Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Fashionista In The Making

Mummy left me at nursery today a very excited lady; the carers in the baby room had declared me Best Dressed Baby!  What an accolade!  I’m quite chuffed myself, but I take it all in my shuffle.
I know Mummy gets wardrobe-envy when she sees my clothes, and she’d love some of my things in her size.  I do wear it well, and it must be said, I am developing a pretty enviable sense of style.  I can make all sorts of unconventional combinations work!
I don’t know where I get it from.  I love my mummy dearly, but she’s not exactly a style icon.  And as for Daddy, I’m not sure he even knows what the word ‘fashion’ means!   Give Mummy her due, she does try.  Apparently she tried harder before I came along, but now the focus is more on what’s least likely to show my lunch! 
She has a very sad story of when she started a new job in a predominantly female open-plan office.  One day, she came back in having bought her lunch from the sandwich man outside, and the office was empty.  They all came back that afternoon raving about the new boutique they’d visited, and one delivered the ultimate snidy put-down; “We’d have asked you along but we didn’t think you’d be interested in clothes.”  Ouch.  Not that she’s bitter – it was only ten years ago.
Anyway, I’ll enjoy the oohs and aahs whenever I go in to nursery as they tell me how beautiful I look.  For the moment, I still have all the innocence and none of the self-doubt.  Long may it continue.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The GymNurseryum

I’m sure most people don’t give two hoots about the Beckhams’ new baby, and for the most part, I’m one of them.  I will admit to being just the tiniest curious as to what they will call the little mite, and the slightest tone of anxiety stems from the ‘unusual’ names they’ve given their boys.  It’s a bit of a compulsion.  Like picking off a scab too soon – you know it’s going to hurt, but you just can’t help yourself!
So while we wait for the birth, news is out that apparently the baby will go straight into her own room.  I’m sure it will be a very grand room, full of the most expensive toys and decorations (and which parents wouldn’t do that if they could?) but I’m not sure how the family wealth exempts them from the medical advice that says a baby should sleep in the same room as the parents till at least 6 months.
I’m not judging that really either, because Mummy and Daddy couldn’t deal with my snoring so I moved into my room before 6  months, but I do think it’s a shame that they’re not even planning to give it a go for a while.
But I digress.  The thing that really caught my eye about this story was the fact that the nursery is replacing the gym, which moves out to the garage – it’s only a four-bedroomed house!  Perhaps they are still human after all, having to rearrange the space at home to accommodate a new baby.
So, any guesses for a name?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Bad Dad Goes Mad!

Wow.  This is quite an amazing story, and it throws up so many questions that I’m not really sure where to start!
Here’s the essence of the story:
A couple are out for the evening having a meal.  Let’s call them Man and Woman A.  Their evening is being interrupted by a bleating small person on the next table, with Man and Woman B, and Man C.
Man A approaches the other table after listening to crying for half an hour, and suggests that perhaps the child is tired and wants to go home.  It seems he got a rude rebuff from the woman, and the two men with her suggested they take it outside.  How ridiculous!  I can just imagine them puffing their chests out and strutting about!
They were seemingly quite offensive, as restaurant staff escorted them from the restaurant.  Poor old Mr A thought that was the end of the matter and continued with his meal, only for Man B to come back in and smash his bottle of wine over his head!   Man B is now spending a couple of years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
It seems to me that Man A has been really unlucky here, aside from the obvious hole in his head!  He didn’t accuse them of poor parenting, but put his point in such a way that the family had a clear, dignified exit strategy, which they chose to ignore.  How hard would it have been to say, “Yes, the baby’s probably tired, we’re just leaving now.”
There are several things here that I have an issue with.  I understand that grown-ups still have the right to go out once they have children, but like most things, there is surely a time and a place.  Is 10pm really an appropriate time for little people to be out?  I’d say probably not.  Babies need an awful lot more sleep than most grown-ups, so they need to start early to get the hours in.
Aside from the parents’ rights, don’t non-parents have the right not to be subjected to other people’s grizzling babies?
That takes me to my next point – shouldn’t non-parents be able to choose a nice place to eat, knowing there won’t be any little people there?  I know Mummy and Daddy love me very much, but sometimes, they want to go out and be themselves, without kids, for a couple of hours.  And they’d be mortified if they even thought people were looking at us and talking, let alone if someone approached the table to pass comment!
There are places that are child-friendly, and they are to be commended.  I love going to them, and Mummy and Daddy like taking me. It’s important to teach me how to behave in public.  When other people are eating, it’s not all about me.  I can’t get up and run around, I can’t draw on the walls, and I can’t sit and scream.  They could take me somewhere like Brewsters for that, but Mummy and Daddy have vowed never to darken their door (they’re too scared!)
But, a restaurant on a Saturday night is less likely to be child-friendly.  I think that’s perfectly reasonable. If you’re eating out with your children, make an early reservation.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Two-Man Job

