Childsplay…

Having spent so much time with small people I often like to imagine what sort of place the world would be if we all adopted their values and behaviours…..

Election Results Day

Davey, Ed and Nick-Nick are all up at a ridiculously early hour today. All the mums and dads have said anything before 0530 is just unacceptable but the toddlers don’t care, they are having a massive play-date and they just want it to start. NOW.

“Ok, Ed”, says Davey, “let’s play Frozen. I’m Queen Elsa, who do you want to be?” Davey knows Queen Elsa is a girl but he loves the colour blue. It’s his favourite so it’s not fair for anyone else to be Elsa and get to wear blue. (Secretly, Davey is a little miffed that one of the kids at nursery, Nigel, gets to wear purple. Purple is actually his most favourite colour. It’s like Elsa blue mixed with pink. Pink is a cool colour. Bum. Oh well, at least Queen Elsa is the most important leader person in the game anyway.”)

Ed doesn’t reply though. Davey’s not sure whether Ed really wants to be friends. The other day he said they could never, ever, ever be best friends. And he said a bad word. Davey’s mum says we shouldn’t say “Hell” and that Ed was just being boisterous and trying to throw his weight around. Maybe he should be on the naughty step then.

Nick-Nick sidles up to Davey and Ed. “What are you doing?” he asks. No-one answers him. “Can I play?” asks Nick-Nick quietly. “I don’t mind who I am. I can be Anna, or even Sven if you want me to.”

Davey looks at him. “Well that doesn’t make sense. Sven isn’t even a person. You haven’t got antlers, how can you pretend to be a reindeer?” “My mummy will make me some antlers Davey” cries Nick-Nick, “pleeeease can I play? I want to play…”

It looks like the play-date is going to end in tears, as usual.

“Davey doesn’t want to be my best friend any more,” whines Nick-Nick, “it’s not fair.” He goes off in his best sulk, making sure he looks extra downcast in the hope that someone, somewhere, will give him some attention. They don’t.

“Right” says Davey in a loud, annoying voice. “This is my game. I’m going to tell you the rules, so listen.” No-one answers. “I’m going home” says Ed, “my mummy says it’s time for a nap.” Nick-Nick follows him. “Can I come too, Ed?” he asks quietly. Ed ignores him.

Davey starts to stamp his feet and it looks as though a tantrum is just around the corner. “None of my friends will play with me,” he moans, rubbing snot into his eyes. “They all said they want to go home to their mums.”

Well, Davey, his mum says, a knowing look in her eye. You were all up really early. I think we should maybe go for a nap as well as you are playing nicely or sharing with your friends and that’s not nice. Davey looks sad for a minute, then suddenly a smile lights up his face. “Ha,” he says, greedily. “That means I get to play with ALL the toys when everyone’s gone home. I win, ner-ner-ne-ner-nerrrrrr”.

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The Pox Trilogy

It’s been a while, I hear you say, but I’m sure you only had two kids. What’s with the trilogy?

March has most definitely lived up to its reputation – madness has reigned. Bimble turned two, and switched on the tantrums accordingly. Both girls have, as the title suggests, had chicken pox – a delightful experience that has taught me that you never really know your own personality (warts and all) until you become a parent. We all know and remember the spots and itching that are the chicken pox trademarks but my two darlings embraced another common symptom of this truly horrid disease: irritability. Neither is ever far from a good screaming sesh but they have both used the pox opportunity to its fullest, day and night, leading to an overtired and overwrought mummy and daddy.

And that’s where the trilogy comes in. We had Chicken Pox (Bumble), then Chicken Pox: The Sequel (Bimble) and now, with everyone pretty much back to nursery (or, in my case, laying in a darkened room trying to last until lunchtime before cracking open a bottle of red) we have Chicken Pox: The Phantom Menace (Bimble again). Despite being fully ‘scabbed’ (emergence of great new adjective in our lives) Bimble seems to have forgotten that irritability is a symptom of an illness now passed. She’s dovetailed the pox experience with her new status as a two year old and is now communicating through the medium of tantrum.

