Nursery Sex Education

Over breakfast this morning, Maxi Minx calmly told me that she’d told everyone in nursery where babies come from.

When I stopped choking, I asked as nonchalently as I could, “Oh yes?  What did you say?”

She smiled coyly and whispered, “You’re my mummy; I feel shy”.

“Pshaw!” I protested. “You’ve drank my booby milk.  I’ve changed your nappies.  You’ve pooed on me.  I’ve cleaned up your sick.  You can’t be shy with me!”

Argument won, and her little sisters safely busy in the other room, Maxi told me all about it. “Well, Abigail O asked me where babies come from.  It was very noisy in the nursery so I shouted at the very, very, very top of my voice ‘OK, I’ll tell you where babies come from!’  And the amazing thing was, everyone suddenly stopped talking.  Just like that!”

I bet they did.  “Oh right.  What did you tell her, then?”

“Well!” Maxi said brightly, “I told her that we all have eggs in our bodies, right from when we’re born, and they’re right here,” she chatted, pointing vaguely in the general direction of her ovaries, “and they ripen when we’re older, and… Mummy?” she interrupted herself.  “When did your eggs ripen?”

“Um, when I was 15”, I said, hoping and wishing that today wouldn’t be the Chat About Periods.

“Why?” she asked. I managed an eloquent “Uh?”  “Why did they ripen then?”

“Because that’s when you turn from being a little girl to being a woman.”  See?  I only ever answer stuff a bit at a time.  And only answer what I have to.  It’s the Bad Mother’s way out, but it’ll do for now.

“Oh” she thought to herself.  “Well, anyway.  I told Abi that your eggs ripen, then a baby grows from one of the eggs, then it comes out your vagina!” she described the sum total of her sex education proudly and with gusto.  Hell.  Spit.  I’m obviously going to need to do some proper explaining.

“Riiiiiiiight.  What did your teachers say?”

“Nothing.  They weren’t there”.  Thank God for that – a slight reprieve.

“Uh-huh.  Right, do you want Ready Brek or Cheerios for breakfast?” I replied, which is my equivalent of ‘oh, the answer to that hard question is ..OH LOOK, BRIGHT SPARKLY SHINY THINGS!!’

I wonder how long it will be before one of the other parents complains?

This post has been brought to you by ‘Fighting’

Today was another nursery day.  As usual Maxi scampered off to grab a seat at the art table the instant I let her go, and as usual Midi insisted on: “One more kiss, Mummy.  OK, another one.  Last one.  One more”, as well as “I love you, Mummy. Please don’ go”.  For once I wasn’t in a tearing rush, so held her little hand and got her to help me put her packed lunch away, got her to show me which of her friends was her best friend today, that kind of thing. 
 
As I’d planned, she spotted her very best friend and raced off, Mummy completely forgotten.  I paused just out he door to peep through the window at how she was getting on.  I guess her best friend S is incredibly popular, because another little girl got unhappy with Midi muscling in on them.  She pushed Midi away and got physically between Midi and S.  And kept shoving Midi away.  This girl is 2 years older than Midi, but Midi is bigger.  Still, instead of retaliating, Midi’s little face crumpled, she let out a sob and wailed, “Mummeeeeeee!”
 
I’m glad I waited.  I nipped in, gave her a huge cuddle, wiped her tears and tried to engage her in some other activity.  I tried not to glare at the pushing kid.  I mean, I know it’s what 5 year olds do, and Midi needs to learn how to handle it, but I thought some very bad thoughts at that fat, petulant little face.  Obviously I hate seeing some little brat make my precious little darling cry (the irony is very intentional – only a year ago it was Midi who was trying to eat/bite anyone that moved).  One of the new staff members came over and skilfully won Midi over, then gently led her away.  As I left, Midi was happily chatting away and blew me a big kiss.
 
