The best intentions

Published Friday, 24 February 2012
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So I gave the big two the choice: it was the last day of half term, we'd had a great week staying on the North Coast, visiting friends, baking, painting and the usual craic when you're off school for the week.

"You can do anything you like, go anywhere you want. What would you like to do?"

Now usually this sort of question is dangerous. In fact skilled Middle East negotiators are often needed to sort out the ensuing mess. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew I'd triggered a grenade.

But miracle of miracles, they were in agreement. This NEVER happens.

The preferred destination was a large Scandinavian homeware store you may be familiar with. This was very much a win win win situation. They get to play, lunch is sorted, and I get a browse around the market hall buying stuff I don't need. And while this sounds like a very happy story, reader, it did not end well.

In a flash of inspiration I bought two frames which I thought they could fill with some colouring in/painting/scribbling.

Cue much delight, and the taking over of my good table with paints, brushes and paper.

This was all going too well. Big daughter, who shows artistic promise, immediately got out her "How To Draw" book and got to work on a happy sea monster, just the sort of thing you want hanging on your wall.

Big son decided to draw the love of his life - a cheeseburger. Now in fairness to him, he did try.

But it looked no more like a cheeseburger than you or I. And he knew it, bless him. "I'm rubbish"

"No you're not, cheeseburgers are really hard to draw" "What about me mummy," says the big girl" Isn't mine brilliant?"

It was brilliant, but in situations like these you have to be careful of heaping too much praise on one at the risk of offending the other.

In the end it was decided that we'd practice for a few weeks and perfect our cheeseburger drawing skills.

The frames remain empty - but full of potential of pictures to come.

They're also something else for me to hoover round.

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Alison Fleming
Alison Fleming

Alison Fleming is a presenter and journalist at UTV who worked for a wide range of news outlets before joining UTV in 1998.

Her career highlights include interviewing Lord Attenborough and Shirley Maclaine in Belfast and hosting UTV's coverage of the MTV EMAs.

In her spare time, she likes to run and has completed a number of marathons.

Her motto is 'Everyone's different - if we were all the same there'd be no need for assorted biscuits.'

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