10 things I’ve Learned Living with a Teenager

I’ve been living with a teenager for 7 months now, since my son turned 13 last September I’ve learnt a few things about living with him. I’m not saying he’s an animal or anything like that but he has changed, he has become stroppier and lazier.

Here are a few things that I have learnt so far and I am sure that there will be plenty more to come.

  1. He has suddenly grown in height ways. Yes, I know we all grow but he has shot up immensely. He always had a slow growth and I could get away with buying him clothes that were often a year group below his age. He has literally grown a whole foot in 6 months. Looking back at photos taken over the year, I can see the big change.
  2. He has begun to roll his eyes a lot and has started to make these weird grunting noises. They are kind of noises that a dog would make and he always scowls when doing them. His younger siblings think that it is hilarious and often mimic him.
  3. Wardrobes no longer exist. Clothes are strewn across the bedroom floor or laid across the bottom of the bed. When I ask him to put his clothes away, he swings his arms around grabbing the odd material as he does and pushes them onto the nearest shelf. Throwing clothes into a space in the cupboard in my eyes is not putting them away. Folding them or hanging them is.
  4. Spots. They have come from nowhere. My bathroom cabinet used to be full of Matey bubble bath and lush bombs, now it has been over taken with spot cream and facial washes. In fact it got quite bad that we had to make an appointment with the doctor to get some stronger cream. I am happy to point out though that it has cleared up lovely. His skin is now clear and glowing, but not from grease.
  5. Girls. OMG. How many girlfriends does one boy want.
  6. Let me take a selfie. He takes selfies all the time and is forever sharing them over snap chat or twitter. I’m scared to leave my phone out as the album quickly becomes filled up with selfies.
  7. Online gaming. This boy can literally sit alone in his bedroom, light out, all day playing on his playstation (if allowed that is!) When he’s not on his PS4 he has his phone stuck in his hands constantly playing games or texting friends.
  8. Bulking up. As he is now aware of girls, my son seems to think that he will get more attention from them if he has muscles. I catch him using the weights in the bedroom or using the pull up bar in the garden. After a stern talk to him he has realised that he doesn’t need muscles to be popular and is now enjoying keeping fit by running, swimming and parkour.
  9. Not too interested in family time anymore. Anywhere we go he is always 5 step behind, pretending not to be with his parents and siblings. Everything is embarrassing. It’s hard to get him to sit and watch TV with us anymore.
  10. Clothes have to be a name, high street is longer acceptable. He now wants to wear high branded clothes, clothes that cost a small fortune. Oh and he isn’t too keen on wearing a coat anymore either. Coats are for wimps, don’t you know?

I know teenagers go through a lot of changes, the process of becoming an adult. They are just as confused with their behaviour as we are.

There is a light at the end of the teenage tunnel. He has just come in to the living room and said ‘Hi’ and smiled 🙂


Settling into Nursery

Oliver is now 3 years old and just over a month ago he started in the school nursery, where he attends every afternoon from 12:20-3:20.

We talked about him starting all over the summer and when September arrived and his older brothers were going to school every day he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t going, after 5 weeks he had his first day. We had bought all of his school uniform at the end of the summer at the same time as when i bought his siblings, he had it all folded and stored on the bottom shelf of his wardrobe just waiting for him to wear it.

Oliver is quite small for his age and is still wearing age 18-24 months clothes, so we had to search around for navy bottoms and jumper to fit him, also we ordered his white polo shirt online in his size. They fit him perfectly and he is so proud to be wearing a uniform. He even has a school wooly hat that once belonged to his older brother, that he runs round the house in the morning looking for before we head off to the childminders house.

He was excited on his first day, I met him and his childminder at the school gates during my lunch time so that i would be able to help settle him in. He was jumping around and full of beans at the gates but as soon as we started to walk along with the other parents and children towards the nursery door he began to hide behind my legs and be a bit clingy. As we entered through the Nursery doors we walked along the corridor looking for his coat peg, he quickly found it as it had a picture fo him above it. He found this funny as he could not remember his teachers taking the photograph on the home visit back in September. He seamed to be eager at this point to get through thr main doors into the Nursery but as we got among the other parents and children he became a little overwhelmed by all the other people around, maybe he thought that he would be the only child starting as he kept looking at all the other children. I walked him into the Nursery room and the first thing he said was that he wanted to go to the toilet, we was pointed into the right direction and off he went. I quickly noted that Oliver was smaller than the other children, which isn’t a surprise as so are his older brother with their class mates. I showed him where to was his hands and he no trouble reaching forward to turn on the taps at the sink.

