Sometimes feels like we are actually back at school, rather than my son

After having a really positive weekend last week and starting to feel quite upbeat about things, now feeling deflated again. I had a difficult time with a certain colleague at work and not sure why they were behaving in such a rude manner, but asked for this particular job to be reallocated as I could no longer work with the person and to be honest I am still a little fuming over their tone. However, person is leaving for another job, so end of story dealing with it, but just was not in the best mental place to deal with someone being a twat for no reason with everything that has been going on for us.

My OH’s mum is still in hospital and after 2 weeks of confusingly not knowing what action the hospital has decided to take, they finally know she has broken her hip and still confused why it has taken 2 weeks to discover that, and now his mum is waiting for a operation, which will still take a good deal of time to recover from. I have to say the in and out hospital trips that have been happening since the beginning of this year have been exhausting for all of us.

Then having my son’s nursery inability to look after my son and manage his behaviour has been disappointing as well. I hoped he was getting on well with the new childminder and he seemed to be, the drop offs have got a lot easier and no more dramatic goodbyes. However, this week his pal from his gymnastics sessions has started again, although haven’t seen the boy at the sessions lately.

IMG_5735

On the same wavelength these two, but yes, my lo does need the learn the art of being kind to his friends at times

My son was very excited to have some similar aged company at last with him at the childminders. Although I think this week he has been feeling a little too at home at the childminders, relaxed and himself and over excited about having a playmate, which is a good thing, but with that he shows both his good and bad sides to his personality. I finally get told again that some of his behaviour is unacceptable, her daughter has been dying to tell tales on my son for weeks, but being shushed by her mother and I think perhaps my son irritates the 8 year old girl, I mean I don’t suppose a 4 year old boy and 8 year old girl have much in common. I don’t know how to take it, but as far as the health visitor is concerned there is nothing to worry about his behaviour and he is just displaying normal behaviour for his age. Yes, he can be a monkey at times and some of it is boundary seeking, but most of it is manageable and he is not constantly embarrassing us when we are out with him. It’s disappointing as he has started to enjoy going to the new childminder, and I know he does like the other little boy that is attending, but I am starting to get fed up with those that are fed up of looking after my son because yes, he isn’t always an easy child, but he doesn’t have special needs or any indication that he has. I am not withdrawing him for another childcare provider and will try to work with her, and realise soon he will be spending more time at school and hope that is good for him. The school transition sessions have gone OK, again no dramatic tearful goodbyes, so that is something, he has seemed very happy upon collection, but don’t know fully what he has been like at every session as we only got to witness the first one. I don’t know if he got over excited or did any inappropriate things, but hoping he responded well, but don’t know until we start to get more feedback from the teachers.

Anyway it is a shame as I was just starting to get optimistic and now just feel doubtful, but we are doing our best by our son, we regularly go to playgroups to socialise him with children his age, taken him to story time sessions at the library to work on getting him to sit still and interact with that, preschool gymnastic sessions, helping him to follow instructions, participate in both larger and smaller group activities (he responds better to smaller group activities usually at the moment), wait turns, sit still and develop patience. We walk almost everywhere and try to do lots of physical activity either by going to soft play or outdoor play at playgrounds and parks and swimming when we can. We read to our son every bedtime ourselves.

IMG_5747

Marble Reward Jar, hoping this helps

We are trying to only reward him for good behaviour, have even now got a marble reward jar to help my son visualise when he is being good better. He has always enjoyed filling up jars with coins, so I thought this would be a more simpler way to do it than our previous star chart award system, which was just getting too exhausting for us too keep up with and we’ll probably put that away for when he is a bit older. I don’t know what else we can do, but keep re-emphasising how he should act, but sometimes this parenting lark feels like we going back to school and being told off for something we cannot control while we are not there to supervise.

Advertisements

Tough times ahead

image

Friday 30th September 2016

It has happened again, not to me, but my partner this time. I feel awful for him, and do worry about our future. It came at the worst time as we were just about to sign up finally to get ourselves on the property ladder, well at least we hadn’t signed anything. However, now got the worry of keeping the current roof over our heads.

My partner has been worried about his job ever since I met him, his company have been cost cutting, pushing people out whenever they can, almost using this economic instability since 2008 as an excuse to just save money. Maybe the current climate really has badly affected his school now, but it really sounds like a toxic environment to be in right now. I am almost glad my partner will be getting out, he has survived to make it to redundancy. So yes, this hasn’t come as a complete surprise, but was hoping this day wasn’t going to come so soon. I do worry about our future and how we are going to survive, we should be alright until Christmas at least, but will have to make some tough decisions in the upcoming months.

