Sunday, 27 April 2008

Embarrassing toddler moments!

{Screaming} "No, mummy!! She's going to GET me!! Mummy, no!! AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH".

This is Thing One following a perfectly nice, normal, tall lady with dark hair into the chemist, all because poor lady had a lock of white hair at her brow.

"Cruella de Vil, Mummy, no, don't let her get me!"

I like to think that I'm immune, after years of humiliation at the hands of small cuties, from those "Oh-My-God, Open-Up-Ground-Let-Me-In" moment. Evey time I think I have a handle on it, one of them does something to dissuade me from over-confidence though.

From loud bottom burping at the checkout (oh a baby couldn't possibly make that atrocious smell and honking noise, how could you try and pass off your own flatulence on that poor innocent baybee) to complete meltdowns at the doctor's surgery (what a terrible parent, can't even control a small child), there is no end to the abject terror of taking a toddler out in public.

However, here I present, for your horror and amusement, the tale of The Most Embarrassing Moment Ever.

Note: over use of poo synonyms and imagery follows. Be warned. Put your food down.

So picture the scene. It is a gorgeous sunny day. Thing Two is about 18 months old. She is dressed for the heat in just a nappy, sandals and a loose shift dress. Thing One is with us, she has just turned 4 years old, and is wearing a smocked top over leggings. We are the picture perfect image of a yummy mummy and her two adorably perfect toddlers. (What? How do you know? It could be true! Stop laughing at me!) We turn from the heat and shimmer of that hot summer day into the cool dimness of the public library, and we browse for books in the children's section, parking the pushchair in an unused corner while Thing One and Thing Two exclaim with joy, turning pages and looking at pictures. Finally we make our selection, and meander down to the desk. So far so perfect, huh?

As we approach, I smell the unmistakable aroma of toddler diarrhoea. Oh no. We only popped in on a whim, I don't have the changing bag with me. Never mind, I'll just check these out, and we'll run on home. Confidently, I place the selection on the desk, smiling at the grumpy old woman who snatches the library cards while mentally shoving my perfect children in an oven.

"Mama," comes Thing Two's little voice.

"In a second, darling" I remark, my smile freezing into place while my instincts start to kick in. Grumpy librarian hesitates in her book stamping, warily sensing danger.

Too late. Thing Two has lifted her dress and removed the offending nappy, not wanting the smelly thing touching her for any longer than totally necessary.

"Mama," Thing Two says again, and I start to turn, just as she swings the nappy up for me to take.

Um. Liquid in a moving article tends not to remain stationary. The brown stuff hits the fan. Literally. It also hits me, the pushchair, and Thing Two. Her hair, her dress, her legs, her arms. It doesn't stop there. Oh no.

The carpet. The desk. The books. The leaflets. Oh-my-f'ing-god, the librarian. Excrement drips off her glasses. The telephone. The scanner. The computer screen. How on earth does a small toddler have so much crap in her?? The library is a sea of brown liquid faecal matter.

All this before I have completed 90 degrees of my turn to face my little angel.

Holy sh... sugar. Did I mention, no changing bag? No wipes? No muslins? Not even a snotty tissue in my pocket? Curse the summer weather. No jacket or cardigan or anything at all.

I have to admit, most of the next few minutes is mercifully missing from my memory. I seem to remember scooping up Thing Two, almost throwing her in the pushchair, using the dirty nappy to make things worse smear some of the worst excesses off the desk, scooping up books and poo in my bare hands and fleeing, stammering apologies at the still frozen librarian. I'm sure there was more to it, but my wonderful brain has locked it away behind those steel vault doors, never to see the light of day again.

Seven years on, and I have to pluck up my courage to say: local library, I am soooo sorry!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

A Day in the Life

This is beautiful, even if I do say so myself. The Babe, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

More Random

Just for kicks, I thought I'd take you on a tour of my brain today. Just kick those dust-bunnies into the corner, and dash the cobwebs away, come forward, plenty of room for all. Can you all hear me? I don't want to speak too loudly because of the echo-cho-o-o.

