Millie’s been to see the eye doctor again today, says the Lovely Melanie in an email –

She was a very good girl at the eye doctors. We only saw the lady today, not the main surgeon. Turns out they just wanted to do a check to see how she is with her glasses and to carry on monitoring when best to do the operation, if at all.

We had the same issues with their complete lack of understanding about how to deal with children – she was trying to get Millie to look at things that Millie didn’t understand like the alphabet, and also getting clearly frustrated when Millie wouldn’t sit still. The tasks were boring and repetitive, so Millie’s mind soon began to wander and there was no attempt to make any kind of connection with her or take any interest in her. I had to interject with comments to explain it all to Millie as they didn’t bother to try and tell her what they were doing, it was just a case of “sit here and look at this”.

Anyway, despite these issues the lady was a lot less rude and officious than the surgeon we saw before, so I did manage to get a proper explanation of Millie’s problems at last.

Firstly, she is very slightly short sighted, it’s only very marginal, although of course it could worsen as she ages.

Secondly, and this has never been mentioned before, she has a stigmatism.

The glasses are to help with both these problems and she will therefore always need them. The squint may or may not be corrected by the glasses. The doc said that sometimes they do spontaenously correct themselves, so for this reason, and because they don’t want to put a child through surgery at such a young age, they tend to just monitor it and see what happens.

They also don’t want to rush in as it’s hard to gather accurate results from a child so young so they want to do it over a period of time to get an accurate picture (Millie was having problems concentrating on the task in hand today).

Their main concern is to deal with it before she becomes symptomatic, i.e. when she starts having problems at school. They said her eyes are fine for close up work, and in fact she manages to control the squint when she is looking at close range, but it will be blackboard work that will prove harder. They usually operate before the age of 7, which is when schools start using blackboards more and when symptoms start to show. So we are going back again in 3 months’ time and they will just keep monitoring her.

Millie also got a new balloon. It has princesses on it.

So!  There we go!  How about that?  A new balloon!!  And…some other stuff…


Millie’s tantrums are becoming a bit wearing at the moment.

One second she’s fine – maybe helping Amber or playing happily by herself – but then we ask her to do something completely innocuous such as get dressed or clean her teeth and she’ll just go off on one:  shouting, yelling, storming off and bursting into hysterical tears. 😦

When getting dressed this morning she put her pants on back-to-front.

Millie, luv, come here, you’ve put your pants on backwards.

NO!  I want them on that way!  I want to wear them my Millie way!

Right, firstly, you need to stop shouting at me; second, you need to put your pants on the right way or they’ll be uncomfortable, you silly sausage.

NOOOOO!  No!  No!  No!”  – she storms out – “I am not staying here!  I am leaving!

Leaving me alone in the bedroom blinking in bemusement.

Mostly, it’s not even making me angry, having to deal with this kind of thing; mostly it’s making me slightly sad and tired because there’s no rhyme or reason to it.  And when Nice Millie switches to Evil Millie you can’t even talk to her, she just shouts nonsense words over the top of whatever you’re saying.

And then she gets toys or her ’nuffle taken away.

And that sends her completely off into the tantrum stratosphere, where she can’t even think because she’s so cross.

So then we have to put her in her room on her own for five minutes until she calms down.

This usually works (but not always – Millie can really sustain a tantrum now) and then we sit down and discuss how to behave and how anything up to 15 minutes has been wasted on pointless histrionics which could have been spent on something fun if only Millie had just put her pants on the right way round. 😦

eBub usually sits there watching these displays of Millie’s with wide eyes and an open mouth, but don’t be fooled, she has her own little eBub moments: literally screeching like some kind of bird of prey because no one has given her their constant, 100% undivided attention in the last 30 seconds.

It’s the Dark Side of parenting.

Religious schools “not better” shock!

Hmm, interesting to note that a study by the University of London has found that –

“faith schools” engage in social selection through their admissions procedures and that such schools do not improve educational standards.

Paul Pettinger, BHA Faith Schools and Education Officer, said, ‘The findings of this report add to an ever-growing body of evidence which shows that if “faith schools” achieve better exam results, it is because of their socially selective admissions policies and not because they provide a better standard of education than inclusive community schools.’

So religious schools aren’t any better than non-faith schools, but they seem to be because they don’t let in any of those dreadful working class oiks.

Religion – making rich people feel better for over 2,000 years!


