Mum Problems Part 3…

…continued…

Mum Problem #9

They grow up too fast…

Seriously; they never stop.

This week has been a week of milestones: Toby started nursery, Jonas has been teething, & Noah (for the first time ever) has had his hair cut short. (Excuse me while I go sob into a pillow…waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…OK, done.)

kids grow up

It’s not like I didn’t know children grew up, got older, developed & changed – I’m not a complete idiot – but I just didn’t realise it happened so damn fast! All those people – grandmas, parents, aunties, perfect strangers – who tell you to cherish each moment, that it passes by in the blink if an eye – I used to roll my eyes at them. But now I’m ONE OF THEM! Even Jonas, with his chubby red cheeks & expanding waistline, is defying old me, taunting old me, telling old me what a fool she was . Why didn’t I believe them? Why did I scoff at them? Where has the time GONE??

I never thought about schools when we were deciding to have children. I admit it – I never even thought about them getting older! You think “let’s have a baby” but you seem to block out the realisation (or at least put it off for a long while) that these babies don’t stay babies forever! They get teeth, they learn to walk, turn on the TV & wipe their own bums (can’t say I’m not looking forward to that one though…) Children are geniuses – absolute geniuses! They learn to recognise your boundaries & push, they figure out who the softest parent is & exploit that knowledge, they learn how to lie & laugh & make you giggle when they’ve done something wrong (GENIUS!) They are funny & passionate & unstoppable, testosterone fuelled creations who need every bit of our patience & grace & wisdom & tact. & love. I love my children. I love them so much I physically don’t know what to do with myself sometimes (I won’t say the cliché “it hurts” because I’m not so sure that’s an accurate description).

Noah is due to start school this year.

Home Education is a definite option for us & something we’re seriously considering. I’m self-employed, I work from home, the idea of sending them to school fills me with dread…

I want our boys to pursue things that truly make them passionate & excited. I want them to learn at their own speed. I want them to come out of their educational experience feeling empowered & believe they can do anything. I want them to WANT to learn. I want their own curiosity to fuel their learning. I want them to finish the things they start in their own time. I want them to learn something because they are genuinely interested in learning about it or out of necessity, not because they have to fit into a category. I want them to play out & read by the river & dance in the garden & learn about the sea by going to the seaside & travel to a farm to study animals & do nature drawings & collages & learn to follow their own intuition. I want them to act out of freedom – I want them to explore this world – their world – in a safe environment, to let them make choices & make mistakes & learn from them, learn how to make the right choices & not have them penalised for sometimes making the wrong ones. I want them to learn in an environment of love & acceptance & tolerance & discipline. I want them to learn how to control themselves.

The things Noah knows now are mostly down to what he’s learnt at home. This isn’t because we wanted to force information on him, but because he’s asked about things & let his curiosity guide him. I’m sure all children are the same! He wanted to know how the rain cycle worked, what makes things fall down, how motors run, how to count to 100 – & he’s learnt & remembered most of these things because of his natural curiosity. He can do addition & has started to wonder & learn about subtraction. He loves playing eye spy & using phonics. He wants to build things out of blocks & loves what happens when they fall down. He wants to help me cook & he wants to wrestle & know how the human body works. He loves to sing – & is nearly always pitch perfect – & learns words to the songs he likes by listening to them. This is all him – all that he wants to know!

Even so, thoughts keep running through my head that scare me into thinking I’m not capable of teaching them. What’s funny is that I always had in the back of my mind that I could perhaps be a teacher one day, so what  makes me incapable of teaching my own children?

I saw a quote the other day that read “Do what you won’t regret” & since then I’ve been asking myself, what won’t I regret? Will I regret trying Home Education or giving it a go? Or will I regret sending him to school & not trying? The funny thing is, you have to opt in to school, not out, meaning the default for a child is Home Education. I’ve been pondering on that a lot over the last few days…

I can’t believe I’m even writing this right now. It only seems like it was yesterday that we were deciding to have a baby & now we’re choosing schooling options…I look at Toby, school bag in hand, & my heart aches. I can already see them headed off to university. Even my sweetie Jonas. I keep reminding myself, every day, not to take anything for granted, not to get cross so quickly, not to push them to be big boys just yet – they’ve got a heck of a lot of time to be adults. For now, I just want to let them be kids & I want to be there to experience them – every step of the way…

photo (18)

photo (19)

photo (22)

photo (21)

They grow up too fast…

Now a song to make you all weep into your evening supper…

…to be continued…

Advertisements

The future that believes… (p.s. I’m baaaaaack!)

A lot has happened since I last wrote a post.

Noah is now 4, entirely toilet trained & attending nursery.

Babu is now (almost always) referred to as Toby, has just started being potty trained, & is 3 in a few weeks time.

