Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ineffectual parenting?

Yesterday when I picked Emily up from Helen's, she was tired and listless and not feeling well.

When we got home, I received an early Christmas present - 45 minutes of non-stop crying, fidgeting, runny nose and other actions you would associate with someone who is ill.

All my protestations of "C'mon Em, I know you're ill, it's going to be okay" couldn't resolve the fact that she was tired, achy, felt like crap and had a nose tap switched on that would not turn off.

There's not much you can do in these situations - administer Calpol, wipe the nose and make them comfortable. It just makes you feel useless that there's this little creature obviously in large amounts of distress and you have to sit (almost) idly by and just let it happen.

Short of taking her to the doctors every time this happens, I guess letting it happen is just what I need to do.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hearing test

Today we went to Teddington for Emily's rescheduled hearing test.

Horrific 4 hour journey aside, Emily passed with flying colours. While I'm glad she won't have to have a fashionable hearing aid adorn her ears, I was also in two minds about what could also be affecting her language delay. You kinda hope that if it is a hearing issue, getting a hearing aid will be the miracle cure and she'll be fine.

Now we've ruled out hearing issues, I really don't know what the miracle cure is, or if one even exists.

We continue on with our speech therapists and appointments with other NHS folk in the vain hope of getting Emily up the Zero before she gets to an age where all this will actually matter ... like school.

Parent "teacher" evening at Fennies

Well, our first parent teacher meeting at Fennies was pretty much what we assumed.

Emily likes books and singing, has no problem with her appetite and doesn't really interact with other children.

She's getting better at a number of things but is still behind in a few.

We also discussed the dreaded potty training and discovered they don't do the intermediate "pull up" stage - it's nappies to knickers for them.

So not too bad all things considered.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

First parent "teacher" night

At 6 o'clock tonight, Sue and I have a parent "teacher" (or key worker) interview with Emily's Day Nursery school, Fennies.

Things like this make me think that Em's quite grown up now. It's not going to be long before it's the real thing mind you, so I'm quite fine that we're having a dry run tonight.

I imagine we'll get a lot of "she likes to read", "she likes to sing", "she likes to eat", "she keeps to herself". The usual things we're used to over the past year or so. "Plays well with others" we won't be expecting.

Unlike a normal grown up parent teacher evening, we're taking Emily as we don't have a babysitter. I'm sure she'll sit in a corner and read so that shouldn't be much of a problem.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Language therapist

We had another session with Karen, the language therapist today.

Emily showed more promise than the last time we saw her, but she is still WOEFULLY behind other children of her age.

Hopefully the more sessions we do, the better she'll get.

One amazing thing came out of today's session - seeing Emily interact PROPERLY with a jigsaw puzzle. With all the puzzles at home she really doesn't take much notice, trying to press the pieces into any old hole before becoming bored and wandering off. Today she not only focused on the puzzle, she also over came various frustrations in trying to get the piece to sit in the hole correctly.

Watching her doing this really gave me hope... until we had our Hairy Maclary meltdown. Karen brought out a board book just before we left and upon taking it away from Emily, the nuclear meltdown occurred. I had to recite Hairy Maclary's Bone to her to calm her down.

There's still something rather oddly strange about hearing a child crying their eyes out, only to stop to say a word like "horse" or "bone" and then go back into the crying.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Emily says her name... sort of

We've been getting Emily to say words by dropping out words in stories and songs and getting her to fill them in. Over the last few months, we've been able to drop out more and more words and she's been filling in more and more words.

Recently we've been watching a video on YouTube about Emily, the emerald green train on Thomas The Tank Engine.

The lyrics go something like "there's noone quite like Emily. Shiny emerald Emily." This weekend I managed to get Emily to fill in the missing word "Emily" with what actually sounds like "Emily". I'm FULLY aware she has NO concept that the Emily she's filling the word in for is actually her name.

I guess our next step is get her to understand things in concept.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Portage visit

It seems that with every week that goes by, we have a meeting with another organisation to try and help Emily.

This morning we had an initial assessment by Portage, a "home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families" (not the act of hauling a canoe over dry land from one body of water to another). It lasted about an hour and, even though there's still issues with Emily, it's good to hear that we're doing all the right things. Just wish the right things resulted in the right outcome instead of a child that still needed to be assessed.

We're going to get a home visit every three weeks from Portage to see how things are going and give us hints, tips and strategies to get Emily on the straight and narrow developmentwise.

For those playing along at home, we're now seeing the Sutton council language therapist, on the waiting list for a paediatrician, Fennie's is sending round a therapist in January to view Emily's progress at the nursery and we're on the list to see a private paediatrician in December.

The stuff is all there in Emily's head, and we can see it dripping out in dribs and drabs. Hopefully ONE of these organisations has the key to getting it flowing out in great gushes.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Emily IS Brick Heck

Brick Heck
The more I watch "The Middle", the more I realise that Emily is very likely going to be Brick Heck. He loses himself in books, would rather read something than play with something and doesn't really care about social interaction. Well, the main comparisons end there, but they're enough to have be start calling Emily "Brick".

Emily's also developing some rather odd habits. She now likes to stand on her head with her bum in the air and just sort of balance on her neck. She's been doing it at Nursery and the first time freaked them out enough to let me know they thought she was going to break her neck.

We've had some crazy times in the last 2.5-odd years and this isn't even the tip of the iceberg.

I just hope that her Brick tendencies subside and she develops her social side as well. There's no prize for the bookiest girl in the library.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Learning's going well

We've been worried about Emily's learning and talking and in recent weeks it's been going a LOT better than it has ever.

She's starting to say things in context, and not being prompted. Tonight she said goodbye to Helen without being asked, and said cake when she looked at one of Sue's dessert chocolate eclairs.

Last night, while watching the Gruffalo on DVD, she said something that resembled butterfly when said creature appeared on screen.

Wordwise, she's already saying "read" with book in hand, to an annoying level. However, instead of saying "drink" or similar, she's just letting out incessant screams.

We're getting there, and I can't wait until she's talking in multiple words.

We're off to see the language specialist again tomorrow, and I'd like to think that she's going to see quite an improvement in Emily.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Emily - Can't sleep or won't sleep?

It's been a fun weekend with Emily.

My mum arrived on Friday night, so Em's got one more family member to wrap around her fingers and to plead "read" to.

We went out last night and dropped my mum off so she could visit with my aunt for a few days. On the journey down, Em fell asleep. This was around 6pm after an intense 15 minutes of trick or treating around the neighbourhood.

