Friday, 31 August 2012

not so.... Brave!

Last night we took the kids to see the latest Disney Pixar offering, 'Brave' at the local cinema. This wasn't Lea's first choice - she wanted to see some horror flick that apparently 'everyone in school has seen already.' Who these parents are that take their children to adult only horror movies I dont know - but I'm sure they are not anyone Lea is acquainted with - so instead we went to see Brave... in 3D.

Its a pretty good job that we didnt listen to our eldest child's requests as within 10 minutes of the movie starting she had her hands over her ears and was crying, "make them stop, make them stop."
"Make what stop?" I asked the tearful 7 year old.
"The bagpipes" she said. I was a bit stunned, I never knew a musical instrument could have such an effect on a child. She continued, "They're evil, they shouldn't be allowed and they hurt my ears." Her reaction caused quite a stir among the packed cinema, with quite a few chuckles coming from the parents around us.

Normally, its TJ who cause this kind of commotion (see 'The Performance' for confirmation) but today it was the eldest's turn to make a spectacle of herself... and us! She didn't like anything about the film, in particular the Scottishness of it - which is wierd. She was scared by the Will-o-the-wisps, she freaked when the bears attacked (sorry if I am spoiling the 'plot' but if you are able to read this then I think you can work the plot out from about the first 5 minutes into the film - although saying that Papa was enthralled and seemed genuinely surprised by the 'twist'). Even her 3D glasses hurt her ears and her seat wasn't as comfortable as at home. Yes, £30 well spent I believe....

What was brilliant though was that, for the first time ever in a public venue, TJ sat quietly enthralled by the whole thing - normally he is hurling crticisms at the screen. When we saw The Muppets and the audience laughed, he said loudly, 'Why are you laughing, its not even funny!" and when the movie got a round of applause he turned to everyone and said, 'That was rubbish - stop clapping!" So you can see why we are a little hesitant when taking TJ out. but he loved it and all the way home regaled us with his favourite scenes - mainly the fighting ones and one 'with blood'. But at least he enjoyed it.

Tomorrow they are off to a bowling party - apparently parents don't need to stay... this leaves me with mixed emotions. Do we run off and enjoy two hours of child free bliss and risk the wrath of parents of the birthday girl or do we stay nearby 'just in case'? I think we may be willing to take the risk!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Civil Ceremonies & Civil Celebrations

Today, I have decided that we should have a joint renewal of our Civil Partnership vows alongside a naming ceremony for the children and make it our own 'Family Day'.

I dont know if that sounds naff or not but when Papa and I got married we had to do it within 8weeks as Papa, being a Singaporean, had to ensure his marital status in order to stay in the UK. This was partly because the bank where he works and who transferred him back over to the UK assumed that as he and I had been together for so long that he would automatically get PR status, or similar. However, Singapore being such sticklers for 'box ticking' had refused to recognise our 4 years realtionship in their country and therefore, according to UK laws, we had to get married in order for Papa to get the visa and take up the job he had been transferred to do. Such a rush....

All very complicated, but the upshot was that we got married so quickly only my immediate family could make it. We had a ceremony, which lasted about 15minutes, and then Papa and I headed off on the Eurostar to Paris for our honeymoon.. with my Mother, my brother and my sister and both of their partners. It was greeat fun but not entirely romantic and it fell a bit short of being either Papa's or my 'dream day'. But we always said, that once we got a family, we would redo everything properly.

Of course, we didn't count on the ridiculous legal system surrounding adoption and the fact that we have now had our adoption hearing delayed by almost 6 months due to the birth mother's objection. (see previous posts). But it is almost August 31st, the date upon which she and her lawyers have to have submitted their statements - as yet they havent submitted anything, I dont want to tempt fate but hopefully she will have been advised that, to date, no adoption order has ever been rejected due to the wishes of the failed birth parents.... as yet...

Anyhow, I realised that on Nov 24, Papa and I will have been married for 6 years and this year Nov 24 is on a Saturday... so I have decided that gives the courts plenty of time to sort everything out - our case is heard again on Sept 19th, and that we can then have our 'Wedding and Naming Ceremony' on the same day, ideally on our anniversary - it also only gives Papa one date to remember as he is notoriously rubbish at remembering our anniversary. I recall our 4th anniversary, fruit and flowers, I had prepared a four course meal each with a different theme and accompanying gift... Papa had forgotten and when he walked through the door and saw the festive table he looked shellshocked and as the penny dropped he suddenly exclaimed, "But we said we weren't going to celebrate this year - no gifts!" I knew this was a poor excuse simply because those words would never have come out of my mouth...

But back to my original topic, I would like to have a traditional Christening for the children but I'm not sure if the church would allow it, our local lady vicar said she would do it so hopefully we can ask if she would conduct that part of the ceremony, even if she wouldn't be able do the Civil Partnership side. Hopefully, God appreciates what Papa and I mean to each other and what we mean as family.

Well, my decision has been made - now I just have to find an available venue and let Papa know - after all, he will be paying for it!!!!!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Final Week and the Cat Comes Back

Yes, it's here, the last week of the long Summer holidays...

It probably seems as though I have hated every minute, which really isn't true. We have had a lot of fun, going to Grannies, watching the Olympics, even losing the cat and finding him again.

Yes, our prodigal cat returned yesterday, he is a little thinner but no worse for his adventures. When I told my Mother that the cat had returned she was thrilled, now she didn't have to replace the animal. In case you missed it the cat was chased out of his own house by my Mother's ASBO dog. At the time we had agreed that the said dog, who also terrorised our own ageing hound, was to be banned from our house. But now the cat was back that little fact seemed to be forgotten. Mum said, "What happens when I come down in October?" (we have finally convinced my Mum that she can babysit the terrible two for a night or so whilst Papa and I go away to a friend's wedding.) "You can put your dog in the kennel, like we agreed." I replied. There was a long silence on the phone.

"I don't want to put my dog in the kennel."

I thought about this. "Mum, " I said firmly, " We agreed, until your dog can behave itself and not terrorise my pets then it can't come here." ... More silence... Then the emotional blackmail was put into good use, "oh, so you don't want me to come and see you then? Obviously, my dog and I aren't welcome." There was a pregnant pause followed by a meaningful sigh, "It's ok we can stay at home by ourselves... I guess we will have to rethink what happens at Christmas as well, I don't know where my dog and I can go now. I don't know where we are wanted."

Great, now I have my Mother in full passive aggressive guilt trip mode....

