madelinekelly: freaky bug-eyed alien fractal (Default)
posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 05:55pm on 21/02/2014 under ,
Now that River's 3 we thought we should be starting some holiday traditions. We already have the old advent calendar (this one) and the Buying Of The Tree. But we wanted more!

A midwinter's day walk followed by mugs of hot chocolate? Sounded like a good idea to all of us. Midwinter's Day was cold and wet, but we were undeterred! We wrapped up warm, popped Willow in the sling and River in the push-chair, grabbed the umbrella, dropped the wet laundry off at the launderette (worked out that it's cheaper to use their tumble dryers than buying and running our own), and bravely marched towards the harbour. The few odd drops of rain we'd felt at the start of the walk quickly increased to a downpour. Then it became a torrential downpour of scary proportions. River asked to get out of the push-chair so she could have a splash in the puddles.



(Photo blurry due to all the water filling the space between camera and River).

When my coat was soaked through and I could feel the water running down my back I suggested running home. We'd been out for almost ten minutes. Back home, we all got changed, made hot chocolate, and watched The Snowman And The Snowdog. I'm hoping for better weather next year.

We had a lovely Christmas. It's much more relaxed now that we have children as there's less expectation that we'll be visiting all our parents. In fact we spent the day at home. Mum and Roy came round for a late lunch, River played with her toys, Matt dealt with all the potatoes, I made all the fun food. A happy day. I knitted hats for my girls; it only took 3 months.



No photo of River's hat yet. Can't decide if it's cute or scary...

And we bought secondhand things for River -- an old portable typewriter and a basket of random Duplo bricks. Matt and I both remembered really enjoying playing with typewriters when we were very little, and River has had a great time with it so far. There's something very satisfying about watching the action while hitting all the keys, working out how to get the bell to ring, discovering the tab key. She loves it. And we all love the Duplo -- a wonderful toy for open-ended play.

(My pupils have always preferred real pianos over electric ones. I think there's something very satisfying in the immediacy and intricacy of mechanical things -- you press this and then that happens -- that children are hard-wired to enjoy. Certainly her typewriter has given her more entertainment and pleasure than her VTech laptop. In fact, her play style is radically different when she doesn't have access to noisy, push-button toys. She invents scenarios, acts out favourite stories, role plays challenging situations that she feels she's handled badly, problem-solves, hums to herself while being thoroughly absorbed in the game. With the noisy toys she just pushes buttons randomly with seemingly little joy.)

We had a lovely walk on Boxing Day, with actual sunshine and everything! (Can count on one hand the number of sunny days we've had this winter. What a miserable season it's been.)

Here's River, about to complain that the sun was too bright:

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