Friday 28 September 2012

Why Do I Blog?

I'm feeling a little out of sorts to day. I had a dream last night in which I punched holes, large and gaping, through the walls of my flat (Younger Dad won't forgive me). And I'm starting to realise this might be linked to something I've been mulling over, a question that keeps swimming to the front of my mind, and won't go away, the question is this ...


Recently it's felt a lot like hard work. Like all the colour has rinsed out of my enthusiasm, and ideas. I've lost something ... some sparkle ... now what's the word I'm looking for? ... some SPONTANEITY. This morning I was re-reading a few of my very first posts, like this one, and this one. And you know what? I felt rankled. My writing was so free, so much more in the moment, unplanned. And something of that magic dust has lost itself somewhere, somehow. Don't get me wrong, I like the style in which I write, it's detailed, it's descriptive, but if I'm really honest with myself, I think it's lacking a little life. A little chutzpah. Maybe I'm just having a bad day... 

Lately, I've become a little too obsessive with prose, and words, and sentence structure, and like the dream, I need to take a hammer to the self inflicted walls I've imposed upon myself... And smash my tendency to perfectionism (it's taken hours writing some posts). And smash through my tendency to self criticism. 

Break on through to the other side sister.

Then there's comments. In the early days no one commented on my posts. No one. And there was something quite liberating in that. I could really write what I wanted. No need to impress (self imposed). No expectations. Nothing. Now I do love comments. The more the merrier (keep the blog love coming). I really appreciate the support, and the new friendships I've gained (my readers are lovely). And, it satisfies the narcissist in me - that self interested part that likes the external mirror to say, 'you're okay'. But I have noticed a subtle pull in my compulsion to write - do I blog to write or do I blog for comments? For the approval? For the affirmation? Of course I blog to write, but inkling tells me I need to step away from the attraction to the latter. That's not a healthy reason to pen a post.

So, why do I blog? Why do I spend hours in front of a flat screen? Well, it was never my original intention. The reason I started my first blog was to make some extra cash (don't snigger), but then I discovered the joys of the written word. And I couldn't stop. Plain and simple. Blogging has helped me to work through the residues of traumatic birth, depression, has helped to reconnect my mind and body, to excavate treasure from my thoughts, my imagination, to re-route my creativity, and to feel human and intelligent again after the birth of my beloved Little A. In a nut shell, and not to sound too cliched, I blog to both find and re-invent myself. I blog to breath. And now, blogging offers a blank canvas, a public tool for learning to write, a hope that I might dare to pen a lengthy story one day...

Writing this felt like a breath of fresh air. I really, really needed to do this. It's the most impromptu post I've written in a long while. (and it only took me 45 minutes).

Time to put a cuppa on, and spell check.

Thursday 27 September 2012

#Once upon a time - When Fog Struck

Once upon a time .....

On a somber morning, I watched from the warming comfort of a cushion plumped sofa (and with a seasonal mug of cocoa in hand) as rolls of ghost-leaden mist descended beyond the dusty pane of the living room window, thickening the bitter Winter chill. Outside, the atmospheric omens didn't look promising. The fog curdled, unmovable, hanging densely in the air, choking giraffe-necked street lamps, stroking frost bitten windows, and muffling the click-clack of heels straining direction on icy flagstones.

Today was the 31st of December, '95 on the cusp of giving sway to '96, the old year dying into a more urgent version of itself. My record box, a green flight case gilded with 'fragile' stickers, was tightly packed with analogue rushing trance, bass heavy techno, tech house, deep house, acid house, house... Each record sleeve compressed against the other like slices of prepacked ham.

I was set to play a New Years Eve DJ tour of France - one night, four gigs - that began in Paris, took in Lyons, and ended in Montpellier. And as it was New Year, I was to receive double payment for each performance - definitely an auspicious start to '96! AND, my French agent threw in a free flight for a friend. So, H - entourage, supporter, best friend - was to accompany me on this whistle stop Gallic adventure.

Then, a phone call from my English agent with bad tidings. The fog that currently, and without invitation, inhabited my street held greater ambitions, swathing ground level opaque cloud over the rest of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, (the Universe), the English Channel and most of France. Heathrow was closed. Gatwick was closed. Charles De Gaulle was closed. Disheartened, dismayed, I was set to give up, when my French agent later phoned to offer, with hopeful spin, that Montpellier airport was still open, that although three of my gigs were now cancelled, the final one in the South of France was still on. Weather pending, New Year was partially salvageable after all. So the flight was re-directed from Gatwick (in the faith it reopened its runways) to Montpellier airport, and with that, H and I decided to risk the pre booked National Express voyage down South.  

