Thursday, 28 May 2009

I'm still here - just!

Just in case you were starting to wonder of my whereabouts, I can confirm that I am still here. Well not here as in somewhere on the South Coast residing, as I normally do, at home, but here, as in half-way between North and South in the flattest place on earth (I am prone to slight exaggeration on occasion - I have noticed a couple of small undulations). But just in case you wondered, we're in Norfolk, visiting the Grandparents, and my access to the Internet has been somewhat limited. Part of me is feeling understandably edgy...I mean how can I cope without just a wee bit of blogging? But part of me wants to kick back and just enjoy the moment, which for my children's sake, I have decided to do. The truth is, I don't think the children have ever been so happy, so I'm trying to enjoy the moment for as long as I can. This is a little indicator of how much fun Renée is having...

Me to Renée - "Renée, is Norfolk your favourite place in the world?"

Renée - "" (A slight hesitation).

Grandma - "It's ok darling. You don't have to say it's your favourite place. I expect home is, isn't it?"

Renée - "Oh no. Italy (where we went on holiday last year) is my favourite place. And Norfolk is my second favourite place. And France is my third favourite place (where her other Grandparents live). And London is my fourth favourite place (where her cousins live). And..."
She trails off.

I only hope that home makes it in to the top five. I'm not even going to ask.

So that's that. We're spending a few days visiting Renée's second favourite place in the world and boy is she happy. There's been horseriding, farm visiting, lamb feeding, baby chick and guinea pig cuddling, ferret feeding, tractor riding, chocolate eating and only a tiny bit of television. But perhaps most exciting of all, they've had Grandparents to spoil them and because the Grandparents are so far away, it's a rare treat and one which causes joy all around. I'm not quite sure whose face beamed wider on the tractor ride - Grandpa's or the two children's, but all I can say is that it's worth the five-hour car journey to get here.

Normal business will resume when we're back on the South Coast in a couple of days. In the meantime, I hope you're all having as much fun as us!

Monday, 25 May 2009

I Love You All

Ok, so I really should have got my butt into gear and posted about awards as and when they came because if I had, I wouldn't have found myself in the position I'm in now...


I now have 3 different awards from 5 different people which I really should pass on (and show my gratitude for of course). I'm not quite sure what took me so long other than the fact I was waiting for down-time on the home front (which, with two chldren is extremely scarce).

However, it is now good old half-term and we're in Norfolk visiting the Grandparents so I have managed to find at least 10 minutes to sit and type. Yipppeeeee.

My first award (and one which has been given to me 3 times) is this Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so much Mum in Chaos, Notsupermum and Home Mum of 2. I love it - and I love tea, so I'm even more pleased to be able to display a beautiful 'cuppa' on my blog permanently.

Now, this award obviously comes with rules and regulations...which I may just have to flout (forgive me), although the bit about passing it on I will uphold, of course.

So without further ado, I hereby bestow One Lovely Blog Award on the following people...(Just as a note I'm supposed to pass it on to 5, but seeing as I was awarded this 3 times, I'm passing it on to 15 people). No one tell me I'm bad at maths...

Part Mummy Part Me
All Grown Up...still feeling like a kid
The Bush Babies
Magnum lady
In the Gutter
Mummy Do That
Working Mum on the Verge
Notes from Inside my Head
Mom's Peace Bites
Life in Italy
Being a Mummy
Caution - Woman at Work
Four Down Mum to Go?
Some Mothers Do Ave Em
Kitty's Bloggy Bits

My second award comes from Maddie Grigg at The World From my Window. And when I saw this I had to do a double take. Is it really called the Renée award?? My own little Renée, who is currently off riding a horse with her Grandma was chuffed to bits when I showed her (she thought it was for her - well it is in a way). And she's not the only one who's chuffed to bits - as Maddie says - this award is for intelligent and witty writing. For me? Surely some mistake. But if I'm quick and post it before she realises, I'm sure she'll be too embarrassed to take it back!
So I pass this on to five more blogs who never fail to keep me amused with their intelligent and witty writing.

