Thursday, 17 September 2009

How to drive your parents potty!

Listen up, fellow toddlers, here's the deal. This particular piece of mischief takes PLANNING and FORETHOUGHT. IF you're not feeling up to that, please don't try this at home.

First, what you need to do is persuade your parental units to allow you to do some drawing. Draw happily like an angel. But here's the thing, and it requires sleight of hand - pocket or otherwise conceal some of the crayons and pens for future use. I put them in the side of my backpack, so the parental units would not find them.

Later that day, insist on wearing the backpack to go to the potty, and then take it off, so it ends up upstairs, in your bedroom. The tools are in place.

Early the next morning, sneak out of bed, making no noise. Be aware that any noise may wake the parental units before your plan is complete.Retrieve the pens and crayons from your chosen stash-place, and set about the walls. The door is a good thing to draw on too. If the walls are a nice pale colour it shows up all the better. Draw some nice faces and practise your writing. They call it 'decorating', I think, and they're really pleased when the place is nicely decorated.

Next - and this requires bladder control - do a very large wee on the potty. Remember to be quiet. Now, you remember seeing the parental units washing things in the big pot in the kitchen, right? They'll be super pleased that you're doing the same. Empty the drawers of all your clothes. Dunk them in the lovely fragrant potty. Spread the wet clothes out on the bed, to admire your handiwork. Then hang them on the radiators, just like the parental units do. Wonderful. They'll be so pleased.

Now your housework is done, raise all hell to awaken the parental units. Announce happily that you've done the washing. Jump on their bed and try to draw on their faces to alert them to your fantastic decorating skills. Lead them happily into your bedroom and point out your lovely clean washing hangly uniformly on the radiators. Allow them to take in your new decor. You might notice that their lower lip begins to twitch. This means they are pleased. Ditto the slight shake to the hand.When you think that they might explode with happiness, point out that you've written your first word without assistance on the back of the door. And that that word is Mummy.

Enjoy, toddlers. You are invincible.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The old versus the new

So, this week we've done a cross-country trip to enjoy a few days relaxing in a spa in Wales. Lovely. Robert decided to take his uber-trendy Sat Nav. I refused to leave the house without a map of the whole country. You know, a real map - made from paper. With little elephants on it to show where the zoos are, and little turrets to show you the castles. Wonderful.
I'm old fashioned, apparently. Sat Navs can show you the nearest petrol station, accomodation, place to buy a Mars Bar. The wonders of modern technology can plan your whole route for you, and all you do is follow the instructions on the little screen. How uninspiring. How uninvolved. By Robert's own admission, it makes driving 'like a computer game' where he can see the next bend and how the road lies to judge speed. Great. Nothing like reading the actual know, just in case the technology gets it wrong and you go headlong into a ditch...
Of course, maps can be wrong too, and frequently out of date (mine was from 2002 and lacked many roundabouts we encountered) but what I like about them is the innate sense of direction they foster. Even at an unexpected roundabout, you're not circling it madly trying to identify the road number you require whilst the Sat Nav nags you robotically, you can take the turning that is signposted by (God forbid) an actual place name, or, even worse.....a compass point. Because on a map, the country is spread out before your eyes, not reduced to a tiny portion of screen showing the miniscule section of road you are currently inhabiting.
I was able to point out distant hills and mountains, naming them aloud and announcing their height above sea level. I could mention when we were passing Twycross Zoo or Donnington Park. On the way home, looking for an adventure, I could spread out my map and see related distances, route possibilities, places of interest, all at once. A bit easier than attempting to program the Sat Nav to display tourist attractions whilst flying along the motorway in the fast lane. Eventually, the machine decided to take us off the motorway and onto a local roundabout, before directing us straight back to the motorway, for no apparent reason. Then attempted a close-to 30mile detour as he'd set it to avoid toll roads. One thing a machine will always lack is common sense.
Starting to distrust the machine, when close to home and desperate for a break, Robert asked me how far it was to the next services. Working on a lovely 1 inch/3 miles scale, I approximated the distance. Meaning not only could I determine our exact position without the aid of a satellite, I could look forward on our journey far enough to locate the next cup of coffee, and using a highly technical finger-segment-measuring system, I told him 'About 14-15 miles away from here' As if to prove me wrong, he prodded the Sat Nav screen a few times, and grunted.

'Hmmm, yes. 14.8 miles'

Half the fun is getting lost, anyway.

Friday, 4 September 2009

So, what do you do when someone says 'You should blog!' ?

Well, first, of course, you deny it. Probably out of a mixture of modesty, false modesty, disbelief, and irritation. Irritation, of course, because of the 'Haven't I got ENOUGH to do?' instinct. Until you realise that the reason they are saying you should blog is because you're already writing blog-like posts, only without the recognition. So, in due course, your ego expands, you type the word 'blog' into Google, and arrive fairly shortly, although with a lot of shouting at your tintyweb connection, at this destination.

Then you have to confront the complicated question - what do you want your blog to be called? Blimey. This could make or break the moment. This could mean internet obscurity - or notoriety. Eeek. As an avid reader of many excellent blogs, I paused. This is the definition of your life!!! A blog is merely a fancy tintyweb word for diary, after all. And it's a good job I never considered myself particularly rational or I'd question the whole concept of putting your diary out there for all to see right here. With previous disclaimer, of course, I won't. To define your diary, and henceforth your life, in a snappy and interesting title - that's more of a challenge than the introductory blog post.

So, welcome everyone, to Lullabies and Lunacy. Succinct, don't you think? A fair reflection on my current situation as chief entertainer of one amusing small person, and a twist on my opinion of the world that allowed that situation to become so. Myself, a mother? I'm not even a grown up.

If you walked down the street singing, you'd either be considered a lunatic or an X-factor reject. I'm not discounting the possibility that these two things are one and the same. However, if you walk down the street singing with a small child in tow, well, that's OK.....I mean, I few funny looks from the prudish amongst us, but most generally accept you're not singing 'the wheels on the bus' for your own amusement. Except for the fact that I usually am - the song choice is the small one's, the choice to sing is mine - and I quite enjoy the freedom to behave like a lunatic.

Ask me again when she's a teenager, won't you?

So, I'm blogging. Here it is. Welcome.