Saturday, 22 October 2011

in which G loses a hat and the goodness of the human condition is put to the test

The other morning I decided to take a walk into town with Miss G. The weather has changed a little bit for the wintery variety, so it was cold (about 8 degrees celcius - Fahrenheit readers work that out for yourself) but at the same time it was gloriously sunny. So I bundled G up, found the muff thingy for the buggy and, at the last minute, placed a beanie on her head (she is currently not blessed with a insulating head of hair). It was her first attempt as a cognitive being at both the beenie and in the muff. She was vaguely amused by the hat, less amused by the muff, and immediately starting whinging as she search in vain for her feet...

 Off we trotted. 10 minutes in I noticed that said hat was no longer on said child's head. Parents of 13 month olds everywhere will currently be saying: Tres suprise! What were you thinking woman? A hat on a 13 month old is like a broke shopaholic in the sales - doomed from the start.   I looked behind me to see if I could see it to pick it up, but it was not in sight.  At this point I pondered retracing my steps to go and find it. And then I made a decision that suprised me. I just walked on. The reason I did this? I assumed some one who walked past would pick it up and put it somewhere to be seen, and that it would still be there when we came back an hour and a half later.  Well that and I was on a tight time schedule and it only cost 99p from Sainsbury's 2 years ago, and it wasn't as cold as I thought it was anyway...

So was I being stupid or naive? We are conditioned to think that if we lose our possessions someone will help themselves to them as fast as possible - well we were in the times and places I grew up.  Something dropped not picked up immediately is lost forever.  But in the last 6 months: K lost her camera at an adventure park and it was handed in at the office; G left her beloved Ikea mouse (known throughout the village as Ratton) at the local corner shop, where he sat proudly on the till waiting to be collected the next time I came in; G also dropped the dreaded blanket bear, who was picked up by someone who knew it was hers and placed on my car roof.  I don't know if its the town we live in specifically, because we live in the country or if its the UK in general. More optimistically, is it just because people are a kind and good-natured on the whole? That the selfish image we have of humans as greedy stealing unkind people isn't really true, that people are innately good and kind? I'm a good person, I'd pick it up if I found it. I wouldn't think: Score - a hat that might fit G. No-one else I know would either. So why do we assume the worst in everyone?

Was it there when I came back? Of course it was. Not only that, but it had been found by someone with a sense of humour :) People are good. Hurrah!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

House rules (actual wordless wednesday - almost)

I need one of these - these ARE my house rules. That and no shoes and drinks upstairs...

BTW - I've given the blog - which is taking on a life of its own - its own Face Book page. Like it - it makes witty/pithy/sarcastic/desperate status updates...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Powder-puffing my kids part 1

Check out Miss K rocking out her gymnastics - isn't she great? No - of course that isn't her. I'd never let her out in a scrunchie that co-ordinates with her leotard. Its some random girl lifted off google images and planted on some random woman's blog. Apologies to her. She is merely a prop for my introduction.

So, Elder K does gymnastics. So do several of her friends. K is a perfectly competent gymnast. She is pretty flexible, does a mean split. She points her toes at the appropriate moment. Her cartwheels are actually perpendicular to the ground. Hell, she can even actually spring on a spring board, and many a mother's who spend hours watching beginners gymnastics will know that's quite an achievement. However, competent is all she is. Unfortunately all her friends who do gymnastics with her happen to be MORE than competent gymnasts. In fact one is being fast tracked into the super-competitive group while the other two are in the advanced class. None of them are actually in her class anymore, just in the same club. The child is gutted, and claims she is rubbish at gymnastics. Now, just to be clear, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in her parental gene pool that suggests she has the potential to be anymore than a moderately watchable amateur gymnast. In fact, she is quite lucky she can use a spring board at all to be honest, I'm not sure her father can (a subtle test to see if he actually reads my blog...). I've explained to her that everyone has different talents, and it just so happens that all three of her friends are talented in this particular area. I've pointed out how talented she is at maths, what an excellent dancer she is, that she has great hair, lovely handwriting and magnificent elbows. She's not buying it. She is quite certain it is "one of the things that mum's say to make you feel better". As it turns out in this case, its not. Its actually true. She does have lovely elbows. Just not enough upper body strength to be an Olympian. Or even a Suffolkian. We've had a long chat about acceptting and loving ourselves for who we are. I've explained some of the areas I don't excel in (not everyone appreciates my elbows for example). She now says she doesn't really mind and is happy where she is (that elbow talk was powerful). She got her first badge. She can to do a handspring on the vault. She is still better than the average child on the playground at handstands and cartwheels.  She is content and at peace. Apparently as long as she can show off, she's good...

So lets hope that's it. I have occasionally been accused of powder-puffing my kids in such a way that they are not prepared for the real world. They live in a world where if one gets something from the shops, they all do. They have to share the party packs out between them regardless of who actually went to the party (well actually they go in a sweetie tin, get forgotten about and get eaten by my and DH). I like fair. Fair is good. Fair makes sense. especially when you are under 11. But unfortunately the real world is not fair. Miss K seems to have had her first encounter with an unfair world which hands talents out according to its own cunning plan, and has discovered that wanting to be excellent at gymnastics is not enough. That it requires a natural level of strength and muscle tone she just does not have. It requires you to be able to do a chin up, something I have never ever managed (A scene from cool runnings is jumping to mind here). Perhaps I can find a Little Miss Suffolk Handwriting and Elbows' pageant for her to enter in order to pep her up...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

More milestones for 13 month olds

Apologies for lack of blog for a few days, there has been much going on. Mainly that my mum has been here. This means every spare second of my time has been taken up with nattering, shopping and wine. My blog-inspiration ran dry. But, alas, she is going home this morning, and surprise, here I am blogging again. To borrow from an e-mail that has been doing the rounds "Our Granny lives at the airport. When we need her we go and get her, and when we've had enough we take her back"...

