A whole year has gone by…

Today would’ve been the baby’s birthday, had the hospital not changed their mind about my lovely, calm planned section. If they’d listened and understood so much of last year would’ve been so different.

But would I be the person I am now? I truly believe that the things you go through only serve to make you stronger. I keep thinking of the hug my mum gave me two days after he was born, on the landing outside the bathroom as I cried like my heart was breaking. She told me I would get through this and I didn’t think I would- but I did. I am. 

What makes a person able to go right to the brink of all that is precious, stare over the edge of life and come back again, unscathed? What helps a person to forget the darkness they’ve glimpsed and the terror of a life that was nearly placed before them? How does a person move on through the days when they’ve seen a glimpse of a different world, a world that was meant for them, if only for a brief moment or two? I know.

My baby. When he smiles, when he laughs, when he cries, when he kisses me, when he clings to my leg, when he reaches up to be held… when his chest moves gently with every breath he takes and I know that he’s here. After all, what happened that day happened for a reason, hospital errors or not. It happened so that I could be the person I am today.


Sticker charts, warnings and despair

Why don’t my children eat? Mealtimes are becoming a total battlground in our house and we now have a six year old and a one year old who refuse to take pleasure in sitting down to a family meal.

For the little one, there are days when he’ll start to scream as soon as the bowl comes out of the cupboard. His little face screws up and turns scarlet and he starts to writhe and wriggle, wanting to break free from the restraints of his highchair. There are certain, fail-safe foods that he’ll tolerate on days like these, but they change all the time. They used to be porridge or weetabix. Just lately, it’s bananas or nothing, the little monkey.

The big one seems to be regressing- once an adeqate eater, we are now resorting to sticker charts and bribery (no pudding, no television, no party bag at your brother’s party…) just to get her to eat a meal. She’s looking thin to me but then what do I know?

Isn’t it my job, as mother,( carer, social worker, teacher, friend, enemy) to feed, to nourish and to fret over my children? Isn’t it my duty to make three different meals per person per meal, in the hope that I might stumble upon something they deem palatable? Isn’t it my duty to spend valuable time each day planning the evening’s meal and more time later cooking it?

Well, no, actually. I start to lose patience for a few reasons these days. Being back at work, teaching children with little or no manners and behaviour issues, I’m a little tired of reward charts and positive praise by the time it comes to dinner time. Excuse me if I don’t feel like cajoling and persuading- I only have an hour before the bath needs running and tired children need their beds. So, I suppose I give in. Because making three different meals with a small child clinging to my leg, pulling my tights down and whinging (not to mention the six year old already moannig about her meal and bargaining with me to let her have macaroni cheese for the third night in a row) IS NOT EASY!!

So, tonight the little one had a breadstick, a banana and a bowl of weetabix. The big one had some cheese sauce, a bite of ham and a banana. WE had a lovely joint of ham cooked in the slow cooker with cheese sauce, veg and mashed potato. YUM.

I’ll start the sticker charts tomorrow. After all, as a teacher I know that they work. I guess I just wanted an easy night tonight- I am human, after all.

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Grrr. I used to love snow: the excitement of waking to an unmistakeable muffled sound; the prospect of either being snowed in or having the heating broken down at school; building snowmen until your fingers freeze and you’re beckoned inside for hot orange squash… yum.

Last year spoiled all of that, unfortunately. The night I went into labour with my son, it started to frost up and I remember watchingt the road sparkle in the early hours as we travelled to the hospital. Lovely. Four days after he was born, the snow fell and from that moment my son and Iwere prisoners. Having had a section, I was unable to walk comfortably and so pushing the pram was impossible anyway and using the sling was not an option. I couldn’t drive, so… the baby blues had a grip on me like a vice.

So, forgive me if the snow this year doesn’t quite tickle my fancy like it used to. When it appeared this week, there was hardly enough to snow me in and prevent me going to school (this time to work, not learn!) and so it just lay there, thinly spread and useless. Until…

Until I fell. OUCH. I was carrying the baby in the sling, as I always do on the school run. More of a school slide on Tuesday though. I landed with a bang on the side of my hip and promptly burst into tears as soon as someone asked if I was ok. Luckily my baby was fine, I instinctively held him close as I fell, to protect him. I think this was the only reason I didn’t break my arm.

Today, I am the walking wounded. I have massive swelling to my upper leg, a bruise the size of a watermelon and pain to my shoulders, back and pelvis. Like I said, OUCH.

So I’ve fallen out with the beautiful white stuff that has been falling steadily today, turning my road into a winter wonderland and keeping us all inside today. Unless… my baby keeps saying ‘wassat?’ and pointing with a big smile; unless… my daughter keeps excitedly announcing ‘IT’S SNOWING!!’ whilst jumping up and down… unless I just cheer up a little and accpept it.

IT’S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!

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Someone pass the matchsticks


That’s a little bit better.

My son isn’t sleeping. Again. I think he slept through for about two months, during which time we stupidly breathed a huge sigh of relief and congratulated ourselves on at last having a ‘good sleeper’. How wrong we were. Since I started back at work, the amount of sleep we’ve been getting has been getting less and less and this weekend we were back to newborn status once more. Blurgh.

It only occurred to me on Saturday night, around 3am, that I was sat in the exact same place at the exact same time on the exact same day in 2009. I’d been to my sister in law’s for dinner and had spent all night in the bathroom throwing up (no relation to her lovely cooking, I’m sure). I’d gone downstairs with pains I mistook for contractions and was absolutely convinced I was in labour. So, like any terrified mum-to-be, I turned on the lap top to chat to my fellow mums-to-be and some mums-already that were up feeding their treasures. We comiserated about the vomiting and eventually decided maybe I wasn’t in labour… so I watched TV until the morning, unable to rest my head unless I fancied lying in a pool of sick…

I’m digressing. The point is, this time last year I was awake and exhausted, with my baby tucked safely inisde me. How ironic that I was to be up again 365 days later with that same boy, this time lying on me snoring softly! Did I mention that last year I ended up aptly watching a programme about babies who don’t sleep? This year it was the fabulous I didn’t know I was pregnant and Your kid ate what?!

Despite the exhaustion, the tears derived from lack of sleep and the huge HUGE circles under my eyes, it was slightly amazing being up with my boy on Saturday. Admittedly, being up again two hours later wasn’t quite so amzazing, but still… it was just us two. Soon he’ll be 18 and maybe only just rolling in the door at that time- who knows? I guess I’m going to have to make the most of these days.

In the meantime, do matches actually work?

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