Archive for November, 2007

But she is still a baybee…

This afternoon The Yorkshireman peeled me from my sick bed and took me off to cough at a primary school open day.  This particular school was our automatic first choice for Little’un as it is both geographically and philosophically closest to us and also has an excellent reputation locally.  It is a small school with a friendly atmosphere, reasonably good facilities and wonderful grounds.  They seem keen on teaching children to think for themselves within a framework of structure and fairness.  All the children seemed happy in their lessons and those we encountered in the corridors were polite.  The school’s size has disadvantages in terms of facilities – I have seen a much bigger school that had a bigger library/IT suite/gym etc – but big schools have their disadvantages too particularly when it comes to one small person getting lost in the vastness of it all.  Both The Yorkshireman and I strongly feel that this is an environment in whuch Little’un will be very happy and will thrive (as much as we can tell from a single visit, of course).

Unfortunately it appears that we may be scuppered due to Lincolnshire LEA’s admissions policy.  I don’t know how it works in other counties but here all school applications are processed centrally for the whole county and places allocated via some unbendy rules.  The first criterion is whether a child already has a sibling at the school – fair enough – it would be madness to expect a parent to deliver two children to two separate primary schools after all.  The second criterion is distance from school.  Also fair enough, you may say, but a lot depends on how that distance is calculated.  By foot we are roughly half a mile from the school – a 10 minute walk.  The route involves a footbridge across a drain.  To travel by road, one must drive for 1½ miles in order to practically complete a circle to get to the other side of the footbridge.  The footbridge is paved, council maintained, marked on maps etc etc but it will not count when it comes to calculating how far away from the school we live.  This means that we may well live too far away to get a place there, given that as a small but very well thought of school it is generally oversubscribed.

All we can do is put in our application, cross our fingers and hope.


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Whilst we were quietly sitting in the quiet waiting room at the Eye Clinic today, Little’un spotted a man with a beard and an eye patch…

Little’un (at top volume):  OOOOooooohhhhh, Mummy, look, there’s a PIRATE over there!!!

Cue muffled giggles from me and hearty laughter from the Nice Ladies sitting opposite us.

The pirate man in question didn’t flinch. He was either deaf as a post or didn’t want the world to realise that Little’un had seen through his attempts to look like a normal member of society by opening his mouth and saying “AAArrrrrrrr Jim Lad”.

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Little’un has recently developed a pronounced squint so today we have been to see the Orthoptist and Opthalmologist to get it looked at.  Turns out she is long sighted so she now needs to wear glasses.  Any tips on getting a three-year-old to keep her glasses on/not break them/not use them as a toy will be very gratefully received!

Given that we have spent a lot of the day either at the Outpatient Department of the local hospital or at the Optician, Little’un has been a total star today.  There was an awful lot of waiting around… 

First we had to queue for aaaaages at the Outpatients’ Reception, then hang around in the waiting room for our appointment to be the prerequisite 30 minutes late.  We saw the Optrometist who measured the squint (35-40°) and did some basic visual checks showing that Little’un’s left eye is fine, her right is fairly long sighted and her eyes work reasonably well together.

Next we waited.  She then had eye drops to dilate her pupils.  She took this very well and was rewareded with a Jaffa Cake (yum).  Then we waited again – for over an hour.   During this time we managed to find a half eaten apple in her coat pocket, eat more Jaffa Cakes and annoy assorted old ladies by singing together and playing with toys that went ding.  I thought that this low level annoyance was probably preferable to having a small, bored child kicking off in the waiting room.

Finally we got to see the Opthalmologist who did a thorough examination and eye test, resulting in a prescription to correct both her long sight and her squint.  Given that she is three and can’t yet read properly, the eye test was done using lights and lenses.   Little’un took it all very well, it was all just a game for her thankfully.

We met up with The Yorkshireman for a lovely lunch of roast ham, chips, salad and cake to cheer ourselves up after an incredibly long morning.  Then it was off to town to choose some frames.  She has chosen some pink (Really?  You do surprise me!) metal frames.  Nothing else would do so I didn’t push her into the purple ones I preferred.  She looks perfectly gorgeous in the pink ones anyway.  We collect them tomorrow – so pics to follow.

