Tag Archives: In Short

The Twits in Spring

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I am not eating refined sugar for a while. The reasons are mostly to do with the fact that we eat a lot of rubbish, and apparently I’m the sort of person who requires a total YOU MAY NOT EAT THIS EVER kind of ban in order to make anything stick. I have an intense and somewhat emotional relationship with hot chocolate, so it’s pretty boring already. I don’t know how vegans manage. If I couldn’t eat cheese I’d just pack it all in now and survive on gruel.

I’m also considering doing some kind of unplugged regime, because I feel all itchy when my phone’s not in my hand, which is weird. But one thing at a time, eh? If I’m having to eat snap peas instead of biscuits, at least I get to keep Twitter.

Because, Twitter! I just had a browse through my last four months, online, to distract myself from the sadness of herbal tea. Herbal tea is made from the mournful tears of abandoned fruit, did you know? But Twitter is made from the dewdrops on the cheeks of angels. Because of Twitter, I came across and loved the following:

a Caitlin Moran interview with Benedict Cumberbatch that made my life;

a Martin Luther King article that left me on the floor;

a last letter from a miner trapped underground that made me cry out all the water in my shrivelled body;

a brilliant compilation of the five best punctuation marks in literature (be still my heart);

a comprehensive trashing of the paleo diet;

a summary of WW1 as a bar fight (very useful, this);

a series of articles about monks inventing art that have made me weep tears of laughter and snort cheesecake out of my nose (medieval art, renaissance art, Byzantine art) (oh, cheesecake!);

a lovely, exactly right alternative epilogue to Harry Potter;

and, after watching Saving Mr Banks, this fabulous article about the creator of Mary Poppins and her decidedly odd life.

And here’s a potted summary of January to April. The usual warning: poo.

7 Jan

Regretting taking Ed to the weighing clinic a few hours after his brother gave him a ‘fond’ bite on the leg. [pagingsocialservices]

In case you needed more eau de Tuesday, 15mins ago I said ‘we’ll go to the library in a sec – just need to get this sick out of the Hoover’.

13 Jan

2YO: What are these?
@mrjeffcoat: They’re my cycling gloves, Henry.
2YO: *sigh* Use real words please, Daddy.

15 Jan

We’ve now watched Tangled so much that this is what happens to me at the end:

Eugene: Rapunzel, you were my new dream.
Rapunzel: *sob* and you were mine.

17 Jan

Shopping list with a cold:

4 Feb

I tell ye what, having the How to Train Your Dragon theme stuck in your head makes going to the loo TERRIBLY dramatic.

This is the noblest wee I have ever had.

5 Feb

Me: ‘There’s something round your mouth. Have you been eating anything?’
Hen: ‘I eating nothing’
Me: ‘oh, ok’
Hen: ‘except clockolet’

16 Feb

Just saw someone on Twitter write ‘voilà’ as ‘whalla’, and I think something inside me has died.

23 Feb

Fell down stairs carrying both boys this morning. Felt like Aragorn leaping to safety in mines of Moria, hobbit under each arm #flyyoufools

24 Feb

Basically, come into our house with the assumption that every cushion is artfully positioned over a sick stain #howdiditcometothis

4 Mar

Nothing makes you look so insane as getting faint wafts of poo from somewhere so furiously sniffing every item in the house. #WHEREISIT

6 Mar

Toddler just imitated the braying laugh of a check-out assistant next to us, so you’ll excuse me for trying to bury myself under the floor.

6 Mar

[at end of long discussion about biting]
Me: look, you can put your mouth on people if you want, but it has to be CLOSED.

10 Mar

Baby refusing naps. Come in 15 minutes later to find he’s completely dismantled his bottle and is no longer wearing trousers. Career in MI5?

I also can’t find the trousers.

