Friday, 28 December 2007

Christmas Day

Firstly I'd like to thank everybody who bought our children a noisy present, or one full of sugar. Cheers. The two work remarkably well together I must say, the cure for narcolepsy must surely lie here like a coiled spring waiting to be unleashed. Isla is at this moment on her third jelly Santa (how many ways can sweet companies dress up gelatin and chemicals? I'm waiting for the Jesus on a crucifix one)and running around the house with her new CD player/karaoke machine turned up loudly like a teenager with a ghetto blaster. She's three. Jack can't run around, being seven months, but he is sitting on the play mat rediscovering his multicoloured toys with awe, drooling unnecessarily, leading me to believe he may possibly have been fed one of Isla's Santas. Other than that it really is acid and I have some questions to ask.
Christmas day saw the arrival of our third child, Barbie. She's proving to be the most expensive of our children demanding both of practical everyday necessities and tropical island paradise experiences. So far Husband and I have furnished her with: A horse (complete with moving legs and a life like neigh), a fully fitted bedroom, a dressing table and accompanying monkey, five new outfits, a fairy castle and (though we feel she's a little young) a boyfriend. It seems though that Barbie is never satisfied, and despite all these 'welcome to your new home gifts' she's also after the Malibu mansion. Well she'll have to wait until her birthday.
Barbie is an uncomfortable bed fellow, at best the companion that Isla seems unable to find in Jack, at worst everything that Isla yearns and aspires to be. Why oh why can't Barbie be a lawyer? Struggling with her weight? Flat chested? Have a girlfriend? Anything but this insipid blonde bombshell who admittedly has everything in life including the car and who says (and I quote) 'Let's see what we can do to be glamorous.' I'll never compete. Why should Isla listen to me when Barbie is obviously on the right track? How else did she get everything her heart desires? Obviously glamour is the way to go, if that's what it takes to get the mansion then glamour it is.
I'm planning to market a new doll: Sarah, the flat chested, overweight lawyer (possibly lesbian but it's never clear) who has a great personality, is interesting (I quote 'let's see what we can do to change the World today') and above all shuns worldly goods for the more satisfying carbon neutral option of living in a commune. Sarah requires very little to be happy in life, saves money diligently, pays her own way and above all listens to her mother. I'm not sure what Isla will make of her new companion next Christmas, but she'll make a much cheaper daughter.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Books I am planning to write

  • Puree your way to madness
  • How to make 7am a lie in
  • Make food fun - fill it with sugar
  • Puddings - not a nutritional alternative
  • Top ten stress busting wines
  • Husband training in three easy steps: loo seat, air freshener, soap
  • Stains - removable if you bother
  • Disposable nappies save your marriage
  • Child rearing with dummies
  • Bribes through the ages vol 1: 0-6 months
  • Lose your mummy tummy in 50 years
  • Comfort eating - the sure fire way to happiness
  • Make yourself heard by shouting loudly
  • Pushy parent your way to a guaranteed pension
  • The Margaret Thatcher Way - doing it all on four hours sleep
  • Speed reading - better than no bed time story at all
  • Calpol + benylin = good night's sleep

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Things I have said to my husband today

  • I don't know why I'm crying, I just am
  • no it isn't hormones
  • how dare you say it's hormones?
  • well you never take me seriously
  • can I help it if I'm right?
  • well if it is hormones, which it isn't, my feelings are still valid
  • valid
  • they mean something
  • yes, they have meaning
  • and logic, yes
  • Please don't jiggle Jack like that he's just had his dinner
  • there, that's what he had for dinner, down your shirt
  • He's crying because he needs his nappy changing
  • it was my turn last time
  • upstairs
  • on the changing table
  • cotton wool
  • water
  • take the dirty one off and put a clean one on
  • well change his trousers too
  • it is not inhumane
  • because I did the last 32
  • I tell Isla not to do that
  • it teaches her bad habits
  • no, I don't think you're a bad example
  • or have bad habits
  • because I want other people to like being with her
  • yes I like being with you
  • it's not that simple
  • If you take the bins out I'll start clearing the kitchen
  • where have you been?
  • it doesn't take half an hour to take the bins out
  • yes the kitchen does look nice
  • I used magic
  • It was a funny joke darling
  • I laughed on the inside
  • it's just I've heard it before
  • no, no you are funny
  • very original
  • I think I got the two jokes mixed up
  • yours was the funniest
  • Can you just feed the baby
  • I haven't had a shower yet
  • what do you mean if I just got up ten minutes earlier
  • I don't know why I'm crying I just am

