First Day of School – 2018

First Day

Donut’s first day of school, and Gning’s first day in “year 2”

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To the mum in the school playground…

Dear smelly-cloud mum in the school playground,

Hi!  You have probably noticed me, spluttering and sneezing as you walk past…

I’m not saying that you haven’t had a wash for a while, but my gosh, what on earth are you trying to cover up with the amount of perfume you have sprayed??  It seems like you just don’t know when to stop…  Or which perfume to use, as I get that many scents when you walk past me, that I think you must have attacked a perfume shop.  I hate to say it love, but have you ever heard the expression, “smells like a whores handbag..?”  Yeah.

Here’s an idea…  Have a shower to get rid of the amount of spray you’re wearing.  Then, next time you come to school, if you really want to wear some perfume – please do!  But you only need a quick spritz…  That way, I won’t come home smelling like you.


Dear MAC expert mum in the school playground,

I wonder why you feel like you have to use a trowel to apply your make-up?  I can see that your foundation would have to be removed with a shovel.

Why do you need your eyelashes to stick out further than your boobs?  Which, by the way, I can tell that you have tried to contour the bust-line, as you haven’t blended it properly.

Wow, that’s a really pretty lipstick colour…  I’ve seen a couple of girls in Amsterdam wear the same colour.

I have to admit that I’ve seen your look before.  It was a specific episode of The Simpsons, when Homer invented a make-up gun.  Have you seen it?

More importantly, I can see your daughter with make-up on too.  She’s only 5.  Why would you let her wear make-up to school?  There’s plenty of time for her to wear it on a weekend, or even when she’s older – why rush her out of childhood?

My advice to you is just to step back.  It’s not even 9am, and you look like you’re going out on the town.  Try googling “day time make-up looks”.


Dear “clique” mums in the school playground,

Hi, err, excuse me, mind if I cut in..?  Oops, I can see that you’re in deep conversation about what you got up to at the weekend, but I just want to say a couple of things.

It’s great that you have such good mum-friends.  Those are really hard to find – especially if they are as close to you as they seem to be.  No doubt that you all get together of a weekend, and during the school holidays for day-trips and the like.  I bet you’re all even that close that you sometimes leave the kids at home, and go for nights out.

Wow, I have to admit – I am a little envious.

I just have one thing to to say…  You see that woman, standing over there in the corner?  She doesn’t have any friends.  She feels like it’s just her and her child.  She’s a lovely woman, with a heart of gold.  If you talk to her, you’ll realise that she’ll fit in with your group perfectly…  She just doesn’t have the confidence to say hello, and you make it seem like you don’t mind other people (like me) talking to you, but really, you just want us to go away so you can continue your gossip.

Just open your eyes.  That’s all.  I know it’s great having friends, but other people aren’t so lucky.


Dear mum who lets her 9 year old daughter take her 6 year old brother to school,

Hi.  I’m a parent of one of your son’s classmates.  I have never met you – I have never even seen you.

I don’t know what is going on in your life, and I don’t want to interfere, but I must say just one thing.

Our sons both started at the schools’ nursery at the same time.  They’ve been friends – not close, but friends, through nursery, Reception class, and now in year 1.  That’s 3 years that I have never seen you.

Do you even exist?  Do these lovely children even have a mum?  Has something happened..?

Both of your children are lovely.  My son often talks about your son, and I am pleased they do sometimes play together.  Your daughter always stays with her younger brother until his teacher comes out to take his class inside.  She then has to run out of the playground, down the road a short distance, and cross a very busy road to get to her own class.  I think she is always late – maybe only by a couple of minutes, but late, never-the-less.  I have never heard her complain.  Not once.  She is such a lovely girl, and I have watched her “tidy-up” her little brother, so he doesn’t go in to school with his shirt hanging out.

Let me tell you, mum, you truly do have two amazing children, but I am concerned that you let them take themselves to school without adult supervision.  Is everything ok?  Do you need help..?


Dear worn-out looking mum in the school playground,

Psst!  I can see you…  Hiding in the corner, in the shade, hoping that no one can see you.  Hey, I get it – you have probably been chasing your kids around the house, making sure they have eaten all of their breakfast, washed their faces, brushed their teeth, and were getting dressed properly.  “What’s that, beloved child of mine, you have lost one of your shoes..?  Again..?”  Yeah.  I know what that’s like.

I can tell you are trying to hide your quickly tied up hair, and I can see the stain on your t-shirt…  Don’t worry mum, you got your son to school on time, and he looks good, in his freshly washed uniform.  You’ve only got to take your little one to nursery, then you can go home.

Now, do yourself a favour, and go and put the kettle on, and take an hour or two just for you.  You’re doing a great job, mum, and you may not feel it, but you are allowed to take a time out.


