Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Bedtime Story (28/2/2018)

One of my new year's resolutions at the start of 2018 was to lose some weight.  Although I'm doing okay with it, I've realised I'm never going to stop being a bit of a greedy so and so!  This story is dedicated to one of the big loves of my life: FOOD! ;-)

You can, as always, also listen to this week's story as a podcast.

Elliot's ENORMOUS Sandwich

"Can I make a sandwich for lunch?"  Elliot asked, clutching his rumbling tummy.  

Mum eyed him curiously.  "You're going to make it yourself?" 

"I'm starving!"  Elliot groaned.  "So yes, I'm going to make it myself.  I can do that, you know.  I'm almost seven!"

Mum chuckled to herself.  "Go on, then," she smiled.  "What are you having on it?

Elliot wrinkled his nose and glanced around the kitchen.  "Probably cheese.  Or maybe ham.  Or perhaps peanut butter."

"Sounds like you've got a decision to make," Mum laughed.  She picked up her mug of tea and carried on reading the newspaper at the kitchen table, knowing she could keep an eye on Elliot, as he went about creating his sandwich.

Elliot grabbed two slices of bread and spread them with butter.  He grabbed the cheese and decided to grate some.  Mum helped him to carefully cut a small piece and reminded him to watch his fingers on the grater.  Once the cheese was grated, Elliot put it on one of the slices of bread and was about to pop the other slice on top and settle down to eat, when he decided the sandwich didn't quite feel finished, yet.

"Shall I add some ham, seeing as I couldn't decide between that or cheese?"  He called to Mum.

"If you like," Mum replied.  "It's in the fridge."

Elliot added a slice of ham and then frowned.  "I did want some peanut butter as well, didn't I?"

Mum pulled a face.  "I don't know whether that will go with ham and cheese..."

Elliot shrugged.  "But I like them all on their own," he said.  "So, why shouldn't I like them together?"

Before Mum could reply, Elliot had spread a thick layer of peanut butter on one slice of bread.  But, suddenly, he had a thought: if he was just going to add things he liked on their own, to see if they tasted nice all together, why stop with just three things?  Elliot rubbed his chin, trying to remember what all his favourite foods were.

"Crisps!"  He declared.

Mum looked up from her newspaper.  "Crisps?!"

"Yep," Elliot said.  "I'm going to add some crisps to my sandwich.  I love ready salted crisps, so I think they'll taste delicious on here."

Mum watched Elliot tip a packet of crisps on top of the slice of bread that was already covered with cheese and ham.  Then, he grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl.  Elliot peeled it, carefully sliced it and balanced the resulting pieces of banana on top of the crisps.  "Banana's are my favourite fruit," he explained.

"I think that sandwich is probably done, now," Mum said, staring at it as though it was the very last thing she'd want to eat. 

But Elliot was far from finished.

He added chocolate biscuits, Gummy Bears, gherkins and a handful of popcorn.  "These are all things I like to eat as a snack," he explained, as the unusual sandwich grew ever larger.  "So, why shouldn't I put them all together?!"

Mum stuck out her lower lip and recoiled in horror.  "Just because you like them on their own, doesn't mean the flavours will go when you mix them all up," she explained.  "I think that's enough now.  You won't want to eat it and it'll be a waste of food."

But Elliot still wasn't finished.

He added marshmallows, raisins, lettuce and a dollop of chocolate spread.  "This is going to be the best sandwich ever," he declared.

Mum looked like she might be sick.  

But Elliot still wasn't finished.

He added cucumber slices, a squeeze of honey and, finally, a slice of salami.

"That looks..."  Mum began, but she couldn't quite find any words to describe the sandwich that Elliot had created.

Elliot squeezed the peanut-butter slathered slice of bread on top and pushed down.  It took a lot of effort to flatten the sandwich enough to take a bite; he could hear the crisps and chocolate biscuits crunching under the weight, as he pushed down.

"Elliot, you can't seriously eat that," Mum said.  "And it's such a waste of food, because..."

Before she could finish her sentence, Elliot had taken a massive bite of the enormous sandwich.

Mum stared at him in horror, waiting for him to spit it out, or pull a face.  But, to her surprise, he did neither.

"Delicious!"  Elliot insisted.  "It's like dinner and pudding all in one!"  He held the sandwich out to her.  "Want to try some?"

Mum practically turned green at the thought.  "I think I'll make my own sandwich," she replied.  "That's if you've left me any food to use!"

Elliot grinned.  "I think I'll make all my own lunches from now on," he declared.  "And maybe when I grow up, I'll be a famous chef!"

And with that, Elliot settled down at the table to eat his very strange, very big sandwich, whilst Mum wondered just what she was going to have for lunch.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Bedtime Story (21/2/2018)

Today, as is my general wont, I've been overthinking various situations in my life.  Even as a 35 year old adult, there are many things I simply don't understand - and probably never will!  So, I started thinking about just how confusing the world can be and realised it's doubly so when you're a child.  That's where this story came from.  Hope you and your little ones enjoy it!

