Tag Archives: Parenting

Too old for a mid-day nap?

I am not ashamed to say that I would gladly shut my eyes for a short siesta at the weekends if I was given the chance. This does not happen often – if ever – since we’ve had children. I wasn’t even very good at following the midwife’s advice of taking a nap when your baby does when they are young!

Today I was reminded though why it is still a good idea for a two year old to have a short nap!

We had a quiet morning at home, followed by a late lunch. We had a party to go to at a neighbour’s house so a nap just didn’t happen for our eldest. We had a lovely time at the party with plenty of children and toys for my eldest to play with. The journey home went fine until we reached our front door.

In short (and with a few less tears), he wanted to go back to the party. After a good ten minutes of upset, we re-opened the front door and offered to let him go back to the party – there was a brief silence, followed by “it’s a bit dark”. I have to admit to having a quiet smile at that.

His coat was quickly taken off, hung up and a cheerful voice asked “where are my snacks?”. Normal service resumed.

Bedtime came and despite the busy afternoon, lack of sleep and a nice big tea, sleep didn’t come earlier than any other night.

I’m always amazed by the resilience of children and I’m glad for it! But wow, do I value an early night myself!

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I’m a big boy now – well almost

My two year old is increasingly saying that he’s ‘a big boy now’. It is frighteningly true as he is quite tall for his age, has quite a good range of vocab, is potty trained, etc. However, he is still two.

He also has a baby brother who he loves, but…

The youngest is increasingly getting attention as he enters the very cute stage of not being able to move or talk – beyond a range of Ga Ga Gas – but can smile a smile that takes up his entire face… you know the one!

There is no doubt that we love our sons equally, but as the younger one gets more interested and able to reach toys, books, etc., the older one feels he is sharing more than he wants to.

This week he has started to suck his thumb. He has not once sucked his thumb before, but funnily enough his younger brother always has.

I only hope I manage to split my time and attention to ensure they both know how much they are adored – and that they continue to care and look out for each other throughout their lives.

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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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Be prepared – then wing it!

Preparing for parentingI started this blog because I was getting apprehensive about my ability to cope with a second child as my due date got ever closer. It’s not that I was changing my mind about having a second child, but rather I was going over every possible scenario in my head and trying to work out how I would manage it when two children were involved. Everything from bathtimes to nappy changes – how would I keep both of them happy and safe?

Friends kindly gave me parenting survival guide books to read with guidance, but the more I read the more I became convinced that I would just have to wait and see what happened.

Every child is different – how they sleep, eat, cry, smile and develop – and there is no way to pre-plan for looking after a tiny character you’ve not yet met. Apart from that, every day and mood is different so no one set rule will work all the time for every child.

Having had our second child, it became clear that you do just manage. Some days are easier than others – for you as the parent as well as the child. Planning works well when it comes to what to pack in bags for a trip out for the day, but for day to day care I truly believe it’s a case of one step at a time. The good news is that every day I’ve learnt a little bit more about my children and myself.

What I love is that through the stress, worry, craziness, there are the most amazing smiles which make it more than worthwhile!

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Protective big brother

One of my biggest worries when my due date for my second child got ever closer was that my older son wouldn’t like the new arrival or would feel jealous of them. So I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I see my eldest going for kisses and cuddles with my youngest and the look of joy on my baby’s face when he sees his big brother – fascinated by his antics!

I don’t think it’s bad that my husband and I can ask our two year old son to ‘look after his younger brother’ while we pop into the kitchen for a minute only to return to see the youngest surrounded by a huge selection of toys and being told a story from a book his big brother has memorised.

I have a number of friends who have got children of a similar age gap and they tell similar stories. I don’t know if there is a difference between brothers and sisters or whether it is down to an individual’s personality. I’d love to hear your experiences.

I’m hoping my children stay close as they get older, although I have no doubt there will be some highs and lows! It should be an interesting ride though!

 

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The trouble with two

Two used to be my favourite number. Now it has become my biggest challenge! Not because I have two children, but because my eldest has hit the wonderful, but challenging age of two and a bit. Every parent I had met had warned me about the ‘terrible two’ stage, but I have to admit to thinking ‘it can’t be all that bad’. A colleague reminisced how her wonderful son and completely changed character overnight when they were two. I couldn’t help thinking, ‘I’m sure my child couldn’t change that much’?!….

It is not as though my child has turned into a demon or anything, but he is most definitely testing boundaries. What creates the biggest challenge is that it is not on a consistent basis. Instead it can be for a fun five minutes or an annoying afternoon. Yesterday, I realised I had become ‘that’ parent saying to a visiting friend and her two children that ‘he’s not normally like this’ as my son continued to play up (and not in a good way). If I was her, I would not believe me. I could say though with hand on heart that the day before he had been an absolute angel.

I can put the difference down to lack of sleep, hunger, having his home turf (i.e. own toys) invaded or a mix of them all, but to be honest it was probably just his day to be a bit of a devil. He went to sleep quickly and quietly that night, while I fretted, feeling angry and stressed reliving the entire day to see what I could have done differently. Was I too strict / too lenient / too slow to react / too fast to judge / etc. etc.?

I’m sure many other parents have experienced this and I’m even more sure that every two year old is as confused as their parent as to what makes them tick. The process of growing up, dealing with floods of hormones and body changes, as well as all the new things to learn (speech, manners, boundaries, toilet training, the list goes on) must be overwhelming – I think I would have more than my own fair share of funny fives minutes – in fact I’m sure my mother could confirm it! I guess this is just  another aspect of being a parent that I’ll learn by doing. I can only hope though that I learn some lessons for when my second child hits the same stage.

I continue to be in awe of my children – how quickly they develop and watching how they view the new things they encounter in life from the minor to major elements. Sometimes I’m not sure who learns more about themselves – my children or me!

As always, please do share your top tips and experiences – it all helps!

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There’s an App for that baby!

I’m increasingly aware that time is not on my side! Looking after my two children has placed  me in some kind of time warp. When my two year old was a baby and was the only one I was caring for, I kept an accurate record of breast feeding times, nappy changes, etc. With two children in nappies and one being breastfed, I have to admit that my ability to keep track seems to have left the building. Has baby brain hit me late? Lack of sleep is certainly a factor, but I find it hard to believe that 2.5 / 3 hours have gone by before I’m feeding my baby again and difficult to keep to a strict 3 hour nappy changing regime for them both.

A friend showed me an iPhone App that can keep a track of all this data for you – not only that, but it issues reminders and provide reports / analysis. I’m probably the only person left in the world without a smartphone with a data plan, but this means I’m having to rely on my own brain / organisational skills. Eek!

Both my children are good weights, are fed and washed and generally of happy dispositions so I’m guessing I’ve not caused them any major harm. I just wish I was just a bit more switched on when it comes to keeping track of time. The scariest thing is that time flying means my two will be of school age before I know it – I can’t even think beyond that. Hey, perhaps that’s my problem!

 

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