Quiet, if ouchy, Weekend

We’d had some fancy plans to get out and about this weekend – long, long walks along the coast, maybe get the kids out doing a gentle bit of climbing, perhaps even get some bike seats on the back of bikes and GET OUT there!  But no – both me and The Boss are wounded soldiers, so we had a stay-at-home weekend instead.

I got hurt first.  Midi Minx had been up most of Thursday night with ever-flowing thick green snot which gave her a constant cough.  So she’d woken up pale and “I not feelin’ vewy wllll”, so I’d kept her at home with me.  She fell asleep in the car on the way home from Shoppity-Shop.  Friday was a very windy day.  As I leaned in to the car to unstrap a sleeping Midi, the car door blew in on my leg HARD.  Holy-shamoley, I clenched my teeth so hard I nearly broke them.  The pinch on my shin bone smarted a lot, despite thick jeans and my Trout-like leg blubber.  The resulting blood blister got so big it burst, so I have a 1cm diameter raw bit of skin on my shin and an achy bruise.  Youch!

Friday night, no-one got much sleep.  Midi came into our bed 3 times that I’m aware of; Maxi came in twice; The Boss took Mini Minx in on one of the occasions that he ousted her sisters instead of me, but I didn’t hear her crying.  They came back in again.  Our bed isn’t big enough for 2 adults, a baby, a wriggling octopus and a huggy bear, so he made Maxi walk back to bed and carried Midi.  It was dark, he was tired, they’d been playing with their toys before they went to bed.  He’s not sure what he stepped on, but he went over on his ankle, fell forward and bashed his knee on something else.  His leg doubled up under him, so he gave his knee a right wrench as well as a bang.  The thump woke me and Mini up, Midi roared in fright (he’d managed somehow to stop her hitting her head on anything) and The Boss might have let out a wee swear word or two.

On Saturday, the sight of poor Bossman hobbling around made my Little List of Jobs for him evaporate.  OK, I think the foot-dragging was a bit of over-acting, but he really was in pain.  I administered strong anti-inflammatories and we settled down for a day that required no walking about or even being very awake: I cleared some clutter upstairs and the Minxes dug the ever-growing mole hill in the garden.  When they got tired, I tasked them with baking the egg-free chocolate cake my friend sent me, and adapting it to fit some rose-shaped silicon moulds.  I tried putting roll-on icing over the buns and the main cake, but it looked like it was bumpy, shoddy icing, rather than a bunch of roses.  Still, they tasted fantastic!

Midi spent a lot of the morning running between me, The Boss and Maxi with her Etchasketch-with-a-Pencil type toy tucked under her arm.  “Yes?” she’d ask, holding the pencil aloft above the pad, for all the world like a waitress.  So I cheekily said, “A coffee, a coffee and walnut cake and a glass of water on the side”.  As I listed each thing, she made a big line in the pad, like she was writing down an order.  She also looked at me attentively throughout.  Then she scuttled off to yell her ‘order’ to Maxi, and demanded that she cook it NOW (poor Maxi Minx was playing with her dolly, her look of bemusement was a picture).  She raced back to me, holding an imaginary tray above her head, then threw it all at me and demanded money.  Hmmm, wonder which restaurant she’s copying?! 

Today (Sunday) we managed to get into the garden centre to choose the seeds of the veg we’re I’m going to grow this year.  The girls were all so well-behaved we treated them to juice and a wee cake – I think they’re cottoning-on to this behave = reward thing.  A quick play at the swings blew a lot of cobwebs away as well as some of The Boss’s big fry-up breakfast.  I defied death (a loose roof tile is lying at a cheeky angle on the roof, ready to fall on the car or a minx) and nipped round the outside of the house, washing the sticky sea salt / maltings stuff / building site muck off the downstairs windows.  The Boss hobbled out to change the winter tyres back to standard (so if it dumps it with snow tomorrow, it’s all his fault).

