From the Mouths of Babes and Infants…

It was a difficult time, for all of us, when Ellie was so sick & in hospital with her nasty infected chickenpox.

The Mummy was talking to her about it, saying “It was really hard seeing you so sick in hospital, Ellie”

She straight-away replied: “But Mummy, remember the fun we had in the playroom there”.

Wow.

Such wisdom from a 4-year-old!

We can definitely learn a lot from even very young children 🙂

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Related: The Story Behind the Photo

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Flashback Friday: In the Deep, Dark, Dank Caves

Flashback Friday: perfect for those posts that you meant to write at the time but just didn’t manage to!

I have rather a lot of those…

Back in August we had a great day out at a ‘Dinosaur Park’. It’s actually part of Wales’ National Showcaves Centre & what I didn’t have time to post about then was our actually walking through the caves there as well.

They’re quite something!

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Continue reading “Flashback Friday: In the Deep, Dark, Dank Caves”

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.

Continue reading “Death: The Sequel”

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?”

Continue reading “We’re having THAT conversation – now?!”

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?

Continue reading “Further evidence that my children are smarter than me”

Flying Without Wings

They believe they can fly. They (probably) believe they can touch the sky…

They told me they could.

I didn’t believe them.

They then started jumping, quite expertly, from 1 sofa to the other.

It’s actually quite a long way, especially for 3-year-olds.

“See, Daddy: I told you!”

They had their first day back at pre-school today, & it went surprisingly well. When we picked them up they presented us with great pictures they’d made for us.

Just for this week it’s 1 – 3.30, then 9-1 from next week for the rest of the term. The school want them to do a full day to 3.30 but we think that’s too long.

We picked them early so they could have a rest before their first gym class.

They loved it! They really enjoyed running around, stretching & jumping in the warm-up. Then, in a little group of the 4 youngest, they walked forwards, backwards & sideways on the beam, rolled forwards, backwards & sideways down a padded slope, & swung on a rope.

Then: the vault! We were hoping they’d get to do something on that apparatus!

The idea, we saw later, was for them to run up, jump on the spring-board & reach for the vault with their hands. The teachers, 1 on each side, were then to help lift them to a standing position on the vault.

“This should be interesting” we thought as we watched from on high, as Jake prepared to take his run-up.

And away he went! Running faster than any little boy ever should, he hurtled towards the vault. He jumped on to the spring-board: Boing!

So far so good!

Except instead of a neat landing on the vault with his hands, he went hurtling through the air, completely clearing the vault & zooming right over to the other side! A flying Jake!

The last thing we saw were his legs as they rapidly disappeared behind the vault.

The teachers seemed a little concerned, no doubt mentally checking their indemnity insurance & trying to remember who the parents were & whether or not they had many tattoos. Or worse: sharp suits.

We were a little worried, to be honest – but only a little. We’d seen the sofa-jumps!

He was fine. He emerged smiling, & I could imagine him saying – as he often does after a death-defying leap – “I’m awight”.

Now, if someone could just help me get those blasted Westlife (or is it Boyzone? I can never remember) songs out of my head…

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Wot So Funee?

Climb Every Rope-Bridge

I was very proud on the weekend.

On Saturday we went to a local fun farm. Inside it has a great adventure playground, & nifty little racing cars; outside there are farm animals to feed, walks & another playground.

There’s a fantastic high slide that Jake & Ellie love to go on. The problem is to get to it you have to climb over a high rope-bridge. It has big holes, no flat ‘floor’, is quite a long way up & is wobbly.

The slide doesn’t phase them at all (even though it’s supposed to…) – they love it!

So it’s my job to stand by the rope bridge & carry them over, wait for the next one to run up the stairs, & repeat. Sometimes they insist I go down the slide with them.

It’s quite tiring!

But that’s OK; it’s not as if I don’t need the exercise…

Not this time: Ellie went over all by herself!

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She actually had to psych herself up. She sat for several minutes watching other children cross, making several attempts to go, then sitting down again. Every time I offered my hand she complained & refused my help.

I am so often in awe of her, & Jake. “Are they even my kids?!” I wonder sometimes! (I’ve checked – they are, honest.)

She was clearly scared, but determined to do it.

After some time her determination overcame her fear, she got up & she walked over – all by herself – again refusing all offers of help, even while clearly scared.

It took a while, & there was a little queue of surprisingly patient children stretching out behind her, but she did it!

