Monday, 17 November 2008

Mummy's Little Helpers

Isla has been invited to an allotment party. Shall I say that again in italics? Isla has been invited to an allotment party. If I mention the words allotment and party a lot here, it is meant to convey confusion, confundity, general mirth, an image of shrugged shoulders and a twirling of the index finger about the ear, and general all round befuddlement. An allotment party (sorry, I really can't help it). Worse still, it's from the daughter of Right-On Mum, the Mummy everybody hides behind their cars to avoid as she struggles into show and tell with a scale model of Daughter's bedroom complete with working light and bookcase filled with the Complete Works of Shakespeare (unabridged edition). Right-On Mum wears a lots of beige because organic clothes just can't be bleached, and Rah Rahs around at coffee mornings force feeding everybody with her hemp and sofa stuffing muffins (homemade. Rah). She's even converted her hybrid car to work off cooking oil and can regularly be seen in the school kitchens syphoning off the chip fat, all the while Rah-ing about saturated fat and salad bars. We're great friends as you can imagine. The best.
Anyway, at first I thought Isla had got it wrong, four-year-olds and correct, detailed information do not make easy bedfellows, but no, she produced the invite from her satchel with a told you so flourish and unfolded the paper. It was bedecked with images of spades and wellies which I thought were simply decoration and a chance for Right-On Mum to show off her computer skills (which incidently runs off a dynamo that she works with her foot while on the computer. She has a really big left thigh). But no, the pictures were actually a visual list of items needed to enjoy the aforementioned allotment party (I did mention it didn't I?). It turns out that an allotment party involves turning out your four year old in wax jacket and flat cap (well that's what the picture suggested), dropping them off at Right-On Mum's allotment (of course we can stay and help if we like rah rah) where they will dig and plant and water, eat a picnic picked from the allotment and then go home. That's right, come and celebrate the birth of our child with slave labour. We're a bit behind on the weeding you see, but to make it fair you can harvest as many tomatoes as you like for your lunch.
And why not? Set the children to work, they've been sponging off the state for far too long now. Free education, free healthcare, isn't it time they gave something back to people and a society that has been too soft on them? They get Two Whole Days off a week, that's 104 days a year of lost productivity. What have we been doing allowing them to sit back learning ballet/karate/TV watching when they could be making themselves useful?
This is a fantastic turn of events. Why didn't I think of this first? Not an allotment party obviously, Husband says we can't get an allotment until I manage to keep one supermarket-bought basil plant alive for at least a week. But there's loads of things that would make a great party, a greeaat party. I could turn my entire house into a play zone, send out invites and watch them flock. Fabulous.
Now let me see, what kind of parties do I need to have to get all my jobs done? We could start off with a Light Dusting and Sweeping Party, followed by a Window Cleaning and Vacuuming Play Session. We could break for a Make, Serve and Clean Up Your Own Lunch Party before moving into the Ironing Zone (possibly followed by DIY First Aid for Burns Tutorial, but it depends how the Ironing Session goes down). To finish we could play hunt the dog turds in the garden and enjoy a brisk race to be the first to put them in the poo pot (oh yes).
This is wonderful! Brilliant! Dare I even say inspired? My very own Eureka moment has finally occurred (but not in the bath I'm afraid, the laptop tends to short). All I need to do is have ten more children, make sure that they are each born in a different month, then I can throw a Cleaning Party for each one. That's it, a totally clean, ironing free, dog mess free house and garden every month. It's time to sack the cleaner.

Friday, 7 November 2008

You See That Lady In The Corner?

