Posts Tagged ‘sayings’

Fitness app

Gabe

Tied to his tablet, gaming or in constant communication with friends. But Gabe also has an app that amongst other things, predicts how tall he will grow. It has a fitness regime that he is trying to follow. The wider motivation is his interest in his appearance, itself driven by girls and girlfriend. More narrowly, he wants a six pack like Robin. He’s asked me to join him with the regime, which I hope to do.

Robin

Robin has a verbal habit that frustrates: “Daddy [Mummy] said I could..” he will assert when arguing he should be allowed to do something. What he is invariably referring back to is a conversation where he has raised something he wants and L or I has said, ‘No’ or ‘maybe’ or ‘we’ll see’, but Robin selectively remembers it as support for him getting what he wants.

Eliza

Eliza is practising hard for a gymnastics manoeuvre that involves a handstand entered through half a cartwheel, from which she does the splits and then lowers herself into a half-lever, and then to the ground. She’s achieved it a dozen times, but attempted it hundreds. These practices take place on grass. The real thing is to be done on a beam.

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Holland away

Gabe

Gabe returned safely from the trip to Utrecht. He picked up a man-of-the-match award in the first game, although he said he had trouble keeping his eyes open. The first night in the hostel had been uproarious. One group of boys was climbing out of a window onto a roof; another group (in Gabe’s room) joking and guffawing into the early hours. Flights home for the transgressors were booked until a change of heart and things calmed down thereafter. The trips to theme park, water-park and Utrecht stadium appeared as memorable as the games. It seems to have been a successful venture.

Robin

BOOM [said loudly and in a slightly strangulated voice]

This is Robin’s new word of exclamation. It’s ubiquitous. We don’t seem to be able to beat it, so we’re joining it.

Eliza

Eliza busies herself making bracelets out of small rubber bands, which are then given or swapped with friends. It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of her interests: dexterous finger-work, artistic combination of colours and jewelry.

 

“Oh my!”

Gabe

I can only guess what the language of the playground and form room is like at Gabe’s school. Occasionally, when angered, he gives us a clue, uttering a four-letter word. But his preferred exclamation of shock or disappointment, is the entirely neutral and probably unfinished, “Oh my!”

Robin

Robin has taken on Gabe’s exclamation. It’s one of the positive imitations of his older brother – ranked with reading and cricket. It’s timely, too, as some scribbled note of his was uncovered by L that featured the word ‘fuk’. He didn’t know what it meant, but knows we don’t want him using it.

Eliza

Eliza brought home the elizaphant. A grey papier-mache and toilet role construction, it is the finest model to make it’s way back from school and the first that won’t be recycled the moment it would stop being indecently hasty to do so.

Thingy

Robin

“When you talk you think people know what you’re thinking, but we don’t,” Eliza said to Robin. It was her reaction to the imprecision of a lot of Robin’s chat; the kind that seems to start two-thirds of the way through an explanation or question.

My reaction is a little different. “Thingy” is Robin’s crutch word, that he leans on when he hasn’t found the word he wants. I’m trying to ease that crutch away. My tactic is to assume and convey to him that I think he means “willy” whenever he says “thingy”. Don’t know if it will work, but it does make him laugh.

Eliza

Eliza had a camera for a Christmas present two or three years ago. She hasn’t really made as much use of it as we expected, although the images aren’t of a very good quality. This week, though, she’s been using it to make short animated stories, taking shots of inanimate objects moved slightly and then tabbing quickly through the shots. Her masterpiece involved L and I holding two soft toys (Flopsy the rabbit and Snowy the owl) in a series of poses as she directed us through Snowy being shot, then found and saved by Flopsy.

Gabe

A busy week for Gabe’s fears. A trip to London brought on agonies about being sick on the train. He wasn’t. Something said in class led to terror of the world being sucked into a black hole. Several rational, calm discussions with L and me seemed to make no difference. But the wikipedia article on black holes reduced the tension. And he wasn’t (sucked into a black hole).

Outward Bound

    Gabe

Gabe has returned safely and excited from two nights away with school at an outdoor activity centre in Wales. He climbed, crossed obstacle courses, fenced, told ghost stories at night and didn’t wash at all. Stories bubble out of him on his first evening back at home.

    Eliza

On the mornings I take Eliza and Robin to school, we all get distracted and have to leave home in a rush. I try to set a brisk pace to make sure we don’t arrive late. Last week Eliza hobbled with a sore foot from gymnastics and this week she was simply tired. “Daddy, you pull me like a suitcase,” she said, not annoyed, just commenting.

    Robin

Robin seems to have inherited my ability to fall asleep readily. He usually sleeps within minutes of being bade good night. Sometimes he’ll have his request for L or I to stay in bed with him for a little while acceded to. Tonight was typical. He took my hand and within 10 breaths was unconscious.

Chubby

    Robin

Spoken in American accent, with strong intonation

I’m chubby, my mummy’s chubby, my daddy’s chubby, even my goldfish is chubby. One day my daddy was driving to the shops and I said, “faster, daddy, faster” And he went faster and it ends there.

This is a performance piece, spoken at school by one of Robin’s classmates and repeated at home time and again, sometimes word-for-word, sometimes with adaptations and very often to gales of appreciative laughter.

    Gabe

Gabe finished junior school with a series of events: assemblies and a retirement party for the head teacher. The final day’s assembly lasted hours as each leaver was introduced and bade farewell. Gabe passed on the role of Head Boy, receiving a pile of Michael Morpurgo books for his year’s work. Many cried at the assembly, but not, he tells me, Gabe. He has brought with him the song ‘Goodbye my friends’, which is sung in any spare moment at home.

    Eliza

One of the delights of Eliza’s burgeoning personality is her teasing of me. Often it’s about my big nose or big ears. It can be about things – e.g. Ice cream – that she claims to love more than me. On holiday in Northumberland, she whipped Robin and cousin F into a 20 minute long chant of “Daddy’s naughty, Daddy’s naughty, Daddy’s naughty…”. It was caused by a beach football injury to Robin and lasted the length of our walk back across the beach.

Dad, Dad, Dad

    Gabe

Gabe has decided to change what he calls L and I. Out goes ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ and in comes ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. It’s a very conscious change and so one that he has some battles over with his subconscious. For a couple of weeks, the parental address has tended to go along the lines of “Daddy, oh, Dad, Dad.” He now seems to have mastered the change, but he seems to be missing the extra syllable so compensates with repetition of ‘Dad’ or ‘Mum’.

    Robin

Robin’s volume is not in my control. Weekend mornings, despite urgent whispered requests for quiet, he shouts and laughs loudly. He hollers at us sat together around the dining table. Close proximity to us, when in the house, seems to lift not temper his volume. Out of the house, things are different. Walking to school, his head a couple of feet below mine, and tilted towards the ground, traffic rumbling to our right, I’ll hear a mumble I guess is directed at me. “Pardon, Robin, what’s that?” I ask two maybe three times, but too often end up nodding or grunting to indicate I agree with something I haven’t heard.

    Eliza

Conversations with each of the children can be perplexing as they progress erratically through what appear to me to be non sequiturs. Now they are a little older, questioned carefully, if I’m being patient, I can sometimes recreate the link. “A boy wore an infant school shirt to school and had to change it,” Eliza told me as I was preparing to say goodnight. I asked her to say it again, which confirmed I had heard correctly. Gently, I asked why she was telling me this. “Because you told me you had to change your suit before going to work,” she explained. And yes, there was a connection, but one I wasn’t attentive enough to perceive unassisted.