Friday Funnies: daddy and mommy

Here’s a typical random conversation that I had with M this evening.  At 3.5 years he alternates from being incredibly insightful and articulate to babbling nonsense like the village idiot.  And sometimes he just. won’t. listen. and that can be really trying when you’ve said the same thing about 15 times.  Tonight he relentlessly ignored me until I finally shouted at him and then I felt bad….other times like this he just makes me laugh.

M: Why is daddy so cheeky?

Me: Why?

M: Because he’s a silly boy.  He’s funny and he’s mackey.

Me:  Mackey?

M: Yeah. Mackey means good.  He’s not lomba.  Lomba means bad.

Me: Ok…. (I have been known to make up my own words…maybe he is just following in my footsteps)

M: Why is mommy nice?

Me: Why? (with anticipation)

M: Because mommy is very beautiful.

Me: Aww thanks M.

M: Why is it so gassy in here? (delighted)

Me: Did you gas?

M: Hahahahahahaha I did!  I did a gas!  Scuse me! (typical boy)

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Moving on. Moving up? Moving house.

It’s been a long time coming, but finally, our days in our Victorian cottage are numbered.

We bought this house 10 years ago.  The place needed modernisation and TLC.  There was forest green carpet everywhere, a horrendous brick edifice covering one entire wall of the lounge and some strange lady mural in the bath.  Over time we’ve made it our own and renovated every room to varying degrees.  We always knew it wasn’t our forever home, but we’ve loved it here.

We first thought about moving a year before M was born and after progressing to a complete chain, pulled out.  We were still happy here, and as time marched on and the house went from housing two to three to four people and a cat, we put it up for sale again only to take it down.  When push came to shove we weren’t serious about going.

Around us in England, many friends with children upsized and most homes of our USA friends were on another scale altogether.   But I can honestly say that I haven’t been lusting for more space…until now.

Now the kids are that little bit bigger, so the house feels that little bit fuller, always.   They’re not going to want to share a bedroom forever. It’s cramped getting another family over for dinner or having anyone comfortably stay (I say comfortably as we regularly convert our living room to a third bedroom and can inflate/deflate our air bed like a military operation).

So it’s time.  We are taking the plunge.  We are not moving far away, but away from the village-esque patch that has been our home for 10 years where the local shop man lends you a tenner to spend in the cash-only pub when you’re locked out yet again.  I’m going to miss it.

We don’t yet have an exchange or completion date but it’s all supposed to happen before Christmas.  Then we’ll be off to a semi-detached house with an actual driveway and a big decorating ask.  I’m sad to be going, but I’m finally committed, and up for creating a fantastic home.  I’m expecting some blood, sweat and tears to get there but the end game will be worth it.

So we’re moving on.  I wouldn’t say moving up; that doesn’t do justice to everything our home is and has been.   I hope the guys moving in love it as much as we have.

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Slumber Shindig

A couple of months ago I had a strike of brilliance, which resulted in the “slumber shindig.”

Picture this scene.  If you have kids of your own, you probably know it well.

It’s witching hour, that window circa bath-time.  All I need to do is in turn on the bath but I keep getting side-tracked by the kids rugby tackling each other, chasing Rico around, rolling on the floor, crying for the stuffed animals that they insist on parading around rather than leaving in their bedroom and now can’t find or asking for more food even though they just finished dinner.  Usually C is also trying to finish off her reading book, M is trying to see the pictures, and everyone gets on top of each other in a tired hot mess.  And I’ve still not made it down the hall to turn on the bath.  Finally I bundle them in for a wash, emerge from a tsunami of water pistols, ducks and splashing and herd the troops up to the bedroom to get changed for bed.  If I’m really lucky we’ve washed their hair and I have to get the hair dryer out.  Party time!

And breathe, it’s time for their story, their bed, and my coveted evening window of adult time.

However, a couple of months back it struck me that once the kids are finally settled and ready for bed, we have some of our best, lovely conversations.  This might be C finally divulging some detail about her ‘investigation’ session at school, or M asking me about why it rains.

So I told the kids that each night before their stories we’re going to have a slumber shindig.  They get to choose the topic, and we’ll spend a few minutes talking and learning about it.  This might mean pulling gems of wisdom from my brain, looking on the iPad or simply getting them talking and our topics have ranged from leopards to shapes to the human digestive system to types of clouds to Halloween …the list goes on.

After all the wrestling and hustle bustle of the day it’s just a quiet cuddle on the bed and reminder to talk about the world around us.  With the odd scrum interjected into the proceedings.  We’re all really enjoying it.

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To eat or not to eat…meat. Exploring child vegetarianism

C has become increasingly interested / aware of where her food comes from.  Cue ‘what are my shreddies made of’ and if offered bacon, ‘that means I’m eating pig, right?’  She probably first asked about the source of various foods a couple of years ago but over the course of the last year the questions came increasingly thick and fast.

Then about six months ago she became hesitant to eat meat.  She mainly said that she didn’t like its taste, but the animal related questions suggested to me that she was concerned about where the chicken and beef on her plate started out.

I didn’t go too deep into discussion about about animal welfare and responsibly sourced food but we did talk a bit about the food chain in an attempt to make sense of this all.  I felt a little out of my depth though.  Was this just a stage?  If so should I just plough on with giving her meat?  Or should I support / encourage her vegetarian tendencies?  But if I did this, would I possibly turn a fad into an reality?

I  guess I didn’t want to undermine her beliefs but I also didn’t want to jump the gun.  And if we did explore a vegetarian route, where could I find the best advice on how to give her a healthy balanced diet with plenty of iron, protein, etc?

Personally I’m a reserved carnivore, just as happy eating veggie or meat dishes, and increasingly conscious of the socio-economic, environmental and health risks of factory farming, eating too much meat, or ignoring where your food comes from.

So far we have carried on as normal without pushing her to eat too much meat and I’ve found that if it’s integrated into a dish (think chicken curry) versus on its own next to a plate of potatoes and veg, she’s more likely to enjoy it.  I’m not sure whether preparing food in this manner masks the ‘meat’ taste or the thought of eating animals, or whether this is just the  style of cooking she prefers.

Have your children expressed vegetarian tendencies of their own accord? How did you handle it?  And if you are raising vegetarian children, how do you ensure that they get a balanced diet?


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Old fashioned blogging

The lovely Alex over at From the Valley to the Palais recently tagged me in an ‘old fashioned blogging’ post making the rounds.  The heyday of this blog was pre watershed  blogging awards / conferences, where you tagged and shared badges with other writers whose blogs you enjoyed in a show of support for your online peers.

So in a nod to the olden days, I’m going to now take part.  The name of the game is to display the badge and share seven things that not many people know about me.  I’m meant to tag seven others, but I’m going to stick with passing this torch to one other ‘golden oldie’ who always makes me laugh and has recently started blogging again- MWA over at Lost in Translation.

Back to the task at hand, a random selection:

1. My love of writing started when I was around six or seven years old and I penned the ‘Pam and Beth’ series about two friends that went on various adventures together (from riding bikes around the block, to moving house and meeting Beth’s new baby sister.)

2. I slapped a ‘friend’ in the face when I was 11 years old.  We were part of a four strong group dancing to ‘Good Vibrations’ by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in the school talent show.  I can’t remember the exact circumstances, except that I was often an easy target for her, she was shouting at me and I just went for it.  We had to regroup and go on stage soon after.

3. I can’t stand a cold glass of milk.  The thought of it makes me gag.

4. The artist I’ve seen most in concert is Morrissey.  He’s a great lyricist and wordsmith, and I’m a really big fan.  I wish I could have seen The Smiths in action back in the day.

5. My dad has a minifish sailboat and used to take my sister and me out sailing in the local bay off the Long Island Sound when we were kids.  I’d sit on the front of the boat and sing, hoping for bigger motor boats to drive by so we’d pick up their wake.  If I lived by the sea I’d love to have a sailboat.

6. When I was in high school I wrote a speech on the importance of voting for the American Legion Oratorical Concert and progressed through the regional ranks, collecting several hundred in bonds along the way.  Hanging with the vets was a pleasure!

7. I’m an avid podcast devotee of the Elis James and John Robins show on Radio  X.  The show is live from 10am-1pm on Saturday mornings, but if you don’t have time to listen live do check out the podcast- they are legends, and regularly make me laugh like a nutter on the train into work!


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