Thursday, 29 November 2012

Washing Machines and Colds

I am full of yet another cold!

When people talk about the joys of having kids (apparently there are some) they dont mention the constant cold you will have - every time I get rid of one set of germs provided by one child, the other one walks through the door and sneezes on me - thus ensuring that I now have another set! In fact this game of 'relay flu' has been going on since the beginning of the school year and I feel as though I have been constantly ill. Before the kids came along I was the picture of good health - gym going, luxury travel suntanned, well dressed... now I look like a bag lady extra from an American Crime series with constant tissues, last seasons clothes that no longer fit and the only reason my skin is darker is because I barely get time to wash (I exagerrated that last bit - I do still keep clean - but I daren't scrub too hard or I will take on the skin tone of Gollum - actually, I think I currently resemble him!) Scary....

Needless to say Joseph and Mary decided not to take our house - typical - as Papa said, its the first time that they turned the innkeeper down. I imagine that is what it would be like if Mary and Joseph toddled up to a Premier Inn and found Lenny Henry sitting on their bed.  They would be out of there in a shot dragging the star above them.... Not that I have anything against Premier Inns - it could just as easily have been a Travel Lodge!

Yesterday, the children came back from school covered in mud - it looked as though they had decided that mud wrestling was a great new sport - only they did it fully clothed! so i got them through the door and tossed their coats, trousers etc into the washing machine. I came downstairs to find them both staring into the turning drum, 'Look that coat's yours' KC said excitedly to TJ... They sat there transfixed watching the washing go round for at least 15minutes... I wonder why we ever needed TV now!

This morning was the first really cold day of the Winter. Bitter! TJ  came downstairs and said "Daddy, I'm wearing hot pants to school today!" I stood there dumbfounded and then he explained that he had warmed his trousers up on the radiator and now they were lovely and toasty... phew!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Early Nativity

We have decided to let out lovely listed Georgian townhouse out. Mainly because after three failed attempts it still hasn't sold. Selling anything is a nightmare at the moment. But, in the long run letting may be the best way to go for us.

Papa and I popped over to the house yesterday to sort out the gas certificates and clean the fridge. As we did so there was a knock at the door. I went to one it and found a young couple outside. He was tall, blonde and very good looking. She was tall, beautiful, immaculately dressed and pregnant. "We are coming to see the house," he said, "the agency is to be meeting us here." He was obviously European and seemed to do most of the talking. I introduced myself and he shook hands saying, ' My name is Joseph and this is my wife... Marie. ' he said 'Marie' but I knew he meant Mary.

I showed them upstairs and on the way up he said, "We are expecting baby soon, it is to be a boy." I nearly fell down the stairs. I left them to look around and I rushed back down and ran into the kitchen whisper shouting, "Papa, go outside and check if there's a star above our house... We 've only got Mary and Joseph upstairs... And she's expecting a boy!" I tailed off as I realised Papa was not alone. "Meet jackie... The agent," he said to me through a gritted smile. I greeted the  bubbly blonde ... She smiled.... "That's exactly what I said to my boss!" She whispered back... We all got on fine after that.

Mary and Joseph seemed to really like the house, he tried to pay the deposit thre and then, but Jackie insisted on running the credit checks etc... So we won't know until tomorrow but, as my friend warned me, we had better be careful in case a load of shepherds turn up with their livestock and leave droppings all over the new carpet!!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Christening Weekend

This weekend saw a double celebration. It was mine and Papa's 6th wedding anniversary on the Saturday and on the Sunday we had the two children baptised at my Mum's local church.

The weekend could have gone so horribly wrong, especially as the country is in the grasp of floods and horrendous weather, but it actually all went beautifully to plan.

On the Saturday night we met up with our closest friends and their two boys for a Family anniversary dinner with all four of us and Granny. A gorgeous meal and the children behaved so well. At least until the cheese course, where my cheese board was devoured by three little boys. They ate everything except my Stilton... But I forgave them for that, then they ate my grapes!

The Sunday was amazing. Our friends, soon to be the kid's Godparents, came to Granny's house after they had checked out of the hotel and we all left for the church together. There were so many shoes to put on that my Mum joked that her front hall looked like a mosque. We then had the fun of sorting out little shoes for little feet. I panicked a little. "We are going to be late!' I exclaimed. Mother looked at me disparagingly, 'Well, they can't start without us," she said. A good point, well made.

The service was beautiful. TJ was a little scared so I spoke to his older sister beforehand and told him to show his little brother that there was nothing to worry about. The vicar took the boys up to the font for the baptism. 'Who wants to go first?" He asked. KC stood up, "TJ will!"he said.