On the way back, around 8.30pm, she woke up and quickly fell back asleep once we got home. Having put her straight to bed on getting home, we heard footsteps on the stairs about 40 minutes later.

Around 11pm I felt it was time that not only Emily get back to bed, I was also quite exhausted. On arrival in bed, I nodded off feeling exhausted. Emily, however, was refreshed and up for a party. It was around 1am when I went to the other room to try and get some sleep, with her still babbling and singing to herself.

One odd thing I noticed in the babbling she was doing was that she actually counted BACKWARDS from 10 to 6. With a little prodding, she also managed 3 to 1 as well.

In the last couple of weeks, I've been really amazed by a lot of stuff Emily has done - from being much more lucid and expressive, saying more words - like  "read" and "no" - in context, and now demonstrating insomnia.

It's just a pity she had to drag Sue and I into her "can't sleep" hell as well.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sesame Street and Emily

While the Sesame Street DVDs contain enough warnings to ward you off ever letting your child watch them (apparently we're all brain dead retards for watching them in the 70s) it DIDN'T stop me buying some "old school" episodes on DVD for Emily.

While on holiday I put an episode on featuring the song "Exit" by Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats. It may be from 1974, but it didn't stop Emily dancing and singing along.

If that's what the warning was all about, I fully embrace ignoring it because Emily just loves that song, as well as all the other letters and numbers the episode are brought to you by.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Holiday developments

We've been with Emily every waking minute since we came on holiday last Wednesday.

Since then, the amount of words she's used has seemed to noticeably increase. Not only is she filling in more words in her books, she's also started saying the odd word in context.

She'll wander from adult to adult with a book in her hand saying "reeeeeed" to get you to read her the book. Unfortunately, she tends to want the same book read over and over again. We're trying not to extinguish her enthusiasm and using words in context, but there's only so many times you can read "The Gruffalo" in one sitting.

Apart from speech developments, Emily's holiday adventures has also featured her starting to hit out and both Sue and I. I'd like to think this is a phase she's going through, but as such it's a phase that needs nipping in the bud. I understand that she still can't make her needs and desires known and that can be quite frustrating, but to punch or kick out is not a viable alternative.

I just wish she understood the effect saying "read" with a book in hand had, and that she could extrapolate that to other needs like "drink" and "eat".

Small steps I guess, but in the last five days there's been quite a bit of progress.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Improved speech

It's happening, slowly, but it's happening.

Emily's actually putting words together and letting us know what she means and wants.

We were visiting John, our family friend, last night and an exhausted Emily hopped onto the sofa next to Sue and said "bed". It was VERY obvious what she wanted and a real leap forward in her getting her point across to us.

She's been improving in various other ways lately as well - she says "sit" or "sit right down" when she's sitting in her chair, but last night was really the first "request" she's made where she's actually been able to express herself clearly verbally.

Hopefully more speech comes soon and we won't be able to shut her up. I realise I am going to regret what I wish for when it happens.

Christmas presents and discounts

With Christmas coming and the expectations of "toys, toys, toys" from Emily, it's good to know there's a way to claw back some of the money I'm going to spend.

Voucher Hub is a site that gives you codes, specials and discounts for your favourite retailers so you can make sure you're saving every penny you can. The site's easy to use, and you can be shopping and saving pennies in seconds!

I know that with Emily getting older and wanting more "branded" stuff for Christmas it's going to get expensive. I'm looking to save a bundle getting stuff using Debenhams voucher codes, Ebay voucher codes and Littlewoods discount codes.

Here's hoping that Christmas 2010 is easy on the pocketbook and one for Emily to remember.

Christmas for Emily

It's always a parents' dilemma - Christmas.

Do we perpetuate the capitalist pursuit of (generally Chinese made) products and goods, or do we use the holiday to expand social awareness? If you're a child, I imagine it's "toys (the ones I want) and that's all". I guess a happy medium is ecologically sound toys - you please your kids and they're environmentally-friendly.

I found a site called Earthwhile that sells a lot of stuff including eco-friendly toys. There's something intrinsically satisfying knowing that you can please your child's blood lust for "more toys" and not impact the environment. They have wooden toys as well as a really cool model car (read "I want this!") that's powered by " a miniature solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured from the sun".

How cool is that?

I doubt Emily's going to be lusting after a hydrogen powered car - model or otherwise - for a while, but it's nice to know there's places out there that you can satisfy your child's toy desire AND be good to the environment, and maybe even teach them a little something in the process.

Ain't Christmas grand?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Hearing exam

Sue took Em to have her hearing test today. We were hoping/assuming that it was more a rubber stamp exercise than anything else.

There was a problem though. Em's currently in the middle of a horrible cold, and like most people with colds, every orifice in her head is currently bunged up.

The doctors said, after a variety of tests, that Emily's hearing is slightly below average, but as her ears were bunged up, it's not conclusive. Thus, we have to go back in December and have a cold-free re-exam.

Funnily enough, Sue was chastised for bringing Emily in with a cold, but as we've waited THIS long to get the exam in the first place, there wasn't much that was going to stop Em getting looked at - including having a cold.

Hopefully December's results are mode conclusive and slightly better than this time's.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Random vocabulary

We went to Horton's Children Farm with Emily today to celebrate what could be the last finest Saturday of the year (blue skies, low wind, low 20s, amazing!)

While there, Sue and I ruminated on all the things we needed to work on with Emily - saying "more" when we feed her, playing more interactive games, playing "peeka" and the one thing we really needed to start, doing "ready steady go".

To our amazement, as we walked along the path, all Sue had to say was "ready" and Emily filled in the steady AND the go, and then she was off like a very slow Olympic sprinter.

This was incredibly funny and cute for us to watch as neither of us had ANY idea that she knew this. More to the point, we have no idea who taught her - Helen or Fennies. I can only assume there's not a third party involved here.

For the rest of the afternoon Sue or I repeated "ready" only to have Emily running off like a shot in front of us (actually, her sprint is about our NORMAL walking speed).

Not sure what's next in the "Emily pleasantly surprises us" book, but I can't wait!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Showing signs of improvement

Last night we played with Emily, using jigsaw puzzles and the farm play set she received for her birthday to bring Old McDonald to life. It was quite good and I think Em really benefited from the interactive playing with her mum and dad.

I went to bed feeling we'd really made a breakthrough.

When I picked her up from Helen's tonight, however, the day's events told a more sobering story.

Emily's begun putting her hands down her nappy and walking around with her trousers down by her ankles. Normally this isn't too much cause for alarm, and at least she stays in one place as she's pretty much hog-tied by the clothing around her legs.

