bad mother #23

You know you’re a bad mother when… you receive a backhanded compliment like this one:

“Mum you could be a teacher if you wanted to. You would just need to work on your mood and try not to be so cranky at the children”

The truth hurts…

bad mother #22

It’s been a very long time since I’ve added any bad mother moments, but I thought I should revive them after the following incident today.

You know you’re a bad mother when… at the local markets shopping for a snack, you try to convince you child to go for the cupcakes and cookies instead of a healthy alternative. “Alright, you can have grapes if you really want them, but if you have grapes, you will not get a cupcake”.

new things

making sentences is so much fun!

The second week of school was just as tiresome as the first, if not more so. We were all a little wiser about the order of things, but the exhaustion by weeks end was much the same.

Aside from this, we had a good week. Scarlett has taken to learning all the things that kindy kids learn like a duck to water, but it has made me think about how little we encouraged these things before she started school. Sight words, sentences and punctuation were not really things we had spent time focusing on with her. The preschool we sent her to (and where her brother now goes) has a teaching philosophy based on self directed play and while there were some basic things, like scissor skills, pen grip and following a simple set of instructions, all this other stuff had not been a focus at all. Starting school, she could write her own name, and recognised most letters of the alphabet, but this last week, I’ve been amazed at how quickly she is learning sights word and forming sentences with them. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of her.

To add to all the changes going on at the moment, I’ve also had a new person start in my team at work. The reason the position was vacant is a whole other story (which I am quite upset and disappointed about), but the fact is there is an unfamiliar person working quite closely with me just seems to make my working life harder. Another thing I know will get easier with time.

Preschool drop off has not improved yet. I’ve tried reasoning (with a three year old!) and tried negotiating deals, but there are still tears each day as I leave my boy. He is going through a very peculiar stage at the moment. He is so in need of my attention and affection, but he also loves to challenge me to see how far he can push me. I must admit, that my fuse is never too long as much as I try to be calm with him. Yet another thing that I really hope gets easier some time soon.

starting school

stand up straight Starting school is something I’ve thought plenty about over the past five and a half years. When Scarlett was younger, I wondered if she would be able to start school ‘early’ at four and a half since she was an August baby.

After her first year of preschool, I quickly realised that she was nowhere near ready for school, and didn’t even ask the question.

During her second year of preschool, she flourished. Under the guidance of a firm but caring teacher, she learnt that not everything could be done her way, and also learnt how to be confident and assertive in groups, overcoming her shyness a little.

Once she ‘graduated’ from preschool, I had no qualms about her readiness for school. That was until the week before she was due to start…

I got messages and emails from friends wishing me luck. Every person I saw asked me how I was feeling about it. It made me focus on it much more that I would have otherwise, and it made me anxious and confused.

Unlike some mothers, I never have those moments of longing or regret that the baby days are over. I don’t think back to my children being babies and wish I could go back. I am always excited and relieved to pass new milestones and don’t want to ponder the past too much.

on the way in
All this talk of how I would cope with my first child going to school made me wonder if I would be emotional. Would I be scared and not want to let her go? I did feel nervous on the day we were due to go. Had I remembered to label everything correctly? Had I ensured she had everything she needed? It was really more about if I was going to pass my first day as a school mum.

After we finally arrived for her first day of big school, I walked with her to the classroom, and before I had a chance to think, she had gone in and sat down with the class. I had to call her back so I could say goodbye and give her a kiss. I did not get teary or cry. I did not feel sad or worried for her – I was just relieved and proud.

She is a smart little girl who is confident in herself. She makes up her mind about (most) things for herself and is determined enough to see things through. While she has not gone into kindergarten with many close friends, I know she will make some when it suits her.

Now there is only the matter of my own insecurities… I have many mixed feelings about the incongruence of my desire to further myself in my career, and my want to be a ‘good’ mother and participate in my children’s school life.

scarlett & freyaTalking to other parents at school, I have discovered that (mostly) mums are expected to participate in school activities such as sporting events, helping with group work in class, canteen duty and more. As someone who works four days a week, I am not sure how much of this I will be able to commit to, yet I don’t want my child to feel that her parents are not as involved as others’ parents.

I guess it is something many parents have no choice in, and I am lucky that, for the moment, I have some flexibility to work ‘part time’. I am already starting to worry about two years down the track when my youngest starts school, when my right to work part time will no longer be a given, but a privilege. In the mean time, I guess I will have to learn to navigate each school term, and see where I can fit everything in…

pillow talk

I realise it’s been a very long time…

I’ve been embroiled in a bad work situation, and a moody toddler for some months now, but feel like I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

To ease myself back into the swing of things, I’ll share a conversation I had with the above mentioned toddler at bedtime tonight.

After several attempts at leaving the room with him screaming and crying, I returned one last time. This time he was more tired and ready to give in. I asked if he was ready to say goodnight to me now, but he said he had been waiting for cuddles. I lay next to him with my head on his pillow, my arm across his back. He looks at me and says “I want you to stay here foreber (or forever).”

For all the heartache this little boy causes, he is such a little gem. I know all he wants is love and understanding. Sometime though, he has a funny way of expressing that.

 

the end is nigh

 Would you consider this scratch to be the end of the world?

 Well according to Scarlett it is.

Today as we left the shopping centre – we were on the home straight, groceries bought, tantrums averted and sanity intact – Scarlett tripped over and fell on her knee. On concrete. 

The screams she let out had fellow shoppers worried there was some sort of emergency. By the sounds of things she may have been in dire need of an ambulance, or at least some stitches. No. Nothing quite so dramatic. A scrape on the knee. Hardly any blood at all. 

The screeching continued to the car – which I only made it to thanks to a helpful stranger. I was carrying Scarlett while pushing a heavy trolley. After she was safely in the car and I began packing the groceries into the car, her screaming continued. More strange looks from near by drivers and pedestrians wondering what terrible thing I had done to her. 

The sobbing and whimpering continued all the way home and for an hour longer once inside. It seems she copes VERY badly with pain.

This has happened a few times now. I was asked about it by a preschool teacher after her gross over-reaction to a scratch after tripping over. Each time, all I can think of is “imagine the trauma if she broke her arm” or “how will she cope during child birth one day”? 

It seems like such a minor thing to worry about, but these situations have such an impact on me. There is nothing I can do to calm her down. Talking, cuddles, bribery. Absolutely nothing helps her get over it. Today she told me she was never going to go outside again, as this would apparently solve all her problems.

I wonder if other children are like this. Are some people just so super sensitive to even the tinies amount of pain? It must be awful.

fast learner

Scarlett summonsed me downstairs to see the ‘playhouse’ she and Xavier had been quietly, busily working on for half an hour. Once. Twice. I was clearly engrossed reading the newspaper on my iPad. 

Scarlett urged me one last time “Come on mum, you can take your iPad downstairs”. 

She learns quickly.