The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Weeks 27 & 28

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Weeks 27 & 28

by Emma Hargan
article from Wednesday 2, January, 2019

WHAT A FANTASTIC fortnight it has been. The build-up, the excitement and all the hard work had definitely paid off. Lily’s first Christmas was one to remember. Before having the kids, I honestly thought Christmas couldn’t get any better than when I was a kid. Now I know, it’s even better when you watch the reaction and excitement on your own kids faces. It’s what it’s all about.

The weekend before Christmas and, dare I say – everything was going to plan. I had all the presents for family and friends good to go, the last parcel posted and all the Christmas cards done and dusted. My Mum and Dad had come up with an ingenious present for James and I this year – food. Not just any food, a Marks and Spencer’s Christmas food order! They obviously had to tell me about it as we would have to collect it on the 23rd. It included everything we needed for Christmas day, along with a few extra spoils, like a Christmas cake – all for James. Or so he thought! What a present.

The last weekend before Christmas and the shops were mobbed. On Sunday morning we decided we’d get up to the shops early and collect the food order and scoot around the supermarket for the rest of the supplies. The kids behaved brilliantly. Jamie was happy holding my hand and walking around the shops while Lily slept in the pushchair. 

After an hour and a half of wading through the supermarket aisles, Jamie was getting tired and fed up. I suggested that James take the kids back to the car and I nip to Marks and Spencer’s myself to collect the food. As soon as I walked into the shop, a lady asked if I was here to pick up an order. She asked the name it was under and said it would be with me in five minutes. Brilliant, I had time to have a nose around the shop first. After five minutes I was ready for running out of the front door! It was total madness, people pushing and barging into one another. On closer inspection, it was mostly men – panicking as, by the look of things, they’d left their shopping to the last minute. The next thing I heard my name being called. I mowed my way through the crowd to the till, where the girl was bagging everything up for me.

Four carrier bags later and she said to me, “Are you having a big crowd for Christmas?”

“Err, yeah”, I replied, “A big enough crowd.”

I was trying to keep a straight face. I couldn’t possibly say it was just me, James and Jamie (Lily not being on solids or Turkey yet!) She’d be thinking we were a family of gannets! I put all the bags into a trolley and headed out of the door. 

“Jesus Christ!” James says (very Christmassy – Eh!), “What did you buy?”

“I didn’t buy anything, this is the order!” I replied.

“Aw, seriously? There will be enough to do us until the end of January. Nice!”

Jamie and Lily were both out for the count in the car so we loaded everything in and headed for home. It was a nice feeling to have everything done and we wouldn’t have to see another shop again until after Christmas. 

Twas Christmas Eve. Jamie knew there was something going on but he wasn’t sure. He was running about the house all excited and everyone kept asking him during the day if Santa was visiting him tonight. I couldn’t wait to get the kids to bed early enough so James and I could get the toys built up and the last few bits wrapped and the stockings hung on the mantlepiece. 

“Do you fancy a drink?” James asked.

“No, and you’re not having anything until the toys are built up and everything’s ready”, I said.

“Oh now, come on, it’s Christmas Eve and the kids are sleeping. I’ll just have one whiskey and then I’ll get everything sorted.”

Four whiskeys later…

“Right, let’s get started here.”

An hour later, and he was still trying to put together Lily’s jumperoo bouncer and the stickers on Jamie’s new toy kitchen which looked like Stevie Wonder had built it.

“Ouch! Aw for fecks sake!” shouts James.

“Nice to see you’re in the Christmas spirit or more like drinking it, ha!”

All done and the sitting room looked class. That was even before Santa had made his visit! I couldn’t wait to see Jamie’s face in the morning. I put the telly on and fixed us both a drink. The Father Ted Christmas Special – result!

Christmas morning – 6.30am. I must have been the only person on earth waiting for my kids to get up. 7.00am – Jamie stirred. I jumped out of bed and quickly put the light on in Jamie’s room before he had a chance to fall asleep again. He was all excited because I was excited. I lifted Lily out of her cot and got James to go downstairs and video Jamie walking into the lounge. Jamie launched himself into the room and stood with his mouth gaping at all the presents. He went straight for Lily’s jumperoo

James called him over and then he saw his presents with his kitchen – and that’s pretty much where he stayed for the rest of the day. Lily was ruined but was quite happy sitting in her bouncer seat scrunching the Christmas paper. All those beautiful toys and all she wanted to do was play with the wrapping!

We had a lazy morning sitting in pj’s, eating selection boxes, playing with all the new toys and skyping family. It was lovely. I got the food prepped and ready for us to have the dinner mid-afternoon so we could space the courses out a bit. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into all the gorgeous food.

3pm – Food coma. “I’m never eating again.” I said.

I looked over at Jamie who had successfully managed to scoff paté and oatcakes to start, then a full turkey dinner (with the veggies stuffed down the back of his chair), then a chocolate and salted caramel snowman – and was now licking the bowl.

James looked over at me and says, “He totally takes after you.”

Bloody charming. 

After the food had settled a bit and I was able to walk again, I let Jamie out of his chair where he went running over to James. James had cut himself a wedge of Christmas cake and was about to devour it when Jamie was reaching up.

“He can’t possibly still be hungry”, says James.

I replied, “Just give him a wee bit, once he tastes it, he’ll leave you alone.”

Or so I thought! Jamie took the piece of cake and rammed it into his mouth like it was his first bite all day. We sat with bated breath waiting on him to spit it out, but no. He gobbled it up and started whinging for more! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. What toddler likes Christmas cake?? He won’t even eat chicken or potatoes half the time. 

Well, that plan backfired. I’ve never seen Jamie love something so much. James had to hide the cake in the fridge as he was standing looking up at the counter whinging for more. The cake started to work as an advantage for us. Every time Jamie was misbehaving or about to have a meltdown, we told him no more cake. This seemed to work a treat. That was, until the cake ran out.

New Years Eve. A quick trip to Marks to get something nice for our last dinner of 2018. Also, to see if they had any Christmas cakes left! We scoured the aisles and got our dinner but no sign of any cakes, just mountains of mince pies. We got to the till and started loading everything on when James spotted a Christmas cake sitting at the end of an aisle. Thank God! I know it’s bad to bribe one’s son with a brandy-infused cake but sure, if needs must during the odd meltdown. 

Back home and showered, tan done. Hair up, make-up done, dress and heels laid out for partying. Err, maybe not!

Reality with two babies. Sitting on the sofa in pyjamas, nursing a large glass of red, hoping to keep my eyes open until midnight. Kids both sleeping. You know what? It was one of the best New Years I’ve ever had. I’ve done the partying, the boozing, the pushing, the shoving the trying to get a taxi home at 3am. In fact, spending New Year’s Eve with two babies is a lot like a night out with your mates. You all start the night off in good form but by 10pm someone is crying. You spend the next hour chatting shit while getting them to calm down. You get woken up in the back of the taxi because someone is starving and needs a drive-through McDonalds. And last but no means least, you eventually get home to the smell of barf on your shoulder after one of your mates missed the taxi window.

And while all that was great fun, it doesn’t have a patch on spending an evening with my three favourite people. 

I hope you all have had a fantastic Christmas and have a very happy and healthy new year!

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