What I’ve learnt so far

I’m aware it’s been a while since my last post.  And truth be told it’s because I’ve not had a minute spare.  Who knew babies didn’t raise themselves? A puppy would be fetching me the paper and peeing outdoors by now.

So in the 3 minutes I have spare I thought I would do a nice easy post on what I’ve learnt so far.  A bit of a chronicle covering the last 10 months.  We all know the obvious points, so today I’ve done a bit of an alternative list:

 

BABY TOYS ARE INFURIATING

I can spend an hour playing with Maddie and one of her toys that sings and talks and by the end I could quite easily push sharply pointed items into my ears.  Even hours later I’m humming tunes about the alphabet and noises a cow makes!

BABY POO IS SMELLY

People always told me changing nappies is fine when it’s your own baby.  That it’s not actually that disgusting getting a nugget of poo on the end of your finger.  And do you know what? I agree.  However, the smell, my god the smell is bad.  Surely my darling little girl should not be able to produce a smell that causes dry heaving in a grown adult, but she does.  I would have imagined that your own baby’s poo would be a bit like your own fart.  An acquired smell that is not particularly unpleasant but that is definitely not the case.

KIDS TV IS AWESOME

Yeah I said it.  I can’t count the number of time Maddie has fell asleep on me and I have been sat glued to the box watching PJ Masks a good hour later.  Vampirina is another one.  And Super Wings is possibly the greatest show ever made.  Each week we fly to a different country and learn all about it whilst solving a problem.  I even have it on series link!

THEY GROW SO FAST

It’s such a cliché but it’s so true.  The best way I can explain it is that each period goes so fast, and babies have hundreds.  So one minute Maddie was sitting, the next crawling.  She was on bottles and now eats solids.  It feels like no sooner have they entered a phase of growth they are onto the next.  And at every stage I have said I wish she would stay like this, only to go on to the next and be even more blown away by how amazing she is and how much I love her.

WE’RE NEVER ON TIME

I really pride myself on never having been late for work, or meeting friends.  If you’re not five minutes early you are late in my book.  Maddie’s Mummy isn’t necessarily the most time conscious person, but add in a 10 month old and we’re lucky to make it anywhere on time.  No matter how smug you are feeling leaving the house with minutes to spare I can guarantee Maddie will have a crap that will go all up her back and need a top to toe scrub to clean up, meaning we are once again pointing at her whilst mouthing sorry to friends we are meeting.

I HAVE NO TIME…FOR ANYTHING…EVER

Not an exaggeration.  I really mean this.  Between work and taking care of Maddie I am left with the option of me time or sleep.  And because I’m not a robot I sleep.  Now I’m sure everyone else feels the same and they manage, but it’s my blog and I will complain if I want to.  Not that I’m actually complaining of course.  I love time with her and enjoy every minute we have together.  I just don’t think people realise how much time babies actually take up.

I WOULD NOT CHANGE ANY OF IT

It’s all worth it.  Especially when she learnt to clap, or pulled herself to standing, or tries to say Daddy.  When she snoozes on me during kids tv, that moment is the happiest I will be for the day.  And whilst we may run late through changing a smelly nappy, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.  It’s just more time together as a family.  And spending time together is the most important thing I’ve found.

 

Have you any alternative points people should know about?  Why not let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

New Parent New Car

As we all know the costs of having kids is astronomical.  And I don’t mean in the buying millions of nappies sense.  There are unforeseen costs that a life time’s worth of baby wipes can’t compare to.

I found this out recently when our large German Saloon (rhymes with shmaudi) just couldn’t cut it in the boot department.  This is a car designed for family use, with a frankly massive boot.  However, being a saloon renders most of the space useless.  Have you tried putting both parts of a pram in a saloon?  You have to drop the first part in, shove it to the back then drop the second part in, leaving absolutely no room for your baby bag, bottles or any essentials you may need with an infant.  Going food shopping?  Forget it!

Now we also owned a French hatchback (rhymes with ….erm…well it was a Renault) but the boot in that was quite miserable and no real use either.  So what to do?  We obviously needed a bigger car and had to replace one we owned, but which one?

