3 year breastfeeding anniversary

It’s been a loooong time since I last wrote a post on breastfeeding. I’ve been meaning to for a while, but other posts and other things in life have pushed it down my priority list. When Andrew turned 3 a few weeks ago, his birthday marked our 3 year breastfeeding anniversary, and that, I thought, deserved a write up of my thoughts.

Breastfeeding has become so much part of our daily family life that I often don’t think about it, it’s just something we do day in, day out. Not that I want to belittle it, actually it means a lot to me, but it’s certainly not something I stress about like I did in the early weeks, and therefore it doesn’t take up much of my brain space day to day. It’s only when I deliberately reflect on how far we’ve come that I realise just what an achievement it is to be sitting here writing this.

If you haven’t read how our story started, you can find it here. At less than a week old, I was having to supplement Andrew with formula, and in my new-parent-world-just-been-turned-upside-down-with-a-newborn state I had no idea how long we’d be able to carry on breastfeeding. Just getting to 3 weeks seemed like an impossible task, let alone 3 years. But we were blessed with good info from knowledgeable people – Cambridge is a great place to have a baby in terms of volunteer support networks in the early weeks – and a supportive family, and week by week we survived and Andrew began to thrive.

I was particularly grateful to have been shown an SNS (supplemental nursing system) by a specialist midwife in the hospital, and to have been given a new one when we ruined the original in the microwave steriliser – it was a local La Leche League (LLL) leader who rallied around at the weekend to find an ex demo one with a retired midwife colleague of hers. Without this, especially in those crucial first weeks of trying to maximise my milk supply, I know we wouldn’t have carried on anywhere near this long.

Once the hardest struggles were over, by around 6 months into his life, I decided to let him wean when he wanted to, and to my surprise, he was keen to continue even when he was well and truly eating solid foods in the later half of his first year. By his first birthday he was usually breastfeeding twice a day – once first thing in the morning and once just before bed.

Just after Andrew turned 1, and we were celebrating a whole year of breastfeeding, I found out I was pregnant again. As my milk supply had never been great, I was convinced that he would self-wean with the inevitable dwindling of milk production in pregnancy. But again he surprised me, and wanted to still feed up until and beyond Joel’s birth.

Breastfeeding was generally much easier the second time around, because I knew what I was expecting and was fully prepared. Or so I thought, until Joel had jaundice and was a very sleepy baby who needed much more encouragement to feed in the early weeks. But at least I knew who to turn to straight away for useful info and help from personal experience. He soon grew out of the sleepiness and has continued to breastfeed until now, over 1 year into his life. Like Andrew at this age, he usually feeds once first thing and once just before bed each day.

So here I am, still breastfeeding a 3 year old and a 15 month old. Andrew now only has about a minute’s worth of sucking before bed, and to be honest I think it’s just another one of his bedtime stalling tactics, knowing he can get an extra few minutes up with me and out of his room. But I said he could self-wean, and that’s what he will do one day, whatever his reasons currently are for continuing to breastfeed. We have joked that Andrew will probably outrun Joel in his breastfeeding stint, mainly because Joel is going through a biting phase (something that Andrew never did), no doubt linked to teething, and some days I wonder if my yelps will put him off for good. Who knows how long the biting or the breastfeeding will go on, but it’s up to him, with some gentle teaching from me that biting really isn’t on.

BM keepsake

As we were approaching Andrew’s third birthday, I did something that I’ve been contemplating for a while: I bought a Breast Milk Keepsake. Claire, fellow mummy blogger with twin boys just a little younger than Andrew, has figured out a way to take pure breast milk and shape it into beads in various shapes then set them in resin to make pendants and other jewellery. All I had to do was provide 30ml of my milk and choose which design I wanted – I went for 2 stars to represent my boys, on a purple background in a 25mm silver pendant. This is the perfect way to represent the achievement that our breastfeeding journey has been, and I am so pleased with the result. I now have something tangible to remember our years of breastfeeding once they eventually wean, and a pretty piece of jewellery to wear that is also meaningful.

The keepsake arrived on the date that was exactly 3 years since we had to go back into hospital with Andrew and our future of breastfeeding looked bleak. As I held it in my hand and looked back to that day 3 years ago, I couldn’t quite believe how far we’d come and if you’d have said to me then that in 3 years time I’d be holding one of these, I would never have believed you.

Disclaimer: I received no incentive to write about Breast Milk Keepsakes, all opinions expressed are entirely my own and honest

Wot so funee?: guest blogging

If you’re looking for this week’s round up of comic toddlerisms, you’re in the wrong place! But don’t worry, you can find it over on Actually Mummy’s blog – the home of the Wot so funee? linky. We received a kind invitation to write a guest post for them this week, and as there has been the usual abundance of toddler comedy chez nous, I was happy to take up the offer. So take a look over there to get your fix of funees. See you back here soon!

Rocket’s the word – wot so funee?

