Seven children in 18 years gives us quite a few milestones! Although each and every one is memorable, one of the first things I had to think about before giving birth was a car seat, as the midwife explained at my booking visit, that was one thing that I HAD to have with me, or I would not be able to take my baby home!
The first five children all had their first car journey from the hospital, Tyrus was a homebirth so his was to register his birth and Viggo was a planned homebirth, but they had no midwives available, so it was a mad dash, shouting instructions at Asa in between very close contractions to make sure I definitely had the Car Seat with us! ( I forgot plenty of things, but I made sure we had that one!)
Xene came home from hospital after 2 days, the others were the bare minimum at hospital, so each of them was on their way home at 6 hours old!
A couple of them weren’t great at sleeping at night, but they always seemed to sleep in the car, so we have been on many late night journeys over the years ..
As parenting expert Suzie Hayman explains:
Babies can at times find it hard to be put down to sleep and may cry to the point where you could be at your wits end. Noise and movement can sooth them, so putting on music and dancing around or even sitting by the washing machine can help. Many babies do seem to find ease in being held or confined quite closely – being ‘swaddled’ or wrapped up tightly in a blanket can quieten them. But at times you may feel too stressed to go on holding or rocking a baby. You might find strapping them into the enveloping comfort and safety of a car seat is calming, and then using the hum and movement of the car as you cruise around your neighbourhood until they fall deeply asleep can do the trick.
I found it quite peaceful, and sometimes one of the older children would come along for the ride, and we would look out for wildlife, one of the great things about living in the countryside.
Living on the East Coast we are at least a couple of hours from civilisation, so the children have always been excellent travellers, when Kaide was 6 months old we drove to Disneyland Paris, with a ferry crossing, we had four children at the time, and I can still remember pulling over every hour or so to feed him and for the others to stretch their legs, it was a great journey, but on our last visit, we took the train, which was much quicker!
Looking at Xene and Lochlan now, it seems a lifetime ago that they were about to leave Primary school, and in July it will be Kaide’s turn to do just that, it does not get any easier with each child, especially when they sing a leavers song, it gets me every time.
Suzie explains her thoughts on this very emotional time
‘On your way to the final assembly or day of primary school and you’ll realise you’ll never take that particular journey with the same feelings, the anxieties, the jokes or the questions again. It’s an ending for you both. You’ll lose those friendships at the school gates and say goodbye to being the parent of a small child. For your child, it’s a giant step, maybe losing touch with some companions while keeping contact with others they’re rather avoid. And the move to somewhere bigger, more anonymous and with new teachers and pupils, will change those relationships so it won’t be the same. The last day is the end of an era but it is the chance to look back and celebrate your child’s development – their triumphs and achievements but also the learning that might have come from failing, and getting up to try again.’
I cannot believe I still have to go through it four more times! By the time Viggo finished Primary school I will have been at the school for 22 years!
But it doesn’t get any easier when they leave High School, they then have their Leavers Prom, and don’t even get me started on them going to University, that is the next milestone I will have to deal with!
I can still remember the day that Xene grew too big for her first car seat, it seemed such a big step to move on from, I wish there had been an option when she was smaller like the Graco Milestone which grows with your child from birth – 12 years old, so there is no saying goodbye until they are big enough to move out of a Car Seat.
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