Things I am trying to do

Clean my house. This is a mammoth rolling project, always several years behind where it should be. I comfort myself – everytime a visitor has to pick their way to the toilet over the abandoned baby gate, heaped sacks of dog & hen food, a straying feral hostess trolley, 3 brooms, a bucket, a ragged boilersuit, and whatever toy du jour Harry has strewn underfoot – with the knowledge that people rarely die wishing they had spent more time dusting.

Organise my annual Bliss charity coffee morning. I am thinking Sat 5th November. I need to do rather more than think, and pronto.

Practise my guitar, banjo and ukulele more. Actually, just some would be an improvement.

Bring the tortoise in for the winter. She has been in once already, and was boomeranged straight back out again to enjoy the indian summer. She is a teenage, sulky tortoise, and prefers reptile junk food from a pet shop to actual Fresh Greens, so she is probably buried half-way into the ground, unimpressed with the unfairness of life.

Sew name tags in Harry’s school uniform. Then buy more school uniform and sew some more. The washing machine and its operator cannae take n’more, Captain.

Clip my supersized spaniel, who has somehow managed to grow into a hybrid of Cardinal Richelieu and a mike wind jammer.

    

Squeeze the pirate treasure map, that I unearthed for the school conker fayre, back into the garage.

There is already a quart of junk in the garage’s pint pot, rendering the operation fraught with annoyance. Dad made the map, painted the ship and roughed out the island shape and a couple of features; I spent a recent long evening adding various badly-executed extras. The parrot in particular drew unconstructive criticism,

and I have to admit that its beak is really not quite the thing.

(For the same conker fair, I seemed to be responsible for introducing Maggot Racing to the roster. A fellow parent made a stupendous race track;

I named the runners. Greb Coe & Linford Chrysalis were prompted by FB and random googling, Red Rot, Fester Piggot, Usain Revolt and Crawler Radcliffe were all, alas, my own work. I am unsure quite what a loss to tabloid journalism this makes me.)

Turn the bulging bag of Bramley apples from our tree into frozen apple pies.

Doctor the hens. I am winning the Scaly Leg Mite battle, but the cockerel is looking decidedly sorry for himself in the plumage department, and I have no idea why. Also, work out why some of the hens are refusing to be shut up at night, preferring to lurk in the undergrowth instead. I have repeatedly told them that the fox has A Working Nose, to no avail. Black hen – the only one to boast an actual working personality – toppled dead from her perch last week, and was only the second hen of the ManyManyLots I have owned, to have died of seemingly natural causes. Foxes, dogs or rank bloody stupidity have polished off the rest. John thinks I am Just Not Meant to own hens. He may be right.

Decide whether to invite Harry’s arch-nemesis (‘A says he doesn’t want to play with me anymore! But B and C still like me…’) for a playdate and making-up session… or give way to the set of altogether more juvenile impulses I had when I saw him push a hail-fellow-well-met-all-past-sins-forgotten-Harry sharply away this morning. The (unspecified, but that I suspect was triggered by an over-tactile Harry) incident yesterday that led to A’s dudgeon was, I am told, absolutely six of one and half-a-dozen of the other; a fact which I cognitively fully accept – before suppressing it firmly under the visceral maternal rush of channelled Tiger. And I could weep: until yesterday, Harry’s scales of reference were completely innocent of any like/not like divisions, and he’s never held a grudge longer than an hour in his life.

Worry about Harry’s first school coach trip to a museum 25 miles away next week. Harry should have been christened Lord Lucan, and I was sufficiently worried about the possibility of him straying to speak to the school; they promptly asked if I wanted to go too, and I accepted with alacrity – but when I had heard nothing and asked again last week, they had apparently decided that I needed a CRB check, which takes weeks. I am a little put out by this uncommunicated change of mind; however, I have highlighted the fact that he is a Vanisher, and feel I can do no more, short of stalking the school party behind dark glasses and a large paper. He will most likely stick to his friends like glue, in any case. Probably. Hopefully. Perhaps… I’ll have another word.

Chase the Paediatrician’s secretary for correspondence.

Chase Warwickshire County Council for speech therapy, as Harry will doubtless fall through the widening cracks inflicted by budget slashes otherwise.

Send my father, who has just texted that they can see the WHOLE bay of Naples from their hotel room, a highly abusive reply.

Go for a wee.

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15 Responses

  1. I think the parrot is beyond reproach.

  2. I like the parrot, but a bit of blue plumage would not have gone amiss.

    It’s terrifying when your child tells you that someone has said that they don’t want to play with him/her any more. But, I suspect we over-react, and they settle it themselves.

