Kiddie CrackPol

Nov 8th, 2013

Mini Minx is snoring and wheezing on the sofa, and both Killer and Foster Cats are stretched out on the other chairs. I’m just waiting on school pick-up time / GP appointment for my croup-ridden youngest.

I don’t know what possessed me, but earlier this week I saw the Sound of Music DVD for £3 in the supermarket and bought it on a whim. Last night the minxes sat down to watch it. It’s got Julie Andrews in it, so what harm could come? It’s innocent, right? Ummmm….

Well, for a start, I hadn’t realised that the girls have had no exposure to nuns or Nazis, yet. We had some interesting questions to field, I can tell you!

“Ah, right, ok, so nuns are like uber-Christians, then?” summarised Maxi.
“And Nazis are very, very, very, very, very bad men?” tried Midi. A bit sexist, but I let it slide.

And it wasn’t just that – when Captain von Trapp and Maria lean in for their first kiss, Midi wrinkled up her delicate little nose: “Ewwwwwwww!” she said. “That is yuck! It’s deee-sgustin’! I’m never, ever, ever gonnae kiss a man ever. EVER!” she spat. Then snuggling closer into The Boss and giving him her best innocent smile,”Except for my Daddy”. The Boss smirked. Bless… he really thinks that he’s trained her well. He’s so blissfully innocent of the coming hormonal turmoil in about 6 years or so. I’m preparing for it much like some panicky survivalists stockpile and build for a threatened nuclear holocaust.

The kids safely in bed later, me and The Boss settled down for a proper geek-fest on the TV – lots of great Open University programmes, like the one on explosives. Brilliant! Alas, our youngest’s cold turned into croup, and she woke up screaming and coughing and barking like a seal.

Maxi had croup as a toddler once and we panicked. Midi’s had croup 4 or 5 times and we were watchful and concerned. Mini has croup, and after checking for stridor at rest (nope), any signs of cyanosis (no) or breathing difficulties (not at all), we self-diagnosed mild croup, filled her up with painkillers (calpol and ibuprofen), sat her upright and comforted her on our laps. After 10 minutes, the calpol worked its magic and sent her absolutely loopy.

First her little eyes grew into saucers. It was nothing to do with the fire and bangs and very impressive explosions: it was the drugs. The presenter of the programme went through a revolving door. “Ooooo, spinning door!” Mini cooed. “I love spinny doors. I wanna spinny door. I want one at [name of farmhouse]. I want it now. Spin. SPIN!! Spinny-spin!! Yippee!” The Boss and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. He passed her a little bottle of water. “Ha! It’s got butterflies!” Mini cackled, looking at the bottle. “Butterflies. Butter. Flies. Butter. Butt. Hehe”, she crowed. “Look, Daddy, butterflies in your face! Whoosh! Miaow!” and waved the bottle at The Boss’s chin. He stifled a snigger.

Within another 10 minutes, she’d passed out on the sofa between us. “Mfffl, hmmmm, cat fart, ffffffffl”, she muttered.

I wonder what colour the sky was on her planet last night?!

I parked her between me and The Boss all night so I could be nearby if she needed me. Sure enough, at 5am she woke up screaming in terror at the pain in her stomach from all the coughing. For all that I grumble about being woken in the night, every night, by the kids, it’s no hardship getting up when they’re ill, is it? It took about 15 minutes to medicate and cuddle away the hysteria and most of the pain.

Today she’s been very pale, wheezy, barking, and cycling between painful feverishness and calpol hallucinations. I was on the blower to get an emergency appointment the second the phone line opened at the GP’s surgery. Hopefully a wee dose of steroids will sort her out. Crikey, I might even get some kip myself!

Update 13 Nov: the prednisolone helped, but Mini still has a squeaky, weak voice and coughs continuously at any exertion. She was probably classed as ‘better’ yesterday. Finally! Poor wee thing.

