No Party Like An Irish Party

In four days time, Ireland will vote on the marriage referendum. Rather than tell you how I feel about the referendum and why I am voting yes, the following guest post is written by a pretty, witty and gay  friend of mine on how she is feeling this week.

Via yesequality.ie

Via yesequality.ie

Like most people at this stage, I just want this referendum to be over. The majority want it to be over because they are suffocating from the overload of opinions and coverage that this marriage equality referendum is creating. I want it to be over because for me, personally, it’s been an emotional roller coaster.

On one hand, I feel so hopeful and excited that this small country that I love will be the first to let the people vote on marriage equality for same-sex couples. On the other hand, I have found the debate patronising and even humiliating to a point.

At times, it feels like I’m standing awkwardly beside a group of people who I’m very fond of and have never offended as they openly discuss the pros and cons of whether I should be invited to a party with them or not. Feeling that exposed can be uncomfortable and slightly wounding.  (Now to be fair, if this was a real life situation I probably could appreciate the cons of my attendance because many a time I have inadvertently run amok at a party but that’s beside the point)

A group is not deciding whether I am worthy enough to attend a party, my country is deciding whether I am worthy enough to enjoy the same equal rights as everyone else.

Despite the confusion and distraction that the Brigade of the “Down With This Sort of Thing” has showered us with, I am hopeful that everyone is informed enough to know that this referendum has nothing to do with surrogacy, adoption, religious marriage or parenting. Heterosexual couples may rest assured that they will not be forced to adopt random gay people and be compelled to engage in polite chit-chat over breakfast every morning for the rest of their lives. That would just be uncomfortable for all of us. This referendum is about one simple thing and that is whether two people in love in Ireland may enjoy the constitutional protection of marriage.

Like many gay people, I have struggled privately with the self-inflicted shame of my identity and have often lacked a sense of belonging because I was aware that I was slightly outside the circle of the “norm”. Unlike some, I’m blessed by the support of a very open-minded family.

Also, Irish society has evolved so quickly that I take great solace in believing that future generations of gay people in Ireland won’t suffer the same self-doubt and feeling of exclusion that was par for the course before.

I am a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend but most significantly I am Irish just like you. Amongst thousands and thousands of other Irish people I have to wait in anticipation until the weekend to find out if my country will extend the reassuring and accepting hand of equality to me. I just want this referendum to be over so I can sit back, breath, absorb and hopefully enjoy history in the making. So for the love of God please just invite me to the bloody party by answering with one simple word that niggling question I have; am I equal?

 

Via yesequality.ie

Via yesequality.ie

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The Time I Gave My Husband A Head Wound

I love a good story behind a scar. My husband has one on his forehead. The following story does not portray me in a good light but it wasn’t really my fault. 

We were at a wedding. Back in the days when we used to go to weddings all the time, now everyone is married and we don’t go to weddings so much anymore. This wedding was a good friend of my husbands and the wedding took place in the midlands which meant we were over nighting and it was the first time we had ever left Precious First Born (PFB) who was about four months old.

So we donned our  finery, drove for two hours and attended the lovely wedding mass and moved on to the lovely wedding reception. It was all indeed very lovely.

I had left pages of instructions with my mother on the care of PFB. Yes , pages. Cringe. My mother who had had four children of her own “but they weren’t my child“.

pile-of-paper

Instructions on how to care for MY baby.

Anyway after the seventh or eight phone call to my mother to check the status of PFB and once reassured she was fine and well , we settled down to the serious business of being a wedding guest, drinking. As first time parents we were obviously THE MOST TIRED ANYBODY HAS EVER BEEN EVER so the binge drinking could have gone either way. Instead of the fun let’s get drunk and dance laugh ,drunk, it went the other way, lets drink till we get even more exhausted, argumentative and possibly even aggressive type drunk, or I did.