Monday, 10 December 2007

The nativity

Oh yes, The Nativity. If you thought you were going to get away without me blogging on this particular subject you were mistaken I'm afraid. Very mistaken. How could I miss a chance to discuss this venerable institute that is our offspring's first foray into performance art? It's a chance to wallow in parental pride as your little one delivers his or her lines with amazing aplomb and accuracy, neatly stepping on their mark, holding baby Jesus aloft (head up in most cases) and proclaiming just how well they have been raised with their acute diction and projection of voice. Oh how we weep, tender tears forming, along with the small knowing smile (hidden of course) as we see how ahead they are, advanced even, if I do say so myself.
It was Isla's nativity today, her first proper one - she was only two last year and understandably the teachers wanted to give the older ones a chance, being out shone by a two year old can be very difficult in the formative years. As Isla is our first child, and first grandchild on both sides, there was quite a scramble for tickets, luckily many of the other pre-schoolers were third, or even fourth, offspring so there were plenty of spare tickets to go around. Awash with tissues and expectant hope we sat front row (we'd camped outside the night before just to be sure) and surveyed the scene of hay bales, cardboard star and manger, the setting or our daughter's (our) triumph. We watched with awe as the children entered stage left, shyer than normal, blushingly self conscious and thrillingly excited as to their performance, each looking for their own parent/cheering team and waving brightly.
It turns out Isla was a tree. A tree. When I've made two (not one, two) cakes for every bake sale they've had, and not the easy loaf ones, but cakes with fillings, I've even run a couple of sales myself. I've sat on the committees (often bringing cakes for refreshment), walked children to harvest festival, supplied some of them with leeks or carrots for the offering, attended 'stay and play' and played my heart out with every child. A tree! At least a sheep says 'baa' (and even that was questionable with the poor boy they had allotted to this role). Even if she wasn't going to get a talking role, a tree? You're probably getting just about now that I was speechless. If they ever ask me in a court of law what I genuinely thought of the nativity I could only repeat the word tree, such was my confusion and despair.
Now I understand that not everyone can be Mary or an angel and that there are only so many female roles to give out, but there surely are much more creative ways to go about assigning non existent parts to the plethora of children. Perhaps Mary could be a shared role? Three Marys, one for each wise man, or many many angels who could each have a solo line in the rendition of 'Away in a Manger'. What got to me most was that one of the other girls played an oxen and had a line! Fair enough it was a gentle lowing, but really, a line is a line. Isla's great at lowing. She did play the tree well though, of the four trees Isla's really stood out. The way she held her arms as boughs, drooping gracefully would have made even Stanislavsky proud. This was method acting at its best. Even without a line she was able to make herself heard just by her very stage presence, that course of experiential workshops really paid off. Gradually I began to understand the message the teachers were trying to give me, she really is far too good to have a major role, let the others have their chance, there will be plenty for Isla on Broadway.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

My mother knows how to work the sky+

It's all rather worrying, my mother has treated herself to sky+. When I went round to hers the other day she was busily scanning the programmes that she'd recorded on her new fangled thingy and breezily extolled the virtue of being able to group record. Group record? I'm convinced she's made the term up just to look like she knows what she's doing. She even forgot to broach her favourite topic - The World, general failings of. So I knew something was afoot.
The thing is, isn't it some kind of unwritten rule that every generation successively outstrips the previous where knowledge of technology is concerned? Ever since I was very young I or one of my siblings has had to programme the video (golly how archaic that sounds), set clock alarms/oven timers/jellies, and generally oversee the use of anything requiring a plug/degree in technical engineering. My mother can make a mean casserole (it carries a flick knife) but put her in front of a toaster and she makes like one of her jellies (ie melts, you'd get it if you'd ever been to one of my birthday parties). So this reversal of roles was one that frightened me a little. A lot actually, hasn't she read the rule book? It's practically one of the ten commandments - thou shalt not technologically outstrip your offspring. In fact it was one until they bumped it off for thou shalt not covet thy neighbour, something to do with bringing in a crowd pleasing element (it worked as well, on first hearing it the disciples started a Mexican wave, the first recorded in history). It's a very important rule, it makes your children feel important, useful even, until they are old enough to produce grandchildren and prove their worth.

