Cheetahs In My Shoes

living with the imaginary menagerie and all that it entails


Chris Hoy Drinks Milk

The Cheetah Keeper and his sister (who now wishes to be referred to as The Sealion Keeper – because that’s what she wants to be when she grows up) have been inspired by the Olympics beyond my wildest imaginations.  So have I – Mrs unsporty, last at everything, look at a gym and pick up an injury Me has been transported to a world of goosebumps, tears and shouting at the TV.  I am proud to have been to the Ladies Football in Coventry and admit to a small merchandise purchasing spree (or six).  I’m loving it and can’t wait until the Paralympics start.

The Cheetah Keeper has established himself as Sir Chris Hoy’s biggest fan – oh, and Bradley Wiggins.  To the extent on the holiday trip to the barber he requested his hair was cut with Bradley Wiggins sideburns.  The barber duly obliged – with a large grin.

The Cheetah Keeper also has a bit of a record as a fussy eater.  I can understand his reluctance to try new foods links to his history of reflux but that’s pretty much gone now and he still stubborn when it comes to things like rice.  He’s never been a great fan of milk to drink either – until now.  Chris Hoy has been plastered on the side of the buses driving past work for months now – with a big milk smile.  Chris Hoy drinks milk – the Cheetah Keeper drinks it now by the mug full.  He’s also now prepared to eat/try any foodstuff with an Olympic/Paralympic logo on the wrapper or the Union flag on it – the boy has eaten mushrooms and our longest standing battle, potatoes, willingly.   For this alone, Team GB all require a sainthood.

Oh, and it’s got him writing – out of choice.

I could go on and on – instead I’ll leave you with our Garden Triathlon – I think it says it all:

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Olympic Cheetahs

This seems to be my 300th post.  In less than a year I’ve gone from writing purely about imaginary friends to having 2 blogs, a love affair with my camera and collaborating on all sorts of other stuff.  I digress… (it may be something to do with the shock…)

I haven’t written about the imaginary menagerie for ages.  Their antics, whilst amusing, are part of our lives and they live quite a ‘normal’ routine – lots of jet-packs, magic powers, vehicles and jumping around.  There are a whole load more imaginary friends – Rockhopper Penguins being the favourite although I’m not entirely sure whether the Rockies are the Cheetah’s imaginary friends or are adding to the register of Cheetahs, Banana People, Dinos, Strikes (the Dino brothers from Spain) and their friends and relations.

As I’ve written about already, we’ve been thoroughly caught up in Olympic fever.  The Cheetahs came to see the torch relay:

look – here they are to watch!

and as far as I’m aware, got to balance along the Olympic bunting – although I’m never quite sure now whether they’re doing that to get up to mischief or just for a bit of fun.  The Cheetah Keeper is a very different character to the one I first started writing about – his confidence has grown so much during his time in Reception and the Cheetahs are now part of our lives in a more imaginative (and surreal) way than purely being a crutch in stressful situations.  They still increase in their activity when he’s worried about something and always come to hospital appointments but he is growing the skills to use them to his advantage!  (“Mummy, you’ve hoovered up my Cheetahs and now I shall cry…”)

I posted about our trip to the Madejski Stadium for the Olympic Torch Celebrations over here and there was a ridiculous quantity of time spent sitting around.  To ‘entertain’ the the crowds, the Olympic mascot Wenlock was out and about – way out of our reach though.  And as we sat there, a little voice whispered to me “I’ve got ‘maginary Mandevilles and Wenlocks now Mummy”.  I winced smiled lovingly and asked him to elaborate…

Apparently every Team GB athlete in the Olympics has a tiny imaginary Wenlock who sits on their shoulder (or shoe, or swimming hat etc) who’s there to help them try to be the best that they can be.  Without them, the athletes won’t be as good.  The same goes for the Paralympians – they’ll all have a tiny Mandeville to help them.  He’d clearly got this all worked out in his head (as he always as, to the most minuscule of detail) but it never ceases to amaze me how he has the ability to consider the needs of so many others – from his little head that melts down completely if he can’t sit on a particular chair at a particular moment.

As well as all the Olympic ‘maginaries, the Cheetahs have been taking their role in the Games incredibly seriously.  A 3 week training session in Running Land produced genuine tears as they hadn’t come back to see their Keeper at bedtime and he missed them.  There was no consoling the boy – the other friends would not do – and then he milked it, and milked it a bit more.  I started to run out of sympathy (sorry).

So they’re back now – they’ve apparently had a run on the track (obviously beating everyone) and a swim in the pool (yes, Cheetahs can swim – the real ones – as long as there’s food involved) and have their own little team trainers.  They’re taking it as seriously as their Keeper but I guess he’s a bit gutted that they can’t compete in the Velodrome (never say never…).  The Cheetahs are going to take part in the Paralympics too – I suspect helping the wheelchair athletes go a bit faster.

In the meantime, some of then have been to MudLand to jump in some puddles and let off steam.  Some have been on holiday with us – can you see them in his hood?

The Cheetahs hardly ever live in his shoes any more – they’re far too busy with their other stuff – and tend to sleep in  his bed – it’s much cosier there.  They’re fond of spotting an Eddie Stobart lorry (as they always have been) and running along the motorway with us (that’s what the white lines are there for…) or surfing along on the back of the car hanging onto the back windscreen wiper.   I admit that some of their antics do drive me nuts now – especially when they invite all their friends over (giraffes, penguins, flamingoes) and I’m expected to remember them all but I suspect they’ll be with us for some time to come – especially as the beautiful mummy Cheetah, Dubai, at Whipsnade Zoo who gave birth to the original Cheetah cubs that inspired these friends in the first place, gave birth to her second litter in May this year.  They went on show to the public last Friday and we were there on Sunday – and with such a beautiful mummy and 7 new bundles of fluff, I think the ‘maginaries will be with us for some time yet…