Thursday, 28 May 2009

"I'm Sending Out an S.O.S....I'm Sending Out an S.O.S...."

I am NEVER buying 'Welch's Grape Juice' again...ever.  Like some sort of beverage-led terrorist, Dumpie now knows that almost NOTHING makes Mama as angry as staining the carpets, clothes and tables a deep, dark, permanent purple.  

So what he does is sneak into the fridge, pour himself a huge, almost overflowing cup of grape juice (and one for Eggie while he's at it), then wobble unsteadily past, up the stairs, giggling as he catches my horrified expression.  Then, in a scenario much like talking down a suicide jumper, I have to try and coax him into CAREFULLY putting down the juice or handing it over before it spills onto the carpets, further reducing the value of this home.

Dumpie knows that in this particular situation he wields ALL THE POWER and boy does he love it.  He'll cock his head, pretend to think about obeying my plaintive pleas and outright bribes of 'Nannie's' (sweeties) later on, but then, predictably, he'll suddenly turn and run squealing into the front room, spraying and spilling huge great splotches of purple juice everywhere, leaving me screaming in his wake and Eggie looking on bemused.

Even worse, Dumpie sometimes fills his little cheeks to bursting with the grape juice, then runs up to me willing me to make him laugh.  "Dumpie swallow, swallow!" I'll beg, but it's to no avail.  No matter what my reaction, it is a given that he'll splutter and explode and the juice will come spraying out of his mouth, soaking both of us and irretrievably ruining our outfits...forever (sigh). 

So much of the past three days has been spent on hands and knees trying in vain to remove the stains which now look like giant purple polka dots on our beige carpet.  I even went out and bought an expensive and as it turns out utterly pointless box of shampoo carpet stuff - which predictably turned out to be an absolute disaster and complete waste of time.  

The instructions were in Greek or something, so I could only guess what to do by the few crudely drawn pictures on the side of the box.  Guess I guessed wrong, because hours later I was still trying to remove great chunks of ground-in white powder from the carpet which I had in hindsight I think mistakenly mixed with water, resulting in something with a paper-mache-like consistency and absolutely no stain-removal power. really has been one of those weeks.

On a positive note, Eggie learned how to ride a bike on the weekend.  His round little face shone and his eyes gleamed as he quickly and easily mastered a tw0-wheeler - tearing around the park triumphantly and shouting, "Look Mama, look Dada, I'm doing it all by myself!"

(Of course there was the small matter of the steering/inability to stop issue which at one point led him to ride right into a rasta dude who happened to be chilling out on his blanket, lying there on his back reading a book, oblivious to the overexcited littl'un careening straight towards him at top speed.  Oops.)

Dumpie continues to train himself with regards to the potty.  It is simply a matter of will at this point and like the little despot that he is, he is cleverly using his stinky 'poo bags' to lord it over us these days (a great term my husband coined and one which perfectly describes the hanging mass of fecal matter and overpriced absorbent material which swings heavily between his legs on occasion).

He even changes himself sometimes.  He'll come running downstairs, naked from the waist down and be carrying a new nappie.  Upstairs i'll find a nappy bag full of wet wipes which he has used to clean himself, ready to dispose of.  I'm sure if he could suss how to nappy himself up he'd be set to continue on like this till early puberty.

However it must be said that he does take himself off to do 'wee's' in his little red potty.  I'm not entirely sure how he does it, for I rarely catch him in the act, but he'll race up to me and grab my hand to show me the 'wee wee' then promptly demand a 'treat' for it.  As I cough up exactly three 'Reeces Pieces' (don't know how this came to be but there is a silent understanding between us that this is what each spontaneous tinkle is worth in confectionary terms) he toddles off, mightily pleased with himself, leaving me perplexed about how he managed to wee and yet still has his nappy on....?

I wouldn't be surprised if he were simply filling up his potty with water and tricking me, but by golly it's yellow liquid and even Dumps isn't clever enough to get food coloring down from my baking shelf.  (But then again, who is to say that he isn't going around collecting wee from the toilet after Eggie has been, then dumping it into his own?  Everyone knows Egg isn't a big fan of flushing - or lifting the lid for that matter - so it wouldn't be hard...)

