Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Third Way

I subscribe to that popular and yet cock-eyed notion that everything comes in threes. OK, so possibly not everything. Socks come in pairs (although rarely stay so), also hands sadly... legs, eyes, ears, kidneys, cards when you're looking for a full house... Many things do however come in threes: book deals in airports; household Gas-Electricity-Water bills; er... er... well troubles invariably come in threes.

It's not, when something bad happens, that I stand around waiting for the next two things, however if two bad things happen, the third is inevitably ringing at the door before the first two have decently buggered off.

How it was therefore when Charlie nearly broke his arm only days after the discovery of a (gasp) verucca (the shame...) that we failed to notice his ear infection is beyond me, but there you go; we only suffered 4 nights of no sleep thinking, er, that his arm was causing an, er, fever... yes well erm.

We are nearly all better now except for the occasional need to over-react when faced with say, getting dressed or eating one's dinner ('I CAN'T put my jammies on, my ARM hurts... please can I climb up you and flip over 20 more times instead?'). It's not without it's trials, however, this recovery business.

Today he parlayed a little twinge into a post-breakfast ice-cream cone. After lunch, I had a lie-down and apparently he used his wild powers of persuasion to con his Father out of a second ice-cream. We then went to the park and, since both of us thought 'he's only had a little one at home and he's been so brave', he conned us out of a third from the ice-cream van.

He also conned us out of a third of our income at the local fun-fair, but that's another story. I rest my case.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Heading back to mormor...

Sunday. It appears that on this blog, it is always Sunday.

It's been a weird weekend. It's been a quiet weekend; strangely unsettling. Friday we had a long day, Charlie and I. We went swimming with friends in the morning and then had a picnic lunch in a friend's back garden; relaxing, happy, idyllic, flowing from garden to house to house to garden, the kids roving in a feral mass.

Afterwards, we went to the park where I bought him an ice-cream from the ice-cream van, the eternal ice-cream van that marks the passage of the seasons, the ice-cream van that has the power to change the very weather ("No Mummy, it IS hot, the ice-cream van WILL be there... can I hold your umbrella?") As he dripped strawberry and chocolate all down his front we met two of his friends and a final play of the day ensued.

Shortly after the stick from his ice-lolly was deposited in the bin, my little boy was run-down by a boy on a bicycle and has for a few days at least, lost the use of his left arm.

Before the xrays and the certainty that it wasn't broken he passed out twice and lay semi-conscious, rolling his eyes and moaning until we splinted it. In the hospital he would only talk about his bus to the doctors ("He's in his own world, that one...") and he has been sleeping 13-hours a day, so oblivion and dissociation are ruling the roost. It hasn't stopped him from consuming vast quantities of ice-cream and while we are trying very hard not to make a fuss, it's difficult as he can't really push himself up from sitting to standing and if he wants to use his hand he has to pick it up with the other hand and place it near the toys.

Every day he gets a bit better and hopefully he'll be back to mormor in a few days ("Are we back to mormor now Mummy?" as if normal can be found on a map). We're trying to act as if nothing has happened so he's not scared; but I tell you, as if I needed it underlined, bloody anything can happen to anyone in a fraction of a second.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mother Ship...

Mums log: Playdate: somethingth of May.

I drift half-asleep, fuel reserve are low. I pull against the extra gravity of Sunday morning, drawn to the small, square button on the machine. I push it and slowly it begins to fire up. I've just finished loading fresh ground coffee when the alarm goes off...

MUMMEEE!!!! It's the Stout Controller, something is wrong with his bus. The cat is throwing up. I hesitate - clean up cat-sick or fix the bus? The cat starts to eat it's vomit. I opt for the bus.

Several minutes later the bus is fixed and the smell of warm coffee beans powers me back into the kitchen to press the button. The relief of seeing the coffee flow into the cup is marred only by the realisation that I have trodden in the remains of the cat's stomach contents.

Several hours later I am wrestling with my printer in the cellar as a series of birthday cards are printed, one for a party south of London. The alarm goes off...

WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THAT CELLAR??? It's the frog, left alone too long with the Controller, he has experienced total systems failure.

I take the escape-pod and bundle the Stout One off to the party leaving the frog to stew in his own juices. The Controller doesn't want to go to the party. He doesn't want to go home. He really really wants to go to the party. I launch. The alarm goes off - he's dropped his bus.

We drive, him complaining, me ignoring and the bus clattering around in the hold with every turn. By the time we reach the party he is asleep and when he wakes up he no longer wants to go to the party.

We spend 30 minutes at soft play, him ignoring all his friends and clutching me dramatically. He won't play. Eventually he wanders a few feet away and plays with some balls. The alarms sound, everyone off to eat. He won't leave soft play. He won't eat. Eventuay he eats crisps. He eats a biscuit. He wins sweeties in Pass-the-Parcel. He joins in. He starts to play. The party ends.

The alarm sounds.

And that, my friends, is how I find myself sitting by myself at a soft-play in Leatherhead at 5:30pm on a Sunday.

Leatherhead, the final frontier.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Time time time

Charlie is trying valiantly at the moment to get his head around the notion of 'tomorrow' and 'yesterday', it's all very confusing.

We deliver gold stars on a month-view star-chart for good behaviour and we're really trying to use this to underline 'that was last week, that was yesterday'. It's working to an extent, although he will still tell anyone who listens that Father Christmas came 'last week' and tomorrow is always Friday.

I have this abiding memory of a beautiful Neanderthal I dated in my final high school year; I met him during a brief stint flipping burgers, he was a gorgeous Italian called 'Romano', lusted after by all the female McStaff. For some reason he chose me and we dated just long enough for me to show him off smugly at graduation in a sort of 'ugly duckling gets swan' moment. I went to pick him up from his house one day to find that he wasn't dressed, he was sitting in the livingroom in his shorts and his Mother was apologetically dressing him. He raised his arms, she put on his t-shirt, he raised a foot, she stuck it in a leg of his jeans... it was about that point that I started to go off him fairly substantially.

Anyway, one morning a few weeks ago the spud was robotically eating peanut-butter toast and watching Chuggington with the sort of glazed stare he normally reserves for doing a poo, while I was standing in an apparently sound-proofed bubble waggling a t-shirt at him. He raised his arms. I put on his t-shirt. He raised a foot...

So. Now he gets a star every time he undresses and dresses himself, one for eating dinner without our help and one for tidying his room. When all the stars are gone he's been promised 'a big present'.

it's good, the star chart, but it's not without it's difficulties. The upside is that he is now reliably dressing himself. The downside is that this involves an hour of him dancing about in various stages of undress, displaying 'Mr. Bum Bum' gleefully and crowing about each item that's been taken off or put on. If he takes too long and we intervene there are hysterics over the loss of the star. Getting out of the door at all these days is pretty much completely out of the question.

Still, it's all progress, of a sort and he is beginning to understand about the days of the week. I guess it's a little much to think that he'll suddenly grasp the intricacies of the past and future but at least in that future I won't be dressing him before he goes out on dates. Hopefully.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Legal ranting

OK, this is a major rant and I actually took it down as being a 'bit heavy' for my blog... however Metropolitan Mum has asked about it so I'm putting it back up... but with this warning that my husband, the lovely Frog (the other lovely Frog) thinks that it represents the rantings of a mad woman... you have been warned.

The lovely Frog, from Frog in the Field has offered me this unrivalled opportunity to rant. Actually what she's really offered me is blog material which is thin on the ground these days. It's a tag in which one is asked to list thinks that, essentially, make one very cross.

The problem here is going to be limiting the scope of this, I suspect; as although I am a person who is easily amused and has quite a high tolerance for crap and rubbish, I have a bottomless pit of judgement lurking in the centre of my soul.

  1. I hate stupidity. Which means that much of the time I hate myself because I have an enormous capacity for stupidity. Mainly because my mouth and my brain aren't really connected very well. However be that as it may, rank stupidity gets my goat. I'm not talking here about low intelligence, I'm talking about willful stupidity that can be found in everyone from the unintelligent to the genius. One of the biggest things that gets my goat is how frequently people mistake ignorance and lack of education for stupidity. Just because someone doesn't know something doesn't necessarily make them stupid; just uninformed. Stupid is willfully disbelieving facts because they don't fit one's world view.