"That's not what I said, Mum," I replied, "Your dog will be fine in the kennels."
"But it's so expensive." she said, "it would be cheaper for you to put your cat in the cattery"
So my Mum wants me to send the cat away when she visits, to be honest the cat will probably like it, and if we are going down that route, I think our dog would also quite happily give up her basket for a few nights peace and quiet when she knows the ASBO dog is coming.... I might even put the kids in the kennel too, then everyone is happy.

 Mum called back later, "I have had an idea," she said, "I will ask your aunt if she can take my dog when I come and see you."
This sounded like a great compromise until I remembered that every other member of our family had also banned the animal after it wreaked havoc across each of their homes.... So I guess I had better book the cat in the cat hotel.... Unless my Aunt reads this and has a sudden change of heart... For my sake Aunty? And the sanity of my pets? Please?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bluewater on a Bank Holiday... We Must Be Bonkers!!!

This morning I went through all the children's clothes and stuff ready for the imminent return to school next week... (seven days and counting)... And discovered that I was short of a few items. As we had the cleaner in this afternoon, a tiny, energetic and slightly barking Turkish woman who loves to clean
while listening  to loud Europop music, I decided we should head out. To be fair, I usually make myself scarce when the cleaner is in, not that she is not lovely, it's just the music I could do without. Anyhow, we packed the kids into the car with promises of 'time on the wii' when they came back if they were good and we headed off to the living hell that is Bluewater on a Bank Holiday. For those of you who don't know, Bluewater is one of the UKs largest shopping centres and  I spend a lot of time there.... Much to Papas annoyance!!!!

Well, we arrived and headed straight to the school department of John Lewis in order to get the nasty crowded stuff out of the way. It was all going so well when Papa decided he needed to use the 'facilities' and left me with two monsters... I'm not sure what happens when the kids realise there is only one of us watching them, but it's not pleasant. A little earlier I had seen an American lady admonishing her children in the corridor loudly and with obvious venom - a couple of years ago I would have judged her, not now, now I sympathise. However, any sympathy I had was was short lived when I heard a huge crash behind me in the packed children's section of middle England's favourite store. The entire rail of kids winter coats had come crashing to the floor around two stunned little children who had been innocently playing 'soldiers' within the confines of the clothes rack.... I went ballistic and forgot I was in a public place... "Look what you have done!' I cried, it was very important to notify those around me that a; these were  my kids and b; that it wasn't me that knocked everything down. TJ started to cry, the mere sight of his tears ensured my immediate transformation into my Mother... "if you don't stop crying I'll give you something to cry about!" I told him... I felt a thousand parental eyes suddenly turn on me all waiting to see what my next course of action would be. Realising I was in John Lewis and not the local Poundshop, I quickly regained my composure and said firmly but fairly, "and there will be no wii for you later!" I turned to my growing audience to prove that I too was as middle class as they were and I would never reprimand  my children using violence ,well, not in public anyway. Unfortunately, the removal of wii privileges had exactly the opposite effect on the kids and both of them immediately started to bawl even louder, it was as if I had just taken a cane to them in the aisle.... Papa called on the phone, "where are you?" he asked, "I'm upstairs looking at sofas, do you want to come up?" I glared into the phone, "You come here now," I hissed, " I need moral support." luckily, Papa grasped the enormity of the situation  and was by my side and dealing with screaming children in two minutes... I must have looked stressed as he even paid the bill, normally school affiliated items come under my financial domain but today Papas credit card took the hammering.... And boy are school uniforms expensive!

It took us four hours but we finally got everything done and as a treat, we took the children to the Disney store to get their pencil cases and stationary... It might be a treat, but at least it's useful!!!! ( I thought I had better include that last bit just in case anyone from social services is reading... Or even worse, someone from John Lewis!)...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Horse Riding and Turkish Delight

Saturday on a Bank Holiday weekend and today is the day we are going horse riding but todaywas a bit different, as well as the children having their fortnightly lesson, Papa was going to have a lesson too. Papa had ridden before, many years ago, but was still a bit worried about how he would do. Lea tried to console him, he said, "Papa it's easy, just dig your heels in the horse's side and shout 'Yee Ha!'" Thank goodness Papa didn't listen to her as the horse he was on would probably have had a heart attack. But Papa did really well and the children were both suitably impressed. TJ now thinks we will be buying a horse that we can keep in the back garden. Mind you, if Papa has his way we will be getting a horse very soon - apparently, it will save us money in the long run, especially now that three of them are now riding!

After the riding we went to meet some very old friends at a local Turkish restaurant.. The food was great and the boys enjoyed their Turkish delicacies, Lea had pizza whilst TJ had sausage and chips, I love that they are both so adventurous with their food. Whilst there we began discussing my previous evening's Facebook update where I had commented that halfway through watching the 'Hollywood  Blockbuster 'Battleship' I turned to Papa and said, 'This film is just like the children's game of the same name." Papa looked at me stunned and simply said, "Really?" (he used that American accent that shows how dumb I was being) He continued, "Don't you think that the clue might have been in the name?" Well, to be honest once I had grasped the simple concept of this movie then the film finally made some sense.

However, this then led onto the conversation of what other childrens games would make good movies - particularly now that we are beginning to run out of super heroes and animated characters made flesh. Our favourite was Kerplunk The Movie - whereby an alien race imprisoned loads of 'celebrities' in a glass dome suspended above a shark infested pool and we had to see which celebrity fell to their gruesome death as the alien race slowly removed the straws that suspended them. Also, we considered Disney Pixar's Buckeroo and Oliver Stone's Wall Street 3 - Monopoly!

 I am sure there are loads more....

Earlier today we did the pre-going back to school uniform size check.... Like most parents we want to spend as little as possible on school uniforms so spent a good hour or so checking which clothes the boys had outgrown, which ones could be passed on from Lea to TJ and what needed replacing. Papa was in charge of TJ and I asked what stuff he needed, knowing that TJ has recently had a growth spurt. "He's fine," said Papa, "He doesn't need anything." I turned round to see TJ with his coat sleeves halfway up his arms, his trouser bottoms up round his ankles and his shoes were so tight he could barely walk... "It will do for another term." Papa said. I think Papa is trying to bind TJ's feet and ensure his growth is stunted, not unlike a concubine in the court of Imperial China....

Mind you after spending £42 on school shoes I can now see Papas logic!!!! 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Furniture Shopping... Continued....

Tonight after my afternoon shopping trip Papa decide to come home early and, as the children were pretty exhausted from a day playing football, we decided to head back to the store and select and buy the furniture for the new home.

