Tag Archives: child development

Shiny new toys

With Christmas just behind us, I’m sure we’ve all seen our children’s toy boxes get that little bit fuller. Looking at all the children’s toys on the shop shelves, I couldn’t help but notice they are all brightly coloured to be attractive to children and stimulate their senses.

I can’t help thinking toy manufacturers have got it all wrong. If my children are left alone for 30 seconds they head straight for the black shiny kit in the room – not their colourful toys. Whether it is a remote control, tablet computer or even a glasses case, they seem to hold more appeal than the especially designed things meant for them.

Granted my two year old knows the power of the remote control, but my 9 month old is just attracted by the blackness and shinyness of it. I know I must be missing something but I’m very tempted to start my own line of baby toys and take the Henry Ford approach of offering them in a range of colours: black, black and black!

Would love to hear what toys hit the spot for your children this Christmas!


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Child superstar

Child developmentI was able to walk my children to nursery today rather than the usual frantic piling into the car on the way to work (a story in itself!). My eldest (at the grand old age of two) scooted to nursery. As I looked at him then my seven month in his pushchair, I couldn’t help thinking how amazing children are. Within just two years my eldest has learnt to walk, talk in almost sentences, feed himself, get out of sleeping bags (argh!), use the potty and so much more!

I can only imagine what he can achieve in the next two years, let alone twenty.

Every parent is proud and believes their child is a superstar or even a child prodigy. I don’t believe that my children are going to be winners of a Nobel prize or Prime Ministers, but I do think that they as children are amazing. They absorb so much knowledge, develop so many physical abilities and experience a whole host of emotions within such a short space of time. If they throw in the odd tantrum alongside the smiles, well, who can blame them!

I’m jealous of my son’s energy and ability to learn and retain information and skills. I try to remember (no pun intended) that I was a child once too with similar abilities asa part of natural child development, but watching it happen in my own child is a sobering experience.

I’ve a while to wait before seeing what my children decide to do for a career, but I’m enjoying seeing the people they are becoming every day.

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Anything but routine kid

It has been a while since I last blogged as the four of us have been learning a new routine now I’ve returned to work full-time. The morning schedule seems to work, although it does involve me waking up naturally about 5am! Argh! At least it normally gives me time to prepare all the bottles my youngest will need for his day at nursery (a fun series of bottle sterilisation, water boiling, etc.), wash up, hang washing out and prep breakfast.

No matter how efficient that hour is though, as soon as the boys wake up I seem to enter a time warp. It’s a magic time when they are both drinking their morning milk, then the oldest asks for a book to be read to him – or two, or three. The cheerful gurgles from the youngest and the excitement of the oldest listening to the story being told are hard to disrupt and this only happens when a look at the clock reminds me that we need to get moving if we have any hope of getting to our respective destinations on time.

I’m still getting it wrong though as the boys are changed, fed, washed and dressed before I even think about getting ready myself. Then it is a quick game of catch up to get out of the door.

I remember trying to work out the morning logistics before my second child was born and thinking that it was never going to work. It – like an awful lot of things related to caring for children – is just one of those things that is easier to do than plan for.

The good news is that both boys seem to be enjoying nursery – the youngest getting loads of cuddles from all members of staff. I think it’s mum that finds the morning drop off the hardest.

Routine is good, but the unforeseen can make a huge difference – whether it’s an extra big hug, toothless grin or impromptu dinosaur impersonation. What’s certain is there’s nothing routine about being a mum and that’s half the fun!

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Growing up (too) fast

When my first child was born, I spent a lot of time reading the ‘what to expect’ style books so I could find out what my baby should be doing by when. I often found myself thinking, ‘won’t it be good when they can roll over / sit up / crawl / etc.’. Each milestone was something to work towards and I felt personal pressure to ensure my child reached those targets about the same time as their counterparts. If not, I felt I had failed as a parent.

