Moments amongst the mayhem

S turned 3 a couple of weeks ago and since then he’s turned into a right diva toddler! He’s pushing boundaries, getting stroppy and exerting his authority. I understand it’s all part of finding his place in the world but man it can be exhausting! Anyhow, this post isn’t really about that, another one will be on its way…a girl needs to vent!! This post is actually about the really cute moments amongst this crazy “threenager” phase.

S noticed a scar on my shin a few days ago and asked me about it. I explained I fell a long time ago and it left a mark. Then this conversation happened yesterday:

S: Mama, what is that on your leg?

Me: I fell S and hurt my leg.

S: Mama, you need to be careful.

Me: I know S, thanks for reminding me. I will be careful.

S: You promise? *with such an earnest look*

Me: *Unable to respond because heart is melting*

And it’s moments like these that sort of re-set my “patience clock” and I’m ready to handle my little one stroppy “threenager” again.

11/52

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“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

We went to a birthday party last weekend and I was absolutely amazed that S sat still for long enough to be transformed into Spiderman.

The ParentCast goes live!

At the start of this year, Amie contacted me saying she had an idea she wanted to run by me. I was all ears (I thought it was a linky) but turns out it was even more fun…a Podcast!!

After a few weeks of brain storming, recording, re-recording and a whole load of editing and techie stuff on her end, we’re finally live!!

In my teens and early 20s I always disliked the sound of my own voice (when I heard it back) so this is a big deal for me but talking about parenting and S in particular brings me such joy, I think I can overlook how I sound ;)

So without further ado, we present The ParentCast. We promise you fabulous tips, advice from various experts and lot’s of laughs…don’t miss it!

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The Shangri La, Cebu Mactan

Last summer my cousin Benita got married in Cebu, a beautiful island in the Philippines. I’d been to Cebu before but like any holiday, it’s a completely different experience with a baby/toddler. S was 2 years and 4 months when we visited last July. We stayed at the Shangri La Mactan resort which is pretty much the best one on the island (and only a 20 minute drive from the airport). Their facilities are second to none and having your own private beach is definitely a plus point.

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The pool

The people of the Philippines are renowned for being friendly and walking through the resort you’re constantly being greeted by members of staff with the biggest smile on their face. When I visited several years ago, I didn’t think much of the food but this is something they have most certainly worked on because there was a huge improvement. Breakfast at the Shang is fit for a king – there is everything from sushi and noodles to pastries, fruit and cereals. You can have broth any way you want it and eggs any way you want them – a food lovers heaven!

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The private beach

They have three pools. One is outside the Ocean Wing part of the resort and the other’s are a short walk away. The main pools have basketball rings at either end as well as slides and water fountains for the kids.

Sounds impressive? You haven’t heard anything yet! Before we headed to Cebu, I bought some sand toys for S but when we got to the beach, we came across this:

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And even better, there’s a member of staff there at all times just to hang out with the kids and build sand castles.

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As amazing as it all sounds for kids, they also have a lot for the parents as well. There’s jet skiing, snorkelling, banana boating, paragliding, underwater walking classes and lots more. And if it all gets a bit much down at the beach, parents can head up to play mini golf, go to the spa or to the gym while the children are entertained in an indoor soft play/arcade. Creative classes are also run hourly which children can attend for free.

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Although there are several eateries at the hotel, the prices can be on the higher end. One of the best things about Cebu is their seafood and I definitely recommend exploring the island and checking out their many amazing restaurants.

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If you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday that takes some of the weight off travelling/holidaying with children then Cebu is a fab choice. It’s warm all year round, even during the rainy season which is June-September.

Family Fever

Happy 3rd birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday to the one who sings me “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family..”, to the little boy who gives the biggest cuddles, who’s giggles make my heart burst, who still believes me when I say I’m trying to take the face cream off while rubbing it on…to the one who jumps into my arms when I pick him up from nursery, sometimes still insists on sharing my pillow and never fails to amuse me with his rendition of “Gangnam Style”.

You’ll never know:
How excited I was when I found out I was pregnant,
How much I used to talk to you as you grew inside me,
The way you’d start kicking about the minute I’d lie down to go to sleep.

You’ll never remember:
How you tried to push your way into this world but ended up being lifted out,
How many times a day I kissed you when you were born,
All the times I sung you to sleep.

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I’ll never forget:
The love that rushed to my every cell when they placed you on my chest,
The way you looked up at me when you were feeding,
The first time you giggled at 6 weeks old,
The day you said mama for the first time,
The way you make me hold onto your foot when you get into my bed in the middle of the night,
The song I hum that calms you,
Where you’re most ticklish,
How you rub my cheek and say “Sorry mama” if you accidentally hurt me…and so much more.

