Come along for the ride!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sank you

Missy’s vocabulary is increasing rapidly now. Not always pronounced entirely correctly but we all get the gist of what she is trying to say at least.

A selection of her latest words are as follows (with translations as necessary);

Queen = Lightning McQueen, Joseph’s favourite character from Cars.

Sooz = shoes

Sop = stop

Mook = milk

Pen-gin = her (2nd) favourite cuddly toy Penguin

Poo-poo coming = this is fairly self explanatory

Sank ou = thank you

Water, baby, no and yes are all words she says perfectly well.

Last year I posted an entry that foresaw Annabel as being bossy (read it here). Now, I’ve never thought of myself as overly perceptive but boy, was I right on this one!

She has also perfected “The Frown”. I have to admit to being the culprit here and she has undoubtedly learnt this from me.

(Hey, we of limited vocabulary need all the visual aids at our disposal).

The upsetting thing is, it’s taken me 30-something years to perfect and she’s nailed it in less than two!

I always knew I would end up outsmarted by my children but I kinda hoped it would take a while longer.

Like about 25 years longer.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Half term continued ....

Last Thursday was indeed a stay at home day due to the lousy weather. On Friday however, Joseph, Annabel, M and my Mum went to Chessington Zoo which was, and I quote, “absolutely brilliant”. Costing a measly £5 admission, this could be the bargain of the week.

Oh no, hang on, that award goes to the Ikea breakfast I had on Saturday. Scrambled eggs (admittedly rather grey), half a tomato (admittedly rather cold and raw), rasher of bacon, hash brown and a sausage for 95 pence.

I repeat, 95 pence!

Now THAT is the bargain of the week.

3 hours in Ikea; some stuff we needed, some stuff we didn’t but got anyway and amazingly the children enjoyed it.

Damn clever shop. There’s one display saying, “This apartment is only 35 square metres”, and you know what? You’d want to live in it; it's beautiful. Not to mention the automated ice cream machine at the exit, with strawberry sauce! Not to mention the carrier bags made out of corn and therefore bio-degradable and compostable!

Sunday, Joseph had a party to go to and it was at a soft play centre which he loves. Basically it’s an adventure playground with padded mats and walls, helter skelters, bumpy slides and swings.

The only thing stopping me having a go was the signs up everywhere exclaiming, “No adults allowed on the equipment”.

Isn’t that discrimination?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Life O’ Riley

Joseph has been on half term this week and it has been a busy one. His break (so far) looks like this.


Over to my parents because he wanted to watch his favourite film with his Grandad.


Up to Chinatown to celebrate Chinese New Year and lunch in a Japanese restaurant.


London Aquarium. Apparently he really enjoyed this, especially stroking a Thornback Ray in a pool. Being told how much he enjoyed this was almost outweighed by the cost of admission to the place.

£22 for 1 adult and 1 child, not to mention the cost of public transport!

Bloody outrageous.

“How to rip off tourists” by Greater London and Ken Livingstone.

I digress. Actually, Joseph made me a smashing badge that he’d coloured in (although this did cost an extra 50p if you don’t mind!)


The cinema to see Arthur and the Invisibles with popcorn and drink.


M bought theatre tickets for Annabel, Joseph and myself to see Flat Stanley and it was terrific. It lasted for 70 minutes and the entire audience sat through the whole thing. Not bad at all considering the average age was 2½ years.

Well, that brings us up to today and it is possible that today will be a “stay close to home” day what with the weather being awful.

We’ll see.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Chung Hay Fat Choy

What a terrific weekend! We went to see my folks on Saturday with one thing in mind (apart from bacon rolls that is); Joseph wanted Grandad to watch his favourite film Cars with him. The great thing was that my Dad has surround sound and it sounded amazing (it is a film about motor racing after all).

I served up what is fast becoming a bit of a signature dish; pea and ham risotto, which went down rather well.

By the time we left, the children were wiped out and both promptly fell asleep in the back of the car.

Getting them from the car to their beds reminded me of being little myself, as so many situations do.

A favourite trip of my parents (and my brother and me), was a day outing to Hastings. The drive there always ended with a “who can see the sea first” competition with the winner getting 10p (which was, wait for it, loadsa money!) Get there late morning, a picnic lunch brought with us, playing on the pebbley beach amongst the fishing boats, walking along to the bumpy slide, helter skelter, trampolines and crazy golf. My brother and I eventually snubbed these “childish” rides for the amusement arcade as we got older which wasn’t as magical but even so.

A walk back along the seafront as the sun started sinking down towards the sea to get my Mum her jellied eels, cockles and whelks (ugh!) and then we would sit in the car eating our take away fish and chips before conking out asleep in the car.

The next thing I remember was being carefully lifted out by my Dad, being upset at being woken, and being carried up to bed.


Sunday found us driving round and round (and round) central London, trying to find a place to park so we could traipse into Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Joseph has been learning about it at school and was delighted when we saw the sea of Chinese lanterns swaying above the heads of revellers in Soho.

That’s when he wasn’t frowning inquisitively at the “adult” shop windows on our walk in.