There was not much to view from the coach window. Only the hard shoulder was distinctly visible, the one solid indicator we were moving forwards. The fog distorted all that was rounded, friendly, and familiar. Out of the cloaking gloom, architecture and nature poised to attack; sharp angles protruded, branches clawed, groping for clearer air, indicator lights cast eerie pools of dampened red and orange.

It was early evening by the time we arrived at Gatwick. The terminal was very, very empty. A select handful of flights were now operating including, with great relief, ours. Calls were made to agents, "we're coming!" Arrangements were made for the pick up at the other end. H and I ate in a very empty Burger King. We sat in a very desolate check in hall, the hours rapidly counting down to midnight. Waiting for the flight desk to open, we overheard the echoing conversation of the only other tourists, an ageing American couple, who stood protectively glued to their luggage...

"Honey, make sure you keep your bag closed."


"We're in a third world county. Something might get stolen."

I tried to spot a camouflaged thief in the surrounding wilderness. H and I, both taken aback, looked at each other, eyebrows quizzically raised, telepathically communicating the same thought. Were they referring to us? Do we look like criminals? We were wearing woolly hats, not balaclavas. And besides, we were flying business class, with hand luggage, not shot guns.

We must have been the first to check-in as our flight was surprisingly full. New Year chimed at 35,000 feet.  Our plastic flutes, bubbling with warm champagne, joined in a celebratory toast, to H and I, to new beginnings, on wards and up wards. It wasn't long before my bladder was frothing with fizz. Dragging my merry legs to the mile high lavatory, I spotted techno God Father, DJ Juan Atkins, sitting in economy looking rather po-faced. I sheepishly said hello, but didn't bother properly introducing myself. I mean, who was I? Just a humble minion, bottom (almost) of the techno DJ family tree.

Our feet touched French soil, well tarmac, a little beyond the witching hour. Luggage reclaimed, I greeted my record box like a long lost friend. I could handle missing knickers (I think). Not records. But poor Juan (see above), his box of 12" tricks had escaped onto a different flight. He looked drained of any humour. He wasn't going to be spinning any records that night...  

At the arrivals lounge H and I stumbled upon a scene that resembled a military base. The space was occupied by a small testosterone sea of berets, boots and guns. What was the army doing here at this ungodly time in the morning? H wisely suggested we shouldn't bother enquiring. We waited nervously, inconspicuously. Almost two hours later, our chauffeur, a dopey bloke in khakis - probably a mate of the promoters - finally appeared to chaperon H and I, at treacherously high speed, to the gig.

I can't recall much of the club night or the set I played. But...There was more champagne. A lot more. There was pulsing bass, and hip throwing rhythms (the French love their techno). There was a blanket of dry ice, an indoor continuum of the day's thwarting fog. There was a strobe light that cast the limbs of whistling, cheering clubbers in time stopping slow motion. There were my stifled yawns as I chose vinyl to spin at 4.30 am.

And then it was over. Happy New Year.

Back at the hotel room, H and I laid in bed gathering the duvet around us. We couldn't sleep. So we talked. And talked. And talked. About our lives, our loves, our pasts. We panned golden nuggets from our shared histories, discovering things in common, things that intertwined our bond, things we might not have shared had we not found ourselves in a double bed in Montpellier.

January 1st was clear, balmy, almost Spring-like. H and I dunked fresh croissants in mugs of gloopy hot chocolate, our sisterhood strengthened, on new fertile ground. We had fought the fog of yesterday, and here we were, today, on New Years Day, in the South of France, talking, smiling, about our mist banishing clarity, our deepened understanding, of ourselves, our friendship, and of our familial affection for each other...

As the moving walkway conveyed us to the baggage reclaim area at Gatwick, our attention was caught by a tall, glamorous woman stood several feet in front of us. She was wearing an ankle length coat, thick with pelt and fur, that she'd protectively, and maybe politically, turned in side out. Squeezed under her right arm was the tiniest of toy dogs...

...H and I, both taken aback, looked at each other, eyebrows quizzically raised, telepathically communicating the same thought.

