So WERE you?

•October 24, 2011 • Comments Off on So WERE you?

“Muuuuuum?”  My little miss asked ruefully whilst engrossed in her homework.

“Were you ever any good at anything when you were younger?”

Well of course I was… LOTS of them came to mind immediately.

I was great at reading, cooking, hanging out with my friends, playing Donkey Kong on my Nintendo Game and Watch (remember them???), avoiding doing my homework, annoying my siblings until they screamed , riding a motorcycle over large dirt mounds in the back paddock, bicycling the five kilometres home with no hands (shhh don’t tell my mum!!  ), saving my mother on clothes washing (how many weeks CAN you wear the same pair of jeans??), playing my cassette deck LOUD, making a mess in Art and pulling off a pretty good grade at the same time, organising my patrol of Girl Guides (don’t die of shock… I was! ), playing guitar, taking opportunistic photographs of people in awkward situations, laughing and telling stories.

Not just any stories… but retelling events that happened.  In a good way.  I seemed to have a knack for it.

“I was pretty awesome at a lot of things but I really liked reading and telling stories,” I finally decided to impart.

“Oh?  Are you STILL good at that?” she was looking at me… or was it straight through me?

“I guess so…” I smiled.

“Well that’s not going to pay the bills Mum,” she raised one eyebrow suspiciously.

“No? Are you sure?”  I started to ponder the possibilities…

“Oh well, guess you’d be good at blogging at least,”

I live in hope dear daughter… I live in hope. 

 

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You can never be too sure…

•October 15, 2011 • Comments Off on You can never be too sure…

“I can’t find it Mum!”  Miss nine yelled from her room.  I could tell she’d barely moved from sitting on the floor, playing with her doll house instead of searching for the mattress as I’d asked. 

It wasn’t like it could be in too many places.  Where CAN you hide a double mattress?  Not many places in my house let me tell you!

“Have you checked the cupboard?” I countered as I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner.

“Yes,” came the unfazed reply.  She hadn’t moved, I could tell from the direction of her voice.

“Go look in your brother’s room then, it may be under his bed,” I was wracking my brain for ideas.

“But what if he tells me off?”  Her reply made me laugh.

“Well unless you can hear him 50kms away, I doubt you have an issue.  He’s not home.”  I waited.

“How do I KNOW that he’s not home?” It now sounded like she was standing outside his closed door… a somewhat slight improvement.

“Believe me, he’s not.  I dropped him off at the train station three hours ago,”  Well I did, at his request.  After all, he’d asked politely.

“What if he walked home without you knowing?”  I stifled a giggle.

“He didn’t.  Just check it isn’t there… and leave everything else alone!”

“Ok… but if I’m not back in five minutes, send a search party!!”

*Oh and if you really need to know… it was in the hall cupboard.*

Time marches on…

•October 14, 2011 • 2 Comments

He may be only four but the baby of the house is growing up.  Fast. 

He’s been the last at home with mum during the week as his siblings attend school and courses.  He’s relaxed and confident and we somehow just co exist on those days without too much incident.

His siblings were another story… his eldest brother was an ever enquiring child.  Tiring in his constant quest for answers.  He wore me out mentally in any given day.  Books, computers, games – he consumed them all tirelessly.   His sleep pattern was short.  Bedtime was 7:30pm but he’d sneak out to sit on the stairwell and watch me clean and stitch until around 10 ish.  He’d be awake and ready to attack the day by 5 am though.

To reduce the amount of time we had getting frustrated with each other, I enrolled him in our local Montessori Childrens House.  By age 4 he was attending 4 days a week and doing brilliantly.  My stress levels had also reduced considerably!

My little Miss was just as inquisitive and thought-provoking.  Her pre school year was taken up with two days at one centre and three at another to make up the time.  It was her choice though.  I started her at one centre and within weeks she was constantly asking to attend on the remaining days.  She flourished. A social butterfly, she is also gifted academically.

Master six was attending pre prep three days a week at age four.  On the off days, he wrangled with his (younger by 19 months) brother and demanded attention for his constant frustrations.  There never seemed to be a quiet moment between the specialists appointments, sibling interaction and day-to-day routines. 

In contrast, my youngest now only attends his pre prep centre two days a week.  Until recently he also had a day in family daycare but when the circumstances of his daycare mum changed, I seriously pondered long and hard whether a replacement was required or worth it.

It’s one term until the end of the year… less than three months until 2012.  For most of this year, he’s spent a day at home with me, a day at family daycare, a day with his father, two more at the daycare centre and then weekends with his dad as well.

He is a bright and chirpy lad with an endearing cheeky charm all his own.  He’s active and full on, physically and mentally.  He loves stimulation and craves it.  So it was with much in trepidation that I decided to keep him home another day a week instead of finding a suitable new carer.

