Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's a lot of it about

I must have eaten something dodgy or picked up a bug. After being ill through the night, I felt wiped out today and fell into bed all afternoon. I had deja vu of the bad old days - a kind of melancholy of inertia. I hope I pick up soon.

To allow me to rest, Nice Man took baby Hugh to his office (where I'm sure he helped 'tidy' the filing cabinets and piles of CD's). 'Hugo' was all revved-up and smiley when he came back, as if the Daddy-bonding day had done him good.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The youth of today?

Yesterday, on the bus, I had a minor moment of Daily-Mail-style Tisk-tisking as I struggled with Hugh's buggy and my ever widening pregnancy bump and a bunch of coiffed lads from the local 'posh' school barely moved to let me past, and none stood to offer me a seat on the full bus. I thought their parents may be paying £10K a term to send them there, but somebody somewhere forget to teach them basic manners and bus etiquette. There, harrumph over. Normal service resumed soon.

I love those electronic displays on the bus stops that tell you how long before the next bus is due. So much better than waiting clueless. Do they work by satellite or infrared or something? Very clever and useful anyway.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The longer I wait to post....

...the more ambivalent I am to post anything, as it can seem too trivial. I should get with the Twitter ethos and stop being blog-precious. There, I've leapt in now.

Life is mainly good (I feel grateful). I sit here awaiting the gas man to do a service check on our heating.

It's nearly impossible to buy 'man tights' for a baby boy, to keep his legs cosy. Parents know that baby socks fall off like autumn leaves - all year round. Tights for the under 2's only seem to come in pink, red, white or selection packs of pink, red and white, some with decorative love hearts. I have one pair of last year's (blue) 'boy tights' from the Gap and they are in the washing machine and draped on radiators almost daily. I love putting them on Hugh, warm from the heater, stuffing his wee chubby ankles into the cosy padded feet. I put his dungarees on top and we're ready to roll. Or crawl....

Week 25 of the pregnancy and bambino 2 is kicking away.

-C x

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I listened to the government's persuading and decided to
get the swine flu jab. Apparently a third of pregnant women are undecided, a third don't wish to take the risk, and a third roll up their sleeves and say okay, hit me with it. It's been 2 hours and I feel okay, thus far.

I didn't want to get the jab on an empty stomach, so I found myself eating a Gregg's Festive Pastry in the torrential rain outside the GP surgery.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Blog neglect or blog holiday?

Ah, one kind reader asked if I am okay, because I haven't posted recently. Yes, I have written many short blog posts in my head...and then kept them there. A case of blog neglect or a blog holiday? I couldn't decide.

I am now in week 20 of pregnancy - a kind of half way point, although March 21st (due date) still seems a long way off. The novelty of the first pregnancy was constantly exciting; second time around I'm feeling more of a warm, mushy gratitude and forward-looking hope.

I don't have any cravings, although tonight I was eating a bowl of Coco Pops* for the first time in years. I was padding about the kitchen with the bowl and I thought, wow, these taste so great, I should sit down to appreciate the cheap chocolate-y naughtiness of this experience.

* (I only had a mini box of Coco Pops in the house as part of my Halloween 'costume' - I wore a necklace made from Kellogg's Variety packs and carried a pretend knife, rustled up from tin-foil and cardboard. What do you mean, what was I? A serial/cereal killer, of course. Ah well, there's always next Halloween.)

Enough waffle. Why don't I post a picture of Mr Hugh, who'll be one this week! Awww.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall-y down trousers

It's one of the paradoxes of pregnancy - despite the fact that your waist keeps growing, your trousers won't stay up properly. They slide on to your hip bones and feel precarious. I commented on this to my (thrice pregnant) sister and she said, oh yeah, you just have to get used to
fall-y down trousers.

The weather has been so autumnal and beautiful for weeks now, it's almost made me forget the wash-out that was July and August.

I've just had battered fish and it's made me feel all thirsty. I shouldn't be surprised.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Do the CBeebies schedulers have any idea how randomly irksome the Waybuloos are, when compared to the glories of Iggle Piggle and friends? Drippy, hippy, doe-eyed Waybuloos, with your pastel-coloured, floaty nonsense - I will you past (a 6pm slot?!) while waiting for the true path of The Night Garden.

