Friday, 30 October 2009

My dog

I love my dog. He's a chocolate Labrador called Oscar. A really crazy, tear-up-the-garden / wreck-the-house kind of dog with a thick whip of a tail. I call him my dog but actually he's not my dog at all anymore.

About two years ago during a very stressful time I had to give him away - which broke my heart. I was working full time and my kids were even younger (D was still crawling) and I didn't have the time to walk him and the garden was full of poo and the house was full of dog hair and I just couldn't cope - so I called a friend who owns kennels and he found a lovely family to adopt my dog. Also hubby is not a dog lover and although he was fond of Oscar - in the end he was glad to get his garden back.

That was two and half years ago. I still miss Oscar and feel sad that he is no longer a part of our family but hope that his new owners are loving him and looking after him well.

This was all until yesterday when the dog warden called to tell me that she'd "found my dog Oscar!" After a complicated conversation we realised that the new owners had not changed the details of Oscar's micro-chip and he is still very much registered to me.

I now have a nine day wait. I've told the dog warden that if his new family no longer want him I will gladly have him back. I'm longing to get him back but I know it will cause ructions. What will hubby say to the prospect of the garden-destroying dog making a come back into our lives? I know I'll be in huge trouble but I just can't help it.

If the new family collect him then all well and good. But if they don't... Uh oh! I think there's going to be trouble!

I'll keep you posted....

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Why I'm always in a muddle

I don't know about you but since having kids I seem to find it incredibly difficult to think straight.

I put it down to the sheer number of things I am trying to remember at any one time - along with the constant chattering distraction from the kids.

This week has been a prime example really.

Wednesday is swimming day for O (my 6 year old) so after a difficult day at work, I collected O from school and D (my 3 year old) from pre-school. In my head I was still re-living a difficult meeting from earlier in the day and wondering whether I could have said better things...

Anyway... I took them home for a quick snack and then rushed out to swimming - only to discover that I had left all the swimming gear in a bag on the kitchen table.

I had it all ready - just forgot to grab it on the way out. I know this was because I was trying to stop them arguing over a toy as we left the house. (It's my car... I had it first... you're a poo-head .... Mum he called me a poo-head... etc) And both of them were insisting that they couldn't put their own shoes on, and then D needed the toilet just as we were leaving, and O wanted another babana etc etc... so we arrived at swimming and then had to turn back and get the bag - so we were late.

When we finally got there, I rushed O into the changing room, and started to help him to get changed but when I looked around D was missing. Yes one of those heart stopping moments... I knew he couldn't be far but panic was rising. I left O in the changing room and began searching the swimming baths... there was no sign of him until a half naked O came out of the changing rooms with D. He'd seen a friend from pre-school and wandered off and in my rush to get O to his lesson I hadn't noticed.

So that was Wednesday... Friday was much the same. D started screaming and crying in pain everytime he went for a wee. I called the doctor and made an appointment for that afternoon. D seemed fine all day apart from when he tried to wee... we saw the doctor who prescribed antibiotics. I rushed round the supermarket for essential supplies and then home for a quick snack before O's music class.

Suddenly D really needed the toilet and the crying got much, much worse. I was at my wits end. Eventually I ran a warm bath, stripped him and told him to do his wee in the bath. He did and from that moment on - he was fine - and amazingly he has been fine ever since. I have no idea what was wrong with him. He evidently didn't have an infection and I haven't given him the antibiotics. I can't explain it.

All I know is that by the time this crisis had passed - it was half past four and I had inadvertently missed O's music class which starts at four.

You see - Mum in a Muddle!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Don't be scared of Halloween

The kids have broken up for half term - and usually at this time of year they have a Halloween party to look forward to. Being a Muddled Mum I usually find myself buying ill fitting costumes at the very last minute - when all the best costumes have been snapped up by more organised mothers.

But this year - things were different!

Oh yes - as soon as those costumes appeared in the stores I bought two. I was ready!

Which is why I'm so appalled that the school has decided against holding the annual Halloween party this year. Apparently a concern was raised as to whether it was appropriate for a C of E school to be celebrating a Pagan festival.

Had they done their homework properly, they would have discovered that most of the mythology concerning Halloween is incorrect. Halloween comes from early Catholic beliefs that you could pray your deceased relatives out of heaven's waiting room (known as pergatory).

With the festivals of All Saints and All Souls (or Hallows) days on the way in early November, Halloween was the Eve of All Hallows.

But let's face it dressing the kids up as witches, vampires and demons is no more likely to turn them into mini Pagans or Satanists than dressing them up as Spiderman is going to turn them into arachnids.

And you can also be sure that fears of creeping Paganism will fade when it comes to Christmas and Easter. As far as I'm aware, Santa, baubles and pine trees have nothing to do with the birth of Christ and neither do chocolate eggs and bunnies have anything to do with his death and resurrection.

So here's a plea for next year - please keep things in perspective and let the kids dress up and have some harmless fun.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Things they say

My littlest boy, D, who is only three, said the funniest thing today. The conversation went like this:

D: Mum, where do spiders sleep?
Me: On their webs.
D: (After some thought) But where abouts on their webs?
Me: (Again, after some thought) Well... on the edge I suppose.
D: So where do they keep their blankets?


Minding my language in front of the kids

It’s funny how having kids changes you in so many little ways. I used to swear like a trooper. Obviously, not in front of my mother or the parish priest, but at work and out with friends I effed and jeffed without a second thought.

Now I have my kids, not only have I metaphorically washed my mouth out with soap and water, but I expect the rest of the world to do the same. Suddenly I am horrified at people who use expletives in public. Yes, it’s true – I am turning into my mother. She has always said that bad language offended her ears, and I used to laugh. But now I know exactly what she means.

There are even some words that are not technically swear words, but which I discourage my children from saying. Words that are generally used as insults such as “idiot” and “stupid” are not allowed in our house, despite the fact that these type of words often crop up in films aimed at very young children (which really p*sses me off!).

Of course the problem is that in moments of pain or frustration, some kind of swear-like word still needs to be uttered. Recent research carried out by scientists at Keele University found a link between swearing and the an increased ability to tolerate pain. They had people stick their hands in buckets of iced water and discovered that the group who were encourage to use a swear word could keep their hands in the water longer than the group who used a neutral word. Must have been quite an entertaining spectacle for the scientists!

It is probably for this reason that I have invented a whole vocabulary of pseudo-swear words that I can use in front of my kids. I try not to “take the Lord’s name in vain” as my Mother calls it, but I do quite frequently shout, “cheese-us!” - which actually sounds so similar when spoken out loud I wonder why I bother! I also still rely on old favourites like ‘Fer-crying-out-loud’ and ‘shine a light!’ but find ‘sheesh’ or ‘sheesh kebab’ are also very satisfying.

Last weekend though, the moment I was dreading arrived. My 6 year old son, announced that he knew a naughty word that began with “sh!”
We all tried to ignore him but he repeated the fact over and over with increasing insistency.
“Shall I tell you what it is?” he asked.
“No thank you,” I said as firmly as I could muster. The table fell silent as he blurted out,
I can tell you it took a great deal of control on my part to prevent myself from falling about laughing and instead to say with a poker straight face,
“Now you know we don’t say stupid!”