Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Doggie Doodads

There's a knock at the door. Dog turns into Scooby-Doo, running as fast as he can while remaining stationary, legs flying everywhere, no traction, until he falls on his butt and slides into the wall. God, I love wooden floors.

Merlin, aged 11 weeks

Dog is a close relative of Marley (of Marley and Me fame) as far as I can tell. He's a field labrador so slightly less chunky than show labs, much more streamlined and energetic... and destructive!

In his quest for fun, Dog has removed our television privileges by eating the TV aerial  - we can't actually receive terrestrial channels anymore. He has helped the children's art projects by eating their crayons - incidentally crayons only semi digest. They keep their individual colours while the form breaks down, making rainbow poop piles with swirls of red, yellow, green, blue, purple. He took an irrational dislike to my kitchen and tried to burn it to the floor, by somehow turning a stove burner on while we were out. Sadly for his aesthetic ideals we got back while the countertop was only smouldering so he has had to live with the decor ever since.

He also developed Houdini skills, refusing to use his crate at all. We'd put him in it and come home to find him sitting on the window-sill, tongue lolling, laughing at our frustration. Crate totally unmarked. I have no idea how he got out. We padlocked the door. We padlocked around the door. We padlocked the corners. We padlocked the floor. That crate looked like some sort of S&M fantasy, yet he still continually, magically, was found at the window every time we returned.

You'd think as he gets older he's calm down somewhat. Tell it to the postman as he spies the dog sliding down the hall every day. Tell it to my curtains, digested by a bored mutt and leaving a fancy "handkerchief" ragged hem. Tell it to the cat who will be fast asleep when - from nowhere - loco Dog bursts, demanding that Cat jumps to the highest point in the room to escape the dinner plate paws pounding the floor. Tell it to The Babe who has taken to yelling "Mer'in, SIT!" as soon as she comes in the door, since her face and the classic otter tail - that can sweep a table clean with one swipe! - are at the same height now.

He's a menace.

But we got burgled once, and Dog made a noise I have never heard before, the most blood-thirsty growl, and threw himself into battle to protect us. Crack-head burglar never ran so fast, leaving us with his bicycle, traceable, and a very aromatic smell. What a fabulously wonderful dog he is!

Friday, 25 July 2008


I'm suffering with writer's block. You'll be the first to know when I get over it. For now, though, nada. Schtum. No hablas anything at all.

Instead, I shall share with you a conversation I had on MSN recently. Discussing speech development (see, and you think all we do on MSN is play scrabble and compete for most useless husband. You should be ashamed of yourselves, indeed!).

Me says (22.24): Thing One had huge vocab very early, and by two was talking in complete sentences. Thing Two grunted and pointed until she was 3
Posh says (22:26): now they are the other way round

Ho-ho-ho. Hurrumph. However, Posh does have a point. Thing One morphed into Kevin and/or Perry with the first whiff of hormones. However, there are times I get a tiny glimpse of the sweet child she once was.

This week she left Primary School. No one-liners about that, because she is hurting so much now, leaving her friends. These last few days, she has climbed into my lap and rocked herself back and forth, and I get to hold her and close my eyes and pretend that I can kiss her owies.

It gets so hard as they get older, and you can't make it better.

(Oh, oh, oh! Rather than leave on a sad note, the ridiculous SATs system finally coughed up some results, so I shall share my proud moment with you all; top scores throughout! Cleverbear that she is!).

Sunday, 20 July 2008

When I was little I wanted to be...

...a naked dancer!

Wait. That wasn't me. That was Thing One. Aged about 5, at Disneyland. It was so hot that year, and she was dancing around our hotel room in the buff, jumping on the bed. So free, so happy. "Mummy, when I grow up, I want to be a NAKED DANCER!"

You dream of your children wanting to be vets, doctors, lawyers... I tell you, that one brought me down to earth with a bump.

My elder sister, when she was little, desperately wanted to be a pathologist. Which, yes, is slightly perturbing when you think about it. "When I'm a grown-up, I want to cut up dead bodies...". Sweet. But she only wanted to do that so she would be our father's boss, so not quite as creepy as it sounds.

(If you want creepy, we spent our childhood in hospital and research labs, one of my main childhood memories is of a huge pickled human foetus in a jar of formaldehyde).

Himself wanted to work on submarines. I'm sure there are all sorts of things you can read into that, so I won't bother to point out the phallic symbolism.