 

My Nan’s Bread & Butter Pudding – Recipe

Talk about a comfort food!  This is a perfect pudding to make and enjoy, whilst waiting for Spring to turn up.  I know, I know – it’s officially Spring already, but it’s still chilly out there!

This recipe takes about 15 minutes to make, and then a further 45 minutes to “bake”.  I asked for the help of Gning with this one…

Ingredients

100g sugar

3-4 tsp sweet mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.)

4 eggs

1l milk (whole / full fat works best)

A few handfuls of sultanas

8 rounds of bread (approximately…  You may need more, depending on the size of the ovenproof dish you use)

Butter – to grease the ovenproof dish

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 190ºC (170ºC for fan assisted ovens).
  • Grease your ovenproof dish with butter.
  • Measure out your sugar, and combine the sweet mixed spice, stirring thoroughly.  I assigned this task to Gning.
  • Measure out your milk, and crack the eggs straight in to it.  Use a whisk to combine it…  This was another task assigned to Gning.

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  • (Optional) cut all the crusts off the bread.
  • Butter one side of each round of bread, and slice in half – side or diagonally, your choice.  Fill the bottom of the ovenproof dish with the sliced bread (butter “up”).
  • I asked Gning to sprinkle some of the sugar mix over the bread, followed by a handful of sultanas.  Repeat this step until the ovenproof dish is full.
  • Pour the egg-milk mixture over the top of the layered bread, and allow to “soak” for 10-15 minutes.  Don’t worry if it looks like you have too much milk…  You don’t.  It will all set wonderfully.

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  • Place in the middle of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Your pudding should be ready when it is a lovely golden colour.
  • Serve immediately – with or without cream; or you can leave the pudding to “set”, and serve it cold.  Yummy!

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Everything comes in threes…

Donut hasn’t had the best of times over the past couple of months.

It all started in December, when hubby treated me to an early birthday present.  He booked for us to go away for the night, leaving both boys with my parents.  It was a lovely break…  We had dinner, played Fallout Monopoly, and the following morning, breakfast, and he took me to watch Star Wars:  The Last Jedi, before heading to my parents to pick the boys up.

That was when it all started.

We arrive at their house, and my mum is cuddling Donut.  “He’s not well…” she said.

His breathing was erratic – like he couldn’t catch his breath.  He was also making a weird “clicking” noise, which sounded on every short inhale.  He also didn’t want to move.  He seemed really lethargic.

Mum explained that he’d been that way since about 11am – it was then nearly 4pm when I was there.

An emergency appointment to see a doctor was in order, so we called NHS 111 for advice.  They agreed that they would like Donut to seek medical advice, so just after 6pm, I took him to the clinic.

Immediately the physician said that she wasn’t happy, and she called an ambulance for him.  She placed a mask on him, connected to an oxygen tank, and filled a tube with what looked like a liquid, which started steaming and bubbling as he breathed.

She took his pulse, blood pressure, and checked his lung capacity.  His pulse was racing, his temperature was through the roof, and his lung capacity was down to just 75%.

We waited for almost 3 hours before the ambulance arrived.  I felt like I had failed as a mother.  Why didn’t I just take him straight to A&E?  Obviously this was an urgent matter, but as usual, I tried to shrug it off, saying, “ahh, he’ll be ok shortly…”

My husband was the one who went in the ambulance with him.  I couldn’t face it – I almost had a breakdown.  I just couldn’t cope.  Instead, I took Gning home, and explained that his baby brother wasn’t very well, and would hopefully be home from hospital very soon.

10pm-ish.  Hubby phoned me, asking to come and pick them up from hospital.  He said that his battery (on his phone) was almost dead, so he would explain everything when we got there.

I parked in the “drop-off” zone, and managed to get a message to hubby to let him know where we were.  As soon as we seen hubby and Donut come out through the automatic sliding doors, Gning was out of the car, running towards them.  He ran like the wind.  As soon as he reached them, he was on his knees, giving Donut a massive hug.  Donut was smiling and laughing.

Back in the car, hubby explained to me that a virus had triggered a breathing attack.  As Donut is under 5 years old, the NHS are not allowed to diagnose asthma (big concern, as hubby has suffered with it all his life), but he had an asthma attack.  Instead of being diagnosed with infantile asthma, he was diagnosed with Infantile Wheezing Syndrome.

He was sent away from the hospital with a blue inhaler – Salbutamol, and we were instructed to give him 5 “puffs” every 4 hours for the first week, then drop it to 2 “puffs” every 4 hours for the second week, whilst waiting to see our own doctor.

I waited until the New Year, as the week between Christmas and New Year was fully booked at the surgery.  The doctor had looked through all of Donut’s notes, and I explained what we had been doing (with the inhaler).  The doctor seemed happy with his progress, so advised that we don’t have to continue using the inhaler unless we deem it necessary.  We were to book another review in 6 weeks time, and in the meantime, keep a diary (of sorts) of when we use the inhaler, and how many “puffs”.

