Ditched by the Childminder, Again!


In my last post, Pippa was begining to improve at the childminders. It was then followed by a brilliant Christmas break where she wasn’t clinging to my side as I originally thought she would be, but was running around, joining in with the other cousins and children (mainly the older ones!) and overall turning into a confident little girl. 

I was hoping this new found confidence would continue once she was back at the childminders. However, although she has been very confident at the childminders own house and playing nicely with the other 3 children she looks after, whenever they go out to playgroups or anywhere with other children, Pippa refuses to get out of the buggy and cries. If she is convinced to get out (normally against her will) she won’t leave Charlottes side and if Charlotte has to tend to the other children Pippa cries. 

Before Christmas Pippa also had made progress with her fear of dogs and was happy to be around Diesel, the childminders dog. However this seemed to take a step backwards and she now freaks out and cries if he’s anywhere near, posing another problem. Then there is her irrational fear of the childminders husband which if she even hears his voice ON FACETIME, she has a breakdown!! 

The littlest one in the tutu!

I can’t explain any of the above as she’s just a totally different child with us. To be fair, she doesn’t like dogs but she doesn’t have meltdowns over it. But the rest we just can’t understand. We have been to birthday parties with 40+ children and adults with bouncy castles and soccer school and she has ran off to join in without a backward glance. We go to baby gym and she tells other children off if they’ve got something she wants. She is happy around male friends and family, sometimes taking a few minutes to warm up and come out of her shell, but again never a meltdown over it. 

It therefore didn’t come as a shock when Charlotte said she couldn’t have Pippa anymore, for the second time, and that we should find somewhere else. So here we are again, looking at having to get Pippa settled into a nursery. A nursery filled with children (that she’ll hate) and where her keyworker will have to look after other children apart from her (which she’ll also hate). I’ve opted to do two weeks of settling in, starting tomorrow with an hour stay and play session with myself and then on Tuesday I have to leave her there. I’m trying so hard not to make this too confusing for Pippa so I’ve taken some time off work so that I can be there but I still hate the thought of having to put her through this!

Maybe, just maybe this will be the right environment for her and she’ll love it, but we’ll have to see 😦

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Being Dumped By The Childminder

 

Pippa has always been a clingy baby and even at her first birthday party she wouldn’t let me put her down without screaming the place down. It would also be a similar reaction if I popped to the toilet or upstairs and she was left with H. I’d always reassure her I was coming back but she would cry and cry at the baby gate until I came back.

Even up until the last month, she has only just started to feel comfortable going to my stepdad (who we see regularly!) and other men, previously she would cry and cling to me of they came anywhere near!

Because of this, I knew going to the Childminder would be a challenge however after the expected tears when I dropped her off for the first few weeks, she actually started to get excited when I dropped her off and eventually started reaching out every morning to go to her.

We still get some tears some mornings but it’s not the separation from me that is now the problem, but Pippa hates being separated from the Childminder.


We use an app with the Childminder called ‘Baby’s Days’ where she writes a daily diary of their activities and adds photos and videos. We have a brilliant Childminder and she is always taking the children out and about to the woods and the zoo and to baby classes, partly one of the reasons I chose her for Pippa. We too take her to these types of places regularly and she loves running around, joining in, singing and dancing. However when she’s with the Childminder it’s as if she’s a different child.

 

Pippa refuses to let the Childminder put her down and if her feet even touch the ground she cries. If she’s playing, the Childminder has to be by her side or Pippa has to be on her lap, otherwise it’s hysterical crying. At the toddler groups she just cries and won’t join in and gets very upset with similar situations when they are out at the woods or zoo; places Pippa loves to explore with us. When out and about she is only happy if she’s in the buggy, I’m assuming because she feels safe there. But she daily gets herself into such a state that our poor Childminder can’t bring her back round.

She is also terrified of her husband, who unfortunately works shifts so is often around in the day time. Even the sound of his voice in the other room sets Pippa off.

 

I could tell things were getting worse from the diary entries and seeing the childminder’s exhausted face at the end of the day when I picked her up. Then three weeks ago, on picking Pippa up, the childminder simply said she can’t have Pippa anymore. She was such hard work that she couldn’t tend to the other children and Pippa was so upset that it wasn’t fair on anyone. She said that she’s never had to admit defeat with a child before but apparently Pippa is one tough cookie to crack!!

