So the decorations are down, Christmas is well and truly over and the New Year feels like the Old Year already. January always feels like a long month. Probably due to the fact that the weather is still awful, the nights are still long (although getting shorter) and there is nothing to look forward to; for February is just as bleak. Also due to the hangover from the overspend at Christmas and the fact that we get paid early due to the Bank Holidays over the Festive period, pay day seems a long way away and you really have to make those pennies stretch.
The other side of the January period is that it is the last chance for me to use up the surplus holiday from the previous year’s entitlement. Hence I have had a long weekend (5 days!) and will be off for another week before the end of the month. I feel like a part-timer!
With the New Year comes a new adventure and a new step in Éowyn’s development. She has begun playbox pre-school playgroup at the local primary school, Shortwood. With everything that Éowyn does she took this new stage completely in her stride; more so than her Mum. She is only booked for 2 mornings a week at the moment to ease her (and us) into the idea of going to school and she is still going to Jo, her childminder, three times a month. This will give Lucinda more time with Amélie and allow her to give Amélie the attention that Éowyn received when she was that age. With the added benefit of preparing Éowyn for the big wide world of school in a slow steady build up.
Shortwood (and Playbox Playgroup) has a high teacher to pupil ratio but it is under threat of closure and/or merger for that very reason. There has been a campaign to save the school because it is deemed not to be economically viable in the area (although it is more economically viable than compared to other schools in other areas of the country). The high staff to pupil ratio is one of the factors that attracted us to Shortwood.
We dropped Éowyn off, on her first day as a family (Lucinda, me and Amélie!). There were a number of other parents there in the same boat with children whose first day was the same as Éowyn’s. I think it was harder for Lucinda (and me) to leave Éowyn than it was for Éowyn and I think she picked up on our vibes and became very clingy. Although in fairness it was also probably due to the fact that it had been a while since we visited Playbox and there was a lot of hubbub with parents saying goodbye to their children, and it was all a bit overwhelming (although she did have the presence of mind to give Amélie her monkey that she had brought along). However, according to the staff when we picked her up she had been a bit teary for about 10 minutes but then forgot all about it and got involved with the activities. When we came to pick her up, she didn’t seem bothered to see us and had sat down to lunch (which she is not entitled to, only being there for a morning session), she is a Bagnall after all!
Amélie, feeding is another matter. She is still taking her concoction but we are still to be convinced about it’s effectiveness. She still brings up a lot of milk, and will still, at times, struggle with her feeding. Although she is clockwork with her hunger pangs, every 3 hours on the dot. Which equates to not a lot of sleep! After discussing with Kate (the Health Visitor) we will be getting her weighed tomorrow (Wednesday) and see how her weight is doing. From that information we will see whether the medicines are helping keep enough food down to put on weight or whether we should now be taking the next step and see the paediatrician. She is also hoping to bring the appointment we have with the dietician (mid-February) forward so that perhaps we can start weaning early. As they say: ‘Watch this space’.
And it is there I will leave you with this week’s photos. Although before I go just a quick story. As I was putting Éowyn to bed last week she suddenly said: ‘Knock, Knock.’ I replied ‘Who’s there?’ ‘Happy’ she said. ‘Happy Who?’ ‘Happy Birthday!’ Not sure who has been teaching her Knock, Knock jokes but the fact that she remembered it and thought it was funny took me aback. Interestingly I have been trying to teach her other Knock, Knock jokes and she just looks at me as if I am stupid. ‘No, Daddy, it’s Happy!’
Peace and Love