If you haven’t seen Andrew for a while or haven’t read my recent post on his birthday cake, you may be forgiven for not knowing about his obsession with rockets, more specifically Thunderbirds rockets. And that’s where we start this week’s wot so funee? post, with two examples of his rocket obsession coming out in speech.

One evening we were sitting down to tea, and it was one of his favourites on the table – swirly pasta shapes and bolognese sauce. As if we needed reminding, Andrew exclaimed: “I do like pasta…” followed immediately by “…and I do like rockets!” Of course you do, but what made you think of rockets when pasta was in front of you?! I guess the connection in his mind was the fact that they are both something that he really does like. This brings me to another interesting observation from his speech right now: to emphasise that he likes something, he often says “I do like”, and this sometimes sounds like “I don’t like” if he says it quickly, which can be very confusing.

One of his birthday presents was a bin lorry toy. He really took to this and has played with it a lot since unwrapping it, especially when we ripped up bits of paper and card to act as his ‘rubbish’ to be collected in the bin, which attaches to the back hatch so you can tip it into the lorry, just like a real life one works. Just after he unwrapped it on the evening of his birthday, it was time for tea, so we said he could take it up to the table as a special treat (toys don’t normally accompany us at the dinner table). When it came to pudding, his Thunderbird 3 rocket cake was of course on offer. When he had a slice on his plate, he started to try and put a piece in the toy bin on the lorry, at which point I said: “That cake’s not rubbish!” His rather witty come back was: “No, it’s a rocket!” Very true! And any excuse to get the word rocket into conversation.

We had lots of fun over his birthday weekend, and with both sets of grandparents in the same house Andrew was in his element entertaining them. The toy cash till and food that you ‘cut’ with a knife (because it’s cleverly held together with velcro) which Grandma and Pop bought him went down very well, and he was keen to get people visiting his shop to purchase extortionately-priced grocery items. On the morning after they left and he realised that there were fewer people to visit his shop, he looked rather forlorn, sighed and said: “I’d like Grandma and Pop to live at Granny and Grandad’s house!” Now that would be a house full for longer than a weekend.

No 3 year old’s birthday is complete without a birthday badge, and he was lucky enough to get one with Thomas the Tank Engine on. But of course these days they don’t have pins like back in the 80s when we were 3 and we seemed to have survived unscathed. Andrew was most concerned that it didn’t look very secure clipped on to his t-shirt with its delicate little plastic clip: “Mummy, my birthday badge might blow off in the sky”. Yes you’re right, whatever happened to a good old fashioned safety pin? Health and safety gone mad.

I think that’s all the birthday-related funees over with, so moving on… Both boys love a good plate of beans on toast for lunch, as do I. But one day this week when I put a plate of it in front of Andrew, he looked disappointed, turned to Joel and ‘whispered’ (i.e. not very quietly): “Look it’s beans on toast Joel, but I asked for beans on beans!” Erm, I don’t think you did actually, but if that’s what you want then it can be easily rectified. I tried to take the toast away but he didn’t like that, so I left it. Joel was most confused as to what was going on!

I’ve written before about the little backseat driver that Andrew can be at times. Recently I’ve been using the sat nav quite a bit because we’re living somewhere that I don’t know too well yet. I’m finding that the backseat driver is also a backseat parrot, who will copy word for word what Mrs Sat Nav says at every turn. Except if she mentions a ‘roundabout’ – then it’s a “round and round about”, just as it has been for quite some time in Andrew’s world.

Another funee that appeared from the back of the car – not mine but Grandad’s car – was one that was passed on to me for writing up. Andrew was travelling with Grandad to go and pick Great Grandma up. He’d been allowed to take Grandad’s Thunderbird 2 toy with him in the back, despite fears that he might drop it. Unfortunately he did let it slip at one point, but before disaster struck, he managed to stop it falling onto the floor under his seat: “I’ve caught it, I’ve caught it!…..I’m very good at caughting!” Linguistically this is very interesting. He’s grasped that ‘caught’ is what you say instead of ‘catched’, which is what we were getting until recently, but then couldn’t quite figure out in that instance that the bit you need to put before ‘-ing’ is actually ‘catch’. It’s all too confusing this English with all its irregularities, I’m amazed that anyone ever figures it out, but I know I must have once upon a time when I can’t remember.

But for all his logical mistakes with irregularities, he’s actually very good at manipulating language how he wants it to be and to what makes sense to him. One phrase that he likes using is “it’s/I’m a bit [adjective]”. Sometimes this is completely normal and adult-like, but other times he comes out with some hilarious made-up ‘adjectives’: “It’s a bit necky”– referring to one of those u-shaped cushions you put round your next for travelling; “I’m a bit finishy” – referring to when he had eaten enough tea and didn’t want to eat up what was left on his plate. He also likes changing sounds in words to make other words, for example “one, two, knuckle my shoe” came out the other day even though he’s been enjoying singing this with “buckle” for a while (mainly because he finds the last line hilarious – nine, ten, a big fat hen!)

