Tag Archive | aging

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 naïvely 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

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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, naïvely 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

 

 

Boys Vs Girls

It is only recently that I have started to notice a real difference in energy levels between girls and boys. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken me this long. Maybe it’s only now that the “baby years” are now well and truly behind me that I can make a conscious observation.

My son, G, is two and half and a complete bundle of combustible energy, and endless enthusiasm. He simply cannot sit still, unless he is on the potty or asleep! Long gone are the days when he would have a loooooong nap midday. He doesn’t need to recharge his batteries anymore.

I recently commented on my observation during a catch up with a very good friend and fellow SAHM, Trim (her nickname). I was moaning,  there is no other word for it, I was moaning about G and his boundless energy, his need for speed, his need to be in front and faster than everyone else around him. I compared him to a naughty disobedient puppy when using his reins. Trim just nodded and said she knew exactly what I meant and remembers only too well how her son was at that age.

Trim has a daughter who is four months younger than G, and they get on brilliantly. In actual fact when they sit together you could be forgiven for thinking they were twins, they look so alike.

Anyway, we began discussing the differences between girls and boys. I mean, I suppose it’s obvious when you think about it. But only ever having girls meant that I had no fore-warning of just how exhausting a little boy could actually be. I should in theory be a size 8 with all the running around I do, but those damn yummy foods keep finding their way into my mouth! I’m sure I comfort eat to congratulate myself on surviving another day with my kids!

Examples:

Going for a walk with a little boy: It’s physically demanding. You spend a vast majority of the walk almost jogging to keep up with them. Forever apologising to people who have they hurtled into as they are going to damn fast. They’re not interested in browsing through shop windows – unless it’s a food shop and there may be a possibility of getting fed. They will jump in EVERY puddle, regardless of size and what footwear they have on and you can’t stop them, they’re too fast. If you run after them, they run faster and laugh while they’re doing it! They will kick at anything which is on the floor (stone/a leaf/a bit of rubbish, etc) and shout “GOAL”. I’m assuming of course that all little boys are like this, and it’s not just mine!

Going for a walk with a little girl: It’s mentally draining. Girls will happily walk, or skip, along side you holding your hand. They will embrace the window shopping. Although they too love puddle jumping, they know that unless they have their wellies on, their shoes will get ruined. They will occasionally run ahead, but they will not do it at full speed and they will not pretend to be a rocket/motorbike/car/lorry/train/tank with the obligatory sound effects. They will however talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good chat. But sometimes they enjoy talking about people who are within earshot, quite loudly! This is most of the time all fine, until some poor unsuspecting sole becomes subjected to a four year olds scrutiny. Everything comes under question; their dress-sense, their hair colour, their choice of bag/shoes/coat. It can be very draining, and sometimes embarrassing.

At home:

With a little boy: oh lordy where do I start. I’ll start with the fact the they do not sit still, unless it is on the potty/toilet or sleeping. They will run around pretending to be “Superman” and rescuing you – this involves running up behind you, usually when you’re in the kitchen cooking dinner and wrapping their arms around your legs shouting “saved you”. They will run up and down the lounge/kitchen/hallway, wherever they happen to be, racing with themselves – slapping the wall and turn around to race back again. I found this lovely to watch at first, but now it just tires me out. They will run up and down the stairs as fast as they can, giving you a mini-heart attack every-time. They will fling themselves over the back of the sofa, headfirst, and find it highly amusing when you try to stop them repeating it, this making them want to keep doing it. Quite simply; THEY DO NOT SIT STILL!

With a little girl: Girls will sit quietly playing with their toys in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a chair, under a table. It will be a make believe game and usually involves some kind of doll/Barbie/soft toy. BEWARE: if they are too quiet, it may be worth investigating! My make up drawer was recently been tampered with….! They will cuddle up with you on the sofa, to watch a bit of telly which is absolutely lovely. However, sometimes this is not as straight forward as it sounds. “Mummy, can you tickle my feet?” “Mummy, can you play with my hair?” “Mummy, can you plait Barbie’s hair?” They will come into the kitchen to watch you cooking and ask to help. Please don’t get me wrong with this, but my kitchen is a galley-style kitchen (quite narrow and long) and sometimes having a child asking to help/watch is not what I need when doing dinner. Generally girls do not run around being noisy and boisterous.

So is the difference in the sexes something they are born with. Is it in their DNA to be completely different? Or do we condition them, subconsciously from birth to act and play in a certain manner? I guess it’s the age old argument of dressing girls in pink and boys in boy. If we didn’t do it, would they grow to like those colours naturally? Blue is a masculine colour, whereas pink is girly and “not for boys”.

In the end Trim and I agreed that we should swap children for a day, so that we can each have a break from our own child and embrace a day with a child of the opposite sex. Whether we will actually do this, remains to be seen. But it would be interesting.

“Mum, in fifty years, how old will you be?”…..oh my god!!!

Groan!

It didn’t really sink in what had just been asked of me by then 8 year old daughter, until probably a day or so after she asked the very innocent question, as stated above. Please don’t make me write it again….Oh really, humph, ok then: “Mum, in fifty years, how old will you be?”

“Easy peasy,” was my answer, “I will be 82”.

82….!!???

Right so now you know you can work out how old I actually am, but that’s not my problem. It was when the realisation hit me; that I was actually getting older; getting nearer the 40 mark; I am no longer in my twenties (despite what I tell I myself); I am now properly in my thirties.

When I was younger, someone in their thirties seemed like a real grown-up – I’m sure they did to you too.

So when did I become one of those “grown-ups”? Am I truly a “grown-up”? I don’t feel like one. I don’t think I look like one…do I? Does the “grown-up” Fairy pay you a visit while you sleep?

Now I’ll be honest the Husband is older than me, by a few years I grant you, but he is in no way ancient (despite the fact his work colleagues call him “Dad”) – He’s lovely and I love him with all my heart (I know mushy stuff!). But in all honesty, our slight age difference has not helped me and my mental inability to accept that I am aging……I used to, not now, always feel immature and out of place. But like I said, used to. I don’t feel like this anymore….is that because I am growing up?

I never envisaged I would get to my thirties. I could never imagine what they would be like and in all honesty, they don’t feel much different from my twenties. Ok so I have 3 children, 2 step-children, one Husband, 3 cats, etc, etc – but that doesn’t change the fact that in my head (which is sometimes a very odd place to be) I am still 21 years with my whole life ahead of me.

And maybe it is because I am getting older that I can say the next line and truly appreciate it, but the years are just flying by!