Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Alarmed


There's bad news and there's good news. The bad news is that the girls won the dancing competition at the littlest boy's school disco. He was incensed. He has vividly described the boys' dancing for me, and quite frankly I have to agree, it sounds in a league of its own. I consoled him by explaining that people are often not fully appreciated in their own time.

The good news is that the boiler man came and put back a cap on the boiler that has been off for the past five years and which has been allowing noxious fumes into the kitchen during all of that time. I have been in shock since he told me. Check your boilers people (there should be two caps on top somewhere I think, and they should both be ON.) I am expecting a new lease of invigorated life now that I am no longer being exposed to carbon monoxide on a daily basis. Oh, and get a carbon monoxide alarm while you're about it. I have been very slack and I am berating myself constantly. The stable door has been slammed shut.

The littlest boy and I have been enjoying Plumdog and Another Year of Plumdog. Have a look at Plum's blog if you have a spare minute. Honestly, I could spend the rest of the evening reading it, it's the best, just the best. Emma Chichester Clark perfectly captures how a dog thinks and her illustrations are brilliant. We love nothing more than curling up together to read it. Bert and Plum are very similar in many respects, we think he would say the same things and would without a shadow of doubt be best friends with Plum if he should happen to meet her.

He has been reading other stuff by himself (the littlest boy, not Bert). He switched from one series to another and told me it was because he was tired of all the killing in the first series. Oh dear. Should I be policing it a bit more do you think? I didn't realise it was possible for a small boy to get tired of fictional killing.

At school the headmaster apparently went ballistic at half the class for including killing in their writing. I remember helping out at cubs a while back on shadow puppet night. Each group put on a play, and every single one ended up with the entire cast killing each other. It does seem to be how small boys roll when they're together.

I had a conversation with the littlest boy the other day. I can't remember what we were talking about, but I think he was trying to come up with something I excel at. He said to me, 'You're good at housework. But most ladies your age are good at housework.' I'm not sure where to start with that one, it left me momentarily lost for words. But it is a compliment isn't it? I'm almost sure it is. AND, I told him, I know my 17-times table as well. I know, I know, are there no limits etc. No need to write in, I'm exceptional indeed. If you need me I'll be scrubbing the grouting in the bathroom while counting to 289 in increments of 17.

25 comments:

  1. Isn't it funny when they realize you can actually DO things? Granted, in my case it's usually things like remembering every word of a rap song I haven't actually heard in 20+ years, or every single fast-food restaurant's television jingle from my childhood, but they're always so blown away. I'm sure you are good at housework, though, and they're all very lucky that you continue to allow them to live in your lovely, clean home. :)

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  2. My 14 yr. old boy wrote an absolutely horrific story for English this year. I thought we'd be called in to talk to the teacher but she just claimed he had a very vivid imagination.

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  3. Hello!
    I am so happy your boiler is fixed!!!!

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  4. That was an incredibly funny ending to your post, my friend! I can add this...my son came home from his third year of college and announced that he was now more intelligent than me. Why? Because he had three years of college under his belt, and I only had two!!!!! Egad. I knew someday I would regret dropping out.

    That's scary about your boiler. I think we may call it a water heater here. Ha! I hope so anyway. Since it might be a whole different model, I'm just going to say I'm thankful you are well, have it fixed, and thanks also for the reminder to get the carbon monoxide detector.

    Would love to hear what you are up to, if you'd like to send an email, given time. I'm going to check out Plum Dog blog---sounds fun!

    Jane x

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  5. Hilarious post, CJ. Glad your boiler now has 2 caps! I do have a CO detector, but it scared me witless one time by actually going off for no apparent reason. Nothing was on, including the boiler. I opened all the doors and windows and stood outside for a while feeling foolish (no-one else was home). Eventually, it stopped making the noise, and has remained silent ever since. It just sits there in my kitchen and I test the battery occasionally. Plum Dog sounds wonderful. xx

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  6. Yay for plumdog and boiler men. Ours once blew up because a beetle had fried himself between two wires 😳. That was one very expensive beetle.

    I agree- boys are fascinated by fictional killing, horrible though it sounds. I don’t believe for one second this translates into fascination with actual killing though. Adults over react about it, I guess because it seems so horrific to us, but then the market for crime fiction is huge, no?

    L once said to me that all I did all day was housework 😳. While I was effectively silenced in horror, M stepped in to my rescue and pointed out all the other things I also do. L looked very sceptical 😆 xx

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  7. By the time you are a grandmother you can relax because you will be the fount of all knowledge. So glad you found out about the boiler and got a CO2 alarm.

