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S’bin a while, I know. The matchsticks I’m propping my eyelids open with keep snapping.

Harry, Caesar, Praefectus, Princeps, Imperator, etc, turned three on Monday and was carted by his adoring mother and grandmother to a theme park that was quite ridiculously old for him, but featured Thomas (the Tank Engine) Land. The crowds were monstrous oppressive and Harry did badly in the resulting ride queues – no surprise. We went on one ride, plus a trip on the Actual Real Proper Thomas Himself (shssshh!) that was oddly queueless.

We toured the zoo and the climbing frames twice, and, taken all in all I think he enjoyed himself.

Mother & I, however, walked out of there several decades older. We lost him. Twice.

The first time, we were in a closed soft-play area

with a member of staff on the door, which slightly mitigated my unease when he vanished off the play frame. After a couple of minutes I asked the resident staff member to search the frame for a little boy with a black t-shirt and brown trousers (I have a deliberate policy of putting Harry in primary colours on trips to public places. Planning FAIL.) as parents were verboten. Which wouldn’t have stopped me going on to look for him, as such, but the majority of the frame was fairly visible from the ground. I searched the toilets. Mum searched the toilets. I asked the door guard. I began to fight down the panic and the visions of a small crumpled body at the bottom of a drop… or his neck caught up in a rope net and hanging…

You don’t want an imagination like mine, I assure you. It is not altogether a blessing.

Suddenly, he appeared like the genie of the bloody lamp, waving a cushion from the tiny toddlers area, under which he had evidently happily concealed himself.

Little bugger. Sigh.

The second time was… worse. Oh, so very much worse. He disappeared around a wooden climbing frame to re-climb the steps… and didn’t appear at the top. After a few seconds – 10? 15? – I wheeled the pushchair around the frame, surveyed the surrounding 30 to 40ft and – nothing. Vanished. Total Lord Lucan. 

Of course, black and brown really stand out against a double row of 100-yds of wooden climbing frames,

especially when there are hundreds of galloping, climbing, bouncing kids, skittering about in frenetic Brownian motion in front of you. (This photo was taken much earlier, when the place was virtually deserted.) I started off puzzled, moved swiftly through sinking unease and alarm, and rapidly reached heart-in-mouth stage.

I abandoned the pushchair, stationed Mum at the nominal exit area – horribly aware that if someone had taken him, they could be out and a fair way off, by now – and ran round like a demented hamster looking high and low, but it was chockablock with kids and I could see nothing. I started to scream his name, aware that A) there were probably a dozen or more Harrys looking up at me, B) he wouldn’t hear me if he was concentrating on clambering and C) he wouldn’t respond usefully even if he did.

Eventually – and I couldn’t tell you how long it was after he disappeared, only that I had time to die several times – I caught sight of him crawling into a tunnel. I dived after him like a chubby kingfisher and hauled him unceremoniously off the playframe (how I didn’t actually puke on him in sheer relief, I don’t quite know) before proceeding to give him what was not only the loudest shouty-bollocking of his entire life, but also, the most thoroughly undeserved.

Because I’ve never told him to stay close to me, or to make sure he can see me. He doesn’t know what ‘lost’ means; I’ve never explained the word to him. He doesn’t look behind him, he doesn’t seek reassurance, and he’s overwhelmingly self-assured because he knows I’m always there. Watching. The one place I let him roam out of sight is our local softplay barn because I know he can manage all the equipment – and I’m always between him and the gated exit. He’s growing up confident in his own abilities and secure in the knowledge that he’s never, ever come looking for me and not found me straightaway. Great!

Consequently, I imagine his bollocking came as an incomprehensible and puzzling surprise to him. Poor lad. He’d crumpled sadly into chastened tears by the time I’d returned to Mum and she’d retrieved the pushchair – not quite where I’d left it, I noted, absently; a fact which made sense later when I realised that his lovely, favourite dinosaur sunhat had been stolen off it.

