Tag Archives: childhood

Revising Childhood

So it is that time of year, we are over the last year and all the trauma, we have either completely ignored or already forgotten our resolutions. We are realising the fresh new year is already nearing the end of it’s first month.

Have you noticed the nostalgic posts gathering steam? First FB photo versus current profile, memories, anniversaries of albums or lists of albums? I will freely admit I did a round of albums that meant something to me as a teenager. Which lead me to the following conclusion. I have really great taste in music. And I am old.

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You see, I totally understand looking back at what was, what might have been, could have been. And we are now far enough removed from 2016, but still close enough that we are reflective. We look at where we are, what we have managed to do, what have we changed in the last 12 months. Did you do anything we meant to do?

In our show this week (17th Jan) we were looking at age, and the question on what you would tell your teenage self. And what is age?

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One question that was asked on the show – perfect age. I mean you can totally over think this, look at your experiences at different ages or project where you wish or expect to be at a certain age. Me? 25 – I always default to being 25, I know, I know – you are all shocked to hear I am even that old. But why do I default to that age? Well to be perfectly fair it used to be 21, but I realised that I really couldn’t pull that off any more. I mean is there an age where you can honestly, hand on heart state that everything, EVERYTHING – and I mean the fucking planets aligned and angels sang a chorus, was perfect? Guessing the answer is no. But it isn’t really the question Audrey was asking. It wasn’t directed at our own experiences, but rather at the perceived age that we need to or want to be to gain what we need/want. So yes, I still stand by 25. Because it is long enough to get an education, and have experience. Although when I reflect at being back in a minimum wage job, I wonder at my life choices.

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Now when we look at what we would have liked to have known as a teenager, what life, experience, wisdom, age and reflection has taught us? Well.. nope. I wouldn’t. I may well be in the minority in this. But as much as there are several missed opportunities in my life, both work and love. I have moments, I am sure we all do, where we think about what might have been. But that is a fantasy and not reality. Because… and my not so inner hippy coming out now – life if a journey. The person we are today is a product of everything we have been through up to this point. So to change even one thing, will have a massive consequence. It sounds simple enough to say ‘be more confident’ ‘you will do the thing’ ‘don’t go out drinking instead of studying’ but actually… that all leads you to the person you are today. And by dwelling on what might have been, or what you should have done, you are missing a very important point. You are the only person who is responsible for your journey. And you need to realise, accept and understand this.

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Now something that I want to round this out with, perceived age, what you needed to or should have done, and actually dating. For me to say I will date someone younger than me. at my age? Not an issue. I have got to an age now that I would say that there are much more important things than age when looking at a partner. When you are say, 20 the issue is slightly more … obvious. So while we could white wash age, and state it is just a number, I think the point that we miss is that we need to have LIVED to be able to do that, and no amount of soul search, reflection or wishful thinking will help that. With age comes wisdom. We are able to make informed choices, we are basing them on experience not just our own, but experiences our peers have gone through and that we are able to critically analyse.

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What I am slowly getting at, in a way so round about you probably didn’t see it coming is that we need to stop assigning such importance to age. Age, like maturity, is not something easily assigned. There is no right time, no end time, no cut off point.Equally there is no point in looking back and wishing. All we can do is be flexible in our approach to all things and know that we are the architect of our destiny and journey. Blame can be placed no where else.

With that in mind – be at peace with what has been. It is in the past and has become part of the person you are today. But you can do nothing to change the past. You are though, in control of your future – ENJOY!

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Life before the internet

I woke this morning to the following question in a group ‘Older WOW players, what did you do before the internet’ – it is was posted in a game specific post and of course garnered plenty of answers along the lines of ‘we went outside’. The game itself, if you are not already familiar with it, has players of all ages, and worrying as it is to think about, there may well be players who have only known a world in which the game exists.

