Category Archives: The Blonde Kid

Playground Talk – Random Thoughts

Last week I was walking down the road with a friend of mine who’s daughter is at the same school as TBK  we were talking about how they were getting on with them both being  in year 7  when she announced and went into great details about her daughter starting her periods.

I’m not bothered that she told me, dammit I felt sorry for the girl by the sounds of it was hardly a gentle introduction into the monthly merry-go-round of PMS and stomach cramps but it did make me stop and think – I would have been mortified as an early teen if I’d have found out my Mom was walking down the street casually discussing what was going on in my pants with her friends – So what exactly compels us to share so much intimate information about our children with other parents?

As babies we’d discuss sleep patterns and the consistency and texture of poo, in mother and toddler classes it would be first words and and first steps. In nursery and then into school every milestone would be celebrated with clucking and cooing on the playground, the more competitive parents (mothers usually) exaggerating their children’s achievements, the quieter ones ducking the playground politics by discreetly bowing out of my child’s better than yours conversations and now here we are,me and my parent friends in the brink of those dreaded teenage years discussing puberty, periods and mood swings.

So why do we share so much? Are we telling each other all these things to gain reassurance from each other that were doing it right? To get an opinion on things we feel were doing wrong? Are we showing off? Living vicariously through out children, bragging about there progress and achievements, Or are we pre programmed as humans to share things and as parents our children are one of the biggest things in our lives so it’s only natural that these details get shared.

Or is it at as feel some of all of the above?

Breaking the rules

Playing with the sun

I love my camera, I just always wish I was more proficient with it, so I’ve been reading lots and lots of articles to try and improve, The most recent one about shooting into the sun so I thought I’d give it a go.

Generally the rule is shoot with the sun over your shoulder, so it felt a little odd blinding myself through the viewfinder but I persevered took a couple and this one was my favourite.

I’m not 100% happy with it but I’m not sure what it is that I’m unhappy with maybe it’s just that I’m not used to deliberately creating glare or maybe it would have worked better had the blonde kid being looking towards the camera?  I don’t know but I  guess I’ll carry on reading and shoot some more, dragging my ever (un)willing test subject out again to try and find out.

A day off school, telling the story of #eqnz.

Today TBK had an unexpected day off school (long story), and as ever when he is off school not through illness or inset day we set him some work to do at home, Maths, Art and some Literacy. TBK wanted to just make up a story, but James wanted something factual. and more structured. So he got thinking.

Anyone who follows us on twitter (or read my previous post) would know a large part of our time has been taken up recently keeping up with events the other side of the world. More specifically the Christchurch earthquake. Not only do I have family in Christchurch we are also due to fly out to see them in just over 5 weeks time. We’ve discussed the earthquake with Jordan and what that means to our trip and our family out there but we wanted to see how much he had taken in. James wanted to set him the task of writing about it. After some discussion a compromise was reached and it was decided that TBK would, using his knowledge of the earthquake, write a fictional first person account from someone caught in the quake.

He’s only 11 – this is what he wrote:

The Christchurch Earthquake: My Experience

I was minding my own business walking through the park when all of a sudden the ground started shaking, buildings started collapsing and liquefaction started coming up out of the ground. Every where felt like jelly, I was being tossed and turned, I couldn’t move, I knew straight away we were having another earthquake.

It stopped.. Everything had been destroyed. Car alarms were going off, buildings were on fire, I didn’t know what to do! Of course, the first thing that crossed my mind was to run home but there was no one at home, my wife was at work, my children were at school and my mom and dad passed away three years ago.

I quickly ran to my children’s school and they were both luckily fine, I picked them up and ran with them to my wife’s work, it had been completely demolished.

My phone rang, I answered it, it was fuzzy and I couldn’t hear properly, it was MY WIFE I was filled with joy, she had left work for her lunch break thirty minutes ago, she was fine but then everything went silent and I could no longer hear my wife.

I walked with my children to my house, it had not been demolished, only a few tiles were cracked and several chimneys were on the floor in pieces. All the power had gone, I went into the garden to find my wife clearing up the liquefaction, we were all relived to see each other again. We set up our tents in the back garden, as all water supplies were disabled we had to use portaloos, a fire and all the water we could get to ration out between us.