To finish this week’s round up of toddlerisms we have a bilingual incident. We were looking through one of his new French for kids books and had got to the page on clothes. We’d been through the list – I’d said each word in French and got him to point to the item in the picture, then he had a go at saying some words that he wanted to. It got interesting when we got to pyjamas: “Shmamas”. I suspect this is because we’d just done ‘chapeau’ (hat) and ‘chemise’ (shirt), both of which start with the sound ‘sh’, so why not start every word on the page with ‘sh’?!

Wot So Funee?

The baby-to-toddler-wearing experience

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. I’ve even had some thoughts jotted down in my blog software for over a couple of months, but haven’t had time to sit down and write them into meaningful prose. Then recently a few friends have asked me about our slings, so I thought it was time I knuckled down and got this published!

I blogged about babywearing when Joel was still a baby, though he was showing ‘boddler’ tendencies at the time. I’d decided when pregnant, knowing that there was going to be just 21 months between Andrew and the baby, that I’d try baby wearing instead of going straight for a double buggy. I hadn’t known about ergonomic baby slings and wraps when Andrew was little, but as he got older, I came across the Sling Meet in Cambridge where I got to know more about the art of babywearing. I didn’t know how it would work out – I wasn’t convinced that I would be able to carry a larger baby and push a heavy toddler as they got older, but I was enthusiastic about giving it a go. And I’ve never looked back! Except to have a nosey at what the little one on my back is up to 😉

babywearing collage 1

We started off with a stretchy wrap – Moby was the brand I went for (amongst others available) because I loved the black and white lace design that I found when most stretchies on the market seemed to be plain. Looking back this was a fantastic way to get into babywearing. The first few times I tried to tie it were a little tricky, but I soon got the hang of it and could do it blindfolded whilst entertaining a toddler (well, maybe not quite, but you get the idea!) Whenever people commented on how hard it must be to wrap and how easy I made it look, my response would be along the lines of: “it’s like tying a shoelace – when you first learn as a kid it’s pretty hard, but once you repeat the task several times a day, it soon becomes automatic.” When wrapped around us both, it was comfortable and effortless to carry Joel. He would mostly fall asleep in it, and was most settled there compared to other places. I wished I’d known about these wraps when Andrew was a baby, but you can only do the best you can with the information you have at the time. Although it would have been handy, I guess it was even handier when I had two boys to look after – holding Joel handsfree was fundamental to our ability to get through the day with the three of us fed, watered and out in the fresh air. I honestly don’t know how mums cope with a second child and without a comfortable sling.

babywearing Collage 4

Once Joel hit 6 months, the stretchy wrap started to be less optimal. He was still comfy in it, but his increasing weight meant it stretched more and I would have to retie it more often to keep it snug. I’d been advised that stretchies don’t last much longer than 6 months (depending on baby’s weight/size), despite claims by the manufacturers. So I was on the look out for something to replace our faithful stretchy. Joel was (and still is!) tall for his age, so a front carry was becoming increasingly awkward when I also needed to push the buggy with Andrew in. He has always been an active little monkey, so by 6 months he was well on his way to crawling, and I found it increasingly difficult to wrap him quickly because he would wriggle all over the place. I thought it would be even harder to wrap him on my back whilst wriggling, and a stretchy wrap is no good for back carries anyway.

R&R Collage 2

I did lots of research online and chatted to other mums in Facebook baby wearing groups and in person at the sling meet. That’s when I came across the Rose and Rebellion (or R&R) soft structured carrier (SSC for short). Whereas a wrap is one long piece of fabric that you tie around you and baby/toddler, a SSC is shaped and has straps with buckles that you wear a bit like a rucksack on your front or back with baby inside. The slings that are available on the high street (the Baby Bjorn is probably the most well known) are in effect a SSC, but they are usually not ergonomic – they generally don’t keep baby’s hips supported in a healthy ‘frog-leg’ position, instead they allow them to dangle, and they offer little back support to the parent, making them uncomfy for carrying a baby heavier than a newborn – this is exactly what I had experienced with carrying Andrew. On the other hand, a good ergonomic SSC like the R&R keeps both baby and parent supported in the right places, plus it comes in all sorts of funky designs. I kept a look out for one on a Facebook group where you can buy and sell wraps and (ergonomic) slings, and within a couple of weeks I grabbed a bargain in a lovely flag design, nice and boyish, that had only been worn a few times but was cheaper than buying new. There are lots of other makes of SSC to choose from, but I went for the R&R at the time because it fitted us well, was reasonably priced for a good quality handmade product, and I loved the print on in.

R&R Collage

We used this all summer. It went everywhere with us, and both Tom and I wore Joel everyday, particularly because he would only settle to sleep when worn in the sling. I suspect this was because it’s all he’d ever known and was so at ease being carried close to us, more so than if we put him in a buggy or worse still his cot (he’s never napped in his cot!) We loved this SSC, and it was a sad day when we had to admit that he was getting too big for it. You see a sling that is structured (as opposed to a wrap that can be used to wear any size of baby/toddler), by its very nature must be a sized item that will only fit a baby/toddler within a certain range of weight/height. The straps that fit around the parent are adjustable, which is why the R&R fitted both Tom and I very well, plus it would go much larger and a bit smaller for other sized parents, but the width of the panel of fabric supporting Joel’s legs eventually got too narrow and it was no longer ‘knee to knee’ – the term used to describe a sling that goes from just under one knee to just under the other and keeps the hips in the healthy spread position.

