Children: Do they have to have a birthday every year?!

I apologise for my absence and lack of posts over the last few days but as the title may suggest, I have been a little preoccupied recently.

Yes, my darling daughter was three yesterday and the last week or so had been booked out for ‘planning’.

By that statement you would probably assume that the whole thing was a large affair with lots of guests, attractions and the odd wild animal.  But you’d be wrong.

The day was a simple one.  Food and drinks, at home, with the family.  Simple.
If you’re organised that is.

I had made the downstairs look all birthdayish, banners balloons and the such, and the presents were wrapped and positioned correctly.  This I can do, by myself whilst watching the telly.

But on the day, I just don’t work well when other people are involved.  Mind you I don’t work well at the best of times, but when it involves cooking it’s best to leave it to other people.  I end up forgetting times, what I’ve cooked and where I left the scissors, or I just end up eating most of it as I go along.

Anyway, all this aside, I think the day went perfectly.  The daughter was delighted with all her presents (her new bike being the favourite), loved the fact that so many people came to her Rapunzel party and ate most of the food on offer.  She was happy.

And a highlight of the day was the specatacular cake that was made and supplied by Aunty Amy.  What little girl would not be astounded to receive a replica Disney castle?! In a hope that she reads this, thank you Amy, you are a very talented genius.

And that’s all that mattered.  And as an added bonus, even after all the food and drink consumed, the usual bedtime was adhered to and it was a relatively peaceful night for everyone.

Now, how does one remove tyre tracks from one’s living room carpet…..

Happy Birthday Rapunzel

Dear Diary: What a week it has been…

The past week has been a write off.  Are you ready for a sob story?

It all started last Thursday evening.  A cold night with the threat of severe snow showers and freezing temperatures.  Of course this would be the perfect night for the heating to stop working!

I live in the sticks and use oil for my heating system.  It’s also rented accommodation so the whole thing is outdated anyway.  This means that if anything goes wrong or needs repairing I can’t just fix it myself (to a certain degree) or phone up someone to come and fix it.  No, I have to phone up the authorities who then send out their approved contractors.  Great.

First off I checked my tank gauge, half full.  Checked that the bloody thing was actually turned on, yes it is.  What the hell is then?  Phoned my boss who lives round the corner for some advice.  He suggests that the pilot could of gone out.

‘That’s nice, I wonder if it’s gone anywhere nice’ I replied.

A moments pause.  Press the big red button on the side of the tank.  Done.  Fires up, happy days.

Two minutes later, I’m still cold.  Go out to the boiler.  It’s not on.  Press the button again, fires up.  Stops. Bollocks.

Phones the authorities, luckily there’s a chap around and he’ll be sent.  Bloody good job, I say.  He has a quick look around, walks up to the tank and knocks on it.

‘It’s empty’ he says.

‘Fuck off is it’ I reply.

I have a look.  By fuck, it is.  No oil, yet the gauge says it’s half full.  I spy a problem.  Is it getting warmer in here, no, that was my blood boiling.  It was him and his mates that had been round and ‘fixed’ the gauge on two separate occasions.  Methinks he didn’t do it properly.

After about ten minutes of my shouting, he was allowed to leave.  Now what?  I have a two year old, a six week old and a wife that is moaning (normal) because she’s cold.  I have to make a drastic decision.

A few phone calls later and the path is clear.  Work will have to make do without me for a few days, I’m going to house where it’s warm.  Luckily my mother was willing to put us up, probably reluctantly going on past experiences, and just wait for oil to be delivered.

But wait, didn’t you say that snow was on the way and it was really cold?!

Yes I did.  It would appear that quite a few other people needed oil and the subsequent problems the snow caused on the roads meant that it was Tuesday before we got any delivered.  Great, now we could go home and I could go back to work.  Hurray!

You may not have any interest in my tale of woe and frustration, but if I hadn’t told anybody I would’ve just let this bug me for weeks.  People, if you are in a position, buy a house and don’t rent.  I hate having to rely on other people to get stuff done.  We were lucky this time that it wasn’t drawn out for hours as it has done before.

Oh well, it’s done.  It’s the weekend time to relax.

What did you say?  There’s more snow coming?

Fuck.  Check the tank…

Snow. A Pain

Where did THAT come from?!

Now I knew before I started that parenting had it’s own special difficulties.

Teaching a child not to pee on the curtains.  Teaching a child that the Xbox is not a toy but a serious adult machine.  Teaching a child that cat biscuits are not sweeties.  Teaching a child that the family cat is not a glove puppet. 

All these are common hurdles in which to get over during the parenting journey.  All fairly harm less and not too costly to repair.  I can handle these but, there are other instances that are just to gross to comprehend.

Yes, I am talking about illness.  When a man has a cold, as we all know, the world must stop and look after him by supplying the remote control and plenty of reassuring words.  The woman can either flake out on the sofa watching endless repeats of crappy reality TV or they can play the world’s saviour and carry on doing the housework whilst dripping snot all over the carpet.

Children on the other hand can not really tell you what’s going on.  It just kind of happens.  And always at times when you’re not expecting it.

As you know, I have a daughter that will be three in a month or so.  Last night she erupted.  Spontaneously and without warning.

I was awoken by crying at approx. 1.30am.  I unsuspectingly arose from the bed and went into the daughters bedroom.  The sight that greeted me was, just, eeeewww.  In fact the smell hit me first.  Rancid.

She was sitting up, in bed, with her hand over her mouth.  Why she was doing this with her hand I could not say, I mean, she had already just covered her bed with puke.  I can’t see how grabbing a handful and playing with it was any help at all.  Especially as I didn’t know it was there when I carried her to the bathroom.  Maybe she was scared of not finding her way back to the room so she wanted to leave a trail?  I don’t know.

I know this isn’t a pleasant story to tell, but I am merely highlighting a part of the manual that never got printed.  At no point did I read that, ‘…at some stage during your child’s development, you will be called upon to clean up after the ‘sick sprinkler’.  The huge talent in all children where they seem to have the natural instinct to be sick through their fingers.  I think, deep down, this is a present for the parents.  To give them something nice to look at when they are cleaning.’

I think the one positive I can take from this situation is that while Mummy and Daddy were cleaning up after daughter, for like three hours, the prodigal son remained asleep and did not flinch at all the screaming and crying noises.

It would appear that another deep sleeping, snorer has been recruited to the family.

The Exorcist (Dawn French)