This Mummy Can: Talks Shorts for Girls

As soon as we were gifted that glimpse of sunshine the other week I rushed upstairs and dug out Scout’s summer stash of clothes. She spent the rest of the day in little shortie dungarees from Kite which were adorable but when it came to dressing her for nursery the next day I was caught short. Literally. Scout regularly goes through 4 outfits a day at nursery and comes home covered in paint, mud, grass, pasta sauce….you name it! So she needs shorts that will be able to withstand her rough and ready nursery. 

I dashed to the city centre to pick some up. We usually leave a bag of outfits at nursery as well as packing some spare bits and pieces in her bag so I wanted to grab a few pairs under a tenner to last the season. 

First stop Primark…I headed for the girls section only to be faced with suer-short tiny frilly shorts made out of the thinnest cotton. Totally wrong for wear and tear. If it wasn’t for her nappy she’d have a permanent wedgie.  So I headed to the boys section. We often shop in the boys section of high street shops but all I found in Primark was cameo style shorts or very boyish tracksuit ones. Again not really suitable for what I was looking for. I generally don’t shop in Primark because of their ethical policies and this was the final nail in the coffin.

H&M wasn’t much better. The girls shorts were too high on the leg and flimsy (although some cute patterns) and the boys were too dark, dull and wide. We did find a stripy cotton pair in the baby girls H&M Conscious range which we nabbed and a pair of light blue ones in the baby boy section. Sadly the blue ones were too wide for my skinny girl but the stripy ones were great. But why were so many of the older (18 months plus) girls shorts so sexualised? More like hot pants than shorts… how is this ok? 

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H&M baby boy’s shorts 

Next stop was M&S. Trusty M&S. Their new summer kids collection is bright, colourful and soft. I loved so much of it. If Scout didn’t have so many amazing summer pieces already I could have totally gone a bit nuts. Anyway, back to the reason why I was there…shorts wise we found a lovely navy pair with a fish pattern on which Scout instantly loved which was teamed with a hot pink version. Two pairs for £10. Good value for money and lovely soft material. Would rather the second pair weren’t hot pink but as this is for nursery I thought I’d let it go! Sadly the 18-24 month pair which we bought fell straight down on Scout but I may keep them for later on in the summer when maybe she’ll fill out a bit! 

 

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Marks and Spencer’s girl’s shorts £10 for two pairs 

 

Last but not least we hit Zara. I bloody love Zara kids. I can just about squeeze myself into the kids sweatshirts (did anyone see the awesome Lisa Simpson one they did recently? Love at first sight) but my wife, Kate, can fit into any of it and has some gorgeous pieces from the kids section such as playsuits, cardigans and skirts. She’s 5’1 and a size 10 in case you’re wondering. Anyway, I always want to spend a fortune in Zara… the clothes also seem to suit Scout’s skinny but long-legged frame. 

After avoiding the denim high legged shorts we found what we had been looking for – trendy, unisex, soft, practical shorts with a draw string. We picked out a couple of pairs that really suit Scout. Sadly I couldn’t find them in her size but I’ll order online or head back in a few days to hunt them down. 

It seems crazy that it’s so hard to find practical shorts for girls. Obviously I only saw a selection of each of the shop’s collections so perhaps I missed some, but it still feels as though there’s a lot of ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys going’ on not to mention this whole trend of little girls dressing like pop stars. Obviously this isn’t the case for every shop but I would like to see more girl focused practical shorts for sale. 

We did find some perfect shorts not on the high street for Scout from Little Loves Cornwall which were a higher price than I’d choose to pay but they’re perfect, ticking all the boxes of not too girly, practical, trendy and soft. Would love to hear any recommendations that you may have!

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This Mummy Can: Hates Being Disabled

I hate being disabled

Having lived with my disability for more than half my life now, at the ripe old age of 33 I’ve somewhat come to terms with my disability. I know my limitations. I know my abilities. I know what I need to do to cope and I know what to do when I feel like I’m not coping. I see the GOOD in my disability – I see how it’s made me a more empathetic person. I see that it’s given me a certain insight that I would never have had before. I see how it’s made me more creative in my approach to life. I see how it’s made me more interesting as a person.

