My Daughter is Posh and Trendy

Whilst I was doing the ironing, I was watching a cooking program and they were talking about deconstructing old favourite recipes.  Apparently, this is all the rage.  You take a normal meal and you pull it apart and present it in a different way.  It’s all very posh and trendy.  They showed a strawberry cheesecake, which was a pile of biscuit crumb, then a pile of creamy stuff and then a pile of gooey fruit.  The person eating it promptly mixed them all together, which makes the whole deconstruct thing pretty pointless, but it made me chuckle!

So, I have decided my daughter must be posh and trendy, as she eats all her meals deconstructed.  Yes, I have a picky eater.  Sigh.

I refuse to cook separate meals – as she will live on chicken nuggets and chips and as a dedicated parent (and stubborn to boot) I will not let this happen.  Plus, I cannot be asked at the end of each day to cook different things for everyone, I am not a restaurant.

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So, this is my Baby Girls version of my homemade macaroni and cheese with crunchy bacon.  As I go along, I put a bit of the separate components in little bowls, add a bowl of steamed veggies from the microwave and present it to her.  I was going to take a picture of the actual finished macaroni, but by the time I remembered to take a photo, it had been demolished by the other 2 in the house.

Macaroni and Cheese is a bit of a favourite with the rest of us – you see I am not a bad cook.  My Baby Girl is not a picky eater because my food tastes awful – I am not saying I don’t have disastrous days sometimes, but mostly I can present a decent nutritious tasty meal on a budget.

I have also tried ALL the recommended parental tricks on her.  Don’t you just love it, when someone thinks to offer you their trusted method and they note that their children always ate anything that was put in front of them.

I have tried sending her to bed without dinner.  This went on for a week.  I found her hiding under the bed clothes eating a purloined packet of dried pasta.

I have tried making her sit there till she ate it.  But to be honest, I don’t have 6 hours after a school and work day, to sit and make sure she hasn’t feed it to the dog.  Plus, this was the method used on me and I have a near phobia about Pea and Ham soup, even typing the name of it makes my stomach churn.  What with homework, music practise, ballet, and all the other things we are running around doing, it is just not very practical.

Also, have you heard the one about giving the same cold dinner back for breakfast.  Well, I am not a very nice person in the morning, so I have got mornings down to a very quick efficient time, with no body talking to anybody else.  If I had to put up with a full, blown drama queen episode first thing in the morning, then I think you would hear about us on the news.

This is my favourite advice.  It takes a child 26 times to taste something – to like it.  Yes, that may be true but how do you get them to taste it 26 times, when the first time, after a small sniff and maybe a tongue touch, they declare vehemently that it is the most vile thing EVER!

So, this is my method, she gets the deconstructed portions of our meal, she gets extra vegetables or fruit – which she demolishes and she gets a small bowl of whatever we are having.  I know she won’t ever try that small bowl, but you see I will NOT give up – EVER.  I am more stubborn than her – years of practise and I care deeply, so every night I will try and introduce her to food.

If she grows out of this very, very, very, very long phase, like my sister says will happen, then I will be relieved.  But if she goes off into the world to only ever eat chicken nuggets, well then at least she can’t say that I didn’t try.  Oh My Word – I tried.

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Bad Moon Rising

fb_img_1468871397536Sorry I didn’t post anything last week.  It was one of those weeks.  And according to Facebook, I think it was one of those weeks for lots of my friends too.  One had her car smashed into and one was so ill and her kids bickering so loud, she told them to walk to school on their own – which would have been okay, except the 10-year-old had never done it before (P.S. she made it safely 🙂 ).

Was it because of the moon – it was looking ominously full last week?  Was it because the weather is changing and it’s getting wet, cold and dark?  Was it because it is a particularly long school term?  I don’t know, but it was a crap week.

Mine had a lot to do with outside forces – building surveyors, mortgage brokers (see my last post here.)   I can cope with my own crap – but when it’s stuff that is out of my control, well that makes it so much worse.

As a working mother, I have everything balanced very precariously, everything is planned, timed and juggled within an inch of its life.  When something extra is thrown in that pile, sometimes you can just re-juggle, but sometimes it just all collapses in a panicky heap.

So some of my friends on Facebook where mentioning lots of alcohol and chocolate come Friday evening to combat their awful week.  But apart from the fact that I was stuck helping out at my Baby Girl’s disco on Friday night, with 120 screaming kids high on sugar – I’m a not a big drinker.