The excitement was all too much for Annabel and she fell fast asleep with bustling crowds, drums banging and dragons leaping and dancing all about.

The dense crowds forced us out of Soho and along to a Wagamama restaurant which I had visited a few weeks before.

And what a nice surprise it was. Very child friendly, great child seats, quite noisy anyway and with a special children’s menu which both children enjoyed, not to mention the watermelon and strawberry lollies they had for dessert.

A lengthy walk back to the car, over to the South Bank to meet friends for a coffee and home, late again, for baths, brushing and bedtime.

We were all shattered.

You see? I don’t use the word “terrific” lightly and that weekend was exactly that.

Merci ma famille

Thursday, February 15, 2007

He shoots, he scores!

Normally when collecting Joseph from school, I rush home from work on my bike, change, jump in car, drive to school, find a parking meter, find change, get ticket, run to school and arrive a sweaty, gasping mess.

Not so yesterday.

Nope, I was collecting him early so I arrived nice and relaxed and managed to observe him at play without him seeing me.

And I’m really glad I did.

With the slight lack of detail you get when asking him about his day, you have to fill in the gaps to a greater or lesser extent. Thankfully, you get the general idea that he is having a nice time and your subconscious says, “you see? Nothing to worry about – he’s fine!”

So it was lovely to see him playing football with some of his friends and chatting happily to one of the members of staff.

He dribbled the football around this member of staff and stopped at her feet, picking up the ball, looking up at her while smiling, and discussing something I couldn’t quite hear.

I stood there, with a dawning realisation that told me, “you know what, he really is happy here!”

“Look at his face. He’s with his friends, he’s chatting with an adult quite happily, playing football, not a care in the world”.

What a great way to be!

Anyway, he cottoned on to the fact that I was there and came running over.

Referring to the staff member he told me, “I attacked her”.

“You did what?”

“I attacked her. With the football. I ran past her with the football”.

“No Poops , you tackled her”, I said laughing.

“Yeah, I tackled her. Where’s my snack?”

Ah well, back to normality once more.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Let’s see what you could have won!

Well, as I had hoped, I manage to keep my early onset of old age at bay just long enough to have a snowball fight with Joseph yesterday afternoon; our first if my (failing) memory serves me well.

It was terrific.

I guess from a four year olds point of view, after being told “don’t do this, don’t throw that” day in day out, it must have been very refreshing to hear his Dad saying, “let’s try and hit that car”, with the biggest armful of snow he could manage.

There really are very few noises that beat the sound of your children’s laughter.

Similarly, getting a direct hit on a far off tree or lamppost takes some beating too!

We kept on throwing snowballs until we had cleared every windscreen in ours and the surrounding streets. We threw until our gloves were too full of water to carry on. I expected Poops to be upset but I think he’d had enough.

This morning? All the snow has gone. Either thawed or turned to ice.

Oh well.

I guess the next time we see snow, Annabel will be old enough to get out there and whip both our butts in a snowball fight.

And then introduce them both to some real winter sports!!

Can’t wait!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Time creeps on.

I moved the blind this morning to double check that the weather forecasters had got it right.

Yep. There it was.

A thick, white blanket covering the entire street. Every car, the top of every lampost, every branch of every tree and garden bush was adorned with its own helping of crisp, white snow.


We could hear Joseph talking so we went into his room, pulled his quilt back to find his feet on the pillow – he was upside down – and stood him in front of his window before lifting his blind.

His eyes widened as he took in the view of the garden and the adjoining street, everything painted a ghostly orange-white hue in the streetlights.

“Wow”, he said, choosing the exact word I’d uttered moments before.

The first time Annabel saw snow, she burst into tears but this time, her reaction was much the same as her brothers this time around.

When we went out to the car, all the local children on their way to school and were having fun throwing snow at each other, some were making a snowman.

Sorry, make that snowperson!!

The sad thing is, I thought twice before making a snowball to throw because, “I might get cold hands”.

What the hell has happened? I’ve gotten old without realising it; age has snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking.

Lousy old age!

Anyway, the drive past the edge of the woods which border the common was a very pretty one. It really was like something out of a film. Every branch, no matter how thin, was lined with snow, sitting atop in a perfect vertical.

Looking out of my window at work, the rain is turning much of the snow to slush.

I really hope there’s a little bit left for a mini-snowball fight when I collect Joseph from school.

Getting old or not, I’ll be out there until my hands can’t form another snowball.

We’ll see.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Defcon 5

According to some friends we saw yesterday, their 2 year old is well and truly, slap bang in the middle of his “terrible two’s, temper tantrum” stage.

The toddler in question is normally a fairly happy little child, so I found this quite amusing.

Right up to the point where M reminded me that Annabel is fast approaching the same stage, much to my horror.

“I thought she was kind of there already”, I offered weakly, when I knew in my heart that there is more to come.

Ahh well, at least Missy was happy yesterday. We took her shoe shopping and regular readers will know that she already has a thing for shoes and handbags, even at the tender age of 20 months.