Love in Hindsight III

In Post 1 and Post 2 of this series I looked back on my time as a pre-parent teacher and then as a parent in the present day.

While teaching and parenting are hugely important aspects of my life, they don’t define who I am.

It is interesting to note (to me at least) when I started blogging what information I added to my gravatar. ‘Mum’, ‘wife’, ‘sister’ and other titles were provided. But who am I?

Over the past two years I have seen myself on a course of discovery, trying to locate me and my passion. I won’t bore you with the long list of endeavours and ideas that floated through my mind.

Since the middle of last year I had thought about starting a blog but knew very little about what it entailed. On January 1 this year I decided that there was only one way to find out and that was to just do it (to borrow the famous Nike slogan). I could blog from home and it wouldn’t take me away from my young family. Yes! It was the perfect solution and it would be great. By choosing the theme and focus of my blog I would also be able to remind myself that there is love in the everyday moments of life with littlies.

Aiming high, which is always what I seem to do, I set out to write a post a day. Mum would probably say, ‘biting off more than you can chew.’ Yes, Mum, you’re right-as always (tongue in cheek).

Starting Free Little Words was the best thing I have done just for myself for a very long time. It is also the most time-consuming undertaking I have attempted in a very long time.

I don’t know about anyone else reading this but blogging, over the course of a week, has me sitting at my laptop or catching up on the reader on my phone for approximately 16 hours. That’s an ENTIRE DAY! Now, I don’t mean to shout at anyone but that’s a shedload of time.

Any new ‘thing’ that we choose to do generally takes time to learn and grow accustomed to. While I’m all for learning, there is a limit to the amount of ‘me’ I’m able to invest.

The one thing I am truly grateful for and would have given my left arm to rediscover was that I love writing. As the people closest to me would testify, I can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles. I have a tendency to be a jabber jaws though and my mouth moves faster than my brain can handle. I trip over my words and get tongue tied, particularly when I’m nervous or anxious.

So writing is the ticket for me. Being able to think then write and order my words and erase when needed, is just plain awesome. Add to that, my experience with children and the love of rhyme and rhythm and I feel a natural affinity towards picture books.

So blogging has led to more writing but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything. My manuscripts and ideas lay languishing on the bench at the end of every day, crying out for more words to join the fray.

So it has come down to this – my last post here on Free Little Words. I didn’t want it to sound so final even though it does.

There’s two young boys, who won’t be little forever, wishing that their mum would be slightly more present when she’s present. I owe them that much. Then when the lights are out and those eyelashes flutter as they dream sweet dreams, the words can spring forth to the begging blank page.

I leave you now with just one promise.

My journey on WP is not complete. I will be back; I’m just not sure when that might be. When I do, I hope you’ll welcome me back.

This mum/wife/sister loves to write.

♥ Kelly

 

Image from: here.

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.

For All The Girls My Sons Have Not Yet Loved

Under the branches of a gum tree bending in the wind, Peta and Connor’s eyes were fixed on their shoes.

Neither was concerned with the wintry weather nor that some of their closest friends were not in attendance. They were to be married today in front of over 400 people. 

In keeping with tradition, the pair were united with a kiss.

As the bride ran over to join the girls, the groom was overheard to say, ‘I thought we were just going to hug. Before I knew it she just came at me and kissed me.’

Beaming with a mixture of pride and shock, the mother of the bride said that any thoughts of a honeymoon have been postponed until these two 6 year olds turn 21.

Having two boys, 6 and 3, I thought time was on my side.

In anticipation of what is to come, a rethink began.

While neither of them have had a girlfriend yet, preparations will need to be made.

I have high expectations for them, and of them.

It is with this in mind that I, as their mum, do solemnly promise that:

  • my boys will be surrounded with positive role models from which to learn
  • my boys will show respect and learn how to treat girls and women as ladies
  • they will never arrive empty handed on a doorstep
  • they will learn how to say sorry from the bottom of their heart because they will make mistakes
  • flowers and chocolates are thoughtful but are not the way into a ladies heart, good books or bed
  • behaving like you’re with ‘the boys’ should be reserved for when you’re actually with the boys
  • they will learn what it takes to be considered a true gentleman
  • ‘I love you’ should only be said if you truly feel it
  • while my heart is still beating, they will never use social media to announce the demise of your relationship
  • I will dry the tears and hug him if you break his heart, then remind him, once again, of all of the above.

