Thursday, 14 September 2017

I Don't Understand the Question?

There's been running theme in our house over the summer holidays. That of asking questions which have no answer. By that I don't just mean that there is literally no answer to give (although that has been the predominant reason they have gone unanswered), but questions that just haven't been given an answer - there is an answer but one has never, to this day, been thrown out there.

So, in light of this, here are my Top 20 unanswered questions of life and love and why (mainly why...)

20. "Mam, how much are penguins?"
19. "Why isn't Roo on the naughty mat?"
18. "Why are you on the naughty mat?"
17. "Where are all the hair bobbles?"
16. "Where is Lightning McQueen?"
15. "Where is Dad?"
14. "Why is (insert childs name here) making that noise?"
13. "What sort of poo is it?"
12. "Why are you still sat on the toilet?"
11."Why aren't mermaids real?"
10. "Mam, are you having another baby?"
9. "Are you (this 19 year olds) mother?"
8. "Isn't that (Mam's) (32 year old) daughter?"
7. "Why is it wet here?"
6. "Why have you (taken/hit/broken/thrown/kicked/rolled/spat) (it/her/those/again/him/under/that distance) - (in any combination you fancy)
5. "Why isn't he wearing trousers?"
4. "Why is he wearing her trousers?"
3. "Why haven't you got any knickers on?"
1."Why is there poo on the utility room floor?" (Although one feels this should really sit at Number 2...)

Thursday, 11 May 2017


Recently Mam received a gift - well, I say recently, it was for Mother's Day, but she used this gift recently which for her is pretty impressive. Anyway, she got this gift -she was given 2 tickets for a massive wash - which I found odd as I consider ablutions a necessity rather than an activity but still.

Now, allow me to digress for a moment and just correct your thinking here, this was not, as I thought, (and I think Mam hoped) 2 tickets for Mam to go twice, she had to take Dad. Yes, Dads like to wash too it seems.

So she received 2 tickets and was told to 'Hold on for Easter!" (with a grin) as, shortly after Mother's Day, Easter arrived and she was given 2 tickets for Afternoon Tea post wash (again, I draw your attention to my previous digression - she was only ever getting 1 AFTERNOON TEA and she did hide that disappointment well). This also made Dad's repeated shouting of "Don't get ME anything for Easter!" (accompanied by the same grin) more understandable...

So Mam and Dad went to the spa. I had no concept of what the spa was but thankfully neither did Mu and so she threw out the question to Mam, and it went like this...

Mu: where you going Mam?
Mam: to the spa darling!!!
Mu: will you get me a treat, maybe...a magazine?!?!? (cheeky grin)
Mam: no, A spa not THE Spar?
Mu: is it still a shop?
Mam: no, it's a lovely relaxing place
Mu: what will you do there?
Mam: well, just relax a bit
Mu: why?
Mam: erm, cos sometimes Mam's need to just sit quietly
Mu: for how long?
Mam: oh just the afternoon
Mu: THE WHOLE AFTERNOON? won't you get bored just sitting?
Mam: oh well there's things to do
Mu: like what?
Mam: well, I might sit in the sauna
Mu: What's that...
Mam: it's a very hot room
Mu: then what will you do?
Mam: erm, maybe sit in the Steam Room
Mu: What's that...
Mam: a very hot, very wet room
Mu: is that it?
Mam: no, then I might sit in the hot tub
Mu: Sometimes when I get too hot I get REALLY swea-i, like ma hair is just SOOOOOAKIN!
Mam: yeah?
Mu: will you be swea-i?
Mam: well..erm..yes...a bit
Mu: what's a hot tub?
Mam: oh, it's like a big....bath
Mu: oh well, you'll be fine if your swea-i then
Mam: yeah, i guess so...
Mu: is that all there is to do?
Mam: well, some people get a facial, but I won't be
Mu: what's that?
Mam: it's where you lay down in a peaceful room, with lovely music and a lady comes and...well...rubs your face...
Mu: Rubs, mam? Rubs? Rubs your FACE?!?!?!?!
Mam: ...yeah...

At this point Dad came in...

Mu: Dad, are you going with Mam to the spa?
Dad: yes
Mu: well, Mam's going for little relax, she'll be really sweat-i and you will be too but don't worry cos there's massive bath and a lady might rub your face but that's oookkkaay it's supposed to happen...oh, there's nothing to buy there...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Stand Off

Following on from last months blog it seems battles lines have well and truly been drawn in the house (for a moment this opening had the ring of a n early 2000 Big Brother episode minus Davina). Mam is on the war path and this is a path well worn.

You'd think that as this was not the first time Mam has donned her armour and thrown herself over the top (the latter she's been doing since the age of 2 and a half), she would have a distinct advantage over her newest daily adversary, however, Mam has found herself on the back foot for 2 reasons...

