You know how some days your kids just say things that make you look at them and think where did that come from, or they come out with little quips that make you chuckle?
I’m having one of those weeks and in the interests of not forgetting these gems, and perhaps giving you a chuckle too, here’s a snapshot of the funny things my children have said this week:
The Little Monster – Aged 4 and 1/4
Mummy, Are you my step mother now Daddy has falled out with you? – upon overhearing Super Daddy and I having ‘words’.
I want to be a postman. Or a dog.
Mummy, you smell like cereal bars this morning – first words to me today upon wakening, so much for the odour free fake tan!
Can you take a picture of me colouring so I can show the world how good I am at it?
I’ll sell you this drawing of a Ninja Turtle for £12.50 if you pay up now.
Some people don’t have children. Maybe they’re allergic to them.
The Little Princess – Aged 6 and 3/4
Mummy, you are so embarrassing when you sing like that. You think you’re cool. It’s a bit awkward actually. – upon me warbling along to Daft Punk and strutting some funky disco moves (ahem) in the car.
When I’m 13 I’m going to be a typical teenager and live on my phone and love clothes.
Upon telling her I thought she was hilarious – I am. I’m also hilarious at school. Fact.
What gems have your little ones shared with you this week? Do share!
It’s been a week and a half! Last time I checked it was Monday morning and I was laying flat on my back, which believe me is not anywhere near as exciting as it sounds. I had a rather lovely bout of vertigo which resulted in lots of song lyrics with the words ‘spin’ and ‘spinning’ in them being thrown at me. There are more than you’d realise actually. Still, I donned my supermummy cape, doled out some garbled instructions to the Mr about school and nursery drop offs and managed to dial into a few work calls whilst lying out flat before the meds kicked in and I could stand without feeling like I was on a merry go round.
Somewhere between then and now I managed to do a great job on prep for a meeting I wasn’t really feeling all warm and glowy about. I attended an insightful and engaging conference about the commerciality of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and heard an inspirational presentation from Claire Strange, Coach of the GB women’s wheelchair basketball team about personal resilience. I put in a great show at earlier mentioned meeting, lunched with a good friend, read up on the event details for the Focused Womens’ Annual Conference I’m attending on Monday, started reading a book called May Cause Miracles (I’m becoming something of a self help junkie these days) had a follow up appointment with a superb Occupational Therapist (remember my anxiety post?) and ticked off somewhere in the region of 80% of the things on my work to do list.
It’s felt good.
But the best parts?
Watching the princess swimming backstroke with her goggles too far down her head making her little ears flop over at the tips. Swinging in tandem on the garden swing in the sunshine laughing into each others faces and wondering how on earth we created such a beautiful little being. Colouring in every single page of the monsters’ ‘Thats not my….animal’ colour book and naming each animal on the merits of its physical attributes – Cat = Paws, Tiger = Stripes, Horse = Mane and Fish = Mr Big Moustache…. because he had a tail like a big moustache obviously. Dressing the little man up as a Tiger for his ‘dress as your favourite animal day’ and watching the delight on his face as he checked himself out in the mirror. Seeing the princess gleefully skip out of Rainbow Guides with the tatty but much loved knitted dolly Sally who was coming to stay at ours for the week. Sharing a bacon muffin and smoothie with the monster and musing together over how lovely the ladies who’d taken a shine to my handsome little fella in the jewellers were. Driving to school with the roof down all singing at the tops of our voices and giggling manically at the odd looks passers by were giving us.
And now, I’m flopped on the sofa with my third glass of proseco, watching Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ on DVD show me her version of how it’s done, texting one of my besties, blogging, and thinking as I do every day just how exhausted, but bloody lucky, I am.
What beautiful things have you loved in amongst all of the madness this week?
Dear Little Princess Pink,
It’s been a while since I called you that. One, because you’re not quite as little as you used to be and take every opportunity to remind me that you’ll probably be taller than me by the time you are ten, and well, ‘princess’ on its own just seems quite fitting these days. For lots of reasons, but thats for another time. However today, a new name sprung to mind.
