Friday, September 28, 2012


I've always had people express their surprise at how much my third child screams.

Because 3rd children are meant to be the calmest of them all, grounded, serene and happy in their own skin.
Not my little boy. 

From the very moment he was born, Lorcan just screamed - and very loudly at that. 

Doctor gave him Zantac for silent reflux, but there was nothing silent about it for our ears. 

His name means The Fierce One so I figured he was just demonstrating the full unrelenting force of his name.

Fast forward 16 months and Baby has become Boy. But he's more ferocious than ever.

The screaming has got worse. 

Much much worse.

Nowadays, every where I take him, he squeals, everything he wants, he squeals, everything I force him to do (such as car seat, pram, sit down for dinner, bed), he squeals, everything he's not able to do, he squeals. 

The shrill holler also happens when he wakes, when he hurts himself, when he's denied something he wants, when his teeth hurt, when his brother and sister try to cuddle him, when he's bored. Oh the list is endless...

Yet to look at him, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He's very cute and sweet looking. Blond hair, shiny blue eyes, beautiful smile. When he's not making so much noise, he's fun and smiles a lot, and I get loads of cuddles. So I know he's happy - he's just a very determined little boy who knows what he wants and how to get it. 

At the expense of my hearing!

Lorcan The Fierce

My sore ears are ringing with the sound of his intermittent screaming. 

Each squeal is like a stab in the heart and a ache in the ears. Hundreds of times a day. 

He's a smart little fella, he knows what he's doing, in fact sometimes he laughs when he screams because he sees people regard him with shock and wince as they blink back the pain. 

In the last week, everyone I've met has noticed this high-pitched piercing shriek - it's getting him the attention he obviously feels he needs. I suppose it's his way of being noticed above his older siblings, who are pretty loud and hyper and overbearing.

He's screaming in my ear now because I just stopped him from trying to eat my laptop's power cable! He punishes me in this way every time I stop him from trying to kill himself!

And now he's laughing because he knows he has the power in our relationship, able to render me immobile and compliant with one other-worldly screams. And now he's making my ears throb again as he tries to take his socks off. 


But seriously, Lorci, I know you're pre-verbal at this stage, but please please give me a break. I'm desperately trying to teach him the right words to use rather than letting him default to this most primitive form of painful communication. I just hope that once his words kick in, the kicks he gets from screeching all the time stop. 

If only.

[In the 20 minutes it took to write this blog, the little fella has screamed at least 50 times, appeased momentarily by biscuits, cuddles, juice, toys, TV and bread sticks]


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Fishing books, toys, shoes and tooth brushes out of the toilet, courtesy of my 16 month old enjoying a new sport. 

Trying to encourage my 3 and 4 year old to flush the toilet after use - in an effort to reduce the disgusting nature of said fishing expeditions.

Being driven demented by my 3 year old girl who refuses to eat proper food.

Making tomato ketchup from home-grown tomatoes, onions and apples - in a vain hope of encouraging my junk-food obsessed 3 year old to eat something resembling a 5-a-day. 

Constantly driving back and forth to our local school. With 2 kids up there now, with different pick-up times, it's a lot of dashing back and forth, and a lot of putting baby in and out the car, looking for shoes and fastening seatbelts.

Reading the most addictive novel I've read in a long time. Yes I've succumbed to 50 Shades. I am now officially "a bored housewife!". It feels like I'm having an illicit affair with Christian Grey!

Taking deep breaths to get through the screaming from my 16 month old - he's cutting molars. 

Trying to cross things off a to-do list - and failing badly.

Stuffing omega-3s into the eldest two - to try to tame their screaming and defiant behaviour. I live in hope.

Trying to carve a life back from myself from the detritus of baby-rearing chaos. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


IT'S well known that babies have a massive impact on the environment. 

I dread to think where all those nappies our babies have soiled are now. 

But it's unavoidable - even washing nappies has a detrimental environmental impact.

I find I deal with my Nappy Mountain guilt by offsetting: by being a fabulous recycler, rarely throwing away food and minimising what I use. For instance, on a good day, my baby will use 2 nappies. One overnight but I don't change until he's done a poo, then one for the day - generally the next poo is around 7, so then he goes into his nighttime nappy. 

This works for us - and means there's a lot less to throw away.

But there's one product I've always been uneasy about, especially when I see mums using them more liberally than water. 


Nowadays it's wipes for everything. Spills, stains, bums, faces, hands, noses, floors and cars. 

There's must be so many wipes used unnecessarily when a flannel and soap could have worked, or just a tissue because they dissolve and biodegrade. 

Most wipes are made of plastics like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene, with some cotton and rayon.

They take years to break down.

By using wipes we're contributing towards a bigger mountain of baby waste than was ever thought possible. Heck, most people now use disposable wipes for cleaning their faces at night and wiping stains off everything.  

I see mums manically pulling five wipes at a time out of a packet just for a snotty nose or a dirty face. Five wipes for a nappy change as well!