So once upon a time, what did you enjoy (or dislike) doing, seeing or creating? It could be anything. What were you like many moons ago? Do you have a once upon a time story to tell or picture to share? It could be a happy, sad or humorous tale. The skies the limit. So do link up below and grab the badge code ... and don't forget to tweet #onceuponatime. This is a monthly meme.

You can read my other once upon a time stories here.

Once Upon A Time
Grab the badge code ...

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Monday 24 September 2012

100 Word Challenge - Long Way Down


David, dressed, sat on the edge of the bed, summarising his existence.

Always wanting. Never stopping. Grasping more.

Staring at the carpet, he witnessed the empty abyss of his own creation. It was a long way down.

It mattered not whether he returned the advance. He was finished.

Dead if he did. Dead if he didn't.

But The Client could kiss his note stuffed arse as far as the money was concerned.

Laptop open, he distributed the dividends without trace. Most to charity. Some to his brother. And a little compensatory bonus to Charlotte - he owed her.

Then, for a last cup of coffee.

I'm linking up with JB47's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt was an image ...

This is part of a wider story. You can read the other instalments in the series here.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Good Times

It's a chilly Thursday morning, made worse by not quite dried hair. Even though it's tied in a loose knot, it still manages to send rippling waves of cold through my scalp, butterflying down my spine. So, I'm wearing a blue cardigan overlaid by a sleeveless jacket to offset the shivers. Our boiler, over aged, very tired, is on the blink. As too is my very ineffective hairdryer that's intent on blowing tepid air through my long, damp strands.

As I contemplate the sudden drop in temperature, inside and outside, and I wonder what Autumn has up her blustery sleeve, I realise I haven't told you about our recent Summer escape to the beautiful Lizard Peninsula, in South West Cornwall. I've hinted at it. But up until now, I haven't forged a blow by blow account. Don't worry, I shan't bore you with the tiniest grains of detail, just the highlights accentuated with a few pictures!

St Ives Harbour

Every year, thankfully, we manage to grab a week's break away from the walls of our two bed roomed flat. And every year, regretfully, we kick ourselves (that's Younger Dad and I) for not having taken two weeks instead - this year, probably more than any other. Have you ever been to Cornwall? Have you ever seen the abiding charm of the Lizard Peninsula? For me, other than the Lake District, it isn't like any other place in this country. Quiet, secluded, untouched. Beautiful, dramatic, undulating. The craggy coastline is dressed with golden sands, sculptured by hidden coves, decorated with tiny fishing villages, and sugar coated cottages. The landscape is unspoiled by tarmac and industry. Only fields and farmyards reign.

And as a child, The Lizard was the Summer destination, year, after year, with my parents and younger brothers. So it was a joy to return after nearly three decades. My memory, after all this time, still intact, held a vivid bygone portrait that accurately mirrored the present day. Nothing much had changed, apart from a better selection of ice lollies, and the lack of dubious role models - Punch and Judy anyone? ...

We feasted daily on Cornish ice cream (Little A introduced to the flavoured delights of chocolate, strawberry and hokey pokey honeycomb). We luncheoned on freshly baked pasties, Cornish Yarg, and plump apples. We Sunday roasted in a cliff top dining room overlooking the misty swell of the most southerly point of England. We ate locally caught fish and chips out of vinegary, salty, paper. And we scoffed three too many clotted cream teas; one afternoon, we found ourselves gorging on scones, piled chin high with jam and cream, in the front garden of a very hospitable farmer (she just happened to be selling homemade teas). The down side was that it attracted the unwanted company of determined, yet dozy, bees, and the unfortunate nostril pinching fragrance of manure, pigs, and chickens.

Little A thrived. She stroked miniature ponies. She watched cows being milked. She ran gleefully around and around the garden belonging to our holiday cottage, prodding snail shells, zig zagging after royal admirals. Sheltered under the leafy canopy of a giant rhubarb, she imagined the residents of a pair of antiquated gypsy caravans we'd discovered in the neighbouring meadow of a dairy farm. "Does the Gruffalo live in one of those tiny houses?" "Is this where Abney and Teal go on holiday?" She trekked up St Micheal's Mount, in a back pack, with Younger Dad. She built sandcastles, collected empty crab shells, hopped over baby waves. And she slept like a dream ...

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

We revisited the hotel I stayed at when I was a child.  To my dismay, it was boarded up, paint peeling from the balcony windows, moss growing on the tennis court, the garden, wild and over grown. My mind threw flashes, recollective missiles, of times gone by. Aged nine, a tennis rookie, learning the ropes with Dad. Aged eleven, eating sweet cream cakes on the manicured lawn with mum. Aged thirteen, styled in a Frankie Says Relax t-shirt, pining after a boy ...

