I like to move it move it

Apologies all, but it’s time for the obligatory last-day-of-holiday ramble.

I’m afraid this holiday has been marked by some serious arguments and debates that there’s no coming back from.

“You’re a big poo poo”
“No you’re a big poo poo”
“Well you’re a big wee wee”
“YOU’RE a big wee wee and I’m a big poo poo”

Why, yes, I have been on holiday with children. Was it the conversation that gave it away, or the fact that I just had dinner in a restaurant whilst wearing star wars stickers all over my face?

Anyway I shall start by saying “hooray for Broadstairs!” It’s a very lovely place indeed and an excellent alternative to Cornwall, if you don’t fancy the interminable 6-hour drive. Here be beaches, promenades, 2p machines, crazy golf and quite a lot of Dickens fetishery…

The only down side is the evening noise, which doesn’t bother me very much but I suspect would bother some people. During the day Broadstairs is a twee and rosy domain full of children and pensioners. By night it appears to be overrun by hen nighters and boy racers, many of whom seem to like hanging about outside the pub and the youth centre opposite our apartment. Still, it wouldn’t stop me renting this place again if we ever come back.

On the first evening, as soon as we’d dropped off our baggage, we decided to pop out and have a nose at the beach (approx 1 minute walk from the flat!) and get our bearings.  At this point the Micro-horde immediately flew off their leashes and rampaged around in the sand fully clothed.

Our first night was so intolerably hot and humid that we all practically expired overnight. I’d have sold my soul for an electric fan.  We’d been promised storms but in the end we only got about 2 minutes of limp thunder and light rain that didn’t help at all.  It took until the following day for the weather to fully break and everything suddenly became tolerable again. This turned out to be the only day with rain – and we spent part of it rock-pooling…

For the first few days we had triple-microbe action with Ben, James and St Helena The Adored. Unfortunately things did not start very well as the Microbe managed to trap Ben’s fingers in a door – apparently in an attempt to stop Ben getting his toys.

SIGH.  I wish I knew what to do about only child syndrome. Besides procuring some emergency siblings on the black market, does anyone know a short-cut to de-bratifying a child who has not yet learned that the world does not revolve around him? Answers on a postcard please…

I did actually catch the microbe and Ben playing together a few times, on the rare occasions when James was not too busy mooning around after Helena.  But… give it a year and I reckon there’s a good chance Ben will become top favourite. (And with any luck by then Microbe will have learned how to share his toys).

Anyway – it’s not all bratitutde.  Their penalty for coming on holiday together was to be made to pose in ridiculous pile-ups before being allowed out to the beach…


We also introduced two of them to gambling. (You would not believe how many 2ps you have to haemorrage in order to win two rubbish plastic keyrings.)


On Wednesday Nat’s other half joined us and we celebrated The Benbot’s second birthday. I hope he enjoyed his day – it mainly consisted of beach play, a tea party and a pile of Peppa-themed presents and, of course, his very own rock star guitar…

Unfortunately Ben was too little to join in the crazy golf with the other two. But Helena turned out to be REALLY good at it. Microbe discovered that his only hope of coming second was by picking up the ball and dropping it manually down the hole.

The rest of the week we were down to four and our days have been pretty much more of the same. Helena is a total water baby and Microbe has gradually learned to love the sea… just in time for us to leave. We also had a visit to Walmer Castle and a very brief mooch around Sandwich, which is pretty but hasn’t got much to interest wee people.

Do you think we may have tired them out?


Despite the profusion of empty beds, the Microbe and Helena have insisted on sharing a single bed every night. Bless…


And now the end is nigh… and I am not very happy about giving Helena back to her mummy tomorrow. I need to plan an elaborate kidnap scenario. I WANT TO KEEP THE DOLLY! Microbe is just not into hair plaiting and nail varnish. Feh.

Anyway, for the very interested only, our full set of hol pics are on Flickr here.

PS – for anyone wondering about the title of this post, I’m sorry to report that I am simply sharing the earworm that I have been subjected to for the last 7 days. Enjoy!


