Tag Archives: Some Days Are Like This

Notes from the trenches: 6

Every full-time parent of small children needs a place to vent.

Vaguely, you remember a time when you worried about deadlines and MOTs and when to fit in the Tesco shop.

You didn’t very often worry about faeces. Or facial injuries. Or how to get through the witching hour without throwing your children down a mine.

Poor Tim is my venting place. And since he’s busy at work, with those deadlines and MOTs I remember, he gets pelted with text messages on the hour. My last six months looked something like this *weeps forever*:

5 August

Photo 10-03-2015 10 39 11 pm
Yes, somehow I don’t think all parties are enjoying this.

6 August

Henry, while bouncing on bed – ‘ladies and gent-en-den, welcome to bounce day!’

10 August

Listen, I know you’ve been looking for ways to spruce up our bedroom carpet, and I’ve got it: khaki coloured diarrhoea with raisins! Nailed it.

20 August

Henry cried a bit when you left. Just now I heard him sing to himself, all brokenly,

‘This old man/he played one/
He played knick-knack on my TEARS’

I am dying laughing and also have all the feels.

22 August


NO to scrambled eggs.

NO to holding my own tube yoghurt.

NO to your vile fruit pot.

NO to your face.

I will accept your suspicious ‘trail mix’ but only the chocolate chips.
Hashtag teeth.

28 August

Hen, from nowhere: ‘A naked man with long arms put a rope around his neck’
Me: ‘What?!?’
H: ‘He put a rope around his neck and couldn’t breathe’ [mimes suffocating]

No more Horrible Histories for this boy, mm-k?

2 September

Look on these works ye mighty, and despair.

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29 September

Accidentally fell asleep while sorting laundry and had a brilliant nap. Hen downstairs, did the same. Just found him with pants round his ankles (he hadn’t bothered to pull them up after his wee), lying on the floor, using the iPad as a very uncomfy pillow.

[Note: Tim’s response to this was ‘#penisstylus’, which made me laugh so hard I snorted my cheesecake.]

7 October

Meanwhile Teds is giving himself a jacket potato body scrub *cries*

9 October

Teddy vs slide (horror face).

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He is EXTREMELY lucky it missed his eye. Also he is rubbish at first aid.


30 October

Had a whole dream last night about the advisability of buying a tartan cushion for the living room. Exciting life, you are mine indeed.

18 November

Leaving that one alone. Well. Alone.

24 November

A Short Scene From Our Evening:

An hour ago I was changing Teddy’s dirty nappy – he is still producing some abominations. Suddenly Hen dashes past me yelling ‘I NEED A POO, QUICK QUICK!’

I spot the potty just behind me and fling it out into the corridor for him, he starts pulling his shorts down, I glance over…and an entire turd is so close to falling off it’s dangling by a thread. He’s not managed to sit down yet.

So I THROW myself across and manage to move the potty two inches to the left – and catch it, yesss! Alas, not the after-poo, which hits the carpet. So I quickly get wipes to clear everything up, eventually turn back – and find Teddy waving his dirty nappy around like the Union Jack.

And in all this flinging, I pulled a stomach muscle.


4th December

Photo 10-03-2015 10 38 14 pm
That’s Hen’s toothbrush, and he couldn’t get his hand out while holding it, but wouldn’t let it go.

[Tim]: Ah, the satisfaction of knowing that your child has progressed in intelligence to the level of a baboon.

5th December

We just came back in from a walk, wet and muddy. Did the usual strip-down and sent Henry upstairs to find pyjama bottoms. He came down wearing some.

‘Oh well done, you did that fantastically’.

‘Yes mummy. Now let’s get the kettle on and have some chocolate’.

7 December

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‘You must not say oi! I dust eating the chocolate!’

16 December

Today Hen has done: 

1 wee in our front garden
2 wees in the toilet/potty
1 wee mostly in pants
1 wee on his bedroom floor
1 poo in the woods
1 poo on the bathroom floor.

A great day.

18 December

There is an Indian fast food place down by Riverside advertising ‘curry in a naan’, like to take away. WHAT. This has the potential to change my whole life for the better.

The naan is bowl shaped, like a taco. My mind is blown.

Also, much more disgustingly, Pizza Hut now do alcoholic milkshakes – ‘hard shakes from hard cows’. This emoji represents me vomiting in my mouth.

6th January

1. Spoon up custard and peach.
2. Chew.
3. Remove peach and put it in a separate container you have commandeered for the purpose.
4. Repeat.

Photo 10-03-2015 10 39 39 pm

2 February

Henry: ‘I am very freezing. It’s time to go in a nice warm café and sit down’ #middleclasschildren

21 February

[Tim]: Teddy has had a rough couple of hours.

