Sunday, 27 October 2013


There are many things for me to worry about. We should get the paperwork for our house move soon. I need to give up my main job. My Dad hasn't had a stroke but we're not sure what's wrong with him. Our flat is a total mess and the carpet resembles Mr Twit's beard. The Boy is obsessed with getting ducks in the park to fight over bread, while I fret about the swans getting to close to him.

I have been feeling very stressed about things. But then, it is the time of year that I also think about the summer holidays. I have looked at a couple of different places and have fallen in love.

I have fallen in love with Wroclaw. I cannot pronounce it. I don't know anything about it. But it looks like a beautiful gingerbread-esque Mitteleuropean city, which apparently has relatively few tourists.

And, and, there's another city we can combine with it, Gdansk, which I have long wanted to see. AND we can get a sleeper between the two. I love sleeper trains, and the romance of falling asleep in one city and waking in another. And we can see a bit of the Baltic Coast and also the national parks in the south.

So, rather than worrying about things that are actually in front of me, I have been doing my husband's head in by gabbling to him incessantly about Poland. I have just bought a book so I can learn Polish, and am about to look again for pictures of beautiful architecture.

I think when I face up to the reality of taking a toddler to a country where I cannot speak the language, it may seem less attractive. But at the moment the thought of escaping on holiday is keeping me going.

Saturday, 12 October 2013


We took the Boy out for a toddle in the park, then lunch, then shopping. He did pretty well; he didn't have as much freedom to wander around as he wanted (two weeks ago he refused to walk unless he was holding a parental finger, but he now does his "talk to the hand" routine if we try to get him to walk hand in hand), but he was constantly entertained by other extended family members until the post-lunch shopping.

Up until now, he has been entertained by seeing things in town. But I think these days are gone.
 He wants to be doing.

I dashed about the big pharmacist, a fancy accessories shop, and then we went to the Lego shop.

The Lego shop was hot, and noisy, and brightly lit, and busy. I was buying for a younger relative who had cunningly asked me for something she must have known was just a bit over budget. Given the number of extended relatives and the need to be fair, I couldn't buy her this and stay in budget, so had to dash around the shop finding acceptable.

Meantime, I suggested my husband let the Boy out to walk around and look at the play tables.

I finally found something, attempted to buy it, realised my credit card was in my coat pocket which was in the pram, retrieved the card and said to my husband we were good to go, then queued again and paid.

By the time I got back, the Boy was roaring blue murder. He didn't want to go in the pushchair and was arching his back and shouting "RAAAH! RAAAH! RAAH!"

He had apparently made a beeline for the Duplo table, then done a circuit of the shop, then returned to the Duplo. My husband had tried and failed to retrieve the Lego store Duplo from him, and I had to grab him off them and return them while my husband held him.

It did help that another, slightly older woman in the shop gave me a knowing smile when I was wrestling him for the Duplo, and then started giggling when he completely refused to go in the pram. I know this sounds like Bad Parenting and that you should somehow be able to force them to bend to your will, but really, if a boisterous toddler starts employing the sort of tactics used by peace protestors when they're being arrested (making themselves go dead, wriggling, refusing to be restrained), you've kind of had it.

I did offer to buy Duplo but by that point it would have meant a) giving in to a tantrum and b) queuing in the hot, sweaty shop while the Boy raged.

All the time, the "RAAH! RAAH! RAAH!" was going on.

I picked him up and carried him away from the shop and, seeing as he was wriggling to get off, I put him on his feet (remember, he only started walking with no adult stabiliser very recently).

He immediately started weaving a crazy path through the shopping centre, still shouting "RAAAH!" and refusing to acknowledge me. I followed him.

I know there's this worry when toddlers kick off that it is terribly stressful; but really, I thought it was more funny than anything else (is this Bad Parenting? I thought that as long as he wasn't actually hurting anyone, no-one was hurting him, and he was merely going in for public humiliation, that no harm would be done).

I did get slightly worried when he veered into a mobile phone shop full of attractive, expensive and breakable gadgets that I'd either trigger an aftershock tantrum by refusing to let him touch anything, or a sales assistant would ask what we were doing and I'd have to explain the whole Duplo/anger situation, but by that point the rage had almost petered out.

