It’s been a while. Life has been more frantic than seemingly possible, and time to actually sit and write has been in short supply.

It was a sad sad day last Friday. After seven and a half months of solid reliable usage and loyalty, the flip-flops were finally consigned to the understairs cupboard. It was with a heavy heart that I finally acknowledged that the weather, now dipping into single Celsius figures and getting decidedly brisk, was no longer a friend to my exposed little piggies. And so they, along with my chipped toenail polish, got unceremoniously stuffed into my faithful leather boots. I felt very mournful about it though. It was a real ambition of mine to continue through til christmas. I managed this feat on one occasion, but considering we were in the Galapagos at the time, and a mere few miles from the Equator, it probably doesn’t quite measure up as a significant feat.

It was OHs birthday on Monday. Poor old OH. Once upon a time, there was a young man who went out and got copiously and ridiculously drunk on his birthday. Who would spend loud and lairy nights out with mates, and who would go out with the missus on a red hot date with fine cuisine and a bottle of Pinot. Now what does he get? A rude awakening at 5am, a grizzly toddler ripping open his presents for him, (and being cross because they weren’t toys), a day spent freezing in the wood, having a birthday meal in a cold pub with a screaming DB2, an afternoon spent hastily consuming cake (picked by DB1) and then getting on with odd jobs around the house. Alas, this is what growing old does to you. Poor old OH. 36 years young.

Thanks to the business going absolutely bananas in the build up to the grand launch, attempts at playing meaningfully with DB1 over the last few days have been tough. And for DB1, a few half hour slots here and there are unacceptable. (DB1 requires at least four hours solid entertaining and play throughout the day, otherwise his temper gets decidedly frayed.) Hence over the last few days, we’ve had a stroppy little boy to contend with. It reached its zenith this morning, when I thought it would be a pleasant idea, to make up for not giving him full attention as of late, to take him to see the Christmas display at the garden centre.

I optimistically built it up to be as exciting as possible, telling him gleefully that we were going to ‘Christmas land’ to see snowmen, polar bears, reindeer etc etc. He was suitably enthused and off we set.

Incident no. 1- DB1 has a weighty strop over my attempt to get him to wear a wooly hat. In the end, the offending hat is consigned to the shopping bag, though I felt tempted to lob the damned thing in the nearest bush. It doesn’t help that my son makes no attempt to disguise his smugness at having won the ‘hat battle’. This (childishly) irks me further.

Incident 2- DB1 has a second stress out over not being carried. To be fair, this situation has been exacerbated by the fact that the garden centre is much further than I appreciated. It takes us nearly an hour to get there. He proceeds to sit on the pavement and shout at me. I fight the urge to also flop down on the floor and scream.

Incident 3- DB1, after going round the garden centre twice, shrieks about leaving, even though he has stated that he ‘wanted to go’ three times. He proceeds to try to sprint away across the car park, before once again throwing himself to the floor in abject misery. I bribe him to his feet with a snack. Thank god for snacks.

And then we had the journey home to contend with. Another 45 minutes trudging in the drizzle with Db1 whining and belly aching pretty much the entire way. Only DB2, snug under his raincover, was pretty content.

When we got home, DB1 asked for the tv on.

I didn’t put up a fight.

Teletubbies came on. DB1 and DB2 (for good measure) were plunked in front of it. I went and hid in the kitchen, head in hands, maltesers in mouth.

Roll on the festive holidays, please!!