Sunday, 13 October 2013

The good little witch

On Saturday morning Grace was performing with her preschool class at the day dare centre's Halloween themed charity fundraising/open day. All the kids were going in costume and in true me fashion, I'd been so busy that I'd forgotten to make Grace a costume. Bad Mum!
And so there we were, Friday night, racing down to Hobby Craft to get a few bits and bobs to make her a costume. On the way down to the shops, I thought I'd ask Grace what she wanted to dress up as. Clapping her hands gleefully she commanded 'I'm going to be a pretty mermaid with legs like Ariel. Make me a tail mummy!'
Unfortunately for Grace her determination to be a mermaid was no match for my determination for her to pick an easier costume to make. I’d already had a look on line at and decided that a no-sew tulle skirt would make a great addition to a witches costume. So we argued the whole journey to the shops. And as usual, my arguments with Grace are about 90% ridiculousness versus 10% sense…

 'Sorry Grace but I don't think mermaids come out at Halloween. What if you be a scary witch instead?'
Shaking her head, she said ‘But I’m not really a nasty old witch. So I’m just going to have to be a mermaid instead mummy’.
Raising my eyebrows and smirking at the irony in her statement, I wasn’t ready to give in yet. ‘Well Halloween is about being tricky and causing mischief. I don’t think Ariel is naughty or sneaky. So I don’t think you should be a mermaid this time’.
Looking horrified that I would even think to suggest that a mermaid would be anything but divine, she folded her arms angrily and shouted ‘No Mummy! Mermaids are beautiful and good. And I’m a lovely little girl so that is what I want to be!’
Not quite put in my place, I battled on. ‘Well you’re already beautiful and good. But Halloween gives you a chance to pretend to be naughty. Wouldn’t you like to be a naughty witch? Besides all your friends will probably be dressed up as monsters. I don’t think a mermaid would really be happy in at a monster party. So wouldn’t you rather be a witch?’
Determined to be a mermaid she shook her head and appealed to my compassionate side. ‘No Mummy. I’m going to be a beautiful mermaid and be very nice to everybody. If was a nasty witch, I’d have to be mean and nasty. And then people would be sad and not have any fun. So I absolutely have to be a nice mermaid. Okay Mummy?’
I decided to get ridiculous and reason with her bizarre logic. ‘Yes but you don’t have to be an evil witch. You could just be a little bit cheeky and then people would still have fun. Besides, you have to sing and dance. How are you going to dance with fins?’
She kept her feet together and sat in her car seat flapping her feet like a fish. ‘Like this. It’s easy. You do it too. Come on Mummy. Let’s be mermaids together’.
I tried another tactic.  ‘Well I’m driving so I can’t be a mermaid but you can pretend for now. And then when we get to the shop we can pretend that you’re Ariel after she loses her voice and that way you can have legs so can wear a pretty skirt and be a witch, just for this weekend’.
She was still sat there staring out the window and flapping her non-existent tail when I heard her say in a very faint voice ‘But I like talking’.
And then all was quiet in the back until I heard some very quiet giggling. After a bit the giggling turned into a very sarcastic sounding laugh. Peering at her through the rear-view mirror, I asked her what she was doing. ‘I’m practicing my cackle for when I’m a witch. But I don’t sound very good’.
Going with flattery, I told her she sounded like a fantastic witch and suggested that she carry on practicing her cackle. It was quiet in the back again before she announced ‘Well I’ve been trying to turn you into a frog for a long time but you’re still a mummy so I’m just not very good at being a witch. So you’re going to have to just make me a mermaid costume Mummy’.
Almost ready to give in, I tried one last time to get her to give up on being a mermaid, ‘What if I let your pick the material and you choose a pretty pink and you can even help me make the skirt…'.
Turning her head to look me square in the eye she demanded 'Tell me more about this skirt!'...WIN! 

 With very little encouragement, she ended up choosing a pink Tulle and a black cobweb patterned fabric. By some miracle she also managed to channel her inner witch and get lippy with the poor sales assistant in Hobby Craft. 'Mummy is my fabric ready? Tell the lady to hurry up. Why hasn't she finished cutting it yet?' Then back at home, with Neils very reluctant help, the project only took a few hours to complete. We reckon she made a fantastic witch, even if she did insist that I call her the 'Pink Princess Witch'. What do you reckon?
 Inspiration for the skirt came from

Monday, 7 October 2013

Spider nests and peanut butter sandwiches for the foxes....

With my return to work I've been a little strapped for time but Grace has kept up with her usual hilarious self and so I have plenty of anecdotes to share so brace yourselves for a lengthy post. In fact, it might be best to grab a cuppa since this post might be quite a read!

