Thursday, 27 September 2012

The summer of two and beyond

We haven't had much of  a summer this year, with the wettest August on record, so what sunny days we did have we made the most of them! Joel turned two on the 27th July, a sunny but windy day, we spent the day at the big park in Morecambe with his Gaga (my mum) and then the following day with my dad (who he reminds me of, a lot, both in looks and in his sense of adventure)

Pretty much round about that time he has (almost) dropped his afternoon nap (hence the silence for the last few weeks) and started going to nursery two mornings a week. Both of these developments have led to a very trying couple of months. The first making for impossible times with an over tired toddler (between 3pm and 6pm is now known as Beelzebub time) and the second pushing my patience and then anxiety levels to the max. When you say your child has started nursery people always go "oh that must be nice for you" well in a word No it wasn't!

Watching the farmer take away this years bales
The first six weeks of nursery I spent most of my time at the nursery sat on a tiny plastic chair, amongst the children all making car and choo choo noises. Some of the kids even new my name, anyone would have thought I was a new member of staff, I had to stay so long into the sessions before Joel would let me go (though truth is I resorted to sneaking off as the 'Goodbyes' caused too much anguish) and what I thought would get easier got worse, because he then learnt that I was going! There came a point after a few weeks where I thought, it's too soon for him, I'm going to wait until he's older and re-start him.

Wheel spinning
But that was for me not him, our days had gotten repetitive and dull and he was spending more and more time doing naughty things out of frustration (trashing stuff and having tantrums) plus I've never dealt with conflict or anxiety very well and this had been heightened since having Joel. So we persevered and now he has whole sessions without me.

Re-arranging labels on a display of Succulents at the local Horticultural Society gardens
There have been many tears (both of us) but having observed him through the nursery window (as I'm sure so many 'new to nursery' mums do) he has an amazing time and is enjoying all the learning and interaction with the staff and the other children. The best thing of all is we have fab time together on his non nursery days, it had become over facing having so many full days on my own with such a physically active and knowledge thirsty little man.

Echoes into an abandoned boat house
So now I am starting to thing 'Yes, it is nice that he's at nursery' Joel gets to play without his my watchful eye and I can hopefully start to get 'Me' back, at the very least twice a week!

His first ice cream

Craft from the past

Cereal boxes were always a source of creativity in my childhood years, my grandparents used to save all their empty boxes (along with the pieces of card from packets of my Granny's tights - rectangular with rounded corners. These were saved for very special projects though as they were blank on both sides) The cereal boxes were made into dolls with paperclip jointed limbs, Kellogg's theatres came to life when cardboard characters taped on pencils entered stage left, the nativity scene (when viewed from behind) was made up of Tony the Tiger and the Weetabix characters. So when it was my turn to provide a craft activity for the local toddler group we go to I knew exactly where to look for inspiration. It was the week the football season opened so as a blast from the past we made these little fellas.

All the children loved making them, though I'd underestimated the width of their fingers so one mum was dedicated to altering leg holes with my sharp thread scissors. Joel and I created a Burnley player (not sure which one) especially for Mr B, it takes pride of place on Joels art wall in the kitchen (sorry couldn't rotate the image)

54 Memory Lane....gets knocked down

Two months silence, I apologise. I've been without a phone for one month of it (I only use a camera phone and my phone got drowned in the dogs water bowl by Joel) so have some catching up to do but here's a post I started writing about a month ago.

So I got a call from my Dad, he'd been informed that his childhood home (where he lived until he was 22) was being demolished to make way for a multi-story car park for Blackpool Hospital. He wanted to go and see it one last time and wondered if Joel and I would like to come along too. I jumped at the chance to learn a bit more about my family history but we decided we probably stood a better chance of getting on site (the houses were already being taken apart) without an adventurous toddler in tow.

I'd never been sure which house it was, even though it wasn't that far from where I grew up. I'd become more familiar with it through photographs my Dad had lent me and also a notebook my Grandma had written all her decorating inspiration in (that was already a blog in the pipeline, which I will write anyway) when they had first bought the place. We go there just in time as next door was already flattened.

We donned hard hats and high vis jackets and as we walked round the house (stepping over piles of rubble and carpets-perhaps the originals) Dad shared his memories of the place. First of all we were astounded that the original front door had survived the era of UPVC grossness and, despite a change in colour, was still fully functioning. It's a split door and I recognised it from a photo of my dad and his mum looking through it.

This meter cupboard was used to hide my Aunties 'Clucking Hen' (an irritating noisy toy which the whole family had heard enough of on Christmas) however it returned to cluck again when the meter reader called round and my Auntie spotted it! "My hen!"

I recognised the details in the lounge straight away from Grandmas notebook, the window seats and inglenooks were sketched out in there.

Dad and his sister used to see who could jump the furthest down the stairs, eventually getting confident enough to tackle the full run! We have this all to come with daredevil Joel.

If you look closely in this photograph you can just make out a square shape under the wallpaper, this is a wall safe, which was flooded out with a leak, soaking my dads birth certificate (which he still has with it's water damage) and other important documents.

Dads bedroom, at the back of the house. He used to climb out of his window, up a drainpipe, onto a ledge and then up onto the top of the roof and then inch forward to the front of the house. His granddad  once found him out and stood outside shouting up to him "I know your up there, come down"Dad just flattened himself down so he was out of view. It's funny that feeling of being invincible isn't it? Your cover has already been blown but you are convinced that if they can't actually see you then it's alright.

Dads best friend lived next door and they used to have an old army telephone strung between their bedrooms so they could plan their next adventure at night. Their adventures were wild naughty boy ones involving fireworks, air rifles and no fear!

My aunties bedroom dressing table, imagine how many hours she spent as a teen sat practising her make up and hair.

Dad said the room used to be decorated with a pretty paper. Under her window a seat had been built in since he'd lived there, when I looked in between the wooden panels I found where the paper had survived. I love it when papers survive decorating!

The original green bathroom suite was still there along with an incredible ceramic bath tap.

I'm so glad that we managed to get in there before it was demolished, it didn't feel sad either just interesting. I know that the memories my Dad shared will stay in my mind now there is an experience/mental picture to go with them


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