Shake that thang!

My son, Cheeky, never fails to amuse me with his imagination. Of course, this is the same imagination that may, one day, get him locked up for one of many crimes which I’m sure he would be capable of at least plotting, if not actually implementing. The latest would be indecent exposure.

He’s been bustin’ some grooves recently, showing off his Beyonce-like bum wiggle, and seventies style arm movements on a daily basis. Today’s dancing exhibition plumbed new depths, however. He came to find me to show me his latest new dance. On hearing that I would be happy to watch it, he proceeded to pull his ‘winky’ out of his trousers and wiggle his hips whilst doing the ‘foxy ears’ move with his hands on either side of his head. Accompanied by a soundtrack of him chanting “hoola, hoola, hoola” repeatedly, it was quite the sight to see.

What are we bringing up? Well, at least his self confidence isn’t an issue!

A day off

The last few weeks since school ended seem to have been stupidly busy. I was looking forward to the holidays exactly because I expected to be doing very little. No school runs, no ferrying children to and from friends’ houses so often, etc etc. Instead, other things seem to be taking over. And I honestly couldn’t tell you what. I’ve been to work a couple of times a week, visited family and friends, and beyond that I honestly couldn’t tell you what has been making me so busy.

But today. Aaah, today, is a rare day of quiet. Other than the potential for a gentle walk this afternoon, I’ve nowhere to be and nothing out of the ordinary to do. So far, I’ve spent most of the morning sitting on my bed (please distinguish between ‘on’ and ‘in’ the bed) relaxing, catching up with myself and generally recharging my batteries. I plan an easy lunch, an easy dinner and a relaxed evening. And hopefully, this quiet home day will see me revitalised and raring to get going next week.

A friend has been having some hassle from a man recently, and upon telling my younger son that someone had been upsetting his Auntie he proceeded to describe in detail how he would beat the wrongdoer into the ground, and then kick him once he was on the floor. Bless him, I really don’t know whether to be proud that he is willing to stand up for the people he cares about, or worried at the violent tendencies! Maybe, once his protective instincts have been honed a little, then I can be properly proud of him! Meanwhile, my older son has been delivering cups of tea to me once an hour since I woke up. What it is to be treated like royalty! I have fabulous children!

A bright and beautiful day!

So, today was a lovely sunny day. But then, I knew it would be. My younger son, Cheeky, told me earlier that he had “said a pray to God” for sunshine today. And it worked!

Cheeky seems to have a special affinity with the Almighty, in a similar way to ‘Tevye’ from “Fiddler on the Roof” (yes, I know he was Jewish). He chats to Him now and again, and always tells me if he’s been having a ‘pray’, and whether his request is answered. I (Church of England) think that it’s lovely that he has this belief, and somewhere to go with his secret heart’s desires. GG (Heathen) I think finds it annoying and would tell him to cut it out if I didn’t like it so much!

He’s a very demonstrative and vocal child, expressing his thoughts and moods (which can turn on a sixpence!) through his words and actions. But then, with his demonstrative nature comes a very loving little boy, always willing to help me out, give me a hug or generally treat me like a princess.

I’m a very lucky mummy!

Self conscious child

At what age do children generally care about their appearance? Cheeky (aged 5) this evening asked if I would cut his hair tomorrow. I asked him why, as it doesn’t look too bad to me, and he replied by grabbing hold of a little bit of his fringe, tugging it and saying, “but just LOOK at it!” as if it should be immediately obvious!

Bless him. If I can just get him away from the 80’s chic which seems to be his main fashion influence for clothes at the moment, I might just manage to raise one stylish child!

Not bad, for an eight year old!

Tonight, GG and I had a night off from cooking – our older son, Handsome, has decided that he wants to learn to cook during the summer holidays and likes to start sooner rather than later once he has an idea. So, this evening, he cooked (for the whole family) baked fish (river cobbler), boiled new potatoes and also prepared a salad from scratch. It was really nice! I’m not the biggest fan of fish, so I had some Levi Roots Reggae Reggae sauce on the side, which camouflaged the flavour sufficiently!

