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I’m a once-single mum of two boys (4 and 8) who was ‘attempting the ordinary’ after conceiving my second son by donor. I'm now married and pregnant and its complicated - again. These are my anonymous ramblings about life, love, parenting and the rest – emptying my head of the weird, the wonderful and the mundane. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Dancing, yelling, hoarding... and other generalised strangeness

Strange few days. I offer you a choice of:
  • Thursday - of the ex and swimming and mum dancing
  • Friday - of yelling and baby dancing
  • Saturday - of money making schemes and more yelling and the return of the cupboard clearout.
Take your pick, you might not have time to read them all, I do go on a bit...

 
Thursday:

DS1's dad dropped his stuff off on Thursday morning - seemed like he wanted to talk about school playground stuff - not DS1's stuff, his stuff. He said he felt like everyone knew each other and were chatting in the playground, whilst he was just standing there. To put this in context, we never talk about anything personal at all, so this is possibly the most personal discussion we've had in at least 3 years. (I'm now quite strict about boundaries - having not been to begin with, so he just walked all over them - by which I mean me - but that's some old history for another post another time). I suggested, in the usual joky way that we talk to each other (he can't handle serious conversation, I have tried) that he go stand with the other dad's looking mean and moody at the fence. 'But that's just what I don't want to do' he said, and then just sort of hovered, almost as if he was expecting me to do something about it. Was he asking me to introduce him to my friends? Does he still not realise I'm not his mother/that he is a grown-up? It was odd. Fortunately DS2, with his usual impeccable timing took that moment to try to escape from the front door, saving me from a potentially awkward situation. He is a very good boy.

 

 
Having said that, DS2 didn't fancy his swimming lesson that morning at all and decided to keep trying to climb out of the pool and was only happy when he was allowed to sit on the step. He is becoming very wilful, and is frighteningly strong - not a great combination when I'm trying to keep him out of trouble. He had a friend over in the afternoon and together they had a good play with every toy they could lay their hands on - had a nice chat with his mum and was only after she left I noticed the living room resembled a looting at an Early Learning Centre. No time to clear though, straight off to get DS1 from school.

 
Got to school and a few of DS1's friends were going to the park so he decided he wanted to go with them before coming home, so off we all went. I knew as soon as he had a significant amount of time with me the post-dad-night bad behaviour would begin, so I was all for putting it off for a few hours. Besides, DS1 has a new male friend that I am actively encouraging - did I mention him? I'm so excited because he's only ever had close female friends before - nothing wrong with that I suppose, but somehow I feel a bit of balance would be nice. Also, girls get to that bitchy stage soon - his little gang are already doing that awful 'I'm not friends with you today' thing. Yeeuch! Said Friend is new to their class, as the family has just moved here. He has younger siblings too and had a lovely chat to his mum at toddler group, so v pleased to find DS1 has chosen to be friends with son too. Makes life so much easier when it happens that way.

 
That evening, had my first Ballet lesson in 25 years - decided I needed to do something about my post-baby stomach - it is creeping out on me and I'm often shocked by it as I have a ridiculously good body image. If I ever met Gok Wan he'd have to reverse his usual patter for me - 'You think you look this good, but actually you only look this good'. Anyway, I'm rubbish at doing fitness for the sake of it and I loved Ballet as a kid so this seemed the way to go. It was me and 4 other ladies - and I think I was the youngest. And I loved it. I love dancing generally, but whenever I do Salsa or 5 Rhythms, my usual dances of choice, I always feel like I'm in a room full of people who are trying to achieve something, or prove something, or appear a certain way. I say 'do' but 'did' is more accurate, its been a couple of years at least. Anyway, for once this was just people dancing, purely for the sake of it, and having fun, and giggling at our imperfections. And I loved the ritual of it - it was like meeting an old friend, finding favourite steps I'd forgotten about. My body remembered how it felt, and how to move - although my body still thought it was 13, which didn't help so much with the moving the next morning.  GN babysat which meant DS2 had a bottle, so slept with less feeds than usual, great to give me a break, but less good as it meant he woke up earlier the next morning - joy.

 
Friday:

There was a rush over breakfast to get the house cleared for the cleaner who was coming that day (the ELC looting remained and had been joined by a side full of washing up) which, unsurprisingly triggered the post-dad behaviour in DS1: not doing what he was asked and instead doing the exact opposite. Despite this being unsurprising- even to anyone reading this blog, let alone me who's lived this life for 5 years - it caught me off guard. In all the busyness after school on Thursday, I think I'd forgotten he'd been away - so the anger, annoyance, tiredness and, in this case aching limbs, just caught up and dragged me along behind them like wild horses, and I ended up yelling at him all the way to school. Bleeuggh - I do not like myself when I do that. Managed to let it go quicker than usual - normally I feel the need to justify myself, which just drags it out further - so we recovered quicker and were okay by the time we got to school. So in context that was only, maybe, 10 minutes yelling tops - so surely I'm not such a bad mother. Repeat after myself 'I am not a bad mother, I am not a bad mother' ... it will go in one day.
DS2 had a lovely Friday. (The yelling normally goes straight over his head and he just waits until we've finished). He went to dance class and managed to walk on his tip toes - he is the youngest by far in this mum and toddler class, but he does love it. At home, he'll spend much of his time walking round the house practicing a variety of silly walks, and he seems to consider the class just somewhere where everyone else does it too. I think he just sees it as an 'ideas pool' - joins in the silly walks he likes, and when he's tired or bored, goes and stands in a small doorway that he seems to have become attached to - he is an unusual child. I took him to the free play session at the gymnastics centre this afternoon to meet another friend. He was tired by then, so mostly just sat at the top of one of the playfloam slopes and watched children go up and down and over him - and then decided to go slowly down the slope so had a trail of children behind him, which he seemed to enjoy.

 
Saturday:

It felt like a relatively normal day to day - I am achieving the ordinary!!! My mum came over so I got a bit of sanity time when she took them out for a walk.  I used it to have a shower and write a children's story that's been in my head for ages - not quite finished yet but I'm proud of myself for doing it. Maybe it will be the next Gruffalo... although that will of course require finishing it at the very least. Probably followed by a whole pile of luck, but hey, I can dream.
DS1 often acts a bit brattish when there's another adult around, so ended up with some yelling at him again by teatime - he clearly still hasn't got all his post-dad behaviour out. I managed to keep calmer than usual though and eventually sorted things out. I went off to play my guitar while he had a time out - and I now have the beginnings of a song - hurray! While the guitar is certainly a better outlet for my anger, its not always practical to have it around mid rant - perhaps I should carry a mini one around. Perhaps there is an App - if there isn't someone should invent one. Maybe I should...I'm all with the money making schemes today.

 
Sometimes I wonder why I'm knackered the whole time, and then I read back a post like this and realise it's because I'm mentally busy. Also, In the midst of all this I did another cupboard clear out - again I marvel at myself: 12, count them, 12 empty plastic containers for things from the supermarket bakery - what the f**k?!!! No one needs these things. Not one of them was under a year old. I am a freak.
DS2 sat on the floor and had a good chew of the collection of Fruit Shoot bottles while I folded my collection of used wrapping paper and contemplated buying an iron and ironing board to make it look less used. This is even more odd than it might at first seem, as in nearly 10 years of not ironing clothes, the thought of buying such things has never entered my head, so why would I entertain the notion for wrapping paper?!! No doubt next week there will be a new cupboard to clear out and cause me to marvel at my obsessive hoarding weirdness again. Watch this space....if you can contain your excitement that long - and if you can't don't worry, I have more than enough ex-bakery plastic boxes to contain it for you.

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