Tagged: children

A Birthday x

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This post was edited from two previous posts to celebrate Bella’s eighth birthday and tenth birthday. I decided I couldn’t improve on the sentiment contained, except to say, you never think it possible, but the words grow more concentrated with each passing year x

Today is my daughter Bella’s eleventh birthday.  She was my IVF baby, born after six years of heartache, seven miscarriages and 2 years of no pregnancies (which I am sure was psychological. But it really didn’t help).  With her birth on this day all those years ago, I finally became a Mummy.

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I still carry the scar tissue..infertility is a time I wouldn’t wish on anyone –  you beat yourself up for the futility of hoping, nose permanently pressed against the glass, it becomes personal;  A retina searing pain that makes you disappear under the burden of inner reflection..the only person to blame being you.  Something so simple, so natural…so unachievable.

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We literally threw everything we had at it..and we were oh so lucky.  The tides finally turned and she arrived..the most beautiful baby I had ever seen..a fairy child.

And she remains the most beautiful inside and out child to this day, the rarest and most delicate of gifts.  And now we celebrate her eleventh birthday..it’s hard to believe – it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital.  I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you – you have your experience and that need to guide and help, but it’s just not true.  Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother.  There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all your imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?

I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail.  I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – resilience has to be one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow.  To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence  – far more important in real life than examination certificates.  I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation.  I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong.  I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.

Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..

Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them the world and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….

I celebrate and raise a glass to you our wonderful, amazing, incredible, magical daughter!

Laters, Kate x

 

Bella Bella x

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So this post was originally written two years ago, to celebrate Bella’s eighth birthday.  On the day of her tenth birthday, I don’t think I can improve on the sentiment contained, except to say the words grow more concentrated with each passing day x

We’ve been in the garden county of Kent for the first week of half-term (it’s a two week break for us)  – and I thought I was prepared for the black hole of social media that this part of the UK has historically proved to be by taking a dongle with us, but even that was no match for the rich eiderdown of life that seems to squash the very lifeblood of the internet to nothing in these parts. On the plus side, life without the internet is a lot simpler..more old fashioned..and in the end, there was really nothing for it but to embrace the holiday spirit and go with the flow..it’s been a great break!

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We also celebrated Bella’s eighth birthday..it’s hard to believe, it seems only yesterday I was holding that tiny baby, watching the face of Big Ben tick round that first night we spent together in St Thomas’ hospital.  I look at her now and have the most enormous chest restricting rush – she is my open-heart production – vibrant, living, learning..I never used to worry so much about life, now there’s more grey..I’ve become an observer, teacher and pupil too. it’s weird – you think your helpless child will be totally reliant on you and you have your experience and the need to guide and help, but it’s just not true.  Instead it’s a constant balancing act that I don’t think anyone can get totally right: You want to lead, but you don’t want to helicopter. You want to love and cuddle, but you don’t want to smother.  There’s an undeniable pleasure in growing together in habits, tastes and socks…but the easiest thing as a parent is to see your child as a mini-you where you now have the ability to correct all the imperfections..or to see the person they are now as the character they will always be and deny them the space to grow..thoughts like that just end up passing the negativity down the food-chain, or so it seems to me..but then who am I to say?

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I know I don’t want her to be the child that has everything – but even deciding that is choosing a course of action, adding an intrinsic quality, another detail.  I don’t believe that love is materialistic, instead I believe adversity supports initiative – one of the greatest gifts a parent can bestow.  To that I add manners, self-respect and confidence  – far more important in real life than examination certificates.  I want her to have the space to find out who she is away from any expectations of mine and to be able to express that in any situation.  I want her to have the confidence to stand up and say her opinion whether it’s right or wrong.  I want her to make mistakes, whether it’s in her maths homework or something bigger, to learn there are always solutions if you look hard enough and mistakes are part of the stepping stones of life and shouldn’t be avoided…sometimes they lead you forward.IMG_0474

Life is as delicate as a falling feather but should always be a glorious caper..I hope she has a wonderfully misspent youth with sunshine smiles and audacious bursts of laughter, she is my joy, my love, my heart…and I hope that when the time comes, I have the sense to set my treasure free..

