Let the Mess Commence

Ahhhh.  Kids have been stripped and reassembled for Normal Daily Cleaning; the house now resembles a house rather than a post-apocalyptic hovel; 2 minxes are squabbling about an invisible castle one of them constructed (“Stop going in my castle!  Mine!  Mine!” yelled Builder “No, I can live here, because I’m a Princess!” pouted Drama Queen), whilst Minx 3 is grizzling, over-tired, on my lap.  Drama Queen is sporting eye-stinging colour combinations today, made up of shorts, tee shirt, thermals, princess dress, ballet slippers and fairy wings.  On skewy.  Builder is enveloped in various shades of brown, in a mix of seasonal appropriateness, but all are soft to the touch – I guess she’s coming down with yet another bug, then.  I let the kids dress themselves because I made an Executive Decision last night that I’d not be driving them to and from nursery today, as it wasn’t actually essential that they go.

Baby Minx has made another developmental leap.  In wilfulness.  She refused to eat her baby porridge this morning, pursing her little lips up till her chubby cheeks dimpled, and pointing her earlobe at me.  She’s decided that she’s too old to be spoonfed anymore and will only self-feed.  Of course, when you’re 8 months old, the texture and smell of porridge distracts you very easily: it’s so much more fun to rub it in your hair, drop it by your feet so you can paint with your toes, and razzberry it at grumpy old mummy rather than *consume* the slop.  I indulged the elder minx when she was going through this stage, but I just don’t have time anymore (well, Minx 2 can cause utter havoc in an empty padded cell if left unsupervised for 15 seconds).  Being a wily minx myself long before I was a grumpy old trout, I shovelled porridge into her little mouth with the speed and dexterity of a ninja every time she opened it to chew her spoon.  I guess her smug look could be interpreted as, “Whoah, dude, I’ve found a self-filling spoon!  Totally awesome!”  She is young; she will learn.

I’ve gotten into a habit of singing loudly to distract the girls when they bicker or a tantrum threatens.  I don’t think about the tune (not that I’m tuneful anyway), I just sing the first thing that pops into my desperate head.  This morning’s squawking was Roger Miller’s ‘King of the Road’.  Baby R was smiling and nodding her little head, Middle Minx was covering her ears (she prefers Radiohead), Mini Minx thoughfully asked, “I like it, Mummy.  Is it a nursery rhyme?”

In other news: one advantage to living next door to a building site is that the builders have just trundled past gritting the road.  I see why: a tall fork-lift-digger type affair (I don’t know what it is – think metal T Rex) just zipped down the road at 8 times the speed The Boss moved at as he drove to work this morning.  Maybe I will manage to get the double buggy and baby in a sling down the hill through the 6″ snow to the Post Office today after all.  Besides, I have boot spikes 🙂

Crazy Immortals!

Snow, snow, snow.  It’s deeper, frostier and more beautiful than my last post.  But I’m back to being my usual curmudgeonly self when it comes to snow.  It only took one short drive to do it.

Against my better judgement, I agreed to drive with the minxes and The Boss to a child’s birthday party today, through the snow and ice.  Said child is a lovely girl, and we all like her and her parents.  They live 15 mins drive away, along a road we travel 4 times a day on nursery days.  Both The Boss and I have a healthy respect for the snow and ice on the roads, having had some spectacular skids in the past, pre-kids.  Still, we decided that the risks of the journey were ones we would take on this occasion.

Now, maybe we’re getting old and realising our mortality.  Or maybe we were being super-cautious and risk-averse because of our 3 chattering bundles of joy in the rear seat.  But I really lose my sense of humour when some (inevitably) young boy drives right up behind the car, applying his brakes at the last minute, on a skidpan of a road.  The words ‘braking distance’ must have no register at all in that tiny little mind.  He may be young in years, but apparently too many of them have been spent being told how special he is – he is obviously not a mere mortal like me.  I can barely keep to the tyre-tracks never mind pull over to let him pass.  What do you want me to do, Hot Shot – beam up aboard a spaceship?!

As the unflappable Boss started to growl in the rear view mirror, I patted his hand in a wifely way.  “Dear, we have a spade in the boot.  If he shunts us and wakes the baby, I’ll deal with him and you can bury the evidence”.

That’s why The Boss married me – I’ve always got a back-up plan. 

