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Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad Blog is mostly written by a mum to two beautiful ( and very entertaining) daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or my gorgeous sister in law as part of our baby blog and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes (we love fashion), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) and baby swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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    Having a toddler brings no end of entertainment, my toddler thinks she is Entertainments Manager in our house and loves nothing more than making us laugh.

    Since going to nursery, she has met a little boy called Lennon John. She insists every single day that his name is Lemon. There is no convincing her otherwise, especially as she now knows it makes us laugh.

    Peppa Pig has a parrot called Polly Parrot. According the the 2 year old, it's name is Polly Carrot. Again, there is no convincing her otherwise.

    Polly

    But my favourite thing at the moment is her morning prayer. Before snack time at my daughters' nursery and school, they say a prayer, according to the 2 year old, this is how is goes ......

    Bless us oh garden as we sit together,

    Bless the food we eat today,

    Bless us oh garden, Amy.

    Her big sister tries to teach her the correct prayer but as per usual, there is no convincing her otherwise.

    I think the Priest may have a struggle with this one at First Communion time!!

    Wot So Funee?

     

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    Unless you have been in hiding for the last few weeks, you cannot have ignored the social media powerhouse that is Team Honk! Team Honk is about bloggers raising money and awareness for Comic Relief.

    To celebrate International Women's Day #iwd2014, Tanya, Annie and Penny are in Tanzania finding out how donations to Sport Relief last year have created female entrepreneurs and #lastingchange for women, their families and communities and beyond - rippling out #lastingchange in Africa. 

    So we are delighted to share this #lastingchange postcard:

     Bertha

    • Bertha - This is a Bertha.  She is a food producer in Dar es Salaam who has received support from the Gatsby Trust. Bertha makes three different types of wine, garlic paste and a flour used to make porridge.  In addition to making products she is also now training other women to do the same.   Bertha works from a processing plant that she built herself at the back of her property, with room dedicated to each part of her business. 

    DSC01414

    We think she is inspirational, don't you?

    How can you help?

    5 MINS  Please RT, share and support any updates you see with the #lastingchange hashtag.

    DONATE You can help create #lastingchange by sponsoring #teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief

    GET INVOLVED Join up for your local Sport Relief event here.

    Thanks for helping to create #lastingchange

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    I saw an article the other day (and typically I can't find it now to link to it) but it was about the feeling of knowing when you have finally given birth for the last time. But how do you know?

    I never heard the ticking of the biological clock and was never the "maternal" type, always prefering to shop for spike heeled boots than cute little booties but then I was pregnant and suddenly this changed me. My pregnancy was a breeze, I loved being pregnant, I loved seeing my body change and feeling proud of it. I felt great. No, I felt amazing, I felt like I could take on the world.

    The birth of my eldest daughter was in hospital and fairly midwife led .... it was the first time I had done it so was happy to let them take control but afterwards, I felt stronger than ever (if you put aside the fact that I wobbled out of bed because my legs didn't want to work). I wanted to do it again.

    I missed the flutters of movement.

    I missed not having to hold my stomach in for a few months. (!!)

    I missed the excitement of the unknown.

    I missed the anticipation.

    I missed the determination to look after myself more for my unborn child.

    For a number of reasons, it took me a long time to feel like that again and so it started.

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock ........

    My second pregnancy was big and beautiful and suffering with SPD, made it a little more uncomfortable than the first but the excitement was still there, the anticipation, the determination and this was fuelled by a more informed birth choice and my own confidence.

    Almost as soon as I had given birth, friends and family were asking when we were having another, I think my biological clock must tick loud enough for everyone else to hear it.

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock ........

    Biological clock

    Now in my thirties, I have conceded that I am not going to be a life changing scientist, a specilalist vet, a high profile ballerina or any of those other aspirations I had as a child but I am good at being pregnant and giving birth. So maybe that has always been my vocation in life, I just didn't realise it.

    So with two perfect daughters and a body that is considered "old" in terms of pregnancy and birth, does that mean I will never do it again. I always remember someone saying to me that if you waited till you could afford children, you would never have them but what about ensuring that you can afford the things you need for the children you already have?

    The choices we make now, will affect them too. I need to be a mother but I need to be a good Mom to my girls.

    I don't feel like it is the end of my journey though.

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock .......

    Maybe I just need to take the batteries out??

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    It is no secret that we love swimming on the Lilypad, so when social media powerhouse Kenney Myers asked to guest post on his experiences, we were delighted to share them. I therefore hand you over to Ken..... 

