Sunday, 5 February 2012

Flat as a pancake

Today we've made a snowman in the garden. He's not particularly tall – taller than George but not as tall as Daddy – and has the same affliction as the Elephant Man. In fact if we were to lay him down his head would fall off.

He has a bucket for a hat and did have a carrot nose and stones for eyes, but these fell out after a few minutes. He has twigs for arms and in true snowman tradition has no legs.

So, after building our snowman and messing about in the white stuff we were ready to go back indoors and warm up. George, however, was keen to remain outside garnering a collection of wet patches on his clothing with the aim of merging them into one almighty sodden mass.

We managed to tempt him back indoors with the promise of making pancakes with chocolatey hazelnut spread, mushed-up bananas and squirty cream. After taking wellies and boots off and warming up we set to work on the pancakes while maintaining a degree of damage limitation in the squirting of squirty cream department.

Now, if you were a little boy, what could be better than warm pancakes, chocolatey hazelnut spread (you know the one), bananas and cream? Not for George! As soon as the pancakes were ready he asked for hummus, breadsticks, cheese and apple. Well, each to their own... and all the more pancakes for Mummy!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Something to smile about?

My family has never had the best of relationships with dentists. My mum was very good in making sure that we got our teeth checked out regularly and even paid for us to have our molars plastic coated every so often – although we certainly didn't appreciate her efforts at the time.

For us the dentist was a scary place – the hygienist loomed like a jaundiced, anorexic corpse, terrifying drilling sounds tried to hide behind every door and an odious medical smell permeated the air – the only possible outcome was pain, tears and prolonged discomfort (I remember on one occasion pretending to feel sick so that I didn't have to go through with a filling). What my mum wasn't to know was that the dentist was a bit of a crook and some of the treatment we had was unnecessary – he eventually did a disappearing act and the surgery closed down (or something like that).

Needless to say, I soon avoided the dentist when I was old enough to make up my own mind. However, after chipping a tooth about 10 years ago I started going back for regular check-ups and now have a dentist I trust. Fortunately, apart from having my chipped tooth seen to, the only treatment I've had since is a replacement filling, done with very little drilling and a strange light directed into my tooth that made my whole mouth glow as if I was being transformed into some sort of dental superhero.

And now it's my turn (along with mummy) to make sure George gets proper dental care too – he goes for his first check-up next week.

The dentist has recommended that we look out for an episode of Peppa Pig that features a visit to the dentist. We must also encourage a daily brushing routine – which we've been doing for quite a while already (as when he was a baby I caught a Panorama documentary on TV about children having to have all their teeth out by the age of 2 or 3 because they'd eaten nothing but ketchup. Mummy may call me neurotic but ever since I've never been keen on George having the red stuff and was overjoyed when he tried it for the first time and turned his nose up). The only problem we have with brushing teeth is the spitting afterwards – George prefers to suck the brush clean and ask for more toothpaste.

So, with the very best of intentions, like my mum with me, we're going to be orally vigilant on George's behalf – after all, we think he has a smile in a million!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Bye bye Christmas tree, hello 2012

And so this Christmas is over. Last year George watched us take the Christmas tree down and cried nearly all day – he has never cried as much either before or since, including the day his bottom two teeth went through his bottom lip. This year we've taken the tree down while he's out of the way and when he returns from his extra day at nursery the whole house will be decoration and pretty lights free.

Gradually everyone's outdoor decorations are coming down too, which means our car journeys are a tad more bearable with George's running commentary on the colours slowly winding down. Listening to "blue ones... blue ones... red ones... white ones... blue ones... white ones... greeeeeen ones..." was fun but has about run its course now.

While we were at it (taking the decorations down) we decided to have a change around too, so George will also be a little surprised to discover the chairs and settee have swopped places and the hi-fi and speakers are in different corners.

All said and done, it has been a very pleasant festive season – and very busy too. There hasn't been a day when we haven't either been entertaining or visiting friends and family but it has been fun and George has really enjoyed it too, despite his bedtime routine taking a bit of a battering.

Like most two-year-olds, George had lots of toys for Christmas – my particular favourites are his Lightning McQueen laptop (which frees up my laptop from episodes of Mike the Knight and Octonauts) and his medical kit which has a stethoscope, syringe, otoscope and a reflex hammer – the latter of which instills fear in Grandad who has just had a knee replacement.

Finally, of course, as it's my first post of 2012, here's to a happy new year!

Friday, 23 December 2011

It's Christmas!

Christmas Day is nearly here and we're pretty much ready for it – and if we're not, there's not a lot we can do about it now!

