Archive for November, 2014

My parents

Having children of my own has made me think about my own parents a lot over the last few years. They certainly for-filled different roles in my upbringing.

My Dad never took part in any form of child care. He had three children and changed 2 nappies in all that time, one of mine and one of my kid brothers. He wouldn’t do any cooking or cleaning and we were very rarely left with him on our own. When my Mum had a baby when I was 12 years old I was the 2nd caregiver. I would bath, feed and care for him in the absence of my mother. She often took him to after school clubs or playdates, and I would be the one to fix dinner that evening. He was obsessive about the house being tidy and would often accuse me of ‘treating the house like a hotel’ in my teenager years (this was never ever true!)
However he was brilliant at teaching me things, always talking to me, phisophising, passing on his wisdom. I thought he knew everything, and his opinion was the only one that mattered to me. When we visted a museum he would crouch down to my level in front of the steam engine and excitedly explain how it all worked. I loved those moments when he was engrossed in me, even if I didn’t care one bit how that steam engine worked. He has always delighted in my creativity. When I showed my Mum my clay creation I would be lucky for her to even crack a smile at it. I would seek out my Dad and show him and he would gush over it and tell me how clever I was. When I was a poor impoverished student I got into digital art and one day a parcel arrived and it was an expensive digital art tablet that he had ordered for me to use. He has always delighted in my photography and he is always impressed when I crochet something new.

He has also always been very generous with his money, but not with his time. We all find it difficult to tear him away from the things he likes doing. These things gliding, fishing, playing the piano, being on his computer and watching sports on TV. When I take his grandchildren around to visit, he stays present for half an hour maximum before he goes off back to his own world of likes. When Cleo was admitted for jaundice and we needed someone to come and look after Charlie and Rosa he wouldn’t come. I still harbor some hurt and anger over this. Emotionally, he isn’t really there for me. Actually that isn’t totally true. When I was at university I made myself very poorly with IBS which was stress related. I couldn’t even stay in lectures it got that bad. He offered to pay for me to have therapy or whatever I needed to help me cope with it all. Is that being there for someone emotionally? Not really is it.

My Mum and I are very close. We love to go shopping together and ‘have lunch’. She is content to be at home with us all day too. She is very generous with her time, and my children adore her. She does have some strong opinions though and very often not the same as mine. I don’t think we have ever argued….

But these relationships I have with each of my parents are very specific to me and me alone. My 2 siblings have very different relationships with the same two parents. Neither of my brother or sister are creative. Neither of them are yet to really be independent from them yet (28 and 18) Neither of them are on the same level as me with regards academic ability. There were always expectations of me, as the eldest, even if they were never actually said. My Dad would never ever EVER have expected my sister to cook dinner on those evenings my Mum was out. They never expected her to go to university. I don’t think either of them ever sat with Dad and talked about the world like we did.

My brother has an even stranger relationship with them. Up until he left for uni at the beginning of Sept he spent every spare moment in his room on the internet. He would slope off and we wouldn’t even notice. He is very distant from all of us.

Reading this back, I could talk for ages about my Dad, complex things, intricate details on things that shaped me. My Mum is rock solid, dependable, and I love her with all my being, but things are just simple with her. She undoubtedly did help shape me into the person (and parent) I am now. She is so gentle and patient.

Stacy and I are certainly also going to be quite different in what we offer our own children. It will be interesting to see how things evolve as they get older. We are much more equal in many respects than my own parents, this can only be a good thing.


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1 month old

I can’t believe Cleo has been here for a month already! Time flies so much faster when you have a tiny newborn. It’s hard to not feel sad as that squisyness fades away and is replaced with chunky cheeks and longer legs. She was wearing tiny baby sized clothes at birth and is now firmly into newborn/up to 1 month sized things.

cleo 6

Breastfeeding is unfortunately not as easy as it was with Rosa….but not as hard as it was with Charlie. After a week or so of painfree feeding it started hurting again. This coincided with me taking antibiotics for mastitus and I also noticed her tongue had gone white. I waited another 2 weeks before doing anything about it…and we are now both on thrush medications. She has a dropper of cherry flavoured stuff which I give her after feeds, and I am on a daily tablet. Feeding has again become pain free (almost). I thought I was also have supply issues at one point, but I think it was a normal growth spurt/increasing my supply type thing. I seem to have plenty of milk again for her the last week or so.

