Sunday, 31 July 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful: crawling, ivy and doors

I've been sitting at my laptop for going on an hour this evening, trying to think of what to write. Truth be known, I've been feeling a bit bit depressed about the state of the world recently. I've been trying to avoid writing about it, finding something fun and light-hearted, but I simply need to say this.

First of all we have the natural disaster, the supposed Act of God that is the drought and famine in East Africa (and therein lies one of the many reasons that I don't believe any more). I saw a tweet that suggested that mothers were having to choose to let their weakest child die in order for the strongest to live. Before I was a mother that would have sounded awful; an impossible choice to make. Now that I have a daughter my innermost being screams out for them. How can the developed world strain under the weight of so much wastage while the forgotten millions perish. If I think about it I want to cry, so I don't think about it; I've donated to the DEC and that will have to do for now, but perhaps that's the root cause of the problem: it's too horrific for most people to think of and we choose to carry on in our happy existences.

Next we have the man-made disasters: the senseless bombing and shootings in Norway; and now I see that the Syrian authorities have killed 130 of their own people. Lastly we have the ignorantly damaging... one example is where The Analytical Armadillo recently highlighted the potentially fatal advice on sleeping arrangements for baby. Ridiculously high numbers of blankets to make them sleep through the night, as if that's the most important thing?! It makes me so sad to think that babies could be suffering or even dying due to bad advice.

Now... I do realise this post should be about reasons to be cheerful. I'm coming on to that! All of the badness in the world highlights to me that I really should be grateful for what I have, and I am truly grateful: I have a lovely husband, a comfortable life and a daughter I really would give everything for. And that's when I remembered Mich's reasons to be cheerful and realised that's exactly what I need today!

1. Baby Badger is crawling! She worked it out last month at a little over a year old, presumably because when she started at nursery she saw lots of other crawlers. There's just no stopping her now - it's given her the ability to get to the furniture she has been surfing along for months. We're going to have to be on our toes, but it's wonderful to watch!

2. Ivy. Father Badger attacked trimmed the ivy on the back wall today. I hate the ivy: it cuts out the light, it's probably doing bad things to the wall and (probably the main reason) it's full of spiders. This makes me cheerful for two reasons: I can hope that he trimmed so hard that it dies (!); and Baby Badger spent the afternoon outside in the play pen, under a tree, happily playing and chatting away.

3. I've finished the wardrobe doors. More accurately, I've finished the base colour. I've been planning these doors since I was pregnant and, almost 18 months later, I'm close to finishing them! I'll leave the details for another time, but suffice to say I'm proud of them.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Flying Solo

I've been worrying about this weekend for a little while. It's my first go at flying solo overnight. Two nights and three days, to be precise. Father Badger is at the other end of the country for a long weekend, which leaves me in charge overnight for the first time with Baby Badger since those early few days in hospital, and I had NHS staff to help back then! I had visions of a baby that didn't want to sleep, of screaming fits (baby), of gradual meltdown (me)...

So far, it seems, I had nothing to worry about. Yesterday we did Sainsbury shopping in the morning (trolley rides are so exciting) followed by a chat and a cuppa with some of my NCT friends and their babies. Dinner was home made pizza with olives on it: Baby Badger ate all the olives, demanding to steal them off my slices! Today started with a nice walk over the hills with baby on my back in my Ergo followed by lunch with my parents. Baby Badger then went to my mother in law for the afternoon whilst I went to the theatre daahhrling where she had a second lunch! I think she must have worn herself out playing because she was ready for bed soon after we got home!

Assuming we get through tonight unscathed, I've just got tomorrow to get through and I'm looking forward to it. I feel like supermum.


Saturday, 16 July 2011

I think I need to get a life

Since Baby Badger arrived I've had an intimate relationship with our washing machine. It's an old friend, having given us almost twelve years of service (albeit with four new pumps). I'd been in denial for a while: I thought maybe its spin cycle was getting tired in old age, but no... Last weekend I admitted to myself that its pump had gone again and the washing was actually sitting in water that hadn't pumped away after accumulated cycles. Eeuwww.

After a serious conversation with Father Badger, we decided that euthanasia was the only option and ordered a new machine to be delivered a couple of days later. In a fit of inspiration after moving old faithful onto the patio, I decided this would be the time to lift the manky old torn lino in the utility room and put down some brand spanking new vinyl tiles. Off I went to the DIY store, bought the tiles, came back and pulled up the lino, and this is what I was faced with...

Musty, damp concrete that vinyl tiles will not stick to in a month of Sundays. That left me feeling slightly less inspired.

So why do I need to get a life? Firstly that the thought of laying vinyl tiles really made me happy. Really. Secondly that faced with said concrete I spent several hours on the internet looking for ways to enable me to lay my lovely new tiles before the replacement machine arrived the following morning. (I failed to devise a plan. In case you were interested...) Thirdly that I am in love with the new machine. It's programmmable (I'm in IT and that really floats my boat), it's quiet and it has a spin cycle to die for. Ahem.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Do toddlers and restaurants mix?

Apparently there's been a debate on Radio 4 recently over children in restaurants - whether they are welcome and what should be expected of them and their parents. The debate was sparked by a recent news article where a man had a wine bottle smashed over his head after asking a couple to quieten their baby (which had been crying for some time).

There's part of me that can understand how a parent might snap in those circumstances - baby crying continuously, you want some semblance of a social life (I've been there) - but I certainly don't condone the action taken. I also understand the victim's point of view: if you go out for a quiet meal, shrieking from a six month old is probably not your planned entertainment!

Today we went out for lunch for my sister in law's birthday. We went to a very nice local restaurant on the Thames (The Beetle & Wedge at Moulsford), chosen partly because of the lovely food and great reputation but also because their website said children are always welcome. The provided not only a nice clean wooden highchair with safety harness but also some chunky brightly coloured plastic cutlery, which Baby Badger loved playing with! When our starters arrived they brought some french bread crusts for her to chew on, and gave a tickle or funny face each time they passed our table. We really couldn't have asked for more (and as a bonus our food was delicious!).

Baby Badger did us proud. She was smiley, had a go at pretty much any food we passed her way: olives, vegetable crisps, ratatouille, beans, carrots and duck. She also went crazy for the chocolate pot (gorgeous, rich chocolate ganache with chantilly cream and chocolate icecream). She managed a whole three hours without a complaint!

Which brings me back to the debate... What would we have done if she hadn't been happy? Without a doubt we would have tried to placate her with food or a cuddle. If that didn't work, we would go for distraction: a walk round or a toy, perhaps a bit of mummy milk (because I have no issue with feeding discreetly in a restaurant). If that didn't work, we would remove her and one of us from the restaurant and not return until she was happy to be there. It's the only polite thing to do.

Do you take your little ones out for meals? How do you handle it when they're just not up for the experience?

Image: vitasamb2001 /
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