Monday, 31 January 2011

When Being Fancy is Truly Fantastic


Okay, yeah, there is a lot of crap that goes along with being a Fancy Wife. But there are a lot of great things too. The best part? No, it’s no the travel. No, no, not the fabulous restaurants. Uh huh, I actually find ironing therapeutic. I don’t do it, but I always could if I felt like it. The best part is what happened this morning.

The Fancies had a fabulous weekend even though The Princess was running a little fever and acting appropriately pathetic when the mood suited her. A little Nurofen fixed her right up and we even made a trip to the Mall, like Regular Folk. H and I ate out every night, and I even read a book while the girls were out with Nanny #2. But all that fun must have caught up with me.

Somewhere around 2am, the baby monitor came to life. I stumbled down the 2 flights of stairs, comforted The Princess and headed back. 45 seconds later, she began sadly whimpering once again. Accepting my fate for what it was, I took my pillow down with me and settled us both in the guest room. The rest of the night was a bit of a horror show, complete with weird smells (her), vomiting (her), sudden nausea (me), more vomiting (me!) and other unmentionable bathroom experiences.

In the morning I was awakened by a very chirpy Princess sitting there looking at me inquisitively. I could barely open my eyes, let alone say anything to her. I just stared back. And then suddenly (yes this is it! This is the moment where Fancy is Fabulous!) Nanny #1 appeared. She took one look at me and said, “Go upstairs.” I guess I didn’t look very Fancy.

“We had a rough night.”

“I can see that.”

“The Princess had a fever all weekend. I think she threw up in her bed. I’m not sure.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. You should really go to bed.”

I got halfway up the stairs when I remembered breakfast.

“We’re out of milk,” I called down the hall.

“I saw that. We’re going to Starbucks. Please go to bed.”

And that is where I am. I don’t look Fancy, I don’t feel Fancy, but in this moment I am so unbelievably grateful for being Fancy. 

Friday, 28 January 2011

Fancy Therapy Tales



I could literally just post sessions with my Fancy Therapist up here and it would probably more entertaining than anything else I could write. And it might actually be beneficial to some of you. After all many of my problems are just like yours: how to get your husband to do what you want, how to overcome your guilt as a working mother, how to deal with your mother ignoring your rules as a parent. Then again, there are probably some very clear differences in my issues and the Fancy solutions. Oh, let me just replay the conversation.

“So, what did you and H talk about?” I asked, failing at any attempt to appear nonchalant.

“Basically I told him that if he wants to live the life he lives and not have to get off his ass and change lightbulbs or dirty nappies, then he is going to have to spend a lot of money making sure his wife has all the help she needs. He will have to pay many people—and probably over pay most of the time—to keep the house running smoothly and minimize your stress as much as possible.”

Well that would explain why he said nothing when I told him that we’re giving Nanny #1 a raise and a new title: House Manager, which makes her just about one of the highest paid nannies in London. Her new job means she is in charge of finding and interviewing the new person who will be filling in for her when she cuts back on her hours. And rather than have multiple people dropping by for “their shift,” she will make sure that there is a more global approach to the jobs that must be done. In other words, if she can’t get shit done before she goes, it’s up to her to make sure that the next person does.

I will never, ever, have to scrape a mixture of dried sand and applesauce off the pram ever again.

Then I proceeded to tell him about my latest travel adventure with the little ones and the rudeness of the flight attendants when they saw me with two toddlers, actually telling me that I needed to find another person to hold one of them rather than strap her into the seat that I had paid for!

Fancy Therapist interrupted. “Wait, were you flying economy? What the fuck. This is exactly what I spoke to your husband about. How can you get the level of service and assistance you need when travelling alone with small children if you are sitting in the cattle hold? If he can’t be with you and he isn’t paying someone to travel alongside you, then you sit up front. Period.”

Oh I love my therapist.

I mentioned to H that FT was pretty upset that I’d been flying alone with the girls in economy class. H wasn’t terribly pleased.

“Oh I don’t remember him saying that. Uh, I don’t agree with that, necessarily,” said the man who flies so often they send him directly to the plane across the tarmac in a limo.

