0

What Parents REALLY Mean

I’ve noticed now my toddler is getting older I have to be a lot more careful what I say ie: fuck, shit, bollocks. But also, a lot of white lies are spun (these are good aren’t they?) and twists of the truth are spoken to help keep their innocence/ control them/ make parenting easier. Here are some “phrases” I’ve found myself using in the last month…..

Dead fox on the road…..”Aw he’s just having a little sleep, he wanted to have lots of energy for crossing the road later”….Mr Fox will be asleep for a very very long time

Jazz things/ places/ food up by saying its SPECIAL……” ah this is a special sandwich” or “we need to go home to do some special things now” (actually nothing at all, but hopefully will entice toddler into car and he will totally forget about it by the time we get home)

“Santa wont bring you any presents”….I went through such a tough time after christmas when I couldn’t use this bribe a million times a day, I mean, what do other parents do in the “off-season”? But really, I’d been buying presents since September, I was never going to cancel christmas and not give him anything, seriously

“It tastes like Bacon”…….favourite food, so a good incentive to eat/ try things. Broccoli even tastes like Bacon, promise.

“I’m so sorry, the machines broken”…seems to be A LOT of broken machines around these days. But why do they always want to go on the yellow plastic bus ride outside Sainsburys, or get some weird wind-up toy from the slot machine in the theme park. Damn the children that then go and “manage’ to get the machine working right in front of us and spoil my master plan.

IMG_9117

When friends/ animals/ family have to leave our house after visiting…..”Lottie (dog) has to go home for a sleep now”….she’s a dog, she doesn’t have to go home for a nap/ dinner/ milk/ stories etc. but this seems a totally acceptable reason for ending a fun time and saves a toddler melt down

Comes home with ANOTHER beautiful drawing (smudged squiggles on a tattered piece of paper), the first few I certainly kept, but can’t keep them all, can I? …… “where’s my drawing?????”…..”Ive put it in a very special place, where I keep all the most special things” (ie: the bin)….bad Mum

“ah im sorry, all the yogurts/ chocolate/ bacon/ snacks have gone now”…….still 5 chocolate bars in the cupboard that I will sneak into the bathroom later and scoff and hope he doesn’t catch me. He’s becoming wise to my secret Mum bathroom retreat

“I’m really sorry but you cant bring that stick (stick number 5678) as you need to leave it there for the other girls and boys to play with”……we have a stick cemetery in our garden

”Magic cream” pretty much any cream ( Vasaline, nappy rash cream, Fairy Liquid?!) that makes everything better in an instance

“The Dinosaur eggs in the garden (stones) still haven’t hatched…..because they only hatch in the summer time”…….buys me a bit of time to think up new excuse as to why stones haven’t hatched beautiful spikey baby T-Rexs….

IMG_5219

………still waiting

0

Things That Are Not Ideal To Do With A Toddler AND Baby

I started writing this a while ago “Things not to do with a toddler”. But now I have a baby, there is a whole different perspective on the matter. Sometimes the logistics just don’t work?!

Get A Filling At The Dentist
Bless my Dad, he had been roped into sitting with the baby and toddler in the waiting room whilst I “nipped” into get a filling. The clock was ticking away, then a panicked text arrived from my dad saying he was caught in traffic. The dentist called me through. He took one look at me, toddler hanging off my legs, baby hanging off my boobs and said “ooh”. Yeh Ohh indeed, there was nothing I could do, they were both just going to have to come in with me. There is nothing worse than being constrained to a chair with your mouth wide open, looking at a peaceful fish painting on the ceiling, whilst hearing your toddler running riot through the dentist draws and pressing buttons on the chair (“wow mummy up”), and your baby crying frantically as you’ve taken him off the boob too soon. Then trying to “shush” and “no don’t touch that” whilst the dentist is sucking the excess spit out of your mouth. Perhaps karma for eating too much chocolate?

Screen shot 2017-12-19 at 15.14.02

Go To A Gynecoloy Appointment
Another similar medical scenario, but with a different area of the body. I wont go into details, but as the doctor is saying “the more you relax the easier it will go in”, you are trying to access snacks from your bag to stop toddler climbing onto the doctors chair and get “digger” (stethoscope), hearing the keys on the keypad type as he goes (prob accidently perscribing a 2 year old Nicotine Patches). There is nothing more disconcerting than whilst baby is crying (again) the doctor is trying to shush and sing “twinkle twinkle little star” whilst inserting a certain metal instrument into nether regions. Just altogether a weird experience.

