Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Me and my shadow

Me and the little man took this snap on route back from the shop. He then spent much of the walk looking for his shadow as it disappeared under parked cars.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Working Lunch | Expenses for the self-employed

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Working Lunch | Expenses for the self-employed

I'm now trying to work out whether Hayley can claim anything for the use of our "messy room".

It's called the messy room becaue it is the room dedicated to messy play, both for minded children and our own. During the days when Hayley is child-minding, the children will use this room for messy play but also as their main playroom, as it contains all the toys and nothing much else apart from the washing machine and tumble dryer at one end. Other than that it is solely a play-room.

Monday, June 16, 2008


  • We have modified Oliver's bedtime routine now so that he cleans his teeth last before going to bed. That way his bedtime milk can't rot his teeth. Having said that, he is losing interest in his bedtime milk. Perhaps it is the change in routine, sitting in the light room to drink it, or just the change of container.

  • The little lady is getting about at high speed now, crawling, still somewhat crab-like, from room to room.

  • Oliver is as chatty as ever. Often he will babble on while we try to talk to someone, occasionally repeating whatever he hears said. Other times he is quite the conversationalist. The other day Hayley had a friend round with her daughter who was dressed in a nice new dress. Much to everyone's surprise Oliver suddenly piped up "Oh, that's a nice dress. Where did you get it?"

  • At night, Lucy's sleeping position is characterised by her either holding the edge of her mattress with her hand or putting her arm right down the side. She also likes to cuddle up to Big Lucien bunny.

  • Lucy seems to love music as much as Oliver. They went to a party on Saturday and as soon as the clown put some music on, Lucy was bobbing about where she sat on the grass. Tonight I put some nursery rhymes on and she did the same. She also clapped along to "If you're happy and you know it". And if I ever give her the shakers from the musical box she will shake them both, one in each hand, and bang the drum with them with notable enthusiasm.

  • Oliver never used to be particularly cuddly, but in recent times he has become noticably more affectionate... and not only when he wants something from us! Hayley's latest game with him is to have the following conversation at bedtime:
    Mummy: I love you.
    Oliver: I love you.
    Mummy: I love you more.
    Oliver: I love YOU more.
    Mummy: No, I love YOU more.
    Oliver: I love YOU more.
    Mummy: OK, you love me more.
    Oliver: No! I love ME more.
    Mummy: OK, you love you more. Night night.
    Oliver: Night night.
  • Lucy's 10 months check

    I seem to remember Oliver didn't have a 10 month check, but that whichever check he did have was invariably a couple of months late, so maybe this is Lucy's 8 month check? Who knows!

    Anyway, what matters is that she seems to be doing great. She ticked every box and Hayley was told she is progressing very well.

    Her height is now in the 75th percentile, down from the 98th as I recall. But her weight is up to the 91st percentile from 37th.

    Sunday, June 15, 2008

    Father's Day

    I'll have those glasses Daddy, thank you.

    Father's Day was spent doing some very Dad-like things. After a much needed and much appreciated lie-in, I opened my card and presents: a "Fab Dad" trophy, a mug that plays a "tune" akin to setting off an alarm at a department store every time you pick it up and (last but not least) two very large bars of chocolate. The latter seemed to be of the most interest to Oliver.

    Later in the day I could be found with my family at a local Garden Centre where we purchased some conifers for a new hedge and some stones for the spot where Hayley plans to locate the barbecue. The garden centre also contained a little gem of a cafe hidden away within it, where I indulged in rhubarb crumble and custard while Oliver enjoyed some chocolate cake.

    The kids having fun, honest.

    The highlight of the day for me though was when I carried Oliver around the outdoor areas on my shoulders. When I tried this in the past he wasn't sure about it, but this time he took to it like a duck to water. It was a great feeling to be carrying my happy, laughing son around on my shoulders on Father's Day in the sunshine (even when he pinched my sunglasses off my nose). All pretty idyllic stuff!

    When we got home we took delivery of our "new" 3 piece suite. We have bought it second hand from friends of friends and are very pleased with it. Pictures of it in its new locale are bound to follow, but here's Oliver test driving one of the chairs when he went to see it.


    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    BBC NEWS | England | Lincolnshire | Mother guilty of leaving toddler

    BBC NEWS | England | Lincolnshire | Mother guilty of leaving toddler

    The news can seem full of terrible and tragic stories involving children. And most of the time I choose not to comment or even highlight them, as there is nothing to be said that any parent would not already be feeling as they read the same story.

    But this story, perhaps because it concerns a child the same age as Oliver, has left me feeling so distressed and lost for words, that I just had to record it.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    BBC NEWS | Education | Childcare 'out of reach for many'

    BBC NEWS | Education | Childcare 'out of reach for many'

    Hayley is just making arrangements to re-start her childminding when her maternity leave comes to an end. She hasn't found it hard to find suitable clients, even though she only intends to work 3 days a week.

    Not sure about the average spend of £27 a week on childcare that is quoted in the article. That wouldn't buy you one day around here (or most places).

    BBC NEWS | Health | Many children 'brush teeth alone'

    BBC NEWS | Health | Many children 'brush teeth alone'

    As Lucy's first teeth are only just showing signs of imminent arrival, this has little relevance to her. But Oliver brushes his teeth every evening and Hayley is about to start him brushing in the mornings too.

    In the evening he starts the brushing off and I tend to brush mine at the same time as an encouragement. When I have finished I ask whether I can now brush his teeth. "Not yet," he replies. "In a minute". This is repeated a couple of times before he lets me have a go. He really is pretty good about it. I don't know whether we manage two whole minutes though. Maybe as he gets older we can extend it.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    What happened next: the answer


    The answer to the question in my previous post was Option c) He attempted the next step, then continued manfully to the top, completely ignoring his anxious Dad.

    I wasn't entirely surprised though. He had amazed me with his daring only moments before. There are three ways to access the slide in the photo above. The easiest is a ramp with wooden slats across for footholds. He scaled this easily and repeatedly as he played with his friend Cara.

    Then as I chatted to Cara's Mum, I suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye, Oliver appearing at the top of the second way to access the slide, a cargo net made of chains and inclined at around 30 degrees from the vertical. I was amazed that he attempted it, let alone conquered it. By the time I dashed over to him he was up!

    Finally he took the third route, pictured above. Having taken the photo I shot over to him again to make sure hs didn't fall and implored him to be careful. He proceeded wordlessly to the top as if I weren't there. I was amazed and proud in equal measure.

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    What happened next?


    He attempted the next step...

    a) ...and then climbed back down gracefully, deciding the ramp was a better option.
    b) ...then stood there for a moment looking wobbly before shouting "Daddy, heeelllllp!"
    b) ...then continued manfully to the top, completely ignoring his anxious Dad.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    BBC NEWS | UK | Drink campaign to target parents

    BBC NEWS | UK | Drink campaign to target parents