Wednesday 29 August 2012

A Weighty Issue

How many times have you put your back to the wall somewhere for no reason other than to get rid of that wedgie?  Go on, admit it.  You’ve done it, haven’t you?  Sidled up alongside a tree or a fridge in the frozen food aisle in the supermarket for that one second of privacy.  Sometimes I don’t even bother disguising the fact I am freeing my underpants from the confines of my bum.  I just think fek it; it’s hardly going to be dinner table conversation fodder later on, is it, if someone sees me? And anyway, I’ve given birth four times, count them, four, nothing embarrasses me now.  I remember a time when I thought one of the most mortifying things that could happen to me was to leave a public bathroom with a length of tissue paper stuck to my shoe.  I tripped over my own feet once, walking down the street.  It didn’t cross my mind that I may have hurt myself, (I didn’t) but I did want the ground to open up and swallow me.  I used to live in real fear that I would accidentally tuck my skirt into my knickers on leaving the bathroom.  That never happened.  (Whew!) But I did manage to walk from one end of a busy pub to the other at a work do once, with my top open and I wasn’t even drunk.  These days I get up to all sorts of compromising shenanigans and it doesn’t bother me in the least who might be watching or disapprove.  BC (Before Childers) a long time BC, a good friend who did have a childer, told me you leave your dignity outside the door when you give birth.  I have to say I would agree with her although I wouldn’t be of the opinion there is anything embarrassing about giving birth. But I have been caught out on a couple of occasions when it comes to breastfeeding.  Nothing controversial, all extremely normal behaviour altogether, but conduct that normally would be carried out behind closed doors.  Like expressing breast milk for example.    There was a touch of conjunctivitis in the house last winter.   Breast milk is utterly fantastic for clearing up this sticky little nuisance so I was kilt hand expressing for the Screecher Creatures.  We took one of our family trips to Dundrum shopping centre and on the way home, on the motorway, Mister Husband reckoned his eyes were starting to feel itchy.  Being the good Wonderful Wagon Wife that I am, I embarked on an extraction mission.  It really doesn’t take long to produce a sufficient amount of milk for such a small job so he could have waited a bit longer before pulling in alongside a huge JJ Kavanagh bus. I looked up in slow motion to see about 3 people looking down and in on me as I extracted a few precious drops of milk from my left boob. So if that was you, hellooooo.  I used to have another little breastfeeding ritual.  One that is not all that uncommon and a practice carried out by a large majority of breastfeeding mothers.  We “weigh” ourselves.  Several times a day and no bother to us.  I’m not checking to see if I gained or lost poundage, although I do that too.   I had a habit of “weighing” my boobs before a feed.  I could never remember from which side a Screecher Creature fed last so I checked by “weighing” myself. And I did this how?  Well, I suppose I copped a quick feel, didn’t I?  It was so automatic and quick that I’m sure people didn’t even realise I was doing it. And if they did, well it certainly didn’t bother me.  Now that my breastfeeding days are over, I am a little surprised at how quickly I have adapted.  My sister in law was feeding her daughter over the weekend and she asked me did I miss it.  I answered honestly, no.  I don’t miss it but at the same time I was fully prepared and for some reason, expecting, to feed our youngest right up to his second birthday and after if he so wished.  He didn’t wish.  None of our boys have any recollection of being breastfed but I hope at least two of them will remember me feeding the youngest.  The youngest himself, at coming up on 17 months of age, has it all forgotten about.  When I think back on the way it used to be.  Mister Husband would come into the bedroom and bang the door off the laundry basket.  For good measure he often gave it a bit of a kick as it was usually dark and visibility poor.  Then his belt buckle would hit the floor with a metal clink, followed by two heavy thunks as the boots followed.  Next, a massive creak as he sat on the side of the bed and finally, in under the covers with a huge sigh of satisfaction.  Screecher Creature No. 4, who shares our room, never stirred.  His breathing didn’t even change.  On the other hand, when I walked into the room, in my bare feet, without making a single sound, before I even got to “my” side of the bed, he would wake up; let out a yelp, scramble to his feet and hang over the side of the cot already starting to roar.  In general, acting like he was half starved.  I swear to god he could smell me.  These days when I cuddle him in close he doesn’t even slightly turn his head towards my breast.  Once upon a time, a complete stranger would have been treated to a root from him, now he prefers his thumb.  How things have changed.  There is a certain freedom too.  My body is entirely my own again and this I love.  I can now leave the house and be assured in the knowledge that he doesn’t need me for naps or bedtime.  And the general public can breathe a sigh of relief because I won’t be “weighing” myself any more either.  The wedgies however, depending on the trousers I wear, are here for keeps! 