The back-up plan

Smug, Happy Post Alert (it won’t last…)

After hailstoning on and off for 3 days, the snow has finally decided to stick down here by the coast.  Like most people who don’t have to battle snow regularly, I love it.  I get a lot of happiness from watching it cover over all the little imperfections of the landscapes: the grim, the grime, the dreary.  The whiteness of fresh snow makes the whole, old world seem new and clean again.  As well as stopping traffic and building site noise, it muffles all the other irritating noises leaving just the pleasant sounds, like the ‘oink, oink’ of your footsteps and kids’ excited squealing.

It also brings out the latent 7 year old in me: on my trek to the Post Office this morning to send some eBay parcels, I made some snowballs.  I couldn’t help it, it was as if my hands had a life of their own.  I guess I could have used them as retaliation ammunition, but the local kids just don’t seem to target adults round here (softies – I definitely did as a mini-minx, especially if I had a sure-fire exit prepped!).  I couldn’t resist lobbing it ‘whopppp’ against a house wall.  I don’t think anyone saw me.  And the householders would never expect the waddling middle-aged lady of chucking snowballs against their home.

So this morning has generally been an excellent one, with lots of nice things happening:

  • I got to leg it into the village and back on my own, luxuriating in the ability to walk with my tongue out to catch snowflakes, eyes to the heavens, hat pulled down to my eyelashes, with only my own feet and safety to look out for.  I could move at a pace that suits selfish old *meeeeee*.  I think the gentle exercise of scaling the hill back home is what’s made me feel so happy – I miss getting exercise that’s sustained and steady, rather than frantic and in spurts, which is what you get as a mummy of suicidal toddlers.
  • The Boss ran the elder minxes ragged making rude snowmen outside and digging out the car while I fed Baby Minx and steamed gently in the kitchen.
  • I got a whole undisturbed 6 hours sleep – no squirming squids beside me – so I feel alive today.
  • It’s a Saturday, so the Boss brought me rocket-fuel coffee in bed while I snuggled with all 3 little horrors.  They woke up in good moods too, so the baby giggled while her sisters and I tickled and declared our love for each other (yeah, pass the sick bucket.  But this is not a regular occurrence, so I need to log it to sustain me on the grim days)
  • The Boss currently has some soup on the go as pre-payment for some mince-pies I’m going to construct later on.
  • Middle Minx has given me some great ideas for a knitted hat-scarf that I’ll actually have time to do today / tonight (I’m a compulsive knitter.  I need to knit the same as I have to write in order to function normally.  Writing washes the silly thoughts out of my head and onto the screen; knitting purges daily stresses in the same way that climbing used to).

So – let it snow!

(…till the first time I take a tumble, or the gritter sends it all a poo-brown, then I’ll be grumbling about it – watch this space)

Slow Down and Taste the Snowflakes, Woman!

It was snowing this morning as I herded cats (not literally – just my 3 squirmers) into the car.  Big deal.  It’s snowing all over the country.  Ah, but I live on the coast, it normally never snows here.  And it was Baby Trout’s very first sight of snow <fanfare>

I have gigabytes of photos and videos of her elder sisters’ first reactions to snow.  I have none showing my baby’s little face lit up in wonder / screwed up in confusion at the white stuff.  I have failed as a doting mother.  I couldn’t even describe to you her countenance upon meeting snow – it was, alas, one of Those Mornings…

I’d finally been referred to the physio about my ballooning shelf stomach (not from cake or beer.  But on the plus side it props my saggy boobies up), but meeting the appointment meant dropping Minxes 1 & 2 off 30 mins early at nursery.  They knew I was stressed and in a rush, so (shocker) were good about not spilling breakfast over each other (just the floor – fine, I can sort that out tonight, though any burglars would have been horrified at my slovenliness), letting me put hair up in bunches / lashed down in a plait as appropriate.  They even got dressed in the clothes I chose for them with only a token show of defiance (“Why can’t I wear my wellies with my ballet skirt, Mummy?  Why?  Why?!”)  The morning routine was going too smoothly, so Minx-in-training asserted her presence and pooed long and hard just as I wedged her in her car seat.  I thought about just leaving it (well, that’s what nappies are for!) but the memories of her horrific nappy rash as a newborn still haunt me.  That, and the realisation that I’d not get a chance to change her for 2 hrs meant that I had to un-layer her from all the outdoor kit, take off my muddy shoes, threaten her sisters with toy confiscation or worse if they moved from the spot, and raced up the stairs to win the 100m Nappy Dash Hurdles.