Screen shot 2017-12-19 at 15.14.47

Loose Phone In Foam Pit
My friend and I took 3x toddler plus one baby (mine) to I-Bounce (massive trampoline place with foam pits). We thought “we’ve got this”. And we HAD got it, it was all going swimmingly. No toddlers had been catapulted, not babies had been lost in foam pit (worse than phone??) and we were all pretty stoked with our free (ish) socks. We took it in turns holding the baby (car seat). I had been taking lots of photos (for my Instagram Stories obvs.) and then suddenly realised that my phone wasn’t in my pocket anymore (big gaping open pocket of hoody), it was in fact somewhere in the foam pit. It came down to a choice, concentrate on finding my phone…..or keep track of toddlers/ baby….luckily due to some strapping toddler fathers, we managed to do it all. Everyone pitched in and it wasn’t long before it was made into a fun game for the toddlers/ parents involved. Thank god to a pink glittery phone case, the phone was retrieved from the dark depths of despair and peace was restored. I did feel like a complete DICK, I mean, who takes a phone in a into a foam pit??!

Soft Play
Joyous places. My toddler is at the age/ the type that he wants to go into the soft plays but he wants me to go int with him. Fine if there are others there to hold the baby. A juggle if not. Usually ends up with me carting the baby round with me, taking it in turns to lift toddler/ baby up and through the tower of mesh netting, then crawl through tiny tunnel hooshing baby along on his back, then along wobbly beam holding toddlers hand/ baby clasped awkwardly into boobs, navigating ball pit in similar fashion, finishing up with both of them sitting on my lap to go down the wiggly slide that launches you off into the air (due to weight?!). Next time I’m wearing my gym gear.

Changing Synchronised Poos When You Only Have The Sling
The baby carrier is amazing, I’ve used it so much, way more than the pushchair this time. Leaves your hands free to (control) toddler. But there are certain situations where it just doesn’t work. One of these times I’ve found is if you are out and about and BOTH toddler and baby have pooped. Who do you do first? I’ve tried changing the toddler with the baby in the sling, but just can’t seem to get the right angles and ended up with the toddlers poo covered winky (gets everywhere) smearing a brown patch onto the babies back in the sling. So change the baby first, he comes out of the sling, then where do you put him whilst you change the toddler? Balance on the changing table at same time as toddler change? Do toddler standing up whilst balance baby on changing table (poos are hard do standing up!). I normally end up making a little make shift “cave” on (skanky) toilet floor out of empty sling and backpack to prop the baby up whilst I attend to toddler. Harder now he wriggles more (see photo, not on toilet floor but a reconstruction of events).

IMG_7736

0

The Neglected Second Child

Baths
With my first baby, I lovingly bathed him every night, followed by an all over baby massage, story (totally understood it at 0 years old, but figured he might like the sound of my voice) whilst colourful lights danced across his ceiling in various unicorns and other mythical beasts, synchronised with soothing lullaby music. Most nights I even got in the bath with him so we could bond (there’s nothing better for the mother/baby bonding than seeing your mums postpartum body/ flab and other regions that haven’t been seen/accessed for many months). The whole bath and bedtime thing was just a beautiful experience and I would often wish that perhaps my husband could do this with me every night before bed to help me sleep?!
Second baby, it goes about 3/4….maybe even 5/6 days and we are like “oooo whats that smell??” After checking that we hadn’t left a nappy bag somewhere, the washing hadn’t gone mouldy in the machine (been in there 5 days i think?), something in the fridge hasn’t gone funky, we then realise that in actual fact it is our beautiful little baby. “We should probably bath him tonight then?” we agree. A quick 2 min dip in the bath (often in the toddlers old water) and job done. Its only recently that I’ve started upping his bath times to try to create some sort of bedtime routine to help him sleep (it’s what google says to do….def not working yet).

IMG_5616

General Cleaning
Follows on nicely to baby cleaning. First baby, tiny bit of sick/ poo- change of outfit. Fresh outfit for the morning, evening, bedtime. So many outfit changes. Fresh nappies constantly. So fresh, so clean!
Second baby, wet wipes have been key. You can pretty much keep the same outfit on for 24 hours if you do your wet wiping right. This does mean baby number two essentially goes out in his PJs most days, but you can totally get away with this when you can coo and blow bubbles. And nappies, I hate to say it, but I do forget to change him a lot of the time, or remember, but put it off (not always easy negotiating a toddler diving into the sanitary towel bin whilst you’re trying to hold your baby on the changing table with your foot). Obviously if I hear that familiar “parp” noise and it starts leaking out the side code red situation, I whip that bad boy off. Although, unlike my first, I seem to miss that “poop” noise sometimes (toddler too noisy?) and only discover the littler liquid treasure at a later time. Then feel horrendously guilty as wonder how long its been there. Maybe that’s why you’ve been crying?!
Unfortunately, on one dark and windy autumn day, I actually realised I had run out of baby nappies so had to wing it with a size 5 toddler one (see pic). Poor boy, it was up to his nipples and beyond. Well it was either that or a sanitary pad.

IMG_6668

Clothes
Brings me onto clothes. I was so excited to start dressing my first baby in proper clothes. So I pretty much did this from the start. In fact, I loved it so much I would plan his outfits the night before and get so excited to dress him in them. Lots of clothes were bought, lots of money was spent. I obviously had a lot of time on my hands?!
All of baby number 2s clothes are hand-me-downs (perk of having 2 of the same-sex). This time round, I’m pretty certain my baby will be in baby grows i.e. PJs until he’s 18. Special occasions (like when we might see people), I have started to dress him in actual clothes, but the majority of time he will be in a onesie. There’s just not been enough hours in the day now to plan his cat walk outfits. Poor little chicken, half his baby grows are so small now that he can barely straighten his body out. You WILL stay a newborn forever.

