Monday morning

The biggest thing about relocating for me is timings.

I know what time I need to be where but I’m still not sure of how long it will take to get there.
You see time is very important to me. I don’t like to ‘waste’ it, and I don’t like wasting other people’s. I’m not anal or anything, but i’m.. no, ok, I am. I try to work backwards from my time due at a place to calculate when I’ll need to leave. Allow for traffic and some other stuff and voila. It works most of the time.

We’re late(ish). I try not to get stressy. It’s not the kids’ fault, but this is the thing with relocation. I’ve moved too far from where I need to be.

The kids are on form for the drive in. Angry Birds denied her fallback today is I-Spy. This can be challenging; past games have seen me exhausting ‘Ns’, for the reveal to be ‘Squirrel’…..

Dont make me explain it.

For some reason I can never guess ‘teeth’, even with her great clues. My suggestions are a little more pedestrian. I’ll have to remember that one for tomorrow.

Daughter dropped off it’s a slow toddle with the boy to the school office to pay for an upcoming trip. 25p over, I suggest the secretary place it in the offshore account for a rainy day.

I decide to promote the big man to the front seat for the onward journey to nursery. It’s a 3 point rather than a 5 point (preferred), but even at 2, he has the size and stature to fit safely.  Interesting mistake..

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Despite me pre-empting and moving the seat back, he can reach everything. He keys my radio, turns on the heated seat and puts the car in second gear. His comprehension is good, so I explain to him that what he is doing isn’t good. He stops.

The passenger window opens. And shuts. He turns and looks at me with the biggest smile in recorded history. And opens it. And shuts it.  At this point if he was in the back I would have isolated the windows.

And open..

He then slides the center console open. Just a few centimetres, but enough for OCD daddy. I close it. He looks at me, smiles, and opens it, almost to exactly the same distance. I close it again. He gives a smile and opens it again – I can’t help but admire his curiosity; he knows his time in the front seat is limited.

The toddle into nursery is uneventful, and he joyfully hangs his bag and gillet on his hook. Entry into the playroom is more fraught. He doesn’t want me to leave and I don’t want to leave him. The staff are lovely, and he always settles eventually but not without tears. His strength matches his size and it’s a physical wrench as well as emotional.

There’s something so perverse about having kids then going to work in order to pay for someone else to look after them.

Top 10 tips…

To get you out of to the door in the morning!

  1. Be prepared! Uniform, lunches, bags, PE kit can all be prepared the day before;
  2. This means you too; get your things sorted in the evening. Place anything you need by the door if you’re forgetful;
  3. Be alarmed; set one; early enough to squeeze in a workout before the kids tangle you up;
  4. Get washed while they’re asleep! or #you might open your eyes and find someone, standing there…
  5. Wake your offspring! my cubs always get a rendition of ‘Good morning; good morning! you’ve slept the whole night through…’
  6. Open their bedroom curtains and elicit nature’s help (summer only);
  7. Remove covers and administer kisses;
  8. If you have more than one; divide and conquer. Take the more awake one for a wash. Their first and your second;
  9. Get ’em dressed! I find a black belt in any Martial Art will help here;
  10. Feed them. Take solace in the fact that whatever you put in front of them will be wrong.

Tomorrow; I will teach you how to get them out of the front door. And get yourself dressed.

BSD

 

 

 

Sunday evening


Not very, it would seem (bicarb, remember?)


Varying degrees of success across the team.

Recipe one: Savoury egg bites – success for her; not so much for him. I loved them; win.

Recipe two: Quick roast roots (sweet and standard (?) potato) with honey – fail. Note to self – the kids hated the honey on the spuds and over-seasoning nearly did us all in. To be fair, my hand did slip but I thought it would be ok..

Recipe three: Gingerbread men. Gingerbread cookies. Gingerbread…shapes – success across the board! he liked, she liked and I liked.

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I can’t wait until I know what I’m doing.


Things I need:


Oven gloves
Ginger dust – ground ginger
Scales
Greaseproof paper
Baking tins


That’s quite a lot of stuff.

Follow the recipes under Food, if you dare….

BSD

Opportunity for learning knocks

Post separation I moved further away from everything that I really needed to be near.

It seemed like a great idea at the time but a year later, the novelty has not only worn off but I also fear that the punchline isn’t coming.

