If I had a pound for every hour I’ve spent clearing up food & toys from the floor I’d be fat. Or something.
I’d also have jeans that don’t get holes in the knees within a couple of months of purchase.
Found this morning:
- 1 little plastic man, with a swivelling head. Not sure why: he doesn’t look like he’s possessed
- 1 child’s bracelet
- 1 dirty sock, mine
- 1 sheet of star stickers, useful for potty training
- 1 plastic burger
- 1 doll’s T-shirt (very dusty)
- 1 Wizard’s Hat sticker. No idea where that came from. Must be Magic
- Danny Dog & Suzy Sheep. Yes, together. There’s quite a scandal I believe; I’ve heard talk of “grounded for a month”. Poor Peppa is in a state of shock
- Another little plastic man; appears to be a Bavarian tourist. Non-swivelly head
- The obligatory dust & dirt
Not too bad for a whole floor, you say?
Actually, that’s just from under the sofa: the floor was much worse. And today was a really good day: I’m amazed at how little was there. Not even any leftover food!
I spend an unreasonable amount of time on my hands & knees sweeping under sofas with a broom handle. Not only is there the Daily Sweep, but any time I hear a plaintive cry of “Where’s my <horsey / airplane / Goldilocks / farmer / hat / pizza / slippers / blueprint for an inter-stellar spaceship>?!” it’s “Hang on: I’ll get the broom”. And it’s almost invariably there.
So my advice?
For pity’s sake, by all that’s holy, if you can: get a sofa that goes all the way to the floor. ALL THE WAY. No gaps. None. Airtight. Hermetically sealed.
OK? You can thank me later. And buy me a new pair of jeans.
Sure, why not? There have a been a few recently.
Well he’s at it again: still making us laugh. A lot.
Among the TV programmes Jake & Ellie enjoy is one by the makers of “Peppa Pig” called “Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom“. For those who are unfamiliar it’s about 2 groups of insect-sized people, Elves & Fairies, who are very different but who manage to get along despite their differences. The Fairies use magic for everything & anything; the Elves are very practical & can make or fix almost anything. Both of course are convinced that their way is the best.
The Elves seem especially proud of being who they are. Whenever an Elf announces that they can do something they’ll shout something like: “Elves are good at making things, & I’m an Elf!”, then produce a little horn & toot on it loudly.
Well, one afternoon Jake was trying to convince me to go upstairs & play with him, even ‘though we don’t usually do that until after dinner & before bed. I think maybe they’ve been a bit confused by it getting dark outside so early & before dinner.
This was the crux of his argument: “The boys should go upstairs, & I’m a boy!”. At which point he pretended to toot on an invisible horn. Then he frantically ran around looking for something, which we quickly realised was the toy trumpet. I found it & gave it to him, then he repeated his mantra & gave it a quick toot, in exact imitation of the Elves on “Ben & Holly”!
It made us laugh, a lot. And feel slightly awed by how easily he makes these sort of connections, turns them into jokes & uses them to reason with us.
I went upstairs with him. How could I not?
- Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Stage Show Review (aspergersinfo.wordpress.com)
I’d mentioned that since moving to Wales we’ve been taking the twins to a pre-Nursery group for 4 days a week. We were anxious about how they would adjust to being away from us for the first time in their lives but we needn’t have been: they love it! One of the things they seem to enjoy the most there is a giant buggy-bus the host has. It’s more like an old-fashioned stage-coach than a baby buggy. It comfortably seats 4, & probably 6 at a pinch, they can sit side-by-side or facing each other, it has a fold out table in the middle for snacks & meals, it can be open-top or covered. They love being in it & being driven all around town, & often get very stroppy when it’s time to come out! So here’s to the Magic Bus!
In the same post I wrote about how proud I was that they both are often so loving, affectionate & sociable, & wondered if it was at least in part due to our putting into practice Attachment Theory; or as I called it, rightly or wrongly, Attachment Parenting. So here’s the stunningly beautiful song that gave the blog post its title:
On Wednesday night I was looking back at old videos & I came across a gem I hadn’t seen before from May last year when Jallie were only 15 months old, which I posted the next day. They were playing a hilarious game of tug-of-war with a pair of the Mummy’s tights that had been accidentally left there. I had Classic FM on & the background music seemed to provide a great soundtrack to the action. So here’s the tune in full, the high drama of Holst’s ‘Mars, Bringer of War’ from his Planets suite, with images of Mars via NASA:
Then on Friday I made a tongue-in-cheek, last-minute, impassioned – and I suspect ultimately futile – plea for your vote in the MADS blogging awards, highlighting ‘my campaign team’ s policies in action from the last year or so. So of course here’s Alice Cooper: “I wanna be Elected!”
On the weekend we found 2 great new fun places for the twins, & us, to enjoy. Firstly, a really well-designed soft-play area, probably the best we’ve ever seen. They like to play!
Then on Sunday it was Folly Farm, a farm and children’s adventure playground that had just about everything: farm animals, indoor & outdoor zoos, soft play, adventure play, playgrounds, an indoor fairground, even a real digger that Jake & I had a go on. It was terrific, the only problem being that it’s in Pembrokeshire, over an hour away. And that they didn’t have the tiger that their brochures indicate they do, which left a 2-year-old boy feeling very let down.