At about midnight, when really an Irish wedding is only starting, I had reached my limit of exhausted drunkenness, my feet were sore, my body was tired and I decided I was leaving. The husband who wasn’t even the husband at this stage and really could have ended up never being the husband after this night, wasn’t ready to leave. Grand so, I decided, I would head off myself. The thing was though the hotel was literally in the middle of the nowhere and we weren’t staying in it. We were staying in a guesthouse a couple of kilometres away. There were no taxi’s, there were fields. This was not a problem to me and off I went.  The husband reluctantly followed me because he is a nice person and I assume didn’t want me marching off into darkness in the middle of nowhere alone.

The way home that I confidently knew where I was going.

The way home that I confidently knew where I was going.

So off I stomped insisting he should stay and I knew exactly where I was going. I kept marching on, aggressively mumbling insults at the husband. I don’t know why because I had made him leave the wedding but for whatever reason in my head, I was the injured party. My anger kept me going for about 15 minutes. Then I looked back, the lights from the hotel were a long way away and there were no other lights. Just pitch darkness.

At this point my memory is a bit sketchy. I am not sure what happened but one of us decided we knew a short cut back to the guest house despite never being in this area ever before in our entire lives and we would cut through a field. Then it all descended into mayhem. It was pitch dark. I don’t like the dark. I went from aggressive drunk to terrified drunk in my party dress, heels and a clutch bag in a field in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I imagine at this point I was wailing. We were still arguing. We stumbled on. Me crying and bitching. The husband bitching right back. Then the ground gave way and I fell into what I first thought was a river but was in fact a small stream. My foot got  stuck in mud. I was hysterically screaming. I couldn’t see the husband due to the pitch darkness. He then appeared beside me and I got such a fright I swung around and clocked  him with my clutch. In my defence, I was terrified and disoriented, I was not intentionally trying to hurt him. I didn’t know he was there.

He joined me in the screaming.

This was a low point.

I managed to get out of the river   stream. The husband thought he might be bleeding as his forehead felt wet. We couldn’t check due to the extreme darkness. We crawled on. I moved onto more silently weeping at this stage, the fight was gone from me. After what felt like an eternity, we saw car head lights in the distance coming over a hill.

headlight

Saved.

We found the road by watching the lights and fell out in front of the car. I don’t know why they stopped. I wouldn’t have. The head lights lit up the pitch darkness and I looked over at the husband. There was blood all over his face, covered in it. His tux was destroyed. I had given up on shoes after I had fallen into the river stream and my legs were covered in muck and swamp and grass.

The people in the car where guests from the wedding. Friends of the grooms parents. Very pleasant. Seemed unphased by two swamp creatures accosting their car in the middle of nowhere. The husband explained what had happened. They were extremely nice and in we hopped into their car looking like we had survived The Hunger Games. Destroying their car with dirt and blood and chaos. They were staying in the same guest house as us, of course they were.

The odds were thankfully in our favour.......

The odds were thankfully in our favour…….

We drove on.

“It was a really lovely wedding wasn’t it” we chatted away. “No he doesn’t need stitches” fake laughter,  “it’s just a little cut, accidents happen, ha- awkward ha” The husband looked like he had crawled from a war zone. Cuts to the head, bleed a lot. A small silver clutch bag on the side of the forehead, if it breaks the skin, will in fact cause a lot of blood.

We eventually got back to the guest house, said our goodbyes and apologies. We  saw the full horror of our appearance when we got to the sanctuary of room. The relief ebbed away, the argument resumed. The frosty silence remained the next morning. The hangovers were severe. We slipped away to avoid meeting our rescuers over breakfast.

Finally on the way home, the husband decided to forgive me. By the time we hit the border of Dublin we were laughing. He didn’t even run away when we got home and we got married a couple of months later. The cut, as it turned out, was tiny but the scar remains. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the bride and groom for lowering the tone of their lovely wedding and to my husband for the injury and resulting scar.