You can click here to listen to this story as a podcast.

The World Is SO Confusing!

All was quiet in Jacob's room;
His parents couldn't hear a peep.
But although he lay, tucked up in bed,
Jacob was not asleep.

A million questions were in his head,
Keeping him wide awake.
Jacob needed to find some answers,
No matter how long that might take.

He scrambled from the duvet
And gazed up at the black sky.
He watched clouds move past the moon
And the stars, so way up high.

"The world is so confusing,"
Jacob whispered to himself.
"I can't find answers anywhere,
Not in all the books on my shelf!"

He took a long and very deep breath,
And decided to ask out loud
All of the questions that kept him from sleep
To the sky and the moon and the clouds.

"Can you cry underwater?
And if chocolate is made from beans,
Does that make it a vegetable?"
Came Jacob's questioning pleas.

"And if my grandparents are called 'old people',
Why aren't kids called 'new people' too?
And were staircases built to go up or go down?
These are my questions to you!"

"Why doesn't cat food come in mouse flavour?"
Jacob asked the world, as he warmed to his theme.
"And if you're in bed, tucked up at night,
Can you still daydream?"

"What do you call a female daddy-long-legs?
Why is the third hand on my watch called the second hand?!"
Jacob rubbed his head and frowned at the sky.
"There's so much I don't understand."

"Like, how do you know when you run out of invisible ink?
Why is a boxing ring square?!
What do sheep count when they can't sleep?
Can you get nits if you have no hair?!"

But as he stared at the moon and stars,
In Jacob's mind, a thought had begun:
Perhaps not knowing all of these things
Was what made life such fun?!

After all, a mystery keeps us wondering.
Staying curious is good for your brain!
A smile crept across Jacob's lips, 
As he leant against the window pane.

He may never know all the answers
To the questions in his head.
"But I'll keep asking, anyway,"
A sleepy Jacob said.

But from that day on, it was okay not to know
The answers to every question through history.
Jacob was content to wonder and dream,
Enjoying all of life's mysteries.


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Bedtime Story (14/2/2018)

Seeing as it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share a bedtime story celebrating everyone who makes a difference to our lives.

You can also listen to this story as a podcast.

"For EVERYONE I Love!"

For weeks, Clare had been beavering away,
Secretly working hard.
Now, finally, it was Valentine's Day,
And she wanted to give EVERYONE cards!

"What's that pile on the kitchen table?"
Mum asked, when she came downstairs.
"I've made as many Valentine's cards as I'm able,"
Came the proud answer from Clare.

Throughout the day, she gave out her cards,
With a broad smile, bright on her face.
Pieces of paper, decorated with hearts,
Were handed out all over the place!

Of course, there was one for Mum and Dad:
The biggest and prettiest of the lot!
It read: "You make me happy whenever I'm sad,
You're the best parents anyone's got!"

Then came the second biggest card of all,
Addressed to the family dog, Beau.
It said: "I love it when we play with your ball,
And you excitedly wait for the throw!"

A card for Clare's grandparents was in the pile, too,
A pink one, with bright purple spots.
Clare said: "It's fun coming over to stay with you!
So this card shows I love you both, lots."

After that, the cards went all over town,
There were many more than you'd think!
And Clare gave them all with a smile, not a frown,
And even the odd cheeky wink!

There was one for the baker, whose cakes Clare adored,
And a card for her doctor as well.
One for the librarian, whose books Clare loved to hoard,
And for her nursery teacher, Michelle.

She gave a card to the old lady who lived down the road,
Who didn't get out all that much.
The old lady smiled so wide, her cheeks glowed;
And she told Clare she was "very touched."

There was a card for the policeman who'd found Mum's lost purse,
And for Dave, who played football with Dad.
One for Mum's friend Tara, the district nurse,
Who called it the best card she'd had!

When the last card was finally given away,
Clare yawned and snuggled up to her Mum.
She'd had a tiring, but really lovely day,
And what she set out to do, she had done.

"Now all those people who make a difference to me,
Know I simply can't thank them enough.
And what better way to say thanks could there be,
Than giving cards to EVERYONE I love?"

Clare was so tired from her busy day,
That once home, she went straight up to bed.
And as tucked under her duvet, she cosily lay,
Her Mum gently kissed young Clare's head.

"You're so thoughtful," Mum said with a beam.
"That was such a kind thing to do."
And as she tiptoed away, leaving Clare to dream,
She added: "We all love you, too."


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Bedtime Story (7/2/2018)

Welcome back to the weekly bedtime story!  

I hope everyone is well as they read this.  Unfortunately, it's that time of year when coughs, colds and Winter viruses are still everywhere - as I write this, my throat feels as though I've been gargling with razor blades.  Ugh!  

