The rules of the nursery

I have always been strangely reassured by the way that human beings form themselves into groups, that those groups have rules and that the rules are, generally, observed. That is why, for example, we get annoyed when someone pushes in front of you when you queue, and why we bother to have laws. We all need to know how we fit in to the system.

What I find surprising is the way that applies to really small situations, and to babies and toddlers. I first became aware of this when I started to drop my daughter off at nursery. Now, the nursery drop is very tense. By and large our children are at nursery because we have to be at work, and so it’s essential to get the drop-off procedure right. It’s a fine art which involves knowing the rules about who arrives when, as this helps us to get to the next place on time. We dash down the road, rushing past Mr Stressed-with-2-kids at 7.56 who falls in behind us. Mr “Shit I’m going to miss my train” nearly collides with us at 7.58. The Other Hannah and her mother are already on the top step waiting for the door to open. Mrs. “Casual Approach” saunters down the road and gets in everyone’s way as she mucks about with her pram (clearly doesn’t have to catch a train). Muttering and swearing ensures. Mr “Shit I’m going to miss my train” is starting to go purple. It’s now 7.59 and the tension in the air is palpable. Door opens. Bundle as the children go in through the narrow corridor. I’m holding Hannah, Craig unbuttons coat as I fumble for her shoes with my remaining hand. Mr. “Shit I’m going to miss my train” hands over his child, who was derobed before we got in the door. Bag in box, coat on peg, kisses goodbye, GO GO GO. Until Bruno’s mother arrives and squishing of bodies in the corridor as we push past each other ensues. Same every day – except yesterday when Mr “Shit I’m going to miss my train” actually passed his son to me to deal with and hand over because he had parked in the middle of the road out of sheer terror of actually missing his train. It’s mild panic every day but also a comfort knowing who is going to turn up when; what order we walk in to the room; whether we should talk to the other parents (only before the door is open, not when we are in the corridor itself as this just wastes train time) etc.

On the return everyone is much more chilled. I usually do the pick up and it’s a case of wander in, chat to the nursery assistants, say hello to the other children, faff about with the coat etc…. and the other parents are the same. It’s cool, the day is coming to an end, we are going to look after our child for an hour or two before bed time and it’s going to be lovely. Work is over for the day, who cares? Let’s just chat and relax.

The babies, however, have their own protocols to observe as follows:
1. Do not interact with anyone but Mummy and/or Daddy until you have been dispatched to the assistant.
2. Run away to find breakfast, no longer caring whether your parent is there.
3. Do not, at any point, touch the gate. The gate belongs to Freddy and Billy. They guard it, you do not. Only the assistants are allowed to touch the gate instead of you. Do not touch the gate, do not approach the gate, do not even look at the gate.
4. Do not interact with a nursery assistant who has already been claimed by another child.
5. Do not drop your food or cease to pay attention to it, even for a second. If you do it will be forfeited to Hannah or Bruno who will consume it as punishment.
6. Get out of the way of all other children when Mummy or Daddy arrives, otherwise you WILL get hurt.
7. Make sure you cry if any adult who isn’t an assistant speaks to you. They need to know that they are not your parent and that you are not interested in them being nice to you.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall and see what other rules they have in place for organising their days. Never forget, they rule the roost. You might like to think you are in charge, but if you ever really start to believe that just remember who is preparing to wake who up in the middle of the night, and who is laughing and giggling at you as you madly do the drop off in the morning…. they are laughing AT you, not WITH you.

These are just some of the nursery rules

Advertisements

Reflections on year one

When I woke up (was woken up) prematurely this morning we went through our usual wake up routine of “I’ll pour the milk, you go and get her”. I took her downstairs and I checked my phone and looked at an app which reminded me that exactly one year ago my husband and I had a huge argument about responsibility and how hard it is looking after a baby. I remember that argument well; I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours for 2 months, my boobs were full and sore, our house was a chaotic mess of baby and boxes (we’d recently moved in) and my daughter wouldn’t stop crying. I can even remember thinking that there was no way that our marriage would last……well I am happy to say that it’s a little over a year since our tiny bundle of joy entered the world and we are still very much together, and very happy. Other things which have surprised me:

1. I have discovered a new kind of tiredness. Bad news- the tiredness never ends; you just learn to cope with it. Actually, you just find a new kind of tiredness.

