What Mum did on her day off, part 2

So. The story of yesterday continues. Once momma bear finished up her amazing High Society Eggs Benedict breakfast @Balans (thank you always for your hospitality and good food) the decision was made to go the the Royal Academy of Arts. On the way did a little Christmas shopping, got a cold person a coffee (guilt from my extravagant breakfast I’m sure) and made my way to the From Life exhibition, which was short but sweet.

Phones off.

Ear phones out.

Total consumption.

@Iggypop life drawing was pretty epic.

Think I’ve found a new artist I really like, @JennySaville. Raw. Beautiful. Wonderfully talented:

This guy was called @JonathonYeo. The realism captured on the facial details is beyond amazing:

And finally @LianeLang. It’s been a long while since I’ve been surprised by art. When the penny dropped I was excited and very happy. I had to talk to someone!

then the res of my day was filled w a nativity play, clothes washing (I had to fit some domestic-like chores in) and going out in Bethnal Green for my Christmas do! My day finished at 2am. Not a bad effort I’d say.

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What Mum did on her day off

I’ll set the scene. I’m married. I’ve got kids. 4 and a 2 year old. I work 5 days a week. Most of my money goes on childcare, which is the equivalent of 2 mortgages. I help run a church committee and subsequent events. When I have a holiday, it’s w the whole family in tow. The last day I had off I ran around like a headless chicken trying to squeeze as much as I could into the day. That of course included, but was not limited to: going through all of the kid’s clothes,/toys/books- pile to donate, pile for friends and another pile to… ‘file’; cleaned the house top to bottom, wrapped more presents and sorted more cards, managed a 20min work out, cooked dinner, threaded my brows.

Sound familiar? None of this is done at a normal pace of course. I’m like a race hound racing to the deadline. A day off is not relaxing. As you might know, as a parent you have no time for yourself, and even if you get a day off, you end up doing things for the family.

But today: I’ve no event to plan, all presents are wrapped, Christmas cards sent, house reasonably clean, kids delivered to the childminder. WHAT TO DO WITH MY DAY OFF???!!!!! I’m not used to it and I don’t know what to fill it with!!! Ahahahahaha. I still have a nativity play to go to at 2pm (obvs, every day off comes w a catch) but at 8.40am, I got myself on the DLR and set off into town.

The playlist that started off my morning:

  1. All I want for Christmas (old Mariah… it is almost Christmas after all)
  2. If I’m lucky (Jason Derulo)
  3. How deep is your love (Calvin Harris)
  4. Harder than you think (Public Enema – get the reference?!) – thanks Will Woodhams
  5. Gloria (Patti Smith)
  6. Paradise (MNEK)
  7. Tight pants (Iggy and the stooges)

  1. BTSTU (Jai Paul- if you don’t know, now you know)
  2. Unforgettable (French Montana)
  3. Bad boys for life (Black Rob, Mark Curry & P Diddy/Diddy Puff/Diddy Pop-Pop)
  4. Baltimore (Nina Simone

10am. Breakfast: Balan’s: old Crompton Street involves a hot cup of mocha, fresh OJ, eggs Benedict (these people do it w LOBSTER!!! Avocado and bacon. Almost fell off my chair. Amazing) and breakfast potatoes.

Now I’m going surgically remove my phone(s) from my hands and move onto the next thing. After all. Only 1 hour 30mins til I have to travel back for the play! Ahahahahaha

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4 years old: 1st dry night of her life – Potty training at night, a different way

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog. Mainly because as Lolo gets older, the mile stones are less pronounced. We’ve mastered the walking, the running, the eating on her own, drinking from an open-topped cup, stringing sentences together… and of course potty training.

I’d originally thought that I would potty train during the day and as soon as she’d got that, I’d move on to potty training at night. Thing is, she was potty trained during the day at about 1 and a half. This was out of personal preference mainly as her little brother was fast on the approach and I really didn’t want 2 in nappies. So she got with the potty training nice and early so she’d have that as the norm for a while before the arrival of her brother caused disruption and any knock on regression. It took her a while to get a hold on it, about a month and then as anyone potty training will tell you, they go through good patches and less good patches, then they discover attention absorption (i.e. Mummy – sorry I was too busy playing with my friend and forgot I needed a wee, FOMO for us adults :). Anyway, the short and curlies of it are that I tried to get her into night-time training, but it wasn’t working. 9 months pregnant and knowing we were about to have more than enough challenges on our hands, we decided leave it alone for a bit. I couldn’t face being in the depths of training and then having her regress due to her new brother’s arrival, washing bed sheets every night and then having her come tearing down the hall screaming because she was upset she’d wet herself, waking the whole house up. Nope. I left it alone. She’d also had a few nights where she’d woken up and her nappy had been dry. I was hopeful she would just grow out of it. She didn’t. But it’s so much easier to do nothing!!! Surely she’d grow out of it eventually – wouldn’t she?

