Poor J – he’s been through the wars a bit.
Ahhh Sunday – a day of relative rest after 2 days of busy-ness.
On Friday me and Mini Minx took advantage of the eldest 2 mess-monsters being at nursery, and gutted the living-room. Proper gutted it: moved all the furniture out the way, hoovered everywhere, shovelled out the dust balls, attacked surfaces with a chisel to then be able to dust them, blasted off in-grained dried out bits of toddler detritus from every surface within a metre of the floor, tutted at the gouges on the wall (Midi forgets to steer her buggy when she’s overexcited) and even tidied up and properly ordered my little corner of knitting.
On a wave of decluttering, I finally felt in the right mood to tackle my old pile of maternity bras. It is (or was) an accumulation from 3 pregnancies, all different bra sizes, and a total of 30 months’ breastfeeding. None of it fits me anymore, but I think I was reticent to chuck them and admit that my baby-making days are over, over, over. How ridiculous of me! So I hauled out 2 fit to put on eBay and put the rest in a big bag, and into the recycling – as fortune would have it, the nursery are collecting old bras specifically for charity. Perfect.
Later on, on a wee break from knitting another ‘Pebble’ bootie design, I painted the entire bottom hall. I only meant to put up the masking tape, but thought, och, I’ll do one wall. Then I decided to do another, while I was hiding from 3 whingeing kids at bedtime (well, The Boss was coping fine, adn he’d have shouted if he’s needed me). Then I only had to do another to get it all finished. Brill.
Saturday I think I went into overdrive: planting, building ‘cat deterrents’ in the peas and broad beans (ie lots of jaggy sticks to stop my and other neighbourhood moggies from snoozing in the veg beds on top of seedlings), propped up a wind-wrecked buddleia*, strimmed the entire front lawn and back garden (not a short task: 90 mins, and filled the brown recycling bin, because the grass was very, very long), designed a new building job for The Boss to keep him busy, happy and out of trouble (little patio sitting area in the garden with 2 wind- and neighbour-protecting, planted walls), gutted the spare room (see description of the messy living-room above, except this involved moving things to and from the loft), and painted a second coat on the downstairs hall. Cresting on that wave of maternity bra recycling, I finally attacked a box of every bra I’ve ever owned that’s not fallen apart (I’m 40, and have been the following bra sizes: 34A, B, C, D, DD, E; 36D, C, D; 38A, B, C – so that is an awful, awful lot of bras). If it didn’t fit well *now*, it got turfed. I even chucked out the ‘matching pants’ of every bra I was turfing. This is a Big Deal, because I am the 2nd worst hoarder in the entire world.
*the storms had blown it right out the ground and it was hanging on by a slender little root – I dug out the bottom, planted it deeper, built up round the stem with more soil, put in a long metal stake, then put heavy rocks all around it. The bugger *still* blew over later that day.
To celebrate my industriousness and reward myself for actually throwing stuff out (!!), we went to the local All You Can Eat Chinese buffet. The girls have never been, and they did us proud. Normally meals out involve me and The Boss bolting down our untasted food down super-quick whilst breaking up fights, intercepting thrown food before it reaches the next table, coaxing food in, soothing whingeing, stopping Mini from shampooing in her dinner, stopping Midi from nicking Maxi’s food, etc. etc. etc. This evening we actually had a chilled-out relaxing dinner (apart from 3 Toilet Breaks) that we all enjoyed, and had a good chat and a laugh over it. Crikey, call out a journalist! Mini liked her little strips of lemon chicken almost as much as she enjoyed slurping up tomato; Maxi ate 3 mango jelly puddings; and Midi ate everything not nailed down (and had a nibble at that, too).
I really, really hope we can have a lovely family meal like that again. One day. Just the once, even!
By crikey, the girls are growing up! I can actually do things with all 3 of them, on my own, now.
Yesterday (Thursday 26th) was busy, busy, busy. Chase over to a strange health centre to wait for 10 mins in a line to pick up some registration forms, scuttle round to the dentist who promises the girls will be at the top of the waiting list for NHS patients by August, then zoom off to the old dentist. All in the pouring rain. Across 7 or 8 roads and in and out of the car. Trying to enforce decent road-crossing drills in Midi and Maxi (Midi does the comical fast head-shaking thing, too, as she crosses. I don’t think she really listened when I explained what she was looking out for).
