The perils of parenthood… baby-related injuries

Yesterday I dared to take a longer-than-usual look in the mirror at my six-week post-baby self. As I suspected, the belly looks as jelly-like as it feels. I’m clinging on to the hope that breastfeeding will shrink it some more before I actually have to try and cram the ‘E’ word into a day that already feels like there are never enough seconds. But the other thing I noticed was a collection of bruises on the backs of my thighs, just about the height of our stair gates. War wounds of parenthood. It got me thinking about the countless other baby or toddler-inflicted injuries we parents endure while trying to go about our day-to-day business!

Baby-related injuries

The stair gate stub

As well as my black and blue thighs, gained from my wobbly bits knocking against the sticky-out bit at the top as I dash past, the stair gate can be the culprit of a whole host of injuries, the toe stub probably being the most painful one. We have a gate separating our living room from the kitchen and this one is the prime location for this kind of accident and the husband is usually the unfortunate victim.

Attack of the bouncy chair

It looks oh so harmless. Our Woodsy and Friends bouncy chair, with its wide-eyed, cute, dangly owl character – Woodsy I presume – peering up at you. Both our babies have loved it. But it lurks. It lurks in the background, just waiting for that sweet moment when you’re in a hurry or too tired to think straight. Then out it pops and that evil metal bit at the bottom trips you up and it feels like you’ve almost certainly broken a toe. And every time it happens you think you can’t possibly be so stupid as to do it again.

The slippery book strain

That protective plastic cover they put on library books. It gives well-thumbed toddler tomes a fighting chance against the dirt and grime. But it turns a harmless item into yet another parent trap. Step on one of these beauties when you’re in your socks and dashing for the door and you’ll find yourself launched across the carpet making all sorts of badly executed gymnastic shapes and, unless you really are as flexible as a gymnast, a nasty case of groin strain.

Lego. Say no more

Or Duplo in our case as we’ve yet to graduate to the smaller bricks. It needs little explanation. It gets everywhere. Step on it and it can hurt. Kneel on it and you’ll really want to scream all those ‘naughty’ words your darling little ones are not meant to hear. And, I find, having to internalise the swearing makes the pain so much worse!

These are just the injuries caused by the child-related paraphernalia, toys and equipment, and only a choice selection at that. Our lovely little offspring can themselves inflict a fair amount of damage without the need for any additional implements at all.

Where did I put those scratch mits?

Even our tiny newborn can overnight suddenly seem to develop little daggers for finger nails, which he’ll unwittingly scrape down my chest – incidentally he also has a tendency to pound at my chest with his little fists if he’s feeling especially ravenous. It’s quite cute. For now while he’s small. Anyway, back to the nails. It’s not just me he claws at. He’s currently sporting a nice little scratch across his nose, conveniently self-inflicted just in time for his six-week check today! Thanks Little Mister, make Mummy look bad!

Toddler wrestling

The prime location for this is on the changing mat but it can extend to dressing, teeth cleaning, meal times and the scene of any other toddler tantrum. Daddy’s recently received several well-placed kicks in the unmentionables from his darling little princess.

Wet, wet ,wet… the human sprinkler

Not an injury I know but still a major inconvenience. Changing a baby boy is a whole new ball game compared to a girl. We call it ‘baby change lotto’. You never know what you’re going to get, where it might go or what might be soaked. Little Mister has a knack for timing his mid-change wees for maximum disruption, such as just before you really need to leave the house or in the middle of the night when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Yep, being a parent is often a battle of wits and at times it can be downright dangerous – just ask my husband when he went flying across the living room after tripping over that hapless Woodsy bouncer, which then catapulted into the air before landing next to him (no baby in it at time, don’t worry!).

And these are just some of the hazards that lay in our paths. There are also the aches and pains that come from carrying our offspring around. The energy-sapping tiredness. The headaches brought on by nights of broken sleep or a day with a willful toddler. And it’s all accompanied by those bugs brought home from nursery or baby group.

We spend most of our waking hours trying to keep them safe and look what we get in return!

So what’s been your worst baby-related injury?

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Categories: Motherhood | 9 Comments

Our first fantastic month as a family of four…

So the ‘Babymoon’ – a daft word but it seems appropriate right now – has finally come to an end. Last week saw Daddy going back to work and the routines of everyday life beginning to resume after three lovely weeks all together. And this morning Little Mister turned four weeks old, before officially becoming a one-month-old on Friday. But before these magical early days become too distant a blur and I’m overcome by the exhaustion of looking after two little ones on my own, I wanted to share some of the memories and milestones from the first 28 days of Little Mister’s life. It’s taken me a week of snatched moments to finishing writing this post, such is the daily juggle now!Our first month as a family of four

Our baby son’s arrival coincided with a spell of decent hot weather and we’ve been out and about much more this time around than in the weeks after his sister was born. I suppose we’re more confident and a bit more relaxed having successfully reared one newborn! And staying inside with a boisterous toddler is a surefire way for everyone to go mad.

Little Mister has already enjoyed a family barbecue to celebrate his cousin turning seven – I blame her for his late arrival and my subsequent discomfort since she was so desperate for the new baby to share her birthday month! He wasn’t much interested in the fabulous Narnia-themed chocolate birthday cake but Mummy was and I’m sure it was good for my milk supply! It was a lovely family occasion and, of course, a chance to show him off.

There have also been several picnics, one in the park and one at our local vicarage. Little Mister has already felt the air on his cheeks – yes, those ones – as we’ve got to grips with his lunchtime nappy explosions! But it’s been wonderful to sit back on the picnic rug and enjoy our little family.

Family picnic

Family picnic fun

Food actually features quite heavily in the last few weeks. I’m a nervous eater when pregnant. I worry about everything, especially food that’s been prepared outside the home. Eating anything more adventurous than a cheese and tomato pizza in a restaurant was out of the question.

So I’ve been making up for months of self-inflicted food tedium… starting off with a takeaway curry binge the night Little Mister was born – a tradition started when Little Miss arrived. I have to have the sweetest, creamiest, sickliest curry on the menu. We followed up with takeaway Chinese the next night, fish and chips a couple of days later and several lunches out before returning to the Indian menu and a lamb biryani, which it turns out Little Miss will happily eat!

We also has a trip to Wagamama as a threesome on one of Little Miss’s nursery days. Little Mister was impeccably behaved, sleeping throughout the whole meal, so it was a chance for Daddy and I to feel like a proper grown-up couple again for an hour or two. It’s been a while! It also brought back fond memories of us eating out together when Little Miss was the sleeping baby in the pram.

Food, we can already tell, is clearly going to be very important to Little Mister too. After a slightly slow start, he’s taken to breastfeeding with great enthusiasm! He almost beats his little fists on my chest when he’s hungry and will try and nibble the shoulder of whoever happens to be holding him when that tummy starts to rumble.

Post-feed calm and cuddles

Post-feed calm and cuddles

When he was weighed at six days old he had lost less than an ounce – his sister, at the same stage, had dropped more than half a pound. He obviously takes after his father, who apparently actually gained weight in his first week! By his most recent check, at 13 days, Little Mister was up to 10lb 1oz, a weight it took Little Miss more than six weeks to get up to! He definitely has his Daddy’s long limbs, while our daughter has inherited my shorter ones!

But although our baby boy is bigger than his sister was, and has more hair, they do look very similar as babies. We’ve got very similar photos of the two of them, as you can see…

Spot the sibling difference

Spot the sibling difference!

Little Miss has taken her brother’s arrival pretty well for a 2-and-a-quarter-year-old. It must be hard having to suddenly share Mummy and Daddy. It probably helps that she was already obsessed with ‘dollies’ before he arrived so she now loves pretending to look after her own babies, copying the things we do for Little Mister. It’s very sweet. She has a few dolly-sized nappies and we’ve let her have a few of her old tiny baby clothes – they never fitted her ‘big’ baby brother anyway. But I constantly have to stop her stealing more of her brother’s stuff – nappies, muslins, the car seat, his bouncy chair, all of them are nabbed for her dolls given half a chance! That said, her dollies are proving a very useful distraction for when I need to change poopy nappies without a toddler’s help!

Mini me nappy changing

Dolly needs her nappy changing too!

Little Mister’s early milestones have included his first experience of water (excluding his unfortunate habit/our parenting fail of weeing in his own face on the changing mat) when he had his first bath. He was a bit angry about it to start with but since then he’s become pretty chilled in his little tub and we think he takes after his sister in enjoying a nice warm soak now.

Another milestone saw the little man being made all official when we registered his birth. He greeted the occasion with a demand to be fed while we gave all our details to the registrar, followed by a loud poo just as we were handed over his certificate!

It’s been a lovely laid back first month. Of course we I’ve had my moments of feeling completely overwhelmed – with love, responsibility, exhaustion and frustration – but I’ve surprised myself with how well I’ve coped most of the time. Looking after a newborn baby does feel that little bit easier second time around. Keeping a bossy toddler happy, now that’s the real challenge!

Little Mister 3 weeks old

Little Mister at almost 3 weeks old

Categories: Baby days, Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Introducing our new arrival… not-so-little Mister!

Regular readers may have noticed this blog has been pretty quiet of late. Well, behind the scenes I have in fact been rather busy… growing and now looking after a new addition to the Mummy’s to do list household! I’m thrilled to finally be able to introduce the lovely Little Mister, born on 1st July, weighing a not-so-little 9lb 8oz.

Little Mister collage

Unlike his early bird big sister, who conveniently timed her arrival two days ahead of schedule, our latest bundle of joy kept us waiting more than a week over his due date. But although I felt far more uncomfortable for the last trimester of this pregnancy, I was at least blissfully unaware quite how big he was and had a relatively calm (as far as these things go!) and quick natural delivery. I’d been due to be induced the day after he arrived so big cheers for the midwife that did my third sweep when I was getting really desperate!

So, we’re now back in newborn baby mode, only this time with a curious toddler in tow which can only add to the fun and games. Little Miss has so far taken it all in her stride and says she loves her little brother. She is very intrigued by it all. The latest source of wonder has been the new belly button that emerged from what she called his ‘sore bit’. And she’s been very keen to help where she can, like bringing him little toys and undoing the poppers on his babygro when his nappy needs changing. We’ve been so proud of how well she’s adapted so far. Mummy and Daddy, meanwhile, have had to get used to the technicalities of changing boy’s nappies! I’m still learning the art of this one!

Clearly I kept the news of my pregnancy under wraps on this blog. At times it was tempting to spill the beans but I decided to hold back. Before Little Miss was born, we lost our first baby five months into the pregnancy. Naturally we were devastated and unfortunately it forever changed the way we would experience our subsequent pregnancies. While we have been totally blessed since then, with two healthy babies, each of those long nine months has been fraught with fear that something could go wrong. Hence, my reluctance to share until now.

But let’s not dwell on that… this baby is finally here, Little Miss is now a big sister and our family adventures as a foursome are just beginning. Life is great – even on just a few hours sleep a night! And on that note, I’d better get to bed!

Categories: Baby days, Motherhood, Mummy memories | Tags: , | 21 Comments

Word of the Week #15

My word this week feels a little bit dull but actually sometimes humdrum is ok and is what’s needed. After a busy few weeks, life has been pretty quiet and average round our parts but I’m fine with that. So my word for this week is:

Word of the Week - Routine

Unlike many, we’re not yet at the stage where Easter half-term holidays affect us so the first half of the week was work as normal for me while Little Miss was at nursery. We’re actually planning our little Easter mini-break for the week the schools go back so we can avoid any hideously inflated prices and the crowds.

