Tag Archives: water

Don’t Drink the Bathwater

 

What's wrong Mummy?

What’s wrong Mummy?

You know when you feel like you’ve almost got the hang of this parenting thing?

Your children do as they’re told and listen to you?

They seem to have developed a respect for you and your wishes?

And you feel like it’s going to be smooth sailing now?

The smart part of you, which has usually gone into hiding for self-preservation reasons, might finally stick its head up over the parapet just a tiny, little bit to point out that it’s the lull before the storm, or, more accurately, that pride comes before a fall.

Mini is just at that age when she has started picking up bad habits and she seems to be getting them from her big brother, who is just starting to stop all the gross little habits he’s accumulated so far.

Like investigating the contents of his nostrils, presenting them to me with the proud flourish of a fait accompli. (It is of course mandatory for this to take place in public.)

Or eating food off the floor. Without application of the 10 second rule (a moot point in Mini’s case since she can’t count to 10 yet).

She takes her nappy off when she wants it changed and presents you with the offending article. We then have to play hunt the contents around the house. This is a Mini special and, fortunately for the carpets and furnishings, not one we had to face with Motormouth.

She also licks the railings. This is one habit she hasn’t gotten from her brother and I have no idea where she got the idea from but her assessment seems to be that the hilarity of the situation is proportional to our reaction to it. It is really hard to pretend not to see it, believe me.

Our general reaction to this sort of behaviour has toned down since Motormouth, but you know what they say “Your first child eats dirt, you rush them to the doctor; your second child eats dirt and you clean their mouth out; and your third child eats dirt and you wonder if they still need dinner.”

So we carry on, trying to break her of the bad habits without making her so stubborn she carries on the behaviour just because she can, and we try not to worry too much.

There are things that we still get aerated about; we have the “dog poo alert” chant to the Octoalert theme from Octonauts (don’t get me started on people allowing their dogs to foul pavement and verges); we still clean bottles when they’ve been dropped; and we’re very strict on hand-washing after going to the toilet.

I think we’ll just have to put up with what can until Mini get out of the habit of having bad habits.

I almost forgot. She drinks the bathwater as well.

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!!!!

 

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.