Well she’s still there – good on you Becs for making it through the first third of The Apprentice 2016.
Wow it’s been tough viewing though!
If you’ve seen any of my recent posts, you’ll know that the house has been a workman’s paradise.
Sophie has coped remarkably well with it all but I was worried that last week’s altercation may have drained all her energy…
Gettit? Read on and you will.
Having survived the electrical work, we turned our attention to the prevailing concern of our house…the roof.
Now, our road is full of 1930s houses. The roofs are all exactly the same and have been for the past 80 years. Pretty darn good workmanship if you ask me (and my wife’s Grandad – an ex-roofer himself – would agree.)
However, when damp is creeping into your loftspace and there’s some sneaky drips on the wall, it’s certainly advisable to get it sorted out – and sharpish.
So, on the first day of the holidays, we watched as the outside of our house turned into a building site. At least this time the work was all external and you were a bit freer inside but it was still remarkably intrusive.
My wife and I were up ladders inside painting so at least we felt part of the DIY action.
Meanwhile thick-booted roofers tramped around the top of our house, clambering over tiles and chucking down the old broken and unusable original roof.
It looked like a great sport – aim for the skip, ten points if you hit the giant tiger which someone dumped in there – but actually it was much to the dismay of our next door neighbour who quite rightly took umbrage at the shards of tile which sprayed over our wall onto his pristine front garden and drive. Oops.
The guys we got in to do the roof were highly efficient. They arrived at ours before nine, taking down one roof and replacing it with another all in the space of six days. Very impressive. Personally, I loved impressing Sophie by climbing up the ladder and shinning up the roof to the ridge tiles at the summit. Never touched the top of a chimney before! (Wouldn’t dare do it now as I’d hate to damage what has been put on!).
I have learned lots about flashings and clay tiles. I know how valuable lead covering is around chimney breasts in order to keep out the rain. I’ve even tried flogging some old tiles to a local building site but sadly they were having none of it. Eighty years old and nobody wants them. Shame.
I did feel a bit sorry for the guys when the North Western skies opened and the rains began to pour down. Still, I guess that’s very much par for the course when you’re a roofer in this part of the world. A bit like the silly behaviour of children in a classroom after lunchtime I guess!
All done though very quickly and without needing the help of the boss who simply came in at the end to settle up and sweep away all the mess.
Sounds great and for the most part it has been. The roof looks terrific and no doubt they’re hoping the rest of our road will be thinking of tapping up their services. After all, ours can’t have been the only roof on this street having issues with age.
And we thought that it was all sorted, until damp spots started appearing in Sophie’s bedroom again after some particularly heavy showers. A roof over our heads? Yes, but not quite in perfect condition just yet…
I remember being entranced by this museum as a child. In our house, Eureka became one of the most memorable trips we’d done because we had enjoyed it so much.
Therefore, although taking Sophie felt a bit like a timewarp, it was also really wonderful to share part of my history with her present.
And wow did she enjoy it.
It was great then and it’s still great now to work and be alongside people from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences.
I like to think I am highly tolerant and welcoming of different viewpoints, opinions and ways of doing things.
(You couldn’t really pretend to teach in a classroom if you weren’t!)
However, I’m starting to see something in Sophie which hasn’t come from me and has originated somewhere else that I’m not so sure about.
That I’m keen to discourage.
That needs addressing- and fast.
The influence of my wife’s speech.
Let me explain.
While all that stuff about tolerance is all well and good, there’s clearly only one correct way to speak.
Path. Grass. Laff. Etc
My wife on the other hand, who spent most of her school years in Cambridge, has understandably been accustomed to the stranger way of speaking.
Parth. Grarse. Larrf.
I can accept this in her. I love her and these things are part of her. I couldn’t expect her to change (although there have been times where she has slipped into northern dialect – I was so proud).
My two and a quarter year old though? Who lives in the north? Who is just finding her way in the speaking world?
Clearly I’ve not interacted with her enough if she is speaking in such an unusual manner. I’ve been unguarded and allowed my wife’s speech to infiltrate.
It’s not too late to take emergency action but it’s at times like these when patterns get fixed and she needs to know the correct way.
As for our second child; well lightning doesn’t strike twice and I’ll be making sure this baby is fully exposed to northernness.
Perhaps a recording of Jim Bowen reading to lull the baby to sleep?
Instead of a winnie the pooh baby bath, wash it in a tin container so it can identify with its ancestors?
Plenty of trips to the Northern Riviera (Morecambe, Fleetwood, Lytham)?
Ideas on a postcard please.
(Just don’t tell my wife…)
We’ve only gone and done it.
Yes that’s right. A huge step in Sophie’s childhood has been navigated.
Well, kinda navigated anyway.
She has been released from her cot and now sleeps free from shackles in her very own “big girl bed”.
And how’s that going?
Hmm, the jury’s out on that one.
In fairness to Sophie the transition has been really smooth. She hasn’t once mourned for the safe security of her cot.
Plus, with the inclusion of a mattress next to her bed – to soften her landing should she fall out – she is totally happy to roll around in bed.
We’ve even replaced the prison like shackles of her cot with a safety gate on her door.
Initially welcomed as “my special gate!”, Sophie soon realised that it denied her access to the outside world and has grown to really dislike it.
The going down to sleep process has been lengthened as well. She can run around her room now and often we’ve heard the sound of thumping books or pattering feet as she explores the exciting nighttime environment of her room for the first time.
This has occasionally strayed into bizarre sleeping places. Witness Exhibit A.
Regularly, an ‘intervention’ will be required when we go up to bed as Sophie will be some distance from her bed, either on the mattress or the floor next to it.
These are usually very successful – she barely even wakes as we lump her back in.
The heat hasn’t helped either, leaving her bed devoid of duvet or blankets and more akin to an Alcatraz cell bed than an exciting sleeping space.
No wonder she’s waking up earlier too!
Still, we persevere on and there’s no turning back. Sophie has graduated to a her ‘big girl bed’ and that’s where she’s going to stay.
What next? Toilet training probably…yikes!