Now, I’ve never really got into the current trend for abbreviations, text-speak etc, but: OMG. Actually, no, this situation warrants an ‘OMFG’. OMFG can she tantrum. She’s fluent in this newfound language, with most sessions lasting anything up to an hour. It’s exhausting just watching, let alone having to listen and offer the occasional (refused) cuddle too.

I’m sure the poor little mite is still feeling a bit rubbish and wants to let us all know what it feels like to have the pox and all that goes with it.
I’m just glad that, whilst waiting for her to kick it out, I’ve discovered some really excellent blogs that make me feel somewhat human again (check out hurrahforgin.com) and inspired me to start writing it all down again.  Poor you!

Crocodile Panic!

I’ve not blogged for ages. That’s not because, as the title of this post may lead you to believe, I’ve been on some Amazon-based adventure trip, but actually because my life has come to resemble one of those arcade games where you are given a mallet and get to whack small mammals (usually crocs if my memory serves?) as they pop through holes in the table in front of you.

All metaphorical, of course. I haven’t really resorted to child cruelty although there may be a good case for adult cruetly on their part. No, it’s more a sense of frantically trying to maintain control over the kids (small mammals) as they investigate every cupboard, full glass of water, pile of important paperwork, dangerous item and so on (the popping out of holes bit).

This morning, I wanted to use the facilities, as should be the basic human right of every living individual. I’ve long since given up on having any peace when going through my ablutions and, since the recent successful potty training episode with Bumble (another reason for not bloggin recently; I didn’t really want to regale you all with continual stories about poo and wee) I now even get congratulations and “well done mummy, you are clever” upon completion of my act.

But this morning went a step further. I know we have a small age gap between the girls and, now that Bimble is pretty much a toddler, things are pretty difficult if they decide to scatter in different directions. Bimble still isn’t safe on the stairs so a trip to the loo, for myself or Bumble, needs to involve all of us, in a pretty small room and, therefore, the sense of Crocodile Panic starts (cue tacky music and lights flashing, hurdy-gurdy style).

Trying to use the toilet, make sure Bumble uses the toilet, make sure Bimble doesn’t put anything down the toilet and make sure Bumble’s toilet tissue does end up down the toilet is bad enough when you’re not an octopus with the reaction time of a speed camera. But doing all that while Bimble is trying to open cupboard doors, take caps off of bubble bath, drop various items into the bin, open the door or throw herslef into the bath head-first starts to feel a little difficult. And a lot like that crazy arcade game. Except I can’t whack them with a mallet, soft or otherwise. I have to coax, cajole, bribe, find alternatives to stop the inevitable tantrum if I take something away.

We emerge from the bathroom, me in something of a sweat, and I realise it’s 6.35. In the morning. I wonder absently whether it’s possible this level of energy output constitutes a workout; therefore something I can feel remotely good about, or will actually get some benefit from.

Time to head downstairs and work out how to stall them for long enough to get dressed. Grapes should do it. Or maybe I should buy the actual arcade game. They’d love it. Would keep them amused for hours. If only we had more space in the lounge….

Parenting Fail??

There are some mornings when, dare I say it, I positively ENJOY dropping my children off at nursery. Does that make me a bad parent?

It’s not even because I have something especially exciting to do with my day. No, bad mother that I am, it’s for a break from the little darlings, pure and simple.

To be fair (to me), we are currently in the middle of a horrid phase where Bimble is up and screaming at 5.30am every day. We went through this with Bumble too and now she will usually sleep until around 7am, if we’re lucky. But I am resigned to the fact that we are an early bird household; most mornings start at around 6.30am and, worryingly, I have seen both girls up and about at 5.30am a couple of times over the last week. It’s a tricky time of year, of course, with light levels at their highest and, of course, Bimble screaming the house down until she gets her morning bottle of milk really doesn’t do much for anyone that might still be sleeping.