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My Week- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good 

Winning most entertaining blog at last weekends inaugural Irish Parenting Blog Awards. I was really surprised and delighted to win most entertaining blog. I now have a bit of the fear I will never be entertaining again. Obviously I was unable to give an entertaining acceptance speech and instead mumbled something about not being funny and a thank you. So now I am comfortable back behind a screen, thank you IPB for the award and to my family for allowing me to over share on a regular basis.

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It was a brilliant night. Funny, friendly, good food, great company, goodie bags, alcohol, everything you could want. Well done to everybody involved and all the other winners. Rock star’s the lot of you.

On Wednesday I had an appointment in town. The five-year old insisted on coming with me. She passed the time by counting the Yes and No posters for the upcoming marriage referendum as we drove through town. Loudly. Even at  five she is incredulous that there needs to be a referendum to allow people to marry whom ever they want.  Says it all really. She stopped her counting to give me all her opinions, I expect to see her on Primetime in the future. The highlight of her poster counting came when we stopped in traffic outside Pantibar. She is confident of a yes result.

yes

We stopped for a sneaky bag of chips in Beshoff’s ( best chips in Dublin)  on the way home and ate them straight from the paper on the double yellows with the hazards on, her first political analysis and her first time experiencing Beshoff chips on the one days, a good day.

The Bad

My house is a tip. Still. At no stage this wake did I wake up with  incredible housekeeping skills. I keep hoping will happen. Still dreaming big……….

Head lice has been raging through one of my children’s class for months now. I thought the Easter break had finally ended their relentless march. A note came home from school yesterday. They march on. Fuckers.

The Ugly

I have been watching, years after everyone else, The Good Wife on Netflix. Binge watching for the last month. Because I am watching it years after everyone else I was unaware of any spoilers ( of which there is one coming so if you plan on watching it don’t read on). So I innocently got into bed on Weds night, put on my headphones and lay down to enjoy the tiny bit of quiet time I get every day and Will was shot and is dead. Bereft. All the memories of Billy dying in Ally McBeal came flooding back and another fictional American lawyer bought it in a courtroom.

Goodbye Will. Ride. Just dying with no warning.

Goodbye Will. Just dying with no warning.

I cried ugly tears just as I did twenty years when Billy died. Sobbed. Like a loser. I woke up the next morning troubled which is pretty sad since again its a fictional character. I don’t see why he had to die. It was grim. It wasn’t even good crying. Good crying is Annie. When Daddy Warbucks joins in on The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, they are good cathartic tears. Will dying, ugly tears. I am not really over it and clearly detached from reality. Speaking of Annie, have you seen the new one?  I thought I would hate it, I loved it. I am going to watch it again this weekend and cry.

So yes, the good was better than the bad this week. I have been looking for an excuse to sign off on something, anything with award-winning, I was tempted to sign one of the homework copies with it this week but restrained myself . I can’t restrain myself anymore,

Kindest Regards,

From an award-winning blogger ( who is lice free by the way to any of the other bloggers who are now worried that may have hugged me or where sitting near me last week, lice free but obnoxious and award winning)

How was your week?

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8 Ways To Stop Snacking At Night Time

 

I eat at night-time. I wait till the kids go to bed then I eat the chocolate I won’t share with them during the day. It’s out of concern for their teeth. I do it only for love. Then they go to bed and it seems my only hobby now is eating crap when my children slumber. This needs to stop. I realise I could stop buying the crap but that doesn’t work.  So I have come up with this handy list for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

MASK

 

1. Apply masking tape over your mouth, making it difficult to eat.

2. Tie your hands behind your back. You need your hands to eat. You don’t want to be that person that eats directly from the plate like an animal. Your munchies are not that strong.

3. Tie your feet together, making it harder to get to the shop, kitchen, cookie jar.

* You are also set up now for introduction to S&M if you wanted to try that instead of eating*

4. Drink all the water instead. Use a straw if your hands are still tied from #2 above . This is a risky one because you then have to move off the couch to pee every twenty minutes and once your off the couch you are moving closer to the food. Pee and resume drinking the water.