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Does mother know best? You dream about it..but ultimately kids appear from nowhere and have wills of their own and you’re just ordinary people trying to get through life the very best way you can, showing them life and hopefully a way of looking at things that opens the door to where the magic lies….

 

Laters, Kate x

 

 

 

Precious..

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There’s a moment in every parents life when you wonder if the make-believe still holds the magic: Do they still believe in Father Christmas? Does the Tooth Fairy still have power? And will Jack Frost still be a person? You don’t want to be the one to break the spell, but as they get older there’s the feeling that you’re possibly the one that’s being duped rather than the other way around. And yet…how to broach the subject, and how to say OK – it’s us, but now it’s your turn to hold the secret for others? – I know from horrible experience there is nothing worse than another child proudly telling all when yours still believe. (Note for the future: If this does happen and they’re still young say yes, sometimes parents do have to deliver Christmas stockings but that’s only when a child no longer believes so won’t get a stocking unless the parents step in)

We had a precious moment in Greece when Charlie lost a tooth.  He came into breakfast with a big smile saying ‘I got my 2 euros and a letter!’.

 

The husband and I looked at each other with open eyes and raised eyebrows…neither of us had written fairy letter…maybe this was proof at last they did exist!

 

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Except of course, it was Bella who had written it.  She got a special cuddle afterwards and the promise of a silver locket..a prize to mark knowing the secret, but also to represent holding the secret.

 

My beautiful daughter is growing up fast. Maybe faster than I’m ready for.

Laters, Kate x

Oh Charlie….

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I’m not sure what it is…end-of-term-itus, the weather..a growth surge? But Charlie and I are having regular run-ins like a pair of bulls in mating season.  I picked him and Bella up from school just the other day and he got upset because I refused to carry his bag. I never carry his bag – it’s a principal.  But because it had a library book in it, a big one chosen by him, he wanted me to.  I had 4 bags and a laptop to carry.  There was no way.  He moaned and moaned.  So I gave him my bags and took his.  He couldn’t walk..and moaned again.  Took my bags back and told him to stop complaining.  He complained more.  I said if he didn’t stop, I would dock 20p off his pocket money.  He lost 20p.  Then I realised we had to go to the shops before going home as Bella had a school trip the next day and needed a packed lunch.  In the time it took us to get to the shop he’d lost £4.00. I asked him to wait outside the shop so I couldn’t hear him whine. He refused.  By the time we eventually got home he was £8.00 down.  I advised him in no uncertain terms that after 45 minutes of pure torture he got out of my sight before I did something I regretted, and maybe the best thing to do would be to go up to his room and punch a pillow till he’d calmed down and could be human again.

Five minutes later he re-appeared with arms outstretched saying, ‘I’m sorry Mummy,’

I went to give him a cuddle…

He looked up at me with his big brown eyes full of concern…’I’m so sorry Mummy….but unless you change your attitude I’m going to have to leave home.’

I pointed down the hall, ‘There’s the front door.’

 

Laters, Kate x

Projects x

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I read an article once that said it was only ever possible to have two out of the three of the holy grails of building works: Cost, quality, time.  I think the similar principals apply to children at halfterm…happy children, messy house, cost…only ever two at one time..but at least acknowledging these salient truths makes wading through the detritus of my present house so much easier.  Which is a good thing, because added to our layer of general chaos is the fact we have the school quiz next week – this was last year – so why should this year be any different? We’ve started working on the costumes..and discovered a new creative product – ever come across thermomorph moldable plastic before??

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It’s amazing stuff. You add these little plastic balls to boiling water.

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And wait 2 minutes till they go clear.

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Then you take it out and wait just long enough so no-one will get scalded.

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And start molding…into anything you want.

