Sunday, 3 June 2012

Choice Comments of the Week

Little Miss

'I'm doing it now mummy, so don't distract me...
...and that means no talking.'

'Aw. I thought we were going to have a fun tea tonight.'

'That doesn't look like pie, Mummy.'

The Duke

'And if I play with it it, grows like a sunflower, look!' (Do I need to explain? If you don't get it, I'll give you a clue, he's a BOY.)

[Having got dressed and chosen his own shirt] 'I look cute in this'

'You're not very good at this, are you.' to Auntie Bells, who STILL struggles with the car seat buckle.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Top 5 things I love about kids

Thanks to Kate Takes 5 for this one:

1. Sense of time. Or rather, lack thereof. The fact that time is measured in meals: when we get there, will it be lunch? No. Is it tea time? No. Oh, is it lunch, then? No. Oh. Is it breakfast?

2. The ability to display every emotion they're feeling. Adults don't get the chance to throw down tools, hurl themselves onto the floor and wail because We Didn't Get What We Wanted.

3. The fact that everything, EVERYTHING, can be fixed with ice cream.

4. They're actually incredible logical. Why would you choose to eat the sandwich, when you've got a strawberry yoghurt on the table?

5. The way they speak, the way they tumble over words and rearrange them as they see fit. They way they can't pronounce stuff: "You got-for my bag, ack-cha-yee" (you forgot my bag, actually).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Love Letters

I can remember my first love letter. It was circa 1987 and the boy in question pressed it into my hand before fleeing on his blue bicycle. Breathless, I read it around 150 times and kept it, treasured, long after we broke up.

It pales into insignificance, however, with this love letter

And just LOOK at the amount of kisses I got.

Twenty-six kisses. 26!

I'm one lucky gal.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Is it any wonder having kids ages you ten years?

I was cooking dinner. A pan on the stove, filled with pasta, was boiling away.

Little Miss hollered from the bathroom, needing help with, you know.

I'm upstairs in the bathroom when the Duke came up saying, 'Mummy, I put the spoon in!'

'You put the spoon in?' What spoon?

'Yes! he said, pleased as punch.

'In where?'

'In tea!'

'In tea?'


I wandered down the stairs wondering what on earth the little man was on about... As I turn the corner into the kitchen I see it: his small red chair on the floor next to the stove, the cutlery drawer open, and a wooden spoon in the boiling pot of pasta.

At that moment 17 grey hairs poked their way out of my scalp, several wrinkles were born on my forehead, and my heart, my poor heart, skipped a  thousand beats.

Duke got a stern telling off, of course.

But it was heartbreaking; his little face fell a mile and he burst into tears – he thought he had been helping me.

Life lessons, I guess, life lessons...

Monday, 19 March 2012

5 Reasons I know I'm a Mother

Thanks to Kate Takes 5 for the inspiration for this one!

5 Reasons I know I'm a Mother

1. I've got tomato sauce on my new white top

2. Only one eyebrow is plucked, the other will probably have to wait a week

3. I have just received a very snotty kiss

4. I actually like cold coffee (as in coffee-gone-cold not frappuccino)

5. Sorry, what were you saying?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Why I love Toddlers, Part 2

Since bemoaning the end of the toddler years in my house, starting here, I've been reminiscing about some other things I shall miss... 

1. There is nobody, repeat nobody, else in my life, who, on a roughly half-hourly basis, runs into the kitchen, throws themselves into my arms and says "I yuv you" with complete sincerity.

2. The Duke points to the sky every time he sees a plane, and EVERY time, without fail, he yells, "WOCKET! Look, Mummy, a WOCKET!"

3. My much older, 4 year old, girl doesn't kiss and cuddle me anymore. If I ask (and I have to ask or I don't get) she pauses for a moment. Weighing up the probability, I'd hazard a guess, as to the likelihood of any cuddle being rewarded by something tasting of, covered in, or containing, chocolate. The toddler, on the other hand, regularly says "I want you mummy, Stay mummy, I want a snuggle mummy." Music to my ears.

4. You get to inhale the wonderful smell that is Playdoh – and be instantly transported back twenty thirty years. You  get to play Playdoh hairdressers again, heck, you get to play with Playmobil again. You know, strictly in the name of childhood-learning-through-play of course.

5. They're certifiably insane.

Exhibit A:
Cue bashing head on wall, door, sofa...

5. Sleep. They can sleep anywhere. Rolled up like an Egyptian mummy in their sheets; splayed horizontally across the bed; face down, bum up in the air... They can fall out of bed...and carry on sleeping.
My kingdom to be able to sleep with such wild abandon.

6. My highlight of the morning is the two slurps of coffee I get while it's still hot. His highlight of the morning is putting a rice crispie up his nose.