KKD wrap conversion 2

At that point – Joel was around 10 months, but in 12-18 months clothes for height – I did some more looking online in the Facebook wrap and sling selling groups, to see what was available preloved in toddler sizes. There were some larger R&Rs that I liked, though not with a design as cool as the one we had. Then one day a very special sling came up for sale which grabbed my eye, and after sleeping on it overnight, I decided to buy. It’s another SSC, and it’s what is called a ‘wrap conversion full buckle’ – the ‘full buckle’ refers to the fact that the waist and shoulder straps have buckles rather than long ‘wrap-like’ straps that you would tie around your waist and shoulders (this would be called a ‘mai tei’ sling), and the ‘wrap conversion’ refers to the fact that the fabric of the SSC is a wrap that was once used to wear a baby but has been chopped up and sewn into a structured shape to make this new SSC. The lady who made it is a work at home mum (WAHM); many of the toddler-sized SSCs are made by small WAHM businesses – though all on sale in this country have to conform to British safety tests, just like the bigger brands.

KKD Collage

The wrap in my sling is from a German woven wrap company called KoKaDi, and the design is called ‘galaxy stars’. I love how comfortable this is on us – I think the wrap fabric really helps here, because it was designed to support a baby/toddler being worn. I hardly feel Joel’s weight on me and can wear him for hours perfectly comfortably. He loves being in there and still falls asleep most of the time when he’s being carried. I can even wear Andrew in this size of sling for short periods of time – again I don’t feel much of his weight when it’s evenly distributed in the sling, it’s a bit like a hands free piggy back. This sling is definitely here to stay for a while yet, until we need to get a preschooler size sling – which may be sooner rather than later at the rate that Joel is growing!

bw coat Collage

A little while after I bought the wrap conversion sling, I decided that another type of sling would be handy for us too. Although most of our daily trips out and about are on foot, so the sling on my back is perfect for these distances, we do sometimes use the car to get somewhere and of course then walk at our destination – for example to some shops or a group that’s too far away to walk to. I was finding that I’d carry Joel on my hip and Andrew would walk, but this was proving very difficult when Joel wanted to wriggle off me and I was carrying anything else like bags too. So I invested in a ring sling for carrying Joel on these short walks out from the car. This is a long(ish) piece of woven fabric, just like a long wrap, which has 2 metal rings threaded through that hold the fabric in place when carrying a baby/toddler on your hip. This now means that I can quickly nip Joel in the sling and have my hands free to carry bags and hold Andrew’s hand (or his reins) when walking. I’m really pleased with how easy this has made it to nip out in the car, and I love the design of it – I chose a wrap called Erna im Wunderland by KoKaDi because it has pink on it, one of my favourite colours, but the blue means it works well for carrying a boy too. Excuse the poor photography of the ring sling below – they were both taken at night, one with Joel wide awake, and the other when I’d swayed him back off to sleep in it when he was poorly.

ring sling Collage

It may seem a little extravagant to have bought 4 slings (though this is nothing compared to some of the mums I know in online groups who have declared themselves wrap/sling addicts!), but the great thing about good quality slings and wraps is that they retain their value and can be sold on in good condition for a fair amount of their retail price. The Moby and the R&R each cost me £15 when I calculate what I paid minus what I got back. I imagine it will be similar for the toddler sling and the ring sling.

So this is where we’re at in our baby-toddler-wearing journey. Some people ask how I can carry them now they are both pretty hefty, but actually it’s a lot easier to carry a toddler in a sling than in your arms, because the weight is more evenly distributed and you don’t feel the weight as much like this. Slings are more practical than buggies in many ways too, though that’s not to say that our buggy doesn’t have good use too with 2 toddlers to transport about. I’m planning on wearing both boys for as long as they would like – even at 3 Andrew loves the occasional ‘piggy back’ with the aid of the sling, and Joel is such a happy little boy on my back.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own, based on our positive experiences. I have received no incentive from any business that I have mentioned in this post.

Three soft plays – wot so funee?

With the Christmas holidays and moving house, writing about hilarious toddlerisms has slipped to the back of my mind. That’s not to say that Andrew hasn’t been coming up with them – if anything they come thicker and faster every day. Here’s a selection of the ones I remembered to write down…

For about a week before Christmas, Andrew got very into watching the film Snow Buddies. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing this, it’s a typical kids film – totally unbelievable and twee but quite cute and teaches a good ‘moral of the story’. At one point some puppies in a freight container fall out of an aeroplane and a parachute opens up to ensure they land safely. I know, I told you it was unbelievable! Andrew got very excited about this and jumped up and down shouting “Look, there’s a tent on that box, a bit like a hot air balloon, that’s funny..hahaha!” I can see his logic, it did look tent-ish, probably more like a tent than a parachute! The props department may well gave been on a tight budget.

