Monday 25 November 2013

The Best Text Ever!

There are two text messages I never mind receiving.  The first one is a mid-week one.

In Lidl.  Do we need anything?

Now, there is a big difference between needing and wanting something.

I usually fire off a quick response along the lines of:  we need milk, nappies and toilet roll.   
But I want chocolate, a magazine and you could get a 6 pack of beer if you want to.

The other text message beeps through at around this time of year. 

Do you want to drop the boys over on Sunday so you can do a bit of Christmas shopping?

I usually fire off a quick response along the lines of: Hell yes!!!!!  Is 9am too early and is it for all day?

Last year we took Smallest Boy with us but this year we would be alone.  Alone with a capital A.


We booted the boys out of the car at their Wonderful Nana’s house and as soon as they were preoccupied, we scorched off in the direction of the shopping centre. 

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a smidgen of guilt/worry/stress/at leaving Smallest Boy when we drove past him, scooting along the driveway on his Y-bike.

He looked up mid scoot and I ordered Mister Husband to slow down so we could say our goodbyes.

He was terrified reluctant, fearing Smallest Boy would throw a wobbler and want to accompany us.

“Ok.” Smallest Boy revved his engine, “get me treat.”  And with a scattering of gravel, he was gone.

Mister Husband took his cue from our youngest boy and followed suit.

The car was weirdly quiet on the first leg of the journey.  There were no shouts from the 
front seat passengers directed towards those in the back to be quiet and stop fighting.  No threats of treats being withheld if the thumping of their neighbour didn’t stop.  No frustrated reassurances from us that we are nearing our destination and wee’s could soon be forthcoming.     

Then we warmed up and started talking to each other.  It was a bit stilted at first.  We may have mentioned the weather.  We definitely spoke about the kids.  We outlined our plan of action.  Pondered briefly, the possibility of the place being jam packed.

But we didn’t care.  We would face down those crowds as only those without kids in tow, can and push our way through with the best of them.

When we parked and got out of the car, I treated Mister Husband to a lascivious look. 

“Let’s do something we haven’t done in a long time.”

I’m still not sure if it was interest or alarm that sparked in his eyes. 

“Let’s hold hands.”

I’m still not sure if it was relief or disappointment that sparked in his eyes but he laughed and, being the man he is, grabbed my hand and we went into the shopping centre.

The next few hours passed in a frenzied spending spree. 

At least once the sharp, panicked cry of “mammy!” made me look around in earnest.  Then I remembered we were alone.  Alone with a capital A.

I did check my watch a few times and wondered how Smallest Boy was doing; was he tired?  Did he have a little snooze somewhere?

I couldn't resist a quick text;  "How are the boys?  Did Brendan sleep?"

The reply was immediate.  "Loud!  Yes. For an hour."
And all too soon it was time for that last cup of tea and the journey home.

Funnily enough, the chat in the car was much livelier on the way back.  It went something along the lines of; “we really must do that more often,” and “wasn’t it great to get a few hours alone,” and “do you remember the days when we used to spend that time in the pub on a Sunday afternoon and we didn’t think twice about it?”

We really must, it was great and indeed.  Indeed.

Back at Wonderful Nana’s the boys were practically on the doorstep waiting for us.  Coats on and everything. 

I wonder why.

Friday 22 November 2013

Unskinny Jeans

Every so often I take a notion to sort out the boys’ clothes.  The school going ones wear uniforms each day so their wardrobes are not hugely plentiful.  Some jeans, few long sleeve t-shirts and lots of hoodies. 

Smallest Boy on the other hand has the wardrobe of triplets.  All hand me downs.  It is both a curse and a blessing. 

A blessing for obvious reasons; whenever he grows out of something, I just have to rummage through the storage bags to find the next size up.  A curse because he has loads of stuff.  I mean loads.

So I decided to do a bit of a spring clean.  He also tends to wear whatever is on the top of his pile so there are a lot of items underneath that haven’t seen the light of day in a couple of months.

These were the ones to go.

I needed to find an extra storage bag to put his surplus stuff until such time as I can find their new forever homes. 

I found a sports bag and opened it up.  There were three pairs of big people’s jeans inside.

Mine.  From when I was that bigger person.

I lifted them out and held them up.  They were in perfect nick.

I tried them on.

Fucking fuckers fit. 

I knew it!

It seems I have fallen foul of calories; the little bastards that live in your wardrobe and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.

