Friday Funnies: my cheeky nutters

At seven and five, C and M are full of zest.  We’ve taught them manners and are beyond the point when they need to be consistently reminded to use them.  About 80% of the time they’re a real joy, and a real laugh, if a bit cheeky.  So tonight’s about celebrating that.

Big bottom, big big bottom.  Talk about a big one, my mom’s got one! Thank you M, that’s charming.  My little comedian.  Your father has taught you well.  I think it’s about time we had another chat about how to endear yourself to girls.

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Well MY friends and I have a different type of relationship to YOU and YOUR friends!  Oh really?! Insights from C, who frequently cuddles her little buddies and didn’t agree with my discourse on the value of protecting your personal space, no less because of the number of head lice incidents in her year.

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Oooh oooh oooh ooooh.   Look at my nice brab! It’s just after 6am, so maybe my eyes deceive me?  Is that M parading around, donning my leopard print bra?  Yup.  Does he still think it’s called a brab?  Yup.  Confiscation time.

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C: Ohhh!  They kissed on the lips.  We’re watching ‘Air Bud.’ a riveting movie about a golden retriever that plays American football and the main character Josh’s mom has just kissed her boyfriend.  A peck, this is a children’s movie after all.

Me: So do you think you’ll have a boyfriend one day?…Maybe in about 10 years? (qualifying)…

C: Maybe.

Me (testing the water): Someone like Josh?

C: No, Buddy.  (the dog)  I guess we don’t need to worry about dating drama and heartache for a little while then.

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Me: M, I put your red airplane socks in the bag.  Your blue kit socks are not clean so you’ll have to wear the red ones.

M: Oh my word!  I need my other socks.  I want to match.

Me:  Manners?  Well, the red socks do match even though they’re not official kit socks.  

M: Okay mommy, I’ll deal with it.  I’ll just have to deal.  Yes son, you will.  Glad to hear THAT message sunk in.

 

 

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Empowerment

Monday 2nd January, 9pm.  Chris and I are eating burgers, dinosaur blanket has been confiscated (I can’t remember M’s offence) and the house is still in disarray after a festive week of family, friends and fun times.  And it’s back to work tomorrow!

I can feel the darkness creeping in, and it’s more than that Sunday feeling on a Monday after a week+ off…  It can’t be the January blues, because I’m happy that it’s January- it’s C’s birthday month, and the start of a fresh year….the slate is wiped clean for 2017.

But that’s just it.  The clean slate isn’t quite clean, it’s cloudy.  Like the kids chalkboard that rains colourful mist on our floor.   It’s 2017, but the kids are still squabbling, I’m still eating unhealthily too late at night and we’re not on track to get to bed earlier than our usual midnight.

Naturally, two days into a new year I had expected everything would fall into place and life would move in perfect harmony.  Because that makes a lot of sense.

January is really an adult’s license to pause, take stock and re-set but where you go from there is of your own volition.  Are you motivated to ‘move and use’ for good, or do you despair when life swiftly reminds you it’s perfectly imperfect?

So with this little epiphany in mind, I let the sun back in.  And it feels good.

Today I deleted my yahoo email account, which I’ve used to collect junk mail in for the last five years.  Shut it down, took it off my phone.  I’m down to three email account on my phone now.  Empowerment.

2017, I’m ready for you.  Let’s make it a fantastic year.

 

 

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Listen to me!

My kids have been driving me a little crazy lately, and much of it is down to lack of listening.  Sometimes I say come here and they go there because they are trying it on, oh I mean asserting their independence and budding personalities… Whatever.

But often, they are just simply. not. listening.  I’m there talking, and they are ignoring me, or more frustratingly still, starting vacantly in the other direction.  When did my words lose their weight?  When did they determine not listening was standard fare?  I try to listen to them and lead by example- maybe I could do better?  I thought we were raising polite children…

This has really started to grate; my patience for it is seriously waning.  I’ve always tried to be quite even keeled with C & M, but lately, I feel like my fuse is shorter and I don’t like it.  Flying off the handle when you’ve had enough is not leading by example.

Then take today, the result of the 2016 American Presidential election.  Donald Trump will be the 45th American President.  The world is disappointed, calling Americans nuts.  A scarily large slice of the country has forfeited track record, morals and sense for headline promises and blatant bias (racism, misogyny, ignorance…).  How can a man that publicly belittles women, makes a pass at a 10 year-old and intent on wanting to build a wall be our President?  Friends and family Stateside are putting in bids for our guest room…

And it struck me.  Across the country, people aren’t listening.  Across the world, lots of us have stopped listening.  At the risk of sounding like a preaching granny, we’re all chained to social media, we’re all victims of our modern interconnectivity, spoilt for irrelevant choice and not making enough effort to step back, live in the present, listen and learn.  So many of us fall back on ideology instead, and it leads to some really batshitcrazy choices all over the world.  Yesterday in the US, furore against ‘The Institution’ is that strong.

Here in my London home, I’m trying to calm down and be a good role model for my kids.  To keep my cool, to show them how important it is to listen and respect.  To show with a healthy mix of graft and passion, they can reach for the stars.  Don’t roll your eyes at me British cynics!  I am grateful the ‘American can do’ attitude runs through my veins…though at times latent, it’s always there in the background as a confidence boost when the going gets tough.