It was wonderful, liberating, not to feel the chains of my laptop for a week. I thought about my writing a little, the direction of my blog, the plot for a novel I have in mind (whether I am brave enough to pen my story is another matter). It was lovely to be away from the call of my inbox. I spent the days doing nothing much other than sightseeing, eating, and just spending quality time with my family; we played raucous games of 'moo, baa, meow,' as Younger Dad navigated the car cautiously down tractor wide lanes to our next port of call. On the beaches, I studied sand smoothed pebbles, and let myself melt, disappear, into the light buffeting of the on shore breeze and the reserved sound of waves gently breaking at low tide. I inhaled the present, and exhaled my worries, and for those five days I forgot about my higgeldy piggeldy life outside of Cornwall.

Good times ...

Mousehole Harbour

Such a wonderful holiday was had, albeit a fortnight ago, that I'm linking this post up with Reasons To Be Cheerful.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Why? Potty Why?

I thought we had it licked. I thought it was sorted. I thought I could rid my hands of the messy business.

But no.

This gig, I could foresee, was going to take months, possibly years ...

Potty training is an onerous, frustrating mission. Two steps forward. Ten steps back.

Little A first began her 'ascension to the throne' back in January. That failed.

So I waited until she'd danced, skipped, and bunny hopped passed two and a quarter. This met with more success. Every day we held potty training sessions. A few hours in the morning. A couple in the evening. Little A sat on her potty like a true monarch. She climbed on her toilet seat like a record breaking mountaineer. She aimed. She fired. The wee wees flowed. A tinkle here. A flash flood there. But no poos. Those were still the reserve of her nappy ...

Then one day, of her own volition, Little A decided, "Mummy, I want to put my clothes on, on my woone (own), and my pants too." I spotted the opportunity. I saw the opening. And like a Roman with a big, big plan I carpe diemed with gusto ...

 "Okay Little A, you go for it , but from now on, apart from nap times and bed times, you are wearing pants. If you want to do a wee or poo, you have to do them on the potty or toilet."

 "Okay  Mummy."


The first poo on the potty, after a few months of cajoling (and bribing), was undoubtedly a mile stone...

"Look Mummy, I've done a wiggly worm."

More followed ...

"Look Mummy, I have poo all over my hand."

"Noooooo Little A, we don't wipe poo with our hands."

And then it all came to a grinding halt. The sticker charts (we have a separate one for wees and poos) lost their glittering appeal, even the extra, extra special stickers for number twos.

Little A, protesting her anal rights, refused to do anymore poos on her potty.

"Mummy, I want to do my poo in my nappy."

There was no argument to be had.

Why? Why? Why? .....

Why won't you poo on the potty?
Why do you poo under the kitchen table?
Why do you poo (in a leisurely manner) just before bedtime?
And, whilst I'm on the subject, why do you insist on looking down the toilet ... when I'm on the toilet?

And... then we found ourselves in the throes of a vicious cycle. Little A needed a poo. But by the time I'd fastened the nappy, it had gone away. And over the course of a few days of 'nappy - no poo', she became constipated, scared of emptying her bowels, of doing what she describes as a 'hurty poo'. And when it did eventually arrive (after nearly a week's abstinence), it caused her considerable discomfort.

So now we find ourselves in the situation whereby Little A is scared of releasing her number twos in either her nappy or on the toilet (she still won't go on the potty, but we've managed a few successes on the toilet, which is actually a better result). And it takes her ages to go. She feels a bowel movement, then clenches her buttocks, withholding with all her might. She whimpers. She cries 'help'. I sit with her, rubbing her back, calmly coaxing, reassuring, that it will be okay, that she will feel much better after she's done the deed. Its almost akin to helping a birthing mother through transition and second stage.

Last night it took her nearly four hours to let go and release her goodies. In the end she did it in her cot - the act of falling asleep enabled her to relax enough to go. She felt very pleased, relieved that the battle of her bowels was at an end, for now .....

So... What have your challenges been with toilet training? Have you encountered a similar problem? How did you solve the issue?

This post was meant to be a response to a tag from the wonderful Bibsey but it morphed into something else entirely. The tag was for a meme called 'Why' - A kind of parental revenge for every 'why' asked by a demanding toddler. 