Ooh, I sound quite curmudgeonly.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Prophecies and floorboards

Okay - so I feel as if my communications to the world are thwarted somewhat. We are living with my parents for a week as our floorboards are sanded and varnished. And at the same time, I'm having technical problems with email, our land line and my mobile. A triple whammy that leaves me with a possible case of Ignoring People Guilt.

In the meantime, who needs a world of electronic intercourse when there is an old-fashioned visionary at my local supermarket? Cup your ear, readers...

My pregnancy is just beginning to show but could still be mistaken for a case of too much cake and pizza. However, a few weeks back, there was really no belly and I was a wearing 'slimming' black mini-dress and black tights. A tall African man at the till in said supermarket made me gasp when he said he knew I was pregnant with a baby boy.

There was no way he could have seen a bump. I could have flounced off and complained to the manager at such a comment. Yet he told me he was a preacher in 'his own country' and has the 'gift of prophecy.' I was so amazed, I found no real reason to doubt him. Cue spooky music and save the blue bootees.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

We're very happy... be expecting a second baby in March 2010.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just s'not fair.., (sorry)

Why is it, when your baby has a runny nose that leaves his top lip like a melting glacier, he does not thank you for wiping it clean? Nay, he protests as if you are merely trying to compound any misery with your motherly brandishing of tissue, your eager pursuit of dry, soft skin.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Hoose

So, where were we? I'm writing this with eyes tingling from onion fumes. We've had the rooms of our new house painted and a friend suggested cutting up an onion in a bowl of water to absorb the chemical waft of new paint. Now the house smells like a giant onion. I may abandon the experiment.

Carpets are the next big frontier. I'm sure the dog and cat who lived here before us were lovely creatures - animal pensioners, if you will, but they also left half their fur in the shag pile. I am phoning men with sanding machines and hoping for golden floorboards. shall be worth it.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Living in a cardboard box...

...well, not quite but there are umpty-twenty cardboard boxes of stuff littering our flat. Why such chaos? Indeed we are moving to a new house on Friday. Very exciting, of course, if a little hectic. Don't say the word 'stress', okay?

I'm having to do things like clean the inside of the oven (generally a no no) while trying to stop Mr Hugh licking the TV screen. Normal blog service should resume in weeks to come.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Silence please

Outside Mr Hugh naps in the pram while bus brakes squeal and children yell in the park. Inside, when he's napping in the cot, I tip toe about the hall. I don't flick light switches, I ease them backwards as if they were mini see-saws.

This may be pathetic, but I do it anyway.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is it with low sofas?

I am currently surfing for new sofas. What is it with the ubiquitous low-slung sofa? Okay, they look modern and create a sense of space and feng shui, but come on, we need back support and head support and a general comforting 'flump' in the act of sitting down. I say nay - nay way - to the low sofa and will keep up the search for upholstered comfort of a more traditional variety.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Phew - it's not as bad as it looks!

So, Hugh loves his bath and he has just learned to pull out the plug. Ah well, I thought, he shall learn a new association: no plug, no water. The simple poetry of learning. No plug, no water? No woman, no cry. That sort of thing. Only this time we both learned something new - fingers down the plughole for half a second, big cry. When he pulled them out, he had nasty cut. Ouch and How the frig?!

Cue me getting all panicky as the blood dripped into the bath and spotted on to the white towel. I scooped him up and he smeared it on his face and generally all-over-the-place, like a convincing audition for Casualty (I never watch it anymore but I can imagine). Oh, my wee boy!

But it was okay in the end. We got the necessary bandage - I phoned Devoted Grandparents and they came with some gauze and white tape and we made a cartoon finger bandage, that looked was better and more fitting than the soggy plasters that were still looking too red for comfort.

Phew and double Phew. Hugh then got all excited and smiley for the unexpected ceremony of bath time visitors and ministerings. So, kids, today's Sesame Street lesson is ...beware of plugholes. Sometimes baddies might be lurking down there, after all. No need to go poking around, just in case.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mystery shopper

The other day, in the supermarket, I set down my wire basket of shopping and wandered briefly to another aisle. When I came back it was gone. I asked the cashiers and no one had seen it. The manager checked with the shelf-stackers and they all agreed that another customer must have taken it up.

