Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The One With The Worst Bit Of Prose You Will Ever Encounter (40 months + 29 days)

Guys, I'm so so so sorry but I'm having a minor breakdown right now so... here I am. Do you know I'm a problem solver? Can you believe that? Given how much I whine about things on here? Seriously. In "the real world", if you came to me with an issue, I could give you a solution to it. My own problems? Hmm.... maybe this is why I write about them. Then I can work through them on "paper", and they seem less massive.

Let's play a game. Let's play a game in which you have 0 foresight. Maybe I shouldn't phrase it like that.... Let's play a game in which you are incredibly optimistic and naive. Got it? In the right frame of mind? World is a lovely place and everything is always going to end up fine. This. Is. Your. Brain.

Now you're pregnant. And you believed it would all be fine and everything would be ok, but it wasn't, and we've lived this, and you dealt with it, and you planned, and it was sorted (kind of...ish).

I'm going to tell you a secret now, that nobody ever says. Or maybe they do say it and you just don't believe it. BABIES DO NOT GET EASIER. BABIES ONLY EVER GET HARDER.

Actually that's not fair. The babies don't get harder, but all the stupid rubbish that goes alongside the babies gets harder.

Piglet is three. Three years old. I have to start applying for schools for Piglet. I (currently) have no idea where I am going to be when Piglet starts school because I don't know where I'm going to be doing my PhD. So currently, I have several options:

1) I apply for schools in Sunderland.

2) I apply for schools in North Tyneside where NNB's new house that he is buying is (more on this later)

3) I wait until I know for sure where I am doing my PhD and then start applying for schools.

There are issues with each and every one of these options. Yes, I have been offered a PhD at Newcastle, but currently I still want to apply for others, just to have options. If I am to do the PhD at Newcastle, I will be living with NNB in his house. So therefore, it makes sense to apply for those schools, right? BUT I can't apply for those schools because I won't be living in the catchment area at the time of application. I won't be living with NNB prior to doing my PhD because financially, it makes no sense and all the tax credits for nursery disappear. Therefore option number two isn't really an option.

How about applying for schools in Sunderland then? Well, that is equally stupid. Because as I've just said, if I stay in Newcastle, I won't be living in Sunderland.

Which leaves option three. Which is equally as rubbish because school applications have to be in by January which is pretty much the same time PhD applications have to be in for so....

I'll complicate this issue further. I need a school that offers breakfast club and after school clubs. And that is shit. Never have I had so much guilt as the knowledge that Piglet is going to be at school earlier than everyone else, and leaving school later than everyone else. That makes me really, really sad. And very shit. And selfish.

So basically I hate schools. I hate myself. I hate the system. I hate it all. I hate it. And right now, I can't really do anything proactive about it? Which is really frustrating.

I'm stressing about applying for PhD's aswell. Because y'know. Imperial. Sad times. Does a 94% average really outweigh a Desmond? But can't apply for any yet, because they're not advertising for next September yet, so again... stress with no productive outlet.

NNB is moving house. NNB is buying a house because he is a grown-up whilst I am forever 21. NNB has lots of stress about house. He was promised it would be completed before the 14th, because that is when his tenancy ends. It is not being completed by the 14th. They are currently saying the 23rd. So, because I am a problem solver, I suggested NNB miraculously all on his own came up with the idea of staying at mine for a couple of weeks and putting his stuff in storage, which is now the plan.

I'm stressed about NNB moving.

I'm scared about NNB moving.

I think I'm having a little bit of a breakdown at the moment. I suggested yesterday that maybe he shouldn't buy a house and instead we should just take all the money and go travelling round Europe for six months and run away and it would be so lovely and he shot that idea down quite quickly.

OH, funny story aswell. You know how your medical records are confidential right? And like, the fact that you used to have eating disorders is between you and your doctor yeah? Imagine if for some unknown reason the doctor decided to share this information with nursery. Wouldn't that just be a barrel of laughs? Can you imagine how totally inappropriate that would be? Good job that NEVER happens, yeah?

Apart from it did. Piglet's pediatrician included that information on a letter sent to nursery. She also spelled Piglet's name incorrectly all the way through. Aswell as my name. I was outraged at that letter. Outraged.

Yesterday I got an email from uni saying that my tuition fees were up this year from £3095 to £3370.

Nice one.

