Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/MackandBobal
Hello, howdy, good day!
I appreciate we’ve been MIA over the past several… well months! But turns out a one year old keeps you more than busy!
Mush continues to brighten even the dullest of days with her quirky little traits. Such as when Mack or I are talking to someone, say a neighbour about the weather and mid conversation Mush’ll just shout “bye” and start waving. Or her extremely frustrating tendency to ask you to read book after book, listening attentively to each and every page until you reach the last page where she promptly jumps off your lap to fetch another book leaving you either feeling completely unsatisfied or shouting the last few lines of the story at a retreating baby butt. Or there’s her unparalleled love for emptying the dishwasher; how each of her plates, spoons and cups need to be licked before being put away in the cupboard and the last item she empties has to accompany her on her travels for the rest of the day. She’s a bundle of bizarre and we love it!
I could go on and on but I’ll leave you with this blog’s namesake story. Mush’s Aunty was visiting this week and volunteered to do bath time. Once Mush is settled in the bath, Aunty starts playing with her when Mush starts to trump.
“Bobal” Aunty shouts down the stairs “she’s pumping! She won’t poo will she?”
“Not likely” I assure her “she’ll squat if she’s going to anyway so just keep an eye on her.”
So Aunty and Mush happily get on with water fun. Rory laughing at her own bath farts and Aunty laughing at Mush’s inappropriate giggles. Only for Mush to suddenly Stand and Deliver… a poo!
Well panic stricken Aunty yells, “it’s happened.” I leg it up the stairs – kitchen towel and wet dish still in hand to survey the carnage. Bath toys, baby, poo bits and bath water are swirling around the bath, Aunty is dry heaving in the corner and Mush is laughing and splashing chaotically, seemingly having grown 8 more limbs and a sudden but single minded determination to drink the bathwater. Chaos ensues with me holding a naked and laughing Mush above the bath water yelling “do you want the baby or poo bits? Baby or poo?” Aunty opts for baby and sticks her on the potty whilst I futilely try and scoop poo out of the bath with another bath toy before all the toys are contaminated.
As Mush is now happily sat on the potty, Aunty also tries to rescue some of the toys, naively taking her eyes off daemon child. Well, sensing this is her big moment, Mush swiftly stands up, side steps 30 cms, squats and poos on the floor next to the potty. Aunty drops all the rescued toys back in the poo bath to their demise in an effort to put Mush back on to the potty and clean up the floor poo given that I am elbow deep in bath poo.
Aunty skilfully manages to encase most of the poo in a wet wipe and put it in the toilet. That is most of the poo save for an undigested poo raison. Mush calculating, observes that I am busy navigating poo bath and Aunty is navigating floor poo so she lunges for the poo raison. Aunty and I both lurch for her arm, bath toys forgotten and manage to stop it reaching her mouth and then we prise open her chubby little fist to retrieve said poo raison. Bad idea. Mush’s only wish on Earth is to eat the poo raison and she immediately stiffens her body, throws her head back and let’s out an almighty paddy. The biggest and loudest tantrum she has ever had. That poo raison was the most important thing in the world and nasty Mummy wouldn’t let her eat it.
Suffice to say once we’d finally got the little monkey in bed, the salvageable toys in the dishwasher, the bathroom scrubbed and ourselves washed; Aunty was significantly less enthusiastic about the prospect of doing another bath time and I haven’t eaten a raison since.
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One lazy afternoon in the no-man’s land between Christmas and New Year (the time where everyone wanders around bloated and confused, wondering what day it is) I was pottering around doing the dishes (yes Mum, this happens from time to time). Generally I was minding my own business while Bobal, her mum and Mush where just relaxing in the living room.
Whilst stacking everything away, in the intricate puzzle like fashion we have become accustomed to, I once again realised what a distinct lack of storage space in the kitchen we have. So I had a thought. A very ‘simple, quick and cheap solution’ came to mind that I stupidly vocalised to the family.
“Hey I know, wouldn’t it be great if we got a small set of shelves to put next to the fridge.”
Little did I realize what a mammoth mistake my musing was to be and the grave error of judgment I had just made.
What I assumed was a seemingly harmless thought, spawned a domino effect of apparently necessary jobs that formed in my wife’s mind and spewed out of her mouth. Adjustments that cascaded around my home like a tornado leaving no room untarnished. Here’s how the events unfolded:
Mack: “why don’t we get some shelves next to the fridge?”
Bobal: “Good idea, but I think we should move the fridge into the larder and put a big (expensive) set of shelves where the fridge used to be.”
