Showing posts with label gruffalo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gruffalo. Show all posts

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Drill

Every night the whole thing simply drags on and on, minutes extending, rolling into essential blogging time with yet more demands, more requests. Sometimes there's no foreseeable finish line, no slices of orange at the end of a vertical climb, no free pass through the bedroom door, until she's past out, finally stolen by sleep.

I made a thirteen point picture plan artfully illustrated with hand drawn symbols on yellow card -complimented with stars, and hearts, and triangles - for each stage, so that she'd unequivocally understand the drill...

1. Rubber Duck. (bath time).  Little A often plays with Lucy, her blue kitchen fork, whisking up a frothy froth of pretend hot chocolate in a bright orange beaker. She will empty the entire contents of her bath bucket into the foam; ducks, boats, crocodiles, whales, colliding, struggling to keep afloat - it's like the aftermath of titanic, except the water's warmer.

"It's time to wash your hair and face Little A."

"No thank you mummy, you can do it tomorrow instead."

"Little A.....?"

"T.O.M.O.R.R.O.W. I.N.S.T.E.A.D."


2. Grow Bag. (nappy, pyjamas, grow bag). But all of a sudden I have a little fairy on my hands fluttering and dancing as nature intended with a pair of blue wings and flashing wand.

"I need to do magic and running first mummy."


3. Toothbrush. (brushing teeth). On account of the challenge of brushing those threenager molars, we have three toothbrushes, offering *ahem* choice and partial control. There's Tina Toothbrush (pink and yellow), Timmy Toothbrush (blue), and Tuber Toothbrush (green and blue). Little A keeps her family of denture polishers in a Gruffalo bath bag that's hidden away in her Gruffalo Trunki, which, as a matter of fact, I won for this. Every evening, I head a solemn procession to the bathroom with Little A and Trunki, shuffling and rolling behind. What follows is an exact order of unlock-open-unzip-choose toothbrush-apply toothpaste-open wide-wider-brush-teeth together-brush-good girl-rinse-zip up-close-lock....

"Choose which one please."

"I want Timmy."


"No, Tuber... no mummy... I want... I want Tina."

<getting impatient>

4. Teddy Bear. (the good night teddy song). This is my favourite bedtime ritual. We veil Little A's kingdom of teddies, dollies, fluffy cuddlies - dumped on the teddy bench - with a red blanket while heartily singing the following verse....
Good night teddies - Good night teddies - Good night teddies, 
We've had a happy day
Good night teddies - Good night teddies - Good night teddies, 
We've had a happy day
We've had a happ-eee day
Hip hip hooray
<a calm, charming interlude>

5. Book. (story time). She has one story but somehow manages to flick through the entire book again when I've made it firmly, but kindly clear, it's three pages only. Maybe I should refrain from checking the inbox on my phone.

<annoyed at myself>

6. Dog. (kiss Truffles good night) Truffles is a big, shaggy dog flopped on newly washed carpet at the head end of Little A's cot (yes, she's still behind bars - I'm working on it). She sleeps with a furry ear - yanked lovingly through the cot bars - in her left hand. Don't think the dog appreciates this.

<why is this part of the routine? she goes to kiss Truffles, returning to me on the futon, ergo moving in the wrong direction of the cot.>

7. Mother and child embracing. (cuddle time). (a) Sitting down cuddle - Little A will oft explore my nostrils, kneed my cheeks like stiff dough, and ruthlessly observe my teeth as dirty and yellow. (b) Standing up cuddle where my forehead and chin are raspberried and licked by a pudgy tongue.

<tired - i'm not a fan of saliva>  

8. Child behind bars. (in the cot). I.N. T.H.E. C.O.T.

< at last, nearly at the end>

9. Light switch. (lights out). First, I turn the light out. Then it's Little A's turn with either Doggy, Monkey, or Teal - a rag doll - tucked under her arm.

"Mummy, can you turn the torch on? Just one time?"

"Little A, that's not part of the routine. Light's out."

"I can't see..."

"Don't worry, your eyes will get used to it."

<it's so dark, where's the cot...bump> 

10. Book. (mummy's story) This is where I play Jack-a-nory, telling Little A a home grown tale. It's her choice.... and it could be Little A and the Octonauts; Little A and the Mermaid; Little A and the Octonauts and the Mermaid; the Dragon visits nursery; Little A, Mummy, Lucy - the fork - and the Dragon fly to Chiswick; Little A and Abney and Teal.....