Posted in Life of James | Leave a comment

The coastal town that they forgot to close down

Lately I’ve been saddened by the demise of another round of sublime toddler errata. I curse whoever is teaching these children to speak properly. Stop it immediately!

Amongst the recent losses are:

Fingersnails (possibly my all-time favourite. I weep for its demise.)

Brekstus (G liked this one so much that he introduced a morning ritual in which the microbe is required to feed the cats and call: “Harriet! Truffle! Brekstus!“)

Zoo (I am aghast that Helena has started calling me Sue. This is NO GOOD and must be rectified.)

In cheerier news, I’m really looking forward to our holiday in Broadstairs. Only 2 weeks to go!


All of our travel info is coming from the schizophrenic Internet.  My search for “Cornwall lite” culminated in Broadstairs, with a promise of sandy beaches, rock-pooling, seafood and pretty shops, minus the 6-hour drive. However I do remain slightly suspicious of a place that lists proximity to a shopping centre amongst its “attractions”.

If I restrict my reading matter to travel editorials, it all sounds dreamy and splendid:

“Broadstairs is brim-full of nostalgic, old-world, seaside charm.”

“Broadstairs is a bright, lively, colourful town, with seven spectacular sandy-beached bays”

“A wonderful promenade lined with fine landscaped gardens and a High Street packed with quirky individual shops.”

“Broadstairs was recently voted the 2nd best Seaside resort in the UK by a Guardian Newspaper poll” (behind St Ives)

“Broadstairs is unique in that it has retained its traditional Victorian resort appeal.”

“It is lovely. It has excellent crazy golf, a bandstand and a cute half moon of a beach. Over it all looms the brooding Bleak House, beloved holiday home of Dickens.”

“Broadstairs is a wonderful mixture of Victorian architecture, hidden cobbled squares, cliff top walks and blue flag sandy beaches.”

“The perfect place for chilled-out, family-friendly fun!”

Great! Then I usually like to prod around in Mumsnet – the land of the blunt, where punches are never pulled. Fortunately, opinions over there seem to be largely pro-Broadstairs too…


“It can be a bit twee”

“Fab beach, just a lovely lovely town.”

“Nice without being too posh”

“quaint, not kiss me quick at all, and a small lovely old wooden funfair”

“Just what I was looking for. Sand, boats and beach huts.”

“Lots of rock pools which are fab for exploring.”

But then I thought I’d prod a bit more – and ventured deeper into TEH INTERNETZ where it all gets a little bit darker… and more unhinged:

“Broadstairs really is a drain of a place it takes your soul, everyone there are fully dead on the inside.”

“I personally think it would be better if they stripped Broadstairs out, build a big wall gave one side to Margate and the side to Ramsgate and forget about the whole poncy whiny little ****** town with there folk week! SUCK YOUR NAN BROADSTAIRS”

“Although Broadstairs may look pretty on the outside – it is cold, dead and ugly on the inside.”

“It is a completely vacuous town, full of airheaded tourists and holier-than-thou residents who while away their days abusing the legacy of Charles Dickens”

(I actually laughed out loud at some of those)

Even more starkly contrasted are pronouncements on the nearby towns of Ramsgate and Margate, which I’d been pondering as possible day trips. If you read the tourism sites, you’d turn up expecting Britain’s answer to Cannes:

“Perhaps being so close to Europe helps infuse Ramsgate with a cosmopolitan vibe. Pavement cafes frame waterfront bars. A bustling harbour borders a yacht-packed marina. Awash with history and overflowing with continental charm, Ramsgate is a must-see historic port.”

“These days, Margate fizzes with artistic energy. To traditional, holiday-town charms, add a world-class art gallery. To sandy beaches and sparkling bays, add a cool café culture and tempting retro shops.”

Suffice to say – TEH INTERTETZ beg to differ (kindly pardon their French)…

“Ramsgate is a fucking shithole full of crims”

“Margate is a bit run down but the old town is good”

“it’s not a place I’d enjoy being around at kicking out time”

“Ramsgate harbour is quite happening as it goes”

“The bright kids all move away, leaving nothing but chavs and pensioners.”

