Passport Photos

I’ve been wanting to go on holiday abroad for absolutely ages, I think pretty much since Little Z was about 6 months old. The OH hasn’t been so keen though and wanted to wait till he was about 1.

So we waited.

I nagged and then we waited some more.

Till the day came when he relented when Z was about 14 months ish. My nagging needs a bit more work I think.

The balls been in my court ever since and, to be secretly honest, I suddenly got cold feet. How would we cope on a long flight? What if he got sick? What about milk? And I’ve kind of just dawdled over the last few months and done not very much about it. Then it hit me…. He turns 2 in December. That’s when we start to pay extra.


Ok, cost is not the only reason but it would save us a fair bit to go before December!

So the race is on. Which means I had to do what I’ve been dreading for a while.

Take Z to a Photobooth to get his passport photos done.

Who the hell makes these things? I’m pretty sure they’ve gone the way of everything else in this world (Curly Wurlys, Cadburys Creme Eggs, Monster Munch) and are now much smaller than they used to be, even for one person. Trying to get an adult and a wriggly toddler in there renders the privacy curtain a bit useless. You might just about get it shut but you end up flapping it constantly as you try to just turn around. Probably good entertainment for passerby.

It’s no wonder Little Z screamed his head off with “Noooooooo!” as soon as we entered it.

I spun the seat around both clockwise and anticlockwise for about 5 minutes trying to get it to its highest point so that Little Z could be the right position. I eventually realised it just doesn’t go up high enough. So more spinning later the seat thing is at the right height for him to stand on. Except he doesn’t want to stand. He wants to cling to me and play with all the buttons in front of him. Uh oh.

I stick in my fiver (FIVE quid for passport photos??! Bloody government) and we select the right option. I have a genius plan. I will let him cling to me, click my fingers in front of him a lot till he looks straight ahead, then take the photo whilst simultaneously jumping out of shot.

(The hubby earlier on suggested I take him to a professional photographer but they are even more extortionate than these robbing photobooths. I know what I am doing, obviously).

So…ready….click fingers rapidly…Little Z looks up…press button….jump out of shot!!

…and nothing. Eh??! Little Z starts to pull me back and…


The stupid machine has a delay on it. Arrrrrgh!! Hmmmm…maybe the passport agency will accept him looking down yes?

Fortunately we have two more attempts. Z starts to get more and more frazzled and wants to go outside to see the “Wain!” (Rain!) and I unsuccessfully try to persuade him that having his picture taken with no smiling and his mouth shut whilst looking straight ahead is much more fun.

We end up fudging the second attempt up and I start admitting defeat and looking around for a refund button. Oh. There isn’t one. Bloody government.

Our last valiant attempt resulted in me jumping out of shot quickly, Z trying to follow suit and us both being greeted (embarrassingly by a queue of 2 others waiting). We manage to get a sideways frowny photo of Little Z with one side of my face in it. Success. Not!

We then have to stand with the queue waiting for our photos to come out and do that drying thing before you can pick them up. Little Z is not phased in the slightest and waves bye bye to them as we scurry away.

Then yesterday the hubby drove us to his friends photography studio. It took him about 3 minutes in total and cost us £3.50.



Dearest 21 Month Old

Hello Baby!

I know I should be calling you a Toddler now and I will. Eventually! I forever seem to be in a permanent state of mother denial about how fast you’re growing up.

So, what have you been up to? I’m pretty sure you’re going through a growth spurt. You seem to have got taller suddenly. I’m not sure how you manage to do with eating so little but you don’t care. You’re in your own little playful bubble running around playing and climbing things all day long.

You absolutely adore singing and want everyone to join in. You’ll instantly point out anyone that’s not participating and stare them into submission. That’s some power! It was very funny watching you point at one of your uncles because of point blank refused to do wheels on the bus. You just used your pointing power and patiently stared with steely determination until he meekly started mumbling the words and doing the “swish swish” motion of “the wipers on the bus”.

You have discovered how to stand on the very top of the sofa and reach the light switch. I think my heart has decided to just live in my mouth now and my improved super reflexes would probably qualify me to join the Avengers. You try to walk across the top when you’re feeling particularly brave whilst cheekily laughing at the same time. I think we’re going to have to invest in a massive indoor climbing wall of some sort just to keep you away from scaling the walls.

