Thursday, 27 December 2012

In Which I Do NOT Approve Of Christmas

My Majesty does not approve of Christmas.

Christmas interrupts my routine, Christmas involves food of which I do not approve, Christmas involves bedtime stories of which I do not approve, Christmas involves visits to church of which I do not approve and most importantly of all, Christmas involves The Staff shoving brightly wrapped packages in my face and insisting that I need to rip them.  At no other point during the entire rest of the year am I allowed to rip things, so why on earth is it acceptable to do so now? Clearly, Christmas involves an entirely unacceptable set of circumstances and should be banned.  That's just all there is to it.

It all started on Christmas Eve.  Daddy spent the morning in the kitchen making something called sausage rolls.  I thought they smelled quite nice but as it took far longer to prepare than my usual mush, I quickly lost interest and decided to take a nap.  Of course, as usual, I decided to do so at the most inconvenient time and so slept right through lunchtime and therefore woke up feeling decidedly grumpy.  I was NOT hungry, I simply had a rumbly belly.  The two are Entirely. Different.  The only way to fix a rumbly belly is to SHOUT AS LOUDLY AS I  CAN.  The staff seemed to believe that a rumbly belly could be fixed by offering me food which was clearly entirely unacceptable.  I demonstrated this by crumbling my food, carefully dropping it onto the floor and then saying, "Uh Oh!" to make sure they knew it was a mistake before dropping the next piece into my drinks holder and, when caught in the act, saying "Uh Oh!" again.  This game continued for quite some time until the first visitor arrived.  Daddy had long since given up and even Mummy was getting rather twitchy around the eyes which is always a good sign.

The first visitor was Auntie Jenni.  Before she arrived, I heard her on the phone with Mummy asking, "Has it been fed?  Is it tired?  Is it hungry or thirsty?  Has it finished crying for the day?"  The cheek of some people!  However, upon receiving apparently satisfactory answers to these questions, Auntie Jenni arrived bearing Christmas presents for me.  I received them with the usual manner of politeness I grant to these audiences by graciously nodding to the staff to receive gifts on my behalf and then proceeding to completely and utterly ignore the visitor.  Thankfully, I am Auntie Jenni's favourite nephew so she loves me anyway.  (No, there's no need to point out that I'm her only nephew, no one needed to know that.  This was entirely unnecessary information.  Get back to the presents.)

After chatting with Mummy about entirely boring things for a while, Auntie Jenni decided it was time to leave just as Auntie Wendy arrived.  Well, technically she's not my Auntie as she's really my health visitor, but since she keeps hanging around, I generally try to be polite and so call her my Auntie.  Of course, this only applies to days other than Christmas Eve's because the moment Auntie Wendy arrived I SCREAMED at her to GO AWAY.  I do NOT want anyone to mess with me today, and I can smell a messing person from miles away - messing people are ones like Wendy, Graham, Sue and the endless doctors Mummy thinks up for me to visit and of these people I DO NOT APPROVE.  Mummy attempted to make coffee for Auntie Wendy while Daddy chatted to her but I made it QUITE clear that I was to be the absolute centre of attention and that Mummy was NOT allowed to leave the room for even one tiny little moment.  Unfortunately, Daddy and Auntie Wendy are quite used to my manners by now so they just shouted over me.  I. Definitely. Did. Not. Approve. Of. That.

Eventually, Mummy returned to the lounge, coffee in hand and The Staff proceeded to settle in for a long chat.  





Time to create a diversion methinks.  

I decided to SCREAM as loudly as I could.  Then I threw Dumbles across the room, shortly thereafter followed by Cup and then, when I was still being ignored, I flung my arms theatrically over my head and SHRIEKED.  Thankfully, this finally gained at least a wisp of attention as Mummy turned on Timmy Time for me.  Finally!  What does a baby have to do to get some entertainment around here?

Two whole hours later, Auntie Wendy and The Staff had eventually run out of things to talk about so Mummy decided it was time to go to church.  Hmm.  I don't think I'm in the mood for church today Mummy.  No, I don't care if it's Christmas Eve and therefore an important day to be in church.  I also don't care that it's a nativity service so designed to be child friendly.  I don't think I want to go Mummy.  Oh don't misunderstand me, I'll smile and be entirely charming while you get me ready.  I will also smile and play with a nice toy in the car on the way to church.  I will even grant a cheerful smile to the people when my pushchair is rolled into the church.  But that is most definitely all.  Do not mistake this innocent face for one which is not plotting.

Once it comes time to sit down in the pew, I will have expired.  I will throw Dumbles about all through the service.  I will climb down off Mummy's lap and just when she thinks I'm about to play with the soft blocks on the floor under the pew, I will in fact be crawling behind her legs, behind Big Brother's legs and then behind Daddy's legs in order to escape into the aisle.  When Daddy makes it clear that he has rumbled my plan and grabs me around the waist before hoisting me back onto his lap, I will arch my back, throw my arms over my head in utter despair and SHRIEK at the top of my lungs in complete indignation.  Daddy will pass me back across Big Brother to Mummy who will attempt to settle me on her lap, offer me toys, Dumbles, and my drink, all of which will entertain me for precisely 5 nanoseconds before the whole process starts again.  

On the one hand, the service only lasted for an hour.  

On the other hand, the service lasted for an hour.  

Mummy's smile was rather fixed by the end of it.  But I'm really not sure why.  If Mummy had just listened to my well thought out points, then all this could have been avoided.  I'm not an unreasonable baby after all.  Just a baby who expects to be listened to.  That's all.

Needless to say, the MacDonald's Daddy bought for us all at the end of the service was very welcome.  I had after all expended quite a lot of energy during the service, I needed my refreshment. I munched on a chicken nugget and some chips and was decidedly charming.  All was now well with my world.  See?  It really was very easily sorted.

