> Mushypea, Sprout et al: July 2012

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The beginning of the lasts

This time next week Munch will have his first settling in session at the nursery that we have chosen for him.  He starts exactly two weeks before my first day back at work; partly for him to get used to his new surroundings and new faces but mostly for me to adjust to being without him.  I am not looking forward to going back and I wrote about my feelings here.

This is my final full week with our dear, beautiful boy until our break in September and as luck would have it, it is this week that our bathroom is being done so we are stuck indoors!  Bah.  Our weekly routine of seeing all grandparents comes to an end as does the time he spends with his cousin.  We are about to deal a real blow to not just ourselves but to those around us too.  We have been in our current routine since the start of the year so we will all have been used to our comings and goings for a full seven months.

The grandparents have watched him grow and develop on a weekly basis; how we are going to fit visits in around us both working, running the house and family time we have not a clue.  How do we strike the balance and keep everyone happy?  The going to work and running a house has me scratching my head in wonder before I've even gone back yet!  In these seven months he has gotten to know his cousin and she him.  The jealous behaviour that we saw at first has been replaced with excitement and happiness when they see one another; the developing of this relationship I will work hard to maintain.  As a child I never got to know my many cousins; they lived on an entirely different continent which hampers things a little,  and so it has made me want to create a close bond between our son and his cousin.  I feel it part of our responsibility to forge the family relationship in these early years; our children can only have such relationships when us as parents work at making the effort and making time for them I believe.

Our weekly baby sensory group stops too.  I have watched him go from being the youngest to now being one of the older members and the time has come to move into the preschool group.  He has gone from being a babe in arms and having to be taken to the quiet area when he became overstimulated, to a mobile baby who is off exploring everything including the younger babies.  I will miss this group very much.  There are three of us Mums and there are but three weeks between our children; we have shared our experiences and watched as the boys interact evermore week on week.  Munch and I will be moving to the preschool group which fits in with my work schedule; they will be going to a different group - will our paths cross again?

Swimming has come to an end just as the little man was getting used to being in the water on his back.  Sprout and I have decided that we will go to the local pool as a family instead.  We will return to lessons once Munch is a little older and understands instructions but for now we want to keep him water confident at the very least. 

We have many lasts this week and are about to experience a raft of new beginnings.  There is trepidation as with any change but there is an air of excitement that exists too; as time ticks by there is a sadness as I say goodbye to this life which has given us both so much comfort,  Munch and I have had an idyllic seven months but we move forwards to pastures new of sorts.  Are we ready?  There are many, many firsts coming our way; we just need to remember to note them all down!

Monday, 23 July 2012


This week Munch will be ten months old; he has now spent more time with us than he spent in the womb, fancy that.  These past few weeks we have been subject to the ever increasing sounds that he adds to his babble and we listen as he starts to string them together.  Munch chatters non-stop; just like his Mum according to his Dad.  *scoffs*

As soon as that first bleary eyed morning feed is out the way Munch and I lie with our heads on the pillow, look at one another and the talking begins.  These first few minutes of our day make me smile no matter how tired my body tells me it feels.  He will adjust his head on said pillow until he is comfy; this in itself makes me want to squeeze him forever and then he tells me about his night.  I ask him questions, he babbles away in the pauses and we carry on talking.  Yes, I know I'm really talking to myself as I have no idea what he is babbling about, but we continue until he starts letting me know that it's time for breakfast.

When Munch is hungry you will find he goes silent, but only until the edge has been taken off.  Then he babbles looking at his food; looking at us and generally talks and talks and talks.  This past week he has been watching our lips more intently and has started to mimic sounds/words.  It started with Grandma clapping her hands and saying, "Yay, yay, yay."  She finished and in the next moment Munch repeated it.  He has never been one to copy anything we do, not even sticking out his tongue in days gone by so it has come as a bit of a surprise.  I can say "Hi" and he will do the same.  Sprout and I have been careful in what we say around him but with this mimicry we need to be even more aware of ourselves.  We don't particularly want his first word to be 'freak' now do we?  We are always calling each other freaks in a loving way of course but even so.

Posing for the camera
When we point a camera or our phones in his direction and call his name, he now looks straight into the lens and holds his pose for a few seconds to allow us to take his picture.  Munch is understanding more and more.  The rate at which he demonstrates this understanding is scary indeed! The other night I balanced a toy on Munch's head and asked him not to move so that it wouldn't fall off.  The concentration on his face was impressive.  It was the first time I'd told him not to move yet somehow he seemed to understand.  We did it again, and again he held still.  Now who taught him to do that????  Sprout and I were very confused as to where he got it from and I'll bet it won't be the last thing he'll pick up from someone or somewhere.  We went to a soft play centre recently and there was a little girl shrieking, he watched with interest and when she stopped he started shrieking in response.

So, we are now in this exciting place in his development where we are acutely aware of everything that he comes into contact with, all the more so as he is starting to show an understanding too.  We may walk past each other and give an affection grope of the bottom but I don't want Munch doing that to someone at nursery when he starts there do I?  It's not that we weren't aware previously but with his imitating others things get more complicated don't they?

Did your son/daughter mimic something where you wanted the ground to swallow you up?  Did they come home one day and do something that made you wonder who taught you that


Friday, 20 July 2012

50 shades of ....

In the distance she heard a murmur.  She listened in earnest with her eyes still closed and heard no more.  A swift movement next to her and the chill of cold air made the skin pucker on her legs with the sensation.  The electric current danced its way up her spine and with eyes still closed she nestled further into the warmth that she knew was awaiting her.  She had missed the warmth and had forgotten its soothing caress; she had wondered the feelings it would arouse as she reacquainted herself with it.  She bid it a loving embrace and she adjusted to a more comfortable position for the both of them.  If she opened her eyes now the moment would be lost and so she kept them firmly shut and allowed the warmth to wash over her and take her prisoner.

Sleep, how I have missed you ; )

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


I'm finding that attention is becoming a bone of contention.  I have a specific idea that I hold in my head as to what giving our son attention should be.  For me, it is undivided and given to him without question but from comments that have been passed I wonder if I am getting it wrong. 

"He's very clingy", "He'll find it hard at nursery", "You haven't left him with others enough" .... there are plenty more and you know what?  It makes my blood boil.  Do I rise up to those that say these things to me?  No.  I am at that point where I feel that it is pointless me responding as it only unleashes more hurtful comments which makes me feel utterly helpless, useless and rubbish.

Our son craves more and more play that involves interaction; he is happy to play on his own for a while but is going through that phase where he likes to know we are there and no, that does not mean he is permanently attached to my body!  Why is his natural development not taken as such?  If I had spent nearing ten months in the company of one other person for 99% of that time I wouldn't doubt that I would behave the same.  He adapts to new situations as we all do; he will do it far better as he has no preconceived ideas or notions that we as adults have.  Do I find it strange that he takes time to warm to strangers?  Not at all.  I personally prefer him to be cautious and take his time to get used to new people; I don't treat people I've just met as though we're long lost friends so why should Munch?

Have I pandered to his needs too much?  If he has wanted a cuddle I have given it, when he has been upset I have consoled him, whatever he has needed I have delivered without question.  In making sure he has gotten my undivided attention I thought I was laying the foundations of emotional stability, trust and the confidence to make those independent explorations of the world. 

So why do I get made to feel as though I have given too much?  Why do I get made to feel that I have done wrong by giving him all the attention I have?  Is there such a thing as too much attention?  And why, oh why is this parenting malarkey such a minefield?  I am giving our son what I believe will give him the best start in life, if I am doing him harm through all the attention I shower on him then I'm not sure I understand what being a parent means to some.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The 9 to 5

If there was ever a time I wished my old job was a 9 to 5 one,  it is now.  Before Munch and Sprout,  I was very career driven; my work gave me a focus away from a life that I was not happy living in.  I had made my way onto this, that and the other committee and was making a difference.  In short, I loved my job.

