Being Superheroes

Recently I keep coming across things that make out parents are in fact superheroes. Juggling family life with with long hours of work as well as raising children and spending hours driving around from club to club dropping off and picking up from their after school obligations. Heroes with invisible capes. With no ability to fly but with powers to juggle and organise and throw a party together in an instant and, mostly, to do it all without much sleep.

It got me wondering about the kind of superheroes we have in our little family of 3. Then it came to me. We would be the Avengers. It’s obvious when you think about it. Really.

First, The Other Half. With his assertion first thing in the morning of “YOU’VE GOT ONE MINUTE!!!” to get us all out of the door for work on time he would have the entire street, understandably, mistakenly believing we are all part of a critical world saving mission. And sporting his one red eye from “a suspected scratch on the cornea” he is only an eye patch and long leather jacket away (oh, and bald head) from being Nick Fury. The leader of the Avengers.

Nick Fury

Next you have the toddler. Little Z. With his ever growing defiance and fear of nothing he could only be Tony Stark / Iron Man. His stunts include repeatedly trying to jump off anything with a good height and any kind of berating induces either a fit of toddler anger or just determination to do it again. He prefers not to wear the iron man suit though. Opting instead to do all his own stunts as Tony Stark.

(I know this post is about parent superheroes but he is Tony Stark. He doesn’t care about rules).

Iron Man

And finally me. With my powers of shouting at the other half and stomping around grumpily at everyone over the last week (“You said you’d clean the bathroom!!!”), I instantly rule myself out of being the black widow. Damn. With my stomping, phantom increasing blood pressure, and inability to touch my toes, I fit one of the other Avengers to a tee…


Our poor neighbours.

Maybe next week we will be less superhero and more 1900s silent movie.

(All photo credits to IMDB)


Dearest 22 Month Old


22 months old! That’s 2 months off being 2 YEARS OLD. Wow. This whole year has completely flown by hasn’t it? Its almost party time again. Although I’m not sure whether to have two big parties again. I’d rather just run away on a big holiday. Just the 3 of us. That would be lovely wouldn’t it? Cake is nice too though.

Hmmm we shall see!

So what have you been doing this month?

It feels like someone’s flicked a switch on your speech for a start. For ages you haven’t been too fussed with talking very much and, if you could get away with it, you’d point to whatever you wanted and shout “Aah!”. I knew you could talk because you’d treat us to it every so often so I wasn’t too worried. All of a sudden you’ve gone from pointing and using single words to just nattering all day long. I don’t understand a lot of your made up words still, but you gesture with enthusiasm and do a big belly laugh once you’ve finished. Then repeat the whole thing all over again. Just yesterday you told me how Grandad sneezes, how your cousin A was crying and how the humidifier was naughty (although you cant say humidifier just yet!). This can go on till we put you to bed! The cutest is when we ask you to do something and you shout “Okaaaai!”. Neither of us are sure where you’re getting your accent from!

Your new party trick is to count to 10 but not on demand. Never on demand. Your Daddy learnt this the hard way when he asked you to perform one day when friends came around. You could see the polite yet evident boredom on our friends faces whilst Daddy attempted to get you to say them for the 6th time. I’m sure you know more than you let on!

I’ve seen you becoming more confident this month too. I’ve always known you’re naturally very kind. You like to share everything you’re eating, even if we don’t want it, and will make sure to watch us whilst we chew and swallow. Those cheesy crisps you love are really gross by the way! But I’ve always been secretly worried that your kind nature and shyness around new toddlers means you might get picked on in the school yard. So I was really relieved to see you standing up for yourself at baby group. Obviously not in a toddler street fight kind of way but you didn’t run off instantly scared of someone which is promising! We just need to keep working on that. And I think I need to stop myself from instantly coming to you. Umm, I’ll work on it.

