Last week I took this photo of G holding Matilda…
It was a recreation of sorts of this one, which was taken, would you believe it, 6 1/2 years ago! G has somehow anti-aged in the intervening time. Take it as a public service warning against beards.
Meanwhile lets just leave this here…
As for Mildred, she is a squidgy little bundle of gorgeousness at the moment. None of my pics seem to capture how cute she is. She’s such a smiley, cheerful little ray of sunshine (apart from the bits when she is screaming the house down, obv.) She’s also not as ginger in real life as she looks in photos. Her new baby hair seems to be a sort of blondish brown, with reddish tinges here and there.
Anyway here are a couple…
As for the boybot, I should, for the record, mention two very important days.
First of all – the long-awaited visit to Longleat (aka the highlight of his young life). We had a really great day there, despite the fact that we didn’t see an armadillo or a skunk – two tragedies of microbial proportion. But all was splendid because we saw a giant anteater and a coati – two of his recent rainforest obsessions. He also took a strong liking to the sea lions and was lucky enough to be bought a toy one by Auntie Sarah as a souvenir.
Back at home, a week or so later, we had this little interchange:
“Daddy, can we go for a walk?”
“We’ve just been for a walk!”
“Can we go on another one?”
“Where did you want to go?”
“I’ll show you on my map!” (unfolds poster-sized, animal-themed map of the world)
“Here!” (points to continent of South America, home of skunks & armadillos)
Suffice to say, a brief lesson in relativity ensued, along the lines of “Ok, this is where we live… and this is where Grandma lives. Do you remember how long it took to drive to Grandma’s?”
The second momentous day has been his first day at school. Something he seems pretty happy about and he’s already coming home and telling me about his new friends…
G and I were discussing this morning what a leap it is from nursery to school. On the surface they seem like very similar environments, in that the kids spend most of the day rampaging about with other 4 year olds, squabbling over toys and being read to, etc. But, at nursery, every child is made to feel like a superstar – and when they cry or have a meltdown, they get cuddled into the soft bosom of their ‘key’ teacher and made a fuss of, more or less regardless of the reason.
At school, where there are 15 kids to each staff member, they’re going to be lucky if these poor weary souls even notice, let alone have time to humour it. The drop in cuddles and 1-1 affection may come as a bit of a shock for the boybot in the first few weeks and G and I are mindful of it, especially as he’s such an affectionate boy with his nearest and dearest. But we’re also hoping that it’ll do him some good.
He’s developed a tendency of late to cry and whine over the pettiest of things and to make far too much fuss over minor tumbles. It’s possibly just a bid for attention, linked to Matilda’s arrival – but hopefully school will toughen him up a little bit. That and learning to do what he’s told. Dear god… I swear that every minor demand to “get dressed/come here/finish dinner/stop making noise/pick up your socks” has to be uttered 37 times and followed up with threats before he’ll do anything. I don’t know why people go on about the Terrible Twos – he was a dream when he was two. The Frightful Fours are where it’s at.
But anyway – hooray for school. We’re only on day 3 so far and the boybot skipped off as joyfully as ever this morning. So here’s hoping he beds in and enjoys himself.
As for me, school has meant the end of long days with just me and Millybags… Now I seem to be spending even more time doing laundry than I was already and finding ways to entertain the microbe for several additional hours every afternoon. (If I were writing for Take a Break magazine I would probably entitle this “My Playdoh Hell”.)
Even worse… the boy has re-discovered the snail tank kit that someone bought him for his birthday (a gift that I buried strategically at the bottom of a large bag, in the hope that it might slip from memory for a very long time… i.e. forever). It’s one of those educational toys in which children learn about molluscs by catching some snails and keeping them as pets. Oh, the joy. Pity me, won’t you?