Evidence

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hello!

Today’s wee random word foray, to mark it being Fathers’ Day:

 

“Amongst many other things

He saves mummy’s bacon.

(That means he helps me out

When I’ve done something silly,

Or I am stuck on something)”

 

I saw a small chromatic shift

In hubby’s face

As Youngest was heard to blurt:

“And he makes good food,

And likes cud-a-win us!”

 

Our other, bigger, monkey

Frog-leapt from his seat

And hugged his Dad, forcefully.

All thunder-clouds vanished

As affection bloomed.

 

This cultural obsession we have

With naming days

To declare our feelings for people –

When, if we just looked,

Hourly evidence is everywhere.

 

 

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Horrible?

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello!

It will be another short post tonight because I can hardly keep my eyes open to write this!

Look how many steps my Accupedo app has logged for me today…that is a full 9 mile school run, a short game of tig, a bit of housework, getting dinner ready, racing Eldest around his school (I am faster than I give myself credit for.  My boys were impressed) and probably a few other things besides.

Our day started with the kids not wanting to leave the house and not being the best of friends, but progressed to them running around the playground in the evening sunshine, while we waited to chat to Youngest’s nursery keyworker.  He got a glowing report, as usual!

From Textfixer

The boys were extremely volatile when they got in, however, and it took some fancy parenting footwork from Hubby and me to get them calm enough for a bath, cuddles and bed.  Upon reading tonight’s words, I thought about this and the strategies we use.  We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (I screeched a bit on the schoolrun!) but Hubby and I learned a while ago that connection works better than opposition with our two.  I think the speaker in the poem has a different approach…

 

Horrible  Coward   Chart  Ballerina  Concert  World  Drench  Agency  Exception

 

Although she screamed that I was horrible

I’m not some sort of parenting coward;

I tore up her behaviour chart rewards

Ripped right through her prized ballerina.

 

I told her I would not attend her concert

(Did not take pictures, even though I snuck in)

 

You would have thought her world

Had collapsed around her frilly frock!

I swear she wanted to drench me in tears

But I just walked away, firmly.

 

There won’t be concessions made;

Blackmail through the agency of emotion

Will not be tolerated.  (Without exception)

How else is she ever going to learn…?

 

I am going to walk away from you lovely people, myself.  I hope you have a great day, whatever you get up to tomorrow.  🙂

I…am…soooo…tiiiired….  na night, all!

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Waiter

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 1 Comment »

Hi!

It was an easy set of words to write around today 😉

As I have mentioned before, our boys love to pretend they are serving in a café.  They also love visiting such establishments in real life, especially if there is good cake on the menu!  I can’t think where they got that trait from…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trench  Ensure  Verdict  Customer  Waiter  Reference  Dribble  Presence  Adventure

 

He popped up from the trench

He’d constructed from cushions,

To ensure I did not forget

August last year

My promised game.

I dutifully gave my verdict

On how well the walls were holding,

Then became his first customer

As he morphed into ‘Waiter’.

 

(I am not sure who gave their reference

In support of this man’s prowess,

Because while I was there he fumbled fish

And went on to dribble milk…)

 

In my boy’s delighted smile

It was plain for all to see:

My very presence lent great weight

To each role-played adventure.

 

I pictured Youngest in particular for this poem, as we were chatting about cafes at length the other day.  However, Eldest is the one who is more likely to barricade himself in places with the playroom accessories!

Do you remember building things with random soft furnishings?!  I had great fun with my mum’s giant floor cushions, and the novelty footstool that’s in the shape of a tortoise 😉

This is more ‘ramp’ than ‘barricade’, but you get the idea…

It’s funny how much comes back to make you smile, when you spend time in a kid’s world!

 

 

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Frog

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 3 Comments »

Hi 😊

Sometimes, we need a kid to show us that life is not all serious.

Youngest decided to drive that point home for me today.

So what if there are people all over the country going out and marking papers to decide who should govern the British Isles?

Hmmmm…

So what if the skies have opened, and we can’t get dry between school runs, and it’s meant to be summertime?!