Yet today I do not feel like this. Today I hate being a disabled person. Today I feel terrible.

For a quite a few years now I have been working on building my career and my business in television and it is a job that I do for the love and passion of it. The way I work means I don’t make much money out of it, but I am ok with that because the programmes I make change people’s perceptions of issues like disability and homelessness and ethnic minorities and all that stuff that MATTERS. But I want to build my career further and I have had my eye on a high-profile training scheme to help me to do just for a couple of years now. Last year I sucked up my anxieties and applied and, despite a rigorous interview process, somehow managed to get on and the last few days we began the training.

The training is amazing. The training is intense. We have had three days of leadership skills, getting in front of some of the most important people in television, masterclasses and more. And this is only the beginning. The scheme lasts for a year and we have blocks of time together like this regularly throughout the year.

The first day was tough but doable (mainly I guess because it was only half a day!) but yesterday was a killer. Some part of me over the last few years have wondered if I’ve actually been getting better – my bad days have been less, my ability to cope seems to have risen. However, yesterday made me realise that this isn’t the case. What I have actually done is spent years and years crafting my life around what I can and cannot do in order to avoid the ‘normal’ way people work which cause me huge problems. And yesterday I had to do a day of being ‘normal’ and it almost killed me. The day was long, it was in a cramped room where we had to sit for most of the day and then it ended with networking.

For a day and a half we got told how important networking was and how it is the key way to making contacts and getting jobs. So 6pm rolled around and I was already feeling in so much pain it was awful, but then I had to go and network. And of course networking is done standing up. People might say ‘well you can sit down’… yeah I probably could have but have you tried sitting down at a party where you need to talk to lots of different people who are standing up? It is a nightmare – I didn’t bring my wheelchair (should have done but that brings different challenges during these kinds of things) so I would have been sat on the edge of the room and then… wait for someone to come and talk to me? Or try and drag someone over then explain why I have to sit down and then have that awkwardness of when does the conversation end. URGH. It is the worst.

Not living in London the three of us decided to stay at Holly’s mums flat which was really kind of her, however it is located up two flights of stairs. On a good day I can do this once. On a bad day I could not do this at all. So I ended up climbing up the stairs on a combination of my bum and my hands and knees.

I have designed my life around what I can do, but when I am supposed to fit in with what most people do I realise just how disabled I am by ‘normal’ life. Going back into training today was one of the hardest things to do, and at the end of the day I had to take my daughter back home on the train up North while Holly went off to work. As I got on the train I just cried – pain was getting in the way of me being a ‘normal’ mum to Scout. It was getting in the way of being a ‘normal’ person on the course. It constantly gets in the way of doing a ‘normal’ job.

Tomorrow I will pick myself up and look again at how I can be positive again, but for now I hate it. I hate my disability.

 

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This Mummy Can: Doesn’t Love London Anymore

Dear London,

I don’t love you anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had 18 wonderful years living in your crazy city. I met my wife, had my kidney transplant and gave birth to my baby all within the North Circular.

But recently I’ve slowly fallen out of love with you… it’s wiping black snot from my daughter’s nose, it’s having our car broken in to 4 times in a year, it’s Kate’s disabled badge being stolen, it’s Scout’s bag being nicked from outside our front door, it’s heaving a buggy up flights and flights of stairs with no one offering to help and the lift being broken for months on end (yes, King’s Cross – I’m looking at you.) It’s the speed people drive down our road scratching and knocking our car as they do, it’s the insane prices for coffee and nursery… £100 for a day for child care? Well, I might as well not go back to work. It’s getting on the bus and not knowing what kind of person is going to leer at your or your baby, it’s the hideousness of traffic, parking, oyster costs. It’s not being able to afford or get tickets for anything that you want to go to. It’s not being offered a seat on the tube as you carry you heavily pregnant belly and wipe sweat from your brow.

London is a waiting room. A waiting room for people to meet their spouse, to shake off dating and clubbing days, to get on the career ladder, to while away your twenties eating takeaways and drinking wine in cheap bars, staying up all night, spending way beyond your means but not caring. Then one day if you are lucky enough you give birth to a tiny precious bundle. One you would give your whole life up for in a heart beat. And you start to see London in a totally different way… a darker way.