It's been eighteen months since Jack was born and the final hor-moan wave has started to dissipate. You'd think wouldn't you, that this would mean a bit of space, a bit of time, crikey I'd even go for a bit of sex, that wasn't encumbered by babies/milk/crying or anything else your Husband does in the night. But no. The minute I begin to feel myself again (although it's been so long now I'm not sure whether that is exactly who I'm feeling) then that old chestnut procreation rears its head (and I don't mean literally). It's to do with the propagation of the species or so I'm told: wean one offspring and raise it to walking standard and then please have another one immediately so that we can carry on the Human Race. I will say this only once: we have plenty of Humans, I can see three as I write, we do not need anymore now please, hormones, leave me alone.
But do they listen? No. They just secrete away their day, creating negative feedback as they go (did you know one of the only times positive feedback occurs is during labour? Ha! There's nature's irony for you), getting in the way of my mood swings and general misbehaviours, causing havoc just by existing. Mine have been busy, ooh, for about the last five years now, and suddenly they have nothing to do. They're bored, sitting in my Pituitary scuffing their trainers against the wall, moaning that there's nothing on TV and why can't they have a Nintendo DS because Thyroid next door bought one for her child Thyroxine. They've been led to expect, you see, a high level of employment and now there's nothing to do so mischief must be made.
So I blame my hormones for becoming the predatory woman in the gym changing room, the one in the corner that just can't leave babies alone. She stands there casting desperate cow eyes at any woman with a baby (even the scary one with the mono brow), trying to gurgle and coo, thinking just how gorgeous every single baby she sees is. But this is the trick that hormones play on you. Yes, they are cute. Cute, and loud, and sicky, and incontinent, and incapable on every level. Who on Earth would like someone like that to come into your life when you've already got two? Hormones, that's who. When you no longer have a baby, you hormones helpfully point out Every Other Baby In The World, saying: wouldn't you like one like that, look how clean and good and sweet he looks. He's not crying is he? That's because only your first two babies cried, your third won't (cue ghost like, mind altering voice) Yyyoouuur thiiird woooonnn'tttt. Don't you want to pick him up, just a cuddle? Go on, ask his mum, she won't mind, she'd love you to pay attention to her baby. Ahhhh, isn't that nice, ignore his mum you're doing a great job. A Great Job I tell you. Wouldn't you like one just like this, all warm and cuddly and clean. See what a natural you are? All the other mums in this changing room are looking at you as if you're a pro. You ARE a pro, look at you. Don't you want another? Just one tiny, little, won't know he's there bundle? Talk to Husband tonight. You know he loves the spare room, it's become his really and he just loved having the last baby. Remember his tears at the birth? You could both have that again you know, you'd both bond again over this tiny sweet thing. Go on, you know you want to.
At this point you notice the baby's mother glaring mono-browed at you and you relinquish your bundle with much sighing and regret. Until, that is, you look into Mummy's eyes. You forget you see, that behind every cute, fragrant bundle is a Mummy, leaking from every orifice, sleep deprived to the point of delirium, sobbing into baby's neck every night as he wails the hours away, wondering what on earth she's done to her life and who's bright idea it was to have another baby (hormones, lady, I tell you). And often behind Mummy there's a Daddy, sleeping in the spare room, attempting guesses as to when aforementioned orifices are going to stop leaking, wondering what on earth he's done to his life and worrying about the proximity of The Vasectomy (it's closer than he thinks, the vet's doing a home visit tomorrow).
And behind daddy are the grandparents. Doe eyed and willing - to an extent- to help out, but just as willing you understand to hand baby back. You see this is where nature got it right; your parents just can't wait for you to have children, as many as you please! Have sex at ours any time you like dear (as long as it's with Husband) and furnish us with as many little poppets as you can. Ahhh, because that's what you are aren't you sweetie, a poppet (cue copious amounts of cheek squidging), yes, that's what you are coogie coogie coo (yes, My Mother actually says Coogie Coogie Coo). But you see, grandparents get double the pleasure from their grandchildren. They get to watch them inflict years of sleep deprivation and what can only be termed as abuse on their parents, in much the same way as you did on them. Then, they get to have them for tea, fill them with mood enhancing additives and hand them back just in time to go out for dinner, return home at a reasonable hour and enjoy eight hours uninterrupted sleep.
So I suppose that's the only answer, have as many as you like, enslave yourself to the hormones, bring up the children, and then sit back. Sit back and watch the very people who gave you such a tough ride, attempt to do it themselves, secure in the knowledge that whatever happens, it can't be as hard as it was in your day. That's when my time will come. Excellent. I'll just give Husband a call about it and then I'll make a start on those oysters.