In the blink of an eye 

Our little boy is 2! I haven’t blogged for ages either, it’s just been a whirlwind of everything recently.. Changing jobs, studying for my wellness coaching, birthday parties and now: poorly baby. Coughing his head off so time for some blogging!

He just gets more and more amazing as every day goes by. The capability of children just blows my mind. They are these wonderfully receptive, uninhibited little bodies and they are just amazing. 

I am so glad we made the choice to be respectful parents, there is never a time that approach has
 let us down, and I really feel it’s worth the hours and hours of reading and the hard work it takes to not default to the easy reaction, to not give in to your triggers.. Especially when you are shattered and feel bad for leaving them all the time.

We have been in the wars this weekend. New wellies = inability to judge how high feet need to come when running at full kilter. He had his first experience of properly scratching his knees, and it won’t be his last. He fell flat on his face at nursery and got a nose bleed, that won’t be his last either! 

I am gutted that I didn’t get a single picture of his birthday or the cakes I made! That’s basically unheard of for me but I was so busy running around and Tom was being Leo’s comfort blanket for the first couple of hours. It went well though. Tents, balloons, food, water and chalk, what more do you need! 

So glad 

We decided some time ago, that we wanted Leo to go to forest school. Our reasons at that point were that we wanted Leo to be able to run free and feral as much as possible, because who doesn’t love being filthy and running around! 

We found one that was a little out of our way, so we couldn’t go for it logistically until either Tom or our found a new job or adjusted our hours. I have a new job, we got a second car and Tom has had more working from home days authorised, which meant we are good to go. 

When we went to meet the team, I was absolutely blown away. They handle with children in all thewya I want. Their approach is that of trust and respect, everything is explained and discussed and no matter what occurs, it is a positive learning opportunity for them. They do home cooked, proper vegan food every day and easily accommodate refined sugar free requests. They only use reusable wipes rather than disposable and just basically match all I can dream of. My only regret is that he can’t go for all of his sessions! 

Children of all ages mix together and it’s just so idilic, I’m so excited. 

He had his first settle in morning on Friday, Tom stayed and Leo basically legged it off to our play and didn’t come back until food time. Everything Tom experienced whilst he was there was so refreshing, even when there was a disagreement between clan members, it was takeout and handled in the exact way that we want. As much as I am dreading the thought of having to do difficult drop offs, I now feel that it will become a positive learning experience for Leo. 

Whilst his other nursery is brilliant, it isn’t forest school and I feel so bad that he is palmed off at nursery every day for long hours, I feel considerably better knowing that he will now have such hugely positive people to help him along. 

F%&k off with the labels 

Leo is naturally cautious with new situations. He likes to take it all in before he decides whether or not he is interested. If he is, he’s right in the thick of it. If he’s not, he’s not. 

In today’s society, there seems to be a stigma around the word shy, it seems that it is something you should be ashamed of, something you should rid yourself of by immersion and forced exposure. 

We were at a children’s party on Saturday and as expected, it was pretty frenetic. One of our more exuberant ‘friends’ was there and he came over to me and with the most pitying look and tone, ask me if Leo was OK, is he just shy? 

Mamma bear fury kicked in and he was lucky I didn’t slap the stupid out of him, there is a turbulent history that we share (I think he’s a total cock) so this won’t have helped my response a great deal. I found myself defending Leo, like there was something wrong with him. This did not help my mood. 

The fact that I let some short sighted neanderthal back me into doing something that then makes feel like I have an issue with any element of my wonder angel, infuriates me more than anything. I feel like I have let him down. 
I don’t like people labelling my child for something that is just him and nothing to be ashamed of, the thought of that hurting him is like a knife through the heart. 

Disappearance 

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been in the process of finding a new job and that seems to have taken up all of my spare headspace recently. I start at the new place in two weeks so it’s going to be a while before I find a good routine again. It’s quite good that I have struggled to settle into a routine since going back to work since Leo, it means this is going to be far less of an unheavale. 

Leo starts at forest school about a month after I start my new job, this isn’t ideal as I would have loved for him to have longer to settle in whilst I was on  my shorter working hours, but I don’t have that luxury so I am just having to be really strict with my internal control freak and just go with it for once in my life. The only thing I am achieving by stressing about it is stress! 

We were at a family wedding yesterday, Tom’s cousin, so we left Leo with my parents as he never sleeps well at Tom’s mums due to it being in the centre of town and really noisy with the windows open. We were in bed before 9pm! Leo has 3 molars coming through, so we haven’t had the best nights recently, not that we ever really have great nights! 

Give me time 

We know our little man likes to take his time to warm up to crowds, and that’s just how it is. It’s no surprise as Tom and I are totally the same. I battle with the fact that I feel it has restricted me sometimes, yet Tom doesn’t feel this way at all. It’s up to me to fight my personal demon’s and not press them onto Leo, but at the same time I don’t want him to watch life through a window: unless he wants to of course! 

We went to Geronimo Festival yesterday, he had an early snooze so that was perfect but he woke up just as we arrived. We got him out of the car into a pretty busy car park, lots of noise, people getting ready, more cars driving in, and of course the noise of the festival. He was immediately unhappy and I think it was exacerbated by being hungry, after some resistance he ate something and calmed a little but had to be carried. Once we got through bag check, we were into some animal displays and a very noisy parrot caused some upset. He stroked a ferret and stared at a massive tortoise, which helped a little, but he still wasn’t a happy camper. 
 

