No, it’s not a typo. Sadly.
You discover a whole new set of skills when you have kids. Opening yoghurt pots with one hand. Balancing bikes on top of the pram. Entertaining toddlers for eleven hours in an airport with only a changing room and a moving walkway at your disposal.
All are now on my CV.
But it turns out that these are mere entry-level qualifications. Fledgling skills. Probationary parenting. Tips crammed from Motherhood for Dummies.
This week, I went off the deep end and earned myself a Degree with Honours in Mummiology.
And so to return to – poo diving. No, it’s still not a typo. Sadly.
On holiday in Spain, I was faced with the choice between paying to empty and clean a medium-sized swimming pool or retrieve Alpha Blondie’s poo armed only with a pair of goggles and a sieve. Continue reading
T’internet has let me down.
I was hoping to find a convincingly authoritative site about the psychology behind toddlers’ drawings and/or colour associations. Nothing… Come on hippy, psycho-babbler bloggers, get with it.
It’s all because of two-year-old Alpha Blondie’s drawings this week. I should really say ‘portraits’ rather than drawings – the kid made me pose for them.
‘Mummy, you stand, I draw you. Stand up! Stand! Stand UP!’
‘Alright, alright, I hear you…’ *jeez*
Then he grabbed a pen and scored black lines down the page. After a few seconds I assumed he was just scribbling and I wandered off, but…
‘Mummy! You STAND, I DRAWING you.’
I froze. This is all new for Alphie, one of those sudden developments that signals a new door opening in the brain: yesterday – he scribbled, today – he represents what he sees.
The question is, what does he see? And that’s why I want an art psychologist…
Over and over again, he draws Mummy with dozens of legs and even more eyes. For the most part, I am brown.
Then he gets another piece of paper and draws an orange blob, which is Mummy, then a purple blob for himself and a yellow blob for his big sister. Daddy is blue. He inspects it for a while and then says, ‘No,’ and changes the Mummy blob from orange to brown. So I am definitely brown. Continue reading
Alain de Botton, you are a bad man. Coming in here with all your philosophy and wisdom, upsetting innocent people like myself who are just standing about with their fingers in their ears going “la-la-la” and pretending it’s not happening:
“To a parent of small children,” he tweets, “(it is) astonishing they might as adults move abroad so one would see them only once a year – and survive”.
Indeed, as a mother of a two-year-old and a three-year-old, it does astonish me. In fact, I will go so far as saying it is patently not true: they may well go abroad (after all, I did) but I will not survive. Not if today is anything to go by…
Walking out of the gym’s on-site creche, I turn around to berate the younger one for doing something infantile, and when I turn back Curly Girlie is gone. Vanished. Like she was never there.
Behind me, a long, empty corridor runs back to the gym. She’s been bugging me to see where I go to “do running” – has she snuck back there?
To the left, stairs descend to the toilets and other mysterious basement rooms. She needed a wee – has she come over all independent and trotted off down there?
Outside the glass sliding doors – which parent-hating numbskull designed the building with a set of sliding doors right next to the creche, I ask you? – lurks: (on one side) a swimming pool filled with green winter water, (on the other side) an industrial estate, (straight ahead and up a bit) a railway line, and (straight ahead and down a bit) a dingy underpass leading to the car park.
My heart rate hits a level I could only dream of on the cross-trainer: a railway line; an unattended swimming pool; and, my mind helpfully chips in, gangs of mad child thieves. Continue reading
Before I discovered that motherhood is like being permanently on Candid Camera, I honestly thought that bedtimes would be lovely. Well, what the Donald Duck did I know about anything back then, eh? Bedtime is not lovely: it is sent to try us.
Goodbye Sun, hello Moon, warbles the TV and I perk up: oh good, it’s nearly wine o’clock. “Come on you two, let’s get ready for bed and have a story”, is what I think I have said, but apprently my mouth has translated it to, “Come on you two, can you start a fight with each other and then pull down the curtains while trying to hide from me?”.
The curtains are rehung. The kids are in the bathroom, eating toothpaste and whooping like it’s Lord of the Flies. Irritation starts in my stomach: oh no, I’m getting hangry. Continue reading
Rather like a toddler who repeatedly pushes beads up its nose and wonders why they get stuck, we keep going on holiday with two small children and wondering why it’s not the relaxed experience of yesteryear. You may well recall that my lucky-mushroominess doesn’t extend to airports.
This time it was a mere six hours at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 (fog). Compared with our eleven hours at Alicante back in January, this was child’s play, although the crummy situation was greatly exacerbated by the fact that there was no… child’s play.
Which brings me to my point: where are the playgrounds in airports? Continue reading
Feb 27 – It is so nice when you get a surprise birthday present and so un-nice when you lose it five minutes later. Someone in Volketswil Kindercity found and enjoyed some very special Vollenweider choccies this morning. I only hope they pass on their good fortune – as opposed to, you know, handing in … Continue reading
Feb 21 – It’s some kind of bad timing when you’ve just slathered on a bright green face mask and then your two-year-old promptly wakes, screaming, from a bad dream. Five quid’s worth of Dead Sea scraped off onto a tea towel and I rush in to comfort him: apparently, it was a walrus. Terrifying … Continue reading
Another era is drawing to a close right now, taking with it my job as chief translator for the secret language I share with Alpha Blondie.
“Dah wah BIIIG dang dong!” he might say.
“That is an especially large dinosaur” I explain to blank-faced father, family and friends. Continue reading
What I love about reading blogs, is the moment when a complete stranger hits my nail right on the head. This is what life would be like if I had social contact more than twice a week. Following the links this morning lead me to Slugs on the Refrigerator, and entrepreneurial Kat Goldin’s comment, “what … Continue reading
Jan 31 – So I must have worn the right boots after all, back in November when I went to visit the Monocle media office in London (see aside Nov 17). The magazine has spun off a new Internet radio service, Monocle 24. I’ve dusted off the old microphone and, in the company of half … Continue reading