Ironically, once everyone has been disturbed the chaos continues. Inevitably, there are now two overtired children who don’t really want to be awake. I resort (too quickly at this time in the morning) to CBeebies, which actually doesn’t even start until 6am but even that didn’t placate them this morning. Bimble took to standing right in front of me screaming and bawling but, as soon as I reached out for her, she threw herself dramatically on the floor kicking and crying and not wanting to be touched. Fifty percent of the time, this just led to me ignoring her (we try to have zero tolerance on tantrums) and the other fifty percent, when her head hit something hard as she landed, I tried again to pick her up, only to be met with flailing arms and more screaming. Our poor neighbours.

Like some sort of crazy martyr to the cause, I heard myself telling Bumble that she couldn’t watch Mr Tumble as he isn’t here on a Friday. Interesting tactic when I know that one episode of ‘Something Special’ will keep her quiet for around 20 minutes. But, seriously, I know the words to every episode off by heart – we have watched it on iplayer so many times. Instead of getting an annoying ear worm from Radio 2 during my drive to work, I find myself walking through the office humming along to the ‘Goodbye Song’ like a village idiot.

Usually I resort to snacks (they have their breakfast at nursery which saves precious time and mess at home in the mornings) just after 7am which then gives me the opportunity to go and get dressed and organised for work. But this morning, snacks were evidently the only way to go and, by 6.45am we were in danger of causing a national grape shortage. And still they screamed.

The final black mark against me and my parenting skills came when, with another yawning 20 minutes ahead of me before nursery was open and I could gleefully say goodbye, I suggested a throwing and catching the ball game. In the lounge. Bumble’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. Throwing the ball? In the lounge? Blimey, mummy is clearly off her rocker. Perhaps we should scream like this more often…

Do flowers eat eggs?

There are two reasons for my choice of headline: Firstly, it’s good practice to look for an ‘attention-grab’ in a title; choose something which requires more explanation and draws the reader in. I feel this achieves the brief in spades. Secondly, it epitomises childhood innocence and there’s the link to today’s topic.

Kids take things at face value. We’d had eggs for breakfast at the weekend and we were off to the garden centre to buy some flowers. It’s not hard to see how Bumble came up with her question. But, all too often, we adults try to overcomplicate things. Overthinking the consequences of our behaviours, worrying about our children’s development. This is in the forefront of my mind because, as usual, there is a raft of articles, videos, quotes and pictures currently doing the rounds on social media that I think are designed to make parents feel ever more guilty. (It’s also in the forefront of my mind because I am a career worrier and I do all the things I’m about to tell you not to. But that’s for another post.)

Have you noticed – could you fail to – that the do-gooders of today ply their trade through the likes of Facebook? Masquerading as the fount-of-all-parenting-knowledge, all they really do is heap more guilt on an already guilt-ridden population that are genuinely trying to do their best. Don’t tell your kids off – discuss their behaviour constructively; never shout – ask them why they think their behaviour makes you cross; be a perfect role model – your behaviour will influence them and they are always watching you; make sure you are always doing something new and exciting – they need your stimulation; leave your ipad/iphone/laptop alone and focus on them – ALL THE TIME. (The last on the list is slightly ironic, as it would appear these writers are therefore trying to switch off their own audience.)

Check your newsfeed now and I guarantee you will come across at least one silkily-worded advert about living life to the full, always being happy, being thankful, loving yourself and everyone else around you, even the nasty little burglar who’s just taken off with granny’s favourite necklace. “He was someone’s baby once, you know. He can learn from your good grace”…Using very carefully chosen language to really pull at the heartstrings they paint misty, romantic scenarios of the life you would love to live. But this painting, in my humble opinion, is a dangerous game. It’s dangerously hard to emulate their nirvana with the real stresses and strains of life as a parent, working or otherwise, and with the challenges growing children bring, not to mention the inevitable lack of sleep that provides the backdrop to most of our lives.