I’m making an application to the Olympic Committee for a new sport to be allowed in next year’s Games – Extreme Nappy Changing!

The rules are pretty simple; the mummy or daddy needs to replace the nappy with a new one, fasten it correctly, and dress the baby before the little one escapes.  The baby wins extra points for splattering nappy contents over clothes, the change mat, or the parent!  Points will be awarded for style.  Mummy or Daddy score points racing the clock.  Naturally, I’m lining myself up as a future champ.

Non-mobile babies make things pretty easy for the grown-up changing them.  They lie there patiently, cooing a little, and gazing round the room or into their parent’s loving eyes.  How much more fun to be had by rolling away!  Not just from the prospect of grossness spread everywhere, but also the added danger of a bit of height.  At least once a day at the moment I have Mummy or Daddy yelling for help as they run out of hands.  “This one’s a Two-Man Job!”

Let the fun begin!  I start yelling as soon I know I’m heading for the change mat.  It makes the Changer a little stressed before you even start.  Wears them down a bit.  As with many things, timing is everything.  I make my move as soon as my nappy’s undone.  Mummy has my feet in one hand and is reaching for wipes with the other.  Wriggle then, and she’s faced with the dilemma of how to stop dirty bottom and clean clothes from meeting, whilst trying to wipe, fold and replace with just the one hand.  And she must prevent me from diving off the change table.

She’s not dextrous enough to have perfected the one-handed nappy-fasten yet, so the advantage is mine.  Strange, as mummies seem to be able to do most thing single-handedly!

If I kick and struggle, I usually wait till she has a handful of nappy-rash cream. No chance.  “HELP! TWO-MAN JOB!”  If she drops her guard for a second, I have cream on my face, in my hair, between my toes – everywhere except the nappy rash.  Great sport!

Are there any tactics she could employ to win this game?  Well, possibly. 

Make sure there is something by way of a distraction.  The very nature of a distraction is such that I forget the game. I reserve the right for the ‘thing’ to change regularly, with or without prior notice.  A toy is so dull when I know she has nappy sacks and creams on the loose.

Be prepared.  Have everything ready before we start.  Now I’m mobile, she has one chance to get it right before she has a naked baby streaking around the house shrieking with laughter.

Keep the crucial nappy-change items out of my reach.  The sock or cuddly toy she gives me to play with has nothing on a tube of cream – what happens if I squeeze this?

Work quickly.  Even if I humour the nappy change to start with, my patience and concentration are limited.  

One your marks, get set, go!


Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Perfect Summer's Day

What a wonderful day! I hope the weather was as glorious with you as it was with us. We were planning to take Hairy Dog to the beach, but then we had a slow start and Daddy said it would be too hot and too busy. So we stayed at home and the beach came to us! We got out the paddling pool, and the garden toys, and my new sand and water activity table.

I've been busy all day! So many stones to arrange, and grass to pick. I find it quicker to suck stones clean, but it drives Daddy wild!

