Apologies in advance if this week’s column is a bit muddled and confused.
I blame the topsy turvy nature of the festive period, where you wake up most mornings wondering whether it’s a Monday, a Saturday, this year, last year, a work day, a bin day or if you’ve even made it to bed.
Only when it reaches the first Monday in January can a normal regime be resumed.
Between Christmas Eve and Monday, January 6 what we’ve all basically been doing is rattling about, opening the occasional present, enjoying the occasional tipple, and struggling to assemble pieces of occasional furniture whose instructions speak only in diagrams.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d a memorable Christmas and a pleasurable transition into the New Year, but I’m genuinely glad to get back to bread and butter as an alternative to hocks of roast meat and cheese platters.
This was Ben’s first Christmas and although I don’t think he’ll remember much about it, seeing my little boy kitted out in a Leicester City babygrow will stick with me for quite some time. At least until he’s old enough to tell me Leicester are rubbish and he wants to support someone who might actually win something.
Within three days over Christmas the BBC showed The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room On The Broom. They’re marked with ‘K’ for Keep in our Sky Planner. In our house this animated trilogy acts as a sedative for Ben, sending him into a trance-like state, similar to that experienced by his dad in the crisps aisle at Tesco.
For Christmas, Ben got a toy helicopter. I’m not sure what he makes of it, but I’ve tried to encourage him to interact with it at every opportunity.
On New Year’s Day one of our reporters was in Waringstown reporting on an incident in the village which required armed officers and a police helicopter to be called into action. He posted up a picture of the police helicopter on the Lurgan Mail’s Facebook page which got me very excited indeed.
Not as you’d expect because the ‘MAIL’ had been on the scene at a breaking news story, but instead I was waving the picture on my phone at Ben saying, “Look Ben, it’s a helicopter. Where’s your helicopter? Find your helicopter for daddy. What noise does a helicopter make? Come on, Ben. Ready for take off. Here we go!”
He looked at me blankly.
Lucy spoke on his behalf. “No talking daddy,” she said.
Going into 2014 Lucy’s most favourite things are Snow White and doing the dishes.
She got a cottage containing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for her birthday in November and at Christmas she was in awe when she saw the Disney film for the first time. When she’s playing with her cottage she always positions Grumpy at the sink to do the dishes. It’s no wonder he’s grumpy.
When it comes to real life dishes, Lucy has her own wee step which gives her access to the sink. Oh the fun she has as she soaks herself and her surrounds while not washing a solitary dish.
“I’m not happy,” comments her mum regularly.
I’d love it if just once Lucy replied, “Well, which dwarf are you then, mummy?”
For Christmas, Lucy got a Peppa Pig doctor’s kit.
Her mother wasn’t sure about her taking up medicine at a young age. My view is: Dr Peppa - what’s the worst that can happen?