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CBeebies Land with the little man

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We visited CBeebies Land at Alton Towers last week for a couple of days, staying overnight at the Splash Landings Hotel.  The last time we visited was a good few years ago, so it was very different having the little man with us this time.  I’ve always loved Alton Towers, despite being a complete coward when it comes to big rides- the first time I ever visited, I went on the Nemesis first thing, and cried my eyes out afterwards.  Since then, I’ve managed Air and Thirteen, but I think I’ve pretty much exhausted the list of the big rides I’m prepared to go on.  With this in mind, I was looking forward to CBeebies Land- I figured it would be about my level of daring.  What did make me a bit apprehensive was the fact that in the time since we booked our stay, the little man has started watching CBeebies’ arch-rival Milkshake more in the morning, although he had remained pretty faithful to Bing Bunny and Dinopaws. We managed to fit quite a lot of things in around ‘Beebies Land- there was much more there than I’d expected, and we had two pretty packed days- below are my thoughts on what we did:

The Furchester Hotel  Live experience was genuine, actual magic.  We were ushered in by a bellboy, and sat on the floor of the hotel lobby.  Then the fun started- the Furchesters all appeared.  The little man’s face lit up, which was absolutely priceless- he couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and I don’t know who was more excited, him or me.  I really can’t express how good this was, although I have had Chick Swagger’s ‘Tailfeather Shake’ and the Furchester ‘Don’t Check Out’ song on a loop in my head ever since.

Justin’s House Pie-O-Matic Factory was a cross between a soft play centre and the Hunger Games.  You go in, and they give you a bag to collect ‘cherries’ – tennis-ball sized red sponges.  These ‘cherries’ can then be put into various chutes, machines and cannons.  So, you go around collecting them on the lower level of the ‘factory’, which also houses some play equipment, slides etc.  However, after a minute or two all hell breaks loose- there are lots of the cannon/gun things that you fire the balls out of, and the power to them is suddenly switched on.  You wouldn’t think that sponge cherries would hurt, but they do- I got one on the head and one on the boob within a minute, and my husband got pelted.  I hid like a coward, before making my way upstairs, finding a cannon and aiming at the dads.  This went on for about 15 minutes, which felt like an eternity.  I hated every moment, and still keep getting flashbacks. I don’t think I’d be very good at paintballing.

Charlie and Lola Moonsquirters and Greendrops- Well, this was a bit weird (though not as weird as the warzone that was Justin’s bloody pie-o-matic factory).  This seemed to be based around the book and episode ‘I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato’.  We entered Charlie and Lola’s kitchen, where the little man loved opening and closing every single drawer and cupboard (is it just my toddler that is obsessed with opening and closing cupboards and drawers?).  Then we went into another room which had a fake mountain to climb , and a ball pool filled with fake peas.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much my child loved the ball pool- if we hadn’t have carried him out, he would still be there, stage diving into it and throwing peas around. Yes, he was that child.

Get Set Go Treetop Adventure -is basically the old ‘Squirrel Nutty’ ride but tarted up with a lick of paint and a few CBeebies bugs.  It had the longest queues in ‘Beebies Land when we visited, which struck me as odd because the last time I visited Alton Towers they just about stopped short of paying you to go on it- really, nobody bothered going on.  However, it is slightly different with a little one- they like it, but to be honest it’s still pretty boring, and the little man looked distinctly non-plussed on the way round.  The fact that he tried to get out of the queue by insisting that he needed to sit in his pushchair and eat a biscuit, and needed his cardigan putting on ‘right now’ probably says it all.

Num Tums Number-Go-Round ride – not the most exciting thing in the world, but there was never any wait time in the two days we were there, and the little man loved it.  This is basically a large, very slow merry-go-round with little numtum cars for kids to  sit on.  Quite sensibly, there is an area in the middle with benches on that parents can sit on

The Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom ride was brilliant! I had my doubts about whether the little man was old enough to go on it, and he did throw a fit when they put the safety bar across his knees, but other than that it was wonderful.  It’s great that you can control the height of the Vroomster yourself- I took it all the way to the top on the second day, which was dead daring for me. Of all the things we went on, it is the one that the little man mentions the most.

