Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012 - Hold on to your Hats!

Suddenly, it’s almost the middle of January, and the New Year is galloping off out of sight. I can’t be exactly sure how that happened, although I suspect it might have had something to do with NO NURSERY, and alot of Very Questionable Parenting.  For FOUR WEEKS. 
I am weary, as my grandmother used to say.
Anyway, it being the first post of the year, I’d like to wish you all a very very happy,  eventful and adventurous one (if you have the energy for either events or adventure;  or even, come to think of it, for happiness).  At the very least, I hope you all get a break from parenting, questionable or otherwise, now and again.
In the brief pockets of time I’ve had to myself over the past month (now, for instance, while the Man is cooking me dinner;  and yesterday while the Boy was glued to Toy Story 3 and the Girl was examining the contents of her lady-bum) I’ve been ruminating on New Year Resolutions.  I have been advised by many people, wiser than I, to avoid them or, at the very least, to resolve to do something I quite like doing anyway. Which I think sort of defeats the purpose somewhat.  And doesn’t give me anything to beat myself up about when I realise in February May that they’ve all fallen apart.  This is what I’ve come up with so far:
Speak more slowly to the kids.  To the Boy in particular.  It struck me over the holidays that the Man and I talk at a million miles an hour, and cram way too much information into what should in fact be relatively simple instructions. (Eg:  “Comeandputyourshoesonyourblueshoeswhichareunderthesofawehavetogettotheshopsnowquickcomeonputthemonwhyarentyoulistening” – in the same amount of time it would take a normal person to say:  “Put on your shoes now”).  Perhaps it’s not so much that the Boy doesn’t listen to us, rather that he can’t make head nor tail of what we’re saying.  It also has the added bonus of keeping me (somewhat) calm:  it’s near impossible to lose your rag if you’re talking like a record set at 33rpm (try it and see;  at best you just sound like an aggravated village idiot). 
The downside – apart from sounding retarded – is that I’m virtually unable to switch from slooooooooooooooooooowwwww taaaaaaaaaaaaaalk to normal talk at the end of the day.  So the Man is subjected to kiddie-speak for the time it takes me to down a G&T, by the end of which I’m usually back up to speed.  Literally.  
Stop travelling with the kids so much.  This came to me when we were in Sweden for Christmas.  And again when we were in Dublin, a week later.  And then again when we were away for the weekend the day after we got back from Dublin.  It creates way too much laundry and ill-temper, and leaves me broke and exhausted and confused.  The kids love it, of course, because while travelling, they exist largely on a diet of lollipops, dvds and staying up late.  I do not like any of these things and tend to not like the children very much during this time either.  In the interests of maternal mental stability harmony, I shall be culling all non-essential family travel in 2012. 
Detox for a week at some point this month. I have to be careful about this one – the last two times I’ve done it, I’ve found self in the family way not long soonafter.  It’s not a crazy cabbage-soup detox nonsense – just no alcohol, no sugar, no salt, no wheat, no animal products... Basically, I become a very very dull vegan for a few days.  I’m hopeful however that I’ll get organised enough to make it a bit more interesting this year (by the cunning addition of crack cocaine!  Ok, maybe not);  I got two fantastic cookery books as gifts over Christmas – this one and this one – and I LOVE them both.  The plan - just as soon as I’ve finished all the biscuits in the house - is to create a 2 7-day food plan using no-alcohol no-sugar etc etc recipes from both of them, and surround self with fruit and nuts, so I don’t  have the opportunity to lapse.  Then, just in time for my friend’s mega birthday bash at the end of the month, I will prise myself from my vegan sugar-free cocoon, lithe and lovely and (ready to become a) lush...  
Abandon, for good, all thoughts of getting the kids a puppy.  I occasionally toy with this crazy notion, usually on my return from the park when the kids have been falling over every mangy mutt which crosses their path.  So it was with joy and excitement that I skipped over to Ireland with them last week, giddy with the anticipation of their meeting their grandparents’ new canine addition.  Noone warned me, however, that puppies are basically furry, scratchy, bitey toddlers. In fact, they comprise the very worst elements of toddlerdom, with added teeth and claws. This dog – beautiful tho' he was – whined and cried and chewed and pissed ALL DAY LONG.   At one point I heard the Girl screeching blue murder and looked down to see him trying to, ahem, make love to her... I’m not sure who was more traumatised – the Girl, crouching, shaking and dishevelled, or the puppy – hauled up by the ears and thrown the length of the room, mid-hump. Anyway, the whole experience gave me the reality check I needed about introducing any further chaos into our lives, so puppies ‘r’ not us.  Not this (or next) year anyway.
And that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.  Do let me know, however,  if there’s anything obvious I’ve missed, or which you think could add a layer of interest to what is, 11 days in, panning out so far as quite a dull year.  Talk about jinxing myself...


  1. My brother's family has just got a puppy. It shits everywhere and you can't put a nappy on it. Their Volvo stinks. Never. Never.

  2. Good luck on your detox. I was slightly successful for week one of a simple sugar fast (no breads, no refined sugars, no alcohol [though I allowed vodka as it has no sugar], no fruit, etc). Then I went off the reservation and drank loads of wine. Today is day one of restart and the stupid thing goes for three weeks.

    Because I am some sort of masochist.

  3. I'm actually trying to talk myself out of getting a dog. I've always had a dog (usually 2) growing up and I really love them. The girls only like the little ankle-biter yippy type and I like the sporting, larger "let's go for a swim and then sleep for 5 hours" type. But the fur *everywhere* and my hatred of cleaning might not work out. Plus we drive back and forth a lot and the car isn't big enough for 4 of us and a drooler who wants to stick his head out the window, even in February. But I still keep looking for a perfect dog for me anyway...

    That detox sounds positively awful. But then again, I've no will-power to give up a single vice even for a day. He came home with some Extreme Workout DVD set last night (subtle hint for me) and I laughed in his face. Hey, I got off of the couch! Ta-da! Tune in next week when I walk ALL THROUGH the grocery store. Weekly program complete.

  4. I've added one to my list: get free home delivery grocery shop as often as possible i.e. remember to do it before I run out of everything and have to run to the garage shop. Love the comment about allowing vodka as it is sugar free. Clever thinking, that is.

  5. Love your site!
    Reading your resolutions I'm with you on nr 1. Not sure about nr 2, I just looove traveling as my kids seem to behave much better on the road. Everybody thinks they are angels but at home they tear down the place from boredom... We spent New year's in Germany with another family of 3, and had a ball. I'm already planning the next trip, but it does not match my other resolution, which is cut down on spending.

  6. I saw this and thought of you, my dear. Of course, sections may be larger or smaller than they appear, depending on your own IMP (Insane Midget Posse).

  7. my children want a dog. They think that now we have a cat this means all bets are off re animals. I found myself thinking about dogs over christmas in a 'let's have one' sort of way. Your post has reminded me why it would be INSANE to give in. NO. and NO.

  8. If I have managed to save one family from the carnage of owning a puppy, then my time here on Earth will have been a success... (I realise of course that many many people manage to enjoy family life with a hound in their midst, but seriously: aren't the days long enough as it is??) Perhaps the detox is making me crabby. Simply - your vodka suggestion may be my salvation...

  9. Crack cocaine. So simple. Sugar and fat free. No carbs as far as I know. Genius. Would certainly make January go with more of a bang. No detox should be without it.