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  8. Them girls always win the dancing competition here, too. Teachers just don't appreciate the breakdance style madness the boys put on display! My boys are killed several times a day. By sword mostly. It is a bit bendy (the sword) and is missing chunks of foam but apparently, it still works. I stopped reading so much crime because all that gory killing was too much for my gentle soul. Thanks for the reading suggestions, I might ask James if he fancies these books. I can't do the 17 times table, and I am not good at housework. Alistair recently wrote a poem about me in which it says that I am always wearing the same coat and that I sometimes cook. I take what ever complimentI can get. Glad your carbon monoxide is now monitored. It is a silent killer. xx

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  9. I have a similar tale to tell re the good at housework comment. I have a Mother's Day Card from my youngest which includes various lines to be completed, one of which was "My Mum is good at....." I imagine the teacher expected the children to say "giving me hugs" or such like. Ollie baldy stated "ironing". As a strapping 20 year old he still maintains it was an entirely accurate comment. I like to think I am quite good at other things too.

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  10. I’m chortling over your son's indignation at the dance competition. The girl/ boy divide at that age is huge isn’t it! Glad the boiler is fixed and you are still conscious to tell the tale. How scary is that and I bet lots of others have the same problem. I checked out the plumdog website and was totally smitten. How to tell my cats that I would love a dog please. I know the answer.
    Nothing wrong with murder and mayhem in a boy's fictional life, the most important thing is that he clearly loves reading.
    Enjoy the sunshine, definitely gardening weather today methinks :) B x

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  11. This post had me laughing out loud, that is apart from the bit about the boiler which had me shaking my head. xx

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  12. Your littlest boy sounds a real little character. Funny how all boys big and small, young and older and those very old all think that us mums have a GCSE in domestic science by which I don't mean in the culinary I mean more in the ability to run a house and keep it clean..... I'm sure my other half thinks that the fairies and pixies put everything I ask him to put away, away but in reality I get fed up with asking or fed up with waiting for him to put stuff away and when he realises I've done it will always say 'I was just about to do that if you'd given me a minute'.

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  13. Don't you just love little boys! I'm not sure I'd want to be good at housework though, however I am impressed by the seventeen times table although wondering why you would know such a thing!

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    1. I used to be a croupier in a former life - you need to know your seventeen-times tables for working out the payouts in roulette. Thirty-fives come in handy as well. And I can work out 19/20ths of things too. I'm waiting for it to be useful for something else one day. CJ xx

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  14. 17 times table!! So useful! I once kept my tears (storms of it at funerals, crying for everybody gone and going) at bay during a funeral service by reciting the 17 times table! I got through it with just a little bit of dampness in the eyes. Very useful indeed! Wasn't even someone I knew well, the father of a friend of my daughter. But the urge to cry like a fountain was very real.
    To CJ - I love working with fractions. Especially how far I am with a project...great pasttime, projects and fractioning it!!

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  15. Not being appreciated in your own time is a brilliant response to a small boy's disappointment over so many things. Come to think of it, it's very apt for most creative people too! Love the backhanded compliment too; my son occasionally remembers how marvellous I am (haha) but, just in case, I have kept an old badge from the Royal Mail years ago which says "You're Special". I don't actually wear it though. :D x

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  16. Well you are a lot smarter than me because frankly I have trouble with the 7 times table. And my sons, now 24 and 20 still think I LIKE to clean and that is why I do it. I am on sick boy duty, so I am home ALLLLLLLLLL weekend.

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  17. Oops forgot to add I was so scared for you knowing that carbon monoxide was spewing your way, glad you got that cap on.

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  18. Morning CJ, came to visit you today through a friend of a friends blog and so enjoyed reading your posts. Will be following along from now on.

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  19. Haha, I remember the time Angus told me I was amazing at washing up. Wow, it was a real highlight. Very alarming about the boiler though. Ours is ancient and in Angus's bedroom which is slightly concerning, I might get it checked. Thanks for the tip. xx

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  20. My daughter saw an old picture of me one time and said, in an admiring and surprised tone: "Mom! You used to be so pretty!"
    I don't think it's ever occurred to anyone to compliment me on my housekeeping skills.

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  21. Excellent reply to littlest re his disappointment! And I'm very impressed that you know your 17 times table. I really didn't know such a thing existed!

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  22. Hey CJ,
    Girls always win the dance off at the school disco. It's a universal fix. The carbon monoxide thing is a worry. We have an alarm after having the wood burner installed. But we don't have nay fire alarms. I would imagine the boys would say that I excel at housework too. They certainly wouldn't include my numerical abilities. Olly was telling me all about the fractions that he was doing at school today, and I came over all clammy with number fear.
    Have a good week, dear girl.
    Leanne xx

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  23. I am a fan of your Plumdog. I found it makes an excellent gift for children and/or dog lovers :) I am sorry about the disco loss. The school competitions are one of the things I live for the reenactments of. I can still get my son and one of his good friends to relive the time they were beat out of a business proposal competition at a local company by "the girls". Very dramatic.

    As for the reading, I have never censored it. You're already discussing what he's reading and to me that is the most important thing. Sounds like he's discovering new genres out of his own taste anyhow. Happy reading and everything to you.

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  24. Headmaster ballistic about use of killing. Ahhhh, the New Wave!!!! Do not allow any words to be used, which might "offend" or "scare" someone. LOL.

    If these people continue in charge, childhood will be lost. All children will come up, soft as "powder puffs". Is that any way, to bring up children?

    Please, let the parents decide what books and words to use.

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