Sunday, 31 May 2009

A Fine Set of Railings

Oh My, how guilty did I just feel?

Do you remember my list of litte white lies that I tell Celeste?

She was eating her Sunny Bisks and raisins just now and I was sitting next to her, eyes half open, dunking a ginger nut into my tea, when:

"Argh, Mummy, there's sommink in my mouth."

"What is it? A bit of Weetabix?"

"No, it's sharp," she's looking really worried, but not crying, trying to get the offending object out of her mouth while not wasting any of the food she hasn't managed to swallow yet. "I fink it's my tooth. My tooth come out." Starting to panic.

Oops, one of my little white lies went: "If you don't brush your teeth, the dentist man will come and take them all away and then you won't be able to eat anything." Maybe I went too far with this one, how was I to know it would scar her? I was only trying to save her from a lifetime tooth decay.

I manage to convince her that her teeth are not falling out and we finally dig out the perpetrator; a wheat kernal.

"There it's not a tooth, it's just a bit of breakfast that's hard."

"OK," she shrugs, shovelling in another spoonful. "The Little Princess' tooth fall out." An animated kids show for which Julian Clary voices narrator (I'm a little bit in love with JC at the moment: I'm reading his autobiography. He's a funny man.) "And Peppa Pig's tooth fall out." It's true, one of her PP books dedicates its storyline to The Tooth Fairy, who swaps Peppa's milk tooth for some coinage.

See? No reason to feel guilty at all. I am a Super Mum!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Oh Good! Everyone's Clean

Following on from my last post, the one about how I hate ... I'll whisper it, there's a chance of the word becoming offensive if overused - the one about how I hate housework ... I think the first of these snaps may prove my point.

Celeste's PINK paddling pool has been parked outside the sinkside kitchen window, fully inflated, for ... let me count ... 9 months now. Well, that's my best calculation - I'm assuming we did have at least 1 sunny day in August 2008 but I could well be deluded: anyway, I've been looking at it every time I fill the kettle or, much, much less frequently, wash up for anywhere between 9 and 12 months, thinking "I really should clean that thing out. Or maybe I could just deflate it?" I've done neither. It got to February and I didn't see the point, only a couple more months to go and she'll be using it again.

Today was THAT day. It had been keeping the birds, squirrels, foxes (?) and, dare I say it, rats (we live under the quarry under the woods, we're not mingers, honest) in rain water for the best part of a year. So, if you look at it that way, I've been providing a service to wild animals.

Just before 3pm today, I went outside, armed with a bottle of Dettol and a hose pipe spewing out very hot water. I was Kim and Agie X4. I took the plastic bags full of plastic balls out of the plastic pool (children in the UK are single handedly responsible for the world oil crisis) and saw ....

Pond life! Snails, jumping things, swimming things, none of which I cared to identify: I just wanted rid. I annihilated most of them and was on too much of a mission to care less. Now, however, I am singing the lyrics to AATA's Ant Music "Don't tread on an ant, he's done nothing to you, there might come a day when he's treading on you. Don't tread on an ant, you'll end up black and blue, you cut off his head, legs come looking for you." Imagine if that really happened?! Best I don't think about it.

I got Celeste to help me and if you read my last post, you'll know why.
Disinfected, rinsed and refilled with much cooler water and it was, once again, a PINK paddling pool! Little Creatures OUT and Little Monster IN.

Job done for another year :)

Before

During

After

Friday, 29 May 2009

Houseproud

In one hand Little Helper Girl is holding the red plant sprayer that I bought from B&Q to dampen her rebellious curls and that I usually end up chasing her around our flat with. In the other is a baby wipe. She’s cleaning the oven glass for me, supposedly.

“Look, Mummy. I made it worse,” she grins. Oh, more smears, that’s alright then.

I wonder how long it will be before I can get some value out of my daughter, apart from the endless joy, unconditional love and all those other blahdiblah positives that I can’t think of right now. When will she be doing the chores that I would prefer not to have to do? How many years till she’s making me a cup of tea or cooking me a fry-up? When will she be cleaning out all that sand and poster paint that she leaves in the bath? How long before she’s hanging out the washing (her own will suffice - I don’t have clothes to speak of anymore)?

