Archive for February, 2012

Things You Can No Longer Do Now You’re A Parent

So sunfun is at mammasaurus this week. I haven’t written / photographed anything new but I thought I’d link up something from this week. Earlier this week the below list spewed out of the dark recesses of my mind. Will that do?

  • Have the same amount of sleep two nights running
  • Leave the house for somewhere important without checking for milk stains
  • Mainline Crystal Meth
  • Watch an entire football or rugby match on the telly without using the live pause feature
  • Watch an entire cricket match on the telly from first ball to last in a 24 hour period. Even a 20/20.
  • Leave the house for somewhere important without checking for snot stains
  • Have anything sharp within easy reach
  • Go ballooning naked with a llama*
  • Have your mobile phone and TV remote control within easy reach
  • Drink an entire bottle of Jack just to see what happens
  • Shower without tripping over a squeezy-water octopus or a bath duck
  • Leave the  house for somewhere important without checking for vomit stains
  • Travel abroad as a family without planning it for at least 2 years
  • Plan stuff
  • Read an improving book
  • Spend 3 whole days without encountering Peppa Pig, a Tombliboo or both
  • Wash socks in pairs
  • Leave the  house for somewhere important without checking for poo stains
  • Actually, just sleep
  • Try out the new Korean place round the corner on a whim
  • Have a party which features someone in the corner clutching Special Brew who no-one knows
  • Have a party that doesn’t feature jelly and Haribo
  • Leave your laptop unattended for 30 seconds
  • Consider the local schools from a neutral point of view
  • Buy fashionable clothes (possibly this is just a Dad thing)
  • Jack in the job that pays the rent / mortgage to open a business selling Tibetan Yurts from your garden
  • Watch a film that may contain ‘naughty bits’ just after the children have been put in bed
  • Have a cup of tea / coffee within easy reach
  • Mainline espresso
  • Arrive on time for stuff
  • Write list postings on your blog**

* Well you technically could. But the kids would talk about it at inappropriate times. Like when you’ve got a llama farmer round for tea

** Oh, wait….

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The Perils Of Eating Out With Children On Your Own

Disclaimer 1: This is my third self-imposed challenge post – I am not allowed to swear. Given the subject matter this is going to be a real challenge.

Disclaimer 2: Someone once said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. It isn’t. Toilet humour is. I know what follows is neither big, clever or original but my Dad’s a carry on addict and I raised myself on Viz so I’m afraid you’re stuck with it. There is a sort of serious point I promise.

Do I look funny to you? DO I? DO I?

This Sunday Mrs S was running a nearly new sale. She was, in truth, carrying a back problem. The same back problem that lead me to have to take a couple of days off work because she could not pick up Baby. Or Baby’s vomit. Yes, she had had a dodgy tummy and 16 month olds do not know how to use the smallest room when they need to produce pavement pizza. I had been following her round with a roll of Plenty and a worried look for a couple of days, praying that the initial indication of a problem, round the back did not reoccur. This started on the Thursday and by Sunday she was all better and we were climbing the walls with cabin fever. So while Mrs S did her sale I took advantage of some truly lovely weather and took the kids out for the day.

First we went to the Brighton Wheel. This was a photo op as we also had the class mascot, Barney Bear, with us and he comes with a diary and a requirement to fill it with photos. Then we went to the Pier for some real fun. Suddenly it was lunchtime. I was in the mood for fish and chips but Boy insisted on Giraffe. Now from the pier to Giraffe is about a 10 minute walk for an adult but add in a buggy and a 5-year-old and its nearer 20. At 8 minutes and 34 seconds Boy decided he needed to point Percy at the porcelain. We ran. We just made it to Giraffe. The running had sent Baby to sleep in the buggy and now I had a problem. Boy will not go to the water closet by himself. I either had to make him before he wet his clothes or wake Baby up and carry her with us. The waitress (and this is why I am pimping them by name) took over and led him to the disabled loo and kept watch on the door. So Giraffe Brighton, thank you for being so child friendly.

