When Dubz was 1 1/2, he discovered one of my hats. He found that it was comfy and cute (okay, I thought it looked cute). And a hat-wearer was born. Dubz loved that summer hat. He wore it loads for months. We bought him a cap, and he turned his nose at it. Then one day in Sainsbury's, I spotted a trilby. And Dubz proceeded to wear that, and two other replacements, for 1 1/2 years. For that time, he would wake up, put on his hat, and only take the hat off for naps and baths and bedtime.
The last few weeks have been tough. Dubz, who is two months shy of his fourth birthday, has been more of a handful than ever. In January, he began being afraid of sleeping alone and started sneaking to his sister's bed throughout the night and waking up early. He had always slept through the night, until about 7.30am. So waking up at 6am began taking a toll on him. In the past few weeks, he has started waking up at 5am. He cannot handle the lack of sleep, physically and mentally. He has been falling asleep in the afternoons, on the sofa or in the car. He wakes up angry and cranky. But if he doesn't sleep, he is much worse.
Today the kids asked to see some old photos, from when they were 'little'. Here is Moozles when she is about 21 months old, back when she was an only child. I can't believe that this was six years ago. This was her normal expression when I took photos. I hardly have any photos of Moozles smiling. Just always looking a bit surprised, as if she was minding her own business and I had popped out of a bush like some paparazzi. Haha
On Monday, Moozles went back to school. And when I was making lunch for Dubz to take to pre-school, I received an email reminding me that they weren't resuming until Tuesday. Total mummy fail. I had an appointment with the osteopath that morning so I had no choice but to take Dubz along. Dressed as Woody from Toy Story.
I was surprised how well behaved Dubz was, as I was being rubbed and manipulated though he did need the toilet halfway through. And there was the time he started roaring at the osteopath, but I reckon she was making silly faces at him. It's hard not to engage with Dubz. He is quite the character. Plus, who doesn't love Toy Story?!
We've all heard it before, 'boys will be boys'. Maybe you have even said it. But what does that mean? Why do people seem to think it is okay to excuse bad behaviour in little boys? If your precious little girl began hitting another child, you would be horrified. Why do some people not even bat an eyelid when their son starts beating other children?
Last weekend, we were at Richmond Park. Dubz wanted to play next to a little tree, but another little boy (around the age of four or five) who shouted at him and chased him out with an umbrella. The boy's parents, lying down on a nearby bench, did not say a word. Dubz still wanted to play at the tree but I had to drag him away as I did not want him to get hurt. Dubz is quite gentle and loves playing near other children, so he did not understand any danger and did not want to leave. Then the little boy's younger brother started chasing Dubz with an umbrella. Dubz ran back to our group, frightened. But the parents did not say a word, and let the boy chase my son.
I then did what I would not normally do. I raised at my voice at the little boy and asked him to stop chasing my son. This is when the boy's mother got involved. She came over to inform me that her son just wanted to play with my son. He was just being a two-year old little boy. I somehow managed not to tell her off. I understand that Dubz is tall for his age, and the mum might have figured he was much older than her son. I understand that we should let our children play with constant parental control. But how is it acceptable to let a child chase another child aggressively using the excuse that they are a boy? If her daughter had been chasing my son (she had three other children), then would she have put a stop to this onslaught?
I have seen several instances of little girls playing too rough, and their mothers are always so apologetic. And when little boys act too aggressively, I have noticed that their parents only apologise half the time. As if there is a badge of honour when your little boy is 'tough'. Some parents even laugh when their little boy hits another child. But would they laugh if it was their little princess bashing another child's face in?
I feel that children should be taught that it is not okay to be violent towards one another. Yes, my children have fights with each other. But that is the violence that only siblings can commit while still loving each other. I am talking about hitting and kicking other children. Pushing them down. Spitting and biting. And yes, children, especially toddlers do those things. But aren't we, as parents, suppose to inform them that this is not appropriate behaviour? Aren't we suppose to guide our children until they know how to behave like decent human beings? A simple, 'please stop' or 'that is not nice'. And you ask your child to apologise, or else you apologise whilst feeling embarrassed. Because even though children can't always control their aggression, it does not mean that we should laugh it off.
Once upon a time there was a toddler. And by midnight of his 18th month, his wise mother had shown him the way to becoming a noble knight. The toddler shunned the ways of his diaper, and used the glistening potty that the benevolent fairies had bestowed upon him on the night of his quick and pain-free birth.
