Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Spirit (40 weeks +3 days)

Ok, so, right now, at this very moment in time, whilst I am writing this post, I am in a (shock horror) HAPPY AND POSITIVE MOOD.

I am generally quite a happy, positive person. That probably doesn't come across on here, which is mainly because I tend to write when I'm sad or stressed (or sad and stressed- they tend to come hand-in-hand).

BUT. That being said, Percy and I have had a lovely week, and I have a grand total of 0 negative things that I am going to let affect me.

First and foremost, I want to start by addressing the shiny lovely wonderful new Life Plan that I have formulated in my wonderful shiny beautiful brain, So, when I last posted, it was looking like I'm not going to be accepted for medicine this year, and was unable to apply for PhD's due to their lack of financial provision regarding childcare. This is still the case. Whilst I am yet to be outright rejected from any of the places that I have applied to, it's not looking good for Medicine 2015.

So, after much crying, and breaking down, and generally having a life crisis, I simply stopped. I licked my wounds. And I got up and formulated a new plan.

I looked at graduate schemes. I actually even started applying for some. And then I imagined how my life would be. If I were an accountant, or a manager or some other generic role. And I wasn't too keen on it. I'm not a desk person. I don't like every day to be the same. I enjoy variety. I enjoy unpredictability. I enjoy challenges. Even more than all of that, I enjoy knowing that I'm making a difference. And, (no offence to anybody out there who does any of these roles) to me, trying to "rearrange" a companies accounts so that they get out of paying a huge tax bill is not "making a difference". That sounds like hell.

There was some more crying that ensued after I had this revelation.

I want to go into medicine. I REALLY want to go into medicine. And so I am going to try again. I've contacted the hospital about volunteering on the wards with them. I'm going to apply for HCA jobs that start once I've graduated. I'm going to sit the UKCAT again. I'm going to sit the GAMSAT. And I'm going to reapply next year. By working as a HCA for that year, I will gain a wealth of experience that I can discuss in my interviews (which I AM going to get), and also it will allow me to get some money together for the tuition fees that I'm liable for in the first year.

I'm only going to try once more. I don't want to be sat there at 40 after 16 failed attempts saying "I'll get there next time!". If I'm not accepted, then so be it. I've done all I can. And I'll find something else. I'm simply not ready to give up on the dream yet. In the grand scheme of things, a year is nothing. I'd rather take an extra year and get what I truly want, as opposed to having to spend the rest of my life doing something that I will probably loathe, wondering "what if".

So, Positive. Lovely. Everything is fine and dandy.

Percy and I had a wonderful surprise yesterday aswell. One of my friends from where we used to live sent us a HUGE parcel full of presents. It was a complete surprise, and honestly it's made my entire Christmas. It was so so so sweet, and so so so so thoughtful, and I can't thank her (and her mummy) enough, Hopefully one day I will be in a situation where I can do something equally as wonderful for them. I can't even put into words how much it meant to me. It really was just the sweetest thing anybody could ever do. So a big shout out, and huge thank you for that.

Percy finished her course of antibiotics yesterday. She's still got a cough though (but according to google that can last for months after a chest infection). Also, I didn't realise that a bacterial chest infection is actually pneumonia. Percy has had pneumonia.  Pneu-mo-ni-a. PNEUMONIA! It's probably best that the doctor didn't mention that at the time. I think I would have had a huge massive freak-out meltdown if I'd heard that word.

Not a lot else to report really. But I do want to say one more thing, in relation to a previous post. As a general rule, when I mention people on here, I don't disclose their names. Because I want to respect their right to anonymity. However: those of you who have read my letter to Percy's dad will notice that I did name him. This is because some people don't deserve that right. For example, if you are asked if you speak to me, or have any contact with Percy and you reply "I try not to"- you don't deserve to be anonymous. If someone who has met your child informs you about how they're doing, and you simply walk away- you don't deserve to be anonymous. If you walk past your child in the street, and don't even acknowledge their existence- you don't deserve to be anonymous. (These aren't all speculative examples by the way; these are things that have actually happened).

BUT. I am not bothered by that silly boy and his behaviour. Because, the rest of life is wonderful. I have a perfect baby, two ridiculous cats, a wonderful friend, and a New Life Plan. Things couldn't be better.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Square One (40 weeks)

I've just had the revelation that amidst all of my ranting and opinion-sharing, I haven't actually posted anything relating to what has been happening in the lives of Mummy and Percy Piglet. Hence. I figured I'd better write this post.

