Village people

You see I find it much easier to write posts when I don’t have to!

This article had me pining for life in a commune. Maybe it could work in London in one of those garden squares in Notting Hill, where instead of houses having huge gardens they have small ones and then a large communal garden in the middle. When I was little we used to visit some cousins who lived on one and it was like having a park of your own to play in. Now where did I leave that £4.25 million?

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Choosing childcarefully

Apologies for the lateness of this post, I have no excuse beyond it’s summer!

Now I am officially within three months of returning to work, it seems the time had come to retrieve my head from where it was firmly wedged in the sand and work out what on earth we are going to do about childcare for Elphie.

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Photo credit: The Telegraph

So the options are nursery, childminder, nanny or a combination of the above.

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The big one… part II

Pip’s birthday swiftly followed Elphie’s and accordingly, I have been reflecting over the past year. It’s true what they say: I don’t think anyone ever thought the first year of their baby’s life went slowly! Of course, there have been slow moments… very slow moments, but on a day to day basis it has gone by in a blink.

first birthday cookies

I second all of Elly’s advice and have a few bits of my own to add…

1. Go out every day

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Meanwhile, back at the cat basket

Apologies for the lateness of my post: I promise to get my words of wisdom to you as soon as I can. In the meantime, here is the story of an amazing mother who is an inspiration to us all. Not only breastfeeding her triplets – considered quite challenging enough by many – she also took on a newborn from an entirely different species!

Warning: ensure waterproof mascara is in place before reading.

kittens and puppy

The big one

So Elphie turned one! I don’t know how it happened, but somehow a year has flown by and my premature baby is on the cusp of becoming a toddler.

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Photo credit: Punchbowl

I didn’t really expect the first birthday to feel like such a milestone, but it did. It was quite an emotional day, not least because Elphie burst into tears at being presented with her birthday cake. It certainly feels like a good chance to think back over the year and pass on my “wisdom” to those that come after me so they can steadfastly ignore it as we all do.

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Cover up

I met a potential babysitter today, she seemed to be a nice lass without an affinity to Gina Ford so I think it could work. The only red flag perhaps was her attitude to breastfeeding in public, where she thought full breast exposure was unnecessary and that more discretion should be involved. I tried to explain this was because we were the product of a society that has oversexualised breasts for the benefit of the male hegemony, but I am not sure she bought it. Perhaps I should send her this article instead…

Please be seated

“Car seat” was on the list of things to investigate during our last visit to the Baby Show back in February. I had a vague idea that Group 0 got too small at around 9 months old and you were then supposed to move to a forward-facing seat, so although Pip was only 7 months it seemed like a good plan to see what was out there. As it happened, we were encouraged by two separate experts (at Maxi-Cosi and Britax) to use our current car seat (which as it turns out is actually Group 0+, so lasts a bit longer – till around 15 months) as long as we possibly could. The reasons for this seemed to be twofold:

  1. Rear-facing infant car seats are safer in general;
  2. New safety regulations are currently being phased in, so we should wait and buy one of the new, safer seats which are rear-facing until age 4.

As you do, we then forgot about the car seat thing for a while. We don’t really drive much and I have in fact only ever driven twice since having Pip; both of these were 10-minute hops to the garage down the road and one of them didn’t even involve him at all as my parents were coincidentally staying so babysat him. This hasn’t been a conscious decision (as in, “OMG now I am a mother I am incapable of getting behind a wheel”). It is more a combination of several things, such as our daily activities involving 90% walking and 10% public transport, and the fact that Mr Cath prefers to drive so unless we are going on a particularly long road trip, which we haven’t done since becoming parents, he does it all.

baby on board

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Mind the gap

Recently, more and more people have been casually mentioning/joking about the “Next One”.

Pip has only just turned 11 months old, but is bigger than most of his contemporaries, including many who are walking (he’s still 98th percentile for height) and I think my well-meaning commentators are starting to see him more as a toddler, i.e. old enough to be a big brother.

age gap

While understanding that conception is a miracle and we are incredibly fortunate to have been blessed with one child, it is fun to speculate about when the next one might arrive – if it does, of course. Just because we have little or no control over this doesn’t stop me wondering… it’s like being pregnant and fantasising about whether the bump is a boy or a girl.

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