Saturday, 10 July 2010

Fair Memories

The downside of looking after grandchildren as I was reminded this week is when they get hurt when in your care.

This week it was Isabel’s turn. She’s 18 months old and we’d been to the park and decided to feed the ducks. It’s a nice safe area fenced off from the road and the pond itself has a railing round.

She’s a bit of a Dangerous Brian, climbing on things and generally turning the last dozen brown hairs on my head to grey. But at the pond she just tripped and fell hitting her forehead on the hard paving.

Poor little mite. She had a huge lump on her head and a bruise and grazes.

Meanwhile Imogen had coaxed a duck out of the pond and it came right over to the girls. Poor tatty old thing it was, but as it ate the bread and twittered softly at them, Isabel’s tears dried up and she forgot all about her hurt noggin.

There was nothing I could have done to stop her falling and as they say, you can’t wrap them in cotton wool. But I still feel guilty.

When my kids were little it seemed I was always rushing round to casualty with one or other of them. So this week’s mishap brought plenty of memories of other injuries flooding back.

And it’s not just kids. I’ve got a poor track record when it comes to looking after pets too.

I remember once Oakley leaping over a barbed wire fence and slashing his willy and the amount of blood he lost was frightening (the vet was very sympathetic) . . . then there was the time he ran through a rape field and came out with cuts under both eyes so it looked as if his eyes were bleeding.

Would you trust me with your children or your pets? I wouldn’t. I can’t remember my mum ever returning any of mine to me broken or damaged in any way – although there was the time one of my sons knelt on a needle and it went right into his knee and we did once have to dig one of my cats out from under her bedroom carpet.

Here is a picture of said cat – Huggy. He was an orphaned feral cat. We’d just lost one of our cats and our other cat Leo was pining and lonely.

Anyway, he arrived in our house lousy with fleas, riddled with worms and it has to be said, a tad smelly. Leo was mortified at first, but he came to love the little newcomer, cleaned him up and taught him how to be a cat.

He grew into a huge, beautiful cat, but he was never completely domesticated and always kept his wild streak. Once when my mum’s dog looked at him without warning him first, he did a wall of death circuit round the room inches from the ceiling. Impressive. He broke two wall lights.

Stocks funfair is on the green this week. Oh that brings back happy memories for me. My grandad moaning about the cost of the rides, my dad being asked to move along from the rifle range, toffee apples, candyfloss, the Skids and best of all the atmosphere.

We lived near the green so you’d hear the music as soon as it opened. I used to spend far too much time hanging round, making friends with the kids, watching them setting it all up and taking it apart again a few days later.

And that wonderful smell, a mixture of diesel, sweetness and frying onions – and the noise of the machinery grinding round when there was a pause in the music and of course the screaming and laughter of people enjoying themselves. Sigh.

Anyway enough of all that. Anyone know where I can buy an industrial sized roll of cotton wool?


  1. Aw, I know it's awful when they hurt themselves, it's almost impossible not to feel guilty, but it's one of those things, no matter how careful you are, the bumps and bruises are inevitable aren't they?
    At least the duck was there to cheer her up!
    Love your Huggy tale, doing a wall of death around the room, haha I can just see it. He looks a gorgeous cat, what a cheeky curious face!
    Frying onions, mmm love that smell!

  2. Don't buy the cotton wool - grazes are character building. (I don't often get asked to babysit)

  3. Oh dear. You poor traumatize grandparent! I have to say though getting the duck out of the pond is a pretty impressive feat perhaps you have a duck whisperer on your hands?

  4. Hi, Teresa!

    I know - kids do have tendencies to fling themselves on the floor don't they! It was bad enough with my daughter but just as alarming at the nursery when they bash into something! I always feel guilty too: if I'd just have been a few seconds quicker or a bit nearer I could have stopped them from falling!

    Lovely puss! I love rescue cats and feral cats becoming (almost) domesticated.

    Julie xx

  5. He was beautiful penandpaints and he grew from a spindly awkward little kitten into an enormous handsome cat. And his name fitted him so well - he loved his hugs.

    Too late, Patsy - I've got a huge consignment of cotton wool arriving tomorrow!

    A duck whisperer, Lacey! I like it. She's definitely got a gift with animals (and birds) has Imogen.

