The Boss is Somewhat Traumatised

See, darling? You’re supposed to stand *on* the board. Like this man

Poor J – he’s been through the wars a bit.

 I persuaded him last night to help me finish painting the hall, so we’d be finished faster and could settle down to watch Dr Who in peace, this side of midnight (last of the old romantics, us).  So he took the brush, I got the roller, and off we zoomed.  Just as we were finishing, I heard a yelp, a thud, then a bunch of other yelps and thuds: The Boss had fallen down the stairs.  I found him collapsed in a sprawl with his painting tray still held aloft, for all the world like a tray of martinis.  He was so scared of dropping white paint on the carpet that he’d managed to surf down on his bum.  His buttock bruise was most impressive, as was the fact he’d given himself whiplash.
In The Olden Tymes, when I was young and carefree, I’d regularly trash ironing boards surfing on them (or on them on stairs) when I’d had a sherbet or two.  I sure didn’t get whiplash.  Bless…
Today we did a big B&Q shop to fix a load of things: finally get a ceiling lamp for the hall to stop the front door crashing into the stupid pendant lamp (we’ve only lived there 18 months…sheesh), get lawn food (I don’t care living in a desert, but The Boss thinks it might be nice), paint for the living room (I’m on a painting roll, I tell you!), that kind of thing.  But most important of all, we needed a plunger and some drain rods.
Our showertray fills up and barely drains.  I’ve been really meticulous about rescuing hair from the plughole this time round, because in previous new-baby-hair-moults I’ve clogged drains with the handfuls of 2ft long hair falling off my bonce.  So I figured it wasn’t that.  Nevertheless, when prods of elongated coat hangers yielded nothing, I squirted a ton of old hair-removing cream down the plughole instead.  (I put the rest on strategic places on me.  And didn’t wash it off my armpits properly and got a tad chemical-burnt – youchy!  That’s why I prefer razors).  Anyway, that didn’t work – the cream just floated back up into the tray when the water was run.  Worse, the downstairs toilet stopped flushing properly, and it gurgled and bubbled when the handbasin emptied.  And the sink gurgled and filled when the toilet flushed – yeeeeuch.  Yeah, we had A Problem…
I voted that The Boss tackle the blockage because (a) he owned the sturdiest rubber gloves, (b) he’d probably caused it in the first place*, and (c) it was definitely A Man’s Job.
* Definitely TMI: The Boss’s toilet-otters are legendary, and sometimes require beating with a stick to kill ’em before flushing.  Our middle daughter takes after her father, and learned to use a toilet early because potties aren’t big or deep enough for her. Her nursery teachers are regularly shocked and appalled, in a horrified-fascinated kind of way.
Before getting busy, The Boss decided to check under the inspection manhole cover.  He recoiled and ran away, then tip-toed back with a spade.  He looked down the hole, looked at the spade, sighed, paced away, and returned with a bigger spade.  And commenced chopping.  Well, after filling the wheelie bin with toilet roll, floaters and sludge, he came in and staggered upstairs, green-faced, to the (newly-draining-freely) shower.
Poor man!  Guess it’ll be steak and chips for tea, then.

No-one Likes an Over-achiever

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!

Mundane Pleasantness

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!

This post has been brought to you by ‘Fighting’