Mack: “erm that’s an interesting idea…” *Mack empties larder and puts fridge in, assisted only by distant watching eyes*
Bobal’s Mum: “oh no that doesn’t work, where will the microwave go? What you really need to do is put the dining room in the living room, the living room in the dining room and move Mack’s office upstairs.”
Mack *looks nervous*
Bobal: “hmm, interesting but what about the litter trays…. that won’t work. We should put the fridge in the living room.”
Mack *unclenches and puts the fridge in the living room*
At this point Bobal’s dad arrives “what are you doing?”
Mack “I just want some shelves next the fridge.”
Bobal’s dad then suggests all previous suggestions before offering another option: “why don’t you put the fridge in the garage?”
Mack *looks nervous and feels he should climb into the fridge to regain his cool*
Bobal: “I don’t think that will work” *Bobal sees label on back of fridge* “aww, the fridge is called Cyclopentane. Where do you want to live Cyclopentane?”
*Mack shares a knowing, disaproving look with Bobal’s father*
Bobal: “how about in the office?”
Mack: *moves Cyclopentane to the office*
Bobal: “oh no there isn’t enough room in here with that couch, you should put the couch in the garage” (aka my gym).
Mack *moves couch into garage and wonders if he can quit being a husband and son in law… just for the day*
Bobal’s Mum: “I still think you should move Mack’s office upstairs. Why don’t you put the microwave here?”
Mack *moves microwave*
Bobal: “I think the microwave will work better here”
Mack *moves microwave*
Bobal: “I think you were right it looks better here but what about having it turned this way?”
Mack *moves microwave*
(Yes readers that’s right I haven’t spoken for 15 minutes, I now retreat to Cyclopentane and eat the Christmas chocolate he is hiding).
Bobal’s Mum: “What will you do with the larder now that it’s empty?”
Bobal: *super excited* “I should use it as my new office! You know, on account of me being a professional blogger!”
Mack: “Really?” (The larder is a tiny room underneath the stairs) “so you’ve decided to become Bloggy Potter? Harry Blogger?”
Bobal: “I want the unit in the living for my office and the draws in the bedroom for the living room.”
Bobal: “I think we should re-decorate.”
Mack: “ALL I WANTED WAS SOME SHELVES NEXT TO THE FRIDGE!”
Ahh the joys. To sum up, i wanted shelves next to the fridge. Bobal now has an office under the stairs, my gym has a couch in it that needs to go to the tip, Cyclopentane lives in my office, there are plans to relocate my office up stairs and re-decorate the house. We may be moving the living room to the dining room and the dining room to the living plus we still have no idea where the god damn microwave will go!
Moral of the story, you don’t need shelves next to the fridge… you’re fine, do the dishes and keep your mouth shut! 😀
Since Bobal is breastfeeding, Mush is basically ‘on boob’ 24/7 and cannot leave her Mummy’s side. This can become quite frustrating for both of us as I can’t take Mush away from Bobal for any length of time and Bobal can’t get that much needed alone time.
We have recently begun expressing to allow us both the flexibility we desire. I say ‘we’ because although Bobal has the glorious milk makers; I’m an organized genious making sure the expressing happens (Bobal probably has another story).
Regardless, the goal was clear: express enough milk so that Bobal could be apart from Mush for a while and I could get some quality alone daddy-daughter time. This could potentially be quite a stressful time for even the most level headed of couples. I was a little apprehensive, would I be ok on my own, will Mush be ok away from Boob (I mean Mummy of course) and would Mush take the bottle or decide that today was the day she didn’t like it? Even with all these questions running around I was confident I would be fine. And in short I was completely fine, it’s as if I’m her Dad. Bobal however didn’t do so great.
Bobal was booked in to get her hair coloured by my sister (a hairdresser). I thought this would be a nice trial excursion. It would give Bobal a brief interlude from our gorgeous milk monster, allow her to get pampered a little and generally just have some good ‘me time’. However I thought wrong! Here’s why.
The Day before.
This day was filled with apprehension and furious planning for the *sarcastic tone* ‘4 hours away from Mush’. Would Mack be ok on his own, will Mush still remember who Mummy is with a fancy new hair colour? I was beginning to think my wife had been beamed away and replaced by a new crazy version of herself. She frantically packed and re-packed the changing bag, sterilised bottles and chose outfits ready for my ‘epic adventure’ to baby clinic. There was a lot to do… apparently. Unbeknownst to me this was just the tip of the emotional iceberg, the start of the rollercoaster ride of anxiety.
