Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hello Easter Holidays


Adventures. Swings, each one in turn. "Now blue one" - as we wander along the row, me lifting him into first one, and then another.

"Beep beep Mummy". 

It's hard to push a child on a swing whilst also ensuring that I am not 'in his way'. He grins, and jolts about precariously.

Ever more complicated climbing frame ladders are being conquered as I hover around, ready to pounce. He leans across indicating the fireman's pole. Oh dear lord.

"That is for big boys" I say. And he nods, and turns ambling back towards the slide. He returns to it on each circuit of the playground, just to let me know that he is aware that it is for big boys. My faith in his balance is still... average.

A trip up the winding ramp, reaching the top of the railway bridge just in time to wave to the train. Wave, wave, beep! Thank you Mr. Driver. A slower descent as a determined toddler tries to remain on the bridge.

"No park Mummy, train!" - oh dear, sad face.


Animals! Hello again Greenmeadow Community Farm.

Cow head hugs, because how much more of a cow can you fit between chubby toddler arms? No fear as he embraces the lick to the forehead. Goats push and shove to eat some of the pellets that he is thrusting towards them. He always favours one goat. That goat shall be fat.

A circle of toddlers, all waiting to poke, prod (and sometimes just hold) a little chick. We coaxed him in to sitting on the chair after numerous attempts to "Go see chicks!" - chubby hands, with larger father hands underneath. A ginger (?) chick is placed onto his palm and he giggles. 

"Hello chick. How are you chick?" he whispers.

Toy tractor rides, with legs a foot short of the pedals, meant push, push, STEER Elis! Followed by time in the sandbox sieving for rocks rather unceremoniously. How he has grown since the same time last year.

By far his favourite animal - the mechanical water spouting dragon. How we had to drag him from that. "Go see dragon!" - no, no, how about we leave the dribbly dragon and go and see some real animals perhaps? A horse! Look, a horse. He casts one eye, feigning interest, waiting for our guard to drop before u-turning back towards the blue mass of metal. Fiend.


Sunshine meant that we could lay on the deck, painting pictures on the ground with water and watching them dry before our very eyes. Plastic eggs, threaded with wool, adorned the neighbouring Fuchsia and chalks were pulled out to scratch numbers and favourite letters onto any visible patio slabs.

Hot, hot, hot. Hats and suncream. 

We took trips up the garden onto the grass and followed yellow ladybirds. Wood became a bridge for his trains. 

"Chooo CHOOOO Mummy!"

Pushing them first one way, and then the other, attaching and removing the carriages. His excitement when he realised a clothes peg could be attached to the magnet on his little trains to form an extra carriage was palpable.


And now, week two. Less sun, but just as much fun. Children's showings at the cinema, coupled with sticklebrick playtime on lounge carpets whilst making the transition from nappies to pants!

Elis George is two years, six months and six days old. He loves trains and fire engines. He has an uncanny ability to walk past fire stations and have fire engines emerge, sirens blazing. This may be a super power, I will have to get him checked.

He will do anything for you if you promise him that he can see a train afterwards. Even use a potty. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Nana Day

Mothering Sunday.

The day that my son face-planted into the patio after testing how his ride-on tractor would cope with steps. (Not very well).

His small nose is swollen and red, and there will most definitely be some prolific bruising. But no permanent damage and no hospital visit required. 

Aside from the above, today was relaxing and filled with sunshine and outdoor playtime. Woodlice were petted, ants chased and bamboo sticks carried around like spears. We sprawled out on the deck and built trains from wood pieces, before casting off our jumpers as the day warmed ever more.

 Cups of juice to wash down our blueberry and banana snacks as we stared at the trees and tried to spot birds.

Lining up the footballs, one, two, three. I kick them against the wall and coax my small person to do the same. "Calm down, Mama! Hold hand! Come on Mama!" He guides me back to the trains. Everything is trains. Bamboo sticks. Pebbles. Sticklebrick pieces.

