Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anyone else tried emotional blackmail on a two year old?

It's as well that good things happened this week. After dropping my purse by the ticket machines at Bond Street tube station - a shopping assistant from Russel & Bromley found it and phoned me to arrange for me to collect it from her.

The purse didn't have any credit cards or cash in it - but it did have a load of other personal and useful stuff in there. It was also a purse that I bought on honeymoon, so it was special.

The funny thing was that at the time I wasn't too bothered about losing it - I had a feeling I'd get it back. It's probably because I'm so busy at work that I didn't have space in my head to get wound up over my carelessness.

By the way, I bought her a box of chocolates for her trouble. It saves a lot of hassle when you get a purse returned.

But here's the reason why I have to remember the good stuff - Peaches is finding it hard to go to sleep and I'm found that incredibly hard to deal with. Recaro is out with friends this evening and I was putting Peaches to bed without any back up. I really didn't want to give in and let her run around until she was exhausted.

I realise now that I'm only talking about taking 1 hour and 10 minutes past her bedtime for her to finally fall asleep. The thing is, I felt so put upon and bossed around by her, that I ended up in tears.

Of course, this is after she's screamed for a while too, but she sounded so cross that I thought she'd be sick. Oh - and I had to take a call from my mother in law mid way through. There was no way I wanted to admit to her what I felt like, all I could say was that Peaches was going through a phase of having trouble settling.

There's so much that's bad about this. I was really struggling with keeping myself in the position of being the parent. I even had to walk out of the room so that I wouldn't start stamping my own feet in a tantrum in front of her.

In the end, I'd run out of all my tried and tested options and wanted to cry and make Peaches feel bad. I wanted to manipulate her into wanting to make me feel better by going to sleep. I'm totally ashamed to say that this worked. I sat on the floor with my head bowed looking really sad and she gave me a cuddle and agreed to get tucked up in bed again. I then read her the same story six times in a quiet dull constant monotone until she slept.

Usually I don't mind reading her story books, but I was having to read them so many times I thought I'd go insane - fortunately my frustrated monotone sent her off to sleep in the end. I feel so mean - she's always gone to bed so happy. I feel that I've let her down by losing control and exploiting her sweet - though wakeful - nature.

Friday, November 21, 2008

These boots are made for walking

I've been knitting. So far I've made two presents. As an experiment in following a pattern, I also attempted to make a third present of baby booties. Peaches discovered the pre-felted booties and decided they made excellent slippers. I'm going to have to put a sole on these so that she doesn't fall over.

I've since put them in the machine and they've fulled, but not fully felted. I just put them in our regular 30 degree wash, so this is what I expected. After all, I've ruined enough jumpers to know that water doesn't have to be 80 degrees to wreck a jumper.

Aren't they cute? Lindiloo is holding a Christmas knitting event this weekend at Tardis House, 122 Island Wall, Whitstable, 11am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. I have a sneaky feeling I'll be buying some stone coloured aran to make gift booties.

The pattern is from Essential Baby by Debbie Bliss.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The sleeping game

How comes Peaches never plays the sleeping game with me? She's taken Recaro by the hand several times now, led him to be and told him to sleep. As he snuggles under the covers, she pads his eyes closed and says, 'Sleep now'.

Okay, so she dashes in and out of the room, jiggling the door handle in a very scary fashion. But there he is - tucked up in bed, having a cosy lie down.

What I get, is Peaches dragging the duvet off me at 6.30am and commanding that I 'Get up now'.

Mind you, the latest sleep games have involved Recaro being put to sleep under a tea towel. This afternoon, his comfort shrank to the size of duster. Yeah. See how you like that.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feeling frothy yet?

Unlike any previous year, we have a plan for Christmas;
  • write a list of friends and relatives who will be getting a present this year.
  • go to one shop, browse, choose and buy as many presents as possible in one go.
  • complete the list with target presents from other shops over the next month.
  • buy Christmas cards (we are so not crafty in this house)
  • Recaro to write all post cards for mailing during the first week of December (I have terrible handwriting).
  • post overseas presents by end of November.
The idea is, that by effective planning, we shall remove a lot of the stress from Christmas. It helps that we have already nailed a number of critical relative questions. My mum is going to visit friends in Spain - so zilch levels of expectation there, her sights are set on seeing Peaches beforehand. Since we've fixed the date there's not much more to do.

On Boxing Day we'll have a lot of Recaro's relatives over for cold meats, mashed potatoes, pickles and mince pies. The tastiest, most enjoyable meal of the festive season I think. Christmas Day itself can be fraught with expectation - for us it will just be Recaro, Peaches and me. This can only mean fun, lolling about on sofas, eating chocolate and doing only what we want to.

At some point during all this - I'll see my Dad. He's no trouble - any time will be a good time.

All that remains is to put the plan in action. Incredibly, we got started last week. We took Peaches up to Heals on Tottenham Court Road, London to help us select presents from the toy department. After breaking a glass bauble on a Christmas tree, we thought it wouldn't be a good idea to let her roam the china and glass departments... (what responsible parents we are).

