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She did it

Jason is away having a holiday from his family and there was so little on telly I actually watched some of the contestants herniating themselves on The Voice.
Sylvia is learning a few useful phrases from the Rough Guide for communicating in the adult world, such as thankyou, fish (shish) cat (cash) dog and rose ‘Rohhhhh!’ please (cheese – specifically, means more food). Today when a spoon or something fell on the floor, Rose said ‘it was her’ and Sylvia said ‘she did it!’. I swear. She is learning all about arguing and lying at nursery. We had a lovely day with the grandparents, eating loads and spending some fun time in the garden. Rose threw herself into the weeding and got some serious dandelions out of her flower patch. Sylvia hung out sniffing stones and falling off the ride-on.
Slightly depressingly did a job search on the internet tonight, never do that on a Sunday night as it just reminds you that you are on bail pending your return to prison on Monday.
I wrote out some invites for Rose’s 4th birthday this evening, how time flies, we will be getting school uniform soon etc.
I do get a bit nervous when Jason is out at night, I just heard a suspicious noise by the back door and went out there armed with a rain stick. What this would do to deter an intruder I don’t really know.

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Message from the bread bin

Please open me and remove the green hairy thing inside me. It has been more than two weeks now. I can see you are keeping your bread in a new fangled bread ‘keeper’ and small items in a selection of plastic bags. You know it’s time to clean me out. You’re just afraid.

Balloons

The girls have found a stash of balloons in a drawer. We spend a happy half an hour with Rose bringing me one balloon after the other. I blow them up and either we do farty noises with the neck, or let the balloons go whee around the room. The other favourite thing is squeaky teeth, where I hand a balloon to a child and they gnaw the balloon creating a nails on blackboard kind of squeaky squawk. The view through the balloon into child’s gaping jaws is a little bit terrifying. For some reason this is Sylvia’s most glorious enjoyment so therefore I love the vile squeaking noises.

I am off to spend two days in a hotel full of teachers tomorrow. I just looked up the hotel’s website and discovered they don’t have a pool, will go and remove swimsuit from luggage. I will take all my trousers though, as they do provide a trouser press in every room.

I go der wif you

When I picked the girls up from nursery today, they ran up to me to say hello and then at the same moment, each one ran off and fetched the other one’s coat and dragged it over. This was very cute.

Sylvia said milk the other day, or ‘muh – lk’ to be exact. She now gets things off you by pointing and saying ‘Ta!’. Also if you say ‘would you like milk/yogurt/a large bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk’ she nods vigorously and says ‘Yass!’. We will soon be conversing in English.

Today Jason told Rose a bedtime story about going to space and she has now decided we are going on a trip to space. It’s like when we talk about anything, the Eiffel tower, or a big tree, and she pats your knee and says ‘I want to go der wif you’.

On Sunday night Rose demanded to go to bed quite early. I read her the required stories and dithered a bit because she usually tries to make you stay in her room forever. But this time she shouted ‘Mummy, Go!’ and turned on her elbow, so that was me dismissed.

Rose can be very clear in her wishes, it’s us who doesn’t always listen. Last Sunday we tried to take her to soft play up the road. But this was ignoring the fact that she had been asking to do art activities, stick, make and cut things since Friday night. We were trying to drag her out of the door to go to softplay, and she was howling that she wanted to take her artwork things with her. So finally we picked up that she really didn’t want to go to softplay after all, and went out in search of some free under five’s art activity that was free and in easy reach of ‘nam. This was not easy and the trains weren’t running properly, so we ended up at the Tate Modern putting stickers all over a white room full of white furniture. Very anarchic and fun. An hour was plenty and then we had lunch (Wagamammas – Sylvia ploughed through a whole plate of food bar the stringy salad bits and licked the msg-rich dipping sauce off the bowl, and Rose stole my cup of miso soup. Likes soup, Rose). Thus did we feed our creative souls and our tummies.

Revenge is not sweet

The early part of today went amazingly fine, with a lovely trip to the park and a remarkably peaceful supermarket visit. At the supermarket when we walked along the biscuit aisle and Rose was at eye level with the chocolate digestives. I agreed to buy some but had to tell her the McVities ones she’d picked up weren’t as nice as the Sainsburies ones the next row along, also 80 p more. She asked if she could eat one in the car. No she could not. Most of the way home she was talking about chocolate biscuits and planning how she was going eat one as soon as we got home.

Shortly after we got in, I looked round a door to find her colouring in the end papers of a rather posh edition of the collected tales of Winnie the Pooh with felt tip pens. I did some shouting and then because she has been drawing on a lot of walls and books recently, I said right, no biscuits for you my girl. There was some crying and then a quiet pause which an idiot might have taken to mean that Rose was reflecting on her misdeed and resolving never to repeat it. But actually, she was musing on her sense of outrage and planning a violent revenge. While I was ambling back into the kitchen to collect various drinks and crackers to feed the troops, Rose hurled a wooden trivet at Sylvia. Shit flows downhill you know. I rushed back in to collect screaming toddler. And then, in an act of almost inhuman cruelty, I gave Sylvia a chocolate biscuit.

