Thursday, 30 October 2008

Samhain reflections..

Generally i love it when the kids're off school, we can spend more time together and most of the flashpoints aren't in use then, you know, like getting up, washed, ready for school, kitbags, homework etc. We still get up pretty early BUT the good thing is that we don't need to be anywhere ar organised for anything (organised is NOT my middle name!) so theoretically life should run more smoothly, but no. We still find things to stress over, just different ones. R and i have gone to bed early a couple of nights (Yippee!) as i've been having a really bad week and have been practically immobile for two days. So, there we were all nicely tucked up in bed watching Pocahontas when along came..... Nell! This might not seem like much of a problem, she is a wonderful daughter who i love dearly, BUT, add Nell to a tired R and what do you get? Bedlam!! Within minutes of her arrival they were trying on fairy costumes, tutus, and heaven knows what else, all thoughts of quiet snuggles with mam forgotten. I don't know if it's some kind of chemical reaction but add Nell to almost any equation and the result is chaos! They were bouncing and squealing and laughing, in one way it was lovely, they were having loads of fun but me being in a lot of pain wasn't helped by the general mayhem and i had to ask them (whilst trying not to do so through gritted teeth!) to stop the bouncing before my spine completely gave out. I do hate having a bad back, almost as much as i'm sure that my kids hate me having a bad back! It has caused us many problems over the last four years, they've shown so much patience every time we've been unable to do something because of it.
I digress, Nell n Rowanne have a complicated relationship. They're sisters, they love each other but the age gap is a bit of a problem at the moment. Nell is 14, thankfully for me she's quite a young 14, well actually no, she's a normal 14 which means that she's not trying to be 21 and wishing her life away. I'm so grateful for that fact, i see too many girls acting like they're so grown up when they're neither physically or mentally ready for adulthood. Nell is my very own dolly dimple, we used to joke that she should've been blonde! She does in fact do a good impression of a ditzy blonde even though she is so far removed from it in reality. Sometimes she has lots of patience with R, doing lovely things for her without any prompting or suggestion, others they can't be in the same room without fur flying. Today R had a dilema 'cos her giant sized teddy had a hole and the stuffing was falling out (well, those awful little polystyrene balls that fill beanbags) so she went and got my sewing tin and stitched ted up for her, no problem. Conversely R will ask her to do a simple thing, a drink of juice or help with something on the computer and if N had her way hell would freeze over first. Complicated or what? In fairness to Nell, R doesn't think that she's any younger than N, she thinks that if N can do something then it's her right to do it as well. Right now they're playing together, it's hilarious. Nell has told R that giant ted is her boyfriend, of course Rowanne has declared that he can't possibly be her fella 'cos he's clearly HER boyfriend. R has jumped onto the couch pulling ted on top of her so Nell has jumped on top of ted, pretending that she can't hear R's cries for help. It's lovely to see them playing together but it'll end in tears. And, as if by magic, it has!
(later) So Rowanne turned the tables on Nell who was by then lay under ted with R jumping on top, however, she misjudged the jump and landed on Nells head. Not good. Nearly a disaster of titanic proportions. Fortunately i was able to persuade her that R had just been giddy and had not hurt her intentionally. Thankfully, she listened. I think the fact that the others agreed that it'd been an accident helped. As well as my kids there are 3 of Jays friends in the kitchen being all male teenager-ish, Of course they had to preen their peacock feathers around Nell and Hannah. So predictable. They were huddled in the kitchen 'cos R's having a sleepover tonight, she has Molly n Sophie here. It'll character building i reckon. Her room is quite small and three girls, plus the mountains of 'stuff' that they need, will probably mean a massive camp out in mams bedroom. Ho hum, looking forward to that then!
Tomorrow is Samhain (All Hallows Eve or Pagan New Year) as well as haalloween so R has blagged her brother Lee to take her out trick or treating then we'll be off over to Jeans house as we've all been invited to a party at another of our friends house, Mel. She has two little lads aged 3 and 6, i'm glad that everyone will have a good time but i will miss Brandon so much. I miss not having him here for family celebrations. His dad has the same beliefs as me so it's not that he wont get to celebrate. Everyone does halloween anyway. I'm jst wishing that i could have him here with me. Even with a house full of kids it doesn't make the place seem any less like there's something missing. A mothers bond to her kids never fades, it just learns to stretch further as they get older and go out into the big wide world. Kayleigh is 22 and married, living only 5 doors away, that doesn't change my concern for her, they're just different. Lee lived so far away from me for 5yrs but that didn't mean that missing him lessened in any way. Our kids're joined to us with an unbreakable bond, always and forever in our hearts.
I wasn't intending to get all deep and meaningful today, it just turned out that way. Nell is now organising a 'rave' in my kitchen for the younger kids 'cos Jay n his mates have gone out. I'm thinking earplugs might be a good choice at this point! They'll have a good time so i'll worry about my hearing tomorrow!Hope everyone has fun tomorrow evening, whereever and whatever they do.....

Monday, 27 October 2008

Temper tantrums, a spectacular display!...