So there she was, happy as anything watching repeats of Coronation Street, brandishing the remote like a particularly dexterous gun toting cowboy, totally ignoring my obvious distress. How can she work it? Which part of her brain did she accidentally switch on? Where's mine? I'm already at a point with my three year old where I have to ask her to explain the technological world to me. Sweetheart would you show mummy how to reboot the Nintendo DS? Ah I see now, thank you, now, tell mummy what exactly a Nintendo DS is. So I'm playing my part to the fullest and following the rules as I'm meant to, but my mother had turned it all upside down. Or so I thought. Midway through a particularly gripping Midsomer Murder her new brain bit failed and she accidentally deleted everything she had managed to record, never to be found again. Even I couldn't find it and I'm her offspring. I knew that she knew she was beaten when she eyed my squarely and launched her second favourite topic of conversation - The World - how it can be saved by me alone. She then called in my three year old who had us up and running again in no time, adding as she worked that it would be best if we didn't fiddle with it in future.

Monday, 3 December 2007

A Fish, a Hamster or a Dog?

Isla wants a pet for Christmas, a dog preferably but she'll settle for a hamster, Husband wants to get her a fish. His reasons, he says are well thought out and rational (and absolutely nothing to do with a fear of rodent like creatures). Firstly we have no room for a dog (he's right), secondly fish make ideal first pets; they're quiet (ever heard of a fish that likes rock and roll? he asked cryptically), they're clean (after mummy has cleaned them out), don't need walking, don't leave fur everywhere, stay where you put them and they die quite quickly.

He said this last bit with a knowing nod, you see I've thought of it all wink wink. Great, well done we'll give her a present that will die quite soon. It's like playing a trick on your children, it's only funny for you because you understand it, to them its plain confusing (never again the 'monster is under our bed not yours' trick; Isla still won't enter our bedroom and instead hovers nervously at the door. On the plus side it does keep her from waking us at six, in fact Husband has been known to growl just a little at the sound of footsteps on the landing).

Anyway, the dying quickly bit is the sticking point for me. I can see why it's a good thing, Isla gets her pet which conveniently passes away just as the novelty wears off. It also ties up the life lesson of 'people and animals die' quite well. Perfect. He does have a point. It's just that he's not at home with the children and the likelihood is that it'll be me that has to deal with the event. I'll have to cope with all the tears and explanations as to where fishy has gone. I may even have to make up some story about a heaven for fish but I'll try my best not to. It does have it's appeal though I could really go to town on the fish princesses, seaweed sweets and bedtime whenever any fishy wanted it. Next it would be up to mummy to arrange the burial (there will be no quick exits down the toilet for Isla's fish trust me) and to fashion some sort of headstone out of pasta. And the worst thing is I'll have to do all this like I care and touch a dead fish tenderly and with regret. I'm going to use an onion to produce the tears.

So we're trying to find alternatives and I'm telling you, there aren't many. Tortoises are illegal (and live an awfully long time, that 'life lesson' may begin in Isla's eighties), cats sit on babies heads and ponies are ridiculously expensive - you need a whole other house for a pony Isla, reliable as ever, informed us. We could consider reptiles, but I like to sleep as soundly as Isla will let me and not in fear of becoming a tasty snake snack. So that leaves us insect type things. In fact a stick insect could work, we could buy her a stick, or get it free from the garden and tell her all about how stick insects look just like sticks and keep very very still all the time so they can catch flies. That could really work but it brings me back to not playing tricks on three year olds. She's bound to twig (sorry) it sooner or later; if the insect hasn't moved by her eighteenth birthday she's sure to think some thing's not quite right. We could damage her for life.
So really that leaves a fish; it's the only one that won't live forever, sit on the baby's head, spread fur everywhere, eat me in the night, need a home all of its own or resemble a stick and tempt me to cheat. A fish it is, excellent. Now I just need to figure out how Santa might have got it down the chimney and we're good to go.