There are many simple pleasures that can make us smile.  We just have to take off our grown up head for a minute 😉

 

 

 

Celestial  Class  Caundle  Tail  Frog  Jellies  Chestnut  Nasty  Clipping

Celestial curls bouncing,

He rushed to the edge of the puddles;

Finally released from nursery class

(His friend fashioned a caundle from the mud)

 

I was hot on his ‘tail’ –

Cautioning my little frog

Not to dirty up the pushchair later,

Or breach his boots in the depths.

 

That cruel anxiety deposited jellies

In my legs as I followed him;

Until I reminded myself

Said old chestnut needs cracked…

 

So, as he moved to shallower (cleaner) splashing

My camera came out!

Why bend to nasty adulthood

When those wings need no clipping?!

 

 

I read about the meaning of ‘caundle’ here, it is thought to refer to the low hills found around Bishop/Stourton Caundle in Dorset, England.

When one drags mud with the side of a Wellie Boot, there appear similar mounds 😉

As you can see, Youngest had a blast, and it was lovely watching him try and get the biggest leaps and splashes for my pics!  Well worth the drying time for both the waterproof gear and the buggy in the end, bless him.

Well, that was lots of fun…but… “bring me suuunshine…”

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

‘Planca’

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

*Waves*

I have been so busy recently that I have not braved the Jimpix generator for a while!  I decided to bite the bullet and go for it today, however. 

Eldest has been upset over the past few weeks, and worrying about things classmates have said to him, or altercations in the playground with older kids.  They leave him feeling very ambivalent towards me and the rest of the family.  We’ve had a big display of that today.  It wasn’t pretty, but I am trying to find a balance between being sympathetic and also letting him know there are very firm boundaries that he can’t cross no matter how upset he feels.

There have been an awful lot of cuddling sessions recently!!  I spoke to Eldest’s teacher today, but it is nothing he can really get to the bottom of as it is all low-level random things that are making Eldest upset, nothing overly physical or blatant.

When I researched the words that came up today and couldn’t find a satisfactory definition for ‘planca’, it occurred to me that it sounds like ‘plonker’.  I remember people calling each other that in my schooldays, so I started to think about there maybe being a bullying scenario in my poem (I already had a name to start me off!).  With the ‘Tinayguk’ being a river, there was also an educational angle that could be brought in; and if I thought a bit, I’d probably not need to be stumped by ‘bowyang’ either…

Denby‘ was easy enough to include 😉

 

Tony  Urethra  Denby  Pandora  Mushrooms  Tinayguk  Exacting  Planca  Bowyang

 

Tony loves using words for evil.

He makes me laugh

Until my urethra threatens mutiny.

 

But he can be cruel

Tony’s not the kind you’d invite

To tête-à-tête over your best Denby.

He’s a box fit for Pandora:

A topic mushrooms

When he runs with it.

 

So here I am, Geography;

Teacher pointing out the river Tinayguk

(Which means ‘Moose’, apparently)

Tony’s exacting penance

On the new boy (who’s christening him

A ‘planca’ in that strange accent of his)

 

Tony rises up from his seat

All mock outrage, condemnation;

“And YOU sir, are a BOWYANG!!”

He announces with aplomb…

 

There was no out-of-the-ordinary entry for ‘bowyang’ in the Urban Dictionary, but I’m thinking that someone like Tony will update it soon?!

It was not all gloom for Eldest today – he did get to have a shot on my Snoopy Tennis game! 😉

Unfortunately, he was soon frustrated and declared it ‘too hard’.  As the buttons do stick now and then (usually at a crucial moment), I suppose he has a point.  I am still loving it, however.  Good ol’ Snoopy 😊

Sometimes I just wish I could smooth away all the slights and disappointments from our kids’ school-life, so that they never have to worry about walking back into their classroom the next day.  But I know that’s not always possible.  My job is just to do my best to keep the lines of communication open, and be here to act as sounding board while they figure it out for themselves.

Eldest still looks so young when he’s sleeping, though.  I’m glad he is a teddy cuddler, they look like they bring him some peace 😊

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

 

Amuse

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hey there!