I told him that Mummy would have to go and that he should go and find some friends to play with, we walked over to the other children. Some were playing on the floor with some building bricks. Oliver seemed a bit anxious and was getting a bit upset, I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he wanted to go on the bikes outside. His teacher told him that the outside area only opened up once all the adults had gone and the main front door was closed, he seemed to chear up a bit at this. I bent down to give him a big hug and explained that all the adults had to and leave the children with their teachers and go, he gave me a big hug and a squeeze. He told me he would be a good boy.

His first day was good but for the rest of the week he was a bit upset about going, I think it all got a bit too much for him. He is still quite young, only turning three at the end of July. He is struggling with not having a nap every day, as before he started nursery he had about an hours sleep at aroung midday. I have tried to introduce bedtime a little earlier now, which he is happy to go to his bed and puts himself a sleep.

Oliver has been going to School Nursery for 6 weeks now and has settled in really well, abit too much probably as I have been told he needs to slow down inside and stop running around. Oh dear! He likes to go to every area and try and fit all of the activiities in, He is over his shyness and had made lots of friends. He comes hime every day telling me about what songs he has sung, what toys he played with and who his friends are.

It is so cute seeing him run along the road to see his friends, shouting out their names. He has a favourite teacher and always talks about her.

He knows all of his numbers up to 20 by sight, knows his alphabet and sounds, can write his name, draw people and knows his shapes and colours.

I am so pleased he has settled in well and that he loves to learn.


Are you going through a similar experience? How has your toddler coped?


Children’s Retro Vitamin D-iner


Vitamin D Mission launch pop-up restaurant to help parents top-up their children’s vitamin D intake

The Vitamin D-iner is a retro American diner-style children’s restaurant, which caters to those with a taste for vitamin D. Serving food and drinks rich in the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, the pop-up 1950’s airstream offers mums and dads the chance to top-up their child’s intake with a menu designed especially for kids.

From the 23rd to 25th April, children under five visiting Brent Cross Shopping Centre ,London are offering the chance to enjoy delicious meals that are rich in vitamin D. From wild salmon fish cakes to egg-rich cheese and ham quiches, strawberries dipped in chocolate and rice krispies for desert, the menu aims to delight, with a capital ‘D’ – vitamin D, that is.

Download Vitamin D-iner 2.jpg (427.0 KB)

The Vitamin D-iner is brought to you by the Vitamin D Mission, a new health awareness campaign that aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency among the UK’s under-5s, aiming to provide parents with more details about the important vitamin.

Download Vitamin D-iner 1.jpg (330.2 KB)

As well as serving meals rich in vitamin D, the restaurant will be serving-up a smorgasbord of information to mums and dads to help raise awareness of the importance of vitamin D for children.

Parents can book sittings on the day by speaking to a member of staff. The Vitamin D-iner will offer six meal sittings per day over its three-day residence at Brent Cross:

·      11:00 – 11:45

·      12:00 – 12:45

·      13:00 – 13:45

·      15:00 – 15:45

·      16:00 – 16:45

·      17:00 – 17:45

Who: Vitamin D Mission – public health campaign

What: Vitamin D-iner: Retro American diner-style pop-up restaurant for under-5s serving vitamin D rich food and drink

When: Wednesday 23rd, Thursday 24th and Friday 25th April 2014

Where: Centre Court, Brent Cross Shopping Centre Shopping Centre, North London, NW4 3FP 11am – 5pm

For more information on the Vitamin D Mission and to take the online test to estimate how much vitamin D your child is getting visit VitaminDMission.co.uk

This is not a sponsored post, no payment has been received, I bring this information to you as part of being a Growingup milk Mum




Ditching Nappies

Since my last post on how we decided to tackle potty training, the little fella has come on leaps and bounds.