  2. After stupidity, I hate violence. Stupidity breeds fear. Fear breeds anger. Stupid people think there is only one kind of fear; the fear of pain which they see as cowardice and which they respond to in the only way they know - with intimidation, threats and reactive violence. They don't know or believe that fear presents in many ways: fear of change, fear of difference or fear of the unknown; so, when stupid people experience change, see difference or suspect the unknown they try to protect themselves in the same way they would if they had been physically attacked, ie, with intimidation, threats and reactive violence. Violence is stupid. It's also dangerous. I hate it.

  3. Violence, ranging from the casual push against a stranger in the race to get onto the tube through snide verbal violence or outright attack, breeds more violence, until we live in a society where violence of all sorts is considered perfectly normal. I hate that too. You get on the tube, someone pushes you, you feel crap all day, you upset people and in turn they lash out at someone else and everything gets that extra shade of 'more shit'. If on the other hand someone smiles and steps aside to let you on first, you are happy, you smile, you're nicer to someone else, you make them happy and everything gets just that little shade of 'less shit' until perhaps everything might actually become 'quite good'.

  4. There is a synthesis of the above three things that I hate more than anything and that's bullying. In the playground, the supermarket, the workplace, I see someone behaving like a bully to someone else and my seething knows no bounds. If I could press a button that would give a shock to anyone who bullied anyone anywhere ever again I would press it, tape it down, put it in the sole of my shoes and stand on it so it stayed pressed until I keel over. Making me, I suppose, quite a violent person. On the inside.

  5. I hate greed. It's natural to want more, we're programmed to want more until the day we die. Seriously, I live comfortably in a lovely flat that in other countries would fit several families. I think it's tiny. I want a house. Eventually, we'll buy one from someone who is leaving for a bigger one. That's how it goes. But there is want and there is greed and greed is what drives people to push each other around. Greed is what litters our landscapes with advertising, interrupts our evenings with cold callers selling windows and bombards us constantly trying to sell us crap all day; greed is what drives up our gas bills and our mortgage rates, our rent and our food bills. Either we are too greedy and buy too much or the companies we buy from are too greedy and keep bumping up the cost. Greed makes life more shit.

  6. Angst and stress. Live in a world where violence and greed and stupidity are the norm and life becomes very stressful. In the last 6 years I've had two motorbikes stolen, two break-ins, cheque-book fraud that emptied my bank account, the frog has been punched in the street and thugs tried to mug him at work; the police found a gun in the bushes opposite Charlie's bedroom window, a boy was stabbed to death in our playground, someone was stabbed outside a friend's house locally, there are regular shootings in the area; it could be worse but it's not that pleasant I'll tell you that much.

  7. Pressure. There is too much to do in life. There are too many wonderful people and great things to see and places to go... I can't do them all or see them all and so I'm finding more and more that I don't want to do or see any of it. I just want to stay home, in my little flat with my little boy and my frog.
But, that's not what life is about is it? (Except the 'staying home with one's family' bit). Life is about getting on, getting by and trying to wring whatever little bit of pleasure one can from the whole sordid mess and you know what? There's a lot of pleasure to be had out there. There is joy to be found pretty much anywhere. People want to know the meaning of life and that's pretty much it; life means living. Living means staying alive. Staying alive means eating and drinking and staying safe and unless we can enjoy those things, we won't do them very well and that will be the end of us. So I think we should all do as much as we can to try to find enjoyment in everything we do, do it better, stay happy and stay alive.

I actually thought I was going to rant about the election. Apparently not.

Thanks Frog! I'd like to pass this on to a few choice bloggers but it's late, I'm going to bed and I'm not going to tell them quite yet. Just so you know though, I'm tagging: Glowstars, Methusula Mum, Pengelly Pastimes Iota and More Than Just a Mother.

Rant on!