Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails


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The Cheetahs and Their Fog Busting Suits

Every now and again I have to return the subject matter that started me blogging in the first place – the Cheetahs that lived in their Keeper’s shoes.  Obviously imaginary ones (just in case you were wondering).  They’ve been with us for a good 2 years now and although not quite as domineering as they were originally, they’re still a fairly regular part of every day life.

The move to Year 1 has been a challenge for the Cheetah Keeper – the physical effort needed to keep up is exhausting him, as is the processing of all the new facts, information, time-table and having to sit still for slightly longer than a nano-second at a time.  We’ve had tantrums (including the removal of trousers and pants in the street on the way to school and trying to give himself a nosebleed), refusal to eat – and subsequent very early morning starts because he was hungry and a defiance both at school and home that has raised more than a few eyebrows.

We’ve instigated a complete change of diet, rationed the screen time severely and carried out our threats.  It’s working but the changes have obviously been rather stressful for the boy as the Cheetahs are back big styleeee.  Even in his shoes before school this week – they haven’t been in them for months – preferring the snuggliness of his duvet.  They’ve been sleeping under his new orthotic insloes – because they’re so comfy and they need looking after.  We have to make sure that they’re out of his shoes before school otherwise they will be trodden on and that would not do.

This morning we set out for another trip to our beloved Whipsnade Zoo.  I love autumn at the zoo – the colours, the lack of visitors – it becomes ‘our’ zoo again before the harshness of winter sets in.  The conkers aren’t quite ready yet (cue another visit in a couple of weeks) but there are zoo babies in abundance and I have yet to see them all.

It was a real ‘pea-souper’ of a foggy morning.  The M1 was engulfed by thick fog (note dear reader, if you are driving in this, put your headlights on) and a little voice pipes up from the back of the car…

“The Cheetahs have got their fog suits on today… and their fog helmets… and fog shoes…. and fog coats… and fog gloves for their paws….”

uh-huh

“And it means they can ride on the top of the cars so they’re safer….”

Right

“and their fog lamps are so bright that once they’ve got really hot they start pouring out boiling hot lava that cuts through the fog and sends it back up into the sky ready to turn into snow in time for Christmas”

ah – ok – but doesn’t the lava burn them?

“no, they have knee pads, and elbow pads and paw pads that stop the lava”

of course.

So that was that – until we got a little closer to the zoo.  The Cheetahs were riding on the road next to us on their “fast car bikes” – seemingly they can give Sir Chris Hoy a run for his money – cue much discussion about whether Chris Hoy riding against the Cheetahs would be a fair race and how it could be judged who was fastest in the world…

We had a wonderful time at the zoo – being surrounded by thick fog makes you look harder and appreciate it more.  It’s a beautiful place, one where we genuinely feel ‘at peace’ with ourselves.  As the staff and volunteers say, if you’d gone today and seen a load of foggy paddocks and some sleepy animals you wouldn’t feel like you’d had that good a day.  For those of use who visit again and again, we see the circle of life moving on (a week old giraffe today – he’s just gorgeous) and the seasons changing in their own good time.  It’s perfect.

As for the Cheetahs – they loved coming up with us today – unfazed by the boiling lava they apparently loved seeing the Cheetah cubs playing together and eating a chicken (yes, with feathers) with their mummy.  They came back with us in the car and as far as I’m aware are snuggled up with their Keeper in bed.  It’s getting a bit chilly in the porch now.


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Sunday Gallery

The Cheetah Keeper and his Sister both wanted to contribute to the blog today.  They’re seriously chuffed I’ve gone .com and are liking the new look (they’re a picky pair!) and kept asking if I’d done my #SilentSunday yet…

Yesterday they went to Whipsnade Zoo (yes, again!) whilst I was at the Save the Children #blogup2012.  The amazing HPMcQ has written about the event just here far better than I could so please go and have a read (now– go on – it won’t take you long – it’s brilliant) – it makes me even more grateful for what we have here.

So back to our Gallery – inspired (of course) by the zoo…

The Cheetah Keeper’s Sister has been wearing her Hello Kitty stationery kit (it comes with a shoulder strap) and drawing at every opportunity this holiday (including at the dentist!).  This is a new logo for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.  Note the poo on the top of the rock – it’s where the Cheetah’s relieve themselves in real life – you have to pay attention to the details.

