Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Word games

A child learning to speak, starting with the very first words all the way through to trying to get their grammar correct, and the right suffix on a word, is one of the most amazing developmental processes to bear witness to.

Jordan is stepping boldly into this world with his version of what he hears and can already, to his mother's ear, say Mummy, Daddy, Shannon (Nana), bottle (bobble), car, play, up (blup), no, yip(somehow 'yes' has eluded him), dog (do), door, (do) - yes I know they are the same, it's the context that alters them - among other things. I watch with facsination as, everyday, he adds another recognisable sound to his repertoir.

Shannon, being the chatterbox that she is, is well on her way to talking correctly in every aspect (although she still adds endings that she seems to think make more sense than the real one, or put words in an order that she prefers!) so, in the interests of keeping things interesting we play word games with her. When she was younger this used to consist of the following interaction:

Mummy: Shannon, say fossilised
Shannon: I can't
Mummy: what can't you say
Shannon: fothilithed

very cute!

Then we went through this stage:

Mummy: Shannon, say fossilised
Shannon: I can't
Mummy: what can't you say
Shannon: I can't say what you said (got brains that child)

recently this has started:

Mummy: Shannon say photosynthesis
Shannon: photosynthesis

Mummy: Shannon say multidisciplinary
Shannon: multidisciplinary

Mummy: Shannon say metamorphosis
Shannon: metamorphosis

... when did that happen??? I can't seem to catch her out any more... I need more words people, how can I challenge her diction if all the words are too easy for her? hmmm maybe we should move on to meanings. Shannon's first, that'll bring some interesting ideas to light. Asked what Daddies are made from she replied wood, and Mummies, apparently, are made from water and strawberries! Glad I'm a Mummy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around the world in 80 clicks

Exciting things are afoot! For the first time in my blogging existence I have been tagged to take part in a meme that's doing the rounds. Thanks Sparx you've made my day!

So in the interests of playing my part...

Here are the rules: Write a post of your own about 5 things that you love about being a Mum. Tag 5 bloggers - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country - and link back to me here and finally go to Her Bad Mother and leave a comment.

Ok, 5 things that I love about being a Mum are:

1. trying to make myself believe that these two adorable little beings are there for me to love, nurture and interact with all the time. I am wholly responsible for 2 little people(Eek). Nearly 5 years on I am still over-awed by the fact that I helped to create real little people and who they are, and what they get out of life starts with how much love and interaction I share with them. That's a huge responsibility and an amazing privilege!

2. having an excuse to sit and colour in while other adults go about preparing food and doing the dishes. I would really love to help, but the children will all be underfoot and causing trouble if I don't keep them entertained... really!

3. seeing life through my own mother's eyes and beginning to understand our relationship from her point of view. This is a neverending chain of changing relationships as daughter becomes mother, and I am part of that chain.

4. seeing the world through the eyes of a child and realising that the little things, like chasing butterflies and saying 'I love you' are more important than the hustle and bustle of life in the fast lane.

5. getting to see the children's faces when they are given a surprise or a treat that they were dying to have: Disbelief mixed with wow-Mum-is-the-greatest/-magic/-the-cleverest-bestest person in the whole world!

So, that's my five and now I tag, in the interests of keeping it international, Expatmum in the USA, Reluctant Mem in Tanzania, Potty Mummy in Bonny Blighty, my own Mum, Geriatric Gapper, in Turkey, and because I enjoy her story so much, So Close, from Cape Town, South Africa. What are your favourite things about being a Mum?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Comments 101

Right, people. In the interests of making this blog more attractive to NON Family members I have decided to write more posts, more regularly. The idea of a blog, other than to keep family up to date on the goings on in our lives, is to join a whole new community of similar minded people and interact with them in the blogsphere.

As it stands I do interact with them... on their blogs. So the question is, how do I get them to come over to visit me? The technlogy in this seems to elude me - please feel free to enlighten me if you know what I have to do there - so I have decided that more posts, more regularly is a good place to start.

I also think that perhaps more comments might make me more visible to all those search engines. So, in the interests of giving me a step up, I need your help. I know that many family read this, so please leave a comment every now and then...

Here's how:

  • Click on the word 'comments' at the bottom of the post
  • Fill in the comment box with anything you feel like saying (preferably nice and preferably on topic)
  • Fill in the funny word so I know you are not a hacker and then
  • If you don't have a google account select either Name (url is optional) and fill in your name, or Annonymous if you prefer to remain so
  • Click 'publish your comment' and voila you will be part of my virtual community
Right, now there are NO excuses. Please do your bit for this poor lonely blogger!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dilemma:

How long do you go on doing a favour for someone after you realise they are using you and are not even grateful?

I have been giving someone's maid a lift back to the complex everyday after I drop the kids at school. I don't mind but it does have its downsides: I am committed to coming home after the school run every day and am unable to change my mind at the last minute and go and get the shopping out the way, or pop in to the library, because I have to bring the maid back first. I forwent this freedom and arranged my life so that I could do this favour.

Yesterday I didn't realise, through my own inattention, that she had asked me to give the maid a lift home when I fetched the kids. So I happily drove on by oblivious. Later I recieved a very accusatory sms saying the poor woman had had to start walking and this person's Mother-in-Law had had to take her herself. I appologised. It was my oversight. I have heard nothing back. On top of this, I might just add that she almost never said thank you or even bothered to stick her head out the door to say good morning when I dropped the maid off. I am sure I was doing her a favour. I felt as though I was working for her.

