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Being naughty

Henry now has an obsession with the following items:
The sky box
The telly
The wires connecting the sky box to the telly
My phone
My keys
Every other object I’d rather he didn’t touch.

Now I don’t understand why he can’t play with his (millions of) toys. He’s like a moth to a flame with forbidden things.

I guess it’s natural curiosity and that he just wants to learn and be “grown-up”, and I’m sure all toddlers are the same.

He will do something like, knock something over, pull a wire so something falls or drop delicate items and turn to me and say very clearly “uh-oh”.

Now how can I discipline a cutie like that? It’s hard, I’ll tell you that.

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Tantrums, fishes and early morning alarms

We’ve crossed over into trantrum territory of late. Henry has learnt the word ‘no’, and uses it very forcefully when faced with food he doesn’t like, safety straps he doesn’t think necessary and when he’s too busy playing to have his nappy changed.

He’s a little pickle. I love my little handful, but those tears are not from hurt or hunger or something easy to defuse. They are definitely I-want-that-now tears, or let-me-do-this tears.

And how do you stop this kind of behaviour?

I don’t give in to his demands, but in public, when you get the cold stares and looks of disgust, it’s hard to refrain from giving him what he wants just to keep him happy. But I know that it’s for the best in the long run.

On the other hand, Mr Pickle has progressed again in his speech and social development. He can now say ‘fish’ when he sees them (or a picture of them in his books), and he now waves and says ‘bye’ and ‘b-bye’ when leaving people or places. He also, upon visiting his nana, walked proudly into her house saying ‘it’s me!’ and giving her a massive grin.

He’s turning into a little boy, before my very eyes. He’s still a little tot though. He decided it was playtime at half past five this morning, waking up, full of beans. In the car though, only three hours later, he conked out. I managed to get him out of the car and carefully onto the sofa at his childminder’s without him stirring.

He’s a big boy now, but even big boys need their sleep.

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Poorly chap

I thought he was just a little cranky. Babies go in phases of moods, just like adults, and we are extremely lucky to have a very happy munchkin. Lately, he’s been a little more challenging. A few times, I have had to call for backup as there was just no calming him down. We took him to the doctors on more than one occasion with a slight temperature, a chesty cough, a blocked nose, unsettled and after the day that I spent 8 hours cuddling him because he didn’t want to move except to drink his milk. A mother knows when something is wrong, but we kept getting sent home, told it was a virus and to give him calpol. Thankfully, after a couple of tough, sleepless weeks, he seems to be better apart from the cough.

But now I know how bad it was for him. And it was horrible. I came down with this same virus, and it felt like my head was being ripped apart. I couldn’t even move for a couple of days because  of the pain. It lasted at least two weeks. I have no idea how Henry put up with it. He had every right to fuss as much as he did, and he’s only a little baby. I have to remember in the future to be more understanding. He is a little trooper.

At least it didn’t last and it could be a lot worse. Illness is part of having children and while they are so little it seems as if they are always poorly.

But we are very lucky. In the scheme of things, feeling poorly for a while is nothing. There are people who are coping and dealing with far more. These things stick in my head when I hear about them, and I feel so honored to even have my healthy baby boy by my side. The news is too littered with stories of tragedy and wrongdoing.

If the last two weeks have taught me anything, it is that I worry too much, and I need to start appreciating what I have now, while I have it. He won’t be this young for long.

I’m going to take him for a walk today. He likes walking, and he needs his practice. It’s looking sunny-ish so we might put our coats on and head for town. Coffee shops and soft play definitely are a mother’s saviour.

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Vaccinations

They are horrible things, vaccinations.

It is never nice to see the thing you love the most in this world in pain. And it is worse knowing that you are making them sit there.

But it is for their own good. Let’s be frank about it; the disease/infection it is designed to prevent is always a whole lot worse than a tiny little needle and a second of discomfort.