So, Percy has been a bit poorly recently, which has resulted in innumerable trips to the doctors (sob DOCTORS- more on this later). Initially, they chalked her moodiness up to teething (this may have been because when we actually saw the doctor, she was being a happy, smiling, dancing, performing Piglet, which made me look entirely crazy). Then, on Wednesday, (after she was sent home from nursery) they said she had conjunctivitis.

So, on Thursday, we had quite a busy day planned. There were some people coming round to see us in the morning anyway, so Percy wasn't going into nursery until the afternoon; Boris was off to the vets to be neutered (aka BROKEN- again more on this later). So, I had to get up at a ridiculous hour to make sure that the house was spotless, get to the doctors by 8am, collect the prescription when the pharmacy opened at 8:15am, drop Boris off at the vets at 8:30am and get back home in time for the aforementioned people who were arriving at 9am. It was a very very hectic morning. Whilst she was at home, she seemed fine. but I'm now attributing that to the fact that we had guests- whenever there are "others" around, Percy is an absolute angel. So, after the people had gone, I dropped Percy off at nursery for the remainder of the day.

I called the vets at 4pm to check when Boris could come home; they said that I could pick him up 4:30. "Fantastic!", I thought, "I'll have time to get Boris home and settled before I go and pick Percy up, and I don't have to play the game of trying to balance the cat carrier box thing on top of the pushchair".

(Just as a side note- because Boris and Percy were away, the house was feeling very empty. This led to me mothering Jeremy to death, which he took full advantage of. Jeremy spent the day being treated like a replacement baby- to the extent where I think he was actually a bit annoyed when Boris and Percy returned.)

So, back to The Thursday Of Doom. I was getting ready to go and collect Boris from the vet when the phone rang...and it was nursery. Percy had a fever that wouldn't go down, and she wasn't herself at all. I freaked out. And rushed to nursery. And whilst I say I freaked out, I don't think I realised how bad she was until I actually got to nursery.

I was very worried about meningitis. Simply because to me, she'd seemed like she was slightly photophobic earlier on (but I had attributed this to the conjunctivitis); and whilst everyone mentions the rash when they think about meningitis, that doesn't appear until you've contracted septicemia- if you've got a rash, you're in a real mess. When I got to nursery, and saw how she was, I was traumatised. That wasn't my baby. She was totally out of it. And wouldn't stop crying. The first thing I did was check her head (bulging soft spot = meningitis) but that was fine, which calmed me down a little... until they said that she'd been crying when she was coughing, wheezing and panting.

Another trip to the doctors (by this point I was starting to get paranoid that they would think I had Munchausen by proxy syndrome. I am not joking. I have been to the doctors, and hospitals more times in the past four and a half months than I probably have in my life). Percy was seen by the doctor straight away because of the breathing problems.

Anyway, long story short, the doctor said that she'd had a viral chest infection that had turned bacterial (I didn't know this was a thing?) and confirmed the conjunctivitis. So, we were given some antibiotics, and as such I am now a walking pharmacy. At the moment, Percy has to have eye drops and paracetamol every four hours and then amoxicillin every 8 hours. She hates it. Hates it, hates it, hates it. Makes me feel AWFUL for doing it. But, the magic combination of drugs seem to be working. She's definitely a lot perkier now than she has been.

Percy's key worked at nursery called me just before she left for the evening to see what the doctor had said. She's honestly, so lovely. And she really cares about Percy. I thought it was so so so so nice that she did that. I really would be completely lost without nursery. To me, they are like Baby Encyclopedias- they know everything, and that is a huge comfort to me.

Ok, so as mentioned, Boris has been de-manned. I'd been putting this off for a while, simply because it costs a fortune to get cats neutered (£40 PER CAT!!!). However, now that they're both six months old I was getting a bit terrified about leaving it any longer in case they started spraying. So, after a bit of manic googling, I found this thing that the RSPCA do, whereby you pay £15, and then they will pay the rest of the cost for you (this is only for poor people btw). Thank you RSPCA!!!! Hence, Boris was neutered on Thursday, and Jeremy is booked in for the 22nd December (if I space them out, it doesn't financially ruin me quite as much).

