Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Grace 33 months - Daisy 3+ months

So Grace started preschool. It was a big step for both of us and we were both nervous.

She would be meeting the people she will spend the next ten or so years in education with, which was pretty scary for her. Even more scary for me though...I was meeting their mothers. What if they did not like me and so never invited Grace to their kids' parties?

First impressions were crucial...

So I set my alarm, tweezed my eyebrows (took longer than planned), dressed the girls in their best and set off early.. and then it all went wrong.

I got caught in the 4x4-cars-on-the-road-driven-by-mums-who-cannot-see-over-the-steering-wheel-brigade, could not find anywhere to park.

I almost reversed into one of Grace's new school friends, and finally arrived sweating profusely and dragging one sullen toddler who had snuck jammy-toast into the car and rubbed it all over her face, and a newborn who had done a massive honky poo which had gone all through her best trousers and right up her back.

No one wanted to stand near us, everyone was wrinkling their perfectly powdered noises (kids included) and I ended up slinking off (or should that be stinking off) back to the badly parked car to sob all the way home.

Things have not gotten much better. James accidentally popped Grace's elbow out of it's socket at a family wedding this weekend and we ended up in Hemel Hempstead A&E. It's a very common injury in kids under five, but even so - we were put under the spotlight by the nurse who asked:

"How did this happen?"
"I did it" James said. "We were at a wedding. She was laying on the floor refusing to get up, she was in the way and I was worried someone would trample on her so I picked her up by her arm. It was an accident."
"I see" said the nurse, eyeing him with suspicion " And were you there" she said, pointing at me. "No" I said nervously, then I got all flustered and said "I did not see the incident."
"Incident?" she said sharply, typing away on her screen.
"No No, there was no "incident" said James. "It was not an incident, it was an ACCIDENT."
"Yes yes" I shouted, "I mean no no, no incident, I meant accident." I could tell from the look James and the nurse gave me that I was not helping matters.

I don't think she believed us. I don't think she thought there was even a wedding. She probably thought we were playing tug-of-war with Grace, hurt her more than planned, panicked and dressed up in our Sunday best to try and look presentable and cover our tracks.
Luckily the elbow popped back in quickly and painlessly and Grace was using her arm again in seconds.

A report of "the incident" got sent to her preschool though, and that teamed with nearly running a child over in the car park and carrying round a stinky baby has not created the impression I had hoped.

SO - In a bid to redeem ourselves I have put both James and I down for a charity swim the preschool are doing to raise funds. I still have some "junk in my trunk" to lose so it's win win anyway (except now all the yummies are going to see me in my slowdo. There is nothing "speedo" about me, doing old-lady-lengths.)

Daisy helps me win people over though. She is just so sweet people can't help but warm to her, especially if they were fans of POB

Don't laugh, it's not funny. My poor little pobhead. When the sun shines her ears light up, like dumbo. When she smiles she looks so silly it makes me want to cry. James calls her wingnut. WINGNUT for god's sake!

I have traced my family tree back centuries to try and find the origin of these enormous ears. It's not a Newton thing. I am sure once she grows some hair it will all be fine anyway. Grace must have taken Daisy's share of hair however, because she only ever loses it. From the back Daisy looks like she is wearing a skullcap.

None of this matters however as she is quite literally the sweetest, most laid back baby anyone has ever met. She spends her whole life grinning and cooing and flapping (her arms, not ears) about.

She is a joy. A true joy. I love her so much I get a lump in my throat when I wake up and see her grinning at me with her daft little chops. Grace is as crazy about her as I am and is forever kissing her, patting her on the head, pulling her ears and singing all kinds of nonsense to her.

Grace does not think James is as cute though, and often tells him he is being "a havish" (her interpretation of the sentence "you are misbehaving." She also makes ridiculous demands of him. For example she will request a "hot egg".

There is an art to boiling eggs, which James works very hard to achieve and is entirely wasted on Grace, because for all the perfect egg-to-simmering-not-boiling-water-ratio, Grace actually only wants to eat the "egg shelf" (eggshell).

She likes "shark bits" (sharp bits). For this reason she also munches on prawn tails and sand. Oh well, James did want her to be adventurous with her food.

The later it gets, the more ridiculous the demands. Anyone who has ever had a child will understand the dread which goes through them when after bathing and feeding milk and bedtime stories to their child - and then after truly believing them to be fast-asleep- settling down to a TV programme they have been looking forward to watching all week/a chapter of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which they have gotten hooked on/a well deserved, undisturbed, blissful eight hours sleep, they hear.... "Errrrrrrrnn".

At first, you try to fool yourself it was just the wind or a creaky step. You pray for such things (more on that later), but then, just as you manage to convince yourself it never happened at all, you hear it again... "Errrrrrn, eeeerrrrn" and you know that within minutes it will be followed by
"Mummmeeeeee" and that you can kiss your TV programme/chapter/sleep goodnight.

You'll be spending the next hour and a half placating an overtired diva who wants milk but "not in that cup", then changes their mind and wants juice in the original cup, then back to milk again, then the light on/off/on a bit/off/on, then "Dorrottee bear" (who is actually a rabbit and named after Dorothy out of the Wizardaboz (wizard of oz) but she can't pronounce it properly) ...

and so on and so forth until you are so fed up and exhausted that if she told you she would go back to sleep if only you would take all your clothes off and dance naked by the light of the moon in full view of all the new mummies at school, you would do so - just to get some sleep.

And so to prayer.. We are off to church. In order for Grace to get into the village school we want her to go to -the whole family need to attend the local C of E church for the next eighteen months.
I have not been to church for years (apart from last weekend for the wedding, when I made a complete fool of myself. The vicar asked us what we needed to say when she asked us a question during the ceremony. Excitedly, because I knew the answer I loudly shouted out "We will" thinking everyone was going to do the same. No one did. They all looked at me in astonishment instead, including Daisy who was so shocked by my outburst she stopped breastfeeding to stare at me, leaving my breast exposed for the whole congregation to admire. The Vicar looked disgusted.)

I have been assured the Vicar at our local church is very liberal though and the service is lots of fun and he loves kids and does not mind if they make noise during the service. He believes it is their way of talking to god.... A lovely idea isn't it? If only Grace would talk to God in the middle of the night instead of getting me up. He could turn her water into milk and save me umpteen trips to the kitchen.

Surely it's going to be obvious we are only going to secure Grace's place, especially as I am the worst liar in the whole world. I have decided when he asks me what brings us to the Church I will tell him I really enjoy the harvest festival. This is true. I have fond memories of handing out dented tins to old people whilst singing "All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above"

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