And last, but by no means least, I am now the proud recipient of The Lemonade Award which was bestowed upon me by Working Mum on the verge. This award is to show gratitude - Thankyou for reading my blog, thankyou for showing support, thankyou for everything you've done for me, thankyou for just being you (or something along those lines). So THANKYOU Working Mum, I truly appreciate this. In turn, I am passing this on to ten blogs who I truly appreciate.
Life Is A Marathon
The World from My Window
Home Mum of 2 (or 3 if you count their Dad)
Mum in Chaos
Not Supermum
Ramblings of a Fab Brunette
Metropolitan Mum
And 1 More Means 4

Please forgive me if I've missed you out - I may have already passed on an award to you or you may already have all these awards stashed away - I have tried checking, but it seems like I've been here all day and the Grandparents can only take care of small children for so long.

As with most awards, you are supposed to complete a list of either current obsessions, hates, things to be grateful for, or any other list that takes your fancy. I already feel that this post is way too long, so I hope you don't mind if I skip this part. If you really want to know my currents obsessions or hates, then click here and here and you can read them on an earlier post.

In the meantime, if you're a recipient of these awards, then please pass them on to other great blogs and help to spread the appreciation. Thanks!

And finally, just a little tip - if you receive an award try not to stash it away for too long - or you'll find yourself in my position where you've spent all day creating links and lists. Phew...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Discipline? No Thanks. I'd rather have a chocolate biscuit

So I'm sitting here with a cup of tea. Oh ok, and a chocolate biscuit. You know me too well. I need it ok? I'm feeling a bit teary. I could blame it on Dulwich Divorcee's lions which has made me blubber all over the keyboard already this morning, but in reality it has nothing to do with that. No, the real truth of the matter is that I had to discipline Renée this morning and it made her cry and that in turn made me cry too. Only not in front of her, of course. I saved that until I got home. It's just not easy this parent malarkey. You want what's best for your children of course. You want them to be happy, but you also want them to be well-behaved and full of sparkling wit and able to go to bed without 8 stories a night and eat all their vegetables and never complain or whine or ask 'Are we there Yet Mummy?' for the zillionth time and never poo their pants in the middle of a crowd of people or throw an almighty wobbler at a supermarket checkout for that matter. Ok, that might just be a little too much to ask. Happy and not a complete source of embarrassment will have to do (for now). We'll work on the others later.

But how is this best achieved? Because some days I'm at a complete loss as to how to be a (good) parent. I once heard someone mention the word 'discipline'...although I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about so I had to go home and Google it. No, but seriously, I may even need some help here. With one child discipline was easy. A child did something wrong, they were told off, made aware of why it was wrong and the world carried on. If they repeated it, there was a trip to the naughty step, treats were withheld and they learnt never to do that naughty something again. Easy. Result - a well-behaved, thoughtful, wonderful child. And of course, not forgetting a happy, proud and not completely insane Mother. BUT, child number two enters the fray and it's an altogether different story.

This is what I'm talking about. One child does something naughty, child is told off and made aware of why it is naughty. Same child is naughty again. Child is sent to the naughty step. Meanwhile, other child also does something naughty, desperate for a bit of the action. Child is told off, during which time, original naughty child has wondered away from naughty step and is helping themselves to sweeties from the cupboard. Yes, I'm not quite sure why sweeties are within child's range, but they just are. (Note to self - move sweeties). So, child is taken away from sweeties and put back on naughty step. Second child is naughty again. Both children on naughty step. Mother is beginning to fray around the edges at this point, especially when both children start pulling each other's hair. Mother decides naughty step for two is not such a good idea and instead settles on a kind and thoughtful talking to. Children listen and promise not to be naughty again. Mother is happy that it has gone so well and decides to make herself a cup of tea in celebration. Just as the kettle has reached boiling point, children are naughty again. Strangely enough Mother has also reached boling point and decides that threats have to be instigated. 'If you're naughty one more time, then we won't go to Miss K's house this afternoon'. Children think about it and are good. For 5 minutes. Then naughty again. But can Mother follow-through with threat? Of course she can't. Because a visit to Miss K's house is also a break for Mother and following-through would mean a whole day inside with the two terrorists instead of just half of one. So children continue to be naughty whilst Mother silently sobs in the corner, determined to see through a threat at some point in the near future.

So that's my problem. Now I have two children, my follow-through leaves rather a lot to be desired. And, unluckily for me, my children know this too.