However while Boy was doing his business I started worrying. He was now fine. I, though, had spent the early part of the morning downing orange juice and espresso and, just like my little charges I had not been before we left. Baby had a nappy. Boy was sorting himself out. But, If I needed to paint the town yellow I would once again have to abandon the children. This was clearly not an option. I was going to have to hold back the Yellow River with leg crossing and Confucian muscle control. And I’d just ordered drinks.

Luckily I have previous in this area. Between cricket tours, broken train toilets on the way back from away games and the time I seriously misjudged the train queue size coming back from Twickers I am a bit of an expert at holding in number ones. But something much worse was now lurking at the bottom of the cesspit that is my mind. The previous night we’d had a Chinese from a local takeaway. It does fantastic aromatic duck which is why we use them but I’m not sure about the quality of the rest of it. If I suddenly needed to drop the kids off at the pool I was going to be in for a whole heap of embarrassment. If I did suffer revenge of the takeaway it was likely to come on swiftly and with a great deal more chance of making the gravy than bangers and mash.

Daddy Pig is a bit of an expert at Confucian muscle control

An outwardly pleasant meal was becoming clouded by my inner terror. As the real bangers turned up for Boy I cut them up at the speed of lightning and willed him to wolf them. I demolished my burger in about 3 bites. Nothing was actually happening in the bladder or tummy department but I was metaphorically bricking it. The mains were cleared but of course, the reason Boy had spurned my Fish n Chips was because he wanted brownies. The food variety. We had to order pudding.

At this point Baby woke up. Baby always wakes up in time for pudding. It’s a girl reflex that I am mildly jealous of. She had missed mains and was currently spurning the emergency pouch. Her Sunday lunch this week was going to consist solely of biscotti and spare chocolate from mine and boy’s puddings. Luckily there was no NWO this time to judge my utterly rubbish parenting. We wolfed our puds, paid our bill and headed for the bus home.

Now buses bounce. And when you have had lots of orange juice and espresso, and a bottle of Coke and have not wee-weed in a long while bouncing is something you don’t need. I started to have the same feeling I did that fateful day at Twickers. Mr Bladder wanted to go on holiday to Empty City. The last 10 minutes of the journey were utter hell. Boy was counting to 100 next to me. Baby was yelling at the top of her voice at everyone. And all I could think of was ‘how quickly can I make him walk when we get off? Will he be as understanding to me as I was to him?’We reached our stop after what seemed like several eternities. We legged it home at the double. I let in Boy, marched Baby in still strapped in to the buggy, ran upstairs and pulled the same face Santa does at the end of “Father Christmas Needs a Wee”.

It was, in truth a lovely day out which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. But due to my absolute inability to plan every aspect it nearly ended in disaster.

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Boy Art or Dad Art 2

Sunday Funny!
This week’s Sunfun was postponed from last week die to iPhone meltdownness. The linky tool this week is at actuallymummy so pop over and have a look.

As probably none of you know, Boy is quite good at art stuff. I’m not. I’m rubbish. I confirm this fact every now and again by setting a simple challenge for us to both draw the same thing. The subject this time was ‘a landscape’ One of these drawings is by a 5 year old trapped in a 40 year-old’s body and the other by an actual real bonafide 5 year old. You just have to decide which.

Picture 1: Boy art or Dad art?

Picture 2: Boy art or Dad art?

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Saturday Caption 25/2/2012

It’s Saturday AGAIN! Don’t they come round fast. Like Sundays. Or even Wednesdays. But Saturday means the chance to join in with the caption linky at http://mammasaurus.co.uk/ so go on, do it!

There is a small back-story to my caption this week. Last Christmas we did not get a conventional tree. We got a cardboard one from Red Jelly and we all had fun painting it. Here’s Baby immediately post tree painting…….