BUT BASICALLY BECAUSE EVERYONE'S LIFE IS FALLING APART, WE'RE GOING ON HOLIDAY YAY!!!!!!

NNB, Piglet and I have just booked a couple of days away in Penrith in the Lake District next week. We've actually managed to get a stupidly cheap deal on one of these holiday apartments in this crazy old Hall (seriously it looks amazing I'm so excited right now).

God this is so disjointed. I'm so so sorry. This is my brain right now. There is no connections, just random things all over the place that all cause stress and chaos.

BUT WE'RE GOING ON HOLIDAY SO YAY!!!!!!!


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The One With Potties and Pleurisy (40 months + 15 days)

So, on Sunday I started writing a really long whiny, bitchy, moany, "shut up Bones, you're so #firstworldproblems" post but luckily for me (and all of you) it didn't save it. Why was I writing such a moody post? Three reasons:

1) I had been diagnosed with pleurisy, and thus was unable to run.

2) I'd started a vegan diet (don't ask) and felt like an absolute starving whale. 

3) I felt fat due to a combination of the above.

BUT I'm over it, so here I am with lots of lovely lovely updates (and minimal hating on my body- apart from the fact that it seems to die on me all the time, and I am sick of it).

Before we tackle any of the above though, let's run through v. v. v. exciting updates in the life of Bones and Piglet:

1) Piglet Runs
We did the Great North 10k at the beginning of July. By we, I mean, I did the Great North 10k. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY- Piglet partook in the Toddler Dash. Piglet did her own race. And SHE WAS AMAZING!!! Honestly, I was so proud. So, so, proud. And so well-behaved- I didn't even try to pull her to the front or knock anyone in front of us over (well done Bones for being a normal human being and not a competitive psychopath; big big points you crazy crazy woman). 





















2) If Piglet is Autistic, I am a Banana
This realisation dawned on me when we went to Party no. 632 (How are there so many children at nursery? Surely it isn't possible to be invited to this many parties?); Piglet's best friend at nursery is called....let's call her... (so much pressure here- please do not infer anything about this child from what I decide to christen her)...right, got it- PBF (Piglet's Best Friend. Nice one Bones- really original). 

So anyway- getting back to the point- we got to this party and Piglet and PBF spotted each other, and I swear to God, it was the most adorable thing in the world. Like they behaved as though they hadn't seen each other for 60 years, in spite of it being Saturday, and they were at nursery together on Friday... So cute. And then they were trying to work out how to reach each other in the maze that is soft play. Not autistic. Beautiful.

Her speech is coming along in leaps and bounds aswell (she found the emergency pregnancy test a few weeks ago- "Mummy, what's this?"; "That's a special test that tells you if there's a baby in your tummy"; "Yay! A baby! Do it Mummy, you do it!"; "Oh no darling, it's just if you think there's a baby and you have to check if  you're right or if your body just hates you"; "Oooooh I see"). So, I have little worries in this regard (more worried about finding her sat on the potty with a pregnancy test). And speaking of potties...

3) Piglet does Potty Training. Successfully. In 48 hours
We had been potty training. We bought a bike. Piglet got sick of potty training and refused to do it anymore. And then on Saturday, I said to NNB that we need to stop messing around and be focused parents and get our shit together. So, we put pants on Piglet. And since then....she's used the potty (honestly, I think part of this is because she really likes yellow, and I told her that wee wees is yellow and she can see that I'm telling the truth by looking in the potty). She had one accident at nursery yesterday, and was apparently inconsolable. Which is really sad. Because she's done so well, and it was only one accident (clearly she is a crazy perfectionist also- don't do it Piglet, just don't do it. Aim for mediocrity!). Other than that though- perfect. Woke up this morning (granted it was at 3:30am) with a dry nappy and went straight on the potty too.

I mean, I did have a bit of a cry about this, because she's not a baby anymore and is officially a Big Girl, but whatever, like, my emotional stability is not the subject of this section. We'll discuss this later. But first...

4) Bones Maintains A 94% Average
YEAH I DO. Got results for first year a few weeks ago. 87% in Organic (but I only needed like 2% in this exam to get a distinction overall so I don't even care about this mark it definitely does not bother me, I'm not going to be that guy that moans because it's not a 90 but yeah you're right I'm really pissed off by stupid organic chemistry). 98% in Bioactive Natural Products. Pretty solid. Pretty solid mark. Not bad. OH WAIT. STOP EVERYTHING. WHO GOT 100% IN CHEMOTHERAPY? OH YEAH, THAT'S ME. ME HERE. 100%. A. PERFECT. SCORE. 

