Sunday, 28 March 2010

That March kind of feeling

March is never a good month for us. It is the month of National Science and Engineering Week and so one of the busiest weeks (actually we do a two-week festival, just to be extreme!) of my year. Hence, everything else goes out of the window and poor Ian has to cope with a birthday which is almost totally overlooked! I also find that I have very little time for blogging!

But now the festival is all safely over, so here are some highlights of the last few weeks.

We enjoyed the spring-like weather with many outings to the park and have become obsessed with the grown-up swings which are much more exciting than those safe baby swings!

The warm weather also meant that everyday could be a triking day, even if it was raining.

We had friends around to play and had lots of fun outside "painting" the yard (with water) and building flower pot castles (some toddlers' features have been (poorly) disguised to protect their identities).

We had many cups of coffee and croissants and plates of bacon and eggs at York's most Chelsea-esque (but totally wonderful) coffee shop, the Pig and Pastry. We pass the P&P on pretty much most days and Nathaniel has taken to leaning towards it and making hopeful "In there?" noises every time. It is a truly wonderful cafe, but you have to limit the amount of lovely coffee and ridiculously tempting sticky-gungies that you have there. On this Saturday morning we timed it just right so that we got a seat (a mean feat at any time), and Nathaniel enjoyed his view into the kitchen. He also enjoyed the coffee!

So despite lots of busyness, it has been a most pleasant March!

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Spring is officially here! The dafodils in the garden are blooming and you can go outside without the wind nipping your cheeks!

Nathaniel and I celebrated with our first visit to the Very Young Friends of West Bank Park, a toddler group that meets in the park that will soon be round the corner from us. It wasn't really a venture into the unknown - the group is run by a good friend, and we already knew most of the children and mothers at it!

So we poddled off to the park in rather too many layers to learn some new songs and look at some frogs. Today we all went to the pond and watched the frogs do what frogs do at this time of year, and made houses for suitably themed cuddly toys (chicks and ducks and owls rather than purple dinosaurs) out of sticks and straw. Well, everyone else made houses. Nathaniel learnt how to operate the gate from both sides (you have to fit your hands through the gap in a specific way to lift the latch from the other side of the gate), and let people in and out of the wildlife area. Is he just the son of two scientists, or just not not inclined towards ducks at the moment?

After learning a new song about a farmer and a tractor ("trac-da-da-da, trac-da-da-da TRAC-DA-DA-DA!"), we went to see our friend Paddy's favourite hidding place - a hollow tree accessed from a hole in a hedge. It took Nathaniel a while to decide that he wanted to push his way through the hedge, and in the mean time he spent a very jolly time picking crunchy, dried leaves, holding them up high and dropping them. They floated on the wind and swisted and turned as they floated down. Cue giggles and clapping of hands.

Its too complicated to catch this on a rubbish phone camera (I am really tempted to go and buy a decent phone that has a reasonable camera on it), but here is the picking of leaves:

Friday, 5 March 2010


Nathaniel's speaking is really improving! He has got to the stage where he is repeating the last few syllables of everything you say, especially when it is entirely inappropriate eg
Tassy: You know, censored is a real chunk!
Nathaniel: chunk, chunk

So far, his limit seems to be about four words as long as they don't have too many syllables. My favourite is him repeating "Things that go" which is one of his favourite, and my least favourite, books. (It is really boring - its four pages about trains, planes, cars and boats, and has rubbish text and not much to talk about in the pictures. But each page has a two part jigsaw embedded in it and N likes to take out the pieces and stack and rearrange them in important ways.) He say "Ings a goooo...." Its really cute!

As far as words that he will use independently go, apart from sticking mainly to one syllable, his biggest problem is that he hasn't managed to grasp that the ends of words are important. He focuses on the first starting consonant and the primary vowel sound. Therefore buggy is bu(g) and banana is ba. There is a sort of sound of the next consonant, but it's not fully pronounced. This means that things are normally understandable (at least by me and Ian) if you have the context. If you are standing in a room with a bucket and a buggy you have to look for hand signals!

But it is surprising how many words he knows well enough to be able to do their first syllable. Some of the weirder ones are sleeve (sli), combine harvester (ha(r)) and trap (tra). Should he ever actually visit a farm, he'll be able to converse happily with the far-far (farmer), tra(c)-ta, caaw (cow), la (lamb), shi (sheep) and gay (gate).

Although he can get Da's attention, he knows that his real name is Da-dee and will say it proudly for you if you ask. He will also say Dee-da hopefully.

He is also putting words together. Mainly this is "more something" (eg tscheese, bre(d), hat (satsuma), bra(n) (bran flakes), "biy biy something" eg bu(s), ta(t) (cat), da(d). and "no something" eg ba(t) (bath), taw (towel). He has also progressed onto "no more something"

Of course, we are already regretting letting him talk at all. His favourite meal is breakfast where, in addition to the boring shreddies and pillows you can also sometimes get bra(n) (Bran Flakes) and kay (Special Kay). He knows where the cereals are kept and will point at the larder hopefully asking "more kay?" several times a day!

We are also enjoying teaching him how to say things like offensive stereotype (he made a good stab at that!) and evil multinational (he made some good attempts at this while going round tesco!).

So he is a generally happy boy and is finding that more and more he can get what he wants, especially when that is, "no more bre(d), dow....(n), more soo (sofa), boo(k), ki(s)". Yes, that is a accurate transcription of the sixty seconds that occur ed at the end our snack this afternoon!

And no post is complete without some photos. So here he is enjoying being able to play outside this afternoon.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

I know a little snowman......

So, here goes. A video of Nathaniel doing the actions to his favourite rhyme. We don't usually say it this slowly and patronisingly, but we had repeated it about one million times at this sitting and we were a bit bored! Of course, Nathaniel did more of the actions on the times that we weren't recording, but we figured you'd enjoy anyway! The bit at the end when he is putting his hand in his mouth is how he asks for the rhyme. Not sure why. Ian thinks that he has got confused by miming the carrot nose with eating carrots!