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Words

*sings* “Words, don’t come easy, to me…”

Actually that’s the problem. They do. But reading my blog back I’ve realised I use a few of them a bit more than I should. There’s ‘slightly’ obviously. Then there’s ‘gibbers’ but gibbers is my second favourite work after ‘foofaraw’ and only Louis de Bernieres can use that and get away with it. Then there’s a very naughty one beginning with ‘F’. I use that loads. Too much.

To explain. I hate swearing at or near children. It rubs me up totally the wrong way. I have, however, sworn at ours a few times when they’ve been really, really naughty and I’ve been really, really frustrated. I’ve regretted it instantly and continued to regret it for weeks but, as I wrote to another blogger, it was in lieu of a smack and verbal violence is just about preferable to physical violence. We also have little habits we need to cut out. Mine is ‘oh bugger’ while the wife refers to the toys on the floor as ‘piles of crap’. However, most of the time I make like Mary Poppins. Baby just had a poo that’s leaked out of her nappy? “Oh SUGAR”. Boy left crayons all over the kitchen floor? “Oh FIDDLESTICKS”.

My previous outlet for all my pent up swearyness was football as previously mentioned. I sit in a fairly rowdy bit and there’s a good deal of swearing all round. There are no young children around us and anyone taking a young child in to that arena really should know what to expect. There is a family stand where swearing is not tolerated. Should Boy ever want to start coming with me when he’s old enough I will have to move there and then I will be Football Poppins. “How did you not see that Linesman you MELON FARMER?”

But then I started blogging. When things annoyed me or occurred to me in everyday life I would start writing a post in my head. Silently. You can swear in your head. You can swear a very great deal indeed. And out it all pours on to my laptop sometime later. Now a good swear here and there for comic effect or to emphasise a point I maintain is fine but I’ve wondered if, at times, I’m gratuitous. I’ve decided to set myself a challenge to find out. My next 3 posts, after this one, should contain absolutely no swearing at all. And as it’s Saturday Caption Day tomorrow that’s really 2 posts. Should be a piece of piss. Ooops.

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12 Questions, 12 Answers, Some Bloggers

So another meme lands in my inbox from the lovely Mum Of One. I’ve slightly cheated. I do lots of things slightly. Anyhoo – rules

I got 12 questions which I have answered painfully honestly. Then I write 12 of my own and tag some dudes. I’m not tagging the full 12 as there probably aren’t 12 left by now but I’ll explain a bit later, My answers:

1. Favourite book?

My favourite ‘me book’ is Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. Mine and Boy’s favourite children’s book is Boing! by Sean Taylor. Birds Without Wings mixes travel, history, poetry, comedy and utterly ridiculous words in to an stunningly beautiful and terrifying tale with no real main central character. Boing! is a shaggy dog story that mentions trampolining, Patisseries and getting spiked like a kebab. Also your kid gets to shout BOOOIIIIINNNGGG every 2nd page or so. We did a workshop with Sean Taylor last May and he’s a lovely, witty, interesting and intelligent person who was great with a somewhat over-enthusiastic Boy.

2. First famous crush?

Madonna in the 80’s circa Like a Virgin

3. Worst film ever watched?

If I don’t like a film I normally turn ‘em off. Bean (aka Mr Bean The Movie) is probably the worst I’ve sat thorough. I just don’t find it funny. Oh look he’s fallen over. Oh look he’s driven badly. Oh look a funny face. Oh look someone took a gun to the TV screen because they were so bored out of their tiny fucking mind by visual comedy.

Shame really. I liked Rowan in Blackadder.

The food and drink section:

4. Red or white?

Red. Specifically St Emillion Grand Cru. Have you got any? *holds out glass hopefully*

5. Chicken or fish?

Chicken. We’re a bit Hugh F-W with chicken. I like to get the biggest, free rangiest, organicist one I can from the butcher and make 4 meals from it. First roast the whole thing slathered in Olive Oil and Sea Salt and stuffed with lemon and thyme. Then turn leftovers in to risotto, soup and sandwiches. Perfect. *drools* *hunts down late night butchers*

6. Still or sparkling?

Sparkling. Still is boring. San Pelligrino if I get the choice.

