Smokey the Magnificent

Failing the Turing Test since 1986


Sewing for the snortlepig is more complicated than it was. I spent the past few days frantically finishing a summer dress for her Christmas present. I tried to be subtle about it, hiding the pattern and so on, but she’s no fool. Before I’d even sewn the bodice to the skirt, she said “Mummy, will my dress be finished at Christmas?” I said in a jolly tone, “You know, this might be a dress, but it might not. It’s a surprise, you won’t find out until Christmas”. There was a moment of tactful silence, and then she said “Mummy, will my dress be finished at Christmas?” I miss the days when I could be binding her quilt right in front of her face while she capered around going “Is it a skirt? Is it a pretty dress?”

Fortunately, it turned out pretty cutesome. And I even managed to get her messenger bag finished in time as well. It wasn’t quite all I’d hoped, but she likes it. In fact, she was pretty enamoured of all her gifts – and well she should be. Gran and Grandpa bought her a sand and water play table. Nana and Grandpa gave her a wooden magnetic ballerina with costumes, like a paper doll. Helpdesk Man and I gave her the summer dress and bag, a sweet wooden Noddy stool, and a complete set of Beatrix Potter books, as well as some craft supplies. Various other friends-and-relations contributed a Disney princess puzzle, Where the Wild Things Are, a lovely wooden Noah’s Ark, hair clips and sundry other items of delight.

Miles was less impressed with the socks and onesie the pig gave him, but liked the taste of his zebra. Christmas seemed to inspire him – he celebrated by eating an entire egg yolk, sitting up (albeit briefly) unassisted, and saying “Dada” on cue. He then went on to say “Dada” loudly and constantly while we were trying to watch things, and threw up all his egg yolk flamboyantly over the sheets, two pillows and his own head; but still.

It is now rather late on Boxing Day, and as usual after Christmas I am feeling twitchy and inspired. Today I forced Helpdesk Man to help me write out a list of 52 things we could do next year to make us Better People, which I then typed out, cut into strips and put in a jar. Then we sorted through both pigs’ old clothes, dropped two bags off at the op shop, swapped round the pig’s clothes baskets with Miles’ chest of drawers, baked a chocolate cake, cleaned the kitchen, did crafts with the pig, filled two boxes with paper and cardboard for recycling, and made a vague attempt at turning the pig’s old jeans into shorts (which failed, because Helpdesk Man couldn’t cut straight. I will fix them tomorrow, but they might be more Daisy Duke than originally intended). I also made a rough draft of my New Year’s Resolutions and finished a truly fascinating book called Who Wrote Shakespeare? – so, a good day.

Also, the other night the snortlepig met the nieces of Helpdesk Man’s best friend, and one of them was five. And they were all watching a nature documentary and a bunch of flamingos came on. And the five-year-old stared at them and said “Are those eagles?”, and the pig, who is normally coy and standoffish around other small children, said scornfully “No, they’re flingos“, thus establishing herself as the alpha female and inspiring a Helpdesk Man-and-Smokey-composed song to the tune of Copacabana, beginning “Her name was Lola/She was a flingo”. The pig is pretty awesome, really.

Also, I bought Helpdesk Man a steampunk Nerf gun, and he’s been stalking around shooting us with it ever since. When he shoots the pig, she looks affronted and says “Excuse me?”

Also, our car died.

Also, we will be moving house in slightly less than three weeks, and I still have to dig all the dirt from the raised beds into garbage bags and take them to the new house, and resow grass at the old one. And, I suppose, clean the oven. This will be the third time I’ve moved house since getting married, also the third time I have cleaned an oven. Then again, that is like, infinitely more often than I have killed a man.

Merry Christmas all! Or a moderately decent Solstice, because I am broad-minded, but not, you know, very.

  1. mother

    The Pig’s abilities are inborn. One of her aunties once freaked out the Pig’s great grandmother by looking dolefully out of the window and pronouncing, “Not one orangutan!” It was in Massachusetts and she was two.