Mad moving!


Over a year has passed since Madmummy last reported/whinged on life a an inept mother of two. So, fair warning, it’s gonna be a Woppa. In last year’s post the following major projects were on the table.


  1. The big push on the Hulk’s potty training.
  2. The big push on the Hulk’s talking.
  3. Madmummy quitting work.

Soon after writing the last post, however, she had several more complicated challenges to add to the list:

A) The taming of the Hulk

B) Selling and buying a new house.

C) Finding (you guessed it) another job!

D) Arranging various repairs on the new house

And finally

E) Fulfilling the multitudes of duties as a housewife/mother/grown up, while not being entirely useless in her new job.


Suffice as to say, she has found no time to write. As much as she would have loved to share the mirth and madness of last year’s escapades as they occurred, she found the days and months wizzing by her with little time for toilet breaks. So a retrospective account it shall be.

The reasons why she had a “work break” are mainly related to the practicalities of Childcare and bedtime routines. At the time she worked evenings, but when Hubbykin’s got a new job involving working some evenings and weekends, it meant the children wouldn’t be put to bed until 9pm (pushing Madmummy’s dinner time back to 10pm- only 30 minutes before collapsing in a heap in her bed). Coupled with the fact that, after Childcare costs, they would be only 50p per month worse off if she gave work, it seemed the sensible (and healthier) choiceSpringer_24_clockSo, why then has this lady of leisure not been writing an entry to the Madmummy blog every other day?

The taming of the Hulk

Well for a start, she was a Mum and housewife (enough said). Secondly she spent the first 3 months of the year trying to develop a programme of behavioural management for the wild and wilful Hulk.

4435bead-f346-4f2e-b8b3-b89ef9bb7581-hulkThis involved keeping a record of his many MANY tantrums and

“poor choices” (like choosing to tear the hair from Madmummies head, as she carried him to the car after he collapsed in the middle of a car park, screaming, because Madmummy refused to let him lick a stranger’s car.) Each day, when she could have been writing blogs, she kept this log of negativity in the vain hope that her GP or Child Mental health team would shed some light on what she was doing wrong.

After the third month she gave up and gradually, with lots of reward charts and visual communication tools, the Hulk was tamed (a bit). As long as the routine is stuck to, his tantrums are fairly calm and manageable, however he is still a loose cannon. Madmummy tends to conduct a briefing with him if his routine is to be altered. This includes illustrations of the plan of action and offering various incentives for his co-operation (use of the Ipad, another banana or a third episode of Micky Mouse clubhouse.)

She has learnt that he is a very visual learner.

Moving madness

“Death, having a baby and buying a house are the most stressful events in life”. Madmummy heard that phase several times and, while she didn’t doubt it, it did nothing to prepare her for the new levels of insanity which occurred. So, why on earth did she agree to go through such a challenge? She seems to think it was something to do with Hubbykins working north of Birmingham and also their drama group being based in Aldridge. In fact, on many a long drive home after rehearsals, they had thought of moving back up the road (the M6). So with no work to hold her to Coventry and only one child in school so far, it was decided. Now or never. After the decision was made, in early 2017, project “move!” began. Firstly, in order to get her house sold for a good price she had to make it look like a good house to buy.

Step 1- Declutter.

So, working from the loft downwards, she de-cluttered. It sounds so simple. But, with no work to challenger her, Madmummy found ways to make it complicated. The hardest part was allowing herself to “LET GO”, and develop the strength of heart to get rid of the things she had hoarded over the 8+ years. To make it easier to part with stuff she decided to sell as much as she could, pandering to her enterprising side. So, in between her Avon sales, she lovingly washed and sorted baby clothes to take to the “cash for clothes” place. This proved to be a huge waste of time! For, having spent hours sorting and washing (and crying over fond memories of her growing babies) she got exactly £18 for the 5 Black Sacks full of baby clothes!Image result for packing sword in the stone

Marginally less fruitless, was selling the old books at a local second hard book place. She had to email them all 50 books she was flogging and managed to get £25 for the 20 that were worth having. In order to sell the countless DVDs that she and hubbykins agreed could go, she downloaded a nifty app, called Zappa. Although quite time consuming, Madmummy enjoyed scanning the 80 odd barcodes and laughing at how little each DVD (which cost between £5 and £30 for her to purchase) was worth. “£00.1 for “Three Men and a Baby” she laughed to herself, while feeling the inner despair and a moment of weakness. Perhaps, for a fraction of a penny, it wasn’t worth the risk that she would one day need to laugh at three men making a meal of parenthood, and not have access to this classic. However, her resolve was strong and Hubbykin’s voice sounded in her head each time – “it will probably be on Netflix”.

The final place to make money was through Gumtree. The cot and guitars were sold and furniture and other junk given away. Developing the strength of body to get junk down the ladder, down the stairs, to the car (parked 20+meters away) and then flung into the skips at the tip, was the easy part.


Step 2- Cover up the cracks

With the help of Hubbykin’s, Nana and Popa the house was given a thorough sprucing. Several tins of gloss and dozens of tins of magnolia emulsion were used to cover the wee handprints and crayon lines. After a deep clean and tidy, the house looked as “show homey” as it had ever done. Now all Madmummy has to do was keep it that way…easy right?.


Step 3 – Maintaining the illusion

Soon after getting those lovely photos up at the estate agency the viewing requests came
flooding in. Madmummy will admit that, since having her malting Siberian husky, and subsequently her sticky fingered boys, she has lowered her standards of cleanliness. So she was not accustomed to performing a full clean and tidy everyday. But, with viewings coming she got good at “speed cleaning”. She also got into the habit of taking the Hulk to play groups, dance class, the park and the library for as much of the day as possible.


A genius idea! The house can’t get messy if no one is in it. So whenever she was in the house (accept when she was sleeping) she was cleaning – FOR FOUR MONTHS straight

Unfortunately, the Hulk loves to climb up and look through kitchen cupboards, (foraging for snacks like a starving little mouse, rather than the big bruising lad he is). On one occasion, having been in the condiments cupboard, Madmummy had retrieved him to take him to the park, while the estate agent conducted a viewing. Coats and shoes on, she had glanced around to check that the place was clean and neat, switching on the plugin air fresheners before leaving. After returning home, she was met with the acrid smell of fish as she entered the kitchen. A small puddle of orange liquid had gathered on the work top and Madmummy followed the dripping to a fallen bottle of Fish Sauce in the condiment cupboard. Suffice as to say, she did not get an offer that

Step 4 – getting a mortgage

So, this is quite boring but also kind of exciting. Before you can really start viewing houses one must know what you can actually afford. Not being in work Madmummy feared they would not be offered much on a single salary. With the help of a broker, however, they were happy to be able to increase their previous limits and start the house hunting.


Bert wanders into an Alternate Realty...

Step 5 – picking the most expensive thing they will ever buy.

Having viewed 20+ houses in the first month, it soon became apparent that there would have to be compromises. She could no more have a house with a large living room, downstairs loo, separate dining room, conservatory, large garden and a drive (within walking distance of an Outstanding school) than she could have the waistline of Kate Moss. At least not in Aldridge. So they gradually looked further out to get more for their money.

Madmummy had to accept that she might not have a dishwasher and Hubbykins had to accept that an open fire was impractical with two boisterous boys. Madmummy had a brief image of the fantasy- -snuggling up with Hubbykins, on the leather sofa, in front of a roaring fire (while the boys sat, strapped to chairs, with their hands tied behind them).

Many of the new builds were very pokey and many of the older houses were on dangerously busy roads or needed a lot of work. Finally, they were able to agree on a house that was fairly new, fairly big and had potential – but needed work (just how much they would discover).

Step 5 – Buying and selling

Having had an offer excepted and a mortgage applied for they were filled with excitement and pride- for Madmummy and Hubbykins has become “proper grownups” at the age of 32. But then came the waiting. So Madmummy kept herself busy by looking at jobs and schools.

Step 6- Educating Jabbermonkey

Since Jabbermonkey was now in compulsory education, all of their house selling and moving timescales were aimed at allowing them to move during the summer holidays. According to the Rightmove website their soon-to-be home was near 3 schools and so Hubbykins and Madmummy arranged to visit them. The first was a massive, sprawling academy with high ceilings. Madmummy felt her wee Jabbermonkey would feel lost inside, having previously attending a small infant school. Also, the rather sour faced office person, who gave them the tour, stressed how unlikely it was he would be accepted.

