30 August 2012


It's good to see Buzz is still filling the house with drawing and writing, even though his spelling isn't always spot-on.

I mean, ideally he wouldn't have left the "o" out of "count" in last week's homework.

But which of us hasn't left the "r" out of "shirts" in an email to the boss about corporate uniforms, or left the "l" out of "public awareness" or "public access" in a job application?

Glass houses and stones, and all that.  

It looks a bit school-ish. It's just a way of trying not to forget to do homework quite as often. 
We only put their names on the desks because there were fights over who sat where.

29 August 2012

Let there be light

In an interesting twist on Father's Day, a seven year old boy buys HIMSELF a gift from the school Father's Day stall.

 But he's gorgeous.

On the way to school today, Buzz asked if he could have a "really powerful torch (flashlight)."  A few realities about this situation:
  1. He doesn't need one.  Nobody needs one.  Everyone in our family except Little Rex and me seem to want ("need!") a torch, but those who stumble about at night don't reach for a torch before doing so.  We have occasional nocturnal visitors to our bed seeking asylum from nightmares and wet beds by cuddling up beside us and kicking us in the back all night long, so we are well-placed to certify that none of these visitors ever presents him/herself with a torch shining the way to our bedroom.  Pity, as the way is sometimes littered with matchbox cars.
  2. Our home is already filled with torches.  Mr de Elba has a "really powerful" one that he doesn't ever use, the children have acquired a vast array of those cheap ones that you can buy at the counter of pretty much any store, and cheap torches have been the usual purchases at the annual school Father's Day Stall.  Buzz never really learns that Mr de Elba isn't going to actually USE the cheap torches Buzz buys for him, and the torches break quite soon after purchase anyway but always manage to find their way to where I can't find them before I can throw them out.
Now that I'm clued up to the torch problem at our house, I will send Buzz and Jessie with less money to future Father's Day Stalls, and I'll give them a stern talk before they go directing them to buy something other than a torch.  I may need a threat to go with that, but I haven't sorted that bit out yet.

Today was again the annual Father's Day Stall.  I hadn't thought of the importance of this morning's chat when sending Buzz and Jessie off, all cashed up to buy something nice for Daddy.

As it turns out, Jessie bought Daddy ... A TORCH!  Oh how happy he will be.

Buzz, seeing that Jessie had bought Daddy a torch, decided to buy ... A TORCH!!!  And since Daddy already had one coming to him, the torch should rightfully go to Buzz himself.

I have no idea what The Perfect Parent would do about this.

26 August 2012

Hanging out

Hanging out my undies ...
... so I have something to wear on the outside of my super-suit.

25 August 2012

Clown Vomit

It turns out that sometimes when you tell three-year-olds stuff, they believe it. 

Explaining the first picture on the previous post and showing the real-life "clown vomit" created hilarity in Buzz and Jessie, but complete credulity in Woody.  Clown vomit has been a huge topic of conversation ever since. 

Woody seems convinced that the mess in the laundry tub was caused by a real clown, most possibly Clownie pictured below receiving TLC as he convalesces from a terrible case of gastro.  Look at the poor thing, with his hand to his forehead.

Add to that the complication of Woody having noticed at the car wash today that the machines squirted colourful stuff all over the car.  Now conversation is dominated by a giant clown vomiting on Terry.

Pity the poor Grandmother who has to wade through the clown vomit that is certain to dominate conversation at the next playdate.  Should I warn the Grandmas or let the confusion begin?

24 August 2012

Wee Map

I've been madly whizzing through the housework hoping I don't forget what I had to blog about among everything else this morning.  I've typed the title of this blog post first so that by the time I tell you the other stuff, I haven't forgotten what I was actually going to blog about.

I've transfigured the bathroom, laundry and kids' loo while Little Rex slept, and in the process I rediscovered some paint palettes I put in the laundry tub to soak the day before yesterday.  This time, there was a little too much paint in the palettes and so instead of dissolving and washing away, it remained hard and lumpy.  When I thought I had finished the cleanup, I was in fact left with this in the bottom of my laundry tub:

It struck me that it looks like a clown has thrown up in my laundry tub.  Pity the poor clown who horked up the paintbrush too.  It must have been one heck of a trick, though.

Then I did a quick check of Little Rex (still sleeping peacefully - what is with this baby?  Last feed at 8:30pm, breakfast milk at 7:00am and only one feed in between?  What was I doing wrong with poor Buzz 7 years ago?) and while I was there I looked in at what Woody was doing.

