Monday 25 February 2013

Musings on menfolk, missing socks and nefarious blond fluffy floozies

Could he really live without me?

Do you ever wonder if your family could live without you? I mean function as a unit through the mundane tasks of the daily grind? Do they know how to switch on the washing machine, work the dishwasher and more importantly know where to put the crockery afterwards?
I don’t think mine can, but it’s not as if I am one for doing everything for them.
Quite the reverse. Get ‘em cooking, cleaning and doing the housework as soon as possible is my motto. Every opportunity I have them hoovering and dusting and helping me out but it obviously fails to sink in.
And as for my other half – don’t make me laugh.
He’s just come in complaining he can’t find any socks. What DOES he do to them? He is always losing them.
I thought I had a fail safe system. I launder everything from Sunday to Tuesday and dry it all ready for ironing on Wednesday. On Thursday everything that isn’t being ironed is brought upstairs to be sorted. All odd socks go to an odd-sock drawer which EVERYONE knows about. This means that perfectly good socks are not thrown out when their pair goes missing for a couple of months weeks. Once sorted all clothing is put on the beds of each individual for them to put away in their chest of drawers and cupboards. So if socks or indeed any other undergarment goes missing it has to be the individual’s fault, for once it is in their room I take no responsibility for it at all.
Still doesn’t seem to stop them all from yelling at me to find everything for them. I wonder if they need their eyesight checked? Invariably the thing that they are searching for so assiduously I find immediately.
Are males hardwired to be helpless? I always thought that was what females were meant to be, or certainly that is the way it seemed in the all the fairy tales that I read as a child, where princesses had to be rescued from fire breathing dragons by knights in shining armour.
Or is it that males see the ‘whole picture, as my other half so predictably says, that it is difficult for them to concentrate on the details? Personally I’d have thought being able to feed oneself is a little bit more than just a detail in one’s life.
I do know of females who make their menfolk totally dependent. I find them weird and slightly creepy in a 'Stepford Wives' way.
It’s done so subtlety that the menfolk have no idea it is happening at all. They don’t understand that their independence and free will is quietly being sapped from them as they are offered slippers and ironed newspapers, along with an evening whisky on their return from a hard day at the office before a three course cordon bleu dinner by candlelight after which she asks for NOTHING at all but to sit at his feet and listen in rapt wonder to his pronouncements about the ‘State Of The World Today’.
Sort of Night of the Vampire Mummys…with Cath Kidson.
No, I won’t let that happen to my boys, I’ll get them to see that that sort of thing is just a honey trap to make their brains turn to mush so that they can be manipulated by alien blond fluffy floozies whose sole purpose is to take over the world for their own nefarious purposes – such as making every girl in the world wear pink…
Not sure that any of that is clear but it makes up for the fact that I was the ditzy brunette that drove the car into a puddle and wrote it off….

Thursday 21 February 2013

A silly woman

I am chastened.
And I admit it.
I have been berating myself ever since I did it and I had so hoped I would get away with it but there you go, it looks like I haven’t.
I was on my way to collect the boys from school and I nipped down a lane that I know as a good shortcut and arrived at a puddle in the road.
And I drove through it.
Now in my defence the puddles on this lane are usually not very deep and you can get usually through them. There were no flood warnings to say to watch out. And indeed other cars had got though I could see them driving off on the the other side of the puddle. It was getting dusky
However, I hadn’t factored in snow melt or sodden fields…why should I? It wasn’t raining, in fact it hadn’t been raining all day. Yes there had been rain the night before and it had taken away all that snow but surely, in the afternoon…
So I drove in and… the car konked out.
Not to worry thought I’ll get it pulled out and everything will be OK.
Problem was I had no signal on my mobile phone.
I had to get out of the car and walk to some cottages to get help. They couldn’t get the car out but they could let me use their phone. They were so kind.
So I phoned my local garage to ask them to help me get the car out. No worries they said we’ll be over.
However between the time the car konked out and the time we got it out of the puddle, the puddle was more than a puddle it was like a long lake taking up most of the lane and my car was in the middle of it right up and over the seats in brown murky water.
I still thought we’d be OK.
Or at least that is what I was convincing myself but I was beginning to get really worried.
The next day at the garage they took the injectors out and blew away the water that had seeped in, the engine was fine – I had got away with it.
But there was still so much water.
Unbelievable amounts of water.
The boys at the garage emptied it all out, gave the car a service, checked everything they could and then gave the car a bloomin’ good valet.
I drove her around; the engine seemed fine, everything seemed OK.
We hadn’t plugged her in for diagnostics.
So yesterday I went over to the garage for one last time to get her sorted, so I thought…and the news was devastating.
It seems as if the ECUs [electronic computer units] of which there are many in my car were not talking. As far as they were concerned I had been in one almighty crash – electrics and water DO NOT mix.
While mechanically everything seemed fine, without the electronics working it is a different matter altogether. For example if I were to be in a crash, things like the airbags wouldn’t work – in effect my car is too lethal to drive.
So I called up the insurance explained what had happened and now the car is gone and I feel SO stupid.
I may have totalled my car by driving into a puddle.
I am going to cost my family upwards of £14,000 because I was stupid. A £14,000 bill we can ill afford.
Everyone has been so kind. The insurance people, my local garage, the guys running the valet service, even my husband and I feel like shit.
I am a silly woman…

