Say That Again Slowly?

Mini Minx woke me up this morning by coughing wetly in my face. Wonderful. She leaned on my nose to reach over and grab a tissue, then politely coughed into it. “I got my cough off!” she proudly told me when I blinked stupidly at her. It’s a bit of a theme with her: she talks about turning the dark on and off (rather than the light). Talking of which, roll on Spring when I won’t need to turn on a light to see well enough to eat “lansh” (= lunch in Mini-ese)

And talking of the things kids say, I’ve not written any Midi-isms for a while, but only through lack of time; they’re still there. Example, a few Thursdays ago we stopped at McDonalds to have a cheeky burger dinner after gymnastics. On the drive home in the dark, Midi asked if we’d see any “meteorisers”. It’s a shame I didn’t indulge her by driving home the shore-route – that was the night that the aurora was very strong around 1830hrs, just as we were driving home. Doh…

This morning we had a Treat Breakfast of croissants and jam. I think you can figure out just how terrible my pronunciation is: Midi calls them “fossils” (oh, don’t look at me like that! Say it aloud! See?). And I definitely think it’s me, rather than her, or her hearing. She saw the ENT professor 2 days ago, following up her grommets operation. For the first time *ever* she had a hearing test and “it could barely be better”, said both the technician and the doc. Yippee!!!! My baby can hear! Actually, that’s been blindingly obvious – she still wears her ear defenders to bed, and Maxi’s snoring isn’t that loud!

Or Mini’s, for that matter… in a recent upheaval, the minxes decided that they’d like to all sleep in the same room. So now they do: we swapped a chest of drawers with Mini’s bed. The noise is no worse, and nocturnal wanderings haven’t changed, but the mess… oh my God, the mess of clutter on the bedroom floor each night has reached shovel-drastically-needed dimensions! And now Mini’s old bedroom (which they’ve grandly taken to calling The Dressing Room) looks like a jam-bomb exploded in a clothing factory: there are clothes piled on and against and around every single surface. I just can’t tidy as fast as 4 other people are un-tidying. One day, when they’re all at work or school, I’m going to get a big roll of bin-bags and unleash the Mentalist Minimalist Declutterer in me.

Last bit of news: yesterday Mini wailed, “I need a poo! Where my potty?” and scuttled off to find it. All by herself. Without me prompting her. The instant she sat down, she produced something that made her gasp and exclaim, “Why it so stinky? It horrible, Mummy!” I’m just glad I have a bad cold… A measure of how proud I was of our little girl: I gave her 2 ink stamps on her hands (instead of stickers, which fall off), texted The Boss, and updated my Facebook status. ‘Delighted’ and ‘relieved’ barely cut it as descriptors. Today we had the same performance, but in the toilet! She even insisted on sitting on the large toilet seat rather than the tiny trainer seat (“I need a big seat, Mummy, cos I gotta big bum. Jus’ like you!”). I’m daring to hope that the end of the daily grind of hosing down Mini, degunging her clothes and frantic cleaning of fragged surfaces may soon be over… quick, sell your shares in Domestos! They’ll plummet when the company find out I’m no longer their prime customer.

Powerful Magic

Have I ever told you how scared of heights I am? Yeah, I know I met The Boss climbing (well… in a field in the middle of nowhere, actually, but it was through climbing). And I know I love indoor plastic climbing if harnessed up. But normally I’m the kind of person who gets Elvis disco knee just standing on a chair. So you’d have been proud of me today: stood on a ladder, poking and hooking broken roof tiles with a broom from the roof onto the driveway. It’s amazing what you can do when you think your children’s safety is in jeopardy… Well, it was either that, or buy the little blighters hard-hats to wear when passing under the roof, to and from the house.

