Tag Archives: Growing Up

Dear Oddler Grown up Girl

Dear Oddler Grown Up Girl,

Yesterday I saw this tweet:

This morning, as I was watching you get ready today for nursery, I got a lump in my throat. You are growing up so fast and if I blink you have changed again. You have chucked the dummies (dada’s), you are nearly toilet (refused potties!)trained (good job too as you are growing out of size 6 nappies and they don’t do a size 7!). Your speech and understanding is fantastic for your age. Much as your tantrums can be trying, you are fast making sense of the world and your role in it. I am finding myself missing you as a smiley gurgling baby, or you as a wobbly hesitant first stepper.

I can’t believe how fast the last two and a half years have flown and how much has changed in that time. I love watching you grow up but each day I see you take a step further away from me, but that’s okay as I know you have a piece of my heart with you, loving you and protecting you.

I love you and your sister with everything I have, and no matter what, however old you are,  you will always be my beautiful baby girls.

So much love


Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Off to work I go

Dear Tampon String

Dear Tampon String,

Today you have caused hilarity, my friend informed me her 3 year old saw her tampon string in the shower. Her daughter was convinced Mummy has a balloon up there. Haha Brilliant! My friend explained it was something ladies used, and since she was happy with that level of explanation and, not wanting to scare her toddler just yet about the monthly bleeding (although her 5year old knows all about it), her Mum left it at that for the time being. Perfect age and stage appropriate sex education if you ask me.

This reminded me of when I was a toddler and saw my mum’s tampon string and was told “it’s something to do with making babies” which confused me more than anything else. I thought that a tampon was some kind of plug and when you pulled it out then the babies could start popping out again. Clearly I had a rudimentary albeit erroneous understanding of contraception from a young age!

So dear tampon string you cause a befuddlement for toddler’s everywhere. How do other mother’s explain you? As I’m breastfeeding, not a conversation I need to worry about for a good while until the old menstruation resumes but I have a modern eco dilemma, no tampon string but how the feck am I going to explain a mooncup full of blood to a toddler!? Seriously anyone got any advice for that situation?

Lots of period and discharge talking love,

LadyCurd (for once my name needs no further additions)

Dear Tampon String

Dear Makeup

Dear Makeup,

Firstly I need to start by saying I virtually never wear you. I think the last time was when 7months preggers and I was on the telly (I mean you probably should then right? I mean millions* of people might have been watching) . I probably literally only wear you once or twice a year. I just find putting you on too much of a faff and can totally cope with my bare face being seen in public. This is mainly because I’m too much of a lazy fucker to spend the required time making my face up of a morning, only to realise by midday my efforts have assumed a rather panda like look and no-body has told me, and I never look in mirrors unless washing my hands after going to the loo, so it will have often been like that for hours until I will notice. Sigh. I can’t even be bothered to wear contacts so I wear huge heavy rimmed glasses – (the bonus being they hide the dark shadows under my eyes quite nicely- who needs Touche Éclat?) Brushing my hair and teeth everyday is about as far as my beauty regime goes.

Anyhow my mum was and is exactly the same- virtually never ever wears you, but still as a kid I remember playing about with her makeup kit loads and then between 12-19 I probably wore you most days (I was a Goth so it could take a while!) until I reached my twenties and was less bothered by it all. So I was interested to read this article where PinkStinks are calling for a ban on the sale of makeup toys to the under 8’s, as I am genuinely not sure how I feel about it.

Firstly kids (boys or girls) mucking about with make-up is just something kids do. I may not have older kids but I know toddlers love it. I know Oddler was enthralled when a friend of ours came round to ours to get ready for a wedding and she got to play a bit with the make-up. TBH I felt a little bit weird about it as the friend was more putting make-up on her than anything else (but then again you wouldn’t let a 2 year old completely loose on your Chanel and other uber expensive brand make-up!) and I didn’t want my daughter “made up” as I feel that is wrong- I don’t want my girls to ever feel like they need to wear make-up in order to be attractive, because I want them to feel beautiful without it, and I worried slightly this might sow some seeds into Oddlers mind about that. But the flipside is -Is Oddler missing out by having a mummy who doesn’t have a makeup bag to cause carnage in? Well I do, but I keep it ontop of the wardrobe (shows how often I use it!) and TBH I am pondering whether I do let her play with it at some point? To me my rather redundant makeup bag is no different than buying her a set of face paints (but without the effort of buying the face paints- see I told you I was lazy). I know she will end up looking like a complete makeup monstrosity and it would be hilarious.