As my 6 year old ventures onto the oval at school during his lunch break, he need not think of love. It will find him in due course and I’ll do my darnedest to help him be ready.

Image from: here.

Love Got Off on the Right Foot

….or was that the left?

Ever have one of those days when everything just feels out of whack? Maybe your hair just wouldn’t cooperate this morning or you tried to put the wrong key in the lock? Milk in the pantry maybe or trying to put your pants on before your underwear? Something’s not right but you can’t put your finger on it.

My brain must have been replaced with the contents of a balloon this particular peculiar day.

The three of us had left home to have lunch with my mum. I asked Now 6 to help Just 3 with his shoes to save me 30 seconds and hopefully get us out the door on time.

We met Mum, enjoyed a light lunch and then went into a department store to find a gift for a child’s birthday party. The store was having its annual toy sale which normally means aisles full of boxes and no room to manoeuvre. Going into the depths of the toy section with two in tow without a trolley means anxiety meets hysteria. The unanimous decision, made by me, was to get a trolley.

Just 3’s legs dangled from his prominent position as I promised a stop off at a playground nearby if the two of them could manage to contain themselves long enough for us to get a gift and checkout. Unfortunately Just 3 had consumed half a milkshake at lunch and decided he needed the toilet just as we got to the toy section at the back of the store.

There are no toilets in this store.

Drive trolley like a mad woman to store entrance.

Offload precious cargo.

Forehead beaded with sweat, I made a dash with two attachments to the toilets.

Everybody pee consecutively.

Back to store.

Back in trolley.

Back to toy section.

Right-y-o.

Arriving at the playground after having unsuccessfully completed our mission, Just 3 steps out of the car and prepares to take off for the equipment.

It is then, and only then, that I look down at his feet for the first time today.

‘Sweetheart? Do your feet feel funny today?’

‘Um, no.’

‘Your shoes are on the wrong feet. Don’t they feel funny?’

‘…..No.’

‘Come here and sit down. We need to put them on the right feet otherwise you’ll probably fall over.’

My son doesn’t need any more excuses to trip over. He does well enough all on his own.

He may well have two left feet so his feet didn’t feel funny at all.

Only one foot did.

Image from: here.

I Love You More Today

moreI love you more today than yesterday.

Just when I think it is not possible to love you anymore than I already do, you manage to make my heart feel fuller than it has ever been.

It might be the look of concentration on your face as you build a block tower higher than yesterday’s. Or your confidence doing backwards rolls off the lounge that you weren’t able to do the day before. Or the new words that spill forth from your mouth that you didn’t know a short time ago.

My love grows as you do. Tomorrow you’ll show me more reasons to love you. You might tree-hug my leg when I’m least expecting it or tell me you love me just because.

No matter how much mess you make, how loud you are or how disagreeable you may be, as long as I don’t let tomorrow come without having told you I love you at least once, I’m happy.

I’ll love you for all of my tomorrows.

Image from: here.

Foot note: I re-read this today more as a reminder to myself than anything else. Tomorrow sees the school holidays start here in South Australia and I’m looking forward to the arrival of 2.15pm. Following that is 17 days where my primary responsibility will be entertainment coordinator to my two nuggets and writing will take a back seat. There’ll be no forgetting to say, ‘I love you’, but I might need to take many more cleansing deep breaths than normal.

Love in this Day and Age

‘You’re only as young as the woman you feel, or in my case – man.

I am younger then by the same amount of time it takes a foetus to reach term, if that stands to reason. There is a gestation period of difference between my husband and I. His parents wouldn’t have even known that they were going to give birth to their first child, a son, the day I was born. So while I was taking my first breaths of air he was still sucking on amniotic fluid. He was growing downy hair all over his body when I moved onto solid foods. By the time he was born, I was on the move; wearing out the knees of my romper suits and collecting lint and hair off the floor.