More things I have said to my three year old today

  • What would you like for tea?
  • We haven't got any smoked salmon
  • Or corn on the cob
  • How about beans on toast?
  • Yes it is organic
  • What do you say?
  • How does a big girl ask for something?
  • P P P?
  • Please
  • Well done, would you like another one?
  • What do you say?
  • Not please, Th Th Th
  • Thank you
  • Well done
  • It's carrot
  • But you love carrot
  • You did the other day
  • Yes Abby eats carrot
  • Oh good I'm glad you love carrot
  • Please could you put your jeans on today?
  • It's too cold for your fairy dress
  • Because it's Winter
  • It's cold in Winter
  • The sun is out, but that doesn't mean its hot
  • In the Summer the sun is hot, in the Winter it's cold
  • Because it just is
  • Abby's going to be wearing her jeans
  • OK wear your fairy dress today
  • No not with your wellies
  • Wellies are for when it's wet
  • It's wet in Summer and Winter
  • No it's not wet today
  • No, Barbie lives in Malibu it never rains
  • OK fantastic why don't you wear your fairy dress and wellies?
  • Please tell the teacher that you dressed yourself this morning
  • And forgot your coat
  • Yes and gloves
  • OK I'll tell the teacher it was me
  • Oh that's a beautiful painting darling
  • Oh really, you must have worked very hard
  • Mummy loves her seven toes
  • And green too, how creative
  • What did you do at pre school today?
  • Nothing? You can't have done nothing
  • Oh you did, I see

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Millennium Housewife the eco warrior

I do try really hard to be an eco warrior. Sometimes though it seems that everything is against you and the trudge up Mount Saintliness to the pinnacle known as Carbon Neutral Point is littered with disallowed bottle tops and yellow pages. We do eat organic though which I am always very proud of at the supermarket counter, especially as I load it all into my reusable jute bags and then into my (relatively) environmentally friendly Honda (they have a carbon neutral plant you know).
We even use ecologically friendly toothpaste, soap and household cleaners which further boosts my own estimation of myself where being Earth friendly matters. The problem is it seems that it's the chemicals in the non eco products that actually cause the stuff to work. If I'm really honest my teeth/hands/house aren't really that clean. Well only as clean as half a lemon can get them. In fact if being honest is the order of the day here, whenever friends are due to stay, I give the house (and my teeth and hands obviously) a good going over with every non eco product the corner shop stocks (but I didn't use the car to get there so there's some saving in it). So Husband always loves it when people come over, in fact all he'd like for Christmas is a bottle of Cillit Bang, not least to try that 1p cleaning trick they do on the telly.
I even treat the children with natural remedies, giving them a good go before resorting to the doctor. They seem to work too, I think, although I'm not sure whether it's the remedies or that most things tend to get better after a week. In fact Jack has had a gammy eye and a snuffly nose for the last four days and I have been adding lots of lemon and garlic (incidentally the ingredients in my toilet cleaner) to his purees. It's cleared up today which I was very pleased about until Husband pointed out that Jack had managed to get hold of the furniture polish and had had a good old sniff. It had seemed to do the trick.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

I am making it up as I go along

I am making it all up as I go along. Not this blog, life. Full stop. I admit it, hands up on all levels I haven't a clue. I'm not sure at all if anything I do, especially where my children are concerned, is the right thing. In fact I'm doing many many things that I said I would never do; I bribe them shamelessly, I reward them with food, I buy them things to keep them quiet, I shout because I'm the one in a bad mood, I'm sitting here right now with my trousers rolled up and my three year old painting my leg with her make up (which I vowed I would never buy).

The problem is all these things work. They do keep quiet if I give in, food is a great reward, shouting makes mummy feel much much better and Isla is quiet and letting me write because I'm letting her paint my leg. And Bribery? Well bribery should be up there with sliced bread, crikey I can get them to do anything with bribery.

Isla has been going through an appalling sleep phase for about the last 3 1/2 years. She's rubbish at it, she's never clicked that night time is for sleeping not shouting and spends most evenings concocting reasons for us to attend to her. The only thing that has ever worked and given us a few precious hours of sleep is bribery.

We've done every bribe known (and unknown - ever heard of the 'I'll pretend to be a giraffe and chase you tomorrow' bribe?) but obviously the best is the honourable sticker chart - though it depresses me that I get my hints and tips from super nanny. So Isla has a sticker chart; collect all seven to win the prize. But she was quite naughty last night appearing in our room about 4.30am wanting a plaster. She then worked through various requests from insisting the sun was up despite all evidence to the contrary to wanting a bath and her toes washed. None worked though and the result is no star today.

