A Happy Harris Holiday

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a four-year-old boy. Imagine that your favourite things to do are playing with your cars and trucks, spending time with your family, and running around outside to burn off all that energy that you have. Then imagine that you can go on holiday for a week and do all those things, every single day.

Lucky old DorkySon has just had one of the best weeks of his life up on Harris. It is always a pleasure to spend time back on the island that was my childhood home. It is one of those places where the pace of life is slower, where there are only imperceptible changes from year to year, and where I am always greeted like an old friend. It’s an even bigger pleasure for me now to watch DorkySon enjoy the same simple things that I did as a wee girl.

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Naptime

I can honestly say that I have never been one of those parents who express regret about the passing of time. It has given me great joy to see my baby turn into a toddler, and my toddler turn into a preschooler.

I want DorkySon to grow up. I want him to become more confident and independent of me, to do things on his own without my help.

Perhaps it has been easier because he is naturally a quiet and fairly reserved boy, and I am more used to giving him gentle, encouraging nudges to try new things, rather than trying to hold him back from activities that he’s not yet ready for.

That said; all his big developmental stages have started on his say-so rather than mine. He indicated very clearly that he wanted to stop breastfeeding at 9 months. He decided when he was ready to start using a potty, and when he wanted the bars taken off his cot.

The next big thing on the horizon is probably going to be dropping his nap. I feel incredibly lucky to have a three year old who still reliably takes an hour’s nap after lunch every day, but I am very aware that this time next year DorkySon will have started school, and it won’t be possible to keep that going.

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Place and Time

stained glass window with bird

Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I lie in bed and try to remember the exact layout of houses that I’ve lived in. I’ll imagine myself walking around them, picking out as many small details as I can.

There are four that I can remember with real clarity; the house on Harris where I spent all of my early childhood, my Grandpa’s house in Staffordshire, where I used to spend lots of holidays, the farmhouse in the Borders where I spent most of my teenage years, and the house in Edinburgh that I lived in until a year ago.

There are other places that I can remember a few details of. There was a white cottage on Lewis where I lived with my Mum for a year, and then a townhouse in the Borders where I also spent about year. And of course, there were several flats in Edinburgh where I lived as a student. But the memories of those places are a bit fuzzier.
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Weans’ World

What would make Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children?

The Scottish Government will soon be launching their National Parenting Strategy. You can read more about it here. This is a brilliant opportunity to use our voices as parents and let the Government know what they’re doing well… but more importantly what they could be doing better.

I’ve been asked by the charity Parenting Across Scotland to do a quick post with my own thoughts, but also to help gather your thoughts. Please do feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below, or if you’re on Twitter you can tweet using the #PAS12 hashtag.

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The Years Fly By

children's magnetic letters

This time three years ago, I was spending my second day in hospital after a long and fairly messy birth. DorkySon still didn’t have a name – we had been so sure that we were having a girl that we hadn’t really given much thought to boys’ names – and it was almost a week before we finally settled on one.
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