My Baby is Three

Booni, my baby…

I can’t believe you’re not a baby any more, and that you are now three years old! Where has the time gone?

Here’s wishing you a very Happy 3rd Birthday.

There is so much I want for you. And there is so much I want you to do.

BUT – I don’t want you to ever change. Keep being persistent. Keep pushing for what you want. Just remember that hands are for playing and hugging – not for hitting!

Don’t ever lose that glint in your eye. That glint is what makes you “you”.

I love you to the moon and back!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Darling

My darling Booni,

I can’t quite believe that you are two!

You came into our world and turned our lives upside down.

Your smile is infectious, and to hear you laughing makes my heart swell. I love your confidence and swagger – you really are the coolest kid!

You are my little fighter. You have been since you were in my tummy. You fight for what you want and, although it drives us all a bit crazy, I have to admire your determination, bravery and courage.

I wish you all the best, all the time.

I hope your days are filled with love, laughter, sunshine, bubbles and lots of Baa Baa Black Sheep.

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I love you to the moon and back.

xxx

The Flipside

While I’m thrilled (and a little surprised) that Booni has adjusted to nursery so well and so quickly, there’s a flipside. Isn’t there always?

The flipside is that he’s become SUPER clingy. And although it’s to be expected, it’s driving me a bit nuts.

He wants me to carry him all the time. If I won’t carry him, he holds my hand and drags me to wherever he wants me to go. And he’s strong!

If I leave the room, he cries. And screams.

If I watch him playing in the garden (from the balcony) and I go inside, he cries.

If he’s hanging in my room and needs to go have a meal, a bath or whatever else, he cries.

I know he’ll be fine soon. But I’m going a bit bonkers.

Seven Days

It has been seven days since Booni started nursery – and I think we’re doing rather well!

He started on a Tuesday. And he cried – every day that week. And he cried when he saw me at pick-up. I spent the week picking him up about an hour and a half earlier – just while he got settled.

On Monday (April 11) he was excited to get dressed and go in the car. Once we arrived and he saw the nursery gates, he started whining a bit. And when I took him out of the car and walked through the gates, he started crying. Even though he was crying, he went to his teacher willingly. And he waved goodbye to me through his tears. When I picked him up, he was so happy to see me! He ran to me, laughing. I told him we needed to get his bag before we left. He dragged me over to his cubby-hole and got his bag out. It was a lovely sight.

On Tuesday (yesterday), again, he was thrilled to go. In the car I said to him, “Where are we going?” And he pointed to his lunch box. His face fell a bit when we arrived, but he didn’t make a sound. Usually I carry him, but yesterday I put him down and he held my hand and walked in. He saw his teacher and made a bee-line for her. She picked him up, hugged him and kissed him. He turned to look at me, I waved and his face fell again. Then he started pointing at the swing and his teacher went off with him. When I collected him (at normal pick-up time), he was tired! He saw me and started whining – but got his bag and left quite happily.

Today is Day Seven and we had the same again this morning. He saw his teacher and made his way straight to her. He took her hand. She picked him up and put him on the swing. He looked a bit wobbly when he turned and saw me, but I think he was ok.

He’s adjusted SO well, don’t you think? I’m so proud of him and I my heart feels so light when he doesn’t cry.

Is that a dumb thing to say?

Nineteen Months

My little Booni baby is 19 months old now. Where on earth has the time gone?!

He is (as I’m pretty sure I’ve said over and over again) so different to his brother! They are like chalk and cheese. Booni has ants in his pants. He can’t sit still – not even for a minute. Not even to watch television (I realise it’s not something I should be encouraging – but we all need a bit of peace and quiet). He is very, very active. He hits (out of excitement, I think) and he throws stuff (I’ve got bruises from various toys that have made contact when I couldn’t move out of the way fast enough) and he has to touch every thing. He has to be watched for every single second that he’s awake! He loves food and eating (just like his mama) and will try anything. Books we’ve had for years and years only made it through a day or two once Booni got his hands on them. I keep finding pages here and there. He is not speaking yet, but he communicates extremely well and he understands everything.

He’s like Animal from The Muppets. He’s like an exuberant puppy. He’s like a tornado or a hurricane. A bit like the Tasmanian Devil.

He’s hard work and he’s exhausting. But he’s hilarious! His expressions and gestures make everyone laugh. His incessant appetite is a pleasure to see. He’s a gorgeous, loveable boy.

So while I’ve been substituting, I’ve been leaving my gorgeous, loveable boy at home. He spent a couple of mornings a week with one friend and her son and a couple of other mornings with another friend and her son. So he was busy doing stuff – but he needed more.