We selected our swatches, decided on the furniture style and mixed and matched and then waited for a sales assistant.... And waited.... And waited... Then finally the M and S assistant came over to ask if we were being seen yet. Lea looked at her and simply said, " No... And I am getting very bored." the lady took us to one side and placed our order. She wasn't very computer literate and deleted the order twice, over charged us, then corrected it and under charged us, then re-corrected it. Whilst we were doing the delivery details she said, "According to data protection I can only book the delivery through yourself or the other gentleman." I wasn't sure what she meant and then she indicated Papa.
"Oh, you mean him!" I exclaimed, "Yes, you can use his details." and I duly gave Papas name and phone number. The elderly assistant noticed that we had the same surname, she looked a bit puzzled and then said, "Oh, is he your son as well?"....

I told her he would be thrilled to know that....

We then went through all the details again and she lost them all again. We had now been there for nearly two hours and there is only so much Angry Birds that even two small kids can play. "I can input it all again for you." she said. "I think I can order it online now I have all the details myself." I replied. "Well, I am back in at 2pm tomorrow if you want to pop by," she told me. I smiled and we left.

I have just managed to order all the furniture online in our chosen colours in about 5 minutes...oh well, at least it got us out of the house....

Peace and Quiet.... and Furniture Shopping!

Today the kids went off to football club for the whole day!!!!!!

I was so happy to get a break but what was just as surprising was how happy they were to have a break from me. In fact, for the past couple of days TJ has been counting down the number of sleeps until he can have a day away. I suppose I should be hurt but I am pleased that he no longer feels that he has to keep me in eyeshot in order to assume that I am not going to leave him.

This is probably subconscious but it has pervaded all areas of our lives - including the visit to the smallest room in the house (not the airing cupboard I hasten to add) but no sooner are you sat down when the knock comes on the door followed by a little voice either asking where you are (I'm in here!!!!) or letting you know that they need a wee urgently. This is coming from the king of poopers who will happily tell you how many he has done, what size and if they were 'lumpy' or not... one time he even asked me to take a picture of his poo to prove it was the biggest in the world... to be fair it probably was as I dont think he had used the facilities for nearly three days when we were away. My youngest is pretty particular about toilets - if not his own then he wont use it... the complete opposite of Lea who will go anywhere and at any time - usually at the most inconvenient time and or spot as well - note the earlier post on our visit to the new showhouse....

 Anyhow, we made sure that everyone had used the facilities etc prior to the trip to the football club and off they went as happy as sandboys (what is a sandboy and why is he always happy?????)

I then shot off to John Lewis and Marks and Spencer to have a look at Sofas. Apparently DFS have a sale on - I'm just not sure when the Summer Savings finish and the Autumn Specials begin but anyway I dont think you should shop anyplace where a sale is perpetual... I had great fun sitting on lots of sofas and chairs without constantly having to tell little ones to stop jumping or touching or hitting each other or playing on the escalators etc etc etc. I think the salesman at John Lewis got a bit suspicious as I sat on a large sofa stroking it and grinning to myself. Thank goodness we can buy them online!

I then spent the morning texting Papa with images of my selected sofas and asking opinions etc. He eventually told me he was bored and could I stop sending him stuff - just pick the one I want... well, he will be in for a shock when he sees the leopard print Armani I selected and wait till he gets the bill... serves him right! But. no, he now wants to go with me at the weekend to see them all and decide then. But that means the children will be with us and Papa wont like anything I have chosen and we will all fall out and I will have to start all over again!!!!!!!

The joys of furniture shopping. At least we got the dining table already.... next up the bedrooms and carpets!!!!!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Stairlift to Heaven....

This morning I found my eldest slowly shuffling up the stairs on her bottom one stair at a time. We have a townhouse so there are a lot of stairs. "What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm seeing what it would be like if we had a machine like Nan's that can carry me up the stairs without moving." So my daughter now wants us to install a stair lift... Well, Papa would be pleased, he has been planning for one for ages!

We have had a bit of a bumpy day today, a final visit from the boy's social worker, a trip to therapy and a review of where the therapy is going. For both children this is pretty traumatic but I was so proud of them both. They bravely answered all their questions and the eldest was commended for her maturity and fortitude when talking with her therapist about some of the more difficult things that happened in her past. She isn't yet ready to share these things with us yet, but we know that one day she will... I dread that day.... Mainly because my anger with her birth family will probably be uncontainable...

I now sit in on TJ's therapy and today we were focussing on the forthcoming move. After much chat it was revealed that despite his intense dislike for the family cat (now missing for nearly three weeks) he is incredibly concerned that once we move the cat won't be able to find us. This probably ties into his own abandonment issues but at the same time it reveals his empathetic nature... Which most of the time he conceals.

We also talked about what he is looking forward to when we move. "I'm going to get a rabbit." He told the therapist. "Oh, that's nice, " she replied, "What colour rabbit would you like?"
"Red." came the curt reply. "I'm not sure they come in red." she said. "Mine will," he told her, "because I'm getting an Arsenal rabbit and Lea is getting a giant hamster!" I thought about this for a while, this being the first time I had heard about the hamster requirement. Then the penny dropped, "a guinea pig!" I shouted, as if I was a contestant on some daytime game show, "he means a guinea pig!" I beamed at the therapist. She gave me a withering look, "I had worked that out, " she said.

We went on to what TJ could do when he feels angry, as opposed to self harming or punching Daddy - which are his usual outlets. "I could play in my sand pit." he said helpfully, "... but it hasnt any sand in it, " he added. Apparently, Lea wanted to make a beach for beach volleyball last week and tipped the sand out over the driveway. I wondered what that was...... So we are now committed to a new sandpit, a rabbit and a guinea pig when we move.... Therapy is an expensive business.....l

TJ asked today why Papa doesn't have long summer holidays like he does."Well, " I told him,"It's because Papa has to work really hard to make sure we have a nice house,enough food and big holidays, like when we went to Disney." He thought about this and said, "no, it's because he likes to play football all day." I was stunned was I, in fact, married to a premier league football player.... No, it's because the bank where Papa works sponsor the Premier league and as such, TJ is convinced that Papa is some kind of major player in footballing circles.... Let's see how that pans out as the kids get older....

Monday, 20 August 2012

Monday, Monday...

As I write this both children are sitting just outside the back door quietly playing with a snail... yes, they are incredibly fascinated by how this small creature moves. As I heard TJ point out, "Its a slug with its own house." "You mean a caravan, " Lea knowledgably replied, "Because it takes it house with it." Obviously, the kids do occasionally listen to things we tell them.

But what is most amazing is that, despite all the expensive toys, computer games, TV, etc in their possession, they have actually been watching and dicussing this small creature for nearly an hour now - no fighting, screaming or any of the things that occur when toys are in use, just genuine interest. Even the dog is sitting next to them, it makes quite an idyllic picture....

