This Christmas I gave myself a little Christmas present. I wrapped it up, put it in a bag, and squirrelled it away. Not until Christmas morning, but until New Years Day. It was my laptop. Because as much as I love blogging, and I really do love it, I just needed to turn off my blogging brain which whispers in my ear all the time “Blog about this…Blog about that…I’ll carry the ring for you master”. WAIT!! Not that voice. I just wished to enjoy Christmas with my family without being distracted. Does that make sense? Choosing being social over social media. And. It. Felt. Great. I went so quiet on social media for a while that people even messaged me being all concerned, as I hadn’t posted anything. Which made me realise laying off the blog for a bit definitely had been a good move and that nugget of information made me relax even more about not posting any blog entries. I focussed my time instead on family, making memories and over indulging.
And now, a bloated, over indulged, hung over, dry-skinned and dehydrated, unexercised blob of a woman on New Year’s Day, I am going to do a bubble and squeak blog. A lazy mash up from the sprouts and the spuds of my facebook posts and tweets over the past two weeks. A mash-up of my memories of the past two weeks.
- I took the plunge and went over to the darkside – I watched the American version of The Inbetweeners. Didn’t like the darkside. Came back. Felt a bit broken inside and dirty.
- Alex did about 15% of what he was asked to do over the Christmas period. I consider this a success.
- I realised as much as I don’t like to admit it, I am a bit posh. I declared to Smudge;
“I like the little boxes that fancy cheeses come in, but not the actual fancy cheese”.
I thought because I
“didn’t like the fancy cheeses”
themselves and preferred a wodge of Cathedral City I wasn’t a jot posh…but, in retrospect, I missed the point…The fact that I knew about and that we actually had the fancy cheeses that came in fancy boxes in the house made me a big posh idiot. I hate myself for being this nob so please feel free to feel the same.
- We watched the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special a lot. On the 20th of December, after watching it for the 8th time the night before, Smudge sat down next to me and said
“Oooh. I right fancy watching the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special tonight”.
So we did. Again.
- There were 2 medical issues. Ed declared the house was
“Not Christmassy enough”.
In response I pointed at the flashing lights outside the house and inside the house, the home made nativity scene and the gingerbread house I had slaved over for a day. He looked at me like I was deranged, and so we went out and bought some cardboard gingerbread men garlands to hang about the gaff. Leaving the festive scene for just a moment I returned to find this
Poor little guy. He had been “Alex-ed”. Never stood a chance. Rest in peace little cardboard cookie dude.
2) And this happened;
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! A syphillis willy. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
- There was the gingerbread house competition. Which was a huge success and made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
- I took the boys in to London to see a friend. Me and the boys were on a busy train when Ed says to me
“Mummy? Do you want to see something big and funny?”.
I replied “yeah, ok then”.
Ed points at the woman opposite.
“LOOK AT THAT LADY’S NOSE!!”.
- This was in my stocking;
Father Christmas knows me so well and ergo is obviously truly real and a reader of Christmas wish lists;
“Please, Santa, no norovirus over Christmas”.
He provided me with a weapon! Affliction ammunition! Huzzah! One which can also be used to battle the bacteria breeding ground that are soft play centres and also make an attack on, well, dirty, filthy people in general. Considering we spent most of December on trains in and out of London and back again times infinity, I appreciated this present a lot. I high five you Santa, with my clean-as-a-whistle hand and, if you let me squirt you with this bacteria blaster, then yours will be as clean as a whistle also.
- I overheard Smudge saying;
“Alex… you weren’t licking the toilet, were you?”
It was met with a deafening silence. I suppose we should be grateful he is at least honest.
(Alex is another reason I need my sanitising hand gel)
- Alex spent all Boxing Day whinging. And I mean ALL OF BOXING DAY WHINGING. He started a whinge-fest in his sleep in the early hours of Boxing Day morning which then turned in to a tantrum by 2am when Smudge went in to try and soothe him, as you know, the kind and caring father that he is.
“NO! NOT YOU! GET OUT! GET OUT! RAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! I WANT MUMMY! GET OUT!!”.
‘I want mummy’ – A sentence which really made me, as the requested one, want to go in and soothe the stroppy little rat bag. I went in armed with a dummy, threw it in his general direction and made a hasty retreat.
Repeat the above event by 4.
Until we brought him in to bed with us where he kicked me repeatedly in my abused and over-used Christmas kidneys until he found a comfy spot diagonally across the bed, then passed out coughing in my face. Damn you Christmas Day! You are a powerful leader with your army of chocolate and battery powered toys. *shakes fist*
And the day carried on much the same. Until, convinced my ear drums had finally burst from the monotone grizzle Alex had been doing for 4 hours straight, I walked in to the kitchen and asked Smudge;
“Why is it so quiet?! What did you do to stop Alex from whinging?!”
To which he replied
“I cuddled him”.
Having spent most of the day avoiding Alex like the plague, firmly closing doors behind me and holding handles so they couldn’t move (it had been ALL DAY, don’t judge me!) I felt positively evil and a horrible, horrible, horrible mother, until…
Alex struts up to me, gnawing the head of a chocolate Lindt Reindeer, like a lion with fresh kill.
And I felt less evil and to be honest, gutted I hadn’t thought about sacrificing the Reindeer sooner.
- Reasons, according to Smudge, why I am a bah humbug;
1) I told him I would be glad when Christmas is finally over with because our fridge smells like an old man farted in it, then died. Like trees in our lounge and bombay mix, stinky cheeses are allowed but once a year. I fear the stench is infecting my Oyster Bay (s. Plural).
2) I dusted the dining room and lounge tables and surfaces on New Year’s Eve and didn’t put the Christmas cards back up. Who cares? Smudge apparently. And he said
“We may as well not bother with Christmas cards at all full stop!”