I wondered what kind of customer suddenly decided that today was the day he (or she) couldn't live without 2 tiramasu, value-pack avocados and 11 Huggies aqua nappies.


Monday, July 06, 2009

Breaking News in Times Square

So.., as I was saying, we were in Times Square and I overheard an American voice ask, 'Is Michael Jackson dead?' and I thought, there is a person who doesn't know anything about anything, a person who hasn't a clue. It's Elvis who's dead, and John Lennon, and Kennedy. Duh.

And then it flashed up on the giant screens that poor 'old' Wacko Jacko had joined them. Jeeze. I never felt strongly about him, one way or the other, but what a sad end. Billie Jean was my favourite song. It was so 1983, (or was it '84?).

My sister and I occasionally referred to Michael Jackson as Meek-leh. (We changed the names of a lot of people for no apparent reason - pre Heat Magazine). My sister would walk into the room, wriggle her leg like Jackson dancing and then say, Meek-leh leg.

I'm not sure that works in translation, but I've said it now.

Yes, the pedestrianisation of Times Square has my full approval. You can never get too much pedestrianisation. Get a few pigeons elected to the city council and there would be no looking back.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bonkers Jet Lag

Wow, the jet lag is rumbling on. I can't get to sleep before 3am or wake before 11am. (Mr Hugh is sleeping 10pm to 11am too, with one 'night' feed in between). Today I'm trying to break the cycle. I've been yawning since 8am and trying to stay awake so I can go to sleep earlier tonight. That's the theory. I might have to sellotape my eyelids open this afternoon.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New York stories

We are just back from a groovy holiday in New York - my first time out of Europe. I'll write more when the jet lag wears off.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Make my baby look camp in a photo? Surely not.

PS - in the second photo, readers can play Spot The Mouse who's had Enough.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tiredness and untidyness, okay. Chewing gum, nope.

Phew - I'm tired tonight, but I think it's allowed. Sometimes my day starts at 6am, when Hugh won't go back to sleep. I used to think only farmers, bakers and postmen got up at 6am, now I realise people with babies do too.

Sometimes I can't keep up with the tidying and I have to learn to ignore the mess and not let it irk me. I've always been a really tidy person, so I see it as a slow personality change. Bundle of clothes lying in a pile? Sure! Toys and sticky stuff on the kitchen floor? Go right ahead.

Nice Man is away to LA. I'm amazed I know anyone who goes to LA, never mind being 'married'* to such a person. (Not technically 'married', you see, just to confuse and exasperate relatives...but, when a couple have a kid, I think that's as big a commitment as it gets).

Ah well, the check-out woman at the supermarket told me she had never been on a plane. She looked about 62 and I wished she would treat herself to an aviation adventure. I also noticed that there were about 24 types of chewing gum at the checkout (seriously - 4 rows of 6 flavours). There used to be two - plain spearmint Wrigleys and then 'Juicy Fruit'. I never buy chewing gum, so I guess I missed the 'chuggy' revolution. Ah, the relief of not having to care.

I will go to bed early tonight. Even if the light outside is fooling me into thinking the day is young.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I just can't get enough...

...bitesize Weetabix. They cause you to eat more than the standard 'soap-size' (?) Weetabix. Before you know it, you've gobbled quite a few.


Monday, May 18, 2009

'Don't Eat the Marshmallow'

Nice Man showed me this fascinating article in The New Yorker. It's about a psychology experiment designed to measure self-control. Four-year-old kids were left alone in a room, sitting at a desk. On the desk was a marshmallow. The kids were told they could have two marshmallows if they waited and didn't eat the first one. If they ate the first one, that was their lot. Predictably, some of the kids could delay gratification and others crumbled and ate the first marshmallow.

But the scientists followed them up years later and discovered that the 'delayers' had higher IQ's and fewer behavioural problems than the non-delayers. In fact, the delayers managed life much better all round.

I wonder how long I'd have held off eating the marshmallow.

I remember when I was about five, asking my mum for an ice cream just before dinner. She wisely said no. I ran to my dad and asked for 2 pence (yes, 2p!) and with that 2 pence I bought a Mr Whippy cone with strawberry sauce. I think I took two licks of it, then threw it behind a wall, like Judas with the thirty pieces of silver.

