Busy hands make less of me!

Hey all! So this post is kind of a follow on from my Slima-marinky-mee post a few weeks ago. I thought I’d share some of the things I use to distract me from needless eating, ‘cos I dunno about you, but I’m certainly guilty of eating out of pure boredom. Now, I won’t lie either and say sensible thinking always wins, ‘cos in reality sometimes only half (probably a full one really) a tub of B&J’s Caramel Chew Chew will do, but they say God loves a trier and if my hands are otherwise engaged then I’m not stuffing me gob. So here we go…

  1. Colouring! Yes kids…colouring and now thanks to the stacks of adult colouring books in themes ranging from the sea to space, mandalas to city landscapes and magical gardens, there’s loads to choose from (I spied a Star Wars one in Asda the other day but I already have two so I’ll be good). This is one of my favourite distractors as Small Monkey likes colouring too, so it’s an all round winner. We get to colour pretty pictures together and I’m not raiding the fridge. We’re spending time together and I’m spending less time munching. He’s developing his fine motor skills and I’m developing a lower BMI. It’s peaceful and I’m not dipping in the biscuit bin. There’s not much tidying up and I’m not raiding the other fridge. It’s actually very calming and I’m one-nil up in the battle against boredom eating! See!! WIN!160322123718_wm
  2. Knitting! Don’t judge…knitting is cool again, just google “yarn-bombing”. Again, my hands are busy and if I ever want to catch up with my “Sky blanket” then taking time to stop and eat is just not an option. I normally use knitting as a distraction during the night when I’m trying to catch up on my programs (a vicious circle in itself). I’m the slowest knitter in the world anyway and I can only remember three stitches but it works for me.
  3. Reading. Ok, so reading can be a tough one as a lot of us like to curl up with a hot choc or glass of wine and some nibbles and delve into our books. However, I find if the book is good enough and I’ve got a nice mug of tea then I’ll want to get to the next page sooner than get up to root out a dangerous nibble, UNLESS I’ve got syns to use then of course they’ll be already beside me to use as a treat…hell yeah!! Basically, make sure you pick a proper page turner!! I also sometimes go through my old SW mags for a bit of inspiration.160322124133_wm
  4. Walking/ Dancing. Yay!! Back to the fun stuff…well kinda. (God I’m so distracted right now by comic Adam Hills pulling audience members up on stage to form a new boyband……anyway…). My friend Suz and I try to go walking three nights a week, it doesn’t always happen as life and family sometimes get in the way, but we aim for that. Yes, I know it can be hard to get stuff like this in but I think we’re entitled to these 4-5hrs to ourselves out of a week. If however we can’t get out or you haven’t got anyone to watch the kids then get them involved and DANCE!! Get your Beyonce on! Shake like Shakira! Release your inner Pussycat Doll….For the love of Geri Halliwell educate those lil ones on the Sacredness of the Spice Girls!! They’ll think you’ve lost the plot but ye’ll have great craic! Seriously though, everybody CAN dance! There are no rules to dancing and no matter how you do it, you’re moving more than you were before you started so you’re winning! Plus it makes us release endorphins making us in much better moods annnd you’ll tire the kids out!


  5. Unfinished projects. I have a fair few of these lads lurking about, begging to be finished, the biggest of these is my writing bureau (yes Mike & Sandy…it’s still pending!). When I started painting it, it was summer so I’d get Small Monkey off to bed….and Big Monkey too and I’d paint it whilst they were out of the way and I could leave the window open to air it (we live in an upstairs flat, so no outside space for this). So if you have things like this that you’ve been meaning to do, use them as distractions to over eating. Simples!160322123653_wm
  6. Ironing! Booooo!! I know…not fun stuff, that’s why I saved this til last. As you can see from the pic, this is my least favourite distractor. Just think of it this way, unless you’ve blended your choccie bars into milkshakes and have a beer drinking helmet handy, it’s much easier just to start the ironing and get on with it. The “stop, nibble, iron” method means you may get one shirt done per hour, if you’re lucky. Still though, it’s a win…the ironing pile is decreasing and I’m sure this has to be a beneficial exercise to at least one bingo wing?!

