I would like to say that I never swear in front of my children. I'd like to say that I never say anything inappropriate - but I'd be lying.
A very wise woman (an English teacher I might add) once told my sister "Rachel, if you mean f&@k say f&@k." And this is advice I've hung onto for years. After all there are moments when only the F word or one of its close bed fellows will do. Like when you stand on yet another Lego brick; or stub your toe on that damn baby walker.
Sometimes I have the presence of mind to mutter it under my breath, or hastily change it to a "flipping heck" if the children are truly in close proximity. But sometimes I (actually that should be we - I'm most certainly not alone in this) don't quite manage it.
Sometimes I wish my car had one of those sound proof screens like taxis have - and not just for the sake of concealing my road rage. Imagine being able to see them whining but not be able to hear it? But alas Rufus now believes that anyone driving a white van is called an idiot, that it's ok to refer to old people as biddies (I'm so sorry world) and that muttered expletive are must in traffic. Oh the shame of it.
Thus far we have been lucky - Rufus has only demonstrated the extent of our potty mouthed vocabulary in private. I was, thankfully, the only witness to him throwing his bunnies on the floor and shouting something that sounded very much like "f&@k it" (daddy!!!)
I would be utterly mortified if he did it in public. Though clearly it's in our blood. Reportedly at a similar age I knocked my fork off my high chair in a restaurant and stood up and shouted "bugger, bugger, bugger". My paternal Grandfather apparently, and understandably, wanted to crawl under the table. We laugh about this oft repeated anecdote now, but at the time I'm sure judgement was rife.
So I'm trying to temper the language. And my tendency to overdramatise my speech. When Rufus started telling me he "hated" wind/potatoes/petit filou without the fruity bits at the bottom, I /we decided that I should start to dislike/not tolerate/not be a fan of things/people instead.
They pick up on everything these children, even when you think they're not watching. At least they copy the good things too. it cracks me up when he grans a wet wipe at the table, jumps off his chair, climbs up Laurie's highchair and says "look at the state of you Laurie - you grubby baby". The he gently, but in effectively, wipes his face. And I smile because that's what I do.
I love seeing little bits of everyone who cares for him moulding him and helping him create his own personality. lets just hope he chooses the best bits and learns when it's appropriate to swear. we just have to remember that he's always watching and there's no where to hide.
Before I get down to the actual subject of this post I just wanted to let you all know that I am now officially insane. How do I know this? Because I just put cat food in the draw of the washing machine. This has almost happened on several occasions in the past two and a half years but I've always caught myself just in time.
This time, instead of laughing to myself about the fact I'm slowly going mad while swapping my scoop of fetid cat biscuits for one of washing powder (there are separate scoops for each - in case you're wondering - it must be the scooping action that gets me confused). Today I actually stood there and watched my hand pour an entire days worth of Royal Canin into the draw before I realised what I was doing. Now despite washing and scrubbing there is a curious bouquet of 2 year old Fairy Non Bio (don't judge me - when did you last clean out your washing machine draw?) and cat biscuit wafting from my fingers. I just hope none escaped into the machine.
Anyway, madness aside. I seem to spend a lot of time comparing my children. I probably shouldn't - after all "all children are different, blah, blah, blah, blah" - but I can't help it. First time round I really had no idea what to expect so I spent my entire time comparing Rufus to every other child. Was he cleverer than everyone else's baby? Was he more advanced physically? Did he eat better, sleep better, speak better....?
Even though I know Rufus and Laurie are different, and will be different, I do spend a lot of time trying to remember when Rufus did this, that and the other until I quite frankly bore myself. I know Laurie has always been a better sleeper. He slept through the night when he was 12 weeks old - though it's only recently that he's become reliable about it. Rufus didn't sleep through until he was around seven months old and that was only under severe protest. But on the other hand Laurie is a less reliable sleeper during the day.
Laurie is bigger - and always has been. At six weeks he weighed what Rufus did at 12 weeks. At six months he matched a nine month old Rufus pound for pound. (but the health visitors still panicked that he was below his line!)
Rufus crawled at seven months. Laurie is now eight and a half months and he doesn't crawl but does somehow manage to get himself wedged under sofas or squished against cupboards. His movements are imperceptible, sloth-like, but obviously there. To be fair there is a lot more of him to carry around and I'm sure it won't be long.
They are both similar in their clinginess. We're going through the "mummy isn't allowed to leave a room without me stage" which is denoted by that particular groany whiney noise that makes you want to tear your hair out just a tiny bit. Once Rufus could crawl he just followed me so I'm counting the days and hoping that Laurie will be the same.
Laurie cried less in the beginning - much less. But now I'd say he cries a similar amount to Rufus at his age. Everyone says what a happy smiley chap old Laurie is and that they never hear him cry. And bless him on the most part he is quite jolly. But his cry is awful.
When he was about six weeks old he would smile if I rolled my r's and purred like a cat. Pretty soon afterwards he learned to do it himself. "He's a genius" I exclaimed (obviously). Now he has taken that talent and worked it into his cry. When he gets mad he does this awful high pitched, whirring, purring noise that gets to you at the very tip of your last remaining nerve. Mr Jones cannot stand it. I can just about block it out. He sounds just a little bit like that incredibly obnoxious and annoying Crazy Frog. Urgh,
I do feel guilty about all these comparisons. Most of my conversations with Mr Jones begin something like "When did Rufus.....". I'm also more impatient this time. I can't wait for Laurie to understand more so that he can really start to interact and play more with his big brother. When Rufus was a baby I could never see how he was going to become anything other than a helpless little thing so every milestone left me floored. This time I take them for granted, anxious for the next one, aware of the fun that is coming when he gets more independent and a little be more astute.
Sometimes I feel awful that I'm wishing time away, I tell myself to stop comparing them and just to take them in as they are right now. But when one is throwing a tantrum and the other is grumbling on the floor about to ramp up into the crazy frog unless I pick him up I do think - blimey is it bedtime yet.
NB - it took me a week to finish this post. You'll be happy to know that no cat food made it into the washing machine drum and the clothes came out unscathed.
Mrs Jones is a far from yummy mummy with a penchant for M&S fudge bars and a mojito on a Friday night. She became Mrs Jones in 2009 and a mummy in 2010. In 2011 she is attempting to remember her own name and not put washing powder in the dishwasher....