The other day G opened the lid of our ‘Tasting Club’ box from Hotel Chocolat and discovered that most of the remaining chocolates had a James-sized bite taken out of them. A few had mere tooth marks while others were missing-presumed-eaten (including several strong alcoholic truffles, a couple of coffee ones and at least one flavoured with smoked paprika).
This is not the first such misdemeanour. Only last month we caught him elbow-deep in the tasting box with one in each cheek and several melting in his fists. It’s not that we don’t put things out of his reach, it’s that he’s learned to drag furniture around when we’re not looking and has no sense of fear. Given a house full of high shelves containing panettone, sweetie jars and chocolates… what’s a boy to do?
On the good side, we suspect that the smoked paprika chocolate might have worked as a sort of aversion therapy as he is suddely showing a marked decrease in demands for “BOCKOLATE!“. Long may it last.
As for proper food, his appetite remains as unpredictable as ever. If there is a pattern, I think it probably goes something like this: not hungry… not hungry… HENRY VIII… not hungry… (repeat ad infinitum)
Over Christmas he refused everything apart from carrots and Brussels sprouts. (I know what you’re thinking… FREAK OF NATURE). Then came Boxing Day and all of a sudden he was channelling Henry VIII, demanding smoked salmon by the pound and shovelling in potatoes, spaghetti, sausages and panettone at every opportunity. Henry stuck around for a good 3 weeks, only to be replaced by Mr Exceedingly-Fussy, who likes to make you guess. Today I shall be eating nothing but blueberries and coco pops …whereas tomorrow I will be outraged by the mere suggestion of blueberries. On those weeks I generally get cross and thank god for the ill-gotten treats.
Linguistically, we are just starting to move beyond the finger-pointy-noun/adjective stage to uttering basic phrases like “fruity bread finished” and “spaghetti all gone.”
Last week I heard him chattering away in the bath, pointing at his toys and saying: “Colour-is-it? Blue!” “Colour-is-it? Red!” “Colour-is-it? Orange!” Having told him what a good boy he was, he beamed at me and pointed to himself, saying: “Colour-is-it? James!” Sometimes wrongness is just too cute to correct. Another new favourite game of his is to look about from side to side saying “where’s James?? Where’s James??” and then point at his chest and say “this is!!”
Meanwhile, for anyone who recalls me mentioning his RADA-worthy CV of regional accents, I should add that when he is not being the messiah he is generally being a very “natty bway!” (we blame Rastamouse for that one).
In other news, I think I’m slightly in love with Jim-Jam’s new nursery. He’s attending on Mondays and Tuesdays because his original one couldn’t offer us a 5-day week. So far we’re only into week 3 but I’m already thinking that it might be the best thing we’ve done. Partly because they have an unfeasible regime of educational and sporting activities and take the children out on trips every day and partly because James comes home like a little ray of sunshine, nattering on about the other children and carers that he has spent the day with. The cherry on top is that G and I each get a daily email alert at work around 3pm which has links to photos of what James has been up to all day with glue and tissue paper and a description of what he ate for lunch and what he’s learned that day etc. We really miss the emails when he’s at the other place.
The only down side to the new place is that it doesn’t include a cook, which means that we have to prepare cooked lunches and dinners to be transported and reheated at nursery the following day. This gives me performance anxiety. There are near bootcamp level food-rules imposed by the nursery. My initial offer of a multi-pack of Kellog’s children’s cereals was met with all the enthusiasm of one who’s just been handed a used plaster from a suppurating sore… (we only use healthy cereals like Oatibix here, if you please). Since then I’ve been sending him in each day with a vat of steamed vegetables, a bowl of pasta, several quorn sausages, a yogurt, a slice of Soreen, some cheese, a dried fruit bar and a smoothie… in the hope that he might eat at least 20% of it. (One day I sent him in with a tuna mayo sandwich and this was deemed by the nursery to be a very strange foodstuff indeed.)
So I can’t deny that it’s a relief to send him off to the other place on a Wednesday, knowing that they’ll provide all of his meals on site (and don’t freak out at the sight of rice crispies). For now, we’re going to see how he gets on hopping between the two places.
As for home life, jigsaws are currently the flavour of the month. He doesn’t seem to mind whether it’s a 3-piecer, a 24-piecer or even a fiendish reversible one. All jigsaws become equal when emptied out of their boxes and spread across the floor in a giant half-completed pile. Then, once you’ve stirred in several boxes of flash cards and a game of animal snap, all that remains is to climb on top of the bureau and survey the artistry whilst switching the living room lamp on and off repeatedly (another new hobby).
Well that’s all I have the energy for. so I shall finish with a few snow pics and a note to family and friends: despite all evidence to the contrary, I promise that there will be thank-you notes, even if it takes all year. (I told you he was a natty bway)