I haven’t blogged since January (!), so I thought I’d ease back in by writing a short anecdotal story that I happened to recall to my friend last night and it brought back hilarious memories.
By the time babies reach toddler age, they have usually become attached to one or more of their soft toys, which they like more than the others. Such is the case with Jude; who has ‘Leo’. He is a rather large lion (original name, I know), who used to belong to me (I don’t remember how I happened to have him), and Jude look a liking to him about a year ago.
Leo is quite a cumbersome toy to have as a favourite. For many months, Leo was much bigger than Jude, and even now, he is rather inconvenient to have to take when we go away and to Nanny’s etc. Luckily, at the moment Jude can cope without him, only sleeping with him and occasionally bringing him into our bed or downstairs for more cuddles in the mornings. So thankfully, we don’t have to take him out with us every time.
Last Christmas, Steve and I were lucky enough to be allowed out for Christmas drinks with some friends while Jude stayed over at Nanny and Grampy’s house. As was expected, there was rather a lot of wine consumed and it’s safe to say, Steve and I returned home a little worse for wear, albeit in a very happy place.
In our comedic way – following copious amounts of fried chicken – we headed upstairs to (very innocently) get ready for bed. Once upstairs, I sat myself on the bed in order to remove my socks, not noticing the large yellow lion on the bed, and plonking myself directly on top of him. Steve – noticing Leo’s obvious distress – decided that pulling him out from underneath me was the quickest and most humane option for his rescue. As he did so, a loud tearing noise could be heard, and the one leg that he was being pulled by, seemed to detach rather dramatically from the rest of his body. WHAT A DISASTER! How could we have broken our child’s favourite soft toy?! Shocked and completely devastated, I hurriedly threw Leo into the bottom of the wardrobe, hoping that putting him out of site would help to remove him from my mind, and that Jude wouldn’t notice his favourite teddy was missing.
The next day we were travelling to Cornwall to visit Steve’s family, where we would usually have taken Leo too. Packing up the car and distracting Jude from the fact that he was missing (didn’t take much), we got on our way – without Leo (who was still in the bottom of the wardrobe). On our journey, we stopped at the usual service station, complete with the usual service station shops and cafes. Lo and behold, one of the usual service station shops was selling soft toys – one of which looked almost identical to Leo! Steve and I, still feeling extremely guilty for breaking Jude’s original Leo, decided that purchasing it would at least be a step towards rectifying our terrible, drunken mistake.
Jude loved him! He, of course, had to be called ‘Leo’. And he instantly became accepted by Jude. Phew!
A few weeks later, I managed to find some time to sit and attempt to sew the original Leo. I did a pretty good job! You can barely tell that he ever had a tear! And now Jude has 2 almost identical Leo’s that he goes to bed with every night. He won’t go with just one – he knows if one is missing and asks for him. He also brings them both for cuddles in the mornings.
I just dread to think what will happen when we have to take them both on holiday with us in the summer…!
Being a dreadful mother / succumbing to a Jumperoo
Whilst pregnant, I decided to sew and make a lot of the items for Jude’s bedroom myself; curtains, cushion covers, baby mobile etc, and generaly be a bit of a domestic goddess. Well, this escalated somewhat (into making and selling leggings, primarily), but when Jude first arrived I continued to do my best to avoid the ‘gaudy plastic monstrosities’ that come with the baby territory, instead choosing to make my own baby gym to go with the handmade ‘tummy time’ patchwork quilt. I’m also in the process of making another, activity mat for him as a possible Christmas-pre-Christmas-type-present-thing. It has mirrors and appliqué and crinkly bits and everything.
So, being as my son has all these lovely, non-gaudy but stimulating things to play on and with, along with the lovely soft toy gifts and books that people have bought him, I figured he was loving life. His development was coming along nicely and all was good. That was, until we went to visit my friend Sian (whom I met doing pregnancy yoga) and Jude’s friend Josie. Josie is about four weeks older than Jude; and my, does she have a fun house! Jude got to try out all these brilliant, gaudy, plastic, exciting, noisy, fun, irritating, interesting new toys, which he LOVED. So I left Sian’s feeling like a TERRIBLE mother who had deprived my baby from fun, engaging, development-stimulating toys. It’s safe to say, the last week has been spent purchasing gaudy, plastic monstrosities. And big up to my dad, who is going to provide the dreaded Jumperoo. Cheers Nige.
This ENTIRE fortnight (but mainly the last week) has been building up to weaning, which Steve and I decided would begin on Sunday just gone as he was off work so we could do it together. It would be lovely and wonderful and hilarious and make brilliant memories that we would cherish forever. Yeah, not quite. For the last few weeks, Jude hasn’t been sleeping through. In fact, I’m writing this at 2.30am, having attempted to put him back down post-feed 3 times. Time to feed again and hope he falls asleep whilst feeding and burps immediately, without me having to turn him vertically and wake him up again. Joy.
