Boys - Siblings

Pippa Wallis

If one more person asks me when I am having my next I will scream!

Rafferty has asked for a sibling on a couple of occasions but he has also asked for a tattoo on several occasions too and I wouldn't give him one of those just because he asked for it.

People accuse only children of being spoilt, I can only speak from my experience in that out of all my friends that have more then one child they spend two to three times the amount on their children then we spend on Raff at Christmas and birthdays. I know spoilt kids that are only ones and just as many that have siblings - thats down to the parents not how many siblings they have!

Have you heard the saying "lonely only"? This is one of the most stupid phrases I have ever heard. Being lovely isn't about being surrounded by people. You could be from a family of 15 and still be lonely. I am an only child and lonely certainly isn't a word I would use to describe my childhood, it was quite the opposite in fact. Loneliness isn't a physical condition its a feeling, a state of mind.

Someone actually had the audacity to say that I was "cruel" only having one child. Its offensive on so many levels I don't even know where to start, but I will try. First of all there are children out there sadly whose parents are actually cruel to them, I mean cruel beyond comprehension and using the same word to describe their behaviour with the fact that Robert and I have decided against having a second child is ludicrous.

Secondly, my boy is the happiest little boy you ever did meet, having a sibling does not automatically promise happiness. You will find happy only children and sad only children just like you will find the same of children with siblings. I have many a friend that have a terrible or non existent relationship with their siblings. in fact I know siblings falling out that have torn families apart - imagine having children that cannot stand being in the same room as each other.

Lastly there are many reasons some families only have one child, infertility, the chances of passing on diseases that are hereditary, already having children with complex needs, financial reasons, break down of relationships or just a lifestyle choice. The biggest reason we, as a couple decided against another child is that my pregnancy and Raffertys birth was so traumatic I would fear for my mental health. And why? For what reason? We have a happy, healthy son and its enough for us.

Thats not to say that people shouldn't have as many children as they wish it just means people should maybe think before they call parents of only children mean or cruel! As long as all these children, be it from big or small families and happy and loved I say live and let live x

Boys - Gender

Pippa Wallis

Whilst doing my make up last week, my boy was sat watching me. Mummy what's that? Mascara Raffy. Mummy what does that do? Its to try make me look semi human Rafferty. Mummy can I have some on? For a split second I was going to say no but then I thought about it, why was I going to say no?

He is five (just) and at the moment he doesn't really understand the gender differences. Yes he knows he is a boy and I am a girl but that's really where it stops. He doesn't have a predisposed idea of what boys do and what girls do. What boys roles are and what girls roles are, if there is such a thing anymore.

To him the whole world is fascinating, he wants to have a go at everything, football, dancing, rugby, gymnastics - anything goes. When he was a toddler we bought him a baby - he had chosen this particular baby when we were out shopping one day. I could tell my husband wasn't entirely comfortable about it but he let it go and Raff was obsessed with this baby - for about 2 weeks and then like every other toy, it was cast away as quickly as it came.  

The most important thing I have taught Rafferty is tolerance. That nobody is more important then anyone else. Things are so simple in the eyes of children. In his eyes there are no boys and girls, no black or white, no religions or cultures, no gay and straight, no rich or poor. To him we are all just people. We are all just equal. What a lovely world to live in. 

Boys - I love you

Pippa Wallis

My boy must say "I love you" ten times a day. I must say it to him a hundred times a day. I think it's a really important thing to hear. It's important to know you are loved.

Knowing you are loved means you are not alone, it means that at the end of the day when everything is going wrong you are not alone.

A child that hears those words regularly from their parents, secure an attachment to their parents easier and quicker than those that don't, this in turn helps manifest into positive adult relationships in the future.

I don't think you can hear that lovely little phrase too much. Do not underestimate the power of those words. Say them as often as possible and to as many people as possible. Sometimes I feel awkward saying them to certain people, such as the older generation but if I feel it then I say it. I hope my boy grows up remembering how liberal I was with those words. I don't think you will find a child that says "my parents told me they loved me too much".

My parents and grandparents grew up not hearing those words from their parents. It just wasn't something you said then in general. That doesn't mean my parents are scarred for life but ask them if they would have liked to have heard it - I know what their answer would be.

Boys - Leaving my boy

Pippa WallisComment

When I tell people we are going on holiday without our child I get a mix of reactions. Some people will say "Oh how lovely - lucky you" other people try their best to hide their horrified faces.

Robert and I have left Raff for 6 days to have a break in Ibiza (my 30th birthday present from Robert). Before you feel too sorry for him let me explain a few practicalities. The first is that its term time and I wouldn't take him out of school and yes we had to go in term time as we had been invited out to see someone so couldn't pick and choose our dates.

The second thing is that while we are away Raff will be staying with his Grandma and Grandad, he will be truly spoiled and will love every second.

The third thing is that Raff is getting two holidays this year a family one with all of us in July and another in August with his Nana and my Grandma so he wont be short of sun and sand this year.

Lastly is that I feel its really important for Rob and I to have time together just the two of us. We have been together for 12 years and married for 6 and quality time together can be in short supply. Coming from a divorced family I absolutely do not want my son growing up with a mum and dad that are divorced. Don't get me wrong having divorced parents is better than having unhappy parents, I think having two parents happy and apart is much better then having them together and miserable.

So before you scoff at me and say "how can you leave your child" just remember I'm leaving my child for a few days a year so that hopefully I never have to leave him for longer and more often, so that I never have to spend a birthday or Christmas day away from him and so that when the day comes that Raff leaves home, Robert and I still have a relationship, there is a name for it - its called "empty nest divorce". The sad fact is, that having been together for many years lots of couples separate or get divorced when their children leave home. They realise that they have nothing left in common and only stayed together for the children’s sake. Most don't even realise how far apart they have become. Raff is the single most important person in my life but he isnt the only person.

Boys - Skills

Pippa WallisComment

So I recently spent 10 minutes of my life teaching my boy to wipe his bum!

Correct, you are not born with the skill to wipe your own bottom. I thought this was just some life skill that you were born with but apparently not, you actually have to be taught how to do this. Now you would think this is a pretty easy skill to grasp - WRONG.

It was up his arm, on the toilet and ON.MY.HAND! I did not sign up for this. Why does nobody tell you about these things? When you're at a kids party (another blog) or at the school drop off (another blog), people always ask "how are you" and you never ever say "well actually spent my whole morning wrestling a poo covered 4 year old Barbara - how about you?"


Boys - Mornings

Pippa WallisComment

Before I had Rafferty I hated mornings, usually because I was inevitably hungover from another night out or I was getting up early to go to the gym before work.

Nowadays I hate mornings for a completely different reason. I hate mornings because my boy seems to think 5:15am is an acceptable time to get up - IT IS NOT.

We get all the usual excuses for getting up, he needs a drinks, he has had a bad dream, he even comes into our room to ask if he can go to the toilet!!!!!! The most ironic one is the "I'm scared" excuse. What are you scared of I ask? Bad guys he responds - I gently break the news to him that he is more likely to be killed by Mummy or Daddy than a stranger and pack him back off to bed for another hour.

Now I get up at 6am, not so I have time for the gym or so I can grab a coffee on the way into work but just so I can sort the small person out and drag my bedraggled arse to work before I am late for the 10th time this month!