Wild Beasts

Wild Beasts

Noisy Boysie had been on a school trip to the zoo. He had thoroughly enjoyed himself and had a new found passion for exotic animals. He talked animatedly about the ‘flalingalos’ and ‘monkleys’ he had seen. It was very sweet.

That evening he got out all of his soft toy animals and set up a ‘zoo’ on his bed. We each ‘bought’ his homemade tickets and enjoyed our own trip to the zoo in his room.

Later, he asked whether he could have a wild animal of his own. He had made a plan. It would live in our garden and he would pay for its food with his birthday money. He was very keen and had thought through all the detail.

“Mummy, can I have a pet gorilla?” Noisy Boysie asked.

Now, some questions are easy to answer as a parent and this was definately one of them.

“No. Sorry you can’t have a gorilla.” I replied.

“Oh, ok then, can I have a penguin? It could live in the paddling pool,” he asked next.

Another easy question to answer.

“No, sorry you can’t have a penguin either.”

He looked frustrated by my negativity.

“Mummy, can I PLEASE have a baby elephant then?” He enquired.

“I’m sorry but baby elephants need their mummy elephants and we haven’t got room for one here,” I replied.

Noisy Boysie harrumphed. It wasn’t going his way at all.

“Ok, can I have a caterpillar?” He asked.

This request threw me. My mind flew into a whirl of confusion. I wanted to say ‘no,’ I really did. I hesitated for a microsecond and the children sensed me waver. Instantly Curly Girly jumped in,

“Go on Mummy! Let us have caterpillars!” She urged.

It was Da Hubsta who made the decision,

“Of course you can have caterpillars. What harm could they possibly do? They don’t bite and they won’t poop on the carpet. They would be the perfect pets for you.” Da Hubsta said.

The children raced out into the garden and grabbed all the plump, fluffy caterpillars they could find and took them up to their rooms in jam jars. They lovingly gave each one its own name and personality. It seemed harmless enough, but unknown to us, they didn’t keep them in their containers. Nope. Once we had tucked the children up for the night, Noisy Boysie took the caterpillars out and slept with them in his bed, presumably to keep them comfy.

By the next morning he had forgotten all about his new pets and it wasn’t until I changed his linen a couple of days later that I discovered them flattened and squished into the sheets. I found one or two more trampled into his rug.

I can’t find Curly Girly’s caterpillars anywhere, that’s a treat I will have to wait for. I wonder where they will turn up…

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Don’t Quote Me

Don't Quote Me

Curly Girly started dance lessons.  She had the prettiest leotard, little ballet shoes, and a sweet pink wrap top.

Miss Slight, her teacher was perfect.  She was the most athletic, trim, slim teacher in the world. Ever. She showed the girls how to twirl, point, move gracefully and, as Curly Girly thundered and crashed her way through the dance classes Miss Slight offered nothing but kind encouragement.

Curly Girly loved the lessons and she worshipped Miss Slight.

The class was working on a new routine for a show later in the term.  They pranced this way, then shimmied that way until they came to a section where the girls had to wibble their arms, then bump their hands together.  The children kept forgetting the routine here, so to help them remember the order of the dance, Miss Slight called this the ‘wobbledy bump.’

Driving home from the last rehearsal before the big show Curly Girly and I talked through the routine.  She remembered everything perfectly but she still kept forgetting the wibbly arms bit.

“Remember, Miss Slight named it ‘wobbledy bump,’” I reminded her. I looked in the rear view mirror to see Curly Girly, looking doubtful.

“Are you sure Mummy?” She asked

“Yes. I’m sure,” I told her confidently.

On the morning of the show Curly Girly was ever so nervous.

“Just remember Miss Slight’s ‘wobbled bump,'” I reminded her again.

We arrived at the theatre where the performance was taking place.  Miss Slight gathered all the mummies and girls together to take the register, Curly Girly was first on the list.

“Good morning Curly Girly,” Miss Slight said.

Curly Girly looked worried.

“Say good morning,” I prompted, unsure why she was hesitating.

Then, in front of all the mums and all the children, Curly Girly said in a loud clear voice,

“Good morning Miss Wobbly Bum.”

