Awards – Nice Matters


“Milehimama” over at “Mamasays” has very generously granted me an award, the ‘Nice Matters” one. I feel a bit of a cheat really as I am more deserving of the “grumpy award” or the “Mildly Irritated Award” or the “Thoroughly Cheesed Off Award” but I have yet to see those making the rounds.

Now I have to find seven people to pass the award onto, but as is the way with these things, we all seem to gravitate to the same blogs!

Perhaps I should design a “Thoroughly Cheesed Off Award” and pass that around instead, but I fear that is well beyond my bloggy skills to date.

So I’ll kick off with “Anne” who hangs out at “Anneshouse” strangely enough, as it’s always good to keep an eye on the future and the terrible teens as opposed to the terrible twos. [No he’s a cutie really, but not orange]

Another good place to visit is “Michelle” at “The house of Lime” especially this post about how our own “childhood influences” our behaviour towards our own children. [called the ‘Jacket’ on the 30th November]

Do I have a colour thing going on here or a house thing going on here?

No, not really as next there is “Crystal” at “Crystal Jigsaw” who once again proves that her powers of self control are “unchallenged.”

“Veronica” over at “somedaywewillsleep” enjoys a similarly nocturnal existence to me, but one day soon she will graduate to sleeping and then I shall be all alone.

“Elissa” over at “Managingautism” is always full of good ideas, hints and tips, enough to put the rest of us to shame. Luckily she is technically challenged too as we struggle up the same learning curve with other tech savvy bodies.

over at “Crazy Thoughts” is physically attached to her computer, but that mainly because she’s in the middle of moving and we all know how stressful that can be.

Number seven goes to “Top Cat” at “Open Window” because I love cartoons and a giggle. Hope he doesn’t put up a rude one just in time for this.

Cheers Dearies

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Update Your Insurance Policy

Some people take a very deterministic approach to autism, sometimes fatalistic, but there’s one thing that we’re sure of, the diagnoses isn’t static, more like quicksilver.

I ensure that they are all occupied and engaged with their snacks before I try to unload the shopping, but one of them is persistent.

I ignore him as I don't want to be distracted. There are few guarantees in life, but I know that frozen food will thaw if it is left any longer in the boot of the car. I'm fairly confident that he doesn't know what he's talking about anyway. When it comes to the subject of 'England' I'm sure that I know more about it than he does, because he is American. There is something about his insistent tone that needles my nerve endings.
“No. It is English. I sure!”
“Yes, dear.” I placate him, anything for peace as I haul in bagfuls of groceries. He is so close to me, just like a cat that entwines your legs determined to be fed. I need an insurance policy to ensure a secure future, or at the very least, that we can make it alive until bed time.

We are in a very narrow spot, the spot between the car and the junk in the garage, a little pathway that leads from the car door to the kitchen door, perilous. Why does he do it? I want to stop everything and explain, 'look at me! I'm buried in groceries! I'm not asking you to help but could you just either shut up for a nano second or move your body out of the way, I'm happy with either?' Part of the reason I don't do this, is because flowing speech still has novelty value, for me at least. Also it would definitely be mean and would certainly hurt his feelings, as well as the risk of meltdown factor in a confined space. Another reason that I don't take remedial action, is that just for once I'd love to complete one simple task rather than leaving every single little thing half done.

I try not to think of all the papers laid out in the office, the medical insurance claim that is so overdue, or the presents to be wrapped, the endless list of things undone. I don't really want to have a little chat with my non-verbal son about something trivial, off beat and of no importance to anyone else on the planet, except him.

All I want is to get the groceries unpacked whilst my brain works out what on earth to make for supper. I need two minutes to think of something for supper. Why didn't I think of something for supper whilst we were actually in the supermarket? Because they were all there with me, which meant that I was incapable of any kind of thought. Why didn't I think of what to make for supper before I went to the supermarket? Because they were still all there at home with me too. No nano seconds of free brain time have been available to me for four consecutive days.

