Monday, 2 March 2015

The show must go on..

Angel and Delight, having completed a full day at school are now whining in stereo at the injustice of having to do homework. I won’t back down and like an evil tiger mum I insist they get it done so that they can relax. 

Much huffing and puffing later and they reluctantly sit down and start.  Today I particularly want it out of the way because I have a kitchen designer coming round to tell me that I cannot afford to do anything to my kitchen. The designer arrives and Angel and Delight promptly decide that this is not an opportunity to be missed, they must put on an acrobatic show.  This mainly involves arms and legs flailing in all directions and the occasional leap over the sofa.  Kitchen designer is impressed.  I feel a slight pang of pride which is short lived when I realise that I have to collect Poppet from Nursery.  I usher everyone out and direct them to the car, I then redirect the kitchen designer to his own car and apologise profusely.

Having collected Poppet we make it home just in time to take our coats off when the builder arrives.  He has come to tell me that I cannot afford to do anything to my house. As we walk into the kitchen I am greeted with a rather large puddle and it seems to be growing.  On closer inspection we discover that it is coming from the washing machine.  Builder very kindly offers to “take a look” and proceeds to pull out the fridge and washing machine, the puddle is now a flood and so he switches off the washing machine and not letting go of Poppet I grab a mop.  At this moment I am made aware by some rather inappropriate lyrics that Angel and Delight have decided to perform an evening performance of their earlier matinee.  I peek through our serving hatch (yes we really have one, I feel like my nan every time I pop my head through) I am horrified to see the girls “Bwerking” (baby twerking) to a music channel or song they have managed to raise on You Tube called “Gay Hoe”.    I am stuck.  Stood in a flooding kitchen, baby in one hand and mop in the other, my poor builder on the floor trying to help and politely ignore my children accessing adult dance sites and getting drenched in the process. “Turn it off right now” I yell, trying to hold back the laughter and battling with myself because the mum in me is horrified and the teenager in me finds it hilarious, that and their ability to navigate their way round You tube and the speed at which they can find something totally inappropriate for their age.  It’s all too much.

Right on cue Poppet starts to wriggle and scream, her baby spidey senses have obviously told her that I need her to chill.  Builder tells me that it’s probably the drum and I should leave the washing machine switched off, “but it’s got their School Uniforms in it!” I shriek,   I know it is only Tuesday and this morning their clothes were beautifully clean but apparently rolling in mud and decorating oneself with ketchup and other substances I don’t think I wish to know about is now on the curriculum, hence the daily wash.  Only one set? I hear you cry, again I have good reason as Delight has taken to eating her uniform, that’s right it’s not a typo, she has a jolly good nibble and I have refused to buy any more until she stops.

 Finally I get everyone into bed.  Not the builder, or the kitchen designer! I have mopped up the floor, soothed Poppet and promised Angel and Delight that mummy will be discussing parental locks on the TV with daddy that very evening!  That night as I eventually get upstairs ready to flop into my bed, there they are, my little Angel and Delight, exhausted and fast asleep, snuggled up like sprawling starfish across the entire mattress softly breathing and dribbling on my sheets. I look at them in wonder, my gorgeous and growing little Bwerkers!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bonjour mummy of the night!

Delight, 4 and very importantly nearly 5, has informed me that she hates everything.  She hates sleeping, she hates her bedroom and she hates her swimming hat.  Furthermore we are all to speak in French from now on, which has proved to be slightly troublesome, as it's not the traditional version of French that you or I may be familiar with, but Delight's very own special concoction of sounds and squeaks which, like snow flakes, are never the same! I call it snowflake French.  Delight flares her nostrils and knits her brow at this which only encourages me more.

Apparently EVERYONE speaks French in the playground and Angel, in an unusual act of unity,  backs this up by informing me that ALL her friends watch French DVDs at home.  I am starting to feel slightly uneasy that I may have completely over looked a massive part of their learning.  It's obviously not enough that we have to battle for half an hour to get two pages of a book read or that no matter how many times we go over it, when you get to eleven, it does not go, eleventy one, eleventy two, eleventy three! I am now supposed to add French to the mix.

