Friday, 18 November 2011

Parroting Festivities

Well after all that excitement, things are back to normal. I am massively disappointed that my iphone is yet to arrive and obviously neither has the ipad. It is a tad spoilt I admit, but it doesn't stop me feeling sad. Florence is still helping me through the pain and yes, thanks to my sister, approximately 10 seconds after the last post went up, I am now very aware that there is only one machine with her. Although G still calls the great JB, Justin Beaver which always makes me laugh so I like mis-pronunciations.

The cleaner is long gone and I am trying to stay on top of the housework in an effort to keep her good work (and my present) going for longer. I haven't been able to write anything for the last few nights as I've been sorting out the piles of washing from my bedroom. Just thought you'd like to know that so you don't have to worry about the mess at my house anymore. Feel free to relax - there is only one recently washed pile in the basket at the moment. A household record. I have also been thinking that any minute now I will be ill, so I was keen to rest in preparation for it. For some reason I have yet to actually be ill but I am quite sure that I have been on the cusp of illness all week. I even sneezed a number of times yesterday but still nothing. I don't understand where my illness is. Fascinating information for you all. It can't be my birthday every week so you will have to take the rough with the smooth.

Wednesday saw some interest. I took Ted to the Horniman museum (I know it is an amusing name for a children's museum) to see the fish in their aquarium. The aquarium is in the basement of the museum and is very child sized and arranged in a circle with a centre display so that it is exceptionally easy to navigate. Ted and his little friend were very smitten with the frogs, fish and jellyfish and me and my friend were very taken with the giant lobster. All was well. Then we found the tropical fish tank empty and a man with a tube in one of the smaller tanks which Ted and quite a few children were fighting to get to see (it was a man's arm, a tube and some very murky water but clearly more fascinating than a giant lobster). Then as I turned around and said - 'come and look at these blue frogs Ted' - Ted was nowhere to be seen. I literally do not know what happened. It was like something from that hideous show, Without a Trace. I did not panic, Ted is always disappearing. I did a few circuits of the aquarium (which is quite dark) and double checked all the nooks and crannies. My friend was being very helpful and was also searching. I am SURE I heard him say that he knew where his daughter was so he would help look for Ted.  He covered the stairs and I asked the surly man on the entrance if he had seen a small boy with a blue jumper. The surly man was incredibly surly and informed me he was far too busy to see where children had gone (DICK HEAD). Lots of other parents were at this point being helpful and I felt terrible that everyone was being so concerned about Ted who really didn't deserve it. As the friend and I went up the first flight of stairs to the bottom level of the museum I was concerned my friend was being a little too helpful and should return to his daughter in the basement, so I said, 'Don't you want to find her?' And he looked at me as if I was mad and said, 'Yes of Course I do'. It transpires that his daughter had in fact, gone missing too. Ted and his little friend were awol together. Suddenly it became obvious as to why he was being so helpful with my search - because he had a personal interest. From his point of view, I must have looked a little odd, as he ran up the stairs with me in hot pursuit of two missing two year olds, asking him if he fancied looking for his lost daughter. Unfortunately we didn't have time to discuss my misunderstanding as we split up. I checked the lifts, he went up another level to cover the main exit/entrance. I carried on around some of the parts of the museum we had already visited yelling their names and was beginning to lose all hope when I was on my way back to the main entrance/exit and discovered Ted's friend walking towards me with a large stuffed parrot. I pounced, shoved her under my arm and asked a little frantically where Ted was. He turned out to be on his way back down the first flight of stairs with his large, stuffed parrot. They had, in their two year old wisdom, made it up two flights of stairs and in to the gift shop next to the exit and stolen a parrot each. They were clearly on their way back to show us their new toys. They take each step of the stairs two feet at a time so it must have taken absolutely ages - I'm almost totally convinced they must have used the lift to achieve all they did in the time. Ted is an advanced evil genius and I'm quite sure he could use two lifts. (There is a separate one down to the aquarium). Anyway, Ted was elated to see me and ran straight back to the shop and threw the parrot on to the counter, clearly thrilled to have found his paying person. My friend, who found us on the way to the shop, said it was incredibly bad parenting to reward Ted for his behaviour by buying the parrot but it was only £10 and I was sorely tempted. I didn't buy it as it would have been unfair to his daughter. (I'm going to sneak back and get one for his Christmas present though). Ted threw an almighty tantrum about not being allowed the parrot and what with all the hoo ha surrounding their disappearance and our obviously negligent parenting, we left. I didn't time it, but I think they had been gone for around up to ten minutes on their own. That is a very long time when you are two. It is an exceedingly long time when you are an adult minus a child.