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But this question is very ambiguous – what is the question asking? Older – how are we quantifying this, if we don’t know how old the original poster is? Older than the internet maybe? But then, the internet is pretty old, broadband is still relatively new in the lifespan of the internet and MMORPG’s (massively multiplayer on line games) are also relatively new. I only really had free access to a personal computer from my early twenties. Before that I was relying on a flatmates or more often, using one at work in my free time. I understand that things have changed, and that most people will have access to the internet freely whether that is via their phone or another computing device.

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My reply to the question as posted in the group is as follows :

What is the question, how did we game or how did we entertain ourselves? Because they are 2 different questions. For example, old as I am, there have been computer games of a sort my entire life so really the only difference is that I now play an mmorpg. If the question is what I did for entertainment with friends?! We would go to each others houses which meant giving our parents a break for a few hours while we ate our friends out of house and home. With regards to entertainment generally, if you are asking how hobbies have evolved, are you asking what people did when they were younger? Because that hasn’t changed a great deal for me. The biggest change for me is communication which is that I no longer tie up the phone for hours on end and can have a conversation spanning and hour, an evening, or days as the participants dip in and out.
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For me the question is still troubling, is it asking what did we do for entertainment as children? Which I guess is implied as it is directed to ‘older’ players? But then, we would have changed what we do naturally as we get older. We might go out more, go out less, have more responsibilities, or more disposable income to spend on expensive hobbies. But the internet is more than just a game, for example, to link in with a recent show – we have access to things like Netflix. So not only do I get to play online, with other players and therefore interact real time with people, I can stream tv shows, movies, documentaries that are ready when I am, and… well let us now get started on my love of social media. 
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What did we do without the internet? Or what did we do before the internet? The answer is, we did things differently. We did most of the same things, if you enjoy outdoors, walking, running, cycling, riding… the internet has not changed this. If you enjoyed gaming with friends, tabletops? This still happens, but now you can also play games like WoW, gaming itself has been around long enough that really the internet has not changed this either. If you enjoy reading? Well, now we can buy books online and have them transferred onto our kindle (other reading devices, I am reliably informed, exist… ), if you love movies, cinemas still exist, people still love going out to see movies on the big screen. But yes, we can no stream movies, and shows etc when it suits us. There is very little that has ceased existing because of the internet, or been entirely replaced because of the internet although it might have been supplemented.
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So what is the answer? Well maybe the question might be, when you were my age, what did you do? That might have made more sense! 

Horrific Childhood

Growing up in the Eighties, there was no shortage of horror movies, ones that shaped and influenced me, I keenly remember watching things like Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie, Poltergeist. There was never a moment where it was suggested kids shouldn’t watch these movies, many hours of play primary school with mini Freddie’s terrorising the rest of the playground.

I remember being introduced to the Hellraiser series while being looked after by my neighbours after school. I was hooked, it was colourful, gory and the scene in the hospital has never left me. Let us also not forget movies like Gremlins, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters – movies that were to a greater degree aimed at a younger market.

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A friend shared an article that expressed the dismay at the lack of horror for children these days. I did a quick search for horror movies for children, it threw up things like Nightmare before Christmas, Monsters Inc and Frankenweenie. Which I think really, misses the point. I even found A Neverending Story on the list. Horror? Really, are we calling challenging scenes and emotions horror? Most of the themes become scary only when you get older and the full implications of the movie and what it is actually saying. The only thing that really might upset a child, is the same thing that upsets me and that is a pony possibly drowning in quick sand. But themes of death and sadness are not things that children should be shielded from, they are a part of life and children don’t get a free pass in real life. Why hide it in their films?

But death, in and of itself isn’t horror, and subtle themes, again will be missed by children. You have to remember that when you watch something as an adult you have a different, not necessarily greater, understanding that that of a child. This means that when you watch the same movie as an adult, you are no longer viewing it as you might have done.

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Now I am going to go in a slightly different direction for a moment but please bear with me – it will all come together!