We also stopped to get rid of the stuff I’d de-cluttered yesterday at the recycling centre.  And ended up picking up 2 girls’ bikes for Midi and Maxi Minx for £4 each.  The Boss is the family cyclist (I usually sit on the back of the tandem as talking ballast) so gave them a good look over and declared them a “fantastic bargain”.  They really were – the chain had slipped off one and the other had lost the strap of the dolly bike seat, but otherwise they were in great nick.  They hardly need cleaning, even!  So a bit of soap, water, oil and 2 pairs of stabilisers and the kids are on wheels!  Yippee!

Pirate Dinn-arrrrrr

Maxi Minx’s favourite saying is “A-har me hearties!”, accompanied by an arm swing and wink.  In honour of her endless love of all things pirate, I made a Pirate Dinner tonight.

It was just mashed potatoes, sausage, broccoli, carrot, gravy, but the kids loved it.

  • Put the mash in the middle of the plate: ISLAND
  • Cook the broccoli with long stalks still attached.  Either lay it on the plate as a 2D palm tree or stick it in the island: PALM TREES
  • Fry sausages and put them at the side of the potato in a cross: X MARKS THE SPOT
  • Dribble gravy round the bottom of the mash: SEA (though Maxi informed me it was like the Midnight Zone, according to CBeebies’ Octonauts)
  • Cut the carrots in rings and put in a high-sided container in the middle of the table, with a big spoon.  Everyone has to serve themselves: DIG FOR TREASURE (GOLD COINS)

Maxi, Midi and The Boss were hugely tickled by it at least.

Dinner Fit For Fussy Pirates

Grooo - too many gold coins and palm trees!

Shoppity-Shop

Being a Trout, I hate shopping.  I’m indecisive by nature (so get stressed with too much selection), I hate dithering (so get stressed by my own indecision, and detest bimblers), don’t like parting with money, am ashamed to ‘consume’ so much (in terms of goods – I’m greedy too, but we’re not talking about food, here) and would rather be tramping up a green and brown hill than a grey pavement.  Don’t even start me off on talking about my fellow pedestrians..!

Oh all right, quick mini rant on pedestrians.  Why oh why oh why can’t they come with brake lights or indicators?  It’s difficult not to walk up someone’s heels, or rather, push a buggy up someone’s heels, if they stop suddenly, or change direction just as you’ve manouevred yourself and a heavy double buggy and baggage into a bit of space.  Trust me, when I get going with my little entourage I have the turning circle and braking distance of the QEII!  And on that note, don’t go expecting me to manouevre round you.  I don’t really care if your corns and high heels are killing you, unless you are infirm, very old, or have a heavier load than me, *you* give way to *me*.  Nowadays I enjoy the passive aggression of mutely stopping the buggy and stubbornly refusing to steer around when meeting head to head with some daft bimbo/himbo who’s too busy admiring their swishy hair or spotty complexion in shop windows to step out of the way.  When I’m walking about town on my own (yep, that once-a-year experience), I get out of everyone’s way.  But I absolutely will not rip my stomach muscles even further apart by unnecessarily pushing a heavy double buggy (12kg) plus a 10kg baby plus a 17kg toddler plus bags plus stubborn 18kg minx.  Grrrrr.  Maybe *I* should come with a horn.  A big juggernaut air-horn.

And breathe.  I shop only when I have to (ie it’s cheaper to go get my necessary goods myself).  To be fair, though, today was ok.  Only Maxi Minx was in nursery today because Midi Minx declared, “I not feelin’ vewy wlllll”.  She was still exuding ectoplasm-goo-snot and had a bit of a pink eye, so I decided she could come cheer me up around my local town.  Well, she left her inner minx at home and was a Very Grown-Up Little Helper all morning.  Perhaps she was so chatty and giggly because we could actually hold a sustained conversation without being interrupted by Little Miss Chatterbox (Maxi)?  Whatever the reason, we’d a very productive zip round town, in and out of the 10 shops I had to go to (don’t ask…).  We made each other laugh, she made her baby sister laugh, we blethered and the boring torture that was shopping went very quickly.

