So here we are, at the end of another year. Embarrassingly, I’ve hardly blogged in 2017 – life (and young children) are to blame. I can’t really remember all of it either (sleep, lack of, is to blame for that), but there are a few highlights…
The Boy enjoyed his first family holiday, spending a week in a cute cottage in Dorset. We’re not brave/crazy enough to take our two too far until it’s vaguely, sort of, slightly possible to try and reason with them both (I know, I’m laughing at my nonsense as well ). With that in mind we’ve booked to go abroad in 2029. Anyway, Dorset was lovely, with exception of the first day which we spent at Dorset County Hospital seeing to tonsillitis in a 9 month old. That was fun. We saw friends, family, the beach and monkeys. Not all in the same place, I might add – although wouldn’t that make a cracking holiday snap?
Bear started in Reception and has quickly shown a massive interest in reading and writing – THAT makes me proud. I also picked her up one day and watched her run out of the classroom and straight up to the playground to embark on a game of kiss chase with a boy in her class. Not so proud…
Mr D turned 40! The big 4-0. We did lots of things to celebrate – a family Sunday lunch at the place we got married, where we took it in turns to eat with one hand while rocking a screaming child off to sleep. On the day itself we went into Cardiff with the children, perused every toy shop known to man and then ate lunch at the speed of light (I’ll give you a clue: screaming child). We then had a little birthday tea with Mr D’s family, cut short for me who had to bring (you’ve guessed it) a screaming child home for bed.
Then, in August, we had the ultimate 40th celebration (cue some film score music that is all sorts of dramatic and momentous…) we went to London. On our own. For TWO nights. It was IMMENSE. We walked for miles (literally 50,000+ steps in 2 days). We ate at a fancy restaurant, we got slightly tipsy in China Town, we stopped in pubs whether they had baby changing facilities or not (never let it be said that we don’t make the most of our child-free time) and for just a few days we weren’t Mummy and Daddy. I won’t lie, it was a treat. But we missed those screamy, naggy little monkeys, so the next week (for mine and Bear’s birthdays) we went to Legoland and resumed the buggy-pushing, food-throwing, nappy-changing delights that we’ve come to know and love tolerate.
This year we were also very bluntly reminded of the joys torment that is teething. The Boy is 15 months and has 15 teeth, and we have known about EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. I have nothing more to say on the matter, other than someone needs to start inventing babies born with a full set of nashers. Pronto.
Our new addition
Before we crack on with our New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s as good a time as any to announce the arrival of our latest family addition. Drum roll please…
It’s not a baby (Not. A. Chance).
It’s not a pet (you know, because of allergies…responsibility….)
Ladies and gentleman, we are proud to announce the arrival of Alexa. Yep, we are the owners of an Amazon Echo Dot – one of millions sold this Christmas. It’s a clever little thing, knows the weather, plays us music, gives us the news headlines, traffic news and all sorts of pretty useful nuggets in the laziest of ways – we don’t even have to move, we just have to ask.
But we have kids. Weather updates are the least of their worries.
Poor Alexa has been put through her paces since Christmas Day – forced to tell Christmas jokes, non-Christmas jokes, funny Christmas jokes that involve reindeer (kids can be specific when they want to be). Bear and The Boy, their cousins and friends, have gathered around the coffee table to bombard the poor woman with demands for songs, complicated maths tests, Disney track after Disney track and repeated requests for the time. When the trivia gets boring she’s asked to judge who is smellier, who is better at dancing, and if can she remind them to go to the loo in 5 minutes time.
She’s then shouted at because she doesn’t laugh at Bear’s own jokes. Many a cracker joke has been given the ‘Bear treatment’ this last week, resulting in something that doesn’t even make sense, let alone make actual people laugh, so it’s a big ask of Alexa.
I have lost count of the amount of times we’ve said “you don’t need to shout at her!” “But Mummy, she isn’t listening to me!” Ha! Annoying, isn’t it??!!
As I reflect on the last 12 months with mixed emotions, I know I’ve found some days a real struggle. I’ve also been reminded of how wonderful my friends and family are – some regular coffee buddies have been like therapy for me (you know who you are). But you know what? It could always, always be worse. I could be expected to be Carol Vorderman, a meteorologist, a singer, a comedian, a PA, a news reader, the AA Travelwatch, the Talking Clock and every other role that this Wonder Woman known as Alexa is expected to perform every waking minute. And as she signs up for January rehab after a week of intense verbal abuse, I reckon I’ve got the better end of the deal – at least my kids listen to me*!
*I joke. They don’t listen to a word I say.
Happy 2018 you lovely lot. May it be filled with smiles and happy stuff, and – if you got an Alexa for Christmas, too – may she be hidden from view of the noisy little shouty pants that you’re trying to keep under control.