Saturday, February 04, 2017

Various unconnected ramblings

There's not a lot happening around here because Mr Life has been quite unwell for some time now. He's been getting tremendous pains in his head. We've both had coughs since Christmas ("Ah yes, the 90-day cough," said one of our friends encouragingly)  and whenever he coughs or bends down, he's in agony. He's on a lot of painkillers which seemed to be doing a bit of good and now seem not to be. So he's not a happy chap. He's had all sorts of scans and things and unless the latest one shows something dire, the problem seems to be neuralgia. Which doesn't sound too bad but clearly is.

So a propos of not very much apart from an attempt to cheer myself up, here's a picture of Granddaughter the Elder - not in the snow, which we haven't had any of - but playing with foam at the children's favourite Sunday afternoon venue, The Yard. It's amazing how much fun can be had from soap liquid bubbled up through water.

And the indoor area of The Yard is pretty good too, with a soft play area which incorporates several huge teddies.

I've been thinking recently about politeness, as taught to children. Our older two grandchildren are now pretty good at saying please and thank you when appropriate, but when you think about it, the social nuances aren't that easy. After all, when you ask a loved one to do you a minor favour - pass the fruit bowl, for example - you probably don't say, "Please could you pass me the fruit bowl?" I would probably just say, "Could you pass me the fruit bowl?" I might put "please" on the end of this. Or maybe (is this a Scottish expression? - not sure) "Go and pass me the fruit bowl." Either of these is perfectly polite in a family setting. And indeed "please" could be slightly aggressive, as in "Please shut the door" - depending on the context.

And how often do we actually say "please" to a child? Sometimes, but not always. I find myself saying "Put on your slippers" or "Can you help me put these back in the box?" Isn't it amazing how little ones learn the distinctions and end up being reasonably polite?

All the offspring, two of their spouses, and the grandoffspring were here last weekend, which was lovely (though Mr L was too ill to enjoy it properly). When it all ended, Grandson and I accompanied Daughter 2 - who is a very jolly and loving aunt - to the station to go back to London. On the bus back, I said to Grandson, "You're the light of my life," and he said very politely, "You're the light of my life too." Then he paused and said, "But I REALLY like Auntie [Daughter 2] as well!"

As do we all.


  1. So sorry to hear your husband is unwell. But I always enjoy hearing about your grandchildren, they're beautiful.

  2. Very sorry to hear about the illness and hope it passes soon. 'Tis the season for coughs and sickness. I almost always said please and thank you to my girls and expected it back from them. They are both very polite young ladies, although these days they swear too much for me. :)

  3. Said to Granddaughter who had suddenly stopped saying please and thank you, 'Where have all your please and thankyous gone?' Quick as a flash she said 'I gave them to Harry (her best friend from school), he's lost his!)
    Sorry to hear Mr Life is still suffering, it must be very unpleasant. Starting to make plans to be in Scotland in early August so hope we can meet up.

  4. I'm very sorry to hear about the head pain. I'm loathe to offer advice normally but has a cranial osteopath been considered if nothing sinister manifests?
    I am always completely undone by grand daughter's' Thank too' (not a typo) and 'You're welcome' when I thank her. I'm rather glad she has stopped saying 'Ta' which was an import from nursery staff.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your husband's illness and hope they will resolve in a good way soon. It's always fun when families get together. I am really lucky that now all my family lives in our township again. Your grandson is both polite and sweetly honest!

  6. Perhaps I should have said he is hilariously honest.

  7. Your grandson is becoming extremely tall, it seems to me.

    I, too, am sorry to hear of Mr L's illness and I agree with Lucille regarding the cranial osteopath, they can work wonders.

  8. Ah, that Little N -- what a darling, loving little boy he is! Interesting discussion on the use of please -- we would use please in all of the examples you cited -- and wouldn't think it agressive, I don't think? We wouldn't say "go on" either -- just not normal for us.

    I'm so sorry to hear about Mr. Life. I hope they find something that will help his pain very soon!

  9. Well it's now the 18th, how is Mr Life? I'm just getting over the 90 day cough.......