Oh, deary, deary, me. It's NOT good.
Youngest has done it again.
We were talking about what present to give my friend whose birthday is on Friday. Last year gave her the most enormous pair of pants EVER.
HUGE. SO vast that two grown men can fit, one entire body in each pant. As it were.
Why? Why did I give her enormous pants?
Absolutely no idea.
It is her birthday again, so thinking caps were on, and my three children were all having a thought about what I could give her.
Giant thongs? asked Middle Son, guffawing and spitting out tea.
Youngest giggles hard. Obviously finds that very amusing indeed.
'What's a thong?'
We all spit out our tea again, and try to explain what a thong is. Difficult to keep it clean.
As it were.
Anyway, we all agreed that it's NOT a great idea, not in the grand scheme of things. Thongs.
Big silence while we all think again.
'Giant condom?' asks Daughter, hardly able to get the words out.
After we've all shouted EWWW and told her how disgusting that is, and NO, I WILL NOT buy giant condoms, we all settle down again.
Youngest still giggling. You can see the think bubbles working.
'What's a condom?' he asks, clear voice slicing the quiet air like a knife.
'Well,' I say. 'Um.' I absolutely can't think of a nice, clean way to explain this one.
The other older children looking across at me with grins as wide as the M25. Wondering what on EARTH I am going to say.
Youngest pipes up. 'Is it a Love Bag?'
That's it. We've all had it. Tea, biscuits, spit, all comes out in total hysterical bout of painful laughter. Youngest looking on, all interested and amused that he has caused such a riot.
Middle Son horrified and delighted at the same time. Daughter pealing with laughter and unable to talk, let alone stay on her chair.
'Love bag?' I ask feebly, unable to frame words with mouth that is so wide open in mirth it has stopped functioning as tool for language.
'Yes, is it a Love Bag?' asks Youngest. You could even HEAR the capital letters as he said the words.
It was no good. I couldn't answer as paralysed by hysteria. Gave up. Washed up and ran bath for still giggling Youngest.
And as I did so, mused in confused sort of a way WHY Youngest would come up with Love Bag?? But have to say that it is rather brilliant way of describing said item. New marketing tool?
And so Youngest now believes that condoms are Love Bags and that thongs are pants without a bottom.
Great conversationalist, my kids.
And so my friend's birthday? What will I get her? I thought a nice book and a bunch of flowers.
Am SO not asking my children for any more advice. EVER.
Youngest and Husband are off for on a Rugby Tour today.
Staying in a Caravan for two nights. Not exactly the Dorchester, but should be good fun.
Rugby all day Saturday, and nearly all day on Sunday. Otherwise mucking about with lots of other eight/nine year olds, doing all sorts of eight/nine year old sort of stuff. Kicking balls. Throwing balls. Scratching balls.
Youngest had some worries about Stuff.
I asked him fondly what it was that was worrying him.
'Well,' he 'pondered. 'I think that I am a bit worried about the caravan.'
Well, so am I, my angel. So am I.
'And I think that I am a bit worried about the Pirates.'
It seems that he is a Pirate for the weekend. Has to take some Pirate costume sort of thing.
Husband had come home from work this afternoon, with about an hour to spare before leaving for Rugby Tour, and started to think about what sort of Pirate things they could take.
(he's had about two months to think about what sort of Pirate things they could take.)
He had found two eye patches in a shop. Hooray!
Nothing else. Naught. Nada.
Right. OK then. Time for Motherly Intervention.
And so together we find two spotted handkerchiefs.
'I think Youngest might need something else apart from a spotted handkerchief and an eye patch,' I said, hurling Youngest's pajamas and socks into suitcase.
'No! He'll be fine with this,' says Husband, hurling pajamas and socks into suitcase. His own.
Youngest arrives home from school.
'Daddy is the stupidest daddy in the world,' he tells me as he hurls pajamas and socks into a suitcase. Apparently I had packed it 'all wrong'.
'Why?' I asked, repacking the hurled pajamas as soon as they touched the suitcase.
'Because all I have for a pirate is a stupid hanky and a stupid eye patch.' He scowls at the socks and stuffs in about fourteen t-shirts. I take them out, fold, remove twelve of them, and stuff them back in.