*short pause, while we all wish haemorrhoids with infection complications on the perpetrator*

I had lost the will to slog on after that, and Harry was clearly tired – and upset! – so we left, and it will be some years before anyone gets me back there again. 

Harry’s party, on the other hand was lots of fun, and unmarred by aggravation, although there was a tricky time when New Toys were shown to Harry but he was prevented from actually touching them Immediately, Straight Away, This Minute, SERIOUSLY, LEMME AT ‘EM RIGHT NOW!

All the very best 2 year olds and 0 year olds attended, as well as a very honoured (more in the breach than the observance, as it turned out!) guest who had celebrated a very special birthday a leetle larger than 3 a couple of days previously, and had come all the way from Australia to do so – and had then driven the ball-breaker from Chester and back simply to come to Harry’s party. I’m not quite sure how we would have managed without her, but she tackled Miles Behind Party Prep like a bona fide hero. Harry was, sadly, insensible of the nature of the honour of all these far-flung guests, both toddler and adult – all of whom I managed to converse with not nearly enough, which was rather a pisser – but his mother was supremely touched and happy they were there, nevertheless.

(I had, in fact, done rather better with my bloggy visitors the day before, being able to devote several hours to a door-passing May and H, who are not only always an immense pleasure to see, but whom I now know so well that I no longer feel I have to render myself stressed by cleaning up before they arrive…)

So. I know you want cake photos, yes?

I had a demanding client brief, involving much signing of ‘tractor’, ‘digger’ and audible ‘choo-choo!’s. I couldn’t quite see how to incorporate all of these, initially, until inspiration struck. I was pleased with the end result, although leaving the elaborately-constructed chocolate collars

(designed to conceal the box forming the tunnel) in the fridge at home (along with 2 large cheese & pineapple ‘hedgehogs’, 80 cocktail sausages and 2 pots of houmous)

narked me off, rather.

The crane, tractor, digger and battery-driven train were all new, hence his sudden and desperate eagerness to pounce on them.

Waiting until the end of Happy Birthday nearly finished the poor lad off.

And my baby is now 3.

3!

Christ. Stop now, please.

Can’t I Use My Wit As A Pitchfork?

Hello! Anyone still here?

I was last seen making a wedding cake. Happily, the cake itself was munchable, consumed at a gratifying rate, and thus I wasn’t precisely displeased with it… yet vaguely grieved that the finished article had not turned out exactly according to the picture in my head. In my aesthetic defence, not very many wedding cakes are A) constructed to withstand a 100 mile journey in the back of my car and B) made without a single structurally bracing currant/raisin/sultana.

P1070410

The weight of the cakes militated against a trial-stacking of the tiers with all the icing damage risk inherent in that process, so I didn’t realise quite how zigguratty the middle tier was until I actually got there and… yeah. This is interesting to no-one except me, correct? It was edible. Everyone important seemed pleased. Call it a B-minus pass!

Harry and hotels mix badly in our imagination, so  we towed the caravan down and stopped in Wellington Country Park. I’m not much of a one for forest campsites, generally – my primeval lizard hindbrain likes to spy predators coming early – but this was a collection of In The Night Garden-like sunny glades, which was really very pleasant indeed. Our particular pitch boasted a fallen tree, which served Harry as boundary marker, climbing frame, racetrack, horse, garage, and balance beam. Entry to the adjoining park was free to campers, and Harry certainly had our money’s worth out of everything.

Highly recommended for active Smalls, but take either a packed lunch/bank loan for their cafe.

The wedding was lovely. Just lovely, lovely, lovely. I felt so privileged to be there and we had simply the nicest time. Harry was, broadly speaking, quite well-behaved –  although his single episode of screaming, spitting, kicking meltdown, during which he was escorted (‘Mind your backs, folks!’) to the quiet front garden, did manage to rather discombobulate some of the older children, one of whom asked me, wide-eyed,

‘Is he… OK? He looks like he’s about to be…’ she backed away a little, eyeing his retching, lawn-punching little body with barely-suppressed horror, ‘really sick!’

