I’ve started re-watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy lately while I’ve been off work. I’ve been a fan of Grey’s Anatomy since the early days and though I fell away from it for a while, I’m straight back in there now. It’s the perfect mish-mash of funny, serious and damn heartbreaking. I’m invested in these people like they’re real, they’ve been a part of my life for a decade.
While re-watching, I’ve noticed in some bits that they’re referring perfectly to how life with a toddler is. So, here’s 22 times that Grey’s Anatomy perfectly summed up what it is like to be a parent to a small child.
Keeping toddlers entertained can be a constant battle – especially when you’re trying to vary things up so you don’t go mad yourself. Kids are expensive little people, and activities to keep them entertained can really rack up the costs. So, as its coming into the longer days, here are four free things to do with toddlers in Cork City.
On the 24th of March 2014, I became a mother. At 7.05 am, my son was born by emergency caesarean section. Since that moment, my life has changed forever. It’s been a tough journey at times, but it’s also been so, so rewarding. And now he’s three. THREE. A proper “big boy”, there’s no baby left here.
So, what is he like at Three? I really liked the framework of the linky post I took part in recently with Awfully Chipper, so I’m going to use the same for him here. So, here’s a snapshot of my little boy, as he turns three years old. (more…)
I’ve lived in Cork City since 2009, meaning that this year is my 7th year here. In 2014 I gave birth to my son, which meant that I started to view the city in a whole new light – accessibility was a very real issue and I started to see just how accessible and inaccessible certain places were with regards to wielding my buggy around. I looked in envy at Mama’s whose babies were happy in a sling or structured carrier, as I wasn’t able to do the same thanks to a back injury and a disagreeable kiddo. I began to structure my almost daily wanders around where was best to have the buggy with me. It’s changed the way I look at the city, and am constantly on a search for different places to go, so in the nature of sharing the wealth, here is my guide to Baby Friendly places in Cork City in 2017.
The boy will be three in March. He’s long gone from being a baby, and is even losing his toddler ways. More and more, I’m seeing a little boy when I look at him. We’re enduring the TERRIBLE twos at the moment. Defiant. Tantrums. Enough attitude for his own punk band and then some to spare. He has his own little group of friends from creche, whom he loves. And now he wants a baby brother.
It’s been a while since I’ve written much about the little man. It’s not that he’s not been around, he certainly has been, it’s just been manic and monotonous at the same time. Parenting seems to ebb and flow in and out of a Groundhog Day situation. We have the same routines, the same arguments, watching the same episodes of Paw Patrol until I can recite them. The more things change, the more things stay the same. He’s changing, but doing it on the sly, while I’m not looking. He wakes up an inch or two taller. He comes home from creche with new words. He’s half way to five, I realised the other day. Half way to schoolbag on his back, out the door, being a proper little person.
I am not a fan of bedtime. The child going to bed, yes, perfectly happy with that (what parent isn’t?) but it’s an ordeal at the moment. No matter what kind of routine we try to put in place, it’s a bit of a non-runner. Basically my two year old has skipped childhood and gone straight to the teenage years. Refuses to sleep until late at night, is a GRUMP in the mornings and doesn’t want to listen to a word I say. I’ve not yet gone seeking a refund from the midwives in CUMH just yet but I’ve been close. However, the one bit I do like of the whole farcical routine is curling up with bedtime stories and reading together. It’s a nice time for the two of us and once I’ve got the books that I can’t stand out of the way (I’m talking to you Stickman!), it can be nice and relaxing. So, what have we been reading lately? A mesh of old and new books on the shelves, some I’ve spoken about before, but this is what the two and a half year old is loving right now (and I’m not tearing my hair out reading).
My toddler is a curious fellow, an ever changing personality. I’d point out some manufacturing flaws (the lack of love of sleep, the mess) but I did make him myself so I’ve nobody else to really blame. However, flaws aside, he does provide me with endless entertainment, a new perspective on life and some thoughts on the kind of old age home he’ll be paying for to make up for the 5am wakeup calls. Something new changes every day – whether it’s learning new words, or stringing together sentences, or managing to scoot through the entire apartment flawlessly – he’s an ever growing lovely little thing.
