Posted in Children, Christmas, memories, parenting

Oh go then, it is Christmas…

Hello lovely people.

How are we all doing?

Who’s still in the ‘time twixt Christmas and New Year’ haze?

Let’s check:

🔶 Do you know what day it is? (Erm, well Christmas was on a Tuesday and that was a few days ago-ish, so it’s definitely…….a day ending with y.)

🔶 When is your next bin collection? (Hmm, normal day is Tuesday….. we worked out a minute ago that Christmas was Tuesday so no noisy bin folk… so probably…..hang on what day is it today anyway… I don’t know where the dangly bit of card with the Very Important Reorganised Dates on is. Let’s just keep on an eye on next door, they’ll know…)

🔶What did you have for breakfast today? (Was it standard, run of the mill, everyday, socially acceptable breakfast fare? Or…..not? For example; yesterday I enjoyed Baileys Roulade for breakfast and I’m not even sorry.)

🔶Have you answered any questions with the words “oh go on then, it is Christmas”? (Shall we open another packet of Brie?/ Can we stay in pyjamas all day?/ Drink?/Another drink?)

🔶Are you regularly refereeing Selection Box Ownership battles? (That’s my Fudge bar, he’s had two Crunchies now, she’s eaten my Oreo bar – er nope she hasn’t, it underwent quality control -)

🔶Are you still discovering gourmet worthy ways of serving cold turkey? (We’ve had ‘cold meats and cheeses’, turkey soup, turkey carbonara, Christmas dinner pasta bake, turkey rolls…..)

I think we can safely say that we are all suffering from ‘holiday season hangover’.

So. Christmas at The Circus was fairly standard. We recently got a new oven so it didn’t take 27.6 hours to cook the turkey (and for anyone who remembers the soap opera worthy goings on of last year, you’ll be pleased to know that no wildlife pretested the poultry this time)

Noodle decided to be my sous chef for the Christmas cooking, especially with the very important pigs in blankets. However, he discovered upon opening the bacon that it had been packaged in Suffolk so therefore must be posh. So it transpired that our meaty side dish was to become ‘porkers in ponchos’.

Pickle had the double delight again of her Christmas Day birthday. She was over the moon to receive the only two things that she craved in life; a violin and a microphone.

It sounded so idyllic, ah she wants a violin, how sweet, we shall of course purchase one with haste. Oh how wrong we were.

The Noise. I cannot begin to describe the sound that a five year old can make with a violin.

But this is me so I will, of course, try: imagine a hybrid animal somewhere between a mouse and a hyena (I’ll give you a minute). Then imagine that this creature is forced to walk barefoot on Lego whilst simultaneously having its teeth pulled out with pinking shears. Then. And only then. Will you be any where close to the melodic harmonies that are produced. You live and learn.

All due respect to CircusHusband who remembered my desire for a pyrography kit, and further respect for an afternoon of lone parenting while I sat with three of my fingers submerged in cold water after my first go. In case anyone has ever wondered; human fingers are not designed to withstand the heat required to burn wood (who says these blog posts aren’t educational?!)

The finished article.

So, all in all. Not a bad Christmas period I suppose. I have to be honest, I struggle with Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lead up; the music, the lights, the present buying. It’s just the day itself, it always feels a touch anticlimactic, and rushed and chaotic (yes I know, I have control issues which don’t help). But we made it through, and Boxing Day was much easier to digest (it may or may not have had something to do with the discovery of chocolate orange Baileys) so all was well.

The 28th of December is the anniversary of losing my Mum which, even after many years, always clouds my Christmas somewhat. This year we spent it quietly at home and played some of her favourite songs on the Echo (we now have three in the house, if you have never used them as walkie talkies then you haven’t lived). It wasn’t sad, but acts as a reminder to tell people you love them while you can, and to show appreciation to those in your life who deserve it. Everyday is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

A few more limbo days now until we hit the excitement of New Year. What will 2019 bring? In The Circus we are hoping for health and happiness; for CircusHusband’s new career path to continue expanding, for my writing to hit the wider audience (I know, god help everyone), and for lots of laughs.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas in whichever way you choose to spend it.

Welcome to my world.


Posted in advice, Children, parenting, Random musings

In the words of Thumper…..

What not to say to expectant women and new parents:


Expectant Mothers –

“So when are you due?”

Don’t. Seriously just don’t. There are three occasions when it is ok to enquire about this. Firstly if you happen to be an actual midwife and you are in a medical setting with no room for error. Secondly if you happen to be delivering an actual baby. And thirdly (although potentially still a grey area) if the woman in question has told you directly in first person narrative, with precisely no ambiguity that she is, in fact, expecting.

Following these rules avoids the awkward scenarios of you commenting on the neatness of a bump that turns out to harbouring slightly too many Mr Kiplings rather than an offspring. Or the “ooh you look like you’re almost ready to pop”………..”I already did, ‘baby’ will be five on Tuesday”

“What are you hoping for?”

Err well, probably a baby. But fingers crossed for a 10 speed jet ski in sky blue. There is no good that can come from asking this question.

Best case scenario: “well a little girl would be lovely but we’ll be equally delighted with a little boy”.

Worst case scenario: “I have informed Mother Nature that I will be delivering a pink bundle of joy. I have consulted with my solicitors and have an insurance policy drawn up should she fail to uphold my request. You have to let them know who’s in charge from the offset.”

“Ahh enjoying a last bit of peace before baby arrives are you? Good idea, after all you won’t have a second to yourself very soon, you won’t be able to go out then.”

It’s an impending baby not an impending apocalypse. Why do people feel the need to install horror into prospective parents? It’s the beginning of a new life, not the end of your existing one. Funniest thing was when someone made this comment to me when I was expecting Wombat (yeah, you know baby number 4)!

