Swimwear Hell

Swimwear, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I am just not a fan and have had hideous experiences with swimwear in recent years.  I thought I was safe enough this Summer as with no plans to holiday abroad, I wrongly assumed I could avoid swimwear.

Last week we went on a mini break to a hotel in Ireland. I didn’t pack swimwear because I didn’t have any that fits ,the baby is too small for a swimming pool and I just assumed the husband would take the other children to the pool and I had short-term immunity from swimwear hell. So day one, all fine, the kids had a brilliant time swimming. I watched on from the side, comfortably fully dressed. All was going to plan. Then day two came around. “Mammy, please can you bring us swimming” said the boy  and the other two chimed in, in agreement. As much as I detest swimwear, especially since I gave birth in May and pretty much haven’t stopped eating since, they were really adamant they wanted to go swimming with me, I couldn’t say no.

Fortunately I was staying in the shopping capital of Ireland. Westmeath. Land of many many salubrious swimwear boutiques. No that’s a lie. There were no swimwear boutiques. There was a Dunnes Stores with a really limited end of season swimwear selection. I had two choices. One a Hawaiian style number, so bright you would need to be wearing sunglasses to look at it and you would be visible from miles away when wearing that was €25 or the swimsuit equivalent of mom jeans. Plain black, unassuming, that cost €10. The problem was the Hawaiian style one was a size 16 which would have offered me some modesty and been comfortable on if hideous to look at and the black unassuming one was a size 12. Because I am fucking deluded and also cheap, I bought the black one.

The innocent looking EVIL swimsuit

The innocent looking EVIL swimsuit

I have big boobs at the best of times. I am currently breastfeeding  so I currently have GINORMOUS boobs. Even if I was at my recommended weight and not breastfeeding, there is isn’t a hope of a size 12 fitting over my knockers, I don’t know what I was thinking. The Hawaiian one was really bloody hideous though.

So back to the hotel. I went into the bathroom to put on my new plain swimsuit. It fit fine as I put it on. Wasn’t too snug on my arse (the bottom half of me is half the size of the top half of me) all going well, then I pulled it up. I thought swimwear would be stretchy. Well I tested that assumption. I got my arms in, struggled and got it up and over my boobs. Immediately I felt my chest constricting but fuck it, I had got it on. It was fine. Then I turned around and looked in the mirror and all I saw was my boobs. The swimsuit had miraculously made them appear even bigger than they were. There was side boob, there was top boob, there was everything bar nipples. The swimsuit managed to cover them, just. I couldn’t leave the bathroom like this never mind go to a swimming pool where there would be innocent members of the public there. I shouted out to the kids that I was really sorry but I couldn’t go swimming with them. They gave out. They were disappointed. The four-year old even started to cry. So I was going to have to go swimming after all. I put my clothes back on over the swimsuit from hell refusing to even show the husband the state of this swimsuit and off we went to the pool.

We got to the changing room, the kids got ready, I put on swim hats and arm bands. I used every delay tactic I could come up and then I ran out of excuses and took my clothes off. I was having some trouble breathing regularly at this stage as the swimsuit from hell so was tight.

I was reminiscent of Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch days.

via banaroma.com

If Pam was carrying an extra three or four stone, hadn’t had her roots done in five months, had skin that was almost translucent in its paleness and was shuffling  beside a pool in Mullingar instead of running along a beach in Malibu.

The pool was freezing. I got in as quick as possible, the cold held no fear for me, I just wanted to be hidden. So we swam, we had fun, the boy almost drowned as he didn’t realise that if you stop swimming to give a thumbs up in pride at your own swimming you will sink. All was fine and I tried to ignore the now crippling pains I was feeling in my boobs to add to the pain of my chest constriction and just kept muttering “please don’t let me pass out, please don’t let me pass out” . The pool was thankfully quiet enough but I reckoned if I kept my arms pressed to my side I could cover a lot of the side boob action. I looked around the husband was sitting outside with the baby. I couldn’t hear him but I knew he was sniggering at my discomfort. The prick. We got out. Do you know hard it is to get out of a pool without using your arms with three children? Very hard, is the answer.  I  Shuffled back to the changing room and I peeled the swimsuit from hell off me. THE RELIEF. I could breathe again. I had a new-found respect and appreciation for non restrictive clothing.

