(In the bath and with my eyes closed after having my son dump water over my head)
Daughter: Daddy I have a finger cleaner! Look!
Me: That's not going to be happening.
Daughter: Do you want your finger cleaned?
Me: Not at all. (and then I immediately got out)
I woke up at 3am this morning because, a) my wife woke me to tell me out son was awake and may have wet his bed (just slightly) and, b) because I had the curried-lamb sweats. Which is every bit as sexy as it sounds. After sorting the boy out I lay down. Not to get back to sleep (never going ot happen) but to con our son into going to sleep. Because if he so much as suspected that I was downstairs he'd get up as well. I presume he thinks there's some sort of amazing party going on. Judging by how expectant he looks when he bursts into the room I can only imagine he thinks there are trains and sausages involved. And let me tell you - when you enter a room in the dead of night expecting to be confronted by sausage and there is none the let-down is incredibly steep. I managed to grumble and sweat in bed for a further 4 or 5 minutes. Frankly the fact that our daughter had also crawled into the bed at this point and seemed to actually be ticking was quite off-putting. It took my son about two further minutes before he followed me down for sausage mayhem (I know what you're thinking and it says much more about you than it does me, I can assure you). Thankfully a combination of me feeling too feeble to sit at the computer and he being nowhere near ready to actually be awake meant that he conked out on my lap barely 60 seconds later. Either that or he has what I'm terming Narcoleptic Sausage Disappointment.
Luckily it was a brief uncomfortableness on my part. Lasted about an hour and then faded off. Basically brought on by over-eating loads of lamb the night before. I don't think I've eaten any in years so gorged on it to compensate. I had been planning to make a version of my Gran's amazing lamb cawl (you aren't allowed to link to a recipe for that because if it isn't the same one your Gran made then it's like you saying you hate them). Of course by the time my wife had her way with it we sat down to a lamb curry two hours later. Twas very good. Anyhoo the sweats faded and by 6.15 my son was awake. And I decided the best medicine in a situation like this was to truly sweat the last of it out. So I woke his mother up so I could go for a very hard-and-fast early morning November run. My only reservation was that I'd mistimed the whole lambcident and I'd be stuck Radcliffing on a bridge before I could get home in time. But I'm happy to say I've avoided that sort of shame.
Anyhoo - my wife went out of town this weekend. And like any good parent would she returned with a collection of narwhal finger-puppets. If you aren't a fisherman or a Reddit user this creepy looking beast of nature is a narwhal.
My wife had been in Ithaca, NY. Quite why they even sell souvenirs based around an arctic whale this far inland in NY state isn't entirely clear. Although being in the Finger Lakes at least explains the finger-puppet part of the equation. This is my daughter with her purple one.
The kids ran around with them on their fingers and then would cast them off wherever they were currently stood - like most kids do. Being a foreign object in the house with a long, thin pointy thing I kept spotting them and believing there were dead mice all over the place. Which was not enough of a deterrent to stop my wife from hiding them all in the bath tub after I'd started it and put the bubbles in. Thankfully I discovered them before the kids got in and pulled them from the depths like suspicious dead marsupial/turd-sized lumps. This was when my daughter started claiming they were finger cleaners if you fill them with water and bubbles. My son - able to McGyver anything into a receptacle for drinking bath water - got to work.
Then my daughter discovered the suction part of the equation and began sticking them to her forehead, face and neck. Allow me to demonstrate.
Her mother expressed displeasure (not literally though - she's not magic) at suctioning it onto herself and warned her of the deforming quality of this. Basically that it would leave perfect round circles on her body that would look like a cross between ringworm and as if she'd been attacked by those fish that stick to the side of fish tanks. At which point my daughter did the only sensible thing. She took it off her face and attached it to her nipple. I wouldn't have known this obviously because her mother should have told her to stop and this obvious mistake need never be mentioned again. Instead though her mother had her stand patiently while she called me in from an entirely different room to laugh at it. Which I think sends out mixed signals. As did her brother who spent quite a bit of time trying to replicate the moment.
Moving on though - a week or so ago I showed my daughter some of The Numbskulls from the Beano comics. That would be this -:
Partly because I thought it was a cute but clearly silly imaginary thing we could have fun with, but also admittedly because I'll admit I'd recently seen this horrifying photoshop of them that destroyed all that was pure and innocent about that comic. When my daughter started asking if there was more of this she could look at I worried the above offending image my pop up so showed her this instead on Youtube -:
I remember Once Upon A Time...Life but I didn't recall it being so staunchly Cold War. It's like early twentieth century war propaganda. All very "we must destroy the enemy element..." and all that stuff. Actually around the 4.20 mark the teacher tells the new white blood cells "watch these war films..." Then at the 5.20 mark the narrator says "they must be destroyed without mercy" before showing a field of anthropomorphic bacteria-things being butchered and choking to death very slowly on death gas. I get that it's a parody/homage to that style of broadcasting, but it clearly was enjoying itself in that realm as well.
My daughter was extremely excited by the whole program and has asked earnestly if she can watch it and other ones repeatedly since. She's also asked over and over again for me to explain the difference between good and bad bacteria. Which I've tried to do without going her mother's route of nakedly telling her to count to 9 million because that's how many people died from tuberculosis last year - and that's just one type of bacteria of billions. Actually her mother's toned it down a touch lately so would likely open with a line like, "you might have syphilis and not even know it..." I did though make the mistake of fumbling an explanation of bacteria in cheese making which caused her to completely reject the cheese and tortilla's I had out for a snack. I have managed to correct that though and she's happy with the notion of good and bad bacteria. Although as a five year old she now sees it more in Numbskull-style as Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria - two sets of tiny peoples that live all over the place either doing good or bad things.
Right now though my daughter wants to make "all the jigsaw puzzles in the house". She is bravely having a bash by herself at the moment. She did request that I put on the local radio station that is already playing Christmas songs (sacrilege - you can't start one holiday before you've hit the one before it) which I turned down. And my son is bashing away on a big electronic keyboard and doing some odd spoken-word storytelling of Thomas the Tank Engine in the style of a horse-racing announcer. I genuinely think it might be an all new genre of music/audiobook/demented train-based sermonizing. I'll video it the next time he has a go.
But now it's jigsaw time...