Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The carbon king

Well, it's Budget day and one of the things Darling has been targeting is carbon emissions (that's Darling the chancellor and not darling the wife), with a £2bn investment in low-carbon industries.

Over the past year carbon emissions in our home have been steadily rising. George's size-to-gas-emission ratio is one of the highest on the planet. He has also single-bottomedly created enough waste to warrant his own landfill site. Having said that, we did try washable nappies and were prepared to put the effort in for the sake of the environment, etc (which some say is debatable when weighing up the pros and cons of energy used washing against the effects of disposal). Anyway, washable nappies didn't soak up any wee and George ended up sitting in his own pee if he wasn't changed absolutely immediately, and – as any parent will tell you – the welfare of their little one comes before the welfare of the environment. So comfy disposables it is.

As I may have mentioned before, George has a habit of opening the fridge and leaving the door open, albeit for a matter seconds at a time, but if you add them up it runs into minutes, then it will be hours – and if he's still doing it when he's eighteen – years!

Who... me?

As he doesn't walk or ride a bike yet, he gets ferried everywhere in the car, and as mummy is back to work in a couple of weeks we have had to go back to being a two-car family so that daddy can drop him and pick him up from nursery and grandparents' houses.

Recently, I saw a fellow-blogger's video version of the Daz doorstep challenge – but when George gets hold of a plum even the hottest wash barely touches the purple splatters, spillages and stains – in fact, George generates enough dirty stuff to keep Dot's laundry on EastEnders in business.

I don't know what the answer is, but whatever you do, don't tell Darling – he might introduce a special George tax.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Ages of George

There has been a lot of talk about the 'age of reason' recently and I was wondering when the 'age of naughty' begins – not the capacity to know right from wrong, but the realisation that you're doing something you perhaps shouldn't.

At nearly 10-months-old, I'm often not sure if George knows he's being naughty when he scoots on up to the fridge and turns to give you a little sideways glance before he opens it for the umpteenth time; or when he grabs the cardboard tray on the supermarket shelf and tugs until all the bottles of Johnson's Baby Bath end up on the floor (thank goodness they were plastic); or when he grabs at grandad's glasses or yanks other grandad's beard. At the moment he's getting a bit of leeway until it becomes a little more obvious.

And when is the 'age of Mother's Day' – the age when it's down to George to sort out mummy's gift himself? This last Sunday was the first Mother's Day in our family – a bit of a wait considering I only had to wait about three weeks for my first Father's Day – and in the run-up mummy was certain that daddy, on George's behalf, hadn't done or bought anything. So much so, that on a trip to the supermarket she put her own gift into the trolley (an 'I Love Mummy' mug and an 'I Love My Mum' photo frame). I didn't say a word, so with a bit of a sulk she decided that that was proof enough that I had arranged nothing.

Well... when George was first born, mummy would stay at home while daddy did the shopping and on one particular shopping trip I picked up Melody Gardot's My One and Only Thrill CD as a treat for mummy and George. We used to play it almost every day and still listen to it very regularly. There is a song on it that mummy would sing to George to send him fast asleep. It's called ' If the Stars Were Mine' and the lyrics are beautifully apt for a mother to sing to her baby – it's George's and mummy's special song.

When mummy opened her Mother's Day card out dropped tickets to see Melody Gardot at the Symphony Hall – needless to say, she was a little surprised. And what's more – the concert falls on her birthday weekend – so how's that for killing two birds with one stone? Daddy (and George) were certainly in the good books.

It will be even more special when George reaches the 'age of Mother's Day' and buys or makes a gift himself – in the meantime we've been watching Supernanny – you know, the one where Jo Frost sorts out naughty kids and inept parents – hoping it will give us a clue as to when the 'age of naughty' kicks in, and so that our parenting skills don't slide.

It used to be a programme we avoided like the plague – mainly because we were worried it would put us off trying for a family. Now it's one of the programmes we try to catch every week – both sitting making mental notes; 'oh, we won't do that', and 'we'll have to remember that', etc. As I write, mummy is trying to dress George while he is opening and slamming the bottom drawer that he can just about reach; very soon he'll be in the kitchen dragging the chairs around – and there's only so much of that you can stand... "SUPERNANNY!!"

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

George gets the blame

The other day one of our friends phoned to tell us that George had drawn on their wall. We were a little taken aback to start with and were about to get defensive about it. After all, we hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks and the last time we'd met had been at a toddler's party in a leisure centre.

It turned out that George got blamed by their three-year-old daughter, who'd said that George had visited on his own, made the mark on the wall and then left – without his mummy and daddy knowing anything – and considering we live 9.3 miles apart (I checked it on a route planner) this is no mean feat for a nine-month-old baby. Although, if by a chance in a million it is true, he might be taking after his daddy who once said that when he grew up would like to be a vandal.

Something that George actually did do was to steal a pair of shoes. Mummy went to Mothercare and had been looking at the baby footwear during her trip to pick up a few essentials. She finished her shopping, paid at the checkout, returned to the car and took George out of the pushchair to put him in his car seat – and dangling from his little fingers was a pair of 0-3 month shoes that he'd managed to reach out and nab. A little red-faced, she returned them to the shop where the staff nodded knowingly – must happen all the time. I wonder what she'd have done if they'd have been the right size.

Daddy's had more colds in the past six months than he's had in his whole working life – and this has to be down to George too. George, of course, thinks it's incredibly funny when daddy blows his nose – must be the elephant noises I make – but he hates having his own nose wiped (why can't you get one wipe out at a time? Do they make them so they come out in threes just so you have to buy more?). Anyway, there is an up side to being on the receiving end of all these colds – daddy can't smell when George has done a poo in his nappy.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

On hallowed ground

We've been going to church over the past few Sundays. It's a pretty little church, just a five-minute walk away in the next village. It's where mummy and daddy got married a few years back and it's where we'd like to introduce God to George and George to God, so to speak.

We're not getting him christened as such – or baptised as it is often called now – no, later this year we're going to have a blessing/thanksgiving (after all we did wait a long time for him) and besides, we'd rather do something that's genuine and feels right for us and George. The days of superstition and high infant mortality rates are long gone and I think many people opt for a christening out of tradition's sake.

Anyway, this last Sunday daddy put on his nice, warm, cashmere jumper – just to make a bit of an effort – and was just about to walk out of the door when George decides to have a wriggle as we attempt to get his coat and shoes on. As is frequently the case these days, George had a snotty nose and daddy's jumper instantly looked like it had been the venue for a slug and snail convention.

After a quick jumper change, we managed to arrive in plenty of time and took up seats where we hoped George wouldn't be noticed should he try to make himself noticed. Even though we try not to use a dummy too much, we had one to hand and just about plugged most of George's incessant garbling, and though we brought with us toys that didn't make any noise, mummy eventually had to go in the creche when he started throwing them into the aisles.

This coming Sunday there are two services – one is the 'service as usual' and the other is a family orientated affair with croissants and coffee – daddy will probably go to the 'service as usual' for a bit of peace and quiet and mummy can go to the family one where George can make as much noise as he likes.

One thing's for sure – daddy will be checking the World Cup fixtures before setting the date for George's special day. And it's not just because I like the football – I wouldn't hear the last of it if it clashed with the England v Germany final. Anyway, that's all a little way off yet – in the meantime I'm looking forward to the match tonight; feet up, George in bed (fingers crossed), perhaps a glass of wine and a dummy for mummy (well, I haven't actually come across one of those, but a magazine and some chocolate should do the trick!).

Hey... you never know... World Cup 2030...