I know I’ve mentioned on this blog a few times about the ridge tiles on our roof falling off. Along with those of 5 of our neighbours… Again and again. And again.  And again! Well, on Tuesday night’s storm we lost another 2 ridge tiles. It’s amazing! I feel so privileged – this is the 5th time since 3 Feb 2011 (2 years) that we’ve lost ridge tiles in high winds (in fact, that particular ridge has lost tiles 3 times now). We must be living in the most special part of the UK to get such unusual storms. I mean, apparently the standard is that no tile should blow off a roof in the UK. Yet we’ve lost… oooh, I’d need to go outside and actually count the wobbly, not-very-straight replacement tiles on our ridges to be sure, but it must be over 15 now. Perhaps its the unique geography of where our house lies on the hill, that winds only averaging less than 45mph and gusting up to 68mph somehow, I dunno, magically transform again and again (ok, 5 times now) into tornado-strength? Maybe there’s a spell on our house too, so that when all these ridge tiles hit the lawn and driveway below that the mortar that was once holding them so tightly to the roof magically and mystically *disappears* into thin air, leaving only the thinnest little film? Maybe I should rent our house out to ghost film makers? Or see if Most Haunted are interested in investigating.

Is this stuff stickier than the mortar holding the rest of the roof tiles?

Is this stuff stickier than the mortar holding the rest of the roof tiles?

Whatever incantation it is that’s making these ridge tiles fall off again and again (and again and again and again) isn’t being weakened each time the same roofer, D—-, comes to repair the mess. The builder, Tulloch of ——-, have even insisted that it’s nothing to do with them, and assert that it’s unusually high winds. Well, they’re local, so I guess that’s them agreeing that we have magical, special, unique storms up here, then, eh? And bless the owner, J— Tulloch – I saw him bravely following one of the roofers up a ladder last time they were in the street repairing 5 houses’ roofs (again). He had a good old shout and waved his arms around a lot. Maybe he was trying to cast a white magic spell over the black magic spell that must be making those naughty tiles just Keep.On.Falling.Off.?

Well, it has to be magic that’s doing it. What else could it possibly be down to? There are, after all, British Standards to be followed when putting up roof tiles. Ones that even specify what mortar mix to use. And the special measures to take on new-build houses. Even those on windy hills. Something about mechanical fixing. Even the NHBC have been out to have a look and shake their heads with a muttered tut-tut-but-without-taking-it-apart-there’s-no-evidence. My conclusion is that the roof must be under a very powerful magic spell indeed for the NHBC rep to tell me repeatedly that if one more tile comes loose to contact them directly and immediately and not to speak to the builder at all (who, poor lamb, must be so downhearted that his magic doesn’t work).

So, this time, The Boss called the Big Wizard at NHBC who said he’d send someone immediately. On 12th March. It’s the end of January. And those big tiles embed themselves a foot into the grass when they fall off; I shudder to think what they’d do to a little girl. So The Boss called the really big guns: our house insurance. They listened to the whole story and will be round in a few days. I wonder what their magic’s like…?

10 Dec 2011: lots of ridge tiles. Check out the one that fell vertically and is mostly embedded in the grass...

10 Dec 2011: lots of ridge tiles. Check out the one that fell vertically and is mostly embedded in the grass…

Potty Training Blues

As usual, I’ve been quiet from this blog because I’ve been busy with Rainbow Knits and doing my full-time day and night jobs – bringing up the minxes. And concentrating on potty-training Mini Minx. I thought I’d unload a wee blog post on how that’s going before I get stuck back in to posting more regularly again.

The Good: on a whim we sent Mini to bed with no pull-up pants or nappy over a week ago. Right from the off, she’s been dry and clean at night – no accidents at all. Not a single one! Woohoo!

The Bad: at most she only goes 3 – 4 days with no pee accidents during the day. If I forget to remind her to sit on the toilet, she’ll wet herself. She’s only gone to the potty or toilet of her own volition twice. Ever.

The Ugly: despite having the poo bit sorted out on a previous potty-training attempt a year ago, she’s forgotten now, and has poo’d (pood? Poo-ed? I’m going to settle on ‘pooed’) herself Every.Single.Bloody.Day. I find that I’m teetering around on tenterhooks all day, just waiting on her pooing herself. After I clean it up, I can relax a bit. Every time I hear a little fart, I’m frantically asking her, “Do you need a poo?” Every hour, I urge her to sit on the toilet, just in case a poo comes out. I’ve tried to make it sound like fun (“You can make a huuuuuuge splash! Woohoo!”). She’s still not got it. I’m reluctant to make a bigger fuss, and guess I just have to wait till she ‘gets’ it all by herself.

Me, ready for potty training: rubber gloves, whip, club and gas mask.Though if I were a true Superhero, my super-powers would be 3 pairs of hands, eyes in the back of my head, and the ability to breathe fire.