2. Babies fart. I didn’t realise this (I know I’m stupid) and it came as a big shock when she did her first blow off. I have also regressed and joined my daughter in finding farts funny again.

3. I don’t feel guilty about going to work. I know some mothers do, but I dont. I adore my girl and I wish that I could spend more time with her, but I’ve got used to sending her to nursery and get a huge rush every day when I pick her up. It’s wonderful knowing that she has had a great day of playing and learning with people who are more experienced in child development than me, and I enjoy my dual role of pen pusher and mother again. I even don’t mind that my daughter has a girl crush on one of the nursery nurses – Zaneta that’s you- because I know that Mummy is number 1.

4. Work is better. I work because I have to. When I went back, I went back to the same job. It’s satisfying and rewarding to me, and I make more of an effort than I did before- mainly because I want to, whereas before I felt that it was just sort of expected. However, as I explained to my manager just before my mid year appraisal I don’t really care anymore, which makes my decision making more rational. Or something like that.

5. I am not heartbroken when my baby cries. I find it quite annoying sometimes. It’s heart breaking when she is hurt or in pain, and I want to make it all better for her, but when it’s a case of “I want the remote control” or something like that, it’s irritating.

6. I am superwoman. I don’t think that my husband realised this when he married me, and I certainly didn’t reveal my powers to him until I gave birth. I have the power to reproduce. The power to comfort a screaming baby. The power to put a baby to sleep. The power to maintain a clean(ish) house, a full time job, a full-up husband, and a baby that is still alive after 13 months of being assigned to us.

7. How amazing she is. I thought that would die down a bit, but every time I look at her she has a new expression, or does something that I didn’t know she could do, or when she responds to something I didn’t think she’d understand, I get a huge rush of love and just want to pick her up and cuddle and kiss her. This happens practically on a second by second basis.

I love my new life. It’s totally weird and different, and there is plenty I would change, but I love it. Thank you my little miracle baby.

GUEST BLOG: Going back to work after having kids

Before I became pregnant with Robyn, I had always thought that I would go back to work full-time, put my child in nursery, and be able to progress with my career as I had planned. But soon after I became pregnant and my research into said-childcare began, I discovered the ridiculous costs that would go into sending my child into the care of people I did not know and who would eventually spend more time with her on a weekly basis than I would… and I had a slight panic attack.

‘How will my one year away from work affect my career progression? Do I want to go back full-time? Can we afford childcare?’ These were only some of the questions running through my mind before going on maternity leave… and then something I decided to put on the back-burner once Robyn was born, as I had a few other pressing things to think about (like a new baby that I had absolutely no idea how to take care of!).

About six months into my maternity leave, I began to think about what I really wanted. I had launched into a home based business which was doing really well for mums that I knew, but I struggled to keep this going for myself. I originally began this venture to give myself the option of staying home with Robyn, and it really appealed to me. I wouldn’t have to pay for childcare, I would be around for all the major events in her life, and I wouldn’t have to worry about a commute into London.

Unfortunately, our financial situation dictated that I went back to work, and this led to a frantic search for childcare. The cost of child-minders and nurseries in my area is astronomical, and would not have been worth me going back to work. Fortunately, my mum-in-law who lived only 15 minutes away, was happy to take care of Robyn, and at a much lower cost than any other childcare option. It was a win-win situation – Robyn would get to spend time with her nan, and we could save money on childcare while also supporting my husband’s retired mum.

My first month of work was a struggle, both emotionally and mentally. Robyn was not used to being away from me so when I would drop her off, she would burst into tears, reaching for me… and the guilt I felt was almost unbearable. However, I needed to put that feeling to the side so I could get back into the swing of work things… and while some things I was able to pick up easily again, other things at work took a bit of a learning curve to get back into. I do not know if it was the fact that I was away for a year or if my mind was just preoccupied by other priorities, but there were certain aspects of work that were more difficult to grasp than they used to be. This then led to the feeling of insecurity, of whether I was still actually good at my job and whether I did deserve to be there… And after a day of work like that, I would then return home to my child who spent the entire day crying for me. Oh the guilt.

