Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Essex castle

To the beach on a gloriously sunny Sunday. Half of our part of Essex seemed to have the same idea, but luckily the expansive plage at Frinton had room for all. And, as we arrived at low tide hours of beach time stretched before us.

It's always a bit of a toss up between Frinton and neighbouring Walton on the Naze. Frinton's reputation precedes it as a more sedate and refined option. You can get a pint and fish and chips there nowadays, but you have to be prepared for a walk to get them. The cliffs are higher than at Walton too (well, there aren't any in WOTN), so if you're pushing a buggy laden with all your bits for the day, it can be a bit awkward.

Walton is a bit more 'Kiss me Quick' fun, with its pier, handy high street selling beach goods, and nearby cafes. However the clincher on Sunday was that you can park for free in Frinton. It's six quid in WOTN! Cheapness won the day, especially as I'd raided the fridge for a scratch picnic of leftovers.

Once on the beach we quickly commenced the traditional British sport of competitive sandcastling. It's quite a serious activity in these parts of the world. I remembered to bring our buckets and spades this time - the spindly plastic sort that cost about 50p. Others arrive with heavy duty earth moving gear, just sort of a JCB. There's something about a vast expanse of virgin sand that encourages the digging of the 'Essex hole'. As its name suggests, this is a vast tank trap of a cavity that serves no other point than to provoke envy and awe in other beach goers (well, the male ones).

We had to satisfy ourselves with a more modest affair. For once it was a team effort as the two boys managed to resist knocking down the castles as soon as they were constructed. I'm sure you'll agree that their restraint was worthwhile.

Can they build it?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First poo in a potty*

* Please note that this entry has visual evidence at the end. Please scroll carefully if you are easily upset by the sight of poo in a poe

There are many important milestones in a child's life: the first smile, first word, first tooth, first step...

As the title of this post suggests, there is another one that is quite important. Our two year old toddler has a habit of plonking himself on the house potty and grinning, before looking between his legs to see if there has been any issue. Recently this performance was more considered when he sat down with a look of concentration, and not a little effort, and proceeded to huff and puff in the usual fashion.

Suddenly he stood up and turned to point at the poe. And there 'it' was. A shiny nugget of purest poo. It was not the biggest turd, but it was perfectly formed and brought us both great joy. He knew he had done a good thing, probably because I was so excited. I don't think I made such a fuss when he took his first steps.

Partly I think this is because I was imagining that this act would mean that toilet training would be a doddle. We were very lucky with his brother. By the time we started his induction, he got it straight away and had very few accidents, even during the night.

I have since learned from other parents that this is not always the case, so I'm not expecting it to be so easy the second time around, especially as our toddler drinks a lot more milk before going to bed than his brother ever did.

My hopes of pain free toilet training were given a further jolt a few days ago when I came downstairs to discover that he had removed his nappy and pooed in the small cupboard under the stairs. This had become smeared all over a sports bag of mine and another bag which have since been binned. Oh well, maybe he's not ready yet.
Evidence: the nugget