Wednesday, 23 May 2012

All's well that ends well

Unfortunately the amount of wine needed to get over a day like today could turn The Newbie from bubbly and sociable to babbling and disabled so miserably I will yet again have to medicate with food. At least the children are finally all away from me, on another floor, in their beds. I find the distance comforting. I have left the big two listening to the chilling sounds of Justin Beiber, Under the Mistletoe. Yes, it is his Christmas album. So, as we finally melt under the intense heat from a long time absent sun, my children are nestled under their thick duvets listening to JB singing about wise men, mangers and snow. Freaks. I should have written days ago. I have been quite merry recently. Indecently so actually. I was on a hormone high and loving it. Everything seemed rather jolly and we had such a nice day on Sunday with G's other Godmother (must find her an official name - but nothing springs to mind- coincidentally she too has a great body but it would be weird to call her that and make me look slightly obsessed with my friends' physical appearance. She is very sporty - potentially Sporty Godmother?) and family that I was positively buzzing. The leftover champagne from Christmas that we opened definitely improved my mood but it was also that we had 'got one over' on the weather which was then, freezing cold, and gone ahead with the planned BBQ regardless. It was a rip roaring success and finished off with After Eights which they had kindly donated to the cause - there is nothing like a box of After Eights. So, less than 48 hours after Sporty Godmother was standing in my kitchen, shivering in her shoes, coat and scarf whilst K and her husband stood beside the BBQ outside, the weather has made a ridiculously dramatic u-turn and now we are all roasting under the heat and I am the first to admit that I am now too hot. After months of cold and rain it seems a little odd to subject us to such an extreme. My shoe collection is all messed up. Only last week I was in Uggs and a thick coat. Now I am having to hastily paint my toe nails and dig out a flip flop or two from under three buggys in the under stairs cupboard. I am not an unreasonable person - I am extremely happy to see the sun - I have frequented two parks in two days and enjoyed picnics in the shade, due to the sun's sudden and miraculous appearance - BUT - it could have warmed up slowly so that we might have adjusted our inner climate control and wardrobe accordingly. This is just a cruel trick. The shops don't even have their full range of ice creams in stock. It is just ludicrous. Which also brings me on to today. The sudden 'extreme' (in the UK) heat was to blame for the start of my bad day. Whilst I was very merry that we didn't need to bother with coats and Wellies this morning for a change, I hadn't factored in adequate time for sun cream application which meant that I hastily grabbed a bottle before running out of the door. I managed to stop and apply an adequate layer to Bea's skin before sending her in to her classroom, but miserably, G saw my hasty cream application and decided that he wasn't at all keen on a similar treatment before he went in to his classroom. To cut an absurdly involved story short, by the time we got to his classroom he had made up his mind that I was going nowhere near him with the cream and he ran off, to the back of his classroom. The school has a policy that they cannot take or apply any sun cream during the day so if I didn't get any on him first thing this morning, he would have to spend most of the day in the baking sun without any protection. The first TA (teaching assistant) didn't manage to get G but the second managed to get him out of the classroom and in to the hallway where he seemed to be calming down, until he made a lunge away from me and the dreaded cream, which unfortunatly resulted in the poor TA being knocked off her feet (she was crouching down beside him and lost her balance) and she fell hard against a wall with G on top of her. It was totally mortifying. To add to my woes there was a man in a suit with a clipboard sitting and watching the whole encounter and looking at me as if I was the worst mother ever. I misplaced my anger at G on to the clipboard man and will forever hold a grudge and murderous thoughts towards him. I have no idea why he was there. He Could have been an Offsted inspector or someone peddling books for all I know. Anyway, he watched with his scowly face as a very pregnant and harassed mother tried to cajole (he was already fairly hysterical from the threat of cream and doubly upset and embarrassed at reducing his favourite TA to tears) and chastise her clearly mentally deficient son over sun cream application and trying to control his temper. We were hastily ushered in to a side room to 'calm down'. The Amazing TA continued to cuddle and calm G so that I was able to apply adequate sun protection and then carried on distracting Ted whilst I finally tried to get G to a point where he was able to be left. Anyhow, the whole debacle left me understandably shaky and a tad teary, but I still had to pay for the school disco tickets so I then went over to the school office, where the slightly prickly secretary chastised me for not putting the money and slip in an envelope, and when I asked if she might help me out with one she said I would be taking money away from the children of the school and we would have to send it in loose and hope that