Today, however, she had done some business and having removed her hands from her nappy, they were covered in business as well. I can imagine Helen's reaction seeing Emily walking around with hands smeared with poo and I really felt embarrassed to have such an "out of control" child.

All that progress I thought we were making, all the diligence to advance Emily's learning, and she doesn't something like this. If I didn't know any better I'd think she doesn't give a crap... to anyone but Helen.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The irrational fears of a damaged child

For a while now Sue and I have been skirting around the issue that there may actually be something wrong with Emily. How could there be, though? She's so perfect - cute and smiley, affectionate and loving. She's everything you could ask for.

Of course her language skills are practically non-existent outside of nursery rhymes, but that's ok... isn't it?

Sue's been doing some home diagnostics - always a dangerous undertaking - and the results are not all positive. She's been checking to see if Em's autistic or has assburgers among the many ailments.

Like any home diagnoses, you see a couple of headline symptoms and grab onto that problem like a life jacket in the ocean, ignoring the fact that 7 of the 10 symptoms aren't there.

I have to believe the best about our child's mental health and that her language delays are just that - delays. The speech pathologist has given us hope that the rest of her development cascades from developing her language.

There's going to be some real soul searching if there's actually something wrong with Emily. I can't love her any less, but even when you're 100%, the world's a hard enough place to live in and deal with. If you've got an affliction it's just a whole lot worse.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Speech appointment

After all the pushing and prodding, we finally had the appointment with the speech analyst (not her real title, but I can't remember what it actually was) today. It took about an hour for her to do a snapshot assessment, but it was mostly positive.

It looks like Emily's OK, but just slightly behind in development. There's nothing we could have done or didn't do to help it, some kids are just like this. Sue and I were told that a lot of the stuff we're doing is on the right path - giving her a choice, narrating daily activities, etc. I put a lot of this down to previous help from family members and the Hanen book we've been reading (which we were told today was a great tool to be using).

We've got a course of "home treatment" to try for a month - which is basically doing what we've been doing, but with a couple of sheets of further guidelines. We're going to get reassessed in early November.

We were also told of the knock on effects of speech delay - from adult-child interaction, to playing, etc. and how a lot of this could be construed as other ailments including autism. 

I knew today wouldn't be a silver bullet remedy, but I'm glad it wasn't doom and/or gloom as well. There's nothing "wrong" with Emily, we just to ensure we give her every assistance to get her back up to speed.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Having discussed Emily' progress - or lack of - with Helen yesterday, Sue then found some rather upsetting information on the internet about toddler who walk on their tippy toes.

The red flag worry bits included:
If your child is always tiptoeing, it's possible that she has a physical problem such as a short Achilles tendon that actually prevents her from standing flat-footed and limits her range of motion in the ankle. But consistent toe walking is more likely a sign of a motor disorder — most commonly, mild cerebral palsy. 
Of course, a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing, so we're not relying on this as a diagnosis.

The light at the end of the tunnel, however, is we finally have an appointment to get Emily's speech assessed. We're seeing a specialist next Wednesday, 22 September. Hopefully from this encounter we can get some other assessments sorted out - whether there is an issue as highlighted above, why Emily seems to live in her own world and not respond to her name, and whether there's anything else going on.

Every journey starts with the first step. It just feels this first step has taken FAR too long.

Emily the cougher

I woke up this morning around 4.30am to the sound of Emily and some incessant coughing. It was one of those uncontrollable barrages you never wish on anyone.

I gave her a drink and kept her upright - or as upright as you can keep a child you also want to keep asleep.

When I went back in about 45 minutes, she had some odd white drool all over her mouth.

Letting her lie in a bit this morning, she was as right as rain for breakfast, and seemed quite sprightly when we walked to Fennies from the car. Being upright seems to have cleared whatever horrid phlegm that was blocking her chest. I just hope she's in better sorts when she goes to bed tonight.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lack of toddler sleep

Emily usually collapses into a toddler-sized ball of sleep anywhere between 8pm and 9pm.

It was with EXTREME frustration that I was dealing with a ball of energy last night at 10.30pm. I know all too well the perils of doing something during the day which will result in insomnia, lack of sleep, etc. (usually caffeine related) but Em was acting like it was 10.30am, not pm. My overwhelming concern was how were we going to wake her this morning.

Thankfully, by the time I climbed the wooden hill to Bedfordshire around midnight she was fast asleep. Recently fast asleep I don't know. This morning's "wake up Emily" took a bit longer, but it happened and she was her usual morning sprightly self.

The only difference yesterday I can think of is we gave her ice cream for dessert, maybe that's like caffeine to a toddler. Live and learn... live and learn.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Emily the elder

When I picked up Em tonight from Helen's, I discovered Em now has a new friend called Ellie.

She's a bit younger than Em and apparently Em is "showing her the ropes" - how to read books, how to sing nursery rhymes, etc. She's only 2.5 and not really old enough to be the older child (that's around 7-8 I'd reckon) but it's fun to hear about Em being the "grown up" showing Ellie the ropes.

I get it foreshadows how she'll react to a sibling when he/she eventually arrives.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Emily's new proper bed

Emily in her big girl bed.
Over the weekend I went down to my nan's flat and moved some furniture out, bringing an end to that chapter of our lives.

Among the new acquisitions was a bed for Emily - her first proper slumber chamber.

On Sunday I sorted out her room and erected her bed. It's a damn sight larger than her crib and is a proper bed, not one of those overpriced children's beds.

Last night was her first sleep in it. Kitted out in matching cupcake duvet and pillow set, she was tickled pink at her bed, repeatedly saying "bed".

I left her with the light on, and a number of books to read thinking she'd enjoy her first night in her bed.

When I came up later on to turn the light on, she had actually crawled INTO her crib and fallen asleep in there, shunning her bed completely.

Something makes me think she may not be ready for the responsibility that the cupcake duvet represents.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Emily's full on toddler ill

Those green candle sticks Em was growing yesterday have turned into full blown "ill toddler" today. I had to pick her up early from Helen's as she was crying and holding her ears more than usual.

She's a bit spotty and incredibly listless and limp, and has a cough and just looks the picture of ill child.

I've booked an appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning, so until then it's a steady diet of In The Night Garden, sips of water and baby jollop.

Just hope she doesn't give it to Sue or I.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Head colds in children

Emily's got the candlesticks streaming from her nose at the moment as she's got a bit of a head cold.

Normally we adults would blow our nose, or at least wipe it when the green groolies are creeping down giving us a "snot-tache". Emily, however, has her own trick. She wipes the crap out of it, smearing it all over so it effectively becomes hair gel.

