Tag Archives: memories

Pass Me the Hook Brush Please

"Let me tell you a secret..."

“Let me tell you a secret…”

It’s been chaos this afternoon, with screams and shouting and even some biting (or at least attempted biting).

Yep. I’ve had both kids at home this afternoon and they’ve swung from holding their own little love-fest to trying to deafen each other (I think my subsequent hearing loss is considered collateral damage) on a regular basis.

If you call every 4 minutes regular that is.

It’s a bit weird really and I can only put it down to the fact that the relationship between Mini and Motormouth is changing.

Maybe it’s because Motormouth starts school in a few weeks. Perhaps he’s stepping into a more grown-up persona. That would explain the times he pulls Mini close and says “hush, sweetheart, it’s all right.” I know he’s copying the words we use, but I think the same sentiment is there.

He even counts the stairs as he helps Mini climb down them, (although it was a bad joke for every step instead of numbers the other day), and is very careful when he’s showing her how to cross the road safely.

Some things haven’t changed – Motormouth is still first choice for holding hands and Mini still has to copy everything that Motormouth does, including walking along walls, poking drain hole covers, picking dandelions… well you get the message.

Yesterday was a classic. Motormouth decided I needed a make-over, specifically I needed my hair to look like Princess Jasmine’s. There he was, with his faithful assistant Mini passing him his “equitment” on demand. He did put his own unique spin on things, using “hook brushes”, toy swords and other random items. He and Mini are on the same wave length as well. She doesn’t seem to have any problems understanding what he wants, which is lucky really, the way his imagination works. Who knew a fire ladder was an essential hair dressing tool?

There are some moments when I catch them unaware, when they snuggle up to each other whilst watching TV or they sit there holding hands in the back of the car.

Those are the memories that make the screaming and the crying worthwhile.

I just wish I could stuff them in my ears to block out some of the noise (the memories that is, not the kids).

In the meantime, I’ll just turn the radio up and grin and bear it.

X is for Kisses

X is for Kisses

X is for Kisses

Yes, I know. This is cheating a little bit, but the only other X that came to mind was x-ray and we haven’t had to deal with those yet and, if we’re lucky, we won’t have to for a while (touch wood, she says, hand on head).

Kissing.

Hmm.

It seems to be all or nothing with our two.

You either get a big, slobbery, snotty kiss when you least expect it (have you ever had that experience when you’re in a deep sleep and you open your eyes just before they plant one on you?) or you have the struggling, trying-to-hold-on-to-an-angry-eel manoeuvre where you get a hope-you-make-contact-with-a-body-part-that-doesn’t-smell-kiss.

Just us then?

Really?

Are you sure?

Oh, OK then.

Anyway, it’s a balancing act, like so much else in parenthood. You’re trying to show them affection so they know they’re loved and trying to time it so they get it when they need it most, like when they’re feeling poorly or vulnerable or in need of a little injection of self-esteem.

And don’t talk to me about their attention span. No sooner have I started to move in for the kiss than they’ve got distracted and are trying to disappear in the other direction. I’ve had far too many air kisses (as far as I’m concerned air kisses should be between consenting adults only) so I’ve learnt to get them in a bear hug before I try to deliver the all-important kiss on the cheek or the top of the head.

But it’s more than just physical contact isn’t it? It’s comfort for both of us that we belong together, that families are important and showing that you love your family is good. I know they’re going to go through a phase where they won’t want to be in the same room as us, let alone be kissed, they swing in and out of that particular frame of mind at the moment. (Why is it so funny when your 4-year-old retreats to his bedroom and shuts the door, saying he wants some alone time?)

And you start to accept that any demonstrations of affection will be on their terms and we’ll be lucky if they let us know what the rules are.

You just get used to this, then they’ll add the chaos factor and want a full-out cuddle (OK so that usually happens when you’ve been trying to get them to go to bed and stay in bed for the past half hour) but you leap at the chance anyway. At least the first four or five times.

Or they’ll declare at the top of the voice that they love you best in the whole wide universe. (That accolade usually goes to the Other Half.)

Then you’re (or at least I’m) left in a gooey mess and we start all over again.

A bit like life really.

W is for Wet and Muddy

W is for Wet and Muddy

W is for Wet and Muddy

There are some really good things about being a parent, and one of those is being able to experience the fun of being a child all over again.

Like playing on the swings (though I am positive the seats have got narrower over the years since I can’t possibly have got wider can I?).

Or running through piles of autumn leaves.

Or puddle jumping.

I don’t really remember puddle jumping when I was younger, possibly because, growing up in Australia, there weren’t that many puddles and by the time we moved back to England I was too old and grown up to do things like that.

But now we all puddle jump, providing we’re wearing wellies. (Thank you Peppa Pig.) The Other Half has taken Motormouth on Boxing Day to play on the swings and jump in puddles to get thoroughly soaked and mucky, giving me some peace to get dinner ready. I’ve welcomed them home with a bath ready-run and my sanity in tact. We’ve even got soaked on the walk home from the child minder.

The kids love it and, I have to admit, I quite enjoy it too. It’s liberating, consciously making the decision to stop worrying about them getting dirty or what people think and maybe that’s the secret.