Well, I guess I smell another therapy session for Mr. Fancy coming up, don’t I? 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

How Fancy Has Changed



You know how I love my Fancy Therapist. It’s getting H to embrace the relationship that is difficult. Oh, he’s fine with me paying someone hundreds of dollars every 1-2 weeks to “talk it out.” But part of working on making a marriage strong and successful means both parties have to make an effort. Half my therapy sessions focus on how to get H into FT’s office. Not that there are big issues, but he needs to check in once in a while, have his butt kicked a bit and walk out a nicer, kinder husband. It’s a process he resists fiercely but I laid down the law at New Years: get yourself to a session or refuse at your own peril. This is just one thing he cannot outsource.

So, kicking and screaming, he went. And called me later that day, his tone of voice softer, his terms of endearment more readily forthcoming. Whatever they’d talked about, it was working.

I don’t usually ask H for a play-by-play of his sessions. I just make my own appointment a few days later and learn the salient points directly. H generally doesn’t want to discuss it (because of guilt?! Yes, you  do have a fabulous wife!) but a couple days ago he looked at me and started laughing.

“What? Why are you laughing?”

“Fancy Therapist said that you’re really much better looking now than when I met you.”

 “Really?” I asked, not really flattered. (After all, what does that mean? I didn't think I was that bad.)

“Yeah, actually, when we met, you were kind of a hick,” he chuckled.

“And what about you?” I prodded, poking his belly.

“I’d better step up my game.”

Money well spent, I’d say. 

Monday, 24 January 2011

Dining Out: Fancy Style



H and I aren’t really into Fancy Restaurants as much as you might think. Yes, we are definite Foodies and have travelled the world in search of the perfect meal. However, we tend to look down on restaurants that have extremely complicated menus or charge ridiculous prices because we’re usually disappointed. No one should have to try that hard to make food taste good. So when it comes to our meals, The Fancies are purists. Very, very snobby purists.
That said, we had an opportunity not to long ago to visit a very famous restaurant with a couple of Michelin stars. Reservations aren’t easy to come by but I managed to snag us a table and despite some hesitation, curiosity overcame our cynicism. I forced H to comb his hair and put on some clean trousers. That was as much as I could do without a fight but the Maitre d’ was more successful; he forced H into a slightly too-tight dinner jacket from the “loaner closet.” (Funny how both husbands and children can be embarrassed by a stranger into doing something that would cause screaming and shouting if their wife/mother suggested it, isn’t it?)

First came the water menu. 20 pages of descriptions of water. I kid you not. H found this so hilarious that he sent the waiter away twice because he was still “pondering his options.” We chose one with a balanced mineral composition and mid-intensity effervescence. At this point I needed booze so we had the sommelier guide us toward something local and moderately priced. (Moderate is all relative, isn’t it?) We did think we could spend a little more on the wine, though, since we’d opted for the £10 bottle of water, not the £250 Japanese spring choice.

Then came the menus. Here is my cut and paste from the website:

Appetizers
Scampi carpaccio with vinaigrette of grape, pear and cucumber € 52,00
Fillet of ray on salad of orange, capers and olives € 45,00
Amberjack carpaccio with cannellini beans and white truffle from Alba € 95,00 Medallions of lobster on avocado purée and tomato € 52,00
Scallops, beans and cotiche “La Pergola” € 47,00

Except mine was without any prices. Yes, you are reading that right. Not a single appetiser for under 40 Euro. The prices increased accordingly as we read through the First and then Main courses. (Serious. Those are literally just the appetisers. One bite wonders.) H and I kept trading menus back and forth, laughing, and then we devised a little game where I picked my favourites and he told me whether they were the equivalent to a mortgage for a studio flat or a Fancy house. But soon I realised there was another bit of fun to be had.

Looking around the room, I kicked H under the table.

“Dude! Look at that guy! I think he just swallowed his own tongue.”

The poor chap right across from us looked truly gray when his partner announced her selections to the waiter. Around the room we watched as wives and girlfriends began opening their prices-free menus, and exclaiming over their choices. The male dining companions were becoming noticeably paler. At nearly every table, we watched the same scene unfold: excitement, followed by curiosity, followed by nervousness, followed by nausea.

