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There is new reality seeping into the house at the moment – one involving life with a toddler. There’s nothing I can quite put my finger on, but there is just something in the way Alfie moves and acts that is subtly, but definitely grown up. I love watching him, seeing his new appreciation for how things work (small wooden hammers included) and his strong willed character flourish.

Here’s some FTC banality for you.

We walked home from a birthday party yesterday evening, warm and snugly after an amazing afternoon of talking to friends, demolishing tea and cake and watching Alfie strut up and down a lounge slapping away any hands that tried to help him steer the walker he had borrowed. Keith had baked some bread so I threw on some beans for a super quick dinner to head off the grizzles.

Alfie isn’t talking yet, but actually, he doesn’t need to be for you to know exactly what is going on in his head. He sat down to a plate of bean juice soaked toast, and a pile of beans with a spoon. What follows is a rough translation of Alfie’s internal monologue.

Hmm beenz. I love beenz. Spoon of beenz! (Flap, flap)
That is more beenz than I can pick up all in one go. Gimme woman! (Snatch) 
Nyom! Beenz taste as good as last time I had them. Yes. (Nods head) 
And bread too. Bread is very nom. I think maybe I can put bread and beenz in together (stuffs bread into already bean filled mouth) 
My cheeks are full. Beenz may escape. (Holds spoon in front on mouth and catches an escaped bean) 
Yes, I am wise, I saved the bean. (closes eyes in haughty expression)
I have space now (re-eats escaped bean).
And so it went on, with spoonfuls of beans and fistfuls of toast. It is the first time I can remember Alfie not just eating disjointed items from his plate, but showing clear signs of appreciating that he was eating a meal, and that his meal would sate his hunger. These are the moments I love the most.

Now that my birthday is over, Keith has finally been allowed to unleash his Christmas excitement. I’m not joking here, he is actually going to explode. Little bits of it keep escaping from him in the form of squeaks and giggles at the moment, and we’re still a month out.

I had to try and channel some of his excess energy so we did some festive stuff this weekend.

First of all we hung the advent calendars. The top one is belong to Keith. The grown up one is Alfie’s (and mine) and it nearly made me burst out crying in the middle of Waitrose. I was so thankful for finding it, I went to Customer Services to tell them as much.
I know Alfie doesn’t care about chocolate advent calendars. I know as a good BLW mother I could have made him one filled with something a bit more healthy than chocolate, but that is missing the point entirely.

I worry about Alfie missing out because of his food allergies. I try really hard to find alternatives for him so he never has to ask me why the other children get to have yummy stuff while he has to make do without.

My hope is that he will never actually think he is missing out because the alternatives we give him are so nom, it’s the other children who feel hard done by.

Opening a chocolate advent calendar is an exciting treat for a child, and it is one of the things I didn't want him to miss out on. He won’t have much of the chocolate this year, but thanks to the people at Celtic Chocolates, he will be right there with Keith and I opening the windows and popping out the chocolates every evening after dinner.

The advent calendars weren't enough to take the edge off Keith’s Christmas mania, so we made our very first homemade pud. Ten points for guessing which recipe we used.
Y’know this is the first year I can actually contemplate eating some pudding, if it stays as nom as it smelled when it came out of the steamer anyway. I just hope Keith doesn't go too crazy feeding it brandy for the next month otherwise I’ll be asleep until the new year.

Oooh and just to complete the line-up of my photogenic family? This is Alfie’s new hat. It comes with matching mittens (of which Alfie does NOT approve, and he can make a surprisingly awkward starfish with his hands given the threat of having to wear them) and also some waterproof boots for stamping on snow.

Now we just need some more snow.

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