The Highs and the Lows…

Well it has been a little while but welcome back for a catch up.  A little more sombre in tone, but an important consideration to those Dad’s feeling they are having a personally low time of things.

Having a child/children is, for those considering it, just one of the most rewarding changes to your life imaginable.  From those first moments, seeing your partner go through such unequalled pain for those few hours to watching this new person get cleaned up and then being able to hold him.

That moment, holding this new little boy that up to that point you have only felt kick through his Mum’s tummy is wonderful.

There are the changes you make back at home, a moses basket now sits alongside your bed that is now occupied by an utterly helpless being, and when you wake up during that first night home its like a jolt of excitement; that feeling of ‘Christmas Day’ when you get to see him again.

Time as just the two of you are now few and far between.  The moments you have as a couple are difficult to enjoy because there is always the imminent threat of your newborn crying out for a feed or a change of his little nappy but, as a few months go by and a pattern on sleep is established, it is possible to find time (with the help of an exceptional family) to go out either with friends or together for a meal.

Shoot forward 4 years and you may be considering another.  A play mate and important figure in your first child’s life.  We made this choice, to have a sibling for Josh.

Much is made of the possible reaction from your. up to now; only child.  I can say that it has been wonderful watching Josh and how much he loves Isaac.  But with this comes an entirely new experience.

Josh – slept very well by himself incredibly early on, was a very static kind of baby and would quite enjoy his own time sitting and playing with toys.

Isaac – reverse everything above + although getting a little better, wants nothing to do with me as far as comforting is concerned.

Whether Rosie feels it to, she probably does, but it puts an incredible strain on both of you.  Those men reading who have either been through the experience or have just the 1 baby will appreciate their wives/fiancees/girlfriends wholeheartedly I am sure, but I can very confidently say that Rosie is just one of the most exceptional mothers.

The most maternal lady I know, and it comes from her family upbringing, Linda as recognition to you for your way with not just your girls, but your open and straight attitude to anyone they bring into your family.  Barry if you have a read of this too, despite things not quite working out how you both may have envisaged it when you married, you sir are such a gentleman, and both your daughters have been very fortunate to have a Dad that was as involved as you were/are.

When I get weighed down – be it through work being incredibly boring, studying towards bettering myself, stresses at home, missing my own Dad etc – I can be incredibly introverted.

This conflicts my work environment, where people expect everything done for them right now and show very little gratitude towards what you actually do manage to do for them.

At home it can lead to this pent up frustration coming out to those you are at your most comfortable with.  What you have to remember is that despite more often than not it is the man at work, your partner has been at home with a newborn and quite possibly an energetic young boy, both of whom need attention almost all the time – she too has been hard at work for the entire time you have been away, and does so every single day.

Everyone goes through times where they can feel themselves dipping, and other areas of their life appear to going great and I am a big fan of Biorhythms offering a means of understanding.  They are the consideration that every human has a regular cycle of wellbeing – the 3 main ones being Physical, Emotional and Intellectual.  How they are calculated I am unsure, but take a look and see what you think:

http://www.biorhythm-calculator.net/

That will do for me, nice essay to get through to welcome you back to the blog, but as a Jerry Springeresque ending to this one, consider each others roles and just how hard each other work, especially the mother.

Bugs and Bulbs

A poorly child is not a nice sight for a parent.

Josh had caught (and has now shifted) one of those standard illnesses that goes around all the local children having spent time playing together at nursery and the like.

It is half term which is an unfortunate time to develop an illness but, on the whole he does shrug things off pretty quickly so he will be back to normal in no time I am sure.

Isaac seems to have avoided the whole stomach ache / sick / poo situation, although I was a little wary yesterday (Sunday), as he managed to get through 6 lovely nappies which for him is quite some going.

But for me – and it will sound incredibly mean – Josh feeling poorly means he wants a cuddle, and its nice to feel that ‘wanted’ feeling for comfort.

He must have my genes – or work ethic – not entirely sure, but either way, I am rarely off work through illness, and tend to take a fairly uninterested view of ‘serial sickies’ that are about.  A memory I have of my own Dad is him telling me to get on and work for my own integrity, that people will notice and reward you.

They haven’t, I am still languishing but, I stay true to myself in that if I can work then I will !

