I am struggling to write, struggling to un-jumble my tangled web of thoughts. Life has been so crazy hard the past few months. I talked about our issue with rats and our desire to relocate for various reasons. Our lives have taken various twists and turns since then with regards to finding homes that looked promising to move to and then it all falling through…repeatedly. It starts to get to you after a while. I am beginning to feel trapped in an endless cycle of problems, expense and despair. Our rodent friends have also returned to bother us, with yet another one getting underneath our bath. Argh!! And we have had a few issues with our two dogs that may mean we need to find them a new home. 😦 At the minute it is hard to see where God is in all of this, but I have to keep trusting that He is, because if I lost that hope and that faith I would lose my mind entirely.
So all of that has just kept my mind from focusing and my fingers from typing. I will try and do better though as we wait in this current place we find ourselves. I have missed my blog so much.
Onto some positives:
Miss E is now speaking a bit of French and German. She loves it. She cannot get enough of books and stories in foreign languages, so I have had to ask my friend in Germany to send me some over. Her interest was sparked at the Montessori group we are part of as the session starts with songs and stories in French and ends with songs and stories in German. It is lovely to see her enjoy it so much. She loves all things Montessori. We should be at our session today, but sadly we are missing out as I am sick with the flu.
I have started a new business venture with Usborne Books at Home and have become an Independent Usborne Organiser. They have some many fantastic books covering a wide age range and many topics, so I just had to become an Organiser. I have lots of events on in the run up to Christmas which is very exciting. I am looking forward to sharing the wonderful books with more people and hopefully making some friends along the way. So, if you are living anywhere in the UK or Europe check out my website where you can shop online. If you aren’t in the UK or Europe, you can still show some love by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. 🙂 I hope life finds you all well.
They are everywhere these marks of you. I find them in every corner of this house. In every room is a piece of you….a book, a ball, a teddy, a toy, a shoe, clothes hung up to dry. They are to be found all over. There are of course photos of you that we have placed; photos we look at and marvel at how quickly time marches on for it doesn’t seem like it’s been a minute since you entered this world, yet here we are 17 months later.
But there are other marks of you. Ones that I may have to look a bit closer for, but there are there as well. The little stickers you stuck on various floors of the house, hand marks on the door frames, hand marks on the windows, hand marks on the dishwasher, footprints on your bedroom wall where you kick your feet as you lie in bed not wanting to give into sleep.
I could remove these marks. I could easily peel the stickers off the floor. I could go round with a cloth and wipe away all those hand marks and foot prints. But I choose not to. When I see them they make me smile. A little person lives here; the evidence can be seen. One day you will be grown up and your toys will be gone. One day you will no longer put your little hands all over every surface in the house. One day you will be gone.
So they will stay. The sticker on the floor reminds me of your joy in finding out you could stick them to more than just the piece of paper in front of you. The marks on the dishwasher, the freezer door, the washing machine, remind me of how you want so much to help and be involved.
These marks of you could be seen by many as extra work, a frustration, an inconvenience. I choose to see them as pure joy. Yes, they can stay til they get rubbed away further down the line. Make all the marks you want dear one; you are only here for a short while and I want plenty of you left around the place for when you are gone.
Dear Lady At The Supermarket,
Yes, you will be on the receiving end of my grizzly mama bear side protecting her cub. You see, no one asked you for your opinion on her behaviour! You know not me nor my daughter. You do not know that she has been in this supermarket with parents who have taken their time dawdling over stuff they find interesting. You do not know that she is worn out and hungry. You do not know that for 17 months old she has, to this point, been very patient with her mummy and daddy as they saunter round the supermarket. All you see is this current screaming ball of emotions, and you feel you can assess the situation fully and pass judgement on my child. I hope you have learned a lesson, and next time you see a toddler in this state you will know to keep your opinions to yourself. Next time you see a child and feel tempted to call it naughty because it is currently screaming and pitching a fit, I hope you will remember my words back to you and will catch yourself before such nasty words fall off your tongue to complete strangers. I hope you will look beyond the screaming and have some sympathy for the child. But if nothing else, I hope you remember your opinions are unwanted and unhelpful, so if you have nothing nice to say about my child or anyone else’s in a similar situation, just keep your lips firmly sealed and move on!
And I hope this letter serves as a reminder for us all, myself included, that we need to stop labelling children, look beyond the emotions and the behaviour manifested and find the root cause. That is what needs dealing with. We need to spare some sympathy for the child who is fully dependent on his/her parents to meet all needs. We need to be understanding that they have yet developed their will enough to be able to control their emotions all the time (and hey, how many adults do this with a 100% pass record 100% of the time and we have many more years on the child!) this is still a work in progress. We need to realise they have yet to acquire all the words they need to fully express why they are so upset. So instead of allowing vile words to tumble blithely from our lips, instead let’s spread kind ones or share a kind look with both child and parent.
One Disgruntled Mama
Today, we were supposed to attend one of our home ed meet ups, but as I was feeling really low on energy and, as it is a 2 hour round trip, I decided it wouldn’t be wise to go. I was worried about feeling sleepy while driving which would not have been safe for Miss E. Mr P had made up a salad for us and I had made Miss E some sandwiches as well, so the question was what do I do with our picnic? I still wanted us to have a nice day. It seemed the weather was against us as it was so dull and looked like it would rain any second. After Miss E had her nap, we walked the dogs which is our pretty much daily routine after naptime and as the weather stayed dry and was reasonably warm, I packed up the picnic when we got home and we headed off the the local park.
