Apocalypse Not Now

I can’t remember exactly why I said it.

I think it was about a little reindeer used for crafting that ‘accidentally’ found its way down a plughole then was rescued, wet & a bit dirty.

“It’s not the end of the world”, I’d said. Continue reading

The gift that keeps on giving

My in-laws were here last week & as usual they came bearing gifts.

They gave Jake a remote-controlled robot.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human being so utterly excited & happy.


Apologies for the poor picture quality – lightbulbs & fuseboxes gave out at the same time in the new house & my ‘phone’s camera isn’t great in low light

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Well, I guess it depends what’s in it…

At 3 3/4 Jake & Ellie are already at a point, & have been for some time, where – despite my best efforts – it’s become increasingly difficult to ensure that they eat well & that they avoid too much ‘junk food’.

We were having a little chat about this, as we parents sometimes do: you know, to help them along life’s little highway. Which at the moment often seems paved with chocolate, crisps, sugar & E numbers.

I’m sure you know the drill: we were trying really hard to distinguish between healthy ‘food’ that’s good for you (“Like Sports Candy!”; “Yes, that’s right, Ellie”, breathing a silent prayer to Sportacus & co.), & snacks that might taste good but can be bad for you, aka ‘treats’. 

They seemed to understand.

Then Ellie had a question:
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Ode to Sitting on a Windowsill

I like it here

The dandelions are lovely

There are clouds

By Ellie, age 3 1/2

Apologies to anyone who’s already seen this in an earlier post. I just thought it was worth repeating, here :)

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Crazy With Twins


Death: The Sequel

Words. Just words. Just 4 of them. No big deal, right?

Well, yes: when those words are “How do we die?”

And when they’re spoken by a 3-year-old boy, to his Mummy & Daddy.

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We’re having THAT conversation – now?!

We’d just finished their Saturday morning dance class – ballet & tap – which they’d really enjoyed.

We were sitting around drinking juice & hot drinks & eating crisps in the cafe there, which has now become something of a tradition.

There had been general chat about the class etc. but now, as there often is when children are focussed on eating & drinking, there was silence.

A silence suddenly broken by Jake:

“How do we die?”

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Further evidence that my children are smarter than me

The 4 of us have been beset with niggling coughs & colds, on & off, for the last few weeks.

Last week on the way back from pre-school Jake was having a little coughing fit.

I tried to be nice.

“Oh, Jake: you’ve still got that nasty cough! Don’t worry, we’ll try to make you better.”

“But you can’t, can you?” was his immediate reply.

No hint of malice or bitterness, just a matter-of-fact observation.

He’d no doubt noticed that Mummy & Daddy had been coughing & sniffling as well, & that our best efforts at treatment hadn’t made our ailments go away, let alone his or Ellie’s.

I was stumped. What can you say to that?

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Here I sit

Ellie sometimes likes to sit on the (upstairs) bedroom windowsill, spying on the neighbours looking out on the world.

We were there yesterday evening surveying the scene when, in a soft voice, full of wonder, she said:

“I like it here; the dandelions are lovely. There are clouds.”

It’s good to see one so young appreciating the beauty of nature!

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It’s good to talk, but does it have to be now?!

Warning: this post may contain traces of poo. 

The twins have quite a Roman attitude towards the toilet. Ellie, in particular, seems to see doing one’s business as a social event.

In the demarcation of duties between me & the Mummy the role of ‘Toilet Attendant’ somehow seems to have gone on my CV.  I think ‘Skilful Negotiator’ is very probably on hers…

When she’s on her throne Ellie likes to chat, with me.

I say “likes to chat”; I really mean “insists on chatting”. She can be very determined: “Daddy, come & have a chat with me! Sit there!”. It is my place to sit on the side of the bath. So we can “chat”.

And actually it’s alright; nice even. She’s mature enough & skilled enough in language now that we can have something like a “So how was your day?” conversation. With a little extra, sometimes uncomfortable, punctuation. And some slightly odd facial expressions.

I’ll ask her what she did today, & what she liked the most. And, after a bit of prompting, she can answer. I still really haven’t got used to my little babies, who for so long could only cry & gurgle, now having proper little conversations with us!

And as someone who isn’t naturally talkative or outgoing it adds extra demands on me, & adds to my skill set. And so is very good for me as well!

Of course the opposite is true too. When the Mummy or I have to answer nature’s call Jallie see it as an open invitation. They really can’t understand why we might want privacy.

Well we tweet from there don’t we? (Or so I’m told). And they don’t have a twitter account (yet) so why not? I guess.

Which reminds me: I really must get that lock fixed…

Wot So Funee?


Jake, Ellie & I all had haircuts yesterday. The Mummy had hers done a couple of weeks ago.

While I was having mine done Ellie came up to me & said “Daddy, you look gorgeous!”

Later it was “We all look gorgeous!”

Jake’s had been floppy for a while & he really suits a short smart cut, especially with a side parting.

I badly needed hair that accessorises with my bald spot.

Ellie looked great with long hair but it was getting hard to brush & untangle & kept getting in her eyes.

She was happy with her new haircut initially but in bed last night she became really upset! More to do with tiredness than anything else I think.

For a solid 5 minutes at least she cried horribly, shouting repeatedly “I WANT MY HAIR BACK!”

(She was fine this morning & we haven’t heard a word about it since).

Jake was a little star! He was casting magic spells to help, trying to swap Ellie’s hair with Mummy’s. Using a large pot of skin cream as a wand.

“Abra-dabra, MUMMY HAIR GO!”

And when there no obvious result he would try a variation, like “Abra-dabra, HAIR BACK!”

He was brilliant. He made us laugh &, more importantly, helped calm Ellie.

After quite a few tries he got quite discouraged when his magic didn’t seem to be working, so I had to tell him that I was sure that I’d seen some of Mummy’s & Ellie’s hair swap over.

He seemed happy with that; soon Ellie was too, then they fell asleep.