Saturday, 3 November 2012

About a Boy. (And Two Girls.)

I mentioned before that the Boy turned four recently.  I have to say that so far, I love four – it’s the best thing since... one-and-a-bit (when it all started to go downhill).  Four dresses itself in the morning – having chosen its own clothes.  Four loves its baby sister, is (relatively) patient, charming, and funny.  Four can make itself understood, and so doesn’t get as frustrated as, say, three or two (God, the horror of two) did.  Four has developed an inquisitive mind – beyond the random “why?”s of its younger years.  Four is also a bit obsessed with age.  And its correlation with death. (That’s what happens, I guess, when you suddenly increase your total years by 33% in one single day.) 

So this is what I got the other night:

“Mummy, how old are you?”

I tell him (I’m not telling you, tho’).

“HAHAHAHA!  You’re nearly DEAD!”  (Said way too gleefully for my liking.)


“Mummy.  When I am 100 I will be DEAD.  But before that I will just be VERY OLD.”

And then – OhGodTheHorror – on the bus:

“Lady?  LADY!  How old are you?”

Old Lady:  “I’m 88.”

“OH.  MY.  GOD.  You’ll be DEAD soon.”

The Girl, on the plus side, doesn’t devote too much of her time to embarrassing the life out of me.  On the down side, it’s only because she’s too busy perfecting her teenage behaviour.  Christ alive – why did nobody warn me about 2 yr old girls?  And where has my sweet lump of love gone?  In the past couple of months, just as the Boy was beginning to come out of his horror phase, she has jumped headfirst into hers.  (At least I’m hoping it’s a phase). Everything – everything – is “NO!”.  Irrespective of the question.  It’s bloody exhausting.  The Boy has started to be quite nice to her, quite a  bit of the time, and he literally gets a slap in the face for his troubles.  So cue him to start whinging to me, cue me to tell him that I DON’T CARE WHAT SHE DID, STOP TELLING TALES, then cue him to sulk and me to twitch. Meanwhile, the Girl is busy ripping up whatever she can get her hands on- wallpaper (expensive, landlord’s), a good behaviour chart (empty), the Boy’s painting (awful), money from my wallet (expensive, mine) – all with a Fuck You World look on her face. 

She has recently started demanding lipstick.  When refused, she stomps off and goes searching for it herself. Cunningly, however, all my lipstick (in fact all my makeup) is old and dry and crumbly, so her plans to go out on the pull – or whatever she has in mind – are generally thwarted. (She has also started wearing sparkly underpants, which, coupled with the lipstick, has me a bit worried.  Thankfully, however, she usually wears three pairs at once, which most 2 year old boys find a bit of a turn-off). And as for her hair – which she refuses to let me touch – well, just look for yourselves.  (A complete stranger offered me a hairbrush for her in a cafe last week – she clearly mistook me for someone who has the time – or inclination – to worry about how her children look.)

The other Girl (what shall we call her?  Star?  Baby?  Grubette? Mia?  (the last is her real name, but seems a shame to hide the others behind unoriginal monikers, and not burden her with the same.  Let’s go with “the Baby” for the moment. We can revise in a year or so.)) is, comparatively speaking, a delight.  I know I know that babies are incredibly dull / frustrating / time-consuming, but actually, compared to (my) toddlers, they’re so damn easy.  Exhausting, naturally, but as long as they’re not screeching for no discernible reason, they’re a piece of piss.  I wish I had more of an update on her – She tried to focus her eyes!  She pooed! – but she’s still doing very very little.  Oh, her revolting belly button thing came off yesterday, much to the Boy’s relief (“What ON EARTH is that?”) but I can’t really give her too much – or indeed any – credit for that.  She did sleep from 11pm until 6am the other night – cuddled up in bed with me (don’t tell Gina) – which was great - tho not so great for me, lying beside her, veering between utter conviction that she was dead, and astonishment (and resentment) at the amount of noise a sleeping newborn makes.

So between the three (!) of them, I am being kept on my poor, worn-out toes.  It will surprise no one to learn that cooking anything other than pasto-pesto is currently beyond my scope.  Although I did learn a great pasta-pesto trick from someone the other day:  mix one part pesto with two parts crème-fraiche, heat through, and voila!  You’ve got creamy pasta pesto, and have just doubled your post-baby cooking repertoire.   (I PROMISE to make something new this week and report accordingly).