It was that constant battle – trying to be a great employee while at the same time trying to be a fantastic mum. And if I succeeded at one, it was at the expense of the other. How exhausting… It is true that mums do go through a lot of guilt going back to work. We feel guilty putting anything else above the priority of our families, but at the same time, we try to be the best at work, but feel guilty when we have to leave right at 5pm to pick up our child.

The first few months (well, really the first year) back at work was a struggle. My team had increased in size so I was supporting double the amount of people and work than before, the pace of work was much faster, the amount expected of me was much more and I was not meeting expectations… and to top it off, I was struggling with a toddler who was having problems sleeping through the night, trying to get housework and a social life and time with my family all squished into three days…

My struggles at work definitely impacted my home life. I would come home in a terrible mood, and I hated the way I was with my husband and daughter. I was not liking this person I was becoming…

But eventually, Robyn settled in with my mum-in-law, her sleeping habits became regular (or else I became accustomed to interrupted sleep), work began to get better… and life began to have a bit of balance.

Would I ever give up work to be a stay-at-home mum? I see so many of my mum friends who love staying at home and are so grateful that they are able to, and I am happy for them. For me, personally, I do like having a job to go to where I can use my brain and have time dedicated to thinking about things other than, ‘What activity should I do with Robyn today? How can I keep her occupied? Why isn’t she eating today? Why is she having such a tantrum today? Can I get five minutes to myself?’

I feel that I have achieved (or on the way to achieving) that balance of work and life. I am now at a new job working closer to home and for only three days a week. I have a job where I do feel appreciated and acknowledged and challenged. I am so much less stressed than at my previous job, and even my husband has noticed how much of a good mood I am in nowadays. I get Mondays and Fridays with Robyn AND the weekends, and I get to indulge her in things like JingleBops and Baby Bear Ballet as well as playdates (which I truly enjoy and cherish), and still get time to clean the house (obviously this is never going to be 100% perfect but it’s the effort that counts!) and see other friends.

I almost feel bad saying I need time away from Robyn, but all of us parents do think it. We do need some time away from our children in order to recharge ourselves and our sanity. We were adults and individuals before we had children, and it is important to be able to keep hold of at least part of that. And now, because I do have that time away from Robyn, each moment I do spend with her is that much more special. I pick her up from her nan’s and we cuddle on the couch at home for a half hour before I bathe her and put her to bed, and she tells me about her day (as an almost three-year-old can do).

And I do feel grateful that I can have the best of both…

Me and the Sun need to have words….

Being British, I do like to moan about the weather and today I’m going to moan about it being too hot.

I don’t know what to do about this thing called The Sun, to be honest. I’m fine when it’s cold because I wrap my daughter up in blankets, and I have a whole range of jumpers, cardigans, dungarees, vests etc. that can be mixed and matched according to how cold it happens to be that day and I have parasols, rain covers, hoods etc. for the pram that I can take off or put on at a whim. I feel comfortable with the cold and rain. I know where we stand with each other.

When it’s hot it’s a different story. The Sun seems to declare war on me and my instinct. For example I went out with my daughter for a walk the other day with 2 other gorilla mums who had dressed their babies in exactly the right clothing. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t think she would need a hat in the sun, or why I thought a long sleeved T Shirt and jeans was a good idea for her. At least she got some sun lotion, and she seemed happy enough as she looked up at me through squinty eyes (I had forgotten her parasol as well).

To be fair, I was extremely tired. I know that’s nothing new but the previous night had been exquisitely bad – the usual paranoia I feel about leaving a sleeping baby in a room on her own had been supplemented by fears about the heat and whether she had the right clothing on and, despite checking numerous times that all was in order I kept waking automatically just to check she hadn’t overheated. That wouldn’t be so bad if the times when I did manage to get to sleep weren’t disrupted by an unusually grumpy baby.

I blame my new thermometer for the latter which changes colour according to how hot it is. This time it was orange which means that I should try to turn the temperature down. Fine, but the only way to do that is to open a window and that just means that my daughter will wake up when she hears an ambulance drive past…. So I just consulted the other 7 thermometers I have and found that the temperature was fine on some and “hot” on others. Which one to trust???? Instinct perhaps??? Come on Sun, help me out here!

