Wednesday, 11 January 2012

How Hairy McLary came to the rescue in a bad case of transitionitis

Each time my big boys come back from seeing their dad there is tension, in fact that's something of an understatement - there is shouty, grumpy, tearful out-of-sortsy tension.

It's not that anyone does anything wrong or that there is any animosity. In fact it all goes fairly well, as far as these things go.

But the boys, particularly the nine year old, needs considerable decompression before normal service is restored. My friend Fionaoutdoors calls it transitionitis

This time he and I were snappish in the extreme. He was answering back and I was telling him off - ill temper taken as an art form. If there was an olympic mother and son event we would be where the smart money would go.

Add to that a single-minded and contrary toddler with ambitions far above his station and things were getting noisy. 

Finally in an attempt to break the funk and, even, get him to talk to me about, we set to tidying his room. The bedroom of a nine-year-old boy is a mysterious and scary place. The casual violence of a shoebox armoury - spud fun, water pistol, catapult and light sabre - cuddled up beside playdoh sculptures and furry things with eyes.

Then under the stuff were books, Top Gear and Blue Peter annuals with Pokemon classification tables and some from earlier. We were book-shelf archeologists. 

"I loved this. You used to read it all the time," he exclaimed clutching a dog-eared copy of Hairy Mclary from Donaldson's Dairy. "I'm going to read it to C....."

And before I knew it he was wedged into an armchair with his little brother and a book.

Schnitzel von Krumm
with a very low tum,
Bitzer Maloney
all skinny and bony,
Muffin McClay
like a bundle of hay,
Bottomley Potts
covered in spots,
Hercules Morse
as big as a horse
and Hairy Maclary
from Donaldson's Dairy

Now every evening we get demands to meet Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town, but I don't really mind.


  1. We've always loved Hairy Maclary in our house. Even before we were dog people. Lovely.

  2. msalliance, What's not to love?

    Jo, Indeed.

  3. I don't know whether it's me, but I'm a bit behind the times when it comes to Hairy McLary! I've never heard of him before!

    But yeah... try to get me to put things away, that causes arguments in my house!!!


  4. We LOVE Hairy McLairy, and Slinky Malinky. It's fab that an old favourite has such a calming effect and good that you've found a solution. When we were in NZ we stayed in a neighbourhood that looked EXACTLY like the illustrations, the children were very excited.

  5. Juliette, if you still have to read to smalls it's worth looking out.

    Victoria, you're right it has a calming effect. It's much more clever than it seems.

  6. Loved all the Hairy McClairy books when GG was little. Gutted that the Bug wasn't into them. Saving them for grandchildren now ;)


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