On work mornings I get up first and make porridge for Grace and myself. G gets Grace up and we all sit around together. I'm not really a morning person at all and get quite annoyed if anyone tries to be too talkative with me over breakfast, especially if the conversation involves politics or current affairs. I don't mind others talking amongst themselves but have very little to say this early in the day and will read a book if I can get away with it. Grace gets this, G doesn't. Grace is also a determined and independent eater. She manages a spoon well, even if she doesn't always choose to use one. She also likes to have the top taken off her drinkie cup and rarely spills any. Unless she decides to play pouring, which is quite another matter. Actually, she very rarely spills food on the floor either.
Grace has turned out to be a late walker, which has really only worried me when the maternal health nurse offered a session with a physio. One of the other babies at mother's group who is very close in age to Grace is only just ahead of her, his mother is not worried and I have decided not to be. Anyway, Robin Barker author of my favorite parenting books BabyLove and The Mighty Toddler, says that it's quite common for bumshufflers to be late walkers. Grace still gets around at a mighty fine clip with this method. It's very funny to watch, as her bum lifts quite a way off the ground. Still, I don't think walking is far off. She's been pulling herself up and cruising around the furniture for a few weeks and has become an alarmingly adventurous climber. Last week G made her a wooden trolley from specifications I gave him from Baby and Child by Penelope Leach. Instantly Grace used the trolley to pull herself up and walk along.
Unfortunately, the reason G has had time to make this so quickly is that his contract ended a bit sooner than expected so he is at home during the day. I'm hoping he will find something else quickly but until then, I am going to enjoy having more sleep and time to do some things, and resist the feeling that I should increase my hours at work. Well, at least until I have to. Turns out that G finds being at home all day with Grace quite exhausting and I guess one benefit of our situation is that he is under no illusions about the nature of looking after a little one and doing housework. And yes, he does do it.
As you can see, the garden is just bursting forth. My favourite orange poppies are starting to blossom and the weeding is out of control. The plum tree is shedding fragrant blossom everywhere and it is sometimes warm enough to wear sandals in the middle of the day, just. Grace has just discovered the world of chairs. She climbs onto the big rocking chair in her room, the big white couch, the couch of shame (so named because that is where guests who have had too much to drink are supposed to sleep) and onto my chair. She also climbs onto her little chairs, the one in the loungeroom and the one in our room. She always looks so pleased with herself and often plays with her clothes (from the dirty clothes basket) or a book.
Other things that Grace really likes at the moment are; buttons that turn things on and off (the radio in the kitchen, TV remote controls, Gs computer, the answering machine and my clock radio), books and papers of all kinds (and she rarely destroys them anymore), exploring the garden, shuffling through the shed (only under supervision), Tony the cat (he is so over it), her clothes, tins and pans and things to hit them with, playing Boohbah on the computer (she will stand next to my desk and use the mouse all by herself apparently - G reckons it amuses her for a good ten minutes), eating, drinking, going out, coming home, anything with sugar, being whizzed around in a cardboard box and hanging out with any of her people. Most of her toys she seems to be ambivalent about. Things she really hates are; having her nappy changed, being denied access to any part of the house or garden and spending too long at Savers. Can't say her I blame her.
I'm finding that I really love family life. It is better than I ever imagined.