Where has this week gone? Not sure If I’d rather it was still Thursday

This morning as I showered, I had a 10 minute long debate with myself (not out loud you will be relieved to hear, just in my head) over whether or not it was Thursday or Friday. I was busy recalling conversations about the day before trying to place myself on the continuum of time. If I did have the power to decide, I’m not sure what I’d rather.

You might be thinking that Friday is the natural choice. It’s the last day of the week. And logically you are correct, of course. But I’ve been really busy at work and suddenly have a load more things on my to-do list that I wanted completed before stashing my laptop away for its weekend long snoozy time. Don’t get me wrong, actually, I’ve been super productive this week, but with just two and a half weeks to go till the date of a conference I’m organizing is upon me, things are starting to get a little rammed.

There is part of me that wishes today was Thursday, another day to get that invite email out to the Russians and Scandinavians – Friday is never a good day for these things, but I’m running out of options with the event nearly upon me.

But it is Friday and I just need to get on and embrace that the weekend starts tonight and crack on with my busy day ahead. So less waffling, time to hit the decks and get my little world of techie marketing in order.

First Toddler Bikes – Babe Gets Her First Wheels

Yesterday we got  babe her first bike. Being the impatient person that I am, I couldn’t wait until her 2nd birthday in December. My rationale in persuading hubby to give it to her early, was that it is so close to Christmas, she would get more benefit from the bike now. It worked and he agreed, in truth is he is as much a ‘now’ person as me. Anyway, she’ll have presents from other people on her birthday (we hope).

Babe on her Islabikes Rothan balance bike

After much deliberation and extensive research by hubby (who is a true Jedi master when it comes to researching a new product, finding the best solution and sourcing the cheapest price) we opted for an Islabike Rothan – a balance bike to be precise.

Why a balance bike?
Also known as running bikes. By all accounts (well forum poster accounts that is), a balance bike is a much better starting point – safer than a bike with stabilizers, allows the kiddies to go faster and enables them to progress up to a proper bike quicker. If you check out all the YouTube videos on these (soo cute), then you’d be sold too.

Why Islabikes?
We wanted something sturdy and hardcore that could be passed onto a possible future bro or sis. We checked out the Specialized and Strider alternatives, which both look pretty fab too, but decided on the Islabike because it had a brake and seemed to be more substantial. I’m hoping to create a budding little mountain biker here. And we opted for no girly colours, sticking with the strictly neutral color of red.

What’s the babe verdict?
She seems genuinely happy and excited, but in all honesty – right now seems to be more taken with the helmet. It’s early days though…

How much freedom do you give your children? When is it too much or too little?

This is something I ponder over now and again with babe (my toddler of 22 months), generally I’m all for giving her freedom to learn from her own mistakes.  But then sometimes I am afraid that I’m almost airing  on the side of irresponsible and then reign her back in.

Babe measuring sultanas

The truth is, I feel like I know my daughter well  and understand her capabilities and her knowledge of the world, and am therefore able to access pretty accurately the line between giving her freedom and being a totally irresponsible mother. I know some onlookers who don’t have this insight are judging me poorly, but I feel that its important for her learning to provide that freedom.

Babe kinda washing the dishes

I do feel bad sometimes when she has slipped over and banged her chin on one of those occasions of freedom time, but then that’s all part of the learning curve isn’t it? Learning consequences. I reference consequences  in a very managed way, we all learned not to put our hands into a flame by touching the hot pan on top of it by accident, not by thrusting our hands into the flame.

My own mother was great at giving my sister and I the freedom to learn from our own mistakes and I am very grateful for that – we were also able to have some amazing experiences that not every kid got to enjoy.

I am pleased to say, that I can already see the benefits. She’s the go-getting, no messing, always try new things, kinda of girl that I have been aspiring her to be. And I really don’t think she’d be like this if I molly coddled her all the time.

Babe making Danish Pastries

Sometimes the topic does come under debate with others. So I’m really keen to hear what your experiences and views are on this topic?

Knitting and nursing, new skills bourne out of necessity

Babe is definitely teething again at 22 months. Argh, when will it end? I’m not joking, when do the last teeth come through? Before I get into explaining my new knitting skill, let me put it in context…

As a result this weekend has had its ups and downs, because grizzle bum babe has been a bit of a sad sausage (maybe you watch Reggie Perin?).

Anyways, I thought it would be a breeze getting her off to sleep on Sunday night, as she had skipped afternoon nap, and was surviving on the 10 minutes snooze she’d got in the car.

A breeze – getting her to bed was like fighting a hurricane. She had the all-mightiest of tantrums and then alas at about 8.15pm she was in full doze-off mode. But she wasn’t going to let go of me…she was latched on for the duration. And every time I tried to slip off, she would stir and re-awake. Fortunately I’d brought my knitting to bed with me. After a little jostling around I’d cracked it. Yes, lying down and feeding babe, while knitting. With the freezing cold temperatures here, the pressure has been on to finish babe’s hat.

I am so proud, it is now done and fits a treat. Now I know it’s not the most dainty and attractive in the shape and styling, but I’d got my practical mama head-on when choosing the pattern. I’m thinking I might knit some nice flowers on or  something, to make it look a bit more girly and cutsie. Also yet to add the finishing touches like a  pom pom and the button for the chin strap.

Babe wearing the semi complete hat

After my recent heated debates with the pointy pair (knitting needles I’m referring to here), you’d think I’d be ready to snap them in half and hurl them into the recycling pile in a moment of cathartic therapy. But no, they caught me hook line and sinker. I want to knit another hat for babe.

Are you mad? I hear you cry…all you did was complain?!

Maybe I am a touch mad, but I want to create something a bit less pratical and more girly this time round. Also hoping that I might have got over MY teething problems, and am wistfully thinking that I might have got my brain into the right knitting gear.

Bring-it-on you pair! No back tracking for me this time.

Not everyone should feel obligated to have kids

“Having children will be the making of you” 

“You’d be a great mother, you just need to give it a try”

For people who have made the conscious decision not to have kids these are the kinds of statements they hear all the time. And I can’t blame them for getting just a little pee’d off. Being a parent isn’t for everyone, and we shouldn’t all expect everyone to fall into line and get populating.

Under population hasn’t been an issue for some time now (it might be argued that having more children is economically good for growth), but come on, move on.

Having children has always seemed like a natural and fundamental part of life for me, but it’s not for everyone, and it’s unfair for other people to judge those who have made the choice not to have kids. In fact, I used to be one of those people who was pushy on the topic of having kids, saying the kind of things I said a minute ago. I realize now that I was out-of-order, who am I to judge other people’s choices?!

Again, this has been another example of me taking a 180 degree shift in an opinion on a topic since I’ve had kids. Maybe it’s the kid factor, or maybe it’s just that I’ve grown up a bit (just a tiny bit perhaps). On the other hand, I think I have just moved my judgments onto some other poor unsuspecting souls.

For some people, having children is ‘the making of them’. They find something that they truly love and are good at (I don’t mean that patronizingly). Maybe it’s made them grow up and be more responsible? Maybe they’ve just found something that WORKS for them.

But for some people, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. After all we are talking about bringing little people into the world and being totally responsible for them. It is life changing and for some, it’s not the kind of life change that they want or can cope with. There are enough unwanted kids out there, lets not go adding more onto the pile.

Take my big sister as an example, she is quite happy to be the best auntie in the world. But there is no way she wants kids of her own.

Auntie Barbs counting money with babe

Auntie Barbs entertaining babe

 

My view is, don’t make someone feel abnormal because they don’t want kids. It might NOT be ‘the making of them.’  Who are others to judge what each individual wants from life?

The love hate relationship with knitting

Argh, sometimes I wish I had never got back into knitting; that terrible pointy pair infuriate me! Deep down, I know it’s not them, it’s me – I don’t understand them properly and I make them do bad things, then I’m the one who’s complaining them they gone off track and I’ve got to undo a week’s worth of knitting.

Then other times I’m totally into them, when things are going well and I haven’t misinterpreted the pattern. During those moments, we enjoy fantastic chill-out relaxation time together.

This latest project, knitting babe a flappy ear hat, has re-affirmed to me why knitting baby bootees was so agreeable to me. They are small and don’t take much time, and if you go wrong, you haven’t got too many stitches to undo to get back on-track.

This last week or so, I have had to undo hundreds of stitches because I misinterpreted the pattern the first time around. I’m sure I would have finished this blasted thing by now if it hadn’t been for that.

Unfinished business

And all the time the weather is getting colder and colder and soon I’ll be put in the ‘bad mother pile’ for letting her young child go out without a hat. It’s a good job I have had this pressure to get the job done, or else we might have gone our separate ways by now.

You might think to yourself, why doesn’t she just go out a buy a hat? Well that’s not an option in my mind, it’s a pride thing you see, and I couldn’t bear the thought of having given up and every time we went out in the cold, getting my nose rubbed in my failure.

The one good thing I can say is that I’m past the tricky bits – although that doesn’t seem to be where I’m going wrong. It’s on the long straight bits that I don’t seem to be paying so much attention. I’m hoping to have this cursed hat completed within the next couple of weeks, child early night permitting.

Does anyone else have this relationship with knitting? Or is it just because I am a totally rubbish knitter? It’s OK, I know I’m not very good…but it would be nice to know if other people feel the same way.

Twitter is my new round-the-clock mama advice line

Tweeting bird, derived from the initial 't' of...

Image via Wikipedia

When creating this blog I also signed-up for a twitter account with the primary objective of getting more people to drop by and have a read (boost the traffic). Now no-one is going to get run over by the mass of traffic driving by, but it has still provided a nice steady flow of other mama’s out there curious by my random blog titles.

But I do confess I’ve discovered that it can offer so much more. It’s become a round the clock advice line and sometimes helped me keep sane during those crazy nights when babe wakes up and hasn’t wanted to go back to sleep for four hours.

Last week, an American Magazine (I think it was called Mothering Magazine) was hosting a twitter event about babywearing at 2am in the morning. Coincidently I was up with babe, trying to get her mellowed-out and back to sleep. It was great to be able to join in the chatter to keep my mind off the frustration of the wide-awake child insistent on time and time again emptying my bedside cabinet drawers and then filling them back up.

With child behavior and medical problems I’ve got an army of like-minded mothers out there ready to impart their advice on what they think the issue I’ve tweeted about might be. The mother tweeting army is invariably quite busy doing her own thing, dealing with her own challenges, so I won’t get a mass of responses, but usually one or two – enough to banish my anxieties and get me back on track. *Thank you to the tweeting mother army for your comments and feedback*

It’s also helped me find mamas that I relate to. Being relatively isolated by working from home and not always having the most main-stream attitudes towards parenting, makes it all the more useful.

The other great thing is that lots of interesting blog posts and stories feed into one place. Again, super useful for getting answers to my problems without having to trawl through the gazillion parenting advice forums out there.  And its QUICK, responses come flying back within minutes – not days.

So, I confess, I am twitter convert. Are you?