Sunday, 23 March 2014

On Demand

I wonder if anyone has ever kept count of the number of demands made by small children in one day.

I estimate that in our house at the moment we get about....six million! Ok, that's an exaggeration, I would say the littlest dude makes at least a couple of hundred a day and the big lad probably about a hundred.

The demands start from the moment they wake up. The earliest requests being for immediate sustinence to fill their tummies and immediate entertainment, in the form of the television. 

This post is called 'On Demand' because I blame modern technology for a high proportion of the demands made by our little monkeys. 
It's not enough to just want to watch a certain channel at a certain time, the boys know that thanks to 'On Demand' and the ability to record programs so easily they have a virtually endless supply of their favourite programs.
Obviously, one child's favourite program could not possibly be the others so the arguments and tantrums that are television related are rather high.

Our eldest cherub once looked at me in utter disgust at my response when he asked me if I could pause the upstairs television while he went for a wee.  I'm afraid this TV doesn't have pause on it I tentatively replied. Fail.

Some of the littlest ones favourite demands at the moment are: 
Polar Express DVD- this has been put away for next Christmas and yet we get a daily demand for it.
Biscuit please- this boy would live on custard creams if we let him.
Mr Tumble Game on the Ipad- I have had to put a stop to this because of the trouble  it causes when I switch it off.
Daddy- just a general request for his favourite person which occurs numerous times when the other half is at work.
Mummy Smells- this is my least favourite request. It is a game on The hubby's phone where you talk to a funny cat and he repats what you say in a squeaky voice. The first phrase the boys used was, yep you've guessed it, Mummy Smells. 

I'm surrounded by boys. 



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Free time


I have found myself unavoidably with time on my hands. 
It is not a common occurrence.
If it does happen it is usually thanks to the onset of some unwelcome germs, as is the case at the moment.

Therefore it is quite likely that I will attempt (when the little ones are otherwise occupied) to keep myself from going stir crazy by blogging.
I am not renowned for being the greatest at staying at home.  I suffered with months of sickness when pregnant with both our boys and being housebound almost drove me to despair. 
I am under instruction to take it easy which I promise to do (other than the occasional whip round with the hoover- ssshh, don't tell).

Today I have mostly been......

Learning about taps and toilets.




Oh no, she's already lost it I hear you cry- the cabin fever has kicked in already! 
No, seriously, I have actually learned more about taps and toilets today that I have (or ever wished too) in my life so far. 
I have decided that I am pretty useless- when I turn the tap, water comes out of it and when I push the button on the loo it flushes. And that's about the limit of my knowledge.

Thank goodness for clever people.
One of our neighbours happens to be a plumber and he kindly rang to attempt to diagnose the problem with the toilet. My uselessness even extended to me being unable (for some unknown reason) to successfully send him a picture of the flush. Anyway, whilst said plumber neighbour was talking me through the ins and outs of a cistern (I have even just googled that word to make sure I was spelling it correctly) I made the decision that if ever we did have to fend for ourselves in some unlikely apocalyptic, World War Z type event I would certainly be classed as dispensable. 



Now, don't get me wrong, if zombies did take over the world and Brad Pitt proved to be rather useless at saving us all, I am not sure me knowing the workings of a toilet would be massively useful.
Anyway, I feel I have veered from the point (if there is one) and need to return to today.

Today, the extremely useful and much loved father of mine, aka Grandpops braved the germs to help fix the kitchen tap. Now Grandpops is an electrician, but he also acts as mechanic, plumber, gardener, child minder and general handyman. The boys are inevitably growing up with absolutely no doubt that their Grandpops can fix anything ( no pressure Dad). Freddie is Grandpops mad at the moment and spends much of his time waiting for the next opportunity to help Grandpops with his jobs at home. 
So before the onset of all my Mothers Day ramblings next week which is inevitable, here's to you Dad and your ridiculous ability to mend things.

I vow to listen more intently when people are telling me how to fix things and to attempt to appreciate things don't just work because they do!

Ps hope you like the extremely exciting photos. 





Tuesday, 4 February 2014

May the force be with you...

Star Wars.

Old school return of the Jedi style or controversial modern Attack of the Clones style; the big Sawyer boy has found the force.

Light saber battles that always end in tears (usually Daddy's) are a daily occurrence.
Recently Star Wars games have even started to occur in the bath. Characters such as Captain Barnacles and Bob the Builder are being subjected to rather violent good vs evil battles of toy abuse proportions.

