Backchat and Blogs

Some may have already seen a post I made recently on Facebook regarding a certain attitude filled response I had to a question posed to my 6-year-old boy…

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He seems to have reached a point in his life where Mum and Dad no longer have the absolute control over the world that we might have had.  The WAY things are done are questioned, WHY am I always a grumpy sod (in my own words, but meant in such a way by him).  The best part is that Isaac being almost 2 and a half and learning new words by the day is more than happy to copy his older brother.

This most recently came to light after several minutes of intermittent screaming in the garden whilst chasing the cat around.  Asked several times by Rosie to stop it as the neighbours don’t want to hear this noise which, as she describes it, is something unique to Josh and sounds like 5 boys screaming at once, all coming from the same mouth…

Again they do it and I have to step in with the absolute ‘pack it in now’ or they are both coming back inside.  Josh hesitating, wanting desperately to say something decides against it and mumbles as he walks away, and Isaac firmly plants a fierce ‘pissed off’ look on his face, full on frown and everything with a tightly crossed pair of arms to boot.

It is in these moments that Rosie is useless.  Absolutely no good to me whatsoever; she will see it, gasp in amazement but swiftly turn around to laugh her head off.  I so badly want to but have to maintain the bad guy persona for just a moment longer so that he gets the message.  I have to laugh about it later, incredible to see such a reaction from a tiny person.

They both continue to play and only occasionally scream, both looking up to see whether I am watching – that is when I know both of them received the message.  I continue my washing up, smiling to myself and thinking about how much they have both grown up and changed.

Anyway on to new things.  Rosie’s best friend Lucy has had a complete revamp of her blog, cut out the husband part of it and taken to motherhood like a dream – this blog documents her trials with said husband, trials with poo explosions and everything else that goes with being a new Mum.

Make sure you add her to your follow list to catch a weekly update of her #BadBabyBookReview and #RhymeTimeTuesday.

Be sure to check it out – Muffin Top Mummy.

Hugs.

I am one of those affectionate, fairly sensitive sort of guys.  I will quite happily give or accept a hug, and pretty easily cry at something if I have been involved enough for it to have an emotional impact on me.

Rosie had been browsing Facebook and shared a picture that she liked the look of, and that seems to perfectly sum up parental thoughts (to me at least) – the context is below it.

House Picture

Some days I think I’ll never catch up. I’ll never catch up on laundry, dishes, errands, cleaning….That used to get to me, until I was okay with not being super mom.

Today I felt joy…. I felt joy as I rocked our son to sleep, and again as I read to Neva as she fell asleep snuggled up next to me..and again when my husband kissed me goodnight.

I spent a while organising the living room tonight.  Once I was finally done I sat on the clean floor and cried.  I cried because I’m going to miss this.

I’m going to miss the asparagus, rice and carrots that fell from Joey’s high chair and mixed into the toys on the floor.
I’m going to miss constantly making sure Neva didn’t leave any little toys around that Joey could choke on.
I’m going to miss the yogurt finger prints all over the couch, and the Cheerios under every piece of furniture.
I’m going to miss my babies needing me next to them so they can fall asleep.

It may look like a mess, but to me, it is the 15 books Neva asked me to read to them today, the arts and crafts we made together, their imaginations going wild, and enjoying every second of it.  Tomorrow we will start again..

One day, before we know it, we will only have a small toy box for our grandkids that I will lug out every now and again….and I’ll tell my kids when they try to help clean it up before they leave – that it’s ok, I can do it.  I’ll do it and I will cry just like I did tonight, because it will seem like only yesterday that I was picking up their toys ….

http://mariatarkany.com

Picture + Text credit in by way of link to blog

It resonates quite a lot.  I was certainly not born to be a father, Rosie most definitely was born to have a family at some point in her life.  For me, I am looking forward to not having various stains on the carpet that need blasting with some powerful cleaner, to not having toys scraped on the wall leaving marks, being able to sit and eat some lunch all the way through without having to leap to my feet to stop one of them pulling something off of a shelf.  All very much menial and self-indulgent things I know and I do have those moments where I will shoot myself forward by years and think that things will actually be incredibly different, and would I regret feeling like this ?