How can I ensure that their nutritional needs are met if I am unsure of just about everything. For two pins I'd drop the lot and run screaming from the house just to find those two minutes of peace, but my path is blocked in both directions, boy in front, door behind. I was never good at hurdles as a youngster and I see no reason why this lack of athletic ability should have improved, now that I am in my dotage. A sure sign that I am well and truly trapped.

Two years ago I would have given a pint of blood for eye contact like this. Another pint for just a scrap of that attention. I’d have drained myself dry to be on any subject other than trains and dinosaurs, but now I am feckless, fickle and feeble.

I fear I am suffering from a severe case of cabin fever and very low on reserves. We may yet be reduced to eating twigs, especially if the chef doesn't wake up and smell some caffeine. But there's no stopping him.

“I sure! It is English,” he persists.

We bumble and tumble our way back inside the house. I sit on the floorboards in the kitchen, weary and defeated, surrounded by overflowing, split and ragged grocery bags. I give up and give in.

“What is English dear?” I submit to doing what I should have been doing in the first place. When will I ever just do the right thing at the right time?
“Dah packaging.”
“What packaging dear?”
“Dah packaging on dah bottles.”
“What bottles dear?”
“Dah bottles dat are yurs, er, dah Ensure bottles.”

I look at the six packs, my insurance of continued health if not growth.

“They look pretty ordinary to me.”
“Dey come from England?”
“No we just bought them at Lucky's.”
“Lucky's buyed them from England?”
“No they weren't imported…..I mean no, they're American.”
“I am beed certain!”
“Certain? That’s a new word!”
“Sure! I am beed sure and certain too!”
“What are you certain…er….sure of?”
“Dat dey are have dah English name?” My brain is numb. I have no idea what he is on about. He can now recognize 'blank' when he sees it. He takes pity on my slow brain.
“In England dey say 'ENsure.' In America we say 'INsure.'”

Yup, that's right, there are no guarantees with anything these days.

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If at first you don't succeed


If there is one thing we have in common as parents, it's the repetitive nature of the job.

The phase 'I've said it a thousand times' could be our collective motto, but does anyone ever take any notice?

There are so many little phrases that we repeat on a daily or sometimes hourly basis. Since mine can read I'm tempted to tattoo them on my forehead, but since there are so many. Maybe I should write a long, numbered list and fold it up concertina style, tape it to the same spot so I can just let it unfold and shout 'three!'

Wednesdays are always the worst days. Although the children finish school early, this provides the opportunity for double therapy, one session of speech therapy and one session of occupational therapy for both of them, with the accompanying transitions. Hence, a couple of years ago, I adopted the line of least resistance and designated that Wednesdays would be pizza night. A shop bought pizza makes for an easy, quick and popular supper to be squeezed into the busy day after homework.

Whilst I pretend to 'cook' the children enjoy their thirty minutes of electronics time, but it only takes a few minutes to shove a pizza in the oven and throw cutlery on the table for no-one to use. Why is everything finger food? Instead, I spend a few minutes deliberating.

I have several completed bowls, thrown on the pottery wheel by my own, not so fair hands. One will be a wedding gift to my brother and his soon to be wife. I have whittled down the choice of pottery bowls to five. I'm out of options and choice time has arrived. I slip the five bowls onto the table, each with their different faults. One has a tiny crack but is otherwise perfect. This would be my first choice, but the crack glares at me like a cravass. The next one is also perfect. It has no crack. Instead it is the wrong colour. That shade of green is ever so slightly offensive, slightly bilious. The third one is perfect. It is the right colour and the fish decoration is even, but the bowl is not circular, it has warped in the kiln such that it is elliptical. The fourth one is perfect, but the base or foot is rough. The roughness cannot be eliminated at this stage. This means that their gift will scratch the surface of anything that they place it on, assuming that they don't hide it at the back of some obscure cupboard. The fifth one is perfect. The fish swim, sweep left in a swirl of a school but they are a little larger than I would wish. The colour is thin and a little bald on the rim. I dither about a marking system, but it would be too complex to design. Which is worse a wonky bald rim or a round bowl that isn't?

