Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Do This At Home

Don't eat a dozen hot wings, a bowl of vegetarian chilli and two stuffed jalapeno peppers, washed down with six lite beers and half a bottle of shiraz.

Just don't.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Right For My Rights

Warner Bros has granted permission for us to use "I Got You, Babe" as the book title, and also for us to use the lyrics inside! Cher can buy herself a cup of coffee - on me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Musical Beds

Last night's bed-hopping was a flashback to a year or so ago when the kids were sleeping even worse than now.

After sitting up watching the Fantastic Four take on the Silver Surfer until 8:30pm, I made my first mistake by letting Patrick out of my sight after brushing his teeth. He managed to slip into Penny's room where Mommy was reading her a story.

"Great, now I have both kids!" quoth Mommy.

Somehow I lured Pat back to his own room, read him a story or two, and despite his cries for the paradise haven of Penny's Room and Mommy's comfort, he fell asleep shortly before I did.

I woke up after a scrummy dream about ponies and made my way back to my own bedroom, where a sleeping Mommy had similarly made her escape. I was mostly awake, but it was 2am, so I lay there, my head full of the typical night thoughts that fuel my non-kid related insomnia.

Twenty minutes later, Patrick wakes up. As I'm already awake, I stand up and grab him, escorting him back to his room. After what felt like an hour of his wailing for Mommy, but was probably only two minutes, I grant him his wish and carry him back to our bedroom...

... where my daughter is already camped out, woken by his wails.

It's two thirty, My bed is full (even the cat came in), but my two kids beds are empty. I climb into Penny's bed for a few minutes, but at this point I am wide, wide awake, so I head downstairs.

I watch about a half-hour of TV before summoned by my wife who is disturbed by the flickering lights from the living room. She then orders me back to bed. Our conversation on the stairs wakes my daughter, who follows Mommy out of the bedroom. I somehow convince her to come lay down with me in her bed, while Mommy returns to her own bed (where she will join Patrick.)

I lay there for about an hour, night thoughts poking and prodding, until I finally wake to semi-dawn. It is 6:30am and Mommy is downstairs, leaving for work. If I want any time to myself today, it's now or never, so I get up and make a filthy, dark pot of coffee. The kids join me at about 7am.

Last year we spent about two grand on the bed in our bedroom. I am loathe to call it "our bed" because I am so very rarely in it. And now you know why.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thank Crunchie...

I've commented many a time how there are certain things I can do on a Monday or Tuesday, but not on a Friday. Today it rained pretty much all day, and while the day was largely uneventful, the confinement has got to my son.

He spent the last hour:

Chasing the cat

Putting Floam (c) on his feet and dancing on the wood floors and couch

Pushing his sheriff star badge through the mesh screen on one of the windows (thus wrecking it,) then asking me to go get his badge from the flower bed where it landed outside

Pushing his sister

Pulling his sister

Treading on anything his sister tries to do

Refusing food (unless it's chocolate)

It gets better. My wife is out all day tomorrow, meaning tomorrow is actually "Friday," if you know what I mean, because I will be alone with the kids again all day.

What's he doing now? Let's say he's learning his lesson in his room. He must learn that "stop" does not mean "slower" or "slightly less hard" or "quieter."

Terrible twos suck for everyone.

Friday, October 12, 2007

This is pretty much all I have said since I woke up

"Stop doing that - you will hurt him/her"

"Can you hear me?"

"Calm down"

"Give it back"

"Don't touch him/her"

Right now they are playing the piano, risking hurting each other (somewhat) in an very un-calm fashion, not sharing, both pressing the same keys at the same time, and they cannot hear me over the piano. So I'm not saying a word. What is the point?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Woods

What with yesterday being a holiday (thank you Mr. Columbus,) we wanted somewhere cheap to take the kids that wouldn't involve 1) apple picking 2) hayrides 3) sales at the malls.

What better place than "the woods?"

Growing up as I did opposite a park, I still consider myself a lucky child. I would walk the ten paces down our driveway, cross the street, and be five paces from a tennis court (obviously, as this was North London, England, the court was only actually usable for two weeks a year. Most of the time it was too wet and the balls would get wrecked.) and about 50 paces from a playground.

Between the ages of about five and seven, the playground was old school. There was no fence to keep the dogs out. The legendary "witch's hat" obstacle would break at least one arm per summer, and the clearance on the roundabout was just enough to see a child's ankle wedged underneath. Once safety became an issue, the fence went up (keeping out not just the dogs, but the dog's... business) the rubber safety flooring was installed, the witch's hat was burned at the stake, and the roundabout replaced by one that looked more like a spider web than a deathtrap on a spindle.

This isn't to say that once the playground was made safe to play, I got bored with it. I would still now put "swinging" (as in, on a swing) in my "top five things I enjoy" list. But by the time I was 10, the woods was the place to go.

We would walk there, which was an adventure in itself. I was never sure if the route we took was a public footpath or not. I seem to remember walking through fields alongside horses, and sneaking over fences, but also meeting plenty of people doing the same thing. The meeting point was always the same place - the V Tree... at least, that's what our parents thought it was called. We all called it the vagina tree because it looked a bit like one. Thinking back, it was a stretch, but we were 10.

The rest of the day was spent doing one of two things: walking around or running and hiding. Certainly a big chunk of the woods was private property, belonging probably to a hooty, snooty hotel where Gilbert and Sullivan lived or something. We only snuck through the wire once or twice because we stumbled upon a real tire swing - a tire suspended on rope from a huge branch. Very dangerous, very fun.

The woods we went to yesterday in Mahwah were similar to my childhood venue of Old Redding in Harrow, but with less people around (none). The kids had fun, and we didn't spend a dime. Plus I got a nostaglic flashback. All in all: good.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Treading Water

Ok, so I'm not helping my cause by drinking a couple midweek, but I'm still totally overwhelmed and struggling to catch up. I spend an hour tidying, and within minutes of my wife's arrival home, the place needs to be tidied again.

Are things getting accomplished? Oh, yes. Plenty of things. But I still don't have clean clothes for the weekend.

While on the subject of laundry, I picked up a weird injury on Monday. I was investigating the clothes that had been left a little wet in the washer to see if they would need to be rewashed (if they smelt damp) or if they could go into the dryer. I picked up a towel that was on top of the pile and put it to my nose...

... and it felt like I got a burn on the tip of my nose. What could have caused that? It wasn't like a static shock, just an instant itch that has now developed into a raw patch. I'm clueless as to what did it. Did the towel bite me?