Yay!  We’ve been to Chippenham!  It was very nice!

Now we are back!

And at work!

And, apparently, shouting!

In very short sentences!

And we do have some lovely pictures to put up, but our internet connection last night was about as reliable as a G20 fatality’s post-mortem, so they’re not there yet.

Sorry – I mean, they’re not there yet!

Helpline frontline!

Nearly forgot – my first shift on the BLISS helpline went very smoothly last night, thanks for asking.

At 7pm I nervously signed onto the computerised system (which forwards calls to the BLISS helpline to my home telephone number).

Two minutes later, would you believe it, the damn phone rang!

Hello, this is the BLISS helpline.  Can I help you?” I said, trying to sound sympathetic and laidback, but simultaneously serious and capable.

What I was thinking was, “What the hell?  A call?  After two minutes??  I thought they said you could go weeks without a single call on your watch??  Have I inadvertently signed in during the rush hour??  Am I going to spend all night on the ‘phone??  Aye caramba!”

It turned out to be the only call I got last night, and it was from a lady who actually needed to speak to the BLISS office, not me.  Phew!

And just in case you’re interested, or you’ve come to this page by mistake looking for proper BLISS information, the helpline number is 0500 618 140

Note: that’s the helpline, not the official office number – the official office number is 020 7378 1122)

Fashion King!

I choose the clothes I wear with a bit of care – I like to wear things that make me think, “yeah, I look GOOD, baby!”  Which isn’t to say I spend a lot of money on my clothes (what, and lose the thrill of finding an amazing bargain?!) and  I certainly don’t waste my time with idiotic so-called designer labels of any sort.

But I do spend a bit of time looking for slightly unusual things that catch my eye (usually on eBay because of the incredible variety as well as the prices) – yours truly is assuredly not the type to nip into Peacocks twice a year and buy exactly the same beige shirt and comfort-fit blue jeans I bought before.  My look may be a bit idiosyncratic at times, but I like that.

So I was obscurely pleased when a “Little Miss Sunshine” summer dress I bought on impulse for Millie a couple of months back turned out to look so lovely on her – it turns out I can choose girls’ clothes, too, with some modicum of success!

And it’s so much more fun dressing girls, I think.  Boys, as the Lovely Melanie has mentioned before – even very small boys – have nowhere near the same variety of clothes as girls and tend not to look as cute as girls in them.  Which is not to say they never look cute, but it seems to be a sort of “pageboy” cuteness, when dressed up smartly or in a faux uniform; otherwise they wear jeans and t-shirts the same as most older boys – and most men, for that matter.

Millie and Amber can wear all types of different things, from boys clothes to girlie dresses so frilly you can’t actually see their faces – and no one bats an eyelid (except for the infamous occasion when Millie wore the “I’ve done f*#& all today” t-shirt we bought her).  Which is just another reason why, when well-meaning people joke, “Ooh, you’re outnumbered in your house, aren’t you?” I say that it doesn’t bother me in the slightest – and the older the girls get the more I think that, actually, I prefer having girls.

Remind of this entry when the girls are in their teens and I’m reduced to spending every night down the pub, eh? 😉


Don’t get too excited, but I’m on Twitter – only with a dumb twist!

Because I can’t properly see the point of Twitter yet I’ll be “twittering” fridge magnet poetry, mainly because I’ve just bought a new app for my iPod Touch that lets you write – you guessed it! – fridge magnet poetry on your iPod Touch.

Touch Poet is one of a hundred silly apps I’ve downloaded for the Touch, but it has a function to upload your creations to Twitter, and although I registered the trusty StuPC moniker on Twitter ages ago it’s been languishing ever since.

I confess, I don’t really get Twitter – what it’s for, why I’d want to follow people’s lives on it, know what they’re having for tea, whether they’re bored – whatever.  In its defence, however, I do get Facebook, even though I know a lot of people don’t, so for that very same reason I’m going to give this Twitter thing a brief go.

Look for StuPC at

Or not – it’s doubtful there’ll be much earth-shattering wisdom to be found there…

This is terribly frustrating and maybe a symptom of incipient senility, but while preparing breakfast this morning I had a great idea for a humourous post…but have since completely forgotten everything about it except that:

  • I had the idea
  • it was a great one
  • it was quite humourous

Trust me, your sides would’ve been splitting and I’d have probably gotten the offer of a comedy series on BBC3 from it.