There is NOTHING “sexualised” about a kid of either gender daubing their face in coloured substances. Oddler adores to draw all over herself in felt tip pen! The thing is its the fucked up adults in society who are projecting onto the kids. Some women wear make up, some wear a lot of make up and little girls want to be like their mummies, and they want to do what their mummies do, they aren’t doing it to be perceived as attractive or sexy like their mothers might be, they are just doing it because its what their idol does. So it’s a bit fucked up to freak out so much about kids playing with makeup, when actually what we should maybe be freaking out about is why so many adult women are so not comfortable in their own skins that they have to cover themselves in these make up masks in order to be perceived as beautiful, and then pass on those insecurities to their kids? (As an aside it amuses me how in many bird species it is the male who is expected to be the beautiful one putting on the displays, for the dowdy brown female one to choose the best of the bunch- just look at Peacocks and Peahens for the classic example!).

Don’t get me wrong I do think kids being properly made up to look like adults is wrong (Toddler beauty queens make me shudder), and I dislike the notion of “toy makeup” so personally I wouldn’t ever buy it for the girls, but might buy them proper makeup for secondary school. I think that is the responsibility of the parents bringing up the children to be aware of some of the issues about allowing or even forcing a kid to grow up too soon, and discussing with the children what some of these issues are, and to try to bring their children up as best they can in this very strange world we now live in. I don’t think banning make up kit sales in under 8’s is really going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things, but supporting parents to develop resilience and good self esteem in their children especially the girls might?

I expect (and hope) Oddler and Omble will ultimately end up rather like me. Go a bit mad with experimenting with you as a teen and then ultimately not be that faffed because they realise you are mostly unnecessary but can be nice for the odd special occasion. If they do, I reckon I’ve done my job as a mother ok.

Lots of madeup love

Lady I Do Own Touche Éclat But I Got It In Duty Free For My Wedding Day And It’s Gone Off And Stinks Curd

P.S In case you were wondering, yes I am a total minger without makeup, but I can live with that. 😉

*by millions I probably mean my mum. Hi mum!

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It would have been your birthday today, you would have been 78. You also died 11 weeks ago tomorrow. I partly started this blog to help me deal with the grief at losing you and so far you have been the focus of several letters:

This is the letter I meant to write to you all my life, the one that I never did because we always thought we had more time together, then it was the one I wanted to write to you to go into your coffin, but again there was no time. I regret that.

I’m so so sad that the day you died was the day you were supposed to be staying and helping me with Omble and Oddler as it was LordCurd’s first day back at work and Omble was getting her tongue tie snipped. It would have been the first time you met her but I had cancelled the visit as we couldn’t cope with you and bro as houseguests as we were so sleep deprived and had found it a bit of a struggle with Mum staying the week before in our tiny house. I am so sad that you never got to meet Omble but I know you doted on her and showed everyone her pictures. I’m glad that I took her to meet you in the Chapel of Rest. It helps knowing that one time you were together in the same room even though when I saw you lying there I finally realised you were gone. You didn’t look sleeping as mum said- you looked very much dead. I don’t want to remember you like that but it still has been incredibly comforting that I brought Omble to you that day. I would have still been regretting and upset about it otherwise.

One of my earliest memories is of you meeting me at the door of yours and mums bedroom and saying I couldn’t go in because mummy was sleeping. She had just had my baby brother. You were a stay at home dad so you did all the school runs (although often forgot to pick us up as your car clock would often be set to french time since you were there so often!). You were a terrible cook though- sausage and tomato ketchup sandwiches in our lunchboxes. Boak, and your M&M pancakes which were half a cm thick! Oh dear!

