I Love You in French

frenchFrench was on the language menu for my eldest today.

It was quite hot so we spent the better part of it inside. We did numerous jobs interspersed with fun activities. My daily post is always at the back of my mind and I was contemplating what to write today when I decided that my son and I could use the laptop for something other than blogging or playing games.

I thought it might be interesting to learn ‘I love you’ in another language. I chose French for obvious reasons-it’s the language of love and Paris is supposed to be one of the most love-filled cities in the world. We’ve already covered German so I thought we wouldn’t travel too far from there.

We looked at where France is on an interactive globe we have here at home. We listened to the pronunciation and wrote it down once we’d looked it up on Google. We practised drawing heart shapes and then coloured them in. We used it in conversation throughout the day instead of our customary ‘I love you’s’.

It was fairly basic stuff but he really seemed to enjoy it. I enjoyed it too-connecting with my No. 1 today and learning something together.

Un grand ‘baiser français de air sur les deux joues de moi à vous (A big French ‘mwah’ air kiss on both cheeks from me to you).

Je T’aime my beautiful boy.

Image from: here.

I Have a Ball Loving You

How much do I love you?

string woolHow long is a piece of string? Twice the length of half the piece of string (apparently).

You can’t measure the love a parent has for their child. Not in any mathematical way. It can’t be measured in money, buckets, with tape measures or calculators. It’s timeless, shapeless and follows no formula. Roman numerals cannot express it and a protractor, compass or scales won’t be of any help either.

Your love for your kids has no definable dimensions-it’s like being tied up in knots. Where’s the beginning and the end?

Maybe it could be measured by how much kids can string us out or by the years that children have their parents’ hearts on a string. Between now and your child cutting those apron strings there’ll probably be times when  you’d like to string ’em up. Sure they’ll happily string along with you now because you control the purse strings. Teaching them to have more than one string to their fiddle or maybe pulling a few strings will hopefully see them have a string of good luck well into adulthood.

For mine the latch string will always be out. They’ll always be welcome as long as they don’t string out their stay.

Thanks for the yarn everyone. Oh, and if you’d like to add anything that can’t be used to measure love, I’ll have a ball reading them all.

I love my boys-no strings attached!

Image from: here.

I Love You Up Hill and Down Dale

hill and dale

I’d climb every mountain-that’s how much I love you.

WARNING: the following contains references to The Sound of Music so if you’re not a fan it’s probably best if you scroll down to the next post. If you are an avid lover of everything related to the Von Trapp’s I’ll apologise now for my attempt at humour.

My boys, husband and I love where we live. We have nature on our doorstep and a view of hills and trees that we try to remember to stop and notice out of the picture windows at the back of our home.

Our hills aren’t alive with the sound of music though. Not unless you count the neighbours across the paddock blaring out, ‘you shook me all night long’ from the truck’s cab when he gets home from work. Then again, we do have kookaburras that frequent our yard, no traffic noise to speak of and the rooster up the hill that Master 2 refers to as the cockle coo.

We don’t sing and dance our way through long grass on hilltops. We race to the top instead and roll down the hill like tumbleweed.

I don’t have any girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes at my humble abode but I do have:

Boys who love digging and playing with trains

Trucks by the boxful and shirts full of stains

Loud little voices and a toddler who clings

These are a few of my favourite things!

And please don’t ask me to sing it. The closest I come to being like Maria is that my middle name is Marie.

Until the sun rises tomorrow: so long, farewell, Aufwiedersehen, goodbye! Luv ya lots.

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.

I Love Your Socks Off

socks boys I love my boys for socks sake!

Socks make me think of numerous different things about my boys.

When Alpha male arrives home from work he disrobes his feet the moment he sits down. Sometimes they will be balled up and chucked around the room. Even worse still is when one of the kids falls victim to having said socks shoved in their face as they roll around on the ground trying desperately to flee the stinky socks.

Sweaty socks are discarded at the end of the school day for Beta boy. Kappa boy likes transporting half the sandpit inside in his socks (how does the sand get inside the socks?) and taking them off himself to leave a little sand dune in the middle of the carpet.

Socks inside out when it’s time to wash drive me bonkers. Don’t even get me started on toe jam especially with new socks.

On a lighter note, there are all sorts of ‘sock’ sayings too. ‘Bless your cotton socks!’ ‘Sock it to me.’ ‘Stick a sock in it.’ ‘Pull your socks up.’ ‘Knock your socks off.’

