29 August 2007

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It's SuperPants

Oh Oh Oh They're Magic
Now that my flesh coloured, waist height magic knickers (currently blowing in the breeze on the washing line, cloaked by a large towel after wearing them for ten agonising and intensely elasticated hours yesterday) are a big part of my life and my blog, public outings both on and off, have become increasingly regular.

As no one has taken me aside to explain required etiquette of the semi-public airing of one’s smalls, or in our case, larges, I have devised a cunning strategy to disguise the XXL Boxer Shorts with a hole in exactly the place you’d expect Accountant to have made one, aforementioned giant pants and padded bras that weigh down our line and credibility.

I remember our old next door neighbour used to proudly peg up a bountiful array of miniscule lacy thongs in a rainbow of racy colours which used to leave Accountant drooling at the back bedroom window like a fifteen year old.

With a bottom all wrong for thongs, I peg my M&S car covers on the West (where our neighbour is too old to focus) with something larger and more attractive to the East (where younger 20/20 vision couple reside). If they are super-sized and, therefore, super embarrassing, they are hung to the North West end of the line, where extra privacy is afforded by the parasol.

Whilst this strategy currently works well for me, I remain interested in what lengths, if any, other big panted women, partial to outdoor airing, go to in order to disguise their blubber covers. Answers on an email to peaseyweasey@yahoo.co.uk please.

28 August 2007

Chickie's Party Piece

Ignore, what I now realise from watching these clips, is my very odd laugh and just check out my baby's eyebrows. Genius.

26 August 2007

Blue Fringe Benefits

As Chickie happily watched two bunnies getting jiggy with it at Haskins Garden Centre, a cunning plan was hatching between two mummies, one of whom was me.

It had all begun when something blue and tassely was kindly popped into a party bag with Chickie’s name on it the day before. He’d had a lovely time at his friend’s birthday party until daddy had whipped out the fringed noisemaker and tooted it in his face. A terror-struck Chick fastened himself to Mummy sobbing. It took half an hour to lever him off.

When I rediscovered the noisemaker the next day, I gave it a whirl, not thinking that the child engrossed in Thomas the Tank Engine Episode 3452 –“The One Where Thomas Cops Another Strop” would be phased by distant gazooing. “CUGGLE, CUGGLE” he shrieked, springing into my arms where he clung, shaking. When he spotted the blue tassels on the worktop, glimmering in the sunlight, he began climbing up my body, hysterical.

When I retold events to my friend ‘M’ later that day she happened to joke what a handy tool such a device would be for disciplinary purposes. “Why, yes it would!” I realised, stroking my double chin menacingly, wondering how best to sterilise it after it had sat stewing in the bin all afternoon.

Recalling the sound of Chickie’s mocking laughter as he’d sat on the naughty step and flashbacking to the time he rammed stones into his mouth defiantly, biting me as I tried to scoop them out, I was spurred on. Yes, this plan was excellent, I liked it a lot.

As soon as I got home, Operation ‘Naughty Noisemaker’ got underway. As I retrieved, scrubbed and buffed my hope for a brighter future, Chickie wandered in to see what all the smug chuckling was about. Eyeing me suspiciously, he caught a glimpse of metallic blue fringe. And that was all it took.

After Chickie had laid on my lap in the foetal position for a good 45 minutes, his small body racked by the occasional sob, I decided we couldn’t afford the counselling fees and the ‘Naughty Noisemaker’, along with all it's promise, was thrown into the bin once more. Chickie watched it go and now drives round the house on his little red car using the recently developed bin-bypass.

Unrelated but, as I can now upload video: take 4 new parents, some babysitters and ....

18 August 2007

Windowlene'd Pets and A Baby Called Shrek

The most dramatic thing to happen this week has been the untimely demise of my washing line as it ‘pinged’ into two smaller unusable washing lines under the strain of my 20th load of post-holiday laundry. That, coupled with the packing, preparation and general bad attitude of children and husbands when abroad, has me wondering whether a ‘holiday’ in the true sense of the word [a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment] can or will ever be had again.

A recurring soundtrack of washing machine rinse cycles, Chickie’s squeals of general dissatisfaction and Ringo Star’s droning as Thomas gets into yet another debate with Percy about whether blue engines are more useful than green, now accompanies my every move whilst at home or away.

The shroud of cloud that has engulfed England for the last three months is turning me into the granny version of Kate Winslet in Titanic, with pruney hands, a sallow complexion and too many daily sproutings of fresh white hairs to cull. The initial buzz of spending Accountant’s bonus on a new French wardrobe and bike now fading as constant downpours prevent my anticipated jaunts to the local co-op to purchase baguettes, sitting atop my shiny new bike with Le Chickié behind, looking all stripey and continental. Mais non.

