Sometimes in life on that rare occasion you really do get what you ask for. In my eternal quest for the ideal job one of my top criteria has always been for no day to be the same and each day to present new challenges – hardly original I know, but none-the-less true. Well, I can safely say in my current role as ‘learning on-the-job mum’ I certainly have got what I asked for with each day presenting new and ‘exciting’ challenges that whilst often testing have shown me a new level of patience I never thought I had.
In a rare moment of downtime (probably around 1am when I should be making use of my boy being asleep but opt for watching a straight to DVD movie instead) I heard the profound words ‘being a mum is one job I won’t quit’ spoken by a C-list celeb in a scene that I am sure had no intention of being so deep but the words rang true even during the past weeks when mealtimes have been little more than a battle of endurance ending only in victory for the producers of Babybel.
As anyone with small children will testify every week seems to be a new phase of your little ones’ development, personality and general being. Change is the only constant and when it comes to the staples in life of eating/sleeping and excuse my French pooping there is little you can rely on to be the same from day to day. To add to the rocking of routine are variables such as disease-ridden nursery & never-ending teething which just when you think you’ve cracked it and your little being is eating like a pie-eating contest winner and sleeping like an angel these two things can once again throw everything you’ve known and loved for the last 24 hours out of the window. In recent weeks it has been known in our household for mealtimes to switch from a joyous 10 minute feeding session to a two hour fish finger marathon literally overnight. We of course speculate over the cause (trying to find the cause of change in your child’s behaviour is a useless but constant hobby of a new parent) but with so many options to choose from it is best not to even try and get back to that straight to DVD movie.
Determined to tackle the food issue in a calm and productive manner I took to my main source of parenting support – the many blogs/forums/online groups I subscribe to and was happy to discover the constant and often overnight change in eating habits is extremely common and most kids go through it at some point – often more than once. As with most things in life being able to relate to others and seeing that you’re not alone is often all that is needed to help turn that frown upside down (seriously lacking sleep when it comes to this kind of talk).
When discussing your kid’s behaviour with others one of the most common phrases you will hear is ‘he/she is just going through a phase.’ I recall hearing this when I was growing up and I am sure it is something as a parent you hear and cling to all the way through to your kids reaching adulthood and no doubt beyond – because let’s face it mums & dads as a parent you never stop caring (how much do you now realise the full depth of that annoyingly overused but oh so true cliché?!).
We recently took Lucas to a paediatrician – one of the many up sides of living in Barcelona is you actually get to see specialists in the field of health as opposed to in the UK where you see a general practitioner who has a ‘special interest’ in kids which not only fails to fill me with confidence but also sounds slightly creepy. During the visit we explained our concern over the recent change in eating habits and checked if it is possible to in fact overdose on copious amounts of cheese. The sympathetic doc soon allayed our fears by reassuring us it was just a phase and not to worry. Ah – see even the doctor says it’s just a phase.
Within the same visit the nice man asked many questions about Lucas and his development – can he say 5 words? Can he understand requests for objects? In response to these questions myself and my husband often replied with opposing answers – much to the surprise of the doctor. Me generally answering yes to everything and hubby answering no to most things – I put this down to me spending more time with Lucas rather than an optimistic mother versus a realistic father. At this point I did feel a little like jumping on the recent debate around too much early testing/ let kids be kids bandwagon – particularly when he told us by the next visit Lucas should be saying up to 10 words – but, then I decided if he’s not talking by the expected timeline it’s just because he’s going through a phase…