Thank you to the lady in Tesco

Today was a fairly normal Friday morning, except I woke up with a sore neck so I was unusually grumpy. If you ask my family they’d probably tell you I generally come in two modes: Grumpy But Tolerable and Just Stand Well Back. Anyway, this morning I was several twinkles short of a glitter. We were late getting off to school. MoonMunkie forgot her bag and we had to go back. MiniMunkie cried all the way because she wasn’t allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. By the time we got to school I was getting to the Light The Blue Touch Paper Stage. As we dropped MoonMunkie off I decided that coffee and breakfast at Tesco would be a requirement if the day was to continue without me ending up in jail. We had shopping to pick up anyway. So off we went. I had a bacon sandwich and a caramel latte. MiniMunkie had a bath in steamed milk and rejected the biscuits I’d bought. But it did the trick.

476670_10153871281455491_636004983437822661_oTaking 20 minutes to sit and and engage with either of my kids always makes me feel better. Once I stop rushing around trying to do stuff and focus on them properly, it reminds me how AWESOME they are. How kind, creative, funny and actually quite wise they are.

Feeling refreshed, we went off to do the shopping. There were important decisions to be made, namely whether to get the Mermaid Bubblebath or the Pirate Bubblebath. There are pros and cons to either choice. The Mermaid is pink and smells of strawberry (well… what bubblebath makers think strawberries smell like). She has a starfish in her hair and a seahorse friend. But we had Mermaid Bubblebath last time. On the other hand, Pirate Bubblebath is also quite exciting. He has a sword and an eyepatch and we haven’t bought him for a while. But we can’t remember what he smells like, he’s not pink and he’s also a *boy*. You can see MiniMunkie’s dilemma. It took some careful deliberation over the course of 10 minutes. I did my best to contribute, but I only have a layman’s understanding of the situation.

Finally a decision was made and the Pirate was selected. We wandered off to pay but as we left an older lady stopped me. People often comment on how sweet MiniMunkie is. Her curly hair, cupid’s bow pout and big blue eyes belie her feisty nature and absolute certainty that she’s the boss of everything.  But this time the lady surprised me by saying that I was sweet as well as MiniMunkie. She spent a few minutes saying that she’d seen us round the store doing our shopping together and she thought that I was doing a lovely job as a Mum. I was stunned speechless. Not because I think I’m a terrible mum, although we all have those days. It was just that this wasn’t a particularly special day. We were just getting on with stuff that needed doing, me with a sore neck and MiniMunkie covered in steamed milk. And a stranger saw something lovely in that and then bothered to take the time to stop and encourage us.

So, I’d like to say thank you to the lady in the pink coat. And encourage us all to take the time to see the loveliness in each other. You never know when you’ll be changing someone’s day for the better.

 

 

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Domestic Insurrection [Suspicious Asparagus]

Last Thursday MoonMunkie developed a tummy upset. She’d happily go into school bleeding from the head with a broken arm and a temperature of 40 degrees. But schools have rules about cross-contamination and so I had to keep her at home. That very same day MiniMunkie decided to get up before the birds. So by the time it got to 7.30 am I was ready for an IV caffeine drip. So was MiniMunkie. She’s not one for negotiation and compromise at the best of times, being completely certain that her way is the Right Way. (Extensions of the Munkie family will be mirthfully coughing into their hankies at this point, and trying to refrain from sarcastically wondering where she gets that characteristic from… I couldn’t possibly comment!) But a tired MiniMunkie is a force to be reckoned with on a global scale. Conflict began with the 8am Eeyore Disturbance. Ownership was settled through independent 3rd party mediators in MiniMunkie’s favour so I had hoped it would end there.

However it was soon followed by Blankey Incursions (Parts A, B and C), harder to settle because, although official status was designated by a United Nations Protocol the previous weekend, the development of illness in one party did seem to justify a temporary loan of said Blankey. This had to be secured with a  mutual hostage exchange and a 450 page contract specifying the terms of the loan, period of useage, sanctions for late completion and assurances that it wouldn’t smell weird when it was returned.

The Lemur Hostility of 8.15 ensued. No one could work out whether she was cross with the lemur or if the lemur was collateral damage in a guerilla attack from Dolly and pink flowery teapot. In MiniMunkie’s defence, it is very annoying when a lid won’t go on properly and violence towards lemurs can often be justified in such situations.

Then came the Teddy Bear Discord of 8.25 which resulted in MoonMunkie becoming a target for guerilla attack which meant that MiniMunkie  incurred sanctions from NATO and a well justified Sit on the Stairs. However, her compliance with the terms of her release was short-lived and she very quickly escalated the conflict into a full-on Buggy War.  The UN peacekeepers stepped in to remove the problem to her bed, under great protest and duress, but to the great relief of all lemurs, teapots, and poorly Munkies in the region.

