Thursday, 11 March 2010

The little bossy boots

Lara continues to make us laugh with her personality. I was brushing her hair before bed the other night, not something that Dads are naturals at, I suspect.. if Lara's comment of "Oww, Papa, be gentle" was anything to go by. She's not quite worked out apologising yet, as she also has a habit of apologising to me when I brush a knot out of her hair (when I'm being gentle).
Then as I'm offering her her bedtime yoghurt, she wants to take the lid off (and ripping it - "Broken, Papa"), and hold the pot herself whilst scooping a huge spoonful into her mouth. After one messy spoonful, I'm allowed to help, but I receive the strict instruction: "Don't drop it, Papa. Not on the floor".
I had the day off on Wednesday to work on the fences in the back garden, and Olga took Lara to nursery. Now, there was a major tantrum a few weeks ago when I tried to take her coat off for her upon arrival in the Dolphins room, and she wanted to take it off, so we've learnt to let her do it in her own time.  On Wednesday one of the other girls in the room hadn't understood this rule, and came over to give Lara a big hug before Lara was quite ready, and poor Freya was put in her place with a withering look and a sharp "Taking my coat off!". As if this wasn't bad enough, Freya was shouting "Lara! Lara!" while waiting for Lara to slowly take her coat off, to which Lara's response was "Don't shout." accompanied by a look that said this was Freya's last warning. It is fascinating that Lara can match her facial expression with the tone in which she says what she needs to say, and those three things together means she gets her message across with no misunderstanding.
We've had to take one of her potties into nursery as yesterday she wouldn't let any of the other kids use the one she normally uses.
What kind of a madam have we got?
Then again she does have her lovely moments...

Monday, 8 March 2010

Lara on the job

I couldn't think of a better title, sorry....
The boys are very protective towards Lara when she's at her most vulnerable.

Cricket updates

I nearly saw the England team this weekend....
Well, I had an outside chance of going to Dhaka for 24 hours to deliver this bid that we've been working on last week, but the 2nd-in-command got that job, and just as well, as the England team moved to Chittagong on Wednesday, and won't be back in Dhaka for a week or so yet. Our MD had more luck last weekend, he was staying there for a couple of nights while the England team were there. The players weren't allowed in the hotel bar, not even for soft drinks, and in fact our boss was asked by Graeme Swann to get him a bottle of fizzy water. When asked for an autograph in return (for me, I'd asked if the boss could get something signed for LGCC to auction later this year), he was told that the players "aren't allowed to sign anything". The boss did catch Swanny out on another occasion, literally, when the team were playing cricket by the pool with a wet sponge ball and a tray for a bat. Sideshow Bob (Ryan Sidebottom) was told off by the cricket authorities for wearing shorts in the hotel's reception area, and Pietersen was grumbling because the hotel gym wasn't up to his standards. I don't know what he was grumbling about, I thought it was great, from what I saw of it (through the gym windows, from my chair by the pool bar, during happy hour).

On the home front, I attended my first Littlewick Green Cricket Club Committee Meeting on Tuesday night in my new capacity as Captain of the Second Eleven. The opportunity arose a few weeks ago when I was quietly approached by a member of the second XI, and after discussing it with Olga, I accepted. It would involve me playing more often than I did last summer, and I didn't want to feel like I was "abandoning" Olga to look after Lara for almost all of every Saturday during the summer, but with Luda coming over to help, that takes the pressure Olga, and hence me, a lot. It's also LGCC's 200th anniversary year this year, and seems like it would be a good year to be more involved in the Club. Plus it's about time I tested myself as a captain as well as a slogger, we'll see how my decisions pan out.

Hoping for a quieter week this week

Last week was a very busy week, hence the lack of updates on here. I was involved in putting together a bid at work for more work in Bangladesh, and it needed to be submitted in person on Sunday morning in Dhaka. If the England team had been there, rather than in Chittagong, to play cricket, I might have volunteered to go, but they were in Chittagong, and I was glad I didn't have to go. Two 2am finishes on Thursday and Friday night were enough for me, and we had a lazy weekend to recover. The weather has been lovely for a few days, very Spring-like, and we tried to be outside as much as possible, although we achieved this more on Sunday than Saturday. Saturday was spent mulling around in the house, or in the garden, playing with the boys. We even tried - and succeeded - to watch a Midsomer Murders episode in the afternoon, with Lara. Thank god for Sky's Live Pause, and it took two and a half hours to watch a two hour programme, but we did find out who killed Orlando Bloom.  I did fall asleep in the bath for an hour on Saturday evening, and Olga went to bed at, our rock-n-roll lifestyle, eh?
We made more of an effort on Sunday, even Lara couldn't wait to get up - it was around 6.30am when we were roused by a faint... "Papa, Papa, I did a poo" coming over the baby monitor.  Olga didn't have to get up, Sundays are her morning for having a lie-in, but the early night had helped, and she was up by 7.15, so we had a quick breakfast and decided it was time to let Lara loose in the park on the bike we bought a few months ago..

It was more a case of her sitting on it and being pushed, but it was her first time, and perhaps it was better to concentrate on her understanding the concept of steering first. Something which she will find easier once she opens her eyes whilst on the bike.
In the afternoon we went shopping, Lara dropped off in the pram, which gave us a chance to pop to the pub for a well earned pint (with Lara! I realise that sounded like we abandoned her to go to the pub). We bought some new toys for the boys, to keep them busy while we're at work. Lara is funny with them, she knows when they've been naughty, and chastises them. Jackson was sternly told that he was "Naughty Jackson", accompanied by a wagging of the index finger, when he ate her downstairs potty (it was clean at the time!) one morning last week.

Lara's pottying is, shall we say, up and down. Good days and bad days. On Friday she went the whole day at nursery with no accidents, which was a first, but then on Saturday she was mostly rubbish.

Her talking is coming on a treat, as are her facial expressions, and you can really see her picking up traits from Olga and I - we need to be careful now to always set her a good example. She is so determined to do things on her own, she pulls faces that are exactly like her mum when Olga's determined to do something, it's uncanny. I heard Lara's best Russian this morning too, on the phone to Baba Luda, her "priv-yet" ("Hello") and "kak del-la" ("How are you") were as good as mine, if not better. It'll be amazing to see how she progresses while Baba Luda is here.

International Women's Day

A tip to the men out there, especially the British ones, who'll have no idea that today is International Women's Day, go and buy flowers! Olga and I don't bother with Valentine's Day (outrageous con by the greetings card industry, and the florists are in on it too), but I always make sure she gets flowers today (and the other women in the office, and Lara's nursery workers, as it's Women's Day, not just Wife's Day). I know, I know, it falls just before Mother's Day. Oh, we can't win, can we? :-)

It was a suitably big deal to Olga, who phoned her grandma this morning, in Petrokamensk (Skype to a landline works well), where we went on holiday a while back. to wish her Happy Women's Day. Olga's mum is visiting Grandma at the moment, getting some jobs done before she comes over here. Here's a photo of Luda with Olga's grandma (sitting down) and Grandma's neighbour, taken outside Grandma's house, in June 2008..

Olga's mum did ask Olga if "her husband has given her flowers yet?" this morning! Baba Luda, give me a chance to get to the shop first!!