Few people realise the precision required in building sandcastles. It's vital that you get the exact sand to water ratio or your castle is just useless. It takes a lot of concentration. By mid afternoon, there was nothing for it - I had to get closer to the action so I climbed into the tray and sat on the wet side.

I'll tell you what though, sand is not good for the nappy rash! Ooh, I've got sand in places I didn't think I had places!

It wouldn't be a quintessential British summer without strawberries, and I've stuffed my face with them all day. I need to send Mummy out tomorrow for more so we can try the strawberry risotto I saw on the Bristol Parenting Cafe blog.

Have a lovely week, everyone!


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Monsters, Dinosaurs And Other Household Pests

I have to tell you today about my cousin. He has a terrible predicament: dinosaurs plaguing his room at night!  Can you imagine?!  He’s doing a great job at keeping everyone in the house up, so they don’t drop their guard and get eaten when they doze off.  So manful, for someone so young.
It must be a real nightmare for him!  I’m so grateful we only have the odd mouse! Imagine getting monsters or dinosaurs in your room.
Here are some suggestions in case they turn up at your house.
Get yourself a “beast-repellant” spray. Mark my words, mythical beasts can hide anywhere; in the wardrobe, under the bed, behind chairs.  You’d be surprised how small a space they can squeeze into.  My local toy shop sells a specific anti-monster spray, but you can make your own really effectively that covers all beasts.  Get one of those mister-spray bottles, fill it most of the way with water (we all know what happens when Gremlins get wet) and add some sort of scent.  Aromatherapy oil, that sort of thing – it just acts as a reminder of where you’ve sprayed.
Have your child help you spray round his room, wherever beasts might hide.  You might need to do this for a few nights, till the beasts get the message.
Recruit a “guard.” Obviously not a real guard, but monsters aren’t that bright, and when it’s dark in the room, they’ll be scared off if they see a shape beside the bed.  You’ll need either a really big teddy, or some sort of inflatable being.  Do it up with a hat and coat, and set him beside the bed to keep watch.  Any opportunist beasts will see him and run.  Giving him a name will help with the “team effort,” but try not to make it too threatening!
Alternatively, think of something that might eat monsters.  In the example of my poor little cousin, it’s a little lion.  We all know that a lion is the King of the Jungle, so my Auntie encourages him to cuddle his lion for protection.  No beast would ever dare!
Sprinkle some “anti-beast” pellets around.  Glitter is a good bet, and if you do it well, you won’t even need to take the lid off, such is its power.  This is one for last thing at night, and can be used in conjunction with either of the above.  I have to advise at this stage that you make sure your little one’s eyes are closed – these things are powerful and should be used carefully!  Shake the container around the bed, under the duvet, over the toys – if you’re good, just the noise will be enough to do the trick.  Not that you’d ever want to trick your darling children, just ensure the household gets some sleep.
Sweet dreams, everyone!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Toddler's Big Day Out To Shrewsbury

Another day, another amazing baby story.  I read today that a toddler has been on a big adventure; tired of the quiet in rural Powys, he hopped on a bus to the bright lights of the heaving metropolis that is Shrewsbury!
Maybe the sheep or ducks told him the streets are paved with blueberry-flavoured rice cakes. That would seal it for me.  Or carrot batons.  Or chocolate fingers.  Mmmmmm.
Anyway, back to the story.  It seems he hopped on with various other people and everybody thought he was with somebody else.  He could have been with anybody, but it turns out nobody was accompanying him!
The driver only noticed as everyone got off at the destination in Shrewsbury.
Now, the little boy had travelled 28 miles.  That’s not a short journey in a bus.  How did no-one miss him at home?!  Such a shame.  I really hope that someone would miss me if I even made it as far as the gate.  Sometimes it can be a bit stifling how quickly I am rumbled when I make my bids for freedom, but it’s nice to know they care.
Police are investigating, and two people have been bailed.  Thankfully, the little boy is ok.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Boxing Not Very Clever At All

