New ways I am failing at parenting and being an expat

I will never get all of my laundry done. Never, ever, never ever ever. I have not yet adapted to doing laundry in the UK. Allow me to contrast the ways that laundry is done in the US vs the UK.

Let’s assume that you have two loads of laundry to do. I’ll stipulate that a washer-full is different in the US (bigger obviously) but let’s just set that aside.

USA:

9 am: put laundry in washer

9:45: Put laundry in dryer, wash a second load

10:30: take laundry from dryer, start second load drying, fold and put away clean dry clothes

11:15: fold and put away second load

DONE

UK

9am: put laundry in Euro-washer-dryer thingy

3pm: take hot wet laundry from the dryer and hang on the line. Put second load in the Euro-washer

9 am the next day: Observe that your laundry on the line has been lightly sprinkled on. It does not yet have slugs or spiders so decide to let it dry off a bit.

Noon: It rains. Your wet laundry is still on the line. Your second load is still wet in the Euro-washer-dryer.

4 pm: pray for better weather

9 am the next day. you decide that the clothes outside are ‘dry enough’ and bring them in. Lay them on the radiators to finish drying. Hang out second load.

10 am: it starts to sprinkle. The cats have lounged all over your clean laundry. The kids have knocked it to the floor. Pick up hairy, linty laundry and just fold the fucking shit.

5 pm: it sprinkles a little more.

9 am the next day. Your second laundry is mostly dry. Only has a few slugs. Bring in, hang on the banisters.

9 am the next day: fold crumpled fucking laundry and put it away.

DONE.

So the score is USA-3.5 hours, UK-5 days. USA-clean, dry, wrinkle-free clothes. UK-slightly damp, fuzzy wrinkled clothes.

What would your laundry situation be of you could only do two Euro-loads of laundry a week?

It is actually worse than this. The piles are bigger and I have not drawn the slugs.

OMFG YOU GUYS, I will never, ever get it all done. How is everyone else dealing with this?? Why can’t I figure it out? Seriously, if anyone knows please tell me!  I have piles and piles of laundry. Some of it I might just throw out. Euro-washers do not remove stains anyway so screw it. Just keeping my kids in clean clothes is a miracle. All of my clothes that are not ‘drying’ on the line are dirty. All of them. I put on a clean shirt today for the first time in 4 days. ‘Clean’ has a new meaning to me. If one of my shirts does not have gravy on it, it is now ‘clean’. I cannot go on like this. (help me)

I have said before that my kids swear like fucking champions. I have no idea where they get this from. But Little Stormbringer surpassed herself today. The White Rose was doing a truly cringe-worthy puppet show. The kind that is great if you are two, but was extremely sub-par for her. It had a dance routine and involved me watching a pipe-cleaner tell knock-knock-jokes. I love this stuff but apparently it makes older sister’s ears bleed.

I watched as my oldest started to twitch. A bead of sweat appeared on her temple. Then she saw my face and started to giggle. I giggled. Even The White Rose started to giggle at her foolishness. Then Little Stormbringer said “OMG fuck-the-hell-off with that shit!”

Then we all collapsed with laughter. I told you that we aren’t right. I was all ‘wow. that was a mouthful of swearing even for me! Tone it down a bit child! Jesus Christ!’

I set such a good example. But then later in the day one of her projects wasn’t going as planned and she said ” Awww STICKS!”

Are you kidding me? Of course we laughed about that too. I told you that I was failing at parenting!

You want to hear something worse? My kids are so gross. So very gross. This they do NOT get from me. One comes down and says that the other is reading a book on the toilet. I can only assume that the door is open. Yuck. Manboy and I eyeballed each other. “we did NOT need to know that, thanks.”

Then the other comes down, wearing only underpants, stretches, smiles and says “ahhhh…that let a lot of junk out of the trunk!”

OMFG SO GROSS. Are you kidding me? This is a little girl. Strutting in my living room in pants and talking about her bowel movement. No one that she has ever met reads on the toilet or brags about the product. Our living room explodes with cries of ‘ NO! Gross! No way! Ewwwww. Jesus! Please stop! Yuck!’ And them hysterical laughter at the absurdity of the whole thing. I cannot be the only one whose kids are disgusting. Right? Right?

How is your laundry today? Have your kids ever done anything that gross? Tell me all about it!