Postman Pat’s Parcel Post- This was actually pretty good, although we had quite a long wait to get on it- you get to ride in one of the red Postman Pat vans.  It was a never-ending source of amusement to my husband that I tried to sit in the front with the little man and got told that the front seats are for children only- told off at CBeebies Land!! I hang my head in shame.

In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride- This was quite nice, you ride on a boat along a little river through the ‘night garden’ listening to the soothing tones of Derek Jacobi as you encounter all the various characters.  My only real issue was that the actual models of the characters were really exposed to the elements and as a result some of the characters looked very much the worse for wear.  Mrs Pontipine in particular only had one eye, and the paint on her had peeled so badly that she looked like she’d been in a bad fire.  Some of the characters on In The Night Garden are scary enough as it is… My toddler and the other kids on the ride didn’t seem to notice or mind though, so this is probably nitpicking.

The Rollercoaster Restaurant- Ok, so this isn’t a ride, but it’s worth a mention.  We went for a meal there, and it was pretty good.  It’s a bit on the pricey side for the kind of food that you get, however it is worth going for the experience of having your food delivered to your table by rollercoaster.  Yes, it’s gimmicky, but we all loved it and found it really entertaining.  To be honest, the food was actually lots better than I expected when we booked, so I was pleasantly surprised.

So that’s it- our venture into the land of ‘Beebies- we’ve come through it unscathed apart from the purchasing of merchandise and the songs still on a loop in our heads. The little man loved it- he keeps telling us about the rides he went on and saying that it’s been his favourite holiday.  He’s also now started going on about the Octonauts rollercoaster, which he’s too small for at the moment, so a return trip will be due in the future…

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Driving me potty

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Over the last couple of weeks we have been attempting something in our home that strikes fear into the heart of most parents…potty training.  I’d been absolutely dreading this due to some of the horror stories I’ve heard from other parents.  At the opposite end of the spectrum I’d been having a read online and had found a few stories of parents managing to potty train their toddler in a day.  Good for them I thought (after wondering if they were actually for real).  I was absolutely certain that such a miracle wouldn’t happen for us.

However, I couldn’t put things off much longer.  The little man will be three in December and will be starting at a school nursery in January, so he needs to be toilet trained by then.  Also, my parents look after him three days a week while I’m at work- as they’ve been away on holiday and I’ve had a fortnight off with him I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make a start- and hopefully spare them the worst of it.  The weather has been relatively warm, even on rainy days, so I’ve been able to let him run about in pants and a top in the house.

Armed with lots of pants, a rewards chart, stickers and a few rewards/bribes (plus a new bottle of gin for the evenings), I started our very own potty training ‘journey’:

Potty training day 1- Sunday – despondent doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I wasn’t completely optimistic to start with, as he’s always been hit and miss about this sort of thing- he isn’t keen on being changed if he’s busy playing, and also he’s often told me he’s done a poo after the event rather than beforehand.

What I wasn’t expecting was the sheer amount of urine that a small child can produce.  He used up 15 pairs of pants in the first day. 15.  It got to the point where I was washing some out in the sink, gripped by the fear that I might actually run out of pants ( I’d actually previously thought I’d bought too many- little did I know!)

He hated the potty, and would only sit on it a couple of times- both times met by huge amounts of support and applause, and both times fully clothed.   He couldn’t be persuaded near it otherwise.

Day one ended with no progress, and a full washing machine.

Day 2- Monday- Progress?

A wee!! In the potty!!

OK, technically he’d already started and I didn’t manage to get his pants down BUT I managed to get him onto it and actual urine did end up in the potty- which we did then manage to get rid of down the toilet.  He was very proud of himself, and loved updating his potty training chart.  He also loved sticking his first star sticker on the outside of the potty to begin decorating it.

Unfortunately, he then shat in his Mr Potatohead pants and denied all knowledge. Shortly after his successful wee in the potty, I looked over to see him with his back to me, looking out of the patio window, and with a suspicious looking bump in the back of his pants- the front matched the back. 

Day 3- Tuesday- Shitmaggedon

It was bound to happen sometime.