    What’s your father’s number? I’d like to send him an abusive text too! 🙂

  3. For helping out at primary school I didn’t need a full CRB check but what was then called a “list 99” check, I gave them my name, DoB and NI number and it was done in no time flat.

    I am impressed with the maggot racing idea, fat chance I’ll ever remember it for when I need it though.

  4. Oh! The 5th of November, you say?
    *indulges self in brief daydream*

    I hate to think of Harry’s innocence being tarnished. Oh, sigh. Isn’t he a big young for character-building?

  5. Yes, the apple is introduced to the Garden of Eden now. I vote don’t have the frenemy for a play date, as you may go wild trying to referee/be fair, etc. Keep an open mind because they may well be best friends in two weeks, but don’t set yourself up for a difficult afternoon just now.
    Glad to have the chicken update. I think the parrot looks fine, and I think the ship is excellent.
    I have things-to-do-in-the-house in place of the Bucket List better organized people have.

    • I have a personal vendetta against Bucket Lists. Probably just borne of sour grapes, but they seem so overachieving!

  6. Maggots race? I guess I have stayed far, far away so I can’t be sure, but I thought they just writhed.

    Honestly, I think the “I like/don’t like so-and-so” thing is also a developmental stage for which Harry’s class is bang on target, as my slightly older also went through a similar phase a couple months ago. Lots of “you’re not my friend any more, I’m not playing with you” stuff, and I honestly think it ends up being pretty meaningless to them most of the time. I believe it has to do with some sort of newly found ability to classify and distinguish among different people. I am not saying I was always sanguine about it, and I would have had the exact same tiger-y response were I to witness a “friend” (the school’s name for classmates) push my kiddo as you described. I wouldn’t push the playdate unless you were going to do it anyway; but try not to take it too much to heart.

    They do start to grow up around this age, I think, and it’s sometimes hard to see for these reasons (plus there’s a new round of “I may be four but I know best”), but good things come with it too–an ability to converse more on the same level, and an ability for the child to recognize people as individuals with differences and unique characters. Today we do see a lot less of that like/don’t like thing and it usually only emerges when someone is really upset.

    That’s not to say I won’t miss the shining innocence where everyone is lovely and loved and disagreements are gone as soon as they’re over.

  7. Might be worth getting the CRB check sorted anyway, that way f they go and do anything else and you want to go with them you can do.
    If it’s any consolation the teacher will be panicking about loosing any child almost as much as you’re worried about Harry wandering. I spent all of my school trips counting obsessively (and I was only dealing with teenagers!

  8. I LIKE the parrot.

  9. Glad I am not the only one who has go for a wee on my to do list! You don’t need a CRB check for accompanying a school day trip. We certainly don’t get them down our way possibly because the teachers look in horror at the idea of ferrying 30 six year olds on the tube/Bus without a band of willing parents in attendance!

  10. I can only hope you had a rethink and put ‘go for a wee’ at the top of the list.

    I too like the parrot. But maggot-racing makes me feel werbly. I am so not good at legless invertebrates (remind me to tell you about my first boyfriend one day *boom-tish!* Ithangyew).

    Have nearly finished cleaning own (miniscule, pet-and-child-free (why am I whining about cleaning it?)) dwelling, and am a boiling vat of resentment. GOD how I hate cleaning. Hate hate hate. Let’s have a ‘we shall jolly well NOT clean for each other’ pact tout suite.

    Also, you really must put ‘have cup of tea’ and ‘breathe’ on that list.

  11. CRB checks only take a couple of days if they do them electronically.
    You shouldn’t need them for a single day, schools are completely potty about this. I’m so glad we have a national policy on this in Guiding.
    Parrot damn sight better than I could have done!

  12. I am impressed with the thoroughbred pedigree intimated by the names of racing maggots, but I just don’t get it. Are we talking garden variety fly maggots here? Do they race in the cracks or on the green bits of the track? And didn’t you mention a flea circus a while back too? I wonder if husbanding insects is your true calling and that hens, for whatever reason, just aren’t your thing. I’m glad to hear of Harry’s adventures in school and hope that overall, his upbringing is less Lord of the Flies than some. I’m sure his mama will make it so!

  13. oooohhh!! A list! Lists are fun because I like to put things on AS I’m DOING THEM which makes me feel so accomplished! And I like that you put the visit to the bathroom on your list. Nothing like putting an obvious accomplishment on your list to boost your confidence.

    I like the map, personally. The maggot race track is ingenious but makes my stomach heave….

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