Me, ready for potty training: rubber gloves, whip, club and gas mask.
Though if I were a true Superhero, my super-powers would be 3 pairs of hands, eyes in the back of my head, and the ability to breathe fire.

Yesterday was gymnastics night, so we got home at 5.30pm. Normally the minxes are eating their dinner by then (if Midi is indeed still awake), so I’m in a huge rush to get dinner on. Midi is going through a massively helpful phase, so when we got in I left the 3 girls in the hall to take off each others’ shoes and coats while I got the hob and kettle on. Midi noticed that Mini had wet herself and shouted to me that she wanted to sort her out. What harassed mother would say no?! I agreed, gratefully. However, Mini hadn’t pooed herself that day, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that the minute I put the spaghetti in the boiling water and dumped the pancetta in the frying pan, that Helpful Midi wailed down from the bathroom: “She’s stinkin’!! She’s done a big stinky poo in her pants! Ewwwwww!”

“Don’t anyone move a muscle! I’m coming up!” I yelled. I turned the heat down and figured I could get upstairs, clean up, and run back down by the time it was cooked. I warned Maxi not to go in the kitchen Or Else, and raced upstairs. Jeez, it was like they’d had a dirty protest! It was everywhere! Even the wall! Still, at least the Daily Mess was over and done with. Breathing a sigh of relief and feeling the daily tension lift, I quickly wiped Mini, chided her, thanked Midi, washed out clothes, wrang them out, found clean dry clothes, got them on my little octopus, squirted some bleach about strategically, gave the toilet seats a quick wipe and made a mental note to do a full clean later, washed my hands, and raced downstairs. Pasta almost done, pancetta very brown. I started making the quickest carbonara sauce in the world (one egg, grate a ton of Parmesan in it, quick grate of nutmeg and pepper, fork it all together, ready to dump in at the same time as a big jug of frozen peas). Then Foster Cat came in…

Foster Cat looks like he’s lost a little weight because Killer Cat’s been nicking his food when I’m not looking. Today he refused to eat anything and I caught him hacking up slimy hairballs. So when the old boy tells me that he’s hungry NOW, I absolutely won’t do my usual “You’re a cat and cats come below kids in the pecking order – you’ll wait”; he needs fed instantly. So I double-checked the pasta and quickly got his dinner out for him. Phew! Made it! Just in time to add the sauce and peas to the pancetta and pasta. I allowed myself a 2-second smugness at being so organised.

Ha! Fool! Imagine being stupid enough to ever think I have anything under control? Ever? Just as I dumped dinner into one saucepan, ready to mix and serve, Mini came waddling in like a constipated gorilla. “I done a poo. In my bum. It stink. Pooooooooo-eeee! Big poo, Mummy. Yuck-yuck. Help”. Aw, crap… Sure enough, she’d pooed herself for the second time in 15 minutes.  And we’re not talking one big poo split over 15 minutes; these were 2 separate, massive, dumps. Evil Old Trout checked the clock first, hoping that The Boss would be in any second and he could deal with it. He was already late. And the elder 2 minxes were at the table, waiting. Damn! Nothing for it but to serve their dinner up in 3 seconds flat, slap it in front of them, all the while reassuring Mini that I wasn’t ignoring her, then race upstairs with her dead-armed in front of me, bicycling her gooey legs, praying that not too many lumps escape before I could hose her down. But escape it definitely did – she fragged both toilet seats, the toilet lid, the flusher, the sink, the bath, the floor and me. (The walls escaped that second onslaught – it was a good day).

I’ve now run out of bleach (doom! disaster!) and think that my constant headaches are not, in fact, from caffeine withdrawal – they’re probably from having to get up close to that terrible stench every day. I love my 2 year old dearly, but I can’t love her poo. And she’s the child who can’t visit a farm without holding onto her nose throughout the trip!

So no, potty training isn’t finished in the Trout Household, yet, and it’s making me very grumpy.

Toilets and the Suicidal

Yesterday I was full of bravado about giving the supermarket a miss for as long as I had a cold and Mini Minx was potty training.  Today I felt a little better thanks to copious Sudafed* (it took me from near-dead to slow loris reaction times: maybe good enough to control a 2 year old and a car), the sun, and a brisk walk to and from school in the freezing cold morning air without any cross words at all between me, Maxi and/or Midi.

