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Potty Training Perils

The Lost Nugget
For days and days you can smell shit in the house. You’ve looked everywhere, followed your nose, but to no avail. You just KNOW a nugget of poo has slipped through the net somewhere along the line. Days, maybe even weeks later, you find said nugget of shit. It’s now hard, almost like a little bullet, crusty, with a layer of dust on top. You will never know how/ why it ended up where you found it (in the toy kitchen, was he trying to cook with it??), but at least you can sleep at night now knowing that the little brown bugger has been disposed of.

The Pink Eye
Shit induced conjunctivitis is a real thing. Whilst receiving some beautiful engagement news over Skype, your “potty trainee” has shat on the landing (not unusual). He has then proceeded to smear poo on the head/ side of face/ into eye of your poor helpless baby. Your baby however is just glad of the attention……until the next morning he realises that he has fallen victim to Pink Eye.

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The Brown Eye
At the start of the Potty Training Camp 2018, it’s best to just go balls out at home: face the training head on in your birthday suit (NB: trainee not trainer). This often means the postman might catch a glimpse of the “brown eye” pressed up against the window as he delivers his letters. Unsuspecting guests might find themselves looking head-on, straight into brown eye itself whilst the trainee bends over to pick up a one-legged robot off the floor. As a potty trainer leader, you will become quite familiar with the brown eye, often at close proximity.

The Plan Canceller
When potty training strikes, you have to go with it. Often sacrificing the best laid plans. As far-fetched as it might sound ” We can’t come to the park this morning as my trainee hasn’t had his morning shit”….or “sorry we have to cancel the dentist appointment as we can subject ourselves to a shit in the car…….”, are totally legitimate excuses to use. Who knew!

The Dog Whisperer
Behold, yet another shit on the carpet. As you hot-foot it into the kitchen to gather the required shit-cleaning-equipment, the dog has hot-footed it into the living room, seizing an opportunity. As you re-enter the scene of the crime, the turd is nowhere to be seen. But the white fluffy dog is looking most pleased, satisfyingly licking her (brown) lips. One can only speculate what happened.

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The Utensil User
Once they get the idea that they have to do their business into something, you must be careful of open containers/ crevices / spaces/ holes/ boxes/ cupboards etc…….Stickers MUST still be rewarded for wees in kitchen saucepans that are then covered with the correct sized lids.

The Squirter
I tell you, those little hose pipes can project a long way. Devastating for anything/ anyone that gets in its path. Even in the safe confines of your living room, there are still casualties. As quickly as you try to grab that little snake and wrestle it to the toilet, the force of the yellow liquid can still squirt through your clasped fingers and soak a poor unsuspecting train set (this time……)
NB: different for girl trainees

The Improviser
You are still in the dark beginning stages of potty training but starting to see some light. You want to leave the house (which is covered in shit) and re-enter the outside world. But you aren’t quite ready to do this with no nappy. You almost need a half-way-nappy? Inspired by some old potty training pads a friend once gave you, you decide to make excellent use if those sanitary towels in the back of the cupboard. The maxi ones, with wings. Hey presto. They give you confidence, and the potty trainee confidence. Not to mention that “fresh feeling for up to 8 hours”.

The Go-Cart
The potty trainee has finally got the hang of it (hurrah!!). So much so they have taken themselves for a shit on the potty ALL BY THEMSELVES. But why oh why is there brown skid marks in a north-easterly direction all over your beige carpet?? Unbeknown to you, whilst you were momentarily distracted (Instagram), your potty trainee has dragged their bottom along the carpet, legs out to the side for full bottom-carpet contact, to clean off the residue of the solo potty turd. You can only liken this movement to that of a go-cart/ dog with worms.

The Public Shitter
This could be in a shop/ restaurant/ al-fresco….but when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. And that poo comes FAST. Thank god you take the potty everywhere you go. But it does however mean the public cheering of potty poo “well done, clever boy, big poo etc” , and loud trainee interpretations ” mummy I’ve made a snail”, can be marginally embarrassing. Then what on earth do you do with clever potty poo??? After leaving the public place in disgrace, you rest the potty (plus snail) on top of push chair and walk head down as fast as you can (but not too fast, careful now) back to the car. Then drive the clever poo home for disposal, avoiding speed bumps.

The Foot Plunger
If you are unfortunate enough to be mildly clumsy/ unlucky at time, at some point you may well find yourself ankle-deep in a potty full of piss. You can only rejoice in the fact that it wasn’t the brown stuff. Now that would have been catastrophic in flip-flops.

The Tail
You’ve really cracked it, so much so you decide to go to a soft play (what were you thinking). All is going swimmingly, until you realise, to your horror, your potty trainee now has a tail. Not a lovely little fluffy dog tail, but a turd tail. A distinctive bugle around the bottom area. The potty trainee is about to set-off down the slide (which would no doubt end in a squishy disaster ), so with the speed of light you grab your new “doggy” and whip them into the toilet before any little brown balls slip down the trouser leg and into the ball pit.