I blame myself really, I jinxed it by buying her Saturday sticker present on Friday, confident she'd get her full quota (I was deranged by sleep deprivation). Her dearest wish is for a 'rectangle and a bread roll'. I hid the rectangle (actually just a small box with a picture of a kitten on it) in the wardrobe and she ate the roll today with her soup non the wiser that it was her present roll. But don't despair, bribery really is the best thing going, it's got us two whole, uninterrupted nights sleep in 3 1/2 years.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

What do you do all day?

This is what I have done today:

  • Talked to Barbie on the phone
  • Had a shower for three experience (it was a squash)
  • Spotted the missing weetabix on the ceiling
  • Mopped up the weetabix with an upside down sweeping motion
  • Cleaned the mop stain from the ceiling
  • Bought paint to paint the ceiling
  • Swept up a fake eye, a tiny shoe and a nodding puppy
  • Shouted Whoosh! Whoo hoo! Eight times at the bottom of a slide
  • Sung Daisy Daisy three times
  • Discussed at length and in some depth a cheese sandwich
  • Pushed a dolly in a tiny pram bent double all the way to school
  • Carried a dolly in a tiny pram all the way home from school.
  • Made a caterpillar
  • Made five cups of tea, drunk one of them. It was cold.
  • Jumped up from behind a wall growling again and again for fifteen minutes
  • Made: broccoli puree, root vegetable puree, goats cheese sauce, four fish cakes, ten gingerbread men, tomorrow's sandwiches, elegant supper for two (not yet served)
  • Eaten: half a tin of cold baked beans
  • Made a chamomile tea poultice
  • Been to the shops for princess plasters
  • Run 5 Km
  • Gone back to the shops for forgotten Princess Pull Ups
  • Run a toy monkey up and down the checkout making the appropriate sound
  • Donated twice to the charity at the door of the supermarket out of guilt
  • Did a rude sign to the old man in the parent and child spaces who had no child
  • Explained to three year old why we should never do rude signs
  • Asked three year old never to repeat rude sign
  • Put three year old on the naughty mat
  • Heard about possible dangers of sausages and banned them from the house.
  • Defrosted sausages in the freezer and ate them to avoid waste
  • Recycled
  • Composted
  • Switched off all the lights I left on this morning
  • Turned the heating up, then felt guilty and turned it down again
  • Wore my coat indoors
  • Petted a cow
  • Caught a hamster
  • Wished for a cleaner and a nanny

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Sink or Sink

I'm not a competetive mother, and if I was ever going to be no one would know about it and I'd do it very very quietly. I did recently become aware however of a few children learning to swim who were about Isla's age. Obviously this didn't bother me a bit. Not one tiny bit. But it did get me to thinking about how bright Isla is and how I should offer her new challenges as often as possible. So perhaps an occasional swim might do her good. The communal swimming lessons offered at our local baths probably wouldn't push her quite as hard as she enjoys so I decided to take on the challenge myself. Something for us to bond over in later years; mummy and daughter time in the pool. Yes, that's it, quality time with my daughter is just what I, and she, needs. Excellent, swimming it is.
It's been a reasonable success, obviously Rome wasn't built in a day (though if it could have been I'm sure my children would have figured out a way). Isla began by insisting on trying to swim straight away without her armbands, she's quite advanced. Although it soon became apparent that she had absolutely no clue as to what swimming actually is. I wasn't surprised what with her nose always in those six-year-and-up text books. She could do a fairly good impression of breaststroke on the side (the stage it is then), but the translation into the water tended to result in drowning. She appeared from under the water with a big grin on her face though so I was encouraged, as was she. She has also insisted on dolly attending every class to learn to swim herself (dolly is plastic and floats so does have some advantage). Dolly comes complete with robe and knickers and while madam is busy learning to drown it is left to mummy to undress her and swim her around looking like she can't wait for another baby and is getting in some practise with a doll.
So to get her started on the correct strokes rather than floating, I decided to introduce one of those jackets with floats inside to free up her arms. I made the mistake of showing her how the little floats inside come out one at a time to help her gradually take her own weight. But it's gone the same way as her armbands and we now have a floatless jacket which she much prefers to the armbands and that she proceeds to wear while drowning. I think perhaps more literary persuits may be the way she's headed.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Things I have said to my husband today

