How It Feels When Your Kid Is The Naughty Kid

The Naughty Kid

At 2pm I went into school today to pick up Arthur.

I get to the classroom and he is sat with all the other children singing a song, he’s delighted to see me and comes up and gives me a great big hug.

I ask if he’s had a good day.

“He had a fantastic morning, but….”

my heart sinks.

The Teaching Assistant calls a little girl over and shows me a great big bite mark on her face.

That afternoon he had bitten this little girl.

I’m told it wasn’t aggressive. He was actually giving her a hug at the time.
I’ll be honest, that didn’t really make me feel any better.

The teacher comes in and tells me that she wonders if it is a tactile thing with him. Whenever he has bitten someone (never has it been this hard as to leave a mark) it has never been in an aggressive situation.

I get to the car and start putting the boys in their seats.

A grandma of one of the kids says hello.
“I want to meet the famous Arthur”

 

I laughed. This little boy in particular I see Arthur playing with at school. I figured it was because they are friends and maybe he talks about it at home.

Nope

“Arthur I hear you two are fighting.”

There’s that heart sinking feeling again.

She goes on to say that her grandson tells her all the time that Arthur fights him.

She is trying to keep it light hearted, so am I.  I don’t think she realises how mortified I am feeling.  She is just trying to make her grandson happy after all.

I’ve had never heard of an incident with these two boys. I try and say that kids have fallings out all the time, I think they are friends.

We finish getting in the car and cry all the way home.

Arthur in the meanwhile, falls asleep in the car, none the wiser of how I am feeling.

how it feels when your child is labeled as the naughty kid

How it feels when your child is ‘The Naughty Kid’ in school

I guess I’m writing this post, to share how it feels when your kid is painted as ‘The Naughty Kid’.

Knowing that children and worse other parents are talking and thinking of your child in that way is the most devastating feeling.

It’s safe to say, that we have all judged naughty kids, when we were in school ourselves and as adults.  I certainly have.

It’s not just the naughty kids I have judged.  I’ve judged the parents.  They must have done something “wrong”.

Let me tell you something about my own ‘naughty child’.  We raise him to be kind, caring and loving. He is those things, and much much more.

I am not defending the things that he has done.  I am devastated and embraced by those actions, believe me.  But, we are working on the root cause of those, trying to figure out what is going on.  Why he is behaving that way.

The teacher very kindly tells me that there is no such thing as a naughty child. It is all communication.

While that is lovely of her to say, sadly that is not what the world sees.

I’ve heard parents, discussing a child (not mine) and years after an event happened still labelling them as ‘naughty’.

To think that people will do that about my son breaks my heart.  To think that people judge him, and judge our family is a very sad and isolating feeling.

 

How to speak to a parent of a ‘naughty child’

I’m not saying all parents are the same.  I’m not saying that there is one specific way how to deal with or approach another parent about this situation.

What I do want to say, is to remember that that parent has feelings.  If your child is having a hard time from their kid.  Remember that they are probably already more that aware of the fact that there are issues.  They are probably embraced and sensitive to it.

If they are totally unapproachable, and you are very concerned, perhaps try and arrange a meeting with the teacher.

Mostly though, please don’t judge them too harshly.  We are all trying our best with our kids.  No one is deliberately raising their kid to be naughty.

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When baby sleep makes you question everything you know about parenting!

Isn’t it crazy how baby sleep makes you question everything you know about parenting!

Freddie is almost 5 months old.  This month his sleep has gone downhill!  He’s always slept so well, getting up 1-2 times a night for a feed.

“It’s the 4 month sleep regression” I hear you say.
With Arthur I read all about sleep regressions and it made total sense to me, I had always fed him to sleep so I got that I needed to teach him to fall asleep on his own, without me!
But with Freddie, we have always put him down awake, he knows how to self settle.  So I can’t understand why his sleep has turned upside down all of a sudden!?!

The last few nights Freddie has been having around 4 night feeds.  I know that he doesn’t really need this much, but I start playing mind games with myself.  I question if he has had enough milk at his bed time feed. I start to get so frustrated that I don’t really know how much milk he’s had.

My problem comes when I think Freddie has woken too soon after a feed in the night.  He can’t need feeding already, I tell myself if it’s only been a couple of hours since his last feed. But then doubts start to creep in and I can’t stand the thought of leaving him to self settle when he’s hungry.

I did this with Arthur too.  I gave myself a hard time about it all.
We had done sleep training with him but he still would wake a couple times for feeds when I knew that technically he didn’t need it any more.
I never got the hang of expressing, Arthur was not keen on the bottle anyway and I so desperately didn’t want to give him formula.
I felt like I would be failing as a Mum.

When I did eventually try him on Formula one night, he gulped it down and had the best sleep ever.