7. Their diction. They get words wrong, they can't pronounce stuff, specifically, in his case, every 'l' is a 'y'
Akcha-yee (Actually)
Nearyee (Nearly)
and my personal favourite,
mummy you "got-for" your drink (forgot)

Sigh, they grow up so fast... 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Legs Eleven

A meme! I didn't even know what one was, I had to look it up.  The lovely Mummy Central tagged me, so not one to pass up a challenge, here goes, without further ado..

11 Things you didn’t know about me

The rules are as follows:
  • You must post these rules
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  • Answer 11 questions the ‘tagger’ listed for you
  • Create 11 new questions, and tag 11 people to answer them
  • Let each blogger know you’ve tagged them

1. I speak 11 languages.

2. Actually I'm kidding, it's only one (other than English)
3. But I'd really like to speak 11 languages, imagine the possibilities...
4. I've lived in three different countries and spent a significant life-changing amount of time in two others
5. I had to share a tent with a man I didn't know very well once...

6. ...and I married him three years later
7. Talking of three, I'm a triplet
8. And we all look the same.
9. Well, actually since I'm the only one with kids I look about ten years older than they do.

10. I creep into my children's rooms at night and whisper I love them in the hope that it works as subliminal messaging.
11. Since I had children I blub at the slightest things, I can't even watch OBEM.

Mummy Central's Questions were:

1. If you could swap lives with someone for a day, who would you choose?
David Cameron, no honestly, I would, just to see what it was like.
 2. What is the most important thing you’ve lost?
3. You win a million in the Lottery. What’s the first thing you’d do?
Figure out who to give some to and how much
4. How many Facebook friends do you actually speak to on a regular basis?
Um, five?
5. What was your biggest misconception about motherhood/fatherhood?
That it would be easy, pah!
 6. What is the most important thing blogging has taught you?
That there are lots of us out there sharing the same experiences
 7. Who’s your hero – and why?
My husband. Because he's unflinchingly principled and honest. And someone once said he looked like Tom Cruise.
8. If you could choose to be reincarnated as an animal, which one would you be?
An eagle
9. What’s your best moneysaving tip?
Do you really need to buy that. Really?
10. What advice would you give yourself, if you could go back 20 years in time?
In twenty years time most of this won't matter.
11. What’s your biggest pet hate?

Ok, so now it's YOUR turn

1. The very funny
2. The hugely entertaining
3. The feisty
4. The very busy
5. Right back at ya
6. The hugely readable
7. The excellent
8.  The got-a-book-out-you've-gotta-read-if-you've-got-a-toddler
9. yeah I know, it's not 11, but if I don't post now I never will...

With these questions:

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
2. How long before you shouted at your kid(s) today?
3. Are you a three-night wine ban household or a wine-all-week-keep-it-flowing?
4. To middle name or not to middle name?
5. What's your favourite kids' dessert?
6. To live in a houseboat on an estuary... what's your dream place to live?
7. Neighbours or Home and Away?

8. Wolverine or Captain Jack Sparrow?
9. When the sun comes out you...
10. If I wasn't a [insert career] I'd be...
11. Smile, and the world smiles with you... :-)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Little Miss is always Right

You can often find me saying, 'you don't need to argue with me about this,' to Little Miss.

Because she just has to be right. And, you know, she's FOUR, so she knows everything and there's absolutely nothing that can be usefully gained from listening to mummy. 

For example, in a recent drawing-on-hands incident:

'BUT' says a triumphant Little Miss, after spending a few seconds mulling over mummy explaining that ink is meant for paper, not for hands

'BUT,' she says, Hands On Hips, 'it's not INK on my hands mummy,'s PEN.'

So there.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The thing about Valentine's...

is that yes, it's kind of false romance.

Why should I do something romantic just because someone has decided I ought to? is what my husband says.  And yes, in straightened times the last thing we need to do is to go out and spend money on, well, let's face it, complete tat.


if we don't do Valentine's day, even if it's just a gesture: a card, a bunch of flowers, when would we do it otherwise? When would be buy something to convey the message I love you (still).

Exactly. We probably wouldn't. Because life gets in the way.

So I don't think I'm alone in saying that I was thrilled to be presented with a bunch of red roses (sparkling no less) and some pink fizzy stuff to mark the day.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Silent Partner

Imagine, if you will, that you run your own business.

Your business consists of child-rearing and house-keeping, and you have two clients, one aged four and one aged two, plus one house to keep.

You work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Your two clients give you random appraisals, which go either way, depending on which way the wind is blowing, but basically, go against you.

Imagine that your business has a silent partner.

He does not have much hand in the day-to-day running of your business, except on weekends. Your silent partner tends to be there in the first hour of the running of your business, and the last half an hour.

