Weird Laws

The Youngest Child loves a cause. Today she has been particularly upset because she has come across a story about Russia spilling oil into the Arctic Ocean. What upset her most, is that her sister did not take this outrage seriously enough. Instead The Middle Child was apparently more concerned about the tissue that The Youngest Child had left on the floor, and which she insisted was picked up. Youngest Child became apoplectic that Middle Child felt that a tissue was more important than the state of the Arctic Ocean.

A few nights ago, when I was out walking with The Husband, my phone rang. Now, I have individual ringtones for all the people that I may either need to answer immediately, or ignore. Such as, The Children, The Husband and The Mother in Law (you decide which ones I ignore 😃). On this particular occasion it was ‘It’s your daughter, calling you today’ (to the tune of ‘My Girl’), that was heard emanating from my pocket. This was The Middle Child’s ringtone. I thought I had better answer it, in case there was an emergency and she was watching her sister. I answered to her screaming down the phone that her brother had come into her room and put chewed up chewing gum on to her desk. Although by this time he had removed said chewing gum, it had resulted in his juices and germs being left on her desk, which he was refusing to wipe. FFS! I hung up.

A few minutes later the phone rang again. This time it was a perky, fast paced tune that consisted of the lyrics ‘your daughter’s calling’, over and over. This was The Youngest Child’s ringtone. This time there was whispering down the line of “Mummy, I have to tell you something and I can’t quite believe that I have just read this!” It turns out that it is apparently illegal for a woman to eat chocolate on public transport!

While I wasn’t quite sure why she had to ring me to tell me this, I was curious. The Husband didn’t think it was true, so of course (anything to prove him wrong and concerned that I had broke the law numerous times) I had to look it up. Not only is it most definitely illegal for a woman to eat chocolate on public transport, but I found some other extremely weird laws that are still in existence in the UK today. Below is a list of some of the more bizarre ones.

  • In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague
  • All males over the age of 14 must practise the longbow for 2 hours each week
  • If you fart in front of the Queen, you can be charged with treason
  • It is illegal to handle salmon under suspicious circumstances
  • It is illegal to stand within 100 yards of the Queen, without wearing socks
  • You may not hang a bed out of a window
  • It is illegal to die inside the Houses of Parliament
  • It is illegal to wrestle an untrained bull in public
  • Bees may not trespass in Ireland
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour
  • If you are in York you are allowed to shoot a Scotsman with a crossbow, unless it is a Sunday
  • If you put a postage stamp bearing the Queen’s head upside down, it is considered an act of treason
  • It is illegal to gamble in a library
  • It is illegal to beat or shake a rug, mat or carpet in London, unless it is before 8am
  • You can be fine or imprisoned for operating a horse or a cow while drunk
  • It is an offence to carry a plank of wood along the pavement, fly a kite in the street or slide on ice along the pavement

While I have done some rather stupid things when under the influence of alcohol, including getting stuck in a drained reservoir (a story for another day), I don’t think I have ever ‘operated’ a cow or a horse while drunk. I doubt very much that I will ever meet the Queen, or feel the need to wrestle a bull (trained or untrained, in public or in private) and I will try my very best not to die in the Houses of Parliament, especially if I am wearing a suit of armour. However, including the chocolate on public transport, I have broken four of those laws. 😲😲. How many of these crimes are you guilty of? I wonder what The Husband and The Eldest Child will say when I inform them they need to practise the crossbow after dinner? 🤔🤔

Internet Down

This morning we all settled down at our various laptops and devices to begin our day of home working / home schooling, to find that there was no internet connection. Of course the children didn’t mind this so much, as it meant they couldn’t complete their school work but, as their phones had data, they could still chat with friends and play games. I on the other hand, was mightily pissed off. It was the first week in ages that I had a ton of work to do, which I was halfway through and I had been feeling very productive for a change. I needed to be connected to the internet, as all the work I was doing was on my laptop and it was dependent on being online. I braved the building site that is my living room to check the router. There was a red phone flashing on it. On top of that it was absolutely covered in brick dust. So, of course, I got on the phone to The Husband and accused him of disconnecting something and fucking up everyone’s day. While I was about it I shouted at him over the fact that he hadn’t protected any of the electrical equipment adequately, proved by the fact that he had not removed the TV from the room, until after he had knocked the chimney breast down and I had then had to spend half an hour cleaning it. I pointed out that the router and the Virgin TV box are probably so full of dust that they are likely to not work again (whether they worked at all is debateable) and that the dust inside could very well start to burn and cause a fire (something we are all sensitive about). As he began to speak in his defence, I hung the phone up.

