Thursday, 20 February 2014

Gracie six-years, two months, Didi, three-years, eight months, Bliss two-years, five months


So I am writing this with Gracie sat in bed next to me. She is watching Rainbow Brite on my Kindle (which she is better at using than me). I was a huge Rainbow Brite fan as a kid.

I had the wallpaper, duvet set, toy horse, everything. The only thing I never got, was to see any of the actual TV programme. John and Michael used to give me a dead leg and make me watch Thundercats instead.

Didi and Bliss don't know who Rainbow Brite is, but they enjoy stealing the doll I found Gracie on ebay (overpriced and a bit stinky) and putting it in Buddy's basket.

Buddy just had his tackle removed and is chewing everything in sight to reassert his manhood. I asked my dad if this was normal and he said he was just the same when he had his done, so I feel very reassured.

He also had a poisonous wart removed from the end of his nose (Buddy, not dad) and looks a bit of a state. Someone asked me where I got my 'old rescue' from the other day. I was incensed!

My handsome dog is asleep on the floor next to me, on his little fleece blanket. Every so often he wags his tail and lets out a 'love puff'. Gracie has got the lavender spray close at hand. James is out so we don't have to put him in the garden.

Didi and Bliss are asleep upstairs, but how long for is anyone's guess. They still wake four or five times a night for a cup of tea or a cuddle or a wee, or because Bliss has lost her Snowdog. (A tiny plastic toy she clutches in her sweaty hand at all times - apart from when she dropped it down the loo as she was doing a poo earlier. Luckily James was still here at the time.)

Her and Didi go to Pre-school together now. The incident book has a few more entries than normal.  My lovely friend and their key-worker, Joy, spends a lot of time cleaning orange paint up in the bathroom after they leave.

I still have Bliss at home on a Monday and Friday. We walk Buddy down the beach then drink lots of tea to the annoying sound of Fireman Sam, which they are all obsessed with.


They have Fireman Sam phones they call one another from and Fireman Sam laptops and jigsaws and books and safety hats. Not as safe as they seem. They are too big and Didi walks into lampposts when she wears hers.

The siren in Fireman Sam sounds a lot like the noise of our tumble drier. I find the noise comforting. I think "Ah, lovely. Another load of clothes being dried." It turns James into a maniac.
He spends a long time cleaning socks and dog hairs out the filter in a bid to make it quieter. I call him my DIY hunk. He tells me to piss off.

He has started buying me box-sets to get some peace in the evenings. Amazon parcels arrive all the time. Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife, Game of Thrones.

He claims to buy them because I need to rest more. We both know he loves the hour or two of complete silence each evening. Apart from when someone dies, or has a baby. Then I cry and he has to come up and cuddle me. When I thought Twister was dead in Lark Rise To Candleford I cried so hard he could not understand a word I said.

It was a bit like last week, when I phoned him, hysterical, to tell him the Budgie was dead.
"Buddy? Buddy is dead?!!"
"NO, No. Sam, the budgie. The poor budgie."
"The budgie is dead?"
"Yes. Isn't it awful? You'll have to come home and get rid of it. I can't bear to look at it."
"You have seriously phoned me in the middle of a Board Meeting to tell me the Budgie is dead?"
"Yes (slightly less hysterical) I am scared of dead birds."

Speaking of birds, the chickens have found a way to escape and like to go off visiting the neighbours. It's a bit annoying, but watching the neighbours try and catch them to bring them back is very funny indeed.

We were going to move, but it fell through. I think it was fate. This house is not ideal for someone with RA but it's our home and we love it. James proposed on this drive (more romantic than it sounds), I bought my babies home here from hospital. It's open-plan so I can chat to James at all times. He pretends he cannot hear me over the noise of Mr McTumble. I don't mind. I save up lots of chat for long car journeys. No escape then.

Gracie is getting on well at school. I can't believe Didi will be starting this year. It seems impossible. She still has at least four screaming tantrums a day and can't say the word please. The thought of her sitting in a classroom fills me with dread.

Bliss on the other hand, would be fine to go to school now. She is the biggest know-all you ever met. It's like having a mini James with pigtails. "No no, not like that. I know how to do it. I'm so clever. Look at me, I am a princess!"

I am still not in remission, but hopefully it's not too far away. I want to feel a bit fitter than I do now, so I am going to start swimming again. James happily re-started my gym membership. I think it's so I might shave my legs for the first time in a year.

