Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Be careful what you wish for.

I should have learned by now that it is never too late (or in fact too early) in the day for some form of calamity or insanity to occur.

Today had passed without anything of note happening whatsoever - other than it getting very hot and everyone going very still and moaning a lot.

And then it got to 10pm and my OH came home and I realised I hadn't eaten and was starving and there was no food in the house and I just HAD to have watermelon. So off I went to the Turkish Shop at the end of the road where they sell the biggest watermelons you have ever seen. Their melons are so big you can barely lift them.

On my way up there I pondered when I would be able to blog again. If this heat continues and my brain keeps melting and nobody really does anything it's all going to get pretty dull. My life might even start to enter the field of 'balanced and normal'.

Anyway, entering the Turkish Shop at night when you are female, blonde and have bosoms is either brave or stupid but I wanted a watermelon badly so I braved the stares and the 'boootiful laydee' mutters (who are they trying to kid? I've seen those 80 year old pensioners with their 'true love from Bodrum' on the pages of Take a Break - I'm not falling for that one) and got on with perusing the melons.

All was going well until I reached forward to pick one up, heard a 'ping' and the buckle off my sun-dress strap flew across the shop letting the left-hand-side section of my dress flap down.

Down, down, down. Down below my left hand bosom in fact.

Oh joy.

What is one supposed to do in these situations? Other than pause momentarily and think 'are you having a f***ing laugh or what!?'.

I could hardly ask the shop keeper for a pin and a hand. I may as well ask if he would like a quick feel of my breasts.

In the end I resorted to my usual form of coping in these situations i.e. pretending it didn't actually happen and nonchalantly chucked the strap over my shoulder, held my dress closed with my armpit and asked the guy behind the counter to weigh my melon. I'm not sure if he was aware of the reason behind my strange posture or just thought I had a deformed arm. Personally I'm hoping it was the later.

There was a certain amount of wiggling and awkwardness when I had to find my purse and then again when I had to carry the melon out but I got away with no further nipple exposure so that's a result hey?

I just pray they don't have CCTV or I'll probably be doing the rounds down the local kebab shop later.

So be careful what you wish for. Sometimes dull is GOOD!

p.s this all probably sounds highly bizarre to some of you but if you live with me it just becomes normal and washes straight over you without even causing a ripple. As proof as to how used to this kind of thing my husband is, here is the conversation we had when I got back with my melon:

Him: Anything going on out there?

Me: Just the usual w@nkers about.

Him: Anything happen?

Me: Yeah, I bent over in the shop and the strap on my dress broke and I exposed myself to all the staff, look.... (show him broken strap and give him demo).

Him: Oh. Right (walks into living room to watch Newsnight with no further comment or suggestion).

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Tis the season to be naked

Well if you are a small boy it is. And who can blame them. It is HOT. Not just hot. The worst kind of hot. That evil clammy heat that makes you feel like you will suffocate at any given moment and provokes strange lucid dreams (in my case very strange - try an erotic scene in a flooded Co-op in Tewkesbury surrounded by tins of soup, in the company of Jeremy Clarkson who has his hand up your jumper.... Actually - forget that - it clearly qualifies as a nightmare).

There is only one way to cope with this kind of heat and that is to get naked and wet at every opportunity so I was more than happy to promise my boys a paddling pool and BOY were they excited.

What I didn't do was check that there were any paddling pools still actually in-stock this side of the Watford Gap.

This was an error at the upper end of the 'fundamental errors to make when mothering small children' scale.

Actually there were paddling pools available but only the sort that come with a log flume, swim-up-bar and performing dolphin. And come in the wrong side of £50.


For like, a fiver?

But of course so did everybody else in the country and such pools were out of stock everywhere.

So I made a (very exciting) promise which I couldn't fulfill and boy did I pay for it.

Despite demonstrating the 'out of stockness' of the pools in just about every shop in the entire county, my son still continued to fall to his knees and sob 'but Mummmeeeeeeee - when are we going to have a paddling pool?' at regular intervals throughout the day. I would just about think I was safe and the trauma was forgotten only for him to randomly let out a cry of 'THE PADDLING POOL THAT'S NEVER COMING, NOT EVER!', followed by a strangled sob, and off we'd go again with a lengthy explanation about stock levels, foreign imports and peaks in demand - which usually ended in me screeching 'THERE JUST AREN'T ANY LEFT IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY. THEY'VE GONE - OK!?' (to which, of course, he would reply 'but WHY!? and start crying again).

In desperation I replaced his paddling pool dream with an empty bottle of Kitchen Surface Spray which I filled with water and permitted him to spray at will around the garden (see motherhood really is the mother of inventiveness....)..

He was delighted with this new toy.

The paddling pool was forgotten about and he played happily with it for ages.

Well, up until I went into the garden and found he had inserted the spray nozzle carefully into his brother's ear and was eagerly filling his head up with water.........


I did eventually source a paddling pool (in the neighbouring County no less) and deep joy has been had by all ever since.

However this journey in to the world of paddling pools has alerted me to the fact that they, invariably, come in a box featuring a young, busty, bikini clad woman who looks like she's never actually spent more than the length of a photoshoot in the company of small children - let alone pushed any out of her nether-regions and spent the next 5 years trying to get her head round the fact they're hers.....

