Parenting, profundities and humour

Takin’ It Easy — June 9, 2015

Takin’ It Easy


Last Friday I decided to make life easy for myself.

It’s rare in our house to have a completely empty evening, free from taxi-ing, and this night was no exception. However I had swapped two piano lessons (which involve a sort of hokey cokey – you take the first child down, you bring the first child back as you take the second child down, you bring the second child back, take, collect, take collect, shake it all about) for one All Age church choir session involving us all. Only middlest and youngest had homework, and youngest had forgotten her book anyway. And husband was out for the duration, due back about midnight.

And so I felt in a reckless mood. Hence I decided to scrap the stir fry I had planned and treat the kids to fish and chips on the way home from our choir session. Before chilling out after the minimal washing up that surely my pants dishwasher could cope with.

The sun was shining, we all felt upbeat from singing and meeting up with friends and so we hit the chippie in fine fettle.

Eldest and I queued up (along with, so it seemed, the rest of my village, including a fair few members of the choir) he having decided he is now too mature to swing on the railings outside the parade of shops. Middlest and youngest have no such scruples and so they began their usual swinging and messing around.

At one point eldest (self appointed health and safety advisor) reported to me that he thought middlest and youngest were being ‘a little reckless’. I was nearing the front of the interminable queue and merely commented to the choir member next to me that, and I quote, ‘they will only crack their heads open once before they learn’…

I had just ordered and was waiting for a new batch of chips to be ready (behind a man who was clearly mustering a small army as he had requested 8 portions of fries) when middlest came in and told me he ‘thought’ youngest ‘may have hit her head’.

I rushed out and would like to say for the record that there was clearly no doubt that ‘youngest had hit her head’ as she was standing in the middle of a blood bath looking a bit shocked.

I entered that state that I am sure many of you parents out there are all too familiar with. I call it ‘rabbit in the headlights’. I had no idea what to do first. Console. Staunch blood (with presumably my hands as I had no other sort of useful gear with me, assuming, as I had, that we could manage an outing to our local chippe with just my purse and keys). Shout. Check for pupil dilation with a small torch (no scrap that no equipment). Collect chips.

Luckily for me our take away is situated right next door to a pharmacy which was still open. One of the workers had seen the incident and came out to offer us his facilities. Cane chair (it flitted across my mind to sit on it myself), gauze pads, tissues and wipes. We utilised all of this most fully. Eldest remained in the chippe to field our order. Middlest (always good in a crisis) was oscillating between our two encampments providing updates to eldest and consoling youngest whilst I applied pressure to the back of her head which was gushing blood.

The pharmacist, whilst not asking for any form of reimbursement which I felt doubly bad about considering youngest had bled copiously all over his floor, mentioned the word hospital. Youngest, already in a state of shock, then descended into hysteria. She hates hospitals. Well actually so do I especially on a Friday evening with no spousal support. I inspected what I could see of the wound through her extremely thick hair and decided to get her home and reassess once it was clean. Self triage- I have seen those posters at the A&E and didn’t want to prevent someone in real need from a nurse or doctor. In any event the thought of taking three kids, one in hysterics I was having no joy in rousing her from, to A&E on our empty stomachs was more than I could, well, stomach.

By now the chips had finally arrived. Eldest wandered in really quite unconcerned. Middlest held the gauze pad to his sister’s head while I strapped her in and we drove home amid sobs, screams and snot.

Once we arrived home I dished up food and tried to get her to eat something. We had all gone off the thought of eating a bit but we did our best. Next I stripped youngest of her blood soaked shirt (see above) dumped her in a warm bath and used the saline solution again provided by my friendly pharmacist to clean up the wound. All this amid screaming. Now she felt sick so I gave her a plastic jug. From what I could see the wound actually appeared to be a number of smallish cuts and abrasions on top of a massive egg extruding from her scalp.

I attempted to get the rest of the blood out of her bum length plaits with mediocre success, gingerly brushed her hair and re-braided it, dosed her with Calpol and put her to bed were upon she immediately fell into a deep sleep.

Vowing to check on her vital signs half hourly I returned downstairs to deal with the bloody shirt and floor. I then persuaded the boys into bed after reassuring them that their sister would not ‘die in the night’- eldest looked a little disappointed but tried his best to hide it.

And then at around 8.30pm I actually started my ‘easy’ evening.