The children have just rushed in to show me the snail and they have found him a friend... a bloody huge garden spider!  Which has also come into the house with them... I think I may have screamed like a girl... Lea now has a string of questions... "How do spiders make webs? Will it bite? Are all spiders poisonous?" Then the most miraculous thing happened... Lea turned to TJ and said, "We should go to the library and get a book about spiders." I  nearly fainted, the combination of huge spider and a sudden quest for learning are a bit too much.

Getting Lea to sit and read can be a nightmare - usually it involves much cajoling, promises of Batman on TV and huge amounts of praise. We do worry that she might be dyslexic, but a lot of it comes from poor self esteem. I would imagine that any child rejected by their birth family and mal treated and then passed through the foster system would have low self worth and the battle against that is long and hard. Luckily they are in a school who get how hard it is for kids from their kind of background. At our last teacher/parent meeting the term 'attachment disorder' was actually used... My jaw hit the ground to hear a member of staff acknowledge what we have been saying for months and to learn that they had also been researching the subject and sharing that with their peers.  Anyone who doubts the conviction of today's teachers just needs to pop into our school. It may not be outstanding academically but in terms of nurture and care its hits exactly the right spot.

I have just popped my head out the back door to see who wanted an ice lolly - the spider and the snail went flying into the garden as the interest in them was replaced by the need to consume iced treats. Mind you I imagine both the snail and the spider are grateful for the rest....

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saturday's Shenanigans ...

We began today with TJ coming downstairs and asking me if he could write his letter to Father Christmas... "But it's only August, " I told him. "there's months before Father Christmas comes yet."  He looked at me like I was dumb, "I know that," he replied, "but last year I asked him for loads of stuff that I didn't get, so this year I am making sure he has more time to shop for the things I really want." I actually had to leave the room in case he saw me laughing....

Today it has been unbearably hot, the weather loves to keep us on our toes throughout the summer. Today the boys didn't want to go outside and when I mentioned the word 'walk' to the dog she barely lifted her head off the floor as if to say 'are you kidding me?'. We decide to go into Maidstone as papa needed an eye test and the boys wanted some 'Horrid Henry' books. I don't care what they read as long as they read... So off to the bookshop we we walked through the town centre we noticed that a lot of people were wearing very little. TJ was fascinated by the young men showing off their muscles, I think he was very impressed by their abs, as indeed was I, but probably for different reasons. TJ asked me if he could take his shirt off, I told him that unfortunately he shouldnt as he will burn in the sun. Then we turned a corner and walked past a packed pub, again full of men with their shirts off, Lea took one look and turned to TJ and said (quite loudly) "see that's why Daddy said you can't take your shirt off... You too thin!" I tried to hush Lea up, I know it's usually a mistake to try and tell children not to point out what they see and this was no exception. "No look Daddy," she continued, "Those men all have really big bellies and they have their shirts off." she then continued, "And you haven't got your shirt off even though your belly is just as big".... Luckily the guys in the pub saw the funny side too....

We then headed off to look at a new sofa set. After we had decided and were leaving Lea walked up to the assistant and said, "Thank you for helping us choose our new sofa. Can you make it quickly and deliver it soon."
"I don't actually make the sofas," the man said. "Then what do you do?" Lea snorted and we quickly left.....

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Quiet Day at Home...

... Yeah, right!!!!!!!

Our home is anything but quiet - and today has been no exception.

From the minute my little darlings arose from their flowery slumber till now it has been non-stop. I am exhausted.

I must have looked a bit knackered as when we popped into Tesco on the way back from walking the dog and terrorising small children with our scooter skills (more about that later) the assistant informed me that they had a special on Jacob's Creek Chardonnay - down to £2.49 a bottle... I swiftly put three in my basket. The assistant looked at me and the boys with a knowing smile and said, 'I thought you looked like you needed a drink - believe me those wont be on the shelf for long". From this I ascertain that: (a:) the Summer Holidays invokes a sudden growth in alcoholic parenting and (b:) that I was quite obviously within that demographic.

Whilst we were queuing our neighbour popped her head in to say that she had seen our cat - you may recall he went walkabout the minute he set eyes on Mum's asbo dog about two weeks ago. He had been sitting in her garden sunning himself. She knew it was him, probably from the way his eyes glow red - he is the devil incarnate and had we lived a couple of hundred years ago I am sure I would have been burnt as a witch for owning him - she said she would know our cat anywhere... I'm not sure what she meant by that but at least he was alive and well and living around the back of our local Indian Restaurant, or so she thinks. We shall see if he tires of curry and decides to come home - hopefull he will do it before we move or the new house owners may wake up to a nasty shock as the cat does like to sleep on Papa's head....

Back to scooterville. I agreed that as it was sunny and homework had been done we could take the kids new scooters to the park. The park was packed - not with the usual crack heads and alcoholics but with lovely families dodging the needles in the playpark. Two of the 'adorable' children had motorised scooters - yes these children were so unhealthy that they required their scooters to be battery operated... I'm not one to judge... well, actually, yes I am, but its good to see the parents using their benefits wisely and giving the children a good time while they sat on the park bench and drank cheap cider (a change from lager as it's Summer) whilst their children buzzed slowly around the park. To cap it all these two immensely overwieght little girls were also clad in what can only be described as pink tube tops and sparkly hot pants revealing their wobbly mid-riffs with purple high heeled shoes - and they can only have been about 6 or 7... sigh... the younger of the two still had her dummy in, which kept falling out as she shouted at her parents. Luckily, she was happy enough to pop it straight back in her gob each time it fell on the ground - I imagine it was helping to build her immune system....

TJ took one look at the motorised scooter and obviously saw a challenge - TJ has to win at everything (its a self esteem thing) this poor tubby child didn't stand a chance as TJ saw to it that he won every race and then scooted around her singing the 'na nanana na' theme from Horrid Henry. The little girl burst into tears and the obviously concerned father shouted from the park bench;" 'ere, stop bovering my kid" - or words to that effect... (I can't write in Chav but I have done my best). to which TJ replied, "But she's rubbish!"
The girl looked distraught, I told TJ off saying that she wasnt rubbish. "Yes, she is." he said, "She cant even scoot properly, she needs the scooter to do it for her... she's rubbish." By now the father was looking a bit angry and as he was obviously full of cider I decided that it as time for us to go - well we obviously needed to get some bread from Tesco immediately. As we left TJ shouted back over his shoulder at the little girl, "See you tomorrow." and under his breath I am sure he muttered, "Unless your batteries run out" but I couldn't swear to it.... although I'm certain the little girl would have given him a few choice words had she heard him!

