Happy Holidays

When Sam was diddy, and I went on maternity leave, we used to post our Wednesday Projects -this was the day he wasn't in preschool and we'd do a little something together. Now I have two small humans and the prospect of regular school holidays which poses it's own challenges.

Small admission -I've never been the kind of mum to sit on the floor and do puzzles. They do my head in. I know, I'm holding back their spacial awareness development or something, but the truth is, I can do the puzzles and watching a small person get frustrated is not my idea of fun. My saving maternal grace is the fact that I have no problem getting messy, love glitter and mud, and I'm quite happy pitching in with these kind of activities.

So now there are two, I thought I'd share some of the messy stuff we get up to -all in the spirit of the original Wednesday Project! xx

Mess No. 2: Potty training (or, 'How to crap in a wheelbarrow like a pro')

She'll thank me later...

Hattie is two and a half. She is my second and final child. I can't express how much I am over scraping poo off her butt. She needs to do her thing in the appropriate place. So decision made, it was time to communicate this to Hattie. 

The summer holiday is hailed as the 'perfect time' to potty train your toddler. There is not a perfect time. It is not a perfect process and frankly some well adjusted, professional adults still seem to struggle. We (I) faffed about with knickers and praise and gritted teeth for the first couple of weeks and then honestly, buggered off to my mums. 

***Admission: I've never been in charge of potty training before. My son was in full-time nursery as I was working and I effectively paid them to do it and followed their lead. What I didn't realise until now is how much I had actually paid them to train me how to do it. 

The lowest point (apart from the washing, which actually I don't mind, I like cleaning products) was walking into the living room from the kitchen to find Hattie had taken off her knickers and placed them on her head. She had found and replaced them with a nappy, and was happily throwing Lego bricks at Simon Cowell who was on Top Gear. Most of this situation I thought was fair, but she was no closer to crapping in the right place. 

A change of scene and potty was a break through. I brought an awesome book called 'Princess Polly Potty', some pink knickers and some nail polish. Yep, sod the stickers and smarties, my kid wanted grown up toe nails. I said she could have one toe nail painted for every poo or wee completed in the right location. she thought that was a cool deal. And it worked. 

My Dad will now claim that it was his ace garden shack building skills that effectively gave Hattie the calm, chilled, chic environment in which to turn one out in, and therefore HE actually potty trained her. I'm letting him live with that delusion if it means he further hones his wood work skills to my benefit. 

So, nearly two weeks in and there has been a cessation of shite hostilities and mostly, everything has ended up where it should. Apart from the Christening party. Where Hattie was having too much fun with other kids to realise that her poo had indeed said Hello to Kitty and made an escape bid down her left leg. 

This would have been swiftly and discreetly fixed, had it not been for the fact that she was sat in a wheelbarrow, that Sam then wheeled into the crowd of assorted guests. Laughter and thoughts of 'ah, they're all playing so nicely' turned to turd-horror. I don't run unless there is cake at the end or I'm being chased by a big dog. I've added a third possibility- when there is crap smeared all over the bottom half of my child in the presence of assorted guests whilst wearing a John Rocha linen dress. I scraped it like a pro. 

In true blog style are there lessons learned? Nope. Potty training has to be done. It's going to be messy and I'm not eating shepherd's Pie for a while, but lets face it, we all have to pitch in, it doesn't take forever, and I for one am counting my blessings that she found the wheelbarrow instead of someone's handbag....xx

Mess No. 1: Camping with toddlers!

So for the first week of the holidays, a group of mums from school/playgroup and I decided to brave the wilds of Norfolk (rumour has it there is a puma...) for a couple nights of camping. I would like to point out (just for kudos really, before we mention the cocktails) that there were 5 mums, 9 (yes, nine) kids and perhaps the worst weather forecast imaginable. 

I cannot recommend www.thefirepitcamp.co.uk enough. It's a lovely small site, couple of connecting fields with no cars (you park a little down the lane), only 15 pitches, a decent loo, and.... a mud kitchen, a vintage double decker bus, a cocktail bar, a chef that makes burgers and pancakes, and games, and trolleys, and a campfire. Yep, I know. Not exactly roughing it, but it was an amazing break were the kids could be barefoot, and we could too.

Once we got home, there was plenty going on in my small people's heads. So I googled some but colouring pages, doodled one myself, and we talked around stories of the 'Magic Bus' and were we would go. We went a bit old school and watched 'Summer Holiday' and generally explored our brains and made a mess. Some of the pictures we've sent to the amazing camp to say thanks. And yep, we might just be back xx

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