The following morning, whilst getting ready and wondering who to best question about the new found bilingual ability of everyone in the playground, Delight wanders in to my room.  She wishes to show me her new invention.  Having seen daddy talking "hands free" on his mobile she has invented "hands free teeth brushing". She promptly sticks the bottom of her toothbrush to my mirrored wardrobe and starts brushing by shaking her head.  I must say I am very impressed and just about to tell her so when she says "mummy, can you wear your hooker earrings today please" I beg your pardon!, for a moment I am completely stumped but a swift clarification tells me she is simply referring to my earrings without butterfly backs, nevertheless those earrings will somehow always summon an unwanted image for me now!

As for French as an extra curricula activity, I welcome it, I have even been on amazon to see if I can buy Frozen in French.  I have explained in no uncertain terms that Dora ( my absolute fave) the Explorer is Spanish speaking (thank god!) so I shall wait to see with this one, maybe it will pass, but like Frozen being pushed aside for High School Musical, I know there will always be some deep joy for me to look forward to!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy new year?

Happy New Year bla bla bla, "Did you have a good break?" it's like the words spring automatically from my lips, "yes yes all lovely thanks" lie, lie, it was stressful, expensive and messy, I over indulged and I'm hating that I've told everyone I'm doing dry January. But, it's all about the kids! Repeat repeat, they had a fabulous time which is what it is really all about. Bowing down to consumerist blackmail and shelling out money we don't have whilst half heartily telling our kids the real meaning of Christmas, which somewhere along the way has morphed into Spider-Man and Gary Barlow at the nativity. Sorry sorry, it's about giving and love, thank you Brown Owl!

Now we are in January and Angel is explaining that she has been praying to Janus to be more beautiful.  "That is preposterous" I say, Angel looks hurt "how can you possibly be more beautiful" I counter whilst googling this Janus. Right, Google tells me he is the Roman god of beginnings, doorways and exits,  we have a chat about what Google says then I quiz her to make sure she has been listening.  Angel has no idea I have googled him and still believes I know everything.  I am going to string this out for as long as possible.
Our chat is interrupted by a heavy and determined stomping peppered with a snort of disgust.  "that's just stupid" hello Delight.  She stands there with her hands out not quite knowing where to begin.  Delight is very clear that she has no time for religion or god ( except when she played Mary in the nativity, but that was all about pleasing her teacher and wearing the costume) the fact that she marched up to me and said " I'm jesus's mum, do I get lipstick and high heels?" May go someway toward explaining her priorities in the story of the birth of Christ.

The debate on religion rages on until I bring up homework, Delight hastily retreats to her bedroom whilst Angel, who is now praying for a unicorn has not noticed that I am rummaging through her book bag, she looks up but it is too late, I have blocked the entrance to the doorway, try praying to Janus for this one I think, and smirk, placing a mental star on my clever mummy chart.

 Angel has been asked to make a super hero costume over Christmas, deep deep joy.  This involves some serious planning as the lady in the fabric shop is not too keen on me.  This could be due to the fact that the last time I was there Delight had a melt down whilst poppet pulled everything in reach off the shelves.  With this in mind I ship out Delight and Poppet to a friend and venture on an expensive trip to Fabric Land.  later that night whilst all three lovely girls are fast asleep I set to work on Angels homework and once again curse myself for bloody dry January!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Ballet socks and tantrums

Angel and Delight have started ballet.
Whilst Angel listens intently to everything Miss Ballet, their patient teacher, says and executes it with desperate precision,  Delight thinks nothing of sitting on the floor in the middle of the lesson roaring at me because her plait is too fat.

I shall begin with the morning of ballet day. It had been a standard rainy, thundery, sizzling sunshine September day. I dropped Angel and Delight to their respective lines in the playground resplendent in their freshly pressed and boiled uniforms, ballet after all is on a Monday so we look particularly smart and have even managed to get there before the bell rings. Star for my clever mummy chart.

