Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random ramblings about cats and dogs

Life is finally calming down after few weeks of craziness in the life of the Lindsey's. With my better half flying off to the other side of the planet for ten days for work and driving up and down the A1 like a yo-yo, we had rather hectic three weeks but it seems that the usual lull of life is returning our way :)

I have thought a lot about writing a nice thoughtful blog but haven't got around to it so here are some random ramblings instead.

Puppies grow an awful lot in a week. The pups were just opening their eyes when I left to come back up north and when I returned a week later they were bumbling about making little barks. Very sweet!

Young sir loved the pups. Thankfully he hasn't got to a stage yet where he would like to keep one!

We are dog sitting Iska, 13 month old border collie, whilst my mother-in-law is getting back on her feet.  Since her arrival the house has split into two separate territories...the feline kingdom is upstairs and the canine habits the downstairs. When I am upstairs the cat follows me around like a shadow and equally when I am downstairs the dog follows me around...both love company and cuddles.

They do say the curiosity killed the cat and so far the cat is definitely the more curious one. She has ventured down the steps couple of times but has chickened out before she got all the way down. The dog spends much of its time staring at the back fence - the local cat highway. Sure enough, about once in an hour a cat walks along and creates uncontainable excitement in the dog! I am kind of thinking the two kingdoms in this house will never get to a point of peaceful co-existance.

I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Daddy's Turn

Last week I was trusted with the task of looking after myself and our son. My wife was away for the week helping out with a family crisis , she is after all the family angel! So I thought I would share some of the experience of a father and son week. If our son was older enough I am sure his side of the story would be fascinating.

1) Wrap up warm. I am always teasing my wife because whenever we leave the house, for a walk in the colder months for example, we cannot leave until our son is wrapped up so much it not only takes ages to leave the house. I wonder if he can move under all the cloths. So one morning last week we were off out to school, via a friend who was helping by taking Henrik to school. This particular morning it was rather chilly, a little snow on the ground, which had fallen during the night. We embarked on our journey on our bikes, but what made our journey particularly hard was not the snow, the freezing temperature, or the potential ice but the wind; it was blowing a gale. However, in my defence, our house is sheltered and I couldn't have known how cold and strong the wind would have been. But after about fifteen minutes Henrik started to show signs of the wind and cold getting the better of him. Actually I think the cold had got to his hands before this point. I had been told, under strict instructions that the super duper Finnish winter gloves weren't to go to school; Henrik had been caught wearing them out on walls etc at school. So this morning he was in the light weight gloves.

So the poor lad was freezing, he was pushing his bike, the wind was too much, and was close to tears with the whole experience. I tried offering comforting words like "we're nearly there" but they didn't seem to have much affect. But like two Arctic explorers battling the elements we made it to our destination. I was later told that half an hour of blanket and a hot chocolate helped warm him up.

2) Eat breakfast, brush teeth and then get dressed for school, the order is very important. Failure to complied may just result in toothpaste all down the school jumper, never a good start to the day. What would the teacher think, probably 'Dads turn'.

3) Don't forget the school bag or the snack. What with getting both of us dressed, in the right order, fed and out of the house, which all in all is quite an achievement, not to forget on time as well then there's the task of not forgetting the school bag and the snack. Day one I can safely say the snack went in the bag, result. But having just shut the front door and we're all ready to cycle off,  " Oh bother" forgot the bag. Not to worry, not a problem I'll just pop in and get it. Day two same deal but this time we're at the bottom of the street, not good. Back we go. Day three, I'm getting wise to this. I'll hang the bag on the front door. But also and what I found quite amusing is that our genius son says, just before we're about to leave, "Dad don't forget my bag". Day four and five we're on a roll, everything is working like a well oiled machine. The getting dressed procedure, the school bag, but both days I left without the snack, and I wasn't going back for that.

4) Keeping the house tidy. The number of times I have come home and it looks like my wife hasn't done any house work, well I shouldn't really admit that. But my goodness, I kept on top of the dishes but as to the rest of the house, oh my.

Towards the end of the week I had our church house group / mid week group. The babysitter came over, if your reading this
Thank you, but I do wonder what she thought. Four days and the house looks liked a bomb had hit the place. It was a bit like when your mum tells you to tidy your room when you were a kid.

Suffice to say we were both very happy to have Mummy back all safe and sound. And yes I did manage to tidy the house before she arrived, after all what are Saturday mornings for.

So Dads it's not as easy as it looks.

Continuing on the literature trajectory

Hobbyhorse warning...if you object to rants about random things please do not read any further!

I love story times with young sir. We usually have a bedtime story or two every night and a 'Jesus story'. Or if it has been a long day we just read a Jesus story.  He knows the drill and if you try to read just a story without a Jesus story he duly brings out the kids bible.

Couple of times a week we have a morning story too. As Mr L usually gets up early for work, young sir and I are awake hours before we need to leave for school and more often and not he climbs into our bed with an entourage of soft toys and few books under his arms. This morning the chosen reading was The Green Ship (absolutely love this book) and You choose (only I never get to choose what I would like to wear as young sir always chooses the most meringue like pink princess dress for me).

I have such wonderful memories of all of us snuggling together to read stories -usually fighting over who could be next to my mum (i.e. having the honoured task of turning over the page). Having such an age range of kids listening we usually had quite a few stories, both kiddy ones and ones without pictures for the older ones. Little house on the prerie and stories by James Herriot were my favourites as I got older. The advantage of having so many younger siblings is that I probably listened to bedtime stories for much longer than most of my other friends as there were always little ones wanting to hear a story :)

Now that's enough of reminiscing (plus I need to leave in ten minutes to pick young sir up from school). It's time for my hobby horse...children books that mix fiction and reality - to be more precise - books that have penguins and polar bears in the same story! I am all for fairy tales set in a magical wonderland where anything can happen.But for some reason every time I read a story set in a icy, snowy place that has penguins and polar bears together it makes me cringe and want to correct the writer.

And it is not limited to penguins. I once googled whether squirrels hibernate as one of young sir's library books suggested.(as they don't in my experience) but it turned out there were a type of squirrel that does hibernate.

So if you struggle to read books that mix the antarctic and arctic wildlife here are two to avoid: Malawa the seal pup and Penguin post. David Attenborough would not be happy reading them even though young sir seems to like them...but you have been warned ;)