Monday, 9 February 2015

Shit my husband brought me

The Husband is horrified that I stopped blogging for a few months.  All my reassurances that I'm just too busy now,  it just came to a natural conclusion etc etc fell of deaf ears.  Turns out that he misses his celebrity status as Mr Disgrace; I think he thinks it gives him a sort of rakish charm.  Oh well.  As a special Valentines treat, I have decided to blow the cobwebs off the blog and write an entry dedicated to him.

A quick word about the title of this post:  You may think I'm being flippant when I use the word 'shit' to describe things he has given me over the years.  I am not.  Also, note the word 'brought' instead of 'bought'. This is also accurate.  Mr Disgrace does not open his wallet lightly.  That explained, lets make a start:

1. A 'Push Present':
Apparently giving your wife a pricey item of jewellery after they've given birth is a thing these days.  I don't really see why anyone should get a diamond after performing what is basically a long and convoluted bodily function, but after a 36 hour labour during which I nearly died, a bunch of flowers might have been nice.  Instead, my husband rocked up at the ward brandishing a large bag and saying "I've got you something" in the sort of way that might lead you to expect that you're in for a treat.  He then brought out a box of Peanut Tracker bars and two massive packs of Kotex Ultra pads.  "They were on BOGOF," he explained.  "Oh, you can't eat Peanut Trackers because you're breastfeeding?  Never mind, I'm feeling a bit snackish myself."

2. Sweets for his sweet:
He brought these home from work one day and handed them to me with a flourish.
"Oh, sweets!  Well.  That's lovely, thank you...hang on, there's only a few left in the jar."
"Yeah, they're a product sample from work.  We ate all the good ones."

3. This:
Shortly after the sweets episode, he returned home, holding something behind his back.
"I've got you something.  It was a sample at work."
"Right.  Is it something that nobody else wanted?"
"Is it something half eaten?"
"Is it a feminine hygiene product?"
"No, look, it's a proper present and it's in a box and everything:"

"That, my friend, is a steam cleaner.  Use it on your balls."

4. An out of date Muller Light:
Words cannot express the joy I felt as my beloved returned from work one day and presented me with a warm Vanilla Muller Light with chocolate sprinkles.
"We cleaned out the fridge today and nobody claimed it.  I left it on my desk all day to make sure.  It's only a few days out of date, so it should be OK."

5. A slanket (anniversary present):
Because nothing says romance like a fleecey blanket with sleeves.
"Look, if you wear it the other way around, you can pretend to be a wizard."
Can I?  Can I really?

6. Underwear:
Recently, he came home from work (always he gives me these things when he comes home from work) and handed me a pair of spotty see through pants.
I was a bit bewildered, but I do need some new underwear, so I wasn't going to discourage this gift giving.
"Thanks babe, that's really nice of...WAIT, WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE TAGS ON?"
"Oh, they're the office joke pants.  We put them in peoples drawers and in their cars and stuff.  Sometimes they're in your folder at a meeting, sometimes you find them in your bag when you get home..."
"And you thought a pair of knickers that have been doing the rounds of your office for months was the perfect gift for your wife?"
"Yep.  They're Bjorn Borg.  Is that a good brand?"
I'd like to say that I came back with a witty retort shortly before stuffing said pants up his backside, but what I actually did was give them a good wash, then put them in my knicker drawer.  Like I said - I need new underwear.  I cannot wait for Valentines Day.  

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A change is as good as a rest

Oh, hi.  It's me - that woman who used to blog about semi amusing domestic catastrophes fairly regularly.  I've been conspicuously absent recently.  Don't worry; I haven't finally become a Domestic Goddess overnight and abandoned you all.  Rest assured, I came home today after a weekend away to a stench so foul and all-pervading that I was convinced that it could only have been caused by some sort of large mammal - perhaps a cow or similar - getting into the house and dying in a particularly warm spot.  Turned out that it was because a bottle of milk fell over in the fridge last week, spilled all over the kitchen floor and oozed under the fridge.  I vaguely remember it happening, and that I sort of dabbed at it with some kitchen roll and had some non-committal thoughts about moving the fridge out to clean underneath it, like a grown up would (but didn't. Do you think I'm Anthea fucking Turner or something?)  Anyway, it had festered all weekend, so Mr Disgrace and I had to pull the fridge out and scrape it all up with a spatula before getting the bleach out, which was a nice end to our romantic weekend away.

