Sunday Ramble

Designing Party Invites

Designing Party Invites

It’s been a long, long weekend. Both my daughter’s teachers came out on Friday to say she’d been subdued during class (even though I told them when I dropped her off that she has a cold. They’re hot on attendance and so have to take the consequences!) and my son’s nursery key worker said he burst into tears fifteen minutes after I dropped him off (which isn’t like him).

We’ve all got this head cold that seems to have tiredness and grumpiness as by-products. I feel like I’ve done nothing but nag at the children and tell them off all weekend, which in turn leads to endless Mummy guilt and feelings of general despair that I’m scarring them for life with my constant snapping and snarling.

It certainly hasn’t been the weekend for trying to organise a child’s birthday party (I feel sorry for the other mum I’m planning the party with!) Still, I managed to get the invitations printed (although not written as I ran out of envelopes), the disco booked and we agreed on a village hall and booked it. Baby steps, little milestones. I have to say, I hate organising children’s parties. The child in question gets so hyped up and excited, “is it tomorrow, is it tomorrow?” and there are so many details to manage. Not to mention the idea of having 40 kids in a hall. That’s why the disco: trying to entertain eight children in our house last year showed us that we are not children’s entertainers! 🙂

My answer to everything this evening

My answer to everything this evening

I’m trying to think what else we did this weekend but it’s a bit of a blur. We went to see my father-in-law, who has just come back from a trip to New Zealand. He brought a newspaper back from the town I lived in while I was there – Dunedin – and it made me homesick. Even though I had the ups and downs of a turbulent romance during my months there, they still figure as some of the happiest moments of my life. There was a real sense of community amongst the ex-pats and I was happy to be included in it. I haven’t often felt part of a community, and it’s a lovely feeling.

Today was a bit about survival. It was too cold to contemplate going for our usual swim, and the kids ended up fending for themselves. Or fighting, mostly. The adults aren’t the only ones cranky with this cold. The children seemed to spend the day yelling, “It’s Mine!” and “I’m Telling!” until I wanted to run out into the street and scream. (The neighbours wouldn’t blink if I did – I quite often lock myself in the utility room and scream myself hoarse. Should I admit that?)

My daughter also keeps getting stabbing pains in her head, which we hope are just the headaches we’re also getting from the virus, but it does add to the general worry. I’m afraid I’m the kind of parent that will either ignore something completely or over-react and want to rush the child to A&E. Poor hubbie has to try and figure out the right response between the two.

All in all I’m glad it’s Sunday and we’re all back to school / work / nursery tomorrow. How do you survive a weekend with tired, ill, cranky kids? I’ve decided a large glass of wine is the answer…

Parties and Playdough: 2013 365 Challenge #76

Apparently this is Mummy (it started as an alien)

Apparently this is Mummy (it started as an alien)

The highlights of today were parties and playdough (and obviously NOT the rugby).

My daughter is getting quite creative with her playdough, although she still likes to copy pictures and get ideas from others. I think her model of Mummy is a good likeness, what do you think?

Amber had a birthday party to attend this afternoon, so we had a quiet morning at home. I took the playdough shift then hubbie tooking the hide-and-seek / den-making shift while I did housework in my pyjamas (doesn’t every body?)

My beautiful party girl

My beautiful party girl

The party was great. It was a Yogabugs party, a new one on me. It’s like a yoga class for kids but done through interactive story-telling  so the children are totally absorbed. Who knew that you could get twenty kids to give their attention to a complete stranger for nearly an hour? Only the parents got into trouble (mostly me) for making too much noise. I haven’t been shushed three times in twenty minutes since I was at school.

Amber loved it. She sat directly in front of the lady running the group and did everything asked of her, being a shark, a turtle, a fish, an oyster and a mermaid. I’ve never been to a birthday party with so much calm. At least normal service resumed after food, as the kids ran up and down the empty village hall for twenty minutes, giggling.

Amber made me laugh when she opened her party bag and said “there’s not much in it.” It was a gorgeous bag, with a windmill, some tattoos and a lovely bracelet, as well as sweets and cake. But there was no plastic tat. Kids love plastic tat, the cheaper and nastier the better. I’ve contemplated filling party bags with beautiful wooden toys before but awful, bright, plastic toys win every time. The minefield of planning a party for a four-year-old! I’m sure it doesn’t get any easier.

