Oh lord… the microbe was caught biting another child at nursery today in a scuffle over a toy. I don’t know what on earth has suddenly started him biting. He’s never shown any signs of violence or aggression before now and suddenly we have two incidents within a week. As new hobbies go, I’d certainly like to discourage this one. He even bit me at the weekend in a weird sort of cuddly-bitey show of affection. The nutter.
G withdrew his playground rights this evening (to much bawling protest) in an attempt to discipline him about the biting. God only knows whether he’s old enough to understand the link. How do you discipline a child who has just turned 2? Nursery don’t administer any particular punishments or naughty-steps for this age group as they deem them too young. They just give them a bit of a talking-to about how they made a ‘sad choice‘. (I have to admit that, when he bit me at the weekend, I administered a fairly rapid cuff on the head – though I don’t suppose I should admit that on the interwebs for fear of being reported to the authorities)
Anyway when I got home this evening he was sweetness personified. You’d never guess he was evil.
In less alarming news, it’s only a day since we returned from a divine mini-break in Devon. With beaches and country walks and fresh fish and quite a lot of lounging about in Grandma’s conservatory and lovely garden it felt like a real holiday even though we only stayed for 3 days.
Having finally upgraded our old banger and bought a car with oodles of boot space and proper air conditioning and exciting little storage hatches all over the place, we loaded it up on Saturday evening and set off full of good cheer… until we hit the winding roads of Devon and suddenly smelled something bad. A quick head-swivel confirmed that James had christened the car with the meagre contents of his stomach. Alas! I think he takes after his car-sick mummy. I had my fair share of back seat ‘incidents’ as a child and, even now, I have to stare straight ahead at the road for fear of instant quease.
But c’est la vie. At least he caught most of it in his Superman T-shirt and the rest landed on the machine-washable car seat cover so no harm was done and everything was scrubbed and tubbed as soon as we arrived.
On the Sunday morning the sun was shining and we hit the beach at Sidmouth. I don’t think the microbe had any memory of his previous beach visits at Antibes, back when he was 11 months old, hence his trip to “see the sea” in Sidmouth on Sunday morning was like the very first time and all the more exciting for it.
He enjoyed watching the spray in the rocky areas and tramping through pebbles and throwing lots of them into the sea, before choosing a little pile to fill his pockets with.
There are lots of pretty places beginning with B near Sidmouth and we visited a couple of them at the weekend. In Branscombe you would hardly guess, while walking through rolling hills full of cows and sheep and babbling brooks, that you’re about to happen upon the sea around the next corner…
Unlike a lot of our accursed trips South, we were blessed with beautiful weather. The three days were bright and breezy, sporadically hot, with occasional showers but sunny enough to burn (ask Daddy how we know). And such beautiful light. Showers and sun make everything sparkle, which we really noticed in Beer – another very pretty town with a shingle beach…
On a couple of occasions I made the effort to lug my ‘magic lens’ out with me. I usually leave this at home because it’s mahoosive and cumbersome and needs a steady hand – a bit like a sniper rifle. It’s intensely zoomy and no good for landscapes or big vistas but it’s lovely for natural, pap-style snapshots of people from far away. I call it ‘magic’ because its intensely shallow focus seems to deliver ultra-pretty effects where the subjects look crisp against the background and everyone appears smooth and unwizened without me having to twiddle any settings on my camera (holy grail!)
I imagine these are the sort of effects that proper camera geeks achieve by learning all about their DSLR settings rather than screwing in a magical mystery lens. (I fear attracting the attention of such people as they occasionally come over and interrogate me about my hardware and find out that I am CLUELESS)
The following day we went back to Sidmouth beach at low tide with buckets and spades for some late afternoon fun in the sand. This time we also did a bit of paddling and James sat down fully clothed in the sea, which meant that his wee willie winkie got an unexpected public airing before it all got a bit too chilly.
Another lovely treat for the weekend was James’s first taste of home grown peas, fresh from the pod on Grandma and Kit’s veg patch. These taste so lovely and sweet on the day they’re picked, the boy was insatiable for them and pretty much scoffed the entire week’s harvest.
Watching James running about the garden on a sunny evening made me wish that we had a proper garden at home.
At the very least it would be nice to have an allotment as I’d love to grow some veg with him. As far as I can recall, we’re about 1 year into a 5-year waiting list for a local one! (We’ll have moved by the time that comes up!)
All in all, we had a very nice holiday and I can report that James was mightily disappointed this morning when he discovered that he was off to nursery and not going to see the sea again.
Now we have to wait a month for Portugal… A MONTH. Sigh.
For the insanely interested, the full set of pics from our Devon weekend is on Flickr, here.