Just as I uncaked the nappy and released the pong, I heard the ominous sound of the front door opening.  With a roar that would frighten your average gang of tough hoodies, I leapt downstairs, gingerly holding the semi-clad, still gungy, baby in front of me.  I yanked the 2 wannabe escapees in with one hand, waggled a cross finger with the other hand, locked the door then ran back upstairs to de-gunge the now mildly-surprised looking baby (she’s very chilled-out…).

5 mins late now.  Try again.  Outdoor clothes onto protesting baby, shoe-horn into car seat.  Cram wellies onto one minx.  Replait hair of other minx.  Cram wellies onto first minx again.  Zip jacket up of second minx.  Threaten to sellotape wellies of first minx to her knees if they’re removed again.  Open front door, step out into blast of snow and wind.  Wet foot.  Shoe failure.  (Shoe forgotten)  Slam door shut.  Curse at snow trail.  Put on shoes.  Curse at trail of mud.  Open door.  Drag out 2 minxes.  Lose hold of both as they make for the snow in a practised “break, break” Red Arrows manoeuvre.  Open car door with teeth and dead-arm both inside.  Slam door while they rattle about inside the car, finding sunglasses, pulling on hats, pulling out plaits, discarding jackets.  Run back for car-seated, wailing baby.  Heave into car.  Run back for armful of bags (nappy change bag, bag of things to post, bag of things to return to shop because I was over-charged, bag of change kit for Minx 2, bag of packed lunches, bag of bags (shopping day – Save Our Planet)).  Strap 2 minxes into seats.  Negotiate nursery rhymes CD or silence (nursery rhymes – I can screech to it louder than the volume control goes, saving me the misery).  Run back to house to double-check door (Still unlocked.  Damn).  Start car.  Skid off drive.  10 mins late.  Realise it’s going to be a long journey…

Even at the nursery, things go into go-slow.  My fingers are too cold to strap the baby into the sling, and she’s hyperventilating at the cold windy gusts.  One sister runs to the door, the other waddles.  ?  Looks like they’ve moved the little kids to the big kids’ room, so drag everyone to the *other* side of the building.  Nope, they’re just hiding.  Settle one minx in her classroom.  Discover Duck minx has wet herself.  Waddle back to first room and haul out a change of clothes.  Consider crying at the lateness but get distracted, so don’t.  One nursery teacher smiles benignly at my fast-approaching-vortex levels of stress; the other offers to change Wet Duck for me (I love you – thank you!).

At the physios, it takes me a further 9 mins to find the stupid place, running back and forth in the pelting snow with my little but very unstable car-seat-on-a-pram-chassis, baby minx’s eyes not leaving my face for a second (Oh right.  *That* portacabin with the sign in letters 6 feet high.  Didn’t see it.  Oops).  But on the bright side, the physio thinks she can help not only my rubbish stomach and subsequent perma-backache, but she wants me to join in with the group fitness thing going on in the New Year.  “Take the baby with you, it’s fine”.  Wow!  I am now overwhelmed.

So.  I know it’s a rubbish excuse for missing my infant’s reaction to snow.  It’s further evidence to my current theory that time spent on myself is time soon sabotaged.  My back will be painful, stiff and useless for a while longer, whether I’d made it to the physio on time or not, but the baby will never see snow for the first time ever again.  I’m sure I will feel guilt over even more substantial things in the future, but tonight it stings a bit.  Sorry, R.  I’ll take a video tomorrow and pretend it was the first time.  No one will ever remember or know that you weren’t a real Snow Virgin in years to come.  Honest

Typical Morning in the House of Chaos

It’s 0938hrs and the minxes have been fed, watered and reasonably well de-gunged (4 pongy nappy changes since 0700hrs and counting).  Minx 2 had 4 showers and baths on Tuesday, so I hope we can stay below that today.  They’re all agog at Mr Tumble on CBeebies’ ‘Something Special’, so I’ve got 15 minutes to myself.  Well, the elder 2 are studying Mr Tumble; the minx-in-training is studying them closely.

Like over breakfast.  Baby Minx didn’t take her eyes off Biggest Sister once, imitating her chewing and crunching of her porridge (crunching?  Didn’t I tell you I wasn’t a great cook?!) and pursing her lips in a baby imitation of a whistle.  Breakfast is normally like a chimps’ tea party in our house but this morning everyone was pretending to be something else: Minx 1 had dressed herself so was wearing her pink thermals, a pink tee-shirt, her pink fairy dress, pink fairy wings and pink fairy headband; Minx 3 was in a zebra babygrow; I’m in ‘sporting apparel’, and Minx 2 is pretending to be a good girl.  Minx 2 was singing “Agadoo” to herself in between forkfuls (!) of porridge: “Agadoo-doo-doo, poo a pineapple up a tree”

Minx 1 fondly looks at her little sister and exclaims, “You’re so cute, L”.

