Archive for January, 2010

Sleep walking


Last night Gabe sleep walked for the first time in months. It wasn’t the paniced dashing and thrashing around his room of 18 months ago. He went down and then upstairs, not seeming to notice L. L suggested he needed the loo. ‘No’, he said and went into the bathroom and did a wee in the toilet. Later I heard him grumbling. He seemed to wake when I went to his bedside. ‘Are you going to put it on TV, Daddy?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s a dream’ and back to sleep he went.


Eliza and Robin are the strongest pairing of the the three. They play together contentedly at length, with Eliza calling the shots and Robin eager to please. Last night, they played a game in the bath, giggling and splashing. They were skimming a plastic boat between themselves, trying to avoid being hit. Eliza was keeping score authoritatively.


Allergies must loom large for Robin. His allergy to egg is an ever-present consideration. He claimed a new allergy this week: to cats’ nipples.

Always the other foot


Robin is beginning to put his own shoes on. With that comes to an end one of the most probability defying phenomena. For months and months, when getting Robin ready to go out, I would pick up a shoe. At the same moment, Robin would lift or push forward a foot. It was always the foot for the other shoe.


Eliza’s reading is forging ahead. She can read the books given her at school. She reads the sides and backs of food packaging, newspaper headlines and labels. One morning and one evening this week she had lain in bed reading a unicorn book out loud to herself.


Gabe is completing a transition from the infant he once was: he sleeps in. He has always woken early: 5.50am as a toddler; 6.30 and occasionally 7am for years since. But now he struggles to rouse himself on school days and at weekends sleeps late or wakes and reads.

The big freeze


With schools closed by the snow, Gabe and I joined his friends and their families at the town’s only slope in Priory Gardens. Gabe took turns with a friend’s plastic sledge, boldly carrying on after rolling out of the sledge and cautiously choosing which slope to descend.


Robin took a carrot to the Broad Road Rec where we met up with friends building giant snowmen. The carrot was to have been a snowman’s nose. But it wasn’t to be as Robin, copying a game invented earlier in the day with Eliza, buried the carrot for others to find. Nobody could find it and Robin had forgotten where he had buried it.


The three children and I went to Walkden Gardens, where the snow was relatively untouched, five days after the last fall. We began with a snowball fight where I chased the kids through the deep snow, all of us running in boots. Eliza flitted through the snow, faster than I, stopping to make snowballs, and without tiring.

Christmas 2009

The snow

Heavy snow fell in our neighbourhood on the Sunday before Christmas. It was probably the first time in Robin’s life that snow had fallen at home and stuck. The four of us went to the park and played for an hour until the cold drove us home. Eliza was expert at rolling the snow ball to grow it to the size of a snowman’s belly and then another for his head. Gabe lobbed snow balls and volleyed juicy snow footballs that I served up to him. Robin charged with snow ball in hand and ground it into my back and bottom. We all played tig and laughed.


Gabe was most pleased with FIFA 10 for his nintendo DS and a tin of Match Attax cards. L also bought him ‘Rush Hour’ – a spatial awareness puzzle, that engrossed Grandma when we went to St Andrews.

Eliza had asked Father Christmas for a bedside table. When she saw the size of her empty stocking on Christmas Eve, she was downhearted, realising that Santa wouldn’t fulfil that wish. Such was the focus on the presents under the tree, that none of the kids on Christmas morning had noticed the sheet covering objects in the fireplace next to the tree. After all the presents had been opened, L pointed out the sheet to Eliza. She pulled it off and found the present from us of a bedside table and book case.

Robin’s favourite presents were a second light sabre (red – for the baddie) and sword and shield from Auntie BS. Robin and I had an epic light sabre battle in the kitchen before Christmas lunch. I spun and leapt, but couldn’t avoid getting my hands clattered by the blue light sabre.

In the frenzy of present opening, L pointed the kids to a present for the three of them. Working as a threesome they somehow managed to share the unwrapping of what was clearly a DVD and almost as clearly Ice Age 3. But when the paper was torn off, Gabe looked up at us, ‘Sopranos?’ L had wrapped the wrong DVD.

beware the baddie