Persephone: Parent

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And So The End Begins

This week marks the last week of what I’ve considered for however long as normal because it’s all coming to an end. My maternity leave ended a month ago and I’m still not back at work for almost 4 weeks but it’s all starting to end. Next week we’ll be in a period of transition for a few months.

I’m excited about the future about what will become the new normal but I am also sad about this week.

Tuesday was our last Tuesday where it was just the two of us, just Robin and I all day long. Where she could nap truly whenever she wanted as there was no nursery run. We could take meals slower, potter around playing in the bedrooms, do extra shopping. That’s all gone now. The one day a week where she could call the shots. And on our last Tuesday I spent it napping due to an awful migraine. Next Tuesday, Robin and I get to play at nursery for an hour for her first settling in session! Never again will she truly be able to call the shots. I mean, she has some freedom on weekends with regards to her naps, but if we want to go out as a family, her routine is the one sacrificed. Poor, second child, all she ever got was one day a week.

Oh, the sadness!

Wednesday is the day that I’ve been taking Robin for swimming lessons before lunch and then the nursery run. Next week Robin will have her second nursery settling session so I need to make sure she naps in the morning. Her lesson is during her nap time, which sometimes I can work around by taking her shopping right before and she’ll fall asleep for maybe 20 minutes. Most of the time, I just don’t let her nap and she waits until after the nursery run at 2 or 3pm. She might have been okay next week, swimming and then napping after an hour at nursery, but I don’t want to risk it. Next Wednesday, she gets to go into her nursery room for an hour whilst I fill in paperwork in the office. So she’ll be alone! She’s been in a creche loads for the therapy course I was doing so I’m not worried about leaving her. She also smiles and seems to really like the look of all of the staff when we pick Elvis up so I’m not fussed, but I’d prefer her to not be overtired! As of next week, and for the transition period maybe longer, both children will have their lessons on a Friday, his right after hers. As in, immediately after. Nanny will have to do more than just babysit one of them. Again, I’m quite sad about it as I’m so used to doing each swimming lesson with them on their own. Now, each of them are going to intrude on the other’s time. I won’t be able to get Robin dressed after her lesson. I won’t be able to get Elvis ready for his lesson. Since he was just 10 weeks old, I’ve taken him swimming, just the two of us for most of that time.

Oh, the sadness!

Thursday is the day where, well, we quite often don’t do much and next week Robin will have her third and final settling in session, where I take her and leave the building for an hour! Now, if I’d thought about it properly, I would have done it in the morning whilst Elvis is in nursery and scored myself an hour child-free, instead, I might take Elvis out for a drink and snack, maybe cake and hot chocolate – just the two of us. Sometimes on a Thursday, a friend visits with her toddler, we lunch and then collect Elvis, maybe go to a park. If not, I get cleaning done during Robin’s nap. I don’t know how I’m going to see my Thursday friend in all honesty. With my work hours, her school run, my nursery run. We’ll figure out something, but I can’t quite see how it’ll work out. We might be able to snatch an hour once a week. We could move to a Friday (along with half the rest of the bloody world), but with swimming in the morning, it might still only be an hour, maybe two. With some friends, I quite like to be limited to only an hour here and there, but not with Thursday Friend. I’m not even fussed about the cleaning, that’s built in to my new routine, but Thursday Friend, well, we might get more time during school holidays. Oh, dear, her toddler and Robin are really cute together – they talk and kind of actually play with each other. They might not see each other as much!

Oh, even more sadness!

I’m typing this just as we finished our last ever normal Thursday nursery run. Although for the next two weeks, Mondays will be normal, the other days won’t be. Tomorrow is the last Friday as normal before they both have to go on a Friday, inevitably making my Fridays far busier than currently. Oh, dear, all of this change and I am feeling a bit down about it. But I am also excited. Robin loved the creche she went to, she loves the staff we see at nursery and she is far more of a sociable baby than Elvis ever was or is now. I’ve loved seeing how Elvis developed at nursery, doing things that it would never have occurred to me to do (paint with blocks, cars, animals; use clean food containers to make a shop, paint and cook in general actually, try writing over thicker, highlighter pens), see what he picked as things he liked to play with, hear who he considers friends and who upset who today (haha!) and I am excited about Robin getting to experience all of that. With her big brother just downstairs.

But there’s still sadness at this chapter ending.

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Mothers Make Strangers Known

There’s a lady I see, a mother, always walking in the opposite direction to me no matter the time of day. As I walk towards Elvis’ nursery after lunch, she’s walking in the opposite direction. After I have collected Elvis, I return home and pass this mother. She has a double pushchair, one of the ones where one child sits above the other. As I go to nursery, she has one child, a boy, in the lower seat and I have an empty pushchair. On the return journey, my pushchair has Elvis in it and hers has a girl in the upper seat, the younger brother still hidden away underneath. We smile at each other although we have never met.