Best bit of shopping: zipping round ASDA with Midi stroking Mini and cooing, “I love you, Baby Sister” while Mini blew a 20 minute razzberry, pausing only to inhale.

I couldn’t praise her good behaviour any more, so stopped for coffee, scone, tiffin, apple juice, breadstick, breastmilk (guess who had what?) at the local incredibly baby-friendly cafe as a special treat.  Well, that and the fact that Midi was going on about, “I HUNG-gry!” every few seconds from 1000hrs.  I don’t know why – she polished off 3 bowls of Cheerios, 4 beakers of milk and a banana for breakfast (the resulting poo this afternoon would have embarrassed an elephant.  It poked out 2 sides of the potty, FGS!)

The other part of today that was a lot of fun was checking out all the bulbs bursting into flower in my grey back garden.  I need to post photos.  I’m tickled pink that we have a single snowdrop (yesss!!) as well as one mini iris and a few pots of crocusses.  Best of all, the rhubarb crown I bought last Autumn and thought had rotted and died has burst into vibrantly-pink life.  Thank goodness I was too lazy and disappointed to dispose of it.

D’you what I reckon has really made me feel so good today?  THE SUN SHONE!!  Gosh, I’ve missed it!

The Gall Of It

My gallstones were ultrasounded this morning.  It was lucky I got there – because I’ve been referred by work’s doctor, the appointment went to work, before they sent it out to me.  So I found out about it yesterday afternoon.  There wasn’t enough time to sort out childcare, so luckily The Boss’s boss accepted gracefully that he was going to come in late today after minding his kids (well, can you imagine the minxes running amok in an x-ray department?!)

I now have “many moderate-sized stones”.  I asked what constitutes ‘moderate’; the sonographer said ‘about a centimetre across’.  Blimey.  Though she did point out that biggies are less likely to get stuck in a duct than diddlies.  I guess.  So now I just need to wait a week or so for work’s dr to decide what to do with me.  My liver function test came back normal, so I’ve no idea what she’ll recommend I have done.  Get by with the odd monthly whinge?  I think I said before, my main fear is of having a bad attack while I’m alone with the minxes.  A *really* bad attack leaves me just concentrating on breathing in and out for 5 or 6 hours, nothing more.  How could I even get to the phone to call for help?  What would the kids get up to in the meantime?  How frightened would they be with me lying on the floor vomiting and moaning?  (Previous bad attacks were luckily at night, with The Boss holding the fort).  Hmmm, better to whip the bugger out with some advance warning so I can organise childcare and some help for a week or so.  I wonder if that’ll be possible?

Since I saw her (work’s dr – sorry, I went off on one), I got a stash of strong painkillers and a most impressive bruise (it took 2 people and a fair few stabs to get 2 phials of blood).  I’ve also been too scared to eat fatty pork or my usual tiny-slice-of-toast-to-accompany-my-butter breakfast.  So that’s good!  Long may that continue.  And I’ve had time to remember my Dad’s gallbladder op.  Yikes.  (Though if I ended up getting a long cut like that, I’d ask for my split stomach muscles and little hernia to be fixed at the same time…)

Of Mice and Minxes

My mother-in-law was visiting last week and lavished the minxes with gifts.  Maxi Minx left her a little gift of her own:

“Here, Grandma, this is for you”, Maxi smiled.  “It’s only for grown-up ladies like you.  I chose you a pink one, specially!”

MIL hardly knew what to say, other than ‘thanks!’ at being presented with a tampon, still in its pink-edged wrapper.

