Come along for the ride!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

“Am I dreaming?”

Rain, rain and more rain.

As you will be all too aware, the Bank Holiday weekend was given a very gloomy weather forecast for the entire weekend. Well, in London it was anyway.

No matter.

We had decided earlier in the week to go to a ‘pick your own’ fruit farm on the Saturday and that’s exactly what we did.

Joseph thought he was in heaven. An entire field with strawberries absolutely everywhere!

“Can I eat them Dad, can I, can I eat them?”

My answer of “yep” was met with a delighted squeal and he was off, bending down to pick out the largest, reddest one’s he could find and then holding it aloft for all to see before taking a big, sumptuous bite, strawberry juice running down his chin.


We collected in the biggest punnet you ever saw; 3 kilos of strawberries in all. Strawberries for dessert, strawberries on our breakfast, strawberries for our snacks. To be honest, we were all glad to see the end of them!

Just the two kilos of carrots to get through now!!

Cut to yesterday: M and Joseph come into town to meet me from work early. They had been to the British Museum where Poops had made me a Viking badge and bought a Mexican finger stretcher!! Not sure if it was some kind of torture instrument but it does involve nearly pulling your finger out of its socket!!


Anyway, we met up, walked to a restaurant in Soho (good old Stockpot), down to Trafalgar Square to climb on the lions and then through Embankment gardens, away from the smelly old traffic and along to Waterloo bridge.

Joseph by this point was cream crackered but he was still interested to see Antony Gormley’s statues dotted across the London skyline, which are like something out of a zombie film – very spooky!

I highly recommend a look if you get the chance to see them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Como te llamas?

I had one of those “wasn’t prepared for that” moments the other day. Joseph was climbing the stairs and I, as usual, was forced to wait at the bottom, allowing him just enough time to hide. Of course, he usually hides in exactly the same place and I spend 10 minutes walking right past him, hearing him shuffling nervously under his bed with his feet poking out of one side. At some point I’m going to have to tell him!

Anyway, he gets to the top of the stairs, turns to sit down and asks, “what’s your name again Dad?”

He always looks at me rather strangely when I burst out laughing at a seemingly reasonable question, but I did explain why I laughed.

“What’s your middle name”, I ask, knowing we share the name.

A smile breaks as he remembers.

“Oh yeah”, he laughs, and jumps up to go and hide under his bed.

“1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ….. coming, ready or not”.

Being of limited ability in the “speaking a foreign language” department, far be it for me to mock others attempts at the same. As mean as it might be however, I couldn’t resist posting this note which was posted through our door recently.

You can’t help but think that it would be a good idea to run your “ad” past a friend whose grasp of English is better than yours no?

Like I said, far be it for me to mock. It just struck me as funny.

Sorry Monika!

Click to enlarge

Thursday, May 17, 2007

An apple a day …

When making tea for Joseph and Annabel, M and I always try to find out what Joseph had for lunch – Annabel is easy as it’s written down in her “nursery diary” – so we don’t end up making the same thing, which would be boring. Unfortunately, Joseph usually answers with, “I can’t remember”, which roughly translates as, “move out of the way, I can’t see the television”.

As a result, I have turned the dull “what did you have for lunch today” question, into a more fun guessing game which appears to be working. So as not to alert him to the fact that we just want to know what was on the lunch menu however, I start with breakfast.

I pinch the bridge of my nose and wrinkle my forehead in a “mind reading manner”, and say something like, “Ooh, hang on, I can see it, I know, I know, you had ……. cornflakes!”

Open eyes, look excited and get a yes or a no. Followed with how many slices of toast he had and so on and so forth.

Yesterday, after our game had finished, Joseph said, “I’m not allowed Sugar Puffs at breakfast club”.

“Why not”, I reply.

“I don’t know”, he says, looking at a toy car he’s fiddling with.

“Who says you can’t have Sugar Puffs?”.

He gives the name of one of the staff at breakfast club.


Cut to this morning. We get to breakfast club and he stands next to me, a little embarrassed.

I raise the topic of his not being allowed Sugar Puffs (politely; the staff are very nice), and the member of staff in question says, “ooh, yes, that’s right. Because we thought you wouldn’t want him to have anything with too much sugar in, we didn’t allow him to have any”.

I think M’s line of work was mentioned once back when he first started at the club and from that moment, unbeknownst to us, the staff have given Joseph something different to the rest of his friends at breakfast.

