Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dad in charge for the day

Anne was away on a training course for the day on Saturday, and so I was in charge.

This was a little daunting, as I rarely do a whole day from breakfast to bed time on my own, but it went well and I had a great time. I think the kids enjoyed it too, but the main thing was I enjoyed it.

That it was a nice day helped a lot. Today it's been raining a lot. If it had been me in charge today I'd have been tearing my hair out while the kids bickered while stuck in the house. Or we'd have ended up at a shopping centre so they could run around inside. I'm very glad it wasn't today.

At one point yesterday ThingOne said, "It's odd with mummy being away. It's a bit like she's dead."

I don't think we can read much into this other than note her current slight obsession with death. And poo.

For me the key was to keep them busy, and out of the house. I made sure they were dressed and fed first thing, and while they finished their breakfast I made sandwiches and gathered together picnic things. Then we got the bus into town (an entertaining activity in itself), and after the obligatory Disney Store trip it was time for:
- coffee (water for the kids) with flapjack
- a run around a Cambridge college while the students studied
- a walk by the Cam
- a play on a playground
- a play on a skateboard park
- a picnic by the river
- an ice cream cone each by the river (they were rather too big for the girls, but they enjoyed them nonetheless)
- bus home
- nap for ThingTwo and the end of Toy Story 2 and start of The Muppet Movie for ThingOne
- trip to the car wash
- trip to Sainsburys
- tea (the kids helped to top their own pizzas)
- bath (hair wash night)
- stories
- bed

I'm exhausted just listing it. I really needed my gin and tonic after all that.

I'd say I made two errors:
1) We were probably a bit too quick in the morning and were in town by 9.30am. This mean the kids were tired and wanted lunch by 11.15. I distracted them with unsafe play in a skateboard park before having an 11.40am lunch.
2) I took too long stopping the jumping-on-the-bed game in the evening, and ended up with a very full bath. They were both sitting in their with water up to their necks. I now realise this was foolish, though it was funny to see.

We took video of lots of this to show mum the next day. Here's the evidence.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Epping Forrest, sun and mud

Lots of photos today. ThingOne started our day out dressed as in this photo. She ended it with no top on under her dress, different leggings, a muddy vest, no socks, and no knickers.

We had a fab day today, meeting up with friends Wendy and Craig, with their nearly-eight-month old son Jamie. We went to Epping Forrest, for no better reason than it was half way between our houses.

The day got sunnier and hotter as it went on, and our girls had great fun climbing on fallen tree trunks, running around, and just generally looning. The grown ups enjoyed the walks in the woods and the decent pub lunch in the sun.


ThingOne had wellies on, which was fortunate as she decided to stomp around in deep mud. We weren't keen, and warned her that she could get very muddy.

Of course, ThingOne knew best. I said that if she wasn't careful her boot would get stuck in the mud and she'd get a dirty sock. Either that or she'd fall over and get muddy hands. Or perhaps both.

As it was all of this happened and she got very very muddy. Fortunately, having been a dad for over four years now, I knew exactly what to do. As soon as I sensed she was having trouble and might fall over I was able to whip out the video camera in order to preserve the satisfying moment. It's included below (or here) for history.

I think after this valuable lesson in "Mum and Dad Know Best" ThingOne will always listen to us and do what we say. Yes, I think that's what will happen.

It was pretty disastrous, and ThingOne was very sad. It took us some time to clean her up (and rescue her boot) and we got pitying looks from sympathetic (though amused) parents who walked by.

We had some spare leggings with us, and ThingOne's shoes, so we were able to recover the situation, mostly. And a Mini Milk helped.

The day ended at Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, where the kids dressed up in Tudor outfits.

We drove home very tired, having caught the sun a bit.

ThingOne doesn't want us to talk about the mud incident. She didn't specifically say I couldn't put it on YouTube and blog about it.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Chocolate Sunday

Christ is risen, so that we may eat chocolate before breakfast. Or something.

And don't they look happy?
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Thursday, April 01, 2010