I liked the end of the article where it said that 'even the most mundane routines of childhood, like not snacking before dinner, or saving up your allowance, or holding out until Christmas morning - are really sly exercises in cognitive training.' Apparently this is the most valuable training your parents can give you. And I realise my parents gave me all of the above.

Once I instigated an argument with Nice Man when he ate a roast chicken leg just before we went to my parents' for dinner. Yikes, it's not as if I can just benefit from the delayer 'rules'. Sometimes I have to annoy myself by my inflexible adherence to them years later. It obviously runs deep.

Still, I'm guessing I'll steer Mr Hugh away from any ice cream vans just before dinner time. Or I'll tell him that when the van plays the music, it means they've run out of ice cream.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The wrong clothes?

Billy Connolly once said there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes. I can see what he's getting at. But, Billy (comedy God that you are), you live in LA for most of the year. I have been wearing the same clothes since January - if you know what I mean. I still cannot jettison the 'double trew' (leggings under my jeans) and I think my black cashmere polo-neck and red scarf are genetically modifying themselves with my DNA to become part of my person. I long for the air to be warm. I long to feel the sun on my bare ankles.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The bumpiest pavements, please.

Most people are glad to see their council tax spent on practical things like making the pavements smooth and safe for all. When Hugh is crying in the pram, trying his utmost to get over to sleep, I steer headlong towards the bumpiest paving stones, aiming for every manhole cover and water-mains lid. It's his best chance.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've been immortalised in Lego

Christoph has done a great job with these Belle and Sebastian covers in Lego. Vielen Danke Christoph. What delight.


Friday, April 17, 2009

On not getting a minute

You hear people say it all the time. They 'don't get a minute whatever'. Sometimes it's how I feel about the blog. But it's okay. It's something I could never have imagined before.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The best book I have read in....ages

'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy is the most spellbinding and heartbreaking book I have read in years. It's about a father and his young son travelling across America in a post apocalyptic world, where most of the population are dead and the sun never shines through the ashen polluted atmosphere. It sounds sensationalist but it's so gripping because the two central characters are so real. I fell in love with the wee boy.

I have to go now. Nice Man is cajoling me to watch some TV, now that Hughster is asleep.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hugh Tube

Here's a short video I sent to Nice Man, when he was working in the USA, away from Mr Hugh. It helps if you've seen the Bob Dylan original.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Who knew?

Banana stains don't come out of baby bibs in a 60 degree white wash. Britain's favourite fruit, you surprise me.

And as for 'poly-cotton', well 'easycare'? Schmeesy-care. Once you start weaving plastic thread in with good old honest cotton, you get more wrinkles, not less. Give me 100% brushed cotton any day.

That is the end of the laundry bulletin.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inappropriate raspberry action

Last night Mr Hugh woke about six times to feed. I said, look Mister, this is getting ridiculous, but he paid no heed. I tried to spoon baby rice and banana into him today, but he still looked puzzled and bemused and hasn't quite bought into the concept of food-swallowing yet.

I took him to view a flat (we are considering purchasing one in the longer term with the generous help of my parents). I felt patronised by the owner who talked me through the location of every plug socket and pulled out hefty maintenance and council tax bills while Hugh was wriggling in my arms in semi-irritation. The owner offered to hold 'the baby'. I said no thanks and then he started blowing slevery raspberries on Hugh's wee hands. I mean watery, noisy raspberries. Hugh tried to eat his finger. No, Hugh, refrain, my love, refrain!

The owner then told me about the offers they'd turned down and I decided instantly that I could take this no further and said so in polite language. He still insisted on showing me the back yard on the way out. He was wittering on about the recycle bins and I thought, didn't I just say no thanks? Do I need to get tougher?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Holiday Photos

I'm just back after five days in England visiting my sister and my nieces. Niece Maddy (5) said Hugh should be called Mr Googly Eyed Hugh, as his eyes are always so wide open. And to think we struggled to choose a middle name. Nice Man is still working hard in the US of A.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monkey Mothering

I've been thinking about monkey mothering. I haven't come to a theory yet, but thoughts of monkeys are in response to my ongoing confusion over conflicting baby-care advice. I'm still getting frustrated at the list of 'Don'ts'....i.e. Lists of Ooh, Beware! points. Beware - if you feed baby on demand or feed to sleep, you'll 'spoil' baby and make him / her demanding / stroppy / a heroin addict when they grow up. They don't say that last bit, but it feels implied.