Boris is a changed cat. He is not my Boris anymore. He is all lazy, and docile, and...not crazy. Clearly it was all the testosterone making him mad (there you go boys- you all have an excuse now). Anyway, I miss my mad Boris. I'm not too sure about this lazy Boris. Maybe he'll perk up soon. We'll have to see.

Update on child maintenance application: so Percy's dad had been avoiding their phone calls/letters like the plague (see previous posts), but they have managed to get hold of him (Hallelujah! Thank you very very much for behaving like a responsible adult!). So, now I'm just waiting for them to make their calculations and stuff or something.

Anyway. None of this matters. Percy is getting better, I will adjust to New Boris, and as long as Percy's dad has accepted that she is his daughter, I don't really care about the actual money (I say this, but I've just run out of gas- maybe I do care a little about the money). No, no, no, the things that really matter are the things that have happened today. In relation to my medicine application.

So, I have applied to four places to study medicine: Newcastle, Kings, Warwick and Southampton (in no particular order). Southampton have emailed me a few times regarding parts of my application but are yet to proceed with it any further. I have heard nothing from Newcastle yet (but from what I can see on The Student Room they've already chosen there people to invite to interview). King's informed me today that they were rejecting me from the four year course, but would still like to consider me for the five year course (the five year course is no good to me, as you have to self-fund the entire degree, which obviously, I can't do).

Warwick sent me an email last week inviting me to interview. This was the highlight of my life. This was my dream coming true. This was EVERYTHING. Until, after booking my interview, they asked me to fill in a work experience survey to ensure that I had 70 hours work experience in the health care profession (fyi I'm 95% this is a new thing that has not been done in previous years).

Now, for those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I was supposed to be volunteering at UHNS, starting in the Summer. However, with all the homeless/moving related things, I was unable to take up that placement. Basically, I haven't got 70 hours. They want this to be completed by the 4th January. I cannot do it.

I sent them a WONDERFUL email (seriously, it was the best email that I have ever sent) explaining everything that had happened, and promising that I would have that experience by March (when my interview is). They responded today saying that they couldn't invite me to interview if I didn't have those 70 hours.

So. Medicine is dead. My dream is dead. And the whole PhD thing then looking at applying for medicine again? Yeah, I started looking at PhD's today but it turns out that there's no funding available for childcare. So I can't do a PhD. More dead dreams. My future is once again uncertain. I'm looking at graduate schemes but, in all honesty, (and I am 100% going to delete this when I apply for them) my heart isn't in it.

I lit a candle today for my Grandy. It's been one year since he lost his fight with cancer.

I just want to be a surgical oncologist.

And that is apparently too much to ask for.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Letter To My Daughter's Father (39 weeks + 6 days)

Dear Darren,

When I was in therapy (always the BEST way to start any letter), my therapist told me that one of my problems was that I was unable to "be angry"; I was upset instead. As silly as it sounds, I simply didn't know how to be angry. I would like to start by thanking you for fixing that for me. You make me angry. You make me so angry. I never knew that I could have such anger towards a person before. So, a big, big, big, big thank you. You've really helped me through that.

I would like to tell you why I am seeking financial support for your daughter. I will keep it brief: she is your daughter. As much as I don't like it; as much as you clearly don't like it, genetically, 50% of Persephone is you. And I want you to acknowledge that. I don't care if you pay me £1 per week; the money is not the issue. It is what the money symbolises.

I have the most wonderful dad. I know that if I'm in serious trouble, I can turn to him. To the extent where, if I killed somebody, I'm pretty sure my dad would help me hide the body. I could not ask for a better father. Persephone doesn't have this. And this upsets me

Let me be clear: I do not want your physical involvement in her life. I do not want to share custody. I do not want for you to have visitation. I believe that keeping our lives separate is best for both parties. I truly believe that you are not a good role model for our daughter. Numerous children by multiple partners? Not something I want Persephone to grow up with as "normal". I do not want our daughter to ever allow herself to be treated the way that you treated me. So, for her sake, if you have a heart in there somewhere, keep out of her life.

That being said, I do think you should acknowledge your financial responsibility to her. Surely you should want what is best for her? Surely you should want to help her? She is your child.

