I like to think I’m a fairly determined mum. When I promise something to my children I will do everything in my power to make it happen. I promise a Fireman Sam truck and I will deliver, by the skin of my teeth. I promise a trip to the farm or that we’ll go for a walk in the woods, we will do it. Toddlers never forget and I never want them to feel they have to remind me of anything. They will remind me anyway, because (read the full post here)
I always look forward to Bank Holiday. I know what you’re thinking, what’s the difference, I don’t work anyway right? I’m just thinking about those toddler fights I referee, the meals I make and the bums I wipe throughout the day with the bonus of getting peed on occasionally. But no, what I do isn’t work work (werk werk werk)
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Eat In Season: Spring Foods
I look up quite regularly what ingredients are in season as each season arrives. This is because when vegetables are a-plenty, they tend to be a lot cheaper. They are also full of plenty of goodness, being naturally grown, rather than grown artificially. So I’ve been told. I also find that if we branch out with a new veg, we’re forced (click to read the full post)
Do you love flowers or do you know some that can’t get enough? Keep reading for inspiration and to shop the look…
Interior Design: Flower Lovers Decor & Accessories. If you’re a huge fan of flower decor then this is your one stop shop for all things floral. When decorating a room, images of flowers soften the interior design and having real flowers in a vase has been proven to lift your mood (a faux flower display also works), it’s a bonus that (click to view full post)
I took the plunge yesterday and went self-hosted. This means my site will still be the same, it’s just at a different address – http://firstooth.co.uk
It’s still a work in progress with the aesthetics. I’m not sure the plain, square theme suits the ratchetness of the blog, but it’ll get there.
To everyone who has been kind enough to subscribe via email – please use the new form, on the new blog. And to everyone else, please join me over there too!
Thanks everyone! I’m off to read a book with catbags in (black cats in toddler language).
We haven’t bought the children many gifts this year. I feel a little tight, like we’re depriving them of plenty of things they’d probably love to own and play with. Toys that’d probably be the size of our bloody lounge and play tunes that slowly drive you to insanity (if the actual owning of children doesn’t do that itself).
When I look at the little pile stacked neatly on the babys’ wardrobe, ready to be wrapped, I say to Mr Firstooth, ”is that enough, will that do?”, completely bypassing the point of Christmas. Our eldest is two, so, of course it will do.
At the ages of one and two, they have no concept of gifts, birthdays, Christmas. They haven’t a clue what they would like as a gift, if they even need a gift?
Already, we don’t just have a toybox overflowing with toys, every nook and cranny is spilling with all sorts of toys, or ‘stuff’ as I see it. Most of which rarely gets played with. Most toy sets get split up and spread across the house, pieces in pillowcases and slippers, because children have NO RESPECT FOR SETS. So do we really want to voluntarily add to this mayhem?
I would love to spoil them with toys and see their excitement as they open their many presents. But I’m inclined to think, what’s the point? This Christmas I want to enjoy the magic of the day and share that with our family. Start Christmas traditions like the mince pie and wine for Santa (I hear Santa favours wine) and the Carrott for Rudolf (which Rudolf will donate to the Christmas day dinner after his nibble).
Babies and toddlers want our time, our attention, laughs, sweets, crisps, chocolate, tv, Peppa flipping Pig and to probably play with the wrapping and box their presents come in. That, we can give them, it won’t be a gift that’ll be wrapped, but that they will get, every year. This year it will accompany a little Lego set, a few books and a big play set.
Next year may be different, because I’m sure our then three year old will have a list. A bastard list filled with every toy or game he ever sees advertised. But a list I can work with, this year it’s a gift guessing game. So I’m guessing that a few things to unwrap will do. The rest will be about the magic of the day and the memories we make.
I’m writing this post with a sore head, a snotty nose and a heavy heart.
I haven’t written a post in a while and I had set time aside this weekend to write one. Mumblings about parenting. Moans about the heartbreak and hardship when children are ill, alongside us. The long nights we’ve faced and the tiredness we’ve fought through.
That would have been a fairly pathetic post, in light of the goings on in Paris. The devastating act of a group of people, resulting in deaths, injuries and a widespread fear.
The irony is, that in the midst of our nightly 4 hour waking with a very poorly baby (what would have been this weekends post), I checked my phone. A distraction from rocking the baby and wiping her ever so drippy nose. That was when I saw the news of a terrorist attack in Paris, at around 2am. And what a distraction that was.
Was I reading this right? What was happening? Why was this happening?
I turned to Mr Firstooth, who was sulking, due to a minor dispute about whose turn it was with the baby. I told him what I’d just read and I could see it hadn’t registered with him. It didn’t sink in, that there were terror attacks in Paris. All until the next morning, when he saw it himself on the news. Far more eye-opening to see the devastation than to read about it, or hear about it mid-sulk at 2am.