Oh listen to me...a bitter and twisted Mama if ever there was one.  I have clearly spent too much time this week indoors - a situation not much helped by the fact that this week is a school holiday for Eggie and it's mostly been raining.

That's it.  We're going out now.  Better a muddy park, lots of spills on bike and scooter and filthy, wet boys, than three stir-crazy mentalists plotting the next hijinks on each other.  

Do stop and say hello if you find yourself in our neck of the woods.  I shall be the forlorn looking woman sitting hunched over on the bench on the common clutching on for dear life to a sodden paper cappuccino cup.  I shall be staring strangely into the distance, dreaming of other lives and ignoring the screaming little monsters circling me like greedy sharks.

Monday, 18 May 2009

"Worms and Open Windows"

Saw Eggie in his play about Worms today.  He was a 'narrator' and Dumpie and I were sat in the very front row proudly looking on.  (Well I say 'sat' but actually Dumpie chose to stand for most of the performance, leaning casually on my knee and noisily chomping various foodstuffs whilst turning around occasionally to loudly announce 'Me Like Dat' when a particular song or dance took his fancy. 

That he was wasting a much-coveted front row seat didn't go unnoticed by surrounding parents - a situation made all the worse when he decided to use the seat to lay and display all his little treats...much like one might lay a picnic.  He had a peanut butter sandwich, some dried fruit, a juice drink, some wafers, and two 'be-bops' - one of which he noisily slurped throughout the performance and one which he tried valiantly to give to Eggie - despite it being mid-performance.  

"!  Eeeeegggggiiiiiieeeeee BE-BOP!!" he'd yell when Eggie was on stage, trying to ignore the screaming little chicken.  As this is a skill he has become rather adept at, he did a remarkably good job blanking him.  Not so some of his fellow classmates - one of whom almost lunged out and grabbed the lollipop following a particularly heartfelt plea on Dumpie's part.

School got out early and Eggie had one of his little friends over for a 'playdate'.  While in the kitchen baking chocolate chip cookies, I noticed torrential rain hammering down on the window.  I then saw Dumpie stagger by, soaked, and wondered why on earth he was outside mucking about in the pouring rain.

A closer inspection revealed that Eggie's little friend had unwound and turned on our giant water hose and was in the process of playing 'fireman' - soaking all of them and all possessions unfortunate enough to be currently outside, in the process.  A little while later, I managed to get the boys fairly dry and shepherded them to the table to sit down for some fresh-from-the-oven, gooey chocolate morsels.  Egg promptly upended an entire glass of milk onto his friend's lap, who then started crying and got upset that Egg wouldn't say sorry or even acknowledge that the incident had occurred.

Mopping the little boy down I wondered how much worse things could get.  I didn't have long to wait for the answer to that particular musing, for not twenty minutes later, while scrubbing the last of the dishes, I heard, "Jake's Mummy...Jake's Mummy...Jake just threw Dumpies ball in the street!"

I wondered what he could be talking about since we finally had the good sense to put locks on the giant French windows in our second floor lounge, as parental pressure had forced us to concede that it was a potential death trap for two little rambunctious and clever boys who could any day now end up tragically falling to their death on a busy street (like poor Eric Clapton's young son).  

I raced upstairs to the boys bedroom on the THIRD level of our house and stopped in the doorway in absolute horror as I saw both Egg and Dumpie leaning their heads out the window arguing about the ball down in the street below.  The little boy had apparently been 'hot' and thus thought it reasonable to climb the little table, undo the locks and open the giant windows. 

Oh yeah, and after that near heart attack, I spent the next three hours trying to help the boys assemble a decent toy train track out of FOUR sets of tracks, none of which go together, and all of which are missing pieces.  Any headway we made was randomly and infuriatingly 'stopped in it's tracks' (scuse the's been a long day) as Dumpie followed behind dismantling in our wake.  

Kind of takes futility to a new level.

I'm going to bed.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

"Happy Birthday Auntie Ba"

I'm going to make this one short and sweet.  It is 'Auntie Ba's' birthday today, and she is as gorgeous, luminescent and wonderfully special as she ever was.  Who else do you know who can still get away with being mistaken for a teenager (she got 'carded' not so long ago in a store trying to buy unfair is that?!)

In fact, truth be told, if it weren't for 'Auntie Ba', Eggie and Dumps might not even be around today.  In the past five years she has ceaselessly campaigned for her nephews that they not suffer from malnourishment, not go to school ignorant of the knowledge of how to count to twenty in French, not imbibed poisonous substances, not suffered a horrible accident, has ensured that they had baths when nobody else displayed the least bit energy or inclination to do so, and even found time on countless occasions to cuddle the monsters and read them a million bedtime stories when the rest of us were carousing downstairs with bottles of wine.

'Auntie Ba' is a gem.  The boys adore her and I can honestly say she couldn't love them more, or care for them more, if she were their own mother.  How lucky am I? 

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY most wonderful 'Auntie Ba'...we all love you and send you a million dirty chocolate kisses from London.  Dumpie has even tentatively promised to try doing a 'wee' on his pottie in honour of you and your auspicious day.

I can't confirm that of course, but will check with him later in the middle of the night when he arrives for his nightly visit.

P.S. Oh yeah, and by the way, now is as good a time to make public our wish that if anything utterly tragic and fatal were to happen to us in the next fifteen-odd years,  I'm afraid that YOU shall have to raise them.  Now there's a sobering thought...

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

"A Lot of Nonsense...Signifying Nothing"

Do you ever have one of those days where you'd give ANYTHING to crawl back into bed, pull up the covers, and spend the day watching soppy old movies, reading books and nibbling on chocolate?

Well that was me today.  In fact the whole day felt 'wrong' and I felt out of sorts and sure my alternate self (who is currently living out an impossibly cool lifestyle of hedonistic rock n' roll, artist friends and exclusive parties...last seen on a private yacht in Cannes...) would have keeled over in dismay if submitted to my most surreal but mundane Wednesday.

This morning I found myself in an overpriced Health food store silently debating (for WAY too long) the merits of two different types of Aloe Vera juice.  (Don't ask - the stuff is vile - but given I can't properly eat or enjoy food these days I'm on a pseudo health kick in an effort to at least derive some positive outcome from my recent mouth look amazing in my skinny jeans)

Anyway, what made the situation utterly surreal was the woman in full head-to-toe black 'Burka' stood beside me, staring silently out through the tiny eye-holes of her covering, making me slightly uncomfortable.  I quickly did a mental check:  offensive cleavage?  (not a chance; was wearing my 'old skool' Coke t-shirt) cross around my neck? (nope - I was wearing my Egyptian cartouche necklace with my name in Arabic on it and - wait a minute that was it - I just figured it out!  Duh...She must have taken me for a fellow Muslim...)

At any rate, she suddenly turned to me and started chatting a mile a minute, and what came out of her mouth (she was a fellow Aloe Vera obsessive) wasn't as surprising as the way she spoke. She sounded totally 'street'!  Dropping her vowels, saying 'innit' a lot and sounding not unlike your typical stroppy, streetwise, South London school girl, it was hard to marry that voice with such a severe and extremist image.  Weird.

My morning only got stranger when I then spent a rain-soaked hour bored and claustrophobic inside a kitchen shop with yet another person of the Muslim persuasion who was indulging in a right proper game of haggling and hyperbole over the outrageously priced kitchen in question. I just wasn't on good form and he knew it - weaving in and out of tricky questions like a pro while I just sat there defeated, daydreaming of all the (infinitely better) ways I could spend thousands of pounds right about now...

This afternoon culminated in Dumpie somehow getting hold of some scissors (yeah I know - great mother) and turning our front landing into something resembling the abandoned church entrance after a Greek wedding.  Millions of bits of white 'confetti' were strewn across the carpet, and on closer inspection  I realised they were bits of stickers, rendering the whole mess almost impossible to hoover up (sigh).