I'm just wondering at what point she'll actually realise this is not a cool thing to do, AND at what point will she actually figure out how to blow her nose.

There's always SOMETHING else to teach them. I was worried about (and still am) teaching her to spit after brushing her teeth... now this. I need a win at some point.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bedtime pain

This evening Emily fell out of bed. This is not news. She went whollop and landed on the floor, let out a cry and stayed asleep.

It did get me to thinking though, why I don't fall out of bed. When do we reach that age where we naturally guard ourselves from doing faceplants on the floor, even when we're unconscious?

I can picture myself in our bed, tossing and turning and having a horrific sleep, yet I stay off the floor. It astounds me that we as a species seem to have developed this trait to stay in bed.

Chalk another one up to evolution!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Free reign

On our trip to In The Night Garden Live yesterday we had a simple choice - take the pushchair or leave it?

Recently Emily has become a lot more confident in her walking in public and on longer jaunts than just around the garden or to the car. She's also a lot more receptive to commands - like holding her hand across the street, etc. Even when we go shopping, she'll obey if we say, "this way Emily." So obviously we were confident in our choice of leaving the pushchair at home.

Thankfully, our decision paid off.

We gave her free reign to wander where she wanted to, within reason, and except for the odd moment -  like trying to wander up and town the train car, she was good as gold.

She got  a bit ratty toward the end of the evening, but I can imagine that all the walking/running, combined with no afternoon sleep and the excitement of seeing In The Night Garden Live would have made her quite exhausted.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

In the night garden live (aka Emily's first time at the "theatre")

Iggle and Upsy on stage at the O2
We made it to the O2 today to see "In The Night Garden Live". I kinda knew what to expect having watched a preview trailer of the show in Liverpool.

I was, however, dead keen to see how Emily would react.

Coming out of the North Greenwich tube station there was a poster for the show which mesmerised Emily. Sue and I played it coy with a "wow Em, we should look into going to that" line.

When we got to the O2, loads of kids had balloons with the Hahoos on them which got her excited. As we walked down the "avenue" in the O2 towards the show, there were four massive blow up Hahoos on display. On seeing this, Emily got even more excited.

During the show, Emily visibly couldn't contain herself clapping, laughing and smiling as each of the characters came out and was introduced. I think she also worked off the energy of the other kids in the audience, as usually her watching of the show is quite a solo experience, save for mummy and daddy.

Afterwards we stopped in the O2 avenue for some dinner and then home. Emily didn't have a sleep during the day, so by the time got back to the car she was quite exhausted. Good day over all, especially for the under 3 in the group.

One caveat, the show is apparently in the Meridian Gardens - this, in actuality, is a dodgy looking car park. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, 6 August 2010

Nursery Tales

Em finished her first two full days of nursery today and it's a promising start.

Things we've been told include she loves singing, she has a good appetite and she loves to paint.

She seems to be fitting in quite well. Hopefully being around the other kids her age will "peer pressure" her into talking soon.

We've got quite a bit of optimism that this new environment and social situation is only going to be a positive experience for Emily.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Emily's first full Fennies' day

Today Emily started day care at "Fennies Under 5s" for Thursdays and Fridays, as Sue has started back full time. She's been for a couple of dry runs the last couple of weeks, but this is it.

There were tears and the obligatory "why are you leaving me?" looks. While child minding is a sad requirement of today's economic landscape, this is only the third such "first day" Emily's had in her 30-odd months - from Katherine originally, to Helen (still) and now Fennies. 

When we dropped her off, I tried to remember the shock to the system when I started big boy school (well, grade one) back in the mid-70s. The only thing I could remember was falling over and cracking my head open. I was six.

I trust Em's first full day will pass with a lot less drama... and pain... and bloodshed.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Saying words in context

vintage red leather childs clogs
Tonight Emily actually spoke A word in context to something she was "reading". She has a book of things to demonstrate 1-10. #6 is a picture of six dogs. When she sees this she does a "ruff" sound. No mention of how MANY dogs there are, but she recognises and associates the sound the dogs make.

#2 is a picture of two shoes. Tonight, she actually said "shoes" when she saw the shoes. I'm not that optimistic to believe she actually read and understood the word, rather she could actually associate the visual image with the word - I'd like to think so, the number of times we've sat on the bottom steps and put her shoes on, although I'm kind of glad she said "shoes" and not "shoesies" as we call them when putting them on.

It's a small win in the battle to get her speech sorted out. Although I know the war is far from over, the occasional win does bring a highly relieved smile to my face.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Speech issue continues

In the past few weeks I've put together a video of Emily for a friend of Sue's and a friend of my mum's to have a look at and give us some feedback.

We've got some of that feedback and now we need to overcome Emily's "expressive delay" in her speech and also try to ensure that she creates multi-syllabic words or sounds as well.

For most people, a lot of life's developments come naturally - eating, walking, speaking, toilet training - and you just assume that when a child is ready, it'll happen. It's a royal pain in the ass when it doesn't however. Thankfully, in this day and age there's help for almost everything that we take for granted that a child may not do. I can only imagine the help we'd get if Emily had been born 100 years before.

So, while we wait for the NHS to get off their asses and allow us to see a specialist, we've received some really good help and feedback from two continents in our continued efforts to bring Emily's development in line with other children her age.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Lovely Lavender Toddler

Emily in the lavender fields.
We went to the local lavender field today for a bike ride and to have a look.

While we were there we saw LOADS of Japanese people (either tourists or local students) taking LOADS of photos.

We let Emily run around the rows of lavender to get rid of some of her pent up toddler energy, and we were all having a good time.

One of the students, with a camera lense as long as Emily is tall, asked if he could take a picture of her. After about 10-15 pictures and letting me have a look he told me, in broken English, that she was a "very beautiful baby" - something we already know.

I can't help feeling, however, that Emily's photo is soon to grace the front of a box of toddler cereal in Japan.

Monday, 12 July 2010

In the night garden live!

Iggle Piggle and EmilyImage by greedoe via Flickr
Finally bit the bullet and bought some tickets to see In The Night Garden Live tonight.
It's on at the O2 in some specially sorted tent.
There's been some issues with the show in that EVERYONE has to buy a ticket... and all tickets are the same price. Some 300 lb wide-boy is the same price as a 6 month old babe in arms... apparently this is to keep prices low.
I really have no idea what to expect, but if we're going to be treated to 10 minutes of story with enough filler to make a stack of sandwiches, I'll be mightily annoyed at what I spent my £60 on.
I've got my bets that the show is going to make Emily's day, if not year, and when you're a parent, that's really all that matters.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Pillow? No no.