I lay reading fan fiction on the internet until the very small hours of the morning.  Not only was I pretty engrossed, but my menfolk were ridiculously twitchy!!  The sunburn wasn’t helping much, either.  I did have to scorch BOTH sides of my back when I like lying on it, didn’t I…

Consequently, neither Hubby or I came-to properly until 7.15am, which is about an hour later than we usually start thinking about rallying the troops.  Both kids came for a lovely cuddle, but they were not very mindful of my wounds 😉

I cleaned the bathroom quickly, then had a shower and did all the usual bed-making nonsense and pulling down of dry washing; while somehow helping Hubby with the kid-wrangling (Bank Holiday Monday! He was off work) and finding lost stuff etc etc.  We got out to the car in just about enough time, albeit with a head injury for Youngest from him trying to enter the car door before it was properly opened ☹

Hubby and I managed to get Youngest into nursery and Eldest into his line for P2, but there were tears from one of Eldest’s classmates over a toy sword.  The pirate costumes have to be collated in the class today, and there was a bit of a clash of opinion as to whether toy weapons were allowed as part of them.  I tried to mediate, but then left it to the crying boy’s dad to sort out because I wasn’t getting anywhere and Eldest was beginning to become a little undiplomatic about me trying.  Sigh.

Hubby and I swung by home again, briefly, after we had waved Eldest in.  I generated today’s words and saved them to Facebook (privately) so that I could access them later.  Hubby and I were hoping to write and eat in a café again while Youngest was at nursery.  Unfortunately, there was a long queue at some temporary traffic lights, so it was getting on for ten to ten before we finally parked in the centre of town!!

From Randomwordgenerator

We made a quick detour to M&S to grab cake and cookies for our afternoon visitors, then we went to a nice café called ‘The Larder’ in town (the same place as I went on Wednesday with my pal, actually).  It was so nice to sit across from my husband and write again!  When we are retired, I am sure we will do this much more often 😉 I love cafés for the story potential – the ideas that come to me from snippets of conversation, a song playing that I have maybe not heard in a while, a word on the menu that reminds me of something in the past, a chance sighting of something interesting through the window…  Indeed, Hubby suggested that he sit with his back to the window and I get the perch with the best view.  He knows me so well, bless him!

I ended up writing about being on a diet, however.  Those who have joined me in a café recently will know that this does not currently apply to me (I prefer to just roughly keep track of the calories I consume over the day at the moment, rather than be a slave to ‘forbidden-ness’) but I can sympathise with the sentiment, having been on much stricter eating regimes before!                                                                                                               

How fitting for ‘cake’ to appear, eh?!  The generator must’ve listened to our plans…

 

 

Amuse  Battle  Cake  Asset  Grace  Physics  Trivial  Cope  Grimace

It does not amuse me

Seeing such delicious food

Offered, while I battle with my willpower.

 

Luscious cake, purring.

A menu: the greatest asset,

Weightier than gold.

 

My drooling; falling from grace

At the mere mention of cream!

 

Damn you, physics!

Trivial things like gravity

Pulling my stomach over the top of my jeans.

(‘Muffin Tops’ are not that yummy…)

 

Not sure how I’ll continue to cope,

I grimace;

And order salad…

 

The Pancake stack was Hubby’s (I had that with my friend last week!) but he couldn’t finish it all, so I did!  Soooo yummy!  I had a poached egg with some Black Pudding, so I was finding it hard to move when it was time to go 😉  we had a 15 minute walk around town, and bought some L44 round batteries as I was hoping to revive an old game I remembered I still had, when I found it searching for something else.  That’s the way of these things, isn’t it?!

We went back to collect Youngest, and made it just in time.  He had again drawn two pics of him in my tummy, but he wasn’t as proud of one because he said that he’d made a mistake drawing the right arm.  I didn’t get a picture of them, I’m afraid.  He gave both of them to my Grandma, despite telling me at first that she could only have the ‘weely good’ one.

We all had lunch, then Hubby went up to tap around on the computer for an hour or so.  I went and got the batteries, and took them up to the cupboard in Youngest’s room, where I had found my old Snoopy Tennis game from the 80s!  It still works, and it’s still pretty addictive…I got to over 500 points before I made myself walk away…!

I attacked the kitchen sides and hob, swept and vacuumed all the floors downstairs again (last night’s clean up job had been pretty tainted by this afternoon) and dusted the livingroom, the stairs and the landing.  I then cuddled Youngest until he fell asleep, before asking Hubby to move a few things upstairs for me.

