Monday, 28 July 2008

A slide!

It's a little colder than the bath...

A hoop?

Which led to Lal vs The Hoop.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The big meet.. the aftermath

We went, we saw and we conquered! It was a brilliant day.. honestly. We had 10 mums, 10 babies, 6 older siblings, 1 younger and twins still waiting patiently to be born. I had only met one of the people before, so was extremely nervous.

The journey up there was fine, no problems at all. Just an annoying child who kept saying "isn't the speed limit 70, mum?" when I was travelling at a meagre 82mph. Very bad Katie.. but the roads were so clear. Lal didn't sleep until we were 6 minutes away from the place..great. Really, wonderful. Oh, we went to Wonderland in Telford. I live in Essex. 170 miles in the other direction.

So.. pictures first..



Three very strange looking mums..


G and Cole. She fell in love with him, pushed him around for most of the day, and now wants to swap Lal for him...


A fuzzy train journey!


And that seems to be it! I have no pics of Lal. That *could* be because he simply wouldn't stay still all day. Now, I know a lot of you think I exaggerate, for comedic effect, the whirlwind that is Lal. Anyone who met him today, knows I don't.

He refused to sit for his picnic. There was a slope that needed up and downing and a bridge that needed to be trip trapped over. Of course, it didn't matter that there was a tree, or other people in the way.. he could just walk over them *sigh* I lost him as well. I didn't look at him of 8 seconds and he'd gone. Major panic. Turns out he'd located a ball pond and jumpy pit thing and wanted to have a little play. My boy. *sigh again*

It really was great to meet all the people, these babies, I've "known" them since they were born. And now they eat gingerbread men and giggle... We have another meet planned for southerners in a couple of weeks.. and this one will take me 17 minutes to drive to. *That* is more my sort of distance.

The way back, we discovered, thanks to my dad, that there was an "incident" on the M1, so we came back via the A14/M11 (Don't I sound clever? lol) This way put an extra 47 minutes on the homeward journey time. It took us 3 hours and 8 minutes, Not happy. Especially as some evil person has come up with yet another way to catch me speeding. "Average speed cameras" The evil little things take a pic when you go past one and then another when you pass the second, and then calculates your speed through them. I expect a fine will arrive in the post any day.

And finally, the best signpost for freaking you out when driving.

"Welcome to Cambridgeshire. There were 281 casualties on the A14 in 2007. Please keep your distance."

Way to freak me out. I kept at least 1/2 a mile between me and the next car. The car behind me didn't read the signpost. He tailgated. I ranted for a long time.

Lal slept in the car on the way home. For an hour and a half. He went to bed at 10.30 tonight. I am exhausted.

Go to meets... fun days to be had!


The big meet.. step one

Huge enormous birthboard meet today.

At a Wonderland. There is not only going to be a picnic and people I've never met before, but we have to take bears for the picnic. The stress that is going into choosing an appropriate bear... wonderful. He can't take Peter Rabbit because, well Peter Rabbit isn't a bear. Big Foot Bear is a bear, but he has big feet and sort of frightens Lal when you catch him unawares.. ooh, maybe he would be good for a picnic. Bedtime bear.. but it would be a disaster if he got lost. See? Stress.

I have packed enough food to feed everyone there, just in case the world's food supply disappears in the three hours it's going to take me to get there.

I have cleaned out the car, just in case I get to the car park at the same time as someone else.. and they see the mess. What sort of impression is that?

At 1am, I was cleaning the pushchair. Same reason *sigh*

I think there are about 20 mums going, babies to obviously. That should please Lynda, who loves the idea of people actually meeting! I will post pics later, and an account of the day.

Ok, I need to recheck my list, ensure there is nothing vital I have failed to pack.. get dressed, get Lal up, make G get dressed and stop watching tv (and NOT argue about what is and isn't appropriate attire) feed Lal, dress Lal, put the fridge food in the cool bag... many, many things.

See you after the A12, M25, M6, M42 and M54... and back again.

Wish me luck.. you know what happened last time..

K xx

Friday, 18 July 2008

I can do flatpack..

I've been rubbish for a couple of days, apologies. Have not been sleeping well recently, I could blame it on the real life goings on, but it's more that I have completely got addicted to games on fb and sit here until 3am playing! Last night, my body decided it had had enough and made me sleep on the sofa from 8-12 crawl to pc and turn it off at midnight, and then straight to bed where I slept until 8 this morning. Yes, I did miss poor little G getting up, dressed, breakfasted and leave for school. And she'd even made me tea. I'll never say anything horrible about her again...

Yesterday, I cleaned some of the house, specifically the bathroom, and whilst behind the sink, I discovered a leak. An actual leak, with drips and everything. Immediately panicked and rang British Gas (Home care agreement again) and informed them that the bathroom was about to enter the kitchen and to please come and prevent it. They did. 45 minutes later in fact. Except there wasn't a leak. I'd not turned the tap off properly. And had caused a puddle to form and drip. Not entirely stupid... the washer had sort of come away from under the tap.. but still.. made me very glad that K has left, he'd never let me forget that one!

Lal's new log cabin El Rancho house thingy arrived today. AND I managed to put it up.. with NO fuss at all. I don't count the 5 minutes where I was boxed in a corner and had to slow motion hurdle out. Apart from that it was fine. He loves it! Not too keen on actually being in there, but walking in and out the door is a real hit. It could become his new home.


