Tag Archives: milestones

Blogging again

According to WordPress it has been over 200 days since my last post – 2016 will be the year I do not leave it as long.

During this blogging hiatus there has been a lot of change going on around here. The mini human is just that now, a walking, kinda talking smaller version of us, with her own personality and foibles – IT IS A LOT OF FUN

During our antenatal classes the mums to be were all discussing MILESTONES cards – now I will be honest when the concept of different cards that baby ‘holds’ whenever a major milestone is hit and we then snap a photo of this moment providing a chronological image diary was described to me I didn’t see the point of them!? However, once we started to use them, and I could stage some of the photos for comedy value (well I found them funny!) then I have to admit I started to warm to the idea.  My wife has printed some of the milestone moments and has put them in a frame together and they look great – if nothing else it is nice having lots of pictures of the youngling in different stages of her first year.

 

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Milestone Card Moments

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There are, thankfully, some milestone cards that have not been produced – I may have to set up my own line of inappropriate milestone moments…

Weaning off bottles and onto solid food was fun. I say fun. I mean messy. I say messy. I mean some of our walls have been ‘redecorated’ with food produce permanently.

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Messy eating/redecorating.

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So we began the journey with liquidised food, as previous blogs mention we used a fair amount of Ella’s pouches in this process. Some of the combos of food were fantastic and I think at times baby ate better than we did. All power to those that make their own concoctions, my wife tried, but got so disheartened to see that’s after spending ages on her flavours and prep work the meal size portions come out of the freezer, defrost and then end up on the floor or the walls!

We moved onto the pouches to save the sanity of the whole family.

So spoon feeding was an experience, at the same time Bea was entering a crazy flailing left arm phase!? Seriously, her left arm seemed to have a mind of its own for about a month. You could load up a spoon full of Sunday Roast in liquid form from the pouch and before you know it, quicker than Ali in his prime; the sting from our Bea was the crazy left arm swipe and food was everywhere!

We then moved on to the milestone of wanting to hold the spoon to feed herself, this upgraded at times to chucking the spoon aside and grabbing the pouch and squeezing the contents into her mouth.

Spoon-less eating quickly followed – who has time for spoons when you can grab handfuls of food and face palm it into your mouth and surrounding area? We know the handling of food, the schmooshing up of food and even the throwing of food is all part of experimentation; and touch and texture is as important as smell and taste. However, when you see baked beans thrown up the kitchen wall you do question the educational value of it all.

Weaning onto solid foods milestone – tick

Hand gestures such as clapping and waving are now a regularity. In the early days a wave was met with celebration (from us) she looked super pleased with herself so waving at everything became her thing. Wave at lamp, wave at car, wave at DVD case, wave at reflection in the mirror.

Teaching the high 5 was a personal highlight, again followed by much celebration from me, which led to clapping from her, so much so that when giving the gesture for high 5 she would get ahead of herself and just clap. This often left me hanging, with her looking to any bystander like she was just sarcastically clapping me.

Now, she will happily clap at gameshows when the audience do, wave when you say “hello” or “bye bye” we have even moved onto the high 10!

During my wife’s maternity leave Karen and Bea attended ‘sing and sign’ classes together. I attended once and it seemed like a lot of ladies singing while waving their hands about while the babies crawled around eating toys. BUT the classes have totally paid off.

One night a few months ago we were woken by screams of terror from Bea’s room, both running in to comfort her we lifted her from the cot bed to have a cuddle. As we did she made a hand gesture, one we knew, one we had been using to sign for milk for many months. She was telling us she needed/wanted some milk. Quickly some was made up in a bottle and she latched on as if she hadn’t eaten for days. All parents think their kids are a genius sure, but could she be a total brain box with stuff like this?

Non-verbal communication – tick (with a high five)

I achieved my own milestone, one I don’t think I would want to do too often. About 9 months after Bea was born (to coin a Mickey Flannigan term) I went out out!!! I woke up on the floor of our bathroom at 4am, it was one of ‘those’ nights. The hangover the morning after was pretty horrific, and I was left in charge of the mini human. She could sense my pain, and seemed to want to add to it. Eye gouging, face slapping, fish hooking and beard pulling. Lesson learnt, never again… until next time.

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The abuse of a hungover father.

Hungover childcare – tick

Linked to this semi non appropriate parenting, is another story I am not massively proud of, but will probably be part of my father of the bride speech if/when one is needed.