We’re on our way to the MAD awards today and stuck in a lot of traffic so it’s a good time for me to write this. Your Daddy and I love London and used to go down every other month before you were born and usually spend our time going shopping, eating out and going to the theatre. This is the first time we’re going after you’ve arrived and it feels very very different. I’m not sure where we’re going to find a massive field where you can just run around!

Dearest 20 Month Old

Hello My Little Man,

I actually had to count how old you were before writing this post because I’m still very much in denial and telling everyone you are “One and a Half”. Can you believe you’ll be 2 years old in 4 months time?!

It’s been a completely mad month for us all. Both your Daddy and I have been fasting all month and then it was eid. I have to admit I was worried how I’d cope now that you run like the wind and play all day (on top of work) but it wasn’t too bad! You’ve loved trying new foods and we’ve discovered you actually like spicy things like kebabs and Bombay mix!

You’re now counting to 10 and your favourite numbers are “WEWEN!” (7) and “TEN!!” and over the last couple of weeks you’ve turned into a little parrot repeating everything, even stuff you’re not meant to. Umm.. Like “Oh Gok!” (Oh God).

This month you’ve also discovered your love of slides. But you’d rather climb up them till you’re almost at the top. Then you fling yourself back down on your belly and come sliding down. Like a cross between a toddler stunt man and James Bond. I, on the other hand, have honed my panicked shrieks of “Noooo!” quite well. When it’s not the slide you’re climbing it’s the sofa, the radiator or the baby gate. You did try to climb up the living room door once but settled for hanging off the door handles. Its kind of broken now. I’m convinced that one day we’ll find you scaling the house or trying to shimmy up the drain pipe just so you have something to climb!

You still absolutely love running and you do it with utter commitment. Like a true athlete you concentrate on your run and only your run. No looking right or left. In your case you don’t even look forward. The other day in Trafford centre was interesting when you kept running straight into people’s legs. That didn’t put you off though. Till you wanted a bit of a break of course and wanted Daddy to carry you.

One of the funniest things you’ve learnt this month is how to “freeze” during the “Show Me Show Me your groovy moves” dance. You wiggle your bum and then suddenly freeze at the right time with your hands by your face and mouth wide open. Then you clap with delight once it’s over. I may be guilty of rewinding it multiple times just to watch you keep doing it.

And we finally went to see In the Night Garden!! It was absolutely brilliant. You joined in with every dance and clapped at everything. You even managed to sit still through at least half of it which was really impressive. You were in complete awe when we met Iggle Piggle afterwards and, whilst you wouldn’t hug him, you kept wanting to touch him and play with him. I was in complete awe too and it was almost like meeting Tom Cruise all those many years ago. Almost.


Until next time baby… Mmmmwaaah!

Naming Him

My timeline on Twitter is currently filled with lots of pregnant ladies. There are so many it feels like there is a mini baby boom going on in my Twittersphere. All are at various stages, some are even prepared with their chosen name for their little one.

It’s reminded me of when Baby Z was born and was completely nameless. We hadn’t picked anything at all and suddenly had to get a massive crack on throwing names around whilst I was hooked up to my saline and morphine drip post my Caesarian.

I was pretty much bed bound the first couple of days and, with the curtain pulled round my little cubicle, I could only hear what the other mums were up to. There was the mum who had sneezed her baby out in about 30 seconds and wanted to go home within an hour of getting onto the ward, the mum who had just had her 3rd and sounded very determined that “this was it, no more!” and the poor girl whose mother in law seemed to be rail roadjng every decision for her, including what to name her baby.

Then there was the horrible cow.

She was diagonally opposite to me and I never got to see her. But my god could I hear her….All night…long. She seemed to not require any sleep whatsoever, despite having just given birth, and prattled on and on and on on her mobile all night long to, probably, her long suffering husband. When she didn’t have the phone on her ear she was constantly asking the midwife to have a soak in the hot tub. Or to be helped out of the hot tub. Or she would be complaining she wasn’t being given enough attention and would request to go home. Then change her mind within a couple of hours. This would go on most of the night too. By night two I was going mental. I just wanted some shut eye and the horrible cow was relentless with her ability to complain all the live long night.

Anyhoo, amongst all this the hubby and I were trying to pick out the perfect name for “Infant H” as he was temporarily labelled. After going through about a hundred I came across a name that sounded so lovely and right. I looked up the meaning and then just knew it was right; “he who God remembers”…. Ahhhhhh. This was it. Baby Z.

So it was almost decided. The hubby has a much longer acceptance process than me so I knew he had to mull it over.