Today was week two of your first ever set of swimming lessons – level one. Lucie is on level five, you keep reminding me. You’ll be on level five one day, I tell you back. Yes, you’re six, and I know we should have started you with swimming lessons a long time ago. In fact, we gave up French at the end of primary one to replace that extra curricular activity with swimming, because I figured that speaking French would never save your life.
Today you gave me strict instructions that I hadn’t to look at my phone. I’d only to look at you. For the full thirty minutes. Well, frankly, who would want to look elsewhere? Yes, the lady who teaches level two is rather eccentric and some of her methods make me chuckle in a very positive way, so she could be an easy distraction, but no, my eyes were firmly on you.
You jumped in the water with such gusto. Look at me! Splash! The smile on your face bigger than that of Smiley Shark and we know how big that is. You were straight in there for the warm up game, ring-a-ring-a-roses aqua style.
I then watched open mouthed as you pushed yourself off the side, a surge of water in your wake causing your classmates to gurgle, and then with steely determination you sliced through the water in an impressive and quite individual take on ‘back stroke’. It seems you are quite at one with the pool. So much so you were moved straight up to level two before you could say Tom Daly.
And that gave both of us very good reason to smile indeed.
Last weekend dawned the arrival of a new kid on the block. A fearless, ferocious, feisty four year old type. In his white t-shirt and wellington boots he rules with a mighty force. All those who cross his path – beware. One zap from his big foam letter ‘W’ and before you know it, you’ll be ‘wobbly’ or ‘whistling’ or ‘woolly’. He charges around wildly, as much as welly boots will allow, calling his now infamous ‘WOW’ catchphrase when he spots you. Make haste quick, for you only have a moments notice to run before you are turned into a Witch or a Wizard or a Wigwam…..
His presence should have come as no surprise, his predecessors, the more widely known Spiderman, Batman, and Superman, have been hanging around for the last month or so. Shooting webs, catching baddies and saving the world. Capes have been fashioned from pillowcases, the cosy reading corner in the playroom has morphed into a sinister, dark bat cave and pants have been worn over trousers. Long gone are fluffy animals and farmyard fun. We’re in a new era now.
W-Man loves Wednesdays.
W-Man loves watermelon. And windsurfing apparently.
W-Man loves waffles and watches and whizzing around.
W-Man is like no other superhero. The mastermind creation of a four year old boy who by day goes by the name of Elias. He’s strong. He’s fast. His weapon of choice is a large letter ‘W’ from a set of outdoor ‘alphabet letter’ foam play mats that he discovered at the back of the garage. Look at him go. He thinks he has the upper hand with his ‘wowing’ and whirling and whooshing.
But, like all superheroes he has a nemesis.
Little did he realise that whilst Mum was silently panicking about this new found obsession with superheroes*, wondering whether this now quashed his plans to become a zookeeper, or a vet or a cow(!), a plan to capitalise on W-Man’s arrival was taking shape. MOO WAH HA HA HA HA …..
So, W-Man – you choose to fight your battles with your big foam ‘W’ – then you’ll only be interested in things that begin with that letter then surely?
Tell me W-Man – what foods can you think of that begin with ‘W’? What objects do you know that begin with the letter ‘W’? What action words can we think of that begin with the letter ‘W’? Does W-Man Run? Not in the house. Absolutely not. W-Man Walks. And surely ‘W’ man needs to practice writing the letter W on his (Spiderman) chalk board….
I’ve left a few more of those mats discretely lying around. I think its time we started considering another superhero. Who’ll be next? L-Man with his love for lemons, lollypops, lazing and laughing? T-Man turning everyone into tigers, teapots and tyrannosaurus rex with just one zap from his mighty foam T?
Bring it on superhero boy – I’m ready for you. You’re immune to my language building and letter learning super powers. MOO WAH HA HA HA HA…
*As an aside, and I hope helpful – having researched, canvassed opinion and discussed with pre-school carers and teachers whether superhero play was something to be concerned about (all that violence and talk of baddies!) I’ve been reassured that superhero play shouldn’t be discouraged.
