Tag Archives: Text Messages

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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[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.)

Notes from the trenches: 4

Parenting lesson #45: keep your working spouse in the loop by bombarding them continually with panic-strewn text messages.

I’m getting pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.

8 May


I am writing this to you, so I don’t have to say it to him.

12 May

Supposed to be asleep.
Actually singing a self-penned song about tickling digger.
Story of Henry’s life.

17 July

Let us rename today Giant Sweetcorny Poos In The Bath day. A step forward though: he stood up in a corner and yelled for me because he didn’t want to stand in it. Considering its composition I’m glad he wasn’t trying to eat it…

18 July

Someone was jealous of Edward’s bath this morning. He got in with his nappy on. Urgh.

30th July

Brill! I’ll give you three guesses as to what I’m doing.

– feeding?

A clue: I am _____ surrounded by _______ while Henry ______.
The answers are ‘feeding’, ‘mess’, and ‘paints on the wall with Maybelline foundation’.

1st Aug

I think I might die of having two children.

7th Aug

By the way, I am watching a history documentary about succession. The next time we have marital relations I expect you to shout ‘Now I will do my work, for St George and England!’ As did Charles II.

8th Aug

We are both sick and covered in wee (Teddy’s), and he has decided he will only stop crying when he’s sat with me.

Meanwhile, Hen is singing Postman Pat and ‘cleaning’ where I can’t see him. Ominous.

We miss your face, in other words.

9th Aug

Ok, how toxic do you think your hair cream is, on a scale of one to ten?!

27th Aug

This is the greatest weighing session of all time. Put Teds on the scales and he wees everywhere. Unfortunately the scales are on a table and Hen is standing beside me, so he gets wee to the face. We scrabble to clear it up, Teds gets weighed…and then wees again. In Henry’s face, again. He looked so disgusted, I was in hysterics. I was the only one amused…

28 Aug

This will make me sound like a dweeb, but I can’t open the Calpol, and Teds is desperate. Pls could you and your man hands come home?

3rd Sept

Nando’s is WeightWatchers in comparison.

17 Sept

‘Mummy, Eh-ward’s awake!’

‘Yeah, he’s awake because you spat on his head.’

Poor Teds.

10 Oct

Definitely trying to put a breast pad in. This boy needs man time in the worst way.

photo (4)

‘Mummy, I a pah-rit! Ha-haaargg!’

Antibacterial handwipe. Pirate hat. What’s the diff.

photo (5)

It has just occurred to me: do you think one day Edward will use these posts as evidence for his parental emancipation bid?

*makes mental note to burn the internet later*

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.

Notes from the trenches: 2

You know when your husband sends you his PayPal login details and tells you to delete the text message once you’ve used it, and then you are distracted by a small boy trying to eat a large battery and remember about it three months later?

Here are some of the other text messages I found while that thing totally, definitely did not at all happen to me.

10 July

H just discovered smoothie. Has a whole new GIVE ME MORE sound he made up especially. He did not even know that fruit comes in liquid (mind blown).

7 Aug

I bought a PD James for £1 in a charity shop today and read it all. Then had to go check the whole house for murderers. You’re welcome.

11 Aug

All I have to say about this morning is: please never die and make me a single parent.

21 Aug

I just cannot buy him a pair of crocs.

29 Aug

Coolio, fit-head. H is pretending to sleep. He has a temperature and is exhausted, but apparently has SONGS TO SING.

3 Sept

Is it too girly to put the cloud and rainbow stickers on Henry’s car?

– Yes. Flames, and go-faster stripes only.

It didn’t come with any. We put the face on though, because the empty eye sockets were creeping me out.

5 Sept

So, Tesco decides which coupons it sends according to what you buy most often.

Our coupons this month are all for chocolate milkshake. Good times.

11 Sept

I am seriously thinking about a bedtime scone to use up the leftover clotted cream.

Had it. Just half. NO REGRETS.

25th Sept

Another Houdini poop morning here. Joy. I think I found it all.

27 Sept

That’s great. I am making dinner…very slowly. While also doing this.

Sadface Henry does not believe in dinner making.

1 Oct

Hey, you!
Did you tell me that I had devil breath this morning, or was that a dream?

He claimed it was a dream, but I have my doubts.

And now, there are approximately 72.5 things on my living room floor (the 0.5 is the bit of pork Henry flicked off his spoon yesterday while practising his Wingardium Leviosa), so it’s time for the Quick-Before-Tim-Gets-Back tidy. Henry is pretending to sleep but actually throttling the life out of his baby monitor. Since the monitor was halfway across the room on his rocking chair, I’m intrigued.

Welcome back, Monday – we hardly missed ye.

Notes from the trenches

I had to search through five months’ worth of text messages to Timothy this morning, looking for some bank account information I’d forgotten.

Henry and I have had an interesting five months.

2nd March:

Kamikaze baby just took a head-first dive off the sofa. I was on the other side of the room and managed to catch him before he hit the ground, but ended up in some very painful splits. Next week I am putting him in one of those inflatable sumo suits, and that will be the end of it.

29 March:

FYI. Henry plus Dyson Air Blade equals Armaggeddon. John Lewis was startled.

11 April:

You know, we always start off breakfast so neat and tidy. And then somehow, by the end, we’re always here.

19 April:

I have fallen out with tantrum boy for the day. I am running away to sea to be a ship’s monkey. We can Skype. They have Skype on ships, right?

30 April:

Put Henry in his room while I took my call, and paid for it with an hour of hysterics. Took me 20 mins to persuade him to sit down long enough for me to use the loo. By which point things were rather desperate.

8 May:

Btw I had a whodunnit dream in which you were the murderer! O the betrayal. You must be extra nice to people today.

11 May:

Guess who just pulled the monitor off the wall, wrapping the wire round his neck as he fell and bringing the picture frame crashing down with it? He’s fine, I am not. UNFUNNY.

15 May:

Got your £5. Had to be very nice to the cashier.

Did winks and everything.

No, not really.

17 May:

Just had the biggest lol of my life feeding H an olive.

20 May:

H just found out that the fridge magnets come off. Caught him eating Richard Hammond’s head.

23 May:

H just did the biggest, mankiest sick all in my hair. I screamed and frightened him so he screamed, and now we both smell. Good times.

27 May:

The batteries in Henry’s walker are running down. She sounds like she’s had hormone therapy and/or too many beers.

29 May:

An astonishing proportion of that rear-ended deluge was raisins. That is all.

5 June:

I had a sad dream about you last night. Try not to catch cancer today!

7 June:

These aren’t scratches from Henry dropping my iPhone, I’ve just realised. These are tooth marks. Dude.

Ha! I love these ridiculous, hair-raising days. I want to trap him as he is so he can’t get any bigger.

I suspect that one day I’ll look back and wish for the simplicity of clearing up sick and keeping him still. For now, we need more disinfectant.

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