Tomorrow, apparently he’s making a carbonara pasta dish, and then on Monday he’s thinking about a beef stew in the crockpot. Not bad for eight years old! Maybe the summer holidays won’t be such a trial, after all!

A Handsome birthday

birthday badges

Yesterday was my oldest son, Handsome’s birthday. He was eight years old. Eight years! I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of an eight year old. Eight years ago today, I was trying to work out exactly how I was considered responsible enough to be handed this small person to bring up. It was an easy and quick birth, for which I will forever be thankful, but as a result he really wasn’t tired and so, while the other babies on our ward all slept through their first night in a pethidine induced haze, Handsome proceeded to scream and scream. In the end, the other mothers had us evicted from their ward! On the plus side, I then got a private room of my own for my remaining time in the hospital.

He was an incredibly hungry baby from almost the minute he was born, and I remember wrangling a bottle of formula milk from the midwives. I was going to breastfeed, but my milk had not yet come in and he was shouting to be fed, and driving me to distraction! In this and many other ways he deviated from what I had read about newborn babies. From birth he was able to support his own head, and, if we held him upright he could stand for short periods and support his own weight. In fact, his legs were so strong that I’m sure he played as much of a part in pushing himself out of my uterus as I did!

He first slept through the night at ten days old, started on solids at twelve weeks (told you he was a hungry baby!), started teething at three and a half months, walked before he was a year and said his first word at fourteen and a half months, on my 23rd birthday. Once again, none of your textbook rubbish about saying ‘Mamma’, or ‘Dada’ (he obviously hadn’t read the textbooks) – he said ‘apple’!

He was the first grandchild born to both our sets of parents, and equally doted upon by all. As a result he was a very smiley baby.

Eight years on, he is still very loved by all his family and adopted aunties and uncles for his kind and loving character. He is especially kind to younger children (occasionally not so kind to his brother, but I suppose that is always to be expected!) and has been a great source of help, comfort and cups of tea recently while his Dad and I have been fighting off all sorts of colds and assorted germs. He is always ready for a hug, especially if I combine it with a discussion about Ben 10 or the latest adventures of Doctor Who!

All in all, he is the very model of a perfect elder son, and I look forward (not too eagerly, as time is passing all too quickly) to watching him grow into the kind and generous hearted man I’m sure that he will become.

Braving the sales

We have noticed recently that Handsome seems to have suddenly got to a place in his life where he owns practically no trousers that fit him. As a result, he has been wearing trousers belonging to his younger brother, which makes him look like a regular orphan of the storm, with the bottoms of his trousers and the tops of his socks not quite meeting! Not that it bothers him at all. I actually don’t think he even notices, to be honest, but I don’t want him to look entirely unloved, so we ventured into town today and bought him a couple of pairs of jeans.

His younger brother, on the other hand, is, at the grand old age of four, highly sensitive to the nuances of fashion (at least, fashion as he sees it!) and pretty much refuses to leave the house unless his outfit is fully co-ordinated! So, I don’t know why I was surprised today when he chose to spend some of his Christmas money on a fake black leather jacket and black and white Converse-like trainers! I think he wants to look like Mutt Williams from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but his father and I can’t help thinking of the Fonz, while his Godmother had an image of Danny Zuko when I told her about his purchases!

Within a short time of coming home, he had changed into his new jacket, teamed with a pair of pyjama bottoms, as they were the only black trousers he could find in his wardrobe!

I can’t help marvelling at the contrast between my two sons. When I found out I was having a second child, and then found out he was going to be a boy, I imagined that the two boys would be very similar, with similar temperaments, outlooks on life etc. How wrong I was! I’m lucky in that they like all the same things so all their toys are shared, but their characters are very different. I think I had my first clue that they might not be very similar moments after the birth of Cheeky, when we saw that he had bright blonde hair, in stark contrast to the very dark brown, nearly black hair of Handsome, my husband and I! How naive was I.

It just goes to show that while environment and upbringing might help how you develop and control your character, you’re definitely born with a certain amount of your ‘personhood’ built in.