Anyway, I digress. Jude has been waking a lot, and although I know that’s not the only signal that baby is ready to wean, he’s extremely interested in our food, hungry more frequently and is pretty much sitting up alone (if only for a few seconds).
We had bought him a highchair following #badmothergate, and he had been spending time in it with new toys (to make it fun), albeit when we had our hands full or had to wash up etc. So, having bought soft, silicone baby spoons and bowls in preparation, the time came to give it a go. We had decided that I would feed Jude about half an hour before trying him on some pureed carrot mixed with breast milk. We have loads of sachets of frozen milk from the first few weeks that Jude was born, before we tried him with bottles. It’s much more yellow and creamy than my milk now, so has different nutritional value to what he needs right now, so it’s perfect for mixing in with purees!
So, once he was all settled in his highchair (in the kitchen as we didn’t know how messy things were going to get), I popped a small amount, about the size of my little fingernail, on the spoon and waved it in front of him…… Of course, much to my delight he immediately grabbed it and pulled it towards his mouth, shoved a load of carrot purée right in, first time. Yay! ………
Ok, bad move, waaay too much on the spoon for a baby’s first ever taste of anything with actual consistency; all he’s had so far for almost 5 months of his life is breast milk; a silky, creamy, sweet liquid that slips down into his tummy easily and tastily. Wow, that face was hilarious – brilliant photo for his first girlfriend there! Oh no, we have gagging! Poor baby! He’s only gagging because of the consistency, but we can’t stop him and the gagging soon turns into throwing up the milk that I had fed him half an hour previously. Oh, then there’s tears. Oops, not a good start…
Ok, that probably could have been better. Steve suggested that perhaps we should have started with something a little smaller, and dipped his finger into the purée. Jude, being teethy pulls the finger into his mouth for a good old suck, only to be met with that disgusting orange, lumpy stuff again! Eugh!
Anyway, it’s safe to say, the transition is fairly tough (for parents and baby!), and we tried again the next day with fractionally more success, less vomit this time, but just as much gagging. Even the thought makes me chuckle. And of course, we’ve got it all on video and tonnes of photos too! Apple and banana next I think!
Believe it or not, I have 2 stories about willies his week. The first being that Jude seems to have discovered his! Ok, it’s less of ‘discovering his willy’ and more that he now lifts his knees up and grabs his feet on a regular basis (which enabled him to roll from back to front for the first time the other day!). But he doesn’t always grab his feet. When we’re changing his nappy, he sometimes grabs his willy! Hah! Steve mentioned that he had noticed this the other day, and I had also encountered it once previously. He also assured me that he had had ‘the willy talk’ with him, so not to worry. Hehe, I have a feeling he may need to repeat that talk again in the future! Don’t ask me what it entailed; I think it had something to do with thinking with it at some points in his life! The joys of boys to come ey!?
The second willy story involves the ballet. (Need I say more??). For my 30th birthday, Steve had secretly booked tickets and arranged for my parents to have Jude so that we could go out and watch Swan Lake. (How lovely??) I hadn’t been to the ballet before, so it was all very exciting and I made sure I wore my fur. (Got to feel glamorous at the ballet haven’t you??). Anyway, we managed a quick drink beforehand and found our seats shortly before the performance began… The orchestra played it’s gorgeous overture and the dancing started. Literally I COULD NOT STOP LOOKING at the male dancers’ ‘packages’! It was unbelievable! And all sorts of shapes and sizes (as we well know, ladies!)
I know it might sound like an extremely childish thing to say, but when you’ve had a baby and so aren’t exactly ‘getting it’ on a regular basis, the ballet can be quite shocking! Talk about rubbing in what you’re not getting!! Haha! I managed to get over it eventually, but that initial shock will stay with me forever. They should put a warning in the program or something!
But in all seriousness, it was a brilliant performance and a lovely birthday gift, thank you my darling!
In other news, we seem to have Jude in a good bedtime routine now and generally, he’ll go down at about 7.30. Although having said that, last night it was 9.3o! Even the shortest nap – like ten minutes at the end of a buggy walk, seems to make a huge difference to his mood and energy levels. I think that was the reason for the later night last night, but who knows really?! They do what they bloody want really don’t they??
We did another swimming lesson, this time the first official one and Jude’s second. He didn’t cry! He didn’t exactly seem to love it, but he didn’t cry, which is an improvement on the last one!
The leggings orders are rolling in now, it’s great! (And assuming Jude will go to bed at 7.30 most nights, I will actually have time to do them too!). Time to prepare for the Xmas fair I’m doing. Check out my Facebook page and get your Christmas orders in!
Another great fortnight, our boy is turning into such a character, he’s hilarious! Can’t wait for our first family Christmas and all the fun we’ll have!