I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

You see, the thing I didn't mention was...

You see, the thing that I haven't mentioned is that I shouted too. I was very angry and outraged that some random shopkeeper would shout at my girls and was even angrier that he was not even feeling the slightest remorse, in fact he felt he HAD to.  When I called him up later to let him know, he all but said they deserved to be bawled at from half way across the shop.  I mean how else are they going to learn that being loud is sometimes unacceptable??!!! I know he was stressed and busy...but hell aren't we all at times, it doesn't mean the kids should cop it. "Children reflect the treatment they receive"

I've been focusing too much on the guilt of me doing it too(again)(and in public), of humiliating them and me. So much was I focussing on the negative, which I have a dreadful tendency to do, I was forgetting that I got everyone up and out the door without any shouting, coercing and nagging.  It was an easier morning because the girls weren't at school today due to late night ear pain and awakenings and sore noses from picking so G-damn bloody much.  I digress.  We first took the dog for a walk, fresh air a must when not feeling great, then we went to the hairdressers because Ellie an unexpected burst of enthusiasm about hair cutting (in other words, she didn't change her mind, again) and then to the dreaded deli, after consuming chocolate and potato scones. In hindsight, I see now it was the end of a long day of high stimulation. They were hungry. I was tired and under pressure. I was having a ridiculous conversation with the woman behind the counter who was being quite unhelpful and obstructive especially given my lack of cooking and storing of frozen foods knowledge.

I should have stopped. Taken a breath. Taken them outside and calmly explained that they could not run round the shop and they needed to stop making so much noise. I should have removed them from the situation. Told them they had to stay outside or go back in the car but that they could not come back inside the shop at that moment.

What annoys me most is that the majority of people think its normal and ok to shout at children and feel justified in doing so. Most people feel no remorse for their behaviour or even consider apologising for shouting and being mean unnecessarily. I do think it was. Unnecessary. 

Most people that I have spoken too, have a memory of being shouted at by someone other than parents and their lingering memory is fear and upset.  How can that be positive?

Meltdowns - hardly any
Losing the Plot - a big ole public one..oh the shame...
Breastfeeding - still going strong.  I'd have loved to have seen the reaction had I needed to do it in that shop!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Breastfeeding in my nightly viewing

Has anyone seen the comedy program The New Normal?

One of the perils of being in my brain is I find it hard to watch stuff on TV without criticising it with my Lactivist Birth Junkie Baby Wearing head on.

So, the 'breast feeding' episode is full of mixed messages and roller coaster highs and lows. Just when I think pop culture media is finally being forward thinking and helping to normalise breast feeding, it throws in a fear based milk donor scaremongering scene and an 'I was breastfed till 4 and listen to these freakzoid stories of my childhood' scene, which were completely unlikely and preposterous. There was also the scene to suggest that some woman have an unhealthy attachment to breast feeding and basically force their kids to feed. That was just offensive.

Must say though, I loved the fabulously choreographed flash mob in an anti-breast feeding restaurant. It was bloody brilliant (if you ignored the babybjorn group aka crotchdanglers aka I-own-a-sling-to-look-cool-and-have-not-researched-it-one-iota-because-if-I-had-I-would-know-they-are-high-risk-for-mother-back-issues-and-baby-hip-dysplasia)!!!!

The breastfeeding vest was A. M. A. Z. I. N. G!!!

I do like this new comedy, it shows a parenting based on conscious decisions and choice and represents a minority not often shown in this light, so I'm willing to over look the gross misrepresentation of breast feeding in favour of the representation about the importance of breastfeeding they also perpetuated.

It's good to laugh but I think some things are too important to misrepresent.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

I smell chocolate

Horrible horrible mean grumpy horrible shouty mummy.

I'm so fucking sleep deprived. Millie was awake pretty much all night again. Swollen gums big teeth coming in. Patience is shot. Anger rising. Grump. Grump. Grump.

I want to leave so we can get some fresh air before school instead of watching YouTube all morning. I'm being ignored. Nothing rises my blood pressure more. Well actually Ellie spilling porridge over her uniform and smearing it all over her face along with snot. That doesn't help it either. I decide to forgo the cleaning up battle and leave her to the natural consequences.