Take this example:

And this one (who has randomly set her pool up by her 'awfully grand' electronic driveway gates. This is clearly a very aspirational paddling pool - even if you don't actually have a driveway to go with the gates....or a car):

And this one (who is actually accompanied by a man but he's rather pale and disappointing in comparison. And we can't see his Speedos):

And finally this one (ok, this one's not real but it may as well be):

What is the idea behind this marketing? Are most paddling pool purchaser male and buying the pools in the hope that the young woman comes with it? Or are they female and the women in question hope that the pool comes with a nanny?

Who knows, but it is not accurate.

They should actually show the paddling pool filled with naked children, bits of grass and dead bees, surrounded by soggy clothes, damp (damp - not dead) pets and various other piles of detritus with the mother depicted slumped beneath a bush clutching something alcoholic and being thankful that - for once -they aren't destroying the house.

I reckon it would sell.

Especially if it came with the wine.

Friday, 26 June 2009

My balls got sucked down the side of the disabled lift

Yup, they really did.

Oh my god.

One of my balls got sucked down the side of the disabled lift.


You know how I was saying I was teaching last night? You know how I have (repeatedly) in the past had trouble with my (birth) balls? Well this incident really did take the biscuit (or should I say the ball) and surpassed all previous ball-centered insanity.

Ok here is my ball:

Here is what the disabled lift looks like (well roughly - I haven't actually photographed it - that WOULD be insane):

I crammed myself and all of my equipment into the lift and then pressed the button to go 'up'. It's one of those ones where you have to hold the button down in order to keep moving.

As we started to rise I heard a very strange creak and then a noise not unlike rubber being sucked into a mechanism...... HOLY F*CK - rubber WAS being sucked into the mechanism!!

My ball was squashed up against the wall of the building and as the lift rose it was being dragged down, down, down into the workings of the lift.

About the same time as my brain clocked what was happening, the lift stopped of its own volition.

The lift was stuck.

The ball was stuck.

I was stuck.

OK - logic was telling me to get the lift to go down slightly thus freeing the part of my ball that was being sucked so I pushed the 'down' button.

Nothing happened.

The lower part of the (glass) lift was still visible in the foyer and this clearly piqued the curiosity of the receptionist.

She came over and started a conversation with my feet.

'Are you Ok up there?'.

(Yeah - I'm having a flamin' BALL love - boom boom....).

'Erm the lift is stuck'.

'Stuck! Oh crikey! That's never happened before!'.

'No, no, it's my big ball, it's got sucked down the side of the lift'.

'You what?!'.

Now at this point I just started to laugh.

It was like I was looking down on myself and saying 'you really have become a parody of your own blog haven't you'. The sheer absurdness of the situation pushed me over into hysteria and I just couldn't stop laughing.

Around this time circa 70 German school children arrived in the foyer looking for dinner.

Everyone assembled and stared at my feet.

Everyone offered helpful advice (much of which was in German - German is not my strong point. I did get a GCSE in it but I must confess now to some minor cheating).

I'm sure many a postcard will be sent back to Deutscheland 'Ya, the hostel is lovely! The food is great! The weather is crazy! Mind you so is the lady living in the disabled lift with a large rubber ball, photographs of semi-naked women and a box of cakes.... These English! CRAZY!'.

I just laughed. I mean if you are going to spend part of your evening trapped in a disabled lift with a large ball you may as well laugh.

Eventually with some deft finger work (i.e. making the lift judder 'up/down/up/down/up/down - DOWN) I managed to pull my ball clear of the seam down which it had sunk and reach my destination.

Which is lucky really as I guess the next stop would have been the Fire Brigade? Now THAT I would have demanded photos of.....

Surely that has to be the last of it!?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hazards of the Job

Sorry for the lack of action this week - I have resumed getting my balls out on a Thursday evening (i.e. teaching people about birth and babies and becoming a parent - well at least its obvious from the start that I'm not expecting them to aim for perfection....) and the vast amounts of prep combined with two increasingly out of control children (is there something in the air at the moment! DEAR GOD.....I hope it is end of term hysteria or something else which fades soon because at this rate I'm going to lose my voice. And my sanity. Again.) have left me little opportunity to sit at the computer and procrastinate.

Take this morning for example - I have printing which needs doing for tonight and I can not do it at home because I DON'T HAVE A BLOODY PRINTER THAT WORKS.

We have several printers, SEVERAL, but none of them will actually print so much as a full stop. They are, of course, still in the house. This is a recognised hazard of living with a man who works in IT - if you do not keep a firm rein on them your house will rapidly start to resemble a branch of PCWorld - or more accurately a branch of PCWorld in a parallel universe where obsolete computer equipment crawls off to die.

Sometimes my OH does kindly print things off for me while he's at work but a short time ago I sent him some leaflets for printing which instructed women on how to massage their nether-regions in preparation for the birth (if they wanted to, I could never be arsed). The front page gives and intro on the topic and the rationale behind it.

The second page?