NB: One must be very careful eating crumbs/ bits of “food” off the floor

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To add to this blog post, if you actually want to potty train with success and not fall victim to any of the above scenarios, this is a REALLY good blog on how to do it properly. Just follow the link……..

https://www.thinkbaby.org/how-to-potty-train-boys-girls-quickly-easily-potty-training-tips.html

 

 

 

 

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Flying Solo

Its taken me a while to write this as I’ve still been recovering from the trauma…ok thats a bit dramatic as I know there are waaaaay worse things in life. However, a solo flight with my toddler and baby was not up there with my most pleasurable experiences. Nothing went crazily wrong, but it was certainly a “challenge” (I’m well aware that people do it all the time and with more children so really I shouldn’t dwell on it)

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I had conjured up a few scenarios in my head pre flight about things that could go wrong:

1) Both children would get the chickenpox the day before the flight
2) I would get ill the day before the flight
3) One or both children would puke and we would have to stay in crusty stinky puke clothes until our destination and no one would want to be fiends with us
4) Arlo would run off and get onto a random flight and be sold for a camel
5) Various poo scenarios
6) Flight would be cancelled/ delayed and we would have to spend 17.5 hours in airport or worse, sitting on aeroplane whilst they fixed the engine
7) Would sit next to someone who didn’t like children
8) Would loose passports, possibly thrown in bin along with shit nappy and puke clothes
9) I would forget a child at some point a long the way
10) My husband would forget to collect us

Now what silly parent of a toddler/ baby books a flight in “the witching hour”?? Ok, that was us because it was cheaper. I think this was the mistake

Here’s how it went……

COMMUTE TO AIRPORT

I used Chloes Taxi Service (actually just my mate Chloe in her Mums car) to take us to the airport. This was the best part of the journey and I would highly recommend her services. Toddler and baby slept in the car to Bristol, and I steamed up the windows with my nervous sweating, true story. We unloaded and the lovely Chloe sent us on our merry way (just wanted to grab onto Chloes legs and cry “please don’t leave us”).

Baby in pushchair, toddler on buggy board, backpack on, Arlos backpack on (so he felt important) and suitcase in hand. Assumed people were looking at us and thinking “wow, she’s got her sh*t together”…..when it was probably because I had left the silver shampoo on too long and gone grey.

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AIRPORT

Found our flight on the big screen and went to check-in desk with super organised tickets printed out. The lovely (pretty gay) man asked if I was flying on my own. I nearly broke down and started crying “yes, yes I am, please help me, don’t leave me, don’t make me do it”…….

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Went to security thing where you have to get EVERYTHING out of bags, liquids into other bags, shoes off, babies out, push chairs collapsed etc. Quite a palaver at the best of times, different ball game with a toddler and baby….with only 2 (clammy) hands. Random security guard had to hold the baby (he seemed nice?) and someone had to get Arlo off the security belt as he wanted to go through in the box with his important backpack.

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We made it through, but disaster struck. The pushchair was now broken. This prompted a blunt text to my husband saying “the fu*king pushchair is broken FULL STOP NO KISSES (totally HIS fault as I said we needed a new one). It was so chaotic after securtiy with people and STUFF, after considering just ditching the pushchair all together, I decided I would just have to lug the 2 broken pieces, the baby, the toddler, the buggy board, discarded jackets, the 2x backpacks, pammy panda, dino dinosaur through the airport. I made it approx 52.7 meters and decided I couldn’t carry on. Thank you to the lovely security guard (number 2) who fixed the (shit) pushchair.

We got some dinner and hung out (mostly in the toilet as they seemed happiest in there??) and waited for the flight. Arlo had a melt down as couldn’t see planes out of the window as promised, prompted many laps around the airport to find planes with upset plane deprived toddler (where were they????)

Witching hour was now upon us. Arlo turned into crazed-demented-toddler. Kitt turned into screetchy-teething-baby.

THE FLIGHT

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Boarded flight. Arlo was pretty excited (uncontrollable) by the enormous plane we could finally see. I had bought him a book about flying and how he could sit next to the window. I had booked a seat specifically. Weirdly the seat WAS next to a window, but alas, there was no actual window. Hysteria (god I felt bad)…..”mummy fix it please” (I couldn’t, it was a wall), “where’s my window mummy?”….” I want my window” Oh my

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So Arlo next to “window”, me and Kitt in the middle, and then a middle-aged man next to us. I totally pre judged him and my heart sank as he sat down. I was wanting another mum-type-figure….she would understand. I turned to him and said ” I’m so sorry, this isn’t going to be a relaxing flight for you”. Hurrah!!!! He said not to worry, he had 2 boys too, grown up now but he understands. He was my saving grace. We shall call him Dave.

Dave helped so much, he held Kitt, he played with Arlo, he retrieved various items off floor (yeh fun game) he wet wiped, he pulled faces, made animal noises, mended broken snacks so they could be eaten, he even helped do up my baby carrier. Thanks Dave. The world needs more Daves. But alas, Dave definitely saw my boobs.

FLYING

The following events continued for 1.5 hours…..the longest 1.5 hours of my life (the 16 hour drive home was mellow in comparrison). I don’t think Dave will ever be the same.