“Ramsgate is nicer than Margate”

“You can’t get a decent meal unless you cook it yourself”

“Avoid Margate like the plague.”

“Tracey Emin grew up in Margate.”


I might just have to go and see it all for myself.  I’m also considering Deal (for Castles), Sandwich (because apparently it’s gorgeous) and Whitstable (which people on Mumsnet describe as “Islington on Sea“, “the Boden catalogue” and “lovely but wanky“.)


Back to Broadstairs. We’ve rented an airy 3-bedroom apartment near Viking Bay, whose publicity pics are a festival of beige…

Natalie + horde are joining us for half of the week – and Helena is staying on for the whole week, so I predict lots of sandy fun for the kidlets. We’re also celebrating Ben’s second birthday on the Wednesday and we might squeeze in some day trips to local castles, wildlife parks and possibly Canterbury.

The only thing that could really bugger our hol is British weather. So PLEASE pray to the weather gods for us, will you?

Moving on…

Yesterday I discovered a little cache of pics from a forgotten afternoon at Osterley Park. The boylet appears to be doing a fine imitation of someone playing croquet but I can assure you that, in reality, he is merely bashing the stick around aimlessly.

Last month we kissed goodbye to Auntie LJ who has jetted off to Buenos Aires to see what life holds over there. Before she left she gave the microbe a toy doctor’s set and he’s built up a surgery full of bandaged dinosaurs and a deer with a “sad temperature”. I’ve started calling him Doctor Flocks (apart from when I’m calling him Hodor or Joffrey)

Then we had a weekend at Uncle Alistair’s, where the Microbe cornered the market in Playdoh, helped Auntie Sarah with some scissor-based gardening and went on a mini train ride that had an exciting derailment incident!

Back at nursery, the boylet took a tumble and gained a mess of little scabs all down his nose and was still scabby this weekend at Pops’s 70th party – a huge bash for a man whose progeny could rival that of the old woman who lived in a shoe.

These pictures represent a tiny fraction of the clan… (click for bigger)

Gatherings like these offer ample opportunities for the microbe to hero-worship his older cousins and hang around cougar town. It’s quite comical watching all of the cousins chasing adoringly after the next tier up in a sort of endless conga. Teenagers chased by tweens, chased by tweenies chased by microbes, chased by Ben.

Speaking of the Benbot, despite being not-even-two, he is as rockstar-like as ever. At the party he got hold of a tiny guitar and sang and strummed to a roomful of people. I give him 6 months before he’s playing chords! (Video still courtesy of Uncle R)


The evening ended with a candlelit tower of Jenga and a cousin-huddle outdoors, where Jimlet experienced his very first camp fire…


(FYI party attendees: full set of pics here)

Posted in Life of James, Pictures | Leave a comment

I’ll cry if I want to

Good evening all. I’m pleased to report that birthday season is over. We have returned to splendid mundanity and all future birthdays shall be banned. Hooray!

So, what did we get up to with little boy 3?  Well, it went a bit like this…  (brace yourself for a thousand pics)


Presents! And what a lovely set of presents it was. Microbe was genuinely delighted with everything (and of course we shall be contacting all of you kind givers personally). G and I were fairly restrained in expenditure this year, favouring a day out to the zoo over pointlessly expensive presents.

Afterwards we packed him off to nursery to celebrate with his homies, sporting the dullest “nut free” cake ever mass-produced by machine. Half of it was sent back home with him that evening and, even after I’d pimped it with smarties and candles, it somehow remained steadfastly beige…

My own day involved cutting up 8 billion crudités and stuffing party bags with animal-themed tat. But the big excitement of the evening (and the entire weekend) was the arrival of Helena, Benjamin and Natalie. Few things make the Jimlet happier than proximity to Helena.


