22 August 2010

A Darwinian question

A Darwinian question currently exercises my mind. It is turning over in my head as I sit in my car for five stolen minutes before I re-enter a fray that has me *this* far from snapping.

What is the evolutionary purpose of PMS? In a species which relies on vesting massive amounts of long term care to ensure the survival of offspring, and therefore genes, why gift the women with the potential for unprovoked anger which combines with existing parental irritation to create a murderous, young-eating rage? I don't get it.

On the plus side, the Old Git saw it coming and took over before I terminated our shared genetic heritage with extreme prejudice.

My reluctance to start the engine and drive back into the campsite where our tent is pitched brings to mind my mother's comments when I told her we were going camping as a family for the first time.

"I'm really happy that you have such wonderful memories of camping as a child," she said, "but speaking mother to mother, don't do it. Just don't."

Too late, I realise what she meant. I suspect there isn't a mother out there who wouldn't be tempted to smother squabbling offspring using a damp sleeping bag as rain beats down on her canvas prison.

11 August 2010

Fun with physics

Son of Rosa is now officially eight and growing up fast. I am enjoying the small increases in freedom ("You're a big boy now, so you can get your own breakfast"), although it comes at a price ("Why is there weetabix and milk all over the floor?").

Birthdays always seem to be a voyage of discovery in Rosaland. Last year I discovered that a bouncy castle party for 25 seven year olds is a whole different ball game to a bouncy castle party for 25 five year olds. Seven year olds are adventurous. They want to go higher and faster. My nerves were still jangling two weeks later. That was the year we terminated proper parties in favour of outings. Since Son of Rosa had copped an accidental headbutt on one of the inflatables and had the mother of all nosebleeds on his birthday, he didn't object.

The year before we learned not to even bother buying pizza with vegetables on it for a party of six year olds. Forget healthy eating and just don't. On the plus side, the dogs were thrilled with all the leftovers.

This year's learning curve had more of a physics flavour to it, courtesy of Aerial Extreme in Milton Keynes.

ROSA: Yes, the one in front wearing the yellow tee-shirt.
ATTENDANT: Oh, the dramatic one.

Indeed. The one shrieking as he hung on to a rope bridge further up the course. Son of Rosa is a bit of a ham.

The course was straightforward enough, though, once he got over the urge to scream at everything. The physics lesson came when we did the big jump. The big jump is a 14 metre drop from a high platform wearing a harness. Faced with five nervous but eager boys, I wasn't about to chicken out; I couldn't afford to scare them and spoil their fun, plus I wasn't about to be left behind by a bunch of kids (and yes, this attitude has got me into a few hair-raising situations over the years).

Like a mother duck on a river bank, I watched them jump off one by one and float down to the ground. As Son of Rosa got near the bottom, his voice floated back up to the platform, "Awesome!" closely followed by: "Can I do it again?"

Then it was Mummy's turn. A turn where I discovered that mummies who weigh three times as much as their sons reach the ground a bit quicker than them. The word we're looking for here is 'plummet'.

They are building an even higher drop soon, called Goliath. Son of Rosa wants to do it.

Son of Rosa is on his own.

04 August 2010

The Scream is out

It's available to read in the August edition of Static Movement. The picture above was taken by my niece, DarkPhoenix15, specifically to go with the story. She's studying photography at college so I commissioned her to produce a photograph to use with the story on my website. Got to love those talented nieces to pieces.