Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I am that Mother

Crap. Seriously help me here, I'm about to commit a proper blogging crime. A cardinal sin, if you like. I am about to get irrationally gooey. I am about to vomit saccharine emotion all over your screen. You can stop reading. It's ok. You can navigate away right now, read no further, I won't mind. If one of you can stop and hold my forehead and rub my back for a second it might make it easier but you don't have to. Seriously, you go.

Right. Let's get this mess started. So, tonight, the spud decided to go to sleep in our bed and, since I was tired too, we both had a bath and got into our jammies and lay down in bed. I read him 3 Dr. Seuss books. He had some warm milk. We pulled up the duvet. He snaked a little arm under my head and pulled me to his cheek. I was feeling, I have to tell you, pretty relaxed at that point.

Then, the frog came home and picked up a guitar and immediately the spud wanted to "play your tar?" The frog put the guitar on the bed and we played, then he left to have his own bath and I made the two chords that I know while the spud strummed.

OK here it comes.

I showed my boy a little tune and we lazed about having fun with it and not talking and then out of the blue he turned to me, looked at me levelly for a second and said 'I love you... really big' and he smiled beatifically, as though he had just given me a holy benediction. Then he turned and went back to the guitar.

You see. Very very very sweet. Pretty much enough to hoist your pancreas into overdrive.

Thanks for letting me spew that one out.

I'll get me coat.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


We had one of the Spud's best friends over for a playdate yesterday. They see each other infrequently now that the Spud has left the wonderful-but-far-away Montessori nursery where they both went and is now at the less-than-wonderful-but-close local nursery, but they are still great mates and I am very fond of his Mum, which is always a bonus.

There's always a sting in the tail when we see this particular friend because, although he is lovely and gentle and funny and bright, having continued with Montessori, he can write his own name now. Yes, I know. No no, same age. Exactly yes, born on the same day even. Sigh. Anyway so on Saturday during lunch he was lecturing the spud on what was going to happen to his fish fingers, because he now knows that food goes into the mouth, down the gullet, then into the stomach, through to the little intestine, into the big intestine and then comes out as poo. The spud was fascinated. I nearly ate my hand in envy (wouldn't fit down my gullet...).

I have never wanted to be one of those pushy parents that force information into their offspring but, er, it is quite cool to, you know, watch kids learn stuff. And stuff. So, today when he was complaining that his tummy hurt I took the opportunity to remind my Spud of those things his friend had told him.

I reminded him that he had a full tummy AND a full intestine and he might need to do a poo, something he's managed to avoid for a couple of days. This resulted in him doing a series of fairly alarming stomach contractions. Thinking he was going to make himself ill I asked him what was wrong and he said "Nuffin. I'm trying to make my poo flat so my tummy doesn't hurt."

A little information. A dangerous thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


One of the things I felt the lack of when I was pregnant was a sense of continuity for my child. My husband and I live ages from our families, neither of us have a family home or church or school that we can hope our child will go to; there is no family christening gown or aged rocking horse... I thought everything was going to have to be new.

About a year ago however, I loaded onto the record player in his room a Dr. Seuss album from the 1960s which I have been toting around with me since... well, since the 1960s frankly. It was The Sleep Book (b-side: If I ran the Zoo). He loves it, but he likes 'Green Eggs and Ham' even more which we read along with the record.

Shortly afterwards I went to visit my parents and discovered a box of wonders in their cellar. Now he drifts off to sleep under a Winnie The Pooh blanket made for me when I was his age by some unidentified aunt, perhaps, or family friend; he plays with my ancient building blocks and eats his pasta from my old Bunnykins bowl (which the frog hates; too twee and bourgeois and covered in bunnies) and he plays with some of my old cars, including a tiny London bus I've had for at least 35 years which he refers to as 'your special bus, Mummy'.

It's cool, I'm remembering more and more things from my early years. We're singing songs from 'Little Toot' while he's in the bath, a title which I have to say always makes me chuckle and go 'la la la' a lot - because what girl can remember all the words to a song about a tugboat 40 years after the fact?

I'm enjoying handing these pieces of my childhood on to my own child and am very conscious that this sharp and often wearisome thing we call the present is actually his past and the most important thing we can give him.

