Showing posts with label Boys and their Toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boys and their Toys. Show all posts

Thursday, June 30, 2016


 8 years old.  

I can't quite believe it has been 8 years.  Although, it's closer to 9 if I think about the day that we went to Bondi Junction for the 18-20 week ultrasound and the sonographer asked us if we wanted to know your gender, oh I know I replied, it's a little boy.  I was right.    I have been wrong about so many things, but not about you!

At 8 years old you are a true delight. You always have been though. Your love of being outdoors continues.  You have moved on from birds.  Currently you are obsessed with sport.  Specifically soccer, cricket, athletics, cross country running, skiing, surfing and cycling.  When you grow up you are going to be a "champion ski racer and jumper" (actual quote).  

You are quite a character.  You have cut your own hair more times than I can count.   Most children grow out of this in the toddler years or don't attempt it at all!  Not you, I think that the photo above is an attempt to photograph the latest haircut.  You were trying to cut a line in, "like all the soccer players have in their hair." 

You prefer to be outside at all times.  Even if it is pouring with rain and freezing cold I will find you outside, either bowling over and over again at the wickets, kicking a soccer ball into "franklin", playing hand ball against the side of the house or jumping on the trampoline.  You are thrilled when someone agrees to play outside with you, sadly this doesn't always work well with your brother.  It almost always ends in tears and a howling protest of some sort from you.

You play the viola and are in the string orchestra at school, I hope you continue to play the viola for years to come, and that it gives you as much pleasure as it has given me watching you learn to play.  I am so proud of how much you have achieved musically.   

Your best friends at school are Elijah, Scott and Hugh.  Your favourite foods are pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, sushi, sweet potato and vanilla ice cream.  You loathe cauliflower.  I can manage to make you eat almost anything, even mushrooms and eggplant, both of which you are lukewarm about, but the performance you put on  about cauliflower is worthy of an Oscar.  You are a talented athlete and can bowl better than kids much older than you, even better than many adults.  Your current favourite reads are the Harry Potter books,  Deltora Quest, the How to Train Your Dragon books, anything by Graeme Base and your perennially adored, very well thumbed Berenstain Bears books, almost all of which you know off by heart.  You will watch BTN, Top Gear and any sport that takes your fancy on TV but that is quite literally it.  Although, you do also love the Harry Potter movies and drive us all mad, with them.  For when it is your turn to choose a movie for family movie night you invariably choose a Harry Potter.  This is starting to wear a bit thin with the entire family.

You still adore lions and Big and Little will always be your adored side kicks.  I can't even imagine the heartbreak if we lost one of them again.  They truly are part of our family now.  

You are a special boy, little one.  Happy Birthday.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The joy of boys!

 As I haven't written a post about parenting the 'Y' chromosome in a very long time, here is an update:

They break bones, badly.

Both of them.

Probably because they have no fear!  That would be the seven year old up there on the top of that orange pole.  Note all the other 7 and 8 year old boys seem to have remained sensibly at ground level so perhaps it is just that my boys are extreme risk takers?

I often find elaborate "scenes" such as this one, set up in random locations around the house.

Often the "scenes" appear to have been catastrophic.

You quickly learn who all the sports stars are. 

The brotherly love is touching. The 10 year old offered to help the 7 year old find some sponsors for his school Zumba-thon.  For those that can't read his handwriting that would be Bill Gates and Queen Elizabeth sponsoring H some rather large sums per minute.

Yes, the 7 year old was sent to school with this form and yes, I crossed out Nick's additions! 

Every minute of this testosterone loaded craziness is worth it though, especially when you get treated to impromptu music recitals with football cleats on!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sailing - a magical and empowering sport for children

Each Sunday morning the Captain heads out with a handful of other like minded children for "Green Fleet" training.  He returns hours later, energised, with salty hair and clear, sparkling eyes.  Tales of whales and fairy penguins abound.  Sailing truly is a magical sport for children, it is one of the only sports that allows a child complete freedom.   As you can see in the photo above, my little 9 year old is the Captain of his own ship, literally.  There is no parent sitting beside him dictating how things should be done.  He is making decisions alone.  The consequences of which he will also have to accept.    He is in charge of rigging up his boat and packing it away after each sail.  Through all this he has learnt responsibility and discipline.  Sailing has also taught him about the environment, he now has a deeper understanding of the weather.  The direction of the wind.  The risks of a storm.   

A friend recently watched Nick as he sailed out one Sunday morning and commented on how quiet it was.  There was just the noise of ropes banging against masts and the odd squawk of a seagull.  The children themselves are remarkably quiet as they head out.  Each one focused, as they pop their centreboards in and settle themselves, preparing for a day on the water.  This peaceful quiet is not to be underestimated in this day and age, when children are surrounded by stimulation and noise.  Indeed, it is a true break from everyday life for a little boy.

  Nick started sailing at 6 years old.  I hope he is still sailing at 96 years old.  That is the thing with sailing.  It is a sport for a lifetime.  A sport that will allow him to explore miles of coastline.  Feel the wind in his hair and the sun or the rain on his face.  A sport that will foster a love of the outdoors and a respect for the environment.  A magnificent sport.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harry Potter vs the various Landrover Publications

Really.... I don't know why I was worried.  Saturday morning a quick trip to the library and a bunch of new books were borrowed for distraction purposes.

He slowly made his way through them as I wandered through the shops.

