The Other Mother

My son has another mother. There I said it. Well actually he HAD another mother. She lived long ago and she is no longer alive.

Shame, she sounded fun…

Took my son to loads of places, watched all the best films, owns the entire Julia Donaldson collection not just 95% of it. Lived in a castle, with a moat no less. Had another child as well; an older brother for my son. I don’t know much about him or if there was another parent around, but the mother? Yep I know a lot about her. Continue reading

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My Snap Happy Son

My three year old has discovered (and therefore I have just discovered) that one can take photos on one’s iPad without unlocking said iPad.

My son thinks this is amazing. I am indifferent and will always unlock my iPad to take a picture because I am essentially a technological relic.

Anyway scrolling through my gallery the other day led me to some shots that are cronkier, wonkier and more blurry than my usual ones…

Yet somehow these little gems are sweeter than any of my attempts – they are infused with a childish simplicity that makes me smile.

My son chooses to take pictures of things he loves in the house; the kitchen clock, the kitchen bin, his toys, his parents, his sister. His small world is getting bigger by the minute but for now this is his world – this is his happy.

And so, in what could be the most ill-conceived photo-blog post of all time, allow me to present the photographic gallery of my three year old:

Continue reading

An Ode to Garden Centres & Wyevale Christmas Event Review

I love a good garden centre…I don’t even care if that makes me sound 84….I really do. I’ve spent the last three years culminating special relationships with my local garden centres – they are my ‘go to’ destination with my son. I wonder sometimes if they know what a glorious gift they’ve given to the parent attempting to entertain a small being all week…

Need fresh air but it’s pouring and your child, like mine, has a rain aversion? What’s that…? A covered outside area with trees to boot? Yes please.

Are you considering remortgaging and taking a trip to the zoo? May I interest you instead in a selection of miniature (and quite lifelike) animal statues?

Imaginative ‘real world’ play? Let the display sheds step up to the plate…

Educational resource? Hello clock aisle.

Throw in a cafe, a play area and hours of entertainment watching the water features and you’ve got yourself a whole day’s worth of activity. You’re welcome. Some even have small soft play areas if that’s your bag. It’s not mine. We tried it once and my son turned feral in the ball pit so we beat a swift retreat. Continue reading

Make Do & Mend Parenting

My mother-in-law recently described my parenting as ‘free-spirited’…I’m pretty sure that’s not a world away from ‘your children are feral’…

Anyway I’ve been considering this and reminiscing about the last three years with my son while looking back at photos (lots of which were stored on here, so if you are a regular reader apologies for the pictorial recycling!).

Despite coming across as pretty organised in most other aspects of my life, these images have reminded me how much and how often we’ve muddled through in the last three years in a ‘make do and mend’ sort of fashion – my son makes do with his mother and I hope he doesn’t need any mending when he’s older… Continue reading

Laughter

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing…*

My son first laughed at 11 weeks old. Up until then he was smiley, grinny, even giggly, but this was when he discovered the beauty of the chortley, chuckly belly-laugh.

I remember the moment very well. It was a stormy autumnal evening and we had just returned home from visiting relatives. He was lying on the sofa in the kitchen and we were double-parenting – blowing raspberries at him…suddenly he laughed and it was the best sound I have ever heard in my life, I’ll never ever forget it. He laughed and laughed and laughed and so did we. Continue reading

Holidays and Highlights

‘The seaside makes me happy Mummy’

‘Me too lovebug…’

Little boy sat on the beach playing

I know I’m a sporadic blog-poster at the best of times so you probably won’t really notice the difference, but I’m going on a blogging and an actual holiday. I really feel as though I’ve been winding down at the moment ready to take a little break…refocusing and refreshing my mind.

Before I go (although I’m not going completely, just changing the tempo) I thought I’d indulge in a few reflections. I’ve had a lovely joyous time blogging this year. It has continued in its own unique way to give me an expressive outlet, the little bit of creation I am in control of…it has also provided me with some tangible highlights: Continue reading

What’s Your Parenting Style?

What is my parenting style? What type of parent am I? It’s a question I have asked myself from time to time in the three years I’ve been a parent and I don’t really know. Labels don’t hold much sway with me and I don’t think I can definitively put myself in any one parenting box.

My husband and I are alert but laid back, impatient but patient: we follow some routines, we discipline, have rules, use a lot of the theories of gentle parenting and are awed at the sometimes sanity-saving techniques of playful parenting.

What I am coming to realise, however, is that this doesn’t make us parents without labels – instead we are covering ourselves with labels in an exuberant and scattergun fashion, like a toddler let loose with a sticker sheet…

So let me give you a flavour of just some of the ‘techniques’ that we use in what is actually a veritable pick and mix of parenting boxes:

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18 Million Things – Summer Edition

This series is where I indulgently fill up my pocket of the Internet with the virtual pebbles, receipts and loose change of memories I want to keep of my son.

He’s nearly three and we veer between total gorgeousness and utter chaos. I’m writing this today after he randomly and deliberately decided to upturn a large cup of tea onto the lounge carpet, throw a hard unidentifiable toy object at me in anger and then play ‘sandcastles’ with an almost-but-not-quite empty pot of yoghurt.

Yep, so obviously it’s not all roses and sparkles but actually quite a lot of it is – life is silly and fun and innocent and dramatic and the world hasn’t encroached on our bubble yet. Continue reading

How My Son Sleeps Through The Night

If you are expecting a useful list of tricks and tips to get your little one sleeping from evening until morning then I’m afraid you’re in the wrong place. Equally, if you already know how old my son is and are perhaps expecting a tale of nearly three years of woe and broken sleep and now a glorious celebration of a toddler mastering the full twelve hours of nighttime shut-eye, then I’m sorry to disappoint this is not that post either… Continue reading