Was just about to sit down to make tea tonight (notice.. sit down to make it? There may have been dialling involved.. and a chinese delivery) when someone knocked on the door. Our street seems to be a magnet from charity collectors. And not the nice ones (like me!) who put little envelopes through. No. This is the new generation of charity collectors, who come armed with their direct debit mandates and an hour long spiel. Now, if you come to my door, want to sell me something and are not an Jehovah's Witness, there is a every chance you'll be invited in and a cup of tea offered. I think I may be on a list. You know..."Number 97, she's stupid enough to not be able to say no.. " Oh, unless you're collecting for animals. Now, don't get me wrong, I love animals, and hate the idea of them being abused. I just prefer to save my money for actual people. So far, I have the Fireman (charity.. not just firemen here) Save the Children, Christian Aid.. etc etc etc. Most of them give me nice little fridge magnets. So anyway, before I waffle myself to sleep, tonight's man was from Practical Aid/Solutions.. something like that. He showed me nice pictures of people making food in Darfur, out of cow dung and mud cookers. Seriously. And they just wanted to get the word to as many refugees as possible as to how to make it. OH.. and there were pictures of floating gardens for people in Bangladesh.. they can grow their own crops and things.. again, out of cow dung. And then something about cows, methane and outdoor toilets and electricity. But I couldn't quite understand that bit, so I tuned out and sang along to baby tv in my head.

After 40 minutes the man was beginning to run out of energy, and spiel, so I took pity on him and signed the direct debit form. I have no idea how much I did, or why. I simply cannot say no to charity collectors. And they know it. It's why I'm on the list.

But, I can cancel direct debits. Over the internet. Much more impersonal. Until they send someone round to ask why.

Have a nice weekend! I will.. K has he children!

K x xx

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Fun, you know, quality time

I can barely breathe, I am gently glowing (or sweating like a pig..) my arms hurt, my feet hurt and I have tested my pelvic floor and been found ever so slightly wanting. That's right. I played garden tennis with G. For 11 minutes. 11 excruciating minutes. The high point was when I missed the ball entirely with the racquet and stopped it with my face.. the low was when G failed to slice correctly and hit herself in the ear.

I have been thinking that we don't have much fun as a mum and daughter, like we used to pre Lal. Sarcasm and embarrassing her are fun, but it's not especially active. Hence the tennis racquets. We lost the balls long ago, so had to make do with ball pit plastic thingies. It's not at all the same. And Lal's tunnel for a net isn't quite good enough (oh, if she mentions it.. as my shot landed ON the tunnel net it WAS my point.. ) We may do stuff like this again. One day. When my limited lung capacity has had a chance to replenish.

But other than that.. normal day. I left Lal with G for 5 minutes this afternoon whilst I drove (sorry carbon footprint) to the shop. On the way back I realised I was singing loudly to "I like to eat apples and bananas.. I like to oat opples and bononos" fab song, but not what you want playing loudly in the car when your are baby less. I got looks.

Lal learned that mummy gets REALLY upset and angry when you don't want a nap, and then decide that you do, but don't tell mummy that you have decided the best place for said nap is IN the tumble dryer. INSIDE the tumble dryer. I was 10 seconds from calling the police (and Hushy) when I found him. And you try getting a sleeping baby out of the dryer... *sigh* (I really do sigh a lot don't I?)

The cat learned that I'm not exaggerating when I say I hate her. Outside our bedroom window, we have a flat roof.. from the bay window of the sitting room. It's a sun trap. Poppy loves it out there. Poppy can never remember that she can't get back in from out there. There I was, hot day, so many people walking by, shouting "Cmon Pop.. Pop pop.. come in puss cat. Oh for God's sake cat.. you've got a couple of lives let.. just jump. It won't kill you .. I don't think." Nope, nothing doing. I got the broom and attempted to create a ladder type thing for her to climb up. Nope. Tried to knock her off the roof with the broom.. she just moved to the other side. All the while doing that plaintive miaow they recorded especially for the RSPCA adverts. I lost the broom. I shut the window. Could still hear her calling. Ran downstairs, got cat food and wafted it in front of her nose... never allowing hr to taste.. and then put it on the windowsill. Nope. Shut window again. Opened.. Called once more. NOTHING! It was hot and humid here today. I was getting slightly over heated. Finally gave in. Went to the garage, got the ladder, climbed up - through the evil bush that can't be cut back because it attacks - and no sodding cat. Whilst I was in the garage, a road sweeper went past. The noise frightened her. She avoided the broom and jumped back in.

I hate cats.

K xx

Monday, 14 July 2008

Bullies and tantrums

We've had a bit of a bullying issue with G recently. Actually, I must remember to refer to us as "I" now.. I've had a bullying issue with G. But then, that's not entirely correct either.. G has been bullied. There, the statement in four easy to follow words, and not the blathering mess I originally came up with.

The short story is that she had a friend and the boyfriend (remember the first date?) The friend decided that she wanted G's boyfriend and told him lies about G. They broke up (I didn't dance for joy at all...I didn't get fed up with the end of the world scenario that followed *sigh*) Poor G decided to "break up" with the friend as well, this did not go down well! 3 months later and the friend is still being horrible and has now reverted to a campaign of abuse, threatened physical violence and getting her older friends to threaten and intimidate. On Friday night, G got an email. It was pure filth. The language I wouldn't even use. Absolutely appalling. As was the fact that the child couldn't spell. Two things to offend my sensibilities! The gist was that G was a f*kin c*nt (and I HATE that word... horrible, horrible and awful) and that if she turned up to school today she'd have the "sh*t kikd out ov her"... Sadly, the "child" is slightly stupid and sent it from her NAMED email address. With her both her first name and surname. If you're going to bully, at least try and be slightly clever about it so you don't get caught..

Again, with the loss of words to explain my anger. Or sheer disbelief that this vitriol had come from a 12 year old. Anyway, I wrote to the school saying that I classed this as threatening behaviour, and if the school couldn't do anything, I'd contact the police. Maybe a slight over reaction, but I've been conditioned by all the knife crime stories I've been seeing on the news. And it scares me. The school rang, are taking it very seriously. They have started the steps to suspend the girl, and have passed my letter and email to the police. I'm amazed.. but so relieved. And happy that there is only a week left of school, hopefully the whole thing will have blown over by the time they go back in September.

