All bundled up and ready to go! Ryan begged Matt yesterday to build a snowman, but when they went out to try, Matt found the snow too powdery and it wouldn't stay together very well. There was a mound in the garden Matt made with the broom, but he couldn't manage to roll any properly into snowman parts. So, when Ryan was up from his nap we all got bundled up and had another go!
It wasn't perfect but we had far more success this time around. Ryan helped me choose some good 'arms' from the apple tree and once we used some stones for the face and a carrot nose, the snowman was nearly complete.
A cheap top hat from the cupboard and Matt's Albion scarf (knitted by
his Nan) were the finishing touches and...VOILA! We have a snowman!
Ryan was very tickled that our snowman had a carrot nose and even took to counting the stones that made up the eyes and mouth.
I'm sure at some point Ryan suggested we make a snow dog as well, but I think we will have to save that for another day.
7:25 am - My morning begins here. Just a little more than a light dusting, but so far nothing major. I can still see bits of pavement and the road is definitely clear. Just a five minute jaunt to the bus stop and I'll soon be on my way to Smethwick.
8:40 am - The snow has gotten heavier and heavier and no sign of my bus, which should have arrived four times in the last hour. To pass the time I've been pretending to re-check the timetable on the bus stop only to see the same, seemingly inaccurate, times and I've also told off a group of secondary school children for throwing snowballs into oncoming traffic towards people's windscreens. They retaliated by flipping me the bird to say "Sure, no problem," I'd imagine, and I encouraged them to get their butts to school and learn something.
8:47 am - Bus 53 FINALLY arrives, the driver paying no attention to my comment about him being the first bus in over an hour and I'm on my way, albeit late to the school.
9:20 am - I arrive and sign in before heading upstairs to the year 5 class I'm covering. We get through the rest of their literacy and numeracy before their morning "wet" play.
10:00 am - Incoming text from Matt. The childminder has phoned that the roads in Kingswinford are getting bad as she was just out in her 4x4 and was having difficulty, so upon suggestion he was heading there from work to collect Ryan and bring him home. By now, I'm wondering WHY my school even bothered staying open.
11:00 am - Hark!! Moment of truth!! Parents of the pupils are sent a text to come and collect their children and we do a bit of guided reading before playing some fun critical thinking games as the class dwindles in size.
1:20 pm - The Headteacher pokes her head into the staffroom to get a headcount on the number of children left and sorts out one staff member to cover each year before dismissing the rest of us, who live further away, to go home.
1:30 pm - I sign out and leave my timesheet behind to be faxed. I stop across the road at the Poundland for some cheapie (kids') gloves, since I forgot mine and make a pit-stop in the Cash & Carry to purchase a little surprise for Ryan. Bus services have been terminated, so off I trek to Smethwick Rolfe Street train station.
2:20 pm - I arrive at the train station to delay upon delay, but 20 or so minutes later I'm on my way home.
2:50 pm - Nearly home, I stop at Tesco Express around the corner to pick up things for tea. Lucky for me I have a method of transport so I don't have to lug everything up the hill and around the corner to the house.
2:57 pm - So close and such a contrast to the road this morning. The original photo this morning was taken just around the corner, about 150 yards ahead. Such a shame people in this country don't shovel the pavement outside their homes -- makes for a slow and slippery journey.
3:01 pm - Ryan peeking out the window, tipped off by Daddy that Mommy was nearly home. You can't see it very clearly, but he was elated to see his big, bright orange surprise sledge!
5:21 pm - After Mommy was able to warm up and have a bite to eat (courtesy Bostin Bites and a very thoughtful Daddy), we all bundled up and headed outside briefly to break the sledge in. Yes, I say 'sledge' here even though the word is very unnatural to me as I know it to be a SLED. Sledge makes me think of sledge hammer...which is very far from a device by which to slide leisurely down snow-covered hillsides.
5:25 pm - Getting ready for Daddy's alternative idea, so time for a cheesy grin.
5:26 pm - Wait. Don't they call this curling?
5:35 pm - SNOWBALL!!! Alright. That's a'wrap! Time to head in and warm up with a nice, blue bath!
It has started again. We're meant to brace ourselves for a pretty wintery weekend and many are even predicting school closures tomorrow. Some may think this country is a little over-the-top when it comes to what they class as "severe" weather, but the truth is they don't have the resources to deal with even a small amount of snowfall. With narrow roads, cars parked on dual-carriageways and the lack of actual snow-plows to clear the snow to begin with...the country has no choice but to shut down.
I have no idea what we're in store for. The weather may or may not be as accurate, but I dread to think of the worst possible scenario.
So, for now, I won't think about it...and instead will join my son in reading some Little Bear stories for bed.
Last week we were left with a disappointment towards the end as Ryan, who has been pretty successful on his potty adventures, had several "rapid-fire" type, poo-related accidents at Nana's house resulting in a decision to place him back in nappies. He's excellent getting to the potty for a wee, but tends to hide when it's time for a poo or won't tell us he needs to go until he has already gone.
We aren't keen on the idea of Pull-Ups because we feel they send the wrong message and may confuse him since they pull up and down like pants...but to a potty-training toddler, they *feel* like nappies, taking away any awareness of an accident like pants would. But to my mother-in-law's defense, it was a lot to take on since I think he may have also had some tummy troubles, so we didn't hesitate.