So what does a control freak do to make herself feel better about a crap week?  Well, she cleans, of course!  And I don’t mean a quick hoover (vacuum) and a flick of a duster.  No, I mean, an empty ALL the cupboards and drawers and wash windows type of clean. I cleaned picture frames, tackled cobwebs, cleaned skirting boards, ventured under the couch cushions – eek and washed EVERYTHING that could be washed.  You get the picture – I worked my arse off.  I was exhausted.

Then I tackled me!  I washed my hair, I shaved my legs, I gave myself a serious manicure and pedicure, and I plucked and trimmed my bushy caterpillar eyebrows.  Groomed and primped to perfection.

This week is already, can you believe it, shaping up to be worse than last – an early morning trip to the Vet’s with a geriatric hamster and a failed new recipe for dinner – thank goodness for frozen left overs and microwaves! But this week, I am ready for anything that comes my way.  Why am I able to cope this week and not last?  Well, I have clean drawers and tidy eyebrows and that means I can take on anything.  Not too sure about the week after this one, with the kids being off school and messing up my clean drawers, but this week will be a walk in the park! Bring on your worst people, I will survive this week!

 

Incompetence

20161005_093630This is a picture of the front wall of my house.  When Hubby put the new windows in – oh 11 years ago, he accidently knocked off some of the stone cladding and has never got around to fixing it.  I am now used to this and call him “Half a Job Bob”. But I am not writing about his incompetence and the reason I am showing you this picture is because of the very, very visible bricks.  Stick with me people, this is a convoluted story, but worth it in the end.

When we applied for a mortgage last year to do the additional building works, the mortgage company said “Yes, of course!” and we started all the legal work etc. and the builder started and pulled off our roof.  Then the mortgage people suddenly pulled the pin on the mortgage saying we were too risky, as we were self-employed.  Beside the fact that we have no other debt than our mortgage and have never ever not paid our mortgage and were only asking for a tiny amount – it was a completely nasty thing to do.  I had double checked with them, that it was okay for the builder to start.  Now I had no roof on and no way to pay to the builder.

I managed to secure a really expensive loan to pay the builder and to get us to water tight – but not complete on the interior.  Hence why I have no lights, walls and doors.

Now we are again trying to get a mortgage that will incorporate the nasty loan, our old mortgage and a bit of money to buy some lights and walls and doors.  Which will be cheaper than the nasty loan and lower our monthly outgoings and make me happy.

The mortgage people said “Yes, no problem”, legal proceedings have started and they sent around a building surveyor to see if the house is worth as much as we say. The building surveyor put in a report saying our house was built in the 1930’s and was made of poured concrete.  AND they will not mortgage houses that are poured concrete from before 1945. Well, if you remember my previous blog about the history of our house it was built in 1917  and as can obviously be seen from the front wall (right next to the front door) and our house is built from brick.

So I rang the mortgage company, they said that I would need to prove the surveyor wrong and no, a photo wouldn’t do it.  They told me to ring the council.  The council told me they don’t have records of any houses prior to World War 2.  I rang the surveyor, they said that as the mortgage company is their client not me, there was nothing I could do about it.  So I rang the mortgage company and said “THIS IS F**KING RIDICULOUS”, asked to speak to the manager and told him the surveyor was a complete incompetent numpty and to redo the survey.  Well they said they would, but as yet I haven’t heard anything.

So I know that some people think that work is just work and you just go and do it to earn money.  But if your decisions at work impact on other people, in anyway, then I think that you should take it seriously.  Because this surveyor didn’t obviously really look at the house or even google the area (lots of history pages about its being built for RAF IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR!!).  He has made my life hell with his incompetence and lack of care.

Although my job is a tiny fly speck on the huge world of science publications (I am a sort of copyeditor of science papers for journals). I take it very seriously.  I respond to all emails, even if it is just a thank you for your email, I am working on it.  I try and deal with all my papers and authors as soon as I get them – because the person on the other end of that paper may be a PhD student waiting to be published, so they can become a Dr. and get a new job and earn more money and support their family better.  Or they could be a super dedicated scientist who is trying to save the environment to save the Polar Bear population and when his paper is published it will give him more funding.  And I like Polar Bears!  Or the paper could even be a tiny, tiny step in providing a cure for some dreadful disease and if I dilly dally, then that is just awful.  So my tiny fly speck of a job impacts on other people, so I take it very seriously.

Even the people working in that popular fast food restaurant should take their jobs seriously, because that stressed out mother standing at the counter after a day of being on the phone dealing with incompetent people with 2 grumpy children beside her needs those chicken nuggets and chips otherwise she is either going to break down and cry and make a big fuss or go home and lock herself in the bathroom and never come out.

So please people, take your jobs seriously, whatever job that is and think about how your attitude and decisions will impact the people you are dealing with – otherwise you will find me permanently locked in the bathroom. And I am not kidding.