If I’m asked to describe him, there’s no real single word I could choose, there are too many things to just pick one. I quite enjoyed a similar post about myself that I did last summer, so here’s a look at an A-Z of my toddler, a bit of a fun idea to capture a little snapshot of him in time, right now, aged 2 and a quarter.
That quote about the best laid plans of mice and men? Someone definitely had spent time with a toddler that week. I’ve got the Monday blues, looking back at all of the things I had wanted to do last week, to do this week, feeling utterly muddled.
I live with a dictator. Things are rarely on my terms, but on those of the short angry man I live with. His physical force rules the household, a fear of waking up to a variety of MMA moves on my head, the destruction of the living room a daily reality. There are days where I feel in control, but within minutes it can come crumbling down and we are under the thumb again. He practices techniques like water boarding (using a milk bottle, chewed through) and sleep deprivation, makes us ponder escape methods, ways to run away and change our identities.
I’ve described my son as a walking ear infection in the past. The poor pet, he seems to go from antibiotic to antibiotic, frequent flyer in the doctors office, coughing like a 50 a day smoker but a trooper throughout. I remember ear aches from childhood – there are few pains like it, and I look at him, happy and active while according to the doctor he’s suffering from a bad infection. Recently it became obvious that something would need to be done – likely grommets, and so the path to getting them done was begun. It starts with the hearing test.
I come with a tiny entourage, all 3ft of him, my two year old toddler. I spend most of my days trying to teach him right from wrong, good food from bad food (i.e., leave the stuff in the bin IN THE BIN and come back and eat from your plate) and to say please and thank you to others. Trying to bring a child up is a massive learning curve. I’m a wholly different person to who I was three years ago, before I fell pregnant and my life changed. He’s taught me so many things (yes, I know that sounds cheesy). Here are just some of them…
As parents, we want to make our child as happy and as secure as they possibly can be, every hour of every day. There’s only so much we can do, aside from keeping them warm, fed, clothed and loved. Some things we can’t quite control. Recently E has started having night terrors, which are definitely out of our control, and definitely make me feel like an absolute parenting failure for not being able to prevent.
I officially have a two year old. I’m in a little bit of shock how quickly it’s come around – he’s no longer my teeny tiny baby, dependent on me for absolutely everything. Still a short arse, just one with a big personality and an independent mind. It doesn’t feel like a whole two years have passed since the day he was born.
The child will be two on Thursday, full on toddler mode, though on any given day he’s going on 15. He’s become a lot more vocal in the last few weeks, definitely a lot more assertive about what he does and doesn’t want, and knows how to communicate these needs to you. Loudly. Repeatedly. Alongside a chorus of “Mam. Mam. Mam”. Family have been asking for ideas for birthday gifts for him, to which I’ve really been drawing a blank (what do you give the toddler who has a tonne of toys he likely forgets he owns?), but then I started thinking about all the things he’s made sure I know he wants over the last week…
Are you familiar with Paw Patrol? Chances are, if you’ve got a child under the age of five who has been introduced to a television or Netflix account, you’ll at least be familiar with the theme tune. By familiar, I mean it’s stuck on a loop in a part of your brain that nothing else can quite reach to get it out of there (I’ve contemplated bleaching it out. Surely that will work?). For those of you who haven’t become familiar with the show that has taken over our lives as we know them, Paw Patrol is a Canadian animation broadcast in 126 countries, based on the premise of a pack of dogs who, under orders of the questionably aged boy with lots of technology at his disposal, go about saving the rather questionable townspeople from themselves. In our house, the combination of dogs plus fire engines (that would be the aptly named Marshall) was fated to be a winner.
Every day is the same around here, we’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine, dependent on whether or not it’s a crÃ¨che day. This is the kind of thing all the parenting books tell you to do from the second the child’s umbilical cord is cut, and I acknowledge we’re a little late to the game since his second birthday is next month, but I digress. Routine is one word for it, Groundhog Day is another. Every single day I get to bedtime and am relieved when I’m allowed to collapse for it all to start again at the crack of dawn the following morning. You know, if the crack of dawn time is set on the 21st of June like it is in my toddler’s head, and not the darkened sky version of Dawn we’ve had in recent months.