Trout’s Bolognaise Recipe

I just realised I’ve never logged my standard, eat every day of the week if I could get away with it, bolognaise recipe.  Well, it’s not a bolognaise, more like a meat and veg jumble.  Anyway, I thought it might be an idea to jot it down so the kids can recreate the taste of their childhood if I happen to cark it before they learn to make it themselves.  It’s nothing special, but the minxes really love it.  The only way to stop Maxi from talking sometimes is to ask her if she would rather have lasagne or macaroni and cheese for dinner: she’ll really struggle over that one.  (Don’t add ‘sausages’ as another option or her wee brain will burst).

Ingredients

3 celery sticks
3 medium carrots
big onion or 2 medium ones
4 – 6 cloves of garlic
half a tube of tomato puree
500g beef mince
heaped teaspoon of mixed herbs (Italian seasoning, Provencal mix, whatever)
bay leaf if you can be bothered
loads of ground pepper
500g pork mince
little packet pancetta
tin or 2 of plum tomatoes
carton of passata
glass of red wine or some beef stock

Method

* Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a big casserole pot and a big frying pan.  Put the casserole pot on to a lowish heat, and the frying pan on to medium-high

* Chop the celery and carrot and fry / sweat in the casserole

* At the same time, fry the chopped onion.  Don’t let it go brown.  When it’s cooked-ish, add the finely chopped garlic.  Push around for a bit.

* Scrape it into the casserole and mix around.

* Fry beef mince in the frying pan.  At the end, add herbs and bay leaf and ground pepper.  I don’t add salt because the pancetta has some, and it’s easy for adults to add some to theirs when it’s done.  Scrape into casserole

* Fry pork mince in the frying pan.  While you’re doing that, add the tomato puree to the casserole.  Give it a good mix.  Add tinned tomatoes, passata, stock/wine.  Mix well.  Scrape pork mince into casserole.  Stir it in.

* Fry pancetta and add to casserole.

* Bring casserole to bubble, add lid, and leave it simmering gently for 2 hrs

It always tastes better reheated, so after a few hours I tend to divide it into portions.  This lot will do about 4 portions for my hungry zoo.

Lasagne

Use a portion of bolognaise.  Layer it with lasagne pasta and bechamel sauce (3 layers of each: pasta, then bolognaise, then bechamel).  After 9th layer, add good grating of red leicester and parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30 mins at 200degC.

I don’t know about proper bechamel sauce, but I make it by melting 40g butter, add 40g plain flour and a good grating of nutmeg.  Stir and stir and stir.  Slowly add about 400ml full fat milk.  Stir and stir and stir till it comes to the boil.  I always end up making it too runny and cursing.

Little Swimmers

So today was Maxi Minx’s asessment in this block of swimming lessons.  She’s been doing really well, swimming a whole length of the learner pool with a recognisable back-crawl.  Sometimes.  When she doesn’t get distracted halfway.  Or twisted goggles.  Or remembers a new joke she’s bursting to tell everyone. <proud mummy nonetheless> Today she completely forgot how to ‘windmill’ her arms, but still managed to get a B.  I didn’t mean to sound surprised when her grade was announced, it was just the way my voice squeaked when I said, “Really?  Wow!”  I gave her a huge hug, even though I’ve always focussed more on: was it fun? Did you enjoy it? Did you like jumping in the deep end? Did you make the biggest splash?

There are 3 other kids (boys) in the class, and Maxi’s been having hassle from 2 of them.  No one else is being pushed around.  It’s nothing major: just pushing, shoving, splashing.  I’ve heard her shout “Stop it!” at one of them, and I’m happy that she’s standing up for herself.  The boys all look about a year older than her.  The teacher doesn’t stop them.  While Maxi’s holding her own, I don’t want to step in either.  Though the week before last I was hormonal enough to have leapt over the cafe barrier and hauled the kid out the water with my angry laser eyesight alone, had he touched her.