Hubby also went and collected Eldest from school, which let me get on with cleaning the downstairs WC, and spot-cleaning the sticky bits off the kitchen floor.  I smartened myself up a bit, then cut up the goodies to have them ready for when the other adults arrived.  I had promised the kids cookies, but had warned them that the cake was for after dinner.  It was STICKY plus they’d get very high on it 😃

Eldest got his clothes changed and hands washed, then drew a nice ‘centipede monster’ for his Great Grandma.  I think she was touched that they had both given her something today.

My Grandma came with my Mum and Dad (she is my Dad’s mum) and brought me a Fuchsia! She is looking fab, as you can see in this pic.  She doesn’t look like she was 90 in January, does she?!

Over tea and yum (Mum brought us chocolatey bites, too!) we all discussed what the boys like to do in their free time, and what stage their learning is at.  Grandma and Dad reminisced about when Dad had to learn to write with a pen that one had to fill from a bottle of ink.  I can just imagine the mess our boys would manage with that…! I showed Grandma Eldest’s old P1 learning logs as she wondered what Youngest would be doing next year, and it also shows how much Eldest and I do together for school these days.

My Mum had taken the boys into the playroom at this stage, as the kids were in a moany/mischievous mood! The kids and I had made a ‘pinky promise’ that they would play a nice, sedate, game of cards (or two) with Grandma, but they decided when the time came that a board game would be better.  They settled on ‘The Pizza Game’ pretty quickly, and threw themselves into teaching their Great Grandma the rules…and she won!!

Unfortunately, the visit was soon over as Grandma likes dinner around 5pm, and to have it with us would have been chaotic at best!!  The boys cuddled everyone, then got a bit silly.  Their (especially Youngest’s) thing is to pretend to ‘web’ my parents’ car when they leave us, as if the kids are Spiderman!  Grandma was not aware of this, but she found it pretty amusing, I think!  The kids hung out of the door, firing imaginary webs at the older generations until they were faaaar down our street…

The boys calmed down and went to watch the tablet, while Hubby rustled up a pork dinner for us all, and I slunk off to do bloggy stuff, as usual!

After his bath, Youngest was very kind and smoothed aftersun into my poor back. Eldest refused, saying it was yucky, haha!

It was so nice to have Grandma over today, and to see the boys interacting with her very nicely (most of the time!).  We don’t get to see her more than twice a year, because she lives a good few hours’ drive away and we never want to inflict our rambunctious children on her neat bungalow and routine!  I love that the boys wanted to give her their artwork, Youngest decided at the last minute that he’d give the picture with the slightly wonky arm to her, too.  It’s nice to think of them hanging in her house and maybe making her smile thinking about their cheeky charms.

Grandma is the person who got me started knitting (and encouraged my crochet attempts), and I also used to love waking up in her old house, hearing the seagulls as we were close to the North Sea.  It is funny how many memories come flooding back as I look at her picture.  I am glad my kids enjoyed seeing her and have been asking so many questions about her this last week.  How generations work, and how other people live tickles them; and I love that members of the family spark their interest so much.

Happy sigh 😊

 

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Actuality

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »

Hello!

For today’s poem, I thought about reality, and future AI-type stuff.  The words made me, guv…

Actuality  Limitless  Bloke  Cinder  Back  Charismatic  Furry  Computation  Cube

What if this actuality

Was not fixed?

What if this current existence

Was limitless?

 

(But, of course,

It is)

 

I’m perched across from

A stunning bloke on the train,

He’s sat next to

Someone reading Cinder

 

And I’m back to my

Charismatic days

As a student,

Arguing my case in my head:

 

What if that adorable

Furry-headed pooch

(That pokes its inquisitive head

Out from her handbag)

In some actuality had

The benefits of computation –

Provided by an implanted chip –

And could save her life,

By yapping a certain number of times

And shooting Tasers?

 

(Cube numbers spinning

Behind those deep brown eyes…)

 

What indeed?!

 

Would we still be as comfortable?

Would we trust its resolve…?

 

I was looking for inspiration for using the word ‘cinder’ and the book came to my attention.  I think I’ll need to read it, it sounds a fab plot!  So that got me thinking about cyborgs, and all was going ok until I had to fit ‘cube’ in, so thank goodness for the internet simplifying things, eh?!

 

 

The boys’ reality was a good one today, being taken out by daddy again: to a different park, a wee jaunt along a beach, a kick about with the football and then to a café!  I stayed in and straightened things up in the house, as well as catching up on my posts a little.  I really need to sit and get them all edited up-to-date so I can relax a bit!!