Poppet is hanging off me drooling teethy grins and waving weetabix encrusted hands at anyone who shows her attention.  Delight joins her friends and swiftly swaps to an American accent, they all stand there pretending to chew gum with one hand on their hip.  The pride I feel.

Delight is less easily persuaded to join her friends as she must stand practically on top of me, but at the same time I am to 'go awaaaaaay'.  I settle this by planting a loud and dramatic kiss on her cheek and pushing her into line. The new mothers are horrified, the ones who have done this before smirk and give me the ( it was me last week) look. 

Five minutes later it seems and I am back at the school gate to collect my charming children, having accomplished I'm not quite sure what other than coating Poppet in yet more layers of crusty food.  I am no longer embarrassed by this.  I lock eyes with Angel who is waiting patiently for me to collect Delight but as I scan the playground I cannot see her.  At this moment a bedraggled little thing with hair sticking up everywhere, face splattered in mud wearing a dress three sizes too big wanders into view, She sees me and grins " I got so muddy I even had to change my knickers" she says lifting up her dress for the whole playground to see, she is clearly very proud of this accomplishment.  Her teacher looks at me apologetically and hands me a bag with clothes that are now only fit for the bin. " she found some muddy puddles, she's quite energetic isn't she!" Ah the tireless diplomacy of teachers. I smile at her and hope that she reads this as " it's ok, the very fact that you have managed to persuade her to get dressed into some clean clothes and not to wander out in just her pants wins my vote"

So off we go, I manage to remove the mud from Delights face and get her changed but she has decided that she likes the grey socks that she had to borrow from lost property and informs me that she will be keeping them on for ballet. "Fine" I say
"I need to do your hair again though" I get the scowl. I continue anyway. I manage to neaten her up to the best of my ability and send her into ballet only to be summoned ten minutes later by Miss Ballet who has motioned for me to come to the door and watch my children.
I peek in, pride and despair merge as I witness Angel leaping gracefully about whilst Delight in pink tutu and long grey socks sits in the middle of the hall floor yelling      "my plait is too fat, I can't do it with a fat plait" 

On our way I home I put some music on for the girls, a little bit of frozen, more stars for my fabulous mummy chart. I  loose myself in the music and start belting out 'let it go' I am just working up to the key change when Angel taps me on the shoulder. Looking very serious she says " mumeeee, I don't mind you joining in but could you please lip sync!" 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

World Book Joy

I have had an email from Angels school.  Please can your beloved child dress up as a character from a book this Thursday. Last year I found out by accident the day before, this year I was ready, I wasn't prepared, I just knew it was coming and was waiting for divine inspiration that never came.  Fortunately for me Angel came home with her mind made up. She will be going to world book day as Jasmine from Aladdin.

I am at my mothers and moaning about how we have been unable to agree on a proper character from an actual book when my mother without a word or any glance in my direction simply raises an eyebrow.  This small facial manoeuvre speaks volumes, I shall interpret. " honestly darling have we taught you nothing, the buck doesn't stop with Walt Disney, these stories and folk tales have been around for hundreds of years, for goodness sake there is a library across the road if Google is unable to assist you"
I stand corrected and satisfied that I am not going to make an unnecessary blundering apology about Angels costume my mothers eyebrow returns to its rightful position.

We now have the problem of the gaping midriff .. It's not a simple case of a little peak at the belly button every time she reaches her little hands to the sky, the top finishes just under her ribs and the trousers barely cover her hips .  "Teacher says if you say it's ok then I can wear it"  I look at her, my eyebrow is making an involuntary climb, I have obviously inherited the answering without speaking capability of my mother but Angel is choosing not to notice, she folds her arms and puts her foot slightly forward and taps it on the floor "well?" She demands.  I am horrified by her attitude and both eyebrows make a reflexive leap almost off my face.  Angel realises she has gone too far. She quickly retracts the foot and uncrossed her arms " fine" she says.  "uh?" I say "sorreeeeee" she says.  We finally agree that a leotard under her costume would be a sensible option not to mention a slightly warmer one.

