Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The potty and the pee!

It's funny what motherhood will make you proud of...

When my daughter was about 14 months old I bought a potty. I thought if it was there she could get used to it, get inquisitive about it. At first she wasn't remotely interested, then she would cry whenever I sat her on it. She then progressed to walking around with it on her head, this behaviour was discouraged immediately as I had visions of months down the line, leaving her to do her business and coming back to find her spinning around and around the room, potty on head, covered in poo! 

However just recently she has taken to sitting on it, with or without her nappy on and when asked where we go for wee's and poo's she will run off to retrieve the potty and bring it to me. Having read up some information though I had decided to leave off any form of potty training until after Christmas, maybe even wait until after her second birthday in April. 

So imagine my surprise this morning when I discovered that my daughter had done her first potty wee! Yes that is right, she sat down on the potty, on her own and went for a wee. I was in the process of dressing her for the day and had left her in the lounge with my sister, Emily was naked and the potty was in it's usual spot, the middle of the lounge. I had casually mentioned as I left the room that if Emily needed a 'wee wee' then she must use the potty like a big girl. And that's precisely what she did much to my amazement and delight! 

Now there is no saying that she had any idea what she was doing, it was probably just a happy coincidence that she happened to be on her potty when the call of nature came but I like to think that we have taken a teeny, tiny step towards those nappy free days I have been dreaming of! Oh happy days!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Peppa Pig...who?

As I look around me, I can see my darling daughter dressed in her 'Minnie Mouse' dressing gown, sitting in a sea of discarded toys that include not one but two handbags, sporting 'Hello Kitty' and 'The Little Mermaid' themes and it strikes me again how much I loath this character indoctrination we provide from such a young age. Now my bestfriend will have to forgive me for this post, as she is a frequent reader of my blog and provided the 'Minnie Mouse' dressing gown (which in all honesty I actually think is quite cute and it keeps my daughter suitably warm which is the job it was designed to do).

However since the moment Emily was born, she has gone through high volumes of character themed clothes. Dora the explorer, Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty and an array of Disney characters. And on receiving each present I have had to physically restrain myself from uttering the words 'why'? Instead I have replaced this question with a smile and a thank you as is the correct, appropriate, polite adult response (and I am nothing if not accommodating). When alone I have looked at said item and wondered, once again, why? My daughter is now only 18 months old and until recently had no real sense of self, she still doesn't some days, let alone any care or regard for Peppa Pig or any of these other popular characters. In fact we have never even watched Peppa Pig, we only ever watch Cbeebies.  

It does frustrate me enormously and I know that I sounds completely irrational but to me it shows a complete lack of imagination and an assumption that all children, because they are children, will just be instantly attracted to these superficial characters. I mean what has Dora the Explorer ever done for my daughter? Or me for that matter? 

I buy clothes for my daughter based on the following criteria, how expensive are they? Will they fit her properly and not strink on first wash? Are they pink? The last one is a form of indocriniation of my own, but not for Emily's benefit for the general masses that assume just because my daughter is of larger stature that she must be a boy!

"Oh he is lovely isn't he?"
"Yes, SHE is very lovely thank you".

Of course even the pink doesn't always work...some people are just stupid but I don't hold that against them.

Now don't get me wrong, once Emily has grown up a little and can actually keep her attention to an entire episode of Peppa Pig or one of Walt Disney's classic cartoons (which I will be watching with her...for supervisory purposes of course) and the day she turns to me, her little red ringlets swaying from side to side and utters the words 

"Mummy Ariel has red hair like me, am I a mermaid too?"

or words to that effect then I will happily go out and buy her (within reason of course) all the 'Little Mermaid' paraphernalia her little heart desires. However until that time arrives, I fear it will continue to annoy me and 'oh joy' Christmas is just around the corner.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The art of reasoning...

Generally speaking as parents I think most of us are not in any hurry to see our children grow up.  As much as we grow excited at the thought of the next stage of their development, we want to enjoy it and cherish them. However there are exceptions to this. 

I look forward to, relish the day that Emily will be fully potty trained and capable of using the 'grown up girls' toilet. No more nappies, cream, wipes, cotton more stinky, horrible, gag inducing dirty nappies. No more screaming fits when she has nappy rash and understandably doesn't want you anywhere near her bottom.

