Monday, 18 November 2013


Yet again, our little world is disrupted whilst Tykling (formerly know as Toddler Tyke) suffers another bout of Strep throat. 
We seem to have got ourselves into a Winter cycle of fortnightly high temperatures with every third becoming a full blown dose of strep.  We went through this all last winter and it seems that we are repeating the pattern this winter too.

For several years, Tykling has been suffering with random and regular very high temperatures that we could not explain.  Initially, we put it down to teething but, once he had all of his teeth, we quickly ruled this out.  The one thing Tykling has never done, is complain of a sore throat.

After a particularly severe bout of high temperatures a couple of winters ago, I had a mad rush to A and E one evening when Tykling (then Toddler) was screaming in agony due to stomach pains. 

I cannot stand to see my little boy in pain, and feel so helpless when he is suffering.  On that particular night, I was convinced that Tykling was suffering some terrible, life-threatening illness.  I had visions of ruptured spleens and all sorts of horrible scenarios.  I'm not a nurse.  I avoid the doctor's at all costs.  The noise coming from my child on that night sent me into pure panic mode.  Once we arrived at the hospital and they finally had Tykling's temperature under control, the doctor made his diagnosis of Strep throat.  I felt terrible.  How did I not know that my son had a sore throat? 

I asked plenty of questions, and along with a good session of googling, I learned that Strep Throat does not always present itself as a sore throat.  Suddenly it all made sense - those high temperatures, the stomach pain, the stiff neck - it was all Strep throat.  My son had been suffering for months and I had been putting it down to teething.

With my new found knowledge, I now knew what to look out for.  The first symptom Tykling will have is a high temperature that comes out of nowhere.  This is usually controlled with Calpol and Nurofen but that doesn't fix the Strep.  After a few days, Tykling will complain of stomach pains.  This is caused by the swelling of the lymph nodes in his stomach.  Around this time, he will start to get terrible breath as his tonsils become covered in white spots and start to weep yellow pus.  By this point, I have usually seen a doctor and got him some antibiotics.  After that, he suffers with a really stiff and painful neck as the lymph nodes in his neck become hugely swollen.

So, here we are again.  Tykling saw the doctor today who confirmed yet another dose of Strep and prescribed antibiotics.  Within 4 hours of starting the antibiotics, Tykling was a new child.  He was eating, he was playing with his toys and he went to bed without the aid of Calpol.  Whilst at the surgery, the doctor we saw confirmed that he did indeed seem to suffer with regular bouts of Strep, and that his tonsils were scarred from repeated infections.  She also recommended a tonsillectomy.  This was the news I was waiting for!  The thought of someone operating on my baby is horrible, but the thought of him suffering every few weeks like this is worse.  Now that he is at school, he seems worse - he is missing out on so much through this illness.  I really worry about his attendance.

So, back to the title of this post - frustration!  A couple of hours after seeing the doctor, we had a phone call informing us that she was no longer able to write a referral letter.  According to guidelines, there are a certain number of times that Tykling has to suffer before he becomes eligible for a tonsillectomy.  Apparently, my child has not yet suffered enough!  Despite the fact that his tonsils are permanently enlarged and scarred, he still has to suffer another 3 times before they will be able to do anything about it. 

Whilst I fully understand that whipping out tonsils on a whim is probably not a good idea - afterall, tonsils form part of the body's natural defence system, surely my child's history is evidence enough that his are not doing the job they are designed for and, infact, causing him more problems that they solve.  Why can't these cases be looked at on an individual basis?  Why does my boy have to suffer at least another 3 times before they look at him?  Frustration indeed!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Questions to ask your toddler - part 2!

Ok, so Toddler Tyke is no longer a toddler so maybe I should change the title - Questions to ask your school age child (Yikes!  How did that happen?)

So, age 3 and a half, I asked Toddler a set of questions that I had first discovered on facebook and decided it would be fun to get him to answer them periodically and see how his answers change as he grows up and his views on life change.

Today, I dug out the old post and asked him the same questions (age 4 years 7 months).

These are the questions, his old answers (blue) and his new answers and his new answers (red). 

- What is rain?                       R R R R R it goes pitter patter rain drops.  Rain.  Hard.
- What makes you happy?     When I do a poo on the potty.  Errr, the sun
- How old is your daddy?      14  8
- What is Big Brother?           I don't know  Errrr, big brother
- What is food for?                 For tummies   Making you strong.
- Why is the sky blue?           'Cus it's supposed to be blue.  Sunny and cloudy and blue.  Cus it's 
- Where do babies come from?     Tummies  In Tummies
- What is God?                       I don't know  Don't know
- What does mashed potato taste like?   Yummy  Mashed potato!
- What does music make you feel like?   Errr tingly  Jiggly
- What is your favourite flower?      Errrr, green!  A daisy
- Who is the prime minister?         I don't know  You!
- What is your favourite sweet?     Yellow sweets.  lollipops
- What do you do on holidays?      We play at the beach  I like playing with you
- What happens if you tell lies?     I don't know.  Errr, you go on the naughty step
- What happens if an adult tells lies?   You get happy.  Go on the naughty step!
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?    In this house.  With you

No huge dramatic changes in a year, although I do now seem to be PM! 
I know quite a few other people had a go with the questions when we last did, it would be great to hear how your little one's views have changed.