IMG_5608

Wardrobe Space
Baby number 1s (now toddler) wardrobe is extensive. I mean the boy has a double-breasted wardrobe just for his Autumn/ Winter collection (see picture)
Poor baby number 2 has a 3 draw (small-scale) chest of draws next to the huge wardrobe. Nothing like rubbing salt in the wounds. The clothes that can’t fit in the chest of draws live in a bag (Tescos?) in the airing cupboard.

IMG_6686

Attention
I do feel like baby number one had my undivided attention ALL the time. I didn’t get much done at all because I was concentrating on him so much and responding to his every beck and call.
This time round I have a 2 year old that takes up A LOT of my attention, so the poor second baby just seems spend his life plonked in places whilst I sort the toddler out. His day looks like this: propped up on sofa, strapped into swinging chair, moved into bouncy chair…..(bouncy chair is moved from kitchen, to living room, to bedroom. back to kitchen), wedged in Bumbo (chubby thighs), Bumbo relocated to various different places/ views, Sleepy Head (for naps haha yeh right), play gym, car seat (sometimes left in house, placed on sofa or outside for “fresh air”), AND REPEAT. Soon the “Circle of Neglect” ie; the Jumperoo, will come back into action. I feel so guilty that he just kinda gets left and I can’t spend my days just staring at him whilst drinking (hot?) tea.

Used As Entertainment
Baby number 2 is also used as a source of entertainment for the toddler and often treated as a play thing. “Lets see if the baby fits in here” or “lets stick these on the baby” are 2 of the many games we can play that keeps the toddler busy for 10 mins. I also feel like you aren’t as delicate with baby number 2, you realise that these babies are actually quite robust (well he has to be when big brother tries to move him to the play gym all by himself eeeeek). This means that he’s often placed in places for amusement/ funny photos.

Baby Classes
First time round I hammered the s*it out of baby sensory, baby massage, baby gymnastics, bounce and rhyme, baby yoga (didn’t get on well with this), baby swimming…It was crazy busy but felt I NEEDED to do it all for my sons development?!
This time round the logistics of it (can’t take toddler to baby massage/ baby yoga…imagine!) means I cant really do anything specifically for my new baby (mum guilt). So baby number 2 just pretty much tags along to all of my toddlers classes/ social life. BUT I feel he’s almost getting a free ride?! Although not specially for him, already at 3 months old, he gets to attend/ watch/ “absorb” toddler gymnastics, toddler swimming (soon), Forrest School, toddler yoga, soft plays, toddler play dates, farm days, craft classes, tractor rides, crabbing……list goes on……and I get to save some ££££$$$$$

Name Confusion
I never forgot the name of my first son.
Second time round, I’m really struggling to call my baby the correct name……Arlo/ Daddy/ Rich (husband)/ Lottie (dog)/ Jamie (brother)/ Keith (who’s Keith??)…….ahhh whats your name again??! It’s not that its hard to remember, or that I have THAT many more names to remember now, so I can’t understand why I’m struggling so much? I think it’s a lot to do with the tiredness (and age?), I’m just so confused. I basically reel off all of the names I know until I hit on the right one. Plus, he’s never just called his name, he’s known as Baby Kitt. I think he should be Baby Kitt on his birth certificate.

Development
With my first son I was so excited for him to meet each developmental stage (ie. holding head up, rolling over, sitting up, crawling etc). We would even have training sessions.
This time round I’ve realised that actually things become harder when they get bigger (they can move), so I am discouraging any type of development! I want to know what when I plonk him down somewhere, that he’s going to be there when I get back. Plus I want to keep him a baby FOREVER.

IMG_5290

Napping
Child number 1, nap times (like bedtimes) were a serene and peaceful experience.
This time, naps for my baby are on-the-go, normally 20 min power naps in the car seat, or in the sling whilst navigating the ball pit in a soft play, or at home with a xylophone/ hammer/ toy drill being played with next to his head. I’m so sorry.

 

*disclaimer. I love my second baby just as much as my first and don’t mean to “neglect” him. He is very much loved, kept warm, happy, fed and clean (mostly). Weirdly, second baby seems way more laid back.

 

0

Phrases I Never Thought I’d Say….Until I Had Children

Did you ever just have a moment of realisation, and think about what you are actually saying??? Then think to yourself “wtf”?!!! Here are some of mine over the passed few weeks…….

