Monday, 17 January 2011

Bella n'mash

Click on image to enlarge

My top new year's resolution (on my list of one) is to stop blathering on about my own kids all the time and try something new - stealing everyone else's stories and selling them back to them. Brilliant!
Not sure why I didn't think of it before, so I'm showcasing the first one here. Another lovely true story, that could happen to anyone in the first fug of having a newborn, although I promised to keep the mum's identity secret for fear of health and safety reprisals.
Her daughter is now six, at school and, as far as I know, has no aversion to a bit of mash at tea time. Framed up it made a pretty good present, so I thought I'd offer the service up to anyone else stuck for gift ideas this year.
I can help you can turn any funny memory of your children, friends and loved ones into a cartoon strip. Completely original, thoughtful and funny - does a present get better? I haven't worked out costs yet, but for you my friend I can do a good price!
Anyway, enough of the sales pitch, any feedback welcome.
Happy 2011!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

That Xmas Factor

Hurrah, it's Christmas; a time for cheer, confusion and card-induced guilt. Batboy, who received a potted version of the first Christmas at school, reliably informed me that baby Jesus was born two years ago. Then Diva confused the Christmas tree delivery man with Santa, checking his van for presents. I had to pull her off, explaining not only is he not Santa but I'd seen better trees in a Homebase skip and he wouldn't be coming to our house again.
Even a simple trip to Pizza Express to meet friends for a holiday treat was mistaken by Diva as a trip on the Polar Express. Luckily dough balls alleviated the disappointment of not actually going to the North Pole.
The real highlight so far has to be our first school nativity - how long have I waited for this moment! Batboy chose to be a narrator, taking on the challenge of learning actual lines. I was pretty nervous about it but on the day he handled it like a pro.
Poor Mary, however, had a bad case of stage fright and pretty much disappeared into her headdress leaving Joseph holding the baby. One of the gold stars missed her cue and burst into tears and a camel kept picking its nose but they did sing their songs beautifully and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. It was everything you could wish for at Christmas. xxx

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


All's good this week as it's half-term holiday and so far, touch cheaply-laminated wood table, it's going pretty well. On day one we dropped Diva at nursery and, as we aimlessly filled the morning drifting from library to Tesco, Batboy declared "this is so much fun, you come up with the best ideas mum".
Boosted by the vote of confidence I decided to up my game a bit and head for London town and the Natural History Museum. "Is this the history museum mum?" he asked as we stumble into Victoria station and the bright lights of Upper Crust and Tie Rack. Starting to despair, I had to remind myself he's only five and bribe him with sweets to keep it zipped till we get to the museum.
It was a great day though, even Diva loved it. She was fearless in the face of the giant roaring T-Rex, but terrified of the toilet hand dryer. Her survival extinct has clearly evolved to react to the modern world, so best not do any safari parks until she's read up on predators.
For now, we're just thankful she's more or less potty-trained. It has been a bit hairy this time round, with the kids engaged in near-constant bouncing, karate and pillow-fighting in close proximity of full pottys. I just pity the person that buys our rug on ebay in six months time.
So although we're loving half-term, the kids have completely taken over our house with noise, plastic chaff and paper planes. This peaked yesterday morning when Mr B went to get Diva out of bed and she said,"what are you doing in my house?" Batboy followed this up with a quick kick in the nuts with his Spongebob slippers. Only four more sleeps till school starts again.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Stop the clock

Well, that's the first week of school done, now for the next 12 years...
So far so good with Batboy; we've had highs (scootering to school in his "smart like daddy" uniform) and lows (falling off his scooter at the school gate and landing face down in front of all the other kids - too humiliating too soon).
We had another wobble when he said "what we doing tomorrow?" after day one, to which he got a pretty blunt "er, more school". At what point do you explain to a four-year-old he's actually been sucked head first into the ever-whirring cogs of the school machine, not to be churned out till 2022? Maybe next week.
It's all change for Diva too as she's started nursery, God help them. I feel a slight pang of guilt about how little they are paid to deal with little Miss Madam and her wild ways.
Her current heart-stopping trick is stealing eggs from the fridge and legging it to the far reaches of the house (targeting rooms with the most soft furnishings). I feel like some badly trained negotiator trying to talk her into handing over the egg-shaped time bomb, which she brandishes with glee.
Kids aside, I wasn't sure how I'd handle being a school-run mum. It's now against the law to phone the kids in sick because we didn't get out of our jimmers in time and/or decided to watch a Scooby Doo special. Don't think it would make Crimewatch but Nick Jnr's off limits till tea time to keep the fuzz off our back.
There's all sorts of events you have to remember as well; 'world book days', 'wear what you like days'. The last one is crucial as there's nothing worse then turning up in uniform only to find all your peers in their carefully chosen civvies, cursed to roam the corridors all day in a cloud of shame.
So I am currently trying to work out my neglected 'icalendar', bought a bedside clock, set my mobile alarm and a series of light sensitive alarm systems to avoid being the last family at the school gates.
My back-up plan for waking the kids is Grandpa's tried and tested technique, picked up during his stint in the American marines, where you gently press on someone's bladder to get them out of bed in the morning. This is highly effective but slightly risky on the bed-wetting front.
Ah well, even if our time-keeping fails and the odd event goes awol on the calender, at least we'll rock the egg and spoon race next summer!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Tents and tankinis

Thought I'd give you all a quick flash of my "Fun in the Sun" picture that's gone into our local ABC magazine, along with a written bit. If you want to read more, pick up a copy!