Dressing herself. Trying to get a toddler, to stand still long enough to allow you to put their socks on, do up the tie on their trousers, close the poppers on their all-in-one suit etc...Well in fact just getting Emily's nappy on is a struggle (another reason to look forward to nappy free days). She will not stand still, she absolutely refuses and trying to reason with a child, well we all know that's just stupid really isn't it. Because in reality if you could you would explain to your child,

'Now darling mummy needs you to stand still for a few minutes whilst I get you dressed and then you can go and play because I know that's what you'd much rather be doing'.

In fact given the option your children would probably spend most of their time running around naked or almost naked. The job of dressing is a real inconvenience to them, because it's just such a delight for us parents! If you could reason, you would explain that it would take a third of the time it actually does if they just STOOD STILL. Instead you wrestle with them morning, noon and night, fighting for superiority. What have we been reduced to?!

Finally I look forward to the days when I will re-gain ownership of...well everything make up, my food, the TV, my sleep, my life. No wait, you mean I am a Mother FOREVER!! Oh...but it does get better, right and when that's? When they leave home and then they only need you half the time. Right, silly me!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Me and my shadow...

You ever have one of those days where everything feels wrong and out of place? A day where you don't know where to start and what to do? Well I'm having one of those, except it's in the form of a year! 

Some days my life is relatively mundane, Emily and I go about our routine with an air of nonchalance. We eat, we play, we take a stroll, she has a nap and I dream of napping whilst up to my eyeballs in housework. These are the days that fill the gaps in between. Then there are the days when my life resembles an episode of Eastenders, without the east London accent of course! I am in essence, perpetually trapped in a misery of my own making. 

I am not sure when or how I lost my way but it has been lost, that I know for sure. Most days I feel like I am only existing at half measure. Like potentially I have so much more to give, appreciate and experience but I cannot access it. The door has been closed off and I am groping about in the dark trying to find the handle. 

There is a sadness that envelopes me, it surrounds me and I cannot hide from it. It follows me, like a shadow, always there. Only some notice, those closest to me, or correction those who know me best. You can share a life with someone, a house, a bed and not really see them or their sadness or maybe you see their sadness but you refuse to acknowledge it as it may threaten your existence, your happiness. 

This sadness comes from loneliness that I have felt for such a long time. Although as a mother (parent) you are never really alone in body, your child/children will always be a source of comfort, entertainment, inspiration, worry and concern. You can be alone in mind and there are other forms of comfort and love that we require as adults and people. When these are lacking then what happens? 

There are times when I feel strong enough, when I think I may have the courage to throw caution to the wind and change what needs to be changed but most of the time I am just weary, caught in a situation that suits my immediate needs. Too scared or tired or both to change anything.

I hope for a change, Sometimes I even pray for it (although I am not remotely religious). I want to feel happy again! And there are moments, short periods of time when I do, when I am with the right people, the people that can make me smile, when I think anything might be possible. I allow myself to dream and to imagine a life lived to it's full potential. In contentment and surrounded by the people that truly know me, that always have and will always love me for who I am and have always been. That is my's what I hold on to.  

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Easy like a 'rainy' Sunday afternoon...

I have recently realised that I have a really low boredom threshold, especially when stuck in the house, on a rainy Sunday, with a toddler whose threshold is considerable lower than mine and a man quite content to waste a few hours playing his guitar and watching 'Chelsea v Arsenal'! Wow a lazy Sunday afternoon! I think I remember those (wistfully she reminisces).

Even my regular text buddy, who shall remain nameless, has deserted me. Probably off enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon of their own. 

I find it so frustrating, the complete lack of imagination in my house, and this is by no means a dig at Gavin. I am myself completely void of original ideas for fun days out, when it's a) literally pouring water from the sky, you know the kind of rain where it's like someone turned a tap on b) you have limited funds available to you and c) you have chosen small town living over the big city lifestyle.

You see I have no problem being lazy when the mood takes me, I can lounge around with the best of them but generally speaking I am the kind of person that likes to be doing something, anything constructive with my day. This is also because I feel guilty when I look at Emily, I feel like I am not forefilling my mothering role to provide her with a stimulating environment. 

Although maybe I am worrying too much, it would seem that she has managed to amuse herself serving us imaginary tea from her pink tea set. Shame we all have to share the same cup, but 'hey ho'. So that's Gavin sorted and it's just me then?! Maybe I am just really out of practice when it comes to relaxing? I have spent so long rushing around, looking after everyone, trying to keep on top of everything that now I can take the time back, relax a little but I just cannot seem to pull it off. 

So maybe I'll try. I can sit the football...bask in the lethargy of a Sunday afternoon. Right? (pause)

No it's no good...I can't do it...Oh well time to re-organise my wardrobe I think the charity shop is due a delivery.