I really do hope my partner finds another job quickly, he deserves to, and fingers crossed to work in a less toxic atmosphere and I will do all that I can to help him. On the plus side, depending on whether his company make him work his notice period or not, I hope he can soon spend some quality time with our son as he has never been able to do this really before. It has always been odd weeks or days here and there, and at least that will be something positive to do until he finds work.

If we get through this then I will post the most useful back to work tips I can find to help others

Our roller coaster update

image

Saturday 15th October 2016

Apologies I have been a bit quiet with the blogs as of late, but it has been a busy few weeks and a bit of a roller coaster ride really. A few weeks ago we were contemplating getting ourselves finally on the property ladder, we had some doubts about the property being right for us (in fact it was too big for our needs and we were worried it was going to stretch us a little too much) and about a very volatile market/economy at the moment. However, then the decision was taken out of our hands and my partner was made redundant, it was a shock, but not as it has been something he has been fearing for a while. To be honest it has been an achievement that he has stuck it out to redundancy as I am quite sure his company would have preferred to save on the pay out. Luckily we also found out this news before we signed any paperwork for the property or put down a reservation fee.

 LinkedIn Careerist?

image

It has been my partners’ first week at home since he has left work, and he has been trying his hardest to look for work and has met up with a couple of recruitment consultants this week, one who has suggested he puts himself on LinkedIn as that is apparently the new fangled way to find work these days. I have helped him set up a profile, we just need to find (take really) a suitable photo of him and get him connected to a few more recruitment agencies. I have even succumbed to creating a profile, how we both hate the idea of it, but what needs must. I just hope we get some good news sooner than later.

Quality Daddy & Son time

The positives have been my partner has been able to spend some quality time with my son, just daddy and son time, which he rarely got the opportunity to do before.

image

Visit to our local Football Stadium with daddy

Threenager – not concerned though

image

One downer has been my son’s nursery think his behaviour is getting odd again, really can’t see it myself, yes he is displaying a little attitude from time to time and gets in strops occasionally, but really don’t see it as a big thing. I mean from what other boys his age can be like from time to time. Anyway they want to observe and monitor him, and well, it’s another worry we don’t need to have again. Fine, if they want to learn and find better ways to manage his behaviour, but hopefully not place a label on my child, as yes I did have fears previously, but they have completely gone now and was reassured by a community nursery nurse that we regularly saw that she had no concerns and we were discharged from her care.

Transition finally here…

Final thing my annual leave and parental leave has come around, which I am using mainly to get my son into his own room, yes finally, and to visit prospective primary schools for next year. My son’s room has been tidied up and quite a few finishing touches added to the room. Tonight has been my son’s first night in his own bed, and well he has gone asleep, it may have taken slightly longer than normal as he was quite excited actually, but he went to sleep so success. We are also doing it the gentle way, so my other half and I are going to take turns to have a sleepover in his room and gradually retreat. Tonight I am on the old pullout bed and finally my OH gets to reclaim the comfy double bed, well he has been down on his luck, so finally he gets to sleep on a proper mattress, at least that is something even though the rest of everything lately has been shit, haha, got to laugh or you would cry.

Hoping we can carry on the successful transition for my son to sleep in his own room…

image

Growing Up, you can go now mummy

Monday 19th September 2016

image

OK, maybe not that fast hehe

My son went to another birthday party, invited by another kid from his preschool, it was his first proper soft play party experience, ours too. We have been to this soft play centre a good few times before and it is a well run one that my son enjoys going to. However, usually when we go my partner and I get a good work out too. This time I lead him into the under 5’s area where the birthday boy and his friends were, as usual he wanted me to go with him and asked me to climb to the upper level. I proceeded to do that and then his friends whizzed round the corner, shouting his name and then I said there is the birthday boy and your friends. My son went on to give a big smile, and then said something, which at first I didn’t hear properly, I asked again do you want me to go up with you? He then told me no mummy you can go now haha I was a bit surprised, yes, surprised, stunned, but pleased, no longer my clingy little velcro baby anymore, but growing up to be a very much independent little boy.

Playgroup and our trip to York

Sunday 18th September 2016

image
Playgroup

Another good start to the weekend by going to our favourite breakfast playgroup with our son, he played really nicely there and even is enjoying getting involved at the song at the end, more than he ever has before. Nice recent touch that they are giving the children a instrument to play, my lo really loved his keyboard xylophone, the musical clamour is great.