  • No that’s not Mummies winky, those are Mummies nipples…yes 2 of them

 

  • Why don’t you give Bunny some milk, aww Bunny likes milk….why don’t you make Bunny and Teddy Dumpling (don’t ask) kiss…

 

  • How much dog poo did you eat???? (not something you ever want to ask really)

 

  • Come over here Arlo, bring both of your furry balls with you (referring to tennis balls obviously)

 

  • Arrghhh please don’t put yogurt in your ears again

 

  • My little baby, my squidgey widgey little pudding pie (actually making myself cringe…..WHATS HAPPENED TO YOU KATIE)

 

  • If you’re a good boy, you can take the watering can to bed with you (f*cking LOVES that thing)

 

  • Please stop licking the door hinges

 

  • Wowee you are SOOOOO clever, what a clever boy (clapping and cheering excessively over tiny dribble of wee in the potty….actually almost shedding a tear of joy)

 

  • Oh look, there’s a moo moo/ baa baa/ quack quack/ woof woof/ neigh neigh etc etc

 

  • No, we don’t use our toothbrush to clean our bums please (long story)

 

  • (also bum related) Please dont try and put the stick up the sheeps bottom, he wont like it

IMG_3201

 

0

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)

2

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

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/10dqgKqKxp8/hqdefault.jpg

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

img_2105

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.

img_2247

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??

img_1911

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.

img_2133

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”

1

10 New Years Resolutions To My Son

1) I will no longer pick your nose, even if they are really big and right near the entrance so I could jussssst so easily and quickly hook them out with my little finger nail (that I may have grown especially for this purpose only).

2) I will not keep feeding you crackers, crisps, rice cakes, soggy biscuits (that I’m not  even sure how long have been in the bottom of the bag) and basically anything I can get my hands on to keep you quiet…..(mainly in the back of the car; 2017 I will also clean car seat). Im worried you may end up a 10 tonne whale one day if I’m not careful.

3) I will stop making you kiss girls for photos and just general “awwwww” moments for Mums.

4) I will stop using Peppa Pig as a drug to make you still and quiet so I can have a cup of tea/ lie on the sofa on Facebook.

5) Leading on from point 4, I will spend less time on my phone on Facebook/ Instagram/ Pintrest. I’m gutted you know how to use touch screen at age 19 months. You should be playing outside for gods sake.

6) I will revise names I call you as I’m thinking maybe one day they might give you a complex…….Stinky, Fatty, Ginger Nut, Smelly boy (its not your fault that your nappies REEK).

7) We will also stop playing the “don’t tell Daddy” game. Even though you look really cute with little hair clips in and bracelets on, I think Mummy may need to get a girl dog instead!

8) I will stop dressing you in baby sleep suits (by the age of 18) so you look like “my little baby” for longer. Jeans just make you look so old.

9) I will stop using the I-Pad at meal times to distract you so you will eat. You need to learn adult conversation now.

10) I will stop telling you everything is Bacon just so you will try it.

PS. I will also make it my sole purpose this year to make sure you’re wearing matching socks.

img_2046

 

0

Do I Look Mumsy In This?

Why is it whatever I wear these days makes me feel Mumsy??!! “Well Katie you ARE a Mum “is the simple answer my Husband (man of few words) will give me. Well there you go, that explains it all, no need to write this blog then.

But WHY do I feel Mumsy when I’m wearing pretty much the same wardrobe I had pre motherhood (give or take a few….BILLION…. items bought on impulse after having a baby, jacked up on hormones and in my “super Mumsy identity crisis” phase). This is a question I’ve often pondered whilst picking dry crusty Wheetabix out of my hair, simultaneously frantically digging through mountains of clothes exclaiming I have NOTHING to wear.

img_1750

Do other Mums feel like this???

Is this a midlife crisis?

Am I screaming out “MUM” even when I am without child??

Is it time to re-invent oneself?

Reality check…….have you possibly just let yourself go? Chocolate cake for breakfast is actually NOT a good idea/ example to set?

So many questions.

Right, here’s whats been going on:

Your body has changed
Lets start with the tummy. Try as you might it will never be quite the same as it was. Even if you are back to your pre pregnancy weight and same waist size, it will never be quite as tight as before (was it ever tight or is this just a rose-tinted version of yourself you have created, actually you looked the spitting image of Miss Universe 2016). That gap in-between your tummy muscles is STILL there, your tummy skin is unfortunately like a deflated pink balloon and your belly button looks like ETs finger. Anyway, no more crop tops (??!!) or skin-tight tops (apart from those ones that have secret structural scaffolding). Tops that flow nicely over (hide) tummy are the style of choice these days. I’m sure I have shrunk height wise a little too?? Maybe when you are a pregnant WHALE it compresses your joints together?? To hold the baby inside you ( WE ARE SO CLEVER), hips also get wider. And goes without saying, you look a lot more tired these days and on some particularly bad days, you have even aged by 50 years. So with all these changes to your appearance of course clothes are going look different on you now. Well that is a good excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe if ever I heard one!!

olivia-jordan-miss-universe

Boobs
For starters, you’ve gone from average size boobs, to monster-cant-even-be-contained-in-a-bra breast-feeding boobs…….to disappointing empty Tetley Tea bag boobs. Clothes look totally different with different boobs and you just cant keep up with it. You feel you should take the opportunity to flaunt your newly enlarged BF boobs, but then feel extremely guilty as this is perhaps wrong (??) and they aren’t real anyway ie: filled with milk. Then you realise, even though you have Jordan type boobs, the rest of you body is more likened to a Sloth. You just look odd. And no matter how hard you’ve tried to be consistent with BF sides, you are still lopsided, not such a great look. Then once all this palava is over, you are left with nothing. The expressing machine cant get anything out of them, your baby has given up trying and unfortunately there is nothing you can do to “cheer them up”. The thought may even cross your mind to have another baby just to get them back….are you crazy??!