The second had been rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted (that’s the worst rating you can get). Madmummy doesn’t consider herself a snob but on this occasion she wanted to do better than ‘inadequate’. The last school was just round the corner from their soon-to-be home (the playground was actually behind the house, so in theory they could get Jabbermonkey to school by catapult).

It had a very Good Ofsted, bright walls, and friendly staff. The only difficulty was that it was a catholic school and they were not catholic. However, as luck would have it, they had space to accommodate Jabbermonkey and he was offered a place. Everything was going swimmingly…. and then disaster struck

Step 7- start all over again!

The buyers for her house decided to retract their offer for no apparent reason. Madmummy remembers the day she got the news – the confusion, disbelief and horror! She remained completely calm however. She did not burst into tears down the phone in the middle of her cooking class, nope. She calmly informed her parents of the situation and emphasise her concerns that she would not be able to sell and find another house before summer. With stoic pose, she expressed the possibility that she would loose the house (and Jabber-monkey’s school place).'Good news! We've got a buyer.'

Thankfully Nanna and Popa came to her rescue! Grateful and relieved were pitifully small words to describe how she felt when they offered to pay her deposit on the new house, so that they could carry on their purchase. Suffice to say they saved the day! She promised to pay then back and the house was put back on the market once again. And so step 3 recommenced – continuous cleaning was back as her top priority, along with finding a new job.

Step 8 – Lucky Break


During her 6 months as an unemployed housewife/mother/Avon rep,
Madmummy had been looking at her future career choices. Judging by the bank balance it was clear that she would not be able to remain sans-salary indefinitely. Looking at her past 5 years of employment it was clear that full time work and motherhood did not mix for her.  Paying out £1000s in childcare during the summer, verses spending time with her children in the holidays seemed a no-brainer, right…

. So she decided that part time or term time only employment might be the answer.


So she determined to gain experience in the childcare industry  and had volunteered her services to a local children’s centre every Tuesday and Thursday since giving up work. She had then spent hours looking for courses and jobs in childcare, only to discover they were quite expensive and there were no paid jobs for the unqualified early years worker. So she looked into the Teaching Assistant career path; it was easier to get experience, possible to qualify through an online course and would offer the best holidays to fit with school aged children.

So, she applied to the local college for a level 2 Teaching Assistant course, secured a work placement at the school Jabbermonkey had been accepted at and had signed up to a short course call The Essentials of Key stage teaching. In between her house cleaning, school runs, volunteer work, trips to the tip and various outings with the Hulk, she had scheduled to “attend” virtual classes on the “the fundamentals of key stage teaching”. The classes took place over the internet and all she needed was a laptop with a speaker to contribute to the discussions.

The old house was under offer once more and their new house was ready to be signed for. Whenever Madmummy wasn’t doing the above she had her phone to her ear chasing up what was happening, getting moving quotes and occasionally looking for paid work. A few applications had been sent to no avail. Then one day, after completing module 9 of her course – Routes in to Teaching – she decided to look for Graduate teaching programs.

By accident, however, she stumbled across a vacancy at the same school Jabbermonkey was to attend. Despite doubting that she would secure an interview, with no experience or qualification, she completed the application. She knew she was just humouring herself, but she couldn’t help imagine how easy it would be to deliver Jabbermonkey to school and go to work at the same place. The Hulk had even secured a place at the school’s nursery.


To her utter astonishment she was offered an interview! To her delight and amazement she was then offered a job starting in September. The house move was all set for August, Jabbermonkey was all sorted with a school and Madmummy had got a job lined up too. Score! There was just one little catch…

Step 9 – Childcare Challenge

The job that was offered was not exactly the one she had applied for. It was at a different school, with an older class and it was more hours. To cap it off, the Hulk’s nursery could not offer an all day session. So, using the Childcare website and the Walsall Family Information Service, she was unable to find a child minder willing to go back and forth twice each day (to get the Hulk at midday and then drag him back at 3 to collect Jabbermonkey). After weeks of searching (in between packing boxes, moving house and unpackingc) she had to settle with using two child minders- one to collect Jabbermonkey from school and one to have the Hulk full time (good luck).

Just when all was sorted, and they were about to go on a much needed holiday, the Hulk’s childminder had to cancel her offer for “personal reasons.” So Madmummy was back to ringing and messaging every childminder in Walsall. She even considered a day nursery. But it turned out it would have cost over £500 per month, even with the new 30 free hours scheme. Annoyingly, the new incentive covered 30 hours a week, term time only (nice small print, Conservatives). So for a day nursery it only paid for 23 hours per week and 20 hours would be surplus to Madmummy’s requirements. It just didn’t make sense to pay for childcare from 7am to 6pm for 51 weeks of the year when she only need 9am to 4:30pm term time only. The deadline for applying for 30 free hours was approaching. With no registered childminder and no confirmed start date it was looking like the new job might be a no starter. Indeed, to add to her phone bill, she had also spent much of the same few weeks trying to contact her old work for a reference.

Finally, with less than 4 days till their trip, she managed to find a childminder. She was lovely and reasonably priced. She was on the other side of town. but Madmummy could not afford to be picky. That same day, having given up on trying to get a suitable reference from her last employer she had been able to provide a great second reference from her Avon manager. Finally she could breath a sigh of relief and apply for the childcare funding (with two days to go before the deadline)!

Getting the keys and opening the door – well not quite!

On entering their new house- Madmummy and Hubbykins discovered a number of surprises.

The previous owner had said, as she passed over the keys, “it was a happy home – be happy and enjoy”. However, judging from the punch holes in the walls and kick dents in the few remaining internal doors, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The carpets were also stained and fowl smelling (Madmummy suspected it has seen too many drunken teenagers).

Having taken the necessary measurements to get the replacement doors and carpets ordered they had left their house ready to take on the challenge of redecorating the following week. Of course they were careful to lock the front door…and the porch door.


However, when they returned the next week, laden with tins of paint and polyfiller, they found the door would not unlock. A quick call to the previous owner confirmed that when she had said “we don’t lock the porch door”, what she had meant was, “we don’t lock the porch door, as the key is broken and inexplicably can lock the door but can’t unlock it. So DON’T lock the porch door!!”.Image result for locked out gif

They followed her suggestion to try and ‘Jimmy” the porch window and climb in. All this succeeded in doing was to draw the attention of concerned neighbours. So a locksmith was called and after trying 35 different keys for 45 minutes he was about to drill the lock when he suggested we try the back door. It was then they discovered the back gate was both unlocked and hanging by a screw! Also, the conservatory doors were not only unlocked, but wide open! On further inspection there appeared to have been a key wedged in the lock. Having finally got in the house, unlock the porch door and thrown the key in bin, they then had to pay for the locksmith’s call out fee. Then they had to enlist him to replace the conservatory locks, as he could not remove the wedged key.

After a slow start, they spent the following two weeks decorating the new house. Madmummy would spend her evenings packing boxes at the old house and her days helping Hubbykins paint the new house .


As well as many little surprises (evidently they must have viewed the house blindfolded) there was a bad leak under the kitchen sink, broken plug sockets and the garden waste bin was full of stagnant water owing to the fact that there was a crack in the lid

The shower was broken, the hot water was intermittent and the previous owner had left an old fridge for them to dispose of. It needed a certain amount of plastering throughout and all the rotten blinds needed binning



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Suffice to say it has been a fixer upper and the work continues. The savings are depleted so its going to be a while before my house is a palace. But after almost 12 months, I can now call it home .

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Embracing the madness


It’s 8:30 on a Saturday morning and Madmummy has been up since 6:30am. To some without young children (and some lucky cows who’s toddlers enjoy a lie in) this would seem strenuous. But Madmummy doesn’t feel sorry for herself. Jabbermonkey is at his Nanny’s and the Hulk is a chilled child, so long as he isn’t denied food.  So she enjoys a peaceful Saturday morning watching “The Secret life of Pets” for the billionth time this week. It is true that she did have to change the Hulk’s PJ bottoms at 1:30am this morning. But, having gone to bed at 11:30pm, she estimates that she had enjoyed 2 hours plus 4.5 hours sleep. Over her 5 years experience of motherhood she knows for a fact that 6 hours sleep is both adequate and more than she should expect.

Now that Jabbermonkey attends school she appreciates Saturdays all the more. Yes, she might be awake before most people, but she doesn’t need to rush about at full pelt to get out of the house for 8:30. Indeed, she reflects back on yesterday’s madness with a grateful heart – grateful it’s over and that everyone made it safely to today. Read on for another account of another mad day in he Madmummy house.


