Sunday, 30 January 2011

Superbaby to the rescue!

Things are still a bit interesting and eventful around here in the not-getting-much-sleep department. We have one very magnificent tooth, but there are clearly more still in there acting all rowdy and causing trouble (is one tooth not enough? Surely a single chomper is adequate to deal with all possible odontine requirements? Why must there be mooooooooore??) And to top off the joyfulness, Lumpy also decided to catch the first cold of his life. Ah, yes, my smugness returns to bite me in the arse once again. Barely a day has passed thus far when I haven't sat there all smuggity smug smug, smugly thinking how wonderful it's been that Lumpy hasn't caught a single cold, or been ill at all, concluding that I have, of course, spawned the mega baby who will never be ill, protected by my breast milk of righteousness.

Yeah, I deserved a right good arse biting.

It's not too bad a cold, so far, and it seems to be disappearing fairly quickly. He hasn't been completely blocked up at any point, just breathing in a way that allows you to hear the wet snot rattling around in his nostrils, making you desperately want to sniff for him (the snotsucker has been doing sterling work, but there's only so much one small plastic pipe can do). He had one morning last week where he came out in an angry looking rash and then proceeded to throw up throughout his Sing and Sign lesson (we hadn't learned the sign for 'projectile chunder' yet, unfortunately. I'm sure that'll be next week.) In my fragile, semi-hysterical state, that was enough to drive me to the doctor, who kindly cooed over my pathetic self and my loudly healthy baby, and gave me some gunk to put in his bath (the baby's, not the doctor's. Obviously), after repeatedly assuring me that he wasn't actually dying (the baby, not the doctor. Again).

I also decided to pick up some delightful food poisoning type thing at the beginning of the week, involving much squirting from orifices, which is great fun when you're attempting to juggle a snotty, toothy 20-pound Lump. Hurrah for diarrhea!

What with the snot and the teeth and the fact that Lumpy is the most distractable baby in the whole known world (ohhh, what's that? My god, it's the ceiling! Holy shit, check out that floor, that really is a mighty fine floo... Good god, air! Dust! Dust! I've spotted some dust! Daddy!! Catcatcatcat... etc.), mealtimes have become something of a challenge. Food that was considered perfectly acceptable yesterday is now rancid poisonous filth, oh my god, woman, what are you trying to do? Kill me? The spitting-everything-out game is also very popular, as is the whacking the full spoon with hand and catapulting contents across the room, and the screaming a lot whenever anything resembling a spoon comes within fifteen feet of the holy mouth. This means that of the 24 hours in the day, six are spent preparing food (at least seven options per mealtime, of which all will generally be rejected except for, maybe, fromage frais, if you're lucky), eleven are spent attempting to get Lumpy to eat, and eight are required for clearing up afterwards (picking slop out of hair, scrubbing banana off walls, hunting for remnants of chewed up slobbery bread in cleavage, etc.)

Lumpy and the boob have also had a major falling out, but things are still so bitter and acrimonious on that front that it's probably best we don't even discuss it. All will come out in court at a later date, no doubt.

But you know what? It doesn't matter. Because I know that the grizzly, shouty, cross Lumpy is merely a guise, and under that plain, somewhat stained babygrow there hides...


With the magical power of Drib-el, allowing him fight crime, torment cats, and revive even the most comatose of parents with a single smile.

Yes, fear not, sleepless, food-covered ones, for Superbaby is here to save the day, galloping in on his trusty steed: cow-bug-thing.

We love you, Superbaby!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Houston, we have a tooth

After months - nay, years - of mythical tooth crises, it seems that Lumpy will not actually be a gummy creature into adulthood. Yes, we have a first fang. Just the tip of one, for now, but definitely there, and definitely sharp, and definitely requiring lots of screeching and shouting about.

This may also help to explain why the nights have been quite so dreadful around here lately. Our timing, as always, is immaculate. Move your child out of your bedroom and into his cot just when very sharp pointy stuff starts pushing through his tender little gums. That'll lead to peace and quiet and restfulness for all, oh yay. Pre-order my parenting book, 'How to cause your child maximum distress and destroy your life in 10 easy steps', now!

Anyway, we're hoping, rather optimistically, that this may mean things start to settle down a bit now that the evil chomper of doom has finally forced its way through. The first is the worst, right? Right? (Lie to me, please). Only 19 more to go, anyway - how hard can it be?

We're also taking the advice of the lovely and brilliant Antonia at Whoopee, and trying limiting the Lumpster's afternoon naps. She also advised that we should make sure he eats as much as possible at suppertime, so last night we gave it a go.