I spoke to Child Maintenance today. They informed me that you are avoiding their calls. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that you told my mother you weren't going to be working for three months, I was informed today that you actually have three jobs. I'm disgusted with you. Did you think you were being clever? You're not hurting me by not paying contributions, you're hurting your daughter. Your response to my plea for assistance has been incredibly juvenile, but should I have expected any less?

I don't understand why you don't feel the need to financially support Persephone. Is it simply that we don't get along? Because I still support her in spite of that fact, so why should you turn your back on her?

You've never met Percy, and you probably never will. You don't know how beautiful and pleasant she is. You don't know how the room lights up when she smiles. You don't hear her say dada. You don't see how much she laughs at the cats. You don't know that she's really ticklish under her arms, or that she can actually say egg now. You have missed her rolling over, sitting up, starting to crawl. You have missed her first smile, first laugh, first word.

You haven't been there for her. Does that not make you feel even slightly guilty? Do you not have a conscience?

I'm going to end on this note. I understand the temptation to avoid facing up to your responsibilities. I understand how you may want to "win this one". But I'm asking you, if you could be the person that I believed you were, just for this. Just to try to show that you are human; Percy is your daughter- please don't treat your children as though they are disposable.


Let's Talk About...Benefits (39 weeks + 6 days)

As a society, I believe that in one form or another, we are all guilty of stereotyping (see- I'm stereotyping right there!). I'm sure there's probably some sort of psychological reasoning behind this. but I am no psychologist, and thus cannot even attempt to guess what it may be (and I haven't got time to sit and read journals on the matter, because I should be decorating/ writing up my project).

The stereotype that I'm going to discuss is that of somebody who is in receipt of benefits. Now, I have a middle class background. My upbringing was 100% Kate Middleton. I was royalty. However, through having Percy, and taking time away from uni, I have now found myself as somebody who is "on benefits". This is not something I broadcast. Why? Because there is a stigma. There is. As much as I would like there not to be, I cannot dispute that fact.

10 years ago, I was not a liberal person. Hell, 18 months ago, I was not a liberal person. I was brought up to believe that you worked for your money. And you worked hard. Things were not just handed to you. You can't expect something for nothing. That, coupled with the medias FANTASTIC character assassination of anyone who was supported by the welfare system (seriously guys- nice job!) meant that I, in all honesty, firmly opposed any sort of social aid. In fact, I recall having a debate about this after a few too many wines with one of my former employers.

But, this was my opinion as an outsider. I had no experience of the system. I had no experience of poverty. I had no experience of being in real need. I had no experience of others who relied on benefits to survive. I was completely ignorant.

This, obviously, has changed. I am incredibly grateful that we have a system in place that allows me to survive; a system that has allowed me to keep my daughter. And now, from the inside, I face that same scrutiny and judgement, that I once believed.

So, I just want to paint a bit of a picture, of what life is actually like on benefits. I want to start by saying that I don't have a 42" flat screen TV. Or 5 ipads. My TV is probably from 1980 (I don't think I'm even exaggerating when I say this), and is a huge box. I cannot afford a 42" flat screen TV. And whilst Bright House keep calling me up and trying to tempt me, I am batting them away. I have been lucky enough to gather all of my furniture and appliances free of charge. I have had a lot of help with that, and I am very very grateful. The only things I have had to physically "buy" as such, were my washing machine and hoover (which are from Bright House- I pay £9.41 a week for the privilege of clean clothes and floors).

I do not spend my days skipping about, spending a fortune on whatever I want, or even just going out for the hell of it. I spend my days inside. I decorate, I write, I run, I clean. My social interaction is with the staff at nursery and my driving instructor. And I am fine with this. I have a lot of things to keep my preoccupied at the moment. A lot needs doing. Could I live like this long term? No, Would I want to live like this long term? No.

 I am in receipt of child benefit, child tax credits and income support. I'm not going to put an exact figure down here because I can already envisage the hate that I will inspire in a lot of the population. It is enough to survive. In theory, it is more than enough to survive, But then things are expensive:

Gas and electric are bloody extortionate. They cost me a small fortune every week. I'm someone who really doesn't like being cold, so having to exorcise discipline with my heating is hell for me. I imagine that I would pay less if I wasn't on a pre-payment meter, but, knowing myself like I do, I think I would abuse that freedom of heat and end up with a HUGE bill. Which I do not want.

My TV license is like £30 a month.