So take off: I had got Arlo a lolly to help with his ears, lolly would not come off stick, he wanted it to come off stick. Got emergency lolly, that would also not come off stick. Kitts ears popping, boobs out trying to feed Kitt to stop ears hurting, trying to simultaneously to wrench lolly off stick for Arlo. Got Calpol out of bag with foot. Calpol exploded due to air pressure, cleaning Calpol/ sticky lolly residue off baby/toddler/Dave. Calpol in Kitts eye rather than mouth. Snacks offered to Arlo to recover from lolly ordeal. Wong snacks (they were new and exciting?). Snacks on floor. Correct snacks given. One snack broken. Cant eat a broken snack? Inconsolable toddler. Sticker book out to distract toddler. Didn’t realise that toddler would need assistance pealing stickers off. Screaming baby in one arm, trying to retrieve George Pig sticker off floor and Grandpa Pig sticker off “window”. Teething gel for baby. Made him sick (just a little). Try to entice baby with teething necklace (worn round neck as god intended). Toddler wants teething necklace. Pulls very hard at teething necklace. Made Mummys voice very squeaky and strained as crushed wind pipe. Ipad (new spanking never-seen-before-blue-case-to-buy-me-5-mins) whipped out. Peppa pig. But wrong Peppa Pig. He wanted Postman Pat (wtf its ALWAYS Peppa Pig). New sparkling headphones (never-seen-before-to-buy-me-5-mins) put onto toddler. He didn’t want to wear them. He wanted ME to wear them. “but mummy doesn’t want to wear them”…..”MUMMY WEAR THEM”…..ok ok ok Mummy wear them. Random headphones on head, lead getting tangled in various items including baby seat belt that made baby angry, boobs still out, Kitt grabbing lady in fronts hair, Arlo kicking chair, frantically jabbing at Ipad for Pat (wheres Pat, PAT, HELP?????), snacks flying, toddler screaming as high pitched frequency of baby screams hurting his ears now…..and so on……..

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Time for my “piece-de-resistance”……..the presents!!!!!!!

A friend had advised me to wrap up little presents for the flight so they take a while to unwrap and then they have stuff to play with.

I’d wrapped them up too tight. Shit. Trying to unwrap bastard presents with one hand, un stick breast pad from Kitts head with other hand….red car unwrapped, red car landed in aisle 31, stopping toddler from trying to get to aisle 31 underneath seats, baby still crying as now a worked up teething monster….leading to altitude poo explosion (worse than sea level ones). Simultaneously toddlers delayed morning poo arrived. Used Dave to relay poo rescue. What do people do without a Dave?

Finally air stewardess came over and said “do you need some help love?”. They gave me a bottle of water for the children (maybe heard Arlo screaming that his juice had run out?). Kitt doesn’t drink water, Arlo cant drink water like a normal human from the bottle, but REALLY wants to try. Water everywhere……including my crotch: pissypants

DESTINATION
The rest of the passport control collecting luggage reuniting with husband actually went smoothly (bar some silly jokes with French passport control that one should not make at the airport, wheres their sense of humour??!). As soon as we were off the confines of the torture plane, things (children) seemed to calm down.

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AFTER-MARTH
We had made it! We survived!!! And as soon as I saw the mountains again, memories of the flight faded. And you know what, I would totally do it all again if it meant going snowboarding.

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I was so touched by everyone that helped me (I must have had fear written all over my face). And Dave, i’ll never forget Dave.

 

 

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Justifying Mum Guilt

When you become a mum you start feeling really guilty…..all the time. Not the “I got really drunk last night, tied my maxi skirt up to make a mini skirt, puked in glass and woke up with kebab stuck to my face” kind of guilty (not me??!!), but a really powerful ” you’re shaping someones life/personality/future” kind of guilty.

I’ve been thinking about “Mum Guilt” recently (mainly because I’ve been feeling so guilty). Its something I hear mums talk a bout a lot. Surely it just makes us good mums that we are worried about things?? Or bad mums because we are doing things wrong??

And then it came to me (as I was rocking/shushing/nippling/ online shopping at 3am), every cloud has a silver lining. So in fact, all of these things that we have been feeling so horrendously guilty about are totally fine. If anything, they could actually be viewed as GOOD things. It’s all about turning negatives into positives.

1) Feeding Child Snacks To Keep Quite
Children love snacks, snacks are food, food is good to help growing children, child is quiet whilst eating. WIN WIN. If child has filled up on snacks and wont eat
“proper” food…..saves cooking/ money/ time.

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2) Too Much TV
On “Go Jestters” the other morning (go go, go go, goo jesters…..song in head all day long), they were talking about wind power and windmills. My 2 year suddenly chirped up “wind power”. I mean wow, how advanced to know all about how power is generated, child genius right there (!!!!). So, I really feel that TV is actually very educational. Kids programs these days are so informative, covering so many different topics that it can only be a good thing?! I was poorly when I was a kid, I had a very long time off school and just lay on the sofa and watched TV everyday, and I’m fine??!! Even TV programs like Hollyoaks (if they happen to be on) for example, your child can learn about emotions, relationships, life lessons etc. Then you can switch over to the news (ok Loose Women, basically news) for more political debates. You then have problem solving in programs like Broadchurch. Also environmental subjects covered in programs such as Love Island (travel) and talent inspiring TV such as X-Factor. So you see, TV is actually a GOOD thing. Its like being at school.

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3) Too Much Time On MY Phone
I feel guilty about my children, even my 12 week old baby, seeing me on my phone. I even go and hide in the toilet to check Instagram, or cover my phone with a blanket “den” so I can check FB. BUT if you just say “Mummy’s working” then they will see just how hard you work and how you can multi task your “work” with mothering. In this day and age (unfortunately) it’s the way our world is going (back in my day……..) so I guess it’s a good way of them getting used to it. They don’t want to be behind their peers at school. PLUS I find Instagram/ FB and just taking a million photos/ videos in general on my phone is a brilliant way to capture moments. YOU ARE RECORDING MEMORIES, so well done you. Your children will love looking through them all when they are older.