The toy department allows access into the window display of gorgeous, expensive furniture...

Once Peaches had picked herself out a monkey, she was extremely happy to try out this £1,801 chair. Gulp. Fortunately Peaches didn't wet herself with excitement. Don't let the price of this chair give you any ideas about us being anything other than squeaky tight at present giving.

I include this photo just to give you all the heebie-jeebies about toddlers and white sofas.

Also, if you've not been to London, this photo gives a tantalising peek on to rainy days and black cabs... I get to see this every week and I still find it exciting.

It's been so long since I've taken you Christmas shopping, I thought I'd give you an early Christmas present. THIS is the red dress I think we should all be wearing on the day. Alexander McQueen has the corner window at Selfridges, which means I can show you the front of this pretty, frothy parteeee dress....

and also show you the back of it.Handily for a dancing dress, it comes with it's own cushiony-bustle for when you just HAVE to sit down. Yet another gift that keeps on giving.

Friday, November 7, 2008

No smoke in my eyes

This is boldest attempt at wearing LOTS of make up for Halloween.

I really thought I'd put lots on as I was aiming at a really heavy, witchy look while avoiding looking like a panda.

At least I didn't look like a panda. But how comes I left home thinking I had loads of intense Mac black eyeshadow and loads of mascara on - and the moment I take a self photo at the party, it becomes apparent that I might as well have done this for regular day in the office.

Having seen everyone else's halloween posts, I'm quite embarrassed about this. Maybe I just need a make-up lesson. Anyone got any tips for creating powerful smokey eyes?

The rest of my WILD outfit involved wearing a black dress and hooped black and white tights.

Other people had a far more successful time at making an impact - don't they look great?

PSF something I did because it was fun for me

One of the reasons I've not been blogging regularly is that I've been going out to have fun. I took a day off work recently to go and play golf with Recaro and some friends.

Peaches didn't get to take the day off. She had to go and work hard on the play dough, the glitter and the dancing about with ribbons in her hands. It was tough day for her, but she pulled through just fine.

Meanwhile, I played a round in 118. Bearing in mind my target was to play under 120, I was very happy, even if everyone else did beat me.

The sun shone and the links course at Littlestone was fantastic.

I did feel mean for having fun with Peaches. But on the other hand, I did feel a great sense of release afterwards. It was so good to have concentrate and focus on something else without wondering whether Peaches was going to pour water on the floor, run into the road or fall down some stairs.

Recaro had originally wanted to do this on a Friday - a day when we DON'T have childcare lined up. He felt a bit pushed around when I said that wasn't a great idea. We'd have to make alternative plans and I'd only worry that it wasn't working out as well as with the childminder.

So I learnt two lessons from this experience:
  • Taking time off now and then to do something grown up and fun is good for my head
  • Mother knows best about childcare plans or in other words, I'm always right and that's the truth.
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Monday, November 3, 2008


I've been tagged by Working mum on the verge and because I have a shoddy record for responding to tags and to blogging in general, I thought I should deal as soon as possible.

(A) Four places I go over and over: Tea & Times for breakfast! cake! coffee! banana milkshake! Sainsbury's - every weekend is a challenge to not go to a supermarket. The Fountain - either because I'm looking for Recaro (think of it as Moe's Bar...) or it's the only place we can think to go for a treat. The fabulous childminder's - drop off and collect Peaches. I love the little chats at the start and end of the day about what Peaches has done, learnt or is about to do next.

(B) Four people who e-mail me regularly: You are talking to someone who uses a Blackberry for work. My regular emails are from the Information Manager who tells me what work is coming up. Then there's the Marketing Co-ordinator who always finds tricky little questions about grammar, syntax and spelling for me to give the 'definitive' answer. Yes - between us, we are writing the book on correct use of business English. The partner who's very important and is always asking me to just do something else. Finally - last but not least - there's my mother. She has a weird knack for emailing me really bizarre emails with lots and lots of people's names in the 'To' list. I have to confess, I don't always open them - it involves too much scrolling through all the forwarded e-mails. But at least I know how my email address gets into junk mail lists...

(C) Four of my favourite places to eat: The Sportsman, The Goods Shed, Jo Jo's and Tea & Times. If ever you visit Canterbury, Whitstable or anywhere in Kent - you MUST go to all these places.

(D) Four places you'd rather be: The Dingle peninsula in Ireland - it has one of the most fun and beautiful golf courses at Castlegregory and lots of fun pubs. Aeolian Islands in Sicily, Italy - completely romantic, pretty destination. California - never been there... but keep thinking about it. Samling Hotel in the Lake District - it's the most justifiably expensive, comfortable place I've ever stayed.

(E) Four TV shows I could watch over and over: Doctor Who, Buffy, Boston Legal,

(F) Four people I think will respond: Aaaaargh. Tagging! Here goes, Amanda, Gigi, Madame Queen and Imbeingheldhostage. Just like Working Mum, I'm not going to mail people - let's just see if they call in.