Babywearing Daddy

The Boss will probably kill me for this. Ha! So you’d better not tell him.

This week he’s been off work on leave and I had ‘A Little List’. You know, the massive list of things I really wanted and needed him to attend to, like sort out the car; mow the lawn; decorate the bedroom with the wallpaper and paint lurking, ready, under the bed; that kind of thing. The sort of stuff I am physically able do myself, but actually can’t when I have 3 ankle-biters needing constant attention. Or they’ll eat each other. Or the cats. Did he do any of it? Did he hell… To be fair, most of our plans got sabotaged because of:

  • 3 minxes being unwell on and off all week (bad throats and tummy-aches, not sleeping at night, teething, bed-wetting, needing Mummy Cuddles for nightmares. It all equals about 16 hours sleep total for the entire week, which isn’t exactly conducive to doing anything other than drooling vacantly)
  • a sudden, unexpected hospital appointment (Midi Minx follow-up appointment for hearing; it’s still bad; she’s to get grommets after all; whilst relieved at action being taken, I shall be investigating the grommets-that-never-were last November further…).
  • school meetings (seeing the head; new P1 Parents Induction Meeting*)
  • him doing most of the cooking – yum!

Blah, blah, blah. One big achievement, though, is that with all the walking back and forth to the school, I slyly ‘enabled’ him: I was wittering on about how babywearing daddy father carmin rosecomfy my lovely Didymos Carmin Fish sling was, how flexible and practical it was, how it was worth every single penny, and that Mini Minx loved it. Why not try it for yourself? So he did…

It’s not every man who’s confident enough in his own skin to wear his little girl in a bright pink wrap in public, but I’m very proud to say that The Boss is. Mini snuggled into the back of his neck and had a snooze as he marched up the hill. I don’t know which of the 3 of us enjoyed the experience more!

*I’m delighted at the news that Midi will have the same excellent teachers for her first year that Maxi had this year. Talk in the playground is that Maxi’s teacher next year, whilst newly-appointed, is a much-loved brilliant teacher who was here a few years ago. What a relief!

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday, Day 9 of the Easter Holidays

Saturday we spent watching Toy Story 2 (minxes), making Simnel Cake (me) and catching up with the mountain of housework (me and The Boss). Sunday was a similar home-based day.

First we got the minxes to decorate their boiled eggs – guess whose was whose? (and please ignore the second row of photos – I do apologise for my incompetence at posting pics right now):

Then all the decorated toilet-roll carnations (directions at the bottom of this post) had to be stuck to cheapy bonnets. Yes, I realise that Easter has nothing to do with flamenco dancing, but try explaining that to a secularly-brought-up 2 year old? While I’m looking at the photo, yes, that’s a pink potty, and yes after the Easter break I’ll probably start actually-properly-honest-to-goodness potty training Mini Minx. Yikes!

Building up to a proper chocolate frenzy - the 6ft 1 perpetrator tries to look innocent in the middle

Normally I can’t stand the increasingly Americanised/pop media-led encroachment into traditional customs. But here we are encouraging it ourselves with a chocolate Easter egg hunt. Wearing Easter bonnets. I am a Grumpy Old Hypocrite. In my day, Easter meant that you boiled an egg, decorated it, rolled it down the nearest hill. And again. And again. Only when it smashed (and you picked out the grit and ate it) were you allowed your single, solitary chocolate Easter egg.

Although I’m a non-practising anything, I want the minxes to be aware of different religious tenets, festivals and what they mean. So we had a chat about the symbology of the eggs:

Me: “Girls, why do we decorate boiled eggs at Easter?”
Midi: “Cos they’re actually called slimeys and cos we all like them! Except me. Cos they’re slimey. Even when they’re hard”
Mini: “Egg! Egg! Egg! Yum! Mine! Mine! Waaaaah! MINE!”
Maxi: “Because Jesus, who was a very, very, very nice and kind man, was put in a cave when he died, and the egg is kind of like the stone in front of the cave”.
Me: “That’s right, well done! So we roll the egg because..?”
Maxi: “It makes the colours look nicer?”
Me: <watching out for a sudden thunderbolt from above for not teaching her kids some basics>

double rainbow easterAnd on the subject of religion, I have to include this photo that I took on Easter Sunday. I know it’s a seagull rather than a dove, but nevertheless, some might enjoy the vague symbology; some might just enjoy the pretty rainbow.