There was a sharp intake of breath from every mother.  There was a titter of nervous laughter from every little girl.

“What did you just say?” asked Miss Slight sounding offended.

“Good morning Miss Wobbly Bum,” repeated Curly Girly.

“Why did you say that?” Miss Slight asked horrified.

“Mummy told me to,” answered Curly Girly.

Every pair of eyes in the room turned on me while I turned every shade of red.  The mothers were loving this.  I tried my best to explain what had happened but I didn’t sound at all convincing and I could hear the other mummies muttering that they didn’t believe me.

How embarrassing.

I wonder if Curly Girly might like to try gymnastics next term?

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Monsters

Monsters

At long last, after much procrastinating, fiddling about and delaying of the inevitable by the children, I had finally got them into bed. I was now peacefully flopping in front of the television with a bar of chocolate from my secret stash and a cup of tea.  I flicked idly through the channels trying to decide whether to watch the period drama that all the other mums were raving about, or to treat myself to something altogether more trashy and fun.

I had just settled on the drama, feeling that I should at least be able to express some opinion, when asked in the playground, as to which male star I thought had the ‘fwwwaaar’ factor, when I heard Curly Girly get out of bed. I ignored her. Da Hubsta, who was playing a computer game, pulled his headphones down a little tighter and focused harder on his screen. This was ‘our’ time and we weren’t about to surrender it lightly.

I listened tensely to Curly Girly tiptoe to the bathroom and, then, to my relief, back to bed.  I could relax, I was not going to have to go up there. Three minutes later Curly Girly got up again.  This time I heard her creap along the landing to Bubba’s room where he was sleeping peacefully.

“What’s she doing?” I whispered to Da Hubsta, he shrugged distractedly and then tipped his head back.

“Go to bed,” he shouted half heartedly in the general direction of the ceiling.

Two voices replied in unison,

“We are in bed.”

Noisy Boysie sounded as if he was in his room tucked up as he was meant to be. Curly Girly’s answer came through loud and clear on the baby monitor.  What on earth was she up to?

Da Hubsta resumed his gaming. I sighed, paused the program, put my chocolate down and went to put her back to bed.

The stairs creaked as I put my foot on the first step. Curly Girly heard me coming, belted along the landing at breakneck speed and leapt back into bed with a frame breaking, thunk.  Hurrah, I was free to return to choccie scoffling and swooning in peace.

“Stay in bed now,” I called up the stairs.  I returned happily to lolling on the sofa and unpaused the T.V.

Once more I heard the pitter patter of Curly Girly’s feet.  She pittered down the landing and pattered into our room.  I listened to the near, but not quite totally, silent sound of our daughter taking a little bit of some lotion or potion from my dresser and then sneak back to bed.

After about ten minutes I thought the children were all asleep.  I was stretched out, half dozing, and luxuriating in a few minutes of well earned rest when there was a blood curdling scream from Noisy Boysie, a proper, all out, full scale, genuine I’m dying right now, screaming wail.

“MUMMY, MUMMY, MUMMY, HEEEEELLLLLPPPP” he yelled franticly.

“ITS CHASING ME, ITS TRYING TO BITE ME, AHHHHHHHHHH MUMMMYYY, AHHHHHHH DAADDDDYYYY HEEELLLLP”

I have never run so fast in all my life. My tea knocked over in my haste. Da Hubsta and I jostled together as we raced upstairs to rescue him.  I was in a proper parent panic. Whatever had happened to our beautiful son?  Whatever was scaring him so much?

His bedroom door slammed.  He was screaming hysterically on the other side and he was pulling it to keep it tightly closed.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“Open the door,” Da Hubsta demanded

“NOOOOOO NOOOO IT’LL BITE ME AGAIN,” wailed Noisy Boysie.

“MUMMY! MUMMY! IT’S ON THE LANDING, ITS GOING TO BITE YOU. RUN MUMMY, RUN,” Noisy Boysie urgently called through the door.

“What kind of animal is it? ” Da Hubsta asked glancing around nervously.

“I DON’T KNOW. ITS BIG, ITS GOT BROWN FUR AND HUGE BITEY TEETH, IT RUNS VERY FAST,” Noisy Boysie gulped in a distraught voice.

