Saturday, 16 February 2013

I don't know why I did that...

There's nowt so queer as folk so they say.  Humans are a strange species, riddled with quirks and habits ranging from a little eccentric to bat-poop bonkers.  As a member of the human race I have a few oddball moments of my own and I have no idea why or what causes me to behave so strangely.  I'll share a few of them with you and maybe that will offer some small crumb of hope that you're not the only one out there who secretly suspects themselves of missing a marble or two.

The Spooky Stair Run.
The Spooky Stair Run can happen at any time of the day but is most common in the twilight hours of darkness.  I'll be upstairs with nothing sinister or frightening on my mind, merrily going about my business like a normal person until I go to walk down the stairs.  At the top of the stairs, I'm suddenly convinced there must be a ghost or something terrible (but invisible) behind me.

I'll take a few steps at a quick pace, the next few at a trot which will develop into a full thundering gallop down the stairs by which time I'm so convinced at the likelihood of the presence of the terrible invisible being that I'll take my chances and leap down the last few steps ninja-styley.

I do not know why I do this.

The Lights-Off Long Jump.
This bears some similarity to The Spooky Stair Run in that it relies on a totally unfounded and irrational conviction that something terrible (and invisible) now not only wants to chase you down the stairs but is now lying under your bed with the intention of grabbing you as you go to tuck yourself in.  Quite why this being would want to fondle my ankles as I climb into bed is anyone's guess.

I'll go to turn the bedroom light off, ensure that I have a clear run to the bed and flick the light off.  I'll then run blindly in the darkness until I estimate that I'm within leaping distance of the bed and pounce on it like a deranged feline on an unsuspecting rodent.

I do not know why I do this either.

The Honey-I'm-Home Huff.
I love my husband.  He's funny and kind and pretty sexy too.  I enjoy his company and miss him terribly when we're apart.  Why then, does the sound of his key in the door turn me into either a sulky brat or a hateful fishwife full of rage?

The Honey-I'm-Home Huff isn't a daily occurrence I hasten to add.  However, on occasions it rears its strange and totally unnecessary head.  Its starts like day, I'll be happy throughout the afternoon and eagerly awaiting husband's return from work.

I'll hear his car pull up outside and my mood will inexplicably drop slightly.

I'll hear the front door open and I'll feel decidedly teasy.  Then the poor man will open his unwitting mouth and say a friendly greeting to me and that's it, I'm really pissed off and I have no idea why.

I don't know why I do that!

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Map of Doom...

Cabin fever.  Its a real thing.  I didn't know what it was until I had children.  Now that I have three children I am very familiar with the phenomena that is cabin fever.  I can only describe it as a feeling of utter despair and isolation.  After an unreasonable amount of time sat in front of the TV watching children's programmes that usually involve singing vegetables or freakishly ugly animated infants, cabin fever will set in.

My advice to anyone who is currently owned by a small child is GET OUT!  Get out of the house.

If its cold, put a coat on.
If its raining, get wet.
If its the end times and fire and brimstone are raining down, grab a fire extinguisher,put on a bike helmet and hope for the best.

Do not stay in the house.  If you do you'll end up talking to yourself in the mirror just to have a conversation with a grown-up.  Either that or you'll become well practised in all of the dance moves from the end scene in Despicable Me.  I've done both of these things.

Not so long ago I had a case of cabin fever.  As the only cure for cabin fever is leaving the house, I loaded the kids and the dog in the car and headed for the woods.

The local woods is actually a large nature reserve surrounding a golf course and has a couple of lakes.  Pretty standard stuff.  There are several car parks for the woods and each has its own map that displays the various walking routes, a rough description of the terrain and the estimated walking time.  I chose a walk that was described as "easy" and "approximately 1 hour".  Lies.  All lies.

The twins are young enough to require a pushchair as they get easily tired.  They're also old enough to hate the pushchair.  I decided to let the twins walk but took the pushchair along just in case.  It was all going well.  The dog was being reasonably behaved and hadn't left any paw prints on any passers-by or rolled in any excrement.  The children were walking happily, the drizzle had stopped and the sun was shining.  It was a good feeling.

