Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Haiku commended!

Ever heard of haiku? I hadn't until last week but I had a mention for my efforts in a competition organised by the teacher of Mother Words, my recent writing course. 3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables, or go to wikipedia for a better description! The competition was entitled 'what no-one told me' about motherhood.
You can see the winner here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

No Singing Please!

We celebrated Max's 4th birthday last weekend; pass the parcel, preschool friends and a chocolate cake in the shape of a boat. All seemed to go well; the sun shone, no-one scraped a knee, that is until our rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.  It reduced the recipient of the song to tears. I know he has a specific music taste (punk pop and hard rock it seems), but does that mean the family's tuneless efforts are going to be banished forever? These were not passing tears, the boy was gasping for breath at points, his face red and wet. Rage? Embarrassment? Offended sensibilities? The following day, his actual birthday, when we went to preschool, his teacher took him by the hand and I told him I'd be back later with cupcakes. I heard him tell the teacher...'but I don't want anyone to sing.'  So a few hours later, twenty friends sat around three separate tables on kindergarten chairs licking frosting saying 'Yummy, yummy in my_______' and ending the sentence with every noun possible except 'tummy' and giggling into their spongecake, and we didn't sing.  One rather zealous boy began a loud 'Haaaap...' but was reminded of Max's birthday rule and got back to the serious business of butter icing and giggles.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A rare moment of quiet

So rare in fact that I crept around to find the camera and felt like David Attenborough as I stealthily climbed onto the breakfast bar to take an aerial shot of this species in a fleeting moment of silence:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sex Education Part I

Max has been asking me recently about how he 'got into mummy's tummy'.
'Good question' I say.  I have read somewhere that this is a perfect stalling tactic when you get the hard ones. And it's true, it gives the mental cogs just enough time to get going and create a diversion.
I pause. 'That really is a good question...but it's quite complicated and I'll need a pen and paper to help with the explanation.'
Each time the subject has been raised I've been relieved that we're in the car or in the garden or out for a walk, no paper or pens in sight. Then yesterday, quite forgetting my promise, I suggested we do some colouring and out came the crayons and pencils.
'Now...' said Max and I immediately saw where he had got me. Drawing equipment was sprawled about the table.
'Lets do how-Max-got-into-mummy's-tummy'.'
We glossed over the nitty gritty, he is only three, and talked about how mummies have eggs inside them which presumably left him thinking we women are some kind of relative to a chicken.  There followed a balloon-like pencil drawing of me; lungs, heart, diaphragm, stomach, intestines; that was about as much biology as I could fit in (and remember) and still leave enough space for a womb with Max inside.
He was delighted with the mini balloon-shaped little boy floating around in there but wondered if it was very dark inside, to which I replied, yes it was.
'Why is it so dark?' 'No windows' I say.
'How long was I in there?' Max's face looks serious. 'Quite a long time' I answer.
'How long?' he asks again, and then, 'why do I have to get so old in there?'  I loved this, 'so old'.
I tried another picture of dividing cells that started sprouting legs and arms. My artwork didn't look very convincing but I was quite enjoying the excercise. A few minutes later Dom came and sat next to us.  Max obviously had a nagging concern that he had been wasting precious time in utero.
'But why so long?'
'You can't drive a new car...' Dom said and paused to look at me. My frown showed some concern that my biology lesson was being consumed by exhaust fumes but Dom's eyes said 'trust me'.
'You can't drive a new car out of the garage until all the parts are inside; the engine, the seats, the radio...'
That was all he said and with that Max trotted happily off to make a garage out of lego.  Car analogies are obviously the way forward.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter in Canada

Max had so much chocolate he asked if it would still be Easter when we got back home...