Thursday, 19 May 2011

Table manners

Today at lunch I burped so loudly and disgustingly that it made Lumpy cry.

I am so very, very proud of myself. As a mother, and as a person.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Mummy stalking

I need your help, dear readers. On a question of etiquette, no less.

Me and the Lumpy went to the supermarket today. I've always enjoyed supermarket shopping, because I like spending money and I like food, so it's a win win in my eyes. Adding a Lumpy into the mix just adds to the fun, particularly now he's sitting up in the proper big boy seat in the trolley, as it allows him to pull stuff off the shelves while simultaneously reaching back into the trolley to mangle what's already in there. I tend to get a bit distracted by this and end up reeling around the store and crashing into innocent bystanders. At one point we almost overturned another mum and her baby - a smiley little girl who looked a couple of months younger than Lumpy. I yelped an apology before the kamikaze trolley dragged me towards the chocolate section (I had no control of it, honest).

When we got to the checkout, the same mum and baby were in at the till beside us. The babies clocked one another immediately and started flirting, big styleee. They were sqeeeeeeeeeing, and bouncing, and flapping, and virtually proposing marriage on the spot. So extreme was their reaction that the checkout ladies and other customers even started commenting. Sadly, this blossoming relationship had to end before Lumpy had a chance to ask his new girlfriend out to dinner, as the other mum finished paying, told her baby to say goodbye (Lumpy waved on the command of 'wave': she was suitably awed and amazed at his amazingness), and headed off. We followed shortly after, once I had finished crushing my eggs and avocados at the bottom of the bags under my potatoes and cans, packing genius that I am. As we walked out, Lumpy kept looking over his shoulder, wondering where his new girlfriend had gone.

And this is where it all gets a bit stalky.

As I finished loading up and wrangling Lumpy into his carseat, I noticed that the other mum was getting into her car just a few down the row from us. We pulled out just after her, and ended up following her out. Slightly bizarrely, we kept taking the same turns, until she eventually went through some traffic lights that were changing and escaped me (I considered just jumping the red in a squeal of tyres, but thought that might frighten the poor woman. If she wasn't already terrified enough by the deranged loon in the beaten up Ford Escort who'd been tailing her since she left Tescos).

And then, about 100 metres from out house, I saw her. She was parked on a narrow bit of road right outside a house, unloading her car in a slightly frenzied fashion. I considered stopping and yelling inanely at her through the car window, but managed to restrain myself, and continued on round the corner to our house.

But then I thought... Now I know where her house is. We're virtually neighbours (sort of. ish. Run with me here). Our babies seemed to really, really like each other.

So what I'm wondering is, would it be unspeakably weird and stalkerish to put a note through her door, explaining how I followed her home (ok, maybe not presenting it in that light...), and asking if she'd like to get the babies together at some point to continue their gurgling romance?

That would be odd and disturbing, and I really shouldn't do it, right?

Or would it be a friendly and socially acceptable thing to do? After all, those babies really hit it off. This may be Lumpy's future wife we're talking about? Who am I to deny my son his only chance of happiness?

I honestly have no idea on this one. Lumpy has not only sucked out my brain, he's taken my sense of the appropriate as well. Naked cartwheeling in the restaurant at work, anyone? Yes?

So what, dear, helpful, wise readers, should I do? Do tell, please.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A round of applause

Babies have this way of pushing you to extremes. They let you get to the very edge of despair and exhaustion, turning you into a snotty, sobbing heap on the floor, virtually dead. But only virtually. For they are clever little beggars, these baby-type people. They know exactly how far they can go before you'll crack completely, and end up running down the street, biting the neighbours, and shimmying up lampposts. Push you to that point, and you won't be capable of making their breakfast, scraping poo off the ceiling, or dancing like a psychotic monkey for their entertainment.

And they certainly don't want that. So, just as you're about to see if you can fit a baby down the waste disposal, they rein you back in with something so enchanting, delightful, and thoroughly wondrous, that you instantly forget the sleepless nights, the endless grizzling, the poo, the chaos, the lot. Poof, just like that, you're a cooing simpleton again, a happy slave.

It happened many, many months ago, with the elusive first smile. And, just last week, it happened again.

We were on holiday down in Dorset, back at the fantastic house we stayed in back in November, in fact. Lumpy wasn't sleeping well. In fact, he was sleeping the worst he pretty much ever has, waking up every twenty minutes through the whole night. It really was exquisite torture. Initially, we thought it might just be being in a new place, and also getting disturbed by us being in the same room, blundering around getting undressed and daring to turn over in the world's squeakiest bed. But then he started to get odd. He wasn't smiling. Even more weirdly, he wasn't really eating. We knew something was really wrong when he turned his nose up at an Organix Carrot Crispy (aka Giant Baby Wotsits). This was deeply worrying. Normally, Lumpy starts bouncing up and down in a frenzy of squealing excitement at the mere sight of the packet, and will devour a hundredweight without pausing for breath. He was clearly gravely ill.

Unfortunately, as time went on, this diagnosis seemed more and more likely. He would suddenly become burning hot, and have unexplained, disturbingly intense crying fits. Nothing could cheer him up or distract him. He was exhausted, but unable to sleep. He spat and choked whenever we tried to give him painkiller, in a desperate attempt to lower his fever. Then, he started shaking all over, and I got properly scared. We called the doctor.

Of course, as soon as we had secured an appointment, we got a spoonful of Calpol down him, and he started to chirp up. The doctor took one look at our sturdy, feisty brick of a baby, and clearly concluded we were loony, hysterical parents. Even so, he gave him a thorough going over and reassured us that there was nothing mortally wrong. We expressed concern that he wasn't eating. He paused for a millisecond, before saying:

"He's not fat... but he's got good reserves. What I'm saying is, it wouldn't do him that much harm to go a day without food."

Thanks for that, doc. Our Lumpy, fatty fatty boom boom, Mr Porky McPorkster.

That night, we were giving him a bath, still feeling rather shell-shocked at our never-ever-ill baby being ill, and feeling rather trepidatious at the night that lay ahead. We were talking idly, and the word 'clap' happened to come up. Almost instantly, Lumpy started to clap his hands together.

Now, we knew that Lumpy could clap. Man, that's old news. We just thought he was copying us clapping when he was clapping. We had no idea that he recognised the word clap. But he does. He knows a word.

We were truly, utterly, awed and amazed. He knew a word. He recognized language. In that moment, we remembered his undeniable baby genius status. We didn't care if other people's babies had been reciting Shakespeare soliloquies since they were 6 weeks old. Our baby knows the word clap. He hears it, he does it. Completely, utterly brilliant.

Am cleverist babie eva. Clapclapclapclapclap.