They purport to be ‘telling it as it is’: as parents, it is our duty to instil goodness and love in our little charges. If we so much as get angry or cross, even for a nano-second, we might be grooming the next generation’s serial killers. Ok so now I’m exaggerating: another career facet of my personality, you can see why I don’t like the perfect parents that exist in all these articles…

The advice they give isn’t even all that realistic. Yes there are elements of truth – I read a piece about not shouting at your small children. It served to make me stop and think. It even stopped me from flying off the handle as I used to a lot in the early days. I carried around a printed copy in my handbag for a few weeks, anxious to ensure I lived up to the standards that were obviously necessary to ensure your children made it safely to adulthood.

Having, therefore, reflected on the article and considered its messages for a short time, I have decided it’s time for revolution. It will not – and nor should it – stop me from giving my kids a good, stern telling off when they need it. Articles like this, whatever credentials the author claims to have, will not serve as a handbook on how to bring up my kids, or, indeed, as a hefty tome with which to bat myself over the head when I get it wrong.

Children need boundaries. And adults, well, adults are only human. We need to balance our behaviour and set good examples, of course: I would be crazy to suggest otherwise. But we also need to let ourselves react naturally sometimes, and let our children see this happening. We need to understand that being a parent is hard. It requires extreme patience, courage, compassion and a sense of humour. And sometimes, after a long day at work or a long day at home with the children, that sense of humour is most definitely at the end of the list.

These robot-like virtual busybodies wouldn’t be tolerated if they started giving out advice and guidance on bringing up your kids while you were walking around a shopping centre or visiting your local park. So why do we all ‘share’ and ‘like’ and perpetuate the anguish?

Of course, social media provides a platform in this day and age which previously didn’t exist. Anyone can be an ‘author’, a ‘writer’ and see their work in print. (And, for this opportunity, I am very grateful!) But it also means we have to recognise all those contributions for what they are: another person’s opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

As a parent, you will know that advice is always in abundance. For the most part, this comes from well-meaning friends and relatives. Ultimately it’s up to you to sift; to pick and choose what works for you and your family. There’s really only one mantra that, in my opinion, stands true: happy mum (or dad), happy baby.

If you have peace of mind, courage of your convictions and contentment that you have chosen a parenting style that works for you, then you will be happy.

If you are not scared of sometimes needing to let off steam, if you don’t drown in guilt every time you raise your voice or have your own little temper tantrum, then you will be happy.

So, what of those flowers? Well, we discussed it a little and decided that, as flowers don’t have hands, they would find it very difficult to eat eggs. But, we also decided, they are very happy. They live in a ‘bed’ – what could be better? And they have lots (and lots, in our house) of nice water to drink. Who needs eggs?

Growing our own…

Before we had children, we used to do a lot of gardening. When we bought our current house, lots of work was needed, both inside and out, but we focused on the outdoor stuff. It was so rewarding, so relaxing. We installed a raised ‘allotment’ bed and started experimenting with ‘growing our own’. In our first year we had successes with carrots, courgettes, onions and have since managed to do quite well with a few fruit trees and discovered the pure excitement and exhilaration of digging up our own potatoes. It’s actually like finding treasure. How have I got to a fairly ripe old age and not yet discovered this??

Anyway….fast forward a couple of years and along come our two little darlings.

I am becoming aware that, every time I type that sentence, my teeth are a little bit ‘gritted’. I am banging the keys on my lovely shiny new Mac a little too hard. I do love them more than anything (including digging up potatoes) but, oh my, do they dominate absolutely every activity and situation in our lives. I’m not sure we were ready for this. I’m not sure this is really what we signed up for.

Take our attempt today to plant some mini corn-on-the-cob, a courgette plant and some sugar-snap peas. Not much to ask, you may think.

