Thursday, 30 April 2015
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Thursday, 23 April 2015
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Sunday, 19 April 2015
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Friday, 17 April 2015
1) Take a potty EVERYWHERE
2) Keep your cool at all times, even when your child decides they need to poo whilst you're on an hour long bus journey
3) Rise above embarrassment. even when people are staring as you have your child sat on a potty between your legs on said bus journey
4) Think and act quickly. You'll need this skill for when you have to dispose of potty contents at the next bus stop
5) Make up quirky potty songs that you can sing round the house in the style of the can can
6) Don't scold for accidents (even if it was done on your foot and you suspect it may have been done on purpose!)
7) Reward your child for using the potty. Stock up on stickers
8) Reward yourself at the end of the day. Stock up on wine/chocolate
I’ve read a few pieces recently regarding Breastfeeding, where writers are advising mothers that they “shouldn’t feel pressured in to Breastfeeding”
Well state the obvious why don’t you!! No woman should be pressured in to anything. They should however be given a choice, and the respect to fulfil that choice regardless of what it is.
It seems that overnight Breastfeeding mothers have been villainized as a possy of judgmental, lactating bully’s who like to sneer and look down on those who don’t Breastfeed.
Believe me, this is not the case. Most of us just want to feed our children in the way we’ve chosen, just like formula mums. We too feel pressured, pressured NOT to Breastfeed, through questions such as “are you still doing THAT?” And statements such as “you mustn’t be making enough milk , you should top him up with formula!”
I’m sure formula feeding mums find questions and judgments about their choices just as irritating.
When did it become a war? Breastfeeding V None Breastfeeding?
Aren’t we all pro choice? Does it matter how one person feeds their child compared to another? Believe me, when I was Breastfeeding I was far too busy ensuring my nipples weren’t showing (heaven forbid) as I fed my child in public, or trying to ram a sandwich in my mouth with a latched on baby, to be bothered to notice how the baby on the next table was being fed, let alone to have the energy to give a lecture about feeding methods!
The point I’m trying to make is do what’s right for you and your child! Who cares what other people think! Is your child loved? Cared for? Protected? Clean? Kept warm? Fed? If the answer is yes, then great! You’re doing an awesome job!
There is no war. There is no competition. There is no “us and them”. We are all mums and we do what’s right for our babies and for ourselves!
Well...today we had speech therapy!
Going to appointments with Oliver is something I dread. It's one of them situations where you walk on egg shells throughout your entire journey to the appointment for fear of saying something...anything, that may transform your child from the happy, pleasant kid you see before you, in to a shrieking, irrational monster. This mood change can be provoked by the simplest thing, "oooh look at that tree Oliver, hasn't it got lovely green leaves?"
" I DONT LIKE LEAVES!!!"
It's at this point that you shrink back in to yourself and realise that your up and coming appointment is going to be a disaster and it's all your fault because you dared to mention a tree.
My most recent experience of this was at an audiology appointment. My crime this time being that there were too many toys in the waiting area and it was despicable for me to suggest that he should leave these in order to come in to another room and "speak with the nice lady". That appointment went something like this...
"Ok Oliver, I'm going make a noise and when you hear it.."
"I don't like noise"
"Well when you hear the noise, you put one of these little toy men on this bench"
"I don't like men"
"The noise comes from this bell.."
"I don't like bell"
At this point the audiologist is looking bewildered at me and clearly expecting me to intervene
"Don't look at me love, I get bollocked for pointing out a tree!"
Anyway, after persuasion tactics failing and with a screaming Oliver, at this point laid on the floor, the appointment was abruptly ended and 3 months later we're still waiting for another. So you can understand why the thought of attending an appointment has me sweating profusely.
Today I kept my mouth shut. I oohed and ahhhed in all the right places, allowed Oliver to lead conversation, pretty similar to if you were in a hostage situation I would imagine. With fists clenched and finger nails digging in to my palms we walked in to the clinic quite successfully. At one point the buzzer didn't work as we tried to enter the building, at which point I thought "oh shit..that's it, I'm done for!" But surprisingly he was fine...and when I say fine I mean he was chatty, polite and pleasant. For about 15 minutes.
He then opened the door, midsession and said "come on Mummy, we're going now!" *cringe*
Children are strange creatures. They're like half crazed, drunk aliens that make absolutely no sense and become frustrated when you can't translate their complete nonsensical hogwash. To prove my point here is 5 conversations I've had with Oliver, or overheard in this week alone
1) Oliver: Mummy I want cheese on toast?