These days they share a bedroom, with Helena’s inflatable Disney Princess bed placed alongside James’s. It might actually be time to get another inflatable bed for the Benbot.  Meanwhile nothing gets the microbe skipping to the bathroom more readily than the promise of a communal dunking…



Oh, the horror. Saturday was party day… and G and I have remembered why we never throw parties.

Despite weeks of planning, and getting up at 6am, I somehow managed to take too long to prepare the food and stuff all of the kids’ lunch boxes. Then we had parking issues and arrived at the venue heinously late, with hardly any time to set up the room before little people started arriving.

Suffice to say, the first 20 mins were an omnishambles, saved by the kindness of friends who rampaged around the room with me, throwing decorations at the walls (sod the no blu-tac rule), laying out the buffet and inflating balloon animals while G got on with the essential business of mixing and doling out Pimms – not to mention returning home to collect the cake and everything else that we’d forgotten to bring.

Having said all of that – from the point of view of the kids, I think it probably went rather swingingly, not least because the entertainer was worth her weight in gold, taking charge of the horde and holding them transfixed while the rest of us were having minor meltdowns around the edges of the room.

Two hours later, after party games, parachute, lunch and a confused biblical scene in which 17 microbes crowded around the Noah’s Ark cake with outstretched hands as if it were the feeding of the five thousand (god bless the dad who took charge of the cake serving business), they each trotted off home with a party bag and a balloon on a stick. Never underestimate the appeal of a party bag to a 3 year old.

I’m afraid I was too distracted and frazzled to take any decent quality pics – but here are the least blurry of my shots…

That night, lying in bed, G and I had the following little convo…

“You know how you don’t like parties very much?”
“And how I don’t like parties very much either?”
“Well… given that James is our son, do you think it’s possible that he didn’t entirely *love* his party?”
“Umm, yes. I wondered the same thing.”
“Maybe we won’t bother next year”
“God, yes!”
“What were we thinking?”


Zoo Day! This was the day that I’d most looked forward to. The blessed relief of hopping on a train and going somewhere fun. Before we left, we played with some leftover party props…

Then we went up town and hit the zoo, via a glorious walk through Regents Park. I think the kidlets had a great day – at least I certainly hope so, considering the eye-watering entry fee.

Some of the animals seemed to have more space than I remembered from my last visit many moons ago. A possible side effect of the fact that they haven’t got any elephants or rhinos any more? We managed to distract Jimmy from the lack of elephants by pointing out the Warthogs (a pair of Pumbaas!) and the Meerkats (a whole army of Timons!).

The day included only minor squabbles over who got to ride the scooter and at least one illicit free ride on a carousel.

Afterwards, having starved them for most of the day, we lugged them back to Richmond for dinner in Giraffe where Nat’s incredibly patient other half had been waiting for ages. Here Helena and James indulged their shared passion for fish and chips and Ben got an enormous pile of sausages.

To round off the weekend, two little helpers came with me to water my mini-allotment. I gave them a watering can each and found myself thinking, fondly, that this might be the nicest and most spontaneously fun activity of our entire weekend. Never mind parties and zoos – what’s better than running around with watering cans on a sunny evening?

Now I think that it is high time to put the microbe on a ‘treat diet’ before he turns into an over-entitled little monster. (I refer you to this diagram). Simple pleasures only for a while…  games of snap, jigsaws, trips to the allotment and sojourns in the cupboard-under-the-stairs. (We shall not mention the fact that the next few weeks happen to include two weekends away with family…followed by our holiday!)

Well that felt like an update and a half.  Now I’d better go away and have some dinner.


Posted in Life of James, Pictures | Leave a comment

With tuppence for paper and strings

I’ve long been teased by G for my apparent belief that all domestic failures can be fixed with sellotape and string. It now appears that this might be genetic – as we keep finding the Microbe elbow-deep in the coffee table drawers, rummaging for sellotape or glue to mend things with.

The other day G found him halfway down the stairs “repairing” a small wallaper tear with pritt stick. Alas the pritt stick that he chose was not the regular kind but the extra-strong ‘hulk’ version which comes in a gruesome shade of green. (It now looks as though someone has smeared a big green bogey halfway up our stairs.)

