Sunday, 1 March 2015

I'm Not Proud, But Sometimes I Shout

I caught sight of something on Twitter the other day and most things which I disagree with or which I consider to be designed to make people feel crap for their parenting skills I just ignore but I guess this one must have hit a nerve.
It was along the lines of "don't be afraid to say no and set firm boundaries, you don't have to shout at your children" there was more but I got cross and moved on before I committed it to memory. I felt like shouting (yes shouting) "do you think we don't all bloody know that and if life was that easy, we would all be perfect, model parents!"
There were actually two reasons why this post annoyed me. There was the blatantly patronising "you don't have to shout" statement, so let's deal with that first.
I know I don't have to shout. I know it is a sign that I have lost control. I know that on days I manage to keep the cross voice within, my children, well Callum, respond much better to the lessons I'm teaching them. I'm not proud of the shouty me and even as I can hear the cross words tumbling out of my mouth I am shouting (yes shouting) on the inside of my mind too, to stop shouting. It's not going to help and it isn't their fault it's mine and I am more likely cross at myself not the children.
If I hadn't left Millie in Callum's room with all his felt tip pens within reach, of course she never would have drawn on the walls (and belly). How can I blame her, wonderful bright colours there ready to use on a wonderfully empty slate of the painted wall. What child wouldn't be overcome with the temptations and she is 2 for f*** sake?!?!

Disclaimer: Although this has happened more than once (no I don't learn), this may not have actually resulted in me shouting but I am using it as an example. It may have been, I just can't recall.
See I know what I shouldn't do and why but some days I have pmt, some days I've had a bad day, some days I'm sleep deprived, some days I'm just grumpy for no obvious reason and yes I get cross and I shout.
Some days I may have already stayed calm and in control 20 times already and this is the one that makes me snap!
I'm human, so shoot me!
Telling me I don't need to shout does absolutely nothing but make me want to throw stuff.
I even know, after reading a good book by someone clever (reference at the bottom of this post), that what makes me shout is my monkey brain and that it is my human brain that is being muted as it is yelling stop inside my head. Unfortunately, I haven't finished the book so I haven't yet learned how to control my monkey brain so maybe once I have finished this will all be redundant anyway!
The second reason why this comment annoyed me is the bit about not being afraid to say no and to set clear boundaries.
Well sometimes I just don't know what the boundaries should be. I lost the book on "how to set good boundaries and stick to them"...well actually, I never read it in fact and I've no idea even if such a book exists...I am of course being facetious. As we all know there are no rules to parenting and even when we know the theories, it's a different thing to actually put them into action and stick to them 100% and even though I'm on my second time round with Millie, this doesn't make me any more wiser when it comes to knowing what the boundaries are. There are always going to be grey smudged lines that, quite frankly we might need to experiment with before we realise what the boundaries are. There are the obvious ones like don't let your child drink bleach, pulling the cats tail is a no no and playing with knives unsupervised is only going to end in tears but there are some less obvious ones which I don't get to think ahead about and have to make a quick decision as the event takes place. Then after the event, upon reflection, I may decide that my course of action wasn't the best one and next time I'll do something different. Then there is the whole 'picking your arguments' thing. One day you may think that smearing sudocrem on the mirror is unacceptable then on another day you may be more concerned about the fact they are trying to flood the bathroom than a mere bit of mirror image face painting that can just be wiped off anyway!
So successful or good parenting isn't as straight forward as saying 'set clear boundaries', life just isn't that black and white and, quite frankly, I'm not sure I would want it to be.
So no I'm not a perfect parent and yes I do shout but quite frankly I do feel bad about it, I do apologise and I do explain why I shouted. In this alien, forever unpredictable world of parenting, I do know that I am trying my best and stating the bleeding obvious at me to make me feel even more guilty when I don't get it right will not change that!
And breathe! Rant over!
Ref: The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters

Sunday, 8 February 2015

My Sunday Photo 6/52 - Sunshine is Quay

So lovely to see the sunshine today. Although the windchill is still bitterly cold, the warmth of of the sun on my face away from the wind is like an energy shot! So I managed to persuade* my family to spend the day outside somewhere. 

My husband suggested Christchurch. The Quay and Quomps are beautiful and picturesque in the sunshine whatever time of year. It was so clear today I could see all the way to the Isle of a Wight.