Now that Em's a toddler, we're looking at moving her out of her "childhood" crib and into a bed. To get her ready for the transition, I've been letting her fall asleep in the parental bed. This has included her lying on a pillow. The look on her face of child-ecstasy as she falls into the pillow is incredible.

So... thinks dad putting two and two together in a vein attempt to equal four... maybe if we put a pillow in Em's cot she'd be happier going to bed.

One night I went to bed, putting the pillow under her head and marvelling at my thoughtfulness, mentally writing my dad of the year award as I walked, rather pleased with myself, back to bed.

Then I did some searching on Google which prompted me to jump out of bed, rip the pillow out of her bed and mentally scold myself for being the largest dufus in the world.

What did I find? The long and the short of it is - toddlers don't need a pillow and to prove how much they don't need one, they can die from SIDS if they sleep with one.

I quote from one of the happier posts I found:
Pillows could be dangerous for babies.
- They can cause suffocation, either by the baby turning face down and burying his face in the pillow or by getting his head under the pillow. This is rare.
- Babies do not need a pillow to sleep comfortably.
- Do not use pillows until the child moves from the cot into a normal bed, usually at 2 to 3 years. Even then pillows are not essential, but children usually want to have one to be like everyone else. Once our shoulders are wider than our heads, most of us sleep more comfortably with a pillow.
- Young children should start with a flattish and fairly firm pillow. Older children usually choose the type and size they prefer. The type of filling does not matter unless there is an allergy problem.
To tell the truth, I didn't really get beyond the first half of the first point before my better judgement felt that it was easier to explain to Emily why she couldn't have a pillow than to explain to Sue why we have a dead child.

I think the hunt for a bed is still on, but I walk the pillow line with sweaty palm and dread in my heart.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Emily the misery

I know better. I keep telling myself that.

Do NOT go to a supermarket with Emily. Bad things will happen.

Why I didn't heed my own advice last night was a mix of optimism and stupidity. My faith in Emily to not create merry hell was repaid by her actually creating the most merry HELL I have ever had the joy to witness from her.

There was shaking, screaming, tears... the works. This has been the first time in a LONG time that I really wanted to give a good hiding. I understand how parents can lose their cool with their kids on shopping trips.

I also told myself that she's usually placid and only cocks a strop when there's a good reason - hungry, tired, thirsty, etc. I got the feeling that the real underlying problem was I wouldn't let her run around the shop. I let her go a couple of times and she was off like a bullet. There's only so fast I can push a trolley through the shop.

The fun didn't stop when we left Sainsbury's however. Emily managed to maintain her happy disposition through dinner, mixing the bland flavour of her chicken korma with the salty bitterness of her toddler tears.

After that it was bath time and this usually illicits tears regardless of previous emotional state and again Emily did not disappoint. By this time, however, the footie was on and mummy was home so she got to taste some of the flavour of the child I call Grizzelda.

Emily IS usually placid and I can't place my finger on exactly why she was such a misery last night. I can only assume it was a mix of things - tired, hungry, me not letting her run riot. I just need to ensure that food shopping is done at the right time or else bribe her with treats to keep her still.


Monday, 28 June 2010

Potty training

it's a subject we've been dancing around, but trying to avoid at the same time - toilet training.

It's one of those things I really need to bone up on, as the thought of it just makes me shrug my shoulders and ask "where the hell do we start?".

We bought Em a potty a few months ago, but she hasn't made the leap that this plastic seat is to replace her nappies. Try as we might to drop her trou at the first sign of pushing, it's still come to nothing.

From what I understand, toilet training is a very touchy subject. Done wrong, and the child can regress, associate poops and wees with being bad and generally be in a bad way. Done right, obviously the cost of nappies can be put to something more useful.

Having talked to Helen this evening when I picked Emily up, she was saying that Em needs to give us the nod when she's ready to drop her brown friends off at the pool, as opposed to smearing them all over her cheeks. I'd love to take the wait and see approach, but as we've done this with her speech and it's backfired, I'm not too keen.

Ah the wondrous trials of parenthood.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Trip to the miniature village

Bekonscot - Historic Model VillageImage by kotomigd via Flickr
On Saturday we decided to go off to Bekonscot miniature village in Beaconsfield.

The decision behind this was really me as I like miniature villages and hadn't been to one since a 2005 holiday to the Isle of Wight.

We weren't really sure how Emily would react to the joys of being a Gulliver-sized giant to the Lilliputian-sized model townsfolk.

We needn't have worried - she loved it. The village has a number of trains running through it and Emily couldn't get enough of these. Sue and I continued to yell "Train" whenever one went by and Emily would come running with a sense of wonder and joy on her face to see the train whizz by.

Likewise, a number of village houses and exhibitions had actions and Emily really enjoyed seeing those, as I guess would any child.

They also had a playground area and Emily spent far too long going down the slide over and over and OVER again. We capped the day off by going around the place on a ride-em train.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Emily's supermarket tantrums

Despite her inability to want to actually talk, Emily's been quite expressive lately and has actually been a joy to be around. A joy as long as I'm not hauling her around the supermarket.
She can be in any type of wonderful mood, having had a lovely sleep, etc. when I pick her up from Helen's.

She screams when I take her into the bathroom as she assumes she's going to be forced to have a bath. However, it takes her about 5-10 minutes of being in a supermarket before the screaming, crying and random tantruming seem to happen.

Like bathtime, I don't know what happened. She used to love going to the supermarket, helping me unload the shopping cart on the belt, etc. Now it's just a game of "placate the child" with drinks, biscuits, etc.

I guess the golden answer is to continue to try and do my food shopping at lunch time... oh Emily.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, 24 May 2010

Child Trust Fund axed

As part of the government's plan to claw back some of the nation's deficit, the ill thought out and little used Child Trust Fund was severely cut back today, with an aim to completely axing it by 2011.

The scheme, which we partook in for Emily, gave new born children £250 to be invested in a special account under their name (£500 for poorer families). Ostensibily, this was to help pay for college or other life changing events once they turned 18. However, most critics pointed out that as the scheme was in the child's name, it could equally be used to pay for a massive drunked party as it could be to pay for further education and that parents were better off opening accounts for their children they could monitor.

Under the terms announced today, the £250 is trimmed back to £50 for the next year (£100 for poorer families) and then cut altogether.

To explain the cuts, a government official explained to BBC:

"At present, the child trust fund is based on the claim that young people will build up an asset which they can use later in life.