Unfortunately the pain didn’t stop and I had severe cramps in my boobs for about 8 hours after that actually required paracetamol.  The fucking swimsuit  gave me another boob injury ( not my first one sadly – see here )Thankfully I don’t seem to have any lasting boob pain side affects and the kids were happy enough to go swimming without me for the rest of our stay. Thank Christ as I would have had to go skinny dipping and I don’t that’s allowed in hotels. I have plans to burn the swimsuit because knowing my stupidity and continued delusion, this memory will fade and I will  probably attempt to wear it again.

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Gaza, The Troubles and Plane Crashes- Should Children Even Watch The News?

Do your children watch the news? Mine do, sporadically, if it is on and something catches their attention they will sit and watch or they occasionally will listen to the news when in the car. I am trying to get the balance right particularly with the six and eight year old. Half of me wants to just wrap them in blankets and tell them only about the nice things in the world, it’s not very realistic though is it? So we drip feed things to them I suppose, let them watch the news when they have an interest and try to answer their questions , reassure them and try to get the balance right. I don’t think I give them credit of how much they do take in and often they will surprise me my talking about current events happening around the world.

 

Like most weeks, there is so much tragedy nationally and internationally this week. Drowning, road deaths, planes falling out of the sky, Gaza. I will admit to an irrational crippling fear of flying and I have overdosed on news of the recent air disasters so naturally the children are aware of them. I would hate if they got my fear of flying, they have nothing to gain from watching media coverage of plane crashes. I have told them how it is the safest form of travelling and how road deaths are by far more common. Then I started to worry would they start to get worried about being passengers in cars but yet wanting them to always remain cautious when crossing roads. It’s a complete mindfuck, finding the balance.

The boy seems in particular to have a lot of questions about bombs and about war. He recently asked had there been in wars in Ireland. So we tried to explain about Northern Ireland. It is hard to do, can you give your children basic brief overviews without clouding them with personal opinion?  We taught them the words of Come Out Ye Black and Tans and got them a tiocfaidh ar la  tattoo………. No. Not really .Yes there was talk of British oppression but the atrocities carried out by the IRA were explained too and the work of all parties to achieve the peace process.  The kids eyes glazed over at this point I’m sure. I don’t want them to have the traditional anti-british stance that was so typical of Irish culture in the past but of course I want to them understand, appreciate and enjoy learning about the history of their nation and manage to form their own understanding and opinions.

I came downstairs this morning and found the boy  watching coverage of Gaza, this morning. There were questions. I was stuck between changing the channel and putting on cartoons to distract him or try to explain. I had seen this video online, it is a brief and easy to understand overview of Israel and Palestine, so I played it for him. If anybody else has children asking questions about what is going on, I would recommend it.

Via michaelxspeaks on Youtube

We watched it, he grasped some of it. He asked questions and I tried to answer them. We talked about protesting and why it is important.

Should I have changed the subject to dinosaurs or sharks straight away? I don’t know. How much information is too much information?They do have to know the world isn’t all good all of the time don’t they? I do think I would prefer, most of the time, to just talk about rainbows and dinosaurs and loom bands but I will try to answer the questions as they come and continue on our search to find unicorns too and keep on trucking blindly through parenting. It doesn’t get easier does it? I think I preferred toilet training and tantrums.

we were sucvessful in our unicorn search this week.......win

We were successful in our unicorn search this week…….

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An Open Letter To Persil About My Eyeball Injury

Dear Persil,

I am writing to you about your non bio small and mighty washing detergent. See Exhibit A below.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Firstly, let me tell you a bit about myself. I am an Irish mother of four living in Dublin. I spend an awful lot of money on washing detergent because my children love dirt and I spend a significant proportion of my time washing clothes. I will admit to being fickle in my washing powder choices and will mostly purchase whatever is on offer but nonetheless I am a loyal enough Persil consumer over the years.

Dublin is currently in the middle of a heatwave. It is pretty disgustingly hot, truth be told, but the one advantage is that there is great drying out. Ireland in the sun means there are thousands of Irish people stipping beds, curtains, seat covers and washing them right now to get the full benefit of the great drying.  I digress……..

