Thursday, 30 September 2010

Dear Health Visitor

Fishers Lane, Chiswick,

I understand you are very busy, you've seen a line of people before me and there is an equally long line after me. I realise that you are understaffed and part of an under-pressure NHS. I'm sorry that Alexander accidentally had a wee on your scales, but hey, he's a baby in a strange place, these things happen. I'm aware, as you say, he's quite pale with his big blue eyes and fair hair - people mention it a lot.

Despite all the above, I don't think it's OK to ask "are you actually his mother?" even if you are a bit embarrassed afterwards when I say "well, I'm pretty sure I saw him come out". I'm not really sure of a context where it is OK to ask a mother if her baby is actually her baby, but I'm certain this was not one of those situations.

Well, I would have been more annoyed if it hadn't given me a good story for the blog.

Kind regards,

Vanessa Arden-Wood
mother of Alexander Auberon Butler... really.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Hair apparent part 2 - mad baby

The second in our impressions series gives me an excuse to discuss a minor battle that rages between Alexander's mum and dad (Haydn and I to those in the know).

Once again the battle plays out in the hair follicle arena. You see I like the little man's hair all scruffy, ideally sticking up on top with his gorgeous little curls poking out by each ear - so cute! Haydn, however prefers the mad men look above, all brushed down and parted, 'the accountant look' I like to call it. I spend the weekends trying to hide the baby brush, usually unsuccessfully.

I suppose this battle will one day be resolved once Alex is big enough to have his own opinion - he will probably scupper both of us and go for a number one all over... but until then the hair wars will continue to rage on.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

How to ruin your best red shirt.


Film Directors are often heard to say, (especially when justifying a big budget)- 'the money is all there up on the screen'. Well judging by these pictures, the right one in particular- the same can be said for the Alexander's meager food budget- keep in mind the day we took these pics, it was one of the less messy affairs, usually its Hiroshima in that high chair.

It's not an easy task for a 6 month old to learn how to eat solids, least of all with a spoon. But the little chap seems to be a dab hand at negotiating the rigors of guiding spoon to mouth, it's just the keeping it in his moosh that proves tough at times.

For the record his favourite foods are ranked in this order:

2-banana yogurt
3-tender stem broccoli
4-bread sticks

Oh and he doesn't seem to like

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Hair apparent part 1

Here is the first in a new series of impressions young Alexander Butler achieves through the power of his hair

(and a tiny bit of 'photoshoping' from mum).

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A sleepy lesson

A few days ago Alex decided he wasn't going to sleep during the day, I think we managed about 40 minutes in total over the course of the day, mostly made up of the following scenario:

1. baby looks very tired
2. mum puts baby into bouncer
3. baby cries
4. mum persists with rocking tired baby
5. baby keeps crying
6. mum picks baby up
7. baby looks even more tired but still refuses to sleep
8. baby eventually falls asleep in arms/bouncer/sofa/pram
9. baby wakes up after approximately 4.5 minutes
10. and repeat

I'd forgotten how exhausting it is and how difficult it is to get anything done at all let alone cook dinner, clean or tidy the house, even take a shower when you don't get those baby nap moments. Alexander is not a huge sleeper during the day but we usually manage at least a few sleeps which last around 45 minutes when I can get a surprising amount done.

By the time Haydn got home I was properly grumpy and completely knackered and so frustrated that I didn't do any of the jobs I was supposed to do.

That night I remembered something...

I get to spend time with my baby ALL DAY LONG and he is the coolest, cuddliest, most fabulous little man in the world and what the hell was I complaining about.

The next day he clearly had catching up to do and was in and out of sleep most of the day - I gazed at his peaceful sleeping face secretly willing him awake.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Playing with your food

Master Butler is the youngest in our little mothers group, by almost a month. Normally it doesn't make a difference as all the babies are developing at their own pace. We already have a crawler, an expert roller and a master bouncer but now I'm feeling a bit left out because all the babies have started on proper food.

At first I wasn't looking forward to the idea of dealing with actual food instead of simply putting a boob in his mouth at the first signs of hunger, but now, watching the other babies with their puréed vegetables and finger food I'm kind of envious. I've been reading a book on Baby Led Weaning (yes, my life is that exciting) which as far as I can tell involves skipping the purée stage and giving your bubba a variation on whatever you're having... that's assuming you don't live on burgers and fried chicken for three meals a day.

Anyway, I have decided to give it a go as it seems to make some sense and looks like fun, hopefully it also encourages us to be more healthy and creative in the kitchen.

The other day I couldn't resist and gave Alex a raw carrot just to see what he'd do with it, judging by his enthusiasm in video below he shouldn't have too many problems when we get the 'solids' phase.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Babies don't keep

I saw this poem on a friend's facebook page and thought it was so lovely, as well as being an excellent excuse to avoid the cleaning and other chores for today!

Babies Don’t Keep

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

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