  • Under the bed
  • Our bed
  • At the back
  • It is there I put it there
  • I didn't think I needed to say it was in a plastic bag, it's the only thing under the bed
  • Salad
  • Chicken
  • No, no steak
  • What are you looking for?
  • The fridge is warming up
  • The contents won't change just because you're staring at them
  • No there's no steak
  • Chicken and salad
  • Could you flush the chain please?
  • And put the seat down
  • Spray the freshener
  • What do you do about the toilets at work?
  • Oh I see
  • It's over to your right
  • The cupboard on the right
  • Right
  • That's left
  • I've put the children's clothes out for them to wear today
  • I know but it really clashes
  • See all the stripes on her tights? They clash with the dots on her shirt
  • And the tartan on her skirt
  • Yes it's lovely that you've dressed Jack as a rugby player

I Have a Difficult Mother

I have a difficult mother. Well not exactly difficult, wonderful, loving, helpful, dotes on my children, but yes, actually difficult. We're too alike. We have the same car (although hers is a newer, posher one) and same phone and -get this- same ring tone. Oh dear, I am my mother, and I am difficult which makes her difficult.

I consider myself a challenge, but really that's double speak for difficult. I'm really hard work, pretty unreasonable, cry easily, never the right temperature, slightly unhinged around the chocolate aisle, hate walking (unless it's to the pub) but want to do the Three Peaks challenge,and it's all because of hormones. Apparently. Hormones are great, ace, let's all cheer for hormones. They get me off the hook time and time again, I can do anything! Anything! Well, most things, and blame hormones. I can get fat, thin, eat doughnuts, cry (a lot), shout, cry some more, want a baby, never want a baby again, throw tantrums over chocolate, always get the last chocolate, refuse to get up, refuse to go to bed, imbibe ice cream like it's water, hog the duvet, hog the bed, hog the chardonnay (you may add your own things to this list if you'd like, I'm always up for trying some new ones out).

But the problem is, hormones run out - yes! I was worried too. You get one, big, last bash at being Very Difficult Indeed called the menopause and then wham, you're out. No more excuses, no more understanding. And that's where my poor long suffering husband will find out my secret. It was never hormones to begin with. I'm just difficult and plan to be for the rest of my life. Life's so much more interesting when you're difficult. This is why I have a difficult mother. She's had her last bash of hormones and now we're all settling down to the twilight years and dawn of just-being-plain-difficult and I'm loving it. She's fab, she's strong, she's reliable, she's fun (she's likely to be reading this blog), handsome even in her difficultness, fiercely protective of her right to need no excuses. She'd warned my dad that she was apt to be difficult at certain times and he'd accepted the hormone line meekly and without complaint. But she did warn him and that should be enough. I warned my husband too, expertly sandwiched between steak pie and sex, he appeared to take it well. I'm not worrying too much at the moment, I've got lots of hormone fuelled years ahead of me. But this stands as a warning, proof in fact that people have been warned. I am difficult and so is my mother.
My one certainty is that if ever Isla writes a blog, she will also entitle one of them I have a difficult mother, and that will be me and she will be difficult too and I will be so proud. And I'll tell her about sandwiching the warning.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Getting Rid of the Dummy

So we're getting rid of the dummy. A momentous occasion, a sign of the growth and maturity of our three year old. Let battle commence.
In fact battle commenced at the beginning of the week, primarily because I took Isla to the dentist last Thursday and he suggested she gives it up because it was affecting her bite. He said this with such a breezy, devil-may-care, I've never had children or a lost-dummy-sleepless-night that I nearly affected his bite. He thinks I smiled at the suggestion but it was actually a silent growl and a mental note to move Isla in with him during the weaning process so she can shout at him at 2am about her lost dummy.
Nevertheless we began straight away with 'no dummies in the car', which went really well especially with the sweetner of a small toy from the toy shop. She chose a ring which she promptly lost. Daytime is progressing nicely but night time is proving the sticking point, despite the dentist's claim that she's settling well.
So Husband has bought out the big guns and suggested a pair of shoes as the reward (shoes are to Isla as a big oil field is to George W). We were promptly stung for a pair of Lelli Kelli shoes complete with 'make up watch' and a 'bag to match'. Lelli Kelli shoes if you haven't heard of them are the latest advertising success. Pink twinkly girls advertise pink twinkly shoes with a pink twinkly free gift to boot. This time it's a make-up watch which turns out to be a bit of coloured petroleum jelly stuck in a plastic strap. Iain could have made it at home as he so wisely counselled us.
Anyway, Isla still doesn't know her alphabet song properly but she can sing the lelli kelli theme perfectly and proceeds to do so whenever we pass a shoe shop, complete with a rather complicated accompanying dance. It's done the trick though and she's been dummy free for a few nights now. She's due to come back from the dentist's house any day.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Oh Chocolate