Erm, the second page contains a very clear diagram of EXACTLY which part of the lady's bits she should be massaging and just in case she's still not sure it's all clearly labelled - you know stuff like 'CLITORIS' AND 'VAGINAL OPENING'.

Only I had forgotten this.

And I got him to print out 8 copies on a communal printer in a male dominated office in a large corporate company........

Lets just say we are both still lucky he's employed.

So this morning I was reluctant to go back down that tortuous route so I took command of my own printing and took it to Staples. Much better.

Only it's not.

First you have to contend with Staple's staff (sorry if you or your loved ones work in Staples but seriously - are they on some kind of employee incentive scheme whereby you get paid more the ruder and more unhelpful you are to your customers?? You have to beg for their attention and/or help while they have conversations across the top of your head about who does the better sandwich - Subway or Greggs and just what they like to have in it. I DON'T GIVE A SH*T ABOUT YOUR SAUSAGE TORPEDO 'VS' YOUR CHICKEN MELT - JUST PRINT MY BLOODY WORK OUT - NOW!).

Then, to print stuff out in colour you have to accompany the employee to the computer screen and pick out what you want printing.....they then print it out and examine it carefully to make sure it looks good and then they bring it over. So, all in all, they look at what you are printing A LOT.

The first item the young guy brought up was part of a teaching aid to cover birth hormones and consisted of a large star with the immortal words:


OH. DEAR. GAWD (it didn't say that bit - that's what I thought as the neon star and bold black writing filled the screen).

To be fair he didn't flinch but he did keep glancing at me oddly when he thought I wasn't looking.

Then there were my A3 posters to laminate. A3 posters of newborn babies. Lovely! Nothing to worry about there, surely?

Well no - they just label the usual things you see on newborn babies which can appear slightly alarming to the uninitiated.



By the time the guy had got to the pic which shows a woman with rather abundant pubic hair spread across his screen I'd told him I'd pick them up later and was just going to look round 'Pets at Home' next door.

But do you know the really odd thing? When I went to pay he whispered that he'd not charged me the £3 fee for 'accessing my files' and winked.

God knows what he thinks I do for a living but I'm loathe to see him again.

Now do I have any volunteers to print my next batch?

p.s. Note to self: ensure all teaching aids well hidden when potential purchashers view the house. We don't want a repeat of the other day.....

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Legend of Giant Guinea

Elder siblings can be pretty damn mean.

I should know. I am one.

I love my brother to bits but when we were growing up I thought he was a pain in the butt and, as a consequence of this, some of my behavior towards him was somewhat less than charitable.

Like the time I took him for a walk and convinced him that dog poo was magic and thus he had to stand in every single pile we came across. When we returned home he got the rollicking of his life and my poor mother spent hours in the garden with a stick and a hose trying to get it all off.

My two actually get on very well (for now) but even then I see flashes of my former self in the older one. Just the other day he banished his younger brother from an entire room of the house claiming that he was playing a game set 'in the olden days and you aren't allowed anywhere near it because you didn't exist then'. Fair comment but it seemed somewhat cruel (although I am tempted to adapt this game for my own purposes and regularly banish them from the lounge where I could put my feet up, drink wine and watch trashy TV claiming that I was playing a game from 'olden days' and they didn't exist in that either).

Anyway all of this has made me reflect more and more on the cruelty I inflicted upon my younger brother.

Like the way we used to make him dress up in bikinis with tennis balls for boobs, cover him in red lipstick and talcum powder and then 'put on a show' for the assembled adults.

Or the time I nearly took his eye out with the rod from a Star Wars Y-Wing Fighter Jet. If you look at the picture below you can see the rods towards the rear of the vehicle:

These were detachable and when, one fateful day, I locked him out of my bedroom and he kept peering through the crack desperate for some company I used one of the aforementioned rods to 'discourage' him i.e. I rammed it through the key hole directly into his eye..... My mother really did lose it at this point and I have a clear memory of being shaken quite violently while she sobbed 'you've nearly blinded my baby'.

The thing is, up until having child number 2, I still thought I was in the right. He WAS a pain and he SHOULDN'T have been anywhere near 'my' bedroom and 'my' things and semi-blinding him (albeit temporarily) was an appropriate level of response.

Now I have a 'baby' of my own? Hmm well let's just say my opinion has shifted.

This brings me around to The Legend of Giant Guinea, perhaps the most long lasting (and who knows most psychologically damaging? ) of my big sister evilness.

I was obsessed by two things. Guinea Pigs and Ponies (actually I was also obsessed by donkeys, keeping chickens and the building and management of ponds but we'll leave those out for now as it gets pretty complex). So hey, why not combine the two and create 'Giant Guinea? A Shetland pony sized Guinea Pig who you could ride, keep in a stable and take show jumping! Of course the problem was that Shetland pony sized guinea pigs aren't actually available on the common market so I was without one. However, I did have a younger brother. A younger brother who, when forced to crawl around on all fours and adorn a pretend saddle, made a very good substitute.

I made him a stable in the corner of the hallway and used to barricade him in there until I deemed it time for him to be watered, fed or, indeed, taken show jumping. I think I had a bamboo cane (or perhaps it was a dressing gown cord?) which I used to use to cajole him over the fences. If he knocked one down he got a good thwack.

