My Baby Looks Like Tim Off Corrie (and I only have myself to blame)

My baby looks like Tim off Corrie and I only have myself to blame. (And not because Tim off Corrie is the dad.)

   
 You may not totally see it in these photos but I can assure you that at times, my 4 month old baby boy is the spit of Tim off Corrie. Or Tim Metcalfe, as he probably prefers to be known (because it’s his real name.)

And I know why this has happened. It’s because I was mean. While I was pregnant I was mean about another baby. I giggled to my sister that a baby looked like Tim off Corrie and I provided her with screenshot evidence to prove it. That baby did indeed look like Tim off Corrie but as karma dictates, now too, so does my baby. 

But it’s ok. I still think my baby is cute so all it really means is that I now regard Tim off Corrie as cute. (Mothers are wired so that we find our own children the cutest little beings on earth aren’t we? Probably a throw back to cave men times so we don’t reject them or something.) 

My baby may or may not be a cutie but who cares? To me he’s a scrumptious little Tim off Corrie.

Anyway, moral of the story: don’t be mean about babies or you’ll get a Tim off Corrie one. (Which actually is no bad thing.)

He doesn’t always look like Tim off Corrie, see?
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When Silence Isn’t Golden

My son is two and a half years old and he doesn’t talk. He doesn’t say mummy, he doesn’t say daddy. He never has. At the moment the only thing he does say is “oh no”.

As a baby he babbled away, giggled and cooed when I expected him to; there was no sign that he would be late talking or that anything was wrong.


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With each day that goes by without him saying anything I get that little bit more worried and that little bit more sad. I’m desperate to have little chats with him; to hear about what he did at nursery; to listen to the nonsense that 2 years olds come out with. I feel like we’re missing out on so much. And I feel guilty. Did I do something wrong? Did I not chat to him enough? Did I chat too much so that he couldn’t get a word in?

Last night I dreamt that he was singing along to ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ whilst doing the actions and I was so so happy in that dream.

Until about 4 months ago I didn’t worry at all. He was so good at other things I just thought he was a late talker and he’d soon be chatting away. But when his 27 month check up came around with the health visitor he was extremely behind when it came to speech and language. That included understanding. He didn’t understand simple instructions. He understands more now (get your shoes, get your cup, etc.) but he’s still very behind. And my fear is that he won’t catch up; that he won’t ever talk normally.

I’m a natural born worrier and when I’m faced with something I don’t know much about I read and I research. Inevitably that means a lot of Internet research, which isn’t always a good thing. So far I’ve convinced myself that my boy has several different disorders (speech apraxia, autism, even brain damage) and occasionally convinced myself that actually he is fine and any day now I’ll hear that word I’m so desperate to hear; mama.

We have a speech therapist involved and my son goes to a really good Montisorri nursery 3 afternoons a week and they’re really trying to help him along too. We follow all the advice given; my sister bought him lots of different flash cards; my brother tries to encourage speech through play with his favourite toys; but so far nothing. And it’s really hard to keep up the enthusiasm when you’re faced with a wall of silence.

My family and some close friends know how much the issue is affecting me as a mum. And I end up explaining it to other people too, for example when a friendly old lady in a shop tries to talk to him. “Sorry, he’s not being rude, it’s just that he doesn’t talk yet, he’s got a speech therapist, I’m sure it won’t be long now, he says ‘oh no’…”. I end up with verbal diarrhoea to compensate for my boy’s lack of speech.

People tell me not to worry because worrying won’t change anything. Well, yes, I know that, but to get my brain to chill out about this I’d probably have to be sedated. When it comes to our kids how can we not worry?

And the biggest worry is that he won’t ever talk properly and he won’t lead a happy life. Everything will be harder for him, he won’t be “normal”. It probably sounds dramatic but I’m being honest and laying out my fears. And I know this might seem like something trivial to be fretting over to another parent whose child has a severe disability for example, and I get that, but for us right now for me this is my biggest worry.

For now I just have to keep encouraging him and keep hoping speech will come. On the one hand I’m told that the earlier the intervention the better the outcome but on the other hand no diagnosis can usually be made before a child is 3. It’s really frustrating not knowing what the problem is but the thought of him being diagnosed and labelled almost has me in tears too.

Sorry for the melancholy post, I just felt the need to share. And maybe someone might read who has some helpful advice. Although if I hear “well Einstein didn’t talk until he was four” one more time I reserve the right to climb the nearest tree and lob apples at people’s heads indiscriminately.

