Oh yes she did…

I have been so utterly rubbish lately at keeping up with doing any kind of blog. That’s partly because I’ve been so busy myself, and partly because Molly doesn’t seem to want to do anything very interesting at the moment. I am assuming it’s because she’s tired when she gets home from school and just needs/wants to veg out. There are only so many pictures of her laying around and watching telly I can take!

I will try to do better, really I will!

In the past couple of weeks we have had some good times, like all taking part in Panto in a Day and going to the cinema and for a meal as a family, and some bad times. Unfortunately since she went back to school, things haven’t been quite as good as they were before Christmas. A lot of days she has come home and reported that she has been put on the cloud for minor misdemeanours. I am disappointed because we had got to a stage before the holidays where she was on the sunshine pretty much every day. I keep talking to her about her behaviour, but I am not sure what more I can do. She does get unplugged days still if the behaviour has been bad enough to warrant it, but a lot of the time the problem is so minor it doesn’t seem worth punishing her for at home.

Her behaviour at home has been another matter. At times, it has been downright appalling. She is also not necessarily behaving whilst we’re out, which is new territory for us as she has previously mostly been good when we’ve been out in public. This past weekend’s cinema trip is a perfect example – she is usually very good at the cinema or theatre, but this time she squirmed, wriggled, talked, had to go to the loo twice and wanted to sit in the row behind us with strangers and couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let her. Then we went for a meal (because it was too late to go home and cook something) and she was a perfect angel and ate beautifully. Then we went home and she turned back into a monster at bedtime. I just can’t keep up with her!

I’m hoping the phase will soon pass and that as she learns to read more fluently, she will spend time doing that and not annoying us! Fingers crossed…

Anyway, here are some photos from the past couple of weeks!

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Happy Birthday Moobag!

So after three days of celebrations, I think we can officially say our little lady is five years old and we are knackered!

Five!

How the hell did that happen? How is she not a teeny tiny baby any more? It feels like only a few minutes ago we brought her home from the hospital!

More to the point, how has she made it this far without us killing her either by accident or design? Some days it’s been close, in both ways! She is like a small teenager just recently, any time we do or say something she doesn’t like, we get folded arms and stamped feet and makes a duck face like a fifteen year old! It is sooooo funny and we can’t help but laugh, which just makes her more cross with us!

But. She’s also beautiful and crazy and clever and funny and compassionate and kind. I am so proud of her, even when I want to sell her to the circus. More significantly for me, judging by yesterday, she is liked and respected by her peers. Standing in the kitchen cutting up pizza and listening to them argue about who got to sit next to Molly made my heart so full.

So happy birthday Moobag, I love you oodles.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

The end of 2017 hasn’t been too great for me, I’ve been really ill with a recurrent viral infection that gave me flu like symptoms and a terrible cough. I spent a lot of the time I wasn’t out and about unconscious on the sofa and between that and all the Christmas goings on, I didn’t see an awful lot of Mouse. I can’t even say it’s given me good abs, so total fail!

On the bright side I’m starting to feel much better now and we have had a lovely Christmas Day at home with Molly and Nanny Jan. There were so many squeals of delight and we metered out the present opening so it took all day! I have never known a child to be so happy about getting clothes as presents!

Here are today’s lovely photos and I’m looking forward to getting my health and the blog back on track in 2018.

Merry Christmas one and all, and much love to everyone!

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A good week, better weekend!

Last week was a busy week, as per usual, and as normal Mouse was her usual yin-yang self. Hard as it is to take her behaviour at home sometimes, I have said before and I still maintain that I would far rather she was a pain in the arse at home than at school. Her record of only making it as far as the cloud for minor transgressions still stands and I’m pleased to say that she’s on the sunshine more days than she isn’t, which is good news considering the concerns I had about her before she left nursery.

She is also very committed to making sure she does her homework. Her home reading is done every time she brings the book home – she is really enjoying beginning to read, she’s so proud when she sounds something out and works out what it says for herself. I am also very proud and I must admit to a few soppy moments while she’s at it. Seeing her loving books makes my heart glad. She is so keen to do her other homework that it’s completed during the weekend and she takes it back to school with her on Monday rather than waiting for the deadline on Wednesday. Long may it continue!

