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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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Cranky Pants (Not Really)

I think Henry is teething. He’s being a little cranky pants lately, and a little cheeky rascal! He screams as if he’s in pain, not the normal I-want-something moan. It’s higher pitched and more urgent. And he’s slobbering like nothing I’ve ever seen. Saying that, he still tries his best to be cheerful. He laughs when you play with him – he’s still the good-natured little bubs that he’s always been. And he loves being tickled!

I’ve invested in a tube of Baby Bonjela Teething Gel, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. It soothes him even if it is only a distraction. He has a really hard bite now, too. Deceptively hard for something so small and innocent.

Then he’ll look up at you, his eyes all wide with a cheeky grin flashing across his face, and he knows he’s adorable. He knows he can get away with anything.

 

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Double Milestone Day

The day before yesterday, Henry decided to surprise us both by showing us that he is growing up. I was in our bedroom, and my other half was in the nursery, presumably changing Henry’s nappy. I could hear over the baby monitor the sound of them playing together and having a morning chat.

‘Henryyyy. How are you this morning?’

‘Babababababa.’

‘Oh, really? So you had a nice sleepy, did you?’

‘Dadadadadadadada.’

‘Can you say dada?’

‘Daddy.’

‘Did you just say daddy?’

‘Daddy.’

And so it went, that mum lost the race to be the first ever distinguishable word to be spoken by our son. And I was so proud of him that I didn’t even care. Henry’s daddy and I were both grinning like idiots for the rest of the day. What a clever boy!

But just a few hours later, with Henry crawling around the floor, I turned around to see him clinging onto the edge of the tv unit, standing up. He’d pulled himself up from crawling position for the first time on his own. Once he’d figured out how to do it, he repeated this on the side of the sofa, and decided that standing was far better than crawling.

He’s becoming a little boy right before our very eyes. He’s not even eight months yet, and he’s doing all this. I can’t believe how quick it’s going, but I am very proud of him. Now I get why people go on and on about their children. I don’t mind in the slightest indulging other parents in this anymore! It’s just the best feeling, there really is nothing like being a parent.

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Worst Advice

As a mum-to-be, a new mother, or even an experienced one, people tend to throw well-meaning advice at you from every direction. There are obviously those you will automatically pay more attention to; your own mother, the health visitor, midwives, doctors and alike. There is one bit of advice I’ve received from everyone I have ever spoken to about children, including strangers that stop you in the street to coo over the new arrival. It is to simply ‘enjoy it’.

You hear time and time again, ‘make the most of it, it goes too fast’ or ‘they grow up so quick’. This is very true, the last seven and a half months have flown by, and I’m sure it only speeds up. I sometimes catch my mother looking at Henry with an element of nostalgia, as if she wishes in some way that she was back there, with the baby me in her arms again. I know there is always another development to be proud of. If it’s not their first steps than it is learning to go poopy in the toilet or first day of school – all the way to first day of university or first job, weddings and grandchildren.

The only problem with being told to enjoy it all the time, is that I ended up being so worried about making the most of it that I forgot to actually enjoy it. It’s the same effect as having a camera at a live show, or on holiday. I’ve often found I get so wrapped up with memories that the experience itself is often overlooked. Spending too much time worrying about taking photos can lead you to only see life through a lens. Remembering to touch, smell, hear and feel is the key. Henry has such soft skin, such a beautiful baby smell, makes adorable little noises, and gives such amazing cuddles.

I think I’ve been overly obsessed with recording the present, for the future me to look back on. What would I really prefer though? A mass of photographs or one precious memory of the time I hugged him and he hugged back and we both knew we loved each other and that I made him feel safe and warm and he made me smile and I felt truly happy.

I am really enjoying it; looks like I took their advice after all.

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The Adventurer in Him

Henry has decided that, as he can now move around of his own accord, it is about time to start causing some mischief. Today, he has found himself in previously uncharted territory (otherwise known as the kitchen). He also has decided that, while his daddy was playing xbox, he wasn’t getting enough attention. The solution to this was to crawl over to the television, press the big power button, and turn around with a cheeky grin on his face. Message received, Henry!

It’s impossible to be at all annoyed with his cute, little antics though. He makes me laugh at him all day long, and I have so much fun with him.

He’s been crawling for about a week now, and has an attraction to wires and curtains, phones and cupboards. I do love my little rascal, and how I have to take him to the bathroom with me now…

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Baby on the Move!

Yesterday, Henry decided that he wanted to play with a toy that he couldn’t reach. And then he realised that he could just move forward. Of course, when he realised that, he decided that he didn’t want that particular toy anymore. He wanted to crawl over to the wires behind the television and put them in his mouth. He wanted to see what was under the sofa, and on the window sill. And he wanted to investigate everything.

I really need to baby proof properly. We spent a while going round, decluttering and removing dangerous objects from the reach of little hands. However, that isn’t enough now. We need to get those little hook things for our kitchen cupboards, the clips to put the tv on the wall, and a packet of plug socket protectors.