Human foot! The most nutritious food for weaning your baby: full of iron, toenails, sock, and fungus. He only made his way up to my ankle this time, but I'm confident he can do the whole leg tonight.

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Well, that went well.

The planned eviction, I'm sure you'll all be delighted to hear, went brilliantly. Lumpy took up residence in his luxorious new domain with perfect humour and grace, and settled down immediately for 12 solid, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Of course it bloody didn't. Are you stark, staringly insane? Everything in the above statement is a bald-faced lie. We're all, basically, dead over here. But I'm just managing to amimate my sleepless corpse enough to type. I hope you appreciate the effort. You are welcome.

The first night started off promisingly. Lumpy went off to sleep in the cot without a complaint. At about 10.45pm, we were sitting on the couch, feeling deliciously smug, looking forward to our first decent night's sleep in over six months, and wondering why we didn't move our little darling into his own space earlier.

At 10.46pm we were racing upstairs to save our baby, who was clearly being eaten to death by a pack of wolves, so intense and horrifying were his cries. Imagine our surprise when we found no slathering carnivores, but just an inconsolable child, pausing in his screams only to look at us reproachfully for abandoning him. Lumpy has rarely been so upset - even the boob would not console him - initially. After showing his displeasure for about twenty minutes, he finally forgave me enough to have a feed.

And the whole experiment almost ended there. We were this close () (and that's very, very close, let me tell you) to just giving up and bringing him back into our room, where he would no doubt remain for the rest of our natural lives.

But we were strong. We put him back into his cot, and, eventually, he fell asleep. And so did we. For a short while. He woke up a couple more times during the night, but he didn't howl in quite such a spectacular fashion.

(And now I just have to point out that I've had to break off from writing this post about seven times so far, to tend to the aforementioned child, and it's now 9.32pm and he's still refusing to go to sleep, so you might start to suspect that this one doesn't have a happy ending. Sorry for the spolier.)

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, lack of sleep, baby waking up constantly, blah blah blah, my god, even I realize how boring this is, and I'm living it. I do apologise. We had a few days in the middle of the hell where he only woke up a couple of times in the night, and we dared to think that maybe this wasn't all going to be a complete nightmarish disaster. But then - ha, ha! - it all went to shit again.

I wish I had something more positive and amusing to tell you, but frankly the concept of another night like the last two is like a big grey cloud hanging over me, and I just want to cry. I'm trying to dredge something funny out of that, but, no. My sense of humour has just dribbled out of my right earlobe.

So I shall just have to give you some more photos.

Sitting! Look! We're doing really well at that.

Right, looks like that still needs a bit of work too. Sigh.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Harpy Birfdays, Grandmer (late, soz)

Grandmer Lumpies!

I (beings a thortfull and considereat sorts) tried to sends you a card and a lovli big presents (manys present, in fact. Presentz x a millions). I writes it out in best handwritin, wraps up presentz, but those idiots I lives with - they failz to post. Becos they are stupids.

And then they prevents me from coming on the interwebz, with all their screechings and goings on, so I cans not even emailz you. They keeps me locked in a cupboard, you knows. Iz true.

So I has to just sendz you this hugz.

Iz nice hugz. Reelies. Only a bit bitey. And teeny bits slobbery.


Sorry is not wrapped.

Loves from Lumpi xxx

(with no help froms those stupids Booby Badger peoples)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Eviction Notice


Hereby notice is served of your upcoming eviction from the residence known as 'Nature's Nest', in the district of 'The Bedroom'.

The Landlords of The Bedroom (also known as Evil Mother, aka Boob Lady, and Evil Father, aka Mr Badger) have informed us that you have clearly outgrown your present dwelling, and have offered as evidence the following photographs.

These can be compared with a photograph taken some 6 months previously, when you signed your current contract, and were clearly more suited to the dimensions of the residence.

Since then you have more than doubled (possibly even trebled, the Landlords allege) your bulk, and are clearly placing a strain on the available resources.

In addition, the Landlords assert that you cause repeated disturbances throughout the night, grunting, snoring, and sqeeeeing like: "an obese adenoidal hamster. On crack." You also appear not to have paid rent for the last 199 days; a clear breach of contract.

As recompense for the loss of your current dwelling, the Landlords have offered you alternative premises immediately next door to The Bedroom, in the highly desirable area of The Nursery. This alternative accommodation is extremely desirable, complete with all modern conveniences, including extensive in-cot entertainment, luxury bedding (with top-of-the-range bank-breaking mattress, and 100% lamb fleece topper), and ample space to allow for your ever-increasing girth and extensive retinue of friends, assistants, adoring fans, and hangers-on.