I looked around.  There was nothing there.  Maybe the cat had brought a wild angry rat or squirrel in and it had sprinted off behind a piece of furniture to plan its next attack.  Da Hubsta and I started searching.  Nothing.  There was not a trace of a ferocious beast on the landing.

OMG!  I had a horrific thought, maybe it was hiding in Bubba’s room, waiting to jump up and bite him too.  I sprinted in there, turned the light on, and started pulling furniture away from the walls urgently searching for the savage squirrel or rabid rat.  Still no sign of it.  Bubba woke up and started crying.  I picked him up, there was no way I was going to leave him alone with a frenzied runaway rodent.

We made our way back to the landing.  Da Hubsta was using all his powers of persuasion to get Noisy Boysie out of his room so we could check that the brute wasn’t shut in with him and, more urgently, so I could see how badly he had been bitten and get him to the hospital quickly.

“ITS NOT IN HERE DADDY, ITS OUT THERE, RUNNING AROUND, BE CAREFUL DADDY, IT’LL HURT YOU DADDY,” Noisy Boysie panicked through the door.

“We’ve got to get him out,” Da Hubsta said, “the longer we leave the bite, the worse it could be.” So Da Hubsta, forced the door open a tiny bit.  Poor Noisy Boysie was petrified, he screamed again,

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THERE IT IS, THERE IT IS, RUUUUUNNNN MUMMY, RUUUUUUNN DADDY” we looked around again but still could not see the ghastly, hideous beast.

“Where is it?” I asked urgently, pulling a wailing Bubba up a bit higher in case I had missed a hiding spot for the creature.

“RIGHT THERE” shrieked Noisy Boysie pointing for only a moment before slamming his door shut again.

We looked up to where he had pointed and saw the awful, huge, hairy, vicious, fearsome, boy chasing, man eating, truly petrifying…… little brown moth.

It took me nearly an hour to get Noisy Boysie and Bubba settled again.  Curly Girly slept through it all.

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Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Noisy Boysie and I had gone into town to buy him some, much needed, new t-shirts.  As we walked through the shopping centre I saw that my favourite clothes shop was having a sale and, although I needed nothing, I couldn’t resist ‘having a quick look.’

Once inside, we headed to the sale section and I flicked through the gorgeous dresses.  Noisy Boysie waited nicely with me for the first few minutes, but gradually became more and more fidgety. I should have paid attention to that.  But, instead, I took a posh, floaty, blue dress down from the rack and held it up against myself wishing I had a ‘do’ coming up that I could buy it for.

“What do you think Noisy Boysie? ” I asked, ” Would Mummy look pretty in this?” I turned to show him.

“Its boring” he replied.  He had opted to no longer stand and wait for me, but instead had chosen to pass the time by lying on the floor making humming aeroplane noises.

It had to be right now that Smug Mum glided in with her little angel of a daughter beside her.  I hoped she wouldn’t see me.  She waved.  I waved back.  She started coming our way.

“Get up” I hissed to Noisy Boysie as subtly as I could without looking at him.  He ignored me and rolled over continuing to make the aeroplane noises loudly.

“Get up NOW” I whispered through gritted teeth.  I nudged him gently with my foot as Smug Mum got closer.  He stayed put.  He continued to make the silly, embarrassing, farty aeroplane noises and roll about on the floor.

Smug Mum stopped on the other side of the clothes rail.  She couldn’t see Noisy Boysie from where she was but I’m pretty sure she could hear him.  She had “been meaning to catch me to ask if I could lend a hand at school sports day?” I tried, and failed to think of a valid excuse as I secretly nudged my errant son with my foot in an attempt to make him get up.  He did not move.

Our brief conversation over, and with me now recruited to help, Smug Mum moved off to browse a rail nearby.  I peeked down at Noisy Boysie and decided to employ the ‘ignoring bad behaviour’ technique.  So, I continued looking at clothes.  On the other side of the stand I found a pretty top, in my size, and decided to go and try it on.

I walked back round the rail to collect Noisy Boysie.  He had gone.  I looked around, I could not see him anywhere.  I called his name in a sweet, friendly, super caring ‘Mummy out in public voice,’ he did not respond.  I tried again, still nothing.  I changed my tone, ever so slightly, and called him again.  Silence. I turned around and tried calling in the opposite direction.  Still nothing.

