How to get rid of stubborn cradle cap

Something to add to the list of squicky yet satisfying parent jobs – watching your baby’s beautiful, smooth scalp reveal itself at last. I know everyone says to just leave cradle cap alone and let it resolve itself but 11 months of blight seemed like enough. I wonder whether it might be more stubborn on babies with a full head of hair.

Anyway thank you, Mumsnet. It turns out that soaking your baby in oil and then going at it with a nit-comb is the answer. Hooray!

Should any random baby-wielding person happen to read this and want to know how I got rid of it, here is precisely what worked for me.

  1. Put baby in high chair and cover their scalp with oil and massage it in (I used a little spray bottle of rosehip seed oil that my sis gave me, which was perfect!)
  2. Wait an hour or longer. Distract baby with milk/piles of biscuits/Bollywood nursery rhymes and hope that they fall asleep in the chair.
  3. Using this specific nit comb, gently comb away all of the cradle cap – it just comes away with the comb. (Best do this on an empty stomach.)
  4. Wash baby’s hair thoroughly with shampoo to get all of the oil out.
  5. Admire the fresh, scalpy goodness!

Mildred’s hair was a sight to behold after two shampooings with my Aussie Mega Shampoo. She looked like a tiny walking haystack.

I have no idea if the cradle cap will come back at any point but if it does I think I shall repeat this process.


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Night Rambles

It is late wine o’clock, and the microbes are long asleep, so I shall rattle off an overdue ramble.

I’m on single parent duty this week as G is away on a work event. Mostly this means that I get up earlier in the mornings and eat things like baked beans for dinner at around 4pm.  Also next week I will have to rule the Microbe with a rod of iron when it comes to getting ready for school in the mornings. FullSizeRender (11)But all days return eventually to the well-worn ritual of watching telly until I fall asleep over half drunk wine, so it’s not all bad.

The boybot finally zonked out around 9pm this evening, having expired from excitement at tomorrow’s planned treat. This will be his third visit in as many months to the Natural History Museum – his new favourite place. A hallowed hall of stuffed, dead, and wonderfully obscure life forms.

26001019300_6939b94f6c_oTomorrow’s trip is courtesy of some very kind friends of mine who have a sturdy tolerance for the boy’s unending nattering. (They’ve given him the nickname ‘David Chattenborough’, which is far more fitting than anything I ever dreamed up.)

As for the girlbot, she’ll stay home with me and crawl/cruise about the flat like a tiny, mini-me-shaped wrecking ball. She’s a bit of a grumpy grizzler this week. I’d like to think it’s teething-related, but there’s been no advance on the two she’s got so far. (I’m sure the boybot had a lot more teeth by this stage).

25844075254_b78c5d25fe_oBut what a dreamy little sleeper she is. She may be slow to zonk off in the evenings but she’s ever so good at staying that way once she does. So unlike her brother. Chalk and cheese, the two of them (Mildred being the cheese, obv). I always suspected that James’s nighttime wakefulness was linked to having the appetite of a gnat – and my chubby little human hoover does nothing to disprove that theory. Bless.


She has her first settle-in session at nursery on 25th April. Yikes. I hope she likes it… because back to work looms. I fear that will also be a bit of a shock to the boybot, having to go to an after-school club called ‘Fit for Sport’ every day (shudder) instead of being picked up by me at 3:15.  I’m wondering if I can fudge it a bit with my hours, between now and July, so that he only has to do that full-time when the next school year starts.

His latest hobby, besides relentless crafting, is googling. As far as he is concerned, the whole of the internet is called “google” and it is a veritable box of delights. Mostly he uses it to look up pictures of animals (with safe search switched on) and then copies the pictures onto bits of paper “for your scrap book, Mummy!”.