Still, all's well that ends well. I now have something to get Ted for Christmas and I know that in the event of another disappearance he is more likely to go to the shop than the main road. Actually I am getting slightly worried about Christmas now. It is getting ever closer. If I had a huge stash of cash I could quite easily get on the case and start ordering things to appease my growing panic, but I don't. It would appear that an awful lot of our Christmas budget was spent on my birthday. I still think it's money well spent, but it does mean I'm going to have to be slightly more creative with how I manage to sort a suitable number of Christmas gifts for the children and our families. I don't mean creative in a Kirsty Smugface Allsopp way, I mean, creative with my accounting. I need to work out which bills not to pay next month in order to allow us 'spare' money for toys and bubble bath. That reminds me, I am losing all patience with Kirsty. All her brilliant craft ideas are expensive, both monetarily and time wise. I know I could spend my evenings cutting up old plates and tiles so that I can stick them down on MDF to make a hideous mosaic mirror for some poor unsuspecting relative but I choose to get in to debt the old fashioned way by simply buying things that people might actually want in a shop. Plus, according to her latest hideous smug-fest article in Easy Living (I know - but I love it - I am sooo not Vogue or Living Etc material - I know my place in life, I have no ridiculous illusions of grandeur - my favourite magazine of choice when I was young was Take a Break) she is clearly of the same opinion - one of her 'Crafty tips for having THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS' is 'A little thought goes a long way' - ahh you might think, here comes the mosaic mirror - but no, she goes on to say, 'My best, most special presents have always been from Ben [her husband - GAG]. The other week, he gave me a vintage gold Rolex watch because he said, "you've been working really hard and I thought you deserved a present".  He clearly hadn't been watching her programme.

That's another thing, 'The Perfect Christmas' - I know Grumpy Old Women and many more eloquent people before me have maligned this ridiculous oxymoron but seriously - I am over it. This year we are aiming for a middling type of Christmas where the children are happy-ish, K and I have enough to eat and drink, we don't spend too long in the car saying 'not much further now' and maybe in January I am not looking at every toy Father Christmas gave them with a wistful look in my eye about what it could have bought me/the house/food instead. I like Christmas as much as the next person (obviously I liked it far more when I was a child and I got a huge pile of gifts without having to worry about money) but it is most definitely not the highlight of my year or the best thing to ever happen to me.  Let's all be totally honest - it is a nice end to the year where children get loads of new toys and my mother in law gets me something I like from Cath Kidston. (I told you - I'm no Living Etc person). It is a fabulous excuse to spend hideous amounts of money you would never ordinarily think was a good idea and it's ok to put on weight because, much like being pregnant, Christmas is a 'gloves off' eating event where you can eat until you are almost sick all in the name of religion, family togetherness and it being once a year.

Also, I have three official Christmas social events and two of them are happening in January due to everyone else being so busy in the lead up to the hallowed day. I have every single weekend and 99% of my evenings free up until Christmas so not only do I feel like Norma No Mates but it means that my Christmas this year will last the same amount of time as an entire Season would normally last. I am already feeling bad that the children haven't been to see Father Christmas yet. We are still very much in November but the fact that I haven't pre-booked to visit a grotto is making me feel like a meany. Things have gone too far now. I think I might try leaving everything to the last minute this year and see how it goes. I am also going to let the children believe the Father Christmas at their school fair is as good as it gets - I think it would be foolish to set a high standard at this stage and as well as being very cheap, the fair is at least in December so as far as I'm concerned it ticks all the boxes.

And with that, I must away - it is the middle of the day and Ted could awaken at any moment. Plus I am going out tonight on a non-Christmas jolly - I need to keep my wits about me in order to stay awake. Also Doctors is distracting me. Ted is going to have to stop sleeping in the day soon so that I can wean myself of daytime TV. I know far too much about the plotline to Doctors and the lives of the Loose Women for my own sanity.

Ta Ta for now xxxxxxxx

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