I guess I’ll need to keep an eye out on this sudden meekness from Midi.  Although it’s less antisocial than her biting, it’s not a good trait to have.  Poor kid.  I think she’s finding it really tough being the youngest in a very large and boisterous group.  I think I’ll have a chat with the manager of the centre and get her opinion: should Midi keep going?  Stay home with me?  I’ve already given notice that from the end of term they’re finishing up there and staying home with me till August, when Maxi starts Primary School and Midi starts at the same primary’s pre-school class.  The nursery isn’t even local – it was just the one right next to my work, and I let them stay there when I went on maternity leave and then stopped working so that they could keep that continuity and routine, in a place they were happy in.
 
In other news:
 
I was a very brave little soldier and phoned the dentist’s practice up yesterday about Maxi.  I’m rubbish at phone calls and get my knickers in a right twist when I have to complain about anything.  I may have mentioned last month that the dentist gave the girls the most cursory inspection ever, charged us tons, then raced out the door?  Well, I decided to have a good look at her teeth myself.  Normally The Boss supervises teeth brushing, and should ‘finish off’ for them.  I wasn’t very impressed to see that Maxi’s teeth didn’t look too clean at all.  Worse, there was a little brown spot on the side of one of her molars, in the little groove.  It wouldn’t brush off.  Damn!  Cavity?  Well, I had to do something, because if it was a cavity, it wouldn’t get better all by itself.
 
I thought about going to another dentist, and if it *was* a cavity, insisting on a refund from the original dentist.  Silly idea.  Then I got to thinking how ridiculous it was paying so much to get your 5 year old’s teeth checked anyway and surely to goodness there had to be an NHS dentist in the county somewhere?  So I sat down with Yellow Pages and prepared for a very long phone round.  Nope.  Got one the very first (and nearest) place I tried.  Bonus!  Apparently the appointment won’t be through till August even if I register now, so I’ll do that this week.
 
Still, I had to do something about the (in-my-opinion) poor service from the dentist.  So I called, explained why I felt my little girl’s teeth hadn’t been check properly, and asked for another dentist to see her.  No way, only the dentist she was registered with could see her.  Oh pants.  I explained that I was incredibly embarrassed asking him to check again, as it was obvious I was second-guessing his professional opinion.  “Oh no, he’s sooooo lovely!” sighed the receptionist.  That’s as maybe and I believe you, I thought, but I still think he’s absolutely rubbish with kids.  Anyway, then we had some toings and froings about whether I’d be charged for him checking that single tooth.  The receptionist said I wouldn’t.  But today’s receptionist, who phoned to remind me of the appointment, seemed to think I would.  I suspect tomorrow might see the resurrection of Angry, Pompous, Old Trout.  Besides, I hope, hope, hope that Maxi just has a brown stain on her tooth and doesn’t need a filling.  Poor wee thing.
 
Last news: I sold 2 pairs of booties last night, so have been a tad busy desperately taking photos of them so that my lovely customer could inspect them over the net today and check they were what she wanted.  They were the first and so far only 2 of my first limited edition collection (Pebbles) that I knitted because I got all inspired looking at the beautiful stripey sandstone pebbles on Cummingston beach.  I’m going to have to get busy knitting more to replace them and get all the pebble inspiration out my system, because I’ve seen some 1ply that I just plain old lust after and need want to buy.  So I guess my posts here are going to get more sporadic and random because I’m struggling with finding time to do everything I need to do, never mind want to do.  Och well!  Think yourself lucky that I don’t spam my blog with photos of my knitting and constant plugs of my website 🙂

It’s All About Maxi

Maxi and Midi look both ways whilst crossing the road

Today seemed to be all about my eldest.

 
We all went down into the village to buy some odds and sods and get some “Fresh Air”.  As Maxi will be starting Primary 1 at the local school in the summer and Midi will be starting the pre-school, I keep talking about the place and the things we’ll need to do, eg buy school uniforms <gulp> and practice crossing the road.
 
I don’t trust Midi to cross the road unless I have her in a headlock.  Maxi, however, has been slowly, slowly let off the leash and can now be trusted to cross the road herself (so long as I’m close enough to dive out and drag her back if she messes up her judgement).
 
They’re both pretty good about stopping, looking all around and listening, but when they cross they just shake their heads to and fro (a la Dr Who End of Time human changeover shaking head thing) rather than properly look for other cars.
 