We have a new baby –  Jonas – who is nearly 3 months old. (I know – crazy, huh?)

I started my own business – upcycling, re-purposing & re-loving old furniture =O (Though I’m currently on Maternity Leave.)

So that’s sort of caught you up on all the major things that have been happening…

I don’t know why, today of all days, I’ve decided to come back on here. I seemed to take a long break from writing. I didn’t tell anyone – I didn’t tell myself. I didn’t even think about it; it’s wasn’t a conscious choice – I just did it. I finished my NaNoWriMo Novel (the first/second draft anyway) & just stopped writing. Maybe I needed a break. Maybe I needed new inspiration, a muse. Maybe I needed to get my head around 3 children (duh??)? Either way, I’ve just begun editing the novel again and, at the end of Chapter Two, I’ve found myself on here.

It’s odd, this need to write, this burn that comes in waves, never fully leaving but always simmering under the surface, ready at any moment to show itself & consume me, set me on fire.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like myself when I’m not writing. Maybe it’s not writing for you; maybe it’s painting, or dancing, or singing, or cycling, or building, or running, or designing, or math (though hopefully not math – please don’t say it’s math – I hate math (or should that be, math hates me??) I don’t think we can be friends if you say math…okay maybe we could, but no equations – please?) Anyway, I’m talking about the thing that you can’t forget or put aside – the thing that’s always there, even when it’s not.

I found myself coming back to it in the way I always do – in reading.

I went through one of my crazy reading periods recently, consuming every work of fiction I could get my hands on, reading one book after another, like a chain smoker only with books (Chain booker? Chain reader? Doesn’t have quite the same ring…) In the end, Ash accepted the inevitable & came home with a new book for me after every trip out to the shop – he knows me so well 😉

I think to be a writer, you have to first & foremost be a reader.

Reading: it is food; fuel; ammunition. It ignites passion in a writer. It inspires & challenges & scares us into thinking we’re running out of time – we have to write now or the moment will pass us by & we’ll never have our voice heard & we’ll end up living in regret of never pursuing our dream. I don’t want to be that person; I don’t want to be a person of regret. I don’t want my children to see their mother as someone who never chased after her dream – how will they ever run after theirs if I don’t show them the way?

As parents it’s our duty to pursue our dreams so that our children can do the same. We have to be persons of influence so that our children can do the same. We have to fight the fear & turn it around, use it to fan the flames of inspiration. We can’t give in to fear; we can’t let our children. I’m raising creative, talented, well-rounded, hilarious, passionate, hopeful, intelligent, wonderful, “we believe anything is possible”, faith-filled boys – I have to believe in myself so that they can believe in themselves. I’m doing it for me, yes. But ultimately, looking at the bigger picture & gazing at the (not so) far off horizon, I’m doing it for them.

photo (3)

photo (5)

photo (5)

Food choices

So, Babu’s added eggs onto the long list of foods he won’t eat.

So that’s now …

  • Eggs
  • Fish (of any kind)
  • Mince
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Pastry
  • Butternut squash
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Kiwi
  • Lasagne
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Sausage
  • Bacon

It just goes on … and on …

He will forever be living off of pasta and cheese.

I don’t know. I don’t know how you convince a two year old to eat the things that are good for him.

babies eating

Threats? (“Eat that food or Buzz Lightyear gets it!” (Note: This has never happened.)) Bribery? (“I’ll buy you a new toy!” (Note: This has also never happened.)) Choices?

Choices are what we decided to go with – got to give the little fellas some kind of control haven’t we? Otherwise they’d run mad!

A family member recently told me that as long as they’re eating something, they’re fine. Her specific words were “If he only wants to eat crisps, let him eat crisps. If he wants to only eat ice cream, let him eat ice cream.”

I don’t think I agree …

I think if Toby wants to eat some ice cream, that’s fine, but he has to eat at least some kind of vegetable first. Or at least some of his meal. Surely sweets, and treats and sweet things are a privilege and, well, a treat(!) and should be treated as such? Noah’s fine with this. Noah’s three year old mind can deal with this and has learnt to compromise – he knows he has to eat his broccoli before he gets any kind of (dare I say it?) reward.

They both have a choice – either eat your dinner and get a treat, or don’t eat your dinner and get no treat. Noah always goes for the first (give the boy a clap!) but Babu … well, he does not. He will quite happily eat nothing and scream for an hour because of the one sweet he wants but he knows he can’t have until after he’s eaten.

Still, I think we’re making progress – he ate a full plate of food last night! YEY! Lets see if there’s a repeat tonight – COME ON BABU!!

photo (1)

(On the whole choices thing, I’d recommend reading “Loving Your Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk. AWESOME!)