 The food that night was decidedly unremarkable. As we’d suspected, this was a place people come to for the experience (and to impress a girl). When the bill came, I just reminded H that we dump a lot more money at the blackjack tables in Vegas and justify it by saying, “It’s entertainment. So you lose a crap load of money. But you get hours of fun!” So it’s quite possible that our dinner out that night was actually a fiscal bargain, if you consider the entertainment value. And just like in Vegas, we went back to our Fancy hotel room hungry and grabbed a snack from the mini-bar. Oh, but it was good fun. 

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Fancy Man Spare Time


Okay, I know that I’ve said over and over that Fancy Husbands work every hour, every minute, every second of every day. That is true. Did you know that there is Blackberry reception on the most remote piece of inhabited land on the planet? Yes, that is also true. I have firsthand knowledge, from my Fancy Honeymoon. Anyway, occasionally H does get a little down time. And what he does with it usually involves one of the 6 computers in our Fancy home. He gets into a prone position and stays there for as long as possible, moving only his fingers, surfing from one end of the Internet to the other.

There are many reasons why I find this highly annoying, not the least of which is that he is usually on my computer (Why?! When there are 5 others?!). Another obviously being that I am usually left stranded, mid-sentence, sitting at the dinner table, once again playing second fiddle to his true love.

Turns out there is another reason that H’s computer obsession is truly, deeply, irritating. One I hadn’t really thought of until it happened this week. I’m used to having search windows automatically pop up with porn sites or financial newspapers (both of which dominate his surf time.) But what I found truly annoying this week was a very friendly email from Amazon.co.uk.

“Hello, Fancy! Here’s some deals on items you’ve been looking at on Amazon.co.uk! Check out this week’s offers on cat beds!”

Huh? We don’t have a cat. Or a dog. Or a racehorse. Or a stuffed peacock. No animals live at the Fancy House. Once I asked H if I could get a little doggie to keep me company. (This was in the throes of my infertility depression). He stared at me and said, “Get a little dog. Do whatever you want. But don’t be surprised if one day your pup winds up in a burrito. I could get hungry.”

Do you get that we’re not really “animal lovers” in any sense other than “carnivore?” Not that we go around hitting puppies, but neither of us is really interested in hiring yet another person to care for yet another individual who isn’t toilet trained. Or in finding a kennel when we go on holiday. Or on having pet hair on our Fancy Furniture.

So why, then I ask, why is my Inbox being polluted with helpful suggestions on scratch trees and poodle pillows? I asked H and he just looked at me.
“One thing always leads to another and then I found myself looking at pet beds,” he said matter-of-factly. Oh, of course. That makes perfect sense.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Why Fancy Can’t Delegate


H has a saying that rings particularly true this morning: Don’t underestimate the stupidity of others. Just when you think someone can’t be that dumb, it turns out they are even dumber than you’d imagined. I’m not joking. It’s 9 am. Here’s how my day is going so far.

About 2 hours ago the ringing of my mobile woke me. Blocked call. Curious. So I answered. It was British Airways. Did I have all of my luggage from December 17?

“Why, no, I’m still missing a travel cot. It went to the Repatriation Department on Dec 31.”
“Oh, yeah. Is it a Phil & Ted cot, packed into a black duffel bag, with like a little red Phil & Ted tag on the side?”
“Why, yes, yes it is,” I answered.

Guess what folks! My Fancy Cot just returned yesterday from another trip to The Continent! Seems it somehow made it from the courier service back to Heathrow. Then some kind soul put it on an airplane! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

I was in a jolly mood after that, laughing at BAA’s complete incompetence. Until my groceries arrived. My first thought was: oh, shit. I really have to stop ordering groceries when I’ve been drinking. But no, my receipt clearly says that I requested Skinny Cow ice cream bars. And those are supposed to be bananas. Nice, ripe bananas. It’s kind of exciting here now. The Fancies don’t usually eat frozen and breaded proteins. Curious to see how the girls’ systems react to Common Food.

And yes, this is why I have trouble delegating responsibility.  

Monday, 17 January 2011

Nanny Burn Out


Now that you understand why I have "employees," you can better feel my pain when I tell you the latest in Fancy Nanny Drama! My children have finally done it. Between the hissy fits and the constant need to remove their clothes, the insistence on pooping immediately after a diaper change and the intense fascination with hiding food under their butts during meals, Nanny #1 is burned out. She wants “to talk to adults.” And I have to say, I’m actually relieved. I was starting to think she was weird.