Today’s lesson was all about crossing little roads and watching out for cars turning off the main road.  I really have to watch what I say, because it all gets parroted: a car indicated very late before turning in front of Maxi, who tutted and declared that the driver was “obviously very old and very, very stupid.  Hmph!”
 
Speaking of which, there I was walking down the road – I was wearing a bright red coat, with a 5 year old alongside me dressed in neon pink, a double buggy in apple green, 2 kids inside dressed in purple and bright yellow.  I guess you could say that we embrace colour in our household.  Anyway, I watched a woman reverse her car across a junction, nearly mount the pavement beside me, all so she could get close enough to the fag and chocolate shop without walking too far.  She opened her car door and nearly smacked it into Midi’s face.  Luckily I was alert to the possibility that she might do this, based on her erratic driving, so stopped dead as the door lurched open.  “Oh sorry, I didn’t see you there!” she said as she lumbered into the shop.  I’d love to tell you that I replied, “If your need for chocolate blinds you to the sight of us colourful lot, then you should be off the road and at a decent optician, you careless bint!”  Of course I didn’t.  I glared in that very English way I learned from 17 years in the country and said icily, “That’s OK”.  My God, I bet she was cut to the quick.  Not.  Or maybe I should have just kicked her in the shins?  Silly cow.
 
And breathe.
 
I made summer fruit cheesecake for dinner because I’m greedy we needed a cheer up.  Maxi licked her lips and sighed, “Ooooh Mummy, I love your cheesecake all the way to the end of the Universe and back!”  I smiled.  “But I only love you to the Moon and back.  But that’s still an awful lot!” she reassured me as my smile became a tad fixed.
 
I asked the little minx to tidy up her PlayDough so I could get dinner on the table.  After 10 minutes, I asked her to hurry up.  “I’ve only got 2 hands, Mummy,” she said calmly and reasonably like Captain Logic: “One to hold the packet and one to put the bits in.  I can’t go any faster”.  How could I not laugh?
 
Tonight was Parents Evening at nursery.  I left with a tear in my eye, because I spent half an hour reading Maxi’s and Midi’s files.  On one of Midi’s evidence boxes, a teacher had noted, ‘L was quietly drawing. I asked her what it was. “I drawing Mummy!” she said’.  So she thinks of me even when I’m not there?!  Swoon!  All those pictures that she draws at nursery and I ask her what they are, she always replies, “You, Mummy!”  I assumed she says that to everyone.  Now I’m thinking it may be true.  Awwwwww.
 
Maxi, meanwhile, “talked of the recycling done at home”, had “excellent knowledge of planets and space”, “plants” and “had an opportunity to try new foods as part of our learning about other cultures – P had already tried them all”.  That’s my girl!  With that, and her learning to spot ‘mature CBs’, we’ll get her labelled precocious, yet.  Though (a) she can say ‘cumulonimbus’ no problem at all, but obviously thinks CBs is funny, and (b) wish I’d been watching for them today, then I might not have got 4 washing loads absolutely drenched in the sudden (but predictable) downpour.
 
In other news:
 
Mini has cut her 4th tooth definitely (her upper right incisor) and by golly it’s a big beast.  And Maxi learned to knit.  I’m so proud!  But I need to do that as a separate post.

Grouchus Maximus

I suspected it was going to be a rough day when Mini Minx woke me at 5.30am and I couldn’t get her to sleep.  I *knew* it was going to be a rough day when the entire family had yelled at Midi Minx for tormenting / hitting / choking them, before 6am.

Mini’s top 3 teeth are finally cutting through, but all at once.  I think one’s coming in perpendicular to the right direction, though.  They’re causing her so much pain, poor baby, but thankfully Nurofen is working pretty well.  As is plenty of Cheerios.  She saw Midi eating it this morning and indicated delicately that she also wished to partake of this delicacy (ie she screeched, bared her gums, wrinkled her nose, swiped her own porridge off the table, flung her spoon at the window, threw herself back in her high-chair damn near giving herself whiplash, and roared).  Hungry baby – she ate 5 handfuls of the stuff, one after the other.  Every time her bowl emptied, she bashed it on the table, yelling in time with each clatter.  I can see I’m going to have problems teaching this one ‘please’ and ‘thank you’…

