Monday, 27 August 2007

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease...

I have to come clean here and tell you that we are not a sporty family. Well, how sporty can a Boy of nearly 4 years old and 19 month old toddler be, so in effect, I mean that Husband and I are not sporty. Husband can lay claim to some physical effort in his youth, having been in the Army, and having grown up in a naturally sporty country, but I came very late to the world of phsyical exertion. Had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming, almost. At school, I was usually last but one to be picked for any team games, and during tennis lessons our scarily masculine head of sports (I went to a convent - no prizes for guessing that one) would walk past me, sadly shaking her head and tutting loudly.

It was only when I got to my mid-20's and realised that periods of pizza-filled excess followed by crash diets weren't cutting it any more that I started to get into the gym thing, and I still have to force myself to make that effort now it's become even more necessary. I mean, who wants to go to some high-tech torture chamber to get hot, sweaty, and breathless (ooh-er, convent girl childish joke being choked back here), and not only have other people watch you do it but to have to watch yourself do it too in those horrific mirrors. But I digress...

The one area of my life (other than walking down the Kings Road) where I approach anything like enjoyment of an outdoor pursuit is cycling. A few years ago both Husband and myself bought ourselves a couple of cheap second-hand bikes, and most summers would find us pootling around central London, ignoring one way systems (in his case), and panicking at the sight of more than one lane of traffic (in my case). My Husband is Dutch, you see, and was practically born on a bike, so he shows a more than healthy disrespect for road rules, whilst I - brought up in a hilly area of West England - would no more put foot to pedal whilst growing up than I would have worn navy with burgundy (OK, so we all did, but you get my point). The arrival of Boys #1 and #2 didn't really slow us down; in true practical Dutch fashion, Husband simply went out and bought first one and then two child seats for his bike. He now cycles round ex-pat-ville with two winsome boys helmeted up front and back of him, breaking all the tourists and old ladies hearts.


...however, today, he decided that he was sick of doing all the work in this relationship, and that we should try transferring one of the seats to my bike. Critically, the one that sits in front of him, which Boy #2 occupies. OK, I thought. He can do it, and never sees the inside of his gym from one year end to the next (Husband takes the most expensive swims on the planet, averaging out at around £600 per session if you take into account the amount he spends on membership vs the number of times he visits), and I can definitely beat him on the straight, so why not?

I'm sitting here now with a bandaged knee, sticking-plastered toe, and bruised wrist (not quite typing through tears of pain but wincing every now and again), and Boy #2 will probably never get on a bike with me again. We must have managed, oh, 1 meter? before I realised that a) my centre of gravity was now completely different to what I was used to, b) my knees would have to go round the outside of Boy #2 to pedal properly, c) I really shouldn't have worn a short(ish) skirt, d) annoyingly Husband was right and those sandals really weren't appropriate for cycling, and e) oooh, here's the ground coming up to meet me rather too fast for me to do anything other than protect my beloved son.

Lots of swearing - from me, lots of shocked (but thankfully not hurt) crying - from Boy 2#, lots of 'ooh look, blood mummy, blood!' from Boy #1, and a rather half-hearted attempt not to laugh (whilst transferring the seat back to his bike) from my beloved.

'Grace' is not my middle name.

So, potty diaries...

August 20th, 2006

I hardly dare say it but it all seems to be going spookily smoothly.

We’ve had no accidents over the weekend, the below-floor cables are still intact, and I haven’t drained the national grid with the washing machine and dryer running 24/7. What’s going on? The strange thing is that now Boy #1 is handling the whole thing in such a mature fashion I almost (but not quite) miss the interaction of changing his nappy… I remember when Boy #2 was first born, after the c-section I wasn’t allowed to lift his older brother (officially for 6 weeks. Does anyone actually stick to that?), so I had a break from changing him for a while. Consequently, the first time I did it – having only dealt with a scrappy, skinny little newborn bottom for the previous couple of weeks – changing Boy #1’s nappy seemed slightly obscene, like changing a teenager, and I couldn’t wait for him to be out of nappies. 7 months later and here we are, with the Thomas pants in full use in all their glory and his taking every opportunity to show off his new skill. Never thought I would feel ambivalent about it but actually….

And to cap it all, I was out of the house this morning and he actually did a poo in the potty. A poo! I know! Although I can’t believe he waited until I was out to proudly present the gift to his dad (typical). Probably the only time in Husband’s life he’ll be pleased to have someone hand him what was – apparently – a very impressive turd. Although of course to hear him speak it happens (metaphorically) all the time at work…


  1. Oh dear, poor thing. I have a bike here and just can't cope with the pedalling. I'm so unfit these days.
    I hope you feel better soon.
    Well done no1 son!

  2. SO BRAVE! I was quite useless with a bike in London despite commuting virtually everyday from Clapham to TCR/Oxford Circus - HUGE run-ins with Taxis/Buses/Couriers. I so admired those with extra passengers their sheer grace and agility let alone their powers of balance. Dear Charlie (Husband) says I used to get distracted by the shop windows...

  3. Dear Frog,

    re: your comment on my last blog - well, that's just showing off. Am suitably jealous!

    Dear Tattie Weasle,

    thanks so much for visiting and commenting - and as for being distracted by shop windows I know just what you mean, but in this case I can't use that as an excuse since there were none. It was just sheer dumb clumsiness...

  4. RE:
    What is it about men and illness? They just never hold back on the sound effects...

    I think they like to share....!!

  5. Tattie - apparantly these work wonders for those trying marital illnesses:


Go on - you know you want to...