Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Normal Service Must Resume

Boo. Festivities are over (I don't count New Year, it's rubbish). I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas. We have, it's been one long lovely round of visiting and being visited and eating all manner of nice things. And now it has come to an end. Now is the time to eat like a normal person instead of having two roast dinners and a box of chocolates every day. Now is the time to find homes for all the various singing, binging, lighting-up and screeching things that the children have been given (it would also be the time to write thank-you cards, if I were the type to be so organised and courteous, and if I stood a cat in hell's chance of remembering who bought what. But I'm not and I don't, so thank you to everyone who bought presents). Now is the time to remember that the house does not clean itself, and to realise that the washing mountain is raging out of control, and will not get any smaller without me actually doing something about it.

Needless to say, I'm not feeling as good about today as I have about the last few. It's not helped by the fact that my delightful children have decided that I don't actually need to sleep for longer than two hours in a row. The Littl'un keeps waking up wanting to play, and The Toddler keeps waking up wanting to whinge (either an ear infection or another issue with those elusive back molars, I think). Which is why we are all still in our pyjamas, we have already watched Aladdin and one DVD of Peppa Pig, and I have called in the cavalry (my mother). Now for tea, a shower, and then we'll see if I can remember how to do this thing called Normal Life.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


A couple of weeks ago, I bought The Littl'un some more dummies, taking her total up to six. Today, I am aware of the whereabouts of two. That's four dummies, unaccounted for. I'm pretty sure we haven't lost any whilst out and about, which means they must be somewhere in my house. So here's the big question: WHERE????!!!!!!!!!!! They are not in the cot, under the cot, in our bed, under our bed, in any of my handbags, in any coat pockets, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the car, on any shelves, under the sofas, or in any of the other places they might logically be.

So what's going on? Is there some kind of dummy vortex in my house? Some kind of wormhole in the space-time continuum through which they slip, never to return? It's the only explanation I can think of (Oh, except for the other, more likely one, which involves The Toddler and a lapse in supervision).

I've got a plan though. I shall go to the hideously overpriced supermarket over the road, and buy a load more. Then, I imagine, they will promptly turn up, in an achingly obvious spot which I have looked in at least 24 times.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


I wrote a while ago about how I found myself behaving in a slightly hippymum-type way. Screw that. I am officially bored of night feeds. One, I can cope with. Two, not so much.

Until now, I have been taking the path of least resistance with regards to nighttime - if the quickest way to get The Littl'un back to sleep is to stick a boob in her face, then a boob in her face she will get. That way I get back to bed sooner. But it was all starting to get to me, not necessarily the lack of sleep, but knowing that she would need me, and only me, twice a night, every night for the rest of her life. OK, maybe not, but that was what it was starting to feel like. So, after a delightful night on Tuesday, where she wanted feeding three times between the hours of 11pm and 7am, and threw a charming mini-tantrum after each one, I decided to a change of approach was needed. I didn't want to let her cry, not really for ideological reasons, but more because I'm not about to do anything to increase the already very good chance that The Toddler will wake up and demand a wee, or a drink, or a song. Instead, I have decided to try the jiggle-rock-cuddle-or-whatever-else-might-send-you-to-sleep-because-I'm-sure-as-hell-not-feeding-you-until-I-am-100%-sure-you-are-definitely-hungry approach. The title may need work, I appreciate that.

For last night, at least, I can call it a tentative win. Yes, The Littl'un ended up in my bed kicking me in the stomach, my arm has a strange deadness to it from rocking her back and forth and not being allowed to relax my hold for a second, and I have that slightly other-wordly feeling that comes from sleeping in two-hour chunks, BUT, we got until nearly 5am before a feed, which gives me hope that she actually doesn't really need two feeds a night, and is just looking for comfort when she first wakes up and not milk. I am being cautious in my optimism though. I know only too well how babies like to make you think they're co-operating, only to mix it all up again the next day. Besides, if I've got to do the same tonight, it will be a big test. I'm very very tired, and the temptation to sit down and snuggle into a blanket feeding rather than walking up and down in the cold jiggling a baby who gets heavier by the second may prove just too great. But I really hope that we're on the road to ditching a feed, and that soon I will be happier.

Because that's the thing. I'm not doing this because of any notion that she "should" be sleeping through, or that I'm somehow doing something wrong by allowing her "still" to feed on demand. I'm doing it because it was starting to make me unhappy. I was perfectly happy doing what we were doing, but now I am not, so I'm going to change it. And that, in my terribly unimportant opinion, should always be the tipping point. Other people will try and tell you that babies need this, or should be doing that, or that you need to develop good habits and drop bad ones, but they are not the ones living your life and dealing with your baby. It's not a problem until you decide it is.

So wish me luck. Hopefully I'll soon be able to report that The Littl'un is sleeping better. Or at least that I can now kick Husband out of bed to deal with her too. And then once that's settled, perhaps we can look at making The Toddler realise that 3am is not the time for "Jingle Bells".

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Happy Half-Birthday!

The Littl'un was 6 months old yesterday. Nope, I don't know where it went either.

We marked this momentous occasion in a number of ways. Actually, that's a total lie. Some things happened which happened to happen yesterday, but I'm trying to make this post have, like, a coherent theme or something, rather than just my usual random ramble.

Anyway, now that The Littl'un is officially at The Age At Which One May Wean, I decided that we could venture away from only the purest steamed vegetables, and gave her a piece of toast. She liked. She liked very much, and proved my "She can't make that much mess with toast" assertion ridiculous amounts of wrong. I think she even ate some. She's getting a bit better at that, starting to realise that the part where the bit of food goes down her throat is not only OK, but actually the point of the whole exercise, rather than a reason to make a startled face.

