28 June 2007

The Delinquents

The Chickie / Perfect Poff wedding is off. Mummy is intervening now that P. Poff is no longer considered a suitable life partner for her little boy.
The adorable, golden haired angel has transformed into a two foot tearaway overnight. Naturally, I’m loving it. Swearing and shoplifting, turning up to Kids Kingdom with a dolphin tattoo. Fabulous.
Admittedly, she learnt the four letter S word from Accountant on holiday, but it’s continued daily use is delightfully unacceptable. Then there’s the attempted shoplifting of spaghetti hoops at the Supermarket. “Oh S#!t” she said, when apprehended by security who had clocked the tattooed baby on their cctv as she tried to shove the tin down her nappy. She was released without charge.
Now that Poff has gone off the rails, an opening presents itself for the coveted “Best In Show” award and Chickie’s in the running. Poff isn’t the only baby to switch sides. Since dropping more poo than an elephant with food poisoning, my Chickie has colour in his cheeks, a spring in his step and a sunnier outlook on life.
The only slight drawback is the epic naps I bragged about just days ago are already a thing of the past. Chickie now has so much energy, he has no need for sleep and has taken to screaming, “No, No, No” when taken anywhere near his cot for naps or bedtime.
However, on the cutesy wutesy side, he now holds his hands out asking for “cuggles”, shouts for “mummy” in the morning and requests “bib-icks” (biscuits) whenever in the vicinity of the yummy cupboard. Give the boy a red rosette. He’s just scrummy.

25 June 2007

Don’t Spin The Gravy Bot Tot

It was like a scene from a Werther’s Original Commercial. Silver haired Grandpa kneeling on the floor, arms flung wide, waiting with eager anticipation as his young grandson tottered towards him.

Grandpa knew his back would kill him the next day, but couldn’t resist lifting the adorable little chap into the air and spinning him round and round like his grandpa had done for him when he was a boy.

By spin number two, Grandpa was beginning to feel giddy. Then Grandpa felt an odd heat travel down his body. That’s when Grandpa shouted for help. Hearing Grandpa’s frenzied pleas, Grandma and Accountant rushed into the living room to see what was wrong.

“Help me, it’s everywhere!” cried a distraught Grandpa, holding Chickie as far away as his arms would allow. A bemused Chickie watched on as Grandma, trained for every crisis, disappeared to fetch towels. Accountant removed his dripping child from his father, whisking him upstairs for a hosing down.

Grandpa took in the devastation. The white rug now seemed an unfortunate colour choice. The circular brown splats an unwanted pattern and a permanent reminder of their fun. The carpet underneath had also been hit as had Grandpa’s shirt, trousers and shoes.

Grandpa sighed and went to clean up.

24 June 2007

Between a Bump and a Work Place

Twenty months on and I finally consider housewifery the profession of choice. Each day of the week now specially formulated to include just the right amount of Chickie Activity Time, Chickie Snoozy Time and Chickie Bed Time.

I have lapsed into the comfort of a lifestyle where a slight tummy is expected, relax at home wear essential and a keen interest in childhood constipation useful. To ensure flexibility, I have recently incorporated some new elements into the daily routine. These include plant inspection at 8am to gauge the progress of my new herbaceous border as well as an evening garden watering session at 7.10pm sharp.

I’ve also been pleased to note that, after checking Chickie’s Latest Key Performance Indicators, that tantrums are down to a respectable once a fortnight, sleeping through the night is up by 90%, naps have become epic in duration and cuddles are not only forthcoming but plentiful.

The only problem being is that ‘question of the week’ seems to be, “when are you going back to work?”. It’s taken me nearly two years to adapt to being at home, surely I can’t be expected to go back now? But it seems that I am. Now that Chickie is getting on a bit, expectations are that I either become a useful member of society again or I pop out another sprog to qualify for a home working extension.

Not fair! A second one sends me back to ‘Go’, minus £200, and wreaks havoc with the cushy set up I’ve finally got going on. Whilst the additional £4.50 each month is a dazzling incentive, the 90 hours worth of preparations for 21 hours of painful employment isn’t doing it for me either. Plus, how am I supposed to hold my stomach in for 7 hours a day?

