Category Archives: Parenting with Humour

Welcome aboard

You are held up in traffic on your way to the airport. It’s as though the universe wants you to feel anxious. Miss one turn.

You arrive and join the queue for check-in. Your child’s nappy needs changing. Luckily you roll a Six and have time to run through the airport pulling her shoes off as you go, reach the changing area, clean nappy, and run back, before your husband reaches the front of the queue.

Airport security. You must scan you boarding pass and enter through the gates one at a time. The gate opens and the toddler rushes through first, followed by the preschooler who gets stuck as the gate closes. Miss one turn while airport security let him out.

You manage to control your children while waiting for carry on screening. Miraculously you haven’t forgotten any liquids or picnic knives in your overfull bags. Five.

You’ve got through security in plenty of time. Just in time to read your flight is delayed. Miss one turn.

Duty Free. Race through, nervously keeping children away from hazardous objects and temptingly placed chocolate. One staff member offers you a whisky taster; you turn it down as you rush past. You will regret this decision. One.

You find seats at the gate, but they are not close to the windows. Your children spend most of their time watching planes out of the window anyway. The toddler makes an occasional dash for freedom. Luckily no-one alerts security to your unattended baggage while you are running after her. Five.

Boarding commences. You miss the boarding opportunity for families – because, toilets. You and your husband bicker the whole time you are queuing, whilst walking across the tarmac, and getting on to the plane. But you also successfully juggle passports, boarding passes, bags, and two small children. Three.

You get side-eye from fellow travelers as you claim your seats. You remember you are supposed to bring goody bags to hand out to other passengers to placate them for the inconvenience of you paying to use a form of public transport. You opted not to bring any as you had enough to carry in the form of kid’s books, changes of clothes, and nappies. This is the right choice. You need nappies. Four.

Your preschooler is thrilled with your seats; he has a  window and can see the wing and jet engine behind him. As you zoom up into the air he chuckles watching everything get smaller “The cars look like toys.” You both pretend to pick up houses and trees and cars between your fingers as the plane climbs. When you fly through cloud and come out the other side he gasps “Are we flying all the way to the sun?” Six.

Joy is short lived and  boredom sets in. The kids are fidgety. In a moment of desperation you consider allowing your toddler to kick the seat in front of you repeatedly. This makes you a very bad person. The plane begins to experience turbulence, and now you have to hold your squirming toddler on your lap long enough to truly regret your thought crime. Miss five turns.

Drinks. You booked a low-cost airline and so will have to pay for your coffee. You desperately need this coffee. They don’t have lids. Drinking black coffee out of a paper cup balanced on a tray-table at high altitude whilst sitting with small wriggly hazards humans seems like a terrible idea. You desperately need this coffee. Buy one after all. You do not scald yourself or your children. Six.

Landing. You locate the toddlers dummy, and find toys that will keep them occupied during landing. Your toddler occupies herself by repeatedly dropping the toy through a gap in the seat back and onto the floor. Another passenger repeatedly hands it back to you. Neither of your children are having a hissy fit. It’s tedious, but we’ll call this one a win. Four.

Passport control. The queue is long, but your preschooler announces, loudly, that he needs the toilet. There are no toilets this side of passport control. For once airport staff act humanely and you are fast-tracked. Free roll of the dice.

Baggage collection are advertising a long wait. You find a bench, and sit down next to a well-dressed middle-aged woman and her husband. She asks you how old your children are. Mistake! The talkative preschooler latches on to her and begins to tell her his version of your family history. Take the chance to relax while your husband checks over-sized baggage for the pram. Five.

You relax a little too much and switch back on to realise the toddler is attempting to ‘share’ her breadroll with the well-dressed woman. Sharing involves pushing the breadroll towards her face while the well-dressed woman leans back. ‘Thank you’ she laughs ‘but I don’t eat carbs.’ As she says this you are distracting your child by allowing her to ‘share’ with you. Shame on you for eating anything as hideous as bread. One.

It’s late and you need to feed your kids before you leave the airport. The only thing here is Burger King. You buy over-priced fast food and wonder what the well-dressed lady would think of you now as you eat your fries. The only problem is the kids don’t really like Burger King, so you have to actively encourage them to keep eating the evil-capitalist-crap whilst hiding the crappy plastic toy you don’t want and to this day is still lurking unopened in its wasteful plastic bag somewhere. Finish your kids meal for them. It has been a long day. Two.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Game of Air-travel. We recommend our next level game Domestic Train Travel. Estimated playing time: 3hrs and 27mins.

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I think, therefore I am.

The following conversation may have at some point become confused with the Phil101 course I took at university. I’ll leave it to your discretion at what point that occurred.

