And then there weren’t 3.

To clarify there is no baby in there. Nor are there plans for a baby to be in there. Even more unlikely if the method of Rowdy’s tenuous grasp of human reproduction is followed: “like penguins feeding each other. Only with spit not food.”

This would have been enough in itself but it came after Rowdy casually lifted my jumper the week before, frowned for inspection and asserted, “Mum, you should really go for a run.”

Not “Hey, Mum, you’re making that porridge-belly look rock” or “Oh, the site of my incubation! Sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll back-pay rent” but the child equivalent of Burgess Meredith in Rocky.

Complete with stop-watch.

And clipboard.

And an irritated mood conveyed merely by the ‘tic-tic‘ of a ballpoint pen release.

Cobbed out.

Me: “Want sweetcorn?”

The Bobcat: “Sweetcorn is my enemy.”

Me: “Really? You normally hoover it up.”

The Bobcat: “TOMORROW I liked sweetcorn. THIS day…..sweetcorn….is….my…ENEMY!”

Me: “Thanks for clarifying.” [Replaces glasses.]

The Bobcat: “oooooOOoohh. GRaaaavyyy. SWIM, PEAS! SWIM!”

Let’s go to BARRY ISLAND

The Bobcat: “Let’s go to Barry Island!”

This is because the sun is out. If the sun is out The Bobcat is convinced some kind of beach excursion is THE PLAN.  He doesn’t remember other beaches he may have frequented. He only remembers Barry Island.

“Bar-ry IS-LAND! Bar-ry IS-LAND! Bar-ry IS-LAND!”

Ever been to Barry Island?

It isn’t like this.


This is Barry Island.

And I’m an introvert.  And the weather report said that the sun would show up around 0814hrs just to fool everyone, wait long enough for them to venture out for a £4 one-use barbecue, some sausages, some 6% export and an iceberg lettuce and then sod off behind a large black cloud until Thursday.

The Bobcat has been to Barry Island once, Rowdy twice.  On the last occasion the stars had (and I don’t know how) aligned as the weather was nothing short of amazing: the sea was warm enough not to leave me hypothermic and the ice creams had to be guzzled pretty quickly before they slid south and left you licking your elbow.  We made a sandcastle. We climbed rocks. We splashed in rock pools. We made bum-prints in the sand and watched them fill with water.  We buried Daddy in the sand and we made Rowdy into a sand-mermaid.  We watched strangers get hot and disgruntled and pretend not to care about winning mini-golf. 

In Rowdy & The Bobcat terms this is a paradise-like haven.

“How about you go and live with Uncle Cardiff and then he can take you to Barry Island all the time?”*

Bag packed. Sunscreen packed. Raisin snack packed. Little expectant face waiting at the front door for Uncle Cardiff to pick him up.
We went stick collecting instead.  He was thrilled.  And he got an ice cream to shiver with happily under his pacamac.

*This was a done deal. Uncle Cardiff has a cow onesie.

British Summer Time

I don’t know the person who sets British Summer Time.

What I do know is that they don’t like their mum.

0605hrs is when this happened this morning.

Thoughtful? Yes. Punctual? Yes. Achieved maximum impact? Yes…but not in the way idealised by Clinton Cards. I don’t object to Mothering Sunday. In fact, seeing Rowdy & The Bobcat’s excited little faces (in extreme and unnecessary close-up) in presenting their school and preschool gifts respectively actually lends weight to the argument for keeping it. (Rowdy, in particular has come on leaps and bounds since arriving home with a brown paper bag containing a cereal bar with the sellotaped label ‘Breakfast in Bed’. Before sitting down and scoffing it right in front of me.) 

The one day where media (in general) supports mums nationwide in having vast amounts of chocolate just because AND an extra bit of kip and BST scuppers it good and proper.

Add to this that I was then barricaded from the kitchen while their creativity was spontaneously retriggered into more gift preparation (what mum does not favour a glue&feather parrot mask? TWO parrot masks? Bring it on). 

THREE HOURS they were in there. Their dad tried to lob tea and biscuits in my general direction to placate the beast (the PMT, carb-deficient, early-roused beast) but to no avail. The cry of “Just 5 more minutes, Mummy!” didn’t offer any consolation either as their grasp of the concept of time runs roughly parallel with their grasp of the concept of where cows magically turn into beef burgers.

Bedtime should be oddles of fun.

Guileless guilt.

Daddy: “So who took the box from the top of Daddy’s wardrobe?”

[A forcibly distracted silence. The sound of crickets.]

The Bobcat: “Uuuuuuuuummm. I dink it was da wabbits?”

Daddy: “The rabbits?”

Rowdy: “Rabbits can’t climb.”

The Bobcat: “No, wabbits can’t climb, Daddy. So maybe the monkeys helped dem!”