Friday, 30 November 2012

3 in a Tub

After a long day running up and down after Daniel, cleaning my home and preparing the evening meal, there is nothing I enjoy more than a hot shower.  I've never really been one for baths but on the odd occasion when I decide to have one and bring Daniel in with me you can count on one hand the number of minutes before the pre-teen has stripped off and jumped in with us.  After listening to James O'Brien on LBC broach the topic of children's innocence being destroyed through the teaching of sex education in primary school it got me thinking when is a child too old to bath with their mother and does the sex of the child matter?

The pre-teen learned about sex from a very young age.  I had no doubt in my mind that I would be the one to teach her as soon as she started asking questions.  My mum had taken a stand-offish approach to teaching me about sex.  I was an avid reader so my mum provided me with a book entitled 'How We Grow Up' at the time I found it interesting and informative. When I had my own child I knew that I wanted her to learn all the goods and bads of sex and the feelings associated with them.

On a bus ride home from school at the tender age of 6 she began to talk about sex, her exact words were, "Mummy I know what sex is."  I was a little shocked at first and nervously giggled whilst strangers looked on at my pretty little 6 year old talking about sex.  I proceeded to ask her how she knows that and what she thinks it is.  She informed me that two older children in the playground were discussing sex and that it was, "When a man gets on top of a woman and goes uh uh uh."  My nervous giggle then turned into fits of laughter which the princess did not at all find amusing.  

I took the opportunity that day to explain to my daughter that heterosexual sex (I wasn't about to teach my six year old daughter about homosexual acts) happened in a loving relationship between two adults and explained to her using the correct names for the sexual organs what happens and one of the purposes of sex (to have babies.)  My then six year old looked at me in disgust and said, "That means you and daddy, yuk, lets never talk about that again."  That of course was the first of many discussions about sex and as the years followed my explanations were extended with details homosexuality, miscarriage, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and hereditary illness such as sickle cell.  Some may think that I have risked destroying my daughters innocence but I feel that I have prepared her for life as a sexual active adult which one day in the really distant future she will be.

Besides what 12 year old who doesn't still have a sense of innocence would want to jump in the bath with their mother and brother, I certainly wouldn't have even though my mother still torments me by insisting on walking around the house half dressed no matter who is there.  

When I asked the pre-teen when she thinks a child is too old to bath with their mother after her initial response of "If you don't want me in the bath then just say so" and me explaining to her the reason behind my question she then said, "When they have big boobs."  She would not want to bath with her father and neither he nor I would approve of that and I'm certain that I wouldn't want Daniel bathing with me at the age of 12.

I'm sure there are lots of opinions on this and I would love to hear them!  When did you teach your children about the birds and the bees?  And what determines when a child is too old to bathe with their parent? 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Safe Journey

Tomorrow my mum will hop on the plane and be off home to the beautiful Barbados.  Though I'm happy for her I can't help but feel sad for myself.  Mothers are always so vital and though not everyone has one, I'm blessed to have one who is supportive and helpful despite her issues.  

So now that she's off again, who is going to stay up with me and play scrabble when the kids have gone to bed?  Who's going to give me a break from cooking the evening meal or hoovering the living room and moping the floors?  Who's going to babysit so I can have a night or day out with the girls?  Who's going to encourage me to shop in Lidl rather than Sainsbury's? Who is going to smile with me when Daniel says a new word or new sentence and attribute it to their teaching power?  Who is going to back me up when I have to get the pre-teen princess to do things? And who is going to drive me bonkers with there constant moaning and need for reassurance? 

On second thoughts I'm sure my best mate Gen will be happy to provide the moaning!

Safe Journey Mum, love you lots xxx

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Now or Never!

When you are loving parents your children mean the world to you so anything that poses a challenge to their well being is always a concern.  

