Toddlers

I decided to take Rory along to a new toddlers group.  He doesn’t attend a nursery and I’m conscious that it’s good for him to socialise with other children.  I’d convinced Lizzie to come with me to check it out as I find it quite daunting going to new activities.  I needn’t have worried.  Rory and Emma toddled off and played with the fab selection of toys.  Rory made a beeline for the dolls pram.  He loves a pram.  He shot off at lightening speed, mowing down several children in his way.  He uses the pram as less of an accessory and more of a weapon. Emma spent a considerable amount of time with one leg trapped down the hole of a trampoline but she seemed happy enough.

Another older boy was quite keen on grabbing toys off other children.  Rory let it happen once and then formed a strategy.  As soon as the boy came to steal the phone off him, he just shut his eyes, held the toy close and sat down until the boy gave up.  I liked his style.

Lizzie sighed,  “Don’t get me wrong Karen.  I like it.  But I can’t see a tea trolley”.  Lizzie lives for a cup of tea and toddler activities, and she has a fair point.  “I know what you are saying.  But look at all the great toys! And it’s only £2!”  I could sense she wasn’t convinced.  And then bingo.  Out pops a lady with tea, coffee, biscuits and juice for the kids.  Extra joy was injected into the event as we had actual real mugs.  No styrofoam here.  “Fair enough Karen.  I think it’s a winner”.

As Lizzie freed Emma from the trampoline and I prized Rory From the handle of the toy pram we decided it was a success.  For £2 you really couldn’t complain.  I am looking forward to seeing Rory’s battle skills develop and Lizzie is already looking forward to her next cuppa!

Favourites

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!Pots

Tears

On this occasion the tears were mine. Not Rory’s.

I had just returned from lunch with another Mummy and it had stressed me to the max. I’m all for embracing different parenting styles, I really am. I try not to judge. I try not to force my opinions on others, and I try not to be too hard on myself.  But sometimes it doesn’t go to plan.

I was sleep deprived.  That makes everything so much worse.  Rory is not the best sleeper and still wakes up for a few feeds during the night.  I debate how to manage this situation.  Stop the feeds, go with the flow, reduce the feeds gradually, etc etc. I haven’t decided yet but surely it’s MY decision to make, no?  My lunch Mummy was keen to share her thoughts….”I don’t know how you do it! I’ve never had ANY problems with my daughter sleeping through the night.  She’s slept from 7pm -7am since we brought her home from the hospital!”

NEWSFLASH….Mummies lie.  So I try to remember to take everything with a pinch of salt.

Another topic of conversation was taking our children to public places.  I find it all very stressful.  And Rory is generally quite good at going out.  He just gets bored easily and wants out his chair to crawl around, or bang on the table, or crawl up peoples trouser legs like a scaffold pole.  No, he will definitely NOT sit in his high chair for 3 hours whilst I attend a cookery class on how whip up a croquembouche for tonight’s dessert.

So Rory might not be good at sleeping (yet), he might not sit quietly in restaurants and he hates having his teeth brushed.   But he DOES like smacking the patio doors with the palm of his hand and squealing at the ‘tweet tweets’, he likes breastfeeding at night, and he loves opening and closing doors. A lot.  And I love every inch of him.  His screams, his giggles, his Mummummum noises.  And I wouldn’t change him for the world.  My Mummy friends and I have a saying, which is “This too will pass”.  And it does.  So very quickly.  And I want to make sure I embrace every second.

Babywearing

“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….

Babyproof

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….

Splish Splash

I signed up for Water Babies (baby swimming classes) before Rory was even born. A lot of my already Mummy friends raved about it and I was keen to ensure he was confident in the water. It’s not cheap but I do think it’s a great skill for Rory to have.  We have just finished our first term and I’ve been thinking about how I feel about the classes so far. Here are my thoughts….

1. Whether Rory has had a poo or not before the class determines my anxiety levels. Last week the classes after ours were cancelled as a baby had done a poo in the water. I honestly don’t think I would ever get over that happening. Ever.

2. Rory can’t have anything to eat for 2 hours before the class starts. I wake up at 5am trying to time everything so that he has been fed by 7am in time for our 9am class. This is annoying.

3. Yes, I did say 9am.  It’s the earliest I can possibly do anything with him and he almost always arrives at the class in his pyjamas having been scooped from bed and popped in the car seat. Luckily, a few of the other Mum’s seem as disorganised as me so it’s not an issue.

4.  I’m still not sure how he feels about the water. As we practice his “Rory, Ready, Go” mantra and dip him under the water he seems just as surprised as the previous 40 times we have done it.

I do enjoy taking him and I am continuing with the classes. I have seen toddlers further down the teaching  process and it’s amazing to watch them be so fearless in the pool. It’s something that Simon and I are really keen to encourage and we hope, in time, he gets a lot out of the classes too. Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed on the poo front!

Pumping

I’m meeting my Mummy friends tonight for dinner and drinks. Discussions regarding preparations for this get together started a few days ago.

How much are you expressing? How many bottles of formula should I leave?

I have not left Rory for more than a few hours since he’s been born so haven’t really had much need to express. Thank God. But I have a feeling the wine might be flowing tonight so expressing it is.

But he’s been quite unsettled the past few days and been looking for a feed earlier that normal.  I don’t want to risk it.  So here I am, expressing, attached to the breast pump of doom! I’ve been here being milked like a cow for a good 35 minutes and I couldn’t even make a cup of tea with what I’ve managing to get.

I always remember the midwife saying that your nipples should like like a lipstick after a feed. Well, mine look like a stick of peperami after a stint on this bad boy! Seriously , in this day and age you think we would have developed brilliantly efficient breast pumps. Ones that don’t feel like a top of the range Dyson and didn’t sound like a hedge trimmer struggling on large bush.