The clocks go back

The last Sunday of October always heralds the advent of winter, the annual flip back to Greenwich Mean Time and darker nights.  It can be no later than it was this year, Halloween, but it still doesn’t sweeten the fact that end of another year is hurtling into view.   The end of British Summer Time usually means an extra hour in bed, but as anyone with small children will confirm the juvenile circadian rhythm is oblivious to the precepts of the human construct of hours, minutes and seconds, especially for anyone under the age of 13!.

Quite possibly, some of you may have noticed that October 2010 contained 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays and you may have received an e-mail or a well-meaning associate may have informed you that this combination only occurs once in 823 years.  If you still have it, take a peek at your 2004 calendar or indeed wait until you receive your 2021 calendar you will find that the Octobers of those years also have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  Indeed any month that has 31 days has three consecutive days that occur five times that month.  Don’t believe me?  Check your calendar out.  ‘Ah!’ I hear you cry, ‘But not Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!’  Look at January 2010 I cry back!  It is not as rare as you think.  Coincidentally October 2004 was the month that Lucinda and I met, but enough of these temporal tidbits and horometrical hypothesizing and back to the matter in hand.

I have now been back at work for a fortnight and although it is difficult spending all day at work then coming back home and helping look after the kids and the house, I think that Lucinda has had the harder task. Looking after two small children on your own is not easy and work, though manic, is not in the same league as looking after two small children.  At least I get to have adult conversations (most of the time) and don’t have think and do everything for others, OK at least I don’t have to feed them!

Michaelmas half term, is traditionally the time of the great Puncknowle family holiday and this year was no different, except that the Bagnalls were not there.  Unfortunately as I have only just returned to work and the latest addition is not a month old we decided not to go (at least there would be another bedroom available for others).  However this meant that there was no close family support for Lucinda, something that did concern me.

A solution did present itself though.  My sister had already taken the week of half term off as holiday and with my mom still not back at work a trip to Nanny Fran for my girls beckoned.  This meant that Lucinda had some support, my mom and sister got to spend some time with the kids and I could spend a week concentrating on work trying to catch up with thousands of e-mails I had received whilst off on paternity leave.  I think that it all helped and by both of us recharging our batteries (in different ways) it makes the challenge of raising two children seem a little easier.

It helps too that Amélie, is increasingly sleeping between feeds, especially at night.  Not every feed and not every night but enough for us (and by that I mainly mean Lucinda) to be able to grab 2 to 3 hours of sleep between feeds.  Hopefully this can only get better.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this last weekend was Halloween.  Éowyn, being the popular child that she is, was invited to two Halloween parties.  Hence she needed an outfit, please see below for her Pumpkin outfit!  Amélie had to have one too, but I think she is a little young to appreciate it!

Éowyn’s speech is extremely well-developed, she strings quite complex sentences together and apes whatever she hears.  You have to be conscious of this, especially if cursing but with any colloquialisms, because Éowyn will repeat it a couple of days later, much to your horror.  She is also very adept at reading.  OK, I say reading she recognises some words (17 on her flash cards – and a number in books) but she will pick up books and point to the words and read them out.  Whether this is reading, or just excellent recall is debatable but nevertheless she will pick books up, point at the words she knows and read them aloud.  She will turn the pages, and either recall the story that you have previously read to her, or make one up using the pictures.  Sometimes the story that she retells is completely different to that in the book, but they always make sense and with regards to some of the ‘In the Night Garden’ books her stories are quite often far better.

OK, it has been a while so I will stop there and let you enjoy the photos.

Peace and love