Thursday, 30 April 2009


I need lists. I thrive on post-its. I have memo upon memo piled on my desktop. It’s a complete pigsty that looks like pure chaos but I know what is there. Unless people move things. Please don’t tidy my desktop because I’ll end up too confused. I can’t function without lists.

For example. At Christmas I write lists of people to send cards to. Lists of people I need to buy gifts for. Lists of the lists that the children have written. Lists of menus. Lists of groceries. Lists of decorations. Lists of the lists so I don’t lose a list.

Wait. You know this, I think. Oh yes. Maybe I should write a list of the things I have already written here?

{Gets sidetracked…}




Oh, are you still here? My point here was going to be that I’m going away tomorrow, for a long weekend with some friends. And I haven’t started writing my lists yet. And subsequently I have absolutely no idea of what I am doing and am internally panicking while externally procrastinating my sitting here.

I really need to start making my lists or I’m going to have to pull a sickie.

Memo to self: list of clothes, medicines, toiletries, food, activities, days out, telephone numbers….



Are you STILL here???

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dilemma Redux

So the previous entry turned out to be a bit of a non-event. Thing One and Thing Two bickered so much that they are both grounded. No sleepovers. All that angst for nothing.

This week I had an interview to volunteer with Home-Start, which is something I am ridiculously excited about! I even decided to treat myself to some non-denim trousers for this special occasion. I live in jeans, you see. I opened my purse to find that Himself had placed some cash and a little note in there as a surprise for me.. so I think I shall keep him. Even though he is really getting on my nerves otherwise.

With my extra cash I hit the shops, and I bought.. umm…. two school dresses for Thing Two, two school skirts for Thing One, some T-shirts and shorts for The Babe, and a baby Hello Kitty for The Babe. And, uh… nothing for me. Typical.

The interview went very well regardless, even wearing last year’s trousers.

Thursday, The Babe was sleeping late. I kept checking on her, making noise and leaving the lights on, but she lay in bed, eyes closed. Finally I ran my hand over her tummy “Morning Babe, wake up”.

“I am awake!” Came the indignant reply “My eyes are stuck!” Uh-oh. Sure enough her eyes were glued shut and we have been fighting conjunctivitis ever since. This is the bane of all nurseries, as you probably know, so I scored a day off work. Always a silver lining, huh?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Let’s just establish this now. I am a helicopter parent. I hover over my children. I do. I know I do. I can’t help it. When they were born they tried to get Himself to cut the umbilical cords with a pair of scissors but I rugby tackled him and stayed connected to my babies. The umbilical cord doesn’t stretch very far and I know eventually the girls are going to have to yank and chew it to get the hell away from me. I know that.

Having said that. Thing One came home today and mentioned in an off-hand manner that she was away this weekend.

Because this is how it works nowadays, don’t cha know? No nice handwritten (or even computer printed) invitations, with addresses and phone numbers. Oh no. At most she’ll get a text “ma bday satdy u cmng?.

The dilemma I have is... I have no idea who this girl is. Or where she lives. Or her surname. Or if her parents have have criminal records checks. Or anything in fact. I barely know her name. How can I stalk them to see if they are suitable people to look after my precious if I can’t google them???

However Posh is telling me to let her go. She is says she understands my reluctance, my trepidation, my paranoia, my outright stifling omg will you let those children go already… She says “at some point, you are going to have to say yes to something you don’t want her to do”. At which point I blocked her on MSN because come on already. I let her leave the house to go to school don’t I?

Thing One is telling me that Posh is young and cool, and remembers what it was like, whereas I am old and decrepit and want her to have no life. At which point I reminded her that she was asking a favour from me, and she threw her arms around my neck, crying that I was the best mum ever!! Sarky madam that she is.

So! Would you allow your children to go to a sleepover where you don’t know the family? Were you allowed to sleep at friends’ homes if your parents hadn’t interviewed met the friend?

My daughter’s social life is relying on you.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

My Unexpected Life


When a girl is little, most of us will have a dream of a man with no face and no name, a man who will sweep us off our feet. A white wedding, and a happy ever after with the requisite sprog output. Bad things will happen but to other people, and the rest of our future will stretch before us, unknown but secure. The end.

Our dreams may vary as we develop an awareness of equality, but the happy ever after bit, and the security, that doesn’t change.

Maybe it is the first step to growing up when we realise that we are “other people” too, and that bad stuff can indeed happen to us.

For starters, our children aren’t born perfect. Not all of them. They make look perfect but have little personal quirks that develop over time, until you have to face the fact that .. yes.. you do have an autistic child.

Then you find that not all of us gets a future at all. Some of us get dealt the joker in our hand, and our happy ever after stops before we hit middle age. Before adulthood, even.

What is strange to discover – and it can take years for you to realise this – is that even without the security and the guaranteed future, your unexpected life can still lead to a happy ever now.

Who’d have thought that I could live with a part of my life missing - not only live, but live and be happy? Who’d have thought that I would find joy in my “disabled” child? And yet every day I find reason to laugh and to thank God for the blessings I have in my life.

Unexpected, maybe. Beautiful still, definitely.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Happy Easter!

Naturally, on this the happiest and most holy of Christianity, my day went to Hell in a handbasket.

It started by being woken insanely early since we had to drive two hours away to meet Himself’s family for breakfast. Two hour drive. Nothing to eat first. You can guess what happened, huh? We only got a little lost, and arrived for breakfast just before lunch time.

Thing Two began to feel unwell shortly after we arrived. I’m not blaming the boiled sausage and boiled egg breakfast soup. (Seriously). I can’t blame it since the British half of us took one look and revolted. We are NOT eating THAT.

Thing Two was so ill we had to leave to drive home. Without eating. Having had no breakfast. Not even a sniff of chocolate.

We pulled into a village shop to buy meds to bring Thing Two’s temperature down, and a car reversed into us. (Are you keeping up? Got lost, poorly kid, and now a car bump. What kind of sick joke is this?). No particular harm done, so we limped home and ordered takeout from a wonderful place that was open Easter Sunday. I tipped the delivery chap a fiver, just out of fatigue and gratitude.

Thing Two ended up being seen by a doctor, with a temperature of over 40c. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

(Thing Two seems much better today, thanks!)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

No Foolin’

Happy April First! Inspiration failed me this year, but a last minute rallying of the brain cells helped inspire me to, if I say so myself, the pinnacle of silliness.



No, I didn’t put ex-lax or tabasco in the cupcakes! I went way better than that. Those cupcakes are an assortment of icky green “snot” cake topped with green “slime”…. and meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes. Mwah ha ha!


Himself’s face was an absolute picture. He picked up a cake and weighed it his hand in surprise. “Bit heavy” he said. “Oh, it’s a fruitcake fairy cake.” I improvised (I know!). So when he took the wrapper off, the dark bitty surface of the meatloaf didn’t quite have time to give the game away as he shoved it, almost whole, into his gaping maw mouth. As the unexpected taste hit him his mouth dropped open and an expression of disgust crept over his features. I laughed, and told him it was only meatloaf. Relief washed over his face as he chewed thoughtfully. “It’s not bad actually,” he said, “once your tastebuds know what to expect.” And then he reached for another.