Oh chocolate you're not fooling me
With your glossy outer shell,
I know that between your sweet sweet lips
The fat and calories dwell.

Oh chocolate how come you speak
In breathy almond tones
Of orange cream and truffle fill
And sugar overload?

Stop toying with me chocolate
I hear you rustling still
Deep within your velvet box
A writhing sensuous thrill.

I know, I'll just peep at you
Let you breathe a bit
Lift the lid and let in air
Don't tell me you don't want it.

It's just you and me now chocolate
Standing eye to eye,
Nestled, glistening, sugar sweet
Soft as a lullaby.

I think it's time we told the truth
To our friends and to each other,
But if you can't commit to me
I'll tell you not to bother.

Oh Chocolate, you understand me
Let's snuggle up together,
You and me against the World
Battling stormy weather.

Let's meld, let's mingle
Come over here to me,
We'll never fight it chocolate,
we were meant to be.

Come chocolate hither, you saucy minx
And sit upon my hips,
And as you go, all I ask
Is a moment on the lips.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

To Snip or not To Snip?

Let's all hear it for contraception -hurrah! Single handed emancipator of women, fore runner of the sexual revolution, answer to overcrowding (and possibly even damp problems). It kept us child free when we wanted to be and whoop de doo, out the window it goes when you don't want to be - what's to complain? I'm not. It's just that no one ever told you that post children contraception becomes even more of a debate than before. Before you could entertain the idea of 'what one would do should one find oneself unexpectedly pregnant' with various romantic and decidedly unromantic endings to the scenario. Post children the unromantic answer seems - to me anyway - a lot harder because you have in front of you the results of a possible split condom/missed pill/eighth glass of wine, oh go on then zambuca, and you LOVE them so. But you LOVE them so to the point of never ever wanting another (or until the memory of the birth, stitches, breastfeeding - do not delete any as appropriate - fades). So an 'accident' holds so many more implications surely because you know what you're letting yourself in for whatever you do.
So really the best option is to leave it to him and no I don't mean the male pill; the temptation to swap it at the doctor's for Viagra "just to see what it felt like" would be too tempting, thus tripling the chances of an unheralded pink line moment. So a vasectomy, of course seems to be the simplest and most long-term pain free answer.

Obviously I'm aware of and even a little sympathetic to, a man's preference for an intact vas deferens but if being intact/undamaged is the competition here we've got them licked (and not in the way they like). I've even pointed out its distinct advantages; should something ever happen to me and Husband dared to move on it could prove to be a very effective chat up line: "Do you know that I've had my vas deferens detached? Means no bother for you ladies" wink wink (perhaps even a click of the tongue here?). Husband unhelpfully pointed out that if he ever was to move on it would be with some whipper snapper who would be young enough and free enough to perhaps want children (though she never has any so the fantasy goes). So detached plumbing would not be quite the tag line he'd like to be associated with. Especially as childless women of a certain age tend to be very adept at trying to re plumb you - if you get his drift. I assured him I did.
Either way, this is the way we are going, I have the assurance of our local (and cheap) vet that he can do my and my sister's husband for a two-for-one deal. Providing they don't mind a few publicity shots.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Things I have said to my three year old today.