See your body in a different way
YOU’VE GROWN A HUMAN IN THERE….RESPECT. I look in the mirror sometimes (after the self loathing and tugging at excess skin has finished) and think “wow, I grew an actual baby in there”. Just knowing what you can do, well what women can do, makes you feel your body is less like a sex machine (!!!) and more like a holy shrine to be worshipped and appreciated. It sometimes feels bad flaunting this serene “temple”. It becomes less important to look good and more important to realise what we are capable of.

img_5498

 

Mutton Dressed as Lamb
You are constantly in this grey area of “am I dressing too young/ am I dressing too old”. The balance just never feels right. I fear I have been over compensating since becoming a Mum and trying to dress younger. Its like I need to make a statement that I am still cool and down with the kids??! Backward baseball caps and tie dye shoes sometimes make me feel like mutton dressed as lamb. Its like I am in total denial that I’m over 30 (21 to those who ask), have a child and a house. Should I be dressing more respectfully now I’m a Mum? My skirts should be a little longer, no flaunting of cleavage (what cleavage), swimming costumes over bikini, no rips in jeans and defo no tops with side boobs??! I do feel like I can’t carry certain items off now I am a mum. Might be me over thinking things, but  do people almost expect you to dress more appropriately now you’re a mum. ANYWAY, we need to come to terms with the fact we ARE Mums and in a new category now…..The MILF Category. Accept it and work it!

No time to dress
Dressing is no longer a pleasurable thing. It’s a necessity. You have to wear clothes to go to Tescos. Spending hours deliberating on what scarf to wear with what top, what jeans flatter you the most and what necklace brings out your eyes, are days of the past. Most of the time its a case of just grabbing whats on the top of the unwashed/ unfolded/ scrunched clothes pile (BTW that you have worn for the last 3 days) with one hand, whilst trying to retrieve your favourite earrings from the nappy (possibly poohy) of your toddler with the other hand.  A lot of the time this could lead to accidentally standing in front of your bedroom window (that faces the road PLUS neighbours) with no bra on. Yes you could be more organised and devise an outfit the night before once your child is in bed, but who can be bothered with that?! So in my eyes, if it hasn’t got puke (visible) or sh*t (smellable) on it, its ok to wear.

More aware of brand clichés
There are certain brands that are considered “Mumsy”. These brands I actually really love and before becoming a Mum would not of hesitated to buy (if I had lots of money). But now I think twice about whether, for example, a Joules rain coat or Kath Cidson bag would make me look Mumsy. I guess they are tailored to suit Mums and fulfil our needs at this time (Cath Kidson= wipeable bags, Joules= practical/happy rain coats/ flattering fits). PS. I have a Cath Kidson Bag AND Joules Wellies. You do somehow just feel more drawn towards these Mumsy brands.

img_1618

Personal grooming/ different priorities
The “other things” that make clothes look good and YOU look good is personal grooming eg. actually brushing your hair, remembering to brush your teeth, shaving your gorilla (extra layer to keep warm) legs, completing your make up routine thus achieving TWO eyes of mascarra, wearing jewellery that isn’t going to be used as a rope swing, DIY on your mono brow, showering, considering shoes you don’t have to run in  …..non of this matters now. It’s all about being quick and practical with your decisions and personal grooming. Your priorities aren’t your appearance anymore, its stopping your child drinking toilet water and painting the dog purple.

Shopping
The past time of shopping itself isn’t an enjoyable activity AT ALL with a toddler in tow. You need to be focused. It’s about knowing exactly what you want and GRABBING. Knowing that you maybe have a window of 15 mins to do EVERYTHING makes shopping a different mpre stressful ball game. Super Market Sweep anyone?! However you’ve realised actually its way more fun shopping for your child anyway. This can be done quite nicely from your I-Phone in the comfort of your own home. And have you thought about the reason you may now be attracted to younger clothes??? Perhaps not an identity cries, but you are spending a lot more time surrounded by kids clothes these days you have actually forgotten that there’s a whole other universe out there (including Topshop, HM, Urban Outfitters etc).

img_8537

“Twinning”
You do lose confidence in your own judgement of dressing yourself when you become a mum, so an easy and FUN option is to just dress the same as your child. Then it’s just seen as cute (cheesy) and you can’t be blamed for dressing to young and your child cant be blamed for dressing to old. You just look awesome!!