The Landlords trust that you will find this alternative accommodation acceptable and will sleep deeply and without disturbance for at least 12 hours a night as a result. If not, you will once again be considered in breach of contract and they will be forced into taking further action. You are warned that there are other candidates very keen on the residence, and also on the role of 'house baby', should you be forced to resign.

PS: Don't worry, Mr Nelifant can come too. And The Landlords promise they'll always leave the door open. And you can come and join them in the big bed whenever you like.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Happy Christmas, everyone (err, we're a bit behind around here, sorry)

Merry Christmas and a right rollicking New Year to you all.

Yes, I know all that Christmas nonsense is old news by now, and we're already sick to bloody death of 2011, but hey! We're tired round here. Someone (who shall remain nameless. But he's small and noisy and has lumps. That's all I'm saying.) has decided that 4am is party time, wiggle thrash snort squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Wait, why are you throwing me out of the window boob ladyyyyyyyy....)

So we're running a bit behind. In fact, the turkey's only just finished cooking. And I haven't even wrapped up all the lumps of coal I've bought everyone (what? That's generosity. Fossil fuels are the future.)

And, mostly, I needed an excuse to post these pictures.* Because... well, awwwwwwwww... ickle babba Santa, nomnomnom, come back, come back, didn't really meant to throw you into the gutter.

And that is all. Jingle merrily on badger etc.

*And, yes, I know Mr Badger has already posted one of these, damn his eyes. But hell, I squeezed Lumpy out of my vee-jay-jay, so I get first rights on all images. That's the law.

Friday, 7 January 2011

In which Terrence has an embarrassing encounter with a cleaning device

Our old friend Terrence is once again a sad and withered shadow of his former self, with a tendency to lurk in the corner of the living room (behind a pile of crap, natch), grunting and muttering to himself about his former glories and the merry killing sprees in which he used to indulge.

Sadly such ravaging days are no more. And, like many other lonely, impotent, withered individuals, he has had to turn to artificial stimulation for his thrills. Usually he waits till the house is empty - or at least till we are all in bed - to indulge in these sick and abnormal practices.

But then he got desperate. He was down to his last puff of helium, and the world was beginning to darken around him. And then someone went and turned the vacuum cleaner on.

What can he say? He just finds hoovers really, really sexy. Particularly that tarty Dyson, with all its sexy roaring and saucy sucking pipes.

Before he - or anyone else - really knew what was happening, he had pounced upon his dust-gobbling prey, trust himself forcefully upon him/her/it (do vacuums have genders? Now there's a philosophical question for you. Answers in lucid prose of less than 2000 words, please). And then he found himself in a rather - ahem - compromising position.

Yep, we've all been there. Innocently cleaning the house in the nude, slipping on some inconsiderately abandoned object, and landing with our todger up the suction pipe. Embarrassing, yes. Completely innocently explainable to the good doctors in casualty?


Unfortunately, all of this was witnessed by one young bystander, who was rather shocked.

But also oddly intrigued and amused.

Yet ultimately just a bit disgusted.

Eventually, Lumpy decreed that Terrence should be freed from his degrading and shameful position. Luckily this delicate operation was performed without permanent injury to his inflation pipe (though it did make his eyes water somewhat). Afterwards, Lumpy had a serious chat, man-to-extinct-flesh-eating-dinosaur, about private parts and why we should keep them to ourselves and not stick them in household implements (the clue's in the name. Private. Pri-vate. Not to be put into blenders or wanged around in public.)

Terrence was, needless to say, suitably chagrined, and slunk back off to his corner to lick his wounds (so to speak).

Boob lady! For God's sake, never, ever get that vacuum cleaner out again!

Now that's a promise I feel I will be able to keep.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Adventures in baby slop

Having attained the grand old age of 6 months, Lumpy has been taking the opportunity to indulge in some serious eating. No more boob-centric, boring old milky diet for him, oh no! He was going to be hitting some serious solid food. Well, solidish. Slop, mainly, to be honest. But, darn it, it was good slop. And he was going to make it his mission to eat all of it. Every last bit.

Let's just say Lumpy is pretty keen on the old fodder. From the first bowl of baby rice, he's gobbled it all down with wild enthusiasm. The only time he has faltered was over Christmas, when I tried to sneak one too many Brussels sprouts into his puree. and even then he still had a good go before the disgust overwhelmed him.