It then became the main conversation of the day. How it puts things into perspective. How we should appreciate our lives and family, because in a split second, through someone’s act of pure selfishness and without warning, it can all be taken away.
One life lost is an entire family’s heartbreak. An undeserved and brutal loss.
An evening in Paris which couples, friends and families were enjoying and one which was probably looked forward to, not knowing most wouldn’t make it home.
One area left hundreds subject to a horrific shooting and another that instilled fear in hundreds of football fans, once the realisation that, they weren’t fireworks, they were bombs, set in.
It just takes one person to devastate and destroy hundreds of people’s lives and spread sadness across the world, it could be anywhere. ‘This is just the beginning’ it has been said. Where will be next?
If we have learnt anything this year, it’s that nothing should be taken for granted. Each day is a blessing. And in times of such callous killings, the world stands together.
I wish there wasn’t this amount of evil in a world my children are growing up in. Tonight I will hold them a little tighter, say ‘I love you’ more often and keep those who have suffered and their families in my thoughts.
The night was beginning to look promising, an early night for the children and a tea and cake fest for us. Neither child napped, both looked ready for bed.
At 6pm we started talking about the programmes we were going to watch, while drinking tea and eating cake. It would be special.
At 6.30pm we ran the bath.
Because eventhough it was bedtime. They were overtired, so bedtime was a long way off yet.
Although, we still pursued it, because we were ever the optimists.
At 7pm when we laid both children in their beds. The baby threw up and the toddler had a meltdown.
According to Mr Firstooth, this all stemmed from me offering the toddler his milk, while he was in the bath, instead of while he was being dried. Because having a reason and someone to blame makes everything seem a little easier to digest.
As I cleaned up the vomit, cursing our unrealistic vision of a relaxing evening, I heard the toddler chuckling while he was being walked downstairs. Funny that. How quickly he can go from meltdown to laughter.
The next two hours were about to test our patience and made me realise, I have patience. Who knew.
The evening went like this,
At first it looked easy. The baby was content all the while she was being held, by me and only me. An attempt at putting her down or daddy having a cuddle, would result in heartbreaking tears.
The toddler was quiet whilst he drank his milk and watched a little Peppa.
But then he finished his milk and Peppa ended.
Thus was the start of the end of the world. Over overtiredness. A new form of overtiredness we haven’t yet had the pleasure of witnessing.
He wanted his sister to sit on the small chair and push her around the house. She didn’t want to do this and it turns out he actually doesn’t want her anywhere near the chair. Because it’s his. The chair is his, the toys are his, I’m his. Narrating all of this to us in a scream, just in case we were unable to hear him.
He wanted the chair put in the kitchen. ”Do you want your chair in the kitchen?”
”NO” falls to the ground and screams.
”Mummy, chair on the stairs”
”Shall I put your chair on the stairs?”
”NO” falls to the ground and screams.
”Mummy, get juice?”
”Would you like some juice?”
”NO” falls to the ground and screams.
I tried responding to his requests in silence, the reaction was just the same. Screaming, dramatically falling to the floor and body jerking.
Things were thrown. Empty threats were retaliated.
I was stuck between laughing and crying. Laughing, because it was a little funny, the dramatic reaction to everything. Crying, because it’s upsetting to see someone you love so much, so upset and nothing you do makes a difference.
After a few more meltdowns because of this chair, I’d had enough. The bastard thing got thrown out of the back door. The chair, not the toddler.
At 9pm, after enduring almost two hours of the toddlers up-tempo overtiredness, we thought let’s ditch them.
The baby fell asleep instantly *wipes sweat off forehead*
The toddler put up a fight. Strength was needed to hold his uncontrollable legs down while he was zipped into his sleeping bag. Like a straight jacket.
One story and a desperate cuddle later, we left him. He wailed for a moment and as if by magic. Tah dah, both were asleep. It may have only been 9pm, but it felt like midnight.
We just spread out across the bed wondering what the fuck just happened.
And by sometimes, I mean most of the time. Sometimes, or most of the time, I feel like the baby enjoys watching me on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Only on the verge, she doesn’t enjoy full blown meltdown. Because meltdown mummy can’t focus on whingeing, she normally disappears into a lockable room, for a moment.
The scale of which a baby will make you sweat, is all determined by the way in which they’ve woken up. Tears guarantees a fairly sweaty day ahead. Smiles and singing, also guarantees plenty of sweat, but you may be slightly more receptive to any shit thrown your way when she was happy at one point today.