The kids're off school this week so of course i'm feeling off kilter anyway (you may remember that B goes to his dads during school break), not helped by the fact that everyone else seems off kilter too. R is really feeling it, we've had a couple of crying sessions today, one quite major as we descended from slight disagreement to the screaming banshee from hell! She wasn't happy either! No, really, most of the time i can keep calm and as she gets older the 2 second warning has extended so much that most of the time quick thinking on my part can avert disaster - not today! To be fair i wasn't as calm as usual, i'd had a bad night and was in a lot of pain and wasn't very mobile at all. I was supposed to go shopping today but that went out of the window much to R's displeasure. She had it in her head that she wanted a tuna sandwich so of course we didn't have any tuna. This was thankfully resolved by going to Kayleighs house for a tin of tuna - problem solved! Actually , no, she got back armed with her tin of tuna and a smile which quickly vanished when we discovered that there was no bread! How much bread can we go through? I'd bought 2 loaves less than 48hrs ago??!! I tried to suggest tuna pasta (a firm favourite generally) but that wasn't going to satisfy today. She disolved into a wailing wreck, made worse of course by the fact that she's now hungry. I really did try to stay calm but ended up yelling that it was tuna pasta or nothing, which didn't help. On the positive side 'cos we'd been arguing so long the pasta was actually cooked and presented on a plate so the argument that it would take too long no longer counted. A few more tears and sobs later, followed by a kiss, cuddle and apology from mam for shouting and the first crisis was over.

A couple of hours later the main event started. R is 7 years old, i remind you of this 'cos i think sometimes she forgets and therefore expects everyone else too. She has never been allowed to walk to the village postoffice alone, nor will she be allowed to for quite some time yet. She wanted some sweets from the shop and wanted to go and get them for herself, which i obviously refused, i explained (for the umpteenth time) that the road wasn't safe and that no matter how sensible she is she can't make bad drivers driving improve just so she could go for sweets. The siren went off at this point, BIG time. It really was a spectacular display, the full screaming, kicking, i hate you(ing), you're the worst mam ever , you hate me, i'm sick of being treated like a baby i want to do it mineself (she used to say this as a baby all the time, it still slips out sometimes when she's angry). Her face actually went purple almost. At this point, of course, there's no point in even trying to speak to her as she's far beyond rational thinking. A few years ago this would have descended into a general demolition of anything in her path, she used to pull drawers out and fling toys across the room, throw herself onto the floor and much more besides. I used to be terrified that she'd hurt herself in her rage but i learned to let her get on with it. Once she'd reached that point the best thing to do was to walk away from her and let the hysterics run their course, if i tried to intervene before then it would just fan the flames causing them to burn for longer. It was really difficult to do this, all my instincts were screaming at me to go back and hold her -or yell right back!! - but i've had to learn that it wasn't the best course of action. If i leave her to get on with it the it burns down far quicker than if i'd intervened. It usually ends with her having stomped up to her bedroom until the shockwaves have passed and then she comes downstairs absolutely shattered and emotionally drained and all she wants is a cuddle. I really do worry about her, none of my other kids have had a temper like this, she has told me that she gets a feeling in her tummy, it gets sort of hot and bubbly and then she knows what's going to happen. It's so difficult, over the years shs has actually lashed out at me a number of times, at her siblings too. It had got to the point that when she lashed out at Brandon a couple of times he did actually hit her back. When i told him not too his answer was that it's not fair that she keeps on hitting him and nothing ever dets done about it. I explained that i did tell her off about it and it's not the right thing to do. His theory? He doesn't mind if i speak to him for hitting R, it doesn't hurt him like R hitting him does, i always talk to R about it but she carries on doing it so why shouldn't he? What do i say? He's right. All the talking to her in the world hadn't stopped her from hitting him and it is grossly unfair that she hits him when she doesn't get her own way. I must confess that i really struggled - and still do to a degree - with this one. My mums answer is give her a good hiding, that'll sort her out. I don't want to give my daughter a good hiding, I've had enough of those over the years to know that it wont solve the problem and those memories would blight our relationship for many years to come. So, what do i do? Both R and i know that her hitting out and eruptions of temper are not acceptable behaviours, talking doesn't /hasn't helped, i'm not open to giving out 'good hidings' and i don't know what else to try.
Next on the agenda is removing of priviledges but what is a priviledge? Do i let the others do something that she wont be allowed to do? Do i stop her from having friends over? How do i do this in a way that she'll understand? She already knows that she's not supposed to hit people, she understands what is and is not acceptable behaviour and most of the time she can stay within these guidelines but sometimes she just can't do it. Any suggestions?....

Sunday, 26 October 2008

It's been a funny old week...