He is quite a good shopping companion really.

By Saturday night however all the new library books (and Harry Potter) had been abandoned for the Landrover Discovery 4 Brochure and the new Landrover Onelife Magazine.

This morning on the way to school it was still the current favourite.  I foresee a future with Top Gear in it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's a mad scientist in the house and he is seven!

 Happy Birthday Captain.  At seven you are quite the artist, your art teacher asked to buy one of your art works.  I said no, I wanted it.  You are the fastest runner in your class.  You love reading and read prolifically, well thumbed books are Beast Quest, Zac Power, James and the Giant Peach and the Famous Five. Your favourite toys are Lego and Playmobil Top Agents.  You can climb any tree, rope or pole like a monkey.  I frequently have to reassure people as you wave to us from the top of a lamp post that you are fine.  Your favourite foods are pizza, pink lady apples and those revolting cheese and bacon rolls from Baker's Delight.  You still skip your way around a soccer field and daydream instead of following the ball, I will be so sad when you stop doing this.  You love science club and fencing at school, skiing is another favourite.  At school you still love to play BB's vs Fairy House and construct elaborate cubby houses out of sticks and stones.  I love that your school allows you to do this.  When you grow up you want to be a paleontologist or a policeman.  You are going to marry Bronte.  I hope you always have a Bronte in your life.   Your Dad and I love your style, your Dad thinks you have an element of Ferris Bueller about you.

Sometimes I can see it!

Happy Birthday Captain!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Enid Blyton vs Beast Quest

Well, despite my best efforts it appears Enid Blyton hasn't quite made the cut for this one.  I know it is... a great disappointment.  The many years I have devoted to collecting First Edition Blytons, with the view to one day sharing them with my own children... has possibly been in vain, sniff.  He has become obsessed with something else.  The obsession part is all too familiar, the staying up and reading under the covers long after the rest of the house is asleep, the dreams about the characters and the nose continually stuck in a book.  Meal times, in the car, walking around, you name it, there is a book in his hand!  All of which is of course fabulous and I am delighted that he loves to read.  Curious, I picked up a copy of one of his Beast Quest books and was intrigued.  The author is Adam Blade (real name? not sure...) and he is prolific, there are 60 books in the series and counting.  We have 40 of them.  Hmmm, sound familiar?  Blyton wrote around 800 books over a 40 year period.  As Blade is only in his 20s there should be plenty of time for him to churn out some more.

Each book features a quest that the protagonist Tom (12 years old) and Elenna (his best friend) need to complete to help save the Kingdom of Avantia.  There are lots of dragons, weapons, wizards and beasts to keep things interesting.  The Captain clearly adores them and so I would recommend them to anyone looking for a series of books to engage a little boy starting out on their reading journey.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The old boat sand pit or as it's being called on Pinterest, the sand box!

After writing the guest post for Carolyn I have received numerous emails asking about the boat sand pit/box.  The photo I posted of the boat is apparently very popular on Pinterest...

Before I even had children I had daydreamed about creating a play area that involved an old wooden boat.  As a child I adored many books that involved boats:

 "there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" (Ratty, The Wind in the Willows) or sailing to the end of the earth with Reepicheep and Prince Caspian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favourite of all the Narnia series), or  playing pirates with the Walker and Blackett children in Swallows and Amazons and who wouldn't have wanted to run row away to The Secret Island?  One of Enid Blytons' first and possibly best books.

This early love stemming from children's books combined with my love for anything vintage and nautical and well, it is just simply something that I have always wanted to do.

So where did we get the boat from? Well, my aunt (technically my ex-aunt but she is still very much part of our family) and her husband live on the water.  Their garden is lovely green rolling lawns that wind down to a private sandy beach. After storms all sorts of debris washes up onto their little beach and they are then responsible for disposing of it. Often they find old tenders (or small row boats) washed up.  Naturally as soon as I wanted one there were none to be found.  However, the universe provided, one washed up on a nearby beach after a storm and remained unclaimed.  After waiting several weeks for an owner to materialise we nabbed it.  It was definitely not sea worthy anymore, so perfect to be re-purposed into a sand pit for my little pirates.  If you don't have access to a beach where boats might randomly wash up, try ebay and also the tip.  I have often seen old boats at our local tip, we do live near the sea though.

Do they play in it often?  In winter, yes.  In summer, not so much.  We have a pool though and in summer they spend a lot of time in the water.  In winter though they use it a lot.  Not just as a general sandpit for digging, trucks and the construction of elaborate waterways and dams. But also to play pirates and sailing around the world type imaginative games.

It is unique and I adore it.  I find the standard sanitised backyard play items available for children these days so boring.  An old boat, surrounded by sand, in a ring of old sandstone pavers truly is an enchanting and wondrous place for a child (or childlike grown ups!).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Joys of Boys - The Sequel

Parenting the Y chromosome...

They like mud...  a lot.

The little one will be very sad when the new garden beds are finished.  

I will not be.

Cardboard tubes provide hours of entertainment... (as do sand and mud).

You find surprise additions to the shopping list, (considering how well he reads his spelling is atrocious!)

They can entertain themselves anywhere.
(Me: "darling, what are you doing?
Boy: "I am spying on the people downstairs")

Got to love the excuse to be able to decorate with vintage cowboy prints though!

And... yes little pirate Prince, I forgive you for the mud! (Lucky you are as cute as you are though!).


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