And just like that, Tabitha’s pre-school era at New Stepping Stones is over.
When she first started back in November 2015, she was just over two-and-a-half years old; still in nappies and still having a dummy throughout much of the day. The first time I left her, I had to return within half an hour as she was crying so much, and it took weeks for her to properly settle and for me to not feel anxious about leaving her.
Fast forward to now and she’s a confident, happy four-year-old who loves going to her playgroup, and has made lots and lots of good friends there. I’m so pleased with the whole experience; how much she’s enjoyed it and how much progress she’s made.
This week I have been to see her in the playgroup’s performance of Percival the Caterpillar (when Tabitha first started she was scared of even going in to the studio for drama), and today they’ve had a party to mark the end of term.
Needless to say I’m very sad about this particular era coming to an end, but excited for Tabitha’s next step as she starts school. We’ve been to play at Thomson House this week and Tabitha enjoyed herself (especially the trampoline!), but said after that she prefers playgroup!
I’ve signed Polly up to start in January – she seems very at home there, so hopefully she’ll settle quicker – so it’s not the end of New Stepping Stones completely, just the end for Tabitha.
Here’s what we got up to during the hot month that was June 2017:
- We spent a morning at the paddling pool in Barnes with Gemma, Jamie and Sam.
- Met up with Emma, Jake and Isabelle at Mortlake Hall.
- Had a picnic in the park with the Mortlake mums and dads.
- Went to Battersea Park Zoo for Polly’s 2nd birthday.
- Went to see In the Night Garden Live in Richmond and then walked home along the river.
- Had a picnic in the park with Steve and his kids, Amy and Gramps.
- Nanny Pam came to visit.
- Tom and I went to the welcome evening at Thomson House School and then had drinks outside at the White Hart.
- We went to the Mortlake Summer Fair.
- We had a visit from Matt, Priti and Ishya and had lunch at Kerbisher & Malt (and popped in to catch the end of the New Stepping Stones Fair).
- I went to the new Ivy Cafe in Richmond for a meal with the bumps and babies mums.
- Tabitha went on her pre-school leavers trip to a forest in Ham.
At two years old Polly:
- Is still waiting for four incisor teeth to pop through.
- Hates having her teeth cleaned.
- Hates having her hair washed/brushed.
- Hates having her nappy changed.
- Largely sleeps through the night (hooray!).
- Now sleeps with a big-girls’ duvet rather than a sleeping bag.
- Has just started having some daytime naps in her cot rather than her pram.
- Very infrequently needs the pram when out and about locally anymore.
- Will soon need to reduce/stop napping in the day as she is taking too long to nod off at night.
- Loves her milky.
- Doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, but loves fresh fruit and fruit pouches.
- Loves scrambled egg.
- Wears a size 5 shoe.
- Loves wearing her welly boots (even in mid summer!).
- Loves splashing in puddles.
- Is getting more and more verbal.
We found it really hard to decide what to get Polly for her birthday – being the second-born we already have too many toys and big things in our flat – but I really wanted to get her something special to call her own. In the end we opted for a little scooter, as she’s just recently started showing an interest in Tabitha’s. I’d always assumed we’d pass Tabitha’s onto Polly and replace hers with a bigger one, but I think it’ll be nice that Polly has a brand new one. We’ve had a birthday trip to the zoo at Battersea today, are going to see In the Night Garden Live on Saturday and seeing some of my family for a picnic on Sunday.
Happy 2nd birthday Polp-a-dolp!
Once again, we’ve had a busy month with lots of travelling around. Our first adventure out of London was to the island of Anglesey in Wales for Gemma and Christian’s wedding. We spent two nights there in a cottage close to the sea, with a night either side at Nana Margaret and Grandad Roger’s. Aside from Polly’s constant car sickness, we had a lovely few days away. In Wales, when not at the wedding, we wandered by the shore, threw stones in the sea and ate lunch at The Bull in Beaumaris. Back in Biddulph, we visited The Grange Gardens; we were lucky the sun was shining for the majority of our break.
We only had a couple of days back in London before Tom and I set off for our 5th wedding anniversary celebrations in Juan-les-Pins. Nanny Pam came to stay so that she could do the first stint of babysitting as we left at 5.30 in the morning. Then Nana Margaret and Grandad Roger took over and ended up doing three nights with the girls as we were delayed getting back.
Prior to our travels, Tabitha had enjoyed a farm visit at playgroup, we’d visited the collectors’ fayre in Barnes, I’d had my hair cut and highlighted and we went to Eddie Katz with Lucy and Millie. I also took Tabitha to Lucy and Immie’s birthday party at Sheen Sports Centre and we went to Jamie’s flat for pizza (and wine).
We ended the month with a trip to the swimming pool followed by Pizza Express. We also had the sad news that Tom’s Uncle Roy had passed away.
Tom and I have just been abroad without the girls for the first time ever to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. It’s the longest I’ve ever spent away from either of them – thankfully I wasn’t quite as anxious as I thought I’d be and we managed to have a lovely few days in the sunshine without worrying too much. It felt like a proper break.
Tabitha and Polly’s time with their grandparents seemed to go well, with only a momentary panic my end when Nana Margaret texted to say Bear and Sheepy had been left at playgroup and it was now closed for half term. I had to do a bit of chasing around pool-side to ensure Tabitha got them back before bedtime (which she did, thanks to Miss Julia the dance teacher). Other than that Tabitha had a couple of tumbles with grazes to her knees, and Polly skipped two out of three of her naps, but all seemed to go smoothly.
The heart-sinking moment came on our final day when, just as I was happily finishing my book by the pool before heading off to the airport, Tom got an alert on his phone to say BA’s systems had crashed world-wide. I knew in that instant that we wouldn’t get back to our girls that day as planned and I felt so sick inside. I’d managed to get through the planned few days without my girls, but as soon as I knew there would be a delay to our reunion, I was suddenly desperate to get back to them. Predictably our flight got cancelled and we spent a loooong day hanging around Nice airport before catching the final Easy Jet flight home, getting us indoors for 1.30am. I’m just so glad we managed to get back in one day; many more people were stranded overnight as all the flights filled quickly. We were lucky to get on.
Now we’ve been back a couple of days, and it truly feels like we’ve never been away. The whinging, arguing, fighting, paddies and demands are back with gusto, but despite all that I think it will be a very long time until I agree to leave my girls behind again.
About a week ago, Polly did her first ever full day without napping. She had laid in until about 8am that morning, which is about an hour longer than usual, so that’s probably how she got through the rest of the day (she usually does a solid 2 hour nap!).
Polly’s sleeping pretty well overnight these days and she eats well too.
This month Polly has continued to thrive; in both her speech and physical development – she says ‘yes’ a lot now and also ‘thank you’ which is lovely, and she is so affectionate – always ready and willing to give a kiss and a big cuddle. Polly has well and truly left her baby days behind her now and in just one month our littlest one will turn two!
Polly’s still got quite a few scars left over from her recent Chickenpox – I’m hoping they’ll fade quickly.
I’ve not really much else to report for this month, so it’s just a short and sweet update!