yesterday evening daughter #1 cocked her head in the mirror, tossed her hair over her shoulder and said "i really like the way you've styled this mumma". this raises a few questions in my mind. firstly why has my four year old taken to talking like scarlett o'hara? the adoption of a deep mid-west accent is also manifesting itself when talking to #2 and saying "you're a cute litt'l fella, i love ya litt'l fella". we've managed to mitigate her growing love of all things american by telling her that's where the wolves live; this wasn't a purposefully xenophobic move to stop her moving stateside on the next gravy train, but more a desperate attempt to end the evening panics about wolf attacks in her bedroom. the next question is where she's picked up the phrase "styled this" as i favour a less styled, more au naturel approach to my own physical appearance. in fact when time allows more than a wave of mascara (essential to cover pig-eye-lash syndrome) and a slide of lipstick (or people come to help me thinking i'm about to pass out) the girls actually stare in awe and say things like "have you got a meeting mummy?" or " your eyes look all brocolli mummy". which we think means sparkly. or i've overdone the shading again. however the biggest question it raised is why she would feel quite so proud of the oil-based nit removing lotion that i'd just lacquered all over her head.
i'd spotted them that morning; she is very blonde and they were immediately clear to see, swarming around in a vaguely sickening way. i didn't explain what was going on in any detail, her imagination already being rather developed, and said we'd just have to give it a really special wash. i read on the pack that the lotion is oil-based and results in all the head-lice body juices osmosising out of their skins in what is probably the most inhumane culling method known to man. however in the glowing bathroom of an edinburgh house i undertook this liceicide, smothering the oil all over her head and hair. and while she posed and postulated in front of the mirror admiring her new style the lice slowly expired. i had to then comb them all out, now looking less plump and toned than previously, and squish them in a bit of loo roll. feeling very itchy all over i then did my own; NOTHING THERE i tell you...
but i know what she means about the look as to be fair it did make it look quite shiny and brown, and she no longer likes her blonde hair apparently, wanting to now live in england (like her cousin) have a bigger house (like her cousin) have a different mummy and daddy (preferably her cousin's) and have brown hair (you've guessed it).
this weekend we went to the girls' cousins' house near bath. they've only recently left edinburgh and the children have all pined for each other so this had been a much talked about, counted down to visit, the cancellation of which offered up the most powerful blackmailing tool for some time.
i flew on my own with the girls as adam had been working in london and met us there. this was quite an adventure; i'd been looking forward to it and had packed carefully ensuring plenty of snacks, nutritious and treat based; plenty of different colouring options and a dolly each. it all started well and after checking in online, being waived through security queues and securing a large windowed corner table overlooking the apron (my husband wasn't an aircadet plane spotter of the year for no reason; i know all the terms) i tucked into my corona while the children had pizza, feeling quite smug. we arrived at the gate at 7pm only to find it had been delayed for 2.5 hours. self satisfaction leaked out of every oriface, the fact that bedtime was now due and #2 was all bright eyed and red cheeked, highly wired and screeching about getting on the plane was somewhat de-calming. but we spent quite a lot of time in the kids play section of the airport which was surprisingly absorbing for #1 while #2 practised climbing up the chairs and commando rolling down the otherside caterpaulting her over excited body around the furniture. we ate the fruit squeezies. we opened the apple juices. the raisons were rejected, the dried pineapple were a success for #1 and #2 thought she liked them so much that she wouldn't bother chewing and just kept putting more in until i had to leverage out a huge wad from her cheeks.
we moved back to the gate where #1 developed another OCD trait. the imagining of fat people. she sat staring at people, saying "i'm imagining a fat person mummy". i sort of hushed her, vaguely saying" are you darling? look at the flybe plane? is it easyjet"..."i can't stop imagining fat people mummy. i keep seeing them, in my imaginnashun, all fat, moving, i can't stop them, i can't stop seeing them, it's my naughty brain". i decided to reassure her that it was okay to think about what ever she liked, that it was fine provided you didn't then talk about it as people might think you were saying they were fat and feel sad.... "yes, but when i look around here it just makes me imagine more fat people, mummy, i just imagined you were fat, sorry". at this point i gave her the emergency percy pigs and turned my attention to #2. she hugged me exhaustedly and then gazed into my face and said "i love you mummy. and i love your mole". which was nice.
by this stage speedy boarders were speedily boarding; not feeling willing to pay £60 for the three of us to speedily board we were in group 2 so i hung around the desk and #1 writhed on the floor mutttering about fat people. thankfully boarding was a distraction and we grabbed three seats near the back row (top tip: always good as usually free, near the loo, quick exit) and got out our drawing. #1 was engrossed for a while before leaning forward and groaning; i asked what the matter was and in an exasperated tone she said she'd managed to forget about fat people but had just been reminded of them. while staring pointedly at the larger lady sitting across the aisle from us. i resorted to a twirl bar each, and resolved to order myself a beer to help take the edges off the journey. as we started to take off, after admiring the pilot's voice (english) and stating that she didn't like people who say "heh low instead of hello" (scottish?) the pressure picked up and #1 pushed her hands wildly to her ears and started shouting "i'm turning into something"...and so the flight began with some more percy pigs, a pot of pringles and full fat ribena for the girls, stella for me (which ended up all over #2 lap after a drawing incident) and at 10 we arrived in bristol.
i welcomed the girls' uncle warmly to my world as he drove us home and #1 accompanied the first 5 mins of the trip with "i just burped, i don't think you heard because i kept my mouth shut. i might have said excuse me. i can't remember. pardon me. i've said it now. i wasn't sure if i'd said it before. oops i did another one. pardon me....." before passing out like a tired duracel bunny.
on the work front there are various things happening but little definite to report. i have marking work next week so there is cashflow on the horizon. the public sector role is apparently to be confirmed later today, we've had a few conversations about rate and i really do hope it is going to come off as will be flexible, foot through the door and hopefully an interesting piece of work. yesterday i met with a head at the university and he has suggested that there might be a three day a week role going at one of the more successful spinout ventures which definitely sounds interesting. my gut feeling is that i want project work rather than another permanent part time role however any opportunity will be fully investigated. this week my two full time applications for later massaging into something more part time will have been processed: i've heard nothing yet. so there are things out there and hopefully this week will firm some things up. however today has been absorbed with two major non-work issues. #2 picked up a v&d bug over the weekend and i'm currently changing nappies every hour or so and constantly asking her to sip at her drink. i'm doing this while managing a rather large hangover due to helping a friend try on wedding dresses last night and then celebrating rather heavily. the combo is hard but entirely self induced and my only solace is to eat a lot of fat based foods. so #1's imaginings may not be far off the mark i'm afraid.