The pine-ful reality of a real Christmas tree

Oooh it’s finally here, the build up to Christmas. Ok if you are in retail the build up started shortly after Halloween. But for us normal people December marks the start of the festive season. Well apart from that smug mum I heard at the schools gates who was regaling people with how she has not only completed her shopping but wrapped it already. Seriously go away with your uber-organisation…

Still I am on it this year – advent calendars are in and by the fire-place. We have already missed one day for Pudding… but that’s still retrievable. We have our amazing elf from An Elf For Christmas. This is great fun and much appreciated by Pie. It’s day two of Elf and I am still managing to get up and do something interesting with her.

Mr Pud's romantic idea of what our Christmas Tree will look like
Mr Pud’s romantic idea of what our Christmas Tree will look like

Next week will see the annual Pudding HQ trip to buy a tree. Mr Pud will have delusions of grandeur and decide that what our tiny house needs is a 10ft monster tree. Pie will pick the dead one and be sad that we won’t let him have that. Eventually a reasonably sized tree will be picked and then stuffed into the car, probably stabbing both kids in the eyes with needles and blocking all driver vision.

Locked and loaded - ready to spread needles far and wide on removal of that net!
Locked and loaded – ready to spread needles far and wide one removal of that net!

Then the fun really starts. Where to put said tree? Space is an issue but more concerning this year is 1-year-old Pud. With her propensity for eating stuff she probably won’t manage any Christmas dinner due to the large amount of pine needles she will consume between now and Christmas Day….

Of course the first course will start when we take the netting off the tree and it pings out like a jack in the box covering the surrounding 6m radius with needles. These will then drop at an exponential rate until January the 6th. Upon which I expect to pick up the tree and the remaining 7000 needles will then drop and scatter themselves through the house to continue to be found until July. Leaving me to struggle outside with a bald Christmas tree which itself will sit in my front garden until May when I finally take it to the tip.

The needle-less tree that will stay in my front garden until the spring…

Should we find a suitable place to put the tree, which is doubtful, we do at least have a tree stand to put it in. This will avoid the sawdust disaster of 2012 and the unsuccessful planting of wonky tree in 2013. Let me tell you filling a bucket with either sawdust(?) or mud when you have no roots is not a successful or sensible method for securing a Christmas tree.

So once we have secured said tree in an appropriate place. Probably sworn at each other and drunk a little too much mulled wine we will begin the decoration. Pie will have wandered off by this point. Bored of the ‘what about here’ or ‘how about there’ or ‘we could try shoving it where the sun doesn’t shine’ conversation. Pudding will be sat in the decorations box. Probably working her way through some tasty tinsel whilst wrapping fairy lights round the sausage dog. The decorations and lights will be flung unceremoniously on to the branches of said Christmas tree. Gathered mainly at the top to prevent any theft of tinsel by Pudding. At this stage the lack of Sausage Dog and Pie will be noticed. They will be found in the other room, quietly unwrapping all 20 Christmas tree chocs and eating them.

Its amazing how many of these one dog and one small boy can get through...
Its amazing how many of these one dog and one small boy can get through…

 

This is the point where one of us will add some brandy to the mulled wine, whilst declaring that next year we are having one of those LED twig Christmas trees…

Sausage Monologues – Save Us From this Creature

I love bedtime, this is because I am the laziest Sausage that ever lived. When Mum calls ‘bedtime wee’ I leap up. Race my brother through the kitchen. Making sure to trip Dad up on his way to the loo. Dash out the backdoor and get my last good bark in for the night. Ok so if it’s raining Mum has to lob me outside. But usually I am all over it like white on rice. Then there was the night a creature invaded the kitchen

Pipsimv / Pixabay
This night was like any other. The battle cry went up.

‘bedtime wee guys…’

I was up. I was through the kitchen. Tripped both Mum and Dad. Result. Bit damp out side but I’ll risk it. Bark bark bark. Yes, goodnight world! Slink back in door. Ignoring the reproach from Mum about the barking.