Today was another nursery day.  As usual Maxi scampered off to grab a seat at the art table the instant I let her go, and as usual Midi insisted on: “One more kiss, Mummy.  OK, another one.  Last one.  One more”, as well as “I love you, Mummy. Please don’ go”.  For once I wasn’t in a tearing rush, so held her little hand and got her to help me put her packed lunch away, got her to show me which of her friends was her best friend today, that kind of thing. 
As I’d planned, she spotted her very best friend and raced off, Mummy completely forgotten.  I paused just out he door to peep through the window at how she was getting on.  I guess her best friend S is incredibly popular, because another little girl got unhappy with Midi muscling in on them.  She pushed Midi away and got physically between Midi and S.  And kept shoving Midi away.  This girl is 2 years older than Midi, but Midi is bigger.  Still, instead of retaliating, Midi’s little face crumpled, she let out a sob and wailed, “Mummeeeeeee!”
I’m glad I waited.  I nipped in, gave her a huge cuddle, wiped her tears and tried to engage her in some other activity.  I tried not to glare at the pushing kid.  I mean, I know it’s what 5 year olds do, and Midi needs to learn how to handle it, but I thought some very bad thoughts at that fat, petulant little face.  Obviously I hate seeing some little brat make my precious little darling cry (the irony is very intentional – only a year ago it was Midi who was trying to eat/bite anyone that moved).  One of the new staff members came over and skilfully won Midi over, then gently led her away.  As I left, Midi was happily chatting away and blew me a big kiss.
I guess I’ll need to keep an eye out on this sudden meekness from Midi.  Although it’s less antisocial than her biting, it’s not a good trait to have.  Poor kid.  I think she’s finding it really tough being the youngest in a very large and boisterous group.  I think I’ll have a chat with the manager of the centre and get her opinion: should Midi keep going?  Stay home with me?  I’ve already given notice that from the end of term they’re finishing up there and staying home with me till August, when Maxi starts Primary School and Midi starts at the same primary’s pre-school class.  The nursery isn’t even local – it was just the one right next to my work, and I let them stay there when I went on maternity leave and then stopped working so that they could keep that continuity and routine, in a place they were happy in.
In other news:
I was a very brave little soldier and phoned the dentist’s practice up yesterday about Maxi.  I’m rubbish at phone calls and get my knickers in a right twist when I have to complain about anything.  I may have mentioned last month that the dentist gave the girls the most cursory inspection ever, charged us tons, then raced out the door?  Well, I decided to have a good look at her teeth myself.  Normally The Boss supervises teeth brushing, and should ‘finish off’ for them.  I wasn’t very impressed to see that Maxi’s teeth didn’t look too clean at all.  Worse, there was a little brown spot on the side of one of her molars, in the little groove.  It wouldn’t brush off.  Damn!  Cavity?  Well, I had to do something, because if it was a cavity, it wouldn’t get better all by itself.
I thought about going to another dentist, and if it *was* a cavity, insisting on a refund from the original dentist.  Silly idea.  Then I got to thinking how ridiculous it was paying so much to get your 5 year old’s teeth checked anyway and surely to goodness there had to be an NHS dentist in the county somewhere?  So I sat down with Yellow Pages and prepared for a very long phone round.  Nope.  Got one the very first (and nearest) place I tried.  Bonus!  Apparently the appointment won’t be through till August even if I register now, so I’ll do that this week.
Still, I had to do something about the (in-my-opinion) poor service from the dentist.  So I called, explained why I felt my little girl’s teeth hadn’t been check properly, and asked for another dentist to see her.  No way, only the dentist she was registered with could see her.  Oh pants.  I explained that I was incredibly embarrassed asking him to check again, as it was obvious I was second-guessing his professional opinion.  “Oh no, he’s sooooo lovely!” sighed the receptionist.  That’s as maybe and I believe you, I thought, but I still think he’s absolutely rubbish with kids.  Anyway, then we had some toings and froings about whether I’d be charged for him checking that single tooth.  The receptionist said I wouldn’t.  But today’s receptionist, who phoned to remind me of the appointment, seemed to think I would.  I suspect tomorrow might see the resurrection of Angry, Pompous, Old Trout.  Besides, I hope, hope, hope that Maxi just has a brown stain on her tooth and doesn’t need a filling.  Poor wee thing.
Last news: I sold 2 pairs of booties last night, so have been a tad busy desperately taking photos of them so that my lovely customer could inspect them over the net today and check they were what she wanted.  They were the first and so far only 2 of my first limited edition collection (Pebbles) that I knitted because I got all inspired looking at the beautiful stripey sandstone pebbles on Cummingston beach.  I’m going to have to get busy knitting more to replace them and get all the pebble inspiration out my system, because I’ve seen some 1ply that I just plain old lust after and need want to buy.  So I guess my posts here are going to get more sporadic and random because I’m struggling with finding time to do everything I need to do, never mind want to do.  Och well!  Think yourself lucky that I don’t spam my blog with photos of my knitting and constant plugs of my website 🙂

Teeth and Swords

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.

new baby teeth
It soon may be time to stop breastfeeding. Like, last month…

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.

 Anyway, as the kids insisted that they *did* want to see marching people, I dug out a very, very old video that happened to have me in it shouting a lot and incompetently waving a sword around. And it had a band and lots of marching. I thought the kids would be bored stiff, but they watched the entire thing.  Midi giggled about all the people “walking like a choo-choo” and Maxi squealed every time she saw me.  “Oooo Mummy, you’re so tiny!  Everyone’s taller than you!” she helpfully and tactfully pointed out.  Even Mini turned round when she heard my distant roar through the tv.  If only they’d obey my commands so readily…

Wanna Buy a New Car?

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.

What will happen to the Grumpy Old Trout’s car if it fails her one more time…

PS Photo taken from an interesting blog about 2 travelling airline employees – click on the photo to go there directly.

Quick Update of Minxisms

Yeah, I know, I’ve been a bit absent.  Well, I suddenly got 2 commissions for baby booties via my website 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.

2 out of 3

All right! All right! She can have the MMR! Stop citing BMJ articles, woman!

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.


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 Learns to Knit

child knitting
Maxi’s first attempt at casting-on – she’s a natural!

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”.

She was delighted when I bought her real adult needles and some balls of soft chunky wool for her 5th birthday last month, and has been badgering me to teach her.  Well, an elephant is more likely to forget anything than my wee Maxi.  I’ve been shamefully putting her off because she always asks just as I’m mid-chaotic scramble to get dinner on the table, or breast-feeding Mini, or Midi’s playing up.
Today, however, she asked when Mini had just gone down for a nap.  I dropped what I was doing, seriously put Midi’s nose out of joint by not including her, and sat down with Maxi on my lap, and taught her.
I warned her I’d just teach her a little bit, and we’d practice and practice, and not move on to the next thing till she got it.  And we’d only do 10 minutes at the most.  I thought we might get ‘making a loop’ done today.  So I was pretty shocked (and very, very proud) that she cracked 2 tail cast-on within those 10 minutes.  See the photo for the really neat job she’s done.  All by herself!  I demo’d some, helped on others, then just left her to do it by herself.  I’m hugely biased, but you can see the generations of knitters within that child, eh?  (It sure wasn’t my teaching – I’m not bad at explaining and demonstrating, but what maxi did today was sheer talent).
I also now have a new business plan for expanding Rainbow Knits – I shall employ child labour within the year!  Well, does it count as child labour if she thinks it’s a game…?