I must confess he was not a willing candidate for the role of Giant Guinea but a combination of brides, threats and brute force meant that many many happy hours (well happy for me) were spent with Giant Guinea.

So brother - I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for the dog poo and the bikinis with the tennis balls and the lipstick and the Y Wing Fighter Jet in your eye. But most of all I'm sorry for Giant Guinea (although I think we need to ask where mother was during all of this? Perhaps in the lounge pretending it was the 'olden days' and we didn't exist??). I know you are still haunted by the memory and the very words 'Giant Guinea' bring you out in a cold sweat and the last thing you probaby wanted was for the legend to be made public but, hey, if you didn't laugh you'd cry. Right?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Inappropriate Conversation for a Public Place No. 199

Place: Tesco's toilets.

Players: The Mummy (my son went through a phase of calling me THE Mummy as if I regularly rose up out of a dusty sarcophagus, draped in bandages and moaning. Clearly he has pin sharp recollection of the time after my second son was born.....), My Eldest Son and The Toddler (I have now officially promoted him from the position of The Baby).

The Scene: The Mummy is on The Toilet.


'MUMMY' (my eldest son can not talk normally - he merely BOOMS. People regularly stop me to inform me how deep his voice is - as if I somehow hadn't noticed).

'Yes darling'.

'What is that hair?'.

'What hair?' (Oh f**k. I know full well what hair he is talking about, I'm just playing for time here).

'THAT hair?'.

'What all this hair on my head?' (here's hoping!).

'No mummy. That hair all on your No Willy' (in his world boys and men have willies. Girl and ladies quite simply have 'no willies').

'Ohhh that! Well that's just something ladies have when they grow up.'


'It shows they are ready to have babies' (WHAT!? This is bad. Nearly as bad as my explanation of Satchmo's death)

'Are you going to have a baby today then?'.

'Erm. NO. It happened before I had them. After you have them it just stays'.

'But why?'.

'It's just the natural way' (this could be my new stock answer for many things from now on).

'So it's just for ladies?'.

'No men have it too'

'But Daddy hasn't got any'.

'Ohhh I'm sure he has' (I feel it highly unlikely that my OH has gone down the Brazilian waxing route. Although, then again, I can't be sure....).

'No Mummy. DADDY HAS NO HAIR ON HIS WILLY' (boomed loud enough to ensure that not just everybody in the toilets can here this 'fact' but also everyone browsing the magazines and half of the fruit and veg aisle).

Never has a discussion about the purpose of the Sanitary Waste bins seemed like such a preferable alternative.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Car Bootily Challenged

Last week I ran out of money (again).

It always makes me laugh when this happens (well when I say 'laugh' I mean in very pissed off kind of way - I don't burst out in hysterical peals of joy gushing 'oh how wonderful! We'll have to live on bread and that half a jar of capers at the back of the fridge for the rest of the week! HOW HILARIOUS!).

No I (sort of) laugh because when your card gets refused at the check out, the cashiers still seem to become mightily embarrassed about it on your behalf. It's like the last taboo. I mean they will scan your purchase of lubricant jelly and a large cucumber without even raising an eyebrow, but your card gets refused and they are blushing the colour of a beetroot.

They come over all 'I'm REALLY sorry, the machine just won't take that card! Silly old machine! It does happen all the time you know. Probably just the computers! I'm SO sorry - have you got another card?'.

I always want to shout 'NO HONESTLY IT'S FINE. Really. I just don't have any money to pay for this food with. I know you are clearly cringing on my behalf but honestly - you needn't worry. Compared to the rest of my life THIS IS NOTHING. I have had far dirtier laundry aired than the state of my current account. Have you read my blog?'.

Anyway I had no money and I needed some so on Sunday I did a car boot sale.

Oh deep joy.

That strangely British tradition of getting up at 5am to hump a load of old tat to a field somewhere so people can haggle with you over a 50p computer mouse.

Well I made £60 so it's lobsters in the kids' lunchboxes from here on in but my oh my can you do some interesting people watching at car boot sales. I could probably write a short novella on the subject but I shall (for all of our sakes) summarise the day as follows:

  • No. of men spotted who, if I was single, I would have contemplated a romantic interlude with: Nil (there was one brief moment of hope when I spied a guy who looked a bit like Slash of ex-Guns n Roses fame but on closer inspection he had brown front teeth and barely reached the height of my nipples - a deal breaker on two counts so he was out. Plus I have the feeling that the real life Slash doesn't hang out at car boot sales. Probably.).
  • No. of women with very ample bosoms wearing Lycra-strapless boob tube style tops which offered vastly insufficient support: circa 77 (most of whom seemed to lean over my boxes whilst threatening to unleash their 'puppies' at any moment).
  • No. of toddlers seen being shoe-horned back into buggies whilst screaming 'NOOOOOOO' and sobbing 'DAT ONE, DAT ONE' whilst pointing at the ice cream van/stall full of toys/fairground ride: 199 (and I was so grateful mine wasn't there to be one of them).
  • No. of cases of sunburn spotted so severe it appeared as if the person had been lying under the grill: too many to count.
  • No. of dirty old men who asked me if I'd used the toilet seat I was selling: 1 (and 1 was enough - and he bought it for a quid, crack and all, so I was fine with that. When I say 'crack' I mean there was a crack in the toilet seat. It didn't come with any other kind of crack thrown into the deal).
  • No. of sex books which fell out of the bag from the loft and I had to withdraw from the stall because I just could NOT stand there and watch old pervs leaf through them and then look up at me and then look down at the book again. Not for 50p anyway: 3 (I should add here I didn't even know we still had these sex books. They stem back to my days at Uni and a foray into obtaining books from book clubs under false names whilst living in temporary accommodation - I think is technically known as 'theft' - anyway when we graduated, I ended up with all the sex books. Bravo).
  • No. of times I plan to do it again before Christmas: zero. Next time I'm sending my other half and he can blog about it....

