So Grace is three years, three months old - Daisy is nine months old and oh yes, I am three months pregnant! (and YES it was planned. It wasn't just because "There was nothing good on the telly" as one of our friends asked!)
Right - now that exciting news is out the way.. back to the girls (I am sure we will have another girl in September, although I am open to bets on it. My dear friend Claire Mills offered all her friends and family to guess the sex and weight of her baby. If both guesses were correct the lucky winner could pick a middle name. I am tempted to offer the same to my blog readers. Names can't be any worse than Grace's suggestions, Snow White/Tinkerbell/Dora.
Meanwhile Daisy is blooming. Well, as much as anyone can bloom under Grace's slightly tyrannical dictatorship :
"No Dais, put it DOOWN"
"No Dais, that is MIIIIIINNNE"
"No Dais, do it like this"
"No Dais, stop licking me."
When it gets too much I take Daisy upstairs with her bottle of milk. I always fall for it when a short while later Grace announces she is going up to "check Days is nice and warm". What Grace is actually doing, and I only remember when I hear, and then follow, the very loud sucking noise, is stealing, and then drinking, Daisy's milk.
Daisy does not seem to mind however, and wakes up grinning like an idiot. Well normally she does. We went through a two week period where Daisy did NOT wake up grinning, or go to sleep grinning. In fact she did not even smile.
All she did was cry, and cry and cry and whinge and moan. She had all the signs of teething, red cheeks, runny nose, lots of green poo - but no teeth. I began to worry that I would go to get her up one morning and she would be grinning at me with a full set of teeth.
This did not happen. After days of moaning and crying she finally woke with a very small, wonky white tip in her mouth... and all the crying has stopped (for now. I fear it is the tip of an iceberg)....
She is still not actually crawling, but can certainly get about, doing a mix of rolling, shuffling, pushing and growling. Her dream destinations are the wires by the side of the tv or the bookcase filled with all Grace's tiny toys.
She never makes it to either with Fun Police Grace on duty however. Grace is already showing signs of being a dobber : "Mummy, Dais is trying to pull the wires, but DON'T worry. I will stop her!" (then a silence, followed by an agonised wail from Daisy).
Grace is on fine form. She loved her holiday to Scotland (or "Scopland" as she calls it). 'Blast off' on the plane was especially exciting (as was the tray table attached to the seat in front on her, which she did up and undid throughout the whole flight. I could see the woman in front trembling with annoyance by the time we landed).
Grace did NOT like the Loch Ness Monster though. This might be due to the very scary Loch Ness museum we visited. I thought it would be all cartoon monsters and silly sea songs, but instead it was a very big, dark tunnel with loud booming noises and lots of waxwork figures.
Being pregnant for the third time is not very exciting no matter how hard I am trying. For a little while I thought that perhaps I could make being pregnant 'my thing'. I always wanted to have 'a thing'. You know, like people who always chew gum, or wear odd socks - but then morning sickness kicked in and I soon changed my mind.
This time round the only thing which stops the nausea is James' homemade risotto. Anyone who has ever made risotto will know what a long, time consuming meal it is to prepare. You can't just 'whip one up'. It involves a lot of stirring, and tasting, and seasoning. It's certainly not the kind of meal you want to make each night.. with a whiny wife in the background asking "Is it ready yet?" with the dogged perseverance of a small child on a long car journey.
Once, the other night, just to try and break the repetition, James made risotto with red wine, not white. Although I was secretly aghast, I ate it with gusto and vowed never to let him know my initial disappointment.
I did tell my friend Sarah Allen though (yes you HAVE been named and shamed) while we were having coffee. I never even said anything rude about it. All I said was how marvellous James had been to make risotto each night and how much I appreciate it, but I did wish he would stick to the magic 'white' one.
James came home shortly after and Sarah said " Hi James, I hear your red risotto was not very good" .... and I have been punished with a lack of diner ever since - and I got called an ungrateful sh1t.
I must try and get back in the good books, although it's not going very well. He had to take me to test drive a Fiat Multipla today instead of watching Spurs. Yes, Fiat Multiplas are those cars that look like they were designed for the elderly and disabled ... BUT they have three seats in the front, which will make life with my little brood so much easier.
See, I have given birth twice. I am no stranger to embarrassment. But men? Men don't experience the same shame that women endure to become parents. They get to have lots of sex, then none at all to be fair.. but lots of people congratulate them on a job well done. Then they get to be all show-offy and charming at midwife appointments and during labour. Lots of hand holding and forehead wiping and saying "Just keep my wife and baby safe please" in a swoony Hollywood type manner.. and then they get a baby. No stretch marks, no excess flab, no grey hairs, no varicose veins, and they retain FULL bladder control.
Perhaps it's understandable then, that they still feel cool. James is WAY too cool for my Fiat Multipla. He has told me in no uncertain terms that he will not be seen 'in it, on it, near it' - which is why I was so delighted when the salesman managed to persuade him to take one for a test drive today. I have never seen anyone look as shamed. He was like a dog who just had all his hair cut off. He came back SCOWLING. The only thing which cheered him up was the fact I kept calling the salesman Mark, when apparently his name tag said James.
Anyway, if the Multipla does not knock the cool out of him (although I do plan to 'jazz it up' with some cool car stickers like, 'This Bitch Bites Back' or 'I Slow Down For Horses' ) I am sure our girls will in a few years.
I dread the day my girls cringe at my jokes and duck from my kissypops. I went into Grace's pre-school last week to help do some cooking and when I arrived my girl shouted "THAT ONE IS MINE MUMMY" at the top of her voice and spent the whole session glued to my leg.
I am not sure I was such a hit with all the other kids however. I know they were only three, but the virgo in me came out, and if their cheese shapes were not very good then I told them as much, in no uncertain terms. How hard is it to press a cutter into some dough after all? Very hard for some it seems.
In fact, upon writing this I am suddenly struck by my earlier words 'Slightly tyrannical dictatorship'. Upon reflection, I was a bit like that. I said things like "No no, it's rubbish. It does not look like a star at all. Try again" or " No no, do it like this" or worst of all "No No, oh look - just let me do it for you".
I am never going to have a career in childcare. Not just because I am an impatient perfectionist, but because I don't have the very patronising, permanently cheerful, hideously annoying voice required.
(James would probably say I possess the latter). While I was busy treating the session like an episode of masterchef, next to me, a lovely, lovely lady helper was bolstering spirits with comments such as "Wow, a star! That is just ammmmaaaaaaazing" or "WOWWEEE! Look at that! You managed to pat the dough!" and so on and so on. I honestly wanted to batter her over the head with my rolling pin at one point - but sadly one of the kids was running round waving it.
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