It’s not all misery though. A few things have happened that have temporarily lifted my spirits.

My friend Jules has produced a new sproglet. A baby girl named ‘Shrek’ to add to her growing collection of baby girls.

Glam-Nan amused me with an update on a friend’s little boy, one year older and naughtier that Chick who ‘Windowlene'd’ his pet guinea pigs (both alive and well, and with no smears) and then wee’d up his dad’s suit by way of farewell as he left to go to work for the day.

Accountant tried out a new hair-do after repeated requests from friends and family that something should really be done about his very Accountant shaped head. After five minutes blow-drying and an introduction to hair straightener’s, Accountant’s new do was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, he found nothing amusing about the voluminous 3” poker straight Elvis quiff I created. It took five applications of water and lots of tutting to flatten it.

Incidentally, Jules’ new baby isn’t really called ‘Shrek’, it’s really ‘Collette’. Eloise, her big sister (aged 3), came up with a more pronounceable alternative which, personally, I rather like.

P.S. Windowlening furry things is bad, don't do it.

14 August 2007

I'll Have the Hamburger Please...

The problem with being confined to a rusty old ferry, bouncing it’s way across the English Channel, is the distinct lack of hiding places on board. Not necessarily an issue for your average foot passenger but it is for me. Why? Because strange people love me, they’re drawn to me like toddlers to milk chocolate buttons.

As my new Belgian acquaintance and her toothless beau scrolled through their full mobile photographic catalogue of Toto, the dead dog, I marvelled at how the simple act of getting up and walking down the corridor in search of a restaurant where food was on plates rather than the floor, had resulted in this bizarre over-familiar exchange. An exchange I could see being as long and choppy as our ride to France.

The sound of ripping Velcro refocused my attention from my ‘Cunning Escape Plan’ to the "Look At My Gruesome Arm Injury” show. As she whipped off the plastic cast that concealed an 8” scar on her forearm, I once again found myself speechless, struggling to find the appropriate words in the face of beloved pets departed and disturbing mutilation.

Our unscheduled trip to France had been a flight of whim and fancy on my part, booking it up the day before after negotiating a rate with the French hostess to her husband’s unmuted background screams of, “NON! NON! Bleu bleu bleu… (something in French, I couldn’t understand, but I imagine along the lines of “NO, NO, zat cheeky English madam, she cannot ‘ave ‘zee money off, NO NO, I will zimply not allow zit!) ”. Thankfully, it would seem women are the same the world over as she overruled him, the rate was agreed and we were on our way to meet ‘zee scary ‘usband’.

As we entered France under the cover of darkness, it was only a matter of minutes before we were lost, repeatedly driving past a man balancing one legged on a 2ft wall, arms outstretched as if negotiating a death defying tightrope without the safety of a net. To be fair, when you’re that drunk, it’s quite an achievement. Each time we passed, he bowed theatrically, seemingly pleased that we appreciated his talent so much, we kept driving back for more. The scenery wasn’t as attractive as I’d hoped, the chateaus and vineyards I’d envisioned replaced by giant sardine cans of industry. Sardine cans, it would transpire later, that were home to shops. Big ones!

When we awoke the next morning, the familiar pitter patter of tiny feet and rain, greeted our ears. An intolerable combination that cast a depressing sepia tone over the next five days. Accountant’s sorrowful face as another day of trawling retail outlets lay before him was almost too much to bear. Thankfully, I’m highly skilled in the art of ignoring him, so shopping recommenced with gusto. When Chickie’s face took on a similar droop and I’d tried on enough pairs of trousers to realise that, in France, I was a size bigger and a foot shorter, I knew the gig was up.

A nice lunch would lift our spirits and give us a chance to rethink activities. Ten minutes on and my spirits were certainly lifting. “I think I’ve ordered a hamburger” said Accountant, having panicked under the waiter’s impatient stare and ordered in haste. One circular portion or raw mince with a raw egg garnish later and Accountant realised a hamburger, it most definitely was not. “What am I going to do?” he whispered, leaning in, keeping lip movement to a minimum so as not to attract attention from the adjoining French table. Discretion being my middle name, I zoomed in with my camera to capture the moment, the flash bulb of my camera, coupled with my laughter, focused two more pairs of neighbouring eyes onto Accountant’s confused little face.

Now under intense scrutiny and needing to act, Accountant moved his hand slowly towards his fork. One lump of raw mince made it’s approach and in it went. Whilst I appreciate that ‘Steak Tartare’ is a delicacy to the cultured, to the e-coli / listeria / cjd / salmonella (delete as applicable) fearing Great British general public, it holds little appeal.