My favourite though is the fact that close and wonderful friends of ours, colloquially and affectionately, refer to our family as the ‘Socks’. The first letter of each of our first names spells sock. Hubby’s is the first letter, I’m the last and the kids are in between. We call their posse the ‘beep’ family and, coincidentally, they’re in the same order as us.

Now that I’ve bored your socks off (I know, I know, it’s supposed to be pants).  I’ll leave you in peace to enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Any shocking sock stories to share? Just wanting to vent about odd/lost/missing socks? I’d love to have a yarn with you.

I’ll be here, darning the holes in the boys socks. Gotta love ’em.

Image from: here.

I Love You Shorty

shortyShort and sweet, I love you.

As my youngest fast approaches being the same height as his older brother it is becoming clear to the eldest that he is not going to be a ‘tall grown-up’. He is on the smaller side compared to some of his classmates. I hear your cries, ‘don’t compare your child to others.’ The problem lies herein. I have no issues with his somewhat lack of vertical development. My son has begun to notice that he doesn’t measure up in the….well….measuring department.

We have conversations about differences between people. Eye, hair and skin colour, where people live, what we eat, etc. Maybe I can sprinkle some magic growth dust on him as he sleeps or have him think tall thoughts. It doesn’t matter to me one iota how tall me may end up. I know I’d rather not give him the standard line that good things come in small packages. I’d just like him to be ‘okay’ with who he is and hopefully not blame ‘Mum’s genes’ for his stature in the height ratings.

I mean I love him just the way he is. I hope he will learn to love himself the way he is over the years with my help.

That’s my short, sharp and shiny post for today.

The long and short of it…I love you short stuff!

Image from: here.

I Love You Bugging Me

Oh Boy! I Love YouHow I love you and your ants, beetles and caterpillars.

There is definitely a correlation between most boys and bugs. Catching them, watching them and poking them. The bug catcher here gets a workout and viewing them with a magnifying glass is a must. Release comes soon for the critters from the garden. They get to go back to their natural habitat when the boys have finished ogling them and they think they’ve spent enough time in captivity. Unfortunately we did have one casualty.

I’m not particularly bothered by most crawling or flying insects. If they’re brought inside in a Mum approved container that’s cool. If they find their way in of their own accord we take action. We encourage no killing unless they are unable to be relocated. Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to arm myself with a can of flyspray if it’s a variety that bites, stings or spreads germs.

The best thing we have done is watch caterpillars cocoon themselves and wait for them to emerge as beautiful Monarch butterflies. Releasing each one after its wings had dried was amazing. The kids really enjoyed it too. There’s so much we don’t stop to take notice of unless you’re in the company of a child. I am definitely going through my second childhood with my kids in tow. I just don’t throw the tantrums anymore. I’ll leave that to the experts.

Off you go now boys to find some more creepy crawlies that I’m sure I’ll love.

I Swear I Love You

pinky swearI love you. I swear!

It shouldn’t have come as any surprise when my youngest (2y10m) dropped the ‘f’ bomb a couple of weeks ago.

I have been known, on occasion, to use it myself while driving and the idiot in front of me does something ridiculous like turn a corner without indicating his/her intention to do so. Maybe also once or twice while not in control of a motor vehicle?!

I’m not holding myself completely responsible for said behaviour though. My youngest has a vast array of people to learn this skill from including his brother, uncles, strangers, teenagers, etc., but none more so than my hubby. Yes, I blame my better half.

On the particular evening in question the boys had been fed and watered. They were sitting on the lounge in their pyjamas. I have no recollection of what was on TV but it was obviously something he deemed appropraite to comment on with a completely audible ‘FAAAARK!’ Even though it was as clear as a bell, hubby needs to be sure and asks, ‘what did you say?’ My eldest, 5y8m, starts to laugh with his hand over his mouth. He knows it’s not appropriate-been there, done that! I automatically point the finger of blame and say, ‘this one’s your fault.’ Two scowly faced parents look at their youngest child and shake their heads then Daddy explains why we don’t say ‘those’ words.
We laugh about it later when the kids are tucked up tight. I wonder if he’ll mumble it in his sleep tonight or if he’ll pull the next one out of thin air when I’m least expecting it. Maybe in the middle of the aisle at the supermarket when there’s an audience. Hopefully there’ll be no elderly people near us who will wonder what on earth is going on with the next generation. Who knows?

