Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Mad mothers and drawing angels

Ted's behaviour has not remained as wondrous as that one fabulous day. He has, on the whole improved, but last night was an all time low as I looked up from my magazine (it was the end of the day and they were peacefully watching Ben 10 so I was taking ten minutes off - don't judge - it doesn't excuse his behaviour) and realised he was colouring in the carpet with angry black pen marks. I screamed, naturally, threw him on the naughty step and started ranting to the other children about having pens in the living room. They all ignored me and Ted sneaked off the naughty step and went back into the living room to carry on watching TV whilst I was banging cupboard doors in the kitchen. I came back in and flipped out again to discover that he hadn't just coloured in the carpet. The upholstered chair had also received some considerable attention. At that point the TV went off and all the children trembled. I don't think it is actually possible to physically explode but I am fairly sure if you had taken a picture of me it would have looked exactly like someone spontaneously combusting with anger. I sent them all upstairs and even Ted looked scared, which is rare. I didn't talk to him for the rest of the evening which I feel bad about on reflection but I think it may well have been in his best interest. Especially as I have scrubbed and scrubbed at the black marks on the arms of the chair but they will not come out - although they are now faded.  Now they match the faded black marks on the arms of the cream sofa which Ted decorated last week. I can at least remove the sofa covers and put them through the wash, but nothing seems to get rid of this particular black pen. And more worrying still, I cannot find the bloody black pen to bin it for good. Ted, being the evil genius that he is, clearly has a secret evil storage space somewhere in the house and must have crept off the naughty step and hidden it whilst my back was turned.
On to happier events, today was Bea's nativity. Bea was an angel complete with tinsel halo et all. It was actually an incredibly pleasant experience overall as a very helpful friend looked after Ted for me so that K and I could watch uninterrupted as Bea pranced and sang and (excitement) played her recorder for the first time in a school concert. Although I was very concerned during the first half an hour as we sat and waited for the concert to begin. Having been ill yesterday, Bea wasn't in the first run through of the performance, and when the recorder teacher started putting out the recorders at the front of the hall before the children came in, I couldn't see Bea's red recorder and I started to become oddly paranoid that she had been forgotten. My anxiety grew as all the other children slowly began to fill the hall until it seemed that everyone was in place. I am ashamed to say that at that point I became ridiculously over concerned as to her whereabouts and I actually stood up and asked her teacher where she was. He is very understanding and pointed to the staff room door at the back of the hall where the Wise Men, Kings and the angels were preparing to exit. I sat down and tried to make myself feel better - there must have been many instances in the past where children have been entirely forgotten for a concert, either locked in a loo, left in a classroom, still eating lunch somewhere or even asleep in an overlooked corner and so it was totally normal for me to be so concerned. Especially as she was missing from the performance yesterday - they may have got used to it without her and therefore her absence could easily have gone unnoticed - it was lucky I was there to double check.

Once she had entered the hall and we knew she was not forgotten I relaxed slightly but I then became very anxious that her recorder teacher had not included her in proceedings as by now, everyone had hold of 'their' recorder, and it was clear having seen her that Bea did not. K was not joining in with my paranoia. Although when Bea signed to me that her recorder was in fact, still in her book bag in the classroom, he did agree that we would stop paying for recorder lessons if Bea did not perform as this was NOT ON. Of course, this too turned out to be unnecessary speculation as she was handed a recorder that wasn't hers and proudly played Good King Wenceslas and Jingle Bells when instructed. Not note perfect, but she did get to the end which was a relief.