When we’re young it’s all about the milestones and birthdays. Cheers ring out and hands are clapped in delight as a baby or toddler manages to learn a new concept, skill or ability.

As we get older those milestones are more about the number attached to us. We carry that sucker around like an extra appendage. Some lie while others are creative with subtraction. For many it’s a matter of remaining young at heart-it’s the inside that counts, after all.

At a visit to the doctor with Now 6 when he was a 3 year old, an elderly gentlemen sat down beside us. He must have been close to his octogenarian decade but seemed to have retained most of his faculties. He took an interest in the scribble drawing my son was doing and then said to me, ‘that’s a fine looking grandson you have there.’ I do remember mumbling a reply about him being my son as my heart only just managed to regain a regular rhythm. It was fortunate we were at the doctors as I was certain a heart attack was imminent. Perhaps he was there to see the doctor about finally getting a prescription for glasses.

Several weeks ago, I had an informal meeting with the principal at Now 6’s school. I was being scrutinised to see whether I would be an appropriate replacement for the German teacher when she takes leave in the Spring. My experience was asked about and when I answered the question I included the year that I first began teaching. I was met with raised eyebrows and an audible ‘wow’. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve hung around 5 year olds for nearly half my life that has kept me young. Hmmmm.

When I met with the teacher whose role I will be filling she kindly concurred about the difference between my chronological age and my perceived age.  (Note to readers: I have known this teacher since 1999 when I taught her son who is now 26 and we have kept in contact since then). Apparently I am thinner now even though I’ve been the same weight since high school, except during pregnancies, and have given birth twice since then. I don’t have a forehead full of Botox and on a good day I feel every one of my near-40 years. This ‘holding my age well’ card might come in handy if I ever have the need to chat up some young gents at the R.S.L. I could fill the role of a 60 year old cougar to get a free shandy or two.

If I had to categorise myself, I am one of those people who find it to be a difficult and dicey situation when someone asks me how old I think they are. Think of a number and subtract 15? That should cover all bases. When I’m asked how old I am, particularly by cheeky students who haven’t learned the unwritten code of conduct for someone who wants an ‘A’ this semester, my generic responses include:

‘How old are you?’ -answering a question with a question sometimes deflects the inquirer.

‘How old do you think I am?’ -see above.

or

‘Old enough to be your mother.’ – which normally puts them back in their box.

The time will come soon enough where my final response will have to change to Grandmother.

So herein lies the question. Does it matter what’s written on your birth certificate or what others think? How do you tackle the age old questions, ‘how old are you’ or ‘how old do you think I am?’ Have you ever done creative number crunching, turned 21 for fifteen years in a row or had someone overestimate your age by a whole generation?

Image from: here.

Love in Overdrive

driving mum madLove’s driving me crazy.

There’s nothing like a confined space and two small people with loud voices both competing to be heard.

My favourite driving experiences are:

The School RunShort and sweet. Hmm, short yes, sweet no. Those few short minutes can feel like sheer torture. Is the bickering and banter their way of saying, ‘I’ll miss you or I’ve missed you?’ Whatever the case may be it’s enough to drive anyone batty.

The Trip to the Grandparents: similar to the School Run just longer in length. There’s also the added anticipation of arriving. The excitement builds to a crescendo just as we pull in the driveway. My eardrums feel as if they might explode and the grandparents think that a tornado is about to hit the house. It is obvious to all concerned that I have little/no control over my terrors.

The Big Day Out Drive: setting out at shortly after the sparrow’s have sung their morning tune and arriving home close to dinner time denotes a Big Day Out. Wherever we may be headed we have a packed lunch, picnic rug, esky and bag (filled to the brim with spare clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc). The expected, ‘Are we there yet’s?’ start when we’re approximately half way there. It’s been smooth sailing the whole way if we don’t have to stop for petrol or the toilet en route.