I threw him a hard stare. But TJ rose to the occasion. "Can you make my hair spiky?" He asked the vicar. I think TJ had the font confused with the hair washing basin at the hairdressers. Every time we go to the hairdressers he asks them to wash his hair! Which is weird because at home he hates having his hair washed!

Service over, we headed back to the hotel for a lovely three course Sunday lunch.

The waitress came to take our order... She came round to TJ, "and what would you like, young man?" She asked him, then she started to giggle. I looked sideways and TJ had managed to suck his face into a wine glass, it was jammed on and he couldn't get it off. you could see in his eyes that he was scared about having this thing stuck on his face but also about the trouble he was in. However, upon seeing his duck billed lips which had been vacuum sucked into the wine glass his new Godmother and I fell about laughing and the waitress prised the glass off his face with a loud 'pop'!

 At the end of the meal we sat back to have coffee. I turned  to see TJ ordering a coffee from the waitress, 'Daddy let's me have it," he told her. "You are not having coffee!" I told him. "Wait till the cigar arrives," my uncle said. Unfortunately, I wasn't entirely sure if Uncle was joking!!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Great Fire of London - Panic!

Apologies for not posting yesterday - my eldest has decided it would be great fun to infect the entire family with a strain of flu as yet unrecognised by medical science. He had it for one day... then was fine and skipping off to street dance followed by tag rugby (I am desparate to combine those two) but left the rest of us, particularly Papa and myself, suffering horribly - probably for weeks on end. TJ got up this morning and began to sneeze. 'Uh-oh,' he said, 'I'd better stay at home today so you can look after me.' As 'looking after' means he lies in bed demanding the world on a plate (well his meals at least) I decided he would be better off at school!

Yesterday was dreadful. I began with the flu in the morning and everything seemed to take on a life of its own. I got up late - I just couldn't seem to operate the shower and shaving took forever. Then I got the boys up - by now we were running late anyway. KC wanted porridge for breakfast - so I got that on, with a happy smile as the milk boiled over in the microwave. We had a rushed breakfast and I sent the kids up to get dressed. KC got dressed really quickly, so he could feed the rabbits before school - he is very consienscious  where they are concerned - ask him to do homework and it's another matter! TJ came down the stairs fully dressed. Then time seemed to stand still as he suddenly said, 'Why am I in my school uniform? Today is dress up day!'

I looked at him and my jaw hit the floor - at the same time I heard the bin men coming up the street - 4 hours early!!!! I told TJ to get upstairs and take his clothes off. I then shot past a stunned KC who was happily feeding rabbits my new brussels sprouts (he hates brussels sprouts and obviously thinks I haven't noticed that they keep disappearing out of the fridge) into the garage to collect the two weeks worth of recycling and get it outside - just as the truck was pulling up to our house. 'Wait...  please!' I implored the binmen. They did so, luckily, as I pulled out three bags of fortnightly waste. They stood and watched me struggle down the drive - they can't collect it from anywhere but the kerbside. As I put it down the bin man said 'We thought we would do your street first for a change.' I looked up the street and it was full of half dressed men and women rushing their bin bags down to the road waving at me. I was doing my bit by holding the eager bin men up.

Then I remembered TJ and that we were already late for school. I raced in to find him lying naked on his bedroom floor examining an insect bite on his bottom. 'I think I've been bitten by a vampire.' he told me. Why any vampire would want to bite him there escapes me. I didn't dwell on it. 'Get dressed,' I yelled. 'Into what?' he yelled back.

I was perplexed....

Then I remembered that today they were focussing on the Great Fire of London and  luckily KC did that the year before so I raced into his room and pulled out the costume from last year - a mish mash of three quarter velvet knickerbockers, black football socks, a white shirt and black waistcoat - topped off with school shoes and a flat cap!  TJ put them on in record time and as quickly as they went on, they fell off. TJ is still very small for his age and KC's clothes literally fell off him. So I ran and grabbed safety pins and began pinning the clothes wherever I could. TJ looked at me, 'Why are you sweating?' he asked - 'Because I am running around after you!" I replied - probably unfairly. 'I don't care about dressing up, I wanted to wear my Arsenal kit.' he said scornfully. How much easier that would have been.

But I bundled both boys out the door and we ran to school.

I dropped them at the gate and breathed. Then I remembered my car was in for its service in 6 minutes time and my friend who was meeting me at the garage so we could go for coffee was now calling me to find out where I was. I ran back home. I got to the garage and my friend said, 'You look really hot, is everything ok?'

