Dear Microbe, how is it possible to lose a brand new mitten that has been threaded through your coat sleeves on a string that is safety-pinned to the inside of your coat as a double measure? If you wish to develop special skills like this, kindly save it until you move out. Thank you.
In other boy news, I’ve come to the weary conclusion that we’re going to have to switch him to packed lunches for four days a week. One of his teachers has been monitoring his eating at school and it is utterly woeful. I don’t know how he stays alive some days on a diet of half a slice of bread and three pieces of sweetcorn… and when you add a week of insomnia into the mix it is no wonder he’s a bag of overtired grizzle.
Fussy eating remains a source of general bafflement to me. I have no empathy for it whatsoever and can only wonder how a pair of greedy trufflers like G and me ever spawned such a meal-dodger. I ate everything I was given as a child, with the notable exceptions of
- Mushy peas (ugh!)
- School spam fritters (double ugh!)
- A heinous dish called Rabbit Bake, cooked by my dad.
So yesterday evening I spoke to the boy about packed lunches and what I expect him to be eating every day and he seemed happy with the idea. His only interjection was to inform me, on the topic of puddings, that he does not like cake, even when it is a Mr Kipling Chocolate Slice. Oh, good. I shall add that to my list of 387 things that the boy does not like. Whilst he was telling me this, the girl was sitting in her high chair with cheeks bulging full of Mr Kipling Chocolate Slice shouting “Mummy! CAKE! Daddy, CAKE!” This one I understand.
I must confess that something is niggling me about the boy’s relationship with food. For a while now, he’s been claiming that he has no sense of smell. G and I haven’t taken him very seriously but I googled it the other day and discovered various forum threads in which people claimed that they or their child had the same problem and had been ignored or disbelieved until teenage years, when someone had finally checked them out and found it to be true. Hmm… if you had no sense of smell, would tomatoes taste disgusting? I think I want to test the boy at home but I’m not sure how to do it without him knowing that he is being tested. Ideas on a postcard…
As for the girl, she is a dream, by comparison, when it comes to food. God love her eager little chubsticks that run to the kitchen whenever you ask if she’s hungry. And she claps in delight these days when you offer her food. She also seems to be settling much better in the evenings and is mostly staying asleep. Hooray for these mercies!
Alas she remains a demon imp from Hell when it comes to wrecking the flat. I am agog on a daily basis at the speed in which she can turn a room from moderately tidy (i.e. as good as it ever gets) to disgusting slurry heap. There are times when it feels properly evil… like when you take your eye off her for 2 minutes and find that she has used this time to go upstairs and empty out and mix up all of the underwear drawers, not forgetting to carefully unpair every single pair of socks along the way.
Or when you let her run around for 5 mins before nursery and, by 8am, discover that the living room floor is a car crash that can only be tidied by the careful, labour-intensive sorting of a pile that consists of:
- Lego pieces (preferably multiple types that don’t go with each other)
- Odd worn socks
- Mystery Crumbs
- 300 miscellaneous plastic animals/dinosaurs
- Offcuts of paper that might be rubbish or might be carefully-snipped out parts of one of James’s in-progress craft projects
- Odd jigsaw pieces
- 75 hair bows and bobbles that have been filched from a bathroom drawer and spread out across the living room
- A 30″ strip of glue dots
- Random bits of plastic that look like they belong to, or have fallen off, a mystery toy
- 43 coloured pencils, all blunt
- Pages torn from books
And when you’ve finished tidying that up, you pop to the loo to discover that the toilet bowl has been pre-filled by a packet of wipes, three hair slides and your most expensive eyeshadow palette.
On a cheerier note, I’ve bolstered our stash of bedtime reading fodder this week. We’ve just finished a book called Animalcolm by David Baddiel, about a boy who is magically transformed into a series of animals. You can imagine how much the Microbe enjoyed that.
Our new stash seems to be heavy on daft comedies, including a couple of Pugly stories, the first Mr Gum book and a Wrigglesbottom Primary story – and some short stories for children by Terry Pratchett (am not sure what age these are pitched at). I also got A Piglet Called Truffle, which gets good reviews for the sort of kids who like Dick King Smith and I’m thinking of trying out the first of the Secret Seven books to see how it goes. I’m not sure how they’ll come across to a 21st century 5 year old but the word on the street is that they’re better for younger kids than the Famous Five series so we’ll suck it and see. Here’s hoping the boy will fall in love and start wearing an SS badge to school (hee!)
Well that’s all for now. Toodle pip.