Dishcloths or Kitchen Roll

Monday saw the return of our nanny Sindy and two of our not so famous five’s return to school. Daddy remains steadfast at the living room table, buried under his relentless pile of work from the office. My few days off from blogging have been relaxing enough, but onwards and upwards as they say. We seem to be finding a new routine. One that has a little more general focus. Lockdown is certainly, slowly lifting!

A friend in India, Mona tells me that lockdown there has been completely lifted, although the daily death count has not as yet reduced. I think that she plans on being extremely cautious for the time to come!

This week is flying by for sure. On an unrelated matter, 54 mega rolls of kitchen paper arrived yesterday, now stacked neatly in the corner of our kitchen. Do not worry, we are not stockpiling. This reality is that this is the usual amount that we order. I never use dishcloths. Who knows what germs could be lurking upon them. That, and what with me washing my hands 50 times a day. I don’t really trust tea towels also after a few hours. Oh dear, I’m sounding a little like ‘Howard Hughes’, aren’t I?

Thor and Aaliyah have adjusted well to their return to school. I know that many parents are not sending their children back and I do not blame them at all. I know that our children’s and indeed all schools here in the UK have put a lot into working out a regime that works with the lesser numbers of children returning. I take my hat off to the children’s head teacher and all of the teachers. It can’t have been easy for them.

As ever, thank you for reading.

Some Borrowed Memories for Lockdown

I feel like our more recent memories were stolen in favour of lockdown. From the girls 7th Birthdays, Easter, their holiday in Cornwall, all possible memories that have been taken. I am sure that you will all agree with this sentiment!

I also noticed recently on Facebook, people being asked to post 10 photos, one a day, on a specific subject, no explanation. Just upload the photo.

Now, that got me thinking. Maybe not one photo a day of our not so famous five, how about 10 photos today to make up for those lost memories of lockdown (plus a little birthday cake video to boot). Last years memories will have to substitute, so here they are! No descriptions, though I am sure you can work them out! The first ice creams were at a local village hall’s big ‘Easter Egg Hunt’.

Biting My Lip

Is giving up a good idea? I have really had to mull over this one! It concerns Aaliyah, a 4 (almost 5) year old who likes to suck her fingers. Looking back at old photos, she is always doing it! Sucking her fingers that is. We didn’t use a dummy or pacifier on her as a baby or indeed her twin Caleb.

She is sat on the sofa opposite me at present, sucking away merrily. as happy as Larry, whoever he is! Since lockdown began for us personally, twelve weeks ago today, I have asked her to wear a woollen glove on her right hand. She doesn’t like to suck her left one! This must insinuate that she no longer shows signs of being ambidextrous. Oh well.

So, day in, day out, throughout these long lockdown weeks, she has been asked to wear the glove daily. And by in large, it has worked, but I do have to prompt her several times each and every day to put the glove back on! She keeps taking it off for a sly suck, thinking that I am not watching. It has become a tedious chore monitoring this. And yes, always me that has to play the ‘bad cop’ whilst John gets to only do the fun things!

Well, after 3 months today, I just said! I give up! The reality is that she still sucks her fingers in bed anyway.

Our nanny Sindy is returning on Monday so I have decided that this impossible ask (her stopping sucking her fingers) will now have to fall on her (sorry Sindy). I really have had enough! ‘Go on Aaliyah’ I said ‘go ahead and suck them, I’ve had enough of trying to help you’! So, until Monday, I will say nothing, just try to ignore it. Just bite my lip. So my question to you today is, is giving up a good idea?

I have just asked her to start washing her hands at least 10 times a day. ‘Why’ she replied! ‘Because of the spit on your fingers’ I said. She has promised to wash her hands more often. Well it’s a start I guess.

Flo The Tooth Fairy

And guess what befell us tonight? Another real and tangible visit from the tooth fairy! Now, on this occasion Tara had some questions for her (or indeed for him).

Who is my tooth fairy Daddy and Dadda’ she asked?

You might remember that Amritsar’s tooth fairy went by the name of Genie!

After running downstairs with the very greatest of news, they all finally went back upstairs ever so excited, Tara now in wait for the ultimate bounty of one shiny pound coin in exchange for her left small incisor.

All quiet now and daddy has just returned from his ‘fairy flight’, having answered Tara’s list of questions, once again, set out for the tooth fairy!

To be honest, I don’t think that Tara wanted Amritsar’s tooth fairy ‘Genie’, (sibling rivalry) so daddy had to come up with Tara’s new tooth fairy name! Caught quite on the spot he called her ‘Flo’. And she did indeed leave a very shiny one pound coin.

