Friday, 15 July 2011

Babemouth 2

Yesterday I neglected to add Pickle's latest theory on the subject of Haribo sweets. We've had an excess supply of cola bottles since his birthday party and I have been popping a few in my handbag ever since as rewards (or 'sit down and shut up' incentives, depending on the occasion).

After happily munching through a few the other day and expressing bewilderment as to why I don't like them (yuck) he announced,
'I think Haribos are designed to teach children how to chew food. Because they take a LOT of chewing to eat them. And you need to chew your food otherwise you can get fat. So I think that's what Haribos are for. Mentos too.'

I love the way he's kind of half right and half wrong, and that he's taken on board my repeated lecturing about chewing and swallowing rather than shovelling and gulping in order to leave the table quicker. Bless.

He's clearly also picked up on some of my ongoing life goals after asking me,
'Mum, if you could have one thing thats not real come to life, what would it be?'
I ummed and erred for a bit then he said,
'I reckon you'd like it to be the dishwasher, then it could load and unload itself for you while you had a nice cup of tea.'


He's been pontificating quite a bit this morning as well while he's played with Lucky Hamper the hamster, who is about to receive his own metal-lined, airline-approved rodent box and be transported back to the UK to live with my parents.

After a short game of Hide and Seek on the sofa - Pickle places Lucky on the sofa, closes his eyes and counts to 12 then cries 'coming ready or not!' as one fluffy rear end disappears under the cushions, technically it's more 'Hunt the Hamster' than Hide and Seek but they seemed to enjoy it - Pickle declares that Lucky is cute and adorable...

'...just like me really, Mum. Like boy, like hamster.'

Now there's no disagreeing with that.

He proceeded to weigh the little mite on my cooking scales just for interest, followed inevitably by every other object on the dining table. Lucky clocked all of 47 grams compared to a litre and a half of iced tea which weighed, funnily enough, a kilo and a half. We're learning maths already and it's not even 9am here.

He then re-wrote the song 'Hey Baby, Ooh, Ah' with the words

'Heeeeeeeeeey-ey-ey Lu-cky, Ooh, Ah,
I wanna know-ow-ow-ow, oh-oh-oh, if you'll be my hamster.'

Lucky responded with one of his Mission Impossible stunts, climbing up the side of his cage bars then swinging paw-over-paw across the top to give Pickles finger a lick.

That hamster is really going to be missed.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

This morning Pickle grabbed hold of my ipod as we were driving to our pottery class (I have resorted to messy, touchy-feely, arty-farty stuff to try and get him off the screens and its proved quite a hit. There are other lively boys there to chat with and he's discovered a flair for crafting bees from clay.)

'Haven't you go Cover Flow on this thing?' he said.

'What on earth is Cover Flow?' I asked, but I never did find out.

Later he was discussing with his pottery buddies which Pickman is his favourite.

'What are you going on about?' I asked.

'Oh, it's just a Wii game, Mum,' he replied and carried on the discussion. I don't think I am invited into the World of Wii.

Later Poppet regaled a delightful dream she had the other night.

'I was a giant and I picked Pickle up but accidentally dropped him down the plughole. I had to take apart all the plumbing to get him out and then he stank so bad I had to bath him every day for a month. I just held him up under the tap.'

Am I the only one finding their kids' worlds a totally foreign country? Am I supposed to know what a Cover Flow is? Can't I have a favourite Pickman?

I have to say ignorance is bliss compared to hearing my own voice coming out of their mouths. Just yesterday I heard one of them lamment, very loudly,

'Oh for goodness sake!'

And when, somehow, we got onto the subject of me having more babies in McDonalds on Monday (don't ask me how) and I asked Poppet what she would say if I told her I was pregnant she replied, 'I'd probably say Holy s.*.*.t!' (She did spell it by the way but still.)

Following all his recent web surfing Pickle decided to give me the low-down on how you should never keep a deer if you have a dog. I tried to tell him that deer are not usually considered pets but he went on to tell me about how he'd watched footage of a lady feeding a baby deer, who subsequently went back to its Mummy, who then galloped over and attacked the woman's dog. Pickle takes this to mean that deer are protective of their young (probably true and very incisive) and that all baby deer are tattle-tales who like getting dogs into trouble (hmmm).

I never knew Youtube home movies were so informative.

Anyway, the big news in our house is that we are moving back to the UK next month.

Yeah, when I said big I meant BIG.

The kids are taking it really well. Poppet went atraight to her notebook to start planning her bedroom. Pickle wanted to make sure he's taking all his stuff with him, including the hamster.

As for me, I am up to my armpits in lists and plans and tidying. Poor old Nobby keeps discovering things have been put away, chucked out or sold every night. So far I've sold my car and the spare bed and I have half a basement full of other stuff we don't need to schlepp across the continent just to sit in our attic.

My folks are even in on the game. They are taking in Tiggy and Lucky Hamper early next week while the rest of us nip off on holidays (me and kids) and spangly new jobs (Nobby). They were probably looking forward to a nice relaxing summer full of dancing engagements and weekends away. Now they've got to find a hamster cage and a dog bowl and babysit instead. Big thanks to them both for helping us out.

So there you go, the expat dream is coming to an end. I am expecting plenty of bloggable episodes in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Trolley wars

What's worse than standing in a queue of ten people at your least favourite supermarket on a busy Monday night with only three tills open?(they should rename it the rubbishmarket, there is NOTHING whatsoever that is super about it)

This is the strangely named Kaiser's, which has been taken over by Spar but they are struggling to replace the Kaiser's banner above the door. I may have mentioned it before, the place where you need a sense of humour bypass before they will offer you minimum wage employment.

The place where you can have your cabbage shredded into coleslaw for free by the sheer force by which they ram the goods over the infra red.

The place where the only way to lift your spirits is to join in the unspoken game of 'beat the checkout' by trying to get all your shopping into bags before the assistant clears the conveyor belt and un-tactfully levers the accumulated pile down the ramp at you before sitting back in her chair, arms folded, to watch you catch up.

The worst thing has to be the over-zealous assistant getting so lost in the game that she throws three bottles of beer across the bleeper with such force that one of them explodes and showers you, her and all your remaining shopping with luke-warm Corona.

I had to laugh, or else I'd have cried.

Pickles joke corner

Q: What do you call a sea creature who goes to the loo 8 times a day?
A: An Octopoos!

Q: What do you call a man with a cat on his head?
A: Claude!

Q: What do vampires have for lunch?
A: Just a quick bite.

The boy is on top form lately, whenever he comes up for air from one screen or another. Now that school is out for the summer he is getting up promptly at 7am and heading off into cyberspace on the computer, DS or Wii until I drag myself up at a more civilised hour and start negotiations to get him back into the real world.

The irony is that I had to drag HIM up at 7am every week day for the past year to get to school on time. Little bugger.

The end of school was a complete whirlwind and I can't believe I have completed a whole year's teaching already! I've also now completed a week teaching at summer school - an experience guaranteed to wipe out even the most energetic activities co-ordinator. We had a pirate theme for the week and most of us lost our voices from all the 'ha-haaaaaar!'-ing every day but luckily a bottle of rose on my terrace on friday night when it was all over proved effective medicine.

Today we are off to another summer camp but this time I am a participant and not trying to coerce anyone else into having a good time. We are doing pottery each day along the theme of 'Bugs, Beetles, Birds and Butterflies' so even Pickle may find something he wants to make. He could create a new breed of Pokemon Beetle or a Super Mario Butterfly.

As I type he is too tired for the Wii so he is watching a YouTube video of someone else playing Super Mario on the Wii to learn how to do the game! I can't decide if that's smart or stupid. Does it count as background research? Or should I be booking him into Gamers Anonymous? Given that he keeps giggling out loud it's clearly entertaining. Now is that because Mario is doing backflips or is the crazy American dude providing second-by-second commentary teaching him rude words? (I'd vet it myself but I think I'd rather eat my own spleen.)

I think I'll try to distract him back to reality with a spot of breakfast.