My daughter saunters up to the table, “whatcha doin Mom?”
“Hmm. I'm trying to decide which one to give to JP and Andrew for their wedding?”
“Oh you gotta give them that one!” she announces without a waver.
“Why that one?”
“Coz it's the biggest and there's two of em. It's big enough for them both to eat their cereal outta.” I blink. I had salad in mind rather than cereal. The word 'cereal' penetrates someone else's focus, which pings them into the arena. “You are have cereal in dat?” he asks. We explain the current state of deliberations. “Oooh, I am likey dat one?”
“Why dear?”
“Coz it is shaped like dah egg.” Well, of course I should have seen that one coming. I would prefer not to have the biased opinions of my offspring all of a sudden, as it really isn't helping. The word 'egg' triggers the last one to blunder into the debate. “You are have eggs?” We explain the tortured current status of the bowl debate. He drapes his upper body on the table top, no so much as for a better view, but more from the exhaustion of having to come up with a well argued opinion. We wait. I prompt.
“Well? What do you think then?”
“Um I fink……I fink………I fink…….dat one.”
“Why that one dear?”
“Coz it is dah bestest Vermillion.” Well that's a different version on 'bilious green' I suppose, but 'green' is never a word that he can retrieve. Their father appears, not drawn by the bowl debate but lured by the wafts of pizza smell. “What's up?” he asks distractedly peering into the oven willing it to speed up. My daughter gets him up to speed. He peers at the table top, “well not that one for sure.”
“Which one?”
“The one with the fish going the wrong way.”
“Which one is the one with the fish going the wrong way?”
“There! Anticlockwise indeed, that'll drive them nuts. It's not like they live in Australia or anything.” I pout. Of all the unreasonable objections, that's about the most ludicrous to date.
“Anyway, why are you picking now?”
“Because anything that isn't glazed now, or rather by the 30th of November, isn't going to be ready by Christmas. There was a notice from the studio warning everyone to get their stuff finished.”
“SO, I'm out of time. It's this or nothing.”
“But it's only November 28, you've got a couple more days.”
“Yes, but I just wanted to get something finished, done, one less thing to worry about.”
“O.k. If you're sure, but the more you practice, the more you do, the better they'll be.”
“You don't think any of them are good enough?”
“I didn't say that. It's up to you. There's no harm in trying again surely?”
“Mummy is da try, try, try agin?”
“Yeah. Have another go mom.”
“Da try agin is good.” My self satisfied, smug husband grins at me. “What do you have to lose, you don't eat pizza anyway! Go out to the garage and fling some clay around?” I look at all the expectant faces that taunt and goad. How can I continue the 'good enough' campaign in the face of such united front?

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Rap me on the knuckles with a ruler

“Have you noticed?”
“Noticed what?”
“That he says it all the time?”
“Er….not particularly.”
“I wonder where he got it from?”
“That little ditty.”
“Which one?”
“The 'my bad' ditty. I'm never sure if it's a question or a statement or where he got it from in the first place? That and the cap turned backwards, is giving me cause for concern.”
“Really. Supposed to look cool I guess. How come you’re worried about his repeats?”
“Well it just sounds so odd. 'Bad' isn't a word that we use around here.”
“All the kids use it.”
“Do they?”
“Oh yes, it's just 'hip' I suppose, you hear it all the time.”
“Do you? I don't.”
“Come now, don't be such an old fuddy duddy. Have you been living under a rock?”
“He's just trying to fit in with his peer group. You should be pleased that he's that socially aware.”
“I should?”
“Well it's a darned sight better than 'oopsie' every time he makes a mistake.”
“But 'oopsie' is sort of sweet and endearing. 'My bad' is……er…….I'm not sure what it is but it definitely sounds odd.”
“Not odd but age and culturally appropriate I think you'll find. You could learn a thing or two from him yourself!”
“You think I should wear a base ball cap turned backwards?”
“It would certainly update your image a little. Gotta be better than choosing the 'purple hat'* option. That can come later.”