Fast forward to Sunday (14 January).  Donut falls asleep on me in the front room.  Hubby carries him to bed, and tucks him in.

About 10.30pm, Donut is up and back in the front room.  He’s whingy.  I pick him up, and his temperature is sky high again.

I strip his pyjama’s off him immediately, and advise hubby to find some paracetamol urgently – which he did.  We gave him some medicine, and I lightly cuddled him.  We had to bring his temperature down; so I told hubby to take him in to the “big bed”, and to lay him on top of the covers, ensuring the ceiling fan is on.  Within 20 minutes, Donut is asleep again.

It was a bad night.  He was tossing and turning, and snoring snotty snores…  I spent most of the night awake, constantly checking on his temperature.  He was still hot.

Morning came, and hubby came home from work (he works 2am-7am-ish), and Donut was still hot to the touch.  We also found it very difficult to wake him up.

I called our doctors surgery at 8am, when they first opened, and explained that I needed an urgent appointment.  We were given one for 9am.

Donut was diagnosed with the “flu”.  He was prescribed Ibuprofen, and we were advised to alternate the paracetamol with the Ibuprofen.  Plenty of water, and plenty of rest is also essential to his recovery.  Just to ensure that this didn’t trigger another “breathing attack”, we also started giving him his 2 “puffs” of the inhaler, every time he took some medicine.

Thankfully he didn’t suffer for long, as he seems back to normal today (Thursday).  We’ve stopped the medicines and inhaler, however today brought “incident number 3”.

They always say that everything comes in 3’s.  Let’s just hope that Donut doesn’t have to suffer any more after today.

I instructed Gning to go and brush his teeth.  Now, Gning doesn’t like brushing his teeth, so to make sure he was doing it properly, I stood in the doorway of my bedroom, where I was watching him in the bathroom.  Donut was in the front room, and seen me.  Thinking I was playing a game, he runs from the front room, in to the hallway, trips up over his empty Lego bag, and falls head first, straight in to the door frame.

He hit it hard.  The bang was like nothing I have heard.  The whole house seemed to shake.

I scooped him up off the floor, ran in to the front room and sat down with Donut on my knee.  I had my hand firmly pressed against his forehead, and told hubby to get me some Witch Hazel on a tissue as a matter of urgency.

Ten seconds later, hubby had the Witch Hazel soaked tissue, and I removed my hand.  No blood – it’s not cut, but there’s already a bump.  Just as soon as I moved my hand, the tissue was placed on the bump.

I had to take Gning to school, so instead of having to make hubby constantly hold the soaked tissue on Donut’s forehead, I managed to find two Star Wars themed plasters (band-aids), which secured the tissue in place.  Hubby kept Donut amused while I did the school run.  When I got back, Donut was playing on Star Wars Battlefront II (see a theme here?  We’re Star Wars mad, lol).

Donut heard me come back, so he tottled in to the front room, and asked me to take the tissue off his head.  I gladly obliged him, as he’d had it on without complaining for almost 30 minutes.

I asked him how his head was…  “Fine”, he said in his own little way.

He’s bumped, and it’ll probably bruise too, but without the Witch Hazel, it could have been a lot worse.

Let’s hope that’s the end of it.

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For more information on Witch Hazel, and it’s healing properties, click here

A four-year old photographer…

I’ve just been sorting out my external hard-drive, and I’ve come across this selection of photo’s.  All of which were taken by Gning when he was just 4 years old…  Looking at these, I can honestly say that some of these shots could have been taken by a professional photographer, with decades of experience!  None have been edited in any way.

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So in my opinion…  Give your 4 year old a camera.  Some of the shots can be amazing ❤

The moment my heart shattered in to a million pieces…

Monday.  9pm.

It’s a late one, but we’ve just told Gning to pack up, and get to bed, as he needs to be up early for school.  As usual, it doesn’t take him long to start playing up and getting upset, but this was different.  He suddenly became inconsolable.

I made him come and sit beside me, on the settee in the front room.  I eventually managed to get him to start talking…

“Today has been the worst day of my life…”

I thought he was just playing up again, and I replied, “you’re only 6 sweetheart.  If you think today’s been the worst of your life, God help you when you’re older…”

He starts blubbing even more, and then starts to tell me that everyone doesn’t believe him, when he tells them that he went to Disney World, Florida, in the October half term holidays.

I sympathise with him.  I’ve been in his shoes, and he’s walking in mine right now.

When I was growing up, I was one of the lucky kids, whose parents had money.  My parents would jet off to all sorts of luxurious holidays around the globe (Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Mexico, Hong Kong, Bali…), and whenever I used to tell my (so-called) friends in school where I had been, they used to say I was lying.

