Wednesday, 27 February 2008


A friend and I once came up with the idea that parents can tell how mean they've been to their kids recently by using the 'SPILT DRINK TEST'.

In essence, the 'SPILT DRINK TEST' is revealed by assessing your children's response to knocking a cup of drink over in the lounge. Responses can be graded on a scale of good, ok or REALLY bad.

If the children ignore the spilt drink, don't bother telling you and carry on watching the DVD while cheerfully sitting in the puddle of liquid then you know you've been far too lax in the parenting department recently. Not exactly good, but not bad either.

If they promptly get up, get a cloth, clean up and THEN make a casual remark about it to you an hour or so later, then you're probably doing a pretty good job of parenting. Just don't brag about it to much to other parents because they will probably never speak to you again.

If, on the other hand, following a spilt drink occurence, the house suddenly becomes so quiet you can hear the rat in the garden tunnelling under your new compost bin then all is not well. On investigation (ie opening the lounge door) the worst response you can expect is a pale face looking up at you which promptly burst into tears and apologises profusely in a hysterical terrified sort of way. Then you know you've been REALLY MEAN to your kids for quite some time.

Well, let's just say that on the Spilt Drink Test we are so close to the hysterical apologetic teary face that I daren't even let my kids have drinks in the lounge for fear of what proof a spilt drink might provide about my recent tyrannical parenting.

But ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, apparently England, or more particularly Lincolnshire, had an earthquake at 1am this morning.
Not that we noticed.
Like most of the faintly exciting things that happen in England (so few I can't think of any other ones at all) we missed it. Slept through it. Bit of a bummer really, but hey, ho.

I did have some faint (desperate) hope that the shaking that we apparently experienced might have worked some magic on the DVD recorder which is doing a very good impression of a useless box of wires at the moment. As if I haven't got enough to contend with with picky children who like an excuse to moan about everything. Now I have a piece of technology with a similar temperament. It's not as if I'm asking for alot. ALL it has to do is:

(1) play DVDs - i.e. all of them, not just a select few that it deems are boring enough to be worth waving its little laser finger over, and NOT by spinning them so hard it sounds like our old lethal twin tub on its manic fast spin.

(2) record onto it's hard disc the programmes I want to record. Yes SOUND would be helpful as I'm not a professional lipreader. And no, I do not want a very long recording of the precise actions of a small child looking up and down through the freeview channel listings before settling on an episode of Top Gear.

and then

(3) allow me to copy the programmes I want to save onto a DVD. Yes, preferably ANY of the 40 or so I have spent a fortune buying in a desperate attempt to get the damned thing to work.

Whoever said that technology was here to make our lives easier? Perhaps they should be given the punishment of trying to make the DVD player work while cooking dinner, fending off a small ravenous puppy determined to stick its head in the burning hot oven, and putting up with the smell of rotting Giant African Land Snails, which have made the dining room a no-go area. He obviously wasn't a woman OR a home educator.

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