Like a protective Mama Bear I feel I need to get out of London, taking my girls with me, for a better life. For more space, cleaner air, an affordable lifestyle. Stairs! A garden which isn’t the size of a matchbox.

Goodbye London. I’ll never forget you.

This Mummy Can Move…?

I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about how being on holiday had made me realise how much our life was enhanced by some fresh air, space (inside or out) and sunshine and how it made been making me question whether we should stay in our tiny 2 bed flat in Stoke Newington, Hackney… I received lots of lovely replies – some telling me that they were thinking the exact same thing and others reassuring me that these are normal thoughts to have on holiday and I’ll go back home and realise how much I love our tiny flat and forget all thoughts on moving. Expect we didn’t… 

And here we are a couple of weeks later putting our much loved flat on the market and are currently in search of new pastures… we don’t even know exactly where we’ll move yet let alone the exact property. It all feels a bit mad to be honest but we know with our ever expanding family (more cats anyone?) that we need more space and we need it now. I’m also desperate to live in a cleaner area, with better air and better schools – all things that I hadn’t really thought about pre-baby but when I wipe scout’s nose and her snot is black I wonder what the hell I’m doing bringing her up in such a built up polluted area. 

We’ve made a wish list of all the things we want in a new property and some of them are fairly ridiculous (ie. Kate’s wish for a swimming pool, dream on babes) but others are more sensible such as bi-folding doors, a kitchen island, a nice garden, quiet street and within walking distance of shops and park. Surely we can find somewhere right? Add in the fact that Kate is keen to move up north to be near family and I want to move down south to be by the sea and we’ve got ourselves a fairly interesting conundrum. Watch this space! 

This Mummy Can Talk about Periods

By Kate

Should I leave my tampons out when my dad comes to stay?

My mum and dad have been coming over to help us out with Scout more regularly since my mum retired in April which has been just brilliant and a total life-saver at times. But we live in a tiny flat in London and our bathroom has very little storage space in it, so when either Holly or I are on our periods then sanitary towels and tampons are left out on top of the toilet. As a two (well, three but only two menstruating) female household this means the sanitary products are in use more than normal and they are therefore out for all to see more regularly.

Generally when people come over we have a good tidy up and everything gets put away nicely before they arrive. And this used to be the case with my parents. However, now they’re coming over more regularly to help with Scout-care, do I need to be tidying them away?

When I was younger I used to be super embarrassed about my periods. I didn’t tell anyone when it started because I was so embarrassed – yet I forget to put my (clearly stained) knickers away so they were found by my mum (or maybe Dad although the thought of that when it was happening as so awful that I pushed it away and decided it must have been mum that found them) and she gently and kindly said she knew I’d started and why didn’t we go and talk about how to deal with it all. Mum was great of course but she also had an attitude of ‘we don’t talk about these things’ that I assume was passed down from her mum. In fact I remember vividly once when I was on my period and I left the sanitary towel packet out, we had a plumber come over and he (shock horror) saw the packet when my mum was in the bathroom with him. Mum (who was no doubt stressed from work) got very cross and told me and my older sister how embarrassing that was for her and would we PLEASE learn to tidy up after ourselves. It was this kind of attitude that made me hide my period-related-products away. No man wants to see that! Perhaps no woman either! It’s private! It’s gross!

Which leads me onto my Dad. He was always a bit of an enigma about things. He’d never talk about periods and ladies things. But he also didn’t necessarily avoid them. It just was something that would never come up in his presence. However when I was about 26 I was very suddenly and dramatically diagnosed with endometriosis (a problem where the lining of the womb gets really thick and goes to different places where it shouldn’t be and causes very heavy and bad periods). This led to my parents being suddenly thrown into a world of periods and blood and looking after me and my vagina. It also led to me suddenly having to get used to every Tom, Dick and Harry having a little peek up inside me whenever they fancied it (ok, maybe not quite like that but it felt like it at the time). All of a sudden the embarrassment and shame surrounding it all vanished – almost in an instant. And I began to have a bit of fun with it…

While I was recovering from various operations my Dad would come home at lunchtime to look after me and ask how I was doing and I took a slight delight in telling him exactly how I was feeling. When I was bleeding I’d get my horrified Mum in to have a look to see if she thought what was happening was normal. Part of me enjoyed seeing my mum and dad so uncomfortable at my new-found lack of shame, but part of me also enjoyed this new freedom. I suddenly didn’t care what people thought, I didn’t worry about people knowing if I was on my period or not and it felt like a weight had been lifted off me.

