Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Education, education, education

We found out yesterday that Tom has been allocated a place at our first choice school, which was something of a relief as I hadn't put down a second choice! We are really pleased as it is one of the best primary schools in the area (based on league tables, which is all you have to go on) and nobody I've spoken to has anything bad to say about the school, which I take to be a good sign. It also happens to be about a ten minute walk up the lane behind our house (twenty minutes at Podling pace!), which is wonderfully convenient given that I'll be having to get three children up, dressed, fed and out the door come September. We were reasonably confident that he would get a place there as it is our catchment school and he already attends the playgroup one morning a week, but it is nice to know for certain. My only disappointment is that it is not a Church of England school, which I would have preferred. Obviously my children's religious education is very important to me, but they will continue to get this at home anyway.

So there you have it. When September rolls around this year, it will herald a whole new period in my mothering career. During the school week, my first born will be spending more of his waking hours away from me than with me. I will, for the first time since I became a full-time mum four and a half years ago, have to get everyone up and out of the house by a set time every morning. I will be trusting the care and education of my child to people I don't know for 6 1/2 hours a day. I have to accept that there will be parts of Tom's life that, unless he chooses to tell me about them, I will not know about. It is the first stage in the whole 'teaching them to be independent' thing, but it seems like such a young age to have them out of your care and influence. I can't say I'm looking forward to it and I'm going to have a hard time letting go!

Image from "Going to school" by M.E. Gagg (Illustrated by J.H. Wingfield). Image available from

Friday, 20 March 2009

Mummy's little helper

Lily always wants to be a part of whatever I'm doing. She plumps up the pillows when I'm making the bed, she wipes the shower when I'm cleaning the bathrooms, she likes to stir the dinner when I'm cooking and hold the vacuum cable when I'm hoovering. Everyday at lunchtime she pulls up a chair to watch me make lunch. Today, she wanted cheese spread and chutney sandwiches, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to let her make her own lunch (with assistance of course!). She did really well once I showed her how to spread using the knife. This little girl loves to be independent ("I do it!" is her constant refrain) and was thrilled with her finished sandwich. She ate far more of it than she does when I make her lunch! A few more years and she will be pretty handy round the house!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Park life

Indulging in one of Lily's favourite park games, in which the aim is to be kicked in the bottom by Tom as he reaches the bottom of the slide. To each their own!
It has been a long winter. Even on the dry days it has been too cold to be able to spend much time outdoors. It seems that winter might finally be loosening its grip though as today, though still cold, was nice enough for us to pack a bag of games and snacks and spend a good 90 minutes at the park near our house. I think we've all been feeling a bit cooped up, so it did all three of us the power of good to spend some time in the fresh air. We had the park to ourselves the entire time we were out and we had a lovely time. Now that the Podlings are a little older and more confident, it's nice not to have to hang behind them panicking every time they are on the high equipment. I even enjoyed a few moments just sitting on a bench and watching them have fun without worrying about them falling. Since it was the first proper outing to the park we've had this year, I took my camera along and went a bit snap happy.
There was a brand new roundabout in the park which the Podlings enjoyed a great deal. They took it in turns to spin each other around.

Stopping for a quick snack on the roundabout.

Lily learnt to walk up the slide (on dear!), and clambered up the 7 foot slide with ease. She was mightily pleased with herself!

Lily discovers the thrill of descending backwards

A naturally cautious child, Tom is usually intimidated by the 'big slide'. Today, however, saw him climbing the steps and sliding down without help from me. This is quite a big thing for him and he was very proud of himself.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Another fine mess...

The unrepentant offender, after the fact
Naptime hasn't been quite as straightforward since we moved Lily into a bed. Whilst she rarely gets out of her bed at night, the afternoon nap is another matter. For a few days, she delighted in climbing out of bed and diving into the basket of books in her room. I could always hear her over the monitor and generally went up to find her sat on the floor, engrossed in a picture book. I would promptly deposit her back in her bed with instructions to go to sleep. Sometimes she even complied first time!

After about a week, she realised that not only could she get out of bed, she could also get out of her room. The first time she tried this, I went up to find her admiring herself in front of the full length mirror in our bedroom. She accomplishes all these feats whilst still zipped into her sleeping bag, so maybe she wanted to know what she looked like in it!

She is so pleased with her new found freedom that she can't help making a big song and dance about it. Because of this, I have always been able to apprehend the runaway and put her back in her bed. Until today...

Mark and I are just getting over a nasty bout of the winter vomiting virus, so I've been feeling quite wiped out for a few days. After I put the Podlings down for quiet time, I came downstairs for a bit of rest myself. Lily had settled without a peep and, whilst I was surprised, I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. After about an hour, I was just about to go upstairs when a little voice called out "Mummy!". The smell that greeted my nose as I walked upstairs meant I was quite prepared for the next piece of information:

"Mummy, I did a poo on the carpet!".

That sentence, incidentally, qualifies as a candidate for 'Understatement of the Century'. She had removed her sleeping bag, tights and nappy and was obviously 'caught short' whilst exploring the master bedroom. I will spare you the unpleasant details, but suffice to say it was everywhere. In an attempt to redeem herself, she had attempted to clear up the mess before calling me, which meant she had walked it all over the bedroom carpet and into the en suite bathroom. It was all over her and, somehow, all over the walls. Ugh!

I deposited the offender in a bubble bath for a good long soaking, which unfortunately did little to chasten her. She loved having the bath all to herself (I always bathe the children together) and loved every minute of it. When she was clean and dressed, I took her downstairs to play with her brother and proceeded to spend a merry half an hour scrubbing my bedroom.

I think I know better than to trust any appearance of naptime compliance in future!