Incident at Number 28

I arrived home from work yesterday to find the boy in a state of shamed, tear-strewn misery, having been sent to his room by daddy. He’d just been caught red-handed with his fingers in TOMORROW’s advent calendar drawer. And also the drawer for day 6. Dearie me!

The calendar I refer to is this gorgeous wooden one from Granny & Pops, which has two little chocolates inside each drawer. I assume the allure of future chocolate was simply too much for the microbe…


At times like these I have to work hard not to laugh whilst telling him off. Not least because the crime provides its own punishment. G has tried to enlighten him that he’s only stealing chocolate from his future self but I don’t think he’s quite grasped it.

We’ve been busy regaling him with tales of our own childhoods in which advent calendars were made of paper and had no chocolates in them and had to be shared between siblings (and that was only after getting up at midnight to lick t’road clean.)

In other news, the microbe and I made 39 Christmas cards last weekend. Quite a feat, when you take into account that he has the attention span of a gnat. I threw caution to the wind and put him in charge of glitter-sprinkling. I deserve everything I get, don’t I? Long may our flat sparkle. (It makes no difference how well I think I hoovered, I can guarantee we’ll find glitter stuck to a cat’s head in June.)

If only the boybot were old enough to write the cards and address all the envelopes. So damaged am I by technology that anything written with a physical pen grows more unintelligible every year. People might just have to guess who they’re from.

Remind me – this is the season to hate and despise your fellow man, yes? If so, Winchester has it well covered. We had a day out there last weekend with Clan Flock and our visit happened to coincide with the world’s most middle-class street protest, which only exacerbated the heaving body-crush of Christmas shoppers. A high point for G was pausing beside a choir of gorgeous, harmonious carol singers just as a passing lady bellowed “Oh shut up!” at them. But in fact we had a fun day out. I just need to go through my pics and see if I can find a single one where the supreme prettiness is not blocked out by the passing bodies of 8000 fellow humanoids.

On a different topic, G and I finally had a chance this week to visit Mystery School, this being the third local primary that we were considering applying for. We had to go on a waiting list just to get a look through the door but, despite the apparent local fervour to get into this school, nothing has managed to jettison it off the bottom of our pile.

If I were in charge of OFSTED, schools that don’t do anything to support working parents wouldn’t get ratings of ‘Outstanding’. Compared with the other two schools, which gave us details of how their wraparound care works, this school gave us lovely anecdotes of how the mums pop in during the day to do lesson volunteering – and to collect the child at 3pm “Because they’re only little and we feel they’re too tired to do after school clubs“.

Too tired?? The microbe has been doing a 10-hour day at nursery since he turned one. It’s not exactly sending him up a chimney, is it? A similarly-minded dad put his hand up and asked what working parents are supposed to do and the reply was “Well …you can hire a nanny, or there’s a private daycare nursery next door, but it’s very hard to get into“). Gee, thanks.

It’s not as if they’ll have any places available anyway. Once you take out the 40-odd places that go to siblings and the further 25 reserved for church places, the whole of heathen Twickenham is left to fight it out for the remaining 20-odd places. Yay! I’m actually tempted to skip this one entirely and just put our two nearest schools down on the application form. (I suppose that may be a bit risky.)

In news of good cheer, our neighbourhood suddenly turned into twinkle-town on 1st December, which is mightily cheering on my walk home from the station. I do wish it were acceptable to leave Christmas lights up all year round. We might do some de-grinchifying of our own residence at the weekend, if we can squeeze it in around various local events and a quick allotment visit to plant some lovely, fat, Isle of Wight garlic bulbs. (Insert pause for a momentary dream of summer)

gangaIt’s the microbe’s nursery Xmas fair on Saturday. Cue 2 hrs of high-pitched chaos, where the top raffle prize is a bottle of orange squash and tiny people splat biscuit icing all over the place before queuing up to burst into tears at the sight of Father Christmas. Last year the boybot got his face painted with a festive marijuana leaf. (Your guess is as good as mine)

As for tree shopping, I am braced for the annual quest to find a tall but spindly specimen that will fit into our bijoux space. I’ll also have to mentally expunge, once again, all memory of The Little Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen. A horror story of tree-abuse that used to make me cry myself to sleep as a little girl. Read at your peril.


About Susan Flockhart

Bonsai lady-geek and blogger. I can hardly recall what I used to blog about pre-microbes, but these days I generally ramble about motherhood, nonsense and whatever's going on the world of tiny people
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