I choose not to care what people think if I’m running around the park chasing my child and pretending to be whichever baddie they’ve decided I’m going to be. They’re having fun and if they’re having fun, I’m having fun.

Maybe one of the best gifts we get as parents is the ability to recapture some of that “live in the now” attitude to life.

I’m not advocating we do too much of that, after all, we have a bigger responsibility to keep our kids safe and teach them how to function in society for when they become adults. But sometimes, just sometimes, we shouldn’t we allow them to coax our inner child out to play?

I know we’ve only got a few years left before they’ll be too old to jump in puddles and run around the playground pretending to be sea monsters and I think I’ll miss these times more than they do.

In the meantime, I am tyrannosaurus rex, hear me ROAR!!!!

 

Newsflash – Rainbow Outbreak

Rainbow Tummy is not thought to be contagious.

Rainbow Tummy is not thought to be contagious.

An experiment had some unexpected results yesterday. Motormouth was introduced to Rainbow Drops as the Other Half had a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

At first all seemed to be progressing normally, then, when Mature Mother arrived at the test site to receive a verbal update from the subject, Motormouth, she was informed that not only had he ingested Rainbow Drops but they had made his tummy feel funny.

Emergency protocols were instigated and after further assessment, Motormouth decided he felt funny because he now had “rainbows in his tummy”.

Discussions are taking place to determine whether or not this particular side effect should be considered positive or just an aberration.

Motormouth has shown no further ill effects.

Submarine Ahoy!

The Dynamic Duo ready to go

The Dynamic Duo ready to go

We decided to take Mini and Motormouth to Chatham Dockyard to celebrate the little sun we were going to get this Bank Holiday weekend. We’ve been before and they both seemed to enjoy it, even if Mini is still too little to be able to look around the ships.

 

 

And the submarine.

 Tiny Boy, Huge Submarine
Tiny Boy, Huge Submarine

Motormouth loves the submarine tour and to be fair HMS Ocelot, launched in 1962, does look pretty damn impressive from the outside, even if she is propped up in a dry dock. She’s a diesel-electric submarine nearly 300′ long and 26′ wide, and the last submarine to be built at Chatham Dockyard.

And she’s painted black.

 

If I was more fanciful, I’d probably describe her as a brooding presence with an undertone of contained violence.

It’s a good job I’m not fanciful.

Not in broad daylight anyway.

 

IMAG0977Then he had to look around HMS Cavalier, where he found the bell which he had great fun ringing, and ringing, and ringing…

She dates from 1944 and is only about 60′ feet longer than the Ocelot, but she carried a complement of 263 compared to the Ocelot’s 68. It makes you realise just how much equipment they have to fit inside a sub since, even with a crew of that size, it’s really cramped.

For anyone other than Motormouth of course. He didn’t get to sit in the captain’s chair this time, the highlight of his last visit, but he’s pretty philosophical about it. He’s sure it will happen next time.

Time for a Quick Nap

Time for a Quick Nap

The last of the three ships was HMS Gannet. She dates from the late 1800s and is what you imagine an old fashioned warship would look like, all ropes and sails and teak. In fact she’s powered by both steam and sail (a nod to steampunk there) and was used as a training ship.

We also bumped into Uncle One-Liner and Auntie Patience who are regulars at the Dockyard and both the kids were pleased to see them.

 

Our main reason for visiting the Dockyard was to catch the Julia Donaldson exhibition before it closed and it was worth it. The kids got to explore different areas, each relating to a book, with giant stuffed toy characters (well, giant is a relative term, the cow’s nose only came up to my ear).

And a model whale.

Giddy up, Whale!Giddy up, Whale!

I don’t know if you’ve read the snail and the whale, but it’s my favourite Julia Donaldson story (well, of the half dozen or so that I’ve read. To the kids. Honest.) The reason it gets a special mention was Mini took a real shine to it. She had to sit on its back. Then its head. Then its tail flukes. Then she had to sit on its head again and slide down its back.

In fact, she was happy to do this during the entire story telling session (we had to nip out to deal with a toxic emission and couldn’t get back in). And yes, we had tantrums when we had to come away.

Smile!
Smile!

When the kids finally got tired of the exhibition we checked out the pipe bending room which had some wooden pegs and pool noodles the kids could use to bend into different shapes.

It took all of about 90 seconds for Motormouth to set off the alarm by poking something with his pool noodle whilst we were distracted by Mini trying to worm her way under the barrier.

We left the room then. What made it worse was all the other parents were asking us what Motormouth had done, just so they could make sure their kids didn’t do the same thing.

By this time, the Other Half and I were pretty knackered but, fortunately, so were the kids.

Its hard to tell if Mini enjoyed her day but Motormouth certainly did. They both laughed and oohed and aahed, so it can’t have been that bad.

I asked Motormouth what his favourite part of the day was and, not surprisingly, it was the submarine (after meeting Uncle One-Liner and Auntie Patience).

I’ve got a feeling we’re going to have to go there again. Maybe the rain might hold off for the next time we visit.

Nah. Never happen.