There are a few more things in the mystery box that he will inherit as the years go by but the most important thing is, of course, a sense of family; a sense of continuity. Something that I hope ultimately will hold me in good stead when I am old and frail and in need of a real special bus; or at least, a son with enough charity to keep an eye out for his old Ma and perhaps wrap her knees with a Pooh blanket on a cold afternoon.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

being home ill

Well, just what I always wanted, having to take a holiday day because Charlie has been excluded from nursery for having a runny tummy. I'm not sure what's worse, him being ill (which judging by his performance today, he isn't) or me having to waste a holiday day during an exceedingly busy period at work.

I'm still not feeling tippy top after a few days of illness, although have managed popcorn and a banana today (soooooo healthy.....) but given I don't have to struggle into a desk through cold weather and rush hour traffic I could easily put in a day's work so really cannot justify a sickie.

What's lovely however is us hanging low together. I'm getting some work done and we're being very very lazy. So far today he's painted a picture, eaten copiously, watched 'Shrek', played computer games and, er... lordy I think that's it. Currently he's playing 'Shrekcart' on my iPhone, a device which is possibly under-rated as a babysitter; although earlier on he took a picture of me in all my morning glory and I caught him right in the act of posting it onto Twitter so I admit to the possibility of being wrong on that one.

Shortly we're going to head to the park to get some air which will probably do us both some good.

Today has all the redolence of a day off school when I was young and I've realised why - because that's exactly what it is, only this time I am in the place of my own Mum; trying to get some work done while amusing my bored offspring who is well enough to feel restless but not quite well enough to be insistent.

He's cuddly and funny and sweet and is playing by himself the best he can, given that he is only 3. It's cold outside, warm inside and I see a lovely warm bath and an early bed in our future... and a weekend of work; but that's a few days away and for now, we'll just eat our cheese toasties, get into our warm clothes and go and feed some ducks.


Friday, February 05, 2010

When you're sick you eat old people food...

The last few days the Frog and I have been fighting off nausea and a general sense that we feel ill. The spud has been his high-stepping self until this morning when, halfway to an out-of-town visit, about 45 minutes from home, he threw up his breakfast all over himself. Nothing like negotiating the entry to the M4 whilst listening to one's offspring redecorate the back of the car.

I need here to leave a word of thanks to the goddess as right at the entrance ramp there is a petrol station; so just as he was heaving his last and seconds before we got sucked into the vortex of the motorway I was able to stop and get the poor kid cleaned and changed.

We turned for the journey home, 45 minutes of auditory and other sensory delights as the spud's stomach proved it wasn't just fooling around. Once back, bathed, reclothed, cuddled and tucked onto the sofa with "Ice Age" while I washed various car-related items (and two sets of his clothes) he felt well enough to ask for a little warm chocolate milk and once that had been down for half an hour with no ill effects, I offered him a dry biscuit.

I have very bland taste in biscuits. My favourites are Digestives and if given a choice between say, a Bourbon vs a Rich Tea I'll take the Rich Tea every time. Recently I discovered these cheapo, very plain, very lo-calorie biscuits which are, I believe the acme - or perhaps it should be the nadir - of how plain a biscuit can possibly be. I love them and I gave one to the spud an hour ago.

He took it. He looked at it. "Is this for Elsie?" he said, holding it up and talking about our elderly next door neighbour. "Or for Papi Georges?" his 81 year old Grandfather. "It's a Papi Georges biscuit!"

Only 3 and already he's assigning food into age-appropriate brackets.

It stayed down by the way and now he's demolishing cheerios. We may have to conclude that he is simply be car sick. I know that right now I, personally, am sick of the car.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

bigger and bigger.

I've spent a lot of time marking the little milestones that have cropped up between the day my son floated up into our livingroom and, er, well whatever the last one was. Recently we've passed a new one in that the spud can reach the light switches now - only to turn them on mind you, he needs another half inch on him before he can put them out.

This is great, we can actually lie in bed shouting encouragement as he goes to the loo now, we aren't in demand as suppliers of light, followed inevitably by our 'since you're here' roles as wipers-of-bottoms, although he still requires supervision in that area as he is liable to spend considerable time unravelling and festooning the loo with bog roll otherwise.

Recently we have also gotten rid, finally, of the baby bottle - unbelievable. We had a sleepover with his girlfriend and she had a lovely new pink sippy cup with a built in straw and that was that. Now he has a hot pink sippy cup with a straw too. Yay!!! It was that easy.

His favourite phrases at the moment are 'I'm NOT a baby' and 'I'm getting bigger and bigger!' - both, sadly for my poor Motherly love brain but happily for the rest of me, are true.

Anyway, so it's all well can good. I'm hoping his next step is mastery of the coffee pot and breakfast in bed skills... wait and see.