Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Pippi Obsession!

Emily's latest obsession is Pippi Långstrump (longstocking).

Any Pippi mention or sighting usually triggers it - she will start bouncy up and down and saying "pippi" - this means she wants you to sing Pippi's song. The singing has to happen and then she bounces up and down in time to the song.

She has one item of Pippi clothing (a top) and two pippi dolls (inheritted from Alice) - there are several Pippi DVD's and a couple of books that can also trigger the demand for singing.

Well the Pippi top is a favourite item of clothing and when she's at nursery she'll apparently walk around pointing to the pippi picture on her top saying, "pippi."

This is a trick because people responding to this and maybe even (foolishly) singing are going to get a lot of visits from Emily!

One of the staff said the other day that she'd had to sing the song more than 20 times - when Emily had the top on. One of the other staff brought a pippi doll in for Emily - so now she has a prop and a prompt for when she's not wearing the pippi top. She also mentioned (jokingly) that she'd be glad when the top was too dirty to be worn.

Well, this weekend we've added to the obsession and potential torment. Emily has now got some pippi tights, 2 more pippi tops and a pair of pippi gloves. Can't wait to see the faces of the staff at nursery!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

When The Bedtime Story Bites Back!

During the week the bedtime routine can be tough! The kids have had a full day of running about in dagis whilst mum & dad have leaving/picking-up from dagis - with the early work start and late work finish that brings.

So, this whole routine occasionally takes its toll on us all. Today was no exception!

It was my turn to read a bedtime story to Alice. Emily had her own story with mum. I was very tired, so the two books we'd picked to read could be a challenge - especially as I was lying down with my head on a pillow whilst reading.

I generally put some effort into the characters for the stories - this makes it more interesting all round.

First book, Alfons Åberg (or Alfie Atkins in English) bedtime - story of a 4year-old not wanting to go to sleep and trying several different tricks to stay awake whilst his father was getting more and more tired, link. Exactly like tonight, as Alice was delaying as long as possible getting into bed and then settling down...

Anyway, this is a very nice story - quite soothing and usually does the trick about nearly inducing sleep - if we start with this book there's sometimes no need for a second. Well on this occasion it did it's best to induce sleep into me!

Alice recognises the symptoms - the pauses between sentences or pages get longer - then it's a reminder, "pappa!" So she's as much to do with us getting to the end of the story as I am.

Well, we made it through the first then it was time for the second choice: Julia Donaldson's "The Smartest Giant in Town" - another favourite. This was a struggle for me - Alice was having to work to get us to the end of the book - I was in danger of falling into a deep sleep mid-way through!

So, we made it through two books. Reading light out. Alice wasn't sleepy enough yet... But that's the last I remember - after a few minutes I'd drifted off to the land of nod - to wake up a couple of hours later.

Just like in the Alfie Atkins story - where Alfie finally decides to go to sleep because his daddy falls asleep first - Alice usually gives up and goes to sleep when I've dropped off...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Over the past few weeks I've been going out with Alice to try and learn to ride. I took the stabilisers off and attached a support handle.

First Time
I wasn't quite sure what approach to take. Attention spans aren't great at that age and distractions are many. So I decided to go to basics. This meant not letting Alice fall and talking about problems and how to correct. Needless to say, after about 20 minutes she'd had enough and wasn't talking to me!

Second Time
After the first occasion it took a while to coax her out onto the bike again. So there was about a 2 week gap to the next time. This time I was making sure she didn't fall and let her get used to the balance. However, there were still things to work on with starting, stopping and steering. Much better result in terms of self-confidence.

In the meantime I'd been taking her to nursery on the scooter and really encouraging her to practice on the balance - go as far as she could at different speeds without any feet on the floor.

Third Time
Last weekend was the third time out. She was out with "brorbror" and apparently went very well - being able to stop on her own.

Fourth Time
Today was a good day. I hardly held the bike at all. She was telling me to let go when I wasn't even holding. Starting, stopping and balance were all good. We practised going in a circle slowly. Just need a bit more practice on steering and concentration. But it was a good day.

Now she needs a bigger bike. Maybe I can use that instead of a cat that she wants...