In other colourful news, it is “yellow day” at nursery on Thursday and parents have been issued with a dictat to dress our microbes in yellow. Unfortunately the only yellow item in the Microbe’s wardrobe is his raincoat. Lets hope it rains.

On Friday it is the big 3!  (Well, alright, the not-very-big-3.)

Birthday boy is going to be packed off to nursery as usual because his mother is evil. Cue the annual quest-of-impossibility to find a shop-bought cake that dares to declare itself “nut free” on the packet.

Last weekend we had a toy & book cull in readiness for the avalanche of Amazon boxes. It’s not an easy feat, convincing the boylet to get rid of stuff, but we did eventually freecycle two large bagfulls – one of toys (goodbye Gymbo the clown) and one of lesser-loved books. Really we could have done with a double-sized purge.

I shall be spending this Friday preparing the catering and other last minute faffage for his children’s party. Kindly wish me luck. We appear to have acceptances from 16 microbes and, if there’s one thing I’ve learned of late, it’s that nothing unleashes a child’s inner brat like a “special treat”.  The more fun you throw at them, the more likely they are to cry. It’s 100% true and scientific, look…


So… in a week that involves presents, cakes, parties and a special trip to the zoo, I fully anticipate the arrival of “little Joffrey” by Sunday afternoon.


Posted in Life of James | Leave a comment

Frankly, Mr Shankly

For months now the microbe has been telling an anecdote about how he was walking down the road one day and a lady threw a bucket of wee over him from an upstairs window.

You may well boggle.

What he is actually remembering is a little doll’s house tableau from the Museum of Water and Steam, depicting plumbing through the ages. I’m not sure how his mind has transferred this cartoon scene into a real world anecdote that happened to him down our road but it does make me wonder what else he might be telling the ladies at nursery…

Speaking of which, he is back at last after a week of chicken pox-induced solitude in which he became increasingly lonely and dissatisfied with adult company.  I don’t think he suffered too badly with the pox, overall. He was spotty but didn’t seem inclined to scratch. Mainly he just developed a penchant for falling asleep face-first in his dinner.

I’m glad the Pox is out of the way in advance of his birthday. Children’s parties are enough of a faff without having to worry about that. People in magazines always seem to cite party bags as the nightmare factor of kids parties but, frankly, those are a breeze. 5 mins with Uncle Amazon and you’re sorted for enough plastic tat to fill a 50p shop. For a party novice like me, it’s all the other stuff that has turned into a melting pot of anxieties…

  • What if the room that I blindly booked to withstand a horde of sticky little grublings turns out to be unsuitable on the day?
  • What if nobody turns up?
  • How on earth do I decorate a room in which blu-tac, sticky tape and all related substances have been banned?
  • Can I get away without buying helium?
  • Will an iPhone and a tiny portable speaker suffice for music?
  • Did I pay the entertainer?
  • When am I going to blow up 50 balloons?
  • What am I going to feed them all… and their parents?  (If anyone says “nut-free” I might stick a cake up their rear end).

I mean, obviously, there are more serious problems in the world than these but I shall nevertheless be glad when it’s over and we can run away to the zoo and let the animals entertain us.

In sporting news, the Microbe was given a little football the other week by our friend Charles and was excited enough to beg to be taken to the park with Daddy to play with it.

Ha ha ha…  

Oh poor Microbe. With genes like these, what chance do you have? My favourite part was G’s anecdote of watching the football go sailing past James as he stood waving a flower in the air and shouting “Daddy, I found a daisy!

A few days later the three of us attempted an impromptu game of piggy in the middle – thus providing Twickenham with the most sportingly inept sight ever to be witnessed within its boundaries. Two adults barely able to throw in a straight line, let alone catch…  surrounding our tiny little chip off the block, waving his arms aimlessly in the middle, as far from the ball as humanly possible at all times.  (It probably didn’t help that the ‘ball’ in question was a furry snake tied in a knot.)