I wasn’t prepared for my borderline OCD toddler to actually hand me a poo though, helpfully explaining ‘mummy, a poo!’.  I then looked in his pants to see another small nut, plus another one that was a bit shy but definitely on its way out.  He didn’t seem quite as horrified by the poo situation as I would have thought-especially as he often goes into a meltdown if he gets a toast crumb on his hand.  Nevertheless I remained calm, got him cleaned up and we went upstairs and flushed away the poos together.  I made a fuss of putting him nice Spiderman pants on- earlier in the day we had gone into town and chosen some new pants together- he wanted Spiderman as he seems to like him, despite not really knowing who Spiderman actually is.

Little did I know that this was only the stopper coming out of the jar.

Shortly after, I looked over to see him with his back to me, again looking out of the patio window, and with a large and suspicious looking bump in the back of his pants.  Poor Spiderman hadn’t lasted long.

I’m writing this a fortnight later, and I still haven’t got over it. It would have been easier to have just thrown the pants away.  My husband arrived home to me almost in tears- by this time he’d weed on one of my bags too (vintage, shiny hand-tooled red leather, in case you’re wondering, so wipe-clean at least).    I explained all that had happened, and my husband called to his mums to borrow a different potty- one which is more of a seat rather than a low one (she has three kids and seven grandkids, so has lots of useful stuff ).  I was happy to try this as he really seemed to hate the potties we’d bought and was now refusing to sit on them.  As he’s tall for his age, maybe they were just too low?

I ended the day feeling really despondent, very sick and in need of alcohol.  A large gin was duly poured and consumed.

Day 4- Wednesday -Banging my head against a wall.

After the previous day’s utter horror, I was very apprehensive.  However, I was now armed with the mother in law’s super-duper potty, so I tried to be optimistic.

Things did actually go slightly better, to be fair.  I managed to get him onto the potty a couple of times when he’d already started a wee, plus he didn’t seem to hate it as much. However, I really doubted by this point whether he was ready- he just wasn’t getting it, wouldn’t sit on the potty of his own accord, and didn’t seem to know he was weeing until it was too late.  Actually getting his pants down on time seemed impossible. For every wee he did on the potty, there was at least one accident.

No poo though- every cloud… 

Days 5 and 6  Thursday and Friday- Same old

Putting these together as they were really half days- he had a pull up on for both of the afternoons as he was at nursery the afternoon of day 5 and I really didn’t want them to have to contend with a disaster.  On day 6 we went for a big walk in the afternoon, and I’ll be honest it was more convenient.   Not much progress either day- he’d gone back to not wanting to go on the potty again, screaming and running off when it was mentioned.

My husband was off these days, and I think even he seemed a bit despondent.  By this stage we just really were not sure that he was ready at all- we decided to give it over the weekend and see.

Day 7- Saturday- Light at the end of the tunnel.

Again, in the morning he wore a pullup- we needed to do the weekly shop, and really couldn’t face a dump in Aldi- it’s bad enough when he tries to commandeer the trolley and throws a strop in there.

However, later in the day progress was finally made- wees were done-IN THE POTTY, and WITH PANTS DOWN.  Finally!!

My husband and I had bought lots of little toy cars as rewards, and finally he got to have one of them as a reward.  I don’t know who was more proud- us or him.

Day 8-  Sunday – Just showing off now.

This was the day where we really seemed to have a big breakthrough- he was now willing to sit on his potty and actually try to do something- I think something had just clicked in his head and he’d realised he really was better off trying to do whatever he needed to in there.   Alternatively, maybe he’d just responded to the bribery and wanted another new car.  Whatever it was, I really didn’t care.

We went for lunch at my mother-in-law’s , risking our first short car journey without a pullup on- I had visions of us having to mop up the car seat when we got there, but it was thankfully fine.

When we got there, he loved showing Grandma his new car, and even showed off by sitting on the potty there and performing for her!   Couldn’t believe the progress made in a week, although there were still a couple of accidents.

And so on, and so on.

The upshot is that I’m now a couple of weeks into this potty training ‘journey’, and slowly but surely things have got better.  We were almost getting to the point where we were going to abandon all hope and just try again later, but rightly or wrongly we persevered and I’m glad now that we did.