But as I’ve got older and had a girl of my own I’ve been thinking about how I want her to approach her periods. Of course I’m not going to throw her (much as I may want to) a ‘you’ve got your period’ party when that day happens. But I want her to see the sanitary products around the house and understand that it’s a normal part of growing up. Something not to be scared of or avoided or ashamed of. But then I’d also want her to be respectful of us as her parents, and if my sanitary products make my Dad feel uncomfortable then perhaps I should in fact be respectful of that and put them away. What would you do?!

This Mummy Can has a ONE YEAR OLD!

So we survived the first year of parenting! And wow, what a rollercoaster it was! All the cliches are true that it goes by in a flash as I seem to barely remember Scout’s newborn days and it feels like this chatty, feisty, funny toddler has always been here. I put together a little video using a fantastic app that I can totally recommend called 1SE which enables you to put together a clip of 1 second from every day of a year (or longer, or shorter!)

You can watch Scout’s here (and please subscribe to the channel as I promise I’ll update it with some other lovely videos.)

Here are also some portraits of the birthday girl on her big day.

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This Mummy Can – Top 10 products we used and loved in Scout’s first year

This week has marked some pretty major milestones in Scout’s life as we approach her first birthday on Thursday.

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Firstly she took her first steps the other day which was quite unexpected and we were pretty thrilled…and then scared as we realised how unprepared we are to have a walking baby. Cue panicking buying lots of magnetic cupboard stoppers to prevent little hands disappearing inside them. No one wants an emergency trip to A&E with a baby who’s happily drank the bleach. 

She also graduated from sensory class! I can’t rate sensory enough – I started taking Scout when she was about 2 months old, mainly because I was lonely at home and had no idea what else to do. I met some wonderful mamas there and Scout has had a blast. But after watching her scoot up and down on her bum narrowly avoiding taking newborns eyes out and biting in to balloons much to everyones horror it was time to call it a day. I’ll miss it though – especially as it was on at a lovely tea house in Stoke Newington so my lovely  cousin and I would meet for Chai Lattes before every class. 

But as we approach her first birthday I wanted to put together a list of all the things I found essential in the first year. These aren’t horribly expensive things – or there may be cheaper alternatives but they really helped us out across the year. 

 The baby-chino machine aka The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Perfect Prep Machine, £59.99 from Mothercare

 

download.jpgI haven’t yet blogged on my breast feeding ‘journey’ but after a rough start Scout was given formula a few hours after she was born and has continued to drink it since. I’m a huge believer in breast feeding and I wished I could have done it for longer but I also believe fed is best. I hate to think of women feeling bad that they can’t brevast feed when products like Aptimal exist which contains all the goodness our children need. This milk maker allows you to quickly prepare bottles at the perfect temperature and has been totally essential in our lives. We still use it now and it’s so easy to use even the most tired parent can operate it in the middle of the night. It’s a bit pricy but I promise you won’t regret it. Mothercare are currently stocking it with £66 off!

Poddle Pod, £39.99 from www.poddlepod.com

This was a spur of the moment purchase just before Scout was born – you know one of IMG_2601.jpgthose ‘I’m so pregnant I can’t sleep so I’ll panic buy everything on Amazon’ ones? However, it totally paid off. Scout napped inside it from the moment she was born and because it’s so portable it meant we could take her into whatever room we were in easily – even the bathroom. She loved snuggling down in it and it comes in a variety of stylish covers. We even used it on the first night she came home from the hospital and stuck in our bed between us.

A Spare Buggy, £40 – £100 from Mothercare

Before Scout was born we were lucky to be gifted a totally gorgeous Donna Wilson Mamas and Papas buggy. It’s brilliant – robust, stylish and great for napping…but totally useless for public transport, dragging up and down stairs and putting in our tiny hallway. So when Scout was about 6 months old we invested in a cheap Mothercare ‘Chicco London’ buggy in the sale for £45, including a leg warmer. It’s a copy of the old Mclaren style and hasn’t let us down yet. It’s been thrown on to planes, buses, back seats of cars and pushed all over London. We keep it up in our hallway and it’s light and easily foldable. Totally worth the money! We keep the posh buggy in the car and use it all the time too – it’s much better for napping and easier to push so it totally gets it’s fair share of use. 

Mountain Buggy clip on highchair, £45 from John Lewis 

This was actually a C232169340.jpghristmas present from my Mum but it’s proved so useful. At first we thought about using it for our main high chair at home as it quickly and easily clips on to a table, but as she was so tiny at six months we decided to buy a cheap and cheerful (and wipe down) Ikea highchair and use this for outings. It’s been a godsend on any train journey as it clips on to a table and so Scout can easily eat and play without clambering all over us. It’s also been great to take on holiday as it packs completely flat. Only downside is that you can’t take the canvas seat off to wash it so it’s basically wipe down only which can be a pain, but still definitely worth buying. 

Braun Thermoscan Thermometer, £38.99, Amazon.co.uk

Kate insisted on buying a ‘professional’ thermometer when I was pregnant and of course I was slightly horrified at the cost and didn’t see the need at all. But actually the ease of using it – you literally place it in your baby’s ear for a second and it quickly reads their temp – is so worth it. I must have taken Scout’s temperature hundreds of times this year, especially when I was a completely brand new Mum and every cry made me worry she was dying. 

Colief Infant Drops £9.99 from Amazon.co.uk

Scout didn’t take to her milk very well in the early days and was very sicky and cried because her tummy was hurting. A friend recommended these miraculous Colief drops that you pop in their milk before giving it to them and literally as soon as we started using them Scout became the happy and content baby she was meant to be. They are pricy but so worth it, we ended up nicknaming them Liquid Gold!

Amazon Prime Now

This isn’t exactly an object, but I guess it’s a ‘thing.’ Amazon Prime Now which is available where we live in London has been amazing. Ordering things like nappies, wipes, milk, dummies etc and then them arriving in a paper brown bag on our doorstep a couple of hours later has been incredible! You know those days when you’ve got a newborn and you haven’t worn proper clothes in days and can’t face going to the supermarket? Enter Amazon Prime!

Macamu Children’s Music CD, £10 from macamu.com

One of my closest friends is a wonderful and talented musician and a few years ago wrote a musical theatre production called Macamu for small children. She gave us the CD when Scout arrived and it’s been on repeat in our car ever since. 

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The songs are brilliant and catchy and unlike other children’s CDs in that they are for adults too so it won’t drive you insane when listening to it for the hundredth time. All the songs are about life – playing in the park, car journeys, water in the bath, monsters under the bed and I can’t recommend them more.

Digital Video Baby Monitor, from £100 from Amazon.co.uk

Until Scout was born I thought it was totally over the top to buy a video baby monitor. I mean, our parents all survived without one right? But after a friend told me she wished she had purchased a monitor with a video I decided to get one and I’m so glad we did! When we first brought Scout home being able to see her sleeping (and breathing!) was a real comfort and saved my sore c-sectioned self from having to get up and check on her physically.

Etta Loves Muslins, £22.95 for three from Ettaloves.com

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Obviously muslins are essential, especially in those early days when you are constantly mopping up milk, sick, your tears, your babies tears etc. But Etta Loves muslins come with the added bonus that they are specially designed so your little one can enjoy the patterns.

 

Would love to hear your baby essentials that you used and loved in the first year!

 

This Mummy Can – What They Don’t Tell You About Your Post Pregnancy Body

By Holly

When you are pregnant you are filled with so much information about your changing body, the little person growing inside you and of course, the looming birth. Midwifes, doctors, NCT courses, bloggers, friends… you could literally spend the whole 9 months educating yourself about pregnancy and child rearing.

