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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You are the Apples of My Eye and I Love You

appleI love my sweet apples.

Apples with skin on or naked? The results of this poll will determine how I eat apples for the rest of my days. That is, if I can get more than 10 apple lovers to respond to this post.

The reason I’m asking is because recently my son who is 5 has asked to have his apple a la natural. I know the facts about apple skins and how many nutrients are crammed into its natural packaging. My concern is what I can’t see and what I can feel. Apples are naturally coated in a wax to make them shiny and appealing to the eye. Goodness only knows what attaches itself to the wax or what was already on the apple before it was coated.

It would be safe to assume that everyone has heard the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ since it has been around for nearly 150 years. As a side note I was interested to learn from phrases.org that the original version was, ‘eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread,’ which was a Pembrokeshire proverb. I think I can safely assume that eating an apple, skin or not, is better than not eating the apple at all.

The apple skin debate raged for about 5 minutes in our home. Personally I’m of the opinion that Master 5 has alterior motives (when did he learn manipulation skills?). Wobbly teeth season hit our place at about the same time as the request for skin left on. I think he’s looking at having the ledger in his favour with the tooth fairy. Not exactly a get-rich-quick-scheme but one way or another he’ll get to eat his apple. Lucky he’s not William Tell’s son otherwise that apple would have an arrow smack-bang through the middle of it.

So whether you and your kids prefer their Granny to their Pink Lady, be a sweetie and weigh in on the debate below.

I love you every day! How do ya like dem apples?

Image from: here.

I Love You Kids

goats kidsNo kidding! I do love you.

Ok, I’ll put all goat/kid jokes aside for the express purpose of your reading pleasure plus your inward groans will accompany me into the wee hours otherwise.

Have you ever noticed the similarities between a kid and a child? Seriously! There’s many that can’t be overlooked. When I started thinking about it the more I questioned whether baby goats were named kids first or whether we call children kids frequently because they resemble a baby goat in behaviour.

I recently saw a ‘Parenting test’ on FB that suggested yet-to-be-parents take a goat into the store when buying groceries. ‘Be sure to pay for everything the goat eats,’ was the key to that little test. I can imagine taking a goat and being banned from the store for life. I wonder if children ever get banned?

My kids seem to think they are goats of the mountain variety and will try and scale a vertical surface to perch on a ledge at the top. ‘You think that’s a good idea? Don’t you watch the goats? They fall off you know!’ It’s a fact that mountain goats don’t live as long as their flat dwelling cousins.

Baby goats are all legs. The way that they jump in the middle of running is nothing short of funny. Young children don’t walk anywhere. They run, hop, skip, jump, turn circles, side step and prance like a horse from point A to point B.

A goat’s call is ‘maa.’ Some kids call their mum the same. Female goats can be called nannies. Hmmm?

Goats can be very stubborn creatures. Ditto for my boys.

And what’s with the headbutting? We may lock horns once in a while but I love my kids.

Drop me a line or two about how kids are goat-like. It’d be great to hear your stories especially if they feature kids called Billy.

I kid you not-I love you.

Image from: here.

I Love You Anyway

anywayAnytime, anywhere, anyhow.

Anywhere you go, my love will follow you.

Anytime you need a shoulder, please lean on mine.

Anything you need, just ask.

There isn’t anyone who loves you more than I do.

I’ll love you in anyplace-first, second or last.

My heart is full of love for you. Anymore and it will overflow.

That’s a known fact, anyhow!

Anyway you look at it, I love you.

I Love You. You’re a Star!

I love gazing at the stars with the kids.