The players:
F: early thirty mother
M: her son three years old
A: ten month old daughter

The setting: a light afternoon snack at the table.

M: Are mice real?
F: Yes. Mice are real.
M: Are they this big? The real mice. Holds finger and thumb approx. 5cm apart Can we see them?
F: Yes. But we don’t have any in our house so there are none here to see.
M: Are tigers real?
F: Yes tigers are real. You saw one at the zoo, remember?
M: Do they come to tea?
F: No, tigers that come to tea aren’t real. Or at least I hope they aren’t.
A: unintelligible roar
M: Are dinosaurs real?
F: Ye-es. Dinosaurs were real. But there aren’t any dinosaurs anymore. They lived before there were people. But they were real.
M: Before the Romans?
F: Yeah. Before any people so, before the Romans.
M: Are dragons real?
F: No. Dragons are a bit like dinosaurs, but they are only in stories. Takes a sip of her single-origin coffee
M: Are witches real?
F: Some people call themselves witches. But they can’t do magic. Only witches in stories can do magic.

Silence, except for the noise of all three snacking on their organic vegetable crudités.

M: Is Santa real?
F: Well, what do you think?
M: I think he is based on the historical figure of Nicholaos of Myra, who lived in Asia Minor during the fourth century, and was therefore real. Sips his artesian  water. Furthermore, his name and penchant for gift-giving live on in the story we call ‘Santa Claus’. You and Daddy use this mysterious ‘Santa Claus’ as the embodiment of the Christmas spirit of generosity, and so in that sense you could say he represents a real thing.
F: Good answer M.

A, overwhelmed by angst, throws her cucumber on the floor.

M: Am I real?
F: I think so.
M: But don’t you know?

F passes around the homemade spelt grissini and a pesto dip.

F: Well, according to Descartes the only thing we can be sure of is whether our own self is real. I know that I think. I think I am sitting here talking to you, but our senses can be unreliable.
M: Meaning?
F: Meaning that from my point of view, I am real. But am I sure that you are real? Your sister is real? This house? Perhaps I am solely a brain in a tank – and everything I perceive is being transmitted to me via external electrical impulses, instead of arising from physical experience. From my point of view, I can only assume you are real, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Of course you could say the same thing about me. It’s a thought experiment.
A: Like Schrödinger’s cat.
F: Exactly, A.
M: Schrödinger’s cat?
F: The one with the cat shut in a box, and while the box is shut we don’t whether the cat is alive or dead.
M: That doesn’t sound very nice for the cat.
F: No. Look, can we leave ethics for tomorrow. I feel we can give it the time it deserves then.
M: Okay. I don’t mind waiting for answers to my questions.

F hands around finger bowls and starched napkins.

 

 

I’m a mummy, I scare people

I’ve been asked to post three photos that show why I love being a mother.

Gosh. Only three?!

Of course I love my little darlings. But motherhood is so much more fulfilling than smiling photos of my cherubs could show. In fact sometimes I feel the state of ‘motherhood’ is important than the unique ‘personhood’ of my own children.

And there is so much a photo can’t show. Like the beautiful pitter patter of feet on the way to your bedroom at 3am. The triumph of getting pram buckles closed while your baby is planking. The sense of superiority I get from my son learning to use the word ‘Fuck’ correctly in a sentence before his so called peers.

But I don’t want to sound like I think I’m too good for this sort of thing. So here we go.

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I love knowing no matter how much time I spend picking things up my daughter’s curiosity means she’ll instantly find something else to spread over the floor. Dvds, duplo, plastic containers in the kitchen, the contents of our change bag if I forget to zip it up. Books are a special favourite; I love seeing those getting good use. And while I’m at it, I love reading; I’ve always been a re-reader of old favourites. What a joy when I discovered the hidden depths of Thomas and The Bumpy Line. And you know Mr Skinny is very funny, Every Single Time we read it.

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I love watching my children turn there dreams into reality. Little A has had her eye on the drain for a while. Today, I went to get the camera as her brother was having fun playing in the sink. She seized the moment and I returned with said camera to see this. Oh those cheeky monkeys, I can’t turn my back for a second. No seriously. Because while I was changing her into dry clothes, her brother washed the soap.image_1 I managed to find some pieces, as you can see. The rest of them turned up when my husband unscrewed the pipes later. What larks!

Cooking has always given me great pleasure. That pleasure has only been deepened by the addition of whining for snacks. Of course I have to say No, otherwise they won’t eat their dinner later. Or they can nibble on healthy veges while they wait. I’m no angel though, sometimes they do test my willpower. So while they chomp down on cucumber slices, what I love most is knowing about this packet of chippies I keep on the top shelf…

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