The bloggity-blog section:

7. Favourite post written by you?

One of my early ones about Beatrix Potter here

8. Favourite post read in the last week?

The Flip Side of Virtue by Anna Tims aka Aging Matron here

9. The blog you think we should ALL be following?

I love LOADS and I have only blogging and reading a couple of months.

adventuresofamiddle-agedmatron

sahdandproud

motherventing

edge it by a tiny, tiny margin but I love you, and you, and you *points*. With a gun to my head I’d choose SAHDandproud because Spencer makes me cry laughing, cry with sadness and he’s controversial. With a gin to my head I’d choose Mother Venting (see what I did there?).

You are nearly there.  Deep breaths.  The FINAL section:

10. Favourite song?

Open Arms by Elbow. When Brighton played their first league game in their new stadium all my old mates and me converged in a back street Brighton pub beforehand. The ‘Everyone’s Here’ bit was running through my brain the whole time.

11. Your best joke?

The one I linkyed to your Arf Arf. Or – What did the Mexican Fireman call his sons? Jose and Hose B. But probably the linky one.

12. Mahahaha…..you are done!

No I’m not. I’m never done. *rides off in to the sunset gibbering about buses, broccoli and Ibiza*

Now my 12 questions. I am tagging 3 bloggers, my 3 ‘must follows’ above but ANYONE who reads this feel free to copy out the questions and provide answers on the back of a post card. Or actually in a link in Comments below. Phew!

  1. If Social Media and the Internet had not yet been invented would you be writing a diary, a novel, or nothing at all?
  2. What’s your favourite comedy? (Can be film, TV, play or book)
  3. What’s your favourite children’s book?
  4. Who would win a fight between the Zingzillas and the Haa-Hoos?
  5. Ugliest piece of kitchen equipment
  6. Is having a novelty singing fish in your bathroom / toilet funny?
  7. What do you get the most out of blogging?
  8. Straight glass or jar?
  9. You are world ruler for a day. What do you do first?
  10. The world is going to be destroyed by a huge asteroid in precisely 15 minutes. Nowhere is safe. Everyone knows. What are you doing?
  11. Best / most helpful piece of baby or child ‘kit’ ever bought or borrowed?
  12. Most useless / hopeless / waste of money piece of child or baby kit ever bought or borrowed?

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The Buggy Spaces on Buses Are For Buggies

*puts up another rant alert poster*

The buggy and wheelchair spaces on buses are for buggies and wheelchairs.

They’re not for your shopping trolley on wheels really. I know plastic bags are evil but everywhere does reusable non-plastic ones these days. A shopping trolley is either ostentatious or Old School. Either way don’t store it in the buggy bit. That’s for buggies.

They’re not for your suitcase either. Who the fuck takes a suitcase big enough for a 2 week holiday in Florida on a local bus trip anyway? I used to do a weekly commute with a case smaller than that. If you are going on a 2 week holiday to Florida, presumably it cost you a bit and you can afford to get a fucking taxi to the station. You’re not even getting off at the station are you? Anyhow, if you really, really need the case there’s a luggage rack for  it. Over there. Away from the buggies. *points*

They’re definitely not for you slouching teenagers. When I was a teenager and I went on a bus I slouched properly by GOING UPSTAIRS and slouching on the BACK SEAT. That’s what’s wrong with this feckless, flaccid, flatulent X-Box and PS3 generation. Can’t even be arsed to go up to the top bit of a double decker and slouch properly. The skinny trousered, floppy haired James Blunts.

It could be for you Old Lady struggling to get on but here, why don’t you have my seat. Don’t give me that filthy look, I’m getting up for you. “Have my seat”. I said “HAVE MY SEAT DEAR”. Oh. You’re getting off again. I forgot your free bus pass positively encourages you to ride the bus for one whole stop. Bye Bye. I said BYE BYE.

The buggy and wheelchair spaces on buses are for buggies and wheelchairs..

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