I remember once being incredibly embarrassed because you came to pick us up dressed head to toe in pink. You had had a washing machine disaster and your white sunhat, shirt, jeans (white jeans dad- seriously- not something I ever remember seeing but you defo had pink trousers that day!?) were all pink and you were wearing your white wellies (which were white anyway as you had discovered operating theatre/slaughterhouse wellies to be cheaper than normal wellies and you loved a bargain). We were so embarrassed. You just laughed.

I also remember the stories you used to tell us, the Mars Bar Factory to keep us going on long walks (two Mars bars hidden in a hut at the end of the walk on the moor- still not sure how you got them there!); Esmeralda and Griselda the two witches on our holidays in France who used to write us letters in the font of the church; The magic door unlocking light up yoyo (we were locked out of our hotel room til you got me to use my magic yoyo and it worked!) ; The dragon lines (motorway crash barriers) that if we spoke or made a noise at all on the motorway the dragon would come and gobble us up! (Haha cunning- I may use that one myself). You made our childhood so magical and wonderful.

You could be a meanie and a grump sometimes with quite a cruel sense of humour. I remember sitting on the edge of a water bath in a field on holiday once and you sodding well chucked me in! Unfortunately you hadn’t realised it was full of stinging nettles and I still don’t think I have forgiven you! Mum was also livid at you. I think you felt really bad after, you could just be quite childish sometimes and not think about the consequences to your actions- Tsk! Oh and the time I saw a lame duck and wanted to take it to the vets but you wouldn’t let me and then kept making duck soup jokes all the way home- humph. I was a vegetarian for a whole 24 hours after that until I forgot when you brought me a sausage roll- how you laughed.

I never ever saw you cry, because you were always the strong silent type really, although I remember two occasions when mum told me you had, once when your mum died, and once when we thought I had cancer because of the lump in my bones which turned out to be a bone infection. I never saw those emotions but knowing from mum you had them made me feel closer to you.

You most surprised me when I was going through typical teenage struggles with sexual identity. You were the one who sat me down and told me “LadyCurd- no matter what you are I will always love you”, (meanwhile my ultra liberal mother was completely freaking out). This was the best and kindest thing you ever did for me, and I was so surprised because you just weren’t really someone to talk about stuff like that too. I loved you so much for saying that too me and making me feel accepted no matter what.

You supported me so much with my education and career, encouraged me and inspired me to succeed. You also would sometimes try and control some of my academic or other life choices by financial incentives but I got wise to that and ultimately we got to a point of muddling along without you trying to interfere too much, and I know you only did it because you cared and you wanted what was best for me. You did a lot for me and I relied on you so much (as did mum and bro) so you have left a massive massive hole now you have gone- we don’t just miss you terribly but we are not entirely sure how to sort the finances, or check the coolant on the car or sort the buildings insurance etc etc. & although I am a lot more independent than my mum I have realised that I am often too dependent on LordCurd and I want to fix that so I can be as savvy as you were about things. I know you were incredibly proud of me when I independently oversaw our house renovations and were impressed with everything I had done and I think I probably have got the property bug from you so you never know I may start my own monopoly game one day. Hurrah.

I know I could wind you up with going on about my pregnancy worries and niggles (but likewise you drove me mad when I hadn’t felt Omble move in 24hours and you were staying and were going to take me to hospital but then decided to do the washing up first so LordCurd wouldn’t find the house a mess- LordCurd being slightly more worried about the baby than the washing up! ARGH!) but I also know how impressed you were with how I dealt with the immediate aftermath of Oddler being in intensive care and suspected brain damaged. I think you were amazed how calm and positive I was considering and although I had a wobble with PTSD afterwards we ultimately got through it and I know you were proud of me during that horrible time.

