Well we survived our camping holiday. Actually we did more than that, other than one night of absolute screaming ab dabs (from me as well as Alfie) it was a fabulous holiday.
I think it went so well because we were quick to work out that there was no way that we were going to get Alfie to bed at his usual time and rather than go through 3 hours of screaming we just let him stay up with us.
Yeah suck your teeth all you like, it was 30o and our tent doesn’t come fitted with a blackout blind. Whatcha gonna do?
Being selfish, my absolute favourite part of the holiday was spending time with Keith and Alfie in the pool. I’d never taken Alfie swimming before and actually, I hadn’t been swimming with a fella in over a decade. It felt really lovely (especially on the day we had the whole pool to ourselves) just to mess about, watching our son splashing around enjoying himself. There is even video of my giving him a piggyback around the pool in much the same way my parents used to do with me when I was small. I hope he remembers moments like those when he grows up.
Another of the special moments for me was finding the most awesome toy shop I have ever seen in Le Mans. I wanted to walk up to the counter and tell the shopkeep to wrap up one of everything. The place was stuffed to the rafters with traditional wooden toys, and after balking at the prices, we eventually decided to let Alfie pick out a toy car to take home. In lieu of meaningful linguistic skills, we sat him on the floor, lined up several cars and let him crawl to the one he loved the most.
This is the one he picked and as you can see, it’s very tasty.
On the mobility front I have news ... Alfie is cruising!! I do wonder whether it might be a consequence of us having had to restrict his crawling for a week. We took rugs for him to crawl around on, but a forest floor is more appealing than a nice soft rug, and sticks are apparently wonderful teething toys. I’m sure French hospitals are very well run places, but we thought it best to avoid a visit if possible: My French isn't really up to explaining why my child has a stick wedged somewhere he shouldn't.
Since we've been back things have gotten a bit crazy not least because we have started thinking about nursery schools for Alfie. I know we are a little early, but a chance advert led us to a Montessori school in the next town and we have been a little busy looking into whether we could send Alfie there in 2 years.
It’s really odd to even be thinking about a private education for our son, but the more we look into the way these schools are run, the more it feels like it might be the right option for him. Aged just 8 months, he demonstrated his ability to throw an epic hissy fit (I believe the cause was his father trying to remove an inappropriate trolley part from his mouth in a hypermarket) and it is becoming gradually clear that he is truly, and completely, my son.
Older members of my family feel free to chuckle at will about Karma. Other readers, a short précis of my time at primary school for you:
Apart from the previously mentioned “does not suffer fools gladly” report from a teacher, I practically had my own chair outside Miss Myler’s office. I. Was. A. NIGHTMARE.
In hindsight it wasn't anything to do with being a bad child, I just didn't have the emotional tools to deal with the gut clenching reaction I had every time someone in authority clobbered me over the head. Not literally, I mean that’s what it felt like when a teacher/ parent told me to Do Something NOW.
I think if Alfie carries on developing the tendencies he has already shown, he is going to react far better if offered the opportunity to make the right decisions rather than being told what that decision is. Either that, or I best just warn the Headteacher to stick us on speed dial.