So to recap, we have had a family debate about the history of books, how to correctly select the appropriate costume for world book day and a quick lesson on manners all with our eyebrows and a monosyllabic grunt.  I'd say that's at least 2 stars for my chart.

Friday, 28 February 2014

To read or not to read

When we introduced our newest daughter, Poppet, I told the girls how lovely it would be for her to hear them reading, and even if they couldn't yet read they were to use their imaginations and look at the pictures to make up a story.
Yes, thank you I shall put a gold star on my clever mummy chart.

Last week as I put Poppet in her chair I asked Angel if she would like to read her a story.  "Oh yes please" she replied and chose  Thumbelina.  My heart swelled as she described in detail the clothes the characters wore and the different voices she used.
The next day, not to be outdone, Delight asks if she might read the same book, thrilled that she is showing such an interest in both her baby sister and in books I rush off to get Thumbelina.  As I return to the front room I can hear Delight, sans book, animatedly retelling the story Delight style "then the frog got out his gun, bang bang, but she wasn't deaded, just her foot was, and there was blood everywhere!" Delightful Delight.
"What are you doing sweetheart?" I ask, "using my madge nation " she replies proudly.  "Oh I see, and what about the guns, where did you see those?" I enquire mentally flipping through every film we have ever watched. Delight goes silent and feels she is being told off.  "You are telling a lovely story darling, but perhaps without the guns and blood" I encourage.  Delight is cross and Poppet who seemed to be quite enjoying the story throws me what can only be described as a frown, she's five months old! Brilliant.
I change the subject, "how about a DVD." I say enthusiastically. Delight has forgotten she was cross and asks "can it be the one with the dinosaurs and the blood?"  Angel adds that she doesn't feel it is appropriate ( her actual words) she is more a Mary Berry fan.  We flick through the different titles, no one can agree until I see it lying dusty at the bottom of the pile.  Usually Dora the Explorer is banned in our house because I can't stand her irritating whiney voice and it makes me physically cringe when the girls say "oh maaaaaan", but after Angel told me she had learnt all about the Great Wall of China from her I have decided to give her another go.  Delight is quite happy and Poppet is about to be fed again so it's similes all round. Now where did I put my ear phones?

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Jellyfish in the Cotswolds

It was a rare moment between putting Poppet to bed and sending Angel and Delight up to get changed and brush their teeth.  If I'm honest I knew that they would be doing neither but I took the opportunity to sit quietly on the sofa and catchup on Facebook.
After fifteen minutes and much thudding and laughing they appear red in the face and wincing ever so slightly.
Without prompting and looking almost proud they lift up their tops to reveal their soft little tums covered In what look like jellyfish stings. I only know this because I saw a documentary on jellyfish recently and I'm almost certain that we do not have any floating about in the bathroom of our house in the Cotswolds.
"What have you been doing?" I ask completely intrigued but not really sure if I want to know either.  "Watch this" says Angel as she again lifts up her top and stands back.  I then hear an almighty roar as Delight, who wouldn't be out of place on the battle scene in Braveheart, comes charging towards her with a sink plunger in her hand. As she makes contact she immediately pulls away again and Angels tummy goes shloooop! they both fall about the floor in fits of giggles.

I picture myself explaining these strange markings on my children to the school, "you see her sister was running at her with a plunger" I mentally reach for my wine. My glass seems bigger than it was yesterday, I am pleased that even in times of mental parental strain my imagination remains in tact, I put another star on my imaginary clever mummy chart. When I fill my chart I get a bottle of wine.  I have had fifteen stars today and I only need ten to fill the chart so that means 1.5 bottles of wine, but if I'm really in need I'm sure I can borrow some stars from tomorrow's fabulousness! The children don't know about my chart, they would consider my achievements trivial and star allocation unfair, for example, open one eyelid, one star, open the other, one star, successfully distribute breakfast to the right mouths, one baby, two little people, one cat, three goldfish - two stars and so on.

I remove the plunger from them, I think they are secretly relieved, they rub their little tummies and make their way upstairs.  Ten minutes later, teeth brushed and they are fast asleep, exhausted from their new game.  I look at the time 1857, that's 3 gold stars!