Continuing on a theme of well-intentioned ennui, the microbe spent two evenings last week running rings around the world’s least assertive babysitter, in the form of ‘Uncle Andrew’.  Any toddler worth his salt can spot a chink in the armour and, from what I could glean via Andrew’s despair-ridden Facebook updates, their evenings at home went like a bit like this:

Andrew: “Do be sure to let me know if you get tired, James
James: [laughs maniacally and points at the world's biggest pile of jigsaws]

Andrew: “Are you feeling ready for bed yet?
James: “No!!  [Retrieves more games + Mr Men box set from bedroom]

Andrew: “Isn’t it dark outside? That means it’s NIGHT TIME when boys go to bed
James: “Lets do the counting game again!

Andrew:  “AREN’T YOU TIRED YET?”  [pours more wine]
James: “No! Look! Crocodile jigsaw!

James: [collapses face down on sofa in sleep coma]
Andrew: “Oh thank you, god” [weeps into wine]

Poor old Andrew. James even did a special evening poo for him. (But he shall be repaid in seafood and booze).

Well there are tons of other things I could ramble about … not least some wittering about our new mini-allotment, but I shall save it for another post.  For now I just want to add a memento from our lovely weekend in York, visiting Grandpa Bob and Jackie, along with my sis. The journey up was horrible but being there was fab.  I forgot my camera so here are some slightly rubbish phone pics…

Posted in Life of James | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Bates Motel

On Saturday G and I took the microbe to the annual May Fair on Richmond Green, which turned out to be an exact replica of last year’s fair, right down to the craft stalls, foodstuffs and identikit rides.

Compare and contrast May 2013…

With May 2014 (he’s even wearing the same coat!)

This year the boylet was old enough to show an interest in the tat stalls and seemed to enjoy exercising his newfound shopping skills, rummaging in boxes of old toys at floor level and asking “How much is this?” (the answer was “10p” every single time).

His spoils for the day were as follows:

1. A small furry pig (that has been commandeered by mummy for the washing machine)
2. A plastic toucan
3. A little book of farmyard-themed rhymes
4. A rather unappealing little doll

I was amazed whephoto (49)n he chose the doll. Not only is it a very naff doll indeed but it’s also the first time I’ve seen him show an interest in anything remotely humanoid. Usually it’s 4-legged beings all the way. In the afternoon  we bumped into a friend and, when he showed off his doll, she commented “oh that looks a bit like mummy doesn’t it?

Um.  I suppose she may have a point. It’s certainly on the short-arsed side and is blessed with the kind of ‘stadium hair’ that you wake up with after a microbe has crawled into your bed at 3am and fouffed it up for hours.

When I asked Microbe “what on earth made you want this doll?” he replied “it has hair!” (I fear a fetish in the making).

Right… now that you’re all sufficiently creeped out, I shall change the subject.

Sometimes of late it is hard to tell whether the boylet is being a clever little smart-arse or really dumb. He’s developed a habit of repeating things back to me wrongly, often with small details changed to his advantage.


“I want to take piggy to nursery”
“No, you’re not supposed to bring toys to nursery”
“But I want toooooo!”
“Ok, here’s the deal. You can bring piggy on your scooter. But when we get to nursery you put him in mummy’s bag – and when I pick you up later you can have him back.”
(upon entering nursery)
“Right, do you remember the deal?”
“Yes. I keep piggy and when you pick me up I will put him in your bag”
“NO – that was not the deal!”

Example 2:

“Mummy I want a sweetie”
“If you eat all of your dinner, then you can have a sweetie”
“So, you said, if I don’t eat my dinner, then I can have a sweetie”
“Yes.”  …  “Eh? what? NO!”

He also likes to test me by throwing out red herring statements or deliberately doing things wrong when he detects that I’m humouring him and not really paying attention (which, admittedly, is quite often). I think he’s learned this trick entirely from Daddy, who likes to change the words of favourite bedtime stories to something ludicrous, to test for awakeness.