Oh my, but my littlest girl is so fiery and so tender. When she’d had a rest she was back to her own affectionate self, fussing like a mother hen over her dollies and her poorly big sister. She makes my heart float. And her temper-flare is so like my own that I can barely withhold a smile, even when she is causing grievous harm to innocent Madagascan primates.

Why won’t my child go to sleep? [Suspicious Asparagus]

IMG_2680.JPGMiniMunkie is not the world’s best sleeper. She’s far too curious and busy to waste time with her eyes closed. She’s also very clever and comes up with a lot of cunning reasons why she should be allowed to stay up.

  • She needs a drink. But not from THAT cup. Or that one!
  • Her foot is sad.
  • There’s a bee. Somewhere.
  • Her pink fluffy turtle is thirsty.
  • She needs her blanket. Not touching her. But closer than THAT.
  • There are blackberries in the fridge.
  • MoonMunkie is there.
  • MoonMunkie isn’t there.
  • She needs her baby doll. The other one. With the dress that got lost a month ago.
  • Mummy is naughty.
  • The chair isn’t in quite the right place. Now it’s in the right place but at the wrong angle. Bit more to the left. Back again. Left a bit more. There. Just right.
  • There’s an unidentifiable noise which can only be heard by bats and MiniMunkie but it’s very annoying.
  • She needs someone to hold her hand.
  • She doesn’t want anyone to hold her hand.
  • MamaMunkie is not wearing her glasses.
  • She she’s not tired. Munkies don’t get tired. She’s never been tired. We can’t prove she’s tired so … Zzzzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzzzzz

Time for Tea [Sensory Play Idea]

At the beginning of the summer I tidied out all of the kitchen cupboards and disposed of all the extraneous items that I’d gathered over the 5 years we’ve been here. I’ve been trying to destash the entire house, but it’s taking years. Literally. I’m a hoarder and so it’s hard and emotional work. But I digress.

The kitchen is now as near to perfect as a working, home kitchen is ever going to be. Which is to say that I’m going to have to find another way to bump off MrMunkie, because things no longer fall out of cupboards as we open them.  However, my enthusiasm for the clear-out waned when it came to the tea and coffee  cupboard. I opened it, quailed in  fear and then closed it again. But tonight I found the courage and attacked it with vigour. The outcome was as I expected: 3 click-its of out of date sweetner; 2 half used jars of decaff coffee; 3 boxes of flavoured tea with 2 teabags left in each; a packet of loose tea that went past its BBE in 2013.

20150830_150957624_iOSAfter sorting and re-stacking the shelves, I was left with about a dozen tea bags that were unsuitable for human consumption, along with a packet of breakfast tea leaves and about 2 tablespoons of my favourite  Jasmine Pearl Tea that was stale and sad. The smell in the kitchen was heavenly though and it gave me an idea for a sensory activity for MiniMunkie.  She’s all about the “hot tea” at the moment. This is the way she distinguishes between teatime and a cuppa. “Hot tea” has been inspired by her Godmother and her children who sit together and drink tea a couple of times each day. MiniMunkie is very taken with the whole activity20150831_174236766_iOS. When she’s not drinking tea for real she’s making pretend cups – in the gorgeous Cath Kidston tea set, given to her by the same friends.
So waiting for her when she wakes up is an invitation for tea. The sensory bin contains the loose leaf tea and also the few left over jasmin pearls. There are some boxes with a couple of tea bags in each. Her tea set is ready and there’s a little “cafe” waiting too, so that MoonMunkie can join in if she likes. I don’t advocate going out to buy these things for play  – good tea is expensive and not to be wasted! But this lot was going in the bin anyway.20150831_174250416_iOS

I’m pretty sure she’s going to love it, because she’s so keen on tea right now. But watch this space and I’ll let you know.

More sensory activities coming soon!

 

Suspicious Asparagus

free asparagusWelcome to MoonMunkie’s Suspicious Asparagus, the place to explore the world from child’s eye view. And today we’re beginning with the original Suspicious Asparagus Event that inspired this page. MiniMunkie has a unique take on the world. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

The Modern Guide to Asparagus Dining, by MiniMunkie.

Step One: Ignore asparagus until it is the final item on your plate. It tastes better when it’s stone cold.

Step Two: Poke it a bit with your finger to make sure it’s been correctly dispatched. Many an unsuspecting diner has been killed or maimed by asparagus that was just playing dead.

Step Three: Hold asparagus in a pincer grip and wave it furiously around the table. This aerates the asparagus making it tender and tasty.

Step Four: Dip it into lime squash. This step is so obvious that it needs no further explanation.

Step Five: Rub it carefully through your hair to remove loose scales and avoid choking. Better restaurants will provide a comb amongst the silverware for use after Step 5.

Step 6: Take a small bite, remembering to maintain the correct facial expression. It should suggest that the chef has mistakenly served up woodlouse in a piquant wasp sauce.

Step 7: Don’t chew as this can ruin the flavour. Scrape the asparagus off your tongue and dump the remaining stem on the floor.

Don’t be caught out. Etiquette and manners are among the most important elements of a person’s character and personality.

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