Being normal isn’t boring

If you’re hovering close to insanity, the thought of ‘being normal’ can feel like a pleasantly calm, if somewhat unattainable, aim in life. We see so many ‘inspirational’ quotes/pictures/articles these days telling us to be the best we can be by changing this, doing that, travelling there, but what if it’s too hard to do that? What if you’re struggling enough just keeping the day to day shit together to find the time to become that world famous artist/novelist/actor/tv star/chef/lawyer/world traveller/scientist/mathematician/tattoo artist (I’m walking through Camden Market)/parter of waves etcetc. To me, phrases like ‘being normal is boring’ can feel just as damaging as any other statement that passes judgement on a group of people. 

Years ago people thought the opposite, and feared that which wasn’t ‘normal’, anyone unusual. I’m glad we now live in a society where being ‘different’ isn’t generally feared (although recent news stories may challenge that to a degree). But I don’t think it’s helpful to go the other way and deride those that aren’t ‘different’ (cool, exotic, well travelled) either. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know what this card is saying. It’s ok not to be like everyone else. It’s ok not to conform. And there’s definitely a market for that message, and I’m probably in it(!). But it’s the subtle implication that it’s not ok to be like everyone else, it’s not ok to be ‘ordinary’ that I find unhelpful. That we should be more than normal. Be different. Be exceptional. Well I’ve spent my life feeling like I needed to be doing something more exciting, unusual, alternative, bohemian and do you know what I found? It’s exhausting. And depressing. And demoralising. I’ve realised that I’m much better off if I concentrate on being – to quote Bugsy Malone – happy just being me. So let’s take the pressure off. And just concentrate on being nice to each other. To live and let live. Would that really be so boring?

#happybeingme #givealittlelove #makementalhealthgreatagain #timetotalk #bekind #letsberealistic #liveandletlive #oktosay #hoveringclosetoinsanity


That forgotten school project

8:21pm on the last day of the easter holidays and we’ve remembered that the children were supposed to make some sort of space craft object for their school space project…

Children – please can you make an incomprehensible amount of mess while attempting to make rockets for school space project but actually concentrate more on repetitively asking when we will buy you a cat/dog/skateboard/shoes with wheels/etc

Daddy – please can you make an unnecessarily large and complex space rocket that the children don’t want to be involved in and which won’t go anywhere near the school gates because it’s so elaborate no 5yo will be able to claim that it’s their own.

Our nutritious family meal, fuelled by cider and space dust

Mummy – please can you facilitate all of the above by : 1) finding all necessary crafting materials that are dotted all over the house, use up toilet/kitchen roll as necessary to expose rocket shaped tubes 2) offering technical guidance to resolve intricacies of making cones, thrusters, etc. 3) actually helping the children to make their space rockets 4) cook and serve a nutritious family dinner 5) drink several bottles of cider. 

#hoveringclosetoseveralcardboardrockets #andemptyciderbottles #hoveringclose

E is for Easter/Ecstacy

Ok so what the actual fuck do they put in chocolate these days and why have my children turned into psychotic maniacs that hate the world?

They are finally both asleep. Just. They were both in full on tantrum mode. 5yogirl naked, kicking, punching, spitting and screaming “my want my chocolate eeeeeeeggggggg!” 5yoboy point blank refusing to clean his teeth saying menacingly “It’s all. Your. FAULT!” to me and husblurb alternately. After 10 minutes of cajoling/threatening/psychotherapising he reveals he wants the special hour-glass timer to time him while he cleans his teeth. With renewed confidence we try again but I immediately do something unforgivable (like speak/breathe/not speak/not breathe) to which he grabs his toothbrush and puts it -bristles spinning downwards -on the floor of the shower, shutting the shower doors after it with a look back at me that says “you’re next”. Back to 5yogirl: she now has the timer and is refusing to relinquish it, so even if we could persuade 5yoboy to move the toothbrush from cleaning the shower plug hole to his teeth, we …… I give up and go to the bedroom where I text a friend to say I am feeling “seething hatred/despair” ….

Then something happens. 5yogirl seems to have suddenly come down from her pill (Easter egg) has gone off the idea of more pills (Easter eggs) and decides she actually will put her pyjamas on when I ask her to for the 283rd time. Then it’s plain sailing:

I read her a story

I read her another story

I put her into the top bunk (double-taking that 5yoboy is miraculously sound asleep in the bottom after husbore read him a single rhyming couplet of Slinky Malinky in his best, most boring, low, slow monotone)

I have an argument with her about the level of the lighting in the room and whether I need to go and find granny’s small pink torch that she stole earlier

I read her another story

I cuddle her

I tell her to stop talking

I cuddle her again

I tell her to stop talking again

I tell her that she WILL be able to get to sleep if she tries for more than 1.4 nanoseconds

I cuddle her again and after 1.5 nanoseconds I leave the room with her snoring her head off

#passtheeggs #dontdodrugskids #easter #eisforecstacy #hoveringcloserthanevertoinsanity

Toffee crisps, sea life and a word on the Faraway Tree

The day started well – husbo let me have a lie in and then I had two toffee crisps for breakfast. I then got unnecessarily cross while buying a coffee because the smalls were pestering me incessantly for cake while husbore had buggered off to look at bikes. And then they wanted ice cream … sweeties … a fishing rod(?!). But somehow we made it through the day without killing each other. 

The itinerary was: toffee crisp breakfast in our AirBNB Hove holiday house -> Troy coffee to go in Hove then bus -> Brighton Sealife centre to find Nemo and Dory and generally gaze at Mother Nature’s wateriest wonders -> dinner at Bath Arms pub to eat Mother Nature’s wateriest wonders (in a nice creamy chowder with seaweed and potato cake and other seasonal veg) whilst playing Minions Guess Who -> bus home cuddling small people waiting for them to turn bat-shit angry any minute but they didn’t -> shower for the smalls (pretty chuffed with that although it had been days since we’d washed them) -> Faraway Tree and bed. 

I mean the grown ups still bickered, I felt like I lost a week of my life while 5yo girlie decided which £4 bracelet was the most beautiful in the Sealife Centre gift shop (spoiler: they are all hideous) and there were some aim and timing issues to contend with in the toilet department from the under 6 brigade but at least no-one told me they hated me today. 5yo boy did say he didn’t like The Faraway Tree as he was drifting off to sleep, which was a bit of a kick in the ovaries, but I’m going to rise above it. And will move on to Winnie the Pooh tomorrow instead. #hoveringclosetosealife 

#winniethepooh vs #thefarawaytree 

#100acrewood vs #enchantedforest


I hate you Mummy 

Beautiful day in Hove and Brighton with the family and that of @lisa_lloydpaper. Bike ride along the promenade, ice creams on the beach, lunch and playgrounds on the front, fairground rides on the pier and a few other little treats for the kids along the way. 5yo boy summed it up beautifully as I lovingly carried him home, “That was the worst day ever,” he said. Then added “I hate you Mummy” as an afterthought. 
Looking after children: the hardest but most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Except they keep forgetting to be rewarding.

#hoveringclosetoa5yearoldgit #kidsareassholes #hoveringclose #honestmothering #whendowegettherewards #hoveringclosetoinsanity