Tag Archives: babies

milestones

My baby turns two next month. I know I shouldn’t really call him my ‘baby’ as he’s clearly a toddler but he’s my third, my youngest and my last and I can’t really think of him any other way. He’ll always be my baby even when he’s a great, hulking teenager I suspect.baby hand hold

I think my reluctance to give up thinking of him as a baby also has something to do with my experience of motherhood third time round. It’s felt different this time in many ways: more relaxed, easier and with no sense of urgency about getting to the next stage.

I remember with my first son I was so excited at all his achievements and keen for him to move onwards. A walking, talking child is so much more interesting than a baby, after all. With my second son I felt completely ‘in the thick of it’. There’s two years between my first two and the demands of looking after a baby and a toddler were such that I was happy to just get through it. There were many happy moments but I had a definite sense of wanting to move onwards and upwards rather than wanting to slow things down. Day to day life was really tiring!

Third time round it’s been totally different. There’s three-and-a-half years between my youngest and my second-born and since my middle son is an August birthday, he started school mere days after his fourth birthday when the baby was only six months old. So I’ve had plenty of time to sit back and really enjoy baby number three. We’ve ambled through days contentedly (well apart from the extreme sleep-deprivation but I’ll gloss over that) and while I’ve delighted at his development I’ve felt no urge at all to hurry things up. In fact I’ve often wanted to hit the pause button because he’s been such a poppet. He’s been totally doted on by the four of us  – he’s our baby and I sort of want him to stay that way.

So when it comes to thinking of his second birthday I feel a bit odd. Nostalgic almost. I know birthdays are a time for celebration but, well, I’m not sure how I feel about rejoicing in this particular milestone.

So I think I’ll focus my attention on other things. Like what a good fit he is for our family. He’s my third boy and you might assume I wanted a girl this time round (believe me, I’ve been asked that by complete strangers – there’s a whole other post I could write on that particular subject!). While that would have been nice (I assume), the fact is when I considered (while pregnant) the attributes that – in an ideal world – I’d like my third child to have I was unknowingly imagining his personality.

He’s laid back, contented and affectionate, he adores his big brothers, thinks my husband is the funniest person alive and, of course he’s my mummy’s boy regularly racing towards me for ‘a cudooo’ (cuddle) :) The last two years could have been so much harder if he’d been different. He’s awesome. And my older boys have welcomed him into our family with open arms. They’re thrilled to see him every morning and every day after school, they call him a “cutie boy” or a “sweetie”, they taught him to draw, help him build lego… my oldest has even written poetry about how much he loves him! The three of them are an amazing little team. I adore them all and I’m so lucky.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

Linking up with #ThePrompt over at Mum Turned Mom. This week it was ‘celebration’.

mumturnedmom

things they say

Over at Little Hearts Big Love, Louise has started ‘From the mouths of babes’, a linky for posts about the things kids say. I love the way children use language when they’re first learning it, and hearing all the things my boys have come out with over the years has been one of my favourite parts of parenting. These little words and phrases can be forgotten so easily though – no matter how much they melt our hearts at the time – which is why I think this linky is a great idea!

Although I don’t post much about my kids on my blog anymore I’ve decided that this is an aspect of their development I really want to write about. I posted a while back about words and phrases my two older boys have used but my youngest is now nearly two and at a gorgeous language-forming age. I want to capture it all… or as much as I can. So I’ll be joining in Louise’s linky. Probably not every week but when ever I can.

words blocksHere are my top three words that my todder (aged 23 months) is using at the moment:

  • Carryoo – he uses this word (with his arms outstretched) to request that I carry him, ie “Mummy, carryoo?”. He’s taken it from the fact that when I offer to carry him I say “Do you want me to carry you?”. Funnily enough, my oldest used exactly the same word at a similar age. I love it.
  • Gancoo – For ‘thank you’. He says it any time you give or offer him anything, or even when you just understand what he’s trying to say and repeat it back to him. I don’t remember my older two using the word anywhere near as often at that age. As my seven-year-old said the other day “He’s such a polite baby! What a cutie!”
  • Mimished – Fairly obviously means ‘finished’ – he says it at the end of every meal as he passes me his plate. I’ve found myself using the word too as it’s a nice one to say. It seems to fit with eating somehow… something about the repeat of the ‘m’. Or is that just me?

