Oh rats!

We had a great day today.  Oscar and Lucas have been ill.

So how can those two things be connected?

Oscar and Lucas woke at 5.15 this morning (I think Oscar woke first and decided that everyone would enjoy hearing his audio CD) and then they got up eventually, feeling all sniffley and a bit subdued but certainly not at death’s door.  Still,  we left our work plans for the morning and they made themselves some breakfast and then went back to listen to audio CDs and write Warhammer lists.  They also played some Xbox which has been causing some arguments recently but it was fine this morning.  In fact, none of us had a cross word all day.

Lunch was funny.  We ended up discussing each others funny habits and went round the table saying what we thought each others most annoying habit was and each others most endearing quality.  I know it sounds cruel but it was done in a spirit of fun and turned up some surprising points.  For the record this is some of what was said (I will fill in the blanks after I’ve asked them to remind me):

JOTH said: Oscar – not listening, big enough to say sorry (better at it than Joth!).  Lucas – how he decides he doesn’t want to try food even if he later on finds he likes it, thinks about what other people think, Lindsay – leaving slippers all over the house, doing all the meals (!!)

OSCAR said: Joth – singing but then changed it to loosing temper before listening to all sides (he got too carried away with deciding Joths worst points to think of any positive).  Lucas – not letting me have the weapons I want on Halo (on the Xbox), he knows how to play well.  Lindsay – getting annoyed, cooking.  (Cop out.  We found Oscar got far more excited about telling us our worst points)

LUCAS said: Anton (who was sitting there going “Me, me!”) – when he touches things he shouldn’t, when he gives you a hug he really means it.  Lindsay – temper, cooking.

LINDSAY said: Oscar – spinning around instead of doing what’s needed!, seeing the fun in situations and his enthusiasm.  Lucas – not trying my food even when I think he’ll like it, thinking about other people’s needs.  Joth – going in to panic mode over things that don’t need it (e.g. the speed he threw out the Tescos shopping which had just been delivered), the way he would do anything for any of us and is one of the most unselfish people I know.

It was interesting to note how the boys couldn’t really think of anything bad to say about each other but they had plenty of negative comments to say about Joth and I and the only positive comments anyone had to say about me were to do with my cooking which would be something at least but for the fact that I don’t even think I am a good cook!   I thought my dearest husband might have said something other than “She cooks all the meals!”  Charming.  I am consoling myself with the thought that perhaps they are just not very imaginative and the fact that we were sitting around the table eating distracted them.  Hmph.

Now, look away if you are squeamish about such things but in the afternoon we went to look at the rats that the boys have reserved from a breeder.  It feels so much better to be getting them from a breeder than a pet shop where you don’t know how they’ve been treated or looked after.  This way we could also see them at 2 weeks old and will collect them when they’ve been weaned at about 6 weeks old.  Oscar was sure that his rat had chosen him because it went up his sleeve in to his armpit and wouldn’t come out!  They are both really excited but Oscar is almost tearful with excitement and really can’t wait.  We bought some bits and pieces for the cage on the way home and they moved the cage in to their room despite my better judgement, but I felt I ruined their experience of the hamster with too many rules and regulations so I’m determined to try to back off with this.   I just couldn’t bear to see anything other than perfect handling of the hamster and they were ever so gentle but they were just too young really, and I was so nervous of it escaping.  I think rats will be better as they are more robust and simply bigger.  I will also just add here that adding rats to the general mix here is not what I really want to be doing at the moment and they’re not exactly my idea of a lovely pet (yet, although I am open minded about it) but I do think if they want a pet they deserve that opportunity.

We just pottered when we got back and I had my usual bath with Anton and Dante.  I feel that Anton is feeling much more settled again now.  Not that he’s had a huge reaction to Dante, in fact he’s been nothing but caring towards Dante and often wants to cuddle him and talk to him, but there is just a slightly anxious air occasionally and the odd waking up at night.  Last night for instance he woke up crying, saying “Go with mummy in the green car,” which I think came from me intending to take the boys to Kung Fu with Dante in the car.  I thought Anton would rather stay with Joth and have a bath but when I asked him he seemed to take it as if I wanted to leave him behind.   He does sometimes try to stop me feeding him saying “He’s had enough now.”

Anton enjoyed our bath though and I was able to successfully wash his hair by combing out all the bubbles with the nit comb because he loves having his hair combed.  We then all watched the piano final of BBC Young Musician (Anton included – he was miming some of the pianists when he got carried away) and had Fish and Chips.  I think that was another reason today was successful because I had decided to have a day off cooking so we had Breaded Haddock (4 for £2.50 from Tescos), Chips (75p) and a pot of Cookies and Cream Haagen Daas (£2 on special offer).  Meal for 5 = £5.25, what a treat!!

So I think today was a success because I didn’t have any expectations of what we would do and the kids were calmer because they were just slightly under the weather but of the sort that made them just feel lucky not to be working on a work day.  So much for my “there is no distinction between learning and having fun,”” philosophy that I started with all those many moons ago.  Sigh.

One other reason I think today was different and slightly calmer is that I had a very vivid dream that has stayed with me all day.  I think not getting long patches of sleep perhaps makes you more prone to dreaming and better able to remember them.  My dream was about Nan and Grandad and the very strong feeling of safe haven that I have always had where they are concerned.  I realised yet again just how wonderful our time visiting them in Cornwall was.  We only had 6 years of it, from when I was 8-14yrs old but we’d stay for several weeks at a time and it was just a perfect retreat from any of the pressures and expectations of ordinary childhood (music practise, expectations at school, stresses and strains of girly friendships).  The dreams I have about that time are recurring ones and the images from last nights dream are typical: clean comfy duvets, balmy sunshine, beaches that go on and on, my Grandad’s dimples when he smiled, and my Nan’s blue, blue eyes.   I dreamt that I was taking Oscar and Lucas there (if only) when they were younger, and we were on a long estuary beach that as we walked got more and more beautiful and perfect for the children and then we went back to the house where Nan was waiting to wrap us up in a comfy duvet!  I lay there for ages trying to hold on to the feeling of being close to my Grandparents again and then thinking of how important other people are in the extended family and how lucky my kids are to have loving grandparents.   I was trying to think if I can do more to encourage that safe haven feeling for my own children and although a parent relationship can be a more complicated one I want to keep reminding myself that that is what I am trying to achieve.  I know too that moving to be near the sea was important to me for the links with that time so I wonder if it will become important to the boys too.


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