Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And this is why I chose not to be a burglar

It wasn't too late when I went to bed last night, but when I did Anne was already asleep. I snuck into our bedroom so as not to wake her. I'm thoughtful like that. She'd turned the lights off, which would turn out to be her undoing.

I took my cuff-links off and went to put them in my box of cuff-links on top of my chest of drawers. In doing so I knocked over a china bowl that was on there. It's a bowl full of coins, and I've no idea why it's there. I use it to dump my 1ps and 2ps in to lighten my pockets, but I'm sure I didn't put the bowl there in the first place.

Coppers poured over the glass surface. It wasn't quiet. I fumbled to stop the noise, tipping more coins onto the glass. I realised that the only way to stop the noise was to not move. I stood as still as a statue.


What was that? Why, a bouncy ball of course. A bouncy ball had been in the bowl I knocked over and must have been rolling about on top of my chest of drawers as I tried to stop the noise. It then rolled off and bounced across the room. Loudly.

My efforts to be silent as a mouse had been thwarted by Anne's careless turning off of the lights.

Rather than apologising to me, Anne was annoyed and tutted as she woke up. She should be grateful I hadn't accidentally turned on the robot brass band on the other side of the room.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ThingTwo du jour

I realise I've not blogged much about how ThingTwo's getting on. I wrote a fair bit about ThingOne in her first couple of years, but I guess it was all a bit novelty for us. I should write more about ThingTwo.

So here's a status update about Smallest. She's 20 months old. She's (mostly) always been a happy soul, but since she started walking she's been a little delight. Very cheeky, and much more naughty than ThingOne was.

ThingOne would soon learn what she was allowed to touch and what she wasn't. It didn't mean we could trust her 100% but she was pretty good about things. ThingTwo's been harder to control. Like ThingOne she soon learns what she's allowed to investigate and what she's not, but is much more likely to sneak off and have a fiddle anyway. She'll go for the DVD player or the amp, whereas ThingOne never touched these. She'll even do it when you're in the room and will look at you with a cheeky look as she switches the DVD player on. Little sod!

ThingTwo's speech hasn't come on that far yet. By this age ThingOne was speaking pretty well, counting, learning colours, and lots more. ThingTwo, in contrast, barely strings words together. She understands loads though and can usually get her message across without a problem. This frequently involves telling us she'd like some raisins, but she does also like reporting things to us. Through her own made up sign language and a few words, for example, she'll tell Anne that she was in her cot and Daddy came to get her, took her out of her sleeping bag, and then banged his head. Pretty clever stuff.

It's not surprising Child Number One was quicker to learn to speak. ThingOne got much more one-on-one attention. We spoke directly to ThingOne at her level loads. ThingTwo's had her share of attention, but spends a lot of time observing and playing with ThingOne rather than interacting directly with Anne and me.

Is this unfair on ThingTwo? Has she got the poorer deal? In some ways I suppose, but it's swings and roundabouts and she also gets some big advantages that ThingOne never had. She's exposed to things a lot earlier than ThingOne. She certainly got chocolate earlier than ThingOne. We'd never have shown ThingOne a cartoon with a dragon attacking someone at 18 months, but ThingTwo will see whatever ThingOne's watching on TV. She's also got the huge advantage of having a big sister to play with and idolise. ThingOne didn't get that (obviously). She learns loads by copying ThingOne, and ThingOne knows it. ThingOne frequently tries to get her little sister to do things she knows she'd get in trouble for doing, like pouring a bowl of water out of the bath and onto the floor. When ThingOne's in a compliant mood however she can also be a great influence on ThingTwo.

This also works the other way. Sometimes ThingOne, who may have become set in her ways, will see ThingTwo do something she herself hasn't done and give it a go. We couldn't get ThingOne to eat any sauces for ages, but ThingTwo's love of any sauce has widened ThingOne's palette and made pasta a much more interesting dish (she's always liked it, but would previously eat it dry).

ThingTwo still has very little hair, which has meant she's stayed baby-like for a long time. It's with mixed feelings we can see her turning, slowly, into a little girl. I imagine, with ThingOne's influence, she'll grow up faster than ThingOne did once she gets to a certain age. ThingOne's got ThingTwo to keep her interested in baby things, whereas ThingTwo will be pulled towards older things by her sister.

It's good for us to stop and take stock of where she's at every now and then. If ThingOne's anything to go by things move pretty quickly and can easily get away from you. We've applied for a school for ThingOne to go to next September already. How did it get to this stage already?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Please dispose of responsibly

Our new blue recycling bin arrived yesterday...


Always good to pass on my knowledge and experience to the next generation.