Getting messy with it: bring on Spring!



It’s already February!  The crocuses are out!  My house is filled with little daffodil bulbs!  I keep hearing whichever little bird it is in hedgerows that sing in Spring-time!  It is nearly half-term!

This first half of term has slipped by in an instant, and has seemed easier than last term.  There was the week in the middle when I sprained my knee playing netball (was on the court for literally 15 seconds and have been limping ever since) and Kit was letting me sleep in short 20 minute bursts in-between lying on my face but other than that it has zoomed past.

Sam is properly settled at nursery now, and it is so lovely to see him with his own new little gang of mates, who know him only as Sam rather than Nancy's little brother, and to watch him with them.  To any parents reading this with a new younger (second) sibling (god knows what happens to the third), it is worth getting through all those hard early stages of dual bedtimes and bath times and one wanting to walk and not being able to and the other being able to walk and wanting to be carried (good times!!!!) just to watch the second one become their own person in a few year's time.  A classic Sam chat at home is:

Me:  Sam, what do you want on your toast?
Sam:  Nance, what are you having?
Nancy:  Just butter.
Sam:  Just butter please.
Me:  You don’t like it with just butter.  You never eat it with just butter.  Express your own opinion!! Be your own person!  Opt for peanut butter! Marmite! Jam! Anything! The world is your oyster! Don’t go for butter just because Nancy chose that.
Sam:  Butter please (followed by ensuing 2 minute meltdown at unfairness of not being allowed butter followed by subsequent leaving of toast because he doesn’t like just toast and butter).

But Sam at nursery by himself is a bit bossy, has got some mates with whom he is a bit cheeky and makes all his own choices at lunch and loves them!  So it is a good, and fascinating, time for him, and for me.

Back at home we have been doing a lot of pottering around, as usual.  A lot of puzzles.  A lot of watching of Captain Underpants (AMAZING, watch it this weekend if you haven’t already) and a lot of trying to teach Kit to jump (just as good for a laugh as Captain Underpants).  I have got a couple of painting recommendations.  One we came across by accident, really, following a conversation about where colours come from (!!).  We just used a white china plate and started mixing - the kids found it really satisfying to put the two different blobs of colour in the middle and then swirl them round until the whole plate was a different colour entirely.  The lesson properly stuck - even my three year old can now list how each of the secondary colours are made up.  It's easy and fun and any of the poster paints kids use just wash off china under the tap.  Having said that, my friend Lucy has since introduced me to paint sticks - glorious and wonderful things!! They are painting without palettes, brushes, water, and that bit at the end (which I always find particularly soul crushing) where they hold the finished piece up to show you and all the paint runs down the page.  These paint sticks are like crayons but they are paint and they are MESS AND FUSS FREE.  And the kids bloody love them!  They use them for hours, creating stacks of stick-on-the-wall-worthy paintings.  And they come in metallic colours, too. Boom.

Book recommendation was given to us by a friend for Nancy's birthday and I am not exaggerating when I say we have read it at least twice a week since October - we all know it basically off by heart.  It's called This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe and it follows seven different kids in different countries (Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia) and details what they eat, where they go to school, what their bedrooms are like, what they do for fun etc.  It's all diagrams but there are photos of the real families at the end and it has really inspired and fascinated the kids.  Since Nancy has started writing (phonetically, non-stop) she fills reams of paper detailing the minutiae of her day because she wants her life to be the English section in the next one.  WATCH THIS SPACE ("I wak up in my bed and go doon and eat choclit hoops and wach teevee").

Anyway, let's head in to Spring with a bounce in our step and a paint stick in our hand, one muddy puddle at a time.  TRA LA LA!!!!*

*Captain Underpants reference