Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Touch Wood.....

.... can't believe I'm about to type this, given my track record of saying things that all of a sudden completely cease to be true, but I think The Littl'un might finally be getting there with going to sleep and staying that way for a few hours. For this week, anyway. She has been having a bit of a cry at about midnight, and then another bit of a cry at about 5am, and that's been pretty much it for the last few nights. That's a five-hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep! Well, it would be, were it not for The Toddler having a spate of random night wakings, to demand wee-wees, drinks, and for me to "make it flat, make it flat!" (I think she was talking about the duvet). It's tiresome.

But, in a spirit of uncharacteristic optimism, I am choosing to believe that The Toddler's bad sleeping spell will soon be over, and The Littl'un's good sleeping spell will continue, and that I shall soon be well rested and refreshed. Which will be handy, as I go back to work on Monday, and I have lost my nice cozy corner desk, and will henceforth by sitting smack bang in the middle of the office, which means people might notice if I fall asleep at my computer.

Yup, Bad Mammy will shortly be Working Mammy once more. I think that this is a good thing. I love my girls very much, but I think they will benefit from less "quality" time with me. Today has involved a lot of Disney, and a lot of "Stop that right now". Oh, and paint. Mostly in The Littl'un's mouth. Which reminds me, must go and Google "signs of paint poisoning in 10-month-olds". And watch Anchorman. Laters.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

As Requested....

A picture of my clothes horse.

Still in love.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Thing of Beauty...

I bought something on Friday. It's made me very, very happy indeed. I wasn't looking out for it, I just came across it, fell irrevocably in love, and decided I had to have it in my life. I got it home, and in my satisfaction, Tweeted a picture of it, which garnered much admiration and awe from my followers.

What was this irresistible slice of consumer goodness, I hear you cry? What item could have provoked such excitement? A Prada handbag? Some Jimmy Choos? Some kind of shiny piece of bewilderingly complex technology?



A clothes horse. Yes, that's right, a clothes horse. But not just any clothes horse, it is the mother of all clothes horses. It is what all other clothes horses want to be when they grow up. It is, as one of my friends has christened it, a clothes giraffe. It has a staggering total drying area, a big sticky-up rail bit that you can hang hangers on, and even special little whojammies for drying shoes on. It makes the previously-loathed-and-detested task of hanging up all the teeny tiny scraps of children's clothing a veritable pleasure (at least until the novelty wears off).

Oh, who am I kidding? It's a bloody clothes horse. It is for drying clothes on. It is unreasonable and sad to be so obsessed with such a thing, and a sign that I am hurtling inexorably towards middle age. My only comfort is that, judging from all the reactions, all my friends are heading there with me.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Some Stuff

This post isn't about anything in particular. I can't do unifying themes today, or sentences that flow into each other. Just a random collection of blibbering about things that may or may not be noteworthy. Please excuse my incoherence. There are reasons for it.

One such reason is The Littl'un's sleeping patterns. On one hand, she has finally stopped wanting a night feed! Yay! She has finally learnt to "sleep through". If by "sleeping through", you mean.. well.. not. We no longer have to get up at 3am and trudge downstairs to fetch milk. We do, however, have to get up about 7 times every night and put her dummy back in her face. It's a joy. Never mind, we got there with the feeds, I'm sure we'll eventually get there with the dummy too. Whether we get there before one of us throws ourself off a building remains to be seen.

Despite the night wakings, she's still being mostly lovely during the day. But fast. And bold. And fast. She's now pulling herself up on pretty much anything that will take her weight, and a large number of things that won't. She's very proud of herself, and I am proud of her too, if a little dismayed to find that I now have to pay attention to what she's doing at all times, lest I find her sticking her fingers in the Xbox, or becoming entangled in The Toddler's trike.

The Toddler is also a reason for my incoherence. She's being something of a trial at the minute, just for a change. Actually, I'm not sure she's being any more horrendous than usual, just that I am losing patience far quicker. I did a LOT of shouting tonight. Normally I don't really shout that much, because it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference, unless I shout really, really loud, and make her cry, which makes me feel guilty, and I then have to abandon any attempt at discipline to give apologetic cuddles. So if I'm shouting, I'm venting, which is not terribly useful.

Oh well, back to work very soon, which hopefully should mean less shouting. I am a lot better at this parenting business when I don't have to do it all day, every day. It's very easy to get caught up in the monotonous drudgery of being at home when you know that there's always tomorrow to do it better. When I know that I only have four days with my kids, I'm a little bit better at making them count, and not just shoving them in front of Curious George and getting annoyed when they whinge at me.

Curious George, by the way, is The Toddler's latest thing. She quite likes the TV programme, so when I saw the DVD of the film on offer in Asda, I thought I'd pick it up. Best £2 I've ever spent. The child is deeply in love.

