There is backwards crawling happening. I predict forwards in a week or two. Then walking the week after (no really). Sylvia loves crawling backwards off the nappy changing table so I have to keep her spare tyre firmly grasped in one hand while grabbing the wet wipes with the other. She showed the first signs of wanting to get off her arse the other day at a picnic, when she spotted a piece of sandwich on the ground. She managed to rock up off her haunches, reared up like a praying mantis, and lurched forwards in a deadly accurate assault on the crust. I’ve never seen her move so fast before. The child whose sandwich it was sat there with their mouth hanging open while I prised the bread out of Sylvia’s fist. It was all corrugated by the time I gave it back to Phoebe.

Another little girl came up to us at the picnic and asked for a plum out of the fruit box. Before eating it she asked if it contained cows milk. Her mum came and dragged her away with her plum, very embarrassed about the schnorrering but surely also proud her child knows about her food allergies.

Also Sylvia is developing a side tooth and dribbling by the PINT, as well as waking up in the night and screaming fit to burst until she catches sight of the Calpol when like the addict she is she merely drools quietly until she gets her fix.

Rose has a favourite bedtime story book mostly featuring large-toothed and hungry ‘bad wolves’. It is probably most unsuitable but illustrated by Tony Ross so it is funny and the pictures are good. Jason was reading her a story and she pretended to be a bad wolf and eat him all up (‘nyum, nyum, nyum’). When Jason pointed out that he couldn’t carry on with the story if she had eaten him, she said she hadn’t eaten his lips.

Last night I read her a dinosaur book which I planted in her bookshelf in the hopes of turning her into a 4 year old dinosaur nerd. It seems to be working, she can identify Tyrannosaurus Rex and can say palaeontology on request. Also she recognised a picture of the NHM in a book and said it’s where daddy works. I am still feeling guilty about last night because Rose wouldn’t stay in her room, and after an hour of sending her back to bed I lost it somewhat. There was shouting. And she later came downstairs at a moment when I was bad-temperedly clearing up the remnants of her birthday balloons, so she must have seen me stabbing them with scissors. She finally disappeared upstairs about nine, though she kept falling out of bed and having bad dreams, maybe about balloons, or shouting mothers.

This morning the nursery manager told me proudly that she had got Rose to have a nap after lunch yesterday. Whoopee, except that times have changed and now I never let Rose have a nap or she won’t go to sleep at bedtime. So that was why she couldn’t sleep last night and I am bad person for shouting at her. I’ve now given nursery instructions to tickle Rose, tell her bad jokes or send her outside in the rain if she shows signs of drowsiness. Something I was mightily unimpressed by was they didn’t let the children out into the garden yesterday. This also explains why Rose wasn’t tired as she hadn’t done any blinkin excersize all flipping day long. I am about to compose a belligerent email to the nursery head person to ensure the children get workouts five times a day. The staff are bad enough in winter when it’s a bit cold or wet but no excuse for failing to go out in the lovely weather we had yesterday. See how I’ve done that blame-shift there?


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