After about 45 minutes of walking, Thing 1 ran into a puddle.  Not just any puddle, a very deep, very large and very brown puddle.  One that came up to her thighs, spilling over her wellies filling them with cold, muddy water.  Thing 1 has a curious habit of lying on the floor screaming and kicking to demonstrate her displeasure at something.  This usually doesn't achieve much besides publicly humiliating me and getting lots of tuts and heads shaken in our direction.  On this occasion it achieved submersion in cold, muddy water. Bad decision on Thing 1's part.
I fished Thing 1 out of the puddle and attempted in vain to dry her off with my scarf and a sock that I found in the back of the pushchair.  As I was preoccupied with trying to clean up my child that now resembled Morph, Thing 2 was squelching in the squishy mud by the puddle just as Noo took a run up and leaped into the puddle, displacing about 50% of the water in the direction of Thing 1, covering her head to toe in muddy water, putting both her and Noo in the same state of filthiness as Thing 2.
No amount of scarves or socks would clean this lot up so I headed for the car, according to the map we only had 15 minutes to walk. 
I picked up the pace and walked on with my shivering tribe following on behind me like a mother duck with three mangy, dirty ducklings.
Another 25 minutes passed by, all of the children were still snivelling and whimpering pathetically.  Eventually I saw a sign for the car park.  The children all cheered when I told them we were nearly back at the car and I breathed a huge sigh of relief until we got to the car park and I saw the map of doom.
We weren't just in the wrong car park - we were in the wrong car park on the wrong side of the woods.
The twins were exhuasted and the sound of three sets of wet wellies squelching along was irritating so I decided to put them in the pushchair.  They disagreed with my decision and both of them locked their hips into a straight line meaning that the only way to get them into the pushchair is by physically folding and bending their bodies into something resembling a seated position.
The walk back was long and miserable and yes, I did actually have a little cry during one of the many, many renditions of "5 Little Speckled Frogs" that I sung unsuccessfully attempting to placate the now inconsolable twins.  It was getting dark, the kids tea-time was fast approaching, I was surrounded by three crying, muddy, cold children., I was tired and hungry and my wellies were rubbing my feet.  It was a bad feeling.
2 and a half hours after we parked our car and headed merrily into the woods, we arrived back at the car.  It was the last car left in the car park and Noo ran up put her arms against the car and kissed the door repeatedly saying "I'm so happy to see you car".
Despite this tale of woe, I'd take getting lost in the woods with three muddy children and a dog over a case of cabin fever any day.  Just next time I'll pay closer attention to the map.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Well, I'm popping my blogging cherry...

Blink, blink, blink.

The little cursor line is winking away at me like someone impatiently tapping their foot.  Its hard to know what to write for two reasons.

1) I don't know what to write

2) my firstborn child, most often called Noo, is rolling around on the sofa next to me showing me for the fourteenth time that she can fit three My Little Pony toys and one Barbie shoe into her plastic saucepan and the lid will still fit on it.  Mind blowing stuff when you're 4 years old.

Noo is short for her age but stocky.  She has wispy white blonde hair, a laugh that a pervy old hag would be proud of and a constant air of confidence and mischief that makes you paranoid that she knows something you don't know.  Never was this certain je ne sais quoi more apparent than a few weekends ago when we were at the beach.

My husband, our two year old identical twin girls, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Noo took our manky old dog, a miniature Schnauzer called Bree, to the beach.  Bree is only 10 years of age but has been incontinent for over a year.  Not the kind of incontinent where she leaves a small damp patch in her bed after her afternoon nap.  Oh no.  Bree is unashamedly pissing all over our house at will.  After spending a fortune at the vets trying to find a cure for her new habit and fearing the worst kind of bladder problems that our poor little pooch may be suffering from, it transpires that there is nothing physically wrong with her.  She just hates us.  And our house.  And the smell of anything that isn't doused in urine.  Anyway I digress, back to the beach...

We all arrived at the beach, taking an age to unload our offspring from the car.  A walk always begins very similar to this:

  • Park car to cheers from the kids when you respond "yes" to the umpteenth "are we there yet?" question.
  • Get out of the car whilst trying to stop manky dog from leaping out of the car and bounding off into the distance.
  • Get kids out of the car.
  • Tell dog to stop barking and stop scrabbling at the windows.
  • Put wellies on kids.
  • Realise at least one welly is on the wrong kid.
  • Rectify mistake.
  • Realise at least one child has two left boots on.
  • Rectify mistake.
  • Tell dog to stop barking and stop scrabbling at the windows.
  • Put coats on kids.
  • Thing 1 will cry and want to wear the coat that thing 2 is wearing or vise-versa.
  • Explain to crying child that the coats are all the same.
  • Listen to more crying.
  • Give up and change the coats over.
  • In rush, accidentally zip up coat too fast and zip child's neck skin into the zip.
  • Console crying child and hope there is no bruise that will make nursery suspect you of child abuse.
  • Let dog out of car and watch her run off into distance and hope she gets lost.
  • Start walking.
  • Realise you've forgotten your own coat and are freezing.
  • Consider returning to car to retreive coat.
  • Decide you can't be arsed.
  • Carry on walking whilst shivering.
So after doing all of this and making it onto the beach we were stopped by a woman walking an impeccably behaved, beautifully groomed schnauzer.  Bree, who never lost her floaty puppy fur and looks like a sheep in desperate need of shearing, looked ridiculous next to this Crufts-worthy specimen. 

The woman came over to us and started talking to us about our perceived common interest in schnauzers.  She cast her eye in the direction of Bree who had been running around in circles trying to engage a bit of fishing net in a game and was now rolling in a dead seagull and commented on how you can't expect all dogs to be clever and obedient.  As she continued to tell us about her dog and how exceptionally clever and brilliant he was, Noo said in her sweetest little angel voice "ahem, excuse me lady but your dog is weeing on your shoes"

Reader, it was so utterly comically timed that I almost weed on my shoes.  The dog was standing nonchalantly with his leg cocked against the woman's tall chestnut uggs and was pissing all over them with such vigour that it was splashing up off her boots and onto her jeans.  The woman was aghast and scolded the dog who looked like he really couldn't give a tiny rats buttock what she was saying.  She told us that he is usually so well trained and has never had an 'accident' of a similar nature.

Well, Bree doesn't have accidents either (she is bloody deliberate in her urine-based attacks).  She stinks.  She chews her legs until they are a big ball of matted fur that take hours the brush.  She eats cat food and sicks it up.  She rips open bin bags and eats rubbish then sicks it up.  She drinks your tea if you leave it on the floor (even if its really hot) and she is the best dog in the world.  Fact.