Tag Archives: Monkey

Birthday Interview with Monkey 2014

Monkey is eight today.  This is his birthday interview.  You can read last year’s interview here.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

An actor or a Lego designer or a film director.

What’s your favourite colour?


What’s your favourite book?

Star Wars Character Encyclopedia

What are your favourite toys?


What is your favourite food?


What is your favourite thing to wear?

If I had any Star Wars costume it would be my favourite but I don’t have one.

What do you like doing with mummy?

Going shopping

What do you like doing with daddy?

Sort of technical devices

What makes you happy?

The stuff which doesn’t make me sad.  The stuff which I do like.

Tell me a joke

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Abby who?

Abby Birthday to you!


Birthday interview with Monkey

Monkey is seven today.  This is his birthday interview.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

A fireman

What’s your favourite colour?


What’s your favourite book?

Moody Margaret Casts a Spell, by Francesca Simon

What are your favourite toys?


What is your favourite food?


What is your favourite thing to wear?

My Iron Man costume

What do you like doing with mummy?

Going to the supermarket

What do you like doing with daddy?

Building big Lego kits

What makes you happy?

Today and the 25th December

Tell me a joke

What do you get if you cross a pig with a bush?  A hedgehog

How to make a teepee

This post is written by Monkey.

Teepee 1

Today I made a teepee with Granny.  This is how you do it.

You will need:

3 chopsticks



wrapping paper


How to make it

  1. First, hold one chopstick diagonally, then put another one diagonally across it.  Then cut some string and tie them together, leaving some string dangling.
  2. Place the third chopstick diagonally in between the two top bits of the other ones. Using the end of the string, tie it to the other ones.  Make sure it can stand up, looking like a bonfire, then tape over the string at the top to secure it.
  3. Next, cut a piece of wrapping paper big enough to go over the frame.  Then cut a long line in the paper so that you can wrap it round.
  4. Tape it in position, and a cut a shorter line for a door.  Then your teepee is done.

Teepee 2  Teepee 3

Play dough creations

It’s been a busy few weeks and I haven’t been blogging much, but it’s time to get back to normal.  I will post something about our holidays another day, but for now I am too tired.  So I thought I would just share some pictures of today’s play dough creations.  Monkey, Rabbit and Tiddler were happily occupied for a long time, and they insisted on photographs being taken, so here they are.

Monkey and Rabbit’s Thomas scene

Tiddler’s creation

Monkey’s Pizza, Spaghetti and a Strawberry

Rabbit’s Ice Creams

How to make Yummy Delight

This is a guest post by Monkey.

How to make Yummy Delight

You will need:

8 trifle sponges

1 packet of strawberry jelly (or any kind will do)

4 or 5 bananas

2 tsp honey

1 large pot of custard

What to do:

  1. Put the trifle sponges in a bowl
  2. Make the jelly and pour it on the trifle sponges
  3. Put it in the fridge and wait until the jelly sets
  4. Mash all the bananas except one and mix in the honey
  5. Spread the banana mixture on top of the jelly
  6. Spoon the custard on top
  7. Decorate with banana slices (using the last banana)

Monkey goes to London

This post is written by Monkey.

On Tuesday I went to London on a train with Granny.  On the way we played I-Spy and we sang “Yellow Bird.”  When the train stopped we got off and went on an underground train.  We walked past Tower Bridge and we saw that the bridge was open so we walked nearer to it.  We saw two boats go under it and we watched it close.  I noticed there was an Olympic sign on the top part of the bridge.  We went to the flat and I saw my bed and bedroom, and also Grandpa.  Then I had supper which was pasta with cheese and tomato in.  After supper, Granny read me a story called “Katie and the British Artists” by James Mayhew, and we watched some football on the television.

Next morning at breakfast I had Oatibix and Weetabix, and then I had a bath and hair wash.  Granny checked that everything was in my backpack and then we went out.  We went on an underground train and a bus to the National Gallery.  First we went to the cafe and I had some lemon cake and juice which I shared with Granny. Then we went in a room with some pictures and we saw one which is in the book about Katie.  It is a picture of a horse and it is called “Whistlejacket.”  It is by George Stubbs.

We found all of the pictures from the book, except for “The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly.” I also saw another picture I liked which was called “The Archers” and I decided to draw it in my notebook.  It is by Sir Henry Raeburn.

When we were going out of the gallery, we heard the sound of bagpipes, and a few minutes later we saw the piper.  Then we went home on the train.

Jubilee Alphabet

This is a work in progress by Monkey.  He is having trouble sleeping so we have been composing a Jubilee Alphabet.   I’m not sure if this is the finished version, as I’ve left him thinking about it, with a view to continuing tomorrow if he is in the mood.