"But since government payments into the scheme are essentially being funded by public borrowing, the government is also storing up debts which will have to be repaid by the same young people."

We took the £250 and left it at that, so Emily when she turns 18 will get £250 plus 18 years worth of interest. There was to be a top up payment of £250 at age seven, but this has been axed as well.

It'll be interesting to see if any replacement comes about when the good (economic) times kick in.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, 17 May 2010

Terrible Twos in full terrible swing

As lovely as it is having Emily more receptive, she's getting a mood and attitude on her that's really quite shocking.

Having had a chat with Helen today, we ruminated over how headstrong and stubborn Emily's becoming and how she wants to do things her way or she flops a strop.

I guess it's up to Sue and I as parents to see past the new "personality" that's emerging and continue to steer her properly through life.

It can be quite hard when the simplest aspects of life - bath time, walking from the house to car, etc. - are met with floods of tears and the toddler equivalent of a "sit in".

This all comes as quite a full on shock considering how placid Emily was as a baby. She was happy, content and went with the flow.

To be honest, she's still all those things, but she's now realising there's a "her way" to doing things as well.

I really don't look forward to her teenage years. I have a feeling I'm in for a large amount of payback.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bib-free breakfast oversight

Two Weetabix in a bowl before milk is addedImage via Wikipedia
I put Em in her chair as usual for breakfast this morning and got her cereal ready.

As she was munching down on Weetabix, I hopped in the shower.

As I got out, I heard her smacking her bowl with her spoon which she usually does when she's finished eating and can't escape the high chair.

When I came back to sort her out, I realised I had forgotten to put her bib on and did that classic palm to the forehead "d'oh" action.

I know she's growing up, but non-bibbing Emily, especially at breakfast time is really a schoolboy error.

Thankfully the bix has soaked up all the milk, so I just had to hose down mulchy cereal from her front. 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, 6 May 2010

More words from Emmers

We were in a playground in Purley at lunch today and Em launched a couple of new words on us.

Climbing the ladder up to a slide I was counting the steps for her and to my amazement, after I said "one" I got a "two" and "three" in reply. The last step, "four", failed to emerge from her lips. I've been trying to get her to expand her number-cabulary for ages, adding to "six", "eight" and "ten". I'm quite pleased with this late development.

Another oddity occurred today when I got home. Em was hissing like a snake. Not really sure what it was in aid of, but it was damn funny listening to her mooch around the house hissing at everything.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Shopping with Em

Usually when I pick Emily up from Helen's after work, we have to head straight home. Any deviation to the supermarket is usually met with quite vocal hostility.

For whatever reason, tonight was different. Emily only grumbled a couple of times, and both were quite lame attempts. I've found it's easier to placate her if she rides up front with the food, rather than sit in the child seat.

When it came to checkout time, I thought I'd try and get her involved a bit. As she was standing in with the food anyway, I pointed to items in the cart and asked her to hand me the next item. Some things she gave me and some things she put on the conveyor belt and some things like a kilo of rice were a bit too heavy.

I was hoping this would keep her interest as well as let her not hate trips to the supermarket. As I was packing, I gave her the items that she could then put in the bag.

I'm under no illusions that the next trip to Sainsburys will not be as smooth or that Emily will be so helpful. It was nice while it lasted.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Thoughts on Emily's general safety

With Emily getting older and more inquisitive, it's only natural she wants to do things she shouldn't and poke her fingers and head into places they shouldn't go.

I've been doing some research on the web for child safety stuff and came across a pretty decent blog that deals with the safety of children. It was my initial search on safety gates that lead me there and to their main site, but they have a load of info about all manner of child safety.

Sue and I are concerned with making sure drawers stay closed when needed, and that Emily is generally safe from herself (at this age). I managed to find some helpful tips for kitchen life, which we have been able to put into practice.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Ill child and work

Last night Emily wasn't herself and we put it down to being overtired.

This morning she woke up hotter than the sun and incredibly listless. I wasn't all that sure what was wrong with her until she vomited down herself.

This proposed quite a quandry - how do I handle to situation? I can't take her to the child minders as no one wants to look after Barfy. I also can't go to work due to point one. Do I have to use this as a sick day for work? As a holiday? Is there a statutory child illness pot of days I can dip into?

I'd love to get some feedback on this.

As much as Sue and I are quite independent, it's times like this that really hammer home the importance of a support network. I'm not saying fob a child off on nana and grandad at the first sign of trouble, but close friends etc. who could share the "burden" if you will.

As it is, I'm trying to work from home and sod's law being what it is, Emily's listlessness has turned itself around and she's now wide-eyed, awake and running around the house, albeit with a temperature and very pink cheeks.

My biggest concern today however remains, I am currently out of coffee.

Monday, 12 April 2010

In the night garden live

'Oh what a beautiful day!'Image by kenjonbro via Flickr
I received a notification from Twitter yesterday that Night Garden Live was following. Usually, these accounts are not what they seem. 

However, I was delightfully surprised to find that not only was it a legit account, it was also an account for the live on stage version of In The Night Garden. Having not known there was such a thing, the notification from Twitter served a number of purposes. 

I really have no idea what the stage show will involve, but I do hope I get to meet Sir Derek when we go.

According to the website for the stage show, there's two different shows each lasting an hour and takes place in a purpose built dome. Tickets (at least for Liverpool which is the only city with tickets on sale so far) range from £15 to £20, so it won't break the bank.

I know Emily would go absolutely mental so going is on our "must do" list. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Waybuloo schedule shock for Emily

WaybulooImage via Wikipedia
It's no secret how Emily feels about Cbeebies' "In The Night Garden". It's her favourite show by a country mile.

Part of dinner making time for me now is to let her watch Iggle and Upsy but also the lead in show "Waybuloos". The show is odd as hell with obviously overdubbed children acting (badly) against blue screen, but Em likes it and it has it's own odd charm.

When we got home tonight, I was able to coax her in the house and away from a neighbouring straying cat by offering her some Waybuloo time. Alas it wasn't meant to be. When we turned the telly on there was some animated zoo show instead.

Thankfully we have Sky + so I can just find the next time it's on and tape it. Pain in the ass though, and I'm sure a lot of parents who use the Cbeebies schedule as their own sort of comfort blanket will also feel just a touch violated.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Holidays and funny t-shirts

As we're currently on holiday in Spain we do, buy and eat in ways we don't usually do when we're at home. One thing I came across at a market here was a t-shirt based on the film "The Hangover". Anyone who's seen this film will know all about the bearded dufus who walks around with a baby strapped on his stomach.