Last July I skipped to hospital (scheduled c-section due to my kidney transplant being in my tummy) to have Scout thinking I knew EVERYTHING there was about my daughter’s upcoming birth. I had packed a hospital bag with literally everything you could think of in it. I was totally ready to let my baby crawl up my tummy to my breast (did anyone’s child actually do this!?) and had my leaflet all ready containing my post c-section exercises.

The c-section went well (as ‘well’ as someone effing up your epidural, hitting a nerve and then proceeding to play Pokemon Go whilst you were being cut open can go…) and I was completely in love with tiny 5’lb11 baby Scout. What happened next I didn’t expect though…

Hopefully these tips will prepare you for the things no one ever tells you about having a baby. I mean, one could argue that ignorance is bliss but if you’re like me it’s good to have a heads up on things…

The First Period – my period didn’t kick in for about 3 months after I gave birth (after I stopped breastfeeding) and having been a trouble free period type of gal before I was not prepared for the Niagara falls type of flood that happened. Not only this my PMT is awful and for at least a week every month I am a complete dick much to Kate’s delight. After talking to other Mums I found that this was quite normal. Who knew?!

Complications – Think this is quite a rare one but as I’m sure we all know when pregnant our organs are all squashed up in to our rib cages to make room for the new boy or girl. Then when you have the baby they all come back down and move in to their proper spaces again…. only this didn’t happen. My diaphragm decided to not move back down at all so I was stuck with bloody awful shoulder pain and was out of breath as I only had 50% lung capacity. The Doctors were stumped and just gave me painkillers which barely helped. In the end I needed a few sessions of acupuncture which fixed the problem. I’m sure this risk is all in the small print somewhere we you sign consent to have the CS, I just didn’t expect it to happen.

The Big Cry. I was warned in my NCT class that during the days when the milk comes in (around day 3 – 5) that my hormones would go a bit cray and I might get a little emotional. A LITTLE??? I was in floods of tears for about 5 days about everything and nothing. I banned all visitors as I couldn’t bear to just cry in front of them and howled as I held my precious little baby. I saw the health visitor who assured me this was entirely normal and that it would just go away as fast as it came. And it did.

 

The Fear. Scout was born a couple of weeks after the Brexit vote and as soon as I brought her home I suddenly realised what an unsafe, dangerous horrible world I’d brought her into. I couldn’t imagine ever leaving her side and cried to Kate about what we would do when she became a teenager and on earth would I let her cross the road alone? Crazy Mama.

Skintag City – I’ve spoken to other Mums about this and apparently it’s a ‘thing’ but I’ve never heard about it from a health advisor or in print. During pregnancy I got loads of little skin tags – mainly on my chest. It was really weird and I had to stop myself from wanting to pull them off. After I had Scout they all disappeared almost at once…why?!

Weight estimates on scans can be bullshit –  If having a late pregnancy scan (ie. anything from 34+ weeks) the ultra sound technicians often can estimate how much the baby weighs at this point. Now some hospitals have actually banned this completely as some women have got so worked up that they are going to have their vagina ripped open by the world’s biggest baby that they’ve decided it’s best not to say. My hospital do however give you this info and thought that Scout would be pretty large – in the 90th percentile – I mean, I definitely had the bump size to match this. But obviously they were totally wrong – as they have been for many of my friends so take it with a pinch of salt if you get told a weight.

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The Big Bleed – no one warned me that when I stood up from c-section – once I could feel my legs obviously that so much blood would pore out of me that the whole floor would be covered, as was I and Kate. I mean, it totally makes sense but would have been nice to know and would have stopped us skating around in it…

I would love to hear about any of your experiences of post pregnancy stories that you think other Mama’s might benefit from knowing. Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the ever growing list.

