Monday, 28 April 2014

Hands Off!

Look at that finger mark in the cream!
When our oldest was but a baby he survived on a litre of milk and a yogurt every day.

Oh, I should also mention he had a taste for cardboard.  Of every and any description.  Toilet roll tubes.  He wasn’t particular about the tissue being on it either.  In fact I think he rather liked that.  Hard backed books.  Telephone books.  Any books. Milk cartons.  Cereal boxes.  You name it, if it was made from paper, he would eat it.

I have since learnt it’s a condition called Pica, something pregnant women can experience.  In its severest forms ladies can chow down on sticks of chalk and lumps of coal.

I was demented by it.  By him.  All I wanted was for our boy to eat something.  Something proper.  Real food.  An apple.  A mini corn on the cob.  A quarter of a slice of toast.  Anything.

Of course, in time, he did.  He is much better today.  Much better. And so am I.  I have since accepted no child allowed themselves to starve when food is on offer.  Our oldest is living proof of that.

Yes, both of us have come a long way.  Granted, at present he might have a slight sugar addiction instead of a cardboard one but I am working on that. 

Once upon a time I used to utter sentences such as: “Please try it.  Just a teeny tiny little bit?” and “It’s yummy.  It really is.  Look.”  Followed by me tasting the vegetable I so carefully roasted and then pureed the absolute shite out of.   

I also used bribery.  “It’ll make you big and strong.  It will.”  

I may even have pretended to be an aeroplane one or twice to try and get him to eat something that wasn’t cardboard.

Nothing worked.  Absolutely nothing.  Except time.  A dentist told me the extraction of five teeth might help.  I was hugely sceptical about that but low and behold his appetite for food has vastly improved.

Fast forward 7 years and we are in the habit of enjoying a family breakfast each Saturday at our local cafĂ©.  I say different things now when we are eating together.

The lads have pancakes and hot chocolates.  Sometimes I order a blueberry muffin and a little bit of cream on the side.  For no reason other than I am the mammy and I can order what I want.  Also I get a bit shaky in the morning and nothing but a good old dose of sugar will cure that.

These days this is what I sound like when the same boy who once reacted like food was a conspiracy theory to poison him, reaches across to eat my breakfast.  “Don’t you dare!  That’s my breakfast.  Do. Not. Touch.  It.!  Step away from the muffin. If you stick your finger into that cream, I’ll chop it off!”

Today I held my (blunt) knife up in a stabbing, threatening gesture in order to keep all four of them off my breakfast.

It didn’t work.

The poor blueberry muffin didn’t know what hit it. 

It was confectionery carnage before midday.  Crumbs everywhere and little faces smeared with cream and blueberry remains.

There was nothing for it.  I had to go ahead and order another one. 

Then I moved to another table to protect eat it.  

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Two Day Hangover
If you’re (a) of a certain age (b) unable to handle your dhrink you will have stumbled upon the two day hangover.

You know what I’m talking about?  You with me so far?  Ok, easy now. There’s no need to nod so hard.  You’re hurting my head.

If you’re (a) of a certain age (b) able to handle your dhrink you might be wondering how you know you are in the throes of a two day hangover.  Let me count the ways.

It does exactly what it says on the tin/bottle/glass - it is Day Two and you still feel like crap.

You can’t stop eating.  Everything.  With a preference for chocolate.  And lots of it.

Your concentration levels are vague at best.  Was that sugar or salt?  Coffee or gravy granules?  Ah, fekit.  You drink it anyway.

All of your reactions are delayed.  It hurts to move your eyes.

You could sleep standing up.  In fact, you suspect you may have just done so.  One of the kids, whose name escapes you, is by your side.  Their mouth is moving and words are coming out.  It appears they are asking for something.  You have no idea how long they have been there.  That wall was so comfortable.

You can hear the furniture talking.  It calls to you by name.  Inviting you to sit down.  Suggesting you bring a blanket and kick off your shoes.  Just five minutes.  Little ones.

Sound familiar?  I thought so.  After the Easter weekend I discovered another type of hangover. 

A chocolate one.

For kids.  Brought on as a result of all the chocolate they mainlined on Sunday.  My boys didn’t receive many Easter eggs and for this I am grateful.  Who needs 50 chocolate shells anyway?

The Easter bunny did his part all the same and left them each a little hamper consisting of a Lidl standing up bunny, an Aldi sitting down bunny, a Malteaster bunny, a teeny tiny Lindt bunny and a few chocolate Easter chicks thrown in.

Enough chocolate to start a sugar coma regardless.

I speak the truth when I say they ate nothing but chocolate on Easter Sunday.  I actually begged one of them to stop eating it.  It was gone beyond a joke.