Smug Mum looked up,

“Is everything ok?” she asked while seeming to suppress a smirk of delight.

“Oh yes, of course” I replied.  I was hardly about to tell her, the queen of parental perfection, that I had lost my child in public.  She returned to rifling through the rails while her little darling waited patiently beside her.

I called Noisy Boysie again.  Still nothing.  I swear I heard Smug Mum stifle a little snigger as she looked determinedly into the clothes rack.

Then, just as I was about to go to the customer services to ask if anyone had handed in a small child, I heard familiar, over excited, giggling.  I tried to look casual and unflustered as I followed the direction of the muffled laughter.  I called Noisy Boysie’s name again, sweetly, lightly, unflusteredly.  It was clear that Noisy Boysie was having a brilliant time wherever he was.  Of course, he was hiding in the rail of clothes right behind Smug Mum.

I spotted him, and mimed for him to come out.  He shook his head and disappeared back inside the clothes rack.  I pretended to be looking at the clothes on the rail hoping to appear to be completely and calmly in control.  Noisy Boysie peeped back out at me, then disappeared again giggling louder and louder.  Smug Mum made a show of not seeing what was going on, she could not have made her snooty not noticing more obvious.

Once again Noisy Boysie poked his head out and gave me a cheeky grin before trying to dive back into the clothes.  I seized my chance and grabbed his wrist.  I thought he would come out then but no, he started pulling back into the clothes with all his might, shrieking with laughter as he did so.  Smug Mum turned to stare amusedly at us and, right on cue, Noisy Boysie popped out of the rack pulling two expensive cream dresses off the rail and onto the floor, where he stumbled out onto them in his grubby trainers.

Smug Mum looked down at Noisy Boysie, looked witheringly at me, pointedly looked at her watch and went to take her daughter’s hand to go.  But her daughter had vanished.

There was gleeful giggling from a clothes rail just over there.

That. Made. My. Day.

 

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Scruffy Mutt

Scruffy Mutt

‘We’ll greet him politely and keep walking’ I told myself as scruffy mutt and his grotty owner, Mr Trampy Poo, approached.  The dog’s talony claws clickey clacked as he dragged Mr Trampy Poo along.  I smiled in what I hoped was a friendly in passing kind of way.  We definitely, definitely will not stop I told myself.

“Aw, Mummy, look! What a gorgeous dog” said Curly Girly.  She stopped.  Mr Trampy Poo stopped.  The scruffy mutt stopped.  I had to stop too.

“He likes to say hello” said Mr Trampy Poo as he slackened the filthy lead and encouraged the grungy dog to lunge towards my freshly laundered daughter.  She threw her arms around the hound with affectionate enthusiasm kneeling down to ensure as much physical contact as possible.  She was immediately covered in greasy, grey fur from the dog’s wafting, straggly coat.  She beamed with delight.

“Its ok, he doesn’t bite” said Mr Trampy Poo.  My smile had become slightly rictus but still I determinedly wore it.  The dog had a row of manky brown teeth in a mouth from which dangled worms of sloppy, floppy, slobber.  Slobber which was spread by the dog, in its excitement, up Curly Girly’s sleeve in a shiny trail of slime.

I fought the urge to grab Curly Girly and pull her away before anything else gross happened.

“Isn’t he lovely?” Curly Girly asked as she stroked the dog’s head where there was a suspicious lack of fur in places.  ‘She’s probably catching mange right now’ I thought to myself.

“He is really sweet,” I felt compelled to reply as the dog flomped down and tended briefly to its personal hygiene.  It hauled itself back up and Curly Girly leant forward to gaze lovingly into its gunky eyes.

I knew what was coming but had no idea what the right thing to do was so I stood there, mutely smiling in horror as the long, snaky, pink, horrid tongue came out and flippety flapped all over Curly Girly’s face.

Mr Trampy Poo smiled,

“See he likes you?” He said.  He went on, “I’m sorry we can’t stop for longer, only I need to get this old fella to the vet, he’s got this thing you see.”