My friends, who needs new pseudonyms since you have all seen through them, think that I'm only silly when I'm tired. Here is where I disappoint them. New names: Posh, Becks.. and Ally, since they won't let me use Cruz.

(I have to tell you all this quickly since I've been fixated on it... Posh needed to fix her cat flap last night, and reported success: the flap flaps freely. Never mind the alliteration, try saying THAT five times fast. Flap flaps freely, flat flaps freely, frat fraps freely...)

Silliness. My family shame me. Thing One and Thing Two happened to say a word at the same time this evening, so Himself jinxed them. As you do. Thing One retorted that he hadn't double-jinxed-touch-wood, or whatever the current "correct" phrase is, so they weren't, in fact, jinxed. To which Himself wittily replied "Jinx my butt". Which meant that the girls had to be silent until his butt said so? Which won't take long, remarked Thing One. As she was still speaking, Himself released a noxious gas. Told you so, Thing One said smugly. All of which maybe wouldn't be so bad if we weren't still at the dinner table.

Over here, then, away from the shameful memory corner, mind the tumble weeds. (By the way, I forgot what they were called, and nearly had to Google, but luckily Becks saved me - from the shame after the last time I did that. Especially since all I could think of was "in the wild west, big rolling balls of grass that blow down the street, what are they?". Not the most Google friendly search term).

Here's the empathy corner. I have a HUGE store of empathy. Wait, I have another anecdote! We were talking about this some time ago, and Thing One and I accused Himself of having no empathy at all. "Of course not," he yawned. "You have the empathy, the kids get the sympathy, and I'm left with the apathy." Ho ho, very clever, boyo. Humph.

As I was saying, then. I'm slightly OVER empathetic. Some people yawn if another person yawns, it shows a certain empathy in your character if you can do that, apparently. I yawn if someone else *thinks* the word yawn, which shows a certain amount of psychosis (and mind-reading, so get your mind out of the gutter!). I'm one of those people that others gravitate to for free counselling, because I "listen", and try not to comment. That's not because I am wise, but because I keep my mouth shut - if I can't say something nice, I usually say something stupid. I always mean well, but as I have mentioned before - foot/mouth. I usually try and joke around, which is when that foot ends up halfway down my throat. Being funny is one thing, knowing when not to be is an art I haven't yet developed. So, me = schtum, and others = vent. Ah well.

Talking of under-developed areas. Here's the concentration corner. It's quite small becau...

Ooooh, SHINY. {Wanders away}.

See the metal doors here? Behind them is every single bit of knowledge in the whole wide world. I know a bit of something about just about everything in the world. Sadly, I lost the key to those doors, so have no access to that part of the brain. Shame, because I'm sure I would be soo clever otherwise. I'd blame The Babe, who likes to steal my keys, but those doors have been locked for years.

(Interrupted for this important announcement from Thing Two: How do pixies eat? By goblin'.)

Hey, half my blog is missing here. I must have forgotten to save it. AAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Don't mind the red pulsing lights, that's my anger centre flashing out of control. I have slight anger issues. Just a little tiny bit cross sometimes. Mostly when I'm hormonal. One week a month I'm likely to rip your damn head off and suck out the contents like a Creme Egg if you look at me wrong. Don't worry, I'm quite sweet the rest of the time... heh.

So, we seem to have covered the main areas. Lots of extra space here, isn't there? I'm thinking of putting in a pool, what do you think? Come back then, we can barbecue.

(Why has The Babe got her jacket and asked me for the keys, walked out shouting bye? Does she know something you don't?)

Hope you enjoyed the tour, donation box at the bottom, now bugger off and leave me alone ya'll come back now, y'hear?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Random Thoughts

If I write a blog about the kids that vaguely (or exactly) resembles an actual event from their lives and you lot don't like it, should that affect my self-esteem or theirs?

Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up like every two hours?

Why is it that people say they "eat like a bird" when birds eat up to their body weight in one day?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? Is it more flattering to get assassinated?

Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why is it that if someone told you there are a billion stars, you would believe him, but if someone told you there is wet paint on the wall, you would have to touch it to be sure?

How would you know when you are out of invisible ink?