Jump into bed. Boot Toby over to his side. Look up at Mum. Turn on the big eyes. She can’t resist those.

‘You’re a menace’ she says slowly shaking her head. ‘Don’t give me the innocent face now’

Oh she wants the full works tonight eh? Fine I dance on my back legs. Pawing at the air. Crikey this is a lot of work for one measly biscuit. But they taste soooo good… She finally relents after I make a prize fool of myself. Don’t know why she gives one to Toby he just laid there. He really is pathetic. Such a people pleaser.

Photo Credit: radargeek via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: radargeek via Compfight cc
‘Night guys’  she says.

Pulling the gate closed behind her. I hear her go up the stairs. Hmmm; quick recky round the kitchen for any morsels of food. Lick the side of the bin. Yep my work here is done. Boot Toby back over his side. Settle into my squishy feather duvet. Ahhhh perfect…

*2 hours later*

I am woken by Toby shivering. He has backed right up on top of me. What the hell are you doing? I snarl. He just goes on staring into the dark shaking. Honestly that boy is a wierdo. But hang on… I see it now. What is that? On the floor.

Crikey it’s coming this way. Slowly, but definitely heading in our direction. Move back Toby, move back. Quick call for Mum. Make that pathetic noise you do. Yeh; that’s it keep whining. Shall I go look at it? Eurgh. It’s disgusting. Slimey and cold. What’s is it doing in here…

Make more noise boy. For goodness sake you have one job bro. Fine. If you want something doing. Bark. Bark. Bark. Mum. MUM. MUMMY….

I hear the light go on. A familiar expletive from my Dad. Followed by the over used phrase ‘that dog’. Mum’s foot hits the floor. I jump over the creature. Toby and I are at the gate. ‘There is a creature down here Mum’  we whimper, pawing at the gate. She doesn’t look impressed…

We climb back into bed and stare at the slimey little sucker pointedly.

‘What an earth is your problem?’ She enquires, looking at us with barely concealed rage.

I look at her. We look at the creature.

Finally! She spots it.

the creature
Photo Credit: brendanjlane via Compfight cc
‘You have to be joking’ she says ‘you got me out of bed for the worlds smallest slug?’

Tutting she steps over the gate picks up the terrifying creature and lobs it out the back door. I settle back into bed and close my eyes. Good ol’ mum she always keeps her head in a crisis!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Angry or Hangry? An A-Z Guide

We all know that kids are ticking bombs of emotion ready to implode or explode at any time! Pie is the king of the untimed and totally unprecedented meltdown – living in Pudding HQ you get used to wearing a tin hat and being in a perpetual state of unease as another tantrum can be imminent at any given moment. So to guide you through this minefield I have prepared an A-Z guide: Hangry or Angry? 🍰😊


A is for angry, and not just a little bit cross but full on raging (usually over something ridiculous eg ‘I have water on my sleeve’)

Bat shit crazy, those days where they run round the house like a Tasmanian devil tearing up everything in their path and creating the same level of destruction as a small scale hurricane.

Cute and cuddly, this one is elusive you may only see it just before bedtime. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are being sweet, this is their way of wiping the slate clean ready to start all over again in the morning!

They have Dell boy’s ability to negotiate a fantastic deal that will leave you feeling totally had – you started requesting a toilet trip they ended up not going to the loo but some how getting a biscuit and a bag of raisins. How exactly did that happen?

E is for excited (not exorcism although believe me I do wonder sometimes) sometimes you just have to delight in how the words ‘soft play’ can make your small person so happy whilst making you feel instantly miserable.

Fanatical, and I mean utterly obsessed, once they have their spidey-senses locked on something then its all they talk about, think about, dream about but then comes the flip side they are such Fickle creatures that these obsessions are reasonably fleeting.

Grumpy – for no apparent reason. You put them to bad happy but this morning they are looking and sounding like one of Snow Whites dwarfs.

H should be for happy but let’s be honest it’s more likely that they are Hangry. We have all been there, we forget sometimes our small person needs feeding at regular intervals but miss that window and suddenly they are hulking out until you can shove a sandwich or a banana at them. Unlike Gremlins you can feed them after midnight.

