Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How do you make your tongue do that?

Yesterday I was sitting on a park bench in Oakham with a dear friend who shall remain nameless. Our conversation included whether my breasts had returned to the same size since I went lopsided after stopping breastfeeding (those of you who see me on a regular basis - I will notice if your eyes drift south. You have been warned). We then progressed onto what shapes you could make your tongue into (you know, like whether you can curl it into a roll) and rounded it off with how many pooey nappies my son does now that he's on formula.

It was about this point that I reflected how much life has changed in the last 5 months. When did I become one of those women? You know, the ones that wear their milk stains with pride and no longer think twice about tossing the dirty nappies into the washer with our clothes? There isn't much that hasn't changed to be honest. My priorities have changed, I have new friends, I openly talk about the bodily woes of pregnancy and beyond where previously I was a little...shy.

I look on those things with pretty mixed feelings. I miss parts of my old life. I miss being able to curl up on the sofa and read a book or doze when I'm ill. I miss being my own boss, being able to live spontaneously. But I am also incredibly grateful to have Josh in my life. And there are some things about maternity leave that really aren't so bad.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

I don't know where he gets it

For a number of reasons, namely bounciness (possibly alcohol induced) and an obsession with Winnie the Pooh, I earned the nickname ElliTigg at University. There are unconfirmed reports of a link between that and my tablet accessories business...

Anyway, with such a gene pool to draw from, you can imagine my parental disappointment when I introduced my son to the door bouncer.

That's right, mummy, I prefer the pattern on the rug to your door bouncer toy. Must take after daddy.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Am I ready for independence?

Yesterday Little Monster decided he was more than capable of holding his own bottle thank you very much. Need I remind him and you that he is only 4 months old? Where did this sudden independence come from? Surely, surely, the start of independence is reserved for the domain of toddlerhood, the terrible twos and all those good things?

I know, I know, I can hear you saying 'he's only holding his bottle, stop being a neurotic mother'. But that's how it all starts. Today it's a bottle, next week he wants to go on holiday by himself with his girlfriend (she's a lovely girl). It's not that I'm adverse to him growing up per se. But the point is, I still have to deal with the bad bits of him being a baby. Him needing me, the cuddles, the clingyness - they're the good bits and they last such a short time. I'm just not ready for him to give me up. Not just yet.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Exploring the World

Little Monster is a huge fan of his hands, particularly his thumbs. While he has been sucking his thumb for a while, he's only recently started exploring the world with his hands, from holding rattles to pulling teddies into his mouth. This is Jelly Bear. He may soon sacrifice an ear to the cause of teaching Little Monster about textures.

When Jelly got tired, we did a little exploring of our own to the nearest cafe. Little Monster looks a bit shocked by daddy wielding a camera.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Truth About The Deep Blue Sea

We've all had those moments (haven't we?) where, unwittingly, you manage to cast yourself into the role of the Bad Mother. Oh you know the ones I mean, where someone finds out that you plonk your child in front of the TV in order to get the chores done or that you haven't read to your baby every day since they were born or that, shock horror, you haven't given your baby tummy time today. (Let me just pause and qualify that I have been guilty of all of the above to a greater or lesser extent. I'm not perfect and sometimes life isn't either). My point is that regardless of how good a parent you are, there is always someone or something that makes you stop and question yourself.

Free images from

For me, it was the moment when we were singing The Deep Blue Sea at playgroup. Now, in the version I was taught, it goes "When I was one, I'd just begun, the day I went to sea. I jumped aboard a pirate ship and the captain said to me - We're going this way, that way, forwards, backwards, over the deep blue sea. A bottle of rum to warm me tum and that's the life for me". Only it turns out that, nowadays, they skip the part about the rum. And no, I didn't know that when we started singing. You can practically see the tumbleweed can't you?

So there's me, singing away to a different hymn sheet, so to speak, and unwittingly falling into the Bad Mother pot. Obviously, my child will grow up as an alcoholic miscreant or something because I sing about pirates drinking rum. The thing is, I don't mind if other people choose not to sing about rum. Equally I don't mind if they choose to sit their children in front of the TV for 12 hours a day. And to be honest, I doubt any of the lovely ladies at my playgroup would judge me for singing the rum version but I feel bad nonetheless.

I suppose the point of my post is that our perceptions of what society deems to be good and bad and right and wrong impact the way that we parent our children. Sometimes those perceptions can be healthy and motivate us to do some things differently. But sometimes we worry too much what other people think. The question is, will I sing about rum next week?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Embracing Change

Little Monster has been going through a 'phase' for the last few days. I'm going to use the word phase in the belief that this is a time-limited affair and that, like all things children, this too shall pass. (Anyway, I refuse to believe that any child can be cranky and fussy forever...can they?). 
This particular phase is known as I-used-to-think-I-was-indecisive-but-now-I'm-not-sure: If you put me down, I scream. If you hold me, I scream. Sitting still is for sissys but I only want to move around if I can do it by myself. Yes I like that toy but no I don't want to play with it. And really, mum, that song you sing that used to make me giggle? That's so 5 minutes ago.

There's an interesting book called The Wonder Weeks which philosophises that babies go through 10 major mental leaps which are akin to the body's growth spurts. During these periods, which seem to occur at predictable weeks for the majority of babies, significant changes occur in the child's understanding and perception of the world. The theory goes that these changes are so significant that they can be quite bewildering for bub, leading to a period where little angel becomes Little Monster. Since there are a thousand and one theories and books on baby development, it seems sensible to read widely, take everything with a small pinch of salt and to remember that, ultimately, all monsters are different. Having said that, The Wonder Weeks suggests that one such fussy period is Week 15 which happens to be where Little Monster is so perhaps there's something in it...?

My theory is that Little Monster will be so sick of the 50,000th rendition of She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain that he'll give up fussing for a more peaceful life. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I'll look forward to the new tricks he'll be learning on the other side.