“No I not!”, the songstress hotly denied, “I naughty!”

Well, there we have it.  By her own admission.  Do I have any hope of maintaining control?!  The Boss has promised me a whip for Christmas, though I don’t know if he means the lion-taming one that I need and want, or not…

Talking of Christmas, I’m so excited that my favourite site is almost ready for action:  http://portablenorthpole.tv/  You upload a photo of your child, answer some questions about them, then you’re emailed a link to a personalised video of Santa checking if your child has been naughty or nice and promising to bring specific presents on their Christmas list.  The girls loved it last year, but Little Miss Empathy (eldest) burst into tears when we played Daddy’s video: he was rebuked by Santa for leaving his underwear on the floor, and warned that if he didn’t spend less time on the internet that he’d not get any presents.  I laughed like a walrus, but I guess that kind of humour is generally lost on 3 year olds…

Well, my Cuppa Sleep is almost over, so time to go steel myself for a morning of Santa List compiling and painting with the whirlwinds.  Before I go, I probably need to explain the 2 drinks I consume most often: Cuppa Sleep and Cuppa Wet.  Both are so-called because naming them ‘coffee’ is totally inadequate.  The former is strong enough to replace about 2 hours of sleep; the latter is instant decaf, so isn’t worthy of the descriptor ‘coffee’.  I consume both in stupendous quantities.  I find the resulting halitosis adds a special ambience to my snarling grumpy old trout-ness.

Oh pants, I can hear the irritatingly cheery “I Can Cook” – time to remove the TV plug fuse (my clever little blighters can work the TV and freeview zappers).  It’s not the fake I-love-lil-kids-honest-look-at-me-fondly-smiling of the programme that I dislike – it’s the chirpy guitar song at the end.  For some reason it makes me want to strangle myself.  Must be the subliminal messages.

Driving me bonkers

It’s just as well that Trouts don’t eat their own young, or Middle Trout would have been devoured raw and whole.  I think she just moved from one tantrum to the next all of yesterday.  It wasn’t anything exceptional, just a typical 2 year old minx being a 2 year old minx.  But on limited sleep it’s hard to take (all 3 girls were hot-bedding beside me all that night – at one point they were all wailing to be the one getting Mummy-cuddles, while The Boss slept blissfully on, too exhausted to wake).

In the morning Minx 2: poked and prodded Baby Trout in the face every 45 seconds; experimented with what happens when you stuff a bib in a baby’s mouth (those trusting little eyes, once full of admiration for a beloved big sister, fill with hurt tears); peed on the sofa, 3 cushions, the carpet and a blanket despite reminders every 10 minutes to “Sit on your potty!”; timed how long it takes Mummy to notice you surreptitiously pouring yours and your big sister’s beakers of milk on the floor (answer: too bloody long); and pulled her big sister’s hair and yanked her toys apart.

In the afternoon she: woke her baby sister in terror by uttering a frustrated war cry that would have pierced a wall of butter (she wanted let out the car first despite being botch-taped strapped to the middle car seat); peed on the floor and crowed about it; furtively peed on the highchair and sniggered about it; fell asleep in her dinner (yes, in.  As in: chicken risotto squishing round that petulant little mouth); screamed to escape Mummy’s evil clutches on the way up the stairs; hissed like a cat being hosed down whilst being… well, hosed down; screeched whilst being changed for bed; roared for Mummy-cuddles the very instant I left her to feel Baby Trout; and… on and on and on.  You get the picture.  She screamed herself literally hoarse after 37 minutes of ranting (I timed it – can you tell?).  A dark side of me was impressed with her tenacity and depth of rage at the injustice of her not being able to have her own way.  Still, I’m glad The Boss dealt with that one. 

This morning she was a very subdued little Minx and did (mostly) what she was told.

It being a nursery day, I’m now reflecting on the positive side of yesterday:  Minx 1 interpreted the signs of Mummy-meltdown approaching (muttered thick Glaswegian curses) so was as good as gold and only whinged twice all day.  And at least Minx 2 didn’t bite anyone.  Only a few months ago her nursery teacher encouragingly told me: “Ooo, we had a really good day today!  L only bit 3 children, one member of staff and tried to stab another teacher with a pencil.  She’s getting better!”  I still don’t know how we got through that stage without them expelling her or insisting on a muzzle.  But I do know why our Naughty Step is almost worn through.

