Plastic burgers and teething troubles - the Modern Mum

The toy kitchen kept the children amused. 

The toy kitchen kept the children amused. - Credit: Louisa Nevard

What a crazy time it's been for all of us?

Who’ would have thought life could have got any more strange or difficult? Even my chickens had to go into lockdown. The poor things have no idea when their lockdown will end and I’m not entirely sure either. In fact, I’m just as confused over our lockdown as the poor chickens. I genuinely expected us to move into tier 1 with our low case numbers but then… BOOM! In a week it all changed.

The lead up to Christmas was pretty standard for us with lots of different activities happening at school. Christmas dinner day, Christmas jumper day and then a charity day. I had meticulously copied all the events to our family calendar and prepared charity money in labelled envelopes. What could possibly go wrong?

I laid out the children’s Christmas jumpers for their casual charity Friday. My husband, kindly let me have a lie in that day and he walked the kids to the school bus. On arrival he noticed that our children were the only ones in Christmas clothes and much to their protests, he put them on the bus. On his return he informed me I’d got the wrong day and said he was very embarrassed as everyone would probably think it was his fault. I had obvious looked at the wrong week on the calendar and said, “don’t worry I’ll let everyone know”. (I didn’t of course, way too embarrassing).

My children handled the embarrassment beautifully, as I knew they would. They delighted in telling their friends how rubbish I was for getting it wrong!

As the Christmas count down got closer so did a horrible flood. I watched in horror, on Facebook, as people showed their homes and businesses flooded. My lovely St. Neots and villages. The wonderful community that came together when the tragic house fire claimed the hearts of two parents, two children's lives and all those that they knew. How can our community be affected again by so much adversity? Heroes seemed to emerge out of the dark….fire crew, police, neighbours friends. The community pulled together, co-ordinating themselves on Facebook community pages.

The floods in St Neots took us all by surprise. 

The floods in St Neots took us all by surprise. - Credit: Louisa Nevard

As I hoped the waters would recede on Christmas Day, our small family Christmas of five was not as relaxing as I would have hoped. We felt very fortunate and enjoyed watching our children rip open their presents but we had one very grumpy toddler. He insisted that he would be carried most of the day and was tired but not sleepy throughout.

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My husband cooked a lovely roast dinner but my poor little boy was not happy. He did not want to sit in his highchair and to declare he was finished he threw the food across the kitchen, with a roast potato left sliding down my window. My other two children, used to the dramatic ending of his dinners, held the table cloth down to prevent him destroying the rest of the table. Battle-stations everyone!

To see everyone on Christmas Day we used WhatApp. It was really nice to see people and speak to everyone but I did often find myself trying to second guess what everyone said. The noise of children playing in our house was such that they could hear me but I couldn’t hear them. Trying to have a conversation with my nine-year-old niece was very tricky. I wanted to come across as cool and approachable. I asked her lots of questions and had to second guess half her answers due to the deafening noise. With her confused face during some of our conversations, I am guessing I either misheard her answers or did not come across as cool. Is that still a word people use?

Bedtime was also not as peaceful as I had expected, my little one’s teeth were sore and so my husband and I did a 20 minute rotation. One of us cuddled him whilst the other built a toddler kitchen that looked like a 1000-piece jigsaw. Both the toddler and the kitchen took three hours.

Hopefully the poor child will finish cutting his teeth soon. It’s not only excruciatingly painful for him but it affects his whole body too. From poo that look like a cow pats to bright red cheeks and night-time temperatures. Calpol and teething gel only take the edge off so extra cuddles are needed to help him through.

Boxing Day was a much nicer day for all of us. Why do we build ourselves up to Christmas? All three children played with the new toddler kitchen. My husband and I could finally have a few moments to sit down.

There was plastic fruit and veg everywhere but we didn’t care. All kids were happy today and I could enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a plastic burger."

Louisa Nevard also works on Mum’s guide to St. Neots online and on social media.,