I promised you a second update before the annual Bagnall message to the world, and here it is. I always try to keep my promises.
It seems an age since I updated you about Ezra, for some reason he has received short shrift on the pages of Baggie and Lucy over the last few months, mainly due to the changes affecting his sisters. Let me put that right.
As you may recall he has been walking since the end of August and so, as you can imagine, he is into everything. He has worked out that if he moves his little step-up that he can grasp things out of his usual reach. In that respect he is like Amélie in that he will acquire things. His favourites tend to be kitchen utensils; it is not usual to find sieves, saucepans and the potato masher ‘hidden’ around the house. However, it is not just kitchen utensils that he will swipe, I quite often find a variety of items (especially for some reason, mine) deposited around the house. There are not enough places, that are completely out of his reach, it is amazing how far he can stretch when he puts his mind to it.
He is usually quite laid-back and relatively mellow, although he occasionally has his moments. Nothing like the terrible twos, but if he is determined to do something (or not to do something) then he is a ball of furious energy. Thankfully, it is still quite rare although he has had to have timeout in his cot a couple of times. He can also be disarmed by offering to read him a book. His vocabulary is increasing daily and he seems to say a new word every day or so, but ‘book’ was one of his first words and certainly one of his favourites.
You can quite often find Ezra, sitting on the chair in his room ‘reading’ a book. If he wants you to read a book he will point for you to sit down, he will pick up a book and then back up towards you, inviting you to pick him up, put him on your lap and read the book. He knows what he wants and certainly has a way to make you do his willing. This can work to your advantage though for if he is upset or on the verge of an episode, you can disarm him, if you are quick enough, if you offer to read him a book. He will waddle off and fetch a book forgetting about whatever it was that was upsetting him two seconds earlier. Never underestimate the distraction technique.
Reading books is probably helping to contribute to his vocabulary increase. He knows his animals and the noises they make, especially when they have appeared in one of his books. It is leading to some confusion though, for every bird is a duck and of course they ‘quack’, except, of course cockerels that ‘Cock-a-doodle-do!’ I will explain the Avian family tree when he is a little older. His favourite book, however, is not about animals as such, although does have a cat, a dog, a frog and a green bird: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. If you have not read it, I thoroughly recommend it; a classic!
Ezra, however, has missed out on a few events this past week or so. Both girls have had their ‘nativity’ (or possibly more accurately: Christmas) plays. Both had ‘named’ parts but far from starring roles. Amélie was the 3rd Inn-Keeper’s wife while Éowyn was Narrator 16.
Amélie is still at pre-school so there is no need for them to remember lines but they did learn a lot of songs and the actions to those songs. Amélie being one of the oldest of the class, was certainly one of the most vocal and also lead the actions. Being a pre-school at a Catholic school this was the ‘traditional’ nativity story, the story of Jesus’ birth, hence the 3rd Inn-Keeper, who may have had no rooms to let but wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to make a little bit extra and capitalised on the situation by selling space in a stable to a heavily pregnant woman. The true meaning of Christmas.
The pre-school were allowed to use the main school hall and as such there were plenty of seats for all the parents (and some grand-parents) indeed Nanny and Granddad managed to squeeze in with Mommy and Daddy to see their grand-daughter.
Éowyn’s play on the other hand was more secular, the story of Ralph The Reindeer. ‘Ralph?’ I hear you cry. Yes, Ralph the green-nosed freelance reindeer that steps in one Christmas when Rudolph has a cold. It was very enjoyable and with nigh on 180 pupils across the two years a serious amount of choreography had gone on to ensure that every child felt part of the production and at some point during the play was on stage. Relatively, there were very few speaking parts so although Éowyn was Narrator 16 the five lines that she had been give was a significant percentage of the script. Éowyn’s play had two performances to ensure that all parents had an opportunity to see their children, with Lucinda at work on the Thursday and Daddy looking after Amélie and Ezra, Nanny and Granddad went to the first performance while Mommy and Daddy waited until the Friday to see their eldest child’s performance. We were all very impressed with her. She pronounced her lines very clearly and although a little on the fast side – you could definitely tell what she was saying.
The other event that Ezra missed out on this last week, Daddy missed out on too, was the annual visit to the Pantomime. Ezra because he is a little too young (so he stopped with Nanny) and Daddy because, surprise, surprise, he was at work at the weekend. Last year Lucinda and Granddad took the girls to see ‘Puss In Boots’ performed by the Riverside Players at the Memorial Hall in Old Windsor. Apart from Amélie being terrified of the baddie they thoroughly enjoyed it, so this year Lucinda decided to take them again. This year’s pantomime was ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Again Amélie spent the first acts cowering into Lucinda, scared of the pantomime baddie, asking if they could go home. Éowyn on the other hand loved it and was enthralled by the story.
It is interesting how Amélie is fearless when it comes to things like roller coasters and scaling climbing frames, yet is terrified of pantomime baddies, yet Éowyn is the opposite. She may not be a fan of adrenalin fuelled fears yet is not afraid of more psychologically orientated fears that you would find in films or, in this case, pantomimes.
Amélie hasn’t been the only one cowering behind Mommy’s skirts this week. Lucinda took the kids to the local garden centre, Vermeulens, in Stanwell Moor. Like many garden centres at this time of the year, business is a little slow so they encourage the customers through the door with a Santa grotto and a chance to visit Santa. Lucinda thought as Daddy was at work that it would be nice to take them to visit Santa. Fearing that the queues would be out of the door she didn’t build their hopes up too much. She was completely surprised, however, that it was the exact opposite. It seems that word hadn’t reached the good people of Staines that their local garden centre had a grotto and there was not a soul waiting for Santa. The girls loved it and were more than happy to regale their list of toys that they would like, and apparently they are currently on the ‘nice’ list. Ezra, however, wasn’t so enamoured with Old Saint Nick. He cowered in fear but was still given a present and told he was a good boy. I trust he will grow out of it by next year!
The other great Bagnall Christmas tradition has also been performed, namely the creation of handmade Christmas Baubles at Genevieve’s Gallery in Englefield Green. This is the seventh year that we have been there to make at least one Christmas Bauble for our tree and one for Nanny Fran’s tree. They have always been a hand-print of each child and then annotated by Lucinda. That slightly changed last year as Éowyn’s hands have grown too large to decorate a bauble. So last year Éowyn was given free rein to make her own designs. Nanny Fran’s was an original Éowyn but she came up with a great idea for our tree: namely making a Mommy and Daddy bauble. This year, due to time constraints she was only able to add one more to the family, namely herself. Next year she will have to do one each to represent Amélie and Ezra.
Éowyn seems to be enjoying school a little more, maybe her first school disco helped, or maybe she is just settling down and making friends. Hopefully, with a break for Christmas and then returning after all the excitement it will just become part of the routine. I will take my leave of you here and as usual, ten sad points for you if you can recognise the Christmas ditty that the title of the update comes from. No prizes, just the smug pleasure of knowing the answer and for me, the smug pleasure of knowing that you will be humming it all day!
Peace and Love
P.S. Four years ago our precocious first-born, Éowyn, demanded that we went to the shops to buy Toy Story 4, and it took a while to convince her that they had only made 3! Well the bods at Pixar (John Lasseter et al) have listened to their audience and Toy Story 4 is in the planning stage (you can read about it here). Personally, I am not sure that this is a good thing, the last movie ended the trilogy perfectly – indeed it is one of the best trilogies in film history with not a weak film among them – and to revisit that story feels wrong. However my fears maybe allayed when the film is released (16th June 2017), and I can guarantee that there will be a least one family of five that will be going to the cinema to see it.
Gallery to be update but it starts off like this…