The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 13

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 13

by Emma Hargan
article from Wednesday 30, October, 2019

WE’VE MADE IT to the mid-term holidays and what was I expecting? A whole week of climbing the walls, boredom, tantrums, tears, fighting and one stressed out mummy. That’s what. So how do I avoid all this? Well, that’s the question.

With Lily and Jamie still having the tail end of the cold, we decided to have a quiet weekend and try and stay in the warm of the house and get everyone back to full health again. This sounded good in theory, but trying to keep a three-year-old and a 16-month-old entertained for two days indoors is no mean feat.

Saturday started off well. The kids were happy to potter about playing with their toys while I did the usual chores of washing on, tidy up and seeing as it was the weekend, I made a fry. I don’t know about anyone else but my kids and husband are never happier unless there’s food on the go! So we were off to a good start. After breakfast, we got the kids dressed, got the kitchen tidied up and I even managed to get a bit of work done while James played with kids. We made it to 10.30am and I heard Lily getting grouchy while James was doing everything he could think of to keep her entertained. That’s the cue for Lily’s nap time and I think James was slightly relieved at having an hour of just trying to keep one out of trouble instead of two kids.

That’s when it all went downhill.

With Lily upstairs trying to sleep, all Jamie wanted to do was play with his toy kitchen, the pots and pans and toy food. This seems fine but when Jamie plays with it he crashes the pots and pans about. He might as well be playing with a drum kit! Not the thing you need in the background when you have a baby upstairs trying to sleep. So, in one true James tactful move, Daddy takes the toy food bag and pots and pans away into the cupboard. Well I don’t need to tell you what happens next, although what I can say is the pots and pans crashing were definitely quieter than Jamie screaming the house down in temper. I quickly grabbed the emergency bag of Lego out of the cupboard in the hope of regaining some kind of calm but it was too late and Jamie was past the point of no return and the melt down just had to run its course. Of course, Lily couldn’t sleep with all the racket going on and was crying upstairs.

Ahhh, don’t you just love those calm, quiet, lazy weekends….

Mmm, that was B.C. (Before Children)

After a long morning of crying matches, we eventually hit lunchtime. Peace and calm restored again because there was food on the go. Once lunch was over, it’s that lovely time of day that I’m sure every parent looks forward too. The magic hour. That whole hour (or longer if you’re lucky!) when you manage to get the baby and the toddler to sleep at the same time. Bliss!

Kids down. Cuppa made. Phone in hand. Feet up. Lovely!

2 minutes later…


Fox. Ache. I honestly think my kids have some kind of sensor that goes off when I sit down. And Saturday never recovered.

Sunday morning and again we were off to a good start. Jamie and Lily lay on until 8.30am, they got up in good form, went downstairs, had breakfast and were happily playing together with their toys. I wasn’t going to be led into that false sense of security again and I was right. It didn’t take long before the battle commenced. Lily took a notion of wanting every toy that Jamie lifted and every time Jamie refused to give her the toy and ran off, Lily burst into tears and screamed so Jamie got a fright, dropped the toy and ran off. Lily then casually walks over and lifts the toy. Jamie starts to cry. And repeat. James then appears to say that he has to go out in the afternoon to help a friend with a job. Great!

By dinner time I was more than ready for a glass of wine! I was even contemplating making the kids their dinner at half three just to get a bit of peace and then it dawned on me that I would then have four hours after of trying to keep them entertained and not kill each other before bed time. I was just plating up the food when I heard the front door go and in limps James.

“Jes, what happened to you?” I asked.

“Aw don’t chat to me!” James replied. “I bent down to lift something and my back went.”

“Oh no James, not again. Right, sit down and get some dinner. You’re going to the doctor this time!” I insisted.

James rolled his eyes and sat down at the table. The kids never uttered a word.

Great! Not only was I dreading having Jamie off playschool for a whole week and trying to keep the kids entertained, I was going to have James under my feet as well. Now it’s not that I’m totally uncaring and don’t feel sorry for James that he’s hurt his back but like every man on the planet – he won’t go to the doctors! That’s when I lose patience.

