Shortbread and Dresses

The kids are on fine comedy form at the moment.

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The other day I picked up Mini Minx from nursery. She came barreling out waving 2 round pieces of paper. “Ohhh”, I cooed, “You’ve been drawing! What are they?”

“That’s your face, Mummy. See? This time I drew you with a smiley mouth”, Mini explained.

“Riiiiiiight”, I said, remembering Wooden Spoon-gate.

“And that one is your big, fat tummy!” she beamed.

“Oh”, I said wittily, to a playground of sniggers. “That’s lovely!”

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Today I was trying to persuade Mini to wear one of the dresses I made for her.

“But it fits you, and it’s pretty, and it’s ironed, and it’s clean. All those other dresses you want need ironed. I’m too tired. Don’t you like it?”

“Yes, I DO love the dress you sewed me, Mummy; I only hate it a tiny, little bit”, she reassured me.

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Right, enough of the humour; back to moaning. Midi has been pressing my buttons All.Day.Long. I think today was a backlash from her broken sleep the night before last. She sneaked into my bed and kicked and shoved and smothered me all night. In the morning, she didn’t even attempt to pretend she’d had a nightmare. When she said she’d just fancied a Mummy-Cuddle because she was cold, I explained (again) that if I didn’t get more sleep that I’d die. She just shrugged.

So this morning she lay about on the living room carpet, refusing to put on any socks, and rejecting any I shoved on her big duck-feet. “They’re Maxi’s!!” she wailed: “Ewwwwww!!” Which is a cheek, because *she’s* the one who’s just had 2 verrucas finally fall off.

She refused to eat breakfast. She dawdled to school. She refused to kiss Mini goodbye.

At lunchtime, she decided to run into the wall in the hall, big heavy shoe first, bringing down all 4 canvasses and bending the hanging frames at the back, and leaving a dent and a big scuff-print. Her rationale for the damage was “I was bored”.

Give me strength!!

She fell asleep quickly tonight, so with luck she’ll wake up her happy self tomorrow and be at less risk of being strangled. And she suddenly has a new back tooth, as well as an extra front lower incisor. Shark Mouth. I remember she was a terribly grizzly teether as a baby, so perhaps all these things are related?

Talking of dresses, Mini’s Challenge to me of not wearing jeans for a month is going well. I unearthed all my “Big Girl” clothes now that I’m a couple of dress sizes fluffier (ahem…) than this time last year. Last time most of them were worn was after Maxi was born (yep, 8 years ago) and some of the big swooshy dresses haven’t seen the light of day for 20 years. Today I waddled on the 4 school runs in a swishy 50s style circle skirted effort with a ruched top that Mini calls my Bra-Dress. It looks like a bridesmaid’s dress. I don’t give 2 hoots ūüôā

At nursery Mini made shortbread with one of the other wee girls for their morning snack. I think the kids do baking once a week, and everyone takes turns to help bake. Mini explained how to make it:

“You need this much buttuh”, she said, holding her arms very wide apart.¬†“And you need to mix, mix, mix in soogah. Not too much”.

“How much?” I asked, taking notes.

“Just not too much. And then you need to squeeeeeeeeeeze in de flowah. Lots n lots. An then you roll it an cut out starfish, an bake an bake an bake. In de oven. Then you eat it aaaaall up. It’s very yummy”, she monologued.

Quarter of a 500g tub of Total Greek yogurt (full fat - none of this namby-pamby low fat nonsense); sliced strawberries; hazelnuts; pumpkin seeds; drizzle of maple syrup. Hoover up.

Quarter of a 500g tub of Total Greek yogurt (full fat – none of this namby-pamby low fat nonsense); sliced strawberries; hazelnuts; pumpkin seeds; drizzle of maple syrup. Hoover up.

So what’s a greedy Mummy to do? We made our own. God, it was delicious! I meant to take a photo of it, but I scoffed all the leftovers. Oops. Never mind, I’ll leave you with a photo of yesterday’s healthy breakfast instead. And the recipe for the shortbread: cream 100g butter with 50g caster sugar. Combine with 200g flour by hand. Roll. Stamp out. Prick with fork. Bake at 170degC for 30 mins.

One last thing:

The Boss got Honduras in the office World Cup sweepstakes. “Are they any good?” he asked nervously. (No, dear).

Uber Grouch

Grumpy Old Trout

Tarted-up Trout

You know how grumpy I get when I’ve not had enough sleep?¬† Well, Maxi and Midi took over the entire bed last night and I was too tired to do anything about it.¬† I’m so tired I can see through Time (to misquote my favourite Simpsons quote).

So today was a right barrel of laughs, with me and all 3 minxes snarling at each other.¬† Midi was on a mission to drive us all round the bend.¬† She pushed the baby, stood on her big sister, kicked anyone who came near her, threw her toys, refused to eat, whined constantly about being hungry, woke Mini up early this morning with a tantrum, woke her again when she’d only had 15 mins nap with yet another tantrum.¬† Sheesh.¬† As for Maxi, ‘whine’ just does not describe properly how whingey that child has been.¬† As for me, I was so bloody angry with the world in general that I avoided all human company till I got an appropriate caffeine level happening, at approximately 1500hrs.

We had a very brief respite over lunch, when I coaxed the brats demons little devils horrors minxes little lights of my life <ahem> to eat their food through downright bribery.

