It’s been a busy couple of days. Boy Lacer spent his last day of being two yesterday, being hard work. He was in a bad mood (for the third day running) and being almost equally demanding (and he’s not actually that much of a demanding boy usually, I think because his vocal skills have improved, he now finds it easier to demand). So a mixture of being in a bad mood and a demanding mood meant no peace for mummy and no chance for getting any chores done. In the end we went out into the garden. Was yesterday the last good day of weather? It’s the complete opposite today, very cold and wet but yesterday was lovely. So, as long as I was within sight Boy Lacer pottered around the garden doing the grubby sort of things little boys do in garden (stacking dirty plant pots and putting stones in the watering can yesterday). Me, stuck in the garden, actually desperate to go into the kitchen to just unload the dishwasher and I couldn’t because he wouldn’t let me (it sounds terrible, like I’m being brow beaten by a toddler but put it this way, the mood he was in, if I had gone into that kitchen he would have followed me in, wailed and demanded to be picked up, have a tantrum and basically make it impossible to unload the dishwasher anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t leave him out on his own in the garden anyway but our kitchen opens onto the garden anyway, so I could have at least unloaded the dishwasher!
So, I made the best of it, I thought if Boy Lacer is demanding my absolute attention anyway today, I’d get the potty out in the garden, get him out of his trousers and nappy and have a spot of alfresco potty training. So Boy Lacer spent a good deal of time sitting on his potty sunning himself on our patio, nothing happened of course but still, sitting on it b*re bottomed (sorry for the *, just don’t like pervs coming here after searching on google for something else), well sort of b*re bottomed, as he was wearing one of his new long sleeved t-shirts for this autumn – winter and they’re in size 4 – 5 because he has trouble getting his head through smaller sized children’s clothes and honestly, they weren’t t-shirts, they were dresses! So if had done something in his potty, chances are something else would have gotten mucky, as he was sort of half sitting on his ‘dress’ but still just getting him to sit like that is progress!
I also started work on some pirate bunting (inspired by The Creative Family) so I could do a stitch here and there. It’s very, very basic bunting, it’s not hemmed, it’s not even measured particularly accurately (I was measuring my triangles using a piece of cardboard I’d snatched from an empty cereal packet) and marking out on my knees. But (fast forwarding to today) it did the job decorating the living room for Boy Lacer’s birthday tea and will also go up in the hall we’ve hired for Girl Lacer’s princess and pirates party.
Yesterday evening, once the kids were finally in bed (oh I was so glad yesterday when Girl Lacer got home from school, someone else to distract Boy Lacer, although when Girl Lacer asked me if she could help me when she came home, I said she could distract her brother, to which Boy Lacer, who had heard this, ‘ran’ screaming and sobbing out of the room with his hands in the air!). Anyway, yesterday evening when the kids were finally in bed, Mr. Lacer was charged with assembling Boy Lacer’s main birthday present; a large toy garage from Early Learning Centre, brought with money from the two great grandmas. He spent ages putting it together, lovingly applying the stickers in the right place, gave it a quick, experimentally whiz down the ramps with a toy car, proclaimed “Awww, this is cool”, put in the batteries, switched it on, no sounds, cue lots of understandable moaning from Mr. Lacer and us feeling bad for Boy Lacer that his one ‘big’ present wasn’t going to be there when he woke in the morning. So Mr. Lacer had to dissemble this thing, put it back in the box and I had to suddenly ramp up my birthday baking because suddenly instead of doing some baking the next morning when Boy Lacer was in playgroup, I was faced with heading into town with the toy garage to get it replaced and then rebuilding the new one, all before Boy Lacer got out of playgroup!
So, after some late night baking, the day finally arrived. Boy Lacer got some Charlie and Lola books, a couple of small In the Night Garden toys and a Charlie and Lola t-shirt from us, a book from his sister and a book and puzzle from his grandma. He however did get a lot of money from the relatives! Girl Lacer had made him a card and sent it into CBeebies but it didn’t get on, so the sweet thing went straight on the computer and made one using this cool page on the CBeebies site where Chris the presenter will read out your message and then some CBeebies characters will give you a wave. Boy Lacer was just as amazed to see the ‘card’ and for Chris to say his name on the computer. I’ve just checked to see if Boy Lacer can return the favour to Girl Lacer when it’s her birthday but it won’t be able to include her name as it’s not listed, still too unusual I guess, which is a shame.
