Toy Guns and Weapons; What’s your view?

As parents we have found it hard to avoid this type of toy and play. Both having boys, they have naturally been drawn to them. Everywhere you look there is advertisements for weapons for boys to play with, whether it be in video games, action men or TV programmes. Boys are naturally boisterous when playing, which lends itself to this type of imaginative play. Both our sons own and regularly play with guns and swords virtually or physically, and if they didn’t I’m sure they would pretend they had them anyway or build them out of Lego!

We feel that we treat this the same as we would do professionally, within a childcare setting. We teach our children the importance of safe play and precautions when it comes to weapons. Always making sure that all participants in the play are willing to be involved and that if not, then it’s unacceptable.

When working with children this topic came up often and a main point used to explain our choices was that if we ban this type of play or say guns are completely bad; some children may have fathers who are in the army, police force or farming and use guns, are we then saying they are bad people for doing their job.

It is definitely a difficult topic to agree or disagree completely with, we must teach our children the consequences of real life and hope that they learn from that; but it’s also important to know that extensive research shows no correlation between playing with guns and weapons as children and violent behaviour in later life.

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Caesarean Awareness Month – The Story of Dylan!

Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end with a Caesarean?

When I was pregnant with Dylan, the thought of having a Caesarean didn’t cross my mind, it wasn’t really covered in anti-natal classes and I never imagined that I’d end up having one.

After 4 days of contractions, on a Thursday night I was finally admitted to hospital as my mucus plug had shown signs that Dylan had passed meconium and I was 4cm dilated. On the Friday morning, Dylan began to show signs of foetal distress, his heart rate was dipping and after a procedure called a Foetal Blood Sample. I was given what seemed like a minute for it to sink in that I was about to be taken for an emergency Caesarean, the next thing I knew Carl was standing there in scrubs and we were rushed to theatre.

I don’t remember an enormous amount, but I remember having the shakes worse than I have ever experienced them before, I physically couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering. The whole procedure was pretty quick and when people ask what it was like, I can only describe it as someone washing up inside your stomach. You feel tugs and movement, but no pain … it’s very bizarre.

My healing process wasn’t the best. I managed to contract an infection from the catheter and spent the best part of our first week in hospital hooked up to an ECG as they couldn’t stabilise my heart rate. When home we were in a top floor flat (with no lift) and I managed to open my wound twice.

Despite all of this I am so grateful for my Caesarean, my beautiful boy was delivered promptly, safely and was absolutely fine. In fact the midwife who weighed him and assessed him using the Apgar scale couldn’t believe how well he was and said they had been on standby to whisk him off to Special Care, but there was thankfully no need.

Now in my second pregnancy I am faced with the question as to wether I should opt for an elective Caesarean or attempt a natural birth. To be honest, I am swaying towards a second Caesarean. I have heard so many positive stories about how calm and how much easier the recovery is with an elective. I also feel as though I would know what to expect.

I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts?

Our Premie Journey

So this post has been a long time coming, not just to share with you all our story, but to put my feelings on paper. Today Eloise has reached a point in her pregnancy that I never did with my son.

Orlando was born at 25 weeks 2 days. We named him Orlando as he is of mixed heritage; Sicilian, Bajan and English. There is a warrior named Orlando in Sicilian history, so it felt like a very fitting name for our little miracle fighter.

I was always a high risk pregnancy due to having a knife cone biopsy on my cervix at the age of 24. This resulted in me needing stitches in my cervix when I was pregnant to stop it opening from pressure. This however, was not the reason Orlando was born early.

I still to this day have not been given a definitive reason for this.

When Orlando was born he was given a 50/50 chance of survival, something you never want to hear when it comes to your child. He was a fighter. Apart from a few respiratory issues every now and then, severe reflux, umbilical and groin hernias and an unknown reason for bloating stomach, he came out of this rough start with no life long complications.

It was an incredibly lonely time. I lived in the hospital with him for 7 weeks before finally being transferred to a hospital closer to home. During this time I had a few visitors, but was mainly on my own.

When he was transferred it was even worse as I now had to go home and couldn’t be just a few feet away from him anymore. Luckily he was only there for 3 weeks before finally coming home.

Yet this brought new difficulties. All the emotions from the past 10weeks hit me, I was a wreck. I couldn’t go out or have too many visitors as his immune system was very poor. So I stayed in, isolated for months.

3 years on and he’s doing great. He has no lifelong complications due to being premature and to look at him you would never even know.

Potty Training

Now let me start with my success rate from work. Every child would be successfully potty trained by the time they left us at 4 years old. To be honest way before that age. This would be done with no rewards, just praise and a strict schedule. Every 15minutes we would take the child to the toilet until they understood what they had to do. Yes their would be some accidents but this happens to all children training. These children were mainly with us from 8am till 6pm. Parents would potty train at home aswell and ask for our advice and guidance.

Now to my own child 🤦‍♀️ I have bribed with stickers and toys; I jump, scream and sing; I do whatever it takes for that little cute bum to sit on that toilet and poo instead of in his pants 🤣 He has always had difficulty with pooping but I thought we would have nailed it by now. His 4 this August.

Weeing was pretty easy. We potty trained in the summer when he was 2. Left him naked and being a boy he would just run into a corner in the garden and stand and wee. Yes my plants didn’t do well that summer but my son did 😂

I’ve been given advice from hundreds of people, frowned upon that his 3 and still occasionally wears a nappy when his having a bad stomach time, to the point it makes me hide it and feel ashamed.

