It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Posts tagged ‘children’

Act With Kindness

The Fred Rogers’ quote “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'” has been used often to try to help with recent global events. I know I have spoken to Biscuit and Cracker about this, in an attempt to stop them being so scared by the news images which have tragically become part of our everyday lives.

Rest assured, those helpers are always there; whether that’s our amazing emergency services, individual helpers who go over and above to help others or whole communities coming together to provide support/shelter/etc. Those helpers are there after terrorist incidents, natural disasters or events like the Grenfell House fire. They are both visible and working behind the scenes (let’s not forget our 999 call handlers who got Police to the London Bridge area in order to neutralise the terrorists within 8 minutes of the call to them). But can we all be helpers?

Of course we can. I don’t mean that we should all metaphorically don capes and throw ourselves in to potentially dangerous situations, but knowing that we can all help in our own way. We can be kind to people. We can treat them with respect. Rob and I are raising Biscuit and Cracker to be tolerant, to listen to other people’s views and to respect them (VERY different from agreeing with them btw), by understanding that if it doesn’t directly impact on you then your opinion is limited and by being kind. This means remembering that words have a huge impact, that your actions/inactions can hurt people, and that empathy is one of the most vitally important skills you can ever use.

I am always honest with Biscuit and Cracker with what’s going on in the world (it’s their world too after all). They are aware of who Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Jeremy Hunt are and what their views are (if you’re wondering; “he’s a silly man who doesn’t like people who have different colour skin than him”, “he’s mean as he doesn’t think boys and boys and girls and girls should get married” and “he’s a stinky poo-poo head because he doesn’t think paramedics and nurses are important and do a brilliant job” respectively). I admit I struggled watching the DUP politicians (with their anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice stance) being given such airtime on TV and such power in Westminster. I respect that they have different views to me, but I severely dislike their damning words regarding things which are so personal and their judgments on people (nothing wrong with the saying “if you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”). There’s no kindness in what they say.

One final thought, before my random ramblings come to an end (thank you for putting up with a slightly different post from Biscuit and Cracker today); be kind to yourself. Sometimes we find it easier to be kind to others, but we shouldn’t leave ourselves out of that.

Look after yourselves and I hope to see you again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toddler Health; Eczema

Being a mama of two-year-old twins and doing the course I am doing, there are many times that there are crossovers between my personal and professional lives. I learn something from a parent I have met, or a colleague I have worked with or some training I have done and know that I can take that information and it will have a positive impact on my home life. I can also experience something with Biscuit and/or Cracker and it makes me a better public health nurse.

I have been working my behind off at academic work for the past few weeks and one of the essays (yes I did say one of the essays, please feel for me!) was regarding a prescription for topical treatment for eczema. Biscuit and Cracker have always had super sensitive skin and both of them have since been diagnosed with eczema and prescribed triple emollient therapy.

Triple emollient therapy is when a child (I can only speak from experience with children) gets three products- a cream/gel, bath stuff and a soap-substitute (sometimes one product can be used for both the bath and for washing with, it depends on what is prescribed). There are lots of products available on the market, both over-the-counter from your pharmacist or on prescription. It can depend on what the prescriber is used to, what their trust recommends and what the patient (or parent/carer) knows and likes. If you are thinking that your little one needs eczema treatment- remember that the greasier the cream, the better it is. It just may feel a bit slippery on their skin. It took us a couple of different products before we found ones that worked well for us.

I am not writing this post to tell you whether your child needs creams prescribing, or what treatment your prescriber will recommend. If you have any worries or concerns, please see your GP/Health VIsitor/Pharmacist and talk through with them and allow them to assess your child’s skin.

I wanted to write this post to give you tips that I have found out through research, and that we have found useful to know.

1) If you use the bath additive, be aware of how slippery your child will be. Please take extra care. Little ones may slip out of your hand and bigger ones may slip over in the bath or on the bathroom floor.

2) This is one of my Top Tips! We found that, when using a bath additive, our bath was always incredibly greasy and was constantly getting blocked. I have since found out that squirting washing-up liquid round the bath and rinsing it off makes the bath squeaky clean, as well cutting through any grease in the pipes and saving us having to use the plunger to drain the water away!!

3) When drying a child, try and pat them dry rather than rubbing. This is gentler on their skin and won’t rub off any of that moisturising layer from the bath additive.

4) When applying cream to them, smooth it on, rather than rubbing it in, and go in the direction of their hair growth. If you put cream on your arms against the hair growth you can feel that it is not comfortable!

5) As soon as Biscuit and Cracker have had their cream applied at night we put them straight in their cotton pyjamas. We found that you can really smother them in it and the pjs keep it on their skin. PLUS it doesn’t go everywhere.

6) Try to use cotton clothes as much as possible.

7) Use non-biological washing powder and sensitive fabric conditioner. I am waiting for something to happen to my washing machine as we can’t use a well-known product that reduces limescale and helps it to “live longer”.

8) Apply the cream often, we put in on Cracker (whose skin is worse) in the morning, at lunchtime and before bed, plus whenever we see him scratching.

I hope that at least one of my tips may be useful to you if your child has eczema. Let me know if you have any others and I will update my list!

The views and tips listed here are all my own.

Driving Home for Christmas- preparation

For Christmas this year all five of us are going to Granny and Gramps’ house in Essex. My brother, his fiancée and their puppy are also going to be with us; it’ll be a full and cosy Christmas this year!

In order to get two adults, two toddlers and a pussy cat there, not even mentioning the whole host of gifts, toys, clothes and other accoutrements that we’ll need when we’re there, we rented a car (living in Central London means we have no need/space to keep a car).

How much stuff is too much stuff, or too little for that matter, for a week? For the little ones I have currently narrowed it down to pretty much their entire wardrobe (help may be required to reduce that down to a medium suitcase full). I am notoriously bad at packing as I do want to take everything. I panic that I may need something that I have left behind. Rob, on the other hand, has decided on a capsule wardrobe that even Gok Wan would be proud of. Maybe I should get Rob to pack for everyone?! We are definitely going to be leaving some presents here to open before we go or when we get back as we don’t have room to drive them all there and back, we have made sure that everyone will still have enough to open on Christmas Day though!

I reserved the car a while ago being organised and taking advantage of knowing I was definitely off work this year. As the days have been crossed off the calendar and our car rental has got closer I am getting nervous about it. May sound silly, stupid even, for someone who has held a licence for over 10 years, but since moving to London I have driven less and less and I have only driven with Biscuit and Cracker a mere handful of times. Add that to the fact that I will be driving on London roads on Christmas Eve and I am more than a little scared!

I think the age-old adage of going nice and carefully combined with my Dad’s advice of keeping an eye out for potential idiots on the road will see me through the drive. Strange isn’t it, I wouldn’t normally be worried about driving but having the twins in the car with me makes it much more nerve-wracking? Plus that is just having them in the car behaving nicely and sleeping soundly, how much more are my nerves going to be frayed if they are screaming or attempting to escape from their car seats….?

If you are on the roads between London and Billericay tomorrow and see a fully loaded Ford Focus “or similar” (whatever that may mean) with a vaguely harassed lady driving it then please be kind and don’t honk at me!