Bobal wakes up and the first words out of her mouth are ‘I don’t think I can go today’. Yes it’s official, Bobal has taken the final step and crossed the border into crazy town. She was so adorably stressed in the most endearingly, cute way. She flipped back and forth countless times, ‘I’m going’, ‘I’m not going’, ‘I can go’, ‘I can’t go’. I was obviously super supportive and told her that she was bat shit crazy and to calm down to which she blurted out ‘no one in this this family loves me as much as I love them!’ This made us both chuckle as she knew how ridiculous she was being.
Eventually however we got ready and ventured into the big wide world completing the arduous 10 minute car journey to the salon. There was a tearful (from Bobal) albeit quick good bye as we were sat at traffic lights expecting them to change any second. This rushed handover exacerbated the situation making things all the more stressful for my emotional wifey. Personally I thought I was free and clear from this point… again I was wrong.
I received the sum total of 6 Whatsapp messages, 3 text messages and 2 missed phone calls all requesting updates and pictures (as if she needed photographic proof of our daughter’s well being). The funny thing is the more pictures I took and sent, the more texts I replied to; the less I was actually looking after our daughter! Then strikes a catastrophe; Bobal’s phone died (indicative of over use?!?!). So she then got my sister to text me.
Contrary to popular belief Mush and I went to baby clinic, I got her weighed and then we went home and napped… full stop. In Bobal’s head however, there was a legitimate chance that, to quote Ross from Friends ‘a pigeon, a pigeon. No, no wait, no, no, an eagle flew in. Landed on the stove and caught fire. The baby, seeing this, jumps across the apartment to the mighty bird’s aid. The eagle, however, misconstrues it as an act of aggression and grabs the baby in its talons. Meanwhile the faucet fills the apartment with water. Baby and bird still ablaze are locked in a death grip, swirling around in the whirlpool that fills the apartment.’
The lovely thing is, is that I know none of this worry is directed towards me. Bobal has complete confidence in me as a parent as I do with her. What I was dealing with was a fairly decent case of separation anxiety.
Upon being reunited Bobal immediately leaked both from her eyes and boobs and grabbed Mush to smell her head and squish her thighs. Then began 20 minutes of sadness as my sister got more smiles from Mush than Mummy thus confirming Bobal’s worst fears. Mush had forgotten who her mummy was completely, she could no longer recognise her with new red hair and had already phoned the adoption agency and lined up 3 new prospective mummies (she is very advanced).
10 minutes later
Bobal congratulates herself on not getting too stressed and dealing with the separation admirably!
I then begin to wonder when the ceremony will be, the ceremony to crown Bobal queen of crazy town… congratulations can I have a divorce now please?
So, our lovely wedding photographer invited us to a bonus baby shoot to document Mush’s beautiful baby features.
And I was so up for this!
I envisaged gorgeous photographs of my beautiful daughter tucked amongst fluffy white nests, all pink and naked with a serene look on her face. Or black and white shots of the three of us, Mack and I gazing down at our baby girl as she smiled up at us. Or even a few cheesy Christmassy pictures with Mush dressed up in some cute getup, surrounded by snow and real life reindeer (ok, I think I knew in my heart of hearts that that last one was probably not feasible but I had high hopes for the rest).
On the morning of our photoshoot I washed Mush carefully, brushed her few baby hairs lovingly and dressed her in a cute onesie. I also carefully selected a few more outfits for wardrobe changes. I then got myself ready by putting on some clean clothes (whilst getting dressed in not normally noteworthy, I feel it is worth a mention now as these days my clothes are mostly covered in baby sick so a clean outfit is a big deal), I applied make up (I can count on 1 hand how many times my foundation has seen the cold light of day in the last 4 months) and dried AND straightened my hair (a break from the wash it at night, scrag it back in the day and dry shampoo it for one day more than I can get away with it routine I’ve adopted of late). Mack also got himself together by trimming the beard, donning jeans rather than his trademark shorts and styling his mop.
We were looking good. Well, clean. We looked clean. After all no amount of preening can wipe three months of sleepless nights off your face! In any event we were ready to go pose for our idyllic family photos.
Only thing was…Mush didn’t get the memo!
Before we could leave the house she had thrown up on Mack’s tshirt (the one I carefully selected as it coordinated with me and Mush). In the trauma of cramming Mush in the car (she hates the car for reasons only she is privy to) we managed to leave the bottoms of the lovely Christmas outfit we’d bought for those oh so perfect seasonal shots. And we’d forgotten to check the contents of the nappy bag (rookie mistake) meaning we were about to enter the outside world armed with only 4 nappies (this would not be enough).
