Posts Tagged ‘stories’

The Trial of Pre-School

January 30, 2011

Ella goes to pre-school 2 and a half days a week. I take her twice, for the two whole days she goes. As I mentioned in the previous post, she’s been quite resistant to going to school on many occasions. What is most strange is that once at school, she’s fine and enjoys it and plays with the other kids, doesn’t have any problems with the activities; it just seems to be the prospect of school and going there she doesn’t like.

This week has been a case in point. Monday was bad, I don’t know the details because Ma, who has often babysat for Ella, takes her on that day. Then on Tuesday she put on a right performance. Last week she wasn’t well, so she was trying to use this as an excuse on Tuesday, pretending to cough. She started crying when we left the house, and all the way on the 15 minute walk to school. She got worse when we arrived, and while I took off her coat and hat. Then, just as we were going to the door from the hallway into the main classroom, she pulled out a big fake cough, while crying, and choked and vomited. Very embarrassing, quite worrying, but I knew it was entirely because she was winding herself up. Fortunately I had a change of clothes, so got her changed, and wiped her face. There wasn’t a lot of ‘product’. I felt I had to persist, or she’d use the same behaviour in future. So I handed her over to her keyworker and legged it. I rang up the school later in the morning, and they said she was just fine, outside playing happily away with the other kids. Nice. I had been confident that this would be the case when I left her, because it always is.

Friday wasn’t dissimilar – crying when we left the house and all the way along the walk. This time I kind of gave in and gave her a carry. At least during that she stopped crying, but started again when we arrived in school. I also changed routine here, and rather than fighting to hang up her coat and bags while she stood by sobbing, I just chucked them on the floor and took her through to her keyworker, who Ella loves and calms her down quickly and gets her involved in something she enjoys. This was to avoid another chunder event, and it did work in avoiding a repeat of Tuesday’s horror. Again, once there she was fine and came home at the end of the day with a ‘Good Girl’ sticker, showing that she’d done well at school.

So it remains a mystery why she gets so emotional about going. Hopefully this isn’t a 400 evidence sheet on why we’re bad parents. We feel that now she’s going to school (even just pre-school), to stop now would give a bad message about real school. So we’re hoping something finally gives and Ella realises she likes school, and is happy to go.


Time to Post

December 19, 2010

It’s taken a mildly traumatic event to get me back on the blog, which I thought readers might want to hear about. Fortunately it’s all done and dusted and sorted now, so nothing to really worry about.

Today Hannah wanted to pop out to the new M&Co shop in Cowes to do a bit of clothes shopping for the Choir Christmas meal tomorrow, so we all trooped out into the snow. Once she finished that she suggested stopping off in The Anchor for a drink, and then we decided to have dinner there. As we finished off our food Ella said she wanted the loo, so Hannah took her. A few minutes later Hannah returned and quietly said to me ‘Come and see this’. I expected to find something amusing had happened, but not sure what. In the Ladies toilet, one of the two cubicle doors was shut, and Ella was locked inside. Yikes. She wasn’t too upset, and for a couple of minutes we tried to explain to her how to unlock the bolt on the door, which was one of the traditional kind. Looking at the other cubicle, it was also of traditional stout build, which was worrying. These were proper cubicles too, fully closed off, so there was no going over the top or under the door.

Ella started to get upset, so I went out to ask the staff for some help because basically the only option was to knock the door down, which wouldn’t have been good without some ‘official’ involvement. Two lads came to help, and possibly this sort of event wasn’t a first in the pub. We told Ella to move to the back of the cubicle and sit on the loo, which she said she had done (we had no way of telling). She was doing a fair amount of sobbing, but certainly was far from being out of control. I had the first go at trying to kick the door, and it turned out to be quite tough. One of the lads apparently had prior experience of kicking down doors and also had a number of goes, but nothing was budging, except the door frame and the surrounding wall. Ella really didn’t like the noise so we were not very persistent.

One of the lads had the idea of a battering ram and they went off and returned with an empty gas cannister. This certainly gave the door a right good thumping but still it held firm. Ella didn’t like the noise of that at all, so it didn’t last long. At this point we decided to call in the professionals, and the staff called the fire brigade. One of Ella’s current loves in Fireman Sam, and I hoped the thought of being rescued by some firemen might help calm her down, but it didn’t really. We had decided to stop trying the door until the firemen arrived, and Hannah had a sing with Ella, which was actually quite upsetting in some respects with her little voice coming from behind the door.

So the firemen turned up, about four of them piling into the small toilet. They had a couple of meaty crowbars. The initial exploratory jemmying of the door wasn’t too successful, so two of them got involved and eventually the bolt popped and the door sprung open. Ella was obviously out like a shot to have hugs with Mummy, and it was quite emotional. Ella was sufficiently upset that she didn’t take particular notice of any of the Fireman Sams. She got some free ice cream and a round of applause from the patrons in the back room who’d heard all the banging and knew our little girl was stuck. Interestingly several people either said they’d got stuck in loos or had a sibling who had.