Anyway, today I got a good look at the mother of the ringleader of the shoving.  Well, I heard and smelled her first.  Confucius say “Heavy perfume bad move anyway, doubly so when mixed with eau-de-bleach and chlorine-water.  Dimbo!”  Bleached yellow hair ‘artfully’ pulled back (looked like it took her hours to achieve that ‘whimsical, tousled’ look), a ton of slap, clothes like she walked out of Glamour magazine.  I’m a real snob when it comes to personal grooming, aren’t I?!  Anyway, I could forgive her that lot, but I think I audibly growled when her son refused to shower pre-swim like the rest of the kids, and she said airily, “Oh never mind, darling, you’re so clean anyway”.  Right, so that oil slick in his hair is from fresh, non-washout gel?  The whole swimming lesson she didn’t look at him once, or her daughter.  She was too busy using massive, extravagant gestures to make sure everyone could see her working on her laptop.  Probably spent the 30 minutes playing games, because she only ever touched the mouse-pad and the enter key.

After swimming, Maxi asked why I’d not talked to Shoving Boy’s mother.  “Well”, I uncharitably sneered, “I don’t think she really cares about him or what he gets up to.  I don’t think she’d give him into trouble.  Never mind,” I added as an afterthought, “If he shoves you again, I’ll go up to him like this…,” bent down to her, nose-to-nose, “Hold his clothes just under his chin,” dropped my voice to a low, quiet growl, “And tell him: If you shove my daughter one more time, I’ll tear your little head off and smack you with it”.  Maxi’s eye’s welled up, her chin wobbled, her bottom lip pouted and she started to cry.  Aw crap, I guess I overdid it.  She can be quite sensitive.  I meant to make her laugh.

“What’s wrong, princess?  Why are you crying?” I asked over a big hug.

“But, but, he’s my best friend!” Maxi wailed.

Aw, deep double crap.

“In that case, I’d go up to him like this,” bent over nose-to-nose, “And say (breezily): Hello, I’m P’s mummy; would you like a sweetie?”  That seemed to brighten her up a bit.

I can’t keep track of my eldest daughter’s social life, I really can’t.

Three Years Old and Counting

Jelton Bohn

I got da "Go To Bed Blues" real bad...

Midi Minx may well be 3 now, but even big girls have to come into their mummy’s bed at night.  I should be flattered that my arms are obviously irresistible.  Midi can barely tear herself from them when I drop her off at nursery.  Or every single time I sit down to breastfeed her baby sister.

Mini Minx, on the other hand, absolutely refused to leave them all day.  I mean ‘All Day’.  Every time I put her down she went ballistic.  She fought sleep constantly, and roared and shrieked like her leg was being sawn off.  I tried every trick in my arsenal: peek-a-boo-Mummy’s-still-here, sit in the playpen in a sleeping bag with one toy in hope of drifting off, lie in the buggy, potter about her bedroom while she’s in the cot, do the hoovering, lovely long booby feed, lovely big real food feed.  I tried everything.  She was having none of it.  It was hard to let her cry while I did essentials (like go to the toilet, answer the door) because she sounded so stricken, but I couldn’t carry her round all day long.  Predictably, she fell asleep as soon as I put her in the sling and walked down to the Post Office.  Equally predictably, she soon woke up when we got back and set off the clingy screaming.  Even when The Boss got home, although she was delighted to see him, she started hysterical shrieking every time I left her sight.  I finally got her to sleep at 2300hrs after a 2 hour breastfeed (she’s 10 months old, for goodness’ sake!).

After settling her in the cot, I checked on Maxi and Midi Minxes, who’ve been very quiet and subdued today (though they perked up to gobble down macaroni and cheese – will they ever go off it?  It’s wonderful to hear Midi mumble “Yum-yum, brilliant, I love it” through mouthfuls, though).  I got such a fright to see 2 empty beds.  Before I joined Mini in a scream, I looked round the door a bit more.  Maxi has been tent-building.  She and Midi were curled up between the cupboard, the chest of drawers, Midi’s doll’s crib and the easel.  Both were cuddled up with Bagpusses and dollies, and Maxi had artfully arranged some blankets around them.  I’m not going to let them sleep there all night, but they look so peaceful!  And I must admit I’m pretty impressed with my 4 year old’s tying-up ability, both with knots and with the aid of some hairbands.