I can’t think of any other explanation.

Ah well. 

Monday 18 November 2013

On the Road to Hell

picture credit:

I may have mentioned our Tarmac Tin before.  It is a savings tin that has taken up residence under the kitchen sink. 

Initially we were all hugely enthusiastic and put our spare one and two euro coins into it. 

The boys called it their Tarmac Tin because they wanted the front of the house to have a nice driveway on which they could ride their bikes and draw on with chalks.

I did explain we would need many such tins to be filled in order to save enough dosh to pave over our driveway.

Not to discourage them in their savings plan but to point out the practicalities of their venture.

And as time passed, three years give or take a season or two, the euro coins were replaced with the copper ones.

But, good news.

The day finally arrived when the money wouldn’t go into the tin anymore because there was no room left.  The tin was full.


Almost immediately the boys went into list mode.  The prospect of Christmas, a mere few weeks away, didn’t rouse anywhere near the same levels of excitement in the lads as a full Bart Simpson tin can.

I stepped in quickly. 

I wanted my own share out of the spoils; a little over two hundred and fifty euros worth.

That would fetch me a nice pair of winter boots and maybe a party frock for the silly season to boot.  Ahem.

And then Pedantic Practical Pants stepped in whispering the immortal words, “what about Santy.  You could get loads of Santy's out of two hundred and fifty euros.”

If the lads sighed when I stepped in to curtail their virtual spending spree, my face and heart fell when I heard PPP.

But they were wise whisperings. 

I had to listen to them. 

A quick online meeting with Argos saw me reserve a couple of items, after which we packed the kids into the car and off we went, to pay a visit to Ireland’s largest shopping precinct; Dundrum Shopping Centre. 

The lying began almost as soon as we got there.

If I was at all religious, I would be convinced I am on the train straight to hell.

Of course, if I was at all religious, I would not lie to my kids in the first place and tell them whoppers about who the boxes from Argos are for.

“They’re for someone else.  I don’t know what’s in them.”

“No, you can’t look.  They are not our presents.”

“It’s not Lego.  Because I just know that’s why.”

“Maybe they’re for Grandad.”

“No!  Don’t touch it!  It’s a bomb!  It’ll explode!”

None of the above worked, indeed it just made them all the more curious to see what was inside the bags.

Then I was a feared I would retire for the night and forget about everything left in the car.

Christmas shopping; you’d want nerves of steel, a handy repertoire of lies at your disposal and no conscience.

Which reminds me; I must go and ring Michelle to make sure she will lie for me too when the boys ask her did she get her presents from Argos.

Friday 15 November 2013

The End of The Week

It is the end of the week.  Another Friday draws to a close.

I can congratulate myself on [still] having four healthy and happy kids at the end of it.

Three of them are currently in the scratcher.  There was screeching beforehand.  The kind that if a passer-by heard and reported, they would be forgiven.

It was just tooth brushing time for tired boys.

There is one still afoot.  Well, a-lying down.  He is watching cartoons but as he is quiet and not looking for stuff, he will be allowed to remain on the couch until such time as he does start moving and/or asking for stuff.  Then and only then will he be whisked up the stairs and into his own bed.  

We survived yet another trip to the pool this evening.  The last ten minutes strongly resembled a salmon farm as the swimming lessons finished up and the aquatic students were released to their parents.  But instead of showering they jumped into the family swim lane.

Good old rashers and sausages for tea when we got home.  Followed by the obligatory hot chocolate and lashings of marshmallows.

The car had its NCT during the week.   I watched, biting my nails, at best expecting a FAIL cert with a dozen things to be corrected for a retest and at worst, being told to take it off the road immediately.

I was delighted and hugely suspicious when I was handed the expected FAIL cert half an hour later.  There was the grand total of just two things needing attention.  But who was I to question the gods.

We had a grommets check-up mid-week also.  We like to call it a four-for.  As in a four for one.  In other words we get them all checked.  Shy Boys are still stubbornly in situ. Kind of.  They are “just out” but as it distresses him to have his eardrum poked and prodded with a long metal piece of steel, they were left alone.

Lovely Liam’s are still firmly in place which is a good thing as they were only inserted a couple of short months ago.    

So it is the end of the week.  I am particularly tired this evening and itching to get back to my new book.  The one I was saving all of my Eason’s loyalty points for.

But first, a beer.

There is always time for a beer.

Have a good weekend people.  Thanks for reading.