The Vernal Equinox marks not only the day that there is equal day and night; that an egg can be balanced on its end, (apparently) but more importantly my birthday! However at least one of those statements is untrue, and after 30-odd years of believing that equinox (which derives from the Latin equal, night) meant that the day and the night were equal I find out that is a lie. The equinox is more accurately defined as the point at which the centre of the sun crosses the celestial equator, and as such is a defined point in time. Due to the fact that the sun is not a point in the sky and there is a defined amount of time for the sun to dip below the horizon (not to mention the refraction of sunlight through the atmosphere adding to amount of ‘day’) the day (in the UK) of the Vernal Equinox was actually 12 hours 10 minutes long. Now the day that the ‘day’ and ‘night’ was equal was actually a couple of days before the equinox on 18th March (in the UK) this year. This is more accurately known as the Equilux (equal, light). Now for the pedants among you who want to include the effects of twilight (civil twilight that is, not your nautical or astronomical twilight) then the equilux was around the 1st March. That was quite interesting wasn’t it?
As I mentioned in the ramble above (I know, I lost you) Sunday marked my birthday. My first as a father of two (pas de deux? – bad joke I know!) and first since Éowyn has really been able to comprehend, though not necessarily what a birthday is but at least that it is a special day. She even sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. It was a real step forward in her development because although she has already accepted having a birthday herself, the fact that other people can have birthdays too is a big step.
Fortunately my birthday fell in the middle of a set of three ‘off’ days and therefore I could spend a bit of time with the family and to make it extra special Nanny Fran and Aunties Mary and Liz came down on Saturday for a flying visit too. Éowyn was so excited about seeing the Bagnall side of the family (for she only regular sees them via Skype) and was constantly asking where Nanny Fran was. Unfortunately Nanny Fran was stuck on the M40 which was temporarily closed due to an accident and instead of the 2 hour journey it took over 5 hours! It was good to see Nanny Fran as it has been nearly a year since she last came down due to her knee injury. Although her leg is still not 100% she can now drive and has been in a phased return to work (after 45 weeks of being on the box – as we say in the Black Country) for the past month or so.
Nanny Fran certainly noticed the difference in both Éowyn and Amélie and in return Éowyn loves seeing her Nanny Fran and Aunties. So much so that she asked if she could go back with Nanny Fran. That was quite a turn up for the books, and with Amélie now sleeping through the night, there is a strong possibility that could happen – Nanny Fran willing!
Amélie is also still sleeping through the night. She has seemingly reached the weight or size where she can keep enough food in her body to last the seven hours or so. It is amazing how much better you feel for night’s worth of uninterrupted sleep. Although before children I would not consider six to seven hours of sleep a full night’s sleep. How quickly what is accepted as the norm changes when you become a parent.
You will be pleased to know that Amélie’s eye injury is healing nicely. It has faded to a faint line and I thoroughly expect it to disappear in the next few days. It is amazing how quickly little ones heal, I suppose their bodies are in overdrive and hence cellar repair is happening at an advanced rate as they grow and mature. She is putting on weight nicely too. She currently weighs in a 7.37kgs (16lbs 3.5oz) and is sitting comfortably on the 50th centile. As you may recall she started out on the 75th and dropped to just below the 25th so it is good news that is is back up to the 50th! Her length is 67cm which places her on the 75th centile, she is going to be a tall one like her sister. She has also started to giggle out loud. It is still my favourite noise. Yes, I like it when they learn to say ‘Daddy‘ and ‘Mommy‘ and ‘I love you‘ but for me there is no better sound than a child laughing uncontrollably.
This week we also saw real joy on Éowyn’s face, probably for the first time. You may recall that we had promised her a Gruffalo (for remembering to say her pleases and thank-yous) and a mouse (for ten wees on the potty). This week we decided that she has earned them and so gave them to her. The joy on her face was astounding, probably because it was the first time that she has had to earn something and had been looking forward to it for nigh on a month (which is a long time when you are only 2! – the equivalent of six months for a twelve year old; a year for a 24 year old; etc.). She is very proud of them (possessive too!) and we gladly tell you that she earned them for the reasons above. So as you can surmise the potty training is going well. Although Lucinda tried a day without a nappy on Sunday and it wasn’t too successful but the carpet needs replacing anyway!
As I was putting Éowyn to bed one night she asked me if we could see a tiger. I said that we can go to the zoo and see a tiger. Again she upped the ante, ‘And a giraffe?‘ And a giraffe I agreed. So it is a trip to the zoo for us one day – brilliant. I enjoy a trip to the zoo even though I am in two minds as to whether they should exist (although on balance I think they do more good than harm). Hey, I have even been a zoo-keeper for the day! It was a fantastic experience and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in animals! I think tigers may be Éowyn’s favourite animal at the moment.
I dropped Éowyn off at Jo’s the other morning, and her little friend James greeted her at the door as he does most times. This time he was carrying two toy animals. ‘Dinosaur‘ he said holding the toy dinosaur up (no, he is not Peppa Pig’s brother!) ‘Lion‘ he said holding the tiger in his other hand.
‘No, James.‘ Éowyn said, ‘It’s a tiger!‘
‘Lion.‘ He replied. Éowyn re-iterated the fact it was a tiger and again he insisted: ‘Lion‘.
‘No, tiger. Stripes!‘ She said dismissively and pointing out the main (no pun intended) difference between the two. James looked at me and if to say, back me up. Unfortunately I had to confirm my daughter’s observations!
I left them waving me off on the doorstep. Éowyn said ‘Bye Daddy‘ and James repeated the phrase. ‘No, it’s my daddy!‘ she argued as I walked out of ear-shot. They are like a little married couple at times.
I will now leave you with the latest crop of photos and see you all in April!
Peace and love