Just how bad has the weather been? Absolutely dreadful! No need to worry about global warming then eh? Much! There has been lots going on but it's been one of those weeks when yu're flapping around all week in a tizz but when you look back you're not quite sure what you spent all that time on? One thing i have done a lot of this week is spent time exploring Blogger. Not a bad thing to be doing, i've discovered that i much prefer blogger to t.v.- well, thats not strictly surprising as i prefer watching clocks tick to watching t.v" - but like most things with me i always go at it gung ho for a while and then the novelty wears off. It's a bit like reading a book thats so great that you just can't put it down until it reveals its thrilling end. 'Nothing wrong with that' you might be thinking, 'uses the old grey cells and keeps them active', however i have found one quite significant flaw in this philosophy - There IS no ending! The 'book' goes on forever and it doesn't matter how much time you spend reading you're NEVER going to touch the tip of the iceberg that is available as reading matter! Aaagh! Each new page that you log onto opens the door to more new worlds and lives to read about! Is there such a thing as overdosing on blogger? Who knew how many talented, tortured, frustrated authors there were out there? I've just found a world of people who think like me! Why didn't i get a computer years ago? The things i've missed by being a technophobe, ah well.
It's really odd here tonight, there's only me and the two dogs in the house. As you can imagine this doesn't happen very often at all and to be honest it feels very strange. Maybe you'd think that i'd jump at the chance of some 'me' time, do fifteen rounds of the Halellujah Chorus and head for the bathroom armed with enough lotions, potions, bath goodies and smelly candles to give Cleopatra a run for her money? Nope. I'm sat here at 1.36am on a saturday night/sunday morning writing on blogger 'cos i can't sleep as the house is too empty!! How sad is that?? Actually i'm not sure which part is the saddest, the fact that i'm childfree on a saturday and am not out partying with friends or the fact that i can't go to bed cos the house is too empty. Truth is, i really don't think that i'd like to be out on a saturday night, the thought of running the cattlemarket course without some muppet thinking he could rock my world really isn't pleasant, *shudder*. Now if it was a night in with a friend, bottle of mead(nectar of the goddess,Mmm) some tasty nibbles or hell even a takeaway then that WOULD be a fab way to spend a saturday night. Not enough notice though i'm afraid. Ah, well.
How many of us feel a bit like our lives are a bit like groundhog day? Me too. I love my kids more than life itself but sometimes i fear that i don't like them - no, that's not quite right - i don't like the fact that they continue to do/not do the things i ask them to not do/do. Why is that? When they ask us to do something they automatically expect it to have been done yesterday, if not sooner! Of course the things that we ask them to do are wicked and cruel barbaric tasks. Sometimes i wonder if i do in actual fact speak the same language as my offspring? Maybe whilst i think that i'm asking a simple request like 'take your plate away please' or 'pick up your belongings BEFORE someone stands on them'. what they actually hear is 'put your hand into the fire' or 'throw yourself under a bus'? At least that's what you'd think i'd said judging by their reactions - and that's just the big'uns!Lol! Another one, 'it's time for bed' . Aaagh! The brutality! I've reached a point where i think that this is a more certain proof of age and maturity that most other tests i could think of. When we are young we spend so much time plotting schemes to help us avoid going to bed early yet from our late twenties onwards we spend the rest of our lives trying to find ways to spend just a little more time in bed. Ironic eh?
Eeh, i'm feeling philosophical tonight.I really don't like being here alone, it's really strange, it's almost as if the house can tell that there are no kids here? I love my home, it's the first house that i've lived in since i left my parents house 23 years ago that has felt like home. I've never wanted to stay in one place for very long before, heck i've had boxes that weren't unpacked for 3 moves 'cos i knew that we weren't going to stay! I usually like somewhere for a few months and then my feet start to itch, we did live in a caravan for quite a long time which was just perfect. It was an old tourer, we just parked near a beach for the summer and the kids loved it, i really enjoyed our time there, walking down to the farm for veggies and to the tiny village shop where we bought cards to send telling everyone that we were ok and having fun, fond memoriws of happy days.

I'm feeling rather tired, At Last!, and it's 2.40am so it's well past pumpkin o'clock for me! Till next time....

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Harmonida, hormone attacks, trains and *****mobile phones!!!!!

Another day, another drama! Why me this week/month/year??? Of course it all started so well. We got loaded into the car and managed to get to Jeans only a little late and this time it wasn't even my fault!! Lee decided to order some food for us all to be delivered - fabulous!- but surprisingly-not!- it took nearly an hour for it to be collected even though they said it'd be ready in 20 mins! Then of course it took ages for it to be eaten due to our new arrival (x-box anyone?) which kept on distracting them whilst they were supposed to be eating. Not their fault at all! So they kept on saying anyway!

We finally got to Jeans, piled in abandoning hats coats and shoes in the process. (It's so cold wet and windy here right now that i was toying with the idea of socks for everyone, including me!) The kids quickly settled into doing some crafts that they'd requested for this visit, at least R and Heather (Jeans lass) did. B has been very unsettled recently which is so sad to see. His best friend through school and at home has been Iain ever since we moved here, Iain's two years older than B so after the summer hols he went up to high school which has left B behind.. At first they seemed to cope well but of course Iain has made new friends, which is totally natural, thus causing B to feel a little left out. Also i think that now B doesn't have Iain to support him he is having a hard time at school too. B has always been such a happy pleasant boy with his head in the clouds and a smile on his face , sadly that's no longer the case, he's becoming quite volatile, emotional and even on occasion aggresive which is completely out of character for him. He growls almost if you ask him to do something and he doesn't want to, gets so angry and red in the face even when no one has said anything to him. Yesterday i said "Brandon could i have a word /are you feeling ok?", nothing aggresive there but he immediately growled, burst into tears and yelled "Right, if you feel like that i'll go to bed then!!???" and off he stamped. What??? I tried to speak to him when he'd calmed down but he refused to discuss the matter and i felt that if i'd pushed it he'd've just got more and more upset. I'm at a loss. Of all my kids this is sooo out of character for him, he was by far the most placid of them all.