He had got one of our nativity sets out.  He likes playing with the Joseph, of course.  He calls the Father of Christ "Joey" and calls his crook his "wucky tick," as Woody is a bit partial to carrying lucky sticks around himself.  I was just about to come and blog when I noticed an apocryphal inclusion to the nativity set here - Ka-Chow!

I'm glad I wrote the title first, or I would have forgotten what I was going to tell you.

Toilet Training. It's said that girls get it faster than boys, but what that really means is that the average of girls will be ahead of the average of boys.  In real life though, sometimes you come across boys who say, "Okay, if you say wee goes in the toilet, then I'll put it there," and you'll find girls who think that accidents are a perfect opportunity to laugh and giggle with the poor schmuck whose job it is to clean it up.

I remember when Jessie was quite young how she would stand still while a puddle widened at her feet, laughing uproariously about wee on the floor and how funny it all was.  She didn't see it as an opportunity to berate herself but as an opportunity to have a Jolly Good Laugh.  Ha ha, says Mummy, wiping up the puddle at her feet.  But okay, laugh.  Better than berating herself.

Jessie wasn't all that late to be toilet-trained - I'd say by 3¼ she was finished, and I have a pretty narrow definition of "finished" involving Practically No Accidents Ever - but the accidents still come occasionally.

For the last year and a half, the only accidents she has had have been around dawn, just before she wakes up.  It's pretty rare, but when it happens she usually comes to tell us, and we tell her not to worry and calmly wash the bedding.

This morning was one of those mornings.  I am pretty sure I know why it happened - she has been excitedly counting down the days to her first school swimming lesson and she, for certain, would have been thinking, dreaming, cogitating and looking forward to it even while she slept.  Little wonder that by dawn, she was wetting the bed.

Mr de Elba heard her chattering to herself as she always does early in the morning and went in and sat beside her.  She was lying on her back paddling her arms and kicking her legs to practice her swimming in bed, joyfully babbling about anything and everything associated with her upcoming school swimming lesson.  Mr de Elba chatted happily to her until she said, "Dad, you're sitting in my wee."

And so he was.  She then gleefully showed him the following piece of paper.  In the half-light while waiting for someone else to be up to share her joy at the upcoming swimming lesson, she had drawn an intricate Wee Map.  If you can believe that.  She had detailed her bed with its pillows, covers and bedposts, she drew herself, and then outlined the wet patch.  It was a fantastic map, one which would have been good to show her father before he sat.

Mr de Elba stood up, sighed, stripped the bed and put the bedding, her clothes and his own pants in the wash, then showered them both.

23 August 2012

Got Talent?

Jessie brought home a note yesterday asking for our permission for her to go in "Our School's Got Talent" where primary school kids perform a song or dance or something similar.

Jessie had some half-baked ideas of getting me to teach her piano and then teaching her a song to perform in the week we've got before auditions.  I told the poor little darling that I really am no piano teacher but fell short of reminding her that she doesn't like taking instruction from me at all.  I mean, she HAS to, being my child, but she doesn't like it and aggressively resists even my attempts to get her to write her number 3s the right way around.

She wondered if she could learn a song to sing.  She wondered if she could learn a dance to perform.  She wondered if she could learn some gymnastics ... none of these are easy to pull together from a baseline of No Prior Knowledge within one short week.

Then I said something that made her eyes light up and think that she absolutely, definitely was going to compete in Our School's Got Talent, and quite possibly wipe the floor with the other contestants.  "How about you say a poem?  A funny one that Mummy wrote?  Maybe even you and Buzz could do an act together, saying different stanzas?"  In order to illustrate what I meant to them, I suggested a couplet off the top of my head:

We have  brand-new baby, his name is Tim-o-THY
He is a little brother for Nathaniel, Joe and me.

They received this as if I were Keates or Byron, or at least Roald Dahl, and now I'm done for.

I have to write something brilliant in an impossibly short time-frame, and somehow gently tell Buzz that his choreographed moves to the as-yet unwritten lines will probably not suit the piece.

It's turning out to be more of a "Mummy's Got Talent" and in between feeding and nappy changes, I'm feeling the pressure.

22 August 2012

A photo of Little Rex

21 August 2012

Some Double Dactyls

Here are two double dactyls that I re-purposed.  They were in fixed verse originally, but I refashioned them for the women's conference.  As usual, I needed two double dactyls to cover my subjects, tsk tsk.

