babywear rebozo hoernum fish

Cheeky Minx

(Tues 8 May)

We’ve been a right grumpy bunch the past 2 days. The long weekend was rather wonderful, albeit full of Falklands weather (hailstones, sleet, wind and blazing sunshine, all in the same 15 minutes. On repeat. Each day) which meant that I didn’t pay any attention to the sun and ended up a tad pink. So I suffered the minxes giggling ‘loser!’ at me for 2 days. ‘Loser’ is shorthand in our family for ‘sunburn victim’. To be fair it was only my chest, but I really should know better. Especially as the girls were trussed up in long, loose sleeves, hats and sunglasses. I’m no longer a big fan of Factor 1,000,000 suncream on children, now that my brood are 2 years old and over. God knows, Vitamin D from sunlight is in short supply up here in the Frozen North – we need all we can get! I think the secret is just to be sun-aware and cover up before you’ve had enough. Ahem. I need to take my own advice  Anyway, why so grumpy? Well, Monday night Mini Minx was up demanding “med-san” (medicine) for her eye. Eye? Do you have a sore eye, sweetheart? Oh, right, your eye. The one that lives in your mouth. Right where I think your molars are cutting… Uh-huh. So we gave her some Calpol (Calprofen seems to send her loopy and hyperactive) and her screams of pain and frustration blended seamlessly into screams of delight as she ran ragged round mine and The Boss’ bedroom for an hour. After finally getting her to bed, Midi came thundering in, complaining of nightmares. Another hour later, bed to our adult selves again, finally drifting off to sleep, only to be awoken by Foster Cat trying to budge me over so he could spread out. And later, Killer Cat doing the same thing, attempting to break The Cat Rule of no cats upstairs.

Last night, it was more of the same, but in reverse: we got a little sleep, then the cats woke us, then Midi, then Mini.

Around 6am I gave up trying to get back to sleep and persuaded The Boss to just get up and try to turn the yucky morning into something better. I talked him into making us all blueberry pancakes while I made Greek salads for 5 packed lunches. Tasted fine, but I bet it stank out a school and a work canteen with the amount of raw garlic I used (hehehehehehe).

Mini’s trying hard to say polysyllabic words: “Dada howma! Glap!” she smiled at me, nodding sagely.


“Dada howma! Howma! How! Ma! How! MAAA!” she frowned at me, like I was an idiot.

“I don’t understand, Mini. Say that again”.

She sighed. “Hawma! Hawma!” bashing my head. “Hawma! Dada! Hat”

“Oh!!!! Daddy’s helmet!” I gasped. She rolled her eyes: 25 months old 25 years attitude. “Ok, so what’s ‘glap’? What’s a glap? Where is it?” I guessed. She flexed her fingers. “Gloves?” I ventured.

“Yeeeee-ah!” she agreed, exasperated at having a fool for a mother, and shoving her finger up her nose.

So I scolded her: “No, I don’t want to see you picking your nose!” I guess the sharing lessons are sinking in: she promptly offered me her gooey finger. Yeuch.


Speech Module Upgrade

It’s clear that last night Mini Minx received a software upgrade to her speech module. Today she has suddenly added (simple) sentences to her repertoire of words, gestures and signs.

I’ve been wondering for a while how many words she could say, so for the week ending 19 Feb 2012 I kept a little log of everything Mini said. I just jotted it onto my ongoing shopping list, the one piece of paper I never lose. I didn’t include words I suspected were new (they numbered maybe 2-3 a day) and just jotted down words I knew I’d heard her say a few times before. So it wasn’t a scientific log of her vocabulary at 23 months old, but it was good enough for government work. I thought she’d have maybe 20 words. Nope. 85, plus 2 sentences. To be fair, many were pronounced similarly but in context were clearly different. Eg “ca” said with arms outstretched means “carry me down the stairs, Mummy-slave”, whereas “ca” followed by “drive-drive!” whilst miming steering a steering wheel definitely means “car”.

The actual words made me laugh: she can say her name, as well as me, my, mine, but can’t say ‘you’ or ‘your’. She can say no, but can’t say yes. Her sentences were ‘I want that one’ and ‘I want that one now’. All very typical, normal, utterly self-centred 1 year old.

Last night’s upgrade means that she can now say, “Balloons all gone” (with a very Gallic shrug), “I cold” and “I poo”.

Which reminds me: potty training. Well, every afternoon this week around 1700hrs I’ve taken off her nappy and put her in her teeny, tiny pants (“Woe’s pants” she calls them. Or sometimes, proudly, “pink pants. Mine”). She’s run around for half an hour, sat through dinner for an hour, then gone upstairs with The Boss and her sisters to do something productive on her potty and get ready for bed. Thus far no accidents. Tonight, however, she did her first pee on the sofa and wasn’t at all impressed with the ensuing cold, wet feeling in her trousers. Hopefully this means she’ll be motivated to learn how to control her bladder pretty quickly. Well, either that, or be satisfied with being put back in nappies!

Latest Words of Wisdom

Well, baby R is really beginning to vocalise now.  Only yesterday she was a tiny infant who could barely differentiate her cries; I know that in a short blink of time she’ll probably be a sullen, unresponsive, grunting teenager.  So for now, I’m enjoying hearing her little voice emerge, and I’m loving listening to her sisters learn to articulate their thoughts.

We had some friends and their kids over for Sunday lunch today and Maxi Minx waved goodbye to them.  She was pouting out the window and starting to strop.  “C’s so far away – how will she see my little small hand waving?” she wailed.

On holiday, Maxi made friends with twins, a boy and a girl.  She was especially good friends with the girl, G, and usually complained that the little boy, J, was rough with her.  On the last night, G and J came out their room (2 down from ours) and saw Maxi Minx all dressed up, ready for Mini Disco.  “Oooooooh, P!” sighed J, “You look soooooo beautiful!”  Both me and J’s mother gasped and blinked back tears.   “What a lovely thing to say!” I exclaimed.  Maxi Minx blushed and thanked him.  The Boss darkly muttered something about lucky he was only 4 or he’d have had A Word.

Midi Minx’s speech is less garbled since she stopped getting ear infections every month, however she stills confuses Vs and Bs, and Ps and Bs.  So Poppy becomes Bobby, clever becomes cleber.  And Vaseline becomes ballallee.  It took me till tonight to figure out that that’s what she’s been demanding for the last month for her chapped lips:

“Mummy, gib me ballallee.  Peeeeeease.  Now, thankoo”
“Ballallee?  Is that one of your Tomliboos?  A new Telly-tubby?  Someone on CBeebies?  A sweetie?  A friend?  Eh?!”

Yesterday Mini Minx was particularly pissed-off with not being picked up when she wanted to be.  She’d cycled through her cute coos, her sharp shrieks and had graduated to cross chirps.  Eventually she furiously beat her little fists on her cot bars and yelled, “Dadadadadadadada!”  Once she was safely cuddled in my arms and had heard the reassuring click of my feeding bra being opened, she sighed, “Mumumumumummmmmmm”.  So she’s already associating Mum with nice things and Dad with not-so-nice.  Attagirl!

Finally, The Boss dropped a real pearler today.  He was referring to our daughters as Maxi, Midi and Mini Minx (so I guess he reads my blog: gotcha!)  And without skipping a beat, he called me Mega Minx.  Hmph!  No wonder I am, and will always remain, a Grumpy Old Trout!