It's five and a half years since I started buying wipes with my first baby - and I'm starting to think that I should be stopping using them soon - because I feel I've just used too many and they're probably all still in a stinky moulding corpse of a "wipe mountain" somewhere in the world.

My toddler is 16 months now and I'm trying not to use them as much. I no longer use a wipe for a wet nappy, I just massage in some sweet smelling grapeseed oil to take away the smell of wee. And I try to use only one wipe for a poo. If possible, I'll use just toilet tissue, wetting it if I have to.
Ask anyone if they'll give up wipes and you'll hear: "But we love wipes"... "I couldn't live without them"... "They're so convenient".

But isn't it time we started to use them less, rather than more? They don't biodegrade at all. They sit in our landfills forever. I can't believe manufacturers are trying to find more ways of getting us to use more wipes, without any concern for the environment or where they end up, rotting for years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Something happened on Saturday that I'm still getting my head around. 

I became a 40-year-old mum of 3.

When it's written down and you don't know the person, it sounds like they're over-the-hill and dowdy. 

Many a time I've heard a news piece mention a 40-year-old mum of 3 and never imagined that description, which for some strange reason conjurs up images of someone past their prime, as ever being applicable to me.

I've been re-calculating (as our satnav says) ever since.  

The reality is I FEEL GREAT. I feel young in my mind - what's 40 supposed to feel like anyway?

I've got cards sitting on my mantlepiece saying "Fabulous at 40"... "Flirty and 40"... "Life begins at 40"...

Why is there such a big stigma attached to decade-birthdays?

I feel seasoned. Well-rounded. Mature. Comfortable. 

I think I look younger than 40. But then what does 40 look like anymore? I'm the same generation as Kate Moss and Cameron Diaz, and they're looking fab at 40. Not that I've ever compared myself to them - or even viewed them as role models (I've always been too much my own person for that, thankfully).

Me this weekend, away in Girona, celebrating my 40th

I feel that I have the ability to be wise - and the confidence FINALLY to tune into how I'm feeling and stay with it, not changing it for anyone. I feel that turning 40 is suddenly making me feel very solid. I know myself now. I know what I'm capable of. I know how to achieve what I want. And I'm not going to take any shit anymore.

I'm not entirely sure what I want to acheive in the next decade, but maybe a move back into the workforce would be a good idea, given that I've earned nothing in the last 5 years! Designing a CV is currently high on my list of things to do in the next few weeks.

Having 3 kids in 4 years gave me confidence I never knew I had. I had to dig deep and find reserves not yet discovered such as extreme patience, operating at rock-bottom energy, taming mama rage, utter exhaustion, despair and overwhelm. But once I found a way of weathering the storm each time I came out of it stronger, more balanced than before, learning from my mistakes and able for whatever else the kids could throw at me.

My babies are now nearly 5, 3 and 1 and thanks to school and Thyroid energy pills, I finally feel I'm getting my life back.

Writing this blog has brought me out of myself in the past six months. I was feeling very "internal" before. I knew I needed to be more "external" to get through the feelings of being overwhelmed by 3 screaming smallies (these were the words I was using to Hubby) and that involved downloading my story into a Blog, to smooth the choppy waters of parenting and give me insights into my daily misadventures in mama-hood. 

It has given me a creative outlet which along with my painting, has given me sanctuary away from the kids. 

It has given me the opportunity to re-connect with myself and a whole new audience and e-buddies out there - and getting to grips with new tech such as Twitter which caught me offguard when I was in the baby bubble. 

I think I've finally found the right balance in life. 

So yeah turning 40 rocks! 

It's all good.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Monday, September 03, 2012


I didn't think I'd feel it. I expected to come away dancing a jig, energised, ready to start my new life where I could reclaim a bit of me again.

Instead I felt deflated. Sad. Heart pounding.

Looking around the house now, empty but for everything they've scattered on the floor, it's quiet for the first time. I love silence. It's something I've craved for so long but now it's here I feel different about it, lost.

The drum of my heart traps me in this moment, forcing me to be aware of the enormity of what just happened, connecting me umbillically to my two little ones who just experienced two very big firsts...

The first day of school.

The first day of full-time playschool.

The excitement aty the school was infectious, giddy parents catching up, fawning over little ones in miniature school uniforms.

Our boy told us to stop talking, his nervousness keeping him silent.

In the classroom he sat still, flanked by friends, taking it all in, willing me to stop taking photos and go home.

Who is the boy that he will become? Will his anger spill out and cause trouble in the class? Will he retreat into his mute, feral side, licking everything, clawing at things, rolling his eyes? Will he ever be able to listen and follow instruction? Will they notice his behavioural problems? Or will they just evaporate as his emotional intelligence kicks in?

I feel numb now. The excitement has worn off and I'm exhausted.

It suddenly makes sence to me, this being a mum and worrying about your wee ones.

I've been too busy mothering 3 little people until now to even think straight.

And I suddenly understand why my mum said she cried when she left me at the school gates 35 years ago today.

To my darling children, I'm so proud of you today.

May you fly and flourish. I love you.