What’s made you proud today?

I’m conscious that there are things Oscar clearly loves and others he’s not so keen on, but I’m also aware that he’s a toddler and fickle as you like. What works today, wont work tomorrow as it were. So while it might be easy for me to avoid things he hasn’t enjoyed in the past, it’s also somewhat lazy (and if I always did this we could end up doing nothing). He could change his mind about an acticity any day, so it only makes sense for me to give him periodic access to the things he hasn’t enjoyed previously. It’s like me with olives and Edam (now love olives, still can’t stand Edam)

This is how we found ourselves at a Top Banana craft session this morning. We’ve attended various courses and sessions run by our good friend Lana, some have worked for us and some haven’t. This morning was craft based fun, so playdough, painting, sticking and colouring. Seriously what’s not to like? It was a pretty safe bet. Only thing was the class was being held in his favourite place, The Hen House and previous attempts at getting him to focus on something in the party room, when there is all that free ranging soft play the other side of the door have failed dramatically.

So it was with some trepidation that I took him this morning.We arrived a little early, to give him a chance to play as he wanted to, and as Lana really kindly emailed us the list of activities to me last night, I took some time to tell him what was going to happen. And I’m happy to say it wasn’t a disaster. He played with the playdoh for a while and then made a snail, sticking small pieces of card to a paper plate. He’s not used glue before and I think we’ll definitely be investing in some for home!

This morning's Top Banana Snail

This morning’s Top Banana Snail

 

All in all he lasted 20 minutes of an hour class. I could have tried to hold him in the room, when he really didn’t want to be there any more, but who would have gained from that? I’d given him the access I planned to and it actually wasn’t as awful as it could have been. It didn’t stop me feeling deflated afterwards, sitting alone drinking my coffee. Then I realised I was focussing on what he hadn’t done, when really I should be focussing on what he had done. Which was more than I thought he would. Positive thinking is quite a new thing for me. A year ago, I would have totally just focussed on what we hadn’t achieved. But now, I don’t know, that just feels pointless. Seriously what’s the point on focussing on what wasn’t there? Something that didn’t ever exist? When there’s this concrete thing in front of me, something that does exist?

It’s not always easy and yeah sometimes I still wish he’d do stuff other kids do (or what I think they do – who I am to say what they do is better?). But for now I’m focussing on what he does do. What IS there.

Which today was a feeling of pride and a snail.

Mummy Karma

Whether you think of it as what goes around comes around, do as you would be done by, or just simple Karma, I believe that what you put out in the world, stays out there and one day will revisit you.

For example I am 100% sure Car Park Karma exists. One Christmas we spent ages, driving round and round the Waitrose car park in Farnham, with no success and blood pressures rising. I then saw a lady drop her glove as she walked past us, so I nudged Ben to wind down the window and tell her, which he did. She thanked us profusely and we carried on our search. Within a minute we found a space, that was not only exactly where we needed to be, but that was held for us, by another shopper when someone tried to sneak in it from the other side. One good turn and all that.

And the more time I spend as a mother, and more to the point with other mothers, and surrounded by children, the more I am convinced Mummy Karma is a real thing too. Seriously I do. The more good things you do as a mother, the more you stock up the positive bank of mummy karma. I’m happy to help mothers with their children whenever I can, both out and about or in our own homes. Be that having a child to my house so their mum can go to an older sibling’ concert or picking up a child who has fallen when their mama is too pregnant to bend. I do it because that’s who I am, but also I like to think that if I was ever in a fix myself I could cash in some of my positive karma chips when I really needed it. From help with childcare, or just some supportive understanding, whatever I might need I like to think it’d be out there for me, somewhere in the Universe.

So if your child hurls a cup of water all over the table, and the bag, and the floor and me, deal with them as you see fit (everyone’s got their way) but don’t worry about me. I’m sure my son will tip a bag of Twiglets all over you soon enough. I don’t get angry about what your son does, because a) he’s yours to deal with and b) my son will do just the same one day and I would hope whoever he does it to would be as understanding.

Don’t apologise about never finishing a conversation in one sitting. Jeez Louise I can’t remember the last time I managed a full, beginning to end, conversation while Oscar was around. So it takes ten attempts for you to tell me about your new nursery? It’ll take me just as long to tell someone else a funny anecdote that, to anyone other than a mother, wouldn’t be worth the time to hear.

I’m convinced that this collective understanding is what allows us to be surrounded by these tiny beings who are pushing their boundaries and practising their spacial awareness skills without going bonkers. Without it we wouldn’t get through the day. And I like to think it shows our children tolerance, something I know I’m keen to teach my little buddy.