Once we got home again, thankfully Daddy gave me my usual bath and dressed me in warm fluffy "onesie" pajama's.  I was all ready to settle down on Mummy's lap for my usual diet of "The Gruffalo", "The Gruffalo's Child", "Stick Man", "Monkey Puzzle" and finishing off with, "I Love You As Big As The World".  I'm a baby of routine really.  The fact that Mummy no longer needs to refer to the books themselves in order to tell the story has been noted.  But here, I was in for a shock, because Mummy DARED to pull out some NEW books!  What's this, "Night Before Christmas" and "Someone Is Coming To Our House"?  What's this business about angels, Mary and Joseph and a stable???  WHERE is The Gruffalo?  WHERE is Stick Man?  WHERE ARE ALL MY FAVOURITE STORIES???????  Once again, I flung my arms over my head in utter despair, grabbed the new books and threw them onto the floor.  These. Stories. Are. NOT. Acceptable.  Christmas. Is. Not. Acceptable.


Unfortunately, Mummy gets her stubbornness from me and she persisted with the new stories.  I closed my eyes and hummed to myself, refusing to listen.  Mummy kept reading.  I threw my drink on the floor.  Mummy kept reading.  I threw Dumbles across the room.  Mummy kept reading.  Eventually, I had to give in, I was just soooo tired.  Just before I drifted off, Mummy whispered to me, "Happy Christmas baby.  You go to sleep so Father Christmas can come."  

Hrmph.  Why does she have to be so sodding cheerful?!

Christmas Day dawned bright and early.  I decided to give the staff a nice lie in and slept until 6:10am.  This was of course nothing to do with the fact that the staff had been up until just before midnight getting ready for The Big Day, it was purely because I was tired and needed my rest.  It might however have had something to do with the fact that round about 9pm on Christmas Eve, I woke up absolutely HOWLING.  I'd had a horrible bad dream in which I was sure I could hear eight tiny hooves on the roof and a large man dressed all in red chuckling to himself in the lounge.  Needless to say, the dream was so terrifying that it took Mummy a long time to help me get back to sleep again. 

First on the agenda was something called a Stocking.  Well.  Technically, Big Brother had a stocking.  I had a Hat.  I would like to point out the utter unorthodoxy of this particular arrangement and would like it noted that if Mummy had remembered that she didn't have a stocking for Santa to fill for me sometime before Christmas Eve, she might have been able to buy one.  A Christmas Hat is just not acceptable.  It doesn't have the same ring to it.  A Christmas Hat indeed!  Is it any wonder I was getting grumpier with Christmas by the minute?

My lovely tractor.

However, once we get past the utter inadequacy of a Christmas Hat, the first gift inside said hat was the most WONDERFUL thing in the whole. entire. world.  It was a tractor that was quite small really, no more than four inches around and with just one button that plays four songs.  But the music emanating from this WONDERFUL tractor was utterly captivating.  I pressed the button.  I listened to the first song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the second song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the third song.  I pressed the button again.  I listened to the fourth song.  By this point, I had entirely forgotten what the first song sounded like, so I just decided to press the button one more time to remind myself how it sounded.....fifteen minutes later, Mummy and Daddy's smiles had gotten rather fixed.  I was still pressing the button on my lovely tractor.  I showed no signs of stopping.

Did I require any other presents?  At all?  For the rest of the day?  No, no I did not.  Was I willing to go anywhere near any other presents for the rest of the day?  No, no I was not.  Was I willing to unwrap any other presents for the rest of the day?  No, no I was not.  Did it make any difference when Big Brother, Mummy and Daddy all took turns trying to tempt me with a loose bit of wrapping paper which should have looked so tempting that I wouldn't be able to resist ripping?  No. No. It. Did. Not.  Did removing the little tractor from my grasping paws in an effort to distract me with another present help?  NO.  IT MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT.

Sadly, The Staff simply didn't get the message the first time.  Or the second time.  Or the third time.  Or the....well.  You get the picture.  Because they kept trying to interest me in Christmas. I employed a variety of methods to get my point across.  I moaned.  I whined.  I complained.  I shouted.  I arched my entire body making it entirely impossible to pick me up.  I dramatically threw my arms over my head while arching my body.  I shouted.  I shouted more loudly still.  Finally, I lay down on the coffee table and pretended to go to sleep, hoping that by the time I woke up again, this Christmas business would all be proven to be just another bad dream.

Mummy sighed and put me to bed where I fully intended to stay for the rest of the day.  I tried.  I made a valiant effort.  I slept for so long that Christmas lunch was nearly over by the time I awoke from my slumber.  Unfortunately, Christmas hadn't gone away.  ::sigh::  

However, what I didn't then know was that the one bright moment in my entire day was about to dawn.  What was this moment you ask?  It was in fact Christmas Lunch.  I know, I know, usually I am quite particular about what I eat but Christmas lunch proved to be stunning in it's wonderful composition.  The particular bowl of mush Mummy put in front of me was just DELICIOUS.  Apparently, it contained carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts with bacon, parsnip mash, roast potatoes, new potatoes in garlic butter, turkey, stuffing and gravy all mixed together and chopped up to fussy baby consistency and (so Mummy thought) looking utterly disgusting.  But here, Mummy was most especially, completely and entirely wrong because Christmas Lunch Mush It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!  

Mummy offered me the first spoonful with that particular look of resignation on her face that said she expected me to flatly refuse the feast, but I opened my mouth and did everything other than point saying, "Right here Mummy!  Put that delicious feast right in here!"  In the end, I gobbled down the entire bowl in record time.  Then, just for good measure, Mummy offered me Christmas Pudding with cream on it and I gobbled that down too.  Then I burped.  Then I farted (loudly).  Then I was finished.  (I'm still farting two days later, but that's a whole other story, Mummy is blaming the sprouts.  But I'm sure you didn't need to know that really.) 

