GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
I’d heard about people doing this before and had cringed at the mere thought.
I saw it happen in a tv show; it was awful; truly, truly awful.
Now I’ve done it, I can confirm that the reality is just as bad.
Yesterday I was at a Christening of a long-time friend. His daughter has had her first child, and has asked me to be Godfather. I’m so pleased and honoured that I’m writing about it soon.
At the after celebration, it was a chance to catchup with friends I hadn’t seen in a while.
The wife of a guy I used to work with was standing to one side, wearing a gorgeous maxi dress and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. I smiled at her, she smiled back. I then tilted me head, and adopted a curious look.
I made my way over, expression fixed.
Oooh I say, something I should know? I asked.. she looked puzzled.
Are congratulations in order? I asked.
‘Oh right!’ she said, catching on…
‘No; just too much pizza and pie over the summer’
Now I’m on Ebay looking for a time machine.
As you know, the cubs and I almost always have porridge for breakfast.
This day was a bit different. The wake up and shake up had taken too long and as such, we were slightly behind schedule.
Against my better judgement, I changed our breakfast menu. I do have alternatives to porridge; 2 packets of Rice Crispies (poor stock management) and a packet of Honey Hoops. They’ve been there a while, as I’ve said, we all prefer porridge.
Ok, confession time; my poor stock management included not shopping for more porridge in time, so I was left with a portion that wouldn’t satisfy anyone.
I duly dished up 3 bowls of honey hoops which we all hurriedly ate. Very sweet, was my only real thought.
Once finished, off we all went.
Youngest cub is now at big school so there’s only one drop to do. I go to work at hit my desk 15 mins later.
I catch up with my office chum, who’s been on holiday for a bit. She’s left a small, LCD projector on my desk as she couldn’t get it to work. She asks me to check it. I do; it works. I mock her mercilessly. I start to pack the projector away.
Inexplicably, I drop the projector under her desk. I pick it up; check it still works, then pack it away.
A little while later, she’s bringing me up to speed on office matters (I’d been away for 2 days) and I take the opportunity to clean my glasses.
Clumsily, I drop them on the floor. She stops mid sentence and asks if I’m ok..
I’m gonna grab a coffee; want one?
Finishing my coffee at my desk, I stare at my dual screens. I can’t concentrate. I take my glasses off and rub the bridge of my nose.
“You are not right; what gives?”
God alone knows but she’s right. I feel so out of kilter I can’t explain how I’m feeling. I do know however, that working is the last thing on my mind.
“Have you not had breakfast?” she asks.
It hits me.
I had a bowl of Honey Hoops…..
“What?? you my friend are having a sugar crash!”
Nail on the head. Eureka. Epiphany. That sugary, carb nonsense that I’d substituted my normal high fibre, high protein breakfast for had turned around and bitten me in less than 2 hours of eating it.
My mind immediately went to my cubs. If a bowl had that affect on my massive frame, what the hell would it do to their tiny bodies? The effect on my coordination and concentration was huge.
Nationally (globally?) there has been an unprecedented increase of behavioural disorders in young people and children.
Just how much of it is down to the modern diet?
There are now 3 packs of serial in my bin.
I’ve hit upon an idea, and it’s a good one.
Okay, okay, total honesty time, my daughter has hit on an idea which was actually a re-hash of how we used to do things before the split.
With her being 8 and he being 4, the usual rivalries etc. rear their heads from time to time. A household can descend into a lawless wasteland if behaviour is left unchallenged.
We’ve been going through the normal challenges that children pass through, where they exercise the human condition of testing boundaries. I am a disciplinarian, but also a humanitarian. Being brought up by a strict father (including corporal punishment) I decided way before I had the cubs that I wouldn’t be that kind of guy. After all, what does beating a child ever teach them, that the bigger and stronger person is always right?
I could never hit my cubs. Such outbursts smack of frustration, a lack of control and revenge for not being obeyed.
