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Monday can be solved with a coffee…

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Monday morning banking chores all done

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So on a hot Monday morning after I had dragged the kids around the various banks, queueing up in the heat, paying in money and paying bills;  I treated them to a milkshake in “Pop-pins” a 50s style cafe and ice cream parlour, Connaught Avenue, Frinton, Essex. (www.poppinsparlour.co.uk )
They loved it and the milkshakes were delicious ūüėč.

Fifty Shades of…. Yawn? Porn? I’ll decide!

Yes, here you go my¬†opinion on everyone else’s opinion concerning Fifty Shades of Grey,¬† the notorious book by E.L James, which took the world by phenomenal proportions in 2011 and the subsequent film, which was released this past weekend.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt.jpg

 

Yes, I have read the books. No I have not seen the film, and neither will I, unless I am in my own home watching it on Blu-ray; I have no intention of going to see it in the cinema surrounded by strangers. I am not a prude, but I know what the story is about. WHY would I want to watch a film concerning BDSM, “vanilla sex” and¬†light erotica anywhere other than at home?! Equally I have absolutely no problem with people who do chose to go to the cinema and watch the film, why you would want to go there on Valentine’s night bewilders me slightly, but hey each to their own.

What I DO have a problem with is people, on the news, in the newspapers, on the internet, in magazines, friends, acquaintances, presenters the television, the woman in the street, the man in the shop, all moaning about it, going on and on and on and on. If the story¬†offends you, DON’T GO TO SEE THE¬†FILM! If the story turns¬†your stomach, DON’T GO TO SEE THE FILM!¬†If you consider it porn, DON’T GO TO SEE IT!

For the love of God, please just stop moaning about it. It’s not as if this is a classic story, a childrens story a majority of us may have grown up with which has been manipulated, tweaked and completely changed¬†by a film studio to make millions. No, this is a film which has been made purely because the book was such a complete and utter surprise hit with EVERYONE, women and men.

I myself also got caught up in the bubble of Christian Grey the summer of 2011. I can clearly remember standing in the playground at going home time, and noticing how almost everyone was talking about it in their own little friendship groups. Hands up, I did too! “What part were you up to? Have you got to that bit yet? I can’t put it down”¬†But I wasn’t alone in the fact that nearly halfway through the second instalment, I got bored of all the sex. It became to frequent and “samey”. I wanted to read the story about how Anastasia and Christian got over various and sometimes bloody big hurdles, to be together, not necessarily keep reading about their sexual escapades.

When it was announced that a film was being made, I laughed with my friends and joked that we could have a girly night out, and attend the cinema together. I thought that I wouldn’t have a problem going to see it. I enjoyed the teaser trailer which was released last year. But as the release date got nearer such a fuss has been made about it, it’s turned me off the film altogether. My local Tesco had made a display within their underwear section for “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I saw that my local Peacocks store had made a window display for the film…….for me it is too much. It’s almost along the same lines as having Christmas advertised to me in August! Too much, too much, too much.

I enjoyed the books, a bit of escapism into a world where money is no object, desire is fraught with curiosity, lust and potential danger. I wasn’t alone in enjoying it. Admittedly I dare say that a many number of people read the book purely out curiosity, the books popularity soared by word-of-mouth and¬†was¬†dubbed “mummy-porn”, ¬†I even know a few men who admitted to reading it to find out what the “fuss was all about, the wife is clearly enjoying it!”. Even so, all I seem to keep hearing over the last two days is people/media saying how rubbish the film is, slating it for various reasons, it’s not as good as the book; it’s not going to be is it?! If it was it would definitely be porn!

I will watch the film when it is released on Blu-ray. I will make up my own mind on whether the screenwriters have been successful in transposing the delicate and difficult story with its debatable¬†sexual topic and putting it on the big-screen. If you find the film, the book, the topic of sexual tastes within the storyline uncomfortable and as some have been heard saying “dirty”, DON’T WATCH THE FILM. DON’T READ THE BOOK and please please please STOP moaning about it. If the film¬†hasn’t lived up to your expectations, WAKE UP it is NOT PORN! But please people stop saying negative things about it – you along with all the those other establishments pushing the “Fifty Shades of Grey” brand have completely made me NOT want to watch the film, and I DO actually want to watch the film.

At the end of the day IT IS JUST A FILM. IT IS NOT REAL.

Thanks – Rant over.

x

 

Closing the bath-time chapter

That time has come. The time I never actually thought would ever happen.  My babies all of sudden, way too quickly, without me even seeing it have grown too big to share a bath any longer. This makes me sad, very sad.

T now 5, and G, now 3, have taken baths together since G was a small baby.  Initially I started bathing them together to save time, water, energy, as I imagine many other mums with do when they have more than one child under 2 years of age. It was a success on all counts. I managed to get both children bathed and ready for bed, two for the price of one, I established a good evening routine, and both T and G developed a good strong bother/sister bond, and I had two clean children!

