Archives for the month of: October, 2013

Prole1: Can I buy this game here?

Sainsburys1: Yes I think so. Can he buy that game here?

Sainsburys2: Yes, he can buy it here but it’s upstairs in the cage. I’ll have to go but I can’t leave you.

Prole1: What cage?

Sainsburys1:Yes you can buy that here but it’s upstairs and she will have to go but she can’t leave.

Prole1: Oh

Short pause

Sainsburys2: I can go upstairs and get it but I can’t leave.

Short pause. There is some sort of contest of nerves going on but I don’t know the rules and I am not quite sure who is playing.

Sainsburys2: I will just call someone. I don’t know who has keys to the cage.

A phone call is made. Clearly this is something of an imposition in the part of Prole1 but the staff are rising to the challenge.

Me: Shall we pay?

Sainsburys1: I won’t ring it through just yet…because…well…(whispers)..you know…

Me (smiling): Yes

I didn’t know.

Prole1: How much is it?

Sainsburys1: Well you can’t pay for it yet but in a minute you can. Where is your money?

Prole1: Here you are…ten…twenty…

Sainsburys1: Oh. Is that Scottish?

Prole1: Yes it’s Scottish.

Sainsburys1: Is that Scottish money?

Sainsburys2: Is that Scottish money?

Prole1: Yes, it’s…

Sainsburys1: That’s Scottish money. Do we take Scottish?

Sainsburys2; Clydesdale’s bank? That’s Scottish. I am not sure if we take Scottish money.

Prole1: Pardon?

Prole2: I need a wee.

Sainsburys2: I know we DO take Scottish money but there is one we don’t take and I think that one is Scottish money we don’t.

Prole1: Pardon?

Sainsburys2: Let me call the cash office.

Sainsburys1: Oh. Here is your game.

Teenage assistant arrives with box.

Sainsburys2: Thanks, can you do meat? I have to make another phone call. To the cash office. For this gentleman.

She nods at me in a manner which calls into question the rights of the individual to have children before taking a written test.

Teenage boy: I can do meat.

Prole2: I need a wee.

Sainsburys2: Good. I was going to do meat but now I am doing this.

She looks at me and half closes her eyes and tightens her lips. 
I think it was a smile.
I hope it was a smile.
She dials.
A Pause.

Sainsburys2 (to me): This won’t take a minute.

Two minutes and twenty three seconds later.

Sainsburys2 (doing the thing with her eyes and mouth again): Just waiting for someone to get back to me.

Prole2: I need a wee.

Me: Shall I pay by card?

Prole1:Yes

Sainsburys1: Yes, perhaps that’s best.

This morning I threw back the curtains and gave a really hearty “Good morning!” to the Proles.

Prole1: MMMmmmMmmm….

Me (lifting Prole1 down from the top bunk) How are you both today?

Prole1 (Settling down on the floor amongst the lego) MMmmmmMmm…

Prole2: Look at my Bruise!

Me (carrying Prole 1 to the bathroom) That’s a big bruise, how did you get that one?

Prole2: Someone bit me at school.

Prole1: mmmmmmMMMmmm

Me (putting Prole1 down on the floor where he curls up in a tiny ball and tries to pull the bath mat over himself. I am naturally suspicious of Prole2 but decide to investigate further anyway) So. Someone at school just came up and bit you?

Prole2: No Dad, first they hit me in the tummy, then they kicked me, THEN they bit me.

Me: I see.

I didn’t see of course. Prole2 seems quite at ease with the situation however, the skin does not appear to be broken and I am not one to rock the boat.
I do a mental rundown of the characters in Prole2’s class and think through the cross references of affiliations, enmity and modus operandi, to draw up a likely suspect and series of events. 
I try to work out if there is any point taking this further. I decide not to pursue it.
Later exploration of the school bag turns up official confirmation of the event, along with a nice note from the teacher.

Me: How do you feel?

Prole2: Like weetabix.

Me: Oh.

I dig Prole1 out from under the towels he is using as bedding.

Me: What about you? What’s the matter with you?

Prol1: I have a real problem with my book. I don’t think you can just read one chapter of Harry Potter at a time.

Me: How much did you read last night?

Prole1 (sobbing) So much. So much I can’t count….

I don’t go out much these days.

It is a bit hard to admit, especially since I work in Arts Funding and half my wages come from the Arts Council but I don’t really like the cinema, I get a bit stressed at the theatre, most music just annoys me, books seem to be utterly pointless, art galleries just seem to be a really long, slow, pointless walk to the cafe, parties are just awful, gigs are tedious, the newspaper is transitory land fill and watching organised sports events is, always has been and always will be, a waste of everyone’s breath.