1) This opponent has tactics never before used in warfare thus far...
2) He's REALLY strong...

Now while I realise Mam has a reputation to protect, one of high wit, excessive stubbornness and fox like cunning, not to mention her 'Ice Queen' persona (which has been likened to kicking a puppy and not caring*), however, questions have started to arise as to whether this time...she's beat.

Ru's persistance in refusing to take part in ANY ACTIVITY in which he does not want to have resulted in a literal stand off between the 2 sides. He's also started to couple his part of the stand off (more of a lay-off) with the words "I won't".

What started out as him registering his protest at a nappy change has become all out combat if it doesn't involve football, Thomas the Tank or a room/location which, although 28 seconds earlier he was happy in, now does not meet his taste (whatever that is...)

Last week he changed his mind on the walk to church "No bring push chair, Mammy" with just 100 yards to go. Mam dug her heels in and refused to carry him the last few strides - mainly because he has started to state his position with 1000 yards to go, and Mam was feeling in the zone at that point (and she quite literally cannot carry him anymore). Anyway, 100 yards from the door of church, having screamed like someone off The Walking Dead down most of the street, he lifted up his legs and did that thing where he won't stand up and thus swings in mid air while Mam holds him up by one arm.

Like I say, Mam was on her game and so placed him on the floor and began to walk (very slowly, for all you Social Workers out there) away.

Ru anticipated this and curled up, as if in his bed and started to suck his thumb and close his eyes.

Mam, still convinced her 2012 tactics would work even though she'd never really been faced with a 2 year old attempting to sleep on the pavement, stopped. Which left Mu and Karoo prancing about in no-mans-land (dressed appropriately in high heels and tutus).

There was a brief moment where nothing really happened and then a passing dog began licking the 'sleeping' Ru. And everyone, including those looking out of their windows at what they believed to be a 'murder' taking place in the street, weighed up who could really count this situation as a 'win',

He's 23 months old with the intellect of Stephen Hawking and the strength of a 7 limbed Ultimate Warrior.

* All puppies mentioned are fictional and any likeness to incidents involving puppies either living or dead is entirely coincidental...particularly puppies included in the latter.

Friday, 17 February 2017


It seems that the children of the pride are now very much of the i-generation. Mu came home from school the other day and informed us all she'd spend her Friday 'Golden Time' on the iPods. When Mam asked what did she do on them she replied "just iPod stuff". Dad then questioned whether it was an iPod or iPad (trying to stay down with the kids) but Mu insisted that it was the pod - despite Dad's protests that "if you can play games on it and take photos it's an I P A D".

As it goes, my experience of children generally is that they are ALL born the i-generation, regardless of what era you're birth day is - and parents (and favourite toys) spend the first 5 years of their lives trying to make them the Others-Generation so they aren't known as "that-kid-who-can't-share" when they reach school.

This point was proved the other day in church, allow me to set the scene...

...As you may or may not be aware we all attend church on a Sunday evening (as well as the morning but that's by the by). Half of the pride attend in their pyjamas and, more recently, slippers and dressing gowns, I'll let you imagine which members this applies to. Mam also packs a picnic for the pyjama wearing half of the clan for during the sermon, to keep them quite(r) and still(er).

Last Sunday this happened...

Mam (in full, heartfelt voice): Be thou my vision o...
Roo: Mam. Apple
Mam (in hushed whisper): You need to talk quieter, darling...Thou my best thought in the...
Roo (at the same volume but with the intonation of someone who is talking in a whisper) : Mam. Apple
Mam (in hushed whisper): That's not how you ask...Waking or sleeping thy..
Roo (normal volume) Mam. Apple. Pleeeeeeese (punctuated with a cheeky grin)
Mam: I don't have one darling...Be thou my wisdom, be...
Roo: MAM. APPLE. PLEEEEEEESE (no cheeky grin)
Mam: Roo, I don't have any apples with me, we'll have a cracker in a minute...Thou my great father and...
Roo: NO, mammy! Apple. APPLE.
Mam: No Roo, we'll have a cracker in a minute...and I with thee one...
Mam: have the cracker now...Be thou my breast plate, my...

Roo: Mammy, cracker gone, HURRAY ROO (thows his arms in the air in celebration) Apple pleeeeeease
Mam: (still whispering) there are none...Thou and thou...
Mam: we'll have a chocolate sandwich in a minute...Still be thou my...
Roo: APP...
Mam: Have the chocolate sandwich...ruler of all.

Roo: Mammy, no sankyou (deposits crust of chocolate sandwich in her hand, minus the chocolate spread which he's licked off the bread) Apple please!
Mam: no, we'll have something in a minute

Now the music had finished there was the sound of rustling and shuffling from every seat behind us (we were sat on the front row) as an entire congregation rooted round their handbags in the hope of a stray apple they could roll down the aisle towards us.

