Four and a Dog

A blog about family life

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Bruiser Conversations

Bruiser: What do we get from sheeps?

Me: Wool.

Bruiser: What is wool?

Me: It’s like a sheep’s fur. Once a year the sheep have a haircut and people use the wool to make into other thinks like blankets and jumpers. 

Bruiser: Why don’t we get oranges from sheep?

Me: (pause) Because oranges grown on trees…not sheep.

Bruiser: Oh…they’re not banana shaped.

Me: (pause) The oranges?

Bruiser: Yes.

Me: No, oranges are round.

Bruiser: Do sheep like banana milkshakes?

Me: I don’t know. I’ve never asked.

Bruiser: Dave* does.

*I have no idea who Dave is or if he is a sheep.

Conversations With The Moon

We have a long tradition of talking to the moon. It began many moons (ha ha! I am so very funny) when Diva first asked about the moon and I showed her the face that is often visible on its surface.

Once we had established that there was a face, Diva immediately struck up a conversation. I obviously replied in my best moon voice, trying to guess what a moon would eat for breakfast ( it’s crumpets by the way). Hubby and I were also very pleased to discover that we use a similar voice when speaking for the moon. For those of you unsure about how the moon sounds, I suggest you tune in to Sarah and Duck. However, I must point out that we have been using that voice for much longer than the shows existence. Clearly we are all in agreement that the moon is an eccentric, posh English man.

Once Bruiser was able to talk, he also joined in with these conversations. Mostly they occur whilst driving in the car, or in parks surrounded by confused looking parents that slowly move their children towards alternative equipment. The moon also regularly watches movies with us and asks to sleep in our garden.

Tonight we went to an outdoor screening of a movie. It was so much fun getting wrapped up and sitting around little campfires and candles, eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate. You should all definitely do it. On the way there, we became aware that Bruiser was using a strange voice to talk to Diva. After listening for awhile we realised that he was trying to do the voice for the moon. Diva was explaining where we were going and ‘Moon’ was asking if he could come too.

In all honesty, this may have been my proudest moment as a parent yet. Next we will have to work on their comic timing.

Six Reasons Neverland Sucks

Diva loves Peter Pan. She has recently watched the live action version. I thought it would be too scary but she told me to, “Calm down Mummy, it’s not real.”

After watching the movie I said, “So Peter Pan decides he doesn’t want to stay because he doesn’t want to grow-up.”


“Because he would rather stay a little boy forever in Neverland.”

She then gave me six reasons that this was stupid:

1. Nobody ever eats in Neverland.
2. Nobody drinks in Neverland.
3. There are no toys there.
4. If you grow-up you get to have a job.
5. When you grow-up you get to make paintings (I want to point out that we never deny her the opportunity to paint).
6. In Neverland your clothes get misty and broken.
7. In Neverland there are no mummies and daddies. *

* I may have made this last one up….but I’m sure it’s what she wanted to say…deep down…

End of Act One

Whilst driving home from school today, Diva began to sing a song of her own creation. It involved dinosaurs and superheroes. I believe they were flying, and thinking about tomorrow, and saving people. It was even quite tuneful in places.

Bruiser copies Diva in most things, so naturally began to sing a song of his own creation too. His was about apples and bananas. Once in awhile there was a mention of twinkle twinkle little star and lobsters. His was not quite so tuneful.

I listened to it for a quite awhile…

and then decided to join in. My song was about driving the car and lack of sleep. It involved clouds, people that don’t indicate and children that won’t sleep. Mine changed key three times (unintentionally).

As we pulled up to the house, and we reached a crescendo, I thought how it was not dissimilar to the closing number of act one in Les Miserables.


Diva: Mummy, you look beautiful sometimes.

Bruiser: Mummy, you have lovely shoulder.

Uncle M: *licks foot*

Bruiser and the Fire Extinguisher

Bruiser’s personality is developing nicely. He finds most things quite hilarious, especially if it’s something he’s done.

Once a week we take Diva to a gym class in a local hall. The session lasts an hour. Bruiser and I sit out in the large entrance hall with the other mums and their children. Some of them don’t have any other children. They get to read a book. They get to read a book for a whole uninterrupted hour. Sometimes I get to read something on a cereal box for a whole 30 seconds.

I usually come equipped with a variety of books, colouring implements, plastic animals, cars and chocolate. For the first forty minutes of the session, Bruiser and I play with each of these things for two minutes at a time. Then, Bruiser starts to make friends.

