Thursday, 21 August 2014

Today I ate dog food and caught my fingers in a mouse trap. On purpose.

No, I wasn't partaking in some hazing to join a local drinking club. I was emulating my daughter.

I have dog. He is brilliant with Olive, incredibly patient, gentle and most importantly tries to ignore her whenever he can. When he can't (like when she is trying to ride him like a horse) he generally gets up and finds another quiet spot away from her inquisitive little fingers. If you have kids - she is the Zachary Quack to his Hairy Maclary.

He is unlike most dogs I know in his attitude to his food. I give it to him, he'll go and have a nibble. Go away again come back for a bit more later, and continue in that manner for the rest of the day.

Olive loves his food. The moment my attention is elsewhere - she tears across the kitchen as fast as her two arms and two legs can carry her heading straight for the bowl. If she makes it in time she stuffs a handful of dry dog biscuits in her mouth managing to combine a triumphant grin with a clenched lips as I try to extract the food from her mouth.

This is particularly depressing when moments earlier she may well have turned her nose up at the tempting, hand-crafted, turkey and apple meatballs I've offered her.

I know that safety standards specify dog food must be fit for human consumption and, to my knowledge, she has never actually swallowed any just held the biscuits (too large to choke on) in her mouth. But I think we can all agree it is a bit icky.

This morning, happily holed up in the sitting room far from temptations of canine cuisine, Olive went exploring. I like to let her exert her independence, and from my vantage point thought I had identified and neutralised any potential hazards.

Under the side board - long forgotten, left at Christmas when we saw a tiny mouse scurrying across the floor  - was a mouse trap.

You can guess the tiny fingers in trap outcome.

It is a testament to how wonderful a mother I am that it was only my second impulse to take a quick photo. My first instinct was to remove her little fingers from the trap, and whilst I might do a lot for a photoshoot I am not about to re-enact that scenario.

Luckily the trap wasn't one of those vicious metal numbers but a gentler (if not exactly gentle) plastic version. Her fingers didn't even have a mark and her tears dried pretty quickly.

Once she was in her bed for her morning nap my mind kept wondering back to these potential hazards and how bad they were.

Which is why I purposefully caught my fingers in the trap - and concluded it was unlikely to have caused any lasting damage.

I'm not quite sure why I decided to put a dog biscuit in my mouth.

I suppose I wanted to see how much would have dissolved in her mouth before I hoiked it out, and whether it tasted very strongly of anything that could be bad. My conclusion was it didn't taste of very much and would take a fair bit of chewing to break it down. So - whilst I'm going to continue in my attempts to keep Olive and the food apart - I suspect it is less harmful than a salty crisp (not that she is getting any of them either).

My devotion to my daughter's comfort only goes so far - she had her one year jabs yesterday. I wasn't about to jab myself in sympathy, I did far too much of that to get her in the first place, on this she is on her own...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Ages ago I was approach by a journalist asking if she could pitch my baby-making story to a magazine. Yeah, I thought, not really expecting anything to come of it - I mean "woman has baby through IVF" isn't as compelling a headline as it would have been 35 years ago.

Then it got picked up and I was told a photographer would come round to my house. This took me back a bit as I realised my anonymity would be gone but then I looked at the photographer's website, and she was amazing. Who wouldn't relish the opportunity to be photographed by the same person who'd snapped Stephen Fry, Jarvis Cocker and James McAvoy? Besides, I was never going to book a family photoshoot (despite the photography studios on my road having some amazing props, like golden thrones, and scenery backdrops - hmmm, I think I might have just talked myself into it) and so this was my opportunity to get some professional pics.

The photoshoot happened in January, and then nothing.

Until today.

Holy shit! I got a full page photo.

In The Telegraph.

No chance of hiding that then.

So, regular readers: Hi, that is what my face looks like.

Folk who read the article and decided to pop over to have a look at the blog: Nice of you to come past, there is years of stuff on this blog so if you want to read more I suggest you cut through the dross and just click on the Highlights link to the left.

Relatives who found out about the blog through reading the article: ummm ... yeah. Please don't read the sex bits?

Old acquaintances who saw my massive pic and thought "Wow. She looks like that girl I went to school with": This is why I stopped using facebook - too many baby pics. But congratulations on your broods.

I feel a bit sick.

Be gentle with me.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

How to fake a first Birthday Party

1. Go on holiday the day after your daughter's first birthday and decide, as a result, that she doesn't need a birthday party.

2. Holiday with a bunch of other people. In total 12 adults and 13 children.

3. Ensure that one of the people you go on holiday with has a birthday during the week.

4. Plan a big birthday tea for said individual including cake, candles and birthday banner.

5. Go through the bag of hand-me-downs that one of your friends has brought along from when her two daughters were little. Find a pretty party dress.

6. Plonk your child under the birthday banner.

7. Take photo.

Tah-dah!!!! Something for the photo album, and she'll never know she didn't have her very own birthday party.

You ... you won't tell her will you?