Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Closing One Door, Opening Another....

You know those times when you feel like one of your kids just needs to be cradled through life more than usual for a bit? I feel like I'm doing that currently with my littlest gem as she seems to be in the process of figuring out and accepting who she is and her place in this big, wide world. And I don't mean in a Dr Phil kinda way, but more where she's stretching her little legs and arms out to see how far she can push her unique personality, her creativity, her ability to manage friendships in a tough girl-eat-girl world and how to cope with whatever challenges a healthy eight year old may face (and apparently there are quite a few!) It's a nice time - a time where she needs her Mum to be by her side; to massage her confusion and mixed up thoughts into something that make sense to her and feels right. 

I noticed in recent months that my littlest person was becoming more and more difficult to manage on a day to day basis. Homework time, shower time, and bedtime were always met with a mental collapse of some sort where the gentle negotiation no longer worked and she was getting frustrated and angry a lot of the time. It wasn't her. Her playful, light-heartedness had flattened and she was in constant battle with either her family or herself where she was either beating me up for something or another, or giving herself a dressing down. And that's no good - I can take her beating (as I know it equates to frustration, fear, exhaustion or simply the onset of the sniffles) but nothing good comes from a kid who turns their vitriol on themselves. As it turns out, discovered through simply stopping, listening and allowing her to speak in her own time, she was needing the pace to slow down, the expectations to ease and for life to feel a little bit more like fun. And to my surprise, most of all she was asking for a fresh start where she could test out her eight year old self on new people.  Go figure. Yup - my mind was blown. A lot of kids shy away from change - she was running towards it.

So, after much deliberation and allowing enough time for correct decisions to be made without haste, she's moving schools. She's leaving the pace of the private school where she and her sister have always been, and she's making a fresh start in a new environment where learning is done differently and the pace is largely set by the child. She's driven this move throughout the entire process and has remained steadfast in her choice, eagerly anticipating being the 'new girl' in a new environment.  It's a little scary as a parent to have that much trust in a child and putting them largely in charge of their own life decisions, but how do they learn courage and about potential consequences (both good and bad) if we don't take a safe leap with them? Truth be told, I've bitten my nails down to the core but me and change? We're not a great match - I have a lot to learn from my eight year old it seems.

I figure that if your child has something to say, is crying out to you about elements of their life that they can't cope with, it's our job to listen, to acknowledge and to try and fix things where possible, even if there's an element of calculated risk involved.  So changes are afoot! And I already have my little gem back - not surprisingly, she's lighter, happier, calmer and fun again, now that she's been heard and understood. Only time will tell if our decision has been correct but if she can be brave enough to try something new and a little unknown, then so can I, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained is my life lesson this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

NGV Summer Children's Festival 2015

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | NGV Summer Children's Festival


Last week was one of those annoying groundhog day weeks where every day kinda imitates the one before. Wake at the same time, shower, have in depth discussions about who's having what for breakfast, nag about fresh air and sunshine and basically enjoy the finer points of parenting all day until it all starts again the following day. By Saturday, I was ready to quietly climb out a window and run far, far away. (Instead, after hearing "Mum, I'm bored" for the 112th time, I screamed into a pillow for five seconds and felt much better).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Squishy Marshmallow Me.......

IMAGE : PINTEREST.COM | Squishy Marshmallow Me
Since having kids, and particularly as they've reached school age, I've become such a big squishy sentimental marshmallow.

A wide variety of incidental parenting moments can set me off but nothing does it quite like a school event. It seems that whatever the occasion, as soon as I step into our school theatre to attend an assembly, presentation or production, I habitually get the lumpy throat, the stiff jaw and the teary vision before anyone has even uttered a word. It could be as simple as someone getting their music certificate or a science award; whatever is on the day's agenda, my lip always begins its uncontrollable quiver.

I'm at my worst when they run a video to music. Oh God - the power of an audio visual soundtrack! Why can't they just use the Benny Hill Theme or something? I'm pretty sure I have missed many key moments of my kids' participation in the video montages, thanks firstly to the 'Wind Beneath My Wings'-esque music and secondly as I always find myself fumbling around in my bag desperately seeking an old lipstick-smeared tissue instead of actually watching.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A One Child Week

Felt a bit weird sending my sensitive and slightly teary ten year old gal off to school camp this morning. 