Only now they are walking, talking, eating on their own do I realise that children develop at their own rates and sort themselves out when they are ready – maybe with a little encouragement ; )

Of course, I still find myself worrying about the next stages of development, such as whether they will ever get excited about potty training!

The second time around, I haven’t seemed to have the time or drive to read the books. And rather than looking ahead to the next phase, I’m permanently shocked that my second child has already got there.

This has been a week of firsts for my five month old – sitting up in the bath (with a protector support), sitting upright in the pushchair and this morning sitting in his own high chair. He has had strong neck and back control very early on which has enabled all of this to happen, but I can’t help thinking he’s growing up too quickly.

Is this a result of him being the second child – copying what his older sibling is doing? Is he just advanced? Or is it that I know this is likely to be my last child and so want time to slow down a little so I can really enjoy his time as a baby.

I am sure there is an element of my being a bit more relaxed as a second time mum – I remember being petrified the first time I gave my first child a bath for example! Now, two bath times each night is just what happens.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and also to hear whether you think time goes by faster the more children you have. In the meantime, I’m off to stop the clocks!

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Confidence is everything

Not being the most self-confident of people, I’m always in awe of those that are sure about their place and role in the world. At a baby group this week, I met a mother who stated she was taking her four month old to every group she could as she didn’t want her child to be one of those children that doesn’t know how to share.

Her confident statement left me feeling bad that my two year old had had a meltdown just the previous day when a friend was over for a play date and had dared to play with his rocket ship when he wanted to.

I had to take a moment though and remember that I have been spending quite a lot of time with toddlers. My son goes to nursery, spends a lot of time with other children and I know for a fact the majority of two year olds have the same problem with sharing their own toys. I believe that sharing (especially toys) is something children have to learn the hard way as part of the growing up process. While I agree we can expose them as much as possible to give them the chance to learn as early on as possible, I believe this is another life skill they have to learn by doing rather than being one that can just come naturally.

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It has been a while since my last post as my eldest child has had chicken pox. Apparently the nursery he attends is quite quiet at the moment with a number of children suffering from the disease. It came as a bit of a shock though as he had already had it just after his first birthday. News to me that a child is likely to get it again if:

– It was a mild case the first time around

– They had it first under the age of one

It seems my son was unlucky as he had a healthy dose the first time around based on the number of spots and he was already one. I guess there is always some grey area!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the apparent magic of breast milk will help my youngest (just a few months old) from getting it so we can hold out for a single case of it when he is older than one.

It’s a strange disease which keeps the poor child looking slightly scary for longer than they feel ill. Whilst the itchiness is not nice, most children don’t feel too poorly which is great. The annoying thing is the infectiousness so they have to be kept away from young friends and elderly relatives.

It’s been lovely having him home though and doing fun things together, from ‘baking’ (ok so Krispie cakes and Jelly) through to nature walks. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they grow up and it’s great to see it in action. I’ve found that it’s not only the disease that is infectious but a child’s smile!

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Precious time

This morning I kept my son home from nursery so we could spend some quality time together having some pure fun – something that doesn’t happen very often when you’re working full time as weekends go so quickly and are often filled up with mundane tasks like shopping. Today’s plan? Head to a local soft play centre.

My youngest obliged by spending the entire morning asleep sitting on the sidelines of the soft play room, letting me give my undivided attention to my eldest. It was a fun and fantastic morning for us both – although I’m not sure who enjoyed the bouncy castle the most!

There were plenty of other mums and dads there – with one or more children. Everyone friendly and happy to have a chat, which was lovely. The only downside was those keen to share their thoughts on those parents who ‘send their children’ to nursery. There are a large number of reasons why a parent would send their child to nursery – from being in a life saving job such as doctor or nurse, through to pure financial reasons to ensure their children have what they need for a comfortable lifestyle. Every parent has a lot of decisions to make about what is best for their child – what’s right for one parent / child won’t be for another.

No matter what the circumstances of the parents there today though – the children were all having a lot of fun, while also learning how to share and build on social as well as motor skills. What more could any parent want?

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