Wednesday 22 August 2012


The first time I met my I-didn’t-know-it-at-the-time-but-she-was-my-future-mother-in-law, mother in law, I had a mad head of curly hair which I hated.  It was torturous getting my hair brushed every morning.  I absolutely hated it and insisted the first chance I got; it was all going to be chopped off.  Eleanor was a hairdresser and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found myself sitting on a chair in her kitchen at approximately six years of age.  It was looking very likely indeed that I was about to be shorn.  And shorn I was.  Funnily enough the curls never came back.  In their place I got thick, straight hair that likes to frizz unnaturally in the damp weather.  How and ever, I was delighted with myself.  No more rows in the morning with my mother and her hairbrush.  Because we lived just down the road from Eleanor, my mother and grandmother were regular clients.  I say regular because my mother is blessed, although she says cursed, with a head of hair that doesn’t get six weeks out of a trim, and for years my sisters and I were bombarded with stories about “The Dooley’s” and what they did and didn’t do.  Straight away we didn’t like them.  They sounded like right lick arses.  The Dooley’s made their beds every morning.  The Dooley’s had chores which they did every day without complaining.  The Dooley’s got perfect marks in their tests in school.  In fact, the only reason The Dooley’s lost marks was because they didn’t dot their i’s and cross their t’s.  The Dooley’s gave up sweets for all of Lent and didn’t give out about it!!!!!   What The Dooley’s didn’t do, wasn’t worth mentioning.  We felt sorry for them.  It sounded like their mammy was very, very cross. To this day one of my smart arse sisters refers to them as the Walton’s and us as The Dingles.   I met Eleanor lots of times after that; at the usual First Holy Communions and Confirmations as both families had kids of the same age.   And yes, I was scared of her.  I was slightly older the next time I met Eleanor.  She was beating the crap out of a lump of steak with one of those wooden meat hammers and I had just started going out with her son, the now Mister Husband.    In my ignorance I had no idea she was tenderising a piece of meat. I thought she was just having a bad day.  Like I said I was still scared of her.  Childhood fears are hard to erase.   This was to be the first of many times I saw her man handling a side of animal.  Her culinary skills were second to none. The first time I was invited to Sunday dinner with the Dooley family, I almost had a cow man.  There was a strong and lively rumour amongst our crowd that the Dooley family used silver service on Sundays and dress was more formal than casual.  Apparently they also drank wine.  Beef Wellington was on the menu; something I had never even heard of, let alone tasted.  (There was no silver service, dress was casual, dinner was delicious and the craic was mighty!) Over the next few years, I was without doubt firmly integrated into the Dooley circle.  Their home had an open door policy and it didn’t matter who showed up, there was always room at the inn for the night and at the table for dinner. There were even one or two small little parties held when the cats were away but ssshhhh don’t tell anyone!  And when the cats were there, I have strong and abiding memories of blow up beds scattered on every floor surface available and inert bodies on couches and chairs.  The younger ones weren’t the only ones dancing in the sitting room at the Dooley parties; Eleanor had a habit of grabbing the partners of her daughters and hauling them onto the floor for an Elvis jive.  Those were the good memories.  Some fantastic memories are when Mister Nearly Husband and I came home early that Friday night in December with The Ring.  Eleanor and Michael were married after a six month courtship and Mister Husband would have preferred the same. But Eleanor got a stubborn and cautious daughter-in-law with me and it was five years to the day later, when she saw me walk down the aisle to join her son in matrimony.   Nothing was ever said, but I’m sure she was counting the days till she would become a grandmother.  Again, I made her, everyone, wait.  Mister Husband and I were waiting in the kitchen as his parents came home from a day out.  We handed her a trinket that read “World’s Greatest Grandma” and waited for realisation to dawn.   The next time she hugged me that hard was when I was on my hospital bed, hours after giving birth to her grandson, indeed, her first grandchild.  Tears streaming down her face; she had no words.  The next few years are a bit of a blur as I was so busy with the babies that followed but I always remember the gatherings in the Dooley house for special celebrations.  It didn’t matter how big or how small the occasion, there was always a homemade cake or two to mark it.  Eleanor never allowed one to pass.  Then Eleanor got sick.  At first it was a shoulder problem and she underwent surgery to correct this.  She lost her voice then and after undergoing further tests, spots were found on her lungs.  Eleanor had cancer.  It was a long and difficult year; for each step forward, there seemed to be two steps back.  The last time I saw Eleanor it was when she came to our house for a small barbeque.  It was nothing like the bashes she and Michael used to host but it was lovely.  I am so glad the last memory I have of her is in my back garden, smiling and laughing with our kids, her grandsons, running around.    Eleanor died on Saturday 18th August 2012.    Again, her house was opened to family and friends alike and they came in their droves to say goodbye.  She is gone yet she is everywhere.  She will never be forgotten.    