Tonight Grace played a magic trick on me and I use the word ‘magic’ very, very loosely.
Holding a deck of cards out to me, she asked me to pick a card. So I did. She giggled as she stuffed the card I had picked behind the radiator. And then she held the deck of cards out to me again. 'Pick another one mummy!'.
Curious to see where this trick was headed, I happily obliged. Again she giggled away to herself as she stuffed the second card behind the radiator. And the game went on much the same as this. I picked card after card and every single one ended up stuffed behind the radiator. We must have gotten about half way through the deck before impatient curiosity got the better of me. 'What is so magical about all the cards hiding behind the radiator Grace?'
Shrugging she answered 'Nothing'.
'Then where is the trick?'
She shook her head and sighed. 'I don't know. Maybe It's hiding behind the radiator with all the cards. You should probably go and pick them up'...
Lovely. The best magic trick of my life, for sure.

Last night while getting ready for bed, Grace kept at me with a constant barrage of questions about animals and what they eat. Trying to avoid the nasty topic of animals eating their prey, I chose to make up a ridiculous fib instead.
'What do cows eat?'
'Good girl Mummy. Do you know what elephants eat?'
'Yes. And now tell me what monkeys eat?'
'And how about sheep?'
'And what about dogs? Go on Mummy. Tell me what they eat?'
'Kibble and bones?'
'Yes. And now tell me, what do ducks eat?'
'Bugs and bread?'
But then she changed the game. 'And what eats ducks Mummy?'
Less than prepared for this type of question, I decided fibbing was the best and easiest answer. 'Nobody eats ducks'.
'Why not?'
'Because ducks are lovely. I like ducks, so nobody eats them'.
It was obvious that I was lying. Standing with both hands on her hips and tapping one foot she demanded that I tell the truth. 'Tell me! What eats ducks?'
Caving under the pressure, I admitted that sometimes foxes do - but only when their incredibly hungry if there aren't any peanut butter sandwiches about. 
I expected her to be upset about the poor ducks. But it appeared that she was more concerned about the poor foxes that don't have enough sandwiches.
'Why did they run out of sandwiches Mummy? Were they greedy and did they eat them all? Perhaps we should make lots of sandwiches and hide them in the woods for the foxes so that they don't have to eat the ducks. Because I think peanut butter probably tastes nicer then a duck does'.
It's always easy to nod and agree then hope that she forgets these crazy plans.
She carried on with her questions. 'So come on Mummy. What do goats eat?'
Dubiously, she laughed and tapped me on my head. 'Don't be ridiculous Mummy. You don't eat straw. You drink your milk with a straw. Sometimes you're so silly Mummy'…

Last weekend Grace & I went on a mother-daughter date. 
We chose to be adventurous and decided to get a bus into town to see a film at the cinema. After much debate, we decided to watch Monsters University. This was Grace's second trip to the cinemas and given the first time was last January, I had taken a little time to explain that people were very quiet in the cinemas. But perhaps I should have tried to explain a few other things as no sooner had we sat down, did Grace begin to fire questions at me. 
 'Why is it so dark? I don't like the dark. Ask them to put the lights on. No Mummy. I can see the screen fine with the lights on. Tell them now!'
 'Is this Harry Potter? Well I want to watch Harry Potter'. Turning to the older boy in the seat beside her she said 'Do you want to watch Harry Potter too?'.
'Can we watch Dora? Tell them to change the channel to Cbeebies. I want to watch Numberjacks'.
She made it through a good while but twenty minutes before the end of the film, she was adamant that she had had enough. 'Let's go Mummy. No I don't want to see the end. You can bring me back at Christmas time'....

The other night a spider smuggled inside, hiding in the clean washing.
I'd taken the basket into Graces room to put her clothes away when I saw it try to make a break for it. Without even thinking I gave it it a good wack with my shoe but then I had to get some tissue to clean the mess. Feeling slightly guilty with the 'blood' of a spider on my hands, the guilt was magnified when I head a little voice exclaim 'Mummy! What did you do?'
Busted! I had no idea how long she had been standing there but I wasn't about to admit to being a cold blooded bug murderer. So I lied. 'Nothing. Just..'
She cut me off before I had time to invent a good story. 'Is that a spider mummy?'
'Yes. But he is sleeping'.
'And what are you doing with him in the tissue?'
I tried to sound innocent and reasonable, 'Putting him outside'.
I struggled to find an acceptable answer 'Erm so that he could be with all his friends?'
And then I guiltily rabbited on 'He will probably like the garden better than your bedroom anyway'...
Shaking her head she said 'No. I don't think so'. 
I thought the game was up. But she went on...'I think he was looking for a nice warm nest. So maybe we should find somewhere inside for him'.
This took me by surprise. I never expected Grace to become an advocate of spider rights. Especially not given the completely irrational and very inconvenient fear of flies and other bugs she sometimes has. Not wanting to admit that a spider nest in my house sounded about as appealing as watching a never-ending marathon of The Teletubbies, I tried to offer up alternative suggestions to building a spider’s nest but she wasn't having any of it. 
'No Mummy. We must build a spider nest. I'm not going to bed until we do'…
And so there we were, just leaving inconspicuous bundles of odd socks around her room for the spiders to find. Except for dead Fred, he was safely flushed away. And when she finally fell fast asleep, I was in her room like a flash getting rid of every spider nest so as to make sure none of Fred’s mates even concidered it!

 I'm still got a bit more to catch up on so expect some more tomorrow night...