My phone bill for the past three months amounted to over £120, because of all those lovely lovely calls to student finance.

As I've mentioned, Bright House payments are like £40 per month.

And when you add it up; all the little things, the day-to-day essential things, the money is spent. The money is gone. And I just want to say that I'm not complaining about that AT ALL. I am SO grateful that I can access the welfare system. I am simply saying, that I am not paid a small fortune by the government. I do not have money to burn. I have money to survive. That is the message that I'm trying to get across.

Now, my life on benefits, has a finite time period. This is not a long-term plan or solution for me. This is short-term. This is filling the gap before I return to uni and student finance give me my loan (as the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills [SFE's boss] have PROMISED. IN WRITING). And obviously, subsequently, when I eventually graduate and become a real grown-up.

So, when people say things such as the following, I get kind of (really really really) annoyed:

"You should stay in all day, you're on benefits, you shouldn't be allowed to go out"
"You should have to sit and watch your gas go down penny by penny; you're on benefits, so you're not allowed to be warm"
"You shouldn't have cats, because cats cost money and you're on benefits. Get rid of your cats"

It annoys me even more, because that's how I was. I can see why they would feel that. They are "paying their taxes" rah rah rah rah rah. Yeah, well I paid my taxes. I worked three jobs and 100 hour weeks. Shut up.

I have tried to find a job (as detailed extensively in previous posts), but it is a lot more difficult when you are enslaved to childcare. Everyone wants flexibility, and I can't offer that. Couple that with the vague "well yeah, technically I am returning to full time education in January, but I'm distance learning so can study whenever I want" and people don't want to hire you. You're complicated. You suck to employers. Also, I tried lying and saying that I was 100% fully flexible, but I am a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE liar and my face just gives me away.

I am still a person. I still have rights. I haven't killed anyone. I just had a baby, and it was "highly recommended" that I take time off from uni for that. (Bit of background information- initially I didn't want to take time off to have Percy. My plan was to have her in Easter and then continue studying. I was then informed that if this resulted in me failing my exams then I wouldn't be eligible for a full-credit resit as I would have gone against the medical advice of a minimum of four months leave following the birth of a child. I couldn't just take four months off, because of the whole academic year thing, and clearly I didn't want to risk the possibility of not achieving in those exams, so time off it was!)

I am a huge supporter of the welfare system. I believe that as a society we should want to help those who are in need. I think we should all help each other. And whilst there are probably a few bad eggs that abuse the system, I truly don't believe that the majority of people are like that. I think that is a caricature created by the media. And honestly? Wherever you are, whatever you do, there are always people who take advantage.

So, please don't hate me for being a "scummy, scroungy, money-grabbing, undeserving, benefits whore". Because you may think you're immune, and it will never happen to you; but I'm kind of living proof that it's all too easy to fall down.

p.s. Just a note on the cats, because I want to defend my boys. When I bought those wonderful scruffy bundles of fluff, I was viewing them through the eyes of a child- "cats are fun and nice". I did not fully appreciate the cost of cats. And yes, you may be right, if I didn't have the cats, then I would save money. However, those cats are like my two other babies. And Percy adores them. They can keep her entertained for hours. Trust me, those cats are worth their weight in gold. I love those silly cats. Even though they trip me over every morning at 6am. I love them.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

First or Last? (38 weeks + 5 days)

Two days before Percy was born, I went to see a psychic.

Why did I go? For fun. I do not consider myself to be a "believer" of any kind. It was not something I was taking seriously.

I had a 30 minute reading. Tarot cards, palmistry , numerology... the works. At the end I was given a recording of the session. My mum has been badgering me to listen to it for a while, because she thought that the woman I saw said something significant (ie. something that has later "come true"). This morning, I yielded.

And do you know what? It's pretty bloody scary.

To start with, she said Percy was going to be small. A lot smaller than they were anticipating. And she was right. According to the stupid chart that the midwives had been using, Percy was going to be an average 7lb something baby.

She said there was an issue with the placenta which hadn't been picked up. Which is exactly what the doctor told me on the morning of the c-section when they were worried about Percy's heart rate.

She said I wouldn't be able to give birth naturally. She said the baby wouldn't engage because my pelvis was too small. Percy never engaged.

She picked up on my highly commitment-phobic ex-boyfriend. She was bang on the mark with how Percy's dad had behaved.