Looking back, I now completely understand why the Tesco Assistant felt I was in need of cheap wine...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

New Home

We are currently in the process of moving home. Yes, we are moving from our beautiful Grade 2 listed townhouse with a fantastic garden to a new build home nearby.

That isn't as bad as it sounds, the new house overlooks the river and is pretty huge, which kind of suits a young family much more than a quirky house over three floors. It's also nearer the children's school and allows TJ to have a proper sized bedroom rather than the box room he is currently in. So it all helps. However, at the very last minute the people who are buying our house decided they also wanted to buy our furniture, curtains etc and made me an offer we couldn't refuse. But foolishly, I forgot that buying new stuff isn't just about the shopping, it's also about the 'lead times' for delivery.... Up to 6 weeks for the dining table, 3 months for the sofa set etc etc. so I am now in a blind panic that we will be moving into a bare house with only our beds... Oh well, it will be like camping!!!!

Anyhow, today I had to go around to the show house with two small children in tow in order to measure the windows, walls, doorways. In fact anything that could be measured was. With papa issuing orders over the phone about what he needed measuring as well. Great fun!

Thank goodness for the iPhone, as I could send pictures of everything to him and take his orders... I mean requirements...

I was happily measuring away downstairs after leaving the boys on the balcony playing with their leap pad computer games (it's learning but it's fun!) when suddenly I heard a door slam upstairs. I shot up... "where's Lea?" I asked. TJ didn't even look up from his computer game, "Gone for a p...o...o" he said. (TJ doesnt like to say the word poo as he thinks it's a swear word so he will only spell it... I always thought there was an 'h' on the end but apparently that's only for the bear). The blood ran out of my face.... "which toilet is she in?" I asked.  TJ shrugged....

The problem with new build homes is that they have loads of bathrooms. This one has four... Two ensuite. I heard the door in the guest bathroom close. I raced upstairs and flung open the door on a startled little girl with her pants round his ankles... "Have you started yet?" I screamed like a madman. "Not yet.." came the obviously terrified reply. "Good! Don't!" I screamed, "that toilet is not plumbed in" Obviously the signs pointing this fact out mean nothing to a little girl who wants to go to the toilet. Luckily I knew the ground floor toilet is plumbed in for the sales staff to use.... Don't ask me how I know this, it was from a previous visit with TJ... But that is another blog in itself.... So I rushed Lea downstairs with her pants round her ankles and as I raced down the stairs the front door opened and a lovely family walked in.... They looked stunned but I said a cheery "hello" and shot into the downstairs toilet clutching a terrified child....  I wonder if they will be our new neighbours?....

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ghosts, Breakfast and Synchronised Swimming

This morning I was awoken by my younger child, TJ, who came rushing in to tell me that his posters had fallen off his wall and he couldn't put them back up again.
Bleary eyed, I followed him back to his room where, indeed, three of his posters were lying on the floor. My first concern was that our 'ghosts' were back. We are regularly haunted by a number of  visitors, two of whom are mischievious children who were once locked in my youngest's room - it used to be the bathroom in one of the houses previous lives. We have a Grade 2 listed townhouse that dates back to Georgian times, so it was bound to have a few spirits and boy do they love visiting our youngest son.

Anyway, back to the posters. I tried to put them back on the wall where he wanted them and after about the third attempt in my 'barely awake' status, I realised why they would not stay on the wall - there was no Blutac!
I looked at TJ "Where did the Blutac go?" I asked, "Have you been peeling it off?"
"No." came the indignant reply... then he paused... "But I was hungry."
I looked at him in disbelief, "You mean you ate the Blutac?"
"I didnt eat it!" He said... I breathed a sigh of relief... "I just chewed it until it had all gone."
My immediate concerns were obvious. Is Blutac poisonous? Why would he eat it? Is it linked to past trauma - did he wake up and think he was going to starve? I was suddenly hugely guilty. I looked at his little starving face - imagine Oliver Twist in soft focus. He looked back at me and said, "Well, you won't let me have chewing gum so I invented my own." Little bugger!

Breakfast came and the two children decided what would be fun on a wet Wednesday morning would be to antagonise each other by throwing food and napkins across the table and then have a burping competition. When we stayed with my Mum recently my Nan came over for dinner and when Mum and I popped out to the kitchen the two littel 'angels,' believing that Nan was incapable of reprimanding them, began to play silly devils. My Nan very quietly raised her hand and, as diminutive as she is, she brought it down onto the table with such force that the table jumped into the air - as did Mum and I - and the two naughty little ones were stunned into silence and suddenly became the epitome of good manners. Nan looked at me and simply said, "Works every time - whats for dessert dear?"

This morning I decided to employ the same trick. As the kids reeked havoc across the table I quietly put my hand in the air and brought it down with a thoroughly pleasing 'crack'. The children jumped to attention and sat bolt upright as I gritted my teeth and ran into the kitchen to run my hand under cold water and ensure I hadn't broken any bones. How my Nan did that on a regular basis with four children to bring up is beyond me. My hand is still bruised now. But breakfast was a dream.

Finally, its still raining. Lea has got bored playing games and the wii and has gone to watch TV. TJ and I were playing the wii together. He is really good at the Synchronised Swimming game on the London Olympics. He got a gold! Then he looked at me and proudly said, "When I grow up I shall be a synchronised swimming champion!" Well, if they finally allow men to do it then I shall be one proud Daddy... My children can be whatever they want to be... and at least this a step up from his last dream.. which was to be a cleaner at Morrisons!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mahjong And Tigers

Firstly, apologies for the late posting.

Unfortunately I am married to a mahjong addict and he has to play constantly. However, papa plays in the online versions of the game, as there are no real 'mahjong afficionados' here in the UK. Papa is also a cheap skate, so he won't actually pay any real money to join in on the online action. Hence he now uses my own iPad as well as his in order to keep playing when his 'free' credits run out. So those of you who are reading this in Hong Kong or Singapore and are currently playing a fantastic mahjong playing white guy (gwai loh or ang moh, depending on your nationality) then the chances are it will be Papa using my name as an alias... I have never taken to mahjong, although interesting my 89 year old Nan was once banned by my Grandfather from playing as whenever she and her friends picked up those evil tiles they would be mesmerised and not stop playing until the wee small hours. Plus my Nan was convinced that whenever she lost then the other players were cheating, which i believe led to some rather fruity conversations,... The same also applies to yahtzee from which Nan was also banned... Interestingly, Papa has the same traits so I see myself turning into my Grandfather in the not too distant future... Papa, like Nan, has been known to throw yahtzee dice at people should his numbers not come up as required! Thank goodness you can't throw the tiles in an online situation, although the iPad has been flung across the room on occasion....

