Take Your Glasses Off So I Can Kiss You

ruth crilly family life

I’m having one of those evenings when I feel as though I’m most definitely losing at the whole parenthood game. The tedious bedtime battles continue and the longer the battle goes on for, the more wound up I get. Honestly, it’s like being a negotiator in one of those Hollywood hostage scenarios – I try every tactic I’ve seen in the films until one of them works. Pacifying. Ignoring. Engaging. Comforting. A combination of all four.

Some nights are fine – minimum hassle – but tonight has been particularly testing. I’ve had to hide behind a wall and shout-swear silently whilst kicking things. It doesn’t help that I’ve been away for six days and everything is a little bit out of sync. Angelica has a bad cold, I have a hormonal headache that could fell a rhino, Ted is particularly averse to putting his head down and going to sleep…

Anyway, I didn’t mean to start on a bum note, but sometimes you have to vent! The amazing thing is that I missed them so, so much when I was away (it was a physical pain in my chest, I’ve never been away for longer than two nights before) but now that I’m here, sitting on the top landing with one foot inside Ted’s door (don’t ask) I can’t believe I didn’t make more of my evenings away. In that I didn’t actively appreciate them, like ooh, I’m going to dinner and I’m not so absurdly knackered I want to just lie down in the street, or, look at me, reading a magazine before bed and knowing I’m going to get a solid, uninterrupted eight hours of sleep! All I could think of was how I wanted to be at home.

ruth crilly family life

It’s a funny old game, isn’t it, being a parent?

Because the other battle is with my constant sadness that children grow up so fast. I mean obviously you want them to grow up, and what a privilege it is to watch them, but you just blink and they’re no longer a baby, but a sassy, hair-clip wearing, shoe-choosing, book-reading, number-counting girl. I mean Angelica (three years and three months) isn’t actively reading books yet, but she sits and looks at words and tries to match them to the pictures and it’s suddenly a world away from that passive sort of reading that we did before.

And she said, the other night,

“Mummy. Take off your glasses so I can kiss you properly.”

Take off your glasses so I can kiss you properly! She’s turned into some sort of suave, retro Mills and Boon character. I don’t know what they’re teaching her at pre-school. Actually I do; she does painting (I have enough already to wallpaper the hall), den-building and dressing up and she has a little book bag to carry her reading book in.

Pre-school hours pass by so quickly but to see her face light up when I collect her at pick-up time is just the best feeling in the world. Same with Ted (20 months) – excellent reunion cuddles. Except he doesn’t really go anywhere without us, so I’m not sure what he’s celebrating – I mean I can pop to the loo for twenty minutes (has to be done sometimes, for a bit of Twitter scrolling) and when I get back he greets me like a long lost relative who’s been gone for three decades.

“Mama. Mama. Mama.”

ruth crilly family life

Oh God he’s still not asleep and it’s 8.40pm. It could be my typing keeping him awake, I’ve just realised, but I’m not moving now. I’ve settled myself into the corner next to his door, with my slippers dangling off the end of my toes and my spine stuck pleasingly into the space beside the doorframe.

Ted’s “thing” at the moment is wanging around a hollow plastic tube – if you spin it quickly it makes a woooooo-wooooo sound, but he just waves it about and makes the sound with his mouth. Which is great, but he keeps hitting things with it. I made the mistake of letting him have it in the car when I was picking up Angelica from pre-school and he very quietly fed it through the gap beside my headrest and patted it on the side of my face when I was driving. It didn’t hurt but I almost had a bloody heart attack.

Right, I can’t type much more because (and this is the worst excuse for clocking off early I’ve ever used) my nails are too long. You may remember I have gel nails done – a thick gel coating over my real nail, no tips, but it makes my nails so strong that they never split or break. So almost five weeks down and I have what feels like teaspoons stuck to the end of my fingers – they’re much longer than usual because I was away.