* This is the first time I’ve taken Sudafed since early 2005; every cold since then I’ve either been breastfeeding or pregnant.  Man, that stuff rocks!  It dries my nose and eyes up for hours at a time.  I can actually function!  …ish.

This is the fancy toilet seat - got 2 lids to cope with little and big bums

This is the fancy toilet seat – got 2 lids to cope with little and big bums

I made sure Mini had an empty bladder before we set off.  Out of the blue she insisted that potties were for babies and that she would only ever use toilets.  More progress – excellent!  I guess the fancy toilet seat The Boss put on the bathroom toilet was finally a hit with someone.  Maxi hated it and Midi was frightened of it.  On hitting the supermarket, it all came flooding back to me, from a dark, almost-repressed memory: shop backward!  In other words, go to the far corner of the store and zig-zag up and down the aisles, working towards the toilet.  Midi used to wait until we were at the furthest point from the toilets before wailing that her wee-wee was coming out.  Maxi used to keep schtum until she was peeing all over the shopping.

As we were coming to the end of the expedition, with just the dairy and fruit & veg to gather, I checked if Mini needed to wee.  “Yes!” she chuckled from the trolley seat.  (Trolley seat… I know!  She *hates* sitting in the seat!  For the first time ever, she asked to ride in it because she was tired)  I didn’t wait to be reminded and zoomed to the front desk, abandoned the full trolley with the 2 ladies who smiled knowingly at us, and dashed Mini to the toilet.  Predictably, she didn’t actually need to go and just wanted to check out the toilet roll dispenser and what it felt like to sit on another toilet seat.  But there’s no way I was going to take the chance.

After braving the surliest check-out “assistant” known to mankind, we drove home, Mini nodding along to my old euphoria cd.  (Don’t worry about the checkout woman, by the way – I didn’t flame her or eat her up for lunch, I just gave her some attitude straight back and did things entirely *my* way).  I’m glad I was listening to some happy music, because I was relaxed enough to notice some strange gestures from a car coming the opposite way who flashed his lights at me.  I’m pretty good with gestures (all the finger ones – I’m from Glasgow – as well as the more esoteric full body wave “No, no, I insist, Constable: you drive on and let me teach my kids how to cross this road properly”) but these flaps were quite incomprehensible.  A hundred yards or so further up, I realised what he’d been signalling: an old woman with a black hat, flying hair, dark clothes and a dark baby buggy was striding down the side of the little no-national-speed-limit B road  I was zooming down.  It’s a fast old road – I tend to stick to 60mph because I’m an old fart and I’m regularly overtaken.  Yes, she was facing oncoming traffic, but she had no escape route to the side of the verge if one of the regular big grain artics or a car hadn’t noticed her in her camouflage and clipped the buggy: the verge was too high.  I wonder what was going through her mind?  “Ooo, I’ve got a great idea: I’ll take my precious grandchild out for a nice walk actually in a fume-fest of a road!  We’ll dress all in dark clothes so we can’t be seen, and we’ll scare the bejesus out of any drivers that actually notice us.  Excellent!  The ultimate game of chicken!”

To round off Mini’s day, though, she took herself off to the toilet unreminded and unbidden, to wee.  That’s a first!  And the washing machine is silent tonight.  I’m daring to wonder if the worst is actually already over…? <—————- me, jinxing things

Could Be Worse…

Tired out from all that minxery

Tired out from all that minxery

I know, I know, I’ve stacks of posts from over Christmas and New Year to catch up on, but you know me – if Mini Minx isn’t napping during the day, then I’m not blogging.  But before I launch into them, I just thought I’d update this little online journal of my girls with a wee description of today.  How’s it been for us?

Well, yesterday we had a brilliant first day back at school morning routine: everyone up in time, everything done in time, no cross words at all, and a lovely unrushed walk to school.  Today?  I got payback for yesterday’s easy ride.  No-one liked their breakfast.  No-one wanted to even eat breakfast.  Maxi Minx flexed her new melodrama muscles and shouted at me like she’s seen the characters in Tracy Beaker yell at adults.  As we’d had words about this last night at swimming when she screamed, “I hate you, you’re a liar!” to me, CBBC is now banned for a day or 2.  Maxi and Midi fought over who was closing the front door.  I picked up Midi and moved her off the step, where she crumpled dramatically like a Chelsea footballer, screaming at the top of her lungs.  On the walk to school we managed to walk past 3 houses before I got to mutter my Last and Final Warning to Little Miss Go-Slow With The Biggest Pout In The World (Maxi).  I don’t understand why she hates to be with me on the walk to school, yet when the bell goes at school she smothers me in kisses and acts as if she’s being painfully peeled from me.