I mean, I know I don’t want to spend every waking minute with these two. I love them more than anything and would throw my body in front of a moving bus to spare them a moment of pain but even so. Back before Christmas when Nanny #3 (who really should become Nanny #2 now that we no longer have the nights covered on a regular basis) was sick, I spent the weekend literally weeping as I tried to keep my Fancy House and Fancy Family fed, clean and entertained. I think it was a combination of little hands constantly clawing at my body and my overly full bladder that threatened to tip me over the edge. Seriously, TC, can your mother go to the toilet without you crying until you vomit? Good God. Maybe if H had either the insight or the kind of schedule that would provide me with a moment of respite, I wouldn’t need someone here at least part of every day. But he doesn’t. So I do.

As much as I love being a mother, I still like working outside the house. It’s good to use your brain once in a while. And I hold privacy, personal space and the ability to urinate daily in very high regard. Lucky for me, then that I have the means to hire help. But I’ve always found it difficult to find people who want to spend so much time with babies and who are also not complete weirdos. Like the baby nurse I had for the first 5 months as a parent. I gave her a day off rather than fly across country with her because I frankly couldn’t imagine any pain greater than being stuck next to her on an airplane for 6 hours, not even trying to pee while balancing a tiny baby on the bathroom counter. (See, here we are back to my urinary habits. Is this a side effect of the Diet Coke addiction?)

A couple days ago I had a heart-to-heart with Nanny #1, just to see what was going on. (Because finding dirty diapers tucked into piles of clothes downstairs just seemed like a cry for help, don’t you think?) Turns out she’s also like to use her brain. If we lived in a Fancier neighbourhood, maybe there would be other Nannies to befriend. Alas, our local schools are primarily Bangladeshi speaking. So she’s out of luck.

The compromise we’ve reached is that she can cut back to 40 hours a week (I know, stop screaming.) and have a day to pursue other activities. Ones that require more brain power than finger paints. And I guess I’ll be looking for yet another Nanny, one who can do a single full day a week. But I bet she’ll be happy to do 2 or 3 evenings a week as well. Ha. The wheels are a’turnin…

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Fancy Wife Job Description



I started to write a post about my current Nanny situation and I thought that maybe I should back up. Now, I’m not looking to apologize to any one for being Fancy, nor am I looking for sympathy. But for you to fully understand why I have multiple employees, I thought it might help you to provide some context. And, of course, should you too aspire to the position of Fancy Wife, you’ll be armed with the list of qualifications.

As a Fancy Wife, the following will be expected of you:
  • Keep yourself attractive and fit. This can be accomplished by any means necessary, including multiple personal trainers (at one point I had 3, including my squash coach), or plastic surgery, if you so choose. Shoes and clothes are understood to be essential to this requirement, so, “Hello Airline Miles!” Remember, however, that Fancy Husbands generally prefer shoes that destroy your feet. (Hence the UnFancy bunion)
  • You will be expected to keep the house running smoothly. Fancy Husbands work every hour, every minute, every second of every day. Need a light bulb changed? Hire someone. Think that’s ridiculous? Do it yourself, but don’t you dare fall off that ladder and put yourself in the hospital where you are no good to us!
  • The children will be clean and well cared for. Responsibility for enrolling them in any activity, from Gymboree to Oxford, will be that of the Fancy Wife. As will all dirty nappies.
  • Know how to cover for your Fancy Man. 9/10 he'll be at that dinner party. But once in a while you'll find yourself hosting some random people from his past who don't really speak English. Bottoms up!
  • Have good suitcase packing skills! You will be putting his luggage into a taxi to meet him at the airport more often than you think.
  • Be happy! You have a Fancy Life! Anything that makes you stressed or unhappy is likely not the problem of the Fancy Husband. Find a solution. Smile when he walks through the door. Make his life as easy and as pleasant as you can, even if sometimes you have to bite your tongue so hard it bleeds. Self-reliance is a must!
  • Do NOT pester your Fancy Husband. Within reason, you can solve all problems regarding the house, the children and yourself without bothering him. He’s very busy and very tired. Don’t make him regret coming home before midnight. Remember, asking his opinion means you must listen to it. That’s probably dumb.
  • You are, of course, free to pursue your own interests and even a career. However, these pursuits are not to inconvenience your Fancy Husband or negatively impact upon your home or family. Choose your moments wisely, my dear!
  • Oh, and speaking of inconvenience, just don’t. Whether you have spin class to attend, a facelift to recover from or the housekeeper needs to get upstairs and make the bed, find a way to keep everything running smoothly with a minimum of interruption to your Fancy Man’s existence.