But what happens when you simply refuse to admit that you're not well?!  I thought I'd write a story to find out...

Fancy listening to this story as a podcast?  Just click here!

"Go Back To Bed, Lottie!"

Lottie never sat still for long.  There was too much to do, too much to see, too many games to play...

But Lottie had been a little under the weather for a few days.  She found that running around made her tired much quicker than usual, and it made her cough, too.  Her face felt hot and she was rather sniffly.  Each day, when Lottie got up and began noisily playing, her mum would tut to herself.  "I think you're coming down with something," she'd say, pulling a worried face that made her forehead go all crinkly.

Then, one day, after a particularly bad coughing fit, Lottie looked up at her mum and knew exactly what Mum was going to say, before the words even had chance to leave her mouth.

"Go back to bed, Lottie," Mum told her.  "Your face is all red, your chest sounds rattly and I don't want you to get worse."

Despite Lottie's protests, her mum ushered her up the stairs.  "We'll see if a day of bed rest helps you feel better.  If not, I think we'll have to go to the doctors, tomorrow."  She tucked Lottie into bed and left her to lie there, staring at the ceiling.

Lottie's bed was very comfy.  And her head didn't ache so much when she was lying down.  But Lottie wasn't a "stay in one place all day" type of girl.  Within minutes, she was bored.  She threw back the covers, kicked her legs over the edge of the bed and began scanning her bedroom for something to do.

Eventually, she decided to play with the dollhouse she'd got for Christmas.  Sitting up made her feel a bit wobbly, but she curled her legs beneath her on her bedroom rug and began playing.  She was just getting into a really good game, where one of the dolls was bouncing on the bed and making lots of noise, when she heard her mum's footsteps on the stairs...

"Go back to bed, Lottie!"  Mum insisted, as she opened the door to Lottie's room.  "Your cheeks look flushed and you need to rest!"

After much huffing and puffing,  Lottie eventually crawled back beneath her duvet and waited until her mum had gone back downstairs, before she let out a long sigh.  She was really fed up, now.  Her eyes felt tired and her throat was scratchy, but if she just stayed in bed, surely she'd only end up bored, rather than better?!  And so, Lottie decided she'd go to her bookshelf and choose something to read.

Lottie's favourite book was wedged between a thick colouring book and a collection of bedtime stories that Mum read from, sometimes.  It was stuck firmly and it took Lottie a lot of effort to pull it out.  She tugged and tugged, making herself cough more and more in the process.  By the time the book finally became unstuck, the force made Lottie fall backwards to the floor with a bump, bringing several other books down from the shelf at the same time.

Within seconds of the crash, the sound of footsteps on the stairs made Lottie's ears prick up once more.  Mum burst through the door.  "What on Earth are you doing?!  Go back to bed, Lottie!"

She put a hand on Lottie's forehead and pulled a face.  "You're burning up and your skin's all clammy."  She hurried to open the window a crack.  "No more playing around.  You have to go to sleep and get some rest!"

Lottie dragged herself back to bed, frowning and protesting all the way.  Her chest hurt and her whole body felt much heavier than normal.  Her bed was so soft and the temptation to close her eyes was huge, but Lottie was worried she'd miss out on a day of playing.  So, as soon as the coast was clear, she crept out of bed and decided to play dress-up.

She opened the cupboard where her fancy dress box was stored and began searching for something to put on.  Every time she bent down, she went dizzy and there was a strange buzzing in her ears, but Lottie was sure she'd be fine if she just had some time to play.  She tugged out a feather boa from the bottom of the fancy dress box.  The feathers tickled her nose and she sneezed once, twice, three times.  The third one was such a big sneeze, Lottie tripped over her own feet in her rush to grab a tissue.

"LOTTIE!"  Mum's voice yelled up the stairs, when she heard the crash.  

Lottie scrambled back to bed, before the bedroom door opened.  "I thought you were out of bed, again," Mum frowned.

"No," Lottie said, with a grin.  She sank down against the soft pillows, pulling the warm duvet up beneath her chin.  Suddenly, her bed felt like the perfect place to be.

"Well, that's good," Mum replied.  "Because you really do need to rest."

Lottie nodded.  Her eyes felt ever so heavy and her ears were sore.  Her face was hot, but she shivered, as she wrapped the duvet around herself.  "I think..." She began, with a yawn.  "I think I might go to sleep."

"Promise?"  Mum asked.  She turned away to clear up Lottie's dressing up things.  "Because you ought to be resting," she continued.  "You'll feel much better after a nice, long sleep, I'm sure.  That's why  I kept telling you to get back into..."  She turned back and smiled.  "Bed."

Tucked up under the covers, Lottie was fast asleep.  And this time, she wouldn't get out again until she'd had a proper rest.

"Feel better soon, Lottie," Mum whispered.  She closed the door, tiptoed down the stairs and settled herself on the sofa, to enjoy some peace and quiet at last.