Word of the Week: 27th Feb 2015

I have been blogging, nervously, for about 9 months now. Quietly, in the fairly limited realm of my family and friends. But recently I thought I might dip my toe into the wider blogging community. I’ve been following other bloggers on Twitter and having a few chats here and there.

And in the course of doing so, I have come across this blog, The Reading Residence. And I have been introduced to a jolly thing some of the bloggers out there are doing – Word of the Week. Which, as you might have guessed by its title’s Ronseal nature, involves picking a word that sums up your week and writing about it.

The Reading Residence

Ever eager to jump on the bandwagon, this is my word of the week:

THASNOTFAIR

Which has been shrieked at me, with fury and gusto, approximately once in every 10 minute period I have spent with my child over the past week. Very little I do, it would appear, is fair. It is not fair to offer a Custard Cream. It is not fair to take him out of the house. It is definitely not fair to bring him home. It is not fair to bath him. It is not fair to get him dressed. Or undressed. It is not fair that we ran out of Shreddies, or ordered him one of his favourite meals (besides chips) at soft play today. My hearts beats to the caterwaul of THASNOTFAIR.

I have no idea where this phrase has come from. Probably Peppa-sodding-Pig has trilled it merrily in her smug, simpering little lilt; we certainly have her to blame for our runner-up words of the week THASDIIIIIIIIISGUSTING and DISISIMPOSSIBLE.

Mind you, it is progress, it is a step more articulate than the previous expression of dissatisfaction which involved pouting, eyeballing me and uttering with menace and gravitas SAUSAGES. Although I do love him for that particular expression of dissatisfaction, for its wackiness and comedy delivery. It certainly made me laugh out of the side of my mouth much more than THASNOTFAIR does.

Here is a picture of Blake enjoying a short moment of fairness at Imagination Street today, which is just the best local soft play by a clear mile in my opinion. Do go. Just not in the week please, because it is always lovely and quiet.

IMG_5909

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

Chips

Today’s ponderings are not sophisticated. But I am cooking an awful lot of one thing recently, so I thought I’d tell you about it. That thing is chips. Oven chips. Blake is deeply, irrevocably, madly in love with oven chips.

As a baby, Blake was a cracking eater. His logic went – you cook it, blend it to a pulp and shovel it into my mouth and I’ll eat whatever you throw at me Momma.

Now his logic goes: this does not look like chips. Therefore it is disgusting.

It is a tiresome little game, because having eaten so well as a baby his palate is fairly good. If I can get it past his iron will and locked jaw, generally he will enjoy it. But rarely do I do so.

Except now he is passionately in love with chips. And chips, it seems, are the trump card of bribary. They have been gifted to me, in all their 80p Aldi glory, as the one thing my fussy, stubborn little boy cannot resist.

So I am cooking a lot of chips. Blake will potter into the kitchen (often with no pants or trousers on, because that is what one does once one is potty trained apparently), sit down on his little white chair and watch me load them into the oven with glee. And then he will sit patiently, for 15 minutes, waiting for them to be cooked. And he will munch absent-mindedly on some cucumber *VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION AIR PUNCH* while he waits. And whilst that is going on, I will quietly prepare a previously rejected food like omelette or cherry tomatoes in the corner.

Here is the killer move. I will present said food to him 1 minute before the chips are ready. And he will shove the plate away and shout and pout in his usual style. And then the timer will go off and I will dish up those chips with a flourish and deliver the line ‘ok sweetheart, you have a choice. If you want the chips, you need to eat two pieces of the omelette/tomatoes for me first.’ Down it goes, like feeding sweets to a baby. And shock horror, he discovers he likes it! And in the time it takes for the chips to cool to an eatable temperature, the omelette or tomatoes or whatever has been eaten. Boom.

Tonight he actually requested ‘cheesy pancakes’ (omelette) for his dinner. *smug*

The pre-child me would be rolling her eyes in disgust at me about now. Fancy bribing one’s child with oven chips! What a revolting mother!

