I’m still filing and updating (but have been posting extra Monday blogs with new content too, so feel free to scroll down a bit if you missed ’em), so here’s a trio of old blogs from July / August 2011. The first two are mostly about Ben having an upset stomach and performing in his skool play, but as always the journey from point a to point b is anything but a straight line. The third features duk-duks and offers some valuable (sic) observations on the nature of relationships…
Poor old Ben had to dip out on a JAWS (Just Add Water and Scouts) day on Saturday he’d been really looking forward to. He was all lined up for jet-skiing, scuba diving, and windsurfing etc but instead had to spend his day running to and from his bedroom to the crapper on account of the squitts and vomits. Fortunately he managed the course successfully all day (and night) Saturday and Sunday, but there was an unfortunate following through incident on Friday prior to the full implications of his upset tummy becaming apparent to him. It did not help that he was on a school trip at a local outdoor activity centre, but all in all he handled the whole situation incredibly well and nobody was any the wiser ;). I will spare you the details, but suffice to say I found an extra carrier bag in his packing I wasn’t anticipating, and it wasn’t a lovely thoughtful gift from the souvenir shop. Mind you, it was something he had made himself, so I guess that makes it even more special! If he happens to read this he will kill me…
We suspect it might have been the fault of an undercooked sossidge or chicken wing, as the class had a barbecue on the Thursday night. Beware the burnt-on-the-outside-raw-on-the-inside banger; it has been the downfall of many a brave man and seen the ruination of many a pair of undercrackers!
Heavens, only a week and a half and the summer holidays start. Yoiks! Oh lord we beseech thee… six weeks of sunshine with rain between 10pm and 5am every night. It’s not much to ask, is it, and it makes a huge difference to us poor old parents… I’ve stocked up on Valium and Paracetamol for me and have managed to negotiate double rations of Ritalin for the boy for the duration… I jest of course. I wouldn’t really take Paracetamol that casually…
Ben has been off skool again since Tuesday as the Squitting and Vomiting came back. He’s been blessed with the ‘schoolboy friendly’ version – i.e. genuine symptoms, but which only come out at night/early morning and leave the rest of the day free for killing zombies on X-Box and watching Futurama DVD’s in sequence from episode 1 season 1 through to the last UK released movie. I tell you, if I hear Fry cutting his own medulla oblongata one more time it won’t be ‘Good news everyone’ for one certain little fan of the thirty first century…
Technically, he has been ‘well’ since Wednesday, but of course there are rools and regs about returning to skool after vomit and squitt attacks and these are even more complicated when skool is residential and a two hour journey away. He played a brilliant round of golf yesterday, though, paring three strokes from his current course record on the little nine-holer he generally plays…
Tuesday night was a swap around to go and see him in his skool summer production, ‘Pizazz’, and to collect him. Pizazz was wonderful – a veritable smorgasbord of Jazz hands and over-emoting with a cheese and ham ploughman’s thrown in. ‘Dat,’ as the great man once said, ‘is Showbiz’. Ben appeared in several sketches, including one where he appeared as a policeman, doing a small knees-bending dance routine of the ‘evenin’ all’ variety. Given the nature of his illness and the fact he was still in recovery it could have been a real disaster, but thankfully the muses smiled benignly on his efforts terpsichorean.
I Walked past the mad duck lady pond again today and there was a mummy duck (M’lady) laying out in the sun with two medium- size ducklings (you, know, about ‘serves one as a main course’ size rather than ‘serves 2-3’ or ‘serves 1 as a starter’). As I got along side of them they made off for the water, and I noticed just too late that one of them was having a bit of a struggle. Made a grab for it, but it slipped into the water just ahead of my grasping fingers and made off across the pond, trailing the length of fishing line wrapped around its legs behind it :(.
Hung about for a bit in the hope they’d come ashore again, but they were having none of it. In the end I went and knocked on the mad duck lady’s door. She knew instantly the family I was talking about (the other ducklings are younger and there are three + mum to that group) and I was reassured that the line round the leg was a new development and therefore less likely to result in an Hamputation. (Here, how come one legged ducks/swans/geese etc don’t just go round and round in circles like Ben in a pedallo? Their feet must work as rudders too; either that or they can ‘lean in’ to change direction like motorcyclists do.)
Duck lady knows a man from the RSPCA with a net, so she will give him a shout and Dinky will be line free (I almost said ‘tackle free’ then realised that might sound like he was going to be neutered) before you can say Jack Robinson. Or ‘Quack’.
As I was typing that I remembered that the first video I ever bought for Ben was an old cartoon series called ‘Dinky the Duck’ (hence my naming the duckling above ‘Dinky’, you see). His mater (Ben’s, not D the D’s) and I had gone to Blockbuster™ to rent a movie shortly after he’d shown up as a little blue line on a pee-stick, and we saw D the D on the top of a bargain bin for about a quid. We thought it quite apt, as her pet name for me was ‘bird’ (can’t remember why) and he would be my little chick or duckling. So we took it home and watched it and while it was mostly crap we rolled up because there was a chicken in one episode that squawked indignantly and the squawk sounded just like ‘F’koff’ F’koff’.
Ben used to watch it quite a bit when he was a toddler (he used to get all flappy at one
episode where Dinky was being roasted over a spit by a wolf then shout ‘Yay’ when Dinky got away). It was hard keeping a straight face when the Sweary Mary of a chook was on, but I don’t think Ben ever noticed…
Anyhooo… I saw something on Twitter or some such the other day where someone said ‘you can tell a lot about a person in 140 characters’, and that got me thinking about that other statistic that says we make lasting judgements about people based on our initial meeting with them and the first two minutes of conversation or whatever. Now that, I think, could actually be the ultimate flaw in human nature, because we take at face value the behaviours of someone being anything but what they actually are, because, let’s face it, we’re all usually on our best behaviour when meeting people for the first time. I mean, ask most ladies whether their life partner of choice had his hand down his pants playing with his knackers the first time they met or whether he farted and said ‘get out and walk, Donald’ and it’s rare as rocking horse shit to hear the answer ‘yes’. A year down the road, though, and chances are this is pretty much a nightly routine performed while lying on the sofa hogging the TV remote. Likewise, if you ask most blokes if they realised their partners were mental when they first met them you’ll get a similarly negative response.
I think I read somewhere that the initial chemical rush of falling in love lasts for about six months, and it’s only after that that the real ‘bonding’ starts to occur. Horrifyingly, that first six months is also one of the key periods when someone is most likely to commit adultery, purely and simply because all those chemicals are flying around and, as the old song goes, ‘resistance is low’. Nasty piece of work, Mother Nature, ent she?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not espousing the idea that we should always wait six months before coming to any conclusions about the people we meet – that would be just silly. I mean, if someone smells of piss and is waving a bit of four by two in your face and shouting ‘come on then, do you want some, do you’ it’s probably safe to assume that you wouldn’t get to like them much however much time you spent with them. But I do think we ought to be a little bit more forgiving and less judgemental than our natural psychology allows for, because, let’s face it, just how reliable do first impressions turn out to be when time and hindsight offer a better vantage point for making an assessment? It takes allsorts to make a liquorice, and if we insist on making snap judgements that we only like the round ones with little blue balls on who knows what lovely alternatives we could be missing out on?
Don’t go too mad, though, or you’ll end up with the squitts!