I dont think she was prepared for the barage of abuse that came from my mouth - but she bought me a coffee anyway....

Anyway it was nothing compared to what Papa got when he got in that evening. 'Did you send that email?' he asked. 'I'm sorry, I forgot, I have been really busy today.' I replied as I was cooking his dinner.

'Busy doing what?' he said sarcastically, 'We havent got a trampoline anymore for you to play on....' . I think he thought this was funny - he soon realised it wasn't....

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas Fayre

Yes, the plans are under way for this years' PTA Christmas Fayre. I love it when we spell things in an Olde Englishe Stylee - although it always reminds me of American 'Tudor' themed restaurants!

I, as an active member of the PTA committee, have bee designated to run the 'reindeer' magic food stall as you know and today the preparations are getting into full swing. My friend is going to help run it with me and we have both been told to dress up. I am not one for dressing up - but she is! She keeps sending me pictures of 'sexy' Mrs Santa outfits to see if I approve - I dont think I am possibly the right person to give an opinion - but needless to say if she wears any of them then the queues of children accompanied by their eager Dad's will run around the building.

KC intercepted my phone as a message came in. 'Daddy,' he said, 'There's a picture of a lady elf on your phone.' I went white - but yes, there it was in full iphone colour - a catalogue picture of a sexy lady in black fishnets and a skimpy 'santa' outfit. I put the phone down thinking that it could have been much worse.

The phone pinged again - indicating another message. KC ran to get it. 'Now the elf is sending a picture of its shoes!' he said excitedly. The shoes that my friend wants to wear with the afore mentioned outfit. So now my eldest believes that we will be visited by a skantily clad, Mrs Claus in high heel fur lined sparkly shoes on Christmas Eve - I think I'll let Papa sort that one out. He has a much better figure than me!

My outfit was also being discussed - a huge turkey?...  a penguin?... or everyone's favourite... a rudolf the reindeer 'mankini'... It amazes me that the teachers at school find time to do any teaching - they seem to be always on the internet looking at dodgy costumes... Its a great school!!!!!!

I think the image of me in a mankini, with or without the red nose, would be enough to close the fayre and probably land us with a huge law suit! I'm going with the penguin!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Why do Girls want to Rule the World?

That was the question posed by TJ on Sunday night during the results part of the TV show 'Strictly Come Dancing' on the BBC. TJ had just finished watching Girls Aloud perform their new hit (which seemed to be about Girl Power) and TJ was obviously disturbed by this.

I asked him what he meant. 'Well,' he said, 'Girls get to do everything, they can tell boys what to do, they can be really bossy, they are cleverer than boys and if they hit you you can't hit them back - why don't they let the boys have a chance at ruling the world.' Papa and I smiled and tried to explain to both boys that men had pretty much run the world for ages (probably until the Spice Girls came) and that girls were now taking their turn. 'What about our turn?' said TJ. I had to concede that maybe he does have a point - to a 7 year old we are all equal and now the balance seems to be tipping in the favour of the girls (in his eyes) I guess that will be their battle of the sexes in years to come.

TJ soon put things back into perspective though - 'But girls are rubbish at football,' he declared. 'Actually,' I said (now in full on girl power mode myself) 'lots of girls are very good at football - remember the Olympics and we watched the girls playing better football than the boys?' TJ looked at me in disgust, 'That was just the Olympics', he explained, 'If girls were really good at football they would get paid lots of money like the men and I would have a poster of them.'

If anyone has a poster of the Arsenal ladies football team can they let me know - at least he can have a poster - I can't guarantee that they will be paid the same as their male counterparts though.....

Then Kylie came on. I got a little bit excited... 'Who's that?' said TJ. My turn to look horrified, 'That's Kylie Minogue,' I said, 'The best singer ever!!!!' (I am an unashamed fan).

'Never heard of her' my youngest said.
'But I play her all the time in the car!, I explained.
'I dont listen to that,' came the reply, 'It's rubbish.' I was shocked.... 'And she's really old,' he added. Time for bed I decided!

Then TJ saw the male dancers on the show who were wearing a sort of lacy corset job (very revealing) 'See,' he said despondantly, 'Even she makes the boys wear girls clothes, those poor men.' I actually thought the boys looked very 'happy' in their outfits - but I am biased....

Definately time for bed - so off I went!!!!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Stop over in Lytham!

