Emily and Phoebe

Friday, September 29, 2006


Emily is getting increasingly annoyed with the time it takes Phoebe to get ready in the morning. While Emily has dressed herself since the age of two (and woe betide anyone who ever tried to help her), Phoebe's approach is to wander listlessly about, dragging a pair of trousers behind her and wearing her knickers on her head, until someone steps in and lends a hand. Invariably this leads to last minute panic and lateness, which is compounded by Phoebe's reluctance to walk (see previous post).

So anyway, Emily has a solution. "Daddy, I don't think it's right that Phoebe is going to kindergarten if she can't dress herself. Let's wait two more years before sending her. She's so short that no one will realise she's two years older than the other kids in her class."

Phoebe's response?

"Shut up, you bum!"

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Phoebe seems gradually to be getting used to the idea of going to kindergarten every day. After some initial tearfulness and reluctance to leave the house in the morning, she has realised that school is part of her daily schedule.

Actually, school isn't yet part of her daily schedule. Some days we go to kindergarten and then immediately return home, because the teachers are on strike at the moment and we don't know from one day to the next which classes are operating. So it would be truer to say she has realised that getting up and walking to school is part of her daily schedule.

Which should be no big deal. Last year she and I would take Emily to school every day, and then all the way back again, sometimes making a detour to go to the supermarket as well. Walking half the distance should be nothing to complain about, right?

Wrong. Because to get to school Phoebe has adopted a painfully slow "my legs don't work" crawl, an unwilling-snail creep, an arthritic-tortoise hobble, permanently accompanied by low-level complaining about how she can't walk any further. Clearly the unbridled enthusiasm that should attend the start of each day's educational adventure is missing.

That doesn't worry me too much at the moment. Early days, and all that. But in the meantime, the speed Phoebe moves at makes it impossible to get to school before the bell rings in the morning (when the gates are locked). And the later we set out (because the delaying tactics she indulges in while getting ready in the morning are not to be believed), the slower she goes. At first I thought she was trying to avoid school altogether (the obvious conclusion), but now I think she has a different objective.

Because when I finally give in and gather her up in my arms to carry her, she smiles beatifically, strokes my hair and says "Well done, Daddy! You're the best Daddy in the world!"

Friday, September 22, 2006

Apologies for the lack of posts

Getting into the swing of things for the start of the new school year has proved a bit much for me.

Plus there have been strikes at school (so I've been trying to juggle work and babysitting - never the best formula for producing a polished translation).

Plus I had a tooth out this week, which rather alarmingly involved the dentist using a full set of instruments (including a scalpel, a drill, a pair of pliers, various other blunt and pointy tools, and a hammer and chisel). Now I'm on painkillers and antibiotics, have a horribly swollen cheek, and am waiting for the stiches to be removed. Luckily it doesn't hurt all the time. Only when I speak, eat or laugh. Or blink.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Phoebe at Kindergarten

Phoebe started kindergarten last Monday!

Actually on Monday she didn't have anything to do anything except stand in front of a priest who sprinkled holy water over everyone with a bunch of basil. (No, I don't know what the significance of the basil is.)

Then on Tuesday she had a half day, which ended at 11.00. When I turned up she was sitting with the other kids, wearing the expression of a disgruntled munchkin. I can only imagine there was rather less play and rather more discipline than she had been led to believe.

Welcome to the Greek educational system, darling!


Paul: I think I might get my hair cut next week.
Emily: No! Don't do that! You won't have any hair left and I don't want a bald daddy!
Nevi: Well you do.

Thank you darling for your support during this time of tonsorial trauma.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Phoebe the music critic

"A Doo Be Doo Be Doo...
A Dum De Doo De Doo...
A Badabada Baaaa...
A Doo Be D-"

"Stop, Daddy! You don't sing nice."

"You don't sing nicely, darling. And bugger off."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Emily is waking up from a nap. She stretches, yawns, and lazily opens one eye. "This pillow is very comfortable, Daddy.
"That's my tummy, darling."
She giggles. "Yes, I know."

Monday, September 11, 2006

P-P-Pick up a...

"Yes, Phoebe?"
"I just saw a dead penguin in that tree."
"Very good, darling..."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"I love you mummy,"

said Phoebe, hugging Nevi around the hips. Except that Nevi was standing a good ten yards off at the time, and Phoebe had latched herself, limpet-like, to a perfect stranger.

Oh how we all laughed! Especially when I chortled to Nevi that Phoebe's new mum was at least a size 12 and that perhaps all the time she's spending down at the gym is having no discernible effect.

Actually, only I laughed then.

And predictably - some might say deservedly - got whupped upside the head for it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hello, what's that...

on the door of the girls' room? It looks like a piece of paper.

Yup, and it's got some kind of writing on it.

"Daddies not alloud [sic] in this room"

Oh god. What on earth have I done now?

Saturday, September 02, 2006


"Did you have any nice dreams last night darling?"
Phoebe giggles. "Yes. I dream about Mickey Mouse."
"I dreamt about Mickey Mouse. And what was Mickey doing in your dream darling?"
"He was dancing and shaking his bottom around!" She gets up to demonstrate. Then, gleefully: "And he wasn't wearing any knickers!!!"