So Excited!

Tomorrow morning at the crack of sparrows, we’re driving to the Orkneys for a few days.  I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.  I’m excited about the drive to Wick, the ferry, the drive over all the causeways, exploring the main island, the lot.  I am like a kid on Christmas Eve.

I primed the girls a fornight ago and showed them some bits of the journey on Google Earth.  We talked about the wildlife we might see (and The Boss saw some dolphins on his way to work the day before yesterday, so hopefully there’ll be more further north!).  Today the kids understood that it’s only one more sleep till we go.  So they apparently talked non-stop at nursery today about: the long, long drive, the ferry, the puffins and the owls.  <Screech.  Reverse> What?  Owls?  I don’t remember talking about owls!  I remember showing them photos of puffins and seals, otters and dolphins, The Old Man of Hoy and the beach near where we’ll be (my word, it looks even better than our incredible local beach at home – did I tell you how excited I am?!).  So I did a quick Google, and luckily there are apparently lots of owls on the Orkneys.  But the puffins won’t be there till May.  So I guess Owl Lover Midi will be happy, but how to break the puffin news to Maxi…

I’ve spent the whole night printing out spotter sheets of birds, leaves, trees, beasts, bugs, that kind of thing.  I feel so inadequate when Maxi or Midi ask “what’s that tree / bird / animal / plane?” and I don’t know.  Now, ask me what that cloud is, and I’ll tell you its name, estimate its cloud-base and forecast the probable weather over the next hour.  But on normal undorky things, I fail.  This website is bloody amazing for that kind of thing.  The minxes are too young for the games and activities, but it won’t be long I’m sure.  Example, here is a link to the ‘picnic’ activity pack: it’s got links to spotter guides, games, site to find your nearest bluebell wood, etc, etc.

I can’t be faffed with taking a buggy, so spent the afternoon practicing back carries of Mini in the woven wrap.  I studied photos, YouTube videos and just bit the bullet and experimented.  My first Rucksack Carry was a lot neater and safer than the second attempt.  Or third.  Or even 4th.  The Reinforced Rebozo (?) looked like a right bozo (me) tied it.  Still, it kept me out of trouble, and forewarned Mini Minx of Events To Come.  (She didn’t like being on my back, but did a very funny comedy-double-take when she looked down and saw my face from round behind my neck.  She obviously didn’t realise that ‘Behind Mummy’ is still Mummy, not some strange creature.  Honest.

Anyway.  Orkneys.  Fingers crossed that we see no evidence of the forecast 800 times <faint> the normal number of midges.  And to anyone who’ll be on the ferry tomorrow, I’m so, so sorry in advance.  Sorry for the mess and the noise and the squealing and the chaos (Mini’s latest trick is to chuck everything she can reach, in a fine overhead lob).

See you in a few days with tales of Orcadian minxiness, I bet.

Scottish/English

On holiday I actually did 3 sessions in the gym and 4 stretching-type sessions.  I hesitate to say Pilates or yoga, because they weren’t like any Pilates or yoga I’ve ever done, but hey…  Anyway, don’t sit there gaping like that – I do occasionally do some activity once in a while.  A trout’s got to keep fit, otherwise those minxes will (continue to) run rings round me.

So, one of the stretching sessions was excrutiatingly painful.  Not physically, but socially.  I was the only person in the class, and the instructor was half my age, it was the first session she’d ever taught and she was nervous.  And chatty with it.  And I was in the mood for a quiet, anonymous, relaxing 45 minutes.  And I’m Glaswegian, she was Bulgarian and we could barely make out each other’s accented English.  She looked shockingly similar to, and had the same child-like inquisitiveness and endearing-ness, as Jade Goody.

Halfway through the session, she asked where in England I came from.

“I’m not English; I’m Scottish”, I proudly said.

“Oh…”, she blinked.  Then thought.  Then blinked again, thoughtfully.  “How do you say ‘What’s my name’ in Scottish?” she asked, innocently.  I explained calmly that we speak English in Scotland, just with a funny accent.  Damn being responsible!  There was my big chance to teach a stranger to hail fellow strangers with a lusty: “Ho, bawbag..!  Whit’s aaaaaaaaaaaap?!”