I have popped up to the lovely town of Lytham st Anne's for a couple of nights to see my family in the North. In doing so I have left Papa alone with the kids.... He'll be ok... Won't he?

It's not even 8am and already I have been asked how the dishwasher works.... Hmmmm..... I left a full list explaining the boys routine and the school outline for today, it's slightly different today as the kids have to wear yellow for the Children in Need charity day. KC has taken on the responsibility of showing papa what to do with the rabbits.... Papa doesn't do rabbits. Mind you, yesterday I was feeding the cat and KC asked what flavour cat food it was in the pouch... I read the label aloud... "it says a delicious gravy infused rabb.... Oops! I mean chicken." I quickly added!

My hotel is funny. We are staying at a hotel we used to go to a lot when I was young. I was obviously much more forgiving as a child, either that or I am channelling Alex 'something Italian sounding name' on the tv show 'the Hotel Inspector'. Or I am horridly spoiled in my hotel experience, which is probably true. But I think my chin hit the floor when I opened my hotel room door.... It was like stepping into the 80's, I even had a pine kitchenette with a gas hob and overhead grill. The tv is a big old box thing and the bed is essentially a large single. Thank goodness I am by myself! I am plucking up the courage to use the bathroom.

Staying above me is an elderly couple who I met on the stairs last night.... They are definitely here to party. They didn't go to bed until 1am last night and were up at 7! They are also obviously fans of Fred Astaire as they have been tap dancing from the minute they woke up. I might pop up and brush up on my time step later.

I have just opened my curtains to see the lovely seafront views across the dunes.... But no, I am at the back of the hotel so my view is of two spotty youths having a fag by the bins! I suppose it could be worse, there could be three of them! And as I type the rubbish truck is backing up the drive with a high pitched beeping noise.... and I didn't even ask for a wake up call, now that's service!

Well, time to shower and then off to meet my Mum and my Aunt for breakfast!

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Today it was the turn of Bluewater (Europe's largest shopping destination) to be the cause of my lack of work.

A good friend of mine needed help shopping.... I say help, she actually needed someone to agree with her and convince her that spending a lot of money was a good thing... Oh and to carry her bags! Seriously, it was a lovely trip and a much needed diversion.

Yesterday I encountered the pensioners en masse, today it was the turn of the young mum with the pushchair.... And even a dreaded double buggy!

Wherever we went there they were chatting away and blocking the aisles. Great fun! Well, of course, it became even more fun once the little darlings started bawling!

Mind you, if there is a recession there was certainly no sign of it today and my friend did her best to relieve the debt crisis. I even succumbed to the retail frenzy myself and got some early birthday presents for our eldest.

It was soon time to come home and today TJ was bringing a friend home for a play date. I say play, but they actually played together very little. They ate all my chocolate cake and drank a gallon of lemonade. After their consumption the boys rushed off to play the wii, which lasted ten minutes then they went their separate ways... One to play the guitar in one room and one to play table football. But they both seemed happy. When it came time for the boys to leave I asked him if he and TJ had a good time. "Yeah," came the reply, "I love playing with TJ"." So there you go.... They had a good time and that was the main thing.

KC then came home from his first day at rugby.... Covered in mud but happy as ... Well, as a kid covered in mud!

So straight in the bath for him while I cook lasagne.... Apparently that's what rugby players eat!!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Tesco's - an elderly day out...

That is my word for today....

I began the day with a list of things to do, including getting started on my next assignment, sorting out the pets vaccinations, booking the car in for a service and lots of work to catch up on.... Oh and I needed to go to the supermarket. As regular readers know I usually go to our local Sainsburys but this week I received a number of vouchers for Tesco, there is a new superstore nearby so I thought I would try it.

Obviously I decided to do this first before I completed all my other tasks. Get it out of the way. Oh but first I had to get the children to school.

'Can we take our scooters?' KC asked.
'Of course you can." I replied in my most paternal tone.
'Great!' Shouted the kids. They got their scooters out and handed me all their bags, sandwich boxes etc. I looked like a contestant in Double or Drop. ... But I carried on smiling and off we went.

They scooted ahead and got to the roadside. We don't live on a busy road and the boys are usually quite sensible. 'Can we cross?' KC shouted.
'Yes, ' I replied 'but remember to look both ways first!'
KC complied and waited at the kerbside... She stood there good as gold watching her little brother practically walk out in front of an oncoming car. I screamed and a lady who had just crossed the road with her children jumped in front of the car and stopped it whilst grabbing a stunned TJ by the hand. Luckily the car was only going about ten miles an hour but even so it could have been bad. I thanked the lady and spoke to the boys. 'But I was looking and listening,' TJ said. 'I saw the car and it should have stopped.' I forget that TJ believes the world revolves around him, he has promised to keep practising. 'You could have stopped him,' I said to KC.
He looked at me and simply said, 'but I wanted to see what would happen.'
Great, my older child wants to see his brother splattered across a road. I guess that's pretty normal in siblings..... Sigh.

