Sunday, 6 June 2010

Carrots and Pears

Pretty much the only thing that stops me from being gargantuan is my love of clothes; I am, by nature, greedy. And, probably like most mothers, I fret if my children don't eat 'enough' - partly because I don't want them waking up (read - waking me up) in the night asking for a piece of toast and partly because it just goes against my gob-stuffing grain. You don't want any more?? But how can that be??

The Princess and Master C took to eating solids with gusto; The Bub was a bit slower on the uptake. Part of me was horrified (what!! are you sure you're my child?) and the other, soppily relieved - as my (probably) last baby, I'm in no hurry to wean. Kind of. If only breastfeeding didn't limit one's wardrobe options quite so much.

Having read, first time 'round, all the baby/ parenting stuff (come on, no one really bothers with all of that once it gets to Baby 2, Baby 3 etc - which is just one of the reasons that you constantly berate yourself for 'favouring' your first-born) I know that babies get quite the sweet tooth in utero and that you should avoid encouraging this by ensuring that their first solids are of the more savoury variety - potato, rather than sweet potato, for instance. But I've got two other children, aged 3 and 2, who demand a fair bit of my attention at mealtimes: I simply don't have the time or, truth be told, patience, to coax and cajole The Bub to eat his pureed carrot. I glance at the clock: dammit, this mealtime is taking far too long and I'd like a bit of an evening before I drag myself exhaustedly to bed, thanks all the same. It's cheating, but sod it: I refuse to believe that my little boy will be mainlining sugar in his teens as a result of my actions. I shove a spoonful of pureed pear into the bowl of orange goop and watch his rosebud mouth, previously firmly clamped, open into an eager "O". Half an hour later, the three of them are fed, bathed and asleep - and I am free to play dress up.

I'm quickly learning that there are other carrots and pears that don't work together to such good effect, however: namely tapered (carrot leg) trousers and me. Unfortunately, the hips that have so successfully birthed three babies are really doing me no favours in the SS10 fashion stakes, at least not the stakes that are shaped like inverted triangles.

Harems, on the other hand, might be a touch more forgiving. Alternatively they're so daft looking that people are too busy trying to work out whether you've taken a leaf out of your baby's book and cacked your pants to notice that your bum actually does look really, really big. I was in H&M the other day when I saw these light grey cropped numbers. They were inexpensive, the fabric felt beautifully light and cool and, with a bright tank, they've become my "kids are in bed, time to relax" staple. Pretty soon I will (maybe) have the guts to wear this style in public; I'm only glad that I didn't see the picture from the H&M website because if I had, I probably wouldn't have bought them. I swear they look better than that in real life (by which I mean - on me.)

And here's the other thing: I am fast realising that the best blogs are the ones where the bloggers include pics of themselves striking all manner of poses in the clothes about which they are writing. I'm not about to flounce fetchingly for the camera and I may not seek advice of a child-rearing sort any more but in this case it's honest opinions I'm after: should I post photos (of me) or no?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Sartorial Sixth Sense

I can just about cope with the grey/ black/ charcoal/ indigo thing in the colder months although I do rail against the endless drear of winter with the odd burst of turquoise, fuschia or red - admittedly mostly in safe (okay, boring) ways involving scarves and wristwarmers. Spring and summer: different matter altogether. I feel like I've failed, somehow, if I don't dress in proper, shout-it-from-the-rooftops colour - but on mornings when I'm racing to get out the door with all three children fed, clothed and clean, oh, how easy it would be to fall back on fail-safe indigo skinnies and a black tank.

My inner-Tanya Turner/ Amber Gates (oh yes, they are alive and well, although I'll still swear blind that The Princess's name has nothing to do with what Amber called her first-born, nothing, I tell you!!) would love to wear white jeans but I know for a fact that they'd be covered in Marmite-y fingerprints and felt-tip within minutes... so these washed-out grey skinnies (£8 from Primark) have been a welcome step away from the reliably slimming properties of dark denim, now that the bulk added by The Bub's arrival has disappeared. And I'm loving them with orange and coral: a Zara linen tee, a French Connection cami that I picked up for a couple of quid at Traid, and an Orla Kiely top that I was contemplating getting rid of on the grounds of being, well, Orla Kiely.

About to dash out in one of these combinations the other day, I stop. I dither. It's raining and miserable outside; I'm single-parenting for the weekend (The Bearded One is away again, sigh) and, in the absence of time for my second coffee of the day, I probably need the cheering properties of a colour-pop. Nevertheless, something in me says 'no'. I quickly change into indigo skinnies and an oversized Breton.

The drive to the Science Museum - Saturday morning, Bank Holiday, half-term, raining - takes nigh on two hours; the hunt for a parking space almost as long. By the time I unload the kids from the car, I have just about lost the will to live, a state of affairs that's not improved by getting lost in a nightmarish maze of lifts, none of which lead to the basement where we're meeting our friends. When we finally meet up, I'm limp with relief, not least because The Antipodean Beauty is dressed in grey skinnies and coral cardi. Praise the Wardrobe Gods for that sartorial sixth sense: the last thing I need today is some kind of Brenda/ Kelly/ 90210 prom moment (sans the love rivalry, natch). By the time the children have enjoyed the Bubble Show and I've had a (surprisingly decent) coffee, all is right with the world. I'll wear colour tomorrow.