A Day in the Life

Look, I’m not going to trot out all the usual reasons why I’m not posting every day – instead I thought I’d tell you how this morning’s gone. It’s just been a standard morning, so should give you an idea of what’s going on.

I woke up as usual at 6.45am, but with a sore back: Midi Minx had been kicking me since about 5, claiming to be unwell. The Boss bravely stuck his nose out from under the covers, shivered, then checked the thermometer: 10.7degC. Brrrrrr! Our heating oil ran out on Sunday. Now, the last time it ran out was at the beginning of September and that was because we’d not realised that the tank was on fumes when we moved in. This time, it ran out because we didn’t think we’d go through 500 litres of oil in 6 weeks (normally we use that in about 6 months). Grump, grump, grump.

The Boss got up and out, moved the other 2 minxes into our bed, and de-iced both cars before he left for work (what a superstar!). I fed cats, administered medication to one child and one pet, made a vat of porridge, dressed the kids top to toe in fleece and got them downstairs. I stupidly turned on the radio and heard about 2 accidents on The Boss’s route to work. I texted him with details in case he was at a stop, and asked him to text me when he was at work safe. Spent the next 20 minutes fretting about my best friend. What if something happened to him? How would I keep living? Who’d look after the kids? Turned off the radio when every second segue was about the crashes. Got a text from The Boss. Phew! Turned attention to the kids and their synchronous, streaming noses. Finally fed and dressed and brushed and wiped, we headed out to drive 4 miles to drop one minx at school, then 5 more miles to drop another minx at nursery, then 5 miles back. Meanwhile, the oil man filled the tank with oil! Hooray! We must have been first on the list.

Back home, I made Midi Minx a nest on the sofa and built as big a fire as I could (hey, I’m getting better! No firelighters, and only 3 matches this time!). I footered with the lockout reset button on the old heating system, gave up, and called The Boss – he’d sorted out the airlock in the system last time. I followed his directions, then bottled it when no oil or air was spurting out the loosened valve, I was feeling very sneezy (I’m a bit ill too) and got a bit nervous of all the “DANGER! High Voltage!” warnings all around where I was poking a screwdriver. I think I’d rather be cold than dead, ta.

More Greatest Hits of The Monkees

Maxi, Midi, Mini and Mega Minxes. Hint: I’m the one with the warm hat on
Photo credit: Wikipedia

I gave Midi a snack and 2 fleece blankets, put my third jumper layer on and a hat, and heated up myself by hoovering everywhere. Bedroom thermometer now 8.9degC. Dear goodness… Time for coffee!

I set the brilliant Aeropress gadget up with the last of the coffee and left it on the side to steep and get maximum caffeine out while I made Midi up a hot water bottle. I thought about taking some painkillers myself, and reached over for the hot water bottle stopper, a bit distracted…

I guess my streaming eyes are stopping me judging distance too well: I knocked over the aeropress and mug, spilling coffee and grinds everywhere. All over the floor and running *under* the cabinet. Oh hell, it’s inside the cupboard and soaking into my month’s stash of toilet rolls and kitchen rolls! Hang on… it’s in the kettle socket! Shit! Danger-danger!

I switched the socket off at the wall with my elbow and started throwing bits of kitchen roll at the rapidly disappearing puddles on the worktop, floor and inside the cupboards (how the hell did it get in the cupboard? It toppled and fell over, not against it… the geometry’s not right. I’m confused!). Before I can dab and mop, the front door bell goes – parcel delivery. And the man’s already got back in the cab and looks like he’s about to drive off. Panic! Run!

I retrieve the parcel (Christmas present books) and realise my tampon’s leaking badly. Great – my only pair of warm trousers. And there’s no hot water to wash in. Still, in a few minutes when I’ve cleaned up me and the kitchen I can have a nice cup of…. No! NOOOO! That was the last of the coffee!

Will today get better? Probably downhill first before it does – I’ve 2 more school runs to do with a poorly 5 year old in a dressing gown, nothing in for lunch except a tin of spicy soup, and it’s barely above freezing outside so it’ll get colder indoors. But I know it’ll get better – it’s mine and The Boss’s 8th wedding anniversary. We’ve got a top night planned: bubble and squeak and the leftovers of Sunday’s rib roast for dinner, snuggled together on the sofa with Homeland and Green Wing on 4OD, and (hopefully) some heating and hot water!!! Cannae wait 🙂

Today Was Brought To You By The Minx ‘Midi’

Saturday 5th November. It started fairly well:

Midi Minx: “Mummy, your breath smells AWWWWful!”
Me: “Well, that’s because I’ve not had my morning coffee, yet.”
Midi: “Why you always drink coffee?”
Me: “Because you always come in my bed at night and wake me up so I feel tired all day.”
Midi: “Oh. Well, I always drink wine.”
Me: “That’s nice. What do you want to drink with breakfast, then?”
Midi: “Mllllk. Cold. Actually”

(Yeah, she really pronounces it like that, without the ‘i’)

It was mine and The Boss’s 6th wedding anniversary. That’s traditionally iron. I guess we both anticipated that an electrical iron as a present would be reciprocated with divorce papers. So we both had to up our game a bit. Well, I did. Last year’s ‘wooden’ anniversary present was a proper wooden porridge spurtle. It was just the perfect present: little, but thoughtful, useful (we eat porridge by the cauldron), it was simple and classically shaped, and it had a little loveheart carved in the top. Perfect. Clever man!