'Better make one then,' I say nonchalantly.
I can feel him staring at me, appalled.
'Yes. Make one. We need a really tatty pair of trousers and we hack them to pieces. Got any?'
His eyes light up, hope shining bright. He searches his room.
'This pair?' and he holds up a longish pair of shorts, hideous shade of goose poo green, and never worn.
Our eyes meet and we grin at each other.
'Come on!' I say, and we TEAR into the kitchen and race over to the scissors.
I grab the orange pair. They cut like a dream, and I start to cut jagged lines up and down the hem line.
Youngest gets really excited and pleads with me for him to have a go. He attempts to make holes in the shorts. I warn him not to have huge holes in the wrong places.
'Or all your friends will see your pants.'
Youngest finds this hysterical, which doesn't particularly help with the cutting.
But we get it done and within five minutes the shorts are tattered and beautifully Pirate like.
'Right. Now all we need is a top with horizontal stripes. WHERE will we find one of those?' I look suitably doubtful, knowing full well there is a top with horizontal stripes sitting in his chest of drawers.
'WAIT!' he shouts and dashes out of the kitchen.
Twenty seconds later he is back. Brandishing the top with horizontal stripes.
'HOORAY!' I shout, and we grin some more.
He tears off his school uniform and puts on the new Pirate costume, along with spotted handkerchief so despised five minutes before.
And with the generous loan of my gorgeous eye liner ready to be applied later to create a suitable moustache, my darling Youngest and Husband are off, grinning like Cheshire cats.
As their car crunches over the gravel I wave and wave. Youngest is waving back, all reservations gone, looking JUST like Jack Sparrow.
Only MUCH more handsome.
I SO love being a mother.
Have fun, Youngest. And don't you DARE lose my eye liner.
It is so maddening when one is in the mood to write a post, but there is absolutely no memory of a good 'post' to write about. In my early days of blogging I would dash to the computer after a particularly amusing occasion, hit those keys for about twenty minutes, check for errors, and then press that Publish Post button. Easy peezy! (peasy? peesy?) (peazey?)
Not any more. Scratching my head for inspiration (actually can safely say that have never scratched head for inspiration, only for nits or something scratchy) and NOTHING appears on brain radar to write about.
Oh, well. Could write about Middle Son's unbelievably long fart the other day... must have been a good 20 seconds of trumpeting while we looked on, stunned. You try counting that long, and then you'll appreciate the longevity (can farts have longevity?) of said let off.
But that would be juvenile and immature, and you KNOW how I hate that.
So instead perhaps I could tell you about Youngest being ill, and how he saw a spider on the pillow of his 'day bed' (sofa to me and you) and screamed the house down, real tears, shuddering by the window and howling full mouthed and shrieking as I dashed through to the sitting room, leaving the tap full on in the kitchen, thinking he was being murdered at the very least.
But I won't tell you about that (his tears turned to laughter while he was telling me about the ENORMOUS spider on the pillow, with HAIR and BODY and MUMMY IT WAS HORRIBLE)
( I laughed too and we giggled companiably together while we got his 'day bed' (sofa) back together again.) because I already just did.
Or I could write about our dog Milo eating an entire loaf of bread which Husband had left out one morning when going to work, and how I had to go to the fecking shop to get some more.
Or how I have to use sellotape to whisk the cat hairs off my duvet when the blasted cat sleeps on my bed all day, exacerbating my asthma. (brilliant method, get some really WIDE and sticky sellotape, works a treat).
The problem is that life is really good at the moment. Shit weather, mind you, but lovely otherwise.
Children are working away at school. Eldest is in London, getting on with life, exactly as he should be. Husband is beavering away at work, but enjoying his days. I am working hard at my job, and also managing to get the ironing done by the weekend. A small but miraculous event.
Am I not a boring self satisfied old cow?
OK. Enough of the old.
Just boring and self satisfied.
Oh, well. Enough said for today. Will try hard to find SOMETHING to blog about that either informs or entertains. I don't think long farts, spiders,bread eating dogs. or sellotape fall under either category.
Daughter decided to make pudding the other night to welcome Grandmother who was staying with us. She took ages to choose which one, and then eventually went for a Chocolate Swiss Roll.