Little’un was duly rewarded for being a big brave girl with something horrible, pink and plastic from the Pink Plastic Tat Shop.  She is delighted with her new sparkly pink bracelet and is also looking forward to getting her specs – in fact being told that she couldn’t take them home with her straight away resulted in the only strop of the day.

Hopefully the glasses will help to permanently correct the squint.  I would hate for her to be picked on at school for being cross eyed – and we all know how merciless children can be.

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Getting Rid of the Dummy

Little’un seems so grown up in so many ways these days but one area in which she was still very much a baby was, until very recently, her attachment to her dummies (soothers).  She had a vast and varied collection but of course the pink ones were her favourites and were by far the most manky.  Many a happy hour has been spent searching high and low for the pink one when the yellow one Just Would Not Do.

At 3 years 3 months we were starting to feel that she was too old to have a plug in her mouth to sleep or to calm down when upset – so the time had come to finally get rid of them.

We spent a couple of months preparing her for the momentous day when the dummies would disappear… telling her she is a big girl and big girls don’t need dummies, asking her if she wanted to put them in the bin (always met with a “yes” but in practice they were thrown away then quickly retrieved). 

Originally Santa Claus was going to take them away to give to all the new babies at Christmas.  However a friend recently had a baby (most considerate, must remember to thank her) so we packed up all the dummies into a bag and presented them to the new baby.  The new baby was suitably impressed and her parents were most grateful.  Little’un felt all grown up and the dummies accidentally fell into the bin when she wasn’t looking.

She asked for them on her first night without them but understood that they had gone and that the baby needed them more than she did.  We have other issues with her sleeping and plenty of them, but the dummy disappearance has gone far more smoothly than either of us could have hoped for.

Along with our potty training success this is another episode which has made us realise that Little’un can accomplish pretty much anything if we just wait until she is ready to do it.

Now Little’un, I really hope you are ready to sleep in your own bed, by yourself, sometime soon so Mummy and Daddy can have an uninterrupted night’s sleep.  Oh, and learn to wipe your bum properly.  That would be good too.

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pict1497.jpgJust because one is feeling witchy doesn’t mean that one can’t keep up one’s obsession with all things pink… No trick or treating for Little’un yet, she is still too young, but she had a Halloween Party to go to so an outfit was still required.   We had great fun drawing spiders all over her face and hands with liquid eyeliner and she made a decent attempt at painting her nails black.

Both The Yorkshireman and I bought oodles of treats in case the other forgot, so this weekend we have mainly been eating leftover chocolate.  Next year I think we will go for glow sticks or something else less calorific.  We got quite a few trick or treaters this year – all under 10 and all having made an effort to dress up.  I don’t mind handing over the odd mini Mars Bar in those circumstances, especially when there are plenty left over for me.

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I hate being ill.  I am bored senseless but as soon as I try to do anything more strenuous than reach for a cup of tea I double over, coughing and wheezing, into a wobbly mass on the floor.  It ain’t pretty, I tell ya.

I have resorted to typing the name of everyone I have ever met to see if I can find more people to be my friend on Facebook*.  I have 9 scrabulous games going.  MSN and Mumsnetting are a little too tricky as they involve periods of concentration of more than 20 seconds and my head hurts.  I have watched several old episodes of Top Gear, and have decided that I definitely prefer Richard Hammond with his old, short hair.  I have been surfing round peoples’ blogrolls.  I am running out of options, so I think I may have an afternoon nap (how old am I?  Might as well be 83).

To top it all off, Little’un has two parties this weekend and one next weekend.  Oh the joys of parenthood 🙄

One of the few advantages of being a full time working Mum is that Little’un has a full time place at nursery.  When I am ill, she can go off and be happy and noisy somewhere else and I can slob out on the sofa and recover.

I’m off for a kip now.  Or perhaps a bath.  I think I may have a sleep in the bath.  We mothers are good at multitasking you know.

 *Dear X.  You may remember me from such shows as School Y or College Z.  Purleeeeze be my fwend.  I am poorly and bored and feeling needy.  Yours, Tiger.

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