But hey each child learns at their own rate so we will just go with it. As long as his out of nappies by the time his 30 I’ll be happy 😂🤣🤦‍♀️

A Day in the Life of a Working Mum!

So after a hectic morning, I just about remembered to put a wash load on this morning before I headed out the door to work.

A busy day at work, as the end of term is drawing near and there’s a mountain of stuff that needs to be done before we finally get that long awaited two week break.

I head home for a quick half hour before I have to go and pick up Dylan from Football training, I think to myself I’ll hang the washing out and have a quick cup of coffee. I stick the kettle on and open the washing machine door, put my hand in only to be greeted by dripping wet clothes, great! I close the door and think “f**k it, I’m having the coffee.”

Off I go to pick Dylan up, I’d of course forgotten that he’d kicked his own football over into the neighbours garden (for the third time this week) and the first thing he said to me was “we need to get my ball back from the lady next door” … well hello to you too sunshine! So we get home and the neighbours not in, cue a melt down, complete with tears about how he’s never going to get it back, did I know it’s been 24 hours!?!?

I eventually convince him, that they will probably be home soon, and to get out of the car and to come inside and play with his kinetic sand (great idea smart arse!). I then trot off to the kitchen to sort the washing machine, armed with one towel. I open the filter on the washing machine, not even thinking that the washing machine is still full of water, until I’m ankle deep in water. I shout to Dylan, “towels Dylan, get mummy all the towels.” His reply “errr mum, I’ve made a bit of a mess.” So I run upstairs and get the towels myself, ignoring the bright green glittery sand all over my cream carpet!

Then my phone rings, it’s Carl his first words “hey baby, what’s for dinner?”. Which as you can imagine did not go down very well. Anyway I’ll cut to the chase, despite all of this chaos, I had fixed the washing machine, cleared up the water, hoovered my living room including the window sills (yes, somehow the kinetic sand was on there too) and still managed to have dinner on the table for 6.20pm. Admittedly it was a KFC that Carl brought home, after receiving an earful of abuse, for daring to ask me what was for dinner whilst I was ankle deep in a flooded kitchen. Just call me Supermum! 

Gender Stereotypes

Recently I brought him a baby. It was in the sale and he had played with it everytime we had gone into this shop. It was the best £3 I’ve spent. He showed so much care and love towards this doll and it kept him off his tablet for 5 minutes.

My son Orlando is a proper “boys boy”, he loves fighting, football, playing outside and building. However, he also has an interest in roleplay and imaginative play, which leads me on to this post.

Baby had cereal for breakfast, so for the first time Orlando had cereal too and ate it all.
However, the problem arose when his father came home, as soon as he saw it I knew what was about to happen. “Why have you got him that? That’s for girls.” This was the response my son got as he happily showed his papa his baby.

This has always been an arguement in my house and one we have both had to fight within our careers as childcare practitioners.

My response was “so are we telling our son he can’t be a good father, a big brother. You held him when he was a baby, does that make you a girl?”

In work we have had a father who was unhappy that his child dressed up in a dress and pushed a pram. He said his child would grow up to be gay because we allowed him to do so. We have also had parents (both mothers and fathers) who have not allowed male members of staff to change their child’s nappies.

As childcare practitioners we try our utmost to promote equal opportunities in every aspect of the children’s day to day lives, but it is definitely a battle when so many parents including our own partners have such views!

So what are boy’s toys and what are girl’s toys?
What are male roles and female roles?
Why is there such a stigma behind this?
What’s your view?

A funny story … about my 20 week scan!

So at my 12 week appointment the sonographer told me off for not drinking enough and being dehydrated … I did drink the amount I was supposed to love, I just chucked it up 10minutes before my scan! 

This time I was extra cautious, drank my 1.5litres of water, 1 hour before. I already needed a wee before I’d even left work to drive to my appointment. I basically walked cross legged up to the first floor of the hospital, trying desperately not to pee myself. Get to the desk only to be told that the sonography team were running late and had only just gone on lunch (are you f**king kidding me).

So I went and sat in the only available seat, next to the bloody water dispenser. I swear anyone would think there was a drought the way people were constantly coming over and turning on the tap to get themselves a drink, honestly there is no worse sound when it feels like your bladder is about to explode. At this point Carl was finding it highly amusing and I wanted to stab him in the eye!

After what felt like eternity I was finally called. I laid down and she run the scanner over my bladder and had the cheek to tell me my bladder was too full. Could I please go and empty my bladder a little, but not all the way! I mean is she actually joking, how on earth did she expect me to let some out but not all, it felt like Niagra Falls was about to burst out of me! Now I don’t know how I managed it, but somehow I did!

Despite this almighty effort to do the right thing, the baby decided it wasn’t going to play ball and despite going for walks, eating sugar and wiggling like a crazy woman and being scanned 3 times, we came away with a piece of paper saying “scan incomplete – your baby was lying in a position that made it difficult to complete necessary checks.” So not only was the scan incomplete we didn’t manage to find out the gender, and we now have to go back next Monday where hopefully the little pickle will decide to behave and allow the checks to be completed. The only photo we were able to get was one of babies foot, which despite being very cute was not quite what we were expecting.

On top of this, when I got home I checked my letter and realised I’d gotten mixed up, I was supposed to drink 1.5pints of water not 1.5 litres, a very typical of me mistake to make and one that had my mother in hysterics 🙈

I have to admit though, the wee at the end was possibly the best wee I’ve ever had!