Monday, July 30, 2012

Life - Olympics and all that......

So the Opening Ceremony happened on Friday and I'm still recovering. What a fantastic and brilliant event. A couple of things could have made it totally awesome, such as on the 60 countdown they could've included the sign for Platform 9 3/4 and what about more of our fabulous musical history such as my old favourites Led Zep and Pink Floyd. They did use Dark Side of the Moon but still. Also what was with Paul McCartney? Why is he always rolled out? I know he is considered to be a member of the UK's rock royalty but seriously did Mr Boyle give up at this point? He could have pulled together an amazing super group of musical legends and give a bang out performance or even end with Elton John given he has the Olympic song? Also as has been pointed out to me what about celebrating the discovery of DNA or splitting the atom? What abut our fine literary history too? Okay enough.

A bottle of red wine and some serious yawning with eyes being propped open, my husband and I watched the whole thing. See I knew I still had it in me to stay up late. We both loved it. The Olympic cauldren made out of petals was inspired and amazing, David Beckham was suave and let's face it gorgeous. Shame he wasn't included on our football team but boo sucks to you Ryan Giggs, David Beckham stole all your thunder. Kenneth Brannagh was fabulous and the staging was brilliant. The Olympic Rings being forged and rising from the ashes were stunning. The reflective dance was beautiful and heart stopping. It was an inspired and funny skit with the Queen and Rowan Atkinson was superb. All in all we raised a toast to Mr Boyle and his vision.

Needless to say that it was a rude awakening the next day. So here in glorious technicolour is out tribute to Mr Boyle. Notice the Hobbit House and the large windmills providing green energy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Family - first day of summer

Technically that arrived a few of days ago on Friday. Hoorah for the sun. Yes I know that I was in Dallas for nearly a month where temperatures reached over 100 degrees on most days but still. It's July. It's supposed to be summer. In preparation for more rain this summer and having to walk in the rain with a buggy and small child, I have bought a cycle cape. It duly arrived on that first hot day last Friday. Typical!

Anyway today was technically the first official day of the summer holidays and quite frankly I wish it was the last. It started with a promise, lovely weather, the chance to be outside, read a book, birds singing and ended with the usual "why aren't you listening to me" and "tidy your room". Vision smashed - who was I kidding?

So admit it, how many of you if you have more than one child treat the older one as an adult, even at the tender age of four..... Why doesn't he understand the long rambling sentences I find myself uttering? Why do I keep on saying the same thing over and over again? Why do I sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown with more than a hint of Nurse Ratchet? Why does he not understand the complexities of having a baby around? Why is it that what we really need is a book on child speak? Can someone else please translate for me?

Instead of my son hearing "Lovely wonderful son of mine stop whining and go into the garden, commune with nature and take advantage of all that life has to offer." He hears "Stop whining, don't do that, do this, stop poking a stick in your eye....." Maybe I need a few simple instructions that I can use so he gets the importance of the message I am trying to give. You know those urgent life lessons like:

1. Listen to me and do what I have asked you to do
2. Don't ask me for more food
3. Don't pick your nose
4. Don't use that stick/fork/cardboard tube/bow and arrow it'll poke your eye out
5. Don't put your face so close to your sister she'll have your eye out (she's 5 months old)
6. Don't jump up and down all the time
7. Don't run in the house
8. Don't
9. Don't
10. DON'T......

See how polite I am to start with. By the end of the day I'd like to retire to the bottom of the garden (it's not a big garden) and leave them to it. In a Swallows and Amazons, Stig of the Dump not Lord of the Flies kind of way. I wouldn't mind St Trinian's either at least it would show initiative and an interest in the sciences!

Why and when did I turn into a Victorian Mother? I used to laugh at my brother and call him Victorian Dad (from Viz) but suddenly that's me. Hence the Nurse Ratchet thing. Why do I expect my exuberant 4 year old to behave like Little Lord Fauntleroy? He's basically a great kid, brilliant sense of humor and loves life. Which at the end of the day is all you can hope for (other than being Prime Minister of course). Hopefully he'll not remember much of this period of time when he's older. In the meantime I have to work out a way so I don't behave like that headmistress in Matilda.

