Monthly Archives: October 2011

The beginning of bullying

I was bullied through school, although I can’t remember exactly when or how it started. Maybe I’ve blocked it out. Maybe it was just so insignificant that I didn’t really make a memory of it.

I know there was a group of friends and I became caught up with them.  I got close to one of the girls.  Maybe the jealousy started it.  I don’t know.

I read that bullies often accuse the bully of being a victim.  This definitely happened. I was dragged into the deputy heads office accused of all sorts of horrible things against 6 other girls.  Me?!  Yes, I’m ranty.  Yes I’m a bitch NOW, but back then?! Well, I had a mean steak. We all did, but I was mostly meek and scared.  I could have said something, although my mind was so frail that I would have been totally incapable of verbally abusing anyone, let alone being a long standing bully to 6 girls who were both considerably bigger and considerably stronger than myself.

I got suspended.

That was the first time.

The second suspension came after I snapped after 3 years of being told I was skanky, smelly, had fleas, hated. I had been scratched and thumped in passing.  I had had my hair pulled, told things I don’t remember (I have blocked out a lot of things from before I was 16.)  I remember being terrified to go to school incase they said something.

Then one day, the ringleader was laid on a table in the form room.  I went in there to speak to someone else.  I was with my friend who happened to have red hair.  Ringleader relished this opportunity and thought she was being clever.  I belted her one.

Not my finest moment.

Still, I don’t remember when I went from being friends with them to being universally hated.  Sometimes I do wonder if it was me putting my foot in my mouth.  Other times I realise that nothing I did or said would have changed what happened back then. 

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I’ve got a good feeling…

On Thursday the 20th of October, I felt normal.  No unsettled tum, no panic.  Until then, I hadn’t realised just how ill I was feeling constantly.

I had two days of being able to get on with my life without having to worry about waves of nausea or groaning belly.  I ate what I wanted and filled my belly. (Belly filling was one of the causes of the nausea.)

But now my misery has returned.

I feel like there are stones in my stomach and I’m constantly on the verge of hot sweats. My tummy and bowel groan and I go from zero to hungry to sick within half an hour.

I thought it was anxiety.

We tested for pregnancy, just to make sure.  Negative.

Now I’m pretty sure there is something physiological going on as well as psychological. We’ve done a spot of research and the most likely causes are hormones and food intolerance.

Maybe this thing would be easier to deal with if I could just cut out milk for example and feel ok?  Problem is that it comes and goes so it would be hard to tell exactly what works.

Can’t I just have normal back?

Why this needs to be done

The NaNoWriMo whispers have started.

Even though in not strictly doing NaNoWriMo, I’m using the challenge as an opportunity to write something. 

I started out thinking I would write about bullying and its effects.  Then I thought maybe writing about woman things might be better and easier as it’s very prominent in my mind right now.

However I spoke to someone very special yesterday and their son is struggling.  He’s a teenager going through things that adults find hard to deal with.  As a result, I’ve gone back to my original idea and I would like to dedicate my efforts to him and his family.

You are not alone.

Failday friday

After the disaster that was bedtime Thursday, I’ve had a super shit day.

Well, actually, apart from feeling like a crappy parent, the day hasn’t been awful except…

I counted up my mat leave. I only have two weeks left then I’m officially on holiday.

Yes, shit.

So I had to speak to my boss. He wants me to go in for a meeting. Now I have to go through the motions in order to hopefully get them to agree another 13 weeks mat leave at smp.  I’m disheartened, demoralised and tired.

I just want to look after my kids, write my blog, dabble with my novel, knit, massage and look after mamas.

We can’t always get what we want. 

Bedtime battles part 2

Yes, I am a hypocrite. Aren’t we all in some way?

We managed to stop the teeth cleaning issue by letting her just clean her own teeth with added “instruction” from us on how to brush.  It appeals to her independent side.  It works. For now.

We currently have a much bigger problem.  She won’t go to sleep.

We put her in her bedroom at 7.30/8ish.  The stairgate is across the landing so she has the freedom to come and go as she pleases.  This has always been the case.  Before we’re even down the stairs she’s on the landing.

This is the second time we have been here.  Only now she climbs the bannister.  There’s a 10ft drop onto the stairs below.  This cannot happen.

It’s got steadily worse this week.  Saturday it was around 9pm she eventually stopped messing about.  Last night it was 11.30pm.  Four hours of running around, shouting, crying, going into the other bedrooms.

We have tried a lot of methods with her (she’s been in a bed a while and is going through a regression.)

The Supernanny method (putting her back in bed silently.) – she loves this.  Thinks it’s the most hilarious and fun game ever ever.  She can play for hours.  Seriously. Huge fail.  Usually she starts crying after a couple of hours so you end up doing “Cry It Supernanny.” Yeah. Bullshit.

The move further from her bed method – mummy’s in my room?  Yay mummy can play!  Again, she loves this.  A parent in her room? Hours of fun and frolics. She can talk nonsense about stuff for eternity.  This is a great way to waste a week or twos worth of evenings to no avail.

Cry It Out – I hate it.  I mean I really hate it.  We did it when she was younger because we had no choice (she would scream for two hoirs before sleep regardless of what else we did.)  The thing is, it does work.  She does eventually go to sleep.  Last night we ended up moving the stairgate from downstairs to across her bedroom door then letting her get on with it. All after I had voiced my opinions of CIO on Twitter. 

So she slept after screaming for an hour and hanging off the newly placed gate saying she’s a good girl.

There are a multitude of issues with CIO other than stress levels and emotional damage, the most telling being that it is not a permanent fix.  It can’t be.  We’ve done it before and it buys us a few months of lovely bedtimes then we’re back to the shit we had last night.

