Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Dancing Prancing Elves

Christmas season...we have eaten our combined body weight in biscuits, cheese and chocolate. We have imbibed probably a bathtubs worth of fine wines, champagne and spirits. And we still have the New Year's celebration to get through (audible tummy groan).

As far as Christmas presents go, the surprise hit of the season (in addition to the blasted bloody Pokemon cards!) were a couple of giant donkey heads attached to long posts. Press the right ear and the loud galloping song comes on, Egg and Dumpie whooping with delight as they chase each other around the house from room to room (sigh). Given that a giant paper mache donkey head currently shares prime position with our traditional Christmas tree gold star, you could say that it's been a rather donkey-themed affair this year.

We've watched Mary Poppins, The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, Elf, Bad Santa, Love Actually, Serendipity and Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation. In short, we've made our way through our the annual Christmas dvd bonanza and now look forward to the onset of the last ever Celebrity Big Brother in January. Yes we're lame-o's...

Christmas this year was made delightfully special by the coercion of the monsters into ridiculous elf costumes for the duration. Eggie looked utterly adorable (as always) but Dumpie looked completely hysterical and caused random compulsive choking fits of giggles whenever he'd walk by. Whereas last year he floated about in the costume, this year it fits his rounded little belly to perfection and the red and white striped tights hugged his little thighs most delightfully...

Very little can rival the hilarity of a 'pissy Christmas elf', and Dumps spent the day throwing up his little arms in frustration (as if knowing how ridiculous he looked) and declaring, "Why me have to wear this ALL DAY?!"

(Umm...well you see Dumpie...all the adults in this house have been tipping back the bottles all day and hence find the sight of you uproarious. One day you'll understand...)

So now New Year's looms. Last year the husband ditched me shortly after midnight (and a hastily gulped bottle of champagne) to go elsewhere with friends (childless ones I might add) and p-a-r-t-y the night away.

This year however he has put plans in motion to host our own New Year's shindig.

Although the thought of our dear home getting a bashing isn't very appealing, no other alternatives have presented themselves.

For you see, if the husband dare pulls another fast one again like last year (...and by again I mean as in long as we both shall live) simply doesn't bear thinking about.

Friday, 25 December 2009

"Twas the Night Before 'Frispmas'...

Twas the night before Frispmas
When all through the house
Two small Rug-Rats were stirring
Probably even a mouse (or two)...

The stockings weren't hung
By the chimney with care
In fact they lay buried
In the bathroom by the 'Nair'...

The presents weren't wrapped
And Daddy was pissed
And now come to think of it
So were Mummy (and guests)...

The children weren't snuggled
All warm in their beds
In fact they were racing
Round the ground floor like Speds...

When out on the street
There arose such a clatter
Too lazy to check
We just glanced out the shutter...

And much to our horror
We discovered the scene
Of several drunk Antipodeans
Yelling 'Gravy Margarine!'...

Then rounding the corner
Five 'Hoodies' in a row
Shouting abuse to our neighbours
In the brown slushy snow...

"Now Wankers just listen
Grab your phones and hand 'em over!
You're busted ALRIGHT...
Do it NOW or we clobber!"

The revellers just looked
Then burst into hysteric giggles
"Oh bugger off you 'ASBO'S'!"
They mocked with drunken wiggles

We left that cozy scene
And turned back to the telly
The kids sugar high
No real food in their bellies...

Just another Frispmas Eve
In our dear London town
Our shambolic household
Just about to bed down...

Will Santa Clause come?
He might...who can say...
But we've lots of champagne
So will be merry and (quite) gay!

Merry 'Frispmas' readers and thanks for being so patient as I took a self-imposed hiatus from blogging...I'm BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK (golly gosh darn it)

"Moaning Mum" xx

Thursday, 26 November 2009

"If You Think I'm Sexy...Come On Dumpie Let Me Knoooowwww"

This week Dumpie has incorporated two new words into his vocabulary: 'sexy' and 'damn it'. As shameful as it is to admit, I am more perplexed than anything. Do I say 'Damn it'? Maybe I do, but I don't think so....

As for 'sexy', that ones a real worry. The last thing I need is to be in a fitting room trying on a dress and have a sales clerk overhear my three year old saying, "You look sexy Mama" (which is what he told me yesterday). Urghhh.

I remember when Egg was around the same age and went through his potty mouth period. We had an electrician in the next room fixing one of our sockets and he yelled at me in the kitchen telling me to 'Piss Off!' (Eggie, not the electrician). I kid you not.

The husband tells me I should just ignore Dumps and he'll stop saying these words. He clearly doesn't understand how hilarious it is to have the expression 'Damn it' emitted from the pursed lips of a toddler as he drops his Pokemon cards into his Rice Krispies.

Speaking of Pokemon cards, those things have become the bane of my life. The husband finally gave into Egg's pleas and bought thirty of them for some ridiculous amount on the weekend from the overpriced and overcrowded toy shop down the road. Apparently you have to ask for them behind the counter.

Egg got twenty and Dumps got ten. After school on Monday a rather sombre Egg came home mumbling about how he only had thirteen Pokemon cards now, as some classmates had asked for 'free cards'. My little angel had, in typical fashion, kindly handed over his newly acquired cards, and not insisting on a 'swap' (which is what you are supposed to do with them).

The next day his Auntie and I told him to ask these same children for a card too, thus perhaps reinstating his now paltry collection to its former glory. No such luck. On Tuesday Egg came home with only twelve Pokemon cards (sigh). Poor little fella.

Dumps is wise to Egg's deepening despair and keeps a tight rein and watchful eye - at all times- 0n his pack of nine cards. He carries them around in a tupperware sandwich box. This sandwich box must accompany him at all times and is tucked away in bed with him each night. He uses his now almost equal number of cards to taunt Eggie with, and as a result the number of fights, wrestling matches, and accidental murder attempts due to being pushed down the stairs, has almost doubled this last week.

I hate Pokemon cards.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

"And Then He Was Three..." (The Stinky Chicken That Is)

Yesterday my little Dump-Dumps (aka 'The Stinky Chicken') celebrated three glorious years on this planet.

As befits someone with his larger than life personality, he made his demands clear - and he made them early: a lemon-poppyseed muffin for breakfast (at 'a coffeeshop' I might add), followed by a croissant, followed by a whole bag of chocolate coins in front of the telly for lunch. (Come to think of it, that sounds like my ideal day too....)

As unbeknownst to me, huge quantities of chocolates and sweeties were being consumed in the front room (THANKS grandma for the care package of chocolate miniatures - each morsel being lovingly handled before being gobbled or hidden away for a future pig-out), I was coming to grips with the enormous task I had set myself.

Singlehandedly cleaning the home from top to bottom (our cleaner is 5 months pregnant and her visits these days are sporadic at best), constructing a painfully time-consuming mandarin cake from scratch (homemade buttercream icing included) and preparing for a small gathering of friends for dinner was clearly not enough of a challenge.

No, I had to send out email invitations declaring that homemade pizza's were on the menu. Have I ever made homemade pizza before? Do I have even the slightest affinity with the process of molding and shaping raw dough? Was I aware that the cost of procuring all the ingredients needed would easily be double that of merely picking up the phone and dialing our local Domino's? No, No, and No.


Stubborn bugger that I am, I persisted, even though I sacrificed a shower and spent most of the afternoon and early evening muttering and swearing to myself like a 200 lb Italian chef in the kitchen. However, triumphantly, at approximately 8:28pm the first of four large pizza's emerged from our humble oven, and were greedily consumed by all. Of course by that time, most of the assembled were onto their third or fourth glasses of wine, so I imagine even trumped up dog food might have garnered the same sort of reaction....nonetheless....

Dumps for his part seemed mildly dismayed at the lack of presents. We had instructed friends to just 'bring themselves' given that great swathes of our home more often than not resemble the rear end of an unsuccessful car boot sale. (Possibly, Dumps was recalling Egg's recent birthday and the plethora of brightly coloured packages which accompanied the festivities.)

Clearly preferring his own company to the raucous gathering of now fairly inebriated adults having a singalong in the dining room with a stylaphone, an out of tune guitar, and some tone deaf participants, Dumpie hid himself and a big tupperware box of sweeties behind the large sofa in the front room.

He was only persuaded out when I started making noises about birthday cake and dozens of candles needing to be blown out. It did the trick. Insisting that Eggie bring the cake in and sing a solo 'Happy Birthday' to him, we watched the choral tribute with a mixture of amusement and anxiety as the cake slipped dangerously on the expensive heavy ceramic platter during the performance...culminating in a giant bear hug between the brothers and even a 'lip kiss' at the end. Ah, bless.

Now three, my little Dumps is not so little anymore. Though remaining resolutely UN-POTTY TRAINED, and despite likely being more clever than the average McDonald's employee (former midwife excluded of course), Dumpie has decided that he will continue to soil himself on a daily basis for the ongoing future.

So be it. For now, I'll let the little guy be. Though naughtiness incarnate, he is also outrageously cute...and funny...and adorable...and...well...this family would just be 'normal' without him. Three years ago yesterday, as Dumpie slithered unceremoniously out onto our bathroom floor at 1:52 am, (the confirmed bachelor downstairs listening on with horror and revulsion to the entire birthing fiasco), our lives changed forever.

Perhaps our family wealth (in terms of assets at least) has suffered a severe blow, given the amount of expensive goods Dumps has either lost/hidden, broken, or heaved out the third floor window. And perhaps our eldest darling child Egg has suffered needless countless blows to the head and body by an over rambunctious, summersaulting Dumps. And yes, perhaps the entire neighbourhood (and fellow revellers at 'The Big Chill' summer before last) are too intimately acquainted with the death knell screams of our tantrum-bound toddler...

But damn it...without Dumps life wouldn't be half as interesting, amusing or special.

Here's to you Dumpie Darling...L-O-N-G may you reign...


Saturday, 7 November 2009

"The Exciting Adventures of a Worn-Out, Beige Bra..."

