Tuesday 29 January 2013

Bark Bark Bark Bark - Old Dogs

My Old Dog!
My dog is old and it seems to have crept up on us suddenly. He wasn't that old the other day but now he definitely is old. He's not got any noticeable grey hairs, he potters about just as busy as anything, eats well and still sees off the postman.
But he is deaf.
Very deaf.
I SAID HE WAS DEAF - do keep up!
I find myself having to shout much louder to get his attention and when he sleeps he sleeps much more heavily, in fact you can now creep right up upon him without him even noticing. Not something he'd have stood for in his younger days. He was always right up to the crack then, always one step ahead - now I find him loitering way behind and sometimes he just sits down and waits for us to get back to him.
He still hates the postman but it's a hate that borders on obsession now and it tends to encompass not just the postman. I suppose because he cannot see the postman very well he has decided to err on the side of caution and go demented at anyone who ventures near the door.
Problem is because he can't hear very well he sometimes just starts off barking anyway - again on the presumption that he has to let everyone know that someone or something COULD be coming up the drive. This can also happen in the middle of the night.
It's like waking up to a fire alarm.
At first you are disorientated by the cacophony, then you have to trace exactly where it is coming from and then you have to shut it up.
If he is in one of the boys rooms, I have to vault out of my bed and get to the dog before he wakes them up - luckily both are very heavy sleepers and they have yet to wake before I have removed the offending canine. I then take errant hound down to the kitchen and he snuggles up in his basket once I have checked all the doors and windows and given him a dog biscuit.
If he is downstairs and he starts barking, it takes me a little longer to sort out but suffice to say that I then have to take him to bed with me - and as an old dog he has powerful breath.
He gets obsessed with stuff.
Cleaning himself or his basket or worse the chair you have just sat down in. And all you get is lick, lick, lick, lick. Usually as you watch TV.
Oh he also snores.
And very loudly!
Sounds a lot like my husband save my husband doesn't do the obsessive licking thing, or the barking thing or the chasing the postman bit...at least I don't think he does!

Friday 25 January 2013

All my lost ones...

Bog Boy

There’s a bit in the movie Marley & Me where they go to the doctors because they have ‘not’ been trying to have a baby and Jen is nearly 10 weeks pregnant. They’re having an ultrasound and he’s goofing about wanting to know the sex of the baby and he says: “I don’t mind what sex the baby is, as long as he’s OK”
The sonographer says that the heartbeat will sound a little fast but that’s normal and then, then it's not so funny for you don't hear the thrum of the heartbeat, there’s no sound at all and she gets up to go out and the main doctor man comes in and you just know it’s going to be bad.
I know that feeling.
It happened to me.
And so now seeing it all, and knowing what the character is going through, I start to cry.
I hear my little boy pipe up from the sofa where he’s engrossed watching to say: “They don’t get a baby this time but she goes on to have three Mum!”
And still the tears drip down my face.
I remember every one of mine, the ones I didn’t have but it’s OK I had two, two glorious boys but every now and then I wonder about my lost babies.
It got to the stage when I didn’t go to the hospital when I miscarried. I just carried on. The hospital couldn’t do anything about it and I hated it there. I hated the atmosphere, the sterile empathy, the fact that I had failed and there would be no baby. I used to glower at all expectant mums-to-be, I was so angry I wanted to know why me? Why not someone else. I am sure some of the women who saw me metaphorically crossed themselves to ward off the evil eye. But I wouldn't have wished it on them really, not really. But I was so jealous.
I had seven miscarriages in total. Three before The Boy and four before Bog Boy.
In fact after the last miscarriage I said that was it, no more. And then of course I got pregnant and do you know what? I didn’t want to be pregnant. I hated it.
I railed to my friend, who so desperately wanted another that I couldn’t stand to go through it all again. I was scared I’d lose it and I was angry that I had got myself into a situation where I could be hurt.
It was a hideous pregnancy, I was as sick as a dog for the first couple of months then I got pneumonia then they thought it was likely to have Downs Syndrome. Do you know they wanted me to have an amniocentesis - with my history of miscarriage??!!!
It was simply awful and the pressure I felt under to make me have the tests which could lead me to miscarry was enormous. It was if they felt that it was better to suffer the collateral damage of losing a healthy child than to bring a potentially disabled one into the world.
Luckily we stood firm and when they allowed us to have a scan with their new 'soopah doopah' all singing and all dancing scanning machine they could see that all was fine and ‘normal’.
For us that was not the point, we'd talked it over, we didn’t mind, we were just happy finally to be having another child.
And what a child he is…

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Bringing Up Boys - Sending me stark staring bonkers...

