Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Spy with my little eye - M

It's Wednesday, it's I Spy time. It works like this: Mum of One tells us the letter for the week, we take the pictures, you all guess what is in there. Simple and fun.

This week the letter is M.

Here's the pic:

Leave your guesses in the comment box, then click on the badge to see who else is playing this week.

Mum of One

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cam's War

Sometimes, when he cries, I wake with a jolt. As if I am Frankenstein's monster, my bed is the operating slab, and his cry is the immeasurably powerful lightning strike. Fast asleep to full alert in the 0.014 seconds it takes for the sound to travel from his mouth to my ear.

A fully alert brain doesn't translate to a fully alert body. Several full seconds pass before my limbs and joints can be convinced to join in the party. His lungs are now in full swing, gulping in air and converting it to pure anguish. The sound of being alone, of waking up to a world still so new to him that his brain needs to recalibrate every morning, but mostly the sound of doing battle.

His invisible enemies torment him through the day and through the night. They wriggle, they move, they prod and push, though they don't yet protrude. Dentin Soldiers: milk teeth. Waging war on our tiny boy, whose only defences are copious saliva, chewing on his own hands and those heart wrenching howls of agony.

By the time my recalcitrant hips have been coerced into action my wife is already up and soothing him, the soft shushing is designed to comfort, but to my ears also holds notes of concern and helplessness. What use are we to him? What relief can we give? All the quiet reassurances that he's okay mean nothing to him, or to the tiny incisors moving ever closer to eruption. We can not lull them to sleep any more than we can him. I stay in bed. We are zero help whether we are one or two.

Distraction proves impossible. He is lifted and embraced, held tight in my wife's arms and snuggled to her chest. Rocked and swayed. Regardless, the screams continue, the tears roll and leave their salty trace, the limbs thrash.

He comes into our bed, nestled between us to prevent the rolling over he has recently perfected. A moment's peace as his brain once again recalibrates to his new position, then the crying is back. Was it a moment or an hour? I'm not as alert as I thought. How long have I been asleep and allowing my wife to bear the brunt of this? Too long. Now it is my turn. I pick him up, offer him what I can: the sound of my voice, my finger to chew, my arms and chest to hit in frustration.

My tired brain is convinced he has filled his nappy. We return to his room and begin the changing process. There is no poo. But while I'm changing him from one clean nappy to another he is smiling. We play a little and all seems right for a few minutes. I sense a change which could mean this part of the war is over. I reinsert him in his 2.5 TOG cocoon and lay him back in his cot. Awake but calm I leave him. He is yawning. I am yawning.

Battle recommences within an hour. Feelings of pity and concern for him mix with a notion that we must be doing something wrong. Surely we ought to be able to help him? There is some trick we are missing and we are failing him by doing so. Whatever it is, we can't work it out. So he gets our best shot: 5ml of sugary analgesia poured into his gaping, angry mouth.

I'm given the go ahead to return to sleep. I need to be able to function to some degree when I go to work tomorrow. Today. In three hours. Doggedly, my wife continues to sit with him, singing a lullaby over and over. A statement of her love for him which carries through the air and sends me to sleep.

My battle is over for tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



Cam's thoughts: "Oh look, there's daddy! I'll just give him a quick smile. Right, that's enough of that, time for some screaming." *commences screaming for ages*

My thoughts: "Oh wow, I've had a fairly crappy day, I'm really looking forward to seeing that beautiful little boy of mine now I'm back from work! We can have a nice hour and a half together before he needs to go to bed, a cuddle is just what I need. Aww, what a sweet little smile! Oh. Oh dear. Something seems to be bothering him, his bottom lip is sticking out and his chin is quivering. Oh. Now he's screaming his head off. Balls." *continues feeling grumpy* *doesn't like baby very much*

Mrs L's (likely) thoughts (I haven't actually asked her): "I'm so looking forward to handing this baby over to Mr L when he gets home, looking after him all day really is knackering and he's not been in the best of moods. He's usually pretty good at this time of day though, he can have a cuddle and then go off to bed. Ah. He's screaming inconsolably in Mr L's face. I'd better take him back." *Nnnnnnnnnnnnngggghh*


Cam: "Inexplicably, I'm in a good mood this evening. I'm going to sit in the jumperoo and bounce for ages as if nothing in the world could possibly please me more. I shall bestow my most endearing smiles upon daddy when I see him. Then, when he's getting me ready for bed I'll treat him to some real chuckles, I've not done that in a while."

Me: "Oh Jesus. I bet that baby is going to be as nightmarish today as he was yesterday. I really could do without that. What the funk? He's all cheerful. He's not even needing us to tend to him every five seconds. He thinks the jumperoo is the best thing ever. I'm going to get him ready for bed while he's still smiling. Oh my, now he's laughing at me. I don't think I've ever felt a stronger love than I do right now. This baby is wonderful."