Our cat has still not returned, we are getting rather worried now. Lea came up with the suggestion of putting up posters around the area. Apparently she had seen this idea on an episode of Horrid Henry  (who says that television is not educational?!) and the cat had eventually been returned... Consequently we spent much of today looking for pictures of our cat to put into the ad. TJ found some lovely pictures of a tiger that he wanted to use. I explained to him that we had to put up pictures of our actual cat so that people know what he looks like and will know where he lives. TJ looked at me incredulously, "But that cat was mean and scratched me on the head!" he said. "No dear," I replied, "He scratched you because you were using his tail as a door bell."
"Oh yes," TJ admitted, "I remember.... But I would still rather have a tiger, so that's the picture I shall use...."
God knows what that would do if he pulled its tail!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Olympic Legacy?

The Olympics may be over in London but in our house the legacy lives on.

Today, despite the return to our traditional English summer, mainly rain all day, the children decided they wanted to continue playing at the Olympics. Whoever invented the wii needs a knighthood. The kids were soon in full competition playing Sonic and Mario at the London Olympics.... Whilst they got on with winning the medals I found the time to enrol in my Open University Programme. I want to study psychology but I wonder if this is in the vain hope that I may finally understand what's going on in my children's heads..... Haha! I just read that back and realised how ridiculous that is!!!

All was well for at least half an hour, then the crying started. "Can you please play nicely," I shouted up the stairs, "if I hear one more cry then I am going to turn the wii off and we can all read a book or do a jigsaw puzzle." That last threat had the desired effect and soon silence reigned again once more, silence punctuated by the electronic noises of the game.

After another half hour I popped upstairs to see if milk or biscuits were required where I found Lea happily playing the game while her younger brother sat on the floor staring blankly at the screen. "What's going on?" I asked, "are you taking turns at the game." TJ looked up at me, "We were," he said, "But then the wii said that only Lea's handset could work on the game." Lea looked sheepish and I knew that something was afoot. "Let me see." I said. Lea squirmed....

It took me a couple of seconds to realise that whenever the wii asked if two players wanted to play, Lea quickly set the game to single player and told her brother it wasn't working properly. Then to make matters worse, when TJ had cried about it I had told them to play nicely or I would turn it off. It transpires that TJ would rather sit and watch Lea play rather than risk having the tv turned off... Next time I will check the situation before I issue threats!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Today I drove back from my Mum's in Cheshire again. I left a little late as we took the asbo dog for a walk to my Nans and on the way the lovely pup decided it would be a good idea to roll in doggy doo... So we had to go back to my Mums to wash it off. On the way back it transpired that the dog's unusual taste in rolling material was actually my fault. This was because I was holding the lead ( one of those stretchy ones ) and that I had not noticed that the delightful hound had decided to rub its new twenty pound collar in poop. In my defence, at the exact moment this happened I was warding off two angry swans who had taken offence at the afore mentioned canine when it tried to eat bread that had been left for them.  Naturally I was left to clean the dog and it's collar.... I used the hose.... I was about to put it up to full fire fighting blast when my Mum rushed out crying 'I hope the water is not too cold... Poor baby.' It sooned turned out that the 'poor baby' in question was actually the hound from hell and not me who was merely up to his armpits in dog poo and soaked from head to toe as the dog shook the freezing water from its body....

We then left for my Nans and after a nice cup of tea I left for home and Mum left to go and collect my Sister and her friends as they were all off wedding dress hunting.... In my head that plays out like a scene fom the movie 'Bridesmaids'... One can only hope....

On the way I stopped off at the service station for a Starbucks. Unfortunately, the service station I stopped at is a regular stop off point for Shearings Coaches. This is a company that specialises in coach holidays in the UK that are usually frequented by the over 70's. I have nothing against that, but at the risk of sounding like Jeremy Clarkson, anything that keeps the elderly from driving down the middle lane of the motorway at 45mph is fine with me. 

However, I entered the Starbucks to find a queue of old dears in front of me. They were all ordering tea but were unsure what size cup to have... The poor staff were dealing with constant questions such as, 'Why didn't they just have 'small, medium or large' instead of all this fancy sounding stuff. We're they eating in or taking away? ' They all decided to have their tea 'in' and so the queue began to move. I was nearly at the front when the holiday representative popped  their cheery head around the door and said, "Five minutes till we're back on our merry way, ladies and gentlemen!" Suddenly there was a major panic and I was surrounded by old people demanding paper cups so they could take their tea with them. This would have been an easy exercise had the Starbucks Barista not asked the question, "And what size cup do you need?" I rested my head on the glass cake cabinet as everyone decided if their required paper cup was a 'tall, grande or venti' size....

The commotion subsided and I got to the front I ordered a skinny latte and, as I had foregone the fat in my milk, a cake..... Sorry I meant a muffin. Surely a muffin is a cake. Naming it a muffin only enables us to have cake for breakfast and pretend its healthy.... They even had a skinny muffin.... Who ever heard of such a thing? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet and a cake is still a cake no matter what you call it!! Now I really do sound like Jeremy Clarkson. 

Anyhow I had just sat down with my latte and my cake when I saw the next Shearings coach pull in. I ran as fast as I could to get a take out cup and got back on the motorway, which was far less stressful....

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Today my partner and I spoke on the phone... He was at work whilst I was merely doing the washing, cleaning, running around after two kids, mother and various pets... Papa called as I was preparing lunch for my two gymnasts in training... Well, they were on the trampoline doing 'Tricks' prior to doing the long jump in my flower beds come mud pits. They were consequently hungry and whiny.... Anyhow, papa calls to discuss our impending house move... Had I called the solicitors yet? "Why can't you call them? I ask. "I'm too busy." came the reply. "Not too busy to call me." I said... This was probably not the most tactful of responses but I did have a six year old trying to spoon feed himself chocolate spread at the time. "I'm sorry," came the reply, "But some of us work for a living!".... I am now at my mothers.... Alone!


That sounded more dramatic than it actually is. I had to bring my Mum back as she won't drive down to us by herself and after travelling with her dog in the back of the car I can understand why. But I did leave papa and the kids at home, despite papas protestations to 'please take one of them with you.'

I have now just received the cryptic message that I should 'enjoy a child free night away and take my time coming back tomorrow' ... Yes I am doing the 200 mile trip back in the morning as I am the only one in the family who drives (papa believes that some people are born to drive, others to be driven... please see the post 1953 as that is obviously an era papa would like to live in..). Now I have to rush back in the morning as I am guilt ridden, which I am sure was the desired effect....