    Every child is unique and has a different disposition in regards to the way they take on life. It is so important that we as parents take each one of our children’s dispositions into account before we begin anything new and this includes teaching them to swim. I have two children and both were totally different when it came to their reactions to water and learning to swim. 

    I have heard that fear is passed down through generations. I am inclined to believe it though not through genetics but instead perhaps through example and empathetic association. My own mother was terrified of water and did not swim so when it became my turn to swim I too was frightened. Probably because every time we would get near water she would firmly grasp my arm and pull me away. 

    Introducing me to swimming took a gentle hand and a gradual time frame. I had an uncle who did not believe in coddling children into swimming and he actually threw me into a lake. It did not go as he had planned however and he ended diving in to find me. I panicked and the sheer terror on my face was enough to keep him apologizing to me and my mother for years to come even though I came out physically unscathed. 

    I did learn to swim eventually. I actually was not really afraid of the water in itself; my fear was more about being able to feel firm ground beneath my feet. I wanted to be very sure I could get my head up out of the water at any given moment. I was fine in the shallow water of a pool but the deep end terrified me. Lakes and oceans of any kind terrified me shallow or not, this fear came from what lurked in the deep and the possibility that I could at any given moment be bitten or swallowed whole. This was unrealistic perhaps but nonetheless real in my young mind. I think this fear came about when my grandfather told us stories when we were at his home by the lake. He told us there were catfish in that lake that could swallow a man whole. Thanks granddad! 

    Catfish

    My parents put me into a beginners swim class in which I stayed for a couple of years. When I actually advanced to the next level of intermediate they expected us to jump into to the deep end and swimming to the shallow. Believe it or not I actually achieved this goal because I could swim very quickly because I wanted out of that deep water! But when I left intermediate classes into advanced classes my swimming came to an abrupt halt. They wanted me to dive head first off of a diving board and that is where I drew the line. My parents did not push it at this point; they were just delighted I knew how to swim. That was their goal. Me not drowning!

    When my children came along I truly did my best not to impose my fears upon them. However, my daughter was born not wanting water anywhere near her face! Just washing her hair was daunting. So I began right away letting her play in shallow water and try to gently show her that water was not to be feared. Giving children a secure environment to explore in can really help them to overcome unrealistic fears.

    I also put my daughter into swimming classes at an early age. I did a lot of research to ensure that the swimming school I chose was able to meet the needs of a timid child. I did not want her to be permanently scarred from a careless instructor. And she pretty much followed in my footsteps when it came to swimming. She was afraid of the deep water, she liked to keep her feet on solid ground, and she certainly did not take well to be thrown in the water. A friend of the family decided he would give her a little shove when we were at a pool party. The results were exactly the same as when I was thrown in and it slowed down her progress immensely. This is why I very much believe in thoroughly knowing a child’s disposition and proceeding accordingly.

    For some children the sink or swim method works well as in the case of my son. My son was not afraid of water and from the beginning did not care if he got water in his face. He loved everything about water and could stay in it all day if you let him. When we started taking him to the pool no one actually had to throw him in, he threw himself in! He actually thought that jumping in and sinking was swimming and he was really proud of himself! This was terrifying to me to say the least. We had to watch him very closely every time we were around water because he would just jump in and sink. Upon pulling him out of the water he would get very excited and ask us if we saw him swimming! In a way it benefited his sister who was several years older than him to come out of her timidity when it came to water. Her love and protective nature overcame her fears when she saw him sinking to the bottom and she would immediately go in after him. One of us was on hand at all times to ensure his safety. 

    Swimming

    We did make a point of getting him into swimming lessons right away because his form of swimming was not acceptable. He went through the stages of the swimming school very quickly and mastered it. He was absolutely fearless when it came to swimming. The swimming park we often went to had three diving boards, one which was very high. Thankfully they had an age and height limit on this diving board or he would have been up there at age three. When he finally was able to go off of that board my heart still sank every time he climbed that ladder but he absolutely loved it.

    I feel that it is very important to watch and understand your child’s particular disposition and the way they handle new challenges and life in general. The sink or swim method may work wonderfully for one child but greatly hinder another. Swimming is such an important skill for every child. Whether or not they feel comfortable diving off of a diving board is not as important as is their ability to not drown. In the day and age we live in we do not have to go out in search of water holes, there is water everywhere in the form of fountains, reservoirs, bayous, and backyard pools. We as parents need to ensure that our children have the ability to keep afloat in any circumstance. 

    Swimming needs to not to be taken lightly but it also needs to be made enjoyable. For both types of children, the daredevil or the timid child, being near water is something they need to feel confident about. Children also need to be taught to have a reverent fear of water, to know its propensity for fun and for danger as well.

     

    Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.



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