I am speechless today, and not because of my sore throat.  Flabbergasted doesn’t really come close.  I saw an absolutely incredible article today; 2 little Aussie girls fighting in public, in a match arranged and encouraged by their parents!
I don’t really agree with ‘sports’ like this.  Boxing strikes me as mindless and I can’t really comprehend martial arts as a sport.  I understand the discipline involved, I understand that it might be useful if someone jumps you in a dark alley, but self defence needn’t be practiced on someone else with spectators baying for blood!
Now we have that out of the way, I’m not sure that’s even the point here; the little girls were aged 7 and 8, and they were made to physically fight one another by the people they are supposed to be able to trust over anyone in the world.  I know Daddy is keen for me to be able to stand up for myself when I’m bigger, but this is surely taking things too far.
Irrespective of how much protective gear they’re wearing, these girls are going to get hurt.  Literally bruised and battered.  What sort of mummy or daddy could watch that?  And other paying customers?  Weird.
A bigger question than for me to answer tonight (I’m still tired and under the weather) but are they even able to think for themselves and take responsibility for their actions?  In the eyes of the law for example, not for some time yet.
Have a look for yourself.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Miserable, Moody & Restless

I feel terrible today.  I felt pretty bad yesterday, but today is really not good.  I’m bored, but I don’t have the energy to do anything.  I want to be cuddled and I want to be left alone.  I’m ravenous yet can’t face eating. 

The worst thing of it is that I suspect it could have been avoided; Mummy took me to the nasty ladies in the blue dresses that stab me in the leg last week, and I think this is a side effect.

She promises me that I don’t feeling nearly as bad as if I got Measles, Mumps or Rubella, but I’m not so sure.  I am feeling pretty sorry for myself!  She assures me that it is better for me in the long run, and it’s no good trying to cast her as Bad Cop to Daddy’s Good Cop, because he was in on it as well!

Mummy and Daddy were confident that the injection was the right thing to do, but I gather that not all parents are so sure because all of the media coverage in recent years.

Here’s the deal (according to me).  Measles, Mumps and Rubella are all pretty nasty if you get them.  People sometimes worry about the combined immunisation because of fears of an alleged link with autism, though that was a long time ago now and extensive research since suggests no link.

Some countries used separate single injections, but they saw no decrease in the rate of autism.  When it comes to jabs in the leg, one is better than three in my view!

The big noise these days is the risks you run in catching one of the diseases through not having the immunisation;

·         Measles is pretty serious anyway with fever and rashes, but can lead to chest infections, fits, even brain damage.  People forget that it can be fatal.  Rarely, but it can be fatal.
·         Mumps causes swelling around the neck and jaws, and can lead to viral meningitis or deafness.
·         Rubella (sometimes called German Measles) starts off with a rash or sore throat, but can cause birth defects in contracted by a woman in the first term of pregnancy.

I don’t mean to scare people! Weighing it all up, I think I’ll get over the holes in my legs (which I can’t even see, if I’m honest!) if it means that I’m protected against those three nasties! 

The chance of a post-MMR complication is tiny, compared to the risks of the diseases themselves, which are potentially life-threatening.  Most babies now across Europe and the US are vaccinated with the combined dose.