Dentist – well, I explained to the man that I wanted Maxi’s brown spot on her tooth checked. It took him a while to locate it. I got a tad impatient, because her teeth are so white that the dark brown spot (2mm across) kinda stands out a lot… I showed him where it was, and he looked and had a think. A long think. I was worried that he’d so some unnecessary treatment just to get me off his back. He asked the dental nurse for fissure sealant. Fair enough, I thought, then nearly yelped as we went to start treating Maxi with no warning. Just in time to save himself from having his head ripped off, he remembered himself, and started to explain (rather well) what he was going to do. Thank goodness! Maxi Minx was a very good girl and didn’t move a muscle (though her big blue eyes were spinning and searching all over the place).
At the end of her treatment, the dentist turned round and started writing on a bit of paper; the dental nurse stood and smiled at me. I was too tired and too obstinate and too fed-up of feeling awkard, so instead of asking, “Can we go now? Is that it? Do you want me to wait or just go?” I just stood and smiled back at her. Lucky – apparently I had to take the piece of paper to reception. After handing over the precious piece of paper, I loitered expecting to get a bill. The receptionist stood and smiled at me. I just smiled back. (God, they must think I’m a half-wit. Nope – I’m just not a mindreader and do, in fact, need some direction sometimes). “Would you like to make an appointment?” she asked. “No thank you”, I replied. There was an embarrassed silence, with us both smiling at each other. This time I gave in first, and did ask, “Can I go now?” “Oh! Yes!” she grinned. So I guess the treatment was free. And by golly, I hope it was actually what Maxi needed.
As the girls had been so well-behaved, I decided to do a very quick supermarket shop. Yeah: at lunchtime. With 3 hungry little girls. On my own. With the school-kids filling the shop. Without a shopping list. Mad. Actually, we had a bit of fun. Maxi was the ‘Mummy Helper’, Midi helped by keeping Mini happy, and Mini grinned gummily at her big sister the whole time. She loved the individual attention. As the girls were so good, I got braver and braver and started filling the trolley higher and higher. I got a bit delirious at some of the reductions on the fruit & veg (perfect strawberries reduced to a few pence just because they came wrapped in loose clingfilm rather than shrink-wrapped, and 2 heads of broccoli for 26p) so ventured further and further from the door. Before I knew it, we’d been in 45 mins, the trolley was full to the brim, I’d done a weekly shop (saving time the rest of the week), and we were the far end of the store with just the bread to get.
Suddenly, Midi announces in a panic, “I need a wee! Right now!” Oh crap. I zoomed down the massive shop as fast as I could, yelling, “Hold it in! Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! Nearly at the toilet!” the whole way at the top of my voice. Not for Midi’s benefit, but to warn other shoppers specifically why I was coming through and why I would not be stopped, even if I ran over their toes. I reached the security guard at the front, yelled: “I’ll be back (for this trolley)!” over my shoulder as I dead-armed Midi and Mini to the toilet, with Maxi wailing, “I need a wee now, tooooo!” behind us. Phew! Both got there just in time.
Back in time for lunch before zooming out again to take my baby elephants to their ballet class. While the eldest 2 danced, Mini staggered round the hall, making everyone laugh with her shriek-laughing and big raggedy smile.
It was a simple zausage and tomato sauce pasta for dinner, so no need to race back home at 1000 miles an hour: we could take our time and all 4 of us screech and drum along in the car to the kids’ CD (their favourite is Track 7 on the Bookstart CD, ‘The Meeting’: drums and bagpipes). Mini won because her shrieks are louder than any other noise known to mankind.
Yesterday was a great day!
Midi Minx was up 4 times in the night (Monday), sneakily waiting till she could hear a pair of snores from our bedroom before creeping back to our bedside and wailing affectedly. “What’s wrong, L? You’re not even crying any tears!” “My tears don’ woooooork!” she pouted. Yes. Just like your big sister.
Mini started up her banshee cries around 0415hrs. Thank goodness I’ve not dried up yet – when changing her nappy, cuddles, rocks and snuggles in my bed (last resort) didn’t stop her screeches, it was sheer heaven for my poor ears to just whip out a boob. Instant silence. Well, except for the slurps (she’s a noisy and messy eater). Though to be fair she then whimpered on and off all bloomin’ night. I think she finally fell asleep about 0600hrs.
So you can imagine how grumpy I got being awoken by a wet slobbery mouth cupping over my nose, closely followed by a jab of a 14 month old finger right up my left nostril. Crikey, I think she managed to tickle my brain. When I yelled in shock and horror, she giggled and shrieked in triumph. Minx!