11 Mar

From the bedroom, Teddy’s making the noise I have come to read as ‘I am having all the breath squashed out of my body bit by bit’. #brothers

12 Mar

Never ask a mother what she’s doing between 5-6pm, because the answer will always be ‘googling local orphanages’.

24 Mar

Boys haven’t slept simultaneously in weeks. Today they did, & I was like ‘yess, work!’ and body was like ‘um..sucka I am pulling that plug’.

(just woke up. No work done. Major bedhead.)

25 Mar

2YO: Try it, try it!
Me: That’s dried yoghurt from your chin. I’ll pass.
2YO: Shall I put it on your chin?
Me: Still no.

2 Apr

Tim: Mark Wahlburg is in trouble.His leg bone is sticking out.
Me: A tight spot. Poor Mark.
T: it’s ok, he pushed it back in.

10 Apr

Look, I’m not going to lie. He calls it ‘Willy the Poo’, he can’t say ‘Winnie’, I laugh every time, I am juvenile.

21 Apr

Just ate the most disgusting Burger King burger. Had to eat the raw onion (urgh) just to make sure my mouth still had feelings.

Yes, that about sums it up.

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Hey, if you catch this in the next couple of hours: the MAD Blog Awards voting closes at midnight today! If you haven’t yet and you wouldn’t mind, I’d be jolly grateful if you’d vote for us in the Best Baby Blog category.

Click here! Thank you!

That was the week in…haiku


This is a heck of a lot quicker than keeping a journal.

Between the two of us (Monday)

The day you first said

‘Porridge’ instead of ‘possiss’

My heart broke a bit.

Now you’re eating solid food (Tuesday)

Red, yellow, orange.

The colours of your sick light

Up your cardigans.

After the performance (Wednesday)

It’s a tricky one

But your chameleon routine

Is my all-time fave.

For Teddy (Thursday)

Some day you won’t wake

Up at four. I’m just saying.

That’d be better.

In the old days (Friday)

Wistfully I think

Of when I could have a wee

Without your applause.

UPDATED TO SAY: in case you’re new around here, I have two boys. One is doing rainbow-coloured sick and the other is doing chameleon impressions. That would be a very weird case of child development if I only had one…

Extracts from a travel diary


17th December, Heathrow Airport

We’ve just come through security and collapsed in front of a Costa. The gentleman next to me smiles, but nevertheless departs so quickly for his plane he leaves a flurry of five pound notes, which we find fifteen minutes later. I have this brilliant idea to give the money to the people at Costa, to pay for the drink of the next person in the queue. What a glorious Christmas good deed, etc, etc. I am already wiping away tears.

I join the queue, and end up in front of a trainee barista whom, it soon transpires, does not speak good English. I ask her whether she can use the note to pay for the next person’s drink, and she asks me whether I want a single or a double. No, I clarify, I want to pay for someone else’s drink. Single or double, she responds, menacingly. I end up impatient and loud, she ends up waving the fiver in my face. The chap behind me gets his free drink but we’re all terribly embarrassed about it. I don’t think Jesus ever had social awkwardness problems.

17th December, somewhere above Chicago

On the descent, and Henry is sobbing on Tim’s lap. Ohhh, I think, clutching Teds and my own head, he got my ear problems. Poor baby. What have I bequeathed upon you?

On and on it goes. It’s a long descent. I am cursing my genetics and the seatbelt sign that prevents me going to help him.

‘His ears!’ I say to Tim once we’re off the plane, my tone a wilderness of self-reproach and sympathy.

‘No’, Tim replies. ‘He was cross I turned the iPad off’.

18th December, the front drive

Having an argument with the cat about where butts should not go, viz. in my face; on my trousers, between the covers of my Agatha Christie. He gives me a five-clawed scratch in response. Violence does not win debates, Ugly (his name really is Ugly).

19th December, the mall

There’s a whole shop selling merchandise for the Alabama football team. Its motto appears to be ‘Crimson Tide’.

I cannot be alone in thinking uncomfortably of periods.