Add a surprise 'poo-poo explosion' to the mix at round about 5:17pm (umm...not mine) and that pretty much sums up my day.  Shakespeare would probably say: "A lot of nonsense, signifying nothing".  

And he wouldn't be wrong

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

"Play Date Desperation"

"Mama, you have winks?" Dumpie asked this morning as he stopped outside the loo and stood solemnly surveying me. (For those of you who don't know, this is the name the boys use to refer to their wee bits of manhood...)

"No Dumps, only boys do, like you and Eggie and Dada", I said, bemoaning the fact that I had chosen to wear skinny jeans and was having trouble pulling them up.

This apparently wasn't a satisfactory enough answer, so Dumps came in for a closer look, hands behind back, bending over forward like a bemused gynecologist to inspect my nether regions at closer range.

"Dumpie, stop it!" I said, trying to gently push him out the door, "I told you Mama doesn't have a winks!" Urgghhh, is there NO privacy in this home? And how on earth can my day turn out alright when it begins with a frustrating argument with a belligerent toddler about whether or not I have a penis?

I am so exhausted today. I don't know whether it's because I still have remnants of that horrible mouth infection filtering through my bloodstream and infecting every organ and cell, or whether it's just because I feel entirely snowed under by my behemouth 'to do' list.

I have a keen Pakistani kitchen fitter incessantly ringing me to bully me into making my mind up about a desperately needed refurbishment for our rental flat, a 5th birthday party to plan for Egg next month with at least 14 of his classmates (oh dear), some new songs which need some creative tweaking, 'play dates' to arrange for several of Egg's friends who we owe a return visit to, and the monstrosity that is the boy's giant built-in closet which has been screaming for attention for months now.

Currently I am trying to survive a play date. Having pulled out all the crafts and activities we possess (buying me about 20 minutes tops) I have resorted to letting Egg, his little friend, and Dumpie throw cars down the stairs - further demolishing the delicate plaster on our walls. It doesn't help that after everything I suggest Eggie yells out, "Boring!" provoking a copycat yell from Dumps, "Boring!" Earlier I caught them all outside on the terrace throwing several of our possessions over the edge of the terrace (typical) and 'sword fighting' with long bamboo sticks.

The problem is of course that Egg takes after his father somewhat and has been known to just wander off and get so preoccupied with his pocket Nintendo that he forgets his friend is over and now sits bored and abandoned in the hallway by themselves (sorry by the way to all those mates of my husband's who have been left bewildered in our front room when he has wandered out never to return...engrossed in his computer and oblivious to the fact that he has left wife and well-meaning friend in a state of polite but awkward silence).

It doesn't help that Dumpie expects to be included - the fact that he's only two hardly the point. Moreover, he becomes rather possessive of all toys when someone new is over and after rudely demanding the object, if not appeased will simply rip the toy out of the unsuspecting child's hands and run away. I end up tense for the whole 2.5 hours, tearing my hair out trying to amuse and appear amused...wondering what on earth they are going to tell their parents about our shambolic household when they get home.

Bring on the teenage years I say. Listening to loud music, monosyllabic muttering and general disdain for parental figures is A-Okay with me as long as they stay in their bedrooms and leave me in peace.

I stare longingly at the half bottle of wine we didn't manage to finish last night, but realise that assuming the little boy doesn't have any obvious wounds when his parents come to pick him up, the last thing I want to do is start the rumour wheel at school running, with me labelled as a drunkard.

Though saying that, I imagine it would have the effect of stopping play dates altogether...Hmmmm...

Saturday, 9 May 2009

"And One Rolled Over..."

For the past week or so we have been having nightly visits to our giant 'used-to-be-oh-so-comfy' King size bed.  The first visitation usually occurs around 2am or some other ungodly hour.  There will be the tiny pitter-patter of sock-clad feet creaking up the stairs, then a muffled whine of, "Mama", followed by the swift removal of my warm duvet and the clambering up of a sweaty little toddler into the marriage bed.