They are still not getting in the car. So I pull the plug out the computer and storm out. I've gathered Maia's warm clothes for forest school because she IS going to nursery today. I don't care what she says. Today she has no choice. She hasn't actually refused and I'm not sure I'd have the heart to force her, but the grump is strong today. She must have sensed it! I fling a wipe at Ellie.

We get into the park and Maia realises she's freezing (because she is not wearing her coat) and we go back to the car. She insists on wearing it back to front and gets upset because I take to long to zip her up. By the time it's all sorted the bell goes and we've missed our park time. Ellie goes out and different gate so I shout that I'm taking the dog back to the car and walk round the outside to where she is waiting. She is furious and upset with me and refusing to move because I walked round and didn't come back into the park to meet her. I ignore her protestations cross the road and shout come on Ellie lets go. She's really mad at me. I'm sure I'll pay for that later.

With Ellie inside I walk Maia round to nursery and as I'm asking her teacher if its her turn for forest school, she tries to get my attention. She can't get her backward coat off. I don't hear her over the nursery hubbub. She angrily grabs my cloak to get my attention. She rips it. I lose it. I shout. I storm off. She comes in to the other room crying and her teacher asks what's wrong and I tell her I shouted at her. Her teacher cuddles her in her lap. My baby. She's comforting my baby (for which I'm thankful). How awful do I feel right now?? Well obviously not crappy enough because instead of taking her off the teachers knee, apologising for shouting at her and cuddling her myself, I take her off and start lecturing her about waiting for me to finish talking. *Now* I am the worst grumpy mum today.

I finish taking the dog for a walk and realise I can catch Maia coming across to the park or great school and apologise and cuddle her then. But Millie is screaming with anger and frustration at being put in her car seat again and I'm torn. Then mum calls to see if I'm home to drop some stuff off for Pesach. Millie's screaming and mums organising shoots my blood pressure through the roof again. I bring out the chocolate eggs to calm me down and just as I'm about to go fuck it and drive off, a quick shoogle of the chair sends her to sleep. Just in time. I see Maia coming.

She greets me with a cheery 'hi mum'. I can't decide if this is because she's used to being shouted at and got over it (but harbours long term resentment) or if she has enough previous love to see her through the grumpy mum patches. I give her a big hug and apologise and what does my now smiley happy girl say? "I smell chocolate".

Its only 9.30am. I'm totally exhausted. Mentally and physically. Its takes a lot more energy being grumpy angry mummy. I wish that was reason enough to stop me. I'm going home to sleep. Oh crap I can't. The window cleaner is coming.

Meltdowns - probably later given my behaviour this morning
Losing the Plot - ugly.  In front of other people too. Shame on me
Breastfeeding - Oh. So. Much.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Own it

A photographer is coming to our first night Seder for Passover (friend of my mums that she met on her Shetland trip). He wants to photograph  the meal but he also wants to come during the day and photograph preparations etc.

He said he's not really sure what he's looking for. I said he'd get chaotic family life (and may have said messy!). He liked the sound of that.

Mum gave me money to get the windows cleaned. She is horrified that I would be ok with him seeing them. I didn't even think about them FFS!! Of all the things I do and think about during my day with two kids and a baby, my windows are the least of it. I'm clearly failing in the Jewish housewife of the year - clean window category. I think mum *may* actually have said 'do you want to be known as the Dirty Jewish Mother of Glasgow?' I've been called better things. Remember BoobWoman?!!

Frankly though, I would rather someone hoovered and cleaned my floors and save my back.

I did tidy the whole house today almost satisfactorily. I hate that tidy and clean are different. He's not coming till the 25th March. So not much point. Really.

Anyway my dilemma is, do I take the blood window money and indulge my elderly highly-critical-freaking-out-about-my-frilly-dirty-windows-knickers-being-on-display mother OR do I make a stand, and leave the windows in their glorious child finger printed, picture glue remnants, pen stained natural I-have-a-busy-life-and-windows-are-not-top-priority state.

