Mid-Term Progress Report

Vinay’s progress in recent months has been startling!  Who knew a toddler could change so much in such a short time?

He is seventeen months now and is not only walking everywhere, he is running.  All the time.  He seems to disappear from any room in a split-second!  Please make sure the upstairs gate is locked at all times!

He has learnt how to crawl up stairs.  A little late, perhaps – but this is mostly because ‘people’ were too scared to let him loose on the uneven marble stairs at home.  He must continue to practice going up and down.

His understanding has continued to grow and he now understands more complicated instructions.  However, whether he chooses to follow them or not is an entirely different matter.

Making himself understood has become a little easier.  He is now able to say three words.  Mama, Papa and Yaya (nanny).  Hearing those words (whichever ones they are) would make anyone’s heart melt.  He also says ‘nyum nyum’ when he sees something he thinks is yummy.

He has learnt to say (in sign language) – please, thank you, more, chupa (pacifier), milk and water.  Oh – and he can also say ‘I love you’ in sign.  This is enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye.

He enjoys counting objects and will often show you how many objects there are by showing a corresponding number of fingers.  Usually this is just one or five fingers, regardless of the number of objects.  But he tries and is proud of himself.  

He has discovered crayons and the joys of scribbling.  His fine motor control is still not very developed (obviously), so he can’t really scribble properly.  But he enjoys it – please remember to let him hold the crayons however he wants and do not try to correct his grip at this point.

He can finally show the difference between eyes and ears and now also knows where his cheeks and chin are.  

His love for animals has continued to grow; and he is also showing an interest in other things too.  He loves tankers, vans, trucks, trains and buses.  And often points and babbles something incoherent when he sees one of these modes of transport.  

He continues to love nursery rhymes.  He watches the same video over and over again.  His current (for the last few months) favourite is ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.  He first started showing that he wanted to watch this by twisting his whole body and arms back and forth.  He didn’t know how to do the ‘wheels’ motion.  He has become better at this.

His progress in playgroup is unbelievable.  He has no problems leaving mama and going off to play on his own.  His interests have expanded to include ride-on cars, playing in the kitchen, making tea, filling the shopping trolley and playing with the trains.

Although he has come far over the last few months, he needs to continue to work on something important.  We must all work on Vinay’s listening skills together.  He must remember that he cannot always get his own way with everything – he can scream and stamp his feet as much as he likes, but it doesn’t mean he’ll get what he wants.

Well done, Vinay!  You have had a wonderful few months and everybody loves you!

Muffins And Toddlers

Hub and I had arranged to meet some friends for lunch today.  We left Vinay at home (sleeping) and decided that when we got back we’d take him out to a restaurant where they have a big(ish) aquarium and have dessert.

We arrived, found a table near the fish and sat down.  I spotted a mum from playgroup with her toddler.  We waved and smiled at each other.

I knew Vinay wouldn’t sit quietly while we ate, so I went up to the bakery counter and looked for something to get for him to munch on.  There wasn’t much choice, so I got him a plain muffin.  He was quite excited!

I don’t like V to eat cakes, sweets and chocolates.  Sometimes I’ll offer them to him if we’re at a birthday party or somewhere, but he usually refuses.  However, if anyone *else* was to give him some – I would not be happy!

The playgroup mum was next to me when I ordered and said, ‘Oh.  Will he eat that?’  I shrugged in response.  I really didn’t know.  She then said to me, ‘Does he usually eat sweet food then?’  I told her the truth, ‘No.  Very rarely.’  She replied with, ‘Hmmm.’


Am I being overly-sensitive?

Yes, probably.


I Don’t Need Your Advice… But Thanks!

Vinay needed a haircut.  Desperately.  And I *knew* what was going to happen when he had it.  I could just imagine the tears and screaming.  So I asked Hub to take him on Saturday.  And he agreed! (Lovely Husband).

He took him to the same salon I used to go to regularly.  I haven’t been there in months (for several reasons).  Anyway, so apparently the tears and screaming were just as I imagined they would be and to distract him a little during the haircut, Hub gave him a BlackBerry case that happened to be lying on the table at the salon.

Vinay was still teary when they came home and he was still holding the BlackBerry case.  Hub gave it to me and asked me to return it during the week.  I knew I was going to *have* to go in there…

I dropped by there this morning on the way back from playgroup.  Vinay was clutching a few Nairas (local currency) which he’d taken from my wallet in the car when we went in.  He remembered the place when we arrived and started squirming and whining immediately (he sounds like a dog!).

I greeted the owner – the man who used to do my hair.  Like I said, I hadn’t seen him for months.  Maybe about 9 or 10?  

The first thing he told me was that I shouldn’t let my son hold that money because the notes are very dirty.  And that *he* always keeps new notes in his pocket for his son.  Granted, the notes were quite manky (as they usually are) – but so?  He was coming home and going into the bath straight away, anyway!

I then tried to put V down on the sofa while we had a quick chat – but he had already spotted the man who cut his hair and was very clingy.  I said, ‘Oh – I think he’s a bit scared!’  Response I received?  ‘You know why?  It’s because you don’t take him out enough.’  


I didn’t really feel the need to explain that I take him to playgroup 4-5 times a week (yes, we’ve increased it from 3).  I made my excuses and left.

I don’t know if he means well, or if he actually thinks his parenting skills are better than mine – but I wish he’d keep his advice to himself.  Unless I ask for it!

It’s been bugging me all day.  And I’ve remembered why I don’t go there anymore!



Worth The Wait!

I’ve got it!  I’ve got it!

Last week I wrote about the mysterious Miu Miu bag that Hub brought back from Dublin and never gave me…  I wouldn’t ask him about it – I decided I’d just play the waiting game!

