It was a sunny day and Donna and I decided to take Archie and Rory to the park for a picnic. When I say “picnic” I mean that she had thrown Archie’s lunch is a tupperware dish and I had chopped up 25 strawberries. We had nothing for ourselves. Other than her tap water. Which we shared….
We found a nice spot and sat the boys on the picnic blanket. Rory immediately ran away, launching himself head first into other families (much more exciting) picnics. Archie sat beautifully and ate his lunch whilst Rory tried to interrupt football games and climb onto dogs.
He found an empty bottle of water and proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes kicking it around and cheering. I really need to start packing more toys. Keys and some rice cakes just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Since Rory has turned 15 months, I notice he is starting to have ‘favourite’ objects. Things he loves to drag about from room to room. Currently his top choice is a large set of steel pans. Seriously, these pans are so heavy that I can hardly lift them but out they come from the drawer, every morning after breakfast, to be scattered on the floor. And then the squealing begins. Ah yes, no set of pans is complete without a wooden spoon. So out that comes too. Rory then sits on the floor repeating “yes yes yes” whilst stirring his empty pans. If it’s sunny the pans get some water in and he takes them outside. Sometimes I allow him to throw in some fruit. What a lucky boy eh?
The toilet roll holder, that’s another one, it’s dragged from room to room like a trophy. Being presented to Simon and I for praise and wonderment. Sometimes he falls out with the toilet roll holder. I don’t know what has went on between then but occasionally it’s launched in the bath for it’s behaviour. That’s the toilet roll holder, not Rory.
I guess I should enjoy this stage of inexpensive joy. The days of forking out for expensive toys will some soon enough I’m sure. Now, back to the pans Rory!
“Baa baa black sheep have you any……” You know the drill. Little did I know that not only would I have to sing this specific tune to Rory to gain permission to brush his teeth, but now I need to sing almost EVERY BLOODY THING I DO! Now he will not allow me to change his nappy (nap nap) unless I am singing “the wheels on the bus go round and round”. I have gone to extraordinary lengths in terms of creative licence on that bus, and now we have several animals on board to eek it out a bit. “The birdies on the bus go tweet tweet tweet . Tweet tweet tweet tweet” etc etc. I kid you not, I actually shaved my legs whilst vocalising the action to the tune of “God Save the Queen” I mean where does it end? It certainly doesn’t end with Shaggy. “They call me Mr Boombastic” was used to hang out the washing and as for making a cup of tea! Well that can only be achieved whilst giving a running commentary alongside “Alice the camel”. I actually feel like I sing my way through the day. It’s more worrying when Rory is at home and I’m singing “Mummy put the potatoes in the bag” whilst in Tesco as startled shoppers look on.
I think I definitely need to up my game and get some more creative tunes so the go. After all “Stop. Wait a minute. Mummy puts some prosecco in it” isn’t an ideal tune as you wander round the aisles. But there are only so many tunes I can think up in a day. I’m exhausted. It’s just a phase though. Surely. Isn’t it?…
It was always going to be a challenge. I long suspected when the invite popped through the door inviting Simon and I along with Rory to a family wedding that things would not go to plan. It wasn’t local either so we had to factor in potential car journey disaster recovery plans.
Simon put on his suit. This was his first mistake.
“Right, you change Rory’s nappy whilst I load up the car”. Five minutes later Rory was handed back to me to reveal Simon’s crotch covered in Sudocrem. “Oh great!! Well done you. I mean seriously babe. It was madness to even think about getting dressed until we actually had the church in our vision. You know how hard that is to get off. Oh well, too late now”. Simon looked at me wearily as I bundled Rory into the car, still wearing my pyjamas.
We arrived in Edinburgh. We had planned for an hour for me to get changed and feed Rory in a cafe so we were all set to head to the church. But since it had taken us forty minutes to find the entrance to the bloody car park, we were now in dangerous territory time wise.
I decided it was more important that I turned up to the church dressed than Rory eating a fish pie, so I got dressed in the back seat of the car. I then fed him in the car. Yes. Cold fish pie. Yummy.
He seemed happy enough at first. Then he got angry. So angry that within a nanosecond he had pulled the spoon back and catapulted fish pie across my face and down my dress.
As I dabbed at myself with a wet wipe I thought of how things used to be. A glamorous new dress, high heels and carefully applied make-up all accompanied a wedding day invite. Not now. Now I was febreezing myself in a train station car park to avoid smelling of fish, half my make-up was off I was putting rice cakes in my bra so they were ‘handy’ in case Rory cried in the church. My my, how times had changed…
“Is anyone Jiggying tomorrow?” asks Lizzie. The response from the rest of the girls suggest that two of them are. Donna is on holiday, so she has an excuse. Now, for those not familiar with this, “Jiggy Wrigglers” is a parent and baby group which plays loud music whilst an extremely enthusiastic woman jumps about with puppets and toys to entertain the children. The pull for my Mummy group seems to be that it’s often not your typical “baby” music. Apparently a few weeks ago had a space theme which lent itself to some Babylon Zoo and the week prior had dropped in some Prodigy amongst ‘Head, shoulders knees and toes”. This had piqued my interest enough to warrant the £3 charge. Up until now I haven’t attended any baby group I needed to pay for. Purely as I felt there were lots of free groups to go to when he was still small and not really bothered about what was going on. Lizzie had also mentioned that they had a tea hatch. Anywhere which has a “tea hatch” gets my vote! So here I was. It was absolutely mobbed. This was for under 1’s which was a relief. Not too many bambino’s on the move as yet!
