It’s not you, it’s me…no really it is me.

It’s been so long since my last post & I’m sorry, although you may have felt relieved! Goodness, these last few months have dragged & flown by all at the same time. So much & yet so little has happened. Apologies for my contradictions, but that’s how life has been lately & in all honesty I’ve been feeling just a bit ‘meh’. I guess it’s mainly because we’re in a routine now, I work, Tim works, Benjamin goes to his childminder & life kind of falls into a predictable pattern: it’s not bad, it’s not a hundred miles an hour, but it just works. End of day exhaustion kicks in, free time is sorely missed & writing for pleasure becomes a rare ‘luxury’! Part of my reluctance to ‘put fingers to keyboard’ has also been because I felt like an imposter in this crazy thing called ‘motherhood’ & blogging for that matter too. I kept thinking (& still do): who was I to write about being a Mumma? I’m in no way an expert by any stretch; I’m only doing this gig ‘part time’ (See blog post https://thegeriatricmumma.com/2019/04/26/yay-we-survived-the-10-month-check/) for goodness sake! My son can’t even talk yet! He babbles & chats in his own way, but doesn’t say animal noises on command, couldn’t give a stuff about colours & saying “thank you” for things just takes on a two tone noise of “ah ah”. I’m not ‘The’ Geriatric Mumma, I’m only one of the millions of older ladies who are ‘Mumming it’ & they’re probably doing things a whole lot better than me! My patience is not as good as I’d like it to be & for the most part, I’m tired & run on way too much caffeine, but hey, who doesn’t, right? I think I’m over this panic now; yes I am only one of many, yes I am new to blogging, but the reason I set this up was for Benjamin to look back on when he’s much older & for him to realise that yes, for the most part his Mumma was definitely ‘winging it’ & I can live with that. I think.

Back in October, our darling (but it has to be said, ever so slightly lazy) boy decided to take his first steps. Of course, we were totally over the moon that Benjamin started to walk & it seems very strange to think of him as crawling now – he’s pretty much mastered things, although sometimes his gait is suspiciously akin to my drunken stagger after a few G&Ts! Yes, we’d cracked it, or at least we thought so…however now it seems that people no longer ask the elusive “is he walking yet?” Because they can clearly see the answer they’re looking for, but rather, their attention has turned to, “is he talking now?” Seriously?! Give us a break! The boy could chat for England; as soon as he wakes, we hear him having full on conversations with himself or Scruffy Puppy in his cot; but exactly what is being said still remains a complete mystery. He knows what he’s saying & that’s all that matters. He kind of skipped the one word phase & went straight into “it’s down there!” Grumpily pointing at his muzzie that had been sleepily thrown out of his cot overnight. A lot of things are “down there” & he’s great at showing us the floor where the offending item maybe. I’m not worried about his speech particularly, he understands what we’re asking him to do, although his participation is often selective & I’m pleased with his progress: until I compare him with his friends & then I worry. Sometimes I fear that he’ll always sound like an over-excited pterodactyl & no one will quite understand what he’s getting at, other than “it’s down there” & “I don’t know!” when asked a question. Or worse still, I’ll always have to explain to him (with a rather red face) that not every man is ‘Daddy’! & it’ll only be us that can interpret his vocalisations. It got me thinking; this was always one of my biggest fears of motherhood; that my child wouldn’t be the fastest, the first to do things or the one who other Mumma’s use as a benchmark of achievement. But after a few long months of procrastinating, a few months of balancing motherhood, being a (hopefully good) wife & working; I’ve decided that I’m okay with Jamin not being the prodigy of Wool. He is a charming, very cheeky, happy chappy. He can ‘work a room’ & be friendly & sociable to everyone he meets. He shook hands with everybody at the hairdresser’s the other day & got them to engage with him & I’m proud of that. I’m proud that he is complemented on his ‘lovely smile’ or his general friendliness. I also wish I had a pound for every time someone says it too!

Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t perfect all the time & he’s most definitely learned the fine art of a good tantrum already. We deal with it, we pick our battles (yes, I have let him take Daddy’s screwdriver & a piece of wood out with us for an easier shopping trip!) & we explain things to him. Sometimes he accepts the explanation, other times not so much. We’ve introduced “1, 2, 2 & a half…” we’ve only reached 3 a few times back in the beginning when he wasn’t too sure what would happen (& sometimes Mumma wasn’t either!) He’s now realised that three is not a good number! Although it slightly concerns me that he’ll end up with some kind of trauma when he learns his numbers properly & gets to four, then finds out there is more than just 1 & 2, said in a rather stern tone.

