Edward and Edwinn: Approaching the Closing Stretch

It’s been a hectic and quite horrible week for everyone at Garrison Trout, but some things can rise above it all – the mischief of 2 naughty elves and the joy they give to 2 foolish adults 3 little minxes.

16 Dec

16 Dec Time was getting tight on Sunday night, so The Boss managed this golden oldie message in the rice crispies. The kids loved finding Edward crawling in the box more than the message.

17 Dec

17 Dec Having fun rolling down the stairs like Andrex puppies. I photo-bombed the first couple of pics, but have decided not to show you photos of my tipsy mania in the interests of public decency….

18 Dec

18 DecCan you see them hiding in the tree? I think they were keeping a watchful eye on the cats.

19 Dec

19 Dec My friend Lorna sent a massive box of American candy and toys from her 2 elves. The minxes have been trying every trick in the book to be let loose in the huge box of sweets, but to no avail: I’m rationing it out so that Midi, say, doesn’t nick all 3 of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (they’re mine, I tell you! All mine!) I’ve no such control over the elves…

20 Dec

20 Dec This photo isn’t the finished pose because I bottled it. The elves decided to wade into an unguarded ball of aran wool that magically found itself in the girls’ bedroom, in the middle of a seance-like circle of toys that the girls had set up before they went to sleep. I was too scared to photograph it for fear of waking a minx with the flash or my sniggers.

21 Dec

21 Dec We had to spend the weekend away suddenly, but took 10 seconds before we left to set this up for the kids when we came back. Well, 2 elves missing the North Pole would *of course* hide out in the fridge! I like Edwinn’s portrait of Barbie best…


Tues 17 Dec

I think Midi fell on her head. Since she came home from school, she’s been incredibly helpful. She noticed when Mini dropped her coat in the car and picked it up for me, unasked. She noticed that Foster Cat needed soothing, and petted him gently without being reminded. She asked if she could help me hoover. No thanks, sweetheart. Oh. Well, could she help me with anything? Maybe tidy up? All with those enormous, innocent saucer eyes of hers. I actually wept, and gave her a huge hug.

I guess she heard me when I threatened to grass her up to Santa this morning…

Edward and Edwinn: It’s Getting Worse

Here’s an update on what our elves Edward and Edwinn have been getting up to from 10 – 15 December 2013. You can see the days of mischief earlier in December here and there. Worried that there appears to be a day missing? Well, yes: on 9 Dec we hid them in the girls’ dressing gown pockets. But as they hang on the girls’ bedroom door, taking a photo would have disturbed their sleep (hey, karma: I rarely get an unbroken night’s sleep!) and would have given the game away (crucial…).

10 Dec

10 Dec While Edward merrily makes flour-angels, Edwinn is interrupted in her graffiti about Barbie. I guess old feuds die hard. Well, come on, she wasn’t going to write “Barbie is a big sweetie”, was she?! PS The Boss made me rub out the fake lines of coke next to Edwinn before the minxes got up. Big spoilsport. Well, you’d think, eh? But just wait till you see what he cooked up at the end of the week on the night I was away from home…

11 Dec

11 Dec
Edwinn and Edward go scuba diving. Actually, this one was all The Boss’s handiwork. I was really impressed, and realised that he was getting into this elf-scenario-each-night a lot more than me this year… He hung Edwinn from the window top using thread and a pin. And it took him ages to cut out all the fish from the foil. Can you see the girls’ toy dolphin and frog in the photo, too? The rest of the props and flippers were from the bag of Action Man stuff that was left with the house. Hooray to brilliant landlords!

12 Dec

12 Dec

Aye, the obligatory game of Spin the Bottle with the minxes’ favourite toys, snaffled from under their sleeping clutches. Midi Minx asked why Edwinn was lying down when the bottle was pointing to her (!)

13 Dec

13 Dec

From Spin the Bottle to a game of poker. The Boss rejected my idea of Strip Poker (spoilsport: told you!) and made them play for cash from the minxes’ piggy banks.