Defrost the Freezer Rooney!

Yep, it is that time again.  That time for me to Defrost the Freezer and yell the three words Come On England!

(yes, we had the refrigerator, but that is so different, ahem)

I try and just let the rules of football come to me by watching. I only ask questions if i am so completely fluxomed that it will ruin the game for me if i don’t know. This is working out for me pretty well as I can now tell the ‘shape’ of the teams.

Football fans will see this as not a ‘shape’ but as 2-4, 2-2. 4-6….ok, i dont know… but i see SHAPES OK? I can see the maths of the game and i can see why it is called (get this Americans!) The Beautiful Game.

I am willing to bet, however that Colleen Rooney is not defrosting her freezer today. I’ll be willing to bet that every house-maid in the UK is getting the laundry either in or out this morning as we either have SUN or RAIN…well mostly rain…

Me? well i will be cleaning up one bird and two mice (THANKS CATS), looking after my poorly family. That means they are sick…uh…in the UK term and in the US? uh..lets just say I WILL HAVE a lot of things to clean. ahem.

Rooney……defrost your freezer. The Germans are coming.

Mice in my Ukulele, Americans are (not) stupid, JUBILEE!!!!!!

These three things have something in common, I promise.

You know how cats think that a Closed Door is the entrance to Narnia? Well Manboy and I thought it was adorable that Sharp kitty thought that Narnia was inside a ukulele. For a half an hour. Then I went to get another Jubilee Beer and saw her face. “WHAT is IN there?” I said, shaking it. meeeeeee said a little mouse.  The mouse was let go safely away from the doom cats. Hopefully Camalot the mousie will be as lucky as the horse that I failed to bet on today.

Yeah, also I cannot figure out what side I am on, being Mid-Atlantic and everything. I am both American and British.

I cannot rembemer the words to God Save The Queen, because it is so mixed up in my head. In America, I know that i knew the  American words to this song. Here, I sing a mixture that i mumble to the tune of ‘England the Star-Spangled-Save Our Glorious Queen’. I know that none of this is right. I still sing it better than Wayne Rooney.

Here is where I get REALLY conflicted though. The Brits do not seem to be able to enjoy any major event without putting Americans down in some small way. I know that this is hurtful and inexplicible to my friends in the US who would no more do this than burn our own flag while wearing it. But it is SO TEMPTING.

I saw a video of an American asking “Why did they build Windsor Castle so close to Heath-row Airport?” And I wanted to cry. Take a minute.

THE JUBILEE IS SO AWESOME ALREADY THAT I HAVE BEEN SNIFFY ALL DAY. Every time I see the Queen i start tearing up and whimpering the only words that I know to her song. I feel so very lucky to be here for this you guys. And this is only the first day. Everyone here has turned friendly and happy and there are flags out and everything! It is AMAZING!

I think everyone is enjoying this weekend and celebrating. I hope you are too.  God Save our Glorious Queen! 

Napalm the Mummy Guilt

I’ve been thinking about this post from one of my favorite ‘mummy bloggers‘. I’ve decided that we need our own red dress project. One that is just for mummy guilt.

That guilt is bullshit and I am happy to call you all out on it.

Do we really need to feel bad that we are not:

  • enjoying our kids
  • playing with them enough
  • feeding them all organic foods
  • enjoying every moment with them
  • treasuring every little moment
  • putting them in all of the classes
  • making the home spotless

NOPE

I call shenanigans on this crap.

Here is where i do the justifiable ‘oh but i love my kids’ paragraph. I’m not doing that.

No, I’m just going to say that THIS IS HARD. Being a mom is HARD.

Right here ………..>  (    ) is all of the fucks that I give if you are a working/stay-at-home/republican/benefits-scrounger/immigrant. Being a mum is hard for all of us so don’t try to pull any crap.

Can we have one day, each week year where we are able to just say it?

What would we call it? The Mummy Doesn’t Suck Day? The MOMMY isn’t Guilty Day? The MOM DOES NOT NEED to feel Bad Day?

I think we need one of those days.

Let’s call it the I’m Not Wearing Pants Project. no….. how about the My kids are assholes project…no…..how’m about the:

I’m a mom and I Do My Best project

open to suggestions

Moms, I hear you out there. Do not be afraid. We are all in this together.