Back at home, Mini wanted to go to the supermarket.  I’m starting a cold and feel gooey-headed and miserable.  She’s just started potty-training (again).  I think I’d rather eat beans for a week or actually starve than combine the 2 in a supermarket.  I also can’t face having my shopping peed on by a 2 year old (Maxi’s favourite trick, only 4 years ago.  I’m still traumatised).  I suggested we go for a nice walk along the beach instead and look for treasure.  Mini suggested she lie on the floor and have a lovely screamy tantrum instead.  I did my tax return while she calmed down and did a jigsaw, then we made some bread together.  I was on my best behaviour, ignoring the flung flour and the splashed water, so for an encore got her to help make the French toast for lunch.  Mini’s still calling eggs “Knock-knock-eggs-put-thumb-in”.  Funny, but not as much as Midi’s name for them, at a similar age: “slimeys”.  Yum, appetising!

Mini had 3 dry days in a row then wet herself yesterday when she was too tired to remember to go to the potty.  Today was similar: she managed to stay dry until she started to fall asleep after missing her nap.  So that’s another 2 sofa covers washed.  I wish she’d pee on the middle on – that’s the only one actually needing a wash!  Don’t even ask me about poo…  The last 3 times we’ve tried potty training she had the poo bit cracked.  Not this time – every single day she’s managed to cack herself.  Today she waddled down from where she’d been pretending to nap: “I poo in my bum!”.  I’m getting good at dead-arming her in front of me, up the stairs.  But in the clean-up operation, she fragged the bathroom floor, the toilet seat, both toilet lids, the bath, the sink, and every item of clothing she was wearing.  What I managed to shake out of her pants blocked the toilet.  Still, at least with this cold I can’t smell all the poo or the bleach.  And some progress: she can now take herself to the toilet, pee, flush, re-dress and come back down, all without help!  Woohoo!  OK, so I need to tell her when to do it, but it’s a start.

Mini’s berserker tantrums. She adds “Nnnngggg!” sound effects for added drama. Image from chessville.com

School run: Stupidly, I’d let Mini walk down to school, rather than put her in the sling or buggy, because I was feeling too breathless.  Maxi came out of school, took one look at me, pouted, and legged it behind a bin.  Mini tried to head in the opposite direction, straight towards the road, but I got her in a firm Two-Year-Old-Safety-Lock.  She looked like the Tasmanian Devil, thrashing to get free, but I couldn’t because Midi came out at the same time, wearing some enormous black rimmed fake glasses.  I confess that I didn’t recognise her at first.  Her teacher came over to tell me that she’d been out of sorts all day, complaining of tummy ache, feeling ill, but not enough to phone me or send her home.  I assured her that I never minded being asked to come collect her and would drop everything.  But as her teacher sees her day in, day out, I do trust her to spot when Midi genuinely needs to go home and when she’s probably just fine.  I later discovered that she’d only eaten an apple and a tangerine all day – sandwiches left uneaten – so perhaps that explains the tummy ache?  Though she’s a bit hot and said her ear hurt…  Brufen solved it, but we’ll see.  And the glasses?  She was the Line Checker.  The kid who checks the other kids are standing patiently in line gets to wear the glasses.  Cool!

After being briefed by Midi’s teacher, I let Mini loose.  Big mistake.  Straight for the road.  My voice may be hoarse, but it certainly carried.  As did my old feet, as I zoomed up to my baby.  Baby, my foot – she’s a chuckling tormentor.  I lost count of how many times I scolded or yelled at the girls to walk together and stop pulling off toward the road.  I think the locals and the regular drivers of the big artics recognise us and give us as wide a berth as they can on the road.  But in my fearful heart, those minxes are only a tantrum and one single large step away from death.  Most days I have the energy or patience to try and lighten the collective mood and regroup the girls fairly happily.  Not this evening.  I can’t breathe without coughing, I ache, my head hurts, my eyes are streaming, and actually I’d rather like to lie across the pavement and refuse to walk, too.  Budge over, Midi and Maxi!  I also think they enjoyed my demonstration of how to use swear words as adjectives… **fail**

Back at the ranch we had a lovely evening of fights, arguing and tantrums.  The most impressive was Mini’s over a pear that she refused to finish eating.  When she threw it on the floor for the 3rd time, I put it in the compost caddy.  She reacted as if I’d binned her favourite toy.  I swear her arms grew another few inches in her desperation to reach it.