On unrelated news, the show on channel 4 (Britain’s Best Parent) started tonight on the television. John and I watched with gritted teeth!

There are many ways to Parent your children nowadays. It is a really great debate. But let’s smile more than we frown please?

Washing Day

A bit of an anti-climax given that yesterday’s post was heralding our being chosen to appear in a new Channel 4 series looking into ‘Parenting Styles’. The first episode goes out tonight at 8pm. You will have to wait for the 11th June to see our ‘Parenting Style’ sadly. And please, do not judge us too harshly!

Right, so today had Dadda doing the vast amount of laundry that has amassed over this last week. I held back from photographing the before picture, it wasn’t pleasant! I’m thinking of the movie ‘Hairspray’ and Divine’s legendary quote ‘What! More soiled laundry for Mommy’!

Again, another day enjoyed with the children in the garden. Daddy tapping away on his laptop, me a little sunbathing, some cooking.

You know, it’s funny, the children are growing up so fast. All of their clothes are so much bigger now. Sorry, have to go, Aaliyah is screaming very loudly, all I can hear is ‘iPad, my iPad – no Tara NO’!

An Impromptu Visitor

With lockdown here in ‘The Shires’ being slightly lifted on Monday of next week, as with the rest of England, our three little ones will be returning to school. Just reception year is going back, along with years one and six. Tara and Amritsar’s year two will be waiting for September to go back and their start into year three.

They will both continue with homeschooling until the end of the term. Now, to be honest, the girls have embraced schoolwork from home, albeit at various levels of engagement! The three little ones however, oh dear, they have resisted! My oh my, how they have resisted. Thor has been the main disturbance at 9am, each and every Monday to Friday!

I was so gratified when I realised that this week was actually half term, so no school work. And they are back to school proper on Monday.

Today’s visitor was Sindy, our nanny. We had spoken earlier about the purchase of new art stuff, hand sanitisers, cagoule, various stuff for the children to bring with them to school. Well, Sindy has gone to the shop and purchased most of what was needed and dropped it over today, just after lunch.

The children all rushed over and gave her a big hug! She is coming back to work from Monday, so socially distancing from the children seemed pointless at this juncture. It looks like some things will look rather normal as from Monday. I believe that two more weeks down the line and non essential shops will also be open and people allowed to try and get on with life, though still having to socially distance as much as possible!

I cannot really fully comprehend, things will start to return to normal! Though still with many restrictions of course.

I last returned home from the outside world on the 6th March. This was 11 days before the school sent the children home with snotty noses and asked us to self isolate. That was 6 days before lockdown was implemented on Monday 23rd March. On Friday 21st May, in 3 days time, I will have been at home, not going out for 12 weeks. Just one 30 minute trip out of the garden to run in the woods that lie beside house around 3 weeks ago!

With Sindy’s return on Monday morning, I am going out! Wow, I can’t wait. I’m truly excited.

Thank you for reading. And good luck with your own tentative steps out into this strange new world.

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

Tonight sees another instalment of Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner! Bon Appetite.

Sea Bass with brown shrimp, sugar snap peas and a wine and cream sauce,

Roast Lamb, potatoes, green beans and cauliflower.

Lobster Bisque, Red Shrimp, boiled potatoes and fine green beans.

A Salmon Curry with rice.

Nut loaf, bubble and squeak, with tomato sauce.

Prawn Tom Yum with fine Noodles.

Early Summer, Wisteria Seed

These last weeks of lockdown have seen very fine weather here in ‘The Shires’. The birdsong at times seems almost deafening. Cloudless skies have shimmered above and the blossoming, the flowering of a myriad of plants have enchanted us. Summer has really come around early. Beneath my feet lies amass of wisteria confetti. I sit underneath the parasol on our terrace, at midday, the sun too hot for even this seasoned sun worshipper and I smile.

Two of the girls, Tara and Aaliyah play on the swing beneath the shade of our large Canadian Oak, spinning away like crazed harpies. The merest of zephyrs brush lightly my face and my arms.

These are the Summers I remember from childhood. A village called Banwell in the shire of Somerset. Back then, as a child, not a care in the world. Lazy summers and the happiest of families. I think back and I smile.

We are the sum of our memories aren’t we? For our children, before life makes its mark, daddy and dadda bequest this basis of happy, summertime memories, for them all to forever behold.

I miss those wisteria blossoms, now underfoot. But I look at these seeds of tomorrow’s endeavours. And I smile.

