Royal Wedding

Our local primary school was showing today's Royal Wedding on a big screen, so the three of us joined dozens of other local folk in the school hall to see the ceremony.

Lots of families were there so there were plenty of children milling about. The older ones sat down at the front to see the action, but G and a few of the others preferred to toddle about at the back.

I wasn't all that bothered about seeing the whole thing myself, which was just as well because I spent most of the time chasing G around. She didn't even flicker when the image of Kate in her dress appeared on the screen, but briefly settled in to watch when she heard the band strike up. Given other recent evidence, I think I might be raising a dancer, rather than a model.


The less like a baby G looks, the more conscious I am of some of the baby things she still does. Chief among these is drooling. Her chin and clothes have been drenched on a daily basis since she first started getting her teeth through at three months old, and even though she's had all her teeth for quite a while now, still the drooling continues.

In truth, it's not as bad as it used to be. As well as now having her teeth through, G has also been using a proper cup to drink from, which has apparently had the welcome side effect of teaching her how to swallow in a tidier fashion. Both these factors mean the amount of drool coming from her mouth has reduced significantly from a torrent to a more occasional trickle.

In an attempt to make G look more like the toddler she is, I've even abandoned the bibs which used to be an absolute necessity. But, as the picture shows, this often only means that her top gets soaked through by the end of the day. The damp patch is a reminder that she's not yet as grown up as she sometimes seems.

Dancing With The Morris Men

The Saddleworth Morris Men visit a few of our local villages every Good Friday, and do a bit of dancing followed by a bit of drinking. It being such a beautiful day, we put G in her trike and pushed her up the hill into Dobcross Square to see them pass through. She sat quietly and watched as they did their performance, but had obviously been looking more closely than we realised.

Once the dancers had retired to the nearby pub for a swift one before the next village, their accordion player started up again with a bit of music. Hearing this, G toddled over and started doing her own version of morris dancing. This mainly involved waving her arms about, bending her knees and smiling rather than anything you could objectively describe as actual dancing, but, as the photo shows, everyone was very impressed.

G certainly enjoyed being the centre of attention. She can never be a true morris man because, well, let's just say she wasn't born into it. But if they're letting women join by the time she grows up, I'm sure she'll be first to volunteer.

Trike Into Town

Now that winter has given way to summer, without much of a spring in between, G's usual transport has had to change accordingly. Her bulky off-road pram, useful on muddy paths, is firmly in the shed, and the trike we got her for her first birthday is now the best way to get her around our local area.

This is G in Uppermill today. When I stopped in at the butcher, the woman behind the counter recognised G and said: "Hasn't she grown? Time really does fly." This is true up to a point, in that G certainly has grown. But as this photo demonstrates, not quite enough for her feet to reach the pedals. I'll still be providing all the motive power for a while yet.

Little Madam

Here's G at today's Marsden Cuckoo Day, a festival held in a village near where we live to mark the beginning of spring. She had lots of fun toddling around amidst all the brass bands and morris dancers, and would have explored a lot more had I not had tight hold of the end of her reins. Keeping her on those is now a necessity when there are lots of people about.

In the past week or so G has also learned the word no. Or, as she often uses it: "NO!" This has coincided with an increase in the number of mini-tantrums she throws, usually complete with crying and whining, although also usually quickly over and forgotten about. But even though it's still fairly easy to distract her from whatever's upsetting her, thereby bringing any minor crying fit to a swift end, I know that isn't going to be the case forever.

"We're going to have to come up with a consistent way of dealing with this," said Mrs J, as G adopted her best little madam position while we were out having lunch earlier. And so we are. Although I imagine keeping her on reins at all times of the day is probably frowned on.

You'll Turn Out Like Your Mother

G enjoyed getting out and about in the sunshine over the weekend. But all her energetic toddling about left her feeling more tired than normal, so she had a couple of extra-long afternoon naps, one of which you can see in the picture.

The thing to notice about the photo is the position that G is in. Mrs J sleeps in exactly the same way, on her left-hand side with her arms just like that. It's quite common for G to copy what we do, it's how little ones learn things after all. But I'm not sure how she's managed to pick this one up. I just hope she doesn't start snoring as well, although I won't say which one of us she'd be copying if she did!


Bringing up a child is full of little landmarks, signs that show how your wee one is growing up, bit by bit. One recent example of this with G was when, after previously having to help her down the slide at the playground in Uppermill, I let her do it herself and stood at the bottom to stop her flying off. It took a couple of goes but she quickly got the hang of it, so today we went with Mrs J so G could demonstrate to her mum.

These photos are pretty self-explanatory. G was too fast for the camera at the end, but Mrs J was there to catch her.

Check Up

G had her 18-month assessment yesterday. A health visitor came round, ostensibly to check up on G's progress, but presumably to check up on me as well. Thankfully, Mrs J helped me make sure the house was more or less tidy, but to be on the safe side I baked some bread beforehand, in the hope the smell would overpower any doubts about my child-rearing ability.

The health visitor gave G a series of basic tests. She successfully matched a few shapes, and sailed through putting blocks on top of each other. G was also well ahead with drawing, having moved beyond doing dots and straight lines, and onto circles. I looked on smugly as the health visitor filled out a chart showing G's development, with ticks consistently above the average for her age.

But when confronted with a doll and told to brush its hair, G just looked blank, and started playing with some other objects instead. Despite several prompts, she showed no interest in the doll whatsoever. In a sense, this is a vindication of my strict anti-pink policy, which has left G far more likely to play with proper toys like building blocks and books instead of silly girly dolls. I suppose I should let her have a few now I've made my point, although I still live in fear of one day finding myself surrounded by Barbie and My Little Pony, a frightening prospect indeed. Might just keep the boyish lego out for a bit longer.