Friday, 24 July 2015

Glamping en francais

This latest blog comes to you from France where we ( that is me, hubby, Angel 7, Delight 5, and Poppet 2) are holidaying at euro camp.  So far so interesting. The kids are having a blast and staying up way to late which is super as it means they are extra whiney in the mornings.

Hubby has made a new friend, they like to stand at the family entertainment evenings and compare whinging wives and "how much they are in the dog house".  This is down to our differing interpretations of five star camping. I'll be honest when it said stunning sea views on three sides I didn't factor in ( if you stand on the roof of your mobile home).   However being able to lean out of the window and borrow our neighbours loo roll has been handy.

 Hubby is not in the dog house at all, though the other poor bloke is and he has had to book his wife into a hotel, take her shopping and promise her a girly holiday with her mates to make up for it. I admit that on arrival I was slightly confused. I had imagined dirty dancing, I got Heidi Hi.

That being said there are water slides and a wonderfully camp guy who works in the shop and wears a silver glittery hat and tip toes everywhere holding his hands like a teapot.

But the highlight of the holiday so far has to be my encounter with Frances own Mr Smooth.

I had left hubby, Delight and Poppet in the affectionately named 'shed' for an afternoon nap out of the blazing sun and taken Angel, avec pink blowup ring, to the pool to meet her ' new best friend'. In fact it was a chance to read my book in peace as Angel is quite trust worthy and can play safely and sensibly in the water when unprovoked by Delight.   She spots her friend and she's off.  I am left to find a sun bed, I finally spot one in the middle of a group of lads.  This does not bother me, perhaps it was the earlier vin rouge! I ask politely for the sun bed which is handed over without fuss and proceed to drag it around the pool until I find a happy spot where I can read my book and keep an eye on Angel. Feeling very pleased with myself I then try in vain to raise the back of the sun bed.  It is not budging, I can feel a few people looking on but I persevere. A lovely English lady stops to try and help, but she cannot understand this complex plastic puzzle.   And then I see him, striding towards me, his deep tan and muscles moving in unison with his spray on Lycra Speedos, hair swept back into a sleek white ponytail.
He stands beside me, making me all a flutter and feeling decidedly pale and wobbly. "Madame" he says in a heavily accented gruff voice, he motions to the sunbed.. "Oui" I squeak. He takes the sunbed firmly and gives it a single punch and it instantly snaps into obedience. He puts his hands up "voila" he says triumphantly! I nearly lean into the oily, moustachioed silver fox, taken in by his sheer confidence. He strolls off and I can almost hear his thoughts in his heavy French accent, "well done me, another Englishwoman rescued".

Also Poppet has become quite a bit more vocal, she is trying desperately to say new words. Hubby's  new friend was talking to us the other night saying how sweet she was and that he had a son of similar age "fuck pit" she says and smiles. New friend isn't quite sure what to do with this. "She means pocket" I say quickly between snorts of stifled laughter. We do try not to encourage this from her but sometimes the child in us just breaks through!

We are off to the zoo today, there will no doubt be further encounters to regail you all with so, aurivoir for now.  

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Beans, pigs and paint

Angel and Poppet have outdone themselves.  In what seems like a permanent quest to better their wide range of talents. There was hairdressing (cutting their own) and tattooing (drawing on eyebrows with permanent marker). They have now wandered into the world of interior design and in doing so have devised a new way to add unnecessary hours to my cleaning routine.  Whilst I was cooking dinner this evening the girls decided to do some art and craft. Twenty minutes later, plates in hand I walk into the front room only to find strange green and blue stains on the dining and coffee tables and a few questionable smears on the carpet.
Angel proudly announces that they have invented a new way to colour by colouring in a baby wipe with felt tip and then rubbing the dyed wipe over a chosen surface. Rage is starting to simmer somewhere down at my feet and I can feel it rising as I look from the dining table with a large green stain, probably a result of leaving the cloth by mistake, to the coffee table which is modelling a very deliberate and very large star.  And then I see them,  four perfect straight lines each about a foot long down our freshly painted wall. I count, it doesn't work. I shout and I think there was even a foot stamp but still I am not satisfied that the message is getting through. "outside" I say "mummy is very cross, out of my sight"
They shuffle quietly out mumbling apologies, Poppet looks at me with big brown eyes and smiles, then she smiles at her plate and as if in slow motion I watch her pick it up and turn it upside down counting the beans as they spill and slop onto the floor.  I take a very deep breath and explain to Poppet she will be sitting on the naughty step. She doesn't mind, she runs to it and sits proudly saying "mamma look" and beaming at me showing her perfect little teeth.
After a pointless minute there I send her outside to Angel and Delight who are now emptying the water butt and making streams in the garden.