Somehow in the last few weeks, we’ve bonded more than I’ve ever had a chance to with him before.  He’s the snuggly one cuddling up to me in bed in the morning.  He’s my little comedian and goofball when things are a little off kilter… I realised a couple of days ago just how much I’m enjoying his company during our two days together.  Sometimes his father has him for some of the second day but I find myself selfishly wanting him with me more.

Perhaps this is his privilege as the baby?  Maybe I’m less inclined to wish this time away because he is my youngest?  I only know that I sure wish this year contained more days, weeks and months than it does.

Because inevitably, 2012 will arrive with all the usual fanfare and my smallest, smiling, self assured offspring will eagerly stride off to join his older siblings at school. He will also have the honour of officially being the youngest to have attended school. The older children all started “big school” at age five.  He will still be only four on his first day.  *sigh*

I’m sure my own importance in his life will reduce slightly on this new adventure… but it doesn’t hurt to hope otherwise.  Right? 

I keep my word…

•September 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

I do.. honest!

The teenager reached a milestone yesterday… his first shave.

Finally after months of scant fluff on his chin and upper lip, he took to it with a new razor! Assisted by his mentor (he’d hardly listen to a shaving lesson from his mother now would he???), he learnt how to remove all visible facial hair.
Thankfully, he managed it without nicking himself once! *phew* I don’t do well with blood…

He presented his chin and lip to me Quasimodo style to emphasise his efforts. I was suitably impressed. I’m his mother, I’m supposed to be, right? His face was smooth and handsome again.

As he wandered up the hallway back to his room, he loudly stated, “You can’t put that on Facebook!”

“How do you know I haven’t already???” I replied innocently… it hadn’t crossed my mind at that point – really it hadn’t.

So I didn’t.

All in a day’s…

•September 12, 2011 • 3 Comments

There are days like today when I realise I really AM in a different dimension to others…
Female staff member at grocery shop as we step inside (eyeing off Master four smiling holding my hand): “Try this new cream cheese, it’s really yummy!”

I pick up the tub and start reading the ingredients list and the many additives whilst screwing up my nose.  Put it back on the bench and tell her thanks but no thanks and continue on to finish our shopping.

At the end of our expedition, waiting in line with child now seated happily in the trolley, the aforementioned staff member stops to point out that they have some yoghurt tubs that are great for school lunches as well and indicates towards the fridge section.

Me: “Is the yoghurt made with gelatine?”

Staff member: “Oh, I don’t know!” Bends down towards my son, “You poor child, maybe I should just offer you a carrot!” Rolls her eyes and walks off towards the storage rooms.

Master four, looking bewildered: “So WHERE’S my carrot???”

 

Ten reasons I have four children.

•September 10, 2011 • 1 Comment

1. I had four pregnancies which resulted in four babies. They grew up and thus became children…oh and a teenager…

2. I discovered a need to fine tune certain features on each later model. These have, of course, meant other adjustments were probably required to counteract side issues not previously considered. I guess the “baby”, my four year old son, will one day say he was the perfect specimen since he was the last.

3. I needed the challenge. Ok, so I underestimated just how much of a challenge I needed at times.

4. I was curious how it would be to have at least one teenager constantly for at least 20 years. Well… maybe I didn’t think too hard on that one. This research project could take a while…I’m only three and a half years into it.

5. After their initial trial period expired and they were still settling in effectively, I decided I’d keep them.

6. I often need photography subjects. Four means I can at least catch one when I need to… otherwise I have to look for something else to take snaps of.

7. They are entertaining when interacting… on many many levels! Who needs television or console gaming units with multiple offspring? Not I!

8. Someone needed to be the guinea pigs for my many culinary experimentation sessions. The more mouths available, the more I can experiment. Right?

9. I needed endless washing and housecleaning… so I felt I had purpose when doing my chores.

10. So I had a valid excuse for watching children’s movies…

*Disclaimer: This may or may not be a sarcastic response to consistently being asked why I have four children.

The things that come up in conversation…

•September 5, 2011 • 2 Comments

Dinner time in our household is never a quick affair. Once what IS to be prepared is decided, it gets much easier though. It’s amusing to note some of the statements that come about from the beginning to end of it though…

Tonight’s pearlers (in no particular order) were:

1.

Six year old: SUSHI!! Yeehaa! It’s not dead fish is it Mum?

Nine year old: If it’s not dead, I’m not eating it!

2.
Sixteen year old: Is dinner ready yet? I’m hungry!!!
Four year old: Make your own and be helpful!

3.
Nine year old: Oh I need my skates on.
Four year old: So do I, I can’t eat without them on.

4.
Sixteen year old (rolling his own sushi): This avocado sucks!
Nine year old: That’s impossible… it’s a fruit!

5.
Nine year old: Mum, I can’t do crossovers. Can you teach me?
Four year old: I can show you! *Gets up from seat and walks in a circle crossing his feet* You do it like this… only with skates.

6.
Six year old: Do normal families have sushi for dinner?
Me: I’m not sure on the normal bit… but I’m sure they’d like to!
Six year old *looking wistful*: I sure wish I was normal…