At this point, the French ladies intervened, helpfully pointing out that the egg (raw) and accompanying green stuff needed to be mixed into the mince (raw) before consumption. Personally, I’d have recommended 30 minutes at 190°c before consumption, but who was I to interfere. Thanking them for their input and encouragement, Accountant knew he now had no choice but to eat it all and, bless his heart, he did. The French ladies were very proud of their protégé, assuring him he was now “a big brave man”. The rest of the day was spent monitoring big, brave man’s vital signs to ensure his bacteria cocktail didn’t require treatment with antibiotics.

On our final day, the sun shone, the bucket and spade were removed from their netting and we went to ‘La Plage’. Chickie had a wonderful time throwing sand at mummy and daddy. Mummy had a rotten time removing every grain of sand from absolutely everything. Daddy dug a big hole with a specially purchased ‘big’ spade. Daddy repeatedly told Chickie off for throwing sand back into his special big hole and made a request that pesky, anti-hole Chickie be kept away whilst digging was in progress.

That night, as I went to bed, sand grating my legs despite my shower, I realised that family holidays were going to take a lot more thought in future. Impromptu jaunts, whilst a lovely idea, weren’t going to work anymore. Sproglets and husbands need sand, spades and holes to keep them happy. Mummies need big shopping cans, cappuccinos and sproglets/husbands who love to watch them shop and sip chocolate sprinkled beverages. A problem, you might agree.

The only solution, as pitched to Accountant, is clearly a biannual all expenses paid girlie shopping trip abroad to ensure all ‘family’ holidays focus solely on digging and whatever other means of entertainment two boys and a spade can conjure.

13 August 2007

Holiday Blues

A blog is coming. We've just got back from the French version of Milton Keynes so the associated joys of washing, ironing, food shopping, washing, ironing, washing, ironing have suppressed my spirits and availability to produce witty ditties until at least tomorrow. Even then, more ironing awaits.

02 August 2007

Shopping With Toddlers - Just Don't!

Remember 'Perfect Poffy'? Well just look at her now.

I listened with interest as Wuce listed Poff's most recent anti-social activities which included terrorising 'Midge' the cat whenever he ventures out from behind the sofa, screaming 'Pat Now!' by way of request that her Postman Pat cd be played at once, turning purple from rage when strapped into her buggy and spending increasing amounts of time practising her Tae Kwun Do moves. Next time Grandma tried to put her down for her afternoon nap, Poff was going to be ready.

As I waited downstairs with Poff and Chickie, whilst Wuce visited strange new floors in the furniture shop, where no buggy had gone before or would be going any time soon, I nurtured Poff's new foraging interest, encouraging her to stick her finger as far up her nose as her nasal cavity would allow. The new naughty Poff was only too happy to oblige and I knew how pleased Wuce would be that her daughter had acquired a brand new skill in the time it had taken her to walk up and down one flight of stairs.

As they were pushed from shop to shop in hot pursuit of the perfect wedding outfit i.e. bottom flattening, belly skimming, boob enlarging, dumpy leg extending, bingo wing camouflaging, skin tone enhancing and tan mark complying, Poff was particularly helpful, shaking her head in disgust at the shocking pink lycra number and remarking "gor-jush" to the skintight stripey red dress, although I had serious reservations largely centred around "skin" and "tight".

Chickie, genetically predisposed to being a retail menace, chose to miss the Flump fashion show, opting instead for a tug of war with a disapproving shop assistant. Five minutes of "let go!" later and the pink velour jumper was finally released from his grubby clutches. Or so I thought, when I turned around a minute later, the pull had recommenced, same jumper, same shop assistant. Chickie conceded when the call of nature distracted him momentarily. The shop assistant scuttled off to escape the fumes, clutching the pink jumper victoriously.

The afternoon flew by in a haze of nappy changes, frantic costume changes, counselling sessions following my entanglement in a medium sized dress, more counselling when the large wasn't as large as I'd hoped. Wuce remained calm as she watched me buggy dash around Zara, throwing anything under £45 on top of my sleeping child. "Is this too black for a wedding? is the cream too cream for my skin tone? is this too short? is this too young? what will go with this? oh dear God, what am I going to wear?".

When the babies woke up from their naps during my third trying on of the "is this too black? dress", those shoppers still awaiting a changing room opted for vacancies farthest away from us rather than venture down the end where a half dressed, stressed out mummy stood with her sobbing baby clinging to her like a tree frog.

It was our cue to leave, empty handed, unless you count the miserable toddler suckered to my side and the guilty burden of having confined him to a buggy all afternoon.