For The Love of the Dark Side

photo

All three muppets have different personalities, interests and things that they love, however the middle muppet tends to flock a lot to what the oldest is interested in. The youngest has always liked the things the others haven’t. He loves snakes, bugs and things that look gross. He is the first to try a new food, jump in to the pool with out checking the temperature and would pick up a lizard or a snake if it let him. The first time he watched Star Wars he fell in love with Darth Vader, at the age of three he would make me watch over and over the last part of the third Star Wars where Anikin and Obi Wan have a huge dual and eventually he turns to Darth Vader. The night before his fourth birthday he said to me “Mummy tomorrow I turn four and I also turn to the dark side.” He is my little devil in angels clothing, always up to something and if anyone was on the dark side I would say it was him.

On Christmas day he was so happy to get an Anikin action figure that turns to Darth Vader. He marched around singing the imperial march most of the day and the only thing that he was interested in seeing at Lego Land was the Death Star made of Lego. I am pretty sure he would have just spent all day at that exhibit! Today as we boarded our easily morning flight to Kuala Lumpur he asked for Darth Vader to play with. After a banana muffin and a cup of juice he laid his head down on my lap cuddling Darth Vader and drifted off to sleep. My sweet little boy who always cheers for the bad guy, loves the animals that no one wants to touch

Advertisements

A Different Christmas

IMG_1423

When we chose to move to Doha three years ago we knew that we would be missing out on birthdays, weddings, births and of course Christmas with family and friends back home. We have had a few different Christmases since we moved to Doha and they have all been wonderful and each has been completely different. Last night (our Christmas Eve) we took the boys out for a nice meal, the restaurant was at a mall so afterward we walked around we stopped to watch young girls dance to Christmas Carols and stare at the twinkling lights of the Christmas Tree.

We arrived back at our apartment, and as the muppets showered little elves placed special pyjamas in each of their stockings so that Santa would be able to find them that night. The oldest muppet said to us all “I heard them Mum, the elves, I heard them scurrying away when we were in the bathroom.” The other two muppets totally agreed that they heard the elves and then proceeded to have a conversation about how big elves were and whether or not Yetis actually made Santa’s toys for them.

We were awoken Christmas morning with gleeful cheering from three little muppets excited that their stockings were filled with presents. The unwrapping was done in less than five minutes and they happily played with their stocking stuffers from Santa. The big present was coming later that morning. When we decided to take a trip to Singapore and Malaysia this holiday season I happen to notice that there was a Lego Land near by. The oldest muppet is especially keen on Lego (obsessed might be a better word) so I knew that they would almost explode with excitement if we took them there and I figured it would be a great way to spend Christmas Day! I was right! The Christmas spirit was in full swing at Lego Land with a huge tree made entirely of Lego, decorations everywhere, Christmas music playing and a massive life size sleigh complete with Santa and reindeer. We were all in heaven!

Our day was full of fun, activity and adventure but by the end of the day as the park was closing I longed for home for the familiar smells, sights and sounds of my Christmases past. I wondered what our family was doing in Canada, what our friends were doing in Doha and how other friends around the world were celebrating today. I stood with my family as we took one last picture in front of the Christmas tree and I realized that I had everything that I needed with me right there in that moment. My Christmas was may family, happy, healthy and so incredibly blessed. It was a Wilson Family Christmas, something different from all the other Christmases before but with one thing in common, the five of us were together. So from this Princess and her Four Frogs we hope that you are with your families enjoying this blessed day. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Flying Adventures

chinese-giant-squirrel

We left on our adventure to Singapore a few days ago, it was a rough start as the plane was delayed by two hours and we had tired and cranky children on our hands. After a quick 5 hour flight we landed in Sri Lanka, a familiar site for our eyes as we had spent our last Christmas there. We raced through the airport staying only long enough to say “hi” to the big statue of Buddha and use the toilet. As we settled in for our last flight we prayed to the luggage gods that everything would arrive safely on the other side. We landed in Singapore and were all amazed at the huge airport, the twinkling Christmas lights and the fact that all of our luggage made it there. We stepped out on to the street where the rain was lashing down and climbed in to the cab to head to our apartment where we would be living for the next few days.

After fourteen hours of sleep we were ready to go and explore. We took the metro down to pick up our park passes, the muppets were pumped to be riding on a train for the first time and learned quickly how to navigate the maps and mind the gap when “alighting” the train. There were people everywhere, but what looked like crazy chaos was actually amazingly orderly. Everyone walked where they were suppose to and lined up to get on to busses and trains. We found our way to the Singapore Zoo which also houses the River Safari and the Night Safari, the muppets were tired and excited about seeing all the animals on the River Safari. We walked through river exhibits that included animals from the Mississippi , the Nile, the Ganges and the Yangtze rivers. We got to see the Giant Panda Jia Jia, watch giant river otters fight and play over our heads and be amazed by the graceful Manatee. The oldest muppets dream of seeing an Arapaima and a Red tailed catfish came true and the middle and youngest were excited to see the giant fresh water stingrays.

We were already in animal overload as we made our way to the Night Safari. We were all tired, hungry and angry as we entered the park. After out sugar levels were back to normal we decided we should get in line to ride the Tram through the darkened park. The line up at that point was monstrous and we made a decision to walk when one of the park staff told us it should only take an hour. For a while we were the only ones walking through the park which was cool but incredibly creepy at the same time. We stumbled across some river otters, fishing cats, mouse deer and civets on our night walk. It was amazing watching them in their night time habitat. As we sat to rest our feet at the civet enclosure one of the keepers stopped to talk to the boys. He was telling them about the differences in the two animals in the enclosure. Every question he asked them they got right without even a second guess, I think he was taken off guard not realizing that my children watch Nat Geo Wild every day!

