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spires from Carfax

toddler

loved the Wee-Ride, can't fit a tag-along to my bike

Life — July 2017

Four years ago I posted here looking at moving-child-by-bike options, but I never followed that up. I ended up with a Wee-Ride centre-mounted seat, which I've been really happy with over the last three and a half years. more

the transport geography of early childhood

Life, Oxford — September 2016

Walking with Helen to the Cowley Rd Tesco yesterday made me think back on how her development and changes in transport modes have affected our experience of Oxford's geography. more

little friends

Life — December 2015
photo

Moomin and Koala Bear are best friends

Helen has made strong attachments to some of her peers, far stronger than anything I remember from my own early life (though I have very few memories from before school). Reminding her that she'll get to see her friends once she gets to nursery, or that we're going on a playdate, is almost always a big motivation for getting dressed and leaving the house. And having a friend refuse to hold hands with her can be enough to make her burst into tears. more

early second language learning

Books + Ideas, Life — November 2015

I've tried speaking in German to Helen a few times in the last week and she's really fascinated by it. If I stop she says "say something" and wants me to keep going, and this morning she requested some German quite spontaneously. And Camilla and I have started thinking about the options for her to learn a second language. more

an extra day with Helen

Life, Oxford — November 2015

I had had to take the day off work to look after Helen yesterday, since she was home after after having had the runs at nursery the day before. But we had a really good day. more

NCT class followup

Life — August 2015

Our NCT (National Childbirth Trust) parents' group wasn't so useful in providing an immediate support circle, largely because Helen arrived early, before the classes had even finished, but it did provide the foundation for a longer-term social network. We have made friends with two additional parents with similar aged children, in the same demographic (they have NCT groups of their own): I met Parker's mother through a cycling advocacy mailing list and Frieda's through her blog. But I've also spent many afternoons or mornings with Helen in East Oxford playgrounds, meeting interesting parents who I never saw again. (Though perhaps if I'd had no existing parents' group I'd have got better at asking strangers for their phone numbers or email addresses.) more

the Story Museum

Oxford — August 2015

I finally got around to taking Helen to the Story Museum. This is all about stories and learning from them, and runs regularly changing exhibitions. Last summer Helen seemed too young at one and a half to appreciate their 26 Characters exhibition (though it ran until February and if I'd thought about it again I'd probably have taken her then). The downside is the price: it's £7.50 for an adult and £5 for a child, so that was £12.50 for me and Helen. But there's a lot of fun stuff and we ended up staying there from 1pm to 5pm when they shut (including maybe an hour for afternoon tea in their cafe), so I'd have to say it's worth that. more

toddler book update (two years old)

Books + Ideas, Life — March 2015

Following on from the previous post on baby/toddler books, some of Helen's favourite books - the ones that have been read dozens of times - at two years and two months more

Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna

Life — January 2015

The lullaby I use most regularly with Helen is the song "Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna", one of the few songs I remember from my own childhood. more

language at two

Life — January 2015

Her vocabulary grows apace, but Helen has made little progress with syntax or morphology, with most utterances consisting of just two or three words lacking any inflection. more

toddler jigsaw puzzles

Life — October 2014

At first I was skeptical that Helen would cope with jigsaw puzzles, especially as she had a lot of trouble even with the little two-piece puzzles we tried her on first. But she's really taken to the two 24-piece puzzles she has more

colours! shapes! phrases!

Books + Ideas, Life — September 2014
photo

the pink magnet pair is "mummy",
the orange one "daddy",
and the blue one "helen"
(I don't know why)

It's just over two weeks since my last post on language development, but in that time Helen has:

  • produced her first two word phrases: "more cherry" and "daddy book". more

the language explosion

Books + Ideas, Life — August 2014

There's supposed to be a spurt in language acquisition around 18 months, and Helen is doing that pretty much right on schedule. more

baby + toddler books

Books + Ideas, Life — August 2014

This is by no means comprehensive, but I thought I'd write a bit about some of the books we and Helen have enjoyed most over the last year or so. Some of these have been given to us or recommended to us by friends and family, some of them I found reading online reviews and lists. more

teaching small cardinal numbers to a toddler

Books + Ideas — July 2014

I occasionally play at teaching Helen the cardinal numbers one to five, not in any organised fashion but every so often when she seems alert and curious and there are no more obviously interesting things for her to play with more

not all birds are ducks

Life — May 2014

As well as "mama" and "da" and "bye bye", Helen has spoken approximations to "duck", "up", "ball", "cat", "dog", "bird", "banana" and (at nursery) "nappy". more

the joy of walking

Life — April 2014

Helen's been walking between Camilla and me for some time, and using walkers, and for the last week she's happily walked to other people. But now she's getting up all by herself and heading off without anyone in sight! We have a toddler! more

a proto-toddler

Life — October 2013

Helen went to Australia a baby and has come back a kind of proto-toddler. more

cycling with a baby/child

Life, Oxford — April 2013

It's early days yet, but I'm starting to look at the options for moving Helen around by bicycle. The basic choices seem to be a front-mounted child seat, a rear-mounted child seat, a trailer, or some kind of front-load cargo bicycle or tricycle (bakfiets-style or modern variants on that). more

photos of Helen

Life — February 2013

This post is just for comments on the photos of Helen which I'm putting online elsewhere (I hate all the WordPress gallery options, because I want to edit text in a real editor). more

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