Thursday, 19 November 2009

And this little piggy spilled wee wee wee all over my home

Yesterday I was trying to do the impossible - get ready to go out to a posh dinner while supervising two toddlers. I have a fairly large bathroom, so I figured “why don’t I just bring a few toys in, and they can just doodle around in here while I have a shower?”.

It seemed like a great idea at the time, although if it was a film the audience would no doubt have been shouting “YOU’RE SUCH A NOVICE!! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??” at the screen.

Anyhow, it started out fine. They played a little, then ran around like nutters (nothing new), then wedged themselves between the bathtub and the shower and made faces at me. All fine.

Madeleine picked a moment when my eyes were firmly shut against the shampoo to go and have a wee in her potty. As I opened my eyes I spotted both of them beside the potty: Madeleine pointing and looking horrified, and Elliot raising a wet little cupped hand to his mouth.


The shock of my shower-echoed voice stopped him mid-wee-sipping (not a phrase you use every day). He then grinned at me and started slicking his hair back with it, deftly dipping his hand back into the potty for a little more wee to ensure an evenly slicked hairstyle.

By the time I managed to clamber out of the shower and catch him, his little blond fluff was all spiked up with his sister’s wee and he had turned the potty completely upside down in his hurry to escape me. A little wee lake formed on the floor.

All the while, Madeleine was crying and shouting “Put it back!! Put it back! Mummy, my wee wee doesn’t go on the floor!! It goes in the potty!! Put it back!!”

Ah, the joys of motherhood.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A party frock for "sausage shaped" girls and a plastic Captain Jack Sparrow. Result.

OK, so I have a confession to make... I hate shopping. Hate it. It makes me feel all stressed out and headachey, and the staff always seem to treat me either like I'm invisible or like I'm about to stuff something up my jumper and leg it. I used to blame it on my slightly lazy approach to hair styling (put lots of gear in hair, shake it around, hope for the best) and my complete ignorance of fashion trends. And possibly the fact that I used to hum "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction every time I went out. Anyhow, I thought this would all change as soon as I had kids - after all who can NOT notice someone trying to rein in two rampaging toddlers and stop them from pulling all the clothes off the hangers? Sadly nothing has changed except that now it's that much more stressful (why oh why don't I live near Westfield!!). Anyhow, I now do almost all my shopping online and I think it suits me well!! I get to compare prices without all the dreariness of lugging all my stuff (and children) from one shop to the next, there is always a sale on somewhere, and I can 'accidentally' leave some windows open with lovely little things for myself hoping my hubby will spot them and take a hint.

All this to say that I was incredibly excited about today's Debenham's sale. Sad, I know. But seriously, check out my top 5 and tell me you're not just a little bit thrilled too.

1. Early Learning Centre Pirate Ship and Treasure Island set for £22.50 (from £45). The little plastic pirate is no replacement for my beloved Captain Jack Sparrow (sigh...), but this is the cutest thing ever. The age guide says 3+ but I think it would be a big hit even with littler ones if they are starting to get into pretend play and not likely to try and eat the little treasure chest. Click here to check it out >>

2. De Longhi coffee maker for £50 (from £100). There is nothing like a good cup of coffee, and this one does a mean cappuccino as well. I'm thinking it's just right for those afternoons when I have all the NCT mums over. Click here for more >>

3. 25% off party dresses. I don't know about you, but my body has been all over the place since having the kids. I used to have an 'athletic' figure (pencil, according to Gok Wan), then suddenly found myself with enormous boobs (a welcome change!) and a slightly rounder waist, and now have ended up flat chested with with some annoying "muffin top"... the worst of all worlds. The technical term is probably "Sausage Shape". Good thing my husband likes sausages.  Anyhow... nothing fits me and I need some nice (but affordable) little dresses for a few Christmas parties, and I think one of these will do the trick. Coast has a few in the sale and their stuff is always stunning on Sausage Shape girls :) and I spotted a few delightfully glittery numbers as well for about £50. Click here to have a look at the party dresses >>

4. 50% off cookware. Is this a bit boring? I don't know... I spend hours in the kitchen every day and I'm sure most of you do too, and I'm thinking it would be nice to replace some of my cruddy old pots and pans. There are some really nice sets on sale (Tefal, Le Creuset, Circulon, etc) and some satisfyingly enormous woks too. By far the absolute best thing in the sale if you've moved out of the baby puree days and into proper family meals and stews is the Le Creuset cast iron set - perfect if you're trying to feed a family of four (or more!) and have discovered Jamie's Ministry of Food. Click here to check out the cookware sale >>

5. 25% off selected gifts. This is a great starting point for your Christmas shopping, with toys, personalised gifts, perfumes, and you can even pick up vouchers for 'experiences' like Pamper Days, rafting, driving, weekend breaks, etc. One thing Debenhams does really well, though, are the hampers - you can put together a really nice selection of chocolates, wine, condiments, biscuits or whatever. I'm thinking Mother-in-Law, Great Auntie E, and possibly something for the nursery staff to share...? Click here to see what's on sale at the gift shop >>

Finally, I saw this weird and wonderful motorised contraption (<-click the link to see what I mean!!) and I really really want to know what it is.  Any guesses??

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Terrible teeth in his terrible jaws

Imagine a creature so sly that it would smile beautifully at a chubby little baby, toddle over and befriend him, nestle in a little closer…and closer… and closer… and then CHOMP.

Terrible teeth in its terrible jaws indeed, but no, it’s not the fearsome Gruffalo, it’s darling little baby Elliot.

How on earth did my gorgeous baby boy become “The Biter” at nursery? When I collect him, he comes running over with a big grin on his face, and it’s just amazing. The moment is shattered as soon as I spy a crying child with a bite mark on his face (ON HIS FACE!!!) and Elliot’s keyworker walking towards me with a red form in her hand.

Am I to blame? Is it because I watched Interview with a Vampire while I was pregnant? Or because I always talk about nibbling on him because he’s so deliciously cute? Do I not feed him enough?

How do I fix it? I’ve been giving him little one minute time-outs as per the Nursery’s advice, but obviously that’s not working.

Word on the street is that I should just bite him and see how he likes it. I have problems with this:

How do you show a child that biting is wrong by biting him? Surely this is linked to the argument against smacking. If I hit my toddlers every time they hit or kicked me (or ever), social services would have taken them off me long ago.

What if I ignore my gut feeling and just go with what people tell me to do… how hard do I bite him? If I bite him hard enough for him to care, then I will forever feel like the most awful mother in the world. If I bite him softly, then all he’s learned is that biting doesn’t really hurt anyway, so what’s the big deal? Not a great lesson for him to learn.

I really am in turmoil about this and I am desperate for a solution as well as your opinions on the Time Out / Bite Him debate.


Sunday, 1 November 2009

The difference between boys and girls

Madeleine: Mummy?
Me: Mm hmm?
Madeleine:  Daddy has a willy and a bum bum. And Elliot has a willy and a bum bum. And William has a willy and a bum bum… [proceeds to name each and every boy in her class at nursery and declare that they too have willies and bum bums.]

Madeleine: And I have a bum bum. But I don’t have a willy and you don’t have a willy. Mummies and big girls and good girls don’t have a willy.
Me: Uhh… correct. We don’t have willies.
Madeleine: And Elliot has a 'mall willy. Cos he's only little. That's why he's a baby. And Daddy has a bi –
Daddy: Right, that’s quite enough … [smirking]