Archive for the ‘4-5 years’ Category

Four weeks in and Isla seems to be settling into her new life as a schoolgirl.

We were worried about how she’d settle, because of her track record at Pre-School of getting upset when we left her, and there has been a certain amount of tears at the classroom door, but maybe not as many as we feared.

It is clear that she is enjoying school, and that she loves her teacher (so funny but when she was playing with Eve the other day, she was telling her that her shoes were very “phonics-y” and I noticed she’d really picked up her teacher’s accent!).

It hasn’t been without drama though! On her first full day after the two week settling in period, and her first time in the playground with all the ‘big’ children, a little boy ran straight into her, sending her flying and leaving her with a very nasty looking black eye!


It meant I got the dreaded call from school that lunchtime: “Nothing to worry about…but… technically it’s a head injury, so if you want to take her home, you can…”

I decided not to, because she’d been doing so well settling into school, and I was worried that, if we came and took her home, it would plant the seed that mummy & daddy coming to pick you up if you aren’t having a good time is a possibility. Plus I really didn’t want to make her feel that the accident was something more significant than it was and turn it into a big issue in her mind.

So I asked school to let me know how she was in an hour. It was a dreadful hour and I couldn’t concentrate on a thing at work, worrying if I’d done the right thing. And how much would all this set her back – would she be frightened of other children in the playground, would she not want to go ? And what about Lilly? Did she see what happened? Was she worried about Isla?

Luckily, when they called back they said she’d had a nice afternoon in the nature garden, and wasn’t bothered by her injury now at all. Phew.

In fact, when I picked her up, although her face certainly looked ‘interesting’, she was positive overall about her day, even excited about getting to play in the playground with Lilly, and didn’t really seem to think that the incident was that important a part of the day anyway – as you can see she was more than willing to pose with big smiles while I took a picture of her poor face! Turned out Lilly had been with her when it happened, and afterwards had sat with Isla in the playground and looked after her. By the end of playtime, Isla had been fine.

The other slight concern we’ve had is about whether she’s making friends. She’s told us she isn’t going to make friends with any boys, because she doesn’t like boys. So that’s one half of the class ruled out! And then as soon as she was able to play in the playground she only wanted to play with Lilly, not her own class friends.

And then, one night, Lilly said: “There’s been a bit of a problem at school. Isla’s been crying at the end of playtime.”

We had a chat with her about it and from what I can get from Lilly, she has been better lately. Lilly told me: “When it’s the end of playtime, I tell her that it’s nearly home time – even though it isn’t – and she believes me, so she just waves to me and says ‘see you soon'”

As always, Lilly has been a superstar big sister!!!

In the last week Isla has been talking more about some of the friends she’s made in school, and I think on occasion she has been playing with them, rather than just Lilly, in the playground. Yesterday (Saturday) she was talking about one schoolfriend and saying: “I miss her soooo much”, so that at least indicates she has made some friends, despite telling us a few weeks ago she didn’t want to make any friends, only Lilly!

So that’s the first month done, and in fairness I think it’s gone as well as we would have hoped. It really helps that her teacher is fantastic, and Isla is very enthusiastic to learn from her.

Only another 14 years to go…!!!


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We’re not going on holiday this summer – but I have booked plenty of days off work so that we can have some lovely days out.

We started last week with three great days in the scorching weather that we’ve enjoyed for the last few weeks.

On Saturday, Tony had to work, so it was just me and the girls. After carefully considering how ambitious I could be while flying solo in charge of all three, I decided to take them to Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington.

It’s great there – they have a huge playground with equipment suitable for all ages, lovely gardens with plenty of spots for picnics, a pond full of huge fish, a free children’s zoo with rabbits, birds, donkeys, pigs, goats etc. There’s a land train, and, in the holidays, there are trampolines, bouncy slides, and a pottery painting workshop, all at an extra cost of course (though it’s free to get in, apart from parking).

Walton Hall Gdns 26.7.14-001

It took us forever to get out of the house – getting three children properly suncreamed takes a good 20 minutes! But once we were out we had a great time. They all loved the playground – Eve went straight for the huge Helter Skelter Slide; Lilly’s favourite thing was climbing to the top of one of those spider web net climbing frame things. A slightly hair-raising moment when Lilly was right at the top of the frame – and Eve was as far away as she could possibly be on the other side of the playground – a time when I really needed to be in two places at once! But we survived!


After that we had a nice picnic under a shady tree, followed by a wander over to see the fish, a game of hide & seek (modified after it caused war to be more of a hunt-for-an-interesting-object-game) and playing house under a weeping willow for quite a while.

Walton Hall Gdns 26.7.14 Walton Hall Gdns fish

Then the girls all went on the trampolines and had great fun bouncing together!

Walton Hall Gdns trampoline

Walton Hall Gdns ice creamsAfter all that fun, we relaxed with ice creams and a look around the farm. Eve was particularly interested in all the animals – she especially loved the pig which had its snout pressed right up against the fence oinking at her!

Last time we took the girls to the farm Isla hadn’t liked the noise of the peacocks and had cried wanting to go home. This time she was much better, telling me: “I’m being very brave, aren’t I?”

We had a great day and spent about four hours there in all. But that night I was absolutely shattered!


On Monday we met my mum in Liverpool and took the girls to The Beach at Liverpool One.

