Get Out of my Hair.

I love DS’ hair. His luscious long locks, coupled with his sweeping fringe, is a rich chocolate brown and on occasion shines golden in the sunlight. It can be tucked behind his ears or left untamed in all it’s glory.

I take pride in my boy’s hair and do feel insulted when we are greeted with, ‘I think you should get his haircut soon‘, as if anyone other than Mummy and Daddy have any sway on what DS’ hair looks like.

We have only taken him to the hairdressers twice, both experiences were rather traumatic for everyone involved. I am not averse to getting his hair cut more often, although I do find it heartbreaking. Not just the physical cutting of the hair and handling a very strong toddler who will battle with all his might, but his hair has become part of his identity and to snip a part off does not sit well with me.

I cannot ever imagine my boy with a shaven head, or to generally not have it long. There must be a word to describe exactly what the feeling would be, devastation would come close, but slightly overdramatic I guess.

I will say it once more for clarity; DS Will Not Be Undergoing Any Form of Significant Hair Loss Resulting From a Pair of Scissors. 

Mr. Bump.

It is not unusual for DS to fall over and display some sort of mark from an accident, however Sunday was different. There was actual blood dripping from his face. Perhaps I am being overdramatic and a bit precious over my baby, but it was pretty shocking from where I was standing.

So the story goes, Daddy and DS were setting off to Tescos for some cream cheese to accompany our smoked salmon lunch, which I was very much looking forward to. But within a minute of closing the door behind them, there was a loud frantic knock on the door followed by the sound of DS’ cry. Upon opening the door and seeing DS’ face, I froze and became motionless. I am not sure Daddy knew exactly what to do either, as this had never really happened before.

We decided to clean up the cut with a wet towel, much to DS’ dismay. We dabbed some Savlon on his lip and proceeded to cure him with love and kisses. He most probably ate the Savlon, as he was very keen to prod his lip and investigate after he was over the initial shock.

He seems absolutely fine now, a few days on, though I am still getting over it. It is awful watching your child bleed and feeling helpless, but knowing full well what happens next is up to you. I guess it was one of those milestone moments that follows all the childbirth/nappy changing/weening ones, when it suddenly hits that you are Mummy (or Daddy) and in charge now. No one else can fix that boy.

Please, Sir, I STILL Want Some More.

Since my last nursery post on the 9th September, I am saddened to say nothing much has changed. DS is still coming home hungry despite my incessant complaints to the nursery. Wednesday 21st September sets a fine example of how his nursery fails to address DS’ needs.

Needless to say, my boy came home starving that day. DS has been eating two full Weetabixs since forever, yet somehow, he had only managed half of one on Wednesday. Following breakfast, he had a pathetic minimal snack which he obviously ate all of. He most probably did not reject lunch, but was neglected and left to fend for himself. I can only imagine the worst because there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. DS has always been a hungry boy, to the point that he tries to lick the bowl clean, failing that, he puts his face in the bowl instead.

This incident does not stand alone, as illustrated in my previous post, this is a regular occurrence. The food DS eats with me is not a one-off, I place him before myself and always ensure he has the best meals filled with nutritious goodness. Today he ate a whole bowl of porridge for breakfast, followed by three quarters of an apple and a cracker for his snack. For lunch he devoured a bowl of smoked haddock, spring greens, spinach, carrots and leek with cous cous. He is currently eating half a banana after he gobbled up whole croissant for a snack. For dinner he will share our roast beef with potatoes, carrots and whatever else I throw in the mix. It is incredible how little he eats at nursery in comparison to at home.

After much upset, DH wrote a response:

This is not new information to them; when he started nursery we made them very aware of our angst. DS started at twenty months old in an aged two to three room, with children who were capable of feeding themselves without aid, spoke clearly and were able to communicate their needs. DS can string a few words together and can demand things like a car and a ball. He would not demand food, water or a nappy change though – those things are not fun. He needs to be sat down and fed, given water accordingly and changed regularly without being asked. Adults often speak to children as though they should control themselves and have their own answers, however I believe children of all ages should be told, not asked; especially not rhetorically. I have witnessed one or two nursery workers who ask the children if they would like food and the conversation always goes along the lines of, “are you going to eat that?” .. “no” .. “fine I will take it away”. What kind of ‘looking after’ is that?

If it was a matter of survival then yes, I will hand it to them, they are doing a brilliant job. However, I am paying extortionate fees for my boy to be well looked after and I expect a certain level of standard. I do not scrimp and save, work my arse off all week, just to come home to an unhappy boy who has been neglected by people who are meant to be his carers. The staff are meant to bond with the children, engage them in learning activities, encourage them to read, and above all, energise them with nutritious foods. I do not see this happening, or at least, I am not hearing about it. Their 2010 Ofsted report states they should improve to ‘further develop the regular, two way flow of information with parents to maintain and support communication with parents and users of the service‘; a year on, a shabby school book they ordered especially for us because other parents receive feedback verbally does not constitute as a ‘regular, two way flow of information‘ I’m afraid.