Inconsolable, this stage can be reached in 5 seconds flat due to the loss of a favourite toy or just because they have their shoes on the wrong feet. Getting back from this is like wading through treacle and you will undoubtedly have to make deals that would usually never be on the table.

You know that dance they do when they need the loo but are too busy to go? Well that is what we call Jiggly. Jiggly is usually a state of high parental alert and requires swift intervention to prevent a minor accident followed by major meltdown.

King of NO! Everything you ask is met with ‘No’, this little word can be said softly or screamed in your face. It doesn’t really matter how it is said it often feels like a red rag to a bull.

Love of course is L but I think also we must mention that most preschoolers and toddlers are total Lushes’ giving out free hugs and sloppy kisses to all and sundry. They maybe small but they have a lot of love to give.

M has many options there is of course meltdown an important one, as well as manic and moany but special mention has to be mummy-centric. This one drives all Dads to distraction ‘I want mummy to do it…’ But it’s not great for mums either cos mummy-centric means a constant commentary whilst sitting on the loo.

Nasty or Nice? How can you tell in advance? Impossible. There appears to be a switch that they can flick throwing you completely off guard. One minute stroking that chick next trying to pull its head off…

Overstimulated is def O – that moment when something goes from being fun and exciting to completely overwhelming and a large amount of crying follows. This signifies a speedy extraction from the situation and hopefully a long car journey home so you can get a nap out of them (if they fall asleep 30secs from home just keep driving!)

Polite and pleasant spring to mind but I think Political is probably more apt. With a deftness that can only be recreated in a Game of Thrones episode they can turn parents against each and plot the downfall of their siblings and grandparents. Before you know it they have overthrown the entire household and are sitting smug on their Peppa Pig throne with total control over the TV.

Queen, of the drama variety. Your local am-dram has nothing compared to your child who has scratched their finger or who has been told they can’t have a biscuit. Be prepared for flinging, arm waving and crying (and that’s just you!)

Rolling on the floor laughing! Yes something has tickled them and they are now in fits of laughter on the floor, usually its something that has totally gone over your head but you find yourself joining in with them as its infectious.

We could have had Temper or Tantrum here, both would have been great but I have chosen Tenacious. Seriously they can harp on for hours until they get what they want, its not that you wanted to give in but you just can’t take it any more. The constant questions, the rephrasing of the request and the sideways glances to see if your resolve has softened.

Silence ha ha only joking! Sulking would be more appropriate, arms folded, little mouth pout – no matter how you phrase the question this is the reaction. Give up, have a brew and move on with your life because S also stands for sticky situations and that is exactly where that sulky face is leading you. The Silly-Billies,  is my personal favourite, when they run into the living room with a saucepan on their head and announce they are in fact a cat.

Vexed up and vulgar! Yeh that little person is so easily wound up that sometimes you can’t resist poking him with a stick but you know long term you will regret it, especially when he later starts shouting ‘poo-head, booby face, willy’ in the middle of a restaurant just to get his own back!

Why, curiosity killed the cat right? Maybe it did but your preschooler is taking his life in his hands with the constant stream of why. Everything is met with a why until you find yourself roar like a lion ‘because I said so’ to which they reply ‘alright mum’ ….

X-acting? Yep it’s got to be done just right, the right amount of butter in the bread, no not that jam the other one, my toast is too toasty etc etc

Yee ha cowboy’ or ‘yo ho ho m’hearties’, everything is an imaginatve adventure, from pirates to cowboys, to rockets and monsters, sometimes the only way to get through to them is to stick them in the washing basket and row them to the bathroom to brush their teeth.

Zzzzzz tired, you, them and the dog! No one copes well when they are sleepy, time for some warm milk and a nap (just ship the kids off to Grans first!) It’s a shame that despite being tired kids won’t sleep, now as an adult if someone said have a nap you would be in there like swimwear right?

Cuddle Fairy