it got to where it was meant to be. At that point I really was a hair's breath away from hormonal melt down, but I continued on, to the post office to withdraw money for vital things like gas, bread, the cleaner and ice cream. I then discovered that I was in fact, over drawn and there was no money to be withdrawn. I was also baking hot and sweating. Thank goodness Ted was being strangely saintly during the whole sorry half hour of hell. Mercifully the lovely cleaner was terribly polite about not being paid, the lack of dishwasher and having to work with cold water due to my lack of money on the gas meter card(first time in ages I have actually hated the gas meter) and after I finally managed to get hold of k, he was able to calm me down, withdraw money and purchase a pot plant for the injured TA. So, after picking up the cash and the pot plant from him, things improved dramatically for me, until the afternoon school pick up. A brief hiatus of good behaviour followed the purchase of ice creams all round, but that finished as soon as the ice creams were eaten and several hours of misery followed as tired, hot and bothered children made my life a misery until I have come down here to write to you. As you can tell, It isn't as if I've been evicted from my home or anything horrid, but it wasn't what I had hoped for when I awoke this morning. I seem to be having a run of bad luck recently (again, comparatively speaking - I haven't been diagnosed with terminal cancer or anything which is incredibly bad luck, mine is just a run of mildly unfortunate events in comparison and I am trying very hard to keep it all in perspective). To start, the laptop is still out of action so I am yet again struggling to write on the iPad, which isn't made any easier by the fact that the iPad is broken. I'm not sure I mentioned this but Ted took my iPad on the school run some months ago and when he tired of what he was watching from the comfort of his buggy, he threw it on the playground floor and the screen promptly smashed. A quarter of the screen is now rather tricky to use and uncomfortable as well. Thanks to the case front, I managed to hide the smash from K for about a month before he made the horrible discovery. It wasn't pretty. Bea, who had been in on the deceit thought it was rather funny. I, on the receiving end of K's lengthy rant, did not. Much like the newbie's name, any discussion or reference to the broken iPad has now been shelved. As has the loss of £40. On Friday night, K gave me £40 in four ten pound notes which I then put on the floor as I was comfortably lying on the sofa and couldn't be arsed to move. That was at about 8 o'Clock. By 10, when I decided to get up off the sofa and go to bed, somehow the money had vanished. Now, I had got up to get food and I must have gone to the loo at some point, but I did not leave the house. I don't think I even went upstairs, so how on earth the money disappeared is quite beyond me. Naturally, I assumed it was K. I thought he had taken it back before he went to the shop. He continued to say he hadn't, but also didn't get up off his chair to help me look or indeed avert his gaze from the tv, so I naturally assumed it was a practical joke that had gone sour and he was 'in too deep' to come clean once my anger rose. Just in case it wasn't, I went through the bin, the recycling, the bread bin, the fridge - anywhere I had been and might have conceivably dumped the money without thinking. Nothing. By 10.30pm I was flipping irate. As was K. Apparently me accusing him of being a thief was insulting. I became more convinced he was winding me up and teaching me a lesson and I was incredibly unamused. I went to bed seething. The money is still AWOL. Yesterday a suspected burst pipe caused wide spread panic that the boiler might have broken. Luckily it was just a loose connection on the pipe leading to the dishwasher (hence it being out of action) and K was able to nip home from work and discover this, but the water damage is still pretty annoying and hasn't fully been discovered yet so could be doing untold damage to the back of the kitchen units. And to add to all of this, someone has fraudulently been using my PayPal account. I do think it takes the piss to steal money from me, who rarely has more than £100 to my name. To take £40 of that is just plain mean. Particularly as it was the cause of my woe this morning and will take a while to get back in to my account assuming Paypal believe it was fraudulent and not me trying to pull a fast one. Coupled with the lost £40 from Friday I am now £80 adrift. That is huge in my world. I am desperately hoping that at some point in the near future I will open a bag, lift up a toy or tidy something away and finally discover the hiding place of the freaky disappearing forty pounds - assuming that a. It wasn't K or b. we don't have a thieving Ghost haunting the place (the thought has gone through my mind more than once). Oh, and the dreaded sick bug also paid us a visit. Poor George, who was greatly looking forward to his first ever foray in to the world of 'hip hop' dance on Saturday morning, came over all whiny and miserable as we took Bea to her dance classes and when we got home, promptly threw up. I was on my own as K was working (annoyingly that was the first of two in a row - I am so out of practise at doing it on my own that I find it incredibly irritating) which meant that when G fell asleep, post chucking up, I was left with a tricky decision. Leave