Monthly Archives: March 2013

Thank You, Harry


…for making a difficult journey a happy one.

She didn’t know who we were, but you smiled anyway and made a poorly lady feel better and lent her your smile.

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I wasn’t sure what to say, or what to do, but you gurgled and rolled and smiled and you told us both that all we needed to do was sing!

Nana started with ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ and we both sang you ‘The Hokey Cokey’ … amazing what a failing mind can remember!

I’m so pleased that I went

Thank you xx


Let the weaning commence!


Oh my Harry… you are growing up so fast.

Things I will miss when you really get going on solids:

The smell of your sweet milky breath

the fact you were never really ‘dirty’!

those lovely breast-fed poos (!!!!! yes, in comparison, these are a blessing!)

the amount of time we spent snuggled up, feeding.

Love you little man!


Pitter patter rice drops!


We’ve been playing with rice recently. I know it’s a staple (scuse the pun!) of Early Years places from here to anywhere, but you just can’t beat the scope of its potential for play!  This time, we explored the sound that it makes when sprinkled from a height on different bits and bobs.  Toby found that dropping it onto the muffin tin made a sound ‘like rain’ and that the plastic ice cube tray made a different pitch.  the tin was then transferred into the oven for ‘cooking’.

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Harry had also enjoyed sitting in the rice and feeling it in his hands and on his toes.  No pictures of that though as I was too busy trying to stop him eating it!

such simple things!

The generation game


Tomorrow I am taking my youngest son to meet his Great Grandmother for the first, and last, time.  She won’t know who he is, or who I am, and won’t remember that we’ve been there at all.  But I want her to see him all the same.  And I want to see her to say goodbye.  Not everyone understands this…we are not a terribly close family…but before she leaves us, which won’t be long, I need to make that connection across the generations.

Nana is, and always has been, a fiercely independent lady.  The sort of Gran that bought me things just to piss my mother off (she’s my Dad’s mother!), who flew down the sand dunes near her home in a race to the sea and who wasn’t afraid fly caution to the wind when it came to childcare.  She let me build barbecues on the beach and cook her dinner when I was 11  or 12; she told me stories of giants and father Christmas living in the woods when I was much younger and it is with her that I remember tobogganing and endlessly playing on the slot machines.  There are too many memories for here and now.

She used to buy me shandies in the pub way before I was old enough to drink and was a rubbish cook.

I loved how she just accepted me for me with no expectations.  I entered my own worlds when I stayed with her and she would never bother me.

My Dad and others don’t really rate her terribly highly as a mother, but I think she was the best sort of gran, although I was never able to share any problems or worries…we just had fun.

And my parents are very different.

I hope I have a little of Nana’s spirit in  me.

And I want my sons to know about her.

So although she won’t be bothered whether we come or not, I want to say ‘thank you’ and I want a picture of her with Harry (I already have one of her and Toby)so that one day, when they ask who she is, I can tell both my boys about the times we shared when I was a girl.


Potting and posting


Toby has recently been really keen on singing…anything from nursery rhymes to the theme tune to Thomas (he knows the order all the engines are mentioned in that bloody song…I hope you too have “they’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight” in your head!).  Quite often we go to a singing session with a local singer/songwriter, Nick Cope, who write fantastic songs for kids (have a look here).  One of the songs, ‘Grow, Grow, Grow’ has been a favourite for a while now and so I thought we could follow the words of the song and plant some seeds:

Stick your finger in the ground

make a little hole that’s small and round,

drop a seed in

and cover it just so.

with a little sunshine,

with a little rain,

that little seed ill start to change,

and it will

grow grow grow grow grow grow grow grow grow.


We planted sunflowers and nasturtiums in the compost but then thought we would also try cress heads:


This was adult led so in the afternoon, I put out some more compost, pots, a trowel and some green-coloured rice as ‘seeds’ for free play.



He didn’t spend very long here but perhaps once his seeds start shooting, he might get more interested!  I’ve also got plans for an area in our garden that could be just for him, but it needs to get above freezing first!


I also pinched an idea from theimaginationtree for exploring different materials by creating a ‘drop-zone’ made out of a paper tube that I’d painted, stuck to the door



I put some buttons, corks, pegs and some pens/pencils for him to post through the tube.



Toby enjoyed this quite a lot…especially when the corks needed to be put in just right as they were almost the same diameter as the tube.


Then it was back to the cars!

Staying connected for Matilda Mae


Today a mummy is doing what no mother should ever have to do.  No father for that matter too.  They are celebrating the too short life of their little Matilda Mae and saying goodbye with a beautiful service they have planned.  And I am sitting here wondering why my tears are falling so freely.  Why it is that I am holding my children a little tighter, being a little more patient.  Why do I feel like a different kind of mummy?  I don’t know the family but I, like many others, have been party to a mother’s grief and have felt connected.

Other bloggers have written about why it is that the online community have been so strongly behind Jennie (The Boy and Me says it perfectly) but for me, the connection is both direct and, perhaps, more nebulous.

I can’t know how Jennie is feeling today and I wouldn’t presume that my own experience is anything like hers, but I too have lost a baby.  I don’t have the aching, empty arms that Jennie has talked about because I never held her and I can’t miss her face, because I never saw it.  But to me, she was a baby to hold, a toddler to chase , a teenager to cajole and a mother herself because in my mind, her potential was real.  Now, with my two boys, no matter how wonderful every part of them is (and it is), I have realised that childhood is full of loss.  They will never again have that newborn smell; once they can walk, they will never be a crawler again…the list goes on.  Except this kind of loss is not tragic because it is accompanied by the excitement about the next stage…and they are still there.  But maybe one reason why so many parents have felt so deeply for Jennie and her family is because we are all living with a sense of loss that helps us all imagine, and that is all we can do, what sort of an impact a terminal loss might have.

That’s the direct connection I have felt and now for the more nebulous…

What I have witnessed on Twitter and on others’ blogs over the last month or so since Baby Tilda’s death has been nothing short of love.  For some, love for a friend, for others a more universal kind of love for another who is hurting.  There has been a raw, honest opening from Matilda’s mummy that has allowed others of us to accept our own, deepest and strongest feelings…and to feel connected.  For me this has meant an opening of my heart: in sorrow for Jennie and Matilda Mae; in a renewed sort of love for my boys.  I am not the same sort of mummy.

Part of Matilda’s funeral today was about her legacy and although it has been said before and will be said again, over here her legacy is love.  What a footprint to leave on the world.

I don’t think I will ever forget this time, or Matilda’s name.  She is there in the stars and she is in the hearts of many.  All this is because her Mummy chose to share, to connect with the rest of the world in these darkest moments and for a mummy to do that, to have that impact, only shows how much that little girl was cherished and how special she must have been and how lucky she was to have chosen that mummy as her own.


Sleep tight little one, your star will forever shine bright.