The weather was blowing a gale so when we arrived (parked 200m away) Mack and I sat in the car for 10 mins deliberating who should make a run for it with the baby (she’s carried everywhere as the pram is her biggest nemesis next to the car) and who should unload the car (yes, with a baby there is always cargo to unload even for a 30 minute photo shoot). Mack opted for unloading and I legged it into the studio, worrying in equal measure about keeping my baby dry and warm and keeping my freshly straightened hair away from the elements. Mush focused mainly on flailing her limbs around so that the blanket around her kept falling off causing me to drop the brolly several times as I tried to keep my little octopus contained.
Phew – I made it in the building in relatively one piece with only slightly mad hair and a hardly damp baby. Our photographer took us through her ideas and the three of us nodded and agreed; excited to get started (well I was, Mack had been dragged along begrudgingly on the promise I’d make brownies and Mush was showing all appearance of listening and agreeing but she was blatantly crossing her fingers behind her back).
Pose 1: parents to kiss each of baby’s cheeks as she beams a big gummy grin.
Reality: Mush screams with relish the moment either of us has the audacity to kiss her or in fact show her any kind of affection.
Perhaps she needs some me time says the photographer so let’s try laying her down.
Pose 2: let’s arrange the baby in a blanket nest on the floor and let Mummy and Daddy lie next to her gazing down at her pretty little face.
Reality: Mush spends the whole time sucking her thumb (which she does with thumb in mouth but also all other fingers spread over her face) and facing away from the camera as we try to hold ourselves in an unnatural position and take it in turns to pull Mush’s thumb out her mouth.
Perhaps she’ll be happier naked. Says the photographer. Erm…she hasn’t pooed for 5 days but naked…sure.
Pose 3: Mush in all her cute butt nakedness nestled in a white fluffy blanked surrounded by pink rose petals
Reality: you guessed it folks! Poo! Mush suddenly went from grumpy devil baby to smiley. Thank goodness we thought. Until she farted. I hope that’s not a precursor Mack joked. Then…poo face.
Let me explain – Mush has a special face she pulls which means ‘Mummy, Daddy look – I’m pooing’. For a girl who would rather look at anything or anyone other than her parents, when she’s pooing she fixes us with undivided eye contact. As if to say…I’m brewing something truly disgusting which you will have to clean up. Poo face cannot be mistaken. So when Mush suddenly looks at us, knits her brow and purses her lips – Mack and I dive in but it’s too late. Beautiful fluffy white nest is now orange brown toilet. 5 days worth of toilet.
Our photographer was lovely – ‘these things happen, just let her do her thing and then we will be able to try again’ etc etc. So Mack, I and the photographer all wait for Mush to finish her biggest poo yet. Mush’s effort would have been almost impressive had we not been mortified. In an attempt to stem the flow – Mack had got through 2 nappies. When Mush had finished she then free weed all over the 3rd nappy. As Mack pulled out the forth and final nappy we realised our error and started to panic.
The photographer stepped in and said to leave her naked – ‘she’s done both poo and wee so she must be empty so she can just be dressed after the shoot’. Okie doki, on to the next.
Pose 4: some Mummy and Daughter shots and Daddy and Daughter shots where parent and baby alike are full of joy at this bonding opportunity.
Reality: Mush is uncharacteristically happy and bonny with Mummy. Unnerving really. Then she screams and frowns with Daddy – ah that’s why so nice with mummy – divide and conquer.
Pose 5: baby rolled up onto 2nd blanket next to a chalk heart with her name on it, looking like a fallen angel.
Reality: we did indeed have smiley angelic rolled up Mush but only because she was weeing on this new blank canvas.
2 blankets in we are reassured that there’s no one in after us and it’ll all come out in the wash.
Pose 6: a girly pink blanket with a cutey baby lying in the middle on her tummy giggling up at the camera.
Reality. Mush hates the car. Mush hates the pram. And Mush HATES tummy time. So cue crying child writhing on pink blanket free weeing out of pure spite (her butt did look cute though).
Ok. Let’s dress the baby – there are only a finite amount of props after all and prepare for the Christmas shot (on goes the final nappy).
Pose 7: baby surrounded by Christmas decorations and a sign reading merry Christmas which she beams up at as if reading it.
Reality: now dressed Mush has to get creative with her sabotage. She figures throwing up all over the large baubles will do it. It does. Merry bleeding Christmas.