A few grumbles, some major shifting, then the three of us drift off for what seem like minutes (but could well be a few hours) and the next visitor arrives.  Again, it's pitch black, and if you happen to be tossing and turning (very likely with three in a bed) and by chance open your eyes and stare at the door at the very moment that it creaks open and you make out two round glowing eyes like little gems - it can actually be a bit freaky.

This time the opposite side of the bed will be approached, and once again we'll all position ourselves like human kebabs upon the damp sheets until somehow we've managed to haphazardly arrange ourselves into something resembling a sleeping arrangement.  

Of course all mayhem ensues upon waking, as ears are tugged, hair is pulled, eyes are forced open by chubby fingers and it's a matter of each man for himself as we try and protect our most accessible and vulnerable body parts from the onslaught of bored, hungry, mischievous monsters.

Amusingly, Dumpie likes to sleep cuddled right up next to me, both arms encircled around my head, pulling me close until he is breathing onto my face and snuggled deep into the recess of my neck.  I'm sure it would make for an utterly adorable scenario if only my head weren't positioned at such an unreasonable 45 degree angle in an effort not to cut off the blood circulation to his little arm.

Eggie on the other hand prefers to snuggle up to the husband. From there he has a better vantage point from which to administer all night kicks and random groin attacks which leave the husband fearing that his days of functioning as random sperm donator are seriously numbered.

Yesterday while fighting over MY laptop, things got so heated that Dumpie reached over and bit Egg squarely in the shoulder.  He nearly drew blood and left a terrific bruise, but seemed happy enough to apologise moments later when we looked at him aghast.

"Sorry Eggie," he chirped, then reached over for a hug and a 'lip kiss'.  Egg, sobbing, allowed himself to be coddled, while Dumpie started mumbling, "Me naughty...yep, me naughty," to himself while clambering about the furniture.

Egg shortly thereafter consoled himself by gorging on three hidden chocolate brownies which were supposed to be for dessert.  Later at dinner, I found myself wanting to weep into my porridge as both boys upended glasses of milk on the newly scrubbed kitchen floor and sent their identical bowls of creamy tomato chicken and pasta hurtling off the table edge like a hastily arranged game of 'skittles' in an attempt to coerce me into giving them some 'vamilla ice-cweam'.

The rest of my tragic night was spent on the internet trying to source a children's entertainer for Eggie's approaching 5th birthday. Frankly, I'm not sure I'm up to the task.  The thought of 14 five year olds potentially tearing through our home and garden is giving me the fear.

Also, I'm out of heavy duty painkillers.  My mouth still throbs, the husband is off to spend the day watching cricket with his pals, and I contemplate the next several hours with a heavy heart indeed.  Auntie Kenz better show up as promised this afternoon or I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom with a dvd and deposit the boys in a bathtub full of sweeties and their plastic foam swords and tell them to go mental.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

"Miss Dishpan Hands"

Showed up at Egg's school this morning carting around a shoe-less Dumps...oops.  Mind you, I was up at the crack of dawn (sort of-ish) to clean the house in preparation for the new cleaner.  I swear, it's like an audition of some sort.  You want to show that really we're a spotless family who have just fallen on 'hard times', and taking us on won't bring on weekly depression as she contemplates having to clean 'the house from hell'. 

I banished all dirty pants, stinky socks, sprayed fresheners, and chucked armloads of our possessions into already crammed cupboards, wedging them tight, hoping against hope she doesn't attempt to open any of them and be consequently be injured by a torpedo of shoes/books/toys/etc.   I basically did 2 hours of prep work for her, knowing full well that next week she'll get the shock of her life when she see's how we REALLY live (sigh).  Oh well, by then it will be too late :)    

In fact this morning as my husband was cycling off to work I commented on the fact that I am a better cleaner than any of the cleaners we've ever employed.  I then thought aloud that perhaps I should start hustling for cleaning work round the playground at Egg's school.  I'm sure I could drum up some business on curiosity and pity alone.  