P.S. Photos are finally working again (sort of)!

20 June 2007

Tubby Tum Tums

Everyone knows children can be embarrassing. As always, I was caught unawares, expecting the embarrassment to coincide with speech. Not so. Whilst I was battling my way to the bargains through the hardcore shoppers at the 'reduced to clear' refrigerator, Chickie was sat in the trolley, amusing himself with his little car.

Or so I thought.When I came up for air, Chickie wasn’t playing with his car at all. I could tell from his quizzical expression and poised finger what he was about to do but couldn’t get out of the scrum in time to stop him. Hoping the portly gentleman whose stomach Chickie’s finger was now burrowing into had a sense of humour about his fuller figure, I apologised on behalf of my son. It would seem not as he glared at me as if I’d poked him myself and stropped off without a word.

19 June 2007

And We Have Lift Off

With a final self congratulatory ping of Chickie’s elastic, waterproof over-pants, I laid him down to sleep, confident the impending gravy train would struggle to chug their way through those impenetrable bad boys. In retrospect, I prefer to think of my naivety as endearing as opposed to complete foolishness.

Creeping past Chickie’s room later that evening, I was surprised to hear excited giggles rather than the soft snoring I’d expected. Debating whether to enter and risk a scene on exit, something about the tone of Chickie’s delighted coo’s beckoned me in.

Upon entering, it became clear that Chickie’s medicine had been very, very effective but some warning that it was the pharmaceutical equivalent of placing a stick of dynamite up your child’s bottom would have been nice.

The explosion was so spectacular I didn’t quite know what to do but screaming for Accountant seemed a good place to start. Matters weren’t helped by Chickie’s self-made game of ‘Wipe That Plop’ which had obviously been keeping him amused for at least ten minutes. Neither did it help that Accountant refused to touch his son or his sheet, his baby grow, his waterproof pants or his nappy, so just generally stood next to me looking appalled whilst gagging intermittently. Between wretches he’d ask helpful questions like “Did you give him too much?” and “You’re not throwing that away are you? It’ll wash”.

As far as I was concerned, anything that had been within two metres of Chickie at detonation was to be incinerated. The clean up operation lasted an hour and compulsive hand washing with bleach continued into the night.

Apologies for the unpleasantness - ain't motherhood grand!

14 June 2007

I'll Have The Chicken Nuggets Please

“Thanks very much, but I’ve already eaten” I said, not much fancying the look of any of the dishes on the new NHS lunch menu. Oh, alright. It wasn’t really a lunch menu, although if you’ve ever eaten hospital food, you’d understand my confusion.

However, it was a menu of sorts. A Poo Menu to be precise, cunningly named, “Choose Your Poo!”, complete with drawings (in colour) of the seven different varieties of poop coming soon to a nappy near you.

Listening to the deadpan Doctor as she educated me on each type, showing me how to identify them using helpful comparisons to rabbit droppings, chicken nuggets, corn on the cob and gravy, I had to suppress a childish urge to snigger.

After thorough examination of the illustrations, I decided Chickie was producing the grapes. Apparently, this wasn't good and we need to be aiming for the sausage. However, to get to sausage land, we must first sample the perilous and unpalatable food groups of chicken nuggets, porridge and, worst of all, gravy.

Armed with 50 sachets of Special Stink Drink, I pondered what the next eight days held in store. Whatever happens, the "Daily Movements Record” will serve as a handy reminder to delight and amuse Chickie's future girlfriends.

11 June 2007

Familiarity Breeds Power

After eight years together, there are few things I haven’t seen, heard or smelt when it comes to my beloved. When you reach a level of familiarity whereby performing a routine colonoscopy on the other wouldn’t be considered an awkward situation and the only thing left to the imagination is what it would be like to sleep without having two fingers inserted up your husband’s nose to muffle the snoring, there really are few surprises left. However, this kind of knowledge of one’s spouse can also be very useful.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I enquired to a shocked Accountant who hadn’t heard me tiptoeing up the stairs to catch him lying on the bed reading his newspaper. Exactly the scene I’d anticipated following his “just putting Chickie down for a nap” disappearance.