Wednesday 15 August 2012

School Daze

Finally.  A question I could get on board with:  “Mammy will you tell me about school?”  You have no idea how glad I was to hear this.  Our second son will be starting Big School in a matter of weeks and I am a little apprehensive to say the least.  I do not let him sense this although some say he will feel my tension regardless.  Every time I see a magazine displaying the tag line “First Day at School – How to Make it Easier,” I swipe it up utterly convinced that this time I am going to read something of worth, that there will be a nugget of information within that I haven’t read before or thought of myself.  But it is yet another advice piece that doesn’t deliver.  More common sense wrapped up as advice about leaving out the child’s uniform the night before, getting everyone up a little bit early so there is no mad rush out the door at the last minute and giving your child a nice piece of fruit to ease them into their new experience.  Come on!  I want information on how to deal with the child who makes like an ostrich and sticks his head firmly in the sand and blocks out the New Experience. I want counsel on how to discreetly and politely intercept people before they ask him “are you looking forward to big school?” when I know the thumb being shoved into his mouth is not only his way of self-soothing but it is also a stopper; his method of holding everything in.  I can tell by the scowl that knits his eyebrows together and how his eyes search for something to stare at on the ground.  Anything other than respond to the question or even face up to this new and scary stage in his life.  The unknown.   How do you prepare a child for going from just 10 people in his class to 30 and he won’t know any of them?  What about the playground?  There will be no swings and slides in this one.  How do I tell him that and watch him deal with the disappointment of it?  I know he’s stressed about Big School.  He hasn’t said as much but subconsciously he is fretting about it.  God only knows what’s going through his head.  I’d love to get in there at times like this.  His older brother was helpfully telling him about the adventures on the school bus and the newbie built it up, exaggerated it into something completely different involving someone stealing his schoolbag and refusing to give it back.  He broke down in tears earlier on this summer when the penny dropped and he realised he was not going back to Montessori.  Despite me telling him this several times before he finished up.    I’ve done everything the useless magazine article suggested.  He’s been to his open afternoon.  He has not one but two school bags to choose from.  He also selected his own “easy open” lunch box.  He’s aware that his new school books will be arriving any day now and he will get a chance to look at them. Then we will try on his uniform and get him his very much coveted new runners and boring old black shoes.  But we would do all of this anyway, without being helpfully advised by an article.  I want my money back!  I see so much of me in him sometimes.  I am very attached to my own comfort zones.  I am not a big fan of taking a risk.  I like to know what to expect going into a new situation be it social or a working one.  Iarla likes his own space as do I.  I’ve often done a quick head count when we are in the park or another busy environment and there he is, in the thick of it with the others.  But seconds later he could disappear.  Gone off by himself to play in the dirt or if we’re at home, come into the house just to curl up on a chair, and suck his thumb.  Taking some time out to regroup and escape from the hubbub.  It’s almost a form of sensory over load and when it becomes too much for him, he removes himself from the situation.  He won’t be able to do that in Big School.   He’s a sensitive soul and can take even the most innocent remark to heart.  I am dreading the inevitable day he comes home in the horrors because a class mate or even his teacher, commented on his thumb sucking.  He will be embarrassed and retire into himself.  He does not like it when people draw attention to him.    So I was thrilled when he asked me to tell him a story about school.   This was the perfect opportunity to describe everything to him. Big brother was present and all set to offer his two pence worth.  When I stopped him he insisted he had something of great importance to impart, something I neglected to tell him on his big day.  This was, to wait until your teacher tells you it is time to eat and don’t just start eating your lunch yourself.  His lower lip began to quiver as he told me Reuben had to tell him to put his banana away; it wasn’t time to eat yet.  “Because you never told me that, Mammy.”   See how they remember even the tiniest little thing?  So magazine editors the country over who are looking for Ways to Ease Them into Big School, tell your readers to Talk to Them about It.  Don’t assume they know what to expect even if they have spent the last four and a half years in Montessori.  Make sure they know where the bathroom is.  What happens if there are three Spiderman bags?  Maybe stick a key-ring on his bag.  What about their gorgeous new coat and shoes with the lovely laces?  It’s not a bad idea that they are able to manage their coat and maybe stick to the Velcro-ed shoes until they master the art of lace tying.  Yogurts?  I can still remember spilling the contents of mine all over my lovely muck brown trousers in Junior Infants.  I was left sitting in it all day and felt awful.  What if they are too shy to approach the strange lady they will come to call Teacher if they can’t open their brand new cartoon character emblazoned lunch box? I think one of the most important ones is to tell them that you will be back to collect them.  And make sure you are not late.  There are lots of different ways to help ease them into their new environment and very hard to remember it all.  Like reminding your child they need to wait until teacher tells them it is break time before they tuck into the contents of their new lunch box.  Oops!  Every child is different.  Our oldest boy had nary a problem or worry about his place of education and indeed has gone on to make a very wide and varied circle of friends. Looking back, I had similar concerns when he started.  He will be fine, I know he will.  I hoped back then, and still do, that if there is any upset, it will be in the early days and not after the first mid-term break.    We just, both of us, need to get over the first hurdle together.  Like every other event I was apprehensive about, I found the reality of it easier than the perception and with a little dollop of luck, Big School for our second son, won’t be any different.        