<ooooh, this is fun, but keep it short, keep it short>      

11. Toilet. (a trip to the lavatory). A quick sit on the throne while I check my phone.

<like the appendix, the black and white TV, and Truffles, there is no definable use for this - it doesn't add anything to the routine, save to see if I have any comments>

12. Hand On Child's Back. (gentle back). A back rub, affectionately known as gentle back - for her highness, followed by a cuddle, and a few sips of water.

<hang in there, it's nearly over>  

13. Moon and Stars. (sweet everythings). Our final parting gesture as I stand, staring into freedom, from her bedroom door....
Night night by far, 
Sweet dreams by far
I love you
I love you to the moon and stars and back again
And I will see you in the morning
Night night by far
Sweet dreams by far
Love you - night night.
  .... and she repeats every line after me - heart meltingly wonderful.

<huzzah, laptop here I come> 

Only, not quite, as here's what usually happens next.....

More gentle back, want a cuddle, want some water; spilt the water mummy - I need a new grow bag, done a poo, need more water, can't get to sleep, want a kiss, done another poo, want to start all over again (the routine), not ready to say night-night by far, want another cuddle, more water, just one more time....   

... and the tears and tantrums as boundaries are reluctantly reset.

But like the British winter she persists, and persists, and persists.

How long is your bedtime routine?
How do you manage with two or more children?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

For Sale

Offered to anyone - ANYONE - is this curiously presented and never before seen first floor, lovingly converted two double bedroom period flat. This property retains many of it's original features like doors, windows and a tiled roof. There are plug sockets and a cooker if you should so feel domestically inclined. This charming property is centrally heated. However it's always a good idea to keep a scarf, mittens and thermal undergarments on hand, as you never know what might happen when those bitter easterly winds gust through the rafters. This rare to the market property is surrounded by transport - cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, prams to name a few, and the local skies provide wonderful opportunities for plane spotting, day and night.

So shall we take a look inside? And if you aren't partial to brown, beige or cream, here's a pair of tinted glasses to help obscure any offensive furnishings. Remember, keep an open mind, it's all about the space inside.

Take off your shoes first please, you wouldn't want their soles sullied by the glue and snot melded on the woollen mix cream carpets now would you? Attach these plastic bags to your feet, and here are some elastic bands to keep them firmly in place. Don't worry, they won't obstruct your blood flow.

So first we have this double bedroom. This is currently where the little nipper sleeps. As you can see, there are four walls and a window. Unfortunately, this property doesn't come with the spotty chest of drawers. If you look closely at the carpet you can just make out the toddler's delightful artwork, she's really created quite a subtle abstract effect with about 20 mls of calpol. See those swirls right there? I think this adds character and real depth to this property.

Next is the bathroom. Now if you don't like the clean look, and would prefer a more organic feel, just rip the whole lot out and house a bucket in the corner. You might want to keep the tiles though, stripes are apparently this season's fashion must.

Now don't you just love this master bedroom? Ah, I see you are wearing the tinted glasses. Yes, there is a lot of brown in here, but I think this gives a cosy, nay, almost muddy waterhole feel of bathing with hippos. Don't you think this really transports you to another world? Ah, a poker face I see - but I bet there's lots going on underneath? To your right, the dark caramel walls are offset by this very commonly used feature wall. Some advice - don't stare at it when you're inebriated.  And see that fireplace? An excellent spot for housing deodorant or hairspray or your alarm clock even.  

Now this is the property's W.O.W factor - this very spacious lounge. Still wearing those tinted glasses? Good for you - a sense of humour I see! Now there is so much potential here. What you could do is go completely open plan by knocking through every wall, apart from the exterior of course, erect some vertical supports - a few strategically placed columns of heavily bound cook books should suffice, we don't want the roof falling in - and create one big happy eating, bathing, sleeping, toileting space for all those wonderful memories you are sure to manufacture in this welcoming home.

And if you turn around you'll see a stair case. That's your exercise sorted. No thrombosis. No heart attacks. This flat has it all! Now would you like to accompany me upstairs?

I hope this snow flurry isn't putting you off. It's only seasonal. Remember what I said about keeping a spare set of thermals on you? Just wait till you see what this kitchen does in the summer! Now as I've already said, there's plenty of great potential in this property. If you climb out of the kitchen window you could transform an unpretentious area about three foot long and thirty inches wide into a neighbourly look-out that will accommodate one person standing, binoculars, a cup of tea and a medium sized house plant. This could indeed add further value to this property.

(There's also a fully boarded loft area, home to a hungry and constantly flatulent Gruffalo.)

As an added bonus, the sellers have agreed to leave all their take-away menus, a few freezer bag clips, the BT phone book, and a hand written address list of local cake shops in what could become your personal messy drawer.  

