Thursday, 20 May 2010

The sort of thing a proper SAHM does with her children.

I have had an utterly, utterly, rubbish day today.  I have been the sort of mother I hate.  The sort of mother who shouts at her children so loudly they cry, and who gives herself a sore throat in the process.  The sort of mother who gets constantly whinged at from waking to sleeping, and who can't decide whether to scream, cry, throw the sodding plate of pasta and sausages ("I don't like sausages") through the window, or just walk out, whilst simultaneously doing all of the above.

It's been awful.

It's Varicella Zoster's fault.  L has the pox.  So we've been stuck in the house (and the garden: thank heavens, lucky stars and all the deities in the pantheon that this didn't happen when we didn't have a garden to speak of) since yesterday morning, and we're all getting very scratchy and cross with each other.  L isn't ill, or at least not so ill so that you can park her in front of the telly, but she's itchy and whiny and we're rubbing each other up the wrong way...  And A and S haven't got it yet, but it's surely only a matter of time.

Which is why I'm going to blow my own trumpet. And remind myself what a great mother I can be when I want to.  And that I can do the stuff that the books tell you you're supposed to do. And that it was fun.

And that hopefully, those are the days they'll remember when they are grown up. Not the ones like today.

It started on Saturday. Bright, but cold.  We piled into the car, packed our passports and headed for the Border.  To Ford and Etal to be precise.  Apparently they're two little villages with all sorts of interesting things in.  But we never actually got there, because L was sick on the way, and we arrived too late for the miniature railway and it was all a bit rubbish until we got to Heatherslaw Mill which is actually in between the two.  It's fantastic! It's a proper working water mill, and L, at just 3, was fascinated.  By the water rushing in, and the cogs turning, and the big stones grinding against each other, and the flour going into the bag ("like in Bagpuss"*)  and the chocolate cake we had in the sunshine afterwards:

So we bought some flour and we took it home, and no one was sick and we agreed we'd had a lovely day.

And on Monday I put on my Ocado apron (I miss Ocado) and my goodSAHM hat, and once A and S were in bed, L and I got busy:

We got our ingredients and our recipe (Nigella's best, because I intend to be a Domestic Goddess.  One day) ready:

We mixed our Heatherslaw-milled flour (500g) with our salt (1 tsp), our bicarbonate of soda (2 tsps) and our cream of tartar (4.5 tsps).  Then we "stroked" the butter (50g - which is not what Nigella says, but I think it's a misprint, and anyway, I don't believe in following recipes exactly, where's the fun in that?) into the dry ingredients with our fingers:

until we had mixed it all in.

We poured in the milk (300ml) and got our fingers all sticky mixing that in, before turning it out onto the side and "pushing and pulling" it all together.  L subscribes to the school of thought that says all food stuffs are improved by the addition of sultanas (I know men who feel the same way about bacon), so we stuck 75g of those in too (the out of focus-ness indicates the vigorousness of the kneading):

Then we rolled it out:

Before cutting them out with a 6.5 cm crinkle-edged round cutter (B agreed with Nigella that the crinkles were very important) and "painting" them with egg:

Then we put them in the oven which we had uncharacteristically remembered to preheated to 220 (gas 7) and waited excitedly for ten minutes:

before taking them out ("careful Mummy, they're hot") with care and pride:

By this stage, S and A had woken up, so we took (hideouslyuglyjumblesale) Teddy outside and had a picnic (complete with checked "rug"):

The fact that they then ate so many scones they refused to eat any supper that wasn't scones is one we'll gloss over in favour of the best bit: not only did L and I enjoy ourselves, and the girls adore the scones, I got to send them to nursery with them on Tuesday as a "snack", and look like a really proper SAHM there too.

And I live in hope that tomorrow (S and A at nursery (without scones: we've eaten them all),  Spotty and I here, with a carrot loaf recipe, or possibly "more scones please Mummy") is more like that, and less like today.  Wish me luck. And send me any ideas for entertaining the pox-infested.  Please.

* ps and for your viewing pleasure. Here's the best part of that epic episode:  You can't (as any fule kno) make chocolate biscuits out of breadcrumbs and butterbeans


  1. "you can't make biscuits out of butterbeans"!!!... my favourite episode :)

    The scones look yummy btw, and get well soon wishes to you guys... hope it doesn't get too bad :)

  2. Oh my goodness - that brings back memories

    heave ... heave ... heave !

  3. Nigella probably did stroke the butter!! Scones look yummy - I love a cup of tea and a scone anytime, and could write a book of the best ones in the Northern area by now!