My God, Little Z, the tantrums!! This month it’s like a tantrum an hour. Sometime maybe two. Including a gut wrenching “Noooo!” thats worthy of war time movies. You don’t like taking your clothes off OR putting them back on. There are now constant shouts of “Nooooo Doooont! Paaaaants! Miiiine!”. Our neighbours must think we’re all bonkers. I usually ignore the tantrums and my attempts at toddler discipline are getting slightly better but I never in a million years realised just how clever toddlers can be.

I remember this time last year actually dreading your first birthday. It felt as if I was losing my baby and I didn’t want that phase to ever finish. But you know what? The toddler phase is SO much fun. I have no idea where you get your personality from but it’s a very lovely one. I just need to have a good think about your party. Cake, at least, would be nice wouldn’t it?

So, until next time baby…Mmwah!

Twitter Mums

It was really cold in November 2010 I was really heavily pregnant. I had 3 weeks till my due date and i was housebound because of the heavy snow. Insomnia had kicked in good and proper and I would spend most of my nights surfing the net on my phone, usually reading gossip, and occasionally the news.

At the time I used to use Twitter for mainly gossip and to see what the celebrities were upto. Once i’d flicked through the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry I’d move on back to Facebook and maybe even read the Daily Fail if I was desperate.

Then, one evening, I read a story in the papers about a girl who had very recently given birth to a baby boy and who had tweeted through most of her labour! Immediately, I went to have a nosey on Twitter and, sure enough, her timeline was filled with tweets about contractions, eating crumpets and about how cold it was outside (It’d been snowy and icy and sleety). I was about to have my own baby in a months time so I wanted to know everything about what labour was like. She made it sound quite easy and it put my mind to rest. I added her to my timeline (She was a celebrity after all!) and went about my way.

(She is called Rachael by the way… And on Twitter as @InceyWinceyMum)

Eventually I had a nosey at the people she followed and discovered something special. I’d found a whole community of online mums. Loads of them! Mums who had babies, mums who were due to have babies same time as me, mums with toddlers, working mums… It was like walking through a door to an undiscovered little treasure.

And there were blogs!! Blogs! I’d never really come across these before but people were actually blogging about their experiences of bringing up a baby, some about family life and others about topics like post natal depression. It became a very quick and very strong addiction. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I gave birth to my Baby Boy mid December via C section and the next few weeks were hard. I couldn’t drive for 6 weeks. I had a very new baby in my arms, I was totally knackered and tonnes of snow meant I couldn’t even go out for a walk. Not that I felt much like it but i felt a bit trapped at the same time as feeling my life had changed. Completely. I was responsible for a baby and I didn’t have the first idea of what to do.

Tweeting other mums during those first few weeks was an absolute saviour. Why was my baby throwing up so much? What was reflux? How could you control it? How the hell do you latch a baby on?… Other mums out there, in the same boat, provided helpful suggestions based on their own experiences and it helped me from freaking out or feeling like a failure.

The absolute best thing was having other mums on Twitter during night feeds. It made me realise how little people actually sleep, mums especially. And at a given point during the night there are a bunch of new mums awake doing a night feed. Most importantly, it kept me awake during the period when baby was feeding every 2 hours.

My Twitter feed is now more real life and less celebrity. I’d much rather know about baby clothes than the latest designer shoes!

Morning Routine, Before Work. With a baby.

This week I went to work. One of those keeping in touch days (or KIT). I’ve been in two minds throughout my whole maternity leave about whether I want to go back to work or not. I crave the regular adult interaction again but equally don’t want to leave my baby, especially as he seems to be in transition to a wild cub phase. I still have a few months to decide so I won’t worry too much about it yet.

I did however use this trip as a bit of a dry test run to see how long it’d take to get myself and baby, fed and ready out of the house. I thought I’d roughly time it as well so that if and when the the time comes, myself and hubby can synchronise bathroom and mirror times smoothly.

Roughly, it went something like this

8:00 Alarm goes off. Wake with crick in neck from sleeping hanging off bed after baby has joined us in bed at 6am.

8:01 Leap out of bed remembering I am going to work today. Place sleeping baby back in cot, pray he stays asleep and grab all night bottles, thermos and baby feed in an attempt to speed up sterilising process

8:02 Attempt to walk downstairs quickly and quietly with arms full of feed stuff. Watch in movie mode slow motion as bottle slips from hand and bounces down the steps.