It’s fair to say that Harry’s behaviour has taken a distinct dive again recently; linked uncleverly to some unusually late and disturbed nights. I’d forgotten quite how tricky it is to subdue a small yet resourceful Ultimate Fighting Champion angry toddler into a car seat. My specs were 10ft behind me – in the road – where he’d kicked them off my nose, he had an iron grip on both the door frame and the car, his feet were drumming all over my face and chest and God help me if I strayed within reach of his teeth. I used to get this on an almost daily basis, and while I am enormously thankful that his communication skills – and hence, his temper – are so much improved of late, I was depressed to discover that he’s now 6 months more developed in strength and cleverness. I’m worried that one day soon, I may not actually win.

The school holidays are a mere week away, and I was curled into a tight ball of misery at the thought of EIGHT long weeks of NO School Fabulous. Jesus God. What to do? What to DO??

Answer: bugger off, get a job and let some other poor sap worry about it.

In answer to the prayers of both my husband and the Hairy Exchequer (synonymous), I am going back to work. In what has been termed the laziest career move ever, I am going back to my old job part-time, except it isn’t actually my old job because the original organisation went bust earlier this year (my foreseeing this inevitable event was a core reason for staying on maternity leave forever) and has now been bought by a chap with whom I always got on well. The industry playing field has shifted substantially because of this liquidation, but the goalposts in terms of my role are in the same relative position, so I am hoping it won’t be too much of a shock to my poor 3-years-off-work system.

I am being deliberately vague because A) the (tiny) industry in question is inextricably meshed into local and regional politics as well as B) being a focus of the local media – who, thanks to the MAD awards, know exactly who I am, and that I write this blog. I have no intention of writing anything defamatory about the clients – even in the unlikely event of my wanting to: I have read Dooce, thank you! – but I am a little squeamish of the thought of sitting in a meeting with a bunch of awfully professional suited chaps who have been reading eye-popping details about my undercarriage.

You know how it is.

I am officially Not Sure how the childcare thing will work out this side of September, when Harry settles into 15 hours a week at pre-school. I have pulled him out of the local daycare centre for various cogent reasons, so Mum is having him 2 days a weeks for the short-term and John’s mother is having him for at least one day a week; I can also get work done during the evening when John is home. Of course, that thing called Harvest is rapidly approaching and will trample over absolutely everything time-wise. We’ll figure it out, I expect, and New Work understand very well about Harry and are happy to be flexible.

I am still playing happily with my stationery business, and it keeps me nicely in pin money (unfortunately, I spend great-big-knitting-needle money. Harry has expensive tastes, you know.) although I will likely never set the world alight with it. I am off to a fete tomorrow and spent most of Monday in a Birmingham hotel getting quite ridiculously excited over a preview of my new Christmas stock. Don’t groan!

How does one end blog posts when one hasn’t precisely finished, but one actually wants to go to bed? Ah. A fullstop. Like this>.

I have less than 3 minutes before I have to go out

The tortoise is being a stroppy teen.

The chiropodist who was meant to deal with my hard skin… hasn’t. I am minorly wounded instead.

I had a deeply unpleasant experience with my fridge-freezer delivery men last Friday.

Project Potty has been abandoned, much to the profound relief of all protagonists. We all love Pampers.

Harry’s birthday card is in the post:

I have until approximately dawn on Thursday to make this lovely Lady & Gent a wedding cake. It currently looks like this.

Eeeep!

Updated to add:

Well played, period! WELL PLAYED!

Today’s The Day The Teddy Bears Have Their Black Mass

*taps microphone uncertainly*

Is this thing on?

*shades eyes and peers out into the dark*

Umm… Hi.

This… blogging thing. It goes like – how?

I left you with rather odd anatomical news (from me! What a … a non surprise!) a fortnight ago and promptly vanished.