"Don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry"

Toddler Modesty

Four-year-old Mini Trout has out-grown her swimming costume, so I had to find a new one.  One big supermarket chain apparently only sells children’s swimming costumes in summer; the other gave me a choice of 3 styles, of which 2 were totally inappropriate, in my opinion, for a 4 year old.  Who on earth thinks that hi-legs and a low cut top with a dropped shoulder is what a female toddler should be wearing?  I guess the same idiot people who design or buy toddler girls’ tee-shirts that have ridiculous slogans like ‘Sexy’ or ‘Hot’ emblazoned over the chest.

After a week of searching, Mini Trout attended her swimming lesson this afternoon clad in a very sensible, low leg, thick shoulder straps, full coverage burka of a swimsuit.  (I know, I know – just wait till she starts dating…)

With 3 Troutling daughters, I expect I’m on a hiding to nothing hoping that they’ll grow up with no body image hang-ups.  Me and The Boss are learning along the way and doing our very best.  Example: Mini Trout’s rounded toddler tummy is proclaimed ‘a beautiful happy tummy’.  I smile as genuinely as I can muster with all my acting talents when she flings herself at my 3-baby-plus-bad-diastasis-recti-and-a-bad-cake-habit belly and sighs, “I love your fat squashy belly, Mummy, it’s so yummy to cuddle”.  The kids don’t know what ‘diet’ means, and fashion is a swear-word in this household.

Oh boy – we’re in for some rough times in 10 years or so…

Still, I hope to lead by example.  My first day in my last job was marked with me going back to the office of some overly-macho men over lunch, armed with a thick black marker and a look-out.  I only owned up to penning the moustache, beard and bikini over a semi-naked Kelly Brook calendar about 3 years later, having sniggered each time one of the guys had moaned about the ‘shocking’ graffiti.  (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I could have had a head-to-head confrontation, but being underhand is sooooo much more fun.  And effective.)

Yep, still beautiful even after my make-up job

From the Mouths of my Babes

Despite getting around 5hrs sleep last night, I made a tiny bit of an effort with my appearance today.  Nothing traffic-stopping: I just brushed my hair and wore a skirt.  Said skirt is green mock-suede, ankle length, with an incredible swish to it.  It’s also 6 years old, but I think it looks good with my lacy green cardigan that’s trimmed with little jangly bells, sequins and semi-precious stones.  I thought, “I might not look trendy, but I feel a bit like when I was The Grumpy Young Trout”.  Minx 1 gazed lovingly at me over breakfast and cooed, “Oooo, Mummy, you look just like Miss Hoolie”.


That was my little bubble bursting.

Och, I forgave her when she presented me with a little portrait of me that she’d drawn while I was out this afternoon.  Now, I don’t actually cut about in purple boots with a big poppy emblazoned on my top, but hey, she’s pretty artistic for a 4-year-old.  I think it’s beautiful and I’ll treasure it forever.  I can also use it as evidence that I do smile occasionally, enough for her to know what my smile looks like.  She even saved a piece of pink clover that she found on her walk with her Daddy, grandparents and one sister yesterday (while me and Baby Trout caught up with baking, cooking, admin vortex fighting, etc) and sellotaped it to my picture.


That was my cold, black heart bursting with pride and love for my clever daughter.


Famed CBeebies character, Miss Hoolie

The Grumpy Old Trout

Mini Trout's Portrait of The Grumpy Old Trout


In other news:

I had to take Little Trout to the hospital today to begin the long process of deciding what to do about her recurring ear infections – this is the 9th infection of 2010, and she’s only 2.  The waiting room was full of tired people in tired chairs, all of us looking at a different spot on the wall, like some comical ‘Spot The Ball’ contest.  Little Trout is bored, bored, bored.  Normally this means that she will shortly bite, hit, slap or otherwise physically harm the nearest human.  Today, however, she thought she’d rather ‘sing a lil song’.  So she treated her captive audience to a lusty rendition of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, along with Makaton sign language and sound effects.  When she ran out of animal vocabulary, she moved on to Miss Polly Had a Dolly.  Buoyed by the smiles and chuckles, she started doing requests.  I’m a Little Teapot obviously caused so much consternation that the long waiting queue miraculously vanished and we were seen immediately.


Trolley Rage

It’s a Monday, Minx 1 and 2 are safely locked up away from my grumpiness and potty-mouth in nursery, so it’s… find a shopping trolley day!

