Sunday, 19 May 2013

Dear diary

Dear Diary,

What a busy day I've had!  Would you like to hear more about it?  Well, you haven't got a choice.

6:50am. I woke up.  The mummy one wasn't there. Nor was the daddy one. So I shouted and the mummy one soon came.  She picked me up like I asked and gave me a cuddle.  I like cuddles, provided they don't last too long.  Then she gave me some water and put me back to bed.  I was lost for words. I just lay there for a good ten minutes wondering if it was some elaborate joke - mummy one and daddy one do love to play peek-a-boo, and they're very good at it.  But it got to a point that nobody was jumping out and nobody had fed me.  So I shouted again.  Mummy one came back straight away.

7:30.  Shreddies for breakfast today.  I love Shreddies.  I played a great joke on daddy one yesterday and dropped my bowl on the floor!  Mummy one was too quick today, so I just ended up eating lots.  I love Shreddies.

8am. Shreddies finished and it was time for my hot towel treatment.  I'm happy with how the training of mummy one and daddy one is coming on.  They both know now that I like a hot damp towel after meals so that I can suck some of the water out to wash down my meal.  Occasionally they insist on rubbing my face with it, but a good sharp scream normally puts a stop to that.

8:30.  The daddy one comes downstairs and he has warm mess for dinner.  I let him know I want some by pointing, but don't really like it so throw it on the floor.  Maybe I'll eat it later.  Instead I let the daddy one know that I have finished and indicate that it is time for him to lift me to the floor so I can get on with the highly important business of seeing how far I can throw some balls, and loading the tumble dryer with as much as I can fit in.  When that's done I like to round my morning off by posting some of the mummy and daddy ones' things out of the cat flap.  It's good to keep reminding them who is in charge.

9:15. We arrive for my swimming lesson.  I love these normally.  Today the daddy one was in with me.  He carried me around the pool, occasionally letting me show off my own swimming acumen, but it is important that he learns how to safely pull me through the water so I largely just leave him to get on with it.  The water is lovely and warm and it helps me to unwind.

10am. Out of the water and it is time for the mummy one to do my hair and dress me for my day.  Once she has finished I get the daddy one to take me down to shout at the chickens.  I do love nature, but arrogant birds really wind me up so I put them in their place whenever I have the opportunity.  That done and it's off for a trip with the grandma one.  The grandma one can be relied upon for a biscuit and a good game.

11am.  I have been in and out of the car a couple of times and frankly it's beginning to irritate me.  Luckily, the mummy one had brought some of my favourite foods so I decide not to shout too loudly at her.  We have a look at a lot of people's car boots but the mummy and daddy ones were a bit disappointed and were unable to find me a suitable offering so came home empty handed.  I was going to let them know how disappointing I found this, but the daddy one pulled a surprise out of the bag later.

12pm.  It has been a busy morning, so the mummy one gives me a cup of my favourite drink and carries me to my bed for a nap.

2pm. Again, I wake up and nobody is here instantly.  A quick shout and the mummy one soon comes running.  Lunchtime I say!  The daddy one had left some of his warm breakfast mess, so I decide to finish that off.  I live by the mantra if you snooze, you lose!  He wasn't about at this point, but I soon found out where he had gone.

2:45pm.  The daddy one has a big stupid grin on his face, which normally bodes well for me.  And he delivers!  He's been out and got me a slide!  I spend five minutes inspecting it, to make sure it is of a sufficiently high standard then demand to be placed at the top.  So much fun!  I make the daddy one put me at the top another ten or so times until I begin to grow a bit bored and remind them both it is time to take me to nanny's.  We set off.  I get easily bored on journeys and need to keep reminding the mummy one to keep passing me snacks.  Why she doesn't just leave me the snacks with me, I don't know.  Honestly, you drop one container of blueberries and they treat you like a moron.

4pm.  We arrive at nanny's - uncle 3 is there so I make him play with the ball with me.  He's getting better, but his training is at an early stage still.  He will learn soon enough.  Uncle 1 comes in as well, so I make him join in with us.  Then those arrogant bloody cats come in.  Doesn't matter how much I shout at them, they still wander around like they own the place.  Lucky for them the mummy and daddy ones stop me from getting them, I'd knock their bloody patronising whiskers off if I could.  It's like they don't realise how important I am.  Nanny comes in with uncle 2 which takes my mind off the cats.  Nanny is very well trained and plays very well with a ball.

6pm.  The daddy one finally gives me some dinner.  This is late, I am going to have to write a comment in his personnel file.  To punish them, and check they have kept up with the training I choke myself on some pappadum.  The mummy one responds quickly - she has earned a gold star.  The daddy one just sits there looking frightened.  Pillock.  If he doesn't buck his ideas up I may need to look for a new daddy one.

7pm.  Time to go home.  I am getting tired so tell the daddy one to warm the car up.  Everybody insists on giving me a kiss, it can get tiresome but when in a position of power you do have a certain responsibility to the servants.  The daddy one redeems himself somewhat with some excellent fetching of the ball.  However, I do decide to give him a final warning by leaving him a particularly ripe present in my underwear to clean up.  Once he has finished he is dismissed with a wave and then one last drink before the mummy one carries me to my bed.  The end of a good day, but I don't know what those two would do if they didn't have me to tell them what to do.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

One small step for Henry

Henry is now upwardly mobile!  And my word the transition from a few faltering steps to crossing the room to fall into the arms of a parent happens quickly.  It has amazed me how quickly this skill gathers momentum.  And with it, it is time for another attack of parental paranoia:

Pack away the ornaments! (we haven't)
Rubberise sharp corners! (errr...haven't done that either)
Get everything off the floor! (ummm...nope)
Protect the eyeline!  (oh dear, this is beginning to get embarrassing)

Friends have warned us that walking changes things.  But friends also warned us that crawling changed things.  And I am sure talking will change things.  As with all of parenting, in my opinion, the most important thing you can do is listen and then apply what makes sense to you.  All people have ideas about how things should be done, and some of those ideas are great.  However, you know you and your child better than they do, so not all the ideas will work.  The trick is to sieve out the ones that will and use them.  The joys of each stage of development have always outweighed the challenges.  I am sure the same will be true of walking.  Already one of my deepest pleasures in life is his hand reaching for a finger to clasp as he explores his world.

I will be honest, we have always had a fairly laissez-faire attitude to parenting Henry.  He has been allowed a fair amount of independent exploration which has brought him into contact with a fair amount of non-toys.  In fact, until recently, he had very few toys and was generally entertained by a box of cardboard tubes, empty bottles and the odd pan and utensil.  What has become really noticeable for me is the joy he experiences in the simple things of life.  There is nothing like a baby (do I need to stop calling him a baby now?  Is he officially a toddler?  I appear to have lost that chapter from my baby manual) to remind you of what is important.  Happiness is a bird in the sky, a ball, a game of chase between mummy and daddy, a bath, bubbles, drinking from a cup, holding a hand, singing a song and walking around the garden.

It is not doing the dishes, putting away clothes, tidying up.  I very often get caught up in things that I perceive as needing to be done and forget that they will wait but my baby boy is disappearing while I am not looking.  With all things there is a balance to be struck, but Emily and Henry are helping to pull me back from missing out on him.

Now I need some rest as in the morning there will be birds to scream at and pots to bang.