They then carried on scooting and once again I had to reprimand TJ as he was racing down the school pathway knocking parents, children and dogs out of his way. It was carnage! I don't think we will be taking the scooters tomorrow.

I then walked the dog, to relieve my stress and get ready to work.

I sat down to work and remembered I had to go to Tesco. So off I went.

Tesco at 10.30am on a Wednesday morning is a nightmare. It is like an old people's outing. The amount of Skodas and Hondas in the car park should have warned me to leave but in I went. I have nothing against the older generation, we will all be there ourselves one day and we have much to learn from them.... Like how not to shop! To begin with I wandered behind the elderly couples chatting and looking at the variety of food with a warm glow, how lovely.... Then the two older ladies who were chatting as they shopped side by side blocking the whole aisle... And the amount of motorbility scooters... Does anyone walk anymore??? They stopped in front of me a everything. I dutifully waited as they examined the food and gradually my warm glow turned to rage. By the time we got to the fruit section internally I was screaming, 'it's just bananas buy the damn things!' As the aisle walkers took out the boxes to see... and I quote, 'if there s a bag that had 6 bananas put in it by mistake.' Apparently this had happened to a friend of theirs and they were hoping that lightning would strike twice! I was tempted to buy them an extra banana if only they would move.  I eventually got around them and found myself dancing backwards and forwards as a lady on a motor scooter went through the bacon packs checking sell by dates. When the lady with the screaming baby came round the yogurt aisle I nearly cried with exhaustion.

I added a bottle of gin and headed for the check out. It was only as I got to the car that I realised I had forgotten the cat food and a cucumber.... So back in I went....

I got home three hours later, just in time for my Mum to call and tell me how she had just spent a couple of hours out shopping with my Nan.... So obviously Wednesday is a shopping day preferred by the elderly.

By now it was time to go and pick the kids up from school and, as it was a nice day, we went to the park. Then KC had dance class whilst TJ did his homework. Papa arrived home as I was cooking a Thai curry. 'What did you manage to do today?' He asked..... I think he got a shock when I glared at him and said between gritted teeth... 'Nothing, absolutely nothing!!!'

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I'm a Wee-Wee in a Bottle....

Or that's what KC was singing this morning. I blame Papa for introducing him to Christina Aguilera.

But much fun and hilarity was had by TJ and Papa as they took turns to wee into their little vials. And, surprisingly there was hardly any mess. Which astounds me! How come they can bloody well aim into an opening barely a centimetre wide with incredible accuracy but show them a huge gaping toilet bowl and they suddenly lose this ability and instead spray the bathroom like a territorial tomcat.

But, we took TJ to school, KC attended therapy and then afterwards I made the visit to the Doctor - where the lovely young nurse took a sharp intake of breath when she read my blood pressure. I love it when they do that. She then looked at me pityingly and asked when Papa would be able to come in and do his. She then asked, rather pointedly I felt, how old my children were... Why? What does she know? Should Papa be preparing for the worst - not my imminent death but his having to look after the two little monsters on his own forever!!!!! Did this young lady not realise that she was dealing with possibly the biggest hypochondriac on the planet - even before I left the surgery I knew it was time to put my affairs in order (I saw that on the TV show Doctors the other week). So now my blood pressure is definately up - and its a non-wine day!!!!!

I have reached that age where I have to stipulate which days are alchol free and which allow me a tipple. Today is alcohol free.... bugger!

Last night I attended the PTA meeting with 4 other eager parents - in preparation for the Christmas Fund Raising Fair. To be fair (did you see what I did then) our school always has a massive fair and it raises a huge amount. However, that means that each year we have to top the year before and, as the work and committment gets harder, so the number of parents willing to help dwindles.

So this year I am in charge of putting together Magic Reindeer Food with the little darlings, a scoop of oats, a scoop of bird seed and a little magic dust (glitter) and then the children make their magic wish and I charge them £2 - but this year we are also having real reindeer - so I am now going outside with my stall to ensure the children don't feed the 'magic' reindeer food to the not so magic reindeer from Devon. Personally I wanted to see the little darlings sob when the reindeer didn't fly after being fed this concoction. (They are supposed to leave it out for Santa and the Reindeer on the night). Then a bright spark decide what would be great is if I dressed up an elf!!!!!! Good grief.... so now I am to be an overweight elf, dishing out over priced Reindeer food that can't actually be fed to the Reindeer.... and they wonder why there are only 5 of us on the PTA!!!!

