Friday, 19 October 2012

Hoovering the Hall the Robinson Way

Just in case anybody is secretly wondering about the state of my house at the moment, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of how to hoover a hallway the way that I do it.  In twenty simple steps...

1) Decide that the hallway needs hoovering.

2) Wait for three days while a large filing cabinet takes up residence in the hallway, waiting to be moved into the study.

3) Wait another couple of days until a day when it's pouring with rain and you have the whole day set aside for nothing other than hoovering the hallway.

4) Get up.  Feed the baby.  Have breakfast. Feed the baby.  Dress two children.  Give one of them breakfast.  Feed the other one.  Clear away breakfast.

5) Well done!  Now you have nothing else to do other than to hoover the hallway!

6) Change the baby's nappy.

7) Put a YouTube video of Momo's Rainbow Song on to keep children amused.

8) Look for the hoover.  Extract it from the cupboard under the stairs, where it is underneath several random things like toilet seats and pushchairs.  In doing so, find the toy hoover. Pull it out, break it, fix it, offer it to the toddler who will ignore it and demand more videos.

9) Find another YouTube video.

10) Look for somewhere to plug the hoover in.  Discover that the only electrical socket is behind a large piece of heavy furniture.  Spend about ten minutes manoeuvring the bookcase two inches away from the wall.

11) Go to put on another video. Discover that the toddler has got hold of a box of matches and emptied them all over the living room carpet.  Collect all the matches.  Discover that, once you've emptied a box of matches, there is no way to replace them all in the box so that it closes. Place pile of matches and box out of toddler's reach.

12) Switch the hoover on.  Begin hoovering.

13) Notice that the hoover is not actually picking anything up.

14) Try to fix the problem. Fail.

15) Have a break.  Feed the baby.  Change the baby's nappy. Put on another video.

16) Go upstairs, fetch a second hoover.  Put first hoover in cupboard.  Repeat most of the above steps until second hoover is plugged in.

17) Put on another video, build a train set and repair a toy car.

18) Change the toddler's nappy.

19) Hoover the hallway!

20) Put hoover away, replace furniture, go to prepare lunch...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Mummy Reports 2

My Mummy has now been my Mummy for nearly five months.  It's time I gave her a progress report and highlighted the areas in which she could improve.  Here's how she scored in all the essential areas of Mummyhood:

Availability: 3/10
I have been very busy recently persuading Mummy that she must not put me down EVER.  Also, she must not ever hand me to anybody else except Daddy, and then only if I'm in the mood for being thrown into the air and shouting.  She doesn't seem to understand this at all.  She uses silly arguments, like saying that I can't be in the sling while she is carrying a large heavy pot from the oven in case I get burnt.  She should just hold it further away from me!  It's quite funny watching what she tries to get me to sit happily for a few minutes.  I have three different chairs, a pile of playmats, a thing with swingy fish hanging over it, and there's talk of a door bouncer, whatever that is.  I hate them all.  Daddy brought in a chair from the garage that swings back and forth.  Apparently my sister used to go to sleep in it. HA!

Food: 6/10
The milk is still pretty tasty, I suppose.  But why aren't I allowed to eat what they're eating?  My sister says that I wouldn't like it anyway, but it looks and smells pretty good to me.  My sister said I should tell Daddy.  She says that he used to sneak her tastes of things she wasn't allowed yet.

Physical Care: 4/10
I have no clothes.  Mummy says it is my fault for growing so much.  The other day, I ended up out in the garden wrapped in a blanket.  Honestly, a chap needs trousers and a coat in this weather however big he's getting.

Environment: 6/10
I've worked a few things out since I last wrote.  I can roll over and over, which is fun for avoiding those silly playmats.  I can go on my tummy for ages and get a proper look at the carpet.  And today I sat up for a little bit and thought it was OK.
We've moved house, too - maybe Mummy paid attention to my last criticisms, because this house is nicer and a bit tidier (not much!) and has a big garden, and I have my very own place in Mummy and Daddy's room which they call Jeremy's Cubby.  I don't much fancy sleeping in it, but it'll do for storing all of my stuff.

Entertainment Value: 10/10
Mummy is still very funny.  Last night she had a water squirter in the bath and she kept squirting me with it. Priceless!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Why doesn't prayer work on sleepless children?

God, why doesn't prayer work on sleepless children?
I mean, considering your flair with wine and water
your feeding of the five thousand
and the way you have raising the dead down to a T
I would have thought that settling this screaming baby would be relatively easy.

So why doesn't prayer work on sleepless children?
Because it really, really doesn't (I've tried over and over)
and although I've known prayer to work on sickness,
impossible tasks,
broken down vehicles
the weather
and lost property,
it never, never works on screaming sleepless babies.

Is it, Lord, because you were once a screaming, sleepless baby yourself?
Do you sympathise?
Do you remember what it's like to need something,
and not know what it is,
and not have any words for it
only tears?

I suppose this baby is praying too,
crying out to you in the only way he knows,
and you have answered his prayer.
You have given him me.
And you have equipped me for the task:
you have given me a body that can nurture him,
arms that can hold and rock him
a voice to sing to him
a scent that comforts him
and a heart that loves him
even at 3am
even though he is screaming and snotty
and that teaches me about the way in which you love me
which, in turn, leads me to tell other people about the way in which you love them.

In fact, this baby is your evangelist
your teacher and preacher
your intercessor
for me, at 3am

which perhaps is why prayer doesn't work on sleepless babies.
I suppose I should be thankful for that.

(But, God, if prayer can't work on sleepless children,
Please could it work on laundry instead?)