disappearing. That’s how I felt- like the person I was had gone, and all that remained was this desperate and lonely skin. I felt like a ghost.

I’ve always had an ability to bounce back from things- like most people i’ve had my fair share of disappointments in life, but I always try to think it is for the best and move on. I thought that it would help me and I would feel better in time. By the time I stumbled into the doctor, when Phoebe was 17 months old, things were getting so bad I could hardly put one foot in front of the other without weeping like a woman bereaved.

I’m getting better now. Sometimes I wake up very early in the morning and wonder what I would be doing if I never got help. And it really is as scary as any nightmare.

I know this isn’t a novel or owt but I really want to thank some people.

To Jenna, who listened, and noticed.

To Laura, who made me remember myself, by always being herself.

To my long-suffering husband, for always loving me, not matter what version of me he woke up to in the morning. I love you bub x

To dorkymum, whose words of honesty and absolute clarity made me feel like I was not alone. Especially for her post on pnd.

To my mum and dad, whom I respect and love more than ever. X

Things I wish I’d known 15 months ago

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. My life would have been a while lot more pleasant if I’d known…

1. Labour can be hellish, unpredictable, and affect you more than you think. Luckily, it’s all a flash and a blur afterwards, even if it went in for days.
2. It’s ok to want to go on and on about it afterwards, especially if you feel disappointed by it.
3. If you don’t love your baby right away, it’s ok. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
4. It’s perfectly acceptable to look fat and mumsy for at least three months after birth. Accept you will never look quite the same way again. Making a whole new person can take the edge off your vitality, at least for a while.
5. Babies don’t need much stuff. Toys will be redundant for about 3 months at least.
6. Don’t allow people to treat your house as a baby-viewing caf√©. It is perfectly acceptable to say no visitors for two weeks. If people come, don’t feel bad about asking them not to come at the last minute, asking them to leave… etc. Yes, even grandparents. It doesn’t matter how much they spent on a gift.
7. Mummy friends are essential.
8. Non-mummy are essential. Don’t alienate them.
9. Try to breast feed. Even if you only manage a week, it’s a great start. Formula is magic stuff and I am so happy it exists.
10. You know your baby best. If you think something’s wrong, it probably is. If your mum is saying something’s wrong, but you think everything is good, you’re right.
11. Ignore all advice from people who had babies more than 5 years ago. Take the advice from people with under fives if you want to. If you don’t, smile and nod, and change the subject.
12. There are thousands of ways to bring up a baby. Only very few are wrong. Do it the way you want.
13. Don’t count down to your due date. If possible, don’t tell anyone your due date. 5% of babies arrive on time. If you go overdue, the 5000 “Have you had that baby yet?!” texts make you want to firebomb the senders’ houses.
14. All children walk, talk, sleep though the night, read, write blah blah blah at their own pace. No one likes a smug mum. Tell me once, I’ll be happy for you. Tell me five times, I might have to spill my coffee all over your cream carpet.
15. My baby is the most beautiful thing I’ve every seen, and the best thing I’ve ever done! But sometimes, I want to get away from her because she does my box in. See item ‘8’.

I’ve probably missed like 100 things out!

Sadness

I’m Facebook friends with a number of pupils I used to teach. It’s really nice to hear about what they’re up to- stuff I did at their age- drinking too much, going out too much, working too much, not studying enough, but scraping by.

But this week there was some terrible news.

The best way to remember is not by the bitter tears you have cried (and will cry), or the black empty void in your heart… But by living your life to the full, in memory of the one lost too soon, and the warm glow of good times past you are left with.

The words below always give me comfort. I hope they help.

Lots of love xox

Death is Nothing at all
Death is nothing at all 
I have only slipped away into the next room 
I am I and you are you 
Whatever we were to each other  That we are still 
Call me by my old familiar name Speak to me in the easy way you always used 
Put no difference into your tone  Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow 
Laugh as we always laughed 
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together 
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me 
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was 
Let it be spoken without effort  Without the ghost of a shadow in it 
Life means all that it ever meant  It is the same as it ever was 
There is absolute unbroken continuity 
What is death but a negligible accident? 
Why should I be out of mind  Because I am out of sight? 
I am waiting for you for an interval 
Somewhere very near 
Just around the corner 
All is well. 
Nothing is past; nothing is lost  One brief moment and all will be as it was before 
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Friendships- new and rekindled

Babies bring lots of changes to your life… and not always good ones. People will be quick to talk about the sleepless nights, endless crying, carrying loads of stuff about, becoming boring etc etc etc. But becoming a mum has brought a lot of new and unexpected things into my life, including new pals!

I’ve never been one to make friends very easily, although i’m very sociable, and find it easy to talk to strangers, I’m quite choosy about who I spend my time with. So I wasn’t really surprised when I went to the antenatal classes run by my practice and I didn’t really “click” with anyone.

All this changed after we had our babies though, because now we had a common ground! And I’ve been privileged to get to know a group of strong, supportive women who have been there for me from tears to mega lolz. I never thought I’d find talking about poo so entertaining.

Today, at a belated first birthday, I marvelled at how well we first time mums have done in raising our little people- now with real personalities and strengths of their own! One of us is even expecting again (not me) and she is so just in that perfect place for it- her little daughter is an angel, and she is such a relaxed and capable mum. I, on the other hand, am still highly strung and disorganised! I doubt that will ever change…

I’ve also had some rekindled friendships which I’ve really come to value. I actually often kick myself that I didn’t make more of an effort before we had the babies. Some have been from teacher training, and some from school.

Facebook friends have also been great, particularly Anne, who I didn’t really know well, but her baby knowledge and lip butter advice has been invaluable!

There’s two other friendships that I have neglected here but will write about another time, probably with their permission!

Sorry this is so rambly, just wanted a wee write tonight.