Funny how, although your kids can be completely different to you in so many ways, sometimes quite suddenly they display a characteristic that is exactly you, through and through. Like me as a child, these days Miss O is a bit prone to an affliction I refer to as 'pre-conceived homesickness' (feeling homesick before you've actually been anywhere) and also the 'long, sad goodbye' (a dread and sadness about saying goodbye well before departure and a feeling that the impending separation is absolutely FOREVER). That's me all over. Still is a bit and I guess as she's getting older, it's her too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Bad Case Of OPG (Overstated Party Guilt)

I have a small favour to ask. (I know - I'm needy, but stay with me).

Can we all please just take a large, deep breath and chill out about kid's birthday parties? Please?! Recently, I was wracked by a condition I'm referring to as OPG or 'Overstated Party Guilt', caused by over-thinking the ins and outs of the final invitee list. I had a bad case of OPG but at the same time, there was also a large part of me that was annoyed that I allowed myself to suffer through this silly condition because I made some well considered choices and I didn't particularly wish to invite the entire free world to our little party. Is that unreasonable? No really, tell me because maybe it is. Dunno. I figure I've either lost my radar on what is perfectly acceptable when it comes to kid's party guest lists or the world has gone a little bit mad when it comes to the importance of who's invited and who's not. Nonetheless, instead of feeling the joy of planning a get together for a little person who doesn't especially like big group activities, I found myself guilt-ridden and annoyed.  And that was pretty annoying in itself.
Still here? Bravo.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Parenting Teen Girls - An Evening With Michael Carr-Gregg

IMAGE:THE MOTHER LOAD | Michael Carr-Gregg
The further along I travel on my journey as a parent, the more I suspect that firstly the learning curve is getting steeper as the years rush by and secondly that I may well be monumentally screwing things up and no one is coming out and telling me honestly. I often balance precariously on the verge of feeling as though each parenting strategy I adopt might be the right one, and probably feels appropriate but then again I half-expect any possible dire consequences of my strategy to hit me suddenly, teach me that well-needed lesson and remind me of just how badly I'm doing. So mostly for me, it's a confidence game coupled with my somewhat unrealistic desire for parenting perfection. Oh what a fun mum I must be! With these various insecurities in mind, I have always found the advice and wisdom of others vitally important on this parenting journey. This seems especially true now as we head into the challenging adolescent years, aiming to raise well-balanced people who at the end of their teen journey still have some level of respect for you as their trusted parent and indeed for themselves.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

To See Or Not To See? (I Really Don't Want to Talk About It, Thanks)


I witnessed the most Oscar-winning performance from Miss A at her first routine eye test last week.

I should have known. I should have been more switched on given she was broadcasting to everyone with great excitement even before the big appointment, that she was "definitely" getting a pair of pink glasses. While I know she can be pretty convincing when it comes to getting her way, I certainly didn't expect the performance she put on for the lovely optometrist who was thankfully able to see through A's dramatic interpretation of  'Stevie Wonder - The Early Years'.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Resilience, Rainbows And Other Ramblings

IMAGE : PIXAR 'Boundin' | Resilience

I seem to spend a lot of time talking to my girls about resilience. 

Resilience is pretty much defined as having the ability to cope with, and bounce back from life's speed humps, big or small. Some kids are naturally more resilient than others (I suspect environment plays a role in their ability to cope) and some kids need to be taught. Not surprisingly, mine fall squarely into the latter category. Even as I type, Miss A (five) is snivelling uncontrollably because Miss O (ten) doesn't want to play Minecraft with her. Her tears, heartbreak and lack of acceptance of this momentary rejection demonstrates pretty clearly that we have a lot of work to do in regard to her resilience but then again, she's five so no great surprises there.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Do WHAT????

At the school Mother's Day breakfast this morning, a video was shown of the Preps discussing what they think their Mums do while they're at school.  I was absent from the event but apparently Miss A in her usual unpredictable fashion declared to the 200 odd guests that, "when I'm at school, my Mummy shops for toothbrushes for herself".

Seriously? I swear, I'm going to make sure her 21st speech is the definition of embarrassing - REVENGE WILL BE MINE!!