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

The ending of the poem pleases its readers when the woman says . . .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to “wear purple.”

Here they are ‘not’ rapping, more of a touch of brotherly love and helpful interpretation.

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Dairy free products

As always, it is just after I have announced my intention to teach “sex education” as and when needed, that the need arises.

They are in the midst of a debate.

“Don't be stoopid! No-one has four penise.s!”
“Cows do! They do so!”
“That's an udder. Anyways, cows are girls.”
“Milk is cow urine?”
“What is chocolate milk being den?”
“It doesn't come out of the cow with chocolate. They put that in after.”
“Cow milk is make you ill?”
“Sure some people,” she says in an off hand manner. I hover. Has the need passed? The laundry crisis needs my attention. I decide to pay no heed, as he hasn't drunk milk for approximately 4 years.

“I am need!” he bellows at his usual 50 decibels. I pay heed at the sudden urgency and loudness of his demand.
“What do you need dear?”
“I am need a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a” I don't let him finish but whisk him away as only an astute mother can. After his experience in the “vomiting” department, I am swift and pre-emptive. There's no time to mess about, so I whip off his pants and trousers to park him on the loo in the blink of an eye. I lean against the door jam self satisfied that once again I have saved the day and possibly a heap of laundry.
“Pardon dear?”
“WOT?” he bellows since clearly I didn't hear him properly the first time. Why do I keep making that same mistake I wonder?
“What to you mean “what' dear?”
“Wot I am do here?”
“What you normally do there dear. Do you need your privacy or something?”
“No I am need a…. a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a.”
“Yes I know that's why I've brought you here, quickly, before it's too late.”
“It is too late?”
“Is what too late dear?” Or do I mean 'too late for what?'
“It is too late for a….a….. a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a?”
“I hope not. I hope we're just in time.”
“Dey are in dah bathroom?”
“Er….. are what in the bathroom?”
“Dah….er….. a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a?”
“Any minute now I expect.” We pause. We wait. We wait some more. I have the distinct impression that I am waiting for something different to whatever he might be waiting for.
“What are you waiting for dear?” How can he wait at all?
“I am wait for dah a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a.”
“Well maybe you're alright after all?”
“No. Dah a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a is not here.” I look at his expectant face although I am now uncertain what he is expecting?
“Is your tummy o.k.? Do you have an ache?”
“No.” I'm not sure which he means but he looks perfectly fine.
“Is it safe to get you dressed again do you think?”
“I dun know? Um… dah a….a…..diah…a….ree….a….a be come if I am dressed?”
“No we want the diarrhea to come whilst you're sitting there.”
“I don't want diarrhea!” he shrieks.
“No, I know it's not nice is it?” He looks at me blankly even though strictly speaking is was more of a rhetorical question. I watch him blink, open mouthed, deep in thought.
“NO! Not diarrhea! I did not be say dat. I said…….dah book dat you be write fings in.” A book? A book that you write in? What is he on about now for goodness sake?
“I need dah book…….write every day… are start wiv 'dear.'”
“Dear Diary?”
“You want a diary to write in?”

Clearly I have a potential 'man of letters' on my hands, or maybe just on my mind?

I wonder what possible insight I might glean from sneaking a peek in a seven year old's personal diary, but of course only bad mothers do that?

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Hope springs eternal

Some unsophisticated parents inadvertently form causal behavioural links within their children. The bell rings and Pavlov’s dog salivates. The bathwater splashes and my youngest son runs at the speed of light, screaming like a banshee.

Once these associations have been formed, it can be very difficult to unlink them. Repeated exposure in tiny, but ever increasing increments, can eventually be successful.

