It’s Been a Long Day

The secret of ‘How I Cope’. That, and the 2 emergency back-up bottles of wine lurking beside it

I knew it was going to be a long day when I got peed on for the second time before 8am.

Midi Minx’s been complaining of a sore tummy on and off for a week or so.  I’d ignored it because the tummy-aches coincided with being told to do things she’d rather not.  Like: get out of bed.  Or eat your dinner.  Or go to bed.  This morning over breakfast she announced that her lady-bits stung when she peed, so I took her a bit more seriously.

“OK, I want you to wee and I’ll collect some in this jam-jar”, I calmly and bravely told her, waggling a recently sterilised jar at her (I’d cleaned more than I’d needed on the last batch of Moray Coast Trail Jelly).  She sniggered.  This should have alerted me…  I caught a jar-full, ignoring the wet hand – well, I’d need to wash my hands anyway.  Then she decided to force the rest out as fast and hard as she could, and it sprayed over me.  Nice…  Maxi decided that her tummy hurt too, and that she needed her wee collected.  Another wet hand, another session with the soap, another split in my permanently dry skin.

Now, I’m no doctor.  But when your 4 year old pees out something that looks like cloudy apply juice, you do think: UTI.  Maxi’s pee was clear and fine, so I ignored her sudden ‘tummy-ache’ complaints.  Mini sat over her breakfast, blinking over her 2nd day of bright pink eyes.  Looks like they’re not magically getting better on their own, either.  So that’ll be a visit to the GP, then.  Luckily, the brilliant receptionist was on today.  Normally when I call the GP’s surgery asking for 2 appointments, I get offered different days or split over the morning, and get some surly attitude when I explain that, if possible, it would be brilliant if I could have 2 together.  Brilliant Receptionist doesn’t need hints like that: she just sorts it out, first time, every time.  I think she’s also the only one who gets that when you call the surgery, you either feel rubbish yourself, or you’re stressed about someone you love who’s feeling rubbish.  You’re really not at your best and most eloquent.  She didn’t need to hear me bark orders at all 3 girls to understand how it was: She Just Knows.

One quick school run later (no Midi, you ARE going to school and I’ll pick you up at break time.  You’re fine.  You’ll live.  Go have fun) and I did the best thing today – invited my friend back for coffee and a blether instead of standing nattering in the street.  I had a whole precious hour of adult talk and laughter, sat perched amongst the clutter of the morning.  She graciously didn’t notice the crunch, crunch, crunch of 200 kilos of Cheerios and discarded peanut shells on the floor when she came in, or the 2 big jam-jars of little girl pee that I’d unthinkingly left out on the table

We ended up sitting in the GP’s for half an hour.  Midi and Mini bounced and chattered and played and raced around.  I’m glad I’d not kept Midi The Future Best-Actress-Oscar-Winner off school after all…  The GP’s pee dipper said a bit of protein, a bit of sugar, but nothing much.  Midi giggled when he prodded and patted her belly, and he declared her fine.  I bow to his far superior medical knowledge.  But if her pee is still cloudy in 3 days, she’s going back!  Mini was given eye drops.  Poor lamb!  She lay down happily to get them.  After she got the first drop, I peeled her off the ceiling and tried in vain to prise her other eye open.  My ears bled.  Oh boy, this is going to be a long 3-5 days of giving her eye-drops 4 times a day…

Lunch was the usual disaster:

“What would you like to eat, Mini?”

“Toast”

“Toast, and…?”

“Bottah” (butter)

“…and what else…?”

“NuffinElse.”

“How about some fish fingers?  Beans?  You love baked beans!”  Silence.  Pursed little 2 year old lips.

So I served up toast, beans, fish fingers and juice.  She ate the toast, had a token swig of juice, refused everything else, but claimed to be hungry.  After exhausting persuasion, stubbornness,  threats, bribery, I accused her of being a baby.

“I’m a big girl!” she wailed.  I shook my head.  “I am!”  I mouthed the word ‘no’.  “Yes me are!  YES! ME! ARE!”  I realised it was me being the baby, and gave in.