I was much more prosaic. I wanted to fly. And talk to animals. Oh, and be invisible, and have supersonic hearing. A sort-of "SuperDolittle". Failing that, I wanted to be a teacher. I'm a pre-school teacher now, so you can guess which superpowers failed to arrive. I'm still disappointed.

Still, I did fulfil my childhood ambitions, of bossing people around, having my word be law, and never having to grow up and stop playing with finger-paint... so that's alright then. What, did you think people who worked with children had loftier ideals? Pfft.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

A Work of Fiction

Once upon a time, in a small cottage in the middle of the woods, lived a family of bears. There was Fatherbear, Motherbear, Cleverbear, Sweetbear and Babybear. Every morning, Motherbear would wake up with a spring in her haunches and a smile on her face, and rush downstairs to make breakfast for her beloved family.


Oh, ok. You want realism, huh?

Every morning Motherbear would growl and stomp around the cottage, bashing pans and dropping bowls, while shouting at Cleverbear and Sweetbear to get out of their pits and get ready for school. Motherbear would burn the porridge while she was upstairs pulling covers onto the floor to stop the bears from snuggling deeper into their beds that were too comfortable. Then, she would put breakfast on the table anyway since it was too late to make something else.

"Gulp," said Fatherbear, tactfully "My porridge is too hot".
"Ewww," said Cleverbear, "My porridge is too full of burnt bits, gross!"
"Um," said Sweetbear, seeing the dangerous glint in Motherbear's eyes, "My porridge is just right." and she ate it all up.

Then, Motherbear used her fore left paw to comb Cleverbear's fur, her fore right paw to comb Sweetbear's fur, her rear right paw to comb Babybear's fur and her rear left paw to hold the bobbles. Then she would fall on her ass, because c'mon. She's a bear, not a spider! Then all the little bears would laugh and laugh and Motherbear would cuff them around the ears and stuff
them into the bathroom to clean the foul bear-breath teeth.

"Get out" screamed Cleverbear at Sweetbear "I shouldn't have to share a bathroom with you, you can wait your turn!"
"I don't want to share with you anyway," huffed Sweetbear, "You're smelly."
"Mine teef, mine" said Babybear, pushing everyone out of the way to squeeze toothpaste all over her toothbrush, hands, feet, clothes, floor, sink, mirror and walls.
"Oh for crying out loud," sighed Motherbear "Can't you do anything just right?"

There came a knock at the door, and a golden-haired girl peeked around the door. "Haven't you left for your walk yet?" She asked "I really wanted to play on the Wii while you were out."
Mother bear sighed. "Very funny, Goldilocks. I didn't realise it was that late again. Oi, you miserable lot, get yer butts down 'ere, it's time to go to school."

There came a flurry of paws, and shouts of dismay.
"I've lost my jumper."
"Where's my lunch?"
"Mu-u-um, where's my swimming kit?"
"Can I have 10p for tuck shop?"
"She's wearing my cardigan, that's MINE you thief!"
"Mu-um, babybear said 'butt'!"
"Why do I have to wear a coat? It's summer, no-one else wears a coat!"
"Mu-um, Babybear is swearing again."
"Why did you even have me? It was just to ruin my life, I know!"
"Can I say butt?"
""Ow, muu-um, she pushed me!"
"Did not, stop swearing."
"Babybear swears."
"Mu-um! Why aren't you listening? Mu-um!"

Motherbear sighed, closing her bedroom quietly as she snuck away, with a cup of tea with honey. "It's no wonder I'm Grizzly." she muttered.

Standard disclaimer: as a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person (living or dead) or situation is probably coincidental.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Random Pith

The Babe has spent the last few days asserting her personality. And believe me, it's a rum 'un, full of pith and vinegar as the saying goes. I think the tooth fairy drops an espresso off to The Babe on the way back to Fairyland each morning. Nothing else would explain how she can be snoring one second, then hit the ground running, and stay buzzed all day. Wheee!

For all the injuries The Babe has had, miraculously she's never actually seen one. Stitches in her head, blood draws from her upper, inner arm or heel, bruises under trousers. Yesterday, though, she managed to get a scratch on her wrist. An injury she can see, and in a place she catches sight of frequently. She hasn't stopped whinging. "Hurts Mum, hurts, kiss".

Not that it stops her. She has a new party trick. She pushes a chair against the radiator, climbs up, and - back to the wall - inches out to the far end of the radiator. Gasp! I don't need a heart, it spends more time in my throat than in my chest anyway.

It was late. She was in her pjs, but doing everything she could to prolong things. They learn it early, you know. Asked her to find her dummy, so she closed her eyes and walked away, arms outstretched to stop herself falling over. If she can't see it or find it, it can't be bedtime. Where did she learn that??!