I just nosed at his google search history, for illustrative purposes…

“are honey badgers omnivores”
“african cresded porcupette”
“dic the recks” (your guess is as good as mine)
“natural history museum wolverine”
“can wolverines swim”

As for me, I have been trying to sew. The mood suddenly took me to try and finish several quilts that I started yonks ago but time is not my friend. It’s nigh impossible to make progress on anything when Mildred is awake. But I did become quite good at Microbe multitasking over the Easter holidays, with a lot of this sort of thing:

“Mummy can we play the game where I’m a honey badger and you’re a thorny devil?”
“No, I’m busy”

*Groan* “Can I sew at the same time?”
“Yes! You don’t even have to move! I will tell you what to say!”
*Groan* “Oh, go on then…”

Rather alarmingly, having wittered on about honey badgers while I was sewing one afternoon, the boybot must have been making a mental note of how to use my sewing machine, because a day later he proudly presented me with a deformed-looking “cat toy” that he’d made out of very thick cardboard and thread…  USING MY SEWING MACHINE! It wasn’t even switched on so he must have worked that out too. I was in equal parts aghast and impressed and amazed that the needle didn’t snap. We had to have a talk about never using my machine without an adult helping… and I had to change the needle before it wrecked my quilt.

Anyway I have finally finished one using Roald Dahl themed fabrics. (It has flaws so don’t look too closely). It’s one of a matching pair and I really need to finish its sibling before ‘second quilt syndrome’ sets in and it gets relegated to the loft.

Oh for the love of god. No sooner blogged than proven wrong, The girlbot has just woken up and is screaming loudly enough to wake the neighbours. Bah!

Until next time…


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Talk like a man

This week I’ve decided that the Microbe’s slow and stealthy slippage into junk food habits must cease. Over Sunday lunch I informed him that, from now on, there’s going to be a marked increase in fruit and vegetable consumption – and the next time he asks for “something sweet” he is getting a banana. He took it on the chin.

I, meanwhile, am eating a Cadbury’s Cream Egg for breakfast. Hypocrisy, thy name is mother.

Today, for the fourth year running, I sent him off as a fox for World Book Day. We managed to get two years’ nursery mileage out of the Fox in Socks outfit before transitioning to Fantastic Mr Fox. (What’s next – The Animals of Farthing Wood?)

Imagine the jubilation when we arrived at school to discover that one of his most beloved besties was also foxed up á la Roald Dahl. I strongly suspect the Microbe’s influence in this. The other boy’s mother told me that, upon seeing his fox mask, he shouted “Wow, James is going to love it!

Suffice to say the boy has form when it comes to infecting his nearest and dearest with his animal obsessions.  They usually start out with perfectly normal small boy obsessions, like Spiderman and monster trucks until… by slow and steady degrees, James’s inner circle find themselves engaged in daily role play as tapirs and aardvarks, bewildering their parents with demands for facts about aye-ayes.

Funny little creatures, small boys. I’ve hosted a fair few playdates lately and have found it quite fascinating to witness the way that they interact with one another. In particular, I overhear an awful lot of this sort of thing:

“Why is your toy/bedroom/house so small?”
“I’ve got more than you”
“Mine’s bigger than yours”
“I’m faster than you”
“I’ve got one of those too but mine is better” 
“Why have you only got one? I’ve got twenty!”
“Where are your toys? Is this all you’ve got?”

I mentioned this to G once and he said “Welcome to the Y chromosome.”

One child, in particular (lets call him Freddie) made me chuckle as I was walking him home from school…

“Freddie, your mummy told me that you like to make things. Is that right?”
“Well, so does James, and I’ve got something fun for you two to do together when we get home”
“I’ve already got that”
“Er… what have you got?”
“Whatever it is that you’ve got for us.”

Strangely enough, the Microbe appears to be somewhat immune to all of this. I do worry about him sometimes, being so often on the receiving end of materialistic oneupmanship. Living, as we do, in bankerville, he’s never going to be able to hold his own on that score. But, so far, it seems to be water off a duck’s back. I am led to conclude that, if he has a Y chromosome, it is very much a lower case one.

Moving on…

enidOver the last few weeks we’ve been reading a lot of Enid Blyton at bedtime. Oh, beloved author of my childhood. G is reading his way through The Enchanted Wood series and I’m doing likewise with The Wishing Chair.

I shall say it here and now – Enid remains as brilliant and undiminished as ever. There have been minor amendments to the books to suit modern sensibilities. For example, Fanny and Dick are now Frannie and RickDame Slap is Dame Snap and I assume they’ve been stripped of any dubious racist bits that escaped my notice as a child. However the essence of the stories remains unchanged and it all comes flooding back as you read.