So in the end, we got her out. I never doubted we would, it was just a matter of time, but quite upsetting for all involved, and hopefully Ella won’t play with door bolts again before she works out how to unlock them.

Hiding Things from Mummy

March 28, 2010

This is one that Hannah said I had to blog. Hannah was baking a cake today, with Ella’s help. When it was all done, Hannah had some bits that had been chopped off to shape it, and we all had a bit. Ella also took a bit for her dolly, and took it out to the garden where her dolly was. Hannah followed her out, though Ella didn’t know Hannah was there. Hannah overheard her saying to her dolly, ‘This is your bit, but I’m going to have and don’t tell Mummy’.

Too Much to Bare

February 20, 2010

Regular readers must be wondering how on Earth the potty training is going. Yes, you must. Until today, I’d have said it was going very well. We’ve had a few dry days this week, ie days when Ella has only gone to the loo in the potty or toilet and not hit the floor or her clothes. We haven’t gone for leaving the nappy off overnight, as described before; and on nervous days, she’s had the nappy on during naps too. A quick word on naps: they are beginning to disappear, as Ella becomes more lively, less interested in the nap and not falling asleep early enough at night (sometimes she’s still awake at 10).

I’ve been off work since Wednesday, so I’ve been fairly involved and up-to-date on latest potty techniques with Ella, so I didn’t go into today as ‘first day of weekend, not spent much time with the kid during the week, fumbling-Dad’. I did decide to try and break the boundaries a bit and go for an outing to the library, followed by the park; a common excursion for Ella and I on a Saturday while Hannah is teaching singing. We left just after Ella had used the potty, to minimise likelihood of immediate need, and I went out armed with a change of clothes for Ella’s bottom half, wipes, potty, and kitchen roll. Almost immediately after arriving at the library, almost all of that was needed, and sadly it was the potty which was redundant, as Ella had peed. As discretely as I could (thankfully she was in a deserted part of the library, and on a rug in an area with kids toys, so fair game for children’s accidents, in my view), I cleaned her up and changed her and mopped up what I could with the kitchen roll. I then hurriedly chose some books (I’ve not checked to see whether they are any good yet), and decided that I’d take Ella home, and not risk the park. When we got home, I spotted a large lump in her tights, and oops, she’d pooed in them. I’ll give no further detail, but it could have been worse.

Unfortunately this form of mental torture didn’t end there, and some future potty uses were not 100% secure and further clothes changes were needed as a result of imperfect pooing. All-in-all, not a pleasant afternoon, and I was quite happy to let Hannah look after Ella while I took on the relatively restful, safe and secure task of cooking up some chicken and turning it into curry (nothing complicated there). I don’t think any of today was particularly down to schoolboy or naive errors, just that Ella isn’t quite ready for going out and warning of toilet need. I’m sure she’ll work it out soon, as she’s very quickly got the hang of it at home, and it’s not like we’re having to remind her frequently of the existence and purpose of the potty. She knows and uses it when she needs to. Of course, as scary as it is as a parent to go out with your nerves on a knife-edge, in fear of a toilet accident, one still needs to do so, otherwise one’s child won’t learn, so there is likely to be more trips like today’s.

Why did I choose that title? It represents my state of mind after we got back from the library, and of course Ella pushed those boundaries further when I thought I couldn’t face more cleaning up after her. Not that she acted in any malicious way, mind you, just the natural learning and development process.


Wintery Weekend

November 30, 2009

There was quite a lot of this and that over the weekend just gone. The weather was generally quite atrocious, with any outing involving mad dashes for cover to avoid getting drenched. At one point a large hailstorm caused the downpipe from the front roof to overflow creating a heap of hailstones on our front path.

On Saturday night, Hannah’s choir (Medina High Community Choir) were singing at a switching on of Christmas lights at a house in Newport. They do lots and lots of lights, plus mocked up stable, and collect money for charity. It was cold and dark, and their snow machine (which they turned on when pretty much everyone had gone) allowed a lovely photo of Ella and I, as though in a snowstorm.


Ella had good fun standing with the choir holding her Gan-gan’s hand (who also sings with the choir). She also had her photo taken by the County Press photographer, so we’ll see if she’s in the paper on Friday.

Sunday was a busy day. We went to church which was most remarkable because Ella fell down some stairs. It was just  short set of stairs, up to a serving hatch, where tea and coffee and biscuits are served from. She’d gone up to get a biscuit, and despite rather bumping her face (now with big red mark) she was most distraught about her crushed custard cream biscuit on the floor. A replacement cheered her up.

Since then she’s come down with quite a bit of a cold. She’s being very brave, but does sound like she has been smoking 50 a day for several years. It hasn’t disturbed her sleep, which is good. Colds are not something she has had a lot of. I read that babies, on average, have about eight colds in their first year. I reckon Ella had maybe two before her first birthday. Maybe luck or a tough constitution.

Bossiness Extended

November 23, 2009

While working from home today, I’ve been told at least twice ‘No, go away, back to your office’. She is a cheeky monkey.