And to the ‘Bulbs’ part of the title.  The ‘UV Blacklight Bulb’ purchase that you may remember I mentioned in a previous post.

I am not normally one to be caught out by such a small mistake in reading, but this time I have been.  If you’re ever ordering a blacklight bulb, ensure it states somewhere on it UV / Ultraviolet or similar because if it does not, what you will get is indeed a black bulb.  A standard bulb, painted black.

Can’t argue with the product description, quite clearly a black light, but still; not happy.

Anyway lesson learnt – go to B&Q and buy one.

‘Back to Work’ looms…

Devastated.

Not so long back it honestly felt like 3 weeks off from work was going to be the longest and best time I have had in quite a while.

Best time – absolutely.  Being able to spend time with my lovely family has been incredible !  Rosie continues to show just how much of an incredible woman she is, both supporting me but more impressively just how wonderful she is with the 2 boys day in, day out.

With Mothers Day tomorrow, Josh has entirely dictated the run of play for the morning’s breakfast in bed.  Rosie won’t be reading this before the morning so between you and me, this is Josh’s selection:

Breakfast

  • Toast with Peanut Butter.
  • ‘Twister’ Squash.

Extras

  • A massive seagull feather he has found and would like to present to Rosie
  • A long (at the time closed but now opening) pine cone
  • A potted flower that he has planted with help from his nursery teachers and a couple of hand prints on a card for her

Honestly any other suggestions for bits and pieces have been swiftly rejected – this is what we are having.

Isaac has been so close to laughing.  There are full-blown smiles now at anyone who cares to pull a face at him, but giggling still isn’t quite there.  Turns out that there will be some kind of convulsion from deep inside where he is trying to release what he is feeling, but more often than not there is plenty of sick instead.

Rocket Room

Josh’s speech – more sentence structure – is incredible to listen to.  He really does articulate what he wants to say brilliantly, but still has a tendency to get frustrated with himself if he can’t quite explain something how he quite clearly sees it in his head.

More touchingly, he said to me that he doesn’t want me to go back to work soon because he is having too much fun.  I’ll take that to mean ‘Daddy job success’.

Josh the Knight

For me personally, I feel like there has been a hell of a lot accomplished in these few weeks.  A lot of work has gone into the house; new fridge, painting, garden work etc.  I have also explored more courses to get into Digital Marketing which I will be starting soon too so all in all, exciting and satisfying stuff !

FullSizeRender-3

Are ‘Black Lights’ still acceptable…?!

Does anyone use or have one of these fabled pieces of electronics that isn’t a forensic scientist, bank worker catching out wannabe crooks or ‘teeth whitening technician’ – (all that a quick Google showed up) ??

UV light used to whiten teeth

Picture Credit

If I am correct, then it was the 60’s during which these lights really caught on and would be used to absolute excess in discos and around homes, but as I was painting some more of Josh’s new ‘Space Room’ the other day, my thoughts wondered to what I should do with the Glow in the Dark paint and how I should go about getting the planets looking good on the wall.

Again the ever-reliable Pinterest has thrown up some good ideas, some quite far fetched it has to be said but, in amongst all the different takes on this theme I saw an ultraviolet bulb that was being used for something different.

I wondered again – are UV bulbs still readily available because if they are (and I have since found some), then having one of these as the main source of light in the evening is hopefully going to throw up some impressive sights because I plan to spatter the wall with the glowing stuff too.  It’s going to be a full on galaxy in there.

Trying to explain to Josh however what a ‘Black Light’ actually is; was quite a challenge, I took to showing him various pictures and a YouTube clip to let him visualise what kind of thing a black light might do – he seems rather excited.

We have all done some pretty cool stuff during my 3 weeks holiday from work, room painting, vegetable garden making, trips to the sea and amusements, den building and the like – for a little more good reading of getting things done and not a hint of procrastination, visit that link.  Anyway Friday will be the finishing touches to everything in his room with the bulbs due to get here sometime next week for a test-run !

Coffee Shop Ambience

I’ll be honest. Everyone loves honesty.

Yesterday saw the arrival of our brand new fridge.  In place now and absolutely gleaming in a kitchen backdrop that needs a little touching up with paint.