Hubby went out and did a grocery shop, once he’d dropped the boys off with me, and I impressed Eldest by snipping off the ends of an old, holey, pair of tracksuit bottoms – in order to fashion some pirate trousers!  The whole school (including the nursery) are going to put on a show called ‘Pirates vs Mermaids’ and our boys have to dress up as the former.  I had hoped that Hubby would bring back cheap nautical-striped t-shirts from the supermarket, but when this plan failed, I found a red stripey top for Eldest (in the dirty laundry, of course) and rustled up a pair of striped PJ bottoms and a top with a skull on it for Youngest.

‘Cos I’m that good 😉

I then had to do a red load of washing to get them presentable for taking into school tomorrow…

Youngest snuggled into me and fell asleep, then I left him on the couch and sorted out the pictures Eldest wanted for his homework log.  Eldest was not the most enthusiastic participant when it came to writing a few captions, but we found ways of making it a quicker job, so he was ok in the end.

While Hubby made dinner (gotta love a man who can cook) I ran around tidying and vacuuming everywhere quickly, to try and let us start the week in a relatively organised state.  I also laid out everyone’s clothes for the morning, and made sure the pirate costume pieces that needed to be dried were popped in the machine.

I was really proud of Eldest, because Hubby printed off an article from the internet about the Arsenal victory yesterday and Eldest managed to pick out the main points, despite it being rather long!  It is really amazing how the last two years of school have honed his reading and listening skills.  The curriculum has had a lot about non-fiction this term, and Eldest really seems to be enjoying it 🙂

As a reward, we let the boys try on their ‘costumes’ quickly after they were clean (no suitable pictures, sorry).  There was lots of AAARRR and GRRR-ing, which was fun to watch!

Raaaawr…

Unfortunately, we found out just before the kids went to bed that Youngest had decided to draw a monster on the back of Eldest’s work, while Eldest was in the shower.  We all agreed that was a very good drawing of a monster, however, so we are sure the teacher won’t mind looking at him… Indeed, I see that the monster has curly hair like Youngest’s self-portraits!

So it’s been a pretty good day, and there are meringues and fruit with cream for supper 🙂 I hope, in actuality, you’ve had a great day too?

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Brash

Childhood, Parenting, Random Short Stories No Comments »

Hi 🙂

Today, I went for a wee scene instead of a poem:

Terrific  Brash  Insurance  Spark  Avoid  Mountain  Excellent  Slimy  Fretful

“That’s terrific!” Brad boomed, in his brash way; completely butting into my conversation.

I wondered if my insurance would cover me for any broken bones, from his accompanying bear-hug.

I caught the spark in Rueben’s eyes and, eager to avoid some jealous scene, I struggled out of Brad’s grip (not easy, as he always was a mountain of a man) and went to Reuben’s side.

“Excellent!” Reuben sneered “That saves her telling you then. Now, kindly keep your slimy hands off her.  She needs to be treated gently, in her condition.”

“What’s the matter, ‘Ben?! Afraid I’ll get her…overexcited?” Brad drawled, with a wicked grin in my direction.

The look that settled on Rueben’s face told me I was in for a fretful end to the evening…

 

I had forgotten how much I liked writing conversation!  My novel (that I keep talking about, but never finish) has a lot of characters bantering back and forth, and I missed them after writing the above.

Hmmm…

I have been reading work from mutual follows on Twitter, and I really do feel as if getting back into writing longer pieces might be fun.  It is the time it takes to write an extended piece, and the amount of space the characters take up in my bonce, that is daunting me!  I seriously worry that I will be trying to work plotlines through so much that I will become distracted, and do something silly when I am supposed to be looking after the kids.  My creativity does not sit within the designated lines.  Do you ever find that?!

Anyway, the above has got my brain ticking, so we’ll see what it comes up with 😉

Hubby took the kids out on their wheels, and then a walk via the little swing park near us.  The boys have cottoned on to the fact that I do not want to have their full faces on display on the blog, so have started doing really dramatic ‘turned away’ poses for us parent types, and telling each other off if they don’t do it correctly!!

So we have the boys not looking at us on their bike and scooter, a lovely faceless cuddle pic, one of Eldest scaling a rope wall, and a snap of Youngest (looking almost like he’s in pain) on a park activity!  These kids are hilarious sometimes, bless them!