  • Don't touch that please, actually do touch it and put it in the bin.
  • The bin is the big grey thing in the corner.
  • There's no bag in the bin, please just put it back on the floor where you found it.
  • Mind out please, that's Jack's sick and you might slip on it.
  • What would you like in your hair today?
  • Well you're getting pig tails.
  • These hairbands match, pink doesn't match red
  • Barbie does not wear red and pink together, I think you made that up
  • OK Barbie does wear red and pink together
  • Barbie would be ever so pleased if you wore the red hair bands
  • The rain comes from the clouds
  • The clouds are leaking because they're full
  • Full of rain
  • It's like a big bag of rain
  • Water floats up through the air until it reaches a cooler atmosphere, there the gaseous water (vapour) condenses and cools to form droplets which cling together to form a cloud
  • God makes the clouds cry and that makes rain
  • Please don't put daddy's gel in your brother's hair
  • Abby's mummy probably knew the secret word that opens the sweet shop
  • No, I don't know the secret word
  • Yes, perhaps we can ask Abby's mummy for the secret word
  • No, I can't message her on facebook
  • When we get to pre-school please don't mention that Jack weed on mummy's trousers and mummy didn't change them
  • Oh ha ha ha Isla, you're such a joker, of course Jack didn't wee on my trousers
  • Tell the teacher it was a joke
  • Could you just say you need the toilet rather than explaining exactly why?
  • Because no one wants to hear that
  • Fingers aren't for eating with, a knife and fork is for eating with
  • Ok except carrot sticks
  • And hamburgers
  • And humous and pitta bread
  • And sandwiches
  • Ok only eat with your fingers when I say so
  • Ok eat your bolognese with your fingers, that's exactly what I was going to suggest anyway

Monday, 12 November 2007

A Big Duck Day

Today Isla saw a Big Duck. It was a goose actually, but try telling her that. There is no one else in the World that can make me feel like an imbecile even though I know I am right. It was a goose!
She announced today that when she grew up she was going to become a lamb (we aim high in our family). I gently suggested that perhaps as she was a little girl this might not be possible. Cue 30 minutes of tearful counter argument until for the sake of her sanity (and hydration), I agree that she might become a lamb. See mummy, I told you I could, she announced with such contempt that I was embarrassed (embarrassed!) at having been so wrong.
So here was this annoying Big Duck, waddling away the day oblivious to how its genetics had caused such friction - why can't they look completely different to a duck, why does it have to be just (admittedly) a bigger version of one? Why can't it have pink wings? Two heads? Talk?! Anything that distinguishes it from a duck? Isla is looking at me distrustingly, after all if mummy can't tell a duck is a duck what else has she got wrong (apart from the ability for a little girl to grow to be a lamb).
So today has been a Big Duck day, mummy is wrong, everyone else is right, I am to hang my head in shame at my ignorance as Isla regails her friends with my delusions about What It Is Possible To Become (her best friend wants to be an iron).

Millennium Housewife, or How Did It Come To This?

If you didn't even know housewives existed today, then you're not alone, I didn't even know. Until it dawned on me this morning, marigolded hand down toilet, skinny(!) jeans covered in rusk and a pair of knickers holding up my hair, that this is exactly what I've become.

It's time, I thought in one of those eureka moments that you always hope will happen somewhere glamourous with at least a photographer there to record the moment, but actually happened half way down the u-bend, that someone admitted that they were doing this, rather than constantly pretending to a) have a cleaner/perfect cleaning husband b)have a job that pays money c) have a phantom resident that miraculously does your cleaning/cooking/shopping while you go to the gym (or Starbucks, delete as appropriate)

Why aren't there more of us, or at least why don't you know any? Because we lie.
We go under various ambitious and slightly embarrassed headings; 'being on extended maternity leave' (although your youngest is eight and already buying makeup/shaving foam), 'home with the children' (you're kidding no one), or under our last known job title (even though we can barely remember what it was let alone how to do it).

So here we are, or rather here I am I'm not sure anyone is actually reading this, but hey it beats emptying the nappy wrapper (Husband can't do this as it makes him gag). Shall I stand up and shout with pride that I have become (albeit in stealth like stages) a housewife, or shall I hide behind a nice annonymous blog bigging it up for the masses my own way (read: in a cowardly and slightly pompous manner).

Whatever you think this is it, the diary of a Millenium housewife. Possibly the only one out there, especially in her (early) thirties. But that's only because the others are in denial, or perhaps chartered accountants who stay at home every day.

Maybe I should introduce the characters that revolve around the fulcrum that is this housewife (it's important that we are the most important) I wanted to retain a semblance of anonymity for my family so husband is imaginatively called Husband (see what I did there?) and the children have names that I would like for future children, although I'm not sure I have the energy. I give you Isla (3) and Jack (6months).

Let us begin. (or rather the sterilizer needs emptying so I'll begin in a bit)