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Byebye.

I've (finally) moved house. 20six were finally irritating me too much to stick to my old comforts - and now I've taken the plunge I really like wordpress.... I'm now to be found here. Please come and visit (and please change your blogroll if you are kind enough to link to me).
12.11.07 09:42


Facebook

I’m clearly not coping with modern day life as well as I should be. I have joined? entered? gone on? Facebook in the last month. A friend who moved to Ireland sent an email reporting her new and very exciting engagement - and said she’d posted photos on Facebook. To see them I had to join up. Since then I have had numerous invites to be someone’s friend, write on someone’s wall, poke someone, send them a smile…. Some of the people whose Facebook friend I now am are real friends, some from my everyday life, others (like Suburban Mum) people who were in my everyday life and then moved away. some old and dear friends whom I speak to too infrequently. If I could get my head around the concept of walls and comparing movie tastes with people then these are the sort of people that I would want to communicate with.

But I am receiving random requests from people I knew at Uni. People I last saw over 10 years ago or people who have my address, phone number and email address and have never shown the least inclination to contact me. People whom I sporadically contact by email and who reply once from politeness and then not again for months and months. I can’t get my head around why they want to be my Facebook friend. Is there kudos in increasing the number of friends one has?

In reality I just can’t get my head around Facebook. I go on occasionally and look at pages set up for my friends and it seems to tell me nothing other than the fact that they’ve been poked or whammied or kissed or sometimes there’s a single sentence saying they’re about to drink a glass of wine. And I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m just too old-fashioned. Or too slow….

9.11.07 21:54


Clever.

This is worthy of record, not particularly to show off my son’s abilities (no, really), but more because it shows that overtaking older sisters can happen…..

In the bath tonight the children were singing “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive” which Belle then customised into her own (far smuttier) version.* Ned watched as she held up her left hand whilst singing about her right hand. he turned to me in confusion.

“Why Belle holding up her left hand instead of her right hand?”

Belle, needless to say, didn’t have a clue.

* You know you want to know…..

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a bottom alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it did a poo on my hand

Which hand did it poo on?

This little hand on my right.

There. I’m sure you’re truly grateful

9.11.07 21:53


Gender, nature, nurture etc....

Ned has changed into a boy boy. Although he happily ran around dressed as a Disney princess when Belle had her friend over yesterday he was adamant that he was actually a king. Today the Toys R Us catalogue arrived and I used it as a welcome excuse to cosy up to Ned and leaf through it. He hunted for anything involving cars, tractors, trains, dinosaurs, ambulances, rescues, pirates, drums, guitars…. and discarded the rest with a “Huh, too girly” disdain worthy of Just William himself. I don’t actually mind but I do look with amazement and wonder how this boy came from the same bloodline and practically the exact same environment as his pink-loving, ballet-twirling, princess-y sister. And it’s with relief that I realise that whatever instinct (or pressure? Except he hasn’t even started nursery yet) makes him focus on these typically male toys hasn’t also taught him that pink and purple are unacceptable favourite colours and that twirling and dancing are really for girls….

Today we were having a conversation about police officers over lunch - or rather, policemans. I tried to explain that they were policemen and in any case nowadays we would call them police officers because there could well be police ladies.

Ned: Me prefer police men.

Me: Is that because one day you’ll be a man?

Ned (conversationally): Me going to be rubbish man.

Me (concerned): Oh honey, I’m sure you won’t be.

Ned (indignantly): Yes me am. Me going to be rubbish man and drive me own rubbish lorry.

9.11.07 19:27


Just stuff

  • Belle had a friend from school round for tea today - a pleasant little girl who was polite and didn’t mind Ned joining in all the games. And who told me blithely that she liked fishcakes and broccoli but then discovered she didn’t. Luckily she liked pasta. Pudding was supposed to be left-over birthday cake and fruit but it turned out she didn’t like fruit either. Oh well. I’m sure her mother has been told she was only given pasta and gooey chocolate cake for tea…
  • Given how much angst I managed to put myself through about Belle’s shyness, muteness and general lack of confidence I can’t believe what a waste of time it all was. Time and energy. The girl has bloomed and blossomed into a confident, chatty, happy schoolgirl and way sooner than we could have hoped. (One of the staff in her nursery class “reassured” us that her daughter was exactly like Belle - until she was 13). Please remind me not to stress about things again. *hollow laugh*
  • I’m not stressing about Ned’s speech - he is improving and I know that. It is suddenly more demoralising though because in the past, whilst he’s always been behind his peers he’s been ahead of those a lot younger simply by virtue of the fact that they’ve been too young to talk. Now it’s noticeable that quite a lot of children way younger than him are overtaking him at lightning speed. One of Belle’s classmates has a brother 7 months younger than Ned; we met them in a shop last week. Apart from the fact that a) they’d never met before and b) the boy T came straight up to Ned and shoved him hard without provocation the most notable fact was that this kid was chattering away like a 4 year old. And Ned was hiding behind my legs wondering who the nutty child was hitting him like that.
  • Ned has hit a shy stage. It’s frustrating because he never has really been shy up till now.But there’s lots of hiding behind legs at the moment. He started Tumble Tots again last week though and this week I left him in the class alone. He stayed without a fuss and seemed to really enjoy himself.
  • I found myself descrbing Ned as a “follower rather than a leader” to someone today and I think it’s true. Maybe that’s the inevitable position of a younger sibling.
8.11.07 20:29