I guess the reason for all the hassle was that she cut her 5th tooth (remaining top incisor, her left) yesterday (23rd May). So I guess soon she’ll have a normal baby smile rather than her current jagged, higgledy-piggledy mouth.
So, the lack of sleep was a bit telling on Tuesday and I let The Boss have the car, because I certainly wasn’t fit to drive. I really, really wanted to go to Forres to see RAF Kinloss personnel march through one last time before the squadrons are disbanded, but (a) it was a tad too stormy for 3 little girls to stand around in – I think the gusting wind would have blown over the double buggy, and (b) there was no way I could get them all there by public transport – the only buses en-route are coach type ones that have huge steep steps that you can’t get a buggy up. Crikey, I don’t think I could dead-arm a collapsed buggy up those steps, never mind haul all 3 girls up, too. And don’t start me on letting my eldest 2 minxes loose on a coach with me not hovering right over them… So we didn’t go, and I resolved to just think about them, and watch via YouTube later.
I’ve ranted on here once or twice (!) about our rubbish car. The one that comes back with more faults than get fixed every time I take it to get something fixed. Sometimes that’s the garage’s fault, other times it’s just the stupid car falling apart. Example, and here too.
Well, the same old Carnold Lark who gave us such grief last year have been trying very hard to mend their ways. We got a letter through the door last month offering us a free check-up and tweak service. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course they’re going to find stuff to fix, eh? But I was struggling to find time to check and top up oil, or find the manual so I could figure out how to open the bonnet so I could fill the screen washer*… So I figured it would be worth doing next time I’d be in town for a few hours anyway.
* I am actually ashamed that I drive a car most days and don’t know how to open its bonnet or do basic maintenance on it. But things have changed a lot since I first drove a Ford Escort and could do most of the maintenance myself with my trusty Haynes manual and a lot of swearing and banging and desperate hoping.
ANYway, sure enough, I was advised that the front brake discs and pads needed replacing for costalotta. I reported this to The Boss who merrily announced that oh yeah, they’d said that at the last service. Sheesh. As he forgot, I delegated to him the task of phoning around for quotes and beating people down on price.
Carnold Lark did their best and actually came up with a good price. Even more importantly, they were happy to drive me and Mini Minx home after dropping the car off with them, then delivering the car to our house afterwards, free. Brilliant! So after a lot of toings and fro-ings, it was all set: we had a date and time when they could shuttle us around and could get the job done between nursery runs.
I pitch up with car, baby and big car seat, gratefully get driven back home again… to get a phonecall. “We can’t find your locking wheel nut”. Oh pants. Quick phonecall to The Boss, who insists it’s where it’s supposed to be and has always been. He calls the garage and describes its location. Garage call me back: “We’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it. You’ll need to rebook”. Cue incredible amounts of apologising and grovelling from me for wasting their time. Mr Very Nice Man drives the car back to me, I apologise to him, then greet The Boss on his return home that night with a dark look. He returns the dark look with a murderous one, when he produces the locking wheel nut from precisely where he said it was located.
We *could* have called Carnold Lark back to moan about their blind mechanic, but och, I gave up. I am beaten.
A week later, I jumped through a hundred more hoops to get the car dropped off and the brakes etc. replaced and get it delivered back ‘in time’ for the nursery pick-up run (only an hour late… GRRRRRR!)
If anything else goes wrong with that stupid car I shall attack it with a sledgehammer. I own one, I like its heaviness and I think I would enjoy pounding hell out the blasted thing very much.
PS Photo taken from an interesting blog about 2 travelling airline employees – click on the photo to go there directly.
Yeah, I know, I’ve been a bit absent. Well, I suddenly got 2 commissions for baby booties via my website www.rainbowknits.co.uk with tight deadlines, so I had to drop everything and just knit. And it was right in the middle of me starting to create a new range of booties. And it was also in the middle of me knuckling down to doing some serious study about tax and some of the more esoteric legislation that I think may impact on my Take Over The World With Knitting plans. So this blog unfortunately fell by the wayside. Still, that just means that I get to post a little post of quick observations of the minxes rather than an enormous blow-by-blow, too-much-detail post. Bonus.