Mam: (still whispering) How about an orange?
Roo: ummhhmmm

The sermon begins, and what is perhaps, the most quiet part of church is happening. Mu and Karoo also start munching but, sensing the tone in Mam's hushed whispers just take what they are given.

Roo: Mammy, orange
Mam: (whispering) here...
Roo: Orange
Mam: this is orange
Mam: sshhhhh, this one?
Roo: No, orange
Mam: This one?
ROo: no, orange
Mam: this one?
Roo: no, orange
Mam: this one?
Roo: no, ORANGE!
Mam: those were all pieces of orange...I don't have any more orange?
Roo: Apple
Mam: (at this point her face tensed like it'd been hit with an unexpected shot of botox, and, still whispering but now through gritted teeth) I  d o n ' t  h a v e  a n  a p p l e
As he shouted this (the last part something Mam was wishing she was shouting) he began to rock the push chair which he'd been strapped to from side to side making the wheels alternatively leave the floor. The preacher is carrying on as if nothing is happening and the handbag rustling has hit a frantic pace, with some people now actually getting onto the floor in order access the inner compartments better.

At this Mam decides enough is enough as it's time to make an extraction.

Easier said then done when a raging toddler is lashed to a 3 wheeled pushchair.

In the end she managed to get the clips unclipped and drag - that is the only word I can use, and in fact, the only method she could use - Roo out of the pushchair leaving a trail of crackers, bread crumbs and orange segments as she stuffed him under her arm and left the room. 2 closed doors and a sound proof wall away, he maintained his stand. We heard it.

And that was the end of the matter - well, for those of us that could handle Mam's serious failure to be packing a Breburn.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Multi Tasking

So I realise that the title of this blog post is controversial. Based on the number of times is has been brought up - or eluded to - in the Toy Tub and cross analysed with the number of times the 'boy' toys have felt the need to justify their ability to do said title (resulting in a very messy incident involving Mickey's ears, some playdoh cutters and a foam ball) all while the 'girl' toys looked on (those Russian Dolls just get smugger and smugger)

I also realise that the very mention of 'boy' and 'girl' toys is controversial, but in our house there are toys the girls play with and there are toys the boy plays with, and there are some toys the girls play with and the boy plays with very differently (usually involving the boy booting the toy as hard and as high as he can). And none of this has been down to any form of directed play.

But I do feel that I need to bring this up, not just to be controversial, but because 5 years into this job I finally think I might actually have a certain preliminary base at this skill.

Now, while Mickey would shout at you that there is no such things as multi-tasking (mainly cos of the ear thing) and that you just end up doing lots of things badly. And the Russian Dolls would just do what they do without saying anything, and the firemen on the Melissa and Doug fire engine would say that the Russians were all just doing one thing each but at the same time. I actually NEED to be able to multi task - my job - my life - now requires me to do it, whether it's fictitious or not. And I'm not helped by the fact that one of my paws (paws I tell you!) is permanently holding 2 hoops of differing textures and the other a plastic flower filled with several tiny balls.

I'm a lion who was very used to solitary walks, full of contemplative thoughts on one subject at a time, and if I did 'chat' it was talking to one other person at a time, in one place at a time. The reality of life with this pride was like being punched in the face - which in fact I was...a lot...during my 1st year. Couple that with the incredible and unpredictable noise, the missiles intermittently flung (you occasionally being one of them) and the degree at which you suddenly changed room and indeed purpose, all while being constantly hit in the arm with a spoon, and I was begging not to be retrieved from the top of the fridge after day 1.

I could't handle it. A life couldn't be lived at this frenetic pace, nay, 7 lives being lived simultaneously could't be lived at that frenetic pace. And it could not go on...

...and it didn't. just multiplied.

None of us were very good at more than 1 thing at first. Watching Mam and Dad try to pass the only baby they had and a muslin cloth in the early days was more than enough to handle (the only solution back then was for Parent 1 to put the baby down on the sofa and for Parent 2 to then pick up the baby and both of them to just always wear a muslin cloth each).

But then it struck me the other day, as I was hanging off the bunk bed, roaring as I did and twirling back and front that, not only had I become Beth Tweddle, but I was doing several things at the same time.

And all this would encourage me, you would think, and it did put a certain swagger in my walk, and compelled me to swing my hoops in time with my steps as I sauntered down the landing but then I was met with this...

As I rounded the corner of the bathroom door I saw one Parent sat on the toilet reading a book, brushing a child's teeth, dressing another and doing the 3rd ones hair... AT THE SAME TIME. Seems I'm not the only one to have come a long way in 5 years...