I never used to be an outdoorsy person at all. As a kid I loved it – I grew up either on the beach or in a park or simply playing in the garden all day with my sister and it was so much fun. I think it changed when I headed off to Grammar school and studying became so all consuming and it went on from there until now when my idea of quality outdoor time is lying on a sunbed. I knew having a little one would mean more time outdoors and truth be told with the amount of time I spend working on my computer, the outside would do me good. Not only that but it is essential for our little ones. We recently went for a check-up at our doctors and we got chatting – did you know there was an increase in the number of children suffering from Vitamin D deficiency – basically, they are lacking sunshine and all that’s needed is for you to have lunch in your garden 3-4 times a week for them to get enough sun – simple. Alyssa, however, has reignited my joy of being outside, especially with her and camera at the ready to capture all the brilliant times we are having together…
There is nothing that Alyssa loves more than hearing me shout “Alyssa, let’s get in the car!” as she just loves heading out and about for adventures and when I say we are collecting Cousins Rowan and Lily she gets even more excited as there is no doubt it will be somewhere kid friendly and fun. During the Winter it was stomps through the woods whilst wrapped up warm and since the sun has started making appearances it has been the beach, the park, cricket matches and forest adventures galore and these always produce such huge smiles. Of course with adventure comes the possibility of danger in the form of untied shoe laces, over excitement or a million other things that can cause those smiles to slip momentarily. When our little ones come face to face with these sometimes their smiles slip away and are replaced with unwanted tears with the appearance of cut knees or grazed elbows when the fun just got a bit too much.
Britmums and teamed up with Elastoplast to create the #TearsIntoSmiles campaign which encourages us parents to get outside with out little ones but be prepared for all eventualities and asks us how we fix those moments and restore happiness to our children. Well, I think all parents have their own ways of comforting a little one and no one can fix a problem like mummy or daddy. I’m so proud to say that Alyssa and I have such a wonderful bond and my heart melts (and breaks a little) when I see a big fat tear drop down those cheeks and hear a shout of “Mama!” So, what do I do…
The most important thing I find is to get to her quickly and envelope her in the biggest hug ever. I wrap her round me and cradle her head as if she were small and gently go back to the rock that all parents develop during the newborn stage. Hugs are always a winner.
Before long there will also be a cry of “Mimmie” which is of course a request for her Minnie Mouse comforter which is never far away who is grabbed and cuddled extra tight and helps to catch any falling tears.
Alyssa is getting so good at talking now and if she does have an accident, between cries she will hold out the limb or body part that has been involved and state between sobs “It’s a hurt Mama!” You have no idea how amazingly useful this is now because as Mummy, my next job after hugs is to rub or kiss better the boo boo and make it feel all better.
Obviously sometimes, a kiss better just won’t fix things and we need a bit more help. The first time Alyssa had a graze I automatically reached for my ever reliable stash of regular Elastoplast waterproof plasters and she quietened down watching intently and I popped one on. She freaked out and begged me to take it off and as it wasn’t a bad graze I did. However, this wasn’t going to bode well for the future if she wouldn’t have plasters at all. DID YOU KNOW they did Frozen and Star Wars ones too?! I didn’t know this and they sent me some and I think if I let her she’d actually be covered from head to toe. You see we have a little “Pimcess” (princess) fan who will watch Moana, Frozen and Tangled forever, all day every day if I let her so having “stickers” of some of her favourite characters on her has resulted in my favourite way to turn her frown upside down.
If all else fails, I have to resort to “The Mummy Dance.” There is no time to feel self conscious at this point as your baby’s happiness is at stake. Basically my mummy dance involves me marching, lifting my knees stupidly high, swinging my arms and going round and round in a circle with the occasional stop for me to do a bum wiggle and a bounce bounce WHILST singing Alyssa’s very own song I made up when she was little that fits any words in any situation. Once my little one catches sight of her mama making an absolute fool out of herself, the tears melt away and donning her plasters with pride she jumps up to join me and before long, wherever we are be that the middle of a park, cricket match or beach, you will see a Mama and her baby bum wiggling and marching to the beat of their own drum.
Take a look at this video and see how Elastoplast turned #TearsIntoSmiles …
We all have our own ways of comforting those who look to us for answers in the same way we all have ways in which we like to be comforted. Scraped knees are as much a part of growing up as losing your first tooth or learning to ride a bike. What’s important is that we don’t let it stop our babies getting out there and letting their imaginations run free creating adventures and stories some of which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. So when you head out for your next adventure, be it the woods, the park or your own back garden, don’t forget to go ready with your Elastoplast and your wiggle bum to turn any #TearsIntoSmiles