BUT. Should my son, or me for that matter, accidentally knock your child to the floor cos we’re not looking where we’re going, accept our heartfelt apology and move on. I know, and so should you, that you’ll be having to do the same one day soon. Snatching your child away and glaring at either me or my boy will a) just make you look like a dick and b) come back to bite you on the ass. Of that I am sure.

So bank some positive mummy karma today. You’ll be grateful you did tomorrow.

 

Yup - fair play to Mummy Karma

Yup – fair play to Mummy Karma

 

 

Mama and More
Life with Baby Kicks

A breath of sadness

NB: Sorry for the deep and potentially upsetting nature of this post, but when something touches me, no matter how lightly, this is where I come to work it out.

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Life. Its short right. We get that. Or do we? It’s here and then, some time or another, it’s gone. We don’t know when. We none of us know how long we’ve got. To live. To love.

From a young age I’ve been firm of the opinion that there is no going before your time. That the concept is a misnomer, because if you go, then it is your time. I’ve never been afraid of leaving the party early, as I was so sure that there was no such thing.

Since becoming a mother it’s harder to be so sure of my once strongly held beliefs. Motherhood challenges everything about you, both physically and cerebrally. It makes you question your very core. And that’s wonderful. It takes you to places you’d never go otherwise (and I’m not just talking about soft play or gymboree classes). It makes you look at everything you ever thought was good and true in a different way, from a different angle and ask again, is this right?

Is it right that so many of my friends (and not, I am thankful beyond measure, me) have gone through the pain of miscarriage? Can a 10 week old baby, who passes due to no discernible cause, be leaving because it is their time? Really? Suddenly the bravado of my youth seems crass and naive. Suddenly I feel like I am being pulled up by the headmaster and asked to answer the question again. I feel shamed.

These are the darker sides of parenthood that are only whispered about, skipped over and hoped, for everything that your worth, you never have to experience. No mother, or father, should be the one to bury their child. ‘Should’ is a funny word though. It has a habit of contradicting itself, because parents do have to bury their children. Every day. The pain is real, for so many and I can’t begin to image that this is how it’s meant to be. That this is right.

In order to carry on, to make the most of the time we do have, I find it easier to push these thoughts away. It’s easier not to consider these questions too much. Because if I did, the sadness would fill up my very being and stop me in my tracks. Like it did last Thursday.

So here’s to all the parents who have loved and lost. I’m so so sorry for your loss.

But I’m so so grateful it’s not my own.

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Emotional Vs The Planner

Sometimes I’m a planner. I make lists and I agonise over stuff for days, I am careful and considered.

Then sometimes I’m impulsive. Rash and spontaneous, dealing with the fall out, whatever that may be, later. I move on instinct and am motivated by my emotions.

And sometimes the planner in me hates my emotional impulsive side. It hates that she doesn’t think these things through and gives her all the worst case scenarios after the fact. As if to say, “tut tut tut. I told you so – look what might happen, you silly girl”. And the emotional me gets sad and feels bad and stupid and thoroughly chastised.

But sometimes, just sometimes the emotional me triumphs. Whatever has been jumped on works, the gut feeling, the impulse was so right. It results in outcomes the planner would never have achieved. Those days the emotional impulsive side sticks her tongue out, blows raspberries at the planner and feels like a queen.

She also tells the planner it should listen to her more often, trust her, use her.

Cos sometimes she is bang on the money!

Thank you – 100 times

Hi there

Just a really quick one today. I hit 100 followers yesterday.

followers

Now I know some blogs have thousands of followers and 100 might sound like a tiny number to some, but to me it’s unbelieveable

UN – BE – LIEVEABLE!

Seriously.

I started this as nothing more than a place to empty my head, a place to call my own. I never once suspected anyone would read what I wrote. And then when friends started to read links I posted on my Facebook I was supremely flattered and touched that anyone would take the time. But when strangers started not only reading my stuff, but subscribing to it. Well. I can’t really explain how humbled this made me feel.

In reality know I have more than 100 “followers” (I hate that term, makes me sound like a cult!). I have those who read links I post on FB or Twitter and like a good magazine I have those who read my blog from links that others have shared. My sister in law tells me that everyone in the salon where she works is following my SW journey through her. My friend in Moscow shares my journey with her parents back in the UK. It’s how the internet works. But to see the number there, in black and white – well it blew me away.

So I just wanted to say thank you really. A great big massive

Thank_You_note_brush_strokes

Whether I know you read my blog or not, whether you’re here for the parenting stuff or the SW journey, whether you read every week or just dip in and out. Whatever bought you here. I want you to know that this blog has changed my life. And you are a part of that.

So once again.

Thank you

xxxx