“Do as I say, Minion-Mother, or these little fingers are going to go a-walking…”

I changed tack and asked about her pants because it’d been around an hour since I last perched her on the potty (it’s Day 2 of the latest attempt at Potty-Training).  She claimed they were fine.  I checked her pull-up pants and made a fuss that she’d peed on The Princesses – poor princesses!  (Yeah, I’m daft enough to believe that a child who doesn’t care that she’s wet or soiled herself might give 2 hoots about peeing on some Disney cartoon characters).  I want to try reward stickers for successful potty use.  So far at the end of 2 days she’s earned the grand total of 0 stickers.  Nil.  Zero.  Zilch.  But I WILL see this through to the end of the week before giving up and going back to nappies for a few more months.

Luckily she had a nap, so I had an hour to attack most of the terrible mess of the kitchen and attempt to turn the bathrooms into ‘vaguely habitable’, before picking up the eldest 2.  We went to the library, where I was instantly distracted by someone talking about local authority public consultations whilst the minxes ran amok, then the chemists.

It was a looooong walk home.  Midi whinged about the wind.  Maxi complained she was too hot.  Mini railed about the unfairness of being stuck in the buggy.  Midi got angry about her hair in her mouth.  Maxi walked along the very edge of the (unmaintained building-site) road and slipped sideways and fell, just as a car went past.  Funny old thing, the same scenario I warn her about at least once a day.  She was lucky because the car swerved in time.  So although I was incredibly relieved that she’d only hurt her bum, I was madly frustrated at shouting myself hoarse day after day after day to be ignored.  Continually.

Sp picture the scene: We finally get home – I’m tired, windswept, upset, angry, relieved and my back hurts.  I’ve got 3 little girls who’re tired and whining.  The 2 eldest throw instant strops when I ask them to help carry in school bags and library books that are currently decorating me and the buggy, and the youngest strops because I’ve not released her from the buggy instantly.  The door finally opened.  Everyone stands around mutinously, watching the warm contents of the house whoosh out the door.  I scoop up 7 big books, a homework folder, a little rucksack and big rucksack and slam them on the floor.  No reaction – they’ve all transformed into sloths.  I guess they’ll jump out their skins in about 15 minutes.  Mini’s hungry because she’s not eaten any lunch apart from a slice of toast.  She tries to nab the fish fingers and beans I didn’t clear up after lunch (too busy cleaning the bathrooms).  I whisk them away.  Maxi screams like Midi has ripped her leg off.  The mood they’re both in, that might well have happened… so I turn my back to scold them.  I turn round to fetch Mini a banana or something.  The wily git has spotted the apple sponge I started to eat myself at lunchtime and got distracted from, to sort out the rotten pull-up pants, and is troughing in.  I whip it off her.  She starts to protest, but forgets that her mouth is full of dry sponge.  And chokes.  She looks frightened.  I’m not – she’s still pink.  So I reassure her, scoop her up, cuddle her with one arm and thump her back with the other.  She stops choking and snuggles in to my shoulder, crying.  I kiss her head, push one cat away from the spilled cat food with one foot and yell at her big sisters who’re poking each other.

Right in the middle of the chaos, the phone rings…

Another bright button. Photo from Fonejacker.blogspot

“Hello!” I demanded.

“Hello, this is Ali from the Department of the Ministry of Mis-sold Claims” said a bright little enthusiastic button.  Jesus Christ, they’re taking the piss now…

“This is a spam call.  Take my number off your database immediately”, I barked.

“No, but, listen, I have very important…”

“NOW! Immediately!” I spat, and hung up.  I’m not normally that rude but today I made an exception. What next?  Oh God, homework…

Midi brought her first reading book with words home yesterday.  She refused to read it last night, claiming a sore tummy.  She refused to read it tonight.  It’s due tomorrow.  I tried not to fight about it, or get cross, but how difficult is it to sound out and figure out the 4 words, “can you see me” then be able to read them as a sentence?  Especially when that is the sole sentence on every second page?  Or learn that ‘we’ is pronounced “wee” rather than “wheh”?  I mean, ok, I can understand that it takes a while, but half an hour?  Holy schamoley, I think my 2nd daughter is either a skilled comedienne or has bumped her head too hard.  I started to write a note to her teacher in Midi’s homework book to summarise the past half hour’s non-progress.  Midi threw a hysterical fit.  So we tried again, reading out together.  It was a bigger disaster.  So I abandoned reading homework and went for number homework.  Bigger disaster…