He didn't respond to my rant but then I was momentarily distracted by the sight of him in full biking regalia (it never fails to shock and astound me, no matter how many times I see him like that).  He has tragically added a bright yellow pair of florescent wraparound sunglasses to his get-up, and though they wouldn't look out of place at a festival like Glastonbury, they do look rather odd on the grey streets of London.  However since I do not have to be seem with him when he looks like this I am happy to turn a blind eye.  

Anyway, I'd best go.  Dumpie has flung some more garden tools over the side of our garden terrace, thereby losing them forever and necessitating yet another visit to our local hardware store.  Helpfully, he's also taken an interest in the new 'laydee' currently hoovering the stairs and is following her devotedly, leaving a sticky trail of apple juice in his wake as he tries to engage her in conversation.  She doesn't speak very good English, but that doesn't seem to be proving a deterrent as neither does he...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

"The Real World"

My days usually begin by being smothered by a giant soaking wet pee nappy, as Dumpie climbs atop my head, bouncing up and down yelling 'WAKE UP MAMA WAAAAAKE UUUUUP!"

Egg climbs in on the other side with his stinky 'Bacon-the-bear' and begins earnestly asking all manner of questions....some mundane and random and some totally heavy and existential.  At some point they grow bored or hungry (or both) and take off downstairs to get themselves some breakfast (unless of course they get sidetracked by whatever 'treats' we may have foolishly left within reach).

They are currently obsessed with taking their vitamins and Dumpie in particular seems to have a worrying fascination with anything pharmaceutical.  At the first sign of a cough or even just a sniffle, he'll come racing up to me with the (thankfully childproof) bottle of children's 'Calpol' (ibuprofen), demanding I dose him up good and proper right there and then. Even if he's not sick but Eggie is, I am forced to give him a teaspoon as well or God help me.

The potty training continues to be a resounding UNsuccess...though tonight I had the pleasure of watching the boys stand in knee deep in bubbles during bathtime and wee on each other.  The water turned yellow and I turned green.  Urggghh.  Remind me why little boys are so great again?

Tomorrow our new cleaner starts, which is great news, for try as I might (and i do - for HOURS each day) I can simply not keep this place up to scratch.  I blame it on a mostly testosterone fueled household and more dirty pants than I know what to do with.  Our washing machine kind of works at the moment and kind of doesn't, which basically means that I can either add another task to my ridiculously long 'To Do' list or I can continue to cram our laundry baskets full until they explode.  I'm doing the latter.  

Tonight I've put the boys to bed five times already, and just now I've heard some toys come crashing down the stairs, so better make that SIX and counting.  Dumpie continues to chant, "Want own bed like Eggie's" over and over (.....and over) and I suspect that until we get him one he's going to continue pole-vaulting over the side of his cot and potentially do his robust body some irreparable damage.  At the moment he's favouring the option of jumping into Egg's single bed to go 'Meepming' (sleeping) together, and I don't have to tell you what a bad option that is.

My mouth is still a mess (I almost made it through without mentioning it), and so all I have to look forward to tonight is a mango puree and some second-rate telly.  Actually, 'The Apprentice" is on so at least I can let off some steam by shouting at the idiotic half-wits competing for a £100K a year job in the real world.

Ahhh...the real world...remind me - what is that again?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

"Another Potty Bites The Dust"

Okay so I'm still in total and utter agony with my mouth.  I won't go on about it (okay maybe just a little - indulge me) as I know it's bloody boring and totally inconsequential to anyone but myself (...or perhaps my family who are openly suffering from my recent and total decline in interest in the culinary arts...)

But I'm trying to get better I really am!  Every morning I imbibe a veritable plethora of capsules, painkillers, concentrated vitamin shots, gulp down a sickly probiotic drink, a protein drink...and...okay fine...a GIANT cappuccino.  Later in the afternoon I'll halfheartedly slurp down a bowl of plain porridge, and in the evening if I'm really in the 'mood' I'll suck on a few mangoes...woo-hoo...rock n' roll.