Sooo, back on track. Whilst H and R were busy doing some girly craft thing that invlved lots of glitter, stamps and anything sparkly he had picked up an old harmonica that had belonged to Jeans dad and just started to play it! I was actually in the other room when it started and i thought either Jean or H were playing it as he's never played one one in his life, i asked Jean when she'd learned to play? She came in chuckling to herself as she said that it was B who was playing it, apparently my face was a picture! That was a lovely thing and guess what he's going to be getting for his next present? It was lovely to see his smile and sense of achievement, it breaks my heart to see him unhappy. It's amazing how a change of scenery and self confidence can change someones whole demeanor in such a short time. Usually if we go to Jeans for a sleepover it's during the holidays so we don't have to be up and ready the next day, this means that B has missed out on a number of visits, although he's never said that he wanted to do it, he's usually said that he wasn't bthered 'cos he was with his daddy instead. However he has requested the last two overnight visits that he's had there. Again, Jean is such a gentle soul and does take time to speak to him instead of focusing all her attention on the girlies. All in all it was a very lovely visit.

We had to leave earlier today as R had a party invite that we needed to get ready for. She completely blew me away with what she chose to wear, a skirt and blouse and strappy(ish) sandals. The mode du jour recently has been skinny jeans and dark tops- in order to look as 'goth' possible. So imagine my shock when she picked a creme blouse and light coloured skirt, it was freezing and blowing a gale! However, i was not going to argue with her, i'd told her about the weather etc and let her go with her own choices even if i don't agree, it's not the end f the world is it.

Off we popped, dropped her @ the party where she confidently skipped in even though she didn't know most of the kids and hasn't really seen Esme for over a year, how they grow so quickly, last year she wouldn't've let go of my skirt much less allowed me to go home and collect her at the end. I have to admit that i was partly glad BUT a little hurt too that she didn't need me there, it's that growing up thing thats starting to kick in!!!Eeek!!

While R was at the party i phoned J only to discover that he hadn't taken his charger so his phone was flat- marvellous!- the knock on effect of that being that we couldn't contact him to find out if he was ok, had made his connection or whatever. I was having a gentle breakdown to say the least. Kayleigh and Rob went to pick him up from the station at 8.15pm but of course there was no way to contact him as time ticked slowly on and there was no sign of him. We'd done the usual, rang Amy's mam to check that he'd caught the train, checked that the 2nd train was running late -which it was - but we had no way of actually speaking to him to reassure ourselves that he was ok. An hour later - by which time i'd aged 15yrs - he sheepishly walked out of the station. My emotions varied between wanting to hug him for being safe and wanting to murder him for scaring me so much! I really don't know how we coped before mobile phones were invented, did our parents just feel generally safer about our welfare or did the worry of us prematurely age them? AND (this was my argument) What's the use of me giving in and getting him a flipping phone if he promptly leaves his charger behind and his phone goes flat??? It's not that i want to stop him having fun, up to a sensible limit, and i'm not trying to control his life, if that were the case then they'd all be wrapped in cotton wool and safely with me!Lol, but i do feel that it's not too much to ask to be kept informed of his well being etc. I know we have to let them make their own choices and mistakes as they go along but is it unfair to ask them to show some common courtesy and let us know that they're ok? Anyone have any opinions on this subject?

I'm off to the chemist shop now to buy a hairdye to cover all the extra greys that developed over the weekend! Aaagh!...........

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Big boys toys, train rides and sleepovers....

