Friday, 24 February 2012

A post about parenting

I'm aware that my posts have really become showing you all a picture of Marisca doing something.  I think that's all good and probably what most of you want: she is, after all, quite lovely, and photographs well.  That said, you don't get to see all of the failed photographs that I take.

So I'm intending to do more posts without pictures, just some of my thoughts on how it is to have a little girl.  I easily recognise that every parent is different and every child is different, and indeed with the same parents and same children, every day is different, so it may be difficult for me to generalise individual situations to a broader pattern.  Following some stuff I did at work recently I realise that I'm more open minded and easy going than most, but I think it would be fun to try and summarise my thoughts and opinions and preach them to you all as fact.

Here goes.

This is about getting water on your face.  There was a post on our work's parents forum about how to avoid getting water on the poster's daughter's face during hairwashing.  Some really imaginative solutions around use of flannels and even snorkels.  It just seems to be nonsense.  Marisca has had a phase of not liking having her hair washed for this reason, and Elspeth is very careful about how her hair is washed, as Elspeth herself has the same dislike, whereas I'm quite cavalier about it.  When we're swimming Risky has no problem with total submersion, or with full showering afterwards once she's sure that the water is the right temperature.  So I think, or indeed I am going to state as a true fact, that it's nothing to do with liking water on the face or not.  That's just a symptom of comfort with the situation and the amount of control the child has - getting water on your face when you aren't in control of it is pretty unpleasant for anybody.  I'm sure that babies aren't born with a water-on-the-face setting.  So, on that basis, I continue to be cavalier in hair washing, and to encourage Marisca to play bath games that involve getting wet faces.  Preferably just hers, but I'm willing to offer my face for wetness as required.

Here ends my fact about parenting for today.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Proper Northern snow, part 2

Not new snow, this is the same snow as in the previous post, but I subsequently found this photo and decided to share it, since it shows Marisca's uncertainty quite well...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Proper Northern snow

We've some work to do on the snow. The yard outside and the back lane gathers it well, and Risky happily points it out when we see it and seems amused by it.  She is not so happy to be out in it.  We tried, three times, putting her down, fully kitted out, but she wouldn't take a single step, let alone think it was fun to play with!


Mummy and daddy say I'm not a very artistic child.  I don't really like painting very much, because my hands get dirty.  I prefer watching other people drawing pictures than doing it myself, although I do like to direct the action by choosing the crayon and the place to draw.  I do like playdough though, maybe I will be a sculptress.


It appears that I've not written about swimming for almost a year.  There are two swimming pools within easy reach of home: one in Shipley, which is walkable to, and one in  Keighley, which is a 10 minute drive.  If I was going swimming myself, the Shipley one would be best, as it has a proper shaped pool (rectangular) as well as a very advanced locker system.  But the one is Keighley is much better for Marisca.  The learner pool has broad steps, is quite shallow at that end, and has a little elephant slide.  The bigger pool has a paddling area and a sealion fountain. 

We now go there every couple of weeks: just me and Marisca.  The last couple of times she's really grown into it.  We have armbands now, and I think they've really added to her confidence.  She walks about, bouncing up and down in the water; she loves walking up and down the steps (although she's still too short to hold onto the handrail above her head); she 'jumps' from the side into the pool; and she really likes the slide.  Her dislike of water on her face during bathtime doesn't seem to translate to the pool, where her favourite thing seems to be jumping/sliding in and getting a big splash that takes her under the water.

I'm really pleased at her adventurousness.  It can be difficult when she decides she wants to go it alone out of her depth but she can keep afloat for a few moments before realising she can't reach the bottom and wants her daddy afterall.

Now, how old does she need to be before we can go on the flume?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

21 months

As always with the monthly posts, it's hard to find a photo - as always, Tim has nabbed all the good ones for other posts!  But here's our girl concentrating hard as she drinks from a big glass.  This is definitely one of her new skills: we have to be on hand to steady the glass as she's not great at putting it down afterwards, but there may come a time where we no longer need sippy cups...

The biggest thing this month is Marisca's new-found sense of independence.  'Marisca do it' is becoming a common phrase.  While this is lovely to watch, sometimes it becomes a little difficult when she wants to dress herself/climb the slide by herself/put the cup down by herself - while she really wants to be independent, she hasn't quite worked out her limitations yet, and trying to explain that Mummy really needs to help because your t-shirt doesn't go on your legs/the slide ladder is rather high/you're likely to drop the cup doesn't go down well...

And the words!  Marisca has new words every day.  She's turning into a little chatterbox, which so far we're enjoying.  It's lovely to know what she's thinking, and be able to hold a bit of a conversation with her.  Her current favourite game is to say 'bye bye, that way' and poddle off out of the living room.  After a few seconds she's back, to say 'hello!' and do it all over again.  And again. And again...

Five rise

Our New Year's resolution was to go for a walk as many weekends as possible, to enjoy the area around us - after all, that's one of the main reasons we moved! When we made this plan we didn't really take into account the fact it gets rather cold in winter, and while we keep warm while walking Marisca, sitting still on Daddy's back, can get a bit chilled. It hasn't stopped us walking, but has made us re-think our routes until Spring.

Last weekend we walked along the canal to Bingley five rise locks: only a mile or so, but lovely to be out in the crisp air. The locks are currently being renovated: four of the lock gates are being replaced. This meant the complete lock rise had been drained, and was open to the public to walk through. We had to go - we're both geeks about this sort of thing, and we need to make sure Marisca appreciates our industrial heritage.  Here she is at the bottom of a lock, being impressed:

The open day was very popular: we were glad we got there at opening time, as the queue rapidly grew very long.  There was a steady procession of people filing down and through the locks:
Of course, no walk is complete without a tea shop, and the five rise cafe was doing a roaring trade.  We stopped off for tea and cake: Marisca refused to eat a bite of her flapjack until she had helped us eat all our ginger cake.  Only then did she decide to sample her cake - Tim manged to get in on the act, as Marisca is finally working out how sharing works:

I should point out that Marisca was in the middle of chicken pox - not that you could tell.  We were lucky that she had very few spots on her face, so we were able to go out and about with a child who didn't look or act ill.  We kept her away from other children until she was better, but after days of no toddlers we were glad to be out and about!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A 90th birthday

Last weekend I went down to Chessington to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday.  The girls were supposed to come with me, but Marisca came down with chicken pox so they had to stay at home.

Unfortunately my camera battery gave up so I didn't get many photos but here are a couple, plus Marisca back at home enjoying her birthday balloon!

Going out

Here I am, getting ready to go out.  It's possible that the coat is too big for me but it is now my favourite and I will grow into it.