Don’t look at me like that! It’s not all (degrading) hard work! As a Fancy Wife, you’ll enjoy airport lounges and first class upgrades. (Fancy Husbands acquire airline miles by the hundreds of thousands!) What other job could allow you to travel the world, acquire children without actually giving birth and have an actual Nanny rota hanging on your kid’s wall? Just remember when you order the truffle supplement at that Michelin starred restaurant, someone has to pay for it. He’s probably sitting across the table from you, picking his own truffle out of his teeth. Give him a smile and remember that somewhere under there is the man you fell in love with, even when he wasn’t Fancy. If you follow the above rules, you’ll probably even get to see him and maybe even share a laugh at how ridiculous your Fancy lives have become.

And there you are my friends. Should you be self-reliant, industrious and able to stand in 4-inch heels for at least an hour at a time, this might be the job for you! Did I mention that a solid sense of humour is a must? 

Monday, 10 January 2011

Stylish AND Fancy?


Well now. Apparently someone out there thinks I’m Stylish. She apparently didn’t see me this morning when my attire consisted entirely of Old Navy sweats. No bra. But since I’m not one to disappoint, I rallied this afternoon, hitting the post office in some combination of designer and the Gap, which gives me the desired “she’s clearly Fancy but oh so effortless” look that I continually strive for. Anyway, THANK YOU Mrs. Tuna, for heaping praise on me and awarding me a Stylish Blogger Award.

The rules aren’t terribly difficult. Unless you are me. Let’s see: 1) Thanks and linkage back to my pal. No problem. 2) Share 7 things about myself. Only 7? Fine. I’ll self-edit. 3) Award 15 recently discovered bloggers and 4) contact them and tell them that they, too, are Stylish.

Okay, this is where I stumble. I’m new to this Mummy Blogging world. I have trouble finding time in my Fancy life to talk about myself, let alone go find out what everyone else is doing, although I do try. But sometimes I stumble onto a blog with more than a gazillion followers and I wonder what rock I’ve been living under. How did I survive so many years without knowing about this alternative universe living in my computer? Okay, 15 blogs is probably manageable even for me. But did I recently discover them or are they newly discoverable? Is this like me suddenly announcing that the sky is blue?
So, with all that in mind, I accept my award with grace and humility. And I will list the required blogs and hope that you, my new friends, don’t snicker at my innocence. Of course, if you think I’m missing anyone, by all means, fill me in! But first, pay close attention to the following 7 Fancy Facts:
  • I grind my teeth. Especially when I’ve been drinking. But when H complains, I simply retaliate with, “at least I don’t snore! Do you know how hard your heart and lungs are having to work against your redundant soft tissues of you throat? Eat more fruit!”
  • I once cried over a bag of marshmallows. I had just graduated university and I went on a diet. Said diet allowed me 2 marshmallows in the afternoon. My sister ate my marshmallows. I was very sad.
  • I have 2 herniated discs in my back. And every time I did a round of IVF, my back went out. So add that to my list of infertility pain.
  • I played Mary in our school nativity play when I was 6. My mother made my costume. I reused it when I had to play Clara Barton the following year. Just slapped some red tape on my back and suddenly I was the Red Cross.
  • My parents bought me liposuction one year for a present. I had an “abnormal area of fatty hypertrophy.” It was a good Christmas.
  • I make condiment sandwiches. Because with bread and relish and HP sauce, who needs the added calories of cheese and meat?
  • I have one bunion. It’s very small and probably not noticeable to anyone. Except me. 