He has been wonderfully supportive. I'm a distinctly different creature to the girl he met all those years ago. I was young and sassy back then. Now I'm more like a narcoleptic mountain goat. Dropping-off to sleep all the time and falling over frequently.

He is always picking me back up.

Photos below, and more on what we have been up to at www.muminthesouth.co.uk 

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https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153654053245722.1073741837.632600721&type=1&l=0d1b59f4d8



xxx








Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Gracie Five years 23 months, Didi Three years five months, Bliss Two years two months

So Gracie wrote her letter to Santa last night. Reading her writing makes me want to cry.

Starting Year One, She had this bloody awful teacher and it made her clam up. No reading or writing developments, tears at bedtime.

On the last day of term, the whole school dressed up as characters from Roald Dahl books.

Now you know my girl has never liked people dressing up. She clung to me in her crocodile costume, suddenly feeling far less brave.

I was desperately trying to persuade her everything was still the same, but her best friend's white hair was covered in a black wig and her heavily pregnant teacher was dressed as a giant peach.

Her bottom lip wobbled. Her hand clutched mine. Bliss meanwhile, trotted in, sat down on the story mat and tucked into Gracie's lunchbox.

I was just wrestling to get her across the threashold when the headmaster strode over, dressed as Miss Trunchball. Fake breasts, skirt and hairy legs included. He shouted in a high pitched reedy voice.
Gracie started screaming. Didi tried to look up his skirt. It was time to give up and go home.

I am pleased to report the horrid teacher has left. On the day the (fantastic) new teacher started, Gracie came home and wrote a list of the differences between the new teacher and the old one, and she has not stopped writing since.

Didi is thriving at pre-school. She has made a little friend. She talks about her all the time and wants her to move in with us. Her friend is quite a lot younger. I suppose for Didi, it's a chance to have a little sister who does not attack her. 

On their play-date, they walked to the baker's holding hands and picked the same biscuits. They were inseperable all afternoon. At one point her friend needed a poo and Didi was right there to pull down her knickers and wipe her bum after. She is going to be such a wonderful friend to have. You can see it all there in her.

Bliss is, well, Bliss. Loud, bossy, vicious, charming, clever. A sausage eating, potty-trained princess. I adore her. I want to put her in a small box that stops her from being able to grow up.

My RA is much better. You can read about my developments here on my muminthesouth blog.

The girls are looking forward to Christmas. Gracie is taking her three best friends Ice Skating, then to Pizza Express and then they are having a pyjama party. We have to talk about it alot.

Buddy is gorgeous. A soppy, squidgy wuss of a dog, but we love him. He does not mind when Bliss rides on his back, or shares his doggy biscuits in his bowl. He makes me get out walking every day. I have taken to sitting by the sea while he chases seaweed and bits of driftwood. It will never give me the same buzz that running used to, but it gives me something else. Peace. Time to think.

We bought two more chickens. I now know why it's called a 'pecking order'. Old chickens do NOT like new chickens moving in with them.

When I go up the garden to put the washing out they race over to me clucking and bworking like mad - desperate to tell me how unhappy they are and dob the other chickens in.

When they come out from the Eglu each morning all four have feathers missing. I imagine scene in the tight, stinking roosting shelf overnight. "You budge up, I was here first! That is where I lay my eggs!" "Say it to my face punk!"

James is really good. He is pretending he does not want to be Father Christmas at the pre-school fayre again this year, but we all know he does really.

He has been asked to be Father Christmas at the school fayre too. "He has such a great personality for it" all the mums coo at me, as he starts up a football game after school, using his balled-up jumper as a goal post. It's like that scene from Kes with Brian Glover.

He is still mad on cycling. I love him in Lycra but I find the graphs and rankings he shows me on Strava very boring. He came bursting in the other day to tell me he was the fifth fastest person to go up our hill.

He is falling in love with Buddy. He thinks I am asleep but I hear him... "Hello Buddy boy" he says. "Are you a woogie woogie woo?"

When I asked him to pick up some training treats, he came back with dog sushi. How can someone even be a snob when it comes to buying dog treats!

Anyway, photos here. Love to all

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gracie five-years nine months, Dee-Dee three-years three months, Bliss twenty-three months, Buddy ten weeks


So the summer is over. We are tanned and tired and have a puppy who keeps us up all night crying.
It's sort of fine because the girls cry at night-time too, so it all merges into one.