*read 'I threw a big strop'


Sunday, 1 February 2015

BLW, The Long Game

It's been some time since I've written a BLW post and you may wonder why I am doing so now as, at 29 months, we are a couple of years past the weaning stage. However, the route we take continues on through their years and, probably, right into adulthood. I still remind myself of the key principles of following BLW and I still see evidence of the benefits of the path we took. 

Things I notice 2 years on are the peaks and troughs of appetite along with fads in what she eats. It is these things that many mistake for fussiness and the parents start pushing their child to eat to which all they achieve is a lot of stress and the risk of giving the child a reason not to eat said food. 

Believe me, I'm no saint and, even though we took a BLW route with Callum, we often forgot what we didn't want to do and got worried when he stopped eating vegetables. There were dinners full of snot and tears.

I've trusted Millie's instinct more than I did for Callum and, as a result, can see patterns in her 'fussiness' and/or causes for it. 

For example, she'll favour fruit and vegetables when she is teething or tired, cheese and yogurt when under the weather (no idea why as this feels wrong to me) and meat, pasta and eggs when on a growth spurt. 

She'll typically feast for breakfast, have an average lunch then pick at dinner. 

One week she'll eat a type of food, then she will shun it for a couple of weeks, then she will scoff it again. Her favourite foods at home will not be touched at nursery and then they will tell me how well she ate something like a roast dinner at nursery which she rarely eats at home.Cucumber is one of her hit or miss foods and it was fascinating to watch her, recently, nibble at the inside first and then coming back for the skin after. Sometimes she leaves the green.  

Rather than get stressed and worried about whether she will eat, I'm more relaxed knowing she will eat what and when she needs. I trust that she instinctively knows what she is doing. 

The only pain is eating out and knowing what to order her. Where possible we will try to get her what Callum has or, if really not sure, we will just get her an empty plate then share what the rest of us are eating.

She does have a sweet tooth unfortunately so we do have to stop her snacking on chocolate. But, in a house of chocoholics, it's no real surprise and all of us could try harder there. 

Along with her eating habits and tastes, I have noticed her recently try harder to use cutlery in both hands. She isn't so good at cutting though likes to practice cutting bananas, but what she is trying hard to do is use a second piece of cutlery to push food onto the first piece. In fact,  even Callum struggles with that now so good on her for giving it a go, I'm sure she will master it soon enough. 

My Sunday Photo 5/52 - Peppa Meet Peppa

As you can see, Millie is a Peppa Pig fan. I was buying some pic 'n' mix the other day and saw they had a pink chocolate piggy so bought her one and told her it was Peppa. This is her introducing the chocolate Pig to Peppa on her t-shirt.


Monday, 26 January 2015

Wee wee wee, all the way home

Today was one of those proud days that only parents world probably get excited about! 


Not only that, there was no coaxing, it was all off her own back. 

It was post bath time so she was running around after Callum pudey (that's how we refer to being naked in our household, a Callumism derived from nudey pudey) when she came running back to me saying "wee wee!" then sat on her potty and, sure enough, did a big wee.

Up until now, we have had the potties out and, every once in a while I'll suggest she sit down on the potty to try for a wee and some times she does sit down, more often than not being successful with a trump, but never sitting long enough for a wee to be produced. There was one time when she did manage a poo but she had an upset tummy at the time and was as surprised as I was to see there was something in the potty so didn't really count it as a truly aware attempt. 

So not sure what that means now. I'm not prepared for potty training. We don't own any Millie sized knickers! I guess we will need to take a trip to buy some this weekend! 

My little girlie is growing up! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 4/52 - Winter Sunrise

I'm not a fan of winter, I've never been good with the cold and add to that the short days, long nights and damp and miserable days. All these make for a miserable me. I struggle to think of activities to do with the kids and when I do think of something my motivation is low. 

But winter is not all doom and gloom. Winter presents us with beauty by way of frosty sunrises and red sunsets. I love looking at frost, how it sparkles like glitter and transforms a spider web into a lacey work of art.

I am also lucky to live next to a park and have a beautiful view across it from our upstairs windows. 

My Sunday Photo this week is looking across that park to the beautiful pink sunrise. 


Sunday, 18 January 2015

My Sunday Photo 3/52 - Water Play

I don't allow water play at the kitchen sink often as it takes all my will power to not panic at every splosh of water that cascades over the edge of the sink but every once in a while I force myself to just let it happen. Millie (and Callum when he was her age) really does enjoy it and I love seeing the joy in her face (and Callum before her) and, while they are enjoying an activity, they are also learning. For that reason,  I couldn't choose just one photo and had to go with three.