Child un-friendly places

My little family has had a lovely day overall today. We had some good friends over for Sunday dinner, we saw their gorgeous little boy and met their adorable baby girl for the first time, and had a walk in the park. When they left we went to town to get some more baby milk and decided, as it was such a pleasant day, to stop in a pub on the way home – one which we had been to before on our own and wanted to revisit with our little girl because it had a lovely beer garden. We were about half way through our drinks when we got chucked out because our calm, happy and cheerful little girl had the cheek to be a baby rather than a grown up.

Now, I’m not against pubs, restaurants etc. that have a no-baby policy. There are some well-known bars which I have been to in the past specifically because they have had an over 25s policy and I didn’t want to get surrounded by a bunch of teenagers getting blotto over alcopops when all I’ve wanted was a quiet drink. Likewise, I used to be – and in fact still am – the kind of person who HATES going into a pub, restaurant, whatever and having to listen to a child kick off. At the end of the day pubs and restaurants are, by and large, for adults – unless they are marketed as being for families – and so it’s irritating when all you can hear is MUUUUUMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! or a cry that just never ends. That’s not what we pay £4 a pint for and that is why when, we have managed to get out with our baby (which is often a massive effort anyway) we leave when she starts to kick off. Other people may disagree but we think that is the right thing to do.

So you can imagine how upset we were when, after a wonderful day, we stopped for a drink in this pub, found a quiet spot away from others, and parked our happy little daughter’s pram in the corner. She was no trouble at all and yet we were still asked to leave despite the place being virtually empty. The only other people around were a bunch of 50+ people who had clearly been drinking in the sunshine all afternoon and were a bit lairy as a result. Who was more likely to cause a problem???

When I left I told them that they need to erect a sign saying that families aren’t welcome. The sad part for them is that we will never be back and that the pub down the road welcomed us with open arms so will probably see us back there at some point. The sad part for us is that our lovely afternoon was spoilt and that we were made to feel scummy and embarrassed for wanting a quiet drink with our daughter.

The pub in question is the Park Tavern in Eltham and is the only place I’ve been to with my daughter where we’ve not been made to feel welcome.

The generation game

I was reading the two guest blogs and they got me thinking about the differences between having a baby now and when our Mums and Grandmas had babies.  You would think, really, that there wouldn’t be too many of them – after all, babies are still babies (they haven’t evolved in some Darwinian way to feed themselves or anything) and mothers are still mothers.  The human race continues and women have babies every day – apparently there were 138 million births in 1980 and there have been around 134 million each year since.  Just think how many nappies that is….

That brings me to the first difference. Nappies (diapers, that is.  We Brits call them nappies, which make me laugh because in other parts of the English speaking world a nappy is a napkin. Believe me you wouldn’t want to wipe your mouth with one of my daughter’s nappies…..).    Disposable nappy, how I love thee.  Not because of your contents (although bizarrely I do get pleasure out of changing the smelly ones) but because you can be thrown away when used.  Now, just before I had by baby I had this vague fantasy that I would be some kind of eco mother and use reusable ones.  HA HA HA.  Frankly I don’t know how my mother coped with the old terry ones.  My poor Nana had 5 children – I can’t imagine the amount of disgustingness she had to go through with those bad boys.  Earth, I am very sorry that I am clogging you up with my daughter’s skanky poo receptacles.  I will try to save you in a different way.

Next difference – support.  I mean human beings, not boulder holders/bras (although actually things have improved in that department too).  I suppose my Mum had relatively little of this; she is an only child and lived miles away from her family when I came along, and my dear Grandma died when I was just 8 months old.  She had her friends of course, but I think that most women of her age, and certainly most women of my Grandma’s age, lived fairly close to family and friends they had known for years.  So if the darling little baby was screaming its head off Mum, Grandma or the next door neighbour (whose name and clothing size you inevitably knew in the 1980s) could relieve you, or at least cook you a nice stew. The world is more mobile now and it’s not always the case today, so there aren’t as many people to help out – though to be fair it’s easier to chat on the phone and computer than it used to be.  So now we have various groups that we can join and this fantastic blog to help us stay in touch and get that vital support we all need.