I got to catch up on some writing, and the boys frolicked in the sunshine, so we were all mostly happy.  Hubby watched the Aberdeen vs Celtic game, and then made dinner.  I read two chapters of ‘Five On a Hike Together’ to keep the boys out of his way.  I love how both our kids always give me a wee synopsis of the story so far before we start a new chapter, and also when they ponder why the children in the story so rarely spend any time with their parents, between boarding school and risky adventures. 

Eldest points out that they must miss all their cuddles…

As it is Saturday, it was our family meal of chilli-for-the-boys and steak pie with mash for me.  As usual, the children and their place-settings were covered in tomato-y bits of meat and rice by the end of it.  Thankfully we have set aside ‘chilli mats’ for this purpose, and always provide our lil mucky pups with a terry towel to cover their clothes…! They have looooved daddy’s chilli since about 8 months old 😉

The Arsenal game was the big pull after dinner, so I slunk off and hung some washing and wrote a bit more.  There were happy faces when Arsenal won!!

Eldest was a star and still did his homework (on how one writes time from a digital clock) when he had finished watching telly; then it was bathtime, supper, and another 2 chapters of the Famous Five; before our cheeky chappies finally conked out.

I uncovered a great mystery of my own this evening: our ice packs seem to have disappeared?! Hubby slathered E45 cream all over my sunburn for me, but refrigerated drinks bottles rolled across my back were a poor substitute for an icy compress.  Can’t think what we’ve done with them…I predict they (and some aloe vera!) will be on the shopping list for tomorrow.

It may be a pretty uncomfortable night…

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

The Disappearing Village

Childhood, Mental Health, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hey there 🙂

Today was scorching!  I thought yesterday was hot, phew!  We walked down to the school this morning, and I did not need a jacket, but tied a fleece around my hips, anyway.  Old habits, etc…

I actually made the decision to have my arms out in a vest top, which I never do, but it was to get up to 25 degrees today!  I put on factor 50 a few times over the day, but unfortunately I missed a bit across the back of my shoulders (black bra strap – bad idea…) and now I am sporting very ouchy red patches!!

The heat affected Youngest on the way home from nursery, after his long walk this morning and frolics in the nursery back garden. He got in the buggy and fell asleep about a third of the way home!  It was then a huge saga trying to wake him up and get him out of his mucky clothes so that he could have his lunch.  He spent 45 minutes lying on the floor refusing to budge, while I ran about tidying, shoving laundry on and putting our food together.  Then Youngest got up and became his amiable self again: throwing his dirty clothes in the basket, changing his own pull-up, washing his hands and scrubbing his nails with the ‘brush 😉

Youngest took ages to fall asleep in the buggy on the way to collect Eldest but, once he was sleeping, he slumbered  through me chatting to Eldest’s teacher; and Eldest gambolling about telling me about his day on the way home, as he usually does.  I put more cream on Eldest, though I could see that he had put some on the back of his neck at lunchtime, which made me very proud!  His teacher said they have been teaching them about sun safety.

Youngest was popped on the couch when we got home, and Eldest sorted himself out with comfy clothes, and grabbed the tablet while I shoved the coffee table up against the couch so Youngest wouldn’t tumble off, then went for a very quick shower to cool down (that’s when I noticed the sunburn!)  My parents did not visit us today, because they are hoping to come and see us with my Grandma on Monday.  This freed me up a bit because I did not have to do any tidying up.  It also meant I could just collapse into the couch and keep an eye on Youngest after my shower (and an ear on what Eldest was up to) while I read some fan fiction on a blog from one of my Twitter followers.

 

 

When I saw ‘village’ as the first of today’s words, I immediately thought back to those early days of babyhood, and the whole tug-of-war between being everything to the child at that time, and yet each ‘experienced’ person I met seeming to imply that one can spoil babies with too much love; and should make them as independent as possible, very early.

 

Village  Five  Gimmick  Glamour  Cold  Pin  Wept  Controversial  Freakish

 

“It takes a village” they say

But ‘they’

Are not around at five in the morning.

 

It is all very well

To spout the gimmick-like phrase

And point out how

It’s not all glamour

(Like I hadn’t guessed)

But I’m living it,

And there’s no end in sight…

 

I’m not asking

For no-one to take the child

Unless they prise him

From my cold, dead hand.