Every subsequent crossing was quicker & more confident; now she walks over as if it was a stroll down the hall.

When Jake saw what was going on he had to follow suit, of course. That’s pretty normal with these twins of ours!

I’ve said it before, but it’s true: my children are an inspiration to me.

It’s an amazing thing when 3-year-olds by their own example can motivate you to do better in own life – but they do.

I’m so proud of them, & I love them dearly.

I’m linking up with The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Fun Photo Fun’ today. For more posts like this just click the pic:


School Runner

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I got 2 pre-schoolers walking the streets…I need ya, Dad. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the School Runner; I need your magic.

Not quite what Jake & Ellie’s pre-school teacher said to me. But it might have been.

And, to be fair, she hasn’t actually said anything like that to me at all. I just couldn’t resist appropriating a quote from one of my favourite films

– for I am now officially a School Runner!

Cue swelling spacey Vangelis synths while my spinner car swoops over city skyscrapers before descending onto the mean streets of suburban south Wales

In my head, anyway…

The reality is slightly different.

Jake & Ellie have been eased gradually into their new life as pre-schoolers: at first 2 afternoons a week, then 3, & now they’re up to the full 5.

To start with the Mummy & I were dropping them off & picking them up together; now we ‘take turns’. She likes to do it herself when she can, & she does. I can usually go with her on her days but we want them to get used to just 1 of us collecting them as she can’t go with me on my days.

They are really enjoying pre-school & are usually excited to be going. We just point them in the right direction & off they go; taking them there isn’t a problem.

Picking them up again afterwards, however…

I gaze with envy at the other parents walking along sedately, hand in hand with their little darling – or little darling & slightly bigger & more mature little darling – trotting along sweetly at their side.

I’m not sure what they think when they look at me. They’re probably too busy trying to avoid a flying Jake as he attempts to become the fastest 3-year-old on Earth. There’s a nasty chicane at the gate which is always trouble, then a long lane which is perfect for a little boy intent on doing his best Usain Bolt impression. The lane leads to a footpath then a busy road, & he hasn’t quite got it into his head yet that running onto roads is generally a bad idea.

There’s usually shouting.

Ellie on the other hand likes to dawdle. There are lots of little walls on the way & she sees it as her mission in life to walk on every one of them, very slowly, balancing with her arms in the air so she doesn’t fall off. Except she sometimes does. Some of the walls are in people’s gardens. “That belongs to someone else” is a sentence which just doesn’t seem to register in the world of a 3-year-old, or at least our 3-year-olds.

There’s usually shouting.

Of course I try to grab their hands on exit. They’re surprisingly quick, especially Jake, so that often doesn’t happen. Even if it does they’re also surprisingly strong & are experts at wriggling free.

We’ve tried wrist-straps, but that caused World War 3. They actually seemed genuinely hurt so we haven’t had the heart to try them again.

The one time I used the buggy, strapping them in, was during a freezing rainstorm where they seemed to accept my argument that we were doing it so I could get them to the car as quickly as possible. I’m not convinced it would work on a normal day, but that’s the plan for my next time.

I’d love to hear about the experiences of  other School Runners, especially other parents of twins. Is it smooth sailing getting them home or are yours little terrors like ours?

It seems to me to be a twin thing, but I could be wrong!

I don’t think there’s any real danger; it’s just stressful so I’d like it to be better! We always make it home more or less all in one piece, unless you count stress as an injury. Where, even if I don’t manage it, I feel like having a sleep – and when I do I hopefully won’t dream of electric sheep or unicorns 😉

The kids are alright but I think we’re in trouble

This afternoon the Mummy suggested: “Why don’t you take them out for a S-C-O-O-T while I’m cooking dinner?”.

Ellie, in a quiet little voice: “Scooting?”

The Mummy & I look at each other, fear etched into every pore.

I try to whisper “How did she know that?! Maybe it was just a good guess?”

“Jake & Ellie, do you know what S-C-O-O-T-I-N-G is?”.

“Scooters”.

Both of them.

This could change the world as we know it.

What if we can no longer spell I-C-E C-R-E-A-M?! Or C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E?!

I’m really hoping it was just a good guess.

But we could be in very serious trouble here…

I did take them scooting. But it was a bit cold & wet so we didn’t get very far & went back inside after not too long.

“The kids are alright”: you see what I did there? The Who? Mods? Quadrophenia? Scooting around Brighton? No?

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