So, playgroup the plan was to go straight into town and spend the birthday money (plus have one of favourite McDonalds for lunch). I managed just about that morning to run into town myself, exchange the garage (“Did you put the batteries in?”, “Yes”, “Are you sure you put the batteries in?”, “Yes”, actually we tested the original garage with two different lots of batteries, taking the second lot out of a toy that we knew did still work), rushed home and build it, with a few minutes to spare before picking up Boy Lacer. When I picked up Boy Lacer, ooh I was in for a ‘surprise’, he’d been painting but he’d refused to wash his hands and he’d been hand printing, now I’m sure he must have originally been wearing an apron but obviously he now was not and his brand new Charlie and Lola T-shirt was covered in blue paint, in fact so covered that when I took him home after some persuasion from me to wash his hands (he doesn’t like toilets because of the mechanical hand driers, so refuses to go in them, now that’s going to cause a real problem when potty training properly), anyway, his t-shirt was so covered in blue paint he left a trail of blue paint from the playgroup to our front door as he brushed past or lent on things. So bang went the idea of going straight into town, as I needed to rip that T-shirt off him and put it straight into the washing machine (and I was not hopeful, the last playgroup paint splattered T-shirt did not wash out). So of course that flying trip in doors was interrupted by Boy Lacer noticing the newly complete toy garage and he was amazed bless him, going over and over again “It goes up!” (in reference to the lift on the garage). Poor boy, I felt bad dragging him away from it, specially as it was now colder and raining more heavily and he’s decided he doesn’t like coats again (it’s the elastic on the wrists), but forgetting birthday shopping, I also needed to go to the supermarket!
After a spot of whinging, he did cheer up, I think he was enjoying getting wet and we visited two toy shops; the first before McDonald’s we ended up getting a soft cuddly number 3 from Number Jacks (which as I type he’s curled up on asleep and he’s not one for cuddly toys too close in bed).
After McDonalds is was trip no.2 for me to Early Learning Centre that day. Boy Lacer ended up buying a new toy cooker come barbecue (we have one already which is a couple of year’s old but the bulb has blown on it and it can’t be replaced, so we’ve upgraded for a ‘bigger model’) and a rather cool pirate ship. Now, the new cooker is as plastic as they come (which never rates high a toy for me in the ‘niceness’ stakes) but the pirate ship is beautiful (it was a devil to put together though, I feel like an overworked engineer today, building a city garage followed by a pirate’s ship). Wooden, fully workable sails (i.e. you can lower and raise them with a rather neat system that took me a while to work out), this will be a toy (like the garage) that will last, as it’ll hopefully be just as cool to play with it when he’s 7 than compared to 3. Of course you have to buy the (plastic) pirates separately (which I did, can’t have a pirate ship without no pirates) but it’s part of a whole range which has suddenly opened up great ideas for Christmas! So more figurines (we have the ‘nice’ looking pirates, not the warty disgusting looking set, although I think he’ll like those) and a play mat.
Talking of Christmas I also (making use of the 20% birthday voucher we had) brought Girl Lacer’s main Christmas present, the jungle playset which she was drooling seriously over the other day (and it was the last one in the shop, although of course there will probably be some more) and of course had to buy the figurines separately for that to. Although I can see some cross toy playing this Christmas, pirates sail across pirate playmat to jungle island, get eaten by jungle orangutan or something and then go visit jungle castle (Boy Lacer is getting a castle for Christmas, unfortunately not a real one). We’ve already had (courtesy of Girl Lacer) the pirate ship not having any wind, so they’ve had to row to the garage to get some petrol!
After school and some serious playing (an ‘advantage’ for both my two being quite close in age is that they have ‘twice’ as many toys as they share (most of the time) each others, even though they’re boy and girl, I wasn’t sure originally if that would happen considering they’re different sexes but Girl Lacer is more than happy to play with boys toys and vice a versa), we finished icing the baking and waited for Mr. Lacer to come join us for birthday tea. Boy Lacer was desperate, seeing all this lovely food me and Girl Lacer were making, he wanted it now! We had the tea buffet style, never a brilliant idea with Boy Lacer, he thinks each bowl is his own and then will go and nick food from your plate, but he ate his body weight in cocktail sausages and crisps, put his nose up at my traditional number biscuits (Nigella Lawson’s butter cut-out biscuits, cut into the birthday boy’s / girl’s age) and stuffed a large slice of Monster birthday cake down his mouth (I’m sure his jaw has some sort of special ultra-extendable mode just dedicated for cake stuffing). The Monster cake was inspired by an episode of (you guessed it) Charlie and Lola, the one where Charlie has a birthday party that Lola ruins, it’s green butter icing with liquorice allsort decorations. Underneath all the butter icing was Nigella Lawson’s buttermilk birthday cake, which *yawn* I make every year but works. I had tried to be a little different this year by attempted to make it a marble cake, as I was feeling sentimental and remembering how the one and only (non-packet mix) cake my mum would make was this psychedelic marble cake (well it was the 70s) and I thought I’d have a go but I could only find chocolate marble cake, so I just divided the buttermilk cake batter into two bowls and added my new Squires colouring paste but it only resulted in very vague colouring.
So, my little man is 3 and I think he is now starting to enter his terrible 2s! He can still butter me up with his beautiful blue eyes though! I’m sure though I’m not the only mum of a child with developmental delay to find these days bittersweet. Most of the time, even though having an older child, I’ve lost count of what a ‘normal’ 36 month old should do but on days like birthdays it’s easier to remember what older siblings were doing (like ripping off wrapping paper for a start). Here’s to another mixed up year, to Boy Lacer’s beaming smiles, his arms tight cuddles and his many passions (currently drawing, now that is one thing that is advanced!).