In the US, Hillary has been gracious in her defeat.  There’s lots of talk from both sides about coming together and collaboration for the common good.  It’s all a good show, but are our leaders finally ready to really work together, listen to different perspectives, actually compromise?  Or will this Western superpower self destruct and send shockwaves around the world in the process.

And will all the ashamed Americans, of which there are MANY, be more inspired to become more proactive community citizens, hopefully educating and building wider solidarity in the process?  Have we learned similar lessons here in the UK post Brexit?  There’s more impetus than ever to tackle ‘movements’ of dissatisfaction shaking our countries to their very core.

The world is watching, and hopefully learning.

Come on people, let’s start listening to each other and make steps to put good into society.  Cumulatively, we will make a difference.

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Friday Funnies: Silly town

Zinky walendi kampalllini gerrykebabit.

or

Welcome to Silly Town!

Have you ever visited Silly Town?  No?  Let me tell you about it!  There are unicorns and flying pigs and more sweeties than you could reasonably eat without getting a tummy ache.  What doesn’t make sense in the real world makes perfect sense in Silly Town.  And the language, the vocabulary- the sky and your imagination is your limit!

C loves Silly Town.  It’s her imagination hotpot, that spills out into games with M, debates with me in its foreign tongue and written works (I’ve got at least a couple of illustrated stories about Silly Town).  Sometimes she uses it to justify behaviour that doesn’t fly in our reality, and it’s only then that I tell her to come back down to Earth.

My sister and I cooked up many an own-titled imaginative game as kids and I really enjoyed them….’hospital’, where you made casts for your dolls’ broken legs; ‘Christina and Cazzie’s house,’ a game charting the adventures of two cool sisters; ‘house boat,’ where we loaded a blanket with our best possessions and went travelling down rivers in our house; and of course ‘Red Zayee,’ where regularly outsmarted and escaped the clutches of none other than the infamous Red Zayee.  So I embrace Silly Town shenanigans.

While this is often a world for C and M, C will sometimes talk with me in Silly Town tongue and I oblige.  We’ve got a knack for actually communicating while talking nonsense and we have fun with it.

Unfortunately on two recent occasions C hit me up with some Silly Town talk out in the public eye.  Once in front of our wider family, who I think just thought we were mad and didn’t really play along.  Then once when out to lunch with a group of friends, some of whom were friends of friends and I believe actually thought we were talking a genuine far flung dialect until I set them straight.  I guess I didn’t need to play along in either moment, but I didn’t really see the harm.  Though after the second time I suggested to C that Silly Town talk is probably best a game we play at home, like our family beat downs!

Do you embrace the Silly Town spirit in your homes?

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Big kid at heart

I asked my mom when you properly, officially feel like a grown up.  She’s in her 60s and her reply was that to a certain extent, you never really do.  I’ve probably said that here on the blog before when pondering when or if I’ll ever have all my crap together…

I’m now in my mid 30s and so far I definitely agree with my wise ma.  Part of it is having her and my dad, and Chris’ parents there in the first place.  As mentors and sounding boards in life, as fiercely loyal supporters, as comfort whether far or away.  Who doesn’t like to be taken care of sometimes?

For me the other part is that playful piece of my soul that pervades for most into adulthood.  That drives my personal interests outside mamahood, that counters the functional (pay the bills, clean the house) with the fun (dance on the sofa, roll on the floor, bounce on the space hopper).  Being a grown up is not just about doing adult things.

This past week I had a real kid moment.  We were at our local swimming pool where we don’t go that often because it’s mental at the weekend and we used to swim via our gym membership (now cancelled for it’s price tag and the fact we didn’t use it enough- though we did use it a lot for swimming with the kids).  The pool has amazing old school flumes that descend in curves and loops a few stories from ceiling to floor, and I took a real fancy to going down that flume!  I love absolutely love water parks but haven’t been for ages.

Our issue was that I was there solo with the kids, so we needed to stick together and they don’t let you ride the flume in pairs.  C took a little bit of convincing but she was keen.  Some of her friends had been and she’s getting a bit more daring.  Little M was another story. He’s on the whole less risk averse than C, but he’s no fool and shooting down a flume a few stories high is no small feat when you are four and a half.  But he was up for trying.

I should mention here the flumes come out into shallow water that children can stand in so you don’t need to be a swimmer.  And that beyond the entry ramp they are fully enclosed, and that their is a ‘slower flume’ for children, flume virgins and the like.  I even checked with a lifeguard who said M was ok to ride provided he was comfortable to ride solo.

We climbed the stairs.  We waited.  We reached the top platform.  We peered at the rushing water at the flume launch.  Our game plan was that C would go, then M and finally me.  That way I’d know they were both down safely and could wait together with the lifeguard at the bottom.

And with a little shout, C was off like a rocket.  The water gushed.  My heart started an adrenaline pound.  I lifted Max onto the launch seat and reminded him to lay back.  And then, as he prepared to launch, he scrambled around into my arms and said he didn’t want to go anymore, that he was scared.

I picked him up and gave one last longing glance at the flume before making our way back down the stairs to meet C at the bottom.  Truthfully I’d been surprised he was willing to give it a go because he is still pretty small, and even though I think he’d love it, you don’t know that until you take the plunge.

So my big kid adventure streak needs to wait a little longer.  I love that it’s there, but the little kids take priority.

 

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