Uh, yeah right. I hope you all know that every bit of that is a fairy tale. Not one bit is true. Okay? No matter what your parents or grandparents, or that random old lady you met at Waitrose said, most children are not potty-trained at 18 months. There are always going to be some exceptions, of course. But do not feel like you have to compete with those people.
Since my children are aged 6 1/2 and 2 1/2, friends with younger children often ask for advice. And regular readers of my blog will know that I am more than happy to offer advice. When Moozles was two, we tried to potty train her. The kid held her wee in all frickin' day. She still drank normally, but her tummy would become distended until she relieved herself in her evening bath. After a couple of days, and much discussion, I knew that she wasn't mentally ready to stop using nappies (though there were no physical issues).
When Moozles turned three, I told her she could wear nail polish if she used the potty. She used the toilet from that moment on. She was still quite anxious about the thought of doing poos in the toilet so we let her use a nappy when she slept at night (and this is when she would poo). She continued in her nighttime nappy until she was almost four. We then took away the nappy and spent a lot of time trying to ease her fears (we had to eventually give her some child-friendly laxatives as she refused to poo for over a week). It really taught me how emotional potty training can be for a child.
So here are some things to contemplate if you are feeling the pressure to potty-train:
1. The Signs - Yes, there are signs that tell you when your child is ready to use the potty. But some children exhibit all these signs and still aren't ready. Potty training is physical and mental.
2. Genius - Your child's ability to use a toilet early is not an indicator for future membership to MENSA. So if he/she is potty trained at two, don't expect your child to be the next Steve Jobs.
3. The Elderly - You will get pressure from the older generation, be they health visitors, grandparents or random people you meet on the high street. Let's be honest, they're kinda old and forgetful. And they certainly don't know your child as well as you do.
4. Wiping Wee - For me, my child being potty-trained doesn't mean that I am cleaning up wee off the floor every day for months. I like my furniture urine-free. And changing sheets in the middle of the night isn't my idea of fun. If you potty change too early, then there is a lot of wee clean-up. We potty-trained Moozles right after her third birthday. Apart from one accident at the nursery, her wee remained in the toilet.
5. Poo to Poo - Same as number four. Enough said.
6. Fancy Potty - There are a lot of potties to choose from. Moozles used the potty for about three days then went straight to a toilet training seat. Don't be too caught up in finding the right potty, or buying a potty for every room. Again, if you want until your child is ready then it isn't such a big deal.
And remember, you know your child better than anyone else. Do what is right for them. And if someone asks why your toddler isn't potty trained, send them to me.
Winter means eczema in my house. Husband suffered from it as a child, and both our children have outbreaks between October-March. And there are days I get lazy and I stop moisturising the kids on a daily basis. And I regret it as soon as their cheeks get red (photo above). It's less of a problem for my six-year old daughter. But my two-year old son, Dubz, needs daily moisturisation.
I have previously blogged about how Aveeno products are the only things that have helped my kids' eczema (here). But I thought I could offer my top three tips on how to deal with red, blotchy, scaly skin.
1. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. In the morning and after baths. I have tried hundreds of lotions and potions (including steroids, anti-fungals and antibiotics creams, all prescribed by our GP). Aveeno is the only thing that helped my son. Unfortunately we hadn't discovered it when I my daughter was under three (that's when her eczema was at its worst). The doctors prescribed so many creams, thinking she had ringworm. Then when they thought my son had ringworm too, I had enough experience to be able to tell the doctors that it was actually eczema.
2. Bathe infrequently. We are all told to bathe babies and children every day, as part of their routines. But baths are quite drying on the skin, even if using a bath oil. My kids have 2-3 baths per week during the winter. They get a wet face cloth to their faces everyday (more for the boy). And in the summer, when the kids bathe every other day, I don't always use bath oil/cream. Plain water is fine for washing the body.
3. Keep the air moist. When it's very cold, many of us have the central heating on most of the day and night. Dry air leads to dry skin. We used a humidifier when Moozles was little. But it broke and I never got around to replacing it. So now I pop a wet face cloth on the radiator at bedtime, and sometimes during the day. It's a DIY-humidifier.
Do your little ones suffer from eczema and dry skin during winter? How do you cope? If you haven't tried Aveeno and would like to, pop over here to request a free sample.
I was sent some Aveeno products for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
My son, Dubz, is 2 1/2 years old. He's at this super funny, super cute, super crazy phase. Life with him is never boring. And it's certainly never quiet. In fact, life with a toddler must be what life is like with a rock star.