Pretty happy. Except for Organic. But average is still 94% so it's all gravy. All gravy gravy gravy. 

5) Bones Gets Pleurisy (because her body is utterly shite)
This is a story about how you can have a chest infection and think you're fine and all better, until you have horrendous chest pains for two weeks and go to your doctor and he sends you to hospital where they do 700000000 tests on you . And then say you can't run and your life is ruined.

I had a chest infection about a month ago and didn't get it looked at, because...well, I figured it was probably viral and they wouldn't be able to do anything? And then the day before the 10k I started having chest pains... and ran it anyway because... I like medals? I was supposed to be doing another 10k in Durham on the 19th and I went to the doctor that morning because chest pains had lasted almost two weeks. Not intermittent chest pains. Constant chest pain. Anyway, he sent me to hospital (NNB had a small heart attack when I sent him a message about this whilst he was at work) and after 6789 different tests they said it was pleurisy. 

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining of your lungs and can be caused by chest infections. Do you know what the remedy for pleurisy is? Rest. And painkillers (have had a lot of codeine recently). But mainly rest.

I really don't like rest.

So, I couldn't do my run. I had two days off work. I lay in bed convinced that my waist was expanding by the second due to this new sedentary lifestyle I was having to lead, and I watched 700000 documentaries on Netflix- one of which was What the Health? Which led to....

6) Bones goes Vegan
I am not convinced about the health benefits of veganism. It is very easy to cherry pick studies to support any claim you want to make, and- let's face it- a lot of studies have been done which have yielded results which cannot be reproduced and are therefore bullshit (*cough* looking at you Andrew Wakefield *cough*)  I am not going to preach about why we should only eat a plant-based diet because I don't necessarily believe that is true. What IS true is that I am very easily grossed out by food. And what's actually in food. I'm not going to tell you the specific part that made me cut out the best 70% of my diet because that's not fair. But if you watch it, you'll know the bit that I'm talking about. 

I'm kind of hoping I get over this quite rapidly? Because I really miss eggs. So maybe I can be vegan, but still eat eggs. I really miss turkey bacon too. That being said, one of the girls at work made some vegan chilli for me and it was literally the best thing I have ever eaten. So maybe I'll start posting loads of vegan recipe ideas on here instead! (I will never do this- I promise, promise, promise you, I will not do this). 

God I'm such a mess.

Big love to everyone! Remember: always get your chest infections checked out and definitely don't watch What the Health, because it WILL ruin your life! (Oh my God I just remembered pizza, like what is life without PIZZA?!)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The One With The Nuclear Fallout (39 months + 11 days)

It is Thursday.

Yesterday, I sobbed, I screamed, I spent £60 on a yellow jacket that I have coveted for several weeks, booked a 10k in Durham for next month, Piglet got a new Paw Patrol toy, bag and hat (this is what happens when I get a credit card increase and "bad" news on the same day), and we went to bed at 7pm. 

And when I woke up, it was 1:30am. And it was Thursday. 

We're giving potty training another whirl at the moment. On Tuesday, I promised Piglet that she could have anything she wanted if she did all her wee wees on the toilet and she asked for a pink bike. Since then, she has only had two accidents at nursery, so it seems to be working. Because she is fine. 

She saw me crying after the hospital yesterday, wiped away my tears, gave me a cuddle and asked if I was OK. Because she is fine.

She gave me a big kiss and a hug when I picked her up last night and told me she loved me. Because she is fine. 

She jumped in bed next to me and insisted that she was squeezed as tight as possible (this is the only way she will fall asleep) and....that can be autistic. But you know what? That's fine. 

Piglet isn't autistic. Piglet is Piglet. Piglet may end up being on the autistic spectrum but it will just be part of who she is. And after the stories I have read this morning, that's fine. It is fine. Autism isn't understood by society. I don't fully understand autism. But you know what? I'm probably on the spectrum. You're probably on the spectrum. We're all on the bloody spectrum. And....it's not Piglet's problem. Nothing has changed, or will change for her. It is just being made apparent to me. So I need to get over myself. 