14 Dec

14 Dec

I am so, so sorry. Really. This is all the handiwork of The Boss. I was away on a fleeting visit back to our old home, so he did this all by himself. Allegedly he got the idea from what I call Sunpat Peanut &Chocolate spread: “poo-nut butter” (don’t mock me: it makes the kids laugh. Especially when they say, “No, no, Mummy: it’s peanut butter!” and I reply, ever so maturely: “Yeah. Pee-nut. Pee. Nut. Hehehehehehe….!” to their horror). I loved the toilet roll and how he posed Edward. Cracked me up…

15 Dec

15 DecYeah, ok, me and The Boss have been dying to do this one: graffiti’ing the minxes’ beautiful photos with black marker. Little Mini was horrified by Midi being drawn as a pirate, but was highly amused by Maxi’s 5 o’clock shadow.

Edward and Edwinn: Next Few Days

I realised that I might have been overdoing the elf-and-Barbie-beat-each-other-up thing a teensy-weensy bit at the beginning of the month, so went back to standard, nicey elf pranks for the past few days. But of course, they’re quite boring! So expect this to change very soon (mwahahahaha…!)

5 Dec

Bill Clinton has nothing on Edward, as he brings warring Edwinn and Barbie together.

Bill Clinton has nothing on Edward, as he brings warring Edwinn and Barbie together.

Edward can look as smug as he likes; I can clearly see that Barbie and Edwinn aren’t *actually* holding hands, so this peace agreement may not hold forever. And I’m also ticked-off that those 3 gobbled up my last bittermint before parking their elfy arses on the box. Hmph!

6 Dec

6 Dec Back to standard, innocent elf fun: marshmallow fights. Originally I had them fighting over the toaster, but when I chucked some marshmallows ‘artfully’ about, half of them ended up inside the toaster – fire hazard!! The morning of the Great Reveal, the minxes helped me clear up the mess. Except Midi scooped most of the now-dusty and -hairy marshmallows straight into her gob. Ewwww!

7 Dec

7 Dec aI really loved this idea, so merrily copied it. Note to self for the future: using biros on cheap bog roll means you scratch down 4 or 5 layers at a time…

8 Dec

8 DecMaxi Minx happened to have a little castle she’d made out of cardboard junk knocking around. As luck would have it, Edward fitted inside brilliantly (see him peeping out the left-hand window?) and big ole Edwinn balanced precariously inside. The girls loved this very much and didn’t want to dismantle the fairy lights.

9 Dec

Me and The Boss decided to start to ramp up the anticipation, and had Edward and Edwinn hide in Maxi’s dressing gown pockets. It took the minxes a while to find them. I planted the seeds of “You’re being watched. They might play tricks on *you*!”. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Roll On Gluhwein O’Clock

I’m an extremely grumpy old trout this morning, and it’s only 10am.

It’s Friday and I always wake up happy on Fridays. It’s the promise of the weekend to come! Unlike during the other 11 months of the year, all 3 children woke up and happily padded downstairs to see what elf-shenanigans Edward and Edwinn had got up to overnight. Satisfied that they’d had a suitably messy time, the girls helped tidy up (although Midi mostly tidied the dusty and hairy marshmallows straight into her gob rather than the rubbish bin). After that, it kind of went downhill fast.

Midi is very fussy about her school cardigans: she’ll only wear one of the 2, complaining that the M&S grey one is annoying on her skin. Unfortunately, she is also a mucky pup who goes through a change of uniform every single day. It’s been too cold recently to have a window open while I tumble-dry a washing, so I didn’t get her blue cardigan washed. It’s too dirty to spot wash. It’s too cold for her to go without. So I got her a long-sleeved soft top to go under her polo shirt, partly to keep warm and partly so that the grey cardigan wouldn’t touch her skin anywhere. She refused to put the hated cardigan on. I refused to let her go to school without it.

At the same time, Mini refused to wear some new warm socks because “I can feel them on my feet! They’re touching my little ankles! Waaaaaah!” At the moment she just wants to wear clothes that feel invisible, and are a specific shade of purple or pink. I threatened to throw said socks in the bin, in a petulant rage (I’ve been stocking up on new clothes for the kids in the recent sales and am now more than a bit fed-up with the level of “It’s not the right shade of purple”; “It’s too loose”; “It’s not the right shape”; “It’s not the exact, precise same as my old leggings”; “It’s new! I therefore hate it” fussiness. And there’s no way we’re all spending a day going to the shops together to buy clothes, especially at this busy time of year). Mini has a small meltdown. Then I put on her new thick purple cardigan. It’s the right shade (hallelujah!), but the sleeves were too long. When I asked HOW MUCH too long, she held her thumb and forefinger apart by 3mm. She refused to have them rolled up. She refused to push them up her wrists a little. She tugged them long and gorilla-like, and set off her siren-whine.