Cheetah on her rock

She is still determined that she wants to be a Sealion Keeper when she grows up – she’s very busy learning the hand signal commands that they use in the demonstrations and is getting better at knowing which sealion is which and who does which tricks!  So here is Dominic the Sealion doing his ball jump trick.  His flippers are flat down at his side – because that’s how he jumps.  Oh and the 4 is because he’s still 4 years old – his birthday’s in about 6 weeks – she may make him a card.

Dominic the Sealion doing his ball jump

The Cheetah Keeper was not to be outdone.  So here is his interpretation of Sealions:

Sealions (of course)

From left to right Bailey, Dominic, Salt (Dominic’s mum) and little Kyra.  Dominic has to go in the middle for the demonstrations at the zoo because if he goes at the end he mucks about (in a Sealion sort of way) – so he’s in the middle of the picture.

Finally, he drew me a Cheetah.   Not one of his Cheetahs because if you draw them they disappear.  So one of the Cheetahs, a very happy one, at Whipsnade.  Of course.

Cheetah


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Cheetahs in the Washing Machine

The Cheetahs have had an incredibly busy week – they’ve been doing stuff that hasn’t been mentioned for a good 6 months (running down the white lines of the motorway to ensure they don’t get squished amongst others) and a whole load of other things.  Their newer forms of transport (jet packs, rocket boosters) still are the preferred mode of travel – but they are very focussed on exercise and getting a good run every day is very important.  They have however (and as we know from the zoo) only a limited distance that they can cover at full speed.  Admittedly their distance is probably a tad further than in real life but they do need a means of transport when their legs get tired.  The solution is that the jump onto the back of the car, hold onto the back windscreen wiper with their front paws and let their back legs fly out behind them and then ‘surf’.  Apparently it’s incredibly good fun.

They had a lovely time at the seaside with Mammasaurus and the Minisauruses (or is it Minisauri?) and until this evening, it was reported that they had a brilliant time all surfing on the Solent.  Now, it’s just the little Cheetahs that went surfing (Mammasaurus got to see the surfboard – she is truly honoured) because it was a bit chilly for the older Cheetahs (too right).   They’ve also had a top time riding on the bus to go shopping and also got Actually Mummy and The Bug fully involved in building some new doors in their Keeper’s bedroom to allow the Banana People better access once they’re back out living in the garden and under the house for the summer.

This evening they’ve wanted to have a ride on some of his hot wheel cars and apparently then go in the washing machine – here’s the Cheetah Keeper showing you how it’s done…


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A bit more of ‘normal’

Wasn’t last week’s #definenormal brilliant?  *bows down in direction of Renata*  I’ve read some awesome posts and ‘met’, in the way that you ‘meet’ people in this cyber world, some really really lovely, inspiring people who have left some equally lovely and humbling comments.  It’s been a pleasure and a real thought provoker.

This week the opportunities to write about ‘normal’ in our house have been many.  Mountains of cake, Easter Bonnets made of Rice Crispie cake (it seemed a good idea at the time), another bout of tonsilitis and running around like headless chickens would all feature highly.  However, it seems a better idea tell you a little about why I write a blog called “Cheetahs In My Shoes” and the fact that I currently live with 200 (imaginary) Cheetahs, a varying number of Banana People, 48 Dinos (please note, Dinos, not Dinosaurs) and 48 Dino Brothers, all called ‘Strike’ who flew in from Spain.

Mummy Cheetah keeping an eye on things

The Cheetahs came first.  Just a pair of them.  Inspired (we assume) by the Cheetah Keeper’s love of the Cheetah cubs born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo almost 2 years ago.  We were there the afternoon they were first let out on show to the public.  He has adored them ever since.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is also known as Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome or Hypermobility Syndrome.  With us, it affects our joints and all our other connective tissue.  For the Cheetah Keeper it means (amongst a whole load of other things) that his left foot turns out – from the hip.  That meant that his feet hurt in his shoes.  So how did he try and explain his feet hurt?  There were Cheetahs in his shoes biting his toes.  So we used to take them out, put them in his pockets (so they could be stroked if necessary) and then he could put his shoes on.