Now then.  At the beginning of this tale of Christmas, I alluded to food of which I do not approve.  So clearly, this particular type of food is not Christmas lunch.  What on earth could it be?  What could my faithful readers possibly believe could be worse than mashed parsnip?  Mushed broccoli?  Chopped up brussels sprouts?  Well, dear reader, allow me to tell you what this hideous food item is, that has only ever appeared in my world at Christmas.  This food is something called Jelly Babies.  WHO on earth thinks it would be a good idea to create something in the shape of a baby, assign various fruity flavours to it, cover it in some kind of white powder and then expect me to eat it?!  

At first, I was taken in.  You see Mummy offered me a large jar of sweets which should have been a good thing.  I carefully plucked one out, examined it curiously and lifted it to my mouth for a taste.  Ugh!  It was horrible!  I screwed up my face, and removed the offending object from my tongue, examined it closely and crumbled it a bit just in case this improved the flavour.  I carefully put part of it back in again but equally carefully, dropped the baby's head on the floor.  Anyone who expects me to eat a baby's head has another think coming.  Unfortunately, my second taste was no better than the first so I carefully removed the offending item and gave it back to Mummy.  I then flatly refused to even look at the jar of sweets and went back to grumbling about this Christmas business.  The lunch had gone so well until that moment, all of my good cheer evaporated in an instant.

Sadly, after this, everyone expected me to return to presents.  Have I mentioned that my good cheer had evaporated?  Completely?  Totally?  Utterly?  

Mother.  How. many. times. do I have to tell you that presents. are. just. NOT acceptable?  Do NOT come near me with another present.  Do NOT ask me to rip some paper.  Do NOT press the button on a toy through the paper in hopes that it will spark my interest.  And most especially importantly, DO NOT remove my lovely tractor from my sticky little mitts.  You will regret it if you do.  

Thankfully, eventually they gave up.  Mummy said to Daddy, "well maybe we can save some of them for tomorrow.  He might be in the mood to open them then."  Clearly the message wasn't getting through.  All I have to say is this:  isn't it wonderful when Christmas presents last for a whole three days before The Staff give up and open them on my behalf?  Exactly.  Point made.

Let it just be said, right here and right now, that I. Do. Not. Approve. Of. Christmas.  I do hope it never has the cheek to come round and mess with my routine again.  And that is all there is to be said of that.  I am now going to sleep and I very much hope this Christmas business will be over by the time I wake up again.  Hrmph.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Church reaching out to women...

Today, like many people - women, men, bishops, priests and lay people - I am still in shock about the decision by Synod last night to narrowly reject the legislation that would have paved the way for women bishops as early as 2014.  Like many, I am waiting to hear what Synod will decide as the way forward.  Like many, I do believe the discussion will continue and I prayerfully hope, concrete plans and clear leadership will take precedence.

But today, I am deeply touched by what I am seeing and experiencing in the church.  Many, many women are deeply hurt, angry and feel betrayed by last night's decision but today, I am seeing women who are choosing to obey the call of God on their lives and who are putting on their clerical collars anyway and continuing to minister to their congregations and the wider communities around them.  I am seeing women who may be wiping away their tears but who are determined to stand together and to be faithful.

This morning, as a college community, we gathered together in the chapel and shared in the set Morning Prayer service from "Common Worship" - the book that shapes a great deal of worship in the Church of England.  Today's service spoke deeply of acknowledging hurt, betrayal, shock, confusion and judgement and of finding a way forward not by our own righteousness but by God's grace.  I experienced and saw people praying for each other - and not just praying for comfort for those who are hurt but praying for those who have made this decision and who must meet again to consider a way forward.  

I have seen people - women and men - reaching out to one another to say, "How are you doing today? How are you feeling?" and expressing love and support towards each other as we struggle with this decision.  I have seen, heard on the news and read online, the many statements by bishops who are expressing deep regret with this decision and who are committing themselves to find a way forwards that will include women fully in church leadership.  These same bishops are expressing a deep desire to care for those who are hurt by this decision.

I have received, and sent, a wealth of messages online and through Facebook expressing love and compassion to those who today are struggling.  I have received personal emails from friends and leaders in the church expressing sorrow for the decision, validation of the church's commitment to our vocation and calling as women and the offer of support for those who need time to talk.

In other words, contrary to some of the news headlines, today I see a church who are truly reaching out to one another, truly caring for each other and truly trying to love one another even in the midst of such deep disagreement.

It is true that I personally am shocked and angered by yesterday's decision and yet at the same time, I am deeply touched by the level of human concern and caring that is flooding our church today.  I pray that in the midst of this deep challenge, we can continue finding each other, caring for each other and talking - not for eternity on the same issue, but as a method to find a way forward.  And in the midst of it all, I pray we continue to show each other how deeply we care and love.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

"No" to Women Bishops

File:Logo of the Church of England.svgThis blog clearly is about Adam, but tonight the decision by the General Synod of the Church of England is weighing so heavily on me that I want - need - to write about it.  Many of you will know that I am an Ordinand for the CofE (training to be a vicar) and so the issue of how and if women are accepted in ministry within the church holds particular significance for me.  The issues involved in today's debate, and the debates occurring for generations now, are very complex and while I could attempt to explain them all, others far more suited for the task have done so already.  

