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So we were playing in the garden this afternoon, in the sunshine. We were throwing a ball, picking flowers & (I think) pretending to be characters from Lazy Town. As you do. I think I was the Mayor.
Ellie sees something moving on the concrete, & rushes over to it.
“Ooh look! What’s that Daddy?!”
I look. “I think it’s a slug. A baby slug.”
Now she’s really excited. “A BABY SLUG!! OOOH, IT’S GORGEOUS!!”
Ellie likes babies, & is refreshingly free from prejudice as to which particular species thay may belong to. Or how slimy they are.
She rushes inside: “Look Mummy: A BABY SLUG!! IT’S GORGEOUS!!”
The Mummy doesn’t share Ellie’s enthusiasm for slugs, even baby ones.
In fact I think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t like slugs at all.
Undaunted, Ellie returns to her new love. “What is it doing, Daddy?”
“I think it’s probably trying to find food.”
“Yes! It’s trying to find food for its Mummy & its Daddy & its cousins” (Ellie likes having cousins) “and its babies!”
She & Jake then decide that it should eat their ‘wiggles’: worm-like fruity sweets that they don’t like at all & that they had already scattered for the birds. They were then duly distributed around Baby Slug for him to eat.
It occurred to me that it was probably trying to get out of the sun. And – of course – having listened to me as I explained that slugs ate leaves & the like they then set about picking leaves & covering Baby Slug with them.
Then it of course needed water. So a jug of said stuff was fetched, & poured for Baby Slug. They were very good, just pouring it around, & not on top of, their new friend. There was rather a lot of it though…
Satisfied that they had thoroughly provided for Gorgeous Baby Slug, they ran off to put more flowers on the trampoline. Which I think had became the Mayor of Lazy Town’s airplane, but I’m not entirely sure.
And what of our friend?
Have you heard the phrase “Killing with kindness?”
He appeared to be…sleeping.
Although when I later went out to retrieve my boxer shorts he had gone, so maybe my lovely little carers really had looked after him well!
“Wot So Funee?” is a blog-hop, so for more funnies just click the pic!
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- Broadchurch slug mourned on Twitter as fans ponder Ellie’s molluskan murder (metro.co.uk)
- 8 All Natural Ways to Get Rid of Garden Slugs (funflowerfacts.com)
- The Puddle & the Pens
Ellie wanted to draw with colouring pens on the muddy puddle that she & Jake made.
She asked if she could & we said (definitely) “No”.
“So why ask?”, we didn’t say.
“Ellie”, we did say, “if you try to draw on a puddle it won’t work & you’ll ruin the pens”.
She argued again.
We repeated the above, trying to make it more simple.
She argued some more.
So we put our collective foot down: “If I see you doing that I will take the pens away”.
Ellie: “You won’t see me!”
Nice try, Ellie, nice try…
“Wot So Funee?” is a blog-hop, so for more funnies just click the pic!
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From almost as soon as they could walk, and probably before, Jake & Ellie have loved playing with water.
This morning things were a bit strange outside. There seemed to be something there…let’s see if I can remember…called – that’s it! – ‘Sun’. A little bit, anyway. And it wasn’t too windy, or cold. I believe it may even possibly be something that might be called…(thinks)…(dare I say it?!): ‘Spring’.
They carried on this morning where they left off last night: mucking about with water!
I think they were trying to create a Muddy Puddle. So please note the footwear, because – as many parents will know – “If you want to jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots”.
It’s not as straightforward here as it was in the old house. There we had an outside tap & a big hose. Here I have to fill up the watering can from the kitchen sink then carry it the length of the house into the garden. Admittedly that’s not very far! Still a hassle though. If we were staying here I’d probably run the hose through.
The Method then seems to be pouring the water from the watering can into little buckets, then pouring the water from there onto the grass & the compost-enhanced concrete. And they take turns, which is good. Co-operative play: what we parents like to see!
Then it’s time for some enjoyment of the fruits of their labour: jumping up & down in muddy puddles!
Oops: looks like Ellie’s got her top a bit wet! We did have to change all her clothes afterwards…
Jake decided the puddle just wasn’t muddy enough, & needed a bit more compost. After my pointing out that there was already a fair bit of dirt around in the grass he seemed to accept my suggestion that the compost should stay where it is…
Then: job done, muddy puddles made, it was time to celebrate on the trampoline!