Oh, Jesus. I just reread all that. I definitely do not sound Fancy or Stylish. God help me. Well, let that be a lesson to you. Fancy is what is on the outside, not on the inside. And there is apparently nothing that a Fancy Therapist, a Fancy Stylist and a Fancy plastic surgeon can’t overcome. Christ.
And here is my list of lovely bloggers. But don't get your panties in a bunch if I didn't name you. Or get annoyed at me that I did. I am a freshman. A bumbling fool, if you will. I like you all!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My pal over at Hot Cross Mum posted a list of her secret guilty pleasures, basically letting us all know that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. I’m now thoroughly suspicious, actually convinced is a better word, that the whole world has a Snuggie and I’m the only one left out. (But I heard they don’t wash well! That is seriously the only reason. Especially now that it comes in leopard print.) Anyway, she invited me to share a few Fancy Guilty Pleasures, likely assuming it will involve putting on all my jewels and parading around my house reenacting Princess Di’s wedding. But, alas, I’m sorry to say that my guilty pleasures are pretty Ordinary. Regardless, here we go:
  • Cool Whip. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of residing in the Colonies, Cool Whip is non-dairy, nearly entirely made of chemicals, can be found in a tub or a spray can and is available in regular, light, fat free and low sugar formulas. And when you put a tub in the freezer, it is almost like eating vanilla ice cream, minus the calories. Find me in a hotel across the Pond? Find Cool Whip in my mini-fridge. And a spoon.
  • Trashy erotica. But seriously, that’s not very exciting. What’s exciting is that I’m admitting it. C’mon, are you willing to let us all look under your bed?
  • The Osmonds. The greatest band that ever lived. I’ve nothing else to say.
  • Vegas! There’s two ways to do Vegas: the way I did it with my pals and sisters when I was Poor Folk and the way I do it with H. I prefer the Fancy way. Seriously. The free drinks at the blackjack table suck, but if you send the waitress to the restaurant bar with your room number, she’ll bring you back a very nice bottle of wine. Which isn’t free, but won’t give you a migraine. Which means you can return to the table in the morning and resume your boozing.
  • A bath. Without children. Door locked. No bubbles, nothing Fancy. Okay, maybe a glass of bubbly, but just me, solitude and a book. I liked it before we had kids. I need it, I crave it now.
And there you have it, Fancy Pleasure. Of course, rubbing my furs on my face is also nice, but you can’t really beat a quiet bath while reading a trashy novel and the Fancy stereo gentling crooning, “He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother…”

**Progress report: Wednesday Diet Cokes: 2.5; baggage received: 1; baggage outstanding: 1!!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

When Fancy Luggage Goes Travelling

I didn’t sleep well last night. No, not because I was in the guest room (which is part of the story). The guest room is actually awesome because I’m alone, without a freight train sleeping next to me. But to back up, the reason I slept downstairs was because my baby monitor is in my luggage. And my luggage is still missing. At least parts of it still is. Let’s see, 6 bags handed over, 2 returned (the 17th). Cheap airline interval (no baggage lost although strictly weighed, meaning I had to wear boots, belt and 2 sweaters on  my body and the girls each had 3 layers of clothing stuffed onto their little selves for the flight). And then our return, which has been highlighted by a slow, slow trickle of our belongings back into our lives. 
I’m not exactly sure what goes on behind the scenes of British Airways and the BAA (a marriage made in heaven!), but here’s what I do know:
4 of my bags spent several days sitting on the tarmac in an iced over container at Terminal 5
3 of those bags were sent to the “repatriation” company on the 24th
1 bag flew to The Continent on the 21st. The 23rd. And the 27th.
Delivery attempts on the 25th and 27th failed, given that I was in a foreign country and unable to give updated delivery instructions...since everyone involved in baggage tracing lacks hands and ears (otherwise they’d answer the phone, right?)
On the 29th, 2 bags (the ones we'd taken on CheapAir) were handed over in said foreign country, 1 actually got on the plane
On the 30th, this bag grabbed a flight home
Travel Cot #2 reached Executive Club Silver Status and returned to London on New Years Eve
January 2, the lost bag from Round 2 made it home
January 3, The Fancies sat at home, as instructed by the airline, waiting
January 4, The Fancies waited again. 
January 5, 2 o’clock in the morning! 2 bags delivered
And there we are. After a few phone calls, (and yes, I have inside information and direct lines) what I know is that my bags will (and I quote), “eventually be returned.” So last night was not only interrupted by the appearance of some of our belongings, but I spent a restless night worrying about my Fancy Travel Cots. Are they cold? Did some Poor Folk steal them? Did #2 have a good time overseas? 
So tonight I must move back to my bed, since the baby monitor was amongst our returned belongings. And sleep next to H, listening to him rumble and fretting about my Phil & Teds. 2011 isn’t off to the best of starts, is it?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Fancy Needs a Holiday


