Hanging washing on the airer. A very typical housewife answer, but if you're going to do it, do it properly!
Ask any female, regardless of age, and they will tell you that the most magical and memorable part of the Cinderella story was the glass slipper. It symbolises delicate, dainty feet, ultimate girlie-ness. It simply is/was the most important part of Cinderella’s outfit. Yes the dress was stunning, but lets face it, at midnight it turned back into rags. The slipper, however stayed.
For me, when I married The Husband, I spent hours and hours looking for the right pair of shoes. They had to be perfect. They had be glamorous, beautiful, one-off, sexy, high-heeled, comfortable, walkable, the right height, sound right when I walked, the right colour, the right sparkles, I could go on and on. I wanted to have a pair of shoes which ultimately were perfect for me. (In fact I will admit to actually buying more than one pair of shoes before deciding on my wedding shoes – Sorry Husband. *sheepish grin*).
I will admit, I am a bit of shoe fiend. I can be bought, bribed, convinced, made to go anywhere, made to do anything for the right pair of shoes. They bring me out of a bad mood. They turn me into someone powerful and confident. They make me walk taller, smile more, and laugh louder. I will change a complete outfit just for shoes. I have in the past just sat and looked at a newly purchased pair of shoes. I just love shoes.
My wedding shoes have been kept in the box they arrived in, wrapped in the white tissue paper. This box is inside a hand-sewn silk drawstring bag specifically purchased (thank you Mum! xx) for the purpose of keeping my wedding shoes in pristine condition. They have been there for the last four years. They have been taken out of the box no more than five times since my wedding day, each and every time is for my eldest daughter “L” to look at them and ask the same question, “Can I have them when I’m older?” . My reply is always the same……”yes”. And she smiles the biggest smile and hugs me. (I think I may have created another shoe fiend!).
But isn’t this the best part of being a woman and a bride. Yes, I realise the dress is also a huge factor, but not to me. Once the wedding is over, the dress goes into storage, hangs in a wardrobe, goes on display, gets put somewhere, anywhere. Mine is in storage at the top of the wardrobe. I cannot get to it without the Husband helping me. This is where the shoes beat the dress hands down (or feet down!)……I CAN get to my shoes (if I wanted to) and prance around the house feeling like a princess; I could do the hovering, washing up, I could sit on the sofa just looking at them, I could type a blog with them on – I’m not by the way – I could do a number of things in my wedding shoes and no one would know. Because I could repack them, rewrap them and stash them back away before anyone could realise. That is why they are better than a dress.
My wedding shoes were MY choice, completely 100% all mine. NO ONE had any input in the decision making process – well apart from the Husband. I was not allowed a pair of Jimmy Choo wedding platforms. I campaigned and nagged relentlessly. But that was the one stipulation the Husband had; I was NOT to spent £300 plus on a pair of shoes I would wear once. He did not care how comfortable they were, how beautiful they were, that no one else would have them, that they would one day be passed down to L who would in turn cherish them as I would, or that they would go with my dress perfectly. NO. NO JIMMY CHOO SHOES, ABSOLUTELY NOT, NO.
So I never got my Jimmy Choo wedding shoes, but that’s ok, I loved and still love the shoes I wore to got married in. I will probably love them forever, and will as promised, pass them to my eldest daughter when the time is right and she can appreciate them and love – as I know she will.
So imagine my absolute horror when the Husband came home from work one evening this week and began regaling me with a story of how one of his work colleagues – I will call this person TOM – had been talking about selling his wives (she will be called BARBARA) wedding shoes, WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE! Of course this was enough to make my jaw hit the floor, but the Husband continued his story….her wedding shoes were JIMMY CHOO!!! Well at this point the Husband had to pick me up from the floor.
Yes you read that correctly. TOM wanted to sell BARBARA’s Jimmy Choo wedding shoes WITHOUT her permission!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you recovered? Have you stopped feeling faint? Well done, it took me a bit longer to recover from that shocking revelation.
Forgive me, but everyone surely MUST agree that this is an act which is just wrong. In every way, shape and form, WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
Maybe I’m in a minority, but I know if the Husband dared to even consider doing this to ANYTHING of mine wedding related, he would be in the dog house for an immensely looooooong time. If he dared actually sell anything of mine wedding related without me knowing….well we probably wouldn’t be married for much longer!
Call me materialistic if you like, and yes when it comes to shoes I will hold my hands up and admit it.
But please for the love of all things beautiful and magical and Cinderella-ish, and girly….TOM please DON’T sell BARBARA’s Jimmy Choo wedding shoes.
