The Gallery…Mother Love

The theme for Sticky Fingers Gallery this week is Mother Love.

This is Ben at 3 weeks old being dunked in the Tummy Tub with my other 2 babies cats watching.

For those first 3 weeks after bringing him home from the hospital, bathing him put total fear into me, I then got a tummy tub and although still terrifying you will drop them, slightly easier to do.

But this photo is my family, The Ben, The Dodge, The Charger, The Mummy. And I am the person they all love most in the world.

Mother Love

Children as Equals?

I have come to realise over the last few weeks that Ben thinks him and I are equals.  He is often heard saying the same things to me that I say to him, some of these are lovely like the “good sharing Mummy” some are not quite as nice to hear back “stand there and don’t move” “stop that” (I could go on!)

Something else I have realised is that he has no fear of me, none. Which I think is great, I don’t do smacking, I have been known to REALLY shout only a handful of times.  O.K. and then there is the huge BUT…

What is the correct relationship between parent and child at 3 years old? Respect? Worship? Fear? Equals?  Or have they not worked it out yet and just see you as Mummy?

I believe Ben to be a typical 3 year old, he is well mannered, polite, listens to me, responds well, understands he can’t always have everything he wants and then there is the remained 99% of the day.  O.K. that is unfair, depends on the day the % mix of delightful/devil and it flicks in the blink of an eye too.

At the moment my hardest battle – and believe me when in the middle of it, it is a full on battle, is when he loses the plot and nothing works, and I have realised just that, nothing works except me removing myself from him, and letting him calm down.  I do expect too much of him, I want him to believe perfectly 100% of the time but that is far from realistic and as time goes on I am lowering my expectations to understand that I have no failed if he behaves badly. But how I react to that behaviour is when I win or lose.

Our battles usually escalate when we are both tired and stressed, sadly neither are things that can be eliminated, but being aware that these are triggers should help me knowing when to back off.  He is a clever little boy, he knows exactly what buttons to press when in devil mode, and I often stupidly rise to them.  And at that point yes we are equals as I have the maturity of a 3 year old

I am a firm believer in they need boundaries, they need to know what is acceptable and not, what is expected of them in certain situations – but again am I being unrealistic with this and a 3 year old?

So any advice out there on what the parent child relationship should be?

So often I can see Cartman in my head blaring “YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITY”

Silent Sunday 3rd April 2011

Silent Sunday

Flashback Friday – Wedding 1930ish

This is my Grandma and Grandads wedding day I am guessing around 1930

This week I spend the afternoon with my Grandma who is now 91 doing her garden.  It wasn’t a case of her sitting from a chair giving orders, no.  It was her next to me with a spade & fork digging over the garden.  she is an amazing, remarkable women who 2 weeks ago was in bed with a chest infection.  She refuses to allow something as insignificant as her age to slow her down.  She wears beautiful clothes, hair and make up done for each outing.

People joke we are alike with our shopping addiction and attention to detail, well I am proud to have that said.  She was stunning then and is still today.  My Grandad passed away 18 years or so ago, and at that time my Grandma had no idea how to do things like bills in the house, well she has learnt and asked for help.  An amazing role model to her 3 daughters, 8 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren.

Head on over to Cafe Bebe to see more entries for this weeks Flashback Friday

I have a confession – Fussy Eaters Support Club

I have been round and round with this one, ignore, deal with, ignore, deal with…and now it is face it.

Ben is 3 and the only things he eats at home – (nursery is a different story) are

  • Chicken fingers
  • Fish Fingers
  • Asda alphabites
  • Baked beans
  • Bread sticks
  • French Toast
  • Cheerios
  • Rice Crispies
  • Toast
  • Frutapura
  • Yoghurt
  • Cream Crackers

That is it, well of course given the chance any amount of chocolate, crisps, cake etc.

I did weaning by the book (not baby led, didn’t have the nerves for that), with home made purees, progressing to various dinner, chicken casseroles with veg, spaghetti bolognaise with veg. he started to be fussy at around a year and went down hill from that point to where we are now.

His food refusal goes to ‘treat’ food too, like ice cream and squash, he only drinks water.

He was in nursery full time from 6 months until just over 2, then a 6 month break and he is at a different one 2 days a week now.  He doesn’t eat a full range at nursery but will eat fruit pieces, various meals and the little sod darling ate a WHOLE Christmas dinner this year, turkey, potatoes, veg the whole lot.  When they told me I just stood staring in complete disbelief.

At the end of last year we did a mini-mind course of healthy eating for children and families, it was great and there was a section of each week where we did food tasting, he did get that he needed to at least lick the food to get a sticker, so he barely let his tongue touch the fruit/veg and he got a sticker.  He is not silly, not one bit.

But…he is happy, healthy, growing, bright, alert and starves off scurvy with frutapura pouches.  So for the last few months I have chosen to ignore the non eating at home.  It is clearly a control issue with him, as in recent weeks he sussed at nursery if he didn’t eat his lunch/tea he got bread and butter and so he was refusing and getting it.  But they have twigged and are refusing him this now (with my agreement)

He isn’t a big eater, never has been since a baby with milk and would go without food rather than eat something he doesn’t want.  He eats a lot at breakfast of cheerios/rice crispies and I think is then often full so isn’t bothered about lunch.