When I was a child, my mother made a friend, I was never entirely sure how this relationship started, or how it continued as she didn’t really seem to enjoy Helen’s company. Helen had a daughter a little younger than me, and we spent time together, I spent weekends with them. Not sure why, I never really enjoyed it, and since my mother had children it didn’t give her a break. Now one of the things that my mother couldn’t understand and didn’t agree with was Helen’s insistence that her daughter not wear a school uniform. Not that her daughter went to a school that didn’t have a uniform. No, that her daughter was given special privilege to not wear uniform. So instead of just being part of her class, she stood out in her entire school.

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Again this might sound like I am going on the weirdest tangent but there is a reason for this colouring in, please bear with me. It was something that Helen took from her own childhood, she hated wearing uniform. She therefore felt her own daughter shouldn’t be put through the same thing her mother forced her to go through. And another hold over i have noticed is homework. I have lost count of the amount of people how keep bringing this up. That they don’t understand the point, that their children should learn enough in their school day, that they should be able to wind down after school, that it isn’t the parents responsibility to educate their children. I won’t go on. But it illustrates a point.

People are using their own experiences to colour the experiences of the next generation. When people don’t like wearing a uniform or doing homework, instead of appreciating or understanding why these things are important. But this is something to expand on in another blog post.

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My point is that decisions on what movies to make, what to give the green light to, are made by people  remembering the ‘video nasty’ movies from the Eighties and Early Nineties. It is entirely possible that they are trying to remove the possibility  of their children being subjected to the same. When you look at what is considered as horror for children, you are looking at movies like Coraline. I really like it as a film, but horror it isn’t. The storyline will appeal to most children, who hasn’t felt that their families are being entirely unfair and wanted to start over. But again what we catch as adults watching this movie is darker than what children will be watching. We are not watching it with the gaze of innocence. We understand more because of experience. Remember the difference in tone between the songs of innocence versus songs of experience.

We don’t have technicolor gore in our movies, we have a different taste now. Most of our horror is psychological, it is the shock value, paranormal. Most gore horror is now reserved for Zombie films and series that seem to have become more popular with the rise of other horror. Instead of a class hack and slash, we are terrorised by what lies beneath, what could be, what once was. This again is a throw back to what was popular when our generation was beginning to develop conciousness. Our generation, the generation after us, we remember the cheap thrills and gratuitous violence and have segregated it. We like our horror thoughtful, we like to have our shocks in the dark. We like to have bumps in the night and now a bloody body.

Now before you point out the obvious, yes there are movies out there in the main stream that bask in the gore, but they are the exception. They are not as prevalent as they once were. So what I am trying to say, in a rather long winded, and round about way, it isn’t just that the horror aimed at children is somewhat sanitised, horror has become something different. Everything evolves.

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Happy memories

So this is the third blog in my exploration in pregnancy and childhood – I am still planning on exploring breastfeeding and tying up the blogs I have put together with friends and listeners of the show. Now I realise I am asking a lot of you all to keep reading these, I know not all of you will be interested, or find this easy to read. And although the stories have been brutally honest – I wanted to have a blog that looks at the more positive side of having children 🙂

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H.H : Kids- watching them learn new things and find wonder in the world is such a precious thing. They may annoy the shit out of me but id kill anyone that tried to hurt them. I’m not a maternal person. I talk to them like adults and won’t hide things from them. They are my friends as well as my devil spawn lol. I spose again rather hallmark like my kids are my reason for living. I still mourn the babies I’ve lost, no matter how short a time I was pregnant with them, there is a hollowness inside caused by the losses. But im so amazingly lucky to have the beauties I have.

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T.R : Had my daughter at age 17, had a post partum haemorrhage, post natal depression, had two misscarriages and then an ectopic pregnancy age 23 and Yuen at age 25. Completely failed at breast feeding with both. Have let the Internet raise Yuen as an experiment. He’s mental. He speaks fluent meme though.

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Now, my friend L.M shared some of her experienced – L.M is profoundly deaf so I was curious as to her experiences with being a parent,

L.M : It just means I was constantly observing body language when awake despite being able to hear with hearing aids and very reliant on a shaking pad under my pillow with the baby mointor when asleep. It doesn’t impact for the most part, just finding it difficult to lipread my toddler sometimes when she’s playing on her words or she’s said something I’ve not heard before. But she’s slowly trying to understand that I need more help listening and often alerts me to her little sister and if the doorbell goes. 