(*) this post is dedicated to Mr B (TOM) and his lovely misses (BARBARA). With love and genuine concern for those J.C shoes. xx
Fussy eating! It’s absolutely a wonder that I have any hair left; I seem to tear it out on a daily basis, because of my eldest daughter, “L” and her particular rules about eating. I have had numerous ‘heated debates’ with my Mother about how far to push; I’ve been told that I should “just let it go and relax” when L has refused to eat something.
Her refusal could be for a vast variety of reasons; She can see onions in it; she doesn’t like the texture; it’s touching something else on the plate; it looks like its got “green bits” in it (by green bits, she means herbs); she doesn’t like big chunks; she doesn’t eat ham; hates mashed potato unless its got tonnes of cheese in it: I could go on and on, but it really is a looooong list.
I have two younger children, “T” (three and a half) and “G” (eighteen months old); both of whom seem to have eat and enjoy eating whatever I give them. Naturally, there are days when they don’t want what the Chef has dished up, but they wouldn’t be normal if that didn’t happen.
Rewind 8 years and 8 months ago; L was 4 months old and I had to return to work. A decision which I had no choice but to make. I was not in the wonderful position I am now, where I can raise my children myself. I had to send L to a day nursery. She was there from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday. Is that a gasp I hear? Yes I realise, now, that was an immensely large amount of time to spend away from my first born……but needs must I’m afraid.
L would have her breakfast, lunch and dinner, in fact all her weekday meals at the nursery. So is it any wonder that she is a fussy eater? I am not blaming the nursery – well not completely anyway. I am simply saying that I had no control and no input into what she was given to eat. I am sure the food she was given was nutritious, healthy, tasty, cooked in bulk, easy to cook, easy to clear away. But I don’t suppose for one moment she would have been given a helping of home-made lasagne, toad-in-the-hole, tuna pasta bake, braised beef, or anything else that I cook. (I do cook other things by the way – I’m not limited to just those things.)
So does this mean I have failed as a mother to my first born? Have I, unintentionally, damaged her psyche with regard to food?
Nowadays, I am so much more relaxed with her and her funny ways, and it helps that I have two younger children who almost inhale their food, regardless of what it is. It shows L that actually what is on the plate is edible and sometimes quite yummy too.
I do still have to ‘entertain’ certain aspects of her ways, just for a peaceful meal without the stress and arguing. For example, if I serve up one of my childhood favourites, baked beans on toast – L will have the beans in a separate bowl and the toast on a different plate. Or Roast dinner – you will not see her pick a roast potato or have gravy. Her plate will consist of a large portion of meat (she generally ends up leaving), carrots, and other vegetables – not swede though! Fish fingers – she will pull the batter off. She will only eat “thin chips”.
Mostly nowadays though she simply gets bored of sitting at the table with her siblings and eating her dinner. (I insist upon this for every meal and feel very strongly that eating together at the table is an important element for a family. It encourages and puts into practice good table manners, talking, sharing, communicating, spending time together, spending time away from the television, dvd player, Wii, laptop, Nintendo Ds.) So in effort to hide her boredom of the act of eating, she will claim she is full and attempt to leave the food in front of her. OR what she has started to do very recently, is to put her food on the floor under the table and state “I’m finished”. Now why she thinks she can get away with that is completely beyond me. Firstly, I was a child once – I remember the tricks. Secondly, I can see under the table – I am not stupid or blind. Thirdly, for L to have a completely clear plate and so quickly is something which only ever happens once in a blue moon – again I am not stupid or blind.
However, after all is said and done and typed and spellchecked, and drafted and then published, I suppose what is important is that she goes to bed with food in her tummy, and that she is actually eating and not starving herself. Isn’t it?
So, what is on the menu for tonight then I wonder?
Its funny the number of topics you can cover when a fellow SAHM(* see bottom of page for definition) pops round for a cuppa…
My “new honest”attitude: I casually told a fellow mummy-friend, “E”, that she should be more selective when choosing who to breed with next time; this was after she told us how one of her gorgeous kids was having trouble with handwriting and physical co-ordination. Firstly I would like to point out on her behalf that there will be no more breeding for her – this is by her own admission. And secondly I meant no offence with what I said, and She knows this, I hope! However, after the on-set of my panic attacks (see last post) I have decided to stop wearing a mask and sugar coating everything I want to say. If I think/feel/have an opinion/comment, I will tell you like it is. Or will try to. I am going to stop being super duper nicey nicey and worrying about what people think.
Sex: (usually one of the most discussed & top of our list) Although when the offspring are within earshot, you would think we were talking about the Teletubbies copulating – our replacement codewords can be very inventive! And for the sake of our spouses I will not elaborate the details of THIS particular topic!
