I’ve got nothing…

May 15, 2010

As any of you who follow me on Twitter may know, there has been some drama going on in my family over the past few days. I am not going to go into it in any more detail here, for reasons of protecting the innocent, as much as legal reasons. Suffice to say, someone very close to my family is being accused of something that I could never ever imagine him of having done. And that is what I want to blog about today.
Basically, I don’t know what to think. The evidence is all weighted against this person, although it could all be seen to be circumstantial. If the person involved were a stranger and I were to hear the facts, I would most likely be of the opinion that he is guilty. And yet the other part of me simply can’t believe it, and certainly really doesn’t want to believe it. What do you do in this situation? And assuming it goes further, and he is found guilty of this act in court? How do you go about changing your opinion of a person? And how can you possibly trust your own judgement again? Particularly (and this isn’t the case for me in this situation, but it is for someone I know) if you thought that you knew this person inside-out and would have bet everything you own that this person is a decent man. How can you ever then rely on your feelings again?
I realise this is very vague, and apologise for that, but I really felt the need to get my confusion down in wring today. Have you ever completely misjudged a person, or been in a situation in which you have been forced to doubt your opinion of them? How did you deal with it?


Writing-Workshop 1 – my personal motto

February 25, 2010

This post is my contribution to the Writing Workshop over at one of my favourite mummy blogs Sleep is for the Weak. I chose prompt number 1, my personal motto, although I was tempted to write a love letter to my new washing machine as well. When you’ve read this, why not pop over to Sleep is for the Weak and read some more great posts by far better writers than myself.

I remember when I was pregnant, and I couldn’t stop reading mommy blogs (back then, I hadn’t discovered the wealth of british mummies blogging out there), and somewhere I read the phrase “This too shall pass”. I think somebody was writing about sleep regressions, those evil things that suddenly tear you out of your hard-won sleep ritual and have you up hourly during the night, rocking your little one and trying almost anything just to get a bit more sleep. A commenter said something like, “Just keep reminding yourself: This too shall pass.” I’ve never forgotten that phrase – in fact, it has become almost a mantra to me at times.
I tend to lose sight of the bigger picture very quickly, particularly where sleep is involved. It’s something I try to work on, as it makes parenting all that more hard if you convince yourself that the way things are now, right in this minute, are the way that they will be forever. When Toby was waking every 1-2 hours at night (which, to b fair, he did until he was about 4 months old), I was convinced that I would never get a full night’s sleep ever again. When he was teething and appeared to be possessed with any multitude of demons, I was full of doom and gloom, sure that my little sunshine was gone forever, never to return again. It’s in moments like this when I try to remind myself that “this, too, shall pass.” Just as all of the hellish moments of parenting have done before it. Just one more day, and the teething pain / bad mood / terrible sleeping may already be better. If I can manage a week, it most likely will be over.

Recently though, I’ve been using my motto more frequently in a different context. I’ve been saying it to remind myself that every day, he’s changing, and getting a bit more grown up. Words he said delightfully wrong yesterday are being said correctly today, so I should write his mispronunciations down, or record them on video. When I’m getting him dressed, and he’s standing on his changing table and suddenly flings his arms around and snuggles into my shoulder for a huge hug, my first thought shouldn’t be “I don’t have time for this, you have to be at the childminders in 20 minutes”, it should be to drop everything and hug him back. And when he wants nothing more than to sit on my lap and read a book for the eleventy billionth time, I remind myself that “This, too, shall pass”, and one day, I will be begging for a moment of his time, forcing a quick kiss on him as he runs out of the door to play football with his mates, and sitting up at 1am, waiting for him to come home from a night out, longing for those days when I could hold him in my arms and keep him safe from everything.

This, too, shall pass, so I need to savour every moment of it.