Monday, 20 June 2011

The End Of Breastfeeding Awareness Week

I heard today that the Government has cancelled the central funding for National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, which starts today.  The locally organised events will still run, but there’s no national campaign, in the name of money-saving.
I predict another lot of ‘healthy’ debate about the pros and cons of breastfeeding, and another lot of poor mummies made to feel like failures because they can’t, or they choose not to!
So is this an obvious place to save some cash, or something we can’t afford not to support?
It’s been nearly 20 years since this campaign started out, yet still there is a relatively low proportion of British women that breastfeed their babies for any real length of time.  One could argue that if little progress has been made in that time, then perhaps the funding could be better invested.  New figures are due out soon, expected to show an increase, but still nothing like the numbers still feeding at 6 months, which is the World Health Organisation recommendation.
There are also fears amongst pro-breastfeeding campaigners that the network of regional baby feeding co-ordinators will also be cut back. 
My mummy and some of my friends’ mummies didn’t have such great experiences with the feeding ‘experts.’  Their advice often contradicted each other, and for people supposed to be helping hormonal beings at their most vulnerable, they really weren’t that supportive, saying unnecessary or hurtful things.
I don’t know why breastfeeding rates are so low. In my experience, it was easy, convenient and a great chance to spend time with Mummy.  But, it didn’t fill me up.  We had lots of chats with the feeding crew, checking my latch on and so on.  Mummy got stressed, Daddy got stressed, and so I got stressed. 
Nowhere in any of the books or classes, or in conversation with any healthcare professional, was the idea of combination feeding even muted. Surely that’s a viable option, and if that were promoted more, I think breastfeeding rates would benefit.
I would say the lack of this alternative has a big part to play in why so many women give up.  No mummy wants to think their new baby is hungry so all the while the “breast is best” message is force-fed to them, they’re worn down by hearing it, and it’s actually much harder to persevere.  What they need to hear is encouragement.
Strangely, it seemed that the ladies who were struggling, or who wanted advice, were the ones who were ostracized.  Bottles were banned at the Breastfeeding Clinic at our local children’s centre, held right after a big weekly baby group, but those that weren’t breastfeeding were not welcome to stay on.  That included those who might have needed some help. 
In my opinion, the pressure put on mummies to breastfeed is wrong, and the way our country goes about it just makes the divide bigger.  Do understand though, I’m not anti-breastfeeding, I just don’t support how we do things at the moment.
As soon as the infant-feeding co-ordinators find out you’re not breastfeeding, you’re dropped like a stone and they look down their nose at you as you fall.  And that often makes ‘those that can’ act superior, further compounding everything that’s wrong with the debate.  Whatever happened to Sisterhood? I guess that’s something for another post!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Make Way For Ducklings

I’ve been to the beach this week.  Mummy and Daddy took me to south Devon.  It was a lovely day out.  It wasn’t a sandcastle-building kind of day, because the beaches were stony, but we did other seaside-y type things like beat off seagulls, breathe in the wonderful sea air, and we gave our ice-cream cornets big licks.
We also went to Bicton Park botanical gardens in the fabulously named Otter Valley.  Not a single otter to be seen.  The gardens show all sorts of different types of plants in greenhouses and themed gardens.  Apart from the horticulture, there’s a lot to do. I was quite excited by the prospect of the indoor play area, much to Daddy’s horror – it’s not really his thing, but he came anyway and survived.
The highlight for me was the train ride around the park.  I do love a good train ride!  Oh, the things you can see!  The trees, the house, the wildlife.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy leaning out of the carriage and feeling the wind rushing through my hair sometime soon.  It made my day to see these little ducklings waddling home with their ducky mummy.

Friday, 17 June 2011

As Easy As Taking Candy From A Baby

Today, I am outraged.  There is no other word to describe it.  I thought people were nice!  But while I was out shopping with Mummy today, we came dangerously close to the dregs of society.  Thankfully, neither of us knew it.  We did not make eye contact.
Picture the scene.  Mummy and I had a few errands to run so we were out and about early.  We’d been to the bank, we’d been to the post office.   I was being very patient and then when we were shopping for some gifts for upcoming birthdays, Mummy wanted to treat me for being so good.
I chose a little cuddly rabbit, with lovely floppy ears.  I carried it round the shop with an ear clenched tightly in each hand while Mummy made her selections, then we went to the till.  I fixed the cashier with my best don’t-even-think-about-it glare and she scanned another rabbit rather than take mine away from me.
As we left the shop, I dropped the rabbit.  Hurrah for Mummy, she picked it up and gave it back to me.  We walked on for no more than 20 metres when Mummy popped her head round the buggy to check on me and the bunny.  It had gone!  Somehow , it had slipped through my fingers again.  Mummy turned round to get it and it had already disappeared!  In that short time!
What amazes me is that we had gone such a short distance – someone must have seen Rabbit fall, and rather than say, “Excuse me, you dropped this, “ they swiped him for themselves!  Unbelievable.  How could anyone do that?  How could anyone do that TO A BABY?!
Sadly, we didn’t get to know each other all that well in the short time we were together.  I hope he’s happy with his new home.  I am telling myself that if he was pinched for another small person, they’ll love him like I would have done.  And that if their parents are such scumbags as to steal a toy like that, then the baby probably deserves the love of a good rabbit.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Designer Clothes For Babies