Still it'll make a good blog!!!!!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wee Romans...

It's been a lovely weekend - the kids have both been little angels - so something must be up. Or is it simply that all the ads on TV are now for Christmas and the children are ensuring that they don't end up on Santa's naughty list.

I once told them about how their Uncle (my brother) was once so naughty that when he woke up one morning he didn't get any presents in his stocking - just a lump of coal. How he was so upset when he watched me and my sister opening our presents that he just cried for the whole of Christmas Day. But he was never naughty again. This must have had quite an impact because even now whenever TJ steps out of line his older sister reprimands him saying ' remember what happened to Daddy's brother.' Interstingly when I first posted that story on Facebook a number of my friends believed it. I'm not sure what that says about my parents!!!!!

Anyway, back to the boy's Christmas truce... is it wrong that I am enjoying this end of hostilities between siblings.... no, absolutely not! Its just a shame it can't last for a full year.

I have had to go and re-register with the doctors. The receptionist happily gave me the four little tubes for urine samples and told me to 'bring them back on Tuesday with all the necessary paperwork.' Papa took one look and said 'But I go private...' Apparently this excludes him from giving urine. I had to explain that we still have to go to the GP occasionally, especially when he is ill. He has reluctantly agreed. TJ on the other hand is desparate to wee in the bottle - although I know it will be me that ends up holding the tube trying to catch his urine. As anyone with little boys knows, children can aim their wee anywhere except where it is supposed to go, so as long as I hold the bottle as far away from the toilet bowl as possible then I am sure to catch some!!!! Of course, it is me that has to take all of this to the doctors and I will then have to have my blood pressure taken as well. The others are all excused this as they wont actually be physically there. I imagine that after spending the morning filling tubes with urine and then getting the children to school my blood pressure will be off the scale!!! I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow!

Yesterday, KC and I spent the afternoon doing his project - he had a whole term to do it in but I only found out about it last week, when it wasn't handed in! Anyway, I negotiated an extension for him from her teacher (these year 3 teachers can be tough) and we did it together. He had to choose a topic related to the Roman way of life. Thank goodness I paid attention on the school trip to the Roman Villa - God knows that KC didn't - he was only interested in the 21st Century rubbish that was littered around the place and having lunch. However, we opted to do entertainment. I, of course, was focussing on music, drama and art.... KC wanted to do gladiators chopping each others limbs off and chariot racing where speeding chariots lopped limbs off the slower racers - there is a theme here. So we have created a mosiac of two halves - one showing the beauty of Roman Culture - the other the brutality... So in a way it depicts the Romans quite well. I found KC last night giving a presentation to an enthralled TJ. He was explaining that if the Emporer didn't like any of the boring music or art then he sent the offending artiste to the Colosseum to have their limbs cut off by a gladiator. Apparently KC is an excellent teacher and TJ now knows everything about the Romans - or so KC told me.

I shall wait and see how her presentation fares in school today. I have images of children (and probably teachers) racing from the classroom traumatised by KC's vivid description of life and death in ancient Rome!!!!!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Political Correctness

Today's title doesn't really refer to the political pettiness we often see around us every day but rather to the sudden change in attitude from our youngest son... Personally, I blame school!

TJ has always been a little mysoginist - he often tells us how much he hates 'girls' and how he thinks certain jobs are for women, like hairdressing and cleaning whilst men should be playing football and wrestling - not necessarily at the same time.

One poor young male student who was on the check out at Sainsbury's was given one of TJ's hard stares and from his small perch at the front of the trolley he suddenly said, 'Why have we come to this counter? We normally get served by a girl.' Naturally I was horrified and tried to laugh it off, explaining to the lad that normally we go to a different counter and TJ likes the lady who serves. To be fair, the lad probably didn't care and was just counting the hours until he could go to the pub, but TJ then shouted, ' No, I don't like her - but he is doing a girl's job.' At this the student became suddenly alert and said indignantly, 'Well, at least I've got a job.'
'Daddy hasn't....' was TJ's instant retort.
The lad wasn't sure what to do with that information, but he looked at me pityingly as I unloaded my bottle of gin. Great - now even the counter staff at Sainsbury's think I am an alcoholic, unemployed stay at home Dad - 'I work from home,' I explained with a smile, ' You don't work,' TJ exclaimed, 'You play on the trampoline and eat bacon...' This accusation has been hurled at me many times by our youngest and I have no idea where it came from. although, every time it is mentioned Papa seems to give a sly grin.

