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….
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!
While the twins were at my place on Sunday Ellie decided to do her homework!
Its theme was ‘mythology’. She didn’t know what that meant so she asked me and I explained as best as I could.
She then went onto google on my PC (under my supervision of course!) and came up with the story of King Midas. I showed her how to click on the link she wanted and before too long she had written 2 sides of an A4 page with the story of King Midas & his ‘golden touch’. It was in her own words too, and not just copied, showing that she had understood the story. I’m a proud Dad!
She needed some help with some of the pronunciation and spelling – I mean how the heck do you pronounce ‘Phrygia’ or ‘Dionyssus’ anyway? I don’t know! It’s all Greek to me!* – but her comprehension and written account of the story was excellent.
* sorry, couldn’t resist
Yes, it does seems a little strange her choosing to do her homework during the limited time that she has with me. She does love spending time here with her Daddy – that’s what she tells me anyway – but I think I understand. We were still doing something together, which I was enjoying & I which I think she was too. She & Jake however often don’t enjoy the same things, and even when we do all do something together they more often than not compete with each other rather than play together cooperatively. I often find myself having to break up a fight. I imagine that’s not unusual for young boy-girl twins!
When they’re with me they each mostly just want to do something with me and so are competing for my attention. I only see them part of a day on a weekend and one evening after school so we all try to make the most of our time together. It isn’t easy!
And to be honest Jake and I were engrossed in a series of intense one-on-one Minecraft battles that day, which he’d been preparing and planning for and looking forward to for some time. I said to both of them before they left that next time I was going to spend much more time with Ellie to compensate.
So Ellie was being ‘a good girl’, and she is that, in doing her homework here – but she had also put some thought into her reasons for doing so, which actually makes me think even more highly of her. She explained it to me:
When she’s at ‘home’ (or as I prefer to call it “her other home”) with Mummy she likes to play on the green outside with nearby friends of around her own age. More often than not, she explained, she gets called in from playing to do her homework, which obviously doesn’t usually go down too well in Ellie land! She thought then she’d take advantage of my little home office set-up to do her homework at my place, and then she’d have more time to play with her friends.
Oh, and my Minecraft battle with Jake? 2-2. We are planning a rematch!
Now there is of course only one way to end this post:
Who remembers space hoppers?! (It’s OK; you don’t have to admit it if you don’t want to.)
The good news for those of us who do – whether we’ll admit it or not – is that they seem to be making a comeback!
And for those who don’t – read on! (Hint: they’re great.)
I was delighted to receive from the fine people at confused.com not 1 but 2 great space hoppers – complete with natty pumps – as part of their #Jumponit campaign.
Jake and Ellie were very excited about this, and also were determined, as ever, to do as much as they could themselves.
So, first step: Pump it up!
It was fun! but then we had a bit of a surprise:
Even so, we were pumped and ready to go, so there was nothing else for it but to head out & test-drive our new bouncy toys!
Fair warning: some of this was filmed by a 5-year-old boy. He did his best…)
I love how Jake tried to make his hopper smaller by trying to let some air out! And I’d forgotten just how much fun a good bounce in a space-hopper is!
Also: I’d like to point out, please, that there was a storm here the night before. My garden is messier than usual, honest…
As you can see we had a lot of fun, thanks to confused.com: Jump on it!
This is guest post by Alex Johnson
LEGO Company is on the mission of ‘inspiring the builders of tomorrow’, while many dream to work for their offices full of slides and wonder.
The LEGO Company are no strangers to allowing people to see what goes on inside their organisation. With the hit LEGO movie released in February 2014 and their new ‘Brickumentry’, the LEGO group are bigger than ever. While their gender neutral playsets has been developing since 1974, LEGO has reached a peak of their gender neutrality with their new playsets of female scientists.
Most recently they allowed Channel 4 into their head offices and factories in Denmark in a documentary called ‘The Secret World of Lego’, a programme that showed millions of viewers how the LEGO brick has changed the lives of many children and adults.
It was ‘back to the future’ yesterday, when there was a vintage car show and fair here. Of course the car I was most interested in was the only one there that wasn’t actually a real car. Isn’t it great? You can’t see it here but it had all the flashing lights working as well! Jake and Ellie haven’t seen the films so I had to explain it all to them, which prompted a discussion (from Jake) about the possibility of time-travel.
There were also many other amazing cars here: Mustang, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and my other favourite a 100-year-old mint condition Model T Ford.
There were also bouncy castles and other fun things for kids – including free lollipops! – and in truth I didn’t actually manage to spend all that much time with the cars. But we all had a great time.
Now, all we need is 1.21 Gigawatts of power. Anyone got any going spare?