I’ll love you, even then! Pinky swear!

Image from: here.

I Love You Heart and Sole

Your shoes don’t last long and neither does my cash. Lucky my love does.

Jeepers, creepers, what’d you do to those sneakers? I love you dearly but can you please refrain from chewing your shoes! There is food in the cupboard.

sneakers facebook

It’s just two months since we invested in your last brand name runners. I use the term ‘invested’ because we spend as much money on sneakers in a year as we do on tyres for the car. I’m not so inclined now to go dashing out and purchasing the same style. Maybe we should buy two pairs of the cheapy ones and then we can just ditch them without a care.

I guess that’s kind of like opting for retreads on the car or would that be hand-me-down shoes? Either way, I’m not happy. The department store shoes are basically a thin insole with corrugated cardboard underneath. Within days you have no cushioning left to speak of and it’s certainly doing your gait and posture no good at all. Just like tyres on the car, would I put your safety at risk?

In the end we opt for a family owned shoe store rather than a big chain sports store. They gave us a membership card and the price was then comparable with the larger stores that buy in bulk. The main plus was advice. I learned that scooting and skating eats shoes. We choose a pair with a medium density sole. Enough cushioning for running but no so soft that the asphalt will erase the tread. The best thing about them in your eyes is not the colour or comfort, it’s demonstrating how much faster they make you run. You love them so much you ask in all seriousness if you can wear them to bed.

You are reminded now to don your scarred and battered pair to go skate, scoot, ride or dig in the garden. Newies are reserved for school and going out. This might be the only thing that contributes to a longer life span but the exercise was well worthwhile.

‘Off you go then, Speed Racer. Don’t drag your feet! I love yooooooou.’

M, T, W, T, F, S, S, I Love You.

I love my kids every day of the week.calendar

I love them whether it’s Monday or Friday. Saturday and Sunday are extra special as we get to do things that the weekdays don’t allow. School holidays are amazing as we get to go on outings, explore and create our own timeline for a while.

The months go by as I watch them grow and love them even more if that’s possible. My heart fills to the point where I think it will overflow. When my youngest sings the end of the Woolworths ad with all the days out of order it’s like he recreated it just for me.

The only thing that concerns me in all of this is the rate at which I turn the pages of my diary and flip over the months on the calendar. When the last page for me has fluttered to rest on all the pages that have come before it, my children can know with certainty that I loved them with ever fibre of my being.

Every minute of every day. 24/7. 7 days a week. From the first to the last day of the month. On their birthdays and all the days inbetween. 365 days a year and the extra day on a leap year. Full time. As long as I live.

Forever, I will love you.

Image from: here.

I Love You When You’re Smiling

I love it when you smile.

When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you!

Well, maybe not the whole world but I definitely do.

I find myself smiling just by thinking about my kids’ smiles. There’s something about it that is more endearing than that of an adults. It’s probably because kids smile with their whole face. Unless they’re trying to hide the gap/s in their teeth while having school photos taken. Even when one of my two have their grumpy pants on I can normally coax a smile out of them by telling them I can see a smile creeping out of the corner of their mouth or by saying in a stern voice, ‘don’t smile!’

The subject of smiling also reminded me of this poem:

smiley facesSmiling is contagious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner,
and someone saw my grin –
When he smiled I realized,
I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine,
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected –
Let’s start an epidemic quick
and get the world infected!!!

Matthew John Fraser (1990)

I also love the fact that there are different kinds of smiles. There’s the:

  • cheeky monkey smile
  • I-didn’t-do-it smirk
  • oh-my-goodness (open mouth and raised eyebrows) smile
  • aren’t-I-cute pleading grin
  • I’m proud of you beam
  • grin like a Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)
  • and many more.

I hope you’ve shared a smile with your kids today. I know I have. If you haven’t, Don’t Worry, Be Happy and share one or more with them tomorrow.

Love your smiles!

Image from: here.

I Love You Hands Down

hands down little boyHands down, I love you.

It really is easy to love your kids. It requires little effort and poses no difficulty. I’ts an easy job. No trouble at all. It’s a cinch, hands down.

RIGHT!

The love part should be. It’s just all the other guff that gets in the way.

So what does ‘hands down’ mean anyway and who started it?