I fully understand that this issue is not one purely of gender equality, but one of theological conviction - in other words, people read the Bible in different ways and interpret those readings equally differently.  But tonight, what I see in the women around me, women at college training for ordination, women already ordained as priests, and women serving at all levels of the church is utter heartbreak.  Tonight is not, should not, be for continuing to debate theological differences but for recognizing that fellow members of our church are deeply hurting.  It has been said that after the vote, it was inevitable that someone would be hurting or angry but it breaks my heart to see so many faithful women who have sacrificed so much to follow the call of God on their life who tonight are in tears.  Who tonight are ragingly angry.  Who tonight are despairing.  Who tonight, for some, are considering leaving the church.  Who tonight, for others are struggling to find ways to remain faithful to a church which appears so bitterly divided.  Who tonight, are trying to touch the edges of what they will preach in their churches on Sunday.  Of what they will say to women in their congregations seeking Confirmation.  Of how they will walk through their towns and villages wearing their clerical collars.  Of how they will continue.

I am heartbroken at how many women are feeling utterly devalued and worthless in the eyes of the church.

It will come as no surprise for me to write that I am in favour of women bishops.  I believe men and women are equal in the eyes of God and perhaps more importantly, I believe that if God calls a person to ministry, then we as humans should not stand in their way - of course the church must test and weigh that calling to be sure they are in agreement, but I believe it is self-evident that God calls many people to ministry, including those with whose viewpoint, others may disagree.  Tonight, I have seen women whose ministry, leadership, character and gifts I greatly value and appreciate, crying.  This is a sad day for the church.

Prior to being recommended for training to the ministry, I regularly worshipped with a congregation in which some members felt unable to accept women in ministry.  I disagreed with those people...but I still respected them.  I was still willing to worship alongside them.  I disagreed with their views but I never stopped liking them as people, nor of respecting their right to hold these views.  Now, based on training for ministry, I only rarely am able to attend this church but this has not changed my view of these people as committed Christians.  As faithful members of the wider church.

Yet for me, it comes down to this:  42 out of 44 dioceses in the Church of England voted in favour of this measure.  So why has it been rejected?  I ask this question not to gain an answer because I have sat listening to the live feed from Synod all day (when I should have been researching my latest essay).  I have heard the many arguments for and against, I have heard the passionate disagreements...but in the end, I see the tears of women all around me.

This is a sad day for the Church of England.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Best Bits

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about the challenges of parenting my complicated little toddler, and there is of course good reason for that considering how much he has turned our life upside down with his journey from death to life.  Life will never be the same because of GBS; however, GBS doesn't consume our lives, our journey is also filled with joy so I want to write, today, about ten best bits of being Adam's mother.

1.  Waking up (at a generally ungodly hour, but we won't go there) to hear a piping little voice calling through the darkness, "Hurro?  Hurro!  <<insert some baby babble here then>>  Hurro?  Hurro!"  

2.  Watching and hearing my precious boy continue to develop - despite everything - and lately to see things like carefully counting, "Ah, Oo, Ee" either with his building blocks or along with Numtums on CBeebies.  Listening as Graham, his Teacher for the Deaf, hands him a toy and he says carefully, "Tan-kou" - the look of delighted surprise on Graham's face was pretty good too!

3.  Arriving at nursery after a long day to pick him up and seeing a huge grin split his face as he pumps his arms up and down in delight shouting, "YAH!!" before running, giggling, over to me and lifting his arms to be picked up.

4.  Playing silly, nonsense games as he giggles like a lunatic with that infectious laughter that only a toddler can produce.  For the record, there is no shame in crawling around the house on all fours chasing the baby, no matter how old you are!

5.  "Dropping" the baby (with body and neck well supported I hasten to say!) as he giggles in delight, then turning endless rolepoley's on the settee until he's hysterical with laughter and simply has to be turned upside down just one last time.

6.  Watching him explore his world....even when it means discovering a long, interesting furry thing that absolutely has to be pulled and bitten.  (Ahem.  No cats were harmed in the writing of this blog....well not permanently anyway.)

7.  The sheer cheek of him - when a friend of mine pops into his nursery to chat with the staff and he keeps coming over to say loudly, "Buh-Bye!" before finally deciding she simply isn't getting the point so deciding to abruptly shut the door, therefore pushing her outside.  Or that moment at college when some students are trying to quietly sneak out of the canteen in the middle of lunchtime notices and a small head pops out of his baby carrier on my chest and a piping voice says loudly, "Buh-bye!" with a cheerful wave leaving at least three tables of students snickering to themselves.

8.  Seeing a small naked boy running and wobbling across the landing as he searches for his bubble bath - his favourite time of day.  It's so wholly innocent and adorably cute then, once in his bath, watching him squirt water out of the hole in the bottom of a rubber duck straight into his face and giggling in sheer delight every time the water goes up his nose.

9.  Snuggling a small person, all wrapped up in P.J's, reading the same story for the two millionth time until I've got every word memorized, as he munches a last biscuit and finishes his day with some milk before being carried sleepily up to bed.

10.  Listening to the soft snores from either the car seat on a long journey home or when popping into a darkened bedroom to check just one last time that he's really asleep before re-covering him with his soft fleecy blanket and whispering goodnight.

10.5 - Doing it all again tomorrow.  :-)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Am I Terrible?????

Mummy keeps telling me that, when I'm trying to learn something new, it's very important to keep on practicing until I get it right.  So I decided to take her word for it and to practice as hard as I can for being Big Boy Two.  Mummy uses a description that's slightly less flattering, something about Terrible Twos but I won't mention that as I'm such an incredibly angelic boy that a description like Terrible couldn't ever possibly apply to me. 

I've been talking to my friends and taking notes from the internet (in between writing my blog posts) and I've learned that one of the key ways to demonstrate being Big Boy Two is to throw tantrums.  Lots and lots of tantrums.  So, I decided to start off slowly with 1-2 tantrums a day but when I have the energy, I succeed in working up to 6 or more.  Mummy says it's like one long tantrum as they all blend together but I'm sure she's exaggerating just a little bit.  At least it's more like having a morning tantrum and an afternoon tantrum.  Ok well and sometimes a bedtime tantrum too.  But that all really!  Just three ickle wickle ones....