We’re at the point now where the little man will come to me and say ‘mummy, I need a wee wee’ and I’ll quickly have to rush him onto his potty.  This might not seem much but it’s been huge for us, because it at least means that he’s recognising when he needs to go, and where he should go to do it.  He’s getting rewarded- little cars, the odd chocolate button and stickers- but it’s definitely been worth it-it’s what has worked for us.  We also haven’t ventured out yet properly without him wearing a pullup, so we do have that to come.  I know there will still be accidents (he did something resembling a yule log in the bath earlier today- all it needed was a plastic robin on the top), and we’ve night times to sort out too- but compared to how we started I call that progress.

So, what advice would I give based on my experiences over these past couple of weeks?

  • Buy LOADS of pants – however many you think you need, buy more.
  • Try to have the child in the house with no bottoms on- just pants. Makes it slightly easier.
  • Rewards are such a good idea. We had a reward chart-just a cheap one that we bought from The Works (https://goo.gl/4CDWLa) – lots of star stickers that he could stick on his potty, chocolate buttons and little cars.  Whatever your child loves can be used as a bribe.
  • For children that are a bit taller, I’d really recommend chair potties. Our original potty was too low for the little man to crouch down onto, and as a result he hated it.  We borrowed a Mothercare one from my mother-in-law initially, then got a very similar one from Amazon  for us to put upstairs https://goo.gl/JvUZzD plus one for my mum and dad as a thoughtful present for when they come back from their holiday- I think they might have preferred some chocolates or flowers.
  • Please don’t get despondent- easier said than done, I know. I was ready to give up after the first few hideous days, but I’m glad now that I didn’t.

 

Above all if you’re in the midst of potty training or about to start soon then I want to send lots of love and wish you lots of luck too!

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Review: EVY Sunscreen Mousse

IMG_1283When it comes to putting suntan lotion on the little man, it’s a bit like trying to wrestle a particularly slippery eel (or so I’d imagine).  Catching him is a task in itself and he particularly hates having lotion applied to him- especially the feel of it on his face.

When EVY Technology kindly sent me a sample of their Sunscreen Mousse for kids, I decided to try it out on our holiday to Cornwall.  I wasn’t aware of the brand before, but they have been developing and manufacturing sunscreen in Sweden since 1999, and launched in the UK last summer.

The sunscreen comes in a mousse form, which I hadn’t tried before- I’ve only ever used lotions and dry oil sprays on myself, and lotion on my little boy who is now two and a half years old.  As a result, I was keen to try this formula.  EVY state that ‘the unique mousse formulation is absorbed deeper into the skin rather than staying on the surface like ordinary creams.  This means the mousse stays on longer and isn’t washed or rubbed off by swimming, sweating and towel drying’.  This all sounded very promising.

The application of the sunscreen mousse was nice and easy when I mastered it properly- the first time I didn’t squirt enough out onto my hand, and the second time I had the opposite problem- I completely blame myself for this though, with not having used this type of product before.  When you squirt the mousse into your hand it feels a bit like hair mousse.  The applicator nozzle is handy, and means that there is not much waste or mess.

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The little man still ran away from me when he spotted the sunscreen mousse can, but when I caught him and started to apply it he didn’t wriggle anywhere near as much.  I think this was because it does feel much nicer on your skin than a traditional sun lotion.  When you apply the mousse it goes on white, but then absorbs into your skin very quickly and skin doesn’t feel sticky, greasy or clammy like it can do with a more traditional sun lotion.  The lotion can be used on the face as well as the body, and has been designed for those with sensitive skin, which was reassuring to me as the little man has inherited his mum’s sensitive skin and like me has had bouts of eczema in the past.  It is also gentle enough to use on children from 6 months, and has an impressive 5 star UVA rating, offering over 90% UVA protection.

We all used the sunscreen mousse on the sunny days of our holiday (unfortunately we did have some rain too, with it being in the UK!), and were very impressed.  After the first application the little man didn’t mind me putting it on him which made the holiday a lot easier, leaving more time for building sandcastles and exploring the beach.  While EVY Sun Mousse is more expensive than the sun lotions I usually use I wouldn’t hestitate to recommend it and on balance I would be tempted to purchase this in the future.

For more information including stockists, please see http://www.evy.uk.com

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Say Aargghhh!!

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Well, the little man visited the dentist today, and it’s safe to say that it didn’t go particularly well.   I shouldn’t have been too surprised though, as he has a love-hate relationship with his toothbrush at home- one day he’ll bring it to me and want his teeth brushing, then the next he’ll run around the house screaming like a banshee until I have to rugby tackle him to the floor and pin him down to brush his teeth.  I’m sure I’ve had the neighbours on the verge of calling 999 at times.

We’ve tried all sorts of things to try and improve the situation, from letting him choose his own toothbrushes (the excitement of having a Paw Patrol toothbrush!), to showing him us brushing our teeth, to reading him ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs say Raahh’ by Ian Whybrow- in which Harry takes his bucketful of dinosaurs to the dentists.

The last time we went, he refused to let them look in his mouth completely.  The nice lady dentist tried all kinds of different tactics, culminating in her blowing up a rubber glove and pretending that it was a balloon.  Knowing my child I knew that this wouldn’t work, but even I was unprepared for the withering look of complete disdain that he threw her way.    Eventually she admitted defeat, and he was booked in for his next checkup.             I don’t think she managed to actually see any of his teeth.  He did get a sticker though, which he hadn’t really earned.

Today’s visit didn’t really go much better.

Thankfully we got called in straight away, so we managed to avoid a toddler tantrum in the waiting room, however when we actually went into the room the little man looked around him and started to cry.  The lady dentist had left since the last time we visited (hopefully the two facts aren’t connected in any way, shape or form).

The downside to having been called through so quickly was that there hadn’t been a chance to swiftly steal his dummy/pacifier (known to him as his ‘dodo’) beforehand.     Yes, I know at the age of two that he probably shouldn’t still have one, and believe me we are trying to wean him off of it, but it’s a case of ‘easier said than done’ at the moment.  So, the nice new male dentist started off completely on the wrong foot with him by trying to remove it-  cue anguished shouts of ‘DODO!!’ through the tears.  I tried to hold him still in the chair , but it was a bit like wrestling a small upset octopus.

Eventually, the dentist did manage to have a look- but only at the bottom teeth which apparently were fine-phew!  During my own appointment the little man went to his Nanan  (I’d brought her along to help look after him and also to share this enjoyable experience) he played with a cuddly bouncy Tigger which was kept in the room to entertain little ones – maybe they’d worked out that turning rubber gloves into balloons didn’t always work. Unfortunately, he tried to take this with him on the way out and we had to prise it out of his little hands.

We left quickly after booking the next appointment, which I’m dreading already.  He did get a sticker though- it says ‘Great Checkup’ on it.  Oh, the irony.

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Hypnobirthing- Calm and relaxed, so calm and relaxed…

gerbera-611568_1920I’m naturally a worrier. Really, my mum has always said that if I don’t have something to worry about then I tend to find something.  Although oddly enough since having the Little Man I tend to worry about important stuff rather than silly little things- I reckon it’s because all my priorities have changed. But I digress.

One huge worry for me when I became pregnant was the birth- I know that probably sounds quite obvious!  Although I had a lovely illness-free pregnancy, there was always that fear of what was at the end of the pregnancy- basically I was terrified of the labour bit.   Try as I might to prepare by reading up on things and talking things through, there was always that worry lurking there at the back of my mind- that a miniature, melon sized person was eventually going to exit me one way or another (I used fruit comparisons throughout my pregnancy-very ‘Denise from the Royle Family’, I know. It was cute calling the baby grape, satsuma and plum- he was plum for ages- but less fun when we got to the melon stage and cold harsh reality started to settle in) .  I had nothing to compare this to, and just couldn’t imagine it, so it really gave me the heebie- jeebies.

When reading the multiple leaflets that you’re bombarded with as a pregnant lady, I came across one that mentioned hypnobirthing and gave contact details for a hypnobirthing practitioner.