Please, Sir, I Want Some More.

Over the past couple of weeks, DS has been settling into his new nursery. There have been a few hiccups to say the least, but that is to be expected in a new setting. Sometimes though, I feel such errors could be avoided if they had thought about their actions or used their common sense.

'wet and creamed' refers to DS' wet nappy and the moisturiser they applied to his eczema.

Take his meals for the day as an example (please refer to DS’ notes pictured on the right, click to enlarge). Daddy dropped him off at 9AM after DS had breakfast at home, yet they still gave him rice crispies; breakfast is usually scheduled for 8AM at nursery, do they think we starved our child from the time he woke (5AM)? Regardless of this, rice crispies is hardly a filling breakfast to set you up for the day.

We had asked for bread to be given when DS fails to eat at least 3/4 of his lunch; DS loves bread and it is a good solid substitute for any missed meals. From the information provided, Common Sense would tell you not to use a substitute as part of the main meal, as inevitably the other part would not be eaten. Another thing Common Sense would certainly point out is if you are stupidly going to give him bread as part of the main meal, change the substitute.

‘Snack’ and ‘Tea’ has been left empty as DS was promptly rescued by Daddy after his dentist appointment. For the rest of the day, he had a pear, a hot cross bun and homemade lasagne for dinner.

Now for comparison, let me enlighten you on DS’ meals for today (Friday 9th September).

Breakfast – porridge (all)

Snack – A whole pear and two buttered crackers (all)

Lunch – Mince, sweetcorn, marrow, broccoli in a tomato sauce with rice (I made too much, he ate his usual portion and a little bit more. I stopped him before he burst)

Snack – A whole apple (all)

Snack 2 – Crumpet and a plum (all)

Dinner – Roast consisting of chicken, potatoes, carrots, an onion and cauliflower and cheese (all)

He also had four poos today and only one yesterday at home, which only parents would really understand the significance of that.

I have a hungry boy on my hands and clearly the nursery is not delivering. I worry for my boy, whether he tells them he is hungry, whether he is ignored or whether he just does not have the appetite for the revolting food they supply. It is not the nursery workers’ fault in entirety; I understand they are young, childless and are unable to fully empathise with us mothers. But it is management who oversee these workers and should enforce better customer service, more attention given to each child’s individual needs and encourage initiative. He had the same difficulties at the start of his previous nursery, which means things can only get better..

Do Mums Know Best?

A maternal bond is heavily focused on amongst new mothers and midwives, how it is crucial to get that motherly connection going in case it might never happen and your baby will grow up resenting you. As you can probably tell by my sarcastic tone, I completely disagree.

Scare mongering new mothers in thinking they must breast feed, co-sleep and wear their baby like a fashion accessory is completely absurd. Of course breast-feeding is considered the ‘better’ option, however mothers should not be made to feel bad if they are unable to (as explained in a previous post). Also, articles which encourage co-sleeping are just creating a recipe for disaster.

It is almost tragic that there is not equal respect for paternal instinct. This is not just sharing responsibility and baby duties begrudgingly whilst the mother takes a rest, but to actively seek to care for your child and equally be Mummy. DH and I are both Mummies and Daddies; we both know how to put DS to sleep, feed him, his likes and dislikes, whilst simultaneously slaving away to earn the bucks.

On leaflets, websites and magazines we all advocate fathers taking an interest in their child, some choosing to take the lead in parenting. However, when it boils down to reality, attitudes and public opinion have not changed. In any circumstance when I mention the hardship we endured during the birth of DS in the midst of our degrees, I receive positive responses varying from amazement to shock. Yet when DH broaches the subject, it almost ends in an anticlimax as the listener stares expectantly for the next part to the story; as if he had the time to juggle anything more than being a full-time dad whilst achieving a First in his degree.

I believe fathers have equal capability when caring for their children and it should not be a mother’s prerogative. You learn from your child through practice, it is not instinctual. Your baby is born a blank canvas and it is both parents’ responsibility to shape who she will eventually become. Traditionally a mother knew best because she would always be looking after the baby, however in our modern society I believe team work produces the greatest results.

Sometimes we need to ask, why is it that a man gets a job over a woman because he is least likely to take time off for the children? Why is a man looked down upon for stepping up to the game? Society shuns fathers who abandon their babies and leave behind a single mother, yet it is no more inviting to fathers who love their children and actively seek to be part of their lives.

Two months - I'll help you study Daddy!

Yummy in my tummy.

Morning – Milk

Breakfast – Porridge Oats made with cow’s milk
Milk

Lunch – Potato, sweet potato and carrot mash (including butter and cow’s milk) with spinach
Milk

Snack – Toast with fresh avocado spread on top and avocado slices

Dinner – Haddock, red peppers and onion with cous cous
Milk

I love a whole day of being Mummy : )