Kim’s Game

Kim’s Game

Today marked the beginning of the second week of the summer holidays and the sun decided to shine – thankfully!

After a morning at the park catching up with family I treated Little Bear to an ice cream before heading home.  On the way back he wanted to buy a magazine and chose one with a Police Kit on the front – badge, phone, keys, notebook.  Very fitting as he had just labelled himself a detective for finding his cousin’s lost car.

After completing the magazine, and playing Police and Robber (apparently I had stolen the jewels and had to get locked in his bedroom) he set out all his new toys on the floor then ran off.  As he was away I hid one of the objects.  On his return he loved trying to guess what had moved.

Suddenly I remembered Kim’s Game and asked him to find a couple more objects.  With seven items out we each took turns removing an object and getting the other to guess what was missing.  Then we upped the challenge and removed 2/3/4 items at a time.

Little Bear thought it was brilliant fun, and itvmade him feel like even more of a detective.  At the same time he was unwittingly practising his memory skills, his counting (how many missing?), and his letters (“I’m stuck mummy, what does it begin with?”).  We probably played for nearly 20 minutes before he started to lose interest.  It’s definitely something I’ll be doing with him again and hopefully it will help to channel some of that mental energy he’s building up!

Blast this Summer Holiday!

Blast this Summer Holiday!

As Little Bear/Captain Hook would say, “Blast this Summer Holiday, and blast this weather!”

Day three of week one (6 more weeks to go) and the weather seems to have forgotten it’s summer.  Today was wet, windy, and miserable for us, and although we did manage to get out and had a play date at home the day still felt a bit gloomy.  Little Bear got so fed up with the wind and cold that he went to find winter clothes…

And he’s been in nothing but shorts since early May so he must have felt a weather shift!

Now I’m sure it’s just good old nostalgia, but didn’t the summer holidays used to be sunny??  I mean, ok, not every day but with the August forecast described as “changeable”, I can’t help but feel our seasons are changing.  And the other issue I have with the weather is how, in their winter, Australia is only a few degrees colder than here today?!

Anyway, I digress.  It’s day 3 of the summer holidays and I’m already itching for September!  I love my Little Bear more than words, but he needs to be able to be independent for a few hours.  We’ve had a fairly busy three days, yet I can still tell from his mood that he has energy to burn and I think that it’s a type of energy only playgroup can provide for him.  That environment of listening to teachers, interacting with a large group of children, having to hold your own and be confident – it’s as much a mental energy as it is physical, and that’s what he needs.

Today I was trying to have a shower and he kept asking me how to spell words, how to write letters, to show him a “f”.  It’s not totally out of character for him to be interested in this type of activity but it is quite unusual for him to initiate it, uninvited or unprompted by me or a magazine.  And so, I was thinking that this, perhaps, is part of him channelling his mental energy.  There could be worse ways I guess.

And then he gave me a worse way. I have mentioned before that I sometimes find playing “shops” a little tedious, well today he showed me a whole new level of tedium.  Today, we played “Teacup Travels”.  For anyone not familiar with the CBeebies show of the same name then it basically involves a boy/girl travelling back in time to help someone with a very random task all narrated by their Great Aunt who has a teacup depicting that very story.  So today, we sat down with our cups of tea and I had to go on an adventure narrated by Little Bear.  

According to my phone, the whole thing took less than 5 minutes but in my head I had been there for hours trekking through China.

Is this the timeline of my summer?  Will I be ready for Christmas decorations before mid August? Or will it plateau – will we both get used to having each other around and ease back into a relaxed, sunny, blissful summer?  Fingers crossed!

Super Strong!

Super Strong!

Little Bear has always been a very good eater, there aren’t many things he won’t eat and he has a great appetite.  The only real battle ground so far has been raw carrot and cucumber sticks – that easy, go to, healthy snack loved by children length and breadth of the country.

The last couple of weeks have seen a change to this though and he’s suddenly become happy to try and, dare I say it, enjoy his crudités.

It was after a weekend packed with parties when I asked him, “Why don’t you ever eat carrot sticks at parties, like your friends do?”, and he just said, “I don’t know, but I would if you gave them to me”.