He makes friends by running around in a circle until another child joins in. They then run around together until it becomes chasing. Next they run up and down the hall as if in a race. Occasionally they hide under a table. Then they run again. There is very little oral communication, so I presume this is part of the two year old telepathic powers no one warned me about.

Last week, they discovered the fire extinguisher. It was big and red and had buttons. I told Bruiser he was not to play with it as it was dangerous and could hurt him. I explained that it was to help put out fires and that there were currently no fires in the near vicinity. He dutifully nodded and stepped away. He then waited for me to return to my seat, locked eyes with me, and began to approach the fire extinguisher… slowly…with an outstretched hand. I stared back, and shook my head in slow motion. Bruiser continued his approach whilst grinning. I waggled my finger and mouthed, ‘no’. Bruiser took another step and slowly nodded his head. He then paused, his fingers millimetres away from the prize.

We stared at each other, frozen, waiting for the next move.

The next move was his friend running up to the fire extinguisher and giving it a big shake. Bruiser immediately wagged his finger, shook his head and said, ‘No, it dangus! No fire. No touch.’ He then folded his arms, proudly looked my way and grinned.

A Day Off

Before reading this post I should probably say that none of what happened was funny at the time. I’m not entirely sure that it’s funny now, but eventually, one day, I think it might be.

Yesterday was supposed to be my day off. Bruiser has been sleeping in bed with me ever since he was unwell before Christmas (go ahead and judge me, but I like my sleep). As much as I have no issue with babies sleeping in beds with their parents, I really want my bed back and so does Hubby (he spends a lot of nights in the spare room). Diva sleeps brilliantly and we didn’t want the guaranteed crying to wake her up, so we shipped her off to Nana and Grampy’s.

After organising all of this, something came up with work for hubby and he needed to go to London for a couple of days. Still, for one whole day and night I would only need to deal with baby and dog- bliss.

Unfortunately I appear to suffer from some animalistic, pack mentality and do not cope well  with my family being spread out. As Hubby drove away to designated meeting point with grandparents I sobbed as if my gorgeous daughter was being taken away for adoption. How would I cope without my regular cuddles? Would she hate me for the rest of her life for my cold abandonment? What if she forgot me and preferred life with the grandparents?

Eventually I calmed down and started to find my way around our free trial of Netflix. When I realised I didn’t need to watch a kids movie I began to cheer up. Sure Bruiser needs to be walked around almost constantly but watching a good movie would take the edge off that.
Sadly I watched a movie about a dead guy trying to make a “gawky teenager” cool in an 80’s world of neon and stupid hair. Eventually it all worked out and the teenager turned out alright while the dead guy rode an escalator up to heaven- literally. The rest of the day continued to be quite pleasant but Bruiser became more and more grumpy and required more and more pacing until my back became more and more sore.

Then it all went wrong. First of all I noticed that the house seemed a bit cold so I tried to knock up the heating. Nothing happened. I tried various ways to make the thermostat and boiler work. Nothing. Then Uncle M started to be sick. Then Bruiser started to scream. Then I kept catching my arm on the stupid door handle; couldn’t get hold of Hubby on the phone; couldn’t make my brain work in a sensible manner. So I did what I had to do. I cried. Lots. Thankfully my parents are sensible and advised me to call out the British Gas repair man rather than continue to try and repair things myself. Then the in-laws called. By this time I may have been somewhat hysterical. I’m not sure if my reaction was entirely necessary but, at the time, it really felt like life couldn’t get any worse (I don’t know who Diva takes after).

I am grateful for the fact that BG take pity on small babies and agreed to send someone out the same evening. In the meantime it was getting colder so Bruiser and I decamped to the kitchen and hung out around the oven. BG guy called at around 8.30 pm obviously waking up Bruiser and interrupting the hastily prepared meal I was eating. He was hoping he could get me to repair the fault over the phone….hmm. So BG guy arrived at the house an hour later and did a quick repair and booked someone else to come today to continue the job.

After all the excitement I was exhausted and more than ready for bed. Unfortunately Bruiser was ready to play and Uncle M wanted to protest about the cruel and unfair arrangement of him sleeping in the kitchen while we sleep upstairs. He does this occasionally. At 11.30pm all was quiet and I was finally able to go to sleep…with Bruiser in the bed next to me (go ahead and judge me).

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