The reward chart treat this weekend was a magazine.... Walking down the aisle at Morrisons you would have thought Christmas's and birthdays had all come at once for the big lad.
"Mummy....they do a Star Wars magazineeeee! Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

The boy now has a poster from said magazine of all the 'baddies' staring at him from the wall next to his bed.

Now I'm quite partial to a Star Wars film. I am however finding the repetition of viewing the same scenes (always the fights) over and over again slightly tedious.

This evening, our lovely hairdresser was at our house cutting my hair when the big lad came bounding in with this gem...


"The fear of loss is a path to the dark side."

It was us at a loss...for words.

What a strange philosophical outburst for a five year old.

It was a relief when we discovered he had just copied it from his Star Wars annual, including his outstanding picture of Yoda.





Saturday, 18 January 2014

Weekend vs Weekday

In the rather one-sided battle of Weekend vs Weekday there is usually one out right winner.
Weekend.

Of course weekends are lovely. They often mean no work (for some), lots of family time and a generally more relaxed attitude towards the day ahead.

However, as usual with parenthood not everything is straight forward.

I have decided to create a list of pro's and con's for weekdays vs weekends in order to thoroughly compare.



Weekday.

Pro's: 

ROUTINE - oh you lovely thing you. A parents best friend. Everyone knows where they are with a good routine. 

Tired children- although this can also be a con it normally means a better nights sleep for all.

Work related adult conversation- surprisingly life should not always revolve around Mr Tumble and dancing to Agadoo.

Shopping- in particular the supermarkets are considerably quieter during the week which makes it marginally more bearable.

Con's: 

Bad weather school runs: the weather is rather unsympathetic to parents and school runs. Come rain or shine (or gale force winds which is my favourite) those kids are going to school.

Only 24 hours in a day- getting two kids ready for school/nursery, dropping them off (thank goodness for good friends) and getting to work for 8:30 is a challenge.

Poor Daddy. We are very lucky in that the man of the house (the oldest one) is home for a very reasonable time after work. However, he still only usually gets to see the grumpy end of our days. Tired, irritable and emotional (and that's just me) Daddy often gets the raw end of the deal.

Weekend.

 Pro's:

Lie in (see con's) - I believe the absolute key to a successful marriage is letting one parent have a lie In on Saturday and the other on Sunday.

Getting out and about- we love going out for the day. Parks, picnics, family visits it's all good fun.

Wine. Enough said.

Chocolate. Enough said.


Con's

So called lie in (see pro's)- every weekend without fail our boys have broken nights and ridiculously early starts. It is guaranteed that one of us will have to be up by 6am on both a Saturday and Sunday. 

Lack of routine- seriously if I could marry routine I would. 

Mummy and Daddy - a bit of a strange one because the whole point of family time is that everyone is involved. However, there is a distinct change in both boys' behaviour when both of us are around. I don't think we are alone in this, friends of mine with little people have concurred.
The eldest acts more babyish and the youngest becomes a grumpy teenager. 

In summary, I conclude that weekends are times to make lovely memories and spend special occasions with friends and family. However they are also a time for major family rows, threat of divorce and boarding school and the serious over comsumption of highly calorific treats by all in order to pacify and recouperate.


End of report. X



Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chalk and a rather strong Stilton

We have two boys.
Three years and two months apart in age.
They have the same mother and father.
They were conceived in pretty much the same way (family members cringe now).
They are being raised the same, surrounded by the same people, going to the same places.

And yet they could not be more different.

This is not a complaint, just an observation. I love the fact that our boys have such different personalities. Don't get me wrong, they want to play with the same toys to some extent, they enjoy playing together, most of the time, and words like 'bottom' make them both laugh equally as much.

But I find it astonishing that we could create two so incredibly different people.

Sometimes I feel guilty (welcome to parenthood hey) because it may come across like I care about them differently. 

Our eldest used to cry every time I took him to nursery. It got so bad that I had to accept defeat and ask my husband to take him for fear of an imminent nervous breakdown. When I say cry I mean screaming at me from his car seat that he didn't want me to leave him because he loved me too much.  Sob.

I was completely shell shocked at how difficult it was to leave him.

Our youngest also often cries when it comes to saying goodbye at nursery. And yet I have always had a completely different emotional reaction to what I did first time round.

I have asked myself if this is because you are more resilient when it comes to your second child? Your now officially a pro. Is it because you are so tired having to get two ready in the morning that nursery is an absolute comfort despite tearful goodbyes?