The only positive spin I can put on this recent surgical oral mutilation (sorry, I meant 'professional oral surgery' carried out by a no doubt competent surgeon who simply wanted to finish her shift early so she could get home to a cup of soup and some night time drama on telly) is...wait for it....weight loss. 

You know, come to think of it, if anyone out there fancies dropping a few pounds before bikini season, then might I be so helpful as to suggest that you make your way to King's College Hospital, fake an abcess, and seek out the first friendly, mustachioed female oral surgeon you come across.  One mouth massacre later and you'll be such a painful, bloody mess you won't ever want to eat again (though you  may at some point in desperation consider melting an entire pint of Haagan-Daz and sipping it through a straw....just avoid anything with nuts or bits of chocolate).

It's funny - now that meals and snacks have ceased to be of any interest, it's amazing how much time that frees up in an average day.  Fortunately I have Dumpie's 'potty training' to keep me occupied. Unfortunately, after depositing the tiniest of tiny little brown nuggets in his bright red potty last night, he has failed to follow it up with anything more promising than 'riding' his potty like a caboose across the kitchen floor earlier today whilst fully clad and making 'choo-choo' noises, his mouth stuffed with peanut butter toast.
He does however find it a useful receptacal for his growing collection of 'footballs'.  Any attempt to coerce him into using it for it's real purpose results in it being chucked down one or more flights of stairs with a dismissive air.

When the husband came home from work today and spotted the plastic piece of junk lying forlornly on its side in the entrance hall, I found it ridiculous that he even had to pose the question:

"Not much luck with the potty today then?" think?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

"Birds and Bee's...Sore Teeth...and Too Much Pee"

Well our washing machine is still out of commission, and the offending articles too rancid to be indoors are now festering away outside on the terrace.  Speaking of festering, so is my mouth. Just like Richard Ashcroft from 'The Verve' laments, "...the drugs don't work".  I'm only allowed to take one heavy duty painkiller every 6 hours, but by my calculations I need at least double that because by hour 3 i'm in indescribable pain and willing to take anything I can get my hands on to ease it.

It's probably a good thing we don't live in Camberwell anymore, as I'm sure a stroll down Peckham way would have yielded several options for the purchase of some street crack or heroin.  In my current state of 24/7 pain, the thought of being able to go blotto might have proved too tempting an option.  

Last night Dumpie did his first 'wee' in the bright red, cheap-as-chips and mostly useless potty I picked up from Ikea last week.  Apparently he stood up, naked and grinning, and straddling the thing like the dude that he is, did his first dribble.  A big fuss was made and he came charging into the kitchen demanding a 'dessert' (his new favourite word) as reward.  So a small pot of Belgian chocolate souffle was presented with a flourish, and he dove straight into it forgoing a spoon in favour of total facial immersion.

Despite our washing machine being dead as a doornail, my husband still insists that this is a good time to train our child out of nappies, his reasoning being that thanks to last night's dribble we have a bit of momentum going.  I suspect however that the first fecal explosion (predicted to be around eleven hundred hours this morning) shall put paid to that idea and convince him otherwise.  We shall see...

The other night I had my first ever installment of the old 'birds and the bees' discussion with Egg, while Dumpie listened in curiously.  Egg wanted to know why some people have 'winkies' and some people have 'minkies'.  I was showering in a see-through cubicle at the time, while the boys were splashing around in the bath beside me.  I said the first thing that came into my head.

"Well you know puzzles?  Well God made boys and girls differently so that they could fit together like a puzzle and make babies."  While Egg was digesting this, I suddenly had a mental flash of being called into his school at some point in the future by the headmaster, and being informed that Egg had been found trying to 'fit' with a little girl in an attempt to make a baby.  Before I could expand on this, Egg had another question.

"So the boy's winkie goes inside the girl's minkie?"  he asked, his sweet little face looking perplexed.

"Yes...when you're lying down" I said, but then for some reason added, "or standing up...".

Thankfully the conversation came to an abrupt close as Dumpie suddenly upended a giant container of soapy water over Egg's head, then turned on the bath tap, rendering my shower ice-cold and causing me to scream.