However, guess who was there? Yes, my mummy nemesis, if you don’t know why I refer to this particular mum as that it was because of a show down over parenting styles, although I was never being critical over anyone’s style at all, and still very hurt by it. I have to admit I felt a small pang of sympathy for her yesterday, it did look like her friend didn’t turn up or the fact she decided to come again without her. I did think should I be social, but thought no why should I? I was never rude, I just wouldn’t be, but there were a few difficult moments with her two sons, a few accidents and she happened to be away with the fairies at the time. Whereas for any other mum I may have offered more help, but on this occasion decided not to get involve for the mum that apparently knew best. I only have the one child at the moment, so realise it must be even more of a handful with two so close in age. She left early, not sure of her reasons, didn’t notice her go, but doubt the experience would make her rethink she should apply a bit more thought before opening her mouth again.

The rest of our afternoon was filled with travel and visiting my son’s nanny. So while I am on the subject of travel, thought I would return to our recent long weekend trip to York and tell you about the highlights of it.

National Railway Museum, York

image
At the National Railway Musuem

We must have a spent at least 5 hours in there. Great for all ages, adults and kids a like, lots of trains on show, including The Mallard and Bullet Train, got to see a turntable in motion experience, and going into several drivers cabs of steam locomotives, and being explained what some of the knobs and levers do as such. In fact as one of the demonstrators said not many kids can say they bounced off of The Mallard, which my son did, trust him to be so clumsy, slip while pretending to get coal to put into the firebox. Also they have a indoor under 5’s play area, as well as an outside play area, model railways and a miniature train to ride on outside. Also no entry fee, but donations accepted, so terrific value. They are a few cafes to choose from here, but also plenty of areas to eat your packed lunch as well. We chose the Dining Car cafe though.

York City Walls, Minster and sightseeing tours

image

York City Walls

The very intact city walls are great to walk along and get better views of the city. The Minster is stunning inside and out, got to experience the full glory of the bells chiming, which my son is fascinated with.

image

York Minster

Did the usual tourist things like do a boat trip on the Ouse and open deck bus tour around York, got to know all about its glorious and gory past. Normally usually avoid these type of things, but great for kids and my son was literally begging to go on a bus all the time we were there, so might as well go for the open roof upper deck experience, although he snoozed for half of the tour in the end hehe

image

The Ouse

The Shambles and York Chocolate Story

image

Chocolate tasting

Loved looking around the Shambles and all its unique shops, popped into York’s Chocolate Story, stocked up on chocolate (mainly gifts, honest hehe) and did some chocolate tasting, although my son seemed more interested in our palate cleansers (cream crackers). You can do tours, but avoided it as didn’t think our son would have the patience yet, but ended up being embarrassed in here anyway haha. After behaving himself really well, decided he could have one last treat before going, a hot chocolate, mega tantrum, next time just get one with cream and marshmallows in lol I know shouldn’t always give in, but really tantrum would have been avoided. One final thing never realised York’s connection and history with chocolate so much.

Afternoon tea

Final treat afternoon tea at Betty’s tea rooms, lovely and so proud of my son being well behaved, no huge embarassing scenes were caused, much better than we thought he would be, no crockery broken at all. I hated tea at my son’s age, but he loves it.

image

Afternoon Tea

 

Our Co-sleeping journey

image

I am hoping my co-sleeping days with my son will be at end soon, well in the next month or two providing I get the time off of work I would like and finally get my 3 year old into his own bed in his own room.

It has been a long journey, not one we initially planned for, but one we fell into and had to for our sanity. My son did sleep apart from us for the first 4 months in his Moses basket, and we never intended to bed share as we were scared of the risks. However, after my son gradually started to sleep more at night and I have to tell you the first two months were tough, and he suffered from reflux so was never an easy sleeper. I finally know why sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture. I started to just bring our son into the bed from about 4am as he always started to stir from around that time, just to get an hour or so more sleep before he finally woke up wanting another feed. A cuddle and him sleeping on my chest at that time in the morning would send him back to sleep, I think the first time I fell asleep doing this was an accident as I was very tired, and he went back to sleep as I held him to my chest, and I thought I will just rest here and feed him in a bit, but then went to sleep with him for another hour. I think even for while it wasn’t every morning that I had to do this and I remember we had a very small period where he was sleeping through, and waking up for a morning feed at an hour we could cope with.

image

How it started…

Then at 4 months, the dreaded sleep regression hit, that’s how it seemed. I remember it was difficult to settle him to sleep at night, he was in a hyper alert state and also around the same time he had the worse cold he had ever had by that point in his life. He was so snuffly, and couldn’t breathe properly, that we didn’t know what to do and wasn’t even sure whether we needed to see a doctor. However, sleeping upright on my chest in our bed settled him and sent him back to sleep on that awful night where he was finding it hard to breathe, and really that’s how it all started.