Even now, his first response is always a protest, but that may just be because the suggestion of a bath is also a transition. He is hard wired to resist transitions.

In this particular instance I have no option. I remove him from the scene of devastation and plop him in a bath of warm water. He's too exhausted to resist. I leave his father in charge of the other two and the clean up operation after junior's spectacular, technical vomit performance. I should like to pull rank and claim that I am the mistress of delegation, but it truth it’s more that he is a better team player than me.

Junior lies in the water semi inert. I park myself on the bidet, the closest point of contact and wait for him to calm down. For many children, an upset stomach is often caused by eating something that has disagreed with them. In this particular child, a neophobic one with a diet of 17 foods, I know that nothing new or dodgy could possibility have entered his system, either deliberately or accidentally. I must mine for details and turn the situation to my advantage.

His silence is entirely predictable as 'ill' usually means that his body has to concentrate on other things, rather than speech. After a while, his feet start to show interest, as toes are so much safer than fingers. He taps the different surfaces, tentatively, especially as he has to ensure that his head remains above the water line, cannot get wet. After a thorough preliminary investigation, it is safe for his fingers. His fingers repeat all the taps that his feet have just made. “Dis is hot, dis is hotter and dis is dah hottest,” he announces with reference to the faucet fitting. His eyes travel back to mine, a ‘check in’ that allows me to bask in a brief moment of joint attention and referencing back. “I like because it is dah smooth too.” For the first time in four years I forgive my spouse for spending a fortune on European bathroom fittings.

“So …….I was thinking.”
“Why are you ill?”
“I dun know.”
“Maybe it's all the licking you've been doing recently?” His open eyes match his open mouth, as he concentrates.

You may be familiar with the oral fixation stage of development in babies. They mouth everything, nothing is safe, everything is covered with drool. Some babies skip this stage completely, or do it later, sometimes much later. Some little people with oral defensiveness, avoid almost all textures and tastes. These are often the same little people that skip the 'mouthing' stage. When such a person begins to lick things, a parent, or at least some feeble minded parents, might be tempted to turn a blind eye. Some feeble minded parents, who secretly delight in this mis-timed development, believe that it may be socially inappropriate but a delayed development is infinitely better than no development at all. It would appear that blind eyes result in tummy upsets.

“Can you remember what you've licked today dear?”
“'No' you haven't licked anything or 'no' you don't remember what you licked?”
“O.k. lets start with when you woke up. What did you lick when you woke up?”
“Dah mirror. I play snailses.”
“Lovely! Good remembering.”
“I licked it until is was cleaned.”
“Great!” I debate what bacteria might be on the surface of double mirrored doors in a bedroom, or at least the first four feet from carpet to tongue height? He sits in the bath water. Each arm extended. He mimicks the diving surfacing motion of a dolphin with each hand until the dolphins’ noses collide in the centre. As they crash he grins with satisfaction. He shares his success with me as his eyes meet mine. He repeats the diving in a ceaseless loop of perfection because OCD tendencies are stronger than other tendencies. If the dolphins mis-time their aquatics he curses, “barnacles! barnacles! barnacles!” and begins again, but the eye contact is more rare and precious than any metal on the planet. Barnacles, can be a difficult swear word to pronounce. Every time he swears incorrectly, he changes to his alternative, “fishpaste! fishpaste! fishpaste!” which of course is also difficult to pronounce. It must be frustrating, not to be able to swear to your own high standards.
“What did you lick next, when you came downstairs perhaps?”
“Er……I be licked dah window.”
“But I stopped.”
“Why did you stop.”
“It be freeze my tongue. I like lick dah warm fings.”
“Ah, lovely. What next?”
“I be finded a warm fing.”
“What warm thing did you find?”
“Oh! You licked your sister?”
“Yes. But then I bited her coz she said 'no lick me!' and she be dah shout and dah loud and she hurted my ears wiv dah noise.”
“Oh dear!”
“She…… be taste nice and……..salty.”
“Well if you eat your sister you won’t be a vegetarian any more,” I tell the child who doesn’t eat vegetables.
“What I am be?”
“You’ll be a canni……er……. a carnivore, or maybe just an omnivore.” Om, om, om.

