Thanks for that, Judgy McJudgerson.

Before I opened my loins and bottom coughed Squirt into existence I was aware of parenting judgement. I may have even partaken in a little, of occasion. Ok, maybe a lot. But it’s very easy to sit back and criticize when you don’t have kids. I had a list as long as my arm of ‘I will never’s for pregnancy, birth and babyhood. Most of which went flying out the window in favour of surviving this battle we call motherhood.

So I expect a little (or a lot of) judgment from non-breeders. I enjoy it while trying to hide a small smirk, thinking ‘you just wait’ much as I’m sure mothers did when I voiced crazy plans like me having a natural, pain med-free birth. I was underprepared, however for mother-to-mother judgment. Surely fellow women in the trenches would recognize a fellow soldier’s need to occasionally do things just to make life a teeny, tiny bit easier? In short, nope.

These Mommas are not subtle, gentle or supportive with their strong views. Here are some examples of thinly veiled judgement I am dealing with in every different part of my life.

‘Oh, doctors now think that SIDS is completely made up by women who suffocate their kids and then try to hide it!’

 

‘You don’t co-sleep? I feel sorry for babies left alone in their cribs. They’ll grow up so insecure. My 6 year old is so confident. I’m sure she’ll tell me when she’s ready to have her own bed.’

No, we are not co-sleepers. My baby sleeps in the garden. I believe nightly battles with bats, rats and cockroaches is the best way for him to become confident and independent.

‘Breastmilk is good for their immune system. You shouldn’t stop.’

I never heard that before. I’ll need to have a complete rethink.

‘You let your four month old watch TV?’

‘My kid is so clever. At four months old he can already concentrate while watching TV for 45 minutes. He especially likes the scenes where the zombies get their heads caved in and the lead gets splattered with brain matter and he can twerk!

‘I never had a problem figuring out what my baby wanted because I taught her baby sign language straight away.’

‘Isn’t it bad for your baby’s hips to be carried in that carrier?’

Perhaps, but we combat that by dangling him upside down by his ankles for 15 mins a day.

‘You use a forward facing pushchair?’

Yup. Sometimes I even push it really fast and wriggle it around. We’re are such daredevils!

‘Should you really be drinking coffee if you’re breastfeeding?’

Yes, he seems to get a little buzz with all the caffine I drink but a shot of whiskey before bed knocks him right out.

‘You have a dog and a newborn?’

We do have a dog but I try to make sure she doesn’t lick his mouth when it’s open.

 

And here’s the part where I’m a hypocrite!

Totally judging!

 

TTFN X

 

 

 

 

Boogers and Atomic Nappies.

Hello all,

I meant to write an update straight after I started work and here we are, three weeks later which probably gives you a pretty accurate reflection of how things have been.

The first week was tough, missing Squirt and WW, trying to get to grips with work, catching up with things that I didn’t do due to my maternity leave, juggling pumping and a busy schedule and repeatedly trying to kick start my brain again. Things are getting better now and it’s only four weeks until Christmas holidays so- yay!

This week I caught a cold. I am pretty pathetic when sick and felt quite sorry for myself, missing WW’s normal nursing routine and getting up at the crack of dawn and in the middle of the night to pump. I thought it was bad….then Squirt got sick. It is heart breaking to hear his little snuffly breathing and head breaking to listen to his cries every hour or so during the night. I think WW secretly loves hoovering up his boogers with the suction bulb thingmy.  Confession: I thought he slept better last night and commented to WW but was tersely informed he was up every hour and apparently only I slept better. Hooray for my ability to sleep like the dead and WW aka Supermum.

After 2 weeks of trying to keep up the every 4 hours pumping schedule with an ever changing timetable I decided to go to every 6 hours. This means I am only huddled in a tiny room on a butt numbing chair, praying no students peer through the crack in the window paint and no teachers bust in the locked door (again), once a day. My boobs seemed OK with it but then decided on a sneaky revenge by waiting until the one day I forgot to wear breast pads. Two minutes before I went to teach my oldest students they unleashed a sizeable flow of milk, creating a nice, white rimmed milk stain on my black top and leading to me alternating between hiding behind my computer and shielding my chest with books like a shy, post-pubescent teenager for the rest of the day. Awesome.

I also have had more awkward conversations with classes. It’s funny how I start using their vocabulary in my responses:

‘Who is your man?’

‘I don’t have a man. I have a woman.’

‘But then how a baby??!’

‘Um…a doctor helped me.’

‘Oh, so they take something and put in your tummy?’

‘Close enough.’

 

And then another class:

‘Do you have a husband?’

‘No, I have a wife.’

‘So you are the husband?’

‘No, there is no husband.’

‘But you are the man?’

‘No, there is no man.’

‘I don’t understand.’

‘Nevermind.’

 

The infamous ‘One Direction’ are apparently touring soon in Thailand and who is attending is a hot topic at school. The kids were a bit put out that I wasn’t intending on showing my support and they were completely stumped when I said I wasn’t a fan. They hadn’t heard of any of the music I like which I guess makes me officially old. They rounded the conversation off with asking me if I liked Avril Lavigne because ‘you look like her’. Time to cut back on the eye-liner.

Also WW gleefully pointed out my first white/gray hair on Sunday. I think I have Squirt to thank for my sudden rapid decline into old age. On that note, when will I stop feeling like a teenager? I am married. I am someone’s mum. I am one mortgage away from being officially grown up but I don’t feel any different from when I was a carefree student sleeping late and pretending to study. Does that ever change?