I pointed out the buds, the bark, the branches. We found a ladybird, following her around until attention spans took us elsewhere to discarded Robin eggs and songbird feathers.  A pile of insulation and a sheet of wood become a make-shift slide. Up, down, up, down.

Grandad's garden has such possibilities for a toddler imagination such as his (and a Mama imagination such as mine).

A cooked dinner courtesy of Nana. Oh how we do love Nana and her way of mothering both toddler and I. Provider of cuddles, medicine and pudding as required. 

"Nana Thursday" - the name has become; the day on which they eat bananas and count lorries, point at birds and learn about glove boxes and hazard lights before finally entering nursery together. Weekends are for food shopping, licking the beaters after making the fluffy mashed potatoes and singing songs whilst leaning against the kitchen side. Final cuddles as the small person is carried to his car seat.

Today was a day for Nana's too.
"Love you lots Nana. See you Thursday".
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 17 March 2014

Months gone by

The sun has returned, the winter is almost packed away for another year. He has changed so much, he deserves some words to mark this.

His first hair cut.

The hair! All the hair! Well... Some of the hair. I watched as it landed on the hairdresser floor; lots of blonde locks fell. I am just grateful that it wasn't an ear, the way that his head turned this way and that to locate the source of all of these oh-so-new-to-him noises. Nana's phone captured his attention for the most part. And he still has both ears! Delightful.

His favourite food is blueberries, easy on the stalks.

Food, lots of food. Every food. Except still perhaps cucumber. Blueberries. All day long this child will eat blueberries; excluding those that slip his grasp and slide down into his car seat. I fear that quite the collection is building up within that poor chair.  Peering in my rear view mirror, I see my blonde boy grabbing handfuls of the berries and placing them all in his mouth. "One at a time!" I suggest, which he attempts, before reverting back to his slightly more hazardous but speedy methods. His blueberry grin shows off the quantity and his pride. "All gone".

Good morning little one.

He wakes often with a smile, wishing good mornings and imploring that we go downstairs. Downstairs is where the porridge lives! One, two, three... count the steps... ten, eleven, twelve. Hooray!

The teddy bear, the loud one with the flashing features and the songs about animals and colours and numbers - this loud bear is his friend of the moment. Squeeze his foot, squeeze, squeeze - and just the right song comes on. A dance around the room commences, skip, skip, push off with my left foot. Oh no, the song has stopped - another song is coming on. The wrong song! Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Phew. The right song is back - the dancing can recommence. "Teddy bear, teddy bear, clap like this. Teddy bear, teddy bear........".

We lean against the radiator. "Hot, mummy". No Elis, just warm, just nice. Can you see the birds in the tree? He lines up his robin, and his blackbird on the window sill and we watch the blue tits chasing each other around the silver birch tree. 

An insect flies past our noses - "a BZZZZ Mama, a BZZZZ!"

He takes loud gulps of his drink, grinning at me with a milk moustache and thrusting the cup in my general direction. He shares his drink, but not his Mama. At the park, a small child sidles towards me, and tugs at my trouser leg. "Nooooooooooooo" he shouts, a toddler blur catapulting towards me. Keeping his sight trained on the infiltrating child he wraps his arms around my leg and stares the enemy into submission. The two foot tall snotty enemy retreats, and knowing when not to make the same mistake twice, Elis tightens his grasp on my trousers and drags me towards the slide.

Learning is fun.

We play games, sing our alphabet, learn the months of the year. November is not in good favour at the moment, with October skipping straight into December in the toddler rendition. He points at the hedgehog and the bumble bee on the Springtime puzzle, before indicating that enough time has been spent away from trains to warrant a return.

"Cheeeeeeeeeeese!" he says as he puts my phone to his eye. "One more time. Cheeeeeese, Mama!"

Walks are still jerky, zig zagging forwards, and sometimes back. Wandering must be just that with this toddler in tow, no intended destination - or at least not to any short time scales. I hoist him onto my shoulders to some protestations, before distracting him with the yellow flowers of a gorse bush, or the nearby river. Gallop, gallop, gallop, before Mama is tired and we slow down our gait.

Bed time comes. "Hair Mama, hair." I spread my hair next to him and he twirls it between his fingers and rubs it against his cheeks, eyes, face. "Lie down, Mama". Stories read, teeth brushed, the dummy returned to him from the "sleeping babies" who look after it during the day until it is his turn to sleep. One day he will no longer be a sleeping baby, but a sleeping boy, and will not need it then either. 

But until that day, he sprawls on my bed, chubby red cheeks and a hefty snore. Dreamland until the morning.

living arrows

Friday, 13 December 2013

Two years and a little bit more.

You are two Elis. Two and a little bit more. Twenty six months, almost.

You count to twenty, although for some reason skipping out the number thirteen. You don't really understand how to count things yet. Everything is 'two' as far as you're concerned, which is fine when I am asking you how many eyes you have - less so when I am referring to the number of fingers or toes.

Songs, oh how you love to sing! I love when you burst into song and I am sat guessing which song it actually is. You keep asking me for 'rock rock boat' at the moment, I still have no idea what that is. Baa baa black sheep, the alphabet, the rainbow, incy-wincy spider. But woe-betide if I begin a nursery rhyme that you do not wish to sing, "NO mama, NOOOO. Baa baa SHEEP!". Ok, then.

You are smitten with transport. Transport of any kind. As we trundle along in the car you look out of the window shouting "BUS, VAN, LORRRRRRRY" and when we are really stuck with a poor selection "CAR... CAR..... AGAIN CAR! ..... CAR GONE......... A VAAAAAAAAAAAN". We spend a disproportionate amount of our time together in the car and I still don't tire of you doing this. I am grateful for a motorbike going past every now and again though. 

The moon is also a favourite of yours - although you do still refer to it as "THE NOOOON MAMA, LOOK, NOOOOOOOOOON". I'm sure you are baffled as to how the moon appears everywhere - it is there when we are at Nana's house - and then it follows us all the way home. I wonder how many moons you think are up there in the sky.

(Just to note, you do not yet have an 'indoor voice' - the caps lock throughout this post is entirely necessary.)

Every bear that you come across is Pooh Bear. You do love Pooh Bear. Although you love trains more. There has been many a morning where you have taken your trains to nursery. Leaving you there is bad enough, but to then prise your little trains from your hands. I just can't do it. So off they trot in your hot little hands. (I'm sure you are playing me for a fool.) Donald, Gordon and Percy are your favourite trains and you push them up and down your orange train tracks. "ORANGE..... TOOO-gether............................. PEEEAS". I have to admit, when you learn to put these train tracks together yourself, I will be rather grateful. 

Your favourite food is still blueberries. One day, you will turn blue. But you are a good eater. Your latest obsession is dates. I love that you love to eat, and I love even more that what you love to eat are good things. I love that when you ask for "CAKEEE" you are quite happy to receive a seed bar. Long may this continue. 

I love your imagination. I love that you pick up your building blocks and make a train, pushing it around the floor. I love all of your animal noises - especially your monkey impression with little arm actions. I love that the noise you want to make most is the "MOOOOOOOOOOOO" of the cow, and you have to really control yourself when I ask for a different animal. We have finally distinguished between cows and horses, although I blame some of your odd looking toys for how long it has taken us to do that.

Every age is better than the last. You know so many words now, and I can talk to you! We talk about how it shall soon be "MISS-MUSS" little boy, less than two weeks to go. I think it shall be a good "miss-muss" - and you are still yet to understand about Father Christmas! Although you did meet him this week in nursery. I was told that you were rather displeased about having to put down your mince pie to sit on his knee. If you knew what his job was, I'm sure you'd have been far keener.

