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 

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! 

Self

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! 

Get your Hygge on! 

I absolutely love warm lights, being cosy,  snuggling under blankets, locking out the world and chilling out. Our wedding had a dedicated are just for a cosy little section of the garden with twinkling fairy lights and it just makes my heart happy. Turns out that this what the Danes refer to a Hygge. 

It’s a way of life, being present and absorbed by your friends and family in a cosy, comfy environment. No harsh light or electrical glare to disrupt your zen (can I mix those two things?!) 

I am in the process of doing all I can to to purify our indoor space with plants. I think full, layered greenery adds a wonderful, cosy touch to a space but I am just basically crap at looking after them. However, I feel with all my spare time *sides split* that I can embrace this!

I want to sort the lighting out in the house anyway. I hate glare and I also hate shadow when I am trying to cook or eat. Problem solved by none direct, none fluorescent lights. Hygge is very much a candle fest too. I am not a candle person, they release way too many particles into the air in conveniently sized to upset the lungs! I also read that the tiny, floating wax particles can be classed as toxic, especially in those of scented candles.. I will have to find that article again and share. 

There is a way around it though, fake candles! I just need to work out how to get these and well  placed lamps to work in our space. I have tonnes of ideas, I just don’t like forking out a fortune for them! I wish I had a bit more DIY talent, that may assist in the whole process. But then again, DIY requires time! 

Watch this space anyway, it will be achieved! 

The blight of our life 

I don’t think anyone can comprehend the stress a coughing child inflicts, not only on them but on the parents. Leo has yet another cold, and whilst the cough isn’t croupy (yet) he is coughing throughout every sleep. THIS is what sends me under. 

Not only is his little body struggling with something, he can’t sleep properly either. It’s just so detrimental to him in every way, and I am utterly powerless. I try token gestures to at least feel like I am trying to take control, but I’m not convinced they do anything. Viks rub all over the show, cold mist humidifier, menthol spray, atomiser.. It makes me fume, unproductively of course but I just can’t deal with the disruption it brings into our lives. 

I’ve been researching the best climates to. Live in, the places with the least pollution etc because I would willingly move to the other side of the world if it would help him. It’s shit, I hate it and I can feel the anxiety grab my chest every time I hear his poor little body cough. Damn, if I could beat the shit out of a cough I would do it, gladly 

Stop for a moment 

Not for one single second am I suggesting that I am a perfect parent, far from it. I am inexperienced, I have never spent a moment considering children before I had my own and I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as a perfect parent due to the fact that a child has personal will. However, I like to think I put the effort in to understand what my role entails. 

I am all about positive attachment parenting, I see no scientific or anecdotal evidence that makes me want to do it any other way. Whilst I don’t think the approach is very natural to me, Tom disagrees but then I guess he only sees the outcome of my hours and hours of reading and pondering; running scenarios through in my head and analysing real life events. 

One thing I have noticed is just how ignorant people are to the lasting effects of their unconsidered behaviour on their wonderful little people. I’m not saying that they treat them badly, or that they do what they do from a place of cruelty: they do it from a place of ignorance but it shocks me none the less. 

I was talking to a lady the other day and she was saying how when she has told her 5 year old son off, he comes to her to say he loves her and tries to cuddle her and she tells him ‘no, you’ve been naughty and mummy does like you right now’ SERIOUSLY??? it hurts my heart. I’m just going to leave that right there. 

This same lady was discussing how babies have nothing to offer, how the first few months are just dull and it’s just them being incapable blobs. How utterly, utterly shameful. So little  respect for their individual little lives, but it really should be of no surprise to me as I have plenty of interaction with this lady and my opinion is cast aside and I am walked over for personal gain, it’s just a shame. She’s happy with how she is though and what entails a good person is a personal opinion at the end of the day. 

I am under no illusion that our little pickle is super chilled, whether that be because of our respectful approach to him or just him, I guess we will never know. He has been getting much more possessive about things recently. The little scooter above has caused some frustration for him when I want to move him onto something else. As with everything, I resist the urge to put parental need and adult opinions over how he feels about it, and I am really pleased that I have made the choice to do it like that from day one: he always responds positively, even if he gets upset when I have to calmly apply my boundaries. The upset is short lived, I am there for him and allow him to feel it and it makes me feel connected. 

It’s strange that upsetting my child makes me feel more connected, but it’s easy to feel connected when you’re laughing and happy: it’s about being there to support the big emotions, no matter what they look like. Showing him my love is unconditional and it’s OK to feel like that. 

This journey just gets more intense and rewarding as each day goes by.

Do one Croup 

Hellish, Hellish croup.. Any parent who has experienced it will know just how terrifying that signature bark is. It can appear from nowhere, scare the shit out of you, then run away and hide when a medic is within sniffing distance. 

Our horror experience with it last summer, that resulted in being hospitalised for a week, has left us horribly scarred. We had a bout of it out of nowhere 10 days ago and we took him straight into the out of hours doctor for some wonderful, wonderful Dex. This is an oral steroid and is like a wonder drug basically. Last night, the haunting whoop before the barking cough began. As there was no accompanying stridor we thought we would wait it out and see if his inhaler and pain killers did the trick, they did not. A few hour later and the blue flashing lights were by our door. 

He had of course improved significantly by the time they got to us and and we decided to drive him over to the hospital as the ambulance service was being hit really hard, mainly cases of croup it would seem. The service in the hospital was pretty poor and we were there a good few hours before we got some Dex, this time or didn’t seem to do much so we trotted off back to the out of hours surgery and got some more. 

He’s snoozing away in the car now, we did have a scare when I looked back and his head was flopped forwards and I could hear him breathing. I leapt into the back and moved him; nothing so shook him and said his name and he cried out and was breathing, then went straight back to sleep. I don’t know if he had stopped breathing, but it was horrific. This is why we never go abroad with him, the risk is just not worth the supposed benefits. I live having the NHS, we’d have been lost without it the last 18 months. 

Oh well, only 4 more croup prone years to go.