him on his own, asleep in the house for ten minutes whilt I grabbed Bea from her dance class, or wake up the poor sick boy and force him out in the streets to pick up Bea. I opted for the former. It is a tricky one. But luckily all worked out ok and no opportunist child snatcher discovered my neglect. And G is able to start hippeting and hoppeting next week, so all's well that end's well. It nearly wasn't as the fuss G was making over the pain in his head during his short illness caused me some considerable concern. He was screaming about the pain so much that more than once i considered ringing an ambulance as I automatically assumed it was a brain haemorrhage. I do think I should be kept away from hospital dramas. Luckily, the more sane side of my brain stopped me from following through with my suspicions. It would have been a tad embarrassing. I do have a tendency to go to the very worst place when it comes to illnesses. I voiced my concern over my tiredness to the midwife on our last visit - explaining that I suspected either Toxoplasmosis and/or Carbon Monoxide poisoning, but annoyingly she was of the opinion that my overwhelming tiredness was more likely due to anaemia or Ted (who was haring around like a mad thing at the point of our discussion) so refused to test me for either. I was annoyed that she suspected anaemia. I have always considered it a weak willed type of affliction and I am always faintly proud of my high iron levels. I eat meat, broccoli and bran flakes (not together) on a regular basis so I have huge faith in my iron levels - correctly so - the results are in and my iron levels are A.O.K. I am going to invest in a carbon monoxide alarm. I've never understood the breakfast cereal backlash of recent years - the power of bran flakes simply cannot be denied. Not only does it contain a load of vitamins, iron and crucially for me, folic acid, it also contains a healthy amount of fibre. Which might explain why I find the adverts for constipation relief so incredibly irritating. I literally become irate at the tv when they come on. It is such a ridiculous affliction. One doesn't need to purchase a stupid medicine to achieve 'gentle and effective' relief in the morning - simply eat a bowl of bran flakes every day and you will never suffer from it in the first place. All the adverts are aimed at women which also irritates me. Either we are the only sex to suffer from ailments such as constipation, head aches and diarrhoea or we are the only sex to buy them - there has to be a reason why advertising companies only suggest concepts with thin women flouncing around the place - interestingly men can suffer from colds, flu and back ache - obviously these are deemed 'manly' enough and they shouldn't feel embarrassed if they are caught buying the remedies. I also lay the blame for the wave of constipation relief products at the sodding Atkins diet. If it wasn't for the most idiotic of diets ever invented, people wouldn't assume carbs were 'bad' and stop eating them in favour of high protein and high fat foods, leading to them becoming constipated and suffering from halitosis. Any eating plan that allows you to drink cream but not eat a potato is just beyond my comprehension. Interestingly my mum's sudden u-turn on breakfast cereals means that she now deems home made biscuits and cake as healthy alternatives as they 'have eggs in them'. She uses eggs containing Omega 3 and must use one or two in each batch of biscuits or cake which means that instead of a small amount of sugar and salt in a bowl of cereal G can eat a large amount of fat and sugar with a small amount of Omega 3 egg inside. It really is genius. One morning over the Easter holidays she allowed him to have two pieces of chocolate cake for breakfast as she merrily poo pooed my angry reservations. Enough of my doom, gloom and ranting. There have been some notable high lights to my week. Aside from the successful freezing BBQ and a very pleasant Pizza Express meal last night, there was a rather enjoyable curry and quiz night at the school. Regrettably I was not sufficiently knowledge endowed to be any use to my team, but the curry was very good and I was able to help on the final question of the quiz and partially help with a Paul Simon song title. The other 28 music questions were left to my able team mates as I was not alive for most of the 70s and when I was alive and old enough to be interested in/purchase music, I had crap taste. So out of around 70 questions I was helpful about twice. In order to help you if you are ever in a similarly tricky quiz, I would like to let you know that the collective noun for a group of Giraffes is a Tower and Rooks is a Parliament. How I would know this or who on earth Ziggy Stardust is, is quite beyond me. Luckily I was on a team with people who had a good general knowledge and a high level of intelligence, as well as an in depth knowledge of 80s music so we ended up coming a close second. Again. I had seconds of the curry. All's well that ends well. And with that I shall leave you to your evening. I have gone on long enough and this iPad is driving me crazy. I hope I have not come across as too maudlin - the sun is out, I only have 9 weeks left of pregnancy torture to go through and Lewis is on the telly. I am slightly in love with Laurence Fox so two hours of him on the tv has made me see things with a whole new perspective. Seeya xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The truth behind the magic

