Never has there been such delight as that shown by Little Bear when a new packet of rice cakes were found in the shopping…”Hooray! We have pink ones again!”
After 2 days of just the white ones, this was clearly an exciting time!
When Little Bear was first born I knew the days would fly past and that my memories would be a hazy blur of feeding and changing, and snatched moments of sleep, but I didn’t want to forget them, I didn’t want those first few days to merge together. And so I kept a diary.
From the start of my labour until Little Bear was about 10 days old I kept quite a detailed record. After that my days got busier, I was out and about more, and the time just wasn’t there. Even so, having those first days written down is brilliant. I love looking back on it and remembering the funny points of labour and soon after – waiting for a contraction to pass so I could join in the conversation about pigeons between my husband and the midwife being one of them, joking about plastic surgery on Little Bear’s nose being another.
I love looking back at how supportive Sam was during those first few days, how equally we shared things, and how quickly we adjusted to parenthood. It still jars me to read about our struggles with feeding, but it makes me proud how we came through it together, all three of us. And I love looking back and thinking that I wouldn’t change a thing.
I know it can be hard to find time with a newborn, although they do tend sleep quite a bit, but I would really recommend keeping some form of written record of those first few days. Some people say you look back and see things through rose tinted glasses, others say you make things sound so much worse than they were, but I know I can look back and see the truth, read the emotions…Relive the beginning of the most wonderful adventure ever taken.
Little Bear is pushing all sorts of boundaries at the moment
He is, generally, very well behaved but he is having moments every now and then when he challenges the boundaries he knows. He will do something, throw a toy for instance, be told not to and then do it again before saying, “Do we really do that?”, meaning “do we really not do that”. It’s all a part of learning and he never does anything too bad, and he always learns from it, he will rarely repeat an action he has been told not to do. He will also return to the event in his head and seek confirmation of what is allowed. I guess this is where consistency is so important, sending mixed messages will only confuse him.
He is also pushing his own boundaries, his confidence and independence, and his physical skills. He is increasingly happy to play away from me at groups, he is wanting to do more and more for himself, and the big climbing frames are now desired territory!
At the weekend he went in an ambulance at an open day. He walked in with 3 children, none of whom he knew, listened to the paramedic and joined in with the demonstrations – a few weeks ago we would have had to go with him. Again at the weekend he met some of our friends and within minutes was confidently jumping to the in the swimming pool to them and chatting away. And at the farm yesterday he dismissed me, he wanted to go on the big sack slide all by himself…which was a bit of a relief, it was high and fast, I wasn’t too keen!!
At 2 I imagined he would still be so dependant on me. I thought he would want me to hold his hand, to talk for him, to encourage him…and whilst it’s sometimes sad how fast he’s growing up, it also makes me incredibly proud of him!
For Christmas Little Bear got a calendar which we do together every morning. He enjoys talking about what we are doing on each day, it has helped with some early letter and number recognition, and he loves to check the daily weather – he’s a true Brit.
Whatever the weather we will invariably be out in it at some point, although Little Bear is quite adamant that he doesn’t like rain until there are puddles. Also, motorbikes don’t like rain so why should he? It’s logic I can’t fault.
Yesterday was a true British summer day. It started cold, grey, and windy, it threatened to rain, we then had a few hours sunshine, and then the wind returned. But throughout it all we were outside in our shorts and t-shirts!
Last night Little Bear went to bed as normal but after a while we could hear him talking so went to investigate. Little Bear sat up and said, “I feel sick, my tummy hurts, I need medicine” in a voice so weak that it deserved an Oscar. It was all we could do to suppress our giggles as he gave the performance of his life.
Medicine given, just in case, he went back to bed and quickly fell asleep. We were both fairly sure he was putting it on, but at 26 months can he really be that cunning?? And he doesn’t even like medicine, so what benefit was it to him?
Earlier in the day there was a particularly unpleasant poo experience during which we said to each other, whilst he was playing away from us, that maybe he had a poorly tummy and hoped he wouldn’t be sick. Now Little Bear is blessed with a set of ears that don’t miss a thing, so perhaps he was simply repeating what he had heard us say about him…with added drama! This seems most likely and I’m hoping it is, I’m not ready to be fooled by a 2 year old!
When I was little, I remember going on treasure hunts set by friends or parents, and being excited at having to follow clues…especially when I got older and my dad set me a treasure hunt challenge to find my birthday money!! So before having Little Bear I imagined that treasure hunts with him might follow a similar vein…well apparently not.
In this new generation of hunting he is the one who chooses what to hide, usually his most favoured toy of the moment, and it is me who has to seek it out…except, there are no clues.
Our exchanges go something like this:
LB: “Mummy, can you find my pilot?”
Me: “Where did you put him?” (I’d rather just get this over and done with)
LB: “Ummm, I don’t know, maybe my bedroom”
…of I go…………nope, not there…
LB: ” Mummy did you find him?”
Me: “Not yet darling/Angel/sweetness” (barely suppressed growl)
LB: “But I neeeeed him”
Me: “Perhaps he’s gone for a walk, we’ll find him later”
Little Bear then huffs and puffs whilst I try to distract him. Eventually he decides to stand up and move on…
LB: “Oh look, here he is! Mummy you didn’t look under my bottom!”
Me: there are no words, I’m just rocking in the corner, flabbergasted that my 2 year old has played the same stunt 10 times in 2 days and I haven’t caught on!
On Sunday we went to Bedgebury Pinetum to find Stick Man in the British Summer weather…wind and rain!
Little Bear loves the Stick Man story, he tells it to himself all the time and slips phrases into conversations. As soon as I knew there was a Stick Man trail near us I knew we had to go!
The car parking cost us £12, pretty steep but not too bad if you take a picnic and make a day of it. The Stick Man trail pack was an extra £3.50 but had to be cash which we didn’t have, so daddy spent £10 on a stuffed Stick Man and convinced them to give us the pack anyway. Although next time we probably wouldn’t bother with it.
The trail itself was great – up hills, round the lake, through the trees! There were signs along the way for Little Bear to spot, and different activity points as well. We made a nest, built a tower, lay in Stick Man’s bed, made a Stick Man to hang on the family tree, and gave Stick Man a cuddle!
We spent nearly two hours doing it and in better weather we could have easily spent longer, I really recommend it to anyone with a Stick Man enthusiast!The whole setting was great with lots more to explore…maybe we’ll try Gruffalo orienteering next!