“Supervising Chickie” came the response.

“But he’s asleep!” I pointed out helpfully.

“I know but I was just making sure he was okay”

“Right” I said, marvelling he would even waste his breath on this farcical explanation when we both knew he was trying to avoid painting fence panels.

Earlier that morning, when Chickie was awake and actually needed supervising, I couldn’t help but wonder how he had managed to eat a bucketful of mud under the watchful eye of such an attentive father. Chickie’s increased interest in fashioning food from household and garden materials is a bout of worms waiting to happen.

As fast as you apply his suntan lotion he’s licking it off, he wipes the Sudacrem off his bottom sucking it off his fingers like he’s just enjoyed a rack of bbq ribs. Playbark, sand, mud, leaves, gravel – they’ve all been sampled with utter disregard for mummy’s yelps of “NO!”, “PUT THAT DOWN NOW”, “DON’T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH”. Short of fitting a muzzle, I’m at a loss.

As the weekend was to be spent doing more gardening (yes, I’m still sodding doing it), Chickie was considered too pesky to remain at home after leaving a small yet highly identifiable handprint on mummy's freshly painted fence panel and attempting to eat more soil, so was taken out by a highly amenable Accountant.

Unfortunately, there was no one around to praise my relentless efforts and hard work or to mention that I had a snail sat on a leaf on top of my head. (I really did!)

07 June 2007

Top of The Tots

Motherhood throws many challenges into the face of the unsuspecting woman who wished she’d been more insistent about that headache the night all the trouble began. I can’t pinpoint one particular shock that was bigger than the rest as, for me, they’ve all been pretty massive. However, here's my Top 10:

10. The Smell
Sewage handling without the protective equipment. No one cares that you have to mop up poo all day. You don’t even get complimentary latex gloves in your Bounty Birthing Bag.

9. The Noise
One word. Earplugs. Get some.

8. The Guilt
Everything is ultimately your fault. If it isn’t, you feel as if it is. If you don’t feel as if it is, someone else will be thinking it is which brings me on nicely to Chart Entry No 7.

7. The Judgment
Glares, stares, shaking heads, tutting, shifty glances, irritated gasps, swift exits. These will all happen as a direct result of you taking your child out in public. How dare you.

6. The Worry
Whether your husband has just accidentally bounced your new three week old baby off of the floor boards or he’s snacking on some old bird poo that he found in the fire grate, baby will always be keeping mummy and daddy on their toes and on the brink of sanity.

5. That I’m Not As Scary As I’d Hoped
I seriously thought that if I shouted loud enough or stared menacingly for long enough, something 3 ft shorter than me would be intimidated into submission. Not my baby, he finds nothing more amusing in fact than a tomato red mummy bouncing round the house.

4. My Metamorphosis into a Hippopotamus
Argh, yes. My new hormone imbalance, insatiable appetite for anything chocolate coated and complete lack of exercise have found me replacing my fitted wardrobe (as in fitted me, not a fitted wardrobe) for something a bit baggier. Much like myself.

3. My Sudden and Glaring Awareness of all my Personality Flaws
Another favourite. When trotting along merrily pre-Chickie, I had no need to stop and analyse my patience, tolerance and general fluffiness levels. Yes, Accountant tested them often but I didn’t particularly care whether my reaction would scar him for life.

2. The Mess
Allow me to elaborate. Child is given some honey on toast, your basic finger food that, you’d think, would be a fairly safe unsupervised bet. However, when mummy looks up, toddler has fashioned a wholewheat propeller by poking his finger through the middle of the toast and is spinning it round and round, giggling like a movie baddie as hundreds of little sticky crumbs whizz around the room, creating a 1980’s stippled effect on mummy’s furniture. Tot is also sporting a new do thanks to the honey gel he’s liberally applied to his nice clean hair.