I’m a pretty sceptical person really- but I figured that anything that could help me might be worth doing, so I contacted the lady on the leaflet and she gave me a call back.  When I spoke to her she gave me a bit more information about hypnobirthing- I really didn’t know much at the time and it seems to me that there have been a lot more articles about it since I had my little boy, although maybe it’s just because I notice them more.   I was struck by how calm and reassuring she was, and she put me at my ease straight away. During the conversation I decided to give it a go, and ended up booking myself and my husband onto a hypnobirthing course.  I know- he couldn’t wait to go.

We ended up going to 2 full day sessions using the Wise Hippo method of hypnobirthing- I think the aim is that they’re often 4 shorter sessions, so it was quite intensive.  Feeling a bit like a hippo myself I sank down into a comfy bean bag, wondering how the hell I was going to get up.  We were doing the sessions with one other couple which was really nice as we could ask as many questions of the hypnobirthing instructor as we liked without feeling too silly as part of a big group.  Initially we discussed our thoughts about birth and what we wanted to get out of the course- the other lady there had given birth ten years before and had a pretty bad experience, so was understandably terrified second time around.   I mentioned my fears too, and that basically I was aiming to feel less scared.  It helped that our instructor was a midwife and mum too I think, as she had lots of experience of many different births, and had pretty much seen and heard it all before.

The two day course involved lots of practical exercises based around the Wise Hippo book and MP3s- we also got access to their website to view the content on there and download the MP3s so that we could practice at home.  Our instructor took us through a variety of relaxation and breathing techniques, using visualisation, self-hypnosis and the MP3s.  She talked us through the birth process, and discussed our fears, and we watched some amazing videos of births which used hypnobirthing- I couldn’t believe how calm they were.  We also discussed birth plans, birthing positions and pain relief, and our instructor had lots of advice to share on these.

After the two day long sessions, we really embraced practicing to the MP3s.  I listened to the birthing affirmations quite often- this is a list of positive and uplifting phrases about childbirth. My husband got into practising too, and we listened to the MP3s together, practising our breathing exercises.  It was so relaxing at times that we nodded off sometimes, although quite often the little man used to go completely nuts in my stomach- or maybe I just noticed more because I was laid still for a while.

I have to say that I started doing hypnobirthing with a fairly cynical outlook, but I figured that I was so scared that I’d be daft to ignore anything that had a chance of helping me.  I can honestly say though that it really worked for me during my pregnancy- it did change my feelings about giving birth, and as quite an anxious person the relaxation and breathing techniques really helped calm me down- I find myself wishing I was so relaxed when faced with a toddler tantrum nowadays!  I don’t feel like I used it as much during the birth of my son as everything just happened so fast- I went from hardly any pain to the latter stages of childbirth extremely quickly.  Added to that he was breech (undetected throughout my pregnancy-oh joy!) and in distress, so to cut a longish story short I ended up having an emergency Caesarean rather than the water birth that I’d hoped for.  However, I do think it may have helped me to deal with early minor pains, and it certainly helped with worries during my pregnancy.  If, like me you’re worried about giving birth then it’s definitely worth a try.

 

 

 

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A hair-raising first Mother’s Day

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Well, Mother’s Day is here, and it’s been a lovely one-beautifully sunny and actually feeling like spring. It’s been a nice relaxing day involving a gorgeous three course meal with my loved ones, and most importantly no visits to hospital.

I say this, because quite a large proportion of my first Mother’s Day was spent with the little man in hospital surroundings, firstly in our local Accident and Emergency Department, and secondly at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

What could have caused all this, you might be asking?

One of my hairs.

Yup, you read that correctly.

On my first Mother’s Day the little man was three months old.  He was a little bit grumpy during the day, but as he could be at times we didn’t really think much of it.  However, by late afternoon he was inconsolable.  Nothing worked to help calm him down.  We thought that he might need changing, and that was when we noticed that the middle toe on his right foot was bright red and swollen. On closer inspection one of my hairs was wrapped so tightly around the base of his toe that it was cutting off the blood supply to the toe.  Because my hair is very fair it was almost impossible to see, and although we did attempt to remove it at home we were pretty unsuccessful-  part of the hair came away but not all of it. We couldn’t really see what we were doing properly and were scared of damaging the toe further , so we made the trip to our local A and E.

