Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Pirate Pandemonium

Today we went to Pirate Day!! Which the children loved and it was really fun, it was really great to see Adam enjoying himself as it was busy but not TOO busy for him, and I can really see his capability to deal with busier places is increasing which is encouraging. He did become anxious about getting pictures of everybody, and we missed Captain Hook, but instead of being upset he decided somebody else might put one up somewhere that we could see and that he was lucky to have got the rest, so another positive change also in how he is dealing with disappointments.

The day was slightly marred by some stupid old man who decided to plough into the bunch of children that Adam and Jessica were in and drag a little girl along under his scooter because he was fed up that the town was busier than normal, but luckily the little girl seemed to be ok and the bloke was caught on CCTV so hopefully will get his comeuppance. Jessica was asking at bedtime about the bad man and if the little girl is ok, think she was rather shocked by it all as she kept saying in her bed "Myra wouldn't do that, Myra stops her scooter doesn't she for children"...hmm think Myra may be answering some long questions next time we see her at coffee morning! (Myra is a lady we know who uses a mobility scooter, she is much nicer than the man today!) Again, Adam didn't become too anxious about this, was reassured the girl was ok and happily enjoyed the rest of his day. It appears he is growing up! As I said to him today, he is the first nearly 10 year old I have had, so I might get some stuff wrong when I'm trying to help him with life changes and learning to be accountable and take responsibility for things, but hopefully we will muddle through together.

Here are some pics of our fun :D

Jessica refusing to have her picture taken....
 My two little tearaways
 A picture with Peter Pan!!
 And, Jessica's shoes. She stole my camera again.
It was a pretty cool laid back kind of a morning, which is unusual for my two with organised public events, and we even managed to walk all the way home (aided by three bags of sweets from the market) without me having to do any carrying. I am hoping for some sleep tonight as they are all most definitely shattered, although Toby hasn't got the memo that it has cooled down and is not managing with the heat today despite being fine for the past week at hotter temperatures, go figure. Tomorrow we shall crack on with the school holiday plans, and after 3 more days of school next week, all systems are go :D

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Blog I Didn't Write

So I was going to write a really intelligent and thoughtful blog about the recent media reports on proposed changes to school lunches. I thought about lots of things I could write, including the fact that it would take an age to get even a small school like my children's through the lunch hall if they all had school lunches, therefore it would be totally unfeasible. Also about how they could cater for severe allergies, restricted food diets by parental choice, and where would they draw the line at "exceptional circumstances" without being discriminatory. Another thought was that it would merely be a "look good" exercise, because I could quite easily pack my child a packed lunch full of vegetables, salad, brown rice and dried fruit and pretend it was all getting eaten but it wouldn't actually improve his health at all or help him learn to make independent healthy food choices. The same as serving all children a school lunch may look good on paper but it doesn't mean they will all eat it, in fact it may just create more food waste, more food issues and higher obesity issues due to a generation of children who wouldn't know how to make their own independent food choices and would think they had to clear all their plate and that a pudding was a "reward" for doing so. I was even going to write about how I'm not that bothered if they have a crack down on "unhealthy" lunches but only if they are equal and let packed lunch children have a cake for pudding the same as school lunch children get without getting all hypocritical about it. Plus there is the fact that they don't know what other food the children have at home so can't really judge whether or not they are having a balanced diet just from seeing one meal a day. I never send my 9 year old with vegetables because he isn't really into salad or raw veggies (plus he seems to only get 10 minutes to eat his lunch so anything that is too faffy is a no-no anyway), but he eats plenty of cooked vegetables every tea time. But hey ho. I had a busy week and I'm tired and I decided that I'd leave it to all the Super Mum Bloggers out there who somehow manage to have massively professional looking blogs AND children who are still alive every night at bedtime. Not sure how they do it, I seem to be able to actually keep the children alive and the house vaguely tidy OR creatively and attentively write about the best methods for doing so. Doing both in the same lifetime is rather out of my reach. I wonder if maybe when my children are grown up I could do it in flashback style. Maybe that is their secret, their photos are all 20 years old as are the events they are writing about..................................hmmmmmm conspiracy ;)

I have booked myself a couple of nights away with my littlest baby in just over a week, when the eldest two are at their Dad's for the week having fun. I keep having vague flashes of guilt that I am looking forward to some time just wandering around aimlessly, reading/knitting in an evening, eating a meal in peace (albeit with a baby stuck on my boob but lets not get unrealistic here), but then I shake myself and remember I am a person too and part of my personality is that I need to reset myself every now and again, get away from busy situations and stress and noise and just have a little bit of a break from, well, people.I may be an imperfect parent, but I'm perfect at being me, I just have to remind myself how to do that every now and again. And to be yourself is surely one of the most important life lessons a parent can give their child x.

I promise I will put some pictures up of our goings-on this month very shortly......................when I remember how to get the stupid things off my phone and it stops constantly bleeping at me because apparently the voltage is too high and it has stopped charging, despite the fact it is not even actually on charge....

