Am I a ‘helicopter mum’?

A while ago I took a quiz on Facebook, ‘What type of parent are you?’ More out of boredom than curiosity I answered the questions and gave a derisive snort when it informed me I was a ‘helicopter parent’ which is basically hovering around your child twenty four seven, not giving them an awful lot of freedom and being a smidge too helpful. Which transpires is actually ‘not very helpful’.

Not me I thought, carefree parenting, that’s my style. And I have noticed that when we are with family, I take a step back, relax, have a rare hot cup of tea. But when we’re out together, I allow him non of this freedom. I don’t let him out of my sight ( although my anxiety tells me if I look away, he’ll get abducted) I follow him around soft-play, at children’s parties, hovering a few feet away.

When William was a few hours old and I was in hospital with him alone, I looked at his tiny form and couldn’t bear the thought of him being hurt or upset. I saw it as my sole job to make sure that didn’t happen. So when I’m wedging myself around soft play, and helping him across the rope bridges, it stems purely from my want to keep him safe.

So imagine how I felt when I noticed that when I wasn’t right beside him, despite my encouragement, he would not explore on his own. Oh lordy, it’s happening, I’m fucking him up already! My desire to keep him from harm, free from worry has backfired slightly. Like it or not I can’t always be there for him, first day of school, new job, driving tests I can’t be there, he’s got to do it alone and I’m seriously restricting his opportunities to be independent with my helicoptering! And how can he ever learn about coping with worry and upset if I never allow him to expose himself to it?

I need to take a step back, I want an independent little boy so I need to let him be just that.

I also need to not think of myself of any type of parent other than ‘parent’. Because doesn’t society already try to put enough labels on us already?

In other news:

I’m furious that hubs has avoided TWO toxic poo nappies.

The boy is becoming quite the bookworm. So reading the same sodding book fifty million times is now part of our daily routine.

My son has just head butted me and acted like I’m the one in the wrong…

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Is it bed time yet?

Mostly, today has been a good day, I’ve been to work and met mum and Wills at the shops for a bit of retail therapy.
Will was not in the mood for retail therapy so opted for arching his back, fighting against the restraints of the push chair shouting ‘NO!’ at the top of his lungs. I got looks from the shop assistants, clearly appalled at my wayward child. Not that I care, one year olds can’t help being arseholes from time to time. Anyway after our noisy shopping trip we returned home and in the small amount of time we’ve been here he has wreaked havoc, willingly assisted by Captain.
He has thrown a box of cards all over the floor, Captain then sat on them to show them who’s boss. He pulled my knitting off the needles and unravelled it (it’s beyond popping back on the needles). Cat and boy then indulged in chasing (and getting tangled) balls off wool. Captain then decided my slipper was a threat and started batting it with his paw. Will decided to play ‘wingman’ and took over showing the slipper what for in a decidedly less elegant manner than the cat. Had to wrestle a knitting needle off Will after he started smacking the cat with it. The cat didn’t seem to mind this. Boy pulled apart a toy car, Captain ran round the living room with toy car parts poking out of his mouth. I ran round after the cat retrieving car parts from his mouth. Boy wandered in with the filter from the tumble dryer after depositing all the fluff on the clothes he’d pulled out of it and scattered on the kitchen floor.
‘Why not intervene?’ I hear you cry, well I just ain’t got it in me this afternoon. I made him a brew (don’t judge it’s caffeine free and  keeps him quiet AND means I can drink mine in peace providing I finish mine before he finishes his…) and some toast. Captain decided to drag a little round the room and lick the butter off it.
And now I’m sat surrounded by wool, cards and car parts with a toddler who’s thrusting his now empty sippy cup at me demanding ‘MORE!’ impatiently whilst I decide whether or not hubs is coming home to carnage or a clean room, (Probably carnage), and wonder what is the earliest socially acceptable bed time.
In other news;
The boy has a delightful new habit of pooing just before we get him out of his cot. He did a mega poop this morning and I believe is in the process of another as I type.
We brought a new pushchair, on seeing it Will pushed it round whilst screaming at it. We’re still not sure if this means he’s happy with it or not.
Captain has been getting hugs today! I asked for a cuddle earlier and got a smack in the face. Pretty sure that means ‘No thank you Mummy.’

