This isn't just my favourite photo of the week - I think it's my favourite photo of Samel full stop. He just looks so happy, and it's no fluke. For the first time ever, happiness seems to be Samuel's default setting. Whether he's been running around playgrounds, lunching in the pub with his Dad or discovering the sheer unadulterated joy of splashing with all his might in the bath, he's giggled all week long. What's more we've had fewer tears and the clinginess of a few weeks' ago seems like a distant memory. And when I went away to Manchester for the weekend, he hardly batted an eyelid. I don't know if this is a phase or if things are set to stay like this, so I'll just keep drinking that little smile in while I can.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
On Tuesday we went on an adventure to Westfield Stratford to meet Laura and reacquaint ourselves with the amazing P Diddy's yacht-style parent rooms there which I've written about in the past. As far as massive shopping malls go, it's suprisingly quiet, serene and baby-friendly. Especially on a Tuesday morning in February. We went to Giraffe and me and Samuel worked our way through an enormous stack of blueberry and banana pancakes as Laura and I gossiped.
Wednesday was gorgeously sunny so we headed out with our NCT friends to investigate a hidden playground just up the road from us. I'd heard rumours about its existence in the past but it was so well concealed from the main road I'd never spotted it. Turns out it's a lovely little gem - tiny and safe but with a big old adventure playground. We had it all to ourselves so Samuel and his pal were free to run around and explore. And explore they did, climbing through tunnels and over bridges all wide-eyed and broad-grinned. It's so brilliant watching a kid getting excited about doing things for the first time and I don't think I'll ever get bored of that. It's cool getting to hang out with a 15-month-old all day every day.
Well, not quite all day every day. Last night I ducked out of bathtime and headed into town to celebrate L's birthday with a massive steak at the Soho Kitchen and Bar. So good. So was the white wine at the time, but not so much today. Anyway, there will probably be plenty more of that this weekend when I'm off for a break in Manchester to visit Little Sis. I'll be away for the best part of two days and it'll be my first night away from Samuel. I'm really excited, though. It's going to be fun. And when I get home from there I'll be putting the brakes on all this lady-of-leisure business since neither my bank balance nor my Roman Catholic guilt complex at the occasional abandonment of my child will be able to take it anymore. But it'll have been a damn good week.
Posted by Knittenden at 6:37 AM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
He's been able to walk for months and tearing around the flat like a maniac, but when we've been out and about, Samuel has generally chosen not to. Maybe he just felt a bit insecure when I clumsily plonked him on the ground. Maybe he got freaked out by the freedom and wasn't sure what to do with it. Or maybe he was feeling lazy and just preferred to be toted around like a little emperor. I'd be with him on that one.
Either way, all of this changed this week when he decided to run free in the park. It was truly exciting to see a curious, free range baby out in the wild. Or at least it was until I discovered that I literally couldn't keep up with him and - oh no - there he was flat on his face on the concrete underneath the big swings ... and the big kids on the big swings. All of which made me realise it was time to get using his little dinosaur backpack which he got from Aunty Lucy for Christmas and came complete with, for want of a better description, a baby lead. He loved it. I loved it. I also went a bit melty thanks to the cute factor and the fact my little boy seems to be growing up.
Posted by Knittenden at 8:41 AM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
I was recovering from norovirus. Samuel was full of cold and ennui thanks to too many indoor days and too much of me. And then my mum appeared and made everything better.
For the past week or so she has kept us both company and kept us both sane. She sang nursery rhymes, tickled a little tummy, boiled kettles, arranged flowers, sat on see-saws, made M&S runs, and produced crayons and superhero pyjamas out of her incredible Mary Poppins suitcase. Granny Kate really is rather amazing. What's more, she insisted on babysitting and packed me and James off for not just one night out, but two. TWO! Two nights of lipstick and dresses and polished shoes and dinners at dimly-lit tables with conversation that did not revolve around nappy contents or council incompetences. Man, it was good to go out. Hopefully it won't take us another 15 months to do it again.
So, it's been a great few days with Mum. We did rhyme time at the library, followed by a coffee and some banana (nanana) cake. We made two visits to the park which Samuel adored more than ever before. It may have had something to do with his new-found freedom now that he's wearing the baby reigns that Aunty Lucy bought for him (best present ever). Then on Saturday Granny Pat paid us a visit as well, and the little lad was completely giddy with excitement - there was so much granny love and attention going on, I thought that he might explode.
Posted by Knittenden at 3:09 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
This morning on the radio I heard Cate Le Bon say that germs and bugs stuck to her like Velcro. Well, I think it's the same with us Chittendens this winter. With Norovirus, colds and teething all going on, Samuel and I have been stuck indoors a lot again this week so we've had to make fun where we can. And the other day he made a marvellous job of it with a couple of heavy babywipe multipacks. Seriously, these things weigh a ton, but that didn't stop him from pushing them around his room, then picking them up and carrying them from one end of the room to the other like sandbags. And look at that little face. Surely nothing else in the world could have been more fun.
Posted by Knittenden at 2:50 PM
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Our first night out together since before Samuel came along. That was the plan. The restaurant was booked, I'd planned my outfit and the babysitter was arranged.
We soon discovered that the downside of going on a night out is that you spend the entire day that precedes it cleaning your flat so as not to be judged by the babysitter. I cleaned things that hadn't been cleaned since before Samuel came along. I managed to get the first few layers of grease off the oven hood, for example, but I have to concede that it's still very much a work in progress.
So mid-afternoon came along and a funny feeling hit me. The excited flutters of a romantic evening in prospect, perhaps? No. Norovirus. I made it to the loo in the nick of time and wretched and vommed like a champion. Samuel followed me and stood in the bathroom doorway laughing uproariously each time I hurled.
And couldn't stop. I projectile yakked onto James's dressing gown while speaking to a NHS Direct nurse on the phone. She told me to go to see my GP so James got me an emergency appointment and I blew chunks in the waiting room while Samuel happily pootled around. He also decided that this very public forum was the perfect time to add a new word to his vocabulary. What he was trying to say was 'shoe', however he struggled with the vowel and replaced the last two letters of the word with 'it'. Unfortunate given our reasons for being there.
But basically, the upshot was that date night was cancelled and James spent Valentine's night emptying my sick bucket while I rolled around in agony in increasingly disgusting bed sheets that reminded me of something from Down and Out in Paris and London. Bloody Cupid.
Posted by Knittenden at 7:03 AM
Thursday, February 13, 2014
'Did you just take a bite out of my shower cap?'
'Can you take your head out of there, please?'
'How did you get poo on your knee?'
'Oh. That's how you got poo on your knee.'
'Have you ever seen Mummy dive head first off the sofa into the ball pool? No you bloody well haven't.'
'No, that's an orange, not a "nanana". You're getting orange and banana mixed up. It's important we say the right word for the right fruit. Can you say orange?'
*Four hours later, brandishing an orange and trying to diffuse a tantrum:*
'Would you like a nanana? Look! Mummy's got a nanana!'
Posted by Knittenden at 1:49 PM