Tagged: children

Oh The Joys… x

 

 

This post has been pulled from the archives and edited from Summer holidays for Coronavirus especially for Abbi and Laura and all those working from home with young children. Just know, I know that you’re amazing.

  1. You’re watching a film, OK it’s Disney..but actually you’re involved in the story (sad but true)..at the crucial scene (long-lost Anastasia being re-introduced to her frail Grandmother..a real tear jerker. Promise)…there’s always a ‘Mum, mum, I need to tell you something RIGHT NOW.’  Without fail.  Truth be told, happens in all programmes..sport – just as they come to the finishing line, the news..the weather! They announce the weather you’ve waited 30 minutes to hear so you can plan the next day – picnic? no picnic? ….’Mum, MUM!…’
  2. This also relates to map-reading or any activity that requires your immediate attention…..major road junction and need to hear the sat nav? or need to talk to husband because not trusting the stat nav?… ‘Mum, MUM, MUUUUM!’…
  3. The phone..Mum talking on phone means I must talk to her extra loudly SO SHE CAN HEAR ME.
  4. ‘Please guys I need 30 minutes undisturbed’ equals at least six interruptions.  Because each one was only a small one…because they didn’t want to interrupt you…
  5. The call of ‘Mum, MUM!’ from another floor followed by silence…that chick-like cry translates to ‘Drop-everything-you’re-doing-even-if-it’s-saving-the-world-because-I-need-you-to-do-something-really-insignificant-because-if-it-was-important-I- would-actually-bother-to-come-and-find-you’.
  6. The other much heard cry: ‘Mum-MUM-I-need-a-wee NOW!’…guaranteed on a motorway but the worst time so far…Eight hours into a drive on Greek roads at 37 degrees of heat, crawling along on single track, snaking, moutainous road with a stream of lorries which we’d slowly and painfully over-taken without being killed.  We pulled over and had to watch as each and everyone passed us again..I cried. And Charlie was given an empty bottle for the rest of the journey..
  7. The ground-hog-day morning call of ‘Please can everyone have their shoes on and teeth brushed and everything ready so we can go as soon as I’ve finished this’.  You finish tidying the house, sorting the washing, putting the washing machine on, cleaning the fridge (delete/add as appropriate)..and nothing’s happened.  And now you’ll be late…
  8. You’re always late.
  9. The ground-hog-moment of reminding them to say please and thank you on loop throughout the day.  Like hitting you’re head against a permanent wall.  You can remember the date of your birthdays but this is too hard?? It’s the mum equivalent of chinese water torture. Results in No.15.
  10. I say ‘Please can you turn your ipod down’ and I get ‘Well that’s it..I’m just going to throw it in the bin and then you’ll be sorry’.  Like doh? Results in no.15.
  11. The more bored they get, the less I want to do with them, the less they are capable of doing except whining at me for being bored…and then I spout all the cliches: ‘In my day…’
  12. Then you book them on a camp or tennis club..and it’s ‘We don’t want to go because we want to stay with you..’ Why???
  13. The longer you take to cook their breakfast/lunch/supper the less it will be appreciated.  And cooking three meals a day stinks. Results in no.15…for me..
  14. So you have a picnic and where ever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’ll be handed all the rubbish as if you’re one giant dustbin.  Even if you’re driving.  Or getting ready to pilot a rocket to the moon..silently, the used lolly wrapper/empty drink carton, sandwich foil are passed over to you… Do I have ‘I am really a bin’ written in permanent ink on my forehead?  Results in no.15..
  15. I tell them a certain behaviour will result in a consequence.  They never believe I’ll carry it through.  But I do every time..and they’re still shocked.  Like??
  16. Because of no.15 the consequence usually means we don’t do something nice that gets us out of the house.…which means no.11 kicks in…and I’m bored too.
  17. Asking something to be done requires the order in triplicate.  And then no.15 kicks in, followed by no.16.  And then no.18
  18. The longer the school holidays last, the more I find my brain shrinks (see no.1)
  19. And then they’ll disappear and play beautifully together..
  20. Except the more fun they have…. the greater the mess…
  21. Till it reaches a tipping point of hysterical proportions and you say ‘This will all end in tears’.  And it does…
  22. 5 weeks down, three more to go

Yeah. Um. Well. Yep. When actually will it end? This is life now. gulp.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

 

Laters, Kate x

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