She asked me about "The North". About if I had any connection? If that made any sense? I kept saying no, but she kept pushing it. She said it would "become apparent in time". This was the one that my mum had been going on about. I'd completely forgotten she'd said this.

She said I was worried about losing my freedom. She said I was afraid of the baby. She said I was hiding things- there were things that I didn't want her to see.

And she was right, right, right again.

She said I shouldn't be worried about losing my freedom, because I wasn't going to.

And here she was... well, not wrong exactly but...let me explain:

A load of my friends from uni met up this weekend. I only know about this because I spoke to one of them on Friday evening and he mentioned he was going to Cambridge on Saturday. This was succeeded by- "I text you about that didn't I?" No. No you did not. This isn't the first time this has happened. And it won't be the last. Let me clarify: there is no way that I would have been able to go anywhere this weekend. Firstly, I cannot afford it. I am 100% broke. Secondly, we had a Christmas party at nursery (more on that later). But, I would have liked to be invited. I understand why I'm not invited to things anymore- before I had Percy the last thing I would have wanted to do is hang out with someone else's children. But now that I'm on the other side of the fence, it sucks. It really sucks. It's just another kick in the teeth. And in a lot of ways, I feel like I have been left behind. Everyone has graduated, and moved on with their lives; I'm currently in limbo. I've got another 6 months before I can move on to the next stage. I am The Last One. Percy has not caused me to lose my freedom; she has not limited what I can do. People's perceptions of me since having Percy? They have changed. They are limiting.

I sometimes find myself wondering "what if?" What if, I had never met Percy's dad? What if, I had never applied for that job that allowed me to meet him? What if, my boyfriend hadn't left me when he did? What if, I hadn't had that year away from uni? What if, I had never been ill in the first place? What if the things that happened pre-uni, hadn't happened?

Persephone being here is the culmination of a million tiny "insignificant" decisions and occurrences. If only one of them hadn't happened, I wouldn't have my baby. And that scares me. Because whilst I am not a believer, whilst I do not think we have a pre-determined plan, whilst I don't think that there is any "higher power", it does seem like she was "destined" to be here.

The psychic told me I had no need to fear my baby. That as soon as I met her, and saw how beautiful she was, all those fears would be alleviated. And she was right. She brings me more joy than anything else ever has, in my life.

Psychic lady also said that I see things from a different perspective than others. And that is what I need to do here. I cannot think of myself as The Last One; the one Left Behind. Because that is a terrible mindset. Really, really awful. And so, instead, I have to view myself as The First. I have moved on ahead of everyone else. I am The First One to have a baby. I have discovered something so wonderful, that they are yet to experience. I'm running a new race. My priorities are different now. And that's ok. My idea of what constitutes "fun" is different, and that's ok.

Percy had her Christmas party at nursery yesterday. I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I was. It was really well organised. I'm not going to lie, I was dreading it a little bit. I envisaged an hour and a half of standing round, attempting to make awkward conversation with other parents. And I couldn't have been more WRONG! It was brilliant. There were party games, and we made a hat, and a shaker, and a snowflake decoration, and Percy got to see Santa, and had a present, It was absolutely amazing. I am so so so impressed with that nursery.

The psychic ended our session with a simple phrase that made me question my scepticism. From what she said, it would certainly seem like she had an insight into how my pregnancy had been:

"Well done for standing up for you"

Of course, she had essentially just robbed me, so maybe she was just saying things I wanted to hear.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dear Santa (38 weeks + 2 days)

Dear Santa,

Here was the list that I sent you last year:

Dear Santa, for Christmas can I please have:
1) 100% in all my exams
2) An elective caesarean 
3) The ability to fit into my skinny jeans again once I've had the baby
4) A boob reduction
5) Some nice perfume
Thanks xxxxxx

I am very pleased to say that you did well, Santa. I got everything I asked for. I was a very happy girl.