You know how children seem to be drawn to electronics and telephones? I've always wondered what would I do if one of my children, while playing, dialled out. The other day I got to find out. I heard tell-tale beeps and ran in to find The Babe on my mobile, chatting happily. I rushed over, grabbing the 'phone and looking to see who she had called, to hear a disembodied voice float out of the handset. Horrors! To my shame, in panic, I just hung up.

Now I need to find new kennels. Damn.

For my own benefit here, so when I have forgotten all her milestones I can look back and read (ie probably next week sometime): The Babe has started to poop on the potty, hurray! She has asked 4 times this week, and today she took off her nappy, said "poo mummy", and peed in the potty too. Yay Babe! But I spent a fortune on those cute nappies and you're going to wear them until you start school whether you need them or not!

Oh, yes. She has also moved on from solitary play, skipped over parallel and gone straight to interactive. I'm so proud. How do I know? Well she and her best friend have started to ask for "crash, mummy, pees". Crash = golf clubs. And as soon as they get them, they knock seven bells out of each other. Oh, bless them. Such little angels they are. Hurrumph.

Lastly, pith. {Giggle}. My new favourite word. Pith, pith, pith.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


After the last blog entry about himself, I got sent this. I thought it was hilarious, so am sharing it with you (with permission lol).


Monday, 14 July 2008


Himself hasn't figured too prominently so far, he has kind of receded into the background. Like his hair. Oops, shouldn't say that, he's a tiny bit sensitive about it. He's also sensitive about his greys, so I won't mention those either. Heh.

Himself does actually recede as much as possible. He likes to stand back and observe rather than get involved. He blanks his features to make his face unreadable. He is so laid back he is almost prone. Which is fun when we argue, him all quiet and brooding, far more "Heathcliff" than Mr Brown. Although he has never killed anyone, despite that receding hair and
current goatee making him look like a made-for-TV film villain. And he doesn't wander the moors crying for his lost love, except when we go on walks and I wander away. So maybe not Heathcliff then.

                     See? Villain material, definitely.

We are polar opposites. He rarely shouts. Neighbours think I have Tourettes. He is tall. I'm... not tall. He is comparatively slim. I'm.... not slim. He could sell snow to Canadians, I fall for any sob story and give away my car. People won't approach him for directions, I hear the life story of anyone waiting for a bus. He can fix anything, I'm all for "getting a man in" to
change a tap. He is tolerant, I'm impatient. Good job opposites attract.

He's not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, he was an hour late for our first date. He is a horrific driver, tailgating and changing lanes willy-nilly without indicating. Exactly the same things he shouts at other drivers for, funnily enough. I hate being a passenger with him, I spend the whole drive hitting my imaginary brake with my right foot.

Today we had a row. It's not an uncommon occurrence, and I only kicked him three times until he fell over whimpering. I don't actually remember exactly what the argument was. Suffice to say that I was right and he wasn't. It had got to the "icily polite" stage. We weren't actually inflicting bodily damage anymore, but nor had we drawn a truce. Neither of us sulk. Sulking involves ignoring someone else, and we are both incapable of remaining silent in the face of utter stupidity (me) or of not trying to defend a losing quarter (him). So, icily polite, teeth gritted, smiles on the mouth but nowhere near the eyes. You know how it goes.

Let's see how many of you will understand this. My car needed petrol, and we were, um, "discussing" who would fill it. Not in the usual "go do it yourself you lazy slob" way but in the "no, I'll do it, I insist" way. He had offered to go, with a tiny sparkle of triumph is his eyes, since he knows I hate going out late and I hate filling up with petrol. However, had I accepted his offer, he would have tacitly won the argument you see. I would have given way before him and - more importantly - put myself in his "debt" by letting him do me a favour. I would, indeed, "owe" him. However, if I were to go, I would win the argument. I would have stood up for feminism, refused to become the little woman bending before the lord of my home. I would have done something distasteful, rather than ask for help. Yes, I would cut off my nose to spite my face. Smell is an over-rated sense anyway, who needs it?

Have you ever seen two adults slapping at each others hands to get the car keys, bumping each other out of the way with their hips, squabbling and shoving to get to the car first? It ain't pretty.

I won. Hah!

PS... Some tiny exaggeration for comic effect may have taken place here. May. I'm just saying.

PPS. I still won.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Mummy Blogging

I write about my kids a lot, huh? I do have a life outside of snotty noses and snotty hormones, but it's just really boring; work, groceries, chores... Gawd, that's depressing. I'm sure I was supposed to be a rich heiress, a lady who lunches. Then my blog would be much more fun! I'd tell you about sitting next to Johnny Depp at lunch, and shagging him senseless in the loo. Sadly, my mother married the wrong husband and I didn't get the life I was supposed to have.

I never intended to be a "mommy blogger". I swear too much to be a good role model and I bribe the kids with chocolate and late nights just to leave me alone. I'm never going to win that Mother of The Year award, but I do get to sit on the computer and play word puzzles (note: I beat Katie yay!!).

I'm not the most fabulous of home-makers either. I'm very good at delegating, so everything gets done, just not by me. What? There is nothing wrong with teaching toddlers their colours by making them sort socks! I aspire to be Monica, but I am much more Waynetta. I should have staff... that would go with the heiress lifestyle that I want to be accustomed to. Of course, if I did have staff I'd end up doing far more housework that I do now, since my middle-class roots would kick in and I'd clean before they arrived so they didn't think I was a dirty slob. So maybe it's better that I don't.

So why am I a "mummy blogger"? Apart from the fact that Ally prodded me until I was forced to start. Is it because I feel the need to share my innate knowledge of child-rearing with you, Dear Reader? Am I the Guru of all child gurus?

Well I do have one tiny bit of wisdom: Figuring parenting out isn't hard. It's just scary. And really hard work. Go have a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit while you have the chance (and if you give a choccy biscuit to your toddler you'll get twice the peace. Ahh bribery)!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Random Questions

Thoughts I have had this weekend, in no particular order.

1. If I buy Himself a lavender v-necked jumper, and he throws it at me in disgust, since he wouldn't wear it, so I sigh and say I may as well keep it... does that make it a present for him or a present for me?

2. Is it worth spending £20 on a useless bit of plastic tat if it keeps The Babe quiet for ten minutes?

3. If lightning hits your car when you are driving at 45mph in torrential rain, will you feel it fizzle through the steering wheel?

4. Why would a child who is terrified of baths make a beeline for a huge outdoor paddling pool when you have no change of clothes handy?

5. Why would it be lovely and sunny until you are 500 yards from the nearest shelter, and then the heavens open when you are halfway across a main road?

6. How does The Babe know how to use the camera? And why do I have 6 random pictures of the ceiling on my memory stick?

7. Why is it that The Babe and her partners in crime can be totally wiped out, asleep in their pushchairs yet wake up the second we stop for coffee?

8. How come in real life I talk complete and utter random rubbish, yet on the Internet.. wait. Scrap that. I seem to have no brain/mouth filter and stuff just burbles out in all sorts of abrupt tones. It's like premature ejaculation of the voice box.

9. Why does Thing One think it is a compliment to tell me I have lovely shiny silver hair? It's not grey, dammit, those are stress highlights!

10. How come The Babe can't walk out of Clarks without getting her feet measured? Little shoeaholic she is. Size 3.5f now, though, she is growing, w00t!


The Babe is traumatised. She went to a farm today, and they had some very unusual pets in addition to the usual poultry, pigs and whatnot. All the children were sat in a row, and all were given a small wriggly worm to hold. The Babe was charmed. It wriggled up her wrist and around her thumb. It curled around her little finger and hugged her tightly. It wiggled and giggled and became her new best friend.

She barely glanced up as the farm assistant brought out the rather cute and cuddly hedgehog. She certainly didn't bother to look at the other children while she played with her worm. The assistant crouched in front of The Babe.

"Sweetie, do you want to feed Prickles?"

Caught unawares, The Babe lifted her hand slightly. Quick as a flash, sluuuurrp, the 'hog guzzled down the snack in The Babe's palm. Just like slucking spaghetti. That nasty spiky thing ATE The Babe's new pet!!

Inconsolable, I tell you.

Well, at least until Bruce the Boar came out to play and she helped to feed and bathe him. Fickle creature that she is.

Bath a 30 stone pig

Friday, 4 July 2008

Dressing Up

The Babe thinks that padding around the house in other people's clothes and/or shoes is just the funniest and cutest thing ever. I kind of agree, so am sharing these with you. Plus the fact that I haven't put pics on in almost a month and am getting bored of so much writing.

dressup1 dressup2 dressup3

Awww cute. Yes?

Thursday, 3 July 2008


You've heard of the Walk the Dog trick? Thing One can Walk the Baby. We're very impressed. Thing One went to bounce her yo-yo and The Babe caught the falling spinning ball, so Thing One just took her for a walk, The Babe hanging on for dear life while Thing One dragged her along.