Part of me feels this is more than about clean windows. This is about me owning my life. Owning my home. Owning the chaotic messy crazy fun adventurous life that has become me and my family.

Maybe I should just take mums offer to 'let in more light' but Im sure the photographer will bring his own lighting.

I cleaned the windows just before Millie was born at the end of March. That was only to see if that was my unfinished business and labour would come on. Isn't once a year enough? Ha! In that case they *are* due for a clean!!

What Should I do?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Betterer and Betterer

Yesterday's goo nightmare
I can't find Millie's other shoe. Ellie knocked the computer off a high table with a back scratcher then forgets her school bag and red nose half way down the road so we have to go back. Maia hasn't forgotten anything but it is her 4th nose*. Its raining, there's no way I'm walking the dog. Ellie's also forgotten her red nose day money collection. Millie woke up last night every 1-2hrs. Seriously. Theres a big ball of FFS in my tummy, the Pot pills haven't kicked in. I am holding it together by a very angry about to lose the plot thread. Give. Me. Strength.

I hate mornings. AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

And breathe. There. That's a bit better.

Today had better get more better because I'm out of schnapps.


The day DID get better. Only because I had organised a play date for Maia the day before. These things are my saviour. The more the better. Busy happy kids makes for a busy happy mama who doesn't need to be the play mate. No constant nagging for TV. No constant nagging for me to be the mum in a new version of babies. Play dates are amazing.

Who wants one?

Then to top it off, the girls (minus Millie) went to Grandma's for the afternoon and evening!! Betterer and betterer!!!

*The first red nose spilt within a minute of opening. The second was lost in a pile of sand. The third was not the right one. !! Finally on the fourth we were sorted. Ah well, it's all for charity.

Meltdowns - none
Losing the Plot - almost
Breastfeeding - all. bloody. night. long

Thursday, 14 March 2013


Today, after school, we all went to Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre in the West End.

The other day the girls unexpectedly came home with a ton of money after trawling the neighbours telling them they were collecting for cancer. Once we explained to them that they would be unable to keep any of it, not even a little bit of it, we decided to give it to Maggie's. Barry's mum had used their service in the last few months of her life and they were a wonderful resource. It turns out that they receive no government aid at all and rely solely on fundraising and donations.

I also controversially think the 'finding a cure' research is a big money making pharmaceutical companies dream and do not want to contribute to that. We really need to start focusing on preventative research and looking into environmental factors and foods that cause cancer rather than yet another vaccine with unknown side effects that will line the pockets of corporate bigwigs. Have you heard the term Pinkwashing? Making money off the back of a very serious disease by sticking a pink ribbon on toxic chemical ridden items just makes no sense to me. Much like the centre today offering aspartame laden juice and (as kind as it was) doling out a bag of sugary chocolatey goodies to the girls. The irony was not lost on me.

All that controversy aside, the new Centre is located high up overlooking Glasgow and has been amazingly custom-built with aesthetic and peaceful vibes with many beautifully crafted rooms for rest play and gatherings. There are two lovely dining tables and a kitchen for a homely safe feeling and even the toilets are designed to feel welcoming and more bathroom like rather than functional and cold.

The two staff members, who stayed back especially to greet our girls, were kind and patient and had quite unexpectedly prepared two wee goodie bags, along with certificates, to say thank you. They coped brilliantly with my girls exuberance and enthusiasm for their centre and gave us all a guided tour of their new facility.

It is so important to have a place where people can go for advice, health and benefit and support for day to day living. 'Maggie’s provides emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends'. It's a vital centre and has helped thousands of families since it opened in 2002.

We will certainly be raising money for them in the future.

Messy Play is good...isn't it?

You know that scene in Pulp Fiction, the one with the hosing down of Vincent and Jules, after the accidental shooting in the back of the car?

Well I've had to do this a few times this week.

Yesterday was due to sand play and today the car looked like a duck had exploded (minus the blood and guts).

