Saturday, September 30, 2006


Is it just me?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Papernapkin asks

So I want to know, Internet! How often do you let your kids eat candy, dessert or sugared cereal? Do you take them to McDonalds, and let them eat chips? How often do you let them drink soda? Do you let them snack in between meals? How much TV do you let them watch? Do you encourage them to exercise a certain period each day? Do you make sure they're involved in sports? How much time do let them spend on the computer or in front of the TV? My inquiring mind wants to know

I was talking about this with a friend yesterday. Do we enjoy relaxed mealtimes and meals out because our children eat well and enjoy the culinary/social event, or vice versa?

I first took my daughter to a little local restaurant when she was just a couple of days old, and when i was on maternity leave, i began working her nap schedule so that she slept mid morning and mid afternoon and would be alert at lunchtime so I could go into the city and meet my friends for lunch. This was obviously 80% for my benefit, to combat the isolation of being home alone with the baby, but she grew to love the short train journey and love the different finger foods that were offered to her. As she got older she graduated from a fat bread crust to gum to a paste all over the table, to carrot sticks to olives, and now, at 3, she will try anything. The rule when presented with a new food (or familiar food in unfamiliar form) is that she must try it. She must put a little peice in her mouth and chew. If she doesn't like it, that's fine. She can try it again next time. This is fantastic because she is up for trying, and she mostly enjoys, all kinds of things, including freakish-looking seafood that many kids won't touch.

We have relatively strict table rules. If she leaves the table before the end of a meal (unless for bathroom, obviously) she may not return. But, since she was around 12 months, we have allowed her to serve herself from the dishes on the table, to have a real water glass like everyone else, real plates and silverware.

She's also been involved in meal preparation since she could sit upright, even if only taking out, and mostly eating, the peas from opened pods, or putting the pasta from the packet into a pan, dropping raisins into muffin mix and having a go at stirring - that sort of thing. I can't remember how long ago it was she got the hang of cracking eggs without getting any shell in the bowl.

I think its imprtant to understand the construction and well as the origination of foods. Our garden isn't really big enough for more than a couple of tomato plants, but luckily her grandparent are fairly self sufficient in the fruit anf veg department, so she gets to see stuff growing.

We've been pretty strict about sweets, but, then, she's our one and only child, and friends with more laugh and say they were all the same when they only had one. She's had ice cream maybe ten times in her life. I don't think she's ever had store bought cake. I never make her clean her plate, and I let her snack as much as she likes, but only on fruit. If she doesn't want to eat what has been prepared, I don't make anything else for her.

Luckily she doesn't ask for sweets. And she doesn't like fizzy drinks, so I haven't had to consider where the boundaries would be on that one. She was given some haribo jelly sweets recently at a party and came over to ask me what it was for. I did get a few horrified looks from other mums, especially since earlier at the party, my daughter had shunned the white bread sandwiches (which she complains stick in the roof of her mouth) and treat foods over at the kids table, and came to fill her plate from the brushetta, humous etc over in the adults corner.

We try to eat a healthy dinner as a family in the evenings, not possible every night because I'm away two evenings a week with work and my partner often likewise. So we usually eat in pairs. She gets her turn to chose what we have for dinner, same as we do (she loevs thumbing through recipe book pictures), and if the necesseary ingredients aren't in the house, we put our shoes on and pop to the little shop round the corner - which is great because, not only does she enjoy scooting round the to find whatever it is we need, but she'll tell everyone she meets that she's going to buy X to make Y with, and gets into some great conversations. (it's also often a great opportunity to talk about money/numbers etc) (but only if I've got the energy!)

Most weekends we enjoy long sociable meals either at our house or with friends. She likes to eat her breakfast on the sofa in front of the tv, which I don't mind. And sometimes when I get home late (around 10/11pm) from work and my coming home disturbs her into waking, she and I will sit in bed, watch Tv and eat french fries with a pile of mayo on them. Just to balance out all that green veg!

Why am I always the last to know?

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No surprises so far, eh?

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Hang on. Go back

Rediscover the pleasure of water-activated cleansing


1. Rediscover? What on earth was I supposed to have been doing with my face all this time? and 2. water-activated? ACTIVATED? Because the water marches right on up here and, what, scrubs behind my ears?

