Life. Oh, Life. Toddler taming & more.

 |  Parenting, Personal, Updates

(This post has been constructed over a period of several days, snatching minutes here and there. If it seems choppy / all over the place, it’s because it is.)

Struggling to find the time to write at the minute.. life busy passing me by undocumented. It’s not like I don’t HAVE the time, it’s just that after I’ve spent all day juggling it around to fit toddler + work things in, I just want to crash on the sofa of an evening and hit up my homies in the q*bee irc / stick another House DVD on.


I had a tooth out last week. It was one I’d had a root canal on in 2006. Consider the dentist at the time said it was a close thing and may need to come out, I don’t think managing another 5 years was too bad. Let this be a lesson to you kiddies: if you spend your teenage years eating crap and not brushing, your teeth will die. (That and the hyperemesis, but short of not having kids there was no getting ’round that.) Anyway, extraction… worse than childbirth. It didn’t hurt, it was just terrifying. I’m a nervous patient anyway — I get butterflies if I’m just going in for a check-up — so the whole “ripping tooth out of mouth” thing was too much. At least you get something to show for it out of giving birth!


My driving test is next week. Next week. It’s hard to believe I started lessons this time last year. FYI, I don’t recommend taking one 1-hour lesson a week. By the time the next week rolls around you’ve forgotten what you learned the week before. If I were to start over I think I’d take 2 hourly lessons from the start, possibly twice a week. I started taking 2 hour lessons a few months ago and I think it was then I actually started taking things in. According to the website, those who pass have had 47 hours of instructed practice and 20 private. I’ve only had instructed lessons but I’m about on par for average (bit over?)

Oh, toddlerhood!

Isabel is withholding again. She’s back on the lactulose, but we’re already giving her more than the previous dose and it’s not yet working (that is, it’s making her go, but not often enough to prevent the withholding and help her ‘forget’). Docs have talked about prescribing Movicol but aren’t willing to do this until she’s 2. Apart from the obvious problems this can cause internally if left, it’s so hard to watch my happy, smart little girl turn into a grumpy lump unwilling to talk / walk / do anything while we’re waiting on a poo. I’m also concerned about the impact this is likely to have on moving on from nappies. She’s already recognising when she’s wet, can undress herself, asks for her nappy off first thing etc so we’re hitting many of the ‘ready for potty’ signs, but I don’t want to rush things and start the bloody cycle all over again.

Talking of Isabel. Sleep, oh beautiful sleep. This is a big one, probably worthy of a blog post of its own but without the time to spare for that, I will say: Isabel sleeps through the night now (95% of the time). She started sleeping longer patches around 16 months and by 18-19 months was going through all or most of the night. This is A Big Deal in parenting circles (seriously) because apparently the worthiness of your parenting is directly proportional to the amount your child sleeps. [roll eyes] Anyway, after having been quite vocal in the past on “cry it out” / “controlled crying” techniques to get even tiny babies to sleep unaided (in case you missed it, I think it’s bloody cruel) I can finally say FUCK YOU to the co-sleeping / gentle parenting naysayers. My kid learnt to sleep all by herself, no “training” necessary. Now just to stop her from kicking me in the head as she performs ‘snow angels’ in bed…


I’ve moved my posts from back to here. I liked having a blog where I could be more geeky and mention more work-related stuff but it was adding another level of stress to have to maintain a separate site. I’m going to drop a standard “here’s what I do, here’s how to contact me” page on and do the rest from here. It goes hand in hand with adopting the tagline “on parenting, pets and PHP” which alliterates nicely. :) (You may have noticed me farting about with the title on the homepage for a while…)

…aaand, that’s all (for now) folks!

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

5 comments so far

  1. Mumblies said:

    Although I’m no expert I will say this:-

    The longer you are a parent, the more organized you become. Not for any specific reason or some magical milestone passed… just because as you and your child develop the relationship between you the more the child then starts to become a person in their own right and demonstrate this more and more. As Izz gets older she will be more interested in doing her own thing and spend more time pottering about playing her own games rather than depending totally upon you for ideas/games/attention etc and; as time passes you then find that instead of just zonking down and collapsing in a heap on the sofa in those brief moments of not feeding/changing/entertaining her you will find that you actually have time to get things done. As she grows older, those gaps become bigger and you become better able to zip off and do stuff than you did before plus as Izz grows she will want to ‘help’ Mummy more too. This also means she is more tired at the end of each day and this is why her sleeping is better than it was when she was tiny. When subsequent babies come along somehow it all slips into place far quicker and we become way more experienced at it all.

    I agree with your thoughts on taking Izz out of nappies sooner rather than later however attending nursery doesn’t help there. She did display trepidation the other day when the poo was imminent, however once I’d whipped off her nappy and fetched her potty, and then making a huge song and dance display of the actual poo itself she actually smiled and pointed happily to ‘poo poo’ and even showed interest in how stinky it was. She did not seem at all concerned about having done it, nor did she appear scared. I think her fears are more indicative of the nursery staff not praising enough rather than Izz herself being scared of going. All toddlers and older children need praise, the more they get the more often they will perform whatever it is that earns the praise. How you get past this fear is not so easy as it is to suggest as obviously you cannot force the nursery ladies to do as you would when she is at home but if you can get her out of nappies sooner rather than later I think this will help with the withholding problems.

    Driving is easy, avoiding other drivers is less easy. However, the actual learning itself is somewhat akin to learning to ride a bicycle, once you learn the basics you never forget how to do it and it takes a few minutes for you to slip back into the ‘I know what I’m doing’ phase and move onto being confident and experienced enough to take and pass your test. I am confident that you will pass your test. All you need is more experience and being able to drive more often than once a week and soon you won’t even have to think about what you are doing – it will become automatic. I do agree with you about having more time to learn; I myself was fortunate enough to have my lessons being an all day thing and as you know passed my test first time within the first week. Of course this was way before theory tests (shortly after the wheel was invented) and the whole driving test was way simpler back then but I still have confidence in your ability to pass.

    The fear of being sat in the dentist chair is widely experienced and you will find that many more people also have the same fear/butterfly reaction that you do. However it is advisable to attend at least once a year to keep your teeth as healthy as possible, the knock on effect of abstaining only makes things far worse in the long run so do try to keep up on those visits.

  2. Jo said:

    I hate going to the dentist. It’s horrible. When I was younger, I took crappy care of my teeth and those dental visits scarred me for life. Now it’s brush, floss, and mouthwash all the way to the clean check-up bank! I’m wayyyy to scared to NOT have a good checkup!

    I am also starting to drive and I hear you about the far apart lessons. I’m getting to be a better driver, but in times when I didn’t have frequent, daily lessons, it was like teaching a rock how to walk. Oye vey!

    Good luck with the toddler! Can’t say I can offer any advice, so hopefully good luck is good enough!

  3. Tracy said:

    Poor Isabel. I had that same “problem” from age two to four and I can still remember going to the hospitals and getting microklist :( Horrible – also for my mom at that time. Wishing you the best!

  4. Ana said:

    DO NOT give your child Movicol! it is hell onm earht .I am an adult and I can’t manage it- I have MS so that is why is was given to me but try giving her raisins – one of her five a day as well!