Well, I can tell you where I disappeared to, at least. Up my own arse.

Selling – as I do – cards, the run-up to Christmas is the year’s main opportunity to push a hapless fiscal peasant off the Hairy sledge as a temporary sop to the ravening taxman; consequently I have been farming Harry off nearly every day to… whoever puts up least sales resistance to acquiring him, really –  and lugging self and stock around all sorts of Christmas fairs/fayres/markets/bazaars/whatever. In fact, if it has stood still in my vicinity during the month of November, I have attempted to sell it an advent calendar.

Then I had an order for a birthday cake for a friend’s son, which I knew very well would mean giving the midnight oil a bit of stick. And then I had another order, for a baptism cake – which I said Yes to without finding out when they wanted it, and… yeah. The same day. Arsefeck.

Well, everything got done – including my back. The order book looks ok and so did the cakes, despite being created mainly between 10pm and 2am over a number of days.

I did have a pure and priceless double-take at the moment I realised I had unwittingly sat the silver baptism teddy bear smack in the middle of a pentagram.

I think ungluing the top offending white dot in question – they were perfectly aligned – and spinning the bear around 180 to face a less satanic direction was when I eventually decided wine just wasn’t cutting it and went in search of the good whisky to settle nerves/tummy/hysterical giggling.

So… I have been reading – mainly whilst bolting a hastily prepared sandwich at (entirely unwise) speed – but you’ve been tragically deprived of my scintillating pearls of commentation wisdom. waffle. Sorry ’bout that.

Which brings me obliquely to my tummy issues. My GP got so distracted by my different heart that he rather lost sight of the, well, you know, the pain, so I bent the ear of the Delightful GP Next Door instead when he made the grave social mistake of walking to our house, in the dark, through a howling storm, in order to make us a present of a pair of tickets to see Worcester Warriors at home. Because when you are an extremely nice chap and the senior partner with a large practice as well as having an entire rugby team to doctor, you thoroughly enjoy having your leisure time taken up with your neighbour’s health problems.

Anyhow, cutting to the chase, I trialled upping my dose of proton pump inhibitors to Industrial for a fortnight before stopping them completely, working on the hypothesis that the pain is either oesophageal spasms or a flourishing ulcer. I haven’t had a crawl-about-the-floor episode for three weeks, although I have been nauseous, sharply stomach-achey after food, diarrhoeay and generally Not Right. I had cut out my beloved diet coke but succumbed to a can yesterday teatime and this morning, sure enough, I faintly felt That Pain waiting in the wings. I am now suspecting Acid as te culprit.

I had thought that we might kill two birds with one stone there, as the military base guide had recommended a trunk CT scan to see what the hell else isn’t where it should be, but my GP opined that that was a hefty old dose of radiation to subject me to when everything actually appears to be working ok (although I think he and I are working on rather different given values of ‘OK’ currently), and sent me for a chest x-ray yesterday instead. Which I… kind of agree with. If it was someone else, I’d be nodding sagely and concurring that a body CT was overkill. As it’s me, I’ve taken to lying awake and Wondering. I’m pretty fucking hopeless at seeing a string and not giving it a tiiiny wee tug; I don’t know what the blithering hell is abnormal in there and it’s bugging me.

The x-ray – when the NHS gets around to interpreting it – will nail down what form of cardiac weirdness I have, but I’ve taken to thinking that the strange arrangement of veins and arteries might explain why my right uterus seemingly has such a poor blood supply. I am keen to see how my reproductive consultant takes the news that my uterine artery is probably fed from somewhere anatomically peculiar. My counsellor cannily described her as ‘from London. They do things differently there…’ And so they do: she is evidently the active-management type (we like that) and likely to order pre-laparoscopy abdominal investigations on her own account. We shall see.

This little lot’s playing on my mind, people.

