Monday, 31 August 2009

Am I a Twit?

Monday, 31 August 2009
Is my spare time as I know it completely over? I have joined Twitter. Does this make me a twit?

Blog Transfer Post 1

I've got another blog at which I created (and hardly ever updated!) prior to this one. I'd like to amalgamate them both and I'm sure there's a internet trick to do it, but I figured I'd just copy and paste the posts over the next few days. Here's the first one:

Wednesday 25th April 2007: Washa Sheen
My son, Ben, is fascinated by my washing machine. If he's not trying to put things in it (mobile phone, car keys, the cat) he's pulling clothes out of it, pressing buttons, etc. Sometimes I find him sitting in front of it when it is spinning. Just watching, almost in a hypnotic state. He looks up and to me for confirmation: "Clothes in washa, round and round?"

"Yes, baby. Round and round."

The day he tried to put soap powder in it (powder drawer just out of reach of child + box of soap considerably heavier than child = sanity of child's mother lost) I decided enough was Quite Enough and found myself at the Early Learning Centre looking on the shelves of the shop for a toy washing machine.

It's plastic, yellow and blue, and makes a noise like it's filling up with water. It's got several buttons on the front that also make other washing-machine-type noises. A steal at £12.99. I show it to him: it's an immediate hit. His little eyes light up with wonder and amazement you'd think he'd just been handed the FA Cup.

So I prise it out of his vice-like fingers and endure what could have turned into a Full Scale Berzerk while the cashier scans it in. She eyes the quivering lip of my two year old in his pushchair and says to me, "You don't want it in a bag, then?" No, siree, no ma'am, no bags here.

All the way round the mall he plays with the washing machine. On. Off. On. Off. Water. Spinny noises. On. Off. He wouldn't eat his lunch because it was in a spin cycle, or similar. He didn't say hello to some colleagues of Jason's (father of child and husband of me) we ran into. He was smitten.

A near miss of Full Scale Berzerk territory once again when we took it off him for .35 of a millisecond while we got in the car to come home. Honestly; the smoothness of transition and military-like precision of our pushchair exit / carseat entrance / momentary washing machine withdrawl was a joy to behold. The excitement of the day must have been far too much for the poor Baba; he fell asleep before I spiralled the whole way out of the mulit-storey car park.

When we got home, something weird happened. Whether the lighting in the MetroCentre gave the Wonder Toy a false illusion or the noises (spinning, washing, happy toy clothes cleaning) seemed somehow different I don't know, but when we took it out of the box, Ben was absolutely petrified.




When we switched it on he let out a yodelley shriek and ran, arms flailing, out of the room. Confused, I followed him with the washing machine and only succeeded in making him even more freaked out. "Witchit off, Mammy! Witchit off!"

He could only be consoled when we buried the washing machine way down in the bottom of the toy cupboard, cleverly concealed underneath a stuffed Scooby Doo and segregated from toys in regular use by a cheap, wooden xylophone.

Poor kid. The kicker is, I could have had a new lipstick for £12.99. A good one as well, proper classy.

Every once in a while, Jase and I try to encourage him to remember his intial fondness and excitement about the washing machine. We put on our excited, convincing faces and say, "Hey Benny -- let's play wiiiiiiiiiiiiiith...... YOUR WASHING MACHINE!! YAY! YEAH!"

He just stops what he's doing, looks at me completely deadpan (with a slight glint of mortal terror behind his big blue eyes) and says, quite categorically, "No, Mammy. Not like-a that washa sheen."

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Seven Years

Sunday, 30 August 2009
He goes out to get eggs and comes back with flowers.

I feed the babies and make Eggs Benedict.

He hangs some fresh washing on the line and starts another load.

“Seven years ago, eh?” we both say.

Today on this lazy Sunday morning we cast our minds back to a not-so-lazy Friday morning when we were getting ready for our wedding. I glanced at the clock and mused, “Around this time on the morning of our wedding you phoned me from your Mam and Dad’s house... to remind me to empty the cat litter before I left the flat!” we laugh, harmonised. We still marvel in the fortune that brought us together: born within 40 miles of each other but growing up thousands of miles apart, something brought me back to where I’m from and brought us together. We’ve always known that together we were like a huge jigsaw puzzle – first we found the corners all those years ago, and then started working on the edges of the frame together. And the picture in the middle is a beautiful thing. So today, we’re seven years worth of puzzle, him and me – somehow, and incredibly, we fit.

He puts down his knife and fork and recalls, “I went to get my hair cut! The barber asked, ‘What are you up to today, mate?’ and I said, ‘I’m getting married.’ The barber said, ‘Married! I’ve been married three times!’ and I thought I was going to get a harsh talking-to, but instead he says, ‘...and I loved it every time. Would do it all over again if I could.’” He laughs.

“I wasn’t nervous at all, that Friday morning. I’d slept like a baby the night before,” I tell him.

“So did I,” he interjects.

“And then someone knocks on the door and it’s the florist delivering my bouquet, and my stomach starts flip-flopping.” I can still see/smell/feel the fat petals of the white roses, in their simple, elegant hand-tied posy, laying in wait in a grocers cardboard box alongside its four smaller sisters; bridesmaids posies for my girls.

Jason looks up from the middle distance, amused: “Can you imagine what would happen if someone told us, that drunken night, that ten years later we’d be like this? Celebrating our anniversary with breakfast, while one of our sons watches cartoons and the other naps upstairs?”

This baffles me. I can hardly believe it except it’s entirely true – there’s the evidence: one with tousled hair, pyjama-clad, in a cross-legged bundle in front of the telly on the living room rug; the other cosily swaddled, dozing contentedly in his Moses basket.

(I sometimes wonder if there is a direct correlation between the scrumptiousness, yumminess and gorgeousness of my children and the strength of the bond between their parents. Does every set of parents do this?)

That drunken summer night that made us realise our corner pieces were of the same picture. Pints of cold cider, walking aaaaalllllllllllll that crazy-long way back from the pub and OHMYGOD he’s holding my hand. Then he makes me take off my shoes and he throws them into the road. I still don’t know what THAT was about and neither does he. And best of all, tingly kisses on the journey next to traffic lights, under bridges, outside newsagents. Who knew?

Love. It’s a silly little word really, for the weight it carries. But I love you today on our anniversary a lifetime’s worth of times more than I did seven years ago. Thank you for your precious heart, and our perfect boys. I adore you and love you madly and there’s nothing more that makes sense to me in this whole, wide world than being a jigsaw with you.

(Me wins.)