Archive for the ‘The Dad’ Category

Silly question, Dad!

December 17, 2013

Fainjin has modified his Lego Father Christmas, adding some talons from a Hero Factory set he has.  The Dad (who is usually quite bright) was puzzled, and asked why he’d done it.



Fainjin giggled with glee.  “Because he’s Santa CLAWS!”

Well, of course.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.



Sense & Sensibility

November 4, 2012

We were at the school fair, and I was working on a stall.  The family came to visit me, then wandered off – Pearl to explore with her friends, The Dad and the little ones in another direction.

About quarter of an hour later, Fainjin appeared in front of me.  I was tucked around a corner, and it was crowded.  I assumed the others were right behind him.

“Hello there!” I said brightly, and was dismayed when his face crumpled.

“I’ve lost Daddy and Babess!” he wailed.  I pulled him around to my side of the sales table and gave him a big hug.  Thank goodness for cellphones, I was able to let The Dad know immediately where he was.

They had been looking at something outside when it started to rain.  Fainjin was facing away from The Dad when he said, “Come on kids, let’s move over here to stay dry.”  The Dad saw exactly what happened – he and Babess moved (not realising Fainjin hadn’t heard him), then Fainjin turned around and couldn’t locate them in the crowd.  The Dad called out and waved, and wasn’t far away at all, but Fainjin moved in a different direction through the crowd.  The Dad could see the moment when Fainjin made the decision that he couldn’t see Dad or Babess and needed to do something.  He cut through a classroom, and it was at this point that The Dad lost sight of him.

Sensible boy, he knew exactly where I was and that I wouldn’t have moved, so he came straight to me.  He knows the school well by now, but it was very crowded and full of unfamiliar obstacles in the form of fair stalls.

Lots of relief all round.  I gave Fainjin lots of cuddles and told him how proud I was that he thought so clearly and didn’t panic, but did the sensible thing and came to tell me the others were lost (I noted to myself with considerable amusement that he wasn’t lost, The Dad and Babess were – but that makes sense, as Fainjin goes to that school and they don’t!).

It was a safe environment and no-one was actually lost for more than a minute or two, but it was a sharp reminder of how quickly we can inadvertently lose contact in a crowd and the perils that await.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Doctor… who?

October 11, 2012

The Dad and I are fans of Dr Who.  We missed a lot of the last series, for various reasons, but the new series has started on TV here now, and although we’ve missed a couple of episodes because we were in Australia, we’re keen to catch what we can.  We were discussing it in the car this afternoon, because I was going to be out for the evening and I wanted The Dad to tape it for me.

“What’s Dr Who?” someone in the back asked.  Probably Fainjin.

“It’s a grown-up tv programme,” we replied.

“Can we watch it?” Fainjin thought it sounded interesting.

“No, because it’s on late and it’s very scary for children.”

There was a little pause, and then Babess said, “Mum?”

“Yes, Babess?”

“I am very brave, you know.”

We had a little talk about how brave they all were but that the show is scary and not for children, even brave ones, that it might give them bad dreams, and anyway it doesn’t start until After Bedtime.

I went out, The Dad entertained the children, fed them, bathed them, read to them and put them to bed.

He was startled, having started the recorder and settled down to watch tv, to see a small figure standing in the doorway, thumb in mouth, curious eyes on the screen.

“Is that Dr Seuss?  Can I watch it?  I’m very brave.”  Babess was very earnest.

I wonder what Dr Seuss would have made of the Stone Angels?

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


September 17, 2012

Recently The Dad and his team played in a football tournament nearby.  They had 90 min or so between shortened games, so I had said to invite anyone who wanted to come back to our place for a bite to eat or just a place to sit.  I was planning to make a nice slice for them to have with coffee if they felt like it.

The day was terribly windy, as spring days often are here, but fine enough.  Until the game was about due to start.  I looked out the window and it was pouring down!

Pearl and I swept into action.  She grabbed as many towels as she could find and deposited them by the front door for the team to dry themselves off as they came in.  I whirled around the kitchen wondering what on earth I could cook up that would be hot and quick – I had about 45 min before who-knew-how-many soaking wet and cold men would arrive.  I’d already made the sweet slice, but I didn’t think that would comfort them all that much.

I got some sausage rolls out of the freezer, and raided the fridge for soup ingredients.  Luckily I’d just been to the supermarket, so had some fresh chicken and plenty of vegetables, as well as pre-made chicken stock and crusty bread to go with it.

Pearl bustled around doing lots of little jobs, fetching and carrying, and always reappearing to ask “What needs doing now, Mum?”  I think she had been impressed by the ferocity of the downpour and was glad not to be out in it herself!  I set her to helping peel and chop some veges, and she watched me make the soup.

“So…  soup is just boiling water with stuff thrown in it?”

I thought that was a pretty good description of what we were doing!  It tasted pretty good to me, though, and the five cold wet footballers were incredibly grateful for their warm welcome.  I hear the rest of the team, who had demurred at the invitation, sincerely regretted that decision once they heard what they had missed!

