Eight

C turned eight (!!)  at the end of January…so in honour of my LLC…

You arrived, and my world burst into colour
Eight years on, your light shines bright
From the start, our little observer
A petite hawk-eye, you remain

You describe your eyes as hazel
They dance at the sight of apple crumble
Mischief making with your brother
And Friday night grooves to Solo Dance

I love that you still read with me
We devoured the Harry Potters
Alice in Wonderland’s presently our jam
Fitting for your wild and free imagination

Down the rabbit hole you go
Creating potions, mapping Silly Town
Teaching your animals, parenting Sienna
Our skater-girl wanna-be fashion designer

Your flare for content abounds
From glitter gluing a dress pattern
To creating writing riffs that show us up
As wine lovers dishing out generous tablet usage

Child of the digital generation
We try to teach you right
Adept at the screen but more so in the present
You’ve always got time for a tent party with the jelly cat crew

Stuffed animals still crowd you out of bed
Wrapped in your fluffy fleece blanket
Morning movement ain’t your forte
You prefer bed as a cozy bastion for reading or radio

The news speaks to you now
And you don’t always like what you hear
CBBC Newsround often features in our Slumber Shindig
But my heart aches at your loss of innocence

But we talk (we both love talking)
Hash out what’s on your mind
Your principles remain strong
About near-vegetarianism & despising teeth loss

I’ve never heard anyone screech as much
About loosing a tooth
Richard at Tennis calls you the Yankee
A tough scrummer juxtaposed with your sensitive soul

A dainty ballerina and guitar rockstar
National geographic reader, bow and arrow slayer
I asked what word you’d use to sum up yourself
And you said: kind

And that says it all
Pure of heart, our LLC
More cautious than boisterous but full of infectious zest
Once you start to work the room.

We love you, C-M-MB-G (I’m not allowed to put all these nicknames in the public domain!).  May this next trip round the sun be brilliant.

 

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Friday Funnies: books books books

We love books in this house.  I’ve always been an avid reader, and although my repertoire narrowed to picture books for awhile after C&M’s arrival, I’m pleased to say that I’m reading more again.   Last year we started a book club at work (my first), and delving into the plots and characters over some fine wine and cheese has been a highlight.  Books are are a restorative tonic, a window into new worlds, a fresh way to think about life.

You won’t be surprised to hear then, that books have played a bit part in C&M’s lives from the start.  I think I read C Runaway Bunny or Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown every night before bed for her first six months.  My kids have been introduced to British classics old and new (Tiger Who Came to Tea to The Gruffalo to the Faraway Tree, alongside iconic American books like Corduroy, The Giving Tree and Charlotte’s Web).  I was surprised at the amount of children’s lit that failed to make it across the pond…in both directions.  I love that we’re getting to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Now, the kids are both reading.  It came to C pretty easily, I think her observational nature lent itself to watching, learning and blossoming into a voracious reader.   M loves to listen to a good story, and is just realising that the more he can read, the better he can curl up in a chair and get lost in a story.  And once M commits to something, he commits fully.

One of the things I love the most, however, is that we still read daily together.  From picture books to non-fiction to fiction, we cover the spectrum.  We had a great made moment the other day during our evening instalment Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.  Willy Wonka, impersonating a man from Mars, begins speaking in cryptic gibberish to the American President.  The silly drama of it struck at chord with C&M and we descended into a fit of hilarity.

We laughed and we rolled around on the bed, then came tears of laughter and calls of read it again and basically the story sprang off the page and transported us into the wacky world of Roald Dahl’s mind.  It was an ecstatic moment.

I asked C what books mean to her and she said: Books come into your mind and make your imagination swirl!

Reading together, it’s a pleasure and a buzz.  Are you with me?

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New Year, Same Me

2018, I’ve got a good feeling about you.  Bump2basics, I’ve even got a good feeling about you!  A bit ironic, as I managed a whole four blog posts during 2017, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

Last Wednesday was the final day of my holiday break and I lost it spectacularly with the kids.  They pushed me, I shouted, and then I felt terrible.  HOLLA my 2017 revelation that ‘new year’ is not synonymous with ‘perfect life order.’  Recalling this wisdom, the kids and I had a huddle, a cuddle and a chat about listening and temper control.  The day was not lost.

I’m getting better at this.  Not shouting (I’m generally not a shouty person), but at trusting myself and putting some stock in my reflections on how to live without getting bogged down by the myriad of grown up stresses that seem to come with the territory.  I am, shock horror, at 36, an adult now.  (Will I ever really feel like one?).

