Somehow it doesn’t have the same ring as Nirvanas ‘Heart Shaped Box’ but it made me happier that he song did to see that my sone was beginning to enjoy the pleasures of cooking.
So I’m not a huge fan of foul language, (in front of children), but sometimes the little things can really annoy the sht out of you at times. One such time was a couple of nights ago when my phone decided to play silly buggers and not connect to the Wi-Fi at home. The story of what happens next will crack you up…
Its late in the evening, and I’m about to take my son for his bath. I decide that some music is in order because, well why not, and go to get my phone from the kitchen where it was sat charging. I had left it for about 40 minutes or so, and it had only picked up about 10% charge which was infuriating, as Sid’s bath would take at least 8% of the charge.
Anyway I realise that it is also not connected to the Wi-Fi and so I turn the Wi-Fi on on the phone, and wait. And wait. And wait.
By this time I’m seriously hacked off and under my breath, seeing that my son is now buzzing around me I mutter “why the fk isn’t the phone connecting to the Wi-Fi?!?!?!”. He was about a metre away from me and I immediately realised I had said those magic words a little too loudly. He suddenly stopped what he was doing, stared me right in the eye and said “Daddy don’t say that. Don’t say fk. It’s not nice to say it. Instead say .. Hmm (looks at his book of planes) instead say helicopter.”
I was both amazed and mortified at the same time.
I wanted to swing my genius son around and at the same time cut off my tongue for using such profane language in front of my angel with horns child.
There was an itching curiosity within me as I rested that evening.
How did my son, my 2 year old, whom we never swear in front of, know that fk is such a bad swear word? No-one told him, and certainly not me. I wondered – did my son realise that my frustration, linked to the extremely well placed F-Bomb meant that the word I used was a naughty word? Or has someone secretly been teaching my son things to just wind me up?
I did a very crude experiment with him the next morning. I pretended to get really angry and shouted out “What the chin!?!?!” – and lo and behold – he stopped what he was doing (eating) and said – “Daddy – don’t say Chin. It’s not nice”.
Could it be that children are that more sensitive to the way we say things compared to what we say?
If it is so, then it is both sentiment, emotion, AND language that has an impact on a child.
This relates quite nicely to what we hear about communication and arguments – most of the time arguments occur not be cause of what we say – but because of how we say it.
It seems like this is not a learned construct – It’s almost innate and we know what this “feeling” of negativity is, from a very young age.
If there’s anything I have learnt from this experience, that is to never underestimate 2 things.
- The value of a well placed F-Bomb
- The ability of your child at such a young age to pick up on emotion, more than the words.
My son, on the other hand has a whole different level of energy and his body clock is all over the shop. Only today has decided to sleep at 7.45pm, which means that I can get on with the chores, and get a little downtime from work.
I remember during the early months of Sid being around and the pain of fatigue that still plagues my mind to this day.
I have never experienced anything quite like it before or after.
But that said- after 2 weeks in Canada, my son must be feeling a lot worse that us. He can’t comprehend what’s happening to his body clock, mood or his eating.
My advice to parents travelling through time zones isn’t full of supporting evidence or backed by science, but it just my take on the deal.
- Drink plenty of water before your flight and during– no one likes a whiny parent least of all your kid and you’ll get really crabby if you’re not hydrated.
- Kids on plane– they should make a movie about it. It would be a number 1 hit. Sid was great but he got a cold the day we travelled and so he was winging the whole way but for 3 days he was really ill and not eating. Just keep fluids for the little one- and don’t forget the calpol or nurofen for the plane!
- If you book the front seats above the bulkhead– remember that the seat armrests don’t move up to turn the seats into a bench, which is a really useful thing for kids sleeping.
- If you have friends travelling with you – let them know they will be alternative baby sitters. This will really help you get rested before you handle the jet lag
- Set your clock half way to the time zone you’re travelling to before you take off. That will help you settle down and adjust. Remember- kids are greatly impacted by this more than adults.
