Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Beth

Goodness me, I have a blog, don’t I? Hello blog. Hello blog readers. I am truly pants. Of the big, granny type variety.

The good news is I survived Birthday Week – in fact, I more than survived, and it was bloody lovely. Neil excelled himself by purchasing beautiful jewellery for me – although I don’t think he realised that the trade off for this was I was going to lose my engagement ring not a couple of weeks later. Yes, late on Sunday evening it disappeared, at time of writing for what seems like it might be forever. Rubbish. Sorry Neil. I am a particularly poor wife when it comes to the ‘looking after things carefully’ skillset. You may wish to worry about the care of your children ...

Speaking of children – they’re mad as ever. So many highlights over the past few weeks which I keep thinking I must capture for posterity ... and which have then gone the same way of my engagement ring. Mostly, it’s been all about The Beth (proper nouns very much justified). She was recently described by her nursery as ‘the second most stubborn child they have every looked after’. (Brings all sorts of thoughts to mind about what the first most stubborn child must have been like ... if Beth’s anything to go by then I’m thinking they must have reached almost Hitler-esque levels of dictatorship.)

This is currently manifesting itself in her refusal to drink milk. She likes milk. Drank it in bottles for two years. On her 2nd birthday I (with her acquiescence) took the bottles away, and made it clear she was now going to only drink milk out of cups.

Turns out Beth does not like milk in cups. AT ALL.

Both nursery and I have persevered, with her missing several playtimes as she’s found herself still sat up at the table, refusing to drink said milk before an eventual, and VERY angry capitulation. But my god ... her sheer bloody-mindedness ...

Saturday morning. 8am. I serve up breakfast for Mr Jamie and Beth. Both have a cup of milk to go with their toast with ‘money’ (“It’s honey.” “Money.” “Honey.” “Money.” “HONEY.” “MONEY!” “Oh forfucksake ...”).

“No milk. No milk. No milk.”

“Yes milk.”

“No milk.”

“YES. MILK. Do you want to come to the party with Mummy and Jamie?”

“Yes. Yes party.”

“Then drink your milk. All of it. And you can come with us.”

I left her sat at the table, muttering into her cup of milk ... “no milk no milk no milk no milk” ...

Time passed. More time passed. And even more time passed. The cup of milk remained untouched.


“Right Beth. We’re leaving now. Are you coming with us?”

“Yes party.”

“Then drink your milk.”


At which point she got unceremoniously carried upstairs by Neil and put to bed, wailing for all she was worth. “MUMMMMMMMEEEEEEE. NO MILK. NO MILK. NO DADDY. NOOOOOOOOO. DADDDDDDDDY. MIIIIIIIIIILK. NOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

Mr Jamie and I went off to the party. Or tried to. We got to the door and I realised he was in floods of tears.

“Jamie, what’s the matter?”

“Mummy” – sob – “Beth is” – gulp – “very sad. She” – sniff – “wants to come to the party.”

“I know sweetheart, but she wasn’t allowed, because she was silly and didn’t drink her milk.”

“But I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss her.” Wail. “Can she” – sob – “come to another party” – sniff – “one day soon?”

“Maybe. If she drinks her milk. Now come on. What are you dressing up as?”

“It’s okay Mummy. I’ll just bring these. You can carry them.”

Which is how I ended up turning up at a 5 year old’s birthday party ... wearing handcuffs.

I swear, parenting does not pay nearly enough for this.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Birthday Week

Thought I'd forgotten about it???

As IF.

Despite the slight carnage last year turned into, Birthday Week is alive and kicking chez me. The Big Day is Tuesday, which leaves the following sequence of events to get your heads (and livers) around. Best of British ...

Sunday (today): Birthday Eve Eve. Send Neil and small children to bed early. (Thus far, thus good.) Spend the evening on the sofa mainlining wine and gorging oneself on Fiddler on the Roof on BBC4 (I so wish I had a beard).