Shameful I know....haven't blogged for quite awhile now. However let me bring you up-to-date on the latest happenings:

1. I am STILL running in the mornings. (I know!) Despite an innate hatred for anything cardiovascular and a propensity for remaining 'earthbound' (this claim having been made (un)lovingly by my amused husband for many years now)...I continue to surprise myself and my other half by hauling myself out of my divinely cozy bed at 7:30am most mornings and propelling my resistant body around the giant Common, until it has either been half an hour or I feel on the verge of a heart attack - which ever comes sooner.

(This activity has several advantages of course: it should it all likelihood soon render me 'in shape' both internally and externally. Though with a history of heart disease on my side being the initial motivating factor, the outward manifestations on my somewhat neglected bottom half haven't gone unnoticed - by either me or the husband. As any woman will admit, however superficial, a shrinking bottom and jeans that actually fit do wonders for ones self-esteem...and make one feel a little less of a tit when running around in the freezing cold mornings like an idiot instead of snuggling or sipping a cappuccino and munching on toast in a cozy kitchen)

2. Now...whilst I have been whittling away at my thighs, the husband has thrown himself into a new 'hobby'. Collecting bicycles. Big ones. This latest passion should have ideally been nipped in the bud some time ago - before it got out of hand - but for reasons which shall become clear later (ie. DUMPIE) I have been otherwise preoccupied. In hindsight of course, it does feel like I have been taking delivery of an inordinate amount of packages arriving almost daily, for some time now.

First thing the husband does upon arriving home each day is to check eagerly for new arrivals on his tragically over-piled desk in the dining room. Slowly it has dawned on me that he is having his latest bike purchase delivered piece by piece, so as not to have me freak out in one big go. Clever - I'll give him that. Unfortunately, this means that not only is yet ANOTHER bike going to hang precariously from our already overcrowded front entrance hall (we have four bikes and counting), but whatever scant attention the husband reserves for his wife and progeny is now spent lusting after bits of steel and leather on his laptop. It is getting tiresome. Though I have now banned said laptop from the bedroom, it doesn't stop him going on about bikes and bike parts like a crazed devotee the other 98% of the time (sigh).

3. Egg is quietly and quickly becoming something of a Mathematician it appears (or should I say, "Magical Mathematician'). He mutters numbers under his breath in the mornings as he skulks about the place. "One thousand one hundred and five....One thousand one hundred and thousand...." etc.

I do wonder whether he is getting any sleep what with all his obsessive counting of sums, but he seems happy enough. And perhaps his meditate chanting makes him less of a target for the Dumps who is always on the prowl for a good ol' wrestle. I do wonder what his teacher is making of this constant counting, though it would appear to be positive as yesterday he arrived home with a giant certificate proclaiming him 'Star of the Week'. (Though the certificate states that he excelled at 'bench work' in P.E., Egg insists that it was the only certificate left and that really it's for doing such brilliant counting all week and being the bestest Mathematician in the class. He even claims to have been the recipient of a handshake from the Deputy Head for his achievements. As one would expect, he has been justly rewarded with a multitude of hugs and kisses, several Jaffa Cakes, a celebratory chocolate bar and two shiny fifty-pence pieces to deposit in his newly acquired globe piggy bank. Bless).

4. DUMPIE. Well, where do I begin? Do I mention how the other day around 5:30pm I found myself hunched naked and shivering on the bathroom floor with bobby pins and tweezers, trying to get the door unlocked? I had tip-toed upstairs for a quick bath while the boys were watching telly, and Dumpie must have sensed that I was indulging in the first spot of relaxation I'd had all week. Having just slid into the hot, fragrant bubbles, he came charging in and proceeded to throw all his manky toys into my nice bath. Then he picked up his hated plastic potty with bits of dried urine on it, and chucked it into my bath as well. I lost it. Egg heard the ruckus and came upstairs to investigate.

Soon both boys were fighting (a common occurance these days as Dumpie has turned into a mini 'Goliath') and the potty was being hurled about with some vehemence from me in the bath and then back in again. One of these times it skimmed the right side of my temple and I screamed out in pain. I tried to kick both boys out but Dumpie was a touch faster and ran quickly to the door and broke the handle off. I kid you not. He yanked off the ancient white knob and poked through the rest of the handle with his chubby little finger before I sussed what was going on and could grab him. He then turned triumphantly toward me while I registered the muffled 'thunk' of the other handle falling out of reach on the other side of the door, and lifting the knob high in the air, added insult to injury (literally) by lobbing the heavy doorknob into the bath as well.

I was livid. Even moreso when I realised that we were now all trapped in the bathroom. I didn't have my mobile on hand to ring for help, and being that it was merely 5:30pm, at best, the husband might be home by 7:30pm. It's amazing what ingenuity surfaces when one is desperate. It was this frame of mind which saw me master - in the longest half an hour of my life - the handy art of picking a lock. (Of course, should I ever become destitute I can now add 'burglar' to my list of possible career options if necessary.)

At any rate, we got out. I caught a chill and was in a foul mood for the rest of the night, but what do you expect? It wasn't until yesterday that Dumpie outdid himself on the naughty front. In fact it's yesterdays antics which have earned me a few scant minutes of peace sans kiddies today, as I sit here typing (venting?!) as the husband takes it in turn to run the monsters round the neighborhood for a change.

Yesterday we were in a department store. There happened to be a great sale on and I found myself with a huge handful of clothes, queuing outside a crowded fitting room. Dumpie chose this moment to fill his nappy with a giant stinking mess, but having waited so long I thought I could just hurry in and try the stuff on before changing him. No sooner had I hauled the pushchair, clothes and my stinking toddler into the tiny change room, when Dumps crawled under the door and escaped. In my bra and pants I had no choice but to call "Dumpie?" tentatively and hope that he responded. He didn't. After several more (increasingly louder) calls he finally did crawl back in but not without accoutrements. He was bearing four big white plastic air fresheners which he had somehow procured from various other cubicles. (I wondered vaguely whether anyone had noticed a chubby little hand reaching under and snatching it while they changed....but that is neither here nor there)

It wasn't until I was trying to quickly get dressed and shuffle myself out of there that I noticed that my son was again missing. And so was my bra. Jeans on, and completely topless I again called out, "Dumpie?" and of course got no response. After several more attempts I got wise and yelled, "Do you want a sweetie Dumps? Come and get one!". Immediately I heard the faint shuffle of his little slipper shoes before my second-born once again appeared from under the door and stood obediently before me. I noticed that he had procured another two air fresheners. As he added them to the pile in the corner, I realised that despite the sheer number of air fresheners now occupying my cubicle, the scent of nappy rot was overwhelming and likely making everyone else feel ill as well.

I put on my most serious face and bent down to look him square in the face....terrified but yet desperate for the answer.

" you know where Mummies bra is?"

His eyes glinted and he giggled, shaking his head. "Anywhere!" he declared triumphantly, arms widespread to encompass the entire universe.

Bloody hell. I knew it. "Dumpie! Mummy needs her bra and I need you to go and find it for me NOW?!" I hissed desperately. "If you do I will take you out and buy you the biggest treat EVER. So please go and bring it back from wherever you put it okay?"

Out of greed or sensing my encroaching misery (it WOULD have to be my shitty beige, worn bra I was wearing that day...) he scurried back out under the door and after a long wait of several minutes he returned, holding my bra triumphantly aloft, PAST the huge queue of waiting customers, and screaming out, "Here you go got it!"

I was mortified. Utterly. If only it could have ended there. But no.....having rushed so quickly out of the store in an effort to put as much distance between myself and all those who now knew exactly what sorry state my undergarments were in, I failed to notice until we were standing on the street that in all my haste I had left my sunglasses inside. Urghh!!

Now there is dignity and there is common sense. I wasn't about to sacrifice one for the other, so back up in the lift we went (you will be pleased to know that I had at least shuffled my putrid-smelling son into the toilets to change his foul smelling nappy moments on the way out). As I shamefacedly retraced my steps, avoiding the somewhat familiar faces of those still in the fitting room queue, I failed to notice that Dumpie had mysteriously escaped and that I was indeed talking to, and pushing maniacally around, an EMPTY bright red push chair. When at last I miraculously located my beloved aviators hooked onto the string of the bikini top I'd tried on, my joy was short-lived when I realised that I had no idea where or at what point I had lost my son.

Let me cut to the chase. The next ten or so minutes were spent speeding round and round the now fairly busy first floor of the department store, calling, 'Dumpie!....Dumpie!...Dumpie!" and making a spectacle of myself. Some other mothers noticed my panic stricken face, and taking pity, joined in the search. "Dumpie?.....Dumpie?....Dumpie?!" we were all calling, peering up and down aisles, behind mannequins, looking for a naughty little midget...but to no avail.

Just as I started to get that really sick feeling deep in the pit of my stomach (though in retrospect, Dumpie is probably one of the least likely potential kidnapping victims I would imagine) a lady from the far end of the store called out, "Ooh...over here!"

About five of us rushed over (my 'lost child' had become a storewide event) and peered up on our tipee-toes into a tall rack of coats. Clutching onto the silver pole in the middle like a little monkey/pole dancer was my Dumps. That would explain why we missed him and couldn't see his feet. I didn't know whether to throttle him or cover him in kisses. But for the benefit of the assembled mothers I chose the latter, and wearing a slightly crazed grin, plopped him inelegantly into the push chair and barreled us into the lift before anyone knew what had hit them.

And so there you have it. But a little snapshot of the goings-on in my shambolic household these days. Perhaps the time I used to spend blogging is now being spent, hands shakily holding a much-needed cup of Earl Grey and recovering from Dumpie's latest shenanigans. I kid you not. There are many stories I could tell, but it would take a whole books worth to catalogue them all.

So I'll bow out now, and leave you with the so not endearing vision of my youngest last night, scrubbing down our wide-screen telly in the front room with the filthy toilet brush from the first floor bathroom. I scooped him up under one arm, yelled for Egg to come upstairs with us for bath time, and grabbed my mobile with my one free hand.

