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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Monthly Update: Month One

Weight, Length, Height: Okay so at 39 weeks pregnant I was 14 stone, and had 2 weeks of growth left. At birth, Robin weighed 9lb 1oz, dropped to 8lb 4oz before starting to gain again. At 4 weeks old she weighed in at 10lb 12.5 oz. And I weighed in at 12 stone.

Routine: Haha! That’s a lie actually we do have some routine. She feeds every 2.5 to 3 hours in the day and is already having a 4-5 hour gap overnight. Nothing else. Yet.

Bedtime: We go upstairs about 9pm,have a feed and are asleep by ten. Other than waking for feeds, she then sleeps until about 7am. Wake up time depends on how light it is outside. Apparently both of my children knew day from night pretty quickly, it just depends on when the sun rises!

Naps/Length: She refuses to sleep properly during the day so she can have very quick naps or mammoth daytime sleeps. Mainly only on me. With a nipple near her mouth. I’m finding it quite difficult really. If she decides she wants to be awake after a feed (which is fine in principal) she can’t make it to the next feed being awake so just screams. I jiggle her, rock her and she calms but fights sleep so much. And she’s so heavy now. Even in a sling I can’t carry her all the time. I might be getting good sleep (we are bed sharing) but I still tire very easily. I find myself crying a lot.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: We’re averaging 8 or 9 over a day with my food intake not having actually increased at all. Unlike last time.

Favourite toy/objects: My Boobie!

What she hates: wet wipes on her bum. I think it’s the coldness of them as she doesn’t scream at cotton wool wipes. She hates when I go for a bath and she can scream for the whole 20 minutes. And other baby basic hates like being put down, mummy taking more than 2seconds to get a boob out and sometimes the scary man who everyone calls Daddy.

Clothing age: outgrown newborn and definitely in 0-3 clothing. And I reckon we’re going to stop size 1 nappies. Just in case she has a growth spurt and then we havea load she can’t fit in!

Foot length/Shoe Size: Born with a foot measuring 8cm, today it is 8.2cm.

Milestones: She can track me/my finger and can now turn her head left to right whilst lying on her back. She also has moderate neck strength already. I also, honestly, think she’s trying to smile. She likes looking up at her dragonfly swatter on the Fisher Price rocker. Major milestone of having had 3 baths in a month! Already within 4 weeks she’s awake slightly more and happy to be under her gym, in her rocker or on her change mat.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books: She fell asleep to me reading Tabby McTat one night. I’m nowhere close to reading anymore of Storm of Swords at the moment but am about half way through The 100 which is on my Kindle. I’m really enjoying it, but it’s making me torn on my “ship” in the show.

Parenting Revelation: It is soooo odd going from routine to none at all over night. Because we have a toddler in tow and I can’t seem to remember the first few months at all. From 4 months, Elvis had formed a routine that I worked with. I have no idea about the first 4. It’s so odd to still have Elvis and his patterns and then Robin who sometimes dozes for 10 minutes and then is ready for another hour. I can only hope that she falls into his routine!

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Things I have Learnt This Holiday

Take lidded baby wipes to the beach.

Take spray sun tan lotions to the beach.

Elvis loves dogs, the sea and playing in the sand.

He also loves Mega Blocks building bricks.

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Is Sand Yummy?

It honestly,  naively perhaps,  never occurred to me that when taking Elvis to the beach he would try and eat it.

He face-bombed the sand, his version of a cuddle and kiss and then sat up with sand on his forehead, in his eyes, up his nose and in his mouth. Everytime he sneezed more sand appeared. Then he tried to eat stones, then handfuls of sand, then he began chewing the bucket and spade, eating more sand. We gave up and let him eat sand, remaining vigilent on the stone-eating issue.

Then I walked him to the sea and let the waves get him. He loved it, smiling with each incoming wave and wanting to walk further out with each outward wave.

Elvis is so truly amazing, I don’t believe it. Passengers on the plane were in love with him, complimenting on how well he’s been brought up. Old ladies at breakfast fall in love with him. He needs work when he’s tired, but he can be distracted and doesn’t cry. He hasn’t been scared by his Grandparents’ dog. He isn’t afraid of he sea or sand.

How have I made such a little boy?

~ P
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Arrival Day

I am currently writing this on the memo feature of my phone as I’m not connected to the wireless yet. Elvis has been awake for about 12 hours straight other than 30 minutes just before we boarded the plane. He woke up when I tried to get the seatbelt on him. I had been looking forward to a nap or at least a rest. It didn’t happen.

Bless him though, he’s been a good boy. We’ve had a swim and he is in love with his grandparents’ dog. I thought he’d be afraid of her; Elvis has never been around animals amd is  scared of loud noises, but he keeps giggling when he sees he dog walk! He’s even learning to stroke her nicely.

I’m just feeding him before his bedtime and I am hoping that he is happy to sleep here. I need some rest. Now!

~ P
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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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Swimming!

Whilst I hate, okay maybe a little bot strong of a word, how my local swimming pool keeps closing over weekends for galas, I love the fact that when this cancels one of Elvis’ swimming lessons they reimburse me with a free family swim.

I have until the end of July to drag my hubby with us for some fun. I’m wondering if I should do this before our holiday or after.

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