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!

Baby vs Toddler

Baby vs Toddler

Before having Little Bear I wasn’t the biggest baby fan, I expected to be happy once that phase was over, hand me a 2 year old and I’ll be happy!

And to honest, that’s mostly still true.  Babies do have perks I never factored in – they nap, are stationary, don’t ask a million questions – but overall, I’m rooting for toddlers in a world where most people would rather this phase was as short and sweet as possible!  Except, in some ways, my Little Bear is too grown up.

I love that I don’t have to change nappies anymore, but he can independently take himself to the bathroom, turn on the light, stand on his step, lift the seat, wee, flush, pull up pants, and wash and dry his hands…and he doesn’t even want me in the bathroom at home!

I love that he loves stories and books…but does he have to remember them so well that you can’t make a mistake, or, heaven forbid, skip a page?!

I love that he will eat pretty much anything and has a great appetite, but does he have to have such expensive taste?  Prawns, lamb, Marmite (yes Unilever, you’ve forced the inclusion of the brown stuff!)

But mostly, I love our conversations.  The way he makes me laugh with his funny sayings -“straight now”, “I just don’t believe it”, and a personal favourite, “I never heard such a thing”!  The way he creates stories and how we role play.  The way he questions, his inquisitive nature, his different voices…I love it all.  And yet…

And yet there is something to be said for the relative peace of a baby!

Just give me one more day of that cute little gurgling, the guinea pig hiccups, the squeaky sneezes!  One more day and I’ll be happy…or perhaps Little Bear could just get a really sore throat for a day or two, give me a break from all the wonderful language stuff!

What? When? Where? Why? Who? How?

What? When? Where? Why? Who? How?

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The 6 little words that cause mums to quiver, to sigh in exasperation, to reach for the glass of wine even though it’s barely midday!!

Before I had Little Bear I imagined he would be around 3 when the incessant questioning started, but, true to form he decided to buck the trend and start around his second birthday.  Now he’s nearly 26 months and it’s showing no signs of slowly.

No conversation is safe.  There is no such thing as a passing comment.  Mutterings and whispers are picked up on.

A book that used to take 3 minutes now takes 15…”Where is ‘missing you’?”, “What’s that fox/tree/sausage doing?”…the questions are relentless.

Earlier I remarked that it might rain later.  And so started a 10 minute conversation on when later is, where the rain is, what it would do, why it would be wet, how is would splash, etc etc…and heaven forbid I should give an answer he doesn’t like!

I know it’s him learning, I know it’s because he’s interested, and I know it shows he’s listening…but just once in a while, every now and again, could he just observe and absorb mutely?  I need a break!

The Trouble With Parenting…

The Trouble With Parenting…

…Is that children don’t come with a manual!  Now this used to be said in a manner that meant, “just get on with it”, or use female relatives for advice.  And by and large children developed as expected and no one really worried too much about “developmental milestones”.

Nowadays, they still don’t come with a manual but there is such a vast quantity of information available that maybe it would be easier if they did!  Doctor Google leaves you paranoid about every medical condition, BabyCentre makes you worry about the dreaded “milestones”, and all the Facebook and Instagram perfect pictures make you wonder where you went wrong.

The truth is, if you’re worrying about “what went wrong” then chances are you’re doing everything right. You care.  You notice. Generations before us didn’t have social media and the internet to guide/panic them in the way we do today…and we all turned out alright didn’t we?

If I were to write a parenting manual it would be quite simple:

Congratulations on entering the crazy world of parenthood.  It’s hard, it’s fun; it’s judgemental, it’s caring.  Do your own thing.  Love your child, keep them happy, healthy, and safe.

Yes there are obviously ages where children are “expected” to achieve certain goals – crawling, talking, etc, but if your child is a few months either side of these then so what?  So long as there are no medical concerns surrounding the child then chances are, everything will come when they are ready.

Those of you who know me, and know Little Bear, might think it’s easy for me to say this when he has been pretty “textbook” so far in his short life, but for me, I’m just as guilty as anyone for making comparisons against “expert charts” and picture perfect lifestyles.

We all want the best for our children, and want them to become well balanced, well mannered, and happy.  I just worry the the internet is making those benchmarks feel increasingly unattainable.