And yes, I know: the garden is a mess. I promise to tidy it up a bit before we move!
I’m joining up with the Mummies & Daddies doing ’Messy Play for Matilda Mae’. It’s a blog-link, set up by the lovely Jennie in honour of her beautiful messy play loving baby girl who she so sadly lost to SIDS in February. Lots of us are making a mess for her! To see more messy play posts just click the pic:
When I’ve spent time at the old house* I usually come back in a somewhat reflective frame of mind.
Take this picture, for instance, which I posted back in June & meant to explain but never did:
I was working really hard: clearing, cleaning, supervising tradesmen, sorting, throwing out rubbish, organising storage & removals, trying to get leaking roofs fixed or replaced in torrential rain, sanding & revarnishing the 100-year-old wooden floorboards: that was a nightmare! I was desperately trying to get the place ready to go onto the market as soon as possible. I needn’t have bothered, as it turned out: despite dropping the price a lot – too much, I think – we still haven’t sold it.
One of the jobs then was cleaning the chalk off the back wall. This wall. It was some of Jake’s & Ellie’s first attempts at art, at making shapes. It will eventually lead to writing, drawing, who knows what else.
To wipe it all off, to erase it from existence, to remove their precious scribblings: it just seemed wrong. I really didn’t want to do it. But I had to.
Everywhere I go there I see memories. The big garden I loved so much: we had so much fun there, especially in their second year when they were more mobile & playful & I was their main carer. They loved messing about with sand & water with the play-tables, & playing with the hose. Jake never ceased to amaze me with his ability to find & pick the ripest & juiciest blackberries from the vines which were threatening to dominate all else there. Sometimes we’d just sit on the seats & watch our world go by. Other times we’d climb around & explore, & be fascinated by the insects, birds & frogs we might find. We weaned them in that garden, & would eat outside as much we could in the warmer months. In the house there are toys still there that we haven’t had room for in our little, supposedly temporary house.
So many memories! They’ll never leave us, of course, but the house feels empty; just memories there now. I feel like it should be full of the sounds of laughing, running children – but it’s still, & quiet. Too quiet.
And it got me thinking : some of the most precious moments that we as parents will carry with us will be from these times: when our young loved ones were 2 or younger.
The age up until which we human beings are meant to have little or no memory of anything that happens to us.
So things that we’ll carry with us & that will be some of our most treasured memories will be things they’ll know nothing about?
I can already see myself reminiscing with Jake the teenager about the blackberries, & getting: “Oh Dad, stop being so soppy!”, before he runs off to his room to play some very loud music. Via his Ninsamyo Holodeck, probably.
Just one more of parenting’s, & life’s, ironies I guess.
I wonder what else this Daddying lark has lined up for me?
Now, if I could just remember where I put my keys…
* A year ago we reluctantly moved from our home in the Midlands to Wales because of work. We had a little place there which we had been renting out, & the plan was to move in there for a few weeks while we sold the old place, then buy a new family home in Wales. But we haven’t been able to sell & we’re still living in a house which just isn’t big enough for 2 adults & active twin toddlers. So we’re stuck. But we do have a Plan B.
You may also like:
- Keep the Memories Alive: Ramblings from a Mom Whose Youngest Started Kindergarten (everydayfamily.com)
- Down the memory lane and the choices we make (sephistian.wordpress.com)
- memories. (thelifeexperiment.net)
- Inspirational memory book (diedethoughts.wordpress.com)
Well we moved to our tiny little house in Wales so that the Mummy could spend less of her time commuting & more of it with the twins.
Life has its little ironies doesn’t it? Every now & then she has to go to north Wales, & today was one of those days. The roads between north & south Wales are really slow: winding, mostly single lane, over mountains & through valleys. It’s actually quicker to get to the north on the motorways from our old home in the Midlands!
She had left home before the twins were awake. They were with ‘Karen’ & her little group between 8.30 & 3, but it was still up to me to get them up, washed, dressed, make their breakfast, prepare their lunches, pack their bags & meet any ad-hoc needs that arise. It all went without incident, although it was obviously a mistake trying to feed myself as well. Next time I either get up earlier or don’t eat!