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Important Things in Life

I have been hesitant to post as we had a trip to A+E on Saturday. Again. This time with Toby receiving a really scary head injury. Again. This time he didn't have to stay in but he has a very obvious injury to his forehead meaning we are constantly getting asked what has happened and when we tell people, getting constantly reminded of what could have happened; either by them telling us or just from the shocked looks on their faces. My poor brave little man who fell down the stairs at 5 weeks old and has two skull fractures, was hit on the head by a falling metal tv bracket and has a deep cut to the front of his forehead. How on earth he managed to escape with only a deep cut to the forehead goodness only knows. Probably the same way he managed to escape with only two fractures and no permanent brain injury after a fall down a full flight of stairs. He is such a chilled out relaxed happy baby that it makes us feel even worse that these freak accidents keep happening to him. This picture was taken shortly after he had just had his head glued.

So happy?? He was actually smiling at the nurses when they were cleaning it. My funny little chap. Surprisingly we have not had a social services visit. To be honest as much as obviously I don't really want one it disturbs me that two head injuries in 6 months hasn't been flagged up, no wonder so many cases go unnoticed until it is too late.

So that is my confession for the week. That my little baby has had another freak accident and even though it could have happened to anybody, as could our first accident, I still feel rather rubbish about it. I suppose any normal parent would, it would be rather unusual not to be bothered.

Other than that, my week has been filled with trying to get things done such as order school uniforms for September, pay for school trips, send admissions forms back into the school office, ring up about the council tax, send a complaining email to Sky, get the car hire booked for my sisters wedding, find something to wear to my sisters hen do, tidy the house ready for the Children's Centre lady coming to visit tomorrow and sort out our wedding guest list. In answer to your question of how many of these things have I done? None. Zilch. Nada. I have however done lots of feeding Toby, tickling Jessica, chatting with Adam and drinking tea with James. All the important things in life ;)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Some common mistakes that I make...

Sometimes, I yell at my kids when I'm walking down the street. Like on Sunday when we were on the way to the Salvation Army (so therefore making me feel even more guilty) and Jessica was walking on the wall and then refused to move until she had a drink. Except I hadn't brought a drink (bad mummy fail). Background to this is that she is experiencing a bit of regression this past couple of weeks and being rather challenging and I am doing my utmost to be really sympathetic and lovely mummy but sometimes I am kind of knackered and I snap because, well, I'm not perfect. So there she was stood on the wall, about 5 minutes walk from the Army, and she wouldn't move. She wouldn't even be picked up and carried. And I was just like "Jessica, what do you want me to do, magic a drink from thin air?? Seriously, come on, we can get you a drink when we get to the Army!" And she didn't shift and then I yelled at her "For goodness sake what do you want me to do, I can't do anything, please just come on!!!" And for the life of me I can't remember how we resolved this, I must have because we got there, I think I distracted her somehow by seeing something to look at or somebody to beat or thinking of somebody she would see when she got there, or something. But it certainly wasn't the shouting that got her to move, so complete and utter fail - one for shouting, two for doing it even though I know it's pointless and just makes her dig her heels in further. I hate shouting at kids, and I hate it even more in public because it isn't nice for them to feel like strangers are looking and that they should be talked to like that anyway especially in front of other people. But still, I sometimes do it because sometimes I just haven't had enough sleep and I've already said the same thing ten times, and sometimes just because like on Sunday I just do not know what to do. I have myself an amazingly stubborn and fiercely independent little girl who sometimes I just don't really know how to handle and so I make mistakes and learn how to do better the next time.

Tonight we made cookies, because she really would have liked to go to the park on the way home but the problem is we pass that park every single day and we can't go to it every single day because we would never get home - especially as she is even more reluctant to walk home once she has run about at the park. So we have a rule that we go on Tuesdays, that way it is easier to say no the other days. Today she really would have liked to go, apparently, so I said we could make cookies if we went home. That is bribery in a form, I suppose, so possibly not great parenting, but she happily agreed and walked most of the way home so I'm quite happy with my decision. We also did actually need cookies making for packed lunches so it wasn't an extra job or treat or anything. I left her alone in the kitchen to go see to something in the room, and came back to this.

"Is it ok if I put more sugar in?" was the question asked. Hmmmm. "Did you put more sugar in already?" I replied. "uhmmmmmm.....nooooo...." was the very drawn out answer. I wasn't convinced. "I won't be cross, I just need to know that's all, did you put more sugar in darling?" I asked in a very light hearted voice. "Yes, but just a little bit", was the truthful answer. "How much is a little bit?".........."Just two". Very helpful, I have no idea what that means - two grains, two handfuls, two spoonfuls?? I just say "Ok, that's fine, lets get you down and cleaned up", and hope for the best. They have turned out yummy so either I am a sugar junkie or more than likely she did just put two tiny bits in.
So yes, I also leave my child sat on worktops whilst I go into the room next door, and let her eat brown sugar before tea. I am sure some people will tell me all the terrible things that could happen, but then they don't know my daughter. As much of a fireball as she is, she wouldn't dream of doing anything like touching kitchen equipment, jumping about on a worktop, tipping the ingredients out (on purpose - obviously the floor needed sweeping after this bout of baking with helpful child involved), or eating the whole box of sugar. Sometimes, you have to stop yourself before you judge other people and remember that they probably know their children better than you do.

As an aside, I just went up to see Adam in bed and his actual words to me were "This has been an awesome Adam evening". This is something I have not heard him say in a while, and all we have done is a normal Monday evening of Xbox, Family Tea Time, eating a fresh baked cookie,  baths/showers and film watching. I guess children don't need expensive things, spectacularly massive treats or even perfect parents. They just need to feel loved, safe, and like their family home is a good place to be.

*Must try harder tomorrow......................................and must stop eating the cookies..........*