Posts Tagged ‘baby

A redirect

Posted on: 20/01/2012

Today I am cheating.

I felt inspired to write a poem about birth. But I have another blog about birth, which is in need of even more attention than braindribbles, so I wrote it there, not here… Do go and see!



This hasn’t happened in a while. At least, we don’t think so..we only unpacked the baby monitor a few days ago. And boy, is it on a loud setting. It’s too intrusive to ignore.


There is a short pause. Not long enough for me to stumble back into bed. And then, music to my ears.


Piccie post

Posted on: 31/12/2011

I must confess to being inspired by another blog for my piccie posts. And you should be warned, my piccies are of especially poor artistry.

Here’s one I prepared earlier, when we were still with the in-laws…happy new year!

Smallest one calls from her cot persistently one evening.

We can’t be doing with having our TV pleasure disturbed.

I am one of those people who, given half the chance, will pick up a gadget and fiddle with it for hours.

This can be great with older children, especially if you’re playing a game and they want to watch.  Less good, of course, if they want to have a go, but that’s another matter.

All the same, it’s not compatible with younger children. They like to join in, by yanking the power cable in and out, and then sucking on it for good measure. Nor, to be fair, is housework.  Smallest one is totally obsessed with the dishwasher.  If it’s open (which is quite often, considering it runs once or twice a day), she feels compelled to help me.

Now, if you’ve ever had a 14-month toddler ‘help’ you with the dishwasher, you will know where I’m coming from here.  Basically, you end up with a toddler finding  a sharp object you hadn’t spotted, or  removing dirty plates and bowls.  Possibly worse is when they then stick dirty cutlery in their mouth. Eugh.

Hoovering? Well, when she’s not surprised by it and bursting into tears, she tries to crawl on it, or worse still, grab the hose and find out the hard way why people don’t touch the end.

Washing machine? Well, those buttons make great beepy noises.  I have frequently come into the kitchen to find a recently finished load of washing getting an extra two-hour rinse thanks to the irresistability of said buttons.

Tidying up? Well, that’s when smallest one follows me around, pulling things out of the drawers and boxes I’ve been filling up.  It is a complete waste of time before she goes to bed.  I’ve wondered whether, if I’m having a low-stress day, I could maybe see who is quicker. Count 50 items on the floor, tidy up for 5 minutes.  Smallest one wins if there are more than 50 items on the floor at the end.

Ironing of course, is a complete no-go unless I stick her in the sling.  And to be honest, I’m still not comfortable that she wouldn’t find a way to hurl herself near the hotplate.  She does, after all, like to wriggle around in it.

I had been wondering why I had found life at home so stressful, when I realised that housework and computer time were my two main activities when the kids were at school. The penny dropped. I slowly cottoned on to the fact that the only way we were both going to be happy was if we removed ourselves from the house every morning.

So now, on a Monday I go to exercise class at the municipal pool, and smallest one goes to the creche, on a Tuesday we either go to a toddler group or go swimming, Wednesday is melody makers (sing-song for 0-5s), Thursday is a different toddler group and Friday morning is nursery.

It works.  Brilliantly.  We get the bigger ones to school, we go off and have a nice morning, we come home for lunch and snooze the afternoon away.

The only down side is the expense.  Monday: Class & Creche £6.90.  Tuesday: Toddlers £2.50 or Swimming £4.10. Wednesday: Melody Makers £4. Thursday: Toddlers: £2. Friday: Nursery: £28.

OK, so we were taking smallest one to nursery regardless, so let’s not count that, but that still means around £18-£20 per week in cost of activities.  When I’m only getting £11 per week or so in child benefit, that’s not ideal.

No doubt I could find some free sessions if I looked around and went to some of the children’s centres… But I’m a bit of a snob and, even though none of the groups I go to could be described as middle-class, I really like the variety. After all, I need to not get bored too.

I’ll keep thinking about this.  I’m enjoying things as they are for the moment, even if it is over budget.  And the system works for me.  I get to spend quality time with smallest one, not feeling guilty about emails remaining unread or housework not being done, and then I focus on that stuff in the afternoon while she’s out for the count.

I might tweak here or there next term, especially if I find something I like that’s FREE!  But for now, the new status quo is pretty good.

the school run is when my stress levels are at their highest.

I am still seething from the school run this morning.  Middle child, who has in the last few months become a kind, helpful, adorable five-year-old, had a monster tantrum getting out of the car because I wouldn’t let her take her doll into school.  Hitting, slapping, screeching, the works.

I slapped her thigh, the only part of her I could reach with all the flailing arms.

Now, in my mind, this is equivalent to a smack.  Generally I don’t approve of smacking.  Yet I find myself in this position.  I suppose I wanted the slap to shock her out of her silly tantrum.

I have never let her take dolls in before.  There’s no reason for her to think it would be OK now.   Reasoning with her didn’t make a blind bit of difference.  It was like we’d gone back six months in her behaviour development.

Have you ever been lucky enough to watch the TV programme ‘Little Angels’?  Or perhaps you’ve heard of Tanya Byron from her book (promotional clip below). We watched a few episodes pre-children, and it was amazing how a child’s behaviour was ALWAYS rooted in the parent’s behaviour – she even mentions this in the clip.  So perhaps this is an opportunity for me to take a look at myself.