I went back to turn the router off and on again, upon which a green flashing light appeared. I used my phone to look up what this meant. I was directed to the Virgin website where it very helpfully informed me that there was a fault with our broadband, the engineers were working on it and it should be fixed by 1.55pm. Ooops! So it was nothing to do with the dust or a possible disconnected wire. I considered ringing The Husband back to explain and apologise but, as he is the king of ‘I told you so’, instead I informed The Middle Child that she was not to tell him and we will just say that it started working again.

I then set about trying to connect my laptop to my phones data. Well FMFL! It took almost an hour to work it out and when I finally did get it connected, it was so slow that everything took twice as long. However, I finally managed to get my work completed and, I kid you not, two minutes after I had emailed my project to one of the senior leaders, The Middle Child started shouting “the internet is back on!” FML!

Scoop the Poop

A Menopausal Monster Book Review

Scoop the Poop: A Mother’s Struggle by Meredith Masony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have followed Meredith for a number of years, so it was really interesting to read about how she got started on her blog and created ‘That’s Inappropriate’. There were also aspects of her life that I did not know about, such as her cancer scare and her difficulties in starting a family. She experienced difficult births and has a child diagnosed with Autism. This is a book that a lot of mother’s can relate to and it is refreshing to read a real account about the daily struggles and pit falls of raising a family. She talks about her lack of fulfilment in her life and her need to find something for herself, besides her role of wife and mother. The book is broken down into all the different types of poop, we as mothers and wives, have to scoop. This includes marriage poop, past poop and family poop.

Click on the link above to find more reviews on Goodreads.

You can find out more about Meredith at:

https://thatsinappropriate.com/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=that’s%20inappropriate-meredith%20masony

https://www.instagram.com/thats_inappropriate/





View all my reviews

Free School Meals

What are your thoughts on what Katie Hopkins has had to say about free school meals? (See the link below). Personally I think she is generalising. There are people claiming free school meals because they have found themselves in a situation, through no fault of their own, whether it be due to death, divorce, unexpected unemployment or abuse. Katie does not seem to acknowledge this but lumps everyone in the same boat. Of course there are some people who abuse the system but there are many others who have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances.

When I was six years old, my parents separated. My father was a violent alcoholic, who abused my mother and, one time, tried to burn the house down while we were both asleep in bed. My mother tried her best to rectify her situation. She tried to stay with family, but she was given the good old 70’s mantra of “you’ve made your bed now lie in it”. She went to the council, who refused to help her find a place to live because she wasn’t homeless. Therefore, she lived in this situation for more years than she should have done. When it became clear that her child was not safe, she left. She was a single mother, working part-time and money was scarce. We were eligible for a school uniform grant and free school meals. I remember every Monday the teacher would call our names out to collect our dinner money. Even though she knew I received free school meals, she would still call out my name. I remember feeling mortified. I was too embarrassed to say out loud that I had free school dinners. So, every Monday, when my name was called, I would walk up to the front (all eyes on me) and whisper to the teacher that I had free dinners. I don’t know why she insisted on doing this every week, perhaps with a class of thirty she simply couldn’t remember who had what. Fortunately, my classmates never commented. I think they must have realised, by how red my cheeks were, how embarrassed I was and they were kind enough not to add to it. Was my mother a scrounger who took advantage of the system? Absolutely not. Her only other option would have been to stay with an abusive man, putting her child in danger.