So life has just ticked on pretty much as usual this week. Little Miss continues to say more and more, and to know her own mind more and more. She has also developed a nasty cough and very runny nose, another reason we’ve not been up to too much this weekend. Our one trip out yesterday morning saw a particularly epic coughing fit which ended in a puked on car seat. So we’ve had the joys of taking that apart to wash it all out and clean the covers. Thankfully it’s only the second time it’s happened and this bout was nowhere near as unpleasant as last time! Thank you to Super Hubby for tackling the worst of the ‘pooling’ while I got away with just putting the cover in the wash. This has got to be up there as one of the more unpleasant jobs of parenthood!

We’ve also been making thank you cards for her birthday presents. We’ve used some lovely photos from her birthday weekend for these and, when she wakes up from her nap, I’m hoping Little Miss will oblige us with some little scribbles on these! Having just said that, I can hear that she has indeed already woken up from her nap. A very short nap. Much, much shorter than Mummy was anticipating. Grrrr, I blame the blasted cough! Any advice for soothing a toddler cough would be very gratefully received!

From the banging on the bars of the cot and chatting it doesn’t sound like any more sleep is on her agenda so I’m on borrowed time here! Will have to hit publish, finish my only-just-brewed cup of tea, then dash. Good job I didn’t have anything wildly exciting to report on this week then!

This post is part of the Word of the Week linky run by fellow blogger Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence. The idea is very simple, every week you come up with one word to sum up your week.

My previous words include:

Can, HappyStickersProudSpringCalm, Anticipation, Singing, Reading, and Birthdays.

The Reading Residence

Categories: Motherhood, Word of the Week | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Toddler says no!

Word of the Week #14

I’m told it happens to all parents but one of our toddler’s most uttered words at the moment is that dreaded two-letter one, usually accompanied by a whining tone. It’s…

Word of the Week - No

It seems our little girl increasingly knows her own mind and what she does and doesn’t want to do, and she now has absolutely no qualms about letting Mummy and Daddy know when something is not to her liking.

Sometimes there is logic to her negativity. When I say ‘aren’t you going to eat your cabbage?’ and the answer is ‘no’, it’s not really a massive surprise. I’m not a huge fan either but I can put on an Oscar-worthy performance of enjoying the much-maligned veg to try and encourage her to give it a go! Clearly my acting skills aren’t as convincing as I thought yet, somewhat irritatingly, her nursery has managed to come up with a vastly superior, magical cabbage recipe as apparently she willingly ate it there last week – grrrr!

Then there’s the illogical. She wants a biscuit. We offer her said biscuit. “NO!” She doesn’t want that one. But she’s quite willing to eat the next one in the packet. The same, identical biscuit!??? I’m not sure whether this was purely an act of toddler madness or a more cunning ploy on her part as we left the rejected biscuit laying on the side and  found her happily eating it about 20 minutes later!

Toddler says no!

The other phrase she’s recently adopted, that really takes the biscuit (no pun intended given the last paragraph!), is “Mummy go away!” This is most often heard when Mummy has been woken by shouting and hauled herself out of bed, with not a hope of a lay-in, to go and get the ungrateful little darling out of her cot for breakfast! And the toddler has decided that only Daddy will do that day. But Daddy is in the shower/in the loo/pretending to still be asleep!

Although I know it’s normal for toddlers go through this stage of negativity as they start to assert their independence, it has got me thinking about how we can do more to positively encourage her (probably a whole new blog post!). I’m increasingly aware of how often we say ‘no’ to her and I’m trying to make more effort to explain things differently when she does something we’d rather she didn’t. I say trying because can be it is so hard at times!

So Little Miss has been two for all of a week and is certainly testing the boundaries more now. Wish us luck!

This post is part of the Word of the Week linky run by fellow blogger Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence. The idea is very simple, every week you come up with one word to sum up your week.

My previous words include:

Can, HappyStickersProudSpringCalm, Anticipation, Singing, Reading, and Birthdays.

The Reading Residence

Image credit Digitalart/

Categories: Motherhood, Toddlerdom, Word of the Week | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

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