- When you land, your phone might already adjust its time to the country you land in. Keep an analogue watch to your home time zone. That will help you understand your child’s pattern. It was 3pm when we landed in Toronto, but for my son it was 10am so snack time and due for nap time. He should have slept on the flight but didn’t so his clock was really messed.
- Keep inflatable pillows for the journey. They are invaluable for resting if you’re delayed at the airports etc.
- Look out for airport pushchairs for toddlers. Toronto airport had these brilliant push chairs called “Transat Limo’s”. Dubai had regular pushchairs, but places like gatwick didn’t have anything.
- Take a harness. We were gifted a little rucksack that had a harness on it and it came in handy when you need to put your child down!
Most of all- try and have fun. Kids like all parents know, are really sensitive to emotions of parents. When we stress, they get anxious. Smile lots and they will be fine.
My mantra with Sid is – laughter is the best medicine.
So you’re pregnant!!
Well, not you per se, but you other half is.
And as dads, we get considered the accessory to all of this. The number of times I got ignored and pushed aside while people flocked to Wifey to say “wow aren’t you blossoming?” Was met with a number of stern looks from me and my casual response of “well I actually did most of the hard work but whatever” (rolling eyes emoticon). I had another 9 months of this.
Now for the next 9 months you may be wondering what to do when you’re not building the nursery, or panicking if you’re going to be a good dad, or dealing with the surge of emotions (hers) and so on.
But for me (like other dads) this was an incredible journey.
I was able to witness the creation of life and the development of my unborn child in all its glory. Without having to actually have the morning sickness, or the mood swings, or the swollen ankles.
This is about as much as most guys I’ve spoken to get involved. For me,this wasn’t enough. I often think that mums to be get the opportunity to develop a unique bond with their child, way before it pops out. They get to feel the baby and talk to the baby, they share a heart beat, and other bodily fluids.
But dads, it feels like we kind of sit there twiddling our thumbs before we can connect to the baby, which happens after its out in this world, and at this time you’re fighting off all other relatives to get time with him…
Me, well my family say that I’ve been broody since the age of 19 (probably true) and so this journey was one waited for patiently and I wanted to get connected to Sid as soon as possible.
I thought I’d list a few things that I would do, every evening, to connect with Sang and the growing baby, to develop a bond as a prenatal family.
These things kept me close to her, and I feel gave me a great connection to Sid before he arrived in June ’14.
- Listen to the bump. Every evening I would stick my ear to Sangs abdomen to try and hear the baby swishing around. More often than not, especially for the first few months, I just got Sangs sloshing tummy thanks to her hyperemesis (a whole other blog). But as the foetus developed, i would get the occasional punch or kick from Sid- probably won’t to my weighty head resting on him too much.
- Talk to the bump, really close up. Sid was a great listener. I did at times feel a little stupid talking to him, but being able to tell him about the outside world, how beautiful his mummy is, and let him hear another voice was a great feeling. For me it was a connection to him that I developed over time and I think it explains why he doesn’t bother listening to me now!
- Mozart for babies. We found a great piece of music, about 2 hours long written by Mozart, on YouTube. It was a sleep remedy for me and sang and also something for Sid to hear over my snoring. Apparently Classical music is great for a foetus’ development.
- Importantly – and this is especially useful for the mum- massage cream onto the bump every night and every morning. We used a Sanctuary Spa cream developed for mums in the evening which was loaded with collagen, and a tummy oil by the same people in the morning and after showers etc. I get a lot of praise from Wifey for doing that – not a single stretch mark from the pregnancy. Aside from the obvious benefit, massaging is a sure fire way to build a bond with mum and baby. Lots of kisses and hugs kept the love flowing.
Sid is getting a little addicted to fruit yoghurts however they contain a little too much sugar for him. More than I want him to have that is
- A few defrosted frozen or fresh blueberries, chopped
- A few defrosted cherries
- Some fresh fat free yogurt
- A touch of maple syrup
As per the picture.