Anyway, this morning on the radio Chris Evans (the DJ not the film star - I have to clarify that for our US readers) played 'Candyman' by Sammy Davis Junior  - he plays it every Friday at 8am. KC always sings along and it's very sweet (well, it would be it's candy...). Today TJ suddenly shouted out, 'That song is wrong. It should be Candyperson.' I was a bit stunned that he should react so violently to a song. 'Really,' I asked. 'Yes,' he replied, ' Candy 'man' is sexy...' ( I think he meant sexist) '...and the Candy could come from a man or a woman so it should be Candyperson.'

I couldn't really argue with that so have asked him to write to Chris Evans and let him know. 'I will,' said TJ, ' And I'll tell him to stop playing that song 'cause its rubbish!'

'What would you like him to play instead?' I asked. He thought about it and suddenly said birghtly, 'They could play my arm fart' and he proceeded to make fart noises with his armpit - charming!

I'm sure the BBC will be updating their weekend playlist shortly...

Thursday, 8 November 2012


The title sounds like a trashy horror movie... I wish it was. Although sometimes our eldest child's nocturnal walkabouts have given us both a shock.

Once whilst watching the movie 'Insidious' (about the possession of a small boy by an evil being) TJ suddenly appeared in eerie silence in the living room doorway backlit by the hall light - my popcorn flew across the room and Papa squealed like a small girl - or large meerkat, depending on your viewpoint. Upon hearing our commotion TJ simply opened his eyes and stared (which caused Papa to cower) before simply turning around and going back to bed.

The other night I heard a noise from the bathroom - rushing in expecting the worst I found TJ singing to himself whilst placing all his teddies and soft toys into the bath. I managed to steer him back to his room just before he turned the water on and drowned the lot of them. Can you imagine explaining that to a 7 year old next morning? But it did have the look of The Shining about it, especially as he grinned inanely whilst placing each toy next to each other in their pond of death.

TJ has a mid sleeper bed - one that has a pirate theme, so it has a hide out underneath. A hideout where the cat likes to sleep. A couple of nights ago I went in to find TJ standing in the corner of his bed - perilously close to falling out. 'What are you doing?' I shouted - not realising he was asleep. 'You have to save the cat... save him!!!!!!!' TJ screamed back at me - I have no idea what that was about but in the morning TJ simply got up and said, 'I dont think the cat should sleep in my room anymore.'... To be honest, I think the cat was relieved. He had seen what happened to the toys the night before....

Well, last night TJ went for one of his walkabouts and I steered him back to bed just before he went down the stairs - he had a need to turn the lights on... I have no idea why but it was very important to him that we burn as much electricity as possible. He got back into bed and lay there staring at the ceiling with his eyes open (that's always freaky) then told me he was cold and pulled his covers over him before drifitng back to that most beautiful of childish states - sleep. Its funny how we stand for ages and coo over our slumbering darlings and smile when they snuffle or snore. In my own experience if I so much as make a little bit of noise I am dug in the ribs and told to turn over or even go into the other room - where is my adoring gaze??????

I digress... so this morning TJ got out of bed and proudly showed my the video he had taken with his leap pad - of him sleep walking. He didnt believe me when I told him of his walkabouts so he set his recorder up and it had captured the moment he left his room. I now think he may have staged it in a 'Paranormal Activity' type of fashion... but it was pretty cool (and a little bit creepy) to watch. But at least now he will believe me when I tell him of his night time habits!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Rabbit, Rabbit.....

So the children adopted their bunnies. Two gorgeous little dwarf rabbits that underwent a variety of names ranging from Vlad to Spider-Man to Halloween Monster but eventually we settled on Ginger (for the ginger rabbit) and Shadow (for the black one).

Oddly enough the kids selected rabbits that reflected their own personalities. Ginger has proven to be the bossy dominant bunny ( much like KC) whereas Shadow mirrors TJ in that he is much shyer and less happy to be handled. But the kids have been very good. I made sure they left the bunnies alone for the first couple of days and after that time had passed they sat quietly with their rabbits whilst I made sure they learned how to handle them. TJ was thrilled today when Shadow hopped to him without fear and ate the dried apple treat from the palm of his hand. No sooner had Shadow finished nibbling when TJ popped the rest of the treat into his mouth. "Mmmmm, it's lovely," he said as I looked on horrified. " Can I have this for lunch tomorrow?" I would love to be a fly on the wall when the dinner staff watch him nibbling on rabbit treats. Still it's probably healthier than crisps!

