What is wrong with you, ladies?

For the umpteenth time, I’ve gone to the ladies bathroom in work and found that someone has left an opened but new toilet roll on top of the holder containing am empty one!

Why can’t you just change it while you’re there and leave the empty roll in the bin provided in the bathroom!? This drives me insane. You wouldn’t leave an empty one in the holder at home, so why do it here in work? It’s not even as if the holder is hard to figure out! It’s easy but it always feels like it’s me doing the changing. And it’s not just one bathroom, it’s two!!

Change the roll if you’re the one to finish the previous one and put the new one onto the holder. There’s ALWAYS one left on the back of the toilet by the cleaner on case it runs out. So there’s no excuse. It’s simple, ladies!

Argh, rant over.

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Photographer father being severely criticised!

I was perusing my Facebook news feed on Sunday morning when a friends’ status and share caught my attention. Her status read:

“All I can say is beautiful photos of a beautiful child on a road trip with her daddy x”.

and attached was a post from www.upworthy.com. The article questioned the photographer’s right to take pictures of his daughter, some without clothes, before she is of age to consent and to publicly display them. The article even asked if readers thought he should be allowed to take ANY pictures of his kids at all and display them? There was also a video of an interview with the photographer in question, Wyatt Neumann, as can be seen on YouTube.

I watched the video.

I’ve also previewed the publication of this series of work via the photographer’s website. And I for one do not see anything wrong with his pictures.

The story behind the photographs is a father taking his two-year old daughter on a road trip with him, documenting their travels across country through pictures, and sharing the images via Facebook and Instagram along the way. So what’s wrong with that you may ask?

Well, some of the pictures shared included ones of her half-dressed or naked. Halfway through their trip the images began to draw criticism and cruel comments from across the globe.

As I’ve already said I personally do not see anything wrong with the photographs and completely agree with my friend’s take on them. The photographs are of a beautiful little girl enjoying one-to-one time with her daddy, who just happens to be a photographer. To me they are simply beautiful pictures of a little girl on a road trip with her daddy, just how I imagine Wyatt intended them to be seen.

But people have decided they are wrong, sexually explicit and equivalent to child pornography, that the father is leaving his daughter open to paedophiles. This is a hard one! As a photographer myself I am in awe of some of the pictures he has captured, and would be very happy to capture pictures of BattleKid half as good as these. I can see what a great photographers eye this professional has and admire both his artistry and conviction for publishing these pictures alongside the comments made about the pictures. The first thing I thought of when I saw them was another photographer called Sally Mann.

She is one of Americas most renowned photographers who, in her early career, photographed her children in black and white, many of them while her children were nude. She too came under heavy criticism when she published them in a body of work entitled Immediate Family, and was also being called a child pornographer. And this was over twenty years ago.

As a mother, I am becoming more aware of the big bad world of the WorldWide Web, and have started to watermark my pictures of BattleKid that I chose to post on Instagram or in blog posts. This decision was taken in some way to try to give a level of protection over my pictures. While I do think twice about what pictures I post of him, I will stop at naked pictures of BattleKid. That said I do not rule out posting some of him in his pants/shorts enjoying himself on sunny days. Sally Mann herself went to great lengths to protect her children after the initial exhibition of her photographs, even deciding to delay the book publication by 10 years. It was her children who convinced her not to! So, from a mothers perspective I do get where some of those commenting are coming from but I DO NOT agree with how they went about it and certainly do not condone the nasty, vile things they have said about this father and his child. Why shouldn’t he, as a proud father, be able to share these pictures of his children, clothed or not? It’s his choice. As a professional photographer it is also his artistic right to display his work how he sees fit. After all, do we not believe in freedom of speech and choice as human beings? Should he really have to wait 16 years to gain her consent before he can publish them?

In this day and age, show me one parent who hasn’t taken at least one picture of their child(ren) naked or with only their pants on? Hell, there is even a photograph of me at home, sat on my Dad’s lap, he in shorts and me in my nappy as it was the middle of summer in Botswana, both of us with beaming smiles on our faces. Yet, if I was to post that today there are some who would say the same things to me and my Dad as Wyatt was subjected to. And yet in those days it was a perfectly normal thing for a parent to do. But with the age of the internet, innocent pictures are being seen and used in ways they weren’t intended, and subjected to sad and hurtful comments.

