Sunday, 25 September 2011

Mean moves

We were on our way back from Blackpool, Jack was sat in the back playing with his new plush sting-ray. They didn't have a suitable octopus so he settled on a green sting-ray.
He's quite taken with the sting-ray, so far it's been a very loved and popular teddy.

As we drove he said something that made me smile.

If someone stealed my sting-ray I would not be happy. I would chase them, and catch them and I would punch them and kick them and headbutt them. All my mean moves. I would do all my mean moves on them until they gave it back.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Ode to the Chicken


We were having our traditional Sunday roast dinner. Lately getting Jack to eat a meal has been very easy so it was a very relaxed atmosphere at the dinner table, that is until Jack cropped up with a question.
Daddy, how are chicken's made of meat?

A strange question, but I knew exaclty what he meant.

I've been waiting for this conversation for a long time. Jack has always managed to stear himself clear of making the connection between the feathery creatures on the farm and the dinner table. Not because I have any thoughts on the matter that I'm inclined to voice but because Jack really charishes life and is terrified of the concept of death, or growing. I knew this was going to be a particularly upsetting conversation for him. I don't want to scare Jack off eating meat, nor do I want to put him down for not wanting to.

So I explained to him that chickens and many other animals are largely considered food, that's what they're raised for and we need to eat them to be healthy. We always try to make sure we get free range animals so make sure that the animals live happy lives. Some people choose not to eat meat but we do and so on.

That chicken gave it's life for you to have your dinner, so you should eat it. Helen added.

Jack looked at each of us and then resumed eating. Helen and I figured we'd once again managed to dodge this bullet and the conversation moved on.

A few minutes later Jack inturrupted with a tear filled comment.

Mommy I wish you hadn't said that, the chicken gave its life.

He quickly became inconsolable. We tried to comfort him as best we could but what can we say? About fifteen minutes cuddled with mommy on the sofa Jack finally calmed down. He came back to the table and ate a few more vegetables but left the chicken. Before pudding Jack came to a decision about his future eating habits.

Jack concluded that he's giving up eating meat, except for chicken nuggets, scampi, roast chicken, cod and anything else that he likes... I know this isn't the end of it, Jack has a tendancy to cover these types of subjects in short but intense sessions but I think we've got the worst of it out of the way for now.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Santa Stuff


Daddy, is Santa real? I mean really real?
I didn't know how to answer, so I went with a vague and safe answer.

You have to believe in him before he can be real. Do you believe Santa is real?
Then there you go.

Jack thought about this for a minute.

OK, then next time he comes to our house. You make sure he sticks around so that I can meet him and have a talk with him.
What would you want to talk to him about?
Oh... Santa stuff.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Ghost Face

Jack is tattoo mad. Currently he's got two tattoos, one on each arm, both dragons.

Right arm. He's even wearing an AC DC t-shirt.
Each time we see a temporary tattoo machine he begs and barters with everything he's got to get a hold of some of them. He's even resorted to stealing... he and some friends, quite innocently, discovered that one of the tattoo dispensers, if jiggled just right, will give up the tattoos for free. They'd withdrawn a dozen tattoos before I and one of the mothers figured out where they were getting them.

Left arm. Tough guy.
It seems that Jack isn't happy unless he's got some ink, for now he's content, while he may stop to admire the artwork we can actually walk past a tattoo machine without too much haggling. As soon as these dragons wear off he'll be at it again.

While camping over the weekend we attended A-fest, a music festival run for Cancer Research. I highly recommend it, if just for the donations to charity, it's a reasonably good little festival.

While there Mia had a ghost painted on her forearm. Phoebe got her face painted completely white with blue snowflakes over here eyes. She looked like a very short member of Kiss.

Jack has had the opportunity to have his face painted before and more than once has managed to brave it until the artist had a brush in hand. If we could get his face painted without actually having to paint his face then we'd never see his bare skin again.

So Jack said he wanted his face painted, Helen confirmed and gave him plenty of opportunity to bail out but he was determined. The moment came a Jack chose his design and gave the OK, on the condition that she didn't paint his eyes under any circumstances. A few minutes later Jack proudly endorsed a ghost on his right cheek.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

One giant step for a small man.

Jack is excited about going back to school. He loved school nursery last year and misses spending each day with his friends. We've met his teacher. We've got his uniform, yesterday afternoon through no fault of our own... We've got everything taken care of and ready to go.

As the first day of school approached it became more and more part of Jack's daily conversation. It seemed that everyone he spoke to wanted to talk to him about school. While at the bank, where Nanny works, yesterday one of the tellers recognized him and asked about the big day. Jack proudly stated that he was in the big kids class this year and they don't have to wear a tie.

He has started to get nervous about it the last few days, he's been quite agitated and had a few complaints about weird feelings in his tummy. His class is made up mostly of children that he already knows but it's still a whole new world for him. Knowing that there are only a few 'new' kids in his class, he's been charged with meeting, and making feel welcome, at least one new person today.

So here we go, this morning I dressed him up in his new school uniform, tie and all, and walked him up. The first thing we did was bump into Grace, a friend from last year, this put him at ease I think. We walked past the nursery entrance on the way in, Jack stopped for a moment and had a look. I hope we have the same playground. And I hope we learn about eyeballs. I don't know why the word eyeballs needs to be whispered.

We walked into the school and hung up his coat and book bag his hook then off he wandered without hesitation into the classroom while all the other kids waited in the hall or outside to be guided in by their parents.

Bye Jack, I called to him.
Bye. He gave me a little wave but didn't look back...
I'm Jack he said to the teachers aids when they approached him and then he disappeared around the corner.

I was the first of the parents to leave the school by a long shot. I'm not the type that stands around until they close the doors, just in case. But I am both happy and sad to watch my little boy take this step in growing up, so I had no plans to stick around and rub it in.

It's been a long summer but it's been easier than I expected. Jack and I have had little trouble finding things with which to keep ourselves occupied and he's been very well behaved generally. I'm glad I was able to spend the summer with him.

It's still three weeks until I'm back at University, I have no idea what I'm going to do with the time.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Mine might be just shoes, but at least they're tied.

Jack was climbing the ropes at the park as he often does. A slightly older child had taken to showing up all of Jacks stunts. Each time Jack displayed a trick he'd come up with the boy in camouflage combats would emulate it, sometimes adding his own addition to it, and finish it with 'easy'. As Jack navigated the ropes the boy plagued him with criticism. Apparently there is a faster, more fun and all around better way to do everything that Jack was doing. This isn't the first critic that he's come across and he's got a good tactic in dealing with them. He just plays along, acting interested in and impressed by their antics, sometimes he'll have a go at one of the additions and will often say, wow that was easy. Eventually they get bored and leave him be. 

As they climbed and dropped and jumped and hung Jack noticed minor safety issue that he though was worth mentioning. 
Hey boy, your shoe is untied. 

They're not shoes, they're trainers. The boy sharply replied. 

Jack wasn't phased by the boy's attitude even a little, he was just trying to help the boy avoid an accident. He just smiled politely and said in a 'matter of fact tone'.
Well they're still untied.

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