There are plenty more but those are the ones that come to mind right now. Consider this post mimished.

Little Hearts, Big Love

joy

sleeping baby goldI’ve been really struggling to write this week. My ideas are still there but the words just won’t come. I think it’s because there’s too much going round in my head and my brain is struggling to focus.

But I saw that this week’s prompt over at Mum Turned Mom was ‘Joy’ and I wanted to write something for that. I knew immediately (and rather obviously, I suppose) what I wanted to write about: my boys. I wanted to write about how much I love them and how proud I am of them and how happy they make me. But yeah – everything I attempted to write was rubbish.

Then I remembered a poem I wrote back at the start of the year. I’ve posted it on my blog before but, well, there’s no harm in posting it again right? It doesn’t tell you all about my boys’ unique personalities, about how thoughtful and sensitive my first-born is, how funny and affectionate my second, or how laid-back and irresistible my youngest is. It doesn’t describe what a fabulous little team they are, how supportive and loving and united they are (it also does’t describe the times they bicker either!) But it is about them and the joy they bring me.

I wrote it about my youngest boy but I have felt the same about each. Moments like these have a bitter-sweet edge but are definitely almost heart-explodingly joyful:

Beloved

You are warm in my arms,
Snuggled to my chest,
Soft hair tickling me
With every breath.
My gaze caresses you,
Drinking you in;
The curve of your brow,
Your flawless skin,

Plump cheeks flushed
In the nightlight’s glow,
Pink lips tracing
A cupid’s bow,
Your eyelashes fluttering
As dreams drift by,
Contentment caught
In a sleeping sigh.

As I stroke your fingers
And brush your nose with a kiss
I ache at the thought
Of losing moments like this,
And wish I could capture
Forever this time
When, tiny and perfect,
You are utterly mine.

mumturnedmom

Race round the shops #bill and bob

The team:

Mum: Tired mum of three. Tries her best to keep an eye on her kids and a smile on her face at all times. Doesn’t *always* succeed.

Son no. 1: Just turned seven. Usually quite sensible although his attempts to help aren’t always actually that helpful.

Son no. 2: Nearly five. Bit of a nutter.

Baby: 16 months. Very laid back which, frankly, is the only way he survives.

And now to our commentators Bill and Bob to guide us through a trip to the supermarket:

Bill: “You join us outside the supermarket as we wait for Mum and her kids to arrive. The weather is terrible: sheets of rain are coming co opdown – I’d be surprised if they make it here at all, Bob”

Bob: “I think they have to, Bill – Mum had to have her tea without milk this morning and she couldn’t make toast without scraping green bits off the bread first so I think this trip’s a necessity!”

Bill: “Turns out you’re right Bob: I can see mum and kids driving down the road towards us now!”

Bob: “Mum’s looking out for a parking space and I can see one right in front of the store which is useful – I think she’s spotted it too!”

Bill: “Yes it’s great the way they have these ‘parent and child’ spaces now – it means she won’t have to walk from the other side of the car park with a baby on her hip and two small boys running round her ankles! In this weather that’s a massive bonus.”

Bob: “Oh except…”

Bill: “Oh no! A sports car has driven into the space just before Mum got there… a young man has got out of it.”

Bob: “No sign of any kids with him Bill?”

Bill: “None at all Bob – perhaps he can’t read the clear signage ‘parent and child parking only’?”

Bob: “Honestly Bill, from the way he’s just barged his way past those other people to get into the shop I’d say it’s more that he’s a…”

Bill: “Colossal bell-end.”

Bob: “Well I wan’t going to put it quite that way Bill!”

Bill: “Neither was I Bob – that’s just what I saw Mum mouthing as she looked at him going in the supermarket by himself.”

Bob: “She’ll have to park further away now.”

