It’s not my favourite month, to be honest. It’s such a tease.
One day you can walk through the park without even a jacket, admiring the snowdrops and daffodils that are poking their heads through the earth, and lifting your face to feel the warmth of the sun. It can really feel like spring is within touching distance. The next day it’s back to hat, gloves and scarf, and you walk through that same park cursing the slap of wind and rain on your cheeks. As I type this morning, there are several inches of snow on the ground, and those poor daffodils must be wishing they could tuck back down into the soil.
So February is a month for patience, and not getting ahead of yourselves. It is a time for staying close to home and appreciating the small things.
More often than not, the simple pleasures and comforting routines in our house are food-based. Saturday mornings mean leisurely cups of coffee in bed, DorkySon wombling through in his pyjamas and carrying a pile of books he wants to read with us. That’s followed by a family breakfast of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, which we prepare as a team while listening to music in the kitchen. DorkyDad always likes taking the time to make something special from scratch for dinner on Saturday night – this weekend it was ribs with a delicious spicy rub, and homemade coleslaw. A Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs is always accompanied by orange juice that we have squeezed ourselves. Sunday lunch is hotdogs while we watch football from the sofa.
So the days we spend together as a family are always punctuated by happy mealtimes, by making and sharing good food with each other. That together time is really what keeps us going at this time of year. Even DorkySon has an understanding of the difference between weekdays and weekends. At the start of last week the first thing he said on getting out of bed was “I hate Mondays.”
On weekdays we all get up at 6.30, and DorkyDad leaves the house at half seven or so, when it is often still dark. Every day I stand in the bedroom window as he walks up the road, and we wave goodbye to each other. It’s an early start, but it means he can leave the office on the dot of five and be home to in time to do DorkySon’s bath, to let them chat and catch up on each other’s day. In recent weeks, a new tradition has started and just before bathtime they snuggle up on the sofa together to watch Old Jack’s Boat – a lovely new series on CBeebies.
Yes – hurrah! – DorkySon has finally been persuaded to leave behind the hideous commercials of Nick Jr and Cartoonitos, and is now a loyal fan of the children’s shows on the Beeb. I love the fact that he is now enjoying shows that I watched myself as a wee girl – Postman Pat still seems to be going strong – but I also love that they have all introduced him to a new range of concepts. From gardening on Mr Bloom, to wildlife on Andy’s Wild Adventures, to science and engineering on Nina and the Neurons… He rarely gets plonked in front of the television and left alone, but when we hit that tired middle-of-the-afternoon slump, it is lovely to sit down with him, watch something together and discuss what we see.
DorkySon has become preoccupied recently with the notion of ‘becoming a man’ and what that means. He asks if his voice will change, and has to be reassured that even when it does, he will always sound like himself. He wonders how it will feel to wear ‘man clothes’. He thinks he would like to live in a camper van, or on a houseboat, and go to work every day driving a cherrypicker.
His favourite snack at the moment is a smoothie made in the blender with a banana, a handful of strawberries and a splash of vanilla yoghurt – he is in the middle of a growth spurt, and can easily put away two or three of those a day, along with several ‘snack plates’ of pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, slices of apple, crackers and breadsticks. It is now wonder he is growing so quickly. He is finally getting more interested in doing things for himself too. His attempts to dress himself are a lot less halfhearted than they used to be. Last night we switched his trusty IKEA high chair for an ordinary dining chair, and, entirely of his own choosing, he now wees standing up.
But we are in no danger of forgetting that he is still just a three year old (or three and three quarters, as he has started to say). One day this week he announced at the start of the day that he was going to be a carrot instead of a boy. Another day he decided, for reasons known only to himself, that DorkyDad should be rechristened ‘Bottom’. He treats the house as a jungle gym – jumping, climbing and crawling under and over anything he can. I keep finding his little step in strange places. He has the bruises – from forehead to shins – that tell the world he is a little boy, an explorer testing every boundary there is.