Wow!  I can't believe how long it has been since I last wrote on here.  As things have changed in my personal life, I have neglected my blog terribly.  I was reminded earlier today of a blog post I wrote a while back where I asked Toddler some questions with a view to coming back and re-asking him the same questions when he was a bit older.  You can read his answers age 3 here.  Anyway, after popping on to find the list of questions, I then spent half an hour deleting all those annoying automated spam responses to blog posts (how annoying are they?) and it has spurred me on to breathe a bit of life back into my blog.  I also discovered several unpublished blog posts which I wrote last year so they may be resurrected too.

Time to get my mojo back!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Opportunities

Living on the coast, it is a tradition to go for a walk along the seafront on New Year's Day. As the sun was shining and the sky was blue, it seemed silly to pass up the opportunity.

As expected, half the town was taking the same opportunity and it was lovely to bump into several friendly faces and have a New Year catch up.

Walking along, I started to ponder what 2013 had in store. As well as my own personal New Years resolutions, I also have some for Tykes Tights and my thoughts turned to planning how I would implement the changes. The past couple of years have been quite difficult for me with a lot of emotional highs and lows. I doubt very much that this year will be any different but as I was walking, my thoughts turned to a quote I had seen on a friend's facebook page. Julie, who runs local company Balanced Health had posted this quote several months back. I don't know why it randomly popped into my head but it seems very appropriate:

"More often in life, we end up regretting the chances in life that we had but didn't take, than those chances that we took and wished we hadn't" - Anonymous

So the start of a new year, the first day of a new book. Only we can write what is on those pages with our own thoughts and actions. Only we can decide whether our story has a happy ending. It's not about what this year has in store for us, it's about what we have in store for it!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

We love you Milton Keynes

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I have failed miserably to keep up with the blog.  Last weekend was manic, with the BabyExpo in Milton Keynes and the Mumpreneur Business Awards.

The BabyExpoUK exhibited for the first time in Milton Keynes rather than it's usual Brighton home.  After a long drive with a car full of stock, Toddler and weekend bags, we arrived on Friday afternoon ready to set up the stand for the weekend.  The Expo was held in the main shopping centre: thecentremk.  What a fantastic venue.  The organisers, Suzanne and Mel from Whats on 4, did a remarkable job and by 9am on Saturday morning, the whole area was alive and buzzing, full of bright, colourful stands.

Saturday was busy with a steady stream of customers.  Thankfully, the lovely Jana of Spotty Dot who had a stand next to me, was on hand to keep an eye on the TT stand whilst I grabbed toilet and coffee breaks.  It is well worth checking out her website and looking at her gorgeous soft toys and rattles.  She also does a fantastic range of handmade t-shirts. 

There were also lots of things happening on the stage including talks by the lovely Annabel Karmel and sleep expert Jo Tantum.

On Sunday, Nanny Tyke manned the stand for me whilst I headed off to the Mumpreneur Business Awards (more on that in the next blog).  Although quieter on the Sunday, Nanny Tyke still did a roaring trade - especially in our fab slipper socks.  There are going to be an awful lot of warm toesies in Milton Keynes this winter!

A big thank you goes out to the lovely Gillian of Mojo Maternity who was on the other side of us.  She specialises in maternity wear for both taller and bigger ladies.  Gillian herself is tall which was a blessing to Nanny Tyke who will quite happily describe herself as 'vertically challenged'.  The layout of the stand meant that Nanny didn't stand a chance of being able to break it down on her own at the end of the Expo without a ladder, or the help of Gilllian and her husband.  If you know any tall pregnant ladies, I would most definitely recommend checking out her website.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend.  We spread the Tykes Tights love and met so many wonderful mums, dads, nannies, grandads and little ones.  This is one event that we will be putting in our diary for next year! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Choosing a school

As a teacher, choosing a school for Toddler should be a doddle.  I should know all the right questions to ask and exactly what to look out for and expect.  So why do I feel like I'm going to get it wrong?  It is such a massive decision to make and it will affect him forever. 

There are about 5 schools local to us which are options.  Two of them have been ruled out straight away because of their reputation.  I think having insider knowledge is worse because it makes you more picky.  The obvious choice of school in terms of location, progress, attainment, beahviour etc is ideal except for one major flaw.  It has recently moved into the building that I worked in for 10 years.  The building where I met Toddler's dad, where we worked together, where I taught when I was pregnant with Toddler and, ultimately, where I cried a million tears when Toddler's dad left.  It is only a building - bricks and mortar - but it holds just so many memories.  It is the place of my most happiest and my most saddest memories.

Today I conquered my fears of returning in order to take Toddler for a look around to see if it would be suitable for him.  As I walked in the main entrance, my stomach churned.  It was just like the old place.  Even Toddler recognised it (despite not having been there for over a year) and at one point he even tried to run down to the staff room! 

The Head took us on a tour and, knowing I had worked in the building before the refurbishment, took us around the whole school rather than just straight to the early years area.  It was a very strange experience to see somewhere so familiar look so different.  The early years area looks completely different to how it did when it was a middle school and the whole school in general has a different vibe.  Whilst we talked, Toddler made himself a few new friends in reception and had to be pried away from the wendy house. 

By the time we came home, I think I had managed to lay a lot of my demons to rest.  It's the start of a new chapter for our family and that building.  Time to move on.  I know Toddler will be happy there and can start to make his own new memories of what lies within those walls.

So, decision made.  School chosen.  I think...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tykes Tights in print!

We recently did an article for Insight magazine.  Although I have seen the proof, the hard copy arrived through the door this weekend:-