Monday, 27 April 2015

Lets Talk About Puberty.

The 9 year old is in year 5 at school and this half term they are starting to learn about puberty.  I grew up in a very "private" household. My parents were from a different era so any bodily functions weren't talked about. I learnt it all from school and the playground.

When we had children Mr.M and I decided we would try and be as open but age appropriate as possible. I'm happy to lie about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy but I want my kids to have a fairly good grasp of what's going on in their bodies and not feel embarrassed by them.

So this week the 9 year old tells us he's learning the proper words for body parts. Being a boy who laughs at burps and farts; he revels in telling us about his anus, rectum, butthole (not sure that's on the school  list!).  Then he goes on to say there's a word that begins with D and ends in O.  There's only one I can think of and it isn't a "real" body part.  I ask him what the word is as I can't think of anything. He says "dildo", ah it was the one I had in mind.  Does he know what it is? No, so I explain it's a sort of plastic penis. Thank God he didn't actually ask why you would need a plastic one!

Yesterday we spoke about the physical changes that will happen, I explained his voice will get deeper, his muscles will get bigger, he may or may not get spots but he will certainly get hair.  This is the most appalling part for him I think. 

He doesn't want a hairy bum like Dad!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book Review: How I Wonder What You Are. By Jane Lovering

Molly had been used to a certain type of man in her life. She certainly didn't expect to find one comatose and naked; one early morning on the Yorkshire Moors. But this is exactly how she found Phinn Baxter.

A tortured soul escaping his past life Phinn is a brilliant astrophysicist who had returned to a place that held at least some happy childhood memories.

Molly & Phinn are drawn together by fate and the strange lights that appear in the sky that seem to dance across the moors.

Choclit is the perfect description for this book. It was like watching a soap story-line with characters that you care about and are drawn to admist their quirks. You follow the will they won't they twists & turns with a warm fuzzy feeling like you've sunk into your favourite armchair with tea and a biscuit.

Jane Lovering manages to mix the right amount of humour and intrigue to keep you going and not want to put the book down.  Definitely a n author I will return to.

The North South Divide

Cambridge University recently published the results of research into people’s personality traits using the answers from 400,000 people who took part in the BBC's Big Personality Test on-line.  Once again Londoners came out as the least friendly. The most liberal; but least friendly.

But is that really true? I'm from London. I'm friendly. I chat to strangers in shops, I've been known to stop a lady in tights and tell her if she's got a ladder, I've chased after a man whose wallet was hanging out of his rucksack depositing £20 notes. (Not to get more!) I paid a student’s bus fare when he didn't have enough money on his bank card. Admittedly I don't do the cockney bounce all day or sing on the train in the way in to work (unless I am wearing earphones and forget myself).  But I just don't get it why we are seen as miserable.

Maybe it's the accent?  Having said that, most people assume if you are from London you talk with a cockney accent and sound like Dick van Dyke.  These days the London accent and definitely the South London accent where I am from have changed. The younger generation seems to have swapped the "th" sound for a "d" so we have "dis" and "dat" and "ask" has become "arks".  But that may be because of the huge mix of nationalities we have in London now. The language is evolving.

Are we really the least friendly? Isn't it just a stereotype?  The same as when I think of Yorkshire I think of phrases such as "eeh bah gum" or the Midlands "Alroight bap". 

 I'm not sure anywhere has the social community it used to have. When I grew up, it was in a block of 42 flats and I could have told you the name of every single person in each flat. Now where I live, I can name the neighbours two or three doors down either side and are on "hello" nodding terms with the people opposite but that's it. Times have changed.

Are there any misconceptions about where you live and where you have come from? 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Exhausting Easter Part 2

SO, I left you all on Easter Sunday with everyone; bar me and my cast iron stomach, fighting for pole position in our one bathroom.  I let them all have the day off on Easter Monday too, just to help with the recovery. Luckily because the weather was nice, I could leave my windows open to try and get rid of the noxious gas fumes three people with poorly tummies leave.