We used to tease you, call you Del Boy, Compo, Steptoe, Pa Larkin, Greengrass but most of all we called you Fantastic Mr Fox. It’s true you were. The best thing about you dad was that no-matter what you were always there for me, I could always count on you in a crisis. When I phoned you in tears one day from university you would have been there the next day (5hour drive) but ultimately you didn’t need to. You would do anything for anyone and we miss you so so much. You were incredibly strong throughout Bro’s long ongoing fight with schizophrenia, caring for him, holding mum together as well as shielding me from the worst of it (although I didn’t want to be shielded)

I said the other day of all my letters I have written in this blog there are only three people I want to write back. James McAvoy, Dr Who ( 😉 ) and you. But most of all you. Sadly none of you will ever write back. I miss you everyday and think of you always. Thankyou for being my dad, it’s funny I once said to mum once you’d wound me up once too often “I wish dad wasn’t my dad” and mum just said “don’t be daft if he wasn’t you wouldn’t be you”. It’s true. Thankyou for making me me.

Happy Birthday Dad

I love you.


P.S Not sure I believe in Heaven but it is comforting to think of you about somewhere with other people we’ve lost. Hope you have been reunited with your parents (Grandpa who I never got to meet) and brothers (Simon who died as a baby and Peter who died a few years ago), I hope you have seen Mum’s parents and Grandma isn’t the shell she was when she died and that Grandpa is still as wonderful as he ever was. I hope you are hanging out with Joe, your best friend and the man who was practically another grandpa to us growing up. I even kind of hope the babies that never made it get to meet you.

P.P.S In my phone the house phone is down as Mum and Dad- makes me sad whenever Mum rings but until now I haven’t been able to change it. Especially as you probably rang me more than her! I think I need to change it today. Doesn’t mean I am forgetting just that I am healing. Anyhow I bet wherever you are you have found the cheapest phone and internet deal and would phone if you could. In fact I hope you have the internet where you are so you can read this. Then again you would probably groan at my “attention seeking” blog, you being quite a private person, so maybe not! I’ll post it to you 🙂 the address is DadCurd, The Ether, SomewhereEverywhere, Always in my Heart. Right?

Dear Adults Who Turn Into Stroppy Teenagers When Visiting Their Parents.

Dear Adults Who Turn Into Stroppy Teenagers When Visiting Their Parents,

I’m writing to tell you to cherish your strops and don’t feel guilty for them. Enjoy them for they are an aspect of your relationship with your parents that harks back to a time when they were the giants in your life and you were still vulnerably learning about life and the world, and then reflect how far you have come.

I left home at 18, I haven’t lived at home for 12 years, yet no matter what, within an hour of returning home for a weekend visit you could utterly guarantee I would be reduced to a snarling stroppy teenager as my parents invariably started to wind me up.  I was an adult yet only they could reduce me to a grunting, fed up, sarky, ungrateful strophead.  I wasn’t proud of this but I acknowledged that such is invariably the way between parents and children.  When I had kids of my own, the Act eased off a bit as we could focus on them and not whether or not I had eaten my vegetables I probably hadn’t.

Now my dad has died, the Teenage Strop Act has probably gone for good.  When I go home now- I am the adult and now in some ways my mum is the child who needs looking after.  This makes me sad.  My dad used to wind me up something chronic but the fact he is never going to wind me up again, means that finally the teenager within me has grown up for good.

Cherish your inner teenager- you’ll miss him/her when they are gone.

Lots of monosyllabic love


Dear Girl in the Sand

Dear Girl in the Sand,

You seem so sad, and that’s silly really as you haven’t got a clue what life is going to throw at you in the future.  You have got it pretty good as it goes, young, free, single, no responsibilities, nothing traumatic really to speak of has happened to you yet*

At the moment this poem is pinned to your wall, and you are trying really hard to get to the dawning:

Comes The Dawn

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…
— Veronica Shoffstall,  (1971)

You will get there in the end, I have a feeling you are going to be okay. Some pretty bad shit will go down, and you will have a really really rough few years but you are resilient, a survivor. You will get through it. In fact throughout it all you will be happier than you were that day in the sand.

So please stop wasting time being sad and look to the dawn. You do learn you can endure, you are strong, you do have worth, and you quite frankly you grew a lovely ladygarden.

Yours retrospectively


(*although the first of several hugely traumatic events in your life is that the girl who took this picture, your best friend, will kill herself 😦 )