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

If procrastinators had a club, would they ever have a meeting?

How did the keep off the grass sign get there?

Why, when vacuuming, if something doesn't pick up, do you manually pick it up then *throw it down to vacuum over again*?

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

Why would you think the rabbit's foot would be lucky for you when it wasn't for the previous owner?

If there is no such thing as a stupid question, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask?

Friday, 11 April 2008

Addicted

So, this "chocolate being necessary for females" theory. True or false do you think?  Food, or drug? It can't just be the fact that it tastes good. So do lots of other things, but there is no icecreamaholic, or walkers-cheese'n'onionaholic (although if there was, I may just be one of those.. just saying). It does contain lots of chemicals in an entirely natural (ahem!) form, so I'm all for nominating it as a self-medication. Dietary deficiencies? Magnesium and Vitamin K, found in chocolate! Feeling low? Dopamine and serotonin, found in chocolate! It's nature's medicine.

When Thing One was small, she managed to grab hold of a family size bar of galaxy. Unopened. The thing was almost as big as she was. But when I took it away, it prompted her first ever temper tantrum. And that was wrapped chocolate, so just the proximity sparked some feral reaction in her!

What prompted this introspection, did you say?

The Babe wandered by me earlier, and my nose twitched. Chocolate! I tracked down the source and found Thing One scoffing a kitkat, which she has sweetly shared with The Babe. The babe obviously liked this new source of nutrition. She stood by the kitchen door...

"Mama"

"Yes?"

"Choclit?"

"No"

Not deterred.

"Mu-um?"

"Yes?"

"CHOCLIT!"

"No"

Hmmm. It must be the intonation.

"MUM!"

"Yes?"

"Choc----lit?"

"No"

Several repetitions later, she walked away. Success. Or not.

"Mum"

"Yes?"

"Keys" And she waved my keys at me.

"Choclit" And she hid them behind her back.

Blackmailed into providing chocolate by an 18 month old?? Where does she learn this? I don't think so Missus.

Friend D was chatting while this was going on, and she related how her son, hereinafter called The Babe's Future Husband (or TBFH), had gone into her handbag earlier and swiped a bag of maltesers. Well, firstly he is male, so the female/compulsion thing doesn't apply. Second, Friend D is on a diet so he was really acting as her conscience and removing temptation from her path. So really he was being helpful and considerate, and not at all sneaky. What a good Son-in-Law he will make me.

Anyway, I need milk, so need to pop out now. Anyone seen my keys??

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Positive Birth Story

Why on earth do some women take a ghoulish, malicious glee in regaling first-time pregnant women with tales of the horrors of childbirth?? They did it to me, and they will do it again. You know who you are and you should be ashamed of yourselves!
I tend not to comment so much about my births in real life - I try to save all my gory, humiliating details for you, dear reader - but I do always use my second daughter's birth as an example of how great giving birth can be.
Imagine, if you will... the small hours of the morning, a twinge, a pop. The joy (read: sheer terror) of knowing that a birth was imminent. A darkened room at the hospital, my husband, a midwife and me, and the trust in my own body as I retreated into myself to bring forth life (read: ignore everyone and just grunt and get on with it). From first twinge at 2am to giving birth at 4.01am, swift and sure and perfect.
And there is your "positive" birth story.
Ha'way, this is me, you know there is going to be more to it than that, 'eh? I do nothing with grace and aplomb, I'm a Taurean and I bull my way through life leaving shattered glass and china behind me!
Do you want to know the grittier details? Of my mantra as I rode through the contractions? Chanting "Oh f*ck, f*ck, f*ck" as I stared at a specific spot on the wall? Of the midwife asking if I was pushing just as I gave an enormous heave and broke my waters on the bed? Of Thing Two exhibiting her now characteristic enthusiasm and joie de vivre and coming out with one push, like a champagne cork, no time to turn the head or manoeuvre the shoulders, of how the midwife wasn't expecting it so she slithered straight out and fell on the mattress?
Of how you lose your shame entirely, so store these details to share with the world of complete strangers, although you wouldn't share them with your best friend after two bottles of wine usually. Not that you, dear reader, are a stranger. No indeed. You are my close and personal friend, of course. Without you, my life - and all my best material - would be wasted on those who don't appreciate how hilarious I am!
Of course, there is no perfect birth. I've commented before about how labour hurts and is hard work, and even though you are doing "The Greatest Thing Ever!!!"(tm), no choir of angels fan the sweat from your brow with their wings and no fanfare of trumpets nor a ticker tape parade welcome the babe to the world. (Even though Himself had three chances, I never did get my parade...) In my - not so humble, obviously - opinion, any birth that results in mummy and baby coming home together is a positive one, no matter how they got there.
In the meantime, for those of you who are expecting for the first time, I would just like to say (heh, 9 paragraphs in 'just to say') that, hand on my heart, this is an amazing and wonderful time for you. Cherish it (as best you can, because we do know it hurts), because you will look back on this time with real affection and joy, through nostalgic rose-tinted glasses. Lucky, lucky you.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Autism Awareness

