Saturday, 29 September 2007

"Slinky, Slinky...Such a Wonderful Toy - I Mean Boy!"

"Dada, there is something in my nappy" Egg says to Jay this morning. I am upstairs with Dumpie but can hear the conversation quite clearly. Egg says this in a tone which implies that it is a freak occurance and has possibly nothing to do with if aliens have come down and placed a perfectly formed turd in his underpants while he was happily playing with his toys.

"But you're not WEARING a nappy Egg!" I hear Jay shout. I know it's evil but i can't help but giggle to myself. (It's nice when your other half learns appreciation for what you suffer on a daily basis.) What ensues is some yelping, tears, protests and grunts of disgust from Jay as the bathroom door slams amidst some scuffling and the two disappear for the next ten minutes or so.

Egg has completely regressed in the toilet training department and brilliantly enough this coincides with his first day of nursery school on Monday. Though I have to say he aced his 'home visit' on Friday with the school representatives. They are in for a wee surprise let's just say.

Egg was at his charismatic best and completely charmed the older of the ladies while I was at the dining table filling out form after form of mundane administrative details with the younger, slightly more stern of the two. Dumpie was giggling and cooing like the worlds cutest baby (which he is of course...even if i am biased) and everything was going swimmingly until i uttered the following question:

"Um...and what do you do if they have an accident in their pants?"

This stopped both women cold and there was silence as they looked at each other. The nicer older lady spoke.

"Well, it's rare that it happens but if it does there is an big closet of old clothes which we can put them in."

I nodded and shrugged as if it were indeed a stupid question, but I wasn't encouraged to hear that the children just take themselves to the toilet when and if they want. With no one badgering Egg into going every hour or so I shudder to think of the number of times I'm going to be picking him up at the gates with him clad in strange clothes and carrying a plastic bag full of his wet ones (sigh).

Anyway whilst all the attention this week has been on Egg and his impending school adventure, meanwhile little Noah has been developing in leaps and bounds. I got my first reality check yesterday while on the phone with a mortgage consultant. It was literally a two minute call and both boys were happily playing in the front room whilst i was in the kitchen next door.

I was keeping an ear open for any screams or big crashes but when i hung up the phone I heard something even more petrifying than either of those. Complete silence.

"Eggie?" I called. "Where are you?"

"Upstairs Mama" he replied.

I ran to the lounge. No Dumpie. Quick check behind the sofa's, under the dining table and by the electrical sockets. No sign of the chubby little chicken. I began to panic and couldn't bear to look down the stairs in case I discovered the mangled little body of an infant.

"Eggie," i faltered weakly, "do you know where Dumpie is?"

"He's up here Mama," he replied matter-of-factly.

I freaked out and ran upstairs. Sure enough, there they both were, up two flights of stairs playing happily in our bedroom, Johnson's Baby Powder enveloping the room in a toxic white film. Normally I would have screamed (oh sorry, I mean calmly admonished the little darlings and quietly cleaned up...yeah right) but this time I was too shocked trying to resign myself to the obvious but horrifying fact that I was a bad mother.

I asked Egg how Noah got there, knowing as i did so that there was no way my clumsy three year old could have carried a twenty-pound infant up two sets of stairs without mishap. Egg looked at me as if i were retarded and told me that Dumpie had just crawled up.

So there you have it. I confess it's happened four more times since then, though only the last time did Jay and i have the good fortune to catch him in the act. Sure enough, the little fella (spoon in hand) simply clambers up like a seasoned mountaineer in about a minute flat. Which would explain why we never catch him doing it. Oh. My. Goodness. As if I weren't stressed enough keeping an eye on him, now I have to worry about his climbing as well - forget the fact that he's mere days away from walking. URGHHHHH. And i'm horrified to confess that as of tonight he's also added descending into the repetoire as he now goes DOWN stairs as well...possibly even more harrowing.

It's Jay who called it, saying that Noah resembles nothing so much as a 'slinky' and I think that's pretty accurate. It defies logic but Dumps is elegantly smooth and predictable in his ascents and descents.

I wonder what Social Services would have to say about our 10 month old negotiating such minefields.

Then again, the fact that my infant is addicted to red 'Twizzler' licorice is possibly even more disturbing. That and the fact that he knows where my 'treat drawer' is and helps himself to sweets when he fancies a nibble. I feel like any day now I'll walk in on him smoking one of jay's old clove cigarettes and listening to my ipod...all the while flashing me his winning 100watt grin. Seriously.