I didn’t dare ask what this ‘thing’ was. My inner voice yelled ‘OMG! Its got a ‘thing.’ Its probably a revolting ‘thing.’ I bet Curly Girly also has a ‘thing’ now too.’

I smiled broadly at Mr Trampy Poo and instructed Curly Girly to thank him nicely for the cuddle with his dog.

“I hope we see that dog again soon,” said Curly Girly as we walked away. Hummmm.

 

 

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Piece of Cake

Piece of Cake

Last month, Smug Mum handmade an exquisitely beautiful birthday cake for her daughter.  It was a perfect Princess Palace with palest blue icing, little gold dusted roof tiles on top of elegant turrets, and sparkling sugar crystal decorations complete with a prince and princess made out of sugar paste. It was stunning.  All the Mummies were talking about it and of course, Curly Girly really, really wanted one for her party.

“Mummy, can I have a cake like that?” she asked “I’m not copying because mine will be a Fairy Princess Castle.” She looked at me hopefully.

Now, if I’m honest my baking ability is limited to uneven, round cakes decorated with splodgy icing at best.  I didn’t allow myself to take that into account.

I was planning to buy her a cake from the supermarket but, three days before her party, in a moment of madness, I said that if she wanted a Fairy Princess Castle I would make one for her.  Smug Mum had said her palace of perfection had been ‘ever so easy to make,’ obviously mine would be too.

I set about designing an over ambitious chocolate cake castle complete with four soaring turrets.  It would be creatively decorated in softest pink icing, sprinkled artfully with edible blue glitter for the magical fairy effect, and finished off with cute little white flowers around the base.

On the evening before the party, I assembled everything I needed to create my masterpiece.  I made a big round cake and tried to cut it into a square for the main body of the castle. Would it go square shaped?  Would it heck.  With each cut it took on a new shape, none of which was square. It got smaller and smaller as I trimmed and trimmed.  Eventually, in order to avoid having to bake a whole new cake, I settled on square-ish.

Now it was time to erect my elegant turrets.  Here I had cheated a bit and bought swiss rolls thinking it would make my life easier.  I balanced them in place.  They fell over.  I patted the bases flatter and balanced them again.  They fell over.  I used frosting to hold them on the side of the cake.  They fell over.  I pushed them down a bit harder onto the board.  They fell over and started to crumble.  I melted chocolate and tried to glue them in position with it.  They fell over and one broke in two.  I squashed them onto the side of the cake, quite hard, squidged the bits of cake together with my fingers and finally, after two hours of trying, and with the cake looking a bit sorry for itself, the turrets stayed in a wonky, sort of upright-ish, position.  ‘Bog it,’ I thought ‘that’ll have to do.’

I moved on to the creative decorating stage.  By midnight the most creative thing I was producing were triple barrelled swear words.  By one o’clock in the morning I had mixed chocolate cake crumbs through almost all of the soft pink icing as I smeared, and re-smeared it all over the, ever weaker, castle.  I decided to leave it to the morning to see if it somehow improved overnight.

The next morning it hadn’t improved.  The soft pink icing had taken on a strange beige tone in places and the turrets were listing badly.  With the party being just two hours away, I went to put the final decorations on hoping to cleverly disguise the weaker points of my cake design.  I got the shimmer sugar out ready to artfully scatter it.  The lid of the pack was a bit stiff and it came off with a sudden jerk splurging the glittery sugar all down the side of the cake in a big blue blob.

I was trying to sort out the mess when Curly Girly walked into the kitchen.  She didn’t even glance at my work of art.  She announced, as a turret dropped off with a soft, sad, splat,

“I’ve changed my mind.  Fairy Princess Castles are really boring…I want a pony cake.”

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Don’t Touch

We had only gone to the garden centre to buy a few plants. So far I had managed to persuade Noisy Boysie that no, he could not have a little orange off the bonsai orange trees and I had managed to stop Curly Girly from ‘taste testing’ the herb plants right in front of a member of staff. I had also carefully managed to take the route that avoided the toys/tantrum section. I was doing well.

Now we were standing at the checkout, I was next to pay and there was a vast queue behind us as the trainee cashier tried to figure out how to use the till.