Back to the here and now, and what a summer it's been already! We've barely set foot inside our house the last few weeks; we eat outside, play outside, Diva even wees outside in the nearest available receptacle - usually the paddling pool (although I was impressed by a precision pee, when she managed to fill a small bucket).
Batboy's also got a new summer game lined up for his play dates called 'Naughty Superheros'. He ran the rules by me, which are basically "you have to be nudie rudie" and a vague game-plan of fighting badies. It's a win-win scenario if you ask me, you disarm the bad guys by being nude and you don't have to wear a sweaty all in one suit in 25 degree heat.
It was all going so well but we must have had too much sun as we decided we need to sleep outside too and signed up to go camping.
We find camping is a bit like having babies; time seems to erase the pain and sleepless nights and you find yourself one merry evening saying, "yeah, lets do it again, why not, it'll be fun".
So last Saturday we found ourselves (a day late due to Mr B's workload) at a campsite on the hottest day of the year. All our lovely, die-hard friends had already done 24 hours and ordered in the Pimms. In very British style we settled down with a saucepan full of Pimms and lemonade and endured the heat, while the kids happily ran ferral.
We did discover a swimming spot in the nearby river, which completely saved the day and cooled us down but the kids wouldn't go near it. There was a touching moment when Mr B swam down the river and disappeared round the corner. Diva declared in a matter of fact manner, "Oh, Dad's gone. I loved Dad."
Much to her delight he made a grand return two minutes later when his legs started going numb, and then it was my turn. I was a little torn as I was desperate to swim but it would mean revealing what I have recently dubbed my 'reverse tankini'. You basically tell yourself you can still get in a bikini after two kids but you pull the pants up so high over your tummy to hide it, they nearly touch the top. I can only get away with this for another couple of years before my kids are genuinely mortified by my appearance.
Skip to the end of the day and the kids are finally asleep by ten, when our evening starts dangerously late considering we're woken twice in the night and then start the day with the birds.
Hangover and sleep deprivation aside, it was lovely and we did laugh round the campfire that night, which I know we'll remember next year when we dig out the tent. For now, things are back to normal. Just this afternoon I overhead Batboy asking Diva to stop kicking him in the face. "I'm not kicking you in the face, I'm kicking you in the head" was her reply. Somehow, this is all more tolerable for being outside. Long may the summer last.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Gone Insanesburys: Part 2

Click on the cartoon to have half a chance of reading it!

It's been a mix of success and and serious stumbling and falling on our arses the last couple of months. The success was two medals earned at the superhero fun run down on Brighton seafront - go team Briscoe!
Briscoe senior dusted down his Mr Incredible outfit (last seen at Batboy's third birthday in the park where it was met with a mix of confusion and suspicion).
Surprisingly, I fell victim to the first sports injury of the day by pulling a muscle in my back just pinning his race number to his suit. Elastigirl I am clearly not. After sourcing painkillers we staggered down to the seafront only to find the kids' race had already started. This actually worked in our favour as Batboy joined the fastest runners on their return lap. (A little trick I mastered at school, which backfired badly when I came fourth and landed myself a place in the long distance running team).
On the whole it was a great day and everyone felt like true champions. Sadly, we've since found out we've been total losers on the schools stakes and have to travel right across Brighton to the one we've been given by default, which is nice enough, just MILES away.
I'm now trying to work out which lap is the quickest so we can cheat our commuter competitors and defy space-time continuum so we can get Diva back in time for nursery. Batboy's not phased, his new superhero guise is 'Speedman', faster than Superman apparently but sadly he has no wheels, just a cape. Our chances of medal success are definitely slipping on this challenge.

Monday, 1 March 2010

On the move

It's been forever and a day since I last blogged because to be honest, I didn't know where the pooter was. All our worldly goods and a whole heap of tip-worthy filth was boxed up at great expense and moved to our new home last month. Third most stressful thing after A) death and B) divorce apparently (or is it Christmas? No, that's the trigger for point A and B).
Anyway, it all went as well as could be expected considering it was minus 17 on the day. That's taking into account the chill factor from having the front and back doors open all day. Mental note to myself; never move in January again.
After ten hours of packing, cleaning, then unpacking and assembling beds in the arctic winds, Batboy and Diva arrive at the new pad running into all the rooms super-excited. Then the questions began; "why isn't the tele working?" "Why haven't you unpacked the boxes in my room?" There's no room for mistakes and no mercy with these kids.
On our knees with exhaustion we mumbled something like "I'll unpack you in a minute", before forcibly putting them to bed.
One month on and the novelty still hasn't worn off, we're loving the new house (mostly because we can shut all the toys and kids into the utility room).
Diva is like a kid in a sweetie shop as there's no locks on the new kitchen cupboards. She can often be found squatting in the corner of the kitchen munching a dry Weetabix or trying to gnaw her way into a packet of biscuits. She's also developed a penchant for drawing on any, and every, surface available; tables, sofas, dvds etc
So yes, our brand new show home is already reduced to a feral, crumb-covered scribble pit but we love it.