Having endured around fourteen years of various music lessons myself, I had assumed I would be the ideal parent to pass on musical expertise to my daughter. However, it turns out, that much like her inability to spell reliably (she is potentially dyslexic and struggles with word formation) she is also not that great at reading music and I am ashamed to say that I find it totally unfathomable and I become totally and irrationally angry when she gets it wrong. I have NO patience. Which is odd, because I do have patience. I can stay calm during the most ridiculous of tantrums, I can wait on a cold pavement for minutes on end whilst Ted hides behind bins, stands still, insists on going 'the other way' home, I can even change the DVD in the player up to ten times as people change their minds over and over again without blowing a fuse, and yet when it comes to teaching Bea spelling and the recorder I am appallingly impatient and grumpy. I have on numerous occasions, called a calm end to the recorder practise only to take the recorder from her and chuck it against the wall. It is totally not her fault. She is doing her best. It is me. If, on the third or fourth attempt, she still doesn't hold a note for long enough or plays the wrong note yet again, I do find it totally impossible to keep my cool. A few weeks ago I wrote an angry note to the long suffering recorder teacher to tell her that we would no longer be playing the lower notes of Good King Wenceslas as she couldn't play them reliably and it was causing too much tension at home to keep practising the music as it was. Mercifully it worked and she re-wrote the part without the lower notes.

(I felt a bit like my mother - who wrote a note to get me out of having to do pliés during my ballet lessons at primary school. I am not a natural ballet dancer in physique or manner. I am clumsy and clompy and have always, always held more weight around my stomach than anywhere else and I hated bending my knees. I have no idea why.)

Back to the nativity - after the recorder performance Bea played her part of a dancing and singing angel beautifully (naturally) and the whole show was rather fabulous. It was an all singing, all dancing version of the traditional nativity story and I loved it. Especially as we got there early enough to get a seat on the second row so we could see everything. Wahoo.

Before I go I must just tell you that today I discovered my new phone does not alert me when a voicemail message has been left. I finally realised this afternoon and managed to listen to the ten messages that were waiting for me. Predictably four were from my mother, one from K's mother, one from the shop at the end of the road telling me the ballerina outfit for Bea does not come in her size, two were from K (one fully explaining that he would be late home that night, and why, which totally explains why he couldn't understand my anger when he got in at 9pm), one from a heavy breathing child with a number I cannot attribute to any adult in my acquaintance and one from a company I owe money to who would VERY much like me to get in to contact. I think that nicely summarises my life.

(BTW I am not enjoying my new iphone. It doesn't do facetime like it promised and that speaking man in the adverts is no way near as helpful as they make out. It is far easier to do whatever you want manually. And to top it all off it doesn't even tell me when someone has bothered to leave a message. If I wasn't extremely lazy I would ring Orange and complain.)

In an entirely unrelated matter to anything - what on earth is the average life expectancy of a gypsy? I am watching 'My Big Fat Gyspy Christmas' and I cannot believe how much they drink. It is a wonder they make it to 50. Especially as the women are usually great grandmothers by that age and have been doing hard labour for about 45 of their 50 years. It is a total mystery.

This is a very disjointed post. I am not in my right mind. Clearly. I assumed my daughter's school might have forgotten she existed and stood up to ask her teacher where she was and I didn't speak to my two year old for half an hour for drawing on the fixtures and fittings in the living room. I have totally lost the plot.  My New Year's resolution is to gain control of my inner madness. It could spiral out of control if I don't. Although I'll have to try and contain the madness tomorrow - George has a line to say in the early years production of 'Chilly Milly'. I have to hold it together for that, especially as I'll have Ted with me. My patience will most definitely be called upon.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Worrying dramatics

WELL DONE FOR WAITING. You are so very good at waiting. Thank you for waiting so nicely for me. It's lovely of you to wait so patiently for me to get back to you.

As you can see I am in the middle of a positive parenting offensive with Ted. A friend with three boys has recommended it and as all else has failed I am giving it a shot. I have only been doing it for 24 hours so I'm not sick of it yet. I am to give him enthusiastic positive affirmations when he is being well behaved and ignore all attention seeking bad behaviour. So far so good. He has been amazingly well behaved all day. Although that could be the drugs I gave him at 3.30am to get him back to sleep which he obediently did for a pleasing further three and a half hours. Or it could be both - good sleep and positive praise clearly bring out his good side - he has been a total delight and a pleasure to be around. He did punch a boy and shove another at the party this afternoon but I think that is splitting hairs.