His name is Buddy. He is ten weeks old, and I love him. He is my birthday present and replacement treadmill as I can no longer run.

Bliss loves him even more than I do though. "My Buddy-buddy. Kiss me Buddy-Buddy. Lick me Buddy-Buddy."

Last night she summoned James up to her bedroom at 1.45am to say "Buddy-Buddy sad downstairs. Daddy go give him kisses... then make me tea."

"I'll have tea if you are making it!!" Gracie hollered, from next to me in bed, which is where she has decided to sleep from now on. "Oooh, being as we are up, shall we watch Finding Nemo mummy?"
"I AM NOT AWAKE!" I shouted at her.
The dog woke at the sound of my sqwark and howled, which woke up Dee-Dee who wanted a story read to her, at 3am.

We are like an advert for contraception.

Our holiday to France was ace, although (trying to) sleep in a tiny cabin with small children who had access to lots of light-switches was not.

At one stage Bliss found the master-switch and plunged us into pitch-blackness. James fell off the top bunk while I went backwards through the toilet door and landed in the shower. It was a bit of a rough crossing in more ways than one.

The girls LOVED mum and dad's swimming pool. I loved not having to do any housework or cooking. When James reads this he will say "You don't do any cooking anyway."

He spent most of the holiday clad in tight lycra cycling up mountains. My dad offered to give him a lift. I got a text from James five hours later saying "Your dad is a bastard. Why doesn't he like me?!"

Dad had listened to James describe the mountain he wanted to ride up.. then dropped him off at a much bigger one.

Life is no calmer. I have good days and bad days with my RA. The kids went back to school and pre-school today. Buddy is asleep on my feet and I'm drinking tea. Today is a good day.

Obviously I am going to take the puppy to classes. I am thinking of putting a dog costume on Bliss and taking her along too. Buddy is ten weeks old and poos outside. Bliss is almost two and poo's on the mat in the playroom.

I gave up work. It was too much. I am now at SAHM (stay-at-home-mum) once again. I'm wearing my jim-jams as I type and James' football socks. I feel I am where I belong.

Photos here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153237268420722.1073741829.632600721&type=1&l=8b6517c6d0

xx

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Gracie five-years-seven-months, three-years-one-month, Bliss twenty-one-months

So DD is three. I wrote about her birthday party here. And Bliss is twenty-one months and wants to potty train which I wrote about here.

And my Gracie girl is five and a half. She has almost finished her first year at school. On her first day she still liked me to pat her on the head to get her poo out, now she comes home saying "So and so got put on the amber light for saying the teacher did farting and everyone laughed."

She talks about boys and makes them cards with hearts on which winds James up no end.

It also winds him up when she picks all his flowers and throws stones and sticks on his precious lawn. He is very funny about his lawn. Ideally only he and his precious chickens (who have stopped laying eggs because they are broody) would be allowed on it. We remind him of this when they escape out of their run and he wants us to help catch them. We sit watching instead and say "Come on Rocky! You can do it!."

DD is obsessed with carrying around a small pink picnic-basket which she calls her "super-case" (suitcase.) It is full of utter junk and very is heavy. Last week she fell down the stairs and landed on it and it gave her a fat lip. She still refuses to be parted from it. When she was asleep last night (after I'd read "The lion who ate all his supper" - AKA The Tiger Who Came To Tea) I had a look inside it. She had packed my insect repellent candle, a carriage clock, three pairs of spare knicker, five big stones and a lip balm.

Bliss often tries to attack DD to get her super-case. DD is petrified of this happening and runs off screaming. Bliss laughs in delight, before easily catching up with her, pulling her hair, biting her and snatching the super-case.

Bliss is very vicious. She has a large vocabulary now but all she really likes to say is "POO" "NO" and "CAKE."  James went on a trip to the zoo with her and DD the other day. DD came back and told me that her favourite animal was the poo she stroked (the giant millipede) and Bliss' was the CAKE.

I was not there as I'm still struggling with the Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is also the reason why this blog post is late. Something I vowed I would never let happen. I'm having to let a lot of things I did not want to happen, happen.

James is often responsible for picking the girl's clothes and styling their hair on the days my fingers don't feel like waking up and working.  He does his best. I wish he did not use the end of the hoover pipe to pull their hair into a ponytail before sliding the band on, but there we go. He tried to win the dad's race for DD at her sports day last week which you can read about here.

