1. This post on childcare expert Pinky McKay's blog made me stop and think. To summarise, it says that children will extract the attention they need from us one way or another. You can give the attention, or they will try desperately to connect with you by whining and tugging at your trousers. She says: "When children's tiny tanks are filled with love and cuddles, their chemistry will be balanced with calming hormones such as oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins (a mix of feel good hormones)."
Alec was whining and tugging while I was making our breakfast. I looked down at his crumpled face and I wanted to say: "I have cuddled you all night. We've been lying in bed having bub since 6am. I've put a clean dry nappy on you. I've carried you half way down the stairs and put you down to walk the rest of the way because you asked. I'm making you porridge! Your tiny tank is full, damn you, leave my trouser cuffs alone."
Then I realised: it's not me who decides if Alec's tiny tank is full of love, and it's not Alec who decides either. He has a tiny tank, and all I (and his other carers) need to do, is keep filling it until it seems full.
So I picked him up, gave him a squeeze and put him on the worktop where we could chat to each other while I stirred the porridge.
2. We are supposed to be blowing bubbles into a watering can -- but Alec has spotted a stout man on the far side of the swimming pool. "Daddy bubs!" he says. (Apart from that, he had an excellent swimming lesson and concentrated very well.)
3. Wholemeal toast and butter and honey.