  

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A Bit Of Everything

The Library

  Today I had cause to go to our local library for the first time in about 2 years and it was lovely.

At first I thought it was lovely because I was alone, sans children, for only the second time in 4 months. The first time being when I went for a CT scan, an altogether less pleasant experience. But it wasn’t the lack of children that made it lovely (although that probably helped). 

Then I thought it was because of the peace and quiet. No screaming toddler having a paddy because I won’t let him eat 6 thousand starbursts in a row; no hysterical baby full of trapped wind; no demanding husband wanting to know where his shoes are. But it wasn’t that either. 

It wasn’t until I was leaving that I realised that it was the mixture of people in that place, all engrossed in their own individual activities, that had made the atmosphere so lovely. 

In the corner was an older gentleman, around mid-70’s, using one of the fairly ancient PC’s to look for package holidays. He was meticulously scribbling down the details of each one that fit his criteria and beaming as he did it. (I don’t think he knew he could print the pages for the bargain price of 5p per sheet.) Next to me was a scruffy, hippy type bloke, about 25. He was designing a poster for some sort of Christmas event and kept popping up to the counter to ask the opinions of the Middle-aged librarians, who were loving the attention and trying to out-flirt each other with him. 

Dotted about the library were all kinds of people choosing books, reading newspapers, writing, researching, immersing themselves in whatever it was they were doing. 

As I left it made me sad that my local library most likely won’t be around when my children are old enough to enjoy it. And not only that; the motley crew who were in there today won’t have that sanctuary to go to anymore. I found it almost comical that the elderly man was searching for package holidays in a library, but what if that was his only access to the internet? And what if the Scruffy Hippy relies on that place to design his flyers?

When cuts are made it’s always the most vulnerable in society that suffer but I have to be honest, the library is under-used. It was around midday and there was a maximum of 8 people in there, including me. The sweet little children’s section was totally empty. It’s no surprise that it’ll probably face the chop soon.

  

My 2 year old is already a member of the library, although he’s too boisterous to show much interest in books so far. But regardless, I’m going to start taking him to the library at least once a week to encourage him to see reading as something fun to do. It’s not much but it’s the only thing I can do right now to increase the footfall at the library and maybe help it hang around for a bit longer. 

Lately I read more blogs than books and that has to change too. As convenient as a Kindle is, I still love the feel and smell of a proper book; its high time I got stuck back into some good novels. Any recommendations?

Side Note: when I got home the husband hadn’t been able to find his shoes, the baby was hysterically crying and full of wind and the 2 year old had demolished six thousand Starburst. At least. 

I Miss Being Vain!

 
My children are everything and I love the bones of them. I wouldn’t swap them for the world but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss certain things from my pre-mum days. And one of those things is being vain.

   
I miss looking like this. I miss spending 4 hours getting ready for a night out. Or even just a day out. Or actually, even just going to work. I’ve never been what would be described as conventionally beautiful but I’ve always taken care over my appearance. Despite always having been on the heavier side (ok yeah, I mean fat), I care what I look like and love applying make up.

In my pre-children days I would spend 50 minutes in the shower, exfoliating and conditioning to my heart’s content. No rush, I could stay in that bathroom as long as I liked. Then I’d saunter into my bedroom, put some tunes on and spend hours on my make up, literally hours. 

First I always tweezed my eyebrows and examined my pores in a magnifying mirror for about 20 minutes. Then I’d prime my face with a moisturiser, eye cream and pore minimiser. Next I’d apply concealer and 3 different foundations followed by setting powder. I’ve always enhanced my eyebrows (even before it was fashionable. I am a victim of the 90’s over plucking phenomena) so I’d spend at least 15 minutes on them. Then the eyes; at least 5 eye-shadows, liquid eye-liner, khol eye-liner and individual false lashes. Then highlighter and bronzer. I’d sculpt my face and keep on sculpting until I was happy with it. Last was always the lips. For some reason I never spent much time on them, usually just a couple of lip glosses would do. 

Then onto my hair. Products galore at my disposal, ghd’s and curling wands at the ready, I’d make sure there wasn’t a hair out of place. 

 

The pre-children me. Although I’ll concede the eyebrows are a bit dodgy here.
 
These days I’m lucky if I manage a 10 minute shower in peace. Half the time I rush out of the house with 50% wet hair (the other 50% being dry but frizzy). I slap foundation on whilst feeding the baby and hope for the best. I still insist on sorting my eyebrows out (I really can’t go around with sparse eyebrows can I?) but I’m altogether a much less appealing sight than I was before. 