Goody, we all thought. And left her to it.
From the kitchen came the sounds of cooking and pans being moved about.
We lit a fire in the sitting room. I sat back knowing that the casserole was in the oven, potatoes cooking nicely, and vegetables ready to go when needed.
Delicious smells from the kitchen. And not long later we all sit round the table.
And finally pudding arrives.
Proudly, Daughter places it in the middle of the table, next to the candles. We all stare at it, spellbound. It is beautiful. A chocolate swiss roll, all delicately powdered with icing sugar, cream gleaming from the carefully folded rolls of chocolate sponge.
Youngest stares at it too.
There is a short silence while he thinks.
And then he speaks. Oh, dear God, no...
'Now THAT is exactly the size of Middle Son's poo,' he announces finally, in triumphant tones.
For DAYS he has been trying to describe the size of said Son's poo, viewed with incredulity one morning before school in the downstairs loo.
There is an appalled silence.
And then chaos. I cannot keep in the bellyful of laughter, and heave great wheezing gasps of mirth. Daughter gives out peal after peal of giggles, which makes us all go off again. Middle Son is utterly appalled and then totally pole-axed with laughter. Mother in law goes pink, and then is off herself, giggling helplessly. Husband is seen bend double over his glass of wine. On close inspection he is crying with laughter and cannot sit upright.
And so it continued, for about 3 minutes of solid (do beg your pardon) laughter, until with hiccups and sighs and 'oh dears' we gradually stop.
Husband gallantly takes up knife to serve pudding.
'Right, who wants a piece.'
And we're off again.
Honestly, you really can't take us anywhere.
The clock is ticking. The house is quiet. Everyone is in bed, except me and my mug of horlicks. As I sip at the deliciously creamy warming drink, my socked feet curling up with pleasure, I sigh with the joy of solitude. ALL DAY LONG people have talked and chatted, laughed and giggled. And I have talked and chatted, laughed and giggled back. Lovely. But how lovely too, to be here in my silent sitting room, tapping away on these keys, while the fire crackles and mutters to itself, and the curtains are shut to the cold night air.
NOVEMBER!!!! That's when I last tapped away on my last post. Crikey. A while back.
Christmas. New Year. January. February. Nearly flipping March.
Oh! Just loving the peace.
Had a somewhat trying day yesterday. Mother in law here going off to Malaysia to visit other son. Wanted to wrap up a sword to take on plane to Malaysia.
Husband had kindly bought an ENORMOUS snow boarding case in which to pack sword. About five feet long. Two feet wide.
Sword is two and a half feet long. About eight inches wide.
And so, yesterday afternoon, while the children were at school, and Husband was at work, we stuff the sword into huge yawning space of snowboard case. Stand back.
A bit big. We think.
Mother in law thinks we should bend the snowboard case in half.
I think we should put sword back in car and forget it.
Mother in law suggests binder twine.
I think we should put sword back in car and forget it.
Mother in law suggests putting other things in snowboarding case.
I think we should put sword back in car and forget it.
Mother in law repeats all the above quite a lot of times.
I go to shed. Get the binder twine. Put all sorts of things inside the snowboarding case that Mother in law passes to me. Bend the snowboarding case in half. Sit on it. Put binder twine round the snowboarding case and pull hard at binder twine until snowboarding case is shrivelled to half the size it was. Tie binder twine very hard. Repeat at other end of snowboarding case. Get the label that has disappeared INSIDE the folds of the snowboarding case OUT, having undone half of the binder twine knots I had already tied, and put label back again, this time clearly visible to the naked eye.
Finally, it is done.
Stand back and admire.
Mother in law very pleased.
I wander off to the kitchen, thankful that the complicated exercise is now over. Cup of tea time, I think.
Mother in law wanders in after me.
'I think that I may have left the other travel labels in the snowboarding case.' she says.
Start to unwrap the first bit of binder twine.
Mother in law insists that we don't do that.
But spends the next four hours wondering whereabouts in the snowboarding case her labels are. I know that the labels are NOT in the snowboarding case, as I got to know the inside of the flipping thing very well indeed.
After quite a lot of wandering about and 'I wonder if they might be in here...' sort of thing, finally the labels are found inside her handbag. Hooray! Duty done, I retire to kitchen to make some supper.
