Sunday, 12 March 2017

Fame, Old Nan, Music and Peppa Pig

Oscar and Isabel, being cute in Gruffalo outfits.
I’m back, after a long time away. However, I’m not going to get all apologetic for the lack of activity, as frankly I already did that in the last post.

The reason for the absence? Work. The shortest possible summary is that my little bit of freelancing on the side has become a fully blown ‘thing’, which means we have a little bit of extra money which we otherwise wouldn’t have had.

However, this means I’m often slouched in front of our ancient laptop doing work at occasionally ungodly hours after a day with the kids. Once I’m done, the time and inclination to write for the blog has pretty much disappeared. Hell, I’m only able to start this now as Ana has taken the kids out for the afternoon.

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So what’s been happening? Well, I’ve managed to get an article published in a magazine, which is remarkable as it suggests I have actual wisdom and insight to pass on (I’m literally making this – and my entire life – up as I go along). But, on that note, thanks to everyone who has been in touch regarding the piece in Multiple Matters magazine published by the lovely folks at TAMBA.


I’ve had a lot of kind words on getting published, the actual content of the piece and even the quality of the photos I provided to them for it. Yes, they are good photos of me and, yes, I don’t know how it happened either. But anyway, thank you for either reading it or at least pretending to.

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Back on work, doing freelancing has meant handing over childcare to my Mum for a day a week. We’re around eight weeks in now and all seems to be going well as far as I can tell. She even sticks a wash on and cooks dinner too which is amazing, particularly considering the top class ‘banter’ she has to endure from me.

You see, Mum is a staunch ‘I’m Nanna, nothing else’ type, so any variations on that are not met positively. Unfortunately, one of my huge number of irritating habits is to encourage the children to refer to her as ‘Nan’ or in some cases ‘Old Nan’, which has gone down like a ton of bricks. However, she has only been driven to offer up one resignation letter thus far, so we’re doing OK. Her help is massively appreciated by all of us.

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Handily, Mum being down coincides with a weekly trip to the local Mini Maestros session. You know the drill – hitting drums, pretending to be a rocket, shaking a maraca. And that’s just the parents.

It has been a mixed experience thus far. While Isabel seems to love it and can often be found muttering the songs to herself as she plays at home afterwards, Oscar’s interest is varied. He knows who the lady is who runs it, he also shows evidence of knowing the songs, but when he walks into the actual room where it is held he seems to become someone else. Just. Not. Interested.

I’m tapping a triangle. Oscar is climbing on a bench. I’m dancing with a shaker. Oscar is hiding behind a pillar. It is time for the calming song which always marks the end of the session. He doesn’t sit still and howls in unhappiness. For a while I wasn’t majorly concerned by this as other kids played up too. But then the other kids calmed down and it became quickly apparent that Oscar is the irritating kid in the class. Hmm.

This all reached breaking point a couple of weeks ago when BOTH Oscar and Isabel played up and the whole thing was a complete write-off. Remarkably, two year olds don’t understand the concept of ‘Mummy and Daddy paid for this SO YOU WILL ENJOY IT’, but it didn’t stop me from trying.

Of course I can sit and laugh about it now (hahahaha…ha…ha…*sigh* *cries uncontrollably*), as I am writing this after both of them behaved impeccably at the most recent session. Fingers crossed that a corner has been turned.

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The other major development in recent weeks is that we’ve finally taken the plunge. Peppa Pig is being watched in our house. While the kids have known for a while who she is due to some books and a little felt play scene we have, I’ve let them in on the secret that it is a TV show.

To say it has been a hit is an understatement. Peppa is now requested every five minutes. It has replaced In The Night Garden as our before-bed viewing. Ana and I are being called Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig. Oscar and Isabel have even taken to referring to themselves as George and Peppa.

While I’d always thought I’d be concerned when they became obsessed with a TV show, I actually don’t really mind it. Isabel actually properly belly-laughed at an episode yesterday while sat on the sofa and it is genuinely lovely to see.

The only issue I do have is that Daddy Pig is basically a doddering buffoon. I found myself taking particular issue with an episode in which his efforts to put a picture up led him to crack the plaster, then pull an entire wall down. However, I realised in hindsight that my reason for disliking it was purely because it was a little close to the bone after my own efforts to put up coat hooks in the hallway created some rather sizeable holes. Maybe…I…am…Daddy Pig.

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So my hope is that this post will prove to be the first of a few – and I will try my hardest to keep that promise. There is plenty to say as much has changed in recent months, so hopefully I’ll be able to relay some choice nuggets over the next few weeks.