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Men make better chefs?

16 Nov

Mr Milk is turning into a regular Nigel Slater. This month a la carte de famille du Lait: Chicken saag with homemade dahl, pan fried chicken livers with a balsamic reduction, roasted loin of pork with braised cabbage and crispy lardons. Yeah a bit poncy, but bloody delicious all the same. He’s even started making things up. When my cupboard’s bare (no naughty symbolism intended) i reach out for Mr Heinz’s finest green tin. When Mr Milk’s cupboard is bare he does some kind of dinner arithmetic and lo and behold a creation is born. Soon he’ll be sprinkling salt from a ludicrously high altitude with or without the Ainsley Harriott camp backward stablising hand, buying a 3ft pepper cellar to display his manliness, treating frying onions like a pancake, all shuffle shuffle toss and describing a dish as “the closest to a warm cuddle you can get with food”.

Meanwhile Mrs Milk is busy making the kids meals. Shepherd’s pie, sausages, pasta, casserole. No salt, no herbs (green things, ugh), no spices and definitely no wine based reductions, poaching, frittering or anything remotely resembling a ganache or a honey glaze.

It’s just all a bit too bloody stereotypical.

The thing is, once Mr Milk is home i’ve already cooked once and i’m *cked if i’m going to cook again. i don’t find it relaxing. It’s not how i choose to unwind. So he takes over, does all the grown up cooking, and before you know what’s happened he’s sous cheffing at l’Escargot while i’m working the grill at the local tesco’s cafe.

So all that practise and ponsing is well and truly starting to pay off, and much to my dismay the irritating stereotypes are starting to play themselves out in the Milk household.

Do men naturally make better chefs? No. They’re just more likely to get the practise in. *shock horror* woman takes on household chores while husband gets to ponse about with tools.

(Footnote: Mr Milk does of course do his fair share of the ironing, cleaning and kidlet ferrying…. everything else is subject to our standard terms and conditions, please read the footnotes with any accompanying literature, don’t ring now or your vote might be charged but not count, blah blah blah, bum cover bum cover….)


If little boys have willies what do little girls have?

25 May

As you know, I have boys. So things have been pretty straight forward when naming and talking about their “bits”.

Willy isn’t offensive. Willy isn’t embarrassing. It doesn’t make you cringe, or giggle too much. The word willy is actually a little bit cute really.

So what about girls?

Fanny? It isn’t cute, or sweet. Granted it doesn’t make me feel embarrassed. But it is just a really ugly word. And it’s a girl’s name of course, even if noone dares to use it anymore.

Vagina? Vulva?

I find those a bit, well, grown up. Almost scientific. A bit scary.

At this point i fear some of you mums might be shouting at the screen that a woman’s parts are nothing to be ashamed of. Nervous of. “Tell it how it is” one friend said to me.

Of course i agree. Mostly.

I just think there is room for another word. A trainer word perhaps. At least until our children are old enough to wash their own at bathtime.

I asked a handful of friends and fellow bloggers how they referred to their daughter’s “private bits”.

Take a deep breath. It’s a long list.

front bottom / bum (the most common)
girlie bottom
lady bits
girly parts
pip (czech)
flower (scottish apparently)
and good old vagina (cringe, sorry)

Can you see the problem?

Aside from “front bottom” , which (sorry mums) is at best unimaginitive, and at worst confusing, there was almost no cross-over.

Everyone had made up their own names. Words they felt wouldn’t be embarrassing if their daughter shouted it at the top of her lungs in Tescos (which let’s face it is very likely to happen). A label that wouldn’t make them cringe. Or their daughter laughed at when she announced it at pre-school.

But wouldn’t it just be a lot easier, less confusing if we could all call it the same thing?

At least then our little girls could have a sensible conversation about it during a game of show and tell.

Boys v girls: postscript

20 Apr

I’ve been thinking about my earlier blog Please God don’t give me girls a lot over the past few days. I had lots of comments, and some of them agreed, and some didn’t. Some said their girls were “boyish” and could rough and tumble it with the best of them. Some declared their boys sweet and sensitive and vowed they wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

The thing is. I’ve decided i’m still right about the early years, but with a small caveat.

