In the Night Garden

It is August.  Where has 2011 gone, not that 2011 is over but Selfridges and Harrods in London do have their Christmas displays on show, so whether you like it or not the countdown has begun.  The football seasons (yes, seasons, it is not just the English Premier League for us these days!) are beginning and therefore work is ramping up for me the slight breather that is the summer break is over and Lucinda returns to work in a little less than two months.  It never stops but at least life isn’t dull!

Éowyn is off school (along with millions of other children) which means that the onus is back on Lucinda to look after both of our daughters and trips to Legoland or other such Merlin Pass venues are not quite as attractive as they were.  Éowyn however is still going to Jo’s (our childminder) 3 times a month so there is a little break for her there.  I have altered my days off so that my week is effectively Wednesday to Sunday with my weekend on Mondays and Tuesdays, which if nothing else is regular!  However the days have lengthened as the workload increases towards the inevitable deadlines that usher in the advent of the seasons!  This has meant that most days I have not been able to make it back much before the kids bedtimes and on a couple of occasions after they have gone to sleep.  This is upsetting for Éowyn (and hence Lucinda and me) especially when the only way that Lucinda could stop her crying was to phone me up and ask me to speak to her.  It is extremely hard to speak to your 2 ½ year old daughter who is sobbing because you are not there to read her bed time stories.  It is rare that it happens now but this is the time of the year when it is most likely.

Éowyn however has been in the bad books of late.  I think it is a combination of Amélie receiving more attention, more pressure on Lucinda because I have been at work for longer hours and the fact that the turmoil the house was in from the kitchen refit has been replaced by more turmoil since we decided to carry the decorating on throughout the lower floor of the house.  That sounds rather grandiose, but it is merely the lounge and dining room and it is merely giving it all a lick of paint and replacing the old decrepit carpet with some hardwearing wooden flooring.  However the work invovlved to move all our furniture away from the walls to paint was severely underestimated, especially since the house isn’t big enough to simply move it all into another room.  This is going to be a problem when they come to fit the flooring, hence we are erecting a tent and a gazebo as temporary rooms in the only area that can accommodate the furniture – the garden.

So, there is some understanding, if not justification, for Éowyn’s behaviour but just because there is a reason it does not make it excusable.  So there is a lot of explaining to Éowyn how disappointed we are with her and taking toys off her rather than shouting or sitting on the thinking step.  She also appears to be better behaved when she has had an afternoon nap.  It is unfortunate though that she does not relish them and will do what she can to fight the sleep.  However she has surprised us a couple of times by saying that she is tired and can she go to bed for a nap.

Of course, all of this is Éowyn attempting to have some control over an aspect of her life and although as an adult you know this, it is still hard especially when Amélie is teething and will only stop crying when you are rocking her (her form of adult control!).  It does make the days long, especially for Lucinda who is dealing with them on her own.  Éowyn latest form of control is not to eat her meals.  Again you want your child to eat and you feel that you are a bad parent if they don’t.  So you appease them.  Obviously this is wrong because once you have appeased them once they know they have you.  So as a parent it is again time to regain power so now if Éowyn does not eat her meals then we do not make a fuss we simply offer her one more chance, then take it away.  We tell her that because she has not eaten her meal then she will not get anything to eat until the next meal and if that is the last meal of the day, then it will be breakfast before she eats again.  It is really hard to do this because it feels like you are starving your child (one missed meal, even two, isn’t going to cause that much harm) and all your parental instincts go against it but it doesn’t take long for it to bear fruit.  A couple of missed meals and she will eat anything you set in front of her.  We are still getting a couple of times a week when she refuses to eat her meals but no where as often as before and it doesn’t last very long.

Despite Éowyn’s behaviour she is still being taken nice places.  Lucinda had booked tickets for the ‘In the night garden‘ live show her in Richmond Old Deer park way back at the start of the year.  At the time, Éowyn was very much into ‘In the night garden‘ however it seems that it is a phase that she is currently growing out of and the show no longer maintains the same level of appeal as it once did.  Nevertheless the tickets were booked so Lucinda jumped on the train from Staines to Richmond with her friends Christina and her daughter Arabella and the four of them went on an adventure.  As feared she was not that interested in the show but it was good day out and as I stayed behind to look after Amélie it was some quality time for Lucinda and Éowyn alone.

As mentioned Amélie is teething again.  Currently there remains only to front two lower teeth but she seems to be in a lot of pain with them of late so hopefully the others will soon erupt.  She still is not taking her dummy, which is fantastic news, they can be consigned to the rubbish heap.  She has also started to crawl forwards a little.  Not as good as she can crawl forwards but we definitely have forward motion.  The biggest news for us, as parents, though is the fact that she has stopped walking at 0500 and the last couple of mornings not risen until 0630!  Bliss!  There is a big difference is those 90 minutes.  0530 is the middle of the night, 0630 is early morning.  Hopefully this is not a temporary thing and moreover a sign of the new status quo (the Latin phrase not the band, the new Status Quo is very much like the old Status Quo, status quo if you like. – I’ll stop there!).

Éowyn has also discovered the word ‘why’?  Trying to explain gravity to a 2 year old isn’t easy, especially since I lost Lucinda at Newton and I don’t think that Éowyn was listening much after Einstein’s general theory of relativity!

With Einstein and Status Quo both mentioned in the same write up I think I will take this opportunity to stop.  Hopefully I can squeeze another update in soon but with time very precious in August, I may not promise that the next write up will be as detailed as they have been of late.

Peace and Love