The one thing that I love being able to do nowadays is sweeping either of them off the floor in a massive cuddle, tickling them by kissing their necks and swinging them around by their legs.  I certainly won’t be able to do that with my late-teen sons.

There is just no way to tell though what the emotional requirement will be from my 23 year old Josh or my 19 year old Isaac.  They will need support at some point during this child-adult transitional stage; but how will they look for it from me ?

Anyway Rosie remembered a video on YouTube that she’d seen some time ago which, having just seen it, was incredibly emotive.  Have a watch.

I cried – or ‘welled up’ I think I’ll go with.

She cried.

I cried some more when we had chatted about both boys always needing me to hug them.  I said that I wouldn’t ever stop being that affectionate through choice, just assumed that both might not want it and the situation may be forced on me.  Rosie went on to ask how much I would give to have a hug from my own Dad which set me right off.

Dad was not a man that would readily hug me.  A handshake was the preferred way of greeting or for me receiving his praise.  I don’t really recall it ever being much of a ‘thing’ to me personally, I admired that man; that male presence more than anyone else in this world and still try to emulate him but now, where I no longer have a choice in the matter, I would give absolutely anything to feel the protection from him, like I would have felt as a much younger child.

A very speculative post.  I chat to parents with children at different ages and wonder what I would be doing in the same situation but in all honesty, it is far too easy to get hung up on that.  7 years ago I would be shitting it at having to change a nappy…I have had every single type of poo, with the worst smells imaginable land in one of those things and tackled them all.  I have helped teach 1 child to talk (so far), taught both to walk, and caught both when they have almost fallen off the sofa.

I’ll always be there, and it seems that whatever the problem they face or situation they need help with, I will approach in the same way I have done thus far.

Absolutely wing it.

As one moves on, one begins again

It has been some time since my last post, but it is amazing to see just how the interaction between my two boys; these brothers, has developed.

Isaac is now a fully-blown walker.  Albeit incredibly unsteady and often topples over things he gets right back on his feet and will continue the path.  This is all much to Josh’s excitement, a person smaller than him that can’t wrestle back, can’t swoop him off his feet and lob him onto a pile of cushions that he can chase and create his own little games with.

There is a real sense of bonding when I either listen to the excitement from the kitchen or watch how they go about teasing each other.

This isn’t without conflict though.  As Isaac becomes more aware of the fact he is able to go to a toy and initiate his own playtime, he becomes increasingly more frustrated by the fact that Josh will try and get involved in it, often taking said toy away to make up his own game.  Both Rosie and I often forget that J is still only 5 years old, and although incredibly articulate, there is a whole load of developing still going on in his head.

This was one of those times where he still hadn’t matured enough to rationalise what he was seeing.

There was a program on the television some time ago, I don’t remember what but the woman was crying from happiness.  Josh piped up and said “why is that lady crying but smiling, isn’t she sad ?”…We explained the situation and that there was a lot of love involved, and it can make a person so overcome with emotion that you can be incredibly happy, but tears will come out.  So we asked him – ‘What does love mean to you ?”

With his answer I was quite taken aback.

He looked a little puzzled, I mean he hears both of us tell him an awful lot that we love him and that he is making us very proud, went quiet and we could tell he was mulling the answer over in his mind; then came out with:

“Is it when you’re not expecting something and you’re really excited like when someone wants to be with you and love you forever, that makes you cry and laugh at the same time

Quite profound I thought for a little guy.

Whereas Josh appears to be increasing in confidence and building on his inquisitive nature, Isaac in his own way has started to communicate with us.

He appears to understand where food comes from, in particular enjoying a fish pie that Rosie makes and will point to the fridge for some we have kept behind for him.