I’d had the bright idea that the best way to teach Midi about coins was to actually use them.  So I got all the sweets left from Hallowe’en, and even raided my own chocolate stash.  I set them out on the table with little bits of paper in front saying 10p, 20p, 2p, etc.  I shared the contents of my purse with all 3 girls and prepared to be Shopkeeper.  My idea was that Midi would figure out the price and correct coinage for each purchase.  Maxi was having none of it – every single question I asked Midi, she butted in to answer.  I tried to be gentle and reassure her that I knew she was clever, that knew the answers already, and reminded her that last night had been her homework night.  Then I brusquely asked her to be quiet.  Then I yelled “Shut up!”  By the 5th warning, I knew I was about to explode and guzzle the chocolate myself in a massive adult tantrum.  Midi still only knew 3 coin types and even then only if she could see the actual number on the reverse (size, shape and colour seemed to have no impact).  By this time, it was half an hour past the time I should have put dinner on, so curry out of a jar on yesterday’s chicken leftovers and a big portion of peas it was going to be.  Even though I knew it would cause a fight and more arguments from 3 fussy little girls.

Some days are just pants.  I hope Ali or one of his colleagues phone back tomorrow so I can have some fun at his company’s expense.  I have his number stored on the mobile…maybe I should make a spam call of my own?  Mwahahahahaha!

Burgeoning Sense of Humour

This evening a man representing NatCen came to interview us for the Family Resources Survey. Basically it’s for the Department for Work and Pensions and they ask all kinds of questions about your income, benefits, how easy you find it to manage financially, get doctors appointments, that kind of thing. So I spent an hour mostly blushing.

Well, was it the questions, or our youngest daughter that was making me blush?!

Mini Minx has resumed requesting the potty when she feels a poo coming. As she loves getting applause (born performer, that one) she’s quite obsessed about her potty, her nappy and their contents. She also loves a new audience. The combination of her excitement at feeling an imminent poo and a new person in the house was devastating.

“Poo! Poo! In my tum-tum! Bye-bye, in-a potty. Poo! Stink! Yuck! Hehehehehe!!!” she babbled. The nice man looked a little perplexed.

“Potty! My potty! Poo’s coming!” Mini yelled. The man looked from me to The Boss and back again. We smiled vacantly at him.

“Pooooooooo! Yuck, yuck, stink”, she ventured. The man began to perspire slightly. He didn’t know that she was now actually empty and currently wearing a nappy. She also can’t yet get present and past tenses right.

“Poo. Bogeys. Fart. Nappy. Potty. Pee”. Now she was just showing off, so The Boss took her back upstairs to bed.

She kissed me goodnight, waved bye-bye to the man, and as an encore let rip with the loudest, longest, smelliest fart. It scorched my ears *and* nostrils. I’ve been a mummy for 6 years now and it takes a lot to make me flustered. That fart did it. I swear she did it on purpose. Minx!

Growing Up

children scrambling bouldering rocks

Mini / Orville: “I wish I could fly… right up to where my sisters can climb, but I can’t: I’ve got silly wellies on”

Mini collecting strawberriesMinx is really beginning to spread her virtual wings and grow up a little.

Everything is “I do i-self! Me do!” which 8 times out of 10 are Mini’s last words before being engulfed by a furious tantrum, or having a toddler-prang – she chipped one of her perfect little front teeth on Tuesday because she slipped whilst simultaneously teetering on her potty and spitting toothpaste in the sink in the longest spurt that she could. Or when she came barrelling into the house, the proud bearer of 5 big green strawberries: “I do i-self! Stobbees! I pick. Tum-tum, yum-yum!” So I guess we’re not having any strawberries this year – those 2 red ones were our lot.