Due to technical difficulties - ie my laptop just died - I am attempting this on an iPad for the first time. It is not as fun. Please excuse all formatting and spelling errors as it is just too tricky to sort out.

So, where were we. Oh yes, I was a tad tiddly after a few glasses of wine. For those who may have worried over the health of my unborn infant, fear not. I am yet to have it medically proven, but I am more than a little bit certain that moderate wine intake during pregnancy actually makes for far more interesting children. Those dull, serious little children you see walking around who don't find poo and fart jokes amusing - definitely teetotal in the womb. In particular I think drinking Cava and Champagne, due to the bubble content, make for more bubbly children. I am just awaiting my lottery win to provide backing for serious and scientific research in to the whole thing, but for now you will have to take my word for it. I must be clear though, that spirits do not make for spirited childre and should be steered clear of entirely - that is just plain irresponsiblility. Same for alcopops. If bubbles make you bubbly then imagine what a drink like WKD could do for them. Although it could explain the high proportion of ASBO behaviour displayed by teenagers in the sort of areas where alcopops are heavily consumed...... Imagine the possibilities of my research - it really could be fascinating.

On the subject of pregnancy, in order to receive some free stuff just because i'm pregnant, I signed up to some companies who, in return for my details and free stuff, helpfully email me once a week to advertise to me and let me know what stage I am at, what I can expect in pregnancy and generally give me advice on the whole shebang. My 29 week email arrived yesterday. It was massively helpful. Firstly, it advised me that although I might suddenly fancy a lot of ice cream, I should keep it as an occasional treat and try substituting my high fat treat with something that is lower in saturated fats such as fruit sorbet. That is clearly a game changing bit of advice. Thank goodness they emailed me or I would have spent the next 11 weeks blindly eating tubs of Phish Food thinking that all the fat and sugar it contained was actually good for me and the baby and that it would have no affect whatsoever on my weight; Then it advised me to remember that my partner is also going through the pregnancy with me and I should 'take time' to talk through my day-to-day feelings and our future lives as parents with him. Now. On so many levels I have issues with this. Number One. This is clearly intended for first time parents and I would be a tad concerned if, on a general level, couples expecting their first baby were already struggling to communicate and she didn't already share quite a lot of detail with him/her over the growing human she was carrying. I found that our first pregnancy was when K was most able to listen to me rabbit on about our future and the baby and we had the most time and desire to talk to ech other. However... Number Two. I don't need to be told to talk to my husband about my hopes and fears and feelings now as he is incredibly over hearing about my hopes and feelings. I am pretty sure he would like me to shut up about them. Especially my constant musings over what flavour baby I might get. Number Three. Any parents to be that might go out for a meal in the hazy glow of imminent parenthood are highly unlikely to understand what it is that is about to happen to them and any chats they might have would be no more use than discussing the weather in regards to their 'future lives as parents'. So, I may write back to Pampers and advise them that rather than a single throw away sentence about taking time to discuss crap they should give future parents helpful scenarios in order to assist and focus their discussions. I have some ideas for them - Scenario A: After you have ordered your meal and clinked your glasses together in joyful anticipation of your baby's arrival, start discussing the following scenario: It is 2am in the morning. You have had around 3 hours of broken sleep since 9.30pm when you collapsed in to bed. The baby is crying intermittently and will not settle. You have awoken your partner again to ask for help as you have run out of ideas. He takes the baby and attempts to soothe it to sleep. When he attempts to put the baby down it awakes once again and begins screaming. He tells you that he has no idea what it is and maybe you should try feeding it again. You, who have not slept for more than a few hours at a time for 3 weeks after a horrifyingly long birth process which meant you didn't sleep for 3 nights in a row before being cut open in an emergency ceasarean, have reached a point of madness never before experienced and what can only be descrbed as a 'red mist' descends. You throw back the duvet cover and adopt a tone of utter disgust and condescension, wear a tight and fixed smile and begin a tirade along the lines of, "Why YES. What a fucking brilliant idea you cocking genius. Why the fuckety buggering HELL didn't I think of getting my boob out to see if maybe all this screaming was due to overwhelming cocking hunger. What a total fool I feel for leaving it at least 15 minutes since I last attempted to get some sleep by force feeding him/her my sore and aching boobs." (feel free to add in language you would use here to make it more realistic). Scenario B. You awake in the early morning and realise that you are very unwell. You have a terrible temperature, aching bones, your eyes hurt and standing up makes you cry. You turn to your partner and whisper that he will have to take the day off work as you have the flu. He slowly comes round and then says there is absolutely no way he can take a day off as there is an important client meet/planning meeting/corporate lunch/no one else in the office (insert appropriate) and that you will just 'have to cope' and 'isn't there someone else who can help you?'. Take a moment to imagine how you will feel. Then take a moment to draw up a list of possible 'helpers' in such a scenario. The luckier ones amongst you will have family/friends nearby who can help. Others will be miles from anyone and will quickly realise you are totally on your own. In that scenario ensure that you have an incredibly comprehensive range of medicines to help you and ignore all advice over not taking them whilst breastfeeding. Practical: Spend Saturday night waking each other up every hour and a half and keep each other awake for 20 minutes by being incredibly irritating - at least twice in the experiment ensure the 20 minutes is spent pacing the hallway. Try going for a supermakrekt shop on Sunday and making decisions over seemingly mundane things and see if arguments ensue.  

