Thursday, 30 October 2008

"D is for Dumpie who loves Dumping"

So we're clearly into a new stage now...the DUMPING stage. Yes, much to my dismay (and to the delight of our local grocery store) Dumpie has discovered the joys of dumping all manner of tantalizing liquids on the floor. His favourite thing is to get a newly opened carton of juice and holding it aloft, gleefully tip his chubby wrist and allow the orange, yellow or purple liquid to come cascading down in a fountain of juicy goodness.

Twice in the past week I have walked into a kitchen soaked about an inch high with juice and found Egg laughing hysterically whilst Dumpie is slip-sliding about delighting in the homemade wading pool he's constructed. When they catch my horrified face they look rather shocked i think, to see that I don't seem to share their joy and sense of fun, and finally their giggles grind to a halt as I chase them witch-like out of the kitchen with my mop and various expletives...urghh!

It is for this same reason that Jay has had to dismantle one of our bidets. It now sits useless and forlorn with the handle lever removed as Dumpie found it too much of a temptation to flood the big family bathroom by twisting the nozzle into an upright position (so as best to splash across onto the far wall) and cranking the lever, all the while jumping up and down in excitement as he soaked his brother who was trying in vain to stop him. (Potential career as fireman?)

At any rate, far more worrying is the mobility these terrible twosome now have. Jay and I are now used to our near-dawn wake-up call which is not unlike the scariest scene from the 'Exorcist' movie. We'll be sleeping soundly, cuddled up in our supersoft, superwarm duvet, and suddenly hear a loud thump, followed by a flurry of commotion on the stairs. With a frenzied entry (which sounds more like a small army than merely two little boys) we'll be woken bolt upright by cackles, shrieks of delight and often the odd bit of fruit shoved in our faces (this morning it was segments of an orange, though bananas are a firm favourite).

Egg goes right for our big storage box of toys in the corner and begins whipping them over his shoulder while Dumps goes for the overhead brighter-than-bright halogen lights which are positioned so perfectly as to cause disorientation and distress - much like being in an interrogation room. Egg positions himself by the doorway and yells at Dumps while flicking the lights off...then Dumps yells back at Egg and uses the switch by our bed to switch them back on...then off...then on...and so it goes, until both Jay and I are numb with agony and rue the day we ever thought procreation a good idea.

Of course I haven't explained the best part - about how Egg wakes Dumpie up at the crack of dawn each morning, asks him if he wants cartoons or treats and then lifts him out of his crib, half-asleep, to inflict misery on his sleep-deprived and stressed parents. I came across this newfound ability of Egg's a few weeks ago. Jay was downstairs on the phone, Egg was playing quietly in his bedroom and Dumpie was jumping up and down in his cot demanding to be let out. I raced upstairs to avail myself of a moment of peace in the toilet, promising Dumps I'd be down in a sec to get him out. I needn't have bothered. Moments later I hear two sets of pitter-pattering feet as the bathroom door (sans lock) is thrown wide open and two grinning munchkins descend upon me where I am sat rather shocked upon the white porcelein.

I yell 'Jay!' assuming he's there with them and has let the boys in, but there is no answer, and when I quiz Egg about it, he admits that HE got Dumpie out of his cot. I simply do not believe it, so I make him take me downstairs and show me himself. Sure enough, once I plop Dumpie back in his cot, he stands on his tippie-toes and hoists his armpits over the bars while Eggie reaches up and grabs onto him, slowly backing away as Dumpie wiggles and squirms his chubby behind in order to better facilitate his release. Seconds later Egg is staggering under the 'solid' weight of Dumps, holding him completely in his little arms before it is too much and Dumps is ungracefully plopped onto the floor, from whence he shakes himself off and toddles out the door. Bish bash bosh. Easy peasy. No problemo.