The girls are very sweet to me on my bad days. They come and see me in bed and kiss my feet with their little rosebud mouths. They make me cards and stroke my hair.

They are very close to one-another. It's like they are attached on a piece of string. One comes racing down the stairs, and then another, and then the last. It's all I ever wanted, for them to be friends. They spend hours in the garden, naked and covered in mud, playing together under the trampoline or pushing one another on the swings.

They are amazing. I won a brilliance in blogging award last month, but really, it should have had their name on, not mine. They are the brilliant ones. I just write it down.

Photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153016923765722.1073741828.632600721&type=1&l=de38ff2265

x

Friday, 3 May 2013

Gracie five-years five months, Daisy two years - eleven months, Bliss nineteen months

So there have been some big changes in our household this last month. I've got a job! I refuse to say 'I've gone back to work' because compared to what I've been doing for the last four years, it's more like going back to a lovely rest.

I am a contractor for Brighton Journalist Works, which is where I did my qualification a few years ago. They got in contact and said they were looking for someone to help with recruitment, marketing and teaching Social Media, and thought of me.

Arranging the childcare was a headache, deciding what to wear was even worse. Luckily I work with students so I figure it's good that I blend right in.  It's fun actually. I love having a desk, and a swivel chair, and drinking cups of tea that do not get spilled down me by someone leaping on my lap for a cuddle.

I love texting James to say I am 'In a meeting and can't talk right now.' For so long he has been the only VIBL in our house (Very Important Business Lad) but now I am one too (Very Important Business Lady).

I like having conversations that don't have the word poo-poo in them. I like sitting down for more than five minutes at a time. I like driving along listening to Radio 4 and feeling very grown up.

But by 2.30pm I ache for my girls. I'm desperate to hear their incessant babble, to hold their pudgy hands and sniff their ever-sticky necks. I love the way they chant my name when I go to collect them, bombarding me with love cards and homemade flapjack.

(Of course Dee-Dee makes sure she screams as loudly and desperately as she can each time I drop her off so I drive to work feeling like the WME (worst mother ever). Apparently she stops within seconds, but I don't know that.)

I have untold patience for dressing up dollies in fiddly dresses, rolling out play-doh, reading Sam-I-Am in silly voices. I genuinely want to know if they've done a poo.

Bliss could not care less that she sees less of me. She leaps out my arms and gaily waves me off from her childminder's ample bosom. She has a truly lovely time snatching things off all the other children and begging for biscuits. I have to hide her lunch-box from her or she eats it all before we leave the house.

Gracie does not seem too fussed about it either. She is too busy going on the Amber light at school for naughty behaviour (running round shouting, just like her father) and making love cards for Vaughan.

Vaughan told his mum (who told me) "I don't have a girlfriend but Gracie is really pretty. DON'T TELL ANYONE THOUGH!"

Of course she told me. Of course I told Gracie. She lit up like a Christmas tree. James got cross and went to dig a manly hole in the garden.  He lost his wedding ring in doing so and is currently walking up and down the length of the garden with a child's metal detector, which goes off at the sound of his voice.

He was digging foundations for his summer house, which is where he plans to watch his chickens. Yep. We are getting chickens. The two demented Budgies we have flying madly round the house and constantly nesting in our hair are not enough for him apparently.

It all started on our Welsh farm holiday. Actually, it started on the tour of the farm. (Bliss fell in love with a tiny dog called Dora. She kept bending down to kiss it. Unfortunately, she tried to mount it, and in my wrong-footed attempt to get her off, I accidentally trod on the dog’s paw. The dog thought it was Bliss who had trodden on her paw however, so turned and barked at her, which broke Bliss' heart and left her inconsolable. She really thought they had bonded.)

Anyway, it was after we met Alan-the-calf who had been born in the night.  Gracie was very keen to stroke him. Alan’s mum was not so keen. Dee Dee was not keen on any of the animals at all and kept demanding “Tea, Mr Tumble, go hooooome”. Luckily, the freezing arctic winds blew the words from her mouth and scattered them over the rugged Welsh landscape, well out of earshot.

Gracie then went and collected the chicken eggs. She fell in A LOT of chicken-poo but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it? This is where it all started. Unbeknown to me, James had swotted up on chickens before the tour so he would know all the answers when the farmer asked “Do you know which chicken this egg came from?” or  “Does anyone know how old this breed of chicken is?” He could honestly make a quiz out of anything.