I was so upset at the thought of having to find somewhere else and having to go through another however many months of heart breaking settling in for Pippa. However this is now where we are at and I’ve been on a mad search for another Childminder or nursery.

I’ve not found another Childminder that I like the sound of yet and have visited one but didn’t like it at all, making me realise how great Charlotte really is! If only Pippa knew how lucky she was!

We’ve also visited a couple of nursery’s but as Pippa is so opposed to joining in and busy environments, I just can’t imagine her enjoying the setting at all.


However since our Childminder dropped this bombshell, Pippa has actually began to improve! I even had a few shocked texts from Charlotte as she was so amazed at the transformation! She now doesn’t cry and drop off and runs off to play with the other children without a backward glance. She doesn’t cry half as much and has gradually got happier and happier. This week she has even let her husband play peekaboo with her! 

She has still yet to get out of the buggy and join in at playgroups but after asking the Childminder if she would reconsider keeping Pippa, she pretty much said yes as long as Pippa returns to her happy self after the Christmas break…fingers crossed!!

One Year!

  
*only 2 months late but I had written it just hadn’t got round to posting until now…oops!

I think this month has been the biggest change in Pippa yet and I think it’s mostly down to the fact she’s no longer a baby but a toddler! She started walking on her own about a week before her first birthday, mainly just up and down our living room but as the week went on she got more and more confident and was then walking more and more. She wasn’t so steady outside and we had to be nearby for her to feel safe but once she mastered it, that was it, she was off! And she hasn’t stopped since!
 

baby-splash-park-one-year-old
come on mum!
 
She’s also now become so independent and can really make it known what she does or doesn’t want! She will often take my hand and lead me to what she wants or where she wants to go. Along with shaking her head for no, she can also now say yes, which makes things a lot easier when trying to find out what she wants! But it also means we can communicate much better which is just lovely. Some of her other words are ‘dog’ and ‘car’ and she loves barking (usually at any animal that resembles the size of a dog!) and looking at the neighbours dog when it’s in the garden. Her Childminder also has a dog which she loves.  

  
I think it’s fair to say Pippa is turning into a real little girl now too. She loves to brush her hair which is so cute and if I’m getting ready for work in the morning she’ll copy whatever I’m doing with my hair or make up. She already has her own hairbrush, I’m going to have to get her some make-up brushes soon haha! She absolutely loves playing tea parties and will get all her tea cups out and her singing pink teapot and will pour herself and I a cup of tea, ‘shhhhh’ sounds included when she’s pouring and slurping when she’s drinking! She is also always singing! Obviously just babbles but she has a little musical tune to them and has started to sing her little babbles to familiar nursery rhymes and songs. She’s slightly obsessed with the ‘Bing bong song’ from Peppa Pig which we have to watch at least 3 times a day on YouTube and she’ll sing ‘ding ding ding ding’ whenever she wants to watch it! 

  
Pippa has also become a lot more affectionate and will come for cuddles and actually just sit for a while on our laps which hasn’t happened since she’s been able to move about! She loves a cuddle after her bath too and will join in and try and smother me in cream when I do the same to her after her bath. 

 monthly-baby-pictures-photos 
It’s lovely having her toddle around and I could just watch her all day. I can’t quite believe in a year she’s gone from a tiny 5lb10 dot to a (still tiny) little toddler! 

Pippa’s 1st Birthday Party

  

It was over three weeks ago now since we had Pippa’s first birthday party and although it was a bit showery, we embraced the weather and had a classic British BBQ!The theme was pink and gold and I managed to find some great bits and pieces online so I thought I’d share!

The hero piece of the table set up was the Happy Birthday banner from Ginger Ray, my new favourite party supplier! I also bought some gold polka dot and pink striped paper cups from them and the pink paper pom poms

  
I always wanted to get some of these old fashioned milk bottles and I found these on Amazon. I then filled them with pink lemonade and added the classic stripey paper straws. I also bought an 8L Kilner jar with a tap and filled it with Pimms which I was super excited about but forgot to get a photo!

  
I considered getting a cake made for Pippa as I knew exactly what I wanted but then one day I spotted this beautiful cake in Sainsburys and it was exactly what I was after! And at £10 it was a whole lot cheaper than having it made! However the cake topper I did have made by a company called London Sparkle who I found on Etsy.

The gold ONE letters were a last minute addition and were actually used for Pippa’s first birthday photos I took of her. They were just cardboard letters from Hobbycraft which I spray painted gold. 