The Hokey Cokey

Aaliyah is panting loudly, just like a dog in fact, misting up the glass door to the garden. Tara is hiding beneath the large red acer on the terrace. Amritsar is moaning about something Aaliyah said over 10 minutes ago. Thor is hanging around, close to the trampoline. Caleb, bless him has just finished counting to 20. Already he’s saying ‘I can see you Tara, I can see you’. Caleb’s counting is really coming along. He actually counted to 30 earlier on today. ‘I’m not playing’, pipes up Thor. Moving on, now Aaliyah has just popped her head out from the large, flowering rhododendron bush at the bottom of the garden. Amritsar is shouting at everyone!

Yes, this is their post dinner attempt at ‘hide and seek’ in the garden. Not their best attempt at this game I have to add. So, Daddy has just decided to say ‘let’s play big bad bear then’?

Oops, Caleb has just stepped in dog poo. There’s always gonna be one that was missed on the daily doggies poop scoop in the garden.

Now a few baby wipes later, we’re back in action. So, what’s happening now?

Amritsar has just said ‘Daddy, I did a handstand’! Tara and Caleb are loitering under a tree. Daddy has just stopped proceedings to do another sweep of the garden for dog poo. I guess ‘big bad bear’ is off for now. Aaliyah is shouting ‘I don’t want to play any more’ and has just stormed inside to snuggle up with Gracie on the sofa.

Do you remember the movie ‘The Omen’? Thor is now riding around the terrace in circles on the small bicycle with stabilisers grinning to himself! Thankfully we are not indoors on the top landing, me fiddling with a light fitting!

I look up and see that the rest of them are all playing what seems to be the ‘Hokey Cokey’ now. At least Amritsar had stopped screaming at everyone!

I think it’s time for bed.

Village of the Damned (1995)

Watching this classic movie on the television tonight, I was reminded of a small video that I made a year ago or so! I loved the original 1960’s version also! Though my short video made me smile. I hope that it brings a smile to you also. I thought it was a funny 40 seconds! Welcome to my Midwich!!!

A couple of pics I just put on Instagram (hahahahaha)!

Plus a couple that I did not! I definitely think that bloggers are a more discerning bunch! Don’t you?

The day has zipped by. Homeschooling nightmare this morning as with every Monday morning. It’s not like we pressure the children to do all four exercises. If we get through two of them, I’m happy. Thor was once again very close to expulsion.

Blazing sun in the garden this afternoon, so I managed an hour or two’s sunbathing whilst the not so famous five played on their screams, sorry screens!

A ‘mock roasty’ chicken dinner with deep fried potatoes, cooked chicken in gravy and broccoli was just enjoyed by us all as a family in the kitchen. It’s getting better you know! Mind you, Caleb did flick me with a piece of chicken breast. It stuck to my clean white tee shirt. I was not impressed! I gave him ‘the look’ so hopefully it won’t happen again.

Sat on the terrace now, they are quiet and in front of the television. John wanders around me with a work related phone call.

A red kite, of the bird variety has just swooped down on an unsuspecting pigeon at the end of the garden. And it’s gone, just a pile of features lay there in homage.

Some screaming, must go. I think that Tara has fallen out with Caleb. Oh dear.

Late in The Day – What Can I Say

The children’s dinner just done! Daddy tapping away at his laptop. Gracie snuggled on the sofa besides me. Remus nowhere to be seen. Thor and Aaliyah sat opposite on the other sofa looking at daddy’s iPad. Thor shouting very loudly. Good shouting, he is happy and talking about ‘Jelly Beans’! Aaliyah looks to be in a good mood. She turns to Thor and smiles. ‘I’ve still got 11%’ she says. Must be the battery charge on the iPad. All I hear from outside in the dining hall is the theme tune to ‘My Little Pony’. However it is Tara looking on and enjoying the episode on her tablet. Aaliyah certainly has lead the crew to embrace that show. For me however – giving me a bit of a headache. Amritsar and Caleb are sat close to Tara, watching on contentedly. Now Amritsar is coming in here to plug in her tablet and watch something different. The television has thus remained silent all day long!

Remus is in fact inhabiting the spare room. I think he is thinking of it as ‘Remus’s Room’ nowadays. Ever since his exile from Daddy and Dadda’s room, he has been hanging out up there, like a moody teenager. I think that he finds the relative organised chaos of the children a little too much sometimes. Gracie on the other hand still loves Aaliyah’s occasional hugs, at least one every hour! So she generally stays close to the family hub.

I am just thinking, I have completely forgotten what day it is! That’s bad isn’t it?

Weather not great. Still grey, though a few moments of sunshine today.

Oh! Look whose just swooned into the living room! Remus! Now what does he want I ask myself!

Thor has just asked me to video him! Just why, I really don’t know. He is a funny boy!

Thanks for looking in.