And so the conversation continued with me in utter disbelief until I finally pulled a carrot out of the fridge and said, “So if I cut this up, will you eat it?”  And lo and behold he munched away without batting an eyelid.

The week after, and about 3 carrots later, he decided to give cucumber a whirl at a party.  He munched it down…good boy Little Bear!

And so he’s continued.  He’s eating a bigger range of vegetables with dinner, raw veggies as snacks, asking for different fruit on the shopping list.  And so our list of things he won’t eat has shrunk further still and I’ve packed him off to preschool with a lunch full of the requested carrot and cucumber sticks!

The downside?  He thinks it’s making him a “super strong” superhero which involves lots of trying to push over tables and move sofas!

“You have cracks”

“You have cracks”

Last weekend Little Bear sat on my lap to put on his shoes.  In doing so he leant back, I leant forward and we cracked heads.  He’s clearly tougher than me, he just carried on whilst I clutched my head a bit back the tears.

Later that day I asked him about a bruise on his elbow.  One of many he as recently collected.  I then asked him if I had a bruise on my head from the head clash.

The response was perfect preschooler.

“No mummy, but you have cracks on your forehead.”

Oh.  Right.  Great.  I’ll just go and buy some polyfiller for them shall I?!

Opening Up

Opening Up

Little Bear, like children everywhere, shares very little about his time at pre-school.  I get a lot of “nothing”, “don’t know”, and “can’t remember” responses when I dare to probe, or he whizzes ahead on his scooter mumbling something I have no chance of hearing.

Last week I managed to get him to open up.  Whilst helping me to chop the vegetables for dinner he started freely telling me about his day – who he played with, what they did, whole conversations were repeated back to me.

All my questioning and sneaky tactics that have failed over the last year were a waste of time.  All the boy needed was a pepper and a knife!

The downside to Little Bear deciding he wants to cook and chat is that we seem to use twice as many utensils and bowls!  He has his own knife and chopping board, so that’s a double up already.

And then he wants to put all the ingredients into the pan.

I would just put paprika in, but for him I have to put it in a bowl to then tip in.  Butter, I can go from tub to pan, for Little Bear I have to go from tub to bowl to pan.  He wants an extra spoon.  He wants to separate the peas that have stuck together.  

He wants to do the whole thing, and it’s great, I love that he gets involved…but when can he start doing the washing up as well??

“Mummy, what rhymes with…”

“Mummy, what rhymes with…”

Little Bear loves to tell me words that rhyme and coming home from the park this afternoon he was in full flow.

“Mummy, park rhymes with shark, and ark, and bark, and…mummy, what rhymes with luck?”

Why was “fuck” the only word I could think of?!  I know there are loads of others, I’ve got them all in my head now, but in that instant I had to give radio silence and try to move the topic on to safer territory…

“Lovely weather today isn’t it darling?”

 God, I’m so British!

Lego Obsession

Lego Obsession

I’ve been a little quiet lately which means we’ve been hectic at home!  We’ve had lots of day trips with Daddy, lots of parties, and lots of fun in the sun!

We’ve also developed a love of Lego.

It started with a big box on his birthday, which we then added a few small sets to, which was then doubled last week (thanks Legoland), and now my lounge resembles the Lego shop.  To be honest, I’m loving it as much as Little Bear is.  There’s just something about Lego, it just invites you to play and create.  You can construct, imagine, count, sort, discuss, etc etc etc…it really is a great all round toy – apart from one thing.

I can’t tidy it away.

The loose bricks and some of the more permanent bits get put in a box at the end of the day, but if Little Bear has spent hours creating and titivating a masterpiece then I can’t just expect him to knock it down at the end of the day.  Imagine if everything you achieved in one day was erased and you had to start from scratch again the next day.  Would you be happy?  I know I wouldn’t be!

And so, for now at least, my tidy up rule has had to be loosened.  And I have to run the Lego gauntlet, weaving and hopping my way through a maze of bricks hoping to avoid the most painful of experiences – treading on a brick.