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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’ is one of the ridiculous sentences that no person should ever have to utter that has come out of my mouth today.
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.)
It’s 4am and after a 2 hour wrangle my baby has finally given in to sleep in this position: face down on the end of my bed.
My options now are:
Try to manoeuvre him into his Moses basket and onto his back, risking disturbing him (95% chance this will happen – he’s a very light sleeper), which will cause him to howl the house down and wake up my 2 year old.
Leave him sleeping on his tummy, cover him with a blanket and spend the rest of the night watching him while holding a mirror to his face to ensure that he is breathing at all times.
Carefully and slowly, so that he doesn’t notice (like over the course of an hour) shift him onto his back but leave him at the end of my bed. I’d have to cordon off the area with cushions so that the husband doesn’t kick him. Then I’d have to sleep on the floor.
Do any of you have these amazing thoughts in the middle of the night while you’re up feeding the baby or struggling to get to sleep? I don’t know whether it’s boredom or severe sleep deprivation that causes them but I suffer from them badly. Here’s a few recent ones:
1. I’m going to go back to uni to re-train as a doctor. I’ll specialise in paediatric medicine and it’ll be great. (I’m not and it won’t. I’ve got a weak stomach and the sight of blood makes me queasy.)
2. Tomorrow I’m going to go buy some paint and redecorate the living room. I’ll paint over all the crayon drawings on the walls and it will look super. (Not happening. As well as having a 2 year old and a 3 month old to look after and entertain, I’ll be knackered from being awake half the night with the baby and my deluded thoughts.)
3. I’m going to open an Etsy Store and sell lovely bespoke goods, all hand made by clever old me. (Well nope because I’m not actually crafty in the slightest, despite really wishing I was, and I have nothing to offer Etsy other than hard cash when I’m buying stuff other crafty types have made.)
4. I’ll sign up for the London Marathon and run the whole thing and raise loads of money for charity. (Nice idea and perhaps something to aim for but I should probably at least own a pair of trainers before I set my sights on a marathon. The egg and spoon race would actually be beyond my capabilities right now. No really.)
5. I’ll write a novel. It’ll be semi-autobiographical and hilarious of course. Everyone will want to read about the life and times of Me and I’ll get really famous, probably. I’ll end up having to choose between Graham Norton and Alan Carr because I’ll be so popular I simply won’t have time to appear on both of their shows. (I think the fact I’m blogging about my deluded thoughts is evidence enough that any novel written by me is hardly going to become a best seller.)
Come the morning I explain to my middle-of-the-night self why such decisions are ridiculous and must be reversed, never to be thought of again. So my middle-of-the-night self just keeps coming up with new crazy plans each night.
With Christmas fast approaching it’s always good to at least get the stockings sorted before November’s out. Not that my disorganised self has ever managed this in the past, but it’s something to aim for!I always try to support independent retailers where possible and when it comes to gifts I think something more individual shows that you’ve really thought about a present and not just rushed into John Lewis and grabbed something from the first display you’ve seen. Although my kids wouldn’t know (or care less!) where their present has come from (which is Santa, obviously), I still take pleasure in finding lovely little lesser known gifts they (and let’s face it, I) can enjoy.I’ve put together a list of five fabulous stocking fillers I’ve found from independent makers and stockists that aren’t toys but that kids will still love to receive. Whilst toys will usually make up the bulk of a child’s Christmas list, I find that alternative gifts are very much appreciated too, often because they’re unexpected. Plus they’ll probably outlive some of the toys that are opened this Christmas and discarded by Boxing Day!
The goodies I’ve featured are also cool enough to be stand alone gifts for a niece/nephew/friend to.
So here’s my list of lovely pressies:
1. Crayon Box Crayons
These gorgeous handmade crayons would be the perfect stocking filler for any child. With a wide range to choose from (from dinosaurs to Russian dolls to lego men and more) you can definitely find something that would appeal to your little one. You can also order letters to spell out a name; always popular with kids.
Whether your child is already a fan of drawing and colouring, or you’re trying to encourage an interest, these crayons are bound to go down a treat.
They are also so beautifully packaged; you can tell each set has been made with love.
The increasingly popular Tobias & the Bear never fail to disappoint on both design and quality. These gorgeous leggings are currently available for pre-order but will be delivered in December if ordered now.
Available in sizes 3-6 months to 3-4 years the beauty of giving these as a gift for your child is that, like most items of clothing for your bub, they will also feel like a gift for you!
While the leggings are intended to be a snug fit, there can be some shrinking after the first wash according to the website, so I always size up for my 2 year old.
4. Three Piece Cutlery Set by Omm Design – Available from The Pippa & Ike Show
Cutlery is a great idea for a stocking filler because you’d probably have to buy some anyway, right?! This brightly coloured set designed by Ingela P Arrhenius is perfect for little ones to get stuck into their dinner with in style.
The Pippa & Ike Show is a gorgeous independent online store, selling a varied collection of eye-catchingly wonderful treasures for children. As well as this cutlery set, they also stock Omm Design melamine beakers, bowls and plates in the same design, which will cheer up your kitchen and withstand toddler use!
5. Ice Cream LED Light by A Little Lovely Company – Available from This Modern Life
A night-light is another great stocking filler idea and how cute are these?! Choose from white, blue or pink ice-cream to brighten up your child’s room with a tasty-looking pastel lamp.
These ice-cream lamps would look lovely on a shelf or could be used as a reading light next to your child’s bed. They take 3xAA batteries so you don’t need to worry about having a power socket nearby.
This Modern Life is another great independent online store, stocking only the best decor items in terms of design. But browse at your own risk; you’ll probably find yourself wanting to add almost everything you see to your basket!