How to break the heart of a 2-year-old boy

It’s easy!

Stick this on the cover of your children’s magazine:

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He thought it was an iPad – just for him! He was so excited.

When he saw it was made of plastic, hollow, & nothing happened when you pushed the buttons…

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He cried.

We’re now going to have to buy him a LeapPad2 for his birthday in March. And another for Ellie, of course, in order to avoid World War 3. (It’s a twin thing)

Thanks a bunch CBeebies! Yes, Mr Tumble: I’m looking at you! Can I send you the bill?

He got over it.

And we would probably have bought them anyway.

So I’ll let you off, this time.

Just watch it, right? You & that spotty bag aren’t scaring anyone…

UPDATED: Ellie got hold of this after I’d left it out for this post. She seemed intent on expressing Righteous Wrath on behalf of her wronged brother. All she wanted to do with it was to rip out & rip up as much of the notepaper inside as she could! And she did.

Bond, the Sequel: The Twin Who Loved Me

Last week I wrote a post for Tara’s Gallery on her terrific ‘Sticky Fingers’ blog about the special twin-bond between Jake & Ellie. It seemed at the time that Ellie, as they get older & more independent, had become a little distant from Jake as she was making new friends.

Well…

They go through phases, don’t they? Or maybe she had the lurgi & we didn’t notice so much. Or quite possibly Ellie just likes to prove me wrong!

Whatever the reason this week she’s been really loving & affectionate, not only with Jake but also with me.

I’ve been picking them up from their little playgroup this week. Usually when I do Jake gets really excited & runs towards me shouting “Daddy! Daddy! You’re back!” before jumping into my arms. Ellie is usually more reserved, but this week she’s been beating Jake to it, welcoming me with a big hug.

As usual this morning she woke up first & went downstairs ‘on her bum-bum’, then Jake followed a little later, in the same way. As soon as she saw him she ran up to him, saying happily: “Hello Jake! Are you alright?” then giving him a massive hug. Twice in the morning she hugged him again, saying “I love you, Jake”.

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It’s moments like that that make all this Daddying stuff worthwhile…

The “best friend” thing is still there, although I found out just after that post that only girls can be Ellie’s friends – I’m not even her friend now! – so I guess Jake & I shouldn’t take it too personally. At the moment Jake’s best friend seems to alternate between a boy at playgroup – who, by sheer coincidence, has an iPad that he lets Jake use* – and Wibley Pig. Who, as far as I know, doesn’t have an iPad.

Actually they’ve both been in unusually good spirits all week. Often there’s grumpiness & tantrums in the mornings & evenings but in the last few days there’s been very little. I’m not really sure what it is: recovering from illness, our having had a nice 3-day family weekend where we spent a lot of time & did a lot of fun things together.

In the light of the terrible tragedy of a fellow parent blogger who I’ve come to know over the years I’ve felt moved to give them extra care & attention, so that could well be a part of it.

Whatever the reason, long may it continue

* For short periods of time & under supervision

Saturday is Caption Day! Postman Pat

Got a witty, profound or just plain silly caption for this picture? Then leave it in the comments below!

Then click on the little boy’s head here & you will be magically transported to the funsome Mammasaurus’ blog for many more pictures crying out for a witty / pithy #satcap caption. Have fun, I know I do :)

Saturday Is Caption Day

Before and After

When it was just the two of us:

Now we are four & they are two:

Get the picture?

For The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop. Click the pic for more!

The Things They Say & Do: Tree-Fu Jake

Remember a few days ago, when we had ‘Sun’ & ‘warmth’? It seems like a long time ago now.

It had a been a lovely warm day & we’d spent much of it playing in the garden, having a great time. So I decided we could have dinner outside. It went well but it was closing in a bit & there was a chilly breeze brewing.

Ellie: “I cold”
Me: “You’re cold?”
Ellie: “Yes. Too windy”

Not exactly Shakespeare, but not bad for a 2-year-old. She’s a good little talker!

Jake is still somewhat obsessed with CBeebies’ Tree Fu Tom. So he, with me of course joining in, very helpfully did a Tree-Fu ‘warming’ spell on Ellie (that we made up).  She played along, saying that it had worked & that she was feeling warmer. Unfortunately the effects seem to have been short-lived as she soon became cold again. So we did the spell again: easy!

