Most days the Microbe and I sing little songs and nursery rhymes together. I quite like to find out what he has been singing at nursery and then sing the same songs with him at home, perpetuating my mystique as an omniscient, all-knowing being. (One day I might ask the nursery staff why he thinks that The Grand Old Duke of York is his cue to goose step around the coffee table).
Usually, when we sing songs together, he’s a little bit shy and waits for me to start before joining in. But, earlier this week, he had a “me sir!” moment and stood up naked in the bathroom and belted out a joyful rendition of the alphabet song. We’d never really heard his solo singing voice until then and, towards the end, he suddenly became aware that G and I had congregated around him like a pair of goggling, grinning loons, at which point the poor lad was overcome with embarrassment and buried his hot little face into my shoulder and refused to come up for air until he’d got over it. Bless. I don’t think we have a future diva on our hands.
This week they’ve been doing pirate-themed play at nursery and singing What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?, which has given me a perfect excuse to teach him some new pirate phrases. It’s so much fun having a parrot. Last night we trained him up to respond to “Arrrrh!” with “Me hearties!!” and to respond to “Yo ho ho!” with “And a bottle o’ rum!”
Later this month it’s birthday time and I’m trying to decide whether to buy him a scooter. He appears to be the only child in TW1 whose foot is not surgically attached to one. I suspect if we do he will shun it for 6 months (as he tends to with most of these sort of presents) and then suddenly fall in love with it around Christmas time. What he would probably like is to get 800 books of animal stickers… or crack, as they are known in the toddler world.
The trouble with stickers is that they masquerade as a quiet activity that he can do by himself but in reality they involve endless demands of “Mummy do it!” because he hasn’t really got the dexterity to peel them off by himself. And then he fails to understand their single-use nature and keeps demanding that I unstick them again so that he can reposition them somewhere else.
This has led me to type ‘reusable stickers‘ into Amazon and I was pleased to see that such things do exist… so I have put those and some fuzzy felt onto his birthday wishlist, along with lots of new jigsaws, toy animals and the like. Someone else recommended a Mr Potato Head so I’ve added that too.
I doubt any birthday present will be able to usurp his iPad, with which he is still fervently in love. It’s the first thing he wants when he wakes up in the morning. Add to this the screaming delights of funny animal videos on Youtube and all I can say is: welcome to your life of glowing rectangles, young man. His favourite iPad game du jour is called Curious George Goes to the Zoo – in which he has to look after zoo animals by waking them up, bathing them and grooming them before guessing what they would like to eat.
In bad parenting news, I absentmindedly booked theatre tickets for daddy and me on the evening of James’s birthday. But, with any luck, he will either be exhausted after his day out at Bockett’s Farm or DED from excitement at being babysat by his auntie LJ.
In animal-bothering news, we went to a microscopic ‘farm’ at Osterley House the other weekend which had the world’s cutest pygmy goat kid. James couldn’t quite reach to stroke it, but he pointed at it and said “Want have it, mummy. Want have it.”
And then he saw a lamb and pointed at that and said “Want have it, mummy“. And then he saw a beautiful rooster and… you get the picture. Poor James, to be born to a pair of suburban townies with no smallholding in sight. (Where are Tom and Barbara when you need them?)
The following weekend we visited his Granny and Pops in Ruislip and, by luck, came upon a pop-up petting zoo while out for a walk around the duck pond. This time he got to stroke the world’s most gigantic rabbit…
A fluffy baby bunny…
And a teeny weeny baby mouse…
He was also treated to a ride in this wooden cart which was made by Pops and has done the rounds with bucket loads of grandchildren over the years…
Kitted out with a pillow, a blanket and a teddy, the little lord got quite a few envious glances from Bugaboo-encased children as he was wheeled along in his cart. By the end of the walk he’d fallen asleep in there and had a snooze in the sunshine before running about in Granny’s garden.
This weekend ahead promises yet more animal-bothering as the St Margarets community fair is also advertising a mini farm and animal-themed games. Hooray!
PS – for the very interested only, I’ve added a few recent vids to his Youtube playlist, here (but to be honest they’re a bit like the video equivalent of being shown someone’s shonky holiday snaps).