Tag Archives: school

Starting school and more poo news

Well it has finally happened. My smallest small boy at barely 4 years old has started school.

My smallest small boy who is barely potty trained and is still tantrumming and hitting if things don’t go his way.

My smallest small boy who sometimes smells of strawberries and sometimes of damp dog despite us not having one.

My smallest small boy who wraps his arms around me and squeezes me just that little bit too tight so that I can’t breathe and snuggles into my neck all soft, whispering “I love you to infinity and beyond Mumma”.

I have waited and longed for this day, for the very difficult toddler years that I don’t cope well with to be over and for my freedom at last. How sad that sounds I know, it’s true though. I haven’t felt like a good parent this summer, shouting, controlling, trying to make order out of chaos, patience worn thin and feeling tattered and frayed around the edges.

I haven’t been very well this summer, my hypothyroidism spiralled out of control making me sure that the Multiple Sclerosis had taken a turn for the worst but it turns out that at best it was my thyroid and at worst it was a combination of the two. This isn’t an excuse for my shoddy parenting, just a contributory factor. One that I could do without though in the face of a new school year and a whole lot of new emotions to deal with!

We all tried extra hard over the holidays not to go on about “Big School” all the time as I know the pressure it can put on a small person who is already panicking about the unknown! I think I was just in denial though as I had just forgotten all the things that needed doing and all the uniform needed – jeeeeez!

Knowing what he is like I labelled everything and I mean everything including socks. Not pants though. Even I have a limit!! I just sat sewing labels into the smallest small shorts that even then looked far too big and just felt….I don’t know….scared. Excited too, don’t misunderstand me oh my god I knew I would be cheering with glee in the school car park the minute that I had dropped off my little darlings. But who would notice when he was hopping up and down needing the toilet but too engrossed in his current activity to realise? Who would cuddle him and rub his back to calm him down if he got upset and started lashing out? Hundreds of scenarios played themselves out in my mind as I calmly sewed the little name labels in, imagining him struggling to do up his buttons.

I sewed my love for him and my frustration at not being the parent that he so desperately needs at times into those labels, hoping that he would feel me with him in the moments he felt unsure and lost. Hoping that at least we had taught him kindness and compassion and that he would take with him all the things he had learnt from preschool where they loved and nurtured him in the safe environment he had grown to feel was a second home. I hope that he will grow to feel that about his new school in time.

I sewed my love for her into her labels, my strength to help her deal with the twists and turns of growing up as a girl, the challenges of friendships and emotional changes. She takes my breath away she is so beautiful and so smart and so courageous. She is everything that I would love to be, untarnished by grief and pain, new and shiny with all her life ahead of her. So excited and curious and questioning. I feel so full of love watching her on her journey.

The last few weeks leading up to the beginning of school term small boy’s poo problems returned. Probably a mixture of being in a less structured routine and his dawning realisation that things were changing. I tried to protect him from all of it but it is easy to forget that mentioning school can cause stress and hard to stop other well meaning people’s remarks of “Ooh you’re such a big boy now I bet you can’t wait to go to big school!” every single time we left the house.

He would have accidents and go off and hide his pants in the wash basket, get scared to use the toilet and start lashing out at us all again. We tried our very best to play it down, keep our cool and just pray every day that it would get easier for him. I had already pre-empted things with ‘Matron’ at school by explaining the ongoing situation and she was very supportive but I was still very scared.

The day arrived and he and his sister stood together in the kitchen in their new school uniforms. She, complaining because I had insisted on new dresses that had ‘growing room’. “Mumma I look like an idiot!!!” (okay she did look a bit like an orphan but I am a great believer in getting the most for your money) and he, with his feet so big in his school shoes that he looked like a puppy needing to grow into his feet and his unruly hair so short now.

I felt so proud of them whilst at the same time wishing so desperately that I could turn the clock back and do a much much better job than I have. Wishing that my Mum was alive to tell me that everything would be okay and that she had made all the mistakes that I had and see? it’s okay after all. God I missed her in that moment, I could barely speak as I felt my throat tighten with grief and pride and love all jumbled up together. I hope she’s watching all this somewhere I thought, I really could do with a hug right now. I know I look like I cope on the outside but it’s all a front a lot of the time, although less as time goes by. We’re doing okay all of us.

They both pottered into school with their bags, looking so smart. Big girl was thrilled to see her new classroom and looked so grown up it was untrue. Small boy skipped into his classroom and never looked back. I told him I was leaving and he said “Shush Mumma I’m building something!”. I spoke to his classroom assistant,who had also been big girl’s, about the toilet problems and she smiled and said “Oh don’t worry, lots of them have challenges and they all have accidents at some point! Some are still doing it when they leave us!!” she made light of it which was actually just what I needed. In that moment she made him just a normal little boy who sometimes has accidents just like everyone else and for that I will be forever grateful.

So, a week and a half in we are okay. I sent spare pants and we have had a few slightly wet pairs back but he has done all his poos on the toilet at home. He says that he doesn’t want to poo at school which inevitably means that he is holding a little but he is doing it at home, sometimes unprompted, which is amazing. I am not resting easy for one moment but for now I have 2 small people at school and they are tired but happy and that is all I want. For them to be happy. Although he made a sword out of cardboard yesterday and hit a poor girl in his class with it. I guess we need to work on impulse control a little.