It's one of those things that they just don't tell you how to handle when you become a parent. I can protect them both when I'm with them, but when they are away from me, especially G at the age she is, how can I be there? Unless I kit myself out in the latest spy gear and stalk her James Bond style. Actually, that sounds like fun..

Sorry for the seriousness, it's been on my mind and well, not much else happened today.

OH! Yes it did... somehow Lal has learnt to count three numbers. Not bad, but not special for an 18 month old, I know that. But being my child, he can't count 1 2 3, no no no. He counts 10, 9, 8. He's either going to grow up and have his finger on the trigger that will start the nuclear war or will be the announcer who starts the shuttle launches, maybe even the man on BBC who counts down the New Year. I suspect its far more likely to be the first one though *sigh*

I've decided to start grading his tantrums. They are entirely pathetic at the moment, a quick cry.. then stare to see if I'm watching, a fake cough so I'll think he's choking and then a leg thrash. His maximum score today was 4/10, I've told him to aim for better tomorrow. I'm pretty sure he could add a head bashing routine for more points. The major tantrum today started why? Because last night, in my extreme late to bed ness, I forgot to put the chalks back in the box and left them all over the easel shelf. He couldn't be anyone elses child could he?

K xx

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Not much to report

I talk a lot. About not much. And not much happened today, so I'm pretty sure I'll find many things to say.

What happened today:

  1. Lal discovered that his new favourite toy is a Tampax. He carries it everywhere and is currently sleeping with it.

  2. I carefully removed the roasting tray from the oven and put it down. Spoke to G and then decided to move the tray. I am now missing left handed finger prints.

  3. We went to ASDA. Lal ran riot. I forgot everything I went to get.

  4. G took Lal to the park to give me a minute to tidy up. She was gone 11 minutes.

  5. K came round to look after the children for an hour whilst I took my brother a birthday present round.

  6. I had "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens on the cd player. On repeat. The journey takes 35 minutes. I sang very loudly. Even managed to have the volume on 14, usual setting of 6. Just cos I care for his ear drums.

  7. It's 9.06 and I have had two glasses of wine and have lost the ability to feel my cheeks.

  8. I don't think is going to be my finest journal entry.

  9. I left the cooked roasted chicken unattended whilst I put Lal in bed. The cat doesn't need feeding tonight..

  10. I tried to talk to Hushy on MSN. She ignored me. It caused a mini breakdown. Ooh.. in cas anyone wondered what Hushy and I talk about... here.. enjoy! (Purely because drunken numb cheeks -not numbchucks- are spreading... )

(R) Hushy (R) sent 13/07/2008 20:48:
are you about?

Katie says:
I am a frog

Katie says:
Do you like it?

Katie says:
Oh, that's nice.. ping and run.. piffle

Katie says:
Hushy says: Did you have a nice day, Katie?
Katie says:
Why yes, thank you, I did.

Did you have a nice day Hushy?
Katie says:
Hushy says: I don't know, I'm refusing to answer you.
Katie says:
Oh, why is that then? You pinged me after all.

Katie says:
Hushy says: Who knows? Maybe I have accidentally been eaten by the rats.. Millie was feeding them my hands earlier.. That's is, I've lost the ability to type, so I'm away crying..
Katie says:
Oh no, you poor thing. I can't believe a rat would do that.. but honestly.. you pinging and running has really upset me..

Katie says:
Hushy says: Oh, I'm so sorry. I'll go into the kitchen and do 5000 push ups as a penance...
Katie says:
That's nice of you, I'll just wait here for you to come back then...

Katie taps fingers impatiently
Katie sniffs under arms to see if she smells
Katie cries long and loudly
Katie begs for an answer
Katie starts picking ear wax out of sheer boredom
Katie considers ringing to see if Hushy has been kidnapped by aliens
Katie has paid the alien ransom demand and is awaiting the return of the Hush
Katie thinks that Hushy is an appropriate name for someone who is being VERY QUIET
Katie is now convinced that Hushy is reading this, laughing and enjoying the breakdown
Katie can no longer cope
Katie can no longer smoke which is surely far worse than not coping
Katie is going to do the washing up and that is all Hushy's fault

(R) Hushy (R) says:
(R) Hushy (R) says:
sorry Moo woke up just after I Im'd you!
Katie is no longer here .. the breakdown has happened...

You see the sympathy I got after the meltdown? NONE. Just a muttered "baby awake" Nothing else. For your own sanity.. if a Hushy attempts to add you on MSN, run away quickly...

K xx

Oh knickers.. and bras

K didn't have the children this weekend.. Yay! Here with me.. excellent. Saturday and once again, shopping needed. I tell you, that money tree at the bottom of the garden comes in handy sometimes.

First up.. hair. There is a small possiblity that I have mentioned, once or twice, that I HATE G's hair at the moment. It's long, unkempt and the diagonal fringe is killing me. I just want to cut it whilst she sleeps. Or eats. Or baths. Why can't she just look neat? And not "fashionable?" I took her for a haircur, and whilst there, they cut the sticky out triangle corners from my hair. It looks better, but I won't be happy until I can get a scrunchy in. I like scrunchies. And pony tails. Anyway, this is G's part. Had the hair cut, she complained all the way through, she now has a shoulder length flicky cut, and an actual fringe! Woohoo. It's lovely, she looks like the girl I know again. Beautiful.

Where was Lal through this? Fast asleep in the pushchair. I love that boy!

Home for a quick lunch, and then we walked into town. 3 miles again. I'd say for health reasons, but really we only walk because a) it tires Lal out and b) have you seen the price of petrol? I've gotten very Victor Meldrew in my complaining.

What did we need? Prescription for me (failed, none in stock.. excema cream for goodness sake, how can they run out?) NOTHING for Lal (failed, accidentally bought a book) New hairbrush for me seeing as mine had been toilet posted *sigh* (success.. finally bought something for me) ..... and then the two things for G. A new bra, and some new school shoes.

