Sunday, 26 October 2014

Black Dalek missed already

I took my Archaeologist Husband and Number One Son to the Snibston Discovery Museum yesterday for a half-term treat. This time it was duly the time to treat my boys who had contrary to original plans lingered in our living room watching cartoons while I was test driving or taking our old, sticky-taped car to the dump. The farthest we had got was to the New Walk Museum to check the dinosaurs and a bit of additional light relief was provided by a trip with the new car to the speak therapist’s appointment. On Saturday, it was going to be the Dr Who Day instead.

It turned out that some of the programme had the hallmarks of the am-dram society, but it was all good-humoured and the main thing was to see and talk to the moving daleks. There was also a pink lady dalek that was quite amusing, and the daleks could move really quickly indeed. The most marvellous sight was that of Number One Son running around trying to get to the daleks whenever possible. However, he had time to do some outdoor sliding and gliding and try out the interactive floor in the centre.

The adults could see a series of different cybermen styles from the 1950s onwards and there was a Unit jeep as well. Some of the Dr Who lookalikes were better than the others, but K9 was moving around and there was a cyberman ‘silly walk’ to finish it all off. It was marvellous to see Snibston alive, when one considers how the county council tries to shut it down. The cuts seem to never end and there will be next to nothing left in the end. However, the Dr Who day was definitely worth a visit.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Time for Diwali

It is Sunday so it must be Anstey and home... I have returned home for a week and will be enjoying part of my annual leave, even if I cannot escape work altogether. An important presentation requires attention in the evenings and the car is on its last leg, so part of the week will be devoted to visiting second-hand car dealers, browsing Autotrader and taking the old car to its last resting place. It is scary to notice that it is not September any more but we are approaching Halloween - that I will bypass in Stockholm - and this week Diwali.

Number One Son's schoolwork project deals with Diwali and we are supposed to create and execute a poster on the subject with our child. Thus, I was googling 'Diwali' and choosing BBC Schools' web site as my primary source of information together with some websites targetted to the local people in Britain with Indian origin. This suddenly made me realise that Houston, we have a problem. We are one of the over 40 procent of British households that are non-religious and we do not do God, so explaining Lakshmi and Ganesh, the main Hindu gods involved, is slightly pushing it. Santa Claus seems to be easy, since Number One Son happily plays with his toy one. We just have to hope that they have done God(s) in the nursery and school.

We are supposed to include informative content, for example tell why people celebrate Diwali, name important objects and tell the stories related to the celebration. The first two are easy, since ultimately, Diwali is the Indian Christmas bringing light to the darkness and similarly involving candles, food and present, but the last suggestion seems slightly too complicated considering the late developmental stage of Number One Son. The return of Rama after 14 years relating to a circle of mythology I do not know, seems too complicated, when you are entering to the story totally randomly as a total outsider. I assume we will stick to the light winning the darkness and Lakshmi and Ganesh representing the beauty, wealth and good luck.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

When I am away...

The sunny culprit

Nothing is more worrying than when you are Skyping home and you suddenly see a fresh bruise on your son's cheek. Due to Number One Son's speech difficulties, Archaeologist Husband has not really got out from him what happened, if he fell on the grass or if the constant playful bickering and egging up that goes on between Number One Son and one of the other little boys who went with him to nursery has taken turn to the worse. Number One Son is on a green card, so he has been misbehaving and headbutting has occurred. Not a nice thing to hear and see over an echoing net connection.

Nevertheless, Number One Son seems to be developing both socially and emotionally. His last school homework got an 'outstanding' remark and apparently the homework for the coming Friday has already been done. It was on numbers, something he is comfortable with. The outstanding homework was something I also contributed, but Number One Son had drawn more animals to go with animal names starting with certain letters. His emotional development does not come with very pleasant consequences to me. He has started to say that he loves me (among his favourite toys and things, different food stuff and his friends), and verbally communicate that he misses me. Yesterday he had asked when doorbell rang, if Mummy will be there.

The misbehaviour at school happened unnervingly during the afternoons of the same week that I travelled back to Stockholm. When Number One Son's understanding of time will become better, I have to start explaining to him what, where and when. Luckily, now it is only one week to half-term and I can make my presence and ascertain him that I will always come back. The half-term will be fine, since the job interview was postponed to the following week (a positive sign from a potential new employer!). However, the car has now definitely broken down for the last time, so instead of seeing the industrial legacy of the Saltaire World Heritage Site and cruising the Yorkshire Dales, we will see as a family the second-hand car dealers of Leicester. It just does not sound as fancy - or fun!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Payback time

This week I have been working at home during the time I call 'payback time' or 'return to the mummy duties'. Archaeologist Husband held a day school near Liverpool and went to Birmingham to work with his old boss, a current collaborator, so I was doing the school run, returning any forms to the school - this week saw parent-teacher meeting schedule and parental permission for a child to take part into Diwali celebrations outside the school - and take care of so-called 'payback duties'. These are the ones Archaeologist Husband refuses to do, since he is doing his share already.

It was time for class photograph, so our 'troll' had to go to the barber's. This is a source of mutual agony, since Number One Son hates any cutting objects nearing his growing nails or hair. He tried to convince me that brushing his hair will help the situation, but the fringe had already gone south and the trip to barbers that had been avoided on the previous visit when he still looked almost decent had to be done. I managed to find excuses to postpone the visit with a day, but the evening before the photographer's visit was the last chance to pop to the barber's shop. The trip did not start well, because the wailing started as soon we hit the queue on the chairs and this changed to full crying when Number One Son was placed to the barber's chair. After several minutes of shedding tears I could convince him that Number One Girl will expect to see him with a decent hair in her birthday party on Saturday and the barber could start his task. Luckily, the cries waned and Number One Son was quite intrigued of the small cutters barber used in one point. In the future, I will ask them to use those exclusively, since Number One Son did not decline them once. Now it is only the dentist to go on Monday!

Saturday saw Archaeologist Husband's day off that was brought about by my and Number One Son's trip to Number One Girl's birthday party and Finnish Saturday School straight afterwards. The birthday party was lovely and this time the little boys did not start a fight or anything, since there was a balanced gender mix and the age range was wider than normally. Not just a lot of little five-year-old boys on sugar high. Finnish Saturday School was true to its name only parts. The children in the nursery group where happily playing with each other in English, while the adults chatted away in Finnish. Well, at least there was a language bath available, if the children paid any attention to the discussions about Coventry's ice rink or specifics of Sixth Form and Advanced Maths.

Sunday has seen Number One Son's reluctant participation in an attempt to do school homework (find as many mammals starting with S, A, T, P, N and I) and insistence of baking a honey cake. Another sign I am NOT a domestic goddess is that the came was burnt outside but doughy inside. At least it tasted honey and ginger! In contrast, Archaeologist Husband had baked a lovely chilli loaf for breakfast. Domesticated husband 1 - domestic slob 0.