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Siblings – April

Oh my, where has that month gone? I’m a day late with my siblings photo this month because it simply came round too quickly!

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This month has seen a major development in the boys’ relationship – cuddles!!

Elliot is desperate to hug and cuddle Alexander and loves to crouch down next to his bouncy chair or car seat and hug him. He comes and finds us after his bath to give Alexander a goodnight hug and kiss, and sometimes to read him a book (the Stripy Horse ones are favourites right now)

We’ve just got a second hand inline double buggy (our three year old still needs naps and is quite adamant about when he doesn’t want to walk!) and its given me a new sense of freedom. I can go out into town with them both on my own and Elliot has the option of walking or being in the buggy. It was whilst out with them both that I overheard Elliot looking over the side of the buggy, at Alexander who sits behind him, saying “are you alright down there Alex?”

I love my boys!

As usual do take a look at the other siblings photos from this month by following the link below.

dear beautiful

See my other Siblings posts:

January
February
March

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Alexander at 16 weeks

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The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is proving to be true at the moment. In fact time seems to be flying whether we are having fun or not (mostly we are!)

Alexander you are now nearly 16 weeks old, that’s four months! I can’t believe how quickly those months have passed. You are getting better at sleeping for longer stretches at night and as much as I hate to admit it moving you into your own room seems to have been a good idea. I think we’re a way off a full nights sleep, which your brother was doing by now but to be honest I really don’t mind. We’ll get there.

You have the sunniest nature and really are an easy baby. Lots of people like to comment on how happy, smiley and quiet you are. I love being your mummy!

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Elliot: Mummy is it your birthday?

Me: no, it’s Mother’s Day. A day we have to be nice to our mummies.

Elliot: oh

(Silence)

Elliot: (quietly) I didn’t make you a flower

Me: did the other children make flowers at pre-school?

Elliot: yes. I did a card and a biscuit though!

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Parenting without the guilt?

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One of the things that new parents, particularly mums apparently, are often surprised by is the amount of guilt that comes with the parenting territory. It comes along right when you’re least expecting, and the accompanying physical feeling of having all the wind taken forcibly out of your lungs is really something to be feared. Experts tell us that guilt arises when we become aware of failing to be the best we could have been for our children (normally right when you’ve just yelled at them for no specific reason other than being the sole adult with them for 8¬†straight hours!)

On any given day, the following things can make me feel like my stomach is about to flip right over with guilt:

  1. Sending my toddler off to childcare. In our house, Elliot spends two days a week in pre-school, and a further day with each set of grandparents. This means I only look after both my children together on one day a week. Up to now this has worked really well. As I am currently on maternity leave from my four-day-a-week job, Alexander gets my full attention (when I’m not writing blog posts or cleaning the house) for the time that Elliot is away, which is what Elliot had at the same age. Elliot gets to spend time with other children and also with his grandparents – something I loved as a child, and an opportunity for them to spend time with him also. More often than not, I spend part of the day he’s at my parents with them all, so it’s only really three days that Elliot isn’t with me. Still the sight of a crying toddler who wants to “stay with mummy” being bundled into a car and probably arousing suspicion of kidnap among our neighbours on at least two mornings out of every week is tough.
  2. The variety (or more accurately the lack of variety) in my toddler’s diet. To get him to eat any sort of vegetable that isn’t hidden (thank you Annabel Karmel) in a sauce or pie is nigh on impossible and is normally accompanied by all sorts of excuses ranging from “I don’t like it” to “I’m too tired” or the standard “mummy, I’ll do it tomorrow” (by the way tomorrow, when it comes, is going to be an amazing day in our house!) The crazy child also turns his nose up at previous staples like bananas and blueberries. Weird! Despite knowing that it’s a phase, and my child will more than likely voluntarily eat some form of vegetable at some point in the future, I do look at other kids happily munching on carrot sticks/ cherry tomatoes/ broccoli trees and feel all sorts of guilt.
  3. Handing over parenting responsibilities to technology for anything over 20 minutes a day. I feel so proud if I can make it for a whole morning or afternoon without giving in to the demands of “can I have your phone/ipad?” And the truth is, as well as watching endless ridiculous videos of Thomas and his friends being covered with or built out of PlayDoh (something he is desperate to recreate at home, and that I’ve so far avoided!) he also spends time tracing letter forms, watching shows on iplayer like The Lingo ?Show, and drawing pictures on any number of art apps which isn’t too bad. The fact that he knows how to launch youtube, press search, and type in “Thomas” to find his programmes makes me feel pretty guilty. (Though I did have a moment of pride recently when he showed me that he was trying to search for Abney and Teal (yes, another TV programme) and he’d got as far as “abnet and tyal” – clever boy!)

Thankfully a quick google search reveals that all this guilt may not actually be such a bad thing.

For most of us a moderate amount of guilt is actually a sign of love, our strong attachment and commitment to do the best we can to raise healthy children. [Psychology Today "Are you a guilty parent?" Sept, 2011]

 
Well that’s a relief! Maybe the only thing we’re guilty of is loving our children and wanting to do the best for them. That’s no bad thing really!

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to buy more colours of PlayDoh so I can finally give in to those demands to build engines! Wish me luck!

To keep up to date with Letters to Elliot, why not follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @elliotandme
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A favour, please

The award season is here everyone, and I am going to be shameless in asking for your nomination in the BiBs (Brilliance in Blogging Awards)
Here are a couple of reasons why you should vote for me:

1. I don’t normally win things. I mean not since I was an Irish dancer when I was little and my sister and I used to bring home lots of medals and trophies (sorry mum and dad, we did take up quite a lot of room!) These days I feel like I’ve won a prize if I’ve managed to successfully change a dirty nappy without getting it on me/the floor/the furniture or the baby! A nice little award would look lovely on my mantlepiece, thank you very much.

2. I love writing this blog! I am doing this mainly for me, as I know I’ll love reading about my little boys when they’ve grown and flown the nest (though I’m desperately trying not to think about that too much as am finding it hard enough being on a different floor of my house from my babies. The thought of them ever being in another house/town/county or god-forbid country gives me palpitations!) Anyway, as much as I love writing, it really makes me smile when I get lovely comments – written and verbal – from people who are reading this. It makes it all worthwhile, as would a lovely shiny award!

Also, I know a couple of little people who would be very proud of their mama if I even got on the shortlist! Alexander even decided to don a silly hat to prove his devotion to the blogging-mama cause!

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So, if you fancy nominating me please head over to the BiB Awards site and enter Letters to Elliot in the category you find most appropriate (I’m suggesting the Family category as I short listed in this category last year, but if you fancied entering me for Writer also that would be fantastic and I’d love you forever!)

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