So quickly back to this morning, which is the real reason for this post. I was on my way to drop Edie at nursery before delivering Renée to school. This happens twice a week and on these days we leave the house so early that we don't have time for breakfast. Instead, Edie eats at nursery and Renée has a croissant on the way to school. It's a huge treat for her as she just loves them. But, this morning, she was being, how can I put this nicely? I can't. She was being a complete pain in the a*$e. She was dawdling, whining, trying to pull my trousers down (?), stopping to inspect dog poo on the pavement (!), and refusing to speak to someone we bumped into who she knows well. To top it all off I was trying to get Edie in to nursery as quickly as possible as she's wearing knickers (as opposed to nappies or pull-ups) for the first time today and I was rather anxious that there wouldn't be an accident before we'd even got inside. So what did I do? Well, I threatened Renée with no croissant if she continued in the same manner. It had no affect, of course and she continued to test my patience. So this was my moment to follow-through.

And I did. And there was no croissant. And Renée was devastated. And she cried. And she said sorry. And she promised to be good. And she cried all the way to school and was still crying when we arrived. And even after a cuddle and an explanation of why I had done it (and a promise of a treat after school - I am who I am, after all), she was still crying. It was truly horrible. In the end I had to leave her at school, red faced and teary. And now I'm home and I feel wretched. I should be pleased of course that I followed-through. But I'm not. I'm sad that she was so sad. So there must be another way. I'm even thinking about picking her up from school with a croissant. Is that wrong? Will it undo all my hard work? Help me out here please.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Two children are harder than one!

Last night I was in bed by 7.30pm. Seriously. I'd put aside the evening to write a post, read some blogs and generally fiddle around with the computer until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. Strangely, the 'too tired to keep my eyes open' bit happened the moment the children were in bed rather than about 5 hours later, which is usually the case.

But instead of seizing the opportunity to finally catch up on some much-needed rest, I decided to text a few friends to tell them that I was, at that precise moment, in bed dying of exhaustion. (I always love a bit of drama even when I'm too tired to lift a limb). A few texts of sympathy came back and a few wondering what was wrong - was I ill? Had something out of the ordinary happened? The answer, of course, was in the negative. Ok, so I had had a little cold for the past fews days, but nothing major. No, the reason for my life-threatening exhaustion was simply the fact that I'd spent the entire weekend running around after two extremely demanding children with no husband (don't ask - away working again). But hey, if you read this blog, you'll know that that's pretty par for the course.

What's not so much par for the course is a huge school festival complete with climbing wall, face-painting, owl sanctuary, belly-dancing, bag-making, hot-dog eating. The list goes on. But as exciting as it sounds, when you've got two children who both want to run off in opposite directions, it is, how shall I put this? Rather unrelaxing.

Renée wanted to go on the climbing wall, Edie wanted to eat a hot dog, an ice-cream and some rather fluorescent, sticky-looking candy floss. Then Renée wanted to eat and Edie wanted to climb. Except she couldn't because she's too young, although she didn't know that and so after spending half an hour in the queue for the climbing wall only to witness her sister being fitted for a harness and not her, she was understandably upset. Very much so. She cried. A lot. And very loudly. But I couldn't take her away because by this time, Renée was half-way up the wall. So we stood there watching, me trying my hardest to comfort a sticky, snotty and heartbroken Edie. And when Renée's bottom lip started to quiver as soon as she looked down and realised how high she'd climbed, I had to breathe deeply. Two hysterical children was not going to be easy.

So I whisked both of them away to the owl sanctuary, hoping for a more sedate time. But much to the dismay of at least two of us, I was told Renée could hold an owl, but Edie was too young. More tears. (Edie's, not mine - although I was close by this point). It was then that I spied some friends who, after a careful assessment of the situation, decided that they would take Renée off my hands. Perhaps I was looking a little more dishevelled than I had realised. It was a revelation. I can't tell you how relaxing it was. Edie wanted to have her fingernails painted. She may only be two and a half, but what the heck, she had her fingernails painted. Bright pink. She loved it. She rolled down the hill in a plastic barrel, put a pin in a treasure hunt map, jumped on a bouncy castle...and all the time she was doing this I didn't have to keep looking over my shoulder to see where Renée had run off to. And the piece de resistance - I even persuaded a man at the owl sanctuary to let her hold an owl. I don't think I've ever seen her so happy - it was all I could do to stop her from kissing it.