No, I think it is because I am genuinely a little bit afraid of our youngest. He is such a tough little nut. I know the tears are just for show and that he keeps the nursery staff on their toes for the whole day.

He was so poorly for the first months of his life that you'd think I would feel even more worried about him but this is not the case.
He is such a character and I am so proud of his feistiness.
I feel like it is his way of proving to everyone that he is not going to let a minor thing like a dodgy ticker stand in his way or hold him back.

I would prefer if the feistiness did not always manifest itself as defiance towards his Dad and I if we even remotely suggest him doing something major like getting dressed. But no one is perfect!

Just as a bit of proof here is a picture of him in his current meltdown. He saw the IPad, he wanted Mr Tumble Game, I refused....


Just for confirmation he put himself on the naughty step- at least he knows the routine.










Thursday, 9 January 2014

Frozen

Last week I took the big lad to see Disneys Frozen at Cineworld.

Before the film started (after half an hour of adverts) there was a fantastic short Mickey Mouse cartoon. It was old school Mickey Mouse combined with the latest visual and sound effects.
The children were giggling throughout so that was a very positive start.

Well, before I even get on to how much the little ones enjoyed the film, I must say my friend and I were completely mesmerised throughout.
I cried, laughed and left the cinema feeling generally pretty good about the world.
I already knew that you can't go wrong with Disney but this film really took me back to how magical it felt watching films such as Beauty and the Beast, Alladin and The Little Mermaid when I was a child.

From the offset the film was filled with catchy songs, which is a winner as far as I am concerned.
You can always tell that a film has had a good impact when as you walk out of the cinema children and adults alike are singing or humming the last song that was heard.

The story revolves around two princess sisters who's parents die in a tragic shipwreck when they are young.

One of the sisters (Elsa) has magical powers making her able to turn things to ice. Her younger sister is Anna and when the sisters are children Elsa accidentally hurts her sister with her powers.
Because of this Elsa has to conceal her powers from her sister and the rest of the world for fear she cannot control them.

When Elsa comes of age and is made Queen her powers are exposed and after her people become frightened of her Elsa is forced to flee into the mountains to be alone.

Anna bravely goes after her sister knowing that she has a kind heart.

Obviously there has to be a baddy, this time in the form of a manipulative young prince who pretends to be in love with Anna.

A handsome reluctant hero (Kristoff) comes into the film from very early on and helps save the day.

Where would any film be without a hilarious talking snowman! Enter Olaf. The absolutely laugh out loud character that really does make the film superb.
The constant battle Olaf has on his hands, to stop Kristoff's reindeer eating his carrot nose is a constant source of comedy. Olaf sings a song about how much he would love to see summer, completely oblivious to the fact that sunbathing on the beach is not a favourite past time of snowmen. Classic.

My favourite part of the film has to be the act of true love required to save Anna's life. The characters and the audience alike assume this act is going to be true loves kiss. It is actually the love of one sister for another that saves her. When Anna is willing to save her sister by sacrificing herself the whole cinema was silent with awe (and that is not easy when the majority of the audience are under 10 years old).

This is seriously a winner and an absolute must for all the family.
I can't wait for it to come out on DVD!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Poirot at Christmas...

I am starting to realise that Christmas is not just the season to be jolly.

It is also the season for children to don their Sherlock hats, get out their magnifying glasses, and suspiciously scrutinise all things Santa.

We are getting away with it so far, given the boys are only five and two. 
However, I did notice that this year there are many more questions, followed by much longer, rather terrifying hesitations before our answers are accepted.

The other day our eldest turned to me with what he claimed was a very important question..."Mummy, Santa's reindeers can't run as fast as Superman can they? So how can he get to everyone's house in one night?"

It's just all getting a bit complicated! 

Last year I distinctly remember my husband threatening to text Father Christmas if there was any bad behaviour.
This year the boy would probably ask to see the reply.

This year as is tradition in our family, we spent a fab week at the winter wonderland at Center Parcs.
When we got home we put the Christmas decorations up and we found the previous years' photos with Santa from Center Parcs...








I noticed the big lad was just sitting looking at the photos for a considerable length of time.

I did not catch on at first but then the horror hit me...he was comparing the Father Christmas's!

I quickly tried to cover the conspiracy up by focusing on how much the boys had changed over the years. Obviously the same goes for Santa!

For now the secret is safe.
Mum's the word.