He’s still going relatively slowly at the moment, which I know won’t last long. He’s still wobbling about and unsteady, but I’m thankful for this, because it’s been two days and I’m already pooped.

It’s crazy how quickly this has come along. I say it all the time, but it didn’t seem that long ago that we were thinking about what cot we wanted to chose for him and what name he was going to have.

And now he’s crawling. My little boy, he’s growing up.

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Funny Baby

It really makes me laugh when Henry has hiccups and it shakes his whole body. His head gets thrown back and he gets out of breath. It’s just too cute.

Also when he sneezes, the force of the sneeze catches him unawares and propells his body back, as if he were a little jet-powered baby for a second. I’m sure he doesn’t know what I’m laughing at but he quickly joins in anyway!

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Weddings and Babies; Fun in a Suit

We went to a lovely wedding yesterday. A couple of our close friends married on a beautiful day, with lovely hot, sunny weather and it was glorious. My other half was best man, so we decided to dress Henry in equally suitable attire (pardon the pun). When we dressed him after his lunch to avoid the main bulk of dribble and mess, we couldn’t stop giggling at him. He just looked too adorable in his little suit and shirt, complete with baby velcro tie. We had to remove his suit jacket, as I mentioned before about the weather being so incredible. Also the tie did eventually become a chew toy, and completely covered in slober, but it was worth the £38 spent in BHS, just for the single photograph below.

 

 

Henry was very good during the ceremony also. He only got a little grisly near to the end when I just stepped outside, and then had to leave quite abruptly after because the amount of strange faces spooked him a little. Other than that though, he behaved very well, and I am so proud of him! We had a wonderful day, and now I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate the two newlyweds and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

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Photographs & Facebook Friends

I’m one of those people who hate photographs of themselves. Sometimes I’ll get an okay-ish one and feel alright to have it floating around on facebook, but normally I’m a camera dodger.

Having a baby may lead you to believe the camera will be firmly fixed on the most lovely looking thing in the room (and I don’t mean my beautiful, new, ivory, lace boots I just bought for a friends wedding) but this is certainly not the case. You hear the dreaded words ‘and one of you all together’ and immediately think ‘one for the private album’. There’s nothing that makes you feel as rotten as looking and feeling like you do when you’ve just had a baby, and then having a camera shoved in your face by a well-meaning relative.

Having said that, I am glad that the occasion is well documented, and I wish I had taken more photos while I was pregnant. I just hope that people don’t decide to post them on the internet before consulting me. It’s like the time I sent a personal text to everyone in my life I felt I wanted to tell at the time when Henry was born. Then it immediately started popping up on facebook, against my wishes. Congratulations poured in from pretty much everyone on my facebook.

I sound ungrateful, but it was our time as a family, and not a time for our ex’s to get back in touch after a horrific break-up to wish us well. But once it’s done, it’s done, and I had to go along with it.

I’m far more open about it now, but I didn’t want my son to turn into gossip. He deserves more than that. I know a couple of the people I told at the beginning did just that and spread the news as if it were cheap and frivilous. I will never tell them personal information again, as long as I live.

You learn a lot after the event. About how there maybe 300 odd friends on your facebook saying ‘I have to come and meet him’ and then they do, perhaps once or twice and then nothing.

I guess they think I’m too busy for friends, when the truth is that everybody needs friends whether you’re busy or not.

I’m lucky though. I still have those few that will always be there for me, who make the effort and will be standing by my side when I say my vows.

And it’s those few, who I truly love.

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Keeping In Touch: First Day of Work

I had my first day back at work yesterday since having Henry. It was really hard to say goodbye in the morning, but once I was there, I had a great day. I missed Henry, of course I did, but when you’re busy it doesn’t feel as long as eight hours plus travel. It feels like two minutes, so it wasn’t as terribly awful as some people had built it up to be. I actually quite enjoyed it. I love my job, which is more than most people can say, and it was nice to have a break. I don’t feel guilty saying it, because after a day at work, I can come home and be a better parent to Henry as I’ve missed him so much. I want to play with him and cuddle him and change his nappy and feed him and do all the things I missed out on doing that day.

My other half did an amazing job being at home on his day off too. Not only did he keep Henry clean, dry, well fed, interested and happy, he also kept the house tidy, managed to take Henry out and even rearranged the furniture to make it more baby-safe. I think I’m marrying a superdad. He’s brilliant. Oh, and he cooked dinner (which was delicious!) and bought ice-cream for dessert. I could really get used to this. Maybe being a working mum isn’t so bad…

Besides, there is nothing better than walking in the door in the evening and seeing your baby playing happily on his daddy’s lap, smiling and laughing. Then he turns when he sees you and gives you the biggest grin in the world. In that moment, it’s perfect.

I wouldn’t change a thing.