Weather: most recently its been utterly sh1t. We want and need some sunshine. Although I need to shift some wobblyness before I go near my summer clothes. (H, you must remind me, Ive got a bag of girls clothes for you.) How can I do that when I have been so hungry lately. This week I have eaten, 4 **** **** with salad cream, a whole box of ***** ****. ( I am not stupid, I am NOT going to actually allow you know what Ive eaten.) Not sure where this hunger is coming from. I am definitely not pregnant. But on the plus side, I have not been having lunch – so H and I agreed that this calorie consumption is fine. We also discussed what is the best and most calorific meal you could eat for a fiver. (Please note H is 3 months preggers (again – she’s building an army to take over the world…Well north Essex anyway!) so is ALWAYS hungry. ) I said a Macdonalds Big Mac meal. H said go to Tesco and get a large pack of biscuits and a bag of nuts.
Clocks going forward: how will our youngest deal with it? This then evolved into the sleeping patterns of our last born…Me – I went through ten months of living hell with my youngest, and now I am so very blissfully happy, as he is one of the best sleepers in the house. I can categorically state that I absolutely could not ever return to that, EVER. H is going to be going through it all again in about 6-ish months time. She must be utterly mad but she is a great mum with a fabulous support network (smug cow!) so she’ll survive and in a few years time she’ll have a faithful army of blond soliders at her beck n call!
This turned into the things I miss from dealing with new babies: I miss and think I would always miss the breastfeeding, despite what I may have said previously – the private cosy time with just me and whichever baby at the time. Although with each of my girls I loved it; with my boy, I hated it. I was stressed, he hurt me, etc. I won’t go into gory details for the sake of those yet to pro-create – I don’t want to put you off! And although I will NOT be breastfeeding H’s new baby, I am very much looking forward to tonnes of cuddles, with the knowledge that I will be able to get a full nights sleep.
Plans for the weekend: girls night out Saturday for a E’s birthday meal. Indian booked; what will we order? I love a Korma – I find it comforting and easy to eat, but always linger to long over the menu wondering if I’m brave enough to try something new. H cant drink what with being preggars – can she have a wine spritzer. We both agreed probably easier and less tormenting to just not drink at all. Then on Sunday, the Husband is taking me and the kids – all of them – horse racing. Sounds posher that it is, so I’m told. We’re going point-to-point racing. Looking forward to donning my new wellie boots, wrapping up and taking a picnic.
Moaning about respective spouses: Its the usual men are from mars scenario. They are lovely, and we love them dearly. But they are sooooo frustrating. We want help with the kids/housework/school-run, obviously, but we don’t want to have to ask for it. Sometimes it would be lovely for them to just offer. When it comes to being ill H and I have two differing opinions – H says she wants to just sit and Mr H can just get on with it all, just like she has to everyday. Whereas I can be on my deathbed and continue to get on with things. A good example is that very recently during a bought of flu and bronchitis, although Husband had taken time off work to “nurse” me better, I was defiant and carried on doing my “job” – cooking dinner, ironing, etc.My point being, when you are struck down with Man-flu and are on your death bed, I allow you to recuperate and accept that you cant possibly do anything; but when I am ill, I cant crawl into my deathbed – I have to carry on being a mum, wife and housekeeper.
Swearing/language: I have to admit it that recently I have been much less careful when it come to profanities and bad language around the children. I just simply cannot be bothered anymore. Sorry to those who have sat there and tutted at me! I’m not saying I swear all the time, but at those particular moments when only a swear word will do, I do!
Academic comparisons: Not between each others children, but the difference between our own children, for example, my two girls. My eldest daughter is not showing signs of being very academic – more arty and sporty. She would much rather watch telly and do something arty and creative then read a book. Whereas my middle daughter, even at the age of 3, prefers books to telly, is learning her phonic alphabet, can recite and read of the letters from the alphabet, can do simple math sums. I am not boasting, simply saying. So I find it hard to imagine that my eldest will visit University. This then opened up the discussion about further education…
University: If any of our children want to attend, we are going to struggle to afford it, as I am sure many many families would at the moment. I know we’ve got quite a while before we get to that stage, but time is flying by so very fast.
Life insurance: Currently, I do not have life insurance. Husband and I have discussed this previously but decided that as I smoked, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. Well now I don’t – I haven’t smoked in almost 2 months!! – I think we should get it sorted. IF I was to come to untimely death, The Husband , who is out of the house 14 hours a day would be fukced (thats a technical term) for childcare, school runs, general raising of the children. So yes life insurance for me is definitely required.