As adults the majority of us desire someone to share our lives with and when you are a single mother meeting that 'special someone,' is never easy so deciding when it's the right time to introduce them to your child/ren is almost impossible.  To read my guest article on when is the right time to introduce a new partner go over to Wriggly Rascals, you could also share your experiences by filling in their survey and helping other single mums... See You there x

Monday, 19 November 2012

Love and loss

Last night as the children went to sleep and I listened to some chill out music and started to evaluate some elements of my life.  I thought about how long it took me to get to know myself and how I’m still getting to know myself.  It may sound strange that at 31 and still getting to know who I am but I've always been one of those people who looks at themselves through another’s eyes. 

As a child I valued myself by what my parents thought of me, especially my dad.  My dad never really spoke much about feelings so it was more my perception of how he felt about me.  I knew my mum would be proud of me no matter what, but with my dad it was different.  I knew he liked sport so I threw myself into Physical Education and I was good, I often placed well in athletics and ran for my school in local competitions and for a while this made my dad proud.  That was until I met up with a local football player and although I wasn't interested in him at first, his skill on the pitch and his friendly nature managed to win my heart and that caused me not to try so hard to make my dad proud.  It then became about pleasing my guy.

I lost myself in that relationship and that guy became my world, and I his.  I fell pregnant and although my dad and I lived in the same home he stopped speaking to me, I was crushed.  In my dad’s eyes because I had gotten pregnant I would never get any qualifications and would therefore be a failure.  I can never look down on those ’16 and pregnant’ girls because I've been there.  I spent hours in labor and Campbell as I called my then boyfriend was there with me every second, he even fulfilled my drug endorsed request for him to MC (rap) for me.  I gave birth to our baby girl too soon, she left us at 21 weeks and 3 days gestation.  

She was a perfectly formed tiny beauty and we felt that automatic love despite knowing she would never leave the hospital.  We were both young; we received no counselling, no advice, no help, all we were left with were pictures, pain and depression and each other.  Though neither of us knew it at the time our inability to cope with our loss would eventually lead to the end of our romantic relationship, though we still remain friends to this day.  

My dad did start talking to me again but he had lost faith in me.

After that relationship I became a serial monogamist and had two beautiful children but I was only ever single for a maximum of a few months.  That was until now.  I've spent two years getting to know the me that doesn't look at herself through the eyes of someone else but evaluates her strengths and weaknesses through her own eyes.  I still value other people’s opinion of me but I have learnt to value my opinion of me above all else... I think you call it self worth.  One of the things I most value about myself is that I may not always get things right but I take responsibility for my actions and try hard to improve where I've gone wrong.  I try to stay positive even in hard times when depression threatens to take over, and if nothing else I’m a good mother who tries to put my children first.

Saying goodbye hold services for remembering those babies that were lost, no matter how short their lives.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Kissy, Kissy, Kissy

I don't know how this happened but it seems that Daniel has entered the terrible twos way ahead of schedule.  He has a mini tantrum any time he doesn't get his own way, if he brings you a book and you ask him to wait a minute he throws the book on the ground (or at you) and starts crying.  He has also gotten into the delightful habit of running away as soon as you ask to change his nappy.  And my oh so clever son seems to enjoy inflicting pain on himself, headbutting the table seems to be a favourite... what normal child does that?  Not only that but I am a complete failure when it comes to getting him to eat anything.  

We have gone through so many food phases, from not eating anything, then avoiding certain textures, then eating everything until now we are back at not eating anything except rice.  I've tried good nutritious home cooked meals whole, blended, boiled, mashed, baby food in packets, oven food but to no avail.  

I know it's my own fault for breast feeding so long but I'm finding it difficult to get him off.  He does drink a little cows milk but whenever he is tired or upset he wants breast and if he doesn't get it he cries and screams cause he knows mummy is a pushover and hates to see him upset.  If crying and screaming doesn't work he then resorts to slapping or headbutting!  