So you see, my days of rule are over. Now that there is no hope of containment for these two, they have full run of the house and are well aware that the balance of power has shifted. There is nothing these two will not get into or destroy - if that is what they so desire. Last week it was my £60 MAC power chord which was cut with scissors in two places, then a few days later Jay held up the short little piece of the cord from HIS laptop in disbelief while Egg chuckled quietly from the doorway. URGHHH!!!

The two of them climb onto the counter tops and from there have access to nearly every cupboard in the kitchen, and have demolished peanut butter jars, bags of crisps, cookies, whole bars of 70% cocoa chocolate (that was a fun day) and even bags of marshmallows and the chocolate topping I sprinkle on my infamous homemade cappuccinos (sigh).

Add to this the fact that night times have become a ritual of pointless and frustrating routine, as Dumpie has now learned how to hurl himself out of his cot on his own. He simply points his toes like a chubby little gymnast and once resting them on the top of the bar, uses his brute strength to lift the rest of his body up and over and then hurls himself to the ground, refusing to cry even if he does mildly injure himself. He just brushes himself off and runs off laughing to find me and gloat.

It is at this point that I have usually retreated downstairs for my first real rest of the day, or to clean the kitchen after the nightmare that is dinner time, and I'll look up and framed in the doorway is Dumpie looking rather pleased with himself and Egg giggling and jumping up and down behind him shouting, 'Dumpie got out himself! Dumpie got out himself Mama...look!"

It often takes six or seven tries and much sobbing and making of scary faces (that's me by the way) before they boys eventually give up and realise that their psycho mother means business and perhaps their 'Houdini' antics are best saved for another day when Mama looks a little less on edge.

The biggest problem I face is my totally schizoid attitude towards the monsters. Sometimes I want to throttle them (like last week when they tore a lens out and broke the fragile frames of my one-of-a-kind cooler-than-cool, collectors edition sunglasses), and other times I just look at their hilarious expressions and their outretched baby arms and am face planted with a gooey kiss and...well, I just melt and want to keep them tiny and adorable forever.

So you see? They already win. They know they are cute and they know I'm a sucker. I should just get them their own set of car keys (and a car of course), give them their own level of the house, and let them get on with the job of growing up, destroying ALL our material possessions and fulfilling their destinies.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Auntie Kenz's Big Birthday Sleepover Party

Monday was Auntie Kenz's birthday, and so Egg, Dumpie and I found ourselves on the number 77 bus going to Waterloo to our old 'hood' for festivities, armed with a home-made New York Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake, some pressies, a bottle of cold champagne and one nappie (sigh...why oh why can i not get to grips with this 'mother' thing of always having emergency supplies on hand?). Pizza was ordered, fine wines and champagne were imbibed (mostly by me, but more on that later), pressies were opened and exclaimed over, and two monsters ran riot around Auntie's front room. Whether they were delighted more by the bowls of nibbles and sweeties freely on offer, or the joy of popping balloons loudly on the variously scattered candle flames it's hard to say. Either way a fine time was had by all, and it was with some reluctance that I prepared to leave around 10pm.

Auntie Kenz and Auntie Mo begged me to stay with the boys for a sleepover, as now that we all live somewhat scattered around central London, popping by for a quickie chat in our jammies, in full view of double-decker buses and amused passers-by is no more. (Yes, there was a time not so long ago when we all lived two doors down from each other, and much hilarity ensued as a result. Our shambolic bunch not-so-silently took over the neighbourhood and we treated the Regency Terraces as if they were a family homestead and the other occupiers mere peasants!)

At any rate, my judgement was fairly blurred, and faced with the prospect of transporting two monsters and a slightly grumpy and tired husband across town via a train ride and then long walk, all while being very very tipsy (read 'wasted/drunk/hammered'....whichever you prefer) did not so much appeal. The fact that I had only one nappie did not register, nor did the fact that I was without toothbrush, contact lenses or indeed anything of worth and value aside from my fabulous lip gloss, register on my inebriated mind. So a few hours later found the boys crashed in Auntie's bed and sofa, snug and cozy lazily watching the 24 hour cartoon channel, and Mama bent over Auntie Kenz's toilet bowl - twice! - paying for her sins.