Nursery said Piglet was off yesterday afternoon; that she was in a really odd mood. And honestly? I'm not surprised. Imagine sitting in a room for an hour with two people talking about you in front of your face- how would you feel? She's sharp as a whistle when it comes to understanding what you're saying, and that can be easy to forget. 

The health visitor isn't trying to set me up, She's trying to help. The pediatrician isn't telling me there's something wrong, she's telling me that there's something different. 

For anyone else in this situation- don't just read literature. Because it uses language like "disorder" and "delay" and other negative words that... aren't necessarily true. Read people's stories. Read their experiences. And you'll have a totally different perspective on the situation. 

I've been fighting any and all medical diagnoses around Piglet. I'm silly, really. I think in my mind, by resisting everything, I was fighting for her; I was defending her corner. And I thought that by going down this path, it would mean her life would be more difficult. But...it doesn't change anything. It's just a word.

The real fight is against what most people believe autism is. Myself included.

So. It's Thursday. What should we all do today? We should buy beautiful yellow jackets. Because life is short. We should educate ourselves. Because ignorance is dangerous. I myself am going to start looking at the best methods for teaching children on the autistic spectrum. I'm also going to be serving pints with a smile to alcoholics at 11am. The most important thing we should do today though? We should hug our babies as tight as we can. Our happy, funny, loving, unique babies. Mine's perfect, and I'm sure yours is too.

p.s. Baby cat fell out of the bathroom window whilst we were at hospital yesterday so I returned home to a very soggy wet cat stood by the back door feeling sorry for himself. This was the highlight of Woeful Wednesday, and has more than made up for the fact that he continually poos on the floor and gave Adelaide a hysterical pregnancy.  


  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The One With The A-Bomb (39 months + 10 days)

Today is Wednesday. Many Wednesdays have happened since I last wrote anything. Many, many, many Wednesdays. If I'm being honest, whilst Prozac helped my mood (or at least I thought it did) it definitely stifled my creativity.

In all those Wednesdays that have passed, we've had exams (good), birthday parties (also good), army applications (disappointing), new medical diagnoses (not so good) and trips to A and E (terrifying). I am no longer on Prozac since I needed a medication review before the doctor would prescribe anymore and I ran out in the interim period. Hence, I decided there was no point coming off them to go back on them again. My head feels clearer. I feel. Isn't that funny? I wouldn't have said that Prozac had numbed my emotions at all but retrospectively, I can tell you that it did. Sure, I can feel sad now; but I can also feel happy. And excited. And anxious. And determined. And frustrated. And elated. And irritated. And motivated. And you know what? I prefer it this way. Life is all about feeling. Why the fuck would you want to be numb all the time?

I've also been diagnosed with anaemia and a severe vitamin D deficiency which is why I felt like sleeping for 20000 hours per day, so I now have to take approximately 613 pills per day. Piglet knows about these pills- "Mummy's medicine". Piglet has been told not take these pills. Piglet ignored this instruction and took two of my iron tablets. Which resulted in a speedy trip to A + E (prior to this, my parent's dog had also tried to eat my iron tablets- honestly, they taste disgusting, I have no idea why everyone is so keen to ingest them). Thankfully, both Piglet, and the dog are absolutely fine. 

Scratch that last sentence. 

Piglet had her pediatrician appointment today. The one that the Health Visitor had referred her for because she thought she was autistic. Honestly went into that meeting expecting the Pediatrician to say that Health Visitor was a crazy bitch and Piglet is fine. And...that's not what happened. 

Went through everything, she watched Piglet play; I even lied on some of the questions. Not intentionally. But I lied. She asked if Piglet liked to collect things. And I said no. But she does. She collects all her dummies. She likes to have as many dummies as possible at all times. I'm not talking a spare or two, I mean seven, eight, nine dummies. That is an autistic trait.

The fact that her left foot points inwards when she walks. That is an autistic trait. 

The pediatrician said that she doesn't have enough to make a diagnosis but she can't discharge her because she can't say she's "fine". Can't say she "OK". Can't say she's "normal". She's going to send a specialist into nursery to watch her play and then we will review everything. If the specialist has enough evidence at that point she will be given a formal diagnosis of autism. If not, a second specialist will view her, and assess her for autism. At no point was their any mention of her being classed as "normal" by any of these people. From the conversation that ensued it seemed to be a case of the "professionals" have decided that she is autistic and now they are simply gathering the evidence to support their case. 