Only when we saw the podiatrist from Great Ormond Street Hospital did she take this completely as ‘normal’ – for a 2-3 year old to explain why his feet hurt.

OK, if that bit was ‘normal’ I’m not sure what the rest of it classes as.  The Cheetahs have bred, invited friends over (who tend to stay), bred a bit more, invested in a comprehensive transportation offer, taken up both education and employment, have all sorts of clothing and a long list of what they like to do and like to eat.  They sometimes return to the shoes to sleep but spend most of the time wherever the Cheetah Keeper is – and they do like a snuggly warm blanket at night.

The Banana People initially started off living under our house but moved in during the Autumn (it was just too cold) and the Dinos were inspired by a visit to the (fibreglass) dinosaurs at Knebworth House.  Why the Strikes flew in from Spain (we’ve never been there) I’m not sure.

They’re the Cheetah Keeper’s coping strategy.  They come to the hospital, the come to blood tests, they go to school, they come on holiday and sometimes they just stay at home and play in the garden (or come to work with me!).  It depends how he’s feeling.  Sometimes they’re everywhere (ie times of stress), sometimes we think they may no longer be needed.  When they reappear it’s time for me to try and work out what’s bothering him.

They’re also the finest form of distraction that I have ever known.  Whilst only being blamed for a little bit of mischief (if the Cheetahs are small enough to live in shoes, they can’t do too much damage to stuff unless they all gang up) they are also a brilliant way of getting him out of a strop, taking his mind off a needle being stuck in his hand and getting him to think about what other people around him may be experiencing.   Oddly enough, they sometimes really need whatever toy/gadget/foodstuff he’s got his eye on at the time.

I somehow suspect that no-one else lives with 200 imaginary Cheetahs who live in shoes, bite toes and fly an aeroplane.  Or indeed Dinos that like eating out at the Harvester or Banana People who have multiple tiny doors that mean they can get around the house.  For me it’s normal.  Well kind of.

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Mother’s Day According to the Cheetahs

I haven’t written about the Cheetahs for a while.  They’ve become a very active part of our lives again, which, with a bit of soul-searching, I put down to the fact that I haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders for the last couple of months and the Cheetah Keeper has returned to the world of imaginary friends to regain some stability.  It grieves me that he’s had to regenerate the Cheetahs (and the Banana People and the Dinos and the Strikes – as the Dino Brothers are now called) to such an extent, but as they never cease to make me smile and/or baffle me into a bemused state of mirth and I think know that I’ll be very sad when they leave us forever.

They’ve been travelling by jet-pack again, been off to Running Land for some sunshine, MudLand for some muddy puddle jumping and to a new holiday destination – CleanLand.  CleanLand is generally where you go after MudLand and before you come home.  It’s full of swimming pools, rows of hot showers (Cheetahs can swim but don’t like cold showers) and has lots of big fluffy towels – especially for the little ones to be wrapped up in by their mummies and then have cuddle buggles.  Awww.

The Cheetahs also seem to be very fond of ladybirds (must be the spots) but also of camouflaging themselves in big black furry coats so they don’t show up.  I assume that’s when they’re out in the dark but as far as I’m aware they’re too busy sleeping in shoes when it’s dark.  Yes, the Cheetahs are back in the shoes and causing all sorts of problems of a morning – especially the little ones who hide right down in the toes and won’t come out when they’re told to.  I suspect it may be time to visit the podiatrist again – or maybe it’s just going along with the fact that the Cheetah Keeper is trying out very single stalling tactic available to make it difficult to get out the door to school – we’ve had the “you’ll be going to school in your pyjamas” ultimatum on several occasions recently!  (however, if you go to school in your pj’s there’s no where for the Cheetahs to hide during the day – lack of pockets – so he’s gone dressed every time – so far!)

The little Cheetahs have been thinking about what to do for their mummies for Mother’s Day.  They’re apparently getting them flowers and chocolates and will then be taking them out to lunch at the Cheetah Harvester for a lunch of their favourite Cheetah food.  This includes, Cheerios, Cheese, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes and then pudding – chocolate chip donuts (it gives them spots) with lots of sauce and lemonade to drink.  We’re also going to be ‘cellotaping’ some of the little Cheetah’s birthdays as well – I suspect they’ll be wanting a party so their poor mummies will then have to organise all of that…

After lunch they’re then going to get their mummies to the Cheetah Wii shop so that the daddies can buy them a Cheetah Wii.  This means that they’ll all be able to play really cool games together like, errm, Mario Cart.  Apparently.