And that's when it occurred to me that being a parent of one child is fun...being a parent of two children is hard work. Someone once told my husband that having one child was like having a pet, and having two was like running a zoo. (And having three or more, well suggestions for descriptions would be welcome - suffice to say, I don't think we'll get that far). I have to say, I found myself looking at parents with one child rather enviously...I even saw a few of them having conversations! Now I know things will get easier, especially when the girls are old enough to do the same things, but in the meantime, husband please come're needed (again). But until that happens, I may just have a few more early nights...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

It's my Birthday and I'll cry if I want to

Ok, so I'm not really crying, but it is my Birthday today and I just liked the title, so there you go. How old am I, I hear you asking? Half-way to 70 is my answer...

Crikey...I'm not sure if that makes me young or old. I shall try not to contemplate it for too long. But in the meantime, I'll just present myself with a Birthday present instead... Actually it was given to me by Metropolitan Mum a week or so ago, but I thought I'd stash it away and save it for today because otherwise I'd get no presents at all! Ok, so I lie - there was the book token and a hand-made card from the girls...and a massage token and some lip salve (!) and a magazine and some chocolates. Ok, so I suppose once you reach a certain age you can't really expect more than that...can you?

Anyway, in the meantime, I'm going to complete the list part of this award...As well as Metropolitan Mum, I've also been tagged by Caution...Woman at Work and needless to say, I have to answer a few questions. However, I've already answered the obsession tag floating around, so I'm going to change the questions...not just one, but all of them. Completely and utterly. And I can because it's my Birthday...OK?

So, without further ado, I'm going to list 5 things that I can't stand in a Room 101 kind of way.

1). Rude people. Ok, so this may seem obvious, but people who are rude, without any reason just make me go crazy. As do people who pretend they've never met me before even though we have...a few times. Why do people do this? I know they know me....FUME.

2). Bad weather. Seriously. I just can't stand rain or wind or an overcast sky. It kind of makes me want to cry.

3). Sticky labels that won't come off. It is possible to find labels which are sticky and don't leave a mark, so hello? Why make labels which mark? Not necessary.

4). Smelly people. Especially when they're in close proximity. Body odour is the worst, but bad breath and smelly feet come a close second.

5). Mess. I am a tidy person and I literally can't go to sleep unless the house is tidy. If there's a child's toy in the wrong place I can't relax...OCD??? Possibly.

And just to complete this little post, I'm going to pass it on to 5 fabulous blogs and they in turn can pass it on...but only if they want to...

Mum In Chaos - because she just started back at work yesterday after a 2-year absence and she could do with a little bit of blog appreciation. Oh and I think her daughter has chickenpox too.

NotSupermum - Because she's just lovely and so is her blog.

WAHM-BAM! - Because she's always interesting (sorry Tasha - I meant hilarious).

Tales from da Motherhood - Because she thinks I'm a Superhero and I love her for it.

That girl? 39 and counting - Because she's a fellow Taurean and just about to change the name of her blog (probably) and this is my birthday present to her.

Having said all this, I love all the blogs I read and next time I get an award (!!!!) I promise to pass it on to you...and you...and you....

That's it. I'm off to change a nappy in celebration...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Parental embarrassment - for the love of a child

One more notch on the idiot post for you...(This is scarily starting to become a habit).

Now this little incident happened a week ago and I would have written about it before but trips to A&E and a distinct lack of food took precedence.

It's funny what turns out to be a highlight in the life of a child, whilst in your life, the same event just needs to be forgotten and brushed under the carpet as soon as possible. So I shall do my best to brush it under the carpet by writing a post about it...go figure that one!

So it's May in Brighton and what that means is that the Festival is upon us - Artists Open Houses, Street Performances, Music, Theatre, Comedy, Food, and all sorts of other exciting events which make you feel even more smug that you live in the best place in the world. Ok the best place in Britain (I'm only a little biased). Anyway, for the past 20 years, the Festival has kicked off with the Children's Parade - a veritable extravaganza of floats, music, costumes and dancing through the streets of Brighton. In my case, what that meant was, snotty crying children, sore feet, exhaustion, sunburn, ringing in my ears from the too-close proximity to persistant whistle-blowing and an overwhelming embarrassment at the lack of costume. But, and this is where the foolishness comes in - we weren't just witnesses to this fantastic spectacle. Oh no, we were part of the parade itself. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Whilst other parents opted out and decided sensibly to simply watch from the sidelines, I, along with two small children and an obvious lack of husband, decided to parade through the streets of Brighton in front of more than 10,000 onlookers, pretending it was Mardi Gras. Which, incidently is not on my list of things to do before I die. But seeing as it did very nearly finish me off, maybe it should have been. (At least then I would have been able to cross it off posthumously and thus achieve something). BUT, one of my small children had the opportunity to be included, so what was I to do? Well, sometimes, we just have to put our children first and deal with the consequences later.