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Beast of the Utter Order - the continuation....

Ok so I left you (on the edge of your seats I'm sure...) with my son upstairs refusing to get dressed and me down here despairing on this Blog.

What happened next?

Did he appear on the staircase with a halo round his head and his uniform on saying 'ma ma, ma ma, I am frightfully pleased to announce that I am now correctly attired'?

Did he hell.

This is what happened next.

The door went and I opened to find Mr Squirrel standing there looking confused. (If you are unaware of Mr Squirrel then please see here: Background history of Mr Squirrel) Mr Squirrel always looks confused and he always mumbles and lo and behold he started mumbling about his bloody fence. The fence that it took him an entire summer to paint using a brush smaller than a toothbrush (oh how I wanted to just end his pain and leave him one of those Cuprinol spray gun things that sort of jet wash the paint onto the fence).

The conversation went something like this:

Mr S: 'oohhh you're in!'.

Me: 'Yup, I am!' (talk about stating the obvious. It was tempting to say 'NOOOO this is actually an apparition brought on by inhaling too much Cuprinol but he would probably have mistaken my sarcasm for reality so I left it).

Mr S: 'It's about my fsss mmmmm shhhh' (sound of static utters forth from his lips).

Me: 'Your what?' (for a horrible moment I feared he'd discovered the internet and been googling in this direction....)

Mr S: 'Fence'.

Me: 'Oh right!' (thinking 'oh holy hell - what have the kids done to it and how much is it going to cost....).

Mr S: 'Erm yes, it was a cold winter and fsssss mmmm ssssswwww'.

Me: 'Yes very cold' (what the hell?).

Mr S: 'So if you see them could I have them back?'.

Me: 'Have what back?'.

Mr S: 'The bits of trellis that dropped off in the front and have fallen into your side of the garden'.

Me: 'Erm, yeah, sure, I'll have a look but I can't remember ever seeing them' (er those will be the two spindly bits of wood I found on top of the rabbit hutch about 2 months ago and wondering what the hell they were, threw into the garden waste bin).

Mr S: 'Yes it's very important I get them back you see, because as my eye follows the line of the fence along it really picks up on those little holes' (not to mention how long it would take him to repaint those little rods).

Me: 'Err right, yes'.

At that moment something appears on the staircase behind me:


We turn.

We look.

We see.

We see a small boy who has (at least) started to try and get dressed.

He's got about a half way there. The bit where you take all your clothes off but haven't started putting any on.

With his willy wafting in the breeze he smiled and turning to his younger brother said:

'Don't worry, it's just Mr Squirrel'.

I flashed Mr Squirrel my best smile, told him I would search for his missing sticks 'ever so hard' and closing the door reflected on the fact that I have never been so happy we are moving.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Beast of the Utter Order

How do you get a 4 year old boy to get dressed? Without resorting to fish-wife-stylee hollering which sends the neighbours running for cover and muttering darkly about 'them people next door'. Girls just seem to 'do it'. Boys seem to turn avoiding it into a kind of sport.

Seriously - HOW!?

Today I am not up for the battle - his uniform is laid out on his bed (or it was - it's probably orbiting round the moon by now) and I've said 'just put the clothes on. JUST GET DRESSED. OK? You're not coming down until you are'.

That was at 8 am.

It is now past 10 o'clock.

Luckily he doesn't go to nursery until the afternoons but what will happen when he starts reception I don't know. I think I'll need a whip.

He called me up a while ago and I thought 'yeeee ha - he's dressed!' but no. He merely wanted to inform me that he'd found a special coin featuring R2D2.

Here is R2D2:

And here is the coin:

Erm, yup, separated at birth I should say.

I gave him the 'here are your clothes GET DRESSED OR ELSE' lecture and retreated back downstairs.

5 minutes later there was an earsplitting scream emitting from the toddler.

I raced up there to find the young infant tightly wrapped in a double duvet and being 'posted' underneath the bed.

'WHAT are you doing to him??' I screeched (so much for 'no shouting today').

'Packaging him up so we can post him to another family mummy because I tell you what, he is an utter beast at times'.

Utter beast?

Utter beast?

I'll give you utter beast.

I am going back up there now and I'm not coming down until he's dressed.

To mis-quote Scott of the Antarctic 'I am going upstairs, and I may be some time.....'

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A load of Balls

Today's discovery is that if you google 'post your balls' (why would anyone Google that?) the number one website that Google brings up is this blog.

