So – enough about Thing 2… here’s one about a boy.
This week, he’s discovered Frozen. He’s very late to the party, but at last is able to converse with the girls at nursery on their specialist topic. It’s the first time ever that he’s hankered for repeat viewings of something that doesn’t feature talking animals. Wonders will never cease. It has also opened up some big questions for him…
On Sunday morning he climbed into my bed and asked me “Mummy, what is true love?” Bless! (I told him that it’s the best kind, like the way I love him and Anna loves her sister, which seemed to make him happy).
In bed-related news, the introduction of the digital clock seemed to be going so well that G decided to toughen up the system. The new regime dictates that the first number on the clock display has to be a 7 before the boy can come and have a cuddle in our bed. On days when he manages that AND has dry pyjama pull-ups, he gets a sticker. And when he has 5 stickers, he gets a little plastic reward from a jar of Bambi/LionKing/Madagascar figurines.
So far, thanks to his fervent desire for plastic tat, we’ve had more good days than bad. However – hubris will always get you in the end. It’s entirely my fault. I cursed it by telling a few of my mum friends how well the clock thing was going – hence this morning he turned up beside me at 5am (wearing a wet pull-up, no less) and proceeded to fidget and pester the hell out of us until our alarms went off.
I swear this boy is so transparent you can practically see the cogs whirring in his head. More fools we for combining two targets into a single reward. G said to him: “Did you come into our room because you realised you’d already got a wet pull-up and would miss out on a sticker anyway?” …and the boybot looked sheepish.
But we shall persevere.
I just wish I could do something about his ghastly body clock, which seems to dictate that number twos must take place in the small hours. As if insomnia were not bad enough, I’m frequently woken around 5-ish by a tiny boy shuffling all the way from the bathroom with his pants around his ankles and whispering into my ear that he needs his bottom wiping.
Most days, after I’ve trudged to the bathroom with him and done the deed, he seems happy enough to go back to bed. But – suffice to say – bottom wiping lessons are going to commence imminently.
(Apologies for that unnecessary information).
Anyway – we had a very nice bank holiday weekend. The boy got a new toy goat that he loves (which looks a bit like daddy). On the grey days we also did lots of Easter crafts, including an insane hat for a parade at nursery, and on the beautiful Monday we mooched about in some local gardens.
In food news, it’s been a very long time since I worried about the boy’s appetite. Most days he seems to be ravenous for breakfast and also eats a meal or snack after nursery. My only concern nowadays is that, left to his own devices, his diet would be sorely lacking in colour.
If I asked him to draw up a list of his favourite foodstuffs, it would probably look a bit like this:
- Chocolate (all time winner, never to be succeeded)
- ‘Orkshire puddings (his term)
- Pancakes (preferably with nutella)
- Mashed potatoes
- Roast potatoes
- Fish and chips
- Burro pasta (aka twirly pasta with nothing but butter & parmesan on it)
- Corn on the cob
In other words – beige products, especially if they involve batter or potatoes.
So we endeavour to cram broccoli and asparagus and other brightly coloured veg into him as opportunities allow. But mostly I thank the gods for inventing that culinary salvation of all pre-school parents – houmous and crudités.
It’s a magical get-out-of-jail-free meal that can be delivered instantly, with no cooking – and is the surest way to get vast quantities of raw peppers, carrots and sugar snap peas into him. On a good day I can prop him in front of Frozen with a bowl of crudités and just leave him to it. Long may it last.
We also make heavy use of the mantra – “If you don’t eat that you won’t grow up to be a big, strong zoo keeper”.
As far as the boy is concerned, this is his future career. Let there be no doubt about it. Last week he informed me, sagely, that when he was little he thought he could grow up to be an aardvark. But now that he’s a big boy he realises that’s not possible. He will instead be a zoo keeper who specialises in big animals like hippos and elephants. (I sometimes wonder how he’d react if I were ever to introduce him to my zoo keeper friend Marie, with whom I used to flatshare with many moons ago)
He still gets most of his ‘factual’ information from Disney films – and I’m blaming Disney for the obscure little devil beating me twice this week in the “thinking of an animal” game. First he got me with Quail (thank you Bambi) and then Oyster (thank you Alice in Wonderland). I really should have guessed quail – I mean how many animals begin with Q? But apparently my brain can’t keep up with the machinations of a 3 year old right now.
At the weekend we had a miraculous burst of Spring sunshine and the boy had his first go on two wheels, courtesy of a new balance bike from Uncle Amazon. Apparently this is how we teach children to ride bikes nowadays. As usual we’re a bit late to the party as most of his contemporaries seem to have had one for ages. But the boybot is never an early adopter with this sort of thing.
When it arrived I took him out to buy a helmet and was aghast to discover that it cost more than the bike! (Admittedly it was a cheap bike). Alas, by then the man in the shop had gone to the trouble of adjusting it for his head and I felt honour-bound to purchase. Remind me not to shop in my local ‘hood when I want a bargain.
As luck would have it, the arrival of his new bike coincided with a local kids’ event on the riverside, where he was given a medal for waddling around a simple little cycling course. (Suffice to say it was one of those events where every child is a winner).
We also queued for an INTERMINABLE period for face-painting, in which I had to fend off the boy’s unrealistic desires to have his face painted as a warthog.
“James – they don’t do warthogs.”
“How do you know?”
“Just trust me. Nobody ever does warthogs”
About 40 mins into the queue I realised that I was trapped in a 7th circle of hell, where I’d lost the will to live, but had invested enough time not to want to give up our place. Then I noticed that 90% of the available designs were for sparkly glitter-based things – and the only option that might appeal to James would be zebra stripes.
I also started having murderous thoughts about the dad in front of me who turned out to be placeholding for 5 or 6 little girls, all of whom wanted complicated designs with rainbows and butterflies and glitter. Grr!
Anyway… after 700 years, or thereabouts, the boy got his zebra stripes, and we met up with his little pals and were able to plug their mouths with ice creams and flop down for a rest. (What on earth has become of my Sundays?)
Last, but not least, this week is School decision week! I think we’ll find out on Thursday whether he’s got a place at any of the 3 schools we put down on his form. The outcome will probably affect how we feel about staying in the area, so I’m a little ambivalent about it all.
Will just have to wait and see…