The hardest thing for me about this kind of play, is the mess. Being ok with it and letting the girls just be. I absolutely hate sand. I hate the beach. I love the sun. The sea. The surf. But not the sand. It gets everywhere and into everything. So as we drove past the pile of sand at the golf course my initial reaction is to say no way. I know this is my issue and it totally spoils their enjoyment and play (which I am always complaining they don't do enough). So I envisioned what would happen if we went home instead, tv and shrieky girly noise and said 'sure, why not!'. The girls had a great time, I stayed in the car with Millie who climbed about and had a great time too. But. They were NOT coming in the house. So I made them strip outside and shake down before running up to a bath! It was a win win situation.

Today, Maia and I played elephants in the park with pampas grass. Some idiots had hacked at the bush and there were bits lying about all over. We used them for a long time and I was more than happy for her to bring them home until I found out what happens when you use them as a pretend duster. I was going to Hoover the car this morning after yesterday's sand play. I'm so glad I didn't otherwise I'd be swearing about having to do it again never mind having to do it when we got home with very little time because we were going out again. The flowers were everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. The plant is also known as woolly-beard grass and it sheds tiny bits of 'wool' or feather like stuff All. Over. The. Place. I refused to let the girls in the house until I'd brushed them down. Poor Millie had no idea why I was vigorously shaking her down with a dustpan brush. It was worse than the sand because it stuck fast, even to their hair. I think I'll be picking bits out the car for weeks.

Imagine this 1000x worse. Everywhere!

At least the car is tidy for a change.

So messy play. Yes it's fun. Yes it's educational. Yes it helps their development. But sometimes I have to just say NO, no way. Not again.

Meltdowns - none
Losing the Plot - slight exploding duck kind
Breastfeeding - masses. Lots of teeth

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mentions of Menstruation

It's been a busy weekend, the kind where I have been a hormonally mega crazy woman from hell with a big bloaty tummy and a grumpface. I got my period.  Every time the girls see my mooncup or its contents, they ask if I am having a baby.

In ye olden times in the caves and such, women who were menstruating took time out of their lives and rested and reflected and chilled.  Menstruation was a sacred time.  A relaxing time. A time to listen to your body and follow the ebb and flow of emotions and feelings.

The chances of this happening round here are fairly slim but as its the weekend, I get to lie in a bit longer which is blissful if not a little noisy on Sunday from the girls running around shrieking. All.  The. Time. uber excited that its Mothers Day and checking if I have woken up yet.

Ellie slept at grandmas on Friday night so Saturday morning was quiet and peaceful, mainly because I gave Maia my phone with YouTube and sent her back to her bedroom!! Somehow the day just frittered away in a mass of nothingness and unproductiveness.  Hubby took up the slack on dishes duty and we muddled through rather effectively...until.....Saturday night's bedtime fun.  Its a new game, its been played once before.  I was feeling too bleugh to remember details from last time except that they really enjoyed it.  This time too, I couldn't help but revel in their joy of this game.....until....I remembered.  It involves pretty much ALL their clothes.  Which of course, end up ALL over the floor.

Sunday morning rolls around.  The 'quiet' lie in happens.  The girls hand out their cards and eat my toblerone gift and then they decide to do a jumble sale of their toys. So, ALL their toys are brought out to inspect and decide if they are being sold.  So now, the upstairs is covered in ALL their clothes, the downstairs is covered in ALL their toys and the kitchen is covered in ALL our dishes.  Happy Mother's Day indeed.

The whole of Sunday was spent restoring the house.  The girls trawl the neighbours with their jumble in a basket and come back with a ton of money and a full basket.  It turns out that after no success selling her wares, Ellie decides to collect for charity instead and tells people she is collecting for cancer!! I'm slightly shocked and amazed at her ingenuity.  She realises she cant keep the money and takes the news very well!!

We attend a family party in the evening which was really lovely, but by now, after Tidying Sunday (not Mothering Sunday), I am knackered and in pain in my back and front and just curl up on the sofa and scowl.  

I'm such a joy to be around!

Meltdowns - none
Losing the Plot - just a wee one honest guv!
Breastfeeding - feels so different at this time of the month.  How amazingly weird are hormones??