We had a lovely time. We started off in the playpark area where there Miss E enjoyed time on the swings, the roundabout(not entirely sure if that’s the correct name for them!) and on the climbing frame and slide.
After having a lovely time playing in this area we took a walk over to some open green space, where I put out one of my wraps…whoever said woven wraps didn’t have any other purpose but to carry children with?! 🙂 We used this as our picnic blanket. We ate our picnic. I had packed some books so we read stories afterwards. Miss E had a lovely time crawling around exploring the grass, the dandelions and watching birds. We watched the clouds float by in the sky and relaxed. When the weather turned a bit colder, we packed up and headed back to the swings for a while before heading home. Miss E made a new friend as well.
All in all, it was a lovely time. There was just one thing to spoil our trip…this park and green space back on to a local primary school. While we ate our picnic the kiddies were out for their lunchtime play. There were adults out supervising them. The adults were not seen interacting with the kids nor even talking to them, except to yell. We heard a LOT of yelling. GET OFF THOSE STEPS! PACK THE EQUIPMENT AWAY. THE BELL HAS GONE WHY IS NO ONE STANDING IN A LINE?! GET YOUR COATS OFF THE FENCE. YOU THREE GET OFF THOSE STEPS!!!!!! On and on and on it went. I very nearly starting crying and I am a grown woman. The irritation in the voices, the rudeness, the disrespect for the children was unreal. What saddened me more is that, for these children, this is their normal. They spend the majority of their waking hours for the majority of their lives in this environment. They grow up in this environment where they learn to expect to be disrespected, put down, shouted at. Do they ever tell their parents? Do their parents know? Would their parents believe them? Do their parents care? Is there home life better or worse? These are questions that flew around my head as I sat there with my own precious gift beside me. I took a look at her and I determined in my heart that I will do everything I can, by the grace of God, to never place her into a situation like that. Children deserve so much better.
Well, it’s been one of those days when a worst parenting scenario came true. The day got off to a great start; Miss E and I having laughs over breakfast, getting dishes out of the way etc before heading upstairs to get ready for the day. We got upstairs and she happily started playing, so I decided I’d make the beds, hang some clothes up in Miss E’s wardrobe and then take her to clean her teeth, get a fresh nappy on and get dressed before I hopped in the shower. While busying myself I could hear her playing with something velcro, but as she is often rummaging in drawers and our wardrobe I thought nothing to it. As I came out of a room Miss E wasn’t in to head back to her bedroom(which she also wasn’t in), I smelled the ominous odour of poo. I thought to myself that it was unusually strong in the air, but carried on placing a few last bits in the wardrobe as getting her to the bathroom was next on my list. When I had finished in her room it suddenly struck me that things were e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y quiet…..the kind of quiet where a child is very intently focused on a task at hand. That could be a good thing, and normally it is, but not today! Oh no, today was something I wish never to see again in my parenting lifetime. I walked into the bedroom and over the other side of the bed looking up at me from the floor was Miss E……Miss E sat bare-bottomed on the carpet with her entire nappy off (the velcro noise!), Miss E with poo over her face, her hands, her leg and her feet (she had clearly been squishy them in the poo). I found a carpet with poo smears and she had also kindly placed it on some clothes that were draped nearby, worst of all a pair of my husband’s suit trousers. In about a second of surveying the devastation and taking a sharp inhalation of air I burst into fits of laughter. We’ve been having quite a bad time lately, so don’t even ask me where the laughing came from at finding such a scene. I also don’t do great with cleaning up body functions that are everywhere especially on the carpet or floor…ask Mr P, when the dogs have had terrible times inside or Miss E has vomited on the floor, I have been unable to deal with any of the clean up. But somehow I managed to formulate a plan in an instant. We rushed, laughing, to the bathroom where I wiped most of it off, I got the bath running and then ferried the new load of laundry downstairs to the washing machine. Miss E stood upstairs watching me through the railing laughing away and I came back to find she had done a wee on the landing mat…..yet another load of laundry. There are some days, when, if this same incident had happened, I would have gone in search of the nearest hole in the ground to swallow me up; it would have seriously knocked my whole day off kilter and put me in a grumpy mood. Today, however, I was able to find the funny in such a situation! 😀 Hopefully, I can remember how to do it again when life throws me another less than perfect scenario in future. Have you got any similar parenting stories?
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.
All our seeds arrived last week, so we spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon down in the vegetable garden, clearing, digging and planting. I only got to plant potatoes and they took up two beds on their own…..I think I may have gone slightly overboard on potatoes!!!! Miss E really enjoyed getting stuck in to all the dirt and mess. She helped to plant the potatoes by taking them and firing them into the trench. 🙂 This week in the evenings we spent a few hours down there as well with Miss E joining us via her monitor. We’ve managed to plant some carrots and cabbage and Mr P dug out some more plots, but were hindered from doing too much due to the really strong winds we have been having here as of late. I’ve also planted some courgettes and corn inside using our cardboard egg cartons as it suggested they be started off inside in warmer climates and then get transferred outside. Maybe we will get some time this weekend to plant more, but these are a few snapshots of how it’s been going.
lots of lovely seeds awaiting planting
investigating her own little dirt garden while we sort the veg plots
Enough of my little garden, what are you up to over here?
a new place to wash hands it would seem
clearing more ground
helping with the planting
ensuring our newly planted potatoes are well watered
If anyone has tips for humane and ecofriendly ways of keeping pests stuch as slugs etc off our veg, I would be most appreciative 🙂