How to Get Through a Car Breakdown With Young Children

I’m speaking from experience here! I had the great misfortune of breaking down 3x in 2 weeks at Christmas, each time having to be rescued by the AA.

The 3rd time was the most concerning as I had Jake & Ellie with me. We were heading off to soft play in the Astra, & it just didn’t feel right: its usual acceleration just wasn’t there. It felt suspiciously like the little car did before its clutch failed (breakdown #1). Unfortunately I was right.

They’d fallen asleep anyway, & I decided to turn around & go back home. There was a hill though;  a long one. Try as we might the car just wouldn’t make it! The best I could do was to stop on the hard shoulder of a dual carriageway, just past the slip road. Hazard lights on, of course.

Continue reading “How to Get Through a Car Breakdown With Young Children”

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The Magic of Christmas?

Christmas is many things, but there’s one aspect of it that you don’t hear much about in the consumerism-obsessed, slick advert-soaked world of the media.

I’m sure though that it’s one that most parents will be aware of: that extra little weapon it adds to our armoury in aiding our  little darlings in their eternal battle between Good and Naughty:

“Father Christmas is watching!”
Continue reading “The Magic of Christmas?”

A New Game!

Jake has invented a game!

Everyone else has to close their eyes while he goes away to find a toy which he then hides under some paper.

Once hidden away we’re allowed to open our eyes. Next he tells us the sound that the object’s word starts with, & what colour it is.

We then have to guess what it is, asking questions if we’re not sure:

“Is it soft or hard?” “Can you eat it (in real life)?” and the like.

Once guessed it becomes someone else’s turn to find & hide a toy for the rest to guess.

He came up with this completely unbidden, all by himself, with no help at all from anyone else.

I’m proud as punch!

I wonder if there’s time to get the board game out for Christmas? Mr Hasbro?

By the way, games marketers: it’s copyright already, so don’t go getting any funny ideas, OK?

A Very Christmassy Adventure

We had a great day out on Saturday, & a rare family foray outside! This autumn we’ve all been taking turns catching one lurgi or another; there’s hardly been a time when at least 1 of the twins hasn’t been sick with something or other so we’ve mostly stayed inside where it’s warm & dry!

Saturday however was special – & luckily for us we were all relatively well – because we’d booked to go to our local country park to see Father Christmas feeding his reindeer!
Continue reading “A Very Christmassy Adventure”

Saturday is Caption Day: Statuesque

Well, I think it’s fair to say that the mad Christmas shopping rush hasn’t quite kicked in everywhere yet – but what’s going on here? Zombie Apocalypse? A lovers’ tiff?

I’d love to see your captions!

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Then for more captiony fun just click the pic:

It will be Christmas soon…

Christmas in the post-War United States
Photo credit: Wikipedia

It will soon be Christmas!

You may have noticed.

As I think so many of us are, I’m very mixed about Christmas.

There are things I love – especially since becoming a Dad – but there are also

Things I Hate: 
Continue reading “It will be Christmas soon…”

The Gallery: Together

Jake & Ellie

Together

Conceived Together

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Born Together1-DSCF2720DSCF2772

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Babies Together

Learning Together

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Christmas Together

Um, I'm pretty sure it's cars you're meant to put in there, Ellie. But sure: we could try the big squeezy ball!

Crawling Together

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Shopping Together

Holding up the wall TogetherDSCF5016 (2)Laughing Together

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Exploring Together

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Being happy Together

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Playing Together

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Eating Together

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Plotting Together

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Cooking Together

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Not moving Together

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Kissing Together

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Perching Together

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Holding hands Together1-At Peter's

Being serious Together

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Being silly Together

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Cwtching Together

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Best Friends Forever Together!1-DSC00456

 

This post is part of  ‘The Gallery’ at the ‘Sticky Fingers’ blog. For more Togetherness click the pic:

Thanks, Santa!

We had a bit of drama here last night.

We were just settling the twins for bed when we heard a commotion outside – Father Christmas was doing a drive-by in his sleigh!  It was very impressive – a big float, lots of bright lights, reindeer, Elves, Christmas songs, the works.

So we picked them up out of bed & plopped them onto the windowsill, holding them there so they could, as Ellie likes to say, “have a see”.

They were very excited. They laughed, they shouted, they waved to Santa – then Ellie did a massive vom right on the window.

Merry Christmas!

She’s been fine since, by the way; we put it down to pudding & overexcitement, not the dreaded norovirus

 

What Christmas Means to Me

I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it.

I am hardly religious: I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest.

And yes, I have all of the usual objections to consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion; to the westernisation of a dead Palestinian press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer.

But I still really like it.

I’m looking forward to Christmas, ‘though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus. I’ll be seeing my dad, my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum. They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun.

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom. I don’t believe just because ideas are tenacious it means that they’re worthy. I get freaked out by churches: some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are dodgy.

And yes, I have all of the usual objections to the mis-education of children who, in tax-exempt institutions, are taught to externalise blame, and to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong.

But I quite like the songs.

I’m not expecting big presents. The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me, ‘cos I’ll be seeing my dad, my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum. They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun.

And you, my baby boy & girl, my jet-lagged infant son & daughter: you’ll be handed around the room like puppies at a primary school. And you won’t understand, but you will learn someday that wherever you are and whatever you face these are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world, my sweet wide-eyed twins.

And if, my sweet babies, when you’re 21 or 31, and Christmas comes around and you find yourself 9000 miles from home you’ll know whatever comes your brother and sister and me and your mum will be waiting for you in the sun. Whenever you come your brother and sister, your aunts and your uncles, your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum, we’ll be waiting for you in the sun.

Drinking white wine in the sun, darlings, when Christmas comes we’ll be waiting for you in the sun, drinking white wine in the sun, waiting for you in the sun, waiting for you…

Waiting…

I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know…

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Not my words – I wish! – they’re by the brilliant Australian comedian / musician / all-round good-guy Tim Minchin from his song ‘White Wine in the Sun’. I’ve only editted them for repetition & a little personalisation, but I really couldn’t have expressed what Christmas means to me much better!

It’s being released as a single on December 1st, proceeds going to the National Autistic Society.

Here it is in full, performed live during Children in Need:

Beautiful, profound, brilliant, right? So let’s make it Christmas number 1!

It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it 🙂

#TimMinchinXmasNo1

 

Nearly Silent Saturday

Ellie didn't know what this thing was but she was pretty sure it wasn't the Peppa Pig book she'd asked for

Photo was taken around Christmas