You see. Now wouldn't this make for a far more interesting email and a far more helpful start to their parenting journey. I should really write a book as well as fund my research. So much to do....

I'm not sure I would be taken seriously on either count though. Especially as an 'authority'. As we have clearly already established in 'curse and neglect', I am pretty fallible and I think critics would have a field day pulling apart my parenting abilities. Think about it - Gina Ford and Jo 'SuperNanny' Frost have no children for a reason - it is far easier to tell people what to do than to do it yourself and be criticised. Ted, for some reason, has substituted the sound 'Qu' for 'F' which means that when he sees a duck he shouts 'Fack Fack' very loudly. Unfortunately there are a lot of ducks around, in real life as well as in picture form, so it has become a tad embarrassing to say the least. A two year old with Tourette's habits is not a good look for any mother. It has also been brought to my attention that the amount of American programmes and films my children watch has altered their language. George came in to the kitchen and excitedly told me that he was going to draw the sign for money. He promptly drew a huge dollar sign and was baffled by my insitance that this was not used in our country. Bea was charging admission to a 'show' and told me it was going to be 25 cents. They call rubbish garbage. Bea wants to know when she will go to High School. Our garden is constantly refered to as a 'yard' and they use the words butt, movie, mail, closet, elevator, gas station, cotton candy and diaper. I clearly need to spend more time 'parenting'. Don't even ask what Ted has managed to get hold of on You Tube - 'fack'ing at ducks could be the least of my language issues with him if I don't start supervising screen time a little more closely.

So, I clearly need to find appropriate English programmes for the big two to watch. So far I can only find game shows. Cbeebies is too young for them and Cbbc is too old for them. Doctor Who is way too scary for me and therefore them, and things like Tracy Beaker are too 'real'. I have forbidden them from learning about any realism in the world. I do not want them to know that children's homes, neglectful parents, miserable children or anything horrible like that exist in their world, so the Disney programmes that helpfully gloss over anything meaningful or serious and replace them with happy and hilarious families are perfect for me. And therefore them.  I have dealt with the major issue - death. I feel death is an important one as it can sneak up on you when you least expect it and it is also easy to introduce as a concept as they are very aware of their dead grandad and their now dead neighbour who was very good at present buying.  However I do not want to deal with anything more upsetting from 'real life' - like sex. A friend has told me that as she is nearly eight, I have to tell Bea the truth soon for fear of being told/teased by other more knowing children at school. This is a bit of a shock for me. It turns out that my explanation of how we get babies (you need a man and a woman and they have to have a special cuddle) is not sufficient to see her through to 11 years old. DAMN. The thing is she hasn't gone to Disneyland yet and I can't possibly tell her the harsher truths of life before we have given her the ultimate 'magic' experience. You see it is not that I am a prude, or embarrassed or anything silly, no, it is because I think once you open Pandora's box it is impossible to close it again. How can I tell her the ugly truth about 'doing the do' when she still believes in fairies? When I was a child and I learnt the ugly truth I thought it was revolting and rather took away from the 'magic' of babies. I spent my childhood hoping to find one delivered to our doorstep or hoping that I would magically become 'with child' simply because I wanted one. Once I found out that one had to be slightly more committed to the project in order to receive a child, I realised I was going to have to wait a long time before I could get my very own baby and I remember being massively disappointed.  To have to let Bea in to the secret would put an end to her idea of magic and then where would it end? Father Christmas? Easter Bunny? Do I just sit her down and say that everything is a lie and magic doesn't exist - that father christmas is just us and that the babies that have followed on from her have not come from magic cuddles but something far more messy which is again, just us. I can't bring myself to burst all her bubbles at once. Maybe I'll start with the tooth fairy and work up from there. Maybe when she's 9. That seems far enough away for me not to have to worry about it now. OR I could force her to watch the birth, then promptly explain how the baby got up there in the first place and hopefully this will build a sufficiently scary neurological pathway that she will never again want to talk to me about anything lest I scare her with the truth. It also has the added advantage of her being too scared to go near a boy until she is way over the age of consent. That is definitely an option.