Talking of potties, our battle over potty-training continues. I put her in pants briefly (boom-boom) over the weekend, but she made such a mess *and didn’t notice* that it was straight back into nappies. Then tonight she lifted her bum off the highchair at dinner-time, wailing that she’d done a poo. There was nothing there when I checked, so I plopped her on the potty, where she delighted in producing something that she declared “super-stinky”. Then she threw a tantrum because I wouldn’t put Big Girl Pants on her. Wow, roll-on school summer holidays so that I don’t have to be chasing my tail everywhere and everywhen, and can just concentrate on getting her in pants.

And talking of chipping teeth, she did make me smile when she copied me reminding The Boss to get the lawn mowed. “Daddy! You go chop a grass; NOW! Peese”.

Joker Minx

Mini Minx has had another speech upgrade.

She could say over 80 words before she learned to say ‘yes’. Even then, it was pronounced ‘le’ as in leg, for months. Last month she moved to ‘yeah’. This week she has learned how to say ‘yessssssss’, and now loves to say it so much that she’ll frequently say “Yesssss!!! No” in reply to anything. Just for the hell of it.

Mini thinks that “any more” is a physical thing, like chocolate or milk. I caught her looking for it after I asked her if she wanted any more. I tried to explain what I’d meant. She just wailed, “I want any more! Wo want any more NOW!”

(‘Wo’ is how she pronounces her own actual name. Well, you don’t think we really named her Mini, do you? Do you?!)

She is obsessed with “Mickee Mou” (Mickey Mouse without the s) and the colour pink. Even when it’s not actually pink.

Today was also a very momentous day, though: at 26 months she made up her first joke. We were in the car waiting on Midi and The Boss returning from the toilet. I could hear Mini chatting away to herself behind me, chuckling: “Hairband…glass! Hairband…glass!” I turned around to see her flip her hairband over her eyes and shout “glass!” (glasses) as she peeped through the 2 holes. It’s a more sophisticated level of humour than Midi’s current jokes, endearing as they are (Knock, knock. Who’s there? My mummy and my daddy. My mummy and my daddy who? I love you both more ‘n anything inna whole wide world)

I’ll end with 2 Facebook entries that sum up my week with Mini, though:

7 June 2012: Our youngest baby: face of a princess, voice of an angel, grace of a ballerina… farts like a builder. We just had 8 loud ones: squeaky, trumpetty, rumbly, 2-tone, the lot. She’s just stopped giggling and started sniffing them. She disnae get it fae me!!

4 June 2012: R is mystified why I’ve put a nappy back on her. The 2 carpet puddles and the dinner-plate-sized smear of poo on the floor within *one hour* are a hint, littlest daughter, that you are NOT ready for potty training. No matter how much you protest, no matter how much you squeal, no matter how much you pout. Love, Mama xxx

2 year old Attention Seeking

We’ve gotten into a solid morning routine, me and my minxes:

  • Up at 7.30 and straight to breakfast (except for me – swill coffee, check weather and go get 3 sets of minx clothes while they bicker about who’s getting which colour of cereal bowl)
  • Get dressed no later than 8.15
  • Teeth, hair and shoes by 8.30
  • Out the door no later than 8.45
  • Wave Maxi Minx into school at 9.00
  • Midi and Mini in front of CBeebies 9.15-9.30 while I clear and clean the kitchen
  • If they’re still ok, leave them for another 15 mins while I have a coffee in front of Facebook (laptop in the same room)
  • Do whatever morning activity we’ve agreed we’ll do together…

Anyway, the kids know that my 15 minutes checking emails, slurping more Wake-Up Juice and checking Facebook is Mummy-Time. 2 year old Mini occasionally toddles over and does a smash and run on the keyboard, chortling away to herself (sidle up giggling, bash as many keys as possible, race off laughing her head off; repeat). Yesterday I was checking out a Rainbow Knits order I’d gotten over Facebook, so was very, very engrossed.

“Poo!” announced Mini.

“OK darling, Mummy with you in a minute”, I distractedly said.

“Poo!” she insisted.

“Right, I heard you. Minute!” said Lazy Mother.

“Poo, Mama!” she said, and dangled her nappy-content-smeared fingers an inch above the keyboard. She hovered them there till I made eye contact with her. Then she chuckled menacingly as I squealed. I *think* I whipped her upstairs before she made contact with anything.

