Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dancing (Drama) Queen

The other morning ThingOne had us both in stitches while dancing around the back room to Part Of That World, a song from The Little Mermaid. At one particular point ("...why does it...what's the word?...BURN.") she added a dramatic flourish from the movie by throwing her head back.

Anne said "We are NOT paying for the little drama queen to go to stage school - she can dream on." I didn't think she needed to be taught any more about showing off for an audience.

A few days later she was doing it again so I made a short video.

She made us stand in the kitchen, and told us off when we dared enter the back room to get a better view as she disappeared out of the door.

She then gave us an extra treat by twirling at the end of the song. The song ends quite slowly so she had to do more twirling that she probably anticipated, leading to a particularly graceful finish...

(Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mV8H6VWUGs if you can't see the embedded version.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This parenting lark

Well, it ain't really over until Anne returns at 11pm tonight, but with both girls in bed my three days of looking after them alone while Anne goes to a conference in Wales is effectively over.

Spoke too soon of course - ThingTwo's banging around upstairs now and I may have to leave my laptop and G&T soon to settle her. I'll give her a few mins to see if she can sort herself out.

Let's take stock.

Children at start of weekend: 2
Children at end of weekend: 2

Sucessful visits to granny's house to entertain kids and give dad a hand: 1

Essential things left at my mum's house: 1. ThingOne's rabbit clock. Had tears when ThingOne found out, and will be more tears from Anne and me if this means ThingOne's up too early. Must get it back soon.

Visits to shopping centre to meet children's TV character ThingOne was confused and mostly nonplussed by: 1

Treats including party rings and chocolate used to get the kids on my side: Lost count

Cups of water dropped on floor: 1
Cups of water dropped on floor by me: 0

Meals missed: 0
Meals with part forgotten: 1 (who needs potatoes? I gave them some bread and butter when I realised.)

Days where I dressed the girls and their clothes looked like they hadn't been dressed in the dark by a mental: 0 (still, they were at least dressed)

Examples of simultaneous multi-tasking and child neglect: 1. I mowed the lawn while ThingOne watched The Little Mermaid in French, and ThingTwo watched In The Night Garden on the laptop, strapped into her high chair. Not sure how wrong this was of me. Suspect a bit.

Sessions of ThingOne screaming "I want my mummy!": 2 (once at bed time and once when I told her off). Not too bad all things considered.
Sessions of me screaming "I want my Annie!": 0 (out loud)

Serious injuries to kids: 0 (just the usual bumps for ThingTwo - what with her walking into tables and door frames, and ThingOne bashing her, she barely even feels it any more)

Visits to a mini zoo: 1

Picnics next to a river: 1 (the pressure's really going to be on Anne now!)

New skills acquired by ThingOne: 2. I gave her a Cat in the Hat PC program and she's getting pretty good with using the mouse. Also she asked to watch The Little Mermaid DVD with the French soundtrack, so she seems to be teaching herself a language. Show off.

A self-proclaimed victory. Right - I've proved I can do it now. Please can I have my wife back?

(ThingTwo seems to have settled herself. Another victory to Lassez-Faire parenting - as The Little Mermaid might call it.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home alone (with two kids)

Anne has left me.

For three whole days.

She's gone to a conferince in Wales with her work, and suddenly I'm expected to cope with two (count 'em) kids. Yikes.

Anne's never been away from ThingTwo, and I've never been alone with the kids over night. She's really going to miss them (and miss me, I'm sure).

I can relate to how she's feeling. I lent her my iPod Touch so she could pick up emails while she's away. I'm really going to miss it.

I'm taking ThingTwo along to ThingOne's dance class on Saturday morning, and then after that we're going to stay with my mum. For the girls this is a big treat and will hopefully stop them missing their mum too much. For me it's an extra pair of hands.

ThingOne's been really good today, but soon after I put her to bed she was up crying that she wanted her mum. Poor thing. She's being a bit dramatic for the sake of it, but also she doesn't like things to be different.

What's a dad to do to help his girls when their mum's away?

Chocolate for pudding - that's what!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dressing for breakfast

This morning ThingTwo insisted on wearing a hat for breakfast, and ThingOne was not to be outdone.

Anne and I have learned to pick our battles. The fact that you don't see a broom, a teddy and several balloons on the table in the photo below is a sign of at least some victories by the grown ups.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The most wonderfullest visit to the newsagent ever

ThingOne got a bit of a surprise in a newsagent today as she sat on the floor leafing through a new Charlie and Lola magazine. I think I've mentioned before that ThingOne is a big C&L fan, and we think she's not entirely convinced she isn't actually Lola.

Anne found her looking quizically at the photos on the readers' pictures page.

"Is that a boy or a girl?" ThingOne asked.
Anne saw the name was ThingOne and was just about to say that it was a girl when she looked at the photo and recognised it. It was a photo I'd emailed in a month or so ago after ThingOne and I had spent an afternoon making a (very very pink) Charlie and Lola hair salon (my life...)

"Do you know who that is ThingOne?" Anne asked.
"Yes, it's me", said ThingOne, shutting the magazine. Strange little child.

She's so used to seeing photos of herself (and frequently asks for a Picasa slideshow - eg "Please I watch photos from the holiday in France when I was one and a half") that this didn't surprise her much.

Mind you, it says something that even ThingOne couldn't initially work out if the photo was of a girl or a boy. Even now she gets mistaken for a boy by strangers. ThingTwo does too - it's the lack of hair - but that's more understandable at 16 months. Recently ThingOne's refused to wear trousers and insists on wearing dresses or skirts every day, so that's helped.

Now people know she's a girl and Anne and I lament all the nice trousers and tops she has that she won't wear.

Anne bought the magazine once she saw ThingOne was in it.

Anne's away this weekend. What craft project will I end up creating then?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Coming on nicely

ThingTwo's over 15 months old now. She's toddling around happily, pushing teeth out at a fair rate and she adores her big sister. Her big sister seems to be having a few problems coming to terms with the little one growing up and wanting to play with 'her' toys, but we'll conveniently gloss over that.

ThingTwo's a cheery soul most of the time, and I am very very grateful to her for being a pretty good sleeper. Having the second child being a better sleeper than the first seems to me to be a good deal. She very much likes her home and her people (Anne, ThingOne and me), which is nice to know, but can sometimes be grumpy when she goes somewhere without her mum and sister, or when someone (even grannies) visits. She eventually warms to these intuders, but it takes time, and she's not very sublte at showing her annoyance.

She adores teddies (she has her favourites, but isn't really that fussy and any teddy will do in an emergency). If she bangs her head (as she does a lot, given how unsteady she is on her feet) through her tears she cries "Teddy, teddy!" and needs a teddy to cry into. Initially I thought she was calling for me (her "Teddy!" sounds similar to her "Daddy!") but apparently I'm a poor second to a stuffed toy.

In the second photo below you should be able to make out her latest head injury on her right temple. She's a clumsy monkey.





The Wazzark Lantern

ThingOne, Anne and ThingTwo enjoying the final of the current series of The Apprentice.