I know I whinge about The Toddler a lot, but she is actually pretty cool. I am taking advantage of the fact that she is like a little sponge at the minute (which makes it pretty difficult when you've dropped something on your foot and want to howl obscenities) to teach her some manners. So when she is moaning "Want the telllllly" at me, I remind her to ask nicely and I get "Please can I watch some telly please?" which is rather lovely. And yesterday, we had the following conversation, which made me feel all gooey and so proud that I have to be irritatingly sappy and share:
Toddler: (picking up necklace which was lying inexplicably in to footwell of the car) "Mammy, is this your necklace?"
Me: "Yes, it is"
Toddler: "You put it on"
I put it on
Toddler: "You look beautiful"
Me: (heart bursting) "Aw, thank you, darling"
Toddler: "You're welcome!".

I think I'll keep her.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Tooth Is Out There

(With thanks to Husband for the truly terrible title)

Today we discovered that yet another thing has coincided with The Littl'un's tummy bug - the beginnings of the emergence of her first tooth! Husband discovered it today, and I can feel it, but have not seen it yet, as whenever I try to look, The Littl'un thinks we're playing a game of "Chew on Mammy's finger". But it's definitely there. So that's quite exciting.

She's also crawling! Actual proper crawling. This is taking quite some getting used to. I keep getting distracted by a Toddler tantrum, or something silly on the internet, or a cup of tea, and looking up to find The Littl'un nowhere near where I originally put her, often lying flat on her face and looking bewildered, having momentarily forgotten how to do this crawling thing. I'm having to do active, attentive parenting, at which, as you all know, I am utterly fabulous. It's hard work, and makes me tired and grumpy. But I do love seeing The Littl'un's little face, all proud of herself and her new-found mobility.

I suspect that here is where the fun starts. Two children is not really all that much harder than one, when your second one is generally good-natured, and can't go anywhere. The no-sleep thing's been a bit crap, but it's still not been anywhere near as tough going as I thought it would be. Now I have two mobile children, both of whom are apparently unable to heed the word "Stop!". They can go in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS and both do equally dangerous and foolish things, if they so choose. Then what will I do? Perhaps now I should actually dig the baby-proofing kit out, instead of it lying redundantly in a cupboard.

I shall put it on the list of "Things to Get Around To. Someday."

Monday, 12 March 2012

Wine. Must Have Wine

I am trapped in some kind of parenting hell.

The Littl'un has contracted a stomach bug, which is just lovely. She has been spectacularly sicky and pooey for the last few days, and was so horribly sick all over her face and her last clean sheet last night, that she ended up sleeping in my arms, which always makes me uncomfortable and cross. And Husband's at work, so I can't even go to yoga to work all my kinks out. Bah.

At least the bug has coincided with a few days of nice weather, so I could hang the endless loads of washing out (although I end up having to hang it up inside to finish drying anyway, thanks to my neighbours' unhelpfully tall fence which blocks all the sun from my garden). There's been so much of it, because the bug has also coincided with the probably slightly premature decision to put The Littl/un in the next size of nappies, which aren't an entirely perfect fit, and really cannot cope with the paces The Littl'un's arse is putting them through. It's delightful.

And if you read my last post, you'll know this has all come hot on the heels of me stopping breastfeeding. Well, in retrospect, there were signs of the bug emerging just before I stopped, but I'm not about to let a little detail like that get in between me and a nice big whack of parenting guilt. The guilt is both stupid and two-fold. The first lot of guilt is the totally irrational feeling not that I have caused it exactly, but that it is some kind of karmic retribution for having given up for my own, pretty selfish reasons. You don't have to tell me how stupid that is (and indeed some of you have already tried), I do know on most levels, but breastfeeding guilt is a strange creature. The second lot of more rational guilt comes from the knowledge that the easiest way to deal with a poorly baby is just to shove a boob in its mouth. I know that plenty of people deal perfectly well with ill babies without their boobs (well, not without their boobs, they still obviously have their boobs. Oh, you know what I mean) and I know that I have before and no doubt will have to again, but I do feel a little bit bad that if I had just kept going for a few more days, I could be giving her milk that's easier to digest, with a really comforting manner of delivery. It's probably not too late to start again if I really wanted to, but I don't think I want to that much, which makes me feel a bit more guilty. Like I said, strange creature.

The final thing that the bug has coincided with is the apparent decision by The Toddler to practise her audition piece for Britain's Got Whingey Toddlers. Judging from what I've seen, she's a shoo-in. Her principal party piece is the repeated insistence that she is either tired, or hungry. If I tell her she is not one, she claims to be the other. She has told me she is hungry whilst holding a biscuit, and told me she is tired while lying down. EAT THE F'ING BISCUIT OR GO TO SLEEP THEN!!!!!!!! She is driving me utterly demented. If she is not whingeing at me, she is either doing something she shouldn't be, or pulling on some part of my clothing or anatomy. Husband had to remove her from my presence this afternoon as I was growling with barely suppressed rage at her attempts to drag me across the kitchen by my beltloops.

What with the irritating Toddler, the spewing and crapping Littl'un, the washing machine that has just beeped to tell me it has finished yet another load of washing that I have no place to put, and the fact that due to Husband's stupid shifts I have to do both breakfast and bedtime on my own again tomorrow, this glass of wine in my hand is the only thing standing between me and a nervous breakdown. It's not even very good wine (it was free when we renewed our Costco membership), but tonight, it is my life ring. Cheers.

