Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Behind the scenes

Today I shared this photo of my smallies.
They're gorgeous, right?

And very clearly angelic.

This is them playing (really well actually) a new listening game for Little One. He can only take a jump forward on hopscotch when he hears the jingly bells. He caught on to the idea immediately, and even responded to some fairly quiet jingles before deciding it would be much more fun to park Mammy at the beginning and boss HER around with the bells, ringing them so rapidly I ended up quite out of breath!

Fun and learning all sorted here.  Perfect.
Because we are quite the perfect little family. The pictures speak for themselves!

Of course, while I was distracted taping up the floor, Little One was doing his own learning. He demonstrated an incredible ability to transfer water using a sponge, the bathroom sink and, well, the water from the toilet.

Because real life isn't perfect, and neither are real people.

Today Little One got another glowing preschool report. Practically perfect in every way.
He celebrated this by having quite the series of wobblers about the injustice of having to wear clothes in public and running amok in the muck.

This afternoon I asked the children 'Would you like to make some chocolate chip cookies with me?', resulting in much excitement. This afternoon I also asked the children 'Would you EVER get your shoes and schoolbags OFF the hall floor before someone breaks their BLOODY NECK?!', resulting in downturned mouths and faces but also a safer hall floor.

I am dishevelled, muck-spattered, mostly smiling but also practicing calming breathing techniques more than I might like.

And that's why we parents share the 'perfect' pictures. Standing in the messiest corner of the room so as to hide the debris. Because no one remembers to click their camera while counting to ten. And because of course we want to remember the best bits, we've earned them!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Just the right juxtaposition

I'm not going to get into the Stay-at-Work vs Stay-at-Home parenting debate.

There are no winners, only losers, when people on either side of the argument start focusing only on the negatives in order to prove they are actually the ones who work harder, longer, more.

But every once in a while, through some fortuitous alignment of events, life presents you with the perfect contrast of our different lives.

Earlier today, Hubby texted me to let me know that his very important presentation had gone extremely well.
In reply, I texted him a picture of one of our darling offspring peeing against a neighbour's garden wall.

I don't think there's any real way to tell whose day has been more successful, but I'm fairly certain we've both earned a glass of wine this evening!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A little boy

There is a little boy living in my house.

He seems to have sneaked in, unnoticed.
Perhaps he arrived while I was hanging out another load of washing?
Or reading one more page with my daughter.

He may have seen an opportunity while I chopped vegetables for dinner,
And shown up then.

So many little distractions to fill the day, each of them a chance for a small boy to appear from nowhere and demand a biscuit from the press.

Or maybe, just maybe, it was while I nursed the baby.
While his soft cheek nestled close to me.
Those are the moments I was most distracted,
Lost in the amazement of his perfect little form,
His eyes meeting mine contentedly.

He reminds me of the baby, this little boy who is always in a hurry.
That particular knack for teasing smiles from my lips,
The dramatic shouts to be noticed by everyone present,
Those giant eyes sharing the wonder of a world still fresh.

The baby's gummy smiles are gone now. No more the sweet smell of a velvet-soft head.
The hollow of my shoulder lies empty, and floors are unpaced and still.

The little boy shares cuddles with me, 'Hug! Hug!' when he has a moment to stand still.
He seeks my applause to join his own when he has completed his latest daring feat.
He is funny, and cheeky and endlessly entertaining.
But sometimes I still dream of the baby's snuggles.

Ok, little boy, let's go have fun.
But please try not to be in SUCH a hurry, Mammy's trying to catch up.

Friday, 4 November 2016

A touch of genius

A couple of weeks ago, something strange happened.
I changed Littlest's nappy. You may not think that should be so unusual, but the fact that I had done so at his explicit request seemed a little odd. I mean, he wasn't even 17 months old, and he HATES nappy changes. Surely I had just imagined his communicated request?

Then the next day, he asked again. 'Really, sweetie? You want Mammy to change your nappy?'
Some vehement nodding indicated that I had deciphered his intentions correctly.

Huh. What a clever kid. He'd be potty trained before he could walk!
I mean, clearly I had a genius on my hands here. I tried to get him to fill in a MENSA application, but he insisted on attempting to eat the paper. Ah. No new understanding of the laws of physics from this kid then.