Don’t pin that on me!

 

I have wept about this

Many times and

(This may be controversial)

Although I NEED a break,

My son has needs, too.

 

It’s not that freakish a concept.

 

I’m not trying to smother him

In maternal love,

He’s a baby

And it’s me he cries for most.

 

Mothers should, apparently, hand the baby over to other people to get the kid used to not always being with the sole carer – but first get bubs into a fixed sleeping routine to make it easy for those ‘other people’, show these kids at every step of the way that they are here to fit into adults’ ideals. Not to flail out of line or need extra attention.

The NHS recommend sleeping in the same room as your child for at least the first six months, but do not seem to like the idea of having a child share a bed with any caregiver, being quick to point out the risks and not highlighting the safest way to co-sleep after that. 

Needing someone to hold in the night should be stamped out of us as quickly as possible, of course…

Then there are the WHO guidelines that state that a mother should consider breastfeeding until 2 years of age (exclusively til 6 months, then with other foods).  The reality, in the west, is that that advice is a double-edged sword.  If there are feeding problems, it seems like an impossible goal, because formula is pushed while women are at their most vulnerable.  If a mother does manage to get to breastfeed for the magic two years, she is seen by most in society as a bit strange and ‘only doing it for themselves’ (which is ludicrous because watching a mum feeding a toddler, while the child appears to be doing complicated yoga poses at the breast, would put paid to that notion in a heartbeat!). 

Also, it is common (and desirable) for mothers to return to work while the child still feeds regularly during the day, and therefore the mother requires facilities to pump milk (which is not always provided adequately) or the opportunity to visit their child in their childcare environment, during the working day, to feed them (which is also rarely possible).  Of course, cows’ milk powder fits better into this ‘village’ idea:  “How can a mother expect support if the child can only be fed by one person?! Do they not want a life…?”

Sigh.

Then there are the people (Daily Mail article alert!) who say that a mother’s milk after the baby stage holds no nutritional or developmental value for the child.  As a species, the natural weaning age for human young is between 2 and 7 years old.  This is why our first teeth are called ‘milk teeth’ and do not fall out until we have started school.  There are many benefits to natural-term weaning for the child.

I have learned not to go into much detail about me ‘still’ feeding Youngest, however.  If I do, I must be trying to make other people feel guilty, or (worse) be pampered and have no ambition in life.  Though I personally think the comfort and connection I have provided through breastfeeding has helped to grow Youngest into a very capable, verbal, empathetic and sociable individual, who is confident when away from me…it’s not something all women can or want to do, and I respect that.

Eldest has a strong bond with me, too, even though he was mostly given formula due to our birth experience (and subsequently refused the breast from eight months and even the taste of my milk in a bottle by ten months). 

I didn’t sleep train him (but he slept all night in his own room from 2.5 years old)

I didn’t aggressively potty train him (but he was still dry, day and night, before he started school) 

I never fed him pureed food, or worried about how much he was getting – he fed himself real (minimal salt) foods from when he was six months old, and ate loads, well before he was one. 

All of this was untidy (so too was the house!), and most of this was child-led.  This meant I rarely left the children’s side.

Thankfully, I didn’t have a job outside of the home.  Hat’s off to those who manage to stick to similar parenting regimes and attend (paid) work!  The Daily Mail would say that if my kids have been advantaged by this approach, it’s because I am middle class and reasonably well educated, not because any of this is what our kids actually prefer, of course…

So the ‘village’ idea, for me, is a distorted one.  In the west, if a mother chooses to embrace the messy schedules that babies naturally keep, she is fairly isolated.  She is made to feel that in some way she has failed, right at the beginning of her journey.  Other people rarely offer to carry a baby in a sling so that the baby feels safe and secure while the mother get things done, or to take the baby overnight with the promise that they will be kept warm against the caregiver – and that the caregiver will be fine with numerous wake-ups.  It would not even cross many people’s minds to offer that!

In some cultures, this is exactly how a ‘village’ operates, however.  Children are looked after by everyone, there is a parenting practice consensus.  Kids are carried on the guardian’s body, so are part of the working day, families sleep as units and everyone invests in the community.  In the west, we seem to view this as a ‘primitive’ way of life, but still want to use the phrase!  If a mother wanted this kind of support in the west on a regular basis, she would have to employ a nanny – and search hard to find one that is comfortable putting the baby at the centre of any childcare decisions!

