The housework can wait

It’s been a long time since my last post. It has been so long that initially I couldn’t even find the app on my phone to write this. 

I’ve been hauled out of blog retirement by something I feel is important. 

This is to all mums and dads, especially those of the stay at home variety. 

This is to all those who have found themselves feeling or being told that “you should be doing more [around the house]”. This won’t apply to everyone, but in the early weeks and months I distinctly remember saying to Carl that I felt I should be doing more. This was despite the fact that Sam napped nowhere but on me or while out walking until he was 5 months old, fed frequently and cluster fed from 6-10pm every night until 4 months or so. The rest of the time I was entertaining him. 

There was no time to do anything else! 

A wise person once wrote this beautiful poem:

I hope my child looks back on today 

And sees a mother who had time to play. 

There will be years for cleaning and cooking, 

But children grow up when you’re not looking. 

Tomorrow I’ll do all the chores you can mention.

But today, my baby needs time and attention. 

So settle down cobwebs; dust go to sleep,

I’m cuddling my baby, and babies don’t keep.

I love this poem. It sums up exactly how parenthood should be: Treasuring those special, all too fleeting moments and cuddles. 

Another wise person, in this instance my friend Charlotte, informed me that when a baby is under 6 months, visitors do the work when they come over. They bring food, make drinks and help where they can. Since then, I’ve tried to do this whenever I’ve visited someone with a young baby. 

However, back to housework. 

It is not important. 

I didn’t fully get in the swing of managing to raise the next generation AND tidy up until Sam was about 8 months old. 

Nowadays, I keep the house in pretty good shape, and Sam is a big fan of the Hoover and loves to ‘help’ with his mini Henry or the broom while I Hoover, tidy, do the dishwasher, etc.

Until babies get to this stage, the housework can wait.  

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Here endeth Monkey Music 

Today was our last Monkey Music class and it broke my heart. We’ve only managed to attend 3 this term since I loathe waking Sam mid-nap, so I made the decision not to enrol for next term. 

Looking forward to his last class

 

Today, to demonstrate how much he loves the class, Sam was the model student. He rushed up to find monkey (for the first time), he willingly and happily returned instruments (usually he has a good cry when I request he hands the maracas back), he gave toys to other children rather than hoarding as many as possible, he clapped, joined in and had a great time. All the while, I felt awful. He loves his music class, but it’s not worth the hell we pay for the rest of the day. I hope we will return in the Autumn or Spring term, whenever his nap moves a bit.  

Fascinated by the geese

 

The journey home seemed to take hours. Windows open, loud talking, desperately trying to keep an exhausted Sam awake. A mile from home he almost went. Bless him, I probably scared the living daylights out of him as I ‘encouraged’ him to stay awake a little longer. Just about managed to get lunch into him before he passed out on my shoulder and I popped him in his cot. 

The unsettled nap reminded me why we are stopping Monkey Music. He woke crying after 40 minutes and it took another 15 to resettle him. Being so out of his natural routine is hard work for him, and for me. Although it can be hard that he sleeps in the morning – while others sleep in the afternoon – it’s much harder when I try and change our day around!  

Enjoying the sun…yes, I know his reins are on back to front…

 

Breakfast

You know it’s been a successful breakfast when Carl ends up with a Cheerio stuck to one foot, weetabix on the other and Sam has weetabix in his hair and – more impressively – down his back. 

I’ll take the energetic breakfasts as a sign that he’s finally feeling better after weeks of colds, respiratory tract infections and antibiotics! 

I realise that it has been weeks since my last post. Sam turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, which I still can’t quite get my head round. My little baby is officially a walking toddler. Some days he doesn’t even look like a baby any more.  

Deeply suspicious of his cake

 

The day after his party, we had an NCT party and, for the first time, had all 8 babies in the same room! We even managed a photo although it was of course at a time when Sam had just started crying.  