And… Harry’s had a miserable cold; I’ve spent the last two nights mostly on the downstairs sofa trying to prop up and placate the poorly little sufferer, and listening to his TB-like cough, although it’s subsided today and I’m desperately hoping for a uninterrupted night. I always know when Harry is feeling horribly unwell: he’s so tetchy and miserable he swats the Calpol spoon out of the air and refuses to entertain the notion of that bloody pink stuff coming anywhere near him. When he’s feeling better – and thus, in no need of it – he swallows it like a lamb.

Yep, that’s another black eye, right enough – acquired at nursery, this time. And note that my tiny potentate has managed, despite his discomfort, to retain a vice-like grip on the remote.

He’s such a total chap.

A Tiger? In Africa?

First things first: a sincere and very humble thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful, unexpected, staggeringly generous support. I am truly bowled over by it.

I had thought maybe a handful of you might chuck in a couple of quid for a good cause and I would have been so delighted and appreciative had you done just that. As it was, I kept blinking at the screen in awe as the total kept going up; the fact that so many of you dug deep into your credit-crunched pockets has left me stupefied, touched and grateful beyond words. I cried so many bloody pints, in fact, I couldn’t shift the resulting headache until yesterday. As of this evening, the grand total http://www.justgiving.com/DarthToddler stands at £751, and the gift aid (tax relief) Bliss can reclaim on our direct donation of the £261 raised via the coffee morning, will send the effective value well over £800.

Bless you, internets.

(BTW, UK readers might like to consider Bliss’s lovely Christmas cards. If you are a knitter, there is something else you can do, too: knit some breasts.)

I’m still not in my usual mental place about cake (deep and fervent desire, generally) and I was fair buggered after it all on Sunday. John, with a forbearance he does not usually exhibit, let me sleep in until 10am without muttering under his breath OR inflicting Harry – a bouncy, morning toddler – on me. He didn’t even moan much when I disappeared, grinning broadly, to the Hobbycraft show at the NEC, although it was absurdly, tiresomely crowded and the queues for coffee were daunting; after an hour or so of employing the wifey Elbow into unyielding backs I was beginning to feel a bit limp about things again. I even fell asleep in front of the TV, which is almost unheard of – and followed it up with a night of insomnia, which isn’t.

And since then my arse has not stopped scurrying dementedly about, because this is, work-wise, the busiest month of my year. I attempted to combine parenting with work this morning: my post natal group (which, for want of a suitable collective noun, I term the Piddle) meet at the local playbarn on Wednesday mornings, and I thought, as Harry generally scuttles about the playframe by himself – much like a hamster on speed – while I latte-up and wave from the ground, that I could arrange a regular stationery-selling gig there, and still take him with me. The playbarn agreed, so this morning I saw him bustle off to play alongside the rest of the Piddle toddlers, and had no sooner begun unpacking my boxes of Christmas cards when a friend appeared at my side.

‘I realise this isn’t what you want to hear right now, but Harry’s filled his nappy. It… errr… reeks!

Ohhhhh. Nice!

Gave friend cash tin to guard. Captured protesting child before he could spread it about any further. Inserted him in arms of another friend who had unwisely strayed too close. Galloped outside and extracted nappy bag from car. Reclaimed child. Carted yammering child to changing rooms. Recoiled in dismay from diarrhoea-y output. Noted glumly that vest was heavily… compromised. Trousers, thankfully, escaped with mere light staining, which I pretended not to notice, due to absence of any alternatives. Changed impatient child. Double-bagged shitty vest. Noted sore bottom. Rummaged through bag for barrier cream, unsuccessfully. Cursed. Unleashed clean child back into main area. Returned to unpacking cards.

A few minutes later I am still head-down, arranging, when a lady I have never seen before in my life approaches, holding Harry by the hand. He is wearing … Christ! … just his nappy and t-shirt, and she is holding his trousers.

‘Excuse me! Is this your son?’

‘Oh God.’

She took this for assent.

‘He was running about happily at the bottom of the big slide, but his trousers were sat half-way up it!’