School shoes you say? I'm sure you mentioned a few weeks ago that you had been out to buy G shoes? How observant, why yes I did. Sadly, biggest brat child cannot walk normally (swish scrape) and has managed to rip the toe of new shoes from the sole. They cannot be fixed. I am not happy. Three weeks a pair of shoes lasts now. Three weeks. I bought her a pair of boys lace ups. Or at least, I got to the checkout with a pair in my hand, whilst she stood bravely next to me, holding back tears and BEGGING for girls shoes. I elicted the PROMISE that she will never swish scrape again, and got some cheapy £20 shoes that had better last until the end of term. Only 7 school days, she should manage it...

Where was Lal through all this? Eating a gingerbread man and shop ceiling light gazing. Love that boy.

And then the bras. Marks and Spencer, the best damn bra shop in the world. Got her measured (I did ask if I could tell you the size, she prefers to keep her privacy - hmm, better hope she hasn't read anything else I've written!) and the nice lady went off to bring a selection back. They were all padded. O..k.. . I'm not so keen on the idea of padded bras on 12 year olds. It's not entirely appropriate. I asked if they had normal bras and was told that they had two plain ones (out of a selection of 30) in the "Young Girls" section or else we'd have to look within the ordinary bra. But that they weren't so pretty. I should maybe have listened to the little warning that went off in my head

**Warning, AF is here.. can cause extreme irritability.. Do not answer back... DO NOT.. Just smile and nod.. **

I didn't listen and asked why a CHILD'S bra had to be "pretty?" The only person going to see it would be G and me, if she ever puts it in the washing.. The answer? "Well, a pretty bra makes you feel sexy" SEXY? She's 12 ffs. (I missed out the expletive, barely mind) What sort of example are they promoting? Another girl attempting to come to her collegues rescue said that "Yes, they should have more appropriate bras in stock, they don't need to have the sexy ones until they are 14 or so." The af warning klaxon was going off, G was crimson, just knowing that I was going to blow... I did. I wrote a letter of complaint. In M&S. I am officially my mother. I don't know how it happened.

Where was Lal during all of this? Oh this time. This time was great. Lal had discovered knickers. Pink knickers, spotty knickers, thongs, granny pants, minis, hip huggers.. all of them. Lal had made an excellent pile of them all over the floor. Lal has decided that his lifes work is going to involve knickers. In all their glory. I'm so proud.

Just one of those days...

K xx

Thursday, 10 July 2008

I was only looking..

I woke up this morning to wet baby. *sigh* It's my fault entirely. Since Saturday, I haven't been putting him in cloth nappies. He's been in those nature baby nappies from Boots. I like to think it's because he has had a bad tummy, and the thought of having to hosepipe clean another nappy was killing me, but I think I just got lazyand bored. I know! Me? How could I get bored of cloth when I love them so much?

Last night, at Tesco (awful - he screamed the whole way round) I looked longingly at the Huggies and was really debating whether to buy some. They were on special offer. 16 whole nappies free. I so nearly got them. I didn't, but the thought was there. This morning? Wet baby. Had removed his pj bottoms and really nicely picked a hole in the nappy. They don't spead nicely. There were nappy insides everywhere. Not to mention what had been put in the nappy overnight.

**I was only looking. He's back in cloth. I didn't mean to forsake the Bum Genius. I didn't. No Huggies, I promise**

So, yes, the day started well. Morning, early afternoon, fine. Cleaned. Fun times. (For me it actually is fun times..) At 2, I realised he hadn't had a nap. Balls. Never mind, Grampy is coming later, can take him to the park, with any luck I'll have a VERY sleepy baby at 6.30. Grampy came, took him to the park. Very sleepy baby at 5.24. I was briefly chatting on msn, turned around to check the sitting child, and discovered this:


Umm, no.. not now. Please. Not now. If he sleeps now I'll ever get him to bed tonight. oh my God. Oh my God. Somebody please.. wake him up. Ah, bless him, so tired. Left msn chat and went to make his dinner. He slept for 17 minutes. 17. I made G go in and make noise around him to wake him. It took 19 rounds of:

Bob the Lally, Can he fix it?

Bob the Lally, Yes he can..

Snoop, Dog and Doggy and Georgie too..

Working together to get the job done..

I don't know the real words. I am impressed we managed to get an American rapper into the tune though.

He ate, he cried, he bathed, he drank his bottle of milk. That 17 minutes sleep didn't help. It's 8.36 and he's still singing in his cot. *sigh*

Oh oh oh. You know I'm broke? Someone on the birth board (bad, bad people) said that Tesco is having a 50% off sale on garden toys! I bought a log cabin! Or an El Rancho cabin. I have to put it up. Alone. Looking forward to that sooo much.

And that's it.. just some pictures to share... I've been going though the camera.. this is what G likes to waste my batteries on:

Just what every album needs.. a fuzzy peach..


An even fuzzier drunken tv..


Our lopsided kitchen.. maybe she was documenting a subsidence problem?


An eaten toothbrush. Obviously. (Yes, Lal did eat the end off it..)


K xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

My favourite picture..

My favourite picture is...

matthew fox

Because I will marry him one day. Seriously.

K x x

Things they daren't tell you about teens

I love G. I remember the days when she was young and cute and cuddly, and not wrapped up in a hormonal mess of contradictions. It's not fun living with a 12 year old. Especially one who is taller than me.

The things they don't and never will tell you:

  1. That girls are far, far worse than boys.

  2. That you can no longer beat her with sticks. She knows the number for Child line. (Don't really use a stick..)

  3. That the day after her 11th birthday, she will suddenly develop the ability to speak only in American Gangsta Style. She is from the 'hood don't you know?

  4. That she is positive you only exist to embarrass her.

  5. That she just doesn't listen. Ever. Ever. Ever.

  6. That when you tell her off, she will just walk away. The only way to get her back is to sit on her.

  7. That, much like your toddler, you will never get a nice photo again. They are all posed. In our case, she looks slightly demented with eyes looking skywards, you can only see the whites.