So yes, things are certainly starting to settle down and become a bit easier. Stacy admitted in the early days she was having a bit of trouble bonding with little Cleo. We put this down to how awful her paternity leave was with illness and admissions. Since then, she has managed a lot of cuddling and normal time with her and I asked her again how her bonding was going and she was positive it was getting there. I don’t know what it feels like to be a non bio parent of a baby and not have all those raging hormones surging though your body making you love your baby fiercely despite anything. I am proud of her for being honest with me, and for also taking the time to reach a place of bonding. She is having a pretty stressful time at work at the moment, and sometimes coming home quite late. This means she doesn’t get to see the older two for very long before they are in bed 😦

At the weekend, Stacy pointed out that we were yet to get a picture of all of us together. I suggested we head out to a local National Trust property with the tripod and get one. As soon as we set off it started raining…and it didn’t stop! We did manage to get a couple of nice ones though, and the one of the 2 children together which I LOVE was taken by Stacy whilst I was breastfeeding Cleo.


We had the images come back from the newborn shoot we had done with Cleo. There were a few I certainly love!
This one is by far my fave though, and will be framed and put up somewhere.

IMG_3579eblue whisper

I made the bonnet myself. The photographer loved it too, and so I have since made her one and sent it to her. I actually paid her partly in props. I made her a bonnet, 2 headbands and a wrap! She was a Facebook friend I made several years ago. We chat a lot online but had never met as she lives far away. Her grandparents moved to within half an hour of me and a visit coincided nicely with Cleo being 14 days old, bravo!

Stacy also made her a bonnet. I thought it was so nice we could get photos with things we had made ourselves.


We had further hospital drama a week ago. I set Rosa up colouring in the dining room and was hanging up washing to dry a metre away from her, with my back to her. I heard a crash and a scream and turned around to find that she had fallen from the chair and hit her head on the corner of the radiator on the way down, also smashing her face on the chair as well. I went to give her a big hug and as I pulled away, realised that my hand was covered in her blood. She had split open the back of her head and it was literally gushing out! I rang Stacy at work and asked her what to do. We agreed to see if it stopped bleeding on its own. It did…but then she fell asleep on the sofa within minutes and was hard to wake. So I packed everyone up in the car and headed to A+E. She was ever such a good girl, she let the doctors examine her and take all her vitals. They glued her head back together and confirmed no concussion. She was left with a fat lip for a couple of days though.


So how are Charlie and Rosa coping with a newborn in the house? Very well indeed. They both adore her. They love to hold and cuddle her, and when she cries they do their best to help me sort her out. They bring her toys, they rock her chair, they stroke her face in the car. It is very sweet. They are both being a bit naughty at other times though, sometimes driving Stacy and me into despair!

Charlie and Rosa were both playing on the floor in the living room yesterday when Charlie said,
‘I want to see my father’

and then Rosa also said it. They then said it alternating with fits of giggles in between. Stacy and I looked at each other aghast wondering why on earth they were saying it, and why it was so funny. They had found a little mirror and were taking it in turns to hold the mirror. A few days before this, we had bought them Beauty and the Beast on DVD. Stacy worked out then were reenacting the scene with the magic mirror where she asks to see her father! We were so relieved!! Haha

A few kidisms

Charlie to Jack his swimming teacher: I have a new baby sister! She is called Cleo and she came out of my mummy’s bum and now her bum hurts!!
Jack did not know how to respond to that lol

Me: Rosa stop touching that! Honestly, we go round in circles with you.
Rosa: do you want to come too?
Me: where are we going?
Rosa: round in circles

There was a policeman outside school today. Rosa spotted him and marched right over. He said hello to her and she said….
‘Charlie pushed me, he took my pencil and he wouldn’t share his scooter.’
What a tattle tail!!! Lol

Whilst in the car Charlie tells me he needs a wee.
Me: Please hold it until we get home
Charlie: I can’t, my seatbelt is in the way.

and finally, baby mugging
baby mugging2

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