The biggest development over the last few months has to be his new found love of DIY, in particular: sanding, drilling & screw-driving things to ‘help’ his Daddy with jobs around the house. He is careful with his tools has a little wooden box in the kitchen, which he’ll sit with for ages to smooth, attach screws & measure; all while I make dinner. It works for both of us. His Step Sister & Brother think we should set up his own YouTube channel when he’s older called ‘Jamin’s Jobs’ – watch this space! They’re also trying to negotiate a Management Fee of said rising star toddler, although I think I’d pay them a lot of money to manage him when he’s in one of his stubborn, hangry moods. But don’t tell them that though!

Anyway, I’ve included some photos of the last few months & things we’ve been doing. Quite a few things really, but it has to be said, we still hate soft play!

Thank you for reading. I promise not to take so long to write my next post. Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from you xx

We Survived Soft Play…

So on Friday me & the boy ventured into unchartered territory: namely Soft Play. I’d arranged to see my lovely friend Kelly & her adorable son Ashton a little while ago & this week she suggested this as a play date idea. She’d recently been there herself, so thought it would be a great way for the boys to get to know each other; let off some steam & briefly save our lounges from the usual carnage as an added bonus. Initially I was quite excited at going, it would be a brand new experience for both of us, & a safe place for my little commando crawler to explore. I’d even ‘bigged it up’ to him that morning whilst I was getting him dressed…hmmm, hindsight is a wonderful thing hey. I’d built it up in my mind that it wouldn’t be as bad as feared or had read about, (www.theunmumsymum.co.uk/surviving-soft-play.html) after all it was a weekday in term time & we were getting there as soon as it opened, so should be calm, in theory.

We arrived, negotiated the ridiculously heavy entrance door, I was juggling Benjamin, my handbag & his extensive bag of: spare clothes, finger foods, bottles, nappies, wipes, coat, gloves(?!), monkey & muzzie, you know, all the essentials! Kelly was much more prepared than me, with her compact buggy that carried everything she needed. I’m such a rookie still it seems. We duly paid our £1.50 as an ‘accompanying adult fee’ (I think it’s odd that the babies are free & yet they’re seemingly getting the most benefit from the whole ‘experience’?!) We tracked down a table to ‘camp out’ on, piling everything high up so we could actually keep an eye on our belongings whilst sat in the murky depths of the ball pool. We placed the boys on the café floor, whilst we cast aside our shoes. All of a sudden there was a shriek & a stray ball came flying out & ricocheted off of Benjamin’s head, but luckily he didn’t really realise what had happened, I should have taken it as a sign right then. I was horrified to discover how we had to enter; literally had to climb over a huge plastic block, into a mini ball pool & over another massive block to get to another completely plastic-covered ‘flat’ area all whilst carrying over a stone of wriggly, excited baby. Seriously I felt like I was on “It’s a Knockout” all whilst wearing slippery tights & a leopard print shirtdress. Even in mummahood I’ll never learn to dress appropriately it seems. We put the boys in the biggest space & hoped for the best. Benjamin didn’t quite know what he was supposed to do; there was nothing in the space except more plastic cubes & he found himself sliding all over the show, just as his Mumma had to get into this surreal slippery soft play circle of hell. Imagine a slightly chubby Bambi on ice if you will, well for both of us really when I think back to it! We enjoyed this space for a few minutes before some preschoolers entered & our hearts sank. It seems that the etiquette for older children is for their parents to abandon them upon entry, allow them to free-range it until an accident occurs, or another parent has to step in to ‘break things up’ & then they have to reluctantly intervene. Kelly & I ended up forming a human shield around our babies – creating a force field to fend off rogue children & plastic cubes being launched from every direction. Even one of the members of staff came over & told us that we could tell older children to move to another area if they became too boisterous. After a few stern looks, trying to locate the offender’s parent, we then decided to relocate to the comparative ‘safety’ of one of the mini ball pits. The boys were so good & patient & I love the photo below of the two of them sharing a moment amongst the chaos together. I on the other hand was trying not to think of all the bodily fluids that have probably passed over said balls & praying I didn’t find any ‘presents’ with my practically bare feet. We lasted for a whole nineteen minutes in this multi-coloured, wipe clean, seizure-inducing war zone. The boys needed food & we needed our sanity back. We crossed the one-way gated threshold, after deciding that we definitely wouldn’t be going back in & retreated to the baby swings outside in the adjacent park. Fresh air, perfect.

I’m glad we went. I think. It was just as I thought it would be, but I was genuinely disappointed that we didn’t get a badge of honour when leaving, something along the lines of “we survived soft play”. Go us! We might go back, I mean it was the best that Jamin has ‘day slept’ in a long time (probably all the adrenalin running through him?!) Then maybe next time we can be the Mummas who get to enjoy a leisurely coffee; all while our little darlings cause the chaos, well maybe.