Tuesday, 28 May 2013

If You Go Down to the Woods Today...

The bank holiday weekend has been one endless stream of...fun.  Although, as Jerry Seinfeld says, 'There's no such thing as fun for the whole family,' so possibly not all of us were enjoying exactly the same moments.

Saturday was a birthday party for a four-year-old, and all three of my children were invited: joy.  This eliminated the opportunity for rows to break out over the fact that Gertie receives far more invitations to parties and functions generally than either of her younger brothers.  It was also good for Mummy, who didn't have to be in three different places at the same time (which is my usual weekend party trick).

Sunday began with a christening.  The service began at 10.30 and finished at 12.15.  This was long by any stretch of the imagination, even for mine who are used to attending Mass.  After about an hour Gilby turned to me looking quite pale.  'Mummy, I'm not feeling very well.  I need to get out of here. I'm....church-sick.'  He said it like it was a well-known condition, akin to car-sickness.  Something that would pass immediately, once one was away from the cause.  This, of course, would ensure that I couldn't counter with any suggestion that he be too ill to attend the christening party afterwards.  Clever, I thought.  Though judging by the discomfort on many of the adults in the surrounding pews, they too were suffering from Gilby's affliction.

It was a lovely party afterwards though, in glorious sunshine in the garden of a local pub, and, as predicted, Gilby was soon cured.  We couldn't stay all afternoon, however, since we had to get back and pack up for our camping trip.  Yes, camping trip - our first time.  We were camping in the woods near the house of some friends.  It had all seemed like such a good idea when we decided to it on the spur of the moment the previous evening.  We bought a tent on ebay and picked it up that morning.  No chance to test it out or even check it was all in one piece.  Actually, it wasn't, but that was by design.  Two bedrooms, no less.  No en suite though.

So, a bit of back-to-nature for us.  A roaring camp fire, toasting marshmallows, three in a bed, (the lack of a ground-sheet for the outer living area meant that poor old Gilby couldn't sleep in his cot) last minute checks for lurking gruffaloes: all a great adventure.  Mummy froze, though, in the night, and was too worried about everyone else worrying to drink as much wine as she ought to have done.  I wanted to keep myself under the limit in case a midnight flit back to civilisation was required.  In fact, this couldn't have happened in any case, as the flat battery on the car in the morning testified.  Much huffing and puffing and pushing was required before we were eventually rescued by a digger and jump-leads.  It was not the finest moment. Still, it was an experience.  The kids came home filthy and desperate to do it again.  Mummy will have a couple of glasses of red and think about it.  Cheers!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Birthday Know-How

Six years ago our lives were transformed, utterly, by the birth of Gertie.

Ten months of expectation and wonder, followed by a twelve-hour-induced-labour and too many stitches to talk about.

Then two more children, who also have birthdays.  Now I mostly bake cakes.

Who knew that the human body was capable of so much? (The cake-baking is the particularly impressive bit.)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Value of Saturday Morning

Helluva week.  Celebrated a significant birthday and got all the GCSE coursework sample into the post by some miracle on Friday afternoon.

Daddy works on Saturdays, so far from being a relaxing break, the weekend routine is quite hectic.

Kempy has to be walked by 8.30am (I make this sound like a chore, but actually it is one of my favourite parts of the day) before Daddy leaves; then we rush out of the door to Gertie's gymnastics class.  Thankfully they have progressed a little bit beyond standing on tiptoes, and walking along benches, and she can now turn a dodgy cartwheel, so I feel that I am getting some value at £5 a time.

After dropping off at gym we hare down the road to Gilby's football.  Though, in fairness, that is a little grand to describe the activity of the bunch of three year olds who bumble around the football pitch.  It is week three, and much more successful now that the weather is a bit warmer.  It was a write-off last winter: we tried for a couple of sessions but then it became a case of me holding his hand on the side of the pitch while we all turned blue and he refused to get involved.  He now 'plays' for most of the hour, interrupted by frequent cuddles, snacks and general whinging.  Did David Beckham begin this way?  I suspect not.  It is a bargain though, at a mere £4.50 a session.

Eddie is not really content to sit on the sidelines and would like to get involved.  He mostly shouts, 'Ball!' and points excitedly, but since he is still not able to walk (and is now in the process of having some 'special' shoes made by the physio to encourage him) the likelihood of joining in is quite limited.  I entertain him for as long as possible, then bundle him in the car to dash back to the gym to pick up Gertie (whose class finishes 15 minutes before her brother's), and then hurtle back to the football pitch in time to see Gilby not win player of the day.  Both sporting venues have carparks a significant way away, and timing is so tight I seem to spend most of the time on the run, literally.  Probably doing more exercise than Gertie and Gilby, in fact.

All that fun, for less than a tenner...