“No”, I said. “If others are having a certain cereal, then please don’t deny Joseph the same if that’s what he wants. Probably the only cereal which is off menu is Coco-Pops but I’m sure you don’t serve them that right?”

“No, we don’t”, she replied.

Slight pause.

“Except when it’s someone’s birthday and then we like to give them a little treat. But don’t worry, we haven’t been giving him Coco-pops on children’s birthdays either!”

And he has never once mentioned it, until now.

I mean, neither M nor myself want him to eat chocolate covered cereal for crying out loud. It’s common knowledge that sugar and children’s behaviour just don’t mix, but to think he’s been having a boring old Weetabix while watching his friends tuck into something chocolatey is ……….. well ………. a bit heartbreaking.

I turned to tell him that it was sorted, just in time to see him scoffing the last of his banana, the skin of which he dutifully gave me, before flashing me a smile and then digging into his pockets for his two matchbox size Lightning McQueen cars and crouching down to whizz them across the floor to a friend.

Cereal and chocolate.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Justin Thyme

Annabel’s rash cleared up in time for her birthday party on Saturday. The weather, on the other hand, had other ideas.

Actually, having said that, the rain did kindly break for the two-hour party slot and our friend’s posh gazebo kept the ever so light rain at bay when necessary.

As always, M’s superior party organising ensured everyone had an enjoyable time; from the nibbles, to the cake, to the party bags and balloons.

Annabel loved seeing her friends outside the nursery environment too. We only had one bout of yelling and that was due to one of the older children taking her new toy. That was easily remedied!

Another great bit about this party was that it only took me until noon on Sunday to finish tidying away all the mess.

Which was nice.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Many happy returns

9.12am, 9th May, 2005; the birth of our wonderful daughter Annabel and today she turns 2 years old.

Well, not old really, she’s still nearly new!

She celebrates her birthday wearing a rather unsporting red rash, which completely covers her body and is slowly making its way up her neck and down her legs.

Off to the GP we go!

Well, off to the GP goes Annabel and M – I too am feeling rough and am going nowhere.

Annabel’s party is on Saturday so will go into more detail then.

Happy birthday Missy – we love you tons and tons

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"You'll get square eyes!"

I’ve been looking forward to the time when the tricky questions will start to be asked; questions that Dad’s are just supposed to know the answers to.

When I say “looking forward”, what I actually mean is “dreading”.

But it’s too late to dread anything; the time is here, right now and the first question lucky old me gets to answer is thus;

“What are fingernails made of?”

This came courtesy of Joseph who has taken to climbing in with M or I for a cuddle. Realising he has forgotten his “taggy” – his satin comforter blanket – he has taken to using one of my thumb nails which I have to say, are a little too smooth to be considered normal.

Sounds weird I know.

Anyway, while looking at my hand, he posed the question and waited patiently for an answer.

Now thankfully, I knew the official answer – keratin – but when followed up with “what is it” and “where does it come from” whilst simultaneously peering at the quick of his nail, hoping to see where they grow from, I was more than a little stumped.

Thanks to Lady Luck however, M walked into the room at that exact moment, allowing me to swing my legs out of bed, announcing I was going for a shower and “ooh, Mummy will know the answer to that, won’t you Mummy?”

Way to go Dad!

The rest of the day was absolutely beautiful. Sun shining, not a cloud in the sky, a perfect day for being out in the garden.

Joseph was not happy though.

“I want to watch TV” he moaned, the corners of his mouth turned firmly downwards in a major sulk.

“But it’s a lovely day", I replied. "If it was raining or cold, then we could all watch television together. TV is for the autumn and winter. When it was cold and windy the other week, you wanted to go on your swing and now you have the perfect opportunity”.

Cue hissy fit and I wait for a calm period before continuing.

“Look, you are at school in a classroom throughout the week. I am in an office at work and watch the sunshine out of the window. On Monday, we’ll be back inside and we won’t get to see any of the sun”.

To which he replied, “yeah, when we walk from school to the car, then we’ll be in the sun”.

As always, my attempts to be stern on certain subjects fall down when Joseph delivers a killer line and I collapse into laughter.

It appears that the 2 minute walk from classroom to car is all the sunshine Joseph needs.

I explained to him that before he was born, his mother and I never owned a television; we actually did things, went out to new places, never just glued to the “evil box”.

His blank expression told me all I needed to know