Cue misty images of our beautiful children smiling up at us as they begin to learn all about nature and how wonderful it will be in a few months time when we can start to harvest from our garden and watch the vegetables go straight to our plate…. (alright, so they are aged one and two-and-a-half. The oldest one only knows the phrase ‘in a minute?’ and the youngest still thinks it’s ok to eat mud.)

That lovely time pottering in the garden; wandering around planting a few things; looking at the buds and blossom on the fruit trees; doing a little bit of pruning to tidy things up; sitting with a cuppa admiring our hard work….? Not so much.

“Mummy, why do birdies eat worms?” Bumble (two-and-a-half; name changed to protect the innocent) has discovered two wriggling worms and is holding them, tightly. “Yes” I reply, then, to try to divert tears or distress, “but that’s ok because the baby birdies need food and there are LOTS of worms.” “I find them” says Bumble, and off she toddles.

I’m planting the corn next to the potatoes (that went in a few weeks ago and have just started sprouting their leaves). Hubby has already given up on trying to cook dinner at the same time – we both need to be in the garden if we have any hope of getting anything done in a reasonable timescale.

Bimble (aged one, currently learning to Bimble all over the place, hence the nickname) is busy stabbing a small child’s garden fork into the new potato greenery. “Leave those sweetheart” I find myself saying, knowing full well the poor leaves will not be left until I pick her up and move her to the other side of the garden.

“Mummy, look, the wormies are using my kneeling pad”. Bumble is back; the worms are now rigid with fear and over-handling but are, indeed, on the kneeling pad. “Can I help?” she asks, walking across to where I have created some lovely loose soil, trampling this and the poor potatoes leaves in the process. “Careful darling” I say almost absently, wincing as I watch her step back onto more potato foliage. “Can I dig a hole for the wormies?” she asks, picking up my trowel and planting it perilously close to the small, delicate corn plants. “Careful sweetheart. There’s lots of little plants around, we need to look after them. BIMBLE, NO” I watch in horror as Bimble’s filthy hand hovers in front of her mouth, wet compost ready to be tasted.

Putting my fork down, I move to relocate her again, away from the compost and the potatoes.

“Mummy….” comes a voice from the other end of the garden. I’m struggling to remember the measurements I just worked out for planting the corn. I want to put the courgette in the middle. It’s a nod to the three sisters planting method used by native American Indians. Corn, squash, beans. We don’t have beans. Thankfully, there aren’t three sisters either – just two. “MUMMEEEEE” comes the scream now, and I realise the water butt has discharged most of its contents over the patio. “Ok, coming” I call, realising that Bimble has found an old pot from last year that is full of dirty rainwater. She’s gleefully tipping it up and watching the water slop around inside. “Try to switch the tap off Bumble, turn it the other way.” Bumble dutifully turns herself round and tries the tap again, water cascades across the patio and I break into a run. Halfway there, I see Bimble making her way purposefully across the lawn towards the potatoes and delicate, unprotected corn plants which haven’t yet been planted. “Bimble, no!” I shout as I run in the opposite direction. “Da daaaaaa mamamama” she babbles, pointing in my general direction, whilst swinging an arm wildly towards the corn seedlings that have been lined up in position for planting. I switch off the tap, turn and sprint back up the garden to rescue my poor crops. Bumble follows on, wielding her overfull watering can. I manage to reach forward and pick up Bimble, swinging her out of the way of tender young plants, just in the nick of time…..the nick of time, that is, for Bumble to stomp across the potatoes and fill all my carefully dug holes with water. My carefully planned plot is now awash with half-drowned seedlings and muddy puddles.

I’ll spare you the gory details that lead up to dinner being ready and me managing to herd the two little darlings into the kitchen for hand washing and welly boot removal. I can honestly say I was delighted to hand over the reins to hubby and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet as I tidied up and salvaged what planting I could.

As I hear so often in relation to anything to do with parenting, it is but a phase. This time will pass, and, once again, we will be able to enjoy some relaxation in the garden, Nobody will be eating mud, trying to rescue all the worms in existence or trampling our potatoes.