Food shopping is 100% guaranteed to bring out all the exasperation and anger in me.  If I manage to find a parking space that I can get the door open wide enough to worm the baby out of her car seat without wrecking the car beside me, I get to march all the way down to the supermarket door, in the driving rain and wind (it’s the Highlands, you know!).  I take all my shopping bags with me, like a dutiful little housewife: Save Our Planet from plastic bags (and our car-park from the shards of glass caused by the flimsy things breaking prematurely and spilling their contents…).  I also have to take a change bag, because Minx 3 still has unpredictable emissions from each end.  So presently I arrive at the big stand of shopping trolleys with a heavy baby taking up one arm and hip, 2 bags on the other arm, my long (now wet) hair whipping over my eyes and over the baby (did I say it was wet and windy again?).  I grab the handle of the nearest trolley with a baby seat, jerk at it, smack an old lady sideways with my flailing bags, apologise, sigh, and realise the fun is about to start.

Once I get the damn trolley separated from the others (honestly, it’s harder than peeling apart the wet pages of a book dropped down the toilet – don’t ask), I pause.  Are we going to have our usual Monday morning fights?  I open up the folded baby seat – yep: broken safety strap.  Really broken.  Even an enterprising woman like me can’t resurrect its previous safety.  Grimace.  Push trolley to one side, dutifully apply safety brake, struggle with second trolley.  Only person hurt this time is the baby, who doesn’t like the jolts (and me).  Peel open the seat.  Another broken clip.  Repeat.  And again…

The 4th or 5th trolley isn’t totally serviceable, but I reckon there’s enough left of the broken strap for me to tie it to the other functional one to keep the baby safely onboard.  Great!  I pull out a little blanket from the change bag with my teeth and try to arrange it as best I can over the brown, sticky stains and their accompanying mould that decorate the seat.  I lower my precious (cold, wet, shrieking) daughter onto the blanket, tie her down to it, and try to ignore the greasiness that’s transferred from the straps to my hands.  Dumping the bags in the trolley, I wheel off to the toilets where I can get a handful of wet and soapy toilet paper (IF the soap dispensers are actually full of soap – this is not always the case), unstrap the wailing baby, attack the filth of the seat, rinse it, dry it with more toilet paper, put the now dirty blanket in the change bag, put the inconsoleable baby in the clean(er) seat, and ignore the glares from the coffee shop customers who’ve had their peaceful morning coffee disturbed (try experiencing my morning, pal).  As I wheel the trolley to the first aisle, I feel the pit of my stomach plunge as I realise that the trolley won’t steer in a straight line, even if I push on one side of the handle and pull on the other whilst walking sideways.

And now you want me to spend money in your store?!!


I once tried complaining about the state of the trolleys.  I got a shrug and a grunt.  I occasionally shop online.  I only do this whenever I forget how annoying it is to fight with 26 plastic bags (I kid you not – I counted them out and I counted them all back in again to the irate driver’s hands) for a week’s shopping, or to re-educate the driver/picker that no, I won’t accept a burst carton of cream, bashed butter or a chicken twice the size that I asked for, dated to be used up today.

I hate shopping – I am obviously not a hunter-gatherer by nature.


Out, damned spot, out!

For the past few days I’ve been irked by a strange pink spot on my bedroom ceiling.  It’s lurked there quite happily, neither growing nor fading.  This was good news, as I was initially concerned that it might reproduce and spread, like Dr Seuss’s Cat in the Hat pink-cat-ring spots.  (I’ve either been reading too many bedtime stories or the Minxes have had one childhood illness too many…).  Around the diameter of the end of a pencil, every time I’ve seen the spot I’ve made (yet another) mental note to check what it is, prior to cleaning it, then promptly forgotten.  Only each time I’ve lain down to sleep, its annoyingly cheery neon pinkness has reminded me of its presence and my inability to remember anything unless I’ve written it down on at least 3 To Do lists.

Well, this morning my visiting in-laws kept the elder 2 minxes occupied while me and The Boss investigated.  It didn’t respond to a loud ‘Ugh!’ or a prod.  Declaring it ‘unresponsive’, it was identified with a tentative lick…


Now, 3 questions remain that will probably be forever unanswered:

  1. How did the Calpol get on the ceiling?
  2. Why did it form such a perfect little circle?
  3. How did I or The Boss manage to lick it…?

Hint: from whom did Minx 3 inherit this giraffe tongue...?