Chapter 41-Little Drummer Boy

There are a few things I would ask a knight in shining armour, but “Do you do drumming?” wouldn’t be at the top of the list. It was however a question which had been burning bright in Raffie’s mind as soon as he discovered he was about to meet a real knight at the medieval festival.

Soon after arriving we bumped into a band of very nice knights getting ready for their re-enactment. He could have asked anything of them, but Raffie just wanted to know about their drums. And it turns out that yes, they do do drumming.

Making new friends.

Making new friends.

Squeezed into the back of the stage with the rest of the band taking up all the space, it’s seldom a drummer enjoys the uninterrupted limelight. But for Raffie, they are the star of the show.

Raffie’s current all time favourite song, to which we have to listen at least eight times a day, is Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine. We listen to it in the car, we watch it on my phone in the pushchair, we watch it on the laptop in the kitchen.

It is the soundtrack of his day, and has raised many questions. “Why does she change her hair in the video Mummy? I like her hair.” “Should Mummy dye her hair red Raffie?” I asked, pondering a prodigal return to henna. “No Mummy, it’s just for Florence.”

Trying a new look of his own.

Trying a new look of his own.

It’s amazing what can turned into a drum, from knees to laundry baskets, but some questions, however, are easier to answer than others.

“Who is the Machine Mummy? Is it the drummer?” I must confess that I’m not that familiar with their work, so was only able to respond feebly with “Well you can get drum machines Raffie but real drummers are more fun,” as I remembered a Keith Moon anecdote. And then remembered not to share it.

And despite seeing a wealth of knights in shining armour, and riding on a not particularly medieval but highly enjoyable swing carousel, we did yet more drumming on the way home.

In full swing.

In full swing.

We even did a bit of the violin and recorder though these are only brief dalliances before he reaches for his drumsticks. And although he’s very keen to help Fireman Sam, he’s been “a bit too busy drumming Mummy” to come to the rescue this week.

So while they may at times be overshadowed or even taken for granted, they can rest assured that there is a small boy banging the drum for drummers everywhere, on whatever he can find.


Chapter 40-Game, Set and Catch

“He’s a lot of fun isn’t he?” There is nothing like the steely glare of a sports coach to stop you in your tracks. And a suspected case of mistaken identity.

“Pardon? Do you mean Raffie?” I shuffled nervously. “Yes”, she said, “he’s fantastic.”

Now obviously we think he’s fantastic. But after trying to stop him running around for half an hour while all the other children paid attention I couldn’t really understand why anyone else would at this particular moment. When I told my friend we had taken him to a tennis taster session she asked “why do you do it to yourselves?” which was a very fair question in hindsight. And she wasn’t even there.

Making his way towards someone else's ball.

Making his way towards someone else’s ball.

Raffie is many things, but a listener is not one of them. Excited beyond belief by the prospect of playing tennis, he spent a lot of time running around in circles and catching up with other people’s balls when they fell on the floor.

Then there was the escape bid, along with the running through the huge nets dividing the courts. It was what you could call a family workout, I just wish I had worn my running shoes as I could have caught him before he literally slipped through the net.

So hats off to the people who run the sessions for giving him the chance to try it out and letting me hold a racquet with him which managed to keep him focused for five minutes. “I love tennis” he said with a look of glee, twiddling the net between his fingers. “I know, but I think you might love it more if you listened to the lady Raffie,” I gasped, “No Mummy, I won’t.”

A brief moment of calm, thanks to a very patient lady.

A brief moment of calm, thanks to a very patient lady.

So to hear the coach singing his praises came as something of a shock. “You should bring him in for our toddler class sometime, he’s got so much energy and he’d really enjoy it,” she said. “I’d love to, but as you can see he’s not that good at sitting or listening yet,” as I watched Daddy trying to stop him crawling up the stairs and out. “Ah, but that’s what I intend to teach him,” she said, wisely. She is a better woman than me. And if she is successful, we would all be grateful for finally getting a word in a small boy’s ear.


I happened upon this smashing blog recently and have been thoroughly enjoying the adventures of Steph and her family, please do stop by if you get the chance it’s a great read