I’ve been looking forward to today for ages, Mr Lacer gets paid = Mrs Lacer finishing the Christmas shopping. I have been doing some, in dribs and drabs, but I needed a concerted burst and this year is the first year where I’ve had enough time to myself during the week, where I could do my Christmas shopping during the week, not that that was that much difference between how crowded the shops were mind you.
So, I dropped Boy Lacer off at nursery, where he immediately joined up with his “special friend” who he has been playing with for a little while now, except he calls the special friend Abigail, despite his special friend being actually a boy and me repeatedly telling him what the boy’s name is. In fact for a while I had thought he had made two friends in nursery, his friend plus this Abigail, but it appears possibly as if they’re one and the same. Or there may be an Abigail and he’s just interchanging the names, because as the speech therapist explained earlier this week when I said he was pretty useless with names, that he probably doesn’t think it’s important to correctly link the name with the person (an example of this is that he’ll randomly use the name of one of Girl Lacer’s many friends to refer to any other of her friends, regardless of whether he’s actually got the right name or not). Anyway they make a sweet pair of friends, at least for the moment.
So, off I went on my merry way into town, with the complete and utter naivety that getting £80 out of the cash machine would cover everything (I just had Girl Lacer’s main Christmas present, plus the majority of the stocking fillers to get), huh, first stop was Early Learning Centre and the total came to nearly £70! Having said that did include Girl Lacer’s main Christmas present and the majority of the stocking fillers.
Girl Lacer was hard to buy for this year, at least for the main present, partly because she is quite easy to please. Last year (in reception) they had written letters to Father Christmas, completely unbeknown to the parents I hasten to add, so when Christmas came and went and Father Christmas failed to deliver what was in the letter (because ‘Father Christmas” hadn’t seen it!) that did result in some confusion. So this year I’ve been trying to get her to write her Christmas letter at home, but she, like I say, is easy to please and just says she’d like some ‘toys’ and there I am, without much of a clue and wishing I had some hints, although thankful she still says toys because I know quite a lot of 6 year olds who are already not that interested in toys, which is sad, kids grow up so quickly these days. I am thankful that we don’t have satellite TV, so that although my kids have an overfondness for toys branded with CBeebies characters (Charlie and Lola – as usual and Timmy Time, will be featuring heavily this year), they aren’t swayed by toy and computer game ads on the commercial channels, they also aren’t that swayed by their friends, who all seem, other than a mild interest in High School Musical and an obsessive collective interest in superheroes, not that swayed by fads either. Whereas from what I’ve heard from friends further afield, all there kids want this Christmas is a toy hamster and a DSlite. I doubt Girl Lacer even knows what a DSLite is and long may it stay that way because when she starts asking for one of those, ouch, my poorly projected budget wouldn’t get anywhere near and introducing just one DSlite into the house would cause so many fights between Girl and Boy Lacer, as I said to Mr. Lacer, “We’d need two”, to which he replied “No, we’d need three”, i.e. he’d want one to. Me? I’m just happy with my iPhone.
So what did I get Girl Lacer in the end? A toy farm, despite me promising myself I wasn’t going to get one for lack of space. I just remember having a toy farm at Girl Lacer’s age and loving it so much and you never know, next year she may actually know what a DSLite is.
So other than the toy farm, Father Christmas has been quite the bibliophile this year and has brought some beautiful books and would have brought more but (s)he had to control themselves. I dislike getting very cheap plastic-y toys for stockings, they rarely last beyond the day itself and therefore I see them as false economy and not particularly helpful to the environment. So, other than the books, there is some crafty stuff and some puzzles. I need to get some underwear (Father Christmas is being really boring this year) and some sweets nearer the time (otherwise I’ll eat them). And so, even with those fairly minimalist stockings, they still were over my £80 budget, thank goodness I’m making the rest of my presents!
Anyway, after struggling back with the shopping, I picked up the kids (having gone back home first of course to drop off the shopping first, I can imagine the scene if I’d turned up at the school gates with a very large, very recognisable to the kids, Early Learning Centre bag, I could not have explained that one away) and had to go to the corner shop, as with all that shopping, I didn’t actually have time to go to the supermarket. On the way back we popped into the local library where they were holding a small exhibition of local historical photos, which were absolutely fascinating. I live in a large late 1930s housing estate and they had copies of the adverts advertising the then new estate and early photos, plus photos going back even further to the early 1900s and it was fascinating to see how little had changed, I guess a benefit of living in a fairly old part of London. It was also fascinating to see the house ads, particularly the description of the kitchens and the bathrooms. The bathrooms were billed as having ‘interesting’ choice of tile colour schemes, hmm I can imagine. The kitchens were described as having (and I can’t remember what they called it, but it sounded like the 1930s equivalent of putting John Lewis kitchen in housing particulars) something anyway, along one wall in the kitchen. It basically sounds like a block of kitchen units, so ahh that explains a lot, as you may know, me and my kitchen do not get along, it’s way too small and that’s because it was designed to just have one bank of units on one wall! I’ve always known, after living and house hunting in an area with predominately 1930s housing stock, that 1930s kitchens are small because back then they didn’t have to plan for the dishwasher, washing machine and the large fridge freezer (we house hunted one flat where the kitchen was literally so small we couldn’t actually fit in a full size fridge freezer, let alone anything else and we knew that if we were to buy that flat we would have to do major building work first, we were so tempted, only having a 9 month old baby at the time, put us of). But our kitchen is so badly designed, two full width rows of unit and overcrowded with wall units, we have such plans (that involve money sadly).