Hmm. Perhaps the new liners in his nappies were causing discomfort? But his skin was as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom and he was perfectly content in a freshly lined nappy.

That was it. I was out of ideas. Maybe he's just bossy?

It took me another day, and another clue, to work it out. (No, MENSA isn't waiting on my paperwork either!)

He pointed to his nappy, then escorted me to the changing table.
'Is it nappy changing time? Yes?'
A fresh round of nodding, and now, some clicking.
'Oh! Click-click, here doggie! Don't worry, Mammy won't forget to wake up the doggie in the cuckoo clock on the way past'
'Bwuf Bwuf!'
'That's right, the doggie will say "woof woof", you're so clever'.

And it hit me. He is so clever. Clever enough to know that getting his nappy changed means calling the doggie to come out of the cuckoo clock and barking with him. Totally worth the cold breeze and indignity of the changing table.

I love that my kids are smart enough to outsmart me. But couldn't they at least wait till age 2 to do it?!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Shout from the rooftops

All parents are proud when their child enjoys preschool.
It means they're gaining independence. It means that you've chosen a fun learning environment for your precious offspring. Little One has been visibly excited to go to preschool each and every morning so far.

But today, he was audibly excited. Today he skipped over the threshold and shouted a 'Yay!' that was one of the sweetest sounds my ears have ever witnessed. I headed home happy, today is clearly A Good Day.

When I collected him from preschool, his teacher stopped me to have a quick word. When following some directions today, another teacher had said 'Hi' to Little One, and he made a darn good attempt at repeating it back. They were just as surprised and delighted as I was!

Naturally, he was rewarded with lots of play time on the way home. Want to push an immovable old piece of farm machinery? Have at it, genius! Want to hold open the school gates for a double-decker busload of kids? Why the heck not.

We played, we walked, I chatted, we signed. Then he remembered that there was still some honey lurking in the bottom of his lunchbox. As he stopped on the path to lick the container clean, I laughed and said 'Mmmm'. And then he smiled and said 'Mmmm. Om om om. Mmmmmmmm.'

Today is an amazing day. Ours is an amazing boy. Medical technology is an amazing thing.

Monday, 12 September 2016

My least favourite things

With sincere apologies to fans of the Sound of Music...

Car-fulls of vomit
And trousers 'round ankles.
Crashing the buggy,
The fourth time it rankles.
Clothes soaked in urine
All tied up with strings
These are some of my
Least-favourite things!

Muddy, wet jean legs
And hot plastic raincoats.
Cancelled appointments
For one of these wee dotes.
A hole in my handbag
From my wedding rings
These are some of my
Least-favourite things!

When the rain pours,
When the car stinks,
When the baby's sad,
I simply sing some of my favourite swears,
And then I don't feel so bad!

Friday, 9 September 2016

A wee dose of reality for a smug Mammy

One of those mornings. 

All the little jobs seem to take a little longer. Socks need to be turned the right way out before being put on. 

It takes three tries to put three yoghurts in three lunchboxes.

But spirits are high, songs are sung and we're finally only one light jacket away from getting out the door.

'Mammy! He's standing on the chair! He's WEEING ON THE CHAIR!' 

No worries. I've got this. I swing into action, calling out directions like an ER doctor in her element.

'Little One, come with me!

Little Lady, sing songs to Littlest so he doesn't get bored while we sort this out.

Little Man, we need pants, trousers, socks and shoes. Bring them straight to the bathroom please!'

Honestly, I only just stopped myself from shouting out 'Stat!'

And in a flurry of activity we were done. A clean, dry superhero was ready for another day of preschool. 

'Great teamwork,' I told them as we trotted along to school, 'we're not even too late after all that help!'

I wished them luck with spelling tests and dispatched many kisses and hugs. Little One trotted happily in to his friends and Littlest and I headed for home.

A quick tower built, a book read, and a load of washing into the machine. And finally, time for a coffee. Content with another good morning, I savoured it. Sitting comfortably, chatting with Littlest who was practicing standing up and sitting down by my feet. 'If I were trendy,' I thought, 'I'd probably consider this a moment of hygge. Still, my cup is empty and there are other things to be getting on with.'

I stood. 

And yes, it was at that moment I realised what had happened.

I sat in the wee.

I'm pretty sure George Clooney never had to deal with this!