Friday, 9 March 2012

The End?

I think I might have done my last breastfeed. For a couple of reasons, The Littl'un had formula before bed tonight. It was much less cozy and calming than a breastfeed (there was more shrieking and glasses-grabbing), but I did enjoy the fact that the thing she was gnawing on and shaking about as if she was an over-excitable puppy was not my nipple. I may go back to breastfeeding tomorrow if it makes her sleeping worse, but as I'm not sure how that could possibly happen (FOUR HOURS she was awake for on Tuesday night), then it could very well be that me and breastfeeding are over and done.

How do I feel about that? Pretty ambivalent, to be honest. Which is a bit of a surprise. I had thought, especially given how pro-breastfeeding I have somehow become since I had The Toddler, and how much more I've enjoyed it this time around, that I might be sad about stopping. A month or so ago, when it was doing my nut in, I thought I would be ecstatic. I am neither of those things. I suppose a little part of me might be a bit sad - I'm not having any more babies, so I won't ever breastfeed ever again. And there is still a tiny bit of me (the bit that spends far too long on, where these kind of things seem to be disproportionately important) that feels, somehow, like I shouldn't be stopping, because I don't really have a reason to. But maybe the ambivalence itself is a reason. The magic has gone. That makes me sadder than the actual stopping. I used to LOVE breastfeeding, now I don't really feel anything about it. I suppose there's no actual reason why that matters, after all, it's only giving your baby food, why should you love it? But it's nice to enjoy something. Especially if that something has meant that you've had to wear ugly bras, watch your wine intake, and spend hours of every day stuck to the sofa.

I rambling now, and have no idea where this is going. So, in summary, woman has no interesting feelings about something which is nobody else's business anyway. This is groundbreaking stuff right here.

Oh, but on a totally unrelated and annoyingly gushy note, The Toddler has grasped the fact that she used to be a baby, and keeps pointing to photos of herself and saying "Is that me? When am I tiny?". It's very cute, and even the grammar pedant in me hope she says it like that forever.

Monday, 5 March 2012

And Again....

As you all have already been told, numerous times, The Littl'un is rubbish at sleeping. I thought I could see some small amount of progress, once I stopped insisting she wasn't hungry at night. So although we were having to get up in the middle of the night and blunder around with formula, we were at least not being subjected to hours of demented screaming. So that was good. The Littl'un even started sleeping until 5am before waking for her feed, an hour which, pre-children, I used to consider horribly uncivilised, but now seems like a miraculous time if I've been able to sleep until then.

And then one night it was 4am. And then 3am. And then 2am. And then half-past bloody one. What is this child trying to do to me???!!!

So, I decided to try a change of tack. If sometimes The Littl'un was capable of sleeping for a long stretch, and then a short one, why didn't I try and change it round? I'd never had much luck with a dreamfeed before, but surely it was worth a try, before I threw her out of a window? It seemed like such a simple idea. I spent the day in a state of desperate excitement that I might actually have found The Thing That Could Work.

So, Night One, I hauled The Littl'un out of bed at 11pm, put her weird cup/bottle hybrid-type thing (only thing she can drink milk out of without spitting it all back out all over herself) to her lips, and watched her sleepily guzzle her milk. It was quite cute. Settled her back in her cot without a murmur of complaint. Perhaps this would be OK after all.

Or maybe not. Maybe she would wake at 4am, full of the joys of spring, wanting to play. Maybe we would eventually give up trying to get her to go back in her cot, and bring her into our bed, where she would gleefully spend the next hour gurgling and sticking her bewilderingly pointy fingernails up my nose.

After a few nights of this, I did have some success in at least getting her to go back into her cot to do the gurgling. And then, two nights ago, I was stunned to find that after her feed, she slept in her cot all night, only crying once for her dummy. I would have been ecstatic with that, had The Toddler not chosen that night to have an epic screaming fit at 3.20am, for reasons unknown. But still, did this mean I could approach last night in a spirit of cautious optimism....?

Come on, you know the drill by now. Of course not. Last night I had the dubious pleasure of seeing every hour of the clock, scrabbling around in the darkness to try and find where the hell her bloody dummy had gone. Perhaps I should have held off to see if she could settle herself, but I don't think I actually wake up enough to be able to make that decision until I'm out of bed. I find myself standing by the side of her cot without really knowing how I've got there. Husband went one better though. He did not only not know how I got there, he completely failed to notice I'd got up at all. Grr.

So anyway, that's where we are. Still no sleep. Are you bored of these stories yet? I am. I feel I must apologise for the tedium - Bad Mammy wants sleep, tries something, it almost works, and then it doesn't, so she whinges. Repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Hopefully, if The Littl'un ever does decide that I can be allowed to complete a sleep-cycle, my writing will improve. Or at the very least, I'll have to find something different to complain about. Let's all look forward to that day.