Over at Wiktionary I found out that this colloquialism’s origin dates back to the mid-19th century. It was initially used in relation to horse racing and jockeys. Riders needed to keep the reigns tight during a race unless they were so far ahead they could afford to slacken off. He could drop his hands and loosen the reigns right near the end and still win.

So in the race of life, love your kids like there’s no tomorrow. Keep the reigns tight when the need arises and give them a little bit of slack now and then. You’ll come out a winner and so will your kids.

Victory will be yours, hands down!

I Love You All the Time

No matter what time it is, I love you.heart clock

I truly love you at:

  • bed time
  • quiet time
  • cuddle time

I really love you at:

  • school time
  • bath time
  • reading time
  • home time

I do love you at:

I still love you at:

  • meltdown time
  • no-patience-left time.

I read a quote somewhere the other day about the days being long but the years all-too-short. I’m determined to try and cram as much love into each and every day for my kids. It won’t be long before it will fall on deaf ears or be rebutted during the teenage revolt. My aim is for them to know in their heart of hearts that I love them all the time even when they may dislike me or the choices I make for them.

There’s no time to waste so I’m on a mission to love my boys all the time.

Photo from: here.

I Love You Petal

I love my little petals.

To balance out the loudness of my last post, I thought it important to point out the softer traits that my two do possess.

petals-heart

The eldest doesn’t have a high pain threshold and loves a cuddle from Mum (or a surrogate if necessary) when he’s been hurt. He gives me flowers from our garden-not the neighbours. Most worthy of note though is his tenderness when it comes to showing love for all creatures great and small.

The youngest will tell me I look nice (a trait from his dad). He looks for a cuddle straight after I’ve got cross with him and then asks if I’m okay several minutes later. He is sensitive to how others are feeling and is the first to apologise when the two boys are both at fault.

I don’t use this term much anymore. It’s been replaced with numerous others depending on my mood and their behaviour. Petal was used more often when they were tiny, fragile, handle-with-care bundles who resembled precious, delicate, dainty flowers. Now they’ve grown some the endearment doesn’t seem to fit anymore. They’re more like hardy, robust, strong cacti.

My boys will always be petals if only in my memory. Love you, petals!

Image from: here.

I Love You at Soccer Practice

I love watching you at Thursday afternoon soccer practice.

We’ve just broken the land speed record to get here straight from school but now I get to sit and relax for a bit while you do your stuff.

Your eyes are on the coach the moment he blows the whistle. Your ears are ready to listen to instructions. Your feet can’t keep still in anticipation of kicking the first goal. You can almost taste victory. And this is just practice!

First comes the warm up and your competitiveness is evident right from the get-go. You want to ‘win’ just doing laps of the field. Next in the ritual is stretching. Your serious face makes me laugh as does your version of push ups and sit ups. Drills complete the pre-game action. I watch you pass, dribble and take shots at the goal with such concentration.

soccer

Finally it’s the business end of the session, your favourite part. You and the other boys are broken into two teams. I know you need to learn about team work but not much team playing happens during the game. Your main aim seems to be to get the ball and kick a goal. There’s sometimes tears if your team doesn’t win and pure excitement if you do. I can’t wait until you actually play a proper match against another team.

The passion and determination you show for this sport at such a tender age is admirable. I love watching you at soccer practice.

My Little Aussie Champs, I Love You.

australia day

I love my little Aussie champions on Australia day.

On this day each year I always think about how lucky we are and try to impart some of the reasons why to my boys. I believe it’s important for them to have a sense of what it means to be an Aussie. Aside from the lamb chops on the barbie and lamingtons for dessert, I’d like my kids to have a deeper understanding as they grow of the importance of this day.

Normally we would spend Australia Day with family as we have done every year for quite some time as my sister-in-law’s birthday is the same day. This year her birthday celebrations are being held on Monday. When we’re with family I chat with my eldest about the fact that they have family on both sides who were born in other countries. My husband was born in the U.K so on his side our kids are first generation Australians.

This year we were invited to friends of ours for a BBQ. They also have two young children who were sporting temporary tattoos like the boys were. I had expected that my husband’s Australian flag thongs would make an appearance today but they were a no-show. The bucket hat was, however, worn with pride. Others had donned tshirts and shorts bearing various symbols we associate with our country. Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown played in the background. The highlight of the day for me though was hearing my 2 y.o. chant his first; ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!’

I love spending Australia day with family, friends and my little Aussie champs.