We couldn’t get rid of the German car.  The neighbour’s curtains would be twitching if we downgraded, so the French car had to kick the bucket.

But what to replace it with?  Initially one of those sporty SUV’s seemed a great choice.  You know the type, looks like an off roader but the only difficult terrain it sees is going over speed bumps on the school run.  But have you seen the boot space in them?  Very disappointing, all show and no go.

With only having one child so far I couldn’t resign myself to a people carrier, so I narrowed it down to an estate car.  I would benefit from a massive boot and… well not much else, but at least it’s not a Dad bus.

I had a good look at what was out there.  I discounted another German car, I didn’t want the neighbours thinking I’m showing off having two, (and I could barely afford the first one) and the usual suspects from Ford and Vauxhall left me bored.  Then I saw a Japanese estate.  It had loads of space and a huge boot, all the toys and driver aids and it looked great.

I went over to the sales man… only kidding, he had pounced on me the second I walked in, and requested a test drive, to which he readily agreed.  I explained it was needed as a family car so could we test it accordingly? Again, yes, not a problem.  Could I fit the car seat?  Of course!  Could I shove crisps down all the seats and smear ice cream on the windows, NO!  Could he repeatedly kick the back of my chair on the test drive whilst shouting “I’m boooorreeed”?  Definitely no!

Begrudgingly I went on the so called test drive and was pleasantly surprised.  You wouldn’t know it was a big family estate, unless you looked back into the cavernous space behind you, or tried to park it.

Speaking of parking.  I can honestly say I have never before felt the sheer rage that I feel when I see some selfish wanker, I mean other person using a baby and mother space when they clearly are child free at that time.  No Doris, I don’t believe you when you say you’re picking up your kid from Marks and Spencer.  Yes I see you have a car seat, but you are 80 years old and a lying bitch!

Now I apologise for that outburst but that actually did happen to me.   I have also been told to park in a disabled bay, no thanks, I don’t want a fine and I’m not a tosser.  I can feel the tension rising as I pull into any car park where there are designated child bays.  I never used them when we didn’t have a child and I wouldn’t use one if Maddie wasn’t with me.  I don’t think people realise how much space and effort it takes to get a baby in and out of a car.  Doors are swung all the way open, prams are assembled in the middle of the road then chased after as they roll away.  All this simply cannot be done in a regular bay.

And you should see the show I put on as I return to the car.  Once Maddie is in and the pram is away I fear the head shaking from people waiting who can’t see I am with child!  So I make a grand gesture of opening the door again to check on Maddie and show the world I am not a bay stealing moron and that there is a child on board.  But I don’t know why I bother because nine times out of ten as I pass the waiting car they don’t even have a bloody kid!

Anyway, rant over and back to the car, which was great, so I bought it.  And life is now so much easier.  We can even fit the dog in the boot alongside the pram and any shopping we buy.

So to anyone expecting their first, I would highly recommend considering your car choice.  A large car is by no means essential.  We have friends who get by with tiny cars, but it does make life so much easier.

 

 

Did you have to buy a new car after having kids?  Do you get parking bay rage?  Drop us a comment below!  Safe driving!

The Sunshine Bloggers Award

I have been nominated for an award!  Well, sort of…

Let me explain.  The Sunshine Bloggers Award is….actually I have no idea to be honest.  I couldn’t tell you where it came from or who started it, and I’ve no idea if anyone has actually ever won.

What I do know is that the very funny Eric Olson over at:

http://themodernfather.com

nominated me and after seeing his questions I thought it would be fun to answer.

I have answered 11 questions.  I will then write 11 questions and nominate 11 other bloggers to answer my questions.  They then write 11 questions….well you get the drift.

So here goes:

1. What have your kids done to embarrass you this week?

Fortunately Maddie is only just approaching eight months old so is rubbish at trying to embarrass me.

2. Did you embarrass them back? If not, why?

Again because of her age it’s difficult.  However, I am playing the long game.  I regularly take photos of her in compromising positions, such as midway through shitting in the bath and then happily tell her I will show these photos at her wedding!  She smiles back at me so I’m not sure she is that bothered to be honest.

3. Who’s the reason you got a call from school about something your kid said: You or your partner?

No answer for this one.  Maddie is not at nursery yet.  But to pre-empt the call I am going to say that it will no doubt be my fault.  I’m currently in the dog house (I kid you not) for something I did in Maddie’s Mummys dream last night.  So either way its going to be my fault

4. What about parenting is still a problem for you? Having kids is not an acceptable answer.

Great question!  Maddie is our first so this is all new to us.  I think we are plodding along well and generally using the motto ‘fake it ‘till you make it’.  I’m not sure I will know when we have ‘made it’ but so far so good.

I will say that that seeing her upset is a killer and I’m sure that will never stop for me.  A recent trip to the hospital due to her vomiting and having a rash that didn’t appear to fade when pressed really hit home how vulnerable she is,  and how there is literally nothing in the world I would not do to help that little girl.

5. What advice did your own father or father-figure give that was useful?

My Dad always used to say ‘it won’t hurt’, and I always believed him.  Injections, trips to the dentist or having my arm re-set when broken were all met with the same ‘I promise it won’t hurt, you will be fine’.  So in some respects that was useful as I always went fuss free to whatever trauma awaited.  I like to think I will continue this stoic attitude with Maddie so she is brave when she needs to be

6. What was completely useless?

See above.  It always bloody hurt!

7. What personality trait of yours do you not look forward to seeing in your kids?

I can be quite flaky.  I often passionately jump head first into things…learning the guitar…learning the drums…triathlons, but once I get all the gear and begin I quickly find another focus and desperately fall head first into that.

I hope Maddie inherits my passion for things, but not my habit of jumping from hobby to hobby

8. What craft/artwork have your kids done that you were impressed by? Anything that made you suggest engineering?

She did the most amazing Easter chick painting for me at one of her Mummy and Baby group.

9. What was the last toy you stepped on, and where did you bury it?

I always said I would not be one of those parents who let their kids leave their toys all over the house.  It was going to be one toy out at a time.  Want another one?  Put the first one back.

However, I am currently typing this whilst looking at seven cuddy toys and teething toys, a baby walker, a jumperroo and Maddie fast asleep on the floor in a huge pile of sofa cushions.  I feel I have failed at the first step!

So it’s not really a case of stepping on a toy, more having to wade through them to go anywhere, whilst trying not to wake a baby that took two hours to fall asleep.

10. What was the most recent request from your partner or kids that you agreed to then immediately regretted?

That ones easy!  Nappy change.

Maddie’s Mummy: Can you change her nappy whilst I do (insert anything here)

Me: Of course!

Me: Oh my God.  It’s like she has done a Poonami in her nappy!

Maddie’s Mummy: Welcome to my world.

11. Why did you agree to answer any of these questions?

To be honest I read the word Award. And let’s face it; we would all do anything for some praise!

Seriously though, it was a pleasure to be nominated to answer the questions.  The parenting blogging community have been very welcoming and I already feel a part of it.  Hopefully someone will read this post, smile, and then carry this Sunshine award tradition on.

So I have answered my questions,  below are the questions for my nominees!

  1. What were some of the names you or your partner wanted to use for your child but that got vetoed straight away?
  2. What have you bought, child related that was the biggest waste of money?
  3. And what was your best purchase?
  4. What was your kids first word?
  5. Do you already have a profession in mind for you kids?
  6. What’s your favourite kids TV show?
  7. Favourite place for a family day out?
  8. Do you have a nickname for you little one?
  9. Do you plan on having any more children?
  10. What made you start a blog?
  11. How do you think your kids would feel about your blog when they are old enough to read it?

 

Follow along with The Sunshine Blogger Awards on Twitter to see who I nominated!

 

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any good answers to any of the questions on his post.

C-Section awareness month – Our story

April is International Caesarean awareness Month, so with that in mind I would like to be somewhat serious and let you all in on the events of Maddie’s Mummy having a C-Section.

There are several reasons for having a C-Section, but in our case it was due to Maddie being in a breech position, meaning her feet were pointing towards the, erm…exit!

We were offered a procedure called an External Cephalic Version (ECV) which involves a Doctor applying pressure to the tummy area in an attempt to turn the baby.  Surprisingly the decision whether or not to go ahead with this was a difficult one.

Maddie’s Mummy, for reasons neither I nor any man can ever understand wanted a natural birth.  So the old pushing a bowling ball out of the, erm…exit scenario.  This made the ECV a natural choice.  But we were terrified of the procedure for some reason.  The Doctor assured us she would try gently and if it was not working she would not force it.  However the thought that this could pose any sort of risk to Maddie left us in a dilemma.

Ultimately Maddie’s Mummy wanted a natural birth, and the Doctor was of the view that if she could she should.  So we went for the ECV.  And it didn’t work.  Maddie’s Mummy was upset as she had always envisaged a natural birth.  Me being a typical Man did not see the sorrow she had and happily proclaimed that this was great news!

No painful birth, no painfully long labour and the fact that we could effectively chose the time and date of the birth seemed a no brainer.  Not to mention no awkward jokey request by me for an extra stitch.

What I failed to realise was how scary it was for Maddie’s Mummy.  She would be taken in for major surgery that carried risks to both her and the baby.   Also, the recovery.  My God the recovery!  It felt like for ever before Maddie’s Mummy was back fighting fit.  From being in agony every time she moved in the first couple of days, to struggling off the sofa, to walking and eventually doing exercise and living as before probably took about four months.

And after it all…well we were left with an awesome little girl and a scar on Maddie’s Mummy’s tummy that is already fading.

So any Dads reading this: don’t be shocked if your better half actually wants to go through labour.  And if a C-Section is on the cards, be supportive and plan ahead for the fact that she won’t be able to do as much as she did for a while.

And for the love of God don’t ask for an extra stitch.  Maddies Mummy has just read this and called me a childish moron, but I was too busy playing with Lego to care.

And for the Mummys….I can’t say I understand why a natural birth is preferable to you, but I know my wife and as devastated as she was we know we did everything we could and at each stage to put the baby first.

 

AND NOW IN A MADDIE AND DADDY FIRST WE WILL BE HEARING FROM MADDIES MUMMY:

A first?!?  I’m sure this is only Maddie’s Daddy’s second blog post!  Anyway, I’m not a big writer so I will try to keep this short and sweet.  One thing that drives me mad is hearing people saying that having a caesarean section is taking the easy way out or that people have a caesarean because they’re too posh to push.  Well I for one am definitely not too posh to push.

Hearing the news at 36 weeks that it was unlikely I would have a natural labour was devastating to me.  I cried for days after because I felt that the experience of giving birth had been taken away from me, and I was a failure.  I cannot explain why, given the whole bowling ball analogy but it is just something most of us mummies to be are desperate for.  After a couple of sad days I began to accept that having a caesarean section was the safest thing for Maddie and that, although it was a very scary thought for me, Maddie’s safety would always come first.

I spent a lot of time researching it and spoke to many other Mummies who had had to have a C-Section.  I was surprised at how common it was and loved how supportive other C-Section Mummies were, sharing their stories and reassuring me.

Surgery was as to be expected.  Scary going in but all went well.  The NHS was great and I was very happy with my experience.

Recovery was tough but made all the better having Maddie to show for it, plus she kept us very busy in the early days which meant I didn’t really have time to think about it.  For anyone saying a C-Section is the easy way out, I challenge them to feel the pain of having to get up and try to go for a pee just hours after surgery!

Maddie’s Daddy is making a meal out of how long I took to recover because he had to do all the chores, cooking and cleaning and there was no way I was going to miss out on that so I may have played on it just a little!  I was up and about after a week, and although I was in pain it was manageable and I was able to go for a short walk.  Five weeks later I was driving and attending baby classes and things rapidly improved from there.

To all the Mummies going in for a C-Section don’t be scared, and please don’t feel like a failure like I did initially, I realise now how wrong I was.  No matter how it arrives, the baby is always the number one priority and we should all support each other no matter how the baby comes.

 

 

If anyone has any comments or questions for either of us please leave a comment below

 

Further info at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/caesarean-section/