One can't be too careful these days...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

"The Dumpie Dilemma"

Dumpie is currently slumped in front of the large screen telly in the front room.  He is there because we both need some 'alone time' given that he recently ingested an entire box of Mikado chocolate sticks.

The reason he was allowed to stuff his face with a chocolate-based product before 10am was directly related to the amount of 'mother guilt' I was suffering due to having earlier dragged him kicking and screaming into the doctors office to receive yet another immunisation.  He was terribly affronted when I pulled down his dark navy corduroy trousers to allow the nurse access to his chubby little thigh.  Furious, he watched her jab him quickly in the left leg, then unbeknownst to her, ducked out of the way just in time before he could swat her on the side of her head.  It was a close call.

Downstairs his wailing drew concern from a kindly receptionist who dipped into her personal supply to procure a chocolate for him in the hopes of getting him to cease and desist in his wailing...especially as it was obviously distressing the elderly man pacing anxiously in reception.  

I must confess I'm not in the best of ways these days either.  This is mostly due to the fact that a certain toddler is now making nightly visits to our marital bed.   From dawn onwards each day I find myself lying awake, ramrod straight, crammed in between an oblivious tossing and turning husband and a fleshy little carbunkle who insists on sleeping one of two ways: either face to face with his little arms wrapped snuggly around my neck (this is adorable for about 2 seconds) OR draped on top of me as if I am a small mountain.  

Sometimes I'll hear, "Mama hold me!" which means I must immediately turn about face and wrap my arms around him from behind as he curls and snuggles back into me.

Yes, yes, I KNOW that I should treasure these cuddly, precious moments before they are gone forever and I am a source of embarrassment and dismay instead of the glorified love object I appear to be at present.  And I know that Egg wasn't the most cuddly of babies and thus I openly longed for a child who would love to curl up and snuggle in my arms...but seriously...this is getting pretty extreme.

These days I can't even wear my favourite Topshop black and white striped top because even though I have a fairly modest cleavage, the cut of the piece shows what I do have to its' utmost advantage and drives Dumpie to distraction.  The last time I wore it Dumps spent the day nuzzling my chest and lovingly stroking the tops of my breasts in a proprietary fashion.  

Still, there are advantages to having such a precocious child.  There is no end to the constant amusement he provides.

The other day Dumpie wandered in casually wearing oversized bright orange plastic 'shutter' sunglasses and proffering a Nurofen Plus headache tablet (don't ask) to the husband who had earlier expressed dismay over the unfortunate onset of a cold, while the three of us had been lying in bed listening to the radio.  

And then that night just after midnight as we were about to turn off the lights we heard a strange noise.  Moments later outside our bedroom door we heard what sounded bizarrely like a A chord being strummed.  We weren't wrong.  In walked the Dumps, half asleep, clutching 'Teddy Bear' and his little guitar.  

He promptly climbed in bed, I hoisted the guitar from his hands and seconds later he was quietly snoring.  The husband and I looked at each other, too tired to laugh but terribly amused nonetheless.  Our little sleepwalker clearly has something of the musician in him.

Little Egg meanwhile continues to shine as 'class mathematician' and now burgeoning 'reader'. Last night I sat through an entire reading from "Green Eggs and Ham" as Eggs astounded me by reading the whole thing cover to cover.  

With any luck in a month or two I can hand over 'bedtime story' duties to Egg while I collapse 
downstairs in front of 'Location Location' with a glass of red wine and try and ignore the screams as Dumps and Eggs fight over who gets to turn the next page.

But for now I must dash.  My giggling toddler is whipping my set of razor sharp keys at my head as I try and type this.  I am seriously in danger of losing an eye. 

Monday, 12 October 2009

"Little Dumpie Scissorhands"

Dumpie has discovered the manifold joys of scissors....again.  We went through this once before as you may recall, and after a brief flirtation with cutting up various bills (fine by me) and other rather important documents, he outdid himself with the cutting in half of two very expensive Apple Mac power cords, before moving on to other forms of "D.D.B." (Domestic Destructive Behaviour). Or so we thought.

The other morning we were woken at 9am (the monsters had been up since 7...?) by Dumpie standing at our bedside, scissors held excitedly aloft, and gleefully declaring, "Anything!" when asked what he had cut up.  ("Anything" these days is a favourite expression of his and is mistakenly used in place of "Everything"...oh joy oh bliss.)

Currently, one of his favourite past times  is to cut out the toes on socks - preferably while he's wearing them.  If his chubby little toes weren't peeking so adorably out of his customised footwear, I swear I'd throttle him.  I have no choice but to add them to the growing pile of mangled but otherwise perfectly new collection in the upstairs bin.  (He intercepted a freshly laundered pile of clothes on the weekend, and as a result Egg's sock drawer is looking pretty sparse these days.)

This morning I shrieked in bed (mental note to self:  I think I may be turning into one of those frazzled, 'scary mothers' who scream more than not on a typical day) when Dumpie deposited a mangled plastic object of some sort on my ear.  He has lately taken to bestowing upon us, 'noctural visitations' a few times a week due to the 'big monsters' who have apparently recently taken up residence in his room. 

Personally, methinks the hot duvet-clad thighs of Mama are too delectable for his freezing little feet.   Unlike Egg the perspiring little midget, Dumpie has obviously inherited my poor circulation - and upon waking he scurries upstairs to the far superior "Mama-Dada Bed" for some pre-dawn nuzzling and snuggling.  As the husband refuses to let him in on HIS side of the bed, that means it's me who gets chubby toddler feet rammed into my thighs or worse - my derriere.  (That'll teach me to sleep in the nude.)

Whatever the case, Dumps obviously saw fit to bring his scissors along last night.   As I grasped at the object trying to gain entry into my ear canal with cries of "What's this?!   I can't see?!"  the glaring light was switched on by the husband, long enough to ascertain that the object in question was MY (newly) mangled credit card.  URGHHHH.  

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's All Coming Apart...

It is with great dismay that I acknowledge the ongoing physical deterioration of our home.  On the weekend the lovely tap in our en suite sink broke off in one messy, rusty chunk.  This now means that all face washing and tooth-brushing has to be conducted one flight down in the family bathroom.  Although a larger space, it is nonetheless littered with waterlogged plastic bath toys, suspicious dark brown smudges, and the odd festering nappy in the bin, which all detract from what would otherwise be a pleasant if mundane experience.

Moreover, downstairs by the front door Dumpie has obviously spent far too long waiting (im)patiently for a scooter ride on many an occasion, and has thus had the opportunity to begin the laborious process of removing the white wallpaper and plaster from the wall.  He has made great inroads and now huge bits of white crumbly material litter the doormat and make the wall look ghastly.  With any luck, by Christmas he'll have burrowed a proper hole right through to the place next door - which conveniently belongs to the buildings Freeholders.  

I could go on, but it's merely going to upset me....(the biro scribbles on the pristine white painted window frames which will absolutely not come off...the sunken bits of carpet in the monsters bedroom which will likely never give up their musty smelling stains on account of the bucketloads of water which have been ferried from the bathroom with great regularity...the orange-juice-stained pull cords for the kitchen blinds which Dumpie insists on submerging in his breakfast juice each morning...the gaping holes visible on our bamboo fence enclosure outside on the terrace, where Egg decided to break off sticks in order to see 'what was on the other side'...the small but noticeable dents in the various landings in our home which bear scars from having had my heavy 5 lb weights lobbed down at me from a pissy toddler one too many times...ah, I could go on, but why bother?)

I might as well accept that our family is not built for grace, elegance or refinement.  No, three boys ensure that I spend approximately 80% of each waking day trying to keep utter chaos, filth and disorder at bay.  (I include the 'big boy' here too, for his domestic habits don't seem to have progressed much since the teenage years...)

We are "The Housewreckers" and as such are capable of reducing a home's core value by at least 40% within the first  year, with little or no effort.  The only time I feel a sense of well-being in my surroundings is when the husband is out for the night and the monsters are tucked up in bed.

Then, I turn into some sort of demented Martha Stewart.  I happily scrub, wipe and mop until surfaces are fragrant and gleaming.  At which point, with a bit of strategic mood lighting, I can swan around to my heart's content, imagining I live in a lovely CLEAN home and am not the downtrodden washerwoman that I am sometimes mistaken for (for whatever else would compel my three fella's to heap pile upon pile of dirty and not-so-dirty clothes into laundry baskets, and thousands of cups, bowls and utensils into the sink...ensuring my hands most closely resemble those of a pensioner??)

I wish I didn't care.  I wish I could just be a slob and adhere to the old, "If you can't beat 'em...join 'em" motto.

If only I weren't hopelessly terrified by rodents, I might just relax a bit and give in to the haphazard domestic rhythm of this household.   Really, it's just the thought of a giant brown rat scampering across the kitchen floor which keeps me elbow-deep in soap suds and cleaning products.

Pathetic really...

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

"Destined for Dirtiness"

Our new cleaner (a lovely Lithuanian woman who has only been here twice so far, and is indeed the fifth cleaner we've had in the past few years) yesterday announced that she is pregnant.

This would explain why she texted last week to say she was sick and couldn't come.  (And here I was thinking that it was yet another in the string of notorious texts from cleaners making up all manner of excuses why they can no longer clean our shambolic home.)

Having gone through this once before with our beloved Polish cleaner Dorothy, it is not fun having a pregnant cleaning lady.  For starters, there is the gut-crushing guilt that someone in 'that' condition is heaving hoovers up three flights of stairs and breathing in all sorts of potentially toxic cleaning fluids (sigh).  Then of course there is the fact that you feel obliged to 'help out' - thereby rendering the whole idea of roping in help kind of pointless.

I did what anyone would do when faced with such a predicament.  I reached into my wallet and gave her a pay raise on the spot, all the while calculating her due date and realising with dismay that we'd be lucky to have her stay on till Christmas.  