    We can always think afterwards how we could have prevented something happening can't we, Julie. Huggy was never truly domesticated which makes him rather special. And I have a constant reminder of him - scars on my stomach from when I was putting his ear drops in and he decided as he couldn't get away from me, he'd try to go through me instead! But that was fear, not anger - he was a real old softie x

  6. You should take all the kids to the fair and then you can blog about them falling off the rides, being sick on the waltzers, climbing off the ghost train...
    A great time would be had by all and an exciting ambulance ride would finish off the excursion.

  7. That's a gorgeous cat!

    I can't be trusted. Wherever I go, an accident or injury occurs. One daughter ended up in Casualty when all I'd done was take her to Toys R Us. Another had to leap to safety from a smoking car stuck in a stream, simply because she accompanied me to collect another daughter from a friend's house a few hundreds yards from home. (I got lost.) Another (aged eight at the time) had to tell me a man in a helmet was flying past the car window. I'd struck his motorbike it seemed.

    These are just a selected few incidents and all my fault.

    Then there was the time I got the car wedged on a small hillock and had to be pulled out by a mini-bus containing a football team. I'm amazed my daughters ever agree to come anywhere with me. If I ever have grandchildren, I'm sure I won't be trusted to take them out.

  8. They do get up to some pretty cool things though, and they love being with you, as they remind me every five minutes on a late shift!!

    Plus there is the fact that you are the cheapest childcare in town. Got to expect a few bumps and bruises with that!

    Love you xx

  9. I've left those pleasures to the parents, Lynne!

    Blimey Joanna! Never a dull moment with you! What on earth happened in Toys R Us? I think the worst that happened in my car was when my youngest son got his fingers stuck in the cassette thingy.

    Thank you Jollyoaks - you've been and gone and made my eyes leak. They're a joy to have around as well as being an excuse for me to act my age - which of course is that of a responsible adult!
    Love you too and I thank you for trusting me xx

  10. I love your kitty story and piccy he is a handsome boy, i don't think they ever loose there wild streak!
    Hope your grandaughter is feeling beter

    By the way I wanted to say I love your storiesx

  11. Hi Teresa

    I blame it on the children myself not the people who are looking after them. My two children have broken their arms three times recently and I was never there when it happened. (Now does that make me a case for social services to investigate?) The people who were looking after them were mortified of course but accidents happen. Funnily enough the invites to other people's houses are coming less frequent. Personally I'd invest in bubble wrap - at least then you can amuse yourself popping the bubbles.


  12. Hope Isabel's little head is all better now. It's true that hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I could run up a whole list of disasters I'd have avoided if I'd had the power.

    The thing about accident prone people is that they're actually quite funny aren't they, like Frank Spencer for instance. There was one place I worked where, if things were quiet, we would amuse ourselves by reading the accident book. I used to be in fits of laughter at the things people had done. (Gosh I must be an awful person!).

  13. Wow!
    You women are dangerous.
    I'm usually the opposite. It's generally me that is limping home with a pulled hamstring/twisted ankle or with blood pouring from somewhere.
    I must be just a big kid.
    Made me laugh about the cat doing the wall of death.

  14. Bubble wrap sounds good to me, Linda. It can be worse when they hurt themselves when you're not there can't it. We can't win!

    There's an idea for one of those novelty funny books, Joanne - extracts from an accident book (eek, I must be awful too!)

    Nothing wrong with being a big kid, Keith - I'll save you some cotton wool!

  15. Our three granddaughters are pretty adventurous. This afternoon I was a human slide for the three year old. Her twin sisters, of fifteen months, were content to climb on to my lap and roll down my shins. No mishaps on this occasion, but they're always sporting some war wound or other!

  16. The wee ones do keep you on your toes, don't they. I used to re-enact any bump my daughter had so I could gauge how badly she'd been hurt (there's nothing as neurotic as a first time mum).

    Huggy was gorgeous.


  17. Wish I had some grandkids to have adventures with! Thrills and spills are character-building and are all part of life. I'm right behind those parents who are letting their kids cycle to school, to heavy criticism from the media. That slashed willy, though. Made me wince! Poor little boy. Hope he didn't grow up with a nasty scar on it! Huggy was a really good-looking mog. We also have a feral cat. He's almost domesticated now, but can't bear plastic bags or dropped cutlery or pans. He leaps ten feet and batters his way through the cat flap!

  18. That’s lovely, Martin. A human slide. They are fearless at that age though aren’t they – fearless and terrifying, but lovely all the same.

    I think that’s sweet, Suzanne x

    Huggy was like that too, Hydra. He was so easily startled and frightened out of his wits while other cats would just yawn and look on.