The farmer was a bit annoyed with James stealing his chicken-thunder so made him carry the pig feed. The pigs chased James. He dropped the feed and ran like a big girl. The farmer felt his sense of importance and manliness were suitably restored.

We are now buying chickens to restore James' sense of importance and manliness.

We don't have them yet. We can't work out how to put the Eglu hutch together. While we work it out, James keeps reading about how to kill them.  According to him, you softly sneak up on them in the middle of the night, carrying a red light, arms by your sides. You then pick the victim up by it's feet before walking slowly off with it. Once in a safe place you break it's neck, or put it under a broom handle and then jump on it. I'm not sure why I need to know this. I am not sure why James is so keen to kill them before we even have them.

He is also obsessed with foxes. Last night he read that he regularly needs to pee round the cage as foxes don't like that. I said "Neither do wives and neighbours." He is getting a fox alarm and a night camera so he can see what goes on.

Dee-Dee is getting very excited about her third birthday. She is having a big party in the sports centre next to our house, with a bouncy castle and face-painting and balloons. She wants a cake covered in sweeties, a dolly and a 'trolley' for her presents.

My feet are still a bit rubbish. MRI on the 14th May so hopefully that will be able to tell us some more. Some days I have to wear my silly big plastic boots. Those are the days I often fall down the drive. Some days I do the school run in my slippers - but we are getting through it. The girls keep asking me "Are you feet better now mummy?" which is lovely and sad at the same time.
I miss exercising 'like the deserts miss the rain' but I'm trying other things. Like Pilates. I don't have a mat so I went in the playroom to borrow the girls sleeping bag. Dee was not keen to give it up. "I need it for my pilates" "I like parties" she said. I gave up trying to explain the difference between pilates and parties.

Pilates is OK. I am not very good at the 'pelvic elevator.' I think my pelvic floor is more like one of those rides you can go on at theme parks where you get in an elevator, and then it drops to the floor at horrifying speed.

Photos here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152805056855722.1073741826.632600721&type=1&l=921ee81db4

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152238303015722.1673125.632600721&type=3