I start the cleanup but I am interrupted by the sound of Poppet calling out, I look out of the window and see her INSIDE the guinea pig hutch, Angel and Delight are amused.  
"Did you put your sister in the guinea pig hutch?" I ask, ( another sentence I never imagined I would have to say) they shake their heads but I am unconvinced. I can see two terrified balls of fluff cowering  in the corner trying to hide from the toothy toddler who has now stuck her head through to their bedroom part of the hutch and is shouting "pig..pig".  After I have removed Poppet from the hutch and brushed her down, checked the pig pigs haven't died from shock,  stopped the river  in the garden and scrubbed the walls and tables everyone is sent early to bed.. I have friends arriving imminently who will be wondering why I have no wine left to offer them!

Monday, 2 March 2015

The show must go on..

Angel and Delight, having completed a full day at school are now whining in stereo at the injustice of having to do homework. I won’t back down and like an evil tiger mum I insist they get it done so that they can relax. 

Much huffing and puffing later and they reluctantly sit down and start.  Today I particularly want it out of the way because I have a kitchen designer coming round to tell me that I cannot afford to do anything to my kitchen. The designer arrives and Angel and Delight promptly decide that this is not an opportunity to be missed, they must put on an acrobatic show.  This mainly involves arms and legs flailing in all directions and the occasional leap over the sofa.  Kitchen designer is impressed.  I feel a slight pang of pride which is short lived when I realise that I have to collect Poppet from Nursery.  I usher everyone out and direct them to the car, I then redirect the kitchen designer to his own car and apologise profusely.

Having collected Poppet we make it home just in time to take our coats off when the builder arrives.  He has come to tell me that I cannot afford to do anything to my house. As we walk into the kitchen I am greeted with a rather large puddle and it seems to be growing.  On closer inspection we discover that it is coming from the washing machine.  Builder very kindly offers to “take a look” and proceeds to pull out the fridge and washing machine, the puddle is now a flood and so he switches off the washing machine and not letting go of Poppet I grab a mop.  At this moment I am made aware by some rather inappropriate lyrics that Angel and Delight have decided to perform an evening performance of their earlier matinee.  I peek through our serving hatch (yes we really have one, I feel like my nan every time I pop my head through) I am horrified to see the girls “Bwerking” (baby twerking) to a music channel or song they have managed to raise on You Tube called “Gay Hoe”.    I am stuck.  Stood in a flooding kitchen, baby in one hand and mop in the other, my poor builder on the floor trying to help and politely ignore my children accessing adult dance sites and getting drenched in the process. “Turn it off right now” I yell, trying to hold back the laughter and battling with myself because the mum in me is horrified and the teenager in me finds it hilarious, that and their ability to navigate their way round You tube and the speed at which they can find something totally inappropriate for their age.  It’s all too much.

Right on cue Poppet starts to wriggle and scream, her baby spidey senses have obviously told her that I need her to chill.  Builder tells me that it’s probably the drum and I should leave the washing machine switched off, “but it’s got their School Uniforms in it!” I shriek,   I know it is only Tuesday and this morning their clothes were beautifully clean but apparently rolling in mud and decorating oneself with ketchup and other substances I don’t think I wish to know about is now on the curriculum, hence the daily wash.  Only one set? I hear you cry, again I have good reason as Delight has taken to eating her uniform, that’s right it’s not a typo, she has a jolly good nibble and I have refused to buy any more until she stops.

 Finally I get everyone into bed.  Not the builder, or the kitchen designer! I have mopped up the floor, soothed Poppet and promised Angel and Delight that mummy will be discussing parental locks on the TV with daddy that very evening!  That night as I eventually get upstairs ready to flop into my bed, there they are, my little Angel and Delight, exhausted and fast asleep, snuggled up like sprawling starfish across the entire mattress softly breathing and dribbling on my sheets. I look at them in wonder, my gorgeous and growing little Bwerkers!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bonjour mummy of the night!

