Christmas With Thomas

This is what we spent a good deal of Christmas Day doing. That is, sitting around on the floor, playing with trains. Having repeatedly shown over the past few months just how much she likes trains, and Thomas The Tank Engine in particular, G's stack of presents from Santa had a certain loveable blue character as a prominent theme.

It actually started the night before, as G got some new Thomas pyjamas. She liked these so much, she didn't want to take them off on Christmas morning during the serious business of present opening, as shown here:
She was full of energy, largely because she didn't actually wake up until 8:30am. Having completely missed the stocking beside her bed, she sleepily trudged into bed with me and Mrs J as she often does.

"Has Santa been?" asked Mrs J. In response, G looked rather blank. "Do you want to go and see if Santa's been?" G trudged back to her bedroom. Then, eventually, "Oh! Santa's been with my presents!" Maybe next year she'll cotton on a bit faster.

Besides Thomas, Mrs J saw to it that G received a lot of arts and crafts, and she was eventually persuaded to leave her now-much larger train set alone for a while to do a bit of drawing.

There's no doubt who G's biggest hero of the day was. She didn't even need any prompting to do this picture of Santa in one of her new activity books. Although having coloured in the hat and shoes in an appropriate red, she then scribbled his face in red too. Maybe he just seems completely red to her, because the rest of us are so pasty-faced from staying in every day to avoid the Salford rain.
After the trains and the pictures came the food. This year, G was particularly fond of the sausages and the parsnips, but wasn't tempted by any sprouts. She cleaned everything she had on her plate, as you might expect.
It's a good job she likes Christmas food, because we've still got a fridge mostly full of the stuff. It seems we over-catered for our own stomachs just as much as we over-indulged G's interest in Thomas. Not feeling too guilty about either though.

Antlers On The Dancefloor

We went to a wedding this week. Thoughtfully, the happy couple had laid on a babysitter, so G and the other little ones weren't buzzing around pestering everyone (but mainly Mrs J and me) during the ceremony and food. This also meant that by the time the evening party started, G wasn't already overexcited and tired, and could have a bit of fun with everyone before bedtime.

There was one of those comedy photobooth things, and a dressing-up box for guests to take advantage of. G immediately zeroed in on a pair of festive antlers, then proceeded to trot around showing them off to everyone. The picture shows her explaining patiently to me why they are essential dancefloor wear. G also had a reindeer-style dance move to go along with her headgear, which basically involved moving her hands forward and down in the generally-accepted gesture for 'lion', and grinning like a loon. I'm not sure that's what reindeer actually do, but whatever.

After cutely showing off for a bit, we decided to get G to bed before she outstayed her welcome, or threw a tantrum about something. Besides, the babysitter was staying on until the end of the wedding, so we were able to have an always-welcome evening to ourselves. Well, us and about 100 other people. But you get the point.

Frosty Playground

Today was a day off at home with G. After lazing around for a bit, looking doubtfully through the window at the cold outside, I asked her what she wanted to do, hoping she might suggest something indoors and somewhere warm. A sauna perhaps.

"Playground!" she replied, "Playground! Playground! Playground!" Looking at the thick frost outside, I put an extra layer on us both and drove to one fairly near our new house that we were yet to visit.

As you can see, G ran off excitedly in the direction of the swings. As you can also see, there was nobody else around. The frost in the park was still untouched, so not even any dog walkers had been past during the morning.

We didn't stay all that long, but there was time for G to save the day. We trotted back to the car to get out of the cold, and as I opened the door G gave me a serious look and said: "No daddy, you left the bag at the playground". This was true enough, her potty, wipes, spare clothes, water, and all manner of other posessions were still where I'd left them. I strapped G into the car and took a more leisurely stroll back to pick them up. Not that anyone would want to make off with them normally, but there really was no chance of that today.


I suppose it had to happen. But the speed at which G has gone from a fairly generic toddler-type voice to a broad Manchester accent has taken me a bit by surprise.

At her old nursery, she picked up a few words with a bit of an Oldham sound, which she occasionally dropped in ("mun-keh" was a particular favourite of mine). But those seemed to have faded away since we moved to our new place and she started at a new nursery in town.

That was until last week. One day, I noticed G had started talking like a Manc. It seemed to come on almost overnight, but it was definitely there. A sort of verbal tic in which she goes up-then-down during a sentence, then up again at the very end. Not just as a one-off though, this is now how she says every single sentence. As you can imagine, it gets slightly wearing after about the 5,000th time. It's going to take a bit of getting used to.

Until that day, G is better seen rather than heard. So toys like this Thomas the Tank Engine jigsaw which she spent ages quietly doing, then taking apart, then doing again on the kitchen table, are my current preferred entertainment for her.