Monday, 16 July 2007

In support of Bobby Goody/Brazier

I read today, in the Mirror, I think it was, that the parents of a well to do private school in Loughton, Essex, are up in arms about the awarding of a place to Jade Goody's son, Bobby.

I do not like a lot of the things that Jade did in the BB house. But as for her kids, well they're innocent, and have the right to be considered as individuals, and not judged through the lens of their mother's recent behaviour.

In its nuts and bolts form I see the situation like this:

Small child enrolled at school, parents seek to bully head of school into barring, or withholding school place for said child, some even threaten to remove their kids if small child takes up place.

To those parents I say: Pick on someone your own size.
Why punish a child for its parent's behaviour.
Why shouldn't Bobby go to this school?
What possible harm is a four year old going to inflict on their kids, beyond the usual playground rough and tumble.

I really detest parents who behave like this. Singling out a CHILD and trying to block its right to come to school. I suspect, these are the same types that colonise my son's nursery, barging into the car park in their chelsea tractors without so much as looking to see if there are any small kids or pedestrian parents like me, crossing the path to get in or out. These are the parents who refuse to say thank you upon having the door held open for them, or, who seeing you carrying a small baby and a rucksack, do nothing to move aside for you, whilst little Tarquin has a tantrum in the middle of the thoroughfare. These are the kind of parents who, to be honest, I see as a bigger obstacle to children's life success than any four year old child born of a mother who behaved badly on TV.

'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone...'

My Toddler

Well that' it, it's official, my son has passed from babyhood to toddlerdhood.
Yes, it was his first birthday yesterday, but in a way the change had happened before that day.

In the space of a week he's started to walk properly, talk, point at things and say 'wotsat?' and 'at', greet people with 'aiya' and wave to greet and say goodbye. He is now an active participant in the world, shaping out his own experiences, rather than being brought to various activities, strapped in a pushchair, or carried everywhere by me. It feels so strange to walk ahead of him, and usher him to follow me. It's wonderful to see the delightful, inquisitive little boy he is growing into.

The party was wonderful, although I have to say I was rather disappointed with the cake, which took hours to make and yet was as dry as the sahara. Whilst making it, I was absolutely convinced the recipe had prescribed too much flour, but followed the instructions anyway...and of course I end up with a madeira cake which actually feels more like stale bread than any fluffy kid friendly sponge. Oh, and rather than looking like a lion, it ended up as more of a koala bear......Hmmmmm. I will not be recommending that particular recipe to anyone else!

But the main thing was that all who visited us had a good time, and the boy raced round like mad, holding court with his fanclub, and was, of course, suitably covered from head to toe in dubious looking food stains by the end of the day! He's also developed a liking for Monster Munch. (Yes, call the health visitor, bad mummy alert!)

In a kind of romantic, poignant spirit, I had planned to mark the exact time of his birth (9.06pm) with a glass of bubbly with his dad, but, suitably enough, 9.06pm saw me cradling my adored boy, stroking him to sleep. A lovely sense of circularity, since at the moment of birth, the midwives put him straight onto my skin, enabling me to hold him close, thus forging the start of the most wonderful bond of my life. And one year on, exactly to the minute, there I was doing the same, with a boy tripled in weight and length, with completely different colour hair, but still the same little tiny, flat nose and slightly pointy out, but rounded chin he had at birth.

I promise a gardening post soon. I am sure you are all getting mummy boredom!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Long time no see

Well at last some good news to report on the garden front: We have raspberries!
Not many, admittedly, but there is nothing more pleasing than having planted something yourself, nurtured it from time to time(Well actually our unseasonal weather has probably done more of the nurturing), and then suddenly, without fanfare or showing off, it bears fruit.

Also in time for St Swithin's day on the 15th July, the St Swithin's rose has bloomed en masse. Although it is certainly more of a delicate fragrance than a heady one - which, for a fragrance junkie like me is a slight let down.

Also, the sweet peas are climbing nicely up the fence, and I can't wait to savour their perfume - one inhalation transporting me back to my parent's garden and my childhood....

photos to come tonight....

On the birthday party front:
Well, I've decided on a cake - chocolate, lion's face, looks impressive but low maintenance.
We've bought the main present - the Fisher Price Ramps Around garage
but we still have a considerable amount to do in preparation...
I decided against inviting the other kids along from childcare- since each and every parent I came across this week has exemplified everything I detest about middle class mannerless, grumpy, stuck up, unwilling to exchange greetings, or common pleasantries - so why on earth would I want to reward them for being rude by inviting them into our home? What is it with these people? What kind of example is it giving the kids, always in tow, to refuse to thank someone holding open a door, or greet upon bumping in to each other in the playroom. Well this has become a rant, but it gets to me!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

I am writing this from my 'dashboard' - if it works I will be VERY impressed!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Who's a clingy baby then?

