Love in Hindsight II

In the first post of this series, I reflected on my teaching career.

Teaching has been a big part of my life, spanning nearly two decades. What I didn’t know back then was how much I was learning about myself as a person and a future parent as I learnt to teach.

Over the years I have met as many different kinds of parents as I have students. Parent teacher interviews always afforded an insight into the children’s personalities, home life and behaviour. It also led to a deeper understanding, at times, leaving me with the saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ swirling inside my brain.

These parents came from all walks of life. There were those that had little but provided an abundance of love and support. The type of parents who expected the best from, and for, their child were in abundance. The couldn’t-care-less approach was adopted by the minority.

I saw parents arrive holding their little one’s hand and helping them prepare for the day. They fostered their independence but assisted them if need be. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents arrive early and stand chatting until the bell went-always there to greet their child with a warm hug and a kiss at the end of their day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents only to willing to help out at school. They were never too busy to lend a hand, listen to reading or applaud their child when they received an award at assembly or sports day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents rush their kids to the car, in a hurry to get to that appointment or sports practice. ‘Get in the car, now,’ they’d say through gritted teeth. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I saw grandparents bring their children’s children to school every day of the week. Some of their circumstances necessitated this, of that I was sure. I vowed not to be that type of parent as long as I could help it.

I saw parents ‘drag their kids up’ rather than raise them, some showing their children that they were a burden rather than a privilege. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be.

Like most non-parents I stood in judgment of all other parents, keeping my thoughts to myself. Somehow I was of the conclusion that my teaching degree gave me an understanding of children that non-teaching parents didn’t have.

So here I sit, with two gorgeous boys who are now 6 and 3.

All I can say now is….

as they continue to grow, the more I need to know.

And I still have visions of the type of parent I want to become.

To be continued.

Image from: here.

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I Love You Shadow

shadowYou are my shadow and I love you.

There’s only one small problem with that. You afford me little to no privacy. You’re never quiet and always in constant motion even if I’d like to stop just for a moment.

Shadowing is something I have had to get used to. It won’t last forever so I’ll remain grateful that you always show an interest in what I’m doing. Yes, even when I go to toilet and you rest your head on my lap.

I actually worry now when my shadow slips away from me. He is fast and ingenious knowing that the window of opportunity to create havoc is only open for a limited time. My shadow will try and sneak snacks from the cupboard, use scissors to cut something up into infinitesimal pieces or disappear without out a trace leaving me to comb the house and cajole him into rejoining me.

When night falls and it’s time to hit the hay, my shadow loves me making shadow puppets on the wall. The rabbit and the duck are favourites right now. As long as he doesn’t ask me to try and do a dinosaur we’ll be ok.

My shadow will eventually be content to cast his own shadow and that’ll leave me humming:

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Oh, me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to
And when it’s twelve o’clock we climb the stairs
We never knock ’cause nobody’s there
Just me and my shadow
All alone and feeling blue

I love my little shadow.

Image from: here.

I Love You Full Stop

stop pleaseI do love you but please STOP!

Today I decided to count the amount of times I said stop to either of my boys. 23 times. 23! Here are just a few:

  • ‘Stop jumping on the lounge, thankyou.’
  • ‘Please stop doing that.’
  • ‘Stop it. Your brother doesn’t want you on top of him.’
  • ‘That’s enough. It’s time to stop now.’
  • ‘No more lollies now. You need to stop or you’ll be sick.
  • ‘Stop wriggling. I need to wipe your hands.’
  • ‘You need to stop now and pack up. We’re going home.’

I don’t think they heard any other word with the same frequency, with the possible exception of the word ‘no’. I certainly didn’t tell them I loved them 23 times today. The only thought that gave me any solace was that I cancelled out the ‘stops’ with positive comments. Praising them as many times as they were asked to refrain from doing something made me feel a little better.

Using the word so often made me realise how often we see, hear or say it in our adult world. The ‘s’ word features in/on:

  • TV shows, ‘Stop! Police!’
  • advertisements, ‘Stop everything! Come in for 50% off store-wide.’
  • road signs (of course we need these ones)
  • radio, songs like, ‘Stop. Hammertime.’, ‘Stop Right Now’, ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’, ‘Stop! In the Name of Love.’

I also noticed that it tends to lose its effectiveness the more often the kids hear it. It begins to fall on deaf ears. So I made a decision today. I’m going to try singing my stop instructions to them tomorrow. At the very least I’ll probably get their attention because they’ll think that Mum has lost her marbles. They’ll probably double over with laughter but they will have also stopped doing whatever it was they were doing.

I love my kids when they stop if asked to. They’ll probably be asking me to stop singing tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!