I had a signer for my first birth but didn’t bother for 2nd x Makaton is very popular here with babies and toddlers, but I haven’t really done it as I lipread x Molly signs a little,but she’s a talker lol
 
My 3yrs old, just clocked I have pubic hair, and is currently running around shouting “hairy bum, hairy bum” on repeat and her 17mo sister following her saying “bum, bum, bum!” 😑
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What I wanted to remind everyone, is that pregnancy can be hard, you can encounter many obstacles to getting to full term, and labour, childbirth is neither pretty, magical, or clean. But children will make it all worth it. I know, again I am writing this when I have no children. I am blessed with many children in my life, and I am fortunate that my friends are willing to share their experiences with me and the show. I really hope that this is something you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing!

Dispelling the myth – pregnancy

So in a recent show we discussed pregnancy, childbirth, children. I asked for stories from people who had gone through it as this was a topic non of the presenters on the show could really talk about with any personal experience. I wasn’t sure what sort of response there would be to the question, which I put quite bluntly but I was really impressed with how open people were on their experiences, both good and bad. One friend commented on how it felt therapeutic to open up about things that she had experienced. So this blog is really, sharing what was shared on FB with me, and hopefully will help people with their own experiences.

I want to say, thank you again to everyone who contributed, it really means a lot to me and it was really eye opening to hear what you went through x

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J.B :

It took us two years for me to fall pregnant, with us trying pretty much every day. I was so excited that we were having a baby but hated being pregnant. 9.5 months is just way too long, not that I had a difficult pregnant it was fine, usual sickness and tiredness but I just didn’t enjoy it. Then felt guilty as a few people I knew lost their babies and I knew I was privileged to be able to carry to full term (plus a couple of weeks). Loved feeling the kicks that was the only positive I felt
Labour – worst pain I have ever felt! Was due to be induced st 8am on new years day, my contractions started naturally at 2am so had a bath, phoned the hospital and they advised I go in at 8am as planned. When I got there they examined me, I was only 1cm dilated but they stuck a hook in me to break my waters – found baby had a poo inside me so was rushed down to the delivery suite to be monitored. My contractions got 10 times worse and was on gas and air. At 2pm I threw it on the bed and said this ain’t f’ing working so they went to get the doctor, an hour later they gave me an epidural and I didn’t feel another contraction. But I got an infection due to the poo in me and was burning up even though I felt freezing so was put on antibiotics drip along with a hormone drip to speed up labour. Still going at midnight when they told me I could start pushing when I had a contraction – well I didn’t feel them as I had an epidural so had to rely on the midwife to tell me when I was having them (they could tell on the monitor I was hooked up to). It didn’t take away the pressure of the baby pushing down on my pelvis though, the only way I can describe it was someone shattering my pelvis with a baseball bat! After an hour I got cramp in my left leg which was worse than the pressure pain, and every time the head came out a bit I kept straightening my leg and he would go back in so made it tough for myself! They then got the doctor in and they put my legs in stirrups which helped, another hour of pushing and little man arrived! 10lb 1oz little chunk, got 2nd degree tears which took an hour to stitch up and the midwife felt faint after 45 mins and another lady had to finish stitching! But they put my baby on me and you really do forget it all as soon as you look at them – felt an overwhelming rush of love and was so relieved to have my baby in my arms!

J.B: Just thought of something….apparently breastfeed babies can go 5 or 6 days without a poo…I didn’t know this and Daniel went 12 hours without a dirty nappy so I phoned the health visitor who said when he does finally go there will be a massive poo explosion – an hour later I heard the loudest noise coming from his bum…… it was everywhere, all down his legs up his back – where the hell do you start to clean that up! I just dunked him in the bath! No one tells you the unglamorous stuff about motherhood beforehand!!