Cute little Yoga Bugs stretching high

Cute little Yoga Bugs stretching high

Cute Yoga Bugs being sleeping star fish

Cute Yoga Bugs being sleeping star fish


Claire sat back in the chair and winced as the dazzling spotlights stabbed viciously at her eyeballs.

“Can you turn the lights off?”

“How will I see to clean your wound?”

“I thought cops had superpowers.”

The woman laughed. “No. Not that I’ve noticed. Now hold still or I’ll handcuff you and take you to A&E.”

Claire chewed the inside of her cheek and tried to be still. The policewoman dabbed at her head and Claire twitched as if she’d been electrocuted.

“Bugger, that hurts. Sorry. I’m holding still. Promise.” Claire chewed her cheek harder and dug her nails into the soft flesh of her palms.

“It’s only an antiseptic wipe. We’re not sure what they hit you with. It wasn’t anything sharp, you don’t need stitches. The first aid kit has some Steri-strips which I can use. You should still see a doctor.”

“I’ll go in the morning. Right now I just want to sleep.” Claire felt blindly for her tea and nearly knocked it off the table.

“Here love.” A much friendlier voice came near and her tea was pushed into her reaching grasp.

“Thank you. At least someone is sympathetic.” Claire smiled at the hostel manager then winced again as the policewoman resumed cleaning her blood-smeared scalp.

“I’d be more sympathetic if you would be a better patient.” The woman frowned like a school teacher and Claire shrank into her chair.

She’s no older than I am, why does she have the ability to make me feel about five. At least the other one’s gone. I don’t need a teacher and a headmaster making me feel like an idiot.

Claire looked at the clock on the wall and was shocked to see it was nearly midnight. “I’m so sorry, you should be tucked up in bed by now too, shouldn’t you?”

“Nah, it’s Saturday night. We never finish before dawn.”

“Really? There’s that much crime in a tiny village like this?”

The woman chuckled. “You’d be surprised.”

Claire squeaked as the woman dug in with her antiseptic wipe and then pulled at her head to get the wound straight for the Steri-strips. Come on Claire, don’t be a wuss. She tried to take her mind off the procedure and let it dwell for the first time on something that had been bugging her.

They said my boyfriend called them. Now was that Josh or Michael? And how did either of them know I was in trouble? She wanted to ask but didn’t want to distract the policewoman from her work. The cut was just below the hairline on her temple but she still didn’t want a noticeable scar.

As if reading her mind the policewoman stood up and said, “There we go. It shouldn’t scar. The more a scalp wound bleeds the shallower it is. This isn’t much more than a graze. You were lucky.”

Lucky? Right.

“Girl got mugged last week and they beat her so hard they damn near broke every bone in her face. All because she didn’t have any money in her purse.”

Claire shivered and pulled her coat tightly around her. Okay, lucky. Got it.

“Er. You said my boyfriend called you.” She looked up at the policewoman and noticed for the first time that she had hazel eyes. It made her face softer, more approachable. “Only, you see, I don’t have a boyfriend.”

The woman smiled, revealing little dimples that instantly made her younger. “Well, someone cares about you very much. He left his number so we’ll call him and let him know you’re okay.”

“But how did he know I was being robbed?”

“He said you rang him and he heard the scuffle before the phone cut off.”

Images of the attack swam through Claire’s mind. She vaguely remembered yelling something that had caused her phone to light up and reveal her location in the dark. At least there was an upside to her stupidity.

Poor Michael, having to phone the police to rescue his ex-girlfriend. A picture of the last time she saw him waved in her mind like a protest flag. Well, serves him right. Still I should probably ring and say thank you.

“I’ll call…. Oh no, bugger. My phone!” Suddenly the reality of the attack sunk in. “My bloody phone! What the hell am I going to do without it?” A hollow sensation exploded in her stomach and spread like a black hole.

“You’re lucky it was a good one. If it hadn’t been they might not have run off.”

“You don’t understand. I need that phone. It’s my only way to keep in contact with the world.”

“There are payphones you know.”

Claire laughed, then, a bitter scornful laugh. “Payphones? Are you serious? Can you tweet, email or Skype from a payphone? Does it tell you where you’re meant to be or have all the numbers of your friends and family stored in its little memory? Can you use it as a torch, camera, music player, magazine and paperback?”

Her breathing became rapid and the edges of her vision darkened in panic. The iPad. I still have my iPad and it’s synched up. She inhaled a long shuddering breath and concentrated on what needed to happen next.

“I’d like to report a theft please.”