Celebrating ‘Fathers Day’ without a Dad. 

By now you should know that we’re a two mum family – so this isn’t what this post is about. When I was ten years old I lost my dad to cancer. It was two days before my birthday.

Father’s Days from then on were pretty bleak. We didn’t really have anyone else to celebrate the day with, so we didn’t. My mum didn’t go out of her way to replace him – no one could – and therefore remained as a single parent for a long time until she “came out” and we became a Rainbow family.


This year will be the twenty year anniversary of my dad’s passing and to celebrate we’re doing something a little special thanks to an invitation from the Star-Name Registry.

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Two Words: Potty. Training. 

With T being the grand old age of two we did not yet think we would need to even *think* about potty training, let alone buying a potty and then a training seat because he preferred to stick the potty on his head.

We’d heard stories of boys being particularly lazy when it comes to toilet training so we didn’t want to rush into things. Plus, we’re very much a baby-led / toddler-led family – why would you want to create more stress than necessary?

So when T reached the apparent potty training “age” we decided to ignore it and carry on as we were and watch out for the signs of T being ‘ready’.

If you’re not already aware, the advice according to Dr Google, in brief, says the signs that your child may be ready for potty training are:

  • You’re changing fewer nappies.
  • Your child’s bowel movements are predictable.
  • They broadcast their bowel movements!
  • There is a dislike dirty nappies.
  • Understanding the bathroom lingo (answering whether they’ve gone to the toilet, for example) and/or know the words for wee and/or poo.
  • Simple undressing such as pulling their trousers up and down is occurring.

T probably ticks most of these, but when we were faced with protest at the suggestion of sitting on the potty we stopped. One day, however, a few months before T’s second birthday, T started to tell us when he’d had a “wee wee”. So with this, we bought a potty and started introducing it around the house, inviting T to sit on it (fully clothed or not, whatever). He wasn’t keen for a while and often used it as a bucket for his toys or a hat, but we were in no rush so went with it.

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Facing The Fears

Let me start by telling you a story about fears…

It’s nineteen-ninety something and my sister and I are between 5 and 10 years old. We’re in France with our mum and dad, in the days before the euro. We’re walking down a busy French high street in Calais. It’s probably the size of Oxford Street. My mum is the official “bag wearer”. “The Bag” is this important bag that contained everything from francs (remember those?) to passports, our boarding tickets for the ferry, and our sweets. It. Had. EVERYTHING. in it.

Whilst waking down said high street; my mum, who at this point was (and still is) my absolute hero (I was a mummy’s girl, my sister; a daddy’s girl), starts screaming. The bag, which was this gastly white bag with gigantic flowers on it, had attracted an almighty butterfly. A butterfly that would have given batman a run for his money.

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Toddlers: Getting Away With Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!

The other day, I was eating a cheese sandwich when the toddler came over and took a bite from the end – the other end was in my hand heading towards my mouth. Sitting there is disbelief at his confidence and boundary crossing I carried on with lunch, after all; I was sat on the floor so anything below the sofa is fair game for toddlers right?

The day before that, his first words on the monitor that morning were “MUMMY! POO!”. The week before that, Oscar got a finger in the eye. I’ve also had several occasions in public where T has reminded me that his bowels are on the move or the apple he’s eating is no good for him and is therefore a good projectile or that the woman sat next to him on the bus is “bleugh”. I don’t know about you, but if I did half the things that T does these days I’d either be arrested, sectioned or thumped. How can they get away with it?

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The Highs and Lows of Nursery

Even before T started nursery we knew he’d pick up a few things that would be out of our control. Things like colds, stomach bugs, and nits were expected; although I’m pleased the latter has yet to hit us. Hand Foot and Mouth and Chicken Pox, however, that was our six-eight month treat!

But what’s really frustrated me about nursery recently, more than the disease (although this got particularly annoying after the third week of illness), is other children’s habits.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant to sound like a moan about parenting decisions. At the end of the day children will pick up all sorts – the child T has picked something up from very well may have picked it up from someone else too! But when your child picks something up; like a word or phrase, that you don’t use in your house, especially when it’s not particularly nice, it gets your back up. 

Let’s start with the most annoying phrases to date…

Mine!

We’ve never said this to T in an effort to hold onto something. It’s generally; “that’s so and so’s” or “that’s not a toy”. So when T came home one week and started grabbing things and shouting “mine!” Or hiding things behind his back I was really shocked.

Not only is it really aggressive but I worry what’s suddenly being taken from him that he feels he now needs to verbally mark his territory!

Share!

On the same note as ‘Mine!’, we’ve recently noticed T taking toys from us and shouting “Share!”.

We’ve been known to say this a lot more when play dates or his cousins come to play, but only if it’s up for sharing. We’re more of a ‘who had it first?‘ kinda family.

Hitting.

Probably the biggest shock since T started nursery is when T gets frustrated he can’t have something and then hits our leg (before falling to the floor in a heap).

If he has something that he knows we’re going ask him for; like a dog bone or a random piece of food found from under the sofa, he’ll suddenly hide the item behind his head and then try and hit out before we get near!

This is what happens when we leave T to his own devices.

Some of these behaviours are really heartbreaking as I can’t seem to snap him out of them until he’s been away for a few days! What do we do? I feel silly talking to the nursery as it’s all “normal” toddler behaviour – he’s bound to pick things up – but I’m still not happy about it. I may very well just bite the bullet and talk to nursery. Even just to ask what’s going on and whether I need to be concerned.

But with all this in mind…

I still wouldn’t change our nursery. T is in a really good one despite the above, and the good things definitely out weight the bad. He’s constantly learning lots of new (pleasant) words, he’s confident, he’s learning about colours and shapes, and even repeats them back to us. It’s incredible.

It’s just frustrating when all your hard work goes to down the drain when the toddler that comes home is one that likes to suddenly poke eyes!

K

The Babbleband – A Wearable Baby Monitor: Review

Ever since T was little I have always been the one to forget T’s monitor. It’s usually because I’ve spent so long getting him down that I want to get downstairs to finish my wine juice. This often results in going back upstairs (think of the calories) and collecting said monitor.

If my pyjamas (I’m not going to lie, they come on as soon it’s 7pm) don’t have pockets then I will most definitely pick it up and then put it down somewhere else around the house. It’s only when T starts grumbling or it runs out of batteries that we then find the monitor!

The babbleband

The Babbleband is a first of it’s kind. A wearable baby monitor, launched in June 2016, that comfortably sits on your wrist so you can get on with things such as exercise, gardening, or simply sitting on your backside without a monitor digging into your thigh or calling you from the across the room because you’ve forgotten it. Again.

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