We are also blessed with a far more developed health care system.  When my parents were born expectant Mums only went to hospital when their baby was coming because there was something wrong.  Everyone else was born at home – National hospitals were a really new thing. In fact my Dad remembers his brothers being born in the room next to him – now that would be some scary stuff for an 11 year old boy to listen to….. Now, whether you choose a home birth or not, and whether or not you think hospitals could be better, and whether or not your midwife is bonkers, our babies have a far greater chance of survival simply because of the decade they were born in.

Another thing which I am personally very thankful for is fertility treatment – that’s how we ended up with our little girl.  It didn’t exist back then (mind you neither did contraception in any great way) so if you couldn’t have children you were stuffed.  The world will certainly be thankful when she grows up to be some fantastic inventor of wonderfulness that saves the planet from all of the nappies that she filled that got sent to landfill.

I could go on and on and on about the differences but, when it comes down to it, I’m not really convinced that having a baby in the 2010s is actually all that better.  Life was simpler and more straightforward then, and it seems that modernity and choice just give rise to complexity and confusion.  Take childcare, for example.  Mother who stays at home vs mother who goes to work – what’s best?  Should Daddy stay at home instead?  Should Mummy work part time?  Get a job closer to home?  Who looks after the baby when she is working – nanny, nursery, childminder, grandparents…. I understand from my Mum that when she was a little girl my Grandma expressed an interest in finding a job and Grandad had a really hard time understanding why- her job was looking after my mum and the house and although Grandad’s job wasn’t fantastically paid it was enough to keep them all in food and clothes and have a drink at the weekend.  I can just imagine how the conversation would go now if I said “Husband, I want a job” and he said “Wife, no”.  “WHAAAATTTTT?  WHYYYYYYYY?  I HAD YOUR BABY, I NEED SOME INDEPENDANCE, I DIDN’T MARRY YOU FOR THIS, I AM MORE THAN JUST A BABY MACHINE YOU *SSHOLE!!!” (I hasten to add that this isn’t an actual conversation). Stuff might even get smashed and there would definitely be an argument.  Actually I don’t have a choice now – kind of ironic when you think that when I was born you would have to resign from the job I’m in if you got pregnant – though I still think I would work if I did have a choice.

Anyway enough of my ramblings.  We don’t, of course, have a choice in all of this unless someone has invented a time machine.  But I think that, for me, there are a lot of advantages to having a baby now as opposed to back then that’s only because we have learnt from people who have done it before us – so perhaps it’s worth reflecting on it a bit more before we have to learn the hard way…..

Let me know what you think about which era was best for having a baby in by voting in this poll….!

 

Hush little baby

Hannah is asleep IN HER COT DURING THE DAY. This is remarkable, however I have a delivery due and am on tenterhooks as to whether the doorbell will wake her. By the end of this blog we will know…….

I am still very much the kind of mother who worries that her baby has somehow managed to injure herself or suffocate while I haven’t been supervising her, despite being in a grobag, and not having the ability to walk or even roll over. I probably take it too far – in fact I know I do. I have a video monitor which I check nearly all the time, I do 15 minute checks on her and I will always be suspicious of silence. It’s my OCD way of being on the safe side.

Hannah has always gone to sleep in my arms during the day until recently when I decided that enough was enough and that she would just have to go down in her cot. The house is a tip (see Anna’s earlier post), the bins need to be put out, and more importantly she won’t be able to rely on me to get her to sleep when I go back to work. Easier said than done – it takes a pretty strong woman to listen to a baby crying their heart out because they are tired and want to be held. However I will persevere because, for us, that’s the best thing to do for our girl.