Our little one gets a bit clingy every now and then. If we dare to disappear to the toilet for example she wants to follow us, weirdly transfixed by the running water from the tap when we wash our hands. Now picture the scene (but not too vividly as you will discover shortly); home alone, I am in need of a number 1. Having left the door open to appease the clingy one, in she walks. First up, she heads to the loo roll and does her best Andrex puppy impression unraveling it so it ends up covering the floor at my feet. Then… Uh oh. She notices running liquid, this time not from a tap, from me. Outstretches her little hand between my legs to try and touch said liquid, still flowing I try to contort my body so she can get nowhere near me or my wee. It’s a milestone the books don’t tell you about or they have made a card for and one I am not sure how to define?

The walking milestone is another we can tick off. It all started on a family holiday, Bea had been standing on her own for a while, but you could sense that she was desperate to join in the fun and games, especially watching older cousins running about. The first few tentative steps were a thing of beauty, Bea looked so happy on stumbling a few steps and with us all cheering and clapping. Since then walking has become running, dancing, and attempting jumps. My only issue is how she has a tendency to use of her head as a brake!!!

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Taking Dad for a walk.

Walking milestone: tick

There are hundreds of little milestones that we have witnessed, ones that don’t have a card. We are currently smashing animal noises out of the park, now when I leave for work and ask for a kiss I get a little person running up to me and planting one on me.

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Six months in… 

Jeeeez it has been a while since I took stock and wrote in this blog.

In that time our little human has turned six months old…. SIX MONTHS OLD!!! Where the hell did that time go?
Plenty of knowledgable parents have told us along the way “make the most of this time (any moment of parenthood) because it flies by” how true clever parents, how very true.

The mastery of evolution seems to work wonders though, every new thing is my new favourite thing. Back in the early stages highlights included the first smile, the first fart (a highlight for all parents, some just pretend to be less vulgar and don’t mention it) Then as time goes by smiles turn to giggles (BRILLIANT) baby becomes more alert and notices things more (aka toys… Giving dad an excuse to buy Star Wars toys!!!) all these moments become the best ever… You forget about the little moments from the week/month before… The new thing is the best thing! 
Except teeth, they are awful for everyone involved.

Now we have a rolling baby – she is better at rolling one way compared to the other, and gets VERY frustrated at not being able to be multi directional roller. She is sleeping pretty well, and we have the fun and games of eating solid food (albeit food that’s been through a blender). The evolution of a small person is full of highlights and each one does tend to supersede the one before. 

 

  

  

(caught red handed rolling under the table & having a chomp on a carrot stick)

But I do miss her falling asleep on my chest. Now far too alert for sleeping on her dad, he has a beard to pull on, glasses to smack off his face and “ooh what is that? Strings to a hoody! They look tasty, I’ll swallow those until I gag”. Our little ball of thigh fat and chins is also a bit too heavy to rock to sleep, so it is seldom that either of us has the strength to hold her for the time it takes to get her off to sleep. Friends have had babies since, and the smallness and feather-like weight of these tiny babies had us trying to recall what Bea was like back then… Thank god for TinyBeans (see previous blogs).

  


A couple of dads I have spoken to have said that babies are boring until they are about a year old… I hope for their sake they have been sucked in by the evolution trick and have just forgotten how good the early months are, and are loving the walking and talking stages. It would be a shame to think they had not had fun until the first year clicked over.

So six months in for us, and how does it all feel?

Well first up, simply put, I bloody love being a dad. 

During baby’s stay in ‘Hotel Mum’ for 9 months I made a few promises to myself about how I would be a good dad…

1. Don’t over do the images of bubs on Facebook.
So I think I was doing ok on this promise, until I got into Instagram. The share button has probably led to a few too many images appearing on Facebook and annoying those seeing it on their timeline… But do you know what, I see images of their pets, food, cocktails, and cars so no apologies here. 

2. Never write personally to baby on social media.
She doesn’t have any kind of account, and won’t have for years and years… So there is no need for me to ‘speak’ to her via my Facebook status’… I have kept this promise. If I have anything to say to her, I tend to do it… Face to face.

3. Don’t let having a baby change your life too much.
What a stupid promise to make!!! Along with being born yourself it is one of the biggest life changing moments to be had. Of course she was going to change things… I think I meant we would do ‘normal’ things together as a family – if a friend was having a party, we’d all go like we used to as a couple. Gigs & sporting events, let’s do it, babysitters or baby ear defenders will do the trick.

4. Don’t work too hard.
I love my job. It is the best job I have ever had. I am proud of working for a tiny little charity offering a fun part of childhood to thousands of kids (www.playgloucestershire.org.uk) but I want to be part of my child’s childhood, so the work/life ratio needs to be constantly assessed to make sure I am not an absentee father. So far so good!

5. Don’t be like my dad.
He did a runner when I was around 10… This is one promise I will certainly keep!

Some promises are easier to keep, and to be honest there has been so much trial and error in getting to the six month stage that I can’t remember if I have kept them, broken them or completely disregarded them.