This Mummy Can Survive on Holiday

We’ve been back from our week in Spain for almost a month now and I’ve just about caught up on sleep! Every year Kate’s extended family plus all the kids go to a place called Salou near Barcelona and previous years have seen Kate and I read multiple books, work on our tans, have day trips in to Barca, take leisurely swims and hit the theme park and water park. But this year was a little different…

Firstly we pulled up at the airport and very quickly realised that we had SO much stuff that we couldn’t possibly carry it ourselves.  Kate was in her wheelie, Scout in the buggy and then about a million suitcases. We persuaded some poor lad from a car rental company to help us take us to departures. Now this is a rare moment where being in a wheelchair is amazing as you get to skip all the queues in the airport. That’s right ALL THE QUEUES IN THE AIRPORT. It’s totally worth the dirty looks as Kate wheels to the front of the security check-in with me and Scout following behind. I’ve gotta say though, that’s about the only good thing as getting on the plane is a total palava with so many different airport workers asking me (the one NOT in a wheelchair) whether Kate can walk up stairs, what kind of battery her wheelchair needs and how much it weighs. It’s infuriating that people do this – like Kate isn’t capable of responding herself.

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Anyway after a full on flight with Scout turning into Monster-Child, kicking the poor girl’s chair in front so much that we offered to buy her a sorry-my-baby-kicked-you-for-two-hours-drink, trying to pull the hair of the people in front of us, shouting, screaming and most

IMG_2861definitely not sleeping at all as we had hoped, we arrived at our hotel.We had a lovely week spending time with family and watching Scout in the sea was literally the best thing ever. But it wasn’t the relaxing snoozefest I’d hoped it would be (I use snoozefest in the most literal term there.) However, it was brilliant having Scout’s Grandparents there – they took Scout for a walk most days allowing us to chill out which was amazing. I can’t imagine going on holiday without some sort of grandparental tagging along ever again now!

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Next year though I definitely would do a few things differently – here’s my list of how to survive a holiday with a baby.

  • Get a villa or Airbnb if you can so you don’t have to share the same sleeping space with your baby. We had no evenings as Scout is such a routine baby and after taking her out for ice cream one eve where she spectacularly lost her shit we decided that it was evenings in for us. Bedtime at 7pm!
  • Cook your own food. We brought quite a few snacks for Scout but she ended up eating with us every night in the hotel and the food was packed full of salt. Would definitely try and get some sort of kitchen facilities if we can.
  • Fly with family! We struggled alone and will try and tag along to Scout’s grandparents flights next year. (If they’ll let us!)
  • Make an activity bag for the plane. A friend recommended bringing a few new bits that she wouldn’t have seen before and so I thought I could get away with bringing a couple of toys she hasn’t seen in a while. You know, the ones that are at the bottom of the toy box? Well, turns out they haven’t been played with in a while for a reason. She was less than impressed.
  • DSCN1767.JPGMore beach, less pool! Scout was happiest on the beach and it was definitely a much safer place to play than by the pool which was a bit of a concrete jungle. We wanted to spend time with other family members who adore the pool but it just wasn’t best for Scout.

 

  • Invest in one of those little tools that digs a hole for your umbrella or parasol. Lots of the beach side shops were selling them for about a euro and they were a godsend!
  • Make friends on the beach! These lovely Irish ladies were so taken by Scout that they’d spent ages waving at each other keeping Scout entertained!

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Scoutfits:
Fish all-in-one swimmers are from Mini Boden and spotty hat from Jojo Maman Bebe 

White and blue dress is from Marks and Spencer 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Mummy Can do Father’s Day

By Holly

For the first time it occurred to me this morning as I scrolled through instagram and saw lots of posts from Mums who are celebrating their children’s Father today., that Father’s Day will never be relevant to Scout. Even Pampers have got on board spamming my insta with (actually a really sweet ad) claiming that every time a baby is born a Dad is born too… hmmm, in our case – no.

Scout doesn’t have a Dad and she never will. She may one day want to get in touch with her sperm donor (we will let her make that decision herself when she is old enough) but even then that man won’t be her Dad – biologically maybe, but that’s where it ends.

Kate and I try to make sure Scout has plenty of close male role models in her life (between us we have 4 brothers as well as Grandads, a Godfather, cousins etc) and that she spends time with each of them. However, I’m not completely living on a cloud I know that probably in 3 years time when Scout is in reception and they are making Father’s Day cards that our little girl will come home with some big questions. I mean, perhaps she won’t and she won’t be fussed that she doesn’t have a Dad and instead has two very hands on Mums who love her more than anything but I’m sure she will have some questions. Until then I can relax… I think.

Happy Father’s Day to all the single Mums and lesbian Mums – you’re doing a marvellous job!

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