The girls haven’t been sleeping well. On Saturday (14th May) morning I woke up with Mini Minx yelling for a feed, Midi Minx starfished across the bed and Maxi Minx asleep along my feet like a puppy. Maxi quickly woke up and started moaning: “Ewww, Daddy: you smell like dirty puddles!” Poor man was so perplexed by that one that he had no comeback at all. My giggling just egged Maxi on.
Mini’s had a bit of a personality upgrade this past week. As well as learning to walk and cut another tooth*, she learned to scribble (on a McDonald’s colouring-in sheet. The shame! Am I too mortified to keep it?) and is very happily displaying her brand new tantrumming skills, at every opportunity.
Mini carefully enunciated”‘yum-yyyyyyyumm!” twice, while she was eating. That’s my girl! It adds to her signs for milk, hot, and her own made-up sign for ‘my sisters’ (blows kisses like Upsy Daisy)
Maxi, chirruping about something at first light this morning (I wasn’t really listening): “I think that I am the strongest girl in all the land”, she declared. “Except for the ones that can lift their parents”. Riiiiiight.
Maxi, this evening: “I’m a bit clever so I won’t need to go to University; I’m going to be an artist instead”. So long as it keeps me and your father in our dotage, you can be whatever you want to be, darling.
*Mini’s teeth: she no longer looks like Fang, as she’s cut a top incisor, now – her right one. The left one is literally a few skin cells’ depth below the surface.
It’s Friday 13th, which means Mini Minx was due her MMR, Meningitis C and HiB booster vaccinations. Well, until the Health Visitor noticed that Mini’s file had ‘egg allergy’ written on it in big red letters.
I reassured her that I’d done a lot of research (proper research: on the BMJ rather than Mumsnet) on MMR with egg allergy, and that the majority of babies reacting to the vaccination don’t have an egg allergy; they’re far more likely to react to the neomycin or glycerin in it. And there’s no real egg material in it: it’s made with chick embryos. There was no longer a standard protocol for egg allergy babies having the MMR in a hospital with a paediatric department. I was quite happy that so long as there was adrenaline on the premises, that we were more than covered. Nor was I concerned about her having 3 vaccinations at once: she’d be exposed to far more things attacking her immune system in a standard day, chewing and licking the things that she does.
I did my best impression of a nonchalent, non-neurotic mother. So I think the Health Visitor over-compensated. She listened politely, noted my lack of concern, then explained that she would have to administer said adrenaline in an emergency, and she wasn’t happy. One of the GPs recommended that Mini Minx not have the MMR on the premises, and that she was to have it in the local hospital.
Trying really hard not to look irritated (to be fair, I do understand why she wanted to protect herself. And better over-cautious than under-cautious, I guess), I asked how long the appointment might take to come through – a few weeks? A month?
“Oh, much longer. It’ll take quite a while for the letter to be written by the doctor and sent to the hospital, then they have to open it, then respond, then make an appointment… It’ll be quite a few months,” she said.
Oh. So in the meantime, my baby gets to risk all the terrible side effects that a disease like measles can bring. Great.
Still, my poor, wee unsuspecting baba got her 2 booster vaccines. And yes, she looked at me as if I’d let the Child Eating Witch attack her.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mini may only be 13 months, and I do tend to baby her, but she does understand a fair old bit. She insisted on wearing her favourite hat (a red and purple tartan thing), merrily shouting, “Ah! Ah! Ah!” (well, imagine saying ‘hat’ with a dropped aitch and a glottal stop) and patting her head. Then she’d whip it on and off her little head to make me laugh. And when I stopped laughing, the little minx smacked me on the bonce, shouted “Ah!” and tried to fit it on me.
For the first time ever, she actually went down in her cot for a nap without a fight. I put her in her sleeping bag, she waved goodbye to the flowers, the trees, the sea, the cars, the birdies, the cars and the houses (!), then lay quietly in her cot. I gave her a little Tiny Tears doll that she seems quite fond of, and she poked it in the eyes. I asked her where the dolly’s nose was? She poked it in the nose. Cute – I know she knows what noses are because “Rub noses!” is her favourite game, but I didn’t know she could translate that onto a dolly.
Maxi did a length of the learner pool today doing the front crawl (or a reasonable approximation of one) with 3 stops. It was her first attempt at it. Ever. My pride knows no bounds. That is all.
I’ve promised to teach Maxi how to knit since she was first old enough to ask me. I’ve always said, “When you’re 5. Your little hands will be big enough then. Wait till you’re a big 5 year old”.