So much to do so little time
and I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to get to a computer … good on many levels but bad as perfect moments are flying out of my mushy brain before I get a chance to reflect on them.
Right then … not good form to list things but:
Now include Michael Palin and David Attenborough who we met when we went down to the RGS to hear them interviewing one another. The RGS kindly allowed me to bring Hope along, “we’ve all been parents” so we sat, with her Granby in the back row and she slept (on the whole) and then sat and stared around as the two great men chatted environment and 3D filming and pondered what the world would be like when she is grown up. She did (following an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience) decide to join in at one point so we fled into the hall (cunningly seated next to an escape door) and spotted the bar … we went in and sat down and before we knew it in came the two stars of the show for their post performance glasses of wine. Attenborough told Hope it was good to start out as a geographer so young, and Palin had his picture taken with Hope and Granby… one of the oldest members and youngest potential members of the RGS .. huge fun.
We walked all round Green Park and St James Park (well as much as it was possible as lots of areas are cordoned off for the Olympics) and we went to stand in the sunshine in front of Buckingham Palace … the Mall closed to traffic so we walked right up the middle which was fun before heading back to join Granby for tea in the park. Hope slept under the shade of a huge London plane tree it was wonderful.
Hope and I also walked round (having queued in the rain … which she licked as it dripped down) the dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, she was particularly interested in the triceratops and the stegosaurus … I was amazed at all the new names they seem to have found, the twowangosaurus being my particular favourite … and there was me thinking that I knew dinosaurs!
Her wonderful Godmother Clare was visiting this last week and we had huge fun at a Norfolk church fair and Hope particularly enjoyed noshing the middle of a strawberry and then dancing with Clare to her favourite lolling around on long journeys song (all about her car seat she informs me) Comfortably Numb …well when I say dancing I mean swaying, and then was bounced up and down to I want to break free … which almost echoed the expression on her face!!
Hope’s gorgeous Godfather Jake was over as well and we had a lovely family BBQ with him and he gave her the sweetest little crochet hat from a recent visit to Florence and then spent nearly an hour on a cold night south of the Thames helping us find a taxi … I’d gone out with the push chair but not the car seat which meant mini cabs were impossible .. the tube was shut and there was nobody around … we got there in the end and had Hope’s first very late night cab ride across London … cheerfully she waved at the lights and then chatted for about 2 hours telling me stories about her day before we both passed out!!
Hope met her cousins from overseas for the first time last night – we were in London so decided to zip out to Heathrow to meet 4 tired boys off a plane… they looked a little bemused and very jet lagged but pleased to meet her, she in turn howled when she realised her small cousins were all boys!! Great to meet them at last though, and she did fall in love with her Godsister the night before.
She is also looking forward to spending a few days with her older (half) brother who is staying in Cambridge helping their father … it is wonderful she has so many people around her and that however far afield they are all getting to spend time with her while she’s a little person.
Hope sat up for the first time on her own … well when I say sat up I mean I put her in a seated position and she didn’t flop straight over … she sat bolt upright and looked around, reached over picked up Mr Zebra (or was it Mr Giraffe) and then put him down again and then after about 2 minutes flopped slowly and gracefully onto her tummy with her bottom in the air and then rolled onto her back grinning the biggest gummy smile she’s ever grinned!!
Hope also seems to have learnt to arch her back when she’s sitting down which means no more Bumpy chair in the middle of the table and ensuring she’s strapped tight into her push chair at all times and watched like a hawk … she sometimes uses her arms to push up but more often than not just leans back a little, pushes her legs forwards and hurls herself up … very talented obviously but alarming to watch!! Somehow a shock to the system but a good reminder that she won’t always (all continuing well) be a static small person and will soon be here there and everywhere.
Hope also seems to have a tooth come through at the top – I mentioned this before I know but I’m pretty sure it is there now … I’ve tried looking but can’t get to see her top gum.
She chats now, constantly and with different intonation, from the eeeeeeehhh ooowwwwww and little aahhh sounds she now has a mumumumum noise and a bbbb ba as well as something akin to a Zulu click … she loves joining in conversations and particularly enjoys singing!!
She is getting a bit adverse to her mid day naps and seems to want to just keep going and explore more and more of her world and then gets really tired and crabby but refuses to go to sleep … the only thing that seems to work unfailingly is swaddling her with her old purple blanket up to the armpits, it’s then as if she knows it’s ok to sleep and the world will just pause for a while to allow her some respite.
Hope enjoys music, she bangs a tea-spoon on the table, and will pick one up and join in if someone else is doing it, and she seems to almost have picked up the tune of Honky Tonk Woman she sings to in the car … no really she does, ‘specially the Hoonnnnnnkkkky Woman, Give me Give me Give me the Honky Tonk girl bit.
Hope and her 10 week old boyfriend Alfie went to the cinema last week with my gorgeous friend and I, this time the film was a gentle and wonderfully witty and funny comedy called Hobson’s Choice which I can’t recommend highly enough and it was a totally different experience to the near porn quality of the previous film we’d seen at The Big Scream. Hope sat up and watched intently, I don’t let her watch TV at home as it seems to make her hyper and not sleep afterwards and she just stares slack mouthed in a way she doesn’t with other experiences … I know I’m sure the day will come when I plonk a wriggling toddler in front of the Teletubbies or something for a moment’s peace but in the meantime there is enough in the real world to taste and touch and feel and see for the first time rather than letting her stare at other people’s lives … anyway – in the cinema she seemed totally different, she looked intently and watched and kept turning round and looking at me and then suddenly got bored and spent the rest of the film playing with her feet and breastfeeding. One of the midwives had said a while back not to breastfeed infront of the TV or let them watch at night as it disrupts their pre sleep calm … I can confirm that in mine and Hope’s experience this is most definitely true!! Annie and I took the baby sweethearts out for lunch afterwards but they both slept, exhausted after playing together on the changing mats… so we gossiped and laughed and didn’t talk about babies at all … like a whole different time!!
While we’re on the subject of feeding she still won’t take a bottle at all … I bought something called a Doidy cup … kind of a diagonal plastic cup with handles which she has tried boiled cooled water from with varying degrees of success … she also tried avocado and tomato and baked potato middle after our BBQ the other evening … all of which she enjoyed (but not as much as the strawberry at the fair).
and me … well … I’m doing well, I’m a bit weary, I’m very happy, I’m increasingly grey haired, I do have more than 3 outfits I just haven’t got around to getting the others out of the attic just yet, I’m prone to outbursts of singing to myself and far away smiles, I’m in need of work and some sunshine … I’m more and more besotted with my daughter and marvel in how well she’s growing. We’re seeing the pediatricians at the hospital tomorrow and I expect they’ll sign us off … I can hardly believe I was pregnant or that I gave birth to her, it’s as if some little person has just appeared in my world and when she smiles however tired I am or worried about anything, all my weary troubles fall away and I am re-energised. I am so so blessed and lucky. Right – back to work (or hunting for some) and writing yet more thank you cards!