I’m in charge Mummy!
Rory sat with his mouth open, staring at the jumping woman in front of him. All I could think was how horrendous it would be to do her job with a hangover. Is there a job worse than this when you are fragile? I would think not. She was great though. Very engaging with every one of the children and full of beans as you would expect of a children’s entertainer.
Would I go every week? I’m not so sure. Will I go this week? Probably. It’s strangely addictive. And it has a tea hatch….
“Shall we go to the sling meet?”asked Donna. Oh God. It brought back memories of disappointment from my first foray into the land of ‘babywearing’. I couldn’t get the hang of the sling and was bitterly disappointed. Maybe this was my chance to redeem my earlier failure. “O.k” I said and off we set. I had visions of hippy, breastfeeding Mum’s carrying their 4 year olds on their hips whilst changing the (undoubtedly cloth) nappies of their younger children whilst discussing the merits of organic, baby led weaning. I wasn’t too far off the mark. Donna quickly selected a wrap she liked the look of and she tried Rory in it. He’s bigger and wrigglier than her own son so it was a good test. “Yes that’s fine, thanks very much. Must dash”. She had to run to her next appointment so I was left on my own with a now very bored Rory. Another baby was running around on the floor so I popped Rory down too. Admittedly the floor was a bit grubby but the room was hotter than the sun and I was struggling to hold him and concentrate on what the group leader was saying. She was trying to demonstrate a model of sling, but as she discussed the buckles and clips and how to attach it to my own body I realised that if I was solely relying on this method of transport for Rory and I that we would never leave the house. Too much like hard work. I could feel my concentration slipping but was brought back to earth by another Mum tapping me on the shoulder and advising me that Rory and the other baby were “face pushing”. “Right. I’ll take this one thanks. It seems a bit easier.”. She sighed. Probably annoyed about the seventeen buckles she had clicked and adjusted for me to decide I would take the ‘easy’ option. I’ve still to test it out properly but I have high hopes. Hmmmmm….
Rory is delighted to have moved on from body sliding along the laminate flooring to pulling himself up. On everything. He also likes to slap and hit things. Unfortunately this includes my friends babies.
I visited my friend Donna this week, with her little boy Archie. Archie is so chilled out, he was just mesmerised by an over enthusiastic Rory banging on his head like a bongo drum (Very briefly. Before I naturally intervened) and diving head first into his ball swamp without so much as an invitation.
As I arrived she ushered me into the front room, happily letting me know that Rory could safely run free as there was nothing to really hurt him. This was true. But I could see a few things which would probably please him no end. Now. In all my wildest dreams, pre-Rory, I would have never have imagined that the following items would be remotely interesting to a tottering baby.
Cables/Wires – Rory can sniff these out from a mile off. He is particularly delighted if they are also attached to an extension cable. Extension cables sometimes have lights. Rory loves lights.
Clothes airer – these are like a jungle gym for tiny humans. Rory loves pulling himself up on this and climbing up it as far as he can. It’s actually my biggest worry in the house. I have visions of it collapsing on top of him and his fingers being trapped.
Happily, both potential hazards were immediately removed and our tea and biccies were consumed without incident.
My to-do list this week includes some serious babyproofing. Drawers and cupboards are on my radar. I am reluctant to attach any clips to the toilet but I am aware it holds huge fascination for him. He likes to climb up on it and slap it. I anticipate him attempting to climb in it at some point.
There is a fine line between a safe environment and going overboard. I’m hoping I can manage a happy medium. I’ll get the bubble wrap out….
There are rarely times I actually drink a hot cup of tea. I miss this activity and will go to great lengths to get one. One of these times is at the BfN group I go to on a Monday. The ladies chat about boobies and make me a hot cuppa whilst I plonk Rory down on the play mat. He now rolls off said mat commando style and this week took a particular interest in my Friend Donna’s shoes. “Are we stopping him sucking my converse Karen or is it building up his immunity?”. It was a fair question. I sipped my tea and mumbled “immunity”.
Recently we have even had some lunch provided which is a godsend as I often forget (or have no time) to feed myself.
We had a lady with a new baby this week. Always exciting. The standard questions were asked. Name, labour summary, weight of newborn, and feeding were all covered.
As I tucked in to my sandwich and crisps I was suddenly distracted by the following statement in high volume…. “Oh yes, the suck and squirt mechanic! All very natural for a newborn baby. Don’t worry”. For the love of God! I was considering a mini bounty as dessert before I heard this!
It still makes me giggle that there is literally nothing that is off limits on the bodily functions of our bambinos, or indeed our own bodies after we deliver these tiny humans. I remember a Jehovas Witness, a man I may add, coming to the door when I was heavily pregnant and enquiring as to whether the head of my unborn child had dropped into my pelvis!
I still find the ‘Mummy Kingdom’ a strange one. But as my confidence in Motherhood grows I realise it’s a pretty nice place. Just keep the hot tea coming!