Sunday, 13 September 2009

Close Encounters!

Last week we had an outing to Skansen. The second time in two weeks.

We had a full afternoon of looking at different animals - cats, pigs, goats, elk, bears, seal and otters before we were getting peckish and thoughts were turning to food. So, off we headed to one of the restaurants that was a 10 minute hike.

But Alice was lagging behind. When I asked her what she was doing she said se was collecting nuts (acorns) for the squirrels and that if we saw a squirrel we should let her know.

Red Squirrels
There are quite a few red squirrels at Skansen - and if you're lucky you can see one fairly close.

Early in the summer we had visited Skansen and a squirrel approached within 5 metres of platform near the bear enclosure. Alice managed to go forward and tempt it to her - but half-lunging to give it a hug. So, after that occasion she believes that squirrels like her.

After a few minutes walking we saw a squirrel near the path ahead. Alice headed forward with her acorns and crounched down calmly and held them out. We kept our distance to see what would happen.

Feeding Time
We were surprised to see it come forward, take an acorn from her palm and start eating there in front of her. Maybe it was the same one that had been half hugged by Alice earlier in the summer - and so had some sort of bond with her.

We watched this spectical for about five minutes (myself trying to take a few pictures) before Alice got impatient and went for the hug/stroke. This got the little fella skittish - gave Alice a little scratch and off it went.

Exercise Time
But Alice still had a couple of acorns... So the little fella was coaxed out again.

By this time the squirrel was a bit more jumpy - and so was Alice. So, whilst Alice got half a stroke of the squirrel, in its jumpy state it was Emily who got the real close-up!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Doubting Daughter!

Alice was very pleased to get her old pillow case to take home, here, from nursery. I think she had forgotten that we'd prepared it for her 3 years ago.

This forgotten pillow case probably contributed to here reaction when she saw the pillow case done for Emily (here):-
Alice: Did you do that?

Me: Yes.

Alice: Are you tricking me?

Me: No.

Alice: Are you sure?

Me: Yes. (laughing - which didn't help!)

The idea of being "tricked" is a phase she's going through now - pretty much a continuation from the April fools jokes, here.

At least, I hope it's just a phase....

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Pillow Case done!

Emily is currently going through her familiarisation (in-schooling) with dagis (nursery) and today she will sleep there for the first time (maybe!)

All the kids have personalized pillows/pillow covers and so we made one for Emily. When Alice was sleeping at dagis her pillow cover was of Mumin Mamma, here. Emily also likes mumin - and Pippi (långstrump/longstocking) and Upsy Daisy.

In the end I went for Upsy Daisy:-

She's had it at home for a few days now - calling it 'Daisy'. I'm waiting to see how it goes today - on standby in case I need to go in.

Nervous Kids
The dagis has some blueprints on the walls from when the building was put up in the 40's. The blueprint shows different rooms for the children, a kitchen, bathroom and store rooms.

However, it was another room that caught my eye - a separate room marked on the plans as being for "nervous children"!

I've seen a couple of candidates for that title in the past - but they're cared for differently these days!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Just like big sis

Day three of Emily's intro to dagis (nursery) and I'm trying to get us all organised so that we're there in good time. I want to get there so that we have a little time with Alice there instead of just dumping her and rushing off...

Getting Ready
The getting ready routine in the household is usually "last-minute". Not quite the smooth "just-in-time" approach of Toyota, but more a panic-striken attempt to beat the clock (there's probably some comic game-show analogy there...)

We're also not used to using the clock - we've never really been in a rush for Alice to get to dagis - unless there was some outing or activity starting at a certain time. So changing that around has been a shock to the system - for all of us.

The "just-in-time" approach means breakfast, tv, teeth-brushing, getting dressed and out of the door. Ideally the tv time should be as little as possible to minimise a tv-coma effect - easier said than done if I need to do some extra preparation...

I would ideally like to organise the clothes the previous night but as we're soon moving into autumn there can be more variation in the weather. So everything starts with checking the thermoter for the outside temperature. Alice will always want to wear the minimum amount of clothes but the thermometer will indicate whether she'll start out in a summer dress, 3/4 length trousers, rain gear, sandals, trainers, wellies, socks or no-socks etc, etc.

Beat the clock
Getting clothes organised for both and teeth brushed.... I start brushing my teeth and give a brush to Emily (not so much brushing for Emily but getting a little bit of flouride on the teeth is the aim). Emily wanders off.

Alice pops her head around the bathroom door to ask a question.


She's drawn in biro all over her face.... Ok she'll have to go like that. I finish brushing my teeth and fetch the clothes I'd picked out for Emily and return.


Emily has found a blue marker pen that Alice had been using - Alice didn't notice due to a tv-induced coma... Blue ink in the face and all down both legs!

I manage to get most ink off the face - but she still has a blue tinge. Too much ink on the legs - and I'd manage to pick shorts for today! Oh well, we're out of time so we have to go.

Proshers at workImage via Wikipedia

So I turn up to dagis with Alice sporting a biro beard, moustache and glasses and Emily, who as a look of a smurf about her....

I'm not sure if I was getting sympathy, pity or "just another hopeless dad..." judgement from the people I met...