Saturday, March 04, 2006

Kids aren't born with instruction manuals. And just when you think you've compiled your own workable instructions, you find that the next model isn't retro-compatible with the first one. It gets worse. Sometimes they get bugs and viruses - and share them generously. You find yourself constantly having to download updates, even though you wrote the manual yourself. Sometimes you have to devise your own fix for particular glitches. Who'd have 'em?!

When does a responsible parent become an over-protective one? Is a twelve-year old skull any more resilient to rollerblading injuries than it was when it was eleven? Will it be tougher when it reaches thirteen?

For that matter - can any older, wiser, cooler parent advise me precisely where you identify a compromise between "safe" and "cool"? There has to be some kind of central ground. Does it (heaven forbid) entail going out and replacing what looks like a perfectly cool safety helmet with one that is officially 2006 cool? Because the alternative seems to be,

"Well then, I'm not going out. Not in THAT!!"

Meanwhile, apart from a blister on his ankle, all is right with Viola-Boy's world. Ocarina-Kid, on the other hand, wanted to be entertained. He came home from school the other day with instructions for how to make Katie Morag's Porridges. Katie Morag is a wee Scots lassie who lives on an island with her grannie. Porridges - yes, I know you've only ever seen the word in the singular, but this is Katie Morag's world - porridges are what you or I would call flapjacks. There was only one thing wrong with the recipe - NO QUANTITIES. No, I tell a lie, there was something else - NO COOKING TEMPERATURE or COOKING TIME. Hmmm ...

I searched the internet for Katie Morag and her porridges - they were nowhere to be found. (I suspect they're in Katie Morag's Rainy Day Book, which I shall try to obtain.) Meanwhile, I found a recipe for flapjacks - the self-same ingredients - and got the missing info. I'm happy to announce that after some Group Therapy (a family baking session), we now have some Porridges for our tea. Hallelujah!

I found the recipe at - you might find it a worthwhile resource to investigate! (I hadn't realised flapjacks were an "ethnic" Scottish delicacy, but you learn something new every day. They're made with oats, and oats are good for you ... )

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