  8. That she will insist that her hair looks "cool" when worn with a completely diagonal fringe. (Doesn't - it looks ridiculous)

  9. That only clothes that show maximum cleavage (whether there is any or not) can be worn.

  10. Trousers must be form fitting, and shorts have to be minis.

  11. All complaints from parents are settled with the slam of a door.

  12. That one minute she is grown up and completely responsible, and the next she is "still a child and can't possibly pick a towel up from the floor"

  13. That she will lose her individuality and become one of the "everybody" does it/has it crowd.

  14. That she will lose the ability to walk without dragging her feet along the floor and the swish scrape sound will follow you everywhere you go.

  15. That she thinks you are hopelessly old fashioned and despises every single thing about you.

  16. That she may well have desperately wanted a baby brother for 7 years, but when she got one, she isn't "that" bothered and thought he'd be born at age 6.

  17. That when you ask her to "watch the baby" she will do exactly that. No interaction at all.

  18. That no matter how many hours you spend washing and ironing her clothes, if you are lucky enough that she will actually put them away, the ironed stuff with never go on a hanger. It'll be shoved in a drawer. Pfft

  19. That she will melt if she goes outside in rain, she will no longer find pleasure in splashing in puddles.

  20. That she will write endless diary entries about how her mother is destroying her life, by not allowing her to wear mascara (Not that I've read the diary)

  21. That she can be so damn rude you want to sew her lips together whilst she sleeps.

  22. That you count down the days until she will start Uni, and plan for one that is far, far away.

  23. That she cannot leave the house until every hair is perfectly in place. Even if you are just going to the park.

  24. That when she gets home from school at night, she will only get changed into *best* clothes. To wear for 3 hours before she gets ready for bed. *sigh*

  25. That although she pretends to be grown up, she loves to play with baby toys.

  26. That she will loudly lament the lack of a Feb 1996 birth club on bc.. just because there isn't a Secret Santa for her..

  27. That the PING from MSN is a sound you hear so often, you runto the pc even when it's turned off. (And shh.. when I use it, I have the volume turned down)

  28. That no matter how much you beg, she will only ever use txt spk. You can try telling her that repeated use of it on msn will turn her brain to mush, but she doesn't care.

  29. That the moments when she forgets that she is a "grown up" are to be savoured and treasured. Spontaneous teenage cuddles are the best.

All done I think. There aren't many good ones, are there?

K xx

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Unclean.. Unclean

No children today.. boo. Except it wasn't because I slept the afternoon away. Lovely.

The three of us went shopping this morning. My prayers were finally answered and Lal had finally grown a whole shoe size. Goodbye 3.5 G's.. we're reached 4.5 G! He has rather small feet, it's a wonder he can balance really. Two new pairs later,and £40 lighter we met K and they went off with him. Until I remembered that I had the car seat and ran after them. Or tried to run after him in the stupidest sandals ever made. One fell off, I hopped back to it, lost the other one, stooped to pick it up and everything fell out of my purse. I am not used to shopping without a pushchar anymore. I need the handles and basket. I also need to remember that I don't run. I have a mobile phone. They were invented to negate the need to run. I won't forget that in the future.

So, mini melt down in the car park when K decided to take the car seat out of my car and put it in his. Nope. Not happening. I used the tears and pathetic female please don't do it to me trick, and he left with them in my car. I did hope he might be repulsed by the mess in there and clean it.. he wasn't, and didn't. (Oh, my Monicaness only extends to the house and garden, immoveable objects don't count, the car is a walking rolling moving dustbin.)

I bought more things I don't need with money I don't have.. children's clothes. Very nice. Debenhams sale 70% off .. it'd be a crime not to. One day, I may buy myself clothes again and not just rely on things to magically appear. Which they don't, hence me having the same pair of jeans for 12 years. (I do have more than one pair... really)

And then sleep. Afternoon sleep.


Rudely awoken by the phone. It was K, calling from Boots (the chemist, not his shoe) He had noticed that Lal seemed to have a few spots on his back and a couple of his face, and asked the pharmacist what it could be. Suspicions correct. He has The Pox. People can now stand and stare and point and shout "Unclean.. unclean" in his general direction. I may make a sign for him to wear. "Avoid me, I am Pox Ridden" Poor boy. Perfectly well in himself as usual, I am truly hoping that the misery this week has been Pox induced and isn't a symptom of Terrible Toddlers.

He is home, bathed (teeny tiny error made.. didn't realise a warm bath may cause more spots to appear. It did. They have. Spotty spotty boy) and fast asleep. I have Piriton, Calpol and Calamine at the ready.. I may use bags of oats in bath water, baby oil, all the many things I know from my bb are sure fire Pox soothers. But at the moment, with him being all well, I'm feeling slightly redundant.

One small confession, barely a confession really. Just an utterance. I hate spots. I hate touching them, looking at them, imagining them. They make me feel all gooey and icky and yucky and URGH. G had The Pox when she was 2, I made my mum move in and look after her, the spotty sight was too much for me. The feel of her through the vest... still makes me shudder. Sadly, I'm not a pathetic 20 year old any more. I have to be a grown up 30 year old and deal with it.

And besides, mum said she wouldn't come..

K x x

Friday, 4 July 2008

Oh the things they never tell you

About toddlers! (I'm cheating, I've forgotten being pregnant, labour, the newborn haze.. I can barely remember yesterday)

  1. That even though your toddler has had his nappy changed 19000 times since birth, he still hasn't learnt to lie still.

  2. No matter how tightly you strap him into the car seat/high chair/ push chair, he will still get out and roam the car/kitchen/park

  3. Even if you have never uttered a single swear word in your life, your son will still find a way to learn f*** and shout it at an old lady.

  4. That one day they will love and inhale the lovingly prepared food you offer them.. the next it will hit the wall with a resounding crash.