He needs to get out of the house. He needs to be doing something at all times. He needs to be busy.

All. The. Time.

So I decided to start him in nursery. Vins was two when he started. But Booni is different and I think the structure would be good for him.

His first day was last Tuesday. He was SUPER excited to get dressed and get into the car. But once I handed him over, there were tears (his, not mine). And there were tears on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well. His teacher, however, said that he stops crying after a few minutes and is ok for the rest of the morning. The owners of the nursery tell me (every day) how naughty he is and how different he is to his brother (I’m not sure if this is something I want to hear every day). This morning he started whining when he saw the nursery gates. He went only to his teacher. And he cried – but only a little. So we’re getting somewhere.

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

Sharing is Caring

(I’m writing this on my new phone – I’ve just switched from Samsung to iPhone, so please forgive any typos. I’m still trying to figure it all out!)

So on  Christmas day LagosDad and I were extremely tired and hungover. Vins being in and out of our room from 8 am didn’t help either!

After we opened our presents and had a little nap, we all went out for our traditional Christmas day Chinese lunch (don’t ask, it’s just what we do).

The manageress (is that even a word?) came to our table and said the children could have ice cream at the end of the meal. Vins was super excited until he realized they didn’t have any chocolate – only vanilla and strawberry.

He settled for vanilla and after a little taste, he decided he loved it. I asked him to share with Booni as I didn’t want either of them to have too much. Vins refused flatly. There was no way he was going to share.

So I ordered a little scoop of strawberry ice cream for Booni. By the time it arrived, Vins had finished his vanilla ice cream. He saw Booni have a taste of the strawberry. He saw that Booni loved it. His next words?

“Mama, I’m ready to share now!”

😂

I Went and I’m Back

So I went to Bali without LagosDad or the children. Vins wasn’t happy about it when I told him, but he was ok when I left.
It was so nice to be away and not have any responsibilities. But I really did miss them all. Also, there was no time to just chill! I got there on a Tuesday afternoon and all the wedding stuff started on the Friday morning and was non – stop until Sunday night. (You can see photos on Instagram  (@lagosmum) or #AnViLivedHappilyEverAfter)
During each flight I took, I thanked God that I decided not to take the kids. Eight hours from Lagos to Abu Dhabi. Eight hours from Abu Dhabi to Singapore and two and a half hours from Singapore to Bali. It was so… long. And uncomfortable! And a week later I did it again in reverse order. There was no way I’d have survived with the children. Nor would I have been able to watch all the movies that I did!
Anyway, so I’m back now. I got back on the 23rd. Vins was super clingy that day. And I was thrilled that Booni remembered me. He jumped straight into my arms and gave me lots of cuddles and kisses 🙂
I can’t believe that Christmas has come and gone as well!
Where is the time going?
I hope you’re all having a good time. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Myself

The following are things I’ve said over the last few months:

1. Ugh, I need a break from my kids.
2. I wish I could go on holiday by myself – no kids and no husband!
3. Of course they’ll be ok without me.
4. Babysitting is one of the perks of having in laws around all the time.
5. I really don’t want to fly with my boys.
6. I’d have no problem leaving them behind!

And this is what I’ve realised about myself:

1. I don’t want to go on holiday by myself.
2. I don’t want to go through a twenty hour journey on my own.
3. I do have a problem leaving them behind.
4. I’m all talk.

Bouncy Bouncy

Before Vins was born, I bought a Baby Bjorn bouncy chair for him. He didn’t really take to it much and we only used it a few times.
I was about to get rid of it a couple of years ago, but then discovered I was pregnant. So I kept it.
That chair has been a Godsend for us. Anytime Booni couldn’t sleep, we’d put him in the chair and bounce him. And within a few minutes (mostly), he’d fall asleep.
The drawback, because there’s always one, is that eventually became the only way he could fall asleep! Completely my fault, I know – but I’ll do just about anything for an easy life.
Today the shit has hit the fan. The frame of the chair snapped. We took it to the welder down the road, but he said he couldn’t fix it and told us to take it to another place. So I sent it to the other place, but the guy who would be able to fix it wasn’t there.
E (the nanny) and I thought that this might be a good time to wean him off the chair. You know… since we had no other choice.
It’s 11.08 pm and poor Booni is still screaming. And poor Vins has been woken a countless number of times. So Vins is passed out in our bed and Booni is still crying in his room.
I probably shouldn’t have let him get used to the chair! 🙈

The Nanny Diaries

I don’t often write about the children’s nanny – but I have to write about this.