So how does this property grab you? Still a poker face I see. Well I need to let you know that I will be expecting a number of competitive offers come Monday morning, so you might want to have a good, hard think over the weekend.

And before you leave, please could you return the tinted glasses, plastic bags and elastic bands - I have another viewing in ten minutes.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Bobby-in-a-mow

Little A's imaginary play mate is 'Bobby-in-a-mow'. The other day I realised Bobby-in-a-mow rhymes with Gruffalo, and well, I just couldn't help myself. So here's my rendition of that wonderful story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler...


Little A climbed the stairs to the kitchen as fast as she could.
Mummy saw Little A and thought she's up to no good.
"Where are you going to, youngest one of the house?
Come back to your bedroom, and pick up Mickey Mouse."
"That's very organised of you, Mummy, but no -
I'm off for elevenses with Bobby-in-a-mow."

"Bobby-in-a-mow? Who's Bobby-in-a-mow?"
"Bobby-in-a-mow! Why, didn't you know?

"He has a frightful perm, and frightful nails,
And frightful fungus on three waggly tails."

"Where are you meeting him?" 
"Here, on the stair,
And his favourite game is pulling mummy's hair."

"Pulling mummy's hair! I'm off" Mummy said.
Bye bye, Little A," and away she sped.

"Silly old Mummy! Doesn't she know,
There's no such thing as Bobby-in-a-mow?"

Little A climbed the stairs to the kitchen as fast as she could.
Daddy saw Little A and thought she's up to no good.
"Where are you going to youngest one of the house?
"Come look what I've found, a slimy grey louse."
That's very inviting of you, Daddy, but no -
I'm off for elevenses with Bobby-in-a-mow."

"Bobby-in-a-mow? Who's Bobby-in-a-mow?"
"Bobby-in-a-mow! Why, didn't you know?

He has a crooked back, and joined-up stumpy toes,
And a massive great bogey dangling off the end of his nose."

"Where are you meeting him?" 
"Up by the fridge,
And his favourite game is scaling Daddy bridge."

"Daddy bridge! I'm off" Daddy said.
Bye bye, Little A," and away he sped.

"Silly old Daddy! Doesn't she know,
There's no such thing as Bobby-"

But who is this monster with the frightful nails
And frightful fungus on three waggly tails?
He has a crooked back, and joined-up stumpy toes,
And a massive great bogey dangling off the end of his nose.

"Oh help! Oh no!
It's Bobby-in-a-mow!

"My favourite game! Bobby-in-a-mow said.
"You'll feel ace spinning on my head."

"Ace?" said Little A. "Don't call me ace!

I'm the bossiest creature, now get in place.
Just amble beside me and soon you'll know,
Mummy and Daddy are mere putty and dough."

"Okay," said Bobby-in-a-mow, creasing with glee.
"You start walking, and I'll come and sight see."

They wandered and walked till Bobby-in-a-mow said,
"I hear yawning in the bedroom ahead."

"It's Mummy," said Little A. "Why, Mummy, hello!"
Mummy took one look at Bobby-in-the-mow.
"Goodness me!" she said, "Bye bye, Little A,"
And she picked up her duster and ran away.

"See?" said Little A. "Told you so."
"Outstanding!" said Bobby-in-a-mow.

They wandered some more till Bobby-in-a-mow said,
"I hear water running in the bathroom ahead."

"It's Daddy," said Little A. "Why, Daddy, hello!"
Daddy took one look at Bobby-in-a-mow.
"Heavens above!" he said, "Bye bye, Little A,"  
Hiding behind the door he quivered, "I don't want to play." 

"Well, Bobby-in-a-mow," Little A said. "You see?
Mummy and Daddy fall in line behind me!
But now I'm bored and I need some fun.
My favourite game is - Bobby-in-a-mow ski run!"

"Bobby-in-a-mow ski run!" Bobby-in-a-mow said,
And faster than a cheetah he evaporated instead.

Little A climbed the stairs to the kitchen as fast as she could.
She found the chocolate mousse and it tasted rather good.

And if you liked this, you might also like my versions of Stick Man and We're Going On A Bear Hunt.

News Flash - I entered this piece in a competition hosted by the lovely Mummy Constant to win either a Gruffalo Trunki or Chums set. Anyway, Bobby-in-a-mow scooped the first prize of the Gruffalo Trunki itself which I'm simply over moon about - Trunki's make the perfect toddler travel accessory! Hop over and give Trunki an extra special seasonal 'like' on their Facebook page.
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