Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Music sounds better...

The Eponine face. Did I mention I hate the solo she has
to sing? Well, I do. I prefer Confrontation.
Musicals. I seem to quite like them. But not in the sense that most people like musicals. In this, Tilly and I have similarities. We both like the songs that don't make the 'highlights' lists, though not always the same ones, and we like the songs that require the singers to have some modicum of acting ability as well as singing lungs. In other words, we like the story stuff. Mind you, I like instrumentals too, like that part with the violin where Christine goes to visit her father's grave in Phantom of the Opera and before the Phantom himself turns up and starts hurling fireballs or the epic opening of the first act of Les Miserables that repeats nicely when we skip a whole bunch of years and end up in that bit of Paris(?) where the prostitutes start hurling abuse at one another - or is it where Gavroche turns up? Oh, you know what I mean. There's also that bit in Chess where they play the game of Chess, the Russian and the American, and then the whole 'History of Chess' bit of the last bit before the Epilogue. I have no idea if any of these are available on youtube and I shan't bore you now by looking for them.

My mother and grandfather were over to wish the Girlie a happy birthday today and their behaviour has brought home just how easy-going I am as a parent. I mean, I know that Tilly is easy-going and generally good at being a parent. She follows the Orange Rhino, for goodness' sake (it's a challenge about not raising one's voice) and gets it to work. Our kiddlies, despite occasionally going off at the deep end, are well behaved and polite and self-secure. For illustration, Girlie was in a play today and not only knew her cues, even if she didn't always know what came next, she knew the lines to the songs and the dances - she even, get this, sang in tune now and again! This has come after a week of birthday insanity that has driven her nearly to the end of the amount of adrenaline and excitement that she can cope with. At the same time her brother has seen her pretty much spoiled rotten with birthday goodness (like going to see Cats with Tilly on Wednesday) and getting not a great deal himself. And he sat through the play and enjoyed it because his sister was in it. I don't care if I come across as a typical proud parent - I am proud of the parenting that Tilly employs with our children.

Kinda like this playpark.
Ours is, of course, bigger, with a sandpit. And
Swings. And a slide. You know what, it was
nothing like this playpark.
Anyway, they came and they gave an insight into my childhood. Grandfather played in the sand, reluctantly, with the spawn and my mother complained bitterly that she hated sand and mess and that the bench we were sat on might have sand on it. Took some pictures of the group and then started monologuing about work, which is fine, and refusing to listen to any answers I gave to questions she asked. I took the Boy to the swings and then Girlie and the visitors followed. Long story short - grandfather did his best and my mother grew bored as soon as she had a photograph of any given activity. Then mother announced grandfather was cold and she thought we'd best go. Then, after waiting a whole minute for this to be relayed to the kids, still having a whale of a time, she simply started walking off, grandfather followed. Previous to this she had asked if the kidlets were allowed ice-cream.

The eeeee-ville!
A bit of history here. Waaaay back, mother bought Girlie ice cream and we discovered that ice cream made the Girlie mental. To this day we don't know precisely what ingredient it is that causes her to lose all sense of proportion and sanity and gain a crippling three-day hangover (no, really) but we know something does it. It's not like it's sugar (she eats chocolate and sweets without that much of an effect) or treats generally (see last parenthetical) but something makes her hyper and grumpy and angry and cross and just impossible. Mother saw this all unfold and we told her we'd narrowed it down to ice cream. Not believing us, why would she, mother bought Girlie ice cream on another occasion, against our warnings, and saw it all happen again. Still not satisfied she then gave Girlie ice cream when she stopped overnight at mother's house - despite the Girlie warning my mother it was a bad idea - and made sure she ate it as it was "a treat" and one does not refuse treats in my family. No really.

I reminded my mother that, no, ice cream was not a good idea. Treats were fine, we could stop at a shop on the way home, but ice cream was a no. Then they left, we struggled to keep up, and stopped in front of an ice cream van and asked what the Girlie wanted. Tilly stepped in at this point, bear in mind both spawn were still confused and wailing at having to leave the park without being told, like we normally do, in advance that it was going to happen (we usually give a ten minute warning, remind them at five and then mention it at two before going - I'm a teacher and Tilly is just that good a person) - they had been told we were going literally as we were leaving. Tilly becomes a mean mother in the eyes of eldest Girlie (Boy is just grumpy that he can't run down the hill again) and then we leave in a hurry.

Would it be that I got in the way of my mother and
grandfather 'playing' with my son? By assaulting them?
In all probability!
Why? So mother and grandfather can sit in the living room and pester the Boy to put trains in a particular order that pleases them. Boy naturally refuses and then does what he does when bombarded - he goes silent, frowns, and ignores the world. Cue mother talking louder and pulling at his trains and grandfather getting all in his face and me watching in horror as I see the signs of Boy getting stroppy and maybe throwing stuff or hitting things - the kind of thing I can usually pull him away from when it's another child being a pain, but not something I can intervene with effectively in the situation.

All this serves as illustration for my own childhood I guess.

No, I have no idea what I was trying to achieve with this post either.

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