Monday, 29 June 2009

Thanks for the music

I drove into work today listening to a medley of - what else? - MJ music as I blasted the air con on an already sweltering morning. Having waded through a wealth of Sunday supplements/pull out special editions all weekend of the rise and fall and further fall of The King of Pop, there is nothing I could say that hasn't already be said.

As I sang along to the addictive 'Beat it' and even did a bit of finger clickin' to 'The way you make me feel' I felt, well... a bit sad. My entire childhood was dancing before my eyes as his music carried me straight back to my friend Mandy's overly pink bedroom where we wore out her Thriller LP. To the first ever all night TV show called 'Rock around the clock' that showed the full 12 minute Thriller video which we recorded, then endlessly watched, trying to perfect our moves to the zombie dance. To '88 when we boarded a bus from Belfast to Cork - naturally the Irish driver got lost and 10 hours later we arrived for the MJ Bad tour, that blew us away. To chasing after cute boys at Xmas discos with plastic mistletoe to 'The way you make me Feel,' to working in a bar in New Zealand that played the 'Scream' video on loop on 24 tvs...and on and on.

Mandy was my best friend from the age of 6. She discovered Michael first, became an obsessed fan immediately and bagsied him as her hero. I liked him, but swore my allegiance to Prince aged 11 after listening to 'Let's go Crazy.' In those days you picked your pop hero and that was it. Lifetime commitment. To this day I love Prince - even watching Purple Rain the morning my son was born. Yes,yes, I know it is shite, but I don't watch it with adult eyes, I'm viewing it as the 12 year old fan, who knows every word - and hell, is proud to admit it. I even like 'Under a Cherry Moon' - how's that for dedication eh?

Anyway, I digress. I realised I wasn't mourning him as such - he seemed to have such a sad old life from start to finish that there was much to pity with that boy/man when he was alive - but I was mourning the passing of my own childhood. In his death, some part of it was gone too. A piece of cultural DNA from my generation. A generation that spawned the greats of music - the likes of whom can't be recreated today - as the way that we embrace music now has altered so radically. Gone are the days when our fav band climbed the charts for that elusive no1 spot, gone is the collective watching of our chart show TOTP, gone is Smash Hits and it's song lyrics and gone the painstaking process of recording snippets of songs on a crackling old VHS machine to create 'pop videos' of our own. There seems an innocence to it all that has been replaced by excessively over priced tours and merchandise - an innocence that we can't reclaim.

So Michael, rest in peace. And thanks for music. It still sounds as fresh as the day you released it. And I still know the moves to Thriller.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Don't forget the cocktail sausages...

After Saturday I should almost lose my crummy status - as Sproglet's party kicked ass! The pimms flowed, party food was devoured by parents and children alike and Simon worked his butt off in front of what can only be described as a 'difficult' crowd. One 4 year old loved every trick Simon threw at him, but Sproglet was more interested in the contents of the dining room table and kept wandering off to nibble and socialise.

Husband used every ounce of sociability he had left after a long week - chatting to strangers, making drinks and attempting to video the birthday cake moment. We'd had a small ruck in the morning when I unwrapped Sproglet's dinosaur cake - a thick dense mousse, more like a dessert; the corner had been ruptured in transit. Instead of saying 'Happy Birthday Finn' it was 'Happy Birthday F'. Great. What an Fing ejit. There were a couple of childless folk here - my cousin and the godparents - all of whom stayed late. People with kids knew when the time was up (when the kids were bouncing off walls for example) but childless folk never leave until the drink runs out.

We ordered curry and I collapsed into bed at 10:30pm, utterly spent but in a haze of happiness. Sproglet howled through his bath time he was so consumed by tirdeness. All his excitement and running around and opening an obscene amount of gifts had sent him over the edge. I scooped him in my arms and sang (the poor) child to sleep. Mixing schoolmates with local Mothers and godparents and the odd random guest all together was a recipe for disaster. But throw in enough Pimms, a cracking cake, an energetic kid's enterainer, minature sandwiches and not forgetting cocktail sausages and you have success! Thank god he isn't 4 for another year... In my youth I could party 7 mights a week. Now, one kiddie bash and I am mush.

Was it worth all the effort? You bet!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

No longer me....

