5 months

It’s been another busy month since the last blog post – a wedding, a trip to In The Night Garden Live, a day trip to Leeds for me for yummy food with my best friend VPM, play dates, Robinson Crusoe at the cinema, friends visiting and board games (I finally won a SdJ game!!!!) and a fair bit of sunshine so lots of playing outside!

A2 is changing really really quickly, learning lots of new things and developing physically. She has nailed back-to-front rolling and can spin around on her tummy so everything is within reach nearly and she’s starting to pull her knees up underneath her and shunt forwards a bit too. She’s really exploring things with her hands (and mouth!) now and doing brilliantly at holding objects, having a look at them and passing them between her hands.  She’s started to sit up more independently and she really enjoys playing with A1. She always breaks out a big smile when you sing and dance (unless that’s just laughing AT me!), she really enjoys bath time and peekaboo is a guaranteed laugh generator!  She’s started making some new sounds too – there’s definitely a slight sing song sound at times and today some ‘nah’ sounds and you can see her using her tongue when she’s making noises.  All very lovely, though much less so at 3.30am when she is practising all of these things and happily ‘chatting’ and ‘singing’ away and pulling and chewing my hair and rolling over and getting stuck!

Sleep is…. broken at night time but we have some better nights and some worse ones.  A2 is now the first one awake so she usually gets a full body stroking session when she wakes up to help keep her quiet and not wake A1 up.  It’s hard to say much about naps as the days when A1 is at nursery are very different to the days when he’s at home as I can (happily!) let her sleep on me for hours on nursery days but she often has her naps in the car or sling on non-nursery days and when she doesn’t, A1 sometimes thinks its funny to shout lots and/or try and jump on her……

As for A1, he continues to grow and change and challenge us.  We went to a wedding at the start of August and I felt like we had the most badly behaved child there as he was just so loud and energetic.  He loved going on the fire engine which came though, even though he said no when I asked if he wanted to go on it!  Mr.J got to jet off to New York afterwards so I drove back from Cambridge with both kids and thought long and hard about what I could do to make A1’s life (and all of ours!) easier. I’ve been working on a few things – less TV, more positive parenting and managing my own expectations of a 2y 8mo – loud and energetic is normal!  I confess that I told him the TV was broken and could only show sports (it was the Olympics after all!).  He accepted this fairly readily but does ask to watch things still and at times I have been able to fix it temporarily – particularly when A2 has been asleep and needs him not to jump on her.  On the whole, he has been happier and a bit easier to handle.  He still runs off at will at lightning speed so we need to work on that for safety reasons but until then he’s keeping me fit!
He’s moved to a new room at nursery and has a new key worker and transitioned very quickly.  I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or if it’s related but he has started to say he’s scared; at night time we often have monsters in the house, he doesn’t like moving around the house in the dark and he hasn’t liked loud noises recently.  When the smoke alarm went off last week he put his hands on his ears and rushed as far away as he could.  We’re trying to be as reassuring as we can and not encourage him to tell us how he feels but it makes me and each instance is usually pretty short lived.  He also has sore knees a lot at the moment but that’s pretty genuine as he’s got a few grazes!
He is still very kind and loving though; when I bring A2 downstairs and dressed he says, ‘Oh, A2, you look beautiful!’ and he gives her a lovely kiss and a cuddle before bedtime every night.  I showed him how to tickle her gently and say ‘beep’ when he pushed her nose and she laughed at him and he thought that was brilliant.  He was asking me about eyes a few weeks ago and said (pointing to my eyebrow) ‘What’s this banana hair?’. I think he must have said banana because it was curvy.  He told us he wanted to be a grown up so that he could be a chef and cut his own fingernails this week and when he grows up he wants to be as tall as a house! He also loves having his hair done at nursery when other children have had theirs done.  He’s come home with a bobble in and with a clip in so we bought him some of his own and he wore them all the other day!  I’m also really proud of him because he walked around about 3/4 of Damflask reservoir at the weekend – that’s about 2 miles I think.
Parenting is definitely not all fun and they’re both really (really!) hard work at times but once they’re both asleep and we look at the photos we’ve taken or talk about the cute things they did that day, we feel incredibly lucky and more and more so as they interact with each other more.  They loved the paddling pool together last week, and doing ‘row,row,row your boat’ and they’re already starting roughhousing!!  A1 is really looking forward to our family holiday next week and can’t wait to build sandcastles and go swimming.  I can’t wait too!

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