One step forward, two steps back. I suspect cross contamination shortly.

Post script – after five baths in five hours, after five further incidents of illness, someone submitted to having a wet head. Oddly enough, I now seem to have inadvertently linked ‘baths’ to ‘cure all.’ Baths made him feel better, not well but better, cleaner, more relaxed. So it appears that we have no further need for the medical profession. There again, it is far more time consuming to bathe than to provide a Bandaid, and not quite so portable. Come to think of it, excessive bathing might feed into the OCD cleanliness nightmare. Maybe I should just stop thinking.

I am happy to swim in the wake of at the slowest little life boat in the convoy, doggy paddle of course. Woof!

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Seven more


“MomNOS” from “MomNOS” has tagged has tagged me for a meme, in which I am instructed to:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I volunteer at the children’s school for their reading programme which means that I count how many books each child reads and give a presentation with positive feed back.

2. I am not very good at it even though I practice beforehand and have three different versions for small special needs children, slightly bigger special education children and typical bigger children.

3. I wear a tall ‘cat in the hat’ hat during the presentation in a feeble attempt to attract their attention, as well as red and black clothes for the same reason. I always come in still wearing my sunglasses to complain that the room is too dark. Eventually someone will tell me where I’m going wrong.

4. Because they’re learning cursive I wrote all their names on their chart in English Round Hand [calligraphy]. This means that Ian and Jan look very similar. None of them can read their own names now. This is just the kind of positive feedback that youthful persons most need. Although my performance is largely scripted, I was nervous at the beginning of the school year. The class had expanded from 21 to 32. When I arrived I noticed that they seemed so much larger, almost teens, so I checked, “are you the pupils from Form 4?” I looked over their discombobulated faces, all 31 on them, until I found the 32nd, who decided to help out, “STEW dense Mom! An it’s GREYED four.” We wasted a considerable amount of time disentangling the function of the eye and the optical nerve.

5. Last time I read them a poem, called ‘sick’ by Shel Stevenson. * I ordered them to listen because it was funny and would be very useful if they ever needed to bunk off school. No-one understood ‘bunk.’ The teacher gave me the evil eye. At the end, a wise and small American child advised me that it would be very unwise to pretend to be ill.

6. I agreed with him and told him to ignore stupid foreigners, thus demonstrating more political incorrectness. I accidentally patted him on the head in a friendly manner and then remembered that you’re not supposed to touch children if they’re not yours. The same kindly child did not report me for inappropriate physical contact, which he could both say and spell. Hence I can ‘do’ and ‘say’ politically incorrect very well.

7. I finished my presentation with an even funnier ditty called ‘One fine day.’ They all laughed a lot and very loudly. I now know that it is thoroughly inappropriate material for small American people. I could tell because I made print outs of both poems for the children to take home. The teacher suggested it might be better if the print outs remained in school.

Aren’t you so glad I don’t volunteer in your children’s class and corrupt them. This is one very good reason why I eschew parent participation schools, because there will be people like me there.


Sick “I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more – that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue –
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke –
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my spine is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is –
what? What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is … Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

— Shel Silverstein

I apologise in advance to anyone who finds the following offensive. In my experience people with disabilities have the greatest sense of humour of us all lesser beings. If you doubt me, I would recommend that you listen in to the podcast [free] of the BBC ‘Ouch’ programme.

One fine day in the middle of the night

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,

One was blind and the other couldn’t, see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”

A paralysed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,

A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don’t believe this story's true,
Ask the blind man he saw it too!

Now that I am grown up, I appreciate that this is about as politically incorrect as anyone could muster.

