I’m in trouble.

 

So, I think my two year old is smarter than me. Not like she outwits me because all kids outwit their parents. True fact.

To clarify, I think she is smarter than I ever was. On what basis I hear you say?

Well it’s not exactly what she knows at 2 years old (e.g counting to 20 and can spell her own name) as I’ve google this s*** and there are some other freaky Mensa toddlers roaming the UK so it’s just normal –  it’s more the speed she just ‘gets’ things.

I swear to you now, I never taught her how to hold a pencil and when I first saw her writing and colouring she looks like a 90 year old woman who has done it a thousand times over. I know that I’m not persuading you and that’s a poor example but I say to Dan ‘I think she’s reincarnated, she just knows too much for it to be new’. Obvs I am met with the usually scoffs from Dan about a notion as flowery as ‘reincarnation’.

I know most mums are prone to bragging, but this is more alarming. When she goes to school there will be no stopping her. In years to come she’ll look down on me as the endearingly dizzy (but foolish) mother. She’ll go to her dad for her homework (maths thank god!) and then there will be that moment when now she sees me as her main source of knowledge for this big bad world we live in, and then one day she will stop asking me questions.

That ‘ask mummy’ bubble will pop.

And so with new vigor I will respond with enthusiasm for every small fry question I can answer.

‘Mummy, what noise does a giraffe make?’

Errrrrrrrmmm….

 

 

 

 

You’re 2!

 

You love:

the Gruffalo. I have watched it about 40 times.
your baby ballet (it is really cute) especially bending your knees.
your trampoline and jumping on the bed in general.
talking – you could talk for England – you give me a running commentary of what is going on.
Food – pretty much anything – pasta in particular.
Swimming – nana takes you and you love it.
Hiding – it’s your favourite game.
Hop hop little bunnies is still your favourite song
Watching these weird videos on youtube called un-boxing (it’s odd but strangely addictive)
Your Auntie Char – she is your number 1 favourite no one else gets a look in.

You hate:

broccoli

Not fussed about:

dummy
blankets
dolls

Now sleeping is in the bag…..potty training is next on the agenda!!! Aahhh!

Stop press!

shaft

Now, I don’t want to jinx it, but our little girl (2) is sleeping solidly in her own room in her own bed without any intervention.

WAHOOO!!!! 2 years later, we lead a normal healthy life.

Now, we’re only on week 3 but things are most definitely improving — let me tell you why: –

*No falling asleep on the bottle

*Falling asleep in her own room

*Falling asleep without any cuddling, rocking, soothing,

*No dummy

*No music – see ya later ewan!!!

*FALLING ASLEEP WITHOUT MUMMY OR DADDY!!!

How you say? The gradual retreat. Next to her bed – top of the stairs – bottom of the stairs – the lounge – nothing.

Now, I read an article that got my back up, this sleep trainer was being all snooty (great word I should use that more) and was like ‘it’s not the child you need to sleep train, it’s the parents’ and I hate to say it but it was. Dan and I had to change to make Freya change. We are ‘reactive’ parents, which means that we don’t ignore our child when she makes noise, we tend to her every need and in doing so we have made our lives harder.

After reaching breaking point bad ass me came out — q: shaft music.

Now, I know the above phrase sounds brutal to those who are big softies and I hear ya, I come from a long line of big softies. Geez if Freya cried for a millisecond my dad is on.my.case.

I now see that after fulfilling her every need i.e comforting her when she cried we were doing her wrong. We weren’t giving her the opportunity to let her choose sleep. By being there to rely on us she knew no other way.

We literally pulled the rug from underneath her but it was worth it. It worked.

Parents who are miserable, sad, exhausted, arguing with your partners, cranky, crabby, anxious and at an all-time low, my advice is to get mean. Not horrible mean, but focused on the plan of attack mean. Don’t do it if you aren’t ready, but you’ll reach a point when you say the words ‘something has to be done’ ‘I can’t go on like this’ with a trolley load of conviction and then write down a plan and follow it through.

 

 

Freya met the fat man!

She cried.

And actually that’s prob not PC and also he actually wasn’t that fat. Not enough mince pies stuffed in his face yet clearly!!! I on the other hand had one in October. Mr Cringle do keep up.