Ok ok. Why don’t we pick baby up. Maybe she wants to be loved.
Post 8: let’s try some standing shots of Mummy and Mush and Daddy and Mush again. We can throw baby in the air to illicit those cutesy baby chuckles etc.
Reality: Mummy gingerly holding Mush above her (well she was just sick) whilst Mush does smile a bit (Mush’s smiles are usually followed with a frown as if she didn’t mean for the smile to get out). And then nothing but tears for Daddy – Daddy is starting to take it personally.
Mush is now hysterical. Perhaps that’s a wrap.
Down the stairs to leave we go with the photographer carrying a bag of poo and wee soaked blankets and one sicky bauble.
I wonder if the next wedding she photographs will be getting a free first baby shoot. My guess is not.
We step out into sunshine (bloody typical) and place Mush into her hated car only for her to fix each of us with a stare, give half a smile and then fall asleep trumping like a trooper as if knowing that’ll we’ll be waiting for the poo which is going to make us nappy less.
I shall be lowering my expectations for our next photo shoot to considering a session where my child does not shit all over the studio, a win!
I feel like I have a reasonable understanding of what love is. I love my wife, my work, family, pets, food and chocolate! I do what I can to focus on the positive, avoid the negative and surround myself with the things I love.
Equal top of that list, with Bobal, is Mush. I loved my daughter from the moment she entered this world and I can’t imagine my life without either of them. However none of that compares to Mush’s greatest love. Her greatest love isn’t Mummy or Daddy, boob or weeing on daddy at 3am (although this act did induce her first smile). Her greatest love is her… LETTERS!
She loves them hard. Her love for these letters is a love I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, it’s the kind of emotion most people dream of having but have no chance in hell of attaining.
If she is crying, take her to her letters. If she is tired, take her to her letters. If she needs changing, feeding or burping, take her to her letters.
They never fail to put a smile on her face. You’re probably thinking why don’t I just feed and change my baby (bad parent)? I normally do, I just wanted to test the theory.
Wouldn’t it be great to see the world through a child’s eyes just for one day, I think we would all appreciate the little things more in life if we did.
For any parents out there wanting to test the letter theory we got ours from Amazon at:
Mack and I have 2 cats. One very cat like cat called Goofy who attacks your toes whenever you have the audacity to wiggle one and who only allows you to stroke her when and in the manner, she wishes to be stroked. And, our other cat, Doh Doh, who is not so much a cat as a teddy bear. He loves to be cuddled above all else, wants to sleep in our bed with us (even under the duvet) and likes to be carried around.
Up until Mush’s arrival, Doh Doh was my baby. I would smush him into the hoods of my jackets and walk around with him, we would share a pillow when we napped and I knew just how to stroke him to illicit the deepest form of gratitude; that which was beyond a basic purr – the purr and drool!
Then! Wham bam, my actual baby was born. And with Mush’s arrival, Doh Doh’s world was turned upside down. I became reluctant to stroke Doh Doh because I didn’t want any cat hair to find its way into Mush’s mouth. He was no longer allowed in the bedroom, lest he should climb into Mush’s bed. His hood naps were even no more as now his previously clean, snuggly den was more often than not covered in baby sick.
Doh Doh’s nose has been well and truly pushed out. And perhaps Doh Doh could have accepted all of this had it not been for the screaming baby now shoved in his face, spoiling his sunny stretches on the windowsill and making his meals turn up late and without the added touches of leftover steak. So, not prepared to stand for this decline in living standards, he has left home!
The move was gradual. It started one day with a text message from our lovely neighbour saying that Doh Doh had invited himself in and was enjoying a good cuddle. This progressed to the odd afternoon nap at his new friend’s. Now he is reluctantly sent home everyday and on those days our neighbour works; Doh Doh pines at the back door to get to her. Much to the upset of me. Had I not loved him, fed him and looked after him when he was sick all these years to now become only an after thought?
So I did what any good mother does…I bribed him. ‘Stay at home kitten and you can have treats.’ ‘Go on – nap in daddy’s leather office chair (the holy grail of napping spots due to its forbidden nature).’ ‘Yes, I’ve caught you on the kitchen work top but no I won’t tell you off.’
And the result? Doh Doh now eats with us, sleeps where he wants, does what he wants then strolls next door for what I suspect is more of the same. He’s even trained our neighbour to carry him back home when it’s been raining so as not to get his paws wet.
Humans: 0 Cat: 1