But over the last three years, the bath times have slowly become more infrequent, the evening routine has slipped, and the playful baths have turned into more of a squabble over space, toys, attention, who gets to take out the plug, and who gets out last.

Tonight really was the last straw for me, a sad one I realise now, but the last nevertheless. I lost count of the number of times an argument broke out over the lack of space. T wanted to practice her swimming, G didn’t want to move out of the way so he splashed her in the face, she pushed him, he kicked her, he got her hair wet, she pulled the toy out of his hand, it went on and on and on and on. Referring siblings is difficult at the best of times, but add a bath full of water and it just becomes a nightmare.

Therefore,¬†for the sake of my sanity more than anything, I announced rather loudly in the middle of¬†the last¬†shouting match “That’s it! From now on no more baths together. You will have baths on your own!” . I rather na√Įvely thought that that¬†would bring a halt to the noise; it did but not in the way I¬†expected. They both cheered!¬†They seem to like this idea.

So, while I have been clinging on to the idea that they enjoy their baths together, they have probably been wondering when Mum is going to wake up and realise that they want to bath solo. So it appears that another chapter in their childhood is closing. I’ll leave the bookmark in there though and revisit it when I want to remember my babies when they were at such a fun time in their lives; it has been a period of time and growing¬†that I actually enjoyed¬†witnessing and will miss.

S

xx

Age appropriate reading….?!

My 5 year old, T is in reception class at school and I am extremely proud to say is a real whizz at reading, writing and spelling – Cringe a proud mummy moment, apologies!

T reads anything and everything; adverts, road signs, newspapers, magazines, everything and if it’s a bit too advanced she still gives it go. I will be honest sometimes it gets a bit tedious, but I ALWAYS try to encourage it. On the other hand my eldest daughter, L, who has just turned 11, hates reading. She can read and is actually¬†good at it, but cannot be bothered and¬†finds it boring. I accept this, not everyone is a natural bookworm and each child is different in a variety of ways. My Husband and I have tried in vain to temp L to read more, but she just will not do it.

T’s school actively encourage reading at home, books are sent home with a “reading diary” so we can keep a record of what is read by T and how she is doing. I imagine this is fairly standard in all primary schools these days. We use this and always make a record for her teachers to see. If however I were to write in there all the things T actually read when she was at home, I would be forever filling the blasted thing in and would probably be asking for another one.

Last Sunday evening, I had just sat down to start a book my sister had lent me, “The Lincoln Lawyer” by Michael Connelly. I had never heard of it, and it looked quite interesting. (I now know that the book was made into a film in 2011 – a bit behind in the times on that one!) T came and snuggled next to me on the armchair and was asking me about the book, “did it have any pictures?” “Did it have any princesses in it?” etc,¬†the normal things 5 year old girls want to know. I was four pages in to the book when T started reading along out-loud¬†from the top of the page. I was happy to let her carry on with this and was excited that she wanted to. She did remarkably well. ¬†T read probably one complete page, it took a while, but I was fine with that; it’s all good practise after all. I decided that I would put a note in her reading diary to let her teacher know, but instead of writing it in the book itself I put a wrote a note on a post-it, just outlining what she had done and letting them know. I thought, na√Įvely perhaps that they would think this was good progress. I was wrong!

Wednesday afternoon (2 days later!) T came out of school and inside her reading diary was a post-it note in reply, basically saying that T should be reading material more suited for her age, and they have given her more books to read at home. I was a bit dumbfounded, and felt like a criminal, like I should be run out of the school playground and locked up. Had I done the wrong thing by allowing her to read one page from one of my books? Could I have scarred her for life?

I relayed this to my Husband that evening, and he much like myself was slightly stunned. What is age-appropriate for a 5 year old? Only the books the school sends home? Am I only to allow her to read those? Do I have to discourage her from reading anything but those? If I had been sitting reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” then yes I could see where the school was coming from, but I was FOUR pages in a book about an American lawyer – nothing sinister had happened in the book at that point! Lets be honest here, T is only 5 she will not have taken in the story from the page she has read! However, now I each time I pick up my book to continue reading it’s been tarnished, as¬†I get a heavy feeling in my chest,¬†I’ve been made to feel like such¬†a bad parent.

I have yet to speak to T’s teacher about this, and with the parents evening just around the corner I am very much looking forward to!

Do you censor what your children read? Was I wrong to encourage reading an adult book? I would be very interested to hear if this has happened to anyone else or what you would do, if anything? Please leave me a comment, let me know what you think.

Thanks

S xx

 

 

Personality Vs birth placement

So I saw this picture on Twitter recently…..

children

 

It got me thinking about my children: Girl one is 10 years old (going on 17!), Girl two is very nearly 5 years old and the boy is 3 on Saturday. Does this apply to my children in any way?

