Sunday, May 18, 2014

Journey to the mass and back again


On Tuesday it was time for the annual march to a mass for young sir's class. I was a good parent and volunteered to help shepherding the kids the mile and a bit walk from school to the church and back again. Last year it was a toddle, the kids had their buddies with them so there wasn't much left for the parents to do. This year, it was a different story...

The teacher paired up the kids - boy-girl of course - as we were leaving the classroom. I'm sure the extra wild kids were paired up with kids who had a parent there and those remaining were paired up making sure the trouble makers had a nice placid child as their pair.

Mile and a bit takes a while at a pace of a six year old. The sun was shining and they were happily singing the song from frozen. Again. And again. And again...

The teacher's sneaky plan was to seat the parents in mids of the kids to keep them quiet during the mass - so far for my master plan of sitting in the back of the church and following everyone else to make sure I stood up at the right time and did my crosses the right way around!

On the way home, the kids moved onto a serious discussion about relationships a'la frozen - how important it is not to get engaged to a person you've just met - you need to make sure they are your true love first. There was also some debate about whether frozen was a girl's film or a boys film - the girls believed that on account of two leading characters being princesses it must be a girls film whereas the boys were adamant it was a boy's film as the reindeer and the snowman were male...

Talk of princesses led couple of the little girls to quiz me on my short hair - how could I have had my princess-lenght hair cut - travesty! The explanation that it was helping someone else to be a little princess didn't really cut the ice with them.

After few more renditions of Let it go and far too many rounds of I-spy we made it back to school in one piece. It was fun to help but by the end of it I was sounding like a broken record...X walk faster...Y hold your pair's hand...Z don't hit your pair...and my personal favourite: X don't use your cardigan as a skipping rope!

Oh, I am so glad I am not a teacher!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Capturing the moment

I love this photo from my sister's wedding from year and half ago. It captures a moment. It doesn't present a perfect, smiley portrait of a family celebrating a special day - although we did get that too - but gives a snapshot into the practicalities of that day.

I think that sometimes the downside of digital photos is that you keep snapping until you have the perfect photo. It the oldern days with film cameras you had 24 shots and if none of them came out well, too bad, you were stuck with them. Now, you just keep going until you get a picture that is good enough for the world to see. And we do usually make sure that the world does see that 'perfect me' via social media. Gone are photo albums that would be brought out on special occasions or the big box where the not quite album material photos ended.

Yet the photos that capture the non-perfect side of us (i.e. the ones we wouldn't put on facebook)...the closed eyes, the crooked smile, the extra cuddles...are like friends. With a good friend, you don't have to have the perfect smile on and present the better side of you every time, you can tell how you feel, what's really going on, be grumpy, shed a few tears, have a rant. And life is actually much more fun with the realisation that 'I am not perfect'- it gives you freedom to laugh at your mistakes rather than having to worry about what others think of you.

Hmm...too many deep thoughts for this early in the morning! There was another priceless shot from the same trip to Finland of me about to strangle young sir because he refused to co-operate. That boy knows how to reduce me to tears in no time at all, I use to be patient and then he came along...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Too many bubbles...not possible


Young sir loves bubbles. Lots of bubbles. So much so that occasionally he adds some extra bubble bath in when we turn our backs. Once he accidentally got daddy's shower gel instead and tipped it all in...there was a very manly fragrance that followed him around for the next 12 hours!

Couple of days ago he discovered the secret of the ultimate bubble experience. Not bothering with the taps but filling the bath with the power shower. And a miracle happened - there were two+ inches of bubbles. For the whole length of the bath. The result was one very happy little boy.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Chores vs tooth fairy - the lure of easy money

Last week we made history. The era of pocket money began. Before pocket money, we had an unofficial two tiered taxation system. Young sir got the coppers and I got the rest of the coins. The thought of having his own money has been fascinating him for a while with the reason behind it being equally divided between being able to use it in the tuck shop at gymnastics (there's a hobby horse there but we'll keep it stabled for another day) or saving it for a lego  set.

And finally he's day had come. The first steps towards financial independence have been taken. From now on, every week there is a list of chores young sir has to do. For each chore he can earn certain amount of money up to the maximum of 'hundred pennies' which is a fortune to him.

The first week went fine. He did most of his chores eagerly and daddy allowed him to lay the table an extra time to ensure he got his 100p. This week his enthusiasm has been waining. But he has been very keen to wobble his tooth and he was very worried about whether the tooth fairy would be able to pay him if he swallowed the tooth (I did that on my 6th birthday, before eating the cake it was there...after cake - no tooth).

This morning the tooth finally came out. And so did the reason for not doing the chores - the tooth fairy pays better than mummy and daddy! And all you have to do is to wiggle your tooth rather than tidy up your room, fill the dishwasher, lay the table etc.

There are no more wobbly teeth at the moment so hopefully the excitement of the chores will return. He has got healthy mistrust of the banking system too and keeps his money underneath his piggy bank rather than puts it in it...

Saturday, May 03, 2014

I know a b-word...

Last night we sat down to have dinner after young sir's swimming lesson and had Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison playing in the background.

Mid-mouthful young sir suddenly stops and announces with glee: "He said the B-WORD!"

"What B-word?" was the bilingual simultaneous response to this.

"Bloody" came the reply continued with: "I know another B-word too. X at school told me!!!"

"Really?" was the response uttered with held breath.

"It's butty!"

Phew...

Friday, May 02, 2014

Have your cake and eat it


I'm still in love with radio. It's part of my morning ritual with young sir. He comes and climbs to our bed and we dozily listen to Today on radio 4 whilst I sip my tea made by amazing hubby before he heads to work. Every now and then young sir asks a random question about what he has just heard but mainly we just listen in companionable silence.

When young sir was in nursery he went through a phase of using quite complicated words completely out of context. We wondered where he'd learnt the words until one afternoon we caught him sitting on the floor next to the radio and repeating the words he heard. One of the side effects of having a mean mother who limits his screen time excessively I guess...I'll add it to his childhood traumas list that he needs to deal with when he is a grown up!

My Tuesday commute has changed. Life scientific has been replaced by No Triumph, No Tragedy. This week a blind singer/song writer Raul Midon was being interviewed. The interview was interesting, his music was good.

What more, it got me thinking. How do blind people fall in love? There probably are plenty of studies on the topic of blindness and attraction but for once my thinking was just vaguely-pondering-type-thinking rather than I-must-find-out-and-search-through-numerous-journals-type-thinking...

For seeing people physical attraction is the first thing usually,- how-ever-much people protest and say it's about the beautiful personality and soul the other person had. If we are honest, for most of us there was something in the looks of the other person that first attracted us to them. The wonderful personality is the thing that helps us to keep loving that person year in and year out.

If you can't see someone, there must be something else that attracts people to each other, maybe sound of the other person's voice? Maybe blind people can honestly say they were attracted to the personality of the person they love - unlike us seeing people who use that line because noticing someone for their looks is considered vain.

In Finnish there is a saying 'moni kakku päältä kaunis' - (many cakes are pretty on the outside). My theory is that to be/stay happily in love you need to find a cake that you like the look of and the taste of. So the secret of a happy marriage is cake after all :)