Thursday, August 23, 2007

Germs = Germany

That's what Callum thinks.

Last night England played Germany in a friendly football game. Callum asked if he could stay up and watch the game and after (1) telling him there was no blue team (2) telling him which countries were playing and (3) Daz and I being assigned a sofa each for each country (I was England, Daz was Germany) we all sat down to watch the game. It hadn't long been started when Callum turned round to Daz and asked him "Daddy, does Germany have Germs?" *laugh*. He seemed to be under the impression that because Germany contained the word Germs that is why it was called that name. Out of the mouth of babes as they say. Of course (after we stopped laughing) we told him no.

He didn't quite make it to half time before falling asleep all cuddled up with me but he did see the England goal and shout "Yeahhhhhhh!!". And this morning... I had to tell him England lost, which he didn't believe. I think he has a long way to go with being an English Football Fan but he's getting there, just needs to learn that yes England do loose... and a lot.

Oh also the rules for Callum cheering and scoring:

England - Yeaaahhh!!! Goooaaaaalll!!!

Germany - Boooo, but we still love you Uncle Pip.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Run Run As Fast As You Can...

Run Run As Fast As You Can
You Can't Catch Me I'm The Gingerbread Man

I don't know when Callum started going round telling us this little saying but for as long as I can remember that boy of mine has loved Gingerbread Men! He especially loves the ones that have smarties as the buttons and if there is a choice of colours at the bakers it will always be the blue smarties buttons that gets chosen. I myself am not too keen on them, I think it's the ginger flavour.

But the story? Yes that's good and a grand lesson you learn... don't be a little twerp in life and you won't be eaten up be a clever fox. I'm actually quite glad when The Gingerbread Man gets gobbled up, I know I'm wicked, but when he comes down to the basics isn't that what a Gingerbread Man is for... and surely he does get his just desserts. I remember reading earlier this year and article in Junior magazine about Fairy Tales and how some parents change the endings, of the "horrible" bits in them. It reminded me of an episode of Desperate Housewives when Lynn joins in helping out with the school production, I can't remember at the moment which Tale it was, and the head Mum wanted to change part of it ... aah I think it may have been Hansel and Gretal, and there was no pushing of the Witch into the stove. Lynn didn't think they should change the end and says about how will children learn things in life if parents go around making everything charming and smelling of roses. It's a good point I think. Children are amazing in their ability to understand things and they have a completely different outlook on things than us adults do. A child needs to learn the lessons in life and at the end of the day Fairy Tales/Fables are about those things. There are sometimes when you do feel there is an undertone that is not child suitable but that's the adult way of looking at it and a child will in most cases look at it in a different way. An example I'll give is Snow White (and here comes my comic book geekness reference). For those that don't know there is an amazingly awesome comic called Fables, written by Bill Wittingham (I hope I spelt that right), it takes all the "Fables" characters and tells a story but with a twist and a clever one. A spin off from this ongoing series was a Hardback story called 1001 Nights of Snowfall. It's a parody (is that the right word to use I wonder) of 1001 Arabian Nights and the main character (one of my favourites) is Snow White. Like the original story she tells her tales and one of them is about her and Prince Charming and the Seven Dwarfs. I will warn you if you read this you will find it hard to see those cute little Disney Seven Dwarfs in the same light, but it is in its own way a good story. Now I'm not going to go and read this to Callum but I would still read him the Disney version of Snow White and he would I bet not see any of the undertones that are hinted at in the 1001 Nights of Snowfall (somehow that all makes sense in my head, hopefully it does written down).

However I think sometimes you do have to draw a line. I remember a couple years ago reading Callum the Kippling Jungle Book I'd bought for a bargain price in Woolworths. The film is Daz' favourite so I thought it was time to introduce the story to Callum. The Jungle Book story itself is fine but afterwards in the book it has some other short stories. One of these was called something like Little Seal/White Seal. It started off OK and then as it progressed it slowly went into detail about seal clubbing. To say I was shocked is an understatement. There I was reading this story and the next line to be read was about a seal being clubbed to death and how the white snow turned red. So yeah definitely some stories aren't for reading to children.

In the end I think it's up to the parents judgment and what they feel comfortable with. Personally I don't mind The Gingerbread Man being eaten or the Witch being pushed into the stove, but I do draw the line at seal clubbing.

Also I have to add... because this is what started off this post... when Callum and I went out today he asked if he could have a Gingerbread Man from the bakers. I said as long as he was good when we went to get his school uniform he could... so you can imagine how disappointed he was when we went to the first bakers and they had none... and then when we went to the second one they still had none. Not even the offer of going to Asda's and buying the box of mini ones or making some ourselves turned that frown to a smile. So I have to now remember to ask Daz if there are any Smarties Gingerbread Men near where he works. How can you run out of Gingerbread Men?!?!?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

OH ******

Callum was funny today. I could hear him muttering in our bedroom earlier today and it sounded like he was saying "Bugger". I didn't draw any attention to it and after a little while he came back into the front room. I asked him if he had been talking to me and he said:

"No, I was swearing Mummy. I was saying bugger which is naughty as it's swearing." all the time with his huge cheeky grin on.