So, where have I been, then?  Well, mainly in a twitching heap, under the duvet.  It's virus season here, and the three of us have been tag-teaming each other with germs since Small Disgrace went back to school in September.  The Dreaded Tummy Bug finally took me down a couple of weeks ago, which meant a full week of being flat on my back and a whole world of anxiety freak outs.  Quick re-cap: I have emetophobia and related OCD (oh, yes, hahaha, I have OCD yet still I end up with the whole milk/stench scenario in the above paragraph.  Yes, hilarious.  It's not that sort of OCD, OK?) and this plus constantly germ ridden family, plus stomach bug hell has sent me into dribbling, rocking in the corner territory recently, and it's been no fun.  I even tootled off to the doctors last week to beg for some sweet, sweet Valium to get me through the weekend, because I was supposed to be going to London to speak at Blogfest; the Mumsnet blogging conference.  Longs car journey.  Underground trains.  Hotel rooms.  Crowds.  Telling 400 people how to be a good writer, whilst feeling like a total imposter due to being on a panel made up of fabulous authors and general national treasures.  None of this would phase me usually, but in the midst of a full of crazy OCD freak out, when leaving the house to go to the supermarket is hard enough?  Oh God.  Not how I wanted to spend my weekend.

You know what, though?  I needn't have worried.  Although London is busy and hectic and probably crawling with germs, I forget that I grew up around there, and even though the Tube now reduces me to tears, it still feels like coming home.  And so what if Mr Disgrace had managed to book us into some weird hotel room with no toilet and odd boob-shaped lights on the ceiling?  We still fitted in a couple of giggly meals out and a window shopping conga through Liberty.

And Blogfest?  Well, Blogfest was just great.  I shouldn't be surprised really - it is a Mumsnet event after all, and I do love Mumsnet.  Plus I got to attend as both a speaker and a blogger, so I got the best of both worlds.  I attended some fantastic discussions and sessions, highlights for me being Sarah Vine and Beeban Kidron talking about how technology shapes the way we think during a panel discussion, Francesca Martinez delivering a wonderfully funny and uplifting think bomb about self acceptance, and Lucy Porter's hilarious closing keynote.  I also met the most amusing Elaine Miller, a fellow speaker, who blogs at about broken vulvas, and had a hand knitted fanny bag with her for visual demonstrations.  Anyone who can make stress incontinence funny is worth a click, so do visit her blog.  My panel session went well too, I think.  I felt honoured to be discussing the power of writing with Nick Hornby, Rachel Joyce, Harriet Lane, Lynn Barber and Erica Wagner in front of such an attentive and enthusiastic audience.  The other panel members were such warm, engaging people, and so knowledgeable and talented.  I do hope that between us we inspired the audience to embrace the power of writing - whether they want to write a novel or become a journalist or improve their blog.

After that there was free gin.  So much free gin.  And after that, there was dinner with Mr Disgrace, and a tipsy walk back to the hotel, and a firework display right outside our hotel window that felt like it had been put on just for us.  (Just to be clear, the firework display is not a euphemism for sex.  Lets not give Mr D any ideas above his station).

This morning, we drove home again.  And do you know what?  I didn't take a single Valium, have one wobbly moment or so much as touch my bottle of anti-viral hand gel all weekend.  So bollocks to all those suggestions of treating anxiety and OCD with meditation, relaxing essential oils and time out.  What you really need to do is leave your comfort zone, plough through festering crowds of the Great Unwashed on the Northern Line for a couple of days, and give a talk to four hundred people with five other professionals who are infinitely more credible and successful than you.  That works.  I feel a new career as a psychotherapist beckoning.

TL;DR - Been a bit mental recently, talked at Blogfest this weekend, magically feeling much better.  More posts soon.  Promise.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words. And Vice Versa.

Do you know what one of the best things about having a child is?  Forget unconditional love and having a little mini-me; I'm talking about the really good stuff here.  I am, of course, talking about the fact that once children hit a certain age, they become prolific in the art of Shit Pictures.  Terrible child art is the gift that keeps giving.  They will produce page after page of unintentionally hilarious masterpieces well into their teens, although in my experience, between the ages of 4 and 9 is when you really hit the jackpot.

Having taught small children for some years, I eagerly awaited the time that Small Disgrace would enter the Crap Art phase.  For a long while, it seemed as if it was never going to happen as he shunned pencils and paper well into his fourth year. But suddenly, he started to draw things that resembled things.  They didn't resemble what they were supposed to be in the slightest, but that just made it even better.  I'm going to start this post with three of his classic works for your perusal:

You will have to click to enlarge the photo to get the full effect here.

