Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Day she's been waiting for for a year

The excitement knows no bounds. She's been waiting for this day for weeks, no months. There's been a count down and a whole range of ways of saying that she's not just 5, but something approaching 6, including 5 and four quarters (no, that's the same as 6 - no it isn't - yes it is, believe me, I know maths - no it isn't, it says 5 so it can't be). For 6 years, we've been waiting for the daffodils to mark the day, this year the only daffodils in bloom are in the house and contributed to the excitement. How very special though to have a white birthday!

So here she is, a tall 6 year old already bursting out of her first school clothes, two milk teeth gone and replaced with teeth to last her a lifetime, a girl in charge of her own (this is my party and I can invite anyone I like, sure I can? This is my body I can wear what I like).

A girl who understands that this year there won't be a cat because her little sister is oh so very scared of animal of any shape and form.

Full of contradictions too - so very shy with people and children she does not know or who come in large groups, and so confident socially with those she does know. A child who can spent hours on end practising her skipping, her hearts or princesses but who won't sit still ever for her food. A girl with endless energy who is never ever tired at the end of a long day but can't get herself out of bed in the morning.

A girl who'd rather spend a day with her sister than one with just her mum or dad, who still rather plays with her sister or her parents than any toy. A girl who is forever on the lookout for something new and exciting and finds it rather boring to go to school 5 days a week (who can blame her).

A girl who has the most beautiful hair which she won't have cut but still longs for curls (and I totally know what she means, I also still long for curls). A 6 year old who still loves her cuddles and doesn't get nearly enough because her little sister is oh so jealous of cuddles, yet she always understands and shares them.

A girl who turned my life around and made me learn so much. A girl who personifies exuberance, who doesn't do things by half.

Have a magical sixth birthday my wild, smart and beautiful child.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

No synchronicity

Snowflake has always had slightly weird sleeping patterns. Not one to settle easily in the evening, we went with the flow and she would doze in the living room until I went to bed and then sleep quite well. It was always hard getting her to sleep before 11pm, but eventually, we got there, with a lot of staying with her, letting her sleep in my bed and at Christmas, she moved in with her sister into her Hello Kitty bed (where she falls asleep with mummy beside her).

Now we have a more appropriate bedtime routine, appropriate for a 6.30am start to get the kids to childcare and me into work for 9am.

Nightweaning was a longwiding process and I hoped it would bring sleep through nights. Not so. Like an internal Swiss clock, Snowflake wakes at 4am and transfers to our bed, which is fine. However, recently she's taken to not sleeping properly after that.

Which would be fine if I went to bed earlier than 1am. I know, it would be the reasonable thing to do to hit the sack at 10pm or something like that. Alas, my most awake time is between 10 and 1am. I've tried to go to bed early, I can't sleep. So I fall asleep at 1am and get woken at 4am, which sounds pretty serious, but actually, I don't feel as bad as it sounds. That doesnt' meant that I don't need more sleep, I do, I am left without energy at the end of the night and don't manage more than watch iplayer or spend too much time on facebook. I don't like what I've become in the evenings, a total couch potato so much unlike my own self. I can't even be bothered to blog anymore. And if that isn't serious, I don't know what is.

So now that I've managed to get Snowflake into a decent bedtime routine, any tips how to get myself into one? I could even get up with her at 4am and use that time rather than spend hours of my life unsuccessfully trying to coerce her back to sleep.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My name is Cartside and I let my daughter sleep in a blue cot

As Snowflake gets older we're slowly but surely passing on all things baby stuff. I'm not one to just throw things out, most items are in perfect condition and I could never just bin it, so I try my best to find someone who could make use of it.

This has led to the odd chuckle.

I must be a really bad mum. Imagine, I let my girl sleep in a blue cot. Oh my. And I prevented her from falling out of the bed with a blue bed guard. Oh the shame. (I still live in hope that there's redemption for me because both were actually hardly used at all.)

Now, I'm totally resigned to the choices my girls make, and Cubling is pink ballerina princess incarnate. We have so much pink in the house it makes me sick. But it's ok I tell myself (although I'm very tempted to rid ourselves of the chair with her name on it that says "I want to be a ballarina, pop star, stewardess, nurse), she loves pink and is just a lot more girlie than I ever was. Thankfully her sister happily declares she's a boy because she's George and her big sister is Peppa. That's fine too, I quite like to pretend I've got one each occasionally.

But it seems that I live in a land where pink and blue aren't optional but compulsory. You mustn't dress your girl in anything not pink. You mustn't use any toy that is not pink. You mustn't use a blue cot. A colleague introduced her new baby girl who was dressed in something blue and everyone assumed it was a boy. It wasn't baby blue, it was a colour that to me didn't shout out boy and I'd never have made a gender assumption based on the colour of that outfit, so much so that I noticed the various people surrounding her that did call the baby "he".

You see, I'm trying to sell or give away the stuff and have offered things to people desperate for them, only to be told, sorry I have a girl so was really looking for something pink?

People of the kind responding to my gumtree and netmums adverts, I have 2 (TWO) girls and I'm sick to the bone of pink, I promise you your daughter will not even notice they are sleeping in a blue cot or are kept inside the bed by a blue bed guard. I'm not just being terrorised by my older daughter now, but also by fellow mums who I would have thought would be as tired of the omnipresent pink as I was. It's a pink army out there, I tell you.

I mean, I'm really not trying to make a point of clothing my girls in neutral stuff. They wouldn't wear it. I'm not radical and totally ride the wave of my girls' preferences which very often are pink to my dismay. But I'm really surprised that fellow mums have subscribed to the pink marketing to this extend. Welcome to the kingdom of pink. By extension, how can we expect our daughters to choose anything other than what offer them in the pink world of toys and equipment. They will go for the fluffy pink underpaid and undervalued jobs, eventually realising that those don't pay enough to justify staying in work only to become financially dependent and end up on low pensions, on benefit or in low income, insecure jobs. They will choose to want to become nurses rather than doctors and stewardesses rather than pilots. Then have children and leave the job market. And so we perpetuate the gender pay gap and gender inequality, as well as the outcomes of our next generation because maternal education levels are the single most important indicator of educational outcomes of children.

Brave new world that has such pink people in it.



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