You see I start off by notifying Mummy that I am Exceedingly Unhappy With The Present Arrangements by throwing my arms up in the air, arching my back until I'm bowed in a virtually gymnastic position, then I Begin To Shout.  I shout all sorts of things, usually about how much I Very Much Dislike The Present Arrangements, how I Am Being Abused and how I Do Not Wish To Cooperate.  When Mummy grits her teeth and ignores all these things, I begin to kick, then I smack my arms about, then I writhe about on the floor while screaming at that particular pitch that makes Mummy's eyes go all funny.  I know I'm getting somewhere when I see her start to grit her teeth.  Sometimes she shouts a bit too but we won't mention those times.  The best part is when she's trying to pick me up and instead of cooperating, I fling my arms up in the air while arching backwards, essentially ensuring she has nothing to grab onto and it's a bit like trying to keep hold of an exceedingly grumpy wet fish who is jerking and screaming all at the same time.

At first, she used to try to soothe and comfort me thinking something was truly wrong in my world.  But eventually, as I kept practicing - and even practicing in advance so that the moment she touched me the arching convulsions and screaming would begin, she started to become less patient with my practicing.  Sometimes she puts me down on my changing mat and holds an ankle with one hand, while sorting out my nappy with another hand, holding the wipes, new nappy and bepanthen with a mysterious third hand and stuffing Dumbles in with a fourth hand while trying to distract me with a toy in a fifth hand.  On the good days she reminds me of a picture I've seen of a Hindu goddess who seems to have an arm for every job.  On the bad days....well let's say the cleanup operation is a tad more complicated and leave it at that since I don't think you really need a description of the time my brown streaked nappy landed upside down on the rug a few feet away while I rubbed the skidmarks through my I just won't go there, you don't need to know.

Once, Mummy had the sheer cheek to watch me screaching and writhing on the carpet for a minute and then, when I nearly bumped my head on the marble mantlepiece, she actually had the nerve to strap me into my highchair before Leaving The Room!  I couldn't believe it!  The sheer indignity of being put somewhere safe and left to shriek in private was Utterly Unacceptable!  I twisted and jerked, screamed and howled but she flatly ignored me.  After At Least An Hour If Not Two, she had the nerve to come back in with a cup of tea and ask me if I was finished!  Well!  I ask you!!!  The Sheer Nerve!!!!  I notified her in quite uncertain terms that I Had Not Finished Thank You Very Much and, would you believe, SHE WALKED OUT AGAIN!!!!!

It was this moment that I decided once and for all to advertise for a new set of staff.  These ones simply are not acceptable and clearly entirely untrainable.  No, it's best just to cut my losses.  I require far more devotion that Mummy is currently demonstrating so it's no good, she'll just have to go.  I would however be delighted to interview new applicants for the position and I assure you that once I've got it right, I promise never to throw another tantrum again.  I'm really quite a goodnatured baby.  In fact, if you were considering applying, just forget everything you've just read.  Mummy wrote it, not me, and it does not in any way reflect the essence of Who I Really Am and is entirely made up of false and unfair allegations.  See?  That's why she has to go.


So, If you wish to apply for the position, please do send in your written application to:

The Baby
Screaming Highchair
Tantrum Corner

I look forward to hearing from you soon!  You call is valuable to us and will be held in a queue until the next available operator....oh never mind.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Women's Own Magazine

Today, a version of Adam's story was published in Women's Own magazine, a scanned copy of which is below:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Jet lag? I laugh in the face of jet lag!

Well, I heard Mummy talking to Daddy before we left to get on the big metal bird and she was saying she hoped I wouldn't suffer too much from jet lag and also that I wouldn't keep her awake for too many nights while I adjusted.  Now, if there's ever one thing I'm going to pay attention to, it's mention of me causing trouble for Mummy.  As I said in my last post, I never cause trouble, I simply expect the attention that is due me as His Majesty, The Baby.

So of course, the first night after our big adventure in the big metal bird, I thought I would break Mummy in gently, just to make sure she had a nice rest. Because I had a nice long nap on the metal bird, and another shorter rest in the car on the way to Aunty Lynne's, I was quite happy to have a small snack for my tea and then stay awake until just after 6pm.  Mummy was quite amazed that I'd lasted so long and even dared hope I would sleep for a nice long time during the night - I heard her saying so to Aunty Lynne just before I dropped off to sleep.  Well, if theres one thing that's guaranteed to make me want to mess with the staff, it's a wish like that!

So, just to prove what an exceptionally nice baby I am, I allowed myself just one brief Dumbles crisis during the night and other than that, slept through until 5am.  Then, when Mummy sleepily dragged me into her bed, I confirmed just how much I liked being cuddled by agreeing to lay as quietly and silently as a little mouse....albeit just slightly more smelly than a real mouse, but we won't go there.

However, by 6am, I had decided I really had been exceptionally nice to Mummy and that it was now definitely time to get up.  I announced this fact by crawling out of Mummy's arms, inching up onto my knees and elbows and then stuck my bottom in the air.  I wiggled.  Then I wiggled some more.  Then I put my head into the roleypoley position and prepared to flip my smelly little bottom into Mummy's sleepy face.  Unfortunately, she's getting wise to this trick and succeeded in grabbing me just before I commenced my grand manoeuvre.  As she grabbed me, I complained saying, "Mummy! I was busy! Mummy I was doing my morning roleypoley!  It's very important to start the day with a little bit of light exercise and this is my method!  Let me go AT ONCE Mummy!  Mummy, do NOT shush me!  Mummy, if I want to shout then I will shout and I don't care if we are guests in Aunty Lynne's house nor that it is 6am.  I was BUSY!"

