Surprise! It turns out that if you ignore the ironing pile, the dirty washing and the present pile that needs wrapping then there is more than enough time to pop on here and write. Sadly the keyboard is very sticky thanks to Cybs who has smeared God knows what all over it but I shall persevere regardless, such is my desire to share.
Picture me if you will, wrapped up in blankets on my new spot, storm raging outside, beautifully decorated Christmas tree in front of me, stockings hung by the chimney with care, delicious red wine to hand (courtesy of mum obvs - we only buy cheap shit), laptop on lap, two remotes to the side (Cybs has managed to lose our skyplus remote which means we have had to 'make do and mend' with the old sky remote and the TV one for volume - I imagine this was a common post war issue...) and I am surrounded by the scent of overwhelming tea tree oil emanating from my hair which is smothered in a hearty dose of nit treatment. K is out the lucky swine so he isn't suffering. Far from it.
He left me, all suited and booted, to spend the evening being wined and dined in Mayfair. Admittedly it is for his Work Christmas Do and it wasn't like he had a choice, but still, the polar opposites of our evenings was a little stark. I was scraping a comb through Bea's hair with Cybs emptying out all the cupboards by my feet, Ted was requiring a bottom wipe on one loo and G needed to 'go' on another next to us just as K bid me a jolly goodbye. He was off to enjoy the Michelin star rated food and views from the 'Windows' restaurant on Park Lane - I was to finish scraping nits out of hair, wipe bottoms, wash all hairs, treat my own hair, eat a cold beef burger leftover from the children's tea and clear up all the crap from the day. I know one mustn't grumble but seriously - as he was busy enjoying pre-dinner drinks in Dulwich I was desperately trying to convince the boys to let me scrape their hair too. Mercifully they have short hair so it took mere minutes to actually comb, unlike the half an hour for Bea but rather crucially, she is a far more willing victim and needs less cajoling and consoling so it ended up taking about the same amount of time in the end. I managed the task and was beginning to brighten as they showed no signs of infection, when I turned round to see that Cybs had helpfully left a few deposits on the bathroom floor and mat. Sigh. I am more than used to shovelling shit but it just seems a tad less appealing when I know K is out enjoying himself in such style.
This morning I did the school run and ran a number of errands before returning home and finally looking in the mirror (I had eschewed my normal make up application in favour of getting to school on time. I am a saint) where I discovered a smear of Nutella left on my jawline courtesy of Cybs. I hope it was obviously Nutella and no one thought I had left the house with poo smeared on my face but who knows. Sometimes I find dubious stains on my clothing and to be honest I am never a hundred percent sure whether it is nutella or poo. Cybs fondness for malt loaf has caused a number of false alarms in the house as well - she has a tendency to walk around with it hidden in her fist so I don't notice until I am asked by another child or adult to investigate a suspicious smear. These are the times when I think going to work really is the better option. That and when I derive an unhealthy level of pleasure at successfully pairing up socks I had previously assumed unpairable. I ALMOST wrote a blog post about the fact that I had only a few odd socks left in my odd sock bag. Thank goodness I thought better of it. Although it would have meant all the working mothers could have slept soundly, safe in the knowledge that they would never, ever be that dull.
Is it wrong that as I look out of the window and see the pouring, driving rain I think that at least K's views will be obscured and he won't get the full benefit of the amazing vista? That is so mean. Even I feel bad thinking that. But then he isn't sitting there looking at the rain with nit cream on his head, so, it could be worse. I shouldn't be so mean hearted. I did have my Christmas 'do' with the local mums on Saturday when we went to Fortnum's for a slap up afternoon tea. I left K with the children and a screaming Cybs (she was very tired and very pissed off - although she has warmed to K considerably recently - it wasn't enough for him to be acceptable in those circumstances) and I trotted off to central London to gaze in awe at the lights and huge Christmas trees and eat incredibly expensive sandwiches and scones. Upsettingly the cake part of the tea was not that great but we more than made up for it with our constant requests for sandwich replenishment. It was a lovely afternoon and I made it home in time for the children's bed time so I still got to enjoy the X factor final which in retrospect made the afternoon even more enjoyable.
I EVEN managed to pop in to a new huge Cath Kidston shop on the way back to the tube. It was more of a visual pleasure than a shopping one as my bank balance is now frighteningly tiny, but I managed to get some pleasing stocking fillers for Bea and a birthday present for her friend so I experienced a small frisson of excitement. I have done so well this year on the present front - even if I do say so myself. Yesterday I got all the children's presents out and put them in piles and I am thrilled with what I have achieved so far. (The Internet really has revolutionised Christmas shopping. My life would be hell if I had to spend the month preceding Christmas trudging around the shops - especially if my trip in to 'London proper' at the weekend was anything to go by. Hideous.) Even their stockings are brilliant. I really have excelled myself this year. Cybs has the most beautiful little wooden kitchen which I am thrilled with - who knows what she will think of it. There is an hilarious viral blog post doing the rounds at the moment which is a 'letter' from a 10 month old baby to Father Christmas about what he really wants for Christmas. It lists the hilarious things babies find fun to play with in place of the expensive, 'educational' toys their parents have lavished them with e.g. computer cables, iphones etc. I could go one better for Cybs. Ideally, under the tree this Christmas, Cybs would like to find a block of knives, a pack of dishwasher tablets, a box of tea bags and a pack of sanitary towels. Quite often throughout the day you will hear me say very firmly 'Cybs, put the Knife DOWN' - she is excellent at handling them but I still worry. It wouldn't take much for it to all go horribly wrong. Especially with some of the bigger ones. She loves to pull them out of the dishwasher whilst I'm emptying it or to pull them straight out of the knife block and then she likes to put them in the block of butter and attempt to eat from it. Ideally I would put her out of the way of the knives or the knives out of her way, but the problem is she spends an awful lot of her time following me around in the kitchen and knives are an inevitable part of that environment. I am hoping that eventually she will get the message if I just keep reiterating my firm denials of their toy-ness. I do try to stop her getting at them - I don't keep them on the worktop where she can climb up by herself - I mean I am vaguely safety conscious.