Then we went inside.

Jake was also using Tree-Fu magic to help the ‘planes overhead fly, but they didn’t tell us whether or not it had worked. They didn’t fall out of the sky, & that was good enough for us.

Now if only we could find that Tree-Fu spell for ‘Making Daddy’s Cough Go Away’…

This is for Chris’ ‘Things They Say & Do’ blog hop at her ‘Thinly Spread’ blog. Why not have a look at the other posts there, it’s always a good read!

Fancy Words, Insects & Magic

I’ve been a bit lax in noting notable sayings & doings this week. And I have a bad, although selective, memory  – which is half the reason for my doing this blog-hop, & actually my blog in general.

Ellie I think has produced her most comprehensive sentence yet: “Jake & Ellie like jumping in puddles”. Makes me proud!

And she also excelled herself in sophisticated use of language. Pointing to the Mummy’s juice she said: “Yours”. A possessive personal pronoun! See above for my reaction…

It’s fantastic that their language is coming on so well. Ellie is getting to be a little chatterbox, & Jake is a great talker too. His pronunciation & vocabulary aren’t as good but what he lacks there he easily compensates for with his sociability & use of signs & gestures. We feel like we have two little adults here with us now, not just cute but insensible little babies. We can actually have proper little conversations with them, it’s great!

Ellie often grabs my hand so I can join her in a “Tea Party” she’s having; Jake does too. He does so though often to show me something that he’s been trying to tell me about: for instance when in the garden he spotted a tiny caterpillar hanging on a thread from a leaf, which I think was cocooning itself, & a bumble bee he saw flying around.

I also get dragged off the sofa to do “Tree Fu”magic with him. Recently he seems to have decided that the moves are too fiddly, sits down & leaves me prancing about by myself, saying “Ouch” a lot… Kids, eh!

This is for Chris’ ‘Things They Say & Do’ blog hop at her ‘Thinly Spread’ blog. Why not have a look at the other posts there, it’s a great read!

Flying Solo, in the Dark

Getting the twins off to sleep on Saturday night was…a bit different.

We’d given the Mummy a night pass; she was out having dinner with a friend, or some such frippery. Between the two of us we’d got as far as getting us all into bed together, as they still co-sleep.

Usually the Mummy is in the middle sandwiched between children, with me on the side reading stories. After they’ve finished their milk & seem settled enough I’ll get up & sing a song* while slowly turning down the light. I then sneak out while quietly saying goodnight to each of them & she stays with them until they’re soundly asleep before getting back up herself.

Tonight however roles were reversed. I was on my own, in centre stage where the Mummy usually is. She’d read the stories, turned off the light & made the Daddy’s exit. I was flying solo! In the dark…

Jake at least did seem a bit unsettled. He grizzled for quite a while, probably 10-15 minutes, them went into a stint of ‘Tree Fu Tom‘ magic spell-casting.

This basically involves raising the arms in the air, pushing them quickly out in front of you & shouting “Eh, Eh, Go!”.  Again. And again. And again. He’d been doing this a lot between bath & being dressed for bed, but in front of the mirror so he could admire his smooth moves.

Now children learning by repetition is fine, but not when Daddy is trying to get them to sleep. And he wants to get up & watch the rugby. That he hadn’t been able to during the day when it was shown live. And that he had already accidentally seen the result of earlier despite trying hard not to due to a fleeting glance at twitter. Grrrr….

By this time Ellie was fast asleep. The ‘Tree Fu Tom’ sleep spell I was throwing in Jake’s direction had rebounded onto her, obviously. Ellie falling asleep is usually a cue for Jake to point it out to us, often loudly: “Lellie: aleep!”. Also to Ellie: she clearly is unaware of the fact that she is asleep & obviously needs to know. This is always followed by “Shhh, Ellie is sleeping”s, & carries on until he seems satisfied that everyone has been thoroughly briefed on his sister’s current status.

So he chatted & moved around a bit more, probably for another 10-15 minutes, but thankfully soon calmed down, settled under his “banky” (trans.: “blanket”), snuggled on my shoulder & –  again after a while – fell asleep. I snoozed too then & when I thought he was unconscious enough very carefully extricated myself & crept out.

