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!



Oh dear...

Oh dear…

Rory and I were pottering around the kitchen.  I stepped outside the back door to pop some rubbish in the bin. And then I heard it. The slam of the patio door.  The faulty patio door which Rory likes to pull open with the bolt at the bottom and escape into the garden whenever he can.  I knew even before I tried to open it that the lock had jammed.  Rory was inside laughing and slapping the window and I was outside with my pyjama top and no bra on. Of course I was.

Nononononononono, this cannot be happening. I desperately tried to keep calm whilst my life went into slow motion. “Come on Muffin.  Pop the lock up.  Let Mummy in. Pleeeeeease”. Shit.  What am I going to do? I had no phone.  I wanted to stay where I could see him but I needed to get help.  I ran down the side of the house and out on to the main road.  I saw a man across the road and screamed “Excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME”. He ignored me. Must have thought I was a lunatic.  But my shouting made a lady from across the road come to her window. I beckoned her out and she came to the door with a small boy in just his nappy and vest (clearly in the middle of dressing him).  “Please help me.  My little boy is trapped in the house.  He’s only one” by this point I was hysterical.  And desperate to get back to the house so I could see him through the glass.  She gave me her phone and I dialled 999.  There was no other option.  They weren’t keen to send the fire brigade.  Asked me if I could not just break a window myself.  Seriously!!! It’s double glazed and I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it without injuring myself.  She reluctantly sent them and within a few minutes 6 firefighters piled into the garden.  Rory thought this was fabulous.  They tried the prise open the door from the bottom. No. We looked at which windows would be easiest to break. None.  And then we thought the front door looked like it might be quite simple to kick in (reassuring!). So the boys gave it a few boots and hey presto. We were in! Rory was scooped up by a lovely firefighter and given a cuddle and passed to Mummy.

The lady across the road is called Elizabeth.  Her Grandson is called Glen and I had never spoken to them in my life, yet they helped me when I needed it.  That little boy ran about my garden in nothing but a nappy and his vest  until we rescued Rory and was as good as gold.   I popped over later with some flowers for Elizabeth and a toy for Glen. A Fireman Sam toy obviously!



We made it. Rory turned one. And despite face planting some concrete 20 minutes before our guests were due to arrive, he styled his Birthday party out in typical Rory fashion. With shades and a giggle! I feel quite emotional writing this post.  I’m not sure how we managed to get here.  But he seems happy, and healthy, and I’m so very grateful for that. I still haven’t found the manual for baby care. And after 12 months ‘they’ seem to cut you loose.  I say ‘they’, but I guess I’m referring to the support and guidance you receive in that first year. It’s like a pass.  If you fuck up, then at least you can say “I’m just learning”. Now ‘they’ expect me to know what I’m doing.  I don’t. Simon asked me how long I was going to breastfeed for now we had reached the 12 month mark.  He asked me if I felt I was doing it more for Rory than for me.  It made me mad but I did understand his curiosity. And I did think about his question. Just because Rory has been here for a whole year, he still can’t read a memo saying he should think about giving up the booby and moving onto cow’s milk (which he hates).  He feeds morning and night and maybe once or twice more if he’s upset or teething. See? I’m making excuses. Why am I doing that?  I suppose I feel that after a year people start to judge more.  And that’s o.k.  I’ll stand up against any judgment and do what I think is right for us.  We both enjoy the experience and I’m not hurting anyone so I don’t see an issue. Every baby is different and that’s the beauty of it.  I don’t know how this story goes. I just know I’ve finished a chapter. His personality makes itself more apparent every day and if that’s anything to go by then this could continue to be an interesting read.


Simon and I decided to go to Glasgow. To the sales. Shopping.  With Rory.  My instincts were telling me it was a bad idea and sadly, my instincts were correct.

It all started well enough.  We parked up and then we went our separate ways.  No sooner had we crossed the road than the crying and telltale chewing of the hand had kicked in (that’s Rory, not me!) I ploughed on. Speeding up to a gentle jog up and down Buchanan Street to try and appease the little man.  Aaaarrggghh, I had came all this way and couldn’t even get the pram round Zara due to the mountains of clothes littering the aisle and the tutting from other customers as I dared to try was not helping. I gave it up as a bad job and headed at pace to M&S.  Rory had that look.  I knew I had a matter of minutes left before we reached the crying crescendo.  Maybe I could buy a pair of pants before he lost it completely. No. No I couldn’t.  I had literally pushed the pram through the door when he opened his little mouth and screamed.  And screamed, and screamed and screamed.

People were looking at me.  I started to panic.  He’s heavy but I had to get him out the pram.  Unfortunately I can’t hold him and push the pram at the same time so I ended up with him clinging on to my waist supported by my right hand whilst I thrust the pram forward with my left shouting “excuse me” and “sorry” intermittently. I made my way to the children’s department.  I couldn’t hold Rory any longer. He had to go back in the pram.  This wasn’t going to be easy.  As I placed him back in the pram he pushed himself rigid and screamed very loudly in my face as protest.  “Look darling! Look what a mummy has!  A little toy for you to play with!”  I was scrabbling through my bag realising that all I had was an empty Asda carrier bag and some powder foundation.  Rory loves an empty carrier bag but I believe it would be frowned upon.  Expecially in M&S.