I have not always been like this, I started to feel this way after Loz died and I can’t really shake it off.
Apart from the bit about sport.
That really is a waste of time.
One day the world will wake up and realise what an utter waste of time and effort it is.
One day.
Then we can all go and plant trees and save the world.
Until then we have the world cup to look forward to I suppose.

Anyhow, today I was moved to tears by the power of music.
It really caught me by surprise because I am really careful about not putting myself in a situation like that.

Richard Trethewey was singing with the Camborne Silver Band today.
I had forgotten what a glorious noise a Silver/Brass band makes, properly shaking and quivering every nerve. Camborne Band are realy GOOD at being a band.
Don’t google them, see them live. Brass bands have to be seen live.
It just doesn’t work the same way on screen or through speakers.
Like speedway but different.
They had great control as well, just placing the music perfectly in the space.
Richard was singing Brenda Wooton songs. I remember her work from the early 80s when it was really unfashionable in my social group.
Cramps, Cure, Cult: yes, Brenda Wooton: no.
He was doing a really great job too.

Something in the words, the grace he was giving the song, the way he worked with the band and the band were working with the voice and the response of the audience, who clearly loved the song and had never heard it performed in quite that way before, was just so magical.
I was not alone, there were people crying all around the room. It was an exquisite shared experience of real simplicity and subtlety.

Prole1 buried his head in my neck and snuggled right in. he was all warm and small-boyish and wrapped his arms around my shoulders.
Prole2 squeezed in and kissed my cheek then laid his face against mine as the music flowed over and around us.

Prole2: Ask him.

Prole1: Ok. Dad? Can we go home and play Xbox?

Me (crashing back into the room and trying to choke the words out) Can we just listen to this?

Prole2: Told you he would say no.

Anyhow.
The wrestling is on tonight.
The only telly I really like.

Questions have been asked in our house lately.
They are learning about human development at school, a good friend of ours is pregnant and I realized that I might have to have ‘the talk’ with Prole1.

I have been aware this would be coming at some point and had prepared by purchasing the Usborne Book ‘Where babies Come From” a while ago when it was in the sale.
I put it in the bookshelf and forgot about it until this week when I pulled it out and showed it to Prole1

Prole1: I have read it.

Me: Really?

Prole1: Yes, ages ago and I think I learned a lot from that book. Some things that even grown ups don’t know.

I have to admit I had not actually read the whole of the Usborne Book “Where Babies Come From”. I decided to proceed with some caution.

Me: What sort of things?

Prole1: Well did you know babies don’t come out of belly buttons?

Me: Yes, I had heard that.

Prole1: I was told they did. They don’t though.

Me (trying to remember if I had been the perpetrator of this untruth at some point in the past) No, they don’t. Whoever told you that was wrong weren’t they? Anything else?

Prole1: Babies are not actually in ladies tummies. They are in another place with a name.

Me: What sort of name?

Prole1: Can’t remember. Udon or something.

Me (totally lost) I see. Sounds like a good book, shall we read it together again?

Prole1 (flicking through Usborne Book “Where Babies Come From” with unexpected ease) Yes, look, this is may favorite bit, the sperms race. It’s really good fun.

Me (not really knowing what to say) Yes, it is fun. I mean. Um. The pictures are fun.

Prole2: Can I see the pictures?

Me: Ummm. Hello. Yes look at the pictures.

Prole2: Are those fish?

Me: No….

Prole1: And men use their pennies.

Short silence.
I am looking for clues in the book.
I give up.

Me: Their pennies?

Prole1: Yes. Pennies. You know, pennies?

Prole2: Where are the pennies?

Longer silence. Prole2 has a money fixation at the moment and clearly was hoping to add to his stash. My eyes ached from looking at the page and I wondered why I had started this and if we could play lego instead. Then it came to me. Slow dawning of realization.

Me: Ummmm. You mean Penis?

Prole1: Penis? Nor Pennies? But….

Slow dawning of realization for Prole1

Prole1:…..but….that’s another word for….willy.

Me: Yes, yes it is.

Prole1: Oh…..

Prole2: What willy?

Me: Ummmmm….

Today I told the Proles we were staying at home for the festive season.

Prole2: Can I have lego for Christmas?

Prole1: Do the sperms only go in a verdigras?

Me: A verdigras?

Prole2: What’s a gerdigram?

Prole1: Not a gerdigram, a verdigras.

Me: What’s a verdigram?

Prole1: A verdigras, you know.

He stares at me like I am an idiot. I feel like an idiot so it’s clearly working.

Prole1: It’s what ladies have.

Me: Ah, yes, I don’t think that’s how it is pronounced.

