Friday, 31 May 2013

Singing for her supper!

As well as endless drawing, writing and making things Lucy has developed a new talent, 'comedy singing' and I have to say most of the time this is the only time she is in tune! Instead of speaking and saying something Lucy has taken to communicating in what can only be described as a comedy German opera accent and it is quite hilarious and very impressive. She has a good ear for accents and her comedy Scottish is now legendary in the Hammond house. She is also learning the art of timing and utilises it well and to good effect. Simple phrases such as ,'Good morning Daddy - how are you?' booming at you like something from Wagner is quite something to behold!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The girl who knows how to work a room!

As Amy and I have been talking about the girls and having reflected on Lucy's recent move to 'grow up', I felt it was time to reflect on Anna's developing ability to 'work a room' and gain maximum attention. She skilfully does this with a combination of her gregarious nature, visual comedy, toilet humour, excellent timing and a wonderful expressive thing she does with her eyes that just sucks you in. Not bad for a four year old! These will be dangerous skills in the adult world if she retains them. I hope she does as they form the core of her spark and what makes her Wiggle. Sometimes I watch her at a meal for example and you can see she is scouting the room for an opening to take command and with adult timing goes for the jugular with a quick remark. Fun loving and free of spirit, she lights up any room she is in. There is downside to this skill as Anna is practicing the art of over-exaggeration and negative trying to work a room though make believe tears and a very quick recovery. We are wise to this and are stamping down on it quickly. Anna - always leave a room laughing and get in the final word with a quip or a one liner, never leave a negative and lasting memory, a bit of advice from your old dad..

Friday, 24 May 2013

Entering a new phase in her life.....

I have had more time to observe the girls in the last few days and whilst they continue to have a strong bond and real love for each other, I have noticed that Lucy is moving into a new phase in her life as she moves towards turning eight this year. I have witnessed many sibling fights this week (half term needed) and most of them seem to be born from Lucy's increasing need to do 'more grown up' things such as listen to music, talk about bands, asking questions that are a level away from Anna about countries, social history and concepts. Going to the junior school in September has been high on the agenda and prevalent in discussion. There seems to have been a turning point in that she now views some of the things that Anna likes and does as 'babyish'. I think that Lucy is now starting to try and exert herself upon the grown up world and I can see the conflict emerging slightly. For example, we have had to take the decision that they need to have separate baths and Lucy clearly needs her own space now, if only to stop the whinging! I don't think that this is the end of a beautiful relationship between two sisters, more a revaluation of one as Lucy is really starting to seek the company of older people and look to gain recognition with her peers and the more grown up realm. It will be interesting to see this develop...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Remember - as far as anybody knows we are a nice normal family!

The above has now been adopted as our family motto and I must say we did a damn good impression of a normal family this weekend and it is a good place to start in describing my first work free time with Amy and the girls. It has been full of fun, silliness, much fighting (there have been some classic ones - when both declared that they never wanted to see each other again or share a room ever again complete with dramatized over accentuated language or Lucy - 'Anna, for goodness sake go to bed, I have tests this week'), quality time together and much ice cream. I spent Saturday with the girls in Wells prating around in play land followed up by fish and chips on the key whilst Amy had a shopping day with a friend. I loved being a Dad again completely uninterrupted and the forty minutes or so we spent on the zip wire felt like hours and it was so much fun! Anna just kept saying 'faster, faster, faster!' Giggling so much that she trumped. Mind you Anna has trumped her way around Norfolk in the last two days.! I have been going on about it for years - the simple things are the ones that stick in your memory as a parent. Two more days to go at work and then I have a few weeks off to enjoy being a Dad more and more again without interruption. Family life does indeed feel good...

Monday, 13 May 2013

The end of weekday dad!

Work life balance has been extremely tough of late. For example last week I did not get to speak to Anna for four days. After nearly two years of working away from home and the real concern the mythical 'weekday' dad that I joke about with Amy and the girls was leading them astray: I am pleased that the company I work for has offered me a different role and I will be able to focus a great deal more on my family in the coming months and moving forwards. As you can see I have wasted no time in reasserting myself and masking sure Mrs Hammond attends to her expected domestic duties! In all seriousness, I could not be happier. I am having a couple of weeks off to relax and despite my new role involving a great deal of hard work can't wait to spend some quality time with my family. My career is important, but of late I have felt distanced from home and the girls and I look forward to reaffirming the love and the bond I have with them all. Happy days! 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The weekend wind down....

After a frantic family weekend involving gymnastics, a party, hard graft in the garden and lunch out with Grandma today; each of the family Hammond has sought out solace in their favourite activities for the last part of Sunday. Lucy is quietly watching a film in bed, Amy is on her iPad, I caught up on some work and Anna hit the pens and paper and produced an assembly line of colourful pictures. This has all been tied up nicely throughout the weekend with plenty of sunshine, a couple of sessions in the bistro and many ice lollies and ice from the posh new ice dispenser in the newly kitted out utility room. A happy Hammond weekend. Slightly marred by Anna's new found skill in attempting to get out of anything by stropping or general grinding her parents down with objection! Nearly worked Wiggle, but we held firm.....