Recently he’s become interested in what we’re going to eat for our next meal. I usually have some idea, even if I make up the exact dish as I go along when it comes to cooking. One evening, I was planning a cottage pie (well actually a poultryman’s pie as I use turkey mince), so I told him that when the inevitable question arose.

A: What we gunna have for tea?

Me: cottage pie

A: sausage pie?

Me: no, cottage pie

A: pottage pie?… is that like shepherd’s pie?

Me: no, COTTage pie, but it is like shepherds pie, that’s right!

A: ah…. like a house?

Me: yes, I see the link in your mind!

Our old flat wasn’t exactly well endowed with internet connectivity. It’s a long story, but even Virgin wouldn’t dig up our road, despite being in the middle of built-up Cambridge. We call it ‘narrowband’, you get the point. So often when watching youtube, particularly in the evening before tea, the connection would fail and we’d get lots of stop starting (or just stopping most of the time). I would explain to Andrew that our internet wasn’t working and we’d have to try again later or watch a DVD, which I knew would be a much more pleasurable viewing experience. One day, however, when he was watching a DVD, the picture started to jump, probably due to grubby fingerprints on the disc (can’t think how they got there!) So he exclaimed: “our internets are not working!”, to which my response was to try and explain that he was in fact watching a DVD. A quick wipe of the disc and all was right again – Andrew’s reaction: “Yay, our internets are working!” This isn’t the only example in his speech which shows that he thinks “internets” is a plural. I find this interesting; it’s like he’s heard “internet’s” a lot (as in “our internet’s not working” or “our internet’s gone wrong”), and reasoned that this ’s’ on the end means it’s a plural. That’s all I can think of right now at least.

Another (more fathomable) piece of toddler reasoning came in the form of his name for a pine wreath on a friend’s front door at Christmas: “Mummy look, it’s a Christmas circle!” Can’t argue with that – it looked like bits of Christmas tree made into a circle shape.

I love a bit of regional variation in language. My favourite example, having grown up in Coventry, is the bread roll – there are so many different words for this, depending on where you grew up, and only in Coventry is it a ‘batch’. Despite living here for a few weeks before our move to Birmingham (where the bread roll is a ‘cob’), I still haven’t heard Andrew say ‘batch’. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he does before we move, he’s like a linguistic sponge at the moment. Anyway, my point about Andrew here was his funny moment involving a fairy cake (as I would call it) or ‘bun’ as Daddy’s family, who live in Devon, call it. He was playing tea parties with Grandma, who asked if he’d like a bun with his cup of tea. His reply: “yes please, I’d like a bum with my cuppa tea!” Bit of a bum deal to get one of those with your tea time beverage if you ask me! To be fair though, I don’t think he’s heard them called ‘buns’ very often, at least not since he’s been able to talk back, as Daddy has accommodated to my word and we just call them (little or fairy) cakes.

On Christmas day, of course it was Andrew who liked playing with Joel’s new toy kitchen the most, and Joel who liked playing with Andrew’s new easel the most – this is one inevitable fact about similar aged siblings. Andrew’s attempt to coerce us into buying him one was thus:

“When I’m 8, I can have a rainbow…

When I’m 9, I can have a football…

When I’m 10, I can have a little cooker like Joel’s!”

If he’s willing to wait that long, I’m happy – he’ll no doubt go off the idea when he hits double figures. I too have no idea where the rainbow bit came from!

Soft play

And finally, one from the past week. We’ve found a fantastic soft play at a garden centre, and on Monday mornings parents/carers and toddlers can go for free as part of a scheme to help get them out of the house and meet others in the same situation. This was what I was talking with Granny about after she discovered it online, and as Andrew was there, we told him we would go to free soft play one day soon. Later, when I asked him what he wanted to do the next day, he requested: “I’d like to go to three soft plays” Wot so funee?

 

Wot So Funee?

Slow leopards and sunrise – wot so funee?

Well the official ‘wot so funee?’ linky is now closed for Christmas, but as we’ve already had quite a few funny moments in the past 2 weeks since it was last running, I thought I’d write one more post myself before Christmas.

First of all, Andrew was fascinated by the toy that Joel got from Father Christmas when we saw him on our train ride at Audley End. He asked what it was, and we told him – a snow leopard. Then later in the day he found the stuffed creature on the floor at home after Joel had discarded it temporarily. “It’s a sleper [pronounced as in leper], look!” I explained again that it was a snow leopard – a leopard that is white and grey instead of the more yellowy/browny colours of an ordinary leopard. He seemed to take it in. Until he picked it up again the next day and insisted that it was a “slow leopard”. I tried to explain that leopards are anything but slow, and I think he’s now got it.