Many years later, with children of my own, The Husband found himself out of work. He had worked since he was a teenager and anyone who knows him, knows that he is a workaholic. He has forgone family holidays, celebrations and weekends, to be able to work. He was adopted at a young age and knew what it was like to have absolutely nothing. Something that he did not ever want his children to experience. So it was, that when he found himself out of work for six months, he refused to claim benefits. He felt that by claiming benefits, he would have become a failure and would be letting his family down. We soon started to accrue debt and we had no choice but to ask for help and sign up for benefits, causing The Husband to sink into a depression. At this point, we could have claimed for free school meals. However, my own experience prevented me from doing this and we continued to provide for our children, ourselves. It was a difficult situation and was one of the worst periods in our marriage. Fortunately, after six months, The Husband found work and we then spent the next few years doing our best to pay off the debt, while still trying to provide the best for our children.

What Katie Hopkins has failed to acknowledge, is that there are people in a situation of needing to claim tax payers help, through no fault of their own. There are people desperately trying to rectify their situations and people who have worked for many years and have paid into the tax system themselves, before needing help. Yes there will always be people who take advantage, my own cousin was age thirty before he ever worked a day in is life. However, this is the problem with generalising, you are putting people who are genuinely in an unfortunate situation, in the same category as people who have no intention of working or contributing to the welfare state. It isn’t fair Katie and you have ended up coming across as small-minded and bigoted. I do see what you are trying to say, however, ‘Brian, who works down the Co-op’ did not pay for The Husbands unemployment benefit. We have both paid into the tax system, myself at that point for at least sixteen years. Neither did ‘Brian, who works down the Co-op’ pay for my free school meals. My mother, who worked every hour she could to provide for me, paid for my school meals, via the taxes that she had paid into the system. Katie, I would like to pass on to you, my current favourite phrase. We may be in the same storm but we are not all in the same boat. Be kind.

Renovations

The living room renovation has begun! I have spent the last couple of days packing up said room. There is still a bit to do, but I have run out of boxes, so I am waiting for tomorrow when The Youngest Child opens the massive box, containing a balloon bouquet for her birthday. Then I will quickly steal the box and fill it with items from those cupboards, that have not seen the light of day for about five years. One cupboard contains numerous Wii games and seeing as the Wii was destroyed in the fire, I am considering consulting Music Magpie or Zifit, as to whether I can get a few quid for them. Middle Child suggested we just replace the Wii. Considering it had been in the bottom of a box in the treehouse for several years, and no-one had used it in that amount of time, I think not.

I am dreading the mess and the upheaval that this living room renovation is going to cause. We haven’t even had the go ahead yet to clear the fire damage, plus seeing as The Husband’s workshop burnt down, I don’t know how easy it is going to be to build the bookcases and cupboards that he is planning to. I suppose it’s my own fault for moaning how dated and grubby it looks. To be fair the wallpaper and cheap laminate has been there since before we moved in, fifteen year ago. I also knew it was on the cards, hence why I bought myself a nice comfy reading chair to go in the kitchen. Thinking I could spend my evenings in there, curled up with a book and a glass of wine, while The Husband gets on 😊.

The Husband suggested that I get a job lot of small cardboard boxes to put my 300+ books into. But, knowing better, I bought three massive ‘really useful’ plastic boxes, in which to store my precious possessions. I understood why he suggested small cardboard boxes, when Eldest Child nearly gave himself a hernia, and I an asthma attack, after lugging them up two flights of stairs to my bedroom. I, of course, will inform The Husband that it was a breeze. When he asks why, then, is there one box under the stairs, I will tell him that the bedroom was getting cramped, and not reveal that the real reason, was because I had to have a lay down for half an hour, after taking two of them upstairs.

I wish it was just a simple decoration job, however, it is going to be a complete refit. The chimney breast will be coming out, the walls re-plastered and the artex ceiling smoothed over. It only seems a little while ago (it was four months) that I came back from a visit to my mother, to find the promised new kitchen, still looking like a demolition site. When I broke down in tears, The Husband helpfully informed me that, “In six months time you will be looking back and thinking it was all worth it!” I informed him that I better be looking back in six weeks and thinking it was all worth it! And, of course, I was. He rose to the challenge and I now have my longed for new kitchen (the longing went on for five years). So, hopefully in the not too distant future, I will be looking back at this before picture, and thinking it was all worth it.