Let me tell me about my morning, Persil. My youngest daughter is two months old. She was due to get her first vaccinations earlier this month. Our GP runs a ridiculously busy  surgery so you can imagine my delight, when I phoned this morning to be told, that there was nobody there this morning and if I came down quickly, the doctor could administer the vaccinations then and there with no wait time. This is such a rare occurance and so much better than having to sit around waiting in a doctors waiting room with four children in the oppressive heat. I was delighted, then my luck changed.

I decided I would put a wash on before we ran out the door and took out my recently purchased bottle of Persil Small and Mighty whilst telling the kids to get their shoes on and hurry up. As you well know there is a top on the bottle which you need to remove before using. Please see exhibit B below.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Its a tricky little bugger and requires some force to get out but out it came and with it came a small dollop of the detergent. This dollop, which I can confirm , is indeed very small and very mighty, shot out of the bottle at great speed into my eyeball.  MY EYEBALL.

I cannot begin to explain the shocking excruciating pain. It was like a thousand burning forks being stabbed into my eyeball. Persil, I am not bad with pain. I recently gave birth at home with no medical assistance or pain relief. The pain of your small and mighty detergent shooting into my eye was more horrendous. I screamed. I wailed. I considered trying to remove my eye myself to make the pain stop. My eldest daughter got me some tissue and my boy offered to get me a plaster. Thankfully they were more amused than scared by my blood curdling screams. I am pretty lax about swearing around the kids but never use proper really foul language. Until today. Today they may have learned the c word.   I wanted to curl up into a ball and scream continously but the doctor was waiting…….

So I loaded my children into the car and off we went. It is only a short drive to our GP. Persil, have you ever noticed when your are concentrating on one sense, your other senses are compromised? For example if I am trying to read a road sign, I need to lower down the car radio. In this instance because I was concentrating so much on trying to see properly , my sense of smell failed me. I got to the doctor, my injured eye was now bright red, bloodshot and throbbing with pain and it was only when I took the baby out of her carseat did I notice she had  had a rather explosive poo. You know the type that soaks through a nappy and  clothes. The doctor took one look at me- Bedraggled, red eyed, surrounded by children, weary. Weary and it was only 9.45am. I had to change the baby on the doctors examination table. I then had to strip the table and the baby because they were destroyed. I too was covered in poo at this point but I didn’t have the option to strip, athough had I, it may have distracted from my hideous looking eye.

The baby then got her vaccinations. Did I mention she is my fourth baby? It doesn’t get any easier watching a needle being plunged into your tiny baby’s soft little thigh and the accompanying look of horror on her face when the pain hits her. She wailed. I cried. Then because of her wailing, my boobs started to leak, badly. The severe eye injury had distracted me and I had forgotten to put on breast bads. So baby screaming, other three children watching, me red eyed, still in pain, covered in poo and breast milk. You still with me? Good.

The doctor asked what was wrong with our eyes……. I looked around confused. My four year old daughter were wearing 3D glasses with the lens removed. I hadn’t noticed. I explained there was nothing wrong . He asked when she had gotten glasses. He asked what had happened my eye. I tried to explain what they where  but it was all too much at this stage and I didn’t want him to touch my eye or explain about my four year old’s fashion statements. I don’t like anything or anybody touching my eyes,Persil. We got up to go. I was broken at this stage. The pain was getting worse.I considered giving in, telling the doctor what happened and getting a referral for the eye hospital and then like magic, the tiny drop of detergent, rolled out of my eye. Very small and very mighty. The pain eased. We came home. The 4 year old got out her doctors set and used the fake otoscope to check my “very sore fooking eye”. She has repeatedly banged this against my eye over the last hour.

Mini Hipster Eye Doctor

Mini Hipster Eye Doctor

Persil, it hasn’t been a very good morning. To be fair there is a warning on the bottle to say keep out of eyes. I did keep it away from eyes. It was a good two feet from my eyes, when it shot out and attacked my eyeball. Perhaps you would consider adding a warning or maybe a line under the kind to skin on the packinging. How about “kind next to skin, fucking horrible to eyeballs?”

Kind to skin, very unkind to eyeballs

Kind to skin, very unkind to eyeballs

Best regards,

From a broken person who thankfully still ,just about, has two functioning eyes.

