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Archive for the tag “toddler”

Our daily bread

I entered the shop this morning to find that Shopmeister had been left holding the baby.  No, I don’t mean he was running the shop by himself, although he was also doing that, he was literally holding an infant.

Saturday mornings are a good day to attend the shop all year round.  There is always a boat on Friday so on Saturdays you can stock up on milk, bread and vegetables.  Although in the winter the boat arrives at lunchtime on the Friday so it’s not advisable to leave your shopping until late on the Saturday morning as you are likely to find that the shelves have been picked clean and there is no milk and no bread and you will be reduced to eating UHT and oatcakes…………..again.

A few weeks ago we had dinner with the couple who live next door (well, in the neighbouring field) and the new school teacher.  We have all moved to Colonsay from cities fairly recently and talk turned quickly to what we missed about the mainland.  Cafes was definitely a common theme.  The Pantry is great but having lived in Edinburgh I was used to there being a cafe on ever corner many with play areas for children.  In fact there was a lovely pub at the end of our street where you could let the little darlings loose in the massive play area whilst drinking yourself into oblivion if you so desired.  They would even help you carry your pram up the steps.

One of the things I am most surprised to miss is the Scotmid at the other end of the road.  For those of you not familiar with Scottish culture Scotmid is a chain of small supermarkets (I think they are owned by the Co-op) they are quite cheap and distinctly un-middle class.  It won’t surprise you to learn that the Scotmid was at the other end of the street from the yummy mummy pub.  Our street acted as a kind of bridge between posh Edinburgh and scummy Edinburgh.  At one end was the baby friendly pub, Valvona and Corolla, John Lewis and the New Town; at the other Scotmid, a betting shop, several (very good) charity shops and a football stadium.  You could say we lived in purgatory.  Anyway, although Scotmid stood next to a very nice little bakery we rarely went in there.  Instead, on a Saturday morning after I had taken Helen to an even more middle class part of Edinburgh to her Tumble-tots class (sort of like SAS training for toddlers) I would pop into Scotmid.  By 11am they would have received a delivery of freshly baked bread, croissants and rolls.  Helen and I would buy a few and stroll home avoiding the dog poop and puddles of vomit on the street to a pleasant family brunch. The bread was always delicious, fresh and soft – one of my favourite things about weekend mornings.

Since moving to Colonsay we’ve had to give up on this kind of thing.  Although there are still plenty of SAS style activities for the children to engage in the only fresh bread that is readily available is my own.  I’m actually quite a good baker – in fact I won first prize for a loaf of non-breadmaker white bread in the recent root and grain show (sorry to blow my own trumpet there) – but getting up on a Saturday morning and making the bread yourself doesn’t create the same leisurely brunch mood.

So you are probably wondering why I’m still wittering on about bread, cafes, Edinburgh and my past life whilst leaving poor Shopmeister stranded in the shop holding Shopbaby.  Let’s just take a minute to discuss Shopbaby.  Shopbaby looks how I would like my children to look.  In fact they often look like she does on leaving the house but by the time we go anywhere they are generally plastered  with food, hair stuck to their faces with snot with questionable stains on at least one item of their apparel. Shopbaby always looks like she has just stepped out of a salon.  She is always well coordinated, I have never seen her with sick in her hair and her hair is always fluffy and shiny not matted with food or non-existent as in the case of my two terrors.  Shop baby was a little grumpy this morning though.  Shopmesiter was holding her in that slightly tentative manner that indicated to all present (me) that she may detonate at any moment.

Fortunately Shopmeistress was not gone long.  She had spent the morning slaving over a hot oven to produce the very same bread that our local shop used to sell!  Evidently the islanders had fallen upon it like starving animals and she had to rush home to bake more.  Word spread like wildfire across the island – people were phoning in their orders and rushing to collect them.  No sooner had she arrived with the second batch it was gone and we were lucky not to have been trampled in the rush! High on refined carbohydrates the islanders had become insatiable.  We managed to emerge victorious from the melee carrying a bloomer, two rolls and a croissant (for Allan).  Helen carried the bread out to the car in a reverent fashion ‘it’s warm mummy, it’s still warm’.  She insisted on holding it all the way home.  Sadly when we reached this house there wasn’t much of it left – next week we’ll have to order double!

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Child for Sale

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!!

Oh that was cathartic.  O.K. a warning if you are not the sort of person who can empathise with a mothers need to club her child over the head with a baby seal from time to time please read no further.

Today has just been one of those days and having just spent 10 minutes trailing around the house after a pyjama clad toddler who point blank refuses to go to bed without her plastic tea pot I am seriously considering putting both of my children on eBay.

