B-day

It was my birthday yesterday and while the presses didn’t stop, my children were at least reminded to sing the hit tune written for the day, ‘Happy Birthday’. They sung it and sung it and sung it until it became painful to hear it again.

They loudly whispered their great plan to surprise me in bed from the kitchen all the way up the stairs and were still discussing it as they laid out my breakfast tray.

“I’ll sing Happy Birthday first and then you can sing it”

The presents came out and a fight quickly ensued between myself and the children over who would open them. I won. The baby helped by eating the wrapping paper. Of course children are cunning creatures and while I was happily opening my gifts they set to on the breakfast tray. I thought I had tea and toast. I thought I had orange juice. All that was left for me was tea, left because it was just too hot. Looking at my children, their cheeks covered in crumbs and filled with my toast I thought it time to get up and ready for the day.

Turns out birthdays aren’t what they used to be. They used to be lazy, indulgent days spent straightening my hair with the iron (before straighteners) and wondering which top to wear. Now they are just another day. Another day to put the washing on, another day to shout at my kids, squeeze my kids and squirt my vanish gun around various stained items in the house.

This year it landed on a Sunday which is a work day in our house. My husband had to leave for church and so it was down to me to organise the three children and dress, if I had time.

Thankfully baby was happy to play in her cot while I jumped in the shower. It didn’t take long for the boy to come in and ask to join me. Already clean and dressed I suggested he go play with his tractors. It wasn’t long after that interruption that the big girl came in to inform me that the boy had used her face as a road for his tractors. Screaming his name through the steam he popped his face in to be reprimanded for his actions. They both left heads hung low and I shut the shower doors. It can’t have been a full minute until another incident had happened that needed to be urgently reported.

I was reminded of a book I used to read as a child called, ‘Five minutes peace’ by Jill Murphy. It was a wonderful story of a family of elephants. A mother elephant who had three elephant children. The story tells of the mother elephant wanting five minutes peace away from the incessant noise, complaints and questions from her children.

I used to read this book laughing at the things the children would do to their mother, getting in the bath with her and even finishing her tea and toast that she’d made for her breakfast. Oh how I laughed at the – clearly made up – story of this elephant family. For a kick off elephants don’t live in houses nor to they walk on their back legs. Surely the rest of it was made up to? Oh to have my naive mind back. A mind if innocence and glee at having my tea and toast stolen.

I was reminded of this book on the CBeebies channel’s ‘bedtime hour’ slot. I sat the children down to listen to the wonderful, heartwarming tale of a family of elephants. I listened again to the words, the story of a mother who just wanted five minutes peace. My eyes started to fill with tears. I couldn’t listen to the horror anymore.

“Why did they get in the bath with her?” I cried. “Why couldn’t they just leave her alone for five minutes??”

By the end of the book, as the author read the last line, I had left the children sitting on the sofa and I was hunched up in front of the tv like I was watching a thriller; ‘Off she went downstairs where she had 3 minutes and 45 seconds of peace before they all came to join her”

“Oh thank goodness for that” I hadn’t realised I had been holding my breath.

The book I used to enjoy as a child has now become a cautionary tale to all whom give life to children. You never get any peace.

You’ll be glad to know the husband heard my cries and took me away for the night for my birthday and once I’d given the babysitters the kitchen sink and endless lists of things to do and not to do for each of them we drove off into the sunset.

Upon my return home every item in my household clamoured for attention, the cooker needs cleaning, the floor needs mopping, the clothes need washing, the grass needs mowing. It was the bottle of gin in the fridge that shouted the loudest followed by the sofa, wanting a safe landing of my bottom. So I obliged with gratitude, once my three little elephants were safely tucked into bed. Peace….until morning.

Why Multiples?

I warm up to each blog like I’m warming up for a marathon. I stretch, I shake and I will the creative juices to flow into deadened cells. Unfortunately, the only juice to flow this morning was my period, which must be said, is always a relief to see. You can take all the precautions in the world but until you see scarlet you never really know. Maybe that’s just me. Having spent the last four years being pregnant it’s weird getting used to not ‘finding out’ again. My womb and I gladly pass the baton on to anyone who wants to join the baby train. Our little unit is done. I often have to pinch myself to realise we are a family of five. FIVE! There are moments though. Moments like this morning…

Dawn is cracking through the edges of the black-out blind and the birds begin their morning chorus, so sweet and loud that I have to get up to shut the window! Ruddy birds. Snuggling back into my warm bed I wonder how long it will be until the ‘rabble’ wakes.

It starts slow. A murmur here, a yawn there and all of a sudden, my son, whom we should have named big-foot, comes stopping out of his room. He’s three. He turns on the bathroom light, which has an automatic fan attached to it which must be the biggest interior mistake I’ve ever made. The light switches on so does the monotone whir of the fan. The lad sits on his throne for what feels like hours as I lie in my bed listening to the whir of the fan. The baby also hears the whir and takes this time as a vocal warm up before her morning chorus of ‘mama’ begins.