Thursday 14 February 2013

Bringing up Boys: His first Valentine

Be My Valentine
The Boy has delivered his first Valentine. His first proper Valentine. And I have mixed emotions.
Half of me is delighted. His Valentine is a wonderful girl, pretty and popular in the school and one with whom he has been friends from the very first day he arrived.
But there is a bit of me that is absolutely terrified that he is going to get hurt and I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive his Valentine if she is the one who puts the boot in on his fragile dreams.
My imagination goes into overdrive and I picture him  tentatively handing over the card to his Valentine in front of the whole class all her fiends and all of his and opening up a whole can of worms on the teasing front. Can you imagine it?
Even if his valentine was pleased with the all the attention, all it would take is one other child to say something silly and the moment would be destroyed and instead of being happy The Boy’s Valentine would be humiliated and in turn furious with The Boy for putting her in such a situation. There would be ructions and I don't think my boy would recvover easily.
So knowing he was nervous of rejection and the whole Valentine thing in general I was hoping that he’d cop out and not go ahead with it; but he’s made of sterner stuff. Luckily I was able to persuade him not to give the valentine at school.
So it has been delivered into the hands of the girl's mother with strict instructions not to let her daughter have it until they are on their way skiing tonight for half term.
At least this way if he is rejected it can be done quietly and more importantly no one will know, at least not until after half term!

Tuesday 12 February 2013

A Lenten choice

What are you giving up for Lent?

"Home work!"
These are the things my boys wish to give up for Lent.
While I think both are worthy candidates for giving up, as their removal would make my life an awful lot easier; I had to ask the boys to reassess just what Lent was all about.
There was a universal groan round the kitchen table.
"So what do you like that you could give up?" I asked.
Bog Boy looked firmly down at his plate to avoid my gaze and muttered: "Vegetables!" mutinously under his breath.
The Boy looked thoughtfully over my shoulder. Then came back at me sharply.
"Question is Mum, what are you going to give up?"
"Biscuits and cake," I said virtuously, while thinking that the chances of me sustaining more than three days without either would be extremely thin. Thank God I didn’t say alcohol!
"Look boys the time from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Sunday is 47 days but we only need to do 40 days of fasting. Did you know we get Sunday off? So every Sunday you can eat or do whatever  it is that you give up. Do you think you could do that?"
Bog Boy perked up at this: “So in Sunday I could eat sweeties ALL day"
"Well not all day but you could have sweets on Sunday."
"Lots of sweets?"
He’s a hard negotiator my youngest
"A lot of sweets," I agreed wishing to stop the bargaining process before I was committed to buying family packs of sweeties for his consumption every Sunday.
My eldest considered this for a while.
"Chocolate!" he said. "I will give up chocolate but only if I can eat it on Sunday like you promised."
"You know that will mean no chocolate biscuits too don’t you?" I replied.
"What no bourbons?!!!"
"No Jaffa cakes!!!" piped the youngest.
"No sweeties, no chocolate, and chocolate is sweeties do you understand." I am a hard mother.
There was a considered silence round the table.
The tap at the sink dripped.
Finally The Boy nodded as if he had come to a great decision.
"Can we think on it at school today Mum. It's a big decision."
I nodded and smiled to myself. I, of course am only giving up biscuits and cakes - the joy is I can still eat sweeties! I wonder if they will catch on before the end of the day....

Monday 11 February 2013

Bringing Up Boys: Making them scream like girls!

Screaming like a girl!
There are times when I like to scare my boys silly. Not in a bad way, but in a shocking unexpected GOD-THAT-SCARED-ME-BUT-I-AM-GIGGLING-NOW kind of way.
It’s good for the soul.
Just now before I packed them off to bed I heard them thundering towards the door that separates the two upstairs landings and I just couldn’t help myself. In a couple of strides I waited on the other side of the door crouching right down ready to spring. I could hardly stifle my own giggles in anticipation and my heart started to pound.
I could see the play of shadows where there feet were on the other side of the door and then it was flung open as they prepared hurtle towards my office but I was there with a massive RaRRR!
They screamed like girls
Really high pitched squealing shrieks of fear and then they saw it was me and I got flattened as they flung themselves all over me and we all landed on the floor in a great big giggling heap trying not to excite the dogs anymore than I already had.
“Muuuummmmm!!! That was scary!”
“What!!!” quoth I, from under a pile of pyjama clad small boys and over excited whippets that wriggled and giggled and squirmed all over me.

Go on you know you want to...


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