img_1674

In mourning
You cant help but always compare yourself to your pre baby body/ life and try as you might, you just cant let go. Don’t torture yourself, don’t put a pre pregnancy bikini photo up of yourself on the chocolate cupboard, don’t troll through FB looking at younger/slimmer pictures of yourself (and FB stop “reminding” me of these skinny memories), don’t reminisce over old fancy dress items (why did you always have to make everything slutty?!), don’t keep prodding at your skin and considering chopping parts off and don’t whatever you do, weigh yourself……whilst shovelling carrot cake into your moth (technically vegetables). Easier said then done but just be amazed at what you have achieved (grown a real life human- GIRL POWER) and how your kid is the most important thing now. Once you stop trying to be the old you, you should feel more content. I’m still not there yet and in my “mutton dressed as lamb” phase….for the foresable future.

CONCLUSION
So as this is a very confusing time for us new Mums, it totally justifies excessive purchasing (online preferable) to experiment with our new identity. This is for your mental well-being therefore well-being of your child. Their future is in YOUR (credit card) hands so you MUST buy that new dress.

0

“It’s Just Phase”

“It’s just a phase” is an explanation I hear over and over again when referring to babies/ toddlers weird and wonderful habits they develop. Each of these behaviours WILL eventually pass, soon to be replaced with another. Some seem common for most children to encounter at some stage, whilst others are lets just say “quirky” and really make you question if it’s something you have done to provoke it. For example, I have never eaten dog poo in front of my child (or indeed without him there, or ever in my life) but yet, this was “a phase” he unfortunately went through.

img_6858

Whilst you are in the midst of The Phase it can be frustrating. Very frustrating. They vary in length and severity. So here are some of the phases I have experienced so far and possible ways in which you could deal with them:

The “Refusing to eat but will eat food off the floor” phase
You do everything the right way, you follow the Annabel Karmel book like a bible, you make all the appropriate mmmmmm noises with food, but still, your child goes through so many phases of not eating. Freaks me out because: 1. I think he’s going to wake in the night hungry therefore NOT SLEEP: 2. Confirms my fear that I am actually the worst cook in the world: 3. He’s going to be a fussy eater and IT’S ALL MY FAULT. I’ve found myself doing anything to try and get food into my son. So if he would ONLY eat it off the floor underneath his high chair, then so be it. Has this come from seeing me do the “5 second rule? Ok 10 seconds?? Who knows.

Solution: Clean floor before meal time. Casually drop some nice nutritious food on the floor after he point-blank refuses to eat anything you are trying to feed him. Try again to feed him. Give up, take him out of high chair and turn a blind eye to the fact he is delving into the 3 course dinner you have left on the floor. Make sure he’s had his fill then suddenly “catch him” and explain that it’s dirty to eat food off the floor.  NB: Does create bad habits with floor food eating and a confused child.

The “Not wanting to be fed but not being able to feed self” phase
Another frustrating phase surrounding food, actually the bane of my life these days. At the ripe old age of 8 months (age varies), my son decided that he was totally old enough to feed himself. Non of this food however made it successfully into his mouth, resulting in a grumpy hungry child (and a poor dog cover in food). Grumpy hungry child will put up resistance if YOU try to feed him, no matter how hungry he is. This does get better as they get older and their hand/ eye co-ordination improves. But then comes the “wanting to only feed self by spoon” phase, whole different ball game.

Solution: The only thing for it is to make 20 times more food than you actually need in the hope that maybe 5% of it will make it into their mouths. The “one spoon for them one spoon for you” technique to try and sneak food in whilst they are concentrating on fondling the spoon/ food. Raid all cupboards in the house frantically cooking all food possible to see if it’s actually your cooking they are refusing to eat.

img_1545

The “Not wanting to walk but not wanting to go in buggy” phase
This normally ends up with huge/ heavy/ wriggly toddler in one arm, whilst pushing buggy with other arm. Loosing count of how many times you have switched from buggy-walking-carrying-buggy. Just nothing is quite right for them.

Solution: Don’t leave the house.

The “Not brushing teeth” phase
Still in this phase.You’ve got to brush your teeth mate or else you’ll end up with dentures by the age of 5 and you will bankrupt the Tooth Fairy.

Solution: Keep buying a million different toothbrushes/ tooth pastes to keep things interesting (also as they keep throwing them down the toilet). Close toilet lid. Use YOUR toothbrush if he refuses his own (make sure you haven’t got any diseases). A toothbrush with a little sucker on the end so it sticks to things makes it more appealing somehow. Get everyone in the whole family to brush teeth at same time making it look like a really fun, happy activity. Distract child by any means possible whilst you try and sneak a quick brush in. One person pins down child whilst other person brushes, this does seem to make it worse though, so actually wouldn’t recommend this. Just try and get at least some tooth paste into the mouth, that must at least do something right?