These things happen in threes…

February 19, 2010

My mum always said, bad things happen in threes, and that has certainly been true for us this week. It all began when Toby pulled a fresh cup of coffee over himself on Sunday afternoon. I was sitting at my desk, with my brew, and all of a sudden, he was there and he grabbed the cup. I have no idea how it happened, all I know is that one second he was sitting in the corner of the room playing with his cars, and the next, he was standing next to me, covered in boiling coffee and screaming like I have never heard him scream before. I quickly grabbed him, tore his clothes off and sat down with him in the bath and began showering him with cool water, which of course made him scream even more. I was still fully clothed, and of course drenched.
Luckily, he got off quite lightly. When the accident first happened, the whole left side of his body was bright red like a boiled lobster. Thankfully though, once I’d cooled him down, he was only left with one large blister on the inside of his arm, and two small ones on his wrist. The smaller ones are almost totally gone already, and the big one is healing nicely, thank god. The whole thing was such a scare though, I think I was still shaking hours after he’d totally forgotten about it.
Fast-forward to Tuesday evening. We’d been out to a carnival parade in the afternoon, and Toby had been scrambling about on the slushy floor collecting the packs of sweet thrown from the floats. He’d had an amazing time, but his coat and snowpants were filthy, so I decided to put a wash on straight away, in the hope that I could get his things clean and dry for the next day. At bedtime, which had happened to be 10:45 that night, I remembered that I had to hang up the washing. I went down and found that the machine had finished, but was still full with water, so I switched on the Pump cycle again, which did not, as I’d hoped, remove the water from the machine; instead it just stared making a very loud mechanical noise that really didn’t sound very healthy at all. I, of, course, called Marc, who is responsible for anything remotely technical in our house, and he pronouced the pump to be “kaputt”. Fabulous. So, out with the bucket, force open the machine door, and watch as all the water sloshes all over the utility room floor. Great. I then had to spend a good hour wringing out each individul item of clothing in the machine so that I could hang it up without flooding the room any further. Suffice to say, that incident left me with a few less hours of sleep than I had hoped. The new machine is arriving on Monday, so should you see me before then, please be understanding of my mismatched clothes – they’re all I have clean!
And then, yesterday. Yesterday. I had an appointment with Toby at the emergency nursery place (he goes there when the childminder is ill, and has to go once a month just for a couple of hours so that he is used to staying there if he has to), and we were, of course, running late. I had the rubbish to take out, so I left Toby standing on the front step, and nipped out to the bins, before intending to go back for him and our bags. It had, however, been raining, despite the fact that it was about -5 out, leaving a thin layer of “invisible” ice on our path. I took a few steps and, probably quite comically, had you seen it, went absolutely flying, landing slap-bang on my tailbone. Not surprisingly, I let out a shout of pain as I hit the ground, which then, in turn, totally panicked Toby, who left the step and came running down the path towards me. So, I’m lying on the path, surrounded by the contents of a burst open back of organic rubbish (I even found tomato in my hair a few hours later – yuck!), in absolute agony, and my little boy is crying his eyes out, coming running towards me on the slippiest concrete path you have ever seen. I’m shouting “Toby, be careful, it’s very slippery, slow down!!!” and of course, just as he gets to me, he slips and falls too, luckily padded by his nappy and big snow clothes, but still a totally panicked wreck. He’s screaming and screaming, and I’m trying to play the whole thing down so as not to scare him any further (“Oops, Mummy fell over! It’s all ok, I just fell down, I’m fine” etc.), whilst thinking “Oh. My. God. This hurts so much. I’m not sure I can get up. Am I going to be sick?”. Luckily, Marc heard Toby’s screaming and came outside to see what was going on, and so he could take him in, and then help me up. I was in shock for ages, kept feeling really faint and shaky, and my tailbone was absolutely killing me. An x-ray in the afternoon thankfully showed that it wasn’t broken and got me a nice pack of high-strength painkillers, and I’m feeling much better today.
Still, it’s been a horrible week. I’m hoping now that three things have happened, our streak of bad luck should be over. Cross your fingers for me, please?



February 12, 2010

So, I’m back. It’s been over a year since I last posted here, and after a period of time in which I scarcely wrote on t’internets at all, I rediscovered my muse for writing drivel. I have been using Twitter as a vent for my waffle over the past 6 months or so, and have become more and more aware of a desire to write some more wordy posts. And, well, here I am.
The past year has been quite difficult for me. Everyone always says that becoming a mum will change you, and I’m sure it did change me in a lot of ways. I certainly can’t watch hospital dramas involving small children anymore. But, you know, I was pretty settled beforehand. Really, I think I did fairly well at staying Me after Toby was born. My main problem has been that I didn’t become the mother I’d always thought I would be.
If you know me in person, you will know that I have always wanted babies. Pathetic, yet true. People asked me what career I wanted, and although I might have said something that sounded impressive, I was always secretly thinking that I didn’t really need a career, because I was going to be a stay-at-home mum. And even when things became more concrete, I knew that I was going to work for Marc’s company from home, and therefore wouldn’t need much childcare, because I wanted to be there for my kids.
This wasn’t just an unfounded dream either. I paid my way through university by babysitting and nannying. I ran a playgroup. I was an au-pair for a year. I loved working with small children. It was only logical that I would enjoy being at home with my own child.
Only, I don’t. God, I feel awful writing that. It’s not even true, 100%. I love spending time with my son. I love taking him out to play in the snow. I love building towers with him. I love love love snuggling up with him in our bed and reading the Gruffalo for the elevently billionth time. But after a certain amount of time, which varies from day to day, I get bored. I want to do something else. I find myself sneaking off to the computer whilst he’s distracted with a train. I tell him so many times a day that we’ll do / play / read that “in a minute” and then put it off for as long as possible. And I hate myself when I do that, because it’s not fair on him, and it’s certainly not what I wanted for him. I’m shocked by myself. I am not the perfect mummy I wanted to be.
Toby goes to a childminder 3 mornings a week, whilst I work. I have applied for him to start going to a 5 day nursery in September. It’s mainly because I have more work to do than I can accomplish in 3 mornings, but I will admit that I am also looking forward to the space. The me-time. I love my little boy, but I am looking forward to seeing less of him, and that is what has been gnawing at me over the past months.
Motherhood has caused me not only to re-invent myself, but to re-invent my idea of who I would be. And I’m just about coming to terms with that. I will see him in the afternoons, and at the weekends, and I hope that I will be more balanced, more relaxed and therefore able to be a better mummy to me little man because of that. I hope.



