Friday, 22 July 2011

Drunken Finale

WE have made it. Yes oh yes - the final school run of the year has been completed, all children are under the same roof and shall remain so, day in and day out for the best part of six weeks. Six weeks doesn't seem much of a reward for all the effort we have had to put in over the last ten months but I will take what I can.

My exuberance over reaching the final day of term is ever so slightly subdued by the hangover with which I am currently suffering. Having not drunk for months on end it seems to be all I am doing these days. Last night was the end of term celebrations with a few of the other mums. We didn't get to eat until 9pm and by that time I had already been drinking for over an hour on an empty stomach which was a total disaster. All my good intentions to just have steak, salad and 'a few chips' turned into me eating everything in sight - the majority of the 'shared' chips, ALL of my friend's portion of chips and almost all of the gravy boat of sauce that was meant for us to share (no one complained at the time which now seems odd in the cold light of day).  Anyway, I was wearing my non-stretchy 'proper' jeans which I proudly purchased a few months ago as a reward for my weight loss. Having been in stretchy supermarket jeans for many, many years I was not used to the unforgiving nature of the 'proper' jeans and found myself in a great deal of discomfort for the walk home. Not only that but I was wearing my recently rediscovered Primark shoes and it only dawned on me on the drunken stagger home, that the reason they were hidden away at the back of my wardrobe was because they were deeply uncomfortable for any length of walk. So it was that I found myself half limping, half staggering home whilst trying to maintain an air of sophistication and semblance of dignity as my fat tummy hung unflatteringly over the top of my 'proper' jeans and the tightness of them on my engorged stomach caused me to burp/be slightly sick all the way home. By the time I made it upstairs I fell gratefully into bed. Although I was still clothed so I then attempted to take off the offending jeans - obviously I had undone them from the minute the front door was closed - but they got stuck somewhere around my knees.  K gallantly stepped in to assist and then helped me to my unsteady feet so that I might remove my makeup and visit the loo before I properly passed out. Such a gent.

Rather ironically, this morning K mentioned his concern over possible male attention whilst we were out 'on the town' (obviously we didn't leave SE23). I assured him that as pretty a picture as a stumbling, overweight, drunk and burping woman was, the wedding ring clearly scared them off as I was not approached even once. However, that was not the biggest surprise this morning. Suddenly, out of nowhere, G has agreed to wear shorts again. I am genuinely shocked. About two months ago he totally took against them and refused to wear shorts on even the hottest of days. Every time the sun did shine there was a great deal of screaming and shouting (from both of us) as he insisted on wearing black trousers and long sleeved tops - preferably black. He would also be extremely angry at the weather and kept lamenting the lack of rain and cloud cover. With the recent spate of rainy days he has been as happy as a pig in muck so I was incredibly surprised to find that his reaction to this morning's sunny skies was to voluntarily don a pair of shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Wonders may never cease. Such was his angst at me trying to persuade him to wear shorts in previous good weather, he drew me a picture to show his displeasure. This may sound unexciting to the uninitiated but this is only the fourth picture he has ever drawn - he will be five in November. He has never, ever enjoyed putting pen to paper for some odd reason and I have never pushed him to do so. Bea has been such a prolific artist she has created enough works of art to sink a battleship and I was quite grateful not to have another load of art to store indefinitely.  But here it is! Please find below George's fourth picture and the first picture I have ever posted. On the left he has a smile as he is wearing trousers and therefore happy. On the right he is very unhappy as he is next to a pair of the detested shorts. Et Voila.

So now that we are done with school, the days are ours to do with as we like and my children are mine to do with what I like. Hoorah! And so this Sunday we will be leaving London for our summer break a la country. I like to refer to my mother's house as our country residence, as we tend to spend most long weekends and school holidays there and it sounds more exciting - as if we might actually be wealthy enough to afford two households. An unlikely scenario as we still can't afford to live in our 'main residence'. Talking of which, K will of course stay in our main residence to look after the cat and earn the money needed to keep us whilst I 'struggle' with the three children and being fed and kept at mother's. I will of course be leaving him a hearty list of jobs to complete whilst we are away. I would hate for him to sit idle at the weekends. I'm sure he must appreciate having a focus too. I know how much he would hate to spend all day lying on the sofa watching tv and drinking beer. I am all about his happiness.