It’s weird for me to talk about this as I’m traditionally so low maintenance, but I bloody love my gel nails. I never have to paint them and I feel much more groomed even when I have no makeup on and hair in a bun.

ruth crilly family life

Now I was going to tell you about my dietary triumphs but that will have to wait. I first need to spend three weeks pondering how to be both body positive and honest. It’s a tricky, potentially lethal subject and all I really want to talk about is how I’ve cut down on sugar, but I feel as though the landscape of health and diet and weight has become one that I am not qualified to navigate. Many issues seem to have become unhelpfully entangled and I often read articles with a sense of bemusement. More on that, perhaps, another time – for now, let it be known that I have managed to cull my Coca Cola (regular, full sugar) intake from seven cans per week to one. My Mint Magnum intake (full size Magnums, take a good twenty minutes to eat, the dream) is now at one per week, but sometimes two if we’re having a particularly good Netflix session. (I’m talking about television, not sex.)

So as a result, I can no longer rest my belly on my thighs when I type, which I’m mildly sad about, but I can wear my jeggings without the zip constantly undoing itself. Every cloud.



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  1. May 25, 2019 / 10:37 am

    I just laughed out loud at your little boy frightening the life out of you in the car. Only just discovered your blog and really enjoying your posts. So down to Earth and funny too. Your two little ones are adorable.

  2. Grace
    October 10, 2018 / 7:40 am

    Way to go on the sugar reduction! I am currently in the throes of gestational diabetes on my second pregnancy & have had to educate myself on all the woes of sugar & it feels akin to having a health scare! I’m not even an overweight person but I want to try hard to bring the habits I am learning now into my postpartum life.

    Ahh bed time, you capture the ups and downs so well.

    • October 10, 2018 / 7:20 pm

      Oh yes, I had really good intentions when I thought I had GD – it did put everything into perspective. Type 2 diabetes runs strong in one side of my family, so I’m trying to ease myself away from the full sugar coke while I still can… x

  3. Mo
    October 8, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Thanks for showing all the aspects of parenting. My three year old is driving me around the bend and the “shout-swear silently” is me today!
    Parenting is hard. We’re not failures cos we keep going!

  4. Anna
    October 6, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Sometimes I don’t visit your blog for months on end. Busy with work or following politics or some other grown up stuff — but I always, always come back and its because of posts like these. Your writing is witty, honest and just so relatable. I don’t have any kids but damn if you don’t make parenthood sound like an interesting, challenging yet worthwhile adventure. But alas, student loans so for now I will live through you and commiserate!

  5. SilviaB
    October 6, 2018 / 12:25 am

    Oh Ruth! I’ve been following you forever! Have never left a note here… but I have been away from my girls for 4 days and I completely relate to what you wrote above. I have 15 month old twins… I feel your stories are very real and close to home. I am a working mum and have to travel a lot (international travel) and even though I am knackered when I get home something happens and I have a ton of energy for my girls. I miss them SO much when I travel and my husband thinks I am a nutter… thanks for your posts! They make me feel normal with all the struggles and emotions parenthood brings

  6. October 5, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    Question… do you have to leave a slipper in view so he know you’re there? Does he meet to see a piece of ankle too? Could you not just leave the slipper poking into the room and go? A bit like when Matteo instead of handing his phone in at night just placed the empty case face down on my dresser for the night! And we fell for it of course…

    • October 6, 2018 / 8:48 am

      Hahahaha!!! Did he? The scamp! I love his acumen though.

  7. Louise
    October 5, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    Crying laughing at some of this-I can so relate to having to sit with your foot in the door until Ted is asleep! The pipe sneaking from behind you is hilarious. Great post. X

  8. October 5, 2018 / 11:59 am

    So relatable! I miss my Kids like crazy whenever I am away, but sometimes wish they were already old enough to get dressed and brush their teeth (and clean up their toys) without me constantly running behind them. At the same time I was heartbroken when my daughter announced she was too old for a Good Night Kiss about a year ago. She has since taken it back (she is only four after all), but it gave me a dreaded glimpse of the future.

