Thursday, March 29, 2007

To Draw or Not to Draw That is the Question

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day so Callum and I sat out back on the fire-escape and did some drawing. A couple months ago I'd bought Callum some of Crayola's Colour Wonder pens and paper. They were a bit expensive (a pad of 30 pages of paper costs £2.99 from Woolworths) but they are so great I don't mind paying the money. There is no need to worry about the walls or clothing being drawn on as these pens only interact and mark the special crayola paper. Awesome.

Lately Callum has been drawing what he likes to call vehicles, Cars, Buses, Taxis, Lorry with trailer and so on. When he first started drawing them a couple months ago at first I couldn't see what the picture was actually meant to be so I sat down with him and watched how he drew the vehicle and asked him to talk me through it, now I can clearly see what is meant to be what and can even at times distinguish between the different types of vehicles. It's fascinating to watch and see how children's little minds work and how they see things in life so differently from us. I love it.

So here are a couple of the pictures that Callum did yesterday with an explanation by me of what one of them is meant to be.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

I have and Idea!

This has become Callum's latest saying. Sometimes it's used when he is being disciplined for something naughty he did and he'll pipe up with "I have and idea, stop talking to me and I won't be naughty." Cheeky little monkey monster! Other times it's used to make a suggestion.

This morning Callum rather than telling me he had an idea, enacted out his idea first (with Mummy and Daddy not in site I hasten to add) and then reports to me afterwards:

"Mummy I had an an idea, it was a really good one. I got my book down with the football."

Said book had been on top of his wardrobe (it was his Fire Engine one) amid other books, toys and games. Expecting his bedroom to be a disaster zone when I went in there I was pleasantly surprised to find that even though he had used his football to get the book down he had had fantastic aim and not even knocked anything out of place let alone off the top of the wardrobe. Way to go!!!

Of course the little monkey monster is now back to telling us his great idea of leaving him alone, he needs to eat now or telling us we can tiday up his toys while he watches cbeebies. Got to love that boy of ours.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Choo Choo Train

One of the joys of Callum being at playschool now is getting to see all the cool things he makes. Today they had lots of empty boxes and things and glued them all together. Callum proudly informed me that his was a train. He's spent time on and off this afternoon pushing it around the floor, running around with it on his head and going choo choo. It's so adorable and has been fun for him to play with. I'll have to get a photo tomorrow of the 'train' and Callum playing with it.

Last week they made paper daffodils for St David's Day and that has been planted in one of our indoor plant pots and every day to and from playschool he points out all the daffodils we walk past and says "That's like my daffodil at home Mummy."

We've always done art stuff at home but it's nice to have the surprise of something different.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Is it All Black and White?

Callum loves grapes! He has them for breakfast lunch and sometimes even dinner, of course they are with other foods but grapes are a constant picture on his plate. As you can imagine we therefore get through a huge amount of them and practically every other day are buying more. On Thursday Callum and I needed to go and do some food shopping, a trip to the butchers for his Four Fat Sausages and to Sainsburys for some other foods including grapes.

Lately Callum has been wanting the black and white mixed packs so upon entering the supermarket we head over to the fruit section to obtain the grapes.

I turn to Callum and say "Can you see the black and white grapes?"

and his reply... "No but I can see the green and purple ones Mummy."

And do you know what he's right they are purple and green aren't they? So why do we call them black and white? At the time he didn't ask me this question but I know with how Callum is and asking questions that he'll soon be asking me, so what do I tell him? I see some time spent googling to find this answer.

So much for things being seen in black and white it now seems like it's green and purple.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Four Fat Sausages

Last night Callum refused to eat his dinner, he wouldn't even try it so Daz and I were strict and said we wouldn't cook another meal for him. If he'd just tasted a little bit we would have been willing to but every so often Callum likes to do this and as we explained to him what was stop him refusing to eat a new dinner we'd cook for him. Through the tears and tantrums he informed us that for dinner the next night he wanted eggs, sausages and pasta.

