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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
And daddy, but it would ruin the alliteration! We are off to a talk about mindful parenting in town and I am currently sat waiting for Tom to finish work and thought I would treat myself :
It’s only a shandy, so thats OK.. Sort of! It’s been a tough week and I deserve it.
The little dude is with Mamaa and G-Pops tonight and we will undoubtedly miss him terribly as always! The thought of a night off always seems exciting at the time, but when you have gotten to the point where your lives are just merged so seamlessly, the reality is you miss the other part of you so much, you tend to not do it all that often. Tom and I are like that with each other, so it’s not a new thing to us! Massive babies basically.
We are off to 1847 for tea, pretty excited about that. It will be the first official vegetarian/vegan restaurant we have been to so we are intrigued by how creative it could potentially be.
The talk is being run by Brahma Kumaris which is a group that class themselves as a spiritualist movement. As much as I regularly read about mindfulness and inner peace, I have never actually been to a talk like this, so I am really looking forward to it.. And it’s free, bonus!
It’s the little man’s second spring and what a difference a year in the life of a little person makes.
Here he is loving his sand pit last year, we were still living with Grandma She-She and G-Pops then.
A beautiful April then and a beautiful April again this year.
We are in our own home and Leo is well and truly into the boundaries stage: and still loving the sand! He wasn’t so sure about the cold on his little bare tootsies at first.
He soon got into the swing of things though! You will have to excuse my wet knees, I forgot how to adult whilst playing with him and kept spilling my drink all down me!)
I have some pretty grand ideas about how we are going to turn the back garden into this amazing imagination play ground. I can get old tyres from my boss who races cars, so we plan on making a tyre climbing frame of some sort as well as a further sand pit to expand this one into. I am hoping we can make a little beach style area around the sandpits too as I get the feeling it is going to end up as one either way! Tom is currently outside, painting some boards with magnetic chalk board paint and these will be going up along the fence for whatever takes the imagination.
There is going to be some kind of water fall network on the fence too, what kids don’t love playing with water and watching things float along?! I know I do and I supposedly not a kid anymore.
Leo’s personality is just getting bigger and bigger by the day, along with that are the more complex emotions. I hate the word tantrum and I also hate the way we call it the terrible two’s. Neither of these words do this phase any justice, which is why I like how the Norwegian’s refer to it as The Boundaries Stage. It is the time of immense emotional growth, of discovery, of neurological amazement and I absolutely love it. Each time we come across a difficult moment, it is a chance to bond more and learn along the way. It’s challenging on all involved but a huge privileged at the same time. Here we are, just the three of us: taking a journey that none of us have any experience of or really any idea of what we are doing and it is incredible.. every tear soaked moment of it, every quiver of a bottom lip and every fierce cuddle so deep and loving that it makes your heart burst. Our little boy is growing, he is learning all about his world and how amazing life is. He is amazing and our little trio is doing a pretty sterling job so far I reckon!
As I have mentioned a couple of times before, having Leo has made me look at the type of role model I want to be, what I feel is important in life and how to have that as a norm for him.
I am really happy with the side of me that is conscious about our impact on the world, but becoming a mother has really forced me to inspect me once more. I am my own harshest critic, pretty standard for many people: but I want to be happy with who I am, I am not currently. I have always felt I lack substance and clarity, that hasn’t really change which is frustrating as I have worked REALLY hard on that over the years.
People aren’t naturally drawn to me which is incredibly disabling. I know I can be pretty outspoken, but I know loads of people who are and still have plenty of friends. I really struggle with striking up decent conversations with people because I am so cripplingly aware that I put myself across really badly, at the same time, I hate fake niceties! Bit of a catch 22 really. I want to overcome that barrier, I just don’t really know where to start because I hate exposing myself to rejection.
It’s a strange place to be, I don’t know why I am here and it’s a strange concept to wish you had more friends, but at the same time not having the time or inclination to spend time with anyone but my family. I’m not sure what my issue is! I just don’t like being disliked, I probably wouldn’t mind if I felt I was achieving something in my life.
What I do know is that I don’t want Leo to grown up having to battle demons!