Anyway, so our nanny (E) has been with us since Vins was six months old. She lives with us, in our home and sleeps in the children’s room. Vins is very attached to her. He adores her and she loves him. Knowing that she’s with him has allowed me to have a life of my own. I can go out during the day or night (not that I have anywhere particular to go – but at least I have the option!), meet friends or whatever.

She travels with us when we go on holiday, and she spent five months with us in London last year while we were waiting for Booni to arrive.

She goes on leave for a month every year (back to the Philippines). I HATE that month. But I’ve survived so far!

In March this year she was going for her annual leave. The immigration laws over here changed before she came back and we had to redo all her paperwork before she could return.

While E was away, Vins was very insecure – and became very clingy. Everything was ‘mama, mama, mama’. Only mama could bathe him, put him to sleep, drop him off at school, pick him up, etc.

Luckily we had another helper (T). She took over Booni completely. I was happy, Booni was happy, Vins was happy and T was happy.

Vins slowly became more accepting of other people helping him out. He let LagosDad brush his teeth for him every day. He eventually started sleeping downstairs with my in-laws. And he eventually started having breakfast with my father-in-law every morning. This was a huge relief for me.

I was feeling so stressed. Vins wouldn’t let me spend any time with Booni. I felt guilty that I wasn’t giving Booni the same input that Vins had his age. Going out at night was off the cards unless my in laws were home. Going out during the day was off the cards as I couldn’t leave both children at home. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had no idea when E would be back.

Do I sound very spoilt? I realise there are parents all over the world who do everything by themselves all the time, without any help. But this is what I’ve been used to.

Right before the boys’ birthdays I found out that T wasn’t the trustworthy person I thought she was. I found, in her bags, a whole bunch of the children’s clothes. Many of the clothes were brand new, with the tags still on. Some of the things weren’t new – but I was keeping them – either for Booni or for sentimental reasons. I found a pack of Booni’s spoons. A brand new tumbler, bowl and plate set and balloons that I’d bought for the party. Oh and E’s UGGS.

It was night when I checked her things (I’d received a tip-off). I took everything away and put it in my room. The next morning she obviously knew I’d been through her things but she didn’t say anything.

When I eventually spoke with her (when the children weren’t around), she started crying and apologising. She said she didn’t know what she was thinking and that it wouldn’t happen again. How many other things had she taken over the last few months? I asked her – she said nothing. But I know that’s not true.

My first instinct was to throw her out. I’d trusted her! I left Booni in Lagos with her (and LagosDad and my ins) and gone to London with Vins for two weeks!

I decided to give her another chance. How would I cope with the children? Especially with their birthdays and party coming up?

On the 11th T was going off and coming back the following evening. After another tip-off, I asked her to open all her bags and show me what was inside before she left. She showed me everything confidently and happily. Until I went back to the first bag she opened. I asked her to take out the plastic bag that was at the bottom of the bag. She did and told me it was clothes. The shape of the bag was oblong. So I asked her to open it. She did everything she could to delay the process. She pretended she couldn’t undo the knot she’d made at the top of the bag. She pretended she couldn’t find the scissors she needed to open the bag. I brought them to her. Once she undid the knot, she put the bag on the floor. I was carrying Booni at the time and told her that I couldn’t open the bag, so could she please open it and show me what was inside. She nudged the bag in my direction. I got a bit cross because I’d been waiting at least ten minutes to see what was inside (though I knew by now). She eventually showed me. It was a brand new pack of 52 Pampers. Not Pampers that Booni had outgrown (those are also easily accessible), but the 4+ size, which he’s currently wearing.

How could she do this to me again? How naive was I? I was so cross with myself.

I told her to pack up her things and leave. I watched her as she packed all her stuff and then I instructed the security not to let her back in the compound.

That was a terrible weekend for all of us. Vins was fine – my mother-in-law looked after him. He slept downstairs, ate downstairs and spent a lot of time with my in-laws.

Poor Booni, though. He was missing T a lot. He wasn’t used to me putting him to bed. I wasn’t used to putting him to bed. Or doing all the other things that T normally did for him. It took us both a couple of days (and a few VERY long nights) to readjust to each other.

And finally… on the 14th (five and a half months later), E came back! Vins was super excited. I didn’t tell him she was coming back (just in case something went wrong).

Vins is happy. Booni is used to her again and is happy. LagosDad is happy (I’m not bitching and moaning at/to him any more). And I’m ecstatic. I’d never have found the time to sit and write this post otherwise!