Photo 10-03-2015 10 43 37 pm
[Me]: Haaa. I know that feel, bro. Fist bump.

If you ever think I look like I’m about to skin a cat when you get in from work, that’s why.

Be right back, just running towards that curry-in-a-naan with my arms and mouth wide open, because it’s 10am, we had breakfast four hours ago, and I CAN’T EVEN.

Older Notes from the Trenches posts are here (tiny Henry!), here, here, here and here. It’s good to know that basically my life has been continuously insane for the last three years. 

Notes from the trenches: 5

I love reading these ‘Twenty-Six Text Messages You Must See Before You Die’ listicles. And one of the reasons I love them is that they’re proof that people actually send normal text messages to their friends and significant others. They organise social events and discuss dinner. They flirt. They do not, as a general rule, give an hourly account of the bodily waste they’ve come up against lately.

You know whose text messages do? Mine. Poor Tim. AND POOR ME, READERS. POOR ME.

(Just kidding. I laughed my little head off reading this evidence of my strange, frantic, toddler-driven life, and I think I’ll laugh more once this phase is done.)

10 April

Wee in library toilet! *thumbs up*
Poo in library pants! *thumbs down*

It’s like Gladiator, but with faeces.

30 April

So Hen found your Reece’s lip balm and has been sneakily licking it all morning. I’ve been saying ‘DON’T lick daddy’s lip balm!’ a lot.

Just now I asked him what he was doing, and he said what sounded like ‘I licking daddy’s bum’. Let’s hope that one doesn’t go public.

9 May

I forrealz just cooked a tea towel along with my chips.

14 May

Me: ‘I need to get ready, Henry. You’ll have to wait till Daddy gets home to ask him.’
[Henry presses the iPad button for Siri.]

15 May

From the bedroom, quite distinctly: ‘oh, CWAP’. Whoops.

13 June

Talking to Hen about senses.
‘What do we use for listening?’
‘No, ears. Ears are for listening. What’s your nose for?’
‘Teddy pressing.’
‘Smelling, actually. What do we use for looking?’
‘The iPad.’
‘Your eyes. What are your feet for?’
‘Shoes and socks.’

New concepts 🙂

17 June

Even in a fictional Game of Thrones universe generated by a computer algorithm, I am not cool.

21 June

Just poked my head around the door and saw Henry dragging Teds down the stairs by the foot. So I dropped my phone on our hard floor and ran.
Downside: poor phone. It’s ok, but it was lucky.
Upside: definitive proof that I love my children more than my phone.

23 June

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I’m now letting him eat from my Muller Corner using his hands. Hashtag desperation.

26 June

From nowhere, today: ‘Hey mama, bees don’t have willies’ –?!

30 June

Forgot to tell you Teds pulled the ladder down on top of himself this morning – and it was by the stairs, so he fell backwards DOWN THE STAIRS with the ladder on top of him. Heart attack city.

Yikes. Is he ok?

Amazingly, yes. Hard as nails, this boy.

2 July

Just banged my head on the corner of the car boot so hard I am literally strapping the boys in with tears streaming down my face.

Why can’t I just be a suffragette and have Mary Poppins be brilliant with my children?

5 July

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This guy woke up at 5.45am: bought 20 more mins with a bottle, and 20 more with him trashing our room.

He’s just got to Only Sitting On Your Face Will Please Me stage.

16 July

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‘Do a wee, ball! Time for you to do a wee!’

[puts on deep voice for ball] ‘No wees coming, thank you.’

17 July

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He made it to the top. *horror face*

– He is his brother’s brother.

19 July (6pm, FYI)

I’m coming home! Via Tesco.

– How soon is too soon to put Teddy to bed? He seems like he’s nearing the end of his tether.

-You are a wonder woman.

– In case you didn’t know.

23 July

Photo 31-07-2014 10 54 44 pm

Found an empty bottle, pulled down your shirt, got himself settled.

24 July

‘Whass Teddy doin’?’
‘I don’t know, what is he doing?’
‘I sink he’s pretending to be a sea cow.’

30 July

‘Where on earth did that water come from?’ I said, watching Teddy splash in a puddle on the floor. ‘Seriously, there are no bottles nearby…and it’s not sick…’

Wee. He’d made a splash-pad out of his own wee.

From now on I will only be accepting emails addressed to ‘Rachel The Virgin Jeffcoat, Mother of Winter’, in case you were wondering why yours keep bouncing.

(You can see previous Notes from the Trenches here, here, here and here – and the quote formatting with this blog style is pretty gross, but I don’t have time to fix it now, so let’s all just agree to not mind.)