For some strange reason I hadn't really forseen any problems. Surely it was possible for Renée to be in the parade, whilst Edie and I walked along beside her, inconspicuous, yet supportive at the same time? Ha, I'm nothing but a fool. Had I not seen the parade before? Well, yes, as it happens, but possibly before I had children, so my points of reference had been different. I had probably remarked on the beautiful costumes and the happy children and then sloped off spontaneously to sit and have a beer on the beach whilst leisurely planning the evening's events. Like I said, this was before I had children.

So imagine my surprise when, on turning up, I realised that the dress code of blue, white and silver (to tie in with out school's theme of 'Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines') was not just reserved for the children, but the parents as well. And why was I the only parent not to have realised this? Oh, the absolute shame. My embarrassment was further confounded by the appearance of a giant Queen Bee complete with a huge papier maché Beehive and worker bees which happened to walk past at the very moment I stood contemplating my ever-so slightly sombre (read dull and out of place) costume of jeans and jumper (not even in regulation colours I might add). Never before had I wanted to be dressed in purple and gold so much. I wanted to be a Bee, or a flying machine, or a dragon or a windmill, or anything else other than a Mother with a toddler in a pushchair who hadn't understood the dress code properly.

But hold on, I am perhaps missing the point of being a parent here. Whilst I was scarlet with embarrassment at the lack of costume and exhausted at having to keep Edie strapped into the pushchair for fear of her being run over by a giant helicopter made of tissue paper, Renée was having a fantastic time. Her airplane headgear and flying goggles were perhaps a little too large and meant that every two minutes she was in danger of toppling over, but she was having the time of her life blowing that damn whistle as loud and hard as she could.

As I paraded along the streets of Brighton, trying hard to be as inconspicuous as possible, whilst at the same time trying not to ignore friends who were frantically waving at me from the sidelines, I realised that it wasn't about me (duh!), it was about the children...and when Renée asked, wide-eyed with excitement..."Mummy, are all these people waving and clapping at us? At me?"...I smiled a genuine smile. "Yes darling, they're all here to watch you. You just enjoy yourself." And so she did.

Sometimes even the greatest of embarrassment is worth enduring to make your children happy. Just remind me when the next parade comes around, to at least get a costume!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Forgive me. I know not what I say...

I am now officially an idiot. After the lamb chop debacle propelled me to the forefront of utter foolishness, then this latest incident sees me picking up the top award. Anyone out there got one of those? Do please pass it over here...

So, I was chatting with a friend the other day - you know, about babies, bumps, pregnancies...(by the way, in case you were wondering, I can talk about other things - this was only part of the conversation). The other part was about schools and homework and...well, just other things.

Anyway, in the part where we talked about bumps, we both found ourselves re-living the moment when we asked a seemingly pregnant woman when she was due - only to be met with the most dreaded of responses - "Er...I'm not actually pregnant". You know those conversations - the ones that make you want to be swallowed up in a huge, black whole there and then never to have to show your poor, shamed face ever again.

Strangely enough, because you'd think I would have learnt my lesson - it has actually happened to me twice. The first, years ago when I was but a wee 'girl' and asked a rather large Brown Owl if she had a baby in her tummy. She didn't, obviously, and thankfully I was too young to realise her mortification.

The second time happened as an adult. It was a Mother of one of Renée's friends at nursery. She was talking about moving house and needing more space when I just happened to glance at her tummy. She was wearing some sort of smock top and I realised that underneath it her belly was protruding from an otherwise slim frame.

"Oh, gosh", I spluttered. "I didn't realise. Congratulations. Silly me. Now I see why you need more space. How many weeks are you?"

She looked at me and laughed. "Ha ha. No I'm not pregnant. This?" She said, pointing to her bump. "This is just my little beer belly."

