My monthly family update always makes me feel happy and warm inside. I love reflecting on how each of my four children has changed, grown, made us laugh or cringe since my previous update.
Wriggly (8 months)
- You have really grown in the past few weeks. One minute you were a tiny, fragile newborn, and the next, I realised you had become a lot more tuned it to what was going on around you, finding ways to communicate with us and getting mobile.
- You were really pleased with yourself when I gave you your first rice cake and you managed to bring it to your mouth.
- You are a big fan of the baby walker. As soon as you went in, you started moving around the living room and kept screaming in delight. You obviously love this newly-found independence.
- You are fascinated by colourful pictures and you were chatting animatedly at the television when we were in France. For some reason, you have stopped doing it now we are back home.
- When you are trying to get my attention, you make “mamamamama” sounds. Your siblings all started with “dadada” sounds and all called me Dada for a year or so that was a huge surprise! “Bababa”and “dadada” sounds followed soon afterwards.
- You had a fever for a couple of days earlier this month but you are all better now.
- You can now roll from back to front and front to back.
- You are an apple purée addict. Everything else causes gagging or a grimace.
- You love it when people wave at you, and you always wave back.
- Your sleeping pattern has gone back to that of a newborn. I desperately need a good night’s sleep!
- You have been sitting with the rest of us at dinnertime for the past week and you have enjoyed feeding yourself (OK, playing with and squashing) roasted sweet potato chips, satsuma and broccoli.
- You copy us rather enthusiastically when we shake our head.
- If you are getting grumpy, the best way to settle you, other than giving you a cuddle, is singing “Une Souris Verte”.
Jumpy (2 years 3 months)
- You love pretending you are having a conversation on the phone, and when you go to sleep, you usually take a plastic phone to bed with you.
- You really crave your Neocate Active milk three times a day. You are not a happy toddler when I try to wean you off it and give you cow’s milk. You usually win, but I am running out of it!
- You are becoming incredibly fussy. If we allowed it, your diet would only consist of chicken, ham, cereal, satsumas and ice cream.
- We had a tiny bit of snow in France and you enjoyed making footprints in the thin powdery layer that had gathered in your Nan’s garden.
- Your hair is long enough for two little plaits and you look adorable!
- You had another round of skin prick tests and I thought the bumps were rather small for the nuts and wheat compared to the egg one, so I guess that is positive.
- You love telling people off. You put on a serious frown, point at the offender and shout, “No, no, no!”
- You are the queen of mischief at the moment, but you do everything with such a sweet smile that you would get away with it if we were not careful!
- Your Daddy caught you cutting your own hair last week. That is a first haircut we will not forget anytime soon.
- Your new thing is wetting your hair with water from the toilet. I had never heard of anyone doing that (ever!) and I could not believe my eyes when I saw you do it for the first time last week. You did it again when we had guests around. Classy!
- I found my purse rather light when I picked it up a few days ago, then it dawned on me that I had seen something in the corner of my eye a few hours earlier. You were on your hands and knees looking between the floorboards. A quick check with a torch confirmed my suspicion. Money, EHIC card, credit card: they are all nice and safe under the house. Thanks for leaving my Boots advantage card, a stamp and two receipts in my purse, Jumpy!
Beanie (4 years 4 months)
- At the end of your first week at school in France, the teacher suggested you attend the morning only as they were really struggling to wake you up after your nap at school every afternoon.
- You enjoyed gathering dry twigs for your Mamie (Nan) to burn.
- You made a few really good friends at school in France and that really helped you settle at the start of your second week. Waking you up in the morning was a lot easier after that, so was the walk to school. Galloping is so much more fun than dragging your feet!
- You really love your tontons (uncles) and could spend all day playing with them, staring at them, following them around and generally bothering them.
- You are not eating much at the moment, and it is getting frustrating.
- You are ‘tantrumming’ like a pro. Poor neighbours!
- You are curious about what goes on in the world around you. Just a couple of days ago, you were wondering whether birds had ears.
Crevette (6 years 6 months)
- You had your first piece of homework ever whilst in France: memorising how to spell five words and a sentence for a dictation. Learning how to spell the words was not too stressful as we had a few days to practise, but doing so with a cursive handwriting was a real challenge. You were also given Maths homework, reading tasks and a poem to learn.
- I am in awe of your capacity to adapt, make friends, diffuse arguments with your sisters and persevere when you find things difficult. You do not give up easily and that makes me incredibly proud.
- You are really looking up to your three uncles. They are like heroes to you and I am really happy you got the chance to really bond with my little brothers during our extended stay in France.
- You made a ‘forest’ using branches and twigs you planted into mud mounts.
- We recently started spending fifteen minutes together every evening before you go to bed. We read our respective books in silence and then tell each other what happens in the chapter(s) we have just read. I have really enjoyed that as we rarely get one-on-one time at the moment.
- I loved every minute I spent in the French school teaching English, reading stories and singing songs.
- We spent a mild winter afternoon outdoors burning cardboard boxes, twigs and leaves. The children enjoyed gathering wood and running around. They even went round the garden in the wheelbarrow pushed by their tata (auntie).
- My brothers baked a cake for my birthday and we had a great day all together.
- We had a very emotional afternoon visiting Philomène’s resting place. The children put white roses by her cherry blossom tree.
- Since we came back home two weeks ago, we have been catching up with friends, having a few play dates, two sleepovers and a visit to our local soft play area.
- I feel a lot less on edge and a lot more like myself. It feels good to be going with the flow…