Long may our fun and games continue and may this weekend be filled with a few less sniffles, (although your "MESS YOUUUUU's" make all of the sneezes worthwhile.) Night night Elis, see you in the morning.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

In the moment

I have been organising photographs; whenever I do such things I get lost in the photos. It is probably why I never complete the aforementioned task and never end up with lovely photo books, pretty and bound on my shelves. However, this time I am organising one month of photographs per evening. This allows ample time for swooning over baby fat and a lack of hair -- my little boy was bald for such a long time!

An update is more than overdue for little Elis; the little boy who is ever growing - mind and body. He understands me. He is becoming a person and understands me when I speak to him. This ability comes hand in hand with the ability to consciously ignore, but we shall save that for another time.

Some people reminisce about an age at which they most enjoyed their child, or cast their minds forward and wish that their child was that little bit older so that they could do x, y and z. I am forever lost in the moment; I think back and can only think how I am enjoying this age even more than I did that age. And as for looking forward, I just cannot fathom a child, a fully grown child who will be able to have a logical conversation with me. In my mind, Elis is Elis and is trapped in a perpetual state of the age of that day. In this very same way, I could never picture Elis walking - yet here he is, one big, blonde ball of fun tumbling around everywhere.

Slides are his current favourite. He counts as he goes up the steps and lets out a 'woo' as he descends (the slide not the steps). His little shoes are scuffed and at the end of a nursery day he can often be found eating mud. What a... boy.

Fruit, how he devours fruit. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, nectarine. His vitamin levels must be through the roof. Grapes, mustn't forget grapes; the way he ensures both hands and mouth are filled, just incase the food source is removed. It could happen at any time, don't you know

Baa baa black sheep is the absolute favourite nursery rhyme at the moment. The moment Elis says baa, I launch into song; he always looks up, so surprised that Mama knows the songs that he sings with his friends in nursery. But how? That moment passes and we just enjoy singing together. We sometimes move on to Twinkle Twinkle and when we are bored of the sky, we row boats and let out little yelps if we are singing the version involving a crocodile. He can always tell which verse we have sung and always knows whether to scream. He is my clever little person.

I am biased, this is true - but if I am ever in a position where I have lost my eyes / nose / mouth / chin / cheeks / ears / head / hair / knees / toes / feet / hands / fingers / shoulders then Elis can point them out for me, which will be a relief. In my mind, he can also say all of those words - in reality, he has a different sound for each - a sound which Mama understands, but which to others may quite clearly sound a little like gobbledeegook. 

Elis still dislikes baths. If you try to imagine a cat being placed in a bath, with legs gripping the edges - this is Elis. His legs dart out, this way - and that way. It takes a lot of bribery and even then he refuses to sit. The bribery is in the form of sole control of the shower. This is fine for the duration of the bath, albeit a little messy, however, upon leaving the bath tub, the shower head must remain and the fight to get him in is replicated, but this time in the form of a tug of war. Baths. Sleep. One day he will regret disliking such things!

And here I shall end; I could type for a lot longer about my little person you see. About how he has the most beautiful long eyelashes and a far better tan than I at the age of almost twenty two months. But I won't. I shall curl up with my book and then go upstairs to give him cuddles. Being a Mama isn't easy - but it certainly has its perks; a pretty little person loving me unconditionally. I can just about cope with that.

Friday, 26 July 2013

A Nod to Nostalgia: Some things never change

My little boy has freckles - two whole freckles. One on his right arm and the other in front of his left ear. I wonder how long I can continue to count them for. I refrained from labeling them freckle 1 and freckle 2 in biro. Drawing on his face seemed like it would be crossing some kind of line. Also, if he ends up anything like his Grandma, I'm not going to be able to count as high as I will need to anyway.

