What we did: we’ve had a much calmer month, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t lots of fun to be had! We kicked off the first week of October celebrating my niece and I’s birthday (6 October). We went to my in-laws the day before so that Tom and Rose (my niece) could experience their first theatre trip. I stayed behind to look after Piper, but they had a great time with Granny and Grandpa. Tom’s account of the play was slightly garbled, but it seems to have featured a dog and possibly a cow. He seemed to enjoy it anyway.
The next day we went out for lunch at a tapas place near our old flat in Walthamstow. Tom behaved beautifully and really enjoyed all the different foods.
That Saturday was Rose’s birthday party, again at my in-laws house (they live near Waterloo so it is a convenient gathering place). There were a lot of kids there, aged from 4 months to 11 years, and Tom found the experience a bit overwhelming. By far his favourite parts of the day were the beginning and end when he had Rose (and the balloons) to himself.
We were due to stay at my parents’ house the weekend of 15th October, in order to attend my Grandpa’s 93rd birthday, but ended up not going because Tom, Piper and I all came down with a cold. Tom was probably the least miserable of us all and, if it weren’t for all the snot, I’m not sure I would even have known he was ill.
We saw quite a few friends for meals this month. Harry (Piper’s godfather) and his wife Mahtab came round for lunch on the Sunday after Rose’s party and brought their dog Rollo with them. Tom was really adventurous with the Moroccan food I cooked and then had a great time taking Rollo for a walk in the park, where he also made friends with a little boy called Seb.
Tom’s godfather Jon and his (pregnant) wife Betsy came round for lunch in mid-October. They didn’t bring their dog, mostly because they live in the States (Betsy is American). We rarely get to see them due to living on different continents, but I think Tom did remember Jon from various Skype conversations and seeing them at a friend’s wedding in March. At any rate they had some great bonding time and Tom was sad to see them go.
Another of Tom’s godfathers, Alex, his godmother Becky, and their partners came for dinner towards the end of the month. Tom was allowed to stay up slightly late to see them but was more interested in going to bed than chatting.
We spent the last weekend at my parents’, making up for the visit we had cancelled earlier in the month. Tom, as always, had a great time – he loves my parents. We went to a little zoo in Tilgate Park and Tom ran around spotting all the animals. He was treated to an ice cream that was as big as his own head. He also loved exploring their garden as usual.
Now we are settled into the new flat, Tom and I have developed a routine of leaving Piper with John whenever he has an evening shift and spending the morning in the park. Not only is this great outdoors time, but Tom has been gaining confidence in playing with other kids, notably another three year old called Jake, who is just a month older. His mum and I now try to go at the same time so the boys can play (and we can chat).
Behaviour: Tom has really mastered saying ‘please may I have’.
He went through a brief patch of spitting but it stopped pretty quickly once John and I had expressed our distaste!
He is so good with Piper these days. He brings her toys, shares his blankies with her, and tries to comfort her whenever she is crying. He also makes her laugh with all his antics.
Generally this month he has been extremely lovely. He’s been kind and helpful (most of the time). I think he is starting to develop empathy as he showed a lot more concern for my feelings (and Piper’s) and seemed to want to act in a way that would make us happy.
Working on: He’s mastered pants and trousers and is now working on taking off his own t-shirt. He can also do his own zip up now.
He has been learning phonics at nursery and can even write ‘t’, ‘a’, ‘o’ and ‘d’. They do a programme called RWI which is also followed in all the schools we’ve been looking at. He’s been bringing me our letter magnets to find out what they say and can identify a good number of them now. We believe in being very child led at home, so would never push him to learn letters, but since he is interested we have been following his lead and encouraging him to show us what he has learnt.
Playing with: Tom has been especially into Duplo this month and builds the most amazing things. He has also been singing a lot. His favourite songs are ‘Wheels on the Bus’, ‘We went to the Animal Fair’, ‘Old Macdonald had a Farm’, and the theme tune from the show Dinosaur Train.
Sleep: He is still slowly dropping the nap and often just plays. We’ve stopped putting him down unless he specifically asks for ‘stories and sleep’ but he will often just go curl up for a bit, especially when he had the cold.
He had a few mornings where he decided to ignore the gro clock and to wake me up a bit early. After a couple of encounters with a cross mummy, we had a chat and I explained that I don’t like being woken early. Since then he has respected my sleep and will just entertain himself. We have a potty in his room so that he can use it if he needs to and doesn’t have to wait for us.
He handled the time change brilliantly – one early morning and then we were back to normal.
Eating: Tom has been so adventurous with trying new things this month and even had some quite spiced food, including Thai (non spicy) and Moroccan.
At the end of the month he and I agreed that he should be allowed a snack bowl with food he can help himself to during the day. We’ve put a few rules in place and will see how it goes.
Other things: Tom now wears 3-4 year old sizes, but needs a belt for the trousers.
He’s getting much more confident talking to other kids, both at nursery and in the park.
He always asks ‘what am I going to do when I’ve had my sleep’ when he goes to bed and wants to know if a meal is lunch or dinner. I’m considering getting him a magnetic calendar so he can see the pattern of his day.
He asks ‘who buyed that’ about everything he sees. This can be quite annoying since he sometimes refuses to believe my answers! He thinks the grocery shopping is ‘buyed’ by the delivery man, which I find irritating when I have paid for it… Need to work on the difference between ‘brought’ and ‘bought’ I think.