So there ye go lads, these are the tips I try to use on myself, if ye have any to share then please tell me, like I said I’m not perfect and I don’t live my life by these tricks….shur if I did surely I’d be a whippet??

love Donna x

Monkey turns Fartarse!

I pick up a 4pack of Fruit shoots on the way to the till whilst in Deals the other day, unfortunately for me Small Monkey, who will most likely be referred to as Fartarse or Small Butthead (lovingly of course) in the coming lines, spotted them. Ugh!!

“Can I have fruit shoot Mammy? Please Mammy?”

“Yes, sweetheart, Mammy just needs to pay for them first. Put that lolly down please”.

“I have this!”

“No, baby, you have enough now.” I glance down. “For God’s sake Small Monkey, will you put the (unwrapped, broken all over the shelf, piece) of lollipop down now? C’mon be a good boy.”

“I want it!”.

“You can’t have it, now c’mon let’s go, c’mon D” (my nephew was with us), I grabbed Small Monkey’s hand and headed towards the door.

“I want fruit shoot…I want fruuuit shoooot!”

“Yes you can have it, but let’s get back to the car first ok?”.

This is when it happens! This is officially the start of the “public” tantrums. Small Monkey decided he didn’t want to leave Deals, he didn’t want to go to the car and bizarrely  no longer wants the fruit shoot…or so he insisted. I was holding his hand walking towards the exit when he sort of jumps into a half kneel, half stand and shouts “I don’t want to”. He doesn’t want “to go car”. Well, we have to I inform him, trying to drag him up into a stand so we can carry on out the door. He’s not co-operating. I try bribing him with the fruit shoot, he doesn’t want it!!! Wtf?? Isn’t the wanting of a fruit shoot how this whole thing started?? I have to let go of his hand to try get a better grip on him and he’s off…little fart! I go after him (followed by lil nephew, no I haven’t lost him, he was just, thankfully, fairly quiet through the whole ordeal). I grab Small Monkey’s hand, asking if he’d like to be squashed on the road, or taken away by a stranger…does he want Mammy to be sad? Yes is his answer! He has relented though and is holding my hand.

We get out onto the main street and “I wannnt fruit shoot” starts again. I explain we’re going to cross the road and once Grandad picks us up and we’re in car, they can both have one. It’s to cold and it’s going to rain. My answer is not to Small Monkey’s liking so he drops to the half stand-kneeling stance again. I’m getting a bit thick now, but ya know, you gotta make like a cucumber in these situations. I totally understand that he doesn’t fully understand patience but it still doesn’t make me feel any less exasperated.”I carry you” he says. “No Small Monkey, you’re to big and we’re only crossing the road then we’ll get in the car”. “I CARRRRY YOOOOU MAAAMMMYYY!!”.I’m cold and what should be a 5min walk is turning into an ordeal.  I pick him up, fling my bag at me nephew, asking him to carry it, telling Small Butthead he’s being silly and bold. Of course he says “I not silly, YOOU silly”, so as “punishment” for him being a pain in my butt, I tuck him under my arm, like you would a roll of carpet. He dreads that. We cross the road and I grant him his wish of being put down. He’s still going on about this fruit shoot and I’m still saying wait, I’m trying not to crack, trying to stand by the whole “when Mammy says no, she means it” philosophy. “Small Monkey, I Said No, you have to wait!” “I want it!” “well I want a lot of things in life that sadly I just don’t get, your fruit shoot is now the very same for you. Listen to Mammy or you won’t get it at all”. With that, he lies on the path rolling from side to side, not crying, just kind of howling.I tell nephew to ignore Monkey, he’s being bold. People in passing cars are looking at us, I don’t care, he needs to listen. I can see another lady coming with her Ma (?) and kids and I kind of give Monkey a little indication of the direction he needs to roll in now to leave her room to get by in, with my foot. (To be clear, I didn’t kick or shove him, I just put my foot behind him, really to stop him rolling in her way). The woman passed us, and kinda smiled, as did her Ma, I felt it was a knowing “I understand you” kinda smile though. My Ma texts me to come into the Bridge Centre, so I crouch down to speak to Small Monkey. We spend a few minutes deciding if he’s stopped crying/howling yet and if he’s going to walk. It’s a firm no to both, so he gets carried, front facing (which he dislikes again as he can’t see me) down to the centre. His cousin can’t understand Monkey’s boldness today.

