Thursday, 23 December 2010

Chocolate reindeer

No it's not a turd! It's a chocolate reindeer

The time of year has come again
The snow has gone but not the rain
It's almost Christmas Eve you see
Which is the time for you and me
To put down our laptops and the like
To take out the new bike, scooter or trike
To overindulge in food and drink
It'll all be over in a wink
So now I'll stop blogging until next year
And start spreading round the Christmas cheer!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Christmas dash to A & E

Sunday, lazy day, sat on the sofa fiddling with party bag gifts from the two (yes two) parties we'd been to the day before... when Elf starts screaming and rubbing his eyes. I have never heard him scream like that before; even with a sore croaky throat, it was blood curdling.

Gathered him up like a soft toy, no socks and in jim jams and rushed him into the car, remembering to turn off the pie in the oven! Drove at speed to the NHS drop in centre near us.

Rushed to fill in a form - Reason for visit - a glow stick split and the liquid sprayed into his eye.

Called over by a nurse, trying to explain what happened, still with the offending yellow glow stick in my hand, as if for forensic reasons I kept it...

By this time, Elf was calmer but still his eye was looking awful. We calmed down too.

Now began the hard bit. With accidents like these, a pH level needs to be taken of each eye with litmus paper to ascertain whether treatment is required.

OK so how do you get a bent piece of litmus paper into a 4 year old's eye? It worked the first time as he didn't know what to expect. The second time? He screamed the place down. And you know how strong a 4 year old can fight with all his might. People in the waiting room must have thought he was being tortured. We tried cajoling, bribing, forcing ... nothing worked. He would not allow the poor nurse to do the bad eye.

Reinforcements were called in. Another nurse. Restraint was suggested, never used nowadays, but necessary in times like this. He was swaddled like a baby in a blanket and I laid on his legs, his dad on his chest and they forced the litmus paper into his eye. He screamed and fought. Obviously.

Unfortunately the litmus paper showed a pH imbalance, so eye irrigation was needed. A drip of saline solution was held up by one nurse and we restrained him again while his eye was bathed out. At one point he relaxed and we thought he'd fitted. But I think he'd just exhausted himself. Then it was time for another litmus paper test. With more restraint.

Thankkfully it matched the good eye. All yucky substance gone (hydrogen peroxide and glass, we later found out from Google). A traditional eye examination was passed, amusingly with Elf making letter sounds (like kss for X and uh for U etc). Then came yellow dye to see if there were any abrasions. Which there were not. Thankfully.

This took an hour and a quarter. I cannot describe how it felt to restrain my child. My little baby. Against his will. His strong will. He kicked the nurse in the stomach. His face was blotchy from crying. Red from where the nurses had held him still. The nurses were so patient and kind to him. And to us.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

What do I do all day?

What do you do all day Elf? Nuffink. Can't remember, grunts Elf.

The other day, when trying to find last year's Christmas card list (who's died, who's split up), I came across a piece of paper entitled Reception daily routine. I thought I'd see how this compares to Elf's idea of what he does all day.

8.55am Children are greeted by teacher outside the classroom door. Hang coats on peg and put lunch boxes on the rack in the hall. Check book bag and give any letters or money to the teacher. An activity is set out on the table where learners are asked to find their names and begin an early morning task working independently

9.05am Learning Activity 1 - independent or adult-led

10am School assembly - weekly singing, story telling and collective worship-themed discussions

10.15-10.30am Morning play

10.30-10.40am Fruit and milk time during which the whole class shares news about previous evening at home

10.30-11.30am Learning Activity 2

11.30-11.55am Guided reading activities

11.55-12.00pm Prep for lunch

12.00-1.00pm Lunch and play

1.00-1.10pm Afternoon register and relaxation time, to music

1.10-1.40pm Learning Activity 3

1.40-2.55pm A session linked to the half-termly whole school theme

2.55pm Prep for home

3.00-3.15pm Whole class story time

3.15pm Home time

I've read out your routine Elf, what do you think you do all day?

Empty book bags; do register; do dinner register; playtime; learning time; playtime outside; go inside; do register; playtime inside; learning time; playtime; lunch time; playtime outside; playtime before home time.

Not a bad recall!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A mummy's work is never done

My Elf's project this half-term was on the subject of Fire. He I decided, no he did actually, to do his friend Mungle's garden, for that is where we had the Beer'n'Bombs party, otherwise known as a bonfire party. (It started at 5pm, a meeting of all the old nursery gang, and all the parents were pissed by 8pm. Or was that just me? No I wasn't the only one.) 

So there is Mungle's house, with his garden complete with path and flowers, and garden walls. That's how the project remained for a month until today, the day before deadline day. 

Then the panic started. It reminded me of writing essays at uni, starting at midnight on someone else's computer (this was 1996) and then almost crying at 5am because my essay wouldn't print. Then asking what time the computer centres opened, phew 7am. Anyway I digress. 

The picture doesn't do the toilet roll-people justice - they are Elf and Mungle replete with sparklers and toilet roll clothes. Mr Humdrum was responsible for the rockets, and I have to say they steal the show.

I admit, it's hard to strike the balance between "Elf did it" and "My mummy did it"!

Has anyone else had any fun making things recently for their children? I'd love to know!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Please help complete a survey on schools and communication

I have just read a fabulous post on The Sardine Tin entitled Schools and Working Parents. It warns of a ranty post, and really made me laugh. You can get the idea from the title but please read it. 

Whilst I was commenting, I thought Hang on, I'd love to know what our blogging friends' experiences are with schools and communcation and event times. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is trying to work out how she can attend the next coffee morning in the last week of term, with no holiday left, but desperate to attend to show off her Elf's "fire" project (now that you've asked, it's a model of a house and garden with Elf and his friend with sparklers and rockets). 

So here is a quick survey. I'd love to know your answers so please comment. (Please note this is tongue in cheek, but I will post results!)


  • Are you a working mum or dad? Full time or part time?
  • Are you a SAH mum or dad? Or do you work from home?
  • Do you mostly pick up from school or use wraparound care?

And now down to the serious questions

  1. When planning events, does your school take into consideration working parents, ie having a later showing of a play etc?
  2. Have you ever baked anything for a coffee morning? Did you bake but not attend?
  3. Have you made anything for an event? (eg fair)
  4. Have you joined the PTA or Friends of…  or applied to be a governor?
  5. Do you volunteer at your school on a regular basis?
  6. Have you ever forgotten a daily item (like a water bottle or a library book or a reading book)?
  7. Have you ever forgotten a packed lunch or lunch money?
  8. Do you get parentmail?If so, Text? Email? Newsletters? More than 1 of the above?
  9. Has your school failed to communicate something important to you?
  10. Do you feel that your school is good at, well being a school, but you feel bad complaining about the communication?
Watch this space!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

I can't believe...

... that on Monday I went to Ikea with my parents and didn't buy anything.

I reiterate, I didn't buy anything.

I can't believe it.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

Use the Force...

Elf shows off his lightsaber skills.