On the way up here we stopped off at a service station where the Olympics were on every screen. In front of each screen were the supporters all munching on their Burger Kings and KFC and commentating on each sport most knowledgeably and quite loudly ensuring that everyone could take note of their supreme sporting intellect. What struck me most was the fact that whilst nearly all of them were kitted out in full sports regalia with the latest trainers and Team GB sporting paraphernalia  not one of them, male or female, looked like they had ever set foot on a sports field or in a gym of any kind, let alone ride a bicycle or dive.. In fact I imagine the only races any of them could run would have to involve motorbility scooters.... So how they all got to be so knowledgable is anyone's guess.....

Friday, 10 August 2012

Page boy?

Today we had our final review. This is where a team of social workers and an independent review officer get together and discuss our suitability to adopt the children and it's a chance for us to look at the post adoption support package, which we felt was inadequate as it didn't cover therapy or adoption allowances for the long term.

Anyhow, all was agreed and the children coped pretty well with the intrusion. The adoption date is now set for mid September and we are appealing to the judge to dismiss the birth mothers spurious claims and also to ignore the fact that one of our referees has fallen out with us and has therefore withdrawn their reference.... Thanks for that!

We also informed the children that they were to be a bridesmaid and a page boy at Aunty Em's wedding. "Who is she marrying?" TJ asked. "Uncle Stu." My mum replied. "Who will we live with then?" came TJ's query. My mum looked at me, "You will live with Daddy and Papa." she said. "But when will Daddy and Papa get married?" TJ asked. "They already are married," Mum replied. Which really goes to show that even after 18months are kids are till unsure of their own permanence, anyone who doubts attachment theory should have a chat with us....

Lea piped up, "Yes and you will be a page boy at Aunty Emma's wedding."

"What's a page boy?" TJ asked. "It's where you get to hold Auntie Emma's dress," Lea replied, "And," she added, "you can lift it really high and show everyone her knickers!" TJ laughed and said, "But what will Uncle Stuart wear?"

"Uncle Stuart says he will wear a kilt." said my Mum. "That's a skirt for men." Lea helpfully informed TJ... "Great!" said TJ "Can I pull his skirt up as well then?"

Something tells me my sister may not be asking TJ to be a page boy after all.... Either that or the wedding day will make an excellent blog!!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Summer Holidays - Day.... I lost count.... Blame the dog!

Today we officially issued my Mum's West Highland Terrier with a doggie asbo!

This dog has, so far, terrorised our dog (an elderly, asthmatic and toothless cairn terrier with the temperament of a finger of fudge) into complete submission. The poor dog tries to hide at every opportunity whilst the white hound from hell hunts her out. The Baskerville puppy has also scared our cat witless - we haven't seen the fearful feline for four days now after it took one look at Mum's hound and disappeared through the cat flap without even touching the ground. During my sister's Olympic stay she mistakenly lay on the floor to watch the TV and the dog went for her nose and KC dared to try and eat his sandwich without sharing... The dog soon put that right. It eats everyones food except its own and chooses my newest carpet to be sick on.... It's a joy!

But today she took the biscuit (figuratively speaking). Today the troublesome terrier decided it would be a good day to begin yapping in the highest pitch known to mankind (a pitch only used by small animals and Mariah Carey). It began its 'yapfest' at around 10am and carried on throughout the entire day. We had a brief respite when my Mum decided she urgently needed an iPad (she has never even mentioned one before) and we had to find an Apple store immediately for her to purchase one plus all the paraphernalia that goes with it. How this country is in recession when my Mum practically shops as if Olympic gold depended on it I will never know?.... After purchasing the iPad and accessories Mum decided she needed new shoes, some trousers and a bottle of gin to go with it.... I bribed the kids with gingerbread men to keep them moving from store to store...

We then returned to the dog continuing with its record breaking attempt at the world's longest yap. I took her out into the garden to do her 'business' (the dog that is not my Mum) and the crafty canine must have heard our frightened feline trying to sneak home for some food. The yapping started again and the cat fled... Again... I shouted at the damn thing to shut up... Again... And my new neighbours (whom I have yet to meet) stuck their head out of their bedroom window and told me to 'shut that infernal animal up'. They are American I would guess from their accents, that was our first introduction, I have a feeling it may colour our relationship.... I hope my neighbours note there is a 'u' in colour and indeed in 'neighbour'.... You see I am already bickering with them and we haven't met yet! Blame the dog... Two days till it goes home... And by issuing it the doggie asbo I am hereby banning it from returning! Hopefully the neighbours will forgive me in time for thanksgiving.....

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Pony Day

Today we took the children for a pony day at their riding school. Essentially this is where we pay a lot of money for the kids to muck out, groom, feed and eventually ride the horses. So the school get a willing workforce whilst we pay them for the privilege. But, that said, they both had a great time and came home buzzing about which ponies they had ridden etc. and we got to go out with friends to a pub for lunch without any children! Result!

Towards the end of the day we returned to the stables to watch the trainer's eldest son give a mini exhibition of his jumping skills. He was very good but I was most pleased when TJ asked the trainer how old her son was. "He's 22." came the reply. "That's the same age as our Dad!" TJ proudly exclaimed... Well, who am I to correct him?

We then came home and watched some more of the Olympics. TJ was transfixed by the winning cycle sprint by Sir Chris Hoy. "How does he do that?" TJ asked. "He has to cycle really, really fast." I explained knowledgably. "I meant how does he ride without stabilisers?' came the indignant reply. Something tells me we will be practising that very, very soon.

Monday, 6 August 2012

I blame the Olympics.....

The title says it all.... Today both kids have gone Olympics mad, it began when they rushed out this morning to play 'judo' in the garden. I looked out of the window just in time to see the younger one swinging around the older one using the neck of his t shirt as a grip. Next up, wrestling.... This involved two kids rolling around on the grass for hours on end... But they seemed to like it. Then I went outside just in time to witness a bucket flying across the garden and crashing into the fence... Shot putt... Volleyball came to an early close as the ball followed the bucket over the fence...

"Why can't you practice racing?" I asked. "Cause I that's boring" came the reply in unison.

The children then decided to play in their sandpit. I went inside to prepare lunch. "The children are awfully quiet." said my Mum. Alarm bells immediately started ringing in my head. I raced outside to see that they had turned the hose onto my flower beds and had turned the whole area into a quagmire. They had then proceeded to cover themselves and each other in mud. By the time I reached them they resembled two characters from the politically incorrect series from the 1970's, the Black and White Minstrel Show.... My Mum stripped them at the door whilst I ran the bath. Luckily after that the heavens opened and both spent the rest of the afternoon glued to a strange TV show about a flatulent monkey, which they think is hilarious!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Auntie Em....