Balloons and bunting, blue

Celebrations and cake


Elizabeth, England

Flags, fun

Golden crown







Nice day, Northern Ireland




Roundabout, red

Songs, Scotland


Union Jack


White, Wales

eXcellent day


Zzzzz…time to go to sleep (the Queen is tired)

Monkey’s milkshake recipe

This is Monkey’s version of the milkshake recipe which I posted about a few days ago.  He has written several copies, which I keep finding around the house.  I think he has probably copied it from the book, but he at least he is getting lots of writing practice.  I wondered whether to suggest making some different milkshakes and writing recipes for each one, but maybe I shouldn’t interfere as the whole thing was his idea in the first place.  It has led to lots of reading, writing and interesting discussions so far, so I might wait and see what he comes up with next.

Ballet is fun for boys

Ever since my two biggest boys were small, I have wanted to give them, among other learning opportunities, the chance to try ballet.  I’m not sure why it felt so important, but it has long since troubled me that we steer our children down narrow paths according to gender, with little room for diversity.  The polarisation of girls and boys, pinks and blues, seems summed up by our choice (many of us) to send our sons to football on a Saturday and our daughters to ballet.  I really don’t mind if my boys decide they love football best and my little girl chooses ballet, but what kind of a choice is it if they don’t get to try out both?

Having held this opinion for the best part of 8 years did not, however, lead to any swift and decisive action on my part.  When Owl was about 2 I vaguely enquired about some ballet lessons I saw advertised, but the time and location weren’t convenient and nothing came of it.  When he was 5 he started football, and nearly two years later Monkey joined him in the same class.  Some months ago, we discovered another football class nearby that takes children from age 3 up so Rabbit was able to join.  She has nearly always been the only girl there but it hasn’t bothered her.  She has a lot of fun and thinks that wearing football kit is cool (an accolade she only ever awards to boy clothes.  “Girl clothes aren’t cool mummy, they are pretty.”  I haven’t managed to persuade her that the two needn’t be mutually exclusive!)  So far so good, but still no ballet…

Then earlier this year I found out about a free trial ballet lesson at a dance school very near us, aimed at children aged 3 to 6.  I signed Monkey and Rabbit up for it and established that it was okay for Owl to join in for the trial although he is too old for the classes.  We went along and it was an excellent lesson.  Even Tiddler joined in and all four children loved it.  I signed the two eligible children up for a term of lessons on Saturday afternoons ( 3 hours after football so plenty of time for getting changed and cleaned up!)  Owl was disappointed that he couldn’t join in but he goes to choir at the same time so at least he has something else fun to do.  I also told him I would try to find out about ballet classes for his age, although so far I haven’t succeeded (cue overload of parental guilt…)

Still, I was really happy that two of the children were able to try ballet.  So, we went along for the first lesson, which was okay but Monkey was upset that he was the only boy, and even Rabbit felt left out as all the other children were dressed in pretty pink ballerina outfits.  A quick flurry of bidding on ebay soon sorted that one out, but that only added to Monkey’s sense of isolation.  He started to protest about going to the lessons, but I asked him to keep trying, reminding him how much he had enjoyed the trial.  I’m sure some would say I shouldn’t have pushed him but my parenting instinct was telling me to keep it going if possible.  It was hard though, hearing him tell me that “Ballet is for girls” and watching him get upset about going.

A few weeks in I was beginning to think that we should give it up after all, but we talked about how real ballets have men in them and they have special clothes and shoes for dancing and Monkey started to get interested.  Another ebay session later and he now has black ballet shoes which arrived today.  I don’t know if they have magical properties, or if it is coincidence, but this afternoon when I asked him to get ready for ballet he handed me a note, said brusquely “Read. This. Information!” and ran out of the room.  This is the note.

It was a priceless parenting moment!  So if you are a parent of boys and wondering if they should have a go at ballet (or your girls want to do football), I hope this post will encourage you that it is worth a try.

Postscript:  this morning Rabbit and Tiddler went to a trial session of Dramabuds and they both enjoyed it.  So for the rest of this term they will doing that on a Saturday morning, which means no more football for Rabbit.  I think that’s okay, but I hope she will rejoin the boys next term, which might mean taking her to a midweek drama lesson if she wants to continue.   And that will lead to more childcare headaches… it is so much more difficult to do activities in the week unless they are suitable for all four children, but there are only so many things one can cram into a Saturday.

Just one more thing: should it worry me that Rabbit was only interested in ballet clothes if they were pink?  Perhaps that’s for another post…