It feels like forever since we’ve had the chance to do so. The kids are normally off in dreamland after being sprinkled with cosmic dust before the stars begin to twinkle. It’s daylight savings time here for another month before the sun will start to set earlier. Maybe then we’ll have a chance to put the rug out on the lawn and stare at the Milky Way. We love watching for shooting stars, finding the saucepan and the Southern Cross and talking about the galaxy and constellations.

star

On another tangent completely, when we arrived at school this morning my son, who is in reception, found out he was to be the ‘star of the day.’ It’s his first turn this year and being the star carries with it a great deal of responsibility and privilege. The ‘star’ also has a helper who assists them with their duties. The ‘star of the day’ may as well be called ‘teacher’s dogsbody’ or ‘slave’ but to my son he was as close to feeling like the master of the universe as he ever will. His little chest puffed up with pride and it’s the first time this year I’ve had to ask for a kiss and hug before I leave.

In the end I think it’s all about perspective. He’s a star if only for a day in the classroom but he’ll always be a star to me. He’s the brightest star shining in my galaxy. I’m there to make sure he understands that and I hope one day he’ll hold me in the same regard.

Reach up my twinkle, twinkle, little star. Remember I love you even if you can’t quite reach them.

When was the last time you stargazed? Too long? Maybe you can tonight when the moon orbits into your part of the world.

Image from: here.

I Love Playdough and You

playdoughSquish it, mold it, roll it, love it!

My 2 y.o is having an affair of the heart with playdough.

It’s a daily activity at our place at the moment. Whether I’m home or he has one of the two wonderful Nan’s caring for him in our home, playdough features in his play schedule.

He can happily play with the squishy stuff for an hour or so. Other days he’s happy to have a short rendezvous with the containers of moldable mix.

I enjoy playing with the little guy as he bakes and makes all types of edible delights. The hotdogs, apples and biscuits in an array of colours must look so delectable because he has been known to eat his creations. Now we’re down to just the occasional lick. Thank goodness he’s only ensuring he has appropriate salt levels.

I appreciate that he is developing his fine motor skills as he rolls and shapes. He has a bundle of fun but like most children his age he shows little desire to pack up and abandons his first love in a heart beat. I always ask him to come and clean up and put away all the tools of his trade. The smile it puts on his dial is worth the mess that he makes. Mum’s left with the cast off blobs and bits that make a mini rainbow when collected together. I do love the fact that the easiest way to pick up playdough is with playdough.

So the playdough that was also a favourite for my eldest in the past,  has entertained, amused, delighted and allowed itself to be loved many times over is now looking a little worse for wear. Colours have morphed together, there’s ripples of  green through the red, some are a little crusty edged and many have collected other debris, like crumbs and hair from the kitchen table or floor.

The playdough will continue to be loved until the end of days or until replaced with the dreaded plasticene.

I’m feeling the love for the coloured balls of fun.

Image from: here.

I Love You Both Equally

equalI love both my kids equally.

Out loud, behind closed doors and between my own ears.

They deserve nothing less.

I find it difficult to imagine what life would be like if I had a favourite even if it were only a thought and shared with no-one on the entire planet. That would still affect the way I parent each child. Favouritism would sneak through the cracks even if I tried to stop it.

How can you compare two different people? My boys are chalk and cheese. We had one for Mum, one for Dad and stopped right there (not one for the country-sorry). The eldest is the male equivalent of me in features and temperament. Our youngest is Daddy’s boy through and through. There are times when we see the similarities between them but there are far more differences.

Having said all this I find the youngest easier to ‘deal with’. Maybe it’s because he is second and he has learnt a lot (good and bad) from his brother. He worked out early on what happens if you draw on walls, pick your nose or use your manners. It doesn’t mean that he hasn’t grafittied, used his index finger to remove a boogie or forgotten to say ‘please’. He’s just learnt faster because he’s seen his dad and I communicate with the eldest and picked up the cues.

My youngest is more easy going compared to his sibling who is orderly, precise and a tad high strung. My love for them remains equal though because their personality traits don’t decide what portion of love they get. In fact it’s not even love divided by two. It’s love times two. My one heart is enough to fill both of theirs.

I will never have a favourite.

Mum = Love x 2 in this house.

Image from: here.