T (5 years 4 months) and A (2 years 5 months) in the bath together.
A: I wash my face
Me: Get your hands behind the flannel, A. That’s it! Now wash your face. See how T does it. That’s lovely! Well done!
T: Now wash your neck , A.
A: I wash my neckie!
T: (laughs) Now wash your arms. Look A, wash your arms.
A: I wash my armies!
Me (laughing): That’s great A. Aren’t you clever. Can you do your bum please.
A: Bum bum bum. Willy willy willy (washing them).
Me: Come on A, out of the bath.
A: (climbs out happily. Stands looking at T playing in the bath while I dry him off.)
A: (looking at toy T has) That my one.
T: A, no, it’s MINE.
A: No MIIIIINNNE!
T: No, A, it’s MIIINNE! (starts to sob)
T: NOOOO STOP SCREAMING, YOU’RE HURTING MY EEEEEARRRS! (tears pouring down face. Starts kicking water in bath so it splashes over edge)
Me: T, stop that. Get out of the bath now.
Me: Get out of the bath, T…
T: NOOOOO MUMMMMEEEEEEE!
Me: GET OUT OF THE SODDING BATH RIGHT NOW!
A: (Jumps out of his skin) WAAAAAHHH!!!! MUMMEEEEE!!!
T: DON’T SHOUT AT ME!
Me: HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT! YOU’VE JUST SPENT THE LAST FIVE MINUTES SHOUTING AT ME! NOW GET OUT!!!
(Both boys stand there dripping and sobbing. I let the bath water out with a sigh.)
T: (after a minute) Mummy, I’m really really sorry…
Me: (still fuming) I should bloody well think so.
A: I need a blow my nosie (pulls off three feet of toilet roll)
Me: A! Stop!!!
T: That’s why I’m crying. I’m really really sorry.
Me: (through gritted teeth) Thank you for saying you’re sorry. Could you dry yourself please.
A: I wanna climbing! (grabs towel rail)
T: (mournfully) But Mummy I caaaan’t dry myself because I’m too coooold.
Me: (restraining myself) Come Here Then And Let Me Do It
T: Ow! You’re hurting!!
A: (falls off towel rail) OW REALLY HURT MYSELF!!
Me: (Yelling) Daddddddeeeeee!!!!
Me: Come on boys, do you want to help me dig some weeds up?
A (age 2): [silently transfers soil into sand pit]
T (age 5): No I want to do some watering
Me: Ok go and fill the watering can
A: My do a watering! (follows T)
[Sound of T screeching]
T: Mummmeeeee! A’s trying to get my watering can!
Me: A! Come and get *your* watering can!
A: [returns to garden, picks up spade again]
T [pours water all over feet while trying to water mint] Urrrghh! Mummeeee!!
A: [silently transfers sand into watering can]
I open shed to get trowel out. A spies garden spade.
A: My wanna BIG spade!!
Me: No A, you can have your *little* spade
A: Waaaaahhh!! Wanna BIG spade!!
Me: <sigh> [wonder if Charlie and Lola is on yet]
Daddy (playing with A, age 2, with Duplo farm & garden sets): Sod this eco-play. Let’s build a spaceship!!
(At dinner table with A, 1 year 8 months, and T, 3 years 8 months)
T: I’m Superman-fireman! Pssssccchhh (sound of letting off imaginary fire extinguisher)
Daddy (for nth time in an hour): T, can you eat your noodles please!
T: I AM eating them! (bottom lip wobbles)
A: (suddenly decides noodles he has been happily eating are the devil’s worms) AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH!
Daddy: A, what’s wrong?
T: I think he wants a biscuit.
A: Bibit! Bibit!!
Daddy: No, no biscuit yet A, you need to eat your tea.
A: WAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Bibit!!!
T: (as if to someone Very Stupid) He wants a BISCUIT!
Daddy: (with warning tone in voice that T seems unaware of) T, I KNOW…
T: Actually I need a poo
Daddy: Better go and have one then
(T disappears upstairs, not to be heard from for 20 mins apart from the odd ominous thud)
Me, T (3 years 9 months), A (9 months), C (T’s friend from nursery), M (C’s sister, 1 and a half), and G (C and M’s mum). All in my car (7 seats!) on the way back from children’s farm.
T and C: (mournfully, from seats too far back in car to contact them) I’m reaalllly reaaaallly huuuungry
G: I’ve got some bananas in my bag, does T want one?
Me: I’ll give him the one I brought, you’re all right
[I stop the car and get out, then stupidly give T whole banana when I should have split it between T and C, as you will see…]
C: I want a banana
G: Are you sure? Oh dear, you won’ t like it, it’s all squashed. Have some crisps
C: (bursts into tears) I don’t WANT crisps! I want a banana!
A: (wakes up) ???
G: It’s all squashed, C. Do you really want it?
G: Ok then, here you go
C: (wails) It’s all squaaaaashed
G(grits teeth): Ok here are the crisps then
M (sings): BA BA BA BA BA BAAAH!
[Brief silence as we set off again]
M: want banana!
G: I’ve got a plum, M, here, you have that
[We set off again]
Charlie: I can’t open my crisps
[I put reggae CD on and they are all asleep within 5 minutes]
After a trip to the park, November 2009. T was 4 and a half.
Mummy: T, we never made a picture out of those leaves, did we. Shall we do that now?
T: I don’t want to.
Mummy: But we collected all the leaves specially, didn’t we.
T: I didn’t collect them.
Mummy: OK, well, I collected them, because you didn’t want to.
T: I just wanted to mow the grass.
Mummy: T, A’s asleep now, so we can do something together. What shall we do? Do you want to draw a picture?
T: No I don’t want to do ANYTHING!
Mummy: Come on T, shall we cook these apples I’ve got?
T: No I DON’T WANT TO!
Mummy: (Grumpily) No fun being with you any more is it.
Mummy: Do you want to help me wash up?
T: (Burst of enthusiasm) YES!
A (9 months old, back then) was busy trying to learn to crawl. He was making some progress following these instructions:
1. Sit up
2. Lean forwards and put hands on floor
3. Tip bum upwards
4. Rock backwards and forwards a few times
5. Get legs out from under self
6. (Optional) Fall flat on stomach
7. Get up onto toes and hands
8. Wonder what to do next
9. Put knee down
10. If other knee is not yet down, move toes of this leg forwards and inch gradually along. Grin maniacally
11. If other knee is down, repeat from (7) a few times
12. Pull knees up under self
13. Sit up facing in a different direction
14. Look a bit stunned
15. Repeat from (2)
(On the way to the Sculpture Park in the car)
A (nearly 2 years old) sees field of cows.
A: (pointing) Horsies!
T (nearly 5): No, A, those are cows.
At Sculpture Park. A spies herd of sheep.
A: (excitedly) Cows!
Mummy: No, A, those are sheep. What do sheep say?
Short pause while we walk on. A points to a sheep.