Flynn was fortunate enough to receive a very cool balance bike from his Auntie Lee-Ann who was visiting from Canada for a few days while touring Europe. They were kind enough to stay in our area while visiting the UK so we got to spend a bit of time with them before (and after) they jetted off (or trained off as the case may be) to see the continent.
Our little man was a huge fan from the get go, but still has a lot of practicing to do.
It was a perfect autumn day for learning to ride though. Beats getting a bike for Christmas and having to learn to ride it through 2 feet of snow (or so I hear)!
On top of learning to push a bike, he’s also learning to propel himself on the big-kids swing. The learning never stops!
Mum had a loooong overdue night out with the girls tonight which left dad entirely in charge (for the first time ever?) of the bedtime routine. While I’m always heavily involved in the bath and story reading process of this daily endeavor, getting Flynn to sleep has always fallen entirely within Mum’s realm. So it was with a bit of trepidation that we said goodbye to mum shortly after our dinner and began our journey.
We played Lego for a while before bath and while I did need to bribe him with a snack (“something else” as Flynn likes to refer to snacks as) to get him into the bath, the rest of the night went swimmingly. We had his milk and stories in bed and for the first time ever fell asleep while I was reading to him. While this is almost entirely because he skipped his afternoon nap, I did feel some sense of victory when his little snores started to fill the room.
Below are the photos I sent to mum throughout the night in order to ensure her we were doing fine!
One of the spots we take Flynn on the not-infrequent rainy days here in Sutton is the local library. They’ve recently renovated their kids section and it’s a fantastic spot for Flynn to run around in and play with their various sensory toys. They’ve got infinity mirrors, lights with sounds and all manner of wall mounted wheels and pulleys to play with in addition to the stacks of books. Usually Flynn is happy just to mill about but today he decided he was going to read a book using almost all of the available reading spots.
He looks very studious, but to be honest he largely wanted to hold on to this particular book because another little boy had expressed interest in it…
Oh, and we can never visit the library without doing a bit of ramp running:
One of Flynn’s bigger Christmas gifts this year was his water table. Like a lot of the best Christmas gifts, this one was best suited for warmer months which would mean waiting an unbearable amount of time before he got to use it. (Un)Fortunately, we decided that since we had a large, tiled kitchen that it would be the perfect spot to break in this new toy without waiting untold eons for the sun to warm up this damp, dreary country. It seemed like an excellent solution until we discovered just how projectile the water from our water table actually was.
Still, Flynn had a great time and our floor was undoubtedly cleaner as a result of the experiment.
As a bit of a change of pace from all of these stunning beaches our hosts were taking us to, we instead spent a day away from the coast and high up in the hills in the Dandenong Ranges national park. Or at least I think that’s what the forest was called, Vic was doing all the driving that day while Ariana was in school. At any rate, the trip was basically like stepping onto the forest moon of Endor; none of us had ever seen trees like that before. The scale of it all blew us away, and even the adults seemed tiny in comparison.
Afterwards we swung by the tulip festival
which was taking place nearby. It was a cute tulip farm that opens to the public in the spring to allow you to tour the flowers and if you’re particularly keen (like Flynn( you can even take a tractor ride!
It’s something of a tradition in China that when the sky grows a bit dark the elderly folks come out to their local square and dance. It’s not uncommon to see multiple groups of 30 plus seniors (and some younger) dancing different dances to different music only meters away from each other. I’ve always been intrigued by this cultural phenomenon but have always been to uncoordinated and shy to join in the fun.
Flynn however, suffers none of the hang-ups we adults have.
Thanks to Baba for taking and sending this incredible video of our dancing boy.
We have some lovely neighbours who have younger children themselves and they just so happen to have a trampoline in their back garden. They are also kind enough to let young Flynn come over whenever he likes to go “jumping”! An offer that we often take them up on as apart from driving, jumping is his current favourite thing in the world.
He has also been taught what has affectionately become known as his “noodle dance” by his mum and we managed to catch a rare combination of jumping and dancing recently and thought it would be worth sharing.
One of Flynn’s new obsessions is driving cars as I mentioned in an earlier post. We often let him sit in our car (keys safely in Daddy’s pocket) so he can play with the steering wheel while emphatically shouting out “driving car!”.
Recently one of our local grocery stores has added these short carts with a child’s car attached to the front that are everything that Flynn could want (while still letting mum or dad dictate direction of travel). They’re a fantastic idea and while’re they’re a bit hard to control I have to say that using one of these is much easier than trying to carry Flynn around the shop.
The stills don’t quite do it justice, so here it is in action!
Feeding Flynn has been a bit of a constant struggle this year. He had stopped gaining weight around his first birthday so we were keen to get him to eat even if he didn’t feel like it. This has involved countless hours of poor Danni following him around the house, stooped over trying to get him to eat when really all he wants to do is play.
We’ve been given a glimmer of the end of that struggle this week as Flynn is showing signs of wanting to, and being able to feed himself. It’s a messy, slow process and he often would prefer to just play with his food over eating it, but we’re getting there.
We’re almost six months beyond his birthday now and he has started to gain weight and grow again, thanks entirely to the endless patience and effort of his mummy. We’re a very lucky family to have her.
For Mother’s day this year, we headed out as a family to Godstone Farm, which is a somewhat local (~35 minute drive) public farm with a strong petting zoo vibe. Our little man was a big fan of all animals that were smaller than him (ducks, bunnies, Guinea pigs, etc.) but less so of the large, loud animals like the goats, sheep and pigs. I suppose when you’re Flynn’s size, creatures you’ve never seen before that are exponentially larger than you are must be pretty terrifying.
Still, I think he had a good time and it was nice to get out of the house and stretch our legs. Something that Flynn is becoming increasingly good at!
Hopefully mummy enjoyed her day out and was able to relax a bit.