Parallel play – it’s not just the toddlers!

Parallel Play It's not just for toddlers www.mindthebaby.ie Mind The Baby Blog
Photo courtesy of www.northernhealth.ca

Fresh from a busy weekend of meeting, playing and coffee drinking*, I had a “Carrie” moment when I realised parallel play is not just for toddlers, it happens to mammies and daddies too (or mommies if it was a real Carrie moment).

Blogpost: Parallel Play, It's not just for toddlers Mind The Baby Blog www.mindthebaby.ie
Personally, I’d wear a bra with this but you get the idea

I had the pleasure of meeting up with not one, not two, but seven of my lovely friends at different stages over the weekend. We all had kids in tow, we all played and we all drank coffee but mostly we just did it alongside each other rather than “together”. Sentences were started but not finished. Questions were asked but went unanswered. And on at least three occasions, I sprang to my feet and darted across a padded floor stroke playground mid-conversation to either split up a toddler fight or scoop up a little boy who had fallen/was pushed/realised I’d dared to move my eyes away from him for five seconds. If I’m honest, I had to do this waaaay more often than my friends but sure that’s just the way my little man rolls.

I suppose this is just the way it’ll be for the next few years and I’m happy to take the learning that if I want to have a chat, I need to schedule my catch up times after 8pm and preferably with wine. All other get togethers will be strictly side-by-side play – not together play – with lots of shouting and running around. Bring it on!

*It’s a hard life I know. I also ran my first ever 5k so I think I deserved the rest of the easy weekend and Daddy deserved a lie in 🙂

Oh God, where’s Thomas?

Picture it. Bedtime on the last day of a bank holiday weekend. Two grown adults moving quickly but silently through the house, one on each floor. They search under tables, under chairs, in the toybox, under the shoerack, in the toilet, behind the couch, under the couch, in the laundry, in wardrobes, in the dishwasher, in the washing machine. Searching, searching.

A little boy wanders around after them, with a Peppa Pig soft toy in one hand and a toothbrush in the other, saying

“Where’s Thomas? Where?”

in a sing-songy voice.

He’s in his pyjamas and his sleep suit. The lights are dimmed, the house is quiet and ready for bed.

And yet still we hear

“Where’s Thomas? Where?”

The tone becomes more insistent now and starts to escalate.

Blogpost: Oh God, Where's Thomas? www.mindthebaby.ie Mind The Baby Blog
Image courtesy of www.mulberrybush.co.uk

All the while the two adults say nothing but continue their frantic search. They’re both silently whispering

“Oh God, where’s Thomas? Where’s Thomas?”

No Thomas means a pre-bedtime tantrum of the highest order, which means thirty extra minutes of cooling down time, which means sacred, special adult time – and maybe a sneaky glass of wine – is further down the track still.

“Where’s Thomas? Where?”

The bed has been striped twice. He’s definitely not stuck in the pillows. He’s definitely not hiding in a bedside locker. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Tucked up in bed, sleeping soundly means a tight grip around Peppa, a sippy cup and Thomas the Tank Engine, the new kid on the block and the current flavour of the month. Once the sandman arrives, all three are gently prised out of little hands but the sandman doesn’t come unless they’re all present and accounted for.

“Choo. Choo”

One last desperate search of the kitchen cupboards finds Thomas hiding behind some tupperware and a pestal and mortar.

The house sighes in relief at disaster avoided.

The ghosts of childless us past point and snigger in the corner.

“You eejits”

they say.

“Running around the house like a blue arsed fly. Can’t believe you’ve bought into this rubbish”.

“Shhhh, just you wait, you’ll see”

I hiss back.

“Now open that bottle of wine”.

An easy life, that’s all.

Guest blogging on the Feminist Ire

You know I always have my feminist cap on, but today I’ve donned my feminist cloak too for full effect. I’m guest blogging on Feminist Ire about my take on last week’s High Court action to compel a pregnant woman to undergo a Caesarean section.

Come on over and tell me what you think! Continue reading Guest blogging on the Feminist Ire

Bath night

It was bath night tonight. Myself and Pip had the house to ourselves so we got a nice warm towel from the hot press and ran a bath. Of course it wouldn’t be bath night without him trying to get into it with all his clothes on while it fills up and then when that doesn’t work, to plunge both hands in up to his elbows so his jumper gets soaked before I can get to him.

It’s always such a pleasure to get him in there because the giggles and messing are just infectious. You forget how much fun water is until there’s a little one to remind you.

I’ve found the only way to get him out of the bath is to pull the plug when he’s not looking and then say “where’s the water gone?”, to which he replies “where?” and put his hands up, palms upwards in a question mark. Then he tries to catch every drop before it gurgles down the drain, splashing and stamping with his toes as much as he can while holding on to me with both hands.

blogpost: Bath Time www.mindthebaby.ie Mind the Baby blog
photo credit: evilpeacock via photopin cc

I wrapped a big fluffy towel around him and lifted him out on to the bathroom floor, covering his head like a hood. He looked like such a big boy and when I started rubbing him up and down with the towel – like mammies do – he stood stiff as a board and begrudgingly let me do it, his little body all shivery from the change in temperature but also still keyed up from the excitement.

I got such a sense of deja vu right then, but from the opposite side. I was immediately thrown back to my own childhood, to standing compliantly beside baths, on beaches, behind car boots, near lakes, in swimming pool dressing rooms while my mother rubbed me up and down with a towel. I remember the little shivers, I remember biting the corner of the towel with my teeth and wearing it like a shawl before turning it into superman’s cape. Just like Pip did.

Everything changes but everything stays the same.

Being towel-dried by your mother appears to be timeless.