Still, that's not the least of my worries...not even close.  Dumpie has taken to foraging for bits of old chewing gum and popping them into his mouth to achieve a once again soft consistency.  I was alerted to this today when leaving the library and proudly being shown a piece of bright green chewing gum in his mouth, which he no doubt procured on the floor behind the 'New Fiction' aisle while I wasn't looking.  URGHH!!!!

Dumpie is also going through his 'Terrible Two's' and as such is terrorising the household.  

The other day in church we actually got kicked out (in as much as one can be politely asked to depart and cease disruption in the house of God.)  Unfortunately it was an 'All Ages' service - which though fine in theory is actually a nightmare.  As horrific as it was to observe them racing up and down the aisles during the hymns, this was nothing compared to the humiliation of witnessing their very public wrestling match right up in front of the alter a short while later.

Auntie Mo and I each grabbed one under an arm and shuffled our disgraceful selves out of there in full view of the congregation.

Sometimes my life seems like an unsuccessful sitcom about to be cancelled after it's first season.  Truly.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

"Run Mama Run"

In an effort to amuse myself (and also, i confess, to get killer thighs for after Christmas when I hope to be languishing on a beach, writing a bestseller and composing a penultimate album, clad only in a tiny black bikini most of the time....) I have taken up 'running'.

Okay, so I've only done it four times so far.  But I've done it!  And so I only 'run' for twenty minutes at a go, so it's not really hardcore....but still.  And okay, fine, so perhaps my lumbering along is more akin to a 'jog' than a 'run' but i'm still moving, my feet are (kind of) rhythmically pounding the ground and I'm always on the verge of a heart attack so...doesn't that count?

The husband was terribly amused the first morning I came down, before 8 o'clock (that in itself a small miracle), dressed in black Adidas shorts, a tight white vest and looking like he'd never, ever seen me...dare i say 'sporty'?

He guffawed, (hurt my feelings), expressed incredulity, then watched with amazement as I let myself out into the cold morning, ipod in hand.  

Eggie and Dumps could care less, though Egg has expressed his desire to come and run with me, whilst Dumpie accusingly tells me i'm 'stinky' when I come back in and try and grab him in a bear hug.  He accepts that I need to 'Ekkercise' but can't help himself from jumping onto my stomach when I try and do crunches (sigh).

I do wonder how long this current phase shall last.  When the mornings get increasingly cold and dark I doubt I'll be able to show the same strength of will to hurl myself out onto the miserable streets with the same level of enthusiasm.  Saying that, if it means I can keep up my current level of cheese and wine consumption without bulging out of my low waisted hipster just might prove incentive enough.

Truth is, I'm chasing that exercise 'high'...that adreneline...that free drug your body dispenses to your brain to make you feel good.  I need to 'feel good' these days.  Dumpie is going through the 'terrible two's' at the moment and seriously depleting my natural stores of Seratonin.

I march the streets with a manically screaming child, drawing all sorts of looks and accusatory frowns.  Not only can I not handle my child, but I'm ruining the quiet peacefulness of the street with my devil child who is using noise pollution to disturb all those serene Starbucks-swilling 'Mum's' and 'Mums to be'....

Moreover Dumps now insists that he get to ride his little scooter when we drop off and collect Egg from school.  This means simply, that a formerly five minute journey now takes up to twenty minutes depending on how many tantrums and refusals to move we have to endure as a certain little man asserts his independence and acts according to his toddler-ish whims.

He's also inherited his Auntie Kenz's lungs, and I was told by another parent the other day that he could hear us coming from four streets away. 

Charming.  I love raising boys.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A Spit and a Polish...

Today our new cleaner started. This is our third one this year. We are not entirely sure why we seem to be going through domestic help at such a ridiculous rate, but both the husband and I have our opinions.

HE thinks that it's because we should pay them MORE money than their other clients, thus keeping them sweet. (And no, he isn't referring to bonuses for holidays or special occasions, he means that we should just voluntarily up their rates for no apparent reason. I try to imagine the conversation...)

ME: "Thanks so much _____. Great job today. Listen I'm giving you a bit extra because I want you to know how pleased I am with your job performance."

HER: "What? I no understand..."

ME: "No, my husband and I thought that you deserve a little more than you're getting, so just keep the change...ok?"

HER: "Me no understand."

ME: "Umm...."

The husband doesn't understand that to up someone's hourly rate when a friend was kind enough to put in a good word for you, could result in your friend being made to look cheap - or worse - the cleaner demanding that her other clients match your generous offer. It's a lose/lose situation any way you look at it - especially as I am convinced that money has precious little to do with the fact that cleaners ain't too keen on cleaning for us.

I have a few theories myself. Maybe it's because we have three bathrooms to clean? I mean, how horrid is that? Or perhaps it's because the husband insists on maintaining his Mount Everest pile of clean clothes balanced precariously in the corner, making our room resemble a student dormitory at times. Or perhaps we've got two little boys, too many flights of stairs, and are simply...unlikeable...? We're getting a complex about it now...

At any rate, we didn't start this new relationship very well this morning with the sweet, lovely woman who rang our doorbell at 8:30am. (They're all lovely in the beginning...before I get the inevitable text saying, "Sorry I no come no more"...)

Dumpie squeezed a whole tube of bright blue kiddie toothpaste on the upstairs landing, just as she walked in. And then I proceeded to call her the wrong bloody name all morning until she was leaving and gently corrected me (calling me by my right name of course), "Natasha, my name is ____ not _____...though that is nice name too!"


I give her seven weeks. The husband predicts three or less. Especially since he helpfully pointed out that me speaking in pidgin English to her might be construed as patronising...

I give up...

Friday, 4 September 2009

""The Super Giant Mega Kitchen Bubble bath Fiasco"

So my blogging hiatus has come to an end. Sorry to those who were following me and now likely think I've dropped off the end of the earth....and sorry also to those who found my protracted silence a blessed relief from self-obsessed ranting.

I am back. Back in black. Well kind of.  A visit to my newest (and most amazing) hairstylist in the universe has rendered my long, tired tresses a thing of the past.  He restored my sun-lightened multi-coloured hair back into exotic dark hues and now I find that I have a compulsive urge to replace my cut-off denim levi's with an Audrey Hepburn-esque little black dress as a result.  Ah, the benefits of a good old head massage and two hours of pure attentiveness from a young, talented man...

Him:  (massaging my head under warm soapy jets) "Is this too hard?  Does it feel okay?"
Me:    (quietly moaning...then moaning some more) "Oh Noooo...this feels Amaaaaaazing"
Him:  (embarrassed chuckle) "Oh. Good. Ummm...Ok.  Time to cool you down now.  No really." (He then proceeds to douse my head in coldish water, bringing me out of my near-hypnotic state.  Shamefully, I am drooling.  I make mental note to self to send husband to study massage therapy on threat of divorce when next in India) 

Anyway, I digress.  We're back in the London now for the start of yet another scholastic year. Egg's new teacher is a pretty blond just out of teacher's college who I mistakenly took for someones Au Pair.  Oops.  But she looks sweet and I'm sure what she lacks in authority she will more than make up for in massive crushes (and I'm talking about the Dad's here, not the children).

I have to say though, despite having STILL not fully unpacked our eight suitcases (do you blame me?!) yesterday alone was enough to prompt me back onto my blog for more protracted and public moaning.

While on ichat with my father, Dumpie wandered in and rubbed a lovely smelling but very sticky lotion on me.  I wondered vaguely what it was as I distractedly sniffed at it, but it wasn't until I tried to rub it into my arm that I noticed it was producing a heavy, thick white foam.

That's when I noticed that Dumpie's legs and arms were covered in a thick glaze, as if he'd been dipped into a giant cauldron of melted icing sugar in preparation for becoming a human donut. 

I ran shrieking into the kitchen to discover that the new bottle of 'All-In-One Super Foamy Shampoo and Body Wash' I'd bought earlier in the day, had been squeezed out onto the entire kitchen floor.  (Given that the bottle proudly states that a mere pea sized dollop of the stuff can lather and foam up an entire child's body, imagine what a whole bottle can do at really)

After half an hour of mopping it became clear that I was doing nothing but turning the room into a giant slippery bubble bath - not to mention a complete safety hazard.  The more water I put on, the more foam bubbled up, until it became so ridiculous that I just flopped, sodden, onto the floor and tried to stop myself from having a tantrum.  Dumpie and Egg watched from the door, greatly amused, clearly finding the whole situation hilarious.  

(I took the several deep breath's that the anti-abuse commercial on telly suggests when you're about to have a melt-down...took some more...then decided that my doomed kitchen was in all likelihood a preferable environment to the alternative domecile in Her Majesty's Prison if indeed I acted on any crazy impulses involving throttling and the like...)

This morning was no better.  After a long morning of errands and countless stops in various stores along our street, I made one last pit stop before going home.  In the library, I looked down to discover that not only was Dumpie happily munching his way through the second of two gourmet cupcakes I had bought the boys for a treat, but realised he was SHOE-LESS.

Horrified, I asked Dumpie where his shoes were.

"Me throw dere" he said munching happily on a sugary violet flower...

"Where Dumpie?!  Where did you throw your shoes?!" I begged, exhausted and at my wit's end.

"Out dere" he said, motioning vaguely at the door, leaving me to retrace my steps up and down the street for the next half hour.

Fortunately, I did manage to recover the shoes.  (They were found in two different stores, and turned over by bemused shop assistants.)

Unfortunately, I have yet to recover my former good mood.  As it stands, it is M.I.A....  


Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Little Potty That Was Never Loved

Once again I've been absent from the blogosphere for a few weeks now.  Rest assured, Egg, Dumpie and myself are still alive and kicking - only wreaking havoc on the other side of the pond.

My father is still recovering from open heart surgery...slowly but surely.  The monsters are helping out by 'redecorating' his pristine, (formerly) off-white condo, into something with a more colourful (quite literally), bohemian palette. 