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Dog Gone

Last weekend my kids became very attached to a dog that wandered into our garden.  A couple of days later when they were taking boys bestest friend in infinity for a walk, the rightful owners happened to be driving along and claimed him back.  I have always feared the day their hearts would be broken but I thought they would be slightly older than the tender age of single digits.  When I was their age I always wanted a dog of my own.  Heavily impressed and influenced by the adventures of The Famous Five, I wanted a Timmy dog.  A Timmy dog who would adore me and only me.  One who would growl at anyone who so much as looked crooked at me.  A dog that would be my friend for life.  I didn’t get a Timmy.  I got a Spider.  A tiny Jack Russell who was the family pet for a couple of years.  Back then, dogs, ours at least, didn’t know what a vets surgery was.  There were no vaccinations, regular worming’s, or the eradicating of fleas.  At least none that I was aware of.  None of our dogs were ever neutered let alone micro-chipped.  Spider disappeared only to be found dead at the bottom of our garden.  Poisoned.  Or that was what we were told.  Cover your ears now, those of you who are die hard animal lovers.  It was only when I was older, a lot older, it emerged that Spider had been shot by my father.  A local farmer objected to the interest our Jack Russell had been showing in his bitch and my father took matters into his own hands.  We never had another dog after that.  It was too hard on us when the dog died so Spider was our last pet.  We got over it and as an adult I would not be able to claim an affinity, strong or otherwise, to any animal.  I’m not anti-pet.  Just anti-hassle.  We’re got four kids.  Four full time kids and as far as I am concerned, introducing a pet into that mix is extra work and added expense.  Just down the road from our house exists a field that fascinates my kids.  Or rather, the inhabitants do.  They are: a very regal and fierce German Shepherd, a donkey on occasion, a horse, some hens, a cockerel, a gaggle of geese, and ducks complete with fuzzy little wind up ducklings.  There was tremendous excitement the day a couple of furry brown rabbits were seen outside the fence, devouring the clover.  Clearly tame, there was great concern that they might meet their end on the road.  My kids don’t get their gra for animals from their mother.  They boys are captivated by this Neverland and its menagerie.  So many animals in so much space.  Who feeds them?  Who put them there?  Where do they sleep?  Who owns them?  And then the phone a friend question:  “Mammy, can we have a pet?”  For a while, every time we passed this field with its mixed bag of animals, I was issued with instructions to slow down so they could see if the rabbits were out.  The lads hatched a plan to “trap the rabbits,” bring them home and put them in a box.  The requests for a pet increased in their frequency and intensity and so too did my reasons/excuses why they couldn’t have one.  And then a white shaggy dog appeared at our house and made himself very much at home.  I wasn’t one bit pleased, least of all when he decided to accompany me on a run.  Wherever he had come from, he wasn’t used to traffic and ran for cover into the long grass every time a vehicle heavier than a car passed.  Somewhat na├»ve and too friendly for his own good, he ran over in delight to make friends with the German Shepherd on the way back and was almost savaged.  I lived in hope that hunger would drive him on overnight.  It didn’t happen. The next morning he was still there.  The kids were delighted.  Their new pet was sticking around.  Unimpressed with his tenacity, I caved a bit nonetheless and he dined on a breakfast of Cheerio’s, Rice Krispies and milk.  Then I beat it on out of there.   When we returned home in the early afternoon, the lads were ecstatic to see the mutt curled up outside the back door, practically waiting for them.  The dog possessed a lovely temperament.  Clearly used to children and people, he was gentle and friendly.  He wasn’t giddy and overly excited but he did scare one of the boys a couple of times and the toddler was a bit too fond of grabbing tufts of shaggy fur.  Not once did the dog bite or snap.  He had no interest in venturing out onto the road and was making firm friends with the two dogs next door.  And inveigling his way into the boys’ affections.  I could see what was happening, in particular with our oldest.  They were loving this creature.  Bonding with it.  High on their agenda was what to call him.  A bad sign.  A very bad sign indeed.  