  
My favourite find however were these first birthday photo props found on Amazon! We had some great fun with them and got some good photos and they were even in pink and gold!

  
We also got a light box from Very which I’ve wanted for ages and spelled out Pip is One. 

 time-lapse-1-year-baby-photos 

Finally I then printed off the photos I’ve been taking of Pippa each month and hung them on string with mini gold pegs. One year in one picture!

Pippa’s New Bedroom Design

  
I couldn’t wait to get started on decorating Pippa’s room once we moved house. I loved her room in the flat so I planned to do it pretty similar, just with some additional touches. And here it is!

I used the exact same colour on the walls as we had in Pips bedroom at our flat. The paint was from Homebase and part of their Sanctuary range, named ‘Dusk’. However they’ve now discontinued the whole range altogether but luckily we had handy decorators who managed to match it to an old tin of it that we still had! I’ve always found it hard to find the perfect grey that isn’t too blue, green or black and this was it. It’s such a shame it’s been discontinued!

As Pip went from a carpeted bedroom to a wooden floor, I bought this H&M grey striped rug to break up the floor space.

 

baby girl nursery bedroom design
House Box shelves – Bloomingville, Rug – H&M, Blanket – Mamas & Papas, Chevron changing mat, Aldi
 
Her bedroom is very long and thin so I’ve kept everything along one wall to make the room feel bigger and it certainly works. From the room we saw when we looked around the house to the room it is now is a complete transformation! I never imagined she would have so much space in that tiny room but it’s now my favourite room in the house. 

 

baby girl nursery artwork prints gallery wall
Naps Fix Everything Print – Sarah & Bendrix, I’ll Hide & You Seek Print – Nouvelle Daily, She Leaves a Bit of Sparkle Print – Vintage Rose Prints, Others print at home from Etsy
 
On the opposite wall, I have put up lots of pictures and created a gallery wall. Before we moved I kept buying more and more prints as I just fell in love with them. I thought I would struggle to find the space for them all but this long wall has created the perfect place for me to hang them and with some space to expand it further too!

 

baby girl nursery bedroom design
Weave – Holly & Teddy Weave, Initial picture – Not on the Highstreet
 
I even managed to squeeze a little picture and this bespoke weave from Holly & Teddy Weave above Pips cot.

  
I was also worried that her Eames style rocking chair wouldn’t fit in the new room as we still use this every night to read Pippa her bedtime story and give her her milk before bed. However there is a perfect little space for it, in the exact spot it used to sit!

baby girl nursery design
wall stickers – Vintage Rose Prints, bed sheets – The Modern Nursery, Cushions – Ferm Living, H&M and New Look, Weave – Holly & Teddy Weave

But by far my favourite thing about Pips room is the gold spotted wall! They are just wall stickers which I bought from Vintage Rose Prints but they just complete the room (and match the beautiful gold spot bed sheets!)

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

  
I’ve now been back at work, in a new job, for just over a month (with a weeks holiday inbetween!) and although I can’t say it’s easy by any means, it is easier than I thought it would be. 
We had planned for Pippa to go to a Childminder when I went back to work however with us going away on holiday the first week of August and the Childminder herself away during July, we agreed that Pippa wouldn’t start fully until this week, 9th August. 
Therefore during those first 4 weeks that I returned to work, we arranged for 3 half ‘settling in’ days at the Childminder and the other days Pippa would be looked after by either my mum, H’s mum or Harry who had taken time off especially. 
  
Pippa’s very first half day at the childminders went really well, I dropped her off and snuck away so she wouldn’t see me leave as she would normally be hysterical if she did see. I wasn’t back at work at this point so took the morning to do some bits around the house and it went surprisingly quick and I didn’t feel upset it any way. Until I picked her up. I welled up as soon as I saw her little shocked face that I had returned to get her and then cried pretty much the whole of the afternoon and evening! I don’t think it had really hit me that I would be leaving her like that for 3 days a week from now on and the guilt and sadness over the fact we no longer would be spending every minute together really got to me.