Mr Hugh is struggling to get to sleep without feeding first. He feeds and feeds. I try to latch him off (moments) early to 'teach' (?) him to settle himself in the cot and he keeps crying. So I repeat the whole sequence again... and then again and, yup, again. And then several times in the night.

But I also think of the monkeys and all the other mammals that snuggle and feed so naturally. Nobody tells a monkey to put her baby in a separate cot and teach it a stiff upper lip. For its own good! Hmm, where does that leave me? I don't know. Clarification and illumination, readers. They elude me. Cute monkeys though.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Some headline about humble pie and tossing cookies

Geeze. I'll eat humble pie, if I could just get my cookies to stay down. So maybe Hugh's 24 hour vomit-athon was a virus - and not a reaction to the injections - because, guess what, I'm joining in now. It is truly horribilus and wretched. Just have to wait it out. We are a house of lurgy. Isn't there some sort of service that can rescue us and make it all better?


Saturday, March 07, 2009

'The screens please, nurse'

I promise this blog won't be all about baby stuff and nothing else. But we've had a rough couple of days after Mr Hugh's third immunisations (4 month injections) so that's uppermost in my mind.

The wee soul wasn't able to keep milk down the next day after the 'jabs'. Through the night he just stopped feeding and started writhing in pain. He projectile-vomitted over land and sea (okay, duvet covers and bath towels) for 24 hours. Oww. I ended up trying to feed him 'cooled boiled water' with a syringe to try to avert the real risk of dehydration.

The GP said it was probably 'a virus' and not linked to the immunisations. Call me an old reactionary cynic but I wonder otherwise. Hugh also went through a rough stage after his injections at 3 months (more crying in unexplained pain) so, you can imagine how I'll be looking forward to any future needle action...

I think there is a 'yellow card' office somewhere, where you can report after-effects to add to the collected data. Surely somebody keeps a record of these things nationwide?

I'm rushing off to try and grab sleep now that Mr Baby Anger has zonked out - in his pram. Sleep training? Ha. By hook or by crook, it was, tonight.


PS. for US google searches, I'll spell immunizations with a 'z' too. So, tagging - baby immunizations, 4 months, reactions, vomitting.

Monday, March 02, 2009

4 month sleep regression, you say?

Well, shut me up and call me a smug daftie as Hugh is now waking about 4 or 5 times a night to feed and his naps have become a battle. I don't regret dropping the dummy (soother / pacifier). Not for a minute. But I found this website / blog - and it's a consolation to my tired eyes.

Readers, you know I can get too 'heady' and tie myself in knots trying to follow 'best practice' from whatever baby book I am reading. I have just about given up with the Baby Whisperer. There are so many rules that seem unfair to me - eg. feed only every 4 hours (at 4 months). Blimey, I need to eat every 2 or 3 hours, so call me a hypocrite. All the rules make me doubt myself. Pah.

The Moxie blog pointed out that there is a recognised '4 month sleep regression' associated with leaps in development. Baby brains are so busy developing, they find it hard to shut down for sleep.

So here you find us, Mr Hugh watching BBC news and gurgling in a bouncy chair. Me sitting in my dressing gown, sleep deprived and reporting from the front line of the babydom trenches. Ah well, it's a phase, a phase, I say. A bit like life.

Ah, I just had a phone call from a dear friend who has a young baby too. It's good to bond over all the minutiae. She said her bambino followed the same patterns - staying awake most of the day in one phase about this age. Now she's surfing the teething wave. We had the rant about babies being baffling, exhausting and amazing, and then I resolved to follow her in 'going with the flow', whatever that means. It sounds simple...


Saturday, February 21, 2009

7am - Look no dummys!

The first hour was the worst. Nice Man shh-ed and coo-ed to Mr Hugh as he tried to get to sleep on his own for the first time - that is, tried to sleep without the aid of dummy or breast milk. It was hard but it worked. Once asleep he slept better and even had spells of contented babbling in the cot at night. No more holding our breath, waiting for the dummy to fall out. He still put up a fight at his morning nap, but it was less of a fight. I'm hoping we've turned a corner or qualified for some gold stars or something.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Cold Turkey and the Dummy?