I am beginning to wonder if his flair for the dramatics might stem partly from me. In the last twenty four hours I have over reacted heavily to three appliance malfunctions. The first was the dishwasher which refused to start.  I started yelling - 'NOOO not for Christmas, not to me' and desperately wondering how much an integrated dishwasher would cost. I viewed the pile of dishes on the side with a sense of fear and dread and fell upon a friend at playgroup who had recently suffered a dishwasher disaster and demanded the number of the man who had fixed it. Upon my return from playgroup I discovered the dishwasher was back in working order. Drama over. The second was the Sky box this morning - Ted grabbed me from the kitchen to show me that the TV had fallen over and hit the Sky box. The TV still worked but it was telling me that no satellite signal was being received. I got VERY upset. I realised how much I would rather the dishwasher was broken for Christmas than the Sky Box. I unplugged and replugged everything but to no avail. There was no time to grieve as we were running late for school yet again. I did shout to no one in particular, whilst hurridly making the packed lunches, about how we will only be able to watch the freeview channels and what that meant in terms of Ben 10 etc. I was desperately trying to quell the rising sense of panic in my stomach, especially as I'd had a recent conversation with their insurance sales department and told them that I'd take my chances rather than pay £5 a month for their assurances. Plus the Sky box is incredibly sensitive so I was quite sure a TV falling on it was not a good thing. However, again, after a few hours the miracles continued and it came back on as if no TV had ever fallen upon it. By this evening when the microwave shut down for no apparent reason I was ridiculously calm, particularly as this is the appliance I care the least about. It is not essential and they are cheap to replace. Anyway thanks to the other two dramas I reacted calmly and rationally and discovered the plug had come out slightly. I didn't even have to wait a few hours for that appliance miracle.

I do like to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I don't know why as I am not the dramatic type - I fear it is because I have been 'at home' for so long and I have a related locked in syndrome which means that relatively minor events to the world outside, become dramatic occurrences that need endless discussion by me in my very small world. I have a very long suffering sister who patiently listens to all of my ridiculous neuroses so that I don't have to burden anyone else with it all. Luckily so or I would be sadly alone in the world. There was a time when I talked about which wardrobes I should buy for so many weeks that I am now forbidden to ever mention the word wardrobe. She is very long suffering. When I was pregnant with Ted and the world economy started to implode I became obsessed with procuring a gun so that as the world went to hell I would be able to defend my house and feed my children (I'm not sure how - probably by holding other people up with the gun and stealing their food - who knows). I was at the point of stockpiling tinned goods when my sister intervened and got my mother to ring me. It is very rare for her to have to bring in the big guns but in her defence I had gone too far towards the dark side. I see that now. Mum was reassuring and told me that the world economy would have to continue on some level so reverting back to bartering was unlikely and also that as long as I could get to hers she had a shot gun and a large vegetable patch. We would survive.

Luckily one of my biggest worries - that of major tooth issues which I could not afford to solve - has been totally allayed today as I have completed the second stage of my root canal overhaul. The dentist did continue to sing whilst poking around in my teeth - my favourite was her version of Adele's, Someone Like You - only interrupted by her asking the assistant to grab things or 'more suction please'. Apart from the injection to numb me and the odd singing, the whole situation was strangely relaxing and I was quite sleepy at the end of it - it is the closest I shall get to a beauty treatment for a while so I have to take pleaseure where I can. However on the down side I have been left with a temporary topping until the crown is ready to fit and now I look as if I have a large lump of chewing gum stuck to one of my teeth. I also still have a throbbing pain under the tooth but I am desperately hoping that will subside. If it doesn't I will of course worry about it all weekend.

Still, this weekend is all about the happiness so I shall try to stop all my silly worries - we are putting up the Christmas decorations tomorrow and turning the living room into a mini grotto so I am very excited. The tree is up and standing (NEVER let the children choose one - it cost me £50 which was upsetting but by the time I found out the cost George had cuddled and kissed the chosen tree and they were all jumping up and down excitedly so I had no option but to hand over my card) and ready to be dressed. The children do the decorating every year but obviously I have to then rearrange. They only hang the decorations on one side and they are all at their height so I have to intervene. Doesn't everyone? 