For my part, I was very grateful for Pearl’s cheerful and willing help, and made sure she got full credit for it.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Did they miss us?

September 2, 2012

The Dad and I very much enjoyed our weekend away, but were excited to go and collect the children again at the end of it.  Somewhat predictably (because it happened last time too), the children were not quite so excited to see us.

“We’re here to rescue you from Auntie B’s clutches!” I laughed as we arrived.  Pearl glanced up from  what she was doing and murmured, “Nooooo…”.

Babess smiled brightly at me and said, “But I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here for this many!” as she held up 6 fingers.  Fainjin just looked up and said, “Hi Mum,” but stayed firmly on the couch next to his adored older cousin.

They did all come home without much fuss though.  They had even made a card for The Dad for Fathers’ Day!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Let’s play “mindreader”

May 27, 2012

Fainjin proposed a fun game to The Dad after dinner.  “Dad!  I will say a letter, and you say a word starting with that letter.  OK?”

“OK,” his father agreed.



“No, that wasn’t the answer.”

“But fish starts with F…”

“But it wasn’t the answer I was thinking of.  Try again.”

Oh dear, poor Dad.  It was going to be hard to win that one.  But at least he had triumphed earlier in the day, emerging from a game with Pearl to proclaim, “Yes!!! I can beat a nine-year-old who has never played chess before!”

Let’s see who wins the second game, though.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Happy Birthday Daddy

May 1, 2012

There was great excitement this morning, as the children presented The Dad with his birthday presents, which we had shopped for at the weekend.  He was duly appreciative, and we went on with the day.

When Babess got to daycare, she announced to one of her teachers, “It’s my Daddy’s birthday!”  The teacher said, “Really?! Perhaps you can make him a card today.”

When The Dad went to pick her up at the end of the day, he was told Babess had spent all day making him things.  I can believe it.

First there was the card:

Front of the birthday card

To Dad, Happy Birthday, love from Babess

Is it just me, or is that amazing handwriting from a not-yet-four-year-old?  (Not the “love from”, that’s clearly a teacher’s hand, but the rest of it would have been copied by Babess).

Then there was a beautifully-wrapped parcel:

Bespoke wrapping paper

and inside was a book!

The book cover. I love the pictures of "Dad" and "me".

with more lovely writing:

I love you

and more pictures:


What a lucky Dad!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Avoiding punctures

February 29, 2012

This morning at daycare, The Dad crouched down to say goodbye to Babess.  “Do I get a kiss goodbye?” he asked.  (She’d already given me one).

She leaned in towards him, then stopped.  “But not on the spikes!” she said, touching his beard.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Bye Daddy

February 21, 2012

Yesterday, The Dad was leaving with Babess a few minutes before the rest of us set out for school.

Fainjin was in a world of his own, lingering over his breakfast, seemingly unaware as people rushed to and fro around him.  Babess said, “Bye, Fainjin!” and he didn’t hear her.

I said, “Say goodbye to Dad and Babess!” and he didn’t hear me either.  I don’t know what it was he was concentrating on, but it must have been a fascinating daydream.

Babess said goodbye again, and wandered off to the front door.  As The Dad followed her, he said, “Bye, Pearl, bye, Fainjin!”

All of a sudden it penetrated, and even though The Dad was still right in front of him, Fainjin must have subliminally absorbed the message that they were on their way out the door, because he straightened up and shouted, “Bye, Daddy!  I love you!”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


February 18, 2012

Fainjin started music lessons today.  Music appreciation, really – they learn some songs, beat rhythms, learn about different instruments and get to have a go on some of them.  He told the teacher at the start that he doesn’t like music (he was feeling anti!), but when the glockenspiel came out he had a great time.

The Dad drove the car today, for the first time since he broke & dislocated his elbow just before Christmas.  Babess and I did the supermarket shopping, and he and Fainjin drove down to collect us (and the heavy groceries).  The children were so excited for him, it was very cute.  Then they “helped” wash the car when we all got home.

Pearl did all her chores with minimal prompting, including a huge load of dishes to dry.  She tried to get Fainjin to put them away for her, but he wasn’t keen, and Babess helped her instead! We drew up a “jobs” sheet for Pearl for a week.  Her new job this year is to clean the basins in the bathroom and loo each weekend.  Now we have to negotiate the rewards…  The idea is, a certain number of jobs have to be done each week (a high percentage of her “regular” jobs but with room for extra credit) to earn a reward, which might be pocket money or a late night on a weekend or an extra Latin lesson or playing a board game.

The Dad and I looked out the window this afternoon and saw Babess sitting in her “baby swing” sideways, all curled up and looking very comfy.  She was singing to herself in the sunshine.

Fainjin was allowed to stay up a bit later than Babess tonight to watch “Wipeout” on TV.  He loved it!  All those people falling off things into the water, or being smacked about by huge obstacles on the course.  It might become a Saturday night regular treat for him.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

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