Mother in law enters into kitchen.
Could Husband bring into the house the gun cupboard that is in the car, although it might be a Bit Heavy.
Go out to car. Peer through the boot window. In the gloom can see totally MASSIVE gun cupboard lying across the boot, while the back seat is down as the fecking thing is so huge it fills the entire backside of the car. Weights LITERALLY a ton.
Sigh heavily. Want to pound head against cool metal of car until I can't see, hear or think.
Go back inside the house and tell Mother in law that Husband can sort it out when he gets home.
As she starts to worry out loud about the gun cupboard being too heavy for the car and it might break it, I DON'T say that if it's that heavy perhaps it might not be such a good idea for Husband to stagger in with the bloody thing on his back.
Nor do I remind Mother in law that we already have a gun cupboard that has never been used because we Don't Have A Gun.
So, carry on with supper, offering Mother in law a nice big whisky and soda.
I pour rather a large one for myself too.
And together we raise a glass to each other, while shoulder to shoulder we prepare supper for the family.
Which is why, tonight is rather wonderful. No one is wanting anything or asking questions about gun cupboards (yes, it IS still in the car and probably will be there until she returns in three weeks time) or searching for something that it seems only I can find. Instead, the fire carries on crackling, and I carry on typing.
Mother in law is safely en route to Malaysia. Everyone else is in bed. And it's Just Me.
Have created a Homework Drawer. It has sellotape, glue, pencils, pens, rulers.... ANYTHING your child will need for their homework.
This follows on from approximately 18 years of homework, when a child will say, where is a Pencil, and we will spend 30 minutes finding a Pencil, which we find under the cushions on the sofa, lead smashed to smithereens by a week's worth of bottoms sitting on it.
Then child says, where is the Pencil Sharpener, and we spend another 15 minutes finding the Pencil Sharpener, which we eventually find under the sofa, next to several felt tips that have no lids on, next to the lids, with no felt pens in them.
Almost every homework has begun this way, with varying times of 'finding' things. By the time the Object has been found, all enthusiasm for Homework has evaporated, and the next half hour is spent either crying (them) or shouting (me).
Imagine the bliss of my Homework Drawer!
Child says, 'Mum, where is a Pencil?'
And I say, with ill-concealed excitement... 'In the Homework Drawer!'
And said Child goes to Drawer and opens it and FINDS THE BLOODY PENCIL ALL ON THEIR OWN!!!!!!!
Oh, the joy. The satisfaction. The peace.
Have also got my own Tool Kit, Matches, Firelighters, and Torch. They are all hidden away where NO ONE CAN FIND THEM AND PUT THEM SOMEWHERE 'SAFE'.
Because how in HELL am I supposed to know that 'the matches are outside in the shed under the chair that has some paint on it'?
Or that 'the hammer is in the greenhouse next to the black pot with seeds from last year's runner beans in it'?
Or that 'the firelighters are on the patio'?
And so I am at last an organised person, who knows where things are.
Well, where THOSE things are.
Still haven't a clue where my wellington boots are, last seen on my feet before the weekend, and worn by someone else since, who put them 'somewhere, but can't remember quite where'.
Or where my entire sock collection is. Husband says he put them in my drawer.
'Oh', he says, 'Maybe I put them in someone else's? What colour were they again? Yes, they might be in Daughter's sock drawer.' Go to Daughter's sock drawer. Find Youngest's entire sock collection, plus Middle Son's entire sock collection, but not mine, or Daughter's.
Go back to Husband and tell him, who says, 'have I tried Middle Son's Sock Drawer?'
In a word, no.
And so while some things are blissfully in the place where I have put them, other things aren't.
Mystery solved! Cat thoroughly does business on bathroom floor. As we are about to leave for rugby with Youngest. Make sensible decision to leave until AFTER rugby as pushed for time.
Arrive back from rugby (cancelled, so watched London to Brighton Old Car thing from rather nice cafe in Cuckfied.... beats hovering on edge of filthy pitch for two hours)
Get marigolds, disinfectant, bucket, hot water, knife (don't ask) and courage. Tell family that I am going up to deal with large cat dump in bathroom. Oh, they say, and carry on with the making of Yorkshire Puddings. Sensible decision.
