Monday 26 October 2009

1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, 6 days

I am finding this age quite hard at the moment. Life looking after Callum has gone back to being relentless! No where near as hard as the first 6 months but constant nonetheless. I feel bad complaining because I know what I'm going through is nothing special and everyone else can cope just fine without complaining, not to mention those that have more than one child, but I'm fed up of my bum skimming the seat as I nearly sit down and constantly saying "no" calling "Callum" and "don't do...". It is fine, of course, when I sit down and play with Callum one to one but it is when I need to get on and do other stuff I get frustrated. I do play with Callum quite a bit but there are times I do need to do other things while he is awake - especially if he hasn't had his full nap (around 2 hours).

If I am on the laptop, he is trying to press all the buttons (usually the backspace, enter or delete buttons) or is trying pull or push the screen. He is still always trying to push the buttons on the sky box, video/dvd player, ps3 Wii and TV. Thankfully, he is less interested in the CVs and DVDs now but does still go to play with them occasionally. If I leave the lounge door open to the kitchen he often makes a mad dash to play with the squash bottles on the bottom shelf of our cupboard (the door has fallen off at the moment), play with the recycling, play with the washing machine.

I am trying to go out more to keep him entertained. He has moved his nap from 10.30am to be 11.30-12 so it means we can now do something in the morning or afternoon (or both). I've been to a couple of toddler/play groups and another type of soft play centre.

To be honest, I haven't been that keen on the toddler groups. I can completely understand people's need to go and why they find the support there invaluable but this is sort of my problem with them. The people that go there are either those that need the support or those that really want to help those that need the support. The main reason I am going is to entertain Callum. I don't seem to fit in either of the above camps and am therefore not meeting like-minded people to me. As I just said, the reason I am going is for Callum so it isn't a problem if I don't get to meet/talk to people or make friends, as long as Callum enjoys himself. But I would rather find somewhere where I felt relaxed and comfortable.

The soft play place was brilliant though. Pain to get to in the morning as the session starts at 9am and goes through a major traffic hot spot but it was worth it. I'll definite go again and they do have later sessions and sessions on a different day too so if traffic continues to be a problem then I can try a different one. Callum, more importantly, loved it too. Spent most of his time either in the Ball Pool or on the bouncy castle.

Development wise, there are a few things to update on.

Don't think I've mentioned this in previous posts but Callum is very able to go up and down stairs now (though I still make sure I am below him on the stairs just in case). He also knows when a step down is too high for him he needs to go down backwards. I really thought this would take a while to teach in the beginning but he seemed to learn it quite quickly. He still goes forwards down the single steps that go to the garden or out the front door but otherwise he turns round first.

This past week we have been teaching him to stand on his own. Yesterday, he kept crawling up to me, standing himself up and then letting go himself. I think the longest stand so far has been about 10 seconds. He has tried a couple of times to stand up himself from crawling. He pushes his knees up so he is on his feet and hands but then can't work out what to do next. Don't think it will be long until he works it out.

Although Callum doesn't say many really recognisable words that other people will understand, he is starting to say things that we recognise. He says "don't" and "ta" (for thank you) now but I also think he tries to say a few other things too (typically can't remember any of them). He tries to say "no poo" when we change his nappy first thing in the morning. I am trying to get him to say "drink" at the moment and I am going to try to get him to say "please" too. Oh and he tries to say "oh dear" too.

Callum can also blow now. He sometimes blows his food to cool it down but typically he doesn't do it when it actually needs it!

He really loves books now. He will often bring me one for him to read or he will point at one.

So, although this stage is tiring, it is still really exciting to see what new thing he is going to do next and to watch the learning process as he accomplishes a new skill.

Looks like I might have a job for 2 days a week for the next 3-6 months. It isn't doing what I want to do, it is an admin type job but it will hopefully pay for me to put Callum in childcare for 3 days with the aim that I will work on setting up my own business on the third day. It is just impossible to concentrate on it when Callum is around. After the second childminder I had lined up informed me that she is giving up childminding, we are now looking at nurseries. We think Callum could benefit, now, from observing and learning from children that are a little further advanced than he is as well as the social aspects of being in a nursery.

I went to see one today. It didn't jump out at me as being a wonderful nursery but then I haven't really got anything to compare it to at this stage. Unfortunately, they have only some days available between now and Christmas then they are full from January so, unless a place becomes available, I would have to move Callum anyway. I'm seeing another one next Monday and I might look at a couple in the town I am going to be working in too.

I am starting to look forward to Christmas with Callum. Last year he was too young to enjoy everything but I'm hoping he will be able to take a bit more in this year - though I can see me stressing about him touching the tree or presents underneath. I am so determined to teach Callum 'no' rather than removing everything I don't want him to touch but wonder whether I have the patience to stop Callum from pulling everything off the tree and opening all the presents we put underneath. We shall see - got a month or so before I need stress over that.

Thursday 15 October 2009

1 year, 1 month, 1 weeks, 2 days

Callum is doing well. Still asserting his authority and independence! But making me laugh and smile on a regular basis too.

His speech is still developing, though I'm a bit concerned that his main 'word' at the moment is "don't" while wagging his finger at me. He does things on purpose that he knows he shouldn't do so when I call his name or say "No" he does the finger wagging saying "don't". I've also taught him to blow kisses :o). He also recognises a dog when he sees one and makes a woof sound (to be honest, it doesn't sound much like a dog and is very similar to his monkey but without the action! But I know it is dog!).

He is really getting into books now. He will bring one to me to read. He particularly likes one he got from Grandma called the Ten Little Chicks. He asks for it all the time. It has a great pop up page at the end. We often read it just before bedtime while he drinks his milk. Talking of bedtime "GO TO SLEEP CALLUM" - he is meant to be napping but I think he is pushing his naptime back. So rather than napping, I can hear him crying out and hitting the side of his cot with his legs. Will try to put him down a bit later tomorrow to see how that goes. Bit of a pain for lunch I give it before his nap or wait until he wakes up???

Not much else to report on Callum.

I'm still trying to find work/set up my own business. Need to focus on the business and start making progress.

Really starting to miss being an independent woman and a person in my own right, not just a mum. Went out for alumni drinks with my old department last night and it was so nice just being me. Conversation still often turned to babies as so many of the people I worked with have now had 1 or 2 babies or are currently pregnant so it was quite an obvious topic of conversation. However, it took me back to a time when I was Debbie and not just Mum (I say 'just mum' and I am by no means downplaying the worth of a mum - I am just (there's that word again) trying to say I feel more like a mum and nothing else when I feel that there should be more to me). Makes me even hungrier to get back to working. I love Callum to pieces but definitely feel like I'm ready to have more in my life now. That's more in my life not relating to children, not more children in my life! Clearing that up before people start getting funny ideas.

On the other side of things, I took a big step to saying goodbye to my old self yesterday. I know, confusing! One minute I say I want to feel like my old self and then I'm saying goodbye to my old self. I mean the skinny (slimmer at least) me! I packed up all the clothes that are 2 sizes too small, don't suit my current body shape (i.e. tops that are too short and show of midriff now but didn't used to) and clothes that were past their sell-by date! Quite depressing and didn't leave me with much at all! However, on the positive side, I did find that I still fit into one skirt and a few pairs of trousers. That's more than I thought I would fit into! Now hoping Christmas presents come in the way of money/vouchers and I can hit the sales to fill the wardrobe up again! Assuming I've been a good girl and Father Christmas thinks I deserve presents, of course.