Is it just me or does everyone need a vacation after a vacation, and especially after the Holidays? Jeesh I am exhausted. Yes, even people who take their Nanny on holiday can find travelling with children to be at least mildly tiring. Then again, part of the problem might be that I have difficulty delegating. This is part of what my Fancy Therapist calls, “not managing my help appropriately.” In other words, Nanny #1 had a fabulous trip on the Continent. She babysat 5 (of 9!) evenings and took the girls on 2 afternoons while we were sightseeing. Mrs. Fancy slept on the floor, went through entire restaurant meals without taking a bite and found herself wearing a brand new £100 white t-shirt now decorated in tiny greasy handprints.
Why do I do this to myself? Why, oh why, did everyone on this trip take at least 1 nap a day while I gathered groceries and straightened up toys? I’m sure I know at least a few of these answers. So in the spirit of the New Year, I’m going to confess my reasons for an absence of self-preservation on holiday and open myself to suggestions about how I can make 2011 different. We can call it: let’s allow our employees to make our lives easier, not the other way around!
  • ·      I am the consummate host. I love to throw a party and make people happy and well cared for. Even if this means I have one bite of toast all day and don’t shave my legs.
  • ·      I cannot, as I said, effectively delegate. Partly because if I don’t do it myself, it doesn’t get done correctly. (Seriously Nannies! Can you not tell the difference between pajamas and play clothes? It isn’t helping me to fold the laundry and put it away if I have to spend 15 minutes rearranging their dresser!)
  • ·      I bite off more than I can chew. Should I really be trying to manage the house, supervise the help, manage the girls, continue to pretend I have a career, and coddle H and plan a 10-day holiday in Italy for 4 more families in addition to my own? Um probably not.
  • ·      And finally: I love a martyr. I love to feel like I did more than anyone and I did it better than they ever could. And the more exhausted I am at the end, the bigger and greater I feel. I’m quite sure this started early in elementary school whenever we had a group project, which turned into my project, which generally garnered endless praise from the teacher. But Jesus, this ain’t healthy.

So that’s my confession. I am going to spend the rest of the day thinking about how to make this year different. While trying to not drink too many sodas.
Yesterday’s tally: 2 diet Cokes. My teeth feel better already. 

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Fancy Resolutions!

I'm back! Well, H, The Princess and Tough Cookie and I are back. Nanny #1 remains on the continent but sure as hell had better be here bright and early Monday morning. Oh, and our luggage? Ha ha. You make me laugh. What better way to learn what it is you really need than to have 5 of 7 pieces of luggage being held hostage in a "storage depot" across town, manned only by people who are apparently quadraplegics. At least I assume they don't have the use of their arms since the alternative is that they simply don't want to pick up the phone. Oh the Holiday Joy!

Anyway, in the spirit of welcoming a new year, I'll share last night's dinner conversation with you. It was meant to be a dinner party, but everyone was feeling decidedly crusty after the night before (in the old days I would have just slept in but my Fancy children don't have an Off Switch. It sucks.) and it wound up just me and H and a small animal carcass.

"I think for my New Years Resolutions that I'm going to start by drinking more water. 2 litres a day," I said.
"Still or sparkling?"replied Mr. Fancy.
"Sparkling of course. Still makes me throw up."
"That's stupid."
"And I'm going to cut back on soda. No more than 5 cans of diet coke a day."
"That's gross."
(Okay, here I must confess that I do, in fact, often consume in excess of a six-pack of diet soda a day. To the point where I have prescription toothpaste because my motto is: If it ain't fizzy, it's wine! And yes, I know that is not good for me.)
"I'm going to organize the house better and outsource more to the Nannies."
"That would be a start."

"Um, so what are you going to do?" I asked, as he picked a small leg bone clean with his non-acid-eroded teeth.
"I'm starting my resolutions in February. Everyone starts in January and don't make it to February. So I'm just going to do it then. I'm going to the gym. In February," said my darling H, the Master Procrastinator.
"What year?" I queried innocently.

Happy New Year. May 2011 bring you much joy, happiness and a bit of Fancy.