The overall success of the business, then, is basically entirely down to you.

Occasionally, your silent partner takes a week off from his other business, and joins you in the running of your business.

His appraisals are glowing. Every morning your two clients head straight to your silent partner to give him his first appraisal of the day – huge cuddles and lots of kisses. You are swiftly dispensed with, because you are only really of any use when it comes to finding breakfast. Your silent partner, meanwhile, gets snuggled to within an inch of his life.

You go on days out. This should be fun! But all day your two clients reject your hand-holding, your cuddles, your very presence.

Back home, you presence is only required for as long as it takes to make dinner, and you are only approached with the words "I'm hungry" and "Where's my dinner?"

It's time to face facts: you may as well not be there.

So you make a decision. The next time your silent partner takes a week off work, you're going to Barbados. By yourself. For the whole damned week.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

I Hate Lunch

It's back to school, and you know what that means, don't you.


More specifically, lunchboxes.

For me it's like a culinary version of the Kyrpton factor.

How do you keep them

a) well-fed with nutritious stuff while simultaneously b) making them actually fancy eating it and c) keeping it interesting enough so that you don't put them off sandwiches for life?

Because it's a long time they'll be eating from a lunchbox, quite possibly the next fifteen years or so.

I've even been known to interrogate Little Miss as to what the other kids have in their lunchboxes. (I can't ask the Sunshine Duke, because he just lies outrageously). Francesca had smoked salmon, so we tried that. Robbie had a sausage roll, so we tried that. But I feel like I am still treading water when it comes to sandwich making.

And then I came across these.

They have transformed my life. My lunchbox life, at any rate. 

You make a sandwich as normal, pop it into a bag and stick it in the toaster. The end result? A toasted sandwich! No messing with (and not to mention having to clean) a Breville, this little thing does it for you in a jiffy.

But the real reason I love it is this: you can stick whatever you want in the sandwich and the kids will eat it.

Little Miss, for example, doesn't like avocado. But give her a chicken and avocado toasted sandwich and she'll eat it up.

The Sunshine Duke doesn't like cheese, or ham, or... (I'll stop there, or I may be here all day) but give him a ham and cheese toasted sandwich, and at school pick up he'll say "Mummy, you gave me a cheese and ham sandwich and I ate it all up!"

Apparently, you can even cook fish fingers in it. Fish finger sandwiches, kids?

PS. this is not a sponsored post (be nice if it was though!) Actually I just came across them in the supermarket.

Favourite Comment of the Week (Possibly of All Time)

We were watching a fat bumble bee bump itself lazily into our patio door.

'Mummy,' said Little Miss. 'When the bee has made his honey how does he carry it to the shops?'


Friday, 27 January 2012

Little Girl's Wishes

We made daddy some fairy cakes for his birthday. We put candles in, and since there were some left over, we lit them all so that Little Miss could blow one out. Don't forget to make a wish, I said.

I already have! she said

What did you wish for?

I wish I was Tinkerbell when I grow up...

...I wish I had a puppy and a kitten when I'm bigger...

...and hamsters...

...And  a hundred babies.

A hundred babies!

Yes. All girls though.

Oh! Why?

Because boys just distract girls.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Why do I have to look pretty, Mummy?

I was attempting to pull a brush through the mass of tangles that is my daughter's hair, much to her consternation.

'There!' I said, 'Now you look pretty.'

She paused. Then looked at me and said:

'Why I do I need to look pretty, Mummy?'

And I didn't know what to answer, because she doesn't need to look pretty, does she? I don't even know why I said it. I brush her hair because she gets her food all over it and so that I can tie it up and she can actually see what she's doing. And then I read this:

The truth is the future – her future – terrifies me. When I was 11 or 12 I couldn't care less what I looked like... I was too busy going out on my BMX bike. But her generation are in the thick of it: a society obsessed with celebrities who are botoxed, boob-jobbed and fillered to within an inch of their lives. Everyone is judged first by appearance - ask questions later. And the peer pressure, oh the peer pressure. Have you noticed young girls these days (and boys, for that matter) they all look the same. Their hair is the same, their make-up is the same, they wear the same clothes. It makes me want to up sticks and move us all to a desert island until she's, like, thirty.

In the end, this is what I said:

'You don't have to look pretty, honey.' I said. 'But you can't do glueing and sticking and eating at school with your hair in your face, can you!'

'No!' she agreed.

And I resolved to think twice before using the word 'pretty'!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Book is Out!

Every parent wishes that their children came with their very own instruction manual. Alas, in the absence of such a thing I am very proud to have been able to contribute to Joanne Mallon's excellent book on the minefield that is toddler-rearing. You can get yours here!