Christmas Camp

I’d heard that there was going to be a Christmas Camp running over the holidays and thought it might be a good idea to send Vins. You know – keep him busy, maintain some routine, etc. Especially as I wasn’t going to be here for a couple of days of his holiday.
I suggested it to him and the conversation went like this…
Me: Vins would you like to go to Christmas camp?
Vins: What’s Christmas camp?
Me: It’s like the summer camp you went to – but over Christmas.
Vins: But Mama I like my school!
Me: This is when you have holiday from school.
Vins: Oh. Then… No, thank you.
Me: It will be so much fun, Vins!
Vins: I think I spend enough days in the year at school. Don’t you?

Errr. No.

Behaviour

I don’t know what it is – but Vins has really been playing up recently. It could be the lack of routine. It could be that he’s bored. It could be that he needs to be back in school. It could be that he’s at “that age”, or it could just be that he’s being an ass.

I’ve just given him a talking to about his behaviour, general lack of manners and respect for others. And I may have even threatened him with boarding school. I know – that was a terrible thing to do!

He was silent. He just stared at me. And then he left the room. I felt bad. He looked a bit shocked.

He came back a few minutes later, piece of paper in hand, and said…
“Mama, I’ve made you a behaviour chart. When you’re bad, I’ll give you a cross and when you’re good, I’ll give you a check.”

WTAF?

I stared at him dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say to him!

Eventually, I said, “That’s fine. But what will we do about your behaviour?”

He shrugged and walked off.

Lord help me.

Being A Mum

Becoming a mother was always very important to me. As a teenager I knew I wanted to be a mother eventually. And as a ‘grown up’, becoming a mum and the idea of motherhood was very prominent in my thoughts.

While I knew I wanted to be a mum, I knew there were parts that I wouldn’t enjoy. Just like every parent, right?

And there are bits I didn’t/don’t enjoy. The waking up several times a night, the disgusting nappies, packing the changing bag at least an hour before leaving the house because you know how long it will take to get everyone ready and out on time – those kinds of things. And now that Vin is older, the constant negotiating is doing my head in. I must add that I usually give in – just for some quiet time! Yes – I am aware that I’m doing the wrong thing and that I mustn’t give in – but you don’t know him. You don’t know how he just drones on and on and on and on. And he sticks his face right up into mine and cries and it drives me bat shit crazy.

Anyway, moving on…

So the things I expected to enjoy, I don’t. I hate bath time. And I hate bed time. Is that wrong? Am I the only one? I know bath time is meant to be all fun and relaxing and stuff. And sometimes it is – but other times… It’s a battle. A battle to get clothes off. A battle to get in the tub. A battle to get out of the tub! It’s not that he doesn’t want to have a bath – he just takes SO long to do anything! I have to ask him at least three times to take his clothes off. And another three times to put his clothes in the hamper. And another three times to get in the tub. ARGH. And it’s usually because he’s too busy talking or he’s too busy pretending to be a transformer (I don’t know why this means everything has to be in slow motion). Sometimes, he pretends to be some kind of construction vehicle. ‘Activating excavator’ (in a robot voice). Sometimes, the laundry can only be picked up if the excavator has been activated. And only in slow motion.

And bed time… UGH. It should be a good bonding experience for us. But by the time he usually gets into bed, I’m irritated. And I’m hungry. We read a story and I sing him some songs – Dream A Little Dream, Hush Little Baby, Twinkle Twinkle, I Love You (Barney), Mr Sandman, Fly Me To The Moon and Goodnight Sweetheart. And always in that order. If it’s not in that order I have to start all over again. So while singing, I have to pat him. And when I finish singing, I have to continue to pat him until he falls asleep. I am aware that this is also my fault. I should not have let him get used to this patting to sleep nonsense. I’ve told him that once the new school year starts, he will get his story and his songs – but once that’s over, mama will leave him in his bed to fall asleep himself. I got puppy dog whining.

I love my boys – and I wouldn’t change them for anything, but does this make me a terrible parent? That I don’t enjoy some of the bits of being a mum that others do?

 

Sleepy Head

The day I brought Baby V home from hospital was quite terrifying.  I didn’t know how to deal with a baby and an almost-four-year-old. LagosDad was there, of course. And my mum was there too. So I had a lot of help, but I was still overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed and in a lot of pain from my c-section.

That night, Baby V slept for six hours straight. I didn’t sleep (I spent most of the night deciding on whether I should wake him and feed him) – but he slept. He was probably a bit shocked at the change in environment, etc. Anyway, the next morning I was quite proud. Wow – my three-day-old baby had slept for six hours!

The mid-wife arrived. And she looked a bit alarmed when I told her how long he’d slept. She told me that if a baby is under five kilos, they have to be fed at least every four hours (five maximum) or they get drowsy and sleep more and more. I immediately felt like crap. How come I didn’t know that? What if something had happened to my baby?

As it happens, he started waking for his feeds after that. As it got nearer to the time of our 6-8 week check-up, there were a couple of nights when he didn’t wake up for his four a.m. feed, and I didn’t wake up either. I can’t describe the guilt I felt when I woke with a start and realised it had been six hours since his last feed. I’d rush over to the Moses basket in a blind panic to check he was ok.

The morning of our check-ups was hectic. I had to get V1 off to nursery (thank goodness the nanny was there, as my mum had left the previous week), get myself and the baby ready, pack the changing bag and get to the Health Centre before 9.30 a.m. Yes, I packed the bag the night before – but bottles had to go in in the morning.

The GP (a very nice lady) asked me how I was doing (she must have wondered why I was a sweaty mess), and I promptly burst into tears. I told her I was very worried because I’d missed the four a.m. feed again. She really was very kind and said it was ok and not to worry, etc. Easy for her to say! Luckily for me (and my sanity), Baby V was just passed the five kilo mark at this point.

I’m sure we should have been in a routine by then. In fact, I was reading THE Gina Fraud Ford book quite regularly and tried to Baby V into some kind of routine. But it just wasn’t happening. She says baby shouldn’t sleep for more than four hours during the day, so that they can sleep well at night. The problem with that is as soon as we were out and V was in the stroller, he’d fall asleep. Often staying asleep until his next feed, or until we got home! Usually, at night, he would wake and/or cry every five or ten minutes until about midnight. This was one of the reasons why I was looking forward to coming back to Lagos – because it would be easier to get into a routine here.

However, before I could even figure out which of the eighteen suitcases the book was in (to check feeding and sleeping times), my darling boy put himself into his own routine. By seven every evening he’s crying when I change him into his pjs. By twenty past seven, he’s asleep. I give him a dream feed at some point between 10 and 11 pm, and then he sleeps through until at least 6.30 am. Sometimes 8 am. Sometimes even 8.30 am. Sometimes he’ll have a feed at 6.30 am and go back to sleep for a couple of hours.

This is something I wasn’t used to. V1 had to be walked up and down ten times a night. He woke for milk at least twice. And he is STILL a terrible sleeper.

Now I’m telling myself that this must just be a phase (although it’s been nearly three weeks now). How could an eleven week old (which is how old he was when we got back) put himself into this kind of routine? I’ve had one or two other new mums ask me how I did it. And I can’t even give them an answer!

Is there such a thing as too much sleep?