I didn’t notice Noisy Boysie slip away until it was too late and he was heading straight towards the newly installed ‘fine glassware’ section. I watched with a sense of anxiety that rapidly became a sense of impending doom as he got nearer and nearer to the stand of beautiful, twinkling, delicate glass.

I was torn. Should I abandon the queue to retrieve him and then have to go to the back of the queue which would take ages? Or, should I stay where I was, hope he passed through glassware and on into the books section and then collect him once I’d paid for my plants. I opted for the latter. Of course, he didn’t go to the books section, he went straight to the sparkling display where his attention was caught by an iridescent, very fine, cocktail glass which looked hideously expensive.

He picked the glass up by its long, thin, highly breakable stem and was clumsily clutching it. I pretended I hadn’t noticed and resolutely looked away to make my pretence more convincing. Out of the corner of my eye I could see that he had switched his attention to trying to grab something else off the shelf as the glass flapped about in his hand. An internal monologue of put it down, put it down, put it down or I’ll have to pay for it was getting louder and louder and more and more frantic in my head. I tried to ignore it and focused on making a detailed study of the adverts at the cash desk.

I glanced back and saw that what he had been grabbing at was a fragile looking crystal glass, he started chinking this and the cocktail glass together. Quite hard. Really almost more smashing than chinking. I returned to feigning interest in the adverts on the cash desk, my heart thumping but hoping to appear entirely relaxed to anyone looking at me.  After waiting this long I was not about to give up my place in the queue when I was so close to the end. Maybe, just maybe, he would either break nothing, or nobody would notice when he did.

It wasn’t until Curly Girly asked “What’s Noisy Boysie doing over there?” and pointed to him that I had to take action.

The lady behind us looked to see what she was pointing at.

“Oh no!” I exclaimed in what I hoped was a convincing display of my not knowing what he had been doing. Then, closely watched both by the lady behind us and now the cashier too, I whizzed over to where he was and swooped in to take both glasses from him and return them to safety. For the benefit of my audience, I made quite a show of telling him to put the glasses down, that he shouldn’t be touching them and that he shouldn’t have gone off like that. Thankfully the glasses were completely unharmed.

Then I heard the tinkly, crunching, sinking sound of fine glass breaking at my expense. I thought I’d nailed it. I thought disaster had been averted. I thought I could go home with an undamaged bank account. Wrong.

Fearfully I turned around and saw that, in my haste I had knocked three beautiful, and extra expensive wine glasses onto the floor with my handbag. In front of the audience. And now I would have to pay for them. And I would have to rejoin the queue from the end. Bum. Bum. Bummity bum.

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The Screaming Jellyfish

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All was going well. We had made it round the corner shop and now we were queuing to pay for the cake I would later pass off as my own at the school bake sale. Beside us was a local advertising board where there was a photo advert for cocker spaniel puppies.  They looked cute, they looked fun, they looked soft, snuggly and appealing.  I was definitely not going to let Curly Girly see this.

I thought Curly Girly was focused enough on the sweet counter to not notice the advert, but nonetheless, I placed myself between her and the board just in case.  No good, she still saw it. Bum. Now there was little doubt as to what was coming up.

“Mummy, can we have one of the puppies?” she asked.

“I’m sure they have all found lovely new homes by now,” I replied hoping that would be the end of it.

“Oh no, they are all still looking for homes,” chimed the owner of the shop.  Yeah.  Great.  Thanks for that Mrs Shop Lady.  Now I was forced to say that dreadful word, ‘no.’

Later, while I applied icing to the pass off cake, Curly Girly applied herself to persuading me to get a puppy.

If I said she had nagged, and wheedled, and whined, and moaned, and bribed and flopped on the floor limp like a jellyfish on a particularly flaccid day, hot, sweaty and crying just because I said ‘no,’ you might begin to get an idea of the extent of the onslaught the persuasive techniques she tried.  She tried everything.

Of course, Smug Mum from school, who had, as always, volunteered to collect everyone’s homemade cakes ready for the bake sale, knocked on our door just as Curly Girly was at the peak of her screaming jellyfish impression.  I rather assume Smug Mum’s children don’t do this sort of thing as, whenever I see her, she never has even one eyelash out of place.  Suffice to say, I felt something less than cool, calm or collected at this point and any hope I had of giving the impression of being in any way in control of anything went straight out of the window.