This morning as you can imagine we had a very hungry little monkey monster and after telling me that he wanted toast and grapes for breakfast he reminded me of what he was having for dinner tonight... Eggs, Snake Pasta (which is way of calling spaghetti) and sausages, in particular Four Fat Sausages. He then went on to sing the song Four Fat Sausages Sizzling in the pan. I was then told that Daddy would be having sausages for his dinner tonight too, but Daz only gets three Fat Sausages. Callum was a bit confused when I bought eight Fat Sausages at the butchers this afternoon telling me he was only eating four of them and that I'd bought too many but at the same time telling me I had to buy three for Daddy. I don't know what goes through his mind at times.

Have We Cracked It?

Fingers crossed we have.

Since day one Callum has always been a bad sleeper, even as a baby he just wasn't interested in sleep, there were (and still are) too many things going on around him for such simplicities. Daz and I have tried literally every trick in the book and put up with so many sleep deprived nights.

Firstly we tried the controlled crying method which culminated in Callum showing us his Hulk powers and the double gates on his bedroom door being ripped off and thrown across the room... I kid you not. This was after we'd had weeks of the method being in place and still hours and hours and hours each night of the crying and not just by Callum. So that went out the window.

Then there was the withdrawal method (not at all as bad as what it sounds like) which never really seemed to work. After months the furthest away I got was a step away from the bed. That kid of ours just knew as soon as we'd stepped outside his room and start the crying and calling you back routine.

There have been the falling asleep on his floor tricks, letting him fall asleep in our room and transfering him to his bed capers, the quick return method, the try and exhaust him but end up too exhausted yourself tactic and lots more. None ever worked. So it seemed that Daz and I were destined to never have a good nights sleep (and our neighbours too) and to be forever trying to get Callum to go to sleep.

Then last year just before Christmas I said enough is enough. I was fed up with spending hours on end coaxing Callum to sleep and then being woken up in the middle of the night by covers being snatched away and pushed to the edge of the bed and either Daz or moving to the front room to sleep on the sofa. But how could we put an end to this we wondered, we'd tried nearly every trick in the book save for drugging him and obviously we didn't want to do that... well... no honestly it never entered our minds.

Then it hit us and we wondered why we'd both been so dumb... bribery!!! I've come to the conclusion that our son will one day make a good politician he is always open to a good bit of bribery as well as having an answer for everything. So armed with this Daz and I stocked up on the little hot wheels cars that are a firm favourite of Callums (and Daz'). For every night that Callum spent the whole night in his bed without waking us up, in the morning he got to choose one car from a selection of them. Days is all it took for Daz and I to have our bed back to ourselves. Heavenly.

Then disaster struck. A few days before Christmas our boiler broke and we had no heating and the temperature really dropped. WE all bundled up and snuggled for warmth in our bed and so we went straight back to square one. Arrrrgghhh!!! Was this just the way things were meant to be?!?

The boiler was fixed within a few weeks and after the excitement of Christmas was over we once again begain the arduous task of a good nights sleep. This time it took a little longer but we got there. Yay!!! We had our uninterrupted sleep back. The only thing left to do now was to encourage Callum to go to sleep in the evenings without me sitting in there for half an hour or however long it took. See that was the other problem we had, Callum flatly refused to let Daz get him off to sleep, in Callum's words it had to be "Mummy get me to sleep." I love my son and will do anything for him but I also love Daz and the two of us need to spend time together but with the way things were our evenings were spent apart. So you've guessed it... out came the bribery cars. We started this about two weeks ago and to date it's going really well.

Daz and I do the bedtime routine. Daz baths Callum while I hoover the flat, then I get Callum ready for bed and read him a story while he drinks his milk and then miracle of miracles (well after a reminder about the bribe) I can walk out of the bedroom without a screaming crying fit from Callum and with the promise that I will come back in a little while and check on him. I can then get on and tidy up the dinner mess and within about half an hour it seems our little Monkey Monster is fast asleep. So for the moment it seems we have finally cracked the whole sleep problem that has haunted us for years.

Now we just have to see how things work without the bribes becasue we are quickly running out of space to store the what seems like a million and one toy cars.