I wonder what the Cheetah Keeper’s thinking of… 


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High Speed Cheetahs

The imaginary menagerie have been pretty quiet recently.  They’re still an integral part of the Cheetah Keeper’s life but much of what they are doing has become highly classified information and they are still adamant that drawings of them are not allowed.  They have conceded to having their photo taken running over our duvet but seeing as they move so quickly, the pictures do tend to end up a bit blurry.

The Cheetah Keeper isn’t overly happy about ‘something’ at the moment.  His beloved cuddly ‘Tesco’ the giraffe (it’s what the label said his name was) is back coming to school and the Cheetahs are mobilising – as are the Banana People, Dinos and Dino Brothers – now affectionately known as “The Strikes”.

Their main focus has been improving access to the Cheetah Keeper’s bedroom (apparently more doors were installed over half term, including one into our bedroom) and upgrading their transport.  First came the Cheetah sledges (Cheetahs wear extra snow boots during the snow, they have black spots on them) which were jolly good fun – I feel a little sorry for the Daddy Cheetahs who had to pull the little ones around.

Then came the jet-packs, enabling to fly up to open windows (they’re awfully smart these Cheetahs) but they’re a secret, so I’m trusting that you, good reader, will make sure that this information is on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.

A flying train came next and this afternoon I have learnt that they’ve upgraded their aeroplane to be able to accommodate extra friends.  The original banana plane is still in the fleet, as is the larger one that they got to fit the Dinos and Strikes in.  The new one has televisions and computers on the back of the seats so the little Cheetahs don’t get bored (is that a hint Cheetah Keeper?).

Today, the Cheetahs have discovered that they’re rather fond of pancakes.  They would have done so yesterday however there was a “Dissarsta” of the greatest kind in the Food Tech room at school when the hob wouldn’t work, so they have had to wait.  Disappointment all round – although be assured that the Cheetah Keeper has definitely made up for lost time by scoffing as many pancakes as he possibly could today.

Apparently they like pancakes with any sort of sauce in – ketchup (strange tastes…), meat sauce (slightly more understandable), toffee sauce (wonder where they got that idea from?) and chilli sauce.  Chilli sauce???

It makes them run faster.  Obviously.


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Cheetah News

National Zoo's Cheetah Cubs: April

Image by Smithsonian's National Zoo via Flickr

I’ve been asked what the Cheetahs are up to at the moment so I thought I would take a moment to give you a brief update on the imaginary menagerie.  As previously mentioned, the Cheetah Keeper found the whole festive period pretty stressful (ok, that’s an understatement) and hence the Cheetahs appeared in force to keep some degree of ‘normality’ in his life.  For those of you questioning whether imaginary friends are normal, the research I’ve done indicates, at the Cheetah Keeper’s current age, I have nothing to worry about.  If they’re still in existence when he’s 11, maybe I should ask some questions…

Moving on.  Firstly the Cheetahs have some new transport – they hadn’t seemed to have purchased a new car recently and after the upgrade on the flying carpet and aeroplane their transportation seemed to be under control.  However, despite the slightly warmer than average January, it transpires that the flying carpet was a little chilly, so they’ve got some flying shoes.  Cosy for the little ones in the toes and the big ones can see out to steer.  Oh, and they’re red and green and orange.  Makes a change from yellow and black spots.

National Zoo's Cheetah Cubs: April

Image by Smithsonian's National Zoo via Flickr

On the domestic front, the 10 Cheetah cubs born on Christmas Day (of course) seem to be doing well and are gaining some independence.  I think they may have already been to school.  Quite a lot of them are going to school at the moment, although now the Cheetah Keeper has moved to school dinners every day they are back to travelling in his pockets, shoes, book-bag or just in his hand.  They did try riding in his gloves but the little ones get stuck in the bottom of the fingers and can’t get out.  We won’t be doing that again.