I managed to splutter something about thanks, made reasonably incoherent by shame. The Piddle were all wetting themselves – ha ha – and Harry was firmly shepherded into the toddler section where they could keep an eye on him for me. Work/Motherhood FAIL. Thankfully he forgot about his trouser-removing mood, but later duly proceeded to have more diarrhoea, necessitating another lengthy trip to the changing room. I was worried about him rubbing his little bottom raw, but repeated enquiries about ‘Home?’ all met with a determined nolle prosequi and it was gone lunchtime before I brought him home for a late nap on the sofa, nappy off, legs sprawled and bum slathered in barrier cream.

His portage visitor is coming in the morning and I am guiltily aware that both cramming in more work than normal and the weekend’s frantic activity have meant that we have not done our piano practice, so to speak. His portage worker is puzzled by Harry, as are we all. He seems such a bright little boy in some respects, yet there are some fundamentals that he still isn’t grasping at all. He can answer a question regarding his own wants easily, but cannot grasp anything more abstract.

For instance: although he can give a firm and clear affirmative to ‘Would you like some grapes?’ he cannot grasp the meaning of ‘Have you finished your grapes? Are the grapes all gone?’ It’s not that he has no personal gain or motivational interest in answering an abstract question per se, or even that he doesn’t understand the meaning of the individual words, because he does – it’s just that there’s no comprehension there at all. He listens to my words, but remains impassive, clueless on how to respond, or even that a response is required. Yet if I ask him to give me one, two or three kisses, he wheel-spins towards me happily to plant the appropriate number of smackers on my lips.

His communication is slowly, imperceptibly improving. His proto-words and phrases are becoming more consistent and although he still does not have a single clear word he is sometimes easy to interpret; one of the playbarn ladies who rescued his trousers (pause to wince and mourn my maternal pride) assured me she had asked him where his Mummy was and understood his response. (I expect she got ‘Daretiss!’ (‘There it is’) with an enthusiastic gesture to back it up.)

His gains are so gradual that I’ve had some panicky days about it again lately. His default babble-noun currently is ‘Tayzass’. Everything is bloody Tayzass, all day long. He  has expanded on the ubiquitous Muuurrrrmmm! and his repertoire of animal sounds now includes piggy-snorts, horsey clip-clops (with jiggly rein hand-gestures), sheep baas (glotteral throat-coughs that sound like a machine gun with a terminal blockage) and tiger, complete with a lovely little RrroOAaaaWWRrr and pouncey-paws. I get regaled with the Snorty-oinks, the Muuurrmmm, the Ack-Ack-Ack-Ack-baaas and the clippety-clop sounds pretty regularly from the back seat as we drive around Warwickshire – and his hawk-eye spots a tiny specimen 4 fields away. Tiger-roars from the back seat are, reassuringly, reasonably infrequent.

I have only just now realised (go me! but Yay for the constructive thought-process that is blogging) that his effortless recognition of large numbers of Makaton signs coupled with his indistinct, confused and highly limited use of them, precisely mirrors his difficulties with spoken communication. His understanding of speech is entirely age-appropriate – everyone thinks, bar the reservations over his puzzling comprehension-gaps – but his speech output is currently still fairly banjaxed. He only uses the signs for ‘ice-cream’, ‘more’ and ‘please’ pro-actively, although he uses those plenty and often. Are you getting a cupboard-love theme coming through, here?

I had a fair few people who caught sight of him beetling happily around, a beaming centre of attention, at the coffee morning, later ask me breezily about his speech – in the obvious expectation that I would have news of his suddenly starting to speak in sentences, Just Like Their Neighbour’s Cousin’s Stepbrother’s Friend’s Kid They Cited To Confidently Reassure Me last time I encountered them. And I found myself taking no pains at all to let them down gently – or give them much of a leg-up out of the subsequent conversational hole they found themselves in – when I answered that No, no speech and next stop: Psychology & Brain Scan. Which was undoubtedly uncharacteristically unkind of me, particularly as they had dutifully tipped up to give me some money, but I’ve been feeling rather angst-ridden about Harry’s future lately and its been spilling out around the edges of my Politeness containment field. We saw the little girl who is Harry’s direct contemporary this evening, and she is suddenly three inches taller, spouting huge sentences, jumping with staggering co-ordination and rolling the skittle ball like a bowling pro.

