Thanks to The Wandering Pram for nominating me for the #parentingalphabetchallenge and to Yule Times for creating it. Mines a bit of a mixed bag to say the least (what’s new?) but I’ve enjoyed taking part, and believe me it’s harder than it looks! So, read on for MY a to z experiences of parenthood.
A is for ADVICE
Whether you want it or not. From the moment pregnancy is announced, as a mother it seems that we’re fair game. From family, Midwives and Health Visitors, to strangers at the supermarket, to mums at ‘baby groups’ and internet forums. Everyone has advice, it’s mostly conflicting and sometimes it can become overwhelming. I’ve always trusted my instincts and gone with my gut, but my mum is the one I turn to for advice if I need it.
B is for BOYS
I make them, I love them. Simples. Although I’m secretly terrified of the years when I’ll have 3 big stinky teenage boys at home, thinking of the washing alone is enough to give me nightmares.
C is for CHOCOLATE CHIP BRIOCHE
These have fast become a dietary staple for the boys of a morning, not one I’m overly happy about but in the grand balance of things they aren’t particularly fussy eaters thankfully and therefore get a good mix of food groups including that of processed white sugary bread with added chocolate.
D is for DINOSAURS
Bit of an obvious one but both boys still love dinosaurs and I can’t see the obsession dying off anytime soon! I can think of worse things though, we get to learn all about them while having fun so there’s the possibility that I might be raising future palentologists! Every November our toy dinosaurs come alive and cause a bit of mayhem around our house. To see some of their adventures click here and if you still want more, here.
E is for ELI
My little E number 3. My very noticeable unexpected bump that sent us into a bit of a tailspin. The one that surfed into this world and quite literally came out with a pop! My last baby and the one who has completed our family. The one who will always be my baby boy.
F is for FIRSTS
With Stanley I championed every ‘first’ I couldn’t wait until he met his next milestone and I was so proud when he did. With James came the absolute heart melting joy of watching Stanley encouraging James to sit up, crawl and walk. And even now he is the master teacher of words, colours and numbers. I feel completely differently this time around with Eli, I’m not emotionally ready for him to hit his milestones and move on. I want to keep him a baby a little bit longer and savour it all, to breathe in his baby smell and snuggle him to me. He is my last baby, and it’s the ‘first’ time I’ve been so accutely aware of this, I’m now noticing the ‘lasts’ too.
G is for GRIEF
I am still grieving for my Dad. I still need him, ever more so since becoming a parent. I now understand how much time and effort Dad put in to make our childhood magical, because I’m trying to do the same for my boys. I realise now how similar we are. I wanted him to watch my boys grow (he never got to meet Eli) and I know he would have found so much joy in doing so. I feel so angry he and we have been denied that. Losing his Grandgrand had a massive affect on Stanley, one I wasn’t really prepared for despite my best efforts. I just simply miss my Dad so much. I can close my eyes and picture every detail of his hand and how it felt, we still held hands often. I love holding hands with my boys, I will be doing it for as long as they will let me and then some.
H is for HAIRCUT
I am writing this post in the wake of #scissorgate or as it will probably soon be known as ‘the event that led to divorce’. My husband decided to cut James’s hair because ‘it was in his eyes’ well, problem solved because now he has the same style as Lloyd from ‘Dumb and Dumber’ . But, we saved a fiver and it won’t need trimming again until next year by which time his fringe might have got to the giddy lengths of mid forehead!
I is for IMAGINATION
Stanley’s imagination is off the scale! He can take a few random pieces of lego and make anything ranging from a fire engine to a drone. Cue getting his sulk on with anyone who doesn’t identify his creation correctly! What he’ll have clasped in his hand will look like a few random pieces of lego that have been put together but ‘it’s just pretend mummy’ ‘look mummy, this bit is like the wings’ and he can create games that he will want you to play with him yet the (often overly complicated) rules are still very much in his head. He neglects to inform you of this, cue another telling off if I don’t play by the rules. When did playing become so stressful? Strangely enough James seems to be completely tuned in to this world of imaginative play, and they will happily be immersed in it together for hours with only the occasional spat.
J is for JAMES
My blonde bombshell, Jimbob Squarepants. He of dodgy haircut and cheeky smile. My baby that became a big brother at 20 months. The one I spent half of my pregnancy worried about thanks to Talipes (club foot) being detected on my 20 week scan. Once I was over that he dropped weight at a rate of knots at only 8 weeks, just to keep me on my toes! Now at 2 years old he can give a belly laugh to rival that of Daddy Pig including falling onto his back and holding his tummy. My little bottle waving Father Jack soundalike shouting ‘Dwrink’. Always smiling.