Proud parents

 

Since then, in between colds and antibiotics, we’ve been continuing as usual with a few more added outings. We went to Bocketts Farm weekend before last and Sam loved seeing all of the animals. I’ve waited until now to take him and I’m pleased I did. He was able to walk around (on reins!!) and stroked the animals fairly gently…apart from the bunny, which he refused to touch.   

So, here we are. On to Sam’s second year and all of the adventures that lie ahead!! 

Dear past life me…

Dear Kirsty of a year ago,

I’m shortly about to head out to do the one thing I swore I would never, ever do. Shop at lunchtime. 
It has long angered me that people unrestricted by lunch breaks set foot in supermarkets between the hours of 12 and 2. I wanted to start a campaign to add signs to all shops that only allowed entry to those with the whole day at their disposal before and after these times. 

Today however I am going to be one of those people. 

And why is this?  

Because, as mums before me already knew and mums after me will come to find out, it’s the earliest I can leave the house!! 

Sam has been asleep since 10am and is still in the land of zzzzz’s. If I then have to wait another 2 hours to set foot out of the house then it will be 2.30pm before we get shopping and – as other parents know – we do also has a social life. We’re visiting a friend and her boys this afternoon; with the best will in the world, I can’t do everything in the 2 hours between ‘end of lunch break’ and Sam’s dinner time. 

Usually, we do our shopping online. I am a huge fan. But sometimes you look around and realise you only have 3 nappies left, and with a teething baby on antibiotics, these are not going to last you very long! Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

I wholeheartedly apologise to all working shoppers this lunch time. I’ll do my best to look ashamed and apologetic, but I do need to shop…and that is what I failed to realise in my previous life. I might “technically” have all day to run errands, but in reality the window is smaller than I imagined. 

Sincerely, 

Present day me

My little man has a cold, is teething and is somewhat out of sorts thanks to the aforementioned ailments breaking up his sleep somewhat. Mum, Sam and I had a lovely weekend in Wales with my grandparents and he had a great time playing with his toys, gently stroking their pets (I was so impressed at how gentle my boisterous son was!) and walking around everywhere he could. Unfortunately, we both struggled with sleep thanks to his ‘gentle’ snoring during the few hours he did sleep. 

On Sunday, he spent much of the day lying on me wanting cuddles before we drove home through Storm Imogen. Probably the worst drive I’ve ever had and certainly my longest 5 hours in a car (no reflection on your company Mum!). Fortunately, as delighted as Sam was to see Carl, he was asleep within half an hour of arriving back. 

Today, I decided it was definitely a stay at home kind of day. His appetite was somewhat diminished thanks to his cold and after a smaller than average lunch, I did what any parent would do at dinner… Chuck anything at him that he might eat. Here Sam, have a bit of toast, pasta, a bit of carrot and some yogurt. Yep, that’ll do! What a nutritious meal… Luckily he could (and did) fill up on a bottle before bed.

Hopefully he’ll be feeling a little better tomorrow though! 

 

Story time

Sam and I read a lot of books together, we love story time. During the course of a day, I’m likely to read “That’s Not My Dinosaur” at least 10 times, not to mention the other 12 or so books we have.  

Cuddles and stories

 

Yesterday, Sam walked up to me brandishing a book that looked a bit different. Not a reading book for sure. 

“Sam, sweetheart, that’s not a book. Could you go and choose another one?”

Cue scrunched up furious face and waving the ‘book’ at me. 

“Come on now, go and find another one.”

More furious face. I decide to open the first couple of pages to show him. Sam settles next to me for story time. 

“Look, see, this isn’t a story. Go and get That’s Not My Monster”. 

He looks up at me in fury, stands up and throws a tantrum over the situation. 

Next time I’ll just read him the flipping Lakeland catalogue.  

The ‘book’ he was determined to read

 

Being a parent is…

While I cooked Sam’s dinner, I gave him a few Cheerios to play with and nibble on (throw on the floor). He had a blast throwing them and his sippy cup around, getting water and Cheerio debris everywhere. 