Unlike “MomNOS”“>”Momnos,” I have decided to democratic in my tagging, as well as impartial because I am practicing being a good American, so I shall the tag the next 7 people who are silly enough to have left comments, because I am writing this in the future and tagging people in the past, because I’m also very good at time travel.

So the first foolish person “Roxan” at “kickshawcandies.” aka “something wicked comes this way.”

Then Kyra who is blogless – what a situation to be in! And no email on her profile! Can you imagine?

Then, “Joeymom” at “Joeyandymom”

So is that 3 or does that only count as two? Anyway, the next victim willing or otherwise is “The glasers” at “aut2bhomeincarolina.”

Then we have my favourite late night visitor, an owl if ever there was one, “Kristina” at “Autismvox” but that’s the price you pay for not being asleep at 17 minutes past one in the morning!

Then there is “Kelley” who also pootled along in the wee small hours of the morning, but she’s forgiven because she lives upsidedown in Australia at “Magnettobold.” no mean feat I can tell you.

over at “Mother of Shrek” bimbled along at some unearthly hour or the morning, although 2 a.m. here is 10 a.m. there, which is probably the ideal time to be awake on a Saturday morning, given the option, which I am not.

Lucky number six was “Akelemalu” over at “Everything and Nothing” who has a fun piece up right now, so don’t miss it. That’s my kind of humour.

Lastly we have “Vi” who is a big rudey, but what else can you expect from those Aussies. This particular brave Aussie has transplanted to the delightful city of Bath in England where so many of Jane Austen’s characters lived out their demure and sophisticated lives as all proper Brits should. Look out at “Are you local???” I dread to think what kind of mischief she’s getting up to, I can almost feel a touch of the vapours coming on.

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Friday Five good things


My “sensitive” little pal sends out a challenge.

Hers is five really good things, but I think I can only manage marginally good things depending upon the time of day!

‘Good things’ always makes me thing of Martha Stewart, which is always daunting.

Five! No longer a challenge.

I only usually go up to three and that’s on a good day. But now I’ve done 18 I feel as if I’ve graduated.

If we’re supposed to link then you may be out of lucky as I’m a bit technically challenged, otherwise….

1. fresh cranberry sauce with grated orange [sorry Thanksgiving aftermath]
2. newly mown grass, assuming I didn’t have to mow it myself
3. the smell of ironing [reminds me of my mum, as I’m allergic to ironing myself]
4. freshly baked bread just before it comes out of the oven and has filled the whole house with wafts of yeast [especially if I’m warming it up from the supermarket rather than having to make my own because I’m a bit lazy like that.]
5. WD40 because that means nothing will squeak and be annoying.

I’ve just realized that those are all smells! I must be hungry or something [but not for the WD40, just for the peaceful break of a snack.]

Now surely just about anyone can do five, especially if you’re the lazy type that didn’t manage to conjure up a list of things that you’re thankful for for Thanksgiving! Oops, that would be me of course. Let me know when you list. Perhaps you could do 5 good things using a different sense? Or one for each sense? See how helpful I am being.

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A Recipe for Success for the Neophobic

Neophobic = roughly translates to someone who eats less the 10 foods


It is our family tradition to have 13 vegetables at Christmas.  For some strange reason this has slipped into Thanksgiving too.



1. Roast potatoes – crispy please. Mashed potatoes for the faint hearted.

2. Brussel sprouts with roasted chestnuts [throw out the burnt ones]

3. Carrots discs in sweet potato puree [don’t for forget the Thyme]

4. Whole garlic mushrooms with white wine [the alcohol burns off]

5. Courgettes and yellow crook neck squash, circles in Herbs de Provence

6. Cauliflower and broccoli florets in bechamel [grated nutmeg for that lightly browned effect]

7. Leeks and pearl onions in Parmesan cheese sauce

8. Parsnips, roasted whole on a bed of Rosemary

9. Creamed spinach with toasted almonds [use double cream to ensure compulsory coronary]

10. Quarter white corn on the cobs, whole

11. Swede pureed with caramelized onions

12. Green beans with fresh pesto glaze

13. Dahl with okra – gotta have something spicy

One cup full of frozen mixed veg to show willing

The cranberry sauce, crispy bacon, stuffing and turkey don’t count as vegetables of course.