What’s that they say about making plans and the gods laughing at you? I’ve definitely had a few tastes of that over the last few years, and this last week was no exception. See, my blog turned 2 last week and I had been thinking of different things I could do to mark the birthday. Then my toddler decided otherwise, and mid tantrum knocked over a glass of water, onto the table where my MacBook Air, my first baby, was sitting.
It’s getting ever closer to the tiny man’s second birthday. The fact that I’ve an almost two year old is stranger to nobody than me. He’s a proper little person now; independent and wild (just a few steps back from feral, we’re doing okay). I’ve been looking back at the earlier update posts which documented my very tiny baby getting very slowly bigger, and it’s like it’s a different child – the time has absolutely flown. I didn’t believe it at the time, but the saying “The days are long but the years are short” is definitely a quote to live by for the infant years. That, and “This too shall pass”. At 22 months, we’re hitting head on into toddler-dom, tantrum first, but it does have a lot of rewarding moments too.
The boy is not yet two, so in my mind, cannot officially enter the terrible twos. He doesn’t care for this lack of decorum and has jumped right in, two feet kicking and a roaring tantrum thrown in for good measure. We are not amused. Toddlerdom has officially kicked in, and we’re getting it in stereo: he’s learning everything new about the world around him, and while some of it is lovely and charming and fun, we’re learning very quickly that LIFE IS HARD WHEN YOU’RE ALMOST TWO.
It is tempting to look at the clock and wonder if realising that it is happy hour somewhere means it’s okay to open the wine at this hour. Damn you toddlerdom.
I’m an unashamed bookworm from childhood; I grew up with my nose in a book, I love libraries and get annoyed when life doesn’t work out for my fictional characters. It’s something I would love for E as he grows up, as it’s a love which can stay with you for life, the ability to fall into a million other worlds and lose yourself in their lives. I’m also a firm believer that it’s not Christmas unless there is a book present, so as far as the toddler is concerned, here’s a look through what we’ve got in mind this year!
As the carrier-arounder and main wardrobe consultant of a 20 month old, I find myself perusing the aisles of clothes shops these days mostly in the kids section – nothing there will make me feel bad about my own body, and the vast majority of it is so damn cute. I’m a demon for picking up little bits and going “Ah yeah sure of course he needs a millionth jumper, sure isn’t there a few euros off, it would be CRIMINAL to leave it there”, despite knowing he has an overflowing wardrobe thanks to this shopping habit and the generosity of friends and family who have kindly donated a hefty stylish wardrobe that will have the child dressed until he’s starting school. With that in mind, I have made the conscious decision to stick to the more economical brands – sadly this kicks Next off my Christmas list (see you in the sales, maybe) and a few others but the alternatives really do make up for such losses. Shh, look at the pretty tiny clothes…
Absolute disclaimer; these are not things that are currently in my wardrobe (sigh), nor are they things I’ve been sponsored or bribed to say are wonderful (though if anyone is interested, feel free to contact me), I merely have a habit of staring at the gorgeous toddler clothes and mentally spending the entirety of my bank account on clothes he will outgrow within weeks. This sort of thing may work out slightly better on the old bank account. Maybe. (Perhaps I should hide the card for the rest of this post). (more…)
Have you got a fireman-crazy kid at home? Looking for some bedroom revamp ideas? That’s exactly what I’m up to at the moment – trying to plan a room for my little man that will make him feel like Fireman Sam.
My nineteen month old is OBSESSED with Fireman Sam, or as he refers to it “Nee-Naw”. (Loudly, in public, shouting it out for all to listen to). The theme tune, the characters, every single fire engine he sees, he’s mad about it. It makes sense, since from really early days he has been mad about the colour red. The theme tune is permanently stuck in my head, and I find myself spending too much time thinking about how much easier life in Pontypandy would be if Norman Price was sent to boarding school and other such things, but it keeps him quiet and isn’t half as annoying/questionable as some of the other offerings of Children’s Television these days.
Since we moved house in September, I’ve been meaning to do up his bedroom and make it much more of a little boy room, rather than the adult-based neutral themed boring room. The obvious answer is a Fireman theme – not necessarily Fireman Sam, as that can get dated quickly and add expense to a theme which can be put together in a less costly and more creative way. I’ve been eyeing up little bits which I think would pull together a room which he would adore (and hopefully want to sleep in). (more…)