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It’s amazing stuff – the time line between being soft and hard is quite short – but you can just drop it back in the boiling water to soften again.  And they dry totally opaque and white. What we were making I can’t say…except all will be revealed next week…

 

Laters, Kate x

Charlie Retrospective x

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This photo was taken almost exactly a year ago in Scotland, when Charlie warmed the cockles of my ageing heart by choosing a girls fluffy cardigan to buy and wear (post here).  I wondered when society and conventions would catch up with him and overshadow his individuality with the urge to fit in. So has a year made a difference?

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He’s certainly grown taller…and likes to flaunt rules..

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And he still wants to wear his red chinese silk pajamas to do the shopping!

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Go Charlie!

Laters, Kate x

Oh Charlie….

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I’m not sure what it is…end-of-term-itus, the weather..a growth surge? But Charlie and I are having regular run-ins like a pair of bulls in mating season.  I picked him and Bella up from school just the other day and he got upset because I refused to carry his bag. I never carry his bag – it’s a principal.  But because it had a library book in it, a big one chosen by him, he wanted me to.  I had 4 bags and a laptop to carry.  There was no way.  He moaned and moaned.  So I gave him my bags and took his.  He couldn’t walk..and moaned again.  Took my bags back and told him to stop complaining.  He complained more.  I said if he didn’t stop, I would dock 20p off his pocket money.  He lost 20p.  Then I realised we had to go to the shops before going home as Bella had a school trip the next day and needed a packed lunch.  In the time it took us to get to the shop he’d lost £4.00. I asked him to wait outside the shop so I couldn’t hear him whine. He refused.  By the time we eventually got home he was £8.00 down.  I advised him in no uncertain terms that after 45 minutes of pure torture he got out of my sight before I did something I regretted, and maybe the best thing to do would be to go up to his room and punch a pillow till he’d calmed down and could be human again.

Five minutes later he re-appeared with arms outstretched saying, ‘I’m sorry Mummy,’

I went to give him a cuddle…

He looked up at me with his big brown eyes full of concern…’I’m so sorry Mummy….but unless you change your attitude I’m going to have to leave home.’

I pointed down the hall, ‘There’s the front door.’

 

Laters, Kate x

In England’s green and pleasant land..

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We spent the Bank Holiday weekend with family in the light, clean air of the country, marvelling at the fresh greens and bright colours of early summer, whiling away happy hours reading papers that got read, drinking wine and watching dogs happily snoring in the sun.

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Their’s is a garden that represents all that is good about England; It’s a place were time stands still yet life buzzes around.

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It’s a joy just to walk around and breathe in.

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And the children love the freedom of space..

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(Taken just for Lauren..)

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They have the most amazing tree..

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Like something straight out of Doctor Seuss and The Lorax..

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I loved it..made me giggle and sigh.

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There was much playing of football with cousins and dogs till the sun went down.  Gentle, simple..heavenly.

Laters, Kate x

Charlie x

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This is hearsay…so I can’t tell you if it’s actually true…but according to The Husband (who’s birthday it is today – happy Birthday hubby! – which also managed to coincide with the final break down of the boiler.  Should I be worried?) Charlie had a rather enlightening conversation with him at the weekend whilst watching Bella ice skate.  Apparently he’s desperate for some younger siblings and thinks two more would be ideal.  Sadly (wrong word, but he’s got a lot to learn…A lot.) there’s not a snowballs chance in hell of his wishes ever coming true: The wish for younger brother’s and sisters is rather like counting to infinity – it can never be satisfied as someone (In this case, Charlie) always has to be the youngest.  But more importantly, that was ten years of my life I gave up and I have no wish to return to.  Except Charlie thinks he has a cunning plan which he’s prepared to put into action…according to him, if he pushes my boobies (his words, not mine) five times, it makes a baby!…he knows this is true because he saw it on television! (also worrying. On a different level..) I asked The Husband whether he put him straight and grasped with two hands the perfect opportunity for a manly bird et bees conversation….he said he’s been far too amused watching me run away every time Charlie comes close…

 

Laters, Kate x