Went for a really nice walk with Matthew on Saturday. First we did a little loop up in Crab Wood on Farley Mount ("I know - let's have a picnic Daddy!"). There wasn't much to see there in midwinter although Mattie didn't seem to mind. He kept finding sticks - "ooh there's another stick, it's like a crocodile!". There were plenty of sticks. :) He had one and I had to have one as well. His choice tended to be a bit random, sometimes he'd want me to pick up half a tree for a stick. But it's funny how straight away he cottoned on to the idea - with no prompting - that you use sticks to chop at the undergrowth. He'll be making his own paths soon just like me and my brother used to do.
Then we drove down to a path through Ham Green on the outskirts of Sparsholt which was very pleasant. We actually got quite a way down before turning back and this was the first time we'd been on a proper walk. Last year he'd either want to "come up" after a few yards or would be too distracted to make progress. I'd begun to think we were leaving it late getting him used to going for walks but a lady who passed us said "that's the way, start them early!". (Tina of course thinks I'm mad for thinking this but I just want him to enjoy the outdoors). Mind you there was still plenty to distract him - this time it was stones: "one, two, three, four stones!". Then again a yard further on. And again. It was a very stony path. :) But it also had bits that were "like a cave" where the trees formed an arch. Lovely warm sunny morning.
We seem to have turned a corner with Eleanor. After another crisis with Tina breaking down which ended in my calling the health visitor, I started sleeping upstairs in the top bedroom with the monitor. The plan was that I would feed the baby and let Tina get some sleep (tiredness being the root cause of everything, with Eleanor still waking every 2 hours). But every time I did the night shift it was OK - one feed at 10.30-11 (even if it meant waking her up - "dream" feed) and then another about 3am. I think this may be because I give her formula and also maybe she drinks more from the bottle. Or maybe it's just coincidence and the fact that the solid foods are now up to 3 meals a day is now starting to have an effect. But anyway, the last week or two have been much better with only one wakening in the middle of the night. Even if Tina gets up to do that she finds it manageable (eg she did it last night and I slept blissfully through!).
Of course Matthew spoils it by waking regularly at 6am (at the latest). His best friend Samuel would sleep through until 9 if they let him according to his mother. Oh well, as I try to convince Tina, that's the price you pay for having a lively boy!