It is quite commonplace to walk by the creme fabric sofa in the morning and do a double-take whilst clocking the childlike graffiti swirled in oranges, purples and browns on the back.  It is also quite normal to be sitting and watching television, shift uncomfortably and reach down between the cushions to extract say a giant dried husk of a mango pit, or perhaps a stale and forgotten cheese twirl.

The bright red potty lugged 8 hours over the Atlantic (because it was Dumpie's 'favourite' - notice I say WAS) sits utterly abandoned in one of the toilets - as clean as the day we arrived.  I have now resigned myself to the fact that there is every probability that I shall be wiping my youngest son's bottom even as he sits his A-Levels.  

"Excuse me Sir may I please be excused to use the facilities?"

(A curt nod from the teacher as my large, lumbering son exits the classroom, speed dials me at home and issues his plaintive plea)

"Mum, sorry I've filled my pants again would you mind popping over for a sec and sorting me out?  It kind of stinks...."

"Sure son.  Do you need me to bring the wet wipes or are you cool doing that part yourself?"

"Come on Mum - I'm pretty stressed with exams - could you just do it?"

"Ok son be there in a jiffy!  Just try not to sit on it ok sweetheart?  See you in a minute"

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

"Hello Bumblebee..."

Dumpie is currently lying in the sun-drenched dining room floor beside me, carrying on an imaginary conversation with a bumblebee.  From what I can gather, they are discussing whether or not to get Mama to open the giant bag of 'Nannies' Grandma (aka 'Mum-Mum') got him yesterday.

"  'Ello have Nannies.  You like Nannies?  Me get Mama open Nannies?  You 'ungry?"  

(For some strange reason my son has gone all Cockney lately, much to the amusement of our relatives here in Canada...)

There is the now familiar scent of bodily waste drifting up from the nappie region and it is with much shame and despair that I must confess that 'Potty training' has gone the way of the Routemaster buses in's bloody obsolete.

Yep.  You heard me correctly.  Whether due to the intense last few weeks with Grandpa in intensive care or the fact that Dumpie has clearly inherited his father and my ultra-hardcore-insanely-stubborn's hard to say.  Whatever the case, he appears to have such an aversion to the potty at present that you would think we were trying to lead him to the electric chair like a solemn Tom Hanks in "The Green Mile" - not a cheaply manufactured chunk of useless red plastic.  (sigh)

After several weeks of rain (ah, an 'English summer' in Toronto, how quaint) the weather now seems to be righting itself as evidenced this morning when I was awoken by (who else?) Dumpie right in my face demanding breakfast of his mother who was slowly being roasted alive by the intense sun pouring through the all-glass walls of the condo here high on the 36th floor. (If I had been wearing any sort of lotion I would have likely basted myself and started to smell quite fragrant I imagine.)

So here I sit, contemplating another day, missing my eldest who is in Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto) with his paternal grandparents, about to embark on a swimming lesson.  I'm sipping a disgusting, 'too milky' coffee (I'll have to make sure that my Will clearly outlines the necessity of being buried with my Italian stovetop espresso maker and sufficient 'Illy' to last me well into eternity...) and now have to play a game of hide-and-weep with Dumps...wherein I follow my nose to locate the source of the now putridly pungent diarrhoea-tinged air.  

To ensure I don't fail in my task, there is the faint chant of 'Diarrhoea...diarrhoea...diarrhoea' coming from the other side of the condo.  New favourite word methinks?  Oh great... 

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hospital Daze...

So for the past week or so I've been in the hospital all day everyday... 

My father is slowly recovering from open heart surgery and it's been a very stressful and tense time.  All the grandparents have been roped into 'doing time' with the monsters, but I have to confess that my mom really drew the short straw when landed with Dumps.

During just one phone call Dumpie had dropped a key down the heating grate, unraveled an entire packet of dental floss and fed it to Grandma's puppy (who licked the minty string clean), and was adamantly declaring that he was 'ablolupely NOT going to have a bath', despite being grubby enough to warrant an industrial strength hose down.

Meanwhile in Mississauga, little Egg was having swimming lessons, going for nightly bike rides with 'Granny-Gramps' and eating barbeque fish on a nightly basis.  Becoming increasingly concerned with the passing of time, I wasn't the least bit surprised to see the addition of a wristwatch on Eggie's wrist when he was returned to me.  It glows in the dark so now I can receive bi-minute updates on what time it is.  Hurrah.

Bedtimes appear to have gone out the window and now a nightly 'musical beds' takes place beginning around 8pm and lasting sometimes till long after midnight (sigh).  Last night the monsters outlasted all of us, still running around and giggling like spastic gremlins after we gave up the fight and finally crashed.

It was no surprise then to find myself eyeball to eyeball with Dumpie this morning in the early hours of pre-dawn.

"Wakey-wakey Mama!" he declared triumphantly as he planted a kiss on my lips.  

And so another day begins...

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Just got back from the posh supermarket across the road.  The monsters and I were on our way back from a giant outdoor sand pit and hence the fact that we were now in an indoor, civilised environment was utterly lost on them.

They began by bouncing their giant, red plastic ball down the bread aisle, and as I struggled to grab the necessary sundries as quickly as possible I was aware that I had lost both of them - though faint echo's of 'Oh My!' and 'Oh Dear!" were recognisable as evidence that some customer or another was being whacked in the head by said ball.

I located them - predictably - in the bakery section, where Egg was trying to hustle me for a giant pack of super duper triple chocolate cookies and Dumpie was staring in awe at a blueberry muffin roughly the size of his head.

It was a firm "No" on both counts (the monsters are on a sugar fast until further notice).   Yesterday  while I was in the change room of a store, Egg helped himself to EIGHT free cookies, subsequently hit me up for an ice-cream cone which I had promised, then proceeded to spaz out in a way more akin to a chimpanzee in a zoo than a human child.  

On the way back up in the lift, Dumps pressed the alarm button (again) and I shamefacedly had to answer, "Sorry - it was a mistake!" to the security personnel who answered the distress call.

I'll tell you what - another day like today and I'll be looking to go on the 'Meds'.  The husband, when hearing about my day, helpfully suggested that a few cages might be in order.  

Now there's a thought...

An Ode to My Daily Cuppa(s)...

I don't know what I'd do without my daily coffee(s).  If last summer's Caffeine Theme was Second Cup's 'Skinny Vanilla Bean Latte' (ooohhh how I love that drink...I still have it but more sparingly) then this  year's is Tim Horton's large regular and french vanilla - mixed half and half.
I've even bought their brown branded plastic travel mug because it's so kitsch it's cool.

It's what gets me out of bed in the mornings when I awake to cartoons blaring throughout the condo at some ungodly hour before 7am.  But hey - at least we've moved on from 4am wake-ups.

Coffee is crack for Mum's.  It fuels a day's worth of whines, tantrums and nappie changes.  It gives you a bounce in your dejected motherhood shuffle.  It changes your "I can't take another minute of this" into "Okay just one more"...

I've even started drinking coffee in the early evening to ensure that I stay awake until after the monsters have gone to bed...which these days is anywhere from 8pm - midnight.

I've had three today.  I wonder if tomorrow will be a Four Cup Day.  Maybe it's time to up the ante...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Rain Rain Go Away...

Today has been a trying (and tiring) day.  Pouring rain cascading outside the manifold windows of my dad's 36th floor condo this morning was a bad omen.  Maybe it was something in the air, but the monsters were incorrigible today.  Numerous spills on white carpets, tantrums too numerous to mention, and a total lack of disregard for authority (mine I mean) meant that today is drawing to a close not a moment too soon.

The monsters have taken to doing improv gymnastics on my father's treadmill - hanging upside down like little primates and laughing with glee at the look of horror on my face as I panic, envisioning permanent spinal damage. 

Dumpie has had five (count 'em) outfit changes today...the laundry basket heaving and a quickly diminishing wardrobe at the mercy of a snack-frenzied toddler.  

Egg cannot understand why I scream and holler when he plays ball in the apartment. Apparently all the glass vases and other breakables are mere knick-knacks to his unseasoned eye.

I have taken to slipping off downstairs to the gym each day for a brief respite from the drain of single parenting - pounding out my frustration on the dependable old elliptical machine.

At this rate I'll have shot nerves, crazed eyes but hard thighs by the end of the summer...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

"Dumps on the Loose"

On Sunday, at a lovely barbeque which the in-laws put on for myself and their various assorted kids and grandkids, Dumpie was caught attempting to toss their 20 year old geriatric 'kitty-cat' in their brand new, salt-water swimming pool.

Luckily disaster was averted as I fortunately happened to glance over just as Dumpie was stumbling to the edge of the pool with the large, mostly blind cat, tight in his clutches.  I made it just in the nick of time.

Shortly thereafter Dumpie was successful in tossing a metal, decorative cat, roughly the same size as himself, over their balcony onto the hot tub.  His 'Gramps' was not amused.  A short while later, despite several preemptive warnings, a big red ball also came sailing over the rails, only to land on a beautiful flowering plant.  Oh dear.

The swimming pool was a hit though, and little Egg made me very proud when he tentatively jumped off the 'diving rock' into the scary deep end with only a pair of bright plastic water wings and an obliging uncle waiting to catch him - standing between him and immanent death. Brave little soldier....seems as though all the encouraging applause and courage-bolstering 'shout outs' did the trick and gave him that little bit of extra 'ooomph' to just go for it.

This same behaviour however, had the opposite effect on the Dumps a short while later when a in impromptu 'potty performance' went the way of the dogs.  A lovely state of the art model had been dug out from under the sink upstairs, and brought down outside in the hopes that a certain little someone might be enticed.  At the first sign of Dumps crouching on it we all jumped to our feet and began idiotically clapping and yelling encouragement.

At first humiliated, his expression then changed to one of extreme grumpiness.  Pissed off, he promptly got up off the little white seat, stomped off, and for the rest of the evening the potty lay abandoned in the corner and was not mentioned or even glanced at again.