5. Take up a hobby. Knit or something. Or start a blog and write lists about how not to eat all the food at night-time.

6. Get nuts and grains, the stuff skinny people snack on of an evening and make art from them.

EAT

7. If your significant other is the type who likes to snack at nighttime but also has some sort of weird speedy metabolism which ensures they don’t gain weight, shout at them. Call them a feeder, tell them this night-time snacking is all their fault. Bonus no eating points, if the fight gets so bad you have to storm off to bed to sulk. Most bedrooms are a decent distance from the kitchen where the food lives.

8. Go online and look at all the things you will buy with the money you have saved from not buying crap and think about how happy you will be with your wealth and skinniness. Envisage your wealthy slimmer self instead of eating a full packet of Haribo. Haribo. I love jellies.

 

That’s all I have. Am starved. Starved.

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On Guilt

I am not at my finest at the minute. I feel like I doing everything at best, averagely. It is probably just because of the cumulative effect of a year of broken sleep.

This morning was a spectacular fail,an exercise in bad parenting. It was just one of those one bad ones. Toothpaste smeared all over clean uniforms, shoes lost again, complaints about breakfasts, hair with tangles, one child crying over the lost shoes and a refusal to wear the alternative shoes. Another child accessorizing like she was going to Glastonbury instead of school and then another one seeing her opportunity because she hadn’t lost her shoes and was ready on time,repeating constantly “I am your best child, right?”  over and over and over.

I snapped. I was harsher than was called for. Much harsher if I am completely honest. I tried to apologise in the car. We made up but it was still there. The atmosphere. Nobody was happy and that was all my fault. I hate that.

Realistically they are in school now not giving me a second thought, the practical part of my brain knows that. Another part of me wants to drive up to school and take them out for the day but they would be horrified. They love school,in fact, if I tried to that, they would probably refuse. That would be awkward. So I will sit here instead avoiding doing things I am meant to be doing.

I am writing this down in the hope that next time toothpaste is smeared all over a uniform or another shoe or bag goes missing at 8.15am that I realise it is not the end of the world and giving out about it isn’t going to help.  First thing in the morning when we are running late is never going to be a good time to listen to random facts about sharks but there are better ways to explain that than how I did this morning.

I am not trying to be a perfect mother,I just don’t want to be a shit one. I celebrate averageness.  My current life goal is being able to open the hotpress without all the towels falling out, I am not looking for greatness or reaching for the stars here. I will mark it down as a bad day. They happen. Be grand.

 

 

* I just looked down to see what was keeping the baby so quiet while I wrote this and she was chewing on a used coffee capsule. Winning at all levels of parenting today.*

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It’s Tricky

dance

Dance like nobody is watching. Isn’t that the saying? Of a morning sometimes, I dance with the baby or to the baby. She sits in her highchair and I dance. I do this secure in the knowledge she hasn’t got the vocabulary to repeat what she has seen.

She enjoys some classic hip hop in the morning time. We listen to Spotify playlists. She is partial to some Dr Dre, Jayz,  etc…. I feel like I have done my time with nursery rhymes which is possibly a bit harsh on fourth child but you know I feel Spotify is helping her establish some good dance moves a lot more successfully than Cbeebies ever did for my older children.