Anyway, we find ourselves on the cusp of a big mile stone in her life again. A big disruption is on the horizon. She’s about to start school in 6 weeks. It is time to try again.

My motivation? She’s pretty strong of character, but kids are unkind and I really don’t want her to be on the back foot at school. I don’t want her to get bullied for wetting the bed at night, or still being a ‘baby’ in nappies. If I can imagine it – I’m sure kids can exploit it.

So what have we done?

  • I have set our expectations at a month, a month of wet beds and sleep disruption. Of her coming down the hall and crying she’d wet the bed. If I aim for a month, it means I’m committed and I accept it may take a while.
  • I have stopped her drinking fluids before bed. They’re going to bed around 9pm at the moment due to the late nights of the summer so she’s allowed to drink what she wants up until about 7/7.30pm. Then literally 2 or 3 small sips if she gets thirsty to help her not need a big wee during the night.
  • Big wee before bed, last thing before bed
  • Prepping the bed. We’ve put a bed mat down, so I don’t have to disassemble the mattress and wash it each time there’s an accident. I’ve also added a towel under her, doubled over, again so I don’t need t change the sheets every day (yup – I’m lazy)
  • No more pull ups for bed. Gone.
  • Making it OK for her. She’s in training. We expect her to wet herself at night as she’s done it for the last 4 years, she needs to know it’s ok to have accidents whilst we’re ‘training’.

The results? We started on Monday. Tuesday morning, 6am we have Lolo going to the toilet, but then coming in to our bedroom, very sad, holding her wet pants. It was OK we told her. She climbed into bed with us and calmed down. A month of this, I could probably manage. Tuesday morning she came in at 7am – she was dry. WHAT!?!!! Yes people, first dry night of her life. She ran to the toilet straight away. When asked she said she’d gone in the middle of the night too. Maybe she had, maybe she hadn’t – who cares, she had a dry night! Lot’s of celebration as you can imagine. And then this morning – Wednesday. Totally dry and no getting up at night to use the toilet.

This is exciting. 2 dry nights in a row. But I’m giving us a full month for the training to be over. And the truth is, we’ll probably have to keep an eye on it when she starts school again. But this is lovely. We’ve been waiting 4 years! Should we have started earlier? Who knows. Will report back later on progress.

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3y10m: Its not about the ballet 

Lolo had her first ever ballet peformance last weekend. Too cute. She’s been going to classes for months now. The teacher told us there was a performance coming up in April. I didn’t give it a second thought. ‘Sure, why not!’. Love a bit of show biz. She’s almost 4, thought she’d find it fun. It’s worth mentioning she goes to rugby and ballet on Saturday mornings, mainly as I wanted to stop her sitting at home watching TV, i wanted her to go out, enjoy group sports, socialize and enjoy life! We were quite surprised when we got to the first ever class as the teacher said, ‘see how she gets on and if she’s ok, you can leave the room after 5 mins’. What?! Leave the room? Take eyes off my child?! She’s only 3! (Hyperventilate hyperventilate). But Lolo, unlike mummy, just got on with it. she came out of the class a very happy bunny. 

And so we got a note from the ballet class about the performance. Hair in a bun. Mascara. Red lipstick.

 I was ready to keel over. Mascara? And RED lipstick? I don’t even wear red lipstick. I have one stick bought for my birthday a few years ago and there was no way she was getting that!

Performance day arrived and we decided to let her enjoy herself rather than worry about it. We got her a bun spong thingy. I brushed her hair, put it in a bun, covered it in hairspray and hair grips. Then came the make up. Why not enjoy it. I put blusher on her cheeks. Mascara on her already long lashes (shiiii! Where d’you get these from girl?!). And we got her her very own red lipstick. She was beyond excited. I then made her even happier by putting the lipstick in her bag as I dropped her off at the stage door, so she could be responsible and look after it. 