So, what about this year? Well, I found a very cool cast iron bike stand for my mountain-biking mental man (he seemed pretty pleased). And I unwrapped my present to find a little silver box, shaped like a star. Jewellery. Iron. Star. Shooting star? Meteorite?! Meteorite!! He’d got me a piece of a meteorite (1947, Siberia): my very own shooting star. He also wrote some very wonderful things in a card, which will remain private, but made my stony old heart just melt. What a wonderful, thoughtful person he is!

Even though I’d explained that only the people celebrating the anniversary actually observe it, Maxi made us a little paper card, with our house and the whole family (even the cat) on it. Tellingly, she’d drawn all 3 girls in flamenco dresses..!

It was such a gloriously beautiful day that we decided to get out. Unlike last weekend, though, we did a mini declutter. So we had to via the dump first to get rid of the 3 big bags of baby clothes and plastic bottles. So we had to check out the ‘recycled’ bikes. And there were loads, just in Maxi’s size, so we got her a perfect purple one. So we had to go to the park via Lidl to pick up some groceries and check out the bargains. And bought half the shop in Christmas goods (pannetone, gingerbread hearts, gift wrap, etc, etc). So we had to have some lunch before we hit the park. And we were on such a high we decided on soup and a roll at the brilliant garden centre cafe. The girls were fantastically well-behaved just chatting, us 4, while The Boss waited in the longest line ever for 30 mins.

Why am I boring you with all this? To make the point that had we gone straight to the park, the day would have been a bit of a downer, instead of reasonably active and productive. Maxi and Midi had a play at the playground before getting on the bikes, while I walked Mini in the sling to get her to sleep. After maybe 15 minutes, from the far end of the park, I saw The Boss pick up a roaring Midi and hug her to him. His body language didn’t say ‘Panic!’, but it wasn’t right either. So I marched over as fast as I could. I forget what he said, but I could see Midi had fallen on her little bonce – she had a blue egg on her forehead with a red stripe through it, like the skin underneath had split from the force of the swelling.

We were amazingly calm about it. Spot the 3rd time parents who’ve seen their daughters get a fair few head injuries?

“I think we should get it checked out – it’s Saturday and what if she gets dizzy later?” The Boss reasoned.

“Hmmm, she seems ok. But yes, let’s go. Now. Maxi, we’re going. Climb down. Car!” I remember saying, briskly. Inside I felt like sinking to my knees and wailing at the sight of my baby’s little forehead, but outside I think I sounded like a bored robot. Maxi predictably threw a real strop at having to leave and Mini wasn’t too happy at waking up, but there you go. We did a quick detour via Co-op for a £1 bag of frozen peas to stick on Midi’s head, shielded by the cloth bag that usually holds Mini’s spare nappies, then off to A&E. Yes, the A&E Midi visited only on Wednesday and acquired a stethoscope from. The same one.

forehead bump child

Bit of a washed-out photo, but here is the egg, a few hours later

We had to wait a wee while, which I’d warned the girls about. They idly people-watched, and seemed fascinated by the steady stream of sports injuries.

One rugby player sat trying to look innocuous while holding a wet towel to his obviously broken nose (it was plastered flat onto one cheek).

Midi: “Look at that man’s pink bogeys!”

He sniggered. So did I.

Needless to say, Midi was just fine. No concussion, no fractures, nothing. But I felt a lot happier that she was checked. And she got to say hello to some of her new ‘friends’ as well, which was nice for her.

burning crucifix in bonfire

...and in a Wee Free stronghold, too!

After spending a few hours at A&E we (even Midi) really weren’t in the mood to go back out, and besides, we had to eat to get out for fireworks (“We’re going to the bangs!”: Midi). Normally we go to the main town display near where we used to live. That’s always fantastic. The last 2 Bonfire Nights we’ve lived here, we’ve driven back to that town. But this year we thought we’d try our actual, nearest (bigger) town’s display. It was very, very good. But I think next year we’ll go back to the old town. There were more bangs, but they weren’t quite as amazing. And although I’m not a person of active faith, I did find the burning crucifix left over after the guy burnt off rather unsettling…

Midi screamed at the first few bangs, then despite quickly putting in earplugs, covering them with ear muffs and muffling the lot with a down-jacket hood, she still just wanted a big Daddy-Huggle. She didn’t see any of the fireworks, just snuggled into his shoulder. Och, she’s only 3, though! Mini was in the sling, so probably felt secure enough to watch it without fear at the noise. Maxi sat on the ground, counted the flying lanterns (she’s a massive ‘Tangled’ fan…) and oohed and aahed along with me.

I actually enjoyed just sitting in the car afterwards in the car park, waiting on the traffic disappearing before starting up, just chatting as a family. I’m really noticing how old the girls are getting – last year we could hold a conversation only with Maxi. Now it’s a proper 4-way. It’s not 5-way, yet: all Mini ever says is “Aye-wan-nat!” (I want that) over and over and over again. All day long. Bless.