The sun has been sticking around, and it is almost August. Summer weather has been present in... Summer?! Unprecedented, but much appreciated. Particularly given our travels to Southampton and, upon returning, Porthcawl. Dr Xargle stories with Auntie Emma, who has the best story voice EVER, and general rough and tumble, football games and paddling pools with Uncle Gareth; beach time with his Daddy followed by bedtime cuddles with Mama. The bedtime cuddling aspect was prolonged somewhat by the increasing presence of FOUR new teeth. Four teeth at the same time. I try to pacify him with talk of the steak that he will soon be able to eat, but for some reason this does not seem to work.

This weekend is one of productivity; it is about facing the house and telling it to stop misbehaving. Leaks, holes and cracks seem to be appearing out of nowhere. I really want to move, but cannot unless I do something about it first. Every night I debate the pros and cons of shutting the window - I'd really like to not hear the conversations of the outside world and screeching tyres and people alike, but having a small person self-combust is probably counter-productive. 

And on that note, enjoy my little piece of nostalgia while my small person and I play with our lego (ok, his lego) and make a thorough mess of the living room.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Twenty one months later

It is so warm. I love the sunshine. Everything is better in the sunshine. 

Everything except toddler sleep patterns. They are noticeably worse; witnessing Elis complete laps of the living room at ten pm knowing that at some point he will crawl into my lap and admit defeat is my definition of worse. He did cave in eventually; but boy did he hate nursery the following morning (and me, and getting dressed, and having food, and not having food, and having to sit with me in the car, and not being with me in the car etc.) Non stop fun in the sun.

But one morning does not detract from the brilliance that is the sunny summertime and the fun we have been having in and out of doors.

21 months old on Tuesday. Just three months until my little boy turns a whole two years old and it becomes ridiculous to track his age in months. Is it ever so cliche to talk about how it feels like I have always had him, yet that the time has flown by and he was a little bundle of baby who did nothing but eat and sleep such a short while ago? (Yes.) Visitors used to wonder at what magical hour they needed to visit in order to catch a glimpse of those blue eyes. I had no problem and could only advise that 2am seemed the optimum eye opening time. Now a keen sleeper, 2am would only be the optimum time if the wish was to witness a toddler snoring exceedingly loudly, bum in the air; position of choice at the moment. 

His words are flowing; parts of his face, more, yes, (or more often) no, ball, dog, ras-bees (raspberries) and bye, with the cutest of little regal hand waves setting it off nicely. It has reached the point where I wave at him far too often just to see that cute little wave. He may well end up with some kind of repetitive strain injury.

He doesn't yet truly run, but the walking does get more emphatic with increasingly harder stomps on the floor coupled with a tilt to provide momentum. What he lacks for in running abilities, he makes up for in monkey antics; wandering in from the kitchen to see my son standing on his ride-on tractor (ok, so I never explicitly told him not to stand on there - I have now), or on a chair, or on the table is becoming a regular occurrence.

At Rah-rah and Rah-po's house (Grandma and Grandpa) we have been exploring the garden with its plethora of gooseberries and grass and compost. We chase a football around the front garden until I notice that my playing partner has signaled it is time for his wander up the street, down less often; down disagrees with his firmly established tilt angle.

But best of all are the kisses and the cuddles; at this age as the words and gestures are filling themselves with more and more meaning, his love for me is less of an instinct. As I sit next to him, convincing him of the benefits of sleep, he pats the pillow and tells me to lie next to him so that he can run his still-chubby fingers through my hair. As his snores become a little more pronounced, I creep from the bed and sit in the window to read, spying one sleepy eyelid rise as he checks that I have not left.

I love him from his tousled blonde hair and long eyelashes, right down to his chubby little toes, which he will insist on curling every time the shoes are pulled out.

Elis George, you are 21 months old and you can sing Twinkle Twinkle with all of the actions. The words are even starting to resemble the correct words, although I fear that you may grow up to be as tuneful as I. If you could eat one food item for the rest of your life, I am almost certain it would be blueberries and you now know how to drink from a proper cup. Beakers are ever so restrictive to you now, the liquid comes out so slowly! However, cups make for mess when you are bored and done with your drink, so for now little boy, cups are supervised affairs.