Every mealtime fills me with dread. The reaction to a bib would make you think a choke collar was being strapped around the babys neck. Stains on every single item of clothing is a must in baby fashion. That meal, that’s just had time and money spent on, is disgusting, throw it away. And straps, who needs straps? The baby obviously doesn’t, because no matter how tight, there’s always enough room for escape. And to even attempt to sit the baby back down is seen as child cruelty, there will be planking, crying and coughs, because it is child cruelty after all. Just give up, put Paw Patrol on and start the lengthy clear up process.
Anything within reach, will be reached. They will see things we don’t, they will also eat things we don’t, see what’s edible through a babies eyes for my thoughts on this. Leaving a pack of wipes casually lying around, is asking for trouble, the entire pack ends up strewn across the room, do I deny all knowledge, and put them back? Or throw away, don’t be silly they always get put back in the pack. Trying to remove anything unsuitable from the baby causes crying, but without the tears. Babies become the masters of fake cries, it may not be genuine crying, but it’s genuinely bloody annoying.
Babies sometimes never know what they want. They want to be carried, but they don’t want to be carried, putting them down makes them realise they actually do want to be carried, oh, no, they want to be put down. They need to be asleep but want to be awake and because they need to be asleep, someone needs to suffer, unfortunately that someone is anyone within earshot.
Crying on a car journey, making it known this is a life or death situation so pull the damn car over. Just kidding, she just fancied a cuddle.
Babies like to test people’s patience. Not just ours, but her brothers too. With a brother who has established two is sometimes really shitting terrible, going near him can sometimes be dangerous. The baby will always return, especially when her brother is in the most foul of moods, he’s more fun like that. Her toy/food/clothes/hair are never as appealing as his, even when it’s the same toy/food/clothes/hair.
Who can resist that smile
I often say the babys’ name in a tone that says ‘oh for fucksake, not again’, more often than I expect. Babies are unreasonable, they make us sweat, bring chaos to the day and leave us slightly frazzled every evening. But when we tuck in the little buggers at night, it’s all forgotten. They’re pretty special.
It all started at the beach. We’re in the midst of potty training, so every few seconds I find myself asking ‘do you need a wee wee’. Usually the toddlers answer is no, while we’re out. But this time he said, yes.
His need for a wee was followed by a frantic run back to the car to throw open the boot and place him on the potty. Only, yes, he needed a wee, but no, he didn’t want to pull his jeans and pants down and pee on the potty in the boot.
It all went downhill from there.
After the beach we wanted to nip to Tesco, we never just ‘nip‘ anywhere anymore.
The whole car journey the toddler cried to go home. Even the Hot Dog Song on the Disney cd couldn’t distract his tantrum, or muffle the sound of it.
Then shit got real once we entered Tesco. He turned feral.
He wanted daddy while daddy
pissed off went to the toilet, leaving me with an overly excited baby and a screaming, kicking toddler.
Turns out he didn’t want daddy, because once he reappeared he wanted to go back to the car.
Turns out he didn’t want to go back to the car, he wanted to come back inside and find me.
Us, and every shopper within a mile radius, endured a continuous chorus of screaming and all became witness to defiant body jerks and rolling around on the floor. Something I didn’t wish to share with everyone, but I’m sure a few parents thought ‘thank God that’s not us today‘.
I knew they were back in the shop because the screaming was easily recognisable, and heard. ”Look, look, there’s mummy” Mr Firstooth looked desperate and also defeated, when it turned out he didn’t want mummy. He wanted his own trolley.
Given the option to have his own trolley, he stood in front of the display of potatoes, in silence, lip out, staring at the floor with the occasional side-eye to us. Those feet were cemented in that position.
An example of what this ‘laying down’ looks like
It took a stranger to set off the toddler alarm again, by asking if he was helping choose some potatoes. I wish he was, I wish he was.
The next stop to his screaming was in the pet aisle. He laid down. This was it, my chance to leave Mr Firstooth watching over him, while I finish shopping in peace.
So for ten minutes he laid there. Right in the way. But he was quiet. So we didn’t dare move him.
Until it was time to pay.
I banished them both to the car.
Leaving the shop I could hear the screaming and him calling ‘mummy’, then seeing his little red face broke my heart into a million pieces.
Once I rushed over to hold him, it turned out he didn’t want me. He wanted me to take him to a trolley.
For the sake of a little peace and the desperation to just get him in the car, I went along with it.
A trolley wasn’t enough. He wanted to go back in the shop.
You’ve got to be shitting me?
I don’t think so buddy, get in the car.
Turns Disney cd louder, to match the yelling.
Peppa Pig went on TV the moment we got home. And that was the end of the best worst tantrum. Tesco won’t be seeing us for a while, that’s for sure.