  5. That your son will show his love by bringing you in for a cuddle, and biting down hard on your shoulder.

  6. That those baby months are gone so quickly, far too quickly and your son suddenly feels like a grown up.

  7. That it is impossible to get cream cheese out of hair, yours or your childs.

  8. That no matter how much you love them, they are only adorable when they are asleep.

  9. That you still won't have stopped poking them when they are asleep to check if they are still breathing. (Good news is, they now sleep through the pokes)

  10. That singing Baa Baa Black Sheep 76000 times makes you want to find every sheep, line them up and shoot them, so the song can be retired.

  11. That whatever high falutin' ideas you had about children's tv head straight out the window when you are desperate for 5 minutes peace.

  12. That even if you put the bird feeder high up in the tree, you will still see your son eating bird nuts when you go out to hang the washing on the line.

  13. That you will understand the gibberish that comes from your son, even though it has no discernable meaning to anyone else.

  14. That, whilst having a loving cuddle moment, your son will find it hilarious to stick his fingers up your nose. And in your ears. And in your eyes.

  15. That you will yearn for the days of two two hour naps. Or even one single nap. Just so you can sit.

  16. That family don't really like it when you put your son on the phone and spend 20 minutes saying.."Say hello.. go on, you can say it.. say hello. Ok, try Grampy... No? Sorry Dad, he won't say it."

  17. That the one place you don't want your son to be, will be the one place he can't resist. (Inside the tumble dryer in our case)

  18. That washing machines still work, albeit loudly when they have been filled with coins, raisins, toy cars and spoons.

  19. That you will find him drawing on the wall and think he is creative, intelligent and needs freedom to explore. A friends child does it and you go on bc and loudly "rant"

  20. That there is a 20 second danger gap after a fall. An immediate cry means no injury.. the after 20 seond cry means pain.

  21. As soon as your previously photogenic darling hits 15 months, all you will get are shots of the top of his head, shots with a tongue lolling out and everything will be blurry.

  22. You will be desperate for him to walk, and then long for the days when he was still. And stayed still.

  23. That even though you promise to cherish every moment, and remember every single stage.. you'll open your Red Book and discover you've missed at least 19 milestones.. and worry that you didn't put the date his 13th tooth came in..

  24. That you can never relax. There is a worry for everything.(That may just be me)

  25. That your child will bring you a weed from the garden and you will cry. And press it between the pages of a book

  26. That you are willing to hide your fear of spiders and bug type things, just so he isn't scared of them.

  27. That bc has been wonderful for allowing you to share every single stage of your toddlers life, every single milestone, to people who love to read about it, and who are happy to let you show off! (Without appearing boring and baby obsessed)

I think that'll do for now! I may come back and do the things they didn't tell me about teens. There is a lot!

K x x

Thursday, 3 July 2008

You can learn a lot from dogs

I fell asleep last night. At 11pm. On the sofa. With Lal. I should start at the beginning maybe.

When I was in Paradise on Tuesday, my dad rang and offered to have Lal for the day, all day on Wednesday. Needless to say, he hadn't finished offering before I'd written up contracts and had them notarised. Of course, by the time I got home from Paradise, I'd semi forgotten and ordered a Tesco shop to be delivered between 9 - 11.. but still, that's most of a day off. Oh yes, I have to drive him there, no because I don't trust my dad's driving.. more the fact that Halfords fitted the car seat and I have no intention of undoing it. Ever.

Tesco arrived at 10.30.. packed away the cold stuff, loaded the car and off we went. By 11, I had tea and was showing them tricks to deal with tantrums. Offer a book, a gingerbread man, ignore, or.. if all else fails, and the situation is dire... Channel 623 on Sky. Baby Tv. Try it, it really does work.

Left him, halfway up their field (with my dad.. not just him running away) and came home.

Do you know what plans I had for my day off? What fun and exciting stuff? Manicure? Hair cut? Pampering session? Shopping? No. Something far better. Something that will make you all think much less of me, but something that will not surprise Hushy at all.

I cleaned. I cleaned loudly. I didn't care how much noise the hoover made, I didn't care that the bed creaks when I stand on it to get the cobwebs down. I played MUSIC on the tv.. and it didn't cause Lal giggles, or cries, or epileptic style dancing. I did the whole house, top to bottom in 3 hours. I did miss the Lal skating after I washed the floors.. another trick.. try it. Use Flash, water and a wet mop.. wash the laminate put your child on there in socks.. and watch them twist, slide and skid across the floor. If you can get the video camera to catch it, all the better.

(I did all this of course whilst making several phone calls to make sure that he was wasn't missing me, and howling plaintively at the door. MAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMAAAA. He wasn't. Pfft.)

At 4, after G got home ("Hi honey, take your shoes off, I just washed and hoovered there.. straight upstairs, clothes off - washing in basket- uniform on hanger - get changed and don't make a mess.. Shh now, I'll ask about your day when you've done all that") I did the ironing. And left the iron on the board whilst I went upstairs.. oh the freedom. No worries that brat baby would pull it down and have a "Home Alone" type iron mark burnt into his head. Or my carpet.

But then came time to collect him again. Off we went, G in the car this time, complaining that HE got to spend the day with Grandma and Grampy.. why couldn't she stay off school and do the same? Usual answer given.. because. Now stop it.

And then the fall out. Parents can be great creatures. They can be wonderful, generous, kind and helpful... but then they fail. They forget how they raised children - yet can still remember that they grew up on bread and dripping and 19 mile walks to school - and feed your child nothing but Gingerbread men all day. Honestly. Nothing else. I packed food galore. He ate an entire box of Organix Gingees.. Great! They also committed the cardinal sin of allowing him a 2 hour nap at 4pm. 4PM! I made close to the bone jokes about him not sleeping at night, and covered with a smile, whilst inside, dreading the evening. Dreading it.