Although I'm not sure if even that would be enough to keep her from growing up too soon. Girls do seem to be maturing a lot younger these days. I picked her up from a 7th Birthday party yesterday from the back of a scary looking pub where the function room had been turned in to a 'nightclub'. I am all for indulging children but a nightclub themed party seems a tad premature whilst their school still has the word 'Infants' in the title. Even I had a 'Disco' themed party at around 9 but it was an all girls, daytime party in the village hall where my mum had to give the DJ a Paul Simon Graceland record (he still used records - that makes me feel a tad old but I think perhaps the DJ was a bit behind the times. It was only a few decades ago...) because clearly it wasn't something he played a lot on the DJing circuit and it was my favourite album at the time. I remember it vividly as I wore denim head to toe (classy), and a girl called Tamsin spent the entire time the music was playing with her fingers in her ears saying 'I don't like POP music'. It wasn't quite the same as a blacked out room in the back of a scary pub in Penge with proper Disco lights and real coke. (The drink I mean - obviously it wasn't THAT realistic - the mother wasn't Sadie Frost or anything, it's just that up til now we have only been to parties that served squash, apple juice or water as beverages - occassionaly the more 'edgy' mothers would offer lemonade but that is rare so it was the first thing Bea and her friend mentioned when I picked them up.)

Of course, the other way to keep her away from boys is to make her fat - it worked an absolute treat for me. I think mum was pretty sure of the fact that I was about as attractive to the opposite sex as a sack of potatoes so it wasn't until I lost the weight at 16 and became a slightly more attractive proposition that things started to kick off in the boy department. And even then it was a very slow start...

That is enough from me. This has gone on long enough. I shall just leave you with the happy news that Bea received a Distinction in her modern dance exam. I have no idea if they give Distinction to all children on their first exam to boost their confidence, but I am choosing to pretend that they do not and that Bea is clearly gifted. Even when I am not there to cheer her on as I am stuck in a hospital bed much against my will. Oh and also there is the happy news that I am finally rid of all my Weight Watchers stock! Wahooooooooo - I have now regained the use of my cupboard under the stairs and the boot of my car. Such excitement. The possibilities are endless for the boot of the car.

Ooooh I just thought of another helpful scenario for our pregnant couple; Imagine it is a Sunday evening, you are on the way back from a child's party in North London and you had assumed that the 45 minute journey to the party would be same for the way home, however you make a last minute change to your route home and choose to go over London Bridge. You stay on London bridge for about 40 minutes, stuck in the car with three children, of whom two are incredibly tired, whiney and irritable (The youngest is being surprisingly delightful) You spend the entire time trying to find sources of amusement and distraction for the irritable children and apologise unreservedly for your poor choice of river crossing. The journey home in fact takes the entire length of time you spent at the party therefore making you feel extra specially guilty and when you finally get through the door of your home all children are tired and hungry, it is bath time and your partner has lost all perspective, patience and sense of humour. Discuss. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Happiness and Heartbreak

Yo yo yo and a jolly good evening to you all. I am in a frightfully good mood as it goes so if you are in a grump it would be best for you to look away now.