You have to have 2 or more of them.

I think they egg eachother on you see. So boy + boy = a whole lot of noise, mess, agression. girl+girl = playing dressing up and toddling around in mummy’s shoes.

girl+boy = a bit of each depending on who shouts the loudest. I suppose it’s all pretty obvious really.

As for boy+boy+boy or even boy+boy+boy+boy = best not to even go there.

As far as differences during the teenage years. I stand by my original post. Teenage girls = nightmare. Sorry.

Please God don’t give me girls!

16 Apr

I had a friend over the other day. She also has boys. Two of them. At one stage i found all four of them in my husband’s raised vegetable bed, shoes and socks off, tramping around it like a sand pit, scooping handfuls of mud to throw over themselves while shouting “We are the big boys club!” (well the eldest two were anyway).

I remember thinking to myself. “I’m in B-I-G trouble”.

My boys are now 4 and 18 months.

When the second was born, people would say “oh never mind. maybe you’ll have a girl next time”. No matter what i said in response, they just believed i was making the best of a disappointing situation.

The thing is, i never wanted girls.

The thought terrified me. I’m moody, emotional, grumpy enough without a hormnal girl in the house. Of course i know boys will be sulky teenagers too, but i’m hoping they’ll just lock themselves in their rooms for a few years like their dad. With girls, you have to contend with all that emotional blackmail, the “whatever”s and the “am i bovvered?” (rolls eyes). I just don’t have the patience.

I’d much rather deal with a straight talking boy. They might be more agressive, get a bit more “in your face”, but at least once it’s blown over, it’s over. No silent treatment. No pouting.

I remember talking to a guy once who told me, sheepishly, that he loved and hated his teenage daughter in equal measure. Now he didn’t say that about his son…..

As many of you are aware i’m not really the domestic mother type (remember Craft and Baking?). I just don’t find joy in baking pretty fairycakes, and the thank you cards Grandma receives always have a bit of glitter and glue thrown at them, rather than the colourful, intricate specimens made by my sister and her little girl.

I’d just much rather be building a race track, or kicking a football about the garden. I’m not a man’s girl by any stretch of the imagination. I wear make up. Pretty clothes. I’m just not bothered about doing anyone else’s makeup.

Of course the best thing about having boys? While my sister will be dragging her daughters round the shops looking for pretty party dresses on a Saturday, i’ll be filing my nails in the bath while my husband plays cricket with the boys. Noone will want to do “girly” stuff at the weekend. When i do go shopping i’ll have to go by myself. Bummer.

The trade off, i fear, might be the phase i’m now about to enter. I remember, pre-children, always being in a state of shock when visiting the house of my only friend who had boys. The sheer volume of noise was startling. I remember grimacing and thinking “How the hell do you put up with this?” as i put on my coat, wandered down to the pub and settled myself in the warm, quiet snug with a pint of beer.

Thing is, i now regularly catch my childless friends with the same expression on their faces. I just don’t hear it anymore. I have become incredibly good at not noticing an awful lot of things that most other people would find hideously traumatic.

But recently the levels of noise are starting to escalate to a level that not even i can ignore, and i now regularly find myself being bitten, slapped, trampled on while my boys pretend i’m a scary sea dragon and they’re brave, sea-faring pirates.

And the thing is, i’m not even sure the eldest has had his pre-school shot of testosterone yet.

As for the house. As you know, i am a bit of a clean freak (or was). It’s chaos within 10 mins of the boys waking up. I’m not talking a few crumbs on the carpet. But marmite smeared all over the walls, crayons drawn over the television screen. I’ve had to start doing some serious work on being “ok” with it or i just won’t survive.

(btw if you want further, and even more chilling examples of boys reeking havoc check out The Madhouse’s post).

Boys do not want to “help” mummy. They certainly don’t want to “be” like mummy. They just want to slap me around a bit.

Still, i wouldn’t change it for the world. i love being the mummy of 2 rough and tumble, dog-eared boys. Even if i do regularly have to clear up puddles from around the toilet, and look a little bit worse for wear most of the time.