Code Red

“Karen!!! I’m in CGulls.  Surrounded by 40 screaming kids and Rory won’t leave because he’s playing with a truck. Plus, I think he needs his nappy changed. This is a nightmare”

“He’s just poked a boy in the eye for touching his truck.  It’s carnage in here Karen. CARNAGE I TELL YOU!”


“Update. My jeans zip has broken and I’ve had to leave the children’s cafe because the Mum’s were laughing at me. I’ve then tried to get a train from Troon to Barassie because I can’t follow my original plan of going to the park, clearly not a good idea with my penis on show, only to fly by the station at 70mph and end up in Irvine. Turns out the train doesn’t stop in Barassie. When I get to Irvine I get off the train and the pram falls down the gap in between the train and the track. So, there I am, with my jeans hanging off, trying to rescue our son from certain death and all because you want to make a point. Hope you’re proud of yourself Karen.”

These were the actually messages I received on Friday before midday.  All  I wanted was two hours. TWO HOURS to volunteer at a local group. And here I was excusing myself from the room and hissing into the phone “why don’t you just buy a safety pin and crack on with your day?”
I think my last question just tipped him over the edge so I thought it best I step in and put a stop to this circus of a morning!

I gave a brief outline of the turn of events and headed to the station to pick the boys up. I’ve never seen them both look so relieved to see me!



Potty training has been on my mind for a while with Rory.  Despite him having limited vocabulary, I am pretty sure he is aware of the need to go to the toilet.  He usually hides under the table or behind the clothes drier. I tentatively decided to see how we would get on in the house just letting him run around with no nappy or trousers and reminding him the potty is there.

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. There I was, covered in shit with my terrified child trying to climb up my leg seeking comfort from the trauma of a poo just falling out his bottom.

There is no way to dress this up. We seem to have peeing in the bag (so to speak) but poo’s seem to catch him off guard.  I get a two second warning of “uh oh” and then its there.  On the laminate. Near the potty but definitely not in it!

As I tried to reassure him it was fine and source cleaning materials to mop up the mess, I heard another “uh oh” and then  Rory runs through pointing at his foot which was now also shit covered after he had stood in it.

I hosed him down down in the sink, cleaned up the worst of the mess and popped him in his bath for a thorough cleaning. I then spent the rest of my evening disinfecting and steaming the floors.  Grim.

I don’t know whether to persevere or if I’m expecting too much too soon?  It’s so tricky to know when they are ready.  If anyone has any advice or tips then I’d love to hear them. But for today at least it’s back to nappies. There’s always next week….


Millport Bike & Buggy“What shall we do today?” Simon asks.  He asks this same question every Saturday.  We rarely have anything organised in advance.  17 months is an awkward age.  Not a baby, but not really into planned activities as yet.  Basically, pretty unimpressed with most of the things we do. Except running around the park.  He loves that always. “Let’s go to Millport!  Your friends took their toddlers in those buggy things attached to bikes.  Yes, let’s do that.” I had my reservations but it made a change from the park.  So an hour later we were on the ferry. The girls had told me where to hire the bikes and buggies from so we hopped on the bus and arrived at the shop. We were given bikes and a little buggy to pop Rory in.  This is where it all starts to fall apart.  He did not like his mode of transport at all.  People were sipping their morning coffee and watching on as I tried to wedge Rory in to the buggy shrieking “It’ll be so much fun darling.  Just let me pop you in the seat an then we will be off.” “Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” Rory screams in my face whist shaking his head.  I fish out a stale rich tea biscuit from my bad and the lady from the shop comes out with some bubbles (the kids kind, not a glass of prosecco more’s the pity).  It gives me a second to fasten him in, pull down the shield and Simon sets off in front pulling Rory behind him.   Rory realises what we have done.  He is furious.  The first 2 miles of the cycle are a shambles. Rory is screaming in a high pitched voice, trying to launch the remainder of his rich tea out the buggy in disgust. I’m smiling and nodding to people who stare after the toddler equivalent of a mobile air horn.  Simon pulls over, just as he’s stopped crying.  I’m screaming, “why the fuck are you stopping just as he’s stopped crying?  KEEP MOVING” And then I see Simon’s face.  He’s scarlet.  “Seriously Karen,  he’s too heavy.  And all the bags are in there too.  You’ll need to carry some stuff on your bike.  This is ridiculous”. After some redistribution of weight we headed off.  After 15 minutes he pulls over again. “Oh God, what now?” “I think something’s wrong” Says Simon. “He doesn’t look right.  Check on him”.  I have a look.  “He’s asleep.  He’s just slumped forward because the thingy can’t recline.  He’ll be fine”.  “No, I think he’s passed out.  Maybe it’s the excitement.  Make sure he’s o.k?” I go in to adjust him back a little and he wakes up. Screams in my face and so it continues. Admittedly it did get easier after the first half of the journey.  He stopped crying, we had a picnic, the boys played in the sand, and it didn’t rain!  I’d definitely do it again as long as the weather was kind. Back to the park next week though.  Think it’s time for one of those warm outdoor splash suits though.  Brrrrrrrrrr .


I decided to take Rory along to a new toddlers group.  He doesn’t attend a nursery and I’m conscious that it’s good for him to socialise with other children.  I’d convinced Lizzie to come with me to check it out as I find it quite daunting going to new activities.  I needn’t have worried.  Rory and Emma toddled off and played with the fab selection of toys.  Rory made a beeline for the dolls pram.  He loves a pram.  He shot off at lightening speed, mowing down several children in his way.  He uses the pram as less of an accessory and more of a weapon. Emma spent a considerable amount of time with one leg trapped down the hole of a trampoline but she seemed happy enough.

Another older boy was quite keen on grabbing toys off other children.  Rory let it happen once and then formed a strategy.  As soon as the boy came to steal the phone off him, he just shut his eyes, held the toy close and sat down until the boy gave up.  I liked his style.

Lizzie sighed,  “Don’t get me wrong Karen.  I like it.  But I can’t see a tea trolley”.  Lizzie lives for a cup of tea and toddler activities, and she has a fair point.  “I know what you are saying.  But look at all the great toys! And it’s only £2!”  I could sense she wasn’t convinced.  And then bingo.  Out pops a lady with tea, coffee, biscuits and juice for the kids.  Extra joy was injected into the event as we had actual real mugs.  No styrofoam here.  “Fair enough Karen.  I think it’s a winner”.

As Lizzie freed Emma from the trampoline and I prized Rory From the handle of the toy pram we decided it was a success.  For £2 you really couldn’t complain.  I am looking forward to seeing Rory’s battle skills develop and Lizzie is already looking forward to her next cuppa!