Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Vegan Easter Egg Hunt

Everything is so much more exciting now that Ebony is old enough to understand concepts like Easter. Not the whole Christian backstory, just the fact that there’s a rabbit and he brings eggs. Last year she was bemused when we handed her an Easter egg, but this year she had been looking forward to seeing what Easter bunny was going to bring.

After much discussion, we decided to get her a box of smaller carob eggs, rather than a big one like last year. The big one came in a pretty dull box, and looked really uninspiring, so instead we got her some foil-wrapped sugar-free carob mini eggs (Don't let the name fool you though, they're not like mini eggs. Vegan mini eggs would be my dream come true, please make it happen). She has had sugar now, but only on the odd occasion, and I think it makes sense to limit the amount she eats while she's happy to do so. Under strict orders to avoid sugar, her grandparents got her a couple of these Playmobil eggs which I was really excited about.

On Easter morning, while Laurie got Ebony dressed, I ran outside in the gale force winds and hid all of the eggs, and the big bottle of gin Easter bunny had kindly dropped off for Laurie. Most of our garden it taken up by the rabbits, and the rest of it is in a state of disarray, so it wasn’t that easy finding suitable hiding places.

I’d managed to get a basket from a charity shop a few weeks before, so we left that on the fireplace in the living room for Ebony to find. She was so excited about the Easter egg hunt, having a two year old is so wonderful. Most of the time.

We went outside and Ebony immediately marched over to the rabbits and demanded to know where the eggs were. Luckily Sweep and Hazel weren’t giving anything away, so after a while Ebony began her hunt around the garden. Every time she found a foil wrapped egg she wanted to eat it, but I managed to convince her to find them all first and then we could take them in - it was really windy.

She found the Playmobil eggs easy enough because they were huge and bright, but some of the foil-wrapped ones took a little longer. Once she’d found all her eggs, and Laurie had spotted his gin, we went inside. I think she wolfed down three of the carob eggs within a few minutes, and then started trying to get into the Playmobil eggs.

I loved Playmobil when I was younger, so I was really excited for Ebony to get her first set. She was given two eggs, and has already spent a good few hours chattering away for the little people. She gets lost in her imaginary world now when she plays, so it’s been really nice watching her with the Playmobil. She’s also somehow managed to get through most of the carob eggs in that time.

I hope you all had a great Easter too.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Blog Challenge: Great Adventure #41

I was meant to write this post last week, but alas I was so busy with work that I didn’t have the time. Ebony was up early last weekend, and by 10am we were all dressed, fed and ready for an adventure. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I didn’t want to spend too long stuck in the car so we decided to stay close to home.

We decided to pay our first visit to the Roman Lakes in Marple. As we drove along the country lanes leading to the lakes, we talked about how beautiful it would be to live round there (in this house). The country lanes were really quiet, so when we passed a field of lambs, Laurie decided to get Ebony out for a closer look. Predictably this led to a ten minute struggle of pleas and reasoning to get her back into the car seat after the lambs had run terrified from the shrieking toddler.

It was quiet at the Roman Lakes, with only a handful of other people walking around. The lakes are beautiful, surrounded by grassy banks and colourful flower beds. There was lots of wildlife, and we managed to see a duck leading her adorable fluffy ducklings into the lakes for a swim. We also saw a heron by the side of the lakes, and were able to get quite close to him before he took off with the help of his impressive wing span.

We saw a goose do a big poo, and then spent most of the walk with Ebony pointing out each and every pile of goose poo we walked past. Ebony had fun throwing sticks into the lakes, and collecting sticks (Stick Man) to take home.

The lakes were beautiful, we’ll definitely visit again. Despite being a sunny day, it was quite windy by the lakes, so next time we might try to go down on a less breezy day.

Have you been on any adventures this week?

Find out more about my blog challenge here.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Living Arrows 15/52

 Look at Ebony's sad eyes as she watches her Daddy walk away. 

We went for a walk last weekend, and Ebony was having lots of fun with Laurie. They were throwing sticks into the lake, looking for birds, and talking about the plants. Ebony was momentarily distracted by a very big stick, and Laurie had walked off to investigate something in the meantime. When she realised he had gone, she looked heartbroken, and shouted for him until he returned. 

She loves spending quality time with Laurie at weekends. 
living arrows

Monday, 14 April 2014

Please Don't Tell My Daughter She is Shy

My two year old is lots of things. She’s loud, determined, curious, thoughtful and always changing. She might be loud and excitable one day, and quiet and thoughtful the next. She might be daring and fearless one week, and cautious and unsure the next.

My daughter is a work in progress, she hasn’t yet figured out who she is. She is still trying things out, being shaped by her experiences, and, sadly, listening to what the world tells her she should be.

I try not to use labels to describe my daughter, I want her to figure out who she is, I don’t want her to be who she thinks I expect her to be. I don’t want to tell her she’s messy, or clever or creative. I just want to let her be, and I would really appreciate if the rest of the world would support me in this.

I hate hearing people assign traits to her, I hate listening to people tell her she is quiet, or clever or ‘bossy’. I hate when the same words crop up, reinforcing society’s ideals of who my daughter is, before she has even worked it out herself. I worry that if she is repeatedly told she is something, then that is what she will grow up to be, because she will think it is who she should be.

We went for a walk today, and Ebony wanted to go over and look at some horses. A rider was stood with the horses, and seemed over the moon that a child wanted to look at her horse. The rider went into CBeebies-mode and started talking in a very loud sing-song voice. She was so pantomime that I half expected her horse to actually turn out to be Ant and Dec or the Cheeky Girls.

“Hello! Oh wow, you like horses? Great! Do you want to know my horse’s name?”
Ebony stared at her awkwardly from a distance.
“Oh, are you shy?”
More staring.
“You ARE shy! Little girls aren’t usually shy around horses.”

Because, y’know, it takes testicles to truly understand the motivations behind horse-induced shyness. Of course.

This was the first time Ebony has ever been described as shy. I have never described her as shy, and I have never heard anyone else say it to her. And yet, this afternoon, as we were sitting on the sofa, she turned to me and told me she was shy.

It’s so depressing that an off-the-cuff remark from a strange can resonate with a child, and that it could actually affect how they think about themselves. I don’t want my daughter to classify herself as shy, or even feel that she should be shy. I want her to talk to people, and not talk to people, as she sees fit. And if she grows up with a dislike of painfully over the top friendly patronising horse riders, then that is fine by me. She is going to have to put that already impressive shit-eye to good use at some point.

Firstly, she isn’t shy, but I suppose she’s slightly cautious of strangers. Isn’t that normal? And anyway, if she was shy, rudely pointing it out is hardly going to make her warm to you. And finally, perhaps, she’s not shy, maybe you’re just being weirdly over familiar towards a total stranger.

Next time, I’m definitely going to reply with, “Oh, she’s not shy, I think she just thinks you’re weird.”

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Living Arrows 14/52

We were enjoying some time in the garden yesterday - stroking the rabbits, kicking a ball around, and searching for snails. The lawn is waterlogged, muddy and, I fear, now ruined, because Ebony spent a good 20 minutes running and sliding across the muddiest patch.

As she was running towards the mud, she lost her balance and flew forwards. She landed face down and skidded into the flower bed. I waited for a moment, unsure as to whether this was going to cause tears, only to watch her jump up and squeal, "Muuuud!" before laughing loudly and going in for a second skid.

She was coated from head to toe by the time we went back indoors. I'm so glad she's not afraid of a little bit of mud, all of these outdoor adventures must be paying off.

living arrows


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