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 heisn’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.
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.
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 them.
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.
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 minutes. 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.
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 Kelly’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.
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….