Awoken far too early by an excited 10 year old, eager for his presents.
Sleepily watched him open them, finishing with his 'big' present, the walkie talkies. We told him that we wouldn't be able to do them immediately, as they are complicated and we'd need to read the instructions first.
They played with the lego present and read a book we'd got him 'The Alchemist' and I was able to read NewScientist and doze. Was re-awoken by the older one shouting, and Gill coming upstairs, to get me up to come downstairs to mediate. I came down to try to sort things out, but this seemed to inflame things, and the voices were raised higher, backchat got ruder and more insolent, and I sent the birthday boy to his room. The shouting made the younger one cry and Gill also.
Things calmed down a bit, and play soon resumed with no problems really.
So a bit later in the day, I carefully opened the packaging and I spent quite a long time reading the instructions. They worked well, even to the bottom of the garden, with me on one inside and the boys down the garden, 80 metres away, communicating clearly. However when my impatient 8 yr old was using the handset, without waiting for training, his handset stopped working, it just wouldn't turn on.
The mood changed again, with some more tears, more shouting and anger, just the worst kind of birthday, and everybody unhappy. I said I'd go down to town to sort it out, to see if it could be mended or replaced. When I did this, it seemed a simple job for E Roy to sort out, and it was working again. I visited Bike Rescue to drop off a smashed-up bike I found over a month ago, and as no-one had claimed it from the police, I gave it to the bike recyclers, and had a good chat to Andy Scaife, the Bike Rescue person.
Then on to drop off a picture of me as Prof Fiddlesticks at my agent's, who's run out of them, and back via Anneliese's, to install her new compost bin, for which she paid me £10.
Home to an empty house, they'd gone to the park, so I bottled my out of date and hard-boiled eggs, in vinegar, then did the washing up, then they arrived back, and I'd had an idea of getting some house ground rules sorted out, so I told the boys to write some ground rules for Gill and myself, this as a prelude to our developing some for them. Hope this helps.
The boys were happy the walkie talkies were working again, and we had a lovely tea, the birthday boy's favourite, and after tea, I went on a cycle ride with him to test out how far it would work between. We went to the York Maze and could just get a signal. But not from Heslington, as shrouded in trees and behind the University. Gill and our youngest were in the loft, so getting a good 'view' of the area.
Back in time for supper and their bedtime, hooray, and excellent behaviour.
My friend Philip arrived at 9pm, we had several ciders and good chats and a late night.