Saturday, 25 February 2012

The scoop

Alternative title to this post: 'Things you never dreamed you'd do before you became a parent'. Home alone, giving little one her bath one night. It's a scene of quiet maternal bliss. Toddler is splashing playfully and - stop the press - even attempting to wash various bits of herself. Actually, she's mainly washing her favourite bit of herself: her doo-dah (sorry, this is the best name we could come up with, better than the Italian 'potato'. My daughter's not having a spud down there). I'm perched on the bidet thinking that in approx. 30 mins time Isabel, Upsy Daisy, Dolly, Shaun the Sheep, The Very Hungry Caterpillar etc etc will all be tucked up in bed and I'll be laying on the sofa scoffing my face with a big plate of pasta and a Kit Kat (pregnancy diet). Isabel leans forward in the water to reach one of her thirty-five thousand squirty toys and then freezes with a faraway look in her eyes. Slight reddening of the cheeks. Little grunt. Tiny tear in corner of one eye. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Sob (me, not her..). What do you do when there's a great long poo suddenly floating amidst the plastic ducks and, oh my God, you quickly realise that it's disintegrating fast??

Before I go on, I have to mention that I've been reading about potty training and apparently, one important factor is to make sure that kids don't develop a phobia of their poo. Apparently, we shouldn't be saying things like 'Oh Jesus, what a stinker, have you been eating your father's socks? I'm going to be sick' as we change the nappy wearing a gas mask and surgical gloves. Rather, we should apparently be praising the child for their magnificent productions and telling them how glorious their poop is. We should also, apparently, be showing our child their poo. It's not something to be ashamed of, it's marvellous stuff. Apparently.

With this in mind, I grabbed the first thing to hand, a plastic tub with a little face painted on and it holes in the bottom, and deftly fished the poo out of the water. I showed Isabel her rather impressive turd (I'm her mother, I'm secretly proud of EVERYTHING she does), gagged a couple of times as the water drained out of the tub and then deposited it in the loo with a little sing-song comment about how that's where poos go, not in the bath, sweetheart! Eugh. Showered off said toddler, let poopy water go and got out of that bathroom quicker than you can say 'pass the disinfectant'.

After getting Isabel and the gang to sleep, and before I could enjoy my pasta/Kit Kat combo down on Albert Square, I had to return to the scene of the crime, get the rubber gloves out and get scrubbing. Talk about how to lose your appetite. Motherhood truly rocks.

ps: I triple disinfected the poopascoopa tub but have since thrown it away.
pps: apparently, I read too many parenting books

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

More snow, vicar?

It's so cold in our flat that when I shake my head it feels like my teeth are rattling. The Esselunga guy just delivered my supermarket shopping and asked me if I'm wearing a scarf in the house because I have a cold. Don't tell G, but I just caved and put the heating on. A couple of days ago, we got a gas bill for the last quarter and he still isn't talking to me. Consequently, I'm making an effort and turning the heating off when it's just me at home. When our icicle-clad daughter comes back from nursery, I turn it up to a sweltering 18 degrees (Scorchio, scorchio, I hear you cry!). Fortunately, she's so English that she actually has porridge coursing through her veins and doesn't really suffer the cold. Having said that, she overheats like a husky in the Sahara come May and spends most of July and August looking like she's about to spontaneously combust. I blame the parents. Bloody northern European genes.

The latest scaremongering news over here in Italy is that if this 'Siberian Winter' continues, then gas is going to have to be rationed. Good, I say. Everyone else I know here in Milan has centralised heating - meaning they have no control over when it's on or off or the temperature itself. My sister-in-law's flat hovers around 26 degrees from November to March and when the temperature outside hasn't risen above freezing for two weeks, it's enough to make you feel faint. I basically walk in her front door and, as the tropical wave hits me, immediately fall asleep standing on the mat. Isabel goes bright red from head to toe and starts to give off a pulsating glow like the Ready Brek kid. If all those buildings could just turn down the heating a couple of degrees then it'd save tonnes and tonnes of gas (or however gas is measured - in hot air balloons perhaps?) and we could visit friends in winter without having to pack vests and suncream.

Well, the cold snap is set to continue for a few more days and more snow is forecast this evening. Clearly great news for all the old ladies who loiter on street corners waiting to tell me that my child is under-dressed. There's nothing like trying to convince an 18-month-old to keep her mittens on. Toddler logic clearly states that covered hands are no good at picking up nasty, flee-ridden (frozen) things from the pavement. Scarves are obviously for wimps and nothing, and I mean nothing, is more fun than watching mummy skidding on the ice to catch said toddler before they run out into the road just as the pushchair quietly rolls off in the opposite direction. So there.

When is Spring again?

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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Hell is...

1) a teething toddler

2) a teething toddler with a temperature

3) a teething, sneezing toddler who's simply desperate to spend time with mummy between 4am and 7am

4) a teething, sneezing, non-sleeping toddler who gives mummy their cold. Not what I had in mind as a parent when I talked about hoping to instil a sense of generosity

5) looking after said teething, sneezing, non-sleeping toddler with a bone-aching cold myself and, horror to end all horrible horrors, no CBeebies because the internet is down

6) the slow realisation that no internet = no email, no Facebook and no BBC. Free fall panic. There's a minimum number of UK cookery programmes/soap operas/satirical news shows etc I need to see a week in order to survive this motherhood business

7) nothing for entertainment but Italian TV. ie: boobs and bums and 'Jersey Shore'(more boobs and bums). Re-runs of badly dubbed 'Murder She Wrote'. And that's prime time, I can't even talk about what's on mid-afternoon

8) did I mention that it's been snowing for 2 days and it's minus 5 outside?

9) btw, I'm 6 months pregnant. No medicine for that cold, signora. I'm tempted to sneak a few gulps of Isabel's Calpol

10) and G is away

Peekaboo! Sorry, that was the sound of me losing it...

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