We had a truly lovely weekend with friends and family. Friday night was spent with one of the lovely gentlemen who comes to our karaoke on Friday nights, at a party celebrating his 80th birthday. It’s not often you can say you were out-partied by an 80 year old but he managed it! It didn’t help that I was poorly and lost my voice half way through the night, but it was still a lovely evening.

On Saturday, Uncle Jamie took Molly to Norwich for the day for a football match. They had a lovely time visiting my grandparents and going to the match, and we had a lovely child-free day and a trip to the theatre to see one of the most beautiful, perfect pieces of performance I have ever seen. We saw Kelsey Grammer starring in Big Fish The Musical. Now say what you want about his private life and his politics, but his acting is superb. The whole cast were wonderful, and it’s just such a beautifully told, moving, universal story about parents and children. I openly wept and according to the cast-members I saw in the bar afterwards, so did they! It’s on at The Other Palace, near Buckingham Palace, until 31 December. If you can  get tickets, I can’t recommend it enough!

Then yesterday we had a lovely day out in and around Leicester Square with our friend David, who we don’t see nearly often enough. We had lunch in the Moon Under Water, then went to M&M World for a look around in the overwhelming smell of chocolate, then we went for a walk through China Town and finished up at Caffe Nero for a chai latte. A perfect afternoon! Then it was home for Strictly, ice cream and setting up our new toy – we got an Alexa!

Now let’s see how long it takes Molly to give it a nervous breakdown!

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Where are the days going?!

I totally forgot to blog on Sunday because… well… to be honest I totally forgot it was Sunday! When I realised at bedtime, I thought “oh that’s okay, I’ll do it tomorrow”. And now here we are, and it’s Wednesday, and I’m not quite sure how that happened!

One of the reasons I didn’t think about what day it was on Sunday was because we had a really tough weekend with Molly. She was a good girl at dancing on Saturday morning, but that was pretty much as far as it went. Other than that, she was a bit of a stroppy monster. I actually can’t remember now how many times she was taken to her room over the two days for being a thoroughly grotty little beast.

Everything seems to evoke tantrums at the moment and I know from speaking to other mums that I am not the only one having to put up with massive amounts of bullshit from their kid. It’s as though they start school and your child is suddenly replaced with an evil-minded little gremlin. And let’s be honest, Molly was hardly a little angel to begin with!

The saving grace – and the thing stopping us from listing her on eBay – is that she is mostly being good at school. She never seems to go any further than the cloud and that is for minor transgressions like talking on the carpet when she should be listening. She’s coming home with stickers for good work most days, so I think that in spite of the minor issues that are happening things are generally moving in a positive direction.

To top it all off, she is reading! I mean, she isn’t fluent or anything yet, but she’s capable of sounding out words to work out what they say and she’s aware of tricky words where the letters don’t make the same sounds as usual. She also seems to be grasping what is actually happening in her books, too! I’m hoping this is the start of a long and beautiful love affair with books for her. Fingers crossed!

I’m not going to talk about “Jolly Phonics”, because argh! Can I remember 26 different hand gestures that don’t seem to have anything to do with the sounds? Can I fuck as like! Happily she seems to know all the sounds perfectly well without them.

Here are last week’s pictures. I will try to be less crap this coming Sunday!

Avid breakfast time tv watcher. I blame Daddy.

love for Elmo.

mmm potato waffle.

ear muffs!

little geek.

so solemn.

drawing at the Chinese. It’s a thing.she does torture that poor cat!

hanging out at karaoke.

not quite what I was thinking of…

pile of family.

what happens when you won’t just buy her a random tomato juice…

apparently she’s a unicorn.

snapchat fun!

dinner time.

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A whole different life

Apologies for the distinct lack of blogs lately. Things have been crazy busy with the two shows and then going to visit my Mum for her birthday.