The “Pulling up top and poking belly button” phase
All fun and games learning where your belly button is and showing how mummy has one too, and daddy for that matter. Child must then check every other person IN THE WORLD to make sure they have one also. The technique for this is pulling up a victims top to reveal (flabby, white) tummy. At home, ok no problem, out in public not so fun, other people/strangers……hopefully ground will open up and swallow me.

Solution: Make sure everyone you could possibly come into contact with that day is in fact wearing a body suit that can’t be lifted up and buttons underneath.

The “Weaning off Ice-cream” phase
I’m not sure if others have fallen into the trap of their child point-blank refusing to eat anything but Ice-Cream? When my son gets poorly with a sore throat/ cough I like to help soothe it with Ice-Cream. Medical reasons. Sometimes this will be the only thing I can get him to eat. Better than nothing at all I figured? But then we go through the awful stage of when he gets better and he has become totally addicted to Ice-Cream. So begins the Ice-Cream weaning.

Solution: Cold turkey is not a good plan, after all they have somehow discovered where the Ice-Cream lives, how to open the freezer door, and how to get the Ice-Cream out. So advanced. You need to do the weaning gradually. Mix the ice cream with what ever food you want them to eat, gradually decreasing the quantity of Ice-Cream. Can also feed them their dinner out if the Ice-Cream tub to confuse them. Change hiding place of Ice-Cream, better yet, be a good parent and eat it all the Ice Cream in the entire house to remove the temptation from you child.

img_0985

The “Bin obsession” phase
Where on earth has this one come from? I guess it must be intriguing for them as to where stuff goes once its purpose has been served. Why do we keep putting things that THEY WOULD HAVE PLAYED WITH in that forbidden place. It basically must be another toy chest in a parallel universe that they must investigate. And what is that word “dirty”. That must mean it’s REALLY good in there. When the Bin Men come here on a Friday it’s like the Oscars. Big event. Bought me 10 minutes on Friday whilst my son watched them from the window. Bins are just the best, any bin, anytime, any where.

Solution: Buy toy bin? Say word “dirty” like a trillion times? Move location of bins. Remove child from bin. Stop buying toys and give child rubbish instead. Spend loads of money on a child proof bin. Take child to re-cycling centre, baby bin heaven. Call local council and see if Bin Men will come everyday to take bins so you can have a HOT cup of tea in peace.

img_1554

The “Discovering willy” phase (only applies to boys)
Wow the amount of things they can do with it once they find it is impressive. I had no idea they were that stretchy! Any opportunity seriously. As soon as that nappy comes off, slapping, pinging, wanging, twanging, swatting, twirling, swinging and twearking: fun times. Even tries to get to it with nappy on and looks like Micheal Jackson.

Solution: Let them go wild I guess?!

The “Putting everything in the toilet/ bath/ any water” phase
Nothing is safe. Not only do you have to baby proof your house. You have to remove all objects that could possible get damaged through being immersed in water. And these toddlers are quick, before you know it they have whisked Teddy Dumpling off the bed and into the front crawl position in the bath. As I’ve mentioned before, toothbrushes and other items of dislike regularly meet their fate in the loo. So paranoid about my phone going swimming, or as we had a close call with the other day, our passports. Try explaining that to immigration.

Solution: Obvious solutions, close toilet lid, buy padlock for toilet lid, only have showers, buy a bath cover, like a swimming pool cover, do these exist? Give up and let them go wild but remove valuable items. NB: sometimes toilets already have “deposits” in. Must always flush toilet (thank you Lauren for the photo and the inspiration).

img_1539

The” Dog poo eating” phase
As mentioned before, this was a most unfortunate phase. It only happened twice (I’m aware of) and actually caused slight panic and a desperate call to 111. The really worrying thing with this incident was that my son really seemed to be enjoying it, and was most upset when I took it off him. Then went back for round 2 the next day, seemed to have developed a taste for it. Such a bad mum, how did this keep happening? Doctors are going to think I’m an awful Mother and husband will definately divorce me (good job he never reads my blogs).

Solution: Cook food in dog poo like colour/shape? Maybe that was the appealing thing? Clean out mouth with soap and water, defo wont be doing that again in a hurry. ALWAYS check any outside area for dog poo. NEVER take your eyes off your child, ever (quietness is a bad sign). Make sure all dogs in the world have been wormed just incase. Teach dogs to poo in the toilet and flush.

The “Growling” phase
Did he in fact pick this up from the dog? I don’t remember growling that much in front of him. Obviously he would pick the best times to perform his party trick (ie. in a deathly quiet Library, no I haven’t bought my dog in here). They do experiment with their voices, some noise are cute, whereas others are kind of embarrassing and I never quite know what to do when it happens.