As I sit and write this post, I am faced with four weeks before my phasing back to full-time work begins.  The realisation that I really will be going back has finally hit me and I am trying hard not to panic and keep upbeat.  I look at Munch and know in my heart that he is now craving the interaction of other children.  I see it in his beautiful face every time there are children in our vicinity.  He is ready to become a little more independent and make his first steps into the big wide world of others.  I do not think I am wrong when I say I think he will adapt to the changes better than I.  I spent a morning sorting things out for my return to work and it all felt wrong within thirty minutes.  I have missed being me yet it was alien and didn't quite sit right on my shoulders.  I didn't think it would be that way.  I had convinced myself I would easily switch back to the old me in work mode but I have changed.

I look forward to adult conversation and the oiling of the cogs in my brain.  I'm not looking forward to the long hours which will result in the time I get to spend with our son being an hour a day if I'm lucky.  Actually, the thought of it fills me with dread and makes me want to run and hide.  I was hoping that I would be able to not work weekends; alas that was a dream.  The offer is alternate Saturdays and I will get an additional day off in the week.  OK, not so bad but that doesn't help me in my wanting to keep hold of precious family time - family as in the three of us, not just Munch and me.  To say I am disappointed is an understatement.  I am angry, very angry that my job does not afford me the family time I want us to have.

We will make it work somehow but I will be keeping an eye out for something that suits us better.  The work-life balance is not always easy to get right but our family is now my world and I am willing to forgo the work for a lot more life.*  Who'd have thought?

* Should we win the lottery in the mean time I will not hesitate to quit!  Should you wish to donate to my cause then let me know ; )

Monday, 9 July 2012

The beauty of Twitter

There we are on a Sunday evening and a question crops up regarding the little man.  He is our first; this means we are flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to this parenting thing we find ourselves doing.  The question doesn't warrant A&E or a call to the on-call doctor but the worry, stress and panic builds.  Sprout and I differ in what and how we panic.  Calm I may be but once he starts it becomes infectious and I will head in the same direction shortly after.  I work hard to maintain a calm exterior as there really is no point having two headless chickens about the place.

Who can I ask and hopefully get some kind of answer?  Google was the first port of call; the answers were neither here nor there and didn't fill me with confidence.    How about Twitter?  In our time of needing information I turn to the group of people on my timeline and in less than 140 characters ask my question.  I wait somewhat impatiently and hope that someone responds.

Please?  If I can chat to someone in the very, very early hours of the morning then 8pm on a Sunday should be good right?  Three retweets later and replies start coming in.  This is what I love about Twitter.  Those that offered support and reassurance were kind and sincere in responding to the Mummy that was worrying.  One lovely lady even went so far as to look for an answer and send me a link; I felt overwhelmed at such generosity of spirit and I was truly touched.  The panic subsides as I read that what is happening to Munch is not a curiosity or something to worry unduly about.  I ask more probing questions as is my way and I come away with explanations and understanding.

To think, I joined Twitter at the start of the year as a way to keep myself from falling asleep during the night feeds.  In a mere seven months,  I have gotten to know a whole group of people; some from places I've never heard of; some that I may never meet face-to-face but I feel a sense of belonging and community that I've found has eluded me in my real life.  To each and everyone of you that I've had the pleasure to interact with on Twitter - thank you.  You have enriched my life in ways I never thought possible and I hope I return the kindness that you've all shown me.

For me, Twitter is a beautiful place which brings warmth and laughter amongst the tears and hardships we share.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


"The sound of muffled voices filled the dark silence.  She made her way to the bedroom door and found she was not the only one to have awoken.  The three of them exchanged that knowing look and crept to the top of the stairs.  The voices were clearer here and so they sat three abreast and listened as the shadows enveloped them.

There were moments of quiet mumblings that gradually built to a crescendo as those downstairs were in the midst of yet another argument fuelled by drink after a hard day.  It would start off happily enough with laughter but invariably ended in tears and an exchange of viscous words and, with any luck, only threats of violence.  She had grown to read the signs where the mood would change without warning and she took it as her cue to usher the other two out of harm's way.

The three of them sat there transfixed as those downstairs tried to calm the man down.  There was a desperation in their voices as they spoke their words.  The threats had started and the usual talk of smashing of faces began in earnest.  The three looked at each other with tears in their eyes and fear etched across their faces.  There was always the question of what could they do?  Nothing was the answer.  They were too young to do anything and only risked having the wrath turned in their direction.  She huddled them closer together and they whispered about dreams of leaving this place."

These are the demons that haunt me.  The helplessness at not being able to defend and protect those around me.  I now know that it was not my job but at the time I felt I had failed those younger than me.  I could only watch for the tells and steer them out of harm's way.  I had developed "a look" from young; the effect was immediate when I used it.  It was a warning and a pleading in one facial gesture that would last but a moment.

I often wonder when and how I will banish these demons from my life.  The scars run deep and my reactions conditioned.  It is the past that drives me to give my son a very different childhood; I hope one of innocence, play, fun and joy that comes with being a child.

Did you have demons too?  How did you come to leave them in your past?  Or did you learn to live with them?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Farewell my bosom buddies

How do I put this?  My boobage has never been on the small side.  Not that they're the size of watermelons or anything remotely similar either in case that is the vision you have in your head right now. *mutters perv under her breath*
I was 11 when mine appeared from nowhere and at that time there were only three of us in the entire junior school, excluding the teachers, that had them.  I went through puberty early - go me!  Really not as exciting as I thought when I came to realise that only meant I would have to endure the pain in the arse that is periods for a long time too.  I would walk around with my shoulders hunched so as not to draw attention to myself.  There is nothing quite as intimidating and frightening as having some old* man give you that leering look when you have a chest at that age.  I hated them until all the girls started getting theirs. *old - at that moment probably referred to anyone over the age of 16!

Once the boobage had done their developing it wasn't bad at all.  They were where they should be, pointing in the right direction and due to their projection made the rest of my body seem slim in comparison.  I mean who in their right mind would complain about something that made their waist look smaller?  Not me I tell you.  I was finally comfortable with them around 16.

They came into their own when I attended university; I happened to be in a group of girls where the rest were small in comparison.  But really, it's not a confidence booster when someone is too busy sneaking a peek down your cleavage and talking to your chest rather than to you.  Given that I am also vertically challenged, it stands to reason why all my tops would carefully hide my assets as I didn't want everyone copping a look for free - only the special chosen people got that privilege.

Of course this isn't me!  No freebies remember ; )

Said boobage got bigger with pregnancy.  On the first day of Munch's life I had to get my sister to do an emergency bra shop as they'd already changed from the previous day.  Throw in the breastfreeding and I'd gone up quite a few cup sizes in a very short space of time.  At their peak, it was as though I'd had breast implants put in.  Sprout thought it was all his Christmases come true but alas they were a no go as they were on loan to Munch for the forseeable future.  How cruel that must be - all looking but no touching!  Even I was impressed with these super boobs that now adorned my chest and they cost me not a penny - my body just created them for me.  Well, not really for me but you get my meaning.
Breastfeeding came with its problem; I developed blisters on one side that made me wince when Munch fed so I stopped feeding on that side to allow it time to heel.  What a mistake that was and it wasn't even for a week.  Feeding on one side meant that side got bigger whereas the other reduced in size; the body is clever at adjusting supply to demand isn't it?  I ended up with lop sided boobs - yes, you can laugh I'll allow it this once.  Afterwards it didn't matter how much I tried but they never evened themselves out.  I went from having this fab pornstar-esque chest to looking mighty strange - even more keeping them hidden as they were so uneven.

Munch then started solids.  He is now on three meals a day and has started weaning himself off breastmilk.  The only definite times he has breastmilk is first and last thing.  In this past week he has dropped all his night feeds completely.  This has meant that the smaller is back to its pre-pregnancy size and the other is going the same way.  I feel .... deflated.  I had grown to love my new size and carried them proudly, the shrunken version don't have the same wow factor anymore.  In truth, they seem paltry in comparison.  My bosom buddies have stayed long enough and are now retiring until their next visit.  Farewell my friends for I shall miss you!