A quick update on the ‘Man-child’ saga. After 24 hours with no gaming equipment, all work was completed, attitude improved and UCAS application started. Interesting what confiscating a set of headphones can do! He was even on time to leave for his first day back in school this morning. Shame the car wouldn’t start and we ended up having to abandon the journey.

Man Child

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

So, I had a bit of an evening with The Eldest Child yesterday. Let me put it into context. He is 17 years old and is in his first year of studying for his A levels. He has always been fairly lazy when it comes to school work (or any kind of work for that matter, that involves him moving away from his computer games) however, he is also a bright boy so the laziness has not affected his grades or hindered him from doing well. Frustratingly, this means that he could do exceptionally well if he put any kind of effort into his studies but he has always been a ‘as much as needs to be done’ kind of kid. He has also always veered to certain subjects, such as geography, biology, history, anything that involves the natural world or bygone eras. When he is interested in something, he will read about it and has the ability to retain data and statistics that astonishes me. For example, he would be able to reel off the height of certain dinosaurs and how many millions of years ago they lived, along with all sorts of other information and without having to stop and think about it. Subsequently, when he left school to go to sixth form elsewhere and decided to continue to study his preferred subjects, I did not expect there to be a problem. For one thing he was now only focused on the subjects that he was already interested in and for another, we had supported him in his decision to move away from his current school to a different one, where he already had friends and had less travelling to do.

How wrong was I?

He struggled to settle in. His friends were now in the year above him and most of the other students were kids who had been in that school throughout their senior school years and therefore all knew each other. As the new boy he occasionally got teased, though he was more than capable of standing up for himself and did. He had moved from a comprehensive school to a grammar school, where the rules were stricter. His previous school had begun to treat the older students as young adults, however the current school seemed to treat them as though they were on the same level as the younger kids, which he did not appreciate. I started to get emails about his absence and lateness, which culminated in a meeting with the Head of Year. It was the worst meeting I have ever attended. Eldest Child told us that he had actually not missed that much school but conceded that he had been late on numerous occasions. Therefore, the absences were clearly a mistake on the part of the school and the teachers had not marked him in on those occasions when he had been late. After he had given this explanation, he refused to answer anymore questions and for the next forty-five minutes, sat there saying “no comment”. I was mortified. The Head of Year explained that at 85% attendance if the school were making that many mistakes, then that was a serious issue which would need to be investigated. “No comment”. I tried to be as supportive as I could. I questioned him as to whether he felt he had made a mistake in changing schools. “No comment”. I suggested that he have a think and if he did feel that he should have stayed at his previous school then he needs to talk to me, as this is something that I could sort out. “No comment”.

Shortly after this meeting the pandemic reached crisis levels and the country went into lockdown. The Eldest Child seemed to see this as the start of his summer holidays and took it as an opportunity to refrain from doing any school work. Consequently, he got really behind and the work began to pile up. We tried encouraging him, motivating him and finally giving him consequences. The only thing he wanted to do was sit on his computer, talking to his friends via a headset. So, of course, this was what we took away. After the initial shouting and whining, he would complete his work and we would then allow him to have his equipment back. This has since become a routine. We have of course tried other methods of motivation. The Husband, who has still been working as he is working alone, took him to work with him initially. The Eldest Child was paid for the work he did and we felt that it was a good way of getting him out of the house, whilst giving him the opportunity to earn his own money. After a couple of days, he refused to go and wouldn’t get out of bed. Once lockdown restrictions were eased, I allowed him on one occasion to meet two friends in the park (while socially distancing of course), thinking contact with his friends would do him good. All to no avail. He basically spends the whole day in bed and will only complete school work when his tech equipment is removed.

By this point in the story, I am hearing cries of if he was mine, I would do this, that and the other. I have been one of those people in the past who have made such comments. We are not parents who are push overs, I have been told I am one of the strictest parents one person knows. At the same time, we are not making our children live in some kind of totalitarian state. We have certain expectations, mainly to do with school work and behaviour and there are consequences if the kids step out of line. However, we are also fairly laid back in the sense that, as long as they are meeting these expectations we are not on their backs. We have tried to enforce rotas for chores but to be quite frank I find it so stressful I end up doing everything myself. Currently the situation is that all tech devices are turned off at a reasonable time in the evening, for everybody. This is to keep a good routine and encourage the children to get into good sleep patterns, rather than staying up all night playing computer games. No gaming is allowed until school work has been completed. If schoolwork is not completed, then there will be less gaming time. Which I think is fair enough.