Solution: Growl back, they are trying to communicate with you. Take dog everywhere with you to cover up noise in public (dogs aren’t allowed in Library though). Congratulate child for being so clever and discovering new noise, but encourage other noises instead, maybe a sheep?

img_1088

The “obsession with feet/ socks/ shoes…normally other people’s” phase
For us this started off with the nibbling of his own toes. Swiftly moving onto other people’s toes. Funny at the start yes, not so endearing when he did the rounds at the baby groups to have a taste of everyone’s feet. Then the obsession with pulling socks off begins, starts with theirs, moves onto others. Soon you have a small gathering of odd socks in your washing that you have never actually seen if your life, how on earth did they smuggle all these little cheesy souvenirs home??! None of their socks match anymore (yours haven’t for years but you started your child’s life with all good intentions) and you’ve probably single-handedly keep Tescos in business through your sock purchasing. This then moves onto shoes, same deal, more expensive, more anger involved. Then they start using shoes as a tool to tell you things ie: TAKE ME OUT. Then they start hiding your shoes, insisting taking a shoe out with them, eating shoes, throwing shoes, any chance to hold a shoe, sleeping with a shoe, it’s just all about shoes, SHOES SHOES SHOES (a man after my own heart it would seem?!)

Solution: Don’t leave any shoes of value within reach/ sight of child. Resign yourself to the fact that you may have to, on occasion, go out with odd shoes (no one will notice). Never spend much money on shoes (yours, theirs). Hope this isn’t some weird foot fetish. Get child into Reflexology Training asap. Might as well make it into a career.

Are any of these yours……

img_1546

The “Posting” phase
Following on from the loosing of shoes/ socks. Have you ever considered they may have been “posted” somewhere. A term used for the hiding of an item by your child by posting it through a gap/ hole. So many things have been lost to the other side. Forever fiding things in unusual places: knickers in the peg bag, remote control in the watering can and half eaten rusks in shoes. Once you have been clever and discovered their favourite posting place, they change it. Always one step ahead of you Mum.

Solution: Cover all gaps/ holes in house. Put tracking devices on ALL items. Again, watch child at all times.

And lastly the “Taking off nappy” phase
Only just entering into this phase and I fear it could be a tough one re: nap/ bedtimes- undressing oneself to become comando in cot, which in turn could lead to a very dirty/ wet/ smelly cot and or child. Also leads to lovely little surprises left around the house for you if this happens during the day. Tip: follow the smell.

NB: Can come hand in hand with the “Discovering Willy” phase

Solution: Complicated clothes. Gaffa Tape?!

I’m sure there are many many more phases to come, but lets look at it in a positive way: it keeps things interesting, keeps us on our toes and prevents us from drinking too many hot cups of tea….which would obviously be bad for us.

0

Devonshire Dartmoor Dabbling

I just wanted to tell you briefly about our little adventure the other week up onto the Devonshire hills known as Dartmoor.

Now if you asked me how to get to this place again, I honestly couldn’t tell you. So maybe this blog wont actually be much use to anyone (although you could ask my Dad, he’s pretty clever and knows all the secret gems). Dartmoor is this amazing landscape of open barren hills, wild cattle, coarse nature, huge rocks, winding rivers and little hidden streams. And if you are lucky, you will find one so hidden that no one else is there (and you can’t remember EVER how to get there again). You will have your own little private lagoon for the day; hence the skinny dipping (see photos, more Arlo than me). But we will get onto that in due course.

img_1131

After ticking “finding Sheep/ wild Horses” off the list, we were lucky enough to find some Highland Cows. Ginger. Arlo was fascinated…..of course. In all honesty, I think he thought he was a part of their family. Really could not understand why he had to be kept in the car and couldn’t go and play with them.

img_1122

Off to location number 2. Less animals, more water. Arlo in fact loved to water so much he couldn’t wait to get in and forgot to take his clothes off. And obviously as a very responsible mother I was way too busy taking photos to change my child into his swimmers. So after retrieving my child from the water in his sodden clothes, there was nothing else for it. Stripped off to his birthday suit. A chance to be at one with nature and to give his clothes a chance to dry on the bushes in the baking sun.

It says in all the baby books that you should give your child some naked time anyway so they get comfortable with their body? Once Arlo had finished examining himself (!!!), he quite got into the nudist thing. He was so relaxed by the end, I found him crouching behind a bush. Thank god no one was there and thank god I had some doggy pooh bags with me (originally for the dog funnily enough)!! Naughty boy, but good potty training stuff I guess?

img_1134

Playing with sticks (ironically pooh sticks), throwing stones, wading in the water, splashing and even a bit of rock scrambling were all on the agenda (must be careful if child is still without clothes with “dangling” bits). Finished off with a naked picnic (again, just Arlo….may well have joined if my parent hadn’t been there too).

Clothes dried, nappy reluctantly re-applied, it was time to go. Arlos first taste of Dartmoor and the Dartmoor Fishes first experience of a little naked red-headed boy.

img_1148

So if you get a chance, bundle your baby/ toddler/ kid up and take them for a Dartmoor adventure. Don’t forget the swimmers. We are so lucky to have this on our doorstep…..even gets snow in the winter;) Hopefully you can find your own little hidden treasure up on the Moors, and fingers crossed you don’t end up in the same place we went to and find any of Arlos “treasure” accidentally left behind!!!!!