And just wait till Mister Husband saw him.  He never made a secret of the fact he wanted a dog about the place.  I spent a great deal of time on the phone that Friday afternoon, leaving messages, descriptions and contact numbers with all of the usual suspects.  It still annoys me that our local neighbourhood watch contact service were not picking up the phone or replying to my messages and texts.  This would have saved a lot of heartache a couple of days later.  The longer this dog stayed with us, the harder it was going to be on the boys if an owner turned up.  Almost 48 hours later, the dog had a new name and there were no reports of a missing white German Shepherd cross.  The vet checked for a micro-chip – there was none.  She also advised us to be careful in the event that the owners did materialise and we “didn’t like them.”  But at this stage, the dog had cemented himself into the heart of the family.  They wanted the dog to stay so they believed he would.  I was very apprehensive.  It was clearly a family dog so the chances of someone claiming him were high, especially now that local authorities had his details.  It could be a week, it could be a month but the longer he stayed with us, the harder the parting was going to be.  There was nothing I could do.  The dog was in good hands, clearly happy to stay and it was pointed out to me that maybe he was sent to us.    Possibly.  But for what?  The kids were too young for such a lesson if it all went sour.  But I wasn’t.  Maybe that was the lesson.  I feared it was.  The dog had been with us for three days and the boys wanted to bring him for a walk.  It was all part and parcel of the newness that was the dog.  So off they went and returned home some time later.  I didn’t pick up on the sombre atmosphere immediately but when it was announced that the dog had been collected by his owners, I thought Mister Husband was joking.  I was very much taken by surprise at the way my own heart lurched in disappointment even though I didn’t believe him.  But one look at our oldest boy’s face and I knew the dog was gone.  I held out my arms to him and he began to cry.  I almost did too.  The others didn’t cry but were very quiet.  Damn dog! Damn dog for coming here and making everyone like him.  Damn the neighbourhood watch service for not being available.  Damned owners for losing their dog.  Damned owners for not coming to find him sooner.  Damned owners for taking the dog in front of my kids.  A big huge little part of me hoped they would be back with dog in tow; I even toyed with asking them to sell us the damned dog.  Instead it was decided we would get them one of their own.  When I saw how upset Conor was over the dog being returned I wondered how he would react if a much loved pet passed away.  But you can’t shield your kids forever.  It’s impossible to protect them from the natural way of life and the more I thought about it, I realised maybe having a pet would be a good introduction for them.   And then another thing occurred to me.  We had already agreed that for every poop scooped in the garden, there would be a bounty of 50c.  So they would be learning how to take responsibility for their pet and also acquiring a little financial acumen.  There was nothing else for it.  It looked like we were going to get a fifth baby after all.  We found our puppy through a website and on getting directions to the house, Mister Husband realised the family lived not too far away from where he used to spend his summer holidays as a boy and on arriving at the house, we were greeted by a lovely couple with no less than four young boys under the age of four.  Maybe the stray dog was sent to lead us to Juno, who right at this moment in time, is curled up on my stockinged feet. She gets a little lonely when her young masters go to bed and needs a bit of company.  There is a happy ending to this story and least of all because our boys have a new pet.  There is another family down the road, happy out that their dog was found safe and sound and returned to them.  The lady owner appeared at our door the day after she was reunited with her pet with a present and a thank you card for the boys. They did consider taking the dog back to us but their own children were horrified at the idea.  And well they might be.  Dogs, it seems, have a pesky habit of showing up and staying just that bit long enough to make you care.  Sometimes, just sometimes, one will wander into your life and subsequently your heart. Kind of like kids I suppose.             
If you enjoyed this you might like to hear how the stray dog came to be with us in the first place.  Doggone It!  on