That evening, after we got the kids to bed, I walked downstairs and found James lying on the living room floor.

“You okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s just not as sore when I lie on the hard ground.” James replied.

That was it. I went over to my laptop and searched for Chiropractors in the area and chose the one that had the most recommendations. After an evening of pure nagging, James agreed to go. The next thing I was going to do was make a calendar of things I could do to keep the kids busy over the next week. Well, keep Jamie busy really. Lily is still at that lovely age where she’s happy to sit and play herself whereas Jamie needs to be kept occupied. The only good thing about James being off work was I had the car so I could organise things outside the house.

Monday am – Go for a walk.

Monday pm – Make cakes (see photo).

Tuesday am – Jamie swimming.

Tuesday pm – Do the food shopping.

Wednesday am – Drive James to Chiropractor appointment.

Wednesday pm – Soft play.

Thursday am – Painting and drawing.

Thursday pm – Go for a walk.

Friday – Wildlife park and out for lunch.

Sorted! We were going to be busy but I was hoping this will keep everyone happy.

And the plan worked like a charm! We made it to Wednesday and yes, we had the odd little tantrum but on the whole, keeping to the plan was keeping everyone entertained and calm. All except James, who by this point was really struggling with his back and could barely get into the car for his appointment. On the way to the Chiropractor, James was grumpy and moaning, “This is a total waste of time, this lady won’t be able to do a thing and I’ll probably end up feeling worse!” If I was being honest, I was pretty sceptical myself that this lady was going to help but I was of the thinking that he really couldn’t get any worse, so just ignored James’ efforts at wanting me to turn back to the house.

We arrived at the office and James managed to get himself out of the car.

“Now be nice and be honest about how bad you’re back has been.” I said but knew I’d get more of a reaction from the floor!

James limped off and I was planning on spending the next hour at least, trying to keep Jamie and Lily amused in the car.

Half an hour later and out walks James. Not limping.

“Well?’ I asked.

“Well, yeah, I actually feel more relief than anything. The Chiropractor said I had pressure of one of the lower discs and my posture is leaning low on the right-hand-side and this is a build up over years. She worked on my back and showed me exercises and I’ve to go back next week. She said, one more appointment and I should be sorted.” James replied.

I smugly drove off while being grateful that James was actually on the mend and not worse as I would have got the blame!

The following morning and I got the kids downstairs to make their breakfast while I let James have a lie on as he hadn’t had much sleep with his sore back. Jamie asked me, “Mummy go swimming in the water today?”

“Do you want to go swimming again today?” I asked.

“Yeaaaah!” Jamie roared.

“Okay, we’ll see how Daddy is first.” I said.

The kids only just finished their breakfast and James appeared in the kitchen all bright and breezy.

“You feeling better?” I asked.

“Oh what a difference, it’s still sore but nothing like it was, I feel much better.” He replied.

“Great, well is it okay if you watch Lily this morning while I take Jamie swimming again. He wants to go again.”

“Yeah sure”, James answered. “Why don’t you do something yourself this afternoon? I’m feeling good enough to watch the kids and they’ll probably be napping anyway.”

After picking myself up off the floor, I replied, “Err, I’ll have a think but yeah that would be nice!”

So that morning we headed off to the pool again and Jamie had a ball as usual. I had him swimming and playing with the floats and jumping in, in the hope this would tire him out good and proper so James would have a relatively easy time in the afternoon. We arrived home, got lunch sorted and I decided I would go to the cinema. Now I don’t usually like going to the cinema by myself but since becoming a parent, I’m more than happy to do anything that involves some ‘me’ time.

So, off I went. And what did I go and see? Probably the most unmumsy film ever. Terminator – Dark Fate. Over 120 minutes of explosions, fighting and swearing. Yes, it does sound similar to an afternoon in my own house but if nothing else a bit of Arnie-action would give me tips on how to handle Jamie and Lily when I got home. Bliss!

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