Belle

Sometimes we despair at her ever being capable of showing empathy. I know she's only 4 and a half but she can run past a crying Ned with barely a sideways glance or accidentally knock something over and completely ignore it. And then things happen which make us realise that actually, bit by bit, she is getting it.

1) Belle was having a right strop. I can't even remember why, probably because hubby was giving her breakfast whilst I showered rather than the other way around. Anyway there were tears and wails and general 3 year old behaviour (or behaviour we hoped we'd left behind when she was 3 anyway). They sat up at the kitchen breakfast bar and hubby gave them both their china Peter Rabbit bowls that they were given for their dedications*. Ned picked his up, slipped and it fell to the floor and smashed. Belle stopped crying in a second.

Belle: Oh poor Ned. Here, you can have mine. I don't mind just having my other bowl. Don't worry about it.

Hubby: Well that's an expensive way of restoring peace.

2) The original plan for last weekend was to go to McDonalds for Ned's birthday on the Saturday, thereby limiting the amount of junk food eaten in one day. Then Belle was invited to a party by a girl at school. I discussed it with hubby without even letting Belle know about the invitation. I'm reluctant for her to assume she can go to every party she's invited to; we have to have some degree of family life after all. But I wanted us to decide beforehand what we wanted to do and then present her with it; we decided that, as she's new to the school and these are new friends, we'd let her go to the party and re-arrange Ned's lunch. I told her she'd had an invitation for Saturday lunchtime. She looked concerned.

"Well, I'll ask Ned if he minds. If he is OK with having his birthday meal a different time then I'll go to the party. But if he wants to have his meal that lunchtime then maybe we can just ask F's mummy if I can come to the party late. It is his birthday and he must choose".

I was so impressed. I thought she'd be insisting on the party and take no account of Ned's feelings at all. **

*More or less like a christning for those not well-versed in low church activities...

** It doesn't always work. this morning my mother arrived, fresh off the plane and bringing birthday gifts. Belle looked at the Bob the Builder kit. "Huh? Where's Wendy? It's not much good without Wendy".

6.11.07 16:54


Three.

I can't believe it. I really can't call him a baby any longer - not even a toddler really. (Althouh he has still has those pudgy wrists and ankles that mean he looks quite babyish still. And when he's sleeping angelically he still looks like my baby).

He had a great day. A great day characterised by eating absolute crap all day but nonetheless a great day. We gave him this garage which he loved - though not as much as the £2.99 pack of rescue vehicles I'd bought for my grandmother to give him. He woke in the morning to a pile of 10 presents by the side of our bed - it felt more like Christmas than a birthday. There are advantages to half the family being scattered around the world - at least he gets his presents on time and he also gets presents that we want to give him. Then he had his first "big" Sunday school experience which was fine - helped by the fact that I was assisting this week and Belle being excited to have him with her. We then went to McDonalds for lunch - each family member getting to choose a restaurant for their birthday has its downside...

Then it was party time. We'd invited 3 families - each with a 3 year old or a nearly 3 year old plus 2 older sisters (both Belle's age) and a baby sister. It was chaotic but fun. We drank wine and ate baked potatoes and sausages. The children played pass the parcel and ate fish fingers and waffles and ice cream. Then hubby lit teh bonfire and we piled outside with neon bracelets to wave sparklers around and watch the fireworks. I bought a huge pack from Tesco - they advertised them as quiet but they were a bit too quiet. More of a damp squib effect but they did look pretty. Hubby did really well, flying round the garden setting them all off. 2 of the 4 3 year olds hid cowering inside but the other children really enjoyed them. (We spent Friday and Saturday evenings coaxing our children to watch fireworks out of the windown then gradually opening windows so they could experience the noise. It's now reached the point where they're saying they "love" fireworks. Long may it last).

Finally we lit the candles on Ned's cake and sang happy birthday. The cake turned out really well. I'll post photos sometime. It may have been pricey but it took less than an hour to assemble which has to be a bonus. And it looked very effective though I do say so myself.....

And now my boy is 3 whole years old. And cute as ever....

5.11.07 18:50


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