He has been completely dry, day and night, only having the odd accident when he has been asleep in the afternoon.

I am still putting him to sleep wearing a night time pull up but he will not wee in it. Instead he wakes me up in the middle of night with distressing noises and when I ask him if he is ok he tells me he needs a wee. The pull ups that he wears are ones that have pictures on the front that disappear once wet and because he likes to look at the picture he will not wee in them. The first thing he does once he is awake in the morning is too check his pull up to see if the picture is there and then he says ‘Ive not made the picture go mummy, it’s still here’
I think that he is probably ready to ditch the nappies completely and just stick to wearing his underpants 🙂

Little man doesn’t even use a potty anymore, instead he will use the ‘Big boy toilet’ Oliver has a step that he uses to get up onto the toilet and off again, no one is aloud to help him, he is very independent and also VERY private! Once he is on the toilet he asks me to close the door and go away. I have to leave him in there until he is ready for me.

Oliver has grown up so much in the past month, I am so proud of him.

One day last week we traveled into London on the underground and once we was on the train he asked me for the toilet, I explained to him that he would have to hold it for a while until we get off of the train. He had to wait for 4 stops and then once we got off at green Park we had a very long walk to get out (which I never knew an exit from a station could be so long) I was expecting him to have had an accident, I just kept telling him that it was OK and he would be able to go to the toilet very soon. We made it to the toilets (which lucky for us were in the station near the ticket office) and he was still dry, he had held his wee for 10 minutes!

We have recently travelled 140 miles in the car, stopping twice, one in a motor way stop over and another in a lay by for him to have a wee because he asked us for the toilet. I am happy to say we arrived at our destination completely dry!

I believe I can 100% say that Oliver is now fully potty trained and goodbye to nappies. I never thought we would get here as 2 months ago he was having about 4 accidents a day and having to wear a nappy on the school run, but we have and I am very proud of him.

Are you potty training at the moment? How are you getting on?


Two year old progress check

From the ages of 24 months to 36 months old, children who are in a setting, normally by their key worker or practitioner are given a progress check. The check, which is a short written summary, aims to give a clear, all round picture of the child’s development. It should cover all areas of learning and development in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), Physical development, Communication and language, and Personal, social and emotional development.

Oliver is 30 months old, and today he came home with his Two Year Progress Check from his childminder, he has his Two and a Half year check with his health visitor in two weeks time.

I am really happy with the outcome of his Progress check, and I am hoping that I will be saying the same in two weeks time. The characteristics of effective learning areas that have been covered are playing and exploring, active learning, and creative and thinking critically.

The check tells me that the childminder has a lot of knowledge of Oliver, and gives me views and information on Oliver’s development, it shows Oliver’s participation in his learning and development, and also consists of observations on what Oliver can do independently and consistently.

The outcome of his check tells me that:

Oliver now has a vast and wide range of vocabulary and can communicate well

He understands routine and he has settled well into the childminder setting as well as the pre school that he has recently just started at

He is confident

He can kick a ball and also catch a large ball, he can climb, and he can undress himself

He can feed himself and drink from a cup

Oliver is beginning to use the potty and knows when he needs to use it

He loves going to the park and jumping in muddy puddles (thank you Peppa)

Oliver can concentrate for up to 10 minutes on a particular activity, and can correctly match up toy animals to their pictures on a farm mat

Oliver can complete a 10 piece puzzle, independently

He loves to look at books and listens well to stories, He knows that print id from left to right and will mimic this in his mark making

He can recognise and count up to 12, but knows that number go on up to 50. He loves to count items out, especially his trains.

He recognises the odd letters, A S P M O T C and B, he says the sounds as well as the name.

Oliver’s development stage is 30-50 months

Oliver’s next agreed steps for progression with his childminder and myself are to visit the local library for a more wider choice of books, to continue to encourage him to become fully potty trained and to introduce more challenging puzzles.

I love reading his progress checks, as I am at work during the day, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable knowing that he is getting on well when i am not around. I am hoping I will be just as happy at his next one 🙂