Me: Ok, you can have that for your dinner
Oliver: I DONT LIKE DINNER
2) Me: Are you thirsty
Oliver: I'm NOT thirsty! I'm OLIVER!
3) Me: Don't shove a pillow over my face Oliver, you could kill me!
Oliver: Can I try again?
4) Me: Don't bounce on my head Oliver, would you like it if I bounced on your head?
5) Daddy: Do you want to get in the bath?
Oliver: No, it's too hot
Daddy: Shall I put some cold water in?
Oliver: No it's freezing cold
Daddy: I won't put any cold water in then ok?
Oliver: No it's too hot!
Oliver: Daddy I want a bath
Daddy: Come on then
Oliver: No i'm freezing cold.
Thursday, 16 April 2015
As mentioned in my blog post about Oliver's ongoing speech delay, we have been given a list of activities to help increase his attention span. There were lots of tips but here's 5 of our favourites and how they've worked for us!
1) Ready, steady, go.
Oliver has really taken to this activity. In my days off I ensure we go out every single day, and this is a really great one for the outdoors. The way we play it is by assuming the position you would take to start a race. I then say ready, steady (pause).....go!!! And we start running. Each time you do it you extend the length of the pause before you shout go. Oliver holds his attention really well within the pause and finds it fun.
*Also a great game for if you have a dawdler and you're trying to get somewhere in a hurry!!*
2) Prompting your child to listen with a hand to ear gesture
This has really worked for Oliver. Calling his name doesn't tend to have an effect. If he's not interested he won't respond, however he does when I use this gesture alongside the word "listen". At first I could only catch his attention if he saw me make the gesture, however I don't need to be making eye contact with him now to engage him. By simply saying "listen" he will stop what he's doing whether he sees the gesture or not! Progress!
3) Telling your child "one last time" or "one more" to keep an activity going longer.
This tip has had the most effect with Oliver's attention when eating as he loses interest in meals very quickly, stating that hes's "all fished (finished)" after one bite. Over the past week Oliver has made more effort with his meals through the use of these prompts. Perhaps this progress with his eating habits is from a mixture of all the tips having an effect, however I do find he is more willing to stick to eating a meal, rather than jumping up and playing, through the use of this tip
4) Talk about what your child is doing rather than asking questions.
This involves a running commentary of what your child is doing or has done throughout the day. I've found this most effective at the end of the day where I will detail everything Oliver has done. This has helped his speech as well as his attention and he is now beginning to join in and add his own parts to what has happened throughout the day
5) Using an interesting tone of voice.
I've adapted this one and have instead used character voices, pretended it's one of his toys asking him to do something, or sung something to him. I've found he's more likely to respond and follow through with what I'm asking when I use this technique.
* Although it's rather embarrassing out in public!!
So! Despite me feeling rather down in the dumps about the chopping and changing with his Speech Therapy, these tips have had a positive effect and will hopefully help his speech in the long run through the aid of increasing his attention span *fingers crossed!*
When Oliver was two it was noted at his Health Visitor check up that he had delayed speech. He was offered “group speech therapy,” which is run by Speech Therapy Assistants and had some quirky name which I can’t for the life of me remember!
From the word go he hated it. First of all, the therapy took place in the same building as his nursery, which caused him mass confusion. Secondly, the sessions were set out with small activities around the room focussing on a particular subject each week. The children were directed to an activity and after 5 minutes were asked to leave that activity and move on to the next. This did not go down well. This meant that once Oliver was immersed in an activity, he didn’t want to move on! He was having fun! Why were these people stopping him from playing!? This of course lead to an emotional breakdown which lasted approximately 5 minutes and meant that he then didn’t have time to partake in the next activity as he’d spent the whole time crying. For me the sessions were exhausting and I spent most of the time trying to coax Oliver out from under a table, whilst other parents looked on disapprovingly.
More disapproving looks were on their way when other children realised that they could actually refuse to partake in activities too! On the final session we ever went to Oliver lead a spectacular revolt, which resulted in all the children standing by the window alongside him and point blank refusing to join in with anything. He may have a speech delay but that boys got some serious leadership skills!!!