I'm hoping you can keep up the good work. My list for this year is a little bit longer, but these are all essential things. So, this Christmas, I would like:

1) A first in my degree. Not a 2.1, a first. I. Want. A. First.
2) For Percy to stop calling me "dada".
3) Some of those snazzy platform 5 way ladder things that you can use on stairs.
4) £5 million of gas, so that the house can be nice and toasty all the time.
5) A nice boyfriend. Preferably one who isn't afraid of commitment and/or doesn't have 97 illegitimate children.
6) To get accepted on (at least one) GEM course (but if you can get all of them to accept me, that would be AWESOME).
7) For Student Finance to be semi-competent.
8) Some warm things to wear when I'm running because I currently look like a banana when I'm wearing tights with shorts.
9) If you could get the cats to stop jumping in the sink, that would be really appreciated.
10) A lifetime supply of those teething granule things for Mrs Wiggle.
11) £10 million (for emergencies).
12) Sleep.
13) And some nice perfume (some Marc Jacobs Daisy would be great)



p.s. I know it's going to be hard to sort number 7 out for me, but please TRY!!!!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

How To Fix A Crying Baby (37 weeks + 5 days)

So, Percy has been ill (again) this weekend with a cold. She is ridiculously snotty. So snotty. I never knew that one person could contain that much snot until this weekend. She's also become the most slobbery baby in the entire world. I can only assume this means that she's (finally!) going to get some teeth. Anyway, Percy does not like being ill. Or slobbery. So, she's been a bit of a misery poo, (ie. she has started behaving like a normal baby, and won't stop crying). And as such, I have come up with a survival list of "how to make your baby happy/ how to shut your baby up when you want to sleep and they won't let you". Obviously, this is once you've exhausted all the usual options such as milk/food/nappy/pick them up/put them down etc. Here we go:

1. Give them something they shouldn't be playing with
Items required: Spoons, laptop, phone, bras, nursery diary, bus timetable. Anything.

Time that baby stays quiet: 1 minute

Why it works? They know they shouldn't have it. Everyone wants things they can't have!

Problems: Anything that you give them will end up covered in rusk. And spit. Also, make sure if you give them your house phone that it's disconnected first.

2. Cats
Items required: Uhm...cats

Time that baby stays quiet: As long as the cats are in the room

Why it works? Babies like cats. People like cats. Everyone likes a cat.

Problems: Cats are hard to train. and hence tend to run away from the screaming baby. If you forget to put the bread in the cupboard then the cats will rip open the packet and eat it.

3. "All About That Bass"
Items required: Laptop/music playing thingy, spotify/ itunes etc.

Time that baby stays quiet: 3 minutes and 9 seconds

Why it works? Honestly, I do not know. But as soon as this starts playing, Percy is silent. Percy really really likes this song. Possibly a little too much. I like to pretend that it shows I'm promoting a positive body image message thing.

Problems: After you have listened to it 15 times in a row, you start to wonder if this is actually better than a screaming child.

4. Dance about like a fu-... ducking fick
Items required: 1 x body, 1 x any music (unless you can dance to nothing...)

Time that baby stays quiet: As long as you keep moving.

Why it works? Possibly some rubbish about reminding them about pre-birth times when the world was dark and warm and lovely. Possibly because all babies like to think they are Beyonce. Possibly because they just like to laugh at how pathetic your arms are when you can't pick them up for more than 5 minutes.

Problems: You look like an idiot. Your arms will hurt.

5. Be naked
Items required: Again, 1 x body

Time that baby stays quiet: As long as it takes you to get dressed

Why it works? I don't know. Percy finds it hilarious when I'm naked. It's really good for my self esteem.

Problems: You're naked. It's cold.

6. X Factor
Items required: 1 x TV

Time that baby stays quiet: The amount of time Dermot is on screen.

Why it works? Percy fancies Dermot.

Problems: You have to listen to Stereo Kicks ruin songs every weekend.

7. Say "egg" over and over and over again
Items required: 1 x mouth, 1 x voice

Time that baby stays quiet: As long as you can say "eggeggeggeggeggeggeggeggegg"

Why it works? You sound like an idiot.

Problems: You sound like an idiot.

8. Give them paracetamol suspension
Items required: 1 x gross paracetamol suspension that is free from Boots.

Time that baby stays quiet: 15 seconds whilst they are trying not to gag from how disgusting it is.

Why it works? Paracetamol suspension is the worst thing you can put in your mouth.

Problems: There is a limit to how many times you can do this.

And if all this hasn't worked; if you've danced around naked to All About That Bass, in a room full of pictures of Dermot O'Leary, saying "eggeggeggeggeggegg" and your baby is still crying? You can always take them to see Santa. Santa makes babies happy: