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The claws are out!

We had the nicest family day at a Marsh Farm last week. I went on my own with both children and it was a ridiculously warm day. 

We had a fantastic day, we fed animals, played on the park and had a tractor ride. The parks are huge and so much space for running around, in fact, the staff are also incredible and make the day even better for your family. So child orientated and animated. Each and every time we have been, they’ve entertained us no end. There is just so much to do, endless fun.

The fun had to come to an halt whilst I fed Emeline, as it was so hot, I took Jenson in to soft play and say where I could see him. Feeding Emeline, I sat and watched him like a hawk. At 4 years old, this is the first time he has ever been in to soft play alone. Protective Mummy has always sent Mummy in with him and today proved why. 

Whilst I sat their watching Jenson, I noticed his smile as he ran around bouncing and jumping, up and down different parts and sliding down slides. Then he stopped. He didn’t go down a slide, and instead it looked like he fell backwards, the prickles of my neck were up. At that point, he came running to me, sobbing with tears streaming down his face, a picture that I never see and cried out 

“Mummy, a boy is fighting me” 

My heart shattered and I was immediately up on my feet, Emeline in shock that her feed was cut short and outraged that I had started to put my boob away and finalise her feeding. I immediately went to find the child and the parent, as we approached them, another parent was already discussing the kids aggressive and violent behaviour. Not only had he punched Jenson in the stomach and face, he also hit two other little girls. 

The bit that bothered me the most was the mothers inabability to recognise her child was in the wrong, there was no way of her child apologising or for her to make him. His behaviour was not okay and it wasn’t picked up on nor was he provided with a consequence for his actions. His mum palmed it off as childish behaviour. No thanks. Sort your kid out. I found myself becoming more and more angry at the mother and how poorly she dealt with it, making it seem to Jenson that the actions of the little boy were okay when they were absolutely not okay.

I understand that not everyone parents the same, I just felt such injustice for Jenson. It is my job to protect him and I struggled so much to deal with the fact that I didn’t, I was so upset that I was feeding Emeline so I therefore wasn’t there for Jenson and someone else hurt him. I then couldn’t do anything to help him by showing him that what the little boy did was wrong. Jenson knows right from wrong and I am so proud to have taught him that and that he didn’t retaliate. Naturally, I told him that Santa won’t be sending him anything so thay reassured him slightly! 

To make it slightly better, I made sure we were able to stay a little longer and do some more activities. I let him choose where we were going for dinner and generally spoil him. For now, I am proud of my wonderful child and I am winning at parenting with his behaviour and manners.

Karma will get that kid… more fool him! 

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End of an era

I am sitting here tying to keep my shit together. I can’t. 

September 2014. Jenson’s first day.

It is Jenson’s last day at preschool today. He joined when he was 2 years and 7 months. He leaves at 4 years and 5 months. The journey he has been on since joining is incredible, he has learnt to count and recognise numbers, learn all his letter sounds, read cvc words and actually read a book amongst other things. I am beyond proud of his achievements and what he had accomplished, we have done a lot with him at home but the support he has received from the ‘Aunties’ is incredible. I know how teachers dedicate themselves to the children in their care and I love that he has received this love. 

Jenson loves his nursery, he has always been so happy there. He hasn’t always gone in well and has had his tears but he has made so much progress. His confidence alone has grown so much. He was amazing in his end of year show this week, he spoke loudly and confidently and my heart exploded. He wouldn’t even stand up and dance at the end of last year. 

The nursery go over and above for the children there, they put so much effort in. Jenson received a wonderful end of year report with a gift, poem and a pack for his learning over the summer. His poem was what sent me in to emotional turmoil earlier in the week. 

So, here we are, the end of an era. Jenson said to me this morning:

“Mummy, tomorrow I won’t have nursery anymore”

I am not sure either of us are prepared for today, emotionally or mentally. We have spent so long preparing for big school that actually I hadn’t really thought about leaving nursery. It was only this week that it has really crept up on me.

I am sitting here realising that he must be upset. The women that have been in his life for two years no longer will be. The women who cuddled him when he cried, wiped his tears, grazes and even his bottom. The ladies who laughed with him and even at him and who made him smile and feel safe. The Aunties who taught him so much and made him feel so special, like he could accomplish anything. The girls who sat with him to do activities for surprises at Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They’ve loved him, disciplined him and cared for him whilst I wasn’t there and I am will forever be grateful for the bond and relationship they have and that grew. 

They have no idea how highly thought of they are in this house and through his eyes. We talk about them constantly, we are excited when we bump in to them in town. They’ve given my boy the best possible start to his learning. I love how they know him so well. His report modelled that, identifying his his little personality and mentioned his favourite things and quirks. Especially how he is a chatter box. I know that he has been happy there and felt safe and it proved it. We made the right choice in sending him there.

15th July 2015. Jenson’s last day at Nursery

So, thank you Christchurch Nursery. You wonderful ladies who we adore. See you in a few years with Emeline, we will be back. (Depending on Emeline, I suppose that could be a threat!!)

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The final countdown

The end of the Easter holidays is here, I have that sad teacher feeling. Not because I have work tomorrow but because there is one term left. One term left of maternity leave, one term left of preschool for Jenson and one term left before he starts school. I feel that it just illustrates how quick time is going and life is just laughing at me. 

 

We haven’t done anything adventurous this holiday, we’ve played at home as Emeline has been poorly but according to Jenson, that has been a huge highlight for him. It has been so lovely not to rush him out and spend time with him, I absolutely love having him at home. I realise that there isn’t much ‘time’ left before it is time for me to get back to work and I want to spend my maternity leave with both Jenson and Emeline, days out and family time. 

 

The idea of Jenson starting school terrifies me, we find out his school place next week and that I am fine with. I am happy with our local schools, I know he will do well and feel safe in the knowledge that the staff will love him and look after him the best they can. I know this because I am a teacher and I feel that way about my pupils. It’s a nice safety blanket. I put Jenson to bed earlier and saw his cute, round face with a gappy toothed smile just like it was when he was an eighteen month old, then all of a sudden I am back with my four year old. It has gone amazingly fast and I need it to slow down. 
I need to prepare myself for this summer term, a lot is happening and changing. I also need to be realistic and think about my return to work. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. I love my job but I am so worried about returning and leaving Emie.  

  

Plenty of wine and quality time together this term to help me manage all the changes! 

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Change

Our little family has had a big change this last week with Scott’s shifts. To me, it isn’t too massive and the positives outweigh any negatives and long term it will really benefit us but it has really shook Jenson’s little life boat. 

Jenson has adjusted to life with Scott on days, Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. Scott would be home for dinner and bedtime every night and each weekend. On Friday, Scott started his new shift of 2 days, 8am-8pm and 2 nights 8pm-8am with four days off to follow. These four days are invaluable. Like a little holiday at the end of each week. He technically works two days, has a swing day off, works two nights and then we have him back. We see a lot more of him.  

Best friends

It’s the first shift week though and it has just finished but Jenson is mega confused. The slightest change and he hates it. Before I gave birth and in the lead up to having Emeline, he was so anxious about the change, he was so upset about going to school and leaving me, worried what would happen and if I would be okay. He would be unsettled during the night and would be slightly mischievous with his behaviour before leading up to a full on meltdown.  This stopped within seconds of Emeline being born and his anxiety disappeared and he felt at home, safe and secure with his new sister. 

 

We are back there though! Jenson has played Scott up the last two evenings before bed, yesterday he tried to push his luck with me too. The last two nights he has also woken up and wanted cuddles, he is feeling insecure and anxious, it’s horrible. He doesn’t understand the changes just yet so is working his way around them. Jenson had my phone yesterday morning and without me realising he was texting Scott voice messages, this is something he does often for me if my hands are full and I need Scott to get something on his way home from work or whilst he it at the shop. His voice messages consisted of: 

“Daddy, I miss you. I want you here now. I wish you were here now”

This was over and over again! Scott received 13 of these in the time I was changing Emie’s nappy. When he got home he thanked me (sarcastically, obviously) but I was none the wiser. Listening to them made me so emotional as Scott welled up.  

 

I’m not a great lover of change but this is a great change for our family. Long term we have four days off together. Love that. It also means Scott will have Emeline whilst I work and he can do school runs with Jenson, it works so well. Yes the days are tough and Jenson misses his Daddy so much for those two days but he then has four days off with him. Next year will be so different when he has school five days a week, especially if Scott is working at the weekend but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.  

 

Jenson and Scott are the best of friends. They are such good buddies and Jenson adores him. I am excited for lots of family time over the next few months before I return to work. Jenson will adjust, but we need to be patient with him in the change and remember he is finding it difficult to understand.  

  

 

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Too much responsibility 

Having children is the biggest responsibility in the world. I remember feeling it being dropped on me from a high height the moment we walked through our front door with Jenson at 12 hours old, just left to care for him and know what to do. God, we had no idea what to do but amazingly it comes to you so naturally. 

Since then, my biggest responsibility has been playing. It would appear that I cannot be trusted and I need fine, small, step by step instructions on how to ‘play’. Never mind that my job as a teacher means I play constantly through learning and roleplay but at home, it would seem I am a novice! 

Today, for example, we are playing cars. I have been given the job of “being in charge” (Jenson’s words) of his tram. Apparently, all it needs to do is go backwards and forwards on the train track as he hasn’t got a tram line so I have to “pretend”! Having said that, you’d think by being in charge, I would be able to move my tram forwards and backwards easily, but no, apparently the people haven’t got on it yet, the traffic light is red or there is something on the track. 

  
His imagination amazes me! So actually by being “in charge” means I am just sitting here, watching my stationary tram, waiting to be told when to move it. Later, I was given the responsibility of being “in charge” of the tankers. Wahooo, I thought, how wrong could I be?… They were having a tea break at the petrol station! 