We never attended again. It was decided that Oliver was “uncooperative” and would benefit more from 1:1 with a qualified Speech Therapist. Whilst awaiting this appointment I discovered that Oliver actually had tongue tie. I had never been aware of this due to Oliver breastfeeding well for 2 years with no issues. It was only one day when he opened his mouth and I could visually see a definite tongue tie that I realised this could be the issue with his speech. I raised this with the speech therapist who did not even look in his mouth and stated that “no, this was not the reason for Oliver’s speech delay”. Oliver just needed time to develop and he would be monitored in a few months to check for progress.
A few months passed and surprise surprise....he still had delayed speech.
We were then passed to another therapist. So far the conclusions have changed month by month. Firstly, Oliver’s speech delay was a cognitive impairment. He could not process where certain sounds were supposed to go within certain words. Next, the tongue tie was addressed. This would be examined by a “specialist” to see if Oliver could be referred to have minor surgery to have the tongue tie cut. We’re still waiting.
Before seeing the specialist another month passed and we had another speech therapy session and currently the conclusion has been changed again. Its not the tongue tie causing the problem, it’s the fact that Oliver has a very short attention span. We’ve been backwards and forward that many times that to be quite frank; my own attention span is starting to shorten by the minute.
So we’ve been given a list of activities to do with Oliver to increase his attention span, and they are working. But where do we go from here? 2 years have passed. We’re supposed to place our trust in professionals but sometimes you’ve just got to accept the fact that children are extraordinary creatures. They can’t be moulded in to shapes they don’t want to be in. Or is that just mine? Oliver is the most stubborn, strong willed, spirited little person I have ever come across. But at the same time he is funny, kind, empathetic, imaginative, and just an altogether awesome guy!
I guess it will take time, and time is what I will give him. In the meantime let’s hope his speech develops before someone will finally listen to a Mothers instinct and investigate the tongue tie issue, hopefully before his 18th birthday!!....
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
The Huffington Post recently posted an article about the blog page asshole parents and having read some of the comments on there I was aware of a huge mix of opinions from the public on documenting children tantrums.
Some people seemed to have an extremely negative view of blogging these moments within parenting, with comments ranging from how these children should be smacked for behaving in such a way, to how parents should be assisting their children with their emotions throughout the tantrum rather than photographing them and posting them on social media.
I'm going to disregard the smacking opinion because as a parent I don't believe in physical punishment and don't wish to get in to debates on the effects of this. It's just not for me.
However, I do want to acknowledge the other argument as I do believe on some level it's a valid one.
Of course, in moments of distress your children need you to be sensitive of their needs and emotions and as a parent it is your job to help them through this and provide a loving and understanding response to ensure they feel safe in a very confusing world. Your childs needs should always be put first, however as a mum, and a new mummy blogger I think it's important to acknowledge how the parent is feeling also.
I recently had a photograph of my 3 year old reposted on Instagram by asshole parents. The photo was of him laid on the floor in the middle of a shop and gained over three thousand likes. When looking back at the photo I can laugh, but at the time I was in deep distress as a parent.
Whilst shopping I allowed my son to choose a game from the shelf. His Nana who was with us at the time noticed the box that the game came in was open and stated to him that it was open and would he like her to close it to ensure nothing fell out. This resulted in my son laying down in the middle of the floor in protest. What people don't see from the photograph is that whilst down on the floor we attempted to reassure him, explained that his behaviour was inappropriate, asked him why he was feeling angry etc. Whilst attempting to do this the behaviour became worse and we were becoming centre stage for a number of onlookers, some who laughed and some who were clearly the type who believed in physical punishment or felt my son was naughty and I was a bad parent. It is always the negative comments that you imagine people making when in a situation like this. When people walk pass and laugh or offer a comment such as "ooh "I've been there" it actually provides some comfort.
In a situation where I felt helpless and at risk of severely losing my temper I instead walked away (with my son still in sight) in an attempt to give us both space and to allow myself a breather to think how else to address the situation. It was at that point I took the photo. My son wasn't looking. My thoughts were to take it and to show him at a later point to discuss with him what had upset him so much.
I don't want this post to come over as defensive. It isn't intended that way. However I think people may forget that children can freak out over the smallest thing, and when they are in the middle of a melt down, that isn't always the ideal time to talk about it with them. Some parents, who may be more isolated can think their children are behaving abnormally, or they are failing as a parent. Couple this with comments about how their children should be punished or dealt with more efficiently can only increase this thought process.