We’re out of ideas now. We’ve lost our evenings to her.  I’m getting depressed about it.  I don’t want to do CIO.  It’s the worst thing for me to hear. I need my evenings to do homework and housework (seriously, our house is a hardcore mess.  How our lodger puts up with it is beyond me!) and massages.  OH and I get no time to repair our slightly broken relationship and I don’t get to work my way through the “to finish” pile.  Then I end up feeling like Crying It Out.

Sigh.

The sleep weaning thing

Before I launch into this rant, I have to add a disclaimer.  All babies are different, not all methods will work for every baby and this is all personal opinion and not an attack on people who suggest things or chose to use certain methods with their children.

Right, I’m a little saddened I’ve had to write a disclaimer like that to be honest as health visitors wouldn’t write a disclaimer before suggesting water or a bottle before bed but there we go.

It is totally 100% normal for babies not to go through the night until…well, I’ve heard of some kids not going through until 18 months or beyond.  Mind you, think about it, do you sleep all the way through with no moments of waking?

My son does not go through the night.  We sometimes get 6 hours, but mostly it’s around 4 hours and it’s consistent. He is a breastfed baby.  He has had 3 or 4 puree meals (no excuses, we tried it) and he is 21 weeks old.

I moan about not sleeping.  I’m allowed to.  I’m exhausted. But this does not mean I don’t accept the above.  As much as I bitch about living on 5 or 6 hours of broken sleep a night I accept that O is waking and he needs feeding or comfort.

I know he needs feeding or comfort because he can self settle.

So, if he wakes me I know it’s because he needs me.  And he needs me 2 or 3 times a night.  Not too bad considering life is still pretty new to him.

I’m sure everyone has heard “he’s feeding too often, time to wean.” Or “if you feed him solids he will start going through the night.” Or “when he wakes up, give him some cooled boiled water.” Or, my personal favourite “try giving him a bottle before bed.”

As above, if these methods have worked for you then hurrah! But my instinct just…well, I’ll run through them. (I only know about breastfed babies.  The formula thing is alien to me.)

“He’s feeding too often, time to wean him.”

The boy loves food.  He loves booby and he adores cuddles and kisses and fuss.  My girl likes to cuddle too.  O watches us eat with fascination.  He loves it.  If he’s offered a spoon, he launches himself at it with gusto.

He also has an immature gut. 

When we weaned The Toddler, we started at 16 weeks with puree. I was desperate to stop feeding her every couple of hours.  Weaning went ok until we had a tummy bug and then she had awful constipation.  I don’t just mean not going for a few days, I mean straining and screaming.  When she finally did go, it was like a yellow paste. I would have to sit on the floor with a towel and nappy under her, rubbing her tum, pedalling her legs and wiping her sore bum while she tried to push out the solids her body wasn’t ready for.  It was pretty horrific.

So after we gave O some puree which caused him not to go, I’m reluctant to carry on.

He doesn’t feed too often.  He nurses. He does it for comfort, because it calms him, because it soothes a sore belly, because he wants cuddles, because he needs a drink.  It’s not just about filling his tum up…

Which actually brings me nicely onto point 2.

“Weaning will make him sleep through.”

I’m sorry, but will it?! I’m fully weaned and even when I’m not in demand and not pregnant I still wake up in the night!  I still get up for a drink at 4am.  Sleep is not a hunger/weaning problem.  Babies wake up at night.  If you feel your baby is waking more than they should, then address this with your GP.  People wake for a multitude of reasons from hunger and thirst to sleep illnesses such as sleep paralysis (which I get) and sleep apnoea.

“Just give him a bottle of water when he wakes.”

Again, breastmilk is for thirst as well as hunger.  Water may quench his thirst but it’s not going to help if he wants to nurse because he has had a bad dream. I just don’t understand what good bloating him with water will do.

“Give him a bottle of milk before bed.”

I love this piece of advice. I’ve heard two mums discussing this at playgroup.

Mum 1: she started giving him a bottle before bed and he slept through.

Mum 2: aww, that’s good.

Mum 1: yeah, she was starving him feeding him breastmilk through the night.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!

I almost said something.

Formula is harder to digest. This is a fact.  So, what happens is yes, baby sleeps better but it makes their bellies work harder.  Personally, I don’t like going to bed after a huge meal. So this piece of advice makes me cross. I’m not going to fill up his little tum with formula just to make my life easier.  He cluster feeds to prepare for a night.  My milk is bloody good stuff.  There’s no reason he should give this up.

We also have experience of the bottle before bed thing. We were absolutely desperate to get the Toddler to sleep and stop screaming (she had pretty terrible colic) so we gave her a bottle before bed.

Not only was I uncomfortable so didn’t get to enjoy her sleeping, she went down well, then woke up a couple of hours later screaming and covered in milky vomit.  Needless to say, we won’t be trying it with O.

So yeah.  Rant over.  And breathe.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Pretty much sums up my Toddler.

It’s also currently her favourite piece of music.

It all started a few months ago when OH and I caught the Spaghetti Western Orchestra performance on TV.  We enjoyed it so much we hunted the album down on Spotify and put it on during dinner (we like to add music to our meals.)

The Toddler began to refer to it as “Cowboys”, then ask for it whenever we sat down to eat.

Now she is obsessed. 

She sings along.  She shouts “I -E I E IIII…wah wah wah.”  She watches the video around 20 times a day in my phone.  She likes A fistful of dollars (“I love this one mummy!” ) and falls asleep to Once upon a time in the West.

She has never seen a Western movie.

If you have seen a Western movie (and even if you haven’t) I recommend checking out these guys on Youtube.