LQuilt pic2astly, I’ve almost finished making a new bedcover for him. It’s a cheat’s quilt because the farm pic in the middle is just a printed panel. All I had to do was stuff it with wadding and quilt around the animal outlines. I’ve also added a border to make it bigger.

The boylet is DEAD from impatience to have it on his bed but, alas, the bias binding for the edges did not arrive in the post – so it remains pin-ridden until probably next weekend. (I shall take a pic in situ when it’s finished.)


Posted in Life of James | Leave a comment

You can’t touch this

Whenever G goes away I’m struck by the utter saintitude of single parents. The last bank holiday weekend wore me to a stump and that was nothing more than three days in sole custody of a microbe. Being at home with mummy is not like nursery. At nursery he gets 10 hours per day of structured, high octane, developmental activity. If I seek to simulate this at home I quickly discover that every activity fills a horrifyingly short amount of time.

Hey! Lets ‘Pollock’ our entire kitchen with cake mixture!” (Hooray! That filled an hour, thank you.)

Ooh – lets plant some seeds” (Yay for another 20 minutes.)

Um, what about some drawing and cutting out?” (40 mins, max.)

Suffice to say I’ve begun to make hefty use of the term “quiet time” this week. (This refers to an enforced break for parental coffee/wine/staring-into-space in which Monsieur Crobe is required to play alone for a little while).

On the Saturday I decided to lug him up town to museumland. According to people on Mumsnet, the Science Museum is WAY better for little kids than the Natural History Museum. The Science museum has things that light up and a fab play area in the basement with water play and interactive toys and things that go “doinnnng”.

The Natural History Museum, on the other hand, has creepy glass cases full of stuffed animals and dino bones and a butterfly tent. (Guess which museum made the Microbe squeal with glee?)

The museum shops were of a similar ilk. His reaction to the Science Museum shop was to ask “where are the animal toys?” (I bought him a slinky anyway)


His reaction to the Natural History museum shop – which is practically a zoo – was a meltdown of excitement followed by heinous amounts of touching. I defy anyone to commandeer a toddler around a museum without turning into MC Hammer. Anyway I bought him elephant ears and made him wear them home.


On Sunday afternoon we mooched about in the grounds of Orleans House before being saved by the kindness of friends, who invited us over and let the microbe run amok for hours in their garden, with dinosaurs and bugs and bats, while I flopped about drinking wine and eating cake. Auntie Jane even made him a special caterpillar-shaped loaf of black bread, which he adored. (His appetite is amazing lately!)

caterpillar cake

In birthday-related news, it turns out that late June is a truly rubbish time of year to try and plan a party for pre-schoolers, as everyone with sense goes on holiday before the schools break up. As a result we’re getting an alarming number of declined invitations from little nursery pals who are away on holiday that week… including the beloved Samcrobe. Poor Jimmy – I’m afraid this issue is going to plague him every year until school age. But luckily we’ve had a few acceptances and his NCT pals are coming and Ben and Helena-the-Adored are also coming, so he won’t be entirely on his lonesome.

In other birthday-themed news news, I’ve been busy updating his Amazon wishlist. I realise I’m ridiculously far ahead of time but I have to fill my lonely evenings one way or another when I’m banned from watching Game of Thrones. It’s either that or quilting.

Lately the boylet has started declaring to anyone who will listen that he wants to be a vet when he grows up. In his romantic vision, this means that he will work “at the zoo and the farm and make all of the animals better!” (unlike Uncle Andrew’s more realistic interpretation, in which he will spend most of his time “killing beloved pets“).

Anyway, in honour of this newfound life goal I’ve added a toy doctor’s set to his wishlist. I went for a nice, compact generic one, rather than a toy vet’s kit, largely because those seem to cost 4 times as much and come with giant plastic cases containing toy dogs and other unnecessary tat. (I’ve also added a little tool kit, so he can practice some medieval style doctoring too – goretastic!)

Posted in Life of James | Leave a comment