Monday, 24 May 2010

Definately NOT Yummy Mummy this week!

I've lost half a stone over the last week. I've not exercised though. And it's not a weight loss method I'd recommend! I've been stuck in bed, getting cabin fever, not eating at all. And I mean at all. Not even chocolate. (I know!)

I've lived on 1 slice of bread a day, because that's been the most I could face. My chivalrous husband has held the fort for the week, dropping off the girls to Nursery, picking them up, arranging extra childcare for them with Grandparents, and then getting them home to bed.... all whilst I've been sat on the sofa, barely able to move. Flu remedies not helping with the hot sweats at all.

What's caused all this? Tonsillitis.

I remember getting it a lot as a kid, but I don't remember it feeling this bad! I finally; 5 days in, when I felt I was getting worse instead of better; managed to get a lift down to the local GP surgery and was immediately diagnosed and prescribed Penicillin. I must have been bad. I thought they kept that locked up behind Bellagio level security these days.

It's only when you're ill you really appreciate the support network you have. One of my friends stepped in and looked after the youngest for a day (you know who you are - thanks!), both sets of grandparents were brilliant. The girls, despite not really understanding why mummy was so grumpy, were so good and very gentle with me, considering. And of course, my man looked after us all, whilst still working full time.

I love you all. Thank you.

Definitely didn't win any yummy mummy prizes this week though... I barely managed to get out of my pyjamas. Never mind. The medicine is doing it's thing. I'm back at work. We managed to do the elder's birthday party, and I'm sure the weight loss might help a little to streamline those hips in summer outfits. (fingers crossed x)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

3 steps to stop a tantrum...

Some more tips on parenting today. I can't pretend to be expert. I only share what works for us! I'll be talking about make-up cleansers next time - because I've been getting spots since wearing make-up this last 6 months, and I can only assume it's due to not cleansing it properly at night. So any advice would be good!

Anyway - back to the issue of 'tantrums', or as I call them 'bottom lip moments'!

1. If the tantrum is threatening to start because you have said "No" in response to a request for something, immediately get down to your child's level. If they are talking, wait patiently for a pause, and then say "(Name of Child), Mummy has said No. That means No."

2. If the issue is one of timing, then you can follow this, before they get chance to interrupt ideally, with a brief explanation why. And it should be brief. For example; "You cannot have a chocolate biscuit now, because we are going to have dinner in a minute. If you behave nicely, and eat up your dinner, you may be able to have something chocolaty for pudding". Be careful to actually allow this if you promise it. If you don't want them to have a biscuit at all, then no promises of one later should be made. Above all you need to be trustworthy!

3. Immediately distract the child with an activity. "Come on; let's do some sticking before dinner"

The response is likely to be either; a full on, bottom lip out, stamping feet, crying tantrum. Or, an obliging child, sufficiently told, happy(ish) to do 'sticking' for the time being. If you do get the tantrum, you have one extra step of your choice.

Either, you warn the child that if they continue to scream and shout after you've counted to five, they will have to go on the Naughty Step. And follow it through.

Or, state clearly that you will not discuss this anymore, and turn your attention away from the child (either by going out of the room, or turning to play with another sibling, actively making a big deal out of the fun you and the other child are having.)

I find these methods work really well. I rarely manage to count to five. And when the elder does stop sniffling, and is clearly making an effort to calm down, I immediately stop counting and revert to the distraction activity again, but making a big deal about how well she has done to calm down. "Well done! We can go and do some sticking now. We don't want to be crying do we. Let's quickly blow your nose," (move child across the room, or into another room) "and we'll get those Dora stickers out. Cor! There's a lot of stickers here. Shall we make a card, or a picture?"

Throwing more questions her way makes her think about something else. And moving her, even if just to get a tissue, is distracting because her environment changes. And if I'm lucky, the episode ends there.

I hope that's helpful. Let me know if anyone has any other methods for dealing with those 'bottom lip' moments!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

How to manage "Bath time"... finally

I've had trouble signing in over the last couple of days. Sorry about that.

I promised to talk about "bath time" didn't I. Well, here it goes.

