“No, No, No!”

Tom may only be 19 months old, but it’s clear that toddler-stubbornness is already setting in. Handily, he has decided to learn the word ‘no’ in order to explain to us exactly what we are doing wrong. Which currently seems to be everything!

To add to the already long list of things Tom doesn’t like, which includes things like getting dressed, having his nappy changed, having his teeth brushed by other people, having his face wiped, having his hair washed, vegetables… we now have to add baths without bubbles, getting into the high chair, getting out of the high chair, and having to take his shoes off.

I have to assume that being sick so much lately is partly to blame – we certainly have a huge step up in tantrums when he’s tired, and his response to being ill is to sleep a lot (I know. We are very lucky. Don’t hate me). Sadly though, I suspect much of this is just the wonderful world of self-assertiveness that is toddlerdom.

Fortunately, one of the few things Tom doesn’t say no to is outdoor play. In fact, I narrowly diverted a tantrum on Saturday morning when he brought me his shoes, and then his coat, so we could go play in the garden. He was still in his pajamas, wasn’t wearing a nappy, and refused to put his blanket down…but we rolled with it anyway. After all, next door’s cat was sitting on our fence so clearly needed it’s peace interrupting!

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Oops…

Well that was a slightly unintentional blog holiday, though those who have seen my last post can probably work out why!

Fortunately, Tom is now recovered from the conjunctivitis, oral thrush, a bout of croup and getting his lower canines through. And my stomach has settled down after two separate incidences of food poisoning (I’d like to point out that neither of these was caused by food I had cooked…). So normal service should now resume, assuming we have no further random illnesses in the near future.

Despite the various small disasters of the last few weeks, we have still been enjoying some outdoor play. Luckily, Easter fell in a rare patch where neither Tom nor I was actively ill, so we were able to enjoy a lovely weekend in the country with my family. My dad is currently living in Singapore for work and my sister’s boyfriend lives in Abu Dhabi, so it is a rare and wonderful occasion when all of us are able to be together in the same room. Sadly, Mr Techno did have to work most of the weekend, but managed to sneak down on Saturday to spend the day with us all (or, rather, to watch the rugby whilst eating his own body weight in hot cross buns).

The weather was less than fantastic, apart from Good Friday which was gloriously sunny. Tom happily splashed water in the garden and ‘helped’ his grandfather install a new watering system for the potted plants (I suggested a watering can, but apparently this is too lo-tech). Then we went to the park where Tom and my dad had some good bonding time. They see each other so rarely, but they really get on well. My dad is a bit British when it comes to emotions, but lets his guard down much more with Tom. Let’s hope that bond will last!

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Despite the wet weather the rest of the weekend, we managed to visit another park on Saturday and Tom and my mum went for a ‘nature walk’ around the garden on Sunday. They found some frog spawn and Tom chased the chickens. Or they chased him. Hard to tell really.

We’ve also been enjoying getting out on the Marshes now that the weather is warmer and it has been wonderful to be able to hang the washing outside – with the result that the laundry basket is actually empty for the first time in about…19 months?

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One Hellish Week

Urgh. Things have not been happy in the Wildling household just lately. Tom came down with oral thrush, which we can only assume was the result of him having been on antibiotic eyedrops for his conjunctivitis. He also picked up a cold from nursery, and, just to cap it all off, his lower canines are coming through.

Needless to say, we have had an extremely upset baby. He went from sleepy and clingy on Saturday, to screaming in pain at every mealtime on Sunday. By Monday last week, he was refusing to eat at all. Thankfully he would accept milk.

We’ve been treating him with antifungal gel four times a day, which has almost cleaned up the thrush. After three days of not eating, he began cautiously accepting weetabix (with added probiotic) on Thursday and is now basically back to normal with food.

Mr Techno and I are lucky to have been able to switch out most of the week, so neither one of us has had to take the full burden of caring for our sick little one. But it’s not been easy for any of us and I’m very glad that the end is in sight.

Unsurprisingly, all of this means we’ve not been getting out much! Apart from to the doctors of course. The new, though still unfinished, mud kitchen has been a bit of a saviour as a distraction when we have gotten out into the garden. But the lack of outdoor time was not helping my patience.

In fact…I did have a bit of a meltdown on Saturday morning. Tom was refusing to nap. I’ve not been feeling well either, and all I wanted was a hot bath. And Mr Techno had to go to work. So I was pissed off. And feeling like an awful mother for not putting my wants to one side to be there for my sick baby. All of which I kind of shouted at Mr Techno. Except with a lot more swear words (Tom wasn’t in the room at the time). Seriously, the man has the patience of a saint sometimes.

Anyway. It was fine once I had the rant out of my system. I got my bath, although it had to involve a lot of Tom ‘help’…so I was joined by lots of toys and had to avoid getting my hair washed. Then we went to meet friends at Victoria Park. We had lunch, which Tom ate (it was mine, but hey, he was eating) and a long walk. And suddenly everything was manageable again.

Thank goodness for the healing power of the great outdoors!

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A Week of Excess

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Mr Techno takes birthdays seriously. He has no fear of getting older and really likes to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of it. Since his birthday was last Wednesday, he took the entire week off work, which resulted in rather too much celebrating!

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We kicked off on Tuesday, with takeout and a bottle of wine (I know right? We really know how to live it up!) Wednesday night, his brother babysat so we could go out for dinner. Then we relocated to Waterloo for the weekend, leaving Tom with Mr Techno’s sister so we could go out with friends. Saturday night was a drunken dinner party in Waterloo, complete with drinking jenga.

The result of all this was a massive overconsumption of both food and alcohol, leaving me feeling rather sluggish. Definitely time for a bit of a detox this week!

We did at least head out on Saturday for a walk…which somehow turned into a visit to the Imperial War Museum. With two toddlers.

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I’ve actually not been before and could have done with my first visit being alone, so I could absorb. It’s not exactly a light Saturday afternoon outing! It’s also extremely un-buggy friendly. We had Tom in the sling/walking, but my neice is still a crawler so we had to check their buggy into the buggy park, due to the many stairs, and carry her.

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Still, at least it got us out of the house!

Helpful Hands

Ever since Tom was born, Mr Techno and I have joked that he suffers from helpful hands. As a teeny tiny baby, he used to use them to try to help me latch him on…more often than not resulting in him detaching himself altogether. He’s equally helpful when it comes to cooking, DIY, and brushing his teeth.

But something bizarre has happened in the last few weeks. Tom has become…genuinely helpful.

He helps me clean up his room, putting everything back in the (correct) container before bathtime. He wipes up spills if I hand him a cloth, and even helps with the hoovering

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Sadly, I’m pretty sure this is a phase all toddlers go through and it doesn’t mean he will be amenable to helping with housework as a teenager. But hey, it’s good while it lasts!

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Sadly, the washing up is still an area where more mess gets created than clean plates...