Clocking in.

I think it is extraordinary as we turn back our clocks to gain an hour, internationally they are none the wiser. We all live on time in accordance to our country, and obviously the sun, without thinking too much of it. In some countries the time is not altered at all.

As DS is now a bouncing toddler and his routine is a little more flexible, the clocks have not really affected him. Waking at 6:30AM new time meant that his normal routine could be maintained, as he would usually wake at 5:30AM anyway. I remember the last time we had to change the clocks the lead up was very different. We would adjust meal times by fifteen minutes each go and slowly pushing back naps. An hour is nothing to an adult, but to a baby it probably equates to half a day; their tiny brain can only handle so much activity.

All this messing about with time, who does it actually benefit? In the days of yore the farmers could utilise the extra hour of sunshine in the summer and sleep in during the dark months of winter. This of course is translated into modern day utilisation, where childless individuals can get that extra hour of sleep. But for the rest of us who have reproduced, and there are a lot of us, it is just a prolonged day with tiresome little rascals.

I do miss those baby baby days, this baby toddler is growing up way too fast.

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Where is that flux capacitor when you need it..

As the weeks/months/years go by, lessons are learnt and we as parents grow with our children. Amongst the advice and tips we receive, always pack a spare set of clothes and make sure you wrap him up warm, no one ever says you will never fully be alone. Mostly because this does not appear to be helpful, but it is realistic nevertheless.

We received advice which broached on the subject, such as make the most of your time together now, because when the baby comes… At the time, you nod smiling, then make your way to the pub for a night of sobriety, watching your other half enjoy a slightly intoxicating beverage. I feel like someone should have urged me to take that extra five minutes in the shower, read as many books possible and actually go for that run. Not that I would have listened, I am not a great receiver of advice, but I still would have heard.

Of course I cherish every minute I have with DS, especially now we are apart for a good chunk of the week. I would not trade those moments for anything in the world. But when he screams hourly for no apparent reason throughout the night, or insists he sits on the bathroom floor and play with his ducks whilst I am showering, it gets a little suffocating. A thread I found on Mumsnet lists four pages worth of mothers who share my pain.

Afternoon naps have become my golden hour, where I am able to sit in silence and write. The evenings we crave and often get as a reward from DS. On occasion he would punish us by not going to bed at 7 o’clock, insist on sprawling across us on the sofa whilst we eat dinner and in no way are we allowed to have a conversation he’s not in.

The long days and sleepless nights are forgiven when I hear DS’ laughter. He is worth all my time each and every day, however someone should have advised me to invest more time at Westfield, prior to DS’ birth. I have only been twice.

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..

The want.

When I think about the future, I am engulfed with choices, the various paths we could follow and how little time we have to fit it all in. Ultimately, I am torn between conformity and the freedom of renting.

Bricks and mortar are what we all aspire to have, along with the ideology to ‘settle down’. Having a family spurs on my desire to have stability and a secure home for us. I want the four bedroom house with a huge kitchen, an en-suite to my bedroom, a study, a garage for our two cars and a garden for the kids, placed nicely in a cul-de-sac in the outskirts of a Cathedral city. But whilst I yearn for my house, I am left wondering what would happen once I acquired it? Committing myself to one place, which would inevitably be our home for life, seems all too much for me.

I am one for change; I like moving to a new place and starting fresh. There is something about moving to a new town, a new home and starting a new job. I like a challenge and feel like there is something to prove; my ability to relocate and reestablish myself in any given place. I see my life as a checklist of things I have/have not done and by living in various places, seeing the world in the process, I feel like I am ticking another box.

I guess it all depends on whether material items and the reassurance they bring mean more to me than the adventures of relocating. I can see both options within reach, but I guess the question is; do I have the want to designate large sums of money to resign myself to a life-long mortgage or to embrace the freedom of renting and frivolous spending?