Thursday, 27 September 2007


Yesterday as i sat in yet another playground, on yet another brown bench, and watched screaming, laughing children run around like spastic chickens, I thought to myself, "I am invisible." It's true. Just like Alison Moyet sang in the 80's "Invisible...I feel like i'm invisible..."

No matter that i was wearing tight dark denim Levi's skinny jeans, or had trendy blond highlights woven through my rat's nest of a hairdo, or was sporting cool light-blue perspex shades. For all intents and purposes, by the simple fact that I was sitting on a bench watching my child play on a chilly sunny autumn afternoon, that rendered me obsolete as a 'player' (a 'player' being one who has purpose, ambition and objective in life, and goes out into that big bad world and makes things happen).

I can't even get my 10 month old and my 3 year old to eat their breakfast, let alone change the world. I consider it an achievement if one of them doesn't fall down the stairs or I can coax a random vegetable through tightly pursed lips. I bypassed 'lame-o' a loooooong time ago and unlike the truly mad i am fully aware of how far i have fallen.

I suppose i sound sorry for myself, and I would be lying if i didn't admit to occasionally giving into self-indulgent bouts of pity for myself. Those tend to be the times that I daydream about my 'other self' living an 'other life'. (This self is dressed to the nines in designer wear, flying around the world in a private jet, running a hugely successful company and busy being...well, a 'player'.)

The truth is that i 'want it all'. I am greedy. I want cute adorable babies to cuddle, a fabulous career, a husband who adores me and a million friends to tell me how great i am and indulge in too many bottles of vino when the times get tough. As it stands, from my lone set-up in domestic siberia, i'd be hard-pressed to fill a single church pew if i died tomorrow.

It wouldn't matter that i have one of the best collections of lipglosses ever, or that i can name and sing virtually any song from the 80's without exception (by the way can someone reinstate that gameshow 'Name That Tune,' so that i can win a million dollars and stop this incessant blogging and just buy an island somewhere and reside lazily and luxuriously for the rest of my days?...)

Nope, I would just be 'another-mother' who hit the dust and who's sole purpose in life was to procreate and purchase (we'll get into my insane love for fashion and clothes and shopping at a later date - not now).

Egg has just come up to me and said,

"Mama, something BAD has happened in my pants."

I'll say it's bad. It smells like something died in his pants. This is his third 'accident' of the day and it's only 10:30am. Doesn't bode well, especially given that he starts nursury school on Monday. Oh yeah - and there's also that matter of how i'm going to disguise this wee little 'problem' of ours (Egg's totally regressed in the toilet department this past week) tomorrow morning at 11:15am when the school visitor arrives to assess Egg.Typical my luck that it falls smack in the middle of his regular morning 'poo poo' time slot.

Now i wonder, will it be smeared on the carpet, flung over the bannister, or merely deposited like a love offerring in front of her? Whatever happens it's a pretty safe bet that it ain't going to be in the toilet. No sirree.

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Overnight Egg has welcomed a new playmate into the fold. Her name is 'Dolly' and she is a large lifelike doll with two blond bunches, eyes that shut when she lies down and a cute red pinafore dress. She is roughly the same size as 'Bacon' and thus Egg has decided (and rightly so i suppose) that she would make an ideal girlfriend for his beloved bear.

Now i shan't tell you WHO introduced Egg to 'Dolly' (you know who you are!) but suffice it to say that I am not terribly comfortable with the thought that my little fella is starting nursery school in a week and might very well refuse to go unless this giant blond doll is clutched possessively under his arm. Three is young, but not too young to be mocked by other children who have no doubt been well-versed in gender-appropriate toys.

Growing up i always thought that one day when i had children I'd insist they play with ALL sorts of toys - dolls, trucks, it didn't matter. However in practise i find it's not exactly that simple. For starters, due to his fine features and shoulder length hair, Egg already often gets mistaken for a little girl (though bear in mind this is always in either Canada or the U.S, never Britian....go figure). Secondly, I think i already stretched the boundaries of what is socially acceptable in playgroup by buying Egg a whole ironing board and mop and bucket play set for his birthday. There have been a few raised eyebrows over that particular purchase.