Dinner ready, I sat down ready to feed him. My ever loving and giving son looked up at me and handed me his most prized possession.

A cheerio. 

A soggy cheerio. 

This has happened before, but I’ve always found a way to get rid of it. 

He stared at me, waiting. 

I took the “cheerio” (soggy mush), thinking of ways I could drop it, as little bits of it started falling apart between my fingers. 

I looked up…

 
Still staring. 

I ate it. 

Happy birthday blog!

On the 5th January 2015, looking for something to do, I started writing a little blog. I’m still slightly surprised that I’ve managed to continue writing during the chaos (I think that’s the right word) of the last year, although I write far less frequently now. I write largely for myself, but it’s always lovely to hear comments from readers. 

It’s funny looking back to my very first post, so uncertain of what’s to come. I realise I never answered the questions I initially posed: 

When will Bud make an appearance? 6 days late, on Friday 20th February at exactly 20:00.

Will we have a boy or girl? A very energetic boy. 

How will we adjust to parenthood? We found our way, as all new parents do, by learning each and every day (we still are). It’s a huge change, but we adjust because we have no choice! 

Will we ever sleep again? Yes. Although it took far longer than we hoped! 

Am I enjoying my final hot cups of tea…? (Should I start drinking them cold, so it isn’t a shock!?) No. I employed my friend Charlotte’s rule and always enjoy a hot cuppa. If I might run out of time, I don’t make one. No cold tea for Kirsty! 

What a year it has been. There have been highs and lows, but ultimately the best year ever. 

So, we begin 2016 with a 10.5 month year old who has just started walking…now the real fun begins!!   

Happy New Year!

2016 is upon us and with Sam now walking, this year brings with it a whole lot of fun – I can’t wait to take him to soft play next week; he’ll love it! I’m excited about taking him to the park when the weather improves. Playing out in the garden beckons. Oh, I’m well aware he will want to walk 2 steps, find something interesting to look at on the ground, hand me a stone as a present and repeat, but I’m choosing to see that as a natural progression for his inquisitive mind, rather than focussing on every walk taking 10 times longer. 

peekaboo

Peekaboo!

 Sam loved his first Christmas and has really taken to his new toys. His favourite, of course, was a stick that came with the xylophone we bought him. You’ll notice I said ‘was’, for it has already been lost. It’s possibly under the sofa but wherever its current abode is, the location escapes me. Fortunately, he has others to bang things with. His red and yellow Little Tikes car (a rite of passage I believe) is a huge hit, his shopping basket rarely houses the fruit it came with since he enjoys throwing them around so much, the musical bus has shown us that he loves a little boogie, his new books often get brought over to us…and so on. 

 christmas jumpers 
We hosted a number of family days and Sam did fantastically. He naps well now (walking tires him out), which was fortunate during those busy days. It was a bit of a struggle getting him down on Christmas Day night since he was so hyped up, but we had few problems on the other nights. He loved being centre of attention – truly my son – and having all the family around him.

This time last year, I had just started my maternity leave and I’m still at a bit of a loss as to how that time has passed so quickly.

Now 2016 begins and I start my first year as an official stay at home mum. I have started a small business and I’m also working for my choir, so there’s no time to rest! More on that another time…

The first Christmas is nearly upon us 

Sam’s first Christmas looms ever closer and is now only a matter of hours away, although hopefully he’ll sleep through the first few hours of it! 

Despite him not really knowing what’s going on, I can’t wait to give him one of our presents for him – a xylophone. He loves hitting things with his stick and I think he’ll really enjoying getting a sound back! We’ve also bought him a little pull along cart with blocks in, and luckily this week he has started happily pulling his ducks along as he cruises and walks around. 

Yep. Walks. He’s now managing 3-4 free steps and can confidently pull himself from lying to sitting to standing and then walk. How quickly he progresses!  

So, here’s to the first Christmas, the couple of presents from us and the pile he’s likely to get from everyone else!! 

Happy Christmas everyone.