I actually managed to watch all of the rugby I was hoping to, & I was still busying myself with that vital work when the Mummy came back. Suitably impressed, I might add. With me, that is, not the rugby. Although that was great too…

So one up for the Dads, I say! Getting two toddlers to sleep by yourself? Yes: it can be done!

* the CBeebies goodnight song, if you must know. “The time has come to say goodnight, to say sleep tight ’til the morning light….”

For The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop. Click the pic for more!

The Things They Say & Do: Walking Bears & Wagging Fingers

Ellie has taken to’ bear-walking’. It’s something that babies do as they’re learning to walk: on all fours with the arms & legs raised, knees & elbows off the floor, bum in the air. Like a bear, funnily enough.

I think she may be having the toddler equivalent of a mid-life crisis. She’s just turned 2: she’s getting old! So she tries to go back to the ‘good old days’, when life was simpler. When she didn’t have to worry about which shoes to wear, or have to decide between ‘Peppa Pig‘, ‘Tree Fu Tom’, ‘In the Night Garden‘ or ‘Bubble Guppies‘.

So she was bear-walking around the lounge today, shouting “Bear-walking!”. And of course, Jake was meant to join in. So it became “C’mon! C’mon, Jake! Bear-walking!”. Quite a sight…

Jake this evening had grabbed the Mummy’s watch & had put it around his wrist. He then, looking straight at me, wagged his finger repeatedly in my face shouting “Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba!”. Me: “Are you being Mummy?”; him: “Yes!”,  with a big smile.

I found this somewhat funnier than the Mummy did when I told her later…

So that’s my mad household, why not have a look at others’ in Chris’ ‘Things They Say & Do’ blog hop at her ‘Thinly Spread’ blog.

The Things They Say & Do: Bum!, stairs & a stroller

One afternoon this week the twins kept yelling at me repeatedly & excitedly what sounded like “Bum! Bum!”. This is odd even by their standards. I couldn’t work it out. I kept suggesting possible words that they might be saying, to which they responded “No!”,  then more “Bum! Bum!”, getting increasingly agitated. Eventually I figured out that it was a new cbeebies programme, ‘Tree Fu Tom‘. We’d watched the first one the day before & they absolutely loved it, jump-up-&-down-&-yell-with-excitement loved it. I’d kept it, in case of emergencies (as you do), but when I went to find it on the Box it wasn’t there! Apparently they’d asked the Mummy to put it on earlier, she’d watched it with them, didn’t like it & deleted it! Thanks! (I’ve kept all the episodes since; I quite like it too, but don’t tell anyone…)

We live in an odd house. Whaddya mean you’re not surprised?! It’s tall & thin – unlike me! – & has 3 storeys. The bedroom & nursery are on the top floor, the lounge & kitchen on the ground floor. We carry the twins all the way downstairs for their morning milk & breakfast, then usually back up again for a morning play & to dress them, then back down again ’til their bedtime. It’s OK when we’re both at home & we can take 1 each, but when I’m looking after them by myself it can be tricky. I have to carry 1 up or down then come back for the other. Almost always there’s grizzling & upset by whoever’s been left behind, although by the time I’ve come back they’ve usually calmed down. Thursday however I was getting ready to take them back downstairs. As usual I’d decided to take first the one who was most keen to go, this time Ellie. I explained to Jake, as I always do, that I was taking Ellie down then coming straight back for him. Instead of making a fuss he just sat there quietly, saying “Ellie then Jake. Ellie then Jake”. He was still sitting still, quiet & calm, when I came back up for him: what a little star!

On Friday they played together in the most independent & cooperative way we’ve yet seen. They were taking turns – that’s right, you read that correctly; I’ll write it again: taking turns - without any prompting at all from us, in getting into a stroller & pushing each other around. There also appeared to be a ritual involving a pretend onion on a plate which had to be carried by the occupier of the stroller & transferred with great solemnity as they swapped over. The Mummy & I had our flabbers truly ghasted & were very tempted to leave them to it, get a brew & go watch telly. But it was nearing their bedtime so we didn’t. I did take a stroller upstairs though so they could carry on!

Another eventful week! I’m looking forward now to reading about others’ in Chris’ ‘Things They Say & Do’ blog hop at her ‘Thinly Spread’ blog. Have a look, it’s a great read!

And I’ve just realised, as now it’s past midnight, that’s it’s now their 2nd birthday! :)