Please watch this. You may think it is long, but just watch it anyway. Curb your impatience. Just watch, and then listen. By the end, I guarantee you will feel a huge shift in your outlook.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

The 50 Book Challenge

I tried to post a reply to a community I frequent, but after 5 edits I decided that perhaps I should transfer here... once the verbal diarrhoea starts, Immodium will not stop it! This post will be a work in progress, and I'll have to keep finding and editing it.

Friend E (yes, she who fancies Gazza) told me about the 50 Book Challenge, whereby members must read at least 50 books in 2008. What a great idea! I have never bothered to keep a tally of the books I read, I just know I read a lot. So much so, that Friend E and Friend D have recently suspended my book buying privileges after discovering I had bought 40-odd books this month alone. I have mentioned in previous posts my leanings towards bibliomania, perhaps this post will be enough to convince a psychiatrist that I am in need of help. If so, my name ees Ramóna, and I live een Espagna!

While I do read a lot, my tastes are quite indiscriminate. I'm just as likely to be reading the latest chick-lit as the latest book-club must-have. I'll read Bronté and I'll read Blyton. If I'm stuck at my mum's house, I'll even pick up her Mills and Boon, although I have to admit to flicking past the pages of throbbing manhoods and heaving bosoms (yawn). My preferences lean strongly toward fantasty fiction, with dragons and magic and castles, but I also like the grittier stuff, like Cornwell or King.

Oh! And I should add that my reading reflects my life. The more stress in my life, the more "froth" I read. When things are calmer, I read more thought-provoking books. It may be an indication of the times that I have read "The Twins at St. Claire's" this week, and have already mentioned reading "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" this year. I love children's books, and certain books transcend the generation gap, and appeal to old and young alike - Philip Pullman's Dark Material's trilogy, for example, or the incomparable Potter books.

I also re-read everything. Disposing of books is close to sacrilege, and they all have to stay with me, until the foundations of my house groan and plead for mercy. I have books I must have read twenty times or more. When a book is in a series, I have to read the entire series every time a book is released. That isn't so bad with Jean Auel who has taken two decades to write a six-book series about her Earth Children, but is a bit of a problem with the more prolific, like Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. Especially now she has enlisted her son Todd, and there is a new book every year. There are over 20 books about Pern, and I read them all every time I buy a new Pernese story. I can quote some of it now, and could probably use Pern as my specialist subject on Mastermind.

Reading 50 books is no challenge, but I am taking up the gauntlet to keep a tally of my reading. The list will be incomplete from January to April, but here are the books I can remember... oh, and can I mention that I may have addictive leanings but Thing One is far worse. She has read over 25 books this month alone, including the entire Lemony Snicket series...

