Hello lovely readers! Again, I know it’s been a while since my last post…we’ve had my lovely Dad over from Spain staying with us & it’s been great to see Benjamin & him get to know each other again. Also Tim & I went ‘out out’ for dinner, which was actually a m a z i n g…soo good to be ‘proper’, childless, dressed up grown ups, if only for a couple of hours! Work’s been crazy & well, life too really.

So I decided that this Friday when we had our day together, we would go to our local baby & toddler group again. It had been a while since we’d been; not since Benjamin was a newborn in fact, things might be different, so we’d give it a go! I say ‘things might be different’ in that my attitude towards these sorts of groups might have changed, not the group itself, which I am sure, provides a great resource for a lot of Mummas. Personally I’ve always found it a little hectic: children running riot, with their Mums & Dads abandoning them upon entry: in favour of the promise of a luke warm cuppa & a slightly soggy digestive, you know, a bit like soft play really. Anyway, it was one of our neighbour’s children’s first birthday, so armed with a card & gift, we braved the repurposed church to rediscover the delights that Toddlers at Cornerstone could offer on a grey Friday morning. It was busy. Busier than ever before, so negotiating a pathway through stray toys, sippy cups, discarded half eaten snacks & lively children; with 22lbs of wriggly Benjamin proved a little tricky. We perched next to the birthday boy & his Mummy, offered up our gift, then I let Benjamin free range it, under my watchful eye I must add. He played nicely, waved at & charmed the ladies as usual; I was pleased that his social skills were still impeccable in a different situation. The time came for birthday cake, so Jamin enjoyed a homemade chocolate cupcake & Mumma got to have some Swiss roll. Win win all round! The boy had a little of his; weirdly he’s more of a savoury kinda chap, like his Daddy really. He ate a couple of mouthfuls of the frosting (which I skillfully deduced had Nutella in!) & about the same of sponge. I thought no more of it until Friday evening – after the series of events that followed…

After the cake, we had to tidy up the toy carnage, then were rewarded with a healthy snack, all sat in a circle on the floor. I thought we might be singing “Happy Birthday”, but by that time the birthday boy was soundo on a nearby beanbag & the moment was lost. He’d partied hard it seemed. Benjamin on the other hand was having his second wind. He chomped his way through the various fruits, in a similar fashion to his favourite story character, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” And then he wanted more. He started to crawl, full speed towards the leftovers on the floor & I knew exactly what he wanted to do. I quickly abandoned our plates & also crawled after him, which isn’t as easy as it sounds on an industrial nylon carpet whilst wearing tights, a slippery dress & a pair of ballerinas. Seriously, when am I going to dress appropriately for the situation? Anyway, I managed to grab him just as he was about to face-plant the fruity platter. Luckily the majority of the offerings remained unscathed, except for an unfortunate strawberry, which briefly attached itself to his nose. I (seamlessly as possible) wiped it away, retrieved the boy, gathered our things & promptly left; thanking my neighbour for the cake & excusing us on the pretext of a nappy change & a nap (the latter more for Mumma than the boy to be honest!) I had to drive the long way home, as a tractor was blocking the exit to my usual route (the joys of country living) & by the time I’d got over the train line, Jamin was fast asleep. I carefully extracted him from the car in a bomb-disposal technician style & placed him in his cot. I was fully expecting him to be wide-awake, but he didn’t stir. Instead, he slept for two solid hours straight! It was a small miracle & I managed to get two loads of laundry washed, cleaned the bathrooms & have an uninterrupted lunch. Lucky me. However, this all changed when he woke up. He lunched upon a mild chilli, nothing out of the ordinary & then we went into the lounge to play. He took off, literally rocketed around the room at seemingly 100 miles an hour on all fours (he usually opts for a commando-style). He headed straight for the hallway & the inviting, mountainous staircase. Without warning he scaled four steps; to where he saw his muzzies drying on the clothes horse, reached through the bars, grabbed one, then shimmied back down to the hall floor & proceeded to chew said muzzie; looking very proud of himself! I was in such shock, yet so proud of his purposeful movement that I couldn’t be cross with him. Although I did iMessage Tim to get the stair gate on standby! He then went on to randomly launch himself onto a box full of clothes that I had been sorting out & lay there like he was pretending to swim. If he wasn’t throwing himself around, he wanted to cruise from one sofa to the other, holding on with one hand as he navigated the room: he literally couldn’t sit still. This continued until bedtime, which couldn’t come soon enough!

Since his exuberant high of ‘Nuttellagate’ we have intentionally revisited the stairs: I was behind him, whilst Tim was at the top (dangling some old car keys, which is Benjamin’s new favourite thing!) & our very own Edmund Hillary scaled the whole fourteen step staircase & was rightly proud of himself again: as were we! We do like the whole ‘carrot & stick’ method as you may have noticed. We’re quite happy about him practising his climbing skills in controlled circumstances of course. Meanwhile we’ve put the stair gate in place for when we can’t watch him like hawks!

So I guess I’m thankful to that humble Nutella cupcake for giving my little explorer the sugar rush he needed to physically push himself further than he ever has before & the confidence to do it. I’m sure not many parents would say that! Although after the general trail of devastation that he left behind on Friday & making my heart race extra fast, I’m not sure if he’ll be having any more for a while, unless Mumma can stock up on caffeine & gin first…

Thank you for reading; I’d love to know which foods elevate your child’s energy levels…

“Look at me Mumma!”
I caught you Benjamin!



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