I am again awake - let the wild rumpus resume!

I am again awake – let the wild rumpus resume!

I think I set myself up every night for a fall, bothering to cook at all.  Tonight Mini was complaining of sore teeth (?! Actually, see the photo above right) and Midi’s ear hurt, so I thought I’d make something soft that they didn’t need to chew much and that I know all 3 like: macaroni, cauliflower and cheese, with apple crumble for pudding.  I got Midi to help scissor up some bacon so I could do brussels sprouts and bacon on the side – another favourite.  Not tonight it wasn’t!  Midi ate it, moaning about how horrible it was; Maxi ate a tablespoon-ful; Mini managed a dessertspoon-ful.  I don’t know what’s fuelling the latter, because she’s still running up and down the stairs and playing with light-switches at 2115hrs.  Maybe she’ll sleep tonight…?

<———— maniacal laughter

Edward The Elf Part 2

Ah, December shot past so quickly!  Far too quickly.  I’m missing my nightly giggle of plotting what to do with Edward the Elf, the sort-of elf on the shelf idea I tweaked to suit my family, inspired by a lovely, funny lady called Naomi.  The minxes really miss him too and now want to post little gifts to him c/o Santa so that he never forgets them.

I showed you some of the (mostly) innocent fun he had in the first half of December in an earlier post.  To complete the story, here are the final 12 days of his stay.  On Christmas Eve, Santa took him home again to the North Pole – well, I’m not having 3 little girls excitedly racing down stairs every morning, wishing and hoping that he’d gotten up to more mischief!  Santa left them a note thanking them for teaching him so well, and Edward left us all a chocolate orange each, and a few words at the bottom of the note.  It looked suspiciously like my left-handed writing.  Allegedly…

Actually, I miss the wee man myself.  Even though he’s now sleeping the whole experience off at the bottom of my underwear drawer until next year.  Or maybe the year after…

Dec 14 - How else is a little elf going to get into the cereal to solve post-shenanigan munchies?

Dec 14 – How else is a little elf going to get into the cereal to solve post-shenanigan munchies?

Dec 15 - Barbie's snowballs are pink, Edward's are white. Obviously (!)

Dec 15 – Barbie’s snowballs are pink, Edward’s are white. Obviously (!)

Dec 16 - perhaps Barbie's payback for losing the snowball fight?

Dec 16 – perhaps Barbie’s payback for losing the snowball fight?

Dec 17 - too much whisky. I promise I removed Ed's hand from Barbie's bosom before the minxes saw them. PS yes, those are carrot chunks you can see

Dec 17 – too much whisky. I promise I removed Ed’s hand from Barbie’s bosom before the minxes saw them. PS yes, those are carrot chunks you can see

Dec 18 - sleeping off his hangover (or is it man-elf-flu?)

Dec 18 – sleeping off his hangover (or is it man-elf-flu?)

Dec 19 - plying Barbie with chocolate orange segments and a rose. The smooth ol' devil!

Dec 19 – plying Barbie with chocolate orange segments and a rose. The smooth ol’ devil!

Dec 20 - the couple who do weights together are... weird

Dec 20 – the couple who do weights together are… downright weird

Dec 21 - I'm hearing the theme tune to Haiwaii-5-0. Dunno why

Dec 21 – I’m hearing the theme tune to Hawaii-5-0. Dunno why

Dec 22 - Karaoke night

Dec 22 – Karaoke night

Dec 23 - had to explain to mystified minxes what Spin The Bottle game was all about

Dec 23 – had to explain to mystified minxes what the Spin The Bottle game was all about. Oops

Dec 24 - wearing barbie's tiara in a bubble bath (the durrrty gurrrrl has stuffed her dress behind the taps!)

Dec 24 – wearing Barbie’s tiara in a bubble bath (the durrrty gurrrrl has stuffed her dress behind the taps!)