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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Supermarket Rage

When I am Prime Minister, I will be introducing stiff penalties for all those lazy inconsiderate people that park in parent and baby bays at supermarkets.

It really gets my goat. When they have circled a car park for 10 minutes, while singing desperately to a screaming baby and trying to placate a toddler with the promise of snacks, well *maybe* then we can talk.

Until then, if these selfish drivers, both men and women, could try and park in one of the HUNDREDS of other spaces available and use one of the HUNDREDS of shopping trollies available, that would be grand. Maybe then I can park in one of the 15 parent and baby spaces, you know the ones near the ONLY trollies I can use with a baby and a toddler.

"Online shop!" I hear you say, I do when I can, but we all need to top up now and then.
I could use my pushchair, but that would mean I could only use a basket, that's if I could get the children out of the car in the first place.

So, the next time you dash to Asda - yes it was Asda- for a pint of milk please spare a thought for the frazzled mother cajoling her children into the trolley. It could be me, and I could really do with that parking space.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Frustrations of being a Stay at Home Mum

When I was growing up I wanted to be an Air hostess, Prime Minister, Lady Diana, an RSPCA worker feeding lions (I know, I know).

When older I was going to be a solicitor or barrister, possibly work in government policy. I had high hopes for myself, others had high hopes for me. Life did life's thing. I was thrown a couple of curved balls, dodged some and were clipped by others and thrown off course. I was floored by one or two experiences, too painful to blog about. The nature of my life experiences meant I have spent a lot of my adulthood running, hiding and avoiding -a pattern of behaviour that has shoehorned me down a narrow and undemanding career path and at times imprisoned me on a progressively eroding island where I'm scared of my own shadow. The island I live on is at times tiny, a very safe existence with no risks or danger. It's not a very happy place though and I still sometimes suffer from anxiety attacks. I am a great disappointment to my teenage self, the one who could conquer all, who would be a high flyer, who was unstoppably determined.

So why all this navel gazing? It was never in my plan to be a stay at home mum. That's what I am: a SAHM, homemaker, housewife. I love being a Mum, of course I do, but what else do I do? What else can I be proud of? How do I use my brain, or rather remind myself and the outside world that I have one! I don't want my daughters to grow up thinking that Mum is "just" a mum. As I have two children under 2 years old any serious career is a little way off, but in the meantime I need to address the small issue of my self esteem that is currently scraping the floor. I am fiercely proud of Tiddler and how much she has overcome. I need to borrow a little bit of her fight. I want to be happy about who I am and what I am. I think I would have reached this point even if I hadn't been blessed with children, but being a Mum within four walls for what seems to be so much of the time has brought my lack of self-belief into sharp focus.

Where do I start? Someone on Twitter told me about 101 things in 1001 days, this seems like a good beginning. Who's with me?

Undiagnosed or No Diagnosis to make?

So baby is 12 weeks old. At 12 weeks with Tiddler we had only just about left hospital, she was behind in development already and things were very uncertain.

This time round, Baby is developing normally we think, although I will admit to a niggling worry about her tone. her arms, particularly the left, is very rigid- the exact opposite to Tiddler, she sometimes lets out a cry when we lift her out of a chair. Also, she still has head lag from being lifted from the floor. It took Tiddler about 12 months to lose this, and it was always commented upon as being unusual. That baby also seems to have this is worrying me. Does this suggest a link, a genetic problem they share?

This may appear hysterical or disproportionate but just as with an undiagnosed child you spend the whole time wondering if *that* symptom or quirk is *the* missing piece to the Tiddler jigsaw, so I find myself wondering if similar physical attributes or features point to a genetic wobble that the siblings share.

Despite everyone telling me, and me believing most of the time, that things are different with Tiddlers little sister, I can't quite believe that this is the case. How can two children be different like this? Of course, this is a stupid thing to say, you can have very different siblings, but I suppose because there is no explanation for the way Tiddlers start in life went, I cannot rationalise that the two are so different as to not share the same problems. If there is no genetic issue, then why has it all happened to Tiddler in isolation??

I suppose it all goes back to our need to explain and find a reason for everything. Scientific advances have encouraged us to believe that nearly all questions have answers, so when one finds a question without an answer we struggle. We no longer attribute things we don't understand to fate or God, we want reasoned answers for everything. Of course, not everyone finds their answers and so are left lacking and searching rather than living in the moment.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Good News Day

In the past this blog featured quite a lot of bad news and sadness. I wrote last night about how I had been avoiding what was once therapy for me.

I have lots and lots of good things to say. I suppose part of me has felt guilty that we have a happy ending when others with an identical start to Tiddler do not. Please don't misunderstand me, there are still differences, problems and hurdles to overcome but compared to what we had been warned to face, she is flying.

Tiddler is now 22 months. Where did that time go? She is a cheeky and mischievous toddler who likes dancing and bananas and Mr Tumble, in no particular order.

2 weeks before the arrival of her little sister she got up and walked. Literally. She had been cruising for a while, and whereas we had been warned she may not walk, it had been clear for some
months that her physical development was improving at a faster rate. She stood up unaided in the middle of our lounge on the Thursday and by the Saturday had taken her first steps. I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that my little Tiddler had proved everyone wrong again. I wish I could bottle her drive and tenacity.

She has been walking for 3 months now and is increasing in confidence all the time. She is close to being signed off physiotherapy we think and with that her weekly hydrotherapy. This will be an incredible moment for me as she has been receiving physio since she was 10 weeks old!

We await our next genetics appointment with great interest. I am even saying out loud that maybe they have made a mistake and actually there isn't anything defective in her genes? Maybe there is no genetic disorder?

In the meantime we have her sensory issues, poor weight gain, ENT problems and behavioural issues so I know we have enough to keep us quiet for now!!

I have been unsure whether to write about Tiddler's progress but decided that it's only fair to document the positives as well as the more difficult times. I do feel guilty about our happy "ending" which is strange as I am sure parents of "normal" children don't feel guilty about their normality...