Monday: Birthday Eve. Work. Finish work. Send Neil to his room (there may be a theme here) and spend the evening on the sofa (see) with Alice mainlining wine (told you) under the guise of some sort of Fake Aunts rehearsal.

Tuesday: BIRTHDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. Ship small children to nursery/school before spending the day SLEEPING. (Priorities, priorities.) (Will not be at work, just in case this needed clarifying.) Collect small children from nursery/school, send to bed as soon as humanly possible, spend the evening on the sofa (such consistency) with Neil mainlining champagne (an upgrade due to dire need as a result of turning 31) and M&S food whilst watching England thrash Poland 21-0 (Gods of Football, hear my birthday plea).

Wednesday: Work plus no wine. Even in Birthday Week, one needs some down time. (Although the sofa might still get a look in.)

Thursday: Work all day and all night. We're ignoring Thursday, m'kay?

Friday: Work followed by D&D followed by ...

... JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMS!!! For the first time in One. Whole. YEAR. Like Birthday Week didn't leave me histrionic enough with joy as it was.


It's probably just as well I've got a year to get over it all. And if I'm thinking that ... spare a thought for Poor, Lovely Neil. He deserves some sort of Nobel Peach Prize. Brilliant. Such genuine, unintended but still hilarious mistyping comes about once every twelve years in the world of blogs. Nobel Peach Prize indeed. Poor Lovely Neil. I am genuinely not quite sure how he does it.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Happy Birthday Mr Jamie

The Birthday Party. 2 hours. 35 4-5 year olds. Plus Beth. It's a wonder I can even put this blog post together. Happy Birthday beautiful boy. I love you a million. And then some. Now Mummy needs wine. And gin. And meths ...

Annual Birthday Photo. Beth's 'birthday pose' makes this for me.

The Birthday Cake. I FUCKING MADE THIS! (Responding to Mr Jamie's very specific demands. Gay potential holds strong, I feel.)

Birthday Night spent in Birthday Tent. I write this as I sit on the sofa, wrapped in a cashmere blanket (yes, really!), mainlining gin ... while Neil, Grace and Mr Jamie spend the night in said tent. Yep: I won.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Stranger Danger

Now, this is not a subject I would usually be making light of, particularly with the current horrific headlines in the news. However, throw Mr Jamie into almost any discussion and his randomness seems to come to the fore. Given said horrific headlines I decided that the time was well overdue to educate Mr Jamie in exactly what he should do if ever approached by a stranger. And our conversation went as follows. Enjoy.

"So, Jamie, do you know what you should do if someone you don't know ever comes up and tries to get you to go in their car or van with you?"

"Ummm ... no."

"You should say 'no, I'm not coming with you, because you're a stranger and I don't know you'. And if they tried to take you with them then you could hit them or bite them or kick them or shout as loudly as you could."

"I should kick them?"

"If you needed to, yes."

"Really hard?"

"If you needed to."

"In the head?"

"I think you might be focusing on the wrong part of this discussion. Also, they might try to trick you, to get you to go with them. They might say 'come and see the puppies I've got in my car', or 'would you like to come and have some sweets?' So what would you say then?"

"I'd say yes please."

"NO. No, you wouldn't. You'd say no, because they would be a stranger, and they might be tricking you into coming with them. So what would you do?"

"I'd tell them I was going to come with them to see if they were tricking me or if they really did have puppies in their car, and if they didn't then I'd kick them. In the head."

30 minutes later, after which time I have vague hopes that Mr Jamie might possibly not automatically just run off with the next stranger he sees ...

"Mummy, why are that mummy and daddy sad?"

"Because someone has taken their little girl, and they are very scared and worried that they won't see her again."

Mr Jamie looked at me as though I was slightly remedial.

"Well Mummy, they'll just get ANOTHER child." (Like: duuuuuurrrrr.) "That's why you have got me and Beth, so you have a son and a daughter, and then if I go you'll still have Beth."

"That's not entirely how it works, I'm afraid ..."

God love his pragmatic ways. And his rabid desire for head kicking opportunities.


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