I’ve been happier mummy
 We moved away and over to an arena display, which he watched intently. Tom then left us to go a find our friends, just as it started to rain. I went to put his rain coat on and that opened the flood gates. He just didn’t know what to do with himself, he threw himself on the floor, threw himself out of my arms and general just unleashed all of that tension and upset. I had to just hold on to him in the end and restrain him from harm whilst I talked gently to him. After a couple of seconds in my arms, he released and cuddled in. Poor little man. 

After that, he was a different boy. Running around and going over to everything he wanted to. 

Put the f@#*ing drill down 

I fell into a trap that I swore I never would. Pushy parent with an idea that your child should be involved in something because you want them to be. I also know full well that Leo likes to take his time with things, he just doesn’t respond well to a frenetic environment. 

Yet I still felt myself getting pissed off that instead of wanting to climb, he wanted to play with a little plastic drill. I did correct my behaviour, but it was really quite a struggle for me. He came out of his shell once the rest of the kids were doing the cool down and he had space to just take his time, and he was great at it. No fear and just took to it. 

Definitely another lesson learned for me in the journey of parenthood, and possibly the one I have beaten myself up for the most.. Yes, I know I shouldn’t. But hey ho 

Sun time, fun time

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It’s been a fun few days for the family, whilst I am still struggling to shift this damned virus, it’s been good times all round.

Leo and I went off to one of the farms near here that has an amazing playground and soft play area, as well as baby animals! There are also tractors!

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Saturday consisted of a brief train ride to Delamere forest and some great fun climbing, digging, throwing leaves, hitting things and general grubbing about.  He even dared to encroach on a little gang of kids who were playing near by; this bit terrifies me as I cant bear the thought of him being rejected! I know, parents shouldn’t project their fears onto their children and rejection is just part of normal day to day life, but it doesn’t stop my heart from aching at the thought of him feeling the pain of rejection.  I am going to have to work really hard to manage moments like this though, it breaks my heart more than the feeling of personal heartbreak 😦

Strangely for me, I didn’t take any pictures of our little park jaunt this morning, but Leo spent a good chunk of his time climbing up the slide and sliding down the plank of wood that has hand grips for climbing up, good job he has a super padded reusable nappy!

 

 

Mean Mummy 

We have been taking Leo into nursery this week as mum and dad are on holiday. Every morning he hasn’t wanted to go. Tom took him on Tuesday as I was in bed with a migraine from hell, I don’t believe it was a nice experience. 

Tom had then fallen foul to whatever has got me (unsurprisingly, as Leo is sleeping terribly because of snot!) so I took him on Wednesday and today. 

I’m sure the nursery staff think I am indulgent, I sit with him whilst he cuddles me and I let him settle down on me before I encourage him to have breakfast, play with things and then eventually leave me. I worry immensely about the nursery impact, whilst I know that he gets so much positivity from playing with his peers and learning important life lessons about communication, bargaining, problem solving and conflicts to name a few: I also know that research shows a child’s cortisol levels are elevated whilst in nursery as it is, so the last thing I want to do is elevate them higher than is necessary if I can help it.  I don’t know if it works like that, trust me, if there was some way of monitoring it, I would do so obsessively! 

The main thing is, I stick to the process I am comfortable with and it works for us (I think!) and if I have learned one thing about parenting, it is this that matters, not what other people think you should do because that’s what’s been done for years. I like to understand the science and apply behaviour accordingly, so far we have a happy, chilled out little man who loves life and that’s good enough for me. 

The pain of being wanted 

Not quite as sinister as it sounds thankfully! Tom is normally does bed time as my back is just destroyed from even the smallest amount of bending into the cot. Yesterday however, Leo was adamant that I did it for nap time and bed time: who am I to turn down demanded cuddles! 

It was lovely, he told me to sit in the chair we have next to his seat and we sat rocking for ages. I actually nodded off for a while and he just lay, chilling out on me. It’s everso cute and I feel like I want to take it in turns with Tom from now on. 

However, the fall out from the lovely intimate moments like that is that I went to bed, I had shooting pains radiating from my heels and all the way up into my glutes. No matter how I lay, it wouldn’t go away and today my heels are in agony and I have stabbing pains in my ribs. 

I don’t want to miss these opportunities so I just need to keep strengthening and stretching out, yoga has definitely been helping my flexibility but it is definitely the cause of irritation in my heels. Those details are for my other blog however. 

Anyway, I fully intend to relish in bedtimes more going forward and the pain is just something to accept for now! 

Talk report

We attended the talk on mindful parenting OK Friday evening and it was great. We didn’t learn a great deal, but we did realise we are doing it the mindful way already. Obviously we knew that a what we were aiming for but that doesn’t mean that’s necessarily what you are actually achieving.

It’s been glorious weather all weekend, although with a toddler, glorious translates to a turbulent time of applying and reapplying sun block to a more than unimpressed little person who just wants to play and soak everything! Here he is on Owl ornament watering duty, that quickly descended into people watering duty. Plenty of laughter, chasing and cheekiness ensued! 

The next step of operation play time garden was completed amidst the madness, in the form of another tyre sandpit and the chalk boards. 

Two fence panels are now painted and with the help of a motorised spray gun, it shouldn’t be too long before completion. We have an expensive month this month though, so we are limited by how much we can complete. We have got to get new rear tyres for the car, but at least that comes with two additional tyres towards the rest of the creation and my boss drives rally cars and has some, so that creation can continue. Painting them may have to wait a while though!