I was upfront with the doctor who confirmed Jonah's pregnancy at around six weeks about my alcohol consumption. He tried to alleviate my fears, telling me his wife didn't realise she was pregnant until she was five months gone. "We just don't know what the effects might be," he said, but you are far from the only one who gets drunk before they realise they are pregnant.
Having received a card from the middle-aged couple a few doors along, next week we're having a little soiree for the neighbours - all except Dead Bob Willis and his invisible wife, obviously. As I drive home from Homebase with a boot full of planks singing along to "Rebel Rebel" it somehow feels Christmassy and normal.
Our boys have grown up secure in the knowledge that whilst there was enough love to go around, the special bond they shared with their birth parent would remain intact. But do we treat them differently, NO!
My last musing was to suggest that we eschew the Power Maternity Leave and enjoy our time sitting around in Starbucks, adore our little ones and generally join the ranks of the yummy mummy brigade with gusto...
So, here's what breastfeeding-advocacy isn't: It isn't anti-formula users. Breastfeeding advocacy is about wanting new parents to have access to ALL the facts about how they feed their babies. This includes the risks of using formula milk as a breastmilk substitute...
here was evidently some form of disconnect between my son's verbal acuity and his ability to write things down. His math's skills soared and he remained bright and questioning with a fascination for the world around him, but reading and writing were still huge hurdles.
Don't be downhearted if you are a cat owner and haven't had children yet. I suppose there are some things that cats do that may help prepare you for children. Sometimes they shit on the carpet. Sometimes they piss in the kitchen. And sometimes they stay out all night and come home pregnant...
Despite regular reports that flexible workers are more productive and committed, the practice is still regularly presented as one of the biggest issues in the workplace, with managers too often looking at it as a problem to be solved rather than as a problem solving tool.
So what was Yonderland like? Challenging, exhausting, but most of all, fun. Film making is not a quick process, the hours are long and there is an awful lot of time in between bouts of filming whilst the camera crew, lighting, sound, props, set dressers, puppet team and most importantly director finalise a shot.
When you look at the facts, perhaps it's not such an odd concept for women in their 20's to think about freezing their eggs now and having a much better chance of conceiving with these younger fresher eggs in later life. It's something that wasn't available 10 years ago and women who are struggling with infertility now would do anything to turn back the clock to their more fertile years.
I've spoken at length about the importance of contextualised learning. As parents, we have a clear role to play in helping our children put theory into practice. It shouldn't fall solely on the shoulders of teachers. However, it still makes me question whether schools are doing enough on their side to prepare children for their futures.
Experience shows that frequent change of partners without deeper commitment and a meaningful responsibility towards each other is one of the main reasons for an increasing number of 'problem children' in many developed countries. They cost us educationally, socially and economically. This is a big worry for social scientists, educationalists and many parents.
There is no one right way to parent a child beyond the basics of love and boundaries. Children are born with different temperaments and ways of responding to the world and what works for one child is wrong for another. Most children are resilient and will bounce back but there are a few who are particularly vulnerable to addictions, psychological disorders and extreme behaviour.
Sean's spots are healing, Emma making friends; Lynda is working in London today. The house is "coming together" (as in, it's no longer falling apart). The roof of the summerhouse is secured with tarp and screws. There's nothing useful I can do alone. Nothing for it: I must write.
By maintaining that breastfeeding is a right for all children, the clause aims to foster strong mother-child relationships. This idea (and suggested duration) is taken from the Qur'an. But the Qur'an itself doesn't stipulate mandatory breastfeeding.
Why are we, as a culture, creeped out by the idea of a woman wholeheartedly enjoying breastfeeding? We're uncomfortable at the suggestion that a woman might exercise such autonomy over her body that she breastfeeds beyond infancy and might actually LIKE DOING SO.