4) Too Much Cake
Me/ children?? Both! Now, my son is really really fussy (to do with all the snacks??!), but doesn’t seem to be too fussy when it comes to cake?? Its got to a point when I feel that any sort of food I can get into him is a bonus. So I do make a lot of cakes. But I always make ones with fruit/veg in to make it “healthy” (Banana Bread, Carrot Cake, Apple Crumble, Flapjack with raisens?), therefore he’s getting one of his five a day…and you don’t have to feel bad anymore. Plus cakes have eggs in too.

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5) Eating Food Off The Floor
All I can say is….”good for the immune system”. Sometimes I rub my childs food on the floor to help protect my child against colds.

6) Talking To Friends And Ignoring Child
I love a good chat. But I’m very aware then when I meet up with other mums and kids that I talk too much and don’t pay enough attention to my child. They are called mothers meetings for a reason I guess. However, It’s good for your child to venture out on their own without you having to hold their hand, makes them confident?! Anyone that knows my mum will know she talks A LOT (sorry mum if you’re reading this), and I feel, as an adult, I am pretty patient person. Maybe this is because my mum talked so much I had to learn to wait. BUT, you know when another mum comes up to you and says “is that your son in the Lama pen”, that you maybe haven’t been paying enough attention and to tone down the chatting.

7) Not Playing Enough
This follows on nicely to this point. How much should you actually play with your child? If you play with them all the time then they will never learn to play on their own, but if you never play with them then they become neglected? I always feel that I don’t play enough with my 2 year old. I’ve discovered I’m rubbish at playing, I thought I would be a lot more fun but I’ve turned out pretty boring. BUT, I do let my son play on his own (quite a bit) telling myself that this is called “baby led play” (??????) and is VERY good for them to learn how to be by themselves and entertain themselves. By doing this I’m shaping their independence and helping them develop their imagination. Well done me??

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8) Not Enjoying Diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Trains/ Aeroplanes
Again, this leads nicely onto this point. I’m quite a girly girl (but like extreme sports and wearing Vans)……but always feel hugely guilty that I really don’t like playing with all the ‘boy” stuff AT ALL ie: diggers/ Tractors/ Cars/ Lego (although I know girls can be really into this too). I feel bad that I find it boring and my son finds it AMAZING but I just don’t really know how to make a fun game out of a digger…day after day after day. I really need to get stuck into boy stuff now as I’ve just had boy number 2, this will be my life. Soccer Mum. BUT by playing with dolls, putting hair clips in his hair, dressing up, going shopping….(all whilst dad is out of course) I feel I am broadening his horizons and showing him its ok to be whoever he wants to be. The whole “not being gender specific” is quite popular these days so I’m bang on trend.

9) Bribing/ Incentives
Only recently (would have started way sooner if my son had understood)) I have started using bribes. Honestly, it has opened up a whole new world for me!! You can get toddlers to do pretty much anything. I did feel bad using bribery to get him to do things, until a friend pointed out another way to look at it. They are INCENTIVES not bribes. In life its good to be able to set oneself goals and aims and rewards when you achieve them. So therefore I am basically giving my toddler drive and focus and teaching him the value of commitment and results of actions etc.

10) Too Much Time In Car
I’ve always used my car as a tool to get my toddler to sleep, then doing “the transfer” (heart in mouth, blood pumping, sweating, could kill the noisy car that drives passed just as I’m getting him out of the car and into the house). Sometimes I’d drive around (for hours) to get my son off to sleep, then park up somewhere nice and leave the engine running to keep him asleep. Now I have a baby, I use the car/ car seat to contain my toddler whilst I feed the baby. (plus feed toddler snacks to keep quiet, see point 1). So all in all we spend A LOT of time in the car (also why car is so skanky). BUT, my toddler looks out the window and sees lots of different places (we cover some miles!), people, animals…diggers, tractors, cars. This gives him experience of the outside world and see lots of different places and gives him a zest for travel. I just wouldn’t be able to cover these sort of miles of foot everyday. Also my toddler is so full of energy, that I think being contained in the car seat forces him to have some down time, which he needs.

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11) So much time feeding
Since having baby number 2, I feel so bad on my toddler that I have to spend so much time feeding him. A lovely lady at work suggested having a special bag with special toys to bring out for him whilst I feed, but then when he was feeding every 45 mins or more, the novelty soon wore off. I try and play with toddler whilst feeding but this is difficult to juggle as you are trying to dig in the sand with a digger (good at digger games??) and keep your wriggly baby on the boob with the other hand…….all whilst containing your modesty. So as a result, my toddler has to fend for himself once again. But I feel this teaches him all about mothers and milk and feeding/ babies. There was teething problems at the start where he got a bit confused and tried to latch onto my husbands nipple in the shower. But now he has really got the idea of it and likes to breast feed his own Teddy?! Also I guess this teaches him lessons on sharing ie; he has to share his mum…and share his breast milk with his teddy?!

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These are just a few of the million things I feel guilty about on a daily basis. I actually feel guilty about writing this when I should be tidying bombsite/ interacting with baby on play gym/ cooking some sort of nutritious dinner/ preparing an education game for my toddler etc………..

 

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Life With A New Born And Toddler……

I’m back!!!

I’ve been rubbish and haven’t posted for a while, mainly because I was fat, hairy, swollen, sometimes dribbling, sweaty pregnant mess. But all is well now, albeit I cant remember what sleep is and I still look like I’m “with child” (no sorry, I’m not pregnant, I’ve actually had the baby now, its just cake)

I’m going to share my Birth Story with you in my next post, but for now I just wanted to update you all on the first few weeks of life with 2 children…..totally different ball game. Some days I feel like I’m getting it….most days I feel like I’m drowning. Sure i’ll get used to it soon? Help? Worst thing so far, what on earth do you do when both children cry at once??? I must say, not sure why God (???) didn’t invent Women that grew another arm with each child they gave birth to?!

