A month ago, when Polly turned two and a half, I had written a really long update on how she was doing, but when I came to publish it the draft had disappeared (I’m not sure how as I thought it automatically saved, but hey). I didn’t have the time or energy to re-write it, hence it’s been two months since I’ve done an update for her. I suspect, like with Tabitha, the updates will become fewer and farther between now Polly’s a bit older, but I just wanted to touch upon her hitting habit as I’ve not written about it yet. Yes, for a few months now, Polly has used hitting as a way of controlling her emotions. Rarely to me, but often to Tabitha and Tom. It’s her way of responding to situations she doesn’t like. I’m not worried about it as I know it’s just a phase, but I wanted to document that it happens. Hopefully going to playgroup (where she stayed for two-and-a-half hours by herself this morning) will help her to move past this slappy stage. She’s now aware that she’s going to do it (“I’m going to hit you now”), and knows that she has to (reluctantly) say sorry every time she does. Thankfully, she never throws tantrums and is a treasure of a two-year-old for the majority of the time, so it’s not all bad.
Other than that, Polly is coming on leaps and bounds, and is now never without her new favourite toy, Dipsy (and Waa of course), which means the Hebbies are no longer flavour of the month, although she does still love playing Playmobil at the table.
This morning was Polly’s second session at New Stepping Stones and the first time that I left her there. It could have gone either way, but she was absolutely fine. I was gone about an hour and a half in total, during which time Polly played outside, did a painting and joined in with the ukulele music class in the studio. The teachers said she had been very chatty. It is a complete contrast to when I first left Tabitha there, when she sobbed for the entire half an hour I was gone for, but that’s no suprise as Polly is used to the setting and has seen Tabitha be left there many times before. Fingers crossed within another couple of sessions she will be completely settled and I will be able to start going to yoga and swimming during my child free time.
And so we come to the end of what has been a very positive, memory-filled year. 2017 was the year when Tabitha started school, when we went on our first holiday abroad with Polly, and when Tom and I went away on our own to mark 5 years of marriage. It was the year in which we celebrated Tabitha’s 4th birthday, Polly’s 2nd birthday, Roger and Margaret’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary and Gemma and Christian’s wedding in Wales. We’ve ended the year on a high, with lots of travelling around and festivities. Here’s what we got up to in December:
- We went to Sarah and Arnaud’s for a sleepover, where Polly thoroughly enjoyed playing with Connie.
- We collected and put up the Christmas tree.
- Polly and I went to Christmas parties at Mortlake Hall and Stay & Play.
- Tabitha performed in her first Nativity.
- We went to Ros and Darren’s for a sleepover and when we woke up on the Sunday morning there was thick snow outside!
- I had a meal out in Richmond with the old Bumps & Babies crew.
- We had Gemma, Tom, Jamie and Sam round for mince pies and mulled wine to celebrate the end of term.
- We went to Clacton to stay at Nanny Pam’s and catch up with family.
- Buddy went to stay at Jamie’s while we travelled up to Stoke for three nights, returning home on Christmas Eve.
- We had a wonderful Christmas Day at home and had Gemma, Jamie and Sam round late afternoon.
- We went ice skating at The Natural History Museum.
- We travelled to Croydon to have lunch at Tommy, Rose, Betty and Moira’s house.
- We ended the year with a visit from Alex for dinner on the 30th.
Every year I write a list of resolutions – usually along the lines of 1) lose weight, 2) exercise more, 3) keep up with the housework, 4) use my phone less etc etc – and then 12 months later I revisit this list and put a big ‘x’ beside most things.
Throughout 2017 my biggest accomplishments were things I hadn’t really expected to happen, or resolved to do: for example, I upped my running distance to around 5km and mainly stuck to two runs per week throughout the year; I started doing a weekly yoga class; I began eating a vegan diet – initially for just two weeks, but that has extended into several months now and counting. None of these specific things were on my list of resolutions; perhaps if they had have been I would’ve felt too much pressure to stick with them all year and given up.
So, for 2018 my only resolution is to not set myself any resolutions, but simply see where the year takes me. That way I won’t find myself disappointed at the end of next December when all of my goals have come to nothing, but instead I will be able to look back and celebrate any achievements I have made!
Tabitha has almost completed her first term in Reception! I am so pleased with how the first few months have gone for Tabitha – she is confident in herself and (apart from the first couple of weeks) happy about going in to school. She’s learning so much already and often comes home with little stories, songs and snippets of her day, however it has been very nice to receive these half-termly Learner Reports to get a little bit more insight into what goes on within those four classroom walls!
Here’s what we got up to this month:
- November started with a bang as we went to a big firework display at Dukes Meadows golf course with Jamie and his family. It was Polly’s first ever fireworks, but she was suprisingly ok with the loud noises. Afterwards when we’d walked back, we did sparklers on Mortlake Green.
- We went to play at Jamie’s after school the following Wednesday.
- That same week Alex came round for dinner on the Friday evening.
- Polly caught the hand, foot and mouth virus.
- The following Friday my mum came up for a flying visit so that Tom and I could go out for birthday dinner – we went to The Gate in Hammersmith and then had a drink over the bridge in Barnes. The girls enjoyed seeing their Nanny Pam albeit briefly.
- On the Saturday we travelled to Waterloo with my mum – she headed back home, while we went to catch up with the Birchall’s at the National Theatre.
- The following day was my birthday – we wandered into Barnes and saw Tabitha’s picture up in the OSO as part of Andrew Wilson’s photo exhibition. Then we had lunch in Pizza Express.
- The following week Tabitha dressed up as a space person for her last day of learning about space in Year R.
- Then it was Tom’s birthday – we had lunch at the Brown Dog.
- The last week of the month saw Tabitha take a school trip to Wimbledon Temple.
“No, I’m gorgeous” is Polly’s stock response to pretty much any question at the moment (which is an indication of how much I call her that!). This is despite the fact that she is looking slightly less gorgeous than usual at the moment having come down with the hand, foot and mouth virus. She has had a rash around (and in, apparently) her mouth, hands, legs, feet and nappy area. But apart from a couple of restless nights she’s been ok in herself, although wanting her mummy even more than usual (if that’s possible!).
It was at this age that Tabitha gave up her daytime naps for good, but after having a period of not napping that much, Polly has returned to regularly having a daytime snooze at the moment; going down for about an hour or so at around 1pm. It does mean she’s disruptive at bedtimes, but I do cherish the peace during the day. Saying that though, I am enjoying hanging out with Polly at the moment; it is easy, and quiet, with minimal tears or tantrums. I’d always assumed I’d do different things with Polly once Tabitha went to school, but we’ve settled nicely into a routine of local activities. She loves the children’s centre (we go to two stay & plays and rhythm, rhyme & storytime), as well as Mortlake Hall and Tiddlywinks (although our days of the church are numbered as Mondays will soon be a playgroup day). When we’re at home Polly enjoys binge-watching Peppa Pig while she’s got the tele to herself!
Polly’s gone back to sleeping well over night too and until a decent time in the morning which is a relief.