Negotiating With An 8-Year-Old

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Ellie likes to play “Truth Or Dare” with me – and also Jake when he’s in the mood.

No, don’t look at me like that! It’s a child-friendly version, OK?! Although the ‘Truth’ options can be a little ’embarassing’ sometimes. It’s possible that I’ve had to be, shall we say, “economical with the truth” once or twice.

She’d chosen “Dare” on this occasion, and I think it’s fair to say that she wasn’t too happy with the outcome: “Wear a sign on your back that says “Kick Me” for the rest of the day”.

Negotiations ensued. I started using the word “Forfeit”. She began panicking. It’s amazing how competitive 8-year-olds can be! She eventually agreed to wear it, but just for the duration of the game.  For the sake of peace and a quiet(ish) life I agreed.

When Jake heard what was happening he immediately stopped what he was doing. This is a thing unheard of, as it usually involves a screen of some kind which seems to turn on a Star Trek grade tractor beam whenever he looks at it. No, he was very excited about this, and set about enthusiastically making the sign especially, just for his twin sister. What a loving, helpful boy he is!

By the way,  I coloured it in. Yes, thank you; I thought so too!

Probably as a result of Jake’s involvement, Ellie was having further doubts! She insisted on my also wearing the sign on my back, which she very helpfully made for me. By this time I’d given up, and just wanted to get on with the game.

Anyway I was winning! I can’t think where they get that competitive streak from….

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Something immediately struck me about her sign. She’d added “Please”! So polite!

I wore my sign. Did hers stay on for the rest of the game? Guess!

And the moral of the story? When you negotiate with an 8-year-old don’t expect the deal to stick, but at least when she breaks it you can expect her to be polite about it!

Shank You Very Much

 

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Shedding some light on the darkness?

I’ve been having camera trouble lately.

First my beloved Nikon compact bit the dust, again, so I had to rely on my – not very good – camera-phone.

Soon afterwards the flash  – among other things – on said camera-phone stopped working. although it still takes reasonable daylight photos.

Then salvation: I found my newly acquired Hudl 2 took pretty decent flash photos!

Until it was lost, in circumstances that are still somewhat mysterious.

It was when I went to use my camera-phone, my sole remaining workable camera, and saw nothing in the viewfinder that I could feel the first wave of despair crashing onto my photographic shore.

Strange though: it still seemed to work in selfie mode! Normal mode: nothing! Hmmm…

Then a penny dropped.

My little Ellie is very creative, and is fond of stickers. She’d found some colourful,metallic,  smiley-face ones and had used them to decorate – yes, you guessed it – my ‘phone.

M’lud, I present Exhibit A:

 

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An offending sticker has been removed; one that covered the camera’s back lens! It’s a shame as I disturbed the colourful symmetry of Ellie’s decorations – or ‘bling’ as she calls it.

So I stumble on with a more-or-less functioning camera, but at least one that’s ‘blinged up’!

In the meantime any contributions to my Camera Fund or my Tablet Fund are most welcome…

My Sunday Photo: Extreme Photo-bombing!

 

Outdoor Messy Play!

It’s the best place for it, in my experience. ‘Outdoors’, that is. The clue’s in the name: Messy Play. It’s messy!

It all started with an old tin of Smash* I found in the kitchen cupboard.

It was spotted.

“What’s that, Daddy?”

Such innocent little faces. Such a loaded question. Continue reading “Outdoor Messy Play!”

A Worthy Ambition

My boy Jake is a thoughtful little fella, this much I have learned.

We were in the reception area of the children’s gym, where the 3 of  us were resting between the running, climbing & jumping that we so enjoy there.

He was enjoying eating a ‘treat’: a little chocolate bar.

Thoughtfully, he said to me, between mouthfuls:

“Daddy, you know how I’ve said to you that I want to be a Scientist?”

(It’s true: he has, on many occasions.)

“Yes”

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“Well, I think I know what sort of Scientist I want to be. Do you know what sort of Scientist I want to be?”

(An unusually talkative one, probably!)

“No, I don’t: what sort of Scientist do you want to be?”

“I want to be a Chocolate Scientist!”

He likes investigating things, & he likes eating chocolate: it’s just logical!

He was delighted to learn that it is actually a real job, that he can indeed be a Chocolate Scientist! Although I suspect the job spec may not involve as much chocolate eating as he probably expects…

Still, I wish him luck: watch this space!

 

The Saga of the Climbing Frame

Our intentions were good.

For Jake & Ellie’s birthday – back in early March – we bought them a fantastic climbing frame. We thought they’d love it!

Unfortunately we hadn’t quite thought it through…

The garden in the new house is a good size but when we looked at the space the thing needed we realised that it just wasn’t big enough!

At first we thought we’d have to knock down the very useful shed & rip out most of the beautiful flower garden just to fit it in!

After a lot of head-scratching & measuring with bits of string we finally found  a place it could go without too much damage, leaving both the shed & the flowers intact. We just needed to have a lot of the paving & a small tree ripped out & replaced with turf.

Then – almost inevitably –  we had many problems finding a contractor to do the work. It must have been about half a dozen of them who looked at the work, said they’d get back in touch – then didn’t.

Finally I found a good guy who could do the work at a reasonable price. He said he would talk to us before starting work: he didn’t! Instead he let himself in while no-one was there & ripped out ALL of the paving, not just the bits we wanted taken out! He took out, for instance, the back patio we use for eating outside, the area outside the side door, & a border we wanted left in.

We came back to a garden that looked like a bombsite: my wife was devastated! All the paving stones had been ripped out & put into big piles that looked like slag-heaps!

In the doom & gloom, cue Mr Brightside!

Jake noticed that one brick had been left sitting all by itself in the middle of the Plain of Desolation, and said:

“Well, at least he still left one.”

Fantastic! We all laughed: what a great way of lifting the edge off of a sad situation!

Sometime it needs the innocent & happy outlook of a small child to give us jaded grown-ups some perspective!

1-DSCN1000Happily the contractor came back promptly & was able to restore the paving he took out in error, & install the turf. The garden now looks great & we hope to have the shiny new climbing frame up & running very soon!

For more posts like this just click the pics:

Wot So Funee?

Mmmm: Crunchy!

Conversations here seem to be getting more surreal by the day.

Jake & Ellie have figured out that we can be more relaxed on what they or we  eat when unwell: depending on what the malady is, of course. Not being so insistent on their eating if they don’t want to, extra treats where appropriate: that sort of thing.

“We can eat anything when we’re poorly can’t we?”

Continue reading “Mmmm: Crunchy!”

4-Year-Old Funees

They’ve been in good form recently! Must be something to do with this ‘turning 4’ thing.

Jake & I were having scooter races in the garden; Ellie would normally join in but she was trying to get her ‘baby’ (dolly) asleep in the swing.

He’s fast, & was winning most of the time. Have you tried cornering in 1 of those things? Not easy!

The times I was winning were when I had a bit of a ‘head start’. Hey, it’s not my fault if he’s too slow off the mark!

Even then though I was out of luck: he’d shout “I’m pausing the game! I’m pausing the game!”. That meant I had to stop.

That Temple Run has a lot to answer for…

Continue reading “4-Year-Old Funees”

Saturday is a Hula-Hoopy Caption Day!

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Um, aren’t you supposed to eat these things? At least she’s being creative!

Can I have some captions please? Thanks!

For more captiony opportunities just go to Actually Mummy‘s blog, who’s hosting while Mammasaurus is in Tanzania for Sport Relief & International Women’s Day