Middle child’s behaviour did get me very worked up, I have to admit.  I’m feeling more  on edge at the moment, though I can’t put my finger on why – my inner serenity has vanished.   Until this month, I have actually managed  four consecutive months of not raising my voice around the children.  In the past week or so, however, I have had much less patience.  What has changed?

Maybe I’m just feeling stressed.  I know I’m feeling tired.   Perhaps it is all rooted in this.  Perhaps I should just go back to basics. Get some exercise, get to bed on time, try not to let the housework get on top of me and not attempt anything more than that.

I reckon that would be a good idea anyway.  However, I have realised whilst typing that I know what’s changed.

Smallest one is going through separation anxiety.  Big time.  I cannot do a single thing without her.   Loud screaming if I ignore her or go out of sight for just one second.  Being quite an introvert at heart, I find this very draining.

That’s something I can’t really do anything about.  I need to embrace it, which is all the more reason for going back to basics with the sleep well, eat well, exercise well thing.  Duck and cover for the next six months or so till the phase is over?  Well, not quite, but I will be treading choppy water.

Hopefully, though, now I see how anything that affects me indirectly affects the family, I can somehow get in touch with my serene alter ego and everyone will calm down.  Short-fused five-year-olds included.

Thank heavens for blogging.  I doubt I would have worked it out otherwise.

Smallest one is 12 months old, and received a baby walker (you know, like a small-sized, brightly coloured, wheeled zimmerframe) from her aunt and uncle for her birthday.  It’s taken her two weeks, but she’s sussed it.  So she now not only cruises the furniture but totters along wherever she wants to go with her wheels.  She cruised past me this morning with a big proud grin on her face.  Look at me, mummy!  I’m WALKING!

We have also had our first major word.  (Well, with the exception of ‘mumumumum’ and ‘dudududududu’, of course).  It is, ‘uddle’.  As in ‘cuddle’ but without being able to pronounce the C.

I am cuted out.

Another development is the desire to use a spoon when eating.  Usually I plonk food in front of her and let her use fists, fingers, face, to hoover it up, but sometimes I spoon-feed her.  She has decided that she likes to be in control.  So she grabbed the spoon and bowl off me, had several attempts to spoon it up.  Unsuccessfully, since the food concerned was more inclined to stick to the bowl than the spoon.  But she gamely kept a hold of the bowl with one hand and, after realising it wasn’t going to work on this occasion, dumped the spoon and used the hands.  However, the bowl stayed on the table – I was sure it would end up on the floor, and I was wrong!

smallest one eating

On this occasion, however, I didn't feel brave enough to proffer a bowl..

I just love little nuggets of progress.  Especially when they realise the achievement they have made and look so proud of themselves.  So small yet so adorable.  I am blessed ☺

koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.netAs you may have gathered from my last post, the end of nursing didn’t quite turn out that way.  I was relieved that after smallest one’s first birthday, I didn’t feel obligated to keep breastfeeding.  But then she clearly wanted to keep going.

I have always tried to follow UNICEF guidelines in that I aimed to nurse all three of my babies for at least the first year.  Oldest child got an extra couple of months since I was enjoying it, and it was only my pregnancy with middle one that I found it too painful to continue.  Middle child got a tiny bit less than her full year, since her sucking ability and my pain threshold were not entirely in tandem (inverted nipple issues) and there was a suitable moment to break.  She didn’t miss it.

Now we come to smallest one.  I had decided to call it a day once we were back from France, a few days after her first birthday.  But then when it came to it, I was strangely reluctant.  I didn’t miss the pain on the left side (same as with middle child), but it didn’t feel right to withdraw completely.

Not only that, but if I cuddled her she would start poking and prodding my shirt as if to say, what’s going on, Mummy?  Why no milk?

So then I felt like a bad Mummy.  I had been looking forward to some bras with (shock, horror) – underwire – in them.  I had wanted to find out if my incredible appetite would diminish a little once I stopped nursing.

I had a good long think about this over the few days that I was slowly withdrawing the milk.  And by this morning I came to the following conclusions:

  1. I will feed her, if she wants it, in the mornings.  (She tends not to ask for it any other time.)
  2. I will go and get fitted for an underwired bra anyway, but in a place that will understand about the breastfeeding thing, so we don’t get any issues with regard to ducts being blocked.  I will wear proper bras once more.
  3. I will not feel bad if circumstances prevent me from feeding her every morning.  This is a comfort/bonding thing now, rather than a health thing (though the health thing is still valid, of course).
  4. I will always feed on the right side first, so that the suck is not painful by the time she has the left side.  Hopefully since I am not feeding much, there will not be excessive lopsidedness.*
  5. I will feed her at other times if I want to and if she wants to.
  6. I am entitled to change my my mind whenever I want to.

Now, I am aware that in an ideal world I would continue to feed her for some time yet.  I suspect that if I didn’t have the pain on the left I would have done that anyway.  

But it reminds me of my philosophy about breastfeeding. Everyone feels so judged with almost every aspect of parenting – nobody needs that attitude.  I prefer to look at it this way – every day that you continue to nurse is a big benefit to your baby.  Stop if you want to (you don’t need a good reason).  But please, don’t stop if you don’t want to – get the support that’s out there.  Breastfed or not, if you are taking care of your own needs appropriately so that you are in a good state to love and cherish your baby, that is ultimately the most important thing for your baby.  


* And if you notice it, be kind and don’t tell me.