This of course led to extreme mixed feelings from me.  I was of course really happy Arthur, and I, was getting the sleep we needed.  But then there was the guilt; guilt that I hadn’t switched him to formula at night sooner, and the guilt that my milk hadn’t been enough for him.

So this time round, I decided I’d be way cooler about it all.  That it didn’t matter, as long as Freddie was getting what he needed I didn’t need to stress.
Well, clearly that’s not quite gone to plan else I would not be sat here now writing this post!!

My latest reason for stressing out is that Freddie is nearly a month younger than Arthur was when I started giving him formula at night time.  That by itself is not too much of a problem, but I know that Freddie is a way better feeder than Arthur ever was.  So, perhaps it’s not the amount of milk he’s getting, its something else….but I have no idea what!

As I got myself all stressed and upset about it this morning, after another rubbish nights sleep, Mark asks me what I want to do.  I tell him how I’m feeling about it all.
He then said something that made me snap out of my upset.  He reminded me that we are about to start weaning Freddie so asked why is trying him on formula any different?
He is right.

So, Mark picked up a can of formula tonight and at bed time we gave him a bottle.  He didn’t drink it all but about 2/3rds.  We put Freddie to bed awake and as always he drifted off no problem.  We will see what the night brings!

I’m not giving up breastfeeding all together yet.  I’m not ready.  If it works tonight then great, I’ll have my guilty feelings the same as last time of course, but at least he will be sleeping better.  If it doesn’t work, well at least we can rule it out and then try something else.

This post is just a reminder to us parents to stop being so tough on ourselves!  A reassurance that all will be fine, whether he has formula or not!  Arthur was on formula totally by 8 months and he’s doing great!

At the end of the day we are all doing our best, and worrying is just part of the job right!?

Anyone else as neurotic about their babies sleep as me?

I haven’t even started on proper routine nap times yet with Freddie yet, that’s a whole other area for me to get crazy about!

When baby sleep makes you question everything you know about parenting

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Me time

  I’m the first to admit that when it comes to Arthur I have been a little obsessive. I guess with being here and everyone I know here working (at the school mostly) and not having family here, I kinda gave myself this 100% 24 hours a day attachment to Arthur.  Little to no me time included! Now i know thats not a bad thing as such but I think it came to a point where I was losing my identity a little bit. This was all totally self inflicted, Mark would tell me to go visit friends, go diving or whatever but I didn’t feel like I should be leaving him. I had a couple of trips out here and there but we are talking less than once a month and never for more than a couple of hours. I felt really bad for Mark as he was feeling like I didn’t trust him with Arthur but that wasn’t the case at all. My thinking was that if Mark was free I wanted us all to be spending time together as a family not me going off by myself! By the time Mum and Dad got here Arthur was 9 months old and I don’t know if it was anticipation of my parents coming but all of a sudden something clicked and I felt ready to start doing some stuff without Arthur, some things where I could be Chantelle again not just Arthur’s Mum. So, what have I been doing? Well, over Easter I did lots of diving. I’ve started running again, I’ve been going pretty much every other day. just short distances but it feels good to be getting into it. I’m hoping this weekend to try a little longer distance and see how I get on. I’m starting French lessons tonight, once a week. I’m excited about this, although, I was really terrible at French at school (I’m going to blame my French teacher though, he was mean!) Other than that its just some little things, taking some time out to look after myself a little bit using some nice products on my hair, using some nice moisturisers…..really simple things that take two minutes, I would never have dreamed of not doing before having Arthur but I just stopped once I had him. Anyway! Having had some me time, I realised that it was not only good for me, but probably good for everyone! I definitely become nicer to be around when I’ve had some time doing something thats for me!  It’s been great for Mark and Arthur too as they’ve got to spend some really nice time together, just the two of them! What do you do for your me time?

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Being a Seychelles mama (the harder bits) 0-8 months

This post is all about the harder bits about being a Seychelles mama to a 0-8 month old.  These things do not outweigh the positives of living here for us.  I’m not looking for sympathy here (and know I won’t get it!!!) but I thought it might be nice to share that living in the Indian Ocean does have its drawbacks!!   Being a seychelles mama (the harder bits) 0-8 months