19th December, Airport Boulevard

Really, though. Would you use a garage called Budget Brakes?

20th December, the back bedroom

I’ve forgotten about the voltage difference in America, because I am an idiot. My straighteners use variable voltage, and are fine. But using my hairdryer is like being caressed by the warm breath of a horse standing at some distance.

This may be the last time I wash my hair.

21st December, cinema, screen three

On a double date with my bros. Jennifer Lawrence is crawling away from poison gas, bellowing like a stuck pig. Tim leans over.

‘That’s what you sound like when you give birth’.

Next time I’m in labour, I will meditate on the image of Jennifer Lawrence in poison gas, and I’ll feel pretty good about myself.

22nd December, LDS chapel

Someone just said ‘lackadaisical’ in a Southern US accent, and it was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. Andrew Lloyd-Webber should set it to music, when he’s finished lurking creepily in corners and getting his eye-bags monitored from space.


The Twits

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We interrupt this radio silence to announce that it is only ONE WEEK till we wrestle two very small children across the Atlantic for Christmas, and hurrah, not even one of us is now being sick. I have hopes that this means more ideas for blog posts in the near future. Because today I cleaned out a toilet with washing machine detergent (we’d run out of bleach), and this does not get the creative juices flowing, in case you were wondering.

I am back on Twitter, though. Heaven bless Twitter. I fling disgusting baby fluid stories and cute toddler phrases out like confetti, on Twitter. It doesn’t matter. Twitter loves everything you throw at it. Twitter is the reason I discovered this great post about gender roles in The Hunger Games, and this article about why you’re not dead yet, and this one about why you can’t have it all but you can have cake, and most of all this one about how the hashtag is ruining the English language. I went cold turkey on the hashtag after reading that in September, and keep it on standby for whenever I have a relapse. Giving up the hashtag brought me out in cold sweats.

Stand by for some tweets. Some of them have hashtags, because I am not perfect, ok?

2 August

Look, I know moths say they are peace-loving but I know the truth. That one was just a scout.

Did I tell you the time I trapped one in a toilet and it survived three flushes? PS David Attenborough, if you read this, I’m sorry.


7 August

Just finished #HarryPotter and the Deathly Hallows, and am feeling all the feelings it is possible to feel.

You know, heartbreak. Love. Pride. Revulsion at Voldemort’s confetti head. Hilarity at Ron’s side parting in the epilogue. It’s all going on.

11 August

Wearing sky high heels today to cancel out that flying projectile poop moment this morning. Motherhood mathematics.

13 August

‘No, Henry, that’s not Jesus. It’s Katharine of Aragon.’ Just in case you thought I was raising a history nerd. #mistakenidentity

22 August

No one loves Craig David like Heart Radio. Not even Craig’s mum. #metthisgirlonmonday #cantsingtherestwithoutblushing

Also, whoever called up to request Mambo No. 5 needs to think long and hard about their life choices.

28 September

@mrjeffcoat: ‘Put it in sixth’
Me: ‘I’m afraid of sixth’
@mrjeffcoat: ‘Why?!’
Me:’It’s not normal. It’s like a rogue gear’ #talesfromtheBMW

Me: ‘Look at your car’s angry face in that reflection. Does it make you happy?’
@mrjeffcoat: ‘Yes. It has intense eyebrows’ #talesfromtheBMW

4 October

I’m sorry, but this is the creepiest damn thing I ever saw in a children’s book. #books #loveyouforever

love you forever

6 October

Heard a rumour that if a MoTab song has fewer than three key changes, they all just slam the music down and walk out. #ldsconf

16 October

H asleep on my lap in a towel. Do I wake him up to put a nappy on and end this beautiful miracle, or let him sleep and pee?

‘Let Him Sleep and Pee’ definitely going on autobiography title shortlist.

