Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nooooo, Mummy, nooooo!

Lest you think Mr Planet and I are blessed with a contented, delightful and utterly charming little toddler, I thought it time I post about Little Planet's terrible toddler antics:
  • Her favourite word is No. In fact, her favourite phrase is Noooo, Mummy, noooo!

  • Mummy, I want water. Here it is, darling. No, Mummy, no I not want water. Do you want milk? Yes, milk, Little P wants milk. Okay, let me get you some milk. No, Mummy, no, I want water, not milk, no milk! Cue many tears of anger for silly Mummy not understanding.

  • Little P and I are racing home from daycare as the rain pounds down. Little P is in her buggy and I am trying to put the buggy's hood down to save her from getting wet (all the while getting soaked to the skin myself). No, Mummy, no hood, no hood! her hand pushing the hood back repeatedly. But you will get wet, darling. No get wet, no hood! Sticking her head out, her face getting soaked, crying loud tears of rage as passersby look at me disapprovingly as if I am allowing my daughter to get wet deliberately.

  • Calling out from downstairs: Mummy, mummy, what you doing?! I'm up here. Mummy! Come upstairs, darling. No come upstairs, Mummy, carry carry carry! I'm on the toilet, come up here, you can climb the stairs. No, Mummy, carry carry! Then she repeatedly bangs her head on the floor in rage.

  • As well as bang her head repeatedly on the floor or wall, my daughter attempts to take off her clothes when she's angry - last night before bed, for example, in the middle of the kitchen, she unbuttoned her entire babygro and stood glaring defiantly at me because she didn't know what to do with herself.

  • And, of course, she loves throwing things in the event they, for whatever reason, do not satisfy her.
Two strategies work for me, generally. I start with distraction, of the "Look, a bird flying in the sky" or "Let's do some colouring" variety. But if she is so immersed in her rage that distraction does not work then I've found turning away and ignoring her works well: So long as I can see her to ensure she will not hurt herself then I simply withdraw any attention, turn away from her and remain outwardly calm. Her rages soon subside when attention is withdrawn. But inside my heart is always racing and I chant, "It's all a phase, it's all a phase, this too shall pass."

Mothering a toddler can be extremely tough. Thank goodness her sweet and happy side is the side we see the most... for the moment at least!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little Planet's favourite books

We've been reading to Little Planet and incorporating stories into her bedtime routine ever since she was a newborn. In the past, we simply read her the stories we liked ourselves. But as she got older she began to express her own distinct preferences.

Today, she is a 21 month old toddler who actually demands that we read to her certain books before she goes to bed. In fact, now that her vocabulary has exploded and she is talking in sentences, she often tries to "read" the stories herself, drowning us out as she describes all the images she sees on each page. "Oh, mummy bird eating the worm, yuck!" or "Mouse in the clock... hickory dickory dock, mouse ran up the clock" or "Tiger! Ding dong! Oh come in, come in!" Needless to say, storytime is loads of fun now she can talk about the things she sees.

Here are her favourite books:

The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

A little girl named Sophie is having tea with her mother in their kitchen when suddenly the doorbell rings. Who can it be? It's a big, stripy tiger who joins them in the kitchen for tea and eats and drinks them out of house and home - even draining the water from the taps so that Sophie cannot have her bath.

Elephant Dance - A Journey to India by Theresa Heine and Sheila Moxley

Ravi's Grandfather visits him from India and soon Ravi is captivated by Grandfather's stories about India, where the sun is like a ferocious tiger, the wind is like a wild horse and monsoon rains cascade like waterfalls. Ravi is so entranced by the stories he is told that at night he dreams of an elephant dancing to a tune he has composed himself on a flute.

Goldilocks by Stephen Tucker and Nick Sharratt

This classic fairytale is written in a witty contemporary verse and with bold, colourful illustrations. It was the first story we ever bought for and read to Little Planet when she literally was a newborn and she still loves it today.

Moon Rabbit by Natalie Russell

White Rabbit loves living in the city because there are so many things to see and do. But alone after dark, she looks up at the moon and begins to wonder whether there is another little rabbit out there, just like her. Then one night White Rabbit meets Brown Rabbit in the park. They become great friends for the night in the park, but after a while White Rabbit wishes she could return to the bright lights of the city.

Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke and Paul Howard

Every Sunday, Jay Jay and his mummy and daddy, uncles and aunties, cousins and friends all come for Sunday dinner at Grannie's. Not only do they eat delicious food but Jay Jay gets lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles and cuddles and love from Grannie! Little Planet loves saying the words for all the different foods they eat, but mostly she loves saying "snuggles", "cuddles" and "kisses" - just before her own bedtime...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In spite of illness, life goes on

February tweets:
  • Full English breakfast at the National Cafe off Trafalgar Square. Complete with delicious black pudding, which I love. Back to work now.
  • We may book into The Hempel for our wedding anniversary. I am so excited. Feels decadent staying in a hotel in my own city.
  • Lovely morning shopping, coffee & cake in Crouch End; chilled afternoon watching cheesy Bollywood movie which Little P enjoyed dancing to!
  • Time will always fly by when you have children. I am often stunned when Little P turns another month older!
  • Am I the only mother who gets sad realising I will never witness the whole of my child's life - that I will never see her turn 60 for e.g.?
  • Before you reply, "Oh stop being maudlin and enjoy her now!" - I enjoy every second of Little P...
  • ... But sometimes I get sad at the life - her life in the future - that I will not witness.
  • On an upbeat note, beef goulash for dinner tonight! M was home today and cooked it. It's been bubbling away for ages & the house smells yum.
  • There is nothing more mesmerising than watching Little P sleeping - the only moment in the day...
  • ... when she is not in peretual motion and I can stare to my heart's content.
  • Sick parents looking after sick child and still having to keep on top of work = extreme exhaustion.
  • I can't shift this cold and cough! But I can't take time off work because too many deadlines are hurtling toward me!!! :-(((
  • I have switched off all work email and taken the day off work. It's madness how much pressure I am putting on myself. I need to get well!
  • Saw A Single Man today at Islington Vue. What a measured, elegant movie. And with clothes (and a house) to die for!
  • Made a momentous, life-changing, life-expanding decision this weekend. Need to let it all sink in; need to get thru the next weeks/months.
  • Hi Mum, I've arrived in Paris! (My mum does not know how to text or receive them but she reads my Twitter feed!)
  • A day of art... Crash: Homage to JG Ballard at the Gasgosian. So many of my favourite artists in one place. Such a feast.
  • William Eggleston at Victoria Miro - wonderful snapshots of everyday life captured on this seminal photographer's travels around the world.
  • Incredible, vivid, comprehensive survey of photography from India, Pakistan & Bangladesh at The Whitechapel Gallery. Fills me with pride.
  • Delicious, big Japanese lunch at Life on Old Street: okonomiyake, miso soup, chicken teriyaki, sushi and cheesecake.
  • At the Haunch of Venison, Piccadilly: Jitish Kallat's random, eclectic paintings, sculptures & photos; Chiharu Shiota's fairytale scapes.
  • In case you're wondering, Mr Planet and I have the day off to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. And tonight we're booked into a hotel.
  • Mr Planet & I are enjoying a night at The Hempel whilst Little Planet is bring looked after by her beloved Grandma & Auntie.
  • Driving through Hyde Park to South Kensington after a heavenly night at The Hempel. Our anniversary weekend isn't over yet...
  • Popped into The Saatchi Gallery's Indian Art Today exhibition. Eclectic, comprehensive, with some interesting work.
  • Bought some delightful Indian storybooks for Little P from Saatchi Gallery. Now driving to Marylebone for shopping and lunch.
  • Clothes for Little P from Bonpoint, novels from Daunts, steak from Ginger Pig, cheese from La Fromagerie. I love shopping in Marylebone.
March tweets:
  • Friday is pie-day. Steak & kidney pie then treacle pud with custard @ Newman Arms with colleagues. Then delicious flat whites from Lantana.
  • It's been a noisy Saturday but 7pm is here and heavenly quiet at last... No Saturday night plans but to eat and then read in peace.
  • Chicken livers, sprinkled with sea salt, under the grill, delicious.
  • Little P feverish, won't eat any food but milk, irritable, wants only to be held & cuddled, chewing on her bottle teat. I think it's molars.
  • A leisurely Saturday morning buying books in Waterstone's on Piccadilly and a wander around the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.
  • Today we also ate Japanese pancakes, om-soba noodles and green tea ice cream at Abeno in Bloomsbury then strolled down Lamb's Conduit Street.
  • Mr Planet treated 3 mothers to Mother's Day lunch today: his mum, my mum and me. Oh, and possibly a future mum in the shape of Little P ;-)
  • My 2nd ever Mother's Day was wonderful. 21 month old Little P presented me with a handpainted card complete with painted handprint. Then....
  • ...Mr P took myself, Little P & both her Grandmas out for a Turkish lunch. Delicious minced lamb and chicken kebabs, humous & baklava.
  • 7.30pm. House perfectly still & quiet. In sweat pants & t-shirt sprawled out on the sofa, reading Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked. Blissed out.
  • I'm waiting in a stuffy court lounge waiting to be summoned for jury service. Zzzzzz....