The SUN IS OUT. I can, right now, feel the affect of it on my skin and on my spirits. Nothing lifts one quite like the sun being out. It was actually hot today. I know because all three children who are able to speak complained about it being too hot on the way home today. Et Voila - British Summertime has finally commenced.
So, on with the show as the great Miranda would say. Easter is well and truly over and the staycation in sunny Suffolk well and truly finished. Back to earth with a crash. And a truly crushing realisation that chocolate is a total Frenemy. It may look all nice and innocent and 'eat me I'll make you feel better'/ 'It's Easter'/'you deserve a treat' but then the sun comes out and you are forced to put on dresses you wore when you were heavily pregnant and you suddenly realise that that bastard was NOT your friend at all but actually secretly, silently and slowly making you look shocking whilst you innocently sat on the sofa eating all of the children's Easter Eggs! BASTARD. As it was I had to buy a new dress for the Christening. And from Debenhams. I felt so old. I initially went to River Island full of hope and naivety but I very quickly realised my mistake. I not only felt old but surprisingly poor as well - in my day it used to be cheap? Now it appears that whilst the products have not become any more luxurious the prices suggest that they have. It was most perplexing. Anyway, still smarting from my River Island experience I pushed the buggy in to the warm embrace of Debenhams. It was here I discovered all the various different clothing company sections and began to feel hope return. I was just admiring various items in the 'Coast' section and wondering why I didn't shop there more often, money permitting, as quite a number of the items seemed very 'me', when a rather unattractive youth and her boyfriend walked past, looked at something and then she uttered the words, 'oh hang on - we seem to have stumbled in to the old ladies section' and walked away. NOW - OUCH AND HANG ON. I am not OLD. I stared at her and to me she seemed of a similar age to me, but although it was hard to tell through her ugly, she was clearly not my age but quite young - in her late teens - and I have delusions of youthfulness. In the same way that I put an item back in M and S when I see an OAP pick it up and show an interest in it, she saw me and the 'old lady' clothing and recoiled in horror. YE Gods what has become of me.
I really must get a grip of myself. In this vain, upon our return to London I hastily arranged collection of a spare toddler bed and got K to do a lot of back breaking furniture movement so that Cybs could finally be turfed out of our room. I can now happily report that Cybs has her own room (Ted's old one) and Bea and G have an extra lodger in their room which is now affectionately referred to as 'the dormitory'. We still don't have anywhere to put Ted's clothes but for now the chair on the landing will have to suffice until I can face a trip to Ikea. This momentous occasion in our household history means that I have my room back to myself - hoorah! (I still have to share it with K but he draws the line at a toddler bed for him in the dorm room). This means that I am finally getting some sleep. Cybs has adjusted beautifully to solo sleeping and only has one feed a night now. Double Hoorah! Ted even sleeps better which doesn't make any sense - except that I wonder if he kept waking up in the night before because of his ADHD (not formally diagnosed just my own personal non medical diagnosis) which meant that he kept coming in to my room at all hours of the night, just in case he was missing anything exciting going on. Now he is in with the others he can clearly see that he isn't missing anything and it seems to have calmed his night time behaviour. Either that or his new bed is just more comfortable or something. Who knows. All I know is that I have a very large light at the end of my sleep tunnel and I can see life returning to normal which should, in turn, calm down my ADHD eating habits. I shall endeavour to stop complaining about my weight now. Although without tiredness and fatness to moan about I shall be rather stuck. I shall have to go back to moaning about money.