Require all children to attend to the general vicinity of the table and the feast for 3 minutes. Ensure visual timer and quiet beeping timer are prominently displayed.

Permit children to believe that they have escaped following the passage of three minutes. Enjoy as much as the feast as possible during the next unsupervised five minutes without inducing indigestion.

Solemnly puree all food in the magimix [cuisinart] and pour into all the ice cube trays you possess. Freeze and then transfer into rigid freezer boxes. Consider the possibility of sieving the 3 gallons first.

Present each child with a subsequently thawed and warmed cube at every meal for the next six months.

Repeat following Christmas to enjoy a full year of exposure to vegetation.

Well… is better to travel hopefully……Happy Thanksgiving

P.s. in case anyone takes issue with the word ‘success’ in the title, and there are always a few quibblers, I should like to point out that ‘success’ is all about defining your terms. In this instance ‘exposure to food,’ on a daily basis, is success, and this makes it all the more easier. Eating may take a little longer.

p.p.s. why does the phrase ‘exposure to food’ sound vaguely rude?

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Today I was tagged for a meme by “Amusing” at “amusingonlife” for this massive meme. 18 items must be the biggest one I’ve attempted yet.

1. What were you afraid of as a child?
The definition ‘child’ gives me pause. If you mean under 11 then absolutely nothing at all. Over 11 then it would probably be the dark.

2. When have you been most courageous?
I have never been courageous about anything, I am an out and out, fully signed up member of the wimp brigade. I wear my yellow stripe with pride.

3. What sound most disturbs you?
Dentist’s drill. Actually any noise within a dentists office is enough to send me off to the funny farm.

4. What is the greatest amount of physical pain you've been in?
Jaw surgery. Worse than giving birth drug free four times, even if it had been consecutive.

5. What's your biggest fear for your children? (or children in general if you don't have your own)
That they might not reach adulthood. That when they reach adulthood they might not have long enough lives. That any life that they do have might not be as happy as it might be.

6. What is the hardest physical challenge you've achieved?
Aerobics instructor course when pregnant with number 2.

7. Which do you prefer: Mountains or oceans/big water?
The sea. [translation = the ocean]

8. What is the one thing you do for yourself that helps you keep everything together?

9. Ever had a close relative or friend with cancer?
My mum. Breast cancer, ten years ago and faring well now.

10. What are the things your friends count on you for?
I have no idea?

11. What is the best part of being in a committed relationship?
Always someone on hand to annoy.

12. What is the hardest part of being in a committed relationship?
Their infuriating annoyingness.

13. Summer or Winter? Why?
Late Spring in the UK, early Spring in the States.

14. Have you ever been in a school-yard fight? Why and what happened?
We didn’t have school yards we had play grounds.

15. Why blog?

16. Did you learn about sex, and/or sex safety from your parents?
No I was told the facts of life by my chum when we walked to school together one day, when I was about ten. I laughed like a drain and told her the real truth, that they come out of your tummy button.

17. How do you plan to talk to your kids about sex and/or sex safety?
I answer the questions when they come in an age appropriate manner, or rather this is what I have done for both the girls, I may need to alter my approach.

18. What are you most thankful for this year?
This year? As in 2007, or this year as in the last 12 months? Happy to answer following clarification.

So who am I supposed to tag? How many? Hmm? Let’s see.

“Elissa” from “managing autism.”

“Mary [MPJ]” from “Mamampj”

“Blissfulmama” from “mumkeepingsane”

“Furiousball” at “furiousball”

“MmomOf3” at “Momofonetwothree”

If I’ve not tagged you, have a go yourself and then get back to me so that I can come and take a peek – I nosy like that!

Cheers and a very happy Thanksgiving to everyone who stops on by.

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