I've avoided reading anything on autism prior to this point. Which is weird, because usually I like to know everything about something if I am to encounter it. And I think the reason I've been avoiding it is because I've been petrified that I will be reading about Piglet. I've been scared that every single sentence that I see will be her. 

Her speech is definitely behind. I am not arguing that point anymore at all. It's just that I don't realise it until I see her with other three year olds. She will speak in sentences but half the time I have no idea what she is trying to say. It doesn't help the situation that whenever we go to hospital she refuses to talk point blank. 

So. Piglet is autistic. Not formally. Not yet. But whether I believe it, and whether she actually is no longer matters it seems. They've decided that she fits the criteria. And she probably does, and I'm just going to have to come to terms with that. 

1% of people in the UK are diagnosed as autistic. In 2014, there were 695,233 live births in Britain; roughly 6,952 children born that year will therefore go on to receive an autism diagnosis. Why does my Piglet have to be one of them? It's not fair. It's not fucking fair.

I keep thinking it's my fault. Maybe it's because of the glass that fell on her head when she was really young; maybe it's because of when she fell off the bed; maybe it's because I was at work all the fucking time forever for that year of hell. Maybe I'm just a really, really shit mum. 

I'll never be able to think how she thinks. I'll never see the world how she does. And it's so, so, so, SO shit. And unfair. 

But. There will be many more Wednesdays after this one. And since this diagnosis now seems inevitable, I think it may be time to read. My baby is going to be autistic. And I want to know exactly what that means for her. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 348 (37 months + 1 day)

Piglet,

Further to my 4am ramblings, here are some 3am ones. These are some pearls of wisdom that those close to me have chose to impart at various points in my life; they are wise, wise people..

From your Great Gran:

Never close any doors- always leave all options open. 


From your Mimsy:

Always have self-respect. Know your worth.


From your Gramps:

(This was something that I imagine was a throw-away comment but had a profound effect on me when it was said)

If you don't like something, change it. 


Do I have any other things I want to say?

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. Dream big- SO BIG. Always be positive (prozac helps). Remember that brunch is the best meal ever. Feelings are important. Always make sure your voice is heard; your opinion counts. Appreciate the art of the afternoon tea. Don't get clingy cats that wake you up at 1:30am by purring in your face. No matter what you do, I've probably done worse. You're amazing; never let anybody make you think otherwise. 

Hopefully this will be the last of philosophical mummy for a while...  None of these life lessons really have any bearing as to what is currently going on in life (apart from the one re: cats). It's 11 days until London marathon so maybe I'm just paranoid I'm going to die during it hence the onslaught of random crap I want to pass on to you. 

(I'm not going to die- I am an excellent average runner. Maybe I'm just surprised I've made it to 27?)

Lots of love,

3am Philosophical mummy 

xxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 347: Be Selfish (37 months)

Dear Piglet,

There will be many moments in your life when will you wonder if you made the right decision. Mummy can say this; Mummy is the love child of gin and regret and therefore spends 87% of her life wondering if she made the right decision. The short answer to your contemplation? You won't. The likelihood is that with every single choice you make you will never know if it was the right one. However, whenever you doubt yourself, I want you to ask the following three questions:

1) Am I happy content?

One of the most important things I was taught, Piglet, came from my therapist: never aim for happiness, as it is a transient phase. The very nature of life is that it has peaks and troughs; nobody can be at the top of the game constantly. Instead, aim to be content. It is a far safer and more reasonable expectation. Are you content? If the answer is yes, then the likelihood is, you chose "correctly". If the answer is no then:

2) Did it make sense?

You are three currently. At the moment your decision making is generally based on, "What do I want right now at this moment in time...? PAW PATROL PAW PATROL PAW PATROL CHOCOLATE" However (I hope) there will come a point where your ability to make choices becomes slightly more complex. Some people have gut instincts. Some people "follow their heart". Me? I'm a logic person. I don't follow my heart, I follow my head. I believe in lists of pros and cons; I believe in taking emotion out of the situation. Is my way of decision making correct? Who knows. It could be considered cold. It could be considered detached. However... that's me. Your own style of selection will be moulded by life, Piglet. For mummy therefore, the answer to this question will always be "yes". Not all decisions I have made have been "right", but all have definitely to some extent made sense to me (apart from when under the influence of tequila but we don't mention these ok?) Of course if your own answer to this question is no, then the final self-analysis I would like you to perform is this one:

3) Is my memory accurate?