My spirits are fading fast - Diet coke is no longer enough to keep me upright and I am desperately in need of sleep. I shall be back of course, rested and well fed with any luck. See you then xxxxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

War, peace and able children

FOUR MORE DAYS. I know. You can feel my level of excitement and it is infectious. Enjoy.

Today was report day. I am now far more knowledgeable about what my children are 'able' to do. Gone are the days of personal thoughts or opinions on children in their care, now all the reports we get from teachers tell me what they are able to do. George is able to count to over twenty (interesting - I hadn't noticed but it turns out she is spot on - he can get to 23), George is able to move with "confidence, imagination and in safety" (bizarre observation - especially as he is always, always walking in to and falling over seemingly harmless objects) and my favourite, George is able to "go backwards, sideways as well as forwards and can jump off an object and land appropriately". I think it is slightly disturbing that they need to tell me my four year old is able to move forwards. How do they think I get him to school in the first place? Obviously I am also exceedingly proud of his ability to land appropriately. How embarrassing it must be for the parents whose children have spent the last year landing inappropriately. THE SHAME. Perhaps my favourite insight from the teacher was from her personal comments, 'His contributions to class discussions are valued and he often asks appropriate questions.' This is more of an insight into the life of a nursery teacher than the mind of my son - I can only imagine the horror of twenty five four year olds constantly asking ridiculous and irrelevant questions. I can totally understand why she should appreciate that every now and again G's questions actually refer to something vaguely relevant to the topic of conversation.

Obviously I realise that the poor woman is very limited by the 'rules' on what she can and can't write about my very talented son, so I hasten to add that she is THE most amazingly lovely woman and G has been ridiculously fortunate to have her as his teacher. After all, it is entirely down to her that he can count to over twenty, 'form recognisable letters' and land appropriately after jumping. I have taught him none of the above.

Bea's report was less humorous and more factual. The only silly comment was that 'She knows, with confidence, the names of the main parts of the body.' If they mean head, shoulders, knees and toes then that is rather underwhelming as even Ted can identify most of those and he hasn't yet celebrated his second birthday.  However overall it was a glowing report as she is, obviously, brilliant. The only sadness is that she seems to be taking after me in her need for 'more haste less speed'. This phrase was told to me on far too many occasions, together with 'think before you speak' and 'could try harder' which appeared on every single report I received throughout my school career. They were right of course. I could have indeed tried harder, I knew that at the time but much like now, I clearly couldn't be bothered as my lazy gene was far too hard to override. If I got a report for my housewifery thus far it would still be riddled with such phrases. I am greatly in need of putting in more effort, taking more care over the jobs I do manage to carry out and the way I manage my finances is in dire need of more haste and less speed. 

Take today, due to my laziness yesterday afternoon on housewifely duties, a sudden call from a WW leader who needed my help at a meeting this morning meant that I had to put Ted back into the car seat that he had thrown up on the day before. I just couldn't deal with a car seat seeping in sick yesterday afternoon and I knew that I could safely put it off until Monday as we didn't need the car before then. But, as a valuable life lesson to me, I did have to use the car again which meant that I had no choice but to put him back into it and travel around today smelling the sweet smell of my failure. Actually, with the windows open it is not as bad as you might imagine. And my lesson was duly learnt and the minute Ted went down for his sleep this afternoon I bothered to take the offending seat out of the car and strip it back for a thorough cleaning. I am hoping the car will now smell pleasingly of washing powder and Dettol.