But they were so proud. They taught him something. It wasn't a word, it wasn't an action or a song, a new game.. nothing like that. They showed me. "Lal, here's a book.. go sit down and read it.." And off he went, to the corner of the room, walked round in a circle six times, sat and read the book. So, he played with the dog a lot? He now won't sit down without walking round in a circle. *sigh*

We were home by 7, and somewhat hopefully, I had G give him his bath. It didn't work. At 8.30, he'd escaped the cat flap and was outside trying to eat the Tubbys off G's wall mural. At 9, he climbed the bookshelf. By 10, all his playroom toy organisation was undone. Toys everywhere and a baby walking in circles to sit down a play.

At 11, he and I passed out on the sofa. I woke at 12.30, stumbled us both upstairs, put him to bed where he gave a half hearted "Play?" and came down to make tea. I have a vague memory of speaking to Hushy on MSN... (ooh, she has rats.. pet ones, not cos the house is messy ones.. I'll nag her into a journal..) By 2.30, I finished recleaning and went to bed.

G and I woke up at 8. She is supposed to get a lift at 8. I think she left without brushing her teeth...

I've remembered why I don't often let my parents take him.

K xx

(Ooh.. and I finally have a Top Tips.. Cloth Nappies - If I write it here, I might actually remember to type it later... here's hoping anyway..)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Not now dear, I'm willing..

You should know by now that I have four brothers. I had to like sports, all sports, or not survive my childhood.

As family lore goes, I never sang the mournful tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep.. I was only ever to be found singing anti Tottenham football chants. That’s right. My brothers (aka The Boys) taught me how to sing. And what to sing. I was 18 before I realised that “I’m forever blowing bubbles” did not contain the words “fly so high, they reach the sky, and like West Ham they fade and die… “It was only natural, with four burly big boys; I’d grow up to be the 5 stone weakling. But sport I had to love.

By the time I was 5 I could tackle, 6 could hack the legs out from under a grown man, at 8 I realised that my elbows were the perfect height to.. well.. shall we just say *family jewels?* I was the only 9 year old girl I knew who could recite the offside rule word perfect.

I loved to play football, tennis, table tennis, cricket, rounders.. the list goes on. The one game I could not play, was rugby. I was simply too small. I may have been fast, but the clumsy gene kicked in when I was 9 and no matter how hard I tried, I kept falling over my own feet.

Where am I going with this? Well it seems somewhat seasonal, we’re currently being inundated with tennis, cricket and the Olympics will be upon us before we know it. Messing with TV schedules.

Normally, this time of year, I would be glued to the Tennis. Tiger Tim and his *winning* ways. Many the nights G would come home from school, and find me sat at the kitchen table, rigid, fingers locked in a praying pose, one hand holding onto the “England 5 Germany 1” mug for luck. (Thumb on England, little finger twisted to touch the one) I was absolutely convinced that if I sat still long enough, missed every second breath, got my fingers in perfect position on the mug, I’d be lucky for Hapless Tim. G would speak.. and the only response, muttered without taking my eyes from the screen.. “ Not now love, he’s about to double fault. Come on. Help him. Chant. C’mon Tim C’mon Tim. NO. Not out loud, under
your breath. Georgia. Now, you see? You didn’t do it and now he lost his serve. Oh go get changed.”

Poor child, she had to put up with that 2 weeks a year. Every year. (Or if she was lucky he would be out before the Middle Weekend.. only the once, thank God)

Wimbledon just isn’t the same this year. Andy Murray seems.. I don’t know.. far too eager to win. It’s unseemly. All that arm pumping and primal screaming.

Remember good old Goran? And his asking for his *lucky* ball back every time he won a point? Oh yes, the year Tim won the third
set 0-6 and everyone KNEW it was his year. And then the rains came. And he lost. As usual. But we didn’t mind because that nice fella Goran was so nice about it. He didn’t crow. A little fall to the floor in grateful thanks. (Oh yes, that was also the year my brother gave my nephew a McDonalds Birthday party.. DURING the semi final. I sat outside in the car park and compulsively tapped my feet)

Who won’t admit to mouthing doublefault doublefault doublefault every time Tim’s opponent went to serve?

But not this year, the best I can pray for is that he doesn’t stumble over his words whilst commentating. *sigh*

And then football.. I’m the same with the dreaded Penalty Shoot Out. If I don’t look, I KNOW they will score. If my left leg is numb from sitting on it, they will score. They won’t fall over like a bunch of pansies and writhe in pretend agony. They won’t go back to the long ball game that they were always so bad at. They won’t lose. But they always do. I haven’t found the perfect position to sit in yet, but when I do.. watch out world.. here comes England.

And finally.. the cricket. The Ashes nearly killed me. I was pregnant with Lal, and sitting still for up to 8 hours a day wasn’t fun. It had to be done. How I cheered when Glenn McGrath tripped over a ball during warm up, how I cried when Freddie lost his bowling line.. I wrote endless lists computing how many runs we need to get.. the penultimate Test, when it really mattered, I prayed harder than I ever have. I *think* I may have
promised God that I’d name my child after every single English cricketer on the pitch. I had my fingers crossed though.. so it doesn’t count, surely? Maybe that’s why we lost in Australia?

I sit, and I WILL them to win. Sure in the knowledge that when they do, life will be somehow rosier, somehow brighter… a nation united. It worked with the cricket..

But for now, I shall continue to be true to Tiger Tim, and Henman Hill. None of this Murray Mound for me (it sounds like a disease) I just can’t get behind that boy, no matter how British, he seems
thuggish to me.. (although British and Thuggish go hand in hand these days,especially if you read the Daily Mail)

I’m sure, somewhere on Court Number One, late at night, you can still hear the call “Come ON Tim. You can do it. Just hit the ball. “ And then the sigh as he fluffs it and goes out on a double fault.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Lost on the way to Paradise

There was a mini meet from my birth board today. Just 5 of us going, and due to the icky cold, I was considering begging off. But actually, I felt much better, one of the people going rang me (thanks Laura) and forced me to get dressed and actually move.