Until then, I guess we do get to enjoy watching two very precious little beings grow and blossom. That really is rewarding. And all our own work to boot.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute…

My problem is, I have an unforgiving number of things to do and not so many minutes available. Since I’ve been back at work I am beginning to realise that my life is, usually, spent rushing around, often trying to get things done for other people.

This morning, after packing the kids off to nursery for a couple of hours I have loaded the car with half the content of the house in preparation for our first camping trip of the year. My concerns about the night time temperatures have led to an over-abundance of children’s clothes and fleecy blankets being packed. Hopefully, as is my duty and responsibility, I will have thought of, and mitigated against, absolutely every eventuality. No pressure.

I now have about 20 minutes to spend doing something nice (like blogging)…before I am off again to collect the eldest, take her to a quick (hopefully) hospital appointment, give her lunch, head back to nursery for the little one and, once all loaded, teddies in arms, drinks and snacks in little sweaty fists, head off for our exciting trip.

Sleep wasn’t exactly in fashion again last night (smallest member of the household is teething) so all I really want to do is curl up in a little ball. Somehow, I suspect all of us in the ams tent isn’t going to make for an especially quiet or sleep-filled mini break, but, such are the joys of parenthood.

On the positive side…(I promised, you see)…I have finally realised that the only way to drink coffee is out of a large, insulated travel cup (which I am doing, despite no travelling yet having taken place). And, to boot, I am typing this on my lovely little macbook Air. Which I love. And which the children have absolutely no idea even exists. Long may that continue.

Happy Easter everyone, I hope you find the chocolate eggs before your kids do (there are some guilty pleasures we adults really should preserve for ourselves…)

Mummyem xx

Medicine for the soul

It’s been a while. Since I last wrote, life has moved on as it so blatantly does when very small people are around. I’ve missed having a blog – it’s medicine for the soul really; an opportunity to share happiness and frustration or just to write my thoughts down, almost as if to say “Really? Is that what I mean? Or am I slowly going insane?”

For me, parenting has, so far, been the source of the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life. It’s definitely one of the harder things I have attempted. Now, with full time work thrown in, it’s even more of a challenge.

So, here I am: back for more blogging. And here they are: my two little gorgeous girlies, adorning my blog page and making it, in my humble opinion, a wonderful place to be.

I am promising to be honest (sometimes painfully so…I’ll do my best to minimise the outright moaning and whining though..) and, hopefully to share my journey and my thoughts with my followers.

At the very least, I’ll try to have a positive thought for the day. Medicine is supposed to make things better, after all.

Mummyem x

 

Fond farewells….

And so it is that I find myself typing the last entry in my breastfeeding journey blog. How have the weeks and months gone so quickly? I have very mixed feelings as there have been new experiences right up until these last days. We are currently working on getting madam number two used to taking a bottle so that she is ready to feed without me when I go back to work and she is at nursery. This process was very straightforward with madam number one as she promptly drained every bottle from the first and then pretty much gave up the boob overnight. Not so simple with number two, who is a little fussier when it comes to food and milk. I have discovered that she will take a warm bottle but I have had the more pleasurable experience of being able to continue feeding her for the first and last feed of the day and through the night as she is happy to mixed-feed. More pleasurable, that was, until last night. 

During the last couple of days and nights, she seems to have been struggling with teething more than usual and we are waiting on the top front teeth – the bottom ones appeared nearly two months ago so more must surely be due. During the bedtime feed, which is usually fairly short and uneventful as madam drops off predictably every night, she became very fussy and wriggly and, after several boob loads of milk I suddenly found myself howling ‘ouch’ and putting her down in her cot very swiftly. Lucky the cot was there as I am not sure this was a fully conscious action – the full-on bite had occupied all of my thoughts and, even after she broke her heart crying, and I picked her straight back up for a cuddle, I could feel the throbbing pain and knew this wasn’t just a little nibble. I’ve known many people who have struggled with biting but never needed to worry with my first; food was far too important to her to mess around with biting.

