Saturday, 27 March 2010

Ketchup Lips

I hate supermarkets.

Really, really hate them.

I know that I am not alone in this, but I can only manage about three quarters of an hour before I start going mad. I think it is the lighting, the terrible acoustics, the other shoppers, (particularly the grumpy trolley bargers) the queues...collectively.

And then if I factor in Gertie, who won't stay in the trolley but likes to 'help', and Gilby, who will go in for about ten minutes then cries unless I am carrying him, which makes adding groceries to the trolley whilst chasing after a toddler even more difficult, then the whole thing becomes some sort of horrible nightmare.

I can't cope with it and so I usually shop online. But every now and then I am forced to go. And when I do, I have to treat myself to something; a reward for having survived the ordeal.

Today it was a new lipstick. I was really pleased with it. The colour was 'hint of red' and as soon as we had got home, unpacked the shopping and put it all away, I rushed up to the bathroom to try it on.

I came back downstairs. Gertie noticed immediately. "Oh mummy, your lips look a bit sticky." Short pause as she studied my face more closely. "Are they ketchup-lips?"

Maybe more than a 'hint' of red, then.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A Little Bouncing Between Friends

Gertie loves to bounce. On anything. Bouncy castles and trampolines are good, but a bed or a pillow will do as a last resort. The best bouncy thing in the world though, is the 'jumpy pillow' at our local adventure farm park. There is a toddler version and then a bigger one for older children (and grown-ups...)

We were there for a little while at the weekend, and as usual, Gertie headed straight for the jumpy pillow where she spent a good hour, jumping. UP and DOWN. Up and Down. Up and Down. I have no idea where she gets the energy - or what the fascination is. Surely after five minutes the novelty should wear off?

Anyway, whilst bouncing, she made 'friends' with another little girl who apparently shared her penchant for all things springy, and they leapt around together for ages, with little communication other than giggles when they both contrived to fall down on the same bounce.

Eventually it was time to leave, and I had to drag Gertie away. Her new-found-friend waved us off, sadly. "Bye then, little girl," she sniffed. (They hadn't got around to exchanging names.) And then, very politely, "It was nice bouncing with you."

I was left reflecting on the happy simplicity of relationships between two-year-olds.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Home Alone (For Forty Minutes)

I experienced a small and totally unexpected and ever-so-slightly-guilty pleasure today.

I have been back at work for two months now, and Brenda, the wonder from Down Under has been living with us for about the same length of time. (She is amazing, but doesn't look after the children all the time as they are still attending nursery for a couple of days a week; she has just begun another part time job at a local adventure farm park.)

Anyway, she was working at the farm this afternoon and I had to do the nursery run. I also, happily, finished work a little early today. Usually I have to pick up in a mad dash on my way home, but today I just went home first to get everything ready. I could turn lights on, have supper all prepared and then just hop into the car and get the kids.

I couldn't work out was odd as I came into the house. Everything was as it should be. Except that it felt different. And sort of smelled different. And definitely sounded a bit different. And suddenly it dawned on me: this was the first time I had been 'home alone' in nearly eight months. Ever since Gilby was born, in fact.

And I had a whole forty minutes there - in my own house - with only my self for company. I had completely forgotten what it was like. There was just silence and everything was tidy and I was in control. It was really, truly odd. I sort of savoured it, but then it was over oh-so-quickly and once again the house was filled with noise and colour and mess and 'hecticity'. I'm sure that's not a word but it features regularly in my vocabulary.

So now I can't wait until the next time I am able to sneak home alone. Why didn't anyone tell me how great it was?

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Living in A Box

I was very excited this week to receive the new dining room curtains that came via a courier from Great Auntie Susie in Scotland. GAS works in a fabulous fabric shop and has the ability to make curtains. Since I am challenged by the simplest needlework tasks, I find this feat terribly impressive.

Anyway, the curtains have transformed the dining room and I am delighted by them. Quite sad, I know, but these days I am apt to get disproportionately animated by small home improvements (I leave you merely to speculate over the extent of last summer's ecstacy generated by the completion of the new patio).

However, (whilst not as appreciative of the patio as they might be, in my opinion) Gilby and Gertie are genuinely thrilled by the new drapes; but their delight is because the size of the curtains meant that they arrived in rather a large box. I know it is a cliche, but the packaging has provided, quite literally, hours of fun.
Gertie enjoys becoming a 'box monster' in the spirit of Little Nut Brown Hare in Guess How Much I Love You in the Autumn, and 'roaring' at unsuspecting passers-by. Just how long I can pass for an 'unsuspecting passer-by' remains to be seen, but it has lasted for four days so far.
Gilby is quite happy to simply sit with his sister within the confines of four walls of cardboard. And Gertie thinks nothing of just crouching in there for up to fifteen minutes at a time, with the lid on. I can't say I see the appeal myself.
There were squeals of delight when I suggested getting the box out again this morning. What a weekend awaits!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Little Battles

Thankfully, there is no major war being waged in our house currently, but there are a number of key strategic battles being played out on a regular basis. Here is a small selection:

  • The struggle for a 'dry night' for Gertie. We have taken the plunge and are nappy-less, but my goodness there is a lot of washing as a result.

  • The crusade to get a vegetable inside her. Fruit is not a problem, but you would think it was the outbreak of World War III when I offer carrot or peas.

  • The area surrounding the laundry basket is a military zone that requires regular patrol. Why, why why can the dirty clothes just not make it in? I know that I am not alone in this particular battle, but I am certainly 'fatigued' by it.

  • The fight for sleep. Gilby now only wakes up once or twice a night. But he has never, ever gone through. Oh, for just one night's unbroken sleep.

  • The daily clash over the brushing of teeth. I have tried so hard to make it fun, but Gertie is not fooled and there is an ongoing battle of wills that sometimes becomes physical!

  • The nightly skirmish over what time we eat. The children eat around five, when Daddy is not even home, so we always sit down to eat later after they have gone to bed. We are lucky if it is by nine o'clock. My husband does all the cooking, and is a perfectionist, demonstrated in his fleeting appearance last Thursday on Masterchef...

This post is written in response to Josie's writing workshop this week at Sleep is for the Weak, and inspired by Vegemitevix's PS3 house invasion.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Underwater Rescue

Well, our underwater photographs arrived and they really are very good.
All apart from this one.
This is the one where, in order to try to get a shot of the two of them together, I had to let go of Gertie as she held on to Gilby underwater. The one where, by the time we arrived at nursery in the afternoon, and we had praised Gertie for being so good in the water and holding on to her little brother, it had turned into a great tale of how she dramatically 'rescued' him.
Generally, and I am clearly biased, I have very photogenic children. On this occasion, however, it appears not. Rather than a spectacular underwater rescue, it looks more like Gilby is desperately trying to escape the clutches of his big sister before he runs out of air. And she, bless her, is clinging on to him with all her might, just as she promised her mother she would.
The photographer warned me, as he looked though his viewfinder, that this one might have 'comedy value'.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

My Teenage Toddler

My toddler is displaying all the characteristics of a stroppy teenager. I can see exactly how things are going to be in a dozen years' time.

Tonight I called Gertie in to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She wouldn't come because, she moodily informed me, she was "a bit busy". She was 'a bit busy' having a tea-party in her room, but no doubt in a decade it will be the latest games console that is distracting her.

On the way home from nursery tonight she told me defiantly when I asked after Harrison (the courduroy-clad two-year-old love interest from Valentine's weekend) that he is now her 'ex-boyfriend'. Where did she even learn a concept like this?!

She won't be three until May, but at this rate I am fully expecting the first dismissive "Whatever!" when we discuss plans for the celebrations.