Chapter 43-Teenage Kicks

A pensioner’s lap. A bouncy castle. Behind what I blindly thought was a cake stall at a music festival. A bush, and the shed roof. It’s been an exciting few weeks for my glasses, which never know where they will end up next.

Today they ended up underneath another lady’s pushchair. It can’t be easy being three. But it definitely isn’t easy being my glasses.

Raffie has another ten years before the terrible teens begin, but it feels like the hormone pixies have come early, with a delivery of temper tantrums, hot tears and a penchant for flinging my glasses wildly at every possible opportunity. And oddly, for air guitar.

Taking the stage for some air guitar.

Taking the stage for some air guitar.

But then Raffie has a lot on his mind. Breaking the window of his playhouse (accidentally) caused several days of angst. Now he is convinced he is the only three year old going to school in September. He knows his friends are leaving nursery and he thinks he is going with them.

“But it’s not fair!” he screamed at me, my glasses in his hand, having been told it was home time. To me, it’s just nap time. To him, it’s a raging injustice.

But in some ways the lows make the highs sweeter. After a very nice lady retrieved my glasses from her cake stall at the festival this weekend, I could see him having a wonderful time on a huge bouncy slide.

There's nothing like a bouncy slide to put a smile on a small boy's face.

There’s nothing like a bouncy slide to put a smile on a small boy’s face.

“It’s the best day ever!” as he clambered up for the gagillionth time and made another friend who is also going to school in September. “I’m going as well” he beamed, as I explained yet again that it is NEXT September, which he seemed happy enough about for now.

We ate ice-creams, climbed on logs, played with circus clubs and listened to lots of music in the sunshine.

Biting off more than he can chew.

Biting off more than he can chew.

He was so worn out that he was ready to go home, with promises of returning tomorrow, weather permitting. “I am going to check the weather forecast in the morning to see if it’s sunny, windy, cloudy, rainy or windy,” he said, with a furrowed brow.

It’s surprising what a functional Mac, some Wellies and grim determination can overcome. We’ve even had to bring a reminder of the day home in the form of some dried grass, which is now waiting to be cooked in his kitchen. And it’s surprising how a good day out can lift the spirits, no matter how old you are.

So Raffie may act like a petulant teenager at times, but I don’t need my glasses to see that although he may have developed some of their worst traits, sometimes a cuddle and an ice-cream can make everything OK. And give my glasses a break-for now.


I’ve recently discovered this blog and it’s great-this week there’s a review of a book all about going to school-I have a feeling I’ll be needing it sooner rather than later as it’s only a year away! Do stop by if you can, it’s a lovely blog


Chapter 42-The Simple Life

There are some things that money just can’t buy. “Mummy when can I have a penguin for my new pet? Should we keep it in a cage?”

Sadly for Raffie, my only experience of bird keeping was through my great-great Auntie Elsie, and her budgie, Bobby. At least once a year he made the long train journey to my great-grandmother’s with a little blanket over his cage. Should he ever look slightly peaky on arrival he was automatically given whisky in his water. I don’t know if Bobby knew where he was, but I imagine after a while he didn’t really care.

Where's my penguin?

Where’s my penguin?

Flying in the face of feathered demands however, 75p has gone an awfully long way in making a small boy very happy.

I can’t even remember why I bought a pink spray bottle but over the last year it has been in daily demand. Raffie uses it for all manner of things. Cleaning his little table and chairs, misting the plants, and wiping up spills off his toys.

Lately he has been using it to clean his playhouse in the garden before coating the French windows in a weak playhouse paint and water solution. I haven’t the heart to tell him not to, but am increasingly keen to discover how to remove smears of white floor paint from glass.

Blowing bubbles, liberating broad beans from their furry pods, and the world’s smallest paddling pool have all brought forth gasps of delight this week in the garden.

Bubbles are apparently even better while wearing a dressing gown.

Bubbles are apparently even better while wearing a dressing gown.

And Raffie is teaching me a thing or two about the simple life.

Convinced he wouldn’t be interested in something so straightforward, I set about chalking with him on the concrete in the garden. There followed a half hour session of drawing around each other and leaving faintly troubling, but much enjoyed, body outlines on the patio.

At the moment all he wants to do at the end of the day is go for a swim or kick a ball around with Daddy. He is grateful for these small pleasures, and I am grateful that for now, they’re enough to make his day. But there are still moments when, as my dear friend Emma would say, he wants the moon on a stick.

“Mummy can I have a Florence and the Machine jigsaw puzzle?” “Hmm, I’m not sure they make those.” “Can you have a look for me Mummy?” In lieu of this, I am hoping a tub of jumbo chalks will suffice. At least long enough to distract him from the jigsaw, and even more importantly from picking up a penguin.

dressinggown-8 (2)


We don’t get a lot of sleep in our house, in fact we haven’t had a full eight hours since before Raffie was born. However, the new parenting platform Up All Hours is a place where you know you’re not alone, and is full of fantastic reads and information-do stop by if you get the chance