Moral of the story: if your child announces that they’ve pooed, you ignore them at your peril.

Speech Module Upgrade

It’s clear that last night Mini Minx received a software upgrade to her speech module. Today she has suddenly added (simple) sentences to her repertoire of words, gestures and signs.

I’ve been wondering for a while how many words she could say, so for the week ending 19 Feb 2012 I kept a little log of everything Mini said. I just jotted it onto my ongoing shopping list, the one piece of paper I never lose. I didn’t include words I suspected were new (they numbered maybe 2-3 a day) and just jotted down words I knew I’d heard her say a few times before. So it wasn’t a scientific log of her vocabulary at 23 months old, but it was good enough for government work. I thought she’d have maybe 20 words. Nope. 85, plus 2 sentences. To be fair, many were pronounced similarly but in context were clearly different. Eg “ca” said with arms outstretched means “carry me down the stairs, Mummy-slave”, whereas “ca” followed by “drive-drive!” whilst miming steering a steering wheel definitely means “car”.

The actual words made me laugh: she can say her name, as well as me, my, mine, but can’t say ‘you’ or ‘your’. She can say no, but can’t say yes. Her sentences were ‘I want that one’ and ‘I want that one now’. All very typical, normal, utterly self-centred 1 year old.

Last night’s upgrade means that she can now say, “Balloons all gone” (with a very Gallic shrug), “I cold” and “I poo”.

Which reminds me: potty training. Well, every afternoon this week around 1700hrs I’ve taken off her nappy and put her in her teeny, tiny pants (“Woe’s pants” she calls them. Or sometimes, proudly, “pink pants. Mine”). She’s run around for half an hour, sat through dinner for an hour, then gone upstairs with The Boss and her sisters to do something productive on her potty and get ready for bed. Thus far no accidents. Tonight, however, she did her first pee on the sofa and wasn’t at all impressed with the ensuing cold, wet feeling in her trousers. Hopefully this means she’ll be motivated to learn how to control her bladder pretty quickly. Well, either that, or be satisfied with being put back in nappies!

Still Alive Here

I’m still alive!  I know I’m pants at updating, but I’ve been listing most of the household on eBay, painting the hall stairwell (hey, a bit of panic teetering on top of a wobbly step with a roller botch-taped to a stick over a long fall makes you feel alive…), knitting a special gift for a baby girl who’s due to be born a bit too soon, furious promoting Rainbow Knits on Folksy, Etsy, Facebook and my website.  And Mini is teething, Maxi is being a tweenager and Midi is, well, just being Midi.  So I have my hands full.

To misquote myself from Facebook, if Midi pees in her bed one more time I think it will dissolve.

There I was, all smug about how well Midi Minx has coped with potty training – she had 2 wet beds then seemed to cotton-on to night-time dryness.  After 3 or 4 weeks of being dry (ish.  I don’t remember when she actually stopped wearing nappies at night) I was a tad surprised at her wetting her bed 3 nights in a row.  She was dry last night, though.  Putting on my detective head, those 3 nights coincided with her Grandma staying over.  I guess she was peeing from excitement rather than trauma… (ETA: we seem to be alternating dry and wet nights now.  Tonight is sure to be wet)

Mini Minx is stretching her minx muscles and really ramping up her tantrums.  If anyone takes anything from her, or doesn’t hand a coveted item over fast enough, she throws her head back and shrieks and gnashes her 5 little teeth.  In fact, I saw her lunge at her biggest sister, Maxi Minx – she went to bite her cheek.  I scolded Mini and she burst into hot little tears.  Oh boy.  I suspect the next few years are going to be tough.

Mini is developing a real love of dance.  If she hears music of any sort, she gets a distant look in her eyes, squats slightly, bobs up and down, and does the doggy paddle with her little hands.  If she’s really excited, she’ll also chant, “Hur! Hur! Hur!”

