Blackberries

DSCF3876For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.

You don’t remember it. I do.

I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.

034I remember it all so well. You don’t.
Continue reading “Blackberries”

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The Twins They Are A-Changin’

Whoever of us is looking after the twins during the week – usually me – takes them to an activity of some kind every day, & all of us try to go out as a family at least once on the weekend. We think it’s really important for their social development to be mixing with other children of all shapes, sizes & backgrounds & their parents & carers. They also learn & develop new abilities: for instance arts & crafts, signing, singing. It’s also just good to get out of the house sometimes, not just for them but probably also for us.

These pictures (taken in December) are from one such activity, called Tumble Tots. It focusses on teaching physical skills like climbing up & down ladders & ramps, rolling, jumping, throwing, stepping over & on obstacles. It also features action songs & dances, but they’ve figured out that if they don’t take part in that then they get the apparati to themselves, the little scamps…

Ellie peeping through her window
King Jake on his throne?

I think it’s their favourite activity, they’re always so enthusiastic. They run around excitedly, especially at the start, often making it difficult for me to keep up – although 1 of the staff usually helps out. They seem to like to push themselves, something they didn’t seem sure of 1 week they’ll be more confident with the next. And they like to claim & sit in their little perches, as you can see…

In preparing this post I remembered I’d posted about these classes before. Looking back at that post from 8 months earlier  it amazed me how much they’d changed & grown in the intervening time. Not just physically but emotionally. Here’s a picture from then, of Jake looking really scared about crawling up a ramp: 

I couldn’t help but contrast how physically & emotionally confident & at ease he seems now as compared to then. OK, 8 months is a fair old whack of their young lives, & probably translates as *ahem* quite a few years for someone like their old Daddy. But even so…

We see them day-to-day & share in their joys & sorrows, their triumphs & frustrations; it’s easy to lose track of how far they’ve come in such a short time. Sometimes you just have to take a step back & a look back to see how far they’ve really come.

Let’s Get Physical, Physical

We came to a realisation in the last few days:

They don’t crawl anymore. At all!

They walk everywhere now. Inside, outside, on the lumpy grass, on the concrete paving. They can step over obstacles. They can climb up & down steps & over barriers. They can move & even carry large objects. They can even run. And they’re quick!

I blame 2 things:

1) The almost constant attention we’ve been able to give them, & the fact that – up until now anyway – they spend very little time in pens or cots during the day, so they have been able to roll / crawl / walk /run around when they need to.

2) This:

These are photos from 1 of the weekly classes we go to, GymBabes. It aims to teach babies physical skills & give them the confidence to take on the physical world around them.

They learn tunnelling (and learn that it can be fun!)

They get used to motion & heights on swings (and learn that it can be fun)

They learn to negotiate small, enclosed spaces (and learn that…you get the idea)

They learn to climb (And learn that… actually he looks a bit scared there, doesn’t he? We don’t make them do anything that might upset them, & there are always plenty of trained staff on hand).

Then all that lead to this:

Which lead to this:

Their old Moses basket full of toys had been fine, up until late February, in keeping them in the nursery & away from the steep flight of stairs – down stairs – just feet away from the door. Then these blimmin’ GymBabes people go & learn them to climb & stuff! So Daddy has to get busy buying & fitting security gates: thanks a bunch, guys!

It was at the end of a GymBabes session that Jake took his first step, & later that evening when Ellie followed suit then 2 days later walked for the first time, across the cot.

Without GymBabes I don’t think they would have done so so soon.

And guess what? We’ve learned that it can be fun!

Disclaimer: it may read like it, but this is not a sponsored post. We just think this has been a great experience for Jallie, & worth every penny. Also, I thought these photos were just too good not to put on my blog 🙂