Chapter 39-Cabbages and Kings

To be fair, I don’t know a lot about King Canute. But after having been gardening with a toddler, I am learning to appreciate the trials of reckoning with a force of nature.

Like holding back the tide, it’s wet, it’s wild and an impossible task.

On the other side of the shire however, all is peaceful. “Being in the garden is so therapeutic,” chirruped my grandmother. And looking at what she has created, it probably is. From a manicured lawn to an immaculate shed, everything not only has its place, it knows its place.

Alas, such order is abandoned at our allotment. If any of the seedlings survive after this week I will eat not only them but my hat after a thorough trampling, followed by a blissfully ignorant squishing with a hosepipe.

Raffie and an unsuspecting row  of courgette seedlings.

Raffie blasts an unsuspecting row of courgettes.

Raffie’s delight at figuring how to drink from a standpipe on renders him deaf to any requests to think about what he’s doing or watch where he’s going. “But why Mummy?” he pauses quizzically, watering can in one hand and his foot on a courgette seedling.

If it’s not plants it’s sticks, and the little protectors I’ve put on top of them to stop him poking his eye out. “I threw them in the bushes Mummy,” “Why did you do that? They were to protect you.” I ask wearily. “I don’t know, you can go and find them if you like Mummy.”

And now we have dug (thank you Daddy), planted and watered relentlessly there is no going back. We will see how many survive to the end of the season and then try and persuade Raffie to enjoy the fruits of our labours, probably smothered with butter and accompanied by a sausage or two.

strawberryboy-11 (2)

Last week he pulled his long suffering sunflower out of its pot saying ‘look how much it’s grown, it’s huge!’ Sunflower roots safely returned to the soil, his enthusiasm is boundless.

I barely had to time to finish the sentence “Now we’ll wash these strawberries before eating them” before he’d stuffed the first crop into his mouth.

strawberryboy-2 (2)

So the proof of the gardening will be in the eating. But until then we’ll keep trying to stem a tide of enthusiasm-and hopefully enjoy at least one feast fit for a king.

Finally walking on the grass.

Finally walking on the grass, not on the sweetcorn.


I’ve loved this blog since I first discovered it and months later am still joining the blog hop, Small Steps Amazing Achievements. It’s all about family life and living with autism-please do pop in, it’s well worth a read


Chapter 38-Rollercoaster

“Now pay attention everyone, there’s a toilet situation.”

Raffie’s face is framed with earnest intentions while our lovely builder friend, who can turn his hand to everything, and I stop talking and start listening.

“It is broken Mummy. I think we need Mike to fix it. Is he Mike Flood?” “No Raffie he’s not from Fireman Sam, he’s our friend who is good at fixing things.”
“Oh. I’ll go and get my toolkit Mummy. What’s a cistern?”

And so, for once, we narrowly avoided making a drama out of crisis. With water pouring out of the loo it was a crisis which could have been disastrous if we’d have left the house on time for once.

But now Raffie has turned three, everything seems to be bigger, brighter and a lot bolder than ever before.

Even a bee costume couldn't make him walk nicely.

Even a bee costume couldn’t make him walk nicely.

Not so long ago I lamented the arrival of Mr Why but it seems he has now left the building with Mr In-a-Minute. I imagine them having a quiet pint somewhere while I am left to argue with Mr NOW who cannot wait for anything.

He cannot wait for his porridge to cool down so narrowly avoids burning his mouth. He cannot wait for his wrap to be finished until he realises half way through he did actually want soft cheese in it after all. And no matter how many buttons you press a Wallace and Gromit DVD does really need a few moments to load.

As Raffie bellows that I have to come with him RIGHT NOW for the gagillionth time that morning, sometimes I see in his face that even he doesn’t know why he’s so cross. With hot tears never far away, the harsh injustice of waiting for a biscuit is just one which Raffie faces daily.

We have tried cuddles, we have tried looking out the window, we have tried singing songs. I may be protesting too much, but I am starting to realise that the season of the tantrum is well and truly upon us.

Although it’s not all bad.

This new found hyperbole means that when he’s in a good mood he is absolutely lovely. He loves giving his baby friends teddies and kisses, rubbing my back and looking out for his bigger friends and making sure they don’t run in the road.

Raffie loves music and movies and is learning how to do jigsaws by himself. These are some of the joyful things in life and when he’s happy, we’re all happy.

So now we have left the terrible twos behind perhaps my clever cousin was right when she warned me about the horror of three. But only time will tell whether these dramas really are a crisis, or like our broken toilet, just a flash in the pan.

Chapter 37-Peppa Pig Takes A Bow

It has been said that all the world is a stage, and all of us merely players. However when it comes to Peppa Pig, some players are more equal than others.

As a reviewer for many years I have been lucky enough to enjoy (and very occasionally endure) a vast array of productions from Shakespeare to Sing-along-a-Sound of Music (three times). But nothing compares to seeing Peppa and her friends when you have a toddler on your lap.

Raffie doesn’t do sitting down, so I looked around anxiously when we arrived. The only crying face I could see in the auditorium was Raffie’s. “I want to go home Daddy,” he sobbed, “I don’t like it.” But thanks to an emergency biscuit and a tub of chocolate ice cream, we managed to make it until the curtain rose and Raffie then sat, stunned into submission. He even forgot to eat his ice cream, and just chewed his spoon resolutely while the show went on.

The magic of ice-cream. And a firm grip.

The magic of ice-cream. And a firm grip.

From the car park to the cafe, the theatre was heaving with excitement. The queue for the merchandise became longer and longer, while swarms of children raced into the auditorium squeezing Peppa plushes and waving flashing windmills.

Carrying puppets on their arms, the cast did a sterling job of bringing Peppa and her friends to life. It may not have been Shakespeare, but it worked for the audience, and remarkably Raffie lasted until the last 10 minutes, when during every quiet moment in the performance chose to ask loudly “Is it time to go home yet?”

And finally, yes it was. After spending £7.50 on a flashing windmill, despite the offer of something useful like a swim bag instead-“I don’t need a bag Mummy, I NEED a windmill”-we set off home.

The rain lashed down outside the theatre. But even that failed to dampen Raffie’s spirits after his first full theatre show-a vast improvement on the ten minutes we spent at the pantomime in December.

Whatever it is that Raffie loves about Peppa Pig, there is method in the madness of the noise, the excitement and, of course, a flashing windmill.

It was worth every penny to hear the words “I had a lovely time at the Peppa Pig show, I loved it.” And so as the curtain rises on a new interest in the stage, I’m sure Peppa would be delighted to hear he’s already asking to go back for more.


Quite simply, I love this blog-it has food, it has an adorable three-year-old, and is a pleasure do read. Please do have a look if you get the chance