The Great Escape: we’ve prepared for this for weeks but nothing can prepare us for the journey ahead. The car is crammed with half the contents of our house. The tailgate on the wagon will only just close. There’s pillows between the kids on the seat. It’s like we’ve tried to build the Great Wall between them so they can’t touch or see each other. The kids have got numerous things to keep them occupied. A game of ‘Eye Spy’ starts before we hit the freeway. If we’re lucky they’ll nod off (syncronised is heaven) for a while shortly after, ‘Are we there yet-i-tis?’ has commenced.

The Solo Cruise: doesn’t happen too often but when it does, Oh Boy! A chance to listen to adult tunes at any volume you please. Window up or down, whatever takes you fancy. And that annoying noise coming from the back of the car? It’s completely gone!

Mum’s taxi will be off again in the morning with the boys I love on board.

How do you cope with the calamity of children in cars for the quick trip or the long haul?

Footnote: After originally publishing this post in February, I decided to revisit it today as it was one of the first ‘pieces’ I wrote that exceeded several lines in length and had some substance. It is also the basis for the idea of my first picture book manuscript. My self-imposed deadline of June 30 is looming. I think my set of wheels needs a car detailer.

Image from: here.

Seeking Love

Love found me today.

On the walk through the school yard you caressed my hair.

In the car you stroked my fingers.

I lost you for a moment when I arrived home. I sat by the window waiting for you to reappear. I closed my eyes and could soon feel your presence.

You were right behind me when I hung clothes outside; ever present, watching over my shoulder.

We played hide and seek in the yard. You hid behind trees but I never tired of finding you, time and time again. Every time I did, you embraced me. You would leave me with a smile and flushed cheeks.

These bones of mine kept moving trying to keep up with your constant motion.

Near the end of the day we stopped at the park to enjoy the last hour we would have together today. We both knew I’d see you again soon enough. Even still, I wished you could stay that little bit longer. I didn’t want you to go. Not right now. Not just yet. The last thing you did was kiss my forehead. I sat on the bench and watched you go until I could no longer see you.

My soul is thankful for the day we shared. You have left me with a warm and full heart.

If I concentrate enough I can still feel the warmth of your touch. Until you return I will suffer a sadness so profound.

I love you, son. I love you, sun.

Image from: here.

Love’s Going Bananas

Does Monday roll around quicker than any other day of the week? There’s a touch of fruitcake-iness going on here today and this mum is definitely in a Momdaze. Trying to shake it off will probably be a fruitless exercise.

The banana phone is renowned the world over for giving us a glimpse into kid’s imaginations.

If the conversations that have been relayed through the crescent-shaped fruit could be recorded and put into a book I’m sure it’d sell millions of copies.

My offspring would be able to contribute a few humdingers.

Last week Just 3 picked up his banana from the bench. He took it, sat down and started to have an animated conversation. I listened, not sure who he was talking with. After some pauses, where one can only assume the other person was talking, he said, ‘Mummy can’t come to the phone right now. You like to leave a message?’

As he peeled his banana and started to eat it, I said, ‘Buddy, I’m right here. You could’ve handed the phone to me.’

‘They didn’t want to talk to you and I wanted to eat my banana.’

Ah. Out of the mouths of babes.

Image from: here.

Run For Your Love

running love heart legs

Running out of love.

Are you a walker or is jogging your thing? Do you pound the pavement religiously?

I’ll be honest with you.

I’m a walker. At best, I’m a jogger. Today I did a 1k circuit with my students. Their times were all around the 3 minute mark per lap. Most of them did 3 laps. I did two, at a jog, and managed that in just over 10 minutes.

I was pretty proud of my time as it’s the first time I’ve jogged because I felt like it in maybe 2 years (and keeping in mind I’ve got some 25+ years on my charge of whipper-snappers).

I normally jog only out of necessity.

Like when you’ve got your dressing gown and ugg boots on, it’s raining outside and the morning paper sits on the lawn; yeah that might be worth a jog. The main motivation being, not to get caught out by the neighbours and having to read a soggy paper. Otherwise, no chance.

I don’t run. Not unless I have to. Like when one of the kids is several metres away, falls badly and seeks immediate help. When danger is imminent and moving swiftly becomes a priority.

