Wednesday, July 28, 2010


On Friday night I was weeping in the kitchen.

It had been a tough week with Frieda, a particularly tough day.

'I just feel like she's not happy,' I wailed to my husband, 'I'm sure her atrocious behaviour is because I don't have time for her like I once did. I don't play with her like I used to. She watches too much television, I'm sure it's that making her crazy, but when Stella needs feeding or putting to sleep or I want to cook a meal or just have 5 fucking seconds peace it's such an easy option.
'She's driving me insane. She's so defiant. So wilful. She spat at a complete stranger yesterday. I'm raising a monster. It's TV. It's me. It's those bad influences from school. It's, it's, it's ...
'So fucking hard to deal with on so little sleep!'
Sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob sob.

You get the picture.

My husband's a saint. He let me prattle on, wallow in a puddle of snot and self-pity. He made a delicious curry while he waited for me to calm down.
Then as he fried the roti he said:
'Fuck that. Don't take it on board. She's your firstborn, you're always going to feel one step behind 'cos you're learning, everything is new, you're growing together.'

My firstborn. My first baby, my first toddler, my first three year old. My first port of call for any passing fit of parental guilt.
I've mentioned before that the last few months with Frieda have really been more challenging and new and hard than having a newborn. I still haven't been able to actually write about the nitty-gritty though - part exhaustion from dealing with it, part not knowing where to start. Or stop!

And I don't want to make out like it's always hard. In so, so many ways she is being marvelous, miraculous, mischieviously deliciousness. She's taken to saying 'You're welcome' when you thank her for something - where oh where did she pick up such a quaint Americanism? (oh god, probably from the TV!) Her games of Mummy & Baby Wildebeest have progressed to my being a wildebeest, her being a Mummy Lion and the fun part being where she chases me and drags me back to her cubs to be ferociously eaten. She loves her sister and plays lovely games of peek-a-boo to enthusiastic squeals of delight from Stella. She tells me she loves me when I most need to hear it.

But the fact of the matter is - she's my firstborn. Every step of the way with her, every single step, will be the first I take with a child of mine. That's the truth, the joy, the drama and dear god make give me strength, the challenge. Oi vey.

However there's another parenting truth which has proved itself valid to me over and over (and over) again.
Just when you think you cannot stand another minute of some behaviour or habit or routine, the little darlings change it up.
Since Saturday Frieda's been an amicable and delightful little girl. Either her survival instinct kicked in and realised I was considering infanticide or my letting off some steam has enabled me to parent differently since then.
A bit of both I reckon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


A friend's son loved my chewy rose-water meringues so much that for his 6th birthday recently I made him his own batch.
In blue this time.

Meringuetangs is what Frieda calls them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

pithed off

I finally tried my hand at jam-making this weekend. Marmalade to be exact.

You know, while I've always appreciated the vastly superior taste of home-made jam, I've never gotten why jam-makers are so often well, smug about their efforts.
Fruit, sugar, water, boil - what could be easier?

Well ... here's how my experience panned out.

Me: I think I'll make lemon marmalade.
Husband: You should use those left-over oranges.
Me: Ok, I'll make lemon and orange marmalade.

I set to work, using a very basic recipe as a guide (it's my first time see). I start diligently removing the pith from the fruit and rind of 8 or so oranges and lemons.
Husband comes in.

Him: You don't have to remove all the pith, the pith is what makes the jam set.
Me: My recipe says remove pith.
Him: My recipe (this being one he once read but is nowhere in evidence right now) says not to.

I fall for the idea of slacking off a bit (I've only done 3 fruits by now and am already getting bored). I start chopping fruit roughly, pith 'n all.
I juice the same amount of fruit, add an obscene amount of sugar and set the whole lot a-boiling.

Right: jars. I gather our motley collection of jars and start packing them into the dishwasher (sterilise and clean in one go - I love it).

Husband: You can't run those with the paper labels still on you know.
Me: #!%&*!

Start soaking jars in hot water and scrubbing at the labels. Fucking hell, I've just discovered the hard part about jam-making!

Much, much later; wrist cramping, humour disappearing, jam too thick, rinds still to hard, flavour a little too tangy - I'm starting to hate home-made marmalade.

Husband: Maybe grate in some ginger to lift the flavour.
Me (spewing pith & vinegar): Ja ok, but what about the fact that there's virtually no jam, just a bunch of rinds all clumped together??
Husband: Hmmm, maybe you shouldn't have added the pith.

Me: Seriously?? Are you taking the pith?

Luckily, it looks very good. And I'll grudgingly admit the ginger saved it. And once it cooled it was much less ... dense. Actually, it's not half bad - think I'll go make some toast.

Friday, July 16, 2010

one of those days ...

... when the weather's shitty and you're all stuck at home, and there seems to be nothing else to do but make up a batch of clay sweets 'n biscuits and invite a bunch of plastic farm animals round to tuck in.

You know those days right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

hi mum!

So my mother's found my blog.

Not that I was keeping it a secret or anything. I just hadn't really mentioned it before. But then someone did and now it's out and after a second of ohmygodwhathaveIwrittenwhatwillshethinkdidImentionthatthingthatsummer I've remembered that it's all about blogging like nobody's reading. Not even your mother.

So let's give a great big Molly's Blog welcome to my Mum - HI MUM!

And here's a couple of links to get you started:
Some for you
some for Dad
some for laughs.

Now bugger off and pretend you're not there!