Delight, 4 and very importantly nearly 5, has informed me that she hates everything.  She hates sleeping, she hates her bedroom and she hates her swimming hat.  Furthermore we are all to speak in French from now on, which has proved to be slightly troublesome, as it's not the traditional version of French that you or I may be familiar with, but Delight's very own special concoction of sounds and squeaks which, like snow flakes, are never the same! I call it snowflake French.  Delight flares her nostrils and knits her brow at this which only encourages me more.

Apparently EVERYONE speaks French in the playground and Angel, in an unusual act of unity,  backs this up by informing me that ALL her friends watch French DVDs at home.  I am starting to feel slightly uneasy that I may have completely over looked a massive part of their learning.  It's obviously not enough that we have to battle for half an hour to get two pages of a book read or that no matter how many times we go over it, when you get to eleven, it does not go, eleventy one, eleventy two, eleventy three! I am now supposed to add French to the mix.

The following morning, whilst getting ready and wondering who to best question about the new found bilingual ability of everyone in the playground, Delight wanders in to my room.  She wishes to show me her new invention.  Having seen daddy talking "hands free" on his mobile she has invented "hands free teeth brushing". She promptly sticks the bottom of her toothbrush to my mirrored wardrobe and starts brushing by shaking her head.  I must say I am very impressed and just about to tell her so when she says "mummy, can you wear your hooker earrings today please" I beg your pardon!, for a moment I am completely stumped but a swift clarification tells me she is simply referring to my earrings without butterfly backs, nevertheless those earrings will somehow always summon an unwanted image for me now!

As for French as an extra curricula activity, I welcome it, I have even been on amazon to see if I can buy Frozen in French.  I have explained in no uncertain terms that Dora ( my absolute fave) the Explorer is Spanish speaking (thank god!) so I shall wait to see with this one, maybe it will pass, but like Frozen being pushed aside for High School Musical, I know there will always be some deep joy for me to look forward to!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy new year?

Happy New Year bla bla bla, "Did you have a good break?" it's like the words spring automatically from my lips, "yes yes all lovely thanks" lie, lie, it was stressful, expensive and messy, I over indulged and I'm hating that I've told everyone I'm doing dry January. But, it's all about the kids! Repeat repeat, they had a fabulous time which is what it is really all about. Bowing down to consumerist blackmail and shelling out money we don't have whilst half heartily telling our kids the real meaning of Christmas, which somewhere along the way has morphed into Spider-Man and Gary Barlow at the nativity. Sorry sorry, it's about giving and love, thank you Brown Owl!

Now we are in January and Angel is explaining that she has been praying to Janus to be more beautiful.  "That is preposterous" I say, Angel looks hurt "how can you possibly be more beautiful" I counter whilst googling this Janus. Right, Google tells me he is the Roman god of beginnings, doorways and exits,  we have a chat about what Google says then I quiz her to make sure she has been listening.  Angel has no idea I have googled him and still believes I know everything.  I am going to string this out for as long as possible.
Our chat is interrupted by a heavy and determined stomping peppered with a snort of disgust.  "that's just stupid" hello Delight.  She stands there with her hands out not quite knowing where to begin.  Delight is very clear that she has no time for religion or god ( except when she played Mary in the nativity, but that was all about pleasing her teacher and wearing the costume) the fact that she marched up to me and said " I'm jesus's mum, do I get lipstick and high heels?" May go someway toward explaining her priorities in the story of the birth of Christ.

The debate on religion rages on until I bring up homework, Delight hastily retreats to her bedroom whilst Angel, who is now praying for a unicorn has not noticed that I am rummaging through her book bag, she looks up but it is too late, I have blocked the entrance to the doorway, try praying to Janus for this one I think, and smirk, placing a mental star on my clever mummy chart.

 Angel has been asked to make a super hero costume over Christmas, deep deep joy.  This involves some serious planning as the lady in the fabric shop is not too keen on me.  This could be due to the fact that the last time I was there Delight had a melt down whilst poppet pulled everything in reach off the shelves.  With this in mind I ship out Delight and Poppet to a friend and venture on an expensive trip to Fabric Land.  later that night whilst all three lovely girls are fast asleep I set to work on Angels homework and once again curse myself for bloody dry January!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Ballet socks and tantrums

Angel and Delight have started ballet.
Whilst Angel listens intently to everything Miss Ballet, their patient teacher, says and executes it with desperate precision,  Delight thinks nothing of sitting on the floor in the middle of the lesson roaring at me because her plait is too fat.