Mummy, ever deaf to my protests, dragged me out of roleypoley position but thankfully, she had listened to my point of view and agreed that yes, it was indeed time to get up.  She changed and dressed me and, continuing my plan of buttering up the staff, I giggled and chuckled contentedly and remained oh, so quiet and considerate of others in the house.  Once we were ready, Mummy crept quietly downstairs and offered me some lovely tasty milk which of course, I drank quietly and happily while snuggling on my cushion and enjoying some nice cuddles.  When Cousin Nicki came down just after 7am as she got ready for school, she looked at my contented face and said, "Ahhhh he is just SO cute!" Step One of my plan is working.  Then when Aunty Lynne appeared an hour later and looked at me quietly playing with my toys on the floor, she said Uncle Dwayne had told her, "Wow, that is one quiet kid!" Oh Uncle Dwayne, you have much to learn.

We had a nice, quiet day that first day in Canaydia.  I napped, played, ate a little but not a lot and succeeded in staying awake until 7pm which pleased Mummy greatly.  Just as I fell asleep, I heard her wishing for a repeat of last night and I smiled to myself.  That evening, every hour, on the hour, I shouted for Dumbles ensuring that Mummy spent the whole evening running up and down Aunty Lynne's stairs.  I'm sure she was grateul for the exercise.  As she was also trying to win her own battle against jet lag, she forced herself to stay up until 10pm before tiredly walking up the stairs one last time.  I watched out of one eye as she got ready for bed, crawled under the covers and laid her head on the pillow.





Mummy tiredly crawled out of bed, stuffed Dumbles into my mouth, stroked my head a few times and then crawled back into bed again.

I allowed her five minutes.


Once again, Mummy crawled out of bed, stuffed Dumbles into my mouth, stroked my head and crawled back into bed again.

Once again, I allowed her five minutes before, 


This really was a fun game, I was quite sure I could keep it up for hours.  But eventually, I decided that for my own sake, a brief snooze would just help me conserve my strength for the next phase.  So I munched on Dumbles and allowed myself to drift into a pleasant doze.  The next I knew it was 1am and I was shocked to realise I had allowed Mummy to sleep for an entire 1.5 hours.  I quickly decided that this really was enough rest for any member of staff and that it was time to ramp up my plan to the next phase.  

This time, just shouting for my Dumbles really wasn't dramatic enough to ensure the staff were well and truly awake.  So I stood up in my cot, leaned as far over the bars as I could and screamed, MUMMY!!!!!!!!!!  I require your attention AT ONCE!!!!!!!!  


This time Mummy groaned and put her pillow over her head as she attempted to ignore me.  Well.  This. Would. Never.  Do.


Mummy groaned.  Then she moaned.  Then she rolled over and stared through the darkness at my patiently waiting little face peering over the top of my cot.


Hmm.  Mummy, why are you still lying in bed groaning?  This is wholly unacceptable Mummy.  I don't care if it is 1am.  I require you to get up and wait on me This.  Instant.  MUMMY!

Well, eventually, Mummy agreed to get out of bed and pull me into her bed.  I therefore spent the next three and a half hours entertaining myself by rolling, wiggling, kicking, doing 360 degree rotations in the bed, then just to freak her out, I would quickly roll as close to the edge of the bed as I could while pretending to be asleep.  This of course ensured that Mummy jumped and grabbed for me, thinking I was about to fall out of bed.  The bigger picture was that the panic I created in her ensured she was completely and totally awake.  

By 4:30am, Mummy had completely run out of energy, patience and was entirely willing to rehome me to the highest bidder.  Unfortunately, bidders for noisy babies are few and far between at 4:30am so she decided to plunk me back into my cot, dragged a chair over beside it and propped up her iPad next to it.  Then, she put 'In The Night Garden' on continuous repeat. Ahhhhh.  Success, I do love this show.  If only someone had thought to make popcorn, this would be the perfect setting.  Ah well, I suppose a baby can't have everything.  Mummy? Would you like to watch with me?




I believe that lump over there in the bed with, is it two or three pillows over its head?  Yes, I believe that lump is Mummy.  I do believe she's decided she's now off duty.  Ahhh well, I could press the point, but I do love this show.  Alright, I'll let you off Mummy, just this once..

Later that morning, I heard that Uncle Dwayne had changed his opinion of me and apparently described our night together as "brutal".  Now Uncle Dwayne, that really isn't a nice thing to say.  Energetic perhaps.  Long lasting perhaps.  Certainly not brutal though.

Anyway, everyone shush.  I'm watching my favourite show.

I like jet lag, it's really quite fun.  Can we do this again sometime soon Mummy?  I've had a great night.


Oh well, I guess all staff are allowed a little downtime.  Just this once, I'll allow it.

Baby over and out.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The biggest adventure in the WORLD!

Mummy told me we were going on the biggest adventure in the WORLD this week.  I didn't really know what that meant but she was trying to describe a big metal bird thing that flies in the sky and can even go across a big ocean.  Well! CLEARLY Mummy has been drinking too much falling down juice because even I know there's no such thing as a metal bird.  Birds come in white, brown, grey and sometimes in other colours but they don't come in metal!

Anyway, she said we were going in this big metal (clearly imaginary) bird all the way to somewhere called Canada or as Daddy kept calling it, Canaydia.  Apparently this was going to be a very long trip and I had to be on my best behaviour the whole way there and not give Mummy any trouble at all.....

Well!  The indignity of such a suggestion!  Me? Give anyone trouble? As if such a preposterous thing would ever occur! Of course I require appropriate service and am quite willing to let the staff know when they are being delinquent but I would hardly consider this to be causing trouble!