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Bad Press

I give the Screecher Creatures awful bad press.  Maybe I’m taking the revenge is a dish best served cold idea too far.  For all their devilment as youngsters I am sure what they get up to as teens will blow all of these current shenanigans out of the water.  Or so I am told.  But as I tell those people, bring it on.  At least as teenagers they will all be able to wipe their own backsides and strap on seat belts themselves.  I hope. I certainly don’t plan on dressing any of them past the age of 6!  Just to clarify; everything I write about has happened.  I might pad it out a little bit under the term poetic license,  and the time frame is possibly altered a bit now and then.  What happened last month might be blogged about this month or even today for example.  I like to take a simple, mundane happening and put a funny twist on it.  It might be exaggerated a teeny tiny bit but if I didn’t do that it wouldn’t be worth reading about.  I realise the lads come across as wild, uncivilised heathens.  (Want to know the truth?) They are only boys after all and have boundless energy.  I wouldn’t have them any other way.  Except maybe at 5am on the second month in a row or when my eyes are welded shut with tiredness and I can’t talk.  Then I want girls.  No, I don’t.  I don’t mean that at all.  I want what I have.  I love writing about them.  I love their energy, their free spirits, and their bounce back-ability.  It doesn’t matter that threats are dished out and on occasion followed up on, it is all forgotten about very quickly.  They start on a new page each and every time.  After a screaming session, mine, they still come running to me as if it never happened.  I look at them sometimes and wonder what they will be up to this time next year or in 5 year’s time.  When they are outside messing in the pit of water at the front of the house, wearing their third change of clothes so far that day, I know the time will come when that muck pit will be forgotten about.  No more endless changes of clothes.  Or maybe there will be.  Maybe there will be piles of football scrubs to contend with.  I look at them playing happily with the two girls from next door, on the trampoline, enjoying a puck about with hurl and a ball, tinkering with Lego and wonder will the day arrive when they are suddenly shy and self-conscious around them.  I hope not.  Sometime I see glimpses of what they might be like in the future.  Screecher Creature no. 1 is a great little artist.  We haven’t gotten round to painting over the undercoats of white paint in the house yet, so the walls in their bedroom are literally an artist’s easel.  They have made good use of them.  Screecher Creature No. 2 loves his own space.  He reminds me of me in that respect sometimes.  I still like to disappear into a room by myself whenever I get the chance and just take a moment.  I remain dressed, however, during these rare times of escape, whereas Screecher Creature No. 2 likes to disrobe completely.  Screecher Creature No. 3 is proving to be a bit of a daredevil.  He can be a handful at times and displays a stubborn streak that I am sure will both stand to him and get him into trouble in the future.  Screecher Creature No. 4 is still in the making but already showing definite signs of being as big a gangster as his older brothers.  He already has a competitive streak especially when it comes to me.  But isn’t bad press better than no press?  I wouldn’t have this blog today if it weren’t for my boys.  Or maybe I would. Maybe I’d be blogging instead about cookery and how to remove stains from clothes.  Ok so that’s a blatant lie.  They haven’t set fire to a kitten yet, nor do they go round licking windows* so as far as I’m concerned, they are normal, boisterous boys.  I am gratified to learn, every time I put up a blog post about their shenanigans, that there are lots of other kids like mine out there.  Some of them do sit nicely and are quiet souls, and some, like my lot, are more active. Both are normal.  And if I need to look any further to reassure myself that they are grand I need only talk to Mister Husband.  His youth is peppered with stories of himself and a childhood friend going on a skite with a rifle at 9 years of age.  His mother still refuses to listen to the things they used to get up to unbeknownst to her.  Heading off with homemade bows and arrows is tame enough. It’s when you see your child and his bessie doing wheelies in a stolen tractor that you need to worry.  Mister Husband has a degree and a Wonderful Wagon Wife so he turned out ok. But if I catch him telling our Screecher Creatures about his misspent youth, that will be another story indeed.  As I say on a regular basis, I write a blog.  Be careful.  Be very careful!
*Another blatant lie, I’m afraid.  They are big, huge fans of licking windows.  Typically when I have just cleaned them.  They possess amazingly accurate radar for such things.  On occasion they also lick stuff off the floor.  I’m sure you’ve heard of the 3 second rule?  Let me explain.  It means if it’s on the floor less than 3 seconds, (who moves that fast?  Seriously!)  Then it’s ok to eat it.  Well, in casa Wonderful Wagon, there exists a 3 day rule.  Usually the 16 month old gets it way earlier than that, but none of them have keeled over yet.