he had the lead role

My eldest son was slower to talk than our daughter, and harder to understand when he did. He stammered, and substituted ‘w’ for a number of high-frequency sounds, including f, s, z and l.

Sod’s law that his own name contains some of these sounds; the number of times that he struggled to make himself understood in response to a well-meaning “What’s your name?” was heartbreaking, the more so when he eventually stopped bothering with trying and would simply answer ‘Nothing.’

I feared that he’d have a hard time at school; kids can be cruel. But, on the contrary, and combined with some Speech and Language Therapy, it’s been fantastic for him – he loves doing show and tell, reads aloud confidently and is now able to make loads of those previously missing sounds.

Although he did find the first day, when they had to go to every classroom in the (admittedly small) school and introduce themselves, excruciating. “Will I have to do that every day Mummy?” he asked, stricken, at hometime.

For the past three afternoons, my kids have been in a drama course, culminating today in a performance of The Gingerbread Man. And there could not have been a more chuffed boy in the world than mine when he was chosen, on the first day, for the main part.

Naturally he looked terrified when he was first on stage today, gazing at me with pleading eyes. And naturally his first line was almost inaudible. But he soon got into his stride, shouting mockingly, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man” as he scampered up and down the stage.

Proud, moi? I was fit to burst.

I had the idea that I’d take them for a celebratory gingerbread man at the newly opened Gail’s Bakery in Dulwich Village. There were none to be had, but all three of them were very pleased with their hot chocolates and chocolate chunk cookies. Not to mention with themselves.





we got some kulcha

Well I did say the other day that I wasn’t overly fond of trips to the park and in any case, it’s too blimmin’ cold to spend any meaningful amount of time in one.

Today, we took our three little ragamuffins to see Bringing Down the Moon at The Albany in Deptford, a Peaceful Lion production. Now, The Albany is pretty much the perfect theatre venue for kids – for the sake of an hour or so long production, you may not want to schlep into town, so its proximity to home is a bonus. As well as that, it’s a great space with good acoustics (we made the mistake of going to see something in a church hall recently .. oh my ears!) and a decent cafe. Suffice to say, we all – even my usually less theatrically enthusiastic husband – really enjoyed it.


There were vague mutterings of ‘going home’ and ‘playing on the Wii” when it ended but no! Today’s the last Sunday of the month and that means that the Sunday Spot, a family-friendly, artist-led workshop, was in residence at South London Gallery. The activity usually ties in, in some way, with the current exhibition but the workshop leader cheerily informed us that it was ‘a bit heavy’ (certainly looks it) so they’d decided to go with the funner option of headdress-making, dressing up, makeup application, a photo booth and a catwalk. I do love my children having creative fun that I’m not going to have to clear up. We slathered ourselves with makeup – huge blue rings around our eyes, thunderbolts on our cheeks – made cardboard crowns, wristbands, neckpieces and belts and struck ridiculous poses in front of the camera. Okay, so maybe the mere fact of it being in an art gallery doesn’t make it ‘kulcha’. But it was fun, and it wasn’t the park, or the Wii. And it was time, all five of us, together, before school goes back tomorrow.