Little Kardasian** Dude


As you can see from yesterday’s photo, Harry is happily sporting a streak of yellow war-paint, a sparse sprinkling of pasta sauce  – and a lovely bruise peeping through his fringe. The little chap is so sadly prone to disaster that I now wince whenever I see slapstick or pratfalls on TV. We live pratfalls.

And, because he is cursed, Godammit, cursed things don’t always work out the way his Mummy wants, the part of him that made seismic-registering contact with a lurking outcrop of skirting board earlier this afternoon was…


exactly the same spot of forehead. Yes, that shadow is caused by the humungous protruding swelling of an almighty great bump on top of a bloody bruise.

AND a nice little cheek graze for good measure.


I could cry for him. In fact, I frequently do.

The speech therapist came today, and she was absolutely lovely. Yes, Harry does seem to be struggling with his speech, but his comprehension appears rather better than his vocalisation; she said she wasn’t unduly concerned yet, and encouraged us by saying that his range of vowel sounds and babble was good. She told us about some different ways of incentivising Harry to work a bit harder vocally to obtain what he wants from us, and she is coming back in 6 weeks to see if that has helped him progress.

He has certainly been a chattier boy since we came back from Wales*, and burbled happily away with her as he wrenched her biro away and tried his level best to decimate her paperwork. Which was a bit of a pisser in a way, as I had spent some hours over the weekend compiling a film of all his babble that I had deliberately set out to record in the last fortnight, in the full expectation that he would huddle on our laps and stare suspiciously  – and mutely – at her.

*which was very nice indeed, thanks for asking. I drank a lot of wine. We had one lovely night out in an excellent restaurant that, added to the ruinous price of a babysitter, actually cost more than the entire holiday. Ouch. I finished with a seriously, seriously good chocolate pudding, and John had a cheese platter that included a local cheese called Golden Cenarth. John – not usually a man to back away from a pungent cheese – recoiled from his first bite with what I fear was an entirely audible-in-kitchen oath. The woman on the next table along essentially echoed his opinion when she suspected aloud that ‘stinking cow’s feet’ had been somehow involved in its making. I had a – small – nibble, and thought that despite the truly appalling smell, it tasted spicily piquant.  I mention it so that, should you ever find yourself in South Wales, feeling brave, you can try a bite. I dare you.

Harry loved this place


so much he sounded like a pressure cooker gone critical when he first paddled into the shallows. You’d have thought the excitement would have conked him out, but he yelled like a little bugger 3 nights out of the 4. Never mind, you can’t have everything.

The snow turned our journey home into a 6 hour nightmare: we sat motionless on the M4 with a raging toddler for 90 minutes, and were consequently forced to lunch at the very nice, very expensive, very plush-and-hush, very 5-star Celtic Manor Hotel. I had a bad feeling about it, as last time I visited the place I walked through the front doors only to be instantly struck by crippling-OMG-I-need-fresh-underwear diarrhoea. They have lovely bogs, though. 

Anyhoo, Harry waddled into the main lounge with his mud-splattered jeans-wearing parents happily enough, but when we tried to gently steer him away from all the quiet little coteries of well-cut suits and towards a distant isolated table, he went beserk. He yelled, he screamed, he shouted, he fought like a tiny wildcat to prevent his hand being clasped, and turned himself damn near inside out with ear-splitting protest whenever we picked him up. He was dementedly hell-bent on running away from us at high speed, smack though every armchair-ensconced group of grey-trouser-wearing-ok-yah-ing-mobile-phone-toting-disapproving-business-types he could see. This is a child who knows that laptops were designed specifically for him to play with, which is why I no longer have one that works.

He hurtled up and down the place for 30 oh-so-loooooong minutes, before the staff obviously pleaded for the love of God, hurry! to the chef, and he expedited our sandwiches. Harry grabbed about half a pig’s-worth of ham out of mine with both hands, shoved it rapidly into his gaping maw, macerated it briefly in manic fashion, before poking it indignantly back out of his mouth in revolting wet dollops – onto the gorgeous fabric upholstery –  with staccato thrusts of his tongue. He much preferred the home-cooked crisps and was wolfing away at them, when unhappily for everyone, including the cleaners, he choked noisily on one.