What I have come to realise you see, is that with children and eating, you are in it for the long-term and the end game. What you need is a strategy. And if a brief period of chips is what’s needed to crack my child’s current faddy approach to food and set him up long-term to eat a varied and healthy diet, then chips it shall be.

So up-yours pre-child me.

IMG_5879

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

Thought for the day: Thurs 19th February 2015

An inconvenient time for your previously stinging-congested-sinus cold to switch to dripping-nose-cold is as you find yourself face down on a physiotherapy table at 7.15 on a chill Thursday morning, with your back being manipulated and your nose wedged into that uncomfortable hole you find in such tables (which seem to have been designed at least in part to limit the blood flow around your face); arms dangling off the side of said table, far too far away to be able to do anything about that very first drip that works its way to the very tip of your nose and stays put long enough for you to give significant thought to the sniff or drip condundrum. I plumped for sniff.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

Today is the day: Thurs 12th February 2015

Today I fell over at work. In itself this is embarrassing, but the fact it was in the middle of the main canteen at work ratchets it up the scale to mortifying.

I know I’m a moron – this was established long ago, but even I was surprised by this event. Trotting along with purpose on my way to get my blissful first cuppa of the day and bugger me but my foot is suddenly shooting out from under me at an odd angle and I’m looking at it perplexed, thinking ‘well that shouldn’t be there, what are you doing foot’ and then BAM I’m flat on my face in front of every other chap also in search of their first caffeine hit.

And of course, I leapt up didn’t I, because a) I had worn a dress to work for the first time in weeks thinking my neck was sufficiently healed to allow me to walk safe in heels again, and so I flashed my pants at the canteen whilst cutting a graceful arc through the air (thank goodness it was a sensible pant choice today and not the frankly ridiculous cartoon owl pants I bought years ago whilst hungover), and b) NEWSFLASH this is not the situation to be in at work; and in LEAPING up like a cricket with a grenade up its arse I gifted myself a gigantic head rush and swiftly had to sit down again with my forehead on the nearest table.

Thankfully, albeit embarassingly, two lovely canteen ladies rushed to my aid and the nearest First Aider was marched sternly to my side by which point I was quite clear-headed and able to assure her, whilst feeling like a total berk, that I was fine apart from a mildly throbbing ankle.

And so the moral of this tale is that people are often great, and will look after people they don’t really know, and if you can hold your nerve and not cry like a 30 year old baby at the kindness strangers show to you, you can walk away from a literal fall from grace with a slight twinkle in your eye.

And hurrah! After working over 100 hours this week, James is home for the evening so VEGAN DIET BE DAMNED we are having STEAK and BEN & JERRYS, HUZZAH AND BYE BYE!

P.s another illustration that people are actually good and decent – the annual Valentines Hearts at work. This has been going on for as long as I’ve worked where I do – people pay a pound to send a balloon to a Colleague with a personalised message telling them why they love working with them. The money goes to charity. I work with good eggs, and if any of my team are reading this I love working with you even though I am bloody glad none of you witnessed my fall today because you would NEVER have let me live it down.

IMG_5784

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused

Small moments of calm

Life with a toddler boy is hectic. This is not to say that life with a toddler girl is not hectic, but from what I have observed in the 3 point something years that I have been a Mum, there is a flightiness with boys, a restlessness, a total unwillingness to sit still and colour or craft, that does not seem to be there with such force in girls. DO NOT LYNCH ME MUMS OF GIRLS, I know girls are just as challenging. I just think they have a longer attention span than boys at this age. I may be a clear mile off the mark with my observations – they are merely observations. I do not claim to speak The Law.

But certainly my life with a toddler boy is full on. And if you too have a just-turned-3-year-old of the male variety, your day may also go something like this.

Wake at 6.30am because your child is sitting on your head/jumping on your stomach, stage whispering ‘can we watch a video on your phone Mummy’ whilst poking you in the eye with a miniature Thomas the Tank Engine.