Coincidently, I was recently struck by a realisation that despite I have brought my children up in the same way, by the same rules, values and beliefs; they are all very different in personality. Girl one is sporty, tomboy-ish, nervous and eager to please and fit in. Girl two is a girly-girl, wants everything purple and sparkly, wants to wear dresses, be a princess with lipstick. Boy is football mad (yes even at the tender age of 2!), loveable, stubborn and loves laughing, and wants a bit of everything. So even though they have been raised following the same rules as each other, their individualism is starting to creep out.

But does the pecking order of birth into the family have anything to do with it? I have looked at the list and broken it down.

I will start with the First born: Girl one

Natural leader: When amongst her siblings, yes she is very much a natural leader!

High Achiever: As with most children I suspect, only when it comes to subjects she likes, enjoys and is good at. Jujitsu for example, she is doing brilliantly with this.

Organised: Not at all! I am afraid that her bedroom is like a constant bomb-site, clothes everywhere, can never find anything let alone remember where she left something. Very much the opposite in fact.

On-time: Mostly, but as with any child her timekeeping is usually handled by the parent. I suppose I will have to watch this space on this one.

Know-it-all: She very much likes to think so, but she isn’t afraid of asking. She will argue her point, especially if she knows she is right. Like Mother like Daughter!

Bossy: Yes Very. A mini-me in this respect. Occasionally she will over step the mark with her siblings. But she does like a good boss-about.

Responsible: She likes to think she is, and when given the confidence is showing good signs that she can be.

On to Middle child – Girl two

Flexible: Mostly yes. Although routine has always played a big part of her life, as she is getting older change doesn’t faze her, and usually as long as she sees that the end result is the same, she isn’t overly bothered.

Easy-going: Yes she is very easy-going. She doesn’t look for arguments, and is a delight to spend one-on-one time with, but she can be demanding when the need calls for it.

Social: Extremely, especially with people she is comfortable and confident with.

Peacemaker: To date she is showing no signs of being a “peacemaker”. Unless you want to turn it on its head and use the phrase “walk-over” in which case I would say that she can be a walk-over, particularly when she is the less dominant child in the room.

Independent:¬†A close¬†relative recently¬†defined Girl two¬†as “having the¬†perfect only-child personality” By this they meant that she is more than happy to go and play on her own, she doesn’t require her siblings to entertain her. Yes, independent she is.

Secretive: Oh my goodness, She is a child of such subtle cunning, you have to see it to believe it. She is such a good little liar, actress, and sneak that I have to stop myself from smiling a lot when telling her off. Her slight of hand is AMAZING!

May feel life in unfair: I am sure if you asked her this, she would say that it is unfair, and then probably perform the worlds best sulk to prove it.

Finally, Last child – The boy

Risk-taker: He knows no fear. He is the boy who will jump feet first into the swimming pool without any armbands on and give Mummy a heart-attack in the process. He is the boy who will try every type of new food put in front of him without asking what it is. This is the boy who will jump off anything. Why? Because he can. Because he wants to be Superman and fly.

Outgoing: At first he isn’t. Put him in a new environment with new people and although he is comfortable and confident, he is not what I would call “outgoing. For example he recently had his first settling in session at his new preschool, he went in and focused on the toy cars and trains. He was more than comfortable playing on his own with these. He didn’t immediately hunt out someone to play with. When other children came over the join in with his game, he was more than happy to make friends. He seems to be more silently confident than outgoing.

Creative: When he goes off on his own with his many toy cars, planes, trains, action figures I love listening to him. His imagination is simply wonderful to witness.

Self-centred: He is mostly a very caring and loving little chap, however he does have a streak of self-importance about him. This comes out occasionally but not all that often.

Financially irresponsible: Not relevant in this child – He is not yet 3 years old. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope he isn’t.

Competitive: This should be his middle name. Everything is a race or competition. Who is going to be first up the stairs? Who will finish breakfast first? Who will get dressed the quickest? It drives me absolutely insanely nuts! I am always the referee!

Bored easily: Like any child he is capable of having a short attention span. However, he attends football matches and manages to stay focused on those (which is more than you can say for me!).

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What’s my conclusion of my children and whether or not their personalities match up to the picture. If I am honest I¬†don’t really have one I suppose. Not at this stage of their lives. I feel it unfair to base their entire temperament, personality and outlook of life¬†on their ranking of birth. I am sure that many people could turn it around and say that Girl one is bossy because she is the eldest, but I can assure you that the other two are equally as bossy.

Each child is different. Each child has their own¬†sparkle. Each child has it faults. And each child brings something different to our family, whether is it stubbornness, kindness or competitiveness.¬†By bringing them up in the same way and loving them same, they will grow and develop¬†in their own way. And I will continue to love them regardless of where their “ranking” is in the family.