Your Body
First of all I have a serious problem, I’m so chubby now but I just can’t for the life of me stop eating. I think I actually looked better pregnant (how long can I wear my maternity clothes for?/!) I’m not pregnancy fat now, I’m fat fat. My fat clothes from post pregnancy last time don’t even fit me:( Im actually quite upset about how rounded I am but I just cant stop shovelling chocolate in my face. Whats wrong with me??!! And it’s definitely WAY WAY worse second time round. Im afraid there is definitely no snapping back for this sack of spuds. So I have now decided I’m just going to roll with it until my 6-8 week check (maybe 8 weeks, give me more time??!). No point doing anything drastic until the doc says I’m ok right??!

Miss The Bump
Brings me onto my next point, I really miss my bump. I know now I have the real thing, but I keep waking (haha from “sleeping”) in the night and thinking I feel kicks in my belly. I still stroke it like there’s something in there (again, now just cake). Maybe it’s because I know it was the last time EVER I will be preggers (yes really), but I look at other pregnant ladies and I’m finding myself getting really jealous! You get soooo much attention when you are pregnant, such a talking point, now I’m just a normal fat person.

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New Born Phase
I must admit, I am slightly enjoying the new-born phase more this time. Apart from the relentless crying/ literally NO sleep, I’m quite enjoying having a little baby. I think the first time is such a shock to the system, but second time round I think you try to “enjoy” it more and savour it as you know how quick it goes. First time I was wishing away the new born phase as it was so horrendous. You know when you’re pregnant you kind of “round-up” the weeks…more impressive to be more pregnant ( eg. when you are 35+1day….you are 36 weeks pregnant), but I’m finding now with a new born I’m rounding it down (eg. he’s 1 day off 5 weeks but I still say “he’s ONLY a month old). People love a new born, I love the way people look at you like “awwww look at that tiny new baby”…..I don’t want him to grow and that to stop.

Life Goals
You’re new life goals become: syncing naps/ keeping 2 children alive/ brushing teeth/ clean underwear. My friend said to me you have to totally lower your expectations with 2…..that I have now done. I’m literally stoked if I’ve managed to put on one eye of mascara. I’m learning to set myself low targets….today I managed to tan my mum-tum for 15 mins outside….on my own! (Whats the expression?? Cant polish a turd?!)

Multi Tasking- Next Level
If you need to be somewhere are say 2pm…..you will need to start getting ready at 9am. S*it just takes so long now and someone always poops. I literally feel like I’m on some crazy fair ground ride constantly flitting from one thing to another like Meerkat on speed. So much coordination and JUGGLING (baby in swinging chair whilst change toddlers nappy, toddler watching Peppa Pig whilst feed baby, restrain toddler in cot whilst dress baby, baby on boob whilst YOU go to the toilet, feed toddler snacks whilst you put baby in sling to pack the bag (suitcase now actually). The list goes on. NB: Gets even more difficult when you are actually “out out”. I have a friend that used to use a toddler leash to lovingly tie her toddler up whilst she breast-fed her baby, I thought this was a wonderful idea and I’m definitely saving that for a rainy day! You remember what its like to do everything one-handed again, but you kinda feel rusty at it again. The feeling once you have both kids strapped into the car is AMAZING, I always take a min to enjoy it before actually starting the engine.

Your Toddler
Now lets move onto your toddler. First of all he WILL regress. Mine has started drinking out of baby bottles, sitting in baby chair (now broken), watching TV in the baby car seat….and insists on being swaddled?! Plus I swear he cries more than the baby? And it seems more annoying when he cries now for some reason.

When you first get home from the hospital and see your toddler again, he will seem HUGE. Like his face will just seem like a massive Elephant face. Has it always been that big? And whats happened to his head? It’s like a football! And those massive hands. It’s really like they have grown over night.

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But that moment when they first meet is honestly one of the most amazing and emotional things EVER!!

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And you must never ever ever leave your toddler in a room with your new born (not sure of that’s just my toddler?!). The first morning I learnt this after I caught him trying to feed the baby Shreddies (out of love obviously). The toddler just loves the baby SOOOO much he wants to give him kisses (eat is face), cuddle him ((belly flop on top of him), pick him up (drag him across the room by his feet), clap his hands together (pull his hands off) and tuck him up (put the blanket over his head so he can’t breath). Really don’t think he means it, but its scary sometimes. You really need something safe to put your baby in to protect him from your toddler (padded cell?)

Your toddler will become feral (like he wasn’t already??!). Discipline goes out the window and you definitely find yourself turning a blind eye to things. I misplaced my toddler at a birthday party recently, he was found underneath the party table eating crumbs off the floor. Debatable if they were actually from THAT party. Out and about breastfeeding a new born, you notice out of the corner of your eye that your toddler is grabbing fat fists full of mud and putting it down his shorts……you just have to make a decision to “deal with that later”. Better that than run across the park, new born suckered onto your nipple, other nipple standing alert in the breeze as you’ve only just realised you forgotten to put it back in from earlier.

