You may, (although you probably have a full and happy life and reading this blog is just the teeniest, tiniest blip on your radar, so maybe not) have noticed there were no blog posts last week. This was because Stage II of Himself the Elf’s Vanishing Chair sleep training was underway, and his eviction from my arms, my bed, my room were all greeted with some spirited protest from him. I closed his all-night milk bar. I banished him to his own cot in his own room, with so many pats that my left arm aches, and so much time sitting on my bottom on the floor in his room over night that I am thankful that the old warning about what gives one piles is a lot of old codswallop. In my sleep deprived state, as he stood up for hours on end shouting Bah! Bah! Bah and not sleeping, and I remained sitting on the floor, I found myself wondering how a chair that is a not actually there can vanish at all. However, we are out the other side, and I hope due to my softly-softly approach (and his loudly-loudly one), that I haven’t emotionally scarred him nor left him with abandonment issues to sour his relationships as he grows. Continue reading
At the moment, if Dulcie has it or does it, Himself the Elf wants to, too. He is like the most slavish follower of fashion, with his big sister as his copy of Vogue. This causes some problems as the vast amount of her preferences are suitable for her age (well, tolerably. Her penchant for abysmally tasteless fantasy fairies hardly thrills me to the core but I tell myself it is Just a Phase) but not so much for his. He is a munching, tearing, flinging sort of child, whereas Dulcie has carefully looked after her possessions. She is fastidious, particularly with her own safety, whereas he is a cavalier and covered with bumps. If he were a car, you’d honestly think about getting him resprayed.
Yesterday, before preschool, Dulcie had donned a frothy cerise princess dress over her pinafore and was demanding my immediate attention to allow her to go to the loo in this absurd concoction. Himself the Elf was pootling around, eyeing the buggy with suspicious thoughts, fearing he was about to be contained. My choice: him screaming for five minutes while he is in the still pushchair, or him continuing to roam as I played toilet attendant. I decided on the latter.
Happy silence from him, until I noticed he was ransacking Dulcie’s lunch box, and had had some of her sandwiches and a big bite out of an unpeeled clementine. Cue manic sandwich-making as though I were on The Generation Game or something, putting it right before we RAN to preschool. Their wants and needs are almost always at odds.
We have just taken the children to France for the first time, and aside from the laundry we’ve returned with, and wheeling the buggy through the inevitable dog turd, and Dulcie’s uncontrollable tantrum about what constitutes a real meal and what is just eating patisserie, and Himself the Elf’s insistence that he will sleep badly anywhere and pull over an unfeasible amount of fire irons, pot pourri, and umbrella stands, a fabulous time was had by all.
We ate like French kings and meandered around the boulevards and rues, with Dulcie gradually bon jouring away quite happily, and Himself the Elf developing his palette to the extent that any baguette he saw was greeted with the expressive ‘Nom nom nom’ sound that is, I believe infant French for ‘That looks delicious. Pass me a chunk, won’t you?” and accompanying mouth movements. We are now all suffering terrible post-holiday comedown, so I shall keep this brief. Continue reading
There is, I suspect, a pinch point in everyone’s day when they wish they were someone else or somewhere else. Or both. It normally occurs about the same time every day, whether it is a hellish commute, a frantic deadline rush, or children’s dinner time. Oh dinner time. At some point between 4.45pm and 5.05pm, when the food for the children is practically ready, every single day, they will both be shouting, shrieking, grizzling at the table, and I long for the days that putting one’s head in the oven was a solution to such woe.
Dulcie will be in tears because:
- She was enjoying a game which I have, with unspeakable rudeness, interrupted
- She has not approved the menu for the day, as though she were a tiny Rebecca and I her giant Mrs Danvers
- I am taking too long to serve the food i.e. more than a hundreth of second has elapsed between her bottom connecting with the chair and the food being put in front of her
Himself the Elf will be bellowing and lowing because:
- I have strapped him in a chair and prevented him licking the television or trying to plunge head first down a step onto a stone floor
- He is hungry. Or not hungry. Or tired. Or not tired.
- Dulcie is doing it, so why shouldn’t he?
I long to be the sort of woman Continue reading