I live in denial. Each day I go out looking a mess I vow that it’s the last day it will happen. ‘I’ll get my act together tomorrow and be glam again’ I tell myself. It doesn’t happen. But it will one day. Probably sometime in 2030.

We All Live In Paris

 It feels right to write about what has happened in Paris. To let it go by without acknowledging it here seems false because it’s consuming my thoughts right now. 

I’ve been thinking about the people that were killed in cold blood. Thinking about the fear they must’ve felt in that second when they realised what was happening. Wondering what they thought about. For some of them it would’ve been their children and that really breaks my heart.

Their families have also been on my mind; mothers, fathers, daughters and sons grieving their most cherished loved ones being murdered. Brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles and cousins; angry at the absolute senselessness of it all.  

Then I think of the psychopaths that did it. What were they thinking? How could they go through with it? How could they have been brainwashed to the point of committing cold blooded murder, killing themselves in the process?

We’ve all been posting pictures of the Eiffel Tower and hashtagging ‘Pray for Paris’ because we feel for the victims and the city. But also, we feel for ourselves. It’s human nature. Once we’ve digested tragedies such as these we naturally start to think about how it affects us; how it affects our children. 

For me I’m doubly scared. First, I’m scared that these lunatics will carry out another attack and one of my loved ones will be hurt. Either here in the UK or in Jordan, where I also have family. I especially worry about my sister who lives in London. The truth is that nowhere is out of reach for the terrorists. We all live in Paris. 

Second, I’m scared about the Islamaphobia these attacks perpetuate. I am Muslim (although not strict by any means) and my children are Muslim. I’m scared they will be treated differently or even abused at school when they’re older because of their religion. 

It’s no coincidence that these tragedies create friction between the West and Muslims; it’s part of the terrorist agenda. When the West starts to treat all Muslims with suspicion and sometimes disdain, Muslims feel marginalised and ostracised. And that’s when they become easy pickings for ISIS to recruit. And so the cycle continues. 

I’ve seen on my own Facebook feed today, hints of racism and Islamaphobia coming through from my own friends (although not close friends, thankfully). They’re not being that way because they’re bad people, but because they’re scared and angry and so when the Right Wing holds up Islam as an easy target to blame, they take it.

Each one of these attacks brings changes to all of our lives. A little more caution; another place we decide we’d better not choose for a holiday destination this year. Yes, statistically it’s highly unlikely we’d be killed in a terrorist attack but statistics aren’t what stay with us; those images on the TV of death and destruction. They stay with us. And they scare us. 

I am praying for Paris but I’m also praying for the world. There was a terrorist attack by ISIS in Lebanon on Thursday (barely reported by the media) and the depressing fact is there will be more, all over the world, in the coming months. We all live in Paris and I pray for us all. 

  

Stop Wiping Bogies In My Hair

‘Stop wiping bogies in my hair’ is one of the ridiculous sentences that no person should ever have to utter that has come out of my mouth today. 

 

The bogie-wiper himself
 
Others are ‘don’t touch, it’s poo’, ‘get out of the tumble dryer please’ and ‘stop eating that candle’. Obviously I was ignored on every occasion. 

I realise there will be many more of these pleas to come. My oldest is only 2 and youngest is 3 months. But at what point will they stop being so gross?! 

I can understand the need to explore and get inside the tumble dryer (sort of) and taste candle wax just once (possibly) but why the over-familiarity with bodily fluids?! Why the urge to pee all over the carpet, aiming to cover as large a surface area as possible, the minute a nappy is removed?! It’s just so gross!

It’s no surprise to me that my children do things that make me gag pretty much every day. My friends have always laughed about my gag reflex and propensity to barf at anything slightly disgusting and having kids is really testing my stomach! 

While I was pregnant with baby number 2 I was trying to chat to my sister about Gogglebox but had to demand we change the subject because I was gagging so much thinking about one of the family’s who have loads of dogs. (My concern was that their house smelt of dog and it very nearly made me vomit.) I avoided the vom by quickly thinking and talking about something else. But with kids I can’t! I have to deal with whatever rank situation they’ve created, often having to touch slimey, stinky messes 😷.

It’s quite upsetting really, that sliding bogies out of my hair is now a regular occurrence. I might even get used to it at this rate and stop gagging. But I really hope not. 

  
Sitting on top of the TV unit with no pants on is the only acceptable way to watch ‘Show Me Show Me’ apparently. (Yes that is wax crayon all over the TV unit.)