Monday, July 8, 2013

The tiny dictator grows up

I've previously mentioned here that I have become a fraudulent sort of 'hippy attachment parent' despite having very defined ideas about what kind of parenting styles I would use but too be honest, I embrace almost all the tags that make me a hippy attachment mummy. I know there are some people that question my choices and I have felt their disapproval but I have only one philosophy now when it comes to parenting and that is to do whatever works best for your family that is in the best interests of your child.

E and I are still on our breastfeeding journey at almost 13 months, he co-sleeps half the night with either S or me or us both, I feed him to sleep, pick him up and cuddle him when he cries and approach everything with a view of what is best for E - writing it down in black and white though, none of this sounds like a hippy approach, just being a responsive mummy I guess. I really couldn't care less what others think of how we parent E but I have other friends who are struggling with feelings of judgement on bf past 12 months, feeding to sleep, co-sleeping etc and I feel for them having to feel they need justify their choices.

I have considered weaning many times over the past 6 months but I really haven't been ready and more importantly, neither has E. E very much relies on bf to calm, settle and comfort and I don't want weaning to be a traumatic experience where he may feel punished that it is being taken away. We discussed going ahead with weaning at around 11 months as I am not getting a lot of sleep from 12am to 6am when E wants to comfort but pulled back as he became unwell. Now that he is a little bit older and understanding us much better than even a month ago, we are now waiting for the right time to start as I do want a bit of a break before trying for baby #2. Once he is settled with a new and big change to his schedule, we will put weaning back on the agenda to act upon.

To this end, in big news, E starts daycare this week and I am both very excited and nervous! We have found a wonderful centre that while not entirely local, is easy enough to get to and close to my sister enough to be convenient. I visited about 4 centres, ruled out 2 (nice enough but not exactly welcoming/as energetic as I would like and to be honest, a little grubby not messy, grubby), one that came highly regarded from friends but with a huge wait list and this one that my mum, sis and I fell in love with. The centre itself its gorgeous with lots of emphasis on holistic and natural outdoor play. The staff were all enthusiastic and friendly, the rooms a great size and well equipped and the outdoor play areas amazing - mounds, forts, trees and rocks, herb & veg gardens, chickens, wooden cubby houses, dirt and grass. The centre also has great security, provides some meals and all nappies - a big help when I will have to be getting E and I ready for the day instead of dropping him to Grammy in his pjs for brekky. I'm a little nervous because I've only ever left him with family but he is such a super social and inquisitive little boy and I know he will love this new experience given a chance. S is taking him for a play tomorrow then I will take him in and stay for an hour or so on the big day and my mum will pick him up early so we will have a period of orientation to get him used to the experience and do this for a few weeks if needed.

The 'Tiny Dictator' is truly growing up! E is known in our house affectionately as  'The Boss' or 'The Tiny Dictator'. Taking after his mummy and daddy, he is strong willed and has a bit of a temper... and not a lot of patience to speak of. He is also affectionate, has a great sense of humour and pretty extroverted. He loves my mum's 2 maltese dogs and other bubbas - especially my niece Hayley whom he plays with twice a week at my mums, and my 6 month old niece Lillee whom he sees a few times a week and is oh so gentle with, patting her head and letting her chew on his fingers.

This past week alone, he has mastered his shape sorter toys much to my amazement (although he does get frustrated and has thrown a few tantys over the star) and is always babbling away about 'gogs' (dogs) 'uh-uh'ing' the naughty cat across the road, bubbas and mum mum mum. He knows a few songs too and can do the actions to 'Heads and Shoulders' touching his head and clapping at the right time and 'Open shut them' with his fists and the clapping. His big favourite though is 'Dr Knickerbocker' and he nods his head from side to side or stamps his feet to get us singing. E loves stories too and will sit patiently in my arms or laying on our bed, both of us on our backs while I raed to him - his favourites are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, On the night you were born (most beautiful book I've ever read) and Love you forever ... they are all stories I have read to him since birth and its like he remembers them, smiling and talking while I read.

He seems like such an independent little boy now as he goes about his playing but at night time when he cuddles me and I cuddle him, nursing before bed or snuggles at 2am, I am reminded that he is still a baby too and needs me as much as I need him. I guess that's why I am in no rush to wean or have him sleeping on his own or miss out on those opportunities for cuddles because before too long, one day very soon, he isn't going to need me so much or want me to cuddle him. In the space of time, I have a very short window to enjoy the unlimited cuddles, nursing and bedtime snuggles so I intend to make the most of them while I can as I know so many other mummies are.


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