Ps – if anyone has any hair-detangling suggestions, let me know.  If only to spare the sensibilities of hair-brush-wielding strangers. 


  1. Globs and blobs of Frizz Ease. Any of those "hair serum" liquids that have silicone in them are absolutely magic for getting out bad knots and tangles.

    Garnier Fructis tends to be pretty cheap usually, and it smells like Jolly Rancher candy, so the kiddo might actually enjoy smelling that way.

  2. Johnson and Johnson makes a detangler spray in a green/blue bottle. Inexpensive..and it works.

  3. satin pillow case if she keeps head on pillow while sleeping. Satin fabric at head end of bed if she does not keep head on a pillow. Helps. Hair slides better when sleeping and knots up less.... at least that is the story.
    Detangler sprays also work ~ if you are allowed to comb it. BIG wide spread tooth comb and comb from bottom moving slowly up hair shaft.
    Apply wine to your mouth afterwards.

  4. Ugh, the detangling. We use the detangling sprays, and there is a brush called the Tangle Tamer that actually helps. This week we've had the fun new experience of dealing with an infestation of lice, and going over my daughter's damp head with a nit comb had the added bonus of finally getting all the knots our of her hair. So I suppose you could use a lot of conditioner and try that (minus the lice) and see if that works.

  5. Conditioner and water in a spray bottle. Really short hair...

  6. It's like detangling a nest of snakes. Thanks all for your suggestions. Will splash out on conditioner /detangler. While satin pillow case makes sense, the little madam doesn't need anything to add to her sense of entitlement. I like very much the wine to mouth instruction -excellent, thank you.

  7. i LOVE her hair. shes rocking that look. lets find her a band and an open mike session and retire!!! X

  8. This might work...

  9. Thing 2's hair looks EXACTLY the same way and she screams bloody murder every morning (You're hurting meeeeee!!!!!!!). I also use conditioner and warm water in a spray and a wide tooth comb (or finger comb it if she's really being difficult - Oooowwwww! Ooooooooowwwwwwwww!). If dry, I bust out my fancy M&P boar bristle brush, it seems to make it easier. Doesn't matter how short it is, either. I also load on the conditioner while she's in the shower - if yours is inclined to stand in a shower.

    I don't use hair serums because she has always hated having her hair washed. Their hair is really fine like mine and the silicone makes it look greasy fast. She screams like an animal when getting shampooed and we wash it daily. Ugh.

    Did I not warn you about 2 year old girls? Because I'm sure I did. But I hate the third year the most. Everything is a fight.

    A 100 years old is the age of death and Thing 1 brought this to my attention yesterday. I think 4 is my favorite year so far. Year 5 is just bringing me sass, eye-rolling, "O.M.G. Mom!" and demands for frillier clothes (which I am already done with). So, 4 is 4 and good and 5 is 5 going on 15.

  10. I find the look adorably punk, too. People pay big money for hair extensions to look just like that! Or at least they did in the '90s.

    More pictures of the baby, please. The baby, the baby! We demand the baby.

  11. Thank the lord I have 3 boys so no detangling, though your tales of rude remarks to strangers makes me laugh thinking of all we've endured - famously, one son (no idea which one, they've melded into the same being) once pointed at a man in a shop and said REALLY loudly to my husband "look at that man dad, he's really ugly!" What can you do?

  12. Hair's kinda cool, I think. Go with it. Or, a hat! Yes, that's it, next time in cafe apply hat. Liking the wine instruction.

  13. She's a small blonde Russell Brand - love it. I've just run into a similar hair issue with my 2 yr old and Loreal detangler spray is effective but had the saccharine smell of faux pears.

  14. You need a Tangle Teezer brush - it has changed my life! That and spray conditioner for my daughter's mop. Good luck!

  15. Was Living Down Under22 November 2012 at 19:00

    Special tangle brush for kids and a spray bottle filled with water (the kind normally reserved for plants I think). Both were lifesavers in our house - minimizing the screaming somewhat.

  16. Oh no - Lady M has recently turned 2 and with that has come the very unexpected delight of her demanding cuddles all the time but now I strongly suspect that she is lulling me into a very false sense of smug security.

    I love the Boy and his comments - 'you'll be dead soon.' I'm intrigued to know what the old lady replied...

    The Baby is beautiful - how are you still managing to blog regularly with three children under 5? I can't even manage that with one child.