Footnote: she was fine. I gave her more painkiller at my bed time which I easily roused her for. She was scabbed over by the morning and able to play football…. and the shirt did come clean, a combination of cold water and Vanish and my new German washing machine saw to that…I am mighty pleased at £10 a pop…

Lumpy Mash — June 7, 2015

Lumpy Mash

first aid

One day last week the mash on my shepherd’s pie was lumpy.

This is bad in the ‘World According to My Offspring’ for two reasons. One it isn’t actually a shepherd’s pie as I made it with minced beef, and so therefore it is a cottage pie… my mistake… I blame too much Masterchef Australia for my children’s gourmet tendencies. And, two, my kids hate lumpy mash. Again see Masterchef above.

And here is why the mash on my COTTAGE pie was lumpy.

I like to top my COTTAGE pie with cheese. Well actually I top half my COTTAGE pie with cheese so my darling husband will partake (please see my earlier entry Food Glorious Food– which incidentally remains my least read entry of all time, which I think is a shame, I thought it was quite funny, but then, hey, what do I know, its probably to do with timing (please see my earlier entry Timing, Its Everything, if you need an explanation)- if you need an explanation). Wow what a master of subordinate clauses-which middlest has been studying in Grammar this year- I am.

He unpacked the kitchen (see my earlier post Maxims for Successful Kitchens) when we moved house. And now I cannot find the cheese grater. These two things (his cheese aversion and his unpacking of the kitchen) may be related although he swears not. It is odd, though, that as far as I can tell it is the only thing missing from my kitchen. Even the knife and spoon that remained in the German dishwasher we left behind (again see Maxims for Successful Kitchens) made it back via my lovely buyer.

I was searching for the cheese grater more thoroughly than on my last attempt. And entered the cupboard that my husband had haphazardly piled with my Robochef and all its accoutrements, my hand held blenders, my lovely Boden electric cake whisk which I treated myself to when the cake requirements for Cub Camps became excessive, the sandwich toaster and the little mini blender I used to puree carrot in when my kids were weaning (mental note must do a blog entry about that!).

Whilst furteling around in the cupboard I put my left hand in a small bowl which I have never in my history of owning my Robochef (about 20 years) ever used- it probably chops garlic or fresh herbs (dried herbs were invented for a reason people) or some such poncy thing- and slit the middle finger of my left hand open. Two things flitted through my mind. One how sharp that twenty year old blade remained- credit to the makers of Robochef- and OUCH!

One of the many things I have noticed about aging (please see my earlier blog entries Senior Moments & My Brain for others) is that my blood takes much longer to clot. It didn’t look like much of a cut. But it bled like a stuck pig. I pressed kitchen roll to it and held it in the air for as long as my biceps would stand. About a minute.

And anyway then the phone rang, which in itself is a minor miracle (see Rant Alert and Rant Alert Update), and as I no longer have caller ID- I lost that somewhere in the LLP debacle (you really need to read those entries)- I felt I must pick up. Ironically it was someone who thought I had recently been involved in a no fault accident.  However as she couldn’t put a monetary value on my inability to mash root vegetables I hung up.

I was now under increasing time pressure as I was due to take out my lovely friend (she of the laundry fame- please see my earlier entry The Definition of Sod’s Law) for a birthday shopping and lunch trip. And I needed to mash the topping for my COTTAGE pie.

The cut would not stop bloody bleeding. And I am allergic to plasters, which anyway are out of reach in a cupboard which my husband unpacked. So I tried to mash the potatoes whilst holding a piece of kitchen roll to my finger. It did not really work. I had to drop the kitchen roll which meant that I could only mash for about 5 seconds at a time before droplets of blood threatened to turn the potato a fetching shade of pink. As such my usual vigorous and thorough technique was somewhat lack lustre and led to lumpy mash.

Which my kids complained about. Along with who got the most cheese (please see my earlier entry The Unfairness Indicator) which I had managed to grate a barely sufficient quantity of using my tiny Parmesan grater in between swabbing down the work top (perhaps the only substance not to show up on it too badly is blood…see Maxims for Successful Kitchens)

In the end I did have to resort to a plaster so I could leave the house. Its 24 hours later and the cut has finally stopped bleeding and is now just throbbing not really that gently.

As for that cheese grater. I will find it I am sure. Probably after I have bought a new one. That’s Sod’s Law (again).

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