The farm we were staying on was lovely. And it had a nice big fence round it so, like sheep, the children could not escape. And all the trying to escape wore them out anyway (not enough to actually sleep of course).
We had a tour of the farm. Thing-three fell in love with a tiny dog called Dora. She kept bending down to kiss it. (There was that moment towards the end where she tried to mount it, and my wrong-footed attempt to get her off, which resulted in me treading on the dog’s foot, and the dog thinking it was Thing-three, so turned and barked at her, which broke Thing-three’s heart as she really thought they had bonded). So sweet.
We met Alan-the-calf who had been born in the night.  She was called Alan as she had been born in the middle of Alan’s leaving party. The staff were worried the mooing had kept us up. We thought the mooing was Thing-two so just ignored it anyway.
Thing-one was very keen to stroke Alan. Alan’s mum was not so keen. Thing-two was not keen on any of the animals at all and kept demanding “Tea, Mr Tumble, go hooooome”. Luckily, the freezing arctic winds blew the words from her mouth and scattered them over the rugged Welsh landscape, well out of earshot.
Thing-one collected the chicken eggs. She fell in A LOT of chicken-poo but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it? The husband swotted up on chickens before the tour so he would know all the answers when the farmer asked “Do you know which chicken this egg came from?” or  “Does anyone know how old this breed of chicken is?”
The farmer was a bit annoyed with the husband stealing his chicken-thunder so made him carry the pig feed. The pigs chased the husband. He dropped the feed and ran like a big girl. The farmer felt his sense of importance and manliness were suitably restored.
We are now buying chickens to restore the husband’s sense of importance and manliness.
Thing-three briefly went missing, but was soon found chasing lambs round. (She was determined to ride one of the animals).
Thing-two sat in the car with the heating on watching Mr Tumble on the portable DVD player, signing to herself.
All in all they behaved so well we decided to stop at Peppa Pig World on the way home. Luckily, it took so long to get there, and was so ridiculously cold, that it was almost empty (and due to close any moment).
Thing-one got over her fear of ‘big-heads’ just in time to meet Suzy-sheep. We had to take her away soon after as Thing-two kept trying to climb inside the costume. Thing-three just stared, quietly working out the best way to climb on Suzy’s back, her biggest challenge yet.
- See more at: http://muminthesouth.co.uk/2013/04/how-not-to-have-a-relaxing-holiday-with-small-children#sthash.xWQ4KAW1.dpuf
The farm we were staying on was lovely. And it had a nice big fence round it so, like sheep, the children could not escape. And all the trying to escape wore them out anyway (not enough to actually sleep of course).
We had a tour of the farm. Thing-three fell in love with a tiny dog called Dora. She kept bending down to kiss it. (There was that moment towards the end where she tried to mount it, and my wrong-footed attempt to get her off, which resulted in me treading on the dog’s foot, and the dog thinking it was Thing-three, so turned and barked at her, which broke Thing-three’s heart as she really thought they had bonded). So sweet.
We met Alan-the-calf who had been born in the night.  She was called Alan as she had been born in the middle of Alan’s leaving party. The staff were worried the mooing had kept us up. We thought the mooing was Thing-two so just ignored it anyway.
Thing-one was very keen to stroke Alan. Alan’s mum was not so keen. Thing-two was not keen on any of the animals at all and kept demanding “Tea, Mr Tumble, go hooooome”. Luckily, the freezing arctic winds blew the words from her mouth and scattered them over the rugged Welsh landscape, well out of earshot.
Thing-one collected the chicken eggs. She fell in A LOT of chicken-poo but that’s all part of the fun isn’t it? The husband swotted up on chickens before the tour so he would know all the answers when the farmer asked “Do you know which chicken this egg came from?” or  “Does anyone know how old this breed of chicken is?”
The farmer was a bit annoyed with the husband stealing his chicken-thunder so made him carry the pig feed. The pigs chased the husband. He dropped the feed and ran like a big girl. The farmer felt his sense of importance and manliness were suitably restored.
We are now buying chickens to restore the husband’s sense of importance and manliness.
Thing-three briefly went missing, but was soon found chasing lambs round. (She was determined to ride one of the animals).
Thing-two sat in the car with the heating on watching Mr Tumble on the portable DVD player, signing to herself.
All in all they behaved so well we decided to stop at Peppa Pig World on the way home. Luckily, it took so long to get there, and was so ridiculously cold, that it was almost empty (and due to close any moment).
Thing-one got over her fear of ‘big-heads’ just in time to meet Suzy-sheep. We had to take her away soon after as Thing-two kept trying to climb inside the costume. Thing-three just stared, quietly working out the best way to climb on Suzy’s back, her biggest challenge yet.
- See more at: http://muminthesouth.co.uk/2013/04/how-not-to-have-a-relaxing-holiday-with-small-children#sthash.xWQ4KAW1.dpuf

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gracie five and three months, Daisy two and nine months, Bliss seventeen months

So Daisy is now at nursery three mornings a week. At least I think she is. The reports I hear back don't sound like the Daisy we know and struggle with. 'Adorable' 'SO polite' 'Bright as a button' 'A caring-sharer' 'Great at yoga!'. It's perplexing. Maybe they have her confused with the other Daisy who also attends.

She always has fun when she goes, but sobs each time I drop her off to ensure that I don't have any myself and instead spend my four hours of freedom feeling guilty. Meanwhile, she is having a ball with the two naughtiest boys in nursery. They don't really like her hanging around with them, but when has that ever put my girl off anything? She screeches at them to eat their sandwhiches and laughs at the subsequent tantrums she creates.

Bliss now goes to the childminder and has a lovely time rugby-tackling the cats and wiping her nose on them. When they run out the cat-flap to get away, she sits in front of it (sulking) so they can't get back in. She still refuses to take her coat off. If I try and get it off her it becomes a wrestling match and I always 'tap-out' first. At least when I take photos of her she looks like she gets out and about alot.

Gracie had her first parent's evening and got a great report. We were allowed to look through her drawer of work. All the other children's drawers were nice and tidy. My little magpie had stuffed hers with bits of tin-foil and feathers and tiny pebbles. The teacher told me how kind she was, and how she always tries to get people to be friends again if they have fallen out. Again, I found this perplexing. At home, her sole purpose seems to be seeing how quickly she can make her siblings cry.

Her school playground backs onto the carpark for Daisy's nursery, so when I pick D up, we go and spy on Gracie. She is always running or skipping or laughing. It's so lovely to see. We don't hear the same reports about Daisy at nursery. She hates going outside. She also hates anyone else going outside. It's the same at home. We will all be in the garden (getting shouted at by James for breathing too close to one of his flowers) while Daisy stands on the doorstep demanding we all come in out the 'chilly chilly'. She also hates the seaside and the snow.