(And for the record, while I DO support a healthy dental regime, I DO NOT shop for toothbrushes on a daily basis. Special thanks to the multitude of school mums who checked this fact with me this morning!).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Go the FLECK To Sleep ...(Please)

See this face? Looks like an angel doesn't she!? But do you know what we've gone through in order to get her to reach this blissful state? DO YOU!? Our nightly sleep routine is officially making me crazy. Night after night, it's like someone sounds a magic trumpet and the two tired, irritable souls who roam the hallways in full whinge mode between 4-7pm suddenly come to life like feral night cats. Apparently, it's party time and we're all invited!

Our nightly repertoire usually commences with such favourites as "Mum! I need water!" followed two minutes later by "I (think) I need the toilet" (for the twelfth time). Then there's the "I'm hot - I need my fan" or "I'm cold I need a blanket" and let's not forget last night's classic, "Mum! I need to tell you that I've learned to click my fingers!!!! Can you hear that?? I'm doing it!!" Snap, snap, snap. Truthfully, I can't work out if it's her fingers making the sound, or my unusually tense shoulder tendons coming undone, one by one.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Chapter Ends, Another Begins....Ten Years Today!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

Some would argue that this post is a little self - indulgent, however I figure it's my blog and I'll post if I want to...! (Yeah - I'm so badass).

Ten years ago today, we entered that special club known as 'parenthood' for the first time. We knew NOTHING about our new role and to this day, I'm not sure that we know much more other than how awesome our kids seem to be turning out, despite our often clumsy parenting efforts.

This girl is one of the best people around and today she opens a new chapter in her life, leaving behind her baby, toddler, pre-schooler and little girl self. Happy Birthday to our big girl! May the next chapter bring you much happiness, new discoveries, many meaningful life long friendships and minimal teenage conflict with your parents.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Social Media Manners - What's Your Code Of Conduct?

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Social Media Manners
I was reading a post on an Australian parenting forum recently, where a mother was asking for advice on what you would do if a photo of your child appeared on Facebook (or similar) without your knowledge or consent. The mother was rightly pissed off and had only found out about it when someone commented that they'd seen the picture online and remarked on how much her daughter had grown up. The photo was neither dodgy or suggestive, but her dilemma was that she felt a little violated and unsure about whether she should ask the sharing mother to take the post down. Furthermore, she was interested in what the 'rules' are regarding social media manners given her permission had not been sought. Seems like a pretty clear cut case of thoughtlessness to me but it got me thinking about online etiquette and how grey the line obviously is for some people.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coffee With That Contraction Anyone?

IMAGE : PINTEREST.COM | Coffee With That Contraction?
So Miss Almost Ten just did the 'making babies' part of her 'Family Life' Unit today (the politically correct version of sex ed in case you're wondering). When recapping the birthing baby phase (a Strawberry Shortcake doll emerging clumsily from a large sock apparently) she nonchalantly stated with a wave of her hand, "So you just push, the babies' head appears, you rest, relax, have a cup of coffee, then push again until it comes out..."

Sorry - what? HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE???

Either I was doing it completely wrong in the delivery suite all those years ago, or the Family Life Educator needs to umm....maybe....GIVE BIRTH?!

Let me just say that if anyone is composed enough to sip on a latte during the crowning phase, then they deserve to be nominated for whatever warrior-woman birthing, caffeine-loving award is in existence! 

For now, I think Miss Almost Ten can remain happily deluded until the next installment.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween - Did I Miss Something?

So the Halloween chatter is starting in our house. Last year, I must have ‘missed the memo’ stating that Halloween is now a festival to be officially embraced here in Australia so, like every other year of my life, I completely ignored the occasion without a second thought. Subsequently and to my surprise, I had two sour–faced, moping children who howled that it wasn't fair then spent the evening with their snivelling noses pressed up against the window watching the trick-or-treat ritual taking place in our street around them.

My second relevation was that the neighbours went all out. Cobwebs through their front garden, jack-o-lantern thingys, lights, spooks, costumes – they whole bit. (Special thanks to them for rubbing salt on the wounds by the way…)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Emotional Terrorists? Girls, Friendship and Everything In Between

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Emotional Terrorists?
I've come to realise that as you get older, although friendships can often diminish in number, they tend to become much more meaningful and fulfilling. When you're in your teens, all going well you have a handful of great friends with whom your main aim in life is to have as much fun as possible. This usually involves experimenting in whatever peer-driven activity is on the cards irrespective of its level of propriety. In your twenties, if you have a great job, or you go to university, the people you meet here often become your 'circle'. I've worked with some awesome people in my time and still consider them to be some of my dearest (and funniest) friends who I love to reunite with as often as possible. 