It’s also sinking in how different my life is now that Molly is at school. On a day to day basis, I feel as though I barely see her. I go in and kiss her in the morning before I head to work and of course I see her in the afternoons either at home or when I collect her from the child minder. The thing is, she is being so good at school (for the most part. She was a bit wobbly before the holiday but has been on the sunshine every day for the last week) that all her tension is coming out at Home and she is spending a lot of time having tantrums, laying face down on the floor or up in her room in disgrace. That goes double for the weekends, when she is just being a little monster for the majority of the time.

So just for now, I am going to only promise one blog a week with a digest of the best pictures and an update of the highs and lows. Perhaps in time we will go back to more often, but there are only so many crying face pictures people want to see!

So here are the pick of the pics for this week:

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Photo Friday

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A day of two halves

This morning I thought we were in for the most dreadful day with Miss Molly. She didn’t want to get ready for dancing and it ended up being a two man job – and still a bit of a struggle – to get her into her uniform and out of the door. I arrived at the class feeling a bit harassed, I’m not going to lie! Then the class before was running a bit late and she was prancing around like a looney with the other girls and I had that awful feeling of mortified dread I get when I’m quite sure that she’s about to be an absolute horror for someone.

Remarkably, she did make it all the way through the class without getting yelled at and without having to come out for a wee. You could have knocked me down with a feather! The good streak lasted long enough for us to make a quick dash to ASDA for a few last minute bits and pieces for show week. I had a little bit of hope in my heart.

It was misplaced. When we got home, she turned back into the devil and spent an inordinate amount of time face down on the floor. It was mostly because I gave her what she asked for as her lunch and then she decided she wanted what I had and we told her she couldn’t have it until she had eaten what she asked for. It resulted in her not finishing her lunch and being escorted upstairs by Daddy to think about her actions.

The one upside was that I heard her put on her television and yelled up to her that she wasn’t allowed to watch it. To my shock, she actually turned it off again!

I went to try and speak to her about things once, but she was unreceptive so I left her to it. When I checked again, she was asleep.

We let her nap for about an hour and a half and when she got up again, she was a different child. She apologised to us both for her earlier behaviour and proceeded to be much sweeter and more endearing for the rest of the day. We had a bit of FaceTime with the family and then I reminded her that she had homework.

That was it. The homework had to be done immediately! She packed away her toys and sat down with me with a sharpened pencil and we did the whole lot. Lots of letter formation practice and lots of working out what words started with the letters she’s been learning. She’s very quick with it and she seems to be smart enough to make jokes and pretend that words start with other letters and laugh about it.

I am really, really proud of her for wanting to do her homework and for concentrating and staying focused for the whole of it. When we had finished all the writing practice, she wanted to go over her sounds and actions because “I’m not always getting them right, am I Mummy?” So. Freaking. Proud.

After that it was time for dinner, which she wolfed down in short order, even beating Daddy, and dessert before a shower and stories and bed. She has unfortunately gotten up a couple of times since then but she has been so adorable when we’ve taken her back to bed that we’ve kind of forgiven her.

Tomorrow the madness of show week starts over again and I’m just hoping her sweet streak stays in evidence for the babysitters we have lined up!

morning cuddles with Dresden.

little dancing queen.

shopping is serious business.

homework time. We did 8 letters altogether!

making it pretty for her teacher!

helping to make dinner.

dinner chat with Daddy.

ice cream!

love for Jackson.

bedtime story time. I did start off reading but she sacked me for not doing a terrible Australian accent like Daddy does!

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Ups and Downs

This starting school lark is a bit of a minefield. It’s also a very strange change of pace for me and I must admit I’m struggling a little bit to adjust to it.

When she was at Nursery it was almost always me dropping her off and picking her up every day. We got a lovely sheet that told us what she’d eaten and how much, and I chatted with the staff every day so I always had my finger on the pulse of what she’d been doing and how her behaviour was. Any problems I could nip in the bud and I knew what had happened so that I could talk to her about it properly.

Honestly, right now, I feel like a mushroom.