There is no recognition from baby groups. I’ve never seen her at a Sure Start Centre, although I have seen her around town with one child in her double. We “know” each other purely from walking our nursery runs in opposite directions. The other morning, I went out to yoga alone at half 8 in the morning and I saw her doing her morning nursery run, both children in the double. She was across the road. We had never seen each other at this time of day and I was without a pushchair – empty or full – and our eyes met across a busy main road and we smiled at each other.

Her children are both older than mine so I doubt we’ll ever run in the same circles. Maybe some under 5 groups. Probably not. But we smile and nod at each other. I don’t know what she thinks of the stranger who smiles at her. Does she think back to her days with only the one child, the single pushchair and a growing bump? Does she look at me and realise that I see her as my future? Not that I want a double pushchair where one sits above the other (I’m hoping for some baby wearing and toddler walking before a side-by-side stroller for certain journeys), but soon I will be the mum pushing a pushchair with one child, on my way to collect the other. Making the journey every day, times as strict as anything as the eldest can’t be left to go over their time. Does she look forward to the time soon when her oldest goes to school and her youngest starts the nursery? Does she think that when that happens, she will pass me with my one, her pushchair empty? And then we’ll pass again, me with two and her with her son. A few hours later, she’ll be needed for the school run for her daughter.

When these changes have all occurred, will we stop seeing each other? Will we forget each other? That nameless woman and her two children who are simply living their life, passing me by as I live my life.

~ P

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Number Two/How?????

I read a blog by Mum of Boys, and, well, oops, I didn’t plan a second, but, here are my thoughts (my initial thoughts are – What? I won’t be welcome at under-1 groups? At all? Or at my mummy friends houses? How will playdates go for Elvis? How will they go for Robin? Holy, crap.)

  1. Apparently the second pregnancy will be harder, there’ll be no lazy cuppas with other pregnant mums-to-be and you’ll be covered in food, dressing more practically
  2. Being unwelcome at Mummy groups – or your toddler and “been there done that attitude” won’t be welcome
  3. More sleep in the hospital than in the few years leading up to then
  4. You will welcome visitors, simply to entertain the toddler
  5. You will be up and on your feet much quicker, if only to get the toddler out of the house!
  6. You will not sleep when the baby sleeps, you’ll be watching toddler TV
  7. No morning lie-ins after a night of feeding
  8. There will be no time for friends and a social life, even online
  9. You’ll “miss” the developments of the second as they appear from out of nowhere whilst your attention is on the older child
  10. You will not, even for one second, regret the decision to have number 2.

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Where’s My Boy Gone?

No, I don’t mean the cliché that every other parent around me says – the: “Where’s my baby gone?” Nope, and anyone who ever told me that “you’ll miss these baby days, the new-born phase and wonder at 1 where your baby went”, news for you – never wondered that.

Neither do I mean that I’ve literally lost him. Nope, I just want to know where the happy, independent, loves nursery boy has gone.

A few weeks ago, he complained if Daddy drove past the nursery looking for a parking space, as if Daddy wasn’t taking him there. A few weeks ago, he refused to be carried up the stairs at nursery, refused to be lifted over the safety gate by a nursery worker, wanting to walk himself and straight to the toys. And then they changed his playroom and he started crying at handover.

Well, now, apparently, he kicks off entering the nursery. Or approaching it in the car. I have to give him credit for recognising the place from the car outside on the street, but why does he suddenly apparently not want to be there? Because I saw him the other day as I went to collect him, I snuck in and peered around a door frame and there he was giggling away and playing. He’s never come home with strange marks (he gets more bruises at home than there!), always has a clean bum, never got a red bum, sometimes he’s clearly slathered in bum cream. He’s not even unhappy when he sees me, or relieved.

He has started throwing a strop before we leave the nursery, but it feels more like he’s trying to stay. So, he grabs at Daddy to not leave him, and then pushes away from me and slams gates closed to stay.

I honestly have no idea what his problem is, what has caused this or how to stop it.

Is it because they changed his room and he doesn’t like it?

Is it because soon after moving room, we moved home and he’s not sure where he stands anymore? He’s only been at nursery for three months, that’s 12 weeks of a lot of changes.

He was ill the other week (I thought teething, but no tooth arrived), is this a lasting effect? Is he still a bit ill?

Is it because we don’t have a safety gate upstairs so I don’t give him freedom and independence up there at the moment? Unless we’re in a rush, I allow Elvis to control where-ish he wants to go. After a nap, for example, if he wants to play upstairs, I do some tidying until he approaches the stair gate. Is he rebelling against that lack of freedom?