The sugar come down on Monday proved to me that a chocolate hangover actually does exist. 

So how do you know your kids are suffering from a chocolate hangover?  Let me count the ways.

Laughter.  But it is not ordinary, wondrous, I-could-listen-to-my-child-laugh-all-day laughter.  Oh no!  It’s of the manic, wide-eyed variety which quickly develops into howling followed by crying.  It’s like the child is possessed – they are powerless against the emotions that have taken control of their bodies.

Whinging.  Funny Voice patrol without the helium has taken up residence.  There is an all-encompassing need to lean close to a sibling and talk alien-eze into their ear.  The two day chocolate hangover, similar to the adult two day regular hangover, sees fit that the person is suffering from sensory overload. Hearing is heightened to the point of unbearable sensitivity.  Thumps are delivered with fierce accuracy.  Everything is felt a thousand fold.

Twitching. It’s probably not right to compare the twitching to animals in the last throes of life but I can’t come up with a better image at the moment.  It starts small. Almost tic-like until it takes over and they’re up and racing around the place like Duracell bunnies on speed.  One of them actually thought it would be a good idea to shut his eyes during the speeding.  That didn’t end well.

There’s nothing for it except a gallon of coffee and a couple of hours in a playground where no-one can hear you scream.  And you can sit on a bench and twitch away to your own heart’s content.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday? It was a GREAT Friday!

ON a bicycle made for two!
At 8pm this evening, we brought out the hogs.  

They were a 2013 purchase and the boys were a tad too young for them.  After a week of running around the garden, having slices shaved off my ankles and visions of never being able to stand upright again, I made my excuses and left them to it.  

The bicycles were brought in and stabled for the winter. 

The glorious weather we are having at the moment prompted their dusting off.  Saddles were raised, oil was poured generously onto chains, pedals and brakes and the boys pushed them outside.

Our boys are aged 8, 6 and a bit, almost 5 and just turned 3 and none of them can ride a bike.  

Until this evening that is!

Within a matter of minutes, the two older boys were plain sailing, or pedaling solo.Not a bother on them.  Delighted with themselves.  

GETTING a hand with the push off

AND he's off!

ANOTHER one bites the dust

There might be a few aches and pains tomorrow but they'll get over it.  

It wasn't a good Friday - it was a GREAT Friday.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday, Monday. So Good to Me.

A day by any other name would still be today.  Let's call it Monday.  Because it is Monday.  And most importantly the first day of the Easter holidays.

I took a few random photographs throughout and as I snapped the last ones, I thought they kind of, perfectly summed up the day we had in the Wonderful Wagon household.

So I thought I would share them with you.    

Lovely Liam planted some daffodil bulbs in an abandoned grape container and I thought it might be a nice project for him to take a photo every second day or so.  He took this one early this morning.  He keeps forgetting to take the follow ups.

I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the Awesome Foursome pulling out pages and their colouring stuff.   They spent a lot of time drawing and one may have scribbled with gay abandon but they all had a great time.   Shy Boy decided to chart his crafts in Minecraft.  I love these because he is at the stage where he spells everything phonetically.  "Yuzing ha pen" is Using a pen.  "Bucitt" is Bucket and "Hllmit" is Helmet.  

Wasn't the weather glorious?  Our lovely girl doggy Juno is jet black and finds the heat difficult.  She came into the house several times before dinner to collapse onto the floor and pant to cool herself down.  I find it alarming to watch.  So I was very mean and snuck off (is that even a real word?) without her for a run at lunchtime.  She is really not able for runs when the sun is out. I can't believe I am talking about the heat of the sun in April!!!

See?  Basking before retiring indoors to the shade.

Anyhoo, on my return, Mister Husband had pitched a tent for the boys.  They spent most of the afternoon in it.  

What goes hand in hand with sunny weather?  Ice-cream!  You cannot go wrong with these from Lidl.  1 litre tubs of vanilla and chocolate with decent chocolate chips.  Deliciously creamy and tasty!  Seriously good quality ice-cream for, if I recall, €3.29, a tub.  

And siestas.  Lovely, lovely siestas.  As much as the small ones need their down-time, the mammies need their down-time too.  Smallest Boy is stretching his naps further and further.  Some days he doesn't have one at all but by 5pm it is a real effort to keep him awake.  Today he plonked himself onto a chair and was showing his sleepy signs so I carted him up and deposited him into his cot.  He didn't even twitch when I took this picture.  Out. For. The Count!

If I had to pick a favourite feature in our house I think it would be the stairs.  I really like the window here but if I could do it all over again, I would do something about the half landing and how it completely obscures the window.  It really screws with my chakra's, so it does.  I do a little mental "nnngggghhhhh" every time I look at it.   But focusing on the positive, I love the light and how it beams in.     

