Dear DorkySon…

Painting The Rainbow Old Jack's Boat

Dear DorkySon.

Now you are four!

Didn’t we have a grand old birthday weekend? A night in a lovely hotel on Friday, and a walk round central London on Saturday. We saw the duck boat on its way to the Thames but decided it was too cold to get on one ourselves. You gave a big cheery wave and a hello to every policeman that we saw, but didn’t like watching the guards changing over outside St James’ Palace because you thought their guns and big heavy boots were too scary.

Then home, for your proper birthday; far too many presents from all your generous family and friends – including this wonderful painting of Old Jack’s Boat by DorkyGranny – and so, so much food.

It amazes me, that tummy of yours. It seems you can always fit a little more in… especially if it’s roast potatoes or chocolate cake on offer. But then seeing you constantly running around – climbing under one thing and jumping over the next – it’s no surprise that you need a lot of energy to fuel the engine. Continue reading

1, 2, 3… Number Train Review

Lego number train

Here are three of DorkySon’s favourite things in the world.

  1. Trains
  2. LEGO
  3. Showing off how well he can count.

I don’t say yes to many review opportunities, but when Netmums asked if we’d like to try the new LEGO DUPLO counting train, I could not reply to the email quickly enough. DorkySon loves DUPLO. He will be four at the end of the month. He has some ‘big boy lego’ too. He likes his catamarans and his quad bikes if I’m there to help him, but DUPLO is the stuff he can really get to grips with on his own. Continue reading

Once upon a time…

DorkySon has always loved us to read stories to him. As long as there’s a cuddly grown-up and a book nearby, he’s the happiest boy in the world.

A couple of nights ago, DorkyDad and I were a little surprised to suddenly find that the storytelling roles had reversed.

Sit on the floor Mummy.” said DorkySon. “Sit down Daddy. I’m going to tell you a story.

We did as we were told, and sat down on the carpet. DorkySon sat down in front of us and took a deep breath.
Continue reading

Live in the Now: September

Happy September!

The nights are drawing in, and there is a chill in the air. DorkySon’s windows have that sweep of condensation on them when I open his shutters in the morning (he points at it and tells me we need to call the window cleaners), but I love this time of year. The trees are all turning to autumn colours, and some evenings the final moments of sunlight are just magical. Best of all, the city is getting quieter, hunkering down in preparation for winter. The purple cow, the street perfomers and the visiting luvvies have all gone into hibernation.

Last winter, we suffered some serious cabin fever during the snow. This year I’m better prepared, and have already started stashing away jigsaws and craft materials for those days when we can’t get outside. I’m also noticing, with no small degree of pleasure, that DorkySon is far more able to entertain himself these days.

His imagination seems to have taken off; instead of just trundling trucks around the floor he now uses his Lego men and other figurines to act out little scenarios. He’ll happily spend half an hour pretending to be different kinds of truck, rushing up to me every so often to have his tank filled with petrol. Yesterday I had to put an imaginary plaster on the imaginary cut he suffered, cutting up his imaginary blueberry cake with an imaginary knife.

(Are you supposed to tell your toddler off when they use an imaginary knife?! I thought probably not…)

I love watching him lie on his tummy, whispering to himself as he turns the pages of a book. And he makes us laugh all the time with his chat. One day last week he kept telling us over and over that he was Chinese. So the next morning, when he came through to our room, DorkyDad asked “Are you still Chinese today?’

DorkySon looked at him for a minute and then laughed. “No,” he said. ‘I’m French.”

His love of Peppa Pig continues unabated, and while DorkyDad and I are getting a bit tired of watching the same episodes again and again, we still don’t have much to complain about. When we were at the dentist this week DorkySon was very obliging, holding his head back and going ‘aaaaaah’, because he’d seen George Pig do the same a few days earlier.

It’s starting to lead to some interesting lines of questioning though; like why DorkyGranny and DorkyGrandpa don’t live in the same house, like Granny and Grandpa Pig do. I thought I had a good few years before I had to answer that kind of thing. I’m also struggling with questions like ‘What’s electricity?’ … ‘What’s that pigeon saying?’ … ‘Why can’t you fix my Mini, mummy?’

Do you think it’s too soon to buy him an encyclopedia? I might stash one of those for winter too.

Pssst. I’ve taken advantage of some of that post-festival spare time to create a Facebook page for DorkyMum. If you haven’t already become a fan, please consider visiting now and clicking the Like button. 

Kids and Photography

This is a guest post from Sylwia Presley, who blogs at SylwiaPresley.com. The photographs are all taken by her 5 year old son. Sylwia and I were paired as part of the BritMums Guest Post Match Up – I’d never read her blog previously, but I love her combination of parenting, photography and tech posts, and I’ll definitely be adding it to my bookmarks bar!

It’s one thing to write about kids and technology, and other to experience them working with it on a daily basis. My son is brilliant in embracing all buttons, screens and on/off buttons so you can imagine that it gives his photographer mom great pleasure to see the world though the lenses held by small hands of a 5 year old. In our house we do not really like or accept the idea of buying kiddy devices – huge, plastic, and always blue cameras for boys are in a way a waste of time for me, because I think we do not need to distracts kids from the bare message of the device. And so I have presented my son with my old digital Kodak letting him study the process of capturing the reality. It must be said that the idea of being allowed to take over “mom’s camera” made a huge impression on my son and he feels really important with it. No super expensive toy camera could have achieved that 😉

I think teaching kids to use digital cameras and the process of photography is more about the ritual and game, than the idea of yet another present. Celebrating the new activity together, walking in the park, experiences travel with your own camera on your shoulder is so much better! There is a good list of kick off tips on how to teach kids photography here, but I still think that it is a question of knowing your child and finding the right channel to introduce it as fun but also useful tool to collect memories.

We love sitting down with my son in front of my mac or with the display on his camera and browsing through his pictures. Apart form the fact that is is a great practice for his little brain and memory; it’s also a great bonding exercise. Not to mention the marvelous feeling of finally gaining a glimpse of how our little ones see us and the would around them. And that I tell you is a magnificent feeling! 🙂