At any rate I don't suppose there is much worry in the 'is my young son too effeminate' department. Both Noah and Egg are 'all boy' and given their obsessive interest in their genitalia (we've already been through the 'winky' versus 'minky' debate thanks to Dada) and downright devotion to anything mechanical (diggers and helicopters and dumptrucks) I reckon there's no cause for worry. Doll or no doll I suspect they'll grow into randy teenagers hiding Playboy magazines under their mattresses and stealing the family car whilst agonising over spots. I also suspect that the cute picture I took last night of Egg lovingly cradling 'Dolly' will come in handy one day when he gets married and I have it blown up for his stag party. Evil Mama.

Friday, 7 September 2007

"If It Ain't Broke...."

I have been asked by various friends and family members, just why it is that I insist on treating my 9 month old baby boy like a puppy. Why do I allow him to eat his meals off the floor for instance...? Why do I not freak out when I find him perched over the toilet bowl, happily splashing his chubby fists in the toilet water.....? Why do I not run over in a panic when I find him chewing my slippers......?

Well, the honest truth is probably something to do with utter exhaustion. However there is also an element of inevitability. Having gone through this same stage with his older brother Egg not so long ago, I suppose I realise that he will pass through it and become a normal, healthy, functioning little boy in time.

I now realise why follow-on siblings are given less 'attention' and are treated less strictly. It's not because parents care less, it's because having seen that the other one(s) did the same things and turned out relatively ok, there is not the incentive to throw a spanner in the works and try anything different.

Now i realise that if everyone in life had this same attitude, then there would be precious little advancement in say the search for a cure for cancer, or the pressing on with global efforts to make the world more 'green'. But when it comes down to simple, old-fashioned child-rearing, well, the phrase 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' comes to mind.

Egg is three years old, very well spoken, well adjusted and a darling little boy all round. Even though this may be due mostly to good genes and the obscene amount of love and care he's received from all and sundry in his short little life, it still provides a vast amount of reassurance.

I am sure little Dumps will turn out just as lovely and no amount of toilet bowl swishing and dirty kitchen floor licking is going to change that. As a popular television commercial for antibacterial spray tells us (and television is ALWAYS right), did you know that a kitchen counter has ten times as much bacteria as a toilet seat?

So there you go. Safe on both fronts.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

"Bite Bite Goes The Chubby Bat"

This morning I awoke to a most curious sensation. It felt as if I were being eaten alive. I jumped, startled, out of my dream to find myself eyeball to eyeball with a baby cannibal. With a deep bellied giggle the Chubby Bat reached over, mouth open, and placed his four brand-new baby teeth on the tender skin of my upper arm and bit...hard!

I was so exhuasted that i clumsily tried to push him aside and immediately burrowed under the duvet, but moments later I felt a bite on my tummy. Ouch! There were more giggles, a few more attempted bites, and it slowly dawned on me that this was a new game for little Ollie Dumpie and I had better get used to it...or move

I had just gotten used to being slapped rudely awake by a chubby palm across the face and a too-strong yank of hair pulling, but this is a torture of a different ilk. It's not enough that breastfeeding makes you feel like you're slowly being consumed by an insatiable parasite, but now there are painful random bites to be on the alert for.

Still, Dumpie is ever so proud of his brand-spanking-new cerrated teeth. Two on the bottom and now two on top, with an ever so slight gap between them which makes him look like 'Spanky' from the classic television show 'Little Rascals'.

Actually, come to think of it, 'Spanky' is not such a bad name for my second born urchin. He has a grip like you wouldn't believe and can already catch a ball and throw it with more panache and accuracy than i can (or his elder brother it must be said). He now gets on and off furniture with amazing ease and agility considering his rather portly appearance. His fat chubby toes are well practised in gauging depth and he always lets himself down even the highest bed with stunning grace.

The other day i was cleaning a bookshelf, and Noah was happily sat beside me to the right, silently emptying the lower shelves as fast as I was trying to organise the top ones. I could hire him out as a human paper shredder if i so desired, given that he can turn a favourite glossy magazine into strips of rubbish within a mere few minutes. It's incredible.

At his last doctors appointment they confirmed his weight as a healthy twenty pounds. He wears it well though, and given his predilection for doing 'bouncy-bounce' (holding onto a chair or table and doing deep knee bends like a monkey on speed to any sort of music - even a mere advertising jingle) I suspect he is up to par on physical fitness levels and would put the rest of us to shame - despite his round tummy.

I was most interested to note the other day, that the older sibling bullying has taken on a more equal status. Egg is sporting two tiny, angry red scratches on his face. When I asked him how he got them he said, "probably Dumpie did them Mama", and I realised that a) I had better de-claw my youngest asap and b) the tides they are a turnin'...

Beware the Dumps.