A life behind bars…

image

We did try to move him to his own cot in his own room, but he was having none of it, he would just cry and cry if I left him in it and if I put him in his cot asleep, he would manage to wake himself up very quickly and I didn’t find the whole thing that easy with a back problem, getting up and down several times. Also as I mentioned in a previous blog we tried cry it out, but we decided it wasn’t for us, it made him too stressed, so much so he would gag and vomit. I didn’t like to see him like that, it made us feel stressed and anxious too. Also after 2-3 months of not wanting night feeds, from 6 months he wanted them again and he didn’t drop the habit until he was around 2 years old. So, that is how our bedsharing lifestyle came about.

The pros and cons, but overall positive for us

image.jpeg

My other half has been very understanding and even moved out of our bed, and sleeps on a foam pull out bed on the floor, and has done so for a good while to give us more room and to make it safer. The lack of intimacy and moments to talk between us at times has been a difficult sacrifice and one of the down sides of choosing this lifestyle. However, am grateful to have a loving, understanding partner that supports me through this choice. The lack of my own occasional me time is another sacrifice too, and not just to drink wine haha, but to do other things. I do love an occasional glass of wine as you will see from my FB page, but that has cut down dramatically, which is a good thing for my liver anyway. Although my own personal free time in the evenings has got a little better since my son has got older, we now have bed guards on our bed and a camera to monitor him so I can leave the room for a bit. However, if my son does wake up while I am gone he will not settle himself back to sleep yet and needs a lot of reassurance, if I am with him he settles back without any need for anything else these days.

Bed sharing is a controversial subject, but we didn’t enter into this choice lightly and have tried to do this as safely as possible. It has not affected my son’s development in any way, he is becoming a very much independent little boy, a bossy one at times too, but he does need a lot of reassurance when he goes to sleep and that is fine. I would never advocate that this is the only way to do things, but it is the way that has worked for us without losing our sanity, but yes there has been sacrifices and it hasn’t always been easy at times.

The Transition…

My son now very much wants to sleep in his own room, it is pretty much ready for him to go into, we have a big kids bed for him and we just want to give it one last tidy up, and add a few finishing touches to it. My son is now scared of the dark, so we will get him some more night lights and I recently told him about dream catchers. I love the whole mythology behind them and have explained that they catch bad dreams, so stop him from having them. He very much wants one now, and if by having one it helps to reassure him and improves his psychology then that is another final touch I am willing to get for him. I have also found a lovely hand made one and a couple that light up for him, and some again lovely hand made London themed string lights for his room as he is obsessed with some of London’s iconic imagery.

I expect the next transition to his own room will not be easy, and that I will be staying a lot in his room at first to reassure him that it is fine. In one way even at times when I wish to just to have the bed back to myself and with my OH in it, I love my snuggles with my son and have got so use to him being there, that a part of me will miss it, and yes one day he will not want to do this anyway. He will want his own privacy and will want his mummy’s cuddles and kisses even less, so I am trying to cherish these moments, rather than see it as a chore. However, wish us luck and if you are going through something similar, I have added some links with advice about a gentle transition from co-sleeping to sleeping on their own, and I am sure I will update my blog with our progress on this new transitional journey for us.

image

http://www.madeformums.com/baby/co-sleeping–how-to-start-and-how-to-stop-with-your-baby-or-toddler/17109.html

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby-sleep/how-to-transition-from-co-sleeping/

Bank Holiday Social

Monday 29th August 2016

I had this date pencilled in my diary for ages as my last stab at trying to be social with mummies, no not with mummified corpses lol predictable enough though, well it’s usually my son that is ill, but it was me this time. I tried to get on with everything as normal this morning, made breakfast for my son and I, put some washing on to be dried, another load of washing into the washing machine, this must be a familiar feeling to a lot of us, it’s never ending, washed up and cleaned up after brekkie. Then went on to run my son’s bath, I bathe him during the day when I can as he has never been one where a bath actually soothes him and helps him sleep, if anything sometimes it makes him more hyper. It was when I was washing him, that I realised I wasn’t just tired and still trying to wake up, but that I didn’t feel right. I got him out of the bath to dry him and explained to him that we needed to go upstairs, and mummy needed to rest for a bit. After resting on the bed a bit, I still didn’t feel any better and felt hot and shivery. Took my temperature and yes, it was high.