Mrs L: "Oh thank fuck. They're getting on alright tonight."

Babies. Sometimes they're ace. Sometimes you want to go to the pub and forget about them for a bit.

Wonder which it'll be tomorrow.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Curry's nice isn't it? Most people seem to like it anyway. In my experience, my fellow bloggers are also nice. So I was looking forward to combining those two things at last Friday's South West blogger meet up at the Namaskar Lounge in Bristol.

I've never been in a curry house quite like this. It's all light, open, airy. Loads of glass. Very nice indeed. Had I known this, I may not have decided to cycle there and have just a scruffy t-shirt and pair of shorts to change into once I got there. No worries though, it was all good. The staff looked after us well (the waitress seemed slightly distraught when she missed me finishing a glass of wine and I had to top it up myself) and the food was really good.

Also in attendance were @jbmumofone@purplemum, @adele_jk and @knittymummy, who I had met before, and knew to be lovely. There were two new faces as well, the lovely @medicatedfollower and award winning dad blogger @thefooltweets. All of these people have real names as well, and I even knew all of them, which was a pleasant surprise.

We had some good chat, about blogging (obviously), about the demise of internet chat rooms, about my ridiculous obsession with bicycles, about all sorts of other stuff.

Meeting other bloggy peeps in real life has been one of the best things about starting a blog, I'm really grateful that I'm in an area where there are loads of us about, and that we have someone in Jen who is doing the boring job of making us all get together. If you have the opportunity to get together with some other bloggers and haven't done so, I can't recommend it enough.

Great evening, great people, great curry. Winning.

The Namaskar Lounge gave us a group discount on our food, but all that stuff up there about the place is my own genuine opinion, it was very, very good.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Cameron wants to go to sleep. It has been two hours since his last nap. That's about the time he decides to let you know it's time for another one, in the only way a five month old can.

He's supposed to be having a nap in the car on the way to a lunch we're supposed to be going to. I want to go to the lunch, and so does my wife. No matter that we want to though, we can't. Because, like a twat, I have broken the garage door, and now it won't close.

I WANT the garage door to JUST FUCKING WORK. The garage door, apparently, WANTS to be an ill designed, badly installed, shonky piece of crap which doesn't perform its intended function, which is hardly diffucult. If I was an eight foot square piece of metal I would be an exemplary garage door. But, alas, I'm only six feet tall, a couple wide, and made of squishy flesh.

Whatever. I don't want to be a garage door anyway. But what do I want? What would I say I wanted if I wasn't inhibited by the trappings of adulthood, if I could release the same sort of guttural protest Cam does when he isn't getting what he wants? Thanks to that lovely chap @AdamPlum I now have the perfect excuse to find out. He has tagged me in a meme started by the frankly awesome Lexi over at Mammy Woo.

It's simple, a list of wants, so here's mine:

  • I want to wake up without a feeling of dread in my stomach every morning. Whatever the job is that will give me that, I want to find it. Alternatively, more likely, whatever the change that has to happen in me for that feeling to go away is, I want to happen. 
  • I want Cam to be happy. Simple. Whatever it takes, and whatever it means, that's what I want.
  • As above, but for Mrs L.
  • I want to believe that one day someone far cleverer than me will work out what the sustainable, workable alternative to capitalism is and start to convince everyone else to take it up.
  • Until then, I want more money. We may be working within the rules of a broken system, but money is the cornerstone of that system for as long as it remains. More money means more freedom, more security, more options. It also, in my case, is likely to mean more bicycles and more shoes.
  • I want to either be, or feel like, I'm a real person. At the moment I spend most of my time wondering when the world is going to call me out as a fraud. I'm not confident that I'm doing life right.
  • I want to have less of an appetite for junk food and booze. Just a little less.
  • I want there to be a Caterham in my garage.
  • I want (without wishing to be all Miss World) everyone to get along. It's not that hard really. Or, if it is, just don't be a dick about not getting on with people. There's lots of other people you will get along with, so why not just leave the ones you don't alone?
There. Wants. Now, who's going to give me that Caterham so I don't have to start bawling my eyes out and thrashing around like a monkey whose tail's been set on fire? I may also need a new garage door, so it doesn't get stolen.

As this is a meme type post, there just remains the need to tag a few other bloggers to hear their own list. Here we go:

@Glosswitch, because I don't think she'll do it, but I know I'd find it interesting if she did.
@tricky_customer, because she's ace and I'm nosey.
@jbmumofone, because she's super lovely and hasn't even shouted at me for not doing the meme she tagged me in ages ago...
@ageingmatron, because she'll make me laugh (no pressure)

Thanks for reading, if you got this far.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Dear son of mine, how nice it must be to be a baby. When you wake up singing every morning one or other parent (usually your mum, I'm not going to lie) comes into your room and is treated to a beaming smile. You are a happy little soul. Your only care in the world is the array of teeth jostling for position beneath your gums.