Since starting on the slop about four weeks ago, Lumpy has scoffed (in no particular order) banana, porridge, banana porridge, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, sprouts (bleaggh), spinach (surprisingly yum), mashed potato, four-grain cereal, apple, pear, blueberries, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais, leeks, peas, haddock, turkey (come on, it was Christmas. Everyone had to do their turkey-eating duty, and being a baby was no excuse), bread sauce, strawberries, basil, parsley, a tiny bit of chip, a crumb of chocolate cookie (really not that impressed), and avocado (ohmygod avocadoavocadoavocadonomnomNOM).

And that was all in just one sitting. Lordy, you should have seen the poo that came out after that. In fact, you probably still can. I believe it's even visible from space.

Oh, and paint. Let's not forget the paint.

See my look of stunned amazement at the delicious wall-covering goodness. Like a purple-lipped zombie clown.

Of course, man cannot live by paint and slop alone, and inevitably Lumpy soon decided that he wanted something's flesh. As we failed so spectacularly to deliver the hunks of bloody meat he demanded, he took matters into his own hands. Or, more accurately, mouth.

RIP Mr Badger. Sadly eaten to death by his own baby. Tragic.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sit up and pay attention

Just wanted to say Happy Birthday Lauren! Hope you a lumpilicious day and get to eat lots of cake. For your enjoyment, I present these pictures of a baby falling over.

We're getting there on the sitting up. Really.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

There's a mice in this hice

Eeeeeeeehhhhhhh! A mouse!!

Please excuse me while I leap onto a chair and scream shrilly while gathering my housecoat up above my baggy biscuit-coloured (and faintly biscuit-scented) tights. Yes, I am the woman from Tom and Jerry. My secret is out.

My mistake was to assume that the feline terrorism campaign had finally died down. The catbags had resigned themselves. The noisy pink thing wasn't going anywhere, it was getting a bit big to eat, and maybe they could train it to give them cat biscuits and gravy in the fullness of time.

Oh, readers, I was wrong. A few weeks ago, I was pootling around the kitchen and noticed a small, black feather on the work surface. I thought little of it. There's quite a lot of stuff on our work surfaces generally, and who knows what Mr Badger may have been plucking in there? It was only later, when Mr Badger returned home, that I was standing outside the kitchen haranguing him about something or other (I harangue so often, I forget the source) that I glanced up at the top of the cupboards and noticed that there was a bird perched there on top of the deep fat fryer (mmm, deep-fried birdie. Crispy!) Once I noticed this, I realized that the cats had been behaving a bit strangely earlier, though I had utterly failed to notice any flapping things in the house. We then began the great bird capturing mission, which I did record on camera, but I can't actually track down the photos now, so you'll have to imagine that particular adventure. Sorry for the disappointment. To aid your imaginings, it involved a mangled coat hanger, a nappy net (without nappies, you'll be reassured to hear) and much flailing and flapping all round. The bird was caught and released, seemingly only lightly cat-chewed. End of story.

But now. Fast forward to last night, and the cats were behaving slightly strangely again. But then, they are slightly strange, so we basically just ignored them. And then I saw a small furry thing streak across the floor, closely followed by a rotund cat.

"The cats have got something," I informed Mr Badger, from my recline on the couch (I think my skin may be starting to fuse with the material, which is a lovely sensation and highly recommended).

"What?" he said, leaping into action. "What sort of a something?"

"It was brown and furry," I said.

"It better not be a spider," he said, freezing mid-leap.

"It wasn't a spider," I assured him. "It was big. Could have been a tarantula, I suppose. But more likely a mouse."

There followed a fairly farcical half hour, where the cats would corner the mouse behind a pile of crap, we would start moving the crap, the mouse would make a break for escape, shoot across the room and under another pile of crap, with two portly cats and a pair of shrieking humans armed with cardboard boxes lumbering behind it (by crap, I don't mean literal crap. Our house is not filled with mounds of dung. Honestly. But given that we live in relative chaos at the best of times, add in a new(ish) baby and all the trimmings, and blooming Christmas, complete with tree and sacks and sacks and sacks of presents, and you have mounds of toppling stuff in every corner and cranny, just perfect for a petrified mouse to cower under).

Eventually it shot across the room and behind a rather fetching glass-fronted antique bookcase. Now, when they were tiny new kittens, the catbags convinced me they had somehow escaped by hiding behind this exact same bookcase. But since they have mutated grossly in size since then, they were unable to pursue the mouse into its new hiding place. As it was already about eleven at night, we decided to give up and leave the cat/mouse situation to resolve itself overnight.

