Thomas, whining and nurseries: an update.

It’s been a while since I wrote about what we have been up to so I thought I would post a little update.

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Potty training is still going well, they seem to be pretty much dry in the day now. It’s taken much longer than I thought though, especially given that I waited until they were telling me that they didn’t want to wear nappies anymore. We are probably looking at about 5 months just to be completely dry in their awake time (that’s an awful lot of pant and trouser washing!)

Their speech is coming on tremendously and I remember this time last year when we were willing them to speak more….now we cannot keep them quiet unless there’s cake involved!

I hear a constant chorus of “mummy, mummy, mummy” “mummy, I’m hungry/thirsty/tired” “Lucas/Harry/Oscar did it!” Throw in lots of screeching, whining and laugher and I’d say that was a perfect summary of a typical day. On a good day John will find me soaked from head to toe with the boys all in the bath, on a bad day he’ll find me locked in the kitchen while the boys watch Thomas in the living room eating crackers for dinner. Thankfully the bad days are very few and far between but they do exist especially when they went through a seriously whiney/screeching phase. That sound is just unbearable. I tell them that I cannot understand them if they whine so they must “use words” – it seems to be working and Harry told me the either day that “he was not happy at all” (because he couldn’t have marshmallows for tea). It felt like we had reached a massive milestone in communication.

We are going through a Thomas the tank engine phase at the moment, well, I say a phase…It seems to be more of a way of life. I find myself singing the Thomas theme tune in my head long after they have gone to bed (I know…please don’t judge me.) We have to engineer a new track every day (sometimes several times a day) with bridges, points, mines and hills all to toddler specification. Then, when they’re bored of it, they go into destruction mode. Oscar came into the kitchen the other day with an exasperated look on his face and just said: “bust my buffers mummy.” Ha! Funny little thing!

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Needless to say, birthday and Christmas is going to be Thomas themed this year with new trains and lots of handmade bits and bobs – keep an eye on the blog for handmade craft ideas!

I have always loved the idea of a handmade Christmas, at nearly 3 they are starting to get excited about Santa and presents, but I could wrap up a spoon and a tin can and they’d be thrilled. They are such simple creatures at this age and I’m going to make the most of it before they’re old enough to start requesting iPads and the latest football boots!

I don’t often get time to reflect on what they really love and I am constantly asked “dooctober 2014 collage they all have different personalities?” so in an attempt to prove that they are not triplet robots, below is a little list of what they EACH love.

Harry’s favourite things: Thomas, stacking, threading (any kind of spacial awareness game), Disney ‘cars’ book, baking, diggers and dumpers are also very important. ‘Tip tip, dig dig’ has been a firm favourite for some time too. Favourite song: Wheels on the bus.

Lucas’s favourite things: Telephones, computers, Toby (the train), any kind of toy with buttons, he likes to ask a lot of questions and describe what’s going on around him, he also enjoys cooking, crafts and puzzles. His favourite book is the Thomas sounds book. Favourite song: Thomas and his friends (oh dear…)

Oscar’s favourite things: Oscar LOVES anything train related (toys, programmes, magazines), he likes to climb everything, cook and particularly likes smelling herbs. He loves to draw and has recently perfected his circles. He too loves the Thomas book, the lakeland catalogue (particularly the cake making pages) and is also partial to a bit of ‘we’re going on a bear hunt’. Favourite song: wind the bobbin up.

After the excitement of Christmas we will be embarking on a massive milestone, the boys will be going to nursery! I feel giddy at the thought of it, not because I can’t wait to have 3 hours of peace for 4 mornings a week or time to just sit on my backside with a cup of tea or maybe just sleep….ok I am looking forward to all of those things but seriously I am looking forward to them having some extra stimulation in a social and educational setting. They are so very ready. I have taken them to look at 3 different pre-schools/nurseries and every time they have gone off quite happily to play with trains (mostly) without even a second glance at me. The whole process has been rather overwhelming for me as I battled trying to find a really good child care provider who can offer the hours that we want on the days that we wanted. We got there in the end though and I’m feeling really confident with our choice, especially as they will be giving the boys a key worker each and I feel that they respect their attachment to each other as well as their individual needs. I can’t actually wait to take them shopping to buy their little backpacks and all the other bits. Eeeks!

I have been thinking a lot about work and future career prospects and with the boys at nursery I feel I should really do something with my time. Unfortunately, I’m finding it’s quite hard to find an employer who will allow you to work flexibly (ideally from home) for 2 hours a day during term time only. The government are ploughing money into extra funding for childcare to get mother’s back to work, which I accept is helpful to an extent (I still couldn’t afford to send mine to nursery), but what I really want is more flexible working. If I could work flexibly and still meet the needs of my family then I gladly would. As it stands I am continuing to work 2 evenings a week at a local supermarket where I am not able to make the most of my skills base.

However, in an attempt to embrace career progression and do something worthwhile with my time I will be taking on some voluntary work (in between sitting on my backside drinking tea and recovering from the previous 3 years) helping to support families with young children. I hope it will be really rewarding work and in the long run I hope it is going to lead to a long term career working with children, which is a far cry from my previous job in a finance company! A change of direction is just what I needed and although I had no choice in giving up my previous job (we couldn’t afford childcare at £150 a day) I am a firm believer in making the most of what you have and creating new and exciting opportunities.

Speaking of creating, I’ll be putting together some posts about crafts, handmade presents, meal planning and managing behaviour (x3)! You can subscribe to the blog, and follow me on twitter or facebook for regular updates.

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