Nursery phoned me at 9.40am to tell me that there was a Liaison Committee (kind of like a mini Board of Governors) meeting at 10am.  Gosh, if I drop the baby on the floor, abandon the girls and jump in the car right this second, I’ll still be late.  Great amount of notice – well done.  Once upon a time I chaired the Committee, but now that I’m a stay-at-home mum, I’m just the Parent Rep.  Who doesn’t get told about the meetings.  Hmmmm… I wonder if the new Chair is a little intimidated by me?  Through an intermediary she claimed to have emailed me through work about the meeting – right, that’ll be the work email that was turned off over a year ago?  Maybe she’ll wet her pants if I give her a call tomorrow to find out why her meeting prep is so appalling?  Depends how evil I’m feeling.

I took the girls with me when I went to vote.  A nice policeman in a stab vest (?? maybe they’d had reports that the local WI members were going to attack anyone not voting for A Very Nice Man) held the door open for us to get out.  Or maybe he was ushering us out – Maxi does ask a lot of questions…

I’m sure I’ve already explained about the local primary school: Maxi starts there in August and I requested Midi a place there in the pre-school nursery, so that both girls start at the same time.  I requested morning sessions for Midi (both would start at 9am, I’d pick up Midi at 11.30am, then Maxi at 2.35pm.  Easy!)  They gave me afternoon sessions.  So here’s how it’ll work:

  • Get all girls up and out the door to walk Maxi to school for 9am
  • Walk back
  • Do something useful for 2 hours
  • Walk Midi and Mini so Midi can start at 12.35pm
  • Walk back
  • Do something useful for an hour
  • Walk back to pick up Maxi at 2.35pm (finishing time for the next 3 years)
  • Hang around with Mini and Maxi outside in the hail, rain, ice and snow for half an hour (no shelters and not allowed inside)
  • Pick up an exhausted Midi at 3.05pm
  • Walk back

Bonkers.  Bloody bonkers!  Apparently their policy is to put the 4 year old pre-schoolers in the morning sessions and the 3 year old pre-schoolers in the afternoon sessions.  Um, call me old-fashioned, but don’t 3 year olds get tired faster than 4 year olds?  Or do they think that my 3 year old will have a lie-in and spend all morning in bed, conserving her energy for nursery?  Do they think I have the time to spend 2 hours total every day walking up and down a bloody hill, plus waiting around?  Or am I the very first parent to have a kid in primary 1, 2 or 3 with a child in nursery, too?  Must be, eh?  I’m so cross because the afternoon sessions only started a year or 2 ago.  I think I really need to go have a chat with the headmaster to find out what the reasoning behind those hours was and how they allocate the kids.  Perhaps once I’m educated in their rationale I will be more understanding.  (Aye, right!)

Ballet this afternoon was a trial.  Me and Mini got soaked in the downpour, so both of us wailed a bit.  Midi decided to face plant on the floor and waggle her bum at her teacher rather than go in and dance.  After studiously ignoring her wails for “A Mummy Higgle!!” I insisted she change out her ballet dress and slippers and put normal clothes on.  I got some sniffy looks from some other mums at my hard-heartedness, but as I tell Midi and Mini every single day, I don’t do tantrums.

The woman at the post office marvelled at my ability to cope with all 3 girls.  As the double buggy can only just get in the door and no further, I had them all in one spot by the shop-counter doing various ‘jobs’ while I was at the other end of the shop, posting parcels (“Mini, you sleep.  Midi, you’re in charge of sitting down so that baby R stays in her seat and can’t topple out. Maxi, you’re in charge of watching Midi and Mini sitting down.  If they or you are naughty, shout me over!”).  They were good till I came over, mainly because I kept leaning over and pointing a threatening finger at Midi.  “You’re so calm and laid back with them!” she praised me.  My jaw dropped and I shook my head dumbly.  “It’s all a big act!” I admitted.