Let me start at the beginning. Actually at the end. I am sitting on the sofa (as per) with a glass of red wine, yummy chocolate cake in my tummy and shit tv in front of me. Oh and K is snoring upstairs so I don't even have to keep apologising for the appalling acts on The Voice or BGT so it is just pure, unadulterated pleasure. Hang on, the glass has emptied itself. I must refill.

I'm back. Refilled. Let's get on. So, the reason for my jubilation is this - the children are all happy and in bed (2 asleep, 1 to go) and I am NOT TIRED. I know. Soak it up people. I stayed in bed until 11am this morning. I KNOW. Do NOT tell my mother, she would see it as gross negligence and hideous laziness so it is our little secret.  I cannot remember a time when I last did this. (Oooh maybe the pneumonia? But that is not the same thing.) It all started with K and I trying extra specially hard to be nice to each other (you must give it a go sometime, it makes for a jolly pleasurable living environment) and he got up and took the boys downstairs before 8am this morning so I stayed in bed until I got tea and toast in bed at 10am. I texted K to request my tea and toast - I have no idea what married couples did pre-mobile phones - I have found yelling desperately inadequate if the TV is on (which it always is) and can also attract the attention of unwanted children which would ruin the whole staying-in-bed experience.  After he brought me breakfast in bed, K got back in to bed whilst G's Godmother entertained the boys downstairs. Then they eventually joined us and there we all stayed, like a far younger version of the relatives in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, until gone 11 when we finally got up and dressed to take the boys to the park. 

Now you know why I would hand over my last fiver to a worthy cause right now. All it takes is sleep and wine. Plus G's Godmother took me to the pub last night and bought me a burger and chips AND pudding.  I always look at the pudding menu first to see if I want a starter, then after I ascertain the quality of the dessert I can make informed choices on how much space I will have for the rest of the meal. I'm pretty sure this is normal behaviour. Although the man taking our order for pudding was quite shocked that I had memorised the choices when he couldn't find a menu. Still normal though? So, sleep, wine and lovely food I haven't cooked and was paid for by someone else. Now it is all making sense to you and you can see why I wanted to share my unnatural jubilation with you before it all went tits up.

The three happy children. Well, I won't go on because essentially children are dull but Bea has returned from her first overnight Beaver camp as high as a kite - she LOVED it.  Beaver camp just sounds so wrong. I really think in light of modern language changes they should re-name Beavers something less open for ridicule. Like Squirrels or something. Is squirrel rude? I am not best placed for the renaming as I am very not 'up' with rude, modern slang. That is irrelevant, the point is, she has been away from me for 24 hours which has happened a few times before but usually to a place where there is a mother figure like Grandma, Auntie or a child's mother and the comforting surrounding of someone's home not bunk beds in a cold wooden hut surrounded by mud. So this was altogether something quite new for us and I have to admit to being a tad 'on edge' about the whole thing. As you know, I am one to automatically think of the worst case scenario  and sending Bea to camp for twenty four hours sent my hormonal mind in to overdrive. I can share it with you now, now that she is home and safe and in her bed, but I have been on the brink of madness with my latest worry. Having accidentally encountered some of the news (you should know by now that I don't like the news as it is scary and doesn't help my state of mind) and I happened to read that that mad man in Sweden who murdered all the teenagers on their island camp said he had 'friends' in England who were planning something similar as they shared his beliefs. This was not a good move.  For the last few weeks I have been convinced that these friends of his were planning their 'attack' on the scout camp near Croydon where Bea would be spending her time away from me. The day before she left, my madness had reached fever pitch and I was seriously considering telling her that if a man with an automatic weapon started shooting at people that she should fall to the ground and play dead in order to survive. Luckily, Cupcake Sister talked me out of my madness, and said it would just scare her and it was HIGHLY unlikely to occur. I had to keep telling myself that so that I could wave her off without becoming hysterical.  I don't know why I do it to myself.  As you have now ascertained this scenario did not happen and she has survived Scout camp unharmed - she even scaled half a climbing wall, an assault course and archery. The sister was right. But it is best to be prepared for these things just in case.

