Things to Be Grateful For, Part 1

My friend AW nominated me on the current FB theme doing the rounds: list 3 things you’re grateful for, for 5 days. Well, I thought I’d be a bit more efficient than usual and join it with a blog post. And be awkward: I’m going to do 5 things for 3 days.

Local Library We have a brilliant little library in a room at the local school. It’s only open a few hours a week, and is only 2 minutes walk from home. So over the summer we’ve been in 2 and sometimes all 3 days a week that it’s open. The librarian, C, is very welcoming and helpful. Right now, Midi is in 7th Heaven because there were 4 books about owls on display. She read them overnight from when she got them yesterday, and returned them today. She earned another prize on the library Summer Reading Challenge and chose a green ruler/calculator, which she promptly gave to her Daddy to ‘help you draw pipes at work’. Awwwwww!

 

Stonehaven Open Air Pool: taken at 8pm after it shut. The big slide is in the middle of the photo, at the back

Stonehaven Open Air Pool: taken at 8pm after it shut. The big slide is in the middle of the photo, at the back

Family Fun After the success of last week, we went to Stonehaven Open Air Pool again, meeting up with The Boss as soon as he’d finished work. It was right on the verge of being a bit too cold, but it’s still a lovely luxury to bob around in clean, warm seawater after 6pm!

Lovely Strange Kids Maxi bottled out of going down the big slide at the pool twice last week. This week she bottled it once, managed it with an almighty scream on the next try (hooray!!!!) and backed down on the 3rd attempt. I expected the kids waiting in the queue each time to get impatient with her as she wavered at the top for literally 4 or 5 minutes each time. Not one little bit. The Boss said that one boy asked understandingly, “Ah, is it her first time?” The other kids offered advice and encouragement, but (crucially) weren’t pushy or over-boisterous. They waited so patiently: no arm-folding, sighing, eye-rolling. When she walked back down the steps, they said, “Next time!” Us adults generally aren’t anywhere as understanding.

 

Ice-cream from Aunty Betty's. Tasty, creamy, fun.

Ice-cream from Aunty Betty’s. Tasty, creamy, fun.

Being Skint When every penny counts, you really appreciate the big blow-outs. Tonight after swimming we treated ourselves to fish and chips from The Bay, Stonehaven. Juicy fish, onion rings that actually melt in your mouth with a delicate crunch, and super-posh San Pellegrino fizzy grapefruit. Eaten by the sea-front, in the summer evening sunshine. Followed by Aunty Betty’s ice-cream. All the ‘extras’ come free: sweets, rainbow drops, wafers, flakes… I had peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream. Oh my word… I think my face says it all!

 

A very rare pic of Midi and Mini finally, utterly, worn out (from 2 weeks ago). They were so tired that they crashed on the floor, waiting on me finding their PJs.

A very rare pic of Midi and Mini finally, utterly, worn out (from 2 weeks ago). They were so tired that they crashed on the floor, waiting on me finding their PJs.

Funny Kids On the drive home, the minxes played my favourite car game: what does the cloud look like? Thanks to Maxi’s wild imagination and infectious laughter, we all definitely saw a jointed chicken, a dog, and a scary clown in the sky! At home, trying to bath everyone, Mini was on the toilet. This past week, she’s finally realised that I don’t like an audience when I’m sitting on the toilet, so she’s decided that neither does she. “Mummy, go ‘way! I need some prizetsy! (privacy)” she wailed

Day of Sport and Chips

24 July 2014

The minxes really struggled to get moving this morning. I really struggled to get my eyeballs focussed. No way was I going near a car this morning in this kind of sleep-deprived state! Cancel the Early Bird cinema and bring on the domestic bliss chaos.

It was hot as soon as we woke, so the first thing we had to do was make ice lollies. I normally use whichever carton of juice is open. None was, so I let Maxi choose a flavour. She selected grapefruit (ewwwwww!) and asked for bits of leftover red grapefruit to go in. Bleeee! She’s the kind of kid who’ll eat a lemon like others would eat oranges. D’you know what, though – it really worked! The bitter tangy flavour was just perfect in the hot sun*, and the chewy grapefruit made it interesting.

*Hot sun. North Scotland. Shhhhh, it really does get gloriously hot up here sometimes! Mostly I find 19degC and above pretty warm, but this week it’s been 20 – 27degC. Delicious!