“Eating for two?”

Yes I bloody well am, and do you know what, just in case they happened to miss a foetus on the scan I’d better have another slice of cake to make it fair to the poor neglected imaginary twin. As long as they’re following guidelines, then pregnant women’s eating habits are not up for discussion.

The correct approach is:

  • “I noticed you were running low of marmite to dip those gherkins in so I picked some up for you.”
  • “Of course you can share my chips, even though you didn’t want any of your own ten minutes ago when we ordered.”
  • “I’m not sure if McDonalds will put lemon curd inside a Big Mac but I’ll phone and ask.”

New Parents –

“Are you feeding the baby yourself?”

Don’t be silly, Janet from next door but one nips over every so often and feeds the cat and the baby. Of course I’m feeding him myself, whether that’s via a real boob or a fake bottle shaped one is really none of your actual business. Move along.

“Does she sleep through?”

Through what…….? Oh I see what you mean, no unfortunately not, sometimes I don’t get to finish washing my hair in the bath but she might sleep through a shower…if I was quick. She does sometimes sleep through Eastenders so we’re fairly sure she’s advanced for her age and destined for greater things in life.

Oh at night. No. Oh yours slept through from 2 hours old. Bully for you.

“Haha funny, what’s she really called?”

People get very defensive about their name choices. Never ask if they have decided before baby arrives as you will case a row, a scale of which hasn’t been seen since a rather disturbing episode of Jerry Springer in the early 90s.

Once the name has been announced the process is: smile, nod, smile, nod, bite tongue, smile, nod, send psychic sympathy thoughts to the baby, smile, nod. If it looks like a comment is expected then play safe:

  • Ah how lovely.

Then stop.


  • Oh um, that’s…..unusual.
  • Oh well I’m sure she’ll grow into it.
  • Really? Are you sure.
  • You’ll never find a mug with that on.

“It’s natural to worry less about your appearance after you’ve had a baby”

How very dare you. I’ll have you know I brushed all my hair today and washed it (dry shampoo totally counts). I even shaved my leg. Yes leg singular. Who needs more than one hairless extremity at a time. It’s better for the environment. Probably. Oh my ‘I am 6’ badge? Well it was all Tesco had that completely covered the baby vomit stain on my top, I’m calling it ‘reliving my youth’.

“Well in my day……..”

Yes Ethel. In your day, 7 children rattled around unrestrained in the back of a reliant robin. Yes you never had sleep problems thanks to a drop of brandy in baby’s milk. Yes babies were eating a full roast dinner in liquid form by 3 weeks old. Fortunately things have moved on in 60 years.

“You’ll spoil that baby if you keep holding it”

Huh? It’s a not a dry clean only white silk blouse. The lady at Antiques Roadshow said it wasn’t a priceless piece of ancient Chinese pottery handcrafted by Tibetan monks. We got her to double check and everything. Therefore I’m fairly sure that no spoiling will occur by holding this baby as much as I see fit so kindly remove your slightly oddly nose from my business before I ping it with the strap of the baby sling.

“Ah before you know it, they’ll all be grown up and moved out”

Oh really, I don’t suppose you could narrow that down to a particular date could you? I might get a good holiday deal booking this long in advance and I can start gathering a mood board to turn their bedrooms into a museum of elongated snail shells, a Ghost themed pottery studio and a minimalist gym (mainly the spa and bar to be honest).

This is an non-exhaustive list please feel free to add you own.

Welcome to my world


Posted in parenting

And my specialist subject is:

I’ve been muddling through this parenting lark for nearly 9 years and that time has thrown up some questions . Allow me to outline a few:

  • Why do my children blatantly refuse water all day but suddenly develop chronic dehydration requiring endless cups of said beverage as soon as bedtime rolls around?
  • Why will my children not eat stew (fortunately they are quite partial to ‘meat and chunky veg in gravy’)?
  • How do they change from smart, well presented model citizens to scruffy, slightly feral creatures somewhere between home and school?
  • Why is the phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ touted about so much? My babies don’t sleep…..I want to sleep like my husband.
  • Why will my toddler happily eat nappy cream, hand soap and paint yet mushrooms are ‘stinky’?
  • Why can they recite the entire theme tune to a TV show yet they can’t remember what I sent them to their bedroom to fetch?
  • Why do they always, always, always need a wee when there’s no toilet in a mile radius despite going twice before leaving the house?
  • How, when my phone memory is full and it won’t let me take a photo, does it let the two year old take 472 photos of her own ears?
  • Why can they not replace the lids on felt tip pens but can very vocally complain when aforementioned pens *shock horror* won’t work?
  • Why can’t they eat couscous without causing some sort of pulse based snowstorm covering the entire lounge?
  • Why don’t they understand that a cheese sandwich will taste exactly the same whether is it cut into rectangles, squares, triangles, bunny shapes or origami swans?
  • Why did I receive ones with factory faults such as no volume control and tendency to disobey orders? I didn’t get a receipt and the warranty is rubbish!
  • Why can I not read ‘Guess how much I love you?”without Big Nutbrown Hare having a Yorkshire accent?
  • How can they flood the bathroom, use all the soap and leave wet towels everywhere, yet still look like they’ve been recruited by the SAS complete with warpaint?
  • How can the weather be beautiful and settled for 22 hours of the day but suddenly decide to recreate the disaster scene from the film Twister as soon as it edges close to school run time?

If anyone can shed any light on any of these ponderings I’ll accept answers on the back of a postcard……. unfortunately the toddler is very reminiscent of a poorly trained puppy so the chances of me getting readable, unchewed post varies from slim to unlikely.
Welcome to my world.