Persephone: Parent

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Growing Up and Moving On

Elvis has been having swimming lessons since he was about 10 weeks old, and he moved up into his current toddler class about a month after he turned two. Not even 6 months ago actually and they’ve started talking about him moving up into one of the preschool classes already. This terrifies me.

For one thing, he is only just 2 and a half, he doesn’t have the best attention span and he’ll be in the water. People die in the water.

But then, I do think he’s almost ready. In just the last few weeks he has advanced so much. He seems to have really come out of his shell in general, but just today, he was asked to float on his back as we sang Twinkle, Twinkle and he just assumed the position. Lovely spread legs and outstretched arms. My son hates leaning back in the pool! Oh, and when they were asked to dunk themselves, he did. He hates dunking in the songs, but does enjoy trying to submerge everything but his face. I think he might almost be ready for the group. Especially when I think about the others that are currently in his class – they are too little to be able to dunk themselves. I guess he might be in that tricky position where he is more advanced than most in his group, not quite as advanced as the next group.

Three of his little friends have moved up, but two of them are 3 already and one is only about 2 months away from her birthday.

Is it better to be a big fish in his little pond, where he can do everything he’s asked, or be the little fish, the youngest and possibly the least capable? But how else is he going to learn, he needs to be pushed.

I really am in two minds. I want him to move if he’s ready. But I don’t him to move up.

Water is dangerous. It’s a new instructor so I’d be entrusting my son’s life with someone I don’t really know.

On the other hand, in a few weeks Robin starts nursery (that’s a whole other growing up matter!) and has to move her swimming lessons to the same day as Elvis. He currently swims at 10am, she’d be at 0930. That means I need someone else to undress him and then dress her, with me staying in the pool for a whole hour. If Elvis moved to the preschool class, he would be at 11am (and I don’t have to go in the pool for preschool classes) so I think I could take Robin, leaving Elvis at home with Nanny, come home, put her down for her nap and then take him, staying dry and watching from the sidelines. This would make it easier for me, my mum and both of them really. It would enable me to do the whole thing with Robin, just like I did with Elvis rather than handing her over soaking wet for someone else to dress her, but…

Aside from the danger aspect (which is worrying me), it takes away our time, the 30 minutes of swimming together, watching him advance each week right in front of my eyes. I worry so much that he learns everything he does at nursery, but swimming is where I teach him, where I see him. He just comes home and knows more letters, knows how to count, but I taught him to climb in and out of the pool. I taught him to swim a length on a woggle. It’s my 15 minutes alone getting dressed/undressed with him and having random chats without as much of a time pressure as before nursery or as many distractions as at bedtime. I love that time with him and I don’t want to give it up.

What could I even replace it with?

But I will have to give it up at some time. Either in 4 months when he fits the age criteria for the preschool class, or in 1 month when it suits the busy teachers, my family or when he may actually be ready to join his friends. I guess it isn’t about him growing up, it’s just the by product of him growing up. I feel like I’ll be losing something and I don’t know how to change that. It’s the only quality, one-on-one time that I ever have with him and I’ll be giving it up yet still having it with her.

Oh, hello, there, Mummy Guilt! Welcome home.

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6 Months of Sleeping With Your Baby?

I had trouble sleeping last night after reading an article that popped up on my news feed. In fact when I got up this morning, leaving my 13 week old baby alone in our bedroom, I got really panicky. It isn’t the article itself (which tells the sad story of a 7 week old who died in their co-sleeping crib when left alone) it was more a comment someone put on facebook when the article was shared.

Why was  a 7 week old left alone to nap? When guidance is all naps and sleeping to be in the same room as a parent?

The comment was probably same room as mum because I feel there’s a huge bias on the parenting pages that it’s all about the mum. Anyway, is it really practical and possible to always have your sleeping baby with you for 6 months?

With Elvis, he was younger than six months when he moved into his own room, younger than 6 months when we started to emphasise that the cot was for sleeping and not playing. But we lived in a small house. Could it have been possible? 6 months of all sleeping in the same room?

How about when it’s your second child?

Every morning I leave Robin alone in her Moses basket as I get up and see to Elvis. If she cries, someone goes to check on her except on a Friday when I’m alone with him and he’s having breakfast.

Please do not get me wrong here, I completely understand why babies should sleep near their parents for as long as possible, but can it be done? 100% of the time?

Robin sleeps in her Moses in her cot right next to me overnight. On nights where I can’t sleep, I go in another room but Daddy stays near her – I could not leave her alone at night. Not yet. Her naps are in the pushchair or, if rocked, put down in the Moses in the lounge. Her pushchair is kept in the hall or kitchen, all doors open if she’s asleep. Am I going to wheel the pushchair into the lounge making the carpet dirty? Should I sit on the stairs next to her pram? Should I keep her near Elvis who’ll wake her? Take her out to the garden in the heat whilst I play with Elvis?

Do parents for at least 6 months keep their sleeping babies nearby in the same room?

Naps and night times?

Have you?

~ P

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Goodbye To You

Honestly, in the past year or even more, I have been such a push over. I have let people judge me, my friends and my family and never said a thing. Simply stewing in my resentment in private. And when I have ever said anything, it has been dismissed as if what I think, what I feel does not matter.

Do you know what actually angers and upsets me most about all of this though? It isn’t that I let it all happen to me, it isn’t that my family and friends have so little regard for me that they treat me like nothing, no, it’s that I can already see it all happening to my son.

And I refuse to allow that to happen.

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The First Night

We survived the first night. Still have no wifi. Elvis slept straight through after a rocky start. I tossed and turned a bit worrying about him, the heat and the travel cot he’s in. Apparently even after almost 12 months, SIDS is something I get paranoid about. I was too hot. Then the air con dried my mouth out and I worried about Elvis. Bit we all slept. And in the same room. I might bring our own travel cot next time. And pushchair.

I can hear E playing with his bricks as I type this and we’re off to do our food shopping. Hopefully we’ll sort out the wifi. I miss the Internet!

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Hot Potatoes

I started taking Elvis swimming in August when he was maybe about 11 weeks old and along with his enjoyment of being in the water increasing, so have his skills. He started holding on to the edge over a month ago now, hanging on there as I count to ten.

Well, at our last swimming lesson I noticed something that amazed me no end. At the end of our lessons we have playtime and I was using it to get him to practice holding on. There he was sinking down a bit, spitting out the water as his mouth dunked too low and then pulling himself back up. He almost pulled himself all the way out. That wasn’t even the amazing thing though.

He started walking along his hands along the side to get to some other toys. At the beginning of lessons we sing “One potato, Two Potato” as the baby (or parent holding) moves their hands along the wall, walking their hands. It’s a safety trick to use the edge to get to the steps. And my baby did it.

He is going to love swimming in Spain!

~ P

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Driving Master Elvis

We’ve been a carless family since before Elvis was even considered. I attempted to start driving lessons years and years ago, but I got bored. Even now with Elvis, I have never felt like I have missed out on anything because neither hubby or I drive. But my husband wanted to learn to drive.

And he passed this week so has literally gone and bought a car.

And now the debate over car seats has started!

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(Stair) Gates to Heaven

With Elvis’ increasing mobility we had to invest in safety gates. Originally we wanted one at the top and one at the bottom of the stairs. We’ve had some hiccups, but we now have two:

BabyDan Auto Foldable Safety Gate
Lindam Sure Shut Gate

And I love them both!

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