3 months ago I bought the Gina Ford fussy eaters book and I have to admit I read the first few pages, felt guilt, rubbed the chip on my shoulder and it is gathering dust.

So what should I do?  Do I face this and start cooking other food basically destined for the bin? He is a very black and white child, not room for grey if his mind is made up then that is it.  He can dig his heels in as far as me, it is exhausting.

But I feel society expects me to tackle this as it is not right he doesn’t eat.  But a large part of me thinks that he will grow out of it, but will that only be if I tackle it head on?

Not to play the single parent card but, well with no support at home it is just him against me and no one ever wins.

Anyone been there and got results?

Fussy Eaters Support Club

Silent Sunday 27th March 2011


Silent Sunday

Proposed CSA Changes – An initial response from Minister Maria Miller

A few weeks ago I wrote a response to the Green Paper on the proposals to change the CSA and start charging here

Yesterday the Minister responsible for the changes, Maria Miller – the Work & Pensions Minister was at Netmums to do a live webchat to respond to members concerns.

I had asked several of the points I raised in my post here.

She responded with the following

“Hi Jo, thank you so much for such a detailed and considered response and I look forward to reading your submission to the consultation. I can’t answer all the issues that you have raised in the time I have available today but I’d like to pick up on your point regarding domestic violence as other people have asked this question too.

We will look carefully at the responses we receive during the consultation process and I have already met the key people from Refuge to get their perspective on how we might best identify indivduals who have experienced domestic violence. This is something we need to get right across Government and I will be working with Theresa May and other ministers to make sure there is a consistent approach. We will set out our detailed proposals later in the year – we really need to get this one right.

We know that, for many parents who have suffered domestic violence, their priority is getting the right support in place for their children and the fact that they have to use the statutory system is not a choice they would have neccessarily made for themselves. They need our support and a lot of my time over the coming months will be spent looking at this issue.”

Interesting…as my initial response was, great, they are thinking this through…BUT

The domestic violence stuff is the easy stuff to come out looking good for them, and I don;t see how they can set upa  system that will be sympathetic, fair and not open for abuse.  But I will watch with interest and the positive is at least it is on their agenda (in reality and not just on paper I very much hope)

But mine was just one response – have a look over at My Shitty Twenties for other responses and comments to the chat.

I am still very concerned that because some see the face of single parents going through the CSA as the  ones that are shouting, aggressive Mothers trying to ‘screw’ money from their ex’s that we are not being taken seriously.  Too often it ends up looking like a Mothers against Fathers issue and also just shouting about how useless the CSA are.  On that Netmums thread and various other discussions I have seen it ends up being this.  Instead of highlighting the issues that the children will lose out on money, that the majority with not use the CSA unless they have tried all other avenues.

If these proposed changes do go through it will be bad news for everyone, Mothers, Fathers and most of all the children.  Lets not allow the politicians to see all the fighting, name calling and generalisations, it will make it too easy for them to just push all this through.


Octonauts Fan? You need this!


Since its launch last year the Octonauts programme on Cbeebies has been a huge hit in our house.  Ben loves it and my V+ box has 3 pages of episodes recorded on it.

At the moment the only merchandise are the books to buy.

Last Christmas I added a Tomy Bath Rescue Centre to Ben’s Amazon wish list, and he luckily recieved one.

So what does this have to do with the Octonauts? Well for Ben the 2 characters in the set are Peso and Captain Barnacles and the rescue centre is the Octopod.  The boat is the Gup-B and the shark is many of the different fish/whale/sharks that they meet in various episodes.

The set is brilliant, and bath times are very much loved and requested.

The Diver (Peso) has a magnetic head so that the helicopter has a winch that comes out the bottom so he can be rescuded by Captain Barnacles, then put safely back on his shelf.

The Octopod (Rescue Centre) has 2 suckers on the back to stick it to the bath, my bath is rather curved but it works still and stays put. I then take it off and stick to the tiles for my bath time.   The boat can be clicked in at the bottom of the centre and either character put at the top and then the red button pressed and they fall down into the boat or bath.  This of course is very similar to the Octonauts going down the shoots in the Octopod.

Ben can work it all by himself, and I only showed him once how to save Peso with the helicopter and now he just plays with all the different bits of it.

I also never mentioned Octonauts to him when we first had it out the box, it was him who decided it was and well who am I stop point out it isn’t! Shushh, don’t ruin the peace ;o)

This is currently £10.99 on Amazon and worth every single penny

It will be interesting to see when the official Octonauts toys come out (I bet about 2 months before Christmas?) what the quality will be like and if they will have something similar – I bet it won’t be a similar price though!




Music to dance to – Breakin’ Shapes

The theme this week in Mumra‘s Playlist is Breakin’ shapes.

This is a real classic for me,  many Saturday nights spent at Shine front left right by the speakers, slowly losing my hearing.

I was the girl in the Audio Bullys t-shirt when they played live ;o)

Oh NSFW or childrens ears!

Mumra Playlist

The Gallery…Trees

The theme for Sticky Fingers Gallery this week is Trees.

This was taken after the thaw in December started, we had headed to our local park to feed the ducks and I took out my iPhone and started snapping using the Hipstamatic app.

When I got home this picture was in the mix.

Just proves what beauty there is out there for free and what an iPhone 3GS can take.