Thursday, 29 September 2011


I remember when my house was a barren landscape of designer minimalism and how irritated I was when social services suggested that it wasn't very child friendly." It would be a bit weird to have a house full of toys when I'm a single woman," I remember snapping at them. Well, now I have a house full of toys that play rediculous tunes and trip me up, I sleep on Barbie accessories and have baths with Pepa Pig. I made this little video to enjoy this fact and support BBAF.

Did you know that over 3,500 children are in care and only 60 children were adopted last year?  

It is not as hard to adopt as some think and the climate is more welcoming towards adopters of all kinds. National Adoption Week starts on the 31st November. BAAF are asking for adoption champions to try and encourage potential adopters and to make a film about adoption.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

God our father I come to say ('ay' - said the London way)
Thank you for your love today
 ('ay' said the London way)
Thank you for my famileeeee 

And all the love you give to meeeeeee
Guard me in the dark of night  

And in the morning send your light 

Now she's at a liberal pinko, lets all wear our own clothes and express our own identity all the time she doesn't get to compare holes in her school sweatshirt  and she also doesn't get to say prayers at lunch and going home time. 

She liked chanting them. 

Little children always used to say their prayers on their knees by their bed.
We tend to do it in the bath - more comfy and less interruptions from X-factor!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


This morning I wouldn't wear my blue jacket ( it's blue and blue is for boys) and the coat was too hot so we had to go back upstairs and find the pink fleece and then Mummy discovered the book wasn't in the book bag (well, of course it wasn't we were reading it last night, she always forgets) so we had to run upstairs again and scrabble about under the bed for it. "It's a bit dirty under there mummy,isn't it, " I said and she said "I know," very crossly. Then she remembered I hadn't cleaned my teeth so we had to run upstairs all over again. she always does them too hard. Then I wanted to wear her lipgloss and she said "no", which was totally unfair because she was wearing it. She shouted "This is not a democracy!" just like she always does when she wants her own way and won't share.  

We were almost at the door when she remembered my packed lunch so she ran back for it, snatched it up and ran out of the house. 
"That's good, you've got your book bag, your jacket, your, scarf your coat, your gym stuff and your packed lunch. All done and not late!" 
"But where's your bag mummy?" I said. 
She had to go to the neighbours, stand on the wall and throw stones and the window to try and wake them up without waking the baby. They let her into their back garden but they looked a bit fed up. She had to climb over the back wall, scale the fence, climb the tree and jump into my sandbox to get to the back door. She goes a bit red and drippy when she has to do stuff like that.  I was looking over the top of the fence. It was quite funny. 

But then she gave ME a lecture all the way to school about remembering things when I had ALL mine and it was HER  that forgot HER bag. 

Silly mummy. 

But she didn't have any lipgloss on by then so at least that was FAIR. 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Latest learnings from school. 

School so far has taught her that:  Chewing gum is not allowed and she wants to try it. Yucky is the best word to use at mealtimes regardless of what is on the table. Tummy aches are a good way to avoid gym. 

School so far has reminded me that: the more rediculous the rule the more smugly it will be explained to you by the teachers. The school have just spent hundreds of thousands having a wonderful new playground built with all kinds of interesting things to climb on and now it is finished they won't let the children use it before or after school. We were informed in a letter that this had been explained to the children who understood the reasons. I wish someone would explain the benefits of health and safety to the parents.....

Saturday, 17 September 2011

 I bet Leonardo wasn't kind..

Her first week at school and after, shouting, screaming and making a total pain of myself I managed to squeeze her into breakfast club, a place which appears to run largely for the teachers benefit. However, it is a wonderful little room and although X is scared at the moment as all the other children are much older (don't mummies of her peers work..?) at least it means I will be able to get to work, if I have work to get to. 

On the second day her class teacher showed me the gallery of self portraits that the children had painted. The paint had been carefully mixed to show full cultural diversity and each child had a carefully  blobbed eyes and mouth and hair. Except one, which looked like an exploded pink amoeba with a beard over one ear, no eyes and a mouth at the top. Either my daughter has severe facial dysmorphia or she was painting with her eyes closed and her feet holding the brush. 

The teacher looked at me and raised an eyebrow: "but she's very kind," she said kindly. 

Sunday, 4 September 2011


At the family church service today the rector asked if anyone had been to anywhere new over the summer:

'Cleethorpes' said one child, 'Pontins,' said another, 'America' said another. 
'The Factory!' shouted X. I'm sure the leaders at the summer playscheme would have been delighted by her enthusiasm- she had a grin as big as a slice of melon.  

Maybe next year I'll get some camping together...

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Up at 6 am to pack car for car boot sale. Here is a woman looking cracking in a Betsy Jackson jacket I picked up in a thrift shop in Vancouver and have outgrown. She still didn't buy it, mind you. I also enjoyed the 'in-store' signage some girls put up nearby. 

This isn't the first bootie that X has done. We did one when she was about 18 months. It was one of the very first times I saw that she was bonded to me when she yelled at a lady to leave' her mummy' alone. The woman was badgering me to reduce something and I wasn't having it but I think X might have  thought I was upset. She shot out of the back seat of the car where she had been napping and shouted at the woman. It was the first time I saw what I believe to be an Irish feisty streak. I laughed to show X that it was all ok and the other people around the stall started laughing at a sales technique which involved shouting at people to go away. This time X learned some new sales tricks: she decided to give away balloons if anyone bought anything....anything at all. "Roll up ! Roll up!" she shouted. She also learned not to cry when other little children walk off with things she used to love. We made twenty two pounds profit for ten hours work. Not a good rate of pay but it wasn't a bad day.  X was tirelessly cheerful and endlessly patient and obeyed me very well. She earned herself a chocolate ice-cream at the cafe and a sticker on her tree of goodness. 

If only yesterday had been like that.  We had a disastrous tea party for X's ex- foster mother and her teenage son. X also had a playdate, which, in retrospect, was a mistake as X was over excited with her friend, and not interested in her older guests, which was a shame. The guests arrived late and the youngsters, hungry and tired, suddenly turned into monsters just before they arrived. I found it hard to control them as playmate can be a bit naughty and X followed his lead, snatching food from the table, rushing about, not listening when I told them to stop playing with the garden hose, bringing a worm to the table, yelling. I was embarrassed that the little ones didn't show up well.  I was also dealing with all the tea things and trying to make conversation so I was a bit stretched. In retrospect I should have stopped trying to entertain at the tea table and held things up to calm and gently discipline and calm but I mistakenly felt it was rude to interrupt the conversation. I don't know why, it isn't as if things haven't been chaotic at the foster family house, I should have been more confident. After the playmate wet himself ( four- so shouldn't be doing that) and I had to go off to sort a change of clothes. As I re-entered the room I overheard the foster mother's son commenting  that the children didn't have the respect of adults that he felt they should. He was being somewhat smugly pompous, I felt, but he's only young and it's just a phase, I'm sure. The foster mother was nodding earnestly, well eagerly, I felt. 

I was annoyed, defensive, wrong-footed. Mostly I just felt it was such a shame as X is so rarely naughty in company. Usually she's just shy. I really had wanted us all to have had a good little tea party. In my usual attempt to match up to some rediculous notion of what I think they might think was good parenting I had specially made sandwiches, homemade humous and crudites, and two types of home made cakes. What an idiot, who am I kidding - X was a feral child who shouted at adults in public at car boot sales after just a few months in my care!