And to think I was revoltingly smug because Harry could sit up and walk first! I know, I know, I know: he’ll probably catch up, and the fact that she’s obviously developmentally surged ahead of him shouldn’t get to me, but it really bloody has. Despite everyone’s best efforts he is still struggling against difficulties with both his body and his brain – and the more I feel like this, the more I feel that I really want that MRI, for the bringing of either reassurance or answers.

And And And And my period is now well into its third sodding week, and getting heavier and more aggravating by the day. My hair needs cutting. My gym membership has run out. I have lost no weight at all. My eyes will no longer accept my contact lenses, and I detest wearing glasses. The gastro thing I kept moaning about so often earlier in the year is still happening, I just got tired of whinging about it continually. I am woken up at erratic intervals, always and without exception between the hours of 2am and 4am, by a 3 or 4 hour bout of debilitating upper abdominal pain. Drs best guess is endometriosis, ulcer or – mostly likely, given the symptoms, but least likely given that prodding my gallbladder doesn’t make me yelp – gallstones. I am currently on anti-acid thingies, with the additional instruction to eat a thoroughly greasy curry and see if it brings on an attack.

I’m too… ummm… chicken to do it.

That is all, as it is nearly 2am and I can think of nothing else to whinge about just at present.

Thank you so very very much, again, for your marvellous support of sick, small and premature babies – and of me.

To borrow the phrase of a dear friend: I appreciate the fuck out of you.

Overwhelmed

…and have just sat down for a little cry.

I’m so very, very deeply grateful for your amazing generosity.

Coffee morning raised well over £500 and still counting.

To say I’m touched is… just… inadequately phrased.

The cakeless internet has raised as much as more than my cake-stuffed friends and family, and you are all invited to tea.

Going away to cry again now.

Updated to add: Still absolutely humbled & blubbering. And my father – ‘Gramps’ – was directed to the website to maximise the value of his donation through gift aid, rather than faff about with paper forms. (This is in addition to selling raffle tickets like a man possessed yesterday AND donating a fabulous planted-up flower tub for the raffle AND putting the topping on my carrot cake for me at the last moment.) He is now awfully curious to know who these generous and wonderful friends of mine are on Just Giving that he’s never met or heard of! Bless you all. And I’m so sorry that Just Giving have obviously chosen this weekend to do site maintenance. Rotters  

CAkes

cakes 2

Cakes 3

Atonement

Calendar tomorrow: Coffee morning for Bliss, the premature baby charity.

State of mind: numb with tiredness.

State of back: screaming in pain. 

State of house: still a pit, albeit with clean carpets. I heart the Rug Doctor.

Portions of cake I have made: about 150. More if I’m stingy with the cutting.

Number of attendees expected tomorrow: anything between 15 and, umm, hundreds. Well, maybe not hundreds. I have put posters up in the two neighbouring villages, and who knows what this will crop. Probably 2 ancient biddies who have only come to steal the silverware and size up the Renoir.*

Amount of work John has done to help me with this: very little.

People I am doing this for: the baby in the neonatal intensive care cot next to Harry whom I watched being unplugged from the ventilator, before being wheeled away to the family room to die. The baby’s parents, who followed the cot out of the ward, holding hands.

Hoping to achieve: A decent donation to Bliss. Amelioration of guilt. Expiation of sins. Exorcism of demons. Etc.

http://www.justgiving.com/DarthToddler 

& apologies to L’eggs’s Tricky for stealing his nickname.

*I don’t have a Renoir.

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