Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Spanish Inquisition

We've been away for a week in Spain, near Girona, with Eurocamp. We were staying in a static caravan type thing, which was exactly the same layout as the one we stayed in last year in France. It was a little odd walking into it. We'd paid extra for air-con and a deck this year, and the extras were worth it. Yes, it's all a little unadventurous, but it's enough of an adventure taking a 6 month old and 2.5 year old on a plane so stop having a go, OK?

Last year, ThingOne was 20 months old when we went to France, and she got so much out of the holiday and came on a lot. By the end of the holiday she knew her colours, was better at climbing steps, could count to ten, and had many more words. Things are different with a 32 month old. I was wondering what had made the biggest impression on her this year and realised what it was when I heard her tell her mum:

"Daddy and me saw some dog poo. We didn't go in it."

Welcome to toddlerdom. Seeing some dog poo seems to have affected her profoundly, and now whenever she sees a dog in real life or a book, she proclaims whether or not the dog is pooing, has ever pooed, or will be pooing soon. It's very very rewarding as a parent to have opened her eyes to dog poo.

ThingOne had a great time. She has been overusing one particular word though, and it's been driving me mad.

As an illustration of this, here's a transcript of a conversation I had with her one afternoon as we hunted a for Geocache ('Treasure') near the campsite with the aid of a GPS receiver:

ThingOne: "Are we near the treasure yet?"
Stephen: "No, we'll be there in about ten minutes."
L: "Why?"
S: "Why what?"
L: "Why is it ten minutes?"
S: "Because I know where the treasure is, and it's going to take us ten minutes to get there."
L: "Why?"
S: "Because it is."
L: "Why?"
S: "Why what?"
L: "Why is it?"
S: "Because it's a kilometre away, and it takes us about ten minutes to walk a kilometre. I know it's a kilometre away because the GPSr, into which I've punched the coordinates of the treasure, tells me so."
L: "Why ten minutes?"
S: "It's an average based on experience ThingOne."
L: "Why?"
S: "It just is. Please stop saying 'Why?' ThingOne."
L: "Why?"
S: "Because it's driving me spare."
L: "Why?"
S: "Why what?"
L: "Why it drive you spare?"
S: "It's the repetition. It's starting to really grate."
L: "Why?"

Lesson: Don't get embroiled. Escape with your sanity while you can.

ThingTwo had a great time on holiday too, largely because she's now able to move herself around (by dragging, with occasional crawling) and got to try to eat our shoes, our toes, sand, door mats, books and anything else you could care to leave lying around.

Being away has been really good for Anne's and my relationships with the girls. I got to spend more time with ThingTwo (I'm usually on toddler duty). She's really got a personality now and has a really sunny disposition. Having a newborn was odd after being used to a two year old, since the newborn inevitably seems a bit boring. At six months though ThingTwo's really starting to be more fun. Anne got to have a lot of fun time with ThingOne rather than having to be the one doling out discipline and setting boundaries. At home it tends to be weekend-Dad who tends to get to do most of the fun stuff, and gets to say 'Yes' more than her mum does during the week.

Poor ThingOne is starting to understand that ThingTwo being on the move could be bad for ThingOne's dominance of the house. Seeing ThingOne chased around the room by a 6 month old who's after her toys is very comical. Poor ThingOne has some shocks to come.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe how much you write about your kids Stephen - it makes me feel ashamed. (About not writing enough about my kids). Great to hear the holiday was a success though. Eurocamping rules. We didn't get to go this year :-(

Stephen said...

Don't feel bad Simon. It's just that we love our kids so it's the least we can do.



Lily and Isabel won't thank us for it when they're in their teens and one of their school chums finds this blog on the Neural Web.