The aim of blogs such as asshole parents and blogs like my own is to provide reassurance (in a lighthearted manner) that their children are acting in the same way as thousands of others on the planet. EVERY child will have a melt down at some point. It's part of their development, and blogs such as this allow other parents to realise it is NOT always their fault. They are NOT a bad parent. No parent is perfect, but in my opinion, a parent has a much better chance of success when they can relate to others, have a sense of humour, and not feel wholly responsible for the way their children may sometimes act. Everyone will have their opinion on blogs such as these and it's not for me to object to them opinions, however I do think it needs to be addressed that sometimes as parents we just need to be honest about the struggles we go through in order to alleviate our own stresses. These types of blogs provide a platform for that, as well as a comfort blanket to know that at some point within your parenting journey you will without doubt be an asshole.
1) I have never wiped food off your face with my hand and then eaten it myself to avoid having to get up off the couch
2) I have never taken photos of you throwing a tantrum for my own personal amusement
3) I have never cried & had flashbacks because you projectile vomited after you choked on some calpol and I thought I'd nearly killed you.
4) I have never rushed you to the GP at 3 weeks old convinced you had meningitis, only to be told it was dry skin
5) I have never felt so guilty after your vaccinations that I bought you a £10 Mickey Mouse birthday cake when it most definitely was not your birthday, just to lessen the guilt
6) I have never told you that my job is a dinosaur hunter in an attempt to pry you off my leg when I have to go to work, and also to make you think I'm awesome!
7) I have never put my hand on your chest at 3am just to check you're breathing and accidentally woke you up
8) I have never made pretend phone calls to Santa when you are misbehaving in a desperate attempt to make you stop
9) I have never hoovered you after you've covered yourself in food at dinner time
10) I have definitely never, ever, done any of these things.
A couple of weeks ago I had the not so bright idea of letting Oliver help me to make his lunch (beans on toast). Thinking I was being all mumsy I allowed him to put the beans in the microwave and showed him how to put toast in the toaster. I then helped him to butter the toast, hand over hand. This little activity has caused me nothing but grief since it occurred and I appear to have triggered Oliver's desire for independence to ridiculous levels.
One day when I was at work, Oliver's dad nipped upstairs to quickly get dressed. When he came back down, Oliver (with the help of a stool) had managed to reach the kitchen work tops and was in the middle of making himself some toast.
The following day he took it to the next level and was discovered making beans on toast.
A few days later whilst Oliver was watching TV in the lounge (or so I thought), I decided to tidy up his playroom (for the 152nd time that day.) all of a sudden I heard a mans voice in the lounge. I ran in to see that Oliver had once again made use of the trusty old stool and had used it to reach the front door handle, taking it upon himself to answer the door to a complete stranger!
The final straw was Wednesday when Oliver went upstairs to use the toilet. Thinking that he'd been a couple of minutes and probably needed assistance I went up to find that he was in the process of running himself a bath and had helped himself to one of my bath bombs.
He starts school in September. I was under the impression that this meant I could leave him alone in a room for a few minutes without him putting himself in great peril!
I was wrong.
We welcomed a juicer in to our house this month. The idea being that I can juice fruit and veg and make them in to iced lollies. A desperate and sneaky attempt to get some nutrients in to Oliver.
Oliver (like all kids) likes to eat things that aren’t good for him..sweets, chocolate, crisps, and once I caught him with a woodlouse stuck between his teeth. When “other mummy’s” talk about how their kids LOVE veg and couple that with brightly coloured Instagram food pics of some exquisite meal their child has eaten for tea, clearly containing their five a day, I feel slightly deflated and I have decided to take action!
Food has always been an issue with Oliver - when he was 4 months old he went on a “nursing strike”. This is basically when your baby decides that they aren’t going to Breastfeed for the entire day, in an evil plot to make you think that you are a failure as a mother, so much so that they simply refuse to feed from you regardless as to whether you are their only source of survival!
When weaning on to solids it went the opposite way. He only wanted to Breastfeed and refused to eat food, although I could occasionally tempt him by waving a wotsit in his face and then spooning a bit of puréed carrot in to his mouth instead! (Not recommended)
Now at the age of 3, Oliver tends to only like white food and baked beans (although he did have a tantrum in the supermarket yesterday because I wouldn’t let him eat a fish on the fish counter…It still had eyeballs.)
If I could do it all again I would definitely do baby led weaning!
You live, you learn!
Much to my surprise, the juicer has so far been a success! Ok, we’ve currently only made orange and mango juice..however…Rome wasn’t built in a day!!