“Guess what CBeebies theme tune this is?¬† Nah nah nee-na-na!¬† … ok, take another bite and I’ll hum some more … nah nah -nee-nanana …still not got it?¬† One more bite and I’ll do the words … ‘something-something-outer space… far away from the human race’

<screams while jumping up and down> “Space Pirates!”

“Clever girl, P, you’re the champio-ni.¬† Right, here’s another.¬† If you take another bite of sandwich”

We spent 45 mins like that.¬† Midi seriously impressed me with her speedy recognition of Balamory and Gigglebiz.¬† I impressed both girls with my extensive repertoire of kids’ theme tunes.¬† Mini was impressed that I’d obviously let them watch far, far too much tv and would shortly allow her to, too…

On the come-down from such jolliness, Maxi sang the Fifi and the Flower-Tots tune.¬† I choked at her perfect rendition of:¬†“Fifi!¬† And the Flowerducks!¬† Fifi!¬† Forget-me-nuts“.¬† I guess that’s how she interprets Jane Horrocks’ accent.

Other bad grumpiness today: I noticed that the beautiful pink Quinny Buzz cosytoes I stupidly shelled out for to go with my shiny new Zapp Xtra¬†(I didn’t need it – I wanted it.¬† Vain old fool) has a stack of unravelling stitching.¬† I’ve emailed pics to Mothercare, but I guess they only have my word for it that it was like that out the packet.¬† We’ll see.

More grumpiness: I’ve been deluged with messages (ok, I’ve had 5) from people in Europe and the USA asking if I’d send my eBay stuff to them when it pretty clearly states that I (ok, The Boss) will send to the UK only.¬† I try to explain nicely that it’s because it costs so much money to send a properly-insured and tracked parcel that it’s just not worth their while when they’re buying a baby bottle, or something.¬† So I get ticked off when I get messages demanding: “Spain.¬† Postage???????????????”¬† And one young lady from the USA who asked how much postage would be.¬† And how much would that be in US Dollars.¬† And how much would that be on the day of the sale?¬† (I’m incredibly talented, but I’m NOT PSYCHIC!!¬† And bloody learn to type ‘currency converter’ into Google, you airhead).

Worse grumpiness: ->  (follows below. Long)

I’m shortly to feature in an article by a nice freelance journalist in a ladies’ magazine.¬† I suppose it’s effectively¬†a review of some products and exercises, and will feature some gruesome ‘before’ and better ‘after’ pics.¬† I agreed to do it because (a) why the hell not, it sounded like a laugh, (b) there would be a little fee, and (c) a photographer would come to make me look great for the ‘after’ pics.¬† Did I tell you how vain I am?¬† But I also know it would take more than a single photographer to make me look great.

Anyway, I wrote loads of notes for the article and will be interested to see how much is my text, but that’s¬†ok – I’m a compulsive writer anyway, and the little fee will be fine recompense.¬† I got a cheeky email from the magazine asking me to do my own photos, so I did, as best I could.¬† It was a terrible experience, but hey, it was 2 hours out of our long lives.

Today I got an email back asking, can you do the photos¬†again?¬† Except like this, and like that, and wearing this and that, and can¬†we have them by Monday?¬† After taking my fingers off the p-i-s-s-o-f-f-y-o-u-c-h-e-e-k-y-n-u-t-j-o-b keys, I wrote a long email back explaining why I wouldn’t comply.¬† I figured I was possibly¬†writing to a daft wee girl fresh from school who has no idea of the sheer trauma I went through.¬† She wrote it like I could just stand up from the keyboard, pop upstairs and take 7 or 8 perfect shots.¬† Just in case, I went into detail to re-educate her into the life of a normal woman.

I generally look like Chewbacca, so it takes a lot of time to put on make-up (after I’ve found the bloody stuff), do my hair, find some smart clothes, check they fit, iron them, occupy the kids, move the furniture to get some space, take half a million photos off the wall to get a blank background, find somewhere to put them that the kids can’t reach, get The Boss to take some pics, scold Maxi, move Midi’s head out of shot, take more pics because you can see I’m yelling at Maxi, remove Mini’s grubby fingers from my clean clothes, notice chocolate stain, remove clothes, realise I have no others that fit, try to scrub chocolate out, decide to hold leg at funny angle to hide chocolate stain, yell at Midi, separate Midi and Maxi, re-motivate The Boss, check photos, realise I look hellish and The Boss has been holding the camera wonky, start again, find it difficult to smile while all 3 minxes are howling their heads off and The Boss is scowling at me ….<sigh>¬† I think you get the picture.¬† So I’m just a tad angry at the request to ‘just’ do some more (like, the entire shoot wearing different clothes, doing different poses and WEARING HEELS….!¬† I haven’t worn heels in over 2 years, for God’s sake!)

Oh yeah, and¬†as well as write the article they want me to take all the photos for it?¬† And give up a whole day’s time when I’d normally be knitting to sell items to pay the bills?¬† And they’re going to¬†pay me how¬†little again…?!¬† I suppose¬†what’s going to happen now is that the lass at the magazine will get her mate to pose for some shots, they’ll use my words and I’ll not get a sausage.¬† Hmmm, I suspect¬†The Wrath of The Trout will be unleashed.

Gosh, I’m¬†too cynical!