"Domino, it’s bedtime"
"Just five more minutes?"
"No, you've already had five minutes. It’s bed time now."
"Noooooooooooooooo. I ate you." (Yes, the 'h' is dropped)
"I ate you so much."
“Who are you? And what have you done with my angelic little girl?” I think to myself.
This is what happens when your child turns five. Suddenly, bed time becomes war time.
Domino is now lying on the floor crying pathetically and flailing her legs around. She is my fifth child, and therefore I merely step over her and go upstairs, as though she doesn't even exist.
Now, I wouldn’t have dreamt of letting child number one lie on the floor. What if they caught something? What if someone saw? What if the tears were actually real, and they had some psychological scarring later, with years of expensive therapy to repair the damage? “Okkkaaaay sweetie, just five more minutes," I would say to child number one. And then I would learn that five more was never really five more—further negotiations only ensued, and with no UN peacekeeper insight.
Between child number one and child number two, bribery makes an entrance: "If you just let Mummy put you to bed then tomorrow we can get ice cream." But even as you are saying the words you know that you have fallen off the good parenting path. You know this is forbidden, you know you must never confess to anyone that you bribed your child with ice cream so they would go to bed.
By child number three there is no time for negotiations. After all, it’s no longer one child you are putting to bed but three, and that could really take all night.
So you try different methods. Encouragement at first: "If you just come to bed now...." followed by threats: "You won't get to watch Sponge Bob tomorrow," and finally, when the body on the floor has not budged, anger: "Now I am really beginning to lose my temper"
By child number five you don't even bother with bribery. Because you're so darn tired you're happy if they fall asleep right there on the floor.
I don't have any concrete answers to the bed time question, but the two teeny bits of advice I would offer after 16 years of putting children to bed is to make sure you leave a lot of time to do it, and to make the bed as inviting as possible. That way, even if they "ate" you whilst you tuck them up, you're tucking them up into something lovely
Photo by Brittan Goetz
"Who is N for?" Asked David, looking at my necklace "Your new fancy man?"
"N is for NO ONE" I replied.
When you have five children you can't possibly wear all their letters. Even if they are Love Letters
BLOGGER. Imagine actually having to introduce yourself as such "Hi nice to meet you, I'm a blogger" BLOGGER. Its just such an ugly word. There is not a hint of romance about it. But we all know that out there, in the big old world, there are hundreds of thousands of them..... bloggers blogging blogs.
At first I couldn't really understand it. Who wanted to read some whipper snapper's thoughts of fashion, when we already had access to Anna Wintour's and Andre Leon Tally's. And the idea of not actually turning the page, not feeling the thin shiny sheets between your fingers, instead 'scrolling' down the page with a 'mouse'. Madness. And who wanted to see the pages of our great shelter and decorating magazines simply scanned and republished under the bloggers name, no fresh content, just stolen ideas. And even more odd, living your personal life out loud, editing your own reality show, putting your kids onto a cyber platform to perform publicly. Ooh it was all horrifying. Toe curling.
And then slowly, slowly as the weeks turned into years and I spent more time on the island, with out access to book stores or magazine booths, with endless power cuts and little TV, virtually no culture and certainly no daily newspaper, I began to turn more to the internet. I realized that even if they were whipper snapper's their views were actually interesting, that reading about someone else's' parenting nightmares was comforting and watching their children have melt downs through my computer screen was actually fascinating.
There are an overwhelming amount of brilliant blogs out there (and a whole load of bullshit ones too). I creepily stalk the wonderful Heather Armstrong on Dooce
, religiously read my friend Amanda Brooks on I Love Your Style
, admire Heather Clawson with all she has achieved on Habitually Chic
, am impressed by the energy of Erin Gates' Elements of Style
, but above all I worship Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table
. This site reminds us all not to take any of it too, too seriously.
What would he say about the below image? Fuck Your Fake David Hicks Wall Papered Fridge?
It's Mother's day weekend in some parts of the world. I am thinking of all those Mum's out there. Especially my own. Seen here with Mahatma Gandhi.
I think they must have shared an optician, don't you?
Oh, to shave your head for charity, to wear a club Tropicana pink mini skit, to wriggle and grind your body down to the floor, and more importantly not get stuck there, and to have a hit named Domino. This girl can do no wrong. Although she can be held directly responsible for my alarming Olivia Newton John dance moves (the bit where she tosses the leather jacket aside and simply doesn't care what anyone else thinks) Thank God my eldest son was not there, on a normal day he thinks I'm embarrassing enough.
Jessie J was playing at Gabrielle's Gala. Gabrielle Rich Aouad died at the age of 27, despite her mother donating her own bone marrow to try to save her life. Gabrielle’s final wish was to create a leukemia foundation that would help spare others the suffering that she endured. The work of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research continues in her honor and memory.
Gabrielle’s strength and wisdom live on in her own words, "Love defies all pain, even death."
Mother's day, rather like Valentine's, leaves that slightly funny taste in your mouth. You know its a little bit commercial, well actually a whole lot of commercial, but equally are you going to be the one who doesn’t give your mother a card, covered in pink butterflies with a hallmark message? No way.
And anyway she did put up with you through those teenage years, so butterflies are the least we can do.
My mother and I are very close, we share the same sense of humor and much more importantly, a love of chocolates and dachshunds. We are so close that we were asked not once, but twice, to do an interview for Relative Values
, a page in The UK Sunday Times magazine. You are interviewed separately, about each other. It’s rather unnerving.
The first time we did it I was 18 years old. Fresh out of school, just finding my feet. In my interview, I was asked what my mother had taught me, life lessons and all that. I thought for a moment and said "She taught me how to water ski really well” Later, reading this, my mother was furious “Oh darling, is that really all you think I taught you? I did also teach you to speak French”
When she was interviewed about me, she said that I had pretty much taken over around the age of 12, but this was said in a tender, loving voice.
Twenty years later, being interviewed again, my mother opened with "Meet my daughter Miss. Bossy Boots" And although I can’t say for sure, I’m pretty certain the tone of voice wasn’t all that tender. She was clearly still mad at me for making her write that book. Daughter of Empire
. Mind you a box of Charbonnel and Walker
rose and violet creams lightened the mood fairly rapidly.
Every Mother’s Day I give my mother the card with butterflies and the hall mark message, although its not needed, she knows that she is everything to me. Everything. This year though my mother needs more than butterflies, she needs a new knee.
What does your Mum need for Mother’s Day?
Mother's Day? Yes possibly, if you don't lead a nomadic, gypsy existence, between several continents.
I'm normally in the wrong country, on the wrong day. When The Bahamas is celebrating Mother's Day I am in the UK and when the UK celebrates I might be on a plane to the States.
Very occasionally I have a little pang of jealousy for those Mum's who get to celebrate properly. Smudgy homemade cards, burnt toast brought to you in bed, and extra kisses. But then the other day, one of my smaller chaps came home from a trip. Clutched in his little sweaty hand was a scrumpled up ball of loo paper "For you" he said. I unwrapped the ball. Inside was a miniature, unbroken, glass Dachshund. A miniature Banger. "Do you like it?" he asked.
He could have given me a lifetime supply of free air miles on British Airways and I could not have liked it more. Well, Ok, lets not get carried away here, possibly I might have liked the lifetime supply of air miles a teeny bit more but this came a really close second.
Who cares about burnt toast and a day called Mother's Day when I get a glass Banger out of the blue.