He will bring you a book over knowing that it means just a moment on Mummies knee to read to him, before jumping down to find something else to play with.

He’ll hold a phone (but pretty much any square/rectangle shaped object) to his ear and start going “Yea…YEAA…YEAAA…yea” into it as though talking to someone; all the while walking around and pointing at various things.

It is nice to see him growing well, saying “Daddyyy…daddyyy…dadda” and; unfortunately the same at Rosie – the ‘m’ sound is getting there, but still very much a ‘Da’ sound at the moment.  The only thing we both wish, above all other things right now, is that he would sleep when he is meant to sleep.

Rosie is exceptional.  Said countless times before but worth another mention, the time and unconditional commitment to that boy is just incredible.  From just gone 11pm through to sometimes 3am in the morning she will be sitting there with him, gently cradling him or otherwise being close by in order to ease him off to his own sleep; either way I will often be awake in bed wanting to be able to take over, and often try to, only to be turned away because it will rile him up more.  Given his age – a year and a couple of months – separation anxiety is now also a real fear of his, and when Rosie sets him down christ do we know about it.  That kind of mothering is wonderful to see, and I will continue offering the mental support to her as best as I can.

Given my brothers wedding in a little over 5 months, I am hoping Isaac cracks the sleeping thing because it will allow us both to enjoy the week a little more…

Until the next one, enjoy whatever you might be doing.

Learning, both learning.

So I am now a Dad of children that will forevermore be referred to as ‘so many’ years old, rather than being measured by years old and ‘so many; months.

Both of their birthdays have been just incredible. We have such a great family around them both I feel very lucky that they will grow up knowing such wonderful people.

The turning of a year old also marks Isaac’s incredibly fast rate that he is learning things.  Stuff that Josh has obviously now mastered, he is helping to teach to his younger sibling which is great to watch, but teaching; paired with an uncontrollable desire to annoy his brother.

The most recent being Isaac’s newfound ability to clamber up onto the settee.  A fairly laboured climb initially as to be expected is now a swift swing of the legs and suddenly he is at the back trying to find his way down between the back and the wall.  All is well – I tend to surround the first foot away from the chair with pillows and whatever happens, happens.  Josh is a little less patient, indeed getting more and more excited as Isaac edges towards what must look like a cliff edge to him in expectation of the fall.  What ensues is a little nudge in the back that I am assured is ‘encouragement’, but I know full well is him wanting to see the fall.

The satisfying moment as a Dad trying to help his first born son navigate through these early years, is the moral dilemma that spreads across his face, the battle he is having knowing that what he is doing is not on, intertwined with that insatiable desire to test a boundary.

Fortunately, Isaac bounces well and after that look of ‘christ what just happened there’ leaves his face having been laid flat out on his back, he sits back up and like all good explorers, ventures the territory again.

He gets up, coasts about a little bit – coming close the edge and looking at me. This time around, Josh sits quietly in his little space, watching it unfold and deciding against another firm prod in the back.

Skool.

There have been definite moments throughout my limited time parenting that really stand out – crawling/walking towards you with arms out, meaningfully saying Dada/Daddy, that first time Josh wanted a cuddle and to feel safe whilst laying in bed feeling scared…

I have no time off work to be able to walk with him to his new school tomorrow, but Rosie will be getting him dressed into this new blue uniform that identifies Barnham Primary, getting his little book bag and walking to greet the other Mums at ‘the meeting place’.

Quite how the both of them will react come that time to leave the gates is yet to be seen, there was a video online that surfaced recently of a new entrant to school over in America that; when asked by the reporter whether he would be missing his Mum replied no, but soon after starting crying when the actual realisation hit him – here is that video.

I don’t envisage this sort of reaction but you just never know.

The little people he has befriended over the past couple of years at his nursery are pretty much all going to Barnham, and a fair few are in his class – in my eyes the ideal kind of situation for all of them.

