Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sleeping Like a Baby

Peace is found in many different things by many different people.  For some, peace is found in the dancing flicker of an open flame, or the consuming violence of a roaring fire.  For some it is the gentle patter of rain on a window, for others it is the impotent fury of lashing high winds as they settle in for the night.  For some it is the rustle of leaves in a forest glade, as birds tweet and trees sway in a dance which has lasted for thousands of years, for others it is found in the face of a tiger as it paces, or a lion as it rests.  However, this is turning into a bit of a John Denver song so perhaps we should move on.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Going Down with a Fight

Beep beep.  No, it's not the noise that Road Runner makes, it is something much worse, for me at least.

"Beep Beep"

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Flynn or Flyer? Your guess is as Good as Mine

My son has a strange predilection.  I have no idea how it has come about, nor what to do about it, therefore the only sensible thing to do is tell everyone about it.  A problem shared is a problem that other people can laugh at you about, as they say.

It started fairly early, about as soon as he could speak really.  His vocabulary, despite evidence on this blog to the contrary, is pretty limited, he can say 'digger' and 'up' (which for a while was a stand in for any sort of directional command.  Watching visitors struggle with how to get him higher as they were squashing him up against the ceiling while he was bellowing 'up' at them was for a while one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures, he has now learnt 'down' as well, so so much for that.)  'Bird' has also been a particular favourite of his.  But one word has stood out above all others as his go-to word in almost any circumstance. It displays a singleness of mind, as well as such strange taste, that I find a little worrying.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Glad to be Back

Hello.  Long time, no see.  What have you been up to?  Me?  Nothing much.  Busy, you know how it is.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  

You'll remember that B and I have two children.  N, who is 4 and S, who is 18 months. Well, there is another on the way.  Due in August.  Which is both very exciting but also quite scary.  For one thing, once you have three children you've run out of arms, unless you're an octopus of course.  Not being an octopus, and only having the normal number of arms, I am concerned about what is going to happen once we have our third and I am left an arm short.  There have been a number of occasions when I have been grateful for the fact that I can tuck a child under each arm.  Usually when I have decided that enough is enough and some daddyesque authority needs to be meted out.  This is often because I have found myself submerged by children, one of whom is now old enough to know that if she can get her fingers inside my slippers I am guaranteed to shriek like an old woman and thrash wildly until the fingers come out.  The other one, thankfully, isn't old enough to know this yet, but he is old enough to know that if N is doing that then he can cause the most havoc by charging over and landing on my stomach.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sick and Tired

There is nothing that can make you feel more worthless than having a poorly child.  Your job as a parent is to care for, bring up and love your children.  But when they get ill, that goes out the window.  The love is still there of course, but it is impotent.  It seems as though no intervention is enough.  None of the normal things work, not the tickling, or the funny faces, or even the throwing in the air, normally guaranteed to elicit a giggle, all fall flat in the face of the illness.  In the end, all you are left with is a lifeless little boy struggling to lift his head.

Until last night. (This post was written many months ago, S would be most upset if I was telling everyone he was ill yesterday, he wasn't.)  S had been suffering all day.  Some sort of virus apparently which has left him caring about nothing other than sleeping and a new cup with some of the least watered down juice he had ever tasted.  There had been moments of brightness, but they were often followed by tears and more lethargy.  One of those days when you can only hope to make him comfortable and help him go back to sleep really.

We put him down to sleep at around seven and he went down really well, no moaning at all, he just rolled over and slipped off, dosed up with the miraculous Calpol.  And that was that.  We heard nothing from him, until about 4 hours later.  Around 11 o’clock, just as we were getting ready to go to bed he started up, demanding attention immediately.  Now, we had got into a bit of a bad habit with N of bringing her into our bed whenever she put up a real fuss.  More than about forty five minutes (sorry, small typo there, should read four to five minutes) of crying would get her a free pass into the space between us.  Which would rapidly expand into the space across 75% of the middle of the bed.  It was amazing that even when she fit very comfortably within the confines of her cot put her in our bed and she was able to expand her limbs to fill the available space. 

Having had a number of rough experiences with N’s incredibly jabby elbows and knees, and feet, and head, we were determined not to go down the same route with S.  This determination has been helped by the fact that he is, in general, a much better sleeper than N ever was at his age (clearly making a bid for favourite child from an early age, sensible chap). Even when he is not asleep he is happy to just chill out in his cot, presumably plotting further ways to make himself the favourite, rather than screaming his head off, which was N’s reaction whenever we took her near her bedroom. And we had managed not to give in to him until yesterday.  He was awake, he was poorly, he was crying, we were just about to go to bed, our defences were down and suddenly there he was, lying drowsily between us, in his Grobag, like a little motionless marshmallow (as opposed to all the big motionful marshmallows you see).  It was all going so well, there were no spear like appendages trying to poke holes in my abdomen just a sad sorry little boy who didn’t look like he had any energy at all. 

And then it was like someone flicked a switch (I imagine it was B but I can’t confront her without solid proof, which I haven’t got yet).  He had been ill just seconds before, lying in bed, but suddenly he was up on all fours grinning like a maniac (imagine a tiny, very cute Joker) and rocking back and forwards like he was dancing to a Sabrina Carpenter song.  He was giggling and grinning, which of course meant B started laughing back at him (Exhibit no 1.) which encouraged him even further and from a sick quiet little boy, who I thought was going to give me a nice peaceful night’s sleep he changed into the performing comedian he can be.  It really is impossible not to laugh when he gets like that, and he knows it.  Finally I gave in too and all three of us were chuckling away together. 

Until it stopped, and he slumped down, worn out by his exertions.  I turned away again, silence having been restored, to resume my slumber undisturbed, but, alas, it was not to be, for behind me I heard the unmistakeable sound of my wife sniggering away, followed by a giggle from the same baby that, mere moments before, had been on the verge of sending himself to sleep.  Against my better judgement I rolled over again to find that he boy was doing the same ridiculous dance, which was abruptly followed by him diving across the bed and burying himself into B’s neck, lying there for a minute, still giggling away, and then giving a massive yawn and putting his fingers into his mouth to send himself off to sleep.  Unfortunately B was still laughing, which is an activity which involves more movement than you might imagine (it’s like her shoulders have got their own tiny, inexplicable trampoline), which meant that S couldn’t get comfortable and so was soon off again, jiving away to the secret beat only he could hear. 

At this point I had to step in as there had been far too much frivolity for what was quickly becoming tomorrow.  I casually pointed out that if he was now so cheerful as to be doing his best Coco the clown impression perhaps he could go and entertain his teddies in his cot and leave us to maybe get some sleep.  Nothing too pushy you realise, just sowing the seed you understand.  Well, seed sown, I realised my work there was done and again rolled over.  At this point all went quiet and it became clear that S had heard me and understood.  I was able to get him back into his cot where he cheerfully began regaling his teddies with stories of exactly how big a pushover mummy and daddy were.  I left him to it and went back to bed and didn’t hear him all night until about quarter to five.  Today he has been much worse than he was yesterday, even more lethargic and with no energy at all, but for a few minutes last night he was back to his own cheerful self again and it was wonderful.  Now I just need to find the switch B flicked and keep it on, until then I’ll just go back to being the man who gives the cuddles, and who always has the love.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

One lump or Two?

Having been hijacked by my son, and then taken a fairly long break from writing things, we are back to normal, with a quick story which showcases my awesome ability to parent, as you will have come to expect.

S has moved on to eating things that aren’t completely mush.  He still has no teeth so he’s not the world’s greatest chomper, but he has a jolly good go.  Today it was these things,

Which are really great.  Good food, tasty (I know because I tried one, nom nom nom) and best of all able to be held and mangled into an unrecognisable mass by the little chap.  He loved the ones we gave him before tea this evening.

I had just got in from work and poured myself a glass of water and sat down next to the small man.  He was proudly showing me all of his munching abilities, although I did have to ask what the mushed up stuff was that he was eating.  He ploughed his way merrily through one of the little rice cakes and then turned to me with an expression last seen on the face of a young Mark Lester.

Not being a nineteenth century beadle I had very little choice but to give in to that look and hand him another rice cake.  Which he began devouring with such intensity I’m not wholly sure that he had been fed at all today before these rice cakes.  (I have been told that I have to put in a little disclaimer at this point because of course he had been fed today, if we’re being honest he eats better than I do.) 

At this point in the evening I was feeling like a pretty great father.  I had come home from work, I had provided food for my son and had a conversation with my daughter, things could not have been better.  So, of course, at this point I had to do something stupid.

S looked like he needed a drink.  He really did, he was practically crying out for one.  Given the desperation on his face it wouldn’t have been a total surprise if he had opened his mouth and in his first intelligent speech uttered the words

“Water, please, with a slice of lemon and perhaps a dash of that elderflower cordial my good man.”

As it is all I had to go on was the pained look of thirst on his face.  A look, I had better add, that I entirely imagined.

Having misinterpreted the signs I leapt in with fatherly alacrity and provided him with the only thing I had to hand that might possibly help.  My pint glass of water.  His eyes lit up at this unexpected bounty and he slurped greedily at the water.  Well, when I say slurped greedily what he did was grab hold of the rim of the glass and pour the majority of it down his front.  I tried to wrestle the glass off him before he could do real damage but the child’s grip is like iron.  He was holding on for dear life as I pulled back, causing more and more of the water to flow over him in what was his first experience with having a shower. 

I drenched him thoroughly and then managed to prise his hands off my glass.  Which was the point at which I realised I had been well and truly out-foxed.  Not only did I have the world’s wettest fully dressed baby, I also had the unmistakeable remains of an Organix raspberry and blueberry rice cake floating in the top of my glass, bobbing defiantly at me whilst S chuckled away at my situation.

Is that a Rice cake I see before me?
For those of you keeping count that is time number 4 in which I have been made to look stupid by a human under the age of 7 months, which I am quite pleased with all in all.  But for now I have learnt my lesson.  From now on S will only be eating slices of lemon and ice cubes, whilst wearing a wetsuit.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Glorious Food

Right, so how does this thing work?  I think Daddy just pushes these little things and then stuff happens and Mummy laughs, although I’m not really sure she’s meant to because then she generally says,

“Ooppss, shouldn’t laugh, but why does your daddy never finish a sentence, what are all these commas doing?”

I don’t really know what Mummy means, I think a comma is the little dinosaur claw looking thing at the bottom there but I’m not really sure what it does (much like Daddy, is what I think Mummy would say).  It looks good though so I’m going to use it too.