So in the meantime - Miss G is now 13 months old and seems to be doing new stuff everyday. Some things are exciting - she is almost standing on her own and almost doing a normal crawl (she is a bum shuffler). However, she has also started a few less exciting things, that she is actually doing. So in the spirit of my "popular" post on modern mileSTONES for child development  here are a few things you can expect your 13 month old to do, or you can tick off if yours did any:

1. Biting. I am sporting several nice brown circles on my upper arm which may have caused my fellow loons at ballet to think my husband beats me. G has bitten me 3 times in the last week. I have had to introduce the naughty step. It involves dumping her smartly on the floor and turning my back. Mercifully she is not just shuffling round to sit in front of me. Neither of the other two ever bit me. Typical of the last one to let the side down.

2. She has discovered there are two blanket bears. Fail.  Blanket bear is the silly little bear sewn on a wee blanket she uses to soothe herself to sleep. I had them for the other two, but they never imprinted on them and ignored them. G on the other had loves her. Trust her to be difficult (picking up a trend here?). So I have two, so that if one is lost or in the wash I can smugly avoid a full scale melt down. However, she has discovered that there are two, and has taken to wanting BOTH of them, and not being satisfied with just the one. This can only end in tears and a house full of the gormless things.

3.Attempting to stand up in items she is supposedly secured in. High chair, chair harness, the bath, the trolley, the buggy etc.  Great death-defying stunts are occurring when an eye is taken off her for even one second.  Expect a blog on the joys of A and E anytime soon!

4.  The discovery that clothes come on and off. Especially that socks come off, and other people's dirty nickers can be put on, as a hat. No further comment is required.

5.  Throwing your toys out of your cot. Literally doing this. When put down to sleep she has taken to having a full scale thrombo before dutifully going to sleep. However during this tantrum she throws EVERYTHING out of the cot. Blanket bear and dummy go first, so that she now can't sleep. But also any other soft toys in the cot. And the actual blanket, eiderdown, her socks, her pillow and anything else she can get her hands on. I fully expect to find her asleep naked on a bare mattress in a few months...

Thank goodness for third children. How dull my life would be without this...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Its my birthday... Wordless Wednesday

Its my birthday - I'm 36 today. I've had a fantastic day. However - bloody hell  - I'm closer to 50 than 20! Am I middle aged? I'm 18 years older than an 18 year old.  I could have a grown up child, if I was born in 1810 or was from Essex. Bugger that, I'm off to pretend I'm 14 again and go to my ballet lesson.

I totally didn't bake this cake by the way - its nicked from , but I did make a lemon drizzle cake and a coffee and walnut cake. Huzzah. and

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

5 great things about being a parent

My recent series of blogs have apparently put some of my younger followers off ever having kids.  Why discussions about sleepless nights, bodily fluids and public bowel movements would do that to you I'll never know.  But I thought it best I write about some of the great things about being a mum for a change. Not the warm and fuzzy ones, like new born baby toes and hugs in the morning - we can get all those from fabric softener adverts. Instead I thought I'd mention a few of the other things that are great.

1. Relieving and reflecting on childhood. Its grand - you get to watch your children doing all sorts of stuff, and remember how exciting they were when you were a child before you became all cynical - like a bouncy castle and a helter skelter. I'm also watching my children learning gymnastics and thinking - Hey, I remember that and I used to be able to do that etc. Quite good for the ego actually.

2. Holding a mirror up to yourself for the world to see.  Elder K recently told someone that "Jesse J is rubbish and Coldplay are over-rated but the new Kasabian album rocks". I was so proud I nearly wept. That's my girl.  And when they are complimented it reflects so well you, and you get to say - Hey, I gave the world that child. I even made her, cell by cell - go me!

3. You get to play "When I was a child I never had..." or "I always wanted..." and dress your children up like little dollies in your favourite clothes from your favourite shops. G the younger is currently sporting a jumper by a certain country clothing brand - not really sensible for a 12 month old... You may also think  - I always wanted one of those Barbie dolls houses" or "a decent train set" or whatever. My child also has a wide a variety of "eco-snob" wooden toys, which I think people gave me, rather than G, for her birthday!

4. Kids are excellent humour.  K and E regularly crack us all up. For example I recently had a migraine and decided to fob it off with a box of smarties. Middle E came in and said to me: Why are you eating chocolate? Me: Because I don't feel well. E: Well chocolate isn't going to help...  Or K, who this very instant just said "There are believable things and magic things. Magic things are things you believe in you know aren't real but still believe in". Well I'm glad we cleared that up then...

5. Should you have the misfortune/good fortune to move away from the place you grew up, went to uni or whatever your thing is, and discover you know no-one, kids are a great way to make friends.  I currently have some of the best friends I have had as an adult, and I met them all through things related to the kids - parents from the school or nursery, a mum from ballet, another from gymnastics. And the best part is - they WANT to talk about kids, potty training, stacking cups, sleeping schedules and other riveting subjects your DINKY friends just don't get.

So in conclusion - have kids because they flatter your ego, are an excuse for shopping, good humour and a great way to meet people. What more do you want!