  1. I’ll start with the obvious!  Being away from family and friends.  I won’t get into this too much, it speaks for itself really.  There are days that are harder than others!  To be honest though, I lived about 5 hours drive away from my parents before we moved here and okay tack another 10 hours to that to get here by plane but its safe to say that the views are a lot better here!!  Another reason why this is hard is for help with Arthur.  Mark and I really have raised him by ourselves, which I’m not complaining about but there are days where you would like to drop him off at grandparents for the afternoon and take a little break!
  2. Weather.  Yes its glorious, and yes it makes getting Arthur dressed very easy however for the last month he has had perpetual heat rash and that sucks!!!
  3. Availability of anything.  To me this is the hardest thing.  This isn’t just baby stuff, although that effects us most these days.  You can not consistently get anything here.  The thing this bothers me most with is nappies.  The shop at the top of our road is generally very good and does order things for us but if it runs out on Mahe (the main island) then we have to wait a few weeks/months until another shipment comes in from whatever country.  There will always be some sort of nappies that we can get but for some reason people here prefer cheaper brands that are really plasticy and horrible 🙁 to me buying nappies like that are false economy, although they are cheaper you get through so many more because you have to change them every 5 minutes!
  4. Medical care.  So this has only been highlighted in the last month where I took Arthur for the doctor for heat rash and a second time where we went to hospital.  We have to pay, it’s not America expensive, but its not cheap!
  5. There are no groups/classes.  I’m talking parent and baby groups, I do always feel a pang of jealousy when I read on twitter about mummies going to different groups or classes with their babies.  It seems like a nice way to meet other parents and its something thats missing here.
  6. There are no pavements in most places.  This is a bit of a pain for going for walks.  The roads are mostly very quiet and so its not too bad but it’s not ideal!

Okay so I think thats the main things covered, can’t really think of anything else right now!  I’m not sure how this list will change as Arthur gets older, i’ll be interested to look back on this!!

Seychelles Mama

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Being a Seychelles mama (The good bits) 0-6 months

Thought I’d share a little bit about being a seychelles mama (the good bits):

Being a Seychelles mama (the good bits) 0-6 months

  • Getting Arthur dressed is never really a chore he pretty much lives in bodysuits.  It’s too hot for anything else, so no layers required.  In fact often he is just in a nappy during the day.
  • He gets to be outdoors a lot!  I always wanted to have kids somewhere where we could spend a lot of time outside, somewhere hot basically .  We definitely get this here.  I find it amazing how a walk in the fresh air can do a grumpy baby so much good (and a grumpy mama too!).  The view is obviously good too which is another bonus for us both!  At 6 months he’s just starting to get to an age where taking him to the beach is fun, he can sit up by himself and so can have a good look round at everything.

Being a seychelles mama (the good bits)

  • Health and Safety hasn’t gone mad here.  I guess the most obvious example I can think of is how baby walkers are now so frowned at as they are ‘dangerous’ due to the injuries they can cause.  They have even been banned in Canada.  Now I bet that nearly all of us had baby walkers when we were little and we are all just fine!!!  Surely common sense needs to be used here, if the baby is supervised these things are perfectly safe!!  Sorry I’ll get off my soapbox now I just get cross when ‘health & safety’ steps in when a bit of common sense just needs to be used!!
  • I don’t feel judged.  I’m not saying everyone feels this way in other places, but we really are pretty much left to it here.  We had a health visitor come round once for about 5 minutes and we go down to the clinic once a month to get him weighed.  His 6 month check up consisted of them asking if we had started feeding solids yet, seeing he could sit up already, seeing if he could crawl (he can’t).  We briefly spoke about his sleep and  that was pretty much it!
  • There’s no ‘x-box culture’.  I guess this partly goes hand in hand with my second point.   I know Arthur is too young for this to be an issue yet but still it’s something that scares me and is one of the reasons we wanted to have a baby here!!
  • Swimming. There is a small hotel thats a two minute walk from our house that we can take Arthur swimming in all the time.  It’s my favourite thing to do with him, he loves being in the water (just like me!).  We have started taking him to splash his feet in the Ocean too.  It’s rainy season here right now and its a little chilly by Seychelles standards so we haven’t taken him in for a full dip but it won’t be long….I can’t wait.

Being a Seychelles mama (the good bits)

  • The ex pat community.  It’s been amazing how helpful people have been.  We had a lot of stuff given/loaned to us that has been so useful, a bumbo, a changing table and we even got our cot (actually this was from a Seychelleois family)…..Its at least 20 years old and handmade, it was in a bit of a sorry state as had been kept outside and kind of used for storage so me and Mark did it up and now its beautiful.  We had to order a custom mattress as its an unusual size but it will last until Arthur is ready to go into a proper bed as its really big.  I even got thrown a baby shower which was just so lovely considering by that point we hadn’t even been here a year!
  • Baby love.  People here LOVE babies.  Everywhere you go people want to give Arthur cuddles, he gets a lot of fuss made of him!  If we go out for somewhere to eat there’s always been someone offering to hold him/play with him while we eat….amazing! Also there is more availability of baby things then there is anything else which is of course very useful!

 

There are also some challenges in being a Mama in Seychelles, I’ll do another post soon 🙂

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