Yesterday was my son’s first gym class. I was both excited and anxious. Why? Although he has just turned five, he has separation anxiety. It is an expected stage in children’s psychological development, typically from 9-24 months. Leo is 60 months. Even I can do the maths. In babies, when parents leave and they cry it can be a sign of a healthy attachment to caregivers. When they are older hopefully children understand that their parent will always come back. It seems Leo doubts my commitment.
Sodding Bowlby. I wish I hadn’t read the books. I wish I had trained to be a yoga teacher.
I overthink, I berate myself, did he go to nursery too young? Am I crap at being a mummy? Little boy has a stable family life and oodles of love and reassurance…The optimist in me thinks, well this is proof he likes you.
We arrived in town well in time and I parallel parked (badly) without dragon breathing. We went in search of sustenance and to pay a cheque in (‘good’ mummy would have brought snacks). With little legs I forgot things take double time (brain swear). I arrived at the bank sweating, piggy backing three stone of grinning child who had got bored of walking after two minutes. A sandwich was purchased. Ham, his favourite. We trotted off to find the gym club with me carrying 4 bags and Leo skipping behind singing to his sandwich. Predictably I got confused, relying on Google maps, chatting to him in my favoured third person. ‘Silly mummy likes to get lost, can you tell me which way left is?’ I sounded like the goddess of calm, inside I was chilly with panic. Being late is a pet hate and I didn’t want him to have to walk in mid-session.
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This is what came out of my beautiful blue eyed boys’ mouth the other night. It was bedtime, no actually it was 45 minutes past bedtime and Leo and I were in a Wild West type standoff. No firearms, just the imminent threat of poo. In short, he needed the toilet, would he go to the toilet? No, because the seat was colder that he would prefer it to be.
A better mummy would have sweetly got a hairdryer and warmed the toilet seat up straight away. I, being tired after a long day marvelled at my sons ridiculousness, got down to his level and calmly said, ‘darling if you need a number 2 it is important you go or you will hurt your tummy.’ Then put my hand on the toilet seat just to demonstrate he was talking utter crap.
He crossed his arms resolutely. ‘No it’s cold.’
I then decided this must be one of his many ploys to not go to sleep, like, ‘mummy my duck is speaking to me’, or ‘my socks are on backwards’, or ‘there is a monster dog called Harold in my cupboard’. I felt a little bubble of mummy frustration brewing, I was desperate for some peaceful adult time where I could stare at the wall with a cup of tea. I picked him up, carried him to bed and whispered, ‘Ok if that is your choice darling, it is bedtime’. Screaming erupted, it is surprising how someone so small can make such an outrageous noise. Thank god our house is detached. Writhing and complaining he needed a poo I tucked him in and sung his favourite lullaby…again. I backed out of the room and went and sat on my bed, waiting, knowing, resigned that tonight was going to be a battle.
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WIN one of your very own @Bakerdays fantastic 5” Letterbox Gift cakes modelled by my little man! You get cake via post… WHAT COULD BE MORE AMAZING?!
Almost a year ago I moved cities. It was for many reasons, to move in with my partner, to be in a better area for my little one…I thought I had planned and considered everything, prepared myself and was excited for the change. In reality I found myself feeling lost in a new place away from my friends and familiarity. I did not know where the local parks were for sliding, the nearest woods for welly walking, the swimming pool for splashing and wearing oversized Spiderman trunks. I found Aldi in the first week but there is only so much fun we can get out of a supermarket.
Leo was soon to be starting school and I was desperate to find some local clubs so he could make some friends and burn off some of the hyperactive, you-moved-my-life-around-and-now-I-am-unsettled energy. I have always been a promoter of kiddy groups, whether baby, toddler or preschool and they have been a valuable parental resource. Especially those with free caffeine. Your little ones develop social, motor and cognitive skills, attending promotes emotional development, self-control, and they learn to communicate, to share, to follow instructions. I hoped going would provide little man with some much needed structure.
We eventually found a park 3 weeks later…
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Online networking sites have changed the landscape of friendship. I belong to a tribe, no mother I have not moved to Africa and not informed you. By some stroke of luck in my first few befuddled Twitter days I was enticed onto the lovely Katie’s @Tutumummy website by one of her numerous scrumptious recipes…because I love the cake. There I saw her add for a tribal support network…I automatically thought, cool do we get spears!?
That was just over 3 weeks ago.