I love clothes.  There are so many gorgeous things around, and who doesn’t want to look nice? My wardrobe is full to bursting.  But, I’m a baby – I am a messy eater, I’m sometimes sick, I like to play with Hairy Dog and I enjoy digging in the garden.  So sadly, a lot of my things get spoiled.
With that in mind, I don’t understand designer baby clothes.  £25 for a Dior bib?!  £100+ for a single baby-grow?!  Why on earth would you do that?  I could get through £1,000 worth of kit every day!
Even if you have an unnaturally clean baby and a gifted eater, you still won’t be using the kit for long enough to get any decent wear out of it because we grow so quickly – a T-shirt for a 0-3 month old baby is never going to get a chance to grey or wear.  It’ll just take up space in the drawer.
Saying that, if you’re dressing your little one in Ralph Lauren, you probably have one or two wardrobes.  And someone to slave away on the bib with the stain-remover.
Give me my supermarket own-brand multi-pack any day.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Party Bag Or Party Pooper?

I overheard a real party-pooper conversation recently.  Quite literally.  Two ladies who  don’t do party bags for their children’s parties!  Thanks goodness I was able to create a diversion before Mummy overheard them and got strange ideas
The gist of it was this: the day should be about the Birthday Girl or Boy, parents should not be dictated to by the children, who are usually rude and ungrateful anyway, and why should parents feel a requirement to compete with each other?
It sounds to me like they have a few issues they need to deal with!  My mummy and daddy would agree that children should not dictate, but Mummy says she and Daddy get a lot of pleasure from seeing little people’s faces when they are given something to keep themselves.  Needless to say, there were party bags at my party.
I think it was very obvious it was my day, but my guests were all very gracious while I opened my presents and it was lovely to spend the afternoon with them.  We even shared pre-licked carrot batons and mashed sandwiches.
As for rude and ungrateful, what nonsense!  Perhaps those ladies should be having a word with themselves about the people they’re hanging about with.  I can’t imagine my friends or their mummies and daddies allowing ungrateful behaviour.
Our party bags weren’t particularly fancy, so they didn’t cost Mummy all that much money, but they were something for each guest to take home.  A “thank you” from me for coming to my party, and a small reminder of the day for them.  It’s not a competition and it’s not about how much they cost.  We added in a balloon, and there would have been cake if we hadn’t all stuffed our faces already! 
Party, party, party!

Monday, 6 June 2011

There's An App For That!

Well, they say anything is possible, and with the latest tech, you can now give your baby the ultimate responsibility – let them choose their own name! And do it before they’re even born!!

The “Kick to Pick” programme for the iPhone was created after its inventor thought it was a shame that babies had no influence on what name they’re given, but they have to live with the consequences of their parents’ taste for what might well seem like an eternity.

It works like this: the machine randomly generates thousands of names and the mummy-to-be holds her phone beside her bump for the baby to kick it when it hears a name it likes. Weird. Thankfully, the parents can exert some sort of control, narrowing down by gender, for example, or overruling altogether. If they want to . . . They have their own website,, if you fancy giving it a go!

Poor old Tom Thom. Wasn’t he the Piper’s son? Or a navigation aid! You wonder what some of the celebrities were thinking when they came up with some of their sprogs’ names. The old favourites always do the rounds, but sometimes the old ones are the best (or the worst!). Here’s my selection of some I’ve found.