Neglect
Your second/ new baby will become neglected. With my first baby I lovingly laid out his clothes in his BIG wardrobe, cut up all of his baby cards to make beautiful collages to go on his wall in HIS room, plastered the house in baby photos, brand new play gym/swinging chair/ cot etc, even a personalised wooden skate board to go on his door……….this time I’ve barely had time to take photos, the cards have been shoved in a draw, his (hand-me-down) clothes scrunched up in a small draws and there is no room on Arlos bedroom door for another wooden skateboard (the boys will have to share a room soon). Im still not used to having 2 children that I almost sure that at some point I WILL forget the new one. Also remember all that time you spent looking at your first born child (ie.wow we made him, isn’t he beautiful etc) you just don’t get that 2nd time round. Sounds awful but sometimes I cant even remember his name half the time…..Arlo, Rich…Lottie (the dog)??? So many names to remember.

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Mum Guilt
leads me onto the next point, MUM GUILT….it’s at an all time high. The main thing is I feel MASSIVELY guilty about throwing my toddlers world upside down by having a new baby. These are the other things I’ve felt guilty about in the last few weeks….having a baby (obvs); paying more attention to the baby; if toddler thinks I love the baby more: if baby thinks I love the toddler more: not being able to play with toddler as much; hours upon hours of breast feeding; my patience being less; less time spent cuddling toddler; more time spent feeding toddler snacks to keep quiet: a million hours of TV to keep toddler quiet; telling toddler off about touching (gentle gentle gentle….repeat) baby when he’s only trying to show love: when the baby cries; giving new baby old toddlers car seat/ baby gym/ swinging chair etc (bad on baby for old things, bad on toddler for giving baby HIS things); having to sit in the car (to contain toddler) to feed baby: not doing my silly voices at story time; not being the one to get toddler up in the morning and the first one he sees; guilty that I’m tired all the time: guilty that I keep hiding in the bathroom to eat chocolate; guilt if I’m spending time with one and not the other; forgetting new babies name; calling new baby dogs name

A Break
I’ve been very lucky and my Dad/ Mum gives me a break by taking out my toddler. I think its funny how a break becomes still having one child. If your baby is boob feeding, you literally are surgically attached to your baby for the foreseeable future. But it does actually feel like a break being left with just your baby, when did that happen?!.….makes you realise how easy you had it with “just one” the first time round…and why didn’t you find having a baby “a break” when you had your first baby?! I actually find it quite relaxing taking my baby around town now!!! When 2 children are there, you literally don’t get a chance to do anything, you’re just bouncing back and forth from one to another. IF your partner is there, then you have a child each. So basically you always have at least one child now to deal with and NEVER get a break, ever.

People Help
After countless comments of “oh you’ve got your hands full there”…people do help you when you have 2 plus children. I do feel like whenever I leave the house with both boys I have fear written all over my face,: heart punding; my eyes are bulging, I’m sweating, I’m red, my jaw is clenched, all my movements are really jerky and fast like a rabbit in the headlights. Pure focus and determination in my eyes. So thank you to the man in the doctors waiting room for bringing my toddler out of his depths of despair by showing him his walking stick… and thank you to the lady in Sainsburys for helping me pack my bags as my toddler tried climbing onto the converter belt and my babies head was flopping at a weird angle out of the sling and dangerously near to the raw chicken packet. My worst nightmare and hardest thing so far, is literally not knowing what to do when both kids are crying at once….I normally cry too.

So I’m sure it will get easier once I find my own grove and routine. After all, I’m not the first person in the world to have 2 children!!! Hats off to mums of 2 plus children!

PS.A little secret, I now keep chocolate in my bag for “incentives”….(bribes) mother of the year. You’ve literally gotta do what you’ve gotta do to survive and make things a bit easier on yourself.

PPS. And I can confirm you CAN love more than 1 child;)

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10 MAJOR Reasons for Toddler Tantrums

So anyone that has a toddler will understand the “terrible twos” tantrums…..or not as the case may be?! They can happen over weird and unexplainable things. Toddlers can literally go from happy as larry to bat sh*it crazy in a matter of seconds, you never know whats round the next corner. And what on earth do you do whilst they are throwing themselves around…..do you just leave them?? Comfort them?? Tell them off?? Just give them what they want so they stop?? Lock them in a cupboard???!! (only joking…..). Guaranteed they will always happen out in public, where if you do just leave them to it, onlookers will give you disapproving looks like  “you should be controlling your child”. It’s got to a point where I just try to do anything to avoid an explosion, extreme lengths are often taken….. (story for another time). I’ve come to realise that basically doing anything nice AT ALL (including nice food, nice toys, going to nice places, nice dogs, nice games, nice people, nice cutlery) ends in tears, because eventually any nice thing has to come to an end. THATS what causes problems.

Anyway, here are some reasons for tantrums and problem areas to avoid. They can be sensitive little souls:

1) I told him he wasn’t allowed to brush his hair with the toilet brush. Normal hairbrush would not suffice, it HAD to be the toilet one.

2) He wanted to wear MY shoes to the park. They had pink bits on. I do understand this, they are really nice shoes.

3) He wanted to take the cheese grater to bed with him.

4) I wouldn’t let him wear his Wellies in the bath (is it me or do Wellies seem to cause a lot of problems, purely because they just LOVE THEM SO MUCH!)

5) I told him he wasn’t allowed to feed the dog chewing gum.

6) Because I put his PJ bottoms on my head and was trying to be funny (looked like rabbit ears, and I did a rabbit face with teeth to match= hilarious!!).  Unfortunately this did not sit well.

7) When he found out the hairdryer was plugged into the wall (?????)

8) His cracker broke in half (literally the end of the world).

