Tag Archives: children

Angry Birdy

We have a new guest in our flat- a large stuffed toy Angry Bird, which my little sister won at Legoland.

It is only the very foolish amongst you who believe that stuffed toys are for children. Here are some of the ways that Angry Birdy (we wanted him to feel at home, so have given him this affectionate nickname) has improved our lives:

1. Sick of the wretched and soul-destroying mechanized bleep of your alarm? Wake up instead to the exhilarating bounce of Angry Birdy as he hits you on the head in the morning, thrown from the doorway of your bedroom by your helpful roommate. You can tell instantly how angry he is that day by the force with which he is hurled at your sleeping body.

2. Forgotten to do your laundry? Angry Birdy is the perfect pillow. (I am not suggesting that you should put your actual pillow into the washing machine, but do you know how gross it is not to change your pillow case regularly? Having watched several people sleeping, I can tell you for a fact how disgusting the human face is when asleep. Wash that shit immediately).

3. Suffer from a fear of confrontation? I personally do not, but have found endless mileage in holding Angry Birdy in front of my face whilst hammering on the toilet door, yelling at my little sister, ‘You won’t like me when I’m angry’, then using him as a shield when she chucks a toilet roll at me.

4. Don’t like sitting next to strangers on the tube? Simply plop Angry Birdy down on the seat next to you. Trust me, everyone will give you a very wide berth indeed. (Be sure to whisper to Angry Birdy at frequent intervals to reassure him that ‘It’s not his fault. The people are just worried about bird flu’).

5. Quickly identify which of your friends need to be pruned from the garden of friendship by simply introducing them to Angry Birdy:
a) ‘Why do you have a soft toy?’ (puzzled look, concerned expression) PRUNE
b) ‘What an awesome Angry Bird toy!’ (begins to hurl Angry Birdy around pretending he is flying) KEEP
c) ‘A real-life birdy!’ (Tries to feed toy) PRUNE AND SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION

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That which is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to an ox

My Father’s favourite saying, when we were growing up, was this:

‘Quod licet Jovis, non licet bovis.’

(That which is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to an ox).

My Mother’s was, ‘Stop it.’

I have been thinking about ‘do as I say, not as I do’ a lot recently, mostly because I have been spending my mornings with a new 6 year old friend. (Sorry- ‘a new almost 7 year old’ friend). I believe, with the fervour and enthusiasm of anyone who doesn’t actually have children, that all moments are ‘teachable moments’, and therefore regularly turn innocuous questions about ‘which are good after-school clubs to do’ into searing monologues on gender equality and religious tolerance.

My 6 year old friend puts up with these with the equanimity of someone who is used to ignoring over-enthusiastic adults, and politely waits for me to finish. ‘So, are you going to bring your new micro-scooter over tomorrow?’ She asked yesterday. ‘Certainly,’ I enthused. ‘We can race on them and practise our times tables.’ My friend nodded happily.

It was not until I got home that I realised what a moral quagmire I had stumbled into. I have, proudly and delightedly, recently received a very shiny and speedy-looking adult micro scooter.

What I do not have, however, is a helmet. ‘Just wear your bike helmet,’ My housemate suggested. ‘No,’ I snapped crossly. ‘Scooter helmets are entirely different. They’re a different shape, and colour, and vibe- are you trying to make me look like an idiot?’ 

Which was the wrong thing to say entirely, as I suddenly realised that it didn’t really matter what helmet I was wearing, or how ‘suitable’ it was for the activity. I am a fully-formed adult. I do not need to wear a helmet whilst scooting along happily on my micro-scooter. I also do not need to wear knee-pads when I roller-skate, or sit in a special seat when I’m in a car. Unfortunately, my 6-year old friend does.

‘So just wear the helmet, look like an idiot, and make sure she knows that she must always wear her helmet,’ My little sister suggested. Which sounded like an entirely reasonable suggestion. Until the morning, when I carefully wheeled my micro-scooter outside (these things are valuable, I have been keeping it safely tucked up inside my room- or, as my little sister insinuates, inside my bed- which, obviously, is entirely untrue. It stands by the door, to make sure any burglars or clothes-stealing little sisters are prevented from entering my room) and began to put on my bike helmet.

‘I don’t even rinse fruit,’ I wailed to my little sister, who ignored me entirely and went to work. ‘How does anyone have children and still live the life they want to?’ It was here,in a flash of panic-induced inspiration, that I remembered my own childhood.

‘Quod licit Jovis, non licit bovis,’ I thought happily. ‘And I can begin to teach her Latin at the same time.’


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Iceland, and feeding my kids

I have recently discovered Iceland.

It is tremendous. It is filled with food (I would like now to dispel any preconceived notions of nominal determinism and tell you that it sells both fresh and frozen produce) and it is exceptionally cheap. It is perhaps not the food I would feed my children, but that is more because I do not see ‘feeding’ as being part of my parental repertoire. I imagine myself as more of a go-to-Mother for the Sport’s Day Mother’s Race, or lessons in dazzling put-downs and unforgettable quips. The whole ‘bringing the child up’ thing sounds much, much less fun. I will generously leave that to my husband.

Anyway, at the moment all of this is a moot point, mostly because my sister remains unconvinced anyone would want to procreate with me. (My sister is a doctor now, which has changed nothing, except for the fact that she makes spurious pronouncements with a greater air of authority, and is listened to by our parents. Oh, she is also coming soon to a hospital near you. Possibly. That one really depends on where you live). The fact remains, however, with or without my little sister’s annoyingness, that I was in Iceland alone.

There were other people in Iceland, but they were not with me. Iceland is filled with a variety of people, though I am yet to spot Kerry Katona.

I asked the checkout boy about this as I filled out my Iceland bonus card. ‘You can buy this rum for £12,’ He told me in reply. Which is as sensible an answer as any, I suppose. Or at least as sensible a reply one will find in Iceland, which must be why mums go there.

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