Between that and a programme Dumpie saw last night about a baby being born, he's got it into his head that he would like a baby for his very own.   "You make baby Mama", he demanded.   "I want hold baby."

Ah Dumps...let's just get the washing machine, my mouth and your potty training sorted then we'll talk about it.  Get back to me in a few years....

Friday, 1 May 2009

"Drugs and Vomit...But SO Not Rock n' Roll"

If there is an inverse to a 'Rock n' Roll' lifestyle, then yesterday is proof that I am living it. One of the scary things about life and getting older in general, are the ways in which you find yourself scraping 'the bottom of the barrel', convinced you've hit rock bottom - then reeling in shock some time later when you manage to outdo yourself and hit a new all-time low.

I pondered this yesterday when I found myself crouched on the side of a busy London street, being raced to my dental surgery and dosed up on enough Valium to knock out a horse.   In clumsy desperation I was attempting to rid my firstborn of the avalanche of vomit he had moments before chucked up all over himself in a bout of car sickness. Using little squares of wet wipes, and being heavily sedated, meant that most of my efforts were in vain.   

As the pile of soiled wipes continued to build up beside me, and my half-naked child stood shivering in the early evening breeze, I wondered if things could get much worse. Furthermore, I had my husband admonishing me from the front seat for not having brought a change of clothes for the boys, while I was mumbling a retort to the effect that if he had not been chattering on his mobile while driving, then perhaps he might have been able to pull over a few seconds earlier and spared us this disaster. 

Anyone who knows me knows of my horrific needle phobia - I.V. being the worst of it (and the reason I've foolishly opted for 'natural childbirth' twice in a row). Given the complexity of the procedure and having been warned that I would need to be heavily sedated, I had panicked, taken matters into my own hands and had ingested enough valium to keep myself from freaking out.  Turns out I was right to have done so...

What I hadn't counted on of course was the palaver of having to find an emergency babysitter for the monsters, renting a car and organising a trip across London in heavy traffic during rush hour.  In the end our tenants did us a favour by watching the boys, but we were incredibly shamefaced as Egg and Dumps were hurriedly deposited at their front door, semi-naked, reeking of vomit, and clutching a bag of toys containing the odd morsel of - you guessed it - vomit.

Smelling also faintly of vomit, a short while later I found myself worryingly alert and questioning the skills of my female oral surgeon.  I heard her tell her assistant, "I don't get paid enough for this kind of thing", as they 'oohed and aaahed' about how difficult it was extracting the root and the metal instrument which had been left inside my jaw. 

I tried to signal that a little more sedation wouldn't go amiss, as I didn't particularly want to be privy to all their nervous twittering and general befuddlement.  But of course they totally ignored me, and all I could do was focus on the rather prominent brown moustache nestled on my surgeons upper lip, while willing the surgery to be over.  (I had just begun the laborious process of counting the individual hairs in an effort to distract myself from the obvious butchering that was taking place on my jaw, when they turned off the equipment and announced it was all over.)

In the end, I didn't have to stay in Recovery for an hour as previously told, as it was clear to all and sundry that I was incredibly alert for someone who had just been sedated.  I was released almost immediately since I passed the 'walk in a straight line' test with flying colours (that's nerves for you).  Thank God I had had the sense to administer my own 'medicine' beforehand or I don't know how I would have coped.

This morning I awoke early to intense pain in my jaw, a blood soaked ball of gauze by my bedside and the faint whiff of vomit and urine permeating through the house. Thankfully the latter was not due to my own bodily shortcomings, but my children's clothes from the previous day.

Curiously, unbeknownst to myself, my husband had decided that yesterday was a good day to try out Dumpie in a pair of 'big boy pants' for the first time instead of nappies, and so predictably Dumpie had responded by soaking himself just as we were trying to hustle ourselves out the door.

So it was no surprise then this morning to see that the urine and vomit soaked articles still lay where they had been unceremoniously tossed the night before. Nor was it a surprise to see that no one had thought of removing the offending articles.

And did I mention that our washing machine broke two days ago?

Words escape me...