Saturday, 28 August 2010

So sweet

Yesterday I gave Ethan the challenge of clearing out of his bedroom the clothes that didn’t fit anymore.  It took a while.

When Ethan finally came downstairs I was delighted.  His arms were laden with clothes.  I imagined the empty space that would have been created and could see how much easier Ethan would find it to keep his clothes tidy.  “Well done Ethan” I said, “Are all of those too small?”

“No.  These are the ones I want to keep.”

There then followed an exchange in which I, belatedly, explained the rules of a wardrobe clearout, namely that the retained clothes stay in the wardrobe.  Ethan then told me that he’d only found one thing that was too small for him and that was his old karate gi and he wanted to keep that.  I knew this wasn’t the case but assumed Ethan’s tolerance for what fits and what doesn’t just needed calibrating.

The next day when I walked into Ethan’s room there was a huge, crumpled, messy mound of clothing in the middle of the floor.  Ethan isn’t very good at clothes folding and putting away so I seized the opportunity to calibrate.  It was then the truth came out.  Ethan had found clothes that didn’t fit him but he hadn’t wanted them to be packed up for the charity shop because, in his words, “I want to keep them for when I get married and I have children.”

So sweet.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Gagging for a drink

We had a day out today and had such a good time we left later than I’d planned to get home.  Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but today Mr Tesco was due to deliver between five o’clock and seven.  We pulled into our road less than five seconds before the Tesco truck.  Phew!

We made it to the front door, via the back door, before the doorbell was pushed.  Mr Tesco advised on product availability and then said “I’ve just seen something, and you’re not going to be happy.”  I enquired further and he said he’d show me later.  Now there may be some of you who are imagining a desperate housewife scenario.  You haven’t seen Mr Tesco but it was Friday evening and Friday evening has to have a particular ingredient: gin.

The problem was that my personal grocery shopper (the people with the massive trolleys) had omitted to remove the security tag from my gin.  Not good.  Not good at all.

I asked Mr Tesco how to remove the tag and he suggested a magnet.  We tried that and it didn’t work so he amended his suggestion to “electro-magnet”.  I’m not even sure he knew what he was talking about but, even though I do have an idea, I was struggling to think of anything in the house that might do the job.  Mr Tesco then asked if I had a hacksaw.  Funnily enough, I do.
Hannah ran and retrieved my toolbox, in which there is a junior hacksaw.

Mr Tesco disappeared through the front door with my gin bottle and my hacksaw.  Our front wall was his workbench and a few minutes later my bottle was free of its tag.  And here it is.  The lines are saw marks.

I have a gin right next to me.  Thank you Mr Tesco.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

It’s OK, I’ve stopped being angry

I was angry.  In fact I was furious.  Actually I had reached boiling point but, at the time, I stayed mute.  Those of you who know me will know that’s unusual behaviour for me.

I’m sure all of you have been in this situation, but maybe you aren’t as volatile as me.

We were in the car.  Dave was driving, I was a passenger and the children were sat in the back.  We were joining the A2 and as we sped down the slip road, the driver of the lorry in the inside lane didn’t move over to allow us to join the carriageway.  Dave slowed a little but as our slip road was running out we were still travelling very fast with a huge lorry to our right.

I knew Dave knew what he was doing.  I knew he’d seen the truck and the rational Ann knew there wasn’t a problem.  But there’s another Ann over whom I have no control. 

Subconscious Ann flinched with a sharp intake of breath but I said nothing.

Immediately Dave started at me with “What?! What’s your problem?  I knew the truck was there but I was watching to make sure the guy behind me didn’t hit me and I didn’t hit the truck.  What?!”  This is an approximation of Angry Dave resenting my unconscious reaction.

I said nothing but I was seething.  I was furious.  I was “locked jaw/clamped teeth” angry.  I think you get the picture.

We drove to our destination in silence and when we arrived, and when the children were out of earshot, we had words, and we’re now fine.

But it wasn’t nice.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The wool game

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but life got in the way.

This is a party game, but equally could be used to keep any number of children occupied for a while without the need for a party.  It has its origins with my husband and parties that he had as a child.  The game may be older and be a game that was played by my mother-in-law when she was small.

It’s also a very adaptable game.  I describe it using wool but nobody knits these days so, although I have organised this game using wool, I have also substituted ribbon.  I’m sure you can think of other variants too.

Collect scraps of wool in different colours.  Cut each colour into several six inch lengths.  The number of lengths will determine the duration of the game.

Save one length for each of the colours.  Hide the rest of the lengths of wool in the garden, or house, or wherever you’re playing the game.  Give each player one of the lengths that you set aside.  If you weren’t able to collect many different colours or you have a lot of party guests you may want teams to play this game instead of individuals.

Players are then sent off on a treasure hunt to find the remaining pieces of wool that match the one they were given.

Prizes can be given for each piece of wool found (maybe a sweet for each piece) or you could have a slightly bigger prize for the child finding all of their pieces of wool first.  Or you could combine these two so that everyone gets something but there is also a winner.

You can’t beat a good treasure hunt.