An Emotional Journey With Pokémon Go

Or, how to kill twenty minutes before bedtime.

First ask your kids if they’ve heard of Pokémon. I mean how would I know, it’s not like I supervise all their screen time. That’s not as bad as it sounds; turns out they have watched it over the years at quiet time in childcare.

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Now ask if they want to go catch some Pokémon. Oh wait, well, Pokéballs. I’m not sure; I downloaded the app three days ago and the servers have been down most of that time. I did try to see how it worked one morning on the way to work and stood furtively on the street not really knowing what to do at the Pokéstop. It’s ok, when I got in I asked a colleague who happens to also be the company’s Technical Director, and he set me straight right away. No shame, grown ups, no shame!

Expectations raised way beyond reality, shoes were found and put on in speeds never seen on a school morning. There are two Pokéstops near our house – at the church, and eh…at the Mary statue also in the church grounds. (This is common I hear – it’s like the developers consulted with the Granny’s of Ireland about where they’d like us lured to.)

We set off, the just-turned-four year old chanting “Pikachu! Pikachu!” Oh shit.

They listen to me with my road crossing instructions. I should promise Pikachu all the time. “Mammy! I’ve never been this excited to go to a church before” Me neither dude, me neither.

Happy boys playing Pokemon go

We get to the gate. The big fella swishes the Pokéstop and is delighted to see our Pokéballs arrive. “My turn my turn my turn” shouts the other one, and luckily it’s a 100 metre dash to where Mary hides more elusive Pokéballs under her skirts or amongst her flowerpots. He swipes. Same thing happens. He bursts into big gulpy tears “I. WAN’. POKÉBALLS.” Ruh-roh. Augmented reality is not reality enough it seems.

Sad four year old

I placate him and he clings to my legs all the way home, which luckily isn’t far. The six year old takes some persuading that now is not the time to explore everything on the local map. He’s still happy, and wants to look for Pokémon all day tomorrow.

I go to take the clothes in from the line when we get home. The four year old reappears by my side, delirious with happiness. “Two blue Pokéballs!”

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Whatever gets us through kid, whatever gets us through. Now; to petition my husband to add it to his phone…

Objects Of Me

I read a lovely post over on Awfully Chipper the other day where Maud outlined the things in her life that said “her” to her and to her children in the same way that particular things will always remind her of her own mother. And lo and behold, she made it a linky. I put my thinking cap on, and thought what in my life says me?

I must consult my children and see what they think. If they waited around long enough for an explanation of what I’m looking for they’d probably say,

  • 16 half drunk bottles of water strewn around the house;
  • pyjama bottoms at 730pm;
  • the way I eat chocolate behind a cupboard door in the kitchen.

But I didn’t ask them. So here’s what I think says me.

Electric bike

First up, my bike; inanimate love of my life. This is my current one, it’s fancy and electric and when you’re carrying a child that’s a third of your own weight it’s dead handy. If it wasn’t this bike it would be another, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last but this is what currently gets me to and from work rain, hail or shine.

Runners

I thought at some point I would graduate into heels. They would magically become comfortable and something I wore if not daily then very often. Lets just say, that hasn’t happened.

Concrete planter

This says plenty; I love geometric patterns and industrial design (it’s a concrete planter). Yellow and grey are my favourite colour combinations and although I love greenery, the best kind of plants are ones that look after themselves. This is pretty representative of the things that I have dotted around the house between bits of lego and under drawings of minecraft.

Library card

This card has sat in my wallet since my just-graduated-from-college days. I lived near the library in Rathmines and joined for the first time since childhood. It brings me just as much joy now as it did when I walked out with armfuls of Babysitters Club and Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry. I may buy the odd physical book, but more likely I’ll impulse buy on my Kindle while waiting patiently for the books I request online to appear in a ‘We have your book’ email from my local library branch. You don’t even need to make time to browse, though that would be a welcome luxury. My kids have their own cards now too, but this isn’t about them…

Balanced diet

My balanced diet. I would happily eat either of these. I’m as likely to have quinoa for my dinner as pizza. I’m all for equal opportunities for nuts and doughnuts. I mean, I try and tip the scales in favour of the healthy options, but eating food I like is the new strong is the new skinny.

After all, I cycle plenty on that bike up above, and some of those runners are even used for running.

That’s me.

Be my veggie guest! Barbecue edition

VEGGIE BBQ FEATURE-

IMG_1634While plenty of you are not vegetarian, I know lots of people like to try a meat free day or two most weeks. And isn’t it nice to look beyond meat at a barbecue? Do you really feel great after craploads of grilled burgers and sausages? So whether you’re veggie yourself (woot! woot!) or just want to add a few options for the not so carnivorous amongst us, here’s some quick ideas for your scorching hot al day al fresco meal.* Featuring no frozen fake meat, at all!

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Unbreakable! Headline Coming! Kimmy Schmidt Season Two!

If you didn’t watch Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, go do it now because Season 2 is available from today, April 15th on Netflix. Last year I got so into this show, that I may have sung the theme tune in public with fellow bloggers Sinead & Kate at an awards ceremony. If someone plies me with enough prosecco, I may reprise my performance. This time round Kimmy is a little more at home in NYC; she’s looking for a new job, and we get further development of – the foils to her Season 1 naiveté – Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian.

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I have a severe want for Kimmy’s denim bomber, I won’t lie.

Some of my favourite American comedians guest star; Tina Fey and Amy Sedaris make return appearances, and Fred Armisen of Portlandia, Jeff Goldblum and David Cross show up too. The TV is booked for my viewing pleasure this weekend, after all I deserve some comedy – the last thing I watched on Netflix was Montage of Heck, the HBO Kurt Cobain documentary. I was the archetypal 90s grunge-obsessed teenager, crying on the phone to my best friend, sitting on the stairs in my Nevermind t-shirt when he died.

So yeah; some light relief is in order.

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Control Freak: Inside the Mind of a Threenager

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Time to go, time to schmo.
Time to go, time to schmo.

I’m cold! Coooold!

He lies on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. I’m halfway up, carrying a basket full of wet clothes and a sizeable Batcave toy. I have refused to carry him and his fully able hardy little legs up the stairs. This is standard practice; if I say I can’t lift him, he tells me he’s cold. Because he knows from previous experience if my child is cold I will wrap them in my arms and snuggle them til they’re warm. In this case, and in 95% of the protests about his temperature, he is lying through his baby teeth. I cuddle him endlessly, he gets no shortage of hugs but sometimes life, laundry and large toys get in the way. But he wants to know he’ll get his way every time.

Control freak. Continue reading