In a technique honed with my daughter, I prefer to reason things out in conversation, with age appropriate language. Tone of voice and cadence also came in to play, supported by changing facial expressions. It seemed to work. She’s well-adjusted and appears to be quite rational.
He’s a little different. He gets frustrated quickly which I suspect is linked with his rough start in life and the fact that his diction isn’t quite where it could be for a child his age; he struggles to be understood at times.
His sister can also press his buttons pretty easily and she does so often.
We had just emerged from a period of them sniping at each other, where my techniques weren’t working. I resorted to separating them and temporary banishment to respective bedrooms.
She broke the embargo to come and talk to me.
‘You know dad you should maybe bring back the star system. Every time we do something good, we get a star. When we’re not so good, you take one away.’
This was something we used to do regularly and it worked particularly well. Great idea, I told her, and gave her a hug. I also asked her why she winds her brother up all the time.
‘Because he reacts!’ she states, before heading back to her confines.
The notice board in the kitchen now has two sections. One for her and one for him. Stars are drawn for good behaviour and removed for violations. I’m not too specific as what constitutes what, as I don’t want them to escape on a technicality.
It’s been in force about a week now and seems to be working. I added the further incentive that if either got to 10 stars, I would convert those stars into pounds, or an equivalently valued treat.
If only my dad had been as inventive.
Why single parents are so tired.
They come thick and fast and at any time. Now I’m a great believer in educational opportunity so I aim to inform as much as possible.
When I’m tired though….
|What I should have said||What I actually said|
|What’s your favourite colour||Adults don’t tend to have favourite colours||Blue|
|Who’s that? (TV weatherman)||I’m not sure; his name will come up shortly||Alan|
|Who’s your favourite Power Ranger||I don’t really have a favourite, as I’m an adult||Alan, the Purple one. You may not know him as he only fights crime on a Saturday|
|Where are they going (car driving the opposite way)||I couldn’t possibly know that||Primark|
|How fast can you run (after watching Usain Bolt)||Fast humans can do about 20 mph||Just a little slower than him|
|Where’s that sheep’s mum||Not too far away||Driving that tractor|
|Why’s Saturday||It just is||?????|
|Why are those birds on the roof||It’s a safe perch away from predators||They’re keeping an eye on you|
|What keep the planet spinning||Interactional forces of the magnetic poles||Children eating their vegetables|
|Why can you see the moon during the day||It’s a satellite of earth that orbits independently to our rotation||It’s keeping an eye on you|
I’ll set them straight before they do any exams.
It’s the end of their stint with me for the school holidays. Having pulled my back yesterday (on my birthday!), we had what was primarily a down day.
Late afternoon I felt sorry for my caged cubs. We jumped in the car and went to our favourite park.
Parenting trick; take them out near their supper time. They’ll then naturally leave the park in search of their next meal.
I had a plan for supper but was pressed for time. At the stove, they glossed over the fact that my usual ‘come and get it’ was replaced with ‘well, that’ll have to do’.
She finishes eating first, and leans into my personal space to tell me something.
“Daddy; there’s this story in the bible, about a stranger who knocks on a man’s door…”
Quite familiar with the bible, I’m at a loss for this particular story.
She chimes on.
“A man opens the door and the stranger asked ‘do you have a space for me to sleep?’ but the man said no”
Definitely not familiar with this story.
“The stranger then says ‘but I can help you! I can cook you a wonderful meal!'”
I’m wondering if this a Samaritans remix or some stranger danger thing that has become clouded in her brain.
She continues and I continue to fork food into my face.
“So the man let’s the stranger in and he starts cooking a soup. But the stranger hadn’t brought any ingredients so instead, he popped in a magic toenail…”
At this precise moment, something in my mouth went crunch.
“and then he popped to the neighbours to get some broccoli…”
I’m not listening any more.
The final element of confusion flooded in and brought me back to reality when she tailed off with,
“I think it might be Jewish”
She angles her head in thought.
I fear my appetite may never return.
That sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
I’m on about one hour in the last 48.
Slight exaggeration, but the post on yesterday’s day out will have to wait…