I would also like to mention, at this point, that Eldest Child is going to be 18 in six months time. He is not a little kid who I can put into ‘time out’ or use other methods that may work on younger children. He sees himself as practically an adult and will argue and stubbornly refuse to do the things he doesn’t want to do. Other than taking away his tech (and occasionally threatening to kick him out) I am not really sure how to discipline an ‘almost adult’. Also, it becomes difficult to confiscate items that he has bought himself, with his own money that he has earned.

The other point that I would like to address, which I am sure has crossed your mind by now, is the likelihood that he is depressed. While I concede that this is a definite possibility, I also believe that the problem is most likely caused by teenage hormones. While he is technically almost an adult, puberty has hit him later than some of his peers. At the age of 14/15 when his friends were beginning to experience moodiness and sullenness, he was still a regular little boy. I used to comment to The Husband how lucky we were that he had not caused us any trouble, considering how some teenage boys behave. While I still feel he hasn’t caused us any real trouble, he is definitely experiencing the mood swings and hormonal crashes that I would expect of a younger teenage boy.  

So back to yesterday. The Eldest Child’s tutor rang to speak to him, as he was ringing all the students just to check in. I said I would like to speak to him first and proceeded to explain the situation to him. I pointed out that Eldest Child had got behind with his school work, simply down to his own laziness and while he had now caught up, I was still receiving emails from teachers to say that there was still work that was outstanding (as in late not amazing). The tutor didn’t really offer me any constructive advice but he did confirm that sometimes he does see boys of this age experiencing the symptoms of puberty related hormones and it is just very unfortunate that it happens while they are in the middle of their A levels. He then requested to speak to The Eldest Child. I took the phone up to him, as, despite it being 4.40pm he was still lounging in his bed. Well he refused to speak to the man on the phone. Every time I tried to hand him the phone, he would either push it away or try to press the off button. OMG I was mortified. I had to get on the phone and explain to the tutor that he refused to speak. The tutor seemed surprised and really didn’t know want to say. Both him and myself couldn’t end the call quick enough. Of course, I went pretty mental. I will admit, I probably over reacted. I told him quite a few home truths about his laziness and bad attitude and what he could do if he didn’t sort himself out. All gaming equipment was confiscated. Later he came downstairs to tell me that I was wrong to shout at him, why would he want to talk to the man on the phone. I pointed out that he was his teacher and all he was doing was checking in to see if there was anything he could help with. I was clearly told that he doesn’t want to talk to his teacher and “why should I?” In the next breath he asked for his gaming equipment! Erm no!

The reason I have written about this experience, is not to be told what a bad parent I am and how I could be doing it better. The reason I have written about this is because all the home-schooling lockdown stories I have read, have been about how difficult and exhausting it is to home-school younger kids. I have not yet read anything about the difficulties of encouraging and motivating sixth formers, who are not quite adults, to keep up with their studies. I do appreciate that most kids who are studying for their A levels want to do well and are trying to get good grades to earn a place on their preferred university course. The Eldest Child is no different in this. He has picked out a degree course that he wants to do and he knows that he has to get three A grades to get a place. However, his hormones (and/or his bad attitude) seem determined to get in the way of him achieving this. I just wanted those of you who may be in a similar situation to know that I hear you. Not all teenagers experience puberty at the same age and for some it does cause depression and lack of interest in the world around them. Some of you may be finding your ‘man child’ hard to handle for other reasons. If anyone has any (sensible and well meaning) suggestions for motivating or disciplining your almost grown child then I would be interested in hearing them.

A Child’s Wisdom

So I was just watching a live video by a blogger that I follow, during which she was talking about racism and how we as parents have a duty to teach our children how to be accepting of each others differences. While I absolutely agree with her that it is our responsibility to raise our children to be kind, respectful human beings, sometimes the younger generation are the ones that are teaching these lessons to others and perhaps we need to stop and listen for a minute to what these voices of the future are telling us.