Now what the fuck do I do with my life? Anyone want to offer me a job?

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Sport dodging and my shrinking arse!

Stop procrastinating and get runnin

Stop procrastinating and get running!

Oh FFS I’ve gone and injured myself again which means a halt to running proceedings which results in me turning into a total grumpy bitch.

The even more annoying thing is I wasn’t doing anything remotely exercise related when I did it. Or swinging off a chandelier. Or jumping up and down on Mr Moore. Or chasing my kids. Or dancing the night away (I do have a rather spectacular big toenail injury from New Year’s eve but that’s another blog for another day….). Nope, I was putting away kids washing and I decided to move small boy’s giant wooden ride on aeroplane (I fucking hate that thing – sorry Dad) with my right foot. Cue agonising burning groin pain.

I have been trying to get fit and start running for quite some months now and although I know that I will never be the fastest or the fittest I actually really bloody love it! Why oh why has it taken me until 40 to realise that exercise is actually a good thing and that I actually love it? Well, I have MS for a starter which periodically scuppers things by making parts of my body not work properly and also depression has been a rather special unwanted friend in my life but more about that another time.

I think the biggest factor in my long standing hatred of anything sports related began in the one place that it should not have. School. I was geeky, gawky, slow and lacking in confidence. I always got picked last and I remember vividly our PE teacher yelling “A bunch of old age pensioners could run faster than you! My dead parrot could run faster than you!!!”. This was aimed at those of us girls who were not shall we say…as athletic as the rest. Motivating huh! I had had enough one time and did respond “That parrot must stink Miss it’s been dead for ages!!”. That was as well received as a shit sandwich, meaning that I was even further down the pecking order as far as budding sports star treatment went.

So, my dear departed Mum who also totally hated sports, wrote me a fake sick note every week so that I didn’t have to endure the humiliation and suffering that pretty much every sports lesson brought me. Especially if I’d forgotten my giant navy PE knickers – we all know that one right 70s girls?

Now, in my Mum’s defence she really thought that this was the right thing to do for her beloved tortured soul of an older daughter. But what she unwittingly did was fuel the fire for my disdain and to be honest, loathing of sport by doing exactly what my PE teacher was doing – excluding me. The only sport that I had ever remotely had an interest in ever had been swimming and we stopped doing that after we were 13 I think? No idea why. I have always found it very interesting that at that time (70s/80s) it was perfectly acceptable for sports teachers to ridicule and shame students who were not naturally able at anything physical. It wasn’t okay to laugh at pupils who were struggling academically but yet it was somehow encouraged to point and laugh and shout at those who were just quite frankly, totally shit at PE. At that time our options were Hockey, Netball (I ducked during a demo where the teacher had chosen me to show a new catch….), rounders (please god no) and in the summer, athletics. Now actually I didn’t mind running I just wasn’t very fast and because I was pretty consistently signed off with “female problems” (fictitious or real depending) I never got any better so Sports Day was the absolute worst day of the year EVER for me. I would be hiding down the bottom of the field smoking most likely ignoring the cries of “ANNA 400 METRES!!

Consequently I have always been somewhat sniffy (translate as actually terrified) of anything to do with fitness which is now pretty amusing as some of my closest friends are all about the sport. Lead by example they say? Well they have actually and honestly age has helped – I know I look like a twat in my running gear, I’m not going to win any prizes in MILF running magazine but you know what? I got fucking bored with being scared of it all. So when my gorgeous friend Ali Cooper asked me whether I might be interested in going if she started a bootcamp every fibre of my being screamed NOOOOOOOO FUCK OFF NO FUCKING WAY THEY WILL LAUGH AT YOU IT WILL BE LIKE SCHOOL!!! Then somewhere out of nowhere a little voice came out of my mouth and very very quietly whispered “yes”………..where did that come from?

So, some weeks later I rocked up in my lycra (yup I even braved buying SPORTS CLOTHES shhh) and I can honestly say that I have never been more terrified in my life. I thought I might die, they might have to call an ambulance, everyone would laugh and worst of all I might actually throw up, crap myself or cry. Still not sure why I think the latter is worse that dying but there you go.

Guess what?

It hurt. A lot. A whole lot. I had muscles hurting that I didn’t even know I had and it felt GREAT!! OMG I loved it!! I was part of a group of awesome women and we were exercising together and laughing and having fun and they weren’t laughing at me in a bad way! I do however have a tendency to be the class clown for which I have apologised but I can’t change everything…..only the size of my arse……hopefully.

So I am still going to bootcamp and I have started running (okay ambling would be a better expression) and have done the Couch to 5k. I ran 5.5k without stopping for the first time ever last Sunday with a very supportive lovely friend and it felt amazing. I am doing 3 miles in March for Sport Relief and I can’t wait. What the fuck has happened to me??? Exercise, that’s what and I love it. I helps me fight off the black dog of depression and keep my body strong and more coordinated with the MS.

So excuse me if I am totally fucking pissed off that I have properly hurt my poor old groin. I want to go running!!! I am going to stay calm and rest up and hopefully I will make it round without the aid of an ambulance…..although if any big strong men want to carry me that’s okay?