I take it all back. I will not complain about getting up at 7am, if that's what Mr Hugh needs to get his wee (almost) 4 month-old body into a proper sleep/wake/feed routine.

We gave him a 'dummy' (or pacifier) to help him through his awful colic (at 6 weeks old) and now, almost shamefully, I can see that he needs to go to Dummy-holics Anonymous and stand up (okay, lie down) and say, My name is Mr Hugh and I am a... (Well, he can no longer get to sleep without his dummy). Other babies in the room will nod sagely and gurgle support.

What is the problem, you may ask? Well, now Mr Hugh wakes up every 1-2 hours crying to be replugged with the dummy. Since we don't have a machine or a small monkey to do this, it means myself and Nice Man are wakened 8 or 10 times a night (it's almost worse than the newborn phase). This would likely go on for another few months until Mr Hugh could put it back in himself.

So, after obsessive reading of the Internet and asking everyone (including the gas man) about dummy weaning, it seems Cold Turkey may be the most effective method. The thought is stomach-lurching for me. I see how much he cries when he wants it.

Of course, you have to be resolute once you start, and we will try to follow the Baby Whisperer's tools / methodology, which mean that you stay with, and gently support, your baby while it cries, as opposed to closing the door, but, ouch ouch ouch, you can expect baby to put up wailing protests every time (even for an hour or two) until you teach him/her to sleep on their own. It may take about a week before Mr Hugh can say, Dummy? What's a dummy?

Apparently, allegedly, this is the best gift to teach the baby and it should sleep better after this. But oh, I am dreading it. I don't see any other way around it. Surely we will be doing him a favour in the long run? My sister had to implement a similar strategy when her baby started waking-to-feed five times a night. They don't need it at this age. It's a habit you have to wean them off.

Wish us luck and resolve. I'm feart.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

7 until 7? Is it madness?

So, I've been reading the baby books again - this time 'The Baby Whisperer' by Tracy Hogg. It seems to make more sense and isn't as scary as the infamous Gina Ford. However, I have one stalling point. All the books aim to get your baby to sleep 7pm to 7am.

Now, my own family were never early-wakers, and, my whole life long, I have never risen before 8am (ie 8am in school days). People in America and England get up at 6 or 7am. Not us Celtic types. Nooo. We like to get up about 9 or 10am (or 8am if we have school kids). Likewise, I don't want to have to fall into bed at 9pm, when all the good programmes are starting on TV. I love the quiet hours between 11pm to midnight and beyond.

So, when the baby books tell you to get up at 7am it all seems a bit of a cold shower. Can't we have 8 till 8? Or 8 till 9am? Anyway, Hugh has started to comply by sleeping earlier (currently 8 or 9pm). He then thinks it's fun to wake up at 1am, 5am and then 2 or 3 times after that. I keep looking for answers in The Baby Whisperer, while trying not to read the bit that says 'Get up at 7am'. Is that cheating?

Yikes, it's gone 11pm. You see? I feel pressured to get myself off to bed now, instead of chatting to you folks.

I took Hugh to a local Gaelic-speaking playgroup today. They called him Ùisdean, which is Gaelic for Hugh. I love that name, but no one would ever be able to pronounce it. And I thought my name was tricky. Anyway, I tried to look like I knew the words when everyone sang The Wheels on the Bus in Gaelic.

Okay, better go. Sleep pressure! Gute Nacht. That's German for Good Night instead.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Shout We Are

I am having my usual 'five o'clock wilt' (delayed effects of sleep deprivation) but I found pockets of joy earlier.

I took Hugh to 'Bounce and Rhyme' at the library, where a room full of mothers sat on orange carpets with babies plonked on their laps. We sang dumb nursery rhymes and pretended like our babies could sing too. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (A few of the toddlers had only just mastered the art of clapping). The babies drooled and let their heads wobble gently as they gazed around the room and absorbed it all, neurones buzzing. If you're happy and you know it, shout We Are. I instructed Mr Hugh to gurgle it for me as I was all choked up with happiness tears. That's babies for ya.


Monday, February 02, 2009

How much for my eco guilt?

So Nice Man has to go away on a business trip in March and I looked up possible flights to my sister's in England. BMI Baby would charge me £27.98 return (huge bargain apart from the tax of my eco-guilt. I know, I know...). But get this - an infant (ie Mr Hugh) would cost £30 return. He doesn't even get his own seat (he'd have to wriggle in my lap). What is that all about?!

