Monday, 31 May 2010

Dog Days

First of all thank you, a really massive thank you, to everyone who has sent me their kind thoughts after the post about my dad. It really means a lot to me and I'm very touched by everyone's concern.

The thing about being a parent is that life goes on - in all its day to day mundaneness - whatever else is happening.

Planets could collide, the house get struck by lightening (please no - I haven't even unpacked yet), tsunamis could sweep across the lawn and Neptune could enter Uranus and STILL you'd have to change nappies. burn fish fingers and explain 450 times a night exactly why it's bedtime even though the sun is still up and the neighbour's kids are all on a trampoline.....

In some ways this can be hard, very hard. But in other ways it's bloody brilliant because you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and the chaos brought forth by two small boys can be a welcome distraction from 'the other stuff'.

I've mainly been having to live at my mum's which means I have also had to live with a 15 year old collie dog with Dementia (seriously). This dog is my Nemisis.

This dog (who no doubt will now spite me by dropping dead within the hour):

a) does poo which I (and only I) step in (in flip flops - I think I need counselling);

b) has to be chased round with a can of Febreze as it smells THAT BAD (and I have eons of experience with toddler poo, dead animals and other such fragrant gifts);

c) barks repeatedly at 4am until I have to get up and let it out. Then, having let it and the other dog out, it DISAPPEARS INTO THE NIGHT. I then have to find a pair of wellies (inevitably the wrong size and full of cobwebs) and a torch (inevitably with hardly any battery power and emitting the light of a glowworm) and go out into the pitch-black night and conduct a search. Halfway through this search it occurs to me that the dog may actually have been barking at something (rather than just the moon) and that thing could technically be an axe-man/masked raider/jumbo badger come to avenge his kind, so I contemplate going back to bed and leaving the dog to the jumbo badger. But then I get the guilts (and a realisation that the dog will only come back half an hour later and bark to get back in) so gird my loins and continue my search.

d) is convinced my children have come to steal away its kingdom so ANY kind of movement into or out of the house, or in fact into or out of the kitchen, has to be conducted in a manner akin to the SAS storming the Iranian embassy (only no-one gets shot - yet).

and finally

e) it has taught my toddler more words and phrases which I'd rather he wasn't pouring forth (although the toddler isn't really a toddler anymore).

Well the dog hasn't actually taught them more words. The dog has forced me to use more words and the toddler now enjoys spitting them forth with venom. Not swear words (yet) but phrases such as:

- 'hate'
- 'YUK! That stinks'
- 'oh FOR GOD'S SAKE' (said with immense ferocity)
- 'the collar, the collar, grab the collar'.
- 'that bloody dog is a pain'.

The toddler is enjoy using his new words and phrases.

He demonstrated some of them to my eldest son's entire school on Friday during Golden Assembly (fortunately the school is a very small one).

Golden Assembly happens every Friday and basically all the parents can come and watch and any children that have done nice/good/kind/clever things get to stand up and get clapped.

I went because I wanted a sliver of normality in my life (I must have forgotten that for me normality equals cringeworthy embarrassment and oddness of the highest order).

Anyway three little girls got up to demonstrate the 'non-fiction work' they had done about a topic of their choice.

Two of the little girls had written a couple of scruffy sentences (I presume the other kids had produced nothing but a squiggle).

However, one of the little girls (Amelia) had written two A4 sides and made an annotated poster all on the topic of Meerkats (who would have known Meerkats had such depth?) and apparently 'she read the entire non-fiction book herself. In its entirety'.

Amelia proudly held her poster aloft and everyone clapped (albeit in some cases with gritted teeth).

A hush fell.

The Headmaster cleared his throat.

The toddler shrieked:


Never have I wished so hard for some kind of shift of the tectonic plates allowing me to simply disappear.

Every child in the room (except perhaps for Amelia) fell to the floor in hysterics (particularly the younger ones) and several of the parents also seemed to be struggling to contain themselves.

The Headmaster had to get cross and rapidly move on to a slide show about Vikings (interestingly omitting any raping, pillaging or mentions of Valhalla).

I think perhaps I need to avoid Golden Assembly for a while. I wonder if you can spend Friday mornings in Valhalla?


  1. Priceless! I remember those assemblies when DS was young - your son probably only expressed what others were thinking and provided welcome relief.
    More sparkles and hugs for you and your family (even the stinky dog).
    Sue xx

  2. Oh, I feel your pain......but I enjoyed it...sorry.

    Thank god you're back, was desperate for a titter and/or bely laugh. Got both. Sorry about your Dad.