Smug Mum looked at Curly Girly over my shoulder and tried to engage me in the briefest conversation she could manage.   After a couple of minutes of politely failing to hear each other over the wails of my daughter she took the cake.  As she was about to leave Curly Girly stopped screaming just long enough to tell Smug Mum that we bought the cake this morning.

And so, my credibility as a proper Mummy took another small step in the wrong direction. Sigh.

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A bottle of bubble bath is supposed to last more than one bathtime

A bottle of bubble bath is supposed to last more than one bathtime

How could I have made such a rookie mistake? We’ve got three kids for goodness sake, I should have known better, I really should.

We had successfully made it through the round of excuses that the word ‘bathtime’ always elicits.  Curly Girly had gone for the ‘but we had a bath yesterday/last week/last month/last year’ set of defences.  Noisy Boysie had plumped for the ‘but I don’t smell’ range.

We had moved on through the ‘who’s sitting at the tap end’ negotiations.  We had even completed the debate as to what bath toys could be used, and by whom.  All was going well until I turned around, for about two and a half seconds, to pick up their abandoned clothes from the floor.

“Can you put some bubble bath in the tub please?” I asked Curly Girly.

That was a mistake. A big, foamy, bubbles two feet over the top of the bath and pouring onto the carpet kind of mistake.  A shrieking, over excited kids leaping in and out of the bath covered in bubbles and spreading them all over the upstairs of the house kind of mistake.  It was a bubbles on carpets, walls, beds and the cat kind of mistake.  It was a proper parenting fail.

So, a word from the newly wise to the uninitiated, never suggest to your child that they should put bubbles into their bath themselves.  Seriously, don’t.

Now, where’s my mop?

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We Are Feeding the Ducks, Not Bombing Them

we are feeding the ducks not bombing them

At last, the sun came out this weekend and my, ever present, level of parental guilt went from ‘nagging guilt’ to ‘severe guilt’ in direct correlation to the sunniness of the sunshine.   ‘We should be outside, doing something healthy and fun’ I tell myself.   Not because it is something that the children, or even I, would like to do as it’s actually still freezing outside, but because that’s what ‘good’ parents do.  So, not wanting to let the side down by preferring  to stay warm and cosy I hatch a plan to take the kids out for a walk in the woods.Parentl guilt graph

I should have known better, I really should because, when I told Curly Girly where we were going she yelled “Nooooooooo, I HATE the woods, it’s RUBBISH.”  Now I was forced to stand my ground and say things like “but its such a lovely day, we should make the most of it” and “we haven’t been out to the woods for ages, it’ll be fun.”

Enter Noisy Boysie, who declares that  a visit to the woods would  basically be child abuse so I abandon that idea and suggest a walk on the beach instead which is greeted with puking noises from both children.  I am just about to (willingly) surrender myself to a morning on the sofa  when Da Hubsta comes in suggesting feeding the ducks.  I like this idea as it doesn’t take long, plus they have a nice little cafe beside the pond where I can convince myself that drinking hot chocolate at one of their outside tables is actually a healthy outdoor activity.

When we get to the duck pond the ducks are satisfyingly keen to be fed (rather than buggering off and ignoring us as they have done in the past when they have already been fed two loaves of sliced white each that day.)  The kids are keen too, maybe just a little too keen in fact.  I heard Noisy Boysie say “I bet I can hit that duck,” he took aim and threw half a slice of bread directly at the duck, rather than to it.  And so a  boisterous game, complete with bombing sound effects started.  I would have stopped them had they actually managed to hit a single duck but bread thrown from a young hand has an unpredictable trajectory, thank goodness!

A passing granny stopped to tell me how lovely it was to see the whole family out enjoying such a gentle activity together and wasn’t it nice that the children were learning about caring for wildlife.  Thankfully she didn’t notice what they were really doing.

On Monday, in the playground, when we talk about the weekend,  I’ll smile serenely and say, “oh, we took the kids out to feed the ducks in the sunshine, they had a lovely time.”  Strictly, every word will be true and I can congratulate myself on doing some ‘proper parenting.’  Sorry duckies!

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