Will I ever know?

~ P

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Who’s a Big Boy Now?

It’s almost September, do you know what that means?

That means that my son, my little baby, my toddler with only 4 teeth and barely any hair whatsoever, my boy who has only been in nursery for two months is moving up a class!

His nursery (I’m not sure if it’s a standard practice), keep their toddlers in rooms based upon their school years after their first year. So, because he will be turning 2 in the upcoming school year (huh, 2? When did that number come in to play? He’s only 15 months old!) he gets to move up into their Big baby room.

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17 Weeks

I’ve seen the midwife for my most recent check, I’m just about 17 weeks (only 23 to go!) and everything’s all good. Baby Robin was really wriggly, just like at my 12 week scan. Elvis was never that wriggly in the tum. Hubby’s decided it means that Robin will be a girl. I’m not sure. This pregnancy and baby sure feel different. I’d always imagine that subsequent pregnancies can feel different though, and not necessarily just because it could be a different gender. I don’t know, maybe some women can tell the gender during their pregnancy. I don’t know. But I would always assume that a second pregnancy could feel different because, well, your body’s already done it once!

Hubby is almost 100% sure that Robin is a girl – I’m more emotional (sobbed my heart out at a comedy show), this bubba’s wriggly and the dating scan dated my due date a week later than what we thought. Elvis, whose conception was noted to the hour almost, the dating scan brought his due date a week early. Hubby’s decided that it means Elvis was big, he’s a boy, Robin is smaller so a girl. I don’t know. I am more emotional and this baby is not only more wriggly, but I’ve had the random pains that the midwife guestimates is Robin sitting on a nerve. Elvis never sat on my awkwardly, except when I was swimming and he’d settle on my bladder. I never had the odd pains, never had the immediate need to pee because he shifted. Robin moved the other night and for half an hour it pained me to lie on my side, either side, and I already don’t feel comfortable lying on my back. That wasn’t too good a night of sleep!

From the heart rate that the midwife took (when she eventually found the wriggle Robin), it’s 140. The Old Wives’ Legend says, I think, over 140 is a girl, under is a boy. Well, bang on probably doesn’t indicate a hermaphrodite! I hope. I’ve seen other people on their blogs compile a list of Old Wives’ tales and predicting each month regarding the gender and I might look into it.

As for my routine change with Elvis… Well, it isn’t necessarily going that well. But over a week later and I have come to the conclusion that we just have to be more flexible on an afternoon. If he naps early enough at nursery, he will sleep in the afternoon. If he naps too late at nursery, he might not sleep at all. As for me trying to shift his naps so he went to sleep easier at night, I don’t think it’ll work. And, as hubby says, even if he does stay awake for 2 hours in his cot after bedtime, he’s never unhappy about it. He didn’t nap at all the afternoon I saw the midwife, which does worry me regarding our impending move. How am I supposed to pack and then unpack if he won’t nap?

But then I’m also worrying about not having my Tivo all the time once we move so clearly I worry over silly things!

~ P

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Changing The Routine: An Update

I thought it had been ages since I last posted, but it’s only really been 8 days. But that was a standard post that had been sitting in my drafts for ages.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve become quite complacent about blogging. I did write a few poems the other weekend and set up scheduled posts on my original blog to see it through to Christmas! I also have an idea about a photography series on here.

What I really need to do is find the motivation to post!

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Aaagggghhhh!

Okay, I’m dressed, teeth cleaned and bags all ready.

I’m off to work in about 15 minutes. First time since April 2014, I think.

Elvis’ first two mornings at nursery went perfectly. The staff love him – he keeps his hat on outside, doesn’t squirm for sun cream, eats all of his food and fell asleep in the cot without needing to be rocked or held! My little superstar!

Now, I have to go to work. Aaarrggghhh!

So scared and nervous. No idea why.

~ P

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Nursery Settling: Session 3

The one where I left him for a whole hour!

Well, he didn’t bat an eyelid at me leaving him.

He did come walking to me when I got back, back he had been happy prior to that.

Honestly, he was jumping at the gate to be let in when we got there so he had no fear of the place after being abandoned the day before.

And he hasn’t had any nightmares or clingy moments (we’ll test that at baby group tomorrow afternoon). He’s been happy to be alone with me, with daddy and with nanny.

He’s such a good little adapter.

I still don’t think he’ll nap on Monday!

~ P

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Nursery Settling: Session 2

Yesterday was the second settling session at nursery. After a little bit of playing in the garden there, I said goodbye and went inside to fill in paperwork. He did cry when I walked away, but I think he stopped quite quickly.

Until half way through the paperwork when all I could for at least 5 minutes was him crying outside. It was very hot, he had woken early from his nap and he’d never been in the garden there before.

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