Sunday, 17 February 2013



Jack is a big fan of costumes. He once had quite a collection of mostly Marvel heroes that he would wear regularly in rotation.
These costumes aren't just costumes, each of them gives different powers.

Iron Man has long been his go to suit not just because of the wide variation of powers it afforded but because he was the only one of his friends that had one. This is more a matter of personal pride for me I guess as it doesn't seem to bother Jack. I don't know why it bothers me, it just does, I like Jack to have unique costumes. We could almost guarantee that he'd be the only Iron Man at any party... or on the high street.

Today Jack was invited to the birthday party of a good friend of his. Dressing up was an option for this party and we know most of these kids, so we thought it was probably best that we get a new costume as Jack has grown out all his other costumes, including Iron Man. Our search turned up an Adam West style batman costume complete with blue eyebrows. Excellent, he's always wanted a batman costume and this style was surely pretty unique and personally, I love that series.

As we suspected the party was full of superheroes... and princesses. There were lots of Spider-mans and Power Rangers and even what I can only assume was Joan of Arc. Of course there was another Batman that we spotted right away. We know that child quite well and I figured he'd probably be Batman. Thankfully it was one of these new Batman costumes. So we were good.
Sadly five minutes after we arrived another boy from Jack's class came in wearing the exact same costume as Jack.
And fifteen minutes later another one turned up, and a Batgirl.

Oh well, perhaps I need to start going farther a field than our local supermarket.

As we left the party it occurred to me that there were no Iron Mans.

Parent's Evening on my own

Helen had to work this year which left me to attend parents evening solo. I'm not good at this sort of thing. I never ask enough of the right questions and I forget the answers anyway. Usually my handling things like this on my own result in Helen booking an additional appointment later on.
This time, knowing that I was on my own I mentally prepped and practiced some questions.

The conversation was light, generally the teacher is very happy with Jack. He's in the top group for math, and reading, and he's in the second to top group for writing. He's got lots of friends and always tried his hardest, so much so in fact that he quite often is trying to make his work so perfect that he doesn't finish. He's very competitive but doesn't get himself down if he loses. He's very articulate (no surprise there) and he's become quite famous for knowing strange things, like the inner workings of black holes, the speed of sound and the number and functions of pi.

It wasn't all praise though, Jack needs to work in his penmanship. Aside from that, I was very proud to be his parent that evening.

After the meeting with his teacher I went into the class room to take a look at some of Jack's workbooks. I sat myself in a corner upon a tiny chair and took my time with each book. The workbooks were full of barely legible writings and occasional comments from the teachers. I made mental notes to ask Jack what some of the teachers scribed icons meant, one if which is a smiley face with an empty speech bubble, (apparently this means that the teacher has spoken to Jack about it). There were lots of positive comments from the teachers and the occasional reminder that he needs to listen more carefully.
Jacks math was very good, there were some pretty complicated sums in the book and he had the correct answer most of the time.

As I neared the end of the book I came across this picture, it really made me smile.

Dear Dad,
My special gift to you is...
I will help you make the apps.
Love Jack.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The new room

For a while now we've been thinking about moving Jack out of his tiny little shoebox of a room. We have a guest bedroom that's quite a bit bigger and it doesn't get used very much. So we deliberated and then got to it.

We gave Jack some control over the design and spent a lot of time talking him out of black walls. He decided initially on a underwater theme, he wanted sharks and jellyfish on the walls and black sand colored carpet and an "Atlantic Blue" feature wall, his vision was really quite specific. Sadly we couldn't get the undersea life pictures so instead we've gone for space. We've got glow in the dark stars and some wall transfers of the planets and shuttles and other spacey things and we kept the "Atlantic Blue" feature wall.

We spent a weekend decorating and a ridiculously long time acquiring the furniture. His current bed is too small so we've got him a single size cabin bed with a desk underneath it. We've also got him a single fold out futon chair/bed thing and a new chest of drawers. Piece by piece over the last couple of weeks the room has come together.

This weekend the futon chair arrived. I built it while Jack was at school. Jack road tested the chair as a fold out bed that night. The following morning his mattress arrived Helen helped him put up the space pictures and glowing stars and then Jack's new room was complete and he's moved in. He's a happy boy.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


I don't remember when in was exactly, longer than a month ago, but less than six months.

We were at Tesco doing our family shop. Jack had taken a toy in and was playing with it as we walked around the store.

Eventually the store became part of Jack's little story and the toy began climbing and leaping from the shelves and the cart shouting challenges like "You'll never catch me" and the like. At one point Jack's toy began climbing one of the dangling displays. As I walked past I urged Jack not to mess with this type of display as he might knock it down. With my hand I plucked the toy off the display.
as he fell to his death...

I must admit I did feel bad.