And with a fall in parents taking their beloved for the immunisations offered for free comes a rise in the illness we are trying to prevent. It means that the risks are real.

Please, take your baby to their appointments.

Further reading

Whooping cough outbreak 

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Fever and Karina

I’m ill.

It’s difficult being ill when you got a little one. I think back to all those times I used to just curl up on the sofa, while my mum would bring me soup and wet flannels. I wouldn’t even have to put them on my own head. It’s nice to have someone to look after you.

But it’s all different when you are the parent. There is someone dependant on you, who (in the early stages) doesn’t quite understand that no, you can’t play with them all the time and no, you can’t go to the park today. Quite frankly, it’s a miracle you stumbled out of bed when your throat feels like it’s on fire – matching the rest of your feverish body – and a cough that could bring the house down. I feel so weak.

But really, it’s only glandular fever. It’s not going to kill me. I will get better in a relatively short period of time. There will be no lasting complications, no ‘what if’ and no wondering if I will be around, because I will be.

I was reading the news as usual this morning, as I came across the tragic story of Karina Menzies, just 32 years old, who was one of the victims of a hit-and-run. It wasn’t an accident. It was an act of madness, evil and cruelty beyond comprehension. The story goes that she sacrificed her life for that of two of her children who were with her as the van aimed for the pedestrians on a fire station forecourt. Her children are aged 23 months and eight. She died because in an instant she knew what she had to do.

It’s just awful and heart-wrenching. I know that I would do the same in a situation where it was my life of my son’s. I know that I would save him no matter what without a moments hesitation.

Such is a mother’s love. It is unfaltering in its strength.

Read the full story here.

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Finding Hours

It seems as if it is getting harder to find the time to sit and write. Or do anything really.

I am all too aware of the time that is taken up by the things that have to be done – working, cooking, cleaning – but now there is a new leech on time that often takes over, and I’m not even talking about having children to run around after. It’s technology.

I reap the benefits of blogging, when I can actually find the time, but there are some more pointless and unfortunately very addictive sides to being in the tech generation. One example of this is my oh-so-brilliant smartphone. I loved this when I first got it. I’m sure everyone does, it’s very exciting getting a new gadget to play with. Henry was excited about getting a new chew toy too.

The problem is, with all these apps and unlimited texts and wi-fi is that I struggle to put it down. It gets to the point where I have to go and put it in the other room to stop myself picking up, not through boredom but habit, and mindlessly scrolling through facebook and twitter. It is a lot easier to manage your facebook use when you can only log in on your laptop. The fact that it is always there is haunting me. It is ridiculous when it starts eating into the quality time I am spending with the little man.

It’s more than ridiculous. It’s disgraceful.

I don’t use it more than is necessary now until Henry has gone to bed. I’m only writing this now as the bubs is in bed and I have one of those rare moments to myself. I continue to get shocked by the parents taking their children to the park and just ignoring them while on phones. The toddlers and young children with ipads. What is wrong with a storybook and a cuddle?

I can understand schoolchildren with laptops for homework but I cannot understand a baby with an iphone.

If you want to discuss this further, you can catch me after 7pm, because before that time I will be giving Henry my undivided attention.

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Festival Baby

I took Henry to a festival the first weekend of August. It was a long-ish drive, two and a half hours, and he slept the whole way there.

It was a child-friendly music festival, and there were a lot of kids running around hyper on ice cream and sunshine. It was an absolutely brilliant day, despite the fact that I had forgotten Henry’s ear defenders purchased especially for the occasion. I didn’t really mind being confined to the child section; there was a Rastafarian playing acoustic guitar and singing reggae versions of popular nursery rhymes. What more could you want?

I think Henry enjoyed most of it. He seemed really fascinated by the musical instruments and water pit. He’s always really interested in other children as well.