Superhero play provides lots of opportunities to discuss and explore issues of right or wrong, talk to children about safety, responsibility and self control. As superhero play usually takes place in groups, as well as helping forge friendships, it teaches children about treating one another kindly, co-operation and working as a team to solve a common problem, and may also help develop empathy and recognition of how others are feeling. The creativity that comes from long drawn out superhero scenarios knows no bounds; pretending to be a brave superhero can provide opportunities for considering how frightening situations could be dealt with and overcome. Pretending to have new powers, needing to be brave or strong can help children with the confidence to try new things out. The wearing of an eyemask or a cape might just be the tangible element that gives that confidence. All that running around saving the world and having super powers also develops physical abilities – running, jumping (flying!) and helps expend energy. And in my experience even the toughest of superheroes needs between 10 – 12 hours sleep a night!
One – one trip to North Berwick to visit my lovely folks who were enjoying a well earned break, until of course we descended upon them pleading to play with the frisbee, get the bubbles out and collect sticks to play pirates!
Two – the number of wrong turns I took on the way to North Berwick despite having driven there countless times. I will not use the sat nav. I will not use the sat nav.
Three – the number of things I asked the princess and the monster to tell me that they were thankful for at bedtime each night. Hugs, mini golf, football class and daddy coming home from his trip made the list.
Four – the number of empty packets of cheese & onion I found on the sofa beside me on Saturday night. No idea how they got there. Very mysterious indeed.
Five – the number of times I sprayed the shower with tile and grout cleaner in order to get it properly white and sparkling instead of that off grey colour it’s been for far too long now.
Six – the amount of times I started a conversation with friends whilst at the softplay cafe, only for a small child (not always my own) running to tell me a tale on another, causing me to feel like a complete airhead who couldn’t remember what she was saying. Happens often.
Seven – the number of toenails I managed to paint before clumsily knocking the remainder of the bottle of ‘vamp’ nail varnish all over the white ceramic floor tiles.
Eight – the number of hours sleep I really should have had on Friday night in order to deal with a mischievous monster who favoured five forty one as his wake up time
Nine – the number of bicycle crunches I managed whilst working out to my Shred DVD before the princess asked me if I could feel the knot in my stomach that was fear leaving the body!
Ten – the number of minutes I told the nippers they could have to play on the iPad, before being distracted by scrubbing the shower and realising they were still watching ‘here’s how to build lego star wars’ clips on You Tube fifty minutes later. Oops.
Twenty Three – the number of minutes Super Daddy was home from his weekend trip before I wondered when his next one was.
Fifty One – the number of shirts, school blouses and work skirts it feels like I ironed on Sunday afternoon
Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Six – calories in my Smoked Haddock, Chive Mash, Cheese Sauce and poached egg main on Saturday. Lush.
Three Thousand and Twenty Nine – the number of bicycle crunches I had to do to work off that meal.
What’s on your list?
It’s the second week of the Easter holidays and the week of our staycation. Last Easter we were lucky enough to be hanging out with Mickey and Minnie in Eurodisney, the year before, enjoying forest walks and the indoor subtropical paradise pool at Centre Parcs. This year, we decided to have a staycation. We’ve a busy summer ahead and there’s a to do list as long as my arm of ‘things I want to get done in the house’. So staying at home seemed like the perfect way to spend our first full week off together as family since Christmas. We cajoled ourselves into it with comments such as ‘It’ll do the kids good to learn that they can entertain themselves at home’, ‘we rarely relax and enjoy our own home, it’ll be good to do some of that,’ ‘we can have days out here and there for fun,’ and ‘it’s good that we’re not being frivolous with our money.’
Then Super Daddy got the opportunity to book himself on a course for the week. Harrumph.
So we talked about it, weighed up the pros and cons and he went for booking on the three day option as a compromise, and we agreed I’d have some quality time with the kids until Thursday. Then he’d be home and we’d pack the rest of the week and the weekend with trips away, family picnics and general holiday type activities.