I was reminded of something that happened a couple of years ago, when The Youngest Child used her voice to teach others an important lesson and I wanted to share the story with you.

The Youngest Child’s classroom was on the top floor of the school building and every afternoon, at home time, the children would line up ready to leave the room to meet their parents. As they were lining up, through the window they had a clear view of the path that the parents would walk along, as they came onto the grounds to collect their children. Each day they would see a particular mother walking down the path. This lady was a Muslim and she chose to wear a Niqab, which covered her head and body, leaving the area around her eyes clear. On this particular day, some of the children began to make comments about the way the lady was dressed, using derogatory terms and making assumptions about her way of life. The Youngest Child found this extremely offensive and made her feelings quite clear to the other children. When she came home she told me what had happened and said that she wished to speak to the headteacher about it and could I make an appointment for her! Dutifully I emailed the school to explain what had happened and requested that she be able to speak to the headteacher the following morning.

The next day, The Youngest Child was invited to the headteachers office, where she proceeded to explain what had happened. She made it quite clear to the headteacher that the lady in question has the freedom to wear what she wants and to practise whatever religion that she chooses, without having to suffer people making unkind comments about her. The headteacher listened to what she had to say and commended her for having the confidence to speak up for something that she had witnessed but did not agree with. She was 9 years old at the time.

Subsequently the whole class took part in discussions about the issue of prejudice and the importance of being respectful towards other people, and so a whole group of children learnt something important that day.

I was extremely proud of The Youngest Child, that she had used her voice to do the right thing. I hadn’t had any major conversations with her about prejudice, however I would like to think that our moral outlook as a family, had helped to shape her into the positive, open-minded person that she was clearly becoming. She has always been feisty, argumentative, outspoken and determined. Traits that, dealing with as a parent can be frustrating and exhausting, but traits that are allowing her to stand up for what she believes is right and to speak up for those who she feels are being discriminated against. Perhaps we can all learn from these voices of the future and have the confidence to use our own voices to speak out, when we see acts of prejudice and injustice in our day to day lives.

Raised Eyebrows!

I have updated the last of the Monster Diaries that I wrote last year. I didn’t write for a long while after these last entries because I was busy doing a degree and back at work full-time. I hope to resume writing them in the near future but life is actually pretty quiet nowadays, especially as the children and I are still home in semi-lockdown. We go out walking three times a week but they are not yet back at school and I am not at work. In the meantime I thought I would entertain you with one of the stories from last September that I posted in the diaries today. You can read about the rest of September by following the link, which includes the ups and downs of Youngest Child starting secondary school.

http://themenopausalmonster.co.uk/diary-entries/16/

Sunday 20th September

FMFL!!

Youngest Child is going to give me a nervous breakdown before this year is out. She had been playing round at Best Friend from Home’s house when she knocked on the door, with the sole purpose it seems, to argue with me about something that I cannot even remember due to the trauma of what unfolded. I was standing at the open door, she was just inside the door and Best Friend from Home was standing on the doorstep with Best Friend from Home’s friend from school (who after several unapologetic breakages by this friend from school I have told Youngest Child not to bring her to the house anymore). Youngest Child was ranting about whatever it was and I was busy feeling annoyed that Best Friend from Home’s destructive friend was standing at my doorstep and wondering if it would be rude to tell her I didn’t want her in my house anymore, so I wasn’t really paying much attention to what she was actually ranting about. So it was that it was quite a few minutes before I really looked at her and tried to take in what she was shouting at me about. As I looked at her a sense of confusion started to cloud my thoughts before the horror of what I was looking at began to dawn on me. Youngest Child had no eyebrows! I repeat, Youngest Child had no fucking eyebrows!

“What have you done?” I hissed, at which point I could see the realisation at what I meant pass over her face.

“Nothing what do you mean?” she asked, trying to look indignant.

I began to stammer at the two girls on the doorstep before managing to collect myself enough to tell them that Youngest Child was now staying home and closing the door in their faces.