Inheritance: Currently, our children will be completely out of luck if something was to happen to us as a couple or if they are expecting to inherit anything from either myself or The Husband. We haven’t got anything of value, only things we have would be sentimental. H said almost the same thing. Still with both of our families consisting of numerous children, it doesn’t matter that they don’t inherit anything of monetary value; at least they will have each other!
*SAHM = stay at home mum – AKA. Superwoman, chef, nursemaid, cleaner, washer-up-er, childminder, taxi driver, shopper, dresser, pornstar, book reader, all-round-pretty-fabulous-multi-tasker.
Panic attacks (PA) do exactly what they say on the tin….”panic – attack“.
To say it’s scary is an understatement. The sufferer – in this case Yours Truly – believes they are having a heart-attack and about to take the maiden step onto the shiny, long escalator into the light. (I would like you, the reader, to note that I am not making light of heart attacks or any other heart/epileptic/asthmatic conditions. Just purely using it as a point of reference. )
So, completely out of the blue for no apparent reason I have started experiencing these “PAs”; I doubt I will ever find out the trigger/occasion/incident which has, for the moment, changed me completely. Time will tell. There have been “things” which have happened (I.E. the passing of a close family member, stopping smoking, losing contact with loved “friends”, confrontations, stress, etc.) but I do not think I can absolutely blame one thing.
I never imagined I could be a candidate for this, and I certainly would not wish it upon anyone. The fear I experience when I am alone is indescribable. Anyone who knows me, would never believe that I could be jumpy, nervous, unsure, uneasy and quite frankly utterly petrified to be around unfamiliar men (plural or singular). Yes I can be shy, but this is ludicrous.
I just want to be standing behind The Husband – he is at the moment the only person who helps me feel “safe”. (There you go Darling, you do serve a purpose), and this is great, but He does have a job and therefore cannot be with me all the time. *Voice in head shouts that “this is very inconsiderate”*
So I have no alternative but to put my mask back on and get one with life. The kids still need to go to school and pre-school – I HAVE TO GO OUT!
However, there are no physical symptoms – no rash, spots, flashing sign, limp. You just look like you (remember I’m taking about me in this case), so no one knows what’s going on inside, just how much you’re trying to hide the trembling, to slow the pounding heart and just to breathe; and therefore everyone carries on as usual.
But also, no one can know the confusion I experience at the same time. What the f**k is making me feel like this gibbering wreck? I am standing at my Daughter’s school for goodness sake. I know a vast number of the people around me, I’m standing in a playground surrounded by babies, children, buggies, parents, school staff and friends – Where is the panic? What is so scary?
In all of this though, during the days when I feel at my worst, I have made a real effort to change my “routine”, and keep busy. Ok, so some of my housework has suffered (well the washing machine needed a break) and maybe my three year old hasn’t been particularly over the moon, but what’s helped me so far is walking. Sounds completely boring and I guess you’re rolling your eyes, but it really and honestly has helped, if only temporary.
On the days when my Daughter is at pre-school, I have enjoyed plugging in my ears, pressing play on the Ipod and just walking. Walking, walking, walking. Who knows it may well improve my slummy-mummy figure slightly. (Sexy summer legs – here I come!)
The other thing I’ve struggled with recently (unsure if related to the PA) is laughing, really laughing. I’m not talking about a chuckle, a smirk, a fake “I’m ok” laugh; I mean a real belly shaking witches cackle, the one which makes me sound like my mum (sorry mum!) And to achieve this I found that watching (and I’m sure he’ll love this) Top Gear has done the job. Stop groaning!
I am positive that Mr Jeremy Clarkson (and Hammond and May) would be delighted to know that their incessant moaning, bitching, and idiotic games have helped me immensely. It takes my mind – subconscious or otherwise – to a whole other place. I can switch off and be “me” again.
How long will this go on for? No one knows, not even me. But what everyone now knows about are the PAs, and that to me is just as scary! But in the meantime, I will concentrate on walking my way to better legs with the help of Mr Clarkson.
So, finally after 10 days of having a big black imaginary X (erected during a period of illness advising people to STAY AWAY.) across our front door, that time has come; to return the kids to school.
Most mums/dads will agree that actually while during family illness; (one child after the next, very kindly staggering their spreading of germs, until eventually the parents fall foul of the dreaded flu), that being able to legitimately switch off the alarm ,whether it be an actual alarm clock or that wonderful function on your mobile, is pure bliss.
It removes that “one more thing to think about” syndrome. It allows the family to wallow in self pity, two/three day old PJs, and not have get up. In fact the only thing, apart from a child needing you, that consciousness is required for, is that phone call to the respective school, advising of absense………and…
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