School Bags

Dear God give me strength!
What IS it with boys?
BOTH of them came home today – the biggest prep day of the week – without the wherewithal to complete their homework. In spite of me asking not once, not twice but three times before we left the school had they got everything in order to do prep this evening.
“Oh yes mummy!” I was assured by one, followed by the other groaning “Yes Mum” and rolling his eyes as if I was some kind of dimwit.
And then, after our half-an-hour drive back home, they open up their book bags - or in the case of Bog Boy realise that they’ve actually left the book bag outside at school - and find that the one vital bit they need to complete their prep is still in their classroom.
I think they are doing it purposefully to send me stark staring bonkers. I can’t see any other benefit. Surely they don’t want me screeching like a banshee all the time. It can’t be normal, can it? To be always forgetting things and losing things?
I just don’t understand it.
How the heck am I going to get them to wake up? To come to life? To be alert? To get with the programme?
I scare myself silly thinking about their futures. Life is competitive and competition seems to be starting earlier and earlier these days.
In evolutionary terms, if it was left to my boys, we’d be extinct...

Sunday 20 January 2013

Where is the snow? Promises a parent should never make...

My boys are sulking.
Sulking big time.
We have no snow and despite the forecast, no snow has materialised.
I stupidly promised to take them sledging  as a treat and now I am being held personally responsible for the fact that no sledging is forthcoming.
"But you promised!" They wail.
"You promised there'd be snow this weekend!"
It is my fault that the weather forecasters have so far got it wrong and my part of Suffolk has just 2 centimetres of powdery white stuff that barely covers the grass and is no good for snowball fights and utterly useless for making snow men.
I try to see the positives in the situation. Obviously my children still see me as a god, an omnipotent being able to arrange the heaven and earth at a whim. Problem is it's not my whim, it's theirs and I find that I am getting the blame more often than not...
So I am shifting the blame and moving it to the weather man for not getting it right. I raise my hands and admit finally that I am not the be all and end all of life, it's a bitter pill to swallow for them and  me but it may mean that I am not to blame at least for the lack of snow this week!

Thursday 17 January 2013

I like chocolate - especially when I'm dieting

I like chocolate
I like it lots and lots
I especially like chocolate
When to have it I am not...

Why is it you only really crave chocolate when you have decided you must not have it?
Why can't chocolate in VAST quantities be part of a healthy balanced and nutritious diet?
Why do I long for it when I am trying to lose weight in a way that I never normally do?
I dream of chocolate.
I can sniff it in the air.
And more worryingly I know exactly where to find it.
In the sweetie drawer which calls to me like Sirens do to sailors lost at sea.
I can't help but wander past the drawer several times a day and I scent the delicious creamy choclateyness and I can almost feel it melt like silk on my tongue and I swear I slobber.
It is not nice.
I think I am worse than the dogs.
But I MUST have willpower.
I MUST beat my craving, for I know that as soon as I let myself have one tiny morsel I will be doomed. You see there is SO much in the drawer: Thorntons, Cadbury's, Nestle, ooohhh Galaxy chocolate and there's Toblerone and Bendicks Bitter Mints.
But worse, much worse than that, there is Green & Blacks Dairy Milk 34%.
Not a name to go tripping off the tongue but OMG, the sheer unadulterated delight as you let it melt in your mouth!
You'd think such stuff would have been banned  by now or at least put on the top shelf - it is sinfully good.
Until I hit my target weight I must not give into my cravings.
I must be virtuous.
Self controlled and self contained.
For now....

Monday 14 January 2013


From my office window...

