A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Dummies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dummies. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Remote Parenting for Dummies

Hot off the plane from Paris last weekend and I was straight into a temporary contract working for a local company for the next couple of weeks. With our beloved daughters still at uni, I found myself looking forward to the challenge and have to confess that I'm really enjoying it. We had mentioned to our beloved daughters that we'd both be busy, and not to make plans that involved either of us. In hindsight, it may have been better if we'd said nothing at all.

Sophia has applied to work abroad during the summer. She learnt while we were in Paris last week, that she'd been given an upgraded status on her application. This means that she may have to leave the UK with only 3 days notice. Consequently, there's a panic on to get a work visa from the US embassy and she's on tenterhooks in case the placement doesn't actually come off.

This is how the week has panned out so far:

Saturday night (late)

Arrive home to a huge pile of post in the hall, including a tonne of stuff that needed to be sent to Sophia while we've been away. On the answerphone is a frantic message instructing us to call her as soon as we're back.

Sophia, 'Hi Mum, what time do you call this?'
Me, 'It's midnight, and we've just arrived home.'
Sophia, 'I need the documentation so I can make an appointment at the embassy.'
Me, 'I'll send everything off via recorded delivery on Monday. Hopefully, it'll be with you on Tuesday.'


Sophia, 'Will you come down to London with me next week?'
Me, 'No, I'm working.'
Sophia, 'Can't you take the day off?'
Me, 'No, because I'm only there for a couple of weeks and that wouldn't look very professional.'
Sophia, 'Oh.'


Sophia, 'Mum, have you sent the documents?'
Me, 'Yes Hun, sent first class, so they should be with you tomorrow.'


Sophia, 'Mum, I haven't received the documents.'
Me, 'They're probably in the post room, go and check tomorrow. If they haven't turned up, call me.'
Sophia, 'My internet's not working, can you ask Dad to call me?'
Me, 'OK, but I'm not sure what he's going to be able to do from 150 miles away.'


Phone ringing as I arrive home (late) from work.

Sophia, ''I'm just filling in my online application and need all the dates of my previous travel to the US.'
Me, 'I can tell you the months and the years, but finding the actual dates is going to take a while.'
Sophia, 'Can you let me have them as soon as possible? I need to do this now.'
Me, 'Yes dear, there's nothing I'd rather do for the rest of the evening. Have your documents arrived by the way?'
Sophia, 'Yep, thanks Mum.'

Spend rest of evening tracking down elusive dates and email 3 hours later with, 'Mums are amazing & take payment in hugs,' in the subject box.

Later that night...

Phone call from Olivia, 'You are coming down to help me move aren't you?'
Me, 'Hopefully, yes, but you haven't given me the date.'
Olivia, 'It'll be sometime in June.' Or, if I can't move into my new house right away, you might have to book 2 hotel rooms and I'll stash all my stuff in mine until I can.'
Me, 'Great, keep me posted.'

At this point I have a headache and retire for the night with a large glass of wine, promising that if the phone goes again, I am going to ignore it.


Arrive home to one answerphone message and 3 emails - all from Sophia. And later, we Skype for an hour. She has booked appointments at the embassy and with her GP. Oh, and she wants to come home next Wednesday with all of her belongings. Somehow Mr A gets cajoled into collecting her, as I point out (again) that I'm working. As she's booked the embassy appointment for the week after I finish work, there's another request for me to go to London, I'm guessing that's so I can pay for everything.


One message left on answerphone when I arrive home from work. 'I can't come home next Wednesday because...' at this point I'm not listening and that is because I am yelling, 'Aaaaarrrgggghhhh.'

Oh, and there's still no news from Olivia re moving dates.

One question: how can they cause so much chaos from so far away?

For anyone who has kids heading to uni later this year remember the following phrase - 'No news is (usually) good news.'

And yes, I am very happy that it's the weekend. At some point in the not too distant future, I may even get to blog about Paris.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

What Kind of Mum am I?

Sophia & Olivia at 8-months
I was recently challenged by the lovely Cathie over at Wicked World of Lucas to write a blog on the theme of  'What Kind of Mum am I?' Cathie had written a very funny post all about parenting her son, Lucas and been inspired to write this after reading a thought-provoking post on parenting five children by Marie at Normal Everyday Life.

It's an interesting topic, and one I've thought about a lot over the years. Before having my daughters, I thought I'd be a real earth mother and take to being a mum like the proverbial duck to water. Sadly, this never happened and my parenting skills are based solely on making it up on a day- to-day basis and doing the best I can. Just days after giving birth, I realised that I was completely clueless and to be honest, things haven't changed all that much.

I guess it's so much easier to be wise after the event, but the following points sum up 'What kind of mum am I?' quite nicely:

I've written a birth plan and we're sticking to it!

After giving birth to my daughters, I re-read the birth plan and collapsed in a fit of hysterical, (but painful) giggles. Absolutely nothing had gone as planned and let's just say that, apart from the miracle of having two beautiful daughters, the experience was not a positive one.

My daughters won't have dummies, or suck thumbs!

What was I thinking? After only 6 weeks, I'd caved with Sophia and bought a dummy, if I didn't she'd have happily whinged all night long. Oh, and by six weeks Olivia had perfected the art of sucking her thumb. Fortunately, Sophia gave up her dummy around eighteen-months old, but cracking the thumb habit took a hell of a lot longer. As a result, Olivia ended up with braces and still has to wear a retainer. We did warn her!

I am going to be great at getting up in the night

Ha ha, b****y ha! Having done on-call for years before I had the girls, I was convinced that I'd be OK with getting out of bed. What I hadn't factored in however, was that each daughter took an hour to take a bottle, and required a feed every two and a half hours. The ever patient Mr A shared responsibilities during the night, but quite often we'd both be in denial about who'd been up last and who had been fed! Honestly, sleep deprivation is the cruelest thing you can do to a person.

My daughters will never sleep in our bed

Sophia perfected the art of climbing out of her cot by twelve months and would toddle across the landing to sneak in with mum. Sometimes, I was too tired to even notice, and other times I'd be happy she'd snuck in for a cuddle. She was however, one heck of a fidget and I'd always struggle to settle her back down in her cot when I'd decided enough was enough. As soon as Olivia was potty trained, she used to wake herself up during the night, head to the bathroom and then into our bed! This earnt her the nickname 'The Midnight Toilet Fairy.' Some mornings, it wasn't unusual to discover both daughters asleep in our bed, sometimes we didn't even notice they'd crept in. Sleep deprivation can do that to a person!

Having a third child

We always joke that by the time we had our third daughter, we had our parenting skills well and truly perfected. She's never given us a sleepless night, answered back, or left a trail of belongings all over the house, but then she is a cat!

Food will never become a battle ground

To be fair, we've never battled over food, if the girls didn't like something they were allowed to leave it and get down from the table. Later on, they'd be offered a healthy snack if they were hungry and to this day, they have a great attitude to food and will try almost anything. I am the exact opposite.

My daughters are most definitely partners in crime and I joke that they are individuals, with added twin factor to add to the chaos. Most of the time as a mum, I think only that I'm getting it wrong, but I guess that not all my parenting decisions have been bad ones. I love both daughters unconditionally and remain completely in awe of the incredible futures they're creating for themselves.

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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