Anyway, had to cancel the meeting, chose this day as knew my OH was at work as he does work some bank holidays, and the last few socials I tried to do the year before I had him as support and this time I thought well, maybe sorry my love (to my OH) is putting them off, and this time I was going to brave it on my own. Oh well, I don’t think fate wants me to do this anymore, meet mums, well not like this, I think I am going to just let things happen organically instead.

image
We snuggled up in bed and thank god for Paw Patrol as that is a lifesaver, we got dressed rather late, but what the heck. Had lunch, and started to get some of my energy back, but temperature was still high. Then snuggled up on the sofa, yep you got it watching more Paw Patrol. Finally after an hour or so the ibruprofen kicked in and my temperature slowly started coming down, felt a lot better than I did.

Mmmm cake…

image

I didn’t want to waste the bank holiday completely so went off to the shops to get some eggs to bake a cake as a pick me up. Got my son some pirate dress up stuff/props in Tiger as he had been such a good boy, he proceeded to walk very excitedly around the shopping centre with his new foam sword, slicing me at any opportunity haha We had coffee and juice & a mini muffin for him at our favourite coffee establishment we always use to go to since he was a newborn, always remember them saying he was their youngest customer, well, not anymore. We finally got the eggs, really what we set out in the first place to get and came home.

Despite the change of plans we had a really lovely day together and the quiet day just the two of us was great in the end, and we had a fantastic time baking a cake together, which really was yum!

Back to the grindstone tomorrow and hope I feel better, not sure what is up with me, whether it is something viral or a really bad case of muscle fatigue.

Primary School Application process nightmare race to commence soon…

image

This is just about to begin this year for us over the next few months. To be honest I have a good idea what school my son will be going to, rather than worry about whether my god are we in the catchment area to nearest outstanding school (which I know we are not)? We are probably going to put our nearest primary school on the top of our list and cannot see why he won’t get it, unless there is some stupid boundary rule thing we are not aware of even though it is just five minutes down the road from us, but anyway pretty sure we are in the catchment area for it. The only thing that will stop us from choosing it is when we visit it something does not feel right.

Anyhow, the reason for this blog is merely down to fact when I was recently checking out a local mummy group, I was quite surprised to someone’s response to a post. Basically the mum that posted was new to the area and sending her eldest child to the school we are probably going to and hope to send our son to next year as well, and her post was just a shout out from the mum to other mums really, understandable, but it was someone else’s response that took me by surprise. I mean of course I am interested in hearing other mums views on the school, but the lady basically said the school is undersubscribed because people are put off the ethnic mix in the school. Jaw drops! The school has a good Ofsted report, admittedly the previous ones were needs improvement, but obviously standards have been raised. I note the other mum is probably trying to distance herself that these are not her views, but then why say it?

Does ethnicity go hand in hand with academic achievement, because if it does, not that I read this rag usually, I don’t usually quote the Daily Fail, that other ethnicities are outranking white British students or did the mum mean people don’t send their children there as that is where the poor children live? I mean it’s not exactly cheap to live where I live and I still cannot afford to buy here. Anyway seems such a shame if that is the truth and it’s not good education for all (yes, I am not completely naive, but it should be), and that parents have to desperately go searching to live in the right area to be next to the best school or even trying to defraud the system just because they are so desperate for their child to attend an outstanding school that is most likely to be oversubscribed.

Daily Fail article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3521989/Betrayal-white-pupils-16-white-British-children-lag-12-ethnic-groups-alarming-report-says-let-schools-parents.html

Parents who cheat at school:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9904282/The-parents-who-cheat-at-school.html

I mean I added my own comment and said I thought mixing with other cultures was a positive thing (I would as I am a product of immigrants, we all are really if you look far enough back in your family history), and that I would be glad to get to know other parents that were thinking of sending their children there. Hopefully, I will get some feedback from the mum on the group, fingers crossed.

Please don’t let me be a status worrying & bossy mummy hehe

Oh god then there is the playground cliques next haha

From this netmums guide I definitely think I am going to be a roll out of bed and wing it mum hehe although might refrain from wearing the pjs, I know I try to avoid the usual office wear as much as possible, but wearing my pjs, well that is even too lazy for me

Playground mummies:

http://www.netmums.com/child/10-types-of-mums-youll-meet-at-the-school-gate

Anyway wish us luck with our application process for next year, I am sure there will be a few more posts focusing on the subject from me in the future