She only likes making cheesecake because she gets to bash hell out of some biscuits

She only likes making cheesecake because she gets to bash hell out of some biscuits and I won’t shout about the crumbs

I drank coffee after coffee as I powered through making strawberry conserve and strawberry cheesecake with the PYO stobbies, then a vat of houmous. Different minxes helped with different things, so it counted as craft activities and parent-daughter time. Honest.

The girls do occasionally play together. I caught Maxi and Mini role-playing being in a hairdressing salon. So at least now I know where the hair-rinsing jug has disappeared to!

So, are you going anywhere nice for your holidays, Sis?

So, are you going anywhere nice for your holidays, Sis?

Later that afternoon, the minxes continued to dodge the sun and stay indoors, like crazy vampire kids. Mini dressed up as a princess, with her Cinderella long gloves, freshly-wiped shoes, bling and home-made tiara (paper and foil: Maxi made it with her). Midi taught her how to stand up regally (ish). Maxi showed her how to curtsey, then took her to the Ball outside in the garden and danced with her.

I go a bit mental praising them whenever they DO play together nicely, in the hope that it lessens the times spent sticking sharp things in each other’s rear, poking arms or shouting. All the coffee had finally had an effect on me. A quick check of the met showed that for once, there was no haar on the coast this afternoon, so I phoned The Boss and arranged to meet him at the Place of Treats For Great Behaviour: Stonehaven Open Air Pool.

We’ve never been, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. We arrived about 1715hrs, absolutely sweltering. Surely the place would be standing room only? Not at all! (Though it had been heaving earlier in the day, as you’d expect). We whooshed into our cozzies faster than Superman gets into his red kecks and cape and sploshed into the heated seawater. Salty. Stingy eyes. And floating too high in the water to swim properly! But perfect for comedy floating poses.

The minxes splashed about in the paddling pool side for 30 seconds before Maxi and I eyed up the water slide at the deep end. I couldn’t see any signs to say that large adults were banned, so we nipped over. I went first and promptly split the tip of my finger on a bit of wood (I think I flailed around a bit on the descent. I’m scared of heights but love water and splashes. Tricky dichotomy. I coped). It smarted a bit in the salt water, but I kept the smile on my face: “Come on in, Maxi: it’s brilliant!” I called from the deep end. Maxi got all the way to the top of the slide, then bottled it. She walked the Walk of Shame back down. I hauled out and we had a chat. The other girls in the queue encouraged her. She walked back up. She sat down. She stuck her little legs in the flume of water and clung to the top. She climbed back out, burst into tears and plodded back down. I told her it was ok to be scared and that we’d go back to the shallow end and the rest of her family. She took this as a rebuke and had a wailing, tearful meltdown that only subsided when Midi and The Boss took off themselves to have some fun away from the wailing siren noise.

fish and chipsAfter an hour of splashing and swimming and being thrown off floats and around floats and into floats, Mini’s lips went blue. Time to go! Back to the old-fashioned changing room with half-door stalls. It wasn’t too much of a drama because we just had a quick rinse and intended to go straight home for proper showers and baths. Then one greedy guts suggested we amend the plan and go to The Bay for the best fish and chips (and onion rings, mushy peas and posh San Pellegrino lemonade) in the entire world. I wonder who would be thinking of her stomach like that…? <whistles innocently> The batter on the onion rings is properly, crunchily, melt-in-the mouth. So light and yummy. I could eat food from there till I burst. We’d happily have had some of the wonderfully, magnificently gaudy ice-creams from Aunty Betty’s next door, but we’d waited about 40 mins for dinner, the queues hadn’t gone down much and I didn’t fancy queuing for as long for pudding, as delicious and entertaining as the ice-creams are.

You’d think that would have been enough of a good day, wouldn’t you? Oh no – after baths and changing into jammies, we also had the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games to watch, too. The minxes squealed and laughed whenever I did. Though I think our opinions of John Barrowman, Tunnocks Tea Cakes, Nessie, maudlin Proclaimers cover-version and a blue Celtic Park can just stay private, thanks. Mini finally faded around 2100hrs. Her sisters revved themselves into a proper frenzy by the time the Scottish team came out (they’re half Glaswegian)! Maxi chanted Scotland, Scotland and signed each letter in case people 10 streets away couldn’t hear her; Midi jumped and punched the air and scissor-kicked and threw a sudden forward roll. 10 minutes later, though, before the fireworks had lit the sky, Midi was snoring. Wee souls! Maybe they’ll sleep well tonight, eh, without waking me up?!