So, the reason for the sick. It was the result of another great weekend. This whole new world of K having Saturdays off has changed our lives. We actually have whole weekends to fill and we have been doing extremely exciting stuff with them. We used the last one to nip down to Kent and spend the weekend camping at the War and Peace show in Kent. Now, naturally this is not the sort of sentence you expect me to use so I shall break it down for you. K's mum and her husband go most years as he is a big military vehicle fan and they take their little caravan and his military Land Rover and spend nearly two weeks enjoying themselves with like minded souls. Normally, I would dispatch K with the child/ren who would enjoy this most, but this year I thought they were all at an age where they would enjoy big tanks and mud so I rather gamely said that we would all attend. The caveat being that I would not be camping overnight with Ted. HELL NO.  I had cunningly realised before I made the arrangements, that my elder sister lived not too far away from the site and being the genius that I am, I knew that I could merrily leave K with the eldest two and the tent and I could nip off to the comfort of my sister's house. Annoyingly I didn't check she was free, which she wasn't. That was a slight fly in my ointment. However, all things work out for the best in the end, and as luck would have it, her daughter was sick on Friday (the sick bug is seemingly everywhere) so their weekend plans were cancelled and once again, my luxury weekend was back on the cards. I did feel slightly guilty as I left K in the mud and the rain with two ridiculously over excited children on Saturday evening, but the guilt dissipated ridiculously quickly as I arrived at my five star boutique hotel experience - aka my sister's house. It was AMAZING. I drank champagne, I ate the most delicious cod and mash (she can follow a Jamie recipe magnificently - it was quite honestly one of the best meals I have ever eaten) and then I slept in the most comfortable bed ever produced. I even had an Orla Kiely hand towel at my disposal. I didn't use it but Ted did turn the tap on without me removing it from the sink first so it got quite wet nonetheless. He also threw his milk bottle out of the window. It landed on the top of a rose bush which we couldn't reach from the second floor window from whence he threw it or from the ground floor. Ted was slightly perplexed by our predicament, he kept pointing to the window and saying 'done?' and 'milk?'.  Luckily the quick thinking sister found a stick and managed to dislodge it. Anyway, he drank the milk from the retrieved bottle on the way back to the mud and the exhausted husband and children and then, just as we approached the entrance, he took his turn to experience the sick bug and threw up all over himself and his car seat. (I must add that obviously I did clean up the worst of it with baby wipes - it wasn't like he was sitting in great big chunks of sick - I'm not THAT bad.)

So far, Bea and I are the only members of the family to escape the sick. G took his turn on Friday evening.  In the middle of supper he stopped, mid-besghetti bomonaise and looked at me with scared eyes before he said - I'm going to be sick. He duly was in the conveniently located loo, before he returned to the table to finish his meal and that of his sister's. He really is quite unflappable. Mind you, I fear he may have a lot worse to deal with in a few days time. I came around the corner on the way back from the school run today, to find him licking the button you press at the pedestrian crossing to stop the traffic. I believe I may have shouted extremely loudly. It is too revolting to consider the number of totally disgusting things that he has ingested from that button. Just thinking about the people who might have touched it is sending my mind into overdrive. He may be able to move safely in a forward direction and land appropriately after leaping, but there are very clearly areas of his education that are seriously lacking. I shall have a word with his teacher tomorrow and see if she could teach them how to lick safely now that they have mastered landing.

I suppose as a mother I am slightly culpable for this educational lapse. It's just not good enough. They were right. 'Could try harder'.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Sick and song

Hello hello and Welcome. Not the greatest of days. This morning was stressful. I had to prepare for the dreaded event - a school concert. Now if there was no Ted, I'm sure these things would be lovely. I would be able to sit in peace, in a hot and stuffy hall on a child's chair that is far too small for my rear end, smiling madly and waving furiously at my children as they sing their heart out. However there is most definitely a Ted and he is a Ted who really does not appreciate being kept in a confined place for any length of time, let alone a hot, over populated one. So, I think it is no exaggeration to say that I was absolutely dreading it. By 8.30am I had packed a 'survival kit' and Bea's packed lunch and was just about to go up to change out of my pyjamas when I realised K was being violently ill upstairs. Bea then came running downstairs to inform me that he hadn't quite made it to the loo for one episode and there was sick all over the floor. With fifteen minutes to go before it was time to exit the house with three children and then endure, sorry enjoy, an hour and a half of confined stuffiness, I realised that K had had a Korma last night. So, I set about some furious scrubbing. K set about ironing his shirt as he was now very late for work. At this point I became a little irate. Me being late getting out of the house with the children was obviously not as important as a sick person getting to work a little late, who, in my opinion should have stayed in bed to get better.

I have never understood why a person would want to be a nurse. A nurse seems like the very worst job ever; crap hours, crap pay, actual crap and all that for not as much respect as the Doctors. I am exceptionally grateful that people ignore all of these facts and go ahead and train anyway but I have never been able to stomach other people's effluence and can't understand anyone wanting to work with it. However, I now realise that I have, unwittingly signed up for nursing duties. I spend most of my days dealing with other people's effluence for no pay, no respect, no set hours and not even a staffroom to go and seek refuge and eat donated chocolates in. For most of the day I have been trying to scrub regurgitated korma out of our pale carpets and then just as I finished, Ted went on a wild wee and poo rampage upstairs pre and post bath so that I then spent the early evening scrubbing the carpets again. I have not really enjoyed today.

