Please, Stop Talking! 

From the day our children are born we are talking to them, making eye contact and bombarding them with sounds just waiting for them to speak.  I spend a large part of my day saying “mumma” and “dadda” encouraging my 8 month old to mimick me and say my name, just once.  I can’t wait to hear my name spoken in his soft baby voice!

Now fast forward a few years (in the form of my other children) and some days I would just love, for just 5 minutes, not to hear my name on a continuous loop.  Not just in a normal voice either, it gets higher and more whingy and high pitched the more it’s said especially when you don’t answer.  The thing is, there’s no time to answer between each “mum!”.  As annoying as this is, you’re the provider and protector so of course it’s your name they call (I must remember this next time I want to scream, “stop saying my name”).

One thing we’re not short of in our house is noise! With 8 people bumbling around the only time you’ll get some peace is when people are eating.  I quite often watch the tv not being able to hear a single word as someone is chatting alongside it!

But it got me thinking, once children can speak we’re telling them to “sssshhh” or “be quiet” which seems slightly ironic. School is great for many things but children have to sit still and be quiet a lot of the time. Rightly so, but they’ve not long learnt to walk/run and now they have to sit still?… and there’s so much to talk about.

It good to talk, who doesn’t love a good gossip with a friend and there are many health benefits too.  I must remember this the next time I can’t hear myself think because of the the children’s “noise”!  And lets not forget the time will come when there is no more noise.

What To Buy?

So it’s nearly the end of term, present time for teachers!  Are you one of those parents that buys your child’s teacher and even Teaching Assistant a present?  With 5 children at school it can be an expensive time for us.  Admittedly it’s only the 3 younger children that will want to give presents but what do you get?

Over the years I think I have given a variety of things from handmade gifts to chocolate and gift vouchers.  I always try to give something that I would like to receive but after reading an article recently from the perspective of a teacher about gifts I am at a bit of a loss about what to get.

With a class of 30 children teachers must have hundreds of “Best Teacher” mugs and do they really want a drawing from your child? Although it can be fun to make things with your children, really it’s only family that want that kind of thing isn’t it?  So then there’s the edible things like chocolate, a homemade cake or some biscuits, but we’re not all Mary Berry are we.  Every teacher surely needs pens and notebooks, don’t they?!?

We must remember that it’s just a small gesture, to say “thank you!” for encouraging and teaching my child and it doesn’t need to be expensive.  So this year I think I’m going to be practical and hope that I get something which won’t go straight in the bin or be re-gifted – I’m going with alcohol!!!


Happy Holidays!

No school run, no packed lunches or clock watching; I love the holidays, but why is it that it takes a few days of complete chaos before the real fun begins?  I spend my time being referee between my children and I become sick of the sound of my own voice.

I have noticed over the last two or three summers that it takes the children a few days to calm down and enjoy being in each others company.  Even though I knew this and was expecting the same this year I was still left completely exhausted by the constant bickering and fighting on the Day 1 and all I can say is that we all survived the day!!

Despite a trip to the park, the paddling pool up in the garden and camping in the tent the bickering was relentless.  I suppose they are used to a day full of learning and activities and home is not like that, it takes time to adjust to the relaxed approach to the day.  Add to that they were all completely shattered, it was a long term and the excitement of the long holiday made them fit to burst by the time it actually arrived.

I know that by next week we’ll be having lie-in’s (yes, it does happen) and our days will be wonderful with just a simple dog walk or the fact that we don’t have to go anywhere!  We will have impulsive trips to the beach for ice-cream at 6’oclock and routine will completely go out of the window.  The holidays will be great.

We’ve made a list of all the things we want to do and places we want to go over the next few weeks.  We have a chart full of exciting trips to make which will obviously not go according to plan, but like most things we will have a giggle (or cry) along the way!

Happy Holidays!

Pleased to report that life it good, harmony has been restored and we are rocking the holidays!



Just Like My Splinter Then?

Children are fascinated by babies and my family is no different.  Now that our family is set to grow once more conversations about babies is something we seem have every day.  We’ve always been age appropriately honest with our children about the “facts of life” and feel happy that they know what they need to know.

My two youngest daughters love playing babies and there’s normally a baby shoved up their jumper when they’re pregnant and then it will just be pulled out and appear when it’s born – if only!  But the other day my youngest daughter (6) announced that she was going to have her baby, this was new.  She then asked me “does it hurt?”.  Now my immediate answer would be quite different to what I would tell her!

My mum never really talked to me about her births until after I had had my first child.  She only said to me to “listen to the midwifes and do as you’re told”, now this I have taken with me through all 5 of my labours and it gave me something to focus on.  I have been extremely lucky with my labours as they have all been quick and relatively stress free but it’s different for everyone and everyone has their own story to tell.  For some it’s magical (sorry I’m one of these, seriously you’re creating life!) and for other’s it’s a living nightmare that seems to never end which they want to forget and never go back there.

So I settle on “yes it does, you need to be strong and brave”, happy with that!  “So just like my splinter then?”, err not the reply I was thinking I’d get.  At that moment I thought my heart was going to burst, children have a wonderful knack of making you smile unexpectedly.  How do they do that?  The thing was she was absolutely right, I’d told her a few days earlier when I taken a splinter out of her finger she’d been brave and strong.  To her that was something painful that she’d been brave through, essentially that was exactly what I’d said.  Simple when you’re 6, she was happy and carried on playing and I took that as a good mummy moment.  Happy Days!