Dearest Little Z at 3 years and 8 months

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Hello Little Z,

I may have completely forgotten to do your monthly update till today. It’s not my fault, or entire routine has gone out the window during these summer holidays and it’s been one lazy fun filled week after another. I don’t think you’re going to be that keen to go back to pre-school. Or a decent bed time! You’re now 3 years and 8 months and I suppose we should start gearing up for your 4th birthday. Its ages yet though. 4 months is ages and still very much in 3 so I’ll just stay in denial for a tiny bit longer.

We’ve had some fun trips out including one last week to Eureka. You loved it so much I had to physically try to drag you out of there to no avail. We eventually made it to the car with you clinging to one of my legs. Your Daddy really wants to go now too. I’m not sure how I’ll ever get the two of you out of there.

This month you’ve really loved entertaining us with your newest type of chatter; that of story telling. You insist all day long that one of us should tell you a story and, amazingly, you will sit sill for ages wide eyed and listen to us make up stories on the spot. You love having a go yourself too and every story starts “Once upon a time” and off your imagination goes into all sorts of weird and wonderful directions.

We are slightly concerned that you have somehow learnt all about the concept of death. We have no idea where you have picked it up from and we’re pretty sure neither CBeebies nor Nick Jr. ever really talks about it. You now incorporate someone’s death into your stories but they’re usually ok again within the next breath which is a relief. It sounds a bit eery for someone so small to be talking about death so anytime you want to stop doing it is fine by us.

A bit of a scary thing happened the other day when you were sat in my lap rubbing your eye. I noticed a bit of blood on the back of your hand and then noticed your eye was bloody. Reacting in shock made you burst into tears as we tried to examine the inside of your bleeding eye whilst whisking you off to urgent care. It was a bit freaky looking at you crying bloody tears but thankfully it’s meant to be a common thing that happens when children run their eyes a bit too hard. A 4 hour wait later we wearily trundled back home again and collapsed into bed feeling a bit daft. Still. Bloody eyes are a bit scary. You’re enjoying telling people about your time in the waiting room though, particularly the tale of one drunken man who needed to be pinned down by 4 policemen. Not something a 3 year old sees everyday. It took about an hour to calm him down and you spent a bit of time with your hands over your ears to block out his shouting.

It feels like the calm before the storm at the moment. The next few months will be filled with your uncles wedding, a trip up to Scotland and some more hopefully exciting things that are in the process of being sorted. It could mean a pretty different 2015 so it’s all a bit daunting right now. We’re handling it by …errr…mostly ignoring it all really which is an excellent tactic in my book. What shall be shall be eh!

So until next time, I shall leave you with a few of my fave pics of Eureka. No doubt next month I will be panicking about all the last minute wedding arrangement. Mmwah!

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Things I’ve Learnt In My Thirties

As I turn “mid thirties” today I’ve realised that you kind of just mentally stop aging once you reach your twenties. You just become older and try to fluke and discover your way through life. In fact, they should just scrap the thirties and have you just go through the 20s all over again. So as I turn 35 25 today, these are some of the things I’ve learnt in my thirties..twenties..ok thirties..bah.

1. Your life plan becomes somewhat fuzzy. Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, a wife, a mum to 3, a bank worker, an internationally travelling business woman of some sort. I’m a wife, a mum to one and a nationally travelling woman of the IT sort. I’m not sure what should come next. I’m not too fussed either.

2. Your metabolism slows down. Really really slows down. In fact I think it’s just switched off. I’ve had to start exercising and eating in moderation. What the heck? Stoopid metabolism.

3. I will probably be completely grey by 40 if my current observations are anything to go by. As a teen I would dye my hair fantastic colours, desperate to get it looking anything but black. I am now desperate to get it looking just black.