My day in a few random photos.  I hope yours went well and you got several long moments to spend out in the sunshine!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Smallest Boy

And then on the 9th of April 2011 there were four boys.    After a little bit of messing and a few pesky overnight stays in hospital, you were born.  

Freshly Baked

The first week was tough and then you came to grips with the world and your earthside home.  

Finding your rhythm and hinting at the personality that was about to appear; a chilled, good natured, even tempered, easy going, cheeky chappy with a smile for everyone and a hug for his mammy.

You were less than 24 hours old and your thumb was firmly jammed in your mouth.  No practice, no messy fingers up your nose, you nailed it first time.  And there it has stayed.

Our pint sized punk

The first year passed in the blink of an eye.  

You took everything in your stride.  Following in the steps of your older brothers you shunned proper toys for Stuff.  Stuff like stones, saucepans, bits of sticks and the like.  You also liked to hang out in drawers.

Juno came to live with us when you were a year and a half old.  She was your cushion, your companion and she taught you how to chew on the chair legs and many times you dined from her bowl.

You love to swim.  

Have a strong interest in Dora the Explorer and Diego.  You also like to shout "BANG" at the end of the theme tune to The Big Bang Theory.  You reckon you're a barista and like to make me cappaccuinos.

And then you were two.  

The day before you caught your finger in the door and there was a scary moment when I thought you had lost the top of it.  But like the trooper you are, you took it all in your stride.

And now, now you are three. 

 Even if you are adamant that today you are four.    Three years old and hanging onto being the baby with all of your mite.  Big Boy pants are not for you.  You won't hear of leaving the comfort of your cot and if school is mentioned, there is an emphatic shake of your head and a definite "No!  Want to stay witcHOO, Mammy!"

And d'you know what?  That's fine by me.  'Coz I want you to stay with me too!  Where you belong.

Happy birthday, Brendan.  You are our squish, our gorgeous boy, our scourge.  You have the best bed hair I have ever seen and you give the best stingers and face rubs in the world! 


Enjoying an early present

Friday, 4 April 2014


I have a very politically incorrect sense of humour when it comes to my kids.  I regularly tell Smallest Boy it is a good thing he is cute or he’d be up on Done Deal ages ago.

It was Saturday on the weekend they were due back to school after the mid-term break.  We, my four boys and I, had spent every waking moment together for the previous seven days. 
Usually we have swimming on Saturday but we had been the day before so energy and noise levels were high, having done nothing to burn it off. 

I needed to pick up a couple of things in the supermarket.  With my four slightly hyperactive boys.  I admit to sitting in the car for a few moments before entering the supermarket.  A few deep breaths later I braved it.

And in we went.

I make sure these supermarket trips are very very quick.

I grabbed the raspberries, cream and bread and approached the check-out.

With my four slightly hyperactive boys.  All of them slip sliding on the floor.

I chose the queue with the least number of customers in it and stood in line.  This is where the trouble usually escalates with my boys.

They’re not out of control or anything but there is a lot of high jinks.  Sliding along the floor, climbing up onto the packing shelf and general boisterous horseplay.  One of them usually derives great merriment from swinging the metal cage thing at the till, making it squeak and creak.

One of the five most annoying sounds in the world.

I spend this time hissing “sssstop” and “have mannersssssssss.”

Sometimes I notice other people smiling at them.  Of course they could be gritting their teeth but usually they tell me “they’re grand” and “they’re only playing.”

But we are not in a playground.  We are in a supermarket.  There are people of varying ages and sizes using the aisles and I do not want one of my sliding boys to bowl into them and send them flying.

One of my worst nightmares.  Can you imagine?

Anyway on this morning when my nerves were very much frayed and my head was very much fit to bursting with having spent so much time with them, I gathered up my purchases and stuffed my change back into my wallet.

I glanced over my shoulder at my skidding, sliding boys and the one who was selecting the supermarket leaflets and leaned in towards the male cashier.

“I don’t suppose,” I began, “that you have any electric cattle prods on sale, do you?” 

My politically incorrect sense of humour in full flow.

He didn’t smile.  Not even a tiny bit.  Instead he put on a most serious look and touched his forefinger off his chin. 

Was he thinking about it?  I was joking! 

Appears he was!  “No, not at the moment.”  He said.  My smile was now stuck between frozen and starting again.

“But we have stuff coming in all the time.  Maybe next week. Keep an eye out for the leaflet.”   

“Ok.  Em, grand.  Thanks. Come on, lads.  Let’s go.”  I swept my raspberries, cream, bread and boys out of the shop and towards the car.

You heard it here first.  Lidl might have electric cattle prods in next week.  You’re welcome.