Prole2: DAD! Tell me, I know this but tell me, I need you to be true. I know he isn’t. Is Farmer Christmas REAL?

Prole1: How do you pronounce it then?

Me: Well I think it’s pronounced “Father Christmas”

Prole1 + Prole2: DAD! Dad! Dadadadadad….

There is some confusion at this point with both of them talking at once.
I am ashamed and pleased in equal measure that I managed to keep the confusion going for some time.
The resolution was that Prole1 was given the correct pronunciation for that particular word and while I informed him that this was not the unique repository for ‘the sperms’ I managed to stop short of explaining the rudiments of onanism to him. That particular avenue of conversational joy remains unexplored for the time being.
Prole2 was harder to put off.

Me: But we  saw him in the shops, remember?

Prole2: That was just a man dressed up.

Me: Why was he dressed as Father Christmas? And why did he say all that stuff if he is not real?

Prole2: That man is a lying man.

Me: So you are saying that a complete stranger dresses up as Father Christmas and lies to you in the town centre and I get home and carry on that lie and sneak into your room pretending to be Father Christmas? I can’t do that, how would I fit down the chimney?

Prole2: You don’t come down the chimney.

Prole1: Where do all the presents come from then? In the stockings?

Me: Yes, thank you, a voice of reason.

Prole2 (slowly) I think our cousins do it.

Me: Do what?

Prole2: They put presents in our stockings.

Me: Your cousins do it?

Prole2 (warming to his theory) Yes, when we go round to their house.

Prole1: We won’t get any this year then, we are staying at home.

Prole2: DAD! I need to know. Is Farmer Christmas REAL?

It’s been a long weekend, lovely to see friends and family, party, sleepover, beach, cooking, cleaning, tears, joy, you get the picture.
This evening a young tomcat came into my kitchen, slapped my cat Lola and sprayed on the kitchen table leg.
Then he sat down and ‘looked’ at me.
I put a small bowl of cat biscuits outside the back door.
Whilst he was eating it I tipped a pot of my own urine over him.
I am cleaning the kitchen now but MY GOD I AM FEELING SMUG.
‘Looking’ at me.
A cat.
Perhaps I should get out more.

Tomorrow I will bleach the mat outside the back door.

Posting this sort of thing on facebook gets all sorts of responses, particularly at the office. I should be careful who I share it with I suppose

As I have said elsewhere, I am not really very proud of this paragraph in my life.

Just to be clear, in case the RSPCA are looking in.
The cat sat there staring round the room and occasionally ‘looking’ at me as if he owned the place and had identified that I was no threat to him and his new territory.
My cat watched from the top of the stairs.
I got up, really, really slowly and went into the back kitchen where I found a bowl for cat biscuits and a ‘container’ that I could ‘use’.
I ‘used’ the ‘container’ and came slowly back into the kitchen.

(From this moment on the adrenaline really kicked in and my internal monologue dropped down to a steady: “oh please let this work oh please let this work oh please let this work oh please let this work oh please let this work oh please let this work oh please don’t get the piss all over me oh please let this work oh please let this work” pretty much to the end)

I carefully balanced the container on the edge of the draining board, slight wobble, opened the back door and put the bowl of biscuits down.
Bit worried about getting past the cat to the ‘ammunition’ and wondered about the morals of making a “Here puss puss puss…” call to get him out but all good, no need to explore that emotional maze. He went straight over to the bowl and tucked in.

One step in through the door, reached for the ‘container’, slight wobble, turned back, nearly went over the bin, slight wobble, half a step forward and KAPOW!
“In Your FACE Tomcat! I may have to spend hours cleaning the kitchen and never quite get rid of the smell which will come back with every change of the weather and/or whenever anyone comes to visit but right now, RIGHT NOW I win.”

Prole1 has laid out all the meccano pieces into different bowls.

Each bowl contains the contents of a different bag from the box he unpacked. Nuts, bolts, silver flat pieces, plastic washers, curved pieces, right angles, painted flat pieces and so on. He laid them all across the kitchen table and opened the instructions on page 1.

He is making Stephenson’s Rocket. By the time I called him to go up to bed he had finished the body of the coal and water truck.

Prole1: This is the tender. I will fit the wheels tomorrow then start on the engine. I may need your help to tighten all the bolts.

Me: Fair enough.

Prole2: I need your help too.

Me: Why is that then?

Prole2: I threw all my cuddly toys down the stairs and I need someone to pick them up.

Me: I see. Are you going to put them away?

Prole2: No. I just like throwing things down the stairs.

Prole1: I have eleven pages of instructions to get through.

Prole2: Your boots make a booming noise if you throw them.

Me: Yes. Yes I know.