I scooped him up and, after some token resistance to being strapped in to his pushchair, he seemed happy with some milk. And has been fine for the rest of the day.

Well, lesson learned. Try to figure in more child friendly things, and let him walk more in between times. And never take him to big, shiny, noisy toy shops without buying anything.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A good dream

When I get stressed I blog, and I have strange dreams. I also have a massive spot on the side of my face, which I'm guessing may be related, but its the dream I had last night I was going to blog about.

I dreamed we had moved and I went in for the last day at one of my jobs, the one I've wanted out of for a long time. Everyone else was firing up their PCs as I came to say goodbye.

Then, bizarrely, loads of people from school seemed to be working at the office, although they were all the same age as I am now.

One girl who I used to be friends with but then had a very bitter teenage fallout with her. Her and another girl who were my bestest friends stopped talking to me for no great reason but would occasionally e-mail me to taunt me, and seemed to think they could go on tormenting me because I'd be desperate to be friends with them, until I completely cut contact; well, as much as I could living in the same small, remote community.

My small hometown is close enough that I find out if something major has happened in her life, and I'm sure she finds out the same about me. I haven't seen her in over a decade and haven't really spared her many thoughts in the same time.

Anyway, she explained that someone had texted her a complaint about the organisation so she'd texted back saying it was my fault, and showed me the text message.

I can't remember what the complaint was about, but the message was blaming me and saying that she couldn't be expected to remember things as she was pregnant. Our conversation then went something like:

"That's absolutely bollocks, and even worse that you 've blamed it on being pregnant."

She replied with "You're just jealous because you can't get pregnant again, and I'm having a girl which you really want. You're just totally bitter and past it."

By this point I became aware that everyone, including all the school cool kids, were listening in.

I said, "I'm in a much better place about the infertility and miscarriages now. And I'm not as past it as your marriage."

Then she stammered that that was "below the belt", and I said "Well, if you don't like it fuck off and don't speak to me, I'm happy the way I am without your shit."

An everyone looked impressed at me winning the argument, and my husband suddenly appeared in the way that people do in dreams, and I took his arm and we sauntered off for lunch.

That was an ace dream, wasn't it? I woke up feeling much better about everything, and then later the estate agent called to say the sellers were getting a move on with finding somewhere else to live and we might come to an agreement sooner than we thought.

It is completely bizarre that my subconscious threw up a way of making me feel better than involved a situation that I have long, long since moved on from... but then, I like to that it was a manifestation of me facing down old issues that have caused me pain in the past.

Monday, 7 October 2013

But why did you put it on the market in the first place, then?

My Dad hasn't had a stroke, but we don't know what is actually wrong with him. So we're pushing ahead with moving closer to home.

We saw a house about ten days ago. It was nice, the owners seemed sane.  We said we could be a bit flexible about moving, as they still had to buy somewhere new.

We put in an offer last week, deliberately pitched a bit low, but still over the minimum amount advertised . The owners came back and said, unsurprisingly, that that was too low, but they wanted x amount.

The next day, I put in an offer for x amount, and said our timescale for moving was three months. Which seems like bags of time to me.

Then it all started to go a bit tits up. The day after, the estate agent called us to say they needed more time, and were worried about not being able to find somewhere within three months. So we were left hanging over the weekend, but with the expectation that they'd give us a call first thing today.

First thing came and went. Eventually I called up the estate agents, only to be told that the sellers were busy in the morning, but they'd know in an hour. More than an hour later, we got the call, and I feel more and more like walking away.

Three months is apparently too short a timescale for them to move and if they committed to it now they might have to go back on this later on. Yeah, cos that's an entirely reasonable way to behave.

I then got a big sob story relayed to me by the estate agent about how they might have to move in with relatives for a while and could only do this for a couple of weeks because it was awkward with their school run, and appeared to want a completely elastic deadline for handing over the property as it could take a while before they found one they really liked ("It could be two weeks or it could be February - you said you could be flexible so what's the problem?"). Oh yes, and they've now decided they want more money too.

The words that sprung to mind were "fuck" and "off", but I said I'd discuss it with my husband. So we're going to turn it back on them and ask them to make an offer to us.

Thing is, I just have the impression they don't really want to sell. Shame, because it's a nice house.