It’s such a shame that a set of beautiful and innocently taken pictures should cause such controversy and uproar. However, I applaud Wyatt for publishing them as he has, the picture with his own tagline alongside the vile and nasty comments that were directed the pictures way. I am sure his children will grow up as proud of him as he is of them!

Have you watched the video or see the pictures or articles about them? Do you agree with the comments that he is nothing more than a child pornographer?

Wish I’d Known: Worry

Now, don’t get me wrong, I did know that children come with worry for their parents, but I didn’t appreciate just how much you worry about them until recently.

I’m not referring to those early first-time-parent worries, during those first few months when every new parent worries are they doing it right, looking after their baby correctly or whether they’re getting it totally wrong. I mean the really terrifying times that come with so much worry that you feel physically sick with panic, anxiety and fear all mixed in together.

My first so far, bearing in mind BattleKid is only 15 months old, came just after Christmas when BattleKid was in the throes of a bad cold and a bout of painful teething. He had been running a temperature during the day and nursery called around 3pm to ask if they could give him Calpol. “Yes of course” was my answer. When I got there at 5.50pm he was down to his vest and nappy and still very warm but seemed happy in himself. I got him dressed, took him home and we had a cool-ish bath as he was still warmer than I was comfortable with.

During his bath his lower legs and feet, and his lower arms and hands went quite blotchy, and he got very hot afterwards as I dressed him for bed. He was quite whingy and tetchy but I put it down to being warm and tired. I gave him his bottle but he threw it straight back up, and then proceeded to get listless and very hot to the touch, until I measured his temperature at 40.2C.

At this stage the panic set in. I called BattleDad to see how far away he was (it was Thursday evening, so home-time for him) and he was only 15 minutes away. “Hurry please” I said. In the meantime I Googled a temperature over 40C in a 12 month old to see what I should do.

As BattleDad arrived home, he felt BattleKid, then took his temperature again and we decided to call the out-of-hours doctor as we were quite worried about his temperature being over 40C. The out-of-hours number made an appointment for us at our local hospital and we waited until it was ready to make our way there for our 9.15pm slot. BattleKid was sleeping in my arms and was still very hot to the touch. That wait was the longest wait of my life. We eventually made our way to the hospital and saw a very nice doctors quite quickly who examined BattleKid. He gave us advice and calmed our nerves and sent us home as, in his words, he

“didn’t want to admit the baby as he seems okay in himself and his temperature is starting to comedown. There are far sicker babies upstairs and I don’t want to expose him to them.”

This was fair enough, and we went away much calmer, armed with good advice and reassurance that if we felt we needed to come back we should. I am so grateful to that doctor for how he handled us, as first-time parents, as well as BattleKid.

We went home but although I was calmer I was still worrying about BattleKid. After going to bed ourselves, knackered and drained, I lay awake thinking that I did not want to leave BattleKid in his room alone, but knew he wouldn’t settle in our bed. So, I dragged the duvet from the spare bedroom and slept on the floor beside BattleKid’s cot ALL NIGHT LONG. I hardly slept at all, listening to every breath, moan, groan and cry, and pausing my own breathing each time in case he needed me. It was a long, pretty sleepless night and I had a sore back the next morning from sleeping on the floor but it was the only way I was prepared to spend the night.

In the morning BattleDad asked where I had gone and I told him. He asked why I hadn’t woken him and just put up the travel cot beside our bed, that he would have helped. I hadn’t even thought of the travel cot in my worried state. All I knew was that I couldn’t leave BattleKid on his own, still running quite a high temperature.

I got up tired but relieved in my decision to sleep on his floor that morning. His temperature had come down a little and we had a lazy day as it gradually subsided. We also erected the travel cot in our room just in case we needed it that night. Thankfully we didn’t but it has come in handy since for two separate nights where he has gotten sick in  his cot.

But this episode proved two things to me.

