Tag Archives: sleep

Cat Naps

Before David was born, nearly everyone warned us that we’d treat the cats differently when we had a real baby.  We were warned to make sure we put a cat-net on the cot, that we shouldn’t allow them to sleep in the same room as him, that we’d have to be extra-cautious about sterilizing everything.  Our midwife was horrified that we weren’t “getting rid” of them.

Well, we’ve never really been bothered about germs.  The cat-net on the cot lasted for the five minutes before Snowball worked out how to remove it, we let the cats back into the bedroom after ten minutes on the first night home from hospital, and the ten-second rule applies to everything that touches the floor in this house.  Joe goes by the mantra “if it hasn’t got cat hair on it, it’s probably OK.”  Snowball is fed on the side in the kitchen, otherwise the boys jump on her, and we keep a litter tray in the kitchen, too.  We clean the side and the floor pretty regularly, and make sure we disinfect the side before preparing food (which, to be honest, I’d do anyway.)  There is a frequent exchange of toys, especially balls, between cats and baby: we just make sure that none of the cat toys are a choking hazard, as they’re pretty much guaranteed to end up in someone’s mouth.

Now, I know that there’s a school of thought that says you should keep pets, especially cats, away from children whilst they sleep.  We never had a problem with Snowball or Wily sleeping in the Moses basket or the cot when David was tiny, although there were occasions where Snowball would sleep next to David on the sofa.  They still don’t really go near him, especially now that he’s big enough to chase them and pull their tails.  Until this morning, Eric hadn’t shown any interest in sleeping in the cot, either.

I caught him there when I went to collect David from his nap.  Well, he’s certainly showing interest now.  It’s in a nice, warm spot, and the duvet is soft and comfortable.  There are snuggly soft toys, including Mini-Eric.  It’s not easily David-accessible unless we put him there, and Snowball and Wily have never slept there or marked it.

You know what?  I’m not going to bow down to pressure or paranoia on this one.  The stories about cats smothering babies are clearly an old wives’ tale: no cat would ever go near those grabby hands.  (Eric, certainly, would not sleep within reach of David.).  David, meanwhile, is clearly benefitting from growing up so close to these three beautiful creatures: he is mostly very gentle, and he can now say “puss!” and “miaow”.  I want him to wake up to a cat sleeping on the end of his bed, like I did with Jenny and Charlie.  One of the reasons that we got Eric when we did was that so he and David could grow up side-by-side, and I’m so very glad they are.

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Eleven Months

Dearest David,

Today you turn eleven months old: only a month to go until you hit the big O-N-E.  Hasn’t this month been a rollercoaster?  I’m going to apologise now for not writing more about you this month, or taking more pictures, but in between the high-fever hallucinating and the throwing up, there hasn’t really been time.  (Swine flu.  Oh joy.  Incidentally, you ARE having the vaccine.)  Never mind, everything is OK when you have meringue.

I’m writing this as you sleep, during my precious work-time.   You are sleeping better in the day and at night because we’ve moved away from blankets and bought you a proper duvet.  The first night you slept under it you slept on your back all night with Donkey tucked in next to you: you haven’t done that since before you could roll over!  The fact that I could just take a photo of you asleep without waking you is testimony to the power of The Duvet.

This month, you mastered your walker, and then a few days ago you took a STEP!  And then another, and then another.  You’re not quite confident enough to walk on your own yet, but when you have your walker (or a chair, or your bead thing, or the high chair, or anything else the right height…) you can run!

We’ve had an interesting month with food, haven’t we?  Just after you turned ten months, you discovered chocolate buttons.  Daddy and I discovered that chocolate buttons are a brilliant bribe (sorry, reward).  This is good, because you seem to have hit the two-year-old fussy stage a year and a month early.  All the wonderful fruit and veg that you’ve been eating since you were six months old?  No thanks.  Pasta in a lovely spinach sauce provoked a tantrum.  Pears were even worse.  Why?  You ate pears last month.  At Rugrats and Half Pints yesterday you refused to even put cucumber in your mouth, never mind bite it.  It’s OK, though.  Daddy and I have come up with a solution: we’re just going to cover everything in hummous or yoghurt, then you won’t know that it’s vegetables.  That, or you can live on Mini Cheddars and chocolate buttons.  And meringues.

