Thursday, 29 December 2011

Danger Drumming

Just ignore the horrible throw, laundry and general mess....and enjoy the dangerous madness.  Yes, we are encouraging LLC to aim away from her face, and ours....

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Christmas reacquires the "wonder element" with children that is partially lost somewhere along the fuzzy transition into adulthood.  Although LLC doesn't fully comprehend the ethos and lore of this holiday, she does much more so than last year and its been special watching (the run up to) today unfold through her eyes.  Some of our highlights have been:

-Opening our USA sourced picture-based Advent Calendar throughout December....naming all the Christmas-related and winter scenes behind each window.
-Teaching LLC about Santa, his impending visit, and her emergent recognition and discussion of him.
-Wrapping presents with the help / hindrance of small go-getting hands and conversations about giving / appreciating those that we love.
-Visiting a favorite forest pub and unwinding before an open fire.
-Playing the "name the ornament on the tree" game.
- Leaving out a mince pie and glass of brandy for Santa / carrots for Rudolf and Co.
-The look of excitement on LLC's face when she finally noticed her new tricycle next to the fireplace this morning.
-Delving into the contents below the tree...
-Beach walks with family and friends - the ultimate re-invigoration.
-Saving LLC from falling spread eagle into a huge puddle in her Christmas dress.
-Eating fine food, and lots of it.
-Watching my bump dance each evening post dinner - baby #2 likes his food already!
-Our transatlantic skype call where LLC decided to strip for the camera.
-Stopping to relax and drink the day in - it's been a good one - I hope for you too.

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy holidays all!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

LLC Toot

From the shores of Long Island to the brown tides of the Thames, men are no different when it comes to pride in their bodily functions.  Why why why?  I don’t understand how a person could take such pride in the volume, stealth or noxiousness of what is quite natural but foul - the expulsion of intestinal gas.

And how can something so common but so best left in the toilet command such a raft of names:  gas, wind, fart, cut the cheese, trump, and now in our house, “toot.”  Because that is the newest addition to LLC’s burgeoning vocabulary and it’s thanks to her daddy, alongside her less developed social inhibitions.

Chris and LLC were camped out on the sofa when she happened to let one rip.  “LLC,” Chris declared proudly.  “You went toot!” And a new phrase, understanding and misplaced pride took root in our almost 2 year-old.

“LLC toot.  LLC toot,” she chirped, grinning.  And of course the phrase stuck.  It’s now right up there with her version of clock (“cock”) and treat (“tit”).   

What next?!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Extraordinary Breastfeeding - But What About the Kids?

After my now compulsory fix of 'Professional Masterchef' (how did I never discover 'Masterchef' before?!) I managed to catch a chunk of the 'Extraordinary Breasfeeding' documentary. I'm sure I heard rumblings about this portrayal of parents that breastfeed past the age of two in the UK, though I'd never seen the film myself. I'm also sure the content has previously given ample fodder to the blogging and journalistic world and beyond, but here are my two cents as a pro-breastfeeding woman.

I appreciate the benefits, and in my case with LLC the relative ease of breastfeeding, and respect those that choose to do it just as I respect those who can't or don't. Bottom line it's a personal choice in my view.

Having breastfed I also appreciate how it comes to strike a real emotional and bonding chord, whether this is invited / expected or not. I definitely felt a sense of loss when I stopped feeding LLC, but at the same time I felt confident it was the right time for the both of us.

I'm sure many who viewed this documentary found it "disgusting" or "unsettling" by virtue of the fact it showed children up to 8 years old still feeding and a father admitting jealously of his kids as he also liked to be breastfed (and indeed sometimes still did - it was a family activity!).

What I'm in a quandary about is the impact of this well into childhood feeding on the children themselves. I stopped feeding LLC around the time she turned 1 and I do appreciate that for some it's preferable to feed longer until 2 or just after. But once you reach a point where your children actively discuss and will remember the act, for me, it's time to pull the plug.

Children are so impressionable, and I expect the later a mother leaves it to stop breastfeeding, the harder it may become to wean her child off the breast. I'm less concerned that toddler and child feeding breaks social norms, but more curious at how it may lead to unhealthy attachment issues between mother / child. I question whether mothers feeding this late are largely swayed by their own selfish sense of loss at stopping rather than truly acting in their child's own interest.

Once children grow mature enough to no longer request feeding (unless a case of 'Bitty' ensues), how will they feel about the late feeding? Will it just be their norm, or could it really disturb them a bit and make them feel some boundaries were violated. I'm not saying it would definitely be the latter, but it likely could.

It's a sensitive topic and these are only my views. I'm not saying others should feel the same, but I wonder what your thoughts are on the subject?