Running is reserved for those moments where a quick sprint is a primal response. If a mugging was on the cards I’d hightail it like the Bolt himself.

Other than that, I like a nice stroll. That’s my thing. Leisurely strolls at a pace that matches Just 3. That I can handle.

So I’ll just stick to running with you on the inside-where it counts.

Have a lovely run!

Image from: here.

Love Goes On

Love the life you live.

There are those that may feel, on some days, positive life quotes should go kiss their patootie. Maybe you’d like to drop kick it out the nearest window. Grind it to a pulp with your fists?

This one is all glittery so maybe give it a chance?!

Are you good at living life to the fullest? Can you change your perspective based on thought alone? Or does it take action?

When I feel like life’s giving me the middle finger because shitty things are happening around me, I just go looking for hope in the form of love.

I have to; need to, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to drag myself out of the funk.

I don’t do stress very well. I don’t wear it; able to shrug it off like a coat. It consumes me from the core all the way to the surface.

Over the past 5 months I have read many of these ‘love’ related quotes, sayings, affirmations. I’ve stared at hearts and scrolled through 1000’s of images. And it works.

I may not have gained 10,000 followers in my first week of blogging or been asked to write a feature article on love. But I am still a winner. I got the reward I sought.

Love.

There is more love in my heart than ever before. I am a better mum, wife, friend and, most importantly, a better me.

So if you’re feeling like crap and you’d like to believe that you can feel better than you do right now read the quote above. Heck, read it 100 times. While you’re reading it your brain will be busy processing that. It’ll give you some time off from the other thoughts and help serve as a reminder to love your life.

We all know we only get one. Would you wish the way you feel about your life on someone else? If not, why would you want it that way for yourself?

After all, life goes on.

Live or love life?

Image from: here.

Crazy Little Thing Called ♥

Love is a little crazy.

There’s a touch of weird lurking here so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Is it just me or has there been a steady stream of bloggers heading for the hills of their own minds?

There’s a little bit of crazy talk going on around these parts and I’m sure I’m not the first one to pick up on it. I’m not that fast on the uptake.

I think I’ve already arrived at this point once before. Last time it was more like a ‘what the frigging heck am I doing?’ It’s changed now to a ‘I know what I need to do.’

Through the RCC I mentioned a self-imposed deadline to send off my first manuscript by June 30. That in itself proves I’m crazy. But not being one to back down without a fight I will stick to it. Only problem is, I haven’t even finished it yet. After that, I want to sit on it for a bit and revise/edit yada yada. Now please don’t hound me in the comments section for belittling the editing process or writers in general. A picture book is normally under 500 words. No biggie. Every word just has the weight of the world on it as there are so few of them.

Anyhoo. I wanted to take up a little blog space to thank some people. Don’t worry, it’ll probably only take as long as it would for you to say, ‘well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’

I’m not going to name drop. You guys all know who you are. My followers. No, not the 325 of you. The 10 or so true followers that have read almost EVERYTHING I have written.

Poetry and poems.

Whinges and whining.

Troubles and tantrums.

Humour and heart warmers.

10 words or 1000. You’re here every day.

I caught up on my reader today for the first time in over a week. Boy it was a relief and I felt great. On top of the reader for 0.4 seconds until one of you posts something I must read. Not because you expect me to; because I need to. I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in 3 months and my manuscript hasn’t seen one ounce of love in 5 weeks. As for my completely understanding, wonderful husband, well, he needs some extra loving.

This is not a ‘goodbye’,’ see you soon’ or ‘not sure when/if I’ll be back’ post. I’m not totally off my rocker.

This is a lull in the halls of love. I’m giving you guys a break. Your reader will be a little lighter and a slightly easier to manage without me taking up space. Actually, cancel that. I’ll be taking up space with stuff that’s already taken up space before. Not a fan of reblogs to be honest but it beats the looney bin which is where I’m worried I’ll be headed if I don’t find a new lease on love.

Oh and don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy. I’m relying on you lot for my daily dose of laughter. I need uplifting quotes and heartfelt poems. Update me with where you’re up to with all your goals and help me choose my next actual book to read. I’ll also be commenting my behind off so no need to be concerned for my mental health. I’m going to be a blogtrotter!

