26 February 2011
She has another two wobbly teeth that she can now get to work on. She excitedly shows me how much they wobble every day and if I promise to be gentle she lets me have a go too.
Within a few months she will have a completely different smile - a 'gappy grin'. She'll look just as beautiful as ever, but it is a sign that my little girl is growing up, which as every mum knows is a bittersweet emotion.
As I write this post Lily is wrapping her tooth in tissue and taking it up to bed to place under her pillow in hope that the tooth fairy will pay her a visit tonight. I have a good feeling that she will.
24 February 2011
Today, Lily's friend Tabby came for lunch and a play. They loved each others company. They raced around, talking at the rate of knots. Over lunch they discussed their favourite princesses and wobbly teeth, but the rest of the time they played and lived in make believe worlds that five year-old girls comfortably exist in.
Until today, this week's weather had been unkind; cold wet and grey. Despite this I've made a point to do something each day with Lily in mind. Here's our list of 'fun' things we've enjoyed so far
this week ....
* A trip to the library stopping en route at the sweet shop for Jelly Fried Eggs and White Chocolate Jazzies.
* Ice-cream on the beach (too cold for me to eat ice-cream, but it didn't stop the kids).
* A couple of play-dates.
* Tea and Jammie-Dodgers at a friends house.
* Toasted Crumpets.
* Hot Chocolate at home after getting soaked in the rain.
* Made Mini-Banana Muffins (and ate them)
* Visited the park
* Beach walks
* Played Snakes and Ladders
* Dressing up
* Planned a Birthday Party
.... and there is still a day and a weekend to go before it's time for 'back to school'.
20 February 2011
I adore my two beautiful children to pieces, but I often feel that I would like to cut myself in two so that they can both have a bit of me at the same time. When tired at the end of the day, they will bicker as to who will sit on my lap (they won't entertain sharing it) or on bath night they will both want me to dry them, rather than daddy. Nine times out of ten, Arthur wins my attention as he is the youngest at just one and Lily being four years older gets told 'we'll do that later' or such like.
I'm very aware that Lily needs my attention too and Arthur has to learn to share me. I've resigned myself to the fact that there is no perfect and precise way I can split myself in two. But I do try to do the next best thing; make a conscious effort to find opportunities for 'Mummy and Lily' time. Sometimes it's a trip to a cafe for chocolate cake or she'll come into Brighton shopping with me.
But one precious daily chunk of time we've made for our own is 'the bedtime story'.
I started reading Lily bedtime stories when she went from cot to a big bed, shortly before her third birthday. We started out on 'Topsy & Tim' stories, which she loved. No doubt I will be reading them to Arthur when he's a bit older. But since those early days we have progressed and we are now both enjoying some truly amazing books. Lily loves reading and being read to - always has, which helps.
A while ago I introduced her to some of my old childhood favourites by Enid Blyton. The first series we read was the trilogy that includes The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree. She loved them! I think they are a 'must read' for any child. The stories tell of the adventures that Joe, Beth and Frannie have in the Enchanted Wood that is at the end of their garden. In this wood they discover the Faraway Tree which is home to the likes of Moonface, Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot and Silky the fairy to name but a few. With these mystical tree folk, the children visit magical lands that come to the top of the tree and have exciting adventures in places such as the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats and the Land of Do-As-You-Please.
Reading bedtime stories is a sure given advantage of parenthood. I love introducing Lily to such treasures, plus it's an enchanting trip down memory lane for me who has never quite let go of the magic.
According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were children in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s probably shouldn't have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint, which was regularly chewed and licked.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors or cabinets, and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags and riding in the front passenger seat - or the boot - was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle, and it tasted the same.
We ate chips, bread and butter pudding, and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends - from one bottle or can - and no one actually died from it.
We would spend several hours building go-carts out of scraps, then go top speed down the hill, only to find out we'd forgotten the brakes. After running into a patch of stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.
We didn't have Playstations or Xboxes - no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape films, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no internet chatrooms.
We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played French skipping and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt! We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones, but there were no law suits.
We played Knock Down Ginger and were actually afraid of the owners catching us. We walked to friends' homes. We also, believe it or not, walked to school; we didn't rely on Mummy or Daddy to drive us to school, as it was just round the corner.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls. We rode bikes in packs of seven and wore our coats by only the hood. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of, as they actually sided with the law.
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
19 February 2011
Buttercup Days touches on the everyday wonders of childhood as seen through my eyes as a mother. It’s also randomly punctuated with my own treasured childhood memories; those that I want to recreate for my own children. As my children grow at the rate of knots before me, it’s an everyday reminder of how precious, innocence, and short childhood is.
Buttercup Days will chronicle various matters of which I have made this list:
Baking, Bedtime Stories, Buttercups, Cakes, Craft, Creativity, Daisy Chains, Day Trips, Design, Family, Friends, Happy Acquisitions, Holidays, Home, Homemade, Ice Cream, Inspiration, Life, Memories, My Children, Nature, Occasions, Parenting, Parties, Recipes, Seaside, The Nineteen-Seventies to name but a few.