Whatever works

Oh my, have I really not posted anything since July?!

I hate using the whole ‘I’ve been busy running after my toddler’ excuse but that’s not too far from the truth! I actually found myself with too many ideas about this blog and not a clue about what to prioritise so the result was not posting at all.

I can’t possibly  recap all that’s happened in the past 6 months but I can certainly give you a snippet.


What a difference 6 months make!

Co-sleeping saved our life
It was just after our holiday [or during, more like it] that we completely gave up trying to get Frances to sleep in her cot. Up to that point we had made an effort to keep her in her cot at least for the first part of the night and then we would get up and bring her into our bed when she was starting crying around midnight. Failing to do that would result into getting up an average of 3 to 4 times a night to put her back to sleep.

Then, whilst on holiday, one night she fell asleep in our big bed in the hotel room, and we didn’t have the guts to transfer her into the travel cot. That night she slept beautifully, like she [and we] hadn’t done in so long. When we got home from holiday, we carried on with that arrangement and before we knew it we were fully fledged co-sleepers, and still are.

Now, I don’t want to get into the old debate about if or how co-sleeping ruins children and alters all balances in the family. It’s not that I’m in denial, not at all. It’s just that in nearly two years I have now accepted the fact that sometimes you gotta do whatever works for you, your child and your little family as a whole.

My daughter is happy. A happy and independent little 21 months old girl. She enjoys cuddles at night and we love seeing her cheeky grin first thing in the morning [even if she still doesn’t sleep past 6am on a good day]. We will get to a point where this solution is not going to suit everyone and we will find another one, like we’ve always done. End of.

Change is good
Unless it’s nappy-change and that’s still not fun! Around September time [which, like many say, is ‘the new January’] I decided to look around for a new job. I had been in my current place for 5 years, including maternity leave, and I was really in need of a fresh challenge. I had that thought in my head even before having a baby really, but for obvious reasons I stuck around. Then I wanted to make sure that F. was well settled at nursery and we didn’t have to leave work too often due to all her nursery-related bugs.

So, I started sending out my CV to a few places and one evening after work, I had a nearly 2-hour interview which was followed, the next day, by a job offer! I started the new job exactly 3 months ago, at the end of October, and I’m loving it. It’s the same remit I had before but the difference is that I am a one-person-team so all the responsibilities within the HR/Talent Development remit fall on me now. I wanted a challenge and I definitely did get one! I still work flexible hours so I can leave at 4.30pm and go pick up the little one from nursery an hour later.

Blah Blah Blah
Everyone says that, around 18 months, children have a ‘speech explosion’ [I’m pretty sure experts use a different term!] but I’d somehow missed the memo that said that the first word, and the second and the third, would be NO!

Would you like a banana / anything remotely healthy? NO
Let’s go change this stinky nappy? NO
How about we sit here and read a book / pretend to make tea / smear play-doh all over the house? NO [she may actually be up for the latter!]

Jokes aside, it felt like Frances’ vocabulary really did explode pretty much overnight. She started with the basics, Mamma and Papa, and carried on through to naming body parts, foods or names of toys. She can now put two words together, like Papa’s shoes or Mamma’s coat but she still doesn’t say her own name and refers to herself as Tata.

I only ever speak Italian to her and, whilst she speaks mostly English, she can understand everything I say to her and it’s amazing to see already that she doesn’t need any time whatsoever to elaborate that into her brain to understand what I’m saying. She just knows. Very fascinating. I’ve been told that it may take her a little longer to start talking properly because she’s learning two languages at once but I love the fact that for example now she can actually communicate her discomfort, by saying ‘itchy’ or ‘hand’ to point at something that is hurting. It has definitely made our life easier and her less frustrated as she’s now able to tell us what’s wrong.

Meet our new BFF, Peppa Pig
I am certainly part of that category of parents who swore they would NEVER put their kids in front of a TV or computer and I’m quite ashamed to admit that back in the day I also found myself feeling judgemental towards those parents who did.

Up to a month or so ago, I was kind of proud that F. wasn’t really interested in watching telly. We did try and leave the cartoons on, when we really needed a break, but she just wasn’t interested and I was happy with that.

Then during the Christmas holidays, we found ourselves stuck at home for a few days as the weather was so dreadful that it would have been crazy to go out plus F. had a bad cough too. We had a Peppa Pig’s CD and book which she loved and we were listening to it time and time again for weeks. So we just pulled an episode of Peppa Pig up on Netflix and we all watched it snuggled up on the couch and it was so lovely and probably the longest break we ever had all together at home.

Things have got out of hand a little recently as she’s asking for Pig constantly. She watches it before nursery in the morning and when she gets home [and we take turns to sit next to her]. I stressed about that initially but then thought of all the other activities that we do with her during weekends [playgrounds, aquarium, baby orchestra, etc..] and all the quality time that we have as a family.

During the week she spends 8 hours every day at nursery playing, reading, singing, running so if she wants to watch her little friend Peppa Pig and her colourful family I’m not going to stress about it any longer and I’m just going to join her on the couch and enjoy a break that we both need after a long day.

So, here I am! It’s good to be back.










3 thoughts on “Whatever works

  1. The girl with the red suitcase says:

    Welcome back you’ve been missed 🙂 It’s been so nice to read a little update from you. Frances does look really grown up, can you believe our babies will be TWO years old in a little over two months? Jamie is very much like Frances, we have been co-sleeping ever since I returned back to work i.e. when Jamie was 7 months old because that’s how he sleeps all night long without intervals and how I replenish the energies he depletes from me during the day. Lately people’s comments about how wrong co-sleeping is at this age were getting to me, hence I loved reading what you wrote about it. Thanks for writing it! Jamie was slow with speech too, but after the New Year his vocabulary has started expanding at an impressive rate too! And our new BFF is Lightning McQueen, although he likes Peppa too! HAHA. I love that Frances can understand Italian…. a me piace molto l’Italiano, lo parlo abbastanza bene. Magari potrei parlarlo con qualc’uno cosi spesso 🙂

    • upsandbumps says:

      Thank you! What a lovely comment. I’m always happy to hear about other families who co-sleep too. Funnily enough over the past couple of days I have read two articles/researches that actually say that co-sleeping is not as bad as it’s always been painted and that more and more parents choose that option. We do need a bigger bed though – The standard UK double is not big enough to accommodate a ‘tossing & turning & kicking’ toddler! Every time we go to Italy to my parents’ we realise that their double bed is basically the equivalent of a UK king size.
      Your Italian is amazing! I’m relieved to hear that Jamie is watching cartoons too. I do believe it’s all a phase after another phase after another. She went through an ‘addiction’ to the iPad and now she is not even asking for it any more.
      Are you already thinking about Jamie’s 2nd birthday? I’m scared by how fast that date is approaching! This year we will do something much much smaller, just with close family really. But I still want to get a big colourful cake!

      • The girl with the red suitcase says:

        Yeah, literature is increasingly in favour of co-sleeping but I still get judged from the people I talk to, about our sleeping arrangements. Like you wrote though, when this stops being a good arrangement for us we’ll find another one for sure.

        Yes I am already thinking about Jamie’s 2nd birthday haha! I really love birthday party planning, so planning Jamie’s birthday is my reward for being a mum haha! We are going to limit the invitees this year too, though.

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