Joe Blogs



Hannah and Oscar were sitting in the back of Michelle’s car, singing “I am the music man” to try to keep Oscar and Natalie entertained. Hannah was asking each child in turn which instrument they’d like next. Oscar asked for the horn.

Hannah: “What sort of horn?”
Oscar: I can’t remember.
Hannah: “OK, we’ll do it with the French horn”
[singing ensues]
Oscar: “I’d like a different sort of horn”
Hannah: “What sort of horn would you like”
Oscar: “The horn on a car. Goes ‘beep beep’!”
[more singing]
Oscar: “I want another type of horn”
Hannah: “What sort of horn this time?”
Oscar (demonstrating with his hands): “I want you to take some paper from a tree and twist it into a horn and then blow it ‘brrrr’ like so!”

I really have no idea where he gets some of his ideas.



One of our concerns with Oscar’s behaviour is how he reacts to threat or attack. My last post about his reaction to his castle being broken is an example of how he can react verbally, but he can also react physically.

The other day, one of his friends bit him quite hard on the shoulder. A lot of toddlers go through a biting stage, and indeed Oscar did a while back. Cue the over-the-top retaliation; Oscar pushed him to the floor and dragged him along the (fortunately smooth) floor by his hair all the while wagging his finger at him and castigating him “Naughty X, you do NOT bite Oscar”.

It’s difficult to know exactly how to tackle this. I can’t let Oscar become a bully, and I want him to learn how to deal with such problems more effectively. On the other hand, Oscar is potentially a prime target for bullying himself and I want him to be able to stand up for himself.

As usual, I find myself conflicted by Oscar’s real age and his often better comprehension. Part of me thinks he’s only a toddler and there’s only so much I can do to teach him emotional maturity at this age; the other part of me thinks we should at least try to get him to understand the issues involved. He shows so much understanding of other areas, but I never quite feel like I’m getting through when I try to explain why he shouldn’t bite/pinch/lick me/mummy/$child. I hope it will come in time, and we won’t miss our chance.

More little green things


Very exciting. The mixed leaf salad seedlings are now big enough to see from a distance ;-) and the carrots are showing their faces, as are the spinach beet. I checked the courgettes last night and found a little clod of earth lifting up so I removed it to find a little shoot trying to push it over. Today it’s got leaves!

The pumpkins aren’t showing any signs of life yet, and the squash isn’t looking too happy. I think the heavyish rain has actually splashed it with mud. Oh well. The orangey-pink thing is half a grapefruit skin as an attempt to catch a few of the gazillion snails that infest our garden. If that doesn’t get them, the liberal sprinkling of slug pellets might. *smirk*. Nassty snaileses, we hates ’em. (Oscar likes them, though. “what a friendly little snail!”)



muddy courgette

muddy courgette

Mixed leaf

Mixed leaf

Spinach beet


Challenging behaviour


This is just a quick post to illustrate the sort of difficulties we have been having with Oscar. I’ll expand on it soon, as we’re making some changes with how we deal with his frustration and bad behaviour.

Oscar was at Toddlers, playing on his own, building a castle out of Duplo blocks. Another toddler came over and broke the castle, and walked off with pieces of it in his hands. Oscar went berserk and shouted:

“I want to hurt the little boy! I want to push the little boy down the stairs! He broke my castle”.

Naturally, this did not go down well with the other parents and Hannah had a pretty crappy time of it for the rest of the time there.

No psychoanalysis for now. I want to go to bed.

The things people do at work…


I found this on top of the soap dispenser in the toilet at work. I removed it, partly because I didn’t want to run the risk of the next visitor thinking I’d left it behind ;-)

I thought about using it for a prank, or emailing the office mailing list to let whoever left it behind know but I think as it’s just the bag, it’s best left at rest. That said, I couldn’t resist blogging about it. I just can’t get over the idea of somebody receiving their “white box for discreet shipping” and rushing to try out their new device.