The Cheetah Keeper did inform his teacher that the reason for him being ‘hexausted’ on Friday was because his Cheetahs had been jumping up and down on him during the night.  I think the actual reason was him coughing but you never can tell.  As far as I’m aware, the Cheetahs spend most of the day either snuggled up in his tray, or coat pocket or in the ‘flop zone’ in their classroom or out running on the field.   I do have to check we’ve got them before we leave but on the occasions they get up late or are too busy in the classroom, they can always squeeze under the fence and get themselves into school or home.  Very good at crossing the road are imaginary Cheetahs.

A large quantity of the Dinos are currently on holiday in Running Land as they got fed up with it being cold and damp and needed some sunshine.  As usual, they went on the train to the airport and flew from there.  Apparently they’ll be gone for about 10 weeks as they want to play on the beach, go swimming and be warm – sounds a grand plan to me.  The Banana People are still about but not that active at the moment – they occasionally come out for a race at trampolining but don’t often win – the Cheetahs or their Keeper tend to take the glory.

It’s also been noticed that we have no visiting birds to our garden this year.  The most likely reason for this being that we are almost the only house in a street without a pet cat.  That and the urban foxes, the odd visiting sparrowhawk and the circling red kite.  Apparently not.  It’s the Cheetahs chasing them away all the time – they try to catch them but haven’t managed so far.  That’s a good thing I think, but I’m glad that he’s encouraging them to keep up some natural behaviours…

English: Four cheetahs at the Serengeti Nation...


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2011 according to the Cheetahs

So 2011 has been the year that the Cheetahs and their keeper found, ahem, fame.  From small beginnings (ie just being annoyingly in shoes when it was time to put them on) and the odd Facebook status update they’ve now got their own blog (ta daaaaaaaaaaa – yes I know you’re reading it) and their keeper’s mother has met, via the wonders of the bloggesphere and Twitter some super lovely people.  So, here’s our review of the year, possibly chronologically correct, and quite possibly not – a lot happens in a year.

January.  The Cheetah Keeper had a gastroscopy that showed that he was doing ok and didn’t need his reflux meds any more.  Huzzah!  He also started Nursery at “Big School” where the staff instantly fell in love with him (and took to the idea of the Cheetahs remarkably well).

February.  The Cheetah Keeper’s mummy had a big operation on her elbow and didn’t get better quite as quickly as she thought she would.  11 months on it’s still nice to have all the feeling in her fingers that had been missing for at least 2 years.  She also received the news that her bid for £5000 of funding for the new school project (that’s me in the turquoise top) had been successful and went round with a smile on her face for ages.

March – I have no idea what happened in March.  We probably went to the zoo – oh, and we drank the Mandeville Monster milkshake for the first time discovering a new (and somewhat expensive) vice treat.

April.  The Cheetah Keeper’s sister turned 6 and was a bridesmaid.  A few(!) cakes were made.  It was gloriously sunny and the Cheetahs, having been very quiet for a while returned.  My facebook status read “…Has put the cheetahs to bed. Not only can these ones run even faster than the ones at Whipsnade, apparently one is inside the duvet cover preparing porridge ready for breakfast in the morning..”  I also got to be grown up and went to Frankfurt for work for 4 days – involving an extremely inebriated Lithuanian who’d lost his car.

The Cheetah Keeper (planning ahead as ever) asked for a steam roller for his birthday so he could smooth out the roads but only a little one otherwise his feet wouldn’t reach the pedals.  Baking totals for April :  42 eggs, 15 packs of butter, 4kg of sugar (at least), 2.5 kg of flour, 1/4 pot baking powder, 1/4 bottle vanilla extract, 162 paper cases, a pint of whipping cream, a litre of yoghurt, 0.5kg ground almonds and a whole load of washing up.

May:  The Cheetah Keeper was 4.  I made some more cakes.  His favourite present was a bag of marbles.  I got very stressed with the NHS (again).  The Cheetah Keeper returned (albeit briefly) to his refluxing ways. We holidayed in Mablethorpe and the Cheetah Keeper & his sister really discovered the joys of playing together on the beach.

June: More cake was made.  About 240 of them.  It was very hot.  I got annoyed with OPC’s (other people’s children) and was immaturely amused by the letter home from school asking us to peg willies together.

