Saturday, 31 January 2009


Boys love a challenge. This week we have discovered a new way of getting them to do things. Rather than the usual nagging " Max, please, I've been asking you for twenty minutes, please will you just get dressed" we have begun to set them challenges. "I bet you can't tidy that room up without using your hands". "Of course I can!" they answer and get straight to work! We have used it with all sorts of things this week..... getting dressed without falling off the table, making the beds with their teeth, brushing their teeth with their eyes shut, eating food or drink they don't like with their eyes shut, carrying things up the stairs using their elbows, clearing the table whilst hopping. There are endless possibilities and because boys absolutely love a challenge, it works!

Of course, it won't work forever and is just one of those things that you can only use for a certain amount of time until it stops working, but while it does work we may as well make good use of it! I have told a few of my friends who also have boys and they have tried it with success as well. It is amazing how boys seem to respond to a challenge. Max has even been asking me for one today! I can't possibly refuse when he is willing to do as he is told! If you have boys, try it out and let me know if it has worked for you.

In case any of you are worrying about our fish, the fish terrorist seems to have given up on the idea of killing them and has not plopped anything into the tank for a whole week! It might be early days, but I think the fish may be safe again.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


We had a ridiculously impulsive thought today. We were enjoying our local garden centre. Its lovely there. The fish section is very exciting, especially the Koi carp which bite fingers when they are put in the water. Apparently that is enjoyable. The pets section though was where we almost made our fatal mistake. Fatal in the truest sense. The boys were loving looking at the animals, and there were some very cute hamsters with their pouches full which was really attracting their attention. Jonah was pointing at them and laughing and shouting very excitedly in his own little language. So I made the suggestion 'why don't we get a hamster?'. They really were sweet. We discussed the merits for a good few minutes before we actually realised what we were doing.

Jonah + hamster. Not a good comination at all. When he works out how to open the cage ( which will happen quite quickly ) he will enjoy squishing it, throwing it, holding it by the tail and swinging around the room. A real live toy that moves and makes noise!! So, thankfully, we decided to wait a little while before getting any more pets. When I texted my friend and told her they were very cute, she replied saying 'so are kids when they are tiny and in a cage'. Point taken!

We can't even keep our fish alive at the moment with the small predator about. We did have a death this week. Our silver shark died, and was eaten by another fish. Far from being upset, Toby and Max were very excited that they could see it, half flesh, half spine with it's eyes popping out. They hovered around the tank for a while watching it being eaten and deciding who the murderer was. Eventually it all disappeared. Very very disgusting, but to a little boy it really was quite fascinating.

I hope that none of you are vegetarians. I should have put a warning at the top of the page. 'Some of the content may be upsetting or shocking'. In fact, living with a toddler should have the same warning....

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Fish Tank Traumas

I have not updated for a while. I feel terribly guilty (along with all the other things I have to feel guilty about of course), but I just cannot get to the computer without my little (unhelpful) helper in tow. I am almost at the tearing my hair out point (if it was long enough to get a hold of, but thankfully it isn't) with my young padawan learner. At 16 months he is far more advanced (and I really am not bragging because it is NOT good in this instance), agile, knowledgeable, adventurous and downright defiant than his brothers were. This is not a good combination and results in me spending most of my day following him around saying no. Our house is as childproofed as it could possibly be, and yet he still finds ways around them.

The fish tank is a major source of stress for me. It is on a coffee table. Coffee tables and toddlers should never be in the same room together. Anyway, we cannot put it anywhere higher up because it is too heavy. It has a handy little flap on the top for feeding the fish. This handy flap can also be used for dropping in felt tip pens, dummies, remote controls, and tipping in a cup of orange juice. How the fish have survived this far I do not know. The big boys are great secret spies and do come and tell me the minute they see their brother doing something naughty, but it is usually too late by that point.

He has worked out how to bend his arm in the right way to get it past the cupboard locks in the kitchen, and now enjoys playing with dishwasher tablets and cheese graters. Very safe, I know. He has discovered that if you turn a basket upside down and put it by the hob, you can pull off the rings and they make a great noise. We have to keep all our kitchen chairs folded down because he climbs on the table and enjoys fallling off (one day, when he is a stuntman and earning lots of money I will have to take a percentage). The computer is another attraction. Only the monitor screen is left on the desk because he clicks on all sorts of things if he can get to the mouse, and he pulls keys off the keyboard. Usually, before he does something he knows he shouldn't do (and yes, he does know) he looks at me and gives me his most beautiful, winning smile than melts my heart. My heart is then melted just in time for him to achive his goal.

My boys seem to be getting progressively more adventurous and, in a word, naughty. It leaves me with chills when I think about what he will be like at 2 years old. I am only just recovering from Max's '2's which seemed to continue for quite a while past 2. Am I too soft on him? He is my baby and I know I treat him differently to the way I treated the others at his age. I don't think I baby him, but perhaps I do. Or maybe he is just an avid explorer and wants to know about the world. To be honest, I don't really care why he does it, I just want it to stop!! So, my updates may become a bit more infrequent while I am in this phase. It is no understatement when I say that I don't sit down all day, or that he is into 'everything'. Hopefully the fish will survive another day.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

A very busy couple of weeks later we are now trying to de-toxify the boys from all the junk food they have had. A few weeks ago on the news I saw an item that said that there has been new research that says sugary foods and foods with e numbers don't actually make children hyper. How stupid, I thought, come to my house on a Friday (sweetie day) after tea and see if you think the bouncing, skidding, shouting, running and wrestling is hyper or not. Yes, my boys are particularly active anyway, but after some sweets they are unbearable. Anyway... I digress, I am now feeling guilty about all the food they have eaten and am trying to feed them fruit and vegetables intravenously in their sleep. We'll have to give it a few days to see if my plan works.

Christmas was very lovely. The build up was a bit too long though. On Christmas Eve we decided to take them all swimming to wear them out. We arrived at the swimming pool car park with very excited boys in the car, I switched off the engine and heard Jonah choking. I looked round just in time to see the sick shooting out from his mouth and covering everything in the car. Toby and Max were gagging in their car seats, and we were desperately trying to catch the sick in a blanket - the nearest thing that came to hand! For future reference, blankets are not good sick catchers. So, Jared had to take Toby and Max swimming on his own and I had to prevail myself of the services of Grandma and Grandad for an hour before picking them all back up again. The rest of the day dragged relentlessly and finally we got them into bed, and set up the Nintendo Wii so that we could have a go without them interfering!

Christmas day was it's usual self. I realised how selfish I feel on special days. Why should I have to do what my boys want me to do? I want to enjoy the day all for myself! I tried really hard to set the table up nicely and managed to protect it against Jonah's advances. (He now climbs on the table if there is a chair left out, and with a tablecloth on it is even more tempting.) We decided to eat when Jonah was having his nap because at least that meant we would be able to have a fairly peaceful meal without food being thrown around or very loud shouting for 'MORE'. We all sat down and the boys were being very complementary about my handiwork, 'Mum, this looks beautiful', and I was feeling very pleased with myself and ready to enjoy my meal. Then the cracker pulling started and it all went downhill. Jared pulled Max's cracker so hard that he pulled him off his chair and knocked over a glass of guinness all over my table! I was so cross. 'We may as well have gone to McDonalds', I shouted! Silly really. Why should I expect to have it all perfect when I have 3 boys who just want to enjoy the day?

This has now been far too long. Back to school next week. I'm looking forward to finally having some time to myself again, but I don't want to get back into the swing of everything again. Having a rest has been good for us all. (Except Jared who told me yesterday that he can't wait to go back to work for a rest!!) Happy New Year!