It’s not that I expect my two-nearly-three year old to be my own personal maid or anything but I’d rather not be subservient to her for ever either (so why’d I have kids then? Erm, precisely because I didn’t have any kids – you don’t know till you know, do you?).

Just like you, I don’t enjoy housework. I usually have a bit of a wipe round the day before my period, when I get a burst of unexplained energy, but for 27 days of the month, I’d rather not.

I bought my first ironing board EVER just earlier on this year – I am 40 years old. Is that a good example of how much I dislike many things domestic (go on, ask me again – so why’d I have kids then? Because I didn’t know then what I …)? But my pet hate (apart from pets, of course) is vacuuming or mopping or sweeping or anything to do with the floor really. I think that this is because floors are beneath me and anything to do with cleaning crap off them is a low-down, dirty job. Although I do rather like my ever-growing floordrobe.

Celeste has a little plastic purple Dyson that makes an impressive noise and I get it out for her every week or two when I finally get around to sucking up the glitter, dried and stuckfast Sunny Bisks, play dough, strawberry leaves, Weston-super-Mud and onion skins (my very own mess, that last one) so that she can think that she's helping me. I am trying to educate her early on and what’s so wrong with that? She loves it. I was overjoyed when she made a bee-line for the pretend iron and board at one of the playschools we go to. Yesyesyes, she’s on the way!

Thank God I had a girl…

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Contemplation


This is one of my all time favourite Celeste shots. On Sand Point, Weston-super-Mare.

Balasana

I'm on the front room floor in the Child's Pose, trying to alleviate the tension in my shoulder/neck region that has been plaguing me for a few days now. A force of will, a deep breath and I come out of it:

"Is that better, Mummy?"

"Erm, No. I'm not sure, Celeste."

"Never mind. Come lie on the sofa. Watch the telly. Have a sleep."

"No, that's OK. But thank you." I put the kettle on, Celeste's legs are dangling off the breakfast stall, she's eating her Sunny Bisks.

"Are you happy, Mummy?"

"Yes. I am happy because you're here."

She grins and opens her little arms wide, "Come here and give me a cuddle."

I do - and I sneak a kiss in while I'm at it :)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Ten Little White Lies I’ve Told My Daughter

John Ruskin said “To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education” (thanks to my twitter friend @Olithechef for this gem). The Englishman’s quote got me thinking about whether I lead by good example. I think I do, mostly, but you have to tell a few harmless porkies every now and then, don't you? For self-preservation, if nothing else.

So, here's a short list of tinsy tiny white lies that I've told Celeste but this could well go into the hundreds ....

  1. "No, sorry darling, The Tweenies have finished."
  2. "Eat it; it's lovely."
  3. "Not now, sweetheart, I'm working." When, of course, I'm on twitter.
  4. "The park is closed."
  5. "If you don't brush your teeth, the dentist man will come and take them all away and then you won't be able to eat anything." (Well, it's nearly true).
  6. "It's bedtime." At 4:45 pm.
  7. "We haven't got any chocolate." I never run out
  8. "Oh, no. The VCR isn't working so we can't watch that video of Suzi Quatro singing nursery rhymes circa 1985."
  9. "Did you make that for me? Thank you; it's lovely." Very often, this one.
  10. "No, no, it's OK, it didn't hurt."

Feel free to add any of your own fibs to this list...

PINK


A PINK Fairy Eating a PINK Fairy Cake :)
At the BBQ we went to last Sunday - thanks Penny, Gordon, Tilly and George for a lovely afternoon. And, George, Celeste says welcome to 2 years old: it's great fun, you're gonna love it x

Monday, 25 May 2009

Arty Farty

I wasn’t feeling too hot this morning, partly self inflicted (BBQ yesterday. With wine. And beer) plus I’ve done something sinister to my neck and shoulder region – in short, it hurts. A lot.