Finally, I would like to take my crazy brain with me having you know:

what I’ve sought

what I’ve learned

what I’ve shared

what I’ve gained

what I’ve pondered

what I’ve found…..

…..is LOVE!

And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kelly

Summoning Love

rainbow-heart

vapour trail to motion slow

strained synapses fire sporadically

consumed strength from inner structure

muscular wasteland waits on the tick

process impeded on sun’s descent

digits fail to depress

closer to calm’s entrance

prompting summation of time

craggy surface seeks reprieve

lashes meet and mesh

screaming silence into lobes

utter not mindless words

invasive

persuasive

enticing

demanding

the beckoning arms of stillness.

Rebellious Love

rebellion‘What’s gotten into you today?’

‘Why are you behaving that way?’

‘That’s just plain silly, that is.’

These phrases have passed my lips many times. Normally I’m talking to a kid-my own or one of the many intelligent students that I have met when teaching.

Today, though, these words were aimed at myself.

Have you had a day where there’s just a touch of silly about you? Conformity just not cutting the mustard?

Today was my day.

I taught a class of Year 3’s today at a school that has over 1000 students. After finishing my paid duties for the day I walked with one of the students out of the classroom. Her mum and I have been friends for many years. She’s also a teacher and we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of months.

Her daughter told me that her mum picked her up from the kiss and drop. For those who are unfamiliar with this term- stop car, kiss child, they get out and you drive off. In the afternoons-join cue of cars, drive like a nonagenarian, reach front of cue, child jumps in and then you drive off. No stopping for more than a few seconds. You can’t get out unless you want to be berated by seething parents desperate to un/load their cargo. This procession is overseen by a teacher who directs the flow. Some are very serious about their role and are tyrants. Others are a little more lax and more likened to a traffic cop whose stuck on duty past shift change.

Being as I am a responsible adult I herded my friend’s daughter across the cul-de-sac between cars when they had stopped for the next child to begin their journey homeward bound. Her mum’s car was about 12th in the cue to leave so I had the chance to fit in a 2 minute conversation with her as she rolled around to the pick-up point.

We disposed of pleasantries quickly and did a quick catch up while I was on foot next to her car. Promising to see each other soon, she departed the mayhem.

As I walked past the teacher on duty I was given a stern look and I believe she said something about safety.

‘My apologies,’ I replied without missing a beat.

As I walked with a bit of a swagger to my car, I could not help but smirk. My brain was registering the ‘rebel’ label and it felt good.

I drove past that teacher as I left the teacher’s car park and turned my head so she couldn’t see and poked my tongue out.

Apparently the dutiful, responsible and role-model aspects of my personality had clocked off when the bell went at the end of the day today.

Rebel without a cause, you betcha! I fit that bill today.

The rule maker was the rule breaker today.

I’d love it if you don’t tell my kids though.

Image from: here.

A Certain Type of Love

Love of different types.

What is it about some kids that makes them more able to outwardly express their love while others are just not the cuddly type? Is there any genetic factors at play? When the environment is the same for both how can it play out so differently for each?

heart-icons-2

If they were referred to as type A and type B; I have one of each.

Type A: fiercely independent yet anxious when facing new situations, high-strung, intelligent, realistic and happy just to ‘be’ with the ones he loves.

Type B: caring, kind and generous soul, ‘shadows’ trusted adults, smart, physically displays affection often and easy going.

While the youngest has grown up in a love-rich environment, the same as which his older brother was brought home to, Just 3 has taught his older brother a thing or two. Being a naturally loving soul has increased that loving feeling exponentially in our home.

I know my child feels love. Is it possible to teach someone how to express love?

I believe that my youngest has done just that.

A desire to be equal may be the motivation for Now 6’s acts of affection. He has learned to show the closeness of the bond of love.

When I speak of love and affection with others it leaves me pondering.

For some families, love is expressed daily. On the phone, ‘love you’ ends every call. Text messages contain love or, at the very least, a heart. Love is sent across the miles in greeting cards. While for others, love is reserved and sometimes not returned. It’s felt but not spoken. A hug might convey it but is that the same?