I shall begin with the morning of ballet day. It had been a standard rainy, thundery, sizzling sunshine September day. I dropped Angel and Delight to their respective lines in the playground resplendent in their freshly pressed and boiled uniforms, ballet after all is on a Monday so we look particularly smart and have even managed to get there before the bell rings. Star for my clever mummy chart.

Poppet is hanging off me drooling teethy grins and waving weetabix encrusted hands at anyone who shows her attention.  Delight joins her friends and swiftly swaps to an American accent, they all stand there pretending to chew gum with one hand on their hip.  The pride I feel.

Delight is less easily persuaded to join her friends as she must stand practically on top of me, but at the same time I am to 'go awaaaaaay'.  I settle this by planting a loud and dramatic kiss on her cheek and pushing her into line. The new mothers are horrified, the ones who have done this before smirk and give me the ( it was me last week) look. 

Five minutes later it seems and I am back at the school gate to collect my charming children, having accomplished I'm not quite sure what other than coating Poppet in yet more layers of crusty food.  I am no longer embarrassed by this.  I lock eyes with Angel who is waiting patiently for me to collect Delight but as I scan the playground I cannot see her.  At this moment a bedraggled little thing with hair sticking up everywhere, face splattered in mud wearing a dress three sizes too big wanders into view, She sees me and grins " I got so muddy I even had to change my knickers" she says lifting up her dress for the whole playground to see, she is clearly very proud of this accomplishment.  Her teacher looks at me apologetically and hands me a bag with clothes that are now only fit for the bin. " she found some muddy puddles, she's quite energetic isn't she!" Ah the tireless diplomacy of teachers. I smile at her and hope that she reads this as " it's ok, the very fact that you have managed to persuade her to get dressed into some clean clothes and not to wander out in just her pants wins my vote"

So off we go, I manage to remove the mud from Delights face and get her changed but she has decided that she likes the grey socks that she had to borrow from lost property and informs me that she will be keeping them on for ballet. "Fine" I say
"I need to do your hair again though" I get the scowl. I continue anyway. I manage to neaten her up to the best of my ability and send her into ballet only to be summoned ten minutes later by Miss Ballet who has motioned for me to come to the door and watch my children.
I peek in, pride and despair merge as I witness Angel leaping gracefully about whilst Delight in pink tutu and long grey socks sits in the middle of the hall floor yelling      "my plait is too fat, I can't do it with a fat plait" 

On our way I home I put some music on for the girls, a little bit of frozen, more stars for my fabulous mummy chart. I  loose myself in the music and start belting out 'let it go' I am just working up to the key change when Angel taps me on the shoulder. Looking very serious she says " mumeeee, I don't mind you joining in but could you please lip sync!" 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

World Book Joy

I have had an email from Angels school.  Please can your beloved child dress up as a character from a book this Thursday. Last year I found out by accident the day before, this year I was ready, I wasn't prepared, I just knew it was coming and was waiting for divine inspiration that never came.  Fortunately for me Angel came home with her mind made up. She will be going to world book day as Jasmine from Aladdin.

I am at my mothers and moaning about how we have been unable to agree on a proper character from an actual book when my mother without a word or any glance in my direction simply raises an eyebrow.  This small facial manoeuvre speaks volumes, I shall interpret. " honestly darling have we taught you nothing, the buck doesn't stop with Walt Disney, these stories and folk tales have been around for hundreds of years, for goodness sake there is a library across the road if Google is unable to assist you"
I stand corrected and satisfied that I am not going to make an unnecessary blundering apology about Angels costume my mothers eyebrow returns to its rightful position.

We now have the problem of the gaping midriff .. It's not a simple case of a little peak at the belly button every time she reaches her little hands to the sky, the top finishes just under her ribs and the trousers barely cover her hips .  "Teacher says if you say it's ok then I can wear it"  I look at her, my eyebrow is making an involuntary climb, I have obviously inherited the answering without speaking capability of my mother but Angel is choosing not to notice, she folds her arms and puts her foot slightly forward and taps it on the floor "well?" She demands.  I am horrified by her attitude and both eyebrows make a reflexive leap almost off my face.  Angel realises she has gone too far. She quickly retracts the foot and uncrossed her arms " fine" she says.  "uh?" I say "sorreeeeee" she says.  We finally agree that a leotard under her costume would be a sensible option not to mention a slightly warmer one.

So to recap, we have had a family debate about the history of books, how to correctly select the appropriate costume for world book day and a quick lesson on manners all with our eyebrows and a monosyllabic grunt.  I'd say that's at least 2 stars for my chart.