Bill: “Hmmm, and crossing the car park with three kids looks like it’s a real struggle! The baby’s slipping off her hip constantly and Son no.2 is more interested in singing and dancing than actually walking in a straight line! Nothing dampens his spirits eh Bob?”

Bob: “Doesn’t seem to no, although from her expression Mum is feeling very differently and… oops, she’s just dropped her handbag! But it’s ok Son no.1 is picking it up for her and shovelling everything that fell out onto the ground back into it.”

Bill: “Was that empty crisp packet and cigarette butt in there originally Bob?”

Bob: “I’m not sure it was Bill, no – might be a bit of a surprise for her later…”

Bill: “Well that crisis seems to have been averted anyway and, thank God, they’ve got inside – oh?!”

Bob: “What’s that Bill?”

Bill: “Well I thought Mum would go for a trolley so she’d have somewhere to put the baby down but she’s just got a basket.”

Bob: “Ah, that’s because there’s no need for a trolley Bill: I’ve heard her telling the kids they’re ‘Just popping in for bread and milk.'”

Bill: “I see… although they do seem to be heading for the fruit and veg now and flinging a lot of bananas into the basket.”

Bob: “Yes I’ve heard the baby is obsessed with them – look he’s reaching out desperately now and shouting ‘BlaBla!'”

bananasBill: “She’s having to hide them behind a couple of pineapples in the basket– an impulse purchase for the purpose I suspect!”

Bob: “Yes, and dear me, Son no.2 has just raced off down to the other end of the aisle! He seems to be singing “Everything is awesome!” at the top of his voice and waving a cucumber!”

Bill: “She’ll have to buy that too now Bob.”

Bob: “Yes, she’s caught up with him and into the basket it goes. She’s giving him a job to do now to keep him occupied. He’s to get some cheese apparently.”

Bill: “That might just work, he’s gone off quite happily to the cheese section while Mum picks up a few more items in the fresh aisle.”

Bob: “And the baby’s doing his bit too – I saw him grab a bunch of grapes as they went past there… although should he be eating them?”

Bill: “Perhaps not Bob but – good news – Son no.2 is back with the cheese!”

Bob: “Hmm, only it’s cheese strings – from Mum’s face I think she was thinking more “caved-aged gruyere’ or at least a decent mature cheddar but never mind.”

Bill: “I’m a fan of wensleydale myself but… oh dear, Son no. 1 has now decided he ‘needs a wee’.”

Bob: “Mum’s telling him in no uncertain terms that he’ll have to hold on – there’s no customer toilet in here apparently!”

Bill: “Yikes, Bob – they’re going to have to up the pace then, to get home in time!”

Bob: “Indeed Bill, and they are, she’s almost running down the canned goods aisle…”

Bill: “Managing to hurl some baked beans and chopped tomatoes in as she races past – that basket’s looking heavy!”

Bob: “And they’ve finally reached the bread aisle and she’s flung in a loaf.”

Bill: “And also some doughnuts… the boys are looking pleased but she’s shot them a look that says ‘these are for me!'”

Bob: “The basket is looking really heavy now but, not to worry, Mum’s handed it to the boys and they’re carrying it between them”

Bill: “Hmmm ‘swinging’ it between them might be a more accurate way of putting it!”

Bob: “True, they have just scattered grapes across the floor with that last swing but, still they’re helping Mum aren’t they?”

Bill: “I’m saying nothing Bob…”

Bob: “Ah you’ve just spotted Son no.2 sneaking chocolate in to the basket I take it?”

Bill: “Indeed. Luckily Mum’s distracted trying to hoist the baby into a more comfortable position on her hip – he might just get away with that!”

Bob: “Right, Mum’s had enough; they’re headed for the tills”

Bill: “Oh no… there’s a huge queue behind to each of them!”

Bob: “It’s ok she’s headed to the new self service tills – no queue at all there!”till

Bill: “I suspect there’s a reason for that Bob, but lets see…”

Bob: “Right, she’s got the basket in the right area and is following the instructions on screen to swipe the items…”

Bill: “And then put them in the bag. Only she can’t get them in the bag because it’s stuck closed and she’s holding the baby.. but it’s fine she’s just put the baby down next to the till so she can deal with that.”