The worktop she can get up to has the kettle and the teabags etc on it and I recently walked in to the kitchen to find her sitting next to the kettle, with it on and boiling, a mug in her hand and an annoyed look on her face that I had discovered her. She is a huge fan of tea. It is almost impossible to have a cup of tea in her presence without her demanding some. So, having observed me make a number of cups of the stuff, she was clearly planning to help herself from hence forth rather than waiting for me to make it. She also loves moving tea bags from one mug to another and pouring water on to them and in particular pulling them apart so the little bits of tea go flipping everywhere. The dishwasher tablets are more understandable I suppose. They come in pleasingly bright colours, they are brick shaped and there are lots of them. They are terrific fun to empty out all over the floor and to put in the dishwasher before turning it on, 'just like mummy' - that and the teabags are understandable. The knives are shiny I guess, which could make them appealing BUT I have struggled to find the appeal of the sanitary towels. I have had to put them all out of reach as she cannot resist. I suppose it is like a mini gift to her - they all come wrapped up and contain a large 'sticker' toy inside. She is a big fan of sticking them to things. Or using them as nappies on her dolls. It is something I really wish she wouldn't enjoy playing with - I hope people don't judge but there must be times that I have missed a rogue one and rather than saying anything, people have assumed that I have left a used sanitary towel in the playroom or in her bedroom - it is an almost unbearable thought. Urgh. K is not mad keen either. Hopefully you will remember his total aversion to anything related to 'feminine hygiene' or the 'P' word and to see his baby merrily walking around using them as toys really turns his stomach. Not as much as the new advert for a product to help women who sweat in their 'intimate' area though. I am surprised he even lets the commercial channels on to the tv now that that is in circulation. Even I was surprised by that one though. Who knew you could get a deodorant for 'down there'. I am on the edge of my seat to see what they will come up with next to sell to poor unsuspecting women. One assumes that men also sweat in their 'intimate' area but they are unlikely to have an advert extolling the virtues of a specialist deodorant made by a stupidly named company like Penisil or somesuch to ease their problem......
Anyhoo, moving swiftly on. I have managed to view all three nativities/carol songs/curriculum assemblies with huge success. I even sat at the very front for Ted's show which is a first and meant Cybs had a clear view of the action so she sat still for almost all of it. Until the end anyway, when she could wait no longer and attempted to join in with the final carol. Bea's was a bit more hectic as Ted was off sick after an asthma attack and a high temperature so I had to look after him and Cybs whilst trying to film/watch Bea say her bit. She also did a short mime to illustrate the narrative and even had her Christmas card flash up on a huge screen behind the stage which was all very exciting. I knew it was her card instantly - not only because of her distinctive drawing style but because hers was the only card wishing the recipient a 'Marry Chritmas'. Yet another advantage of having a dyslexic daughter - their work is far easier to recognise. G's was eventful because it took place on a Monday morning and he HATES Mondays so it took an awful lot of patience and persuasion to get him there and through the doors and I was quite convinced that he wouldn't open his mouth to sing a word. As there was only one performance of the carol concert - approximately 300 people tried to cram in to half of a small hall to watch, which made it all a little stressful but mercifully I was lucky enough to have dumped Cybs on a friend in the playground and I got a chair in the fourth row so I had a great view of G - who SANG. And did the actions. I was amazed. So there you are - every single one has been ill, three have performed in various stage performances, Cybs has attended a playgroup Christmas party dressed as Mrs Claus and we have ALL been to the doctors or dentist in a flurry of appointments over the last fortnight and I have remained resolutely ill with a cough and cold that won't go away for nearly three weeks now. I am hoping that this will have it all firmly out of the way before the big day itself. I know that at least we will definitely be nit free. Although I have given up all hope that I shall ever regain full sinus and lung function ever again. But I at least feel less 'ill' which I will happily accept until the sun comes back out and I can feel properly 'well' again.
I must bid you goodnight now. I have finished the chocolates off and I need to rinse the nit crap out of my hair before I can crawl in to bed. Have a WONDERFUL Christmas and I shall no doubt be in touch before the New Year to thrill you with our Suffolk/Essex festive extravaganza and fill you with open mouthed awe at the amount I have managed to consume. My fasting diet has resulted in a loss of a stone (minus a pound) however I fear my Christmas Consumption will wipe most of that out. Although the food will be entirely worth it so I shan't complain.
Let's hope K hasn't got me another pair of slippers for my collection or some nit shampoo and the children don't see any of their gifts on the drive down to Suffolk. As Ted would say - We Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New York!
Joyeux noel toutes les monde!