Having not yet fully established bottle feeding, I then had to face further feeds during the night – although later inspection showed they would only be from my uninjured side as madam had managed to draw blood and I would need some time to heal.

Luckily all the nighttime feeds passed without incident – I assume she was too sleepy to be bitey too – and now it’s back to the bottles today, but, I am afraid to say, with a new resolve from me.

I really don’t enjoy the end of breastfeeding and having to introduce formula and all the faff that comes with using bottles but this latest experience makes me think it’s as good a natural break as any for both of us. I have given my girls the very best start in life – feeding them both until around seven or eight months old – and certainly until they were well established on solids and I therefore felt less obsessed with sticking to breastmilk only.

It has been, without doubt, one of the most emotional and meaningful things I have ever done. It follows naturally, in my mind, from the wonder of having created your very own unique human being, to then nourish and enable that little person to thrive. It didn’t come easily at the beginning but I persevered, with a lot of support from my husband and local breastfeeding group, and I am so glad I did. Although I am sad to be saying goodbye to this era of my little ones’ lives, I can’t deny that there is a little butterfly of excitement when I think I will be gaining a little bit of myself back, able to buy new clothes that don’t have slits for feeding and able to head off out with either one of my children or even on my own…

Becoming a mum is an amazing experience but it is one that is full of sacrifice and soul-searching. That isn’t meant to sound negative, just that, for women especially, there is an in-built desire to do the very best you can for your little bundles and, right from the time you emerge from the loo with that scary but precious positive testing stick, you are giving up your body, your own nourishment for a time, and a very large portion of your own mind, feelings and thoughts. I’ll never forget breastfeeding and I’ll never stop thinking about my kids and putting them first but I am looking forward to having my own body back for the first time in my nearly three-year-long journey of pregnancies and feeding.

Thanks to all my readers, thank you for your comments along the way and for the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. I hope I have helped some of you in those lonely moments too – and also in the happier moments – I hope your journeys are long and happy ones and that, when they end, you go on to enjoy the fantastic experience of parenting your little people.

Mummyem xxx

One less thing to pack…

Holiday preparations are underway. With the chaos of the little people being added to the mix, I have started at least a week before we fly. Although we are going to a very family-friendly resort, and I’m hoping there will be no shortage of fresh fruit and veg which will be perfect for the littlest little one to eat, I am still arming myself with a range of food pouches. It just seems the least stressful approach to me but it takes up valuable space in the suitcase and I have a faint worry that we will arrive and unpack only to find our clothes soaked in a wonderful vegetable medley.

I’m so glad I’m breastfeeding at a time like this. It’s a whole lot less worry not having to use local water to mix with formula, find space for those gigantic formula tins in the case, or worry about cleaning and sterilising bottles and it (hopefully) gives me something to use to our – and all the other passengers – advantage on the plane. I have heard feeding during take-off and landing helps babies to avoid popping ears and it’s obviously a good distraction and general comfort should we need it.

I’m adjusting my expectations regarding any relaxation and rest that might be available while we are away, My last blog post did indeed jinx our lovely long sleep-filled nights. Number two is now waking every couple of hours and seems to be favouring much earlier mornings than she used to. Couple that with number two continually waking before 6am and you have two very tired parents.

So basically, the littlest of us has one new toy (to be produced for novelty factor on the plane) and two boobies to keep her amused. The biggie smalls has one notepad, one pack of crayons, one set of ink stamps (I’m thinking this could get interesting as a planeload of people arrive at their destination sporting horse and bumblebee tattoos on their hands – she’s big on inclusion, our toddler…), one ‘read and build’ book and duplo combo and a plethora of funny shaped snacks and treats. And all of our fingers and toes are crossed for at least some peace and quiet…..