The only thing I worry about with the tree is that it will attract burglars who will be enticed in by the twinkling lights and the thoughts of presents under the tree. I make K stay up very late on Christmas Eve guarding the gifts under the tree so that I might sleep slightly easier. My BIGGEST ever fear after death is someone stealing Christmas on Christmas Eve so that the children come down to nothing. But I think that is normal. Doesn't everyone go to bed on Christmas Eve wondering if they will have everything stolen overnight?

I better go. I worry I am worrying you. xxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Fair Fun and Borrowing Brilliance

I am back. I apologise if the last post looked like I was fishing for compliments - I most assuredly assure you that I was not. 'Tis most against my beliefs. Still, I was grateful for all the positive affirmations of my brilliance so I won't say I didn't enjoy the feedback. I now feel obliged to keep on writing. In that spirit here is all the BREAKING news....

Friday night was the Christmas fair. Unlike most organisations, our school likes to press home the point that Advent is something to 'get through' and not to be enjoyed so every year, the Christmas fair is held on a Friday evening in the dark and the cold and sometimes the rain and/or the snow. This year a very determined group of parents did their very, very best to have the fair moved to a weekend, day slot, but miserably the powers that be were not swayed by their impassioned pleadings and stood fast with their festive Friday night endurance test. I am absolutely sure that when all the children are older and are not two, do not get ridiculously tired after a week at school or freezing cold after five minutes, it will be something I look forward to, however for the here and now it isn't my most favourite event. Much like the concerts, it is an endurance test but with the added hurt of having to pay a lot of money to go through it. (Although having said that, I like to throw money at the fairs to alleviate the guilt I feel for not getting more involved with the parents' association and all the marvellous things they do to make the school even better. I just watch on from afar admiring their dedication and walking ever so slightly faster when they lurk in the playground trying to enlist people to help.) Anyhoo, that said I had pre-booked my slot with the big FC and Bea was due to sing with her choir so I had high hopes that it wouldn't be as bad as I feared. And it wasn't. For about half an hour it was positively enjoyable. Packed, yes, hot, yes but after finding a Ben 10 toy, a batman toy, a stuffed penguin and a Ben 10 dressing up outfit on the table top sale and a successful trip to the big FC, I was positively filled with the Christmas spirit (especially as when they sat in the grotto Bea and G asked him for the things I had already bought - RESULT). And then Bea had to go to a classroom to meet with her choir before the performance. At first all was good. She was happily dropped off and the boys were fine as we waited for about ten minutes to Thwack the Rat. The boys had a one minute go with which they were satisfied especially as they got a prize for their efforts. And then G became very vocal about his desire to leave. Right THEN. Very soon after that I discovered that the choir would not be coming on for another twenty minutes. Ted was keen to leave too. If I told G once that we couldn't leave until Bea had sung I must have told him fifty times. We went back over to games he had enjoyed playing and played them again. He won more things. Including a BHS coat from the BHS coat raffle (not many schools can boast such a stall - I have to admit to being impressed - although not by the coats - I didn't fancy the female ones so we got one for K). There was still time to fill. G was now digging his feet in. He was becoming angry. Ted was wandering off. I found a doorway that was well lit and free so I dumped our bags and sat Ted down with a Ben 10 book - another great find. I then realised G had taken my warnings re the cold weather to extremes and his discomfort, and subsequent need to leave, was due to him wearing five layers - including two fleeces. He was boiling in the heat of the packed hall - although I imagine quite comfortable when we were waiting outside to go in to the grotto. I relieved him of three layers, including the two fleeces and stood him on a table to get a better view of Bea when she appeared. Eventually she came on stage and was totally lost at the back of the small stage by the rest of the choir and the huge number of parents packed around the small stage smiling and waving cameras. I managed to catch a glimpse of her sparkly red hairband and waved manically. The boys were placated with cake. The singing went on. And on. For nearly twenty minutes. In the end I put Ted on my shoulders, abandoned G on the table with all our belongings and my handbag and we managed to alert Bea to our position in the crowd and Ted waved and clapped as required. The relief as they finished was overwhelming. Then began the queue to get her from the classroom they had been herded back into. Ted did not understand why more waiting was needed. Bea came out and immediately demanded to do the fair and the toy sale. I told her the toys were all but gone. She burst in to tears and said that she had missed the fair. Ted was getting heavy on my hip and then G turned up berating me for being gone for so long and that he had been looking for me. Desperately trying to make Bea happy I took her to what remained of the toys - a sad mix of unwanted soft toys, board games and bits of plastic toys. She didn't want anything and the thing that she had her eye on had disappeared. Tears flowed along with sobs. G was pushing me to get me to leave and also demanding to see the big FC again as he had forgotten to tell him something. Ted was still clinging on to me. The hall was still hot and the fair was still on for another hour and a half. I assured Bea that she had had half an hour and £2 to get whatever she wanted before the choir debacle and as she hadn't got it at that time, I couldn't really be blamed. That didn't help. I became authoritative rather than placatory and somehow I manged to get us all out of the hall with all of our bags and belongings - including the coat which turned out to be way too big and has now been given to a very grateful friend - and across the playground. I didn't even shout. I was carrying around five bags and was being trailed by three crying children at varying distances. G then saw the grotto again and his insistence on seeing Father Christmas again became louder. I still did not shout. We got to the car. G started shouting that he wanted his new toys NOW. Bea carried on sobbing. Ted was relieved to be going home. I remained calm through all the random and bizarre ramblings of the tired sobbing/shouting children on the short trip home, got them in the house and up the stairs and into the bath. By this time I had also managed to show Bea the soft penguin and etch a sketch I had bought which I said she could call her own, as well as her present from Father Christmas, so her tears finally stopped. K arrived home. I almost collapsed with relief. He picked up where I had left off. And I STILL hadn't shouted. I felt most proud of myself - a first. I had spent around £40 though. That made me a little weepy.