Bob: “Wait  – the the till’s bleeping and flashing at her: ‘Alert! Alert! Unidentified object in packing area!’”

Bill: “Yes Bob, that’ll be the baby. A little heaver than a punnet of strawberries I’ll warrant.”

Bob: “So she’s put the baby on the floor and managed to open the bag and started to load the shopping into it.”

Bill: “The baby’s crawling off though… should we…?”

Bob: “No need to tell her Bob, Son no. 1 is on it. He’s picked up the baby and jiggling him. The baby is shrieking ecstatically.”

Bill: “Not sure the man at the next check out is that keen on the shrieks Bob.”

Bob: “No, but Mum’s not got time to worry about that now. She’d just noticed the chocolate Son no.2 sneaked into the basket. Although, actually she’s looking quite pleased about it!”

Bill: “Something tells me Son no.2 wont be benefitting from that particular misdemeanour Bob.”

Bob: “No, especially as the self-serve till has just jammed again and is asking her to seek help from a member of staff.”

Bill: “She never should have tried to pass that ‘rustic loaf’ off as a ‘nordic loaf’ Bob – the till can see right through that sort of desperate action.”

Bob: “Mum’s looking wildly around for a member of staff while also taking the baby back off Son no.1”

Bill: “And taking a banana out of his hand… how did he get that anyway?!”

Bob: “Search me Bill! But look, we have real progress – someone has sorted out the glitch and all the items are through the till! Mum’s even managed to pay without a hitch”

Bill: “Although she does now have two small boys hanging off her demanding to go to the loo and telling her they’re hungry.”

Bob: “Not to mention the baby who she’s still trying to keep upright – a difficult task now he’s spotted the bananas in the bag – he can really stretch when he wants to can’t he?!”

Bill: “She needs to get out of here fast Bob!”

Bob: “She’s on it, she’s pretty much sprinting to the door with the kids in tow!”

Bill: “Back through the car park, through the rain, shopping bags knocking against her legs…”

Bob: “Baby crying at the rain slashing in this face.”

Bill: “Boys still shouting about being hungry and needing a wee!”

Bob: “But she’s made it! She’s got them all into the car and she’s setting off!”

Bill: “Hooray! But no, wait! Why’s she now slamming her hands onto the steering wheel like that?! She looks furious!”

Bob: “Ah Bob, that would be because she’s realised… ”

Bill: “Oh dear…”

Both: “She’s forgotten the milk!”

Prose for Thought

For more Bill and Bob check out what they had to say about The School Run and the weekly Kids Swimming Lessons.

Post Comment Love

a mother’s love

sleeping baby gold

She stood gazing down at this vision of complete contentment – her baby boy’s peaceful, sleeping form. He looked, to her fond eyes, almost edibly gorgeous with his rosebud mouth, little squidgy nose and blond, downy hair framing the gentle curve of his cheeks. Clutched to his chest was his favourite teddy; his arms – even in sleep – wrapping it in a tight embrace with one plump hand clutching at its fluffy foot. And those fingers! Each one with its dimpled knuckle, soft skin and miniature nail seemed a tiny testament to the human ability for perfection.

She was filled with a rush of love and the sudden wild need to scoop him up in her arms, to bury her face in the soft skin of his neck and breath in his baby scent. Her arms ached at the thought.

Behind her, a door slammed and she was jarred suddenly from her reverie. She heard the sound of shoes being kicked off and a moment later a lanky young man strode into the room.

“Alright Mum?” He said, brushing her arm not-unaffectionately as strode past her to the fridge “Just grabbing some lunch… is there any food?” Then, noticing her attention was still fixed on something in her hands, he came and peered over her shoulder: “What have you got there?”

She sighed lightly, shaking herself back into the present: “Yes of course there’s food, darling, unless you and your brother have eaten it all since I last looked… which actually wouldn’t surprise me…” She said with fond exasperation. Then, returning her attention again to what was in her hands, she responded to his other query: “I was just looking at one of your baby photos – I found it in a drawer when I was clearing some things out. It took me back.”

