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Tiny Tyger, Baby Bear and Me: October 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Wasps and the Cat

It's been a very animal-filled week or so but I probably won't get a chance to write it all in one go so I'll go with the wasps (and by extension the 'cat') and see if I have time to talk about all the mouse escapades another time (and maybe also the frog and chickens and spiders - seriously, lots of animals).

When we were all eating dinner one night last week there was a wasp flying round the dining room in that drunken way they have at this time of year.  It seemed a little odd (the windows have been shut recently) but not extraordinary.  However, the next day there were another couple of wasps.  And then another.  Hmmm.

Cue a trip into the loft by my dad.  Sure enough he found a wasp's nest and - after the inevitable search on Google - decided on his course of action and bought the appropriate chemicals.  Said chemicals instructed him to wait until either morning or evening to attack so evening it was.

I was just giving Tyger his dinner (or what passes for dinner with Tyger, who only really eats some specific fruits and bready products) when a foot appeared through the ceiling and a lump of insulation fell onto the sofa.  Tyger was not at all happy about this (the shrieking from me and my sister probably didn't help) and cried for some time.  My dad was fine.  Embarrassed but fine.  He'd delivered the wasp killer and retreated quickly when a few wasps started to get annoyed, which meant he missed the beam he should have stepped on (like I've said before, frack the whole rule about prepositions and ends of sentences).  Our neurotic tabby was pretty freaked out by the whole thing and stalked around the room all saucer eyed for a while.

What's really interesting is the way Tyger's tried to piece together what happened.  As far as he is aware there was a noise and a hole suddenly appeared in the ceiling.  We all shouted out as something soft fell down onto the sofa and afterwards I asked if the cat was okay.

So, apparently: a cat fell through the ceiling!  This is the version of events Tyger figured out from everything and he's been telling anyone who will listen about it since: 'Cat a falling ceiling.'

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Why We Can Only Say 'Suspicious' if We Have Mini Milks

So, the Wolf, Tiny Tyger, Baby Bear and I are currently living with my parents (and my sisters) until we can sell our house several hundred miles away from the Wolf's new job and buy one considerably closer.

My mum is an amateur photographer.  I think she's pretty good but I also don't know anything much about photography so maybe she's terrible.  I think she's good.  So, she got a new camera and had looked into all photographyish stuff (like framing, shutter speed, aperture, lens something - yeah, I don't know) and wanted to just get on and take a bunch of photos.  However, she found she didn't really know what to take photos of (I don't care if I have a degree in English Literature - oh, by the way, I have a degree in English Literature - I don't agree with the stupid 'don't end a sentence with a preposition rule).  So, she joined a couple of scavenger hunt groups online where you're given a load of words/phrases etc. every month and have to take a photo for each one before the end of the month.

Anyway, she's been doing these for a couple of years now, I think, and one of the words she was struggling to get a photo for last months was 'suspicious'.  She'd hunted around in my 13 year old sister's bedroom (with my sister there - she's not that sort of mum).  I assumed she was looking for porn magazines or weed paraphernalia but it turns out my sister used to sometimes stash empty crisp packets away and that's what she was hoping for.  No luck.

So, she was thinking out loud and, turning to Tyger, said something like, 'I don't know what to do for suspicious.  Do you?  Do you have suspicious?'

To which Tyger replied, 'Okay.'  (He's never said 'yes'; he says 'okay' instead.  I don't know why.)

Mum: 'Okay?  You have suspicious?'

Tyger: 'Okay, Tygy spicious.  Okay.'  (He calls himself by a cute name I won't give here since I'm keeping this blog real-name-free so 'Tygy' will have to do instead - it's gets the gist across.)

Mum: 'Okay?'

Tyger (in a progressively higher pitched and more desperate sounding voice):  'Okay, Meemaw.  Spicious.  Tygy spicious.  Okay, spicious.  Meemaw, Tygy spicious.'  (My mum didn't want to be 'Grandma' or 'Granny' or 'Nanny/Nana' so she's 'Meemaw' and yes I got that from The Big Bang Theory.)

So, it became apparent Tyger thought a 'spicious' was a thing Mum was offering him and he really wanted one.

We were in stitches at this and I tried to think of something he didn't know the name of to give him as a 'spicious'.  I thought of the Mini Milks in the freezer and gave him one of those.  Problem solved.  The end.


A couple of days later Baby Bear was in his activity station playing away with the big beads on a 'wire' (plastic wire - I'm not totally irresponsible) and the 'keyboard' and all the other colourful bits and pieces on the activity station to keep babies quiet and occupied so parents can have a hot cup of tea (that's what I assume they're for, anyway) and I caught a whiff of something.  Then I made a big mistake.

'I think I smell something suspicious.  I need to check your nappy,' I said to Baby Bear like the idiot I am.

Tyger - overhearing this: 'Spicious?  Spicious!  Tygy, spicious.'

And then he threw himself on the floor crying.  So, I gave him another Mini Milk.

And that's why nobody can say 'suspicious' around Tyger unless we have Mini Milks.

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Weaning is a Chore

So, Baby Bear is a six months old and we have started weaning him.  I mean weaning in the UK sense of 'starting to introduce solids (or weaning onto food)' not the US sense of 'starting to stop breastfeeding (or weaning off the breast)'.  I have come across this language difference before so want to be clear in case I'm the victim of some online outrage.  Baby Bear is still very much a booby monster but I'm also trying to introduce him to the monstrous world of food.

Now that's cleared up, I'll tackle another potential internet minefield.  I'm doing what's known as 'baby led weaning' (or BLW on all parenting forums and groups).  This is basically the method whereby you plonk meals/food on baby's tray and let them get on with it rather than the 'traditional' method of mushing up food and making aeroplane noises.  I'm not advocating one over the other (she says, backing away from her laptop) since Tyger was 'traditionally weaned' but there you go: that's what we're doing.

Baby Bear is a big baby.  He's 6 months old and in 12-18 months sized clothing.  After Tyger - who was a scrawny thing - it is a joy to have a big fat baby whose wrists and ankles look like cookie dough with elastic bands round but there are also certain expectations when your baby's thighs are fatter than parts of your calves.  I had visions of him snatching at any and all edible (and non-edible) items as soon as they were in his general vicinity and opening up his maw like in Alien and just swallowing everything whole.  So, imagine my disappointment when it turned out he's a normal baby who flails around blindly for a while and then grabs some food just to drop it over the side of the tray.  He does manage to get some food to his mouth (more and more) but then comes the terrifying gagging.

Now, gagging.  Gagging is noisy.  If a baby has food in/near their throat and they're making a frack load of noise that's fine.  Noisy is good.  It's silence that's dangerous because choking is when no air can get past.  I know this.  I remind myself of this every time Baby Bear is making horrid retching and coughing noises but it doesn't stop that little stab of fear from pulsing through me every time.

What I'm trying to say is babies are fun!

And toddlers are a riot.

Tyger sees Baby Bear gagging.  Tyger sees Baby Bear thrashing around and squeezing his food and throwing his cup around.  And he sees Baby Bear gets attention for this...and he emulates it.

I ignore him and he keeps going.  I try the, 'Oh, Baby Bear doesn't know how to eat properly.  He needs to watch his clever big brother who does it so so well.  Why don't you show him how to eat since you're so good at it and so smart and such a good big boy,' tactic.  It doesn't work.  I'm sure this will pass but right now weaning is a chore.

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