When I picked them up at 3 I was welcomed by running hugs & shouts of “Daddy!” by 2 happy little children. I love that. There had been a couple of minor upsets – Ellie seemed a bit wary of a new older boy there – but overall they’d had a great time.
For once the sun was out today! We spent a lot of the rest of the afternoon rolling around in the grass in our tiny garden. We had fun, inside & out, but they are still really demanding. They’re physically very capable, they’re smarter & are becoming very interested in asserting their independence & a lot less interested in being told what to do & having their lives run for them. I believe it’s called ‘The Terrible Twos’.
I mean no disrespect at all to parents of single children, or even of 2 or more of different ages – diligent parenting of any flavour deserves maximum respect in my opinion – but I’m convinced that looking after twins has a difficulty level several magnitudes higher. And triplets? I can’t imagine that!
“You want some water? OK, I’ll get you some water”- “Oh Jake – did you hurt your knee? I’m coming!” – “It’s OK Ellie: it’s just a worm, it won’t hurt you” – “You finished your grapes? Yes, I can cut up some more” – “Yes, you want some water” – “You want some water too? OK” – “You’re stuck? Just a minute, I’m coming” – “Jake don’t take that, Ellie is playing with it” – “Ellie, don’t hit Jake!” – “Yes, I’m getting your water” – “And grapes” – “Ellie’s on the trampoline now, Jake, you can have a turn soon” – “Don’t eat that please – it’s really dirty!” – “Mummy will be home after dinner”. And so on.
And this is when they’re playful & happy…
By dinnertime I was already pretty tired. That however went amazingly well: for the first time I can remember they both pretty much cleared their plates! And I’ve no idea why! After a very silly fight over the trampoline it seemed obvious they were getting tired, so I resorted to the tried & tested: “Who wants cake?”. Fight over, instant attentiveness.
Luckily I did actually have some!
Ellie had been complaining of tiredness even before dinner so we headed upstairs quickly. Then it got chaotic. They were fighting over nearly everything: my battery checker, the baby monitor, my (out of juice) phone, anything. Running around, chasing, shouting “Mine!” “No, mine!”, snatching, tantrums. I was forced into “If you’re going to fight over it nobody’s having it!” confiscation mode. I think they were both not only overtired but also missing their Mummy.
There was also a poo incident, of which I’ll spare you the details. The cushion cover is beige; I’m pretty sure it’s washable…
Well I somehow managed to get them in their sleepsuits, in bed & with their milk without any major injuries or damage. As usual I read them a bedtime story. Now they’re fighting over ownership of the animals in the bleeding book!! “My bear” “No my bear!”, “My bee!” “No my bee!”. There are actually 2 bees, 1 each. The logic of this suggestion just doesn’t seem to register.
I have to admit at this point I got cross! “Please stop fighting! Both of you!”. I didn’t shout, but my voice was raised. And thankfully they seemed to calm down. Although most likely out of pity for poor struggling Daddy.
And we never got to finish the story. Will Rabbit find a new home? We may never know!
Then I accidentally managed to send them off to sleep with a laugh & smile! I asked if ‘pretty please’ could I go to sleep now? “Pretty please? With cheese?? And peas?”. Adding words 1 at a time that rhyme & were (sort-of) food-related. “And beans?”, “And grease?”. I was tired, OK? ”And sneeze?”. And was getting a little silly. Ellie especially found this hilarious & was soon asleep with a smile on her face, looking at me with an expression that seemed to me to be one of pure love. Jake, putting up his usual fight, followed soon after.
They’re very trying at times, these twins of ours, but it’s moments like that that make it all worth it & that remind me why being their Dad is still the best job in the world ever.
Poor Mummy though! She arrived home after they were fast asleep on my shoulders & so didn’t actually get to see them at all today. She tucked into the dinner I’d left in the oven while I stayed with the sleeping beauties so she could spend some much-needed QT with her friend Dexter.
So: Phew! This is a big week workwise, so I may have to do this again very soon! At least we know we can do it anyway.
There are flights to the North aren’t there? Or maybe we could hire a chopper? Anyone know how much that costs? Sigh…
This post is not only for The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop but also for this month’s Multiple Mayhem Carnival. Have a look at them both: there are always great posts there! Just ‘click the pics’.
- Flying Solo, in the Dark (whiskeyforaftershave.com)