Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Hold your nose - it's nappy time

The other day, I was busy changing the little man after a particularly potent nappy, and chatting away to his daddy as I did so. Halfway through the conversation, I turned around briefly to emphasise a point and found him pressed up against the window, his face wedged awkwardly out of the open fan light through which he was taking in great lungfuls of fresh air.
I don't know how long he had been like that, or what the neighbours thought, but it was quite a sight. I asked him what exactly he was up to. Apparently, the fumes from his first born were just too much for my six foot two husband. In fact, he told me through watering eyes, he didn't know how I could do it. Funny thing was, the smell hadn't bothered me, not one bit. Never has in fact. And I am sure I am not alone.
I won't go so far as to say I find the odour pleasant - that just sounds a bit too weird, but it is certainly not unpleasant. Actually, I will confess that I like it. This is my son who I love dearly, and anything connected with him, even something as yucky as poo, is alright by me. I am not saying his daddy loves him any less because he has to stand three metres away when the nappy comes off. It just seems that Mother Nature, having given us ladies the ability to give birth and feed our babies, has also provided us with an inbuilt resistance to even the most stinkiest of situations. Which is lucky really considering the number of nappies that need changing every day.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Finally - a scooter for toddlers

It’s funny how trends come and go. When I was young, we all went about on bikes, with at least half a dozen marbles rattling around in our pockets. There was a brief period when the pogo ball was the only way to travel. Remember those? That nifty toy made up of a ball with a disc round the centre to stand on - once in position, you could bounce about all over the place, round the playground, all the way home and, if you were really skilled, up a flight of stairs.
Today, it’s the scooter. I should imagine, if you happened to be eight years old and without ownership of a scooter, your popularity would take a serious hit.
Having just turned two, I thought the little man might be a little young for this craze, then I spotted the Mini® Micro 3in1 Scooter. 

This clever little invention is aimed at one to five year olds and combines three toys – the traditional ride-on, the tiny first scooter and the classic Mini® Micro. Sheer genius? I was to find out as I was lucky enough to be sent one to review and here's the verdict...
How it works:
While it still has the bottom platform, the 3in1 comes with an add-on seat that can be height adjusted and clips securely onto the scooter handle. There is an O-bar handle ideal for little hands to cling onto which can be replaced with the T-bar for when they are taller and more confident. To increase stability and control, they have used a tilt-to-steer technology to make steering easier. Basically, if you lean towards the left, then it starts to magically float that way, far easier compared with the more traditional turn-to-steer of standard ride-ons or scooters.
The test run:
While the little man was not so sure of the seat (he avoids the trikes at playgroup), he loves pushing the scooter around and because it easily clicks on and off, I can take the seat away temporarily and put it back on after a few days for him to try again. The O-bar is the perfect height for him and he finds it easy to hold.
My friend was extremely envious when she saw it. She had bought a scooter for her daughter’s second birthday and it had proved far too big for her to use. As soon as she saw the 3in1, she immediately sat herself down on the seat and had great fun pushing herself around. 
The damage:
The 3in1 comes in at £74.95 which I think is good value considering it converts to a bigger scooter and will last for several years, and this brand is known for its durability and high quality. Better still, if the parts wear out, replacements can be ordered online with supporting YouTube repair videos to help with fitting.
Sound good to you? Go to http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk to find out more. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The battle begins

Yesterday Leo ran into the road.
The sun was shining and we were spending the morning in a beautiful park, picked especially as it only has one gate to get in and out - perfect for speedy toddlers. Still, before I knew it the little man had squeezed through the gap and was hot-footing it down the road. Thank goodness it was a quiet country road and there were no cars but the whole experience knocked me for six.
I ran to him (possibly at Olympic gold medal pace), told him off and carried him back to the park. The moment I set him down, he did a quick loop and started heading back to the gate. And here lies the problem. When it comes to discipline, I haven't got it sussed. That was why, mixed with nightmares of what might have happened if it hadn't been such a quiet road, I cried all the way home. I felt I had failed. All the other mums seemed to have control of their offspring - it was only mine running off without a backward glance.
I don't think I am a bad mother, it is just the terrible twos have taken me a bit by surprise. I thought the hardest part - interrupted sleeps, night feeds etc - was the hard bit and, having got through all that, I knew what I was doing. I realise now the learning curve is only just beginning.
So I spent that evening trawling the internet and was quietly soothed to discover that I am not alone. Far from it. There were hundreds of books and articles written by parents for parents advising the best way to get through this stage of parenting unscathed. I am devouring them as if my life depending on it.
To begin with I need a plan and it starts here. My aims:
- I will not be a walk over
- I will be listened to and respected
- I will be able to keep him safe
Now I just have to work out how to do it.