9) Told him he couldn’t eat the mud from the bottom of his shoes. He really seemed to be enjoying his little snack until then. Mean Mum.

10) Dog ate his first poo on potty. Ok it was more like an “accidental” little nugget, but he was SOOOO proud, and to be honest, I would have been pretty upset if that had happened to me too.

The dog was ok.

(potential tantrum aborted….didn’t want to wear a hat)

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Pregnancy, The Second Time Round

So this was how definite I was NEVER going to have another baby….. I threw out ALL my maternity clothes, most the baby clothes (well, kept the special ones….which worked out to be quite a few), told my husband we might as well throw out the baby car seat/ swinging chair/ mosses basket/ steriliser/ baby gym and definitely Euan the Dream Sheep as we were 100% never going to go through all that again.

We were to get a dog instead

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Well that all changed didn’t it??!!

It all started when I began to have these weird feelings. I wanted to look at babies in pushchairs, sometimes make faces at them. If I couldn’t catch a glimpse of the baby in the pushchair, I would feel devastated, like I had really missed out. I spoke to a few people and discovered that this ailment was called “broodiness”!!! Who knew! I had literally never experienced this before, not even before having Arlo.

Still, I didn’t want another baby…….

But then I started getting these feelings like it would be nice for Arlo to have a playmate (for his sake obviously, not me because I was MORE than happy with “just one”). Then a dog would actually suffice for this and I DEFINITELY didn’t want another baby.

Then people started to ask when I was going to give Arlo a brother or sister. I’d always been definite in my answer (eg. pet dog). But then I started to waver. Should I do it out of duty to Arlo?? Am I a bad mum for not creating another one for him to play with. No no no don’t be silly, Arlo LOVES dogs.

A couple of weeks later I was pregnant.

It was like my womb had sensed these wobbles and BOOM, had put a bun in the oven before I had the chance to say officially “hey, let’s try for another baby”

Snowboarding dreams out the window, gymnastics down the pan for a few months (years) and back to being fat and owning a milk farm. An AMAZING surprise of course, especially after how hard it had been to get Arlo:) We are so lucky!

 

Over the last 16 weeks I have been thinking more and more just how different a second pregnancy feels, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Excitement/ DREAD
People keep asking me if I’m excited to be having another baby. Errrrr Yeah?! To be quite honest with you, I’m really freaking out. The first pregnancy, you ARE excited as you are so naive as to what is about to happen. Yes you have heard stories about the sleepless nights, the feeding, the crying, THE BIRTH (uh oh), but you really have no idea how hard it all is until you have done it. After Arlo, I would actually look at expectant first time mums in a different way…almost feel bad for them as they are all glowy and expectant, excited for their new journey. I would just think “you have no idea about whats about to hit you”. So now, second time round, I can honestly say the feelings of excitement are totally out weighed by the apprehension of the hurricane that is going to arrive with us in July. PLUS this time round it will be waaaaaaaay way harder as not only will I have a new born to look after, but a toddler too, yikes. So many people do it all over the world, so it must be possible:). Lets just pray for one a lot more mellow than Arlo was.

Someone posted a comment on one of my blogs once that kind of upset me at the time. It said something along the lines of “you only have one, you don’t know you are born until you have 2!” It did get me thinking, this guy was totally right. I’m sure I will look back on my “one child” days and realise how easy it was in comparison, and probably what an idiot I was to moan about how hard things were. I hope I didn’t upset too many people before. One thing for sure, I’m going to experience what he meant soon……….
NB. Same can be applied to mothers of 3/4/5 kids (brave) looking back on their “2 children” days. So I apologies in advance for saying 2 is hard.

Flip Side
On the flip side of this, I’m almost more excited, because you KNOW what’s to come.  Like you know how it feels now to see the first smile, first giggle, first “Mumma”. So I’m looking forward to that:) Actually really looking forward to that.

First Trimester
I had totally forgot just how horrendous the first trimester is. In fact, If I EVER (I will never, husband is getting the snip) say that I want a 3rd baby, just remind me of how I have felt for the last few weeks. Thats a birth control right there. I felt awful in my fist pregnancy too but I could wallow in it. I got signed off work for 3 weeks and I just lay in bed and watched Greys Anatomy eating ice cubes. I could nap when I wanted, rest when I wanted, actually I could pretty much do whatever I pleased. This time round (sure I feel worse?) but I’ve had to pull myself together, you have a toddler to look after Katie! And its been a struggle. Even though all I’ve felt like doing is lying on the sofa and crying, I’ve not wanted Arlo to miss out on all of his things (and think I’m a boring mum). So I’ve just plodded along, throwing up out of the car, in bushes and in super market aisles (soz Sainsburys). Luckily Arlo LOVES it when I’m sick, he thinks its the funniest noise ever and best game ever! He’s invented his own “mimc mums sick” noise, way cuter than mine I might add. Pretty much seeing any food in the early days would trigger the sick. So trying to feed your toddler 3 meals a day that he mushes up in his little fat hands and then regurgitates has been hard. I think you have to have a strong stomach at the best of times to feed a toddler!!! And the tiredness zzzzzzz A couple of times I’ve actually nodded off sitting up in the living room, to be woken to Arlo scaling the book self or creating a master piece on the kitchen wall. Everyday I cling onto the fact that Arlo might nap so that I can have an afternoon siesta too. Days he doesn’t, are loooong old days. 5am starts seem to be A LOT more of a struggle these last few weeks too. Needless to say I’m tucked up in bed with a glass of milk and hot water bottle by 8pm. ROCK AND ROLL

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Does this make you feel sick???