I’m now getting very agitated because it’s much later than I’d like to set off so that I can drive slowly and carefully – I need to make 2 right-hand turns on a 70mph busy dual carriageway from a standing start to get to school and the roads are very icy.

I threaten. I cajole. I shout. Midi escalates the stand-off by balling up her clean cardigan and tempestuously throwing it on the dusty fireplace hearth. I really lose my temper and shriek that she can’t go to school without it. And if she doesn’t go to school, then the police will take her away and make her live with another family who WILL make her go to school, and she’ll never see her real family ever again. Cruel bitch, yes? Yes. Very. Trust me, I’d completely lost it and was throwing a verbal tantrum myself. Those vicious words to my little 5 year old are now paying back in a mega dose of guilt right now.

A crying Midi breaks the stand-off and puts her cardigan on. I melt, kiss away her tears, apologise for being bad-tempered, explain yet again why I need her to wear a cardigan and how I’d made sure that it wouldn’t touch her skin. Hug her and tell her I love her. Reassure her that she’s going nowhere and will have to stay with her grumpy, horrible mummy till she’s a grown-up. That raises a smile, which makes the rising guilt in me sting all the more.

I turn round to see Mini furiously hauling off her latest pair of socks and cardigan, and petulantly throw her hat and mitts on the muddiest shoes she can find. The Red Rage washes over the Mummy Guilt for a second and I yank on a hat, scarf, cardi on backwards, cram her into a jacket, and frogmarch her to the car. I strap her in the carseat, strap her sisters in safely, then race back to the house to get away from the jet-engine tantrum roar. Few deep breaths. Few deeper breaths. Survey the carnage of the kitchen. Assess that the pile of played-with toast and full beaker of milk mean that in the 45 mins that she sat at the breakfast table, she ate a grand sum of one tangerine.

Out to the car. Open the door. Hit with a wall of noise. Grab a sherbet lemon to disguise my dead-animal-mixed-with-coffee halitosis and provide a shot of sugar. Start the engine. Engage reverse. Let the clutch out a millimetre. Car goes sideways. Engage brake. Brake fails to work. Pump harder. Brake fails to work. Disengage reverse. Pump brake. Brake fails to work. Friction starts to operate. Car halts. Expletive leaves lips. Minxes immediate silence selves. Midi looks gleeful. Turn steering wheel. Engage first gear. Let out clutch a millimetre. Apply brake. Success! Let out clutch 2 mm. Apply brake. Success! Shout YIPPEE! Cows in the barn look amused. Slowly crawl to junction with now thankfully very quiet dual carriageway. Thank kids for silence while I wrestled with the car. Three sniggers/giggles.

The 2 right-hand turns go without incident because I’m able to drive very slowly over to and past the icy reservation and not actually stop. Bonus! I spend the rest of the journey apologising for being so angry, and explain why I lost my temper. Tell the kids I love them. They tell me they love me too. Feel even more guilty. Lots and lots of hugs and high 5s at the school, back on the dual carriageway to drive to the next town, drop off a now-very-late Mini at nursery. Warn the staff she’s now better after a huge tantrum, but that any mention of sleeves might trigger it again.

Back home, ready to relax with a coffee, only to discover a puddle of smelly cat pee on the carpet. Use up the last of the kitchen roll on it, and decide to chance using Zorb on non-colour-fast carpet. Scowl at cat, who’s now sleeping like a dreamy kitten.

Go to make coffee. Phone rings. It’s the estate agent telling me that the house we think we’d actually really love to buy has had an offer put in. We need to go and have a second viewing tomorrow and put in a pronto counter-offer in the blind or we’ll lose it. I’m not sure that we can afford to go any higher than the asking price. Rats.

And now the ‘k’ button on my keyboard is playing up! (took 8 presses to make it appear there. And 3 on the-word-between-to-and-it-in-this-sentence…).

I’m going to go make a coffee. I may be some time…

(and the title? It’s because me and The Boss have gotten into a habit of making a glass each of gluhwein every night. So yum! Kicks wine o’clock into a cocked hat).