The Babe thinks yo-yos were invented for her own amusement. She doesn't quite get the concept, so while Thing One is trying to learn tricks, The Babe grabs another yo-yo and walks it along the floor, making sure it is balanced correctly to roll behind her.

Himself gets home and excitedly pounces on the new yo-yos. Oooh, shiny! He immediately starts to show off, spinning them around and whirling the blessed thing around his head, before losing control and almost taking my windows out. So help me, boy, you break anything and I'm stopping your pocket money!

Meanwhile, Thing One is befuddling me "Look, Mum, the Eiffel Tower.. a Bow Tie... the Aliens (dum dum dun)..." I have no idea what she is on about, I just smile and nod.

I know the eighties are doing a revival, but do they HAVE to drag along the toys? I hate cat's cradles, yo-yos, elastics, scoobies and all that other assorted rubbish. Go play with your DS and leave me alone!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


I confuse the hell out of myself, you know. I have no idea what kind of person I am. I have a mouth like a sewer, yet I hate swearing. I want to have a family that is organised and effortless in the morning, yet I loll in bed until 7.47 (and thirty seconds. Seriously. I've timed how long it takes me to get ready and start roaring at the kids because we are late, and that is the latest I can loll for.)(God help me in September when Thing One has to leave the house by 7.30 to get to school for Far-Too-Bloody-Early o'clock every day.)(Yes 7.30 AM!!).

I am seriously anti-hunting, yet I own a gun shop (shut-up shut-up shut-up, they are all for hitting paper targets with). The other part of the shop sells fitness and health products, yet I am a size 20. Am curvy. It's puppy fat. Yes, at 36. Leave me alone.

I am the classic do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mother. My children are not allowed to smoke, drink, take drugs, stay out past curfew, worry me, have boyfriends, skive from school or in any shape or form have a life. (Yes, my name is Pollyanna, and my children are perfect). (Leave me alone!).

Why am I telling you this? Well today I had a teeny tiny miniscule almost not worth mentioning little "peep" of road rage. Some stupid fracking idiot on a bike, high on something, wheeling all over the road, SMIRKED at me when I was trying to be nice and stay back away from him. Then he slowed down and stayed in the middle of the road (mostly... as I said, swaying a bit) so not a single other vehicle could get past him in either direction.

No I didn't run him over. I didn't even roll down the window and yell. But in my head, I thought a bad word. I thought he was a stupid... I can't say it. I can't even type it. I'll spell it out.. no, I can't! It was that bad one. That see you one day early next week one. I did. I thought that word at him.

And then I blushed.

I can't even THINK a bad word without embarrassing myself, for goodness sake.

I am a mass of contradictions.

I am woman. Hear me roar. Pathetically.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Need X-ray, Long Distance Binoculars

Is it a tiny bit too stalker-ish, a tiny bit "helicopter parent", to go sit outside the school for two hours, waiting for Thing One to appear?

I hate this. The schools admission system totally sucks. Thing One is visiting her new senior school today. It isn't the school we wanted, although it is academically far superior to Wanted School. However, all her friends are going to Wanted School, and she is the only one going to Academic School. She is scared, although she won't show it. She was literally shaking this morning, and walking to school her shoulder brushed mine the entire time, she was walking that close (incidentally... shoulder brushing mine? Yeah. I'm short and she is growing. So unfair!).

I want to hug her and squeeze her and kiss her and love her and call her George, but I have to let go. She is terrified, but she has to stand up and pretend to be cool so she makes friends and isn't labelled School Dork before she even starts. This is so damn hard. Parenting hurts, every single step of the way.

The Babe is having one-of-those-days. Clingy little snot monster. She spent the entire morning wailing and trying to fall asleep, but pinging awake the second I put her to bed. Finally I just got her up and fed her some lunch. How does anyone make that much mess?? She called me through at one point asking for a baby wipe, holding her bare dirty foot up in one hand with a piece of bread stuck to her upper arm. Buh-wah? I have no idea how she gets into these situations. It's okay though, she cleaned herself up. Poured her whole cup of water over herself...

She is wailing one second and happy as Larry the next (who is Larry? Can I have some of whatever he is taking?), typical toddler. Either over clingy and weepy or fawning and hugging. In the end I turned Cbeebies on just to get away from her and sit online for a few minutes. Parent of the year again, kerching!

Only 84 minutes until I can wait outside the school, heart in mouth. Not that I'm counting. 83.