I didn't pick this up as I had insufficient Euros at the time, but a quick search on the internet and I found a place called Nerdy Shirts that sells the hangover t-shirts!

Having found this shirt, I thought it a good place to hunt for other funny t-shirts, something quirky and nerdy for Emily to wear as well. We usually dress her up at X-mas for the photo on our home-made Christmas card and I found a wonderful Santa t-shirt that (if it's in her size) will be perfect for our x-mas card 2010!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Second birthday celebrations come to a close

So we had a house-warming bbq / birthday party, then my parents looked after Emily on her birthday (petting zoo and soft play!) and this past weekend we had a birthday celebration featuring the extended family and children.

I think it's got to the point where Emily thinks "Happy Birthday" is just another song.

We've taken stock of Em's first two years, especially in light of her visit to the health visitor for her 24 month checkup.

I've noticed she's getting much more responsive and receptive to things she used to dismiss outright. I read her a book tonight and she was quite attentive, whereas before she'd get bored of the photos and try and turn the page. She was SO interested I read it to her three times.

Also, I have an app on my phone called Toddler Lock. Anything she does it makes noises and bright lights... she used to look at it for a few seconds and dismiss it outright. Tonight she was actively playing with it for about 10 minutes.

I don't mean to make it sound like she's uber maturing over night. We played with plasticine tonight and I think I can best sum up her attitude as "confused". It's the first time she's seen or played with the stuff (at least at home) so I'm not expecting her to create an amazing 3D work of art, ready for the stop motion camera... but I can secretly hope a little!

Emily's coming along well. She's just shy of three foot, can say about as many words and I wouldn't change these past two years for anything, as far as she's concerned.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Emily is now two

It's Emily's birthday today. I, for one, can't believe she's already two years old. It was two years ago Sue and I sat (well, I sat and Sue laid out on a bed) on that hospital ward waiting for the next stage of our lives to begin.

When I think I've been in my job almost a year, it feels like yesterday I started. It feels like a lifetime ago Emily was born - and for her it was.

We celebrated her birthday by having a joint housewarming / birthday party yesterday. Mum and dad are looking after her today and we have a family do on Sunday.

It was quite funny this morning singing happy birthday to her, as she really doesn't understand a) the song or b) the concept of a birthday. She was happy to sing, but we could have been singing the theme song to Cbeebie's "In The Night Garden" for all the personal impact she felt.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Jo Frost scared me

I happened to catch a small snippet of some Jo Frost thing on channel 4 tonight and it worried me no end.

In one part there was a obesity experiment to see if kids would keep eating if they were fed ... of course they would. A control group was given one portion, another given two portions. The two portioners would continue eating as parents have no idea how much to feed them.

I worry sometimes about portion control and this just made me think. Apparently up until 2 years old, kids have a good build in "I don't need anymore food" awareness. After that, Fatty McFat-Fat takes over and they'd hoover up McDonald's everyday given the chance.

The second part I saw had what I can only describe as a street walker in training. This 13 year old girl who HAD to have a toned body so she could barely wear anything out to teenage discos. Apparently she wanted to be noticed for her. She'd be noticed alright, but not for any female empowering reasons she'd deluded enough to believe.

I understand parenting is hard, I'm currently doing my tour of duty. It just seems to get harder the older they get. Right now Em doesn't have any (real) friends so there's no peer pressure to do anything. I just hope we're strong enough to steer her right when the big choices do rear their ugly heads.

Watch  Jo in action, if you dare.

Sorting out Emily's birthday present

With Emily's birthday fast approaching - next week she'll be two!!! - I've been on the prowl for some cool stuff to get her as a present.

I stumbled across this site recently which caught my eye. It's a shop in North Carolina called Lou Lou's Corner. I was looking for a few brands like Jellycat toys (Emily LOVES jellycat), Barefoot Dreams blankets and this Norwegian clothing brand I've just discovered called Appaman.

I was probably drawn to the site with the lure of a 10% off coupon for Jellycat stuff.

I'm still not decided on what to get Emily for her birthday, but this shop has made it a lot easier to decide.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Emily's ongoing speech issues

It's no secret that Sue is scared stiff about Emily's speech and lack of progression in said area (I'm taking more of a wait and see attitude, but am getting quietly worried).

While all her friends are able to string words together to make childish sentences, and to point to things they want, Emily does very little. We get the hand pushing something away when she's not interested and the odd word that has to be coaxed out of her.

I found a website called Speech Quest that aims to help people in our situation. After a questionnaire and assessment of a child you're then given activities to coax the inner linguistic genius out of your child. While there's a cost involved, I'm quite eager to do what I can to give Emily a leg up in life (btw, I found a voucher code for 20% off - BVT1015 - valid until end of March).

It's got to the point now that it's not only verbal communication that may be of issue, it's also her physical ability to communicate as I mentioned she only seems to push away things she doesn't want, as opposed to pointing to stuff she does.

Links: Speech Quest

Tonsillitis one day can be chicken pox the next?

What Emily COULD look like if she has the pox.

Having fed Emily this evening, apart from her puffy collapsed eye, I also noticed some spots her forehead. I figured these must be dirty pore zit type things and proceeded to wash her (perceived) grubby face.

It wasn't until I went to change her nappy that I noticed similar spots "down below". Lifting her onesie, I was slightly horrified to see that her chest was covered in lovely spots.

This discovery has led me to one of two conclusions - she's either allergic to penicillin (I was asked by the pharmacist when I got Emily prescription from this morning's trip to the doctor), or she has chicken pox. The only real positive I'm seeing at the moment is I was right when I thought she didn't have tonsillitis.

I guess we'll tell what's really going on soon enough when her spots either turn cloudy or she goes into anaphelactic shock.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Emily's throat and puffy eye

Emily's been feeling under the weather the last couple of days - streaming nose, red sore bum - which I put down to teething, especially with the amazingly rosy cheeks of late.

Today, however, her illness upped it's game. Emily woke up with a puffy, closed eye more resembling a boxer than my under two year old daughter.

I quickly packed her off to the doctor to see what the dickens was up with her condition and was told that she has tonsillitis. This is probably one of the more unexpected diagnoses I've been delivered of late, especially when all the symptoms - barring the eye - point to teething and that I associate tonsillitis with teenagers in hospital beds getting fat on ice cream.

We were prescribed a couple of different things - neither of which Emily is happily to have administered to her - and hopefully she'll be on the mend soon.

Through it all, apart from not eating, her disposition has been quite upbeat. Long may it continue.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Emily's reactions to Olympic goals

Emily celebrating a CANADIAN goal!
We watched the Canada vs USA gold medal hockey game tonight on telly.