November 30, 2008

Provided the scheduled post function has worked (and woe betide it if it hasn’t), I have finally completed NaBloPoMo after 3 years of trying!! Thanks for reading over the past month, despite the fact that there has been a distinct lack of content some days!


One word meme

November 29, 2008
Blatantly stolen from Christina
  • Where is your cell phone? Downstairs
  • Where is your significant other? Work
  • Your hair color? Mousy
  • Your mother? Loud
  • Your father?  Hillarious
  • Your favorite thing? Kitchen
  • Your dream last night? Forgotten
  • Your dream/goal? Organisation
  • The room you’re in? Office
  • Your hobby? Facebook
  • Your fear? Enclosedness
  • Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
  • Where were you last night? Here
  • What you’re not?  Organised ;o)
  • One of your wish-list items? Camera
  • Where you grew up? Clitheroe
  • Last thing you did? Breastfeed
  • What are you wearing? Yogapants
  • Your TV? Plasma
  • Your pet? Non-existant
  • Your computer? Essential
  • Your mood? Ill
  • Missing someone? Family
  • Your car? *dream*
  • Something you’re not wearing? Hat
  • Favorite store? Primark
  • Your summer? Outdoors
  • Love someone? Definitely
  • Your favorite color? Blue
  • When is the last time you laughed? Today
  • Last time you cried? Friday
  • h1

    Too lazy to wean

    November 28, 2008

    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I have a decent sized circle of friends and acquaintances who all have babies about Toby’s age, thanks to my antenatal and postnatal classes, and Toby’s naked playgroup (yes, you read that right. Rest assured, only the babies are naked.) That should really have been something I was thankful for yesterday, because I’ve lost count of the times we have kept each other sane just by comparing horror stories or reassuring each other that yes, my baby also screams for no reason/hates the pram/ has given up sleeping etc. At the moment though, they are making me feel guilty.

    Unintentionally, of course. I don’t know what the recommendations for introducing solids are in the US, but here, they tell you to start with lunch, introducing one vegetable (normally carrot) at first, and the adding potato after a week or so, and then meat once they’re eating a decent amount of veg. You feed solids before breastfeeding, and after a while, they’ll be eating so much solid food that they’ll drop the lunchtime feeding all together. The you move on to dinner doing the same thing but with cereal and so on and so forth, and within a couple of months: voila! one weaned baby. Sound simple? It is, I guess, but so disciplined and routined. And, in case you’d not got that far yet, that’s not really the way I roll. Of course the Germans roll that way a lot, and are never happier than when making notes about how many grams of veg their child ate today, or unpacking their various little pots of baby food and warmers in the middle of the street.

    It’s not like I’m not introducing Toby to solids. He tries pretty much whatever I am eating. He enjoys a fruit and cereal mush thing in the afternoon if we’re at home. I’ve yet to find anything he won’t eat. But I’m really in no hurry to start replacing meals. I love breastfeeding my son, and went through pretty much hell to do it. And, let’s be honest, I had to buy a towel on the way to playgroup on Thursday because I had forgotten to take one with us for the third week running. Nursing is simple. I automatically have everything I need to do it with me, even when I’m rushing out of the house and late again. Plus Toby is such a little independent thing that pretty much the only cuddle time I get with him is when he’s eating.

    Sure, I’d like him to sleep through at night, and solids might help with that. And obviously I want Toby to get all of his nutrients etc. But right now, I just don’t feel like we’re ready to stop nursing, and so I’m introducing solids independently of that. I do worry, though, that I’m maybe doing this for me. I don’t want to do without my cuddles. I don’t want to have the hassle of making baby food and taking it with us. And perhaps, just a little bit, I like being the indispensable one. Nursing makes me feel needed – it’s the one thing nobody else can do, and (oh god, PATHETIC), I like that when Toby cries, he is crying for me. Yeah, I know, ridiculous, and also unnecessary, and also, remind me of this post when I am next complaining about never doing anything for myself. I just hope I’ll notice when Toby is ready to cut back on nursing…

    PS. I’m out of town on Saturday and Sunday, and will be using scheduled posts for the first time ever. If they work, I will have succeeded at NaBloPoMo for the first time ever. If not, I may shoot myself.


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