I suspect there it shall stay for the foreseeable...unloved, unwanted and depressingly pristine.  I continue to spend an absolute fortune on training pants ('training' my arse!) and a great amount of my daily quotient of waking hours on wiping down a dirty bottom.  

Different continent...same deal.  Some things never change...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Sleep Deprivation and Depravity: The Link Explored

Negotiations between hostile two and five year olds can often try the most patient of parents. When you are me however, and find yourself a mere three more whines away from total meltdown (um...and let me clarify that's MY meltdown by the way) it's hard to play 'perfect mummy' and too easy to give in to 'mad mummy'.  And by that I mean 'mad' as in crazy - not angry.

When you add severe jet lag to the equation, there's no telling what you are capable of.  

(It's pitch black outside...a cozy deep sleep is interrupted by a horrible sensation in your ear.  You are jolted awake to find your toddlers fingers crammed right up into your ear cavity, wiggling around and likely doing permanent damage to your hearing...)

(Dumpie) "Mama get up!  Get up Mama!"

(Mama) "Dumpie stop it!  Ow!  Don't!"

(Dumpie)  "Me no tired.  Me bored...." 

(Mama)  "Go sleepy Dumpie it's the middle of the night..."

(Dumpie)  "Me hungry me want treat"

(Dumpie then takes his little fingers and using them like a medieval torture device, pries open one of Mama's eyes, brushing the actual eye ball in the process...)

(Mama)  "URGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!   

So yeah, I've got to work on the tolerance thing.  I've also got to learn how to train my children to respect my nocturnal needs.  

Add that to the list of:

Must train children to eat more vegetables and less 'nannies'...must teach Egg not to ask the age of every middle aged or over person he meets...(must kindly ask Egg to also refrain from giving his opinion about how close immanent demise is to those balding, sprouting white hair, or walking with some effort)...must implore Dumpie not to shriek when scary, moustachioed ladies come up close for a kiss...must train children not to beg for food (or money) from strangers...

(Note: must also train Mama to take more interest in improving parenting skills as opposed to scoffing 'Smartfood' by the bucketload whilst sneakily watching dvd on laptop while children run wild around her...)

Friday, 17 July 2009

"Katie Price and the Killer Harmonica"

So we arrived safely here in Toronto, and much as I'd like to have a good and proper old moan about the 8 hour journey in the air with the monsters on my own...I really can't.  Shockingly, it was the best flying experience I have had with my two little men yet.  

Now, by no means am I saying that it was pleasant, non-eventful, or even encouraging.  No. That wouldn't be truthful.  But I didn't at any point have to nip off to the toilets and pop a quarter that's a pretty good indication non?

Not that there weren't frequent, numerous (well actually too numerous) toilet visits.  Dumpie got it in his head quite early on that he rather enjoyed hanging out in the loo, and thus, deviously conspired to spend as much of the next 8 hours in there as is humanly possible.

Luckily we were sat next to the loos.  Unfortunately they stank.  Luckily I brought enough nappies for the three major 'accidents' of the stinky variety which occurred.  Unfortunately he became transfixed with the loud toilet, the hand pump of scented gel wash and the manifold rolls of loo roll, paper towel and other things in there that are clearly geared toward the interest of a 2 year old.

It would start with the persistent tugging of my sleeve, a grimace, and a moan of, "Mama me sick.  Me throw uuuuuup."  

So I'd grab the stinky chicken under the arm, elbow people out of the way apologetically, then spend the next ten minutes or so in the tiny cubicle with him as he giggled, showed no signs whatsoever of being ill anymore and then to appease me, would do a half-hearted spit in the metal bowl before washing his hands for the fourth time with much glee.

I wouldn't be exaggerating if I confessed that we probably spent a good 1/4 of the flight in there (much to the consternation of the other passengers).

No, what really made the flight bearable and so unlike our last, was the fact that they miraculously gave us bulkhead seats, and being a new plane, there was TONS of room and hence Dumpie was able to jump up and down, deriving much amusement from the new, touchscreen media players.   At one point he even made a makeshift bed for himself on the floor amongst all the spilt apple juice and abandoned Hula-Hoops, and gave me a half-hour of unadulterated peace in which i was able to almost watch part of a bad Hollywood movie ("He's Just Not That Into You"...trite trash but a novel experience to actually 'watch' something).

We did almost miss the flight though.  After eating lunch we had wandered into W.H. Smith to purchase a few magazines before we boarded.  I was busily scanning the shelves, trying to find a cover that did NOT have a certain page 3 girl plastered all over the front with her gigantic breasts stuffed into something tacky and pornographic.....when....all of the sudden I looked up and SHE was standing beside me...stuffed into something tacky and pornographic....and holding the same magazine as I...muttering to herself and her quickly expanding audience of gaping-mouthed onlookers, "This is all garbage...all lies..."

Well I don't know about that, but she certainly lived up to her deliberately crafted image.  Up close she looked like a transvestite.  (Or is that just me and the fact that I fail to see how one might choose to dress like a frontrunner in a pole dancing competition when one is choosing ones outfit for air travel....?)

Dressed in skintight black tights, her toothpick, liposuctioned legs appeared impossibly bow-legged and totally out of proportion with her barely contained, 'ginormous' mammaries.  She was also freakishly tall on account of her uber-high black patent platform stilletos, and ridiculously matt black hair which stood up a good foot higher than her head in a 'K.D. Lang-ish' coif. 

Egg stood there beside me, staring up at her in awe, momentarily forgetting to beg me for the bag of Maltesers he stood clutching in his left hand.  Dumpie (good lad) didn't have one iota of interest in her, and was merely straining to reach for one of those stupid, over priced kiddie mags with the silly gifts glued on front (and the paper density which ensures it will rip as soon as opened and turn into useless confetti within minutes of handing over your five quid).

The store quickly filled up with celeb spotters and hapless punters and so I made for the check-out with some difficulty.  Ms. Price quickly squeezed in right behind me and ensuring that all eyes were on her, then began a loud, annoying conversation on her mobile with someone who may or may not have been her estranged husband...letting out a stream of uncouth adjectives whilst pouting and prancing in a most nauseating way (can you tell I'm not a fan?)

As a result it took a good fifteen minutes to get to the till and when I finally did, the quiet little man supposed to be serving me had to brought back to the present by the banging of my fists on the counter as he stood staring transfixed by lust at the cartoonish character at the next till. 

All this to say that as we finally exited into the main terminal at last, I saw that beside our flight number the red light was flashing "FLIGHT CLOSING".  Whoops.  I then saw that beside gate 42 it said, "20 minute walk" and then I thought, "Uh oh".

We ran the entire way and miraculously made it.  It helped that the plane was delayed.  It also helped that several other passengers had apparently been in the vicinity of W.H. Smith as well. 

Onboard, shortly after take-off, Dumpie discovered the harmonica which Auntie Mo had kindly packed in his little 'Back-Bag' to amuse him for the plane ride.

Misjudged?  Well...I don't know that the other passengers on flight 849 were particularly enthralled with his random and periodic harmonica playing, but on the other hand he actually wasn't that bad on it so....

(Although in retrospect, I don't think the big black fellow sat behind and to the right of Dumps particularly enjoyed  being 'shot at' for the duration of the flight by the 'harmonica gun' wielded by Dumps, complete with sound effects and mutters of, "I kill you!....I kill you...boom-boom-boom".)

Oh dear.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Here We Go Again...

Sorry for the massive silence this past week...have been dealing with a family health crisis back in Canada and have therefore been expending all energy in just coping with that.  As it happens I am flying back there sooner than planned - tomorrow in fact.

Yep.  I said 'tomorrow' and not 'tomorrow night', significantly highlighting the fact that I shall be taking the monsters on a DAY flight for 8 myself...oh my.

Today of course I'm in total denial...packing frantically and trying to sort out a thousand last minute errands whilst my wrung out brain remembers.  Given the fact that Dumpie is currently on a 'three outfits a day' rotation due to a complete disregard for table manners and penchant for continuous all-day snacking, it's tempting to just toss the entire contents of his wardrobe into a giant holdall and baggage allowance be damned.

Saying that, we're flying Air Canada not a charter, but based on a recent trip with my homeland's prime airline, I can say that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.  The cabin staff all look menopausal (not that it's a bad thing per se, but it's pretty clear they'd rather be out pottering around in a garden instead of serving smelly foodstuffs and miniature bottles to the great unwashed).  They also, in my experience, seem to suffer from a great lack of humour (or is it just that wry, sarcastic 'British' wit is lost on them?)  

Whatever the reason, I can assure you that it's nothing like those Virgin Airlines commercials out at the moment.  You know the ones:  hot, blond sex-goddesses strutting their stuff through an airport, turning heads and causing all men remotely in the vicinity to adjust themselves and try and shut their gaping mouths...

At any rate, that's neither here nor there.  I am, in just over 24 hours, about to embark on yet another journey from hell.  Am I petrified?  Umm...utterly so.

See you on the 'other side'...

"Moaning Mum" x

Friday, 3 July 2009

"Excuse Me...Teacher...?!"

This morning I helped out in Eggie's reception class of 30 adorable four and five year olds.  Egg and I spent the first hour flashing huge grins and winks across the room at each other as he sat in a big circle near the teacher and I perched on a tiny chair at the back of the room (is it wrong to be secretly pleased that I fit rather comfortably on it...after all these years?!)

At craft time the children were making little day of the week books, and unfortunately I totally buggered up one child's project by starting with 'Monday' instead of 'Sunday' (whoops).  At Egg's table I must confess that I found it difficult to keep my artistic opinions to myself.  The children were using lots of browns and blacks and grey to colour in their pictures of butterflies and I was constantly trying to thrust aqua and yellow, purples and silvers on them.  They didn't listen.

However this did inadvertently lead to a rather interesting discussion about whether pink is a girl's or boy's colour, and suddenly I understood why little Egg for some time now has declared that pink is no longer his favourite colour - in fact he absolutely loathes it now!  Ah, the terrible peer pressure issue has at last reared it's ugly head and likely won't let go until well into middle age - if even then.  