I envy you.

Soon enough you will wake up and watch the news. If you had done that this morning you'd have heard that a man in London, a man who shares your name but, with luck, nothing else, had made some changes to his team of Cabinet ministers which he'd be announcing later in the day.

You could have gone to work, wondering whether Mr Cameron had decided that the policies his government have pursued since their (sort of) election in 2010, the policies which caused his Chancellor to be booed by eighty thousand spectators at the London Paralympic Games last night, policies I believe are designed to alienate and demonise the disadvantaged people in our society in order to make the rest of the electorate think it's okay to remove the support the state gives them.

Deep down, you'd probably know that was unlikely. That Cameron wouldn't be changing his mind about the correctness of any of his party's policies. That the next two years will just feature more of the same.

More of DavCam's smug-faced, earnest assurances that everything they do is for the greater good. More of George Osborne's unbearable smirk in response to any questioning of his methods.

Actually, that's not strictly true. The changes to the Cabinet mean the next two years might be EVEN WORSE. Yay! The appointment of Jeremy Hunt to replace Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary could have implications for abortion rights (he doesn't like the idea of them being allowed more than twelve weeks into a pregnancy, okay ladies? I'm sure you'll understand). Not only that, Mr Hunt voted in favour of homeopathy hospitals. Maybe it's this vote that got him the job; infinitesimally small quantities of dubiously effective ingredients dissolved into lots of water are probably a cheaper treatment for cancer than the latest drugs, and we all know how important it is to reduce the deficit (it is, but is it really so hard to find some ways to do it that don't involve fucking over everyone on the way?)

There are other appointments, but, to be honest, I stopped paying too much attention. I already know I don't like the way the Tories vote on a wide range of issues. Putting a different, equally unqualified, Tory into a new role doesn't really mean anything more than a furtherance of the nastiness already happening. Same shits, different day.

The silver lining, I suppose, is that surely after another two years of this there won't be too many swing voters ticking the Tory box on their ballot? Labour may be (are) far from perfect, and I may never forgive the Liberal Democrats for looking like a real alternative and then capitulating to almost every Tory whim, but this current lot make my skin crawl. Make me want to divorce myself from the whole system, so low is my belief in it.

This isn't the first Tory government I've lived through, but it's the first I'll remember. I'm happy that you won't remember it Cam, because I want you to have whatever perfect happy thoughts are in your head now for as long as possible, and I'm pretty sure you're not dreaming about your namesake.

Monday, September 3, 2012


On Saturday I had a truly lovely day. My brother drove from Nottingham to visit us, arriving early. We went cycling. Lovely. We came back and had a barbecue. Lovely. Some friends came over for chat, some Paralympic watching and drinks. LOVELY.

Yes, Saturday was a day to savour.

I know how the world works. Cruel bastard that it is, the world ensures you pay for your lovely day with one not so lovely. It must be excruciating. It must make you question your continued existence. It must, therefore, include a visit to IKEA.

The last time we went to IKEA was the day before Cam was born. This time we were hoping we'd just come back with a highchair. Plus the obligatory tea lights.

When you drive to IKEA there is always a traffic jam. This is because everybody else is going to IKEA. Everybody else is always going to IKEA, because they put crack cocaine in the meatballs so that you feel strangely compelled to return, even though the meatballs aren't very nice. The chips are soggy and the cola tastes like it was made by carbonating some toilet water and adding some non-specific brown from somewhere. Possibly the same toilet.

Because there's always a traffic jam, there's a sense of triumph just in arriving at IKEA. It's nice, because it masks the fact that IKEA is full of EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, all clammering after tea lights.

Everything in IKEA has a ridiculous name. Ostensibly this is because IKEA is Swedish, and apparently everything in Sweden is given a hilarious moniker. Maybe they just have a good sense of humour. 

Would you like a kitchen utensil called BIIG KOK? IKEA can help you out. A beanbag named LAJ TITZ? No problem. 

We bought some bibs for when we start to wean Cam. They are actually called KLADD PRICKAR. I haven't made that up. Their name suggests that they are an item in which you would clad a prick. Most people call that a condom.

The bibs weren't the main event though, the ANTILOP (what?) highchair was. Everyone buys their highchair from IKEA. It's cheap, functional, has the look of a bakelite telephone from the 80s. It's the one thing that made our trip to IKEA worthwhile.

That and the 50p hotdog.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturdoodle is Caption Dizzle...

What up y'all? It's the weekend here. Probably everywhere else too. Which is nice.

Fancy throwing your wit or observations at the below pic? Well you can, because Saturday is caption day. Mammasaurus says so.

See bajillions of other, probably better, pictures by shuffling over to Mammasaurus' blog and seeing who else has joined in today.