Now that settling is over, I basically have no contact with the school at all. I never go there because Daddy does drop offs and she is collected by him or the childminder. I am having to rely on him to be the messenger and it’s a role that he’s not very good at. I know that she is getting on the cloud most days, but she has never made it as far as the thundercloud. But when you ask her why she ended up there, she just says she doesn’t remember. She doesn’t remember what she’s had for lunch, either. She definitely gets that from Daddy.

The teachers have spoken to Daddy a couple of times now. The problems that have raised their heads are the old standard ones we had at Nursery – not listening, not tidying up when she’s supposed to, and doing her own thing. Pretty standard Mouse behaviour, but I had so hoped it wouldn’t be like that at school. She keeps claiming she’s tired, but for the most part she’s getting 11-12 hours a night, so I think it’s just an excuse she’s locked on to.

She is definitely starting to learn to read now, though. If you sound out how something is spelled, she can now find the word. On the remote control, for example. She’s also starting to identify words that start with particular sounds “Em for Molly. And Mummy. And Mayonnaise. And Mouse.”

I am hopeful that actual reading is close around the corner, and with it the magical transformation to bookworm and subsequent peace and quiet my Mum had with me. She definitely loves books and stories, so fingers crossed!

when the floor is lava.

teaching her own class at home.

setting the table for dinner….

and cleaning up afterwards!

hanging out at rehearsal.

the excitement when I told her who will be looking after her whilst we do Parade next week!

well that’s one way of getting your sweatshirt off, I suppose!

dinner time! No food issues when there’s mash, that’s for sure!

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One down, one to go

So one show week is done and dusted, and the other is next week. This is the calm between the storms, although we still have rehearsals and lots of other commitments on.

I barely saw Miss Mouse last week as she doesn’t get up until after I leave for work, and on the days she goes to the childminder, she wasn’t getting home until after I had left for the theatre. Daddy told me that she was missing me, so on the day she was going to be at home when I got there, I rushed back to make sure I could spend a little time with her. She threw herself at me as I came through the door, but in all honesty I needn’t have rushed as two minutes later, she was done with me and wanted to go back upstairs to her telly! It was as though she just wanted to check I was alive and having done that, she was content to go back to ignoring me. I called up to her before I left and asked if she wanted a five minute cuddle before I went, and she came down but informed me she only had time for a one minute cuddle because she was busy!

She has obviously started to feel at home at school, too, because her true colours are starting to shine through. We have been told a couple of times that she hasn’t been listening to instructions, which is the age-old problem we had at nursery too. I suspect she is feeling a bit bored and frustrated, however, as whilst she is kind to the children who are upset at the time, she is coming home and complaining to me that she still can’t read and write because other children aren’t settled and they can’t start really learning things until that happens. I am slightly concerned, because as I have said before, I really don’t want her to be That Child, but so far it seems to be low-key. They have a behaviour line in the classroom that starts on sunshine for good behaviour and moves through a cloud and a raincloud before getting to a thundercloud. Being on the thundercloud means that the teachers will speak to your parents about what you’ve done. She hasn’t made it as far as the thundercloud yet, but she has been on the cloud and the raincloud quite a lot. In fact, I was quite cross with Daddy one day last week because the teachers had verbally told him she hadn’t been listening and had been a pain and when I got home she was watching Star Wars!

I have instigated a new regime at home – we are no longer removing privileges, she has to earn them. Staying on the sunshine all day coupled with good behaviour at home equals the right to watch telly and use her tablet. I’m hoping this will be a bit more effective, and a bit easier for Daddy to remember!

Yesterday was our first proper evening back together, and she was a little bugger. She stayed on the sunshine at school all day and good for the childminder, and obviously the effort of holding it all in had to be released when she got home! She also didn’t want to go to bed and kept on getting up. It wasn’t all bad, though, she did ninja her tea and do some lovely colouring. A bit more of that and a bit less flopping around like a piece of cooked spaghetti would be nice!

how she behaved when we got home… oh dear…

put your coat away, I said. So she slid across the floor on it like this…

one ninja’d dinner!

colouring time.

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