The ducks don’t work – wot so funee?

We’ve had a bit of a break from wot so funee? posts over Easter and then last week when all I blogged about nappies for Resuable Nappy Week. As I’m getting back to normal on the blog this week, it seems only right to write up the best of the funees from the past few weeks.

I’ve written before about thhe fact that Andrew says yesterday for anything in the past and tomorrow for anything in the future. Fair enough, he’s a bit young still to be understanding the concept of weeks, months etc. But recently he’s had a thing about saying “this year”, which I think is related to when we explain to him that this year he is 3, but next year he will be 4. So we’ve had: “It’s quite a sunny day this year” and “I want Granny and Grandad to come home this year” – I presume he’s just thinking logically that it must mean ’now’, from when we say it, though he does know ’today’ and mainly uses that but ’this year’ creeps in too.

We quite often go to the local park on bin day, which, apart from being a pain to get the buggy through the gap between wheelie bins and garden fences on the pavement, means we get a running commentary on what the bins are like from our little chatterbox. He has quite rightly noticed that some are smaller than others on one particular road that we walk along – “Those are children bins and those are grown-up bins!” Yes that’s right Andrew, a whole family of bins line up on this street every Monday morning!

When we were on holiday with his four grandparents, Andrew was keen to do lots of activities with them. This included wanting to take some pictures with Grandad’s camera. As Grandad knelt down to take a photo of a pretty flower in the park, Andrew asked “Can I have a do?” No that isn’t a typo – he asked for a do rather than a go. Which to be fair to him, makes total sense, because taking photos is something that we ‘do’ rather than ‘go’ anywhere with. He hasn’t quite grasped the phrase ‘to have a go’, where ‘go’ is a noun not a verb like he’s used to.

Having studied several other languages, I’ve often thought that I’m glad I learned English natively as a child – it’s just so full of irregularities and peculiarities! We take it for granted as adult speakers of a language that we know these, but they can be really confusing to a learner, whether child or adult. One of these irregularities Andrew demonstrated perfectly when we were feeding the ducks and other birdlife down at the shores of Derwent Water on holiday…

Adult (I can’t remember who exactly): Look there are geese and ducks here Andrew.

Andrew: Aha!

A few minutes later….

Me: Watch that goose! Don’t go too close to him, he looks nasty!

Andrew: It’s not a goose, it’s a geese!

Me: I know, that’s so confusing!

And I proceeded to try and explain that it was one goose and two/three/more geese. Stupid English!

Then there was the time on another day of our holiday that he toddled off with Grandad to go and feed the ducks some duck food that we’d bought earlier in the week. We were between Rydal Water and Grasmere next to a small river that had a few ducks hanging around on it. But when they came back, Andrew was most disappointed because the ducks there didn’t want any of his special food: “the ducks don’t work here!” I mean come on, what were they playing at? Surely any self-respecting duck would want to eat some food wielded by an enthusiastic 3 year old, wouldn’t they?

As I’ve written before, no wot so funee? post would be complete without a foodie funee or two. Both boys would probably say that pasta is their favourite food. Joel can’t talk yet, though he’s very into signing at the moment, but the non-verbal cues that he gives me are very clear, i.e. shove it in fistfuls at a time until his cheeks are stuffed like a hamster and he can’t chew it down fast enough! I whipped up a quick pasta and cheese dish one lunchtime, like I often do (to call it a ‘dish’ is a little OTT, it’s just pasta mixed with grated cheese until it melts). Andrew was very impressed with what I served up in front of him, and when he tried to pick some up with his fork, a big clump of pasta came up with the fork: “Look, the pasta is cheesing together!” I thought that was quite an ingenious way of describing it actually.

Andrew has been a bit fussy with fruit and veg recently, though he did eat 4 pears today – he has a bit of a thing about this fruit, he gets his 5 a day, it’s just almost all pear! But I’m trying to be persistent with raisins on his breakfast cereal, which he used to always have until he got fussy with it a few weeks ago. So I asked the usual one morning…

Me: Would you like some raisins Andrew?

Andrew: No, I don’t like the dead ones!

Right…. wot so funee about that?

Wot So Funee?

Derwent water & Friars Cragg – #CountryKids

Well we’ve made it up to the lovely Lake District for our annual Easter holiday here. Since our journey in the car was quite long yesterday, especially for the boys and an even longer one for Grandma and Pop who came all the way from Devon, we decided that a quiet day walking from home rather than going in the car was in order for us all. So we headed off into Keswick town centre, just 10 minutes walk from the house. We had a look at the market, looked in a few shop windows – including the Peter Rabbit shop, and then wandered down to the lake – Derwent Water – just beyond the town centre. We walked through Hope Park on the way, and found a special path over a stream with stepping stones.

Keswick Collage 1

There are lots of ducks, geese and swans that congregate on the shore at the top of the lake. Luckily for them, we’d taken some food and the boys started throwing food for them to eat, being careful of the slightly menacing-looking swan. The ducks didn’t seem too bothered, but I guess they are well fed by all the tourists who go to feed them every day. Joel seemed more interested in the water and the boats, whilst Andrew was concerned with the bird-life, walking up to ducks and giving them food. I remember he did similar last year, and couldn’t understand why the ducks ran away from him as he tried to walk up to them and get close to feed them. Some things never change!