July.  The end of term was upon us, it was hot, we were tired.  A magpie got stuck in our chimney and needed rescuing – I was very brave.  Red Riding Hood whipped a pistol from her knickers in the school show, I got cross with the people fighting in adjoining offices and now, being 36 years old, Amazon asked if I would like to pre- order “Gentle Gym for the over 50’s” on DVD.  The Cheetah Keeper was very keen on examining his poo (to see if they looked like tadpoles) and went for his first taster day in Reception. “Mummy, we’re in Ladybirds and the children with the blue writing [on their name labels] are in Buttonflies”

I made some more cake and realised that I was having my last afternoons as a mummy with a pre-schooler.  We holidayed in Wales and I realised that I was, finally, enjoying being with my children rather than just managing/transporting/looking after them.  The Cheetah Keeper’s nosebleeds returned.

August.  The Cheetahs took over.

“Happy days in the paddling pool. The Cheetah Keeper still insists that the coolest summer look is winter fleece hat, sunsuit top, no shorts/pants and wellies – and also that we have 3 small banana people living under our house who get bananas in through holes in the garden, look a bit muddy and drink Capri Sun.”

“the banana people had a play in the paddling pool under the house and then went to London Zoo to see the animals. The cheetahs have been playing jumping in the bath and making really big splashes and the Cheetah Keeper became a robot”

“the cheetahs and the banana people didn’t want to come to the splash park with us this morning so went (in their super speedy car, of course) to the one at London Zoo because it’s better. 2 groups of the cheetahs are going to Spain tomorrow (packing their suitcases at the moment) for 12 days but the other 2 groups are staying at home because the babies are too small to go and need to stay with their mummies.”

“well the banana people all behaved nicely in the car on the way to Norfolk today, as did the cheetahs. The cheetah party going to Spain are flying from Luton Aeroport tomorrow now and those with us enjoyed chicken nuggets, beans and chips for tea, apart from one of the baby ones who liked curry. They all sat with their legs crossed and with their paws in their laps like 5 star listeners.”

“the banana people and the cheetahs seem to have had a subdued day. After enjoying running around the hotel room and jumping in drawers they have been to the beach and done some very big jumps in the sea that splashed to the moon. Other than that I think they have been a tad tired – rather like their keeper”

they then got some crocodile scooters (that didn’t snap as they were going along) and trainers for when they’re doing running races, crocs for ‘other’ shoes and wellies for puddle jumping – with crocodiles on, of course.  They took themselves to London Zoo (and came with us to Whipsnade, of course)

“the cheetahs enjoyed their trip to London – I’m not sure what they liked best – looking out the window on the train (even at the lights in the underground tunnels), watching The Tiger Who Came to Tea/sliding down the banisters at the theatre, having lunch out or visiting the London Transport Museum. Am slightly concerned though that apparently in their car, if people don’t drive like they should, they fly their car into the air and shoot the bad drivers down…”

” The cheetahs have invited 4 groups of 12 dinosaurs to stay. They’ll all be sleeping in G’s bed but only roar little roars. Except at 7am when they need to wake everyone up. They’re friends with the banana people too so may visit them under the house.”  I was obviously thrilled.

And finally, on August 23rd, Cheetahs In My Shoes was born.  You can read the rest of what the Cheetahs have been up to on here.  And for those of you that have, I thank you greatly!

So I will now fast-forward *weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee* to now.  New Years Eve.  The end of 2011.  The Cheetahs have been really busy over the Christmas period – very active and pretty much essential to every day existence.  I think we sometimes forget that Christmas, although a period of great excitement for children, can be a bit overwhelming – for the Cheetah Keeper the changes in routine, the arrival of a whole load of new things in our house and the requirement to eat in different places and do different things was pretty stressful.

So the Cheetahs have been everywhere with us, got up to a whole load of mischief, played on their space-hoppers, had 10 new babies on Christmas Day, received a scalectrix, had a curry on Christmas Eve and generally been there to keep the Cheetah Keeper in a place where he can cope with what’s going on.

And what for 2012?  Another stay in GOSH for the Cheetah Keeper at the end of January and then we’ll see what happens.  I’m not making resolutions, I don’t want to set myself up to fail.  We shall see where life, the Cheetahs, the world and everything takes us – and blog about it on the way.

Much love to you all

The Cheetah Keeper’s Mummy xx


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The Cheetahs, their glow-in-the-dark trainers and some new accommodation

It has been noted that news of the Cheetahs has been lacking over the last week or so.  I apologise.  We’ve been busy – and so have the Cheetahs – but in ways so very bizarre that a post about each and every antic would have just got even more ridiculous.  So, I shall summarise:

The Cheetahs have been out and about and very busy.  They’ve been into school, they’re had sofa days and have been keeping an eye on the baby Banana People.  With so many more of them they can share the jobs out better – there are still some involved in law enforcement, some have been out in the mud and lots have been to school.  Some of them also came with us to see my parents.

They’re very well behaved Cheetahs when out visiting (phew) and can generally be relied upon to entertain and not get under anyone’s feet.  When it comes to home time though, they do tend to voice an opinion.  This time they wanted to run home for a bit of exercise – but it was dark.  No problem – look out the window, can you see them (the Cheetah Keeper’s sister is now looking out of the car window down onto the road) – are they on the pavement?  No, they’re running along the white lines – look – they’ve got their glow-in-the-dark trainers on and their hi-vis running tops.  Obviously.

Their Keeper has clearly been listening to the ‘be safe be seen’ lectures I’ve been dishing out to the Rainbows and has therefore ensured his little friends are equipped with all the necessary running gear.  I’m still not entirely sure where the funds are coming from for all this kit – hopefully the daddy Cheetahs out earning a living are contributing.  He has educated all those who run in essential road safety (although why do they run on white lines though and not the pavement?) and they are very conscientious about stopping at traffic lights and making sure they avoid buses.

They’re also rather fond of spotting the Christmas lights in town and think nothing of sitting in a traffic jam for 20 minutes to look at them – as opposed to going home around the ring-road and being home in half the time.  They’re not overly worried about decorations going up at home yet (good) as they’re still trying to sort out sleeping accommodation for all 191 Cheetahs (they all want a share of the duvet) whilst not waking up the baby Banana People.

They’ve also taken a liking to my boot trees.  Now I don’t know whether this is a family name for them but this is what I mean:

But these are not just for keeping my boots in shape.  No, these are for the Cheetahs to play with… they are Cheetah Pogo Sticks!  I have no idea how the Cheetah Keeper knows about pogo sticks, but clearly he does and has worked out exactly how the Cheetahs can get on and off and that raiding my wardrobe for them is an extremely good idea.

For our normal trips to trampolining/gymnastics the Cheetahs have been using their surf cars (not sure where the new ones have come from but they definitely need more than 1) – those that you drive whilst standing up.  I think it also gives them a chance to stretch their legs and have a quick run and then jump back on board if they get tired.  The Dinos, Dino Brothers and Banana People have been travelling recently on their flying skateboards – the baby Banana People seem to have thrived and are now big enough to travel out and about.  Good for them.

This week has seen the delivery from the wonderful Kodak UK of the printer I won from their Big App Twitter Party with BritMums.  An awesome printer coming in an even more (well to the Cheetah Keeper) awesome box. 

And what does a large cardboard box make (answers on a postcard…) – an excellent Cheetah house.  Clearly however, plain cardboard is boring and so it needed a bit of decoration. First of all, get your sister to paint the Cheetahs a surf board.  Note the beach on the other end, sea around the edges and green grass on the far side.  Windows have already been cut out (yes, it was me with the Stanley knife, not them).

Add some window frame decorations and some other wall art.  Note this is a long term piece of accommodation and therefore it shall not be decorated in a festive manner. Add some footprints.  Let Mummy question why she didn’t supervise the painting on the feet ready for printing.  Realise that she’s not actually that bothered so get on with it whilst lying flat in the paint drips already on the floor covering (old tablecloth) and getting paint in hair.Wash paint off hands, cover your sister in bubbles – realise that fleece and t-shirts weren’t covered by aprons around the back.  Yes , that is a line of green paint.Return to box to decorate with as much glue and glitter as you possibly can.  Ensure that some glitter isn’t stuck on properly and therefore travels rapidly around the house.  Note the Cheetahs running around the bottom of the box checking out their new accommodation.  Leave to dry.Get you sister to come and test drive it before realising the Cheetahs are biting your toes as they want it to themselves.  Stuff favourite blanket inside to stop them getting cold and abandon in middle of room.

Mess is good.