My eldest is also disturbed by the fan and slowly floats out of her room in a sleepy haze which makes her look drunk. She and my son begin a discussion about the toilet and once he slips off, she slips on. Bladders empty they slowly push open the door to our room. They creep in like two stealth assassins. Husband and I lie there pretending to be asleep, firmly under the assumption that if we don’t move, maybe they won’t see us. One gets a foot hold on the mattress while the other slips through the bars at the bottom of the bed. In one synchronised movement they both land on us laughing heartily under our groans of pain. It’s in this moments I wonder, why multiples?

I look to the window and see the blind now unable to keep the sunshine at bay as rays of light pour through and land on the floor. I must have fallen asleep for a few more hours after the bird song. No child has ever woken before 7 in our house. They are simply not allowed to. Years of strict routine and discipline has given us its reward of 12 peaceful hours each night, bar the odd bout of teething or sickness. Which again is rarely allowed between my walls. It seems dust and dirt are the only thing allowed to flourish in my house and it does so with gusto. I feel my Dyson judge me every time I lift it from its dark corner. What I would give for a cleaner. Probably a child.

Once the baby is lifted from her cot it’s all go for breakfast. A herd of elephants couldn’t compare with the noise my herd make. A diatribe begins over the porridge which sends sachets into the air and of course they were opened before the tussle began so its oats all over the floor. The baby begins to eat them and I’m half tempted to pour milk onto the floor and offer out straws. Husband trots down dressed for work and slips into his seat and begins eating his breakfast. Boy needs a poo. Babies already done one and before I know it husband skips out of the house to work. Ah the daily grind.

All dressed and ready for the school run, we drop the big girl off and its back to the house for operation clean up. The smaller two hit the play room like a hurricane and I slip upstairs for a wash. A shower is very much out of the question until adult supervision can be found. I grab my face cloth off the radiator but don’t get a proper grip and its only then I realise that after everyone’s emptied their bladders, and back passages, that not one of them has flushed the toilet. I look down and watch my face cloth soak into the contents of the toilet bowl. Its then I ask myself, why multiples?

Even now I type with one hand as baby tries to chew the screen. My hair looks like it’s been washed with olive oil and I smell like a sweaty mattress that’s been slept in by 100 naval officers who haven’t had access to fresh water in 90 days. Yet snuggling into the folds of my babies neck I know why we had multiples, but again, one look in the mirror or down at my snot stained top I ask myself; why multiples?

Catch Up

I like to start each blog like I am writing a letter to a dear friend. That dear friend is you reader and I thought it high time for an update, a catch up if you will. It has been many years since my last blog and many years previous to that since I started writing at all. If you are new here I’d like to direct you to my old blog;

http://mrsjffarrington.blogspot.co.uk/

If you have no time to read back, allow me to summarise.

I began writing due to kidney failure. My younger mind thought others would appreciate hearing about my journey through sickness, surgery and beyond. I wrote for nearly three years and it became a book! Ha – okay I only said so for the shortest of seconds you’d think you were reading the works of an actual ‘Author’. Alas, no. Not yet anyway.

My blogs, long winded and full of puff, were bound up by my now-husband. Doubtless he thought binding up my works would woo me into submission. It worked. We’ve been married six years this year. Six years and three children. Three children the doctors said I may never have. Turns out God had other ideas in mind.

Oh no I mentioned God!! That’s right, I believe in God and more relevantly His son Jesus.

If you want to leave now that’s quite fine, we can part here as friends.

If, however, you’d like to stick around dear friend I’d like to get to the point of why I am writing in the first place. I thought, in my somewhat older mind, not too old mind! That I’d like to share where I am now on my journey.

I am a mother of three under five years – one just started school last year so I have begun what feels like a life sentence of tedium doing the ‘school run’. I am married to a pastor of a local church where I lead and serve. I work for the family business which after all these years still don’t fully understand what they do. The rest of the time I try and grow polite young children out of what sometimes feels like animals.

My kidney transplant was donated by my mother. Yes before you ask, birthdays are a quandary as no gift can ever compete with an organ but she seems happy with the gin. Kidney was gratefully received on the 8th July 2010. I got married in 2012 where an eager husband and wife entered the consultants room to be told that the chances of conceiving were very small and if by chance i did get pregnant it may not survive, nor would I be able to carry it. The new kidney was placed in the front right of my abdomen which understandably meant that each baby would be squeezed out by its current occupant.

God stepped in. Things are impossible with man but nothing is impossible with God. So we put our situation humbly before Him and in less than what seemed like 5 minutes later (it was 3 months) we got pregnant with our first baby girl. Less than two years later came our boy and another two years after that came our second girl. Blessed beyond measure, I like to say. I say it everyday, usually after 7pm when they’re all in bed. Either way I know we were given an extraordinary gift in our children. One we never take for granted.

Kidney is in good shape and I go for check ups every four months, which, if you stick around I shall fill you in on. That and a whole load of nonsensical tips and hints on motherhood, faith, love, life and beyond. I really know nothing but I get asked about these things a lot so why not answer them in a fashion that can work for us all.

Until next time dear friend.

Websites to check out:

mrsjffarrington.blogspot.co.uk

Crossgate.church

www.organdonation.nhs.uk

http://www.kidneyresearchuk.org