A trip to the farm

I booked today off work and decided to do something fun but relatively inexpensive with the boy. After a quick google: ‘farms kids are allowed in near me’ (yes really), I found the answer to my parenting prayers. Hoar Farm (…yes really), a mere 17 minute drive away and cheap to get in!

We weren’t able to leave the house before the emptied nearly an entire pack of wipes in his bedroom. He thought this was hilarious. At least someone did.

When we got to the farm, (which owing to  some heavy rainfall last night was mostly mud, thick, sludgy slippery mud), I was excited to show him the chickens that had crowded round the gate. Will loves to try and say ‘chicken’ and he’s getting better at it, and gets very excited in the process. So I thought he’d love to see some real, live, clucking chickens. (Thought).

‘Look Will, Chickens!’

It was at that moment a cockerel decided to crow. Will did not like that. In fact it made him cry.

Want to know what else made him cry?

The rabbits (they jumped on something that made a noise)

The brown sheep

More chickens

The cat (it surprised him)

Yet more bloody chickens

The deer

The goats

When I asked him to walk

When the big flock of birds suddenly took flight

When I turned the tap on to wash my hands.

There were moments when he wasn’t crying. He quite enjoyed the cat. Which followed us. He felt better about the deer after the cat shielded it from view. He loved mooing at the cows, and the curly white sheep didn’t make him cry. In the short time we were there crying at all the animals, we got absolutely covered in mud. Will fell over, which to be honest, I expected. His insistence that I then carry him meant I have an alarming amount of mud on my coat. Front and back. I have to say walking across the car park with big brown patches on us did earn us some funny looks.

Was it a disaster?

No. You see if you want a day to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Do I wish there’d have been less crying. Absolutely. But I got exactly what I wanted out of today; quality time with my little boy.

In other news:

We’ve discovered breadsticks are like crack for babies. We keep moving the box round the kitchen so he can’t see it. He pretends he wants a cuddle and when we pick him up he scopes them out, points at the box and says ‘more.’

Today Will took all the (damp) washing out of the machine, piled it on the floor, climbed on top of it and snuggled down exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’.

Will has some new shoes. They light up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week in.

I’ve completed my first week back at work (well two and a half days…) and it’s safe to say it’s nearly killed me!

My son continues to shun my affections and on Wednesday instead of giving me a kiss goodnight he shouted ‘No!’ and smacked me in the face. I felt my eyes well, hubs said not to take in personally (easy words from the favourite…) but I’ve decided, instead of getting upset I’ll wait until he’s a teenager and wants a fiver or a lift somewhere, I’ll refuse. That’ll learn him.

I am considering taking the little scamp out for a walk today, but reluctant after the new years day shenanigans. And if it’s only me with him and he kicks off I can’t walk away and pretend he’s not mine. It’s safe to say the festive season has taken its toll on my waistline, hubs and I have resolved to walk more (even if it means carrying a bawling toddler all the way round). On Tuesday evening we did a belly comparison, Will walked into the kitchen to see us pressing our bellies together and was furious. There was shouting and arm waving involved. I guess either he didn’t like the fact I was touching daddy or he knows the midriff is a dangerous area to carry extra weight and he’s concerned for our health…

Before any of that though, I must give the boy a bath. It seems he’s a little under the weather. It could be his teeth, it could be something that’s going round. All I know for is whatever the issue is he ‘sharted’ as some point last night (a fart with poo) so a bubbly bath should freshen him up a treat.

In other news:

The cats are at loggerheads again. The season of peace and goodwill is most definitely over.

Hubs and I attempted to learn how to whistle last night, fingers in mouth whistling. All we managed was loud blowing. Must. keep. practicing.

Two sleeps until my 32nd birthday.

 

 

It’s been a while…

It has indeed been a while since my last post, I’ve been going through some things, maybe it’s a  mid/quarter life crisis. The most upsetting thing I’ve been trying  to handle is the unshakable feeling that my son doesn’t love me anymore.

Sounds a tad dramatic, so was calling my sister last Sunday in floods of tears declaring ‘He hates me! I love him so much but he hates me!’ She tried to calm me down and I tried not to choke on my own snot.

I’ll explain. It’s been gradual, my decline in his esteem. It started as a running joke when he preferred to be cuddled and put to bed by his dad. Wrapping his little arms around hub’s legs, hugging him and exclaiming ‘Ahhhhhhhh’, but not cuddling me. Despite the fact that I would put myself in his way giving him lots of opportunity to do the same to me. Like a silly schoolgirl going out of her way to be around her crush. The thing that pushed me over the edge was trying to kiss him when he was in his dad’s arms and he pulled away from me, swiped at me with the little arms, (that I grew, inside me) and burst into tears.

Wow.

Hurts much. I excused myself sharpish, not wanting to ball in front of the boy and proceeded to alarm my sister by wailing like a dying moose down the phone.

In company I’d joke about it, and relish the days when I was at home and hubs was at work being the only adult around meant I would get affection from my son. Hubs is still the clear favourite, but waking up on the sofa, with my son’s favourite monkey teddy wedged in the crook of my arm was all the proof I needed that actually… he quite likes me.

In other news:

The new year is upon us and in lieu of a resolution I won’t keep, I’ve accepted I’ll be the same train wreck of a person I’ve always been.

My sister gave birth to my new niece in October and has confirmed birth the second time round is a walk in the park. (That’s definitely NOT what she said but I spoke to her on the phone afterwards and she had the same care-free tone as someone who’d just popped out for a coffee)

If I have to read Meg and Mog one more time, I may kill myself.

 

It’s 2017 – Why is taking a baby out so frustrating?! 

The UK is a modern country. I feel living here qualifies me to say that. We have all the mod cons, men can marry men, women can marry women, we’ve embraced boutique coffee shops and the future king did the school run this week.

Not too shabby, all in all.

But now I experience this ‘green and pleasant land’  a little differently. Because now I am a parent, and I can’t tell you how frigging frustrating it can get sometimes.

Firstly, let’s look at parking. Most places provide spaces for parents and children. A lot of people moan about these spaces (‘We didn’t have them in my day’, well no, you didn’t but your toilet was also in the back garden so change is good Brenda.) Any way these spaces are supposed to be helpful and designed so you can get tiny people strapped in safely without bashing the car next to you. Or they would be if you could ever actually park in one. They are either taken by ignorant dicks (usually in the more expensive cars) or other ignorant dicks whose kids are teenagers. Often the number of parent and child spaces are woefully inadequate in number. There is a large multi-story in Coventry with only 6 parent and child spaces. 6.

Now if by some miracle I have managed to park in a space that gives me adequate room to extract my child from his seat, I have to consider trolleys. This isn’t an issue now. but when he was tiny and needed the shopping trolley (cart) with the baby seat in, our local Tesco supermarket (apparently the largest in the UK) has only four of these trolleys. When I couldn’t find one of these trolleys I was forced to put William’s car seat in an ordinary trolley which left no room for the groceries. If I did happen to get a trolley with the baby seat on I found their design such that I  couldn’t actually see where you I was going. Nice one.

Today I took wills to get new shoes. I’d had to park in a regular space (standard) and the design of this particular place is very attractive but not really helpful if you have a pushchair. Shoes purchased, I headed for a loo. The particular shop I went to is forward thinking in that it’s one of the only places with a Father and baby changing room. This is brilliant and ‘Mother and baby’ has always irked me somewhat as I don’t feel that because I’m his mother I should be the one to change him. In the same way I don’t see how having a uterus makes cleaning my responsibility. Anyway huzzarh for father and child changing rooms, because if dad takes the baby out, there is somewhere he can go for a nappy change. Anyway, as is common the mother and baby changing facilities are in the women’s toilet. But I didn’t need to change him I needed a wee. Except, I couldn’t because all the neat little cubicles wouldn’t fit a pushchair in. If I took the bags and Wills from the pushchair how was I supposed to pee holding on to them all? There was no way I was going to go with the door open or leave Wills outside unattended and I was on my own, there was no one to wait with him! Luckily, they had disabled toilets. Plenty of room for us both, but I did feel a tad guilty for using them.

It reminded me of when I took Wills to town, once again I needed a wee, the changing facilities were just a room with a changing table and the cubicles too small to get a pushchair in. (But they were immaculate.) I found a disabled toilet, but it was locked. I had to ask an attendant for the key. The attendant was male. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like asking strange men to unlock a loo for me, and have to apologise because I don’t need the disabled facility I just need somewhere big enough for me and my son. The guy was lovely but he did have to hover outside to lock it up again after I’d finished. It is kept locked to stop unsavoury things occurring in there. (I dread to think…)

Now if I’ve manage to survive parking, trolleys and peeing, lets look at the actual shops. So many shops with barely enough room to get your buggy through. If it happens to be a big shop, they tend to stick stuff in the way, ensuring it becomes an obstacle course. Lots of sticky out legs to catch the wheels on, tables with clothing draped over which your biscuit (cookie) covered toddler likes to grab at, and you can’t swerve to avoid because there is no sodding room!

So many things that used to be simple, no longer are, mostly down to a lack of thought. Do I expect it to change anytime soon? Sadly no, looks like I’ll be putting up with it. Fingers crossed by the time I’m a Gandma we’ll have it all sorted, and my complaints won’t be met with ‘Well you chose to have children..’

In other news:

Wills and Captain have managed to squish a sandwich into the floor and fill my travel cup with cheese. (I suspect Wills is responsible for the cheese in  the cup, Captain for helping the sandwich off the side)

It’s Marms four year adoptoversary today! She celebrated by getting soaking wet and laying on our bed.

Our little boy is becoming quite the chatterbox!

Holidays?

We have embarked on our first holiday abroad since becoming parents. The thing with being on holiday with a baby is that they neither know nor care that you’re on holiday. Holidays of old meant drinking excessively, laying about in the sun and reading, for hours on end. Our holiday now revolves around trying to keep a tiny dictator happy, and for vast amounts of time; he ain’t happy.

We have come to an apartment in Spain, my parents are lucky enough to be here for a month so we’re staying with them. The apartment is nice, but the decor theme seems to be ‘pointy and dangerous’, my parents have moved/hidden as much as they can to make a safer environment for their grandchild but there’s only so far they could go. William is highly skilled at finding something pointy and or dangerous and hurting himself on it. Shutting fingers into drawers is a firm favourite. This rules out completely sitting and relaxing. We need eyes on William at all times! It’s very warm he’s which is fantastic but it makes for one very crabby baby, he doesn’t like having sun cream applied and as he’s one there is no way to reason with him. Just a frequent battle to apply it to flailing arms and legs. William is ‘sleeping’ in a travel cot in our room, no reading in bed because we can’t turns the lights on, no talking in case we wake him up and no nookie in bed.

There are lots of new things for William to see and explore so often, he won’t nap. This makes him tired and SOME SORT OF DEMON CHILD. Yesterday he was vile. I nearly cried. Hubs and I wanted an evening together, it took hours to get a tired William to stop screaming and go to sleep. My parents urged us to just go but it wasn’t fair to leave them with him. When we finally got him down it took about an hour for me to unclench my teeth!

It’s not all doom and gloom, sometimes he is his usual womderful self. After a hot walk today we’ve kept him in our room with the air con on. He’s pulled all my (clean) knickers out of the drawer and ran round the bed laughing and waving them about. It’s not an activity I’ll encourage but it kept him occupied for a few minutes. He’s currently having a nap on  daddy, daddy is also unconscious. I’d like to join them in a family nap but I’ve got knickers to pick up…

In other news;

I’be become addicted to breadsticks

I need to to somehow teach a one year old it’s not appropriate to pull mummy’s dress up in public

Although Ive so far managed to escape a mosquito bite, my feet appear to victim of a midgey feeding frenzie.