Onwards and upwards. After a restorative sleep I took Saturday in my stride. Double dance lessons for Bea and then on to help a friend with her son's party. Then dealing with Ted at said party whilst K went off with the milkman (bizarre I know - the milkman knows he is an estate agent and wanted him to see a property - not 'off' forever). Then night in with takeaway and X factor. Not a bad Saturday.

However, I haven't told you of the real excitement which took place this morning - I took Bea and G to Notting Hill! Exciting enough you might think but it gets more so - to the Electric Cinema to see an exclusive screening of a new adaptation of The Borrowers.  My friend was involved with its production so she very kindly invited us along and I am exceedingly grateful I didn't have to wait until Boxing Day to see it. It is AMAZING - I LOVED IT. (Set your boxes now peeps, it is, in my humble opinion, the best Christmas TV since The Gruffalo). The children and I were particularly appreciative of the large leather armchairs and the complimentary and free flowing food and drink that accompanied the screening. (They were on hot chocolate and me tea - not alcoholic drinks obviously - not only are they children but it was 10am on a Sunday morning). It was sodding early on a Sunday actually. We had to leave at 9.15am and whilst that time on a weekday seems quite far on in the day, on a Sunday it seems quite unbelievable that there are other human beings awake and up and out of their homes - I just kept asking WHY when I saw them. We even saw a small group at our usual Sunday park of choice. At 9.20 am? We were incredulous.