100 Word Challenge - Tempted Too Far

David was greedy for opportunity, he couldn't resist the insider deals.

This time he'd been tempted too far, and failed, had screwed the timings ...

Eden within his grasp. Then snared by the snake.

As the apple fell, the phone rang ...

"You messed up David. That wasn't on the cards." The Woman fell silent.

"Listen, I can make this right. There's another trade ..."

"Enough." The Woman interrupted. "You blew it. There's no going back. You know what happens next."

The phone cut dead.

David's mouth felt drier than The Client's account.

They were coming for him. But he wasn't giving in.

He held the final plan.

I'm linking up with JB47's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt was ... as the apple fell ...

This is part of a wider story. You can read the other instalments in the series here.

Thursday 13 September 2012

#One Week - Summer '12 - Mullion

Mullion Cove holds many untainted memories. Each year, on the annual family holiday to Southern Cornwall, my parents would bring my brothers and I here, to this secluded working harbour. Come gale force winds or torrential downpours, Mullion was a yearly pilgrimage; I didn't realise at the time, I wouldn't have been aware, that the cove meant a lot to my mother.

I can still recall the waves rolling, swirling, lashing against the harbour walls, ice creams with that extra dollop of clotted cream, fishing boats moored at low tide, pirates' glistening treasure - coins, goblets, crowns - piled waist high in the neighbouring coves ...

So this summer, after nearly thirty years, I returned to Mullion Cove with Younger Dad and Little A.

After parking the car, a short walk down a gentle slope, we arrived at the harbour.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, had changed. The present day Mullion looked an exact replica of the picture in my mind. Was the present imitating the past or vise versa? The enchanting harbour. The same. The moored boats. The same. The pirate's treasure? Well I still imagined a few golden coins caught by seaweed, trapped by pebbles, in the depths of the coves.

We walked along the harbour, to the very end, where the stone walls met choppier waters. Younger Dad carried Little A in the back pack carrier, at times walking perilously close (in my eyes) to the harbour's unprotected edge; my anxiety ignited like a small explosion - Little A's not safe!

"Please don't go so close, please," failing to disguise the fear in my voice.

"Don't worry," Younger Dad calmly reassured, "I'd never harm our little darling."


I know there was no rational cause for my sudden panic, Little A was shielded, but the imagined scenario - Little A (and Younger Dad) falling down a sheer drop, Little A drowning under water - played into the type of intrusive thoughts that plagued my daily awareness when I was engulfed by post natal illness. And it would appear that they still do. I'm a neurotic mum...

My Mother has always had a special connection with the sea. She used to sail. She's never fully explained why she's so drawn to this harbour. I think a part of her soul is simply wrapped in the tranquility of Mullion Cove. It's a spiritual home, her favourite place on the planet.

She's requested that her ashes be scattered here when her time comes - a final pilgrimage to her resting place.

And when the offshore breeze carries her remains into the Atlantic, I too will be bound to Mullion.

This is the fourth day of the seasonal linky One Week. Until tomorrow, Friday, I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of summer '12. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full five days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter.

Badge Code ...

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Wednesday 12 September 2012

#One Week - Summer '12 - Beauty

I find combing beaches for pebbles, shells and other washed up oddities the most relaxing past time. I switch off when I focus on the array of hues and textures nestled in the sandy grains. I'm absorbed by the detail of something so simple as a small stone, feeling its smooth or coarse surface between the palms of my hands, admiring the flecks and punctuations of colour. I imagine how many years it's taken the tidal elements to sculpt these basic rocks.

I discovered the above creation on Praa Sands beach, Cornwall. What do you think it could be? My initial thought was that it looked like an eye. I was tempted to remove the framing seaweed but I think the artist had every intention of its inclusion in the piece. So I left it as it was supposed to be until the sea eventually reclaimed her estate.

To me, the way the pebbles have been arranged, according to the camaraderie of colour, reflects one of the basic needs of human nature - to define, to classify, to group, to find resonance in the similar and familiar, to extract symmetry and harmony from the unruly jungle created by a toddler and her toy box...

This work of art was crafted by Little A and I on the last morning of our holiday. She helped to assort our chosen pebbles according to colour; white, dusky pink, blood red(dish) and slate grey. "Mummy look, I've found another white one." "That's great, pop it on that pile there". Then two small hands assisted me in placing the white stones in the middle. The other coloured pebbles followed, positioned in circles around the centre.

