2011 – The things I’ve learned

Well folks, that’s it for 2011 and we’re welcoming 2012. I’m hoping for a year of good health, much laughter and time to write.

I’d like to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year and thank you for all the support you’ve given me throughout 2011. You’ve astounded me, made me laugh out loud and tickled out “Oohs” and “Aahs” with your lovely comments.

I thought I’d finish the year with a few of the finer points I’ve learned this year:

  • Relax: nail polish, fork prints and smiley faces add character to a dining table.
  • Chill out: it doesn’t matter how much extra you cook, in an attempt to be more organized for the next day. There will be none left, those greedy sods growing children will eat it all.
  • Stay calm: it makes no difference if you have a board on the wall with a colour-co-ordinated plan of what has to be taken to school – one child will still forget their sports bag. Even leaving the said bag in front of the front door won’t help. They’ll just fall over it as they’re forgetting to take it with them. And if you hang it over their shoulder on the way out, don’t think you’ve cracked it. No. They’ll just leave it on the bus.
  • Take a deep breath: your keys will not be in the key cabinet. They will not be in your handbag. Nor will they be in the pocket of the jacket you wore yesterday afternoon. You won’t find them on the nail-polished table or beside the telephone. You’ll not locate them on the bookcase. They’re not even hiding under the sofa. Don’t panic. You’ll get stuck behind a tractor anyway and you have no chance of being on time. Stop yelling and remember yesterday. You sat for 55 minutes in the orthodontist’s waiting room. Then abandoned your children while you darted off to put more money in the parking meter. Only to discover you had no change left, so you raced into the hairdressers on the corner to beg them for coins. You paused for a split second, tempted by a moment’s luxury without children and the thought of a head massage. You hastened back to the packed waiting room, located a chair far away from your own children, but still, unfortunately, within an audible distance. The little one dragged a stack of plastic chairs all around the room, sometimes disregarding one in the middle of the floor, which would then be tripped over by an already annoyed looking parent. You told the little one to say sorry for the sixteenth time, for bashing a sitting duck a disheartened mother’s leg, just as the dental nurse called out the names of three of your four children. Being such a large family, the orthodontist had cleverly decided to split your group over two treatment rooms, so you ran back and forwards with a fourth hanger-on dragging on your leg, watching knees jerk and listening to little shrieks of pain. 25 minutes later you exited the building, all children, jackets, scarves and hats present and correct. Though your nerves were somewhat dishevelled. You arrived at the car whose newish ticket still had 29 minutes left on it, so you put it in the ticket machine to help out some other poor potential dentist goer. Then you headed to the shopping centre, requiring a last-minute-invite birthday party present, squared paper, a glue stick and another batch of headache medicine. You relocated your car with the help of your sons incredible car-finding powers. Then drove home worrying about getting the homework done, practising vocabulary with the dyslexic one for tomorrow’s test, all the while wondering what to make for dinner. You suddenly realized that you’d just been shopping and could have purchased something simple to rustle up. You sighed and be honest, swore somewhat under your breath. Being rush hour, you of course got stuck in traffic, and you started to feel a little anxious as your I’ve-had-four-children-bladder urged you to reach the toilet. Do you remember now? Your keys are in the bathroom.
  • Count to ten: absolutely any time you have the opportunity.
  • Don’t vomit: it was only natural she’d get confused. After all, it was a lot for a four-year-old to remember. Step 1: wipe the toilet seat with loo roll. Step 2: undo/pull down pants/tights/trousers (and possibly hold up skirt/dress). Step 3: Sit down and pee. Step 4: Wipe yourself. Step 5: Redress. Step 6: Wipe the toilet seat ready for the next person. Step 7: Wash and dry your hands. It would probably have helped, with hindsight, if you’d specified, Step 6: Wipe the toilet seat ready for the next person with a fresh piece of toilet roll.

32 thoughts on “2011 – The things I’ve learned”

  1. Lol. Great post Sarah. You’re probably right – it’s probably entirely your fault because you didn’t specify clean paper!

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year. All the best for 2012.

    1. The best bit is, I only discovered her special routine when I went into the public loo with her. I’m trying not too wonder if she did it elsewhere!

      We celebrated together with my husbands colleague this year, very relaxed and cosy. Have a wonderful 2012.

  2. I like reading your post because it brings back memories. Thank God, these days they are only memories. Hang in there Mom, it could be worse, you could be a grandmother with kids spilling things all over you. Dianne

    1. The good thing with kids around and spills – you can easily blame it on the little ones. As mine have gotten older, it’s become rather obvious to everyone around me, that I actually spill quite a lot on myself!!

  3. I loved this post, especially the Don’t Vomit. You do have to be careful how you give children instructions. Once I was locked in the garage and asked my daughter (4years old)to ring my friend. She knew all her numbers so all was OK. However, I forgot to tell poor daughter to lift the receiver BEFORE dialing the number. Derrrr

    HAppy NEW YEAR!!! from Sunny Portugal! Can you believe I got sunburnt today!


    1. They need very precise instructions don’t they? How long were you locked in the garage? How did you get out?

      I can’t believe you got a sunburn!! WE had to watch the ‘men’ (my son was right in there) setting the rockets off in the pouring rain!!! Very unusual weather for this time of year.

      Happy New Year PiP!!

  4. I’m so glad I found your blog, I’m just sorry that it took me so long. I have chuckled so much in the past week and am looking forward to reading more in 2012.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Such a lovely compliment! Thank you!

      Feel free to read as far back as you like. 😉

      Happy New Year and I look forward to reading your comments 🙂

  5. I feel so much better about my life after I read about yours. Please never stop posting! Looks like you all learn a lot in 2011. Life is a neverending experience, how lucky we are.

    Happy new year 2012 to you and your family!

  6. It’s interesting to read what others have learned. I have never learned to wipe the seat for the next person (with a CLEAN sheet!) but my dear aunty did always say put down toilet paper on the seat, to sit on.

    1. 😉 My friend tells her children to do that. I tried it out once but ended up peeing on the half-fallen-in-loo-paper and in the end,lets just say it wasn’t yummy…

  7. Your yesterday sounds like fun. I hate those kind of days, mostly because I find they are so frequent, but yes, generally I find my keys sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink….eventually. Oh and Happy New Year!

  8. When things get tough for 2012, all I have to do is read this and remember to take a deep breath, calm down, chill and let loose and more importantly, be happy and optimistic. Life is too good to ruin a possible great day. Happy New Year!!!

  9. Thanks for spreading your wisdom Sarah. It saves us time and I will blindly apply all your tips! 😉

    Big Happy New Year hug, and cheers to a great 2012. A good year, a year with crazy fun, interesting stuff, deep feelings and NO FREAKIN’ HEADACHES!

    Be happy and healthy sweetie,

  10. Fabulous post. You had me laughing out loud with the chairs in the orthodontist office (sitting duck) and the bathroom and the keys…and…and….
    Ps how is your headache? any news/

    1. I’m glad you liked it!! 🙂

      I would describe my headache as mostly manageable. I have been combining various ‘cures’ and trying to relax (a lot) and there’s a big difference. Sometimes it’s there now only for a few short hours of the day. So I think I’m getting there. Also I had a scan and everything is OK, which is fantastic. Thanks Kate for coming back and asking!!

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