In other news, Squirt’s latest trick is rolling over. He enthusiastically throws himself from his back to his tummy, gets stuck and eventually cries. You would think he’d remember that he doesn’t really like to be on his tummy, but no. I also think for him it’s a fun game to be flipped like a pancake every couple of minutes. Plus the mummies are pretty impressed by the gymnastics and he gets a good reaction.

His other fun trick is frequent atomic nappies. You know, the kind that shoot out of his nappy and up his back leaving a yellow lava of destruction in their wake? Oh yes. Hold with caution. How do you then get the onesie off without smearing it in his hair??? Luckily for me he has been keeping these treats for WW in the morning recently ;-).

 

Christmas decorations go up on Sunday. No, it is not too early. Monday will see Squirt’s introduction to the Month of Christmas Movies. Yes WW, you have to watch them again. No, you cannot play with your phone. The Muppets require your full attention. Now my mission is to locate a Christmas pudding in Thailand which doesn’t cost 14 GBP or be forced to make one, which hardly seems worth it when I’ll be the only one gorging on it. Mmmm, Christmas pudding… The post pregnancy diet is not going well.

 

TTFN X

PS. Squirt, four months old tomorrow!

DSC_0556

One year in the making.

Hi!

I’m not really one for remembering/celebrating the small dates but I did realize it was Halloween one year ago that two single cells fused to become what would grow into Squirt.

embryo squirt

DSC_0400

WW was too sensible to allow me to buy or make a super cute baby Halloween costume. Plus, here in Thailand there are minimal opportunities for celebrating this holiday, and none which occur before his 6pm bedtime so cute costumed photo ops will have to wait for the next holiday.

Plus we were tired from our first date night the night before. Our lovely GBF offered to babysit and let us get out of the house for a bit. We had a nice dinner, a few beers and saw what yucky sex-pat nightlife our little suburban neck of the woods had to offer. Then WW had a nasty allergic skin reaction to something and my body decided it didn’t enjoy ham hock after all so we had a bit of a sleepless night. Ho hum. But it was a good jumble of nice and weird to step back to our free-of-responsibility days for a few hours.

I had my 13453rd bad mother moment last night and introduced formula for the first time for Squirt’s before bedtime feed. Just a recap, Squirt has never fed from the breast. Not once. So I have been a slave to the breast pump since his second day and plan to quit just after Christmas, when he is five and some months old. In the meantime we’re going to slowly introduce formula so it’s not a horrible shock to his system when the freezer eventually runs empty. I also read that formula fed babies sleep longer through the night. And low and behold, Squirt slept from 6pm until 4am without eating. Then went back to sleep until 7.30am. So why do I still feel tired?

I thought he might be a little put out at suddenly being given poison formula, but he didn’t bat an eye. I’m not in the habit of chugging either breast milk or formula but I have licked both off my arm (don’t judge me). Afterwards I wasn’t exactly clamoring for a big, overfilled jug of luke warm breast milk but it does taste a damn sight nicer than formula, despite the fact we bought the fanciest one.

There’s another thing. I never really looked but WW reckons in the formula aisle of UK supermarkets there are really only two big brand options. Here there are more than you can count, each fancier and more expensive than the next. It was overwhelming. The doctor was no use. When asked what she’d recommend she shrugged and stated ‘they all have different things’. Awesome, yes, I realize that. But which one is best?

The companies have really got you, too. Do you want the simple box with no extra health benefits which will cost you an arm and a leg or do you want to fully nourish your pride and joy with a formula containing every vitamin from a-z and more besides, which comes in a shiny gold box and will cost you more than private school tuition? So, of course we got the gold one. We were advised to try a small box first, in case Squirt gets the squirts. It cost over 6 GBP and when we got home we worked out it would feed him for two and a half days if we fed him that exclusively. Jeez. There’s an advertisement for breast milk, if ever I heard one. But I can’t bear the thought of being abused by these breast pumps for the next 9 months. I think the freezer is well stocked enough that he won’t be exclusively on formula for very long before he starts eating some solids and needs less anyway. Hopefully.

normally this is where I’d put something funny but even the meme generators are judgy about formula

I’m also ready to stop riding the emotional rollercoaster that I have my fingers crossed is related to breast feeding. WW has the same amount of sleep as me and the same amount of stress but she doesn’t find herself on the edge of ugly, sobbing hysterics every few days. She also doesn’t feel the need to check Squirt is still breathing frequently during the night. She doesn’t think about all the horrible things that can happen to small babies, toddlers, little kids, big kids and adults. She didn’t feel a strong urge to rip Squirt’s enormous vaccination needle out of the doctor’s hand and jam it in the doctor’s thigh to see how she liked it. She doesn’t start conversations with things like ‘What if I don’t like his girlfriend’ (yes, the future girlfriend of my 3 month year old). In short, WW isn’t teetering on the cusp of full blown insanity. Fingers crossed this is all a consequence of boob juice, not a permanent condition.

One more week until I’m back to work. A month ago if you’d asked me if I was ready I would have either lied or said yes, with a side helping of guilt. But back then Squirt was being a real booger and going through a screaming heebie jeebie phase. Of course now, in the run up to my return he’s gotten himself into a routine and is being all cute and adorable most of the time. Boo to working and wrangling other people’s kids when I’d rather be at home wiping up the saliva of my own. But someone’s got to bring home the formula, I guess.

TTFN X