Started,as most of my days do, badly. I was running extremely late and so didn't have time to dry my hair properly. Due to the disasterous Pob thing I had done (hate it hate it hate it) I'm growing it back out... Somehow, I developed triangle shaped hair jutting out the side of my head. *sigh*

Right, so.. car packed, camera, nappies, wetwipes, gingerbread men, suncream, drinks, toys, fruit pot and spoon, money, car keys (no.. not in the bag.. find them and dig them out), first aid kit, etc etc etc. On darn.. forgot sunglasses.. back in house.

I left at 11.10. We were meeting at 11.30, and according to my trusty Google Map Directions sheet, I was 1 hour and 20 minutes away. Dammit. Left home, singing to Lal who was in his car seat tilted back so he could have a nice long nap. Perfect.

M25. Hell road, but I can do it. Drove along nicely, singing my heart out, albeit quietly to Take That.. Looking at my directions there was a tiny part I didn't understand, so I decided to ring L and ask her if I did have to go over Dartford Tunnel (or even under it) The response?

"Umm, Katie, where are you going? We are in the complete opposite direction. You've gone the wrong way up the M25."

Great! 15 miles in the wrong direction. FINE. At least I found out before the bridge/tunnel thingy, so I didn't have to pay. Twice as it would have turned out.

Turned round at the nearest sliproad, got back on the motorway heading in the right direction this time. By now 40 mins late.

L had said that I needed to get off at Junction 26. And then the park, Paradise Park, would be signposted and even I couldn't go wrong. I was under strict instructions to ring her as soon as I got there. I could do that. I have an awful feeling that L seriously regrets giving me her mobile number.

Oh yes, and I hate Google Maps. With a passion.

Junction 26. Left motorway. Hmm. No signs for Paradise Park, but plenty for Lea Valley Park. Ok, thought I, that's fine, maybe it has a new name. Rang L again. Nope, wrong park.. but if I carried on down the road, I would get to a bridge with high sides and a filter lane to take me left..and to Paradise.

I saw low bridges, no bridges, right turn filter lanes, left turn fliter lanes, and a bridge that *possibly* had high sides. Perfect. I must be near. In Cheshunt.

I wasn't. In desperation, and because I was far to humiliated to call L AGAIN and tell her I was lost, I called Hushy. Hushy who lives in Scotland. About 350 miles away. Hushy who could do nothing, but commiserate and laugh at my predicament. I drove into an Industrial Warehouse car park on her bidding. No help at all from there.

I even swallowed my pride and called my dad.. and K.. to see if they could go online and see where I was. How I expected them to guess where I was in relation to the park, I have no idea. Dad didn't answer, and K just sighed. Fan flipping tastic.. He did tell me, quite helpfully, that I should have got off the M25 at Junction 25.

Ooh... sign post.. A10. Someone somewhere mentioned that. I needed to be on it. Yay! Got on A10, after many, many evil mini roundabouts.. and rejoiced in the 60 mph speed limit. Until I saw the sign "You are about to enter a congestion charge area" WTF? London? I may have the mental capacity of a diseased flea, but even I know you don't get many wildlife parks in central London. And I was heading towards Enfield.

Turned around AGAIN. And then the thought that saved me. Ring the park and ask which direction I should be going. As I suspected, the opposite one. Again. Great. Bloody marvellous in fact. Except I got stuck behind a brand new learner, doing 20mph,and I oculdn't overtake. KNowing a friend of mine (one who I would be meeting) had just passed her test, and moaned about people tailgating learners, I hung back a suitable distance. And got tailgated myself.

I was, by this time, thanks to a still asleep Lal, muttering obscenities under my breathe about roads, the UK in general and their policy on crappy roads with NO signposts for me, swearing about driving, wondering why I hadn't brought any water along for me, etc etc etc.

And then I saw it. "Paradise Park Wildlife Park" YES. WOOHOOOOOOO. Yay. OMG! I did it. 1 hour and 50 mins in the car... I did it. YES. Oh the relief. My enthusiasm was loud and I woke Lal and still had 9 miles to drive.

By the time the signposts were telling me I only had half a mile to go, I had made up slightly demented songs, chronicalling our progress. "2 miles to go.. woohoo.. and now it's 1 and a half.. Oh yes, my Lal, we'll not live in the car.. it's only one mile to go... " 200 yards, nothing can stop us now. Which segued into "Don't stop me now.. " Except I wasn't having a good time, not at all.

And then there was a person. A person in front who drove up to the desk to pay.. but who didn't actually want to get in to the park.. noooo.. she wanted to chat to her friend who worked at the desk for 15 minutes. Have you ever sat in front of someone who is angrily and pointedly turning her car off and on.. off and on.. She refused to get the point. I could feel tears. 2 hours I'd been trying. 2 whole hours. Please, let me out of the car.

Anyway.. we got there.. we had fun..we met some lovely people.. and beautiful babies.. thanks to my "finally there" excitement, Lal can now say "Wooo hooooooooo!"

It was 30 degrees, or 90000 depending on where you were standing. They had a life size Thomas the Tank that traumatised Lal no end (to the extent that he actually threw his mini Thomas out the door when we got home) They had lions and tigers and bears... they place itself is fab.. highly recommended.

It took me 35 minutes to get home. The less said about that the better.

Some pics!

Lal and Jamie, on the best "ride" in the whole place. I think they called it "Run up and down a slope"


All the babies..


Babies and mums.. notice my cunningly thought out plan? A Katie sized hole above Lal? yay! (My son.. never looking forward *sigh*)


Please.. go to as many meets as you can. It's so much fun. And lovely to meet the babies you have "seen" grow up..

I, on the other hand, will not be making it to anymore meets. And its not looking good for my drive up to Scotland to meet Hushy. I'll probably end up in Denmark.

K x x