Don’t worry Daddy, it wasn’t a wee; it was just a fart!

You may be forgiven for thinking that I am falling out of love with this project as the frequency of updates has dropped significantly of late.  There was a strong start to the year but it has certainly lessened of late.  Is it the fact that I have reached the century and sat back upon my laurels?  Nothing quite as prosaic; the culprits are simply the combination of work pressures and wanting to spend time with the family.  Work is a necesary evil and this website wouldn’t be this website if I didn’t want to spend time with the family, but with the long winter nights drawing in and Éowyn back at pre-school then there may be more activity in the coming months.

So what has happened through the month of September so far?  The month started as it has done for the last 45 years with Lucinda’s brother’s birthday.  To celebrate this singular event (note for younger readers: In 1949 RCA Victor produced the first seven inch vinyl discs and because of their five minute recording length became the de facto format for singles.  They revolved at 45rpm, hence the pun) the greater Cathrall clan headed into Windsor for a chinese meal.  It was good to all get together but I now appreciate the a couple of things slightly more than I did.  The first is how difficult it is to enjoy a meal and hold sensible adult conversations while you have one eye on one child (and encouraging her to eat) while you are bouncing the other on your knee.  However it does lead to the second: the appreciation of the invention of the chopsticks.  When you only have one hand free they are very useful tools for shovelling copious amounts of chinese food into your mouth.

Then came my first weekend off in two months.  So it was family time and time to concentrate on sorting the finishing touches to our decoration and on helping Éowyn with her toilet training.  Bar a couple of accidents she has done really well so far and wouldn’t even dream of wearing a nappy in the daytime now.  Ready in time for the start of the new term and her lengthened days.  Last school year she only did two mornings (Mondays and Fridays) at school.  With her approaching the age of three we have decided to increase that to two full days with the idea of introducing a third in 2012.  Our little girl is growing up.  Last year she wasn’t always keen on school and she would often say that she didn’t want to go to school (although she always seemed to enjoy it when she got back and told us what she had been doing that day).  This year she seems full of it and looks forward to it every day.  This is possibly due to the fact that she is doing full days now and so can settle in more rather than just being there for a couple of hours before we came to pick her up.

To celebrate her first day back at school and her migration to ‘big girl’s knickers‘ we decided to pay another visit to Legoland (the Merlin Pass has definitely earnt its money this year).  With many school children back at school Legoland was eerily quiet.  It was fantastic. We decided to head straight to the newest ride (and the one that usually has the longest queue) the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. A combination of ride and aquarium with over 50 species of sharks, rays and fish.  It was fantastic to watch Éowyn’s face as the submarine (or strictly speaking a semi-submersible) glided through the million litre fish tank looking as sharks swam passed the portholes inches from your face.  This was the first time that Éowyn had been out on an extended day trip without wearing a nappy (we were carrying a potty around with us – but being Legoland we didn’t get any strange looks!) and so we were quite conscious of asking her whether she needed to go to the loo. So after the ride we headed to the public conveniences to ensure that it did not slip her mind.  Lucinda and Éowyn were both impressed that the toilets in Legoland had smaller bowls for the younger visitors and so Éowyn didn’t feel at a disadvantage when using it.

It was approaching Amelie’s next meal time, so we headed to one of the eateries and the adults had tea while Éowyn enjoyed a glass of milk and an ice cream.  Then the heavens decided to open.  The UK summer has been particularly bad this year (as predicted by me in May) and so it seems a theme that every visit to Legoland has been a wet one.  This one took that one stage further.  The rain was literally bouncing off the ground and many of the rides closed while the worst of it passed by.  We sheltered for as long as we could  (and managed one more ride) then decided that once again after sampling only two rides we would head back to the car park and thence home.  We are so glad that we invested in a Merlin pass, it doesn’t feel like quite a waste to turn up and go back home before you have exhausted yourself by queueing for every ride.

Sodden, we decided to head home via the local carvery and take advantage of meat and two (well 6) veg and no washing up.  As we got to the restaurant we asked Éowyn if she wanted to use the loo.  So off Lucinda trotted with her.  A little later she is still fidgeting in her seat, so again Lucinda asks her whether she needs to use the loo.  Again, off they trot to the loo.  On her return from the loo and across a semi-crowded restaurant she shouts, ‘Don’t worry Dad, it wasn’t a wee; it was just a fart!‘  As all eyes turn to see who she is shouting at you have to laugh don’t you?  Some people might find it offensive, but hey we have all been there and better that way around than the alternative!

Both of my girls have been on their best behaviours of late.  Éowyn’s recent spell of  good cheer has continued of late and her bad behaviour seems to be behind her and her sojourns to the thinking step have been very few and far between.  Perhaps it is because she is being treated like a big girl with her ‘big girl knickers‘ added to the fact that we have taken the bed guard off her, bought her a new duvet and given her a night light that she can control from her bed.  She is growing up fast.  While Amélie is definitely growing up too.  She crawls around all over the house getting into everything and emptying whatever is in easy reach all over the floor.  The minx!  She is also beginning to make tentative attempts to reach up so it may not be long before she starts to cruise.  Then the trouble really starts! 

Amélie is excellent throughout the day, and has now learnt to settle quickly at night and so by 1930 is usually asleep.  However, her internal bodyclock alarm is set to 0530 and wakes every morning at that time.  It is becoming a little tiresome for she will not go back to sleep after her bottle and if we are not careful her crying wakes Éowyn so it forces us to take her downstairs which means that we are up too!  It is ok for me when I am going to work but poor Lucinda then doesn’t get the chance to go back to sleep for the rest of the day.  Thus by the time I get home, knackered, from work and want to sit and relax, Lucinda is ready for bed because she, too, is knackered.  Not condusive for a great evening.

Lucinda starts back at work at the weekend (something she is obviously not looking forward to) so with that in mind we have begun to introduce Amélie to Jo, Éowyn’s childminder.  Amélie is far more chilled out that Éowyn ever was (that probably says more about us than Éowyn) and was non-plussed with being left with a stranger.  Bodes well for the future.  While Éowyn was quite happy being the big sister looking after her younger sibling.  That is one worry off our minds and Lucinda can concentrate on getting back into the swing of employment.  At least she will be practised at getting up for an early shift!

I will bid you adieu and prepare myself for the fact that my youngest child will be 12 months old next week.

Peace and Love