17 October

P Diddy made me cry tonight is how you can tell I’ve just given up breastfeeding. #thosehormonesaintmessing

25 October

Grim modern tale of middle-aged, inefficient postie manoeuvred into courier position and hopelessly micromanaged by younger boss. [Postman Pat]

WHY IS HE EVEN DELIVERING FRUIT BATS. This is a job for trained zoologist personnel. #thetragedyofpostmanpat

31 October

Whoever taught my son to say ‘I DON’T LIKE IT’ at 150 decibels (*cough* Charlie & Lola), may I offer you my heartiest kick to the face.

5 November

Found, on my side of the bed: two trucks and a poop stain. #toddlers

*adds Two Trucks And A Poop Stain to autobiography title shortlist*

17 November

Old Man at Church: Who was that, you know, she wrote things. With the characters? Agatha Christie? No.
@mrjeffcoat: Enid Blyton?
OMaC: Yes!

..He then followed this by turning to me and saying ‘…Your hair’s like that’. #complimentquestionmark

21 November

I thought Topshop might not be weird anymore, until I went in and there was a sparkly see-through boiler suit.

22 November

Just been ordered around for an hour by shouty Dora the Explorer. Feel like a POW survivor.

SAY BACKPACK, she yelled, face contorted. SAY BACKPACK! LOUDER! SAY IT! Alright, tiny psycho. Take some Valium and cool off a bit.

25 November

John Hurt can do anything. He could run a country with Billie Piper, huffing and rolling his eyes, and I would apply for a passport. #DayoftheDoctor

27 November

I’m sure the question of What Makes You a Boy or Girl will go to deep places one day. For now, my toddler and I have the tangibles covered.

Unfortunately, he wants to discuss them in the supermarket.
#neversaywillyinTesco #justtrustme

And now, as it’s been so long since I wrote something worth reading that it’s actually laughable, I thought I’d top it off with a poll.

In short, again.

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Hey, this just in: Henry has the best cheese face of all time.

‘I feel like I will never have a normal life, ever again’, I tweeted this evening. ‘THIS MEANS DOUGHNUTS’. I was tired and fretting about feeding and, to be honest with you, a little bit upset about Richard III. And when you want to write something dramatic and negative, dear friends, it is always, always best to put it on Twitter. Send it out into the gentle cosmic embrace of the Twitterverse and you only have the potential of annoying a handful of people* instead of several hundred (cough-Facebook-drama-cough).

*if you are not famous. I am not, it’s cool.

Twitter always comes through for me in these situations. Because when I say ‘normal life’, I mean the sort of life where I might conceivably sit outside a restaurant in warm air, laughing all gaily and tossing my hair back, you know. I looked back at the last few months of tweets and realised that this is no more inaccessible than it was before. It’s pretty inaccessible. But not impossible. Oddly, this was a comfort.

Also, the mystery of why many, many pounds of my pregnancy weight have not melted away by themselves like wisps in the wind is solved. There’s a lot of food-talk here. A LOT.

9 Mar

I just told my toddler that brushing his teeth is part of the rich tapestry of life. Need better excuses.

13 Mar

‘5 fast foods you can enjoy in pregnancy’, said the article. I got all excited. #1 was fruit. #2 was raisins. I stopped reading.

27 Mar

Broke a necklace 5hrs ago. Just undressed and found 28, yes TWENTY-EIGHT beads on my person. Geez, pregnancy. #streamlined #likeafish

2 Apr

Unnecessarily High-Brow Award for today goes to my iPhone, which just autocorrected ‘of’ to ‘oxymoron’. As you do.

4 Apr

Watching French-dubbed MacGyver. Even translation cannot diminish the holy power of that mullet.

8 Apr

Controlled crying pt 2. Put yo hands in the air if you’re drinking undiluted grenadine sirop straight from the bottle. Holla.

19 Apr

It’s really quite tricky to get peanut butter and jam on the same spoon without cross contamination in the jars. Luckily I’m a hard worker.