Bea's time away has also alerted me to the fact that two children are a lot easier than three. Which is especially odd as I would have assumed she was the 'easy' one. Not So. This means that in the next three months I need to get two children to live with us for a few weeks and then get rid of them so I think that four is a breeze when the newbie arrives. Genius! Not sure how to go about securing two children but I'm sure such things can be overcome. Two small boys are quite fun together actually -when faced with no other option, they found they were quite happy in each other's company. G's Godmother (I am trying to think of something to call her that could be her official moniker but other than 'the body' I am a stuck - I don't want to pigeon hole her just because she has a rather fabulous body - I shall keep thinking) as you might have gathered by now, stayed over last night and brought with her a ray of sunshine in to the Mother and Other household.  Not only did she take me out for a glass of wine and food, she stayed up talking to K in to the wee small hours and besides all that G is totally and utterly in love with her. Head over heels. In fact he suffered something akin to total heartbreak when she had to leave this afternoon. I had to spend time on the sofa watching a crap film, feeding him warm milk (he couldn't face lunch), mopping his tears and cuddling him for hours before he could be persuaded to get up and help me bake a cake. (Chocolate cake - it is amazing and has also contributed to my good mood).  The cake baking helped his heartbreak considerably and also helped him re-establish his appetite for food. However her departure has continued to haunt him and despite enjoying whatever it was he was doing, he would stop and sigh and say, 'I just wish she hadn't gone'. He even went to bed saying that he wished she hadn't left. K is convinced it didn't help that he saw her get dressed this morning (which naturally included brief scenes of nudity) but I am hoping that he is wrong as it is a tad sick and wrong. A bit Caroline and Harry if you will. Actually even worse. I shall erase that from my memory and focus on a more innocent love. Both the boys were incredibly taken with her and as she hadn't seen them for a while she was happy to entertain them for a while whilst I stayed in bed this morning and they were more than happy to be entertained by someone other than their dull, tired parents. Ted even came up to tell me he was busy downstairs with her and the cat and that I should 'stay there' and 'not move' - clearly worried I might go down and ruin the fun - he even spread eagled himself in a star shape in the door frame to make his point clearer - this was a line I must not cross. Hence the happy boys part of our equation. 

So, a great twenty four hours for all after a pretty good few days. Thursday was polling day which meant that the school was closed. As we had the whole day to ourselves I took the children to see Kent Sister and her daughter who G is also in love with (can't work out if a younger cousin is better than a woman 26 years his senior but is no blood relation). And she him actually - a few minutes after our arrival they were 'married'. Along with a striped tail lemur.  The cousin was actually having to decide between the Lemur and G on the whole groom front until they settled on a thoroughly modern three way marriage. For me it was just SO lovely to be out of the house.  As my house is both my living and working environment any period of time away from it gives me a slight buzz. And the Kent Sister's house is Jolly Nice. And bigger than ours. This actually confused G - he had a very puzzled look on his face when he asked me why they have bedrooms that no one actually lives in. Such a concept is too far out for him - in our house the shortage of bedrooms means that there are two to a room. I must take him to Buckingham Palace - it would blow his tiny mind. Anyway, again, I didn't have to cook or clean and they all had a fabulous time  - again G was pretty put out we had to leave and was desperate to book a date to go back, but he recovered quickly. Even Ted being sick on the way home didn't dampen my spirits. Although it has made the smell in the car a tad less fragrant.  However returning home from a 'nice' house does highlight the fact that our house is less than 'nice' and slightly grubby around the edges. I spent a lot of the time at the Kent house saying 'don't touch - you might break it and they have nice things here, it's not like our house'. It didn't stop Ted breaking a particularly nice lampshade in his cousin's room whilst my back was turned, but considering the collateral damage that could have occurred, I consider Kent Sister and her house to have come off particularly lightly from the day.

K has awoken and joined Britain's Got Talent. As the advert came on he said 'That isn't talent - that's just having an awful lot of time on your hands, nothing to do and a yo yo.' It might just be the wine but I have been in hysterics. I think I might have to go. Two glasses of wine have totally gone to my head and I am a tad squiffy (I am a very cheap date these days). I am finding K hysterical which is never a good sign and may lead to me believing I too am being hilarious so I am leaving you to your bank holiday weekends just in case. Use them wisely. Even with the rain, bank holidays are something out of the ordinary and a three day weekend feels fabulously decadent. And, if you have to work, you have an awful lot to moan about which I always find deeply satisfying. There is no down side to the whole thing. Go forth, drink wine, eat cake and be happy. You never know what tomorrow will bring. 

I am still laughing. Is it funny? Is it just me? Maybe it was the WAY he said it. I wish I was sober so I could tell. I shall go and snort my wine out of my nose away from you and try to figure it out.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx