Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Loving the ciddles

A while back I was talking about my new invented word - the ciddle, a lovely combination of a kiss and a cuddle all wrapped up in one. Well since then I have been getting a lot of ciddles. While the little man was a baby he was showered with my kisses and I would get none in return. However, since becoming a toddler he has taken it upon himself to show his dear old mother how much he loves me with lots of cuddles and lots of kisses - you know, ciddles.
As you can imagine, after months of feeding, nappy changing and generally slaving after him, I am lapping up this unexpected attention - a lovely sloppy reward for all my hard work. And as I know I will be lucky to get a peck on the cheek by the time he reaches his teens I am making the most of it. He hasn't quite got the hang of kissing yet, opening his mouth wide and pressing it to my face while his little arms wrap around my neck but nothing brightens my day quicker than a ciddle from my kiddy, however slobbery it might be.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'm somebody's mummy

For the past few months, as the little man has gradually increased his vocabulary, I have waited in anticipation for the day he finally calls me mummy. First came "mamama", then rather strangely he started calling me "miss". I don't know why this came about but the closest explanation I can make is that he heard others calling me Alice, took the last part, added the m for mummy and came up with his own, rather formal version.
But yesterday, he mastered mummy, and having got that sorted, he said it over and over. At one point, he looked over at me, pointed his finger and said "it's a mummy" and he was quite correct. And I have to say, I couldn't get enough. Having this tiny chap calling me his mummy filled me with a warm glow. I am somebody's mummy and that's a rather important job isn't it? Hope I'm up to it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

How to survive those toddler years

Being a parent can be a scary business. You end up constantly questioning yourself. Is he getting enough stimulation? Should he really be enjoying that cake so much? Are two hours of solid Postman Pat-watching too much?
And when your little one becomes a toddler, the bar is set at a whole new level. Which is why I wanted to introduce you to Joanne Mallon. A fellow freelance parenting journalist with two children of her own, she has put together an invaluable book every parent should have within easy reach.
Toddlers - an instruction manual is a guide to surviving the years one to four but what makes it brilliant is that it is written for parents by parents. Isn’t the best advice always given by other mums over a rushed cup of coffee at the local playgroup? Joanne has gathered together all those valuable tips and put them together in a book just for you. And there’s no preaching or judgemental comments – just friendly advice from someone who has been there, done it, seen it all.
Here is an extract so you can see for yourself:

My child the mirror
Children of all ages, but particularly toddlers, are like a barometer of the world around them. So if your child’s behaviour changes, and especially if it becomes more challenging, the first place to look is at the rest of their world and ask yourself what this is a reflection of.

Reasons for changes in toddler behaviour could include:

·         The arrival of a new sibling
·         Parental arguments or separation
·         Tiredness – especially if sleep has been disrupted or you’re in the process of dropping the daytime nap
·         Pressure to potty train before they’re ready
·         Moving house
·         Changes of key worker in nursery
·         Any kind of stress at home

This is particularly true when there is stuff going on in a parent’s life that takes their attention away from their child – you’ve gone back to work, so he’s suddenly started waking up at 3am. It’s all about gaining your attention.

And whilst it can be distressing to see how your child picks up on the undercurrents of life that you thought you’d protected them from, at least it makes it easy to see what’s going on, and to change whatever needs to change to stop it from continuing.

Please don’t feel guilty or start blaming yourself if your child starts acting up as a result of stress at home – these things happen in all families, and once you start feeling guilty as a parent you might never stop. It takes up way too much energy and probably gives you wrinkles as well.

In fact, I think it’s one of the loveliest things about toddlers that their external world is also embedded within them, etched right through like writing on a stick of rock - a toddler will never pretend to be happy when they’re not. Adults could learn a lot from that.

Like what you have read? Here is where you can get hold of a copy:



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Take my money Mothercare - please

I love Mothercare. I always get a little thrill of excitement walking through the automatic doors and finding myself surrounded by aisle upon aisle of adorable baby things. When I was pregnant, a might have even blubbed quietly but that was probably the hormones. So rumours that it is struggling sadden me. Unfortunately, recent experience has highlighted it could perhaps be doing more to dig itself out of any financial hole it is in at the moment.
As you might have read from previous posts, I have been trying to decide what to put the little man in when he goes to sleep. After much debate, I have opted for a walk-in sleeper which is basically a padded sleep suit that you pop on over a cotton sleep suit. Mothercare has some fantastic ones and I bought a lovely version with a little digger on the front. At £16, I was reluctant to stock up on bigger sizes until I had tried it out first and bought just the one for 12 to 18 months. It worked a treat so I returned to invest for the winter but the next size up is out of stock and the friendly girl behind the counter couldn't order any more. Why not? If you are struggling to make sales Mothercare, why is it you can't get enough of the popular stuff that sells out and, what's more, why can't you see that mums and dads will want warm things for their little ones when it is cold outside and not the t-shirts and thin cardies you are filling up with ready for spring in several months time? I wanted to hand over my money and you wouldn't take it.
Admittedly, I should have been more on the ball and got the winter things in the summer, and the summer things in the winter but when your head is full of 100-things-I-must-do-before-he-goes-to-bed, planning ahead can be difficult.The same goes for fleeces - I discovered the last remnants tucked away in a corner and, having learnt my lesson, took the lot.
Determined to spend my money with Mothercare, I called up a couple of weeks later for an update on the walk-in sleeper situation. Still no joy, so I wondered if any other stores might have the size I was after and, if so whether it could be shipped over to my local branch. Instead of offering to ring around and find out, the perfectly nice assistant said I could try and happily ended the call without making a firm sale. So I did her job and rang around. One store refused to deliver in between stores, besides which they couldn't take payment over the phone (again, why?) and they were out of stock anyway. Finally, I found a store that had one left and the lovely lady agreed to have it delivered to my nearby Mothercare. It would take a couple of weeks but I had won.
So they managed to get my money in the end but I needed a long lie down and strong cup of tea to recover from my uphill battle - who would have thought spending money was so exhausting?