James says I have made old women out of the girls already, as they are obsessed with cups of tea and fleecy trousers. He says this then goes back to his Fish-keeping magazine. Saying that, recently he's been studying lots of cooking books, determined to win the cake-baking competition at Gracie's school. I offered to whip up some of my infamous banana bread. He looked at me like I was a bit simple. Obviously it's not that good afterall.

In other news, our car blew up on the A27 last weekend. James is delighted he never has to be seen in it, on it, or near it again. (Family joke. Years ago we went to France to see my parents. They took us to a car boot sale. Dad saw some stemless wine glasses he liked. Mum told him he had awful taste. Later the same day, mum saw a rug she liked. Delighted at the chance to get his own back, my dad shouted "AWFUL, would not be seen dead in it" then he realised you don't often get seen dead 'in' a rug, so he added 'on it...NEAR IT!")

I must confess I won't be sad to see the back of it. No-one likes having a car they spent thousands of pounds on being referred to as 'the window-licker-mobile'.

We have two new additions to the family. A pair of budgies which Gracie has called 'Sam-I-am' and 'Green-eggs-and-ham'. The children are scared of their loud squawk and they are scared of the children. Especially Bliss who lurks about trying to lick their cuttlefish.

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Gracie five, Daisy two-and-a-half, Bliss fifteen months

So I can no longer say “I have-three under-fives”. That was my explanation for everything, my un-brushed hair, bad behaviour (kids, not me), lateness, poor driving, you name it. What will my excuse be now?

I’m finding it very hard to adjust to having a five-year-old. I was telling Gracie tales about when she was a lovely little baby. I had to stop, mid-story, to bite my fist and look into the middle-distance, trying to stop the inevitable tears. She said “Mum, if it makes you cry so much, you can just pretend I am still four” and ran off.

I can’t even clutch Bliss to me to get a lovely-little-baby fix. She weighs the same as Gracie and bites if you approach her without food. We finally got her feet measured. We went to Clarks. When we first had Gracie’s feet measured, I sneered at Clarks, claiming they were generic and remedial. Third time round? Clarks is easy to park outside, therefore it will do just fine.

Turns out we have been cramming Bliss’ bricks (I mean feet) into shoes that are far too narrow for her all this time. It’s probably why she kept removing them mere seconds after I’d spent ten minutes jamming them on. 

It’s all different now she has her remedial, school-mistress, Clarks-specials though. I have to wrestle them off her at night-time. She spends all day clomping about in them, treading on our toes and kicking us.

And she won’t take her GIANT coat off either. If we dare remove it when entering the house she does her angry goose noise “uuuuurrrnnkKK, uuuurrrrnnnkKKKK” and bites us. At home she lurks under the hat-stand, jumping up and down in her big shoes trying to grab our coats.

On a good note, at least she is always ready to leave the house, unlike Daisy-the-naturist who can’t bear having any clothes on.

I have to bribe her with strawberry laces just to get her into knickers, and if they don’t have Peppa Pig on, I can forget it. All she wants to do is watch Peppa (naked). Whilst I am delighted by the boost it’s given her vocabulary, I’ve realised that Peppa is a precocious spoiled brat and I can’t stand her.

She never says please or thank you, she picks on her poor little brother George, and those two fat parents don’t offer any discipline at all. They just laugh and fall over all the time. These are Daisy’s idols.

She had her second settle-in at pre-school today. I asked when they thought she would be ready to stay a whole session. The response was “Let’s not run before we can walk.”

Bliss can talk too now. She can see mummy, daddy, Daisy, Gracie, milk, snack, juice, keys, up, that no, yes. The list goes on and on. When Daisy was her age… well, let’s not go there shall we? They are all different and they all do, (or do not do) things in their own time.

Daisy's talking is much better now anyway. She tells me her nose is falling down when it needs wiping. She always notices when I've cleaned out my car "Your car all lovely nice innit mummy?" she appreciates the smell of my posh Badedas bubble bath "Mmm, what that lovely smell mummy?" If we ever go to get anything from the shelf which houses the medicine and plasters she asks "Who sick? (only she does not pronounce the W, so it's more "OOOooh sick?" )

A real chatterbox. Especially at 4am when she comes downstairs with her heavy Peppa Pig book and wants to read it to us, or shout "MAKE ME TEA DADDY!" very loudly in his face.

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