According to Mum who is the Google of my family history, I was never a touchy-feely child. It wasn’t imposed upon me or expected. I was told I was loved but showed little desire to express the same emotions in return. It has taken me having my own children to realise how important it is for the life of my kids. Now 6 may just be a carbon copy of me but his brother, Dad and I will provide all the chances to show love that he needs.

For a life without love is no life at all.

Image from: here.

Love That Cheeky Monkey

20130512_101021Monkey love see; monkey love do.

Sometimes it’s naked and running free. At other times it’s shadowing me.

Wipe, powdered and soft as a baby’s; the fat rolls and wrinkles perfect in every way.

Naked from the waist down; jiggling as he runs with jocks upon his head and socks worn as mittens.

Bending over to look for a lizard that just made a dash; plumber’s crack facing up to the sky.

Making music in the bath; bum trumpet tune makes him cackle.

Built-in padding for accidents; falling flat on his arse stops him briefly.

Watch it wiggle and jiggle; dancing to the beat.

Nudie run to the shower; if I catch it, I’ll tickle it.

I’ve powdered, kissed, washed, tickled, dressed, wiped and watched that bum.

I’ve fussed over, worried, laughed and shaken my head at those little cheeks.

It may be responsible for a number of functions, some of which are the anti of cute.

But I made that bum.

No butts about it – love my little monkey.

The Morning Love Rush

Love’s AWOL in the A.M.

hurryAlarm sounds
and they’re off!

Rub sleepy eyes and pull quilt back up
Turn on light; it’s still dark out
Stretch arms and feet hit the floor
Drag heels all the way.

Clothes flying across the room
Shoes-where are they?
Toast inhaled and milk gulped
Plates to sink and wiped faces.

Comb hair in a heartbeat
Brush you teeth as fast as you can
Spit, wipe and run
Grab your stuff, let’s go!

Bags piled onto backs
Door locked and all secure
Legs flying at double speed
Car loaded and ready to roll.

Dash here
rush there
hurry, hurry everywhere.

And breathe….there’s no time for love on a workday morning.

Fish Love Wish Comes True

One fish. Two fish. Love fish.

After a near disaster and a family meeting discussing the various aspects of a fish tank built for one becoming the home to two finned creatures it was decided. A trip to the pet store was in order.

Before leaving, I was completing some jobs around the place and realised that Just 3 was very quiet. This was cause for concern as it never ends in a positive outcome. To find him folding the washing or making dinner would be a treat. Even drawing quietly would be a godsend. Unfortunately this is never the case and I knew mischief was afoot.

Now 6 politely informed me that Just 3 had told him he wasn’t allowed to go into his own room. Yes, well. That means that this is the site of the indiscretion.

We entered to find Goldy (when we were able to locate her) attempting to breathe her way through the water which didn’t really resemble water anymore. Thankfully she was still in the tank but it was filled with debris which made it difficult to see anything. Just 3 had decided to feed the fish. The. Entire. Container.

The rescue mission was launched while much flipping and flapping ensued. Goldy wasn’t too keen on the process either. Eventually she was returned to fresh water in the hopes that she would survive such an ordeal.

We were eventually able to leave for the pet shop. Now 6 was after a mate for his new friend. As we travelled, my concern lay in the fact that we might be purchasing a replacement rather than an addition. I did keep these thoughts well and truly to myself though.

We went straight to the aquariums at the back of the store to have a gander before enlisting the help of an unsuspecting salesperson. We looked at all the different kinds of fish and talked about which ones we could get and afford. Do you know how much some fish cost? I wasn’t keen on flushing $25 down the toilet.

 We talked to a saleslady and I managed to contain my smirk as we discussed the need for Goldy to have a friend so she wasn’t lonely. My thoughts kept wandering to the fact that Goldy would meet her mate for the first time every 3 seconds as she made another pass. I also restrained myself from asking the lovely lady how many times she’d heard the name Goldy in her 20 odd years of owning their store.