Ham Rod for My Own Back

She's walking in the air

She’s walking in the air

We had a really lovely weekend with The Boss back on his weekly commute: we went to the village fete and let the minxes run riot on the bouncy castle, bouncy slide, spinning teacups and facepaint. The next day we went to Wester Hardmuir PYO farm for me to run riot on the trampoline and let the kids loose on the playground and picking strawberries. We demolished donuts and icecream and strawberries on different days. We even managed to do a quick practise mega-behemoth-tent erection to check it was all fine from last year (it was).

All too soon The Boss had to pack his little car and set off back eastwards. An exhausted Midi was already asleep, whilst Mini and Maxi were too busy screeching and building dens out of their bedclothes to notice that he was leaving. I waved goodbye to him alone from their bedroom.

Predictably, they were distraught when they realised. Hopefully this will be the last week that we have to separate the family, but if not, then maybe they’ll realise that when I say, “He’s going, come and wave now. Right now!” that I’m not messing around.

I mooned around a very big, empty house for a bit, then on a whim decided to start making that massive, long dress out of Ikea curtain fabric. Four pattern pieces to cut out twice each, over 6m of fabric. I’m a beginner sewer – ulp!

Around midnight, as I was thinking about stopping, I heard the distinctive sound of Midi storming from her bed to mine; a confused pause; then a thundering to the top of the stairs and pointless tiptoeing down them. She stood in the doorway, her beautiful big green eyes filling her sleepy face, wanly asking if Daddy had gone yet. I should have ushered her wordlessly to bed. We’ve had a problem for the last 3 years of her waking most nights and disturbing me. I’ve tried different things. Tonight, though, I thought: sod it all! Just this once. She’s my little 5 year old, she’s missing her Daddy, and I know how to make her feel better.

“Do you feel hungry, Midi?” I asked her. She looked confused. This wasn’t the Get.To.Your.Bed.Now she got every night, or the Sound Ignoring.

“Yes! Starving!” she smiled, suddenly impish. “But my throat hurts”. Mini’s had a sticky green nose for a few days and Midi was obviously under the weather this evening, so I believed her.

I rootled around for some calpol. Because all the different equivalents all seem to have different dosages, I studied the label – and had to hold it further away from my tired eyes than I’m used to, to focus (damn… turning into an auld gimmer).

“Five”, Midi said.

Eh? What?

“Five. I’m five. You always ask me my age when you give me medicine.” Aye, auld and losing my memory!

I made us both a big ham sandwich on oat and spelt bread, spread thick with butter, and slices of cucumber. Big plastic beaker each of milk. We sat side by side, comfortably silent, troughing our delicious midnight feast. Silent except for the occasional mischievous snigger or stifled giggle. Partners in crime, me and my wee girl.

Don’t grass me up to the Parenting Police, will you? Or worse: Maxi.

My Lawn’s Got Measles

I’d had merry plans to spend today out in the garden with the minxes, all day, regardless of the weather. But it’s hard to oust little girls outside when they’re crying in pain (Midi – tummy ache), threatening to be sick (Midi again), say that they’re too tired (Maxi) and it’s pouring down. Still, the lure of mud and water won after lunch and finally prised those minxes out of their nighties…

The Boss had finally caved-in to my demands and sourced some wooden planks to join up the funny triangle raised beds along the back wall of the garden into one long bed. He worked hard last night and joined one point to another. So this afternoon, as the surprisingly hot sun burned away the drizzle and fog, I tipped a bag of compost into the space. Maxi pouted at only being allowed to rake it – she complained that she much prefers to dig her hands in and get them dirty. Midi sulked at not being allowed to transfer the baking tray full of upended toilet-rolls full of over-grown courgette seedlings into the new bed. I let them up-end a packet each of salad seeds (and furtively tried to spread them out a bit myself) but they only bickered about who’d sown the most. Even allowing Midi to squash some white slugs didn’t cheer her up (Maxi’s love for all creatures; alive, dead and undead; wouldn’t permit her to join in the slug massacre). So what to do? Well, give in to their demands!