We have (from left to right):

'Sheep' (2013) An early work that managed to sum up absolutely none of the characteristics of a sheep whatsoever.  Encouraging parents that we are, we pissed ourselves laughing and pointed this out to him.  "ERR, I THINK YOU'LL FIND I'VE REMEMBERED BOTH OF ITS LEGS," our child replied, indignantly.  Yes, that well known breed of two-legged sheep with no bodies.  Top work, son.

'Lightsabers' (2014) Or as I like to call it, 'Colourful selection of dildos with very happy one-legged man'.

'Halloween' (2014) AKA 'Circumcised willy with a face, going "oo"'.

Now, annoyingly, as Small Disgrace is only 5, he has not yet peaked in terms of WTF drawings.  In fact, most of my treasured collection of Crappy Pictures were drawn by kids when they were pupils in my class years ago.  I can't share those with you.  I know, I know, I wish I could, but it would be entirely unethical of me to put them online for your amusement (your own child is fair game, but former pupils - no way).

"If only there was a way to share the joy," I thought.  "If only there was a loophole or a way around the privacy probl...AHA."

Then I remembered:  I am a writer.  It is my job to use words to paint pictures and create imagery.  So, open your minds, flex your imaginations and climb on board for some crazy shit...

Work of Art #1: 'Easter Egg Design by a 7 year old'.
This was from one of those time wasting seasonal lessons that you do when you're two days off the end of term and flagging.  (See also 'design a board game', 'make a poster about healthy eating' etc).  They designed some fantastic Easter eggs, of which this was the true star:
A perfectly shaped Easter egg diagram is centre of the page.  A label tells me that it is made of milk chocolate, but it is difficult to tell as the artist has drawn the foil wrapping on top, which is covered in a tasteful crucifix motif and coloured in red (to represent bloodshed, one can only assume), with a wreath of thorns around the top end.  Next to the egg is a brown splodge with a sad face and some bits pointing outwards.  A labelled arrow points to it, identifying it as one of the sweets from the middle of the egg: "choclit Jezers on the cros filed with caramel (a bit like a Fredo)."
On the plus side - this kid absolutely listened in RS lessons that year.  Top marks.

Work of Art #2: 'My Weekend News by a 5 year old'.
This was from a free writing and drawing exercise book that the children used to scribble stuff in that they felt was newsworthy and wanted to tell me.
A room.  Possibly a bedroom, owing to the vaguely bed-shaped thing in the centre of it.  There is someone in the bed; a boy.  The boy is smiling.  There is a window above the bed with something blue flapping at either side.  The face of what I can only describe as Angry Death stares through the window, much like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.   A thought bubble coming from the head of Angry Death displays a large gun and a sword, potentially covered in blood, although it may just be a red sword that's dripping with...OK, it's definitely covered in blood.  Scrawled across the bottom of the page in the bonkers handwriting of a serial killer, with a lot of smudging and crossing out is "LOOK AT AR CUNTASS."
It transpired that the boy in question and his brother got new curtains for their bedroom that weekend.  And that his lower case Rs had a tendency to look like Ns.  And that he didn't like his brother very much.

Work of Art #3: 'Christmas Scene by a 9 year old'
Two Christmas puddings with boggly eyes are next to each other on a table.  One is on fire, and looking none too happy about it.  The other Christmas pudding is urinating on the burning pudding with its orange and disproportionately large penis.
Yeah.  I have no explanation for this one.

Work of Art #4: 'Christmas Scene by a 6 year old'
It is Christmas Eve.  The sky is dark, and yellow stars twinkle above.  On Earth below, a child peacefully slumbers in a giant ribbed condom, and dreams of a ferret in a wig.  Next to him is a Christmas tree, with an angry fairy on top, who is pulling an expression of utter agony due to the tree being stuck up her bum.  Meanwhile, Father Christmas flies through the air on his sleigh, wearing what appears to be a gimp mask, while Rudolph sprinkles shit out of his arse in all directions with the aid of a conveniently placed propeller. 
This was an entry in a competition to design the official school Christmas card for the year.  It did not win.

Please feel free to share your child's masterpieces - either visually or via the medium of descriptive language.  It's good to share.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Contact Lenses for Children? Really?

A quick disclaimer about this post: I wrote it over the summer, but it has only recently been approved to be published on the blog.  In the meantime, Small Disgrace has started a new school year, and his new teacher really ‘gets’ him – glasses or not.  We are delighted and I'd hate this post to suggest otherwise.