For me, Ms Blyton has the distinction of being the first author (give or take a bit of Dahl) to have entirely captivated the boybot wth stories that do not involve any animals. This is a hell of a feat in itself.

But, even more than this, I’d forgotten how humorous the books are. When it’s G’s turn to read I hear the boybot hooting with laughter from his bedroom at the comic scenes in which The Saucepan Man mishears whatever’s being said to him. Similarly, I had him laughing out loud the other night at a piece of wordplay that was just perfectly pitched to a 4 year old, in which the children utter the words “Goodness knows where” only to discover that such a land actually exists …and that they have to go and visit someone called Goodness in order to find out where it is.

As for learning to read, the boybot is nothing if not inconsistent. Mostly he groans and huffs and eyerolls when I sit him down and tell him that it’s time to read one of his school books. He’ll read them under duress but the endless fidgeting and subject-changing drives me mad. Admittedly, some of them are tiresomely worthy and kitchen sink-like.  (Biff and Kipper, I’m looking at you).

Hence it can seem as though he really doesn’t enjoy reading at all. But then he’ll surprise me by picking up a book at home, unprompted, and reading pages from it – or reading out any mundane words that he sees dotted around the house, such as the smallprint on a bag-for-life. Each to their own.

Well I suppose that’s enough of a ramble. Not least because I can no longer type through the girlbot’s assault on my nostrils.  Urgent pant action required…



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Revolting children

Gargh. The end of my maternity leave ticks ever closer and the last couple of weeks have been a sort of melting pot of logistical problems, stress, gloom and domestic faffage that I can’t even be bothered to describe. But, for the sake of Little Ms Hubble, I ought to jot down a few updates before it all slips through my fingers…

Right now she’s just turned 9 months and is a very cute little dumpling indeed.

She’s got two teeth so far and, unlike her brother, is proving to be a very good little eater. Especially if the food on offer happens to be carnivorous, biscuit-shaped or coming out of an Ella’s pouch.

Alas, this also means that she’s a good little vomiter. I swear our residence must reek to high heaven of baby vomit. Not to mention our clothes. 1001 carpet shampoo is my new best friend. I think I might try cutting out cheese to see if it helps.

To my relief, she’s been showing all the signs of being an inert and lazy moo when it comes to the physical stuff – a good 6 weeks behind her brother at that age – which means that I can still get away with plonking her on a mat amid a pile of toys, rather than getting the panopticon of doom out of the loft.


However, this week, she’s finally worked out how to crawl forwards, albeit at a snail’s pace. So I expect we’ll have to put up the stair gates. Feh.

As for that ticking clock, I’m afraid my little mummy’s girl is going to be trouble when it comes to nursery. So far, every attempt to leave her with someone other than me has resulted in her screaming at them until she fell asleep. Groan. And lets not mention the fact that her nursery place doesn’t even have a guaranteed start date yet to match my return to work (argh!)

On that cheery note, I shall go away because it’s almost time to collect the Microbe from school. Toodle Pip, etc.

(NB: I will be back later to ramble on about Enid Blyton).


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Makes me wonder how I keep from going under

Apparently it’s February already…  and I appear to have failed to blog since before Christmas. Oh well, lets just sweep Xmas under the carpet and move on, eh? I have far too many rambles stored up as it is. But they’ll all have to wait.

For now, I just want to pop in and wail, briefly, about the Microbe’s crafty outputs.

I mean… I love that he is crafty. It is precisely what I wished for in a child. Before he was born I remember having vague dreads that I might accidentally get a sporty one and have to spend my Saturday mornings doing ghastly pursuits, like standing in a field watching him play football.

As it is, I got off very lightly on that score. But… dear god. The crafts. I am drowning in them. Does he have to produce quite so much of it all?

He seems to come home from school several times a week wielding abominable constructions made from cartons and old bottles.

E.g. this  (apparently it is a t-rex).


And, on our coffee table right now is a pile of 30-odd air-drying clay dinosaurs and jungle animals that he wants to paint and turn into some sort of diorama.

Where, in the name of god, am I supposed to put it all?