My darling boy, in the 3 years since you stepped into my world, you have made me stronger and more courageous, tolerant but also more assertive. You have literally turned by frowns upside down and for that I love you.

Wishing you the most blessed year ahead and the best time at your Peppa Pig birthday party later today.

Love you infinitely,

Mama xx

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9/52

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“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Looking down at me and shouting “Awesome” after he climbed a particularly difficult ladder to get up to the top!

Mama, I put a carrot up my nose!

Children children they keep us on our toes,
Why just today my son had a carrot up his nose.

In honour of World book day, I thought I’d have an attempt at channelling Dr. Seuss. How did I do?!

I was called in early to nursery today because S decided to put a piece of carrot up his nose. He was totally fine and when I got to nursery very proudly announced “Mama, I put a carrot up my nose!” How can you not smile?

I brought him home and after many attempts at massaging his nose, using one of those bogey sucker things and asking him to sneeze, I resorted to using a straw to suck it out. Not my finest moment!

Eventually it came out and he now proclaims “Carrots don’t go in your nose, they go in your mouth.” Well, I’m glad we got that clarified!!

What are we doing to protect India’s daughters??

I’m speechless! I just watched the BBC Four documentary India’s daughter (by Leslee Udwin) about rape victim Jyoti Singh and I’m speechless. But I can’t afford to stay quiet…

To hear what these rapists and their lawyers have to say about Indian women is beyond my comprehension. The fact that people can still think like that in a country that claims to be the 3rd largest economy in the world is beyond my understanding. Where has India gone wrong? How are we living in the 21st century and still holding on to the belief that a woman should not go out at night. That if a woman is out at night, she’s asking to be raped. They claim to be a democratic country and yet the BBC Four documentary has been banned! Why? Do they really think they can hide the atrocities committed by these men I dare call humans? Do they not realise the power of social media?

Today, with a heavy heart, I feel sad to associate myself with India. A land with such rich culture that is being washed away due to ignorance. A country that treats cows with more respect than they do women. People that will prostrate in front of their guru’s and then turn around and hurt another being in the space of 5 minutes. Taxi’s in Mumbai more often than not have either a picture of a deity, an idol or even incense lit in the front cabin while the driver uses his rear view mirror to check out his female passenger in the back. I had my bottom pinched at 11 as I was walking out of a church. How can these people look “God” in the eye?

When watching the documentary, I was proud of the youth who came out protesting on the 17th of December 2012 and all the men and women who still tirelessly campaign for women’s rights. But let’s not kid ourselves. In a country with over 1 billion people, a few hundred thousand protestors is not going to change the mentality of the rest. It’s up to the government, the people that the country looks up to, to make a difference, to be the change. With the government banning the documentary being shown in India, what message is that sending to the people? That to be raped is a shame? Something that shouldn’t be talked about?!

The sad thing about the entire situation is that these men, these rapists, they don’t suffer from any sort of mental illness, they’re not psychopaths, they are ordinary men, men with families, men with children who believe raping a woman is their right over her, to show her, to teach her a lesson. It’s their mentality and mind set that needs to be changed. Mukesh Singh (one of the men on the bus) who was interviewed couldn’t understand why such a fuss was being made of a situation that to him was so common. “When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” he said.

When an “educated” lawyer claims he would pour petrol over his daughter/sister and set her a light (in front of the entire family) if she engaged in pre-marital activities (sex), how can we expect the common uneducated man to think any better?! And while I admire the protestors who came out in the hundreds, I don’t think hanging these men is the answer. I think they need to be shamed, they need to be used as an example of what happens to men who think it’s okay to rape a woman. They need to live a slow and painful life and feel every bit of regret before they die. Dying is escapism, killing them is not truly punishing them.

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. I want my child to grow up in a world where women aren’t just worshipped at Diwali in the name of wealth and prosperity but looked after everyday. In their homes, on their streets, as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and daughter-in-laws. I’d prefer to believe that the idea of boys being more important exists only amongst the poor and uneducated but it doesn’t, it sadly exists amongst people I know personally.

So how do we even begin to shift the mind set of the masses? I think we need to start by making our voices heard. By reading, sharing and writing so that the Indian government starts to sit up and take notice. Until then, I’m grateful to live in a country that encourages freedom of speech. In a country that brought forward the release date of “India’s daughter” before it was banned. In a country where, for the most part, I feel safe.

http://qz.com/356299/no-jyoti-singh-is-not-indias-daughter/

http://urbanasian.com/whats-happenin/2015/03/bbc-releases-indias-daughter-on-youtube/