-          Buddy Bear Oliver. Jamie and Jools’s son. Sounds like something I’d watch on CBeebies!
-          Heavenly Hiraani Tiger-Lily Hutchence. You’d expect a rock-star to pick something a bit ‘out there,’ but Paula Yates already had form with Peaches, Pixie and Fifi Trixibelle!
-          Princess Tiaamii. Jordan and Peter Andre wanted something exotic. Hmmm. They’re limiting her career options for later life somewhat in my opinion. I can’t imagine employing a lawyer by this name, or telling Dr Tiaamii my personal issues!
-          Prince Michael II. Michael Jackson’s second son was unlucky with his unusual name in that it wasn’t even unique! Doubly unlucky because everyone referred to him by another name – Blanket! Ha ha! Actually, that’s my favourite but only because I love my own little blankie.

Just think about the consequences before you register your baby’s name officially! What might seem sweet or cute now might not in a few years time.


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hair Today? Maybe Tomorrow!

What a lovely day out I’ve had! I’ve been to a big agricultural show with my family and it was hot, hot, hot!

I’m not a big fan of suncream, but I know it’s got to happen and I’ll always let Mummy put it on in the end, though I do put up some resistance. What I do object to is it having to go on my head! And the reason it has to go on my head is all down to the lack of hair.

What can I say? I’m a baldy baby! There, I’ve said it. It’s out there. I look at my friends and I get hair envy. The newborn babies who turn up with full mops are just showing off! I’ve been kidding myself that it’s just because I’m fair, but in fact, there just isn’t enough there. Just a couple of feeble strands.

But why stress, right? It’ll come eventually, and in the meantime I don’t have to worry about tangles or any other sort of maintenance. Some of my friends already have a full-blown hair care regime!

What frustrates Mummy though is the comments from strangers. I don’t take it personally but they often think I’m younger than I am, or they can’t tell if I’m a boy or girl. Others just say I look like my dad, and that makes me giggle. I watch him jump the shower, one bottle of stuff does head and body, then he has a quick rub with a towel and he’s on his way. Mummy, however, has to spend an age washing, drying, brushing and applying goop. She has plenty of her own to stress about to worry about mine. It’ll come.

I’ll take Daddy’s routine any day – more time for eating and playing! I’m quite happy being his Mini-Me.

No bad hair days for me!


Friday, 3 June 2011

You Know You're A New Mummy When . . .

Hot on the heels of the ten things Mummy's learnt that I posted last week, I wondered is it really true that your life changes completely when you become a parent? Daddy says he has less money, less sleep and more worry since I came along, but I don’t believe it’s that different. I had a chat with Mummy about how she feels things have changed since having a baby. This is what she thinks – is she right?

You know you’re a New Mummy when . . .

-       You receive text messages before 7am – childless friends wouldn’t dream of contacting you before at least 9am, but other New Mummies know you’ll be awake
-       You don’t bother setting your alarm clock any more – you have something far more reliable that will wake you long before you need to be up.
-       Being awake at 10pm on a Friday is enough of a party for you.
-       You are suddenly more than happy to talk about another person’s bodily functions.
-       Who knew so much could be said about lack of sleep?!
-       Forget the pretty pedicure – a hot shower on your own is the new way to indulge yourself!
-       Complete strangers will approach you in the street, and you stop and chat away about things you’d have considered far too personal a few months ago.
-       Your perceptions of dignity have changed completely since childbirth
-       You sympathise with the parents of the child having a tantrum in public when just a few months ago you’d have shot them a “Shut-that-child-up” look
-       Who cares if you’re late for an appointment if you’ve had one last hug/kiss from your baby?!


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Keeping Your Baby Safe In The Sun

The weather forecast for the weekend is looking great! Daddy's muttering about why it couldn't be like this last weekend, but I say let's enjoy it while it lasts! It's been an early start to the summer with lovely sunshine since April, but now it's getting hotter, there are more risks for everyone but little people in particular.

Think of sunshine and a lot people will immediately associate sunburn. That's a good start! It is a real risk for babies, whose skin is particularly delicate and not used to the sun's rays.