Half my height, perfectly quiffed, armed with red lipstick. I left her at the backstage door. She gave me a kiss good bye and was beyond excited to get into the theatre leaving mummy and daddy outside… a bit lost. But we were also very proud of her. She had the self confidence to go off on her own, into an auditorium full of people, all of whom were older than her… beaming. Happy. Content. And totally unscared. Did she have any friends there i wondered? I just didn’t want her to be alone or left out. My heart broke just thinking about it. But i wasn’t interested in projecting my worries on her, she portrayed none of them. My sweet girl. So proud!

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1y9m: Pee pee in the potty

Yes – this is exactly what my life has come to. Forget the clients asking for their big, consolidated campaigns for the year. For the discussions around digital and whether or not it is a thing or just something that permeates seamlessly into the way we live today. Is innovation this wondrous thing we all believe – or in fact the single largest cause of growing unemployment? Will Brexit really kill our economy and suddenly make everything crazy expensive as people start pulling out of the UK and demand rises for our staple goods as people decide to trade with us less? These are the issues I battle with on a daily – if not hourly basis.

But when my son sat on the potty and peed for the 1st time in his life – I was like… ‘say WHAAAAT!’ *crazy emojis*, *grandma’s puking rainbows*, *gif fireworks*, *pug wearing the coolest unicorn outfit ever*…. and *a couple of dancing cats*.

He is 1 year and 9 months (she proudly puffs). He has an older sister (3y 10 months) and the potty has always been around. Whenever they get into the bath, Lolo goes for a wee before hand. AJ has seen her do this often and sometimes has indicated he would also rather like to urinate (‘wee-wee’, point to potty). So a few times we’ve given him a go. Well, by gum this weekend, he said it, and nature responded! Thankfully daddy was on hand to make sure his winkle was pointing in the right direction. But he sat down, ‘wee-wee’d’ and then got in the bath. There was a decent amount there too. So super proud. We’ll continue encouraging him of course, but there’s no rush. Little amazing milestone – check. Super proud mummy – double check!

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1y9m: My little canines

They have started to arrive at last! His teeth have grown in a bit of a mixed manner. Mostly in 4s. Whichever 2 are growing from the top, their respective 2 will start growing from the bottom soon enough. But then he had this random bottom tooth at the front that refused to grow. So much so he got 4 of his molars, but still no little tooth. Slowly but surely, under the cover of darkness, it popped out. Super shy.

And so I have been waiting for the rest of them to come. I thought the final 4 molars would come out first and then the canines, but no. Here are 2 little mountains hidden away. I can’t remember how fast the others took to come out, but it seems like in a week has gone by and they’re almost fully emerged. Only 6 more to go. Hurrah!

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1y9m: into his own bed

Everyone chooses different times to move their babies into their own bed. W Lolo, we moved her around 1y9months because we needed her to get used to sleeping in her own bed well before the baby arrived. We didn’t want to create any resentment that the baby had kicked her out. So she got her own single and the fun of putting her down whilst she was still awake begun. It didn’t take long for her to settle tbh. Maybe a week?

Next up, is AJ. I’ve been wondering what our signal would be that he was ready. Since before Christmas I’ve been having naps w him or letting him fall asleep in a normal bed, no reason why I couldn’t test the waters. When he’s been having naps during the day in a normal bed, the oddest thing happens. When he’s ready, he wakes up, no crying, leaves the room he’s in, conscientiously closes the door behind him and makes his way to the living room to find us. Often, whith a massive smile on his face and a toy. So the sleeping in a bed thing seems to suit him well. 

Then there was this Saturday morning. Both hubby and I were a bit perplexed to see Lolo walk in to our room …. followed by an Aj! So daddy asked AJ to show him how he’d done it. The action was reconstructed. It was hairy. Little man was dicing w death a bit. So this weekend we made the decision to drop the side of the cot. Last night went very well I’m happy to report. No falling out of the bed (we have a foam lip added under the mattress cover), 2 smiling kids (as they both sleep in the same room) and no disturbance. I’m sure we’ll get a few bumps when they’re ill or going through big developmental spurts, but it’s good. Very good. 

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