"Ha ha", I replied, blundering in like a giraffe in a doll's house. "Good one. Yeah - I suppose at the early stages it does look like a beer belly. No, but really - when are you due?"

This was her moment to look serious. "No really, it is just a beer belly."

"Hahahahahahahahahahaha." I think I may have run off at this point, giggling nervously and flushed in the face, of course, promising myself never to make the same mistake again.

However, this is not the whole post. Oh no - that happened a couple of years ago, so why would I be telling you about it now? I'll tell you why - because my friend and I ended our conversation about bumps and mistaken pregnancies swearing that we'd never be so foolish again - and even if we saw a baby's head sticking out from between a woman's legs (unlikely I know) - we would never be so stuipd as to assume she's even had sex.

Well, my friend might not be so stupid. I, on the other hand...

Later that very day...possibly only three hours after the conversation, I was picking up Edie from nursery when I spotted another Mother. I'd last spoken to her a week before when she was struggling to remain sane whilst waiting for the imminent birth of her second child. We'd discussed the frustrations of going overdue and I'd offered her not only sympathy, but empathy too (Renée and Edie were 9 days and 12 days overdue). So when I saw her face miserable and belly still obviously hugely swollen...I said the first thing that came into my mind...

"Hey, how are you feeling? Looking at the size of you, I can see the baby still hasn't come".

And that's when she moved out of the way to reveal a tiny newborn in a pram.

Whoops. Just point me in the right direction for my idiot award.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

It's just Fucking Fabulous

Wow - it's an award (and one which I have secretly coveted from afar because it's just so fucking fabulous). Feels a tad naughty to say that, of course, but the children are at nursery and school this morning, so they won't hear me!! I will be eternally grateful to A Modern Mother who decided that my blog was worthy...I love you for it.

Being given the award comes with rules - what did you expect? This time, I have to list 5 of my current obsessions and then pass it on to 5 more fucking fabulous blogs (sorry couldn't resist the 'f' word again - it's making me feel ever so slightly liberated)...for the time being at least!

So my 5 current obsessions are...
  1. Blogging - I know it's boring - but if you're reading this then hopefully you can empathise with me because you're probably obsessed too. It used to be Facebook, but I've weaned myself off that slowly...Am not sure I actually want to wean myself off Blogging though, so I could be here for a while!
  2. Tea - Ooh at least 3 cups before I get out of bed (in my dreams)...Builders tea preferably, but Earl Grey, Lady Grey, Lapsang Souchong are a welcome treat every now and then.
  3. Food - I almost said chocolate here, but it's actually all food (apart from baked beans which make my stomach turn). Food - I love it. Can't stop thinking about it...all the time!
  4. Children - Of course!! I just love my two little sausages and find myself gazing at their beauty and innocence at every opportunity. The only question I have is why I've put them at number 4 in my obsessions and not number 1. Oops...
  5. Sunshine (or at least dreaming of it) - I do live on the South Coast so we have more sun than most (in this country) - but when it's not sunny, all I do is dream about it being sunny...palm trees, a hammock, a good book, a banana milkshake on the beach...

And now I've done that I have to pass it on. So here goes...

Home Mum of 2 (or 3 if you count their Dad) - Because she's a kindred spirit (apart from the fact that she's a hard worker, makes perfect cakes, is studying and has had an easy time potty-training). So I won't hold it against her...

Brits in Bosnia - toddlers, dogs and all - Because she's doing it all in another country (and not an easy country at that)...and because she's finding it hard to potty train her 2-year-old as well!

Reasons to be Cheerful, 1, 2, 3. - She's mad and hilarious and I love her and although she has far too many awards already, from what I can tell, she doesn't have this one...

Another Day in the Madhouse - Like me, she's from Brighton and needs a bit of cheering up because her children are driving her mad...

Life is a Marathon - She's far too prolific for me to keep up with all her posts (61 posts in April - hello?), but I want her to know that when I do make it round, I love it.

And finally just the instructions in case you're a little confused...

On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” widget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by leaving a comment on their blog.

So that's all for today. It's just fucking fabulous. No more swearing tomorrow I promise!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Responsibilities and head wounds (again)!