I reply saying: "Yes it is swearing so we shouldn't say it really."

To which he replys: "I know. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger."

He's lucky he's so darn cute! :laugh:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Busy like a Buzzing Bee.

What a busy last few days we've had. In short here is how they have been.

Friday - Callum and I went over Hainault Forest, we were over there for a good few hours and attempted to feed the crazy geese, walked round the lake, looked for the Teddy Bear's Picnic in the woods (but I think we were too noisy and scared them off), looked at and stroked the animals in the little farm section, had ice-cream and ran down hills. Very exhausting but wonderful.

Saturday - Daz, Callum and I met up with my sister Emma, Bro-in-law Martyn and Eloise and Alex. We went over to Harold Wood Park which then leads on to Pages Wood. It was a gloriously hot sunny day. We had fun in the playground, sat and had a picnic in which we're not sure may have been a golf practice area, went for a walk around Pages Wood, played Pooh Sticks, found a nice little area that was alongside the river where nobody else was where we played football and Frisbee and chilled out. It was a lovely afternoon although Daz and I are feeling a bit sore from our sunburn, we didn't realise just how hot it was.

Sunday - As my parents are away for my Dad's, Eleanor's and mines birthdays we had a little family thing yesterday for us to swap presents. It was a fantastic day full of sunshine, wine, food (and BBQ food at that!), presents, water fights, cake, and lots of laughter. It made me remember what a fabulous family I have.

So today I've been busy going through all the photos from these last few days. It seems I may have been a bit too click happy as there around 300 photos. Yes you did read that right, it averages out about 100 per day! Jeez maybe I need therapy.

When I've sorted through for some of my favourite photos I'll update here with them.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Teddy Bear's Picnic

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

It's amazing how a bed sheet, a blanket, some cushions and dining chairs can spark a few hours of fun but that's what happened today, not that we don't normally have fun in our home.

Now firstly they are some very important items needed. Here's the list that Callum told me and how they were important.

1. Two chairs (or if you have the room four chairs). These need to be placed a certain distance from each other so that there is enough room for at least one child and if that child is feeling generous one Mummy to fit through. Also you have to have them so that the backs are facing awasy from each other, very important! Another important thing to do if you don't use four chairs is make sure you have the chairs placed near some other piece of furniture so that can also be used in the tent making. Oh and another alternative to the chair tent is using your dining table. Move all the chairs out and drape sheets/blankets etc over the top of it and hanging down the sides, we usually call this the tentcave as it's move like that.

2. A large bed sheet. This needs to be drapped over the backs of the above mentioned chairs and if you are only using two dining chairs drap the sheet over the other piece of furniture used, so that you have enough room that when you are sitting inside the tent you are covered overhead.

3. A comfy blanket. This is to put on the ground in the tent so you have something cosy to snuggle up to.

4. Plenty of cushions. These are placed on top of the the blanket on the ground so it's even more comfortable to sit on. It's up to you how many cushions you use, sometimes it's one for each person/teddy bear.

5. Teddy Bears! Now the tent is built you need the next important thing, I mean you can't have a teddy bears picnic without the Teddy Bears can you?!? Depending on the size of the Teddy Bears, the size of the tent and anyone else coming on the picnic depends on how many Teddy Bears.

6. Books. Everyone knows that Teddy Bears like a good story read to them, so make sure you have a good selection of fun stories close by. Warning: No books and the Teddy Bears will eat all the cake!

7. Football. Sport is good for you.

8. Food and Drink. Anything that is easy to eat, transport and not messy is good. Today we had cucumber slices, carrot sticks, cocktail sausages, crisps, various fruits (apples, grapes and raisins are popular). Cartons of drinks are useful or a large bottle of water with long straws.

9. Bag for Rubbish. Everytime we have a picnic be it indoors or outside Callum always makes sure we have a little carrier bag to put all the rubbish in. You can not litter the countryside, it doesn't look nice but it's also dangerous to wild animals.

10. Fun! Enough said.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff out and I'm bound to be reprimanded in years to come by Callum when he reads this of things I missed off.

Something I do want to do when I get time is to get some trees made. I've got a roll of lining wallpaper which I'm thinking I'll cut out tree shapes from, paint and hang on string or something from the ceiling or stick to the wall (not quite sure yet) so it does look like we're having a picnic in the woods.

So there's our lunchtime fun.