4. I never saw myself living in a teeny tiny sleepy town and liking it. I was always going to be the girl that lived in the modern funky apartment on the doorstep of all the big brand shops and coffee places. I now live on a tiny street where the average age is about 50, my direct neighbours are in their 80s and a very lovely kind boy does the entire streets lawn and paper round. And I love it.

5. It took me to my thirties to realise how beautiful Yorkshire is. I’ve been driving through all the towns this summer on a little discovery of it all. When we sell our house it’s going to be described on right move as “on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales”. We have no intention of moving though.

6. I probably will never stop wanting to achieve everything. I don’t think you can “have it all” and the balance between career, motherhood, personal aspirations is not really a balance at all. It’s a massive juggling act that is likely to last for another 10 years at least. It’s probably good to realise that. It’s also probably good to try anyway. Because you never know.

7. I need to see New York before I’m 40. I plan to runaway to it at 39 if there’s no sight of it before then. I need to latch on Las Vegas and maybe San Francisco onto that trip.

8. I used to think Far East Asia was pretty but not really for me. I was so wrong. It’s an amazing part of the world with a fantastic mix of traditional and modern. I’d love to go back one day.

9. It doesn’t matter where in the world your friends or family are. It really is a small world and the wonders of modern technology will keep you sniggering like a teen pretty much daily.

10. You really do stop caring what people think and just do what you like (mostly). Life really is too short. I’d shake the worrying 14 year old me if I had a time machine.

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But I Dont Want To Sit In A High Chair

Having a child that thinks dinner, lunch and anything else involving any kind of food is a complete waste of time is a bit challenging when we’re out and about. To Little Z, life should all be about fun and running and playing with toys. Food doesn’t feature on that list at all. Meat is bad. Veg is bad. Pulses are bad. Fish fingers and pasta are ok. And fruit is amazing. Yep…fruit. Bizarrely he absolutely loves fruit and my parents regularly joke about how a meat loving pair have ended up with a seemingly veggie child.

Little Z has always been on the skinny side and, like any good medal deserving parent, I’ve always taken full advantage of this when it comes to high chairs. We found he fit into a lot of the bigger toddler ones for quite a while and would speedily whisk him into one as soon as we enter a restaurant. He’d happily get distracted by the crayons and colouring sheets for a while before realising he couldn’t escape. We were happy and he was happy (mostly).

Then over the last few months he’s suddenly had a few growth spurts and the day came when we realised he would have to sit in a proper chair. With no belt. With complete freedom in sight. With the capacity to shoot off in any direction a 3 year old wants to. His little face lights up each time we visit somewhere. As if he’s scanning the proximity of the place quickly go get his bearings of what will be his new playground. With a cautious “I don’t want to sit in a high chair” thrown our way. As if to check. A smile on his face as we tell him he can sit on a proper chair.

Uh oh.

The first few times was spent trying to persuade a squirmy eager boy to sit still as we made lame threats and promises of no ice cream / lots of ice cream / new toy / no toy. Then came the “that waiter is looking” trick which worked for a while. Then came the chasing him about whilst trying to eat and relax and not play a bickering tag team game with the hubby phase. I don’t think this this last phase ever ends.

And after months of scooping him up
repeatedly has come a handful of outings where he’s sat down (mostly!) through the entire meal. And entertained himself and us through non stop chatter and stories. He only lasts till about dessert time but I will take that as a complete success. Could it be?

Little Z has learnt how to sit still?

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Weddings with a 3 year old

The past few summers (and winters) in my family have all centred around family weddings. Being one of approximately 20 cousins is likely to do that and we have become pretty efficient and expert at planning a wedding really quickly. Little Z is starting to think weddings are a normal kind of outing as they seem to be occurring at least three or more times a year. This weekend was one of those times and we all went about falling into our normal roles of co-ordinating, greeting guests and unsuccessfully manning the sweet table. Throw in an excited 3 year old Little Z trying to turn a large wedding hall into his very own obstacle course and you know you’re in for a pretty interesting evening.