I Love You When I’m Doing the Dishes

When you help with the dishes

I love it when you ‘help’ me with the dishes.

As I run the water you are already asking me if you can help do the dishes. Without waiting for an answer you have grabbed your step (an upturned plastic milk crate covered with cardboard and material) and are zooming over.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your offer. The last thing I want to do is quell your enthusiasm for such a routine task that I’m sure you’ll grow to dislike. Fighting tooth and nail is one expression that comes to mind when I think of you donning the rubber gloves once you reach maybe 4, 5 or 6. The novelty will wear off and you’ll find it a chore, I’m just not sure when. You’ll turn to me and say, ‘can’t we just put them in the dishwasher?’

So you are assigned to the rinsing sink. Your role is simple-to remove the bubbles off the dishes and then put them in the drainer.  Instead you enjoy pouring water from cups into bowls and containers into plastic bottles. In the meantime, as you assist me, we end up with more water on the floor than in the sink. You try and steal my bubbles and put them in your side or on your face to make a beard. Not many items leave your side and go into the dish drainer so I remind you or just do it myself. That means I need to go around you or over your head to reach. When you do put some in I need to rearrange them after otherwise they’d still be full of water in the morning. I’ll give you one thing in all of this. You’re an expert plug puller-outerer. Your face gets ‘that look’ if I forget and you don’t get to do it.

When we’re done I’ll mop up the water from the floor, rearrange the drainer, change your top and we’re done. Phew! Dishes used to be an easy task.

But it’s special time that I get to share with you that makes it worth the effort. I love you when we’re doing the dishes together.

It’s No Secret-I Love You!

megaphone

Yes, it’s no secret. By now it’s pretty obvious. I love my little guys.

So what lengths would I go to so the world knows how I feel?

I could:

  • participate in a one-woman march through the centre of town with my placard and megaphone chanting, ‘I love my boys’.
  • paint the roof of my house so the planes that travel their flight path over our home can see my proclamation.
  • post a letter to our local member of parliament asking that it be declared at the next caucus meeting

OR

  • I could just sit here in my pj’s blogging for those of you who care to drop in and have a look-see.

Yes that sounds like the best alternative. I’ve always been more of a spectator than participant in demonstrations. I’d probably fall off the roof and I don’t think my bill would get to the House of Representatives. That megaphone might come in handy when I’d like to be heard over the noise of my three fellas though.

So the secret’s ‘out there’ folks. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get my message to the masses without needing a megaphone.

Photo from imagerymajestic at: here.

I Love You From Your Fingers to Your Toes

hand with bead bracelet

There isn’t a single part of either of my boys that I don’t love. Let’s face it-they’re a product or combination of myself and their dad so why shouldn’t I?

As adults we may find fault with ourselves or gently point out not-for-the-better changes in our partners. By the time we’ve reached parenthood though, it’s not so much about physical appearance. It’s more to do with health and ensuring you have enough energy to chase around, or after, your kids.

My childern are not perfect but I love them as much as if they were. Right from the tips of their fingers all the way down to their toes.

My eldest has freckles. They’re sporadically placed all over his body. He may end up with moles like me. He’s olive skinned and has tan lines where his socks stop. When he takes off his socks it looks like he’s still got a pair on. He’s a perfectionist (where’d he inherit that from?) and looks like he’s growing some warts at the moment on his feet.

My youngest has coarser hair and blue eyes unlike his brother’s which are brown. He’s stockier and will be taller I’d say which will go down well with the older sibling. There’s a bit of a wingnut characteristic to his ears which is more obvious when he’s had a haircut. Talking to anyone who will listen is commonplace at the moment and he has had numerous minor accidents resulting in blood and doctor’s visits.

Although all these things about them are noticeable I don’t ‘see’ them. I love them just as they are, from their fingers all the way to their toes.

Guess What I Found Out Today? I Love You!

Whisper

Ever since my 5 y.o. son was born my husband and I have said ‘I love you’ to him everyday. The same rules applied with our second son. By the time he came along though we had started a new tradition in our home.

Every now and again one of us would ask our eldest (he was nearly 3 by then) ‘guess what I found out today?’ In the beginning he would say, ‘what?’ The more times we did this routine the more he got used to it and would reply ‘I love you.’ Then it became a race to see whether his dad or I could finish the question before he would reply.

We love being able to convey our love for our kids in different ways. It doesn’t always have to be mushy, just known is all we care.

Photo from: here.