8:10 Sterilise bottles, have quick “functional” shower and change baby nappy is now wide awake and babbling loudly for attention

8:20 Get dressed, decide I hate tent like top, curse self for buying hideous thing in sale and through desperately through wardrobe for something to wear that is nice, will fit, and doesn’t need ironing. Wave a sock at baby to try to entertain him. Babble loudly back at baby when sock doesn’t work.

8:23 Apply makeup, being generous with under eye concealor.

8:25 Apply even more under eye concealor. Decide I look mostly awake and that’ll do.

8:28 Rush downstairs with baby attached to hip thinking of an easy baby breakfast. Decide on porridge and toast.

8:30 Strap baby into chair, attempt to feed baby who has clamped mouth shut. Put cbeebies in vain hope baby’s mouth will unclench. Find this only succeeds in baby going into cbeebies trance. Change channel wave toy above head. Watch baby spit out porridge, spraying rug in process, but enjoy toast. Phew. Try a yoghurt, which works.

8:45. Wash Babys face, put jacket on and strap into car seat. Pack bottles and feeds.

8:46 Carry out a 30 second “clean up” in living room. Spend another minute looking for damn toy that won’t stop singing

8:48 Locate toy, switch off and pile changing bag handbag and work laptop into car.

8:50 Feel impressed it took just under hour to get ready

8.55 Spot big baby food / sick stain on jeans. Sigh.

Not too bad huh?

Napping and Yapping…Do it for Mamama!

These days it feels like Baby Boy’s routine is all about eating and sleeping. Oh and pooing, of course. Can’t forget the pooing. For a baby that has never liked milk I was expecting similar battles when he started weaning. By battles I mean chasing him around with a bottle, waving toys in front of him as a means of distraction and sometimes sitting next to him putting it to his lips every minute or so, literally. He’s perfected the art of pushing it away at the speed of lightning and clamping his mouth firmly shut! To my utter surprise (and deep joy), he loves eating and unless he gets bored, he will obediently wolf it down. He even sleeps during the day. 2 hours at a time. This is a baby who hasn’t napped properly since he was born. So napping in the day has come as a blissful blessing. The first time he did it i thought it was because he’d had a rough night. After a week i started getting very excited at the thought of 2 whole hours where i could…do…stuff. Wow.

I don’t know how long it’ll last and apparently there is something called “8 month sleep regression”??!! What the! Where does this stuff come from?? Why? Why?? Is it to remind mummies of the sleepless night fun they were missing? Maybe (hopefully!!), Baby Boy will miss that little memo and not do it. Well, you know. Wishful thinking. Hmm.

In other news, on Thursday, during one of the many meal times, baby had gone into “whinge mode” which is usually spurred by my “pushy-mum-have-one-more-spoon-darling-its-so-Yummmmm!” baby started babbling. This is very new and there are two types at the moment. 1 is happy squealing, face slapping and using dummy as weapon. The other is frowning and annoyed gibberish. This particular meal time, Baby Boy had had quite enough and was whinging, arms outstretched, asking to be picked up. The fact his daddy was home doesn’t help. Anytime daddy is in sight, everything is forgotten and his little
eyes could light up the entire house, he is that delighted. This meant Baby Boys attention was fixated on daddy and his patience was running thin. As his whinging was about to crescendo into full on crying he started babbling “mamamama”. Yes he said mama!! Excitedly, I pointed out to Daddy dearest baby’s “first word”. Daddy dearest attempted to raise a feeble argument through girlie giggles about how it’s not really a word (Puh!) but promptly plonked himself next to me on the floor and started recording a food covered baby, waiting for him to repeat it. Baby Boy was amused for about a second before realising he wasn’t going to be picked up and raised the grumpiness up a level and firmly denying us joys of more cute babbling. We didn’t need to wait too long. His favourite time “talking” is now 5 -6am. He’s still not said mama again though. And it does so count as a word!