Last Saturday night we ended up going to an Eat All You Can Stuff Into Your Fat Face Chinese Buffet, as a reward for all the tough DIY.  Yum, yum, yum!  Even the girls enjoyed it.  That’ll be the half-Glaswegian in them.  We stayed so long (90 mins) that towards the end we stopped stressing about the noise / mess and just had a great laugh as a family, all chatting and joking and joining in with the continual rounds of Happy Birthday being sung to other diners.  Maxi Minx had 3 mango jellies and a fruit salad for her puddings, Midi had about twice that much.  I carefully cleared up Mini’s under highchair mess before we left, because (a) no-one’s paid enough to deal with my kids’ mess, and (b) we might be back.

As luck would have it, we indeed went back again on Wednesday with Grandma.  The girls happily troughed and crunched and ate even more pudding.

Quote of the week from Maxi: (dramatic sigh) “No-one understands me or my art!” (She’s just turned 5).

Quote of the year from The Boss: “Midi!  Get your finger out your poo-hole at the table!”   Don’t ask.  Just don’t ask.

Scorcher Sunday

And another beautiful day dawned on the gorgeous Moray Firth.  I watched with very, very tired eyes…

Mini cried and fed from midnight through till 2am.  Yawn.  Then at 6am, I woke up with Midi in bed beside me.  As last night was the first night Midi didn’t wear a night-time nappy (“I a big girl; I no wear nappies no more”, she’d scoffed) I quickly checked the seat of her pyjama pants in dread.  Yep, clammy and damp.  I think that was worse than soaking wet.  Had she been cuddled up beside me for seconds or hours?

I levitated out of bed (honest) and found her own bed-clothes had been sodden but were now half-dry.  Great.  So that’d be 2 beds to change, then.  She cried pitifully as I washed her down in the bath and reassured her it was all ok, and never mind.  She asked for a nappy, but I feigned ignorance of where silly Daddy had hidden them.

At 8am The Boss insisted I have a coffee and get up.  Grooooooo…

My short-term memory has been shot a long time now, from long-term effects of not enough sleep.  Today I noticed that I couldn’t keep a thought in my head past any distractions.  Example, I’d go to ask The Boss something important and en-route to going to him to ask, I’d see a broken toy, pick it up and zzzap, I’d forgotten.  I’d remember that I needed to remember something, but that was it.  If you saw the effects The Silence had on people in Dr Who Series 6 Episodes 1 and 2, you’ll know what I mean.  Maybe Steven Moffat is as sleep-deprived as me.

Anyway.  Today I was determined to get the girls into a proper sleep cycle, so that would involve lots of outdoors, lots of sunshine, and lots of food.  We went to the Forres Theme Day and had a shamble around the vintage cars on show.  I’m just not into cars (they have an engine, 4 wheels and get you, your family and all your stuff from A to B), but the girls liked looking at the ‘shinies’ and the steam engines.  They also liked the ice-cream, donuts and face-painter.  The face painter remembered Maxi from a kid’s birthday party they were both at a few months ago – Maxi Minx (and I) were very impressed.  As were the girls at being made up to look like a Unicorn and a Lion.  Do I really need to tell you who was who?!  I moderated my constant call of: “Come and hold Mummy’s hand. Right. This. Instant!” to “Give me your hoof/paw – let’s go scare people”.

A half-hit was the bouncy castle.  Midi wanted to go on it, but Maxi didn’t.  She was still scarred from last summer not being allowed to go on a bouncy castle because she was wearing face-paint.  The bouncy castle owner had been very rough about it, waiting until Maxi had taken her shoes off and had already set foot on the castle entrance.  The fete organiser got very angry with him, whilst I placated a sobbing Maxi with a promise that she could have more face-paint after she’d had a good time bouncing around, but I remember the man’s rudeness and brusqueness really tarnished Maxi’s day.  Anyway, lo and behold, it was the same bloke.  Again, too busy yapping with another old man to pay any attention to his customers.  After a bit of encouragement, Midi bounced around, only to have the man try to roust her out with all the other kids after just a few minutes fun.  I ignored him, as did Midi.  He shouted and whistled at her like she was a dog.  Same rudeness, same curtness: “You – girl!  Off now!”  I yelled back: “I don’t think so!  Your sign says it’s for 8 minutes – she’s only had 4 minutes.  She’s staying on”.  He came over with his big stop watch and quietly said, “I’m not arguing with you, so I’ll give her another few minutes.”  I growled: “You’ll give her another 4 minutes, like we paid for”.  And by God, he called her off 4 minutes later, to the second.  What a shame he didn’t call it early – I was spoiling for a noisy fight with the old, smelly thief.  Instead I called Midi and she bounded off quite happily.  Avoid the pink cow-shaped bouncy castle in the Moray area!

