All the Bs

I once knew a fantastic, larger that life, exuberant young woman when we were both about 17. Whenever I think of her, I think of her trademark “I’m so happy, bouncey bouncey, bouncey.” This probably makes her sound irrepressibly irritating, but she wasn’t. She was joy and positivity personified. Where on earth is she now? How did I let that one get away?

But thinking of my day today, I think of her. It’s been a day full of happiness and laughter, full of my favourite Bs.

We’ll gloss over the fact my sleep was shot to pieces and I was mercilessly woken every few hours and the fact there have been temper tantrums today. But there have been Books! There’s been Bouncing! There’s been Baths! There’s been sitting on the potty! It doesnt start with a B, but hot damn, Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

I decided we’d give potty training a crack today, given it was suggested to me by the health visitor. I don’t know why this seemed like a good idea, but I’ve obviously enough stress in my life, already enough laundry and I’ve never been given a sound piece of advice by any of my HVs yet, but I try to be open-minded and so gave it a go. Monkey-face went commando for most of the day, only weeweed over everything once and for the most part refused to go anywhere near the potty. I feared she may mount a dirty protest. She was definitely working on just how seriously I was going to take this and took every opportunity she could to run knickerless into her bedroom. The only room of the home to be expensively and idiotically carpetted in oatmeal pure new wool about a month before I discovered I was With-Monkey.

I’m not big on sublety, so we went full “I Want my Potty” today. We read the book, itself, twice. We created a princess crown for sitting on the potty. You’ve already heard that MF went knickerless. But it didn’t fly. When she launched herself onto the sofa to “go sleep,” I succombed and strapped on the Pampers. MF – 1, Potty – 0.

Whilst terrorising me with wee, Monkey-face presented me with a number of books to read. She’s very taken with Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found (a pop-up book her grandma bought for her birthday.) On the day in question, she was a bit rough with it, of course. Grandma inhaled sharply and disapprovingly and so the book was put away until such time that there was less pressure on her to behave a year older than she was. A few months later, without the mania that quantities of candles, cake and icing produce and she’s handling the book really well, including the paperwork that turns off the lights in the pictures and makes the penguin follow the little boy. We also red Big Red Bath, which she loves, as well as Monkey Puzzle and Good Little Wolf (which Monkey-Face calls Big Bad Wolf. “mummy, read “Big Bad Wolf.”) And we played with the feelings flash-cards I got from Seattle: they havent been out of the box in a while and they are always a hit, always marking how time has passed by how many more feelings she can identify since the last time we played with them.

I had my own book nirvana today, too. I’d a parcel to collect from the Post Office Depot today, which husband did for me whilst I was navigating potential pools of weewee. He came back with a large Amazon parcel, that was not anything I’d ordered. A quick look showed Uncle Dabid’s handwriting: oooh, what books had he ordered for MF, now? Whatever he got her was always a winner. Ripping into the box… it wasn’t for Monkey, it was for me. A beautiful, classic baking book: Peyton and Byrne – British Baking. I mean, stuff Great British Bakeoff, this is the real deal. Like, totally wow. I love Oliver Peyton and I’ve had some great memorable nights in some of his joints. His book is bloody beautiful and I’ve packaged MF off for her nap and I’m now going to embark on one of my other favourite Bs – baking. Nom Nom

Husband is out tonight. So for me it will be wine, baking payoff and a mountain of tv to catch-up on. B is for Bliss


and for Banana Nut Bread…


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