I brought up the fact that artists have to use all colours to make beautiful creations, and that artists are both boys and girls.  They didn't know what to say to that, so I further explained that boys don't actually have to wear pink clothes but they could still like the colour pink.  The little girl to my left piped up, 'But my Daddy wears lots of pink shirts!"  Ummm.

Unsurprisingly, I got myself into a bit of a jam during outdoor play when I was asked to supervise the building of a big puzzle structure.  Painstakingly slow attempts to coax the children into fitting the giant pieces together themselves led to me shortly taking over the bulk of the project on my own, grunting like a mad woman and barking for new pieces from the children.  I ended up with a most bizarre and skinny, tall structure - not unlike a giant cd case.

The children all wanted to climb inside, and so for reasons still unclear to myself I suggested an impromptu role play game of 'policeman and criminals'.  Several minutes later I heard the teacher clear her throat in abject concern as she took in the scene before her.  

The 'criminals' were badly misbehaving to get into the 'jail' and the 'policemen' were being rather rough with their charges.  Two children had decided to try and escape by climbing out of the top of the structure (well that's what criminals do I guess...I hadn't thought through that angle) and it was just at this moment that the teacher and I realised that not only were the children involved in a socially questionable game, but that the structure was about to collapse! Potentially serious injury appeared to be imminent to both the children falling from a great height and the other unfortunates trapped inside below.  Ooooops.

The teacher and I silently spent the next several minutes dismantling the hazardous and uninspiring structure, while the children stood around solemnly, wondering why their play time had been so suddenly curtailed.  

As I left at lunch the little ones came up and gave me hugs, asking if I'd come back another time. I can't imagine I'll be top of the list for volunteers after today, but I wouldn't be surprised if suddenly there is a sudden burst of children requesting play dates at Jake's house.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Toothpaste and Mangos and Everything Nice...Is What our Boys are Made Of...

Our cleaner 'Ola' is here (did I mention she is da wickedness?!) and I don't quite know what she's going to make of the huge horrible splotches of gooey white mint toothpaste spread all over random pieces of furniture.  Yep, the Dumps has been at it again during a brief moment of unsupervised 'play'.

Two days ago I became rather incensed after spending an hour and a quarter turning the downstairs upside down looking for the telly remote control which had last been seen in the grubby clutches of Mr. Dumps.  Never found it, but yesterday it was mysteriously spotted in the Bran Flakes.

This week has been spent sourcing, splitting and consuming vast quantities of watermelon.  It would be a massive understatement to say that the boys are also partial to a bit of mango. Yesterday at a play date I had to step in when I found Eggie harassing our hostess for her last mango.   I tried fending him off with, "Eggie wait till we get home okay?  We have lots there."  

He (rightly so) caught me out in the lie and stated, "No we don't.  You said you would buy some but you didn't.  I want THAT mango!"  (insert silent but heartfelt parental groan of humiliation and shame...)

At any rate I've remedied the situation by remortgaging our home and going out and buying FIFTEEN delicious honey mangoes today.  Tomorrow I've volunteered (being the second-last mother in Eggie's class to do so...oops) to help out in his class in the much for the voyeuristic thrill of seeing my son in a foreign setting as anything else.

I wonder if I can still fit in those teeny-tiny little kiddie seats?  Should I even attempt it?...

Monday, 29 June 2009

"Monday Bloody Monday..."

London is hot.  Not hot as is 'hot' (ie. happening...) but hot as in boiling hot. Apparently this grand old city is in the clutches of a killer heat wave this week.  Now don't get me wrong - it makes a refreshing change from wet, overcast pseudo summer skies - but try getting wide awake, fidgety monsters to bed when it's super bright outside and swelteringly humid.  Not fun.

At any rate, today started off in a shambles.  I'm hoping I've already hit the low point for the day.  It started with Eggie getting dressed in his school uniform and discovering that ALL his short-sleeved shirts are filthy but yet had been folded and put away with all his clean clothes!! (Ummm....Dada....Auntie...Eggie? Who is to blame for this catastrophe?!)

So a frantic wash cycle thirty minutes before school meant that my darling left with a damp shirt which I half-heartedly tried to convince him would probably dry on his scooter ride to school...not.  The poor boy was also sporting the latest in a series of uneven fringes - thanks to a frantic, last-minute kitchen haircut which became immediately necessary when my diary showed that today is school picture day.  

I couldn't have him looking like a muppet (albeit an adorable one) so I tried to trim his hair with Dumpie pulling my arm and trying to snatch the scissors and of course Eggie jerked at the completely wrong moment and now he looks like he's once again gotten a crazy drunk uncle to interpret a 'Hoxton hairdo' but with little success.  He's lucky that he's got such a cute face or he'd be in for a lifetime of bullying at school given his plethora of hair disasters...

The only positive spin I can put on my day is the fact that I am NOT currently where my husband is.  I am not trying to pack up a long weekend's worth of mayhem into a heavy, muddy, overcrowded rucksack, then painstakingly trampling through muddy grounds to a miles away car park to get inside a hot vehicle crammed up against several of some very great, but oh-so-smelly mates (who also haven't had the benefit of a shower for the past 5 or 6 days), and trying to negotiate killer traffic jams for hours before even making it onto the motorway.

You costs.  And since I haven't had any....well here's where i don't have to start paying. Result.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

"Me Like Lady Ga-Ga"

So I've nearly made it.  The husband is due back tomorrow night... assuming he can be scraped out of his tent and piled back into the car for the trip back down to London.  I haven't heard much from him this weekend which means that he is either a) having such a brilliant time that he has momentarily forgotten his status as a father of two and husband of one  OR  b) he's lost his mobile phone again - somewhere in the vicinity of the Dance Tent (which was where I last heard from him yesterday afternoon).

At any rate, it is with some trepidation that I anticipate his arrival tomorrow.  Having taken advantage of a bizarre burst of domestic energy this weekend, I have 'Spic n' Spanned' my way through this place and now it's positively bursting with lemon-freshness.  What my pristine home will make of the arrival of a smelly, exhausted, muddy, sloppy, homecoming hubbie, I don't quite know.

For his part, Egg is most excited about his Dada's return.  He's had no one to play 'Noughts and Crosses' with, or veto his 24/7 playing of the Nintendo DS Lite.  Moreover he's still smarting that he wasn't allowed to go along.

Dumpie on the other hand has developed a rather worrying crush on 'Lady Ga-Ga'; the knicker baring, blond-wigged, rather promiscuously thrusting pop star he has watched on BBC playbacks clearly too many times, and now has absolutely no qualms about feeling up on the telly.  I have caught him twice with sticky fingers on the screen, mesmerised by her gyrating form and declaring, "Me like Lady Ga-Ga".  Oh dear.  The husband is going to kill me.

Actually it might be the bright pink 'Strawberry Shortcake' training pants currently adorning our two and a half year olds bottom that gets me a spousal telling off.  It's partly because they were 'buy-one-get-one-free' and there was just one pair of boys packs left...and partly because I'm mildly annoyed that Dumps has regressed in his potty endeavors and now appears to absolutely delight in his 'legs in the air and being wiped within an inch of his life' pose, which we resolutely reenact several times a day.   So let the boy wear bright pink for his sins!

Maybe it's a good thing the husband is coming home tomorrow after all.  

Friday, 26 June 2009

"Billie Jean Is Not My Lover..."

So Michael Jackson is gone.  G.O.N.E.

Found this out last night as I was stumbling into bed and was still digesting the news of former Charlies Angel 'Farrah Faucet' dying as well.  Very surreal.  Feels like a right of passage somehow....childhood stars drifting up up and away, reminding you of your own mortality and far-flung youth.

Of course to Egg, Michael Jackson doesn't really mean anything.  The only problem he has with the whole situation is that MJ was only 50 years old.  In Egg's brain this simply does not compute.  As far as he understands (and due in part to what I now realise was a very misjudged conversation he and I had some time ago) people live until they are 100 and then they die. Simple as that.

For a child already so sensitive to the nuances of life, it doesn't bear getting further into the whole mortality and afterlife idea as I know Egg will just run with it for weeks and weeks and not let up on the questions until he feels he is satisfied (which if his STILL current obsession with countries traveled to is any indication - could be a painfully loooooong time).

The last thing I want him doing is bluntly asking people who look middle-aged and beyond, whether they are going to die soon or not.  After all it wasn't that long ago that he cornered a kindly old lady in our dentist's waiting room and solemnly told her that she was supposed to be dead - simply because she had jokingly told Egg that she was 'One hundred years old' (sigh).  One of the many incidents I was pleased not to be witness to.

Dumpie came up to my bedroom last night in the wee hours, ascertained that his father was in absentia, and therefore took it upon himself as his God given right to take over the other side of the bed (and part of mine as well) by sprawling vertically across and jamming his fat little toes into my ribs all night. 

At some point he went down four flights of stairs in the pitch dark and poured himself some apple juice in three plastic cups, and brought them back upstairs again, positioning them on the bedside table so as to partake at various points throughout the night and morning when he so desired.

I of course was the conduit through which he satisfied his thirst, and was constantly prodded awake to grunts of, "Me want Appa juice Mama."  I felt like a glorified manservant.  At around 7am he decided that we had both had enough sleep and he peered up close to my face as he does and said, "Wakey-Wakey!" 

I wish I felt 'Wakey-Wakey'.  In fact I am decidedly feeling worn out, stressed and tired.  With a 'to-do list' longer than the illustrious Michael Jackson's string of hits, I simply don't know where to begin.

Hmmm...I wonder what the husband's doing right now?  Beer for breakfast?.....laying in a field somewhere in fancy dress?....Joining the hordes at Glastonbury in breaking out in spontaneous 'Billie Jean's'?  (as was conveyed in a late night text last night)...or perhaps holed up in his tent depressed because he misses his wife and family.

Uhhhh...yeah right :)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho It's Off To Glasto I (DON'T) Go...