I am not the kind of person who needs recognition for helping out and can, in fact, happily do things for people who don't even know it was me doing the deed! But in this instnace I suppose I just expected a bit of politeness and to not be taken for granted. Needless to say, I no longer will be fetching the maid and will have my time back as my own.

Is this selfish of me? What would you do in the same situation?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is there such a thing as too much chocolate?

I am afraid (yes I know, I know, it's chocolate) that I have to say a resounding YES! But only in certain circumstances including ones where will power is required to resist consumption and others where most of it (the chocolate rather than the will power) is actually Shannon's.

The Easter weekend has passed and we were, as usual, conservative with what we bought, perhaps knowing that the urge to indulge our beautiful children may be too much for others to bear. It was and they were, as usual, spoilt by those whose priviledge it is to do so! So, now we have a fridge full of chocolate and nowhere to keep the veggies. *sigh* The trouble is... will power is one of the last things on my list of self help requirements. In fact we can safely say I haven't even considered attempting to overcome my grossly obvious lack of it, after all you only live once.

Instead I have changed the way I shop (i.e. no chocolates, sweets, puddings or biscuits get bought so no will power required to limit my intake) and the way I think about food so that I feel more than a little self righteous about my healthy choices, rather than feeling sore that I am not indulging in my greatest fantasy: a chocolate eating marathon. Followed by my second: eat as many ribs as you can with chips on the side! Ok, I digress...

SO. Easter is over. The fridge is full of chocolate and somehow screaming my name. I am home alone.

*Who will even know?*

Friday, April 10, 2009

Family ties

This time of the year is all about family for me. As a child I remember large gatherings of my extensive family in one place or another with an abundance of different characters in whose company and familiarity one could indulge. I think, somehow, I took it for granted. All those important people were always there and always the same. We are fewer now, and yet more. Some of the prominent characters have moved on to greener pastures, others have just begun their sojourn within the comforting confines of the family. Branches have been added as other families have joined the original one. We are all related. Somehow.

I am determined, now, not to take it for granted. To enjoy and file away to memory all the bits and pieces that make up the memory of Family. I want to indulge in each age group within the herd, know what they want, feel and know. Understand them and remember how they are, so in years from now I can say: Way back then... and the memories will be a part of all of us.

Last night we had an awesome gathering of family. Only 2 generations, and only those that still live in these parts. But we still numbered 12 people (if we count Jordan who slept through the whole event). I talked more than I have for a long time. On every topic from the end of the world to life choices. I hope I listened too. But we chatted non stop. And I could because I feel accepted. Because they know me. Because I am part of the family. I can speak my mind and be part of their stories. I belong.

As luck would have it I will be getting an added dose of family over this long weekend of family-ness. Part of my first family is in town, here to indulge their craving for sun, sand and sea. And they are here on mass. It is so important to me to keep abreast with that part of me. I share the same blood line. They are part of who I am genetically and personally. They watched me grow up, change over the years (hopefully), accepted my addition to our family and then, in turn, were excited and happy when our new little bundles joined the ranks. I belong there too.

On top of that, the following week another extension of that extensive family will find their way here. And then Mum arrives for a flying visit. I am smiling now as it seems that it can't possibly be just this time of year that is all about family, for once my first family have returned to their respective homes, those from my new family who no longer live here, descend upon us. We will all be together. Three Generations: Parents, three children and their spouses and all the grandchildren. Life for me is all about relationships and experiences. I hope they will always remain entwined.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mother's pride

Before I begin I just have a little Shannonism to tell:

I was talking to Shannon about Grannies as she was wondering why hers never fetch her from school the way other children's grannies do. So I told her about how my Mummy and Daddy and Sean's Mummy and Daddy live very far away and that we get special time with them when they come to visit. So we talked about Mum coming to visit and how she would do puzzles and read books with Shannon and... Shannon looked at me sideways and said: 'why will she do puzzles? Doesn't she do knitting?' Ah, stereotypes from a 4 year old!

So. I have it on good authority that a mother's love is the strongest kind. Without really trying most mothers develop a bond with their children that nothing could break. And so it should be. I would say that whoever designed it that way knew women (according to Shannon God is a girl... she is adamant about that...) extremely well. I have two children who I adore with every fibre in me, and yet...

When I look in the mirror I see more weight than I would like to be carrying: I got that from 2 revoltingly weighty pregnancies; I have a wrinkly, flabby tummy (from the same 2 pregnancies) that strikes the bikini from my wardrobe forever; every time I think I have a minute to myself I find I have to get up to fetch milk, make a sandwich, wipe up sick, run the bath, sweep mud back into the garden, clean crayon off the walls, cook supper (and then be moaned at because no one wants to eat vegetables)...

And I do it all. I love my babies more and more every day. I can sit and watch them play, watch their facial expressions change, their abilities improve (Jordan can now climb up onto most things that are above his head height - and when you say Get Down he giggles triumphantly!) I can watch them grow and develop into the people they will be and I get to love them and be loved unconditionally in return.

But, damn... when I look in the mirror... *sigh*

Being a Mum is no easy task: it takes away most of your independence (since you usually have little people in tow where ever you go) is demanding, tiring, frustrating and never ending. Yet, I would still endure all of that and loads more, for the privledge of having my children. So here's to that well designed, unbreakable bond of a mother's love for her children!

And a large glass of wine at the end of the day never hurt either!