‘Can I do making?’

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We made these!

My granny was a proper granny. She had the finest collection of hats known to humanity and a startling number of shoes accrued over seven decades or so.

By night, she wore plastic curlers in her hair and slept with a stick under her bed, ready to fight off assailants. By day, she sat in her rocking chair, knitting and watching black and white war films – that’s if she wasn’t gardening, decorating, cooking, baking, sewing, pressing flowers, making cards or entertaining her grandchildren with infinite patience.

I spent many happy Sunday afternoons perched on a stool by her side in the kitchen baking. We made butterfly cakes, coconut madeleines, melting moments, oat crunchies, eve puddings, apple tarts, jam tarts, toffee, jellies, doughnuts… I could go on, but my mouth’s watering already. My granny used heart-stopping quantities of golden syrup, treacle, sugar and Stork margarine, assuring me they were all good ingredients.

With such sunny memories, you’d have thought I’d have been delighted when my toddler started pulling up a stool of her own, standing alongside me in the kitchen and demanding to ‘do making’. But I’m ashamed to admit the opposite was true. Continue reading “‘Can I do making?’”

These are a few of our favourite books

I love reading under any and all circumstances, so I always enjoy reading with my toddler – although I’ll admit, on a 7th consecutive reading, a Peppa Pig book can wear a little thin.

To alleviate that tedium, we’re members of the library (called the Ideas Store, round these parts). It’s a great way of giving our reading a bit more variety, even if some of the books have seen better days. Plus, I’m often surprised to find a book I’ve randomly grabbed in the library becomes a favourite and gets an ‘again’ and ‘again’ and ‘again’.

Here are some of the books that have been a big hit over the last year or so.

Continue reading “These are a few of our favourite books”

Free fitness classes!

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I don’t look anything like this, but I’m sure I will after a few classes…

You’ll know by now that this blog exists to share useful links and information with the parents or primary carers of toddlers. I hesitated about adding this post, because I wasn’t sure if it ‘fitted’. But I think it just about does – especially while we are still in the season of new year’s resolutions.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wish I was a bit fitter and a bit lighter. I’d like to exercise more, but finding the time is a problem.

Of course, looking after a toddler is in itself ‘active’. In fact, I’ve never spent so much time on my feet, scuttling about after someone who appears to have an bottomless pit of energy. But that doesn’t mean I’m especially fit.

And it doesn’t make up for the increased number of biscuits I’ve been eating.

Needless to say, the days of having a gym membership are long gone and are unlikely to return soon. So I was excited to learn about free fitness classes that take place in parks across London, including (local to me) Tower Hamlets and Newham. So I thought I’d given it a try. Continue reading “Free fitness classes!”

The wheels on the bus… and the tram… and the tube…

The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, is great for kids.
The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, is great for kids.

I’ve been meaning to write about the London Transport Museum for a while. We’ve been a couple of times and, no doubt, we’ll go again. Because when you pay the (rather pricey) entry fee, you get to return as often as you like for a year, free of charge – as long as you don’t lose your ticket.

Our two visits have been on a Saturday and it gets busy. Oh yes! It gets very busy. So if you go at the weekend, go early or late or take a more abundant supply of tolerance than I’m able to get my hands on.

Of course, there’s a reason it’s busy – it’s really great for young children, especially ones like mine that like nothing better than buses, taxis and tube trains. Continue reading “The wheels on the bus… and the tram… and the tube…”

The magic of baby signing

Learning to sign is without doubt the single most powerful and joy-bringing thing we’ve done with Finn. Even now that he is nearly two and communicating pretty effectively in spoken language (I think in no small part because of the signing), signs still come in useful and I still notice the impact signing has had on our communication as a family.
Continue reading “The magic of baby signing”