This far, I’ve been happy with the plan, but didn’t quite have that holiday feeling when I packed up my desk at work on Thursday and said Cheerio for ten days. Equally though, I didn’t have a pile of ironing and packing awaiting me at home or the four different lists on the go that I usually need to get ourselves organised for the off. I did have two messy bathrooms that I knew would annoy me all week if I didn’t crack open the Cif and give them some proper elbow grease. So, the weekend was therefore a ‘normal’ one, cleaning, cooking, dancing class, crafting with the kids, food shopping, grandparent visiting and Sunday night film.
Very nice indeed.
But lacking that proper holiday feel.
So I sat the nippers down and we made a list of the best things about holidays. We’d make this staycation feel like a proper holiday filled with all the things we love about going away together.
Some of their additions to the list? Swimming, going to the park, dinners out, reading magazines, staying up late and extra cuddles. Perfect.
Mine was much more basic. Starting today with not getting dressed til noon. Tick. Done.
I’m now off for a Malibu and Pineapple juice before we have a wander to the park.
Adios for now!
I knew I was a fully fledged parent when I started to talk, with no qualms whatsoever, to other people (parents mostly) about poo. The colour, the consistency, the frequency…….the smell. If you’re queasy, or not a parent, I don’t expect you to read much further. If you’ve changed a lot of nappies in your time, I know you’re still with me.
There was the first ‘solid’ poo – that was momentous. There were many ‘its all up her back, down to her toes, behind her ears’ kinds of poo and then of course the swallowing a 2 pence coin incident, which required a good old rummage around in the deposited *ahem* pull up contents to ensure it made it’s way out safely. Imagine our surprise when the ‘deposit’ turned out to be a one Euro coin – that was some bureau de change!
We went through potty training a long time ago. The princess having the most terrific poo incident whilst at the supermarket with daddy on the day he forgot to take a changing bag. The monster requiring a few attempts (that’s boys, so I’m told) before he got the hang of it. So when the last pack of pull ups were done, and we’d worked out good wiping and washing techniques after toilet trips, I thought my days of being concerned about poo were over.
It’s now the absence of poo that’s concerning. The little monster has always been regular. Not the same time every day, but with the regularity of inopportune times – ‘we’re just about to eat dinner’, ‘we’re just about to leave for pre-school’, ‘we’re just about to pay for our trolley full of shopping’. The poor little guy hasn’t been for a few days. His tummy is solid as a rock. He woke me at 11pm, 1am, 3am, and 5.30am with a whimper and a ‘mummy, can you rub my tummy and sit on the bathroom floor for a bit whilst nothing happens.’ As a boy he’s always taken an active interest in what comes from our bottoms. I get a running commentary on size, sometimes shape, most days.
He’s now however concerned that his poo is stuck inside forever. The princess didn’t help with her over imaginative description of how one might be relieved of a stuck poo. It was legs crossed all round.
A trip to the docs and a bottle of sugary syrupy laxative to get things moving later and we’re all now quite literally on poo watch.
Looks like one way or another we’ll be having a (insert appropriate word of your choosing) weekend!
A recent addition to our kitchen was a fabulous personalised print capturing our ‘family rules’. We sat round the table one Friday evening, the princess, the monster and of course Super Daddy, throwing into the mix some rules or principles we felt we needed to confirm as being important to our family. The basics are in there about being kind, laughing lots and always saying I love you. ‘Stand back from the tv’ and ‘no shoes on the sofa’ also made the cut, along with ‘dance for your pudding’.
Now, where this came from I can’t quite remember, but sometime, not that long ago, it became a running joke that if you wanted pudding in our house you had to dance for it. It might have been prompted by the new shapes that the monster had started pulling which flabbergasted us all. Man, that boy has rhythm! It might also have been that I felt justified in having afters if I’d already had a little calorie burning booty shake session in the kitchen first. It was most probably Super Daddy winding the kids up, but anyway, it stuck.