Indoor camping

Mummy get the hint: the mattresses are too thin and lumpy even for the teddies

 

In other news, both the Glasgow and the local office of Carnold Lark phoned The Boss today to grill question him further on a questionnaire they sent him about the recent service on the car.  He had stated that no, he would not recommend them to a friend.  They wanted to know why.  However, whilst the silly sod told them all about the appointment mix-ups, it totally slipped his mind to tell them about how the car previously went in to them for 2 separate bits of work and each time came out with other (flipping expensive to rectify!) things wrong.  See here and here .  Maybe I should write them a long rant?  And ask for a refund, seeing as it’s almost a 4-figure sum?  <grumble, chunter>

Tangent time: my mother-in-law is English, and although I try to speak properly when she’s around, I guess I do still use some non-English-english words.  Like ‘chuntering’.  It did amuse me to hear her use that word this weekend, which she must have picked up from me.  She didn’t get the context quite right, so I guess she doesn’t understand what it means, but a full 10/10 for effort.  Bravo!  I wonder if Mini’s screeches are because MIL went home today?  First Daddy went (to work), then Grandma.  Maybe Mini’s frightened to let me out her sight in case I disappear, too?  We’re all a bit down and low today now she’s gone.  Maxi gave me a hug when I said I missed Grandma, too.  Och well, she’ll be back up next month.

The Trout Is A Big Softie

Midi Minx is now 3. Her birthday passed without serious incident or visit to A&E. In fact, we all really enjoyed ourselves. Even The Boss, who turned 32 the day before. (Yeah, I really tried to get Midi out on his birthday, but failed dismally. And the surgeon was too busy swigging from a can of Fanta and laughing at my previous caesarean scar to make the midnight deadline. So she was born at 0005hrs, 5 minutes too late).

Because my mother-in-law is visiting, we decided to take advantage of the 1:1 adult:minx ratio and took the girls swimming. Maxi Minx showed off her Real Swimming Without A Float, Midi got to thrash and splash her sisters around (I found Konfidence aqua-band things that keep water out of infection-prone ears: they’re brilliant!) and Mini Minx licked her rubber ring thoughtfully. Mini started shivering after 30 mins, so I took her out.  She started wailing when we discovered that the showers had no hot water. Although I’d brought a fluffy dressing gown for her (way easier than struggling with a towel), she started crying loudly when I lay her down on the change table. When I strapped her down so I could get undressed and dried, she went ballistic. The Trout’s 4th Rule of Motherhood is that the clumsiness of your fingers is directly proportional to the volume of your baby’s screams, which is indirectly proportional to your speed.

We decided to go for a long walk along the beach. I have a theory that anyone lazy enough to leave their dog’s poo on the pavement/path/beach is (a) a cretin, and (b) too lazy to walk very far. As well as (c) very dead if I catch them. So we only had to walk maybe 1/4 mile past the caravan park to find clean beach. The girls loved it, for different reasons. Maxi loves the pink glittery pebbles on that beach, and Midi likes the dead things. Mini is fascinated by the dogs. The dogs love me. The Boss thinks they can smell my milk; I think they’ll get a kick if they continue to paw me after I’ve used my best Naughty Minx Deterrent voice on them in a sharp: “Down!”. Anyway, we didn’t see any dolphins this time, but did discover a new path home through the woods, free of dog poo. The Boss even made noises about getting the baby seat out to put on the back of the bike for Mini.  Ulp – better crack on with the gymball core-strengthening exercises…

Midi got the cake of her dreams: she wanted a white triangle, with white decorations and white candles. I asked if she wanted sparkles and glitter. She looked disgusted. So this is what I made:

It was just a 2-sandwich Victoria sponge (weigh 4 eggs. Mix up the same weight in butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour. Bake at 180degC for 30 mins. Makes 2 x 7″ cakes).  I sandwiched it with buttercream and strawberry jam then cut it into a triangle (3 offcuts for Quality Assurance sampling – yum). Over that went white roll-out icing. Then about 30 cut-out lovehearts to hide the joins, her name, and the only non-glittery white candles I could find. They sparkled a bit, but weren’t too bad. Midi liked it a lot. She liked the taste even better. I am very, very proud. I made some rose and loveheart jellies with strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant jelly.  Cheesy I know, but we all like jelly, and they looked so pretty.

