Weeknotes 168: Your singing hurts my tummy

The birch, in front of the coldest, clearest sky. So blue you can taste the frost on the air

The most saccharine moment of the week came right at the end when settling Piglet for bed.

Daddy, my favourite bit of today was the big squishy cuddle off you”
“When was that?”
“Just now. Get over here.”

D’awww. And day to the beginning of the week’s night. After a meltdown over being behind in a game of bingo (not losing, just being behind), she demanded no story or song before bed. I’m confident the books will return1, but the bedtime song is reaching its natural end. We knew this day would come, but it’s sad all the same. With her new hair and starting drama and ballet clubs it’s all a bit my-baby-is-growing-up in the house.

She’s obviously got some way to go. Her strategy of saying don’t look” when doing something naughty is audacious, if not effective.

The (comparatively) smaller one has had a very up and down week. His fourth tooth is out and he managed to sleep through as a result. Shame my watch chose that night to go mad with fake notifications. We expected a cheerful fella as a result, but he was disgruntled all day. Now that blowing them is fun, he’s replaced the Raspberry of Reproach with the Ning Ning Ning Ning of No-stop-it-now.

It was all an undetected sign of day zero illness. His snot and cough picked up over the week and by Friday he’d given it to The Chef and I was co-sleeping in the daybed in his room. A first for him and a throwback to doing the same with his sister.

All of which is taking it out of The Chef too. While waiting for CommuniKids with the Wee Free Man, some nearby ladies offered a stage whispered, I’m glad ours aren’t that age any more. It’s so hard. And she looks so tired.”

Little did they know it wasn’t all the Wee Free Man’s fault. We’re booking Ryokan for our stay in Japan and, by God, we’re out of practice. It took us four sittings. We have the asterisk of bookus interuptus as he kept crying out for drugs and cuddles during each session, but still. On the plus side, we’ve booked one! For two nights. Just the remainder of the 5 weeks to book now.

I’m doing moderately better at work. The upshot of being promoted is that I’ve started the new year with a big old pile of opportunities.” One is to sort out the internal comms strategy for a few related projects. Which was all the opening I need to say WEEKNOTES slightly too quickly and loudly. The two people I’m working it with prefer some kind of AI chatbot automated update piece. But I figure if we can’t be arsed to write them, why should anyone be arsed to read them. It can help us on lazy weeks for a bit of inspiration, but I’m firmly of the opinion that they shouldn’t be writing them. That’s what the human do.2

I’m putting this productive bent down to the fact that, when I got it out of the garage after Christmas, there was still air in the bike tires. The end of that sorry saga. Happily, there was also still air in me when I got to work too. Grain mother in the ears. A nice steady 100-120 bpm heart rate. Crisp sunshine. Perfect.

Football less so. According to my watch I spent 10 minutes of the hour at my limit. Heading home I ruminated on quitting. It’s been too long since I had a good game, even by my own low standards and I’m a liability to whichever team gets lumbered with me. Going to stick it out to the nicer weather, in case it’s just the cold, dark nights talking.

Cycling home in said dark nights without segregated lanes is an ever-evolving experience of dismay. At one point a car was driving towards me on the wrong side of the road and showing no signs of slowing down. Just as I started to make evasive maneuvers and pluck out my most choice French I spotted it was Lǎolao behind the wheel. Her driving is infamous within the family for a reason. She’s one of two teetotalers I know to be erroneously pulled over for drink driving.

We were graced by a visit from my sister at the weekend. Up from Dorset for the weekend and she got to spend an excellent day covered in small child germs while both kids performed for their auntie. Piglet was happy to spend the day playing in pyjamas, whereas the Wee Free Man barked with hope every time he got near a window or the front door. Once he’s mobile we won’t see much of him.

Sunday was the first Dad Club outing of the year. Trampolines. We’re starting to see the boy vs. girl split already. Desiring dodgeball vs. pretending to be bouncy sea animals. Piglet’s girlfriend came round after for continued dress up and make believe play. Not her boyfriend’s scene any more.

We spent the afternoon crafting, cooking, watching telly, reading and singing. The Chef dozed away her cold and everyone was tucked up asleep before 8 pm. How did I spend my rare evening alone? By giving the guinea pig a haircut, doing dishes and mopping. I’m fun at parties, I promise.

He’s still not crawling.

  1. Rotated the stories and it came back the next night.↩︎

  2. By Friday I decided to write them regardless and we’ll see what, if any, consequence there are next week.↩︎

15 January 2024


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Weeknotes 167: Where is your ball of hair at the moment? 2024 started like 2023 ended—on holiday, ensconced in family and panda-like in our lounging. Albeit with different haircuts than we started the week
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Weeknotes 169: Gigantonormous The Week started with Piglet offering me one of her vitamins so that I could be nice and strong for a day of pseudo-pat leave with the Wee Free Man.