The money situation has been entirely dire actually. We are having a freak bad month (such is the up and down world of commission based jobs) which wouldn't normally be so bad if we hadn't had Cybil's Baptism party in the middle of it. Luckily the children received a huge number of Easter eggs which we have been living off in times of low food rations. They have found it most amusing that every time they moan about the lack of fruit I offer them chocolate in its place. It is just as amusing that the only alcohol I have to drink is Champagne so as I write to you about our temporary impoverishment I am supping a beautifully cold glass of champers. I am SO Marie Antoinette. Albeit in slightly less grand surroundings. Obviously I haven't been spending the children's fruit money on it, the bubbles were gifts, one bottle left from Xmas and one from the pub to apologise for the appalling bar staff who 'looked after' our party for Cybil's Baptism. One of them looked as if she was on day release and might have dropped dead if she broke out a smile. K complained and the owner donated a bottle to compensate. It is amazing how easy it is to placate me. Anyhoo, scary arsed bar staff aside the party was a great success due mainly to the fantastic weather. It was the first sunny day in about eight months and the pub has a great outdoor space and at the eleventh hour we WERE allowed a bouncy castle (phew) which kept the children entertained for three hours solid and there was food, cake and alcohol for the adults so on the whole it worked out nicely. Even my mother enjoyed herself. Even in SE23. (She isn't a huge fan - it's a bit of a culture shock). Oh and the Baptism itself went surprisingly well too - the children behaved (ish) throughout the entire hour long church service and Cybs was ok-ish at her part as well. She wasn't entirely thrilled by all the water being poured on her head and was quite keen to feed off me after it was over but as we were standing there being watched by the entire congregation I wasn't keen - so it was a bit of a wrestling match trying to keep her upright and in my arms. I did vaguely toy with the idea of trying to 'shove her on' as we stood there but I think it might have been a step too far - even the most ardent breastfeeder would agree that standing at the font in the middle of a Baptism service, might be pushing the boundaries just a tad. The Priest was also 'on one' that morning and decided to involve us far too heavily in the entire service which was a bit overwhelming for a non-catholic church goer, particularly the part where we stood en famille at the altar with him as he gave his final address and then made us walk out down the aisle as if we had just been married, then stand in the foyer being congratulated by the entire congregation as they departed. He also totally forgot the point of having your child baptised and failed to halt proceedings long enough for us to have photos taken at the font. Fool. So although the day all went to plan and was all very merry, we have no pictures of the all important Godparents and Cybil at the font. I did sneak back in after I felt we had been congratulated enough by the strangers and demanded the children stand for a photo. Ted was NOT keen in the slightest and had been asking for cake for the last hour so he didn't have a particularly photo friendly face on but it will have to do. Other than that I couldn't have asked for a better 'do' - I was massively relieved.
Other than the baptism party and bedroom move nothing exciting has happened. The children have returned to school for the summer term and I can't believe (as per usual) how fast the school year has gone yet again. It seems like only yesterday that I was buying them new school shoes in September and now those shoes are very battered and bruised and summer shoes need to be purchased. Children grow incessantly - it is one of their most annoying traits - so just when you think you have pants, clothes, pyjamas and shoes all in the correct sizes one of them will have a growth spurt and everything will be too small. Damned annoying. I tell them every night not to grow but they seem powerless to stop it. Cybs is growing at the rate of knots - she is properly crawling and walking around with the aid of furniture or a convenient box and eating everything in sight. Ted is keeping me regularly entertained. On the way back from Kent Sister's house on Sunday I decided to make up for some of my parental failures and popped Classic FM on the radio. It was a surprising hit and after Beethoven's Fifth Symphony finished Ted kept asking for 'the scary one' back on - I mentally congratulated myself and thought that I should keep it on in the car for the foreseeable future - when Ted kept laughing as the DJ spoke about Bach. I asked why and he laughed louder and said because 'that man keeps saying Fart'. He has also been breastfeeding his baby (Bea's doll) whilst dressed as Spiderman (so few super heroes have a breast feeding super ability and I think their programmes are all the poorer for it) and asking me 'who will look after you?' when he realised that he, Bea and G were all going to be at school for the first time in over three weeks and I would finally be alone (with just Cybs - clearly he didn't think she counted). G has lost his two front teeth (ridiculous excitement ensued) and declared me to be 'the bestest to cuddle as you are much wider than daddy' (nice). And finally Bea, who is the usual mixed bag of delightful little girl and 'tricky' 'tween age where she believes she knows better than us about almost everything and finds quite normal acts and requests 'totally unfair'.
And there you have it. That is us. I hope you have found it enlightening. I am off to luxuriate in the space and silence of my own room without having to worry about waking up the baby. Bliss.
A toute a l'heure. xxxx