Late last week I finally cracked and ask him, ‘What are you saving this bag for?  And why have you left it on the landing?’  He told me it was my Valentine’s Day gift, but that I could open it if I wanted.  I wanted to – but decided to wait. (Wonders will never cease)

So this morning he gave it to me!  Hooray!  And it’s gorgeous!


When I carry it, I will most probably remove the strap…


Close up of the clasp


And the back


Now all I have to do is figure out what colour shoes I can wear with it and find somewhere to go!


The ABC Award

My friend, excellent cheerleader, fellow Pinterest-er and superb drinking partner – (Just) Above Average Mum has tagged me in The ABC Award.

All I have to do *gulps* is describe myself using every letter of the alphabet!



Bitch (can be sometimes)




Friends (watcher of)












Rose-tinted glasses 


Tea drinker





Young (no more)

Zzzzzz (like to)

Thank God that’s over.  Was much harder than I thought it would be!


Mummy Glitzer

From Fun to Mum

Not My Year Off

You’re up!

Use Your Feet!

When Vinay turned one, one of the presents Hub and I gave him was a Little Tikes car thingy.


He loves it.  He loves being pushed around in it.  And in the late afternoons, when it is cooler outside, we take it out into the compound and he has a little ride.  

While we were in Dubai, I took Vinay to a soft-play area in one of the malls.  He was a bit overwhelmed, but quite enjoyed himself.  Attached to the play area was an arcade.  They had loads of little rides and things.  I put him on a couple, but he just screamed.  He was, however, very happy to sit in the Kiddy Kart or in a trolley in every mall we went to (there were a number of them) and just be pushed around.  He would sit for a couple of hours at a time, which worked out perfectly for my mum and me.


Vinay in Kiddy Kart (Dubai 2012)

At playgroup, they have several of these Little Tikes ride-on cars.  Vinay has never given them a second look.  Until now.  He seems to have discovered a new-found love for them (I blame the malls in Dubai).  And none of them have the base attached.  This is so the children’s feet can touch the ground and they can push themselves along and zoom around wherever they want.  That’s great.  IF your child knows how to use his feet to do that!

So…  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, he spots the cars as soon as we walk in.  He looks around for which one he wants and sits in it while I go and pay.  When I come back, he lets me know that I have to push him.  So I do.  And it’s hot.  VERY hot.  So I’m sweating like a piglet before 10am, trying to push him about and shouting, ‘Use your feet, Vinay!  They’re going to get stuck underneath the car!’

I’ve been trying to convince him to do activities indoors (where it’s air conditioned).  

‘Vinay, do you want to see the horse?  Shall we go sit on the horse?’  He looks interested for a split second but then turns away.  

‘I know!  Let’s go read a book!’  He goes and sits in another car.

‘Shall we go see if your friend, X, is inside?’  He looks at me briefly, but decides against it.  

‘Shall we go play with the trains?’  Hooray!  It worked!

He enjoys playing with the trains and in the kitchen, etc.  I tend to stand back and watch him and as soon as he seems settled, plonk myself on the ground near the air conditioner and start a conversation with another mum.  

I think he has some sort of radar, because as soon as I’m comfortable (and cooler), he zips out of the room.  

One second he’s there and the next he’s gone!  

Back to the bloody f-ing cars!

I’m very happy for him to sit in them.  I’m also very happy to push him around.  Even though it’s sweltering hot.  But I’m so scared that I’m going to hurt his feet if they get caught underneath!

So how do I get him to use his legs to push himself along?  

And how do I (selfishly) ‘encourage’ him to stay indoors?


Goodbye, My Friend

My first job when I graduated as a teacher was at a small independent primary school in central London.  I spent four years there and made some very close friends.  Some of whom I am still close to.  We keep in touch via email, text, Facebook and the odd phonecall.  And I always call them when I go to London.  It’s become harder to meet up though, because of Vinay.

In early 2010 I was talking to one of them and she told me about another one of our close friends.  Fiona.  The details are very hazy, so please forgive me.

Fiona had some sort of fit one evening.  I think it was during Christmas.  And she woke up to find that it was two days later.

After several tests, they found out that she had a brain tumour.  And because of the location of the tumour, it couldn’t be treated.  

Fiona?  Our Fiona?  Impossible!

I was in London that summer (awaiting Vinay’s arrival), and made sure I knew what was happening with her and how her husband and children were coping.

On Saturday 4th September 2010, I received an email from her daughter saying they’d moved her to a hospice, her memory was going and would I like to come and visit.  Yes.  I wanted to visit.  And planned to go there on Monday.  

Vinay was due on Tuesday.  My mum and mil are a bit superstitious and weren’t too keen on me going in my heavily pregnant state.  But I insisted I was going.  

When Monday came round, I didn’t go.  I was feeling heavy, tired and generally crappy.  I stayed in, put my feet up and felt bad about not going.

That was exactly seventeen months ago.  In the last seventeen months I’ve kept in touch with our common friends who have been able to update me on what’s been going on.

This morning her son emailed me.  

Fiona passed away last night.

I’m sitting here, with tears streaming down my face.  I’m thinking about her three children.  Her husband and her relatives.  How are they coping?  How have they coped all these months?

I feel so incredibly guilty for not having visited her.  She was a wonderful friend, who was always there.

So, Fiona – I know you’re up there.  Probably with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.  I know you’re watching over your loved ones.  Thank you for always being there.  For always listening.  And for always giving great advice.  And thank you for Friday nights at the pub!

I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you – but I was always thinking of you.

You will be missed by so many – colleagues, students, friends and family.

Love you and miss you.

Goodbye, my friend.