Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Baby genius' or not??!!

It suddenly entered my head today that I may be a bad parent, well no, that's not quite right, I just feel that I'm not doing enough to stimulate them or encourage their development. I won't deny that we let them watch television quite a bit, but it is Baby TV and it's full of colours, shapes, song, numbers etc etc. I read to them up to twice a day and try and play little games with them, but I soon run out of steam or ideas and end up switching on the TV again.

I didn't think I'd feel the pressure to ensure that my children would be early starters or little genius', but I can't help but compare them to other babies their age, and I also actually compare the both of them together. Beau is so much more active and is now crawling, where as Olivia refuses to budge off her backside and. However Olivia seems to be the one who is more in tune with her emotions and the world around her, Beau is
completely oblivious to anything.

Many people have the notion that twins are practically duplicates and are one and the same, but from our experience it couldn't be more different. They are the complete opposites of each other. Beau is a big sleeper, he can fall asleep at the click of your fingers unlike Olivia who fights sleep to the last breath. She likes books and being read to, but he wonders off after the first page. In social situations Beau is more outgoing and Olivia just sits and looks moody. She is just so much more intense. I just have visions of her dressing in black and telling me she hates everyone including me by the time she gets to 15!!

Having two kids has been an eye opener into a child's development in that mile stones come at different times and not necessarily in the same order, so it's hard not to worry when one of the kids does something but then the other show not sign of following suit and I have to draw myself back from the brink of become and maniacal mother.

I think I have to stop looking at those books and websites that tell me where my children should be at for their age - it's pretty much a compare and contrast situation, where you mentally tick a box in your head hoping that all those boxes are ticked and then you spend the next few days frantically treat your child like a toy robot, trying to fine tune them to add on a new skill, like clapping hands or saying mama /dada, only to have them look back at you as though you have lost the plot (which we probably have)

Some days, I just go with the flow and relish the joys of motherhood, other days I can despair of the fact that I did exactly the same as the day before and the day before that. Routine is good for the kids, it works, but it often feels like groundhog day without the comedic value of Bill Murray!!

I hope I don't seem ungrateful, I'm not, I know how lucky I am to be blessed with two beautiful children who make me very very happy. It's not them that is the issue, it's more the pressure that is put upon us to follow guidelines, routines and structures to ensure that our children flourish and become model children.

Being a parent really is like being in maze, you think you've found the way and things look promising but then you hit a wall and you have to turn around and find another way to go.  And all this time you're trying to figure out how to do right by your children, you are trying to hold on to the person that you were before and trying to adapt to all the changes that you have had to make, which can some times make being a parent a little harder.

However, every morning my children beam with excitement when they see me, they like to nuzzle my neck and give me kisses and they cry for me when they want some company. Now, when they stop doing that, that's when I should really worry!!

Friday, 13 May 2011

A parents instinct

Now that the twins are a little bit more active, life has become a bit busier and days a bit longer, so writing has once more taken to the sidelines and makes less of an appearance than Wayne Rooney's hair!

But tonight I'm making an effort because it's something that I've been thinking about for a couple of days

I was reading a little bit from an extract of Kate McCann's book in The Sun (now is not a time to judge my reading material) and I suddenly realised that now I am a mother of my own kids, my feelings towards the whole situation has changed. In the years BOB (before Olivia and Beau) I was one of those to jump on my high horse and say how senseless they were as parents to leave their children in a room on their own that is not within easy reach. Yet now I can truly see their thought process. 

You develop a certain sixth sense when your child is born, a natural instinct for what they need, what's right for them and what they need from you just grows. Then you start to take that instinct for granted and you feel that you are totally in control and that your child is safe. For those that are parents, just take a moment and think about it, every day we make decisions that could potentially put our children in danger. For example, I take the kids for a walk every day and sometimes when I come back I leave the kids in the pram in the back garden - our private area. Also, we don't lock the front door during the day and the kids are a few feet away from the door. When I've been shopping I've turned away many times from my pram. In all these instances someone could've taken my children, but maybe naively I developed this certainty in my head that it won't happen to me because I'm in control of the situation.

I can only guess that this was the way the McCann’s felt on that fateful night. As parents they trusted their instincts, was that wrong?? The decision they made, I think, was not flippant, but discussed with best intentions in mind.

Although I never laid blame at the feet of the McCann's, I now have so much more empathy with their situation, for this will effect them not only as parents but as people, making choices and decisions without fearing the outcome, no matter how big or little it may be.  

To lose a child is goes beyond the scale of pain I think. The other week me and Rick were sat downstairs having put the kids to bed. It must have been maybe an hour after we had done so, suddenly the alarm went off on the respiratory sensory monitor. This means no heartbeat is being detected. We both flew up the stairs and fortunately it was just that Beau was now moving around the cot and had moved off the monitor. When I tried to move away from his cot I found my legs would not move and I just collapsed, I nearly puked and felt like I could not breathe. It honestly took  me the rest of the night to get over the shock. Now, there was a false alarm - God forbid something really had happened.

From what I have seen of Kate McCann, she has shown great strength and dignity and I hope that someone out there really does know what happened to Madeline and will come forward and help her and her family.