No one is ever really honest when you are pregnant and ask someone what it’s like to become a mother – everyone says oh my baby is perfect/doesn’t cry/sleeps through the night etc. Well no baby is perfect and it definitely is not easy, it’s the hardest thing I have ever done but also the best decision I have ever made is to have a child. I just love him so much, even when he’s screaming his little head off I just want to cuddle and kiss his pain away and I do, we sit for hours just cuddling on the sofa or when he’s sleeping I will just stare at him and hold his little hand thinking he’s just so bloody beautiful. People used to say sleep when he sleeps, or when he sleeps do the housework – well no thanks, i haven’t hovered for a month, i keep the kitchen clean and ive done washing but that’s about it, theres no way I’m missing a second of him being this little – savouring every moment. I love him so much it makes me want to cry and sometimes I do cry and it’s ok to cry (another thing I’ve learnt)!

R.B : All I can say is my pregnancy was horrible. I loved feeling my baby kicking and wriggling around but that’s it. I was sick everyday, I had SPD, I was poorly all of the time I had group b strep and cried for weeks over being told and the ad thing is they only tested me because I kept getting thrush and having high temps. When he was born I had to have a c section. I loved him but not as much as I expected and found I had post natal depression. I couldn’t handle it all. I have this constant struggle between being a loving mummy and not wanting to be a mummy it’s weird. I love my boy so much but I constantly thing I’m doing the wrong things. He’s a good kid but he’s been through his rough patches of being really naughty. He’s also been really poorly since he was born. I became a single parent when he was 1 and a half and that broke me. I know people always say they don’t understand how mothers can complain about having kids but some people just don’t tell the truth or they are living in denial because being a parent is the hardest and most selfless thing you will ever do. No child is the same. You are exhausted all of the time, you don’t have any guidelines to follow apart from feed and love your child lol. You are judged if you work and if you don’t. People will look at your child and what he/she is wearing a rend judge you on it. If you look young people judge you for being a rend young mum and the same if you lol older. It’s madness. I could go on forever. I’ve only put a snippet of it in here x

J.B :  Other mothers are rarely honest about their own experiences which I find weird as all I want to do is be honest and say it’s so bloody hard – my happy smiling pictures on instagram are just minutes out of our whole day!

K.R :  It’s true it’s the hardest thing to do

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D.H : REFLUXREFLUX. 

Silent reflux or normal reflux.

No such thing as a fussy or needy or colicky baby which screams all the time for all the days… Nightmare.

And/or

Divarification of diastasis recti. When the tummy muscles don’t go back! Horrendous! Many people don’t know about it. I had to pay privately to get it repaired. A lot of money. It’s “cosmetic” apparently but I couldn’t even manage my son. Debilitating. Yet all the reasons you can get surgery to get it repaired are cosmetic!!!

D.H : Think acid burning your oesophagus, bringing it up, swallowing it down until your tubes burn. The milk is quite thin and watery which doesn’t help. The valves in the baby’s tummy aren’t strong enough to keep it down. Sometimes they feed for comfort (constantly) which caused more liquid and more burning. Some kids throw it up. Some then refuse to eat at all! Food aversions. Milk allergies are an issue too.

Can’t lie them flat for 30 mins after a feed. Or go in car seat. Can’t do tummy time. They hurt and can be delayed in progress. Can be underweight and can be overweight. There’s always sick and you can smell the acid. They say wean early (thickens the stomach content). Doesn’t always work. Then when They’re sitting upright (gravity). Doesn’t always work. Then when they are standing. Doesn’t always work. Then when they’re older and the muscles are stronger.. Awful. Sleep is non existent (hurts them lying down). They just want to be carried (soothing and upright…)

Can get meds if the GP listens… They can’t really help.

