The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 3

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 3

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 20, August, 2019

THIS WEEK has been poop! No, I don’t mean we’ve had a tough week. Well, actually I do, but I mean this week has literally been about poop! This next phase I had never heard of before, let alone experienced it, but after extensive Dr Googling and other research, it is a known phase. Apparently more common in boys than girls but girls can go through this as well, although I’m hoping this particular phase, starts and ends with Jamie. Because it’s shit. Literally.

After last week’s saga, thankfully we had no visits from Social Services so we thought we were off to a good start. Ha!

Monday and Tuesday are always quiet days for us. Jamie has no creche and we usually spend a couple of days around the house, or playing in the garden, or going for walks. The weather was lovely so I got the toys out to the garden, put Lily upstairs for her nap and Jamie and I headed outside for some playtime. Jamie immediately ran over to his chute and spent the first 20 minutes up and down.

In between clapping and cheering at Jamie throwing himself down the slide backwards, I managed to get some washing hung out on the line. I didn’t quite notice at first but every time I hung a piece of clothing up I was having to swat a pesky insect away. There seemed to be loads! I got the last piece up on the line when Jamie shouted, ‘Watch me Mummy!’ while launching himself down the chute squealing with laughter and loving it. That’s when I realised. Jamie and Lily have a wee playhouse in the garden. I looked at the roof and it was moving! It was 10am on a Monday morning so I can honestly say there was no red wine involved.

When I moved closer I realised the roof was moving with wasps! There were hundreds of them and they were crawling all over the top of each other and they were mad. Now I’m not one of these people that is as cool as a cucumber and don’t move when a wasp flies right next to them or casually pats it away. No, I’m one of those people that look like they are having some kind of fit, frantically running around in circles screaming, ‘GO AWAY!’ like the wasp will take fright and actually buzz off. How I’ve never been stung in my life so far is a bit of a miracle. When I actually looked around the garden, they were everywhere. I couldn’t leave Jamie out here to play as he would surely get stung, so I had to accept the inevitable meltdown and take Jamie back into the house. And sure enough, a meltdown began.

As the day wore on, I actually had to keep the windows in the house closed as I finding wasps everywhere. At one point, I think I killed six in Jamie’s room alone. I was so worried that I hadn’t got all of them and one of the kids would get stung. There must be a nest somewhere in the garden or nearby. Otherwise this isn’t normal is it?

Well apparently, it is normal. With the wonders of social media, I was surprised to find that everyone pretty much near and far was having trouble with wasps – it wasn’t local to me it was regional to all the neighbouring towns! And this time of year they are in swarms. I was relieved in a way as the thought of having to try and find where a wasp’s nest would be must be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was given all sorts of advice and things to try. So, Mission: Get Rid of the Wasps, was a go.

First day – Jam jar with some water in it and a hole in the lid. This didn’t work straight away. We put the jar right next to the playhouse as that was where most of them were hanging out. The following morning the jar was filled to the gunnels with drowned wasps. Result! But there was still too many flying about to risk letting the kids out. I thought we’d leave it another day and see how it goes.

Day Two – Jam jar out again. Poor Jamie and Lily were stuck in the house and the weather was lovely. I decided I would get them out for a walk and we’d head over to the local playpark for a bit and enjoy being outside. The kids were loving being out and when Jamie saw the playpark, he was super excited and ran in straight for the chute. Lily was happily watching Jamie from the pushchair and was clapping when he got to the bottom of the slide.

Five minutes later, and another mum and a couple of kids came into the park. They made a dive for the chute that Jamie was on as well and they were all laughing and enjoying playing together. That was until the wasps hit! The other poor mum came running over to me and cried, ‘There’s a wasp on the baby!’ and right enough a wasp was crawling on Lily. I swung and flapped at the wasp to get it away but it seemed to make it worse and the lady swiped at it and it stung her on the hand. “Ouch!”

“Oh, are you ok? This is terrible, we can’t go anywhere!” I said.

“This is the second time I’ve been stung this week.”  She said.

I grabbed the kids and made for the exit. Cue another Jamie meltdown. I felt so sorry for him as he didn’t understand what was going on and he was furious as he was having such a great time.

Right. Mission: Get Rid of the Wasps – in full process!

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, you name it I was scrolling through to find something, anything that made life easier to get outside without the fear of worrying that the kids were going to be stung. The same thing kept coming up – Peppermint Oil. Apparently if you put some drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle and mix with water, you have a wasp deterrent. Even better, if you spray the stuff directly onto a wasp, it kills them. Oh yes!

The following morning, we dropped Jamie off at creche and Lily and I headed for the health shop in the shopping and got stocked up with peppermint oil. We got home and James had found an old spray bottle in the cupboard. I didn’t even bother to do the right measurements, 18 drops of peppermint oil to 4 parts water? I fired the whole bottle of peppermint oil in and mixed with a bit of water. The kitchen smelled like a toothpaste factory. The smell of mint was so strong it made my eyes water. Brilliant, I’m going to zap the little devils and we can get our garden back.

That evening, after the kids were in bed, James sprayed the oil mixture around all the windows in the house and over all the toys and the playhouse in the back garden.

“We just have to wait and see if it works!” I said with my fingers crossed. “For a tiny bottle of peppermint oil, the smell of mint would knock you out.”

James came walking through from the hallway and replied, “It’s not mint I’m smelling. All I can smell is poop! Can you not smell it?” He asked.

“Eh, no.” I replied while making my way through the hall.

And then the smell hit me. “Oh, I can smell it now. It must be bad if we can smell it downstairs!”

We ran upstairs and straight into Jamie’s room. When I tell you it was like the toilet scene out of Trainspotting, I’m not kidding. Poop, poop and more poop! Jamie had decided to develop his own for of abstract expressionist art.

An hour later, a bottle of Vanish, a basin of hot soapy water and a shower and a pair of pull-ups for Jamie.

We eventually got sat down that night. I went upstairs to check on the kids before bed and I noticed a wasp was crawling up the bathroom window. In my usual elegant flapping mode trying to get the wasp away, James came running through wondering what all the noise was about.

“I’m trying to get the wasp out of the window!” I cried “But it won’t fly out!”

“It’s between a rock and a hard place this one’, James said. ‘If the peppermint oil doesn’t kill it, the smell of poop will!”

FYI – The peppermint oil works a treat!

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