I have to say Christmas ‘stuff’ is a whole new level of information for a small person.
Elf on the shelf (creepy…real creepy)
Christmas carols
A grotto!
Mince pies
A Christmas tree with lights
Small breakable decorations
Chocolate coins
Elf hunt in the neighbourhood
Visiting Santa
Writing a letter to Santa
His reindeers – all of their names?!
Mulled wine…oh wait no that’s just for me!

A non-chocolate advent calendar so that she get’s a ‘gift’ instead — (it’s the 10th, she is yet to receive a present as I have ran out of paper!)

An advent candle (I’m supposed to light until the line denotes one day has past – who does that?)

As so the story goes…

‘Santa is coming on a sleigh – led by reindeers and then he’ll come down our chimney! He’ll eat all of the food that we leave out on a plate and leave presents just for you. Only if you’re a good girl.’

#exhausted.

I can see she’s thinking what the hell are you talking about?!?!? I find myself thinking the same thing.

Yet here we are.

2 years old and she wants to ask Santa for a trampoline.:)

I think he can manage that.

Merry Christmas everyone. Signing off for 2015.  Xxx

To Mand, Love Mand x

A letter I wish I could send myself 2 year’s ago…

You’ll have a girl.
She won’t sleep alone.
She’ll be a light sleeper.
She’ll sleep in your bed.
You will be judged for it. A lot.
You will come to love it.
Other mother’s will be smug.
You’ll be exhausted.
Your daughter will love her milk and food.
People will judge you for it.
She will test you every day and some days you’ll let her win for an easy life.
Your neighbour’s mum will tell you where you are going wrong.
People who don’t have children will tell you where you are going wrong.
She will make you smile every single day (even the days she is being the spawn of the devil.)
Your parents will judge you.
Don’t go to a baby café alone – it can be strangely isolating.
You’ll be great.
You’ll cry. Bat s*** crazy tears.
Google will tell you sleep is essential for your health, your beauty, her health and her development.
She will be the most advanced verbally in her peer group.
Don’t google so much.
You will wonder where she gets her boisterous nature from.
She won’t change even if you ‘train’ her to.
You will try controlled crying twice until it nearly breaks you.
You will hate Dan for minutes, days, sometimes a whole week.
You will love him in buckets loads when he has your back in public.
You will love him on a whole new level for loving your daughter.
You won’t remember anything.
You’ll lose items. Weekly.
You will ask yourself what noise a giraffe makes?
You will get asked if you’ll have another one? A lot.
You’ll want to punch someone in the face.
You’ll worry. Like never before.
You’ll watch her sleep.
You’ll watch videos of her when she isn’t there.
When she is there you will want some peace and quiet.
You’ll forget how to get dressed up and apply make-up.
You’ll age about 10 years.
It’s worth it. You are incredibly blessed.
Keep going. You’re doing great.

Stop questioning yourself as a parent, stop googling and put down your iphone!

Love Mand x

GIRAFFE’S NECK ON THE LINE?

Q: Mission impossible music. Dan Dan Dan Dan dun dun Dan Dan Dan

Mummy goes undercover to reveal high-street restaurants approach to kid’s food. 

Ok, so here it is…review as promised! And yes, I could have come up with a better title.

Firstly: the décor of Giraffe is very cool and due to the Brazilian beats pumping out the speakers there was a healthy atmosphere that my little one danced her little tushy off to. That’s the positives out the way.

decor

We arrived at the Giraffe branch in Bath on a busy Friday lunchtime. I had booked a 1.30pm table. I arrive at 1pm – this seemed to put them out massively (waitress looked v.annoyed and stressed – it was very busy!)

I know, I know I need to get to the point: The Food.

  • Let’s cover the basics:
    Highchair – yes, it was already set up on the table – (usually you can’t carry your toddler and carry a highchair so that is helpful.)
    Baby changing – yes
    Breastfeeding signs – no
    Water on arrival – no but you can have if you want
    Baby cutlery – no
    Where was the meat sourced – ‘Some company somewhere in Devon’ (lol)
    No imagery on the menu
    Can you order kids sizes of the adult options – ‘erm, not really’
    Can you order different portion sizes of the kids menu – ‘no it just comes in the one portion size’
    Are activities provided – yes I had to ask

On the activity sheet can you guess what Freya had to colour in? That’s right. Giraffes. Giraffes in space.

‘Yes sweetheart, that Giraffe does have a hat on. A space hat.’

I order Frey the ‘twist and jive pasta’ and to my erm….shock….horror….surprise…disappointment (chose any of the above) the pasta comes on a circular china white plate with a heavy circular china white bowl placed in the middle. How smart looking. I must ask the CEO of Giraffe if: –

A: They have met a toddler before?
B: What toddler they know with the strength and dexterity to hold a heavy china bowl in one hand?
C: Do they deal with a lot of smashes on a monthly basis?
D: Are they mad?

The ‘twist and jive’ pasta, was not that ‘jivey’, it lacked a bit of….va va voom. It was large pieces of spiral pasta with tomato sauce. In fact, sauce is the wrong word. Tomato ‘coating’. The problem, and now I’m no chef, was that the “sauce” was too runny. As I was attempting to decant the pasta into a small plastic cup (yep tried that option and failed) I found that the majority of the sauce was skulking around the bottom of the bowl.

Conclusion one: No plastic bowl.
Conclusion two: Not very yummy sauce.

Cutlery??? See image below: ‘sorry we only have take-away ones’. That don’t match???? Did you find them in the bottom of your handbag????

knifeandfork

Why isn’t baby cutlery provided? Once the little one was in the rhythm of shovelling the grub in her mouth we had a few issues on the size of the pasta. We are one and a half years old people, we haven’t learnt that chewing for longer is better for you. She’s just learnt to scoop the food, balance the food and find the hole that is her mouth and even then we can struggle. So, we’re swallowing pasta whole, we choke, it comes up, we chew some more, it goes down. That happened twice before I then cut it all up.

Conclusion three: The pasta swirls are too big for her age.

It says it comes with ‘melting cheese’ – erm that is nowhere in sight? I can only see reddish pasta, which then makes me think where are the vegetables? Where is the green stuff that we all try so hard to give our growing kids? A courgette? A mushroom? Anything??!!!

I’m angered. Mainly as I now think why don’t restaurants cater for kids? Why don’t you put some thought into kid’s food? Why don’t you make my life easier? *Curse giraffe under my breathe* I’m frustrated because it’s basic stuff  –

KIDS MAKE MESS. KIDS DROP STUFF. KIDS NEED ACTIVITIES. KIDS NEED THEIR GREENS!

COME ON! It’s 2015. Sort it out.

Chu Chu ……. Boo!

Get the train, he said.

I’ll pay, he said.

It’ll take the pressure off, he said.

This was my dad’s very kind offer to pay for the train as we all thought it would be easier with a toddler on the train from Bristol to Manchester.

1 train + 4 hours + 1 toddler + lots of strangers + the chocolate trolley + no naps = EXTREME STRESS

To be honest I was in the same camp as dad – it will take the pressure off with us both there to tend to our little angel (we’ll both be hands free to look after her, it will be a doddle).  *stupid women*

And just think how quintessentially British taking our little girl on the North West railway line watching the tumbling green hills whizz past. What fun we will have  – sticker books and colouring whilst pointing out sheeps and cows…

‘What noise does a cow make Freya?’

‘Mooo’

‘Yes that’s right well done. You’re so clever.’

In reality, all of the above did happen, however, it engaged her for all of 2mins, which left the other 3hours 58 mins to: –

Negotiate the fact that we were squeezed on two seats.

Telling her that trains are not a place to ‘play’ but for sitting on your chair – *ha* Q: tantrum number 67

Walk up and down the carriage whilst insisting on saying ‘hello’ to everyone (even the people that were trying to ignore her)

Bribing her with anything I had in my bag – milk, raisins, banana, C.H.O.C (yep I’m one of those parents).

It was exhausting. It was a mistake.

Note to self: –  Take the car. She’s strapped in. She can’t bug anyone. I can’t be mortified by her tantrums. She sleeps for ages.