Oh dear.

Of all the things I have dreamed of being (slightly) famous for - my balls are not one of them.

Quite apt though as I will be getting my balls out next Thursday for my next course.

A whole new crowd of expectant parents will be exposed to my deranged pumping and ball chaos.

Are they ready? Are you ready? Am I ready?

More important where are my balls? They have all been deflated and it's been a while since I've used them.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

What do they DO all day?

My eldest son is at 'school' nursery - this is the bit they do before they go into the first year of 'proper' school. They go there for 2.5 hours a day and seem to have a lot of fun but doing what I really don't know.

I am (slightly) obsessed with what they get up to. I LOVED the primary part of my education and it makes me quite excited to even go into a primary school every day so I'm pretty keen to know what they've been doing (as secretly I'd love to do it all again).

Maybe I was lucky but I just loved all that stuff - the 'nature table' and doing crazy paintings and nativity plays and weird trips to draw tadpoles and kiss chase and the day the house next door to the school caught light and we were invaded by fireman..... So I REALLY want to know what he's been doing all day.

Only I forget.

I'm a woman.

He is a man (well boy).

You know how it is. A bloke can spend 4 hours deep in conversation with his mates and you say 'how are they? what's the goss?' and he says 'yeah, Ok'.

You're say 'but what did you talk about?'.

They are like 'erm, you know, this and that......'.

Well it's the same with my son and nursery.

Me: 'Did you have a good day?'..

Him: 'Yes'.

Me: 'What did you do!?'.

Him: 'Just nothing'.

Me: 'Don't be daft - you did loads! Did you go outside?'.

Him: 'I can't remember'.

Me: 'What story did you have?'.

Him: 'I just can't remember'.

And so it goes on. And today I get a letter announcing that he will soon progress to 'proper' school and will be spending days over in the Reception class and I realise that nursery days will be over, forever, and I still won't really know what on earth he's been doing in there for the last year. And that makes me a (little) bit sad. To coin a very overused, yet true, phrase 'it goes so fast'.

Sometimes, if I ask very specific questions, I get some kind of an answer but then I (often) find myself wondering what on earth I'm having an insight into.

3 examples in the last week:.

Me: 'Did you play in the vets' today?' (they have a lovely pretend vets set up in the corner of the class room complete with things like a door intercom and pretend drugs - THE THRILL! I would have loved this. In fact aged about 7 I did actually set up a pretend vets' in my bedroom wardrobe. I remember collecting empty Lilets tampon packets to use as medicine boxes and being utterly confused by mum not embracing this as a jolly marvelous idea).

Him: 'Yes'.

Me: (secretly overjoyed I've got an actual response from him) 'What did you do in there?'.

Him: 'I threw all the animals out the window.

Me: 'Oh.

Me: 'It says in your home journal that it's Friendship Week and you need to get me to write a message to a special friend. Who would you like me to write a message to?.

Him: 'Casey'.

Me: 'Casey. Lovely. Do you play with Casey a lot?'.

Him: 'No. She's not kind. She hits all the other children. Always'.

Me: 'Oh'.

Him: 'My friend is Sophia'.

Me: 'OK lovely. What would you like to write to Sophia?'.

Him: 'I really like her hair'.

Me: 'That is LOVELY'.

Him: 'Yes I love the way she has hair all on her back.....'.

Me: 'Oh. Is there anything else you can tell me about her?.......'.

Him: 'Yes, she sits very still when I tell her all about how diesel trains work'.

Me: 'I bet she does' (she's probably asleep).

Me: 'Wow! You've got a sticker! What is it for?'.

Him: 'Letters and sounds'.

Me: 'That sounds good! What did you do?'.

Him: 'My teacher jumped over a river and then we all jumped over the rive and then the teacher held me up so high that I made a hole in the roof and boomed through it and had to spend the rest of the day on the roof'.

Me: 'Is that true or a bit of a fib?'.

Him: 'Mummy? Why are you crying?'

Me: 'I'm not. I'm laughing' (because if I didn't, I would cry).

Monday, 8 June 2009

A Nice Little Family Home with a Bum Hole on the Table

Sorry for the title - but let it be a warning as to what this post may contain (I have to warn you now - ever since that guy complained about me mentioning wee wee).

ANYWAY back to the subject matter.

My house is (funnily enough) still for sale and this means that I am still polishing my doilies, begging the children to stop chipping the paintwork and welcoming 'potential buyers' (a.k.a freaks from the swamps of hell) into my home.

So far we have seen:

1. The trio (I'm not sure of the relationship between the one woman and two men involved. I don't WANT to know the relationship) of 'exceptionally large people with home-done tattoos' (they looked they'd been drawing on each other with biros) one of whom got stuck in my stair gate.

I'm not sure of the etiquette one should apply when a 30 stone woman who looks like she eats raw kittens for breakfast gets jammed in one's staircase but saying 'don't worry, I'm taking that bit with me' clearly didn't cut the mustard as she (and her two male 'friends') declared the house too small. Surprised? Err, no. I wasn't.