The children saw the early start and the car journey as a huge adventure and Bea kept telling G we were going to be going 'to the other part of London' in excited tones. The Thames crossing was particularly touching as they gasped and noted its odd colouring. On the North side they began the 'fun' game of counting Taxis. At first I tried to stop this dull game - particularly as it was interfering with my insightful and informative guided tour. As I pointed out Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, The War Memorial etc the taxi game got on my nerves, but then we reached Park Lane and I realised with quiet alarm that the shameless-moneygrabbing-fairbyanyothernamebutwithfakesnow that is 'Winter Wonderland' was on and heavily advertised on Hyde Park's perimeter fence. I did not want three more weeks of nagging to go to it so I threw myself into the taxi game and pointed forcefully to ones on the other side of the road and then almost squealed with excitement at the very abundant and prettily lit Christmas Trees outside The Dorchester. Mercifully they missed Winter Wonderland entirely and I was saved. We made it to Notting Hill with the total taxi count at around fifty (they lost count so approximated). The Electric is a fabulous cinema and I felt particularly at home, surrounded as we were by lots of parents of traditionally named children (and of course the obligatory Rafferty). I was able to fully unleash my private school accent and call the children Darling at every opportunity without shame. (I couldn't do it every day but once in a blue moon it is fun to overdo the accent and pretend that I am 'one of them' - those that can afford a loft conversion, numerous children and the designer handbag I proudly display which my sister gave me for my Bday).  The children behaved appropriately and the whole experience was terribly jolly and well worth the early start. Although as we got back in to the car and I was encouraging the children to tell me how much they had enjoyed themselves, G seemed annoyed and said 'I thought we were seeing the Smurfs. I wanted the Smurfs'. Clearly I should have explained that the 'little people' we were going to see were not blue. Still, you can't please all the people all of the time - Bea and I cannot wait to see it again - she is already asking for the DVD. I was even teary at the end, but quickly stopped as Bea put out her hand in a stop sign, fixed me with a withering stare and said 'Don't you Dare'.

So - The Borrowers, Boxing day, BBC 1.  Don't forget. Stephen Fry, Victoria Wood, Christopher Ecclestone, Sharon Horgan and a small child actor who was 'totes amaze'. BUT No smurfs. WATCH IT.  And then buy the DVD.  It's far longer than The Gruffalo and far better than The Smurfs.

I think that is long enough. I shall leave you to your Sunday evening.

À tout à l'heure  xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Striking abilities

Hello. I have been on strike. No one has ever paid me anything for writing this and I don't even have a pension which is just terrible. So, I took the week off. Plus I have developed stage fright. I read a blog that is much better than mine and I have felt ridiculously inferior ever since. I am not in the least bit competitive which means that if I see someone doing something better than me I just down tools and give up and let them win. It hasn't bought me fabulous wealth or anything but I am not a particularly stressy person and I am unlikely to ever have an ulcer. There are plus sides to all things.

When I first started work I used to take unofficial strike days. I was paid so horribly little in my terribly 'glamorous' PR job (12k a year) that I felt I deserved time off in lieu, so once every few weeks if I could, I would do nothing but sit and email people all day long (there was no facebook nine years ago so it was email or shop and obviously there was no money for shopping). I had struck up a sort of pen pal friendship with a journalist up north and so that took up a nice chunk of time, as did emailing all of my friends, other colleagues etc. I loved my unofficial strike days. I miss them. I mean I have some once in a blue moon but the repercussions of me sitting on my arse all day and doing nothing around the house means that there is a hell of lot more for me to do for the following few days. No one wins in that situation.