I probably have the closest I could ever get to the ideal, it must be said, as I live in a small community; and have done for the past decade.  I have met some amazing mums here, and we have shared our highs and lows a LOT in the last seven years.  I do not drive, and there has been many a lift offered and things dropped off or picked up by these fabulous people.

I could have utilised this support network a lot more had I been backed up by the medical profession, however.  I slipped into a twilight world for swathes of my parenting journey, and spent a lot of time on the fringes barely functioning, when I should have been out there making even better memories.  It was not all a result of my parenting choices, and others have said the same.

Seven years in, however, I do feel I have come a long way as a mum.  There are still things to learn and many many challenges to overcome in the future, but I think the foundations are there for me to be able to handle things as the kids get bigger.

To any mums out there who are reading this and feeling isolated and/or like they are not doing their best – I send such huge hugs to you.  Babies have not fundamentally changed, but society’s expectations of mothers fluctuate with the times.

In the age of overwhelming information, it is still valid to listen to your heart and do what works for you.  You don’t need to answer to anyone’s ideal.  Not even your own before you had that squalling bundle and realised what the reality of parenting actually looks, feels (and smells!!) like.  I hope that you are given all the support that you need and, if you are not, you go out and meet the angels who will try to fill in the gaps for you!

We are given instincts for a reason, and I find it sad that we are asked to ignore them so much when doing something as important as bringing up the next generation.  There are all kinds of mothers with all kinds of tolerance levels, and some babies naturally sleep longer than others, etc etc…but fundamentally: holding and loving that child is never the wrong thing to do, no matter what time of the night they want you to do it! If your instincts are telling you to go to that kid, go.  Their brain development and your lifelong parenting relationship, actually depend on it 😉

 

 

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Cold Collar Cats

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »

Hello!

Unusually for Scotland, it was a very warm day.  Of course, the RandomLists Generator decided I should write about rain…

 

Rain  Calculate  Bump  Payment  Collar  Approval  Magical  Applaud  Lonely

 

Rain rivulets rush,

Cats calculate calamity;

Bump birdbox bad-temperedly.

(Prowling payment pursued,

‘Cos collar cold)

 

Awaiting anthropoid approval:

Magical moist moggies…

 

(Applaud avicidal acts,

Lest left lonely…)

 

I do not have any cats, but I have heard tell of many less-than-desirable ‘presents’ being left for cat owners!  Have you any cat stories to share with me in the comments?

The first line popped into my head and then I ‘had’ to go with the three words, starting with the same letter, format for each line after that. 

I am aware the third one cheats a little 😉

The lovely weather today coincided with ‘outdoor classroom day’ for the school campus.  Youngest was apparently enjoying time with the P6 pupils (who are going to be buddying the new primary ones in August, so are hanging out with all the nursery kids) building dens for an hour.  The wee scone has eczema in the crooks of his elbows, and has big plasters he doesn’t like showing off…so he kept his jumper on all morning!  Let’s just say that wee bonce had some tight curls when I went to pick him up 😉  he did lose a plaster when he eventually took his layers off on the way home, so he is actually a wise wee soul!

Youngest came and had a short cuddly nap with me on the couch again, and I had to take his top off him after a while because he was melting!  Brought back memories of the summer days in 2013, when he was tiny and I carried him around in the wrap a lot 😉

Eldest had caught the sun, and drunk all of his school water bottle, when we collected him.  He’d had gym and other activities, so had spent a good while out in the weather.  I was glad I had slathered factor 50 all over him and sent him to school wearing a hat!

The main highlight of the day for me was seeing our boys with other P2 kids, zooming about with the footballs again.  They really do enjoy a kickabout with daddy!  We had to cut it short because Hubby had to get back to work, but they were thoroughly tired out by then, so there were no huge arguments.

Everything just seems more relaxed when it’s sunny, doesn’t it?!  I find it so hard to imagine nice days  when the wind is trying to tear my hair off, and my glasses beg their own wipers on the school run!  It always surprises me when I don’t need my heavy jacket to battle the elements. 

Yaaay for however many days of ‘Summer’ we get this year!

 

 

 

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!