Chapter 23-The Last Laugh

They may be more Keystone Cops than Noel Coward, but Raffie doesn’t let the way he tells them get the better of a toe-curling joke.

Where's Raffie?

Where’s Raffie?

Raffie has been following the new series of Gigglebiz, Justin Fletcher’s sketch show on CBeebies, intently and has been learning the jokes, repeating them to anyone who’ll listen, from the eggs in the egg box (including our old friend Mr Egg) to nursery staff with great guffaws.

And he has been inspired to invent his own jokes.

“What do you want for breakfast Raffie?” “Your face Mummy! That’s funny!” I enjoy a laugh as much as the next person, but personally prefer either Weetabix or Shreddies.

Thanks to Gigglebiz we have “What do penguins have for lunch?” “Icebergers!” in one breath repeated over and over again.

This is usually followed rapidly by: “What’s a cat’s favourite colour Mummy?” “Umm, I don’t…” “Pink!” “You don’t mean purr-ple Raffie?” “No, pink!”

Raffie attempts to disguise himself as the laundry.

Raffie attempts to disguise himself as the laundry.

Raffie is mesmerised by the children telling their jokes to Justin on the show, and they are repeated back with gusto. Stopping in his tracks, usually through a mouthful of toast, comes the question “What they saying Mummy?”

“Well they’re telling jokes Raffie.” “That’s funny!” Well, yes, Justin and his friends certainly think so.

And that’s not all which he finds hilarious, with more of his own jokes keeping him chortling all day long. “What would you like for supper Raffie?” “Dirty socks Mummy, that’s funny!”

But along with his joke telling has come a new found confidence. “My name’s Raffie and I’ve got a telly at home,” he announced to a bemused group of toddler mums this week.

And thanks to Raffie, Daddy now knows he has to wait for an adult (I’m not sure he means me) if he wants to do any cutting because ‘scissors are sharp Daddy be careful!’.

So this Christmas at least we know that the cracker jokes won’t go unappreciated, and in the spirit of the season will probably be repeated for many months to come.

And even though his wit may not yet be quite as sharp as the kitchen scissors, as long as Raffie continues to make himself heard, I’m pretty sure he’ll always have the last laugh.

Still smiling at his joke despite the cold.

Still smiling at his joke despite the cold.

Blogorama

Raffie adores his Daddy although he does have his moments of trying to knock his glasses off and other hilarious tricks at his expense. This week I discovered a Daddy blog which I’ve been enjoying and it’s brought back some precious memories too! You can find out more here: http://www.dadsdiary.co.uk/

Another Daddy blog, including another boy of Raffie’s age and in our neck of the woods, which is a thoroughly good read can be found here: http://www.devondad.co.uk/

Chapter 22-Bearing Up In Berlin

It was at about 30,000 feet above Germany that the screaming started. Having managed an hour of relative calm, enjoying his crisps and carefully cleaning the plane windows with a wipe, Raffie erupted in a perfect storm of tears, screaming and rage.

The combined force of me, his Daddy, his Granma, a very forgiving cabin crew and the collective hatred of our fellow passengers could not make him sit in his seat for the descent. Maybe it was the 5am start, maybe it was because he couldn’t wipe the window any more, or maybe it was the sight of an empty crisp packet. Whatever it was which set him off, I began to wonder whether a few days at the park might have been a bit easier than a break to Berlin.

But in the end, we landed in one piece on a cold, grey day.

Organising the itinerary.

Organising the itinerary.

I suspect that Raffie is not alone in being a homebody toddler, and a creature of habit. He loves nothing more than bimbling around the house, doing what he wants when he wants and watching his new favourite film, Brave, seemingly not bothered by Mor’du, the vicious magical bear who strikes fear into the heart of the locals.

So I wasn’t sure how Raffie would enjoy Berlin but he took it all in his stride, from meeting Mickey Mouse at the Brandenberg Gate, to making friends with the soldiers at Checkpoint Charlie.

Meeting new people at Checkpoint Charlie.

Meeting new people at Checkpoint Charlie.

He loved the aquarium, enjoyed nosing at the view from the Bundestag dome, and jumped around a freezing cold fountain in hysterics before scoffing some Japanese dumplings.

Looking for Nemo at the aquarium.

Looking for Nemo at the aquarium.

Work, college and a fear of never being able to find a decent toilet meant I never went backpacking when I was younger. So as I walked into a melee of keen young travellers to check in at the PLUS Hotel Berlin I felt even more out of place with a toddler in hand. But I needn’t have worried. A hotel blessed with space to run around in is perfect for a small boy.

Raffie is pretty pragmatic when it comes to contemporary art (‘looks like Lego Mummy’) but enjoyed poking around in the artists’ studio in the garden, and looking at all of the pictures in the restaurant. He particularly enjoyed exploring the cavernous games room, flopping about on the bean bags and watching people playing table tennis.

The staff made a fuss of him, not least making him toast at dinner time when he refused to eat anything else, and giving him lots of attention while he tried to sit still during meal times.

The highlight of the hotel for Raffie however, was the gigantic bear in the hallway on the way to the restaurant, which instantly reminded him of a familiar face. The bear is a symbol of Berlin and Raffie loved it, cuddling his leg and blowing him kisses.

Raffie pondering an awfully big bear.

Raffie pondering an awfully big bear.

‘It’s Mor’du! I love Mor’du’ he said, as we finally went in search of food after 10 minutes of keeping the giant bear company. Although he can be very sweet, Raffie is also keen on putting boundaries in place, adding: ‘I don’t want those boys to look at him Mummy’ as a group of teenagers ambled awkwardly past.

As I put Raffie to bed, he whispered, ‘Mor’du didn’t say anything.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘He’s only plastic Mummy. Like a toy.’ ‘But you still like him, don’t you?’ I asked. ‘Yes, but he’s not real. I like Brave.’ Which I suppose goes to show that even though Raffie might lose his head 30,000 feet above sea level, his feet remain firmly on the ground, wherever in the world they take him.

Raffie and Monkey meet Mickey.

Raffie and Monkey meet Mickey.

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Now we are home I am having to think of lots of indoor things to do with Raffie when the park gets rained off. Thankfully Hodge Podge Craft has lots of ideas which I will be putting to good use in the bleak midwinter. You can find out more here http://hodgepodgecraft.com/

I’ve added this blog post to this week’s Magic Moments, and you can read lots of smashing blogs here http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk/magic-moments-111113/