Stagger out of bed. Spend 10 minutes chasing cackling child around the house trying to wrestle them into clothing.

Dish out Weetabix.

Tantrum.

Substitute Weetabix for Ready Brek.

Tantrum.

Substitute Ready Brek for Rice Crispies.

Make tea and toast.

Put tea and toast down as child announces ‘I need a wee.’

Turn on TV and line up an episode of Chuggington. 2 minutes into Chuggington switch to Peppa Pig after tearful request from child.

Run for the bathroom, shower, get dressed, throw makeup haphazardly at face, despair at hair, rejoin child.

Tip entire contents of all toy-boxes in the house onto floor. Accompany child as they play with each toy for 3 minutes.

Tantrum. You don’t know why.

Realise it is 10am and child needs exercising.

Throw on layers, waterproofs, wellies and head to the park.

Spend an hour marvelling at your lack of fitness as you chase child around park. Child will not break a sweat.

Lift child into and out of every single swing in the playground.

Pile back into the car and head home for lunch.

Lunch rejected as DISGUSTING. Pass child bowl of Rice Crispies.

Child finds a slightly deranged looking toy cat and in the space of 2 minutes falls madly in love with it, naming it ‘Donkey Cat.’ For the next 30 minutes, all conversations with child are conducted via Donkey Cat. ‘Do you want a biscuit Blake?’ ‘Donkey Cat thinks that Blake does want a biscuit.’

Realise you have nothing to offer child for tea. Bundle yourself, child and Donkey Cat into the car and head for the nearest supermarket.

Chase child and Donkey Cat around supermarket. Get back to car and realise that you have still not purchased anything for child’s tea. Chase child and Donkey Cat around supermarket again.

Sling provisions into car and realise you may keel over without an injection of caffeine. Head to cafe.

Order tea for self and ice cream for child. Help child with ice cream and then sit back and breathe as they head for the small play area at the back of the cafe.

Leap up as child races towards you exhibiting their best about-to-poo face, shrieking I NEED THE LOO!!!

Dash for loo. Engaged. Ask if child can hold. Child squats. Run into Disabled Toilet.

Emerge in relief that disaster was just avoided.

Child announces to entire cafe ‘Donkey Cat thinks that Blake did do a very, VERY big poo.’

Head home.

Accompany child as they play with all toys for 3 mins each again.

Sneak off at available opportunities to prepare tea.

Dish up tea.

Tantrum.

Hand over the Rice Crispies.

Announce it is bath time.

Tantrum.

Announce it is time to get out of the bath.

Tantrum.

Offer child choice of pyjamas.

Tantrum.

Read books. Con child into going upstairs to bed by suggesting you might be the winner of a race to get upstairs first.

Child demands cucumber.

Child eats cucumber in bed.

Smile fondly at child, and bid goodnight.

Recently, in between the running and jumping and eating of Rice Crispies, Blake has taking to doing what he has christened ‘Having a chill.’ And this rather lovely little thing involves him pottering up to me and snuggling in next to me, or clambering onto my lap and curling into me, and then sitting with me quite quietly and happily, for anything from 2 to 15 minutes.

These small moments of calm are beyond lovely to me. When Blake was really little I panicked a lot about all the things I should be doing to encourage his development and stimulate his mind. Any hint of ‘having a chill’ would have been met with me pointing out shapes and colours in the room, counting things, pointing our objects and naming then loudly, all with a slightly fevered expression on my face.

But now I am happy to just let these moments be, because it seems to me that there is a real value in doing a little bit of nothing with your child, in just sitting contentedly cuddled up, knowing that all they need from you is the reassurance of your presence and the comfort of your closeness.

These moments are a tonic in the frantic, bustling, and wonderful-for-their-madness days of parenting a three year old. Because they are a moment of connection between me and the child I adore, a reassurance to both of us of the value we place in each other, and a big fat bear hug to the soul that even Donkey Cat is disregarded for for a brief interlude.

dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused