They live on the other side of the world to me, my husband and our 2 boys.
They have 5 children of their own so they are experts at dealing with strong-willed, determined, random (that would be Gretchen) children.
They wake up to a postcard-worthy view every morning in Mangakino, New Zealand.
Their grandchildren call them Mormor & Scrumpy (but to my brother's children mum becomes Farmor. It's a Danish thing, blame them).
I have the best parents in the world and I am very proud of them.
I miss them very very much on a daily basis.
Mum sent me a cute text this morning saying: "...We get VERY excited about reading your blog. Dad cuddles up and I read it aloud to him. HIghlight of our day..."
Awwwwwwwww. How cute is that?
So here you go Mormor & Scrumpy - you are about to get a 'No Frills' account of my day with YOUR grandchildren...
Beni woke twice in the night for a feed (?@!*%&!!?#?@%£!!!) so Austin let me have a bit of a sleep-in while he breakfasted the kids. But I woke to the noises of Luca protesting and Austin scolding because he'd just poo'd & wee'd in his undies. And it wasn't even 7:30am yet!
Needless to say my sleep-in was cut short...
Luca did the usual playing with his cars while I got ready for an appointment at the doctors.
I heard a wail from Luca's room so I rushed in to find Beni very upset.
"Why is Beni crying Luca?"
"Beni crying. A bit sore"
"WHY is Beni a bit sore? Did you hurt him?"
"WHAT did you do to Beni to make him cry?"
"Put finger in Beni's throat"
Oh Lord give me strength.
He gets this prayer from me on a regular basis.
Anyway, Beni had to have his immunisations today which were extremely overdue, but I couldn't face taking him in because he had to get THREE injections in his chunky-monkey thighs!
Then while we were waiting for my appointment with the Doctor I asked Luca if he needed to do wees? I just got his usual response "Don't want it".
"Mamma will race you to do wees!"
So off he runs to the toilet (good work mamma!) and then while I'm struggling to undo his belt he pees his pants.
Good thing I'm prepared and have an extra pair of shorts and undies for him. A quick change and then the Dr is ready for us.
She remarked how well I am looking and just when she was asking how the ol' PND was going Luca throws a MASSIVE tantrum.
So I'm saying to her "yeah everything's really great!" while my child is headbutting my groin.
His timing is brilliant.
That done, we played "I'm gonna get you!" all the way up the street to pick up a parcel that we missed delivery of at the beginning of the week. Beanbag beans. Very exciting.
Then on our way to Sainsbury's Luca has another tantrum.
(What is with your grandchild??!)
He literally lay down on the dirty London street and said "Ow ow ow owwww!" whenever I tried to get him back on his feet. Of course I got some accusing glances from passers-by, but hey, that's life with a toddler people!!
Then it was into the pharmacy in Boots. I don't know what it is about that place but as soon as Luca goes in there he starts screaming "Don't want it! Don't want it!" - as in, "I don't want to go in here". So I have a screaming child with me as I hand in my percription for PND medication and they dare to give me a 'knowing' look? I bite my tongue to keep from explaining to them that he's not normally like this, he's just tired and/or hungry...
So as a treat we had lunch in a cafe. Woah. I actually did the seemingly impossible and ate out with 2 children and actually enjoyed it!
I am pleased to report that it was a success. Luca ate a fresh pretzel, my fruit salad and the buttons off his gingerbread man while I fed Beni his pureed food.
And then a beautiful thing happened.
Both boys fell asleep at the same time which meant I was able to shop in peace and take as loooong as I liked. What a happy time that was and I shopped to my heart's content!
Once we were home again, pretty much as soon as I walked in the door both boys woke so we all played together in their room - Luca trying out his new mini basketball net that he got free with a Disney mag, all the time Beni just watching watching watching his super cool big brother.
Slam-dunk a ball
Slam-dunk some cars
Slam-dunk a fire truck
Carefully slam-dunk Scrumpy's tractor
Slam-dunk a truck and find it hilarious!
And then it was Beni's dinnertime - what a mission. That child has the strength of an ox already! Once he gets ahold of the spoon that's feeds him there's no letting go. And the result? Mess. But a very cute mess.
Immunisations... 2 in one leg and 1 in the other. Not a happy camper.
Luca rode his Thomas bike up and down the landing outside while I gave Beni a bath. He doesn't like to bath with Beni because Beni kicks too much and splashes the water in his eyes...
Then while I was getting Beni in his PJ's on the woolen rug, Luca decides to drive his Thomas bike into Beni's head.
Beni screams in pain.
"Luca, say sorry to Beni for driving your Thomas bike into his head".
"Don't want to"
Choose your battles. Choose your battles. Choose your battles...
I think I eventually gave up on this battle, but as I move away I hear Luca say gently to Beni, "So sorry Beni for driving Thomas bike into your head" and I hear a wee kiss being placed on Beni's head. Aww bless.
Shortly after this I was stirring our dinner in the slow cooker while holding Luca on my hip; Luca was asking for biscuits and I was saying no and so he starts hitting me so I tell him mamma is not for hitting and put him down. Then I feel his teeth sink in to my left buttock...
The result? Time Out.
Only he refused to sit on the T.O. seat and so I would keep having to put him back on it etc etc etc. while trying to settle Beni down to sleep.
So I eventually said to him if he gets off the seat one more time he's going to bed without any dinner (*GASP*).
Unfortunately he gets off the seat one more time so he is now in bed without any dinner and I feel like the meanest mamma in the world!
But I knew I couldn't back down on this one and hopefully he will remember and learn from this?...
And so that has been my day and evening. Austin is out at a stag do so I'm at home with the kids and a glass of rose.
As much as it has been a battle at times with Luca today, the three of us did have a good day together and there was lots of laughing, tickling, car races and cuddles as well as 2x poos and wees in Luca's undies... and therefore I now need to go and hang out some washing.
This weekend is a long weekend with Monday being a Bank Holiday - YES!! We all hang out for the weekends when Austin's able to spend the days with us. I hang out for his help with Time Outs and pooey nappies and undies. As you can see potty training is a huge success!... not really...
Although you are a long plane ride away from us Mormor & Scrumpy, you are never far from our thoughts.
We pray for you every night and thank God for you.
On a daily basis I wish you could just pop over for a cup of coffee and some playtime with your grandsons.
On a daily basis I feel sad that it's because of our decision to live in London that you can't just pop over for a cup of coffee and some playtime with your grandsons.
On a daily basis I need your advice of what to do in certain situations that arise with the boys, when I feel stuck and a little 'undone' cos I don't know how to handle it.
It sucks that you are not just around the corner or across the paddock so my children can run over to your place and you can feed them chocolate fish and give this mamma a little space to maybe have something as luxurious as an afternoon nap!
But thank you that you understand our need to be here, where we believe God wants us to be, even though it means you have said many joyful hello's and heartbreaking goodbye's to us over the past 8 years.
All I can say is God bless the person who invented skype! Luca gets so excited to see you and hear your voices, and even Beni's ears prick up and he looks around when he hears you talking.
And now this mamma will join her boys in the land of sweet dreams and yummy smelling pillows
We love you Mormor & Scrumpy. And don't you forget it!