All I want to do today is sit and eat chocolate. It's nothing to do with the fact that there's no food in the house (husband's away and standards are beginning to slip), but I just need a quick fix. So this is the thing - I'm feeling a bit teary today, as I was yesterday, ever since Edie fell off the back of the sofa, cracked her head on the corner of the radiator and needed a trip to A&E to be stuck back together again.

Strangely enough it's Renée who's been hurting herself recently - I was even tempted to write a post on clumsy children and how to cope with them (although seeing as I haven't yet worked out how to cope with them it would have been a little premature). First there was the chin split open on the step, then I received a phone call from school telling me she had fallen over in the playground, cut her face quite badly and was pretty shaken up, which was followed the very next day by another bump in the playground (teacher had tripped her up apparently?!) and then two days later yet another fall and a badly cut knee. Not only was I beginning to despair, but I was also starting to question why it was Renée and not Edie who was having all the accidents. Anyone who is familiar with my two children knows that Renée is the agile, sure-footed one, whilst little pudding Edie will go out of her way to find the one stone on an otherwise flat piece of ground, in order to trip over. Sometimes she looks as though she has only just learnt to walk.

But yesterday, much to my dismay, it was Edie's turn in the spotlight (had she been jealous of all the attention Renée was receiving)? Hmmm. That's a thought. So this is what happened...

A fun-filled Bank-holiday Monday was being spent bouncing on the sofa. We had planned an excursion to the church fete for later in the day, but at this point in time we were all still in our pyjamas.

"Edie, please don't bounce on the sofa."

Edie's particular brand of very selective hearing decided she could not hear me.

"Edie, come down from there please. You're going to fall and hurt yourself."

She still couldn't hear me (we were in the same room).

"Edie, this is the last time I'm going to ask you to get down before I have to come over and..."


A particularly big bounce propelled her over the back of the sofa right onto the corner of the radiator (I later discovered).

Tears. Lots of them. And blood. Lots of it.

But this is the thing. The corner of her mouth was bleeding so I thought she'd bitten her lip and that it wasn't serious. So I carried her upstairs and laid her on my bed to give her a cuddle. But when I took my hand away it was wet and sticky and ever-so red.

"Hmmm. That's more than just a cut lip. I wonder where that's coming from?" I thought.

And that's when I saw that the whole of my pillow and duvet cover and Edie's pyjamas were bright crimson in colour. Closer inspection revealed that the back of her head, under her hair, looked like it had been sliced open.

Now I'm not normally queasy at the sight of blood, but I began to feel strangely shaky and in need of a lie-down. But with husband away again (I'm not even going to ask why this always happens when I'm on my own), I had to be the strong one. So, another dash to A&E with two small children which seemed strangely surreal since I had made exactly the same journey only a month ago. The car park miraculously hadn't moved and was still about 500 miles away. Fortunately I hadn't dressed us all in full outdoor gear this time and as a result the red-faced sweating mad woman appeared only as a toned-down version.

Luckily they managed to stick her back together with the same magic glue that had worked wonders on Renée's chin. And now all is well with the world. Except it isn't. I feel like I've fallen off a horse, but haven't managed to get back on again. I'm still shaky and given half a chance I'd probably burst into tears as well, but I've got to pick Renée up from school and have to hold it together.

But this is the thing. I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a parent. My two little sausages - who look up to me and rely solely on me for love and care and attention and food and nurturing and protection and all the other things a parent is supposed to do - are merely mortal. Today I want to wrap them in cotton wool and never let them out of my sight, but I can't imagine that would be much fun for any of us. I'm sure I'll be fine by tomorrow - as will they. But in the meantime, I think I might just have to search for that secret supply of chocolate...if only to make myself feel better!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

1 idiot and 3 lamb chops

I am such an idiot. Seriously, I really am an idiot. I mean, what sort of person, other than an idiot decides to cook 3 lamb chops but no vegetables because they're not actually that hungry? Then, when it's too late to cook vegetables, decide that they are indeed extremely hungry and so polish off a whole Green & Black's 100g bar of dark chocolate plus 4 jammy dodgers and then decide that they're too full for the lamb chops and leave them on the side instead and go to the loo. Whilst in the loo they decide that they are, in fact, still extremely hungry and can't think of anything they'd rather eat more than 3 lamb chops only to discover that on re-entering the kitchen, the lamb chops are being salivated over by the cat.

Told you I was an idiot.