2. The duo of guys who looked like Snoop Dogg and Ice- T who turned up an hour before the estate agent and when I opened the door just walked straight in and started opening my cupboard doors. I was still trying to work out if I was being viewed or robbed when one of them asked to see my consumer panel. I had no idea what my consumer panel was (it's the electrical bits under the stairs in case you are as ignorant as I am) but he found it anyway. And he looked in my loft and banged all my walls and grilled me on how many bits of the house I would leave behind before saying he would make an offer and then disappearing into the sunset to somewhere where nobody can contact him.

3. The incredibly dozy couple who complained the house had no off-street parking after they had parked on the driveway.......

Need I go on?

Anyway if the viewers have been horrifying me, today I turned the tables and horrified them.

It happened like this:

I had a friend and her son round this morning. So that is 3 small boys in 1 small space which equals - chaos.

Every bit of the floor was covered in cars and railway paraphernalia and books and (even better) they'd taken all my sofa cushions off to make (I quote) 'a waterfall' which they could climb up and fall down the other side of.

We welcomed this chaos - they were happy and entertained and we could talk and drink a cup of hot tea in (relative) peace.

During this chaos the postman arrived and delivered 2 magazines.

One was a catalogue for ladies with a 'larger than average bosom'.

One was a midwifery journal featuring some (even for my hardened tastes) rather graphic birth photographs. The most glorious of which was a lady on all fours pushing a baby's head out.

Other than a baby's rather squished head coming out of a rather small hole the photograph also showed the phenomenon of 'anal gaping' i.e. as the baby's head crowns the lady's bum hole opens right up. As my friend said 'my word - it's ever so big!'.

All a bit much first thing in the morning.

ANYWAY the time came for us to leave and take my eldest child to school nursery in time for lunch and off we went leaving behind the chaos and the unflushed toilet (nobody can flush my toilet, it's like the Rubik's cube of toilet puzzles) and the big bosomed busty birds in their lacy panties and the big bellied bird with the baby hanging out of her fandango and a big poo hole on full display..........

And when I came back what did I find?

A message on the answermachine from the estate agent saying he had a couple who were very eager to view our house and as I wasn't in and he had keys he would just let himself in and show they round.......


I can imagine it now:

'And here we have the living room. Ah! Let me just help you over the indoor 'waterfall' feature. Oh sorry - I shouldn't have done that. There is nowhere for you to actually stand in the living room as the entire carpet is covered by a model railway - a somewhat interesting feature! Never mind - lets move through to the kitchen diner....... As you can see there is room for a good sized table for you to dine or read at...... OH MY WORD....I think it's best we go upstairs now.....'.

I phoned the estate agent, beyond mortified with shame.

He told me not to worry - the couple he showed round were childless but expecting twins. He told them the house represented what was about to happen to their lives.....

Selling a dream? More like selling a nightmare.

He's phoning them tomorrow for feedback.


They're probably in counselling.

And best of all? Apparently they live in a flat about 200 yards from the my house so forever more (or until somebody bloody well buys this place) they will walk past me in the street muttering 'my god, there's that woman with the filthy house and the sick pictures of bum holes on her kitchen table'.

Sigh. My reputation just grows and grows.....

Friday, 5 June 2009

A Break in the Country

Well I have been summonsed to my parents' house for the weekend (having been told repeatedly by my father that I was NOT needed and having made various other arrangements - not that I'm annoyed or anything) so we are heading off later for a break in the depths of the deepest darkest countryside.

For those of you who've been around for a while this would be the home with the gay cockerels, rats on my fathers nut's (bird nuts that is) and where my brother almost got strangled for (quote) 'putting a log on the fire like some kind of a dick'. For those of you not familiar with my childhood home - let's just say it's difficult to put it into words. Hang around a while and I'm sure you'll get the vibe.

Anyway I see it's raining hard thus ensuring that I'm trapped in the midst of the insanity with no way out.

I've already had my father on the phone lecturing me on leaving times, the M25, the concept of 'rush hour', a fritatta (a frit what?), a large ham, departure times, Sunday lunch, the weather and how my mother now has a 'new screensaver'.

Sh1t. Does that mean my mother is cruising the internet? This could get tricky, although I'm sure I'm safe unless she decides to Google 'how to make an Iggle Piggle Cake' or 'squat and pee' which is the path that dozens of unfortunates follow in order to get here.

At least my eldest son is excited.

He spent the entire morning playing 'being at Grandma's house' which (apparently) involves shutting the baby in a darkened room with 'no lights on at all' and repeatedly telling him (when he tried to break out) 'NO NO NO. A useful baby always stays in their shed until they are needed'.


I can assure you we don't keep the baby in a dark shed when we are down there (although the thought has crossed my mind) so perhaps he's implying that my parents' house is like a shed?

Anyway, I have no idea what this game has done for my youngest child's mental development or sense of self but it was a marvelously calm and mess free game compared to their normal high jinks (see yesterdays post for further information on this rather trying topic) so I shall be actively encouraging it from now on.

See you on Monday (if I survive the frittata).