I’m going to hold my hands up here and own up to something that I’d rather not admit to:  I did not take it well when I was told that Small Disgrace needed to wear glasses.  How pathetic is that?  While I’m here, I should probably also point out that I react similarly every time my husband takes him to get his hair cut and he comes back with it all short.  “He looks like a little thuuuuug,” I wail.  “Why don’t you just get one of his ears pierced while you’re at it?”

But glasses don’t make him look like a thug.  And I actually love a man in glasses, so why does it bother me so much?  Well, for a start, I was mortified that I’d never noticed that he had a vision problem.  He could spot an aeroplane when it was the tiniest dot on the horizon and had been able to read from a very young age, so when he spectacularly failed his 3 year eye test, I instantly felt like a terrible parent.  He needs glasses for anything that involves seeing close up, so has to wear them for reading, writing drawing etc.  When he’s at school, he wears them all day. 

I won’t lie:  I hate it.  He just doesn’t look like my little boy with them on.  He has these beautiful, distinctive, enormous blue eyes that are his very best feature.  He also has expressive eyebrows which suggest cheekiness and character.  When he’s wearing his glasses, you can’t see his eyebrows or his eyes properly, and all the character of his face is lost.  It’s not that they don’t suit him, it’s just that he looks nothing like himself when he’s wearing them.

Small Disgrace is one of the smallest children in his class and one of the youngest too.  He’s very well behaved at school and quite quirky, which is brilliant.  But I really didn’t want anything else to set him apart from the others.  Not that children see glasses as geeky these days – we’ve actually found the opposite, with all his friends wanting to try them on and asking if they can have glasses too.  There’s no danger of him getting teased because of them.  But there is a danger of him being treated differently because of them, and I see it happening all the time.  Adults respond differently to him when he’s wearing his glasses.  Last year, I got the impression that his (very nice) teacher didn’t really ‘know’ him.  He seemed pigeon holed as a slightly geeky, quiet, ‘young’ little boy, whereas in reality, he’s outgoing, cheerful, clever, mature beyond his years and mad as a badger.  Without his glasses, he seems to ooze his personality, but when he puts them on, he hides, and I’m getting so worried that he’s going to be perceived as something he’s not for the entire time he’s at school.  I even considered changing his school because it upsets me that my child is treated as someone he’s not.  But I can’t fault any of the staff, and actually, I’ve noticed that his personality appear to change when he puts his glasses on myself, so perhaps they’re just reacting to a character that he ‘becomes’ when he wears them. 

I thought that all of this made me an over sensitive, ridiculous parent, but when I was at Britmums Live recently, I got chatting to TV psychologist, Emma Kenny, who was manning the ACUVUE stand.  She told me a similar story about her son, who needed glasses from the age of 3.  She looked into other options and discovered that contact lenses are a suitable choice for many children.  I was quite surprised as I had never considered that this may be an option.  Her son has been wearing contacts ever since and has never had a problem with them and finds them easy to use.  It’s certainly made me wonder if they could be a good option for Small Disgrace (although from the fuss he kicks up when he has to have eye drops, I’m not yet convinced that he’ll take to something that he has to put on his eyeball…).  And if we try them, and he prefers glasses, then that would be fine – it would be his choice.  I just want what’s best for him – for his eyesight, for his self esteem and for his experience of school. 

I wrote this review while participating in an influencer campaign on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My son has been sick and I am a crappy mum

So, it's 4am.  About an hour ago, my little boy started throwing up.  By a twist of fate, I was downstairs and well out of the way because I've been ill with the bastard nephew of flu all weekend and woke up feeling rotten so went to get a drink.

Thank God for Mr Disgrace.  Thank God.  He might drive a smarmy git car and be the most nosy neighbour ever and incapable of putting his socks in the washing basket, but the man can deal with puke - I'll give him that.

I cannot deal with puke.  I am emetophobic, which is basically a debilitating phobia of vomit.  I've been emetophobic for 25 years, and while it would be dramatic and untrue to say that it has ruined my life - I do have a lovely husband, much adored son and work doing my favourite thing in the world, after all - I can say with confidence that it has shaped it in a really shitty way.

At my worst, I was underweight and barely ate because I thought I couldn't possibly vomit if I had an empty stomach.  I couldn't leave the house and suffered from many panic attacks per day.  I worked and worked to get through that, and even now, over 10 years on, I feel thankful every time I travel on a bus or go to the supermarket or eat a curry, because I remember how it felt not to be able to do any of that.