Its been almost a week and we have now got electricity, phone signal and internet connection. The toilets and water supplies are back in business and things are slowly returning to normal, although due to the mess we have still got a lot of work to do.

Random Memories: The Purple Fat Toy

Sometimes out of the blue while doing something completely unrelated a long forgotten  memory surfaces. Sometimes these are about something TBK said or did. I’ve written before about how I regret not documenting more his younger years so I’ve decided as they come to me I’m going to try and blog them, they wont mean anything to anyone but me, but I just don’t want to lose them again. Here are the first of two remembered this week.

When TBK was really little, when his language skills were less developed and he wasn’t as self sufficient as he is now he had some plastic toy zoo animals, and one day playing in my parents back garden he was trying to ask for one of them….

“Can I  have the hit-mut-hos” he asked, repeatedly, with both me and my mom trying to figure out what he wanted “THE HIT-MUT-HOS HIT-MOT-HOS” he demanded getting increasingly frustrated at our lack of understanding.

This went on a short while until he stopped dead, looked at the floor and finally looked up at us and asked

“Can I have the purple fat one”

His lateral thinking as he was getting increasingly frustrated made my parents and my day and for a while afterwards every Hippopotomus was know as “The Purple Fat One”


The Magic Box


Despite it now being March 2010 I still have my 2009 calendar up in my kitchen, not because I’m particularly lazy (but I am) but because it’s about 50 shades of awesome!

Of course every parent thinks their kids work is amazing, fantastic, fabulous, first rate etc, but this is! I like it so much because while it’s not the work of art Matisse, Banksy or Tracy Emin could produce, and it’s no Shakespearean prose, Hell it’s even below the quality of work TBK can produce when he wants to, every time I read I can’t help but smile.

I read it and remember that it’s good to have imagination and to never ever stifle his!

The Magic Box

In my box I will put a massive, dirty and dangereus exploding army tank. The feel of silky, shiny, sparkly, quick Sahara sand and a door leading to a u.f.o.

In my box I will put the smell of super noodles cooking the sight of presents round the tree and the sound of rock music.

My box is fashioned from high tech lock and dinosaur skin cover.

And hinges made from a alligator jaw.

Spelling mistakes are all his own!



This evening I came home to find TBK once again beating the crap out of his alien friends on Halo3. Since having had the xBox for Christmas he’s spent more time than I’ve ever let him before seated in front of his computer playing games.

I’ve alieviated myself of some the guilt of being one of ‘those’ parents who sits their children in front of the box to entertain themselves by a. Convincing myself that with xBox live at least it’s social, as in he might be by himself but he’s not playing alone and b. Once the evenings are lighter and the weather warmer he’ll be back out on his bike and in and out the front door like a yoyo just like the last few summers.

I say some of the guilt as I’d still had doubts, I was still worried of the ‘mind numbing effects of playing pointless video games’ and didn’t wish him to become a statistic of the illiterate generation we hear so much about in the media.

I know I’ve been worrying unnecessarily as my mis-spent youth visiting friends houses and setting up our own LAN parties for weekend long games of Quake hardly set my development back at all – and you’ve only got to have a conversation with TBK to see he’s a well rounded 10year old, but as a parent you can’t help but worry.

I discovered needn’t have!

This evening TBK showed me in style why I have no need to worry about computer games stunting his academic development.

Whilst in the virtual world of Halo he was running across a sandtrap and jumping to strike a competitor, gravity hammer in hand, In the real world he’s sitting in the arm chair screaming “Onomatopoeia” at the screen and the following exchange took place ..

Me: why did you say that? Do you know what Onomatopoeia means?

TBK: yeah!

Me: explain then….

TBK: it’s when a word sounds like its spelt, like bang, and the gravity hammer goes bang when you hit something, so….Onomatopoeia!

Me: *speechless*

I don’t mind admitting that I think I was a whole lot older than 10 before I grasped the concept of onomatopoeia, in fact I can still remember learning about it in secondary school, which definitely made me older than 10, and I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I’ve had a discussion that included the word onomatopoeia or used it outside of that classroom before this evening.

So if TBK wants to spend his down time plugged into his xBox talking to the voices of his disembodied friends hunting aliens in “pointless video games” then so be it because it’s at times like this evening that I realise it’s not doing any harm at all!