However it does afford the cubs and I some time together whilst travelling. Sometimes that space gets filled by ‘Angry Birds’ on my phone for the eldest, or more cognitive games such as I-Spy, What Colour Is? and Spell This. The youngest busies himself by dipping in to the games as he wishes, if he’s not too busy fighting a losing battle with the Sun in his eyes or the wind in his face.

I find that these games are great opportunities for learning and I tend to push her spelling more and more.

I can’t believe that people struggle to spell school!

She calls out as we drive back from a shopping trip (where I’ve just remembered that I’ve forgotten to get loo roll).

Ok brainy; spell ‘Hospital’

“H-o-s-p-i-t-i-l”

Close; one wrong letter; try again. Say it slowly out loud, but this time feel the letters in your mouth before you say them.

I’ve figured out that her dominant learning style is kinesthetic, so the more tactile her learning can be, the more effective it is.

The youngest, now minus a shoe, chips in ‘a’ before going back to removing his sock from the shoeless foot.

Nice one lad. I’m sure it was a coincidence but it was impressive nonetheless.

We now finish the last mile of the journey home singing ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ at the tops of our voices (window’s open) to the tune of nothing in particular.

Make it fun; they will learn, especially if they don’t realise they’re learning.

I knew that teaching qualification and 4 years as a training instructor would pay dividends one day.

BSD

A good way to finish the day.

Painting!

Proves to be quite an effective way of rounding off the day.

I realise that I spend a lot of time with them. I also know that this is me compensating for not being there all the time. Despite this being of my own volition, it does get to me at times.

An unexpected frustration of splitting homes is that you find yourself short of ‘things’. Things that you used to have but have no more. Things like places to put paint. Using one of my [many] popular sayings, adapt and overcome, a dinner plate makes a great makeshift pallette.

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The eagle eyed amongst you may have also spotted the old duvet, that now doubles as a sacrificial surface.

I’ve been introduced to Aboriginal dot painting by my daughter; something she had learnt this week in school. I’m suitably impressed with both her and the school curriculum.

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I’m less impressed with my efforts….

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Don’t ask me to explain; I can’t. I changed my mind several times whilst creating it and this was the result.

Artistically, she takes after her mum.

 

Dinner table conversation. 

We’re all pretty tired and the cubs are both showing signs of fatigue; short tempers, edge of tears, you know the routine.

The youngest takes delight in leaning from his high chair and pointing at the gap in the eldest’s front teeth. Repeatedly stating, in his speak, that she has teeth missing.

She leans towards him, takes a deep breath and blows vigorously into his face.

For my son, this is kryptonite. 

He recoils and bursts into floods of tears, repeatedly saying no.

I tell her to stop, reminding her that at some point the tables will turn. He will be bigger and stronger than she can imagine.

Her response made me chuckle..

Does that mean that until then I can do him harm?

No my darling; no it does not.

Sunday cont.

Now concurrently I’m ruining another recipe for savory cupcakes, and new potatoes in their skins. Add sausages and whilst this isn’t my usual roast, It’s a healthy and interesting meal. Everything done (she’s still not coming down (Sunday) and in the oven. How important can bicarbonate of soda be?

And they’re back!

The cubs are here and I couldn’t be happier.

Youngest has actually been with me for most of the day because he’s been under the weather a little. He’s got a history of being poorly, so we don’t take any chances with his health.

Luckily the rash is an extreme histamine reaction rather than anything more sinister so cetirizine should see him right.

It’s amazing how quickly the chorus of:

“Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad.  Dad? dad! daddy? dad. Dad? dad! daddy? dad”

can get to you. I’m only in the kitchen making dinner…

The above involves some poetic licence; I do answer occasionally but then the process starts again.

LML

Yeah! kids!

The biggest change for me was not having my children around me 24/7.

Ok, that’s not quite accurate because I work and they go to school and nursery. But, when I came home, they were there. That was our time. Any stresses and strains from the day would instantly wash away on the breathless recount of their day, usually delivered as if words were about to become outlawed.

A blank colouring pad and a few crayons and we were set. Bad day? what bad day? I’ve just assisted in the decorating of a T-Rex in the most lurid of colours. We justify its existence be reassuring ourselves that no-one really knew what they looked like.

Result.

Anyway, this is our weekend and I can’t wait. Exploring plus new camera = lots of new photos!