Friday, 28 September 2012

If you saw me today

I would have been the one at 3.12pm rushing into the playground carrying my less than happy two-and-a-half year old son.

The mum that had an unintentional side pony and smudged mascara.

The one that was thrilled that school was three minutes late letting the kids out because she'd fallen asleep on the sofa with said two year old following a 4am wake up.

But I would also be the one craning to see her big girl in the queue waiting for a hug.

The one who didn't notice she was a mess until a lot later.

But who got to notice this sticker first.

Yes, that would be a sticker from "the sticker lady", aka headteacher.

And yes, this would be one incredibly proud mum. 

You see, she doesn't tell me too much about her days right after school. But this was big news. She was SO pleased that the head teacher had been told about her being particularly kind. 

And she is. Innately kind. Even when I tell her no she can't have another chocolate after school, and she stamps her foot and yells "Well you're not invited to my party any more!". Once I laugh, and ask "How will you have a party then, if your mummy isn't there?", and then she smiles and tells me in her sweetest voice that I can come...even then. Because I know she's four. And that as an adult I struggle with emotions, so does she. 

We got cross at each other yesterday.

I'm not proud. But I gave her a minute to calm down and I went to her room and held her close. That really is an amazing way to get rid of stress. 

I said I thought I knew why she was a bit grumpy. She clearly hadn't been having enough cuddles with me now she was so busy with school. And when she looked up into my eyes, smiling, and told me she thought that was it, that made my heart happy. And we hugged for a good long time. 

And maybe I'm a little overly emotional tonight, because she is being really grown up and having a sleep over with grandma and grandpa, and it always feels strange having an empty bed. I don't know if that ever stops being strange!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

a few good things

Izzy has been pretty good at settling at school. Though she has cried a few times when I've left her. So when she got home from school after one of these occasions I spoke to her about it: all the things she loved and looked forward to. And how if she likes all of these there's no need to cry.

She agreed, but quietly said: "Mummy, do you know why I cry? It's just because I love you so much." She said it so honestly and openly I couldn't help but squeeze her tight. Realising that she cried because she'll miss me, and not because she doesn't like school, that's actually a good thing.

I'm now working properly-ish. Andy's work needed a writer, so I am it. An extra fifteen or so hours working from home a week is a lot while balancing it with being a stay at home mum. But it feels great to be able to contribute to our savings. It makes the dream of owning our own home all the more realistic. And I'm writing! It's not always interesting, but it's something I love.

Having less free time on an evening is meaning that Andy and I are actually having more quality time together. Enjoying those precious moments when it's just the two of us has meant that I find myself wanting to be a better wife to him. I'm finding less excuses to get cross, or complain about dirty socks on the floor. I'm actually enjoying finding bits of his day while he's at work. Like Izzy's hair clip in his church shirt pocket, or his mug from the night before; which reminds me that he's getting a cold, and has me that I should make something easy to swallow for dinner. 

And though I am far from an ideal wife; I get frustrated, am short with him, forget to wash his shirts and moan that he needs a shave. But I want to remember that right now were getting better at appreciating each other. And that feels good.

Ethan is amazing me everyday. 

He is developing so fast, and I love who he is. At the play area this week a girl was crying and he stopped in his tracks to see what was wrong, then ran to me to tell me worriedly what was happening. His concern and awareness of others makes me awe at this sweet little boy I have been blessed with. From worry about how litter on the floor might have gotten there, to a little beetle he saw at the woods last week. He and Izzy were fascinated watching a beetle try again and again as it tried to climb up a small incline, worried that he might not make it into his home. 

They waited for a good ten minutes to make sure, and when they saw a rather squashed beetle on the path, they asked me to put it near the other one so it could be made better. I, of course could not refuse, though I did have to use a leaf and not my hands. I'm not yet that brave!

There is a lot weighing on my mind. Ways I should be doing better, things that aren't getting done and let's not talk about my kitchen. Things which could (and do!) cause stress. But right now, I'm going to dwell on these simple things. The things that are good and well in our little world. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

letting go

I'm struggling to put my feelings into words for this, but I'll try. This week I was immensely proud of my little girl.

I also sobbed silently for the loss I felt after I left her in her classroom on that first day. 

I'm sad that she is going to have other people who I don't really know influence her everyday. And that she wont be around me for a huge part of our week.

I think that the hardest thing is that she is ready. She has been with me for the majority of all her four and a half years. But it's hard for me to know that she doesn't need me for most of her day. 

That she also wont have me around for some of her most difficult emotional, physical and social situations. That's hard for me to deal with.

But I know she'll rock it. 

That as much as want to be there for her through those tricky times, that me not being there all the time will be what's best for her.

And I just have to trust that we've taught her well enough so far, or that she's been able to develop enough as a person, to deal with anything she comes up against. 

But if I know her half as well as I think I do, she's going to be amazing. 

And I can deal with the the emotions that come with it. 

In fact I have been so proud of the way she is already showing herself. She came home on her first day and told me about a girl in her class who had something special on her head and couldn't hear very well. I'd actually seen her on the way out, as she'd left the same time as Izzy. I explained that her ears didn't work the same as mine and hers, and that the things on her head helped her hear better. (in fact, that's actually all I know!) She has shown a beautiful, childlike curiosity of this girl. But more than that, she really likes her. 

It is so wonderful to see how Izzy sees this girl who talks with her hands with fascination and awe. She has been learning sign language too, and comes home showing me what she's observed and what she thinks it means. And I've been teaching her a few things too. 

Izzy is so sweet, gentle and loving. And it's amazing for me as a parent to see that in action, not prompted to include someone who could be left out, or encouraged to learn more. Just that she wanted to, and is the sort of person who would. 

That makes me immensely proud of her, not because I've taught her that, but because I get to be a part of this wonderful child's life. To shape her into the best version of her that she can be. And that is an epic responsibility. But she is so much more than worth it. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Our last few days of summer

Were spent enjoying playing. Brother and sister.

I took the kids to a shopping centre and let them play in the toy shop as long as they wanted. 

I decided not to stress about all the toys they took on and off the shelves, or think about "wasted" time. But let them just enjoy being kids. 


We ate pizza, played on ride ons and went in the park twice. 

And they didn't care that I didn't buy any toys in the toy shop. Or that the motorbikes weren't moving. Their imagination was active enough.

I even took Izzy into a really overpriced shoe shop so she could look at all the pretty, if one hundred and fifty pounds worth, shoes. She loved it, and didn't notice the sales assistants who clearly didn't.

Oh, and did I mention that they were precious and sweet - and even after six weeks which included plenty of fights, not sharing, tantrums and shouts - I didn't want them to go to school.

It has been a hard, but also a really beautiful summer with them. They're really growing. And so am I.