Friday 27 January 2017

1:30am : Madmummy was awoken by the Hulk who had an accident, or “A-a-ent”, as he calls it. She changed his sheets and PJs and put him back to bed. The Hulk protested but she ignored him. She returned to her bed, where it took about 20-30 minutes to get back to sleep.fantasies-are-about-sleeping-300x210

2:30am: The Hulk woke again and, being half asleep, Madmummy foolishly let him come into the bed (thinking it was 6:30am). He shuffled around and eventually fell asleep. Madmummy lay awake on the edge of the bed with no covers. She worried that he might wet her bed and contemplated carrying him back in to his own room. She decided not to risk waking him. .

3:30am The Hulk began to snore and Madmummy decided that she would go and sleep in his bed. She snuggled up on the 4 foot toddler bed and managed to get a full 90 minutes sleep.

5:00am The Hulk woke and came to find his Madmummy, asleep in his bed. He joined her and they dosed for approximately 20 minutes before he decided to start traipsing around the room and landing.

5:30am Madmummy took the Hulk back to her room, in the vain hope of getting more shut eye. On the way, the Hulk started calling out to wake Jabbermonkey, but Madmummy dragged him away from his door before he was disturbed…or so she thought. She gave the Hulk her iphone to play on (how modern mum), closed her eyes and tried to relax.mjaxmi1jntg2mji1ywi5yjnkogvm

6:05am  Just as she began to drift off, she was awoken by Jabbermonkey, who had come to join them. Madmummy enjoyed a snuggle with her precious children, but knew that sleep was no longer likely.

6:15am The boys started fighting over the Iphone


6:25am Madmummy’s window of sleep has passed.  She tells herself that two lots of 90 minute sleep cycles is more than sufficient for human survival. With the Hulk pulling her hand and the Jabbermonkey whining for porridge, she wrenched herself from the bed for the third and final time.

6:30 She made the boys’ breakfast. The Hulk shouted at her on several occasions; firstly because she dared to help him get the chairs out, then because she refused to allow him to squeeze the entire bottle of honey on his cornflakes and finally because he wanted to pick his own spoon from the drawer, even if it mean he ate his cereal with a Chinese soup spoon.

6:45 She washed up and made Hubbykins a coffee, then went upstairs to get herself dressed.

7:15am She made the boys toast and set them up in the living room, were they happily  watched Shrek 2 on Netflix. She then attempted to do a 15 minute workout, while dodging children and stopping intermittently to peel oranges and get yoghurt for

8:00am She went upstairs to get her makeup on and fetch the boys’ clothes. Meanwhile the Hulk decided to get every saucepan out and line them up on the sofa.

8:15am Jabbermonkey presented Madmummy with a caserole made from plastic eggs, sausages, vegetables and croissant. She dutifully pretended to eat it.

8:20am She got the Hulk dressed using lots of high pitched praising: “good boys for not scratching mummy’s face”…”Thank you for not kicking me in the chin, as I get your trousers on”.

8:35am She dressesd Jabbermonkey. She always leaves this until last, as he has a habit of rolling on the floor and getting his black trousers covered in white dog hairs. For a laugh Jabbrmonkey pretended to be asleep during that particular morning, and Madmummy struggled to get his gelatinous limbs into his school clothes.

8:40 Madmummy realised that time was running out, so got to work getting shoes and coats go on. Jabbermonkey requested that Madmumy eat her pudding, (a plastic steak that he believed was a chocolate brownie). Madmummy firmly declined and Jabbermonkey looked hurt. But she needed to start getting tough with both boys if they were going to get out on time. No more nice mummy.


8:45 The Hulk opened the front door and ran out to the car. He doesn’t respond to Madmummy’s calls to return.  She wouldn’t have minded so much and would usually lock up and follow. But on that particular morning she could not find her flipping keys! They were not in her bag…they were not in her coat pocket. Panic set in as Jabbermonkey ran off to the car without his jacket, trying in vain to get the Hulk to come back.

She rushed out to the car and barked at Jabbermonkey to go back to the house. She knew that no amount of coaxing and encouragement would work on the Hulk; once at the car it is time to go in his mind. There was no time to explain to him that she needed her keys to a)lock the house b) unlock the car and c) drive the car. There was no point in taking him by the hand, as he would have simply collapsed in protest. 

shera002 Madmummy had no choice, she had to carry him back to the house. Summoning the strength of all female deities she lifted him. He fought her tooth and nail, (ouch). She clutched him closely, so that his scratching hands couldn’t reach her face, and his kicks and punches had less momentum.

8:50 Teh Hulk was placed down on the bottom step of the stairs. Madmummy looked again in her bag and her coat for the keys. She looked on all immediate work surfaces. She questioned both the boys about whether they had removed them from her bag. Jabbermonkey stated, unhelpfully, that the Hulk may have thrown them somewhere. Madmummy began to extend her search to the kitchen and upstairs. The words “you’re going to be late” started sounding in her frazzled mind and the anger began to rise. ‘Calm-and-collected-Madmummy’ had been replaced by a rampaging monster. In between expressing her anger and accusations to both boys, she tried to call Hubbykins, to see if he had seen them. She returned from upstairs to find Jabbermonkey in tears and she apologised for getting so cross at him.  Taking a breath, she looked down into her handbag…and then gave herself a imaginary face-palm. There in the inside pocket of her bag, were the sodding keys. Good-grief (and other stronger profanities) were uttered under her breath.

8:55  Madmummy opened the front door and the boys rushed to the car. Madmummy locked up and sprinted after. She strapped them into their car seats in record time, drove as quickly as was safe and parked as close to the school as was legal.

9:01am  Madmummy raced Jabbermonkey to the front reception, believing him to be late. The lady on the desk informed her that they are not late and directed them to go through the usual side gate.

9:10am   Madmummy sat in the car and breathed for 5 fbfa36cc770ba02ab37d25c7aeac2f80minutes. Jabbermonkey had been delivered to his class just in time.  She and the Hulk would soon be going to the stay and play session  starting in 5 minutes. She enjoyed the satisfaction that, despite the odds, they made it. She did, however, feel ashamed of her lack of grace and poise and painfully guilty about loosing her temper in front of the children.

10:00am The Hulk played well at the Stay and Play and used the toilet with no accidents. Madmummy was very happy that she no longer needs to carry a  potty in a carrier bag everywhere they go. Hurrah!

11:00am After Stay and Play they went for tea as Nanny C’s. Unfortunately the side gate was locked and the Hulk was dead against going through the front door. He screamed “NOO” loudly, as he pulled the gate door handle repeatedly.  Madmummy apologised to Nanny C for his behaviour.  The Hulk cannot abide change and we have never entered through the front door of nanny’s house before. So he decided to run back to the car and continued to scream. Once again, Madmummy had to carry his flailing form into the house. Once inside he forgot his anxiety and behaved fairly well during the visit. Madmummy sighed in despair, as she apologised again.funniest-mommy-memes-13

She has been told on several occasions by older mums that their teenage children are more difficult than when they were toddlers . “Wait until you have two teenage sons!”, they say. Madmummy cannot fathom how the mood swings of a pubescent teen could possibly be worse than the Hulk’s random fits of rage. She never knows what will set him off and struggles to figure out how to deal with them. But, as health visitors, play workers and family members have pointed, out he is a toddler. This is what toddlers do.

12:30pm  Madmummy and the Hulk returned home and she set about straightening out the mess created by her key-finding rampage that morning. Pots and pans were returned to the drawer and she made bolognese for dinner, while the Hulk watched Twirlywoos. She re-attached the curtains in the living room (they had been removed while she painted the radiator the previous evening).

2:00pm  Madmummy and the Hulk took a trip to the shops to buy more loo roll, dog food and washing detergent. There was the usual tantrum, as she forced him in to a trolley, and the usual back strain when she had to get him out. She then went to collect Jabbermonkey from school. Finding herself with 10 minutes to spare, as she was parked outside the school, she called Nanny B to confirm that she would soon be around to drop off the Hulk. This is something that she has been anxious about since she decided to arrange for Jabbermonkey to attend a gymnastics class after school. The Hulk is a clingy and stubborn child, and she knew that he was likely to protest loudly if he saw her leaving without him. She usually sneaks out, but he is always suspicious of her abandoning him in a new place, and will often clutch her hand and force her in a chair, where he can keep an eye on her.   Fortunately luck was on her side, as the Hulk had fallen asleep in his car seat. Just maybe she could carry him inside, drop him off and escape without any emotional anguish.

