Thursday, 25 September 2008
Wednesday is the busiest day of the week for them, so my afternoon went a little like this…
I am finding that warning children about the inevitable outcome that you as an adult can foresee before it happens, just isn’t good enough. If you don’t want the inevitable to happen, you have to stop them, otherwise it will happen.
4pm Pop into Waitrose on the way home to pick up some butter to make caramel shortbread – Katie’s favourite.
4.15: Collect the horse chestnut’s daily offerings of conkers.
4.17: Listen to Will read his whole school book with great ease and great speed. Ever since introducing the incentive of 1 Gogo for every time he reads, it’s the first thing he does when he gets in from school. Brilliant.
4.20: Make Will his tea whilst simultaneously weighing out the ingredients for the shortbread base and giving Katie instructions about how to rub-in, how to grease and line a tin, and when to get the shortbread out the oven. At this point I’m realizing I should perhaps have held fire on the shortbread making, but I had planned to do it and was determined.
4.35: Leave to pick up Grace from her club and take her to her guitar lesson.
5pm Get back to the house and make the caramel layer for the shortbread.
5.20: Struggle slightly to get Will out the door to pick up his sister, but he ends up being wonderfully co-operative and whizzes to Charlie’s house (the guitar teacher) on his scooter at break-neck speed. He most definitely set a personal record. What a legend.
5.30: walk home at a leisurely pace and start to make plans with Grace for her birthday cake. It’s going to be an elaborate affair – a bowling alley with 3D bowling balls and bowling pins, and muffins that spell out happy birthday, and some extra muffins too. (I had as much to do with the quantity of cake here as she did. What can I say? I love to bake and I love a baking challenge.)
5.45: Make Grace’s tea while she starts sketching out more detailed plans for the cakes. Start designing invites.Bedtime antics ensued and the rest of the evening was spent bathing, doing Soduku with Grace instead of a bedtime story, melting the chocolate for the caramel shortbread which I had totally forgotten about, but Katie most definitely hadn't, running up and down three flights of stairs to get forgotten milk and blue cow for Will, going into the downstairs toilet to discover that Will had done a wee. In the bin. Fun times.
I should probably add that when I mentioned the latter incident to Will's Mum she said that they have a leaky cistern so it was probably that, but I thought the story was slightly amusing and more interesting, so I thought I'd tell it.
Oh yes, and here's the flowers that Grace made me....
It reads, 'To William, do you like me. Love Mya' I like it. I have yet to ask Will if he's sent her a reply.
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
As Grace and I walked home from school we made plans to bake some dough balls with garlic butter for an after school snack later this week. Ah the joys of cooking and eating...
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Then there are times when I wonder in sheer astonishment at the words and advice coming out of my own mouth. Times when I think, 'what on earth are you saying? what kind of awful advice are you giving to this child?' I had one of these moments yesterday when I was playing marbles with Toby, the 4 year old son of a family at church who I've had the pleasure of looking after for a couple of days this week. So, we were happily playing marbles, and I was relishing in my reminiscing of childhood fun playing this very game. I can still remember which were my favourite marbles, and the ones that I would never want to play with and were too beautiful to play with. Toby was just the same in that he had his favourites, but the difference was he would roll them out and then get sad when I won them. After losing one of his favourites to me for the umteenth time, he'd had enough of losing and burst into tears. Sometimes when children cry, it just makes me want to laugh because they look so funny. (Is that just me, because if so, I think I must be a pretty mean lady.) I was thinking, 'what do I do to stop him crying? we've been through the whole, 'it's only a game and they're only marbles so it doesn't really matter', and that line never works anyway, so why on earth do I carry on using it, and I've reasoned with him that he wins some of my pretty ones too so surely it's all fair, but that doesn't really sit with him..' and so these were the words that came out of my mouth...
Hannah: 'Toby, if the marbles could talk, what do you think they would say?'
Toby: crying lessens and he just looks at me, as if saying, ' I'm not going to say anything and give you some time to explain your way out of this ridiculous idea...'
Hannah: Now thinking, 'oh hannah, where are you going to go with this one?!' If the marbles could talk, I think they'd say, 'Toby don't cry, I'm only a marble and I don't mind if you lose me to Hannah because I'll still be with all of my other marble friends so won't be lonely.'
Toby: But marbles can't talk.
Hannah: thinking, 'what happened to using your imagination?!' I know they can't actually talk but we're just pretending...
By this point I think Toby was so fed up of my ridiculous talk that he had stopped crying and was ready to continue playing. Almost as soon as we started playing again, he lost his favourite marbles, and so the whining started again. It was at this point that I balked at my advice that followed...
Hannah: 'Toby, if losing your favourite marbles makes you sad, can I make a suggestion? Why don't you just keep hold of them rather than playing with them? Then you can't lose them and get upset.'
Basically I was advising him to be possessive over materialistic things to avoid being sad! What was I saying! Le's just hope he doesn't take it to heart...
Another funny conversation I had with children this week was when Grace, Will and I were walking back from school. Will needed the toilet so Grace suggested we run to get there quicker. Will said he couldn't run when he needed to go, and the conversation got on to why it is not good for you to wait for a long time when you really need the loo. I explained how it weakens your bladder muscles and they didn't quite understand. So I came up with an analogy of Will holding a big rock to explain it. He totally understood it, and I had to chuckle inwardly at how satisfying I had found the whole experience of explaining why our bladder muscles weaken!!! oh dear...
Saturday, 6 September 2008
So, I got to go to the Organic food festival. One of the stalls I was particularly keen on visiting was The Organic Chocolate Cake Company who have a wonderful business totally tucked away in a place called High Kingsdown. I would love to work for them. So they were the first stall I visited and was excited to arrive just as they had piled up a load of chocolately crumbs onto a napkin and asked who wanted them. Needless to say, I was the first to say, 'ooh yes please!' It was as I put these quality chocolate crumbs into my mouth, ready to savour the cakes that I have admired from afar for so long, that I realised my stinking cold had robbed me of all ability to taste anything! I was gutted. There were so many quality food products available for my little taste buds to delight in, but I just couldn't appreciate any of it. However, one thing I did appreciate was a sight that my eyes have never beheld before. Take a look and see for yourselves...
Friday, 5 September 2008
They have far more than they know what to do with, so I was very happy to relieve them of a few pounds worth. Now I have more than I know what to do with, but have plans to make Devon apple cake, Mile High Apple Pie (a children's book which when I read it the first time it brought tears to my eyes and had the added bonus of giving a recipe), apple cake, and some other appley treats!