Today was one of my 'called into school' days. We have only been back a day after the half term break and in I was called. There is much concern about our older child. He is simply unable to retain information and the worrying thing is that the younger one is now overtaking the older in terms of academic ability. This, of course, has the undesired effect of reducing KC 's self esteem to a ridiculously low level. The school want to work with me to find a way to help him start to rebuild his confidence. It's hard for him as he was the main focus of his birth families abuse and therapy simply brings all those memories, the ones that he has tried to suppress, to the surface. It must be so hard to remember inconsequential things such as times tables or reading when your brain is dealing with such horrific memories.

However, in his favour, the school did comment that his dramatic skills were really good and he had a flourishing imagination, something he didn't have when she came into the school. Apparently, he was unable to have original thoughts a year ago and relied on tv for ideas. Since we cancelled satellite tv his mind has started to work independently and he is creating her own stories. I can now see the damage tv was doing to his unformed mind, it allowed him to escape his past but didn't allow him to see any positive future. That sounds a bit priggish, and I don't mean it to. I am only speaking from KC's perspective and am not judging kids who love tv. I think tv is great for children who have not suffered trauma, but in our case it was proving to cause more damage than good.

However, tonight the kids came home and both went to their rooms, not out of choice but because I grounded them. They had invented a new version of football... One that involved using my French windows as a goal!!! Normality has definitely resumed in our household......... Maybe tv isn't so bad after all!

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Celebration Hearing and Hallowe'en

Yes, it's been six weeks but finally I have normal Internet access... Everything works again, computer, iPad, iPhone... The lot. I never thought I would be so happy about anything that concerns technology. But I am. Now I can get that assignment in for my psychology degree by next Sunday... Oh, and complete my blog of course!

It's been a busy few days. We had our first Halloween in our new home and this year Papa took the children out begging door to door... Or trick or treating as it is apparently known. I was suitably equipped at home with huge amounts of sweets. I wanted to give out tangerines with pumpkin faces drawn on them as I had seen made on one very worthy tv programme, thus not subjecting the little darlings to tooth decay. However, I opted for the usual bumper pack of haribo as I didn't want to be known locally as the  'mean one who gives out fruit'..... So I dished out small packs of sweets to a seemingly endless parade of poorly dressed ghosts and ghouls... And to the bunch of teenagers who were obviously hoping for a cash option. Then the kids eventually returned clutching their carrot baskets ( I recycled their Easter baskets by cutting the green leaves off) I told the kids they were long pumpkins from Asia... They accepted that explanation. Their baskets were brimming with Cadbury celebrations, haribo packs and.... An orange with a scary pumpkin face painted on.... Apparently it was from one of our immediate neighbours. Papa was really impressed and the kids loved them and actually ate it first ignoring the sweets. I smiled but inside I was year I am doing comedy fruit as well!!!

We had Granny staying with us for the week, which was lovely. She even kept the boys overnight whilst Papa and I went to a friend's civil partnership. We stayed in a hotel for the first time since the children arrived... I worried for about twenty minutes, then we realised we had no Internet and no phone reception, so we wouldn't even know if anything untoward happened. I drove back into civilisation the next day expecting my phone to light up the minute we regained reception. But nothing. We got home where Mum told us they had been angels... Helpful, going to bed on time, no problem... Either my mother was lying to protect the kids, or she locked them away all night, or they were really as angelic as she claimed. If that's the case then I am booking for a week next time....

Finally on Friday we had our celebration hearing at court for the adoption. This is a happy day where the children and friends and family are invited to go to court and the judge makes a show of presenting the adoption certificates and announcing the adoption as official. We were all a bit nervous and TJ decided to choose that day to throw up everything he had ever eaten. It was obviously nerves, after all his concept of court has been warped by constant trips to prison for the members of his birth family. He was convinced the judge might send us away. But in the end it was lovely. The judge allowed the children to sit at the big desk, to go into her chambers and try on her wig. She even gave them a lovely card and cupcakes. They were thrilled and can't wait to go back to school and tell their friends all about it. My best friend sat there in floods of tears, which was inconsiderate as I had invited her to take the pictures....

We then went to lunch with our friends and family and had a fantastic afternoon which culminated in the kids adopting their own bunnies.... More about them tomorrow.....