I have a feeling that when the snow goes, and spring is finally here, the flowers won’t be the only things that blossom. I am hoping that the Dorkys do too.
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You’re weekends sound lovely. We are really trying now to eat together as a family on the weekends and it really turns out to be a special time! My wee man has a serious crush on Nina and he’s not even two! I’m sure you are all going to blossom into something very pretty!
What a sweet thing to say, thank you! xx
February already indeed! I managed to write some scribbled notes in an attempt to do a ‘live in the now’ post for January but got no further! Lovely post and a great reminder of how important it is to record the little details that easily get forgotten.
Two weeks left to do a February one! Even little notes are good though, aren’t they? Amazing how quickly things go by and you forget about them otherwise. xx
Lovely post. DorkySon sounds so much fun and will definitely enjoy the outdoors when the warmer weather arrives (please let it be soon!). Bunny is 4 next month. I just can’t believe it, but can relate to many of the things you say. One day you glance at them and they’ve just suddenly grown up. Why can’t they just stay little forever?!
Oh goodness yes, bring on the sunshine now! (Although I’m a little worried that he has got too used to winter hibernation, he shows great reluctance to go out at the moment, even to the park! A sofa and snuggles kinda person like me!)
What a lovely catalogue of events …. I’m no fan of February either – you are so right, it is such a tease. We make pancakes – the buttermilk variety – on special occasions with lashings of maple syrup, butter and streaky bacon. I love that you have them every weekend yum! Now I feel bad for the times I plonk Little A in front of the TV on her own – Mister Bloom is fab and very funny! Can’t believe he says ‘I hate Mondays’ – how very Bob Geldof of him! X.
Oh goodness, don’t feel bad. Like every post, this is the slightly edited version of life, and it has definitely been known for T to be plonked on the sofa alone in front of the TV too! (How else would we have time to blog, eh?!) xx
P.S. I like Mr Bloom too 😉
Beautiful. I want your weekend menu! At two and a half, F also knows when it’s the weekend. Every Friday afternoon, when I collect her from the childminder’s she asks, “It the weekend now Mummy?” and laughs with delight when I tell her that yes, it’s the weekend. I also hate this time of year. For us, it’s also tricky because we are expecting some big changes later this year but aren’t quite sure yet when or what exactly those changes will bring. Roll on the spring when everything seems easier!
Sounds like you have an exciting time ahead, lovely, but it’s always a bit unsettling knowing that change is coming, even when it’s good change. I hope you can look back this time year and feel very happy about how it has all gone xx
(This time next year, I meant. Doh.)
I love reading about others family traditions and the things they get up to. A beautiful read. Mich x
Thanks lovely. Hope you are enjoying your blogging break! xx
Your family life sounds so cosy and content. Those growth spurts can get quite expensive can’t they?!
Eek just a bit! And I imagine they only get worse as time goes on! x
I prefer February to January. In February you begin to see the promise of things to come, the daffs sprouting up, the snowdrops, the more frequent sunny days. But it’s still a tough month and yes, “February is a month for patience, and not getting ahead of yourselves. It is a time for staying close to home and appreciating the small things.” I love that and find it sums up the best way to work our way through February. Well said!
I agree with that. When the daffs start blooming and we get two sunny days in a row, I’ll be a very happy lady 🙂 x
I love the third year of a child – the personality really forms in such a unique and exciting way. Opinions, preferences, confident pronouncements. Fewer questions. It is such a fun thing to watch, yet it can be challenging for the parents, eh?
I love that you wave to DorkyDad each morning… It is something Mark and I do, as well… a wonderful way to star one’s day.
Challenging but so much fun. I think when I imagined being a parent, without really knowing much about children, this is the age I had imagined – the curiosity and the learning and the laughs. It certainly makes all those difficult early days worthwhile.
Good to hear you are a waver too – I think those little things matter… xx
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