Wednesday was a big day for my no.1 boy although he didn’t know it. An email popped into my inbox confirming his schools place and all i could think of was YAY roll on September how can my baby be going to school already?
He will be 4 years old and 2 weeks when he starts, possibly the very youngest in his class.
People ask me if i am worried. I guess i could be.
He can’t count above 10, he has only recently learnt to draw a circle, he can’t sit still, he can’t get himself dressed or put his own shoes on, he seems to have perfected the skill of selective hearing and the only letter he can consistently recognise is an X (a pretty cool letter to be fair).
I have wondered if we should spend the next few months trying to get him up to scratch, so that he is not so far behind all of his classmates. But pushing him on things which he doesn’t yet have the capacity for, only leaves us all feeling more frustrated.
So i wonder if we should stop focusing on all the things he can’t do and think about all the things he can.
He can ride his balance bike like a pro, he can climb, he can dive bomb into the pool, he can chat to anyone, he can make the most amazing customisations for his cars using lego and play-doh, he can run about for HOURS without even the slightest breather.
In the before time i used to work in digital marketing, planning and implementing advertising campaigns. One of the key parts of my job was securing the best deal on behalf of my clients budget so you may assume me to be well versed in the art of negotiation.
It is true that since the communication levels of the eldest became more developed i have relied heavily on my trusty aforementioned friend (AKA bribery) as means of ‘getting stuff done’.
You know, eat your dinner and you get your pudding, brush your teeth and you get an extra story, stop being such a little sh*t or mummy will run off and leave you – that kind of stuff.
It works, sometimes, but it relies on the principle of a meeting of common goals or reaching a win-win situation. I don’t think he quite gets that bit yet.
He does however get the whole concept of deals and what is in them for him, but when he tries to broker them himself he negates to include any give on his side. i.e: -
‘If the baby eats all his peas can i have ice-cream for pudding – is that a deal?’
‘If you put all my toys away then can i go on the i-Pad – is that a deal?’
‘If i get to take Lightning McQueen to bed then you can you kiss him goodnight – is that a deal?’
This week has mostly been about vomit. The baby went down first and then after 5 days on lock down he started to feel a bit better, so i started to fantasise about actually getting out for some air and maybe spending nap-time enjoying a bit of garden sun.
Then this morning, with precision timing, the bigger one vomited everywhere as i was getting him ready for pre-school. So with a very ill big one and a not fully recovered little one, who was by now also battling a painful ear infection we have been doing lots of this.
We don’t eat out that much as a family, to be honest it’s never been much fun. The food is way too colourful (ergo suspicious), it takes too long to arrive resulting in the unpopular activity of extended sitting and if you down your babychino in one and lob the cup over your shoulder unashamedly, well it turns out some places are not quite so ‘baby friendly’ after all. In short I can think of better ways to spend 50 quid.
Now compare this experience to that of McDonalds – the food is consumed voluntarily and without fuss, delivered to you within seconds, all wrapped up in an exciting looking box and with a piece of plastic tat for good measure. Is it a no brainer? Do you scurry your brood in, head hung in shame or would you not let your kids within 100 ft of the golden arches?
When I was a kid Maccie D’s was part of childhood. It was the post panto tradition every Christmas eve, it was the crème de la crème of birthday parties with the coveted kitchen tour. I fondly remember scoring stacks of no purchase necessary game cards and standing in the street with my sisters, fervently scratching the panels in the hope of revealing ‘free regular fries’.
We used to wolf down the chicken teeth and giblets along with the nuggets no bother and moo at our mad cow brain burgers. Mechanical separation – say what? Pig fat milkshakes – Yum!
Yet times have changed and despite a massive positive shift in the processes and quality of the food there those who would have you believe that every time someone buys their kid a happy meal Jamie Oliver finds a kitten and stamps on its head repeatedly until it is dead; which seems confusingly contrary to his general ethical stance on stuff but hey ho.
I confess – we go. I just make a massive show of licking the babies chips clean of salt before he eats them. Better people think me unhinged than an irresponsible parent. And i can hardly wax lyrical about the benefits of healthy eating soon as the only vegetables i would consume up to the age of 25 were potatoes and the tomatoes in ketchup. Look at me, I’m not dead (yet).
This is for the moments that have become much more ordinary since the clock change. The extra hours worth of daylight before bed that have opened up the possibility of post pre-school picnics and getting out and actually doing something other than scurrying home before it gets dark.
And it seems everybody agrees as this is the first voluntary cuddle i have managed to capture on camera, in fact it is one of the first voluntary cuddles full stop! Its very grainy because i had to brighten it up due to the sun behind them, but i still love it all the same :)
This post is linked up with Mummy, Daddy, Me for the Ordinary Moments. Sharing a normal, everyday moment that captures the essence of family life. Nothing special, nothing remarkable but a memory that you don’t want to forget. AKA the nice part of my blog (usually).
So many beautiful days this month and so many wonderful photo opportunities, all blighted by naps, horrible moods or sheer absent mindedness.
We ended up taking our family portrait for March on the last possible day, in the only time slot available – breakfast. So we are not dressed and i am looking rather rough au natural. But never mind, i quite like it, it’s nice for the photos to tell a little story i think.
The boy has a new love. Postman Pat has all but been resigned to the reject bin. About 100 quids worth of crappy merchandise lies broken and forgotten.
You may wrongly assume me to be jumping for joy. I am not.
You see his new love is Topsy and Tim.
I will leave aside the topical issue of gender stereotyping that the programme has stimulated much debate for (for i am nothing if not shallow) and talk about the thing that really riles me.
All the god damn enthusiasm.
It’s not the kids, we all know that kids are irritatingly enthusiastic at the best of times. It’s the parents. It’s the fact that every bouncy twin request is met with an ‘Oooooh weeee yes of course!’ from mummy and/or daddy.
I sit staring at the TV willing one of them to shout ‘JUST BLOODY SHUT UP FOR FIVE MINUTES AND LET ME READ THE PAPER IN PEACE.’
The blog bunnies are pissed out of their tiny skulls on virtual gin cocktails tonight for they have been celebrating that this little space full of twoddle is a finalist at the MADS 2014 blog awards. Somehow I have found myself up for ‘Best New Blog’. How nice!
Thank you so much to everybody who has read something, commented, thrown a vote my way or just thunk some nice thoughts about me, us, gin, bunnies, gin bunnies, whatever. I am beyond shocked.
Right now i am mostly excited about a night off at a fancy awards do in London, a new dress and a hangover without kids trying to use my broken body as a Grand Prix race track BUT if you would like to vote for me you can do so here.
It really is so hugely appreciated. Thank you again! x