Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rock n' Rolly

I spent 10 hours of my life yesterday encased in the back of my mother's nissan micra, being gently atomised by it's vibrating protests. A micra just wasn't designed to drive from the north east corner of the 26 counties to the furthest south-west point, just a hen's race shy of the Atlantic.....and back in the same day. I haven't sat in the back of a car for about 25 years, and it isn't fun, no matter how short your legs are.
My brother Joe was driving, and had his masculinity tested to the limited by being behind the wheel of a small girl's car with his mammy in the passenger seat. I added insult to injury by forcing him to call our brother Kevin (I have many brothers and sisters) on my pink Tocco. I managed to torture one of my brothers while simultaneously amusing myself on a long road trip. Result. That's a good day's work for any girl.
Today everything hurts and I am reminded that I am no longer a Sprightly Young Thing, but a par-boiled couch potato with porridge where my youthful ambitions used to be. But that's OK, as I quite like porridge.
The reason for our road trip was that my beautiful baby niece Sorcha was being christened in The Kingdom, and disintegrated joints aside, it was an honour to be there for her special day. We had a lovely afternoon and really enjoyed seeing our extended family again.

Meanwhile, back in Bobsville, James was holding the fort.
He had a busy agenda as Bob had a birthday party in the morning (with one of his classmates...a huge success by all reports!), Toad No.2 had a sleep over arranged, which would begin at precisely 4pm (she had THREE bags packed since last week) and Toad No.1 had his youth club in the evening. Phew! I really couldn't complain about being contorted in the back of a mobile bean tin.....all I had to do was chat to my mum and poke at my brother's ego with pointy sticks.
James decided that lunch that didn't involve cooking or washing up was in order, so they repaired to the nearest burger and chips emporium (aka Burger King in Dundalk). In the shopping centre they went to there is a big motorised Rolly (the green roller in Bob) that you put a euro into for a spin.
These gadgets can either be a blessing or a curse, but James decided to put the opportunity to good use and to put Rolly to gainful employment as a bargaining chip.
Bob was haded a euro and told "lunch first, then spin on Rolly". Bob, who has a 'mild learning disability' (yeah, right) didn't need to be told twice.
Whenever he started to misbehave he was reminded that he had to sit properly, eat his lunch and then he'd get his spin.
One (almost) immaculately behaved lunch later, Bob opened his tightly gripped fist, popped his euro in the slot and revved Rolley into life.
Bob, at the age of 5 1/2, has a few dozen words and still isn't fully toilet trained, and could easily be underestimated (or even pitied) as being a builder's apprentice rather than the engineering maestro we know that he is. But he knows what's important, and is more than capable of engaging with his Daddy and negotiating his reward for good behaviour.
James turned a mundane event (and one which could have been a cause of conflict) into an opportunity to learn...what a cool way to teach, with a spin on Rolly thrown in for good measure.


  1. Great Blog Jeannie as always, we use the first and then thing a lot with Kyle and he definitely gets the message despite also having a 'mild learning disability' my arse! Its the easiest way of keeping the peace or getting through a meal out in comfort! xxx

  2. Great that everyone had a good day, except your poor brother (hehe). Love your take on things and how you view the world :) Great reading. Jen

  3. You have a fabulous way with words Jeanie and always paint an incredible portrait with your beautifully scripted posts. I was almost in the back of that micra with you there :) Keep writing missus and you'll always have a reader here xx

  4. Excellent. Well done Mr Briers and even better little Bob.

    But a Hen's Race? That's the winner of this post for me. xx

  5. Great post!

    Nothing like the power of those rides to help out!

  6. Wonderfully written and amusing post Jean.

    My, travelling games haven't changed that much since we were kids then, ehh?? You still get to poke and tease your siblings even when your joints are disintegrating!

    Well done Sir Bob....clever lad! Oh, and great news about the Home Support. Make the most of it while you have it. xx Jazzy

  7. I will lend you my long old lady umbrella for extra poking on your next journey.

    Nobody who has met Bob would ever mistake him for anything other than an engineering genius. Evil genius who plans world destruction, but genius none the less.

  8. Well done to him, I'm not sure Mr Foodie would fare as well should he be left alone with the 2 girls! Great writing! The micra and the pink phone bit was genius! X

  9. Great read! What a good choice for a gem. Love the bit about the pink phone.

  10. See, this is why my blog has such a crush on your blog. I know I read this before and I know I commented before but this is like a great wine, just gets better with age (just like us lol). Jen