Our night adventure continued and did not take one our but was coming close to two, our feet ached and we decided to head for home. On our way out the boys wanted to go in to the giant flying squirrel enclosure. I reluctantly agreed since after being in the bat enclosure the same night my fear of things flying at my head was at a all time high. As we walked through things rustled in the bushes and moved in the trees. The boys were enthralled but I was done and getting out of there fast when suddenly WHOOSH through the trees and through my hair flew a squirrel! I screamed and the boys (all of them) laughed in excitement. “Did you see that Mum, that flying squirrel almost landed on your head!!” I was totally creeped out by that point but it was the highlight of the night for the muppets.

We made our way to the front of the park and we were convinced by a member of the staff to take the tram tour as well. We were able to see a bunch of the animals that we could not see from the walking trails including the Indian Lions, Tapir and the Nile Hippos. After a thirty min bus ride, and two trains we arrived at our metro station. It was midnight and we were not sure if the muppets would last the ten minute walk to our apartment. So we decided to stop at McDonald’s for a midnight ice-cream. We all walked home happily ice-cream in hand, as we reached the apartment I asked the middle muppet what his favourite part of the day was. He thought and thought and finally said “Well the flying squirrel on your head was pretty cool” everyone was in agreement that the flying squirrel on mummy’s head was the highlight of the night and well worth the price of admission!

The muppets have had three days now in Singapore and are now well versed in using the metro system, eating “street meat” and navigating the markets. So far this city that seems to never sleeps has pulled us in, overwhelmed us and made us fall in love with it. Our adventures will continue for the next few days, so excited to see what they will bring.

Best Brothers

1508146_10151780913770658_345520091_n

The youngest muppet adores the oldest muppet. He is his role model, the person that he follows everywhere, the person he drives crazy and the person that he laughs uncontrollably with. When the two of them are together it always means trouble. The game will usually start off as something nice but is always escalates in to madness usually causing one of them to be in tears or be completely angry with the other. When you are the oldest sibling you are constantly “ON”, people want to play with you, do what you are doing and follow you everywhere. Our oldest muppet is not spared any of these things, in fact he has to deal with it times two and I try my hardest to give him his space, his own time and some sanity but when you have such an adamant fan base it is hard.

The other day the muppets were playing lego up in their room. It was a rare moment of calm, no fighting and everyone seemed happy. As I sat on the couch with a cup of tea the youngest muppet came barreling down the stairs. He was in tears, the oldest muppet had told him off for something and said that he couldn’t play with him anymore. He was devastated (this happens 15 times a day so I wasn’t too worried) After a cuddle the youngest muppet asked me for a cookie, “I need one for Rhysie too” he said “I love him and he is my best friend in the world even if he is mean to me sometimes” My heart swelled with pride when he said those words. I only hope that as the fights get more serious they all remember that they may not like each other at a certain moment but they will always love each other. Brother bonds are strong in our family.

Grounded

Kids Jumping On Trampoline 3

In our household the muppets dread homework, I am sure that it is the same in most households since I can remember as a child hating it as well. This year the oldest muppet has graduated from freaking out about homework to just eye rolling and huffing and puffing a bit before getting down to business. However the middle muppet freaks out, looses his mind, whines and hits notes with his voice that grate on your nerves so badly you understand why some animals eat their young.

We are now going on almost 3 months of this behaviour, I have tried every trick in the book and some work for a while but it ultimately comes back to the whining. This past weekend I had my fill and told the middle muppet that if he couldn’t do his homework with out whining once then he would be grounded. He would not be allowed at peoples houses to play and that the iPad would be off limits to him for a full week. I meant business, so as we sat down to the table and he took up his pencil with out protest I thought I had won, but then he opened his mouth and all was lost.

He was grounded for a week, he was allowed to play with kids outside or at the park but not allowed to play at peoples houses, and he was also not allowed on the iPad. At first it was horrible, the other muppets were all out playing with their friends and so the middle guy had a pretty big pity party but he soon realized that I wasn’t going to budge and went outside to shoot baskets. Later in the week the muppets were invited to a friends house for cake to celebrate a birthday. I thought about the middle muppet being grounded and I figured that it was rude to not be there for his friend so the four of us made our way over there together. I told him that if I heard any whining he would have to go home. He promised me that he would be on his best behaviour. The kids ran around the house playing as the adults sat enjoying the nice weather in the back garden. We were all talking about how we dealt with tattling and whining children I told my story about the middle muppet and his home work and how he was grounded.

It was the perfect moment for me to say that as my girlfriend looked at me eyebrows raised “Really?” she said “He doesn’t look very grounded!” I looked over to the trampoline where the middle muppet was bouncing by himself with a look of absolute joy on his face. I burst out laughing, he was having such a good time and he was really on his best behaviour so I couldn’t really ask him for much more. At the end of the week I sat down with the middle guy and talked to him about why he was grounded and what he had learned. His behaviour had actually gotten better throughout the week and he told me that he was a better person when he didn’t whine and cry so much.

I was really happy with the outcome.  It was the first time that I have had to ground one of the muppets and now I just have to remind the middle guy about his week of being grounded and he turns his behaviour around. Every day is a learning adventure for both me and the muppets. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.