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

13 thoughts on “Chapter 42-The Simple Life

  1. Love this post, and love the photos. Its great that he enjoys the simple things in life, I really hope this stays for as long as possible. I think I need to get some chalks for the garden.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  2. Pingback: Small Steps Amazing Achievements – Weds 13th Aug 2014 #SSAmazingAchievements » AutismMumma

  3. That’s a lovely slice of life in a family with a toddler (the budgie’s train trip is also a cracker). My kids are older but continue to oscillate frustratingly between simple pleasures and moon on a stick. Look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you very much, yes Bobby was quite a character, he liked to sit on old ladies’ glasses after he’d had a few. I can imagine Raffie being the same for some time-sometimes simple pleasures aren’t always enough but we’re making the most of them! Thanks again!

  4. Only kids could ask for the strangest of things, I’m sure the chalks will do the trick though! Glad you got to sit down and spend some time drawing with him. Dropping by from Magic Moments.

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