However when my first day did come around the following week, I was slightly calmer. In a way having family look after Pippa for this first month has actually made it much easier for me as I haven’t been constantly worrying that Pippa is unhappy and I know that whoever was looking after her, knew her well and she was comfortable with them. 
It turns out I really enjoyed going back to work and I don’t think I’ve ever settled so well into a job. It’s a lovely team and I discovered that having some time away from being ‘mummy’ was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to be me again, not to mention getting to sit down again, finish a hot cup of tea again and go to the toilet in peace again! The balance of working 3 days and the fact I am just 15 minutes away from home has been brilliant and I definitely couldn’t do anymore days. Knowing that I have a 4 day weekend with Pippa to look forward to at the end of the week is a great feeling.

However even working just 3 days has come with challenges and a distinct lack of even more time! I now have to supply lunch and dinner for Pippa so evenings are spent cooking and planning meals for not only myself and H but Pippa too and I’ve realised I need to be quite organised in order to give Pippa a varied diet but in freezable transportable portions! Mornings are also hectic when trying to get myself showered and sorted for a day at work alongside getting Pippa ready and packed for a day at the childminder’s whilst she wants constant attention. There have been a few days where I have turned up to work starving and realised I’d forgotten to have breakfast!

  
This week Pippa has done her full 2.5 days at the Childminder (the other half day my mum has her) and I think the fact that I am fully settled at work and Pippa is now used to me leaving her 3 days a week meant it has gone really smoothly. I have felt fine about leaving her and although I can’t call my mum at lunchtime to see how she is anymore, the Childminder does send me photos and videos which is amazing! She even has an app that she updates at the end of every day with all the photos, videos and a little diary so it’s all stored for us too see with our own personal login.

Pippa still cries every time I leave but I know she’s having an absolute whale of a time and our time apart just makes our time together even more special.

11 Month Update

  
So much has happened this month, we’ve had our first family holiday (I’ll write a separate blog about that once I get round to it!), I went back to work (again I’ll write a blog about that too!) and I had my first weekend away without Pippa! So overall this month has felt pretty hectic as we’ve also had quite a few bits done to the house (including Pip’s new bedroom – ANOTHER post I need to write!) meaning we lived at my mums for a week too.  
One super big thing happened this month too, Pippa took her first steps! She had been charging around with her walker unaided the week before and then started walking just holding one hand then one day, she was sat on H’s lap on the floor and I was sat opposite and she just got up and walked over to me! We couldn’t believe it and I think the look on our faces made Pippa realise what she was doing too as she hadn’t even noticed that no one was holding her! She’s done a few steps between us since but that’s all, although she loves walking everywhere holding our hand. 

  
Pippa has also become very affectionate now, not that she wasn’t before but now she comes to us for cuddles and kisses and has become obsessed with her stuffed bunnies, which she’d never turn a blind eye at before! She loves to snuggle and cuddle them which is the cutest! I think another factor is that I’ve gone back to work and she now realises that I leave some mornings so is very cuddly and attached to me.

  
She’s also really trying to communicate now and knows exactly what she wants! She’s very clued up as to where things are kept such as her food and snacks in my bag or the cupboard or where her cuddly toys are and she will crawl and point to anything she can’t get her hands on! She understands what we are saying too and she does certain things if we ask her too such as ‘come here/come back’ or ‘can I have a kiss’, ‘no’ (which can often cause a tantrum!) among other things!

  
She loves to play games such as peekaboo or ‘run away from mummy behind the door’ and giggles when I come and find her or ‘pretend to put something off the floor into my mouth and mummy will come running!’ She then proceeds to show me her open mouth with nothing there and laughs. The fact she knows how to trick me at 11 months is slightly worrying for the future!!

 

Mummy, Pippa & Bunny Reunited
 
Now that Pippa is well and truly on the move, she’s quite hard work and tiring! She even now has the odd tantrum (I thought I had another year until the tantrums started!?) so I was actually really looking forward to a weekend away in Croatia with the girls just to get a little break! However I was worried about how I would cope without her and really didn’t want the weekend to be ruined by me missing Pippa. But surprisingly I didn’t miss her as much as I thought! I was sent lots of photos by H and kept in constant contact which always helps and I managed to enjoy the weekend without worrying too much. By Sunday I couldn’t wait to see her and once Monday came I just wanted to get home to her before she went to bed. Unfortunately delayed flights and m25 traffic meant I didn’t get to see her properly until Tuesday morning and then I had work but it was great to finally get a cuddle! 

I’m really pleased I managed without her as a few months ago I would have never thought I could do it. However as much as I enjoyed my weekend away, I’m glad it’s not a regular thing!