For me “Sleep Policy” is an issue where lots of parents disagree, and that in the end your parenting style will tell you what’s best for your baby. It’s been the toughest thing for me to think through so far. But our sleep policy also got me thinking about the parameters around the daytime sleep – Hannah is the centre of my world, but I don’t turn the TV off, I don’t speak in hushed tones (actually I’m on my own at the moment so I’d be worried if I was shouting) and I haven’t dismantled the door chime. I’m concerned that doing all of those things will encourage poor sleeping habits, and if I’m honest I want to carry on with my day and sometimes that involves noise. I don’t mean to say that the house shouldn’t be quiet and I know that Hannah needs a calm and quiet environment in which to sleep. I have turned the TV down, the curtains in her room are drawn and when I go upstairs I tiptoe as if the stairs are about to fall in. I just don’t want to take it to extremes and I want Hannah to know that Mummy is in charge (or at least tries to be).

There is, of course, an opposite side to the coin. About 2 years ago I was visiting a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. In fact I had never met her 2 year old boy but I was vaguely surprised when she told me to text her when I was outside her door because her little guy was asleep. When I got in to the house I was asked to whisper instead of speaking normally (I thought this was odd because the little boy’s bedroom was at the other side of the (big) house) and was given special slippers in case I wanted to move from the settee. Am I cruel or mean for thinking that was extreme? Likewise I was amused when she told me that she sometimes affixes notices to her door asking callers to ring her mobile instead of knocking on the door when her son is asleep. I still don’t really understand why she wanted to advertise her mobile number to the whole neighbourhood but each to his own.

For me, so long as you aren’t holding a disco in your front room it should be fine to make a little noise during the day. In fact some noise can help babies – I know some mothers who swear that their vacuum cleaner helps their babies to nod off. I haven’t tried that one yet but I might do. If you have any other tips or advice, do let me know.  I’d be really interested to know which side of the fence people tend to come down on so I’ve added a poll to this blog to find out.

OK, so this post is nearing its end and I am sure you are dying to know whether Hannah is still asleep. When the delivery man came she did stir but then drifted off again so I am yet to discover whether the new sleep policy will work. Lucky me – I now have time to empty the dishwasher….

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sleep deprived mama – How do I put a stop to the Boom, Boom, KABOOM?!

I’ve not had much sleep recently… but not for the reasons you might think. I’m lucky in some ways -my daughter has been sleeping through the night since she was about 3 months and my husband doesn’t snore or toss and turn. The reason for my lack of sleep lies in the boom, boom KABOOM! Every night Izzie goes down at around 9 and for the first 30 minutes she persists in banging her legs down on her mattress. Eventually this stops and she drifts off. This isn’t such an issue because we generally don’t go to bed until a couple hours later so we let her get on with it. It seems to sooth her.

The problem arises when at 3am I am in a beautiful deep sleep until BOOM BOOM KABOOM! I am jolted out of my lovely dreams to the loud bangs coming from my daughters crib. BOOM BOOM KABOOM! I leap from bed waking my husband and knocking over everything in my path. I’m barely awake, you might even say I’m practically sleep walking when I approach Izzie’s crib to find she is sound asleep banging away. It’s as if she is dreaming that she is competing in Olympic hurdles or triple jump!

Now you would think after a few weeks of this I would learn that there is no need to jump to attention at every boom, but come 3am when you hear a boom, you jump.

This nightly routine of Boom, Boom Kaboom has meant that in the past few weeks I am once again walking around like a zombie. Not fun!

Now I’m not complaining because like I said, I recognise how lucky I am that my not yet 6 month old sleeps through the night, but how do I stop the sound of an elephant herd coming from my daughter’s crib every night?!

 

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Who knew that 20 minutes at the dentist could feel like a week’s vacation!? (There’s a new boss in town!)

DSCF1151Being a mother has been a dream come true! From the moment Izzie was born I’ve felt like “this is why I am here, to be her mummy”. As a newborn Izzie was amazing, she was so chilled out and relaxed, I felt so lucky. But if there was ever a time for the expression ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’, the time is now.

These days my little angel has become a terror who screams every time I leave the room or walk two feet away. She screams every time I try to hug another person (holding another baby is a horrific crime where Izzie is concerned) and squawks every time I pay attention to something that is not HER.

Oh yes! There’s a new boss in my house and she has me wrapped around all 10 of her fingers and all 10 of her toes. She knows what she wants and how she intends to get it all the while driving mummy insane! 24 hours, 7 days a week, this has become a nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby and I am forever grateful for her but as of late, I find myself praying and willing the stormy days of this so called “5th leap” away. Am I the only one who feels this way?!