This weekend saw my sister and her fiancée coming to stay as they had tickets to see the shooting at the Olympics today.

They arrived last night and much wine and chat was had by all... Which meant we didn't go to sleep until the wee small hours and they had to be up at 6am to get to the park by 7.30.... However, hats off to them both as when we arose at around 8am they had already left.

Unfortunately, both kids both missed their departure and when they got up they raced into Aunty Emma and Uncle Stuart's room. "Where are they?" TJ wailed upon seeing the empty bed. "They went to the Olympics." Granny told them. "Without us?" Lea  exclaimed. "Well, they only had two tickets." Granny told them.

TJ thought about this for a moment and then said, "They used to be my favourite Aunty and Uncle but now they are just rubbish.... Didn't they know I wanted to go to the Olympics too?... I wanted to win a medal!"

We then had to explain to TJ that they weren't actually competing in the Olympics but were just spectators at the shooting events. He thought about it and then said, "If they won't let you fire the gun then why would you go?".... A psychologist would have a field day.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Cafe Rouge

Today we decided  to lunch at Cafe Rouge, a nice French themed chain which has some lovely food at good prices. They also give the children an activity pack - today's was colouring Pere Noel.... Yes, they had their Christmas offers on... In August!

TJ was happily doing the maze leading the reindeer to the sleigh when suddenly he went outside of the lines. He looked stunned and said, "Well, it's not my fault, all these people talking put me off!" he then proceeded to stand on his chair and shout at the stunned customers and staff, "Thanks for that!" he yelled, "Now I went wrong and it's all your fault, can you not be quiet?" We pulled him down and tried to laugh it off just as Lea had completed her paper aeroplane, which she had folded using her activity sheet - quite well I thought. Lea then threw it across the room and it landed right on a rather large chaps's chicken dinner.... I held my breath expecting the worse. Luckily the chap just laughed and the tension broke. Then Lea walked over and asked for his plane back and TJ told everyone to stop laughing as he was 'trying to spot the differences!'

Maybe from now on we will just shop on the Internet.....

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Old Lady and the Chicken

It was a lovely welcome back for Papa last night. He walked through the door and both children launched themselves at him shouting about how much they missed him and loved him. Then Lea said can we have a family hug and the four of us had a great big 'welcome home' hug... Lovely.

Today we had to do the Sainsbury's run. My sister and her boyfriend are coming to stay tomorrow as they actually got Olympic tickets so are staying with us before they head off to the Olympic park on Sunday.

The children moaned and whinged but were eventually prised into the car and off we headed. We were halfway round the store when I realised I had lost Lea. My eldest has a habit of wandering off to 'help' me by getting things and putting them in the trolley. These usually take the form of sweets, biscuits or small toys that are cleverly hidden within the shopping trolley for me to discover at the checkout. The competition is whether or not I can spot them prior to their being scanned by the checkout assistant... Hilarious!

However, today was slightly different in that Lea could not be found in any of her usual haunts, namely the sweets or biscuits aisles. Then I heard a small voice over by the chicken counter. An elderly lady was standing slightly bemused as Lea  regaled her with the 'true' story of where the chicken in her basket had come from. Apparently, the chicken is led into a huge machine where a big blade chops its head off. Then another machine shaves all the feathers off and finally a man puts his hand up the chicken's bottom and rips out all it's guts!!!!! As I arrived Lea was proudly showing the lady in question the truth of the situation by picking up chickens and pointing out where the head had been and the big hole in the chickens bottom where the legs were now placed. She looked at her and said, "If they pulled all your guts out through your bottom do you think they would be able to get your feet in there like that?" I quickly grabbed my daughter's hand and led her away firmly reminding her that she really shouldn't be speaking to strangers.

We spent the whole of the rest of the shopping trip checking down each aisle in case the 
lady was there, but my feeling is that she raced home as fast as she could traumatised by the whole event....

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Damp Trip Home

A short post tonight.... We had to come home from my Mums back to the South today. A five hour trip. Great fun.
The kids were happily bribed with a burger halfway and as we set off again the heavens opened. In true British summer style the rain fell and the temperature dropped. We headed down the motorway at a good cruising speed, and then the  traffic stopped... Great, a traffic jam in torrential rain with no service station in sight when you hear the words that must be every parent's nightmare.... 'Daddy, I need a wee.". The words came out of  TJ's mouth and I looked at him. "You just went at the last services." I said, "you can't want to go again." "but I really do... Really, really, now...."
Great, what do you do?
My only tactic was to listen to sport on Radio 5. Luckily there were lots of gold medals being won so he was easily distracted. I then saw the sign, 'Services - 1 mile'.... I have never been more relieved and ten minutes later we actually reached there... Just as the heavens opened again!!! I swear that storm cloud was following us down the motorway. "Can we wait in the car for a couple of minutes, till it stops?" I asked. "No," came the short reply, "I need to go now."
So I loaded one child under my arm and ran through the torrential downpour to the toilets, then ran back for child number 2. By the time we got in I was drenched. The kids used the facilities and I asked them to wash their hands. Afterward TJ took my hand and said "Daddy, you had better go under the hand dryer, you are soaking." How sweet, my son was concerned for my health. Then he added, "I don't want you dripping on my sweets." Back to reality!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Summer Holidays - Feathers and Fights

An earlier post than normal, which would indicate an eventful morning.

I popped up to have my shower leaving the children quietly watching TV, thank goodness for that invention! I had literally just jumped out of the shower when I heard a terrible commotion from downstairs, screaming, squealing and all round noise. I quickly pulled on some clothes (I don't want to terrify the children) and raced down. I found both kids in a heap in front of the TV, the commercials were on so they were bored, apparently. The result of this instant boredom was that they decided to 'tickle' each other. After much interrogation, it turned out that the 'tickling' involved scratching, shirt pulling, hair grabbing and punching in the face!!! As a punishment the TV was turned off and the children were set a task as an act of reparation. TJ was to tidy my Mum's living room and Lea was to tidy the conservatory.

Lea dutifully set about her work and was completed in record time. TJ seemed to take much longer and was abnormally quiet. I popped my head round the door to see him surrounded by feathers. "I've decide to start collecting feathers," he told me from the downy mess, "I've found loads in here." I looked around the room to see where the source of this collection could have come from. Then I realised that my darling boy had discovered a small hole in one of Grannies cushions and was happily pulling feathers out and placing them in his collective pile. Something tells me we will be buying Granny a new cushion insert later.