1) Northern Lights (Philip Pullman)
2) The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman)
3) The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman)
4) The Shakespeare Secret (J. L Carrell)*
5) Mort (Terry Pratchett)
6) Reaper Man (Terry Pratchett)
7) Moving Pictures (Terry Pratchett)
8) Remember Me (Sophie Kinsella)
9) Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
10) Eldest (Christopher Paolini)*
11) Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
12) Mercy (Jodi Picoult)
13) Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Roald Dahl)
14) The Twins at St. Claire's (Enid Blyton)
15) Dragonsblood (T McCaffrey)
16) Dragon Harper (A & T McCaffrey)
17) Mammoth Hunters (Jean Auel)
18) Plains of Passage (Jean Auel)
19) Shelters of Stone (Jean Auel)

*Not finished, still reading

Friday, 4 April 2008

Perfectionism

How many of you, coming upon your children playing with something not quite correctly tend to step in?

train 1 Perfectly fine train set...

train 2 NOW it is perfect!

train 3 Only to find it destroyed seconds after you turn your back?? Yes that is her foot backing away in the top corner...

Oh and for those of you saying I shouldn't have interfered - which set-up is actually being played with?? And not just because I was on the ground playing choo-choo noises and zooming trains to pick up the passengers at the station.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

It's no wonder I'm going grey


My day... it might give you a hint about my day that my friend said "I only have one child with me", and my first response was "Which child have you murdered and hidden under the patio?". She meant her older child was out for tea with friends, but after the day I've had with my children, that was where my mind leapt. Freudian again? Or just psychotic?

We had a friend here for tea, and the children were all drawing little pictures. The friend drew two devils, called Thing One and Thing Two, because "THEY are ALWAYS arguing". Poor kid, stuck with my horrid argumentative brats.

I did wonder today if binding one's toddler's limbs to their torso to prevent climbing would be considered child abuse. I'm merrily ignoring her and she is climbing on my lap, bashing my computer screen. Grr. Luckily "All New Zoey101" started, episodes the arguing two haven't seen, so they settled down to watch it in peace and The Babe promptly abandoned annoying me to go and bang on the TV and annoy them. Thus, screams of dismay from the now-not-arguing two, but the TV and the three of them were in a different room to me, so I just relaxed and surfed the 'net.

Also, sadly neglected Cat has finally been to groomer and is all fluffy and snarl free again. Cat hates the groomer and she heard me make the appointment, so trying to get her in the Kitty Jail (carrier thing) this morning was fun! Huge long scratch down my arm as she kicked backwards when I popped her in. She also hasn't spoken to us since she got back, she is almost as stroppy as Thing One. She hasn't even looked at us since getting home, even when we waved the camera at her. Oh well. Stroppy cat, stroppy kids.

I'm going to go and eat all their Easter Eggs now, and start digging up the patio...

PS. Please excuse messy Thing Two's bedroom in the cat pic, she dumped her towel on the floor after her bath. I'm NOT picking it up. Really. I'm not.

PPS It isn't even the holidays here yet, they don't start until next week. Anyone got any valium?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

April Fool!

Pinch and a punch the first of the month - no returns back!

Yay I got you.

We are fans of April Fool here - shall wait while you get over your shock. Ready? Well THAT didn't take you long. What d'ya mean you could have guessed??

We browse all the papers looking for the prank, and rejoice when we find them. Like the flying penguins on the BBC site today, which I didn't fall for... the pay-per-view funerals in Southampton (which the BBC swears isn't a joke, but c'mon, it MUST be...please?).

So in the spirit of the day, I present the prank I pulled on Himself. Feel free to use it yourselves.

Step One: Take a screenshot of your desktop. Set it as your wallpaper.

Step Two: Remove all the real icon shortcuts on your desktop so that all that remains are the pictured images.

Step Three: Hide the taskbar.

Step Four: Call tech support, aka Himself, and complain that your mouse isn't working properly since it isn't clicking anything.

Step Five: Agree it is probably the contacts on the mouse, and let him search the house for a spare mouse. Swap old for new mouse. Double-click aimlessly.

Step Six: Agree the computer probably needs rebooting when new mouse displays same fault as old mouse.

Step Seven: Leave the room on a flimsy excuse since my bladder isn't capable of sustaining held-in laughter for prolonged periods.

Step Eight: Give in to laughter after several minutes of him double-clicking, grunting and getting crosser and crosser.

Step Nine: Hide with laptop in cupboard under the stairs from angry Himself while blogging and lmao!