Newsflash: it’s not about me

Remind me not to invite this Wednesday to my next party. This Wednesday was the sort of party pooper that sits in the corner breaking stuff, throwing olives at the other guests and laughing too loudly and too close to your face. This Wednesday needed to be sedated, so I sedated it good and proper with seventeen pieces of Bitsa Wispa.

I have had to learn some hard lessons this week. And oh, I feel foolish for having to learn them so often. Yesterday we made a crash-and-burn attempt at toilet training. We tried a few months ago, but I was too pregnant to clear up four pee puddles before breakfast, and decided to leave it until the baby had arrived. This week I made it through three hours and four pairs of pants before realising he still wasn’t ready.

I was, though. I wanted to be done with nappies. Since he started talking in sentences I tend to forget that he’s still barely out of babyhood, and wanted to get something else ticked off and out of the way. This week, toilet training, next week the alphabet, right? But he’s not a tick-list. I forgot that not everything has to be at breakneck speed, and it’s alright to just let him be.

Today I woke up after hardly any sleep with a painful ankle (I think Jillian Michaels may have thirty-day-shredded my Achilles heel). Henry left three separate puddles in the bathroom – I wasn’t even trying to potty train; I just couldn’t hobble fast enough with the nappy – and Teddy contributed two. After this Peemageddon, Teds screamed until I sat down to feed him, and while I fed him Henry somersaulted himself backwards off the bed and wondered why the landing hurt. By the time Timothy came home we were two tantrums down, two to go, and I was ranty-crying over sausage casserole like a lunatic.

I was disappointed. I’ve tried so hard lately to feel competent. I’ve got dressed and dried my hair and smiled extra-large at the people who asked how I was doing, to cover up the bags under my eyes. It made me feel better. Look at me, getting on top of things so quickly! But I forgot that not everything has to be at breakneck speed. Some days it’s ok to hobble and cry and fall off the bed head-first. Some days there will be pee on the floor and grease in my hair. I can be afraid, and the world won’t end with a bang.

I can eat seventeen pieces of Bitsa Wispa, and just try again tomorrow.

(Apart from the toilet training, which has been shelved until after Christmas. Much to Thomas’ relief).


Notes from the trenches: 3

My frantic text messages to Timothy these days are a little more to do with impending injury and a little less to do with bodily fluids. Which is…nice, I suppose?

Still feel bad about that assaulted goat. If you’re reading this, Perky, I hope you can sleep at night.

11 Jan

So, you know that plastic ducky Henry has adopted, and how it’s not really supposed to be a bath toy, and has a hole on its underside? You can squirt water out of it, and it looks disturbingly like it’s peeing. Well, today Henry worked out that it was quite easy to get the squirty water into his mouth, and started sucking from the source. THIS IS WRONG.

– At least he can have a career as a duck milker.


14 Jan

He has just pulled his towel into the bath, and is drinking from it. He thinks that when I tell you about this, you will say ‘POW’. Please try to be more stern than that.

11 Feb

In the wake of the Baftas, I think you should grow a beard. That is all.

15 Feb

Ok, for future reference: the station car park is REALLY VERY FAR INDEED from Argos. Like, a ten minute walk even without Henry picking up every cigarette butt.

22 Feb

What an astonishingly good morning for Henry to catastrophically butt-explode in the bath. It is fish and tomato poo, just to make it nicer.

27 Feb

Wish you could’ve heard him just now telling me which bit of James Bond I missed: ‘mama ohhhh choo choo uh-oh’ (the train came through the wall).

5 Mar

Henry decided he wanted a piggy back this afternoon. From a goat.

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8 Mar


14 Mar

Milestone: First item deliberately put down the toilet. Urgh.

16 Apr

Henry the freaking genius just melted the bottom of the slow cooker. He’s also broken my computer and drenched the kitchen floor twice, once with hot water [which miraculously missed him, safety fans]. He’s now in his cot so I can not look at him for ten mintues. And the living room looks like this. And I am so tired I could die. Tuesday can naff off.

That’s dirty dishwater he’s drinking in that photo, FYI.

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17 Apr

Milestone: let it be known that at lunchtime today, our son learned how to squeeze out a fart on purpose, for lols. Oh, boys.

Hen in bed, and just started sobbing like he’d chopped off his finger in the cot bars. I ran downstairs. Turns out choo choo had fallen onto the floor. Turns out choo choo has no respect for women who might go into EARLY LABOUR when faced with potential amputations.

I think I’ll (probably) miss this, one day (right?). Assuming I never actually have to deal with an amputation, that is.

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