Monday, 28 September 2009

Parental responsibilities

I saw an old silver haired fox (similar to me) getting taken down outside Tesco today for attempting to shoplift a Tesco value brand 17" monitor, and it got me to thinking about the responsibilities of parenthood.

I mean, this middle aged (presumably) responsible pillar of the family? What would his kids think, bailing dad out for shoplifting something that wasn't even name brand?

I think parenthood is the next evolution in our social climb up the proverbial ladder. The single life and the child free wedded years, you have such a different outlook, a different perception on life and your responsibilities are... well, you. Out all hours, spending money on what YOU want, being reckless and answerable to no one else.

You pop a sprog out and it's not about you anymore. You've evolved. You are now a role model. These little sponges take in everything you do, believe you're Superman, want to be you and believe you can do no wrong.

Given this great power, it's amazing how many people completely mishandle this great responsibility and ruin it for their kids.

I'm not perfect, I just try not to screw up too bad. There's a few easy wins though to being the best parent I think - no drugs, not being drunk in front of them, no swearing, treating them with love and affection and teaching them boundaries early on.

I think a lot of today's problem kids have at the root of their issues parents who've disregarded these easy wins, for one reason or another. No one ever said it was easy, and being a parent doesn't come with an instruction manual (if it did, it would have warned me about Emily's penchant for hiding my TV remotes!!).

I just think life's hard enough without giving our kids a crap start to life. I mean, if I was going to shoplift a monitor it would have been name brand and at least 24"! At least being bailed out, they wouldn't be embarrassed by my (almost) plunder.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Danger! Falling baby

Yesterday we put Em in her cot ostensibly to have her afternoon nap, but also to keep her out of the way while we finished the painting in the bathroom.

I went into her room when finished to put some stuff away. As I was knelt down with my back to her cot, I heard a God almighty bang. First thought was she'd thrown something really heavy out of her cot. Second thought was she doesn't have anything heavy enough to make a thud that loud.

Looking round, I realised she DID have something heavy enough to make a thud that loud - herself. It seems like she saw me on the ground and just decided to catapult out of her cot... and well, she missed me, but landed flat on her back.

I really don't know whether she thought I'd catch her, or even see her. It wasn't like she was making noise that would indicate she wanted picking up or removing from her cot.

All the same, she was no worse for wear (as far as we can tell) and a songs later she'd forgotten all about it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Emily and her guitar

Never too young. They always say that. Never too young to learn manners, to eat well, etc.

On Saturday we went to ELC and bought Emily a child sized guitar, so here's hoping it's never too early to learn to play guitar.

This isn't the first musical instrument Emily's been given. She's got a couple of tambourines, some sort of drum and a microphone that plays songs.

However, the guitar we bought her is a proper small scale guitar, not one of these Rockband style things with five buttons that plays a song when you press it. There's six-strings - E, A, D, G, B and E and it'll take a stronger man than me to keep the bastard thing in tune!

Right now she's just smacking the crap out of it, but I hope she moves on from the end of set Pete Townshend moves and tries a bit more of the during show moves.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 21 September 2009

I could throttle her! (or ... my day out at Hever Castle)

Hever Castle & Gardens, Childhood Home of Anne...Image by iknow-uk via Flickr
We decided to embrace Indian summer yesterday by journeying into deepest, darkest Kent to visit Hever Castle. As Sue is on an Anne Boleyn kick at the moment, it was a must that we visit her childhood home.

Emily, on the otherhand, is NOT on an Anne Boleyn kick and would have preferred to stay asleep than to be rudely awoken by the adults, just to roam around a castle that had "do not touch" on everything.

Emily is currently in that "terrible two" phase where she screams in a high pitch whine before going straight as a board when she's not getting her way. Unlike other things she does, there's no real way this is cute.

Half way through the tour of the castle... or large house as it actually is, I decided enough is enough and made a hasty exit with Emily who, by this point, was actually crying with tears from her eyes. Tears, I hasten, of boredom... well, I imagine.

The rest of the day out at Hever was lovely and uneventful. Once outside and in the gardens she was right as rain. Just something about old things you can't touch must have put her tired nose out of joint.

Lesson for next time, let sleeping bubbies lie.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

18 months old!

Today Emily is officially 18 months old. There's a lot to expect from a child at this age, the least of which is walking. Thankfully, she's able to walk unassisted and it's really just come on in the last month or so.

She's becoming her own little person more every day now, but she's still a joy to have around - even if her increased mobility has led to increased inquisitiveness (i.e. pulling things off shelves).

"You take the good, you take the bad..."

A quote from The Smiths seems to sum up the last year and a half - "18 months hard labour seems... fair enough". Just hoping the next 18 months are a little easier.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Oh crap

There's times in your life as a parent when you just want things to be nice and not horrific.

On Saturday we put Emily in her crib as punishment for something... being a scallywag no doubt. As I was done prepping the lally for painting, I thought I'd go in a check on her. At first I thought Sue had given her chocolate that she'd smeared everything.

On second glance, it wasn't a nutty buddy, but something a little more sinister being smeared here and there.

You'd hope a child's first reaction to crapping themselves would not be to think "hey, new toy", but to be fair, everytime we've changed her nappy we've kept the crap away from her - for obvious health related reasons. So when she crapped herself Saturday, she must have thought she'd made (or found) some wonderful, soft, warm play thing. Needless to say, she was cleaned up and bathed, while the offending bedding was dealt with in true hazchem style.

We've since realised that the nappy brand, style and size we've relied on are probably woefully inadequate for an increasingly active toddler. What a crappy way to learn THAT lesson!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, 7 September 2009

Toddler lethargy

With Emily walking unaided almost all the time, a side-effect has set in - tiredness. I think now she's exerting a lot more energy walking and balancing, it's really taking it out of her energy-wise.

Where before she'd go to bed around 8ish, she'd wake around 6.30am. Now she's going to bed at the same time and we're having to wake her around 7ish - teenager like.

I'm not sure where to go on this one. We either feed her more to get her calories / energy up; get her to go to bed earlier, which won't be easy; or just deal with it.

I'm hoping this is common amongst toddlers who start to get more active and doesn't point to something more sinister like toddler anemia or thyroid issues.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

New childminder

A new month, a new childminder.

Having had to find a new childminder due to issues out of our control, we finally started with a new woman, Helen, today. While Katharine was a 20 minute round trip the WRONG way, Helen is actually on the way to work. I have to drop Emily at 8.30 in the morning, so we can leave the house around 8.20am. Leaving at 8.05am for Katharine's we used to get there about 8.30am, so Em and I have got a few more minutes at home.

All this means we need to find a new routine!

As it was Em's first day, she wasn't all too impressed with me leaving her. She raised merry hell, as she did when Ness dropped her round last week for a couple of test sessions. She didn't sleep today either, but I'm sure it's all down to the "new ness" of it all.

It's funny starting with a new childminder with Em around 18 months and seeing the differences from when she started at Katharine's. She's quite the little toddler now with moods and attitudes. When we started at Katharine's she was really quite docile and just went with the flow.