Monday, 6 April 2009

No Place Like Home?

When I had to go and stay with my parents last week, I wasn't able to blog. For this I would like to apologise but I hope you will understand that I had good reason. I wasn't actually down there for a break or holiday - but I kind of hoped that there may have been moments of 'respite'.

Suffice to say - there wasn't.

On waking, my youngest child would have to be (predominately) housed in the living room of my parent's house. This was not a pleasurable experience.

Hazards of the living room (a.k.a The Toddler Fun Factory or 'Mother's Ruin'):

1 very grumpy old collie dog who circles like a shark staking its claim.

1 very senile old spaniel who circles like a muppet looking for cookies.

1 large log pile (in the living room) which appears ideal for climbing/eating/sucking/throwing logs off (but which is suitable for none of the above).

1 small hole in a wooden door, exactly the same size as an infant's finger, in which an infant's figure is easily and regularly stuck and then the infant is stuck.

Several dozen plug sockets which are an alternative source of finger sticking fun when the aforementioned hole is out of bounds.

4 sharp corners of a low coffee table which regularly meet with 1 infant's head.

3 drawers of games dating from the 1970s/1980s which are regularly opened and spread across the room. These games include more choking hazards than one could possibly imagine. I mean who wouldn't want to munch their way through the plastic counters from 'Mastermind' whilst knocking back a beaker full of Connect 4 discs and, for a thrilling aperitif, get the green proboscis from 'Build Your Own Beetle! Now in Technicolour!' stuck in one's gullet?

1 drawer containing a gun (well I think technically it's an air pistol, it has no ammunition and is in bits - but it sounds dramatic - so I included it).

A piano. Not dangerous I admit but hugely annoying when 'played' by child who appears to have a unique approach to music in the form of a sort of Jazz/Metal/Grimecore fusion.

1 hard stone floor.

1 randy cockerel (admittedly not in the living room but never far away. This one's not called Jesus. He actually doesn't have a name. My mother is slacking now I no longer reside at home. Jesus did have a son - we called him The Messiah. The Messiah was killed by a fox. The emotional devastation meant I've never got as close to a fowl since so The Messiah's great grandson is nameless).

1 large pond (also not in the living room but easily accessible via).

Various mouse traps which were set circa 1991 and have been long since forgotten about. They are usually only identified if they kill a mouse and it starts to smell. More then once I have lent on a window sill only to be told to 'GET BACK! THERE'S A TRAP BY YOUR ELBOW!'. Nearly as exciting as the time I drank a glass of water that had actually been used to drown dog fleas....

I could go on.

Armoury available in combating the above:

1 mother with 1 pair of hand and 1 set of eyes.

Number of trips taken to the toilet unaccompanied by children:


Armoury mother would request should someone grant her 3 wishes:

1. A nanny.
2. A pen. No, not a biro. A holding pen. Or actually just the ability to be able to shut the door and not be told off for 'upsetting the dogs'.
3. A crate of wine or similar source of oblivion.

Number of hours off each night whilst infant securely imprisoned in travel cot:

Not enough. Especially when he decides that sleeping in a mesh pen is rubbish and manages to make a small hole in the side of the mesh.... A small hole he works on increasing in size. Like the Great Escape without the teaspoon or the Nazis.

Number of sleeps required by mother to get over the above trip:

I don't know. I'll tell you when I get there.

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