It got to a point where even a teacher said I was lying – that there was no chance I had visited all of these countries…

I was labelled a liar, and that was that.  It didn’t matter how much proof I took in to school (photo’s), they were obviously faked.

So back to yesterday.

Gning tells me that there’s one boy in his class who is constantly calling him out.  He’s determined to prove to everyone that Gning is lying, and that he is better.

Then it happened.  The moment no parent should experience.  It only took two seconds, but right there – right then, I actually heard my heart smash.

“I’ll just kill myself…”

Yeah.  He said it.  My 6 year old “miracle baby” just told me that he would kill himself.

I tried my best to stay calm.  I grabbed him, and I held him tight.  The tears started…  I didn’t let go.  I held him against my chest for what must have been only minutes, but it seemed like hours.

I told him to go and get a tissue, to wipe his nose, and I went in to my bedroom.

Hubby was dozing off, as he has to be up at ridiculous o-clock for work.  I closed the door slightly behind me, and I said “I need your help”.  I tried to stay collected, and I told him what had just happened.  I broke again when I reiterated the words…  “He said that he’ll kill himself…”.  Hubby was cool.  He listened to what I had to say, then he got up.

Next thing you know, Hubby and Gning were both going in to my bedroom, and Hubby was cuddling him in the “big bed”.

I can’t have been that long when Gning came out.  He had stopped crying, and seemed calmer – and somewhat happier.  I told him that even though it was really late (it was about 11:30pm now), that he could put his TV on whilst he went to sleep.

Hubby closely followed, and brought me up to speed.

I had a job to do, and I needed to do it without hesitation.  I needed to bypass Gnings’ teacher (which I had already tried speaking to in the past), and go straight to the headmaster.

This morning, I dropped Donut off at nursery, and walked Gning over to school.  He went in with little hesitation.  I then crossed the road, to the head office, and asked to speak to the headteacher.  I was informed that she was in meetings all morning, but they would contact me as soon as they had spoken to her, to arrange an appointment for me to go in and speak to her, face to face.

My appointment is tomorrow.  3:15pm.  15 minutes before Gning finishes school.

Fingers crossed, everyone, this is going to be tough.

Tooth trauma

Gning has had a wobbly tooth for a while now.  It’s not his first – he lost his first tooth a couple of months ago, and we wondered when this second one would come out, because it was wobbly then!

It was 8pm when he came running out of his bedroom, in tears.  “My tooth is coming out, it’s coming out now…”

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We tried to calm him down, as whenever he cries, he always gets himself in to such a state, that he starts hyperventilating.  You can see the tears in the photo above.

I suggested that he goes to brush his teeth, to try to “brush it out”.  He insisted that he spits in to my hand – over the sink, just in case he spat it out.  Nothing.

I suggested he have a go at pulling it out…  Nothing.  I got some tissue, and he had another go.  Then hubby dearest had a go…  Then me.  Nothing.

By this point, Gning was in hysterics, and was punching out and kicking at hubby.  Hubby was getting impatient, so to try to calm the waters, I asked Gning what he wanted me to do.  He’s crying, his crying is upsetting me, and daddy is getting annoyed.

The tears come again, and Gning decides to phone grandad (my dad) to try to calm him down.  It worked somewhat, as he then went to brush his teeth again.

Almost an hour later, and we were still nowhere.  That blasted tooth was still stuck in the gum, yet it was even more raised than before.  This was coming out tonight – like it or not.

I managed to speak to Gning, explaining to him that we were going to give it one more go – him, me, then daddy.  If it didn’t come out then, he would just have to go to bed.  I explained that if he accidently swallowed the tooth (more tears), the tooth fairy would still come; and they use special magic, through the belly button, to remove the tooth!

In to the front room, and Gning has another couple of goes at pulling the tooth with a tissue.  Nothing but more tears.  He’s starting to hyperventilate, and complains of a sore chest…

Now, I bought my car insurance through compare the market (not off topic – promise!!), and with it, I got a free meerkat.  I got one of the limited editions, “Sergei” as “Obi Wan Kenobi”.  I didn’t want to unbox it – I wanted to keep it as a collectors toy – which it should be, but I promised Gning that he could have it – out of the box, if he let daddy have three attempts…

Attempt 1 – Gning screams.  He kicks out, and shakes.  Nothing.

Attempt 2 – Gning shakes, and digs his fingers in to my arm…  And it’s out.

I unbox the toy, and hand it over.  Gning goes to rinse out his mouth, and although still whimpering, he goes to bed happy, with his tooth in the special bag that he got from the tooth fairy.  It’s under his pillow now.

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Yikes.  Only another 18 to go, and then 20 with Donut…  *sighs*