I am also shattered. I can no longer handle late nights. Not only did I have a night out on Saturday but I also went out on Monday with my old school gal pals. Admittedly I was home by 10 and I didn't drink, but two nights out within 48 hours has totally floored me. I am now metaphorically crawling along on my knees to get through the last week of term. OH WHY oh why for the love of all that is holy do we have to have yet another week before we break up?! All the pampered kids at their lovely private schools have already broken up. When I was young and we broke up two weeks before all the poor kids I just felt smug and looked shocked whenever they said they hadn't broken up yet, but now the shoe is most definitely on the other foot and I do not like it. Why is it that if you pay for the education you get so much less of it? I am serious. I never gave it a second thought when I was young - who would question an eight week holiday - but now I really am trying to understand why on earth it is so. Do they learn faster? Learn less? Who knows. Maybe it is to attract only the very best teachers in the land who couldn't possibly imagine working anywhere where there are less than fourteen weeks holiday a year.

So, back to the concert. I found a spot right at the back and perched Ted on a piece of gym equipment so that he could sit in relative comfort surrounded by his snacks and toys. After he slapped me round the face a few times he eventually acquiesced to my demands and sat down. He was happy for about fifteen minutes - right up until the start of the singing. And then more singing. And then recorders playing, lots and lots of recorders playing. Then more singing and then ye god of gods; guitars. A small group of small people playing guitars. Now, I can't judge as I can't play the guitar and I'm sure it's incredibly tricky but, it was awful and too long. Around the time of the guitar solo which was played slowly, pluck by pluck with large pauses in between, all of my heroic efforts to keep Ted quiet and entertained went flying out of the window and Ted's insistence on going 'ome' became louder and more insistent so that for the first time ever, I left before the end. I had resorted to putting my hand over his mouth at one point and although I'm sure they all wanted me to do it, I couldn't help but think the other parents might judge. So, we escaped before the end and I came home feeling bloody angry at Ted and sad that Bea might have been pissed off as she saw us leave. G was, as always, oblivious to everything.

I arrived home to a shit pit. The house was revolting and there was a foul smelling aroma emanating from somewhere unspecific downstairs (the sick had happened upstairs and did not smell - puzzling). So, I started in the kitchen, spent an hour in there then went back to school, picked up G, got home, put Ted to bed and spent two and half hours tidying the rest of the house before Ted awoke and we went off for the dreaded school run again. On this last run, I had a moment of clarity and realised why the private schools are able to break up two weeks early - they DON'T have a summer concert. With the fourteen or so songs the poor children have to learn and endlessly rehearse leading up to the bloody thing, that could easily take up ten days of schooling - so, it all becomes clear. I don't pay for my children's education so that at the end of the year I get the pleasure of sitting in a crowded room placating a small, irate child while my other children spend a miserable hour of their lives singing happy songs to smiling parents. NOW I understand why people in private schools are all so bloody smug. They knew this already.

Six school days, eighteen school runs and NO more summer concerts until we break up.  The finish line is finally in sight people. x

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Fritatta pool party

I can't stay long. I am recovering from a hideous hangover. Excitingly I was taken out for dinner with K last night - totally out of the ordinary. K and I eat out regularly, every April and November. One is our anniversary and one is my birthday. His birthday is also in November but we don't go out for that. So obviously last night was a great break from our routine - K's new bosses took us out for a slap up meal! Now, it turns out that we were in fact very, very wrong about these poor people. They actually really like K and they themselves are very likeable. We had a fantastic night and I even had lobster. Anyone who buys me lobster gets my seal of approval. They also plied me with wine, hence the hangover. I ended up getting far more drunk than I had ever intended and by the time I collapsed into bed at midnight the room was spinning and I was unable to form words. It is actually a lot harder to speak than you might think - I realised why babies and stroke victims get so frustrated. Forming words requires a huge amount of concentration. K was not impressed in the slightest. It's not my fault I can't handle my drink. This morning it felt like my brain was loose inside my skull. I stayed in the safety of my bed until gone 10. Thank God K was not similarly affected and was able to care for the small people.