I have never met these women (or potentially very empathetic 40 year old men living in their mum’s basements) but regularly I share with them my innermost feelings, struggles, successes and take joy in theirs. Their compassionate responses and support are unforced, without motive and given with no promise of reward. When children are sick at 2 am and you feel like you are the only one awake in the world, suddenly, you are not. You can see your own hardships reflected in your tribesters and only want to offer comfort and words of reassurance. There is a regular abundance of witticisms about wine and cake. They are just like me; parents who are battling through the parenting jungle that are exhausted, with keen humours and are knee deep in poo and nursery rhymes.
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Once upon a time…
…There was a little boy who did not want to be an artist; he preferred to be a superhero, explorer, pirate, Lego builder extraordinaire. He was a creative chap, loved to question what colours are made when mixed; but excepting a couple of occasions at school, he never asked to draw a picture. His mummy’s fridge was looking barren. She simply thought it was a lack of interest; at home they had a plethora of wax crayons, pencils, paint and pens. They tried to make pictures fun, had even tried drawing with their feet! Mummy, as someone who loved colours and creations felt a little flutter of disappointment, but knew her little boy was his own person. So she put her colouring pencils away in a draw and hoped he would one day come to love them like she did.
One morning mummy and Leo received the most amazing pack from BIC Kids who have very cleverly created a DrawyBook app and colouring story book, designed for children from 5 to 10 years old.
There was FINALLY actual palpable, shiny-eyed excitement about drawing from the little boy….so mummy decided to stop talking in the third person and give this product the marvellous review it deserved…
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Careful Mummy I am listening! Always listening.
I am a supporter of the adult swear. For the cathartic times when you stub your toe, or the inaudible whisper under your breath when your child writes on the wall in bright red permanent marker. I don’t swear at my son, the thought upsets me as, notwithstanding teaching him that you should respond in anger, I would not want to shame him or belittle his delicate and precious self-esteem. I am not Santa or the ‘perfect’ parent. Sometimes I do brain whisper, ‘you little bugger at him’, and I would be lying Pinocchio style if I said he had never heard me swear. The lovely Occupation (m)other wrote a great post on swearing and expressed, much more wittily and eloquently than I, my feelings around the topic. You will giggle tea out of your nose, check it out https://goo.gl/8jX36j.
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Two days a fortnight…
Friends urge me to drink copious amounts of wine when my little boy visits his dad. I can go to the cinema, or to the pub; on a weekday. I went to bed at eleven last night and slept ALL night. I will not lie and say that the freedom to put on makeup and go to work without porridge in my hair isn’t nice. Things are peaceful and relaxed, and god do I need a rest.
But I am not the person I was before mummy hood, who had hour long bubble baths and could watch an entire Netflix series in a night. Pre-parent you do not appreciate the freedom of time; it goes so slowly and smoothly. Not in an endless battle to put on shoes or eat peas. Yet now without my son, whilst I relish this me time, I find myself glancing at the clock and wondering how long it will be until he is home. I miss him. I am happy; getting to spend some much needed and enjoyed time with my other half. We eat food that is not beige. But there is an empty space in the house, a shouty, cape-wearing three foot hole.
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I was asked if I would like to review one of @Bakerdays fab 5” Letterbox Gift cakes. The concept is like tasty witchcraft, I had never heard of ‘post cake’ as my son calls it..I wondered how on earth it would survive intact and not be drier than an old boot. There are LOADS of different personalisation choices to choose from, for every occasion possible..Easter, Mothers Day…EMOJI! Cake of the future. I of course fell in love with an obscure but totally adorable moustached cat. You can also choose the flavour, we went with vanilla because my son is a selective sponge eater. Allergies?? You can have your cake and eat it as they have Gluten and Wheat free options.
The postage is lightening McQueen quick; they can do next day delivery if you order before 2pm. Leo sat with his mouth under the letterbox (though we were unkind adults and made him wait for his birthday. There was glowering.) No annoying red note was left to say come get it from the post office..no no!It is in the most unassuming box, which I like as if you have done it as a surprise gift it looks like someone has just sent a plain parcel.
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I have been nominated for this awesome blogger to blogger award twice previously by the lovely Colley wobbles https://colleyswobbles.wordpress.com and Loz and the sprog http://www.lozandthesprog.com/ but in my newbie gormless way got very flattered, then very confused, then put it on my ‘to do’ list until I had a) made a blog b) figured out what the flip flop I am doing. So I have gone Liebster mad and answered the 30 questions in total given to me by the lovely ladies…You probably don’t even want to know quite that much about me! The fantastic Northern mam most recently nominated me who I give a big digital hug to https://theblatheringsofanorthernmam.wordpress.com. Everyone’s rules are a little different but you get the idea. I found that a Liebster goes hand in hand with a nice glass of red…it can be Ribena or wine whatever takes your fancy.
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