1.The Labour
The most fitting introduction to motherhood God could have designed. Bravo.

That said, there's simply nothing better than your own little sproglet.

03 June 2007

Glam-Nan, this is Chuckie, Chuckie, this is Glam-Nan

It was high time Glam Nan got acquainted with the new and disapproved of Chickie following her smug delivery of a seemingly reprieved baby who had behaved impeccably for his entire stay at her house. It’s annoying to say the least when you bemoan to your family that your child has been tormenting you endlessly with behaviour befitting an appearance on the “House of Horrors” and then suddenly throws the horns, cape and three pronged fork to one side, buffs his dusty halo, and spends his visit quietly plucking out the tune to Greensleeves on his harp.

It’s annoying for two reasons. Firstly, when a child is at it’s peak of best behaviour, it’s virtually impossible to imagine them in the throws of foot stomping, head rotating rage. Hence, mummy looks like a bit fat liar or, at the very least, an exaggerating whingebag. Secondly, when it comes to parenting, every person in the world believes that they, and they alone (even if they don’t have children) can handle the child or situation more adeptly than it’s mother. Hence, if baby is good at Nanna’s house, the good behaviour can be directly apportioned to said Nanna whose calm and patient manner was clearly just the approach baby needed to get back on track.

Gloaty Glam-Nan reeled off how he’d eaten all his dinner specially formulated to contain exactly the right amount of bowel movement inducing roughage, filled his nappy (as a result of specially formulated meal), slept through the night, even lying in until 7.45am without any tantrums or incident. Feeling betrayed, I feigned happiness, praising my underhand and treacherous child for being such a ‘good boy’ for Nanna.

On arrival the next day, Glam-Nan enquired as to Chickie’s spirits following his return. “He woke up at 5.45am and had a tantrum when I offered him a biscuit” I replied. “He slept in until 7.45am at our house” she said. “Yes, you mentioned that”.

As it was lawn laying day, Glam-Nan was taking Chickie out for the morning whilst Snowy and I did men’s work. As Glam-Nan pushed a chirping Chickie off down the road, she was still enjoying a self-congratulatory repartee with herself about his newly reformed character. Two hours later, and an hour earlier than scheduled, Glam-Nan could be heard frantically cooing from the front garden (she coos to attract attention, don't know why, just always has!). Snowy and I looked at each other, wondering why she was back so soon.

A distressed Glam-Nan explained how she had let Chickie out of his pushchair to let him have a little walk. An error on her part, she soon realised, when trying to wrangle a non compliant Chick back into his pushchair. An altercation that left a 5ft 1” pensioner, carrying a two stone sumo child whilst trying to push the offending pushchair. His second tantrum came when he wanted to push all the buttons in the lift. His third when she bundled him back into the pushchair and he wanted to do the harness up himself. His fourth, when she placed him in the highchair in the café. Then he went ballistic because he wanted to do that harness up too, writhing and screaming, “Mummy, Mummy” over and over.

Glam-Nan didn’t know which was worse, the disapproving glares of the other café customers as Chickie livened up their plans for a relaxing morning coffee or the disapproving glares of the other café customers who thought that, at 63, “Mummy” wasn't far off wearing nappies herself. Embarrassed by Chickie’s now uncontrollable sobbing and the curious glances, Glam-Nan decided no extra large cappuccino with extra chocolate sprinkles was worth it and collected her things, grateful for the emergency chocolate flake that the kind waitress shoved in Chickie’s mouth on exit, silencing him instantly.

“Oh no, that sounds awful” I sympathised, finding it hard to conceal my thorough enjoyment of her story, the smug Glam-Nan of earlier replaced by a dishevelled heap, collapsed on the sofa hugging a hot cup of tea for comfort.

I was also thoroughly amused today by Accountant’s mortification when Chickie repeatedly called him “Mummy” at the park in front of a real Mummy.

“I’m Daddy, Chickie, D. A. D. D. Y.!” Accountant responded, glancing up uncomfortably at the smirking woman pushing the little girl on the swing next to him.

“Mummy” said Chickie.