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!
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.
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….
Rory has a new game. He likes screaming ‘Aaaaaaaaaaa’ and then Simon responds with the same noise. It can go on for ages. I realise it’s Rory learning how to communicate but it can be a bit intense. In addition, he has mastered the art of pulling himself along the floor so can get from one side of the room to the other relatively quickly. More so on the wooden flooring when he can slide along like a hockey puck!
I met up with some of my Mummy friends for coffee and cake. We popped the babies down on the living room floor. Emma being the oldest at 7 months and Euan being the youngest at just a couple of months. Rory was keen to play his new game with Emma. He shimmied across the floor. Her eyes were wide and her lip quivered as he approached. Within seconds he had pulled up to her face and screamed right at her. She burst in to tears and I ran to pull Rory away, mumbling an apology to Emma’s Mum. I put him down far away from the other others and off he went, sliding back to Emma who now realised what was coming and burst in to tears as soon as she could see he was heading her way. Rory is clearly not good at reading the signs.
As I sipped my tea and we chatted away, I glanced back at Rory who had now gave up on Emma and had moved on to Euan’s socks. They had little tigers on them so he was happily sucking them and looking at Euan trying to decide whether he would be better at the game than Emma. I pulled him away and so it went on.
Rory is an incredibly friendly and playful little boy. If a little boistrous. I’m just hoping we don’t get sacked from the Mummy group. Maybe we need to find some toddlers…..
I was rushing about trying to get ready to go out and meet my Aunt “Where are my shoes…Oh” Rory has spewed in them. I guess it was my fault for leaving them below his highchair! Never mind. I wet wipe them and move on, as is my motto! Rory was only in his vest so far as clothes are put on when we are actually ready to leave. The doorbell rings. Oh God, it’s the health visitor. Well, the health nurse actually. Now she is a lovely lady but it always makes me a little nervous. She will think I don’t dress him. Shit. I hope he doesn’t feel cold. Oh no, he does. I fling open the door whilst covering Rory with my scarf. “Come in, come in. How lovely to see you!” I’m overcompensating. Shut up Karen. She is not in the least bit fazed by my scantily clad son and is happy to chat away to him and then we get him weighed. “Oh that’s lovely. He’s put on 2oz since his last weigh in”. 2oz!!!! That’s nothing. She checks his height and it appears he has taken quite a stretch. She is pleased. I’m already catastrophising. Am I starving him? Is he normal? Is he shrinking? I ask her if she thinks his arms are too short for his body. She says no. So that’s one less thing to worry about.
I then ask her about volumes of food to be consumed. Yesterday I cut Rory off after what I determined a good amount of food and gave him a feed myself as I didn’t want to make him sick. She reassures me it’s fine, and to be led by Rory. If he’s hungry then to keep feeding him.
I give this a try when she leaves. Brocolli, sweet potato, butternut squash, pear, apple, parsnip and mashed potato all get ploughed through in record time. Admittedly , they are not massive portion sizes. A mini muffin size portion of each, but still. It’s impressive! He clearly loves his food. He gets angry at the speed at which I feed him. It’s just not quick enough for his liking. I think I’m going to need to buy a bigger fridge!
I had a particularly bad night with Rory last night. I think he’s teething. Whatever the reason I was up every hour or so trying to soothe or feed him back to sleep. It wasn’t working.
Simon lay beside me in the starfish position snoring and breathing in my face. I could feel the rage building. How the hell was he able to sleep through this?
I eventually gave in and brought Rory in to bed with us at 5am. Giving him a feed lying down to try and get him back to sleep. It wasn’t working.
I got up and we tried to get on with the day. I was seriously struggling. When I have a significant lack of sleep I really struggle to cope. It feels like a physical knot in my stomach which makes me feel sick. I also veer between rage and crying. So when Simon suggested a quick trip to the shops in Glasgow, I should have said no. I didn’t.
We headed to John Lewis. I wanted to look at highchairs. I’d researched every blooming highchair their was and still couldn’t decide what one was best. “I like this one. What do you think?” I asked Simon. Now, whatever he had said at this point would have probably been wrong as I could feel my rage simmering away, but I still didn’t expect the response I got. “Does he really need a highchair? “What?”I asked Simon. “Well I mean. Is it an ESSENTIAL?”. That was it. “What the hell is wrong with you? Of COURSE he needs a high chair!” I screamed. “Would you like our son to roam around the floor like a DOG????” I then marched off with Rory in the pram and burst into tears. Sometimes you just get days when it all gets a bit much. Today was one of them.
I had this great vision off going out lovely long walks with Rory and meeting up with my other Mum friends. We would walk for miles and pop into a lonely bustling cafe for coffee and cake. It is sometimes like that. But often not.
“How shit has your day been? How important is the cake?” asks Donna. These days my life is measured in cake terms. We drive to DeWaldens with no walking involved at all when things are particularly bad. It’s so noisy that nobody can really notice your baby crying and they do awesome cakes.
“Fuuuuuuuuuuuck” shouts Lizzie as we wander through Dean Park. Our babies both look at her. “Oh. It’s just a squirrel”. The babies look from the squirrel to Lizzie. I am quite sure as they start to recognise animals we may have to reinforce that this is indeed a little squirrel and not anything sweary. Sometimes I try and meet in more sophisticated surroundings. Like M&S in Silverburn. Fail. Whilst I chat to one of my Water Babies Mum’s (who suggested the location), Rory has grabbed my nipple and stretched it like a bungee cord whilst simultaneously spewing down my trousers. It’s just not worth it. The whole thing is frightfully stressful. I totally understand why a lot of Mum’s just stay at home.