Cameraphone fail, so here’s the text:

Andropenis® Gold
1 unit – 1 unidad

Device for penis enlargement and correction of penile curvatures


Store in cool and dry conditions

And then the same in spanish

If you’re interested to know what the product is…

andro medical



Ever since I started trying to get our garden into shape, I’ve been planning to have a small veggie patch. I dismantled the rotting shed earlier this year and then some more time passed and I started to build a raised bed. Some more time passed and I laid a small paving area for a table, a couple of chairs and Oscar’s sand pit. (Note the recurrent use of the word small). In doing so, I had to move quite a lot of topsoil to make it level and it filled the raised bed.

More time has passed, and periodically Hannah has asked me if I “actually plan on doing anything with that”; suggesting that it would look lovely with some nice heathers.

I was eventually spurred into action and bought a few packets of seeds from the co-op and pretty much just shoved them in the ground. I planted a couple of courgettes, a row of carrots, a row of mixed leaf salad, and some “spinach beet”. We picked up a couple of free packets of seeds from Charlecote Park the other day, so Oscar and I planted three of the seeds. Paula (Hannah’s mum) gave me a butternut squash plant to shove in, and has also given me some of her onion sets, which still need to go in.

Today was the day I spotted my first few tiny seedlings poking their heads through the soil. It feels nice :-)

Raised bed

Raised bed

Little Tiny Seedlings!

Little Tiny Seedlings!

Quote of the day – 2009/07/10


I’m going to break the track again. I’m very cheeky!

A bright little boy


I’ve been wanting to write this for a little while, but swine flu intervened…

We’ve known Oscar is a little bit different for a while. His speech and comprehension are often jaw-dropping, but it’s difficult to be unbiased when you’re a parent. There are too many things that he does that are amazing, but going hand-in-hand with the amazing are some more…challenging…traits. His sleeping is appalling and his behaviour at times is very difficult.

The multitude of health professionals we’ve seen over the last 2 years don’t make it any better. There are only so many times you can hear “isn’t he amazing” or “I’ve never met anybody like him” before it turns your head; especially when it’s a consultant paediatrician saying it. Our paediatrician is very good, and has been trying to get somebody to see Oscar for some time and hasn’t been getting any joy from the psychologists and mental health people that he’s been trying to refer him to. In addition to that, we’ve been agonising on how best to handle Oscar’s education. He’s only just over 2, so it might seem a bit early to be worrying about it, but he should be starting preschool quite soon and we’re not sure he’ll get anything out of it. I don’t want this post to be too long, so suffice to say that we decided that it was worth approaching somebody to assess Oscar; somebody who could tell us whether our gut feeling was right, and more to the point what on earth we do about it. Oscar is our first child so we can’t compare him to our own experience, and he’s clearly a bit different to his peers.

Anyway, we ended up talking to Dr Peter Congdon. He actually tried to discourage us because he doesn’t usually see children quite as young as Oscar, but we persisted and so we took a trip up to Solihull for Oscar to be assessed. He spent about 45 minutes to an hour (we were too worried about how Oscar was to really notice) with Oscar. If I remember what he said accurately, he was assessing according to the Stanford-Binet scale. I occasionally went and listened at the door and could hear Oscar laughing, so he was obviously enjoying himself.

When Oscar “reached saturation point” they came out and Dr Congdon said he’d gone further than he’d expected. The basic result? Oscar has an IQ of about 160. To my understanding, that’s the top of the scale that the Stanford-Binet scale can cope with, and Doctor Congdon said that to get a more accurate result he’d need to test again with the “Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III)”. We’re waiting for the full report, but it’s clear that we’re trying to raise a very bright little boy. IQ and “gifted” or “profoundly gifted” are of course partly just labels, but they’ll give us some leverage when we’re talking to schools.

That’s all for now. Dr Congdon made a number of comparisons and gave us some tips, but they’re all a bit hard to get my head around at the moment.

Swine flu


Seems like Hannah’s almost certainly got swine flu. She was up puking several times last night and has most of the expected symptoms. The NHS have taken the stance that containment isn’t working so they’re giving Tamiflu to anybody reporting symptoms.

Hopefully the Tamiflu will help in a day or two. I’m hoping that Oscar and I escape infection. I’m working on the principle that I can resist infection through the power of the mind (possibly also called denial). Having seen how Hannah’s feeling, I /really/ DO NOT WANT.



Is this normal for a 2 year old?


Normally, the fridge magnets are strewn across the front of the fridge, dishwasher and floor. Oscar obviously took issue with that..