Toys Are Us.

So Christmas has been and gone as fast as it came, leaving a trail of oversized plastic monstrosities and a mother desperate for more storage. It appears last year’s storage solutions are no longer fit for the job and I now have specific corners of each room dedicated for DS’ toys and books.

I have managed to hide all plastic out of sight, in places easily accessible to DS. They are just such an eyesore, tasteless and oh so American. We have lots of wooden toys, which are just (or even more so) enjoyable and they are mechanically very clever. Like the snail pull along toy that bobs up and down when pulled across the room, or the intricate detail in the tools for work bench we bought DS for one of his Christmas presents. Classic, impressive and definitely not tacky. Actually, let me tip toe back a bit, I do like Lego. I’ll give you that.

For comparison; classic wooden car park Grandma bought DS..

VS.

..a plastic monstrosity. Luckily we didn't receive this.

I am planning on getting rid of old toys to allow for more space this week, but I am a secret hoarder for memories. I know cannot continue following DS through life with a hoover in one hand and a suction bag in another. I am setting myself up for a fall when he lives for University and I am left at home clutching at his toggle coat from aged 1 and playing with his Mega Bloks.

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A Mother’s Guilt.

In a world full of unpredictability, constraints and constant setbacks, decisions have to be made in order for progression. Our decision to both be in full-time employment has not come easy. Weighing up the pros and cons, the now seems almost insignificant amidst the wider picture.

Yet the majority of the time we must live in the present; residing in the past permits life to drift on by and living in the future is merely a daydream. I find it easier to deal with particular circumstances when I set these categories. Sometimes you lose perspective in whichever time frame you find yourself in and it helps to outline goals, reasons, justifications.

I paint the wider picture with images of a big house, fast cars, private schooling and exotic holidays. The prospect of a duel income and security seems more inviting than living on a budget and just getting by until DS goes to a state school. With the long shot in mind, I push aside my anxieties of DS being at nursery three days a week and not having any meals with him Monday to Thursday. Of course these are my fears, not his. He will be absolutely fine playing with the other kids and an endless mountain of toys.

I am playing full-time Mummy this month whilst I await my turn to go to work. DH has already been summoned to the daily grind, rushing in the morning to catch the 6:47AM train and not returning until 7:30PM. He sees DS briefly in the morning in between getting dressed and eating breakfast, and for five minutes in the evening just to say hello. Sometimes DS is so worn out from the day, he is already in bed by the time DH returns. That is when the sadness sets in and work becomes a forlorn attempt to escape. The tough work, long days and late nights hardly feels worth while when an overwhelming sense of the present hits you in the face.

It is easy for individuals without children to disregard this angst we feel, as something we can push aside or just get over. Missing your children is not the same as missing your other half; I dislike not seeing DH, but it is heart breaking knowing my baby is growing up in our absence. Maybe I am being overdramatic, as we will see him at weekends and I will be home on Fridays. It is also inevitable he will go to school full-time and spend the majority of each day without us anyway.

Whatever the reasoning, no matter how many times you justify it to yourself, it does not get easier. We become each others priorities and the weekends are golden. We owe this to the eighteen year old DS going to university and, god forbid, the thirty-nine and forty-one year old parents we will inevitably become.

Let me give the world to you.

Birthday Boy!

So my baby boy finally reached his first birthday two weeks on Wednesday; I say finally as if it took a long time, when in fact, it feels like only a few months ago he was a newborn. On the day we celebrated with lots of cake (only for us of course) and lots of presents for DS. He was completely oblivious to his birthday, as you would expect, and disregarded his new toys in favour of his old ones. He found the balloons frightening and his walker and Scuttlebug bike too intimidating. Once he had a couple of hours to get his head around the new arrivals, he started playing with the wooden lorry we bought him. It looks much better than it sounds; it has holes on the sides which allow you to slot in the wooden animals, a leaver at the back to release them and a pull-along string at the front.

I think wooden toys are my new fad. They look authentic and classic, almost timeless. For the majority of toys, when there is a wooden and a plastic version, the wooden one almost always look better. Most plastic toys have a cheap tackiness shine to them, when they are hardly ever cheap. Do not get me wrong; DS has an array of plastic toys as well as wooden ones, and he loves them. He is not bothered by what his toys are made of so it makes sense that we, as parents, choose which toys we think would look most aesthetically pleasing in our home.

Big school.

Wishful thinking; I do hope the nursery workers are the next best thing to Mary Poppins.

My baby boy has started big school. I think it was harder for DH than it was for me; I had already accepted I could no longer be there during the day and that DS would carry on living his life with or without me. DH cares for him in my absence so it must be a complete shock to the system when our precious baby boy is taken away for a few hours. I do hate not knowing when something happens, as it happens, then finding out on my return that DS has reached another milestone and I was not there to witness it. It is a good thing DS will only be in nursery for two half days so it is very unlikely we will both miss out on any new stage of development.

Over the course of the week, DS is having what they call ‘settling in’ sessions. This is where DH takes him in for an hour and stays with him for the first session, leaves him for the hour to see how he gets on for the second session and then it increases to two hours. DS absolutely loves the abundance of toys and the company of others. It is funny how one would expect babies to play together like children, but apparently DS just crawls past fellow babies without a care in the world. They trade toys and then retreat back into their own little bubble.

It gives me the peace of mind to know that DS enjoys nursery and finds it exciting. I like to think he will gain a lot from this experience and as a result, have little play friends he can invite to his first birthday!