Budgeting For Boys
Higgledy Piggledy
Showed we were having
Another young DUDE.
Fam’lies with three boys must
Start very early to
Budget for food.

Higgledy Piggledy
Household accountancy
Surely would say food
Expenditure's worst,
But my suspicion is
We'll need another big
Fridge-freezer first.

Higgledy Piggledy
Helen McFarley, she
Sighed very deeply then
Went to confess:
“Raising my children is
Stressful when dealing with
N – I – T – S.”

Higgledy Piggledy
Helen McFarley
Admitted the worst as her
Voice duly fell:
Chocolate at my house
Contains white, milk, dark
And COMBANTRIN as well.”

I think I have a nappy to change.  I'd like to tell you about how people are insulting me regarding photos and videos, how I am devolving into insanity with the slightest amount of tiredness, how Timothy is 1 month old and gorgeous, etc, but I'm not sure if any of it is interesting to anyone else.  Still, it's a problem for another day as I smell something suspicious ...

16 August 2012

What this situation needs ...

I'm sure, if you're like me, that you have at times been washing mountains of laundry for those you love, or driving one of your nervous parents around town, and thought, "What this situation needs is a jolly good sonnet."

At our women's conference last Saturday, Crazy Sister presented her Washing Sonnet for the ladies while wearing an outrageous flowery bonnet.  It could well be the best sonnet ever written, and you would do well to follow that link and read it.  Please restrain yourself however from reading the Haiku immediately following it in the post.  It is the most shocking seventeen syllables ever penned, and once read, it cannot be unread.  Please do not do it.

Prior to the conference, I knew that our sonnet segment needed one from me too, so I wrote this one and presented it while wearing a similar flowery bonnet.

Driving With Dad

When I was younger, driving my old Dad,
Preparing for the dreaded driving test,
He showed a lack of faith which was quite sad,
And poor old me - I ended up quite stressed.
The position he'd assume was coolly deft:
Suppressing nervous tremors borne of fright;
Grasping the door handle with his left,
Clutching at the handbrake with his right.
He'd freak me out primarily because
When some poor distant car hove into sight,
He would assume 'twas closer than it was,
Exclaiming things I *think* were impolite.
And while his stress and nerves I understand,
These days, I drive without his guiding hand.

14 August 2012

Rhyming Like A Boss

Remember how I presented some silly rhyming stuff at our church's women's conference last year?  It started here and parts two and three were linked at the end of the post.  Well this year, the lovely people at the Seasons Conference let me come back to present the same segment.

I asked Crazy Sister to come and present the segment with me because she is the the funniest person I know (remember "I'm going to the toilet and I'll bring back a stool"?  Yeah. Funny.)

Our theme for this year's conference was "United" and focussed on the relationships that we have in our lives.  For this, Crazy Sister and I wrote poetry about some of the relationships special to us and presented some of the less-ghastly stuff on the day.  Our first segment was focussed on Limericks, and I wrote this one about my struggles writing clever comments on the statuses of my friends.


Of friends, I'd a decent amount
But a large percent of the count
Were all on Facebook
So I took a quick look
And unwittingly got an account.

My list of friends is quite small
But they're lovely and write on my Wall.
And now I find I'm
Good at wasting my time
While saying quite nothing at all.

The trickiest thing now, I find,
Is to write something witty and kind
On everyone's status.
But so they don't hate us,
I click "Like" and hope they don't mind.

"My five year old got a new bike!"
"New joggers! A sale on Nike!"
"Bought a cow on eBay!"
I've nothing to say
So I just hit the button marked "Like."

"We're packing! We're going away!"
"Having lunch at a lovely cafe!"
My Facebook dominion,
Holds no firm opinion,
And so hitting "Like" wins the day.

"I've just been to see a great show!"
"A pic of my kids in the snow!"
I can't tell a lie,
I have no reply
And so clicking "Like" is the go.

"This pub sells the very best beer!"
"My husband is Dad Of The Year!"
This one thing is true:
I'm happy for you!
So I think hitting Like's the idea.

So you've written a status that's splendid,
But a comment I still haven't rendered.
In case you're afraid
That our friendship's low-grade,
Not at all! (... unless you're Unfriended.)

Crazy Sister presented her brilliant pieces "Last Night" and "The Grown-Up Limerick" which I'd persuade her to post over at "Graze" only she's already done it!  Find them at the links above.  Soon, I'll snatch a few moments to share my Sonnet with you.