29 Apr

@mrjeffcoat started using Instagram. So proud. I’ll save my celebratory balloons for when he first grams his lunch, or a sunset.

…extra points if the lunch is vegan/organic/on a gingham tablecloth/accompanied only by the caption ‘Lunch’ #reasonsIloveInstagram

30 Apr

Can’t I attend playgroup without being interrogated about H’s special skills? Oh, your kid counts to seven, does he? He can say pig, CAN HE?

Hey, guess what, Henry’s training to be a ninja. It’s a secret but you forced it out of me. You win on the saying pig thing though, congrats.

2 May

Me: he seems excited. Is he talking to you?
@mrjeffcoat: no, he’s singing to a glue stick.

12 May

Watching David Attenborough narrate slug-mating to inappropriately emotional music. It’s a ‘strange balletic relationship’. Feel indecent.

Me: Is this WHOLE show about bug sex?
@mrjeffcoat: I’ll skip it on ten minutes.
Mr Attenborough: ‘the male extends his rod…’

16 May

you are not hungry you are thirsty you are not hungry you are thirsty no not for coke for water yes water no honestly <– my brain on 11am

18 May

Some days I miss James Blunt’s first album like a knife blade in my heart. Yeah, I don’t know. [PMS]

Of course seven-month-pregnant women can have PMS. Haven’t you met one?

20 May

Henry is crying because, I think, it’s naughty to draw on cupboards (I didn’t bring it up; he did.)
Or possibly grapes. Just because grapes.

21 May

Tuesday Tuesday/
So good to me/
Tuesday Tuesday/
It was when my kid used a lamp as a fireman’s pole and crashed it into his face!
oh wait.

In short, I am eating a pop tart. Or twelve.

31 May

Hen can say ‘golly’. Stage one of Raise an Enid Blyton Child: complete. Now for condensed milk and smugglers.

I will, of course, be omitting the casual racism.

12 Jun

Documentary just started with ‘imagine everything that ever happened’. Cripes, it’s only twenty to ten. Give me a min.

13 Jun

I won’t tell you what drinking liquid Gaviscon is like. Oh, ok, I will: it’s like drinking minty spit.

15 Jun

Shopping app just asked whether I wanted to post my grocery list to Twitter. Um, no. My apples aren’t that interesting. #notaeuphemism

21 Jun

Ok, that’s it. Who do I pay to invent a bed with a hole in it, so I can sleep on my front? GRAVITY SAYS YES. #pregnancy #8monthssucks

You know that David Bowie dancing scene in A Knight’s Tale? You know. With Heath Ledger’s hair. Hotter than the sun, I mean it.

19 Jul

I’d forgotten that it’s possible to be this tired without being dead. UNLESS I AM? Bruce Willis, show yourself.

Wait, wait, it wouldn’t still be this hot if I were dead. Cancel the Bruce.

I am coming for you, outside-restaurant-with-hair-tossing. Gimme a few weeks. I am coming.

I am taking a stand, in a manner of speaking

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Taking a work call. From Daddy. That bizniz is serious.

It’s Friday afternoon, it’s miraculously sunny (so I should be outside getting H some quality Vitamin D), the house looks like an outtake from Hoarders (so I should be tidying), and I’ve got a ton of work to do (so I should be, you know, doing it).

But Henry is asleep, and I’m going for a nap. I may have aced my blood pressure appointment this morning – gooooooo blood! – but this massive belly ain’t a sleeping aid. Plus, we watched the latest episode of Broadchurch last night (are you watching Broadchurch? GO AND WATCH BROADCHURCH) and I spent the rest of the night embroiled in various tense whodunnit dreams. Tim is in Amsterdam next week when the final episode is scheduled, and I honestly think I might have to wait till he gets back so I’ve got someone to clutch at 4am. I get a bit too involved; maybe it’s David Tennant’s intense beard.

Naff off, must-be-busy guilt.

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