Monday, September 29, 2008

Tidy your room! 12 Things

How do you get a nine year old -Thing 2 to tidy her bedroom?
After many many different ways ranging from the very simple of requests to bribery I found a new method.
Yesterday, her room was once again ridiculously untidy. Trying to get her to tidy up as she went along obviously hadn't worked so I decided to make a game out of it.
First, I asked her to pick up all of the toys and junk that had accumulated on her bed so I could change it. Then I asked her to pick up 12 things off of the floor which should really be in the bin. She thought this was good fun. Once she had counted out 12 pieces of rubbish and put them in the waste basket, I then told her to pick up everything off of the floor that needed to be put away - at least 12 things. Next, I asked her to pick up 12 things off of the desk, which had also become a dumping ground. Another 12 things off of the bookcase which shouldn't be there. Now it is possible to see how pretty the room could look she has promised to finish off her desk and bookcase tomorrow.
Tomorrow is here and -I'm still waiting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Life has returned back to normal. This means Thing 1 and 2 have gone back to school. The house is tranquila - 'calm' to the non Spanish readers between the hours of 8 am and 1pm weekdays. Yippee! The weather has calmed down a bit too. We no longer get temps of 35 degs+. They are now about 30 degs. The mozzies are still biting egged on by the high humidity and occasional thunderstorm.
I am going to embark on a new exercise regime. But I've got to make it fun otherwise it won't last. The one thing I have been promising myself to do is to learn to roller blade. There are lots of coastal promenades on which to scoot along. Every day I witness an elderly gentleman with roller blades and walking poles bomb down my road passing my villa, looking very toned and fit.
However,also I'm yet to master the technique. I have watched both Thing 1 and 2 whizz up and down the outside patio and I thought I could join them. My theory went thus: I figured that in my youth I ice skated around at Richmond ice rink every week at the ice skating disco night, [oops I'm showing my age], so therefore roller blading wouldn't be that difficult. How wrong I was! My one attempt didn't even get me out of the house: holding onto hubbies shoulders, door frames, furniture and anything that could keep me upright proved that this was no easy task. I gave up and my roller blades have been redundant ever since.
However, I am not the sort of person who gives up on anything, so I will let you know of my progress. I'm going to ask Thing 2 for a lesson. Watch this space!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Climbing a mountain

The last couple of days have been like climbing mount Everest. Hubby has been away for 12 days now and Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been far worst than their 'Cat in the Hat' characters ever were.
I am almost at the summit.
Thing 2 is due to go back to school on Tuesday and Thing 1 on Wednesday.
Both of them have become professional at dodging my requests for help around the house, but a complete experts at:
1. Creating a washing mountain to rival that of a family twice our size.
2. Leave an inordinate amount of mess in every room they venture into.
3. Constantly argue/shout with/at each other or answer me back.
3. Manage to pull out of their wardrobes clothes they just can't be bothered to put back or hang up properly, so decide to [a] Stuff them down the back of the wardrobe out of site, wrinkled and crumples up or [b] Put them in the laundry basket to add to number 1 of this list.

Thing 1 still hasn't finished all of his homework. I got him a little reprieve yesterday regarding his Spanish homework. He has been adamant all summer that one of his homework tasks - a pack of 2 books he was issued was completely the wrong one, so I phoned the school, spoke to the teacher who confirmed this. She gave me the option of
1. Bring it back and they would give me a refund or
2. Do it anyway.
Well considering he had to read 5 short story books [in Spanish] and complete a book review for each and he still had to read a further 2, much larger novels in English [all before next Wed] I decided the stress of option 2 would probably kill me and opted for option 1.

To add to this the weather is still hot reaching mid thirties every day. So the most basic of tasks are a hard slog. Yesterday we all piled in the car and drove the 45 minutes to Thing 1's school to purchase school books for this term. We then stopped off at the shopping centre to buy new school wheelie bags for each of them. They obviously were starving because they hadn't eaten for at least 2 1/2 hours so dragged me into Burger King. 45 minutes later and 100€ lighter we emerged fed and watered and my detox diet well and truly broken.
Today I went to the Thing 2's school to purchase her books in relative peace whilst they were both at football club.
They are busy eating their lunch so I have hijacked the computer to write this blog. I'm looking forward to late tonight when we have to go to the airport to pick up hubby. Phew!