So, I left you pre-fritatta. Not only did I make it but I also went to the International evening. I know! I am a proper school mummy. I felt terribly grown up as I dropped my cold fritatta off on Thursday morning. I felt official. I hadn't intended to attend the actual evening but then Bea got all excited about the fact I had made something and was desperate to see it in situ - she also came up with the genius idea of wearing her belly dancing outfit and with that I was sold. So, at a time I usually think of as 'the end' (after tea and before I shove them up the stairs for bath) I embarked upon the fourth trip to school that day. (I am very over the incessant school runs and cannot WAIT for the summer holidays). I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived.  There was an awful lot of food - far more than just my fritatta and some victoria sponge as I had feared and there was also an awful lot of people. For about 15 minutes all was rather peachy. Ted and G were beautifully behaved and looked angelic sitting at a table in the hall eating their chocolate cake and listening to the steel drums being expertly played. Bea was sitting nearby with her best friend and was relishing everyone commenting on her belly dancing outfit. Then, as the sugar from the cake and the relatively (for them) late hour hit the boys' system, all hell broke loose. We went out for air and G set about the nursery playground with a maniacal fervour, climbing up the playhouse, jumping off things, throwing the discs from the giant Connect Four game around etc. Ted joined in, but soon tired of vandalising the nursery equipment, grabbed the scooter from the buggy and headed for the gates at quite a speed. From them on I was trying to run between the three, Bea in the hall, G in the nursery playground and Ted in the large playground. Largely unsuccessfully. I took a brief moment to cuddle a BEAUTIFUL newborn baby and as I turned back towards Ted I found him surrounded by open mouthed small children who couldn't believe he was actually laying down, fully clothed in the biggest puddle he could find. It was as if he was trying to float on it. (I didn't even shout - he looked so peaceful and happy with his muddy cold puddle, it was hard to be cross). However, it wasn't that warm an evening and I didn't have a change of clothes for him or even a blanket to put over him for the walk home. I did however have an old t-shirt of Bea's I was planning to recycle so I put that on him when I eventually managed to grab hold of him after yet another lap of the playground in soaking wet shorts, top and shoes. Another friend kindly lent me a welsh rugby shirt to put on top of that so he ended up with a layered pink and red dress effect over a very wet nappy. By 6.45 I had most definitely had more than enough but Bea still hadn't reached the front of the queue to have her henna tattoo applied. I sat down inside the hall to keep Ted warm until her tattoo was completed but three minutes in and Ted had managed to throw a man's supper on the floor - the plate that had been guarded from 5pm that evening for a man who was starving hungry and imminently about to arrive from work. I scooped up as much as I could from the floor (at least his pudding plate was still intact) and then went back outside to warn G we were about to leave. He was NOT HAPPY, having reached a place of total and complete madness. Eventually Bea got her hand and wrist covered in brown paint, I convinced G to leave and dodged the flailing arms that ensued and I also managed to elbow a screaming Ted back into the buggy and finally left the school for the fourth and final time. I have never been so pleased to get home.

I have to come clean, I can't pretend any longer - I'm not concentrating. I'm watching Marley and Me. It is a sodding lovely film. Although K is trying to pressurise me into getting a dog. I'd rather have another baby. They're less hassle. We are both adamantly against each other's choice. We will have to agree to differ.

Only two more weeks til our long Suffolk staycation - yippeeeeeee. I am counting down the days. xxx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


I know, I'd say not to bother, but you've got this far so you may as well continue. It won't take long. The most exciting thing to happen to me today was that I finally sorted out our tupperware cupboard. I don't want to rub it in too much, I realise it must be galling if you've spent all day at work being important and speaking to other vaguely interesting and important adults to get home and find out that I have been having so much fun stuck in the house. The good news is that due to all my 'fun' you can now open the cupboard door and plastic clutter no longer rains down on your head. So pleased was I by my achievement, I took a picture of it on my phone and was about to email it to K when I had a sudden moment of clarity and realised that outside of this house, it might not be as exciting as I thought and could actually be seen as a pretty pathetic act from a bored housewife, so I deleted it.