Poor Auntie Kenz was left to tuck everyone up in assorted beds and sofa's for the night and the next morning a quick dash was made to Boots to buy some nappies (as evidence that I was completely and utterly hung over I managed to purchase the wrong size - partly put off by the fact that a special needs man hired by the store to pass out free christmas catalogues had somewhat spooked me by wishing me merry christmas whilst gazing lovingly into my bloodshot eyes).

But all is well that ends well and it was another 'A-K B-Day' survived (when you're past your 30th bday and you're a laydee it's all about survival methinks...hence the purchasing of finer and more expensive bottles of 'whatever' becomes necessary the older you get...natures way of saying, 'You're past it lady but darn it all you can afford the best and have moved on from alco-pops'). But I digress....

Today we are off to a Halloween arts n' crafts session at our local library at 10:30am for which I proudly sport tickets in my wallet. In an effort to be more 'Mom-like' I took the initiative last week of purchasing two tickets for Dumps and I - totally forgetting that this week is Egg's half-term holiday - oops! So that should be fun as I attempt to smuggle in two loud boys - one of whom is very clearly not 'under 4' and not in possession of the necessary ticket. oh well.

I forgot to mention that on the weekend I spent 1.5 hours each way traveling to a part of remote East London to a crazy rehearsal space to spend 6 hours jamming with a band made up of complete strangers who found me on the internet. I wasn't sure whether they would turn out to be psycho's or what, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that they have a collection of some pretty strong songs and a penchant for a female vocalist (who may or may not turn out to be me depending on whether I can put up the crazy journey times, the time commitment, the non-ventilated rehearsal room (they are all chain-smokers - urghh!) and the dodgy area (I waited at the bus stop in the dark with two prostitutes, one crack-whore and five 'hoodies' all looking interestedly at my mac laptop bag and dangly earrings).

I left home at 12:15pm and arrived back at 10pm feeling exhilerated (well who wouldn't - getting to play 'rockstar' and sing with a great band for hours), shattered, shaken (the bus stop and subsequent journey home was a tad dodgy) and confused....Am i too old for this game? How badly do I want it? Will this all end in shambles or could it be the escape route from mediocrity I've been craving for so long...a chance to express myself musically that I've desired since childhood?...

Who knows? Right now I can't even indulge in those thoughts as I have Dumpie transferring apple juice, cheerio's and oatmeal into various assorted plastic bowls on the table behind me like a demented alchemist, Jay attempting to mend his flat bike tire at the kitchen table having had to return home just now, and Egg yelping and jumping off furniture in the front room. I shall do what I do with everything in my life when it all gets too much and overwhelming...I shall file it in my brain under 'miscellaneous' and hopefully get back to it when I have a spare moment. Which just might mean never.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Bye-Bye Grandpa

Bye Bye Grandpa...
Grandpa left today to fly back to Toronto. There were many tears, and I don't look forward to the moment when Dumpie realises that his beloved Grandpa is no longer 'living' in the bedroom next to his (those two are thick as thieves). As Dad has come and gone a few times already (to Majorca then later to Cyprus) I don't think the boys realise that Grandpa (Dumpie calls him 'Da' like I used to call my Grandfather) ain't coming back anytime soon.
Parting is such sweet sorrow, and no more is that true than when it involves loved ones and family. You think it gets easier the more the years fly by and you get used to it, but really it gets painfully harder and more gut-wrenching each time. I can't help but think that one day we may just regret having spent so many years living away from our families - even though this is our home now and it feels 'right' that we should be here (sigh).

Speaking of the homefront, there are major troubles afoot. Not only do we still find ourselves in possession of a VACANT(!) two bed flat in central London (despite several viewings), but what with the whole global economy meltdown thing, our estate agents who are selling the place for us are now to demotivated to even take our calls (...or maybe they have closed down like half of them in London?!). So we are trying to let it, and have resorted to putting ads on the internet in hopes of getting some decent tenants who will keep the place occupied until further notice. Trying to arrange viewings with strangers across town with two young children and no car is lots of fun...really enjoying it.