It's worth pointing out that I am not a doctor, although Mummy says I can be whatever I want when I grow up. These are my suggestions based on things I've read and my limited experience.

-       Put sunscreen on all bits that will be exposed to the sun. Don't forget the bottom of our feet, which are vulnerable if we're in a pushchair and don't have shoes or socks on. If you've ever burnt your feet, you'll know how sore it is!
-       Reapply sunscreen regularly, even if it's waterproof; it doesn't work so well when it's been washed or rubbed off!
-       Don't be put off if we struggle - it's our job to make things tricky for you! Any crying in objection is nothing on the crying we can do if we get sunburn, believe me.
-       You can get sunburnt through cloud - beware! Even if it's cloudy and/or windy, if we're outdoors for a significant time, slap the cream on.
-       Keep us out of the sun around midday (between 11am and about 3pm). That might be just making sure we're out of direct sun rather than indoors, but remember that sun rays can deflect off other surfaces. Sand and concrete are worth taking particular note of, even when you're sitting in shade.
-       Lightweight clothing is another option - long sleeves and trousers. A lot of materials carry a SPF (sun protection factor) rating on them, which are designed to protect from the sun without us overheating. We ought to be wearing at least SPF 30 creams or clothing.
-       If you think your baby will wear sunglasses, go for it! The sun's UV (ultra violet) rays damage our eyes just as much as yours. I have 3 pairs now, but a very definite favourite - Daddy says I look like Elton John when I wear them. I don't know what he means.

Please don't get so caught up with sunscreen that you forget to give us a drink! Sunburn isn't the only hazard for babies during nice weather; we'll dehydrate really quickly when it's hot so make sure you keep offering us a drink.

It's also worth mentioning that some sun is good for all of us - it gives us really important Vitamin D - but we can get what we need in about 15 minutes in the early morning or late afternoon.

Have fun, whatever you're up to.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Child-Free Holidays - Life Could Be A Beach For All Of Us

I think I might have a problem. I overheard a conversation between Mummy and Daddy earlier, and it seems they are debating whether or not to take me on our next holiday! Their next holiday!

One of them thinks it ought to be a family holiday, the other thinks it should be just the two of them. Selfish or not? Apparently there’s a ‘landmark birthday’ which is how the debate started.

I guess if they go away, just the two of them, it probably would do them good. I didn’t know them when they were a child-free couple, so I just assume they don’t ever miss it. I love my grandma and grandpa, but I don’t know their house would be as exciting as a tropical beach holiday!

It does seem to be divisive amongst grown-ups – is it ok to go away without your children, and if so, how old do the kids need to be? I don’t need Mummy for food any more, so in theory, it would be fine for someone to look after me for a while.

Mummy and Daddy do spend a lot of time running around after us, so I suppose they have earned some time alone. I just can’t understand why they would want to! I’m such good company at the moment! If they decide that’s what they want to do, and that they are both happy to do it, we’ll just have to get used to the idea and make sure they take us next time.

They should be fine, as long as they think about it in advance.
- I know Grandma and Grandpa well, and I’ve spent time at their house so it’s familiar. It’s really important that I’m comfortable with my carers and feel safe in the environment. If we weren’t going to stay with them, it might be an option for them to come and stay at our house.

- I can’t promise I won’t bawl when they leave, but I’m sure I’ll be fine by the time they get to end of the road. It’s my favourite trick from nursery, just trying to prompt a little guilt.

- Check out communications before booking. If mobile phones will work, and the roaming charges are acceptable, that’s the best option – you can call us regularly, and we can get you in an emergency.

- Don’t keep it a secret! Make the decision, and then let us know so we have a bit of time to get used to the idea. And be confident! If you act uncertain, we’ll start getting anxious.

On the plus side, a holiday without me is bound to lead to an extra big present when they get back, and I’m bound to be spoilt at Grandma and Grandpa’s! If I knew where they were going, I’d book it myself!