Sonny Jim: My number 1 priority
A few weeks back I got headhunted for a new job (aside from being Sonny Jim’s mummy I’m also editor of Essex Living magazine.)
It was a great offer and I was incredibly flattered (stuff like that never happens to me!) but it strangely reinforced just how much life seems to change when you become a mother.
Pre-Sonny Jim my priorities on the work front were (perhaps, obviously) the money, the perks, how much fun I could have with the job, how it would progress my career, and if it was a good chance to challenge myself.
When chatting to this new potential employer, I found myself asking all kinds of different questions.
Obviously the money was still important (they might be small, but my GOD children are not cheap to keep!) but I was now questioning working from home policies rather than champagne allowances (yes, I did once have a job where buying fizz on a Tuesday was a legitimate expense!) I was worrying about my office hours fitting around preschool opening hours. About flexible working. About security.
Godmothers: Sonny Jim with my girls
Sonny-Jim has two godmothers. They are two of my closest of friends.
One is an incredible single mum to an almost 17-year-old lad.
The other is mother to three boys – but her middle son, Alfie, was stillborn.
Ashingdon’s Emma Cox was pregnant with Alfie at the same time I was expecting Sonny Jim. But as I cuddled my three-month-old tot, she gave birth to a sweet baby boy, who never cried and never opened his eyes.
This was almost three years ago. And I have been in awe of her ever since.
Losing a child must be the worst thing a mother can experience. It literally breaks hearts.
And for someone to be able to take that tragedy and try and do some good, takes utterly incredible strength.
Since Alfie’s birth, Emma, and her husband Danny, have raised thousands of pounds for Southend Hospital – the place where she gave birth to all three of her boys.
And, to mark what should be Alfie’s third birthday, she has organised – for the second year now – a fabulous charity ball.
My not-so-little-boy: Soon to be a threenager
Next week my baby is going to be three.
As he keeps telling me, “I not a baby, I a big boy mummy.”
In theory I should be happy to say goodbye to the “terrible” twos, but I’m not. They really haven’t been that terrible at all.
Yes, the potty training has been trying. Yes, the end-of-the-world tears at the most random of things is tiring. Yes, the fact I can recite almost word-for-word entire episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam is probably not exactly ideal. But before we enter the threenager stage (I’m so not ready!) here are some
reasons I love the “terrible twos”.
All the feels: Only last week for the very first time Sonny Jim said to me utterly unprompted and out of nowhere, “my love you SO much mummy.” (Heart melting much?) He also tells me that “my happy now,” shows genuine concern for the feelings of others (including the trains on Thomas, “Gordon saaad mummy, he needs a rub now”) and hugs you, just because he wants to.
Going potty: Weee-ly fun this toilet training malarkey
So, as I chattered on about last week, potty training is go with Sonny Jim.
Day time nappies are no more.
Pants all the way.
And it has taken over my LIFE.
Seriously, at the supermarket yesterday I almost asked the cashier if she needed a wee.
I’ve got so used saying the phrase “Have you got a wee coming?” to Sonny Jim, that when I opened my mouth to ask if she had a pen it actually went something like this, “have you got a we-PEN, pen. A PEN. You know, just so I can…” [mimes scribbling in the air]
She looked at me as though I had actually lost the plot.
As did my child sat in the trolley. Continue reading
Worth all the crap – literally!
Last week was half-term.
Sonny Jim had no pre-school and I decided now was the time for my almost-three-year-old to finally figure out the whole toilet training thing.
Having spoken about this a fair bit (honestly, as soon as you become a parent I swear suddenly 50 per cent of all conversation starts to revolve around poo) I’d not been rushing the issue.
The general consensus among my mummy friends was that you’re best to wait until your child is ready – rather than when you think they should be – else it will become a battle. And you won’t win.
Until very recently, Sonny Jim had shown absolutely no sign he was in any way ready to give up his pull-ups. But in the past month or so, me, his daddy and his preschool “aunties” had a feeling potty training might be soon on the agenda. He would tell us when he’d done a poo. He was no longer unbothered by a wet nappy. He was talking more.
So, last Monday, we went for it. Daytime nappies were no more. And chocolate buttons were the bribe of choice. He spent two days naked from the waist down and the soundtrack to our days was me asking “wee coming yet?” accompanied by the theme tune to endless episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam. Continue reading
Poorly pickle: My Sonny Jim
This week I got my first phone call from Sonny Jim’s preschool.
I was working, as ever trying to squeeze eight hours work into four, and as I hung up the phone it rang almost immediately.
I answered without even looking, to hear the voice of Sonny Jim’s key worker telling me that he was “fine, well not fine, but okay.”
It transpired that my little lad was rather out of sorts. When we’d got up that morning he had seemed slightly off colour, but I assumed it was the very last of his teeth cutting (honestly, it sometimes seems like he’ll be riding a bike before those very back ones come through!) I gave him a bit of Calpol, jollied him along and he went off to preschool in his usual fashion, “bye mummy, be back soon!”
But he’d gone rather downhill since I’d left.
And in that moment as they told me he was really not himself, that he was sad and saying “my tummy hurt, my bum hurt, my mouth hurt” that he wasn’t eating his snack and he was very hot, I got all the pangs of mummy guilt.
Cuddling it better: Better than any medicine
One of Sonny Jim’s newest phrases is “mummy, lay DOWN. Poor tummy. Poor mummy.”
He’s started doing this ever since I was rushed to Southend hospital just before Christmas with suspected gallstones.
Though I managed to get him tucked up in bed before the ambulance came (and he had no idea his auntie Bear – my sister – spent most of the night on the sofa while I lay was prodded and poked and tested for hours by doctors) he has witnessed me spending a fair bit of time feeling utterly pathetic on the sofa.
And though I’m still not right (we’ve got no proper diagnosis despite the brilliant consultants and the dozens of tests) it has made me realise a few things.
Firstly, that it is possible to be sick and smile at the same time so as you don’t frighten your little one.
Secondly, that even when you feel awful (honestly, the pain at one point was worse than child birth) once you’re a mummy you are ALAWYS a mummy. Your needs still come second to making sure your child is okay. You don’t get to switch off the worry, even when people say you should.