I thought I’d extend my TV trick to the living room, so I gave Celeste her summer breakfast of Sunny Bisks and raisins, which she is eating again right now but this time it’s called “supper”. Winter breakfast? Porridge, mashed banana and raisins. So, I fed her and put CBeebies on in the other room so that I could go back to bed for a while, though I’m never far away because we live in a flat – just the one floor, you understand.

I congratulated myself on how well behaved My Girl was being and she was. Really. She drew lots of pictures on her legs in blue PEN, broke one of my dvds (was it a case of ‘I’ll learn you to neglect ME, Mummy; I’m not being fobbed off with Timmy Time, you know. I draw the line at 9 am?”) and ate far too many raisins, which I’d accidentally left out, than is advisable for a two-year old. But no sign of the toms yet so, phew!

Then, after lunch (no, not Sunny Bisks – not even close), I thought she deserved some fresh air so we went all the way outside to the patio area with PINK, blue and yellow paint and a good measure of Homebase underliner paper, stones on each corner to weigh it down and stop the walls being splattered in fly-away paint on paper. I left her to it, while I popped inside to make a cup of tea and, er, twitter: again, it’s fine - I can see her through the window from my computer. I tweeted and then glanced out to see her painting her legs a sort of mustard colour, dirty yellow, like. Go for it! I figured she was just colouring in the drawings she’d created earlier today, which has been a very, very long day.


Glossary

‘Toms’: short for ‘tom tit’, from Rhyming Slang. Yes?
‘Sunny Bisks’: a value version of the Weetabix cereal.
‘CBeebies’: The BBC TV channel for kids, a life-line for any parent.
‘Timmy time’: Aardman Animation for the little people – only the best for My Girl.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Wey-hey: I'm Child Free

For 24 hours anyway. My Girl has gone to Nanny and Grandad's for the night, freeing me up to do all those exciting things that really aren't possible when you've got a 2-nearly-3 year old child expecting you to fed it, play with it, stick it in front of the the telly.

Child-freedom for a whole day! Lovely. What's that you say? Tell you about all the exhilarating things I've done without my constraint? OK ...

Well, after dropping my darling Celeste off, I tidied up a bit while the computer warmed up (I really need a new one now! It's getting silly) and then I lost myself in the Ether for a couple of hours: twittering, emailing, browsing, blogging. After my shout in the virtual wilderness, I polished off the fish dhansak that I made last night (not hot enough by a least two fresh chillies) and watched the best thing to come out of the BBC for years: Pulling. Absolute Genius.

Then, joy of joys, I went to bed. For an afternoon nap! Now THAT's what I miss the most. THAT's what having children (or a job, s'pose) takes away from you: the ability to sleep whenever you want to, just because you want to. (Ah, think of the early years when she was a wee baby, the one who slept for an hour or two after lunch every day - BLISS.) And what about laying in, where did all that go? My biorhythmic clock insists that I don't get out of bed until anywhere between 9 and 10 in the morning and, mostly, I've got away with doing work (or study, ha) that obeys this rule. Celeste, however, demands that I wake up at around 6:30. Whatthefuck?

Life as a parent is sooooo tiring, it makes me want to cry. In fact, excuse me while I have a little sniffle for all those hours of lost sleep, all those zzz's that I could have clocked up, all that time wasted on nurturing another human being, when I could have been looking after ME!

Thanks, that's better. One trick that Celeste is really starting to fall for is the one where I get her a biscuit and milk when she says she's hungry shortly after the dawn chorus, prop a pillow behind her and put on the Tweenies or Teletubbies(both veryfuckingannoying programmes: I particularly want to punch Fizz and Bella, very hard), while I doze off for another however long I can get away with. The latest I've managed is about 9:30 am, around which time the pangs of hunger start for both of us.

Every little helps.

Right, enough of this idle chat, I've still got the night off and need to get stuff done, have fun! So, I'll leave you now for "Britain's Got Talent!"

Whatever happened to my life? Sob ...