Blackpool Zoo

We went to Blackpool Zoo and it was a glorious sunny day. We took the double buggy (which takes up the entire car boot but gives invaluable options for tired or fussy children). Maisie particularly loved the dinosaur models which are huge and strategically positioned outdoors amongst the scenery with hidden (not always very well, mind) speakers making generic dinosaur land noises inter-dispersed with the odd intimidating 'rooooaaar'.

At lunch we sat down on some picnic tables to eat and witnessed the humiliation which was a greedy seagull swooping down and stealing an entire sandwich from a father who was struggling to contain his small child let alone their lunch options. Anyway it landed grabbed a while sarnie in its beak and took off whilst the shocked man flapped and generally looked a bit incompetent in front of everyone else

Later, as we were exiting the reptile house through a door straight into what Lisa had described to me as a 'greenhouse' a helpful zoo staff member pointed out as I was pushing Lois in the buggy that I might want to hide the dummy she was sucking on. I said 'why?'. He said 'they might steal it'. I was confused but assumed he meant the other punters. I said "Who are 'they'?". The conversation was tedious. He sighed and said "the monkeys that are freely roaming about in here". I naively said "Oh, it's ok - it's attached to her bib". He looked at me as if to say "Who is this prune of a man? Does he think the monkeys won't just yank if off if they want it?".

Anyway, it was I who had the last laugh because although there were monkeys swinging around freely none came close nor tried to take Lois' dummy. So, ha!

Dad takes charge

For two hours today I was in charge of both of them and left on my own (whilst Lisa went to get her back manipulated). Suffice is to say, I survived.

On a side note, how are you supposed to cope with a toddler that will not have a bath, will not have a shower and will not brush their teeth?

Bath fear

Maisie seems to have developed some kind of aversion to baths. Showers are also not being accepted. What does a poor parent do? I think this new fear may be something do with one (or a combination) of the following:

  • A fear of being sucked down the plug hole
  • A dislike of any hairs or foreign bodies (no matter how small) floating in the water
It's tough and not sure how it's going to be resolved. We tried letting the plug out whilst Lisa was sat in the bath and that caused a lot of stress with Maisie telling Mum to get out in a distressed fashion.

Lois hits the solids

Lisa has started Lois on some solids today. Lois has chomped down toast, banana, rice cake, cucumber, strawberries and carrot with much gusto! Strawberries made her stick her tongue out and close one eye to begin with which was very entertaining. Seeing Lois eating also seemed to give Maisie extra impetus to eat. Everyone's a winner!
We bought Maisie a cd-player today and guess what? It's pink. The idea is to play her relaxing bedtime story cd's. Time will tell if this was money well spent.

We don't like it, do we? one of Maisie's favourite sayings. It tends to apply to noisy things which she is a bit scared of (like the Dyson, low flying aeroplanes or the tiger from the Jungle Book) but can also apply to other things like foods.

She is currently big into jigsaws and seems happy to make them over and over and over again. One of Peppa Pig arrived today but (as warned by Lisa) is not an 'Orchard' jigsaw and is therefore of inferior quality.

Lois has discovered her toes and like grabbing them with her hands. She is also still a very dribbly baby. She saturates bib after bib with moisture in a way that Maisie never did

Nursery Rhymes Maisie likes singing...

See saw marjory daw...
Baa baa black sheep
Happy birthday (sang recently for Lisa's birthday) 

A word about (not) sleeping...

Lois currently wakes at 5am in the morning (getting up with Lisa) and goes to bed about 8pm (with Lisa). Maisie on the other hand wakes up after I've gone to work (8am ish) and as a result isn't normally interested in going to bed until between 9 and 10pm (which means Dad is up that late). Subsequently Lisa and I are like ships that pass in the night (except we pass in the evening instead). During the night Lois wakes for feeds from time to time and Maisie wakes and requests Milk (again, warmed to specifically the correct temperature in the microwave). 

When will the crazy sleep deprivation end? When will glorious family lie-ins commence? When will we be able to stay up and watch a film?  

People who have been through the 'very young kids phase' say it feels like it's never ending at the time although it doesn't last that long in the grand scale of things. Hmmmm...

Preferred menu choices

Maisie is currently keen on the following foods
  • Beetroot
  • "Bread and dip" (bread, or breadsticks dipped in humous)
  • Apple (peeled)
  • Mewon (aka "melon")
  • Muffins crumbled into a bowl (Blueberry are acceptable, but Chocolate is best)
  • "Monkey Ice Cream" (also, know as 'ice-cream')
  • Milk (still a bedtime favourite - warmed up in microwave of course to the specifically perfect temperature)
  • Pizza (in particular mexican ones so she can steal all of the pineapple pieces)
  • Custard (cold and straight out of the pot)
  • Olives
  • Porritz (at weekends)
  • "Egg in a cup"
Lois is currently keen on:
  • Milk

Monkeys in the Forest

Yesterday, we went to 'Monkey Forest' which is near Stoke-on-Trent. It was very cool (and also very freezing!).

Still, the temperatures didn't bother the primates who, we were told by one of the many yellow-clad workers (who roam about making sure monkeys don't gouge punters' eyes out) have come from similar or cooler climates.

There were 140 macaques in total (we didn't count them) and they wander freely around a large area of woodland. They had just been fed before we arrived so most of them were busy tucking into various fruits and things whilst we spectated.

Maisie wanted to give them a cuddle but we advised her against it. Squirrels, pigeons and crows (and strangely, a partridge) seem to co-exist there quite happily.

There was a nice cafe (serving Staffordshire's famous oatcakes amongst other things) and an adventure playground. All pretty good really and only about £6 to get in.

Maisie loved it although on the way to the car when asked about it she admitted that she didn't like it but would happily go there again.

Later that night Maisie did one of her trademark thumping down onto the floor as she rolled too far in her sleep and exited the bed.


Maisie has started interacting more with Lois and they now share occasional moments where they just laugh joyfully at each other and is lovely to witness. I think it's also slightly relieving to now feel we share the entertainment responsibilities. Not sure what they are laughing at but it certainly tickles them. Sadly, Maisie also has been referring to her little sister by her name but her pronunciation is slightly off - she calls her "Louse" :)

Some new Maisie-isms

Well, here are some of Maisie's latest verbal offerings which we've found quite amusing...

  1. "Dinama" (Banana)
  2. "Efenants" (Elephants, last seen at Chester Zoo)
  3. "Codmonster" (Lobster - we are mystified as to where this came from but believe it's origins could lie in "Crab Monster" maybe?)
  4. "Porrits" (Porridge)
  5. And finally, "Mum's best at singing" (I feel this rather bold statement should really be backed up with some hard evidence) and "Dad's best at lego" (not negotiable)