Put on your black shoes and stomp the blues

Good evening all. The manbeast is in the pub and both microbes are asleep so I’m popping in for a brief ramble before I nod off in my chair.

After our recent spate of sad family news, I’m glad that life is uneventful right now. My major achievement of the week is that I’ve finally sorted out James’s school uniform. It’s been on my to-do list for a while. G and I sniggered when we saw the instruction to book an appointment at Stevenson’s, the school outfitters. How very 1950s! We half expected to be met by a dapper little man with a tape measure round his neck and be sent away with a parcel of brown paper and string.

As it turns out the reality was a scene of chaos and a shop staffed entirely by emergency teenage temps dealing with half of SW London descending on them the month before school starts. (The one who served me was having girlfriend problems – apparently it was important that I know this). Anyway the Microbe tried on a couple of things but, as most of the garments come in very broad size categories, it seemed a bit pointless and I just went with the obvious sizes.

I have no idea how many of everything it is normal to buy. I’m used to him coming home from nursery every day caked in paint and grime and dinner and general child-filth so I have no illusions that he’ll be anything other than a foul grubling at school. In the end I decided to get three of everything and we’ll just have to see how heroic our washing machine is feeling on an average week.

As usual the trousers are gaping on his skinny waist, despite being elasticated. I’m also going to have to shorten them a bit before he starts and I’m dithering about whether to sew a hem or use Wundaweb.  Ideally I want to be able to let them down again when he grows without leaving a visible crease. (I may have to canvas mum-opinions on this matter).

Then I got his feet measured for school shoes and discovered, as ever, that he has weird narrow feet in a size that nobody ever stocks. Luckily there was one pair of tank-like, reinforced clod-hoppers that fit him, so we bought those and I was aghast at the price – and then I remembered that I’m probably also supposed to buy some sort of gym shoes. (I’ll have to check the school paperwork again and take out a second mortgage).

In less bank-breaking news, I also found the time to mooch about in Waterstones and a few charity shops and scored a brilliant stash of bargainacious and seemingly brand new children’s books. I’m more than a little obsessed with children’s books and can easily lose half a day reading blogs about them or surfing Goodreads and Amazon or watching video demos of astonishing pop-up books on Youtube. Having James gave me an excuse to indulge my habit – but now that I’ve got two to buy for it might just send me over the edge.

Anyway… today’s score included some lovely illustrated hardbacks, a pristine Seuss, several animal-related story books involving sloths, emus, narwhals, tapirs and other microbe-bait and a fabulous untouched copy of The Gruffalo’s Child where every other page is a jigsaw. I also picked up some batteries that fit my pop-up Aladdin book that I’ve had for years but Microbe is just about old enough for – so now, as well as the splendid pop-ups, it plays music and makes atmospheric sounds when you turn the pages.

One of the charity shops had a cache of brand new beanie-baby animal toys in the window, all with tags still on and I managed to pick up an anteater, a platypus, a musk ox, a robin and a snake. The Microbe saw them as I was buying them and almost fainted with desire but I’ve told him that he’s going to have to earn them as rewards. G and I haven’t decided what his new goals will be but his current reward chart for keeping nighttime pull-ups dry has had its day so it may be time to move onto some behaviour- or chore-focused goals. (He wants that anteater so badly I reckon we might be able to get him to do our tax returns and knock a few tasks off our DIY list).

As for the girlbot, she’s as rotund as ever and is a cute and cheerful little monkey when she’s not bawling for milk. She’s gradually sleeping for longer between feeds at night and I’ve had some very cuddly, idle days with her this week. Lately she keeps looking up at me and smiling while I’m feeding her, which is adorable but causes her to get sprayed in the eye.

Nicknames are accumulating at the expected rate… her name is Legion.


About Susan Flockhart

Bonsai lady-geek and blogger. I can hardly recall what I used to blog about pre-microbes, but these days I generally ramble about motherhood, nonsense and whatever's going on the world of tiny people
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