Tales from a member of the Sandwich Generation – Observations

Being a member of the sandwich generation I’ve been able to observe some similarities in behaviour between one slice of my olive ciabatta and the other (I like to imagine I’m not an ordinary white bread sandwich).

  1. Both can be really fussy when it comes to eating.  Just as Bruce doesn’t really like his food mixed together and served with gravy or sauce, the same goes for one of my parents
  2. Bruce has about 2 vegetables that he will eat with any regularity and enthusiasm, so does one of my parents
  3. Neither of them function in the working world and so have unrealistic expectations – from the capacity of a bureaucracy like a hospital or school to be flexible and accommodating to how much services and products really cost and how difficult they can be to access when on a strict budget
  4. There’s a lot of washing involved as they can spill food REALLY easily
  5. At a point in time both may need the assistance of a walker to get around
  6. They walk really, really, really slowly
  7. Their enthusiasm and desire to drive a car is completely outstripped by their capacity to do so
  8. They can both have trouble remembering how to get home

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Parenting Tip # 7

Mr Literal wanted a 5 cake for his 5th birthday - go figure

I know, I haven’t actually published tips 1 – 6 but well, who needs to see them in order?  In fact, I’m not sure if I have more than 1 tip in me.  So here goes.

5 year old boys take things very literally.  Perhaps 5 year old girls do too.  I don’t have one of those so I can’t say for sure (the dog doesn’t count).

Earlier this week, after having read Picklebums, I remembered that I used to make porcupines – all the time.  But I haven’t made them for ages, so long now that Bruce, the 5 year old had forgotten all about them.

Being a Tuesday and therefore karate night for Squidge, I try and cook something that can simmer/bake away while dropping him off.  Porcupines –  the perfect solution.

Don’t know about porcupines?  Taste has a very good recipe – and it helps to read the comments for some tips.  They are basically minced meat with grated onion, garlic, other seasoning and dry rice.  Roll in to balls.  Pop in a pot of boiling tomato soup and simmer away until cooked.  As they cook the rice cooks and puffs out – making them look like procupines.  We, not surprisingly, call them hodgehegs.

Me:  “Dinner’s ready, c’mon Bruce”

Bruce:  “What are we having?”

Me: “Hodgehegs, look, this one is perfect, looks just like a hodgeheg, all it needs is legs and a little face”

Bruce: <bursts into tears>

Me: “What’s wrong?  Come on – you’ve got to at least try one – they’re yummy!”

Bruce: “I don’t want to eat A hodgeheg!”

Me: <penny drops>  “Oh, they’re not real hodgehegs!  I didn’t go out into the bush and trap hodgehegs and chop their legs off and cook them in soup.”

Bruce:  “Oh”  <blows nose and wipes eyes, still highly suspicious>

In the end he ate two and thought they were yummy.  Sometimes I forget how literal he can be.  Other times I depend on it.  Like when I cook ‘cheesy rice’.  “It’s rice with cheese” I say, neglecting to mention the chicken, bacon, onion and asparagus which has cooked for so long it looks like oozy green cheese.  We lurve cheesy rice.  And now he loves hodgehegs.  Again.  Phew.

What’s in a Name?

Some of the hodgehegs that live in our house

Hodgehegs was the mixed up word my second son used for hedgehogs.  We’ve used it so much in our family I now have to stop and think before I write or say it.  I don’t really have a reason why I used it as the name of our blog except that I like it.  And I like the real thing too (unlike someone I used to know who ‘just loves’ frogs but wouldn’t be within 30 cm of the real thing because they are slimey).

My name is the only real name shown here.  It’s an unusual spelling.  I’d like to stress that as I was a baby at the time I had no influence on it’s spelling and therefore refuse to be held accountable to people who can’t spell or pronounce it.  And I’m not that bothered if you can’t do either.

DB is my Dearly Beloved.  We’ve been together for just over 18 years, married for 12 (good on us for getting married in 2000, making that one easier to remember).

Squidge is my 8 year old.  He was given that nickname at birth.  As new parents we were surprised that something so small could produce something quite so, well, squidgy, in his nappy.  He also tended to squidge around an awful lot when trying to change his nappy, making for a squidgy mess.

This Dog Bruce (aka Bruce for short) is my 5 year old.  His nickname comes from a children’s book that I remember having that title but can find no reference to anymore.  This Dog Bruce was about a little dog who went around looking for fun but ended up getting in to mischief instead.  It just has always seemed to suit him.

Apart from we humans, the hodgehegs household is made up of Bella the rescue dog and 2 chooks.  What’s weird about Bella’s name?  Not much but when we ‘rescued’ her, her name was really Bellar and we decided to drop the R.  As for the chooks, Squidge named his Chickorita (inspired by  Pokemon) and Bruce called his John, and sometimes Gravy.  We just can’t help it but refer to John as “he”, even though we know full well he is a she.

What’s in your name?