With spouses like James..

..who needs enemies? I’m kidding of course, but sometimes he’s not just unhelpful, he strives to be The Anti-Help. Case in point: some days ago Nyssa comes up to ask what antioxidants are. I sputter for a minute with words like ‘free radicals’ and ‘oxidation’ whilst speed-googling for a kid-friendly response. James jovially takes over at this point. He shows Nyssa this picture:

He explains that antioxidants are something one takes to get the oxen out of ones body. (Nyssa, by the way, was savvy enough to know after a few nanoseconds that Dad was feeding her a load.) He points to this fellow in the cart:

He tells Nyssa to note how not only had this man expelled his inner oxen, but had made them into a useful resource. At that point I believe I wryly asked something about whether or not James had been taking his antioxidants, since he seemed to be so very full of bull****. He *then* tangents over to a map of Oxford (see here), where people had, apparently, historically always been good about ridding their heads of oxen, so much so that the town was named after their need to ford them across the river. I pointed out that that was perhaps telling, given the academic lot that gravitate towards the place. He was quick to agree, and I think the lesson ended on some grandly positive note along the lines of getting proper nutrition being the smart way to live.

Hehe, seriously, I wonder sometimes, with all the teasing the kids get from both of us, if all they’re really getting from their home education is the ability to tell whoppers with a straight face.

Hmm. Anyway, the kids are gone now with the grandparents (*sniffs sadly*), but they’re having a brilliant time. They called me a couple days ago (aw), and the first thing Nyssa said is that she was so glad to hear my sweet voice (AW!). The older we all get, the more I’m convinced that they took not just my brains and looks (if I ever had any to begin with) but also any sweet-temperedness. I’m a right hornet these days, but I seem to remember being such a nice and unassuming little girl..

For those concerned with Joseph’s wierd head happenings, I think the bumps resolved themselves. Joseph was *brilliant* and took every one of his doses, every day, three times, without having to be told, even though the taste was apparently appalling. If we did star charts, he’d get a huge one.

Nyssa has developed an itch to learn about the Tudors, in particular Henry VIII (why???). I’ve got books coming, but any ideas for creative projects would be most welcome.

I think Joseph has reached a new place in his cognitive development, in that when I explained what ‘metaphorically’ means, he could conceptualize it. One of the more interesting things about parenting is observing abstract thinking slowly awaken. One of the more humorous is when Joseph picks up a new phrase like, ‘That was *insert adjective phrase with multiple meanings of choice*–literally *and* metaphorically!’ followed by Joseph-style absurdist laughter. Ahhhhh I love my kids. 🙂

Speaking of children robbing me of brain cells, we went to Ikea and I couldn’t resist raiding the candy section. One of the bags has these fabulous fruity little fishes. ‘Wow,’ I’m thinking, ‘these taste just like Swedish Fish!!’ There’s an audible groan as my brain grinds to a start… ‘Oh yeah! Ikea! Swedish!’ *headdesk*

It’s alright though, since my position in life doesn’t necessitate much brain activity apparently. I would have been dejectedly washing dishes one night, and Nyssa comes in. She sees my plight, touches my arm gently, and says, ‘Mum, I’m so sorry you are the scullery maid.’

Someday soon I’m going to need to start driving. Things happen sometimes to put me right off it though, at least where other drivers are concerned. Joseph and I were walking home from scouts one evening, and come to a zebra crossing (non uk people: that’s a place that is super well-marked, lit up, drivers are obliged to stop, etc.). We stop because this jackass is actually speeding up to the stop from about 100 yards away. They screech around the corner, and as though that weren’t enough, the passenger leans out the window and barks at us. That’s right, like a dog. At a mother and a small boy. W. T. F. I’ve about had it with living downtown.

Couple things to note:

The holidays are coming up, and there has been some confusion as to customs on this side of the pond. For items marked as gift, a stated value of £36 or more could end up with me having to pay customs, VAT, etc. I’m sure you can read between the lines. For my part, I’ll keep that in mind when sending stuff home. Actually, I’ve had a bit of luck with amazon.com because they take our uk bank card, so I might just stick with them again this year and avoid that nonsense altogether. Also note that if I seem like I’m spending lots of money on gifts in the US, I’m really not. The dollar is just so weak that my money goes twice as far. If I move back home, don’t be surprised if I’m suddenly really cheap, hehe. Seriously though, I do hope if anyone ever has a negative experience with getting mail from over here or a company I’ve chosen that they’d say so.

I updated my knitting blog with various things, including my awesome (*guffaw*) homemade spinning wheel. That is linked at the side I believe, but here it is anyway: fibre, fibre everywhere


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