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Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece.

Helpfully, May Blossom and Pipsqueak look like twins born four years apart, so I can illustrate this post with a picture of my own child to protect the identity of my niece. And yes, her hair was real.

Two months ago my brother, Superchief, and sister-in-law, Doctor V, had their first baby. Pipsqueak, as she will be known on this blog, is, like both of her cousins before her, a beautiful, sparkly, dark-haired bundle of Refusal To Sleep. She is one of those babies who catch your eye and won’t break your gaze. It’s like she was born in a staring competition. I fear she is extremely clever, and I wish her parents well with that.

Although they live very nearby, since Pipsqueak was born my children have almost constantly had some noxious virus or other that you wouldn’t want to expose a newborn to, which upsets them very much because they adore Sweet Baby Cousin Pipsqueak, as Garnet has dubbed her. He was actually quite cross about her to begin with, and claimed he was the only baby in town and would I please open up my tummy so he could get back in. When I refused, because I am mean like that, he settled for shoving himself up the front of my top, where he spent a good part of Pipsqueak’s first few weeks of life. He hadn’t even met her at that stage, because of the snot, but he was distinctly unimpressed with losing his position as Baby of the Family. Of course when he eventually did meet her he was just as smitten as everyone else and has been nothing but lovely about and to her ever since. (more…)

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May Blossom’s Self-Portrait With Gastro

It’s winter here, and with each new and sparkling dawn comes a new illness. I’m quite serious: since April, when we went on a dream of a holiday to Fiji, one of us has always been sick. May Blossom may laugh in the face of danger (as she told our neighbour the other day after having the dangerous heater pointed out to her), but she is defenceless in the face of every common virus that does the rounds.

Garnet kicked it off on the trip with hand, foot and mouth disease. I realise that for people not in the throes of life with little kids that sounds terrifying and the sort of thing that should bring a team in HAZMAT suits to your door to euthanase your livestock and condemn your farm, but it’s actually a reasonable mild viral illness. The affected sprog gets small blisters on their hands, feet and in their mouth. Garnet was basically fine, if a little spotty, so we responsibly parented him by not saying anything and plonking him in the sea for hours every day. His mouth was largely unaffected so he was pretty happy muddling about in the shallows, occasionally taking bites from the apple we left bobbing beside him as a snack (What? We were nearby on deck chairs but we weren’t going to put down our pina coladas and traipse down to the water every time he wanted a nibble. That’s just an inefficient use of vacation time.) The tropical fish shared his apple, but as they have neither hands nor feet they probably didn’t catch the virus. (more…)

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Because I want this to remain a mummy blog, and not morph into a beauty blog, I shall refrain from giving you the contact details of the salon I frequent for manicures. I will only reveal that it is run by the seven-year-old next door and she charges by the fingernail.

Because I want this to remain a mummy blog, and not morph into a beauty blog, I shall refrain from giving you the contact details of the salon I frequent for manicures. I will only reveal that it is run by the seven-year-old next door and she charges by the fingernail.

In a marriage, it’s the little things that keep the romance alive. Tiny, thoughtful gestures that show your beloved that they matter. Things like taking pride in your appearance. Not letting yourself go. Because it really isn’t that hard, even with the busy lives we all lead, with toddlers and babies and businesses and buying houses and selling flats, to put a bit of effort into making yourself presentable for your spouse. While obviously you can’t and needn’t go to the same effort every day of the week that you went to for your wedding day, you do want him to remember you’re still that lovely girl he married. (more…)

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bruceIn a fit of wild optimism a month or so ago, H and I drank more than one glass of wine and like the unbridled hedonists we aren’t we got a bit crazy with the laptop and the credit card and booked tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. Going out to a concert! we thought. Like young people (well, young people in 1987)! So what if we will have a three-month-old baby at that point? It’ll be absolutely fine.

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May Blossom at work in her office.

A month or so ago we let May Blossom watch Singin’ In the Rain. We were on the hunt for a movie that wouldn’t frighten her, and that seemed to fit the bill. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would then spend hours every day afterwards explaining the finer plot points to her: why Kathy hits Lena in the face with a cream pie. Why Don Lockwood is trying to escape from his marauding fans. What fans are. Why it’s funny that Lena has an ugly speaking voice. Why the policeman makes Don stop singing in the rain and go home. Why Kathy’s job is to jump out of a cake and dance. It’s endless. She particularly likes the big song and dance numbers, though she is pretty disapproving of much of what goes on in the tribute to slapstick, ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’. ‘That’s not very safe’, she says every time Cosmo dances on top of a piano or runs up a wall. That makes me laugh more than the slapstick itself, which is good because not much has been making me laugh lately. (more…)

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Garnet has one elf ear. The other is a human ear. We are unsure what, if anything, to make of this.

Garnet’s 24 days old. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster so far: lots of screaming and vomit. The screaming as been me, mostly, but the vomit’s all down to him.

He has, thus far, been a very easy baby, which is extremely fortunate because I haven’t been an easy mother. Yesterday the GP had me do a multiple choice misery quiz – like those old Cosmopolitan quizzes about what kind of a lover you are, except more about how much you hate everything — which I totally aced, so now I get to sport the label ‘postnatal depression’ and take some pills and have some counselling. (more…)

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Oh for the days when the in-seat phone was all the entertainment she needed.

In about four hours we are heading to the airport to fly for fourteen hours to LA. Then we will wait at LAX for another five hours, before flying for two more hours to Denver. I am more daunted by this trip than I have been by any other I’ve taken.

It’s not as if this is the first time we’ve flown with May Blossom. We’ve taken this trip twice before, and many other shorter domestic flights too. But this is the first time we’ve flown since she has been weaned, and talking a lot. Breastfeeding was so handy for travelling: it functioned as food, entertainment and a gag. I’m just not sure what to expect without it. I gather gags are frowned upon in some parenting circles, so that in-flight option is ruled out. (more…)

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