K is for KICKS
From within. A feeling that I’ll never forget, and I feel so lucky to have experienced three times. It’s so hard to explain how it feels, it’s so alien and yet so natural. Something that your body is experiencing but has no control over. It’s magical. I already miss it, and it feels strange knowing that I’ll never feel it again.
L is for LOVE & LAUGHTER
The two most important things in life and my boys have brought them both by the bucket load. From back when we were two new parents stifling hysterical laughter in the sleep deprived haze of the first few days with a tiny baby, when we realised he had the capability to fart like a trooper!! To introducing two new baby brothers and watching with our hearts melting as their big brother(s) showered them with love and kisses.
M is for MISPRONOUNCED
We’ve had all sorts with both Stan and James as they’ve tried out new words only to get them slightly wrong, it’s so cute! The whole family adopts this new word until they get the hang of it, and sometimes it sticks and becomes one of ‘our things’. I always feel a bit sad when they’ve mastered the correct pronunciation though. I wonder what corkers Eli will come out with? Stan’s favourite at the moment is ‘ageing A’ chip shone mummies’ you know, like that fella Tutankhamun!
N is for NEVER BEING ALONE
When showering, using the toilet and especially not when eating a snack or indeed trying to have a conversation on the phone. If you are reading this and are lucky enough to know me in real life, THIS is why I only communicate in text.
O is for OUTDOORS
We’re an outdoorsy family. We don’t let a bit (lot) of dirt put us off nor the ever changing British weather. We have a full range of outdoor clothing, and are prepared for all climates. being outdoors is just the best, it’s free, fun and is full of adventure and exploration. The perfect sticks are sought after and there are puddles a’ plenty…what more could we ask for?
P is for PHOTOS
I’m snap happy, I’ll hold my hands up to this one! I love photos and get great enjoyment both from taking them and revisiting them. I do wish I was in more though, especially non posed candid shots with the boys. My hubby is not one for photos so the best I can manage is a selfie IF they cooperate! In fact, we haven’t even got a decent photo of the five of us and Eli is nearly 5 months old!
Q is for QUESTIONS
I know that asking questions is the keystone to learning and I would never want to discourage that, BUT is it really necessary to ask 34 questions in response to ‘can you put your shoes on please?’
R is for RUNNING
Why walk when you can run…said every child under 10 ever!! I’m not overly sporty but I have definitely run more since becoming a parent than I’ve ever done. Whether it’s just a general ‘mumjog’ to keep up (see opening sentence) or the high velocity toddler chasing that usually follows questioning along the lines of ‘what have you got in your mouth’ to the ‘shall I, shan’t I?….just play it cool, then blind panic sprint’ as your child spies an opportunity and bolts at the local park. I should be thinner, surely?
S is for STANLEY
The one who made me a mum. So eagerly awaited, a child of firsts. The one who was the only one for a while. The one who taught us how to be parents. Stan the Man…we had decided on his name way before we even knew for certain he was a he (although I always ‘knew’ and did with the others too). The baby who saw us book a 4d scan so we could own pictures of him picking his nose in utero. My cheeky chappy, my little buddy and now a caring and protective big brother. The one who really did make me ‘labour’ to get him here. My biggest little.
T is for TIME
Parenthood does funny things to time. Some days are long and hard so I mentally count the hours down until bedtime. Then the weeks can fly by without you noticing. Blink and my newborn is turning one, then becoming a big brother. The nights however can seem infinite as I wake and get up to cries of ‘mummy!’ or to feed, wind and soothe.
U is for UNIDENTIFIED STAIN
On what seems like EVERY item of clothing I own.
V is for VEHICLES
If it has an engine, wheels or runs on a track we’ve probably got it in toy form, bonus points if it’s an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens. Blippi is the 6th member of our family closely followed by Thomas, Blaze and Robocar Poli.
W is for WET WIPES
Seriously, these are THE parenting essentials and not just for nappy changes and sticky hands! They are my skincare routine, they clean my bathroom, wipe over my furniture, take handprints off my windows, and are used to clean my car interior. I’ve fashioned them into a bib type ensemble and cleaned up spills with a effortless swipe. I’m hoping that a lot more biodegradable plastic free ones come onto the market, because I really would be lost without them.
X is for XX
Kisses…big fat sloppy ones accompanied by giggles, ones to take the tears away and ones using lots of concentration to carefully write in a birthday card. Best of all are the ones I sneak in to plant on the foreheads of my sleeping babes.
Y is for YELLOW
My favourite colour and one I’m guilty of dressing my boys in. Both Stanley and James currently wear yellow coats and yellow shoes but in different styles. There is a yellow coat in reserve awaiting Eli once he grows into the next size.
Z is for ZZZ’s
Or lack thereof. Are you even a parent if you’re not permanently exhausted?
I hereby nominate this fabulous bunch to join in:
All images are my own unless otherwise credited.