 

Yesterday, we were playing Mummies and Daddies. You’d think that Jenson would consider me an ‘expert’ in this area. Again, no! I wasn’t holding the baby properly, nor was I burping the baby correctly. Thankfully, both Jenson and Emeline are surviving so I don’t feel I am doing a bad job, luckily my confidence didn’t take too much of a knocking!  

Taking our ‘babies’ out!

I hope he isn’t this bossy with his friends but I love his perfectionist way and how he wants things done, after all, they are his toys and his mind is making them play! Let’s hope I live up to his expectations today! 

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Going alone 

Today is my first 8am-8pm day, pretty much a single parent for the day. Scott returned to shift work today, long term this is perfect for us and I just need to adjust our routine slightly. It was relatively easy with Jenson but now there is two of them and Jenson needs dinner and bedtime and his routine. 

 
Scott works four days on, four days off, those four days can be dreams or nightmares depending on the 4 year old! I use to love it just being us and him being the centre of attention but now he has to share his time with Emie, it could go either way! 

Today was okay! We had our usual day, easy. I had a nice breakfast with Jenson whilst Emeline slept, lunch and playing. Dinner was prepared and ready to eat at 5, much better at that time than waiting until 6 when Scott would usually get in. Just as I was about to dish up Emeline started to really scream, this is so unlike her and I was quite concerned. I tried to feed her, she wasn’t interested, I took her clothes off and she was still going mad. She was crying so much she was choking and being sick which scared me. I walked her around and she eventually calmed down. Jenson had finished his dinner and mine was cold. I had started to run a bath for Emie as it always helps her chill out and she is so happy, as expected she was delighted by her bath and was happy kicking around. Once she was out, I massaged her then dressed her in pjs and Jenson got out the bath and ready for bed. I ate my dinner whilst Emeline played on her mat and Jenson ate his pudding. I felt like I had accomplished something! I also managed to get the washing in, washing up done and make Scott’s lunch for tomorrow!  

Chicken in honey, soy sauce and garlic with veggies, buttered leek, spinach and asparagus and sweet potato mash.

My next hurdle was bedtime, Emie looked so tired! I got Jenson to go to the toilet and brush his teeth, he had a story in his bed with me and Emie and then I tucked him in. Emeline has had her night and that’s them both asleep by 7.15pm! A great achievement on my own, especially managing to fit all my jobs in too! 

 

I know some amazing parents do this alone all day every day and I am in awe of them. It was a big deal for me, another tick on adjusting to life as a parent of two. 

Next on the list to conquer are the night shifts, dreading it! 

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Family days out!

I absolutely love a family day out! No matter where it is, we spent a fortune and went to Disneyland, which was amazing but also Center Parcs or cheap and cheerful days at Clacton, Mersea or Colchester Zoo. It really doesn’t matter. I just love being with Scott and our children!

Emeline’s first trip to the zoo

We’ve always made a big deal of days out and we have always done lots of things together, Jenson is certainly well cultured in the day out variety! He has been so lucky, the places we have visited are just wonderful:

  • London Aquarium
  • London Zoo
  • Colchester Zoo
  • Marsh Farm
  • Tropical Wings
  • Paradise Wildlife Park 
  • Legoland
  • Peppa Pig World
  • CBeebies Land
  • Woburn Safari Park 
  • Wimpole Home Farm
  • Hatfield Forest
  • Colne Valley Railway
  • Southend Sealife Centre
  • East Mersea
  • Clacton
  • National History Museum
  • National Science Museum
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Diggerland 

The list is endless and each birthday we have a special birthday day out too, for his 1st we went to the London Aquarium, 2nd we went to London Zoo and his third was Cbeebies Land. In a few weeks we are going to Kidzania to celebrate his 4th.

Birthday Day Outs 

We are so lucky location wise, we are close to the seafront, London and we also have lots of lovely farms and zoos around. Colchester Zoo is our local and it is wonderful, they’re constantly improving it and investing money, makes it so worthwhile. Jenson loves it too, we have a gold pass so we can visit as much as we like for a year. Jenson’s memory is really incredible and we take the camera and video camera for special days out to remember, he often talks about places we have visited and things we have done.b

Today, we visited Colchester Zoo, the animals were quite active. Jenson fed a giraffe and we saw the Tigers walking around. We had a lovely lunch there too which was also nice but had to eat outside which was cold for Emeline. Sadly, the train station burnt down end of last year but things are already in development for a replacement, telling Jenson was traumatic. The weather was slightly chilly today but bright and sunny, Emeline came out of the pram for a bit to look at some of the animals. It was our first real day out since having Emeline and it was very calm and lovely. I fed her in the restaurants, albeit one was outside and she was changed in their changing rooms – the one by the Sunbears is nice and clean. Definitely recommend Colchester Zoo to everyone for a fun day out!