Sproglet is doing a lot of talkin'. ALOT. Well, he is my child, so no surprise there. I didn't kiss the Blarney stone - I ate the bastard. Today he announced that I was not '*%$?@*~' (my first name) - I was 'Mummy.' Yes, I thought - I lost myself when you were born sunshine. I'm no longer miss 'one for the road, and the ditch... and the field etc etc'; no longer miss spontaneity, miss cartwheel while drunk in ridiculous heels; miss lusting after cute young boys that are in the box marked 'wrong 'uns' - no, now I am Mummy. I don't have sexy candlelit baths with Husband, but bubble filled splash fest baths with Sproglet. I don't stay up til dawn - I get up at dawn. I don't pontificate about bad dates and good sex, but about bad childrens' behaviour and good potty training tips.

And you know what? I'm pretty happy with all that. Sure potty training aint a picnic - we are going through pants at a rate of nothing - but when Sproglet throws his arms round me for no apparent reason and plants a wet kiss on my cheek - nothing comes close. Lately, apart from the talkin' he has been reading his books aloud to me and discussing the merits of the 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.' He points out all the time what is mine and what is Daddy's - the kid is smart as the house and car are mine, Daddy gets the garden hose and the bin. I'll be using Sproglet as a mediator should we ever divorce. Things are pretty good with Husband as well. He's getting weekends off and we are getting to spend some time together and discovering - we actually like each other - sometimes! we even took in a crappy schlock horror on Saturday night 'Drag me to Hell.' Even though I was already there watching this rubbish - it was great to just hang out and be us again.

This weekend chez CrummyMummy is a biggie. Sproglet is 3 - well he refuses to accept this - he says he is 4. I like his reasoning; it makes me 28. Anyway, we have enough party food to feed an army - all top hat buns, chocolate fingers, pizzas, sarnies, iced rings and cupcakes. We have a tonne of Pimms for the frazzled parents and we have a secret weapon - a kid's entertainer 'Simon Says.' He was the only one who didn't look like a paedo sweating in a playground in his pictures. He has a comedy stuffed parrot and everything - what's not to love? 23 adults, 10 kids (from 4 - 8 weeks old) and of course Simple - sorry - Simon Says. The house aint that big and the weather forecast typically is predicting rain (gotta love those British summers - the moment someone mentions Wimbledon the heavens open) - it could all be chaos.

I'm going to drink as much Pimms as I can get down my neck and keep smiling throughout. As long as I don't make penis refences to Simon's magnificient balloon display all should go well. I'll letcha know.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

To pee or not to pee....

I'd been advised to take a week off work to potty train Sproglet - but with a mere 5 weeks holiday a year, to say I wasn't keen is an understatement. I'd bought a blue potty - Sproglet wouldn't even look at it. I'd got one from his nursery, given him ownership of it, decorated it with happy Night Garden creatures - he showed it proudly to Husband. I asked him if he wanted to sit on it - a resounding NO. I had visions of him in adult diapers heading to Uni.

Then lo and behold on Thursday wee Sproglet piped up in his bath that he wanted to wee and was happy as Larry to be placed on the toilet (toilet duck supporting him), water dripping everywhere but not a drop of wee in sight. He swung his wee legs and looked around - intent on pushing his bits well within the toilet parameters. We waited. He claimed to have weed and returned to his soapy lather. Same happened on fri - but this time, a trickle of wee!

The sun burst out of the heavens at the weekend and after a busy Saturday, we bit the bullet, ran with the gauntlet and put Sproglet in pants. He asked to wee when it started to appear - and a miracle potty wee happened. Steven Gerrard winning the European Champions league after being 3 nil down in 2005 didn't feel as victorious as I did. Sproglet was delighted and all day asked when he needed it. Sometimes there were golden gifts - other times an empty bowl.

All has been good bar one accident - thankfully at nursery, and they had the decency to throw away the soiled underwear - until today. Sproglet you see, in pants, has discovered he is that bit more able to, how shall I put this, check that he is all there - at all times. His prodding and checking has made the whole area inflamed and bleeding. Yuk! I had to take him to to the docs today - and the wee mite was in agony. That'll learn him! Hands out of pants please!

We got cream, he had a bath, but has refused all potty offers since. While my childless mates sip wine by the canal, I am tending to infected willies. Oh the joy.

Bless him - that cream had better work miracles overnight or the wee man's bladder will explode before he pees razor blades. Thank god this weekend is school mates reunion - a annual event where we ditch men, children and morals and pitch up at someone's house to eat, drink, and inevitably collapse in front of the tv at about 11pm, unused to the intoxicating freedom that the brief lack of responsibility brings.

Let's hope Sproglet is back on the potty again - or I don't know how Husband will cope. Anyway, he has the same equipment - he should know what to do. Men and their bits - a life long love affair I will never understand...