Toilet Humour

July 29, 2009

Ella is developing something of a dirty mind. Today, while I was bathing her, she did two quite load farts, giggled, and then said ‘bit funny, poo in bath’. I really had to fight hard to not completely crease myself up laughing. There wasn’t any poo in the bath, by the way.

Worst Night Ever

July 12, 2009

Yesterday we went over to Barbara’s for her birthday party. We decided to take Ella, and stay over. This meant that a) Ella would go to bed later than usual; b) probably be somewhat over-excited; c) sleep in the same room as us, which does tend to make her more difficult to put down; d) sleep in a slightly unusual cot (which she does sleep in occasionally). Okay, not the best set of influences for a good night’s sleep, but every-so-often, on a special occasion, you have to push the boundaries. She was quite excited at Barbara’s house before everyone arrived, and remained so after the party goers turned up. We didn’t keep her up long after the party started, and settled her down to bed. After a while she was still awake, so Hannah spent some time in the room with her, and she did go off to sleep. It’s not unusual for her to take an hour to go to sleep at home, with her just talking or singing to herself or her toys. When we went to bed, which was about 2am (rockstar lifestyle), she popped awake and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I have to confess to being quite rubbish, having been under orders from Hannah to take advantage of not having to drive and consume beer; and Hannah did most of the work to try and get Ella back to sleep. Eventually, after some fitful periods of sleep, Hannah and Ella got up around 5, and went off to watch TV, though Ella did bash Hannah in the eye with a book, which didn’t help. Hannah got me up at 7 so she could have a some kip. So come 10 o’clock when we left, all three of us were quite tired. Ella did do quite well in the breakfast stakes, having got one from her mother early on, and another later from her Gan-gan when Hannah was asleep and no-one knew Ella had already had breakfast.

She was rather crotchety at bed time tonight, but she was asleep nice and early (which you can tell from the fact that I’m writing this now and it’s 7:15, when Ella would normally still be heading for bed) so hopefully tomorrow she’ll be bright and breezy again. She’ll need to be because Miriam (Hannah’s younger sister) is coming to stay, and no doubt Ella will be engaged in a whirlwind of activity for the few days Miri is here for.

A Small Adventure

July 10, 2009

I took the day off today to look after Ella while Hannah had the day in school running one of the Arts Blast events (you’d have to ask Hannah for information on what that was). In order to go and pick up my new phone, and as Hannah had the car, and as the weather was quite good, I thought that Ella and I would have a walk down the cycle path to Newport (where the parcel office is). The walk to Newport took about an hour and a half. Ella didn’t walk all the way, indeed, she was in the buggy for most of it because I was on a deadline to get to Medina Quay for lunch with Hannah. She did have a couple of short stints powering herself; the first when we got the the start of the cycle path, and Ella was definitely full of energy, doing quite a bit of ‘chasing’; and then later on as we neared Newport and I was less worried about the amount of time left. In truth, in the whole journey, the thing that interested her the most was the noisy cement/aggregate works on the edge of Cowes; apart from the packet of carrot stix crisps she ate.

We met Hannah for a nice lunch, though Hannah had to dash off, as she only had an hour. After which we stopped briefly at a swing park, before catching the bus home. It wasn’t a very tiring adventure for Ella, as she was pushed most of the way, but it was for me. She did get a good sleep when we got home, and I got to play with my new phone. 🙂

Happy Birthday

July 1, 2009

Well, it’s nearly time for my blog on Yahoo 360 to come to a close, but before it does, I should talk about the latest big event: Ella’s second birthday.

She was 2 on Saturday just gone. We had a party at the house, and that all went well. It was a BBQ in the evening, so Ella could have her usual afternoon nap. My folks and little brother, Hamish, and his wife, Christine were staying here, and so Ella was perfectly spoilt all through the day. Barbara and Hannah’s sister, Rachel, came round late in the morning to do some more spoiling and help out with the preparations.

Hannah and I had Ella sleeping in our room, as Hamish and Christine were in Ella’s, so that meant we could give Ella her presents from us when she woke up. We didn’t really get her anything too big, because she’s already got many, many things, just a toy laptop (not as fancy as it sounds) and some toy trucks. She likes the computer, but it is somewhat too advanced for her, and most adults have struggled with its games and puzzles.

Obviously she got many other presents with her trampoline (from Granny) and piano (Gangan, not a real piano, but quite impressive for a toy) being particular favourites. She loves playing with them all, though. She also got some lovely clothes too.

All the attention before the party did wear her out, so her afternoon nap was quite long. Even after she’d gone to sleep after the party, she still seemed quite tired on Sunday morning and had another big sleep on Sunday afternoon.

We had her singing Happy Birthday to herself, which is quite impressive. Her every improving speach helped her be a real star on the day. Indeed, she is moving onto quite advanced observations, saying from the back of the car ‘goodness sake, traffic’!

Before her party this week, she’d shared another with Tristan, the son of Hannah’s friend, Natalie. That was quite relaxed for us, as it wasn’t at our house, we just arrived with some food and extra toys to keep the kids amused. The weather was good that day, as well as on Ella’s birthday itself, which certainly helped keep both parties enjoyable.