After more donuts (oops, they just seemed to fall into our hands, all hot and juicy and sugary…) we had a picnic at the edge of the park.  Mini showed off her pretty pink and lace dress, Midi and Maxi roared / neighed at passers-by.  A half hour at the swing park, then boring, boring food shopping.  As Mini had fallen asleep in a comfy back-wrap carry, I opted to let her sleep and walk ahead and meet the car-bound family at the supermarket.  I forgot how far away it was  – only 15 mins walk or so, but a long time for 2 wee girls to wait on their mummy and sister.  How could I forget?  Lack of sleep!  It only hit me when I got to the main road.  Doh.

The other nice event of today: Mini Minx was waggling her arms and banging some cups at me, standing proudly.  So I held out my arms and urged her on.  She took 1 and a half steps into my proud hug.  I’m not convinced it counts as her first steps, though, but they’re definitely not far away.  (Me?  Not wanting my baby to grow up?  Surely not.  Aye ok: rumbled!)

So, Midi is off to bed with no nappy again.  I wonder what time I’ll be awoken by Her Sogginess tonight, then?

Clutter Buster

eBay.

Yep, that’s all I need to say.  Spent a pleasant rainy afternoon tasking The Boss to gut out the minging hole of a car while I photographed and listed baby feeding bits and pieces and got them listed on eBay, and cleaned up some old toys ready for listing in a day or 2.  It’s the perfect antidote when you’re drowning in a sea of plastic tat – give it 10 days on eBay at 1p, and if no-one buys then you feel completely justified in dumping it at the recycling centre.  Mini squeaked with delight at being allowed to play with some old toys (new to her) and showed off her super-speedy crawl (4 moves to the second. I counted). Maxi and Midi regressed a few years and enjoyed playing with old favourites.

The leftover chicken pie from yesterday gotten eaten up after all.  I’m so glad!  I didn’t mean to take its rejection personally, but there you go – I’m shallow like that.

Before I forget, some Midi-isms.  There’s something about your babies learning to speak properly that shocks you (or me, anyway).  Maxi learning to say ‘hot cross buns’ instead of ‘hot pum-uns’ booted me into keeping a daily journal.  Today Midi said ‘elephants’ instead of ‘epaulettes’.  Thank goodness my wee 3 year old still says ‘am-blietz’ and ‘ali-itz’ instead of ambulance and aliens.

I nipped up to kiss the minxes goodnight after The Boss got them to bed.  I expected to find 2 sleepy or snoring girls.  Ha!  They were sat cross-legged on their rug, under a shared snuggle (fleecy blanket), giggling secretively to each other.  The Boss had given them milk in lidded beakers (obviously pandering to their regression, then!) and they were guzzling their ‘milk shakes’ down.  As to why they were sitting on their rug, “It’s so we don’t get our beds wet, Mummy!” explained a wide-eyed Maxi.  Obviously.  Silly me.

Talking of regressions, Midi wet herself today because she was just too damn lazy to go to her potty or the toilet.  Or she wanted some attention from me.  Hmmm.  Must… type… eBay… listings… faster..!  (Well, I need to anyway – The Boss found another 3 massive boxes of old toys.  Must…resist… urge… to… hoard… for… grandchildren.  Argh!)

My Back Hurts Because…

I’m stoooopid and impatient and because the car didn’t get MOTed today.

The garage phoned to cancel the MOT just as The Boss was driving off.  So we decided to get the kids dressed up in nice clothes for a change (we normally all scuff about in grungy who-cares-if-it-gets-paint-on clobber), and all go into town to do the weekly food shopping (rock ‘n’ roll…you should see what else we do for entertainment round here!)

