Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Platitudes and Man-Trums

This morning my son (and his mother) got up before 5am.

She went off to work leaving a very grumpy boy with me. After a few minutes where he felt the need to hammer home how annoyed he was with how the morning was going he settled down to doze in front of a Thomas Tank Engine DVD. I was half-listening to it whilst learning how to tie a scarf properly (apparently my haphazard chuck it around my neck method amuses some of the mother's picking their kids up at school) when a ridiculous song came on. This is an actual line of the song that someone deliberated over as a way to teach young children something -:

"Thomas was having a wail of a time - he's trapped inside a disused mine."

Now I think that's promoting the wrong message myself. I don't think kids should aspire to be trapped in disused mines based on the notion that it would be immense fun. And nobody should be gathering kids together to sing songs about it, record it and then put it on internationally sold DVDs so that other kids could hear it. In fact everything about that is demented. The notion that someone in the UK either had a song about being trapped in a mine or was asked to write one for children is beyond odd. Then I - grumpy myself because my valuable Me Time had been trampled upon - found myself snarkily telling my son (who was under a blanket laughing) that a mine is no place for hijinks. He didn't seem to understand it mostly because he doesn't really know what a mine is. But now - annoyingly - all he does know of them is a romantic scenario that involves good times and singing. I might have to force him to watch Brassed Off (amusingly tagged with other movies on IMDB with "ticked off at the establishment" by the way) later just to get the miserable flip-side of it all.

All Saturday morning my kids and I played a game where I was a useless general contractor namedut  Bill The Bobber. He can't measore anything correctly and goes about his jobs with his clumsy cack-handed assistants Crash, Bash, Dizzy and DT. "DT" didn't originally stand for anything because my daughter made it up - but I've since come up with a back story that he injured himself on the job and his friends playfully call him that because the nickname "Distended Testicle" isn't quite as friendly. Anyhoo - they were arguably the worst contracting firm in history. Periodically whilst smashing things over and making a general pig's ear of everything we'd all sing "Bill The Bobber! NO WE CAN'T!" Which again showed that my son takes after me (he thought it was funny). My daughter would occasionally remember that this was wrong and would feel the need to publicly declare that the correct name of the real correct guy is Bob The Builder. The story ended with Bob having a "man-trum" because he's just realized he's in his upper thirties and is infamous in his community for being a lousy contractor.

Later on in the day I played another game with my kids where I tell them things and they have to guess whether I'm telling the truth. Except to help out I'll usually look off to the side and look like I'm trying not to laugh. An example...

"So many years ago there used to be an orange bird that could talk, It had a green tuft of hair on it's head and could see really well in the dark. It's called the Carrot Parrot..." (Snort)

"So there's this animal in New Zealand that is covered in wool and if you get to close to it an amazingly loud alarm goes off to warn people that someone is trying to steel it. It's called a Beep Sheep...." (Fnar)

"Years ago there was a dog that would dress up as a log and other dog's - also dressed as logs - would sometimes poo a log (but not one that was really a disguised dog) on it whilst singing the song In An English Country Garden. They were known as the Log Dogs..." (Ewwww)

All of which ended with a vile tale about a three legged wonkey donkey, an animal called a Platitude (a platypus with attitude...), the Moose that Looked Like Robert The Bruce and - I'm ashamed to say - a disturbing story about a grumpy ale-sodden police-horse that drives a Jaguar called the Inspector Morse Horse. I even managed to shoe-horn in the notion of Slutty Putty just because it sounded funny - but then quickly flushed that from the convesation when my brain dared me to make a joke about how's it;s used for filling cracks. Amusingly all of these made my son laugh but made my daughter angry. She initially started off being suspicious but thinking she was clever for noticing the incredibly obvious faces I was pulling. Then she became indignant about the whole thing and kept telling me that none of this was real and in fact could all be described as lies - and lies are wrong.She did though check with me the next morning - asking me to confirm that the Carrot Parrot was a made-up thing.

Lastly my daughter wanted me to put this photo on. They're two wool snowmen (although that red cape seems feminine) I got from a Salvation Army last week for 10 cents. Bargain.

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