Mercifully the weekend was rather more interesting. Saturday started early as Bea and I left at 7.30 for our girly weekend. We've never split up the sexes like this before but it was incredibly successful. K had a fabulous time with the boys and Bea and I revelled in our girlyness. (I was slightly less happy about the three hours or so I spent listening to Justin Beiber but at least she didn't moan at me singing along loudly). Bea spent Saturday enjoying the girl-tastic beauty-fest that was her cousin's 10th Birthday 'Beauty' party and I had a great time sans children. After I collected my fully made up, hair plaited and nails painted girl, we drove on to the magnificent Southwold on the Suffolk coast to stay the night with my sister and her family on the first night of their holiday. Sunday was spent chilling on the beach and shopping for things we didn't need, which are two of my favourite activities in the world. We even went for a swim in the North Sea. Bea, like me, is a huge fan of the sea - I'm not sure she has much of a clue that there are other seas in the world which are clear, blue and warm so for now she's very content with the brown and freezing North Sea. She might be slightly less keen now that we almost drowned, but hopefully she'll get over that quickly. Towards the end of our sea dip, I suddenly found myself unable to stand, just as a big wave crashed down on us and as Bea panicked, her grip around my neck tightened considerably so that I also found myself terribly concerned for our welfare. As you now know, we did survive, although Bea was upset for a while afterwards and as I carried her out of the sea my sister ran towards us to tell me that my boob was hanging out. Hey ho. A small price to pay for survival.

I am flashing the flesh a little too often for my liking at the moment. George seems to have no clue that I might not want people to see my knickers and every now and then likes to lift my skirt up, totally without warning.  Outwardly, the weight loss has brought about a rather pleasing effect but underneath it is a total car crash. My stomach has not coped well with the pregnancies and subsequent weight loss and really it needs permanent structured support to look even vaguely acceptable. Anyone but K seeing it  makes me feel quite ill. (I suppose it was lucky I was wearing a one piece and not a bikini on the beach so that it wasn't my boob as well as my stomach hanging out.) I do worry about the lack of elasticity my skin now possesses. If I were able to go back in time and show my 18 yr old self what became of her beautiful unadulterated skin she would collapse with shock and probably ask why my hair was so frizzy. I am going to start scouring the internet for miracle creams that might once again make my skin soft and taught.

Oh God even Lewis is a bloody repeat. SOD. I was really looking forward to it as the highlight of my Wednesday. That's my night ruined. I will just have to go and make a bloody Frittata for International Week at the school. WHY oh WHY did I say I would?  I was feeling quite guilty about my lack of cake baking which I should never have confessed to in the last post. I must remember that the head of the school's parents group is the mother of the 'extra' child I care for and a regular reader. I am my own worst enemy. Talking of which, after a brief euphoria on Friday when my weight finally started with another new number, all hope has been lost after I stupidly stepped on the scales at the meeting I worked at on Monday night and almost burst in to tears on the spot. It appears that the cake and ice cream I happily hoovered up over the sunny weekend had an almost instant affect on the scales. Desperately unfair. I have spent the last two days feeling whale-like. I am more and more and more over trying to lose this last half stone.

Ooooh I can't believe it, I've just remembered that the day did in fact contain some excitement. As the children sat eating their 'besghetti bomonaise' I opened the fridge and realised we DID in fact have butter which I had spent the day assuming we did NOT. As I squealed with joy at my discovery, Bea asked me what was so exciting. I told her and without looking up she said, 'Mum, that is definitely not exciting'. I fear I may be desperately in need of the summer holidays. I certainly need to get out of the house more. Maybe I should go to the International Evening at the school tomorrow and sample my own frittata. Although then I would have to converse with other adults who would be more polite than my six year old daughter and just nod along whilst secretly wondering how anyone could be so terribly dull. It would be too embarrassing. I'll just stay here in safety and watch another repeat.

I'm off to peel potatoes and crack eggs. Whatever is to become of me.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Waiting for K and Takeaway

As you might have guessed by the extraordinarily cryptic title of this little post I am currently awaiting the arrival of K and then hopefully our evening meal. There is nothing like having supper delivered to make me feel chipper. Not that I'm one of the wives that cooks for her husband every night and this could be considered a rest for my poor put upon self. Far from it. I am a slummy wife. I don't tend to beat myself up about it. He's lived this far.