3:oopm  Jabbermonkey was picked up from school, full of energy and excited for his gymnastics class. He was instructed to be as quiet as a mouse, lest he awaken the Hulk. Once they arrived the Hulk was removed from the car and lugged to the door, where clever Nanny B had the front door open ready. Using all the strength within her core muscles Madmummy lowered the sleeping Hulk gently onto her sofa. Touchdown! Who needs Pilates!  Madmummy whispered “thank you” and “see you later” to Nanny C and escaped swiftly. 

3:30pm  Madmummy and Jabbermonkey returned home to change him out of his school clothes and into something sporty. Relieved that the Hulk was dropped off without a hitch she beamed, as she encouraged him to wear his spiderman top. Being lightweight, energetic and spry she has often envisioned him somersaulting and spinning from vaults and balance beams at some future Olympic games. This was his first Gymnastics class, his first step and she was very excited!

3:45pm Madmummy popped on to the computer to check the address of 9iutdKelly’s Dance Studio (for some reason her Iphone was not loading anything). A picture of a Dinosaur said “Oops, no internet and connection”. She tried her phone again…no wifi, no 3G…Nothing. She went to the router and could see that there was no blue light on. She assumed that the Hulk had pulled a wire or a plug out. She frantically followed wires and pushed in and out plugs. to no avail. She looked all around the router for a switch or loose cable and found nothing. Her addled mind managed to recall the name of the road “Heath End Lane”. She typed this into her phone…but there was no signal for Safari or Maps.  WHAT!! Madmummy started to turn once again into a monstrous beast. Jabbermonkey kept jumping around, happily chuntering and singing out of tune. She yelled at Jabbermonkey to be quiet, while she thinks what to do.

She tried to call Hubbykins, no answer. Then she tried to call Nana, no answer. The clock was ticking. She needed someone with an internet connection, who could look at a map and give her some idea of where she needed to go.  All the while Jabbermonkey kept saying “lets just go, let’s just go” in his usual jolly carefree tone. “WE CAN’T GO!! I DONT KNOW WHERE IT IS!!” Madmummy bellowed. Why?…why had she relied on technology? If only she had a map of Nuneaton!

3:55pm  In desperation she called on her next door neighbour. Mrs T thought she had come for the Avon book and went to look for it. Madmummy called after her to explain her plight as fast as she could. Mrs T kindly invited her in, and Jabbermonkey played hide and seek with her grandson. She loaded up her Ipad, but each attempt to find an address for Kelly’s dance studio brought up a dance class in  Kingston Upon Thames. At this point Madmummy was struggling to hold in her desperation. After weeks of researching dance groups and all the anticipation, she found it hard to cover the stress in her voice as she asked for the wifi password. Within seconds of having internet back on her Iphone Madmummy had screen dumped several map pages, and finally knew where she had to go!

4:05pm Madmummy drove as quick as she could, in rush hour traffic, and at 4:18pm she joined the end of a mighty traffic jam. Consulting her phone map, which now appeared to be working (!), she decided to take a short cut. She ignored the “no through road” signs and drove through the hospital car park, arriving on Health End Road at 4:23pm.

4:25pm Madmummy parked in the car park at Kelly’s dance studio! She told Jabbermonkey that they had arrived and he screeched with glee. At this point Madmummy took a moment to reflect on the joyous nature of Jabbermonkey. Feeling guilty once again, for her negative reaction to the situation, she wondered, “How did this little ray of sunshine ever come from me”. The Hulk is often grumpy, with bouts of uncontrollable rage, but Jabbermonkey has not inherited that trait. Even more so than Hubbikins, he is bright and upbeat throughout all the chaos. Madmummy took a moment to thank him for being so good during the mad half hour, and apologised for shouting. He forgave her wholeheartedly and they went in to Kelly’s Dance studio.

Mission Accomplished!

Madmummy spent the next two hours in the mummy waiting area, with nothing to do but contemplate her life. Her phone battery had lost all its charge and mums were not permitted to stay and watch. At 6:30pm she went downstairs to collect Jabbermonkey, who was remarkably still full of energy. She returned him to Nanny B’s, where she swapped him for the Hulk. Apparently he had been as good as gold. Upon her return home, Hubbykins asked if she had received his text “Do you want to treat us to a takeway?”. She had enough energy to be mildly annoyed that she waisted time in preparing the bolognese, but she agreed to treat them to Chinese. Hubbykins then points out that there is an on switch on the internet router….

Madmummy has gone Potty! 

Madmumy would like to wish her readers a happy 2017! She would also like to apologise for the delay in writing a new blog post. As well as the usual manic routine featured in previous blogs, there have been 4 other events that have distracted Madmummy of late!

  1. The big push on the Hulk’s potty training.
  2. The big push on the Hulk’s talking.
  3. Madmummy making the tricky decision to give up work.
  4. Christmas!images-4

All the above will likely feature in her new posts. She hopes to be able to post more
regularly thanks to point 3, which will provide new subjects to write about …such as what fresh insanity comes from being stay at home mum (she believes SAHM as the appropriate acronym)

But today, it is a time to reflect back on 2016, and the long potty training journey that she is finally coming to the end of. Those who have read the first few of her posts may recall another potty training post on 17th March 2016. During the post, titled “Wee wee in the potty“, she was full of pride at her achievement of getting the Hulk to finally wee in the potty. Little did she know that that was only the beginning of what was to be a very messy and stressful 10 month long battle.

After much sweat, tears and other bodily fluid, the Hulk is images-3finally at the point she can say he is potty trained. Yes, accidents do still occur regularly, but more often than not the Hulk is clean and dry both day and night.As of 2 weeks ago he is in pants, and last night was the first night that the potty was not left in his room. Looking back she can see that there were several steps on the rickety staircase of his training. She smiles to think that, back in March, she thought the hard part was over. No…that was only the first step.

Madmummy has created a reflective account of the Hulk’s progression. It looks nothing like the potty training plan of the many books that purport to get a 12 month old potty trained in four days! Maybe it is a more realistic account of the potty training journey or perhaps it is an example of Madmummy’s ineptitude. Either way, if you are having a hard time with potty training, this surely will make you feel better.

Timeline of the Hulks potty Training

17th March 2016

  • The Hulk’s first wee in the potty
  • Madmummy foolishly thinks this means he will be fully potty trained within the next 2 weeks.
  • Madmummy starts buying pull-up pants

March-May 2016potty-training-drink

  • The Hulk spends a few hours a day half naked.
  • There are occasional wees and poos in the potty.
  • There are countless accidents
  • Madmummy tries to remain calm.

June-August 2016

  • A warm summer allows the Hulk to spend most of his time half naked
  • The potty is getting used more and more often.
  • Madmummy is developing new ways to praise. Bubbles are a big feature.
  • Jabbermonkey regularly informs Madmummy of any bladder and bowel movements that the Hulk makes and they are both rewarded with bubble partys (a bubble machine is installed in the livingroom)
  • As a result of being stopped every 30 minutes Madmummy gets very little done
  • Madmummy buys some pants – the Hulk doesn’t like them.
  • She puts shorts on him – they get wetted

September-October 2016   THE HARD PART.

  • Madmummy decides to get the Hulk to start wearing something on his bottom half to move onto the next step.pee-everywhere
  • At this point she tried putting pants on him – They all got wetted and/or soiled
  • She tried putting him in trousers without pants – They all get wetted and/or soiled
  • Gradually she starts getting him to take his trousers off and go on the potty but he rarely does anything.
  • She tries putting him in the car seat without a nappy
  • The car seat needs to be washed several times
  • The Hulk wets his trousers 80-90% of the time

November 2015    THE REALLY HARD PART

  • Madmummy decided that there would be no more nappies come what may
  • The Hulk is forced to wear trousers and wets through several a day
  • Madmummy buys more trousers
  • The Hulk starts removing trousers before pooing, which is nice of himcleaning
  • The Hulk has no nappy at bedtime and wet sheets most nights
  • The washing machine breaks!!
  • Madmummy has to handwash the trousers in the sink and the sheets in the bathtub
  • Madmummy calls on family and neighbours to help with the mountains of washing.
  • Jabbermonkey gets sick, Madmummy gets ill, the potty training and motherly duties continue (accept the laundry)
  • Madmummy loses the will to live a little

1st – 15th December 2016

  • Madmumy complaints about the delay in getting her washing machine replaced
  • Beko replace her washing machine
  • The Hulk has begun to take his trousers off before every wee and poo – horay!!
  • Accidents still happen and the Hulk lives in jogging bottoms
  • Madmummy buys Telly Tubby pants- the Hulk doesn’t like them and wets them when he has them on.
  • Madmummy downloads an app with a virtual sticker chart, which helps.