We assumed we'd be kept awake by the continuous noise of heavy warfare, and would come down in the morning to find a headless mouse and/or two headless cats. But there was, eerily, nothing. No noise from downstairs, and no decapitated animals on waking. Mr Badger trundled off to work, leaving me to my busy day of, erm, eating chocolate and watching darts.

And then it began.

The mouse, obviously sick of being stuck behind a bookcase all night, made a crazed dash across the room. Meg leapt after, and seized the poor furry thing in her sharp cat mouth, before scuttling under the dining table. When I let out a squawk of protest she immediately opened her gob to say 'wot?', allowing said mouse to dash behind yet another bookcase (yes, we have a lot of bookcases. We can't see them under all the mountains of manure, but they're there, apparently. You can hear the books crying if you listen really carefully).

I then spent the rest of the day periodically leaping up from the couch (tearing my newly fused arse skin in a frightful fashion), and attempting to trap a sprinting mouse with whatever I could grab - including a nappy bin (sans nappies), a vase (sans flowers, but unfortunately not sans water), and a Christmas pudding tub. Unsurprisingly, I was not very successful, and eventually decided just to drag Lumpy to Cowley Centre, as it had all become too stressful, and I needed a dose of chav. And I also thought I could try buying a mousetrap (a humane one, of course. A sort of mouse-luxury-hotel, really.) But being so utterly brain dead at the moment, I completely forgot this was what I had gone shopping for and bought lots of shower gel and weaning bowls and Christmas present tags instead. Essentials for January!

When we got back the cats were showing an unusual interest in the kitchen, a place they generally avoid (they've obviously smelled my cooking). I started to despair of what a mouse-infested kitchen would mean for our futures, a train of thought which concluded in Lumpy being repossessed. And then I heard a scrabbling behind the bins. I quickly dragged them aside but there was, of course, no sign of mouse.

But did I give up, dear readers? I did not! Instead, I grabbed an empty Coke Zero box, put a blob of peanut butter in the bottom, and plonked it down in the recess. And waited. After a few minutes the little mousey came out, had a sniff about, then went back behind the cupboards again. Still I waited. Out it came, and progressed a short way into the box, before shooting back again. Still I waited. Finally, the furry little bugger was overcome by greed, and scuttled right into the box, burying its mousey nose in the peanut butter. And then I pounced, tipping the box up, and trapping my rodent nemesis.

Then I took him outside and stamped him to death.

Not really! I released him to safety and freedom. Of course I did. Look what a little cutey he was:

Mmmm, peanut butter. Nomnomnom.

I wonder how long it'll take before the cats catch him again. And I'm forced to stamp them to death as well. Ho hum.

Evil mouse-munching cat A.

Evil mouse-munching cat B.

Both soon to be eliminated by boot.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Run, Badger, run!

As I seem to remember mentioning in the past, me and running don't really get on. Truth be told, we hate each others' stinking guts. You see, running thinks I make it look bad, what with all the shuffling and wheezing and puking and weeping. I'm not good for PR. So we just don't talk to each other any more. I'm fine with it. I really am.

[Runnnnning!! I loooooove yoooou! Acknowledge meeeee!! Bastard! I'm seeing swimming now, so paaaarrrrp to you, poo breath.]

[It's complicated.]

Other people, however, get on all right with running. Strange, masochistic people who clearly need to, um, stay in more. And eat pies.

One of these odd types is Mr Badger. I've tried my best to break him out of his nasty running habit, mainly by feeding him lots of pies, but to no avail. Recently, I even went so far as to spawn the ultimate anti-running device, which steadily saps you of all energy by waking you up every 2 hours and shouting at you (yes, Lumpy, I'm talking about you). This device worked pretty well for a while, but then Mr Badger got involved in a thing called Janathon, and all my hard work went to waste and ruin.

For those who don't know, Janathon involves running (or doing some other activity, like eating as many pies as you can in ten minutes, or smearing yourself in lard) every day, and blogging about it. It's day three, and Mr Badger has been doing amazingly well thus far. Not content with being all fit and virtuous, he's decided to add insult to injury by cheating on this blog with a tarty new blog all of his own. You can find it here, in all its sweaty glory. Two other distinctly unhinged friends are also attempting this madness, loony ex-rower number one and loony ex-rower number two. I encourage you all to go to their blogs and jeer at their pitiful dedication and fitness.

To show my support and solidarity with this cause, I will be eating chocolate every day in January. And resting my ever increasing arse on the couch. I may also watch a lot of darts, as I feel those fine athletes are ideal role models for such an endeavour. If I work really hard, I can probably put all my baby weight back on by the beginning of February. I'll call it Fatathon. And I'll keep you updated.