Halfway to the centre, he’s calmed down and asks to walk. I set him down, “are you going to be good? Yes. Are you sorry for upsetting Mammy? Yes. Do you love Mammy? Yes. I love you too Sausage. I love you Mammy”. All’s right with the world……for 5 minutes. We’re about to go into the centre, “noooo, I don’t want go in”. Lord jayzus!!!! We go in, he drops fully to his knees and I realise he’s actually sliding along on his knees. Give me strength! I tell him to walk and bribe him with the cursed fruit shoot…it works this time!160303010610_wm

Three days later, I have a similar situation at Gatwick train station. Well it actually started about 10mins before we landed, when Small Monkey decided enough was enough, he didn’t want to wear a seat belt and the window blind should stay closed!! What a f**king nightmare. He’s screaming his beef aloud and just not listening to me, the steward comes over to ask him if he’s ok, a rather sheepish no is his reply, the steward explains we’ll land soon. This little interaction with the steward seems to placate him and I thank the steward. You know as soon as I said thanks, I regretted it. I don’t even know why I said it but once I had I felt like an idiot. Seriously, I felt like he was looking at me with sympathy, but the kind that made me feel inferior, he topped it then with “sometimes, you know, it just takes a man”. I smiled through my teeth.

Annnywhooo….Gatwick train station… we’ve come through the gates and Fartarse decides he doesn’t want to walk. I’m already wheeling the suitcase, wearing a backpack, there’s a handbag slung across my front and I’m trying not to lose my 2yr old! I explain our situation (I don’t shout at him and I try to explain the reasoning behind things rather than tell him off) but of course this doesn’t wash and he drops to his knees and I’m now pushing the suitcase and sliding a toddler along the floor!! FML!!! I give in, tuck my sprawling, screaming child into the aforementioned “carpet roll” and trudge along. He’s screaming to be put down and I do so so I can look at the departure boards and what does he do? At 6.00 in a busy airport train station? He lays on the floor and rolls himself away from me….murder briefly flashes through my mind!!! I go and scoop the little Fart up and he’s not impressed….like has he any idea how IMPRESSED I am right now!!? I again reiterate the cons of going away from Mammy and tell him he’s being bold. Of course, he’s not bold, I am. “Don’t say that Mammy”, he says, “I get down”, he struggles. I tell him no, it’s to dangerous so he starts slapping me. I felt like crying then. I hate when he does that, not that he does it often. I hate it more now that he’s done it in public. I feel like they see him as an uncontrollable brat and me as a walkover who can’t control said brat. (Generally he’s not a brat and he does listen but he is only TWO and he did have a long day travelling). I’m now at the end of my tether (I’ve given ye the short version of the airport events) so I put him down and give him a slap on the hand. Now, before I get reported for child abuse, I don’t mean I gave him a stingy slap or a smack, I don’t really slap him at all. I try the whole getting down to his eye level and talking, I’ve tried the naughty step and as above I try ignoring him but they don’t always work. (Oh I know I’ll hear the whole “well if you slap him, he’ll slap too” spiel BUT it’s a rare thing for my child to be slapped so I don’t understand why he hands slaps out so freely when angry.) We’re both upset now. He’s upset ‘cos I slapped him, (f.y.i…he’s not crying, he’s giving me his I-know-I’ve-done-wrong but-I’m-not-saying-sorry look.) I’m upset cos I felt like that’s all I had and people will now look at me like I’m a monster.

I hold out my hand , he takes it and asks if we can go on the magic stairs.

I love him all the world my little fartarse Monkey.