In the wee hours of this morning, the husband kissed my cheek and bid me a tentative farewell. This may have been because he was aware I had been up all night with a feverish Dumpie, or it may have been because he was feeling mild (and i do stress mild) guilty pangs for going off and leaving me for five days of frolicking with his mates at the UK's grand-daddy of festivals...."GLASTONBURY".

At any rate, I'd like to point out that I am neither bitter nor pissed off.  I could be of course, and leaving me when I'm already feeling stressed and with a sick baby isn't exactly tatamount to a public display of utter devotion to one's wife....but still.  

I am a big girl and I will handle this like I handle everything else that sucks in my life...I will try and soldier on and get through it.  To be honest, I'm probably a little jealous.  There was a time in my life (actually lots of time) when we had all our adventures together:  riding motorcycles across the Indian subcontinent, working on a Kibbutz, hopping the Greek Islands, chilling out in Thailand, selling encyclopaedia's to an uninterested public (and humiliating ourselves in the process), driving a bright yellow VW camper van all around Europe....I could go on.

Once upon a time we met a most merry Welshman by the name of Dan, in Egypt of all places.  He told us of this amazing festival called 'Glastonbury' which we just HAD to go to, or we might die.  So we high-tailed it over to the UK from Turkey (bringing loads of cheap ciggies and ridiculous hats to sell at the festival) and the three of us jumped the fence and had the weekend of our lives.

Ever since then it has been a firm date in the calendar.  Five days of fields, mayhem, the biggest bands in the world, cider, organic delights, crazy name it.  177,000 people shrug off the worries of their lives and get dressed up and be idiots for a weekend.  You've got to envy them, you really do.

The only time the husband missed one was the year little Egg was born.  I had given birth a few days previously, and if he thought he was going to leave me and our beloved newborn to go and party with the masses, well...he may as well have packed his bags and not bothered coming home.  (I do recall however, he did ever so slightly try the idea on back then, but luckily he was clever enough not to pursue it.)

However for me, ever since the monsters have arrived, I haven't had the pleasure of revisiting my youthful, carefree days in this way.  Maybe it's because I am the mother and I feel more responsible...or maybe it's because if I go back there I want proper backstage tickets and don't necessarily want to plod about like a punter...or maybe it's because when I started making music seriously several years ago I made a vow to myself that the next time I went to Glastonbury I would be playing it, not sitting in a field watching someone else live out my fantasy.

So you see, for all these reasons (and because I am a COOL, LAID BACK, UNDERSTANDING wife - you hear that husband?!) I have allowed my man to go off for a bit, let off some steam, hopefully behave himself and have ridiculous amounts of fun at what he solemnly decrees is his favourite event of the year.

NOTE:  Of course I say this and he's only been gone a mere four hours...i may have ever so slightly a different take on the whole matter in 48 hours...or four days from now...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

We Owe You Auntie Mo

Hurrah!  The party is over...we survived!

Jake's 5th birthday party was a resounding success.  The skies darkened at one point but amazingly never poured down.  Deciding to fork out for an entertainer turned out to be the best brainwave we've had in years, and reaped dividends in terms of overall success.

I must give a big shout out to the glorious Auntie Mo who took frenzied matters in hand throughout several points and led marching bands of little people on loo runs, resided over the most ridiculous game of Pin the Tail on the Dinosaur in which the blindfold was not placed properly leading all but three of the children to cheat, and managed to shepherd 15 children into various activities with good humour despite one child suffering a bloody toe, and another escaping into our bed on the top floor and rolling around under the covers with muddy sandals on....but I digress

There were really only two incidents worth noting:  

One was when I stupidly decided to award presents to the LOSERS of musical chairs in each round.  So of course the music would stop and half the children would race to find a seat and the other half would stand hovering, reluctant to take a seat because they preferred the loser's consolation prize of a sweetie.  Doh!

The other little hiccup was during the last five minutes of the party when I realised to my dismay that all the marshmallows and sweets and other treats lay untouched in the kitchen because I'd forgotten to put them out!  So I frantically raced to the tables, in sight of at least two mum's, who watched with horror as the children dove into the bowls, transferring handfuls to greedy mouths and ensuring a crazy sugar high guaranteed to strike minutes after they left he party.  Whoops.

And of course there are the two dozen giant handmade dinosaur cookies I forgot to hand out, which I painstakingly baked and decorated over three hours yesterday (ever tried to get fragile biscuits in shapes of dinosaurs onto the baking tray in one piece??)

Oh well, they are delicious and go down nicely with the bottle of Prosecco which was immediately popped in celebration as the last five year old left the party today.

We did it...we officially popped our party cherry and now we're going to chill out, drink more wine (should I have confessed that?) and watch a movie.

Whew.  (Could I say that again?)  

Whew :)

One Day to D-Day...

You know that expression, "You children are going to be the death of me!"

Well, quite literally, today I feared for my life when I narrowly missed being fatally whacked in the head by the ten pound weight which came hurtling down the stairs, having been heaved by my uber-strong two and a half year old.

Poor Eggie didn't fare so well, as he was subject to two remote controls to the head, ending in tears and a not-in-the-least-contrite Dumpie casually admitting to the assault.

I do not know why, but today was probably the hardest day of parenting I have yet experienced.  Eggie is somewhat apprehensive about his 15 strong birthday party tomorrow afternoon (like I'm not) so perhaps he was acting out as a result.  Dumpie on the other hand turned into a 'Dennis the Menace' type character, meting out disasters one after the other, so much so, that just as I began to deal with one, another, even more urgent situation would present itself.

He refused to have a nap today, so that might be one probable cause of his absolutely diabolical behaviour all day, but I do remember thinking, "Take a deep NOT commit child WILL regret it...honestly you DO love these children...and no, they are not monsters inhabiting your previous children's bodies..."

The day started with tears and high drama when Eggie point blank refused to dress up in the medieval costume the husband and I had furitively constructed between cups of coffee and with not two threads of creativity between us.  Quite literally.  An old MTV t-shirt, turned inside out, arms cut off and a big messy red cross scribbled on front, paired with one of my silver belts and a poorly constructed tinfoil crown, does not a proper knight make.

Fair enough.   Still, in the end he looked okay....the piece de resistance being my shield made from yet more tinfoil and an old pizza base.  Truly.  Moments later on the way to school the crown and the shield flew into the road and one of them got run over.

You see his school had a medieval parade today and the street was hosting a summer carnival.  So it was with much bemusement that Dumpie and I found ourselves joining the parade by accident to march in the glaring hot sun, waving to equally bemused onlookers as I hoisted my incredibly heavy toddler son a few paces behind my mortally embarrassed five year old.

Anyway I'm off to bed.  The house has been cleaned and decorated within an inch of its life.  True to his word the husband completed all the tasks I emailed to him in list form today (no nagging dontcha know).  My only mistake was not to add more tasks to the list.

I can tell you that I was not terribly amused when half an hour ago having not stopped for a moment all night, I took yet another load of rubbish out to the curb.  I just happened to glance across at the wine bar opposite, and lo and behold, there was my husband casually sitting at a table sipping a cold ale and reading his book.

He's lucky I love him.  That's all I can say.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

"How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Dumpie..."

I don't suspect that having your cleaner catch you furatively spooning up great lumps of diarhorrea from the carpet at 8:30am is a great way of ensuring she stays put.  She's the best we've ever had and I fear this morning's shenanigans have done nothing in the way of convincing her that we are worth the bother.

The morning started innocently enough...a subdued husband bringing up two big cappuccinos before promptly climbing back into bed with a groan.  Minutes later we were bombarded by an icy-toed, rambunctious Dumpie still smelling strongly of fish (more on that later).  We lay in for much longer than is acceptable on a 'school day', but the sun was shining so gloriously outside the sliding doors and I swear I could hear birdsong.  If it weren't for the crushing hangovers we were struggling with, I might have thought we'd been reborn as supporting characters in a Disney movie.

I suppose last night was a bit full-on.  I had spent the day kitchen-bound, whipping up a feast of homemade spinach and feta rolls, a gargantuan pasta salad (which we shall be eating for weeks), and a scrumptious (if i do say so myself) lemon vanilla birthday cake.  The Aunties came round as did some of our friends, to help celebrate the Egg Man's ascent into proper boyhood.  There was much wine, mad chatter and frivolity, and of course Egg finally got his beloved scooter in the end.

At some point I was asked outright by the Aunties why my house reeked of fish.  I couldn't explain it, and just dismissed it as being from one of the restaurants down the road.  They didn't look too convinced and it was only later, during a prolonged cuddle with the Dumps, that we realised that it was not my house that stank but rather my second-born.  Bewilderingly, he was ripe with the overpowering scent of  'eau-de-rank-fish'.

Turns out that Dumpie had gotten into Auntie Mo's uber-expensive pure fish oil gel capsules and exploded them one by one by simply squeezing them between his chubby little thumb and forefinger.  The empty husks were discovered in his dirty nappy bag much later and I fear we are going to have to put up with the smell for quite some time, as last night's thorough bathing did nothing to quell the intensity.

Of course it did take three slightly inebriated but rather merry adults to bath two little boys (thanks Aunties and husband!), but the party carried on afterward and I'm sure we sufficiently annoyed our neighbours into the wee hours to declare the party a success.

I could almost be in a good mood today if it weren't for the fact that Dumpie has soiled the whole house with three 'accidents' this morning and it's only 11am.  Shockingly, he was able to top this morning's multiple diarhorrea explosion by proudly exhibiting  a new party trick (or should I say 'potty trick').

Just moments ago he went M.I.A. and I found him standing next to a giant puddle of wee on the carpet in Auntie's room.  

"Dumpie!  Why?!"  He put his head down, doing his best Princess Di impersonation before confessing,  "Me pull winks out and me make wee wee".

Indeed he did.  So now we are onto the 'Anti-Potty-Training' agenda whereby he lifts his 'winks' out of his pull-ups and wees one the carpet before placing it back inside.

Well, at least he's got the whole urinal thing mastered for later on.