Friday, 8 March 2013

If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy

We all have to live together. Lets just get on. Otherwise our days are filled with frustration, anger, stress and unhappiness. Just agree with what I say, think and do without question. Life will be great then. (For me).

 I do all the work round here.

If mama ain't happy, ain't no-one happy.

Only, I don't do ALL the work around here and compliance ain't that fun. And it creates unhappy people.

So.......we all have to live together. Lets just get on? Lets stop blaming. Lets stop hitting. Lets stop biting. Lets stop grabbing. Lets stop belittling. Lets stop name-calling. Lets stop forcing. Lets stop threatening. Lets stop bribing. Lets stop smacking. Lets stop shaming. Lets stop shouting. Lets stop nagging.

Lets stop.

Lets breathe.

Lets listen.

Lets talk about how we are feeling. Lets tell each other why we are feeling that way. If we don't know, let's just realise there is always a reason. It might be nothing to do with the other person. It might be related to something completely different. Its not always personal (unless it is, then lets talk about that too!) and, it's ok to show emotions. It's ok to feel anger, It's ok to feel frustrated. It's ok to feel sad. It's ok to feel disappointed. It's ok to feel everything. It's what we do with those feelings and how we direct them and how we deal with them that matters.

I'm trying...I really really am

The important thing is being happy



After writing this I googled (damn you time sucking venomous devil) the phrase and below are most of the sites I read (there are tons, its a popular phrase.  The one that made me laugh the most was this one). FYI, I don't agree with everything that I read tonight and listed here. 

I do find it quite incredible that the top result was from the Unschooling site.  It has been influential (on and off, I seem unable to completely.....let go) in my parenting journey from the beginning.  

If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Sandra Dodd - Unschooling
If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Paul Elam - A Voice for Men
If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Dr Marlo Archer - Down to Earth
If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Jen C - Most Illustrious Mother
If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Ann Douglas - Canadian Living Moms 
If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy - Heidi Shultz - Fratically Simple

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Nature Soup

I've picked the wettest coldest miserablest day EVER to finally make the effort and go to Nurture in Nature. I can't quite believe it. It's either a sign or a fucking joke. It's weird because my first ever NIN over 4yrs ago was the same park in pouring rain.

My enthusiasm for the day is already wearing very thin by the time we finally get in the car for school, Ellie is wailing because she wants to come, Riley is full blown whining at the excitement of walkies and the car has disconnected from its battery for the third time.

I was proper almost organised and cooked a rice dish last night. Didn't manage to sort anything else and Maia takes one look at it and refuses. Oh well she'll be hungry.

It's been over 9months since I was last at NIN (with a few times in between) . For those who don't know, I used to be a proper die hard NIN'er. For years, we would be out twice a week, all weathers, all places. Totally up for it, totally into it. We even had the girls birthday parties outside in nature. Then I got tired.

NIN doesn't start till 10am but most people don't arrive till later (having kids 'n' all!!), but as we've dropped Ellie off at 9am we make our way there. It's a gamble because Maia could become cold and bored after a short time want to leave (it's happened many times in the past) then I'd miss everyone. We bump into an old NIN friend leaving the allotment...with her 4mnth old. Wow it has been a while!!

Manage to muster energy to engage with Maia and throw the ball for Riley, for an hour at the freezing cold windy flagpole. I guess that's the reason the pole is posted there!!

Find your tree

At last people start to arrive and we head straight for the woods for a game of 'find your tree' and the ubiquitous tree climbing.
11am - I'm flagging. Millie's asleep on my back. Maia's having an absolute ball, she's found a fishing net which we attached to a stick and she's at the pond. Riley's still going strong too!

12.30pm - persuade Maia to make her way back up towards the flagpole ( car.) I'm beginning to regret not bringing a pram. I really didn't think we'd be out this long!

1pm - amazing what kids will eat when hungry. Rice gone!