Then it was time to sleep in a tent, and after a day of excitement and not one single nap, he was always going to struggle. I sat up until four in the morning cradling him so he could sleep because every time I put him down he woke up and screamed. It was dreadfully cold too, and even though I had brought with me a mountain of blankets, I had to concentrate to stop shivering. No one complained about the racket Henry was making and I’m sure everyone else understood the situation. One kind man accompanied by his wife and kids helped me carry the pushchair through the maze of tents saying “We’ve all been there”. But I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the other families in quiet camping having to listen to Henry screaming. So at four I decided that I really needed some sleep and packed up and drove home.

I was in bed by seven.

I really want to go next year. I will plan better though. I will bring Henry’s dad with me (he was working this time) and he will be a year older and hopefully toddling around, if not running, by then. I will be better prepared with food and blankets and I will relax a bit more.

I want to thank the friends I went with though. They were ever so helpful. When Henry gets his grump on though, nothing can stop it. The stubborn little cutie pie.

Next year will be awesome. Eight months old and already a little festival goer.

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Odd Feelings

You know that strange feeling you get when you wear your watch on the wrong wrist, when you buckle your belt in the opposite direction, or brush your teeth with the other hand? That’s what it’s like to return to work after having a baby. It’s the same work as before, the job hasn’t changed, but everything feels different.

It’s the first taste of my former life, the first since the whirlwind that is Henry came and swept my life away and turned it into something new.

I do love it, but it’s still something I will have to get used to. I know that Henry doesn’t really approve of my employment currently. He would definitely prefer it if I stay by his side constantly to play, feed and clean him. However, he does need to learn to cope without me for a short while, and I know he is going to be just fine.

It won’t be long before he’s saying ‘no, mummy, I want to stay here’ when horrible mummy tries to come and take him away from all the fun he’s having!

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The Big Decisions

Becoming a parent comes with an untold amount of responsibility. There is someone dependant on you, for everything. Signing consent forms is another horrible one. You know that the injections are for the best, but signing your name under the field marked ‘parent/guardian’ makes you stop and think all the bad things that could happen if say, he had a reaction to the treatment…

Another of the less important decisions to make (but still just as hard to come to a conclusion on) is this scenario; he falls asleep in his highchair. Do you leave him to sleep in what looks like an uncomfortable position, or do you attempt to move him to his cot and possibly wake him up in the process? I still don’t know, and it has become quite a regular occurance of late. Since he’s started eating so much more, when he gets full, he gets sleepy too. Like me after an all-you-can-eat carvery.

Henry is one of those babies who really struggles to go to sleep. He fights it, even when he is clearly tired. He just wants to stay awake all day so he doesn’t miss a single thing. And I just wanted some time for a cup of tea…

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Continued Weaning, New Tastes

We tried Henry with apple today, and he absolutely loved it. I don’t think we are going to have much of a problem trying to get Henry to eat new things. We’ve also given him a little formula in a beaker as he refuses the bottle now, and he drunk a bit of it. I’m going to try him on it every day, and see if I can get him to replace a daytime feed with formula, and gradually build up to only breastfeeding at night and first thing in the morning.

If this goes well, it will give me a little more freedom, so Henry can be babysat in the day. I might even be able to get my manicure that I was supposed to get as a little anniversary treat nine months ago…

He was a little upset afterwards though, and was fussing for the breast, but he will learn if I just keep at it, at the same kind of time each day. I feel guilty when he gets upset, but it’s best for the both of us to get him used to this now, rather than it be a big shock when I go back to work.

And it’s not like I’m giving up breastfeeding entirely. Combination feeding works well for a lot of working mothers, as well as a way to wean him slowly off the breast. It’s funny how most of the time (or when I make any big changes like this) I really want someone to follow me around and confirm that I’m doing the right thing. I guess it’s natural to want the best for your baby though, and I shouldn’t feel guilty choosing what is right for us. Besides, I’m probably stressing a lot more about everything than Henry is. He’s just happy playing with his soft toy zebra, and practising rolling over.

Which he is getting unbelievably good at. I will have to watch out or he’ll roll right into trouble.