It's enough to make me take the train in protest.

Our snow went all sleety and didn't lie. Aww.


Okay, now I'm really feeling hypocritical. Sneaky wee internal flights are one thing when they are anonymous. As soon as I declare such an intention publicly, the irony is inescapable. We have a baby boy. I should be minimising our carbon footprints at every oppor-chancity. We should get the train...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Penguins in Trees and Sartorial Cusps

After flicking through The Observer's Free Guide to the Top 50 UK Garden birds, I got momentarily excited when I spotted what I thought must be a rare British breed in the park today. I zoomed in to discover it was a toy penguin - a 'baby' one with fluffy grey plumage. Someone had lodged it on to a branch, as if it were real. There was a lone tea bag and some sawdust on the grass near by.

Hugh slept through our gentle trundle, thus missing the Glasgow landmarks and the dim and pleasant January sun. Earlier I had chatted on the phone to Stuart about the moment that winter turns to spring. Yeah, he said... the cusp. When he was in New York, on such a day, someone shouted at him, 'Hey faggot, take off the jacket!' Today Hugh was still in his cream furry all-in-one suit and a polka-dot bib. Somewhat camp until Spring crawls closer then...


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Inky Polaroid

Ah, my posting rate has slowed down again. So here is a random snapshot of this moment in time, an 'Inky Polaroid' as someone once called it.

It's raining outside. The windows have misted up on the inside, with baby clothes drying on the radiators. I am typing one-handed with Hugh feeding on my left side. I am wondering if I can get away with machine-washing a coat that says 'Dry Clean Only'.

I ate left-over Quorn chilli for lunch - for the third day in a row, but this I do not mind. I like to see things getting 'used up', as my mother's phrase goes; (she doesn't read the paper, she 'gets the paper read').

Hugh has rolled his sleepy wee head into the crook of my elbow and his mouth is still making tiny fish flutters into the air. It's just gone 3pm and I can hear school kids shouting in the distance. My carbohydrate craving for Earl Grey tea and decent scone-age is upon me. Should I get the wee man into the pram and hit the pavements?


PS The Christmas tree in the flat opposite is now gone. Oh the relief!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Best laid plans...

Hugh had a wakeful night, my car battery went flat and we never got to the mums' group. But more importantly, why won't the people in the flat opposite us take down their Christmas tree? The gold star on the top is tipped at a wonky angle. Come on folks...


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Mum Pals - the dance steps

Ah, motherhood, t'is good. Life is inching towards more of a routine. I try to get out with Hugh most days, and a new phenomenon has arisen - sizing up potential 'mummy' pals.

When I see suitable candidates in the local supermarket or cafes, I have an urge to start baby conversations in the hope that we can become New Mum Pals. (Often I'm timorous - as if I'm back at school and have to choose one of the boys for a country-dance partner). So - attributes of a suitable NMP candidate?

Woman pushing pram. Woman over 30, preferably over 35 (22 year olds need not apply - sorry!) An occasional strand of grey hair that has escaped the hair dye (I'll empathise). Nice coat or clothes I would love to own myself. A sense of humour. Of course, you can only detect humour after you have risked a few opening lines, hence the gambling nature of the situation.

I'm off to a mother and baby group tomorrow. It's in a church hall and they have sofas and rugs like an episode of Friends. There's a kitchen too and local woman run a wee cafe with great-value lunches. I'm so impressed with people who have vocational jobs and provide real community service. The people who make soup and pancakes from the goodness of their hearts, and then tidy the toys away at the end. Quiet heroism, if you ask me.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thank you letters and Crazy Banana Man

I keep wracking my brain to try and remember everyone who sent Hugh a present and make sure I thank them. I keep thinking I must be forgetting somebody. This was one of his first toys and I can't remember who bought it. I wave it in front of him every morning and sing my own composition entitled Crazy Banana Man. You just repeat the words Crazy Banana Man, preferably in an off-key tone. He loves it - for a few moments - and then he looks away towards the kitchen cupboard door. Well, they say you can have too much of a good thing. But hey, he'll love it tomorrow all over again. Thank you, thank you, oh giver of Crazy Banana Man, whoever you are.