2pm - Still here. I'm kinda done but Maia is SO happy making spaghetti soup in a tree nook that I don't have the heart to make her leave. Previously at NIN I used to have a real problem when the group would move on and my kids didn't. I'd feel compelled to keep up and cajole them along and start to become quite stressed that everyone was ahead chatting an socialising whilst their kids played nearby whilst mine were lagging behind and I was alone. Today though I decided to be ok with it. Stayed where I was. I am so glad I did. Millie came down off my back and totally immersed herself in her surroundings, Maia and I connected brilliantly over natures soup.

I was on a roll. We finished at the park just in time to pick up Ellie from school....except....bugger......she has after school club!!! Had to go home, change Millie, feed her and go back out again. Urgh!

All in all it was a brilliant day. I'm so glad I made the effort and forced myself to go. I'd texted with my cousin about it in the morning and I'm so glad she persuaded me to go. I've lost myself in caring for three littlies and keeping the house going that I'd forgotten how to get my act together to go out and about. I'd lost confidence in my ability to cope with anything but the mundane. Today showed me that I *can* do it.

Thank G-d it's nearly the weekend though, I'm totally knackeroonied and mega-cranky tonight!!

Meltdowns - not in nature!
Losing the plot - just with the bloody car
Breastfeeding - in nature!! It feeds my soul!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shit day

I hate bully's. I detest bully's. They make me really angry, now. I was bullied a lot growing up. First by my brother, then at school. I was weak. I took it. I didn't have the courage, confidence or the words to stand up for myself. So, when I hear or see my kids being bullied it really makes me see red.

The girls are at the play park for 5mins before we go home. It's in an undesirable location and I'm waiting right beside it, in the car for them, with Millie. Ellie comes over to say one of her shoes is missing. I send her back to search but to no avail. I join her to look and ask the kids there if they have seen it. They all say they haven't seen it and even half heartedly join in the search. I'm becoming more and more stressed and can feel myself about to explode How can a shoe just disappear??? Then I realise. It must be in the bin. I carefully pull the bag up to look and don't see it. I search some more and notice the play park is a complete dump. These people just don't care about where they live. They don't give a crap about their children playing in such a mess. That's when I stop caring. I grab the bin bag and yank it out spilling its contents into an already dump of a play park and find the shoe. I make sure my kids are in the car and shout "you are nasty little bastards" and storm off.

I was very angry but I do feel guilty for shouting that at them. Thinking about it though, it's probably nothing their own parents haven't said to them. And that's the sad part. These bully kids are most likely bullied and treated badly at home. It's all they know. It's normal for them.

Today hasn't been a calm feeling day for me. Maybe the Pot pills have stopped working. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe its the mid week slump but whatever it was, I ran out of patience after Maia dropped Millie on the floor, split open her lip and nose causing blood to gush everywhere. We were at a toddler group. I'd thought I might be able to converse with real adults but Maia was having none of it. I think she's coming down with something so is extra needy at the moment. I read a few dozen books and played her annoying robber game but she was still in my face needing more more more. I was losing it. Then the gushing blood incident happened. Yes it was probably an accident but her lack of remorse pissed me off royally. Then she started nagging me to leave and that was it. I gave her a full on lecture about how I would leave when I was ready and she was not in control of me AND I was upset that she had shown no upset about what happened to Millie. Then once home she refused to help with the dishwasher so I refused to let her watch tv and then she refused the lunch I'd made her so I refused to make anything else and basically said she had to make her own. Which she did! ( with a bit of help from me). The fact is I was feeling taken advantage of. It's a common feeling. Today I rebelled. Maia was very upset. I was not moved. I hate days like these.

I know it was not the best way to react just like shouting at the bully kids in the park wasn't either. Sometimes I revert to saying and doing things I shouldn't. I can hear myself and I know it's wrong, know its upsetting and harmful but I can't stop myself.

Maybe I'm a bully?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Help or hinder?

The world is full of people who either want to help or who want to call the police on me. I encounter them daily. I blame my hands off type parenting!

The day started off in its usual way. Girls up way too early, I crawl into their room to catch an extra 30mins.