 

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More Shitty Parenting……

 

S is for Shameful Parenting

S is for Shitty Parenting

 

My parenting skills have slipped to an all time low. Its a combination of the summer holidays, readjusting to life with four children and general pure laziness……but we are living in anarchy at the minute.

 

I walked into the sitting room and they were stuck into Toddler’s and Tiara’s ( a really ridiculous programme about kids beauty pageants) . There was a 7-year-old on screen in full evening wear and make up crying. “Why is she crying?” I asked. “Her spray tan isn’t even” my 8-year-old replied. I questioned should they be watching this and told them I didn’t think it was appropriate. Their reply “but we watch it every morning when you and the baby are still in bed”. Right so. I sat down and watched it with them. It’s ridiculous but weirdly it sucks you in.

My kids new role models via tlc.com

My kids new role models
via tlc.com

There is a large green area outside our house. I allow the kids to go out as I can see them from the window. I was feeding the baby when they told me they were going out the other day. I let them at it. Five minutes later, I looked out and there was the four year old strutting around the green in her dressing gown and these fake glittery ugg boots. I  had foolishly assumed she was dressed.

 

The boy got his hair cut the other day. It’s lovely. Then I noticed a huge brown mark on his neck. My first thought was how I had not noticed he had such a big birth mark before then I realised ,no,it was just dirt. A big dirty mark all over his neck. I do wash him, obviously not properly anymore.

I was getting ready to go to bed one night last week. I assumed the children were asleep because it was 10.45pm. They weren’t, they were in the playroom,the only reason I went in there was to check on the dog.  I came close to going to bed without realising they were still up. I would like to think the husband may have noticed but I am not 100% confident.

I forgot to make lunch one day this week and breakfast a couple of weeks ago. I only realised about the lunch when the husband came home and I heard the kids telling him how hungry they were. In my defense, they snack all day and they hadn’t mentioned they were hungry or mentioned the lack of lunch until this point. This point was at 6pm.

Right now, the four year old has paint all over her stomach. The six year old still has the dirt on his neck and the 8 year old is dressed like someone who watches too much Toddlers and Tiara’s. All three of them have used the word asshole in the correct context at least once today. Asshole is a word I overuse. There is nobody to blame but myself.

I’m not proud by just how much my parenting skills have degenerated in the last couple of weeks. It needs to stop now. Any day now.

Please someone tell me your parenting skills slip in the school holidays? Please?

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The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

Dublin.July 17th. Temperature: 1000c

Ok slight exaggeration but this week is warm. Sticky warm. Cloudy then sunny but consistent sticky heat. In typical Irish fashion, I am moaning. The kids are moaning, everyone is moaning. The 8 year old sat down beside me and burst into tears. I asked her what was wrong. She was too warm so she cried. I almost joined in.

Also how do people in hot countries keep their babies out of the sun without resorting to Mission Impossible style movements. I had to walk sideways with the buggy in the park yesterday, sideways most of the time, then straight, then sideways again to avoid the rays. I looked like I was hammered. I am sure people were thinking oh look at the woman she has clearly hit the bottle because she can’t handle all her children. I was swigging a bottle of water, they probably thought it was vodka as I stumbled along sideways.

The baby has gotten new super magical powers with the heat. She doesn’t need to sleep. She has just given up on it. Here she is at midnight last night. I didn’t photograph 1am, 2.45am, 4am, 4.53am……….

team no sleep

Apparently the rain is coming back tomorrow but its to stay warm. That will be even better. Excessive heat and rain. Yay.

 

Now look what I’ve done, put that song back in your head. Sorry about that.

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Hotels of Ireland. A Rant.

Things that are difficult to do with four children. Part two –  Book a Hotel In Ireland.

no-vacancy-sign

Today I spent many hours trying to book a hotel room.

Things it would be easier to do than book a hotel in Ireland for 2 adults and 4 children:

  • teach myself to speak fluent Japanese.
  • find a pot a gold at the end of a rainbow guarded by a cheerful leprechaun.
  • convince a country and western singer to play 5 concerts in Ireland.
  • make a hotel out of loom bands.
  • toilet train my 9 week old.
  • find my very own unicorn to live in my garden.
  • create the solution for world peace.