1. Rock stars are always jamming. Toddlers love jam. Jam sandwiches. Jam on toast. Jam straight out of the jar, if you accidentally leave the jar of jam on the dining table, which leads to jam on their fingers, clothes, hair, the furniture and the walls. This also goes for Nutella and Marmite.
2. Rock stars keep unsociable hours. Toddlers never want to sleep either. Instead of partying at night, they want cuddles or sneaky episodes of Peppa Pig. And when you have important things to do during the day, now that's when they want to sleep.
3. Rock stars have groupies who follow them around and take care of their every need. Toddlers have groupies, called mums, who follows them around, wiping their noses and bums, making sure they are in constant supply of food and cuddles.
4. Rock stars act crazy and destroy hotel rooms. Toddlers are crazy and destroy hotel rooms, rooms in their homes and basically any room that they're in for longer than two minutes.
5. Rock stars like loud music. Toddlers like loud music too. They also think loud noise passes for music. The louder the better. Whether it's banging their toy guitar against your vintage nest of tables, or shaking their maracas in your face.
6. Rock stars have trouble controlling their bodily fluids. With the copious amounts of alcohol and/or drugs consumed, that's no surprise. Toddlers have little control over their bodily fluids. Whether they are vomitting on your new sofa, or weeing in your face (I have not included photos for this item, you are welcome).
7. Rock stars have a flair for fashion. Toddlers love to combine the most interesting pieces of clothing and accessories to make the 'perfect outfit', even if that means wearing sunglasses in the pitch black.
8. Rock stars can act like big babies, putting on diva tantrums if they don't get what they want. Toddlers are basically big babies. And if you're in the thick of the terrible twos, then tantrums can be a daily occurrence. Whether you've buttered their toast incorrectly, or given them the 'wrong' cup, they will be vocal about your failings.
So, do any of these items sound familiar? Do you have your very own rock star at home?
When Moozles was two years old, she drank so neatly and nicely from a cup. Dubz, who has just turned 2 1/2, is a completely different story. I find myself cleaning up spilled milk and water on a daily basis. I cannot be mad, as this is just his way. He is lively and energetic, unable to sit still for long. But I still want to be able to go out without having to clean milk/water off our friends' sofas and floors. And sippy cups just look so babyish.
So I was curious to try out a trainer cup and water bottle from Oxo Tots. Oxo are known for their quality household products, and also make fab products for children. We tried out their Training Cup and their Twist Top Water Bottle. And we got them in green as that is my family's favourite colour.
We found the bottle really useful when going out. You can twist the top so that the straw disappears and the bottle won't leak. Dubz loves the bottle and uses it daily as he thinks drinking from a straw is really fun.
The cup's design is really clever. Inside, there is a clear lid that has holes all around the sides. So when Dubz inevitably spills his drink, there is less to clean up. When he becomes more adept at using the cup, the inside lid can be removed.
All of the OXO cups and bottles are made from BPA-free materials and can be washed in the dishwasher. You can find them for £6-£8 each from John Lewis, Jojo Maman Bebe and Amazon.
We were sent the bottle and cup for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Dubz turned two in May. We have had months of terrible tantrums, and all the shouting and crying that comes with this stage. But there has been a great shift in the past two months. Yes, he still has some tantrums, but they do not rule our lives. Dubz is finally able to express himself in words, though sometimes he is difficult to understand. But he can eventually make himself understood.
So I thought I would share some of his recent silliness.
Last week I asked my Husband to do a wee in front of our son, so that Dubz could see how things are supposed to 'work' when it comes time to potty train. Rather than just watching his Daddy, Dubz tried to touch the wee and was shouting 'apple juice, apple juice!' If only we had apple juice on tap. Haha
Dubz loves growly animals, aliens and monsters. But his favourite things are dinosaurs. But he cannot pronounce it properly, so he calls them 'dino-roars'. It is absolutely adorable.
Dubz got a trilby in July. He wears it constantly, from the moment he gets up in the morning and only takes it off for naptime and for bedtime. Last week he threw it out of a window at pre-school. We were unable to find the hat. Dubz was very cranky about this for a day, but has since tried to find a replacement hat (basically he has been stealing my hats and wearing bowls on his head). He looks ridiculously funny.
Terribly cute, no? I am linking up to Wot So Funee. Pop on over to Stressy Mummy for more silliness.