These were the highlights attending a wedding with a 3 year old…

1. The realisation that Little Z was no longer going to fit into any kind of high chair and needs a “proper chair”. Cue fears of him escaping approximately every 2 minutes.

2. Deciding it would be easier to just watch him run around the hall rather than trying to get him to sit in one place for the entire evening. Also mentally concluding his clothes have an expiry date of that same evening as he proceeds to slide about on the floor and do some kind of body surf thing.

3. Realising he needs chasing frequently each time he tried to leg it through the double doors. Also realising running in high heels repeatedly is not that comfy.

4. Shooing him away from the sweet table display whilst his mouth is gradually turning blue from the pinching of blue bon bons. Knowing this means he will now be on turbo charge till the end of the night.

5. Spending ages persuading 3 year old Little Z that the food is really nice and that he can’t only eat cucumber for the entire meal. Giving up fairly quickly with the coaxing and asking the waiter if he’s able to bring more cucumbers out. Then watching the waiter discuss said request with another waiter and have both look at you blankly. Repeat request when asked if in fact I want just a plate of cucumbers. Err yes. Please.

6. Try to persuade Little Z out from under the table as he discovers it is the most fun ever. Ever. Lure him out with cucumbers. With waiters still all looking a bit confused.

7. Get ready for round 2 of chasing him around the hall. Pull silent shouty faces at husband from across the hall which clearly mean “my feet are killing me and I want to eat my dessert”.

8. Switch on a dazzling instant smile for all the family pics. And try to grab a sprinting Z as he runs dangerously close past the bride and grooms very nice outfits.

9. Last about 95% of the wedding before starting the “I’ve already chased him 5 times, it’s your turn” bickering with the hubby.

10. Watch Little Z zonk out from his very fun evening, just before he asks if we can go to a wedding tomorrow too.

Sweeties

Sweeties!

Weddings with a 3 year old

sweeties!

Weddings with a 3 year old

Weddings with a 3 year old

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Eid, Birthdays and Weddings

After a long month of fasting it was once again time to celebrate Eid, the day which marks the end of 29 or 30 days of fasting upon the sighting of a new moon. I won’t lie. The days were long and some days were tiring in the heat but there’s a always a brilliant kind of togetherness and bonding that always emerges out of this month. In my family, in contrast to the calm month, Eid is always a crazy affair. We always end up rushing around the inlaws, friends and then my family to see everyone. The food is always pretty awesome and it’s always great to try to talk to everyone all at once, a bit too loudly and watch the kids go slightly nuts.

Little Z is always slightly dubious and shy at the huge family gatherings. Everyone simultaneously trying to say hello to him and commenting on how he’s grown since the last time always has him burrowing his face into one of our laps. He eventually gets into the swing of things and throws himself into all the festivities.

As a close cousin gets married in a couple of weeks, and two others turn 18, it was an ideal time to help out with last minute favour box packing and having some very birthday cake. It was like Zs most perfect day ever. These are just some of the reasons why…

1) Stealing Grandmas walking stick in order to swing it about and pretend it was some kind of sword. It had to be confiscated after he started swinging it around his head for fear of kneecapping guests.

2) Hearing whispers of a surprise birthday cake, promptly getting very excited and then announcing to everyone that everyone was going to have a party. One of his many grandmas tried to persuade him several times to keep it very very quiet.

3) Eventually realising the birthday cake was a secret and annoying loudly to a few people that there was birthday cake but it was a SECRET.

4) Having a turn at blowing out candles on the birthday cake after the surprised pair of 18 year olds.

5) Entertaining a small group of 50 something adults with a story of how his Nani fell down a mountain. I’m not sure where or how he’s come up with that one. I need to have a think about mountain related CBeebies programmes.

6) Trying to eat as much cake as he could as a substitute for proper food.

7) Finally making peace with the neighbourhood cat after being scratched by one a year ago on holiday. Then not leaving it alone.



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