We kept Ryan in nappies at the weekend although he protested and wanted to be in pants like a big boy. Then when at the childminder's yesterday, she said it was a shame that he's gotten so far with potty training and admitted to putting him in pants (that I kept in his changing bag) while they were at home just to see how he'd do and he stayed dry for her all day AND actually did a poo when she pushed him a bit to have a go! I wondered if it was him trying to show us he was ready so I asked this morning what he wanted and he insisted pants. I went with this because we didn't have plans to go anywhere since his preschool teacher was coming for a home visit.
When I left the room to do breakfast and returned, sure enough, there he was on his potty like a proper little man and his reading material! He wasn't ready to give up so I'm just going to cheer him on!
He stayed dry all morning and through his nap and then this afternoon went to the potty ALL ON HIS OWN to do a POO!! TWICE!!! He was so excited the first time, he wanted to keep it for Daddy to see. I explained it was too smelly so down to the toilet we went to send the poo off to the 'poo party.' Thankfully, he had another to do once Daddy was home, so he didn't have to miss out completely.
We had our first proper snow last night and this morning, but it was all washed away with rain before mid-day. Unfortunately I had forgotten my umbrella, which meant a very wet trek into Kingswinford from Smethwick to collect Ryan from St. Mary's afterschool club. His childminder has taken her afterschool session there, which will be convenient once Ryan starts school next Monday.
When I arrived, Ryan was none the wiser as I crept past and took a cheeky photo from behind. He was totally emersed in one of his favourites...Pingu.
The idea behind me using my daysaver bus fare to Kingswinford was that I would arrive just after 5 and collect Ryan so we could head home shortly after on the bus again and save Matt a trip from his new job in Halesowen. However, this forgetting the umbrella mess threw a spanner in the works because we stayed and waited for Matt instead, who arrived just before 6pm.
Still, Ryan was very excited to have been "at cool (school)" even if it wasn't properly in his own preschool class. but his teachers come for a home-visit tomorrow! He's really looking forward to it!
The day Ryan wore his reindeer pyjamas and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him "WILD THING" and Ryan said "Chee cry," and "For cryee out wow!" So he was sent to bed without any treat.
Then he slammed his bedroom door.
I'll tell you something, the "terrible twos" have nothing on the threes it seems. He is simply oppositional at every turn. It started very first thing in the morning. He came into our room swinging a ribbon around and around his head. I simply asked him calmly, "Ryan, give that to Mommy, please," and I was met with a defiant sounding, "NO!" as he carried on as if I didn't exist. So, I tried again and again, "Thank you, good boy. Put it in Mommy's hand."
Would you believe the little sh--, uhm, I mean "dear" looked RIGHT at me and continued to swing it around?!
Did I stutter?!
So I tried being firm.
"Ryan...put. it. in. Mommy's. hand. NOW. please."
Nope, didn't even phase him.
Then Daddy rolled to face our direction..."RYAN! Give that to MOMMY!" he demanded, the bass in his voice echoing.
The thing is, we KNOW he can hear us. And we know he's not being defiant, as such, but rather exerting a bit of independence. But boy did he manage to make it last ALL day, resulting in us staying home instead of our usual visit to Emma & Daz's for dinner. There was no way we were subjecting them and our niece to his antics.
He ate most of his dinner and gave little fuss at actually preparing for bed, so it was assumed it wouldn't be too difficult to get him down. Our "new/improved" routine is to aim to have him upstairs for 8 o'clock because we suspect sleep, or the lack of, to be the main culprit...along with his strong will, of course.
We did the usual after his bath. Got him dressed in PJs...cuddles for Daddy...story choice (tonight's was 'Birthday Soup' from the Little Bear series). Then 3 song requests from Mommy before I lie next to his bed...usually holding his hand or waiting for him to give me "knuckles" and then drifting off 5 minutes later.
Try SIXTY minutes on and he's WIDE AWAKE chattering to Teddy!! So, I calmly explained Mommy was going and I would be up to check on him later.
What's that? No more attention?
As soon as Matt and I were in the front room with season six of Dexter queued up on Netflix, he started in. First with just whinging at the top of the stairs. We called up to him that it was bedtime and although he would initially run with a guilty conscience back to his room. Matt even went up to try and coax him to lie his head down and stay in bed.
The last straw was when he morphed into a stroppy pre-teen and began slamming his bedroom door!
The battle line was officially drawn and Matt was the first to respond to Ryan's preliminary strike with me not far behind. A good old fashioned telling off left a young lad in fake little crocodile tears and a Mommy and Daddy at their wits end.
We thought that was all it would take...but still not. The "up and down" game of 'popcorn' continued for another 45 minutes before I went to check on him.
This is what I found. Finally, by half eleven, he waved his little white flag in defeat as he fell asleep on the floor next to his bed.
I don't know how I will cope with him some days because I love him more than that of my own life, but he is turning into quite the little button-pusher. In the meantime, I cannot wait until the circuit in his clever tot-brain completes and he gets that Mommy and Daddy are the boss for his own good.
Until then, he can roar his terrible roars and gnash his terrible teeth all he wants. Eventually, by the end of the night, he will have to step back onto his private boat (aka bed) and wave goodbye.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!