In the next phase of your life if you have children, the bonds you form with new found friends from other parent groups i.e. a mother's group, kinder and school become some of the easiest, most meaningful friendships of your life due largely to your adult level of maturity and because of the common interests and challenges you share as parents.  So it's at that time once your own friendships are at their easiest and most fulfilling that you become aware of the challenges faced by your kids as they enter the same friendship phases you survived all those years ago.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Finding Your Passion - A Nine Year Old's Big Issue

It seems I have my first guest blogger. She's smart, funny, a great thinker and she's about to turn ten.  Recently, she's been a little concerned by the fact that she hasn't found her 'passion'. Its been worrying her, distracting her, causing many unwanted sighs and keeping her from sleeping soundly. Seriously, do you recall ever giving that much thought to such things when you were nine? Not me. At nine, my main stress revolved around whether the ice cream truck was going to pass by our street over the weekend or if I was going to be allowed to watch 'Countdown' on Sunday. Anyway, hallelujah, she thinks that perhaps she's found it. She really wanted to write about it (I figured that she's so often the unknowing subject of my various parenting gripes and triumphs I owed it to her!) so may I present to you, the newly passionate and freshly focused, Miss O.

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Finding Your Passion

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Thoughts From A Random Mind

While leaping around on our bed this morning, Miss A (aged five) announced out of the blue that Michael Jackson was dead (couple of years behind but whatever). We promptly confirmed this to be true (then admittedly, I began questioning the child-friendly content of our staple TV viewing, ABC Kids). When her Dad then asked who Michael Jackson was, she replied quickly and confidently:

"A cook. Michael Jackson was a chef."

Okay then.

Puts a whole new spin on the song, 'Beat It', I guess.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One Door Shuts, Another Opens....Five Years Today!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD  | Five Years Today
This little person turns five today (bless her little cotton socks). She's equal parts awesome and eccentric, with a generous dash of off-the-wall crazy and although I know I'm totally in for it in about eight years time, I love all of her individuality, spark and bullishness (keep an eye out for future posts that completely contradict this).

So does that mean I'm officially leaving the pre-school parenting phase?? Holy Crap. (or "Oh My Giddy Aunt" as the birthday girl pictured right, says when caught by surprise). That is actually pretty significant to someone who knows there are no more children on the horizon and if I really think about it, the idea of this fills me which much more joy looking forward than it does sadness as I leave the last of that phase behind. I loved having babies and the roller coaster ride of having toddlers was mostly pain free. Having said that, today I celebrate both of my kids having a little more independence and a slightly more self- sufficient routine that gives me a little (Goddamn) freedom. 

Happy Birthday to the cheekiest monkey in town. May the next phase of your life be filled with the joys of growing up, learning your ABCs, sharing my love of the written word and most importantly learning the art of friendship. (And may the next phase of MY life be filled with the ability to attend a doctor's appointment or a leg wax without the 'mouth from the south' in attendance).  Woop!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy International 'WTF' Day.......!

So I've labelled today 'International WTF Day'. Anyone else celebrating it with me? We put most of this in the first world problem category but here's how it's been so far (and it's only 2.00pm).

Miss A has been home for three days generally coughing and spluttering and insisting that all of my usual work attention be directed to her instead (today being no exception). Totally fine, I can cope with that. I can also cope with the 9am phone call from Miss O who's at school but feeling equally as unwell and therefore needs to be collected. Again, fine. Whatever. In the car, pull up at school, chuck her in and we're done there for the week.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taming The Beast - Social Media And Pre Teens


Social media: the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.[1] (Wikipedia)

 Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? Sounds almost necessary and educational according to the above definition.

As a parent, if I was asked to visually define social media, the first thing that comes to mind is an enormous, towering transformer - like beast, casting a large dark shadow, complete with heavy doors which open and close allowing only the brave to enter, loudly slamming shut behind them. Okay - I concede it's a little dramatic but despite my own familiarity and understanding of said beast, I feel as though I need to go back to seeing it as something new and fearful in order for me to navigate it as a parent of an almost ten year old girl who in the coming years will will commence her journey into the online space. I may not like it, but it's going to happen unless the internet blows up so I figure I might as well do it correctly, right?