The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 12

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 12

by Emma Hargan
article from Friday 25, October, 2019

WHAT’S WORSE than trying to get yourself into a new routine once your toddler starts nursery? Coping with them being at home all day when they are sick. That’s what!

It took us all a couple of weeks to adjust to our new routine. Jamie has had to deal with starting pre-school, meeting new friends and teachers, new things to learn and adjust to. Lily had to get used to spending her mornings without Jamie and her nap times changing. And me? Well I had to get myself organised.

The night before was always the best time to get lunches, backpacks and clothes sorted and make sure all was to hand for the following morning. This made trying to get out of the door on time so much easier. I mean, I still had the usual stresses of getting the kids fed and dressed with all the usual fights and running nude around the house (no, not me!) but these daily jobs are made much easier when I don’t have lunches to make, clothes to root out of the tumble dryer and bags to pack.

So, six weeks down the line and thankfully we are all settled into our new daily routine. Lily has now taken to her new nap times, I don’t feel so stressed in the mornings and Jamie is getting on brilliantly as his recent report card from nursery states. I wasn’t expecting to get a report on his ‘settling in period’ but it was a nice surprise to get the lovely comments and remarks from his keyworker. Things that every parent wants to hear.

Jamie has settled in well and has no bother at saying bye to Mummy at the door’

‘Jamie happily plays with his peers…. And will role play using verbal and non-verbal communication.’

‘Jamie develops his gross and fine motor skills..’

And then the one I was anxious about…

Language and Communication: 

Jamie is developing his language skills through listening, communicating verbally and non-verbal. Over the past six weeks, Jamie’s language skills have improved and when he slows down it is easier to make out words. With continued support, this will keep improving.’

Music to my ears! I know that Jamie loves prnursery as every morning he’s excited to go in. He walks into the room with a huge smile on his face and he even sometimes cries when he sees I’ve arrived to collect him for home! (Slightly embarrassing!) So I know my boy just loves it but it’s so nice to hear and get the re-assurance that he’s actually doing so well, making new friends, joining in and most importantly for me, that his speech is coming on.

Oh yes, it was all going so well. Ha!

Last week began like any other week. I decided I would take Lily swimming in the morning while Jamie was at pre-school. Both Lily and Jamie love the water but I’m not confident enough to take them both by myself. They are still too young and I would definitely need a second pair of hands to help me with keeping up with the pair of them! One at a time is lovely, in fact it’s a doddle when I just have one of them. Lily has been to the pool before but it had been a while. I was expecting her to be like Jamie and find the changing rooms a bit daunting, the water a bit scary at first, and then throw a major fit when it was time to come out. How wrong I was.

After dropping Jamie off at playschool, Lily and I headed straight for the pool. Again, I had managed to get myself organised the evening before and had our swimming bag packed and ready to go. I had decided to take the buggy with me as I thought it would be easier afterwards. I could get Lily dried quickly, dressed and into the buggy so I could get myself dried and dressed and Lily would be safe. I had a previous swimming experience where I ended up running around the changing room chasing after Jamie with only a towel wrapped around me, when, well, you can guess. Oops! Lesson learned.

So into the changing rooms we went. It was lovely and quiet. Lily let me get her changed into her swimming costume and was happy to stand and look around while I got myself sorted and our clothes arranged into the locker so the things I needed to have quickly afterwards were easily to hand. First hurdle over with and no problems. I lifted Lily and took her float out with us and when she saw the water, her face beamed with a huge smile and she was so excited. She was even more excited when I got her into the float and she happily splashed and kicked away. Absolutely no fear whatsoever. The total opposite to Jamie. Jamie was always fine once he got in, but getting him there could be a bit of a chore!

Lily and I spent about 40 minutes in the water and then I decided I wouldn’t push my luck and I didn’t want her to get a chill. This was the moment I was most dreading, especially as she was having a ball. I quickly lifted her out of the float and walked into the changing room where I got Lily wrapped up in the towel and grabbed her clothes. Not a single cry, or whinge or moan. Lily let me get her dried, dressed and into the buggy where she sat with her juice until I was ready myself. Bliss! I thought boys would have been more fearless than girls? Maybe that’s the case, but not with my two!

We arrived home and I managed to get a washing on, the dishes away and Lily’s lunch sorted before I had to collect Jamie. Brilliant. Maybe we could do this every week now. Ah, that false sense of security again!

So, the following day and after we got Jamie packed off to nursery, Lily and I headed into the supermarket to get the week’s messages in. It didn’t take us long, and thankfully I was just in the process of loading up the car when my phone rang. It was the playschool. One of Jamie’s teachers was calling to say that he wasn’t well. He didn’t have a temperature but he was pale, tired and generally out of sorts. I said I would be ten minutes.

I threw the bags into the boot, got Lily strapped in and ten minutes passed and I pulled into the nursery car park. It was only 11am so I had no bother finding a space, grabbed a sleepy Lily out of her car seat and made our way in. Poor Jamie was sat at the door with one of his teachers and he was sobbing. My heart sank. When Jamie saw me, he ran straight over and gave me a big cuddle. I knew at that point he must have been sick as he never wants to leave nursery. I gathered up his things, signed out and bundled the two of them into the car. Jamie sobbed the whole way home.

When we got home, Lily went straight down for her nap. Jamie was exhausted but by this stage had worked himself up, so after a good dose of Calpol and a cuddle, he eventually fell asleep on the sofa. I pulled the fleece blanket over him and left him to sleep. He looked so tiny and helpless, poor thing.

An hour and a half passed and Lily woke up, which meant Jamie was up as well. Anti-Christ wasn’t the word. Jamie roared and cried pretty much the rest of the afternoon. He didn’t know what he wanted. Cuddles? Left alone? Juice? Biscuit? Nothing seemed to help or comfort him and I was so glad to see James walk through the door that evening. We had the dinner and Jamie hardly ate a thing. It was then a case of getting through to 7.30pm before bath and bed for both of them. At this stage it was clear Jamie had a full blown cold, sore throat and a chesty cough. No sleep for anyone then.

The following morning, after a terrible night of coughing, then crying and repeat, I was definitely keeping Jamie home. I phoned the nursery and explained we wouldn’t be in today. The poor wee soul was exhausted and even done out crying. I spent the morning trying to keep Jamie and Lily busy, mediating the fights and squabbles, and trying to get some jobs done. By lunchtime, I was exhausted myself and only realised it was 2pm and I was still in my pj’s. I couldn’t wait for naptime. But this was short lived. Lily by this time was starting to show signs of the cold as well. She was very grumpy and had developed a cough. Great!

By the time James came home, the two of them were crying, clingy and furious with each other. I had actually managed to throw some clothes on but there was absolutely no chance of a shower. Jamie was actually looking better and his cough wasn’t nearly as bad. I had decided to keep Jamie off another day, just to make sure.

I’m honestly not sure which Jamie is worse? The sick Jamie or the well Jamie. At least when he’s sick, he has an excuse to be whingy, crabby, fighting with Lily and generally being naughty. The well Jamie has no excuses. He’s just being a wee monster because he can!

Poor Lily was feeling rotten and of course was looking for cuddles and being clingy all day. Jamie was furious that Lily was getting more attention so tried everything to get me to focus on him. It started off with nice behaviour traits. He would give Lily kisses and cuddles to get my attention. He would say, “I love you Mummy.” He would tidy up his toys. Nice right? And it worked for a bit, until I had to lift Lily or give her a cuddle and then anything goes. Slamming doors. Roaring and shouting. Throwing toys. Pushing Lily. He was just determined to get attention – even if it was bad.

That evening when James arrived home I was fit to be tied! 

“What are you doing tomorrow?” James asked. “Are you sending him on to nursery?”

“I don’t give a toss how sick he is in the morning, he’s going” I replied.

I love my son dearly but at that point I loved my sanity more! Bad mummy alert!

The morning came, Jamie was fine and ran into nursery all smiles – as if he never missed a day. The wee devil!!

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