Edward and Edwinn’s First Few Nights

Dec 2

Me and The Boss had so much fun last year getting our Christmas Elf into funny scrapes while the kids slept! We’ve really been looking forward to this year. First, though, Edwinn had to meet Barbie, Edward’s abandoned girlfriend…

The minxes industriously hid their Barbie doll before they went to bed in case Edwinn was jealous. No fear – Barbie’s looking a little jaded and frazzled round the edges nowadays (aren’t we all, dearie?) Still, after a cheeky glass of wine, this pair of allegedly grown-ups thought it would be funny to pose the dolls in silly positions. I described a hostage scenario to The Boss. He thought it would be funny if Barbie had a moustache drawn on her. Suddenly he sniggered, and hauled out from a cupboard a big bag of Action Man bits and pieces he’d found when we’d moved in here, and successfully kept hidden from the girls. Awesome! So Barbie and Edwinn had a shoot-out over the toaster and bread bin while Edward cried on the shelf.

How did the minxes react the next morning? Well, they thought it was funny. They all liked the handlebar moustache. “Oooooo, grip-tape! Feels like Daddy’s stubble!” said Little Miss Astute (Maxi). Midi and Mini scolded their dolls and comforted Edward.

Dec 3

DSC_0181Oooo, dear, it seems Edwinn has shoved Barbie in the box of clementines and is holding her down, while Edward cries. Again. Big wuss.DSC_0179

The minxes were a little concerned this morning. I mean, they’ve liked Barbie for years, whereas Edwinn’s new with fewer ties of loyalty and love. They had a little chat together about how to get the dolls to play together. Maxi suggested we grass them up to Santa and that he sort it out. She drafted a snitching letter. Midi wondered if Edward could get them to play together. Mini just wondered if there were any more chocolate oranges where the last one came from?

Dec 4

This time Barbie shoved Edwinn’s head in a can and spanked her, whilst triumphantly wearing Edwinn’s hat as a trophy at a jaunty wee angle. Edward, as usual, was beside himself with grief and sobbed on the wall.

DSC_0183I’m not an evil mother – honest! It’s all part of my Grand Parenting Plan. Well, you didn’t seriously think me and The Boss were doing this because we’re twisted, did you? (Did you…?) I asked the girls how the dolls could get along. What could Edward do about it? Should he do something about it? What would you do if 2 of your friends kept being mean to each other? How could you get them to be friends? What would you do if someone kept being mean to you? And to Mini-I-Only-Have-One-Friend-At-A-Time, I addressed a lot of questions along the lines of whether the world would spontaneously combust if you dared to have 2 friends at the same time…

Even though I’ve got some brilliant ideas for tying up and the dolls almost murdering each other, and I’m just bursting to try them, I honestly think 3 nights of elves beating each other up is enough for my little kids – tonight I guess I’d better hatch The Big Kiss and Make-Up.

….fnaaaar! 😉

The 2013 Arrival of Edward and Edwinn Elf

Edwinn: butter wouldn't melt...

Edwinn: butter wouldn’t melt…

I’ve spent the last few months distracting the kids from last year’s visit of Edward the Elf by: writing a letter to Santa asking him not to send us an elf this year; bad-mouthing how naughty he’d been all month; and exclaiming, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t come back!” In reality I’ve been crocheting another elf to visit this year alongside Edward, and getting just as excited as the minxes.

The day before the elves arrived, the whole family Trout plus in-laws were out walking in some local woods. One of the trees has a brilliant hollow that looks just like a fairy door. I spun a quick tale about it being the treehouse of a cousin of Edward’s – Edwinn –

Fairy Door?

Fairy Door?

and that the minxes would have to keep quiet in case Edward happened to be visiting and heard them, and decided to follow us home. As I’d hoped, the minxes yacked loudly and excitedly instead.

December 1st came. My in-laws gave the girls an advent calendar each, and gamely helped them unpack and hang up all the Christmas decorations. While they did that, I furtively plonked the 2 elves, a chocolate orange and box of bittermints in a plant-pot, alongside a letter from Santa introducing Edwinn: elf shelf letter 2013 2. Our house has lots of really old bells that link to the outside bell, so it was easy to nip upstairs and ring the bell for the girls to answer without giving the game away. Three overjoyed little minxes jumped up and down excitedly when they found the elves, whilst I successfully feigned frustration and grumpiness.

Mwahahahaha, let the fun commence!