15th -26th December 2016

  • The Hulk has begun to pull his trousers down instead of removing themhardbit
  • The Hulk has been on several short car journeys without accident
  • He has slept overnight without a nappy at Nana’s house
  • He still has accidents when upset, tired or distracted
  • Nappies are removed from the change bag
  • The Hulk has a major accident (poo) at a party, but generally is okay to go out without a nappy on
  • The second potty is kept in the car and the Hulk has managed to use it in the boot!
  • The Hulk has managed to use different pottys at relatives’ houses
  • The Hulk wees all over Madmummy during their Christmas Day naps – yuk!

27th December 2016 – 8th January 2017

  • Madmummy buys Paw Patrol pants and the Hulk agrees to wear them
  • The Hulk manages to pull both trousers and pants down successfully and (usually) stays
  • The Hulk has had 3 dry sleepovers at Nana’s, Aunty Gs and Aunty Fs house!
  • He still refuses to sit on the toilet.
  • The Hulk starts to go upstairs to use the potty during the day
  • Madmummy disinfects the living room floor for the last time
  • On the 4th January he attends Pre-school for the first time and attempts to use their kiddy toilets. Madmummy tries to help and the Hulk wees all over her hand (nice) . Within the 1 hour session he gets through 3 pairs of trousers!
  • Over the following 4 days he has a bit of a relapse, including 2 day time accidents
    (one which ran all down the hallway) and 2 wet nights.
  • As of the 8th January the potty now stays in the toilet both day and night.
  • That afternoon the Hulk manages to use a toilet for the first time. Madmummy had forgotten the potty and had forced him onto the public toilet 3 times before this joyous success.

Some of you who managed potty training with more grace a dignity may be smirking at the
above timeline. You may have been one of the many whose potty training journey wasn’t half a gruelling. In fact, Madmummy recalls that her experience with Jabbermonkey
wasn’t nearly so prolonged or stressful (although she may have blocked it from her memory, along with the pain of childbirth). But at this point she will point out that Jabbermonkey was already able to speak, before she began his potty training. The Hulk, on the other hand, has been entirely non-verbal.  He still doesn’t say the words “potty”, “wee” or “toilet”. He says “poopoo” occasionally, and in the last week has been able to mutter something that sounds like “accident”. So despite the lengthiness of the journey, Madmummy is proud to have finally “gotten there” with her wilful, change-aversive and silent son.
Now that she has survived the process she would like to offer some pearls of wisdom based on the many mistakes she made:


Madmummies 10 mistakes you should avoid when potty training 

  1. DON’T BUY PULL UPS.potty-t

Looking back Madmummy can see that this was her biggest mistake. In doing so she gave her clever child two options.
Option 1) stop playing, go all the way over to the potty, pull pants down and bend down to sit on the potty. Then wait to do a wee or poo, pull pants and trousers back up before going back to play

Option 2) Cary on playing, do a wee/poo in the pull up and let mummy deal with it.

It’s a no-brainer really


Madmummy really must stress the point that pull ups are a money making scam designed to inhibit successful potty training and keep kids in nappies longer! Okay, so maybe they have worked for some and you may be ready to come to their defence.why-potty-train
In the case of the Hulk, however, he did not use them for the purpose they are marketed for – ie Pull down and “Pull-Up”. He also began to associate all items that could “pull-up” as being waterproof. So, after she began putting trousers or
cotton pants on him, the Hulk just treated them as he would a pull-up nappy. After the first few days of mummy calmly changing his pants/trousers after every “accident” he gathered that this was the norm. He apparently felt no shame in weeing his pants within 5 minutes of coming off the potty (where Madmummy forced him to sit every 20-30 minutes).
Pull ups are sort of like stabilizers. They are comforting to have but won’t really teach you to ride a bike.


Madmummy read several website forums on potty training but this one stands out in particular. Some mum’s viewed it as cruel.  Others believed that children learn more quickly that potty is best, if they were left with a soggy bottom. Some reported that, having left there 2 year old with a wet trousers for a few hours, they miraculously started going to the potty and never had another accident again!
Madmummy tried this with the Hulk. (There isn’t much she didn’t try). However, the Hulk had no problem being wet all day and would rather be wet than bother going to the potty. Meanwhile, on the few occasions that Madmummy left him wet for over an hour, she was reduced to following him with the disinfectant wipes to clean wherever he sat!
If you are a mum taking on the challenge of potty training, Madmummy would suggest that once an accident is detected, you take your child to the potty at the earliest possibly opportunity.  If you are in the middle of something you may wish to leave them for a few minutes so they can sense the dampness, but there is no point leaving them wet on purpose for hours.


This was the hardest part for Madmummy. Once the Hulk had mastered using his potty when half naked, she would giddily praise him after each success. But when it came time to put bottoms on, she was disappointed 90% of the time. The Hulk had no way to communicate his “needs” to Madmummy. He also didn’t have the will to pull his bottoms down himself – he had got into a nice routine, where mummy changed his wet pants after every wee or poo. It got to the point where she didn’t bother calling it an accident because it was the norm rather than the exception.

So she had begun to look into whether he should be punished for his purposeful cloth wetting. He clearly knew what to do when he had nothing on, so maybe he was just toying with his poor mum and exerting defiant behaviour. Either that or he was lazy. All manner of crazy thoughts popped into her mind, having been up twice in the night changing bedsheets and spending the morning hand washing his jogging bottoms.  Retrospectively Madmummy is ashamed to have thought this but its was desperate times and she felt she was stuck on a potty training plateau. Other mums on web-forums were unanimous that physical punishment was cruel and ineffective, and that shouting or negative comments should be avoided at all costs.
Many potty training guides stated that every wet or soiled item should be removed calmly, while the mum cheerily repeated phrases like “in the potty next time” and “never mind- accidents happen”. They also stressed that mums must go all out with the praise when their child used the potty. The trouble was, unless nude, the Hulk almost never used the potty. So what did she do?…


She began to praise the Hulk whenever he was wearing bottoms for 20 minutes without any “accidents”. Yes, every 20 minutes, instead of forcing him on the potty, she would point out his dry trousers and praise him for not wetting himself. It seemed silly at the time. BUT IT WORKED!!
So, if you too are struggling with a toddler who doesn’t go in the potty at all, try to praise them for NOT having an accident rather GOING in the potty. The Hulk started understanding that dry was good and wet, not so much. Of his own volition, he soon started taking his trousers down by himself. Yipeee!!


Madmummy swapped and changed between pants and shorts and trousers. But the Hulk just wetted his pants all summer. By winter Madmummy decided that she had to push the Hulk to the next step by stopping nappies completely. So trousers were a necessity when going out and about. She tried with pants too, but this complicated the issue for two reasons.

1) because  puling both up and down was to difficult and a drag for the Hulk
2) due to the first two mistakes she made (getting Pull-ups) he seemed to get confused and think that he was still wearing something absorbent.

So Madmummy high recommends stocking up on the jogging bottoms (not jeans which can chafe and are tougher to pull down in a rush).


By mid November the Hulk had been nappyless for 3 weeks and had made great progress. He was actually weeing and pooping in the potty the majority of the time and even went a couple of days and a nights without an accident . Unfortunately, a overnight stop in a hotel and a 5 hour journey demanded that the nappies go back on for the majority of the weekend. Despite Madmummy’s best efforts in taking the Hulk to the potty several times during the course of the day, he did regress a lot during the following week.


Around the second week of the potty training Madmummy’s washing gave up the ghost with an almighty bang. Having been put on 2 times a day, washing bedding and trousers and the occasional rug, a belt washing-machinehad busted and taken out some electrical cables with it.
Luckily she was covered by the manufacturer’s warrantee, as it was less than 12 months old. Service Force was out within a week to diagnose the fault and order parts. After 2 weeks of waiting and two cancelled appointments, the parts were still not in. Madmummy decided to complain to Beko directly. After all, her previous Beko machine had survived 7 years, two newborns, one toddler and a house move. Not to mention having the transport bolts left in for the first 12 months of its life (she had wondered why it made such a racket and walked across the room). But now her 11 month old machine was beyond repair after just 2 weeks of moderately high use.

Within a week Madmummy had a new washing machine, free of charge. Although she had a happy ending she must stress that living without a washing machine for 2-3 weeks is difficult . Living without a washing machine when one child is potty training, and the other is vomiting all over his bed sheets, is hell on earth! So other mums would be advised to do one of 4 things before starting potty training.