I thought it would be nice for Emily to stay up so she could say in years to come she witnessed Canada getting gold on home ice.

Traditionally, Emily's broken out into crying when subjected to loud noises - bangs, yelling, etc. As Canada fought their way to victory, we had to temper each goal celebration with a hasty "yay Emily and get her involved." Of course, when the USA retaliated, the only voice in the room was Emily going a touch hysterical.

It's hard being a parent.

When the game ended in a draw after regulation time (around 10.15p), it was decided Emily needed to go to bed. Not only did we teach her to celebrate goals, we also kept her up WAY past her bedtime.

It's hard being a GOOD parent.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

23 months going on 12

As Emily races towards her second birthday, her personality is becoming much more apparent. Her cheeky grin, her predilection  to making her teddies kiss, and her "terrible twos" temper.

In the past, Em has become moody for one of a couple of reasons - tired, hungry or thirsty. Now, she seems to be figuring out what all parents dread - when something's not going her way, crying and screaming help!

It doesn't help matters that she STILL can't talk, so when a happy go lucky mood turns to a sea of tears in seconds, it leaves Sue and I more than a little perplexed. Skipping to worse case scenarios, I continue to imagine that something's exploded inside (appendix perhaps?) or she's been poisoned and THIS is her last breath.

Of course, it's more often than not her attempt to tell us something, generally that she's not down with the current situation - don't want to be in the pram, grocery shopping isn't a job fit for little girls or there's no way in hell that bath water is going over this head.

All in all, I realise that the placid happy ALL the time Emily is a thing of the past, and that trying to sort out her moods and crying sessions is just the latest in a long line of "I have no clue what's going on with my child" scenario that I will continue to face long into the future

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Bean bag sleeping station

Now that we've moved into the new place two things have happened - all our stuff is in one place and Emily feels a bit out of place. No longer are we in the two bed flat, the only home she's ever known. We're in a 3 bed house that's quite odd for her.

However, one plus side for her is that we've been able to get the bean bag out of storage. I imagine all kids love bean bags, but the last two nights running I've come into the living room to find her fast asleep, ensconced in all sorts of beany goodness. It's meant that she's actually fallen asleep when she's been tired, and not done her usual "fight it" stance which usually ends up with her going to bed way too late, and with dark rings under her eyes.

I'd like to think this scenario will go some way to acclimatising her to the new house, as going back to the familiar flat really isn't an option.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Juggling work and children

So far Sue and I have been pretty blessed with regards to our jobs and the impact on Emily.

Today, however, was a different matter. Our firm has recently expanded into a town about 90 minutes away. Today was a day I was to work over there. Best estimate was that I wouldn't get back to pick Em up until about 6.30pm. Then the traffic hit.

Work have been really good about me leaving on time M-W as those are the days I pick Em up. Today was just a bit different, with a late meeting meaning we didn't get on the road until 5.30p, the time I'm usually racing off to get Emily.

Thankfully Sue was able to wing her way out of work to get to Helen's, albeit over an hour later than the usual 6.00pm pick up time.

I'm just really glad we're able to maintain the juggling act of work and child most of the time. If this was the rule, rather than the exception, I'd be a nervous wreck.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

A brown present in the bath

We’ve had all sorts of bath time mishaps, including Emily watching the bath fill up and weeing all over the floor.

This evening, however, Emily raised the bar considerably. When I went in to get her out, she was floating around in a brown poo casserole. It was everywhere, all over her toys, lapping up around her legs… She was quite oblivious to it as well which was funny.

For the last few weeks, she’s been doing wicked wet dumps, so the only silver lining you could conceivably grab from this was the brown gifts were quite solid in nature. Solid that is, until I had to airlift them to the safety of the toilet, where they landed with a smeary wet thud.

Needless to say we hosed Em down AND her toys and lived to fight another - hopefully cack-free day!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Healthy food for toddlers

Like most working parents, Sue and I sometimes find it difficult to find the time to make meaningful homecooked meals. We could out and about and Emily could intone hunger. It's always been quite handy and convenient to have a few baby ready meals at the "ready" just in case.

With most things baby and toddler related, you take it as read that the nutrition involved is geared to promoting the health and nutritional needs of growing children. Apparently, this is not always the case.

In a report on tonight's Panorama, the subject of baby and toddler grub, especially in the ready meal market, is discussed at great length. A lot of the discussion will apparently focus on daycare centres and the food they serve. Hopefully, with Emily at a private child minder, the food she receives is of a slightly higher nutritional value.

There's also discussion about the "nutritional traffic light" that appears on adult food to signal things like saturated fat, salt and calories. This type of nutritional info isn't required on children's food and stuff labelled as "children only" can sometimes contain things parents should be warned about, like increased sugar levels.

The secret in keeping our kids healthy is to make all meals at home from scratch, but this is never 100% possible. Hopefully watching Panorama tonight will steer me on the right path when we do need to supplement Emily's diet with ready made grub.

Panorama: What's Really in Our Kids' Food, BBC One, Monday, 25 January at 2030GMT.

Monday, 11 January 2010

The runny bum blues

For the last couple of days, Emily's had horrific nappies. We're talking sloppy chilli here, not the usual "moist but lumpy". It's got to the point at certain changes where she's overflowed her nappy, turning her clothes a stinky shade of brown.

Naturally Sue and I are quite worried, but a gleam of light was shone today when Helen mentioned that she might be teething with molars.

Apparently nasty nappies are quite a common side effect of back teeth coming in. Em dribbles seemingly all the time now, so we've stopped putting THAT down to teething but we're hoping this latest revelation turns out to be true.

Everytime I put my fingers anywhere near her mouth to check she tries to bite me, so we'll have to take Helen's word for it.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Christmas is now over

Elmo LiveImage by nickstone333 via Flickr
We had a delivery last night that officially marked the end of Christmas for Emily.

Elmo Live was waiting for us when we got home, a present from Emily's uncles in Australia. She was enamoured with him in Kuala Lumpur airport and we thought it would be a nice present... rightly so.

Emily really didn't "get" Christmas, and I didn't really expect her to. She enjoyed the wrapping paper and the new toys that materialised, but I think Christmas is all about the build up, the anticipation. The actual day is always over FAR too soon.

I imagine that Em will start to really soak the festive season in when she 3 or 4. Obviously when she starts school it'll be drummed into her like every other mini-consumer in her class.

For Sue and I, the holiday season also meant spending loads and loads of time with Emily without having to go to work. That was one of the better presents this year.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]