I found the old weeder tool loitering forlorn beside the stinky wheelie bins. The shed still held a dried-up bag of musty compost. Midi’s old trike had had its trailer put back on it (more stability for Mini), so I joined it all together: I gouged out the spiky weeds (common catsear, apparently) with the twisty tool thing; Midi took the clod of mud and weed off the tool, examining the tap root carefully, before depositing it in the trailer; Maxi dug into the bag of compost and filled in the hole with the dirt; both girls stamped on the little minx-mound till it was flat. Ish. Then me and Midi shuttled off every so often to dump the trailer in the brown composting bin. The kids loved it! And we all satisfied our craving for dirt. Well, all except Mini who slept throughout.

Pretty flower, but ouchy stem when mowed (Common Catsear: pic from Washington State Uni website. It doesn’t show the absolutely mahoosively long tap root that is far longer than the stems when in flower. Harrumph!)

Now, I don’t mind weeds. I love poppies, dandelions, daisies, buttercups and clover. Especially clover. I’m the kind of sad sap who walks through it in the evening before I mow the lawn calling, “Time now, ladies, drink up please!” to the bumblebees. Anyway, I generally leave weeds be. But there are some that lie flat in a big thick rosette that send up sharp stems that jag little bare minx feet. An hour of solid work lifted maybe 20 of the blighters. Our lawn looks like it has a bad case of brown measles, but it’ll feel so much nicer, now!

Stomach-ache: Midi’s been complaining of it for 4 weeks now, on and off. I’ve taken her to the GP’s twice, and don’t want to keep giving her little liver regular calpol. She’s been nauseous the past 2 days and napped before dinner too (very unlike Midi). Mini has been gulping calpol too thanks to her right lower rear molar hurting (though it’ll be a while till it surfaces, based on my scientific testing method using the Mark I Fingertip). And speaking of guzzling, Mini’s also been gulping her food – for some reason she’s stopped using her cutlery and is attempting to eat her food like a cat, with surprising success, but of course I have to overtly disapprove strongly – but isn’t suffering like her big sister. Actually, I’m surprised because she’s been eating more green strawberries (“stobs”, she calls them) than Midi. Me and The Boss reckon the green strawberries are possibly the reason for today’s belly-ache. Well, this was after we’d almost convinced ourselves that she’d been nibbling lawn toadstools or slug pellets. Anyway, I guess I’ll see how tomorrow goes – I may well be treading that well-worn path to the GP’s again.

High as a Kite on Calpol

Alas the shades hide her madly whirling eyeballs

Yesterday Mini Minx looked like she was coming down with the virus that’s been plaguing Midi – yellow bogeys, runny eyes, scratchy throat, off her food and generally out of sorts. So of course I fed her a little Calpol. While we waited for it to kick in she cuddled into my tummy and complained, “Mummy, got sore head! Sore head! Ouch!” and cried pitifully. Poor little mite.

After 10 minutes of me and The Boss reassuring her that she’d soon feel better, she quietened down and looked like she was going to fall asleep. She burrowed her little curly head into my collarbone and wiped her snot on my tee-shirt. After a further 10 minutes… well, it was like a zombie suddenly awakening from the dead! She jerked upright and started giggling.

Being parents of 3 and being very well acquainted with Calpol, me and The Boss exchanged knowing looks – ah yes, the 20 minute kick-in. But we weren’t really prepared for the next half hour. Mini bounced on my knee, then her Daddy’s, yelling: “Boing! Boing! Me bounce! Higher!” When she got too excited to express herself in words, she just blew razzberries. Lots of them. Using up all her breath to make the longest, loudest razzberry. Ever. Then she tried blowing razzberries with a rolled up tongue. Giggling maniacally, she started to sing bits of her favourite theme tunes: Grandpa in My Pocket (“Sunny sands! Sunny sands! Sunny sands!” etc), Channel 5 (“Me, me, me, me, me, shake!” [ma-ma-ma-ma-me-me-me-me-moooo-milkshake]) and her favourite nursery rhyme (“Ringa, ringa, ring-ah!” Ring-a-roses)

She chattered and cackled, babbled and bubbled, drooled and bounced. We gave her some water to try to calm her down a little, and wondered why we’d forgotten that Calpol and Calprofen seem to send Mini completely loopy.

I wonder what the colours were like in her dreams last night?!

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...?