Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I've mellowed

I've not watched or read the news since last Friday. It's not that I'm not interested or don't care about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I don't want to think about what happened that day and what the poor families are now going through. I don't want to think about what the children that survived see every time they close their eyes. I don't want to think about how everyone involved have changed forever more. I don't want to think about the fact these wonderful children were in the same class as my daughter. My heart can't take it and I'm thousands of miles away, my only connection to these people are my beautiful children.

The harsh reality of this world is that children die every day, parents bury their babies and need to continue living with an enormous hole in their lives.

My thoughts these past days have been with the families affected by the Dunblane massacre. What must they be feeling hearing this horrific news, all the memories of that day flooding back to them. In 1996 I didn't have any children but I still remember the devastation I felt on hearing the news. This time it's worse, you can't help putting yourself in their place. That's why I don't want to think about it, that may be cowardly but this is my way of coping.

I've mellowed these last few days. Many a morning I have left the house in a bad mood because one or both of the kids have been playing up. On the grand scale of things does it really matter? Does it matter that I repeatedly have to ask Anya to get out of bed? I'm thankful she is here to nag at. Does it matter that Derren wants to wear shorts and welly boots on a cold dry day? I'm thankful he is here wearing inappropriate clothing. Does it matter that Anya has thrown a wobbly about her hair getting brushed? I'm thankful she is here to scream and stomp. Does it matter that Derren doesn't want his teeth brushed? I'm thankful he is here to argue with me. Does it matter that the kids toys are scattered everywhere? I'm thankful they are here to make the mess.

I haven't gone soft on them, they will continue to play up and I'll continue to discipline them where appropriate. I'm determined to raise two polite, well balanced and caring individuals. But there is no point getting angry or upset over minor things. Instead I'll remind myself how lucky I am to have them, give them a big hug then ask them again to do what I need them to do.

When I find that the little things are getting to me I'll revisit this blog and remind myself how lucky I am.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Sleeping Angels

From the very day that Anya was born I've always checked on the kids before I go to bed myself. The only exceptions have been on the rare occasion when I've been in my bed before the kids! I love the little moment I have with them when they are sleeping soundly. Occasionally I'll lie down beside them for a sneaky wee cuddle. Derren's a wee angel, when you put him to bed you know that if you went back in to his room 30 minutes later, his bed is exactly where you will find him. Anya on the other hand is a different story.
On many occasions I've found myself in the living room putting my feet up with the contented feeling that both kids are tucked up in bed only to hear a noise coming from Anya's room. Usually as you head down the hall you hear the patter of feet as she charges across her bedroom and dives in to bed. I open the door to find her pretending to be asleep, "Do you think I button up the back?" is my usual cry as I clamber over all the toys she has strewn over the floor. I must admit I get great satisfaction creeping along the hall, then dramatically throwing open the door and catching her in the act. The look on her face is an absolute picture! One evening when I believed Anya had been sleeping for well over an hour I heard a crash and a scream come from her room. I ran down the hall to find Anya on the floor with the contents of her bookcase spread around her. She had attempted to climb the bookcase and the shelves had pulled out sending her crashing to the ground, thank goodness the bookcase was attached to the wall. Things had to change, most nights she was not getting to sleep until over an hour after her bed time. All the usual reprimands were making no difference, so we made a deal with her. She could have a light on for 30 minutes and she could use that time to read a book, draw or play on her leappad. What a difference, after that she was asleep not long after her light was turned off. Don't get me wrong she still gets up to some mischief.
When you check on Derren, he is usually stretched out on his bed with the covers kicked off sleeping soundly, I may occasionaly need to pry a spaceship from his hand. I tuck him back in and give him a goodnight kiss. I'm always curious to know what I'll find when I pop in to check on Anya. What way round in the bed will she be? Will she be on top of the duvet or under the duvet? What will she be wearing? Occasionally she has put a fleecy suit on over her jammies and she is boiling! Sometimes she has extra blankets and again she is boiling. Usually she has a vast collection of cuddly toys taking up most of the bed. I've even came in and found her with her head under the pillow, or if she is the other way round, her feet under the pillow. More often than not she usually has a collections of books and toys stashed under her pillow. How that can be comfortable is beyond me. I found her like this one night, showing her support for Team GB, which did make me smile.

Notice the yellow towel under her pillow, I have no idea why that's there. No matter how bad my day has been or how much the kids have frustrated me it always cheers me up when I see them peacefully sleeping. Although that could be because it's the only time of the day that they can't talk back!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Dear Santa

Tomorrow my youngest turns 4. For the last couple of months he has been constantly listing numerous things he would like for his birthday or Christmas. It's got to the point that I have no idea what he wants, I'm pretty sure he doesn't either! He announced today that he wants a batman cake, well he's going to be disappointed. I know I'm supermum but even I can't produce a batman cake out of nowhere. Some of his requests have been bizarre, the other week he asked for a Buck Rogers costume! For all you youngsters out there google him. It does worry me though, I know he is only 3 but when and where will it stop. This is one of his favourite toys at the moment and might explain why he wanted a Buck Rogers costume.

His constant babble about what he would like for his birthday and Christmas has made me think about how much your priorities change over the years. So here's my list to Santa.

Dear Santa

This year I have been a very, very good girl. Well I say good, that all depends on how you define good and what your tolerance levels are. Do I have to be good all year? I know you are supposed to be watching me at all times, do you really mean at ALL times? I have enough people (and pets) traipsing into the the bathroom when I'm on the toilet or having a shower that I don't really need any more. I'll soon be able to sell tickets. Lets just say that I've not been evil .. oh OK I was only teasing the kids, honest! Is that not why we have kids? OK, I've been a tired, stressed, working mum so cut me some slack please.

Please can I get (notice how polite I am :)) the kids to turn off the bathroom light when they are finished, a flush of the toilet wouldn't go amiss either. While they are in there it would also be nice if they put the lid back on the toothpaste. I would love it if you could get the empty toilet rolls to magically appear in the recycling bin as the kids and the husband think I'm the only one capable of magic tricks like that.

Can you remove the button from my backside that alerts the kids that I have sat down for 2 minutes of me time?

Can I get a universal remote control? I'm always having daydreams about muting the kids when they go into a screaming match after you have said no to them. And how my life would change if I could fast forward Anya in the morning. No more constant nagging to get out of bed, to get dressed, to eat breakfast, to brush her hair, get her shoes on, ahhh heaven.

Is there a way to stop the kids bringing out a toy if the haven't put the one they were previously playing with away? I'm sure one of your super smart elves could invent something. If not can I have one of your elves to follow the kids round and constantly nag them until they get the right idea?

Can you send my husband on a course that will make him a hairdresser, personal shopper and a masseur?

I would love a device that would make the kids smile and say 'yeah this is exactly what I want for dinner' as they got stuck in and cleared their plates. A personal chef would be great as well .. oh wait, I already have one of them, thanks Al!

Is there such a thing as a device that tells you that there are stains on the kids clothes that won't come out in the wash BEFORE you put  them in the machine and one that reminds you to check all pockets? Especially since Anya has a thing for stones! I've no idea why either. James Dyson has revolutionised the world of vacuuming perhaps if you employed him as an elf he could help.

Can I have a machine that exercises me while I'm asleep?  It doesn't haven't to be particularly quiet as long as it isn't any noisier than the hubbies snoring.

I'll stop now before my requests become ridiculous.

Thanks Santa, I promise to go to bed early on Christmas eve and leave you a glass or two of wine. What the hell I'll leave the whole bottle out for you.

Louise xxx