FOR BOY Wonder’s recent 4th birthday, I wanted to do something special to reflect the energetic, thoughtful and creative boy that he has become. He’s currently obsessed with superheroes and one Caped Crusader in particular: Batman (or ‘Mat-man!’ as Little Buddha likes to shout every time a cape comes into view).
Play centres are appealing locations for birthday parties because the staff provide your celebratory entourage with entertainment, libation and insurance should anything go wrong. However, researching a few places near to us I found too many limitations: minimum numbers, rules and regulations as long as your arm and extra costs if you dare introduce a theme. So, it was back to the drawing board.
WE’VE JUST returned from a family holiday in Northumberland. A combination of tight finances and the memories of dealing with Boy Wonder’s bronchitis in France a few years ago mean we holiday in Britain and we’ll probably do so for a few years yet. Last year, we stayed on a great farm in Cornwall, having visited Pembrokeshire the year before. This time, we contained the mileage by staying in the north and Northumberland didn’t disappoint. We loved it so much, we’re already planning a long weekend there later in the year – and the Duchess even mentioned moving there for good!
IS IT FAIR TO INFLUENCE YOUR KIDS’ POLITICAL BELIEFS? Tonight, I was getting Boy Wonder ready for bed and I complimented him for doing as I asked and not being ‘naughty’. His face grew serious and he told me the following:
‘Do you know the Iron Lady, Dad. Well, she was very naughty. She took jobs away from daddies and mummies and they couldn’t earn pennies. Their little boys and girls didn’t have any food to eat and everybody was very sad.’
For a moment, I was speechless. The Duchess is working tonight so I can’t check yet but I expect that he saw the film poster on a bus or billboard and asked her about the identity of the woman with the bouffant hair and cold face. The Duchess obviously didn’t pull any punches and we’ve now got the future president of the Communist Party in our midst.
Part of the fun of this blog is having a few pots at the good wife, the Duchess. This is even more important now we rarely relax together or even see each other some days. Banter is an important release, especially given the physical, emotional and financial stresses of having young kids. It’s always been our way and it’s probably what now keeps us from miscuing with the extended screwdriver or forgetting to clear up the water spill or not reporting the squeaky car brakes.
This morning, the Duchess found Boy Wonder undressed in the bathroom obviously doing something to his crown jewels. She looked over his shoulder to see him giving them a good old scratch. Using his little sister’s hairbrush.
She prised the baby hairbrush out of his iron grip and told him off. He looked up at her, unapologetic for his hygiene crime.
‘But they really need scratching’, he told her.
She turned away, smiled and headed to the kitchen to wash the brush. Wondering about the male role model in his life. Thinking: hmm, now where’s my hairbrush?
‘Look at daddy in his mankini’
We’ve just returned from a week in Cornwall. It was our first family holiday since Little Buddha appeared. When Boy Wonder was her age, we flew to Normandy to stay with family but unfortunately he got a severe case of bronchitis and although my aunty dealt with the doctor and organised the (impressively large) range of medicines we decided to stay on home soil for the next few years.
So, last year we went to Pembrokeshire in Wales and this summer we drove through the night to sample the marvellous beaches of the south west.
A couple in their seventies take a shine to Little Buddha in the supermarket. After a few minutes of cooing, the man tries to extricate his finger from Little Buddha’s hand but she holds tight.
Man: ‘Bloody hell, she’s got some grip on her. Is she ont breast?’
Duchess: ‘Er, no.’
Man: ‘Problems latching love? Never mind, maybe next time.’
Duchess: ‘My husband doesn’t want any more, says we’re too old.’
Man: ‘Give over. You don’t look a day over 28. Cook him a meal, feed him a few beers and you’ll be well away. Right little lady, give my finger back.’