Thursday, 25 August 2011

Little photos from little fingers

I was tagged in this Meme after a late night twitter convo with the super lush Mamasaurus about our small humans taking pot shots with our cameras and the madness that you find in your camera after they've played. Her shots are hilarious and I've had great fun digging through my iphone at the shots my Jellybean took this week of our holiday. Mostly they're of himself - he's really vain - below is a selection of his 'work'! 

There are now well over 100 pictures - he just keeps pressing the button over and over to see his face ping into the corner (if you haven't used an iPhone camera I can't explain that any better - if you have you'll know what I mean - it's his own face being 'deautiful' and that pinging into the corner that he loves!)

Now - time to share the love! I'm going to tag some lovely ladies and they can share some pics their own smalls have snapped - if you don't have any, hand over your camera and let them have a go - they'll LOVE it! 

I tag;

@PinkYaks on I know, I need to stop talking (she should NEVER stop talking)

To join in, add the button below to your post and link to Mamasaurus - you don't have to be tagged to join in! 
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Being Home

I'm at 'home' this week - back up North in the Lake District (well, close - pretend Lake District) visiting family. I love seeing my boys interact with their Northern relatives - Jellybean has a very southern accent that I don't notice until I have to translate things he says and things said to him so that everyone understands one another. My friend is raising trilingual children (see her blog here - lovely Monika) and I think raising Southern children when I'm a Northern Mum is a much smaller version of the same thing since nobody seems to understand each other! 

My husband is from Hertfordshire and is VERY posh (he thinks he isn't, but he's wrong - he so is!) and our boys are being raised in the South and see his family, who are nearer, more often so are being raised with lots of Southern accents around them. Jellybean says 'barth' and 'graaarss' instead of 'baff' and 'grassssss' like me - he teases me (at two and a half years old) for sounding silly. When I speak to my family on the phone they tease me for losing my accent, but I'm teased at home for sounding so Northern - though it's just a regional accent it's still like a totally alien language at times translating conversations with my Grampa and my son. My husband speaks in his version of Cumbrian to me sometimes - but it sounds like a Mancunian who has been living in Greece - and he always gets 'Nowt' and 'owt' confused, though they mean the total opposite of one another. 

Each time I see, visit, speak to or hear my side of the family it makes me think about how important location is - how big a part of you and your life it is, and how important it is to your children's development. Your children learn so much of who they are and how they fit outside of you - outside of their parents - they learn who they are at school, with their peers, at playschool and playgroups before that, they learn your friends and social circles and how they're placed there, they learn about society and interaction and their own importance each time you leave the house, so you want them to be somewhere you feel that you fit, so that they can feel that same sense of belonging and feel whole.

That feeling, though, isn't something I think I've ever had. I don't think I've ever lived somewhere that felt entirely like home. I don't think I've ever found a slot in which I've entirely fit. I find groups of people that I skirt the edges of and find friends and when I move I keep those friends - I have friends all over the country which is a great feeling, knowing that there are people I care about and who care about me no matter where I end up. I hope that my children have some of that - that they can find a place wherever they are - but then I see people who have never flitted the way I do and who are so fully ensconsed in their environment that the lines between them and their place are blurred because it's one and the same - and I wonder how that feels, and if I ought to give my children that. 

Accents make up a huge part of who you are, how you're perceived and who you're perceived to be - and I don't sound like the rest of my family - like my siblings even - that's weird! I don't want my children to feel any sense of 'outside' - but I know that at some point they will, because nobody belongs everywhere. 

One day I'm sure I'll find my place geographically - but in the meantime, I see my husband's smile, my children's smiles - and I know I'm home. It doesn't matter where that is, as long as we're together and the rest just makes sense as you go, day to day. I have friends and people I love to visit wherever I am - that makes us pretty lucky - even if it isn't the norm. 

Where are you 'home'? How do you all fit?

Wordless Wednesday

Radio 4 - fat kids

Travelling around the Lake District quite late last night we took advantage of the children having fallen asleep to turn off their "Under The Sea" song CD and put some grown up radio on. We hit radio 4 just in time to hear a piece about childhood obesity, adult obesity and how it is created in the womb, and 'catch up' feeding. 
According to the show children who are born obese have 'learned' that in the womb and it may have health implications later in life. Children who are born skinny (less than 5 1/2lb) are often 'caught up' by being fed a high calorie diet and forced into unnaturally rapid growth - which could have health implications later in life.

It all sounded pretty interesting - but then it was as though they were making ridiculous assumptions and sweeping, yet glaringly obvious, statements that needed no research to back them up.

If you teach a child from birth to over eat on high calorie diets then yes, there's a high chance they'll continue to eat like that because it's how they've learned to eat. If someone consistently over eats throughout their life then yes, there are potentially health implications involved. If you are born big and then under fed you'll also have health problems because you've never properly learned to nourish your body. 

I was unsurprised, by the end of the show, to learn that all the children they had studied had been bottle fed and they said that over or under feeding is more common in bottle fed babies - particularly those in the study that they randomly assigned the 'extra nutrition' formula. Never. Overfeeding is a problem for a baby you've deliberately over fed? Really? That's surprising to you? Messing with the nutrition of babies leads to health problems? Really? Never. Idiots.

I was unsurprised by the findings of the research; if a child is born 'skinny' then the forced 'catch up' feeding doesn't help them - it just teaches their bodies to over eat and can lead to later problems. 

I was interested to learn that children have, by six months of age, all the muscle they'll ever have. You can BUILD that muscle - you can make it bigger, or make it smaller, but you can't make more - the muscle that you have by six months of age is all you'll ever have. It's important that babies develop muscle mass by this age and very underweight babies struggle to do so and will thus struggle in later life in comparison to children who have higher levels of muscle mass. I didn't really get any information from the show about WHY or HOW this happens - but did think it was interesting that by 6 months you have all you're going to have. 

The assumption people have of 'bigger is healthier' with babies isn't always the case either. Eventually, after much to and fro, the show concluded that underweight people (babies, children, adults, whatever) can have health problems. Over weight people (babies, children, adults, whatever) can have health problems. People in a 'normal' weight range (going by BMI) generally have less weight related health problems. 

Gosh. Shocking. Fat people and thin people have more weight related health problems. Gosh.

Radio 4 - poor show. Utterly ridiculous. It was an hour long show repeatedly pretending to have made discoveries and saying nothing new. Unsurprisingly bottle fed babies have less 'natural' growth and have to be monitored differently to breast fed babies. Well, yes - because breast fed babies are fed with a specifically designed product that adapts to their growth and needs. Feeding ANYONE isn't a one size fits all thing; no two adults would react the same to the exact same diet because it depends on a great many other factors how you grow and develop - so having to think about what you feed a baby shouldn't be a shock. Cramming calories in or holding back on calories shouldn't be relevant in feeding babies - you shouldn't over or under feed ANYONE - nor should the potential health issues over or under feeding brings about be surprising. Of COURSE over or under feeding will cause problems.

Anyway - rant over. Trust your instincts, parents. Feed your selves and your children in a balanced way - breast, formula, sandwiches, whatever - however you do it, do it appropriately. Keep your weight and that of your children within a healthy range and you'll be healthier. This isn't new. Don't over feed anyone in your house. Don't under feed anyone in your house. If you need to be told this there's something wrong.