From talking to Mums at work and customers I see regularly who ask about my boys, it appears both Rosie and I are about to see some seriously big changes in our young man.  Even before Christmas we can apparently expect to see big leaps made with his writing/drawing ability which is exciting.

Both Rosie and I have spent a lot of time with him going through the alphabet, recognising letters and reciting numbers as high as he can go.  He recognises his own name and can write that without help – albeit it sometimes spelt JSOH with the ‘S’ the other way round.  He has never had trouble with his speech and I am completely confident that he can articulate what he needs to say to anyone which is comforting.  At least he can get help where I can’t be there to help him.

Josh is looking forward to it, hasn’t stopped talking about what he might learn and do when he is there and I am looking forward to helping him with homework when he starts getting some.

I’m excited too.

School starts and parenting milestones aside, Lucy over at Mr and Mrs Munday is getting married this month.  Please do visit her page and leave her a congratulations.

School

If you are 1 of the 4 people that may read this, I am fairly confident that you will have had a child go to school.

You may remember that feeling of visiting the grounds, of meeting the couple of people who will become so heavily involved in your little persons development over the next 6 years. How your child may be completely ready for this next stage of learning, or worrying that he or she could struggle a little with the step up in what they have to do.

Fortunately to this point, 2 and a bit months away from Josh starting at Barnham Primary School, he is (personally) incredibly excited about this new adventure.  Rosie and I are all too aware that he is ready for school.  For some time he seems to have been challenging ideas, thoughts I give him, questioning why and wanting to know reasons.  I have never dumbed too much down for him, giving him answers that explain what he wants to know in a pretty forthright manner, and listening to a recent introductory meeting and ‘things we can be doing to help’, there is not a lot Josh is falling down on.

That said, there may well be a whole host of problems that raise their heads.  The most poignant for me was bullying; being bullied.  My entire school life was awful and I do not miss it – primary in particular was the worst.  I regularly; individually, let Rosie and Josh know just how glad I am for Rosie’s nature and how she has been bringing him up.  Those foundations are already laid down for him now, and carrying this through to school shouldn’t be much of a problem – he is pretty confident, self-assured and outgoing; entirely opposite to myself.  I don’t think it is something that will be an issue, Rosie is always quick to shoot it down, but my experience leads me to be ever so mindful of potential behavioural/emotional changes.

The fact that almost all of his friends from nursery are going to the same school is brilliant for them all.  The transition must be difficult at the best of times, so to have these familiar faces around, relationships already forged over the past 2 or 3 years and knowing they will all start this new era together will probably be an unappreciated feeling to Josh, but is a great feeling for us as parents.

He has another visit to school again today for a few hours, and his feedback from his first visit makes me feel brilliant about how he will hopefully get on there.

“Mum…..DAD!”

When did this suddenly happen.

My child, my first born; still very young child has started to me ‘Dad’.

Such a trivial thing to have to accept as a parent, but the inevitable loss of that ‘d’ and ‘y’ seems to have happened sooner than I was expecting.  I don’t even know what time frame I had given myself for this to start happening but we are there.

I am sure other kids of a similar age have started addressing their parents in the same way but because I am working a lot, I don’t get to see them quite as often and it is all fairly sudden to me !

I love to see the interaction between him and his peers, the developmental progression between them and how they treat their parents.  It fully cements the idea to me that Isaac will be incredibly different, because even as a baby Josh was particularly subdued around others.  Some of his friends motor around whilst waiting for his nursery to open, others (those Josh seems more naturally drawn to) tend to stand fairly still, chatting amongst themselves and staying close to their Mums and Dads.

Short and sweet this, just hearing Josh calling Rosie ‘Mum’ and addressing me more and more frequently as ‘Dad’ makes his imminent school starting all that more real.

Primary school – blimey, between colleagues at work not believing that ‘he is at school already’ and our own parental realisation, there is space for a whole other post…