Your cousin Wilfred came to stay for a week this month and you had a great time together.  It’s the first time you’ve both been aware of each other, and it was lovely.  You’re (mostly) very gentle with him, although you do splash a little too much in the bath for him.  Watching you play peek-a-boo with him was one of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen.

Talking of baths: you adore them.  There have been days where you’ve had three or four in a day.  Not because you’re dirty (although meringue in the hair doesn’t help) but because you love them so much.  You can now request “bath!” and “splash!”, and there have been occasions when we’ve spent an hour in the bath, playing with ducks, bottles, the shower…  If you didn’t have to come out of the bath, I don’t think you would.

The way you play has changed so much this month.  You’ve figured out that stacking cups stack, and that the farmer in your farmhouse can slide down the chimney.  You’ve changed so quickly that you have next to no age-appropriate toys in the house, but your birthday and Christmas are only a month away, so you’ll have to hang on.  You love sliding the beads around on the bead thing, and you love your tambourine and maracas.  At Grandma and Grandpa’s house, you have a “phone” (a remote without the batteries in), which you pretend to talk to people on.  Talking of talking, you are learning new words almost every day, and you babble as though we can understand you.  You still have some very clear words, and yesterday you uttered your first phrase: “Get down?”.  I can’t wait to have a proper conversation with you.

Your understanding and social interaction are at a whole new level, too.  I asked you to sit down this morning, and you did as you were asked.  You hold your arms out and say “Up!” when you want to be picked up, and you frequently stop playing, give Daddy or I a hug, and then go back to whatever you were doing.  You also know when you’re being asked not to do something, and delight in disobeying us with a cheeky grin.  You’re visibly thinking more: we can almost hear the cogs whirring in your brain.

You’ve developed an unbreakable bond with Daddy now.  Well, you both laugh at fart jokes, find the word “poo” hillarious, and spend your time blowing raspberries at each other.  Maybe it’s just a man thing.  I love sitting back and watching you play together.

Son, I love you so much that I’ll almost think about forgiving you for throwing up in my car the other day.  (Yeah, thanks for that.)  You’re turning into a toddler so fast, and it’s amazing to think that this is your last newsletter before you turn one.  I miss my teeny-tiny baby, but you are so much fun now.  I’m not going to pretend that getting to this point hasn’t been hard, but now we’re here, it’s AWESOME, and I love you.

Lots of love,

Mummy and Daddy (who’s probably going to cry when he reads this)

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Birmingham Sea Life Centre and The Bullring

Apologies for grammar, it’s late and it’s been a LONG day.

So, this week, we’ve survived swine flu and the LONGEST 24-hour sickness bug in the world (started Tuesday night, today is the first day I’ve kept anything down).  Today is the first day that David and I have been well enough to do anything, so we decided to come back in style, with a trip to Birmingham.

We started with a visit to Birmingham Sea Life Centre.  The tickets are ridiculously overpriced if you just go once, so we took the plunge (forgive the pun) and forked out for the annual pass.  It was worth every penny.  David responds so well to fish: they calm him down, and stimulate him at the same time.  I’ve never seen him respond in the same way to anything else.

Here are the pictures.


We combined the trip to the aquarium with an attempt at Christmas shopping in the big shopping centre, the Bullring.  I happened to have my camera out when I saw a couple of security guards have words with a couple of teenage girls.  Here are the (accidentally) long-exposure shots.  (I’d left my camera on the settings from the trip to the aquarium.)  I’m really rather pleased with the effects.

I didn’t have the heart to take pictures of Christmas things.  There’ll be plenty of time for that before Christmas.  It’s the 19th November, for Heaven’s sake!

And with that, I sign off for the night.  To go and do this.

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Guy Fawkes’ Night

Last night was Guy Fawkes Night, so we headed over to Joe’s parents and up to the local college, where they put a display on every year for the villagers.

Here are the best of the pictures.

And the best thing?  David loved it so much that he fell asleep on the way there and didn’t wake up until the end!

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