So, the day came and Daddy put me into the car and we drove and drove and drove - for hours!  I slept for part of the way but approximately ten miles from any known restaurant or service station, I decided I was hungry.  Right. Now.  In fact, I was about to die of starvation.  Of course I let the staff know about this so I'm quite confident they enjoyed the next ten miles of the trip.  Thankfully, they finally accepted the wisdom behind my comments and found somewhere to feed me.  I very much enjoyed my jar of mush and happily chuckled at and charmed everyone who looked at me.  Then I decided I would very much like some grapes.  Quite a lot of grapes in fact.  Unfortunately so many grapes that I decided to return them to Mummy and Daddy in quite a dramatic way.  Hmmm my charm offensive may have become slightly less effective at that point.  Thankfully, Mummy and Daddy succeeded in cleaning me up and we got on the road again.

The journey was very smooth for the next two hours of so, so smooth that when we were precisely 2.3 miles from the place called "hotel", Daddy felt confident enough to say that we were having a very good trip.  This was a very big mistake as it took precisely five seconds for all of the cars to ground to an utter halt.  Three lanes of cars at a complete stop.  Of course as you might expect, this was the point at which I decided I was THIRSTY.  And I was THIRSTY NOW.  I began to shout for the staff to pay attention to me and couldn't figure out why I was being ignored.  I shouted louder.  The shouting in fact got so loud that Mummy was very upset and Daddy was getting noisy himself.  Apparently it took us over an hour to travel .3 of a mile.  Eventually, Mummy opened her car door and jumped out.  I was so shocked I actually stopped shouting as I looked at her in shock.  Mummy, are you playing chicken?  Thankfully though, she climbed into the back seat with me and started pouring lemonade into my mouth.  Such relief!  It took quite some time longer for us to reach the hotel but it probably took a little bit longer for Mummy and Daddy to start speaking again.  I don't think Daddy will describe a journey as good any time soon.

Eventually though, we all settled down for a nice sleep.  The next morning, Mummy decided to get up at 5:15am, I'm really not sure why as I had already decided to have a nice lie in.  Daddy had to poke me awake, telling me that we were now going somewhere called "airport" to see this (imaginary) bit metal bird.  At this point, I began to be suspicious that something odd was going on.  I was suspicious enough that I started to quietly voice some complaints.  Once Mummy had given some big bags to a lady behind a desk and then started saying goodbye to Daddy, I got worried.  Something strange was definitely going on and I was quite confident that something was going on and I didn't like it.  I NOISILY didn't like it.

Needless to say, it was a noisy trip through security.
It was in fact a noisy two hour wait in the airport.
It was also a noisy wait in the queue to go see the big metal bird.
But instead of leaving again once we had seen it (it does, amazingly enough, actually exist!) we didn't turn around to come home again.  Instead Mummy said we had to get inside the big metal bird and let it fly us somewhere far far away.  If anything, my shouting became louder at this point.

Mummy was getting nervous but she needn't have worried, I was just letting everyone know I was ready for my nap.  Once we had finally settled down into our small little chair, I cuddled into Mummy's soft squishy bits and fell asleep for three whole hours.  In doing so, I kindly prevented her from having any lunch but I'm quite sure she wasn't missing anything really.  She may have disagreed as she had a small snack sized bag of pretzels between breakfast and arriving in Canada but I'm sure she was overreacting really.  They must have been very nice pretzels because she ate them really very quickly.

When I woke up, I was quite content to play on Mummy's iPad, play with the nice little nursery rhyme book she had bought me (my favourite was the b-i-n-g-o song - I played that quite a in more than 100 times) but otherwise I spent my time generally being adorable.

Unfortunately though, at hour five of seven point five, I was finished with sitting in the big metal bird.  I was in fact 
quite ready to get off RIGHT NOW and as my fans will know, I'm not shy with sharing my opinions.  So I did so.  Loudly.  For two and a half hours.  Mummy was remarkably patient with me, particularly during the part when I vomited into her hand...but we won't talk about that part.

FINALLY we got off the big metal bird.

FINALLY we cleared security.
FINALLY Mummy picked up all her bags.

And FINALLY we went through some big glass doors where Aunty Lynne was waiting for us.

She took one look at Mummy's face and, after giving her a hug said, "like that was it?"

Mummy didn't say much but I guess Aunty Lynne must be telepathic.  I'm sure I wasn't THAT 

bad....was I? 

Mummy, is this Canadia?  

Mummy? Why aren't you speaking to me Mummy?!

Hmmmmm......the staff appear to be off duty....

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Staff Training Course...

I was lying in my cot last night and realized it's been far too long since I've put Mummy and Daddy through a training day so I thought it was definitely time for some plotting.  As I lay in the darkness and munched on Dumbles, I worked out my plan and then, after a brief snooze, put it into action.

4:03am:  "MUMMY!  DADDY!  I AM AWAKE!"

4:04am:  Hmmm the staff are being delinquent.  Must call louder.


4:06am:  Daddy stumbled into my room to find me standing up in my cot smiling as I waved Dumbles at him.

"HELLO DADDY!  I'm awake now.  Can we play please?"

But then, the sheer indignity, Daddy stuffed Dumbles back into my mouth and laid me down on my pillow!  He gently covered me with my quilt and rubbed my back for a few minutes so I closed my eyes just to make him happy.  He smiled to himself and crept out of the room as I began to count.





This time it was Mummy who stumbled into my room.  She had quite funny bedhead so I giggled at her and bounced up and down in my cot.

4:14am: "HELLO MUMMY!  I'm awake now.  Can we play please?"

