Oh crap. The summer holidays are only two days old and I am already knackered.
For starters, my ears and my brain are aching from the constant stream of questions from Mr Pickle. Today's corker:
'If you had to invent a human, what would it be like?'
'Hmm,' Mummy says, 'I think humans are already fairly well designed so I'd probably just get rid of stupid things like tonsils which serve no purpose other than introducing young mothers to the joys of handing their offspring over to blokes with masks and very sharp knives.'
Pickle, on the other hand, has several improvements in mind, including an extra pair of eyes which sleep during the day... I can actually see the value of it, as long as they were in the back of my head for small boy monitoring duties. He's two weeks shy of eight years old and STILL wanders off in crowded shopping centres. The bugger.
Anyway, my body is aching like I've run a marathon after football training this morning, where I joined in the game with both my kids and all their team-mates for the end-of-year party match. At first I just hung around the goal 'defending' and let the little ones go after the ball but I have to say after a short while all those Friday evenings when I used to play 5-a-side at work fifteen or more years ago came flooding back to me. And I got stuck right in and scored two goals! Nobby will be very pleased. Pickle was ecstatic and treated me to the full 'jumping on top of the goal scorer' celebration style. He scored two himself while Poppet scored her penalty after the match, it was great. I probably did run a marathon during the hour we played; I am gonna pay for it tomorrow believe me.
Nobby, incidentally, is in Cardiff playing golf with his mates. He deserved the trip after a couple of pooey weeks at work, but it would have been nice if England had been able to perform as well as his wife and kids against Algeria last night. Sounds as though there was some serious sorrow-drowning going on afterwards, judging from the croaky phonecall from him at midday.
Speaking of drowning, we had a freak rain storm here just before the game started last night. Pickle and I were driving home from a friend's house and nearly had to swim to get here. I have never seen anything like it. Of course when we got in the satellite signal was down and we couldn't get the game on, though we soon found out that was the least of our worries when Pickle spotted the water dripping through the spare room ceiling. We had a wonderful game of 'Spot The Puddle' roaming the house with a pile of old towels to throw in front of leaking windows and walls. Only four others thankfully, then we nipped next door to watch the game on their Portugese satellite and sent a text to the landlord to get his arse round here with a bucket at his earliest convenience.
So I am getting through my list of fun activities to keep the children amused rather rapidly. We've been the cinema twice already - Nanny McPhee and Toy Story - we've been shopping in Budapest for clothes and presents to take with us to France, and we've been to a barbecue.
Poppet helped with today's choices by remembering that she left her (correction: my) handbag in a changing room in H&M on Thursday so we had to schlepp back to the Hungarian equivalent of Oxford Street to retrieve it. Thankfully some nice person had handed it in, probably because there was no money in it. Still the shop assistant grilled me about the appearance and contents before she would go and get it.
'It's small and black with a long strap and contains bubble gum, Tictacs, a compact mirror with Hannah Montana lipstick, a notebook and a pair of Barbie shades.'
On the way back we bumped into some sort of parade made up of different groups in traditional costumes either dancing or singing their way through town. It seemed to be a celebration of mostly Eastern European groups with lots of big skirts and headscarves, frankly we didn't have a scooby-doo what it was all about but we stopped to watch anyway. There was some very loud drumming further along from us which didn't sound very Hungarian. Sure enough a group of dancers from Martinique pranced and wiggled past, sandwiched between Slovenian Folk dancers and a small Croatian choir. Oh well, it kept the little darlings amused for ten minutes.
In an effort to be a good teacher Mummy now I'm qualified (got the final assignment mark on Tuesday, I PASSED!!) I've started a daily diary of 'What Have We Learned Today' to make sure we don't just sit in front of the TV or Wii or DS all summer long. So far we've had quite a detailed First Aid session, concentrating on choking and bleeding, though touching on CPR and how to avoid catastrophes that require it after Poppet fired up the hair dryer in the bathroom while Pickle was in the bath... If I thought I was moving fast at footie today, that night I left skid marks as I raced in to yank the cable out. We now also know for future reference that water and electricity do not mix.
We've touched on cookery with a discussion on how crepes are made, with a little side-bar on religion with the origins of Shrove Tuesday. We've examined christenings too as we are going to one in a couple of weeks.
And today we all learned something new together after looking up the word 'Degu' on the internet after seeing it written on a cageful of admittedly large-looking gerbils that Pickle has his heart set on as his birthday present. This has been a source of much discussion for some time now between Nobby and me. He's not too keen on having little pets although I am sold on the idea having owned ten gerbils when I was little myself. My Mum will probably have something to say about that when she comes next week since I remember it as a joyful experience, not at all smelly and with no nocturnal disturbance... hmmm. We not sure if the fact they only last a couple of years is a good or a bad thing given we may move again in twelve months.
Anyway, I was expecting to find Degu is the Hungarian translation for gerbil and that they just grow bigger here. But no. A Degu is more closely related to the Chinchilla and the Guinea Pig, a social, diurnal rodent (sleeps at night, hurrah!) with a penchant for chewing, burrowing, chewing, running about and chewing. They have a bubbly personality and an expected life span of 5-7 years, although some live as many as ten.
Well there's something new I learned today. I can't wait to see Nobby's face when I tell him...
Mothers; Know your limits...
2 days ago