Well mine apparently.
The last few times I've collected my son from childcare I've been told he's being unusually clingy.
Now don't get me wrong - I am full of praise for the staff there who clearly look after him with love and affection - but there's something about the word clingy that kind of rubs me up the wrong way.

I was labelled as clingy once by an ex - it sounded the death knell of our relationship! He wasn't complementing me on my staying power, or dedication here!

Anyway, back to the subject. I too have noticed that he's going through a phase of learning about attachment, but doesn't quite have the notion of object permanence sorted yet. So if you're his mummy or his favourite carer, he loves you deeply, and then, if you disappear, he thinks you're gone for good. Quite a thing for a little one to deal with. However, as I walked away from childcare with this word 'clingy' ringing in my ears I felt a bit troubled.

What could be causing his deep, deep upset at having to share the affections of his carer with the other babies, or, indeed, why wont he settle with his darling daddy if I leave the bedroom to brush my teeth in the morning - - and any fervent attachment parents reading this do not read these rhetorical questions as plaintive - I am genuinely wanting to understand if it is indeed a natural phase, or if, there is something circumstantial causing this, and if so, does something in our strongly AP inspired parenting need to be adjusted?

Of course as a working mum, my first thought turned to my own position - is it because I am at work? Is he missing me a lot? Those thoughts, like the use of the word clingy, do not sit comfortably chez moi either. Actually, I am feeling the separation a lot too, at the moment, and am not at all sure about what I want the future to look like in terms of work.

There's a lot of debate on some mummy blogs at the moment about the whole Working mum vs SAHM argument. It's a subject which seems to stir up vitriol, derision and anger in a way very few others do. And at the moment I just can't resolve it in my head for me as an individual. As with all things in life, I guess, it's probably about balance. And perhaps I feel, in fact I think we both feel, that at the moment, that balance isn't there. Not for wont of trying, but simply because of the way in which the working world is stuctured in this country. IE fairly paid part time work for highly qualified professional women just DOESN'T exist.

So, anyway, no resolution, no answers, and probably, tomorrow again, he will have been 'clingy' and I will again feel double unease - one at the use of the word, and two at the belief that my absence during the day may be a cause of this.

But then didn't some wise old fishwife once say 'a mother's place, above all else, is in the wrong'

Monday, 2 July 2007

New Shoes

As he approaches his first birthday, it so happens that our son has decided it's time to begin doing some walking. Not too much walking you understand, since his crawling is much faster, and less risk prone, and so far he's decided that so far, crawling presents the more effective transport option. But, if encouraged, he will do it.(walking that is)

With this in mind, and, paired with a desire to do something fun and lighthearted amidst a weekend characterised by rain and terrorism, off to Clark's we went to get him fitted for his first pair of proper shoes.

I say proper shoes, because he's got several pairs of baby shoes already - in fact a miniature pair of Stan Smiths were purchased for this boy before he'd even really colonised my womb - I am something of a baby accessories addict.

Anyway - we had him measured up - he's a size 4F, and I selected a rather cute pair of 'cruising shoes'. He even had a photo taken, courtesy of Clark's to celebrate the moment. Although they managed to cut off my head, focus on my cleavage, and the boy is pulling an extremely serious face, so not one for the photo album I suppose.

Of course, 2 seconds out of the shop, the boy had already figured out how to remove said shoes, and so, it is almost inevitable that what started out as a pair of shoes will soon be one shoe, with the other lost somewhere between home and childcare....

Oh well here's to the start of a long era of pricey clothing and accessories being lost, scuffed, mistreated, eaten, covered in pen, mud and other viscera. My boy is independent. In charge of his own movements now, and although I feel nothing but pride, there is a small tinge of sadness that he, like all babies, grow up so soon. This time last year he was still in my tummy, kicking away. Now he can climb up a slide unaided. The miracle of life and human development brings about awe, wonder and sadness in equal measures.

Endless downpours

I am starting to look upon the days where I would ritualistically water the garden with my tiny can with a sense of nostalgia.

I am also looking back to last summer's excruciating heat with a sense of nostalgia.

It is June, but you wouldn't know it.

Torrential rain, catastrophic flooding, and little sustained sunlight. I can almost feel myself coming down with SADS a month or two early.

Needless to say, the rain is growing the garden magnificently, and my verbena is looking glorious - like a cathedral with its straight, authoritative spire like stems.

I just long to be able to sit in the garden, of an evening, savour its fecund scents, and enjoy the peace of our corner of the garden city before summer is over. I am not sure whether this will happen now!