After a long wait, we were referred on to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, as our local hospital thought that the little man may have to be anaesthetised, and the Children’s Hospital has more expertise in this field. Thankfully no general anaesthetic was needed, and I was so relieved because I was terrified of him being put under anaesthetic.  Because the tourniquet was wrapped so tightly they had to cut down to the bone to remove it, and as a result my husband and I spent my first Mother’s Day night in hospital with my little one. We were squashed up in a little single bed while the little man sprawled out in a huge cot which was a far cry from the little Moses basket he had at home at the time!  He also seemed to enjoy all the attention from the various nurses that came to check on him.

Thankfully the little man healed quickly, but it is shocking to think how much damage a stray hair or thread in the foot of a sleepsuit or sock can cause.  I’d not heard of hair tourniquets when this happened.  I felt so upset, and in particular as one of my hairs caused all this it made me feel quite guilty.  However, I’ve since learnt that hair tourniquets are less uncommon than you may think, with approximately 60 cases per year in the UK alone- toes, fingers and penises can be affected.  They are linked to hormonal maternal hair loss, which is prevalent at around three months.

I know as a new mum you’re bombarded with information about dangers to your baby and I really don’t want to panic anybody but please please don’t overlook this- make sure you check socks and sleepsuits in particular.  I was so careful with everything- if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.

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What I learnt on my weekend away with the Little Man and the Big Man

  • It is easy to get lost on the way to The Bay, Filey- especially when it is dark. And, when it is dark, all the houses there start to look very similar.
  • But when you do get there, it’s totally worth it because the Nikki beach house you’re staying in is so lovely- beautifully furnished, snug and comfy- the little man settles in straight away, and starts unpacking all his chuggers (on departure we ended up doing a roll-call of the entire cast of Chuggington to make sure that we weren’t leaving any behind- Brewster was missing, but we found him at home so crisis averted).
  • The Sealife Centre at Scarborough is great, but toddlers don’t really appreciate how to walk around it in the correct direction, so we missed the seahorses. The little man also seemed to think that the climbing frame thingy was all his, then got stuck in the tunnel and needed coaxing out. He did love the penguins though, and they loved him right back-future career as the penguin whisperer?
  • The miniature railway at Peasholm Park, Scarborough is ace- the little man loved it, and in particular waving at passers-by in the manner of the Queen.
  • Lemon Twist ice-cream at Alonzi’s Harbour Bar- yum.
  • The little man loves fish and chips. Well, chips and batter scraps- the fish (being the only remotely healthy part) not so much.
  • Jaffa cakes make excellent bribes to get a toddler into a pushchair/ car seat. This would work with me too, to be fair.
  • Old Jack and Salty Dog do not live in Staithes all year round. Neither does that murderer from Eastenders, or the swinger from Benidorm.  If you go there looking for The Rainbow, your time will be wasted.  Lovely place though- nice beach (though blowing a gale and freezing on the day we visited-making an attractive hat-and-hood-up combo necessary) . Brilliant food at the Cod and Lobster, including a nice children’s menu.
  • Whitby is also very nice- I think carrying a 2 stone plus toddler who refused to walk around took the shine off it a bit for my husband though.
  • Got to watch an actual film as a couple after the little man went to bed.  Granted, we had to watch it in two sittings, but we got through The Revenant.  Great film, however we were struck by how similar it is to Stick Man, although it is about two hours longer. Proof that we’ve probably seen Stick Man too many times…
  • Filey is probably lovely, but on the day we spent time there it was cold and grey. Still, the amusements on the front were ace- most of  the little rides were from the 1990s so it was a real nostalgia fest- there’s a Balamory bus, Basil Brush’s car and Bob the Builder’s Digger. Also, the best walnut whips EVER from Sterchi’s- a tiny shop which is actual chocolate heaven- made the day much better.
  • The Little Man has now learnt to say ‘money please’ when the ride he is on has stopped and he wants another go. Uh-oh. We have considered buying a coin operated Bob the Builder digger for in our garden- it’d work out cheaper in the long run.
  • The Piebald Inn at Hunmanby has the best pie menu ever- 50 pies to choose from, and a good children’s menu too. Massively full on the journey home, but very much worth it- my husband was in heaven.