From where I am sitting in my office I can look through the window out across to the bathroom.
I live in an L-shaped house so the view from my office encompasses not just the bathroom but the whole of the East Wing wherein my boys have their bedrooms.
My boys seem to be oblivious of this fact and I am not going to enlighten them for they think I have omnipotent powers.
I know when they have brushed their teeth and when they have been flinging wet flannels at each other without me even having to ‘see’ them. I can call up from wherever I am like some Big Brother out 1984 and tell them to stop whatever it is that they are doing, to do whatever they are doing properly and to remind them that mother always knows what is going on.

I can also take a good guess as to where they are in the house at any one time because even though they think they are moving with stealth and cunning, the sheer age of the house is against them, they are betrayed by the squeaking of the floorboards and squealing of old hinges and scraping of arthritic old door handles.
Their piping youthful voices are particularly easy to hear through old plaster walls and badly insulated floors.

It must be a scary thing to know that your mother just knows things about you even when she’s not actually there.
But all this omnipotence does have its drawbacks – for I can always hear them and I can never get a decent lie in!

Friday 11 January 2013

Bringing up boys – pulling the other one

Innocent  - My Eye!

His door is shut.
Not a normal occurrence.
Should I be suspicious.
You Bet!
He may have big blue eyes and golden hair as well as the face of an angel but he is NOT to be trusted at all. I’ve known him nigh on six and a half years and ever since the beginning I’ve known he’s going to be a one.
I stand outside his door staring at it as if I can see through wood.
Me softly: You awake?
Him: No!
Me: You playing with your DS?
Him: No!
Me: You going to go to sleep now?
Him all innocently: Yes Mummy.
When he calls me Mummy and uses that voice I know he’s up to something so I open the door and walk in.
He’s lying in the dark in his bed ready to go to sleep.
Me: What are you doing?
Him: Nothing.
It’s the way he says it. I am even more on my guard.
Me: You sure? You wouldn’t be lying would you? You wouldn’t be lying about your DS would you?
Him, indignantly: MUM! My DS is outside on the bookshelf where you put it
I lean back and peer round the door towards the bookcase. Yes his DS is exactly where I put it. But something is still not right.
Him: I’m tired Mummy. I want to go to sleep.
Me resignedly: OK Darling
I make to leave but I’m not sure. Something is niggling at the back of my mind. I look about in the gloom and then I just take a random guess.
Me: Hand it over.
Him even more indignantly: What?!
Me: Whatever it is you’ve got under your pillow.
Give him his due he doesn’t fight it. He doesn’t pretend that nothing is there.
Him, as he draws out his brothers DS: I didn’t lie to you Mum…..

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Fat is a post-holiday issue....

Weighing in!!!

That’s it! I need to pull out the big guns. I have just, and I mean only just, recovered from the shock that is my post-Christmas weight.
I casually popped myself on the scales two nights ago, as you do when you get out the bath. The scales were a bit dusty but I didn’t get the significance.
I had put on 3kg!
Nearly half a stone!
In three weeks!
Clearly my monitoring systems had failed in the excitement and, dare I say it, chaos that surrounds the holiday period and I had not been weighing myself as regularly as I thought. Looking back at my diary I realised I hadn’t weight myself since 7th December! No wonder the scales were dusty!
There is one thing I have learnt when losing weight, once you have done it or take a break from losing it, you need to keep monitoring it or before you know it you’re back up to where you were - and some!
I am not as heavy as I was this time last year, which is some consolation, but I am still nowhere near my target weight of 58kg about 9 stone.
I just can’t believe I put on SO much in such a short time…I didn’t eat that much did I??? The occasional choccie four or five times a day, the occasional glass, sorry bottle of bubbly, just a handful of crisps in between sips….
Errmmmmmmm well to be truthful I didn’t exactly write down what I ate and in so doing I can’t really remember.
It doesn’t look good.
ACTION has to be taken.
However there’s no point in starving as that will only slow the old metabolism down and I won’t be able to keep it up and land up piling the pounds back on as soon as I stop and start to eat normally again and everyone knows that that is just too depressing for words. So off to www.myfitnesspal.com  to work out my minimum calorie intake level and to write down everylittle nibble so that I still lose weight reasonably fast and to help bolster my will–power the dulcet tones of Trevor Silvester of Thinking Slimmer Slimpod fame…
I’ll let you know how I get on!

Go on you know you want to...


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