Negotiating With An 8-Year-Old


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!

Shank You Very Much



Great Scott, Jallie! My Sunday Photo 2/8/15

click to enlarge

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?



Thank you, thank you: l’m here all week

Ellie had found a little orange self-inking stamp & was busy stamping herself & everyone around her with it.

“It’s for being brave.” she said, as she stamped.

We were getting ready to go to the playground & she wanted to take it with her.


“Because I’m going to be brave”

Jake: “and orange.”

He’s still Jake the Joker!

For more posts like this just click the pics!

Wot So Funee?

Shoulder to Shoulder to Day

Shoulder to Shoulder To Day #S2S2D

An amazing thing has been happening here in the online parenting community over the last few weeks.

Emma Day, a young Mum who blogs over at Crazy With Twins, has been struggling with cancer. Having had an operation which was only partially successful she then had to undergo treatment with radioactive iodine. Distressing enough in itself it also meant her being in complete isolation for 5 days, then unable to go within 1-2 metres of anyone for 10-16 days, and – worst of all – within 1-2 metres of her baby twins for up to 28 days!

The full story is here, and you can read all about her struggle with cancer here.

The parent blogging community rallied around. Victoria & Firefly Phil set up ‘Shoulder To Shoulder To Day’ & invited bloggers to give Emma their support in this difficult time, mainly by writing cheerful & inspirational posts for her to read while in isolation.

The good news is that her treatment has been much more successful than expected & she is now in full contact with her family again!

We have decided to carry on with the blog hop as planned, with not only cheerful & inspirational posts, but also to raise awareness of the dangers of cancer irrespective of age or circumstance. We’re urging everyone to get anything suspicious checked as soon as possible; in Emma’s words “unlike me who left it years”.

We’re also raising awareness of the fantastic work of Maggie’s Cancer Centre & of Emma & her friend Sarah running the Race For Life to raise funds. Emma’s sponsorship page is here.

We’re also looking for a sponsor to buy an iPad for the iodine room at the Cheltenham General Hospital; anything used there can’t be taken back outside due to radioactivity & has to instead be destroyed. A permanent iPad there for anyone else undergoing treatment like Emma’s would be a fantastic help. If you can help or if you know someone who can please let us know.

So if you have a cheerful or inspirational post you’d like to add please do so!

Even better, if you have an experience of cancer that you’d like to share we’d love to read it.

I’m honoured to be able to host this wonderful blog-link today as part of the parent blogging community, along with Mary at Over 40 and a mum to one.

So thank you for reading, & please go ahead: read, write, enjoy!

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Saturday is a Wheely Good Caption Day!


Got a witty, profound or just plain silly caption for this picture? Then leave it in the comments below!

Then click on the little boy’s head here & you will be magically transported to the funsome Mammasaurus’ blog for many more pictures crying out for a witty / pithy #satcap caption.

An Active Family

My Tiny Dancer. Dressed as Snow White, for some reason.

When Jaime from ‘The Oliver’s Madhouse’ asked me if I could maybe join in with her new ‘Active Family’ blog-linky I have to admit: I sniggered, a little. I may have even actually ‘lol’d!

Trying to get our funsome twosome to be a bit active isn’t really a problem at the moment. Even when they watch TV it’s more likely than not to be ‘Lazytown’: a show whose main character is a health fanatic called Sportacus. Living on ‘sports candy’ (mostly carrots) & always going to bed at 8.08, this is a man who has never knowingly walked anywhere in his entire life. Why do that when you can double-flip, cart-wheel, run or jump instead? Lately Ellie seems to spend more of her time being his preposterously pink side-kick Stephanie than herself, & she loves trying to copy Stephanie’s dance moves. Jake is Sportacus of course; I get to be the chubby, middle-aged, bald Mayor. Yay me.

Sportacus Jake!

No, it’s more of a challenge to get them to not be so active sometimes, please. Like when they’re jumping & doing forward rolls & headstands on the bed, or wanting to play ‘horsey’, when it’s late & they should be settling down for the night. Sometimes even after 8.08 (gasp)! Or a “Please stop climbing on the back of the sofa, especially when I’ve got a cup of hot coffee / a plate of lasagne!” sort of thing.

They’re at pre-school now for a few hours during the week, & that seems to use up a lot of their energy most days. We still take them to Monkey Music on Friday mornings, & have just started them in a dance class on Thursday evenings. They love both! We used to take them to a children’s gym on Friday afternoons & we’re looking for an alternative; that was probably their favourite activity & it would be a shame to lose it.

On the weekends we try to take them out for something active at least once a day: the country park, the fun farm, soft-play, swimming, or just scooting to the local playground. And there’s always the mini-trampoline & the flexible flyer in the garden!

So overall, yes: I think we’re a fairly active family.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I just need to have little lie down please…

For more ‘Active Family’ posts just click the pic:

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