This weekend has been one of noticing things that have been right under my nose for some time. Other than my mouth, that is.
The first is the amount of entertainment a small child gets from a simple dustpan and brush. We bought a funky little Steamer Trading one for our lounge a while back, to deal with child-generated dinner mess. Eva is obsessed with it ..along with the broom in the kitchen. The advantage with the dustpan, though, is it’s just her size, so she can actually handle it. So today, we played a game that didn’t involve any toys. It was simple… I tore up some junk mail, scattered it all over our lounge floor, then asked Eva if she could help me sweep it up. She did so with my help, then I really pushed my luck and asked her if she could please put it in the bin. As far as I knew, she had no idea what a bin was, but – this just shows how much they absorb without you realising – she waddled purposefully across the room balancing the paper in the dustpan, and into the bin it went!
So we rinsed and repeated quite a few times – I really think there is something to the Montessori belief that children require few purpose-built toys – and good riddance to junk mail into the bargain! (Btw, here is a pal’s great post on making her lounge baby-friendly, which is jam-packed with ideas if you are looking for Montessori-style inspiration)
Next up: name me a huge indoor space with ample parking, where you can hang out for free for a half hour and let the Little Person blow off some steam. Possibly whilst also buying some paint. Where is this Mums and Tot’s Utopia, you may ask…?
Friend, that place is your local B&Q! We headed there yesterday as we needed some bits to turn an old record shelf into a blackboard for Eva (I will add photos upon completion). Initially we sat Eva in the trolley but, as we headed towards the back aisles where the more heavyweight stuff is (i.e: less ‘small parts’ for her to run off with!) I realised it was an ideal place for her to stretch her legs. So off she went, pounding the aisles, examining doors and picking up every fallen price tag she could find (there are quite a lot, it turns out!).
I try to adopt a ‘free roaming’ policy with Eva as far as she allows and, with this in mind, had taken her to our local friendly Farm Shop on the Saturday morning. It was all good until she spied the loose vegetables – at which point, between trying to keep her little mitts off them and actually serve myself in a small, busy store at the same time, things went a little.. south!
But a DIY superstore – well, that has space, it has no food for them to manhandle and things aren’t easily breakable. And it has Big Things that aren’t easily snaffled up by little hands. Plus there is always the outdoors bit if you can trust them around flowers.
Seriously, I saw off a good ten minutes just flapping some industrial rubber gloves around Eva’s head, she loved it! So, if you’re at your local Retail Park going haywire waiting for Dad to buy some widescreen TV in Currys, or some such nonsense, just let your Little One loose in the nearest DIY bit – keeping a close eye on them, needless to say! (It probably helps my case that Eva is not running yet, but sticking with the ‘purposeful waddle’ mentioned above)
In ‘fashun’ news: we were visiting some pals in Godalming today and as, we were enjoying the local play area, the sweater of another little girl caught my eye. Make no bones about it, I like bright colours. And I like to dress Eva in them too, though sometimes I think I’m inflicting the colours that suit me best upon her without thinking (I am dark haired, and she is quite blonde). It’s that ‘projecting yourself onto your child’ thing again. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I’ve been meaning to try some more muted tones on her, hopefully without losing the ‘fun’ element. And this jumper ticked the boxes.. it looked cute and funky, but not ‘LOOKATMEEEE’ bright.
So anyway, I asked her Mum where it was from, fully expecting the answer to be some funkster Fred and Noah type website. Nope, it’s good ol’ Tescos to the rescue my friend!
Yep, turns out it’s actually a My Little Pony sweater – and I think they’ve done a great job on this as ‘popular franchise’ fashion goes. If you have a little resident MLP fan, this might actually satisfy their cravings without looking super-cheesy – a tough call where your average kid is concerned. Eva is no Brony thus far (a bit hard given the lack of TV in this household. Oh, and her gender!) but Tekkies may shortly be receiving one of my hard-earned tenners nonetheless.
Finally, Eva said ‘Thankyou’ (Aaaa-doooo!) and ‘Two’ (Toooooooo) or the first time this weekend. That’s a just note to myself, and my already shakey memory, which is now completely blocked by endlessly repeating – but tastefully muted and subtly sparkling – Rainbow Dashes.