  4. You've had one of those days too? Glad it isn't just me.

    Those scones look amazing. I haven't had one of those days recently. Must try to do so soon. x

  5. You are very brave to admit to the shouting moments, but I think we all have them. But don't the "virtuous mummy" moments make you feel wonderful. The scones look fantastic!

    If you are interested, I have just posted rather a lot of thoughts on The Twilight Saga...You get a mention/link and I would love to hear what you think...

  6. I have days like that too, oh and the pox is a challenge, as the weather is good, fill the paddling pool with bicarb and water and a little oats and let them dip in and out

  7. Oh I'm sorry you had a bad day. I hope things were easier're much better than me though...i'm not sure I could have made the scones feeling like that. And they look lovely. I'm tempted to make some now.

  8. Now those scones look great! Num num. My mum's pox regime was bicarb baths, camomile lotion and antihistamines.

  9. What a fantastic post. I love that instead of lingering on your bad day you've looked back at something wonderful instead. What a great idea. Next time my throat is sore from screaming (yes, I do it too) I'm going to try and be a bit more positive and not just think I'm a rubbish mum.

    I love the photo of your daughter looking at them cooking - such anticipation!

  10. Muddling along and Reba Mc - isn't it GREAT! and what I love is that L loves it too! Can't not smile with a bit of Bagpuss!

    Diney - I imagine that what nigella does to the butter is illegal in many countries....

    Pants with names - if I thought it was just me, there's no way I'd own up! But both the day, and the remembering and posting about it were a real tonic.

    Motherhood and Anarchy - Been, read and commented! Thank you for the link! And not brave, just honest...(see above!)

    Mad House - did precisely that today (although without the oats!). I think we're mostly over it though now cross fingers...

    Chic Mama - I think I've misled you. The scones pre-dated the fury! If I'd tried baking (rather than blogging) in the mood I was in I'd have ended up sticking my head in the oven rather than the scones (which would have been futile as it's electric)

    Heidi - They tasted better! They really were fantastic. Definitely a recipe to try. Thanks for the pox tips too, as I say, I think we're mostly out of the woods now though - until the other two get it of course!)

    Calif Lorna - thank you! The funny thing is it really worked. I was in such a filthy mood when I started writing it, but remembering, and looking at the pictures, really cheered me up. And boosted my ego!

  11. The highs... the lows...

    Hope the pox doesn't last too long.

  12. Crossing fingers I think it's going. They jab them in the States don't they? It's definitely got it's attractions as an idea!

  13. My two older children had the pox, when we were in Scotland. It really wasn't too bad. Look out for the next one starting exactly 2 weeks after the first one did.

    And then, yes, youngest got the jab. It was either that, or find a doctor who would say she couldn't be jabbed for medical reasons, or a religious leader who would say that we adhereed to a faith that meant she couldn't be jabbed. Both of those seemed insuperable obstacles, so we just had her jabbed. And there's the side benefit that she now won't get chicken pox, so that's quite nice.

  14. Oh boy do we all have days like that! Bathing in porridge oats is the best, best thing for chicken pox - just stick a handful in some muslin or a sock and squeeze the milky stuff into the bath water - it was the only thing that relieved my two when they had it earlier this year x

  15. You can tell by my comments I'm moving backwards through my Google Reader tonight to catch up, so "Hello" again!

    Ah, the elusive Vision of a SAHM us working ma's carry in our heads. Apparently this Vision is somewhat different to reality and please, from one working mumma turned SAHM to another, don't beat yourself up too much. The days are long, the pay is shite and the feedback is non-existent. You will shout, you will scream and you will hate yourself a little bit for not being the Vision you imagined. And slowly, slowly you will find the SAHM reality that works for you and suddenly you will have stopped wanted to leg it from the house everyday as 5pm arrives.

    I promise.

    MD xx

  16. Iota - Actually we were fine in the end. Am running an informal sweepstake on when the other two come out with it, so will let you know if you win!

    Mummmmmmeeeeeeeeeee - thank you. We're actually totally over it now, so I think we were really lucky and I suspect that running around naked in the sunshine all day on Saturday helped too... but the tips will come in useful in due course I am sure!

    MD - thank you! Not too many utterly rubbish days recently, but perhaps the fact that I am sitting here blogging while the toys remain untidied and the washing up remains grubby tells its own story...! But you are very right and I will have to keep reminding myself that no-one is the perfect vision I have in my head... it's the same one in which I wear a lot of white linen...x


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...