I think that friday is, in some ways, my favourite day of the week. The sense of relief i feel when i realise that we don't have to get up and organised by 8am is almost (but not quite!) spiritual. As we all know kids have their own little body clocks going which seems to work along the lines of :- fuzzyheaded, sleep deprived exhaustion and on a go slow all week through monday to friday where you're practically weeping before they'll get up BUT come saturday, when you don't have to be anywhere - or dressed for that matter, they're up with the lark and full of the joys of spring by 8.30am! WHY?? Do they do it to punish us or is it just my kids whose body clocks work that way?
So, up we got this morning, B and i (R and N were at sleepovers) not in a rush to be anywhere. Lee was up before 10am and we were just lazing around for an hour or so. L's boss arrived with his wages, thankfully!, in which he found a lovely surprise. This led to a hasty get ready and a car trip into the nearest town. Lee (who's 21!) NEEDED to buy himself an x-box 360 which i am assured is REALLY cheap and essential to the continuation of both mankind and peace and harmony in our household?!! My main thought was "Over £130 pounds?!! Does it make tea and solve world hunger?" to which i recieved a number of snorts and general rolling of eyes. Guess what we're doing now? Yep, sitting with the thing plugged into the t.v. and general male oohs and ahhs echoing around the room.
Whilst L and B managed to make a fair amount of noise and sound effects it was less theatrical than usual as J isn't here. He has gone away for the weekend to visit his new girlfriend and stop at their house which is a good 3 hour train journey away. I know that i'm his mam and perhaps a little overprotective but i've really struggled with this. I don't know her family, he met her at the festival we went to in august and what started out as friendship has now become something more. When we were at Solfest he was actually with his previos girlfriend, Gill, and they both befriended her. Gill ended their relationship about a month ago, she's had a very hard time recently as she was diagnosed severely diabetic and is now insulin dependant which has caused a knock on effect of many other things, which threw J completely and so he's turned to Amy for comfort. As an adult i can see that this is a rubberband relationship but he can only learn by his own experiences and has to work through this himself. He'd never been 'dumped' (his words) before and i think his ego was a little bruised so Amy was a good way to build it up again as it was clear that she fancied him from the beginning. I don't want to see her hurt but am powerless to do anything about it. I'm afraid that they wont be properly supervised, Amy's mum was constantly drunk whilst we were away and allowed her to sleep elsewhere without actually coming to see if there were any adults present at all. I've spoken to J on many occasions about suitable behaviour but he is a 16yr old male. Whilst i wouldn't allow my 15yr old daughter to have her boyfriend share her bedroom not all people are the same. All i can do is hope that he's listened to the things i've told him over time and trust him to make a responsible judgement about the situation.
The truth of the matter is that he's my boy and i don't like not having him close to me where i know he's safe. J has suffered with epilepsy since he was a child but has thankfully been fit free for over a year now, even so i still worry about him. His opinion is that he's not had a fit for a year so it's over and done with but it's not always as easy as that. He's a long way from home with people that i don't know, he's travelled by train alone across the country and i am helpless if he needs me. I know, it's a mum thing, you'd think it'd get easier as they got older but no, it's just a different -if not bigger- set of worries that we have to deal with. We can hope that we've prepared our kids well for their survival in the big wide world but we can't prepare them for the way other people behave.
R has come back from her sleepover at Sophies so we're going to repack her bag for our sleepover at Jeans tonight. I love spending the night with her, we always sit up far too late and put the world to rights, sometimes we might have a glass of wine (or Baileys irish cream- yum) but more often than not we just drink a gallon of tea and talk till our jaw hurts! Isn't it wonderful to find someone that you can chat with forever, whether it was the last week/month/year that you saw them, or, conversely you can sit in peaceable silence and it not turn into an awkward one? We only get a small number of those in our lives and they usually arrive when you need them most, almost like a kindred spirit or soulmate. I don't believe that our soulmate has to be our sexual partner, or even a life one, it could be that we meet a number of soulmates at different times in our live when we need each others help and only when we have achieved or learned what was needed will we be free to mve on. I don't know how other people feel about this topic but i find that it seems to have been that way for me.
I'm going to sign off and get dinner ready so we can try (but usually fail!) to be organised for 6.30pm so wish me luck!............

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Head like a sieve!

Here i am, waffling on about various bits and pieces of ur life when i forgot to tell the best news i've had all year! Lee moved home at the end of july!!! Yipee!
T be fair whilest i'm selfishly doing a jig in celebration of his return it was in fact a very hard time for him. He had split up with his girlfriend and had no where to live so he came home to his Mam, it was sad 'cos he'd had to give up his job which he loved and had been in for 5 years and enjoyed. The job situation being what it is he struggled to get another but has finally found something that he seems to enjoy. I f course wish that he hadn't had to go through the heartache at the time but would be a liar if i didn't admit to being over the moon that he's back with me.
It hasn't been the easiest of times, he's not lived in the madhouse for 5 years and has had to get used to the general uproar that is us, he has needed some quiet time alone to think which isn't the easiest of things to manage but we're doing ok. I feel that he struggles with the Smalls sometimes as he'd forgotten how hectic it can be, he's used to coming in and relaxing in peace - not that he gets that opportunity here!- and the fact that he can't have total control of the t.v. either. I don't like it on much to be honest but i did make a concession and alow him to have the sports channels on as he's an avid football fan; personally i'd rather watch paint dry but each to their own eh? If it helps him settle then it's worth it.
It amazes me when people say "i bet you can't wait for them all to grow up and leave..." WHY would i want that? They're my children and of course i want them to grow and be happy, see the world, have fun, learn , love and laugh but why would that make me want to chase them out of the door as soon as they're old enough for me to legally do so? They're MY children, i love them and am responsible for them until the day i die. That doesn't mean thet i need to rule their lives or keep them on a short leash, far from it, but if they ever need me then i'll always try to help and support them to the best of my ability. For your child to want to go and explore the big wild world says to me that you've done your job well. They're secure in the knowledge that they CAN take care of themselves and also that if needs be there will always be a place here for them should they need it. What do you think? Is this the case?
I know that when i left home at 18 i was told i was on my own and had to stand on my own two feet and that did hurt - a lot - for a very long time; especially when other siblings left home only to return when things got difficult. I felt a little bitter to be honest that i'd never been given that help, even when i lost my first home and was homeless with two babies ages 2 and1 at the ripe old age of 21. I had to go and stay in a temporary hostel for a while until i found somewhere else to live. This is ne reason why i could never close the door on any of my children, i know how it feels to have that done to you. Again, although a hard lesson to learn and very painful one at the times, it helped me to be the person i am today who hopefully is more aware of the consequences of such actions. All we can do is our best in the end. I have a little motto that i use to try and describe my approach to parenting;
" I love being a Mam, BUT i hate it when i have to be a parent".
I don't want my kids to grow up resenting me for constantly getting at them for their choices; if they're going to put their hand in the fire then i'm clearly going to take immediate(loud?) action to stop them but should i treat their opinions and/or choices as invalid if they don't match mine? I think not. Sometimes i can hear myself sounding like my mum and then i usually know that it's time to back off. My mum was parenting in a different era where the old 'children should be seen and not heard' ethics were still around. i'm sure that she did her best but i know that i don't want my kids to feel about me the same way that i felt about my mum for a long number of years. The ask/tell once then lash out at them scool of thought isn't one i've ever wanted to use in my own home. Do any other mums have the same experiences? I'd love to Know. Also, another thought. Is it possible to take a kid out of school and homeschool them while letting them to work towards qualifications of their own choice? Do you need any kind of experience or qualifications yourself in order to homeschool you kids? Anybody out there got any suggestions? They'd be greatly appreciated! Until next time...........................

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Sleepover wednesdays....

Today is an odd day, Rowanne has gone to stay at her daddys house tonight. He's off work with a damaged elbow so is doing midweek sleepovers as well as friday nights. I'm not sure that it's a good thing. I know her dad loves her and does his best but she's been under the weather recently, a water infection, and has been upset over a few things that he said about me. I know he's very self centered and generally doesn't think before he speaks but i feel that he really should be careful when he's talking to her.
We haven't lived together since before her 2nd birthday so it's not like she misses that, however earlier this year he made murmerings about moving here with us. I must admit that my first thoughts were what was he after and why now. I know that him living with us would be an incredibly difficult thing for us to adapt to but i did give it a little thought;i think the concept of two parents together appealed to me until i did a reality check and remembered how bad it was before he left that is. It turned out that he's been gradually getting himself deeper and deeper into debt and wanted to move here to escape the consequences. I pointed out to him that if he couldn't support himself and his dog (he isn't on a bad wage, he's just not good with finances) how the heck could he support all of us? I think that he wanted to move in here but for me to continue claiming benefits so he could keep his money for himself -NOT! When i said no he told Rowanne that he didn't know if he'd be able to see her at christmas 'cos he might not have anywhere to live as Mama wouldn't let him move in with her. She didn't tell me this for a little while but i had noticed a change in her behavior, she'd wet her pants and even the bed - mine!- a couple of times. I kept gently asking her what the problem was but it all finally came out in the car as we were driving home late one evening. She sobbed for the best part of an hour, i have to admit that my blood was boiling with him but me then badmouthing daddy wouldn't have helped one bit. I told her that it was unlikely to happen and that it didn't matter if daddy lived far away as i would ensure that she saw him as much as possible. She knew that i was telling the truth as Brandon has regular contact with his paternal family. This seemed to ease her poor little heart and she settled off much quicker that night. I did have to have a strong chat with daddy over the phone, his response? "I'll have to be a bit more careful what i tell her really, i forget how little she is". SEVEN!!! I wanted to yell at him. The subject was more or less forgotten until last week when daddy called to collect her, we were a few minutes behind so while i was putting her shoes on she said "could you two get back together please?". Dad said "absolutely not!" at which her face started to crumble until i quickly said "Mama and daddy can't live together but we will stay friends, we both love you lots and it means that you can have 2 bedrooms, one at my house and one at daddys". She smiled happily, said "cool!!" and skipped off to get her toys for at daddys house. If only we'd had this conversation in the begining before he said anything thoughtless to her. she absolutely idolises her daddy, i wish he'd just think before he speaks occasionally!
So, off she's gone to daddys for a mid-week sleepover, she's so excited. It only takes little things to keep them happy most of the time if people think before they speak. Brandon has gone to Iains for a go on his computer games. The nights are drawing in so quickly now and i'm feeling that hibernating thing starting to kick in. I want the curtains drawn and the fire stoked up earlier and earlier. I feel as though i want the kids in earlier so we can huddle inside. I know that not everyone feels this way, i suffer from s.a.d.s and it does make it difficult sometimes, i really struggle to find motivation for anything, i'm just sooo sleepy and fuzzy headed all the time. The doctor wants me to take prozac to see if it helps but i'm wondering if St Johns Wort might be a better option? I used that for a few years but since i've been on all my other medications i haven't thought about adding anything else to it but i'm wondering if the fact that i'm even considering something to deal with it is a positive sign 'cos for the past few years i've not really bothered about anything. I'm feeling a bit like i'm caught between hell and a hard place, i'm not sure what to do for the best. I still have a couple of weeks to work it out before it gets too bad so hopefully i'll get it right by then.
I'm thinking about linking my blog to my flickr page and putting pics on here but i think that i'm going to need a little time to get my head round that! I'm such a technophobe, it's tragic really! I'm enjoying reading Majikfaeries blog, she has a wonderful life, she's fitted so much into such a short time, amazing. I wish that i'd found so many like minded people when i was younger. I had to endure a lot of criticism when i had my older kids, when i had Kayleigh at 18 a nurse actually told me that i couldn't breast feed as i hadn't been taught how, i was too young to breastfeed and there must be something 'wrong' with me if i wanted too! If i'd had a birth attendant like her then i think they'dve been more careful what they said to me! As i got older i found my courage to speak up more, even when i was having my 7th child, Rowanne, they tried to tell me what to do! I wonder if part of it was because my 3rd child, John, died of S.i.d.s at 3 months. Somehow if you lose a child you feel that people judge you as not as capable as other parents cos you got it 'wrong'. It's all crap of course but it takes a long time for you to realise that, there's a lot of healing to do before you get to that point. It was the worst time in my life but even this had a positive outcome in some ways. If John had lived i probably wouldn't've had Jay so soon and later Chanelle. over time i've learned that some of the lessons we have to learn are sometimes hard but we aren't given challenges that we can't overcome. We might think we can't at the time though! Hopefully not many have to have that particular lesson to learn.
I'm being chased upstairs as the football is coming on and they hate it when i ask stupid questions at important times! Lol! So, upstairs with a book and a cuddle off my youngest boy. Lovely....................................

Monday, 13 October 2008

Time for sleep..... apparently!

After all the excitement of yesterday, staying up late to halp J and do this i overslept a bit this morning. It's at times like this that i often wish that my kids were homeschooled. I hate hurrying them to get ready when they're clearly tired, they must be 'cos i know i am! I've often thought about it but my biggest fear is that i wouldn't be able t teach them all they need to know in this age of technology and computers. At the ripe old age of 41 i've finally plucked up the courage to try the world inside the screen. If my kids only had me to teach them then we wouldn't even have the flipping thing! (even though i have to admit to enjoying parts of this- blogger for one!) We're always being told that we need this or that and our kids're deprived if we don't provide it for them. Try telling your (then) 3 year old that she can't have the Bratz super duper delux pop princess fairy compound for the one off budget price of your soul plus the years food budget! Not good i can assure you!
So , what do we do? Make them 'suffer' the trauma of being the odd one out or sell your soul to the catalogue companies for the next decade? What choice is that? One guarenteed to make us feel bad that's for certain! I don't want my kids to miss out, i want them to be happy, safe, loved, educated, compassionate and much much more BUT i'm afraid that sometimes their happiness will have to be achieved whilst learning to accept the word 'no'. in this real world i AM a single parent living on disability benefits. This wasn't a lifestyle choice, i was married but when i damaged my spine, my husband crumbled under the pressure of caring for me and the kids through a very difficult time. He isn't a bad man, although he is a weak one, he didn't intend to leave us but his journey clearly took a different pathway from ours at that point in our lives. Looking back i'm glad now that he went when he did, i don't want to be responsible for his sadness as he was diagnosed bi-polar around this time, at the time i was not overjoyed to say the least! This leaves me being the 'mean' mum more frequently than i'd like but that's life. I don't know that home ed would make this less or more of a problem but i can't help but think that less peer pressure would mean less materialistic? It's a tough situation that i'd love some enlightenment on.
There was a point to this, and it does actually connect to sleep too! i had a really hard time getting up today and after doing some housework and spending an hour with Gilbert, my friend who brings my eggs round every monday, chatting and drinking tea as soon as he left i promptly fell asleep for nearly 3 hours only waking when my eldest son rang me to find out why i wasn't at the train station to meet him. The thing i thought was this:- if i needed sleep that badly then how tired must the kids've been in school today? They didn't have the chance to sleep today then i get crabby when they're whiney and horrible, is that fair? I think not. So i'm having a dilema -again.
Now they're tired and want to go to bed, when they're tired they're clingy, when they're clingy they want me to go to bed with them so now i can't finish the things i wanted to do today as they need to go and can't without mam. Which brings me to this...........
I'm away to bed now with my cherubic babies who need their mama in bed 'cos they're shattered and didn't get a chance to sleep today like mammy which means i'll have to lie awake being eaten by my conscience for sleeping half the day away. With that, goodnight.......................

Lazy sundays?Don't make me laugh!!!

