My Kitchen

smeg range cooker in my kitchenMy dream kitchen is pretty much the one I left behind at our last house.  It was a kitchen we’d done a lot of work to create.

We had a strange ‘utility room’ which served no utility as it had no power and no water.  Knocking down this wall really helped open up the space and paved the way for creating a very large kitchen indeed.

Then we had a lot of fun choosing kitchen cupboards, wall and floor tiles.  Eventually, everything slipped into place and our kitchen was complete.  It was wonderful and a real selling point for our home when we came to sell.

Sadly, our new house has a dated, tired kitchen, but it’s about to have a makeover.  I can’t wait in a way, but I’m dreading the mess and the upheaval.  Wish me luck!

Back To Nappies

giving up night nappiesSadly our initial successes with night-time dryness haven’t been sustained.   I told you a few weeks ago that we were giving it a go and to begin with things went reasonably well.  Then we started to have problems with school swimming lessons and J’s confidence started to take a nose dive. I guess it’s inevitable that problems in life would manifest themselves in other ways.  When we first tried some years ago, we had 9 dry nights in a row and then he had his MMR booster and it all went to pot.  After some weeks of washing bed linen all the time, we went back to nappies.  Now we find ourselves doing the same thing.  J has been involved in this decision and seems happy with it which is good as I would hate to dent his confidence anymore at the moment.

It might be that J just isn’t ready.  He is 7 years old, but his father wasn’t reliably dry till 8 and his uncle even later apparently.  They do say these things run in families, so we may be just trying to rush things.  J remains reluctant to consider the medical investigation route, so we are leaving things as they are for now and just going back to nappies.

It was nice last night to wake up to J having dry sheets after going back to the nappy.  I had got sick of everything smelling of wee every morning and we were having to wash bed linen and pyjamas every day or so.  I’m going to have to stock up on nappies again I think as I only have a few in the house.  We are lucky in that we are still able to use size 6 nappies and haven’t got to buy special pyjama pants at the moment as they tend to be more expensive.  H is very slim at the moment so he has no trouble fitting in.  What we are trying to encourage is not using the nappy before he goes to sleep (yes he was being that lazy).  We are also trying to get into a routine of trying for a wee immediately before lights out, previously he went before his quiet time.  Hopefully, this will take the pressure off the nappy and will mean that it leeks less often.

How Not To Deal With A Concerned Parent

I told you the other week about the problem we’ve had with J’s school swimming class. I’ve now spoken to the teacher twice to raise my concerns.  It’s been a frustrating experience and one that has taught me a few things about how not to deal with a concerned parent.

  • Don’t go on about how wonderful the teaching/activity is and how much progress other children are making. This just highlights that their child isn’t getting that benefit from it.  It could also be seen as been rather arrogant and uncaring.  All the other children are doing well, so what’s wrong with your child?  It suits most of the children and we can’t be bothered to do anything about the fact that your child isn’t benefiting.  That’s all too easily the type of message you could be sending.
  • Don’t say he seems fine in the class. This can be interpreted as ‘you’re imagining it’ ‘you’re been oversensitive’ or ‘your child is putting it on for your benefit’.  It also suggests that you don’t know the child very well or haven’t bothered to ask him how he feels about the situation.  Simply put, it doesn’t inspire confidence.
  • Don’t continually defend your position without doing something positive for the child.  You can reassure the parents until the cows come home, but if the child is upset again after the class, you’ve wasted your time as they will discount everything you said.  Addressing the cause of the problem is probably a better route to take.
  • Don’t assume that the professionals know best.  Swimming instructors get it wrong you know.  They might get it right most of the time, but everyone makes mistakes.  Sometimes they may be over-cautious, sometimes they make snap judgements.  It’s not necessary to just roll over and accept things every time, it is ok to question once in a while.

Swimming With The School

Swimming with the schoolI love the idea of school swimming lessons.  It’s got to be a good thing right?  Sadly, it hasn’t been for us and it’s been really frustrating.

J has been going swimming since babyhood.  He’s had regular lessons all that time with the same swim school.  He’s also swam with us as a family especially when we are on holiday.  During the school holidays, we try to go once a week too, especially during the longer breaks.  So my son loves swimming.  He’s never going to be an Olympic swimmer, but he should turn out to be very competent. I plan to send him to lessons for a good few years yet.

He’s been swimming independently (no floatation devices) for over a year.  He’s got various badges including his 20 metre distance badge.  He’s learning his strokes and is already quite good at breaststroke.  His front crawl needs a bit of work still, but it does the job of getting him around the pool.

So J went swimming with the school.  They all wore armbands the first week while they saw how good they were.  Fine.  They then let them take the armbands off and J lost his.  Fine.  Then they did a bit of a test and J got knocked off his stride by another child swimming across him.  Fine, that happens in the pool.  What doesn’t have to happen though is that a child who was fine without armbands, suddenly gets put back in them.  Imagine what that does to self-esteem.

Now J is reluctant to go swimming and had to be persuaded to go to his regular out of school class.  That went well because they know him and he enjoys it.  I had a word with his teacher about the swimming with the school and the armband thing.  I left it with her and he wore armbands again.  Sighs!  Clearly, she didn’t listen to a word I said.  Not a very happy bunny as you can imagine.

Giving It A Go: An Update

giving up night nappiesLast time I told you about how despite J showing no signs of being ready to be giving up night nappies, we decided to give it a go anyway.  The surprising thing is that we have had a lot of success.

Nights 1 and 2 were dry.  On night 3 we put a nappy on because we had to get up early to catch a train in the morning and we didn’t want to risk a disturbed night beforehand.  The nappy was pretty full. the next day.

After that we went back to it.  It’s been a bit mixed.  What has been positive is that I haven’t been summoned to change the bed before about 3am any day, which suggests that he isn’t producing too much wee through the night.  In most cases it’s been 4.30 onwards.  There have been quite a few dry nights too and I’d say we were averaging 60:40.  This is better than I’d dared to hope for, so I’m very happy.

Another thing that’s interesting is that I’m not washing bedlinen much, if at all, more often than when he was wearing nappies.  With nappies they either got full (because he was weeing into them when he was still awake I think) or he’d been messing around down below (as boys do) and the nappy wasn’t ever going to be able to work because his willy was sticking out of it.

He’s motivated to succeed because he’s embarrassed about the nappies and because he wants us to buy him Skylanders as a reward for getting dry.  I’m hopeful that he’s on the right track and I just hope things continue to improve from here.