Keswick Collage 2

As we walked on further, Andrew started to get tired, he had walked all the way from home so it wasn’t bad going, so he hopped up into his sling. Meanwhile Joel was happy to stay down from his sling where he’d been since we left home until arriving at the lake, and he had more of a walk along the lakeside. After a few more minutes walk, we came to Friars Cragg, a rocky outcrop into the lake, where you get amazing views over Derwent Water and the surrounding fells. The land here and other areas around the lake are owned by the National Trust, so they are well maintained and great to walk in. The weather wasn’t brilliant, but I quite like the scenery with threatening clouds, it still looks beautiful.

Keswick Collage 3

After we’d admired the views and taken a few photos, both boys got into their slings and we heeded back into town. Granny and Grandma kindly offered to buy Andrew something from the National Trust gift shop – a bouncy caterpillar and a sticker book. We walked back through Hope Park again, and tried to go in the cafe there but it was full! So we headed to another cafe in town that has a handy toy corner, which the boys really enjoyed in between sips of drink and mouthfuls of yummy shortbread biscuit.

Keswick Collage 4

On our way back home, we had more of a look at the market and bought a few bits and bobs between us. The boys were well and truly shattered and we’d all had a good lot of fresh air, so after some warming soup for lunch, we had a restful afternoon, before heading back out to the park with Andrew’s bike later in the afternoon. He rode it almost all the way back from the park on his own, no hands from Daddy, so he’s definitely got more confidence and won’t be going back to the balance bike now.

Linking up as usual with the fab #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill’s lovely blog

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A walk by the river – #CountryKids

I love the location of where we currently live – we can walk into Cambridge city centre in about half an hour (if Andrew goes all the way on the buggy board and we don’t get stuck behind tourists walking at ‘tourist’ pace!), the supermarkets are just 10-15 minutes walk, there are plenty of toddler groups within 20 minutes walk…. and also in just 5 minutes we can walk from home in a definite urban setting to a lovely rural environment with cows in a field next to the River Cam.

There is a round-trip walk from our flat, which goes along this river and across a common, and is perfect for an afternoon stroll with a baby and toddler – since having kids I’ve walked this route so many times that I can’t remember how many, either getting them off to sleep as babies or wearing Andrew (and soon Joel) out as a toddler. This week I took some photos to show what we see on our way round. Andrew is easy to spot with his pink buggy which he likes to push around the circuit, and I find it keeps him walking/running longer than if he doesn’t take it.

Walk 1

After a short walk up the road and down an alley, we come out, across a cattle grid for bikes, into a field that often has cows in (they rotate the exact bits of common that they graze on, so aren’t always in the same place). The river is at the far side, in a dip, so you can’t see it until you get closer, though if the rowers are out, we see 9 heads moving at high speed across the far end of the field! (8 rowers, 1 cox.)

Walk 2

Part of the fun of walking through this bit of field, down towards the river, is looking out for trains that pass along on the left side and go across a bridge over the river. As it’s the main line out of Cambridge, we regularly see several trains on one walk. As we get nearer the river, we can look down stream towards an old village called Fen Ditton, which we can also walk to if we go that way. Most of the time we carry on with the river on our right though, and head towards Cambridge centre.

After going under the railway bridge on a pedestrian and cycle boardwalk over the river, we come to an enclosed field with 2 horses in it. We usually stop and say hello to the horses, who are friendly – so much so that this week one of them decided to lick our buggy rain cover!

walk 3

Navigating the cattle grids (for bikes) with a buggy can be fun, though we’re getting to the stage that Andrew can almost walk the whole route and I take Joel in the sling, so I’m looking forward to not needing wheels (except maybe Andrew’s bike) for this outing! Once we’ve got through these grids, there is another field in which the path goes right next to the river, and more cows often graze there. Other animals about include plenty of ducks and some swans, as well as several dogs being walked/run in the field.

Apart from dodging cows and dogs, if we walk there towards the end of the afternoon, particularly on a Friday as we did when I took these photos, we also have to dodge the many bikes that speed home from town along the path. It’s not really a problem as the path is so wide, but I do find I need my wits about me when walking with a lively toddler, pushing a buggy, and also when the cows are standing on or near the path.

walk 4

The other mode of transport that we see lots of in this stretch of river is boats. There are house boats, canal boats and, of course, rowing boats – sometimes just single or double, and at the weekend often the 8 rowers plus cox boats (most of the college training happens early in the morning except at weekends, and although we’re up early, we don’t often make it down to the river until later in the day!)

walk 5

When we get to the foot bridge over the river, we go the other way (not crossing the river) and walk towards the park, and if we have time we stop for a play. Even if Andrew is starting to flag from walking at this point, he always seems to have enough energy for the park. Then it’s just a 10 minute walk back along the road home again.

We love being able to do this walk and never get bored of it and the views that we get on the way. We’ve walked it in all seasons: snow, rain, wind and sunshine. When we eventually move from here one day, we’ll miss this walk a lot.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall