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.’

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!

Public enemy number 1.

For some reason, I can do nothing right today. My son has spent the morning wailing. The causes have been various, his daddy went to work, I stopped him drinking my tea, I took the house phone off him, I had a shower, I took my foundation out of his mouth, I picked him up, I put him down… all sorts of unreasonable things a mother does! 

He’s currently stood on the sofa smacking the wall and I’m hovering so I can catch him if he falls but I’m not sure I could take another meltdown from him so I’m pretty much leaving him to it. 

Now would be a good time to point out that it’s only 9.50 in the morning. When I took my make up off him, he threw himself on the floor and beat the carpet with his fists. I haven’t eaten yet, I think taking him out would be a good idea but it’s a wet and miserable day, I’m not sure where we would go. He has absolutely no interest in his own toys today, finding amusement in anything/everything that is highly unsuitable/dangerous. 

I can’t decide if he’s tired (all hell broke loose when I put him into bed) if he’s teething or if he’s just decided to be monumental bum hole today. 

Either way, I shall continue my day, as public enemy number one. 

Please send ear plugs. 

In other news:

Yesterday, Wills thought it acceptable to smack Captain with that sodding loo brush!

Winter is here apparently, slightly peeved we didn’t have a summer in between…

My summer house has been erected (tee hee) I just need a couple of days sans rain so I can paint it (it’s never going to get painted).

‘Thanks, now would you mind minding your own business?’

A slightly weird but definitely infuriating thing happened to me and hubs today.

Set on enjoying the bank holiday we got Wills ready and were out the house by 11:15 am (only and hour and a quarter later then planned score!) We began the day by looking at kitchens we couldn’t hope to afford but have optimistically booked a ‘design visit’ where I fully expect to have to scale back our expectations and sell one of my lesser organs. After traipsing round the vast showroom and drinking overpriced coffee in the café, hubs and I decided to head to the Fargo Village Beer Festival. Fargo Village is a new development for the city of Coventry, which has a bit of a reputation for being fugly. Mainly because vast areas of it are.  The Luftwaffe kindly flattened most of the city in the forties so bang went the medieval charm and up went some pretty revolting concrete buildings. Anyway the council have begun ‘tarting up’ the place Fargo Village is a fashionable development with a brewery, and other crafty/vintage shops including barbers shops and vegan food outlets. But most importantly there is a brewery.

Hubs and I were surprised to find the place pretty much deserted, the brewery was open (huzzarh)) but other then that it was very quiet. It wasn’t hot but we sat outside because it’s May and that’s what the British do. In other countries I’m quite sure people would be sat in coats on days like today, but we’re out in pub gardens, with shorts on, freezing but acting like there has been some sort of heatwave. I kind of like it, we NEVER waste sunshine in this country. Even if it’s bloody freezing, if the sun is shining we’re out, lighting barbeques, having picnics cramming  ourselves into pub gardens and wearing the shorts we brought four years ago but have only worn six times. (Unless of course we went abroad on holiday.) Anyway, I digress. We sat outside; Hubs with a beer, me trying to calm a tired William (whom I suspect is having a poo this very second, yep, please excuse me a tick.) Tired William was balling so I decided to placate him with a bottle, when he’s had enough I popped him in his pushchair, but he started a protest in the form of wailing at the top of his lungs. Ahh the naptime fight, a battle of wills with Wills. It doesn’t happen every naptime but when the little foghorn is fighting sleep you sure do know about it!

As he wailed I uttered soothing phrases and  pushed his chair back and forth.

‘Excuse me’

‘Err, yes?’

‘Maybe if you sat her up she’d stop crying, I don’t think she likes that’

He is actually very tired, he is fighting sleep, that’s why he is crying.’

‘Oh is it a boy?’

(No I just call her him for shits and giggles yes it’s a fucking boy, he’s in blue corduroy dungarees!) ‘Yes it’s a boy.’

‘Oh, and is he your first baby?

(What the fuck does that have to do with anything?) ‘Yes, first baby.’

‘I hope you don’t mind me saying?’

(Of course I fucking mind, who in the name of arse do you think you are? creeping up behind me and giving me advise I neither need or asked for!) ‘Not at all, thank you!’

 

Thank you!! I fucking said THANK YOU. I didn’t mean thank you, there was nothing about that situation that I was thankful for!! You see, when you have a baby you sort of become public property whether you like it or not. Sometimes it’s nice that strangers say nice things about your baby, but sometimes it crosses a line. Like the woman who asked; ‘… and are you feeding him?‘ The temptation to reply: ‘No, I refuse to offer him breast or bottle, we send him out into the woods to forage for his own food…’ To the people that ask ‘Did you have a natural birth?’  What comes out of my vagina is my business, and although I’ll happily talk through the process to preggos, that particular question is posed in a way that suggests anything other than natural is sub par. And it absolutely isn’t. There are babies and mammas that wouldn’t be here today without the marvels of modern medicine. So you can stick your natural birth question up your arse.

I’ve never had such an intrusion before. Perhaps this person thought they might combust if they didn’t intervene. But what if I was having a bad day. What if it had been one of those days when I’ve doubted my abilities. The days when I’ve cried, thinking there are a million women who’d be a better mummy. Women who never get tired and make only organic home cooked food. Who attend every baby group going and keep an immaculate house. If this had happened on one of those days I can’t tell you the damage it might have done.

But today has been a good day, I’m looking over at my little boy who is sharing a rusk with Captain and I feel all warm and proud. And I’m wondering how I’m supposed to get rusk off the cat.

I may not be a ‘supermum’ but I’m doing my best. If I want or need advice, I promise I’ll ask for it. If you don’t hear me asking, keep it to yourself.

In other news:

There is a black cat coming into the garden that my black cats are hell bent on terrorising. It’s not always easy to distinguish which black cats are mine form a raging ball of hissing and clawing.

We’re off to a wedding in a couple of weeks. Going to get Wills a suit, hoping I can keep it clean for longer than five minutes…

I’ve started a diet. Hubs is looking for sanctuary somewhere, any offers greatly appreciated.

 

 

Working and working at parenting.

I am on my third week back at work. The first two were a breeze. This week, not so much. I put this down to two things:

Firstly- the novelty of being back at work is starting to wear off and I’m realising ‘this is my life now’

Secondly – daylight sodding savings. My alarm clock may have said six thirty this morning but I think we all know it was actually half five. I was present in body only today. I also forget where I work… whilst at work which wasn’t great as I was on reception.

I also had a slight wobble after loading Wills into his dad’s car this morning, as I looked at him through the window, he looked all wide-eyed and sad. I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to, ‘my son looked a bit sad this morning’ is not a valid reason not to go in. So gave him exaggerated smiles and waves as his dad drove off and cried on the journey into work.

With gallons of coffee and fizzy drink I made it through my working day, (and three bags of crisps), popped to the shop for nappies and got home, to put the dinner on. After tea hubs and I prep for tomorrow. Then Wills goes to bed and we vege out on the sofa. Tonight Wills decided sleep was definitely not on the agenda. When his wailing showed no sign of abating I retrieved him for some cuddles on the sofa. This was going swimmingly until he smacked me in the face with his monitor. I’m still not sure whether this was an accident or his way of voicing his disquiet about the sudden life upheaval he’s experiencing. What I do know is the inside of my mouth is swollen and my tooth is now moving.

William has very recently started crawling. It is quite literally amazing how they go from crawling a few tentative paces to all over the sodding place. Naturally he finds the most dangerous things to crawl to.  And his new found mobility has meant a huge rise in bumps, usually gained at the exact moment you take your eyes off him. It’s also meant he can indulge in his favourite hobby of following Captain around. I’m okay with this as it helps both of them burn off some extra energy. I’m not okay with William eating cat biscuits so the pursuit often involves Captain, Wills and Mummy.

Hubs and I are slowly getting into this new phase, our parenting has to be different now, all the rules and routines have had to adapt with him and now we’ve thrown working into the mix. We now need to consider childcare, dropping off and picking up, making enough food to send with him (he doesn’t stop eating!) I’ve said it before, every time we think we have this parenting malarky down, he changes and we are back to square one.

In other news:

Captain continues to steal things from the neighbours house, his latest crime was witnessed by said neighbour.

Marms has eaten a couple of meals at our house, but she growled at me when I stroked her. (The cow.)

My first Mother’s Day was lovely! Flowers, a mug and the promise of a night out for cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The witching hour.

Wills is in bed, his chunky form has been securely zipped into his sleeping bag, he has been lowered gently and silently into his cot, his tiny chest rising and falling with each sleepy breath, floppy rabbit placed near him, a comfort should he wake. Peace.

Until the shitbagging cat marched in for an impromptu, (full volume), miaow-a-thon. At least Wills was delighted to be woken and find a cat in his room. Mummy was decidedly less impressed. Thankfully he was two feet into the land of nod and settled quickly. I now find myself in the witching hour, the time the house takes on a silence it never seemed to have before Wills. The time when I try to cram in resting/catching up on hobbies/ self maintenance/drinking wine.

As hubs is out enjoying himself at a beer festival I decided to cook myself a Chinese, thank you, Mr Gok Wan. I can’t tell you how much I’d rather have ordered one but I’m yet to find a nice one close by and just ordering for one doesn’t qualify for delivery and picking it up is not really an option with a baby. So far I have managed to burn the rice, something I seem to do with alarming regularity at the moment. But I did buy a huge bag of prawn crackers so I won’t starve.

I did intend to sit in my clean and tidy living room and enjoy an evening by myself but after an earlier emotional crisis and a couple of hours spent sulking in bed I’ve managed to hoover. That’s it. The sofa is covered in ironing, the carpet in biscuit. Wills’ toys remain scattered about and the draining board is stacked with washing up. Luckily I’m too exhausted to care, I’m sat on the floor, the cat on the sofa (he’s in my spot).

So it’s ten to nine, I’m sat on the carpet drinking wine, in a messy house, starving but thoroughly enjoying my witching hour!

In other news:

The boy crawled today, it turns out Captain was all the motivation he needed.

Hubs has assembled a work bench today, he now feel like a fully fledged dad.

Wills noisy habit of blowing raspberries for hours on end has returned with a vengeance.