A loveheart for each infinity that I love her

 

 

The bottom pic is the Dundee cake I made The Boss. If you want the recipe, you have to comment on this post!

A currant for every time I think, "I really love that man"

 

 

Once Upon a Time, It Was a Fantastic Wee Nursery

Last month, I had a tiny rant about the minxes’ nursery changeover in management.  You would not believe the shenanigans that are going on now.  I’m not sure what I can say here, to be honest, so I’ll stick to facts only and cut all most of the emotional stuff.

Ratios of staff to children are tight.  Three staff members have left.  More children have been accepted to start in a fortnight.  Current staff numbers mean that any additional children would bong the legal staff:kid ratio.  The jobs are being advertised, but the closing date isn’t for another month.  I asked the new management rep what they were planning to do.

“Oh it’ll be alright, hahahahaha!” she grinned.

“And what’s your contingency plan if you can’t get staff in place within 2 weeks?  Will you stop the new kids arriving?  Have you told their parents this might happen?”  She said she would need to check with Management (remember I said they were now being run from 400 miles away?  I wasn’t exaggerating).  I said that this concerned me deeply, and that As A Very Concerned Parent, I wanted to know both the plan and the contingency plan.  She gulped and stopped nervously giggling.  Her bare arms turned purple.  (She was dressed for Darn Sarf, not Oop Very North Int Middle Of Nowhere).

The Care Commission previously limited the numbers of babies in the Baby Room, based on the room’s dimensions.  This numerical limitation was confirmed a few years later.  Last week, despite more, bigger furniture being added, the Care Commission told the new management that the number of babies in the room can increase by 33%.  The new management didn’t state why and the old manager says nothing has changed.  (On Monday, I think I’ll ask the Care Commission.  As A Concerned Parent, of course.  I just want to know what the hell has changed.  Time and Space, perhaps?)

My second invoice from January was still wrong (remember I asked for it to be itemised?  Well, I got the same A4 sheet back, with one additional line on it, but the logos of the new organisation were bigger.  Nice).  So I paid what I calculated the bill to be, even though that was more than I’d been billed (I have a sneaky suspicion that Karma is just waiting for me to trip up, you see).  I was asked to itemise *my* payment.  I wrote it on one line.  They stopped asking.

Midi Minx has been clingy and tearful since she returned after the Christmas break.  I’ve been reluctant to blame the sudden change in Midi’s behaviour on the nursery upheaval, but can’t think of another reason (she’s loved nursery since she was 7 months old, when I returned to work.  She’s now nearly 3.  Normally she can’t wait to get shot of me in the morning and usually runs shrieking with delight into the arms of her teachers.  Long Christmas and summer breaks have never left her clingy and unsettled before).  Three other parents I spoke to reported similar new tearfulness in their kids.

The centre is very bare of furniture, toys and books.  The new management took over 6 weeks ago, so I guess this is as good as the kit will get.  Mini owns more books than there are in Maxi’s room.

The drop-in creche is under the same new management.  They now block off their door window with paper, so you can’t see in.  Maybe they’re thinking, “Shields up!”?  Mini Minx won’t be being cared for by an organisation that feels the need to hide.

Finally, if Midi doesn’t settle soon, I guess I’ll need to take her out of nursery and keep her home with me rather than give her the upheaval of a new nursery.  Damn.  She’ll probably start to try to eat people again.