Yet Another Snotty Cold

This is really getting too much! I've been dutifully taking my echinacea and drinking my 'cold and flu' herb tea but again I'm stuck sneezing and snotty while my nostrils get sore from the constant wiping. I had planned to write a rundown of Asher's birthday, and how I feel about my baby being 2 but I just can't find it in me. Instead I'll just post a photo of my little boy blowing out the candle on his birthday cake. I apologise to him for not being able to find the birthday candles and hope he'll forgive me for using a tea light candle. You will also note that it's not really a kids birthday cake - well that's because this is the last year in a long time that I will be able to get away with making a rather adult cake (It's Nigella Lawson's 'Easy Almond Cake' from Domestic Goddess). And for the party on Saturday I'm making a number two cake.


Another milestone. And this time I'm not excited about it.

This one isn't so good though! A few weeks ago, maybe a month, Asher got bitten by one of the other kids. She sank her teeth into his shoulder, through jumper and t-shirt and still managed to give him a bruise. Today Asher gave another kid a serious bite - unfortunately that kid was Miles, and today is his birthday! No one saw what happened - the kids were playing behind a cubby house - and Miles started to cry in a way that I haven't heard very often. Not only was he obviously in pain, but he sounded kind of shocked that anyone could do such a thing. Asher came straight over to me and I asked him if he needed to apologise to Miles. He told me 'yes' and we went over and gave Miles an apologetic pat. Because no one had seen what happened I didn't feel like I could get really stuck into the discipline but I felt awful. The teeth marks were really deep and up near the third knuckle on Miles right hand. I'm just pleased the bite didn't break the skin! I really hope this was a one off and not the start of a biting phase - particularly the first week Asher starts at childcare!

Anyhow, Happy birthday little Miles! I hope you grow from being a strong and happy toddler to being a strong and happy boy, and later a strong and happy man. You are truly lucky to have a mum who will support you and guide you on your journey. I hope you will continue to be a great friend and protector to Asher and that you and your little mates will have many years of enjoying cake together!


The Childcare Conundrum

Well, I'm all twisted up about the childcare situation again (still?). We went in this morning again to hang out and get Asher used to the place and it didn't go that well. The director was away again (she was away on Monday when we went) but this time there was a replacement, which is a good sign. When we went into the room however, the carer, A, was reading a story to the kids. She's a nice woman but her first language isn't English and she's not a natural story-reader. There was a another young woman there who I assume was a casual, filling in for the staff member who left recently. I described her to Sanjay on the phone as 'breathing meat' because she just sat there, and didn't seem to be listening to the story, and she didn't join in the singing afterwards (I did!) and as the morning progressed she barely interacted with any of the kids. I've also realised that there has been very little smiling or laughing going on amongst the children which adds to the sick-to-the-stomach anxiety I'm feeling.

I really don't know whether I should plow on despite my misgivings or pull the plug on the whole thing immediately. I really can't tell if I'm uncertain about it because the centre and the care isn't up to scratch, or simply because it's a big change and my baby is growing up and beginning to have a life separate from me. Normally I'm pretty good at separating my headcake from external reality (or I like to think I am, anyway!) but in this situation, where 'gut feel' is the best way to work out if this centre is right for us, I'm feeling really lost.


And now, on a completely different note, I'd like to wish little Audrey a very happy second birthday:

...I'd also like to congratulate Karen on surviving two years as a mum, and doing such a good job at it too! Thanks for being a great Aunty to Asher and a good friend for me!



Well, he hasn't escaped from his cot again, but he did pile his blanket, baby and 'hound' up in the corner of the cot and get the picture off the wall, complete with hook, the other day. Thankfully it was a canvas so there was no broken frame/glass/toddler involved (and thankfully the canvas survived too!).

The 'twins' enjoying a milkshake after a run at the park. I got enough time to drink my coffee in a civilized manner!

He is growing up in other ways though. I have really been enjoying my day a week doing paid work and so we started putting our names on waiting lists at local childcare centres. In a perfect world I'd prefer to continue with our arrangement and have Megan look after Asher, but it isn't going to be practical for any of us now (which breaks my heart a little bit). Megan has made the decision to move back with her mum for a bit, for all sorts of difficult personal reasons, and although I'm going to miss her terribly I know she's only 25 minutes away, and if I use chocolate as bait she'll probably still come and visit me and bring some sanity on cranky-kid afternoons. I've learnt so much about dealing with toddlers and keeping me sane and them happy from her and I'm not sure that would have happened if she hadn't been only five minutes stroll away and happy to hang out with us. The boys will also miss our impromptu trips to the park and general hanging out but I'm quietly confident that we'll still see them a fair amount. On a really positive note her move has been the straw that broke the camels back on the driving front and I've had my first lesson and booked in for my second. One practise driving hour down, one-hundred-and-nineteen to go before I'm legally allowed to drive by myself.

Anyhow, this isn't a perfect world and not everybody's life revolves around Asher, so childcare it is. We got lucky and were offered a place at a local childcare centre* and, after having me visit, then Sanjay visit, we're taking the place. I wanted just to put him in on Wednesdays, while I work, but they only take kids for two-or-more days a week (because the kids settle in better), so Asher will be going along on Wednesday and Thursday. He will be starting on the 25th of June, the day before his second birthday and I will pick up an extra day at work so I will be doing paid work on both days. Between now and when he starts we get to go in there as much as we like for orientation. This morning we went at about 10:45 and left around midday - Asher got to have a play inside, eat lunch then play outside and we left as all the other kids were going to get on their little stretcher beds and go to sleep. After he got the hang of being there he did really well, following the other kids when it was time to go for lunch, sitting and eating at the table, putting his bowl and spoon in the right place when he had finished his meal, etc. I think the structure and routine of childcare will really suit Asher, and after the inevitable teething problems I think we'll it'll be OK. It still won't be the same care that we give him but I'm pretty sure we're not going to break him by putting him in good quality care two days a week, and I want to review the whole situation a month or two after he starts.

* I was about to name the childcare centre and include a link, but I figured I might want to keep it private. Perhaps I'll need to vent about them here at some later stage and I don't want to get sued for defamation!