Sunday, 24 April 2016

What Eddie Did Next

Eddie has, outside of the house, been behaving as a model pre-schooler.  (Notice the qualifying sub-clause there.) The nursery has been praising his helpfulness and there hasn't been a complaint for a while. He was the also the holder of the 'gymnastics teddybear' for two weeks for very good concentration in class.

And, with the retirement of Michael Flatley, our own little Lord of the Dance has been working hard at his Irish dancing, and will perform in the dance team as part of the May Day celebrations. I was breathing regular sighs of relief.  He is five months from starting school and things are going well.

Except that yesterday he was in trouble again: For 'giving the finger' to a fellow dancer.  He is four. And a bit.

Whilst the child inside me found this amusing, the parent and the teacher was disturbed.  He can't have the faintest idea what it means, but he must know that it is frowned upon by adults and is choosing to do it anyway.  We were kept behind at the end of the workshop.

Parents of naughty children feel the shame that the naughty child ought to feel.

Currently reading: Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Night Terrors: The Return of the Dreaded Anthelope

I'm fascinated by the way that children hear a word and make up the (wrong) meaning for it. I was guilty of this myself as a child. Apparently, I told my parents repeatedly that there was a 'hippotmus in Teasy's bedoom'.

Mum, understandably dismissed the idea. Given that we were living in North London at the time, the notion that there might be a large mammal from sub-Saharan Africa roaming around upstairs was fairly remote.  I was, however, fairly insistent about its presence. And, fed up with not being believed, I picked up the 'hippotmus' and carried it downstairs in my clenched fist.

I opened my hand to show my disbelieving parent the 'hippotmus' at which point it stung me. Somewhere along the way I had inexplicably substituted 'wasp' for 'hippotmus'.

Eddie has woken up a couple of times of late in absolute terror.  He explains that he is being chased by a giant 'anthelope'.  Initially, I thought he meant 'antelope' and I tried to explain that this deer-like creature wasn't terribly scary.  There is obviously a similar disconnect though between the noun and what it represents because Eddie is insistent about the danger of  this anthelope and dismissive of the idea that it might be related to Bambi.

At some point the mystery of the dreaded anthelope will, I am sure, reveal itself.  Meanwhile, we must against the danger of this creature. Difficult to do that when you aren't sure quite what it is.  Perhaps anthelopes truly are terrifying.  Frankly, I hope not to find out.

Currently reading: Lilies on the Land, a play by the Lions part

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Holiday's End

The last day of the Easter holidays. Sigh.

About fifteen minutes ago, Gertie was practising her flute, Gilby had finished some reading (he's been inspired by a Tom Palmer football book) and was working his way through some maths problems (for fun) while Eddie was quietly doing some finger-painting.

"I've nailed this parenting lark," I thought to myself.

You know the rest:  Somehow this all morphed into a game of murdering Ninja death warriors and I now have two broken bits of furniture and one child in tears because they smashed their head into wardrobe doors.

"Best to write a blogpost," I thought to myself.

Currently reading: Virginia Woolf A Writer's Life by Lyndall Gordon

Monday, 4 April 2016

Non-Stop Party People

We are non-stop party people, oh yes.

This is not a hangover from the rave culture of the late nineties (oh how dim and distant that now seems). In fact, there is often not even a small glass of wine on offer for a weary parent. And they definitely aren't playing the sort of music I like.

No, it stems from the fact that three children means endless rounds of children's birthday parties at the weekends.

Only the two this weekend, which feels like a result.

The complication is that we have a radius of about thirty miles to encompass all the usual suspects in terms of venues: soft play, bowling, cinema, swimming, parks, garden centres (seem to be the new thing!) Pizza Express (other pizza restaurants are available) and people's houses.

Inevitably the three little people will be going in different directions - and at mutually disagreeable different times. Often there is just enough overlap to make it really stressful and touch-and-go in terms of making it to drop-off or collection, particularly when Hearth-Father is working at the weekend. Right child at right venue with right present can be a mission.

Still, all in the name of fun. Wouldn't want to be a party-pooper. Cheers.

Currently reading: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie