Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dressed to Distress

Everything is a battle with Eddie at the moment, but matters of sartorial choice are the worst.

He uses strange adjectives to explain why he will not wear a particular pair of trousers.  They might, for example, be 'too furry', (though I can confirm, categorically, that he does not own a single pair of fur trousers) 'not bony enough' (likewise) and often complains that the pockets are 'bumpy'.

His wardrobe is extensive, which is what happens when you have an older brother and get all his hand-me-downs; but only two or three items remain eligible for actual wearing at any given time.

This means that mornings are often fraught and it is easiest to let Eddie dress himself.

Which is how he ended up at church this morning clothed in mismatched stripey socks, the lower half of his Ugandan national team football kit, and a t-shirt with a monster on it.  Not exactly Sunday best, more like 'Sunday mess', but at least we managed to leave the house without a row.

Though he decided to announce loudly, delightedly and without preamble during the quiet moment of reflection between the gospel and the homily, 'MUMMY, I HAVEN'T GOT ANY PANTS ON UNDER MY SHORTS.'

A pause, and then a stage whisper, ''SHALL I SHOW YOU?'

Even the priest looked like he had to suppress a giggle, though some older members of the congregation were less understanding.

We didn't stay for coffee this morning.

Currently reading:  Living With It by Lizzie Enfield

Friday, 10 April 2015

Carry on Not Camping

Easter 2015 was the time that Hearth-Mother decided it would be a Good Thing to have a camping adventure in the garden.  The little people had been looking for a good excuse to set up their 'dens' and there would be space enough to pitch a proper tent close by. It might even be considered 'glamping' given the proximity and availability of electricity, heat and lighting. She reckoned without the chickens, the commuters on the A29, the three-year-old's tantrum, a snuffling retriever and a Chinook helicopter.

Two sets of our friends are camping this Easter, and reluctant to join in since our last outing two years ago when I had to be chipped from a block of ice in the middle of the night, I thought a garden expedition would be a happy compromise.

It took one evening to pitch the tent so that everything was ready for the following night. Youngest, Eddie, came home from nursery in the filthiest, blackest of exhausted tempers, and refused to wait for his campfire supper. He fell asleep in a stroppy huff on the sofa.  One down.  Not the holiday bliss I had imagined.

Three of the chickens had 'escaped' from and were careering round the garden doing what chickens do, which is mostly to poo everywhere.  Hearth-father thought it was time their wings were clipped again.  My less rational explanation was that the sight of a large purple canvas erection next to their coop was enough to send them on the run.

Kempton got over-excited and got in to the bin, so that as well as chicken excrement, our campsite was also now littered with a week's worth of decomposing rubbish.

We cooked beans and sausages on the campfire, followed by marshmallows. In a fit of guilt at all the fun we were having I decided to wake up Eddie to see if he wanted to join in.  Big mistake. The pre-supper tantrum was just a warm-up for the screaming and relentless sobbing all over the garden he had planned for the rest of the evening.

Just as we got all three sleeping (and overcame the difficulty of Eddie getting his bottom all the way into his sleeping bag) a pair of helicopters decided to circle low over the house with searchlights, so that we felt like we were in the middle of a James Bond film at the very least.

By the time we settled everyone again the roaring traffic of the A29 was just about to begin for the morning rush hour. (Or so it seemed!)  I was under this strange illusion that we lived in a rural area, but it transpires that our main road is more like the M1 first thing in the morning. The over-efficiency of the heater meant that the previous year's defrosting wasn't necessary; in fact we all woke up with a bit of a sweat on.  One that had absolutely no relation to the amount of red wine I felt it necessary to consume in order to sleep five in our four-man tent.

'Again, again!' said the kids in the morning, like demented Teletubbies.

But that nonsense is all over for another year, at least.

(Although I do, inadvertently, appear to have book a yurt for us all to stay in for the Hay Festival next month.  Whoops...)

Currently reading: A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How Do You Eat Yours?

Eddie would not, it's fair to say, fare well in the infamous 'marshmallow test'.

After his Easter Egg hunt he was allowed to choose one thing to eat straight away.  He promptly selected the largest egg, sat in the middle of the kitchen floor and ate the whole thing top down without pause.

Later, when he was having a tantrum - can't remember what it was about, but it would have been something like having the wrong-coloured straw in his drink or having been given the Octonauts plate instead of the tractor one, that sort of thing - I made the mistake of saying, "I think chocolate makes you grumpy."

He stopped sobbing for a moment, looked me squarely in the eye and replied. "No, it doesn't. You make me grumpy." Which rather told me.

Happy Easter!

Currently reading: The Lie by Helen Dunmore