As Harry is usually happy turning pages, I handed him a Daily Express – which he promptly disassembled, ripped apart, and stamped on. I broadly agreed with his implied opinion, but I could have done without all the matador action. John was all for getting a copy of The Sun in order to placate him with some Page 3 boobies, but I thought A) it would only inflame him further with excitement, and B) I wasn’t entirely sure he’d connect such perky examples with my rapidly sinking bosoms.

When we left – to a collective sigh of relief – I asked the team of porters if the roads towards Monmouth were running clear. Just go! Yes! they said. By the quickest route! We’ve sent lots of people that way! they said. Lying buggers. We sat in another 70 minutes of stationary traffic 30 miles up the road, by which point we were all beginning to lose our marbles. I did slaughter Hubby at Hangman, though, so it wasn’t altogether time wasted.

I had my mobile phone right up to the point where we pulled onto the drive, at which point in time it vanished entirely. It is ringing when dialled, but cannot be heard anywhere. I have looked in the car, in the house and in the logpile. I have not yet searched the baby or the dogs, but they are next up unless someone can suggest somewhere cleverer?

ETA: ** Belated googling tells me this should be spelt Cardasian. Obviously my memory is flawed, but weren’t these the guys with the really serious foreheads? Or do I mean Klingons…?

13 Responses

  1. Oh HARRY! That picture makes me want to cry. What an egg, poor baby!

    Your holiday sounds lovely and hysterically funy. I’m sure it wasn’t in the moment but my goodness, you have a gift for writing the most anxiety-provoking things as comedy. I wish I had been there at lunch that day. The pool looks awesome, by the way. Josh and Beth lived near a schwimmbad like that in Germany and it was fantastic. The nephews loved and so did I, the one time I got to go.


  2. Poor Harry!

    I did that about a billion times as a kid. Clumsy didn’t cover it. I’d run right into walls. Face first.

    How did I not see six feet of painted plaster? I have no idea…\


  3. Poor Harry, as for the mobile I have no idea, but you want to find it quick before the cold weather kills the battery, so no more ringing to aid location!

    I now sport a spectacular 10cm long scar across my forehead that I gained when aged 5. Used to annoy me when young, now it just looks like a wrinkle, sigh.

  4. Poor Harry. He manages to look dashing despite the lump, though. I’m glad the speech therapist had at least somewhat encouraging news – and your holiday in Wales, oh my; if only you wrote sitcoms! What techniques did she recommend for encouraging him to speak?

    (That waterpark is not at all my mental image of Wales. I guess I imagined it was all crashing waves and rocky precipices, and Number 6 wandering around Portmeirion.)

  5. Poor little dude! I am glad to hear that the speech therapist is so positive, but in a rational not a blowing-smoke-up-your-ass kind of way.

    Also, I totally envy that Welsh water park. We have nothing like that around here. And I cringed at your description of being stuck in traffic. My (23-month-old) son starts to freak after five or ten minutes in sitting traffic so I cannot imagine what would happen in a serious jam. But it would. NOT. be. good.

  6. Wow that is some shiner.

  7. Weren’t the forehead guys Romulans? Vulcan ears with crinkly foreheads. And no I’m not a trekkie but this very subject was covered in a different blog today.

    Glad the speech therapist was encouraging and the hols lovely barring snow issues.

  8. Well, the Cardasians had very lumpy, ridged foreheads, the klingons had really big ones, the romulans I don’t think had particularly distinctive ones. So I think he could either be cardasian or klingon, depending on the nature of the bump – bumpy lumpy or ridged?

    Ha. You really asked for that.

  9. No, the forehead guys were the Ferengi. You know, the smelly, short, manipulative ones. Harry, puddin’, we really gotta work on the balance thing. But I don’t know how to accomplish that myself, so I guess I can’t really expect it of you. But Mom wants to talk to you and teach you the ABC’s, so get to work on that. Make it so. (Yeah, I’m totally avoiding the fact that I know what warp speed is. Or Ferengi, for that matter.)

  10. And Patrick Stewart is sooooo hot! (Yeah, I like old bald men, too. I’m pathetic.)

  11. Ouch! Poor kiddo.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog- I would love to have your story. You can email it to within the next week, and I can ship it along…

  12. […] stirring a bloody peep. NOT ONE PEEP, I TELL YOU! My heart sank at the prospect. Harry does not Travel Well. But I had a big incentive to go, so… I eventually decided to leave him with John and go […]

  13. Poor child! It must be horrible for you to see all the time these bruises!

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