So there’s our week in music: hope you enjoyed it at least as much as I did!
I was looking through some old videos last night & I came across this gem from May last year:
A room full of toys & they have the most fun with a pair of tights (not mine) left there accidentally – typical!
The music is actually Gustav Holst’s ‘Mars, Bringer of War’ from his Planets suite. Not Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ as I’d originally thought. Oops!
Like this? Try this:
- American Idiots (whiskeyforaftershave.com)
We’re fans of Attachment Parenting here. Throughout their young lives the only times the twins haven’t been with either me or the Mummy they’ve been with the Mummy’s parents, & even then never for very long. We always try to give them us much attention as we can: to talk to them, listen to them, play with them, laugh with them, comfort them. We feel very lucky that we’re able to spend so much time with them as I know many parents simply aren’t able to, however much they might want to.
Since moving to Wales we’ve been taking them to a kind of pre-Nursery group a few days a week, like Nursery but with fewer children & which seems to get out & about a bit more.
The main difference with this new playgroup, apart from it being more than just the usual hour or so they had before, is that for most of the time - for the first time in their lives - we’re not with them. They’ll be going to Nursery soon so we want to get them ready for being in a group with us not there. We’d been worried that they might be distressed there without us: it wasn’t too long ago that they would freak out at a playgroup even if I had to go away for a few minutes to use the loo or to change one of them, although they’ve been OK with that in the last 2/3 months.
So how is it going? I’m actually starting to feel a little redundant! One day last week when the Mummy picked them up Ellie ran over to her, said “Hello Mummy” & gave her a hug then ran back to carry on jumping on the trampoline. Monday she really did not want to leave & went into the biggest meltdown I can remember her having, lasting a good 5 minutes. Van Morrison in the car seemed to calm her down eventually! The woman who runs the group - let’s call her ‘Karen’ – is terrific & Ellie in particular gets very excited whenever we even mention her name. Hmph! It’s nice to be needed…
This morning when I dropped them off there were 2 other little girls there. Jake went up to 1 of them & gave her a great big hug. She just stood there looking a bit confused: I’ve seen that a lot when the same has happened in other playgroups. Apparently her brother is about Jake’s age & is often quite aggressive with her: she’s more used to being whacked when he doesn’t get what he wants than being hugged.
He’s there too some days, & this morning ‘Karen’ told me that after seeing Jake being so affectionate that he himself has been hugging his sister there, instead of just lashing out. I’m not in the habit of welling up in front of strangers, but… That little guy made me such a proud Dad!
I like to think that his, & Ellie’s, affectionate & sociable nature is in part at least due to the love & attention that they’ve had from us, that the hard work - if you could call it that – is paying off.
I’m probably being overly simplistic but I think that with children you tend to get back what you put in: give them love & they give love back & are loving to others. If they’re neglected they become insular & nervous. If they grow up with anger they are more likely to become angry & aggressive themselves.
I’m not pretending that they’re little angels – far from it! The do all the normal 2-year-old things like fighting over toys, & lashing out at each other & us in frustration when they can’t get what they want. But the love is there & it shines through every day. And that’s what matters, right?
So how about you? How much time are you able to spend with your children? Do you think it’s as important as I do? Or are things like providing for them materially & keeping a clean & tidy house (which we often don’t!) more important for your family?
Like this? You may also like:
- What is Attachment Parenting? (ivillage.com)
OK: they’re 2. Plus 2 weeks. And I think they know it.
Really, I haven’t explained the semi-mythical, mystical, iconic cultural significance of being 2: the Terrible Twos. But they seem to know about it.
It’s possibly that I’m just noticing more, but I could swear that they’re getting (more) rebellious. They seem to be deliberately doing things that they’re told /asked not to do just to see what happens. And enjoying it far too much. Dropping food or drinks on the floor, being rough with each other or us, grabbing each others’ toys, for instance. And with that look on their faces. Yes, I think most parents will know the one: mostly gleeful defiance.
And they’re smarter. They enjoy doing ‘circuit training’: running at high speed & with great excitement around something, a cot for instance. It used to be that if I wanted to catch one for dressing etc. I’d just have to ‘wait ’til they came around again’. Recently though while I was employing this hitherto successful tactic Jake stopped, saw that I was wanting to grab him for a very wet Jake-bath interface situation, & seemed to decide that running around some more was a far more productive use of his time.
He looked at me, turned around & ran in the opposite direction! I moved over to intercept. He did it again! And again! I think I only got him in the end because he took pity on me. He’s surprisingly quick.
Live & learn though. I now turn it into a game, by joining in the chase, pretending to be a monster, holding my hands in front of me & saying “Rarr” a lot. Not the ideal activity for the end of the day when you’re already tired, but hey-ho, it works. They find it so funny that they seem to want to be caught. At which point they get tickled or I pretend to lunge & miss, falling on the bed. Much hilarity ensues. Next time around I grab one & plop them, protesting wildly, into the bath. Rinse & repeat. And they most times have a great time in there anyway.
Except: pouring water on the floor, on each other’s heads – those are 2 more of their little rebellions, come to think of it.
Yep – they’re 2!