Questions, Questions; Helping Dads to Bond; and 'What's in a Name?'Thursday 25th of April 2013 | Category: Baby News | Written by: Leoarna Mathias
Here's the scenario. It's 3.20, and I am piling my four year daughter and her 17 month old brother back into the car after collecting her from pre-school. She's a jolly little girl, given to chattiness. Today is no different, and as soon as I start the engine, off she goes with her hundred-miles-a-minute questioning on everything from 'do I know what she made today?' to 'what are cars made of?' via 'how do humans make other humans?' (That last one I report to you verbatim, and came at me totally out of the blue!). A recent study has shown that mothers face more questions per hour than teachers, doctors, nurses or even David Cameron during Prime Minister's Questions; 23 on average, all day, every day. Obviously there are variances according to age and gender, and I laughed out loud when I read that:
'the study discovered girls aged four are the most curious, asking an incredible 390 questions per day - averaging a question every 1 minute 56 seconds of their waking day.'
Now I know why I am a little weary sometimes, and end up resorting to absent-mindedly muttering a lot of 'Hmmmms' by teatime!
I joke about it, but keeping up with the curios and knowledge-hungry child can be draining, and I confess that the one day a week I spend in my home office, tapping out words, and listening to bird song outside the window, is a welcome pause in the intensity of our life together. It is worth taking a look at our article that encourages you to take a little time out from your children, in order that you can keep on meeting their needs, day in, day out. And of course, none of my need for a little time-out means that I don't love being with her; when I can step back from it all, I am hugely grateful that she is so enthusiastic to learn about the world around her.
Help a Dad Out!
Following on from last week's look at father's involvement in labour and birth, another study, also reported in The Telegraph, concluded that fathers who know the sex of their unborn child find it easier to bond with the baby once they arrive. I find this a really intriguing fact, and it has me wondering about how we decide to 'know or not know' the sex of our unborn children. As you'd expect, amongst my mummy chums there are those who have known all of their children's genders in advance, and those who've chosen not to look at that crucial moment during the 20 week scan.
I didn't know the sex of my first child, and was subject to all those old wives tales about how the size and shape of your bump, or how you feel during pregnancy, means you having this, or that. I was personally convinced it was a boy, and so was my husband, so much so that we didn't even check as she arrived, and then laughed for quite a while afterwards. I did find out during my second pregnancy, mainly because I wanted to know if hanging on to all that too-small, overly pink clothing in the loft was actually necessary. But I think by 20 weeks I already knew that I could pass the clothing on to others, so sure was I that 'it' was a 'he'. After all, this pregnancy felt so different, in every sense. If you're pregnant at the moment, and wondering whether to find out or not, it may be worth mulling this research over with your partner - and let us know in the comments section below if it influenced you one way or the other!
What's In a Name?
And finally, this week sees my tenth blog post published on the Mum Network group of sites. Hopefully, some of you read to the end and scroll down to my biography. If you do, you'll note that my name is a little unusual. Pronounced 'Le-arna', it is a little something my mother conjured up all by herself, without any regard for the presence of three vowels together (generally a bit of a no-no, entomologically speaking!)I have a love-hate relationship with it; it's nice to be pretty much unique, making web-based email and social media easy to use. But, the natural reserve of the British means I witness a great deal of uncomfortable embarrassment on the part of people who don't see me that often, and can't quite remember it, but don't want to say so. I would definitely agree that your name becomes part of you, and so deciding on your child's name is a pretty big deal. If you need help with name choosing, the third site in our trio, www.babynames.co.uk, and our resident names expert, Siobhan, are there to help you!