Little A and I both felt very pleased with our mosaic masterpiece. But even more satisfying, was the mummy and daughter collaboration as we manifested this pebbly mandala. Just doing and being together was a thing of beauty. It washed ripples calmer than the sea over every pore of my physical self...

This is the third day of the seasonal linky One Week. Over the next few days (until Friday) I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of summer '12. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full five days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter.

Badge Code ...

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I am also linking this post up with The Gallery, this weeks theme is Beauty.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

#One Week - Summer '12 - Treasure

I don't enjoy having my photograph taken. I think it's safe to say that I'm averse to the camera lens - whether its close up or zooming out. Any soft focus is an absolute no no. On our recent holiday I am ashamed to say that zero, yes, zero pictures were taken of me to many protestations from Younger Dad. He probably has a valid point though - at the very least there should have been a few of Little A and I huddled close together. Anyway, over the last few months it appears that Little A has also developed a similar phobia to the prompts of 'smile','say cheese'. Taking photographs of her is akin to climbing a mountain blindfolded - it usually winds up as an aborted mission. She has a tendency to leaning forwards when she poses, has already fine tuned her fixed smile, and frustratingly bolts before I've had chance to snap the picture on camera.

Thank fully, Little A's burning curiosity over a lone tree stump during a recent pub lunch provided the necessary distraction needed to get her to sit still for just two precious seconds. Well almost ....

Little A .... Little A
Look at Mummy
This way
Younger Dad - STOP distracting her!

Okay. Good.
Now look at Mummy.
No, no don't lean forwards.
That's not your usual smile.

Little A .... Little A
Please, please, please look at Mummy.
Okay, look at Daddy then.

Ha ha ha. Daddy is a monster.
Look at the monster.
Isn't he funny?
That's it.


This is the second day of the seasonal linky One Week. Over the next few days (until Friday) I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of summer '12. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full five days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter.

Badge Code ...

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Monday 10 September 2012

#One Week - Summer '12 - Park Life

This is our bench. The wobbly bench. The bench we've enjoyed many of our summer picnics on, when the weather has held, and the rain-laden clouds haven't indiscreetly shared their bounty. The bench sits between two large trees in the playground of our local park. It's the bench where Piggy (me) and Bunny (Little A) come out to play .....

"Would you like a ham sandwich Bunny?"

"No Piggy."


"Can I have a Frube instead Piggy?"

"I guess so Bunny. Here you go."

"Can I have some crisps too Piggy?"

"Are you going to have any sandwich Bunny?"

"I'll think about it. Can I play now?"

"What about lunch Bunny?"

"I'm all full up Piggy."

"But you've hardly eaten anything."

"Come Piggy (dragging mummy from the bench). Watch me scooter."


I'm rather attached to our wobbly bench. Just a shame I'm not sat on it for longer than five minutes .....

This summer has seen Little A grow in her physical confidence. She was a late walker, preferring to shuffle around on her knees and all fours, until she was nearly seventeen months old. She's over two and a half years old now but has only just mastered running, albeit slowly. With her elbows tucked under her armpits, she comically resembles a little old dear as she canters across the playground tarmac. She isn't skilled at jumping either, taking shy bunny hops as an alternative leap. I see younger children with greater motor skills than hers. There's a nagging worry at the back of my mind that Little A is lagging developmentally. Do I need to be concerned? I keep reminding myself that she was a very early talker, that she's always been physically cautious, and that she will eventually catch up. Nothing is wrong I say to myself. Nothing.

Anyway, to help with her coordination we bought Little A that much desired first scooter. Initially, she was guarded in her endeavours, taking small tentative pushes, but after practise, practise and yet more practise (thank you Younger Dad), she learnt to glide with ease. It's a good thing when you no longer have to schlep the buggy to the park - just the shoulder bag and little person on the scooter.

In turn, with her new scootering credentials, Little A has tackled the municipal climbing frame with sharpened aplomb. "Go away mummy, I can do this on my woone (own)," she orders as she plants each foot and hand assuredly, and climbs up the net ladder. "Look at me mummy, I can balance on this," as I take a fat gulp while she straddles atop the highest slide...

This is the first day of the seasonal linky One Week. Over the next five days (Monday till Friday) I'll be posting a photograph(s) and a few words that diarises and distills my experience of summer '12. Take a peep at the details here. You can join in for one, two ... or the full five days. And don't forget to add #oneweek on Twitter.

Badge Code ...

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