General Parenting

Unsupervised minutes

It’s amazing how much a toddler can accomplish in an unsupervised minute.

Caide has had 2 such minutes today.

Minute 1: While I was settling the babies for their nap he helped himself to an icecream and hid under his bedcovers to eat it.

He wasn’t even subtle.

And he didn’t even try to hide the evidence.

Minute 2: While I was putting away the laundry he dipped a Calpol syringe into some Vapor rub and sucked it off. There was also Vapour rub on Theo’s sippy cup.

Yes, there is a baby gate on the kitchen. No that doesn’t stop him.

#day18 #30daychallenge

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General Parenting, Uncategorized

Life With 3 Under 3

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m finding this parenting thing difficult because it IS difficult.

Few people have twins. Even fewer have 3 under 3. This is not the norm.

Evey time I go out someone comments, “you’ve got your hands full!”

Yes, I do (thanks for letting me know – I hadn’t noticed!).

There’s a lot of total and utter chaos and me running around muttering/shouting how I’m “sick of this shit”, but overall I kind of love it.

(Which is easy to say when they’re all asleep. Ask me again tomorrow 😂)

It’s adorable,

wild,

and messy.

It’s my life.

#day17 #30daychallenge

General Parenting, Uncategorized

Reflux

The more I read about reflux in babies, the more I am convinced that Caide suffered from it, despite everyone telling me that it was normal.

I remember constantly thinking ‘how can this be normal?!” on pretty much an hourly basis. But being a first time Mum I believed the health visitor and GP over my own instincts. And being a Mum with anxiety I didn’t push the issue. I didn’t advocate for him.

But I know now that just because a baby is gaining weight, doesn’t mean they don’t have reflux. They can still be in pain.

So what made me think it wasn’t normal?

1. Frequent spitting up. Like, really frequent. He’d soak through 2 large muslins at every feed, then another 2 in the time between feeds. I timed it and wrote down every time he puked to see if I was overexaggerating it in my head. I wasn’t. He puked at least once every 15mins. And not just a little bit. I was told this was normal.

2. Frequent feeding. He ate every 2hrs, presumably because he was spitting up most of what was going down. I think the only reason he was still putting on weight is because of the sheer volume he was drinking in order to replace what was coming back up. I sometimes wondered if he was puking so much because he was eating so much so I did an experiment and found that it was definitely the other way around. He ate because he puked.

3. Fussy feeding. There was lots of wriggling, grunting, back arching and stopping and starting. While still trying to breastfeed, several lactation consultants and my health visitor were baffled as to why he was coming on and off all the time. He had a good latch and was sucking correctly, but every 2-3 swallows, he’d back-arch off me and scream. And puke, of course.

4. Comfort feeding. It was like he found it soothing in some way but would throw it all back up again and scream and it would start all over again. A dummy just didn’t do it for him, there had to be milk.

5. Back arching. All. The. Time. We’d say he was “doing his best ‘C’ impression” or “going for the full ‘O'”. Sometimes there was accompanying screaming, sometimes grunting, sometimes nothing.

6. Won’t go down. Awake or asleep. I had to hold him all the time. As someone who gets touched out pretty quickly this was a nightmare. If awake, I could sometimes put him in his bouncer/rocker chair but never on the floor. He had to be upright, even when being held, or there’d be screaming. Even as a tiny baby with no head control.

7. Coughing, gagging, sneezing, hiccups and congestion. I was also told this was all normal (and especially for c section babies), as babies are still learning how to use their digestive/respiratory systems. In hindsight, it was more likely due to irritation in his airways and throat due to reflux.

8. Wont sleep more than 2hrs at a time (If I was lucky. His naps were always 30mins. Exactly 30mins. If he napped at all). He didn’t start sleeping longer until he was old enough to sleep on his tummy.

He’d also puke in his sleep. We layered muslins under his head so we could just remove one at a time.

9. Wet burps. It was never just a burp. Ever. There was always puke. It didn’t always come out (silent reflux) but it was there. I could hear it. We grabbed a muslin and held it under his mouth quicker than you can blink every time we heard it. We were never wrong.