When you first tell somebody that you're emetophobic, they don't really understand the implications.  They might just assume that you freak out when you or somebody else vomits, but it's so much worse than that.  They don't understand that it's all day, every day.  You constantly evaluate how you're feeling, how those around you are feeling, what bugs are going around, when you last washed your hands, how clean things are, what risks foods carry.  I know all the norovirus statistics, what to use to clean vomit up (bleach - only bleach. Nothing else works.  Disinfectant might as well be plain water).  I know which schools in the area are currently harbouring which viruses, I know the teeny tiny signs to watch for in my son that suggest that he might be coming down with a tummy bug.  I am always on high alert, never relaxed and constantly running complicated vom-related algorithms through my brain.

I want you to know that I push myself.  I've been through high school, A-levels and university with this.  I have worked as an actress and performed on stage every night with this fear, every single time wanting to stop the performance and run of stage because I was so scared of being sick in front of the audience.  I trained as a primary school teacher because I wanted to do the job so badly, and that meant putting myself in the line of pukey-kid fire every working day.  I got married.  I endured an extremely nauseous pregnancy and had my beloved son even though I knew it meant facing up to this situation on a regular basis.  In recent years, I even started going to the cinema again after 15 years of making excuses to people about why I couldn't go.  I hate the cinema - filthy germ box that it is - but my son loves it, so into the disease ridden pit I go.  I deliberately do these things and more to face my fear and give it the finger as I try to prove that it can shape my life in a shitty fashion, but it cannot take away all of my options.

But then, here I am:  Sitting downstairs and shaking while my stoic husband cuddles my little boy in bed, on puke duty.  I should be able to do this.  I know I should, but I can't.  I'm having CBT for it at the moment and so far it's done bugger all.  Well, maybe slightly more than bugger all actually, as I cleaned up a few vom splashes on the landing and marveled at how well they blended into our disgusting orange landing carpet (really must get a new one at some point) rather than being repelled at the sight.  Oh, and I can now look and piles-o-puke on the street without going into a full on panic meltdown, so maybe all those hours sitting in a doctors room looking at photographs of people throwing up has done something for me after all.  But it's not helped me to do what I want to do - which is to be able to look after my son when he's ill without losing the plot or give him a hug when he's been sick.  If anything, I'm the one that needs the hug.  Don't come too close though - you might have germs.

Monday, 29 September 2014

New Car Causes Marital Strife

Mr Disgrace has a new car.  This is nothing too unusual.  Since I met him 8 years ago, he's had four cars in total.  There was the Polo, which he used to cane along the M6 every day on  a two hour commute, until it started emitting clouds of black,burnt cheese scented smoke and ground to a halt en route to a wedding one day.  Then there was The Mighty Mighty Passat, which was an ugly silver tank of a thing with a previous owner who used to regularly kick it, by the looks of things.  Then some sort of ancient Saab which also broke down spectacularly, and after that a little Honda Jazz; a car so uncool that we were the only people under the age of 60 in the UK ever to own one.  I liked the Jazz.  It was so reassuringly slow.  It never broke down and always got us there and back, and was just the right size for a little family of 3.  Also, nobody ever wanted to steal it.  There you have it: the perfect combination of functionality and crappiness.

The boys say goodbye to the Jazz

So, the other night, he drove his new car home, and he and Small Disgrace were immediately all over it, practically salivating, and bezzing around the Close, music blaring.  I stood on the doorstep, sulking.

"Come on, hop in, lets take it for a drive," said Mr Disgrace.  I reluctantly humphed into the back seat and sat there scowling and pulling my collar up so my mates wouldn't recognize me, in the style of a truculent teenager being dropped off at a party by her dad.

Now, admittedly, it's quite smooth.  And it's got some fancy screen thing that pops up and says things on it (don't know what - I can't drive), and it's very spacious.  But it can fuck off.  Because it's an Audi: An absolutely giant, black Audi A6.  And those, much like big black BMWs, are the mark of the wanker.

Reasons it annoys me:

a) It's longer than our drive.
b) It looks a bit like a hearse.
c) The headlights give it a cross face (yes, this is how I judge cars.  Don't start).
d) There are only 3 of us in our family, and we are all short (yes, husband - short.  Not average height, no matter how much you try to convince me).  We really don't need the extra room.
e) Every time I look out of the window, I keep thinking some cheeky smug git has parked on our drive.
c) It's's just not the sort of car that a family of Disgraces should own.  