We also decided to put our Christmas tree up yesterday. Family tradition dictates that trees go up around about my mam's birthday on the 14th, so it didn't feel quite right putting it up so unprecedentedly early. But I made Husband go in the loft for something on Tuesday, and he grumbled that he was getting the tree down now because he couldn't be bothered to go up there again. Honestly, anybody would think it involved him balancing precariously on a wonky ladder and shining the light on his phone around a tiny space filled with seven hundred boxes of baby clothes or something.
Anyway, it was quite nice, making the living room all festive-like. I normally rely on going shopping to get me in the Christmas spirit (although God knows why, the Metro Centre in December is surely the closest thing to hell I will experience in my mortal days), but due to some kind of freakish turn of events, it's all been pretty much done in advance, and over the internet. So yesterday, we put some Christmas songs on, and allowed The Toddler to help decorate the tree. The bottom few branches ended up somewhat heavily baubled. And now I'm full of tidings of comfort and joy, and all that (except for when those sodding "carol singers" (annoying boys from across the road who know one verse of one song and wouldn't leave me alone once I gave them biscuits last year) come to call).

And something that actually was (kind of) to mark The Littl'un's half-birthday, we took them to see some culture. We went to Enchanted Parks in Saltwell Park, which I have wanted to go to for years, but have never got my lazy arse in gear enough to actually do. It was lovely. The Littl'un gazed around her in wonder at all the pretty lights, which was cute, and The Toddler occasionally stopped saying "I don't like it" to have a run around and a nosey at stuff. Why, though, we decided that on a cold, cold, cold night, when the girls would be out past their bedtime on a walk around a hilly park, a pushchair was somehow not an essential thing to take, is completely beyond me. Possibly because we are a little bit stupid.

The most momentous thing that I did yesterday was spend a WHOLE DAY away from And not just that, it was the first of hopefully many whole days. I have finally admitted the truth, that my addiction to arguing with strangers is slightly out of control, and if I want my children to recognise me without the glow of the laptop on my face, then a good dose of cold turkey is needed. I even clicked the "Forget this Site" option in Firefox, with some trepidation, as if it was about to erase something important from my brain in the manner of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It didn't. Just logged me out and took it out of the browser history. So now I feel liberated, and as if I have extraordinary amounts of time at my disposal. Which I'm sure I will use very wisely. (I'm already using it to update this, look at me go!)

We also did some ironing and watched Masterchef, but that really had nothing to do with the date, just that we have a backlog of both. Speaking of which, off I go....

Monday, 5 December 2011

What Am I Doing Wrong?!!

Why will The Toddler not stay asleep all night, instead of waking up at random hours demanding a cuddle, a drink, or a song?

Why, when she asks for a song in the middle of the night, will she neither go to sleep without one, nor tell me which song she wants?

Why will The Littl'un not make up her mind about whether she wants a night feed or not? And if she wants one, can she not want it at roughly the same time every night? Feed at 1am, 3am, 5am, or none til 8am - the inconsistency of it is driving me up the wall. I think I would actually cope better if I knew she would wake every two hours without fail. I'd be knackered, but at least I wouldn't be harbouring any hope that tonight might be a sleeping-through night.

Why can I not just get on and feed her when she does wake up, instead of fruitlessly trying to get her to settle back down, until I'm nearly crying and go "Oh for God's sake, I'll bloody feed you then!"?

Why can I not find any of The Littl'un's dummies? Has she eaten them? Or are they just secreted away somewhere in this disaster zone which is my house?

Why is The Toddler asking me for grapes? She has eaten a bowl of rice crispies, half a bowl of cornflakes, a plum, a biscuit, a box of raisins, a crumpet with cheese, a lump of cucumber, three-quarters of an apple and half a banana, and it's only just gone 1 o'clock. Is there no filling this child?

Why am I incapable of putting a nappy on the Littl'un in such a way that it will actually contain her poosplosions? I can't remember the last time we had a one-outfit day.

Why is The Toddler's response to everything I try to give her, ask her, or do to her, "I don't LIKE it!"? And surely there's a better response than "Well, I don't care!"?

Why can't The Toddler just do what I ask her to do the first time, instead of the 34th time after having been threatened with the corner? Why do I ask 34 times, instead of threatening the corner earlier?

Why am I terrified of weaning? I've done it before, and it's not exactly rocket science, but I really feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I think I'm not 100% certain about the baby-led weaning malarkey, but completely sure I'm too lazy to do spoon-feeding. And I'm too paranoid about salt to give her exactly what we're having, so I'm mainly just sticking bits of banana in front of her and hoping for the best.

Why have I been completely unsuccessful in trying to limit The Toddler's TV time. She now tells me about Grandpa Pig fixing the computer in exactly the same way that she tells me she had pasta for dinner. It's worrying. But guess what she's doing right now? (In my defence, I'm feeding The Littl'un).

Is the answer to many, if not most of these questions, "Because I'm a bit crap"? Or is it "Because it's all too confusing"? My greatest fear (well, not my greatest fear in the whole world, that's David Cameron being PM forEVER) is that no-one else asks themselves these questions, because they actually all do know what they're doing, and are confident they're doing it all right. Someone please tell me that's not the case!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011


The Toddler needs a poo.

I know this, because she has told me.

I have tried to put her on the toilet three times. Every time, she has thrown herself off it.

I am going to have a dirty nappy to change in approximately three minutes.