Also you know you're in trouble when that modern wonder punishment or parental control technique of time out no longer works - bear in mind he is only 4 years old but time out does not work in this house. Our son is more likely to put himself in time out which kind of takes the point away really. This is something I'll touch on another time. So sorry Jo Frost and Nanny 911 time out doesn't always work.

So in light of that I'm off to the fridge for a butterscotch Angel Delight fix...... where's that spoon?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family - the week after the week before

So we flew home last week. Another long haul flight and whilst I was clearly hoping for another miracle on the flight and well behaved children I wasn't holding out much hope. This time I had help and I was amazed but the flight pretty much went without a hitch. A few wobbles and a few short lived tears but we all settled down and chilled out. I should have more faith. I managed to watch a film, The Hunger Games and had a quick drink too! No sleep even though it was a night flight. When flying with another person always remember to use them as a barrier between you (as the parent) and the kids.... Saves on the angst on your part and they don't get told off so much. If you can't do that invest in some noise blocking headphones and give phenergan liberally!

Why is it that within a few hours of stepping over the threshold of home that you feel like there has been no holiday and it all feels a bit rubbish and well, normal? It doesn't help that the UK has been covered in rain for weeks and we've just come home from sunshine and 100 degrees each day. But it just feels so depressing.

Now we face one last week of preschool before the summer holidays and the beginning of what I like to think of as a productive time for all the family. The reality will be so different. More like wind up central punctuated by brief spells of family activity with the usual nonsense that goes with it. I need a project. The problem is that I used to be so organised, that was my job. Now I am more inclined to let some stuff go. I 'd like to say it was my way of not sweating the small stuff but it is more likely to be down to laziness than a guru led life plan.

Take the summer holidays, I'd like to think that we'll float into London each week on some educational mission but with the Olympics looming and my high aspirations for everyone to have a good time this is extremely unlikely. I always start off with great intentions, much like my diet and exercise programmes but end up having the cake, chocolate and the easy option of letting my 4 year run around like crazy with me punctuating his life with the odd "no running in the house" or "close your mouth when eating". Why does my 4 year not understand the possibility that I am doing important adult things like surfing the Internet for shoes I'll never buy or watching The Biggest Loser USA (guilty pleasure) whilst he has to fully re-enact Tree Fu Tom or Superheros right there. Does he not understand the delicate balance that I achieve each day of actually looking like I did some house work as opposed to the reality of stuffing stuff into cupboards and pretending I cleaned the whole kitchen floor. We do work well together when we bake, but that's only because there's something in it for him.

Therefore I am working on my own escape plan.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

recu-Parenting - a way of life

This blog is for all parents who are recuperating from being a parent, a bit like being in rehab but learning to survive each day as a parent and having a big cheer at the end of each day that you all survived. You love your kids, you want your kids and would lay down your life for them, but let's face it, it's tough being a parent. The decisions you make each day will have some kind of impact and mostly you feel like you'll never get it right. All you can hope for your kids is that they turn out loving life and being good to others as well as themselves.

The main 2 rules in our hose are have fun but don't hurt yourself, anyone else or anything and number 2 if I ask you to do something you do it. How's that working out for us? It's a work in progress and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time....

So much has happened over the last year and I have only just started this blog after many promises to friends. One big move, one pregnancy, one child starting 2 different preschools, one new baby and now one big trip to the USA. The trip home is looming soon and I hope that the trip home will be like the trip over. Both kids behaved great, not bad for a 16 week old and 4 year old..... I was also on my own and dreading it, but miracle of miracles I survived as did everyone else!

So I'll post regularly and please feel free to comment, raise topics but let's get serious for a moment. Any nasty or abusive troll like comments, suggestions or general hideousness will be reported to those that need to know including if necessary the police. So let's play happy and be nice to each other. Life is too short to be nasty.