D.H : If I could summarise feelings. And others I know would say the same. It stole our lovely new baby time…

D.H : Still only feel numb when I look back at those photos…

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Rhesus Negative in pregnancy

S.S : Anti-D injections…….I’m rhesus negative which means I don’t have something in my blood that rhesus positive people do……anyway because of this I require anti-d injections for my pregnancies to stop my body from treating the baby as an infection and attacking the baby…..with all 3 of my pregnancies I’ve had to have these injections….It also has caused my last pregnancy to end in the early stages because I am able to be pregnant and it not show on a pregnancy test for many months into the pregnancy that and endometriosis and a history of pelvic inflammatory disease

L.B : I am rhesus neg too!!

S.S :It’s horrible I lost 2 babies because I didn’t show positive on a test and my body basically did it’s job. Nearly lost avary because my midwife was being useless even though she was the same lady for my other two she just didn’t give a crap

S.S : I changed her she was also a midwife that refused to help me with breastfeeding and lied to me about being able to breast feed with piercings. Me I know now after finding groups by myself and I tried with my girls and when I thought I was doing well considering I had no clue the health visitors made me feel like utter crap

l.b : It’s what what led to my miscarriages too. I’ve had 14 pregnancies now that we’re confirmed

S.S :Yeah it’s frigging horrid and you’d think they would make it more known about the dangersThat’s why I went for the blood type thing hundreds as it’s hardly mentioned anywhere and it effects around 15% of women

K.R :  OMG anti D worse than labour. …exactly like larva being injected into you….and as I had a placenta bleed at 29 weeks with oliver I had to have a lot of anti D. ….. ..really really horrible.

V.G : I hope no ones minds me adding to this thread, there’s some amazing and heart breaking stories I’ve already read so would like to briefly add mine: never been pregnant although using no contraception. Got to the age of 36 went to NHS for help, NHS wrote me and my husband off as he had children from previous relationship (no free treatment for us) so we saved up. Ended up having 8 months of acupuncture, (I’m a reflexologist so treated myself for months) finally went for a course of IVF at Harley st and fell pregnant! Pregnancy was mostly fine, SPD at the end. Went 10 days over due. I desperately wanted a natural birth but my BP ended up at 199/100 so had to be induced. After 3 days of drugs midwifes unable to break my waters etc baby had to have copper coil inverted into her head (while still in womb) as she wouldn’t keep still for long. Eventually had failed induction and had emergency c section at 2am on fourth day (Thursday) was totally exhausted but hospital aftercare was crap. I bled badly and nurses were mostly uncaring very little support. Maybe because I was an old mum? I saw my baby as a screaming creature, in incredible pain and no idea what to do. Breast feed for 10 weeks then Lizzie (baby) lost ability to latch. After all that, I ended up with Post Natal Depression. Felt a total failure. Then one day whilst I was holding this screaming creature whilst silently crying to myself she looked up and me reached up to my face and smiled. I broke my heart that day but but I also began building myself and our bond back together again. Now, she’s 9 months and I’m fine – in fact I want to do it all again. She is my world my little munchie Lizzie xxx

C.L : Well as a Daddy I saw the full thing from the outside. The strangest thing is realising how much you have changed as a person. Suddenly its not just about you any more. Late nights and going to work like a zombie are suddenly normal. Georgia was an Ix baby ( a form of test tube baby) and we were lucky to fall pregnant first time. Georgia was one of five, she was the only one that made it. That plays on my mind, so much, But my little girl makes me smile at least a dozen times a day. I never thought I would be a good daddy, I still question myself day in day out. But we waited so long for her and we cherish every day. Then of course like a flippin bus James came along (you wait so long for one!) and he is so different. Scarily fast and growing like a weed! I love my little menaces and cant imagine my life without em, which is odd, five years ago I couldn’t imagine my life with them. Sorry for the ramble
This is an insanely long blog post, even for me, and I have another post as I couldn’t fit everything into one realistically. I hope that if you have read this, it helps, it might give you insight, or give you the encouragement to share your own experiences. I will be posting 2 blogs on this subject so I hope you have enjoyed reading this – if you want to share your experiences or talk to someone please feel free to drop me a line. I will be adding links to the second blog post.
Here is a link to the show : Oh Baby
And the FB Page : Lifestyle:MK