Arrive in bathroom. Place bucket on floor. Put marigolds on. Deep breath.
Gone. Sniff carpet. (well... wouldn't YOU?) Scratch head. Sniff again.
Where the HELL is the poo?? Clean as a whistle on floor. No sign of poo. Anywhere.
Behind me there is a noise. Look round.
Milo, our labrador, looking Very Guilty.
And it dawns on me.
He's flipping well eaten it. Every last bit. And may I just add that it was a particularly revolting one... not very well formed, if you see what I mean. (Are you still there? How lovely!!)
Took bucket, marigolds, disinfectant, hot water, knife and courage downstairs again.
Told family. Who all went Ewwwwwwwww.
Poured Large Gin and Tonic. Raised a glass to my poo ingesting canine friend.
Sure gives Poop Scoop a new meaning.
Bigger. More lethal.
Requiring attention and military detail.
Cancelling everything else in order to give time EXCLUSIVELY to it.
So familiar and yet so strange.
Chicken Pox is back.
Youngest has discovered spots in orifices he didn't even know he had.
He is COVERED.
Almost got to the point where they all join up.
Am doing comforting things and being generally rather a Good Egg.
He is not impressed.
'My bottom itches. MUM. It ITCHES'
Clearly I can't scratch that area for him. Can I?
And how on EARTH is he to scratch that one INSIDE HIS EAR.
Calamine lotion not here yet, as Husband will bring some. Helpfully, he won't be home until 1.00 am.
Meanwhile will continue to be in Patient Mother Mode (PMM) until Husband Get Home. (HGH)
Very proud. Have painted our sitting room a rather Farrow and Ball green, which goes extremely nicely with our white cupboards, and the gorgeous sunlight that streams through the windows for most of the day. Thrilled with it.
Had interesting moment in B & Q when Middle Son and I were perusing the paint colours. Did we want Forest Glade 4 or Evergreen 3? Um.
A nightmare of gazing very closely at colours that are IDENTICAL.
With different names.
Middle Son said, very loudly in the middle of Paint Section of B & Q that he thought we should go and look in the Durex Section.
Got quite a few Looks from other paint enthusiasts.
Had to subdue giggles while peering closely at Brilliant DULUX White choices, as was finding it hard to hold it in, as it were.
Middle Son pink with embarrassment, but also finding it hard not to break into hysteria. So joined me by the Brilliant White section, and we both laughed hard but silently, into the 5 litre paint pots until we had maintained some sort of equilibrium.
Bought our paint.
I cannot believe how completely useless I have been at blogging. But I have a reason. And it's partly a good reason, and partly a bad one.
I think I'll get the bad reason over first, because it is more of a confession than a reason.
There! I said it!
I know, I know... UTTER bollocks and WHY does anyone bother going on Facebook, when there isn't a Face or a Book in sight. When it's much easier to pick up a phone and RING someone. When you can go out in the street (lane, in my case) and just TALK to someone. Much better, eh? Than hauling oneself up in some seedy room, tapping madly on the keys, commenting on some silliness that someone has written about what they had for tea or the shape of the new shoes they have bought.
I know, I know. UTTER bollocks.
But oh, so tempting....
So. Confession over.
And straight on to the Good Reason.
Am writing !! Book! Children's! Nearly finished! Hooray!
In addition to all house work, and Work Work, and trying to maintain the smallest amount of order amongst family, children, garden and dog...
But AM writing and so loving it.
Even if it IS total Toss (which am hoping is NOT) but even if it IS am thrilled to bits that I started something, carried on, and now have almost finished.
Will then need to go back and edit and Stuff. (note how NOT author-like I am...)
And then can write those wonderful words at the end.
So. Hope all your lives are swimmingly gorgeous. Anyone else feel a little nicer towards Murray now? The great big girl's blouse.
Am a Mother. To four children. Am a Wife. To one Husband. Live a chaotic, task-filled life, where nothing is ever tidy enough, clean enough or paid enough. Despite that, there are moments of great contentment.
I try to write about the things in my life that make me spit out my tea. And any biscuit lurking.
I LOVE this life. But sometimes I yearn for a clean and tidy one.