That evening the horrible cow was back on the phone complaining about the midwife, life, the Bounty woman who had asked her to put her phone down because she wanted some photo taking advice and basically the universe whilst I was feeding my Infant H soon to be Baby Z. Then suddenly I heard the horrible cow say something that made me freeze for a moment.

“How about we name him Baby Z?”

What??!! She was stealing my name!! I knew they’d already picked another name the day before but the horrible cow wanted my name. Our name! I was silently livid and had half a mind to try to pick my saline stand up and try to poke her from a distance. How very dare she.

Ofcourse I didn’t. I just fumed in bed and listened to her go on and on and on about how it had a lovely meaning. Yes. A meaning you stole. Stole!!

I told the hubby as soon as he arrived in whispered rage and lots of wild gesturing. He sympathised (I think) but reasoned we may never see them again so it wouldn’t matter… Hmmm.

I needn’t have worried for long. It seems the horrible cow may have had a silent long suffering husband but he still had some fight in the old dog and veto’d the name as they were all leaving to go home with their new baby. It was that day I started walking after my op and if I was any faster I would have followed them just to get a peek at her.

Come link up to Flashback Friday!


Things I’ve Learnt about One and a Half Year Olds

Things I’ve Learnt about One and a Half Year Olds

Baby Z seems to be developing at a rate of the speed of light. Its sometimes little things that you would miss if you didn’t look closely but then you realise things like he’s developed a sense of humour! Toddlers have a sense of humour! Did you know that? Their own unique one as well. Half mimicking what they see mixed with their own cheeky little charm. Did you know that?? I didn’t!

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. Did you know they can quite easily have about 5 tantrums in the space of an hour? I actually vaguely heard about this but never realised you sometimes actually have to hold on tight whilst they are flinging themselves about like mini body surfers at some rock concert. I feel like we’ve officially walked through the door into Toddlerdom.

These are just some of the things I’ve learnt about Toddlers over the last few months:

  1. They have the energy of about 10 Tiggers. As well as the happiness
  2. They will immediately repeat something you say and possibly fake laugh too just to copy you
  3. If they can’t they’ll quite happily make it up and babble, wanting your full attention
  4. They will refuse all types of food and seemingly survive off about 3 strawberries and a handful of sweetcorn
  5. A part of you reasons that they will eat when they are hungry. Another part of you (about 90%) will worry and have you chasing them with different snacks all day.
  6. Every day you will say to your OH “He looks different today doesn’t he?”
  7. They will demand things at the most inappropriate times threatening epic tantrum if you don’t give it. Like milk in the car whilst you’re driving.
  8. They will drink about half (after you’ve handed it safely to him) and then bathe themselves in the rest. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
  9. They will entertain with singing and talking for the entire journey, even at 7am
  10. They will possibly demand you join in Twinkle Twinkle and do the flashing hands.
  11. They have the ability to wrap Granny and Grandad around their little finger
  12. Actually, they are the boss of everyone. The entire family is wrapped around that little finger.
  13. They will make Granny push them around on a desk chair and scream “Weeeeee” excitedly
  14. Granny will gladly do it for hours on end.
  15. They will go for weeks without seemingly any further speech development.
  16. Then they’ll amaze you one day by saying about 10 different words in succession
  17. You will try to get them to “perform” this latest trick when at someone else’s house
  18. This will be met by silent stare.
  19. They can have the most spectacular looking tantrums like the world has ended. Then 10 seconds later they are fine again.
  20. This can happen multiple times in one day.
  21. They will attempt to climb the radiator and be happy just hanging off it if they can’t manage it
  22. They have their OWN sense of humour.
  23. They think its fun to jump off EVERYTHING.
  24. They will figure how to spill from that super duper non spill cup with “lip detection technology”.
  25. They love the word “MINE!” Used regularly when holding your phone, ipad, playstation controller, TV remote and handbag.
  26. You are required to then chase toddler around the room whilst they scream excitedly at their game.
  27. They have a knack for hiding the remote very well but won’t be able to locate it again which can be annoying
  28. They can do the same with their dummy but a baby 6th sense will track it down within minutes
  29. They can run for hours if you let them
  30. That still won’t make them nap on time
  31. Not all toddlers sleep through, even at 18 months!!
  32. They will constantly make you wonder where their amazing little personality is coming from
  33. Some days you will think “Wow, he looks / behaves just like me”
  34. Some days you will think “Wow, he looks / behaves just like his daddy”
  35. Gazing at your sleeping child, even after 18 months, never gets boring