Andrew is now very keen to tell people what they are or are doing, for example their age (if he knows it), whether they are a boy or girl, or if they are holding a ball/ cooking dinner/ driving down the road etc. This week Daddy and Joel have had some good descriptions…

“Joel, you’re a toggler, cos you’re number 1 now!” Ever since his birthday, Andrew keeps reminding us that Joel is 1 (or “number 1” to be precise), and I thought it was cute that he’s picked up on the fact that we call him a toddler now, not a baby.

“Daddy, you’re a pink dot!” This one needs a bit of explaining. Since Tom and I got cast off iPhones from family members who kindly gave them to us (we couldn’t afford them ourselves!), we’ve been able to see where the other one is using the ‘find my friends’ app. It may seem a little stalker-ish, but we only use it for family and it’s really handy to see where each other are, for example if we’re meeting up or if we’re delayed in getting home any time. The location of people in the app is marked by a pink dot, and Andrew has seen this as I have explained what I’m looking at when Daddy is a little late home and I want to see where he is.

Now that Joel is a toddler, toddling around is what he loves best. He’s generally good at walking, but he’s still a bit wobbly when it comes to obstacles and when he tries to run! So we get the inevitable bumps and knocks, which most of the time don’t bother him, until he’s tired and it’s the end of the world. Andrew is keen to point out when Joel has had a bump, and most often says “Joel hurt myself”. I find this interesting – he hasn’t quite got the hang of these reflexive pronouns. He knows that it’s right to say “I hurt myself” when it happens to him, but he hasn’t quite picked up on the difference between that and when Joel has hurt himself. Also interesting is that Andrew will say “Joel hurt myself” when he really means “Joel hurt me”, for example if Joel has accidentally thrown a toy at him or pulled his hair.

In my attempts to clear out the kitchen cupboards before we leave, I’ve been trying to use up all the food that we have, like tins, packets and frozen food. I found a bag of popping corn at the back of the cupboard which I’d forgotten I’d bought ages ago to make it up for snacks for us. So I made some every other day or so for a week or two and we took it out for snacks. When it was all gone, Andrew asked one evening whether we could make some more popcorn. I replied that there was none left, that we’d eaten it all. His reply was: “Oh…..well how about some sweetcorn?” I know he likes sweetcorn, but I wasn’t sure that he’d want to eat it on its own as a snack!

clay jar
God’s got one of these…. apparently!

In all the packing, I came across some vases that we haven’t had out for a while because they are a liability with two small children around, especially as they like to climb. Andrew was ‘helping’ me wrap some up in packing paper, and when he saw a blue pottery one, he declared that “God’s got one of these!” Looking at it again, and talking with Tom about it, we suggested between us that it could be because there is a picture of a jar like this in one of the stories in his Bible, or it might even be one that he’s read in his Sunday group at church. It’s amazing what kids can remember out of all the stuff they come across in daily life.

And finally, one day this week, as we were sitting having breakfast as as family like usual, we watched the sunrise to of the window. It was a lovely sunrise, with lots of beautiful colours. We had our own running commentary provided by Andrew:

“The clouds are all pink!…. That’s funny…. The white ones are all gone….There’s no white ones left like on Teletubbies…..Now it’s getting orangier…..Now it’s getting yellowier!…..That’s pretty”

Bathtime fun – wot so funee?

I was just thinking, it’s hard to imagine a time when Andrew won’t come out with hilarious snippets of speech, but I hope that by that time his little brother will be supplying us with some linguistic comedy too.

First up this week are a couple of observations he made when I was getting the Advent calendar ‘line of socks’ out of the Christmas decorations box. This year we have decided not to put any decorations up because we’re trying to pack things up ready to move house and the last thing we need is more stuff to pack away last minute. There will be plenty of decorations at Grandma and Pop’s house for Christmas, and at Granny and Grandad’s house for new year, so we won’t miss out completely. I did suggest putting some tinsel on the large stacks of cardboard boxes that fill every space possible at the moment, just to liven them up, but the boys didn’t seem bothered. As Andrew hauled some pieces of tinsel out of the decorations box, asking what it was, he declared that “this is very snaky, all glittery snaky”. He also came across some long and thin glittery tree decorations (a bit like baubles but that suggests spherical in shape). Without even asking me what these were like he did for the tinsel, he decided that they were “little golden pens” – good description really. He then walked around with them, pulling one or two out at a time and pretending to write with them, until he shoved one back in the box and they all came crashing out the other end, leaving a glittery mess on the floor. At which point Joel came over to see what all the fuss was about, and started spreading glitter left, right and centre. They thought it was hilarious! I didn’t quite find it so funny…

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With the recent fairly dreary weather, Andrew has become quite fascinated with the clouds. After I explained a few weeks ago that it’s actually the clouds that are moving rather than the sky when he looks up there, he’s shown that he now understand this: “the clouds are moving Mummy”…Yes that’s right, they are, I replied….“the clouds are moving to Birmingham!” Hmm, maybe he hasn’t quite understood the concept of ‘moving’ in terms of moving house, it is quite a big concept for a 2 year old to be fair.