So, today being sunday i'd planned to not do too much, well, actually that's not quite true. Initially we were due to go to "Apple Day", a one day festival that celebrates everything and anything remotely to do with apples - the clues were there in the title people! Anyhoo, to cut a long story short (Yeah, like i EVER do that!) it was cancelled earlier this week due to the fact that the field was most likely under 6" of water. Shock horror! So, we had a few let down kids - and mums for that matter - with not much on. I then foolishly envisioned a relaxing sunday morning with a lazy breakfast and maybe even building up the enthusiasm (or courage might be more apt) to do "the bedrooms".
You may wonder why i wrote it like that? In fact 'bedroom' is quite a relative word in this house. 'Why?' you may wonder. Well, it's like this, when most people think of the word bedroom they imagine a room with a bed in it, maybe a wardrobe and/or a set of drawers. If it's a childs room then a few toys might be in order, stored nicely in containers etc. When i was still an optimist i had those kind of ideas too, it's an easy dream to have. However, in my house that isn't the case. We DO have toys,EVERYWHERE, clothes,anywhere BUT in the aforementioned receptacles and beds that are regularly so covered with stuff that no one can actually sleep in them! Now, i'm pretty cool about most things, i 'm not expecting operating theatre cleanliness, hell i've even allowed midnight snacks when i was still naive enough to think it wouldn't most likely turn into biological warfare! but having actually invested in beds for everyone i thought they might be used occasionally?? Ha! Not likely! My bed is clearly the best in the entire universe, despite the fact that it's only a standard double bed and i'm not exactly sylph like! My kids're not getting any smaller either. It used to be ok to have the two youngest in bed with me (depending on who the two youngest were at any given moment) but it's getting to the point where it's uncomfortable and exhausting. We did implement for a while a rota so that they took turns during the week but friday was film night and we'd all pile in my bed with drinks and some sort of snack and watch films together. That worked quite well for a while but then an attack of poorly tummys blew that one out of the water.
Again, besides the space factor there's the 'stuff' factor which goes along the lines of 'drop everything on mums floor cos ours are full'. Fab! Did i mention that i'm disabled and not exactly agile? If the co sleeping didn't play havoc with my spine the obstacle course finishes the job off. Now, i'm honest enough t admit that sometimes it's nice to have that close contact with a toasty warm little(ish) body, most of the time being single doesn't bother me BUT i do sometimes want t cuddle something that doesn't have four legs and dog breath. Did i forget to mention that the two dogs sleep on my bed too? They're not yorkshire terriers either! Honestly, it sometimes feels like i'm on some kind of endurance test- which i'm slowly losing!
Soooo, back on track - don't worry, you'll get used to me doing this! - lazy sunday.....
As a result of apple day being cancelled i thought we were at a loose end, but no. The lovely Jean booked us tickets for a puppet show at the local community theatre. I managed to forget this until midday today when it popped up in my head - eek! Mad panic and general rushing ensued and lots of stressing by me but we managed to get there by the skin of our teeth- phew! It was lovely too, i've never been there before, it's an old school converted into a community centre with the only down side as far as i was concerned was that the theatre was upstairs. I wish we'd been allowed to take pics, it was nothing like i'd expected. It was one man with a wooden sort of frame around him which he hung things on and used to represent everything - it was "Little Red" riding hood btw - the kids were spellbound. He only used a couple of wooden dolls and i know i'm not doing it justice here, all i can say is we took 5 kids aged between 3 and 9 and they all enjoyed it.
We bumped into some children who had been at our school last year so it was nice to catch up and arrange play dates then off to Jeans foe pasta and lovely chat. I can't help but smile when i spend time with her, she's balm for my soul, just beautiful inside and out. All too soon it was time to leave for home. Even that turned into a task as i planned to call and get our electricity topped up whilest i was out in the car but no, nothing's that simple. I emptied my purse looking for the card, couldn't find it, panicked, thought i'd left it at home. Arrived home, checked meter, no card, only 3p left in electric, started to meltdown then J pulled it out of the purse i'd taken apart 10 mins before! Aaaaggh! S, dashed out and got it with 2 mins to spare before the shop shut. By the time we got back the house was in darkness as the electricity had run out. All character building stuff.
It was a case of quick wash and bed for the smalls, try and find the sink under the pile of dishes, locate tomorrows clothes, sink into a chair with a brew and then help J with his homework. This leads nicely up to now where i'm typing this. I was sorely tempted to leave it till tomorrow - well later on today if i'm technical about it - but it's likely i'd forget something by then! I'll say goodnight and hopefully catch up soon.......

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Blog Spot- Attempt 2, October 2008............

So much for fervent regular blogging then! The summer (if you could call it that!) sloshed by and there it was gone before i'd even blinked. It was, of course, my own fault; if i hadn't rushed out in a fit of enthusiasm and bought garden furniture it would've been a flipping heatwave! As it was my major investment over the actual holidays themselves were new wellingtons and waterproofs, i kid you not. Earned their worth ten times over i can tell you!
There are some parts of the holidays that i find really hard, B goes to stay with his dad which i find more and more painful every year. He doesn't see his dad during term time as he lives too far away so he spends the entire hols with him. I know he has to spend time with his dad, he loves it, he gets the best of both worlds; being part of a big, noisy tribe like us where we all have to muck in and share and also the chance to be an only child with his dad who does lots of "boy" stuff with him. It's just that during term time we're restricted by school etc, this year we've done things that i've not been brave enough to do for the longest time. I've been scared that i wouldn't be able to manage alone anymore after damaging my spine four years ago (a long story for another day) but this year with help from good friends i've managed to get out and about more which i'm eternally grateful for.
We went camping, it was just as much fun as i remembered, if not more so 'cos we hadn't done it for so long. We drove down the country for R to visit her paternal grandparents, they are lovely people. We also -Drumroll please!!!! - attended a festivel! Yipee! The day after i'd driven back from Essex we went to a music festival. It was only a small one really and quite local, J had worked there all week to earn tickets for him, me R and his girlfriend so everything was set up before we got there which was very much appreciated as i was still really tired from all the driving. I was concerned that it would be a bit too much for me but i gave in to taking the wheelchair just in case, i was glad i did. It meant we could do lots more without suffering as much.
The whole point of this super waffle is to try and fill you in on what's been happening whilst i've not been here blogging! I'm going to do more tomorrow if i get some free time, there's much more to catch up with. Until then..........