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By trade I am a journalist with a background in current affairs, culture, health and fitness, travel and high profile interviews. I also own and run an outdoor fitness business aimed at people that hate gyms and bootcamps (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk). Most importantly though, I am on Shared Parental Leave from May 31 to October 3. Everyday from 0730 to 1800 I will be in sole charge of a real and completely awesome baby girl.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

DAY 34 - 36 - Pelicans, Giraffes and Toddlers

Daddyshortlegs Pelican
Sneaky Percy Pelican
THE last few days have been a bit of blur. I'm not sure why but I feel like I have been in a pretty useless time-travelling capsule which doesn't let you see the past or the future but simply steals your time and gives you a snotty nose. In fact I think that is exactly what has happened.

Given that I was kidnapped, thrown in the budget time machine and that I currently have a Lemsip on the same timings as A-Bomb's feeds, I am throwing three days of action into one post, just to get myself back on track. Thinking about it, there is every chance that M'Lady drugged me with memory loss pills to pay me back for Mini-milk-gate. She is a sneaky lady.

Anyway, Sunday – delicious lunch at a friend's with one younger baby and two older toddlers in attendance, where I was shown up by a two-year-old on one of those giant bubble wand things... I was simply trying to give guidance on how to form a bubble, but it transpired that I was useless and the little cretin (actually super cute) was a much more accomplished bubbler. Note: must practise my bubble technique.

At home we opened up some bath toys that had somehow been overlooked for seven months. So, belatedly Colin the Crab, Trudi the Turtle and Percy Pelican entered the watery arena. They will be hard pressed to oust bathroom stalwarts Mr Crab, Oscar Octopus and Steve the Sponge but they can try. During the Welcoming Ceremony the Milk Lady was holding Colin, Trudi and Percy under the water before squeezing them to spray water from their respective holes. "Look at this," she exclaimed while seeming to aim the Pelican at the bath.

"Yes, very good" I replied, not really paying attention because I was washing our daughter and ensuring her safety.

As it turned out Old Milky had misjudged (had she?!) where the scumbag pelican's squirt hole actually was and thus I was blasted square in the face with a torrent of soapy water (non-sting). Ha. Ha. Perhaps childishly I then joined forces with the old crowd and activated Oscar's hose to create an uncomfortable wet patch on the Milker's pant region. A-bomb waited patiently to be lifted to a towel.

Monday... A day of practising rolling over, crawling and sitting up. It was tough, but I think I've mastered it. Boom Boom. Sorry. The revelation on this day came on our educational trip to the plant and wood museum also known as Homebase, with the buggy in an upright position (it was not a nap walk... flat riding is for sleeping). Sophie the Giraffe as always was riding in the carriage but I noticed a change from the usual arrangement where M'Lady holds the rubbery animal in one hand while chomping on it's neck and face. Now, the clever minx had fashioned things so that Sophie was wedged under the straps, meaning there was no need to bother with holding her with hands. It was hands-free gumming from now on. Already her limbs were being done out of work. What next, those hideous trainers with wheels in? Nope, not on my watch.

Tuesday... Helen, a seasoned professional in the realms of child-rearing visited us with her two cool dudes; two-year-old Freddie and nine-month-old Benny. Coffee was brewed, croissants and biscuits laid out and the morning was ours to catch up on things and discuss life in general. Ha... not a chance. A-bomb, although chilled to the max required feeding as did her baby counterpart, while Freddie was in among anything and everything. At one point the toddler ventured into the garden and helpfully returned with a trowel loaded with compost, in case we needed it. As it happened, we didn't but he wasn't to know. I then tasked the little chap to use the broom he'd found to brush my patio... he was a fast worker though and was finished in 30 seconds and asked for his next task.

Seeing the two brothers in action was a rapid lesson in how having two youngsters is a completely different ball game to just looking after one (which is no walk in the park!). While the Fredster was running, jumping and bouncing in all directions, Benny the Bruiser was brushing off any collisions with not so much as a raised eyebrow and motoring around the place using his rapid crawling technique. The action was frantic and relentless. Awesome to see, but nonetheless, breathless. Meanwhile, the A-bomb was cracking on with her own self-contained business, which involved collecting a plastic yellow ring and attempting to eat it.

Daddyshortlegs Team
The Gang
 Needless to say that during a lovely morning playing with the kids, learning about the cartoon character Bing and hearing about Fireman Sam's fire truck, only half a croissant, half a cookie and one cup of coffee was consumed, between us. 

At one point I was able to use the visiting gang as trialists for a new fitness class I might be launching, for parents, babies and toddlers... there is some ironing out to do but watching a toddler run through the Agility Ladder, with his baby brother mimicking his steps, aided my his mum was a wonderful thing to witness! True Spartans (www.spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk).

Daddyshortlegs spartanfitnesslondon.co.uk
Speed drills though the ladder
I think I have now emerged from the memory-loss-time-tunnel and have a few points to take forward: Don't trust pelicans, watch out for M'Lady being lazy with her limbs, do not underestimate the relative ease of caring for one child as opposed to two or more!

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