But mostly, the reason I haven't had much chance to blog is because June has been fecking BUSY. Not content with having two children's birthdays to sort out this month, we, for reasons which now escape me, decided to go on holiday in between the said birthdays. So it's all been a bit busy, and we're not even done yet, but I am going to tell you about some of it anyway. Aren't I kind?
So, yeah, The Littl'un is now 1. One whole year old. We celebrated by having a little party for her, attended by all of her friends. Well, strictly speaking, they were mostly The Toddler's friends, as one of the many ways in which second children are deprived (or at least my second one), is that you don't spend your whole maternity leave seeking out things to do and people who have children the same age to do them with. You spend it taking your first one to soft play and drinking coffee with the friends you already have. As a result, The Littl'un only hangs around with nearly-three-year-olds, and is fascinated any time she sees a baby of her own age. I think she enjoyed her party anyway. There was food, and she got a trike, which she liked. And by "liked", I mean "crawled on top of the box, sat on it and refused to move".
Then came the holiday: a week in France with my parents, and my sister and her boyfriend joined us for a few days too (although they almost didn't make it due to an almighty farce involving them locking their car key in the boot of the car in the South of France, and them having to have new one forged in the fires of Mordor, or some other such nonsense). We had a very lovely time, although, naturellement, I found things to despair over as well....
Things that pained me:
- Driving (well, passengering. Husband makes fun of my driving, therefore I refuse to ever do it if I can make him do it) - I do not live very close to France. Getting to France involves driving from the Tyneside coast, to Portsmouth. That's far. Although, to be honest, the drive down was not actually as bad as I thought it was going to be. Or at least, not after Wetherby Services, where I decided that rather than sitting in the front, it was best to wedge my arse in the gap between the car seats and keep the kids supplied with a constant stream of rice cakes. So that bit was OK. The painful bit of driving came once we disembarked. This is because we were in convoy with my dad. My father is a wonderful man, with many admirable skills and qualities, but it has to be said that getting directly from our point of arrival to our accommodation on any given holiday is resolutely not one of them. My childhood holidays to France always commenced with some kind of circuitous wandering around mysterious back roads, with the whole family on the lookout for road signs, or some kind of significant landmark like the sea, or Paris, to confirm for us that we were, in fact, heading in the wrong direction. Ah well, we got there in the end.
- Eating out - There is apparently a book out called 'French Children't Don't Throw Food'. If that is true, then all of the restaurants must have been slightly shell-shocked by my children, who cannot eat anywhere without redecorating the walls and upholstery with bits of fruit and partially-chewed chip. The Littl'un has an excuse for this behaviour, in that she is only one, and still working out the best way of getting food into her face (and fails to realise that smearing it in her hair is not it). The Toddler has no such excuse, she's just a pain in the arse. She lolled on chairs, she crumpled up bits of food in her hand, she refused to eat anything that wasn't a chip, she showed everyone the contents of her mouth at every opportunity, and generally made me look like one of "those" mothers who is incapable of making her child behave nicely. By the last night, I had resorted to telling her that princesses (which is she is currently and suddenly obsessed with) sit and eat nicely, so if she wants to be a princess when she grows up, she had better do as she is told, while the feminist in me cringed.
- The Littl'un - The Littl'un seemed to spend the week vying for the title of Clingiest Baby In The Whole Entire World. The first weekend, it was quite funny, as her affections were almost exclusively directed at my sister's boyfriend, who she adores. She would fling herself towards him the second he was in sight, and if he dared to leave her, she would cry as if her heart was breaking. It was pretty cute, and I don't think he minded too much. Or at least I hope not. But once he had gone, the clinginess was turned my way, or my mother's, and if she knew that one of us was there and not cuddling her, she would let us know, in no uncertain terms, that she would like us to rectify this situation. Husband was a bit put out by her behaving as if he was some kind of evil stranger every time he held her, and I was a bit put out by being constantly clambered on and pulled at by tiny hands. It's a good job she's cute.
- The ferry home - It was choppy. It was unpleasant. I was ill. The Toddler was so ill that she put her Haribo down. Poor thing.
To be continued....