She looked once more at the tiny face in the picture and then up at the distinctly larger one now next to her. She searched his features. Was there a trace of the baby there still? Perhaps in the curve of his lip? The shape of his brow?

She sighed again. He was already turning to move across the room. He was his own person now; always going somewhere, meeting someone or off doing something-or-other. He was a lovely lad and she was proud of him, but sometimes she longed to be the centre of his universe again. These days she felt like merely an orbiting satellite.

She turned to place the photo on a shelf and was surprised to feel a hand on her shoulder.“You’re getting all sentimental again aren’t you?” he said, “Come on, make me a cup of tea and I’ll let you bore me with tales of how cute I used to be!”

He smiled at her and suddenly she saw before her not just the teenager he now was, but the proud ten-year-old who’d won the award at school, the excited six-year-old who’d just got his new bike, the four-year-old dancing wildly round the kitchen table, the toddler running into her arms and, yes, even the baby sleeping contentedly, arms wrapped tightly round his favourite teddy.

She smiled back at her gorgeous son whom she loved just as much today as she did the day she took that photo: “Sounds great” She laughed “But YOU’RE making the tea!”

***

A bit of a soppy story from me today! I was looking at my youngest boy this morning (he’s 14 months old now) and thinking how gorgeous he is and how part of me can’t bear the idea of him – or his brothers – getting any older. I just want them to stay my adorable little guys forever! But, of course, they won’t and really I don’t want them to. I love watching them grow up and I hope one day to see them turn into lovely men.

And that’s what inspired me to write this story. I was trying to capture a sense of continuing nature of motherhood and that somehow  – even when they’re huge people with massive feet – they are still and always the tiny life we first created. (I hope – my oldest is only six – but time will tell!)

I wrote it with the baby at my feet (although he is now having a nap) so it’s a bit rushed… oh, and he’s now waking up so I’d better just publish this!

Prose for Thought

 

 

in the night

forestsunlight

So, the baby has decided to celebrate the milestone of his first birthday by returning to sleeping like a newborn. Possibly even worse than one.

He had his jabs last week (a nasty triple-whammy of MMR, Meningitis and some other nasty virus) and he’s got a cold AND he’s teething so perhaps terrible sleep is to be expected but urgh. And bleurgh. I am crap with sleep deprivation. I am not one of those sunny ‘ah well, never mind, he’s only a baby’ types. I sulk and moan. I’m a grump.

But anyway, I digress… in the dark hours of the long, arduous night last night, I wrote this poem. I can’t pretend it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, although frankly, even if it was, I wouldn’t know as I’ve lost all… you know… what ever that stuff is that makes you able to understand and judge things…

Here it is (and I think you can tell I was fed up of it being night!):

 

The darkest hour

 

Molten moonlight drips

through silhouettes of trees.

Dazzled darkness trips

and tumbles to its knees.

Stolen sunlight slips

from fraying bonds and flees

chasing nightmares out before it,

spreading sunbeams in its wake.

 

NB – I wrote most of this post on Wednesday evening and posted it on Thursday morning. In between, the baby actually SLEPT and when I woke up I changed a few key words of the poem. I think it works better than it did. Still not sure though.

Linking up with Prose for Thought over at Verily Victoria Vocalises.

Prose for Thought

baby love

mum and baby

I am besotted with my baby. There’s just no other way of putting it. He’s eleven months old now which seems to me to be a completely delicious age: he’s full of character but hasn’t started to assert himself and shout ‘no’ at me yet!

Of course, I love his older brothers just as much, and my feelings for them have grown into something more complex as they have developed. I think maternal love can only grow deeper as children get older and become more themselves.

But there’s something so primal about the way a mother loves a baby and which is reflected right back in the way a baby loves her. I’ve never spent more than a couple of hours away from my little one but when I greet him after any separation it’s still a thrill for both of us.