I took the protective case off my phone the other day because Joel had dribbled all over it (good job I had a cover on it!) I’d left it on a shelf to dry more once I’d wiped it over, and must have forgotten about it. That is until Andrew asked me if I wanted “these bits of phone” – until I looked around and saw that he was holding the case, I thought there had been some terrible accident and my phone was in bits, phew!

Now for a couple of funee moments targeted at Daddy. We were sitting at the dinner table as usual one evening, and Andrew was sitting across from Daddy, looking right at him. After a while he piped up with: “are those your belly buttons Daddy?” Tom looked down, saw that he was wearing a shirt with buttons, and replied asking him if he meant the shirt buttons, and it turns out that he did. I’m sure all of us only have one belly button, but I think they’ve been talking about it in the bath recently.

And the piece de resistance of funees this week is more of an incident than linguistic comedy. Andrew was standing in the bath with the water running to fill it up (he likes to get in right from the start when the water starts running), and Daddy was in the bathroom but not looking at him, sorting Joel out to go in the bath. After a while when Daddy looked up, he was handed a cup of liquid, which he thought was bath water to begin with, until he took a closer look…. and discovered that is was a distinct greeny yellow colour. Yes, if you hadn’t guessed it, Andrew had grabbed one of the beakers that they play with in the bath, weed into it whilst standing up, and then thought to hand it out of the bath. To be fair, as Daddy pointed out, this was actually quite ingenious of him, and far better than weeing in the bath itself, though he had insisted not long before that he didn’t need to go on the toilet, which would have been the best place for it! Wot so funee?! Quite clever really.

Wot So Funee?

I DO like… – wot so funee?

As usual, this is the week’s round up of comedy moments brought about by toddler language. I love writing these posts, they always make me laugh remembering the moments that I noted down in the week…

Although Andrew is generally a good eater and will try most things, he has recently decided that certain vegetables are no-go. He can usually be persuaded to have a mouthful, which is all we ask if he really insists he doesn’t like it, if we say that he can’t have pudding if he doesn’t at least try it (and by pudding we mean fruit and yoghurt, which he loves). This week saw a new tactic in him trying to get out of veg consumption: when asked if he could eat some cauliflower (we he had actually chosen in the shop as we’d run out of veg in the box), his reply was “I can’t eat my cauliflower, it’s too dangerous!” Gotta watch those crazy cauliflowers, they might jump up from the plate and whack you round the head or something!

Every now and then he likes to pinch a bit of Daddy’s toast in the morning. Having asked for it one day, he left it on the table and got down. When I asked him a few minutes later if he wanted it because he’d asked for it, he replied: “No thank you, I don’t NEED toast right now”. OK then, we didn’t force you to have it in the first place!

I do love a good bit of toddler logic. As he’s grown out his 2-3 years clothes, he’s now got a 3-4 years wardrobe (or at least plenty of tops, trousers he gets by but could do with a few more). However, some of the trousers are a little long for him still, so we usually roll them up a bit to stop them dragging on the floor. I have been known to forget this, or at least not do it the immediate second that he’s got them on – he wants most things done yesterday. His reaction has been to shout: “Roll my sleeves up, roll my sleeves up!” (sometimes with a please attached on the end). When I’ve investigated further, knowing that his sleeves are fine, it’s become clear that he means his “trouser sleeves, Mummy”. Ah of course, trouser sleeves, it makes sense.

We’ve been doing a lot of packing recently for the big move. Mostly when the boys are out with one of us or asleep, but Daddy was sorting his CDs out at the weekend, which is a big job so it ran over after Andrew’s nap. He came out of his room, just opposite the CD rack, and picked up a CD – the March of the Penguin soundtrack. He studied it for a moment, and then asked: “Is this Pingu?” Not sure that Pingu is an Emperor Penguin like on the cover, but not far off I guess.

And finally, his latest favourite little phrase is: “I DO like [X]!” There’s a real emphasis on the DO, usually said i an excited manner because I’ve said that we’re going to do something involving the thing he likes, for example, eat pasta, go to the park, listen to a CD, ride in the car etc. One example that was really cute this week was when I told him we were going to church for one of our regular midweek groups there: “I do like church, it’s where all my friends are!” I’m glad that he enjoys going, as we do spend quite a bit of time there each week. And it’s lovely to hear that he thinks of other children as friends, as that’s not something he’s mentioned very much.

Wot So Funee?

Back seat driver – wot so funee?

This week’s latest craze in Andrew’s interest is the moon. There have been a few nights recently when the moon was shining brightly and easily visible in a cloudless sky before his bedtime. When he’s had a bath and is helping tidy his toys away, he’s keen to look out the window and see if he can see it. And he gets very excited if he can: “Look Mummy, it’s the moon, look Daddy it’s the moon!” *does a little happy dance whilst shouting*. One evening, he told me, after the excited shouts and happy dance, that “we get the moon out at bedtime”. So cute 🙂 I didn’t quite say that on previous evenings – more like “the moon comes out at bedtime” – but he’s not far off.