We’ve taken them there for a few years now – it’s basically an artificial beach in the centre of a shopping centre. A bit disappointing this year as they’ve taken the ‘sea’ away from the beach for “health and safety” reasons, which basically means it’s just sand. But it’s still lovely and the girls had a fantastic time making sandcastles and playing.

Liverpool One beach 28.7.14-001 Liverpool One beach 28.7.14-003 Liverpool One beach 28.7.14 2

It was a great reminder though of what a pain sand is! And getting three kids to eat sandwiches at the beach without getting sand in them is basically impossible!

It was really interesting to see the three personalities at work. Lilly went into creative artist mode and got very serious about making a dog sand sculpture. When they had beach games for the children, she didn’t want to join in because she was too busy with her creation! She didn’t even want to stop for lunch (but she did!). Isla really enjoyed playing with Eve and making sandcastles with me, but kept herself to herself and didn’t try to make friends with the other children. Eve had the time of her life exploring a tunnel through the giant sandcastle on the beach with the other children, and was happy to go up to other groups of children and start joining in with their games! At one stage I saw her go up to a girl of about 10 who was holding the hand of a little baby (probably her baby brother). Eve walked up to the other side of her and put out her hand, telling the girl: “hold my hand too”! And when they started the beach games, Eve was first up!

And on the last day before I went back to work, I took the girls swimming with Nanna. They’ve been asking to go for ages, and they loved it. Amazingly, Eve wasn’t so sure at first and just wanted to sit on the edge splashing her feet. But by the time we left she was quite happy to be in the water playing games and pretending to swim! Lilly was happy just doing her own thing – she really believes she can swim now and insisted in trying without her arms bands – which was when she found out what arm bands are actually for! And Isla was happy ‘learning to swim’ and playing silly games with me up and down the pool.

All in all a great three days, now I’m looking forward to my next two days off work next week… just need to come up with exciting plans to keep up the momentum!






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Me to Lilly: “It’s daddy’s birthday soon, what shall we get him?”

L: “We could get him a… Errr… Err….
I can’t really think of anything, all I can think of is girlie things, because I’m a girl…

(suddenly the verbal diahorrea kicks in)
“…All I can think of is a duck with a necklace!
And a pretty dress on!
And it’s cuddly!

… Or, an Easter Kangaroo!
That’s pink!
With an Easter egg!

But that’s not very man-y, is it?”


Hail stones were battering our widows one afternoon. Isla comes running to me:
“Muuuum! No like it! Worry, worry!”


Isla fell off her scooter in the garden and was crying. I ran over saying: “What happened Isla, what have you hurt??”. She struggled to reply through the tears but eventually wailed: “My hurt my scooter!!”

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Last weekend, we made a happy return to see our friends the Tombliboos, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle.And we rode on the Ninky Nonk for one more time…

Yep, you guessed it, we went to see In the Night Garden Live, when it returned to our neck of the woods (Manchester, to be precise). And no, this is not a sponsored post – I paid £15 per head out of my very own hard earned money…

Lilly and I first went to the show when she was two and a half, in Liverpool. I thought even then that she was getting a little bit big for the TV programme, but she absolutely adored watching it live and genuinely still remembers it and talks about it quite often even now. Isla missed out that first time because she was only about six weeks old (although I had actually bought her a ticket – a touch ambitious, I realised as soon as she was born!)

Anyway after a slightly stressful journey whereby we went the wrong direction on the motorway and then couldn’t find our way around the Trafford Centre’s network of different car parks to find the illusive one that we needed we arrived just as the show was starting and dashed to our seats as the opening music began.

I was a little bit nervous about how Isla would react to the whole thing – having never been to a show of this kind before, and the fact that she can sometimes get so sensitive about things, it could have been an unmitigated disaster.

But thankfully, she loved it!

We went right to the back so it didn’t matter if the girls wanted to stand up and dance along as they weren’t blocking anyone’s view. And Isla loved listening to all the familiar songs and waving to the characters on stage. Her absolute favourite was Upsy Daisy, and she got really quite excited whenever she came on stage.

The highlight was the part where the characters all dance under the magical gazebo – always Isla’s favourite part in the programme. And we were showered with paper flowers at that point too.

All in all it was another lovely experience – and Lilly – who by now is DEFINITELY too big for the Night Garden, loved every second of it yet again.

So, another thumbs up to the Night Garden Live – and I wonder if I will be blogging about it for a third time in two years from now when Eve is big enough to go along?!


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We were out at the shops and Lilly had brought her cuddly toy cat, and was dragging him behind her by the ribbon tied around his neck.

Daddy: “Don’t drag that cat along the ground Lilly, he’s getting dirty paws”
L: “He’s not!”
Me: “He is Lil, he’s going to be filthy”
L: “Oh, don’t you start”


L (Waving her fairy wand): “I’m a fairy, I’m doing wishes! What’s your wish Isla?
Isla (considering): “Errrrrr…. BICCIE!”

Later, talking about dreams:
L: “What did you dream about last night Isla?”
I: “Errrrr… BICCIE!”


We are in the car & Eve is wailing.
I (clutching her ears):”Too loud! Too loud!”


Lilly in complimentary mode:

“Mummy, I love you. You are the BEST mummy I have EVER had!”


“Mmmm, this toast is absolutely nice”


Lilly, talking about dinosaurs:

“Mum, do you remember when there was no people and no dinosaurs? I mean, there was dinosaurs and then there was no dinosaurs, and then there was just people? And, do you know?! There wasn’t televisions like our televisions. The televisions then were black and white!! Can you believe it??”

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