Honestly? It’s like being married to Buddy the Elf.
- The boys recieved a gift which made them look like novelty condoms bought from a pub toilet. And of course it was their favourite present received ever ever ever. The Buzz Lightyear dressing up suit, which, when hat is added looks X Rated. Neither child would let me get a photo of them in the hat (they must on some level know the shame) but those of you with kids who have said outfit, get what I mean. For those who don’t have the outfit, here is a strangers child in it downloaded from the internet
Although Ed did manage to transform his outfit fabulously, by growing some facial hair.
- I forced the children to watch “The Sound of Music”. They have to learn to love the classics, whether they like it or not. We were all forced to do this as children. It’s like sleeping with the light off, or eating vegetables – it’s an acquired appreciation. Ed was a bit poorly with a raging temperature and was cuddling up to me…so he was pretty much a trapped target. And he loved it. He bloody loved the singing children (albeit confused as to which were boys and which were girls) and the songs and guitars and the guns! Huzzah! I got up to get him an apple juice, feeling smug, like I had done my job as a mother, creating a memory for him and how every Christmas when he is a man with his own family he would regail the story of our bonding. I returned to find he had dragged his hot little body to the remote control and had changed the channel to Cbeebies. I felt broken.
- We were brilliant villagers and sourced our Christmas day veg and meat locally. Get us! (yes, I hate us too). Getting ready to leave the house to collect our veg box, Smudge asked me why I was putting a bottle of beer in my handbag at 9 in the morning.
“For the grocer!” I say, thrilled at my brilliant idea of giving him a beer for Christmas and already seeing his face light up in my mind’s eye. “He said he would get through the horrible Christmas eve rush with the help of a few bottles of beer bought from the offie next door (yes yes yes it’s not a proper village), so I am going to help along his festive cheer!”
Oh how we will all laugh in the grocer’s and establish a sense of Christmassy, community cheer! I think. Oh how this will be an hilarious story retold year after year! The lady with the beer in her bag!
I got to the grocer’s and feeling the bottle of beer in my handbag at 9am suddenly realised I would just look like a massive alcoholic and that producing booze from my handbag, whilst telling Alex off for touching the broccoli (not our broccoli) whilst picking his nose would probably just be frowned upon by other villagers. So I hid it under my scarf and coughed over the chink of the glass against my phone.
- The best thing about being a new family with young children is making our own traditions. We did our annual Christmas eve walk in the woods with friends (dicking about in puddles for half and hour before going to the pub for a feast) and then arguing with the children about them not wanting to go to the Christingle service at the church, followed by watching The Snowman (on DVD. None of that Snowman and Snow Dog cuckoo’s child in this house). It was cracking. Marred only by Ed saying
“He melts doesn’t he?”
As Alex looks at him horrified.
“Doesn’t he mummy?” says Ed “He melts. Badly”.
- And when Christmas eve night hit, magic fell on the house with a sudden whooosh! We went from “excited” to “OH MY GOD THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!”. As if a commerical flight had dumped a shed load of fairy dust from the sky as it passed en route to Heathrow. The children had their bedtime story and as they were being tucked in by Smudge, they “heard” Father Christmas’ sleigh bells. They opened their window with their daddy and tried to catch a glimpse. They didn’t see him, but they heard him. Once I had finished sneakily jingling bells outside the front door I went in to kiss them goodnight and, whereas normally both boys would be jumping around like they had fireworks up their bums, acting as if they had just inhaled a vat of Smarties, neither child would speak to me except for a very tight lipped and closed-eye-Ed who said “Mummy! We heard him! He is here! We HAVE TO GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW!”. I had a happy heart that night. And a wonderful memory for me to treasure forever.
- Smudge and I got to 1pm on Christmas Day and could have quite happily gone to sleep. I muttered to myself that next year we were not having Christmas dinner on Christmas day but I would do a buffet instead because Christmas dinner is simply too much work and I wanted to play with the kids. I scowled at the tree because it needed watering (having to water the tree is up there with having to clean out a rabbit cage – annoying and irritating) and declared;
“I am going for a walk round the block to clear my head and blow the cobwebs away!”.
I realised I have actually turned in to my mum.
- Alex drew on his willy in biro. Which was excellent. (sense the tone)
- The Fabulous Baker Boys was on. *rubs thights*.
- Ed was on verbal lock down over the playschool christmas play. So much did he refuse to even talk about it with us beforehand that I assumed he would be a nervy wreck like he was last year. I was once more prepared to be crouched behind him on stage helping him with his lines. So much so that I didn’t bother to take my camera, because I would not have a chance to use it, unless I wanted photos of 15 kids’ bums and a sea of parents’ faces…HE WAS THE STAR OF THE SHOW. As the curtain went back, there was Ed, in the middle, in an Elf costume, belting out Christmas tunes. The child was Jazz Hand City. With my eyes firmly locked on him on the stage, watery and wide, I scrabbled for Smudge’s phone and hissed “GIVE ME YOUR BLOODY PHONE NOW!”. And this is why Ed’s recording of his stage debut which will be shown on his “when they were young” documentary when he is a famour actor/ jazz hand dancer will be grainy and crap to say the least.
- It’s christmas. I don’t shave at christmas. Ok?
And now it is New Year’s Day. And again, I see how I am morphing into my mum (no bad thing) when I suddenly clap my hands, scaring the crap out of the kids who have been quietly watching the TV (they don’t realise I have already had half of this conversation in my head) and announce:
“RIGHT! Let’s get dressed! We are going out for a walk!”
To which Ed replies
“To get some fresh air, Ed!”
“I don’t want to. Just open a window”.
Genius. And his grandfathers’ grandson through and through.