  • Save money to purchase a new washing machine if it breaks
  • Make sure you are covered by a warrantee or insurance
  • Find out your local laundrette in case you cant get it repaired quick
  • Read the instruction on you washing machine and the labels of all the items you wish to wash, to ensure you are using it correctly. Not only will this prevent a breakdown, but also to prevent your insurance being invalid due to mis-use.


all-different It’s a cliché, but it must be stressed that “every child is different”. In so many ways the Hulk did not follow the path that he should have .He was clean before he was dry, for example. He was also unable to tell her that he needed a wee.  Madmummy had to learn to trust him to go to the potty of his own accord. It turns out that he prefers to do many things independently and now insists that the bathroom door is closed and even empties his own potty! This can be  messy and Madmummy highly recommends purchasing some of these.



Buck up, rip off the bandage and say “no” to nappies .
In the case of the Hulk he needed strong encouragement.  On many MANY articles she has come across Madmummy has read the message that mums must wait until their child is ready. But sometimes the peer pressure is too much.
Before you judge, please imagine you are Madmummy. You have been patient all summer and endured 3 months of mopping up puddles, wiping up poop and washing trousers and/or pants. You have pretending not to be disappointed when, after stopping every 30 minutes to force a flailing toddler on the potty, he proceeds to wet his trousers within 10 minutes of you pulling them up again. Your child then turns 3 and has made no progress in 6 months. winter-potty-trainingWinter is coming and soon there will be no option to go running around without trousers on. Potentially all the progress that has been made will be undone , as your child will get used to wearing nappies during the winter months. Your child may still be in nappies until next summer, and then he will be four and you will be a laughing stock! (Okay, that’s a tad over-the-top)

But Madmummy believes that a firm shove, rather than “gentle encouragement” was ultimately what her passive and chilled-out child needed. In fact the Hulk seems much happier in general since the success. Furthermore the skills Madmummy has developed on positive affirmation, and giving firm and clear instructions, can now be applied to other aspects of the Hulks development. And, from the experience, she has gotten to know the Hulk more as a person and has a better idea about how his little mind now works. (yeah, right). He has certainly proved to have a fiercely independent and stubborn nature- but then he is a Scorpio.

Children will always embarrass their parents until the day when they are old enough to be embarrassed by their parents. One day Madmummy will have her revenge. She smiles as she imagines his 16th birthday, the lampposts with baby pictures tied on, the red lipstick kiss-mark on his forehead , his face when she tells his friends all her pet names for him – mwahahahaha.

Potty Training = accidents

All a mum can do is pray that soiling doesn’t occur when out and about. On the whole, this was the case for Madmummy. There was one particular occasion, but she has decided to cast into the pensive (Oooh, Harry Potter reference!)

Potty Training= Another item to carry

When it came to the “BIG PUSH”, the potty had to come everywhere. Madmummy quickly got over the embarrassment of carrying a turtle shaped potty in a carrier bag, everywhere she went. She got used to having to stop conversations every 30 minutes, to either praise the Hulk for being dry or rush him out to the loo for a a sit down or (if too late) a change.

On one occasion Madmummy was in the carpark of Toys r Us (who don’t have toilets apparently) and had to force the Hulk to wee in the potty in the boot of the car. She focused only on him, not looking to see if anyone was watching. After 2 hours trolling around for Christmas presents, she knew that he needed a wee. Every success helped him improve and every failure set him back. No amount of temporary embarrassment or shame was worth him wetting another pair of trousers and ruining his confidence. Luckilly the Hulk managed to do a wee in the potty and they got home without an accident. She feels no shame for making him wee in public, it would have been more shame if she had let her inhibitions foil his progress.

She recalls now that Jabbermonkey was made to squat near a bush on a fair few occasions, as she attempted to shield him from the view of passers by. All mums must accept that when they need to go they need to go. Yes, you can stay indoors for the first few weeks. However, unless you are a hermit who grows their own food, sooner or later you will need to venture out of the house. Yes, it did feel a bit wrong to Madmummy, pouring wee on the carpark of Toys ‘R’ Us, but that’s what had to be done. She urges all mums to do what must be done and remember…it will all be over soon! Hopefully sooner for you than for her

images (1).png

Lasagna disaster a la Madmummy

img_4397Once again fortune has smiled on Madmummy and the Hulk has decided to have a surprise early nap. This was Jabbermonkey’s first week at school and the mornings have been rushed and the days quiet. Having been to town, Madmummy had a few battles with a very stroppy Hulk. When it was time to return to the car he had been particularly contrary.


For reasons best known to himself he decided he needed to go into HSBC. When Madmummy had disagreed he had collapsed on the wet pavement. Madmummy’s back and joins have become increasingly creaky of late. So she decided to try the old trick of walking off (or pretending too). Predictably the Hulk was too smart for this, and continued to scream and bring attention to himself, and his villain of a mother. An elderly lady had inquired what he was “doing down there?” As if by magic, he was up and tottering to Madmummy’s open hand. Madmummy had uttered a thank you to the lady, and some lighthearted comment about how “he won’t listen to me, but anyone else…”. The Hulk had walked angelically back to the car. As soon as the lady was out of eye-shot, however, the “naughty” possessed him once more. He refused to come to the car.  Having finally coaxed him to climb in (as he has recently stopped allowing Madmummy to assist him in this) he lay on the floor, and refused to go in his seat. With stern words and physical force he was strapped in, and they returned home. Madmummy was all set to carry out the usual list of duties, while the Hulk had lunch.

However when she returned with his cream cheese crackers, she found him comatose on the sofa. Having not had a shower in 2 days, and at least 2 weeks since a bath, she decided to seize this opportunity and get the taps running. She now lays in the bath enjoying a cup of tea and listening to the wind and rain. She feels Autumn coming. Her addled brain happens upon a memory  of a particularly stressful day in the winter of last year.The luxury of a bath features in this tale, which she hopes readers will find amusing.   So now that she has finished the rather long preamble, she can go on to explain what the photo above is about.  It is a tale of the perils of multitasking and the virtues of perseverance.

Once upon a time, on the morning of  of 4th December 2015, Madmummy had been busily making her bolognese sauce to create a lasagna for dinner. She was full of he joys and anticipation of early December, and had decided to treat  her darling Hubbykin’s to his favorite dinner. During the process she had been interrupted by Jabbermonkey several times, as he required her assistance in making a crown. Whilst she had returned to the pot to stir in stock, he had  been so good as to help himself to the paints and even washed them up afterwards. Her heart full of warmth and a proud smile on her face, she had continued to created the white sauce, with the competency and poise a 1950s housewife. She then constructed the lasagna with the grace of Nigela Lawson.


Having tidied up the kitchen she had gone to the living room to check on the Hulk. She glanced at the clock. In an instant the magic was broken. The morning! Where had it ruddy gone!b04dc58c84b0bc51a0de2af2cf19bd09  The rhythm changed and her world shot into warp speed. Her brain processed that she had less than 1 hour to get the boys fed and dressed and to nursery school.

Having finished getting the last little shoe on the final little foot she had glanced at the clock and breathed a sigh. At quarter to twelve she had ample time to get to school if they left straight away. She opened the back door to let the dog in. Sensing that Madmummy was not feeling nearly challenged enough the husky proceeded to pee all over the kitchen floor. Madmummy allowed herself 3 seconds stare in disbelief and shout at the “damn mut”,  before she got to work with mopping it up. The Hulk was adamant that he would help, so the process was not particularly swift. Before she left she decided to put the lasagna in the oven to cook- after all she would be back in 20 minutes.

She now knows that was foolish and dangerous choice.  Having popped into a shop to pick up some milk she had returned to find the lasagna was burned to a crisp on the top. She decided that, rather than waste the perfectly good bottom half, she would peel off the burnt top layer and feed it to the dog (not that he deserved it).  The Hulk was happily playing in the living room. Madmummy  cleverly decided to par-cook the new lasagna sheets in boiling water. Unfortunately she did not ensure the sheets were spaced far enough apart and they fused together. Through gritted teeth she breathed “Never mind, try again”. She carefully lifted the floppy sheets out of the water, scalding her fingers a little, and  laid them on top of the brown meat sauce.