Thursday, 4 June 2009

To those with more than 2, we salute you

Seriously - I only have 2 (pre-school age kids that is) and I am living in the middle of a chaos (can you tell this week has been particularly chaotic?). Those of you with 3, 4 of more - how do you get through the day without locking yourself in the shed or getting on the nearest bus (alone) and riding it to the depot where you can sit, undisturbed, staring at the seat covers until the men in white coats come and take you away somewhere nice and peaceful?

Two very lively boys under 5 are not twice the work of one. They are something like 19 times the work.

It goes one of two ways.

Either they feed off each other until they resemble a ball of energy (a bit like the end of Ghostbusters) which just builds and builds as they cannon round the house roaring with laughter breaking things as they go OR while I am dealing with one of them, the other one takes advantage and wreaks havoc so you are never actually 'on top' of the situation.

Take today for example.

They create the 'ball of energy' and go nuts with a huge bucket full of toy cars. What starts out as a race ends up as some kind of monster-truck-death-defying-frenzy with cars flying through the air and the noise of splintering wood.

My cries of 'stop throwing! if you throw ONE more car it GOES IN THE BIN! STOP THROWING' escalate to glass shattering volume and finally, I manage to stop them throwing (and deafen the neighbours in the process).

Then I have to start 'the talk' with the eldest one.

Me: 'You DON'T throw cars, do you understand?' NO THROWING. HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU!'.

Him: 'But but mummeeeeee, we weren't throwing them, they were just crashing'.

Me: 'They were crashing in the air. Someone could get hurt and they might get broken. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?'.

Him: 'Yes'.

Me: 'Ok, now you need to help me pick them up'.

Him: 'BUT MUMMY!'.

Me: 'But mummy WHAT!?'.

Him: 'Look what the baby's got!'.

I turn round and see that the baby (who is in fact a toddler) has somehow got the food processor out of the kitchen cupboard, dragged it across the kitchen and is merrily fiddling with the electric sockets trying to plug it in and switch it on. As far as 'fiddling with things you shouldn't' goes - this is pretty impressive. And dangerous.

Dear god. I have no idea what he thought he was going to do? Mince up the Lego and make pretend meat balls? Mince up his brother so he could play with the railway without getting bashed? Mince up himself so he could get a ride in one of his beloved 'nee naws'?

So I have to retrieve the food processor, deal with the fall out (i.e. a huge amount of ear bleeding screaming) and then go back to the eldest and deal with the subject of the thrown cars.

Me: 'Right, we need to pick them up'.

Him: 'But mummeeeee I can't - I'm worn out'.

Me: 'Don't give me that!'.

Him: 'My arms don't work properly'.

Me: 'Pick them up or you will never watch freight trains on YouTube again' (he has a very odd taste in entertainment this child).

Him: 'I will pick up ONE CAR'.

Me: 'You will not! You will pick them all up with me or I will put them in the bin'.

Him: 'I will pick up 5'.

Me: 'DO YOU KNOW HOW TIRED I AM? Do you want me to have another nervous breakdown and go back and live in the Nut Unit? Because it's quieter in there. And saner. And nobody throws cars around or wees on the floor (Ok, I didn't say this last bit, but I damn well thought it').

A long debate later he picks up the cars.

I go to the loo.


The baby has merrily picked up the bucket of cars and tipped the whole lot back out again.

And so it goes on.

And on.

And on.

And on.

And this is what mothers and fathers or who ever else looks after small irrational beings do.

Day after day after day.

If you are reading this and nodding with a sense of familiarity then you deserve a bloody medal. Or at least a stiff gin.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

I'm feeling supersonic, give me gin and tonic

It's only just gone mid-day but I have already:

- had to perform 'the human caterpillar' across the floor in Tesco (yes I was back in the supermarket - already) in order to slide (or, in fact, ingloriously wedge most of my body) underneath the food shelves to retrieve my bracelet which the pterodactyl toddler threw in a fit of rage (at being denied a packet of chocolate pancakes bigger than his head). He then roared in delight as the bracelet rolled and rolled and rolled underneath the World Foods shelves. I won't tell you what else was under those shelves - you might be eating - but my bracelet was right at the very, very furthest point and the gap is very small and parts of me are reasonably large and it wasn't a very good fit. Or a graceful one. Anyway I'm sure all the other shoppers enjoyed seeing the lower half of my torso sticking out from beneath the poppadoms and sushi making kits whilst I emitted a strange grunting noise and thrust backwards and forwards yearning for that extra inch. Nobody checked to see if I was Ok (funny that) but somebody did run into me with their trolley. I don't know who it was - by the time I'd extracted myself they'd gone. A hit and run indeed. Or perhaps they thought they were doing society a favour.

- had a phone call from my mother to thank me for the parcel I sent which had arrived, despite me putting half of my own address and own postcode on it. That will be the address of the house I sent the parcel from. Not the one it was going too. Oh. She asked me if I'd been having a 'funny moment'. I had to break it to her that it looked likely that the 'funny moment' was in fact a permanent state of affairs and it was downhill from here to the menopause upon which I'd probably turn into the Cracken and implode (or something). She received this news by declaring she had to go and put a quiche in the Aga and hung up.

- asked the postman if he'd put his package in my bush and if so could he take it out again because I was in fact, in (the fact that he had really doesn't make it any better).

Is it too early for a stiff gin?