Rosie has her best of friends Lucy around for a cup of tea and probably some sort of lunch, and I have ventured to town to get household supplies.  This has included some of the baby necessities; Sudocrem, wipes and because of Isaacs new-found love of food, pots that are soon to be filled and frozen.

This is where that honesty bit comes in (Rosie will read this at some point) – I have taken half an hour to myself which I have chosen to spend sat in Starbucks coffee shop with a cappuccino.

My one aim coming to town was to get Josh some screws for his finished rocket to be mounted to the wall.  Mirror screws, fairly standard looking, just have a cap that will finish the look I am going for.

Couldn’t find them – I went to Robert Dyas, trekked up to C & H Fabrics in hope, still nothing.  This is after getting all the shopping bits before that has been done whilst navigating the ageing population that resides in this city.  Honestly, absolute nightmare.

Hence my desire to sit down for a bit, get a mandatory corner out of the way in the nearest coffee shop, write a little something down and enjoy watching children try with all their clever might to get a new toy they’ve seen whilst traipsing around town, only to be coldly refused by the ‘mean parent’.  I look forward to coming up with a few of my own.

“A Reward Can Not Be Valued If It Is Not Understood”

I saw that quote online whilst researching this post – to whoever wrote it, you were uncredited but, I recognise you by including this mention.

Reward Charts.  In one form or another, they are still – I think – a necessary part of bringing up a child.  The quote lends itself to this process, and I read it in such a way to say that if you dish out rewards (for this instance I suppose it would be treats, toys, time on the iPad playing games) like nobody’s business, then that whole feeling of having earned said privileges goes right away.

On the whole, Josh has been an incredible boy but, he is still only 4 years old and any reading you do on this age group will mention the fact that they are likely to (and do !!) test limits; all the time.

Rosie and I have been toying with the idea of introducing one, but this mornings little episode and display of rude behaviour has pushed us just far enough to bring something in.

And so it is off to good old reliable Pinterest with their abundance of ideas and tweaks on ideas and retweaks on tweaks of ideas.

There appear to be 2 main themes, behavioural and chore based charts – we think a combination of the two would be ideal.

I like this idea, choosing a random chore or indeed behavioural requirement that we expect from him, Rosie isn’t too keen and would rather have a set list of things that he can visually see being completed – something similar to this I should imagine.

Either way, it is being discussed and Josh will soon have a way to complete tasks in a way that earns him something.  He enjoys expressing his own thoughts and ideas more and more frequently, but I’ve picked up that he is showing the characteristics of someone that would rather have structure to what they are doing, rather than just run about with no real aim.

Don’t blink, you’ll miss it

There are things in life that are incredibly quick.

A Jack Russell spotting a rabbit some distance away and absolutely belting after it, Josh getting off his chair after being offered a treat for eating all his tea, Rosie getting to Boots on hearing there is a sale on Benefit makeup.

You get the idea.

I felt a similar kind of speed about my life this morning.  I realised I now have 2 sons, one a fully fledged little boy now, no more referring to him as a toddler – he goes to school this year. Oh man.

The other moment that added to this whole feeling of ‘whoa, here we are’, was doing Josh’s night-time wee trip.

We put him to bed around 7:30pm, and since he started sleeping with no nappies months and months ago, I have always gone into his room at about 10:00pm to give him a cuddle, lift him off his bed and put him on the little potty type thing we have in there with all intention that a regular time in the evening of going to the toilet again should become part of his routine when he gets to that point of going solo. A little kiss on the cheek and tuck him back to bed.

Anyway it was during the time that he was sat down and trying to empty that he was muttering in his sleeping state. He mumbled something about not wanting Isaac to be left alone outside in the cold, and was he ok.

It hit me hard.  I had this massive sense of realisation – it isn’t just Rosie and I, but Joshua too is being had an effect on too by this new little person.  He is seeing Isaac growing and smiling at him, and I have been ever so proud of Josh.  He is an incredibly caring little boy, protective to the point where he will get frustrated with people if they accidentally act what he deems to be a little bit rough behaviour near Isaac.

Families with 2 or more I am sure will add that it may not last, that there will be battles and conflict, power struggles and the like but, for the next few months while Isaac learns what his brother is about, I am absolutely elated with the example Josh is setting.

Brothers