At least the drawings are 2-dimensional. After we took down our Xmas cards, I came up with the genius idea of leaving the strings up so that I can peg his artworks up on a string high up on the wall.  Which is fine… except that he is currently banging out pictures faster than I can peg them.

So we end up with eternal, breeding piles of coloured paper all over the living room and kitchen, each sheet containing something that might be a throwaway doodle but is, more often than not, a priceless heirloom that is “NOT Rubbish, Mummy!!! I drew that especially for you!!” (Note to self: never let the boy rummage in the recycling.)

So then I had an idea of making a scrapbook. I sat him down and said that, from now on, I would keep a few of his best artworks each week and put them in a scrapbook.  At which point he immediately quadrupled his output, in a bid to fill up the scrapbook in record time.


Hence I am now turning to the great space-saving solution that is the interwebs. Here. for online posterity, is a selection of stuff found in today’s piles that has not yet been relegated to the recycling bin….  you may notice a ‘theme’ (suffice to say, his obsessions do not change).

Solid Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame: Picture Frame:


And, in the spirit of fairness, here are two gratuitously cute pics of Little Miss Crazy-Hair. Unfortunately her artistic output seems to involve painting any available surface with orange vomit…  (I shall just thank god that our soft furnishings are machine-washable).



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Mulled whine

Oh god. Christmas is almost here.

Why am I not feeling festive?

Why does my house still look like an Amazon warehouse?

Why is my cake not decorated?

Why have we failed to do any of our food shopping for Xmas dinner?

Why have I still got 10 rolls worth of wrapping up to do?

How will I find space for another metric ton of toys?

Can’t I just crawl into a nice, snug hole for 3 weeks and drink wine and play Fallout 4 and watch back-to-back Xmas special episodes of University Challenge? Oh, those were the days.

Hmm. I’m sure tomorrow is the day that the festive spirit will kick in. In the meantime I am feigning it splendidly. Here is a post in which I pass myself off as some sort of uber-festive domestic lunatic craftatron, in 100% control of everything…

First of all, this cheesy thing happened. We were ‘trying on’ the kids’ Xmas torture outfits before Xmas eve and got a bit carried away…


IMG_0363 IMG_0416

It seems to be widely agreed that Mildred has turned into a mini-me. The poor little, blonde, dumpling.

As usual, no sooner blogged than proven wrong – she chose the very day after my last post to become highly mobile. No longer can I plonk her down and find her where I left her… she flips straight onto her tummy and does a sort of roll/shuffle hybrid until she is as far away as possible from the safe place I left her in. Mostly I keep finding her army shuffling under the Christmas tree with her gums clamped around an electrical flex. I suppose we’ll have to get the stair gates out…. feh!

In crafty news, I have – at the 11th hour – finally made Milly-Hubble’s Christmas stocking, to match the one that I made for Microbe. I do love the lining…


IMG_4105 pic2

Well that’s all for now.  These 800 cardboard boxes won’t deconstruct themselves…

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Hair brushed and parted

Someone pointed out to me the other day that Mildred looks like a cross between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

I’d like to feign outrage, but…  well…


Poor little Microgirl.  There’s nothing I can do with it.

In other news – for anyone on our card list, I do solemnly swear that I am going to write the Xmas cards tonight and post them tomorrow. (Apologies, Loretta, yours might arrive some time next April). I think this is the latest we’ve ever done it, despite the fact that the Microbe has been busy making them for a while.


This Christmas has involved more crafting than is humanly feasible. We have Microbe crafts in every square inch of the flat – and he is threatening to make a 3D nativity installation this week while he’s off school. (What, in the name of Ox and Ass, am I going to do with that?)

As an observation, I’ve noted that the boybot’s crafting sessions typically involve an entire Picaasso lifecycle in a day.

For example, he usually starts out fairly classical…

before evolving into the modernist/experimental…
(these two are subtitled ‘Death by Lasers’ and ‘Burlesque’)

and, eventually, the inexplicable…


Good luck to whoever is getting those.

Well this was really just a fly-by so I am off now. But Facebook has been nagging me all day to share this picture of Harriet from 5 years ago. I suppose it would be rude not to.



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