One evening this week I’d decided that we would have fajitas for tea. So when we popped into the shops on the way home from some errands, I told Andrew when he asked what I was putting in the basket that the sachet was fajita seasoning (I say fajita with a ‘ch’ sound similar to that in Scottish ‘loch’, not a ‘dj’ sound as in the anglicised version – this is important later…) That teatime, as Andrew was helping me cook as usual, he asked me if we were going to use the “heater seasoning” (said with a ‘ch’ sound at the start). Yes sous chef, that’s right, we need to add it after frying the veg off for a little while.

There are many buskers in Cambridge city centre, and, as Daddy the musician often points out, they are generally of a pretty high calibre. When we were sat listening to one the other day because we were a little early for our group to start, Andrew pointed out that: “he’s got no talker!” After quizzing him a little on what a talker is, it became clear that he meant “microphone”! A pretty good description though, very logical.

He’s very good at letting me know when I’ve made a mistake (or so he thinks) these days. We were reading a farm book one afternoon, and as he pointed to the picture of a small pig, I read out the word that was written below it: piglet. But apparently I was wrong: “No mummy, that’s not piglet, that’s just a pig… piglet’s on Winnie [the] Pooh!” I sat corrected.

And finally, the story alluded to in the title of this post… We don’t use the car that much in Cambridge, but yesterday we had quite a few places to go including picking up some boxes to pack for our house move. Bear in mind that in Cambridge, you’re lucky if you get into third gear with all the traffic and junctions. As we drove round the ring road, probably the fastest I’d got to all afternoon – about 26 miles per hour – Andrew hailed from the back seat: “This car’s going too fast!! Slow down Mummy, slow down!!” I informed him that I was well within the speed limit and there were few cars on the road in front of me or anywhere near us at that point. Back seat drivers start at 2 and 3/4 years old it seems.

Wot So Funee?

Unzip a kiwi – wot so funee?

Now that Andrew is well and truly talking, in fact it’s hard to shut him up the little chatterbox, he has lots of little stock phrases that he pulls out at appropriate (or sometimes inappropriate) moments, and these change over time. At the moment, he’s very into “that’s delicious!” for anything that he likes to eat. Even the plainest of biscuits or simplest of meals are made out to be some sort of exquisite feast as he proclaims that it is delicious! He’s also started saying “absolutely” this week, though I’m not sure he really understands exactly what that means.

Food is a topic that never fails to bring out a few funees. I can’t think exactly why, but I was talking to Daddy about halloumi cheese the other day. We weren’t eating it but it cropped up in conversation (a rocking conversation that must have been!) Andrew was clearly listening intently to what we were saying, because a short time after I’d said the word, he kept repeating “hello-mi” until we acknowledged him. He thought this was hilarious, hellomi cheese. As the 3 boys of the house love bananas (I used to but went off them in pregnancy and never got into them again), this fruit regularly makes an appearance throughout the day for snacks or pudding. As we also like to be silly, we often sing the little tune “unzip a banana, and so say all of us”. One evening this week Andrew had a kiwi with yoghurt for pudding, and came out with the tune: “unzip a kiwi, and so say all of us!” It doesn’t have quite enough syllables to sound right, but we had a giggle at his logic.

One of Andrew’s favourite DVDs to watch is Alplablocks. Each letter of the alphabet is a block with its own character and clothes, and many of the words that they come out with begin with their letter. Of course the letter “i” is very self important – she says things like “I’m so important, I’m so incredible, I’m so interesting etc.”, all with very pompous and almost theatrical intonation. One day this week I was confronted with an Andrew at tea time who came out with: “I don’t want to do that, I want a spoon!” – said with exactly the same theatrical intonation as the i alphablock! It’s quite a hard funee to capture in print. I hope he doesn’t carry on being like this, but so far it seems to have been an isolated incident.

180px-Mr._QuietAlthough he watches DVDs, he actually doesn’t sit still for more than about one 10 minute episode of a kids’ programme before he wanders off, and often finds a book that he insists on me reading to him, no matter what I’m trying to do at the time. I don’t mmd really, I’m glad he likes reading. One of his favourite books this week (favourites only usually stay that way for less than 7 days before we move onto the next fad) is Mr Quiet from the Mr Man series (someone he doesn’t resemble in any way shape or form!). Mr Quiet lives in Loudland and is basically a social outcast, as you might expect from his name. Everyone else around him is very loud – people shout, pet mice roar, and the letters that the postman shoves through the door sound like bombs dropping. One day when I read the bit about letters sounding like bombs dropping, Andrew burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. I wondered – wot so funee? But once he’d calmed down a fraction, enough to talk in some fashion, he said: “letters are like bums dropping”. Ah, bums dropping, yes that is slightly more funny than bombs dropping! I tried to explain that I’d read bombs not bums, but he was too far gone, and remained in a giggle fit for a good 5 minutes. Toddlers…

Wot So Funee?