Full of enthusiasm and pride for her calm and logical actions, she began to make the white sauce for the second time. Having added the butter and flour the Hulk had come to her with an urgent requested. As the Hulk is non-verbal, a game of guessing and charades had ensued. Having finally guessed that the Hulk wanted some juice she grabbed the cordial and made some up. Unfortunately, having been distracted, her butter-flour mixture had burnt. To this day Madmummy doesn’t know what madness came over her next. She went ahead and added the milk that she had carefully measured.  Of course the bitty-mixture was not suitable for the purpose, and ended up poured down the sink. On automatic pilot now, Madmummy made the white sauce again. She mused that it was both lucky that she had purchased more milk and unfortunate.  Had she not, she would not now be making the sauce for the third time.  Having made the lasagna and cleaned up the dogs poo (he had courteously done in the garden) she returned to find the Hulk had fallen asleep.

Like today (ie 16 September 2016)  Madmummy had decided to utilise the opportunity and reward herself for her efforts. After the morning she’d had she deserved a quick bath. She only had 30 minutes and then would need to start getting the Hulk up to get Jabbermonkey from nursery. She did not want to risk the lasagne getting overcooked again, while she went to the school. So, having placed her lasagna in the oven and turned it on, she had set a timer on her phone. She would be alerted after 20 minutes and would return from her bath to find a golden brown delicious dish good enough for her king (ie: hubbykins). But when she returned to the oven after just 20 minutes, hair still wet, she found that the top was even blacker than the first time! Surely she was imagining this, this must be da ya vu. Her disbelief continued until she glanced at the oven dial. It was set to grill!

With less enthusiasm she removed the blackened top layer once  again. She boiled the kettle, laid the lasagna sheets in the dish, poured on the water. She got herself dressed for work and fought a very grumpy Hulk in to the pushchair. She had no time to manhandle him into his coat, so she grabbed it on the way out and hung it on the push chair.  She then jetted of to the school, collected Jabbermonkey and took the boys to their nanny’s house. During the journey, however,  Jabbermonkey had grown too tired to walk. Madmummy decided that he would have a turn in the pushchair and the Hulk could walk the last part of he journey. She also decided to use the opportunity to get the Hulk’s coat on. He was in total disagreement and collapsed on the pavement in protest. She glanced around and caught a few smirking faces. Madmummy’s back throbbed as she lifted the muddy, flailing child from the ground. Seeing that he was in full-sway rage and would not be co-operative  Jabbermonkey was made to get up from the push chair. Letting out audible grunts, and with her last ounce of strength, she lifted the Hulk back into the push chair and strapped him in. The screams of the Hulk carried across the streets as they continued the journey, but Madmummy was deep in stressful thoughts which muffled the sound.


Having dropped the boys off she sprinted home. With 20 minutes before she had to leave for work she gazed hopelessly at her topless lasagne. Her heart ached at the thought of throwing it in the bin. She had spent a big chunk of her day making the damn thing and the waste of food went against her deep set morals.  No! She would not be beaten.  As God was her witness there would be lasagna for her Hubbykins!   She melted butter, added flour, stirred in milk, sprinkled cheese and the fourth white sauce was made. Having added the soaked lasagne sheets, she added the sauce and grated the last morsel of cheese on top. She placed he dish on the oven shelf. She did NOT put the oven on. She did her makeup and walked swiftly to work. Yes indeed, after all that, she now needed to focus on her paid job.  She decided to send a text to instruct hubbykins to cook the lasagne for no more than 15 minutes, lest the meat become too dry.  At this point she realised that he had sent her a message earlier. The message read “Take out tonight?”.

And this was her response………….





Rain rant 

Madmummy has snapped. She has held in her anger for several weeks. But she must purge her fury. 

Having checked the sky and her trusty weather app she had decided that the Hulk would not be  needing a coat today. Out of habit she had put her rain coat on and left to collect Jabbermonkey. By the time she had dropped him off at school and had begun the tedious task of ushering the Hulk home she had begun to feel very hot. Having removed her coat and continued to chase the Hulk out of someones front garden , she glanced up and saw a familiar sight. A rain cloud. Throught much of June and July these dirty little invades have infected her summer sky. 

Her trust in the weather app prediction began to wane. She developed some sort of Druid-like sense and decided that enough is enough. Having forcible placed the Hulk in the pushchair and strapped him in she felt the winds pick up. She put her rain coat back on. Within seconds the rain started to fall. Looking up she saw that the entire sky was now overcast. 

Wearing rather delapidated pumps  she walked as fast as she could. A deluge began however. Cursing her weather app she plodded as fast as she could. She knew too well that the rain would ruin the integrity of her footwear.  Predictably, every time she attempted a little sprint a shoe would slip off. 

The rain lashed down on Hulks legs and hoody. The guilt surged in Madmummy who cursed herself for several bad choices. For wearing the wrong shoes, not putting the Hulk in his coat, for trusting the app that had lied to her in the past, for not seeing the rain cloud sooner and for not putting an end to Hulks meandering as soon as she left the school gates. If she had not allowed him the freedom to explore the foliage and watch the bees they would have been home by now. 

Thankfully no one was present to look on and cast judgement on Madmummies mistakes. Not that she would have noticed as her glassss were covered in raindrops- rendering her half blind. 

 Through the blury glass she sees a sight that brings forth such fury that she lets out an audible swear. On the pavement in front of her two cars had been inconsiderately parked on the left side of the pavement. I huge thornbush took up the right side. So as fast but safely as she can (bearing in mind she is physically blinded by rain and mentally blinded by anger) she walked/ran her beloved son into the busy road to continue the journey. An image of herself with a key in her hand scratching the paintwork kept popping up throughout the rest of the journey.  Her thoughts of vandalising finally deminsh when she got in, soaking wet, she looked again at her app. It informs her it is currently raining. 

So now that she has finished getting the Hulk and herself dried Madmummy is reflecting on why she felt such anger at the rain. The underlying issue is not that she dislikes rain but that it’s July!  There should not be a need for her to battle the Hulk into a rain suit or indeed have to wear bloody wellingtons EVERY SINGLE DAY!! She clearly is getting old, grumpy and quite mad to let something like rain vex her so. 

So here are some funny memes that help cheer her up. 

Sorry, my left breast rang you.

Waterproof-iPhone-CaseSo last week Madmummy saw an advertisement on Facebook for a new Iphone waterproof case. “If only” she thought wistfully, as she remembered the demise of her old iphone 4. Her toddler-addled brain recalls that it was sometime in the last 2 years, as both Jabbermonkey and the Hulk were there. She and hubbykins had decided to take both boys swimming. Madmummy believes it may have been Hulks first time, however this fact is overcast by the needless death of Madmummy’s mobile.

Having been swimming for over an hour with the boys, (she vaguely recalls they both enjoyed) she had taken Hulk to the changing room to get dressed.  She recalls vividly the moment she removed her swimming costume. The clatter of metal on tile. She can still picture in her mind the white case of her beloved Iphone shinning up at her from the damp floor


She can still feel the flow of emotions from confusion, to realisation and then to horror!


She had felt desperation, hope and panic as she tried to revive her phone. She blew the water from the Aux socket and pressed its power button as though administering CPR. But to no avail.

After a few minutes she remembered that the Hulk was still sitting on the bench shivering. So she had swallowed her grief and continued her motherly duties.

The other memory that is very clear from that day , is the moment that she told Hubbykins that she had taken her Iphone swimming with her. It was more his reaction that Madmummy remembers. Her reluctance to tell him was not from fear of anger or berating but from embarrassment. Unsurprisingly,his first reaction was to laugh. His second reaction was to laugh. His third reaction was to go outside to laugh some more. His forth to crack jokes for the remainder of the day and sing songs like “Sitting on the dock of a bay- watching my phone float away.” So infectious and continuous was the mirth of hubbykins that Madmummy’s genuine feeling of loss quickly faded.


Over the days that followed Madmummy made several attempts to bring her phone back to life. But after two weeks in a box of rice in the airing cupboard, she had to declare her old phone – a gonner.

It it now safely buried in the hallow and sacred space that is her sock drawer.ricephone

So just what was Madmummy’s Iphone doing down her swimming costume and what does this have to do with the title of this post?

Well since having two children Madmummy’s hips and tummy can no longer be restrained in the unyielding denim of a pair of jeans. Formally a jean-lover the 10 pairs she still posses lie in the bottom shelf of the wardrobe – neglected for over 24 months now. She still keeps them, out of nostalgia and vain hopefulness. You never know she could win the lottery and get liposuction one day.  What logic in this fantasy would prevent her purchasing all new jeans? She knows not.

So she has discovered and come to love a new versatile and comfortable leg attire. Luckily for her these are popular, freely available and fashionable. They are of course the trusty leggings. She owns several pairs of black and a few with more colorful designs. Madmummy finds the combination of leggings with A-line dress-tops  very flattering for her hourglass shape. They are also suitable for the mini workouts she tries to squeeze in during her day and she can wear them out on about and still feel presentable.

leggins patterned

Though comfortable and practical in all other respects they do lack pockets. Like many modern mums, Madmummy is afflicted with an attachment disorder and cannot be parted from her phone. What if someone were to call when she was on her way to the school? What if she is waiting at a bus stop, and misses an opportunity to read a Facebook post from a old friend of her cousin’s boyfiend’s mother.

So, since donning the leggings 3 years ago,  Madmummy has gotten into the habit of pushing her phone down her bra. Usually her left side. She has done some research into whether this practice might have any adverse medical side effects. However it seems she is the only nutter who does this and there has been no previous research conducted. Madmummy would not recommend this practice to others and has tried to kick the habit. However she does find it very convenient to have her phone tucked somewhere close at hand – plus it is not a place usually targeted by thieves.

However, as the story above illustrates it has had its drawbacks. On the day in question Madmummy had done the sensible thing of putting her swimming costume on under her clothes -ready for a fast and easy changing room experience. She had then done the not-so-sensible thing of pushing her phone down her swimsuit top. Her short term memory had decided to throw this information at the back of the cupboard of her mind, rather than on the side next to the keys. And so she had swum, oblivious, for over 100 minutes,  as her phone drowned.

Needless to say Madmummy is more careful these days, but she still uses her bra as a phone holster on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, if she doesn’t engage the lock her phone,  the touchscreen can get activated. Sometimes her nipple takes the odd photo of the inside of her bra, sometimes it decided to delete half her apps.  But on a number of occasions it has dialed the number of the last person in her “recent-call list”( unknown to her). Until, that is her mother,  hubbykins or indeed manager calls her and asks why she phoned. To which she must reply  “I’m sorry I think my left breast rang you by mistake.”






Eating salad in the bath = soggy lettuce

Madmummy is scoffing chicken salad in the bath. She knows it’s not right, proper or normal, but she is past the point of caring. The Hulk fell asleep on the way back from dropping Jabbermonkey off, and she is determined to cram in some self-care while she can.

She has suffered from what she believes to be hay fever since the weekend. An ailment she had developed during her pregnancy with Jabbermonkey (oh the joys). To add to this she had also had the typical insomnia that always seem to occur when her body needs rest he most.  She has tried to dose during the last two days to make up for her sleep deprevation. The duvet came downstairs, however  Madmummy was not allowed to lay in it for more than 10 minutes. Jabbermonkey demand mummy help him to make bunting for his party and the Hulks bottomless-pit of a stomach called. Feeling utterly exhausted, itchy and with a throbbing headache Madmummy wanted no drama. So she dutifully passed the Hulk whatever his finger pointed to and did what Jabbermonkey asked. Om Monday afternoon she had thought she might get the Hulk to have a nap with her. However he was not tired and wanted mummy to draw for him. “You want an elephant?” Madmummy muttered wearily  and the Hulk passed her the Magna-doodle pen, as he nodded his approval.

Today she felt revitalized since having a full 6 hours sleep (woooptedoo!!!) However the stresses of yesterday are fresh in her mind, as is the greasy hair on top her head (having not had a shower since the weekend) . Apart from struggling on through the usual chores and child caring, she  has needed to collect all the Avon brochures from her neighbours. She then had to get to work early so that she could leave early and pick up the children from her mother-in laws at 8pm (as Hubbykinds had to go to rehearsals). Predictably she had been stuck on a call and was late leaving the office. She managed to make the 1 mile journey in 15 minutes. It would have been made easier has she not damages her Achilles’ tendon a few weeks ago and was still suffering from a very stiff and painful heel.

Hobbling as fast as she could she made it to her mother-in-laws just 6 minutes past 8pm. She then pushed her children home, collecting the odd Avon brochure on the way. After the usual struggled to get them dressed for bed, she had read no less than 5 books to appease them. During this the Jabbermonkey had to be told several times to remain silent, and stop jumping around. As she was about to leave Jabbermonkey informed her that he needed a wee. It was now almost 9pm. The Hulk objected to her leaving and cried at the door, as per usual. Madmummy lifted him back to bed twice,  telling him “no- bedtime-lie down”. She then gave up, closed the door and went downstairs.

At this point she needed to place the orders for her Avon customers. The deadline was 10:00pm! The orders were disappointingly low this week, and after double checking she sent through her order. For the first month since starting Avon she had made no commission. As there was no-one to moan to and, frankly other pressing concerns, she swallowed any sense of failure and proceeded to make herself dinner at 10pm. She desperately wanted sleep, but did not wish to risk being awoken by hunger pangs. So in went a pizza into the oven. Madmummy read the instructions to check the cooking time,  only to discover that the pizza should NOT have been frozen and that there were no cooking times from frozen!

After 20 minutes on high Madmummy decided it would just have to do. A glass of wine in one hand and 4 slices of pizza in the other, she had plodded up to bed. Before her foot felt the bottom step a little voice said “I need he toilet”. Running on autopilot with an empty tank, Madmummy’s bones rattled up the stairs to open the door. The Hulk lay limply on the floor asleep and Madmummy had to push his body with the door to release Jabbermonkey. She then squeezed her curvy form through the crack of the door, heaved the Hulk’s dead weight from the floor and placed him back to bed for the third,  and hopefully,  final time.

She sat up in bed  and scoffed the  undercooked pizza. It was doughy and tasted awful, but she didn’t care. After drinking down her wine – she slept…waking once when Hubbykins came home at midnight. She had cursed the super-sensitive  hearing that she had acquired since having children. It’s a superpower that allows her to sense what child is where, what they are doing and what with. She can also tell from the tone of their cries ( or even their silence) what danger or mischief they are in. The downside to this heightening of senses is that she is unable to sleep though a child battering the door at 6am, or her husbands breathing at 2am.  However last night Madmummy fall back to sleep and did not begin to awaken until 6am. 6 hours straight sleep felt was like lithium after 2 nights of almost none and best of all she had a rota day off today!

Jabbermonkey had been contrary, demanding and rude all morning (due to the late night and early start). He could barely form sentences and had found this most frustrating. He had been sent to the naughty step and even smacked on the bottom for being rude and impatient. Madmummy can’t recall what he was moaning about, nor does she wish to relive it. Suffice to say everything she wanted him to do he didn’t want to do, and whatever he wanted to do, mummy was doing it wrong. She does recall that the Hulk had emptied the paint and play dough cupboard of its contents. After this she had been coerced into doing play-dough. Splitting her time between assisting both boys simultaneously was always a challenge. Today Jabbermonkey was more needy and less independent than usual, so he was stroppy with her when she did not respond swiftly to his requests for help. On one such occasion she had needed to put him second as the Hulk was trying to eat the Playdough. When she dared to deny him he was incapable of understanding her explanation, due to his fatigue, and got more cross.

In between meeting her children’s demands she rushed about to try completing the necessary household tasks, too numerous and mundane to name all of. One such task was hovering and cleaning the mess made by the playdough, the lunchtime crumbs and the dog hair (the dog is blowing his fur) . On top of this the Hulk is potty training and so Madmummy  had to stop what she was doing several times to blow bubbles and offer a round of applause (or if he hadn’t been successful go get the kitchen roll and/or a mop).

Madmummy’s hay fever had improved, due for the downpour, but the weather was not helping the mood of all 3 of them . She had to literally fight Jabbermonkey into his school uniform (he had been watching Kung Fu Panda) . She then forced the Hulk into his coat and into the buggy..  The Hulk cried hysterically all the way, as he dislikes ran and despises the rain-cover (he was also tired and so hated the world).

Having dropped Jabbermonkey off Madmummy had pushed the ever-creaking double biggy home, wondering if this seemed more of an effort a)become the Hulk had gained more weight, b) the pushchair was getting old and rusty or c) she was getting old and weak. Having concluded that it  was likely a combination of the three,  Madmummy realised a) that the Hulk had ried himself asleep, b) her foot was getting soaked as rain poured through a hole in her pumps and c) she had  turned the hot water on that morning.  The promise of a bath pumped blood into her veins. Madmummy had another desire however.To eat something tastier and healthier than that god-awful pizza. She didn’t wish to risk not getting one of these treats, if the Hulk awoke before she had both. So she decided to combine the two. Now she simultaneously soaks and eats. The only drawback the occasional soggy lettuce leaf .