Tuesday was back to our days of fun!.  Well it was back to work for Mr.M but for me and the tiddlers it was a trip to London.  Back last summer when we were basking in the 40° heat of Malta we met a lovely family who also had a 9 year old but their version didn't seem as moody as mine.   By the virtue of social media and Xbox 360 live, we all managed to keep in touch. We arranged to meet up in London.

Something none of us had done was a London Duck Tour.  If you haven't seen or heard of them, they are ex amphibious WWII utility trucks that take you on a tour of London then into the river Thames. Yes you saw it right! They drive right into the water!  The tour starts at Westminster Bridge near the London Eye, it takes you off towards Westminster Palace & The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, past Trafalgar Square and down Pall Mall.  We sauntered past St James' Palace and Buckingham Palace, past Tate Britain and the Headquarters of MI5 & MI6 back towards splashdown.  The 5 year old found the tour itself a little boring but I enjoyed the commentary from our Tour guide. He was knowledgeable and gave some fun information rather than just a standard commentary.  The 5 year old was more excited about getting into the water and shouting "quack" at any other DUCK's she saw.  The tour itself was 90 minutes which was far longer than I expected but at least I felt like I'd got my money's worth.  It was £70 for a family of four.  

After a quick lunch at McDonald's we went into the London Aquarium.  As Merlin pass holders, we've been in here a few times but probably not for a couple of years. It's a lovely place to be and I always feel like I'm almost in a Tardis. It certainly gives off the air of being a lot bigger on the inside than the outside.  I'd like to tell you all about the fish but there are so many different varieties it's impossible. Obviously we looked for Nemo and Dory. My favourite part is the new addition of penguins! You can be so close and truly admire their sleek beauty.

We must have been in the Aquarium for a couple of hours and whilst the kids were enjoying their slushies we left and strolled along the Southbank in search of a well earned cup of tea.  We sat at a table in the sunshine, the kids played "it" and got in everyones way.  Before too long it was time to go back to the train station to get our trains home.

We left each other with big smiles and promises to meet up again for another lovely day.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Exhausting Easter Part 1

I work four days a week, my day off (from paid employment) is a Wednesday. Luckily because of Easter holidays falling on a Friday and Monday;  I book two days holiday and don't work for a whole week! This year I decided to actually "do stuff" with the kids. Yay them, Yay me!

I had it all planned, cinema, museums, trips to London, walking the dog, bike riding, making things... most of it happened. At some point.

We started with a trip to the cinema to see the latest kids film "Home". 
Home is a Dreamworks Studios animated film.  It's about a race of aliens; the Boov who are constantly looking for somewhere to live, being cowards and on the run from the Gorgs.  They find themselves on Earth.  Unfortunately "Oh" - the main character, causes one too few mishaps and finds himself on the run, alone. He meets a human girl called Tip and they help each other to find "family".  I love kids films and will be quite sad when my two are too grown up to want to come with Mummy. I felt  it was an "okay" film and say it's one to save for kids club cinema visit or a home rental.  It's just not Disney.

We went to World of Golf, Croydon.  When we got there we were greeted by a sign telling us we were about to embark on a Dragon Quest.  The 5 year old was disappointed, she wanted dinosaurs.  The 9 year old and I were disappointed as we didn't actually see any dragons anywhere! There were the usual fun holes with water features... just no dragons.  However, we mainly had fun although the 5 year old had a 10point penalty awarded and missed a go for clumping the nine year old with the golf club after he picked her ball up. I'm not sure that's ever happened at The Masters.

Good Friday was off to the Natural History Museum for the 5 year old to see her beloved dinosaurs.  Unfortunately our trip was cut short by the 9 year old having a funny turn and feeling ill.  After sitting him down with water, he looked decidedly pale. We practically ran round the dinosaur exhibition and left quickly.  Luckily the museums in London are free and we live close enough to be able to get on a train and go at a weekend if we want.

By Easter Sunday, both the children and Mr.M had fallen prey to stomach bugs and had to miss out on their Easter Eggs. I have been very restrained and they are still waiting to be eaten.