Despite me and Midi seriously falling out numerous times through the afternoon, she still only wanted cuddles from me, every 15 minutes all bloody night till I went to bed.  Even when I had a bath to wind down enough to sleep.  The problem was, so did Mini.  She wouldn’t go to The Boss at all, wanting to snuggle on my chest and weep on my shoulder.  I can’t wait for those horrible teeth to cut through – I tried rubbing her gums and she screeched in agony, so back to the Nurofen and Bonjela it is.

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.

Wombling On

Evenings are for turning this chimps enclosure of a house into something habitable.  Or at least sanitary.  The 2 nights over the weekend I was painting: turning Midi Minx’s old room into Mini’s, and turning Midi and Maxi’s now-shared room into something that will stand up to them and their playing.  Alas, I can’t turn it into something I can scrub and hose down, so Dulux Endurance will have to do.  Their room is in the ever-so-slightly off-white Timeless and the eyeball-searingly pink Sweet Pink.  They love it!  I’m so glad.  It looks pretty good, considering I was listening to this while painting the single pink wall freehand (masking tape rips the new paint on the joining walls off)

All the rearranging has given me a brilliant opportunity to sift through old clothes, get rid of junk, find long-lost jigsaw pieces, and marry newly-found socks with their odd partner.  I’m finding the sifting and, well, fixing, very soothing.  The Boss is happy to see bags of outgrown baby clothes go to the Clothing Bank instead of replacing our clothes in the wardrobe.  The excuse “The minxes can use them for their dollies” has worn thin.

My mother was a terrible hoarder.  She died of lung cancer nearly 3 years ago.  My younger sister did the lion’s share of emptying the house after Mum died: she did weekdays and I did weekends for months (our 2 brothers managed an hour or 2).  It still irks me that I never managed to sift through everything.  As the sole executor, I concentrated on trying to find paperwork that would help me sort out her affairs, whereas I wanted to look for old drawings from when me and my siblings were children, or old toys, or old photos.  God, I really wanted to go through the photos!  But the clutter was too much, and 10 months after she died, I called in a house clearing service.

I got very angry with my mum for leaving that kind of mess for us to clear up.  It wasn’t just that I spent every minute feeling as if I was spying on my mother, as I looked into every single private aspect of her ife.  Every single angry complaining letter she’d written; boxes of personal love letters; lawyer correspondence documenting my parents’ separation and acrimonious divorce (och, aren’t they all?).  I resented the time I spent rifling through drawers and boxes of smelly, dusty, stained old receipts when I should have been looking after a-then 2 year old Maxi Minx and a 6 week old Midi Minx.

The memories of that year still haunt me and occupy a black little coal in my stomach that surfaces some mornings at dawn when I can’t sleep.  I will never inflict that on my family, so I constantly battle my own instincts to hang onto EVERYTHING!  Sometimes I win that battle, sometimes I don’t.  For now, my OCD-induced sense of peace means my binman will hate me.  Mainly because I was on so much of a roll sorting out 2 rooms that I finally binned 5 big boxes of old work clutter and notes.  You can now see the floor in the garage.  Crikey, there might be room soon to put the car *in* the garage (shocker).

Mini Minx, You Have Been Evicted…

…please leave your parents’ bedroom!

Me and The Boss pulled out all the stops last night and today, and Mini Minx’s nursery (posh word for a box-room with a window, that a baby sleeps in) is ready.  So tonight’s the night – my youngest baby and I will spend our first night out of touch or sight of each other (though I’m sure I’ll still hear her farts through the dividing wall).

As you can probably tell, I have very mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, she’s 10.5 months old, so way past the age most babies move into a room away from their parents; she’s normally a great sleeper, so I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble getting her to settle away from us; and it’ll be nice for me and The Boss to have our room back to ourselves* to make as much noise as we like without waking the baby**.  On the other hand, I’m a compulsive checker that my baby’s still breathing.  And I love to watch her little face in repose, it makes my heart glad.  I know I’m biased, but she is so beautiful, even more so when she is having happy dreams.

*well, until 0200hrs when Maxi or (sometimes ‘and’) Midi normally appear.