And he’s my last baby so I’ve been really making sure I make the most of our time together. Milestones this time round are bittersweet because I know they are the ‘last firsts’. That sounds a bit maudlin which is not how I mean it; I love seeing him develop. It’s just sometimes, especially after his bedtime feed when I’m alone with him in the near-darkness and he’s all warm and sleepy in my arms, I can’t help but wish I could freeze time somehow. To stay in that moment where life is as simple as the bond between us. That’s what inspired me to write this poem:

 

Beloved

You are warm in my arms
snuggled to my chest
soft hair tickling me
with every breath

My gaze caresses you
drinking you in
the curve of your brow
your flawless skin

Plump cheeks flushed
in the nightlight’s glow
pink lips tracing
a cupid’s bow

Your eyelashes fluttering
as dreams drift by
contentment caught
in a sleeping sigh

As I stroke your fingers,
brush your nose with a kiss
I ache at the thought
of losing moments like this

And wish I could capture
forever this time
when, tiny and perfect,
you are utterly mine.

I’m linking this up with Prose for Thought over at Verily Victoria Vocalises.

 

sleep deprivation

I think my baby may have been reading my posts. The moment I decided to start blogging, he promptly decided to stop sleeping. Actually, ‘stop sleeping’ isn’t really the right phrase to use at it implies that he slept in the first place, which he didn’t really. These last few nights have been particularly bad though; a haze of screaming, feeding, crying and stumbling between rooms moaning. And most of those were me.

This has left me dragging myself through the days and collapsing into bed the moment all the kids are down in the evening, none of which leaves any time for writing, let alone blogging. Gah.

I’m not saying I can’t write when I’m tired but at the moment the urge to sleep is pretty overwhelming and when I do write I struggle to remember words, let alone put together sentences! My brain feels like a tea bag that’s been used to make far too many cups of tea; all soggy and wrinkled and devoid of flavour.

Sorry, I don’t mean to whinge. That’s just where I’m at at the moment. It won’t last. These teeth – if teething is the issue – must work their way through soon… surely?

Until then, I guess I’ll just pour myself another pint of tea and hope I can stay awake long enough to finish this blog p… *snore*

birth, babies and creativity

What with one thing and another 2013 has been a pretty creative year. By ‘one thing’ I’m referring to my writing, but by ‘another’… well, back in late February I gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing, baby boy (my third!). Actually he didn’t bounce (at least I assume not, I didn’t check) – newborns aren’t really for bouncing they’re for lying around looking very cute, rather wizened and vaguely not-of-this-world. But you get the picture; along came a new life and other things were rather sidelined for a while.

The thing was though, my writing was one of the few things not to be sidelined. In fact, in the weeks after the birth I felt I really needed to write.

For a start, I wrote about the birth. As anyone who’s been there knows, giving birth is an incredibly intense experience, unlike anything else. For me, it’s also a very lengthy business (not for me these ‘over in a few hours’ births, oh no) and one that I take a while to process afterwards. This was my third time and I’d love to report that it was beautiful or wonderful, or at least straight-forward, but it wasn’t: it was a great long, crushing, vomiting ordeal. Nice.

However, it was an ordeal that resulted in one of the most amazing times of my life. In those first few hours after the birth I felt suspended in time; cocooned with my boy in our own little haven. And afterwards I wanted to capture all of it; the raw awfulness and the perfect bliss.

Funnily enough, it came out almost entirely in poetic form. I’ve never considered myself a poet and it’s certainly not my forte, but when I started to write about the birth I found that prose didn’t seem to cut it.

In total I wrote six poems. That’s perhaps not a huge number for any real poets out there but for me, that’s quite a lot! I started with one about late pregnancy and then moved through birth, the aftermath and one about my newborn. Then to round things off I wrote one for each of my other sons – I’ve read them their poems. They laughed. I’ll say no more.

I’ve since returned to prose and stopped writing about babies and birth but I’m really pleased that I got it all down when I did and in the way that I did. Writing was cathartic, enjoyable and – since some of the creating was done in my head in the dark – a nice distraction from being repeatedly awoken in the night.

It’s been quite a year!