Our family is rubbish.  Rubbish.  We are not a power family.  Our child does not go to 4 different extra curricular activities.  Our house is a mess.  Chickens occasionally wander in and out of our lounge, passing comment on Double Your House for Half the Money.  Also, I had to take a calculator to Aldi yesterday to make sure our weekly shop didn't go over 24 quid and bankrupt us, which I don't think makes us nice-car-worthy, does it?  And we generally like pottering along in our "who gives a crap" state.  Don't we?  Don't we, Mr Disgrace?  I thought we did, anyway.

It's just a off-y, I think.  A bit "look at me."  I try to voice this to my husband:

"I just don't think it's really 'us', you know," I say.  "We're not alphas.  We're...we're charmingly eclectic."
"But we're getting better at life and stuff."
"Well, a bit.  But, we're the Disgrace Family.  We're supposed to be disgraceful. Not the owners of the wankermobile.  What next?  An Aga to cook the fish fingers in?  This is not going to be good for blog material."
"Well, frankly darling, you've been scraping the bottom of the barrel for a while, what with the nice new bathroom and our son not being a git since he was two.  Ha - we should probably have another baby just so you've got something to write about."

Thin ice, Mr Disgrace.  And for that, I shall be wearing my frostiest knickers to bed tonight.

He does have a point though.  Small Disgrace is an easy going, well behaved delight to parent (albeit a total weirdo still), our new bathroom is gorgeous, and if you were to look in the kitchen right now, you'd see empty work surfaces and a fully stacked dishwasher.  We seem to have improved without me even noticing.  I feel a bit betrayed to be honest.  I'm still bumbling about, cocking up and muttering about taking down the establishment, while Mr Disgrace has become a proper grown up.  How am I supposed to damn The Man and save The Empire* when my husband is driving a grown up car and wearing head to toe Boden?"

He tells me we're still the same really.  Things haven't really changed that much:  "It's OK babe, we're still a little bit crappy.  Don't worry.  After all, we'll always have the giant ants nest."

True.  we'll always have that.  That is a comfort.

* 90s teen movie reference. If you don't get it, I'm afraid we can no longer be friends.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

When time goes too fast

I was recently sent a link to this video that Fairy have made called The Softest They'll Ever Be:

It didn't quite make me cry, but I'm pretty sure that if the child in the video was a boy, I'd have been inconsolable.  This is because I've just spent several weeks with my baby back at home with me during the school holidays.  I always forget how well we rub along together.  During the holidays when it's just the two of us, we get up to all sorts of adventures.  OK, many of them involve not leaving the house, and quite a few of them involve scraping the chicken poo off the patio whilst wearing our wellies and pyjamas (um, at 2pm. Don't judge), but we still manage to have a lovely time.  I've especially enjoyed all the cuddles that he's still not quite old enough to resent giving me yet.  It reminded me of our time together before he started school - when we'd have adventures in the morning, then cuddle up in bed together for a nap in the afternoons. Errr, I mean, he used to have a nap and I clearly did a lot of housework and balanced the household budget and cleaned the mould off the bath mat and other worthy, housewifely things.  Yes.  Who said anything about sneaky naps?  Not me.  Oh look, isn't that a squirrel?

I do miss those cuddly days that seemed to go on forever (and not always in a good way).  I had PND when my son was a baby, so I don't really look back on the baby years with the same fondness, but I do recall that he would only ever sleep on me during the day, so I spent much of my time reading on the sofa with a warm, cuddly baby snoozing on my chest, and very occasionally, I do wish that I could turn back time just for a little bit to experience that again.  Oh, I do miss my boy while he's at school.  I really really do.  Maybe I should home school him, then I'd get to see him all the time.

At least, that's what I was thinking and feeling until about 3 days before autumn term was due to start when I opened an email from Rory's school informing me that school would be closed for an extra week due to building work being unfinished.  WTF, SCHOOL?  Are you KIDDING ME?? Some of us were on a SLEEPS COUNTDOWN until the start of term, you know.  Are you trying to send us all around the nobbing twist?  There is LEGO all over my MOTHER FLIPPING HOUSE here, OK??

School finally re-started yesterday.  Here's the boy about to set off for his first day in Year 1.  

The Lego is back where it should be, I can crack on with some work in blissful, unadulterated silence and nobody else is eating all the crisps.  Bring on the fudging trumpets.

I still can't wait for my 3.30 cuddle though.

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