When I say I went mental, I mean I really went mental. What I wasn’t prepared for, however was the explanation she was about to give me as to where her eyebrows had gone. She told me how she had found a cotton pad on her dressing table, which was already wet with something, she didn’t know what it was wet with and when she put it on her eyebrows it burnt them off! Burnt them off??? Are you kidding me?? Is the child really telling me she put an unknown, and clearly acidic, chemical onto her eyes, which then burnt her eyebrows off? Apparently, she thought it was nail varnish remover! Why the fuck would she put nail varnish remover on her eyebrows?

This is an eleven-year-old secondary school child, not a toddler. Why would she do such a stupid thing? I screamed and shouted about how she is lucky she hasn’t gone blind and how astounded I was at her stupidity, and finished by telling her to get out of my sight and go up to her room.

FMFL!!

A little while later Middle Child appeared to inform me that she had found out the truth about what had happened to her eyebrows. Thankfully there were no acidic chemicals involved, this had been a story made up to stop her getting into trouble!!! (The mind truly boggles). What had actually happened is that she had suddenly remembered that someone at primary school had commented that her eyebrows were bushy, so she had decided to shave them off! FFS! It is no wonder I now have a glass of wine most nights!

For Better or Worse

I read an article yesterday that talked about how, when we come out of lockdown, there will be a surge in divorce cases. I can only imagine how difficult some people have found it being in total lockdown with their spouses. If things were difficult before, the current situation would surely exacerbate problems and perhaps being at home together has highlighted things that weren’t considered to be a problem previously.

I actually thought that it would be more stressful than it has been, being in lockdown with the family. Granted, trying to get a 17 year old to do schoolwork that he isn’t interested in has been a challenge, however that has really been the only source of stress. The Husband and I have been together for 23 years and I truly believe that we have been able to sustain our relationship because, although we actually have very little in common and each have our own interests, we do not expect the other to be responsible for fulfilling all aspects of our life and we give each other the freedom to pursue those interests. For example, The Husband is not very sociable, but he understands that I am and has never complained when I spend a lot of time with friends and I understand that he needs to spend a lot of time playing sport, otherwise he becomes grumpy and sullen.

You would think, then, that being in lockdown together, would highlight our differences however, I feel that there is an extra sense of closeness developing. I have found myself to be a lot calmer than I was pre-lockdown and my hormones do not seem to have affected me in the same way as they had been doing recently. I feel like I have stepped off the world for a little while and it has had a very positive affect on my disposition.

Now don’t get me wrong, The Husband and I have a strong relationship with no major issues, however, I do think the change in my demeanour has contributed to having a positive affect on how The Husband and I have been relating to each other, in terms of less bickering (usually caused by my snappiness) and the amount of quality time we have spent together. We have found ourselves doing things together that we wouldn’t normally do, such as sitting in the garden each evening, doing chores and gardening, finding tv programmes to watch together instead of each watching our own thing in a separate room and even going for walks (though he is still trying to get me to run, to no avail and there has been mention of a bike 😲). A sense of peace and companionship has descended on the household, that in the past we have been too busy doing our own thing, to find and appreciate. Let’s hope that it continues post coronavirus.

There has been so much sadness, anxiety and fear for a lot of people during this pandemic but for some they have realised that life doesn’t have to be lived at 600 miles an hour and they have found little positives that they intend to take away from this experience. I wonder what yours are?

Cooking with Kids

I have just uploaded a recipe for apple crumble that I do make quite regularly for the family. The last time I made it, I allowed The Youngest Child to help me. I don’t always have the patience for cooking with the children because it is sometimes just quicker and easier (and less messy) to do it myself. However, I felt particularly guilty when making the last batch of apple crumble, as although I really wasn’t in the mood Youngest Child really enjoyed doing it. I really must make more of an effort to do things like cooking and baking with her as it gets her off the video games and allows us to spend time together, which doesn’t happen often once they are teenagers. She is currently pestering me to make banana bread again so she can help me. Thing is I have no ripe bananas as The Husband is a bit of a banana freak and generally eats them before they ripen. I may hide a few away in a dark cupboard for a couple of days.

If you have any favourite recipes that you would like to send me, Youngest Child and I will give them a go and feature them on the site, with all credit given of course.

You can find the apple crumble recipe by following the link below. If you try it out do send me photos of your results, I would love to see them.

http://themenopausalmonster.co.uk/recipes/2/