He goes from 11pm until 6am without it and was sleeping through until recently.  He has started waking up at three in the morning asking for a feed and although he goes back to sleep without it the break in my sleep is totally frustrating.  I know I can't be the only one with this problem.  I know the solution is probably just to stand my ground but who can say no to this face?

On a positive note he is soooo clever he can now 'read' (by read I mean recognise the pictures) most of the words in his first words books and even the ones he doesn't know if you say them first he can repeat them with brilliant clarity.  He has ways of getting you to understand exactly what he wants for example if he wants you to read Calm Down Boris by Sam Lloyd (lovely book) he says kissy kissy kissy.  He walks around the house with a broom or cloth and tells you he's cleaning and he even likes to put the teabag and sugar into a cup to make mummy 'cuptea' as he calls it.  He loves music and will dance to anything!

Although he can be a little gremlin he is also an absolute joy.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Smoking Cars and Pebble Beaches

This is my 100th post and as such I have to make it a good one.  Now there are many ways I could do that; I could tell you all my biggest secret, I could launch a prize giveaway or I could post a picture of me totally nude (don't worry I wouldn't want to give anyone nightmares!)  but what I've decided to do is be extremely selfish and tell you all about my first car to try and win an iphone from Carcraft though I'd much rather be trying to win a car!  So here goes! 

My first car was a Vauxhall Astra but not the nicely shaped fancy type with power steering no I had passed my driving test and waited ages to get this...

Well not this actual car I couldn't find a picture of old bob, as I had chosen to name him which was the shortened version of Bobby, a boy who I had a crush on as a child.  Bob was green and a bit bashed all over but he was cheap, a bargain at just £250.

I had many an adventure in this little car. I was a practicing christian when I brought him so the fact that his licence was ****DGO (anagram for GOD or DOG as my mother so kindly pointed out) was a sign that I was meant to have him.  

I was a spur of the moment type of person back then and I woke up one morning and decided that I would take bob on the motorway.  It was my first time doing motorway driving and I was very nervous, especially as I had precious cargo in the back in the form of my daughter.  I packed my best male friend in the passenger seat (who better to drive with than an arrogant man on your first motorway journey) and off we went to Brighton.

Before we even got on the motorway Bob decided to have a fag break a bit like this but thankfully without the flames

FAIL, drivers ed 101 I had forgotten to do all the necessary checks and Bob had run dry, luckily for us Bob was a fighter and when we pulled into the petrol station gave him a break, a quick drink of water and some air, he was ready to roll and we arrived at the beach in record time.  

We had a brilliant day and thanks to Bob got there and back safely.  You never forget your first Bob :)

And though I'd much rather win than let anyone else win I suppose I'd better tell you that you could win yourself a iphone 5 by heading over to carcraft and writing your own first car post, good luck!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sauntering, swagger and a tantrum

My 8 year old godson says to me today, Aunty when I came to the door I was thinking of sauntering into the room.  If you know my godson you will know that sauntering into the room is the last thing he was going to do.  He has calmed down a lot since he was younger but sauntering is still not a word I would associate with him.  When asked what sauntering means his response was, "Walking somewhere but you have to do something and it's like you have a swagger."  Goodness knows what they are teaching in his school!  You can't help but love this little man, he is always full of complements for the ladies and generally does as he is asked.

I don't understand how some parents don't recognise how special their children are.  Some start off so well with all the right intentions towards their child and partner but when the relationship with the partner breaks down the children become a thing of their past rather than a consistent part of their future.  I don't blame the men all the time though sometimes women are completely to blame for the fragmented relationships that their children have with their fathers.  Some women have the tendency to try to punish the fathers for leaving them when the fact remains they left them and not their children.

Saying that some men are complete and utter assholes and some children are lucky not to have them in their lives.  My godson used to get upset that he doesn't see his dad often but now he's so used to it that when his mum asks him if he wants her to ask his dad to come and watch his school plays etc, he replies, "Don't worry he won't turn up anyway."

And below is what he has to put up with instead...