The other day I had a dentist appointment. If you know me, you know I hate the dentist and I was ever so tempted to cancel. My husband happened to be working from home that day and was happy to keep an eye on the baby while I went to my appointment. So reluctantly, I went.

As I walked out the door into the gorgeous sunlight, towards the evil dentist, the strangest thing happened… my shoulders dropped, my body relaxed and I could hear birds!!! I WAS FREEEEEE!!! All of a sudden I had the time to stop and LITERALLY smell the roses. I had time to walk leisurely and notice my surroundings, grab a coffee and think about what I needed to do for me. I found myself wishing for a lounger and mojito to appear at the side of the road. I mean it’s not the beach but it was sure beginning to feel like a vacation – a girl can dream! But compared to the week I’d had, the 20 minute dentist appointment was a treat! I got to lay on a recliner, under a bright light, wear shades AND fall asleep! I mean, come on how good does that sound right now?!?!

When I finished my appointment I took the leisurely 5 minute walk home, taking the long route (shhhhh!) just to prolong my ‘vacation’ a wee bit. Wow! What a difference 20 minutes can make. As I slowly (VERY VERY SLOWLY) approached my front door, I took one last deep breath of the fresh air and opened the door back in to my reality feeling rejuvenated and alive. I mean who knew 20 minutes at the dentist could feel like a week’s vacation!?

So as much as I love my new ‘boss’, I am reminded that we all need a little holiday every once and awhile, even if it’s just a teeth cleaning.

 

References:

The Wonder Weeks – http://www.thewonderweeks.com/gb/

 

 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© gorillamums 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material or media (including images) without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to gorillamums with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Y viva España… First time abroad with a baby.

I am very fortunate to have parents who have a lovely house on the Costa Blanca, even more fortunate that they let me use it, and trebly fortunate that this year they said they wanted to come with me and my husband to help us, and spend time with, Hannah so that we would get a break.

So you can imagine our excitement when the date finally came around. A WHOLE WEEK of sunbathing, swimming, stuffing our faces and drinking and all the while our darling would have at least 2 responsible adults looking after her. For a whole week we would have our old lives back. For a whole week we could mix the joys of having a beautiful baby with the irresponsibility of being able to bar hop and gorge on food that takes longer than a 5 minute microwave ping to prepare. And it wouldn’t be talking the complete p*** out of my parents because they wanted to help us; they wanted to spend precious time with Hannah and it would be fantastic for her to have some quality grandad and grandma time.

I was, of course, forgetting that we are rearing a strong-willed young girl who, like her mother, has a mind of her own.

Flying out with my mum, I found that the holiday had not quite started. Hannah was physically strapped to me and, while she was a very good girl, there were inevitably a few glances of the “can’t you shut your baby up” variety. Hannah 1, Mummy nil. On arrival at the house I immediately unpacked everything of hers, set up a changing station in her room, began sterilising etc so that everything was prepared. 1-1.

I could go on, suffice to say that by the time we got home from the restaurant that evening it was about 1-3 to Mummy (there’s that third person talking again…). And by the morning Hannah had most certainly given Mummy a pasting- she was winning hands down at 7-3 and I had thrown in the towel. Mummy would not be drinking red wine the next night. She would not be staying up past 10pm. She would not be settled by Grandma, and she had instead decided that Mummy would be sleeping in the living room to prevent everyone else hearing her scream.

Hannah did eventually settle and we all had a lovely time, but thinking back it struck me just how selfish I had been. Not so much because I had been looking forward to a break, or even because I had initially agreed that my parents would help out (they really did want to, and are good at it to boot), but because I had somehow expected a 5 month old baby to relax and enjoy the holiday too. To Hannah, this was – at least to begin with- a nightmare. It wasn’t her home, it wasn’t her bed and the plane was most definitely not her playmat. She was in unfamiliar territory and it was unsettling for her to say the least but, when she got used to it she was fine. Kind of reminds me of me when we first got her. And that I’m glad I’m not still the person I was before I became her Mummy.