It looks like we might actually make the bell today (for the second time this year). Feeling relatively calm even tho they didn't eat breakfast and the house looks like its been turned upside down, shaken then bombed. We try to open the car only to find it locked. No problem will just get my bag with my purse which I now diligently keep hanging up by the door now. Yes! I have finally trained myself not to leave it all in the car since the car got burgled. It's a pain in the neck but much sensibler. Obviously.

Bag not there. Ok. Still calm, these Pot pills are bloody fantastic. Quick look in house. Back to car. Maybe it's locked inside. Hubby took car to shops last night. Maybe he locked it with my bag inside (completely forgetting they stole the other key so not possible). Brainwave, spare key upstairs. Now this is where it gets complicated. Stupid annoying idiotic French computerised mind of its own keyless car uses a card to start that you can even keep in your pocket. Spare key part only opens door. Open door. Stupid annoying idiotic French computerised mind of its own keyless car doesn't like that I've done this and the alarm goes off. And won't stop. Bag not in car. Alarm finally stops but every time the door is opened alarm goes off again. I'm starting to attract attention. I can feel it. Come inside to get Millie's snowsuit on, still optimistic that bag will magically appear. It's bright orange. Hardly missable. Instruct Ellie to call hubby over and over in case he feels phone whilst cycling. Nope. Maia goes and double checks the car which sets alarm off again.

I'm now sitting on the stairs with an upset Millie who hates getting dressed and I'm thinking any minute now a neighbour is going to come storming over. Whilst I'm playing out the scenario in my head (which doesn't end well), the neighbour who gave us back our dogs poo (in a bag) and called the dog police on us, pops her head round the door. I'm nearing the end of my coping when she asks if everything is ok. She's here to help! Relief. But OMG the state of the house.

She tries to hold Millie whilst I look for the bag. Millie's having none of it and freaks out. She tries to engage the girls in a game of hunt the bag. Ellie tries the car again. Alarm goes off again. I start crying. We give up. Everyone is staying home today.

An hour later my cousin comes over to help and she takes Ellie to school then comes back to help me tidy up a bit. Amazeballs cuz engages Maia in felting with sharp scary needle and I fall asleep with Millie till its time to pick up Ellie.

Oh. Hubby finally texts back "Oops, bag in my green coat pocket". I resist the urge to text back FU only because its his birthday.

Since the dog didn't get a walk in the morning we go to the local park ad whilst the girls are in the play part I wander round the outside throwing the ball for him. Ellie comes to ask where Maia is and she comes running up behind us, next thing I see is a woman purposefully walking towards me to inform me that Maia had been waaay over there lost. I said she wasn't lost she just came back. She says she was waaay over there saying she didn't know where I was and she had decided to bring her back to the play park. She told me that other people had gathered and were getting the park ranger and they were probably calling the police and I was clearly not even aware or concerned that she was lost and that they will probably call social services on me. I said 'oh thanks for that'. She was very annoyed that I wasn't more flustered and walked off to get the Ranger.

I talked to Maia and explained that she can't walk off like that. She said she was looking for the yew berries. In fairness to the situation and had I actually been looking for her, I would have been able to see her, she wasn't *that* far away. Maia knows this park very well. I also trust her. Anyway I consider leaving but notice the woman come back with the ranger and steel myself for more accusations of neglect. I get the 'the park is full of weird men and I need to be more careful' lecture. Say yes of course, thank you and leave it at that only to turn round to hear Ellie shrieking her usual banshee shriek stuck at the top of a play piece with a crowd of mothers gathering under her scanning the place for her clearly neglectful non helicopter mother. I think it's time to leave.

The car won't open with the key card. Flip off the door cover and open car with key. Stupid annoying idiotic French computerised mind of its own keyless car doesn't like that. Alarm goes off. It's definitely time to leave now. Not before another woman comes over to see if everything is ok. I know how to fix this problem but am again grateful and relieved at the kindness.

Return home and pop over to the neighbour from this morning to say thank you, let her know where my bag was and check she wasn't going to call social services on me for the chaos this morning and state of the house. She isn't. Bonus!

Meltdowns - up high at playpark
Losing Plot - amazingly not
Breastfeeding - as ever