Unicorn

Do hotels not realize there are many families who have more than two children? Booking websites let me down by continuously suggesting interconnecting rooms. Interconnecting rooms are two rooms. I don’t want two rooms. My children are too small to sleep in a hotel room alone and I don’t want to pay for two hotel rooms. Call me cheap but I don’t want to spend 1000 euro on a three night break where it will most likely piss rain and I don’t want a self catering mini break, my whole life is self catering.

I took to phoning hotels, “4 children…………..IN ONE ROOM” the well spoken reservations agents exclaimed “Goodness no”.  On my last phone call, out of desperation, I  told the hotel my children were so small they would all fit in one single bed , which was a blatant lie but I was desperate.  I was painting a full on Darby O’Gill and the Little People scenario,my little fairy miniscule children. I think I even used the word wee to describe them. Wee little miniature children “Shure they practically fit in my pocket” I  told her in my new  Oirish fake accent that I had adopted . I don’t know why. Desperation, frustration, who knows. It worked or it might work. She felt sorry for me and told me to give her name if we run into problems on arrival. Hurray for persistence and fake accents and maternity leave which allowed me spend five hours trying to book a hotel room. A hotel room, in the middle of nowhere,in an area I had no desire to visit. Win.

darby o gill

 

 

 

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Adventures in Dog Ownership

It was the dogs arrival date birthday this week. We have him a year. I wrote before about the things I didn’t know about a having a dog, it all still applies. I still feel the weight of responsibility of being a dog owner, bizarrely I find it more of a responsibility than being a parent of four.

In the last year he has:

  • eaten 4 pairs of my boots, 6 pairs of my shoes, 4 of my bras, several pairs of knickers ( he takes them from the clothes horse, only mine) several kids shoes, many many toys and teddy bears and loads more things that I can’t even remember or I have blocked out.
  • cost us a substantial amount of money  – food, vaccinations, insurance,treats, leads, collars, vet visits.
  • had to be walked daily, even in the rain, even when heavily pregnant when the husband was away.
  • scared the living crap out of me- the night we forgot to lock his crate and we woke in the dark at 3am to hear something bounding up the stairs and then jumping onto our bed on top of us. It took a good 45 seconds to realise what was happening.
The dog and the small girl

The dog and the small girl

Had I known baby number 4 was going to enter our lives realistically we probably wouldn’t have gotten him. That’s being honest. But he was here first. The husband loves him, the kids worship him, he is the small girls best friend. They can often be found cuddled up together on the ground. He snuck into my affections more slowly. The husband travels a bit for work and over the winter and spring he was away a fair bit. At night time when the kids finally went asleep, the dog would come and sit with me. Who knew a dog would be good company? I even let him sit on my lap some evenings. He is ridicously big, but ,he is  comfortable, if heavy and weirdly he knows if something is bothering me or if I am upset and he stays close to me.

festive collar

Rocking his festive collar. He eat that too.

He wrecks my head too though. He continues to shed a lot. I have resigned myself to the fact that we and the house will always  be covered in  dog hair. He is a shit guard dog too. We were getting some things done in the house a couple of months ago. I took annual leave because I was worried about how the dog would react to the strange men in the house. His only problem was working out which one of the strange men he was going to lick first.

Then there is  the eating all the things that he shouldn’t; it is really getting tiresome now. I had a doll for over 30 years. Her head is lying out the back garden, he is currently using it as some sort of weird fetish teething aid.  He has perfected his I am so guilty and I am SO SORRY look though so he gets away with it.

That would be my bra. My worn once bra after the dog got it.

That would be my bra. My worn once bra.

He pulled a muscle a couple of months ago. That cost big bucks. If the husband or I pulled a muscle, we would take some drugs and get on with it. You can’t do that with a dog though. Dog drugs cost serious money.

Then there was the whole getting his balls hacked off drama. Living with a dog with a cone of shame is no fun and is quite frankly,  dangerous. We all had injuries from the cone. It was when he came home from the vets that day that I realized I did love the fucker. The husband carried him out of the car and put him on the ground. He was all drugged and woozy and looked so sore. The guilt.  It was only when I was lying on the floor with him, his head on my heavily pregnant lap, that I realised I did love him. He is one of us, part of the family. He’s a good boy ,well, most of the time.

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