I frantically scanned the surrounding area and saw a little teddy for sale on the shelf, grabbed it and popped it in the pram beside him. He looked at it, still screaming, then put the price tag in his mouth, sucking it furiously.  He nodded off to sleep ten minutes later and I extracted the teddy.  And the soggy price tag.  And popped it back on the shelf.  Sorry M&S but desperate times called for desperate measures!

Surely I’m not the only parent who has ever done this.  Am I?  Maybe I should have bought the teddy, but it was £10! The sales are no place for a stressed Mummy and a teething baby.  Rory and I are staying at home until February!


Simon wanders into the kitchen.  “Jesus babe. When are we going back to normal food?”  “January” I mumbled.

It has been the month of the festive snacks in our house.  By “festive snacks” I mean the party foods currently being pushed in all the supermarkets. Tonight for example was Christmas tree pizza’s, pork belly squares and chorizo spring rolls .  All served with a bottle of chilled prosecco.  The pizza’s had a pretzel for a trunk in case you were wondering….

I’ve lost the will to cook.  I’m exhausted.  I’m sick of blending fruit and vegetables.  All the energy I have left goes on creating nice meals for Rory, so that by the time it comes to creating a meal for Simon and I, I play the “I’m out” card.

Chipolata’s, prawns in shredded potato, mozzarella sticks, baked camembert, mini chicken kiev’s have all been tossed out on a cold plate and passed off as “dinner.”

My friend Verity has been staying with her son, the same age as a Rory, Henry.  She took it all in her stride, as I knew she would.   “I’ll just purée the lemon sole for the boys.  Can you pop the prawn parcels in the oven and open the mulled wine?”. We totally rolled with it.

Rory and Henry got on famously.  Rory is very loud and active.  Henry is very chilled and considered.  It was a winning combination.  Henry happily let Rory scream in his face and climb on his tummy.  Rory happily let Henry chew on his socks and stroke his face.  Verity and I sat in the corner and watched the boys playing whilst discussing the merits of Annabel Karmel.  “Yes, I agree.  Her portions are FAR too small! Rory demolishes her 4 portion bolognese in one sitting!” I heard myself shriek.

My my, how times have changed.  Verity and I would in earlier years been propping up the bar drinking prosecco and discussing whether we should pay our rent or buy a Mulberry handbag! Now Annabel K and her puréed foods are the topics of the day.  Fabulous!


Rory has a new game.  He likes screaming ‘Aaaaaaaaaaa’ and then Simon responds with the same noise. It can go on for ages.  I realise it’s Rory learning how to communicate but it can be a bit intense.  In addition, he has mastered the art of pulling himself along the floor so can get from one side of the room to the other relatively quickly.  More so on the wooden flooring when he can slide along like a hockey puck!

I met up with some of my Mummy friends for coffee and cake. We popped the babies down on the living room floor. Emma being the oldest at 7 months and Euan being the youngest at just a couple of months. Rory was keen to play his new game with Emma. He shimmied across the floor. Her eyes were wide and her lip quivered as he approached. Within seconds he had pulled up to her face and screamed right at her. She burst in to tears and I ran to pull Rory away, mumbling an apology to Emma’s Mum.  I put him down far away from the other others and off he went, sliding back to Emma who now realised what was coming and burst in to tears as soon as she could see he was heading her way. Rory is clearly not good at reading the signs.

As I sipped my tea and we chatted away, I glanced back at Rory who had now gave up on Emma and had moved on to Euan’s socks.  They had little tigers on them so he was happily sucking them and looking at Euan trying to decide whether he would be better at the game than Emma. I pulled him away and so it went on.

Rory is an incredibly friendly and playful little boy. If a little boistrous. I’m just hoping we don’t get sacked from the Mummy group. Maybe we need to find some toddlers…..


I have never quite looked at vegetables the way I do now. There I was, standing in Morrison’s pondering whether you could purée a Kumquat. I don’t even reallyimage know what a Kumquat is but I wondered if Rory might like it.

I’ve started weaning the wee man on to solids. So far I have cooked and liquidised normal potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, apple, pear, courgette and parsnip. What a bloody palaver. Trying to force vegetables through a sieve has proved tricky so I’ve just resorted to boiling it beyond a inch of it’s life and whacking it in the Tommee Tippee blender.  This is probably the ‘wrong’ thing to do. I’m sure there is no goodness left in the veg by the time I’ve finished with it. The chances of vitamins and minerals remaining after my efforts are slim. Of that I have no doubt.

We plough on regardless. Rory sighing as I microwave his mash past boiling point and then pour in some boob milk to cool it all down. It’s still hotter than the sun. I decide to pop it outside to cool it down ( I imagine this is wrong too).  Rory knows what’s happening. He has pressed his head against the patio door willing the bowl of mush to come back inside and for the taste sensation to begin.

He holds his mouth open like a starving chick and as I try to feed him, he reverts back to type and tries to suck the spoon like a nipple. It’s a long business. He stops for a tactical spew over the side of his highchair and then seems keen to push on with today’s carrot/potato medley. What a boy!

I’m finding the whole thing quite nerve wracking. Does he have allergies? Will a lump of parsnip get caught in his windpipe? Annabel Karmel seems to have it all sorted out so I’ll follow her lead and see how we get on!