Ahh, this is more productive.  Mummy lifted me out of my cot, and cuddled me against her.  I wrapped my arms around her neck and snuggled into her mumbling happily.  Then she carried me into her bedroom and settled me down on my own little pillow between her and Daddy, covering me with their duvet.

I lay as still and quiet as a mouse.

For at least thirty seconds.

Then I started to roll.  And I started to kick.  And I succeeded in doing a few 360 degree rotations so I was kicking Daddy in the head and tucking my face into Mummy's armpit.  Then I stood on my head and tried to do a roleypoley.  I nearly had it cracked when Mummy, the spoilsport pulled me back down and snuggled my head on her shoulder.

"Mummy!"  I complained.  "I was doing a roleypoley!  I was busy!"

4:31am:  "Mummy, I really am ready to get up now!  Please take me downstairs for some milk and Chuggington!"

Mummy was still being a spoilsport though.  She said, "Baby, you are not getting up at 4:30 in the morning.  Now go to sleep."


To my utter disgust, Mummy ignored my well phrased comments and laid me down again beside her.  The cuddle was nice and all but it just wasn't working for me - staff training was so far leaving much to be desired.  By 5am, Daddy was sighing quite a lot and occasionally punching his pillow as he tried to get comfortable.  I think he might have been feeling a little bit tired but....

5:01am: "DADDY!  IF YOU'RE FEELING TIRED, A NICE CUP OF TEA WILL HELP YOU WAKE UP A BIT!  I know you make tea downstairs and that's perfect you see because then you can make my MILK at the same time!  YOU SEE? YOU SEE?  YOU SEE?  It's perfect really!"

Daddy groaned and covered his head with the pillow.  Hmmm.  This was not going as planned. 

I decided my best bet was to try the roleypoley again.  That would surely convinced Mummy and Daddy that I really was awake now.  I stood up, bounced a bit to get ready then bent over with my nappy in Daddy's face and my arms braced on Mummy's neck while my head was wedged in her soft squishy bits.

3....... (wiggle)

2..... (wiggle wiggle)

1!!  Over I rolled and my legs smacked Mummy in the face as she "whomphed" in surprise.


5:04am:  Thankfully this was the final straw and Daddy realized my need for milk really was quite urgent so he went to prepare me a lovely gourmet bottle.  I thought I could hear a bit of groaning from downstairs but it might have been the dog so I won't blame him for being less than enthusiastic about meeting my needs.  

5:22am:  I lay on my little pillow and mumbled contentedly as I gulped down my milk.  Yummy, tasty milk.  Mmmmm.....just the perfect way to start my day.  Sadly, my bottle was empty all too soon and after I obligingly burped in Mummy's ear, she lay me down and started to pat my arm clearly hoping I would go back to sleep.  She even lay down beside me with her eyes closed in an effort to inspire me.

Yah.  Right.  Mummy, you have much to learn.  

5:34am:  I am AWAKE.  Awake, awake, awake, awake.  Hmmm.....shall it be another roleypoley or shall I stand up and rattle the metal headboard against the neighbour's adjoining wall - which will be most effective?  ::plotting::

Just then, one of the furry thingy's joined my waking up campaign and, with a great huge groaning heave and a long meeeeoooowwwwww, decided to leave the contents of it's stomach on the hall floor.  Excellent!  Thank you very much furry thingy!  That was very helpful of you!  You see?  Daddy is now rushing downstairs to pick it up, this definitely means it's time to wake up.  Have I mentioned how much I like furry thingy's???

5:44am:  "Daddy!  You're coming back for me right?  Once you've cleaned up of course.  DADDY?  DADDY!!!!!  WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU'RE SLEEPING ON THE SOFA?!  DADDY!!!!!!!"

5:47am:  Hmmm.  This was not going quite according to plan.  We are definitely not amused.  NO Mummy, I DON'T want to cuddle!  I am AWAKE.  I believe I have mentioned this once or twice now, what does it take for you to get the point?  You are staff, I am baby and I set the rules in this house!




OOO!!!!!!!  A positively brilliant idea has just popped into my head!  I can pull Mummy's hair!  Why on earth did it take me so long to figure this one out?  Tug.  Tug.  Tugtugtugtugtugtugtugtug........

Hello Mummy.  Happy morning!  Are you awake yet???


Unfortunately, as I have explained previously, Mummy has my stubbornness so she didn't give up easily.  She is also very fond of her sleep (much too fond in my opinion) so our discussion continued, growing rather louder as the minutes passed until she finally gave in at 6:05am and took me downstairs.  There she deposited me in Daddy's lap making him "uuumph!" in the process as he had the indignity to be sleeping.  Fortunately, I had the perfect remedy for that so I crawled across to smile angelically into his tired face and then began to tug on one single chest hair.


6:10am:  Well, somewhat later than planned but finally, both staff are successfully awake and ready to serve my every need.  An excellent start to the day I think.  Now then, I think the plan will be as follows:

6:15am:  Watch CBeebies at a lovely loud volume and dance along to Teletubbies.

6:45am:  Have a rather large poo in my pants.

6:46am:  Crawl up onto the settee and settle down comfortable in Daddy's lap as the rising odour of fresh poo fills the room.

6:47am:  Ensure maximum wriggling while staff attempt to change my pants.

7:00am:  Demand breakfast - loudly and instantly while shouting in utter panic - I HUNGER!  STAFF!!!  I HAVE A RUMBLY IN MY TUMBLY!  FIX IT AT ONCE!!!!!

7:20am:  Having finished a lovely bowl of lemon yogurt porridge, tuck into a nice slice of marmite toast.

7:30am:  Bounce along to Octonauts.

7:54am:  Announce that My Majesty is now tired and would quite like to retire for my morning nap, which I fully expect to last until lunchtime.

Ahhh.  Staff training, Session 1A complete.  Job well done.