Saying all this though, I am starting to feel a bit better and get my motivation for life back. Spring is in the air. The days seem less depressing and I can eat more (like 10 billion bowels of cereal a day). I’m emerging out of my black hole.

Sacrifices
First time round we were REALLY trying for a baby (even though it was still a surprise that it actually happened….long story), it was the thing we wanted the most in the whole wide world. So I was almost mentally prepared that I would have to give up snowboarding/ gymnastics/ my life/ my body for a bit. Granted, it took A LOT longer than expected to get back to these things. Second time round, I really felt like I had just about started to get my life back, I had plans, goals, aspirations and then all of a sudden in 2 mins flat, that all changed completely. I wasn’t prepared. And I’m under no illusions this time…..”I’ll pop the sprog out and be back to gymnastics within a couple months”. Yes, I said that. All these sacrifices are minimum though in the BIGGER picture. I need to remember that…..and stop crying over snowboard pictures on Instagram.

The Bump
I actually started to get a bump about 8 weeks. Now, one could argue that this could well have been “Christmas”, but by 12 weeks I was pretty much the size I was last time at 20 weeks. Now at 16 weeks I look like I might actually give birth. You really do seem to get bigger quicker second time round. Apparently your stomach muscles don’t back from the first time, so all those sit ups in the gym were alas in vain:( The sickness was good I guess in that I lost a bit of weight at the start to set me in good stead for the fattening. But oh my, I am making up for lost time now. I can’t keep growing at this rate surely as by full term I will look like a fully obese hippo that’s eaten another hippo.

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Christmas???

Emotions
I’ve always been pretty soft and emotional. Since having a child you get even softer. Every bad thing that happens in the world now you just relate it back to your baby. All the charity adds on the TV, the stories of children/ mums in the newspapers, kids getting ill, mums getting ill, families being torn apart, kids loosing teddies, accidents……….everything just hits you more now as you can relate to it. Throw a second hormonal pregnancy into the mix, wow I’m a blubbering wreck. Who knew that the movie Shrek was such a tear jerker. Or crisp packet floating in the wind was so beautiful. And meeting Father Christmas, well that just finished me off. The stupid mechanical Reindeer even got me. Sure I wasn’t like this last time? Rich??

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Mum Guilt
My first feelings after finding out I was pregnant this time (well after holy cr*p)  was guilt towards Arlo. It was like I had cheated on him. HE was our baby, the most important thing, and now we have gone and created another one that was totally going to change his life…and the poor little thing doesn’t even know it yet (tried to show him the scan photo but he just screwed it up and ate it, then put it in his potty, hopefully this isn’t a taste of things to come). He’s been our world and now someone’s going to have to share that with him.
I feel guilty just thinking about things that are going to happen when the new baby arrives…….not as much attention for Arlo, he will miss his socialising, he will miss all his activities, crying baby all night, feeding ALL THE TIME, he’ll have to share his room, share his toys, share me!
I also feel guilty because I’ve become a rubbish mum since I’ve been preggers. Just lost my motivation for everything. The TV has pretty much been on constantly and I have been doing a lot of lying on the sofa whilst Arlo has been running riot around the living room. When times are particularly bad, out comes back to back episodes of Peppa Pig on Netflix, Arlo’s drug to make him sit still and cuddle me. I have turned my son into a couch potato:(
And I feel guilty because I just can’t imagine how I could possibly love another child as much as Arlo. Or that he will feel replaced.

Time limit
Where as before you were happy to let your child develop at his own pace, no rush, when you are expecting another, you start thinking about all these things you need to get your first child to do BEFORE baby number 2 arrives. I need to get Arlo into a good place. He needs to not wake ready for the day at 4.30/5am, he needs to be potty trained (visions of me breast-feeding at the same time as rushing Arlo to toilet to do a sh*t), he needs to be sleeping in a toddler bed (we need your cot mate!), he needs to be able to walk where we want him too so I don’t have to retrieve him from bins and bushes. Would love to train him to make me a cup of tea, but will give that time.

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As far as potty training has got

No fuss, no worries
The first time you’re pregnant you feel so special. Everyone’s fussing over you and it’s such a big thing. Second time round, it’s like you just have to get on with things. There has definitely been less bump touching, attention and pampering from my husband (where’s my foot massage??!), and to be honest, I forget most of the time as we are both so busy with a toddler and life we don’t get a chance to think about it. This makes me less worried this time round as it slips my mind that I’m “with child” until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and remember “oh hey fatty”. It’s really nice at work though as it’s the FIRST time they have seen me pregnant (I changed jobs since last pregnancy). So it’s like having the fuss of my first pregnancy all over again. That gives me my fix twice a week.

The Future
Now you’ve done it before, so you know what you’re doing right??!! But I feel like I’ve forgotten everything already. The baby stage seems so long ago already. Hopefully it will all come back to me:) Also, I just can’t get my head round how logistically things are going to work with 2….I already need to take a small suitcase with me wherever I go, will I need a lorry? What happens if both are crying at the same time, or get up in the night at the same time, or poo explosions at the same time, food shopping WITH 2, swimming with both of them (maybe not)……I guess you just figure it out and DO IT. And you must remember to have a lot of admiration for people with 3 children. One thing is for sure, at the birth (oh dear lord I’ve got to do that again) I am going to take allllll the drugs they offer me this time. Don’t need to experience that again.

For now, I want to actually leave the house more and commence operation “be a better mum”