I remember, as young boy, waking up on Christmas morning to find a stack of presents at the end of my bed – usually stuffed into a pillowcase until its seams were bursting. It was such a huge heap of assorted, colourful gifts and my eyes were probably as wide as saucers with the anticipation of opening them. The worst bit was the wait – waking up at 4am and being told to go back to sleep for at least another three hours or so made the suspense drag unbearably.

These past three Christmases have been the most exciting since my childhood ones and they just seem to be getting more and more fun. At the moment George isn't quite old enough to wake eager and extra early on Christmas morning, so it will be me who'll be revisiting my childhood and asking "is it time yet?" – although probably not at 4am!

We have been to visit Santa, who had a bit of a Brummie accent, and even though George didn't have a list or didn't know what to ask for for Christmas, there is a whole heap of presents that Santa will be delivering – enough to fill two, if not three pillowcases.

Next year and probably the next few after that, George will more than likely be waking us up at some ridiculously early hour to tell us Father Christmas has been... and I'll be telling him to go back to sleep for a while.

Happy Christmas all!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas is coming and we've been busy

We've been quite busy recently – what with Christmas coming and all that – but we've still managed to find time to have some fun. We've been...

... painting ...

... playing in the woods ...

... baking cakes (and eating the mixture) ...

... and visiting Santa on a special Christmas steam train on the Battlefield Line near Bosworth Field ...

And as such the blogging has suffered a little bit. I'll try to get back on track, especially after Christmas. After all, when you're George's age there's something new to learn, say or see almost every day...

His latest favourite phrase is "course it is!" or variations such as "course I do/it does/we do". Yesterday he called Nanna's dog Daisy "big stinky" – don't know where he picked that one up! More recently, even though he has had an ear infection, he has been overjoyed to see Christmas trees and lights going up everywhere. We, along with both sets of grandparents put up our trees on the same day – I reckon it was some kind of race – so George had a day of Christmas tree overload and spent most of the time jumping up and down in front of the trees and then running round in circles until he fell over.

It is certainly tempting to spend a lot of money on presents – there are so many fab toys around – but while he's a little too young to be making Christmas demands we've managed to keep a lid on it. The trick is not getting in the car and going to Toys R Us in the first place!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Growing up too fast

Now, I like to set my little boy a good example but I'm not sure if this was the case last Friday. In fact I probably inadvertently sowed a seed of corruption.

Friday is my day with George and at lunch time we began a negotiation on the terms of eating some food. We managed to agree on what food to have – sausage, mash, peas and gravy – and all was going according to plan until a stalemate over location. I wanted George to eat his lunch at the kitchen table, he wanted it on the coffee table in the lounge in front of Balamory.

So, guess what... George agreed to eat all his lunch very carefully and I agreed to let him eat it in the lounge. Jokingly I told him "but don't tell Mummy or Daddy will be in trouble".

When Mummy arrived home from work she gave George the usual big cuddle and lots of kisses and then asked him about his day (I had already told her about our lunchtime bartering). She asked him what he'd had for lunch and George answered "sausages". She asked him where he'd eaten his lunch and George answered "in here" before remembering what Daddy had said and quickly changing his answer to "in there" and pointing to the kitchen – then he gave me a knowing look that said "almost got you in trouble there but I think we got away with it".

It was a look that I'm not sure I liked – mainly because it seemed such a grown-up expression for such a young and innocent face.

Moments later I was left wondering what kind of Pandora's Box I'd opened... A few parpy noises emanated from the seat of George's pyjama bottoms to which we surprisedly responded "what was that noise?" Quick as a flash George replied "Mickey" and passed the blame on to Mickey Mouse.

I mentioned that George has been settling into his new bedroom – and we're pleasantly surprised that he has done so rather seemlessly. Even though he's no longer in his cot, he doesn't get out of bed after we've put him down (although he did the first night or two) and he waits in his bed for us to come to him in the morning.

The other thing that has surprised us is that every night he turns his nightlight off before he falls asleep. At first we thought he could be being very grown up and realising he was tired was making a conscious decision for 'lights out', but now we think it's perhaps the stars on his ceiling that he likes to look at before he eventually nods off.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

George's new room

If you've been wondering where I've been, I've been putting together IKEA furniture for George's room – actually, shopping for it probably took longer, what with IKEA's absolutely ridiculous store layout (if I had the means I'd be taking legal action for false imprisonment).

Still, the Stuva storage stuff looks really good and George is now settling into his new room and sleeping in his 'big boy' bed. It is taking him a little longer to settle (it will be his fourth night tonight) and occasionally we hear a few footsteps and other noises that tell us he's up and about rather than tucked up asleep.

However, George is rather proud of his new bedroom and shows it off to family and friends with glee. This is how it looks...