Parenting stuff

I have been on such a political "tip" (yo) of late, I have neglected to inform you of the comings and goings of the kids. I apologise to any stalkers out there.

Generally speaking it's all good. James started a gymnastics class given that he spends alot of his time spinning around and jumping off furniture to music. I thought he might as well see if he can learn to spin and jump without cracking his head open. In fact, in the back of my mind I'm wondering if he'd be good at dancing - the proper sort - but he hasn't got the attention span, plus he's not really one for communal 'joining in' type endeavors. He loves attention and achievement, but he likes it on his own terms, not having to perform in front of others to do it. So, gymnastics it is. 

His nursery teacher says his reading's pretty good, wide vocabulary etc. It's extremely difficult for me to guage James' reading in comparison to other boys or children, given that by this age, Nora was reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by herself, whereas James is easily bored by the strain of the "aha!" moment not having happened yet. He still has to construct so many words out of sounds in the end he gets fed up and moans that you should be reading to him instead. But, I have to remember, Nora was a bizarre freak child ;)  I know James is ahead. I don't worry about it to be honest. He loves being read to, loves stories, and is getting there in his own time. At some point he'll start reading words back to me of his own volition and things'll start chugging along more quickly.

The fairly interesting thing is that James is streaking ahead in his maths comprehension, apparently. Which makes me realise we haven't got enough around the house to help him. We had a number line for Nor and of course it got ripped along the way. I must get that together. It's rather sweet that so many aspects of him are Mackayish. Stuck is a huge great Irish Hurley body. Heheh. He has my sense of daftness though, along with his sister. I am much proud of that trait. Definitely has origins in my Mother :)

Meanwhile the end of term approaches. A summer stretches ahead with my poor husband desperately thinking up new things for them to do every day. They are (or rather, James is) somewhat less random now though. They are sheperdable. Country days out and such may well be on the agenda.

The kids are all getting  skittish at school. Potentially something that contributed to a particular lad in Nora's class pushing her over in PE so that her face and mouth crashed directly onto the tarmac. I didn't see Nor until the evening at the end of term school disco, weirdly, where she showed me inside her mouth and to be honest it was a bit of a shock. Proper physical damage always makes one think of objective medical photos, somehow. It doesn't look real, or attributable to the person you love. All I can say is that I've not seen a gum injury like it. Luckily it seems relatively superficial but ugh, good god. It still looks horrible. I can state with absolute certainty that her two adult front teeth being only part grown / barely there at all, is the reason why she will still have her own two front teeth and not artificial ones. I'm amazed she didn't lose any. Poor Nora. Awful. That's two nasty 'mouth bang down on the pavement/floor' incidents she's had now in her life. The first killed her front baby tooth and it went grey. I'm just hoping that the mouth's ability to heal itself will keep this from being too awful. That and some antibacterial mouthwash.

And James has learned to play Draughts, and loves it.

That's it for updates!

"Bag" like Baby slings nasty bit of news

Well this is all rather awful. Here's the news item: "Infantino baby slings recalled in US and Canada". Basically, this is one of those slings that looks rather like a cosy open bag, type of thing, that you carry over one shoulder and teeny baby's supposed to sleep soundly against your belly. Except three children died of suffocation whilst in them, during 2009. Christ.

Since there are quite a few types like that available in the UK, it's worth passing the news on. I remember my lovely, amazing nearly niece Ada was carried for donkeys in a type of sling called a "Maya wrap" which, when the baby's very small, has a 'tendency' to be used in a bag like way, or that the baby slips down in to that position. I know that because I bought one, on Quinn's recommendation (and it suited Ada very well, as I recall). Nora had colic and had awful trouble getting to sleep so I sorted out my wearing it, snugged Nora inside it and sure enough, she slipped right down in it, and it hung around her like a bag. I really didn't feel positive about it at all, and thought she looked far too squidged up. I think Mackay said as much too. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I switched very quickly to one of those African style long material wraps that pull the baby to your belly in an upright position. Nora's floppy head used to be protected by the shoulder strap (as you can see in the photo on the front page of the Hugabub website, here, but always with her head to the side).

Even Hugabub make one of those ring wraps too - without casting aspersions on the products, if you know someone with a teeny tot or pregnant who is thinking of buying, it's worth pointing them toward that article, and noting that Maya Wraps now have advice that babies smaller than 8 lb's should not be carried in them, as well as a big fat safety notice linked to from the front page of their site.

I loved my Hugabub. There are a ton of other slings and wraps that are similar in design now, and probably cheaper, who knows. Anyway, going for walks with your baby pressed to your chest so you can feel them breathing, and are all aglow from their warmth, right up high with you so you can talk all the time is just a total joy and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I can remember going for walks with these inquisitive little beings, showing them leaves and spider webs, playing "touch the tree" and all sorts of nonsense - and also, by the way, when they fall to sleep and snug up against you it's magical.

So don't miss out on that experience, just think about the safety angle. And pass this on to anyone you know who is using one of the bag ones/  is planning on using one, with a teeny new tot.

Incredulous face

McK had to execute his delayed Jury Service, as I previously posted, which meant I was picking the kids up from school, after (for James) a long, long day of Nursery school in the afternoons and as short a time in after school club as my work-guilt would allow.

One evening I picked them up and Nora was still making a mother's Day card so took a while. The boy sitting next to her was looking incredulously at her, saying "God made me! He made you!, He did, I know it's the truth!" Nora looked back at him, bemused, saying "No he didn't, my Mummy did".

The look of absolute horror and amazement on the lad's face was at once hilarious and sad. I piped up, to save him.

"It's true, you know. Everyone's Mummys around the table made them inside their bellies. Nora used to be a little bean inside me, can you believe it?"

He still looked doubtful. I said to him, "You know, some people say that there is a God, and some don't. It's OK to think either things really". This seemed to be the perfect answer, and was accepted readily. I didn't think trying to explain the excesses of power and oppression by world religions in the name of any number of different non-existent deities would have gone down too well with that particular 7 year old boy.

McK was badgered later in the week by a lad who asked him if he believed in God! We suspect that Nora is spreading her Athiesm virus liberally. Given the richly African nature of the school population, I sincerely doubt she's going to get very far with her secular arguments.

Half of me is laughing out loud with pride, and half of me is slightly worried she's going to encourage bullying. I think I'll try to convince her to modify her tone slightly.

I am a bad mother

I ate all of Nora's delicious natural orange flavoured rice cakes.

It's a bitch this gluten free business, I tell you.

Sorry, Noo.

In other news it appears that my lovely friend who I rarely see, Bob, is in labour. Hopefully I'll be able to report on the new arrival somewhat sooner than I would if it were me in labour. That sounded far to convoluted. But you got it, right?

A large beam of squeezy hand support being zoinked to north London as we speak...