First port of call was Matalan for kids’ belts and big plastic-backed bibs.  Midi Minx promptly wet herself.  This was despite me asking her every 10 minutes if she needed a wee.  I swear I checked not 45 seconds before she let out that all-too-familiar siren wail…  Flexibility is both the key to Air Power and the fundament of being a parent, so we did a swift dive into Asda for a clean up of kid and car seat, then diverted into our favourie ‘treat’ cafe for coffee, milk, cake, sausage sarnie and porridge.  We all had different combinations of these – guess who had what?  Sanity, smiles and caffeine levels properly restored, we were off again.  A visit to TK Maxx was disastrous in that it sowed the seeds for later – I found some cool tiny mirrors to stick on walls.  Tesco was… well, Tesco.

To get Tesco out our hair, we decided to drop everything and get out for a walk onto the beach.  I spent a lovely 2 hrs alternately kissing Mini Minx and breathing in the air she breathed out, as she snoozed in the sling on my chest.  Midi and Maxi Minxes hopped in and out the big old double buggy, enjoying the freedom to scamper about here and there without me scolding or chiding them.  There were so few people about, not even dog walkers – it felt like we had the whole windy firth to ourselves.  The Boss seemed to enjoy ambling around, too, and patiently pushed the girls on swings for at least half an hour at the playpark on the way home.

Walking back home, we counted 5 houses (including our own) with tiles missing.  All had just an edging gone.  All were in the same street.  My suspicions do side with a neighbour who darkly blames the builder, but you know what?  The house insurance company can pursue them if they want – I cannot be fagged with toing and froing with a lawyer just to get 6 tiles put back on the roof.

The Boss and I have been thinking about moving our little noisy room-mate out into her own room for a while, and we keep discussing what combination of minx and room we should create.  Up till now I’ve been very resistant to the idea of having 2 of the minxes share in order to keep a room spare, because (a) it encourages clutter, and (b) giving our kids space is more important to me than providing guests with their own bed and room.  However, The Boss can be very persuasive: he pointed out that whoever had the middle room was in a tiny boxroom, which wasn’t fair if the other 2 were in huge rooms.  So we gathered the clan together and asked their opinion.  All were in favour of Maxi and Midi sharing, with Mini in the boxroom.

Getting home from the walk, I thought, “I’ll just…”  Those fatal words.  (Remember “I’ll just check on Midi; she’s been quiet for a while”?!)  I only meant to look at Maxi’s room more closely and see what I could move.  Och, it’d be easier if I just moved this.  Then that.  I might as well hoover now I’ve uncovered all the dust.  Oh hell, it’ll take 15 seconds to shift the chest of drawers.  Now I need to hoover there.  Do you know, I could add Midi’s books to the bookcase if I just move this here… and that there…  Oh wow, it’ll all be much better if I move the bookcase altogether… to there.  Oh look, space for another bed… 

So, while The Boss made dinner (super-fresh mackerel – yum!  Mini Minx ate half a fillet.  Slurped it up with barely a chew.  Couldn’t get enough.  That’s my girl!) I basically moved the kids in together.  By the time he called “dinner’s on the taaaaaaable!” it was all done.  He thought I’d gone up to give it a bit of a tidy, so his face was a picture.  And my back was a tad achy.

After dinner, I decided I could use the space more efficiently.  So moved it all around.  My back now hurt a lot.  Then I changed it all again because it gave an escape route out the window for Houdini Midi.  Then one more time.  Then went online to search for some affordable new bits and bobs of furniture.  And research paint.  So tomorrow I shall mostly be resting my silly back while The Boss purchases paint and photo shelves.  And probably catching up on sleep – Midi and Maxi love their new room very much, love being able to play and squabble into the night without a partitioning wall, so have only just gone to sleep…

I think the smartest thing about this evening was taking each girl up alone with me and getting them to decide something big.  Eg Maxi decided which shelves on the bookcase would be hers and which side of the room, and Midi helped me decide where to put the furniture.  They both loved that I put both their names on the door in big sticky letters and shifted some of their pictures around so that each part of the room felt like theirs.  Now here’s hoping that when each girl wakes in the night feeling lonely, she’ll stay in her room with her sister instead of waking me up!