Health professionals need to take a mother’s instincts more seriously. I knew it wasn’t normal but was brushed off by my health visitor and 2 doctors. Caide’s babyhood was pretty miserable as a result, for all of us.

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*this pic is from day 2. I’d already learned to always have a muslin under him. And hold him upright. I haven’t slept since before his birth.

#day16 #30daychallenge

Education, General Parenting

Going Montessori

Those of you who know me know I will be homeschooling my children. So I’ve done a lot of research on education and different educational pedagogies.

My favourite is Montessori.

But it’s more than just an educational pedagogy. It’s a whole way of life. A whole different way of looking at child development, and subsequently a whole different way of treating the child.

Maria Montessori believed that children should be led, not taught. Directed, not instructed. That the child is a whole human being and should be treated as such.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

And, well, here are my 9-month-olds drinking from an open cup.

And my 2 year old is currently helping Daddy to cook. Competently. With real knives (his knives are safety knives).

It’s amazing what babies and children can do when given the opportunity.

We’re not 100% Montessori by any stretch of the imagination (for a start, those are not chairs that they can get in and out of by themselves) but I just love the underlying philosophy and implement as much of it as I can.

I used to think it sounded stressful, but honestly it’s way less stressful than saying “no” all the time and dealing with the resulting tantrum.

Plus, he can prepare his own snack.

Win-win.

#day12 #30daychallenge

Behaviour, General Parenting

Food for Thought

Caide said something that made me think today.

“You being good Mummy. I be good too.”

I’d been thinking how he was actually being quite well behaved today. I thought that maybe we were beginning to reach the end of this naughty phase.

But this made me wonder if there’s something I’m doing that’s setting him off. Something he considers naughty.

I tried to question him about what he meant but he just said “I don’t know” no matter how I phrased it.

I’m definitely going to start paying attention to when he turns I to a wee toerag and look at what my actions have been leading up to it. Maybe I’ll find a correlation.

Maybe it’s not letting him have ice cream for breakfast. Maybe it’s something deeper, some connection he’s been trying to make that I’m brushing off. Maybe he just randomly said it and he genuinely has no idea what he meant.

I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

#day11 #30daychallenge

Behaviour, General Parenting, Uncategorized

Non-Stop Intensity

I cannot parent this child. I’m just not mentally strong enough.

He has had me in tears every day this week. He is just so relentless. He. Does. Not. Stop.

My anxiety is through the roof.

I never know what he’s going to do next. Hell, half the time I’m not even sure what he’s doing right at that moment. Has he run out of the room to go to the potty? Climb the babygate into the kitchen? Wake the babies from their nap?

Is he approaching his baby brother to show/give him a toy or to kick him?

Is he moving his chair to sit on it elsewhere or to reach something he shouldn’t?

I feel like I am constantly living on edge, trying to anticipate his every move in order to limit the damage.

It’s exhausting.

I’m worn out.

I just don’t know how he’s going to react to any given situation. He is not consistent. Something that comforts him one day wont the next. A strategy that makes him listen will only work once. A strategy to get him to co-operate with getting dressed will only work once.

I just can’t figure him out.

I know toddlers are just like this but there just seems to be something more intense about Caide. He is very much all-or-nothing. About everything. All the time.

I am exhausted.

Apparently he is not.

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p.s it took me ages to find a photo for this post because they’re all blurry. He doesn’t stop long enough to take a photo. They are always blurry.

#day9of30 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Touched Out

Caide is so unbe-freaking-lievably high needs. He always has been. From the moment he was born he has wanted held. 2y 7m later and he is still always right next to me. He has graduated from “always under my feet” to “always right up my arsehole”.

And the constant demands.

“Mummy read it.”

“Mummy help me.”

“What you doing Mummy?”

“What’s this called Mummy?”

“Mummy…

Mummy…

Mummy…”

The instant I’m not paying attention to him he does something he knows he shouldn’t do. I have to be paying attention to him every. second. of. the. day.

Its so draining.

Linden is also going through a clingy phase. I have one or the other or both on me at all times and it’s making me want to crawl out of my own skin.

I am so touched out.

So here is me, hiding under a blanket.

#day8of30 #30daychallenge