So I’m declaring my 2018 a year of positivity and more focused action.  Less but more valuable time spent online.  Recognising what I have achieved rather than what I haven’t.

Simple, right?

 

 

 

 

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Friday Funnies: overthinking own bedrooms

Below’s something that I wrote a year ago but never posted.  It was right around the time that M moved into his own bedroom….in the end he moved in right around Christmas 2016.

Part of the reason we moved in the past year was to find a house where C and M could have their own bedroom.  They’ve shared ever since M was several months old.

Yes, they have their fair share of squabbles- C moved my lego tower!  M woke me up and it’s too early (ironic, as this would be on a school day where she needs to be up) – but on the whole they share their toys, they play together regularly and view it as a joint haven.

It’s all they’ve ever known.  From our first house, to this new home, they’ve been together, moved together and stuck together.  And now that we are nearing the completion, unveiling of M’s bedroom so he can move to his own space, they seem fairly unsure about it.

C has taken to reading to M every night, which is great, and really sweet.  He chooses picture books and she also talks him through phonics in some of our first readers.  She knows the techniques they use at school better than I do, and the other day I overheard her talking about a phonics frog that had them both laughing, and him sounding out little words.

Several years down the line I’m sure they’ll value their own space, but right now, I think they’ll really miss each other.  It’s made me think that maybe we should gradually transition M’s stuff to his room before he full fledged moves in.  I tend to be a let’s dive in type of person but maybe on this occasion a softly softly approach might be better.

Otherwise, I’m anticipating many a ‘sleepover,’ where we go upstairs to find them asleep in the same bed!  It’s no issue just yet though as we need to finish painting it!!  We’ve run out of some steam with decorating and need to get our mojo back, but that’s a new post altogether…

Do your kids share a room?  Or did they?  How did they adjust to the transition to their own space?

Back to the here and now. So what ask you, is so funny about this?  Oh, my overthinking!  At the time, I pondered the best way to transition M to his own room, I wrote this blog post, I probably asked Chris who probably said why are you asking me this?

In reality:

  • M moved into his room without any issue – I don’t think we did it gradually, but I can’t really remember.
  • He had a new bed and his own space for the first time ever…I’m sure having something of ‘his own’ rather than being in his sister’s wake quite appealed.
  • The kids still read together.  And sometimes still have sleepovers.  And play in each other’s space.
  • When M bursts into C’s room with a loud sirening car, or shouting “oooh la la” (one of his current favs), we can redirect him into his own space, which we’re lucky and grateful to have.
  • How much more time would I have in the day if I didn’t over think things?  Not enough, but a LOT more!

 

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Friday Funnies: my cheeky nutters

At seven and five, C and M are full of zest.  We’ve taught them manners and are beyond the point when they need to be consistently reminded to use them.  About 80% of the time they’re a real joy, and a real laugh, if a bit cheeky.  So tonight’s about celebrating that.

Big bottom, big big bottom.  Talk about a big one, my mom’s got one! Thank you M, that’s charming.  My little comedian.  Your father has taught you well.  I think it’s about time we had another chat about how to endear yourself to girls.

*

Well MY friends and I have a different type of relationship to YOU and YOUR friends!  Oh really?! Insights from C, who frequently cuddles her little buddies and didn’t agree with my discourse on the value of protecting your personal space, no less because of the number of head lice incidents in her year.

*

Oooh oooh oooh ooooh.   Look at my nice brab! It’s just after 6am, so maybe my eyes deceive me?  Is that M parading around, donning my leopard print bra?  Yup.  Does he still think it’s called a brab?  Yup.  Confiscation time.

*

C: Ohhh!  They kissed on the lips.  We’re watching ‘Air Bud.’ a riveting movie about a golden retriever that plays American football and the main character Josh’s mom has just kissed her boyfriend.  A peck, this is a children’s movie after all.

Me: So do you think you’ll have a boyfriend one day?…Maybe in about 10 years? (qualifying)…

C: Maybe.

Me (testing the water): Someone like Josh?

C: No, Buddy.  (the dog)  I guess we don’t need to worry about dating drama and heartache for a little while then.

*

Me: M, I put your red airplane socks in the bag.  Your blue kit socks are not clean so you’ll have to wear the red ones.

M: Oh my word!  I need my other socks.  I want to match.

Me:  Manners?  Well, the red socks do match even though they’re not official kit socks.  

M: Okay mommy, I’ll deal with it.  I’ll just have to deal.  Yes son, you will.  Glad to hear THAT message sunk in.

 

 

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