Bath time is actually my favourite part of the day. It didn't used to be. In fact when I first had my second, I was really worried about it. I just couldn't work out the logistics in my head. At the time we had a two year old toddler who went up for bath at 6pm, and was asleep between 7 and half past. How was I going to fit in another baby's bath time and still have them in bed by 7pm?

It turned out that the answer changed as the ages of the girls changed. Early on, when the younger was still breastfeeding in the her first three months, we'd bathe her in the baby bath on the floor in the bathroom either after the elder had got in the big bath (and was happily playing), or with the elder helping us clean the younger's toes before she then got in the big bath herself. Then I'd be sat on the toilet seat breastfeeding the younger, whilst the elder was playing. Luckily the elder, at 2 and a half, was old enough to be able to dress herself with minimum help. I'd dry her with one hand (younger in the other) and we'd go into the elder's bedroom for stories. Stories would be read (the younger still feeding). Finally I'd leave the elder to look at her books for 5 minutes whilst I took the younger into her room next door, gave her a final cuddle and popped her in her cot.

The younger very quickly learnt to go to sleep unaided. To the extent that today, at 20 months, she won't fall asleep on my knee. Something I occassionally miss! If in her room, she will point to the cot and start whining if she thinks you're taking too long getting her in bed. She has always had to fall asleep on her own.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't leave a screaming baby on her own. Just a whinging one for a short time! But having another child teaches you that they both need and deserve your attention. And if you are on your own, then they have to take turns. If the younger wasn't settling well, I'd read the elder a story, then pop in and see the younger, then pop back to the elder and so on; leaving the younger to mither (it's definitely different from crying) for a few minutes at a time. Often those few minutes were all it took, and off to sleep she went. Because this happened from day one, I didn't get to the controlled crying stage that we had to go through with the elder.

Bath time now, is of course, completely different. They both go in together. And I spend the whole time telling them to "sit down", "don't drink the water", "share the toys" .... You get the idea. Action songs are a good distraction if you still have enough wits about you to remember to launch into song.

But in all cases, the key thing to remember at bath time is this; before they get in the bath, make sure that everything, and I mean everything, you will need is within arms reach of your position at the side of that bath. Towels, nappies, wipes, baby lotion, pyjamas, clean pants for toddlers, slippers, shampoo, sponges, changing mat.... If you need it, have it there. Because once they are in, you can't walk away from that bath for even a second. At the very least, they'll be drinking the water when you return, and the worst... well, you know. So please, please, please, don't take your eyes off them, and don't move more than arms length away. (I've had a couple of major saves of the younger, when she's tried to stand up in the bath, one foot off the bathmat, slipped, and I've caught her before she hit her head. And when she was small, and just sitting up, she lost her seated balance on more than one occasion in all the excitement, and simply fell backwards. Again, my arm was there. I may be paranoid. But I don't risk it at bath time.

One final thing. If you have tiled floors in your bathroom, don't let the toddlers run around in there. Mine have slipped on the wet floor. Only last week I saved the younger's head from hitting the tiles, with my slippered foot and hand. Now they go from bath, to knee, to slippers, to carpeted bedrooms.

I said it was my favourite part of the day. It is. From teatime onwards my girls know our routine. And because that part of the day is always the same, they are calmer. As I am. We all know what to expect.

Above all, have fun. (oh, and get one of the those suction pad net bags for all the toys. Genius)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

I'm Loosing my Mind!

I went to a 1st birthday party on Sunday. It was my nephew's. My mum had given me a present to take along to the gathering from her and my dad. Did I take it?

Of course not, because I'm clearly loosing my mind. I seem to forget everything at the moment. If you've not had a birthday card from me, then I apologise. If I've forgotten to ring, having said I would, then I'm sorry.

I keep telling myself that I have so many things to remember, it's only natural that some things will slip through the net. And of course we focus on the forgetting, rather than on the many rememberings (is that even a word?)

On a completely different note, I've worked out how to bathe two toddlers and get them to bed within 2 hours now (just). This is a bit of a cliffhanger, as I'll share tomorrow..... (oooooooh, get me!)

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