    • October 5, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Argh, it’s so sad! And you only need to look at how you are with your own parents to see the future – I mean, you’re never going to sit on their laps or snuggle into their beds! I’m still in the la-la land fantasy that Angelica and Ted will ALWAYS be cute baby people who need me and scream with excitement when I get home… x

  9. October 4, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    Thank you for being so real! You’re a breath of fresh air! <3

  10. Rebecca
    October 4, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    Love these posts! Have you read “Good night sleep tight” by Kim West (aka the sleep last). It’s a great resource for all ages and really helped with developing a consistent approach to sleep for my toddler. Hope you get some rest soon!!!

  11. Ali Thompson
    October 4, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Ahhhhh the classic mummy has been away so i’m going to punish her routine. I had this from my daughter when I was away in the States in July. She’s about six months younger than Angelica.

  12. Farah Nichols
    October 4, 2018 / 6:32 pm

    Lovely post that really captures the craziness of parenthood. The daily struggles can be such sheer torture you wonder why you ever thought you could do this parenthood thing and at the same time it’s devastating that these times are zooming by. My boys are 10 and 6 and they are amazing, hysterically funny, crazy little humans that i enjoy so much when they are not driving me completely starkers! And as they grow I miss not only the baby times but the toddler times, the 8 and 4 yrs times and even a couple of weeks ago when they seemed so different then they do today.
    Thank you for sharing your life so honestly and with so much humor–you are both comforting and entertaining on so many levels! Also, I’ve recently moved to a big house in the country that I am totally overwhelmed by and so absolutely love all of your home posts too. Now also considering these gel nails….yours look so very pretty! I’ve heard the removal process can be a bit unpleasant though so I am a little scared to take the leap…

    • October 5, 2018 / 10:35 am

      These get buffed off with a drill thing. You can’t soak them off, it’s a different type of gel. x

      • Farah M Nichols
        October 5, 2018 / 2:41 pm

        So very kind of you to reply! Hmmmm a drill thing…. sounds hideous but I get the feeling its better than the alternative. Many thanks! xx

  13. October 4, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    I don’t know if this would work for u..But it did n still does for both my kids…Elder one is 8 n d son is 19months. They sleep 12hrs (9-11hrs for d daughter)straight at night…n no Naps during d day…It’s a sure shot thing, they will get tired…

    Love your post and your way of writing. The honesty is what makes it special. Thanks for sharing :)

  14. Isabelle
    October 4, 2018 / 11:35 am

    Thanks for this post! Another question: where is your handbag from?? Thanks…

    • October 4, 2018 / 3:52 pm

      It’s a backpack from Kerikit xx

      • Isabelle
        October 9, 2018 / 1:26 pm

        Thank you!

  15. Elisabeth
    October 4, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Oh Ruth, thank you for this post. I so feel the same about parenthood! Love, E

  16. Cassandra Jones
    October 4, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Everything you said was so absolutely true! Children make you feel every kind of extreme emotion all at once. You are not alone and we have all been there (especially the gel nail thing).

  17. Elizabeth Butterworth
    October 4, 2018 / 8:31 am

    Ruth these nails sound amazing! Is it shellac type gel you mean or something else? I want to try it!

    • October 4, 2018 / 3:53 pm

      It’s a product called Young’s Builder Gel and then gel colour on top. Bulletproof. x

  18. Kerry
    October 4, 2018 / 8:28 am

    Oh I just love this post! I can relate soooo much, especially the bedtime battles. It’s the same every night. ‘Yes you do need the loo, just go’, ‘ you’ve just had 3 stories’, ‘get back into bed…again’ and I know that door edge so well as I sit against it every night shuffling while waiting for two sets of snores.
    Like you I miss the baby stage, but I have two wee characters 3 and 5 who make me laugh out loud with their new discoveries every day. Keep up the wonderful posts, thank you Ruth.
    Ps High five on the magnum and coke reduction x

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