31 Jul 2013


When kids are tiny, they're forever doing new things for the very first time. First smile. First roll over. First tooth. It's like Bam! Bam! Bam! One milestone after another in a Yep done that, what's next? kind of way. Then eventually the milestones seem to get further and further apart- which is probably just as well as otherwise reception kids would be driving themselves to school.

Once the health visitor's little red book has been rendered redundant (at some point after the stabilizers have been abandoned but before first legal drink), conversations like this are a fantastic way to chart the progress of offspring:

All 5 of us are walking past the park on the way to a friends house for lunch. E is being unusually stand-offish and weird. The pavement is wide enough to accommodate at least 3 people yet he seems to feel the need to walk either 2 paces in front or 2 paces behind the rest of us. I suddenly realise it's because we are in PUBLIC and there are teens nearby.

Me: Ah... You're being like this cause of them, right? Help me out- was I was being too familiar?

E: (Responding while not looking at me) Yes you were.

Me: Ah, sorry. Forgot.

Keith: What if we do THIS? (Grabs my hand and we start skipping) Does this embarrass you mate?

E: No, I think you'll find you're only embarrassing yourselves.

Me: How about THIS? (Me & K kiss. Extensively. We make our point and then some more)

E: Eww but no. Still embarrasing yourselves...

Me: Yet you're still walking with us? Ah I love you... (toustle his hair)

E: No DON'T touch me!!... (Age 12 1/2)

M: Daddy- can I have a kiss too? (Age 7)

J: (Laughing and slapping his knee) Kiss each other again- that was FUNNY! (Age 9)

12 Jul 2013


It is evening. It's past E's bedtime but we are chatting and chatting because he's in the mood to do so. I am under no illusion that this is likely no more than a sleep stalling strategy but I don't care- it's nice to still be included in his world (albeit on the fringes).

When he talks about school I find it hard to relate. Not because I've been in his high school on only five occasions EVER, or because my old high school is 421 miles away from his current one. But because I was able to determine that his high school is 421 miles away from my old high school in 5 seconds and 2 clicks. 

When I was at school this same calculation would have taken the best part of half an hour, produced as many different result as there were small groups, and would have involved over-sized maps, rulers, pieces of string and endless bits of scrap paper. 

Ah the pre internet era... We had blackboards back then. And typewriters. And 'Social Education' which grew up to be PSE.  

Please Save Electricity
Planet Saturn Explodes
Poor Slaves to Education

I wonder if PSE lessons now are as useless as Social Education was then?

I found it to be full of vague guidelines about behaviour and rules and opinions which just seemed to raise more questions than it ever answered. Then no one wanted to appear ignorant and ask them.

After chatting for 10 minutes about school and Dragonvale and how Jackson can now eat an entire chicken legend burger on his own, we move onto the subject of questions and how it's OK to ask them. 

E rarely has any questions - for me, anyway. He gave up believing I have all the answers a LONG time ago, which is fine because obviously I don't. But now it's gone so far the other way that he's suspicious of any information he hears first hand from me and will usually validate it from another source before adopting it as correct. It's exhausting. But good I suppose- he's becoming an abstract thinker.

Me: So do you have ANY question at all that you think I'd be able to help with?
E: No, not really.
Me: Are you sure there's NOTHING you can think of to ask me? 
E: I can ask you ANYthing?
Me: Course you can mate.
E: What's the square root of 356?
Me: I have no idea.
E: What's the square root of 490?
Me: Don't know that either. Maybe you need to think of questions you have that are NOT maths related...?
E: OK- What would happen if you added liquid nitrogen to de-ionised water?
Me: I don't know. I was expecting different types of queries really...
E: Oh about feelings and stuff?
Me: Yeah. Try one of those. 
E: You know... I AM a bit scared actually... that I won't get to sleep tonight...
Me: Really mate- why's that do you think?
E: Because you might not leave.

2 Jul 2013


In an egocentric attempt to find out how many of you read this and where you are all from I was clicking on the stats for this blog. (May I extend a BIG hello to all of you who live far far away from South Wales by the way- especially if you are not in the US, Romania or Canada as I have no idea who any of you are!)

Anyway, after clicking around for a bit I found traffic sources which was quite interesting, as Stephen Fry would say. Most of the referring sites were general searches and some were from friends' blogs, but there was another blog-sounding site I didn't recognise, so I clicked on it. 

I don't have firewall software on my lap top cause the kids don't use it. And I missed the keeping safe online lectures at school because there was no internet when I was at school. I was unprepared.

The link wasn't a blog at all but a naked woman, posing as if for some post natal examination of stitches. (I assumed this position for a midwife some years ago, so I know whereof I speak).

There was no blog. There was no narrative about child birth. There was no information about stitches either. Just BIG pictures, a name and a phone number.

So now I am very worried. Why did someone looking at that site get directed here??? What kind of messed up algorithm have you constructed to make our 2 sites even remotely affiliated, Mr Google?? 

I feel violated.