Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Advertising shmadvertising

Our trip to the cinema turned out to be very enjoyable and a great success. George sat through the whole 60-minute 'Day of the Diesels' film without shifting an inch – even when other older children were getting fidgety, with about 15-20 minutes to go, George remained mesmerised.

It was the 15 minutes before the film that he wasn't interested in and that made us a little apprehensive – advertisements and gumf and all that non-descript rubbish that precedes a movie had George fidgeting and whingeing before Thomas the Tank had even appeared.

It's advertising that makes us avoid Milkshake on Channel 5 as much as possible. We make exceptions for Thomas and Roary the Racing Car, of course, but other than that we switch back to CBeebies as quickly as possible.

It won't be long before the power of advertising eventually "brainwashes" our little fella – just as it does relentlessly to the rest of us – and I fid it a little sad that the influence advertising has is almost omnipotent, telling us what we want or need and convincing us we need things that we don't even want.

Having said that, and reiterating the fact that advertising is pretty much unavoidable, I do quite like the new Sainsbury's adverts with a lad and his dad – it's a squishy hug of an advert for all dads, especially 'stay-at-home' dads (or whatever we're meant to be called).

The Tesco ad, on the other hand, when mum phones dad to ask about the shopping and he tells her he's at the supermarket but is actually doing the shopping online because he's too lazy to get off the sofa, has one fatal flaw. When mum gets home, how is he going to explain where the shopping is?

And then there's the one for the daily moisturiser that lasts for seven days... eh? Anyway, I'm heading off at a tangent here and must curb my advertising rant.

Highly recommended is my book 'The Smallest Happy Number' – just click on the Lulu link on the right and... oh no – even I'm at it now!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Boy Wonder

Not sure if he has designs on being a superhero or he thinks his nappies aren't doing their job properly – but this is George taking a picture of me taking a picture of George, and even though George's camera doesn't take real photos, I made sure I was wearing my underpants underneath my trousers.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Staycation time

September is the month when both my and mummy's MoT is due and when mummy's tax disc needs renewing – so we're not going on holiday.

Instead we're having a 'staycation' and doing some holidayish things while stopping at home.

On Monday, George went to nursery as usual, which gave me the chance to start decorating his new room in de rigueur blue for a boy (not a typical holiday activity, I know).

Yesterday, we went to the zoo. We have been to the zoo before but this time we let George run about rein-free – so he loved it just that little bit more – and we ran about a little bit more than usual too.

Today, we have been swimming – or rather George has been splashing and jumping and sliding and we've been wading and chasing after him. More than that, we travelled to the baths on the bus and sat on the top deck, right at the front, both there and back.

After parking in the local supermarket car park we crossed the road and waited at the bus stop. We'd only been there a couple of minutes when nanny drove past in the opposite direction. She spotted us and we waved as she mouthed something and made some kind of turning-around hand sign, probably thinking our cars had failed their MoTs or something.

We didn't find out if she did do a loop at the next island as our bus pulled up and we hopped on. After we settled in our seats we sent a quick text to explain our bus queue situation and then burst into song with an extended version of 'The Wheels on the Bus' (minus daddy's verses about 'the cows on the bus', 'the donkey on the bus' and 'the kangaroo on the bus' which apparently goes boing, boing, boing all day long). It was a shame that the other passengers didn't join in, but I have to admit, as more people got on, it eventually ended up with George singing solo and increasing his volume to pick up mummy and daddy's slack.

For the rest of our 'staycation' we are having another day out on Friday (not sure where yet) and a trip to the cinema on Saturday morning (I think I mentioned that the other week)... and George has joined in with the theme by asking to wear his sunglasses while watching In the Night Garden.

Now... if the cars pass the MoTs then perhaps we'll celebrate with an ice-cream.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mini 'CHiPS'

We have our very own highways patrol, keeping law and order on the driveways and paths outside our home. Actually, George would rather be using his newly-found riding skills to herd chickens in the field but fortunately his highway patrol bike wouldn't fit through the kissing gate.

If this is anything to go by the chances of reviving TV cop show 'CHiPS' has just taken a huge leap forward...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Big boy, big bed, big screen

I've just put George down for his afternoon nap and I must admit I really enjoy cudding him to sleep until his arms go flop and Mickey Mouse falls out of his grasp, and it's when he's snuggled up on my lap that it dawns on me how big he is getting.

I don't think he's particularly tall for his age (at 2 and a quarter he's about waist height on me) but we've realised it's time to get him out of his cot – and those sleep-bag things – and into a 'big-boy' bed. In preparation for this we have cleared out the second bedroom, putting things in a) the loft b) the skip and c) daddy's office. We have painted swatches of various shades of blue on the walls – somehow we managed to buy two that were exactly the same – and cooed over beds in the shape of Lightning McQueen and Thomas the Tank Engine.

We have also decided that he's getting to the age when he might enjoy a trip to the cinema – he sat on my lap and watched Kung Fu Panda from beginning to end without shifting an inch the other day – so we've booked tickets to see the latest Thomas the Tank Engine film, Day of the Diesels. I'm actually quite excited about it, mainly because the last time I went to the cinema was to see True Lies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, way back in 1994.

It's not that I don't like films – I like films a lot – it's more that I don't like rustling sweet papers, talking, munching and slurping drink noises (I don't think there were many mobile phones around in 1994 so things can only have got worse). Also, you can buy a DVD to keep and watch over and over again for less than the price of a cinema ticket.

George has yet to develop any 'Victor Meldrew' tendencies of his own and I'm sure he'll be mesmerised by the big screen, and however much background noise there is, it will all be part of a new experience for him, just like it was for me when I went to see Snow White when I was little.