I'm not much better as a mother. This morning I told Bea I didn't really want to go in to help out at her school. She was making the point that lots of mums go in to listen to the children reading or to help with baking or even to accompany them on a school trip (horrific). I don't even take cakes in for the cake sale (SHHHHHHH - I do buy them though and that must count for something) anyway, she asked why. I made the Ted excuse. She said Harini's mum does. I said maybe Harini's mum doesn't have lots of children. She said yes she does Harini has four brothers and a sister. I was stuck - and slightly amazed as six children is a lot. She said, well when Ted is older can you. I still said no. I know that at this point I should have just said yes to shut her up but I thought I'd nip this in the bud. She said why. I said, because I don't care about other people's children. And there is the simple truth of it. I just don't. I mean I don't want to appear mean I am a huge lover of children and all, it's just that obviously mine are the best. If it was just Bea I was going in to help I would make it my priority but it isn't - there are 29 others and I feel no love for them so I couldn't really care less how they are doing or if they need help with anything. I cannot be alone in this - it's not like I have no feelings for other children - there a quite a number of whom I am particularly fond but let's be honest, Other People's Children are mostly annoying, they don't smell right and the stories about them are on the whole, quite dull. Anyway, in the end I conceded the point and agreed that Harini's mum was just a better mother than me. Bea agreed and then, with just the right comedy timing (as she is mine she is perfect and amusing and you must love hearing about her) she said - 'but at least she doesn't have style.' I know the sentence wasn't formed correctly but in essence she meant I was a better dresser. I was immensely proud. Of myself for having style and of course of her for realising these things are what really matter. (I later found out in the park that Harini is, in fact, an only child - I am less proud of the lying but I think it shows determination. It is just plain old lying in OP'sC.)

It must be different for other people because I can only assume that they love my children and find them totally adorable because of course they are just that. Also I now have a genius - I haven't had one before and had become quite used to revelling in their lack of academic prowess - but Ted is now a bone fide genius. An evil one which will be problematic as he grows but a genius nonetheless. Not only can he point at his nose and say, nose, he can say 'three' if you say one and two. SEE. You are amazed. And, and, and, he can wee on a potty when asked. COME ON - he isn't yet two. I know you are gobsmacked. Don't worry about your own inferior children, I'm sure they'll catch up eventually.

One more child-related tale for this Friday night. On Wednesday I took Bea out of school at lunch time for an Optician’s appointment. (The teacher suggested we go as Bea is having trouble with her writing – I think she just isn’t particularly good at it but I thought I ought to rule it out just in case) When I made the appointment I had no idea the sheer level of excitement it would bring about for Bea. She literally couldn’t wait for Wednesday to roll around and awoke at 5.30am with the anticipation. (I could sort of understand the excitement over visiting the Doctor at the private hospital ‘up west’ but an Optician down the road? Mystified) I picked her up and tried to curb her enthusiasm on the walk down. By the time we got there it became apparent that she needed the loo. I asked the receptionist if she could use theirs. ‘No’, she said ‘it would be far too dangerous’. My mind boggles wondering what hazards the receptionist and the optician were able to overcome several times a day in order relieve themselves but which could be potentially life threatening for my daughter. I didn’t argue the point, I left the receptionist with a sleeping Ted in the buggy and ran down to the pub with B and G.   I went in to the adjacent cubicle to G and experimented with the lock – I then repeated to G that he just needed to lift the lock up. He kept trying but to no avail, even though he assured me in a panicked tone that he was ‘twying with all his might' (again his inability to say 'r' is adorable as he is mine - that isn't necessarily true of OP'sC).  He tried to get out under the door but his head was too big. I was seriously panicking at this point. Then we tried again, with me pushing his head down and pulling at the same time - this time it worked, he got out without a scratch. Relief. Then I felt bad about leaving a locked, empty stall in a nice pub in which I had spent no money. So I sent Bea in, back under the gap (might have scratched her a bit) and she got in, pushed the lock down (this stall was evidently different to the other three) and we were free to leave to get back to her sight test.  Crisis averted.

Turns out she did indeed love the opticians and all the sight tests and as we left, pronounced it to be 'the most fun ever'. I am seriously never going to take them to Legoland. It would blow her mind and she might never be that excited again about mundane health appointments. Oh, and her sight needs testing again in six months as there is some issue with her not seeing the very small letters. She is thrilled.

Take away here - I have to go. K is losing patience.

Bon appetit x

(Stupid computer yet again lost half of the text when  I posted it. ARGGGHHHHH. If you clicked on it when it was first posted there was a large chunk missing. Apologies)