So, where did I leave you, oh, the journey to Suffolk. It was ok - long and arduous but we got there in the end. I did Christmas shopping on Saturday, the children played, I ate and slept, all good. The journey back was less than brilliant. We were attempting to get back in time to attend the Christmas Fair at the local community centre and spend some time QT with K on his birthday but as it happened, five minutes in to the journey Ted threw up. Not just a little, but one hell of a lot. All over himself and his car seat. I pulled into a very convenient village car park in front of a very convenient village shop and told everyone to calm down. (The other children were gagging and I was panicking slightly). I got them all out - Ted still strapped in to his car seat with the sick all over him - and put him on the tarmac while I thought about what to do next. I sent Bea to run into the shop to get the baby wipes - she couldn't find them - I sent her in to look again - she came out again because she didn't have enough money and then on the third attempt she came out triumphantly waving the baby wipes. I stripped Ted, covered him in coats and put him back in the car. Bea found me a small stick so that I could start fishing out lumps of sick from the many small plastic crevices they had found there way into. I wiped furiously at the sick on the car seat cover with the babywipes and became increasingly freezing cold. The big two amused themselves merrily and noisily with a massive stick/branch and Ted looked on from the car, for once oddly quiet. After around 20 minutes, enough sick had been removed for us to continue the journey. Everyone was loaded back in, strapped in and Ted demanded to have his bottle of milk back. I obliged (anything for a quiet life and I had wiped the sick off that too) and he went to sleep. In fact they all did and aside from the smell, it was one of the easiest journeys home I've ever had. However just as we got to the A2 Ted awoke and puked again. I skillfully managed to catch it this time, in a baby wipe, with my left hand as I continued to drive with the right. There are not enough opportunities to tell people about such skills. Imagine if you could put it on your CV - "My ability to multitask is second to none, for example I can catch sick and drive...".  Anyway, second sick sorted we soldiered on until we were around the corner from home when he was sick again (in hindsight the milk might not have been a great idea). So, to cut a long story short, the journey took ages and our first greeting to K as we pulled up to the house on his birthday was 'GET BABYWIPES' - (we had now run out) and then he had to help sort out the sick. His birthday improved momentarily when Ted was calm, sickless and in front of the telly so that the big two and I could present K with all his cards and gifts (only three gifts as I am poor) and put candles in his apple pie (he doesn't eat cake).  It then came to a crashing halt when I started to feel very ill and had to lie down. Then I went to bed as I felt even worse. Ted had by this point improved, stopped being sick and was being quite vocal about wanting me, and only me. K spent the rest of his birthday looking after an angry Ted and the big two as I lay in bed and then eventually puked as well. I went to bed at 8pm and K had to load and move my car in preparation for my ww meeting in the morning. It was not the best birthday he's ever had. He was not thrilled.

OOOH that is exciting. The free toys arrived yesterday! In a massive box - just as I was cooking tea. I cleverly told the children the delivery was for a neighbour and when they went to bed, decanted the toys in to bin bags and K has hidden them at work so the children have been left with just the box which has caused so much excitement it is untrue. It has been turned into a rocket and G has instructed me to take pictures so that he can show all his friends as he has been telling them how cool it is. (They spent a lot of time this morning drawing buttons and levers on the inside but essentially it is still a brown cardboard box so I'm not sure what to do re. pictures). They might like the box but I am still a little high about getting £220 of free toys. You don't get as much as you might think but it is satisfying nonetheless to know that Bea's sodding Lotso Huggin Bear hasn't personally cost me £33. I shall be shopping at Tesco an awful lot from now on. Next Christmas is going to be a doozy with a whole year to grab as many points as possible.

What else has happened in my dull little world? Oh yes, the strikes. It actually worked out as being rather great for us in the end. Or me actually. I stayed in bed until 8.30, pyjamas until 11.30 and we didn't leave the house until 2pm - bliss. The extra child was with us all day which worked out perfectly as they always want longer to play with each other and when he comes after school one or other of my children is normally tired and emotional so that a lot of their games ends in tears and tantrums. As they were all fresh from a night's sleep the morning flew by with no tears and no tantrums - I even got the ironing done. After Ted's sleep we went to a park, just in time for the rain, they ran around for an hour and a half in and out of the rain, we came back, had popcorn and then extra child was picked up. Still no tears or tantrums and more importantly no school runs - more bliss. I am wholeheartedly behind the strikes until they start to affect me adversely, but for now, I say let's do it again peeps. I'm not sure anyone won anything from the whole thing but I had a good day as did the children, and let's face it, that's all that matters.

This is crap so I'm giving up.

GOODBYE. I might be back if I can think of something worthy enough to spout about. I'm hoping the dentist pulls something out of the bag next week - she was singing whilst sorting out my rotten tooth today - not enough to be totally weird but definitely on the cusp.  On the plus side she did say that the size of the decay in my tooth was 'amazing' and that she was very surprised the tooth had remained in tact around it. I was most impressed with my ability to decay a tooth effectively. Perhaps this is something I can win at - surely there can be no one better than me at decaying a tooth inside whilst keeping it in tact oustide? I might even put it on my CV along with my sick catching multi tasking skills.  Jobs will be throwing themselves at me when I retire from child rearing.