  1. No matter how “worried” you think you have been/will be about your children, there is a whole other level of worry around the corner for you. It will shock you, instil fear and anxiety in you, but you will cope. It will subside and you will learn from it.
  2. You will be surprised at the lengths you will go to for your children. No matter how small or big it is, you will always put your kids needs before your own without a second thought and in the blink of an eye, even if it means a broken back from sleeping on their bedroom floor!

We got through our first real “worry” with BattleKid under advice from the doctor and we have been better armed since in dealing with those pesky teething temperatures. We learned from the experience. I’m wondering what the next worry episode will bring.

Have you gone through anything similar and what lengths did you go to for your child(ren)?


I am the Mum who…

I'm the mum who

  • grew you for 9 months.
  • who found out at 13 weeks pregnant we were having a boy.
  • wanted a girl but am so glad I have a boy instead.
  • loved feeling you move in my belly, even if it meant an elbow or feet in the ribs. Boy did that hurt at times.
  • loved decorating your nursery and getting it ready for your arrival.
  • went through 24 hours of labour on gas and air before being rushed to theatre for an epidural and episiotomy to get you out safely.
  • fell in love at first sight, both with you and your Dad.
  • breastfed you on demand exclusively for 6 weeks before introducing one bottle a day until we stopped at 7 months old when you were fully sleeping through the night.
  • you pee’d on as a baby. Only once mind you, I’ve been lucky.
  • almost pee’d herself laughing when you pooped in BattleDad’s hand. He thought you were finished and removed your nappy too soon.
  • took you home to Ireland at 4 months old to meet your family while BattleDad was in France on a bike trip.

    First trip home to Ireland with Mum.
    First trip home to Ireland with Mum.
  • has changed all manner of nappies. One particular one required immediate removal to the shower it was that bad. BattleDad would have heaved had he been there to see it!
  • laughed at your weaning faces.
  • has looked after you single-handedly during the week since you were 2 weeks old.
  • drives you mad with hats!

    You hate hats!
    You hate hats!
  • buys your clothes, shoes, toys and treats.
  • couldn’t resist buying you two Trunki’s!
  • set up your saving accounts before you were even 6 months old.
  • thinks about your future and will do all she can to make it as secure as she possibly can.
  • tried to find the best nursery for you when she was returning to work and will do the same when it comes to schools.
  • often watches you when you sleep. You always look so peaceful.
  • loves seeing you and BattleDad enjoying “Morning Music”.

    Morning Music with BattleDad.
    Morning Music with BattleDad.
  • laughs when you try to crawl on grass. You hate the feeling of it on your hands so you try to use your wrists instead.
  • is teaching you to swim.

    Swimming essentials.
    Swimming essentials.
  • encourages you with talking and walking alongside BattleDad.
  • will teach you to have good manners and morals.
  • will watch all the Disney movies with you, ten times over, cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket with hot chocolate and popcorn.
  • wants to travel to far-flung places with you when you are old enough to remember it all. Until then it is going to be stay-cations, package Spanish holidays and family visits to Ireland.
  • will do your homework with you every night.
  • will teach you to cook alongside Lolo as long as he is alive.
  • will encourage you in whatever hobbies or goals you want to do or achieve in your life, even motorbikes with BattleDad.
  • hopes you will go to university but won’t force you to if you really don’t want to.
  • hopes you will have a long and happy life.
  • would give my life to save yours.
  • loves you unconditionally and more than anything else in this world along with BattleDad.

A big thanks to the lovely Becky at CuddleFairy for tagging me with this post. It’s been lovely to sit and think through all the things I love about being a mum, things I love/enjoy doing and hopes for him for the future. Congratulations on the first month birthday of your blog too.

I would like to tag these lovely fellow bloggers. If you don’t wish to take part, then that’s fine, there really is no pressure!

Harps at BabyBrainMemoirs

Siobhan at ThisisMeBlog

Nikki at Nikoteen87.

I love catching up with you via Twitter and Instagram, and also with your blogs when I get a chance. Alongside Becky, I’ve loved my interactions with you all so far. I hope they continue for a long time to come!