Is this one of things that I can blame my mother for? That not only did she fail to talk me through the small stuff, you know, menstruation, lipstick, deodorant and store card interest rates, but she entirely failed to warn me about the perils of washing my face with water.

My face has been swimming in filth for 34 years - this explains EVERYTHING!!!!

Happy 3

Given the choice of doing anything she wanted this morning we went to

1. Hat Shop
2. Bagel Shop
3. Library
4. Museum
5. Quiet cafe for lunch

So, that's 3. Not 73 or 83 or 103. Just 3.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Choosing my words carefully.

One of my Very Special People has a new man. She lives far far away. They’re about embark on that whole cohabiting thing. She has three beautiful beautiful children.

I know very little about this man. There’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be head over heels in love with my Very Special Person. But I want to ask him some questions, I want to find out what he’s like. I thought I’d email him a few questions and see how he does!

What shall I ask?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

There are no words

Friday, September 22, 2006

I read
this book by Tracy Thompson a little while ago. Parts of it resonated startlingly with me.

“She was looking at her baby, Ace, admiring him “”I was wondering how anyone could hurt anything so precious.” At that instant, an image popped into her mind: a man bent over Ace, sexually molesting him. She could not get the picture out of her mind. She was horrified at herself. Who would even think of something like that? What kind of mother could dream up such a thing about her own baby?””

Me. I could.

“The intrusive images in her mind changed from the sexual to the graphically violent, always involving her baby.”

I’ve never heard/read anyone saying this before.

“ . . .it was as if someone were forcing her to watch a sick snuff movie, and she could not turn off the projector.”

“How can a mother summon up the resolve to say the words, “I can’t stop thinking about dropping my baby off the balcony”? What if she is desperate and nobody takes her seriously? Even worse, what if they do?”

My movies don’t so much feature me doing unspeakable things to my baby. But being somehow forced to watch while someone else does. I see her eyes. Agony and terror and why isn’t mummy coming to save me. Sexual violence. Or tortuous scenes borrowed from another continents genocide. Sometimes it’s something like that happening to me, but I can’t cry out or defend myself because she’s sleeping in a dark corner of the room, unseen by the monster. I can’t make a sound or a fuss in case she wakes. And sees. And is seen.

Sometimes there’s no third party. I had to stop admiring the scenery along my two hour countryside train route to work, because my baby was falling from every bridge, hurtling into every river and crushed before every piece of farm machinery. Over and over and over. With sound track.

I read a LOT of books on the train. It’s got to be fiction, its got to be absorbing and intelligent. Anything that even causes me to roll my eyes at a cheesey metaphor can have me lost from a glimpse through the window. slave to the showreel of catastrophies. Her beautiful little face contorted in searching for me.

This book is important to me because it talks not only to my fears about the inevitability of a legacy of mental health issues, but because it’s not sentimental. There’s no chorus of triumphant optimisim . Rather, it’s the slow determined tread of women who move through one battle and know there's likely to be another. Learning about themselves and how strong they can be. And sometimes forgetting again. It felt to me sometimes like a quiet bolstering hug, no further explanation necessary –like from one of those few friends who doesn’t need to ask how you’re doing, but might rub your arm, put the kettle on and then talk about something else.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Because the power to roar through the day sometimes comes from new and unexpected places.

Because this is happening outside (put left ear to left shoulder)

And this happened to my neighbour

And only a two year old can wield the almighty power of the post-it over the small pink dog (apply right ear to right shoulder)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ghost of Boyfriend Future

"Come and see him, Mummy. He's my new friend, he's beautiful and I love him!"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"No Cricket, you can't help me with my jigsaw because you haven't got hands, just paws. When you're a big girl like me, you'll have hands and fingers and then you'll be able to help me with my jigsaw. But I probly won't want to do this jigsaw then cos I'll be a big girl and this will be a baby puzzle, so you'll have to do it on your own. Or I might help you if you're a good girl and don't whinge."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

this book
by this mother
recommended by
this mother

is making me laugh and cry today

is giving me courage to make new apointment

because as I was greedily thumbing the pages, my would be counsellor emailed me. out of the blueish. to ask if i was ready yet.

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