**I don’t mean anything like sex or anything kinky: we just like having a chat and a giggle about the day just past.

If I’m honest, the delay in moving her has been partly because I’m also quite reluctant to move on to the next stage of my life.  I know it’s nothing earth-shattering, moving your baby out your room, but it signifies how independent Mini Minx has gotten.  She’s no longer a helpless infant, utterly dependent on me for care and nourishment.  Crikey, she even has opinions now (mostly on my cookiong)!  So it’s time for me to move on to being a mummy of toddlers and little girls, rather than tiny babies.  I’ll never have a little newborn mewling me awake at silly o’clock in the morning.  That makes me feel a little wistful, as I’ve enjoyed my daughters being babies very, very much.  Still, they do get more fun as they get older, so: Shields up!  Prepare for the next level of minxiness!

The Minxes Unleashed

Rep 1: I *am* the expert, you know!

Rep 2: your lions hurt my head

I tangled with the new management at the girls’ nursery today for the first time; I think we’re in for some ‘interesting’ times.

Quick background: it’s a ‘work’ nursery.  Work decided to re-tender the contract.  Vicious rumour has it that the decision was actually based on a certain someone in a certain department being jealous about the current provider being a successful businesswoman.  In a letter to parents, the head honcho at work listed the criteria that bidders were to be assessed on and promised there would be absolutely no noticeable change to parents or children no matter what.  Hooey.  And again, hooey.  From start to finish.  The current supplier lost the bid.  There were angry (and very surprised) parents at the meeting that was eventually called to info us all on what was going on.  The criteria for assessment were blatantly not followed.  The new providers have never run a nursery, never mind one in Scotland (it’s a different system with different requirements to that in England and they’ve come a cropper of it twice already in just a few short weeks).  The previous supplier is having to stay on for now, under TUPE regulations.  Brilliant for the kids, who love her; difficult for her.

Anyway, I’m disgruntled because I was very happy and satisfied with the previous supplier and am suspicious and cynical of the new lot.  My hackles generally go up when faced with eejits: at the parents’ meeting, one rep of the new lot answered every question with the desperate assertion: “I’m a project manager!”; another smiled through her panic; the third patronised the crowd with some see-through lies and untruths.  In fact, she reminded me a lot of Justin Fletcher’s ‘Ann Teak’ character…

On with the story.  So, normally we pay fees a month in advance.  I got the invoice for January’s fees 2 days ago (24th Jan).  I got a big A4 sheet each for Maxi and Midi Minx, with some shiny new massive logos on them, and one small line with just a numerical figure on it.  And despite all the additional paperwork I had to fill out last month (‘no noticeable change to parents or children’ my fat arse!), they still mispelled Midi’s name.  It’s only one of the most popular names in the country, for goodness’ sake!  (Hint: Midi is not actually her given name…).  Worse, the figures don’t seem to be a multiple of the hourly rate, so that first alerted me to the fact that the figure was wrong.

So, 2 of the new company’s reps were up today.  (Oh, did I tell you they’re trying to manage it from 400 miles away…?)  Honestly, there really wasn’t a glint in my eye as I informed them their invoices were wrong.  Their spokeswoman looked crestfallen.  “Oh, haha, you’ll never get the same figure twice from me!” she trilled.  Professional outfit, huh?  So I unleashed the Minxes.  Just for a laugh.  Because I was impotent in the face of their rubbishness.

“I’m a lion”, I prison whispered to the girls, as they milled round my ankles waiting to go home.

“Rarrrrrrr!” shouted Maxi Minx.

“RRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” roared her sister.

“AAAAAAGGGGH!” screamed Maxi.

“RRRRRAAAAARRR!” they yelled in unison.

You get the picture.  They stopped breathing and just screeched and roared and growled.  Wow.  Baby R blinked, being used to such volume of silliness.  The 2 newbies just stared slack-jawed.  I think the spokeswoman got a spontaneous migraine.  The Poor Previous Supplier In A Difficult Position winked at me; I smirked back.  I asked a few more questions (I can project my voice quite a bit, trust me) and feigned a spot of deafness at their unsatisfactory replies.  Eventually I turned to the Minxes and said loudly, “Enough!”  For once, they were good as gold and fell silent instantly.  I gathered the 3 minxes and some shreds of dignity and breezed out the door.

Childish?  Hell yes.  Such fun.