No. It's not. Not unless you're looking at things immediately after the fact. As a general rule we romanticise things Piglet. The longer it is since an event, the more we will view it in a favourable light. We only remember the good things- and for good reason; imagine how rubbish you would feel if you held on to all the negative things from the past?! 

I would like for you to be many things, Piglet, and I hope I can help instill them in you. I want you to be kind. I want you to be compassionate. I want you to be inquisitive. I want you to be content. But most of all-especially when it comes to decision-making- I want you to be selfish. You do you. Because life can be a bit shitty at times, and you need to make sure you have your own back. 

Lots of love,

From a 4am Philosophical Mummy (who is always right)

xxxxx

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The One With The Three Little Pigs (36 months + 10 days)

This is the tale of The Three Little Pigs.

Once upon a time there was a mother pig who had three little pigs (she was stressed off her tits). The three little pigs ate ALL her food, and kept the heating on all the time, and grew so big that the mother pig told them it was time for them to go and build their own homes to live in.

"Little pigs! When I was your age, I was married with three baby pigs of my own, and all you seem to do is lie in your dressing gowns all day demanding cups of tea! I can't take this any longer- I am trying to hold down three jobs just to afford the heating bill on this sty. It is time for you to go and build your own homes; but beware of the Big Bad Wolf!"

The three little pigs set off (Mother pig put her slippers on and poured herself a large glass of wine): "The Big Bad Wolf will NEVER catch us",

Soon, they met a man who was nothing but bones. "Please will you teach me your ways?" said the first little pig, "I want to build my home out of self-inflicted starvation, and an unattainable body image".

"Of course", said the skeletal figure, and he taught the little pig all the benefits of eating disorders and how his home was going to be the most perfect home in all the world. The little pig was very pleased with his home; his home showed the world how strong and in control he was; nothing would ever overwhelm him, especially not some silly wolf.

The second and third little pigs disagreed with his method; they continued their journey onward, leaving the first little pig in his home of bones. A short while into their excursion, they met another man who had a head the size of Jupiter. "WOW!" said the second little pig, "please help me! I want my home to be full of brains as big as yours! With all the knowledge in the world, there is NO WAY a Big Bad Wolf would be able to come after me!"

The second pig built his home of brains. He was very impressed with himself; "This is the best home there ever was", he told the third little pig, "there is no way you could have a better home than this one". The third little pig wasn't so sure- "I think I'm going to carry on. I've got a feeling that there's a stronger material just a little bit further on"- and he continued on his path.

The next day, the Big Bad Wolf was walking along the road, when he arrived at the home made of bones. The first little pig saw him coming and ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

Unsurprisingly, bones are not the best material to build your home out of. Mental illness fuelled by self-loathing does not a strong foundation make. The first pigs house fell down and he suffered a horrible death at the hands of the Big Bad Wolf.

The Big Bad Wolf walked further along the road, until he arrived at the home made of brains. The second little pig saw him coming and ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

Now, you may think that brains would be a MUCH wiser choice to build your home out of. And in some respects you would be right; they're certainly a substantial improvement on bones at any rate. However, brains have one weakness: failure. And so, at the first sign of failure, the home of brains fell to the floor, and this time the second little pig was eaten by the Big Bad Wolf.

Whilst his siblings were suffering unspeakable suffering and anguish at the hands of the Big Bad Wolf, the third little pig was busy building his home. The third little pig had thought long and hard about the strongest thing in the world that he could use, and came to the conclusion that he wanted his home to be made of love.

The wolf reached the home made of love and, in the same manner as the first two little pigs, the third little pig ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

The Big Bad Wolf huffed, and puffed but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't blow down the house of love. He tried numerous tricks to attempt to get the third little pig to come out, but- in summary- they all failed and the scenario culminated with the Big Bad Wolf falling down the chimney and being boiled alive (children's stories are far too gruesome man. What even is this?)

Three years and ten days ago I met my own little piglet and we started laying the foundations for our home built out of love. We've just put the roof on it. I'm sure there will be extensions to add and adjustments to be made, but irregardless of that, at the moment, I'm pretty sure that we can deal with any Big Bad Wolf that tries to knock on our door.

Happy Birthday Piglet x