I love this weather! When most people are sweating profusely, feeling lethargic and moaning about the heat, I just smile and nod… oh, and I also tend to walk around with a water spray in hand to cool the kids down when they least expect it, he he!
Wriggly (1 year 1 month)
· You have started going in the plastic car (you know, that red, yellow and black one they have at all playgroups) and loved every minute of it!
· You had your first meltdown, at the grand old age of one month and six days. Here is what your display of anger looked like: head and upper body between your legs, hollering in frustration whilst banging your head on the carpet. It happened when your Mamie (nan) took you off the trike she had been pushing you on for about 10 minutes. Do tantrums start earlier and earlier as you have more children? I also hope they stop prematurely (wishful thinking, hey!).
· Whenever your Mamie gets an ice cream for your siblings in town (pretty much every day), she gets a cone for you (minus the ice cream). You love it and it is far less sticky than the alternative (win, win!).
· When your Mamie holds her arms in your direction, you start looking the other way every single time. It is hilarious!
· You have enjoyed going to the park. Swings and the see-saw make you really happy.
· You love ‘Row your Boat’ and keep saying, “Row, row, row!”
· When you are really upset, a cuddle and a gentle rendition of ‘Une Souris Verte’ is what helps you settle best.
· Your Mamie taught you how to blow kisses and is trying to get you to walk (you are growing up so fast, my little baby!).
· Your favourite things to eat at the moment are rice, Petits Filous and porridge.
· You are addicted to breastmilk, water and smoothies.
· You gave me a first (very wet) kiss a couple of week ago. I felt loved!
· You went on your first trip to a farm and were not too bothered.
Jumpy (2 years 8 months)
· You are getting really good at telling me when you need the toilet. I will have to bite the bullet and potty train you before the novelty of using the toilet versus the convenience of nappies fades away. Please someone, tell me to do it! I simply cannot bring myself to it.
· We had a tough few days mid-June. Your Mamie and I took you to Carluccio’s in Pinner for lunch as I really trust the chain with allergies and vigilance towards cross-contamination. Just a few minutes after having a few bites of your egg and wheat-free pasta, you started screaming. You could not sleep that afternoon. You were angry and confused. Nothing I tried helped you settle down. Then you started getting quite sick. It had ‘that’ smell; the distinctive smell your body produces whenever you have an allergic reaction. Antihistamines were administered. You were sick and angry all afternoon. It was quite obviously something you had eaten at the restaurant, despite my string of questions to the waitress. They were pretty relaxed and casual about your allergies there. That is rarely a good sign and I should have trusted my gut instinct. Maybe someone did not wash their hands before handling your food, maybe they used the same colander for your pasta that they had used with wheat and egg-based pasta. I have no idea, but what I know is that their carelessness resulted in my baby being poorly.
· You went on a merry-go-round for the first time, with you big sister looking after you.
Beanie (4 years 9 months)
· You were the first winner for the ‘Beat the Street Lucky Dip Prize Draw’. It was displayed on all the notice boards & windows at school! You loved seeing your name all over the place.
· You can regularly recall your dreams in quite a lot of detail: “I had a really bad dream. There was a monster. He was chasing me. He wanted to gollop me all up and then a prince came and he cut him and then I was alive again.”
· You absolutely loved going to Willows farm with our local playgroup. You were permanently attached to Margaret, your favourite helper. No matter how much she tried getting away from you, you kept clinging on to her.
· Yesterday, as we were driving home, you exclaimed: “I don’t want to marry Mikey anymore cause he’s too rude. I’m gonna marry Daniel.” I know a little boy who might be disappointed, and another one who will probably be over the moon!
Crevette (6 years 11 months)
· You have just been awarded the 50 metre badge for swimming. I am constantly amazed at how gracious your strokes are. I look like a cat trying to escape from the pool when I am swimming, but you really make it look easy and almost effortless.
· Your French is getting better and better. Having your Mamie around for a few weeks and now our lovely friend Solène has certainly helped. It is like music to my ears when I listen to you having conversations in my mother-tongue.
· You helped me make garlic butter to take to your school next Tuesday (French National Day).
· You are starting to get a bit of an ‘attitude.’ That is not allowed! My lovely, gentle little man cannot possibly stop being the nicest boy around… I do want you to have a personality, but I love your caring, sensitive nature, too.
· You are getting incredibly messy. Most of the time, you blame your sisters for low-level disruption and mess, but I have started noticing that you initiate a lot of the mess, you silent troublemaker!
· You eat so much I have no idea how you can be so slim!
· The picnic my friend Nath and I had in support of Allergy UK’s #FreeFromFeast not only made it to the charity’s magazine Focus, but it also featured on the cover!
· After celebrating my colleague’s 30th birthday, we went to the Y13 prom and thoroughly enjoyed it.
· I had the privilege of attending an amazing Canon photography course, led by Paul Hames. It is a must do for anyone who has just bought their first Canon DSLR and is too scared to shoot on manual mode.
· I had a brilliant time at BritMums Live, listening to truly inspirational people, cheering all Brilliance in Blogging award winners, meeting in person quite a few of the people behind blogs I love and catching up with friends.
· I wrote an article for The Times Educational Supplement online about leaving teaching.
· Until a couple of weeks ago, I had read about bloggers being ‘trolled’, but I did not really know what an Internet troll was. They target big bloggers raising sensitive issues, right? Well, I have been trolled. As a teacher in a secondary school, I have grown a thick skin and a sense of humour. The thread of colourful comments I landed on was rather entertaining and I have to say some of them had a point and were quite funny. I knew having four children in succession would mean staying in state education might not be affordable. I will undoubtedly find other ways to make a living but I will certainly miss teaching.