Sometimes I do feel like a bit of a bastard. Oh, and someone else who hates me is the lady who runs Sema’s cafe on the high road. They like giving little treats to children so she asked me if it was ok to give Rose a creme egg. When I apologised and said no thanks, you could have used the look on her face to clean the floor. Seriously though, if you scaled up a creme egg to be the same relative size to you as a regular one is to a three year old, you’d probably be looking at a chocolate egg about the size of a pineapple. Just imagine consuming all that sugar paste and then contemplate the gigantic sugar rush followed swiftly by crash, misery, wailing, a black mist followed by coma. That my friend is why I said no and why the lady at Sema’s thinks middle class people are cruel to children. She’s right though, isn’t she.

Potty time

Having a moment, I’ve got a week’s leave and savouring it stretching out ahead of me.

Sylvia has overcome her bathophobia to some extent, we place a small plastic step in the bath and she sits on it. So strictly speaking only her ankles are actually in the bath but we make up for it by splashing. There are still tears when hair washing is on the agenda.

Sylvia found a couple of small potties in the bathroom and enjoys clumping around with one on each foot. She is surprisingly good at walking in potties. Likewise Rose can put on my highest heels and walk perfectly. I wonder if it’s a skill that all girls are born with, and they gradually lose if they a have middle class mother who sets store by healthy feet.

I was so desperate about Rose’s habit of weeing on the sofa that I went to the doctor not long ago. She suggested trying stickers. Obviously she doesn’t have a pre schooler or she would know that it takes approximately the whole sticker output of a pound shop to toilet train one child. Anyway someone suggested to me that I just hadn’t discovered the right bribe. And then a light bulb went on above my head. So now, the new regime for Rose at bedtime is that on nights when she has not weed on the sofa, she gets to choose some of my makeup and I will put some on her. She goes to nursery looking a bit slutty, but you know what, she hasn’t weed on the sofa for a month.

I am enjoying our pre-bedtime routine at the moment. Rose zones out in front of some Tinkerbell shit, while Sylvia rotates around the room bringing you one book after the other. Occasionally she climbs on the sofa and lays along Rose like a leopard in a tree. Then she leaps down and starts her rotation once again. There is a book called Charlie the Chicken which has a big pop-up chicken beak, which she is a bit scared of and runs away when you open that page. She must like being scared because this is precisely the book that she makes you read her over and over again. Then it’s time for a round of kisses and she lumps up the stairs to bed.

Mmmah!

We are all a bit jet lagged after Sylvia had to spend a night in hospital on Wednesday. I took her to the doctors at 5.30 and by 7pm we were in a+e giving her bronchodilators. It was pretty brutal in a+e that evening, lots of quite ill children, crying, horrible vomiting noises and glimpses of nasty things happening in consulting rooms. We were sent up to the ward with a wailing teenager on a trolley trailing tubes and buckets, and I had to shuffle into the lift alongside trying not to look. They tried to put us in the bed opposite her but I said to the nurse that I felt I was intruding as she was in so much distress. The nurse realised what I actually meant and said she would move us somewhere quieter.

Sylvia is such a bouncy baby, every time something nasty was done to her like having her head hoovered (suction, it’s where they suck the snot out of your nose) or a needle planted in her hand, she immediately cheered up when it was over. She enjoyed using her splinted hand to bash me in the face when she needed to relieve her feelings.

There were a few small children wandering around the ward with a bandaged paw and their mums following them with an inhaler so I think there is a lot of it about. A 1am chest xray showed that she didn’t just have a viral wheeze, she also had a chest infection. We have some antibiotics and an inhaler for her at home, she quite enjoys her inhaler now she realises she can make funny noises in it.

Now she is back at home she still sounds a bit growly when she breathes but other than that you’d never know she had been ill. (Also you can hear her coming). Yesterday she climbed up a small wooden chair even though I advised her not to. A second later I heard a crash and a small cry, and she came out of the room looking a bit embarrassed. She is still climbing up every piece of high furniture you can imagine.

She is sort of saying ‘up’ and can say ‘yes’ very well, with a nod. I haven’t heard her say no, she likes saying yes to things. She can understand loads of things, very exciting when you say ‘lie down’ and she does. This evening it made my heart melt when I came into the front room after dinner and Rose was sitting on the sofa with Sylvia hugging her and leaning her head on Rose’s chest looking very happy. Then Sylvia dispensed a round of kisses to each of us (“Mmah!”) and went back to cuddling Rose. Rose was wearing her fluffy dressing gown so was a bit like a bit teddy bear to Sylvia. Earlier on this afternoon Sylvia climbed onto the sofa and plonked herself on Rose’s lap, and Rose didn’t object even though Sylvia’s bonce was partly obscuring Scooby Doo. I think they will be really good friends in the end. Rose was certainly extremely anxious about Sylvia being away and she hasn’t kicked Sylvia in the head once since she came out of hospital, so I think that’s a real sign that Rose missed Sylvia and is very glad to have her back.

In another turnaround, since her incarceration in HM Lewisham children’s ward, Sylvia has decided to stop screaming and moaning through every bath, and now spends 10 minutes laughing and playing with the bubbles. The evening she came home, she toddled into the bathroom and pointed at the bath as if she was very pleased to see it and all their differences were at an end. She also must be very glad to be home.

Mum and dad came over on Friday and DID THE HOOVERING and COOKED DINNER and HELPED WITH THE SHOPPING and PUT SOME HOOKS ON THE KITCHEN DOOR. It is so nice to see them and not just because of the domestic services. Rose is a bit ill at the moment too so she loved having her grandp’s around to give her some special attention and make her feel better after being so upset about Sylvia.

I met a friend and her child today, at one point Rose grabbed me and licked my neck, then she said to her friend “Georgia, let’s both lick our mummies”. Classy.