Nothing much else to report but rebellion and tears from our eldest (more on that tomorrow), and a severe crisp and chocolate addiction from our youngest (most mornings he's smeared in the stuff despite having the best hiding places...he climbs like a monkey onto counters and climbs the shelves to the top).

So back in the blogging saddle at long last I must now bid you goodbye as I have about 2 weeks worth of work to do in the next two hours. Now where did I put those amphetamines...?!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

"Birthday Blues"

So it was my birthday this past week. What a drag. Personally, after the age of 25 it's all gone downhill in terms of celebrating, what with the realisation that the things in your past are far more exciting than what you have to look forward to in the future. (I say this with probably a fair dose of negativity flavoring my usually more even-keeled mind, and having already experienced all of the so-called 'big' moments in life: first kiss, falling in love, first proper job/career, getting married, giving birth.....what's left again?!)
At any rate, i'm probably being slightly too negative today as I've just received an email from my one sole-remaining band member (I took the risky but necessary move of suggesting we ditch his useless musician friends and get a new band together on our own...whoops...didn't take into account that most elusive but powerful relationship between boys, their beer and their mates.) The fellow in question said that for him being in a band is more about hanging out with his mates and having a laugh as opposed to actually producing killer tunes, gigging and getting a record deal. Silly me! Since i do not possess a penis (well last time i checked anyway), don't like beer (the odd half-pint of Guinness now and again is as close as i get to the stuff), and can't stand his dorkish mates that made up the band....well...kind of leaves me at an impass don't it?

So I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself as this fellow possessed a few good tracks which i reworked into something pretty cool and I think we could have worked well together. What's making me despondent is that I'm trying to imagine how on earth i'm going to find the time to get a whole new band together, disguise myself to look 10 years younger than I am, smooth over the fact that I am a 'mother of two' and not a champagne-swilling 'Indie Babe' (well I can swill champagne as good as the best of them but don't find so much occasion these days) and throw myself into such an all-consuming project when I can't even find time to wax my poor legs these days?

I am probably the ONLY mother who has still not sewn name tags into Egg's school uniform, nor procured him a school book bag (not technically my fault they've been out of stock for a few weeks but still...), nor been practicing his phonics lessons on a regular basis. Nevermind - I was top in my class for reading all the way through school and Jay is rather handy with the old turn of phrase and a book worm as well, so here's hoping the genetics were passed on to our firstborn.

I still haven't gotten used to Eggie being gone all day and it still makes me sad that I've lost him to the big bad world on a daily basis. The other day he told me that sometimes at lunch he wishes he could come home for a nap...poor dear - I know exactly how he feels. 6.5 hours a day for a four year old is pretty hardcore when you think about it.

Dumpie now devotes most of his time to making a mess around the house, and I down strong cappuccinos and lurch around in his wake with a wet cloth most of the time to deal with the worst of the disasters. He's currently plugged up one of our bidets with giant chestnuts which are wedged down the drainhold. Living in a D.I.Y. unfriendly environment I can only guess when that will be, living with three males I don't think the underused bidet is a matter of urgent priority.

Speaking of urgent priorities, I'd better dash off and pick up Egg from school. He likes me to be one of the first 'mamas' there and I am happy to oblige...especially since we seem to have gotten into the habit of being 'late' most mornings. It doesn't matter how much time I give us to get there - when we're downstairs in a torrent of shoes, sippee cups, balls, chestnuts, keys, wallets, coats, etc. it all goes to hell and we are invariably the last ones to get there. Egg doesn't seem to mind but I find it a bit embarrassing especially when a fellow mother sees me racing up the hill towards the gates, sweating profusely and looking stressed, and bellows out, 'Late again?!'.

Yep lady....I is late again...what you gonna do about it?