Eventually the selection was made and we walked to the counter with the newest addition to our family in hand. The lady asked Now 6 what he was going to call his fish and I swear there was an upwards curl to the corners of her mouth. My mind kept going back to whether Goldy would even be alive when we returned.

two fish

She was and still is and so it is with much pomp and ceremony that I introduce to you Goldy’s mate: BLACKY.

It was an odds on favourite from the beginning.

Love is in the water!

P.S. Yes, Ionia we can now add ‘mind reader’ to my list of skills and abilities. I obviously know my son or just kids in general. Mind reader might be a bit of a stretch come to think of it.

I’d Love an Explanation

girl toddler cryingPlease explain love to me.

Life makes me smile and laugh often. Until recently I had just forgotten to listen. Eavesdropping on life’s little moments warms the cockles of the heart.

In the school grounds I heard a child crying. It didn’t sound like the type of cry that’s normally attached to a tantrum. Just crying. Incessantly.

As my boys and I saw the little girl come into sight, we watched as she walked holding her mum’s hand; still crying incessantly. She wouldn’t have been much over 2. Next to her was her older brother who would be about 10. Another boy of about the same age was also walking with them. As we passed there was a brief exchange between the two boys.

‘Why is your little sister crying?’

‘I dunno.’  Pause  ‘Little kids just do that. There’s no other reason. They just do.’

‘Oh.’

Hearing these two young boys discuss the logic or reasoning for the onset of tears made me laugh inwardly on many levels. I wondered if the friend had any younger siblings or whether he, himself, was the youngest. It amused me that ‘just because’ resolved the issue as far as they were concerned and the need to delve deeper was not present. It got me to thinking, if this exchange took place between two girls of the same age would the conversation have been as brief? Would they have gone on to decipher the cry and list all the logical reasons as to why it might be occurring in the first place? Credit to the older brother though, in not identifying this as a trait of little girls-just little kids in general-or did he make an assumption based on his experience?

This simple dialogue is shared between adults the world over. In my mind’s eye I pictured these two boys as men discussing their own children, beer in hand, and the actual spoken words would not change too much from that of a 10 year old boys that they were. On the other hand, we ladies-while sharing a coffee-would list, analyse, dissect, suggest, advise, sympathise and offer assistance.

I’m just a stereotypical mum of two. What would I know?

If anyone has a better explanation, I’d love to hear it.

Kelly

Image from: here.

Fish Love Wish

goldfish

I’d love to be a goldfish

and swim around all day.

My humble home for one

here is where I’ll stay.

I could do just what I like

which is nothing much at all.

Except for when you’re watching

that’s when I have a ball.

But you’re not here that often

you’ve got better things to do.

Would you possibly consider

turning this one into a two?

I think I’d like a buddy,

to frolic with and play.

To dash and dive and dance with

and chase my cares away.

I’ve thought about this often

when I’m on the dash.

One more lap around the bowl

I’ll be back in just a flash.

I’d love to be a goldfish

and swim around all day.

My humble home for one

here is where I’ll stay.

A goldfish has entered the house of love after being bestowed upon Now 6 for his birthday. She has been given the title of Goldy (thank you creators of Peppa Pig for your ingeniousness). My son’s seemingly total lack of creative flair in naming our pets has landed us with Bluey (the blue budgie) in 2012 and now Goldy the goldfish. To confuse matters more we have a Golden Retriever whose name is not Goldy but is lovingly referred to as Golden Girl now that she is in her twilight years.

If/when we decide to get a cat it must be multi-coloured so that it doesn’t get called Blacky or some such other nonsense. I’d rather be outside calling ‘Rainbow’ and sounding like a total nut job.

Whether Goldy gets a mate is up for debate. We picked the first one so that the bowl wouldn’t be an empty gift. ‘Yay! I got a bowl with nothing in it!’ A second trip to the pet store might be in order. What’s the bet he’ll come home with a Blacky?

Who knows? Maybe the fish will have a renaming ceremony sometime soon. I just hope this happens before we have to flush the poor mite. Never mind. At least I don’t have to call it to come back to its bowl.

Something’s fishy with love.

© Kelly Hibbert 2013

Image from: here.