Anyway last week, I was making my usual half-hearted attempt at cleaning up, she was throwing blueberries on the floor, the music was on. Run D.M.C. –Its Tricky was playing. She started dancing. So did I, I was rapping too obviously because it’s pretty hard to listen to Run D.M.C without joining in. I was using the brush as a mic. All was good. To paint the full picture – my hair was unbrushed, I was swinging a sweeping brush, I was wearing a dressing gown over a rather fetching was once black vest and large knickers and yes rapping

It’s Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time
It’s Tricky…(How is it D?) It’s Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Trrrrrricky)

I was  singing and rapping the two parts showing remarkable skill. The baby was enjoying it and then I noticed her looking past me. There was a courier just standing, in horror, at the window holding a box. We have no doorbell. The music or possibly my eh rapping was too loud to hear his knocks. HORROR. He was about three feet from me. There was no way he had missed my performance.

run dmc

I considered dropping to the floor and pretending to be dead but the baby had starting waving to him at this stage. I went out. The music changed to Get Your Freak On. Of course it did. There is no way back from such a situation. I opened the door. He asked me my name. Because he was a courier and needed to record the name of whoever took delivery of the parcel. In my flustered state I didn’t immediately realise this and just stood opening and closing my mouth. I considered saying Missy Elliot then remembered not everyone enjoys my sense of humour and really there was no recovery options here. I remembered my name, told him it, took the box. It was heavier than I anticipated. I went to put it down, felt a gush of air where I shouldn’t, looked down and realised my vigorous dancing had clearly dislodged my ginormous left boob from my horrible old vest and it was precariously just staying within its confines. I was screaming in my head at this stage “just fucking go“. I possibly said it out loud. He left. I looked up. He practically ran down the driveway,he leapt into his van and sped away.

If you are going to dance like nobody is watching make sure nobody is in fact watching. Close the curtains. Word from the wise. ( I rapped that last bit.)

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SEAT Alhambra- The Kids Review and Vlog

A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to review the SEAT Alhambra. You can read my initial thoughts on the car here. A couple of weeks in and my love affair with the car continues not just for me but for the kids too. So I give you their review, if nothing else, kids are always honest. These are their favourite things about the SEAT Alhambra.

Jack our Giraffe fits comfortably, this is always important when choosing a car. The toys need to fit.

Jack seatbelted and secure in the passenger seat. Turned away from the window so as not to cause road traffic accidents from nosey other road users.

Jack seatbelted and secure in the passenger seat. Turned away from the window so as not to cause road traffic accidents from nosey other road users.

In his full glory taken advantage of the sunroof. He can stand comfortably behind the front seats and not distract the driver. Always important when driving with a life size baby giraffe in the car.

In his full glory taking advantage of the sunroof. He can stand comfortably behind the front seats and not distract the driver. Always important when driving with a life-size baby giraffe in the car.

All three actually mentioned their love of the panoramic sunroof.

 

Look at that blue sky.  Its like driving a convertible without the damage to your hair.

Look at that blue sky.
It’s like driving a convertible without the damage to your hair.

The Sliding Doors

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The integrated booster seats.

No car seats taking up space and the joy of the integrated booster is that its always fitted correctly.

No car seats taking up space and the joy of the integrated booster is that its always fitted correctly.

The tables are also a huge hit.

The seat table has brought a ridiculous amount of joy. It is indeed "just like a table on a plane" a much used statement this month.

The seat table has brought a ridiculous amount of joy. It is indeed “just like a table on a plane” a much used statement this month.

 

They enjoy my “magic trick” of being able to tell who has their seat belt fastened first. This image comes up on the dashboard showing which seats are bucked. They hurry to be the first one buckled in and this also has the added advantage of alerting me if someone opens a seat belt which one of my children is prone to doing.

seatbelt

See the seat map under the temperature. This shows which seat belts are engaged.

 

 

For more detail I will hand you over to the one take five-year old for her full review. Watch out Jeremy Clarkson, there’s a new car reviewer waiting in the wings:

 

 

 

For more information on the SEAT Alhambra check out SEAT.ie  for prices and performance information and where you can organise a test drive in Ireland.

 

SEAT_Logo_RGB_HighRes

 

Disclaimer : SEAT Ireland offered me the use of a SEAT Alhambra for one month for review purposes. All opinions, as always, are my own and the five-year old’s opinions are her own! 

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