Sally didn’t sleep well last night, consequently neither did I.  Sadly Helen slept a little too well and thus declined her afternoon nap, depriving me of mine.  Sally’s afternoon nap was brutally cut short by a bad case of poopus interuptus meaning that by five o’clock I was grumpy and frazzled and both of my children were orbiting the ceiling.

5 O’clock is usually a happy time when Allan arrives home and interacts with the children whilst I cook dinner.  Sadly on a Monday night Allan goes to fire brigade training.  (Really this means he stands around gossiping like an old woman whilst dressed in his fire fighting finery) While he is out enjoying himself I have to cook tea, then bathe and bed the two little monkeys.  A job which usually fully occupies both of us.  Tonight after cooking a gourmet meal of frozen pizza, baked beans and broccoli (well one must have some standards) I spent around an hour trying to tempt Helen to the table.  She has recently discovered the concept of picnics.  As a result a number of pop up cafes have sprung up around our home.  In these locations various toy animals are treated to a variety of delicacies such as plastic toast, plastic potato, wooden fruit, plastic chicken drumstick, building blocks and (my personal favourite) mouldering apple.  I found a cache under a chair in the kitchen which had obviously been there for some time today.  These feeding areas are as sacrosanct as any religious site and cannot be interfered with under any circumstances even though the high chair the rats sit in entirely obstructs access to Helen’s own booster seat.  Furthermore once mealtime is announced Helen then has to make her rounds of the catering establishments checking that the needs of the toys are all met before she can possibly imagine eating something herself.  Whilst I admire her Little House on the Prarie – esq principles I really wish she would just sit down at the table and eat her dinner.

Once she had deigned to join us at the table she demanded a wholegrain cracker (because Sally had one) then proceeded to pile beans on top of it and then refuse to eat it because it looked ‘minging’.  She did eat most of her pizza but sneaked her broccoli onto Sally’s tray when she thought I wasn’t looking – Sally was looking though and that broccoli was a goner in no time.

Helen is always good whilst I am putting Sally to bed because I bribe her with children’s television.  Even better Cbeebies end at 7pm which is exactly when I lay Sally down so usually we don’t even have to argue over my brutal turning off of the television mid programme.  Not tonight though – Helen almost burst into tears at my high-handed turning off of the blank screen.

Next she refused to open her mouth to have her teeth brushed – I can’t remember what dire threat I came up, perhaps I threatened to pull the plug out of the bath but anyway I won and finally I had her pyjamas on and we were onto the home straight of bedtime.  We were onto the second story and my mind had wandered longingly to a cool class of white wine when Helen suddenly announced that she needed a picnic in bed and leaped up to start gathering the necessary utensils.  I staunchly continued the story but eventually I could not ignore her increasingly passionate demands for her plastic teapot.  A quick tour of the house failed to uncover the necessary tableware.  I tried reasoning with her – you don’t really need a teapot in bed surely a cup of tea will be enough.  Negotiation – I can’t find the teapot but you can have Sally’s caterpillar.  I tried being firm – Helen I’m getting quite cross now; you’re just going to have to go to bed without your teapot.  The final threat resulted in the flappy hands and jutting lip of the overtired two year old on the verge of a major tantrum.  We searched the house again.

Eventually she was snuggled up in bed with the teapot (which we had found in the tumble drier) a plastic roasting dish, a ladle and the toy rats (oh and Sally’s caterpillar).  I was about to start my rendition of twinkle twinkle little star when Helen played her trump card and announced that there were pets in her bed.  I don’t know where these pets have come from but every time Helen goes to bed it is now overrun with pets – species unspecified.  There appear to be so many of them that Helen could not possibly get in beside them.  Oh no!  I must pick them up and carry them to a cardboard box in the utility room (kept